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16 April 2014

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15 April 2014

Theoretically I am not far from end goal. My next milestone goal is a pound and a half away. Once I hit that presumably I'll be down to the last 10lbs, though I may need to get a more serious/ formal workout routine in place and due some cut and bulk phases to get my BF% down to the target of 17. We'll see. I haven't exactly been doing anything intense so far. I may just opt to do the slow, gradual adjustment instead of changing my activity level a lot; that seems to work well enough for me. (Not to mention baby girl is nearing 15lb so I am getting some informal weight training; I can almost curl with proper form using the infant car seat--with infant equipped :P -- as a kettleball/ free weight. :) )

In other news I feel like emotionally I've been more of a basket case. :-/ It's becoming more apparent to me how anger is a big snare for me. I am trying to deal with it appropriately/ Biblically, which is proving quite challenging. Not only is the practical aspect difficult, but the paradigm shift as well is awkward. It's allowed me to see that historically I used anger as a way to diffuse/ deflect fear and/or sadness. Anger gave me a distraction from the pain. Maybe I kept hoping that the distraction would last long enough for the circumstances to change so that the underlying triggers for the pain I was experiencing (mostly emotional) would disappear/ stop hurting. In any case that never really happened, but I used the anger as a crutch because that wretched feeling of fury was preferable to the misery of abject sadness and powerlessness/helplessness.

I had the opportunity to talk to a wise counselor who gave me a lot to think about. Listening to him wasn't easy. Sometimes I rather wish he had been more of a jerk, it would've been easier to dismiss his message that way. However, he was kind and firm and helped highlight habits that gave me your basic, "Oh crap!" reaction. (The same kind of sobering, matter of fact warning that other people experience in the doctor's office when the doctor tells them that if they don't change, they're going to die sooner rather than later, and probably from an agonizing death due to prolonged illness caused by reckless habits like smoking, gluttony and or alcoholism.)

In light of that conversation I find myself allowing myself to be in that distressful feeling situation instead of attempting to escape it. I find myself experiencing the emotional pain without shifting as much to anger or trying to self soothe/ self medicate with social media or food, and it sucks...a LOT, but I can see that as much as it sucks, it's better this way. G-d has been faithful. He is sustaining me thus far.

Tonight is the second night of Pesach/ Passover. My mind is kind of muddled right now thanks to the mental fog I've been in, so I don't know if my memory is correct and that this is part of the seder like the Four questions, but there's a verse/ prayer that I remember hearing in times past that is particularly relevant to me right now:

Baruch atta Adonai eloheynu melech ha olam, shecheheyenu, vehigiyenu, vequiyamaynu laz man hazeh.

("Blessed are You, O L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who has sustained us, preserved us and allowed us to reach this season." I am not sure that I remembered the words correctly, and the spelling is completely guessed. Generally the Hebrew I've learned is transliterated with Ashkenazi/ European Jewish spelling, but I also have a Haggadah- Passover Seder celebration book- that uses Sephardic/ Israeli and other middle eastern spelling, which is quite different, so it all gets mixed up in my mind. My Hebrew comprehension is also really basic, so if I know the passage, but not what the meaning is verbatim- as is the case here, it's harder to remember it all.)

G-d is preserving me in this season.
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15 April 2014

Weigh-in: 141.5 lb lost so far: 30.5 lb still to go: 1.5 lb Diet followed N/A
   (1 comment) on diet Calorie Count   losing 3.5 lb a week

08 April 2014

I don't remember if it was yesterday or this morning that I weighed myself and it said 145lb. I feel OK about this; not angry, disappointed or anything like that, just neutral. A lot's been happening on the home front, mostly/ basically good or normal stuff, so if I am essentially maintaining within a 5lb window of my current weight, I'm ok with that. I'm staying active, trying to watch the food intake and rein in the self control. (I've noticed myself slipping towards laxness the past several weeks. I want to regroup on just eating what I need instead of eating whenever/ whatever I want and not put a lot of focus necessarily on dropping weight.)

