Day 52: I ate a mountain of french fries

The last few days, I’ve been feeling pretty proud of myself. I am on a 5-day step goal streak, I’ve been hitting the gym, and I’ve managed to get more mindfulness and water into my daily life. I’ve also been doing pretty ok with the whole avoiding gluten and dairy thing – it hasn’t felt as hard as I expected it to be.

Until today.

Today sucked. Or rather, this evening sucked.

The day started out all right. I had some bone broth soup for breakfast. I went to the gym. I did some work and a little meal prepping. I even volunteered at my daughter’s school for a couple of hours. It was turning out to be a nice, productive day. Then we went out for dinner after visiting the poop museum (yup, you read that right, a museum dedicated to poop). My daughter wanted a burger and I figured I would be able to find something I could eat there too, so we went to the burger spot.

Well, it turns out they only serve cheeseburgers at this place, and asking for a burger with no cheese or bun just isn’t a thing. That’s just not how it works here; so while everyone else had what they described as the best burgers they’ve tasted since moving to Japan, I ate a mountain of fries.

I have never wanted a burger so bad in my life.

It was awful. That meal was a slap-in-the-face reminder that having to avoid gluten and dairy sucks big time. It legit hurt my feelings.

I know I should focus on the fact that I managed to resist the temptation. I should be proud of myself for staying strong and all that; but truthfully, I sort of feel a bit down about it instead.

I keep telling myself that it’s just food and that cravings are really just mind games your brain plays with you, but it still feels crappy. It still makes me feel kind of sad. I mean, I love food. It means all sorts of things to me. I also love doing whatever I want – I don’t do well with rules and restrictions, just ask any of my previous supervisors from back in the day.

But, I’m going to bed tonight without stomach pains. I’m not running to the bathroom every few minutes. I feel good physically, even if I don’t feel so swell emotionally, and that’s a good thing. I can’t expect it to always be easy. It’s going to be hard more often than not, but in the end, despite the suck, it will be worth it – even if I can’t take comfort in that fact right now.

Day 46: Challenges

One of the many challenges of trying to walk 15,000 steps a day is the initial streak hurdle. When you’ve only hit your step goal for one, two, or three consecutive days, it’s easy to blow it off and start over again if you’re too tired or cranky. You haven’t gotten very far just yet, so no big deal right?

That’s the challenge I’m facing right now. I’m exhausted and I want to go to bed. My step goal seems out of reach since I’m only at 5,842 steps for the day. Hitting 15,000 would require over an hour and a half’s worth of living room laps, and frankly, it just doesn’t seem worth it right at this moment.  I’m so tired! Isn’t getting a good night’s rest more important?

When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter what excuse I come up with or how I justify it. What matters is what I choose to do or not do, and the only person it really matters to is me, right? Why all the drama? Sometimes going to sleep is the right answer. At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself tonight.

Day 45: Walking the walk

I committed to avoiding gluten and dairy in my last post with the hopes of improving my overall health, but truthfully, I didn’t start avoiding it right away. Although I said I would do it, and I truly believe I should, I just don’t think I was ready to pull the trigger yet. So, I didn’t; but, I did take some small baby steps to prepare for it.

For example, on Friday after my metabolic assessment appointment, I spoke to the wellness counselor about scheduling a few weekly coaching sessions. Although I understand the value of coaching, I’ve never given it a try. I guess I just didn’t think it could help me or maybe I didn’t know how to make the most of it? Regardless, I decided that with the changes I want to make, now would be an ideal time to give it a try. Food tends to be the area in which I struggle the most, so I’ll take any help I can get. What’s the worst that could happen anyway?

After that was all done and scheduled, I swung by the library and happened to notice they had cookbooks. No duh, right? A library with cookbooks, who would have thought? Anywho, after browsing their selection, I decided to borrow two: Nom Nom Paleo (the yellow one) and The Science of Cooking. I skimmed both books, did a little meal planning, and made my first meal from the Nom Nom Paleo book tonight. I have to say, it was really good. Even my family liked it. I’ll be buying a copy of it for myself.

On Sunday, I decided to make some bone broth – specifically seolleongtang, a Korean bone broth soup my husband really likes. I’ve read on a bunch of blogs and in magazines that bone broth is good for gut health, so I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon and see if drinking a cup of broth daily has any benefits for me. This is another one of those, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” things.

Finally, on Tuesday, I took some new progress photos and body measurements. Although I’m making these changes for overall health instead of weight or fat loss, I can’t help but feel curious about what changes might occur if I stick with it. I had my first coaching appointment that day as well, so I decided to consider it my “day 1” of avoiding dairy and gluten.

I’d like to say I’ve been doing great at avoiding it since then, but truthfully, it’s been a bit harder than I expected it to be. I’m not craving breads or cheeses, but I’ve struggled with the “hidden” gluten and dairy in stuff. Especially in a bunch of the common ingredients I use when cooking, like gochujang and soy sauce. So disappointing.

