November 05, 2012

Health at My Size Now

Halloween has come and gone which means the holidays are officially here.

On one hand, I'm pleased because there is a lovely feeling around the holidays and family. On the other hand, I dread it because it is a ton of work and I don't think any of the family needs much especially and so we just end up giving each other "STUFF." You know. Things to store, dust, and get rid of in a few years. I don't mean my family doesn't appreciate what they get. We are just very fortunate and lack for nothing. I know everyone would be cool if we gave to a charity instead of gifts (except for the little ones) but every time I suggest a change like this it seems like too much work for everyone so nothing changes.

So I'm in Grinch mode again and kind of dreading it all. The Halloween stuff isn't even down.

Nothing much has changed in the knitting. I'm still plugging away at the last row of the blanket even though that blanket has already been put into service several times. My Grandma is always cold and when she was visiting a few weekends ago I threw it over her lap. That seemed to do the job and she felt much better. I guess I should make her her own wool lap blanket. She certainly started hinting about it pretty quick.

The fitness thing is tough right now. The UBC sessions I sign up for run for 10 weeks. I really like this because it forces me to commit every 10 weeks and 10 weeks seems like such a doable length of time. I've been doing this for a year and a half now and I really love it. I've seen a lot of positive changes in my health and fitness and feel really strong. The holiday session is only 6 weeks to accommodate holidays and it is actually at a reduced rate but I'm having a hard time rationalizing UBC and my gym membership. I have kind of stopped the kickboxing portion (which actually breaks my heart) because of my knee. I'm swimming (hence the gym membership) on doctor's orders and I love it. Ideally I would fit in both kickboxing and swimming but there just aren't enough hours in the day and I know you can over-train but I have no idea when that is an issue because over-training isn't anything that would have EVER been an issue for me in the past. I'm kind of gobsmacked it could be now.

I've been swimming now for a couple of months are really love it. I get more endorphin highs from it than I did from kickboxing right now. They have a swim masters class that I can't attend because it is on the wrong day but they keep their workouts up on a white board so I've been working my way through the intermediate workout which is about 2000 meters. Then I found this site which is like Couch to 5K but for swimming. You work up to swimming a mile straight in 6 weeks. I'm stoked. I think it sounds like a fun goal so I'm starting it this week.

Belonging to the gym means I have access to weight machines which means I can do my own strength training rather than pay an additional fee for UBC. UBC is a little expensive but you are with the same group every day and they have great coaches who hold you accountable and I know that has played a really big part in me sticking with it. I am afraid that I'll fall back into old habits and stop working out and lose all my good momentum I've had going. I'm torn about what to do. Stick with what made me fall in love with fitness in the first place or take a chance that I know I love it now and can run with it. There is a fat girl in me that is telling me hourly that I blew it and a grown woman who knows what our budget is that is telling me not to let UBC be a crutch.

I've also been reading a lot about HAES lately. HAES is Health at Every Size. I have read a little about it over the last few years and came across a couple of spectacular websites lately written by incredibly bright women. They have some really powerful messages and it has helped me a lot with my disordered eating and my relationship with food. Like many women I have had a terrible relationship with food in the past. We are constantly taught to ignore our hunger cues and that there are "bad" and "good" foods, etc. I remember one time telling a friend that I had figured out a way to get myself to eat less. I was going to think about food as toxic and that my being fat was like an allergic reaction, etc. etc. My God. Can you imagine getting so screwed up in the head about food that you think of it as poison instead of necessary to life? As I've worked to straighten that out and learn to ignore media and societal cues about food (as soon as you realize the craziness of it, you see it everywhere and it is ASTOUNDING) I've been able to shift my thinking and start listening to hunger cues and eating for health rather than because it is right or wrong or good or bad.

This weekend I had lunch out with family and I was really hungry. I kept examining why I would be really hungry (like I needed a reason) but in the end accepted that I was just hungry and that what sounded good was a hamburger and fries. I rarely have those and I wasn't at a fast food joint so I knew I wasn't going to be served a lot of extra fat and flavor enhancers so I ordered it. I ate that whole hamburger and all those fries (to be fair, they gave me a sensible portion of the fries rather than filling the whole plate like a lot of restaurants). I kept beginning to think, "That wasn't a good choice. What did I do? I'll have to work this off." I finally just made myself stop that thinking and examine, "Was I hungry when I ordered? Yes. Was I too full when I finished? No. I wasn't overly full, I didn't feel sluggish, I didn't feel bad. I felt better." This was a healthful option (lean meat, smaller portions) so I needed to let go of the guilt of eating a WHOLE hamburger and some fries.

I wish I was always able to think that clearly but I'm really pleased I managed it this one time.

Some other sites that have blown my mind lately:

The Fat Nutritionist

Slow, Fat Triathlete

UPDATE: Sorry, I had to turn off comments due to a severe spam attack!