I have felt tired lately - really tired. Tired of all of the demands on my time and attention. Tired of feeling like I HAVE to do something...tired of feeling like I don't have a choice.
Tired of laundry
Tired of cleaning
Tired of yard work
Tired of church
Tired of work
Tired of budgets
And yes, tired of weight loss
I just feel exhausted by it all right now. I feel burned out. I feel tired of constantly worrying about so many things, putting so many demands on myself, and constantly feeling like I'm coming up a little short.
I'm also tired of feeling like I HAVE to do something. I want to feel like I have some choice in what I spend my time and energy on - right now, I don't feel that is the case.
Also, I am tired of feeling EXPECTED to do something. Seriously, if one more well-intentioned person gives me the line about being around for my daughters' weddings, I will explode.
LOOK, being fat is not a death sentence - yes, yes...I know on Biggest Loser they make it seem like life is gloomy and that every fat person in America is just moments away from the grave - but we aren't. I am NOT at death's doorstep. There are so many health issues out there and being fat is but one. I don't smoke! I don't drink alcohol AT ALL! I don't take drugs!! I don't drink coffee! And normally, I don't even drink caffeine! I live a fairly clean life. Does my nutrition & exercise need to improve, hell yes...but when do I get credit for the things I do right!!! WHEN!!!
My doctor told me that my risk of a cardiac event or stroke is incredibly small - 1) I am a female 2) I have no immediate family history of heart attack or stroke 3) I don't smoke or drink...he told me that I should stop worrying about it and in fact said that my worrying is probably more of a risk factor for issues in my life than the damn weight I am carrying around!!
I have a full life. I like me! When I look in the mirror, I like the person looking back. I like my hazel eyes, I like my hair, I like my skin (that BTW has remained fairly wrinkle free thanks in no small part to an extra layer or two of fat). I LIKE MY CURVES!!! Do I wish I was thinner, of course!! But doesn't everyone wish something was different about themselves??? If I never make it to the end of my journey I will still be of worth! My value isn't tied up in my weight. All my accomplishments in this life won't be wiped out because I didn't reach 165 lbs. And if there is some a**hole out there who feels like I am somehow less of a person because I stayed fat - they can go pound sand.
I haven't given up on my journey, I really haven't. It is important to me and I do want to do it. I just have to get through whatever is making me feel so burned out - making me feel completely apathetic to the whole situation, and many other things in my life right now.
I need it to feel like a choice, rather than a requirement.
Stay tuned, don't give up on me. I'm wading through it all - I'm still climbing - I'm just going a little slower right now.
I am a SERIOUS fan of Mexican food, and given the opportunity I would eat it every single night of my life. This is one of my absolute FAVORITE recipes. It is SO versatile and I use it as a side dish almost every time we have a Mexican night at home.
Adapted from Elizabeth Bryant at Simple Fancies
2 T. Olive Oil
1 1/2 c. Long Grain Rice
1 can chicken broth
1/2 c. water
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 pinches of kosher salt
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add rice and brown. Add chicken broth, water, tomato sauce & kosher salt. Stir to distribute ingredients evenly. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover. Cook for 22 minutes. Remove from heat. "Fluff" the rice, re-cover and let it sit for 5 more minutes. Makes 6 servings
If you want a spicier version, replace the tomato sauce with El Pato sauce. Next time I make this I am going to substitute a can of green salsa for the tomato sauce and see how that turns out.
I plugged this recipe into Weight Watchers and each serving is 5 points. To make the recipe healthier I'm sure you could substitute brown rice. I haven't ever done that, but I'm sure it would taste fine.
Now, let me tell you, when I make this for my family of four, we all have about two large scoops of rice and there is still a TON left over. I always end up taking it for lunch the next day.
Tonight for dinner we had tacos with baked corn tortillas, Mexican rice and refried beans (I don't fool around with the fat free stuff - the difference in points is minimal, but the difference in taste is HUGE). It was DELICIOUS! I am SUPER full and very satisfied!
I have to say, baking corn tortillas is an awesome way to save on points or calories, but still get a ton of flavor. We spray the tortillas with olive oil on both sides, add a little seasoning (chili powder usually) and then drape them over 2 rails on the rack in our oven. We bake them at 400 degrees for about 5 - 7 minutes. Tonight we used Mission Yellow Corn Tortillas - Extra Thin. They crisped up really well. But the best part 2 tortillas only have 2 points! SERIOUSLY! You can't beat that!
