What happens when I stop tracking

Morning, y’all.

v cuts mug

I love this mug from the Vegan Cuts Coffee Box! 

It’s Saturday.  I usually sleep in until around 9-10 am as a weekend treat (and because I usually stay up until 2 am or so on Friday night/Saturday morning).  Not today.  Why?  In part because I went to bed just after midnight and because it’s a high pain morning.  The pain level this week had me thrown.  Yes, there’s a spike twice a month, but this spike has been 3 weeks long.  I decided to jump on the scale to see what’s what and found the culprit.  I’ve gained – part of it is due to typical hormonal changes and the other part is due to tracking.  Well, the lack of.

Why did I stop tracking?  I did not completely stop, but I did slack off.  I stopped paying attention to portions.  Yes, I still need to keep portions of some things in check, even when following a primarily whole foods plant-based plan.  This may not be the case for everyone, but it is for me.  More nuts and seeds (I’m looking at you peanut butter, cashews, and pecans) and letting too much bread and oil get in hurt when I overindulge.  The extra treat days don’t help, either.  I slipped back into an old pattern and am paying the price.

Why did I slip?  I get a little lazy and bored.  I feel like I can let go of the routine a little more than not and have not worried as much since my blood pressure and glucose readings have still been great (90-110 range fasting and 120-135 after meals) which keeps me on track for coming off of more meds.  I still have more energy and generally less pain than after the weird muscle spasms a few weeks back.

I know what I need to do and how to do it.  This gain was not a surprise and I should have paid more attention.  This it not beating myself up.  This is just a statement I need to see in print (well, on the screen) and a reminder that exercise alone does not work for me.

So, what’s next?  Getting back in gear and following my plan the way it works:

  1. water
  2. produce
  3. protein
  4. whole grains with portions of trigger foods in check
  5. treats twice a week at most

See, that’s not so bad.  It’s not boring when I put some thought into it.  The heat has sent my cooking mojo into hibernation, so i need to find ways to mix it up a bit.  Produce is banging this time of year, so between farmers markets and the produce department, I can be inspired.

Right now, I’m enjoying my morning smoothie (a blended salad as Dr. Fuhrman calls it), coffee, and water.  While my coach is not fond of me drinking my calories as a regular thing, she is happy with the way I make the program work.

I’ll share more about my fantastic Diabetes coach soon.  Until then, have a fantabulous day!

Peace!

 

 

Catching up

train shirtMorning, y’all.  Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie is slowly coming out of hiding. Between losing my boy Oz, extended pain flares, and a bit of a spiral, I have slacked off on taking care of myself.  Eating like crap (mostly junk) and minimal exercise (stretching enough to make moving easier and walking while shopping) led to increased pain, more fatigue, and losing a little bit of me every day.

Between losing my boy Oz, extended pain flares, and a bit of a spiral, I have slacked off on taking care of myself.  Eating like crap (mostly junk) and minimal exercise (stretching enough to make moving easier and walking while shopping) led to increased pain, more fatigue, and losing a little bit of me every day.  Although I have realized that my normal means that I will hurt and feel tired more often than not, I started feeling sorry for myself and pictured my future with more pain and less mobility.  This sent me down a darker path and binge eating.

What brought me out of it was a combination of things.  Well, I’m still in it, but fighting to pull out of it.  Physically, I’m getting better (thank you anti-inflammatory foods and support sleeves), but the brain still needs work.  Hubs and I joined a gym and are still tweaking our schedule.  I’m learning to recognize and listen to my body. I know when I need to switch to a different body part while training, when to start getting my heart rate down, and to start more slowly so that I can get stronger without hurting myself.  After a little over an hour yesterday (treadmill and a full-body lifting session), I don’t feel that bad.  The BCAAs do make a difference.

I would love to skip supplements and get off all meds, but that is not in the cards for me now and may not be later.  And I’m okay with that.  I refuse to let anyone shame me for doing what I need to do.

Some days are better than others, but that’s how things are with everyone.   I may move more slowly than I used to, but my inner athlete is coming back.  And she is badass.

Until next time, peace.

