Checking In

Let me start off by saying, this is a way for me to get it out, a way of journaling. By sharing it here I feel like I might help someone else know they aren’t alone in feeling the way that I do. I talked about this last night with my husband and he listened – but I really think he just doesn’t understand all the emotions (or lack there of) that I’m experiencing. So if you aren’t into reading about all my current woes then here’s your chance to bail.

When we started “stay home, stay safe” for COVID back in March, I thought it would be fine – temporary. I figured I was home most of the time anyway. How hard could it be. Then weeks turned into months and shit just kept getting weirder in the world. All of the things I enjoyed doing – grocery shopping, regular shopping, visiting state parks, geocaching- the list goes on, became an unpleasant experience. Grocery Shopping felt like the Hunger Games and only now feel slightly better. Shopping at Target or Walmart is depressing – shelves are bare and everyone looks sad. I haven’t even tried to go to one of my favorite places – IKEA – because I just don’t want to ruin it for myself. I just don’t find it to be an enjoyable experience anymore – now I only go to the store for purpose or necessity. State Parks are busy and limited capacity – when before some of my favorite places were near empty. I haven’t even gone to some of my favorite nearby places to visit for the same reason – not wanting to ruin the memory of it. I miss my summer trips to Newport, Salem and Mystic.

We’ve also had some crazy family stuff happen during all this and there’s all sorts of emotions that happen with that. I only mention them to add to “where I’m at”, but haven’t really shared much outside of my house. There are some things that are meant to stay in house. It’s just been… emotional.

I’ve been trying to keep my boys out of the general public during all of this too. I hate seeing them wearing masks. Yes, I know the importance for wearing a mask – so don’t come at me for that. That’s why I just keep them home as much as possible. I don’t take them out for errands if at all possible and we are keeping them home this fall to continue distance learning for this same reason. I think the mask wearing and social distancing will be more detrimental than keeping them home with me. I am hopeful it’s short term. Most of my friends are sending their kids back in person. I respect them for that. It’s a tough decision either way. I wish I could do it too, but I also think my anxiety would be in high gear all the time. Keeping them home with me if for my mental health too. Hopefully I won’t have to fight with them as much this time around to do the work!

So after all of that, I completely lost my mojo about a month ago. I took a week off from working out, that turned into two and now I’m pushing four. I’m sleeping late and can barely find the motivation to do the simple day to day stuff. Yesterday was the eye opener for me that I am on depression’s doorstep y’all. I’m about to knock to have her let me in to join in her misery. I’ve got all the classic signs. I know them well. I’ve travelled this road a few times, it’s been a while since my last visit and I’m really wanting to bypass this stay. By classic signs – for me – I mean – no joy in the things that used to make me happy, not working at my fun job (my Etsy shop) as much as I would like, feeling empty, stopping working out, getting up late, going to bed early, not wanting to socialize with friends as much, not wanting to leave the house, eating…a lot, but then not wanting to cook dinner. There’s some of the things I’ve noticed. There’s also a lot of negative self talk happening and constant jealousy of anyone experiencing success-in anything- I have no limits on that one. It’s an awful trait that I tend to have. Comparison to others is a toxic trail to take. I need to pull a u-turn and come back to home base on that. It makes me feel ugly and pulls me deeper into where I don’t want to be.

I’m hoping that by writing this and sharing what I’m trying to do will help me climb out and get back to “normal”. I want to workout (weirdo right?) because my awful body issues are also rearing too. I keep thinking – “if I lose 10, 20, blah blah pounds I’ll for sure feel better” – then I eat two snickers ice cream cones – yep that happened yesterday. Here’s the thing, my brain knows that working out provides endorphins. Those endorphins after 30/60 minutes of exercise can be similar to taking an antidepressant. It’s proven to work if you can get your depressed ass moving. BUT THAT’S THE STUPID CRAZY PART! You’re so deep in your head that you talk yourself out of getting those endorphins!

I committed myself to a 18.9 mile virtual race this month. That I told myself I would complete by the last day of September. That means I have to move at least the amount of time it takes me to complete those nearly 19 miles. If I walk for 15 minutes a day I’ll hit my goal. I have to do something to motivate myself because the idea of being uncomfortable in my skin isn’t quite enough right now.

At the same time I’ve been trying to eat a little better. But that’s truly laughable, because who eats right when they’re stressed and feeling miserable. I’m trying to track what I eat and I even signed up for a nutrition webinar in about a week. We’ll see how that goes.

If you’re still with me-thank you. I’d like (to try again) to update more regularly. I mean I pay for this freaking blog, you’d think I’d publish more. (Facepalm) My kids are heading back to school (in my office) on the 10th – so wish me luck. I need to find that “me” time quickly in order to manage having them here all day again. Just sitting in the office with me from 7:30 to 3 every day. At least the first two days are early release?

Be Optimistic and Realistic

disney-inspirational-life-quotes-Favim.com-956876“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.  It’s a catchy tune, sure, but it’s not the best approach to success!  Overly optimistic thinking goes like this ” I went WAY over my calorie budget today, but I’ll get back on track tomorrow, somehow”.  While it’s helpful to assert good intentions (rather than beating yourself up) being vague about how you’ll recover isn’t helpful.  Thinking things will get better somehow, without having a plan to make it happen, can derail your weight loss efforts because we need to identify what needs to change and than set specific steps to change it.  So for instance the fix for going over your daily calorie budget could be to plan out your day for tomorrow. While most unhelpful thinking styles are negative (example beating yourself up) the don’t worry be happy style feels helpful and positive.  But it too can lead to feelings and actions or more often, inactions that undermine our journey.  Because it masquerades as something positive, this thinking style might demand a little practice and shift.

