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 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!

Day 12: I should have known better

After five challenging, but successful days, I ruined my streak by less than four hundred steps.

It was such a dumb way to fail.

After walking hours of living room laps because I’d spent the day on the couch recovering from one too many cocktails the night before, I decided to take a short break. I only had about 350 steps to go and it’s was only 10pm; there was plenty of time to get those steps in – or so I thought.

I got comfortable. I lost track of time. It wasn’t until after midnight that I realized I hadn’t finished walking my steps. I quickly opened the Garmin app on my phone and saw it: 14,679 steps.

So frustrating.

I knew better. As I sat on the couch to relax, i remember having the fleeting thought that I shouldn’t sit down. With so few steps left, I should just go ahead and finish them right away. Why risk it?

But risk it I did, and I failed.

No biggie though. Shit happens. I’ll learn from today and do better tomorrow. I’ll have a new streak going in no time.

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 0: A fresh start

It’s the Sunday night of Thanksgiving Day weekend. I’ve spent the last three days eating and sitting around. I feel heavy, bloated, and basically all-around gross.

Tomorrow was supposed to be my next Bod Pod appointment. It’s been over four weeks since my last one, and almost just as long as since I’ve written a post for this blog. Unfortunately, there was a fire at the wellness center building and my appointment was cancelled. I was advised that they’d contact me to reschedule once they figure out if the equipment still works. That hasn’t happened just yet.

I’ve been “off the wagon” since my last post. I’d like to say that I’ve been trying to climb back on it all this time, but that would be a lie. The thing is, sometimes, the things that motivate me the most, are also the things that make me want to quit. Writing these posts, which for almost 90 days pushed me to get my steps in even when I didn’t want to, were exactly the thing that made me want to walk away from it all – and walk away I did, for a few weeks at least.

But, there’s nothing like that bloated, too-lazy feeling to make me want to get back on track. I’ve felt pretty awful these past few weeks. I’ve felt stressed, moody, lethargic, lazy, and heavy. I’ve been disorganized and unproductive. All of the positive changes I’d seen in myself since I started this challenge, seemed to go away once I gave it up. So here I am, ready to give it another try.

I’m not going to set myself up for failure by starting “right now.” It’s late in the evening, and I’m barely at 5,000 steps. I’m also going to avoid looking back at my Garmin logs for the past few weeks to see what my step average has been. I won’t beat myself up over things I can’t change. They don’t matter.

What I am going to do is start fresh tomorrow. I’m going to start back at Day 1. My goal: walk 15,000 steps a day for the next 365 days. Granted, similar to last time, I’ll likely add other goals later on, but for now, I’m focusing solely on hitting my daily step goal. Baby steps.

Wish me luck!

Day 66: Did somebody say vacation?

Day 65

Agh! I had such a great day yesterday, only to be sabotaged right at the end. I spent most of the evening working to finalize my reports before we leave on vacation today. I was on a roll, so my husband made dinner. I ate it as I typed and didn’t really pay much attention to what or how much I ate.

When I finally finished working, I sat on the couch and suddenly remembered that I hadn’t logged my dinner. I wasn’t worried because I’d done so well all day – I figured I had plenty of calories left to cover what I ate. I was wrong.

I ended the day at 1,734 calories. Luckily, I didn’t go over by a whole lot, but still. It was disappointing.

Final step count: 15,683

Day 66

Speaking of vacation, I mentioned in yesterday’s post that we’re headed to Fiji this weekend. We’ve been taking a family vacation every October over Columbus Day since my husband and I got married. We usually try to find a place that (1) we’ve never been to, and (2) is affordable, or better yet, cheap.

Although Fiji may not seem affordable, it’s actually not as pricey as it seems for those of us living out here in Asia. I found a great deal on our flights and we found this super cool boat on AirBnB that we could charter to sail around the islands for about the same price or less that it would cost to stay at a nice resort.

So yeah, we have this amazing, island hopping vacation planned, but here I am, slightly worried about hindering my weight loss progress while we’re away. Not cool.

Granted, it won’t be the end of the world if I gain a pound or two, but it’d be nicer if I didn’t, you know what I mean?

To be clear, I’m not trying to lose weight while on vacation. I’ve already decided that I won’t eat at a calorie deficit or try to get any workouts in. I’m sticking to my step goal and trying to eat at maintenance calories, but that’s it. I still feel like I need a plan to keep myself from going overboard (figuratively, not literally) though. How does that saying go? Failing to plan is planning to fail? Especially with the way this week has been going. So, here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Limit the booze – We’ll be living on a boat with small kids, so knocking back cocktails with little umbrellas in them probably isn’t the safest idea.
  • Go for a walk at our daily stops/march in place on the boat if need be – I’m committed to hitting my step goal, even if I have to look ridiculous while doing it.
  • Eat the protein first – instead of digging straight into the carbs, I’m going to make an effort to eat my proteins first. Hopefully that’ll be filling enough to keep me from scarfing down the rest.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – I’m going to drink all the water.

If any of you has any ideas or suggestions on what else I can do to minimize the risk of gaining some vacation weight, please feel free to send them my way. I’m all ears (or is it eyes?).

Current step total: 9,286