Human Barometer and yoga

I think that my new nickname should be Human Barometer. It doesn’t matter how good I’m feeling or moving when the changes in barometric pressure are dramatic.

It always starts in my ankles. They feel a little tight, but not tight enough for a support or anything. I’ve I’d been training, I usually chalk it up to that. Then my knees get sore. That makes me check the weather a little more closely. If I see rain in the forecast, I know what is on the way and get out the turmeric and Aleve.

Once my hip and spine stiffen and go from an ache to throbbing pain, it’s on. So much on. Right now I’m typing this in a recliner with my back, neck, and head firmly against the back of the chair, legs raised in a partial recline. It’s the only comfortable position at the moment. My ribs, elbows, wrists, and shoulders are feeling it now, too. Tropical Storm Cindy is not heading my way (be safe, y’all), but I feel it anyway. Rain is coming ad we’ve had some here in Charleston since Sunday night’s thunderstorm.

Weather-related pain flare aside, I will get in some yoga today. It is International Yoga Day after all. I recognize my current limits and have a mix of workouts in my arsenal. I also know that I will always have a dog on my yoga mat if I step away.  16422838_10154381378520679_8437767875822278167_oFlexibility training helps make these bad days easier and make good days better.

Between yoga and walking, I am getting stronger physically. It just doesn’t feel like it on days like this. I’m trying not to fall into the pit that seems to open up whenever a flare is extended. Spoonies, you get me, right?

Happy Wednesday, Happy Solstice, and Happy International Yoga Day! May it be amazing!

Last-minute gifts, boozy edition

Can you believe that there are only four shopping days left until Christmas?  Or just 10 days left in 2015?  Where did the time go?

With time flying by, you may not have picked up gifts for everyone on your shopping list.  If you’re thinking of sharing spirits with the over-21 crowd, keep in mind that Charleston liquor stores will be closed on Christmas day, so you need to swing by your favorite before then.

As for boozy suggestions, try whisky.  Classic cocktails are all the rage and whisky takes the starring role on quite a few.  A Hot Toddy and or spiked nog call for a shot of whiskey (it’s particularly yummy in Coconut Nog) and no stocked bar is complete without a bottle or two.  Here are recommendations close to my heart.

Bulleit Hot Toddy

Bulleit 10 Year-Old has a smooth finish. Try it in a Hot Toddy. This 91.2 proof whiskey retails for around $50

Dickel Rye Smash

George Dickey Rye is an economical choice. It’s 90 proof and is a nice one for drinking straight up. It retails for around $25

Northern Harvest Rye Buck

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye was named the 2016 World Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, becoming the first Canadian Whisky to receive the honor.

The 5 Keys

Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight is Diageo’s latest offering. This contains whiskey some of the oldest stocks, including the last ever produced at Stitzel-Weller. This 91 proof gem retails for around $50.

The Beelzebub

I.W. Harper is back after 20 years! Try this one straight up, in a Hot Toddy, or a cocktail. It’s another economical choice at a suggested retail of just $35.

Remember, drink responsibly.  Don’t drink and drive – have a designated driver.  Take the keys if someone is impaired and give them a place to sleep or call a cab.

Don’t mix alcohol and medication.

Make it an occasional indulgence if you’re working towards a specific fitness goal.  Yes, alcohol is carb-free, but it’s also full of empty calories.

 

Semi-wordless Wednesday: Books

You know I have a cookbook problem.

SAMSUNG

A few of my favorites, including books from authors I have a girl crush on. HInt – all of them.

al fresco

I reviewed this book and still pull ideas and recipes from it from time to time.

ice cream sandwiches

Don’t think any commentary is necessary.

Supercharged-Juices-Smoothies

Because your friendly neighborhood Sherrie does not fear the green,

meal plan bb

Meal planning was in full effect here.

 

Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules!

Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules! Noms!

A classic.

A classic.

One of my go-to's for healthy vegan eats.

One of my go-to’s for healthy vegan eats.

HappyHerbivoreLight-2526Lean_FrontCover

I’m digging the recipes here. They help me stick to my eating plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t matter if the books are from the library or part of my personal collection.  I have one within reach daily.