Some other awesome dishes we have made, incorporating this rice dish, include my knock off Cafe Rio salad, my knock off Chipotle fajita bowl, and Mexican pile ups (ever heard of Hawaiian Haystacks - same concept, substituting Mexican food ingredients).
I really think this rice dish has the potential to be changed and manipulated in a million different ways.
Any suggestions on ingredients or tweaks that can be made to the recipe?
For Mother's Day I wanted one thing and one thing only...
To CONQUER the "Y".
The Hubs wasn't into it, but I persisted and with the help of some new hiking gadgetry (the way to my husband:s heart - gadgets of any kind) he got on board.
And so yesterday, I did it....I conquered the "Y"!
The hike was harder than I wanted it to be. First of all, I made the fatal mistake of failing to eat anything for breakfast, and boy, did that cause some problems. I was really sapped for energy and was surprised how quickly I was tiring out.
Second, it felt so hot on the trail! There is no shade whatsoever on this hike and even though the ambient temperature was in the low 60's while we hiked, the sun beat down on us pretty hard AND there was no breeze at all. So it felt pretty stifling.
Also, at the sixth switchback I realized I REALLY needed to use the restroom...and not something I was willing to take care of in a wilderness setting, if you know what I mean. That plagued me for the remainder of the hike. Several times I wanted to turn around just because of this issue.
You can see in the photo at the tenth switchback that I was ready to die. I honestly had nothing left (or so I thought) In fact, I quit here (I also quit at the eighth and ninth switchbacks LOL!). Once you reach the tenth switchback there is a .16 mile trail that takes you to the "Y". It was longer than I thought I had in me and there was one fairly steep section that I just couldn't bring myself to want to go up. I told the Hubs that I was happy with reaching the tenth switchback, but I wasn't going any further. Of course, in his mind, I'm sure he thought this was ridiculous - we were mere moments from the end. He pushed me and told me not to give up - and it worked - eventually. I got up and started hiking the last part of the trail....and half way up, I quit again (Poor Hubs - how he did not strangle me on this hike I don't know) - I even stopped and started to walk down.
But I turned around...and I finished the hike.
I conquered the "Y"!
When I got up there, I literally spent 1 minute at the top and then immediately started back down (see comments about restroom issue - I seriously needed to get back down - how I had made it this far without incident is truly miraculous).
In the picture above "The Descent" you can see my friend, Katy, who joined us on the hike. Katy is a marathon runner, and incredibly fit. When we told her we were hiking the "Y" and invited her to join us we told her she had to pretend to be out of shape - and under no circumstances could she wear those freaky toe shoes. She barely broke a sweat on the damn hike!! BUT, she was really awesome and stayed right with me the entire time. And when I thought I was done - when I was ready to quit - she cheered me on and kept me going...THANKS KATY!
Big thanks to the Hubs, and the Girls and to Katy for indulging my desire to hike the "Y", and for encouraging me and sticking with me all the way to the top! I can't say it was fun, but I can say it was totally worth it!!!
About the hike....
Here is the trail map for the hike. You can see the multiple switchbacks. The elevation gain on this hike is approximately 1000 feet, and round trip you cover 1.75 miles.
Weight Loss Update...
I realize it has been a while since I updated my weigh in. I weigh in on Saturdays (and right now on Fridays too for a friendly challenge with some lovely ladies - but Saturday is my OFFICIAL weigh in)
I am currently at 404.6 lbs!!
I am pretty happy that I am recovering from my detour, and that I am just about down to my low.
OF COURSE this week I am hoping to break the 400 lbs. mark. WE SHALL SEE!
Today I wanted to eat a greasy, fattening, burger at a little hole in the wall Greek restaurant about 25 miles away. Seriously, I was pretty much ready to hop in the car and drive 25 miles to buy something I knew was bad for me and would certainly NOT help me get any closer to my ultimate goal. In fact, I KNEW that eating that burger would definitely drag me off course, make me feel bad AND make it more difficult to refocus on the journey I NEED to take!!
YET, that burger seemed pretty darn appealing to me. PRETTY, DARN APPEALING!