An example on how to manage this type of thinking was provided by the Weight Watchers Weekly on this subject.  It teaches you a way to “balance your thinking”.

  1. Identify your “don’t worry be happy” thought. (Example: I ate way more than I planned at my lunch date today. I’ll get back on track later.)
  2. Reality check it.  Ask yourself “what needs to happen to make this true?”  Use your answer to shift to a helpful thought that has one ot more back on track solutions. (example: If I make a plan, I will be able to get back on track later.  I could track what I ate.)
  3. Plan what you’ll do.  Choose one action from your ideas above that’s doable.  Make a specific plan for what you’ll do, when you’ll do it and who you’ll do it with (if anyone). (example: I’ll track what I ate at lunch during my 3pm break at my desk by myself.  That’ll help me see how many calories I’ve used and decide what to eat for dinner)

I’m a good one for this kind of thinking.  I am a big “don’t worry, be happy” thinker when it comes to my weight loss journey.  That’s why it’s ben so SLOW!  I’m always saying to myself “it’s ok tomorrow will be better” – spoiler alert- tomorrow is never better.  The action plan above is great and something I am going to give a try!

Heathly Eats

I’d like to begin a weekly series called Healthy Eats, where I post all the recipes I’ve tried during the week and my review of them.  I’ve been doing something new at my house for the past three weeks, where I plan out dinners for the whole week, then go grocery shopping for the ingredients that I need.  This helps me in a few ways.  The most important is that I am making a healthier choice for dinner each night-which not only benefits me, but my family and it also stops me from wasting groceries.  I had a knack for buying a whole bunch of foods with the best intentions, then I was too lazy to make them and we always seemed to deviate from “the plan”.  This hasn’t happened yet.  We’ve swapped around some of the days to make them fit our schedule-but that’s about it!

Below you’ll find the picture, link to recipe and review of what we had at “The Longs” this week (with a few keepers from previous weeks):

Scalloped Portobello & Cauliflower
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/scalloped-portobello—cauliflower/print
Scalloped Portobello & Cauliflower Recipe
Review:  We’ve had this countless times.  It is one of my newly found favorites.  You can pair this with any meal and have it be a crowd pleaser!

Cheeseburger Salad
http://paleoleap.com/hamburger-salad/
Hamburger Salad
Review:  I made a few small changes to this recipe.  I omitted the dill pickle in the salad portion and used relish in the dressing when I made it.  Oh and I added crumbled cheddar cheese to garnish the salad…making it a cheeseburger salad!

Honey-Dijon Salmon with Creamy Cauliflower Mash
http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/honey-dijon-salmon-creamy-cauliflower-mash-182826.aspx
Honey-Dijon Salmon with Creamy Cauliflower Mash Image 1
Review:  The salmon was fairly tasty.  No need for any additional spices or sauces while eating.  The cauliflower was the overall winner for me on this recipe.  I’ll definitely make at least the cauliflower again!

Balsamic Roast Beef
http://paleoleap.com/balsamic-roast-beef/
Balsamic Roast Beef
Review:  This one was not a keeper at our house.  It smelled amazing in the crock pot, but once we served it…it was a disappointment.  It tasted like it was missing something, flavor was one of those things.  I’ll definitely be looking for more crock pot meals for the winter time that are paleo friendly.

Maple Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
http://www.honeygheeandme.com/2012/08/maple-roasted-chicken-sweet-html/

Review:  This one was a keeper.  Very easy and fairly quick to make.  One dish cooking which is always my favorite.  We happened to have company that night for dinner and I warned them I was trying something new.  They were impressed at how flavorful the potatoes were and how juicy the chicken was.  The kids really enjoyed this one as well.  I will definitely be keeping this one in the rotation.

Creamy Dill Salmon (I paired this with broccoli florets & brown rice-seasoned with butter & chives)
http://paleomg.com/5-ingredient-10-minute-creamy-dill-salmon/
IMG_1198
Review: This one was also a keeper.  It was amazing.  Once again all the family enjoyed the meal and it was quick and easy to make.  Ten minutes was not an understatement.  I had my entire meal on the table in less than fifteen!  The Creamy dill sauce was the perfect pairing for the salmon.  We’ll be keeping this one on the rotation too!

Garlic Roasted Shrimp with Zucchini Pasta
http://cookeatpaleo.com/garlic-roasted-shrimp-with-zucchini-pasta/
This quick and easy garlic roasted shrimp with zucchini pasta recipe is a great weeknight paleo dinner — you can have it on the table in 20 minutes. | cookeatpaleo.com
Review: Another quick easy meal that our dinner guests enjoyed.  The prep for this meal took longer than cooking and serving!  Every single ingredient blended together seamlessly.  Another quick weeknight meal for the rotation!

Marinade for Chicken (I used boneless chicken breast and paired this with a German potato salad & corn on the cob)
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/30523/marinade-for-chicken/
Marinade for Chicken
Review: Fantastic!  The chicken was so tender after using this marinade.  The comments on the recipe basically say the longer the better when using this marinade, I did about 6 hours.

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Week Five

Well. Here I am in that nasty cycle of lose 3 gain 2 the next. Grrrr. It’s so frustrating. But, I know I didn’t drink enough water this week. I’m hoping that was some of my problem. I are more points this week and moved less. SO, I’ll just keep working as hard as I can and not let this get me down. I’m going to try not to pity eat today. I’m very guilty of being a self saboteur. 
Here’s to a fresh start. Follow my daily food journal on Facebook or Instagram (#lilyboxing).