By the way, if you’re in or near Charleston, SC, you can meet Happy Herbivore herself, Lindsay Nixon at the College of Charleston on Thursday!  I missed her back in 2012, but will be there this time.  Hope you can make it, too!

Flare week two

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie isn’t feeling very friendly.   The frustration,  anger, sadness, and grump are strong in this one.

Frustration stems from an inability to control pain when it’s in an uncontrollable state.  My daily routine, relaxation,  and even meds only aggravate the pain sensors and make me stabby.

Anger comes from the same place as frustration,  but is magnified by the limited mobility, lack of meaningful exercise,  and fear of the flare continuing past week two.

Cue the sadness.  Once fear comes around,  the tears are sure to follow.  I’m only 46.  If this is what 46 feels like, what will 56 bring?   If I need assistance to stand now, I might need more assistance later.  And what if the degeneration speed increases with time?  How am I supposed to train when I can barely stand?  

Yes, it gets that bad sometimes.  It’s hard to tell when people see me smiling and pushing through.

Once anger passes, the general grump sets in.  Why are people calling me?  Why do I need to cook?  These dogs need to feed themselves.   Bah, humbug.

The longer the flare, the longer this cycle lasts.  I know flares are temporary,  but while living through one, logical thinking flies out the window.  And laughs at me.

Why do I share?  Because it helps keep me sane.  And to let anyone reading this know that the feelings are real and you’re not crazy.  Or alone.  Chronic conditions can do a number on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you need me, give me an hour or so.  I’m riding out the flare from my bedside workstation.   Thank you, flexible scheduling!

Peace.

One week into 21-Day Fix

Thank you, Autum Calabrese!  The 21-Day Fix is legit!



I’m proof that just about anyone can do the workouts and I had a good first week even with the modified moves and schedule! You know by now that I have to modify any program I’m on thanks to the crumbling spine.  I cannot (but can) belive I still had a successful week as far as weight and inch loss.

I made sure I ate my reds, greens,and blues every day without fail. Greens went into my smoothies along with fruit – even cabbage and broccoli.  I ate Soy Curls, tofu, beans, hemp seeds, and Gardein.  I counted oranges and teaspoons with nuts, nut butter, flax seeds and touches of oil in salads, oatmeal, and on bread. (Note:  Sherrie needs garlic bread with pasta!)  Starchy yellows included bread, rice, and oats.  When I ate Gardein as protein, I ate half to three-quarter sized yellows.  When I used beans as protein, I measured them in yellow containers and added more green to my meal.  My blues included homemade hemp and coconut milks.  I didn’t cheat last week.  I also didn’t eat on schedule thanks to a couple of crazy days.

For training, I alternated Upper, Lower, Total Body, and Cardio Fix with PIlates Fix and Yoga Fix to aid in my recovery.  I had a bad day on Thursday, so I did two short sessions with Tony Horton and a short walk.  Ten Minute Trainer is a great one for people short on time.

My results?  1 pound down and lost inches in my waist and hips.  Yes, inches plural.  I lost two inches off my waist and one off my hips.  I’ll take it!  I don’t usually care that much about the scale, but weighed in to prove that modification still yields results.

I cannot wait to see what the next two weeks brings!  I’m checking out Team Beachbody Club and Beachbody on Demand and will substitute a workout from 21-Day Fix Extreme, Focus T-25, P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Insanity, Asylum, RevAbs, Turbo Fire, or any of the other streaming workouts available on BOD.  If you like mixing it up or want to try a program before you buy, BOD rocks!

Here’s to another week of eating clean and training.  It doesn’t matter how you train – be consistent and go as hard as you can.  If you want to join me, just give me a shout.  I’ve got your back.

Note:  The images link to my Team Beachbody Store.  If you want or need support or accountability and don’t have a coach, pick up 21 Day Fix or any other program and I’ll be your coach.  You can join for free if you’re not ready to commit to a program yet and just need some help.  I’m here for you.