I don’t feel discouraged though. It’s challenging, but in a good way; and I’m really looking forward to seeing how creative I can get with this. Hopefully I can share some fun finds on this blog in future posts. Wish me luck!

Day 21: Climbing back on the wagon

I’ve already managed to blow off my gym plan, but I’ve got a 5-day step goal streak going, so I’ll take that as a win. Unfortunately, I don’t feel as excited and pumped about this as I should. I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately. I’m stuck in some sort of funk or rut, or whichever is the best way to describe it.

The thing is, I’ve gained some weight back the past couple of months. Realistically, it’s probably only about 5 lbs, but when you’re as short as I am, that translates to anywhere from one to two clothing sizes. In terms of measurements, my waist size has increased by a whole two inches. My super comfy jeans are now super tight jeans, and the muffin top I’d finally managed to get rid of, is back with a vengeance. I feel gross.

But, instead of feeling motivated by this to climb back on the wagon, I feel stuck. I’m in that spot; you know, the one where you know you need to make a change – and you want to make a change – but you just can’t get yourself to actually do it. So, instead of making positive changes, you just make worse choices.

I have a Bod Pod appointment tomorrow. I’m hoping my latest results will give me the kick in the ass I need to shake this funk, but I don’t feel confident about it. I know I need to change my mindset about it, but that’s just not where I’m at right this moment. Hopefully, I’ll feel differently tomorrow.

Day 9: Not today

8:49 pm: 5,362 steps

Dejavú.

Here I am, two days later, in the same predicament. It’s almost bedtime and I’m short almost 10,000 steps from my step goal. The difference today is that I’m writing this post while walking laps around my living room. I’m determined to break this cycle of “two steps forward, one step back.”

Not only am I walking laps though, I’m doing it while my normally lazy dog tries to walk them with me. That may not seem like a big deal, but he’s wearing a donut around his neck to prevent him from chewing at his paws and zig zagging between my feet as I walk. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve tripped over him.

9:38 pm: 10,202 steps

It’s taken me almost an hour to take 5,000 steps. The dog’s gone to sleep and I’m on my second Kdrama episode. Make that my third.

I’m tired, I guess, but proud of myself for sticking with it.

And yet, I can’t help but wonder if this is normal behavior.

10:28 pm: 15,062 steps

Another 50 minutes to take another 5,000 steps. If I wasn’t tired before, I’m definitely tired now. I should have paced faster. Regardless, I’ve done it. I’ve hit my step goal for the day. Win!

Day 7: The choices we make

I chose to blow off my step goal last night. It wasn’t an easy choice, I thought about it a lot, but in the end it’s the choice I made.

I spent most of the day working at my computer. I used to stand while I worked, but lately I’ve been sitting at the kitchen table instead. By the time I decided to clock out for the day it was already late in the afternoon and I hadn’t even reached 5,000 steps.

I had plans to meet a friend later on so I assumed we’d do a lot of walking, but we didn’t. Despite my sedentary day, I was exhausted and ready for bed the minute I got home last night.

As I lay there I remembered my step goal and checked my watch. I was barely at 5,000 steps. Hitting my goal at that time would have required 10,000 steps worth of living room laps. It was a bit past 9 pm, so I knew I had enough time to do it… but I didn’t want to. I was tired – so, so tired.

I thought about the precedent I would set for myself by not walking those laps. It motivated me enough to get up and walk a few, but I just didn’t have it in me to keep going. I just wanted to go to sleep.

It occurred to me that if I were further along in my streak, I may very well have pushed myself to walk those 10,000 steps – but I was only two days in. In the grand scheme of things, that didn’t seem like all that much.

I don’t regret the decision I made, but I don’t want to have to make that decision again in the future. I want to successfully complete this challenge without dragging it out another two or three years.

Thankfully I’m a lot closer to my goal this evening. I had to volunteer to walk the dog to get there, but I did it. I’ll still need to walk a bunch of laps before bed, but it feels doable. I intend to start this week on the right foot.

Happy Monday!

Day 5: Two steps forward, one step back

After two successful days, I failed to hit my step goal on Thursday. I don’t have any good excuses to give for falling short – I just forgot. I checked my steps around 7:00 pm. I told myself I should get up off the couch and walk some laps, but I didn’t. Instead, I put the kids to bed and fell asleep myself.

Normally, I’d feel discouraged by a setback like this, but not this time. Sure, it’s disappointing, but I chose to brush it off and view it as a reminder of the obstacles I’ll have to face to successfully complete this challenge – mainly, my tendency to forget all about it in the first place.

It won’t be easy, but I’m feeling pretty confident. I may have failed on Thursday, but I’ve hit my goal every day since then and I have a whopping two-day streak going! It may not seem like much, but it’s progress.