Health Misadventures and a Return to Basics


I’m in some alternate reality right now and I feel like I’m captured!  I can’t seem to stop gaining weight. As of last weekend, I weigh in at an astonishing 230.  I don’t even want to see what has transpired in the last week…  a few theories:

  • I’m in the 1% of the population that gains weight from my particular medication.  Yeah, it’s rare, but then again, not so much.  For every thousand people there are ten left, gaining weight on this particular drug.  It could be that I’m one of them.  Sucks, but that makes sense as my weight issue stems from a hormone imbalance that throws off my insulin and makes me into an excellent fat making machine.  This medication may be the switch that turns all of that back on.
  • This medication makes me nauseous when it first hits my system, so I take it with food and don’t feel that so often.  But just in case I might get sick, I know I eat more around the times I need to take my meds.  More food, more calories, more fat.
  • I’m hungry around the clock so I eat more without knowing it.  I don’t think this is an issue during the day, but Bradley confessed to me that he’s noticed an uptick in the size and frequency of my night snacking.  On top of that, I’m a midnight snacker now, too.  I often wake up in the morning, realizing that I actually went downstairs in the middle of the night at ate a muffin or banana or pudding or all of them.
  • Or it’s a combination of some or all of them.

What’s a girl to do who is in a panic about gaining weight faster than a pregnant woman?  Well, if said girl is on a medication she is suspicious might be the cause, she stops taking the medication.  Within 24 hours, all the rage she thinks she felt before she went on prescribed medication returns like thunder, making her realize she didn’t imagine these feelings, at all.  This is real.  By 28 hours she found herself full of the aforementioned rage AND all of the nausea, dizziness, nervousness and exhaustion that accompanies a drug addict who is trying to come clean because it turns out that the meds are addictive and she’s hooked like a fish on the line.  Research online confirms this and a discovery is made that this one isn’t a cold turkey drug.  This one makes you sick like coming down for a month unless a slow weaning process has been underway.  So she goes back to taking the pills and, in four hours, feels much, much better.

I kinda freaked out about all that this weekend.  I’ve felt out of control before, but never like this.  This is so uncomfortable.  I feel so chubby.  My belly bounces around like crazy now.  My boobs are getting all huge.  Things that were flat and empty are filling out and plumpin up like I’m attached to a hose.

I was expressing all of this to Bradley today and sharing how grateful I am that he’s a husband who doesn’t care how much I weigh or what size I am and he started shaking his head.  Then he said several important things that I needed to hear:

  1. Yes.  I’m chubbier.  But it’s mostly my perception and isn’t terribly obvious to everyone who sees me.  I’m still wearing the same clothes, I’m still out and about.  It’s mostly in my head.
  2. When I was slender (my perception) I was also running and zumbaing like crazy.  I worked out 5-6 days a week and watched what I ate and was consistently consistent.  These days I’m very forgiving in both areanas and regularly work out only on the weekends.
  3. I’m lifting weights now and seem to be focused on that but I lost all my weight by being a runner and stepper.  I was focused and kept it simple.  Maybe a return to that would be smart.
  4. Diet Coke called to me like other food used to.  With Diet Coke, I was a superhero.  I didn’t need a snack, just a Coke.  Crutches help.  Maybe I need to lean on the Diet Coke crutch again. 

It was so good to hear all of that!  Sometimes you just need someone else’s calm, common sense eyes to see you, and their calm, common sense voice to say the things you need to hear.  He’s right.  I’m good at losing weight when I get back to basics.  I have fun when I mix up my workouts and go to Zumba.  I love to run because it’s so accessible and freeing!  I’m getting bogged down in math and nutrition and specific plans and bulking and and and and….  I’ve decided bulking up isn’t anything important to me now.  I need to maintain a healthy weight.  I’ll still do workout classes, weightlifting and everything else, but it’s for health, not bulk.  I do need to work on my food more.  I need to figure it how to healthfully eat for my medication AND me.  And maybe a Coke will make me smile.