Good and bad days

We all have days when we feel pretty dang good.  Our moods are good.  We sing along with the radio and maybe dance, too.  We hit our workouts with enthusiasm and leave it all on the floor.  The workday flows smoothly and the kids go to bed without a fuss.  Those days rock.

Oy, bad days.  We feel like there’s a rainstorm overhead.  Work is a mess, the kids fight and whine about everything,  and you cannot stop dropping or tripping over things.  We burn dinner.  We feel overwhelmed and fall into bed only to stare at the ceiling most of the night.  Those days do anything but rock.

Today is in-between for me.  I’m singing and dancing in my seat, but there is no dancing.  I’m barely coordinated enough to walk.  And don’t get me started on cooking.  My mind and body are not on the same page and a fibro flare is around the corner.  But it’s okay.  This will pass.  I will survive and thrive.  And dance.

What kind of day are you having?

Review: Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection

I try to avoid the scale. I know, weight is a measure of health (so they say), and there’s a scale hop required at every doc’s visit and one at the physical therapist’s office.  We always had a scale growing up and for some reason were expected to have one.  I didn’t have one during my single days and didn’t care, but for some reason just had to have one once the life with hubs, kids, and dogs started.  For some reason I felt like we needed one.

I hate the scale in general.  It mocks me when I think I look smaller and feel lighter.  It jumps out from under the bed and kicks me in the toe.  It calls to me when I ignore it for too long, taunting me.  Yes, I’m aware it may not happen that way, but it feels like it.

I had the opportunity to move on up to a prettier, less bossy scale and jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect because physical therapy was in full swing and so was my tweaked eating plan.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add something else new
to the mix, even if it was as intimidating as a scale. The Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection has a long name, sleek look,  and nice features.

See, I told you it was attractive.

See, I told you it was attractive.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package is how attractive the scale is. This baby is a nice-looking slab of
tempered glass with non-slip pads that are gentle on my hardwood floor.  It came with batteries (nice) and clear instructions on
setting up separate profiles for multiple users.  The Weight Differential Detection tracks changes from your last weigh in,
and averages of the last three and seven weigh-ins.  How cool is that?  I like this feature because I can accurately track my
results alone.  Granted I had to teach the family to switch between profiles, but that was no biggie – when they paid attention.

The WeightMaster accepts weight up to 400 pounds.  I don’t want to need that weight limit, but it’s nice to have that option.  It also measures Body Mass Index (BMI), but honestly I try to ignore BMI measures myself because it doesn’t paint a clear picture of health.
I do love the Color Alert Technology which displays a green light for a loss and red light for gain.  If I wanted to gain weight, I might find this annoying.  But I’m all about gains in health and losses in fat and pants size.

I almost bought a different scale, but am glad the Ozeri WeightMaster fell into my lap.  Not only is it accurate (compared to the doc’s scale) and attractive, it’s engineered and manufactured in the USA.  More companies need to stay here instead of trying to move out of the country (I’m  looking at you, Burger King). Ozeri stands behind their products with a 100% Hassle-Free Satisfaction Guarantee. Pick up the WeightMaster in (black or white) or check out Ozeri’s other scales.  I won’t get on the scale more often, but when I do, it will be the WeightMaster.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

August is here!

Yes, it’s a new month complete with a new tropical storm (hi, Bertha).  Kids are heading back to school, tax-free shopping weekend sales are starting,  and the thought of a quiet house between 8 and 3 pm is making parents giddy.

Sorry, kids.  Well, no, not really.

To me, the start of a new month is time to reflect on the gains of the previous month and set new targets for the current month.  Notice I said gains?  It’s my way of focusing on the positive.  In July I increased resistance, speed, and strength.  I hit a smaller size.  I wanted to shop for clothing instead of just grabbing whatever I thought would fit.  It sunk in that I need to eat if I’m going to succeed.  No more drastic cuts to calorie intake.   For August I want to increase my aquatic therapy sessions.  I want to wear a certain top and have it look good.  I want to improve on July’s fitness targets.  See, all positive and also realistic and attainable.   It took years to fall apart and it takes time to fully recover, heal, and thrive.

What are your August targets?  You can reach them.  I’ll be right here, cheering you on.