In other news I've started actually driving- that thing I've been waiting to do for over 5 years and finally have the means and legal privilege to exercise by myself! :) I notice things differently in the car. I strove to be an attentive passenger (in part because of my tendency towards being a control freak) and I was aware drivers in the DC metro region were aggressive and slow, but now it seems like that's all I see: aggressive drivers. I stick close to the speed limit (I try not to undercede by more than 5-10mph unless traffic is more congested/ stopped ahead of me) because I can't afford to get a moving violation now, or an accident, and my car needs higher octane gas so I try to keep the speed constant, accelerating and decelerating gently to save gas/ wear and tear on the car. Other cars will rush to get around me and tailgate the next vehicle ahead of them and I'm about 2 seconds behind them, but not having to brake hard or change speed as much.

I feel competent- hopefully that feeling is not unfounded, but from what I am observing it doesn't seem groundless. I'm a bit more awkward than other drivers, but I don't think I'm being unsafe. Today was my second time driving by myself and this time I stopped at the gas station on the way home to refill my tank. I thought it'd be a simple thing, but thinking and doing are a bit different. I missed the turn into the station initially, so I turned into the parking lot of the shopping center ~ 50 yds past it, turned around and made it. I decided I needed to park to figure out which side my tank was, did that with a really mediocre parking job and got ready to pull out to actually get to the pump. I'm glad I was inching out slowly because I had backed in really close to a truck so the left turn I needed to make to get to the pump was blind and I wound up seeing a white car heading right towards me once I had poked the nose of the car forward enough to see around it. I pulled toward the gas station and then was confronted by a visual mess. All the pumps were occupied and I was stuck kind of in front of an SUV that was facing me at the nearest pump. For a few minutes I didn't know what to do other than wait. I couldn't really pull forward without blocking the SUV in and cars were starting to line up behind me. I put my hazards on at one point because I didn't know where I could go and I wanted people to know to go around me to exit. Finally a spot opened up and I was able to pull into it and pump gas. Thankfully that went rather smoothly and things were a lot less hectic when I was getting ready to exit. I had to cross traffic to turn left towards my home and made it to the center, alternating turn lane when my trunk hatch opened. The hazards and my parking brake have gotten their exercise for today for sure, but the rest of my trip home was uneventful. I feel good at least that I did a good parking job after only one adjustment when I got home because I felt dumb earlier at the gas station. It was hard for me getting stuck with an unexpected scenario that I wasn't sure how to respond to initially. I am glad I stayed calm and I did as well as I could think to do to alert the other drivers around me to intentions and avoid a more dangerous environment.

In a way I annoy myself by sharing this stuff because it's mundane. However, I know for me this is new. Being an independent driver is new. Learning to adapt to unforeseen driving conditions and exercising judgment to avoid an accident is new, so I am trying to process what I am going through because I am still learning. I see myself making rookie mistakes- thankfully it's all been minor, embarrassing, not immediately dangerous (I think) dumb stuff. This is kind of annoying because I hate knowing I'm screwing up when I know better, but on the plus side I don't see myself making the same mistake twice...yet. I want to be a safe driver, I don't want to be in people's way and I think I am doing ok so far. :)
Weigh-in: 145.0 lb lost so far: 27.0 lb still to go: 5.0 lb Diet followed N/A
   (3 comments) on diet Calorie Count   gaining 1.0 lb a week

07 April 2014

FYI: This ended up being much longer than I anticipated. Hopefully it will be encouraging for those who are willing to take the time to read it, though I will try in the future not to get too wordy.

This past weekend was rather nice-- a dramatic step up from the previous weekend where I allowed myself to get caught up on detrimental thinking and made a lot of small,short term/ short sighted, foolish choices. The highlights from this weekend though were being able to see my elder daughter's first dance recital (she did so well; I am one proud mama!!! :-D ) and going to church on Sunday. I missed church last Sunday, and I should know by now that that will ALWAYS negatively impact my week. I don't refer to myself as such, but I am a Christian. There is something fundamentally and qualitatively different about faith in the triune god of the Bible, the G-d of Israel that presents many challenges both to adherents and non-adherents alike. It is a counter-cultural way of life that will not settle for compromise. As a gentile, I remember reading a passage of Torah in Deuteronomy after the children of Israel had been given the Law and Moses was explaining to them the agenda for their next steps as a newly independent, displaced nation en route to take over the land of their inheritance in Canaan (modern day Israel, as well as large parts of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Sudan, etc.) The passage was Deuteronomy 4.