I’ve got communication lines open with my doctor, but it feels good to snatch back a little control by making a plan.

Cap’n Jack: Official Pics

One week ago today we ran the perfect race: cool but not cold weather, no rain, nice misty fog, birthday, 5 miles, just right…  An awesome race!  I e decided that this will be my new birthday tradition.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate again next year and it will be just as fun, next time around!


Intellectually, I know I have gained weight but have been commenting to Bradley that I can’t see where it is.  I’ve gone from a 12-14 to a 14-16, I’m still wearing the same clothes….  where did the gain go?  I was thankful to these pictures.  Yes, I look fine.  I’m not saying I look bad, but these pictures finally showed me my own weight gain.  I see it as a gift as I now see the job in front of me, aside from the number, and really want to get rolling.  These pictures are helping provide the motivation to do exactly that.

Sass

I’m feeling all kinds of sassy right now.  Like, if I were a rapper I’d be throwing down all these sick rhymes that MEAN something.  Alas, I’m mild mannered Tamara the teacher who is not versed in the way of rapper rhyme expression, so I’ll just do my usual and over use slang words.  On a side note?  I’ve been thinking a lot about slang lately and how people think it’s a sign of being an uneducated ignoramous, but I think people who adopt current slang are just people who love new vocab.  I loooove slang, but I also like to curse AND use interesting words.  I like to mix it all up and throw it on the table in an unexpected kind of pot pie, all mashed together but oddly interesting and fitting.  I like that.


Anyhow, where this sass comes from, I don’t know.  Well, maybe I do.  I feel GOOD lately.  Like, I say to Bradley all the time how level and normal I am now.  I feel like my old self who was always even and happy.  Chill.  There are times, lately, when something happens and I’m like, hmmm…  that would have ticked me off before I got on my anti anxiety meds, but now?  No biggie.  As it should be.  

What I’m not happy about is this huge weight gain I’ve made.  I’m having a tough time sticking to my guns/determination.  I’m getting the exercise part down, but I’m having difficulty in stopping eating and eating.  Then eating some more.  Like, in the middle of the night I’m getting a banana.  I’m starving all day long even though I’m eating plenty…  Then at night I’m like a ravenous monster and I have a hard time turning it off.  Today I ate a huge pan of roasted carrots because I really wanted to binge on some ice cream and Halloween candy.  I had to very actively make that choice, then, even after I made the smarter choice, I ate a couple of sour patch kids and a piece of chocolate.  I told myself I ate less of it, having eaten the carrots, but really.  I wasn’t hungry.  Why do I even give in like that?  I don’t always have to have every craving met and I need to relearn how to say no to myself.  Seriously.  And I need to stop eating my caloric burn from working out.  What’s the point of trying to lose weight when I eat all of my advantage??!!


On the note of working out, I have to say that taking over the feed for Orca is, indeed, productive for me.  I’ve decided to use it as motivation to run more often and, so far, it is working beautifully.  The takeover is making me a bit slower, as I keep stopping to take the best picture, but I’m ok with that.  I’m dialing back my distance and concerns about speed and I’m just enjoying running for the sake of running again.  Today Jude confessed to me how much he enjoys running once he gets going.  I couldn’t have been more proud or happy.  

My sass has been replaced by a craving for that cozy feeling that involves a fire, a mug of tea, my fuzzy blanket and a cute schnauzer puppy called Fred.  😌

Whiplash

Some months are like that.  It seems like we just picked our garden pumpkins, school started and all of the sudden we are staring Thanksgiving in the eye?  What??  I remember when I was a kid, talking to this really neat elderly fellow in my neighborhood.  He wondered aloud about how, when you’re closing in on 90, the days are linked minutes, months like a week and years fly by like months. I was alarmed.  Life already whipped by when I was 13.  How much faster could it go?  Well, I’m learning because October flew.  I was just celebrating finishing my reading assessments when it was suddenly the eve of Guinevere’s birthday then conference week was here and my birthday, Captain Jack and Halloween…  Holy cow.  My neighbor Chuck was sure right.  But like my favorite poet wrote once, not so long ago, “Time truly flies, and if you’re lucky, you can fly right along with it.”— Tyler Knott.  So, let’s fly, shall we?


