So first off I’d like to apologize for missing my last blog post day. I actually wrote most of the blog, and then went on holiday without posting it and things got too hectic and I forgot. So today you get two posts in one! This week’s post on holiday eating, followed by my missing July 6 post on roller derby.
Holiday Eating and FAMILY
I usually find holidays and traveling are a huge challenge when it comes to meeting my goals. Traveling is a pain because pretty much all food for sale in an airport is unhealthy, it’s hard to drink enough water because I have an incredibly small bladder and I don’t want to annoy my seatmates by getting up to pee every 2 seconds, and I’m stuck immobile for long periods of time.
Holidays are hard because I wind up eating either a lot of restaurant food, or eating at other people’s houses, in which case I don’t want to be picky or rude. Also, when you’re at home it’s easy to just not buy and not eat junk, but when a big group of people is having treats it’s harder to turn them down.
Also, this holiday I was staying with my family. I certainly don’t want to be too hard on my family, most of whom have their own struggles with health, but my family is the place that I learned many of the bad habits that are the reason I am overweight to begin with. It’s absolutely not a question of blame – just recognizing that some of MY bad habits started there and that it would be easy, if I allowed myself, to regress into those patterns.
So, I did what I could. I took bigger portions of salads and smaller portions of rice. I bought plain yogurt and ate that with fruit for breakfast, or had eggs. I remembered to drink lots of water (although I did not do as well as I usually do on that front.) I went on walks. I swam. I went on a hike up Mt. Douglas with relatives (which, by the way, was awesome – we saw an owl!) I mostly skipped dessert or took very small portions and didn’t go back for seconds. I didn’t do as well as I usually do – but I did much better than I have in years past when I wouldn’t even have been thinking about this at all. And I didn’t have access to a scale for a week and a half, so I couldn’t check my weight and didn’t worry about it. I figured I would come home, see the scale had gone up a little, and get back to work.
I got home and had lost two pounds. So apparently I did better than I thought! That brings me to a total of 17 lbs lost since mid-April. (30 lbs lost from my highest weight)
My uncle and I had a lot of chats on the holiday about the whole idea of “dieting” and how the word is used quite inaccurately. People say “I’m going on a diet” but a diet isn’t actually something you go on. A diet is just a way of saying the food you eat every day – everyone is actually on a diet, or more accurately, has a diet. I am starting to believe in a way I never have before that I WILL lose the weight I have to lose, and this is mostly because my diet is now entirely made of conscious choices. I don’t see them even as “bad choices” or “good choices” – they are conscious choices to promote health, and sometimes conscious choices to indulge a little. The most important thing though is that there is no room for mindless eating in a diet of conscious choices. I honestly don’t think it matters very much whether a person chooses low carb or Weight Watchers or any other program – the point is having a diet of conscious choices. Conscious choices are empowering, they allow me to feel in control of my body and my life, and they allow me to roll with the punches. If I get on the scale and it’s gone up a bit or stayed stagnant – I don’t feel powerless and scared like I used to. I just make a choice – up the water, cut back on something that’s not serving me well, up the activity. I feel healthy, not deprived. I feel that I am living my life moderately, that I am on the road to achieving balance.
And, somewhat by popular request, a new post on Roller Derby…
My mom left an awesome voicemail for me the other day. “Hi Melodie, just calling to chat. You’re probably out exercising or doing something fun. Anyway, I’ll talk to you later.”
I LOVED that this is what my mother thinks I am probably doing when I don’t answer the phone. (I actually was doing neither, but that is completely beside the point.) My mom thinks this because right now the thing I can’t stop talking about is Roller Derby training.
Here’s what I love about roller derby training:
- It’s super hard, whether you’re starting from scratch like me or you’re already a speed skater – it will challenge you.
- It’s an incredibly encouraging environment.
- It’s a FEMALE power zone, which is incredibly refreshing.
- It brings together all kinds of women (and a couple of men) that I would never normally meet.
- It’s a great way to make friends.
- It’s incredible cardio AND strength exercise.
- It’s a full-body workout.
- We do yoga stretches ON SKATES
- It makes me feel accomplished and empowered each practice when I can do something I couldn’t do before.
- It’s fun!
Practices are three hours a week, plus a 1.5-2 hour skate outside once a week, depending on weather. Here are some examples of the drills we do:
- Laps of the track in both directions
- Skating in a squat, touching the floor as you skate
- Stops: T-stop (dragging one foot behind the other at a 90-degree angle), snowplow (like in skiing), one and two knee stops (coming down to one knee with your hands on the other, or at most one fist on the floor for balance. No fingers splayed (so they don’t get run over)
- Getting up from one knee in three seconds or less
- Backwards skating
- Transitions (Basically turning around quickly at speed)
- Figure-eights with tight turns
- Gliding on one foot, balancing on one foot
- Relay races
- Duck walking
- Pack drills
I definitely started off considerably behind most people in the practices, as someone who had never actually put on a pair or roller skates. I am definitely still behind, but I am improving a lot. I also really enjoy the practices which is amazing for me. I hate gyms and I hate running, but it turns out I really like learning a new skill! I like that in the first few practices I was extremely exhausted and now I am getting some muscle and endurance. So in any case it’s great fun and I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to give it a try. Next step: hills.