Weekly Digest 18 11/16/18 – 11/22/18
It was Thanksgiving week in the U.S! And I was completely determined to behave and show some real fortitude trough this week. And, for the most part, I did exactly that. I focused on keeping to my diet and trying to ramp up my exercise. I feel like I was fairly successful in both cases. However, that said, my weigh-in day is the day after Thanksgiving! That can’t be good… and sure enough, it wasn’t. The scale says I gained 5 pounds this week – and I have to be completely honest – I am at an utter loss to explain that.
What I can tell you is that my thanksgiving was reasonable and measured, contained no alcohol, no dessert, and moderate portions of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. However, what that does mean is a good amount of salt. In fact, that might be something that has seen elevated levels commensurate with the change of seasons here in Minnesota. Clearly, salt is something I should be monitoring closely.
The other thing I can tell you for certain is that as I sit here and write this on Sunday, I had a gout flare up starting the day after Thanksgiving as well. This many flare ups – or the persistency of them- is also very new. Normally it’s a once a year or every-other year for me, so to have a couple of them in a row is highly unusual. But if that was brewing at the same time as everything else, combined, it might have sent my body into protective mode as well.
Protective mode is also going to be an issue next week as I also strained some back muscles and that has had my mostly sedentary for Saturday and Sunday. Not a great start to the following week after a weight gain.
Bottom line, this is likely a larger emotional blow for me than an actual blow to my diet progress. Yes, it’s irritating, because any injury or illness usually means extended lost time on the diet, but it is also a comfort to know it is likely not backsliding traceable to bad diet behavior. We know, though trial and error, that if I stick to my system, it will prevail.
This puts me 15 lbs from my next mini-goal of having lost 200 pounds. It seems like I have been bouncing around the 10-15 pound point for months now. I wanted to hit that mark solidly – with a bit of cushion- by Christmas. That was my present to myself… I mean, other than the mass consumerism I usually participate in on Black Friday. Amazon.com should be charged for aiding and abetting!
HOWEVER …as my good friend Jarrett Wright said to me when I was complaining about the goal being in jeopardy “Well, sometimes you don’t always hit your goals.” He is absolutely right. His suggestion was that it doesn’t invalidate my efforts for what I have accomplished to this point, but suggests that the road is not always smooth – there are bumps and potholes. Navigating them is a big part of the journey. If it were easy, after all, this blog would be titled “The Plowed Road” …it’s unplowed for a reason. We’ll give it a good run – but if we don’t make it, the goal is still close, and still attainable. Time is linear – and just a limitation I put on myself. I have to remember that.
Let’s start with the week in-general: I stayed between 1400 – 1500 calories per day all week except for possibly Thursday, which was Thanksgiving. On that day I had aa shake in the morning, and then a traditional thanksgiving day dinner in the afternoon. That included: Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with aa brown sugar glaze, broccoli in a cheese sauce, cranberries and mixed salad. I also had a cookie, and a few candies, a small amount of nuts/raisins/cranberry mix, half a dozen crackers with a few pieces of cheese and vegetables. The quantities were fairly measured, and reasonable. Overall, if I had to make a ballpark guess on the calories for the day – I would guess around 2000-2100.
Additionally, I made cookie brittle to bring to event. This is a delicious traditional cookie in our family. The result of me baking cookie brittle is always me tasting Cookie Brittle …you know, “quality control”. *cough* So I have figured out how much that adds to my diet, and pretty much every day I had a couple pieces – which does add to the overall calories, but perhaps more importantly it adds to the sugar/starches etc. This is where I need to take my own advice and keep focusing on making healthy choices in the moment. Considering how next week is shaping up already, that will be more important than ever.
Lastly, alcohol. I had alcohol only on Friday, the first day of the week – and then one gin and diet tonic on Thanksgiving when everything had wound down and I was visiting with my sis, Linnea. Hanging out with her is always fun for me.
This week was fairly decent in exercise. I did take two days off this week, but the other days were rigorous cross-training sessions on the elliptical. I managed to increase the time for a couple of the workouts, so those, in particular, were very good. Being active this week felt pretty good. It’s been tough to stay motivated, and aside from the limitations of injury, I seem to be progressing at a moderate pace. I am still not quite where I want to be, but ultimately that is another hurdle I need to overcome. Aside from that, I am happier when I am active.
It’s difficult when the hurdles are largely mental or emotional – however, I suspect that the season change and a lack of sunlight has something to do with that. I find it is easier to stay positive when you are getting more vitamin D.
Lastly, on the topic of exercise I want to follow up on how my elliptical is doing with the new programs and software update. As I have mentioned in previous articles, it’s been really fascinating. After tinkering with things for a couple weeks, I can tell you now that it really does provide a whole new level of workout. It’s not just cardiovascular, but I can also feel some soreness in my muscles – especially when I am working hard! It’s a great bonus that should continue really helping me through the winter!
My Take Away:
Well, this one has not been easy. The takeaways are pretty simple, and my progress will be largely limited by health this next week. But I am going to try compensating for that with making really smart and conservative choices in the kitchen. Here’s the plan:
- Be particularly diligent on the diet front. I am going to push to stay under 1400 calories as much as I can. I am hoping this will help account for not being as active due to the heath hurdles.
- There is no way around the physical limitations this week. The strained back muscles will limit upper body until they are better, and gout limits my lower body. That will lead to, at least, a few days being sedentary. All I can do is push to be active when I am able.
- The last takeaway is an awareness of the seasonal weather change and how that affects my self-motivation and positivity. I need to take extra care of my mental state this week. I will be focusing on my goals, my visual reminders, and trying to be as active as I can.
That’s it for this holiday week. A tout a l’heure. Onward!