Message from my Gran

I am not sure if she made this up or not- but I love it.

"You can't find peace by avoiding life"

Words to live by

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Space- the final frontier a guest blog by Linda

Thanks for Paul for allowing me to be a guest blogger on his space. I have a thought I’d like to share with you, something you may already know but it was BIG for me!

Something Chris said on Saturday has been rolling around in my head since. He said that by taking control of one area of our lives (health) we have created ‘space’ to deal with other issues that also need attention. Besides learning to eat right and exercise, the most interesting part of this project for me has been figuring out why I haven’t done this (eat right and exercise) before. When it comes down to it, being healthy is not all that complicated. In conversations with several of you, I know you, too, have lost weight and feel better and have now started to deal with deeper issues in your lives. Getting control of your health has allowed you to have the ‘space’ to deal with these other issues. And, I have experienced the same thing. Wow.

I asked Tom this morning (at the Y) why I didn’t already know this. You see, through the years I have read many diet books. In fact, I have been known to hear an interview with an author about a new diet and run right out to Borders to buy the book. (Ok, I never ran to Borders. In fact, I usually sat at my desk and ordered the book online.) They each have a different angle, but I never found information that prompted me to start eating right and exercising. Several of the authors do talk about figuring out why you overeat, but none of their reasons ever applied to me. I told Tom that none of the books I’ve read mentioned this ‘space’ that is created by simply taking control and actually changing behavior.

And, then it hit me! The diet books have it backwards! They talk about figuring out why you overeat, don’t exercise and generally don’t take care of yourself. They suggest you figure out these reasons so you can change your life. But – and here’s the big insight for me – you have to change the behavior before you can figure out the reason(s) why you weren’t taking care of yourself. Without changing the behavior, you don’t have the ‘space’ to be able to understand the ‘why’.

Like I said, you may already know this but thinking along these lines applies to so many areas of our lives. You can’t understand something until you change it and are able to look back at the old behavior. And to allow growth (maturity) you have to step out and change behavior so you can learn the next set of lessons.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The "I dont want to be purged' blog post

Don't cut me off Chris! :)

I have been a very sporadic blogger during these past few weeks. It is not that I don't see the value and purpose, but I often don't think that I have anything of particular interest to post. I am also lucky enough to spend a lot of time with a number of other Project members at work and socially, providing me lots of opportunities to ask questions, share progress and whine when I need.

But, here is my thought/observation. Last Sunday, I went out to eat with William and some friends for William's birthday. I had eaten 'out' at a business conference in Feb- but I was very focused on eating within my boundaries- and other than a tiny desert- I hardly had to declare a 'free day'. So...I decided to go for it and throw caution to the wind on Sunday. We went to a very nice, casual Mediterranean place in Broad Ripple. I ordered salmon, asked not to be served the rice, and skipped the pita/oil/spice appetiser. I did splurge on dessert (who knew that I had such a sweet tooth). I did pretty well on calorie count, although one never knows how many there are in restaurant food. much salt do they put into that food? My gosh, the waitress could have been the Morton Salt girl. We loved the food- but slept poorly, felt bloated, had a headache- yikes! It was quite an eye opener for me. I will stick with my home cooking for a while.

I hope that everyone else is doing well. For those of you who can get to one of the last few Saturday meetings- please show up. It is so helpful and such a wonderful group of people- you will love it. Have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cheating...or just living?

I loved the message that Chris sent on Monday. It helped me to tease apart "a good reason" from "a bad excuse". On Sunday, after a very healthy meal at a friends- we turned on the Oscars- she pulled out some girl scout cookies. I would never had had one for fear of 'falling off the wagon'- but I decided that being a real person means having a real treat sometimes- home...I could have found a healthier treat- but I wasn't home. And guess what- I lived to tell about it- I only had a few (4 thin mints)- and she was impressed that I wasn't being insane about this plan. She said- wow- you intend to do this forever don't you- it occurred to me that I really am changing my mindset from a 12 week plan- to a rest of my life plan- which will include 'off the plan treats' once in a while. I hope that this helped the rest of you in your journey!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Running-attachments- etc


After the run at the fitness test and the next five days of shin splints, I was dubious about running. I'd been doing my cardio on the stair master and elliptical without any problems. partner told me that he would start running again if I would agree to join him. That was more good motivation to give it a try. After listening to a number of you (or reading your comments), I went to the Running Company (had a great experience) and left with some new shoes. My salesman laughed out loud when I told him that I had no idea how old my shoes were; but that I remember buying them at Spiece on Keystone. He told me that they were at least 5 years old. No wonder I had shin splints.

I love my new shoes. It took me until Friday to get on the treadmill, but they really did make a difference on the StairMaster. I wanted my first run to be on a Friday as it is the 'lowest push' day. I ran for 45 minutes-4.5 miles- and no shin splints at all. I was plenty tired and a bit sore on Saturday- but the run was really fun. I wasn't quite ready to brave the snow outside this past week. That will come.