Clearly, the craving was overwhelming, and honestly, it came out of nowhere! I haven't thought about that little restaurant for a very, very long time! I haven't eaten there for over 2 years!
So why now? Why today??
Honestly, if that little hole in the wall Greek restaurant had been ANY closer, I would have been sunk. I would be knee deep in burger. And honestly, that makes me a little sad. So sad to know how weak I can be, knowing the consequences.
I KNOW what the right answer is! I am a bright girl! I know that eating the burger will be a fleeting pleasure!!
I KNOW what I am trying to achieve and all the reasons I want it...badly!
I KNOW that ultimately eating that damn hamburger will make me sad! AND that making the decision NOT to eat that hamburger will bring me FAR greater happiness in the long run. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
In spite of my strong conviction about what will ultimately make me happy and what will bring me a fair amount of strife and sadness, I was still willing to entertain and consider eating that hamburger today.
Sure, that hamburger is going to taste good...for the 15 minutes it will take me to eat it. But after, AFTER...
Is that worth it!!!
HELL NO IT IS NOT! NOT EVEN A LITTLE!
But yet, there it is, the craving, the temptation - and more often than I care to admit, it wins. THE HAMBURGER WINS! And when the hamburger wins, we know who is really winning, don't we??
I didn't get to 429 lbs. without letting the cravings and the temptations win....without eating the hamburger...clearly I consumed a whole lot of burgers. But then, there I was...at 429 lbs. Fat, sick and tired.
AND THEN WHAT!!!
Ah, yes, the journey back. The journey that feels insurmountable!!! There is also the absolute realization that THERE WAS A CHOICE IN IT ALL!!! That the hamburger didn't have to win, that this insurmountable journey I now have to take wasn't necessary. I CHOSE IT! I LET THE HAMBURGER WIN!! And again, I know who I really let win...right!
Why is this journey so hard? Why do I even consider bad choices, when I know they won't make me happy? Why is it so hard to stay on the path, even though when I am on the path I feel better mentally, physically and spiritually!!!
I am a better me when I am on the path!!
And when I am a better me I am a better mother, wife, friend, colleague...I allow the light that is within me to shine SO MUCH BRIGHTER!!! And at the end of the day, honestly, I want that light to consume me!!
...and we know where that light is coming from, right???
The path is EASIER!!! It really is!! So why do I want to take detours!!!
I don't have an answer.
All I know, is today, I am not eating that hamburger.
DAMN THE HAMBURGER!!
I'm better than the hamburger. There is so much more waiting for me - happiness that right now I can't quite imagine...happiness, freedom, energy...LIGHT! So today, today I am holding out for those things...
No, this week has not been perfect...but I am learning that perfection is overrated where this journey is concerned.
And you know what, instead of searching for perfection, I am now searching for success. I have come to believe that focusing on my success, rather than those inevitable failures that most certainly will occur along the way, is absolutely critical if I am going to make it to the finish line - to see the end of this journey.
This week has been focused on learning to use my new tracking program, making good food choices, and staying within my calorie target. So far, so good.
Although I am not proficient at navigating through SparkPeople just yet, I very much like the program. Not only can I see calories (which I believe is critical for my long term success), but I can also see the ranges I need to stay within for fat, sodium, carbs, etc. It is a pretty good program. As I learn to use the rest of the features, particularly the community features, I really think I will love it.
I have been making decent food choices this week. Yes, I have been doing my fair share of eating out, which is a problem long term because, really, there is no substitute for fresh, homemade food. BUT, I have made the best choices possible under these circumstances AND I have stayed well within my calorie targets. And you know what, I feel good about that!
I am starting to realize that "if I build it" the rest will come...as long as I give it time. I have to be patient with myself. And I'm trying to do just that.
Fitness has not been a focus for me this week...mainly because until today I was not really able to walk without immense pain (see post about hauling girth hundreds of feet in elevation up a mountain on Saturday). Going up and down stairs...fuggetaboutit! But today my mobility is returning AND I am starting to think about activity - going swimming, getting on the treadmill, and how soon I can get back on that mountain and conquer the 'Y'!. I to want to feel my body move and sweat and burn.
My mind is starting to once again focus on being healthy, on running and jumping and skipping and playing! On all those things that made me want to make this journey in the first place. Mentally, physically and spiritually a sense of calm is returning, and frankly I feel at peace.