Sunday, January 11, 2015

Moderation is not sexy

It's not. Not at all. There are no big revelations in today's post. No big announcements. No big "LOOK AT THE AWESOME, HUGE, INCREDIBLE THING I JUST DID THIS WEEK." Nope, none of that here.  Because choosing moderation looks normal. It's incredibly hard and has been a bit of a struggle this week. But it doesn't look hard. Because it's not depriving myself (which results in feeling bad). It's also not completely indulging myself, which also results in feeling bad.  It's about choosing moderate, middle of the road choices.

For example: Today was church lunch.  And, at our church, we LOVE to eat. I would feel very comfortable saying that church lunch day is the best attended service of the month. And our people, they do know how to cook.  Luckily, the theme for today was soup and salad, so it was easier than normal to make good, middle of the road choices. So middle of the road for me, today, looked like a very big plate of salad and a small bowl of beef/spinach soup. No bread. No dessert. Was it filling? Yes.  Over-indulgent? Nope. Depriving? Definitely not. I came away feeling proud of myself. But to anyone on the outside, what I ate was perfectly normal. Not exciting. Not sexy.

So here's the run down for the rest of the week:

Good things: 

Again, tracked all week! This really keeps me honest/mindful, so I'm happy to be doing it.

Ordered and received my Garmin Forerunner 15.  So far, I'm pretty happy with it. A few negatives (no bluetooth sync'ing, it's a little big, and I'm not sure how accurate the pedometer/activity part is) but I'm loving that it reminds me to get up and move every hour and that I have a "goal" for steps to reach.  I'm such a data nerd that I like seeing that information about my days.

Listened to the Moderation365 webcast on Monday.  It was good (see my thoughts on it here), and I'm looking forward to listening to tomorrow night's webcast as well.

Got my hair cut! Six inches off and it feels fantastic!

Need to Improve list:

Still didn't get much activity in.  Dang cold weather! I need to commit to using my treadmill more and finding fewer excuses.

Weight change:- 2.4 lb  I'll certainly take that!

This week's goals:

One run, inside or out.

Track everything.

Listen to #Moderation365 webcast on Monday, or Tuesday if need be.

Have a fantastic week!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I mentioned earlier this week/last week that I signed up for a webinar series with Jill Coleman of JillFit called Moderation365.  The first webinar was last night and I wanted to recap what I learned, both for me to revisit as needed but for you as well, if you're interested!

A lot of last night was "introductory", a kind of who, what, where, when, why, how kind of thing. Here are my big take-away messages.

1. You don't have to be perfect; you just have to be consistently engaged in the process.  Perfect eating isn't an option, there is no such thing, and even if there were, it wouldn't be sustainable. So it comes down to how patient you can be and how you view the process. If you understand there will be bumps and failures and bad days, but you are resilient and bounce back to moderation (not to deprivation/tightening up), then you will succeed.  This one is huge for me and I feel like this is a quote I need to hang on my fridge, on my bathroom mirror, on my office wall. It's so appropriate to SO many things in life, not just eating.

2. The MMAD Nutrition Model.  Jill promised more about this in the next two weeks, but MMAD stands for Moderation, Mindfulness, Abundance mindset, and Daily Nutritional Commitments. She talked mostly about moderation during this particular webinar - what is it, how do you achieve it, and how it is very different for each person.  Essentially, moderation is "navigating the middle" with your eating.  At every meal, or every food decision, you should ask "What is the middle choice?"  The middle choice is usually the best because it falls in the middle of the deprivation-indulgence scale (DIS) - that place where you are satisfied, not deprived or over indulged.  Sometimes, this means pre-empting feelings of deprivation by choosing to eat something that is a "treat" but is moderate (i.e. a small piece of dark chocolate, a glass of wine, a piece of cheese, etc) and is not a trigger food.

3. But what should I do when I go overboard?  Don't panic! Sometimes, using consistent exposure is a good thing - for example, if there are foods you crave, have a little every day so that you aren't feeling deprived and then binge on that thing. Practice mindful eating by getting in touch with the physical sensations (am I actually hungry or am I bored/thirsty/nervous/anxious/whatever?). Ask "is this particular food a trigger food for me?" and finally, resist the urge to tighten up the next day/meal - just go back to moderation, so you aren't swaying the deprivation-indulgence scale and setting yourself up for going overboard again.

I'm excited to hear next week's talk, and keep thinking about and learning from this week's talk!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Thoughts for the first week of the new year...

Well, here are the thoughts for week one...