I fell off the wagon a bit as I celebrated my birthday and Guinevere’s birthday this weekend.  I was expecting it and was happy to be celebrating my birthday with the 8k, so health was built in.  Even still, the sugar addict was reawakened and I’m battling that bitch.  Again.  Again.  Again.  When will that leave me??  I suppose when I turn down the fun size.  And really.  The fun only lasts as long as the candy, then it’s hell to either deny myself or eat more and I’m not at a place where I can be eating more, so denial is my method right now.  Sigh.  Rebuilding those habits and flipping my switch again.  AGAIN!  

At my school’s fun run with my posse


In more motivating news, I have been invited by Orca Running to take over their Instagram feed.  I’ve decided to use it as motivation to build some good exercise habits as I follow November’s lead in to winter.  Unbeknownst to our kids, we have a trip to Disneyland planned in December and Bradley and I decided to try to lose five pounds before the trip.  My clothes will certainly fit better and I’ll sure feel better, as well.  So, project Orca to Disney in place!  LOL!  With any luck, November will fly by and I’ll be a few pounds lighter and many degrees fitter when we get there!

Birthday Bash Dash

AAarrrgh!  The swashbuckling Lj crew ran o’er the plank and through the galleys at the Captain Jack Treasure run to celebrate my birthday on Sunday.  Afterwards we went to brunch, but I tell you what: that run was a crazy fun party for me!  Like, that was probably my favorite birthday I can remember in ages.  Each of my kids took FIRST PLACE for their age category!  I about burst my buttons with pride!  My friend, Jessica, couldn’t run the race but paid the bib, so Bradley ran in her stead.  He always runs with Jude, but he ran with me, this time.  Both of the kids took off like rockets and, when I told him he could run ahead to find the boy, but he said that he wanted to run with the birthday girl.  Guuush…  I about melted with adoration and puppy love for that man.  Sheesh.  We finished the race in an hour, which was fine with me for an 8k/5 mile run, and held hands as we crossed the finish line.  How romantic.  ❤️ Seriously.  I had the best time and was on cloud nine for the rest of the day.  Nothing could top it and I decided that I’d like to run a race for my birthday every year.  We may be seeing the captain again, next year!

The Switch Has Flipped!

Last night I went outside to run up and down my road because I was getting way to hot and sweaty from running laps around my kitchen and my backyard was a swamp.  I decided to run to the school and back a few times until I hit my 10,000  steps- stay close to home but get OUT!  I didn’t grab my coat or change my shoes from my inside ones to outside ones, I just clipped on a couple of flashing lights for safety and dashed out the door with Fred on leash, and stepped into a downpour.  No, I don’t live in a hurricane zone, but I do live in what is pretty darn close to a temperate rain forest and Ms. Mother Nature put on a fierce display!  I was halfway expecting Heffalumps and Woozles the make their way down the road with the level of blustery night we were at!  Fred, being my wise girl, was so over it by the time we got to our next door neighbor’s driveway.  By the time we passed her favorite fence and her friend dogs were not out, she was done.  She was soaking wet, so I turned around and headed back to the house, where she zoomed to the porch and inside ASAP!  I quickly unsnapped her leash and headed back out, and who do you think followed?  At the last minute, she changed her mind, so I leashed her back up and went for another lap.  This time we didn’t make it to the end of our driveway before she tried to head back.  I made her take another lap with me, and by the time we got back to the house she and I were both soaked to the skin, glistening wet. 


