Everything Is Connected

I didn’t hit my exercise goals yesterday, but that’s okay.  Why?  Because I was doing something much more important.  I was talking to my wife.

See, we have plans.  Goals.  Things we want to do as a family.  And we generally agree on those goals and plans and things, but sometimes we get off track.  When we get off track, this creates stress.  And neither one of us deals with stress well, although I’m better at pretending the stress doesn’t get to me – mostly by ignoring things.  But it still gets up on me, and leads to behavior like overeating and failing to exercise and then blaming other people for my woes.  Juvenile, immature sorts of behavior is what I’m saying.

So we called a family meeting… no, wait.  Let me correct that.  My wife called the family meeting, because she’s far better at spotting when we’re getting off course.  I agreed, because I recognize that she’s better at spotting this sort of thing (see “ignoring things” up above…).  We sat down and went back through our family goals, and we talked about what was important to us as a couple and as a family, and what we needed from each other to succeed personally and as a couple and as a family.

If you’ve never had a conversation like this with your significant other, I recommend that you do.  If you have had a conversation like this – a real conversation, that is, not bickering and shouting and “he said she said” – then you know it takes a while.  It’s utterly worth it, but it takes time and energy to do it right.  By the time we were done, I was too tired to exercise.

Despite that, I feel energized and refreshed and ready to really work hard.  Because we have a much clearer vision of where we’re trying to go and we’re now working on a plan to get there.  It’s not finished, not by a long shot, but stress I hadn’t acknowledged I was feeling has melted away and been replaced by a new sense of purpose.  My exercise and weight loss was nowhere in the conversation, but I’m even feeling refreshed on that goal.

Here’s to my wife, for being smart enough to spot the root causes of multiple issues we’ve been having, and for being stubborn enough and loving enough to keep trying to get through to me that we need to do something about it.  I couldn’t do any of this without her, and I wouldn’t want to.

That was… unexpected. Not disappointing, mind.

I can eat a shockingly large amount of mashed potatoes and still be under my calorie budget.

Yeah, that sounded kind of random, didn’t it?  Here’s what I’m talking about.  Yesterday, because I did a little extra snacking, I didn’t think I was going to hit my calorie goals.  By the time dinner ran around, I only had about 600 calories left for the day, and said dinner was going to be Thanksgiving leftovers.  I looked at the food in the fridge, and looked at that number, and said “there’s no way”.  But, I decided, I was at least going to track everything!  So I put my plate on my food scale, and started weighing everything out.  Six ounces of mashed potatoes, four ounces of turkey, two ounces of corn (I should eat more, but actually eating a vegetable is a good starting point), and a third of a cup of turkey gravy.

482 calories.

I actually ended up checking those numbers twice, because I didn’t quite believe it.  But it was true!  So, with only 600 calories left in my budget, I got to have a really filling dinner.

Also, I hit all of my goals!  The walking, the exercise, the calories (as noted above), everything!  Yay me!

Planning For Success

I am so looking forward to getting back to work on my goals.  I haven’t really put a lot of effort into hitting my exercise goals over the last two weeks, and I haven’t put any effort at all into hitting my calorie budget, and I’ve hated it.  That fact didn’t really motivate me to do it, mind, but I hated it.  I found myself daydreaming about getting back to work exercising and walking, and tired of overeating while I was overeating.

Does that make any sense?  Doing something, and not enjoying it, and doing it anyway?  Because it doesn’t make any sense to me.

But this week, I’m back to work!  Homemade breakfast burritos are in the freezer, for the days when I don’t get my breakfast made because it’s 4 am and I can’t face cooking.  And I packed my lunch today – turkey and dressing sandwich made out of leftover thanksgiving, with my homemade holiday fruit salad – hearty and filling, and only 700 calories in total.  And I’ve even got a plan for hitting my exercise goals – I’ll do it while my son does his homework, out in the living room so that he can easily get ahold of me if he needs help.

Not that he’d have trouble otherwise.  My condo isn’t all that big, really.

The point is, I could be all discouraged about the weight I’ve gained over the last two weeks.  I could do that.  Or I can be all excited about exercising again, and plan my meals so that I enjoy them while staying within my calorie budget, and I can have a good time.  And I like that second option better, thank you very much.

