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 33: Tracking things

When I committed to giving this challenge another try, I told myself that I would stick to one goal or habit at a time. Once I was able to successfully keep that goal/habit for at least seven days straight, then I could consider adding another one.

But me being me, I created a new tracking sheet after my most recent Bod Pod and put a whole bunch of stuff on it. I didn’t set any new goals and I didn’t commit to religiously tracking everything, but I did tell myself that I would at the very least try to track these things. And I have for the most part.

Maybe it’s my inner nerd, but I love spreadsheets. I like having the data to analyze afterward and see how the different things I do affect how I feel, how I look, and what I am able to do. It makes this process seem less like hard work and more like some science experiment – kind of how I approached my other goals the first time around. That change in viewpoint has really made a difference for me when I’ve struggling to overcome a challenge and stick with a goal in the past. I’m hoping it’ll day the same this time around too.

My spreadsheet also serves as a great visual reminder to stay on track towards making these positive changes. I hung it up on the pantry door in my kitchen. There’s nothing else hanging there, so it doesn’t get lost among other papers like the stuff I hang on the fridge does. I see it everyday. And although I guess it could make me feel bad by showcasing my “failures,” so far I’ve found it to be motivating instead – to a certain extent. It doesn’t seem to motivate me to hit my step goal every day. But, it doesn’t take away my motivation either, so no harm no foul?

How to motivate myself to stick with my step goal seems to be like something I need to think about more. I mean, that is the whole point of this challenge, right?

Day 23: Bod Pod Results

My Bod Pod results from yesterday were just as bad as I expected them to be. From October to now, my body fat percentage has increased from 26.1% to 29.8%, and I’ve gained a little over 6 lbs of fat. The worst part is, more than half that increase happened in the last 6 weeks.

Yesterday’s results:

Results from January 25th:

Despite my not-so-great results, I felt pretty motivated to get back on track yesterday. I made some healthy food, went to the gym, and tried my best to get all of my steps in early. I was on a roll until right after dinner time. Then it all went to shit. I felt tired, little man was cranky, and I just felt overwhelmed.

Although I didn’t binge on junk food or anything like that, I did have a drink or two and then went to bed – without checking my step total for the day. Just like that, I ruined my latest streak. I missed my goal by around 3,000 steps.

It’s ok though. I’ll get right back to it today. My next Bod Pod is scheduled for April 15th. I feel confident I can get a new streak going while working towards getting my body fat percentage moving in the right direction.

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 18: Jinx

So, I’m pretty sure I jinxed myself with Wednesday’s post. Despite getting off to a good start and walking most of the day’s steps earlier in the morning, I still managed to lose track of time and miss my goal by about 2,500 steps.

On the bright side, I’ve been a lot more open about what I’m doing with friends this time around. Before, I would anxiously glance at my watch during our weekly group dinner, trying to find ways to discreetly get my steps in before just giving up altogether or running out of time. On Wednesday though, I told them I had a daily step goal I was trying to reach, so I was getting up to walk around. No one batted an eye or looked at me like I was crazy.

That being said, I don’t want to spend our weekly dinners walking laps while we chat after eating, so I really need to work on hitting my goal before dinner even starts.

The same goes for my workouts. Instead of getting up early and exercising first thing in the morning, I procrastinated and then ran out of time. Fortunately, I had two rest days left this week, so I just shifted my workouts over by one day and did Wednesday’s workout yesterday.

Now, I’m back on track and determined to keep my new streak going. Happy Friday!