 I dropped her off and headed out again and felt more alive than in ages.  Fred was so funny, the weather so wet, the wind was so strong that I filled with joy as I ran.  I ran like I did when I was a kid, fast and fierce, not caring that my lungs felt like they would burst.  I ran for joy and for the need of getting out of the house.  I ran in the dark and the rain and let my fear of cars and wet feet go.  I just ran and the switch flipped.  All of the sudden I could feel that shift of running for a workout turn to running for fun, and that was glorious.

Selfies, all week long 😉


I almost met my goals this week.  I ran last Sunday, did an indoor, kitchen run on Wednesday, yesterday I mixed it up with my exciting rain run and some kitchen running.  I only lifted once, and at first when I realized this I got down on myself until I remembered that I was SO SORE from what lifting I DID do that I didn’t even consider a second round!  Ha!  I didn’t track every day, but that was because I ate pretty much the same thing every day.  I’m sticking with my plan, for the most part.  Then on Friday, I don’t know what happened, I totally forgot my nutrition plan and made a huge sandwich and ate it with a bunch of chips.  When Bradley came in and asked me how many calories I thought that sandwich was (for his tracking purposes, he’s trying to lose fat, too), I suddenly realized what I’d done.  It’s ok- we learn from mistakes and I learned that even though I’m eating the same thing every day, I need to keep my food intake at the front of my focus so I don’t forget.  One way to do that is to keep tracking and staying accountable.  Lesson learned. 👍


Last night we went to the thrift store to wrassle up some outfits for the Cap’n Jack Treasure Run, happening on my birthday, next week!  Today we went for our last big training run and Jude ran five whole miles!  I was so proud of him!  On top of that, it was gorgeous out there today.  It only added to that joyful feeling I had last night!

Goals for this week:

  1. Stay on target for calorie consumption!  Track at least three days to keep it in your focus!
  2. Run three times.
  3. Lift twice- maybe spin n lift followed by body pump the next day.
  4. Don’t celebrate your birthday until your actual birthday.
  5. Weigh 
  6. Post

Last week I weighed in on Friday at 222 followed by a staggering 228 on Tuesday.  I was astonished.  I ate treats for Gigi’s birthday, but not to the tune of six pounds!  Today I weighed in at 221 again.  Who would have thought I’d be happy about weighing 221?  But I am!  

Have a great week!

Week One, Done.  Now Onto Week Two!

I’ll start off Right away by saying that last week was a success!  I learned a few things:

  1. I learned that I have been eating way more than I should over the past year.  That should be obvious with my weight gain, but I set my caloric intake to 1900 in my journaling app, thinking that was really generous, but then I felt like I was starving all week as I stuck to my plan.  Clearly, I had some bad habits and I need to break them.
  2. Working out is really hard right now!  I’m either dreadfully out of shape or I’ve gained some serious weight and it’s harder to carry it all!  So I weighed myself to see which was most likely the culprit…
  3. Yeah, I’ve gained.  I weigh 222.  220 is my code red, no options now point and I managed to go from last August, 2016, at 190 and just over a year later, I’m 32 pounds heavier!  Unbelievable!  I was pleased to learn why working out is a challenge, but disappointed that I’ve gained so much back.
  4. That said, 40 pounds seems like a drop in the bucket compared to 150 pounds.  That felt impossible.  This feels minor in comparison.  It won’t feel that way as I lose it, but for now, I’ll cling to the feeling that this will be a cinch.
  5. I’m a slow starter.  I need to ease my way into the weight loss process.  Failure and fear shadow me from every corner so being successful at minor events makes a huge impact on my future success.  This week was a getting started week, and I’m ok with that.  The pounds will come off when my head is in the right place.


This week I want to continue to make positive changes and will continue to ease myself back into the fat loss game:

  • Keep journaling and tracking.  Continue to make positive changes to my diet.  STAY ON PLAN.  STAY STRONG.
  • Hit 10,000 steps per day.
  • Run three times.
  • Lift twice- once on Tuesday, once at home.
  • Post at least once to tamarashazam.