Eating Well: Cranberry Sauce

Yeah, yeah, I should have put this up yesterday.  Or maybe on Wednesday.  You know, so it could be used by someone.  But I didn’t actually realize I was going to make this until Wednesday around three in the afternoon, so there’s that.

Here’s what happened:  I was at Kroger, picking up the last few things I’d need for Thanksgiving.  Apples and bananas for my fruit salad primarily, but I also needed cranberry sauce.  After I picked up the cans, I thought for a minute and wondered how difficult it would be to make the recipe.  A few minutes later with the Food.com app on my phone said the correct answer to that question is “not very difficult at all”.

So here you go:

Cranberry Sauce

1 12 ounce package of whole cranberries (157 calories)
1 cup water (0 calories)
1 cup sugar  (774 calories)
1 cup orange juice (117 calories)

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. Bring the sauce pan to a boil, then simmer until cranberries have popped.
  3. I then continued to simmer the sauce until it was reduced by a third.
  4. Pour into a storage container, and chill until ready to eat.

Notes:

  • 1048 calories if you eat the whole thing.  You get about 27 ounces of jellied sauce, though, which works out to about 40 calories per ounce (38.814, if you feel technical).
  • The sauce will be pretty liquid while it’s on the stove, and I actually thought I’d failed at making it.  I was pleasantly surprised by the consistency when it chilled, and you might not even need to reduce the sauce.  I would, though – it made it come out more like the canned stuff.
  • Really, this is nearly foolproof.  It doesn’t even take that much more time than opening a can, and it tastes better.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Or, if you’re reading this blog and you’re not Anerican, Happy Thursday!

Despite all of the recent whining and complaining I’ve gone here, I really do have a lot to be grateful for. I’ve taken 115 pounds off, and I’ve kept it off. I’m able to do a lot more with my family, because my health and my endurance are a lot better. I’ve rediscovered the joys of some fairly physical hobbies.

Sure, maybe I’m not where I wanted to be right now.  But I’m a whole lot further along than I ever expected to be. And that’s something to be thankful for!

False Alarm

Well, it seems I can rule being sick out.  I feel fine, barring the general sort of fatigue that you feel when you get up at 3:15 am and the sun doesn’t rise until you’ve been at work for three and a half hours.  I think I really must have just been tired, and that combined with the fact that my son was down sick with something to make me assume that I’d gotten sick as well.  A reasonable bit of paranoia, I think.

Of course, this shreds any excuses I had for not hitting my exercise goals.  “I don’t wanna” is a terrible reason, after all.  So, it’s back up on the wagon and back to hitting goals.  Which is a good thing, really.  As predicted, I felt out of sorts yesterday because I didn’t go walking.  The day didn’t feel longer or anything, but the lack of significant physical activity made my breaks seem less like breaks.  If that makes any sense.  It makes sense to me, anyway.

Not Sick. Just Tired.

I crashed hard yesterday.  Like “I picked up my son from kindergarten, went home, put on sweats, and collapsed into bed” hard.  Which led to my son watching a couple of hours of PBS Kids before I got to feeling guilty enough about it that I offered to read him some of his library books instead.  That ended with dinosaurs and Star Wars and Sesame Street.  Because my son has eclectic tastes.

Later that evening, my wife asked me if I needed to go to Urgent Care, which is something I’ve been thinking about.  Still am, honestly, because my son was down with some bug last week.  But… I don’t think I’m sick.  Not meaningfully sick, anyway.  Just really, really tired.  It’s been a long couple of weeks, and I feel drained.  Which, sadly, also means that I blew off my exercises yesterday.  Didn’t hit my walking goal, didn’t work out, just laid around and fell asleep an hour or so earlier than normal.

To be honest, I’m considering just doing that the rest of the week.  Give myself the week off from everything but trying to hit my calorie budget (which will be challenging, what with Thanksgiving coming up) and resting up.  Give myself a formal vacation from the struggle, and rest.  That way, I’ll be ready to hit things hard starting next Monday.

Regardless, I’ll probably keep up the walking.  If nothing else, it gets me away from my desk when I’m on break.