Good things:

I tracked all week!  Everything went into MyFitnessPal so that I was feeling accountable for what I was eating, even when I didn't want to be.  Most of the time (80%) I was making good choices.

I finished my research and decided to commit - I'm buying a Garmin Forerunner 15 (in small/purple, if you want the full details...).  It has an activity tracker that will remind me to move (200 steps every hour) and has all of the features I want for a running watch. Only downside is that it doesn't connect thru Bluetooth or a similar way to my phone, so I have to sync via computer then to the app on my phone. But I should be able to sync with MyFitnessPal, which is cool.  It is supposed to have a sleep tracker too, but seeing as how we aren't really sleeping right now, thanks to the little one, that probably won't be very useful right away. 

Not so good Need to improve things:

I didn't get much exercise. Partly because of my schedule, partly because of the cold, and partly because I was under the weather a bit the end of the week.  I did get some movement in, but no runs. 

Unfortunately, the FR15 is back-ordered. Apparently everyone else wants one, too....

Weight change: - 1 lb. 

Notice that the weight change gets it's own category.  That's because I'm hoping it's a consequence of the changes I'm making to feel better, not the only outcome that I want to measure. Let's keep it real here, shall we?  What I really want is to have more energy and have my clothes fit better. The number on the scale is a bonus. 

This week's goals:

One run, inside or out. More is bonus. 

Track everything.

Order FR15 so that it eventually gets here. 

Listen to #Moderation365 webcast, hopefully on Monday, but if not, on Tuesday.

Get my hair cut and feel pretty.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014



That's a buzz word right now, in agriculture, in environmental sciences, in many other areas.

Sustainability (noun): The ability to be sustained, supported, upheld or confirmed.

Sustain (verb):
1) to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
2) to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
3) to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding.
4) to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
5) to keep up or keep going, as an action or process; "to sustain a conversation."
6) to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life.
7) to provide for (an institution or the like) by furnishing means or funds

(Definitions from

Did you read that up there? To keep from giving way, to keep up or keep going, to supply with food, drink and the other necessities of life? Right now, I'm all about finding things that are sustainable. That help keep me in balance. Because while the last year has had it's good moments, it has not been pretty in so many ways, and one of them is my health/fitness. And that is one thing that I do have control over.  However, over the past year, I've also come to realize that there are some things that I need for this process to be sustainable. Because clearly, what I did before is not sustainable, otherwise this graph:

would look very differently. So this year, rather than making any resolutions to make big changes to my lifestyle, exercise or diet, I'm focusing on small changes that are hopefully more sustainable. So here they are:

1. Eat mindfully. This means being aware of what I'm eating and consciously making decisions to eat/not eat as well as what to eat.  I am tracking my intake/journaling because it keeps me honest and forces me to consider what I eat. Eventually, I hope i don't need to rely on a journal, but that's in the future. 

2. Increasing movement. This means so much but again, I am not taking huge swings. There's a lot going on in my life right now and some of that means that I either don't have time or don't have the energy to make time to work out every day. So the goal is one run a week, and buying a fitness tracker to make me mindful of being active during the day (thinking about a Garmin Forerunner 15, but not sure yet). 

3. I also signed up for JillFit's Moderation365 course, which I hope will help get me started this year. 

So here's to starting my journey again. I've walked this road before, and can do it again. My hope, prayer, and dream is that I can do it in a way that is healthy (physically, mentally, and spiritually) and sustainable. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Miscellaneous thoughts

Just some random thoughts from the first week or so...

1. Weekends are hard. Especially weekends that include fairs. Or parties. Or other fun things that include food. BUT, even with those things, I can still add in exercise and meet my goals while enjoying a LITTLE bit of those things. This weekend, I managed to do well at listening to my body one day and not so well another day. But it's a step forward.

2. I'm getting more exercise than I had planned. No, I'm not running much. Or working out.  BUT, I forgot about all of the animal handling and walking I do at work. After being sore much of the week, I realized how much I really do that is active at work.  Plus, we've been building a big swingset/playset for Adi and I've been painting/drilling/screwing/carrying heavy boards around. So bonus points for that.

3. Gotta keep working on getting in the water.  I can really tell when I haven't had enough water (dry lips and all).

4. Lost 2.5 lbs! Go me!

Onward and upward (or downward??)!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Ok, this started as an email to two really close friends. But the way it ended up, it felt like a blog post. So I'm putting it out there.

_ _ _ _ _

Warning: this is going to be a long vent/rant. And may be TMI in some places (although, maybe not for you ladies, since you both know so much about me already). But I'm really frustrated and really need to get it out there and knew the two of you would understand. 