This weekend was Gigi’s birthday so there was more celebratory foods around than usual.  I ate fries, chips and a sampling of tiny desserts that were definitely not on plan, but were for my girl.  This week I’ll have to refocus on breaking the spell sugar has on me.  We also headed to the mushroom show.  Bradley and I went when we were first dating and it was fun to take the kids to it, then wander around in the woods, looking at the mushrooms we could find there.  My dad surprised me with a visit and overnight and I made some story stones for my class.  It was a good weekend with lots of sun, family, food and exercise!  And can you believe I have a fourteen year old now??  Gah!

And So It Begins…

Today was interesting, to say the least.  It’s been a while since I’ve restricted anything, it would seem, as I had to tell myself NO a lot today.  I needed a lot of redirection and reminders from myself: “Nope.  It wasn’t in your lunchbox therefore it’s not in your belly.”  Guess what?  I DID IT!  So far, not one thing has gotten in that shouldn’t have.  Well, I did sample a grape at the store, but that’s not cheating.  If I ate the cookie, sushi, cake, wine and chips sample, that would be another story.  I felt like a grape was ok.  Ha ha!  

It’s definitely a familiar feeling: the one of denial is a reminder of choosing health.  So while it’s hard, now, and sucks because I want to eat the thing, I feel like with day one under my belt that I’ve got this.  I need four more and I’ve got the beginnings of solid habit energy.  After two weeks it starts really feeling right.  I’m excited that the ball is rolling, now I wanna kick it way out to the field!

Tomorrow?  Add exercise.  Happy Monday!


(Here’s photographic proof of yesterday’s run, done by 10:30am- so far, so good 😊 .)

BOO!  It’s October and I’m Scared!


I’m scared to take the leap and get rolling on my health again.  I’m scared of failing.  I’m scared of all my bad habits, my lack of willpower, my negative attitude about working out, my exhaustion…  but more than that I’m afraid of letting go of all my progress and backsliding.  I worked too hard to lose all this weight and get fit to gain it all back and lose my strength and fitness.  I just have to.  No choices.  I guess this is what being a grown up really means: bootstraps and self reliance.

I was thinking about when I was first getting started so long ago.  How I leaned on crutches, made goals, took babysteps and took each moment as it came to me so I wouldn’t overwhelm myself.  Sometimes this meant I could look at the day or week and trust that I could do it.  But sometimes my battle is fought minute by minute, hour by hour.  I have to remember that my power comes from self talk, a lot of coaching in my head, a lot of determination and some basic rules I set up for myself.  I also used to make prize goals for myself.  Gifts or events I would earn for doing well on my project and met goals.  

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m getting back to basics.  I’m making rules, setting goals and earning prizes.  I need to motivate myself and it all starts tomorrow.

Long-term goals: 

  • Lose 40 pounds before I turn 45 (one year)
  • Run up to 5 miles consistently (once a week).
  • Strength building at the gym or at home 2-3 times a week 
  • Running 2-3 times a week
  • Healthy eating consistently
  • Wipe out poor habits
  • Post at least once a week on Tamarashazam
  • Hit 10,000-12,000 steps daily
  • This week’s Goals:

    1. Run once after school and on both Sunday (today) and Saturday next week.
    2. Go to lifting on Tuesday night.
    3. Track food in myplate every day to gather data and start making dietary changes.
    4. Weigh myself to see the scary number before Saturday, 10/14.

    Cash and Prizes!

    Now we apply the goals, wait a year, work hard, and see what happens!!! 

      Celebrate Schools 5k


      This was our sixth year running the Celebrate Schools 5k! We went with a superhero theme this year- we had Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Harry Potter. Yes, he IS a superhero, too! He flies and does magic. Hello. Gigi ran a sub 30 minute 5k and came in third, which made her pretty happy. The rest of us were simply glad to muddle through the event.