Friday, May 19, 2017

The Power of Sleep

OMG, you guys! We have appointments! This is not a drill!

After months of shenanigans, stress, and pain, I have my three appointments set up for my SynVisc supplement injections. It's been a battle but the light at the end of the tunnel is switched on and is getting brighter and closer. First injection is next week and I'll have had all three by the time I leave for Boston to visit my people on June 8th.

I found out yesterday and my stress level dropped so nicely that I had the best night's sleep that I've had in months. You all know the power of great sleep. My pain level is down today, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I had the best workout. I shaved 20 seconds off my personal best 2000 meter time. I'm currently sitting ranked at 858 of 864. The more I practice the faster I'll get. The new rowing season started May first. I'm aiming to not be on the last page by the end of the season. 

When I think back to when I started rowing, I could barely do 3 minutes. Now I can do up to 30 minutes. It makes me proud to look at my progress. They have all sorts of challenges throughout the season, but I'm not up to that level yet. But next season, I plan on joining one.

I'm up to date on my flat abs challenge. I'm getting stronger with that workout, too. The leg lifts, which are so hard, I could only lift my legs maybe 30 degrees when I first started, I'm up to the full 90 degrees now and not having to rest after a full 11 of not lowering all the way to ground.

In other news, I hit my 5% weight loss goal at Weight Watchers the other week and got the prettiest little charm. I bought myself a charm bracelet to put it on as a reminder of my progress and keep me motivated. 

The other charm that came with the bracelet says, "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." I thought that was a nice sentiment. Looking forward to adding charms to it as I hit more goals.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Little Taste of Freedom

My dear friend Donna took me out for lunch yesterday. In fact, she treated me like I was Queen for a Day. We went to True Food Kitchen in Atlanta. We shared the crudite bowl. It was as beautiful as a bouquet of spring flowers. It was served with tzatziki and this amazing olive dip that was like if they had made hummus with olives instead of nasty beans. I spooned out my two tablespoons of each and enjoyed then with plenty of cold, crunchy vegetables. The watermelon radish was a revelation! I hope I can find them in the shop this summer, because they left me wanting more.

My entree was a poke bowl. A bed of quinoa, watermelon radishes, cucumbers, snow peas, avocado, these mushrooms that were chewy and crunchy at the edges and had so much umami flavor, and silky raw ahi tuna. The dressing was a lightly sweetened, spicy lime elixir that complimented all the flavors perfectly. I will dream of this until I can have it again. It was the perfect balance of nutritious and delicious.

I wasn't hungry to eat or cook supper when I got home. I called in a takeaway for Rob and I ate an apple, a pot of yogurt, and had plenty of points to spend on a cookie. It was two soft carrot cake cookies sandwiching sweet cream cheese icing. Oh, yeah, it was good! I savored it, as well as the fact that I had a day of not having to be chained to the stove. It didn't trigger me, and shockingly I didn't want another. I suppose knowing that I could have was enough for me. For the first time in way too long I feel like I'm in control again, like I've finally broken free of food controlling me. It was a very good day. That cookie was delicious, but the feeling of freedom is definitely sweeter!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Blogilates Challenge for May 2017

I updated the header to reflect some recent photos. One was from August of last year. We were in Florida and it was so hot, I was miserable, but I looked happy in the photo because we were in the cocktail lounge and I was deep in the Champagne cocktails by this time. The other photo is from Tuesday of this week. Not too bad for 47, I'd say!

I belong to a Facebook group called No Finish Line Nation. It's full of great motivation and support. They do monthly fitness challenges. This month's challenge is Blogilates 30 day flat abs. I have no illusions about ever having flat abs but the back doctor told me to strengthen my core in order to decrease back pain, so this seemed like a good challenge for me to take part in.

I started on May 1st and have been working on it each day. It's really working! I am noticing a decrease in my back pain, Doc is on to something. I'm going to commit to doing this every day until completed. Doing nine leg lifts after rowing 20 minutes was tough! I'm getting stronger, though, and that's the goal.

In other news, I'm still in a holding pattern with my knees. I called the insurance company to see what the hold up is in the approval process. Turns out, the doctor's office NEVER sent the pre-certification papers. I was so angry! I called the doctor's office and had a good rant. Nearly three weeks of waiting in pain 24/7, so much that it's disturbing my sleep, for nothing. I'm calling the insurance and the doctor's office again on Monday. And will keep pestering them until I get some relief. This is my life these people are playing with. I'll keep calling until I get some treatment. No matter what happens with health insurance in this country, you have to be your own advocate. Demand the care you deserve and are paying through the nose for!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The "20 Minute Rule"

If you're like me, then you've experienced the feeling of wanting to eat more food after you've finished eating. Especially if you're trying to eat in a more nutritious fashion. You don't get that same fullness associated with stuffing your face with a thick cheeseburger and hot, greasy fries as you do after finishing a plate of wine poached red snapper, a one cup serving of rice pilaf, and a big pile of balsamic roasted asparagus. (Dinner last night, it was delicious, by the way!)

During one of my Weight Watchers meetings, one of the members talked about this feeling of wanting to eat more. We all understood exactly what she was talking about. She explained to us that she started applying a "20 minute rule," that if after she finished her meal or snack, she'd wait 20 minutes to see if she really was truly still hungry. And if she was, she'd give herself guilt-free permission to have more food. But that she typically lost interest in eating more food after waiting the full 20 minutes. I think it has to do with the time it takes for your stomach and brain to coordinate signals that yes, we've eaten, yes we are satisfied, no we don't need to eat more food. Time to digest.

And you know what?  IT WORKS!!!  I've adopted this strategy after every meal and snack. Sometimes I even set a timer. And I have yet to go back for more food after the full 20 minutes as elapsed. I've already cleaned the kitchen up in that time, and my mind is on other things. This has really helped me learn that crucial difference between physical stomach hunger, and just wanted to stuff my face for no real reason than for the sake of eating. 

I wish I could remember which member is was, because I really want to thank her. I'm going to ask on my WW group's Facebook page because it was so valuable to me.