So my weight has been slowly creeping back on. I've known this for the past 12 months or so and I've intermittently worked to do something about it but haven't stuck with anything for longer than a few weeks. If I was doing a Whole30, I wasn't watching portion sizes or exercising. If I wasn't, it alternated between a free-for-all, eating whatever I wanted, or being miserable and feeling like there were all of these things that I "couldn't eat" and then overeating things I felt like I "could."  And coupled with the crazy stress of my job in the last four months, everything has just gone to hell in a hand basket. 

The first thing I noticed is that I wasn't waking up hungry for breakfast in the morning. Ding, ding, ding! Clue #1! But what really set it off was that my chest is getting bigger (sorry, maybe TMI for some of you out there). And the last place on my body that gets bigger is, well, by chest. CRAP. Couple that with a size up in pants, which fit loosely but are more comfortable than my 10's. And then I got on the scale this morning. 158. @&#%(@#%&@(%^ That was my weight when I started losing everything TWO. YEARS. AGO. Last summer, I hit 138, the lowest I've been since high school. Since then, it has slowly (and not so slowly) crept back on. My acne is back. My knees hurt. And I'm grumpy because I feel fat and old and sore. 

So please forgive my frustration and my venting, but it's cathartic to write. It helps me release all of that so I can actually channel the frustration and come up with a plan. Because let's face it, the way my schedule is right now, and is going to be for the next 6-8 months, planning exercise in to my day is not likely to be a feasible daily/every-other-day activity. But what I can control is the food that goes into my mouth, right?  So my plan is to work hard on my portion control, eating good, whole foods. I'm not going to be terribly restrictive. Some dairy is okay, very limited grains, trying to avoid refined sugar if at all possible. Because eating veggies and meats and fruits is what makes me feel better. And if I work hard at portion control, some of this weight should come off. I've also been really bad about my water intake as my schedule has gotten increasingly busy. 

So goals for this week:

1. 60 oz of water per day

Plan to reach this goal: Fill water bottle the night before, bring with lunch. Keep second water bottle full at work. Drink all before leaving or on way home. 

2. Portion control

Plan to reach this goal: Purposely pick small portions of everything at each meal. Go back for more only after finishing and sitting for a few minutes. Work to recognize and appreciate the feeling of hunger. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Catching up

I've been absent for awhile. Blogger says my last post was March 23, where I set out a plan for getting and staying on track.  I wish I could say that I'd carried though, that I'd followed my plans, that I'd been successful.  But I didn't.  I did survive the spring semester, which was my hardest one yet due to my increased teaching load (a voluntary decision).  I ran a 5k in April and a 10k in early June.  I struggled through the 10k but finished. I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be. I was 10lb heavier than when I ran it in 2013.  The only reason my time was close to last year was because it was 20 degrees cooler. So, am I glad I did it? Yes. Am I proud that I did it? Yes, to that too.

But since then, I've allowed myself treat after treat, so much so that treats were no longer treats but were almost every day occurrences.  Oh, Dunkin Donuts, how I do love your coffee rolls. But they give me coffee rolls of my own and once I start, I can't stop. And I've come to accept that I really don't like to run in the heat.  I'd MUCH rather run in the cold. So after I finished the 10k in June, I have run very little.

But I'm not happy.  I've put on weight that I don't want. I've lost fitness and strength that I wish I still had. I've been grumpy because I'm not happy and the food I was eating was making me feel bloated and upset, yet all I seemed to think about was where the next treat was coming from.  So after a few weeks of on-and-off travel, Jared and I decided to start another Whole30.  We're 5 days in. I'm not feeling 100% yet (it's still early) but I have come to appreciate that I already feel a little better.  The sugar dragon is still there. But the things I'm having are less harmful than what I would have before. A handful of raisins vs a handful of chocolates.  A piece of fruit and some almonds vs. a coffee roll. Better choices. One choice at a time, and there is still room to improve.

I'm hoping my attitude will come around, too.  I'm still stressed out about a bunch of things at work, which is contributing to the desire to eat poorly AND to the grumpiness. And I need to add exercise back in, in some form.  I'm going running with some friends tomorrow, which is like double therapy - running and adult time with good friends.  And, as pointed out by a wonderful friend (and someone who holds me accountable), blogging is also wonderful therapy.  So for those of you reading, thank you.  And if I whine, or complain, or am generally annoying in some other way, please forgive me.  I'm grateful that you're here, that you're reading, and I hope you find some help in these pages, but this blog is ultimately a tool for me to bring together my thoughts.