I am still a bit attached to my heart monitor and scale. It is just the scientist in me- I am slowly trying to wean myself off of the heart monitor- but I'm still way more comfortable with a measurable unit to track the food intake. I haven't taken my food scale to a restaurant yet, but that isn't completely out of the question when I venture out to eat with non-Project members. I am getting less and less focussed on the heart monitor and more in touch with how I feel. I also track it with my silent lip-scincing ability to my I-Pod. My version of Chris's 'difficult to have a conversation' analogy. I may look ridiculous- but it works for me.


Sleep seems to be my biggest enemy so far. It is just hard to go to sleep at 9:00. Hopefully, another good thing about running will be that, once the days extend, I'll be able to sleep in a bit and still get in a good run. One of the motivators to get to the gym right at 5:00 was to get on one of my favorite two elliptical machines- but they got rid of them this week- and there is never a line for the StairMaster. So...I may try sleeping in a bit - an extra 15 minutes may feel like an hour.


So far, the most surprising thing that has occured over the past few weeks is that I feel alot calmer about just about everything. I'm a type a person, which like everything else, has pros and cons. Now I'm not sure if I am just exhausted, but I get worked up much less often than usual. Focussing on what I'm eating and my workouts are a big help- but this is working!


My goal this week is start cooking- rather than preparing single units of food. I copied all of the recipes from blogs and Chris as a start. I love to cook- but am Norwegian- so most of what I cook is very buttery and full of fat. This will be a fun challenge.

Thanks to everyone for being so supportive!

Friday, January 23, 2009

5 days in- thoughts

OK- five days into it. While I have been humbled by the workouts- I am pretty darn proud of myself. I got up at 5:00 AM every day and got my butt into the gym- I stuck to the nutritional plan- I meditated- did my yoga on Wednesday-and have stuck with my smoking reduction plan, which I was most anxious about. Going from a pack a day to less than 6 per day- none until after work and none in the car- has worked for me. I will reduce the number as time goes on with a goal of being 'cig free' by the end of the 90 days.

So...sounds like an easy week huh? Well- here are some realities:

1. The food thing was pretty easy- but no one told me that all this healthy food would make me fart like a professional. And who knew that I could almost propel myself down a hallway with the force. If only I could schedule them on demand- maybe I could do 25 squat jumps without collapsing for air after the 20th jump if I could time them as I was trying to jump- trying being the operative word.

2. I just about fell off the back of the StairMaster on Wednesday- if an "8" is suppose to be sustainable for a couple of minutes- how does one keep at it for 25 minutes- thank God for the high energy dance tune on my i-pod- I had to listen to Cher tune three times in row just to keep my feet moving on the machine.

3. On Monday- during my 9th interval, my foot flew up off the pedal of the elliptical machine- smashing my knee into the machine. The sweet little lady next to me was worried that I would flip right over the top of it.

4. Doing Heisman hops at the gym- next to the muscle guys benching 250 pounds- and not feeling a sense of embarrassment is really quite empowering.

I am very lucky to be going through this with Patti and Linda at work. It really makes the nutrition part much easier. It also takes cheating out of the equation 'cause they would ride my butt hard. Seriously, I haven't been as good about following the forum and blogs because I have them to listen to my thoughts and laugh about our experiences. They are the best!

The other thing about the food is that it is so filling- and I already feel 'cleaner and healthier"- anyone else feel that way? It is also shocking how much food I can eat now that I got rid of the crap in my diet and still not go over my target calorie count. It was a little hard to walk by the Chic filet buffet that we served to a group of visitors at work- but I checked their web site- three measly chicken strips are 1095 calories- not worth it at all!

And... I would be remiss not to thank Chris- so quick to answer questions-offer support- and to have him check in on my smoking plan was so sweet. CR- you are the best!

Well- off to go see Rob J in "To Kill a Mockingbird" at IRT tonight- then up to go to Chris's Power Yoga in the morning! Hopefully, I will see many of you at the class or at the meeting in the morning.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Here goes

I am unsure if I am more nervous about starting the Project- or blogging? Seriously, I am thrilled to be a part of the BTWG team/community and have already received so much support from all of you. Thank you all.

I know that the next 90 days will be quite a journey- filled with small victories, some set-backs, tired muscles, moments of 'why in the world did I commit to doing this?'- but mostly, a feeling of - finally- "you took control and are doing what you need to do get healthy".

Over the past 4-5 years, I have started down this path on my own- worked out hard, tried to focus on healthy food choices, cut back on drinking, tried to quit smoking- but always hit the wall of injury or excuses. This time- I know that it's different- I have a plan- I have an advisor (here's to you Chris- thanks a million already) and a team of fellow PBWG's to help me.

I do feel extra forunate to be on this path with a number of close friends in the group and to have the support and friendship of a couple of Project grads. I'm also lucky to have home support on the diet side of the equation. Thanks guys! I appreciate it already.

Well, my food plan is done- time to get to bed so that I can get my sorry rear end out of bed at 5:00 to get to the gym.