"5 See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? 8 And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?" (Deuteronomy 4:5-8 ESV, emphasis mine)

As a new Christian I remember marveling at that passage because of the truth of it in my life. 2 of the 3 people who witnessed to me before I became a Believer are Jews. They knew I had been raised Roman Catholic and I knew they cared about me as a friend. I had been in a dark time in my life when I met them and when I faced a crisis they challenged my faith, repeatedly confronting me with examples of what I had believed as a Catholic was in conflict with the Bible and showing me the reliability of the Biblical text.

Therefore, to actually make this faith a way of life and not just an unprofitable, empty religion of lip service there has to be a deliberate effort to keep the evidence in sight. (This is part of the reason mainstream orthodox Jews have tefillin and phalactery- the bindings on their foreheads and hands with little scrolls inside- because these outward symbols are supposed to be a reminder of the reason they are set apart and what that quality of being set apart means.) Christian faith doesn't happen by accident and Christian living isn't something you can stumble into- it's not normative to our first nature. In other words, you can't drift towards holiness/ G-dliness, and if you don't have regular reminders about what/ Who G-d's Way is, what you drift towards is dysfunction. That's what I found myself doing last weekend.

This past Sunday though felt so wonderful because what makes the "good news" so fantastic is that in spite of how many times I screw up, I know I won't be abandoned. As a survivor of emotional neglect during my childhood, this is HUGE. No reason to fear. No fear of rejection! No fear of abandonment! I am accepted- just as I am. But better than that, I am being rejuvenated and cleansed so while I am accepted, I am not stuck as I am, I am improving and being perfected, being made better than before. This is incredibly exciting/ encouraging to me. Seeing it actually happen in my life, it makes the words I read something even more precious and wonderful because it reminds me that it is not only historically accurate but also currently valid and constantly trustworthy.

I am continually amazed seeing what G-d has done for me and in me. This weekend was another sweet reminder/ glimpse of that. A decade ago I was a completely different person with many more insecurities who was less functional and more angry, depressed and hopeless. A decade ago I was trying to throw everything I had at looking "normal" on the outside so that I wouldn't have to face being ostracized by my peers and being lonely. The first time I took the written test to try and get a learner's permit in order to be able to drive was a decade ago--and I failed. However, by the grace of G-d, I've passed the permit test, passed driver's ed, fulfilled the prerequisites for and then passed the road skills test to get a provisional license (MD has a graduated licensing system...I won't have a full license until the probationary period is completed in about 15 months.), been able to get a car (which I am wowed about because it was nicer than anything I was hoping for/ expecting; DH got it for me because it's a robust vehicle with a really good safety rating with relatively low mileage. It's an '02, so it's newer than anything I've ever had before. :P). And for the first time ever, I got to drive it on Sunday!!! :) I drove to church with my girls (DH stayed home because he was feeling yucky due to a cold. :( ), and it wasn't as scary as I had feared.

It was tricky, and I made rookie mistakes, but I did it and I think I did a decent job! I know I can improve and I feel happy knowing that I believe I can be a good driver because I was afraid that I wouldn't be. I was afraid that I would be more clumsy, but so far I am doing ok. I am taking it slowly, doing my best to pay attention to my surroundings and stay calm. I've committed to being late rather than being unsafe and I feel good about my progress so far. (Part of my route to church involves the highway, including I-95, which is a major interstate highway. On my way home I wasn't sure if I could safely merge onto I-95 from the highway I had been on, so I found myself forced down the exit ramp away from where I wanted to go. I knew it was better to do that than try and merge in because late is better than dead. It took a few extra minutes to get to a place where I could turn around and go the right direction homeward, but I was able to adjust my car settings better and the traffic on the highway was easier the second time around so I successfully merged and made it home safe!! :-D !!!!) G-d is so good! :)

(I noticed a typo. O_o :P)
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