fitness and nutrition

The Streak Ends

If you’ve read this blog for a bit, you know I love streaks. I’m on streaks with some of my snapchat friends. But the big one for me was closing my move ring on my Apple Watch each day.

First, I wanted to make it to 365 days. Done. Then, I wanted to stretch it to two full years. Recently, I hit that goal. I was trucking along toward my next goal, 1000 straight days, when it finally happened. My watch broke. My luck finally ran out.

My battery on my watch had started to fade. I had to charge it midday. One day I was charging it in my car as I was driving. I had to hop out of the car and my watch hit the ground. The cracks started showing, and a few days later pieces started to chip off. Once I got it wet it was dead. On day 771, my streak ended.

It took a few days to get a new watch. I was surprisingly not all that upset about waiting, or even losing my streak. I took a few days to just think about gratitude. I was grateful that I didn’t lose my streak due to illness or injury…considering that my streak started just as COVID-19 hit the US, that streak took on new meaning. I was grateful that I didn’t lose it due to lack of effort or motivation. I was grateful that the technology gave out before my will did.

I did miss quite a few things about it…I missed looking at my heart rate during workouts. Many of our workouts at our CrossFit gym tell us a percentage of effort we should be putting out. These match up with heart rate info for me. For example, if I am supposed to be giving out 70% percent effort, I’d expect my heart rate to be around 125. I looked at my wrist many times only to find my watch tan line. I also missed seeing my calorie totals as they went up throughout the day. Funny how technology shapes our behavior. Oh yeah, and I missed knowing the time.

Really I also missed the connections to my other fitness friends that I have on my watch. I love to give friends a virtual high five through a watch comment. I just get a kick out of them…some friends get sarcastic ones, some get cheerful ones. Regardless, it makes me feel connected and happy to encourage people when they are working on their health. And I like the little cheers I get in return.

So I got my new watch just after Mother’s Day. I didn’t miss any days of workouts or movement when I didn’t have the watch, but the counter starts over regardless. So, it’s back to day 1 for me. 999 to go.

awareness

I Am

In today’s episode of “words matter…”

Watch how you speak about yourself.

A family member of mine recently had surgery. It was pretty major, requiring him to take a serious step back from his hard-working, able-bodied lifestyle. He went from working 60-80 hours a week in a physically demanding job to passing most of his waking hours sitting on the couch, healing. He went from managing many tasks for multiple businesses and family members to needing help tying his shoes and buttoning his shirt. It would be a long recovery.

A couple of days after the surgery, as he slowly slumped up the stairs to move from couch to bed, I heard him clearly mutter “I am pathetic.”

To which I responded, no…you may not feel well or energetic, but you are not pathetic. You are healing. You are making progress. You are doing the best you can. You are doing what needs to be done.

I hear it in the words of my friends often, too. I am so stupid. Why am I this way? I am such an idiot. I am such a dumbass. Whatever insult you feel you deserve in the moment.

Does this gloss over every mistake? No. But it’s the “I am…” that we have to look out for. Don’t mistake how you’re feeling for who you are. Don’t confuse an error you made with your identity. Watch how you speak to and about yourself. Don’t put that energy out into the universe.

Instead, tell yourself you are strong. You are on the right track. You are figuring it out. If you screwed up, own it and vow to do better. “I am ready to learn and improve.” Whatever you need to say to and about yourself, keep it positive. If you make a mistake, you can remark about the action, not about who you are as a person.

Words matter, use them wisely, even when you’re just talking to and about yourself! Today’s healthy mindset hack. Watch your language!

fitness and nutrition

Back on the Wagon

After “keeping it off” (mostly) for a few years, my weight has drifted up, up, up. I had an “alarm bell” weight of 180, where I was supposed to get my act back together and tighten up again. I hit 184 about a year ago and shifted my nutrition to a template with more vegetables, little added or artificial sugar, limited dairy, and lots of protein at each meal. I lost weight and felt better, even getting back into the 160s briefly, but mostly hanging out in the 170s.

Late in the year I hit 180 again. Then my weight continued to go up. Sugar made its way back into my eating toward the holidays. Then cheese started to creep in pretty often, too. Sigh. I just didn’t feel like resisting everything anymore.

My clothes didn’t feel right. I couldn’t see my muscle definition buried under more pounds. But couldn’t get going in a better direction.

Then, a post from a co-worker. Folks at work are feeling similarly and need motivation to get on track before summer brings swimsuits and skimpier clothes. 20 dollars and one weigh in at the beginning, one at the end. Highest percentage of body weight lost gets the pot.

Wanting to game the system somewhat, I gave myself a “free for all” weekend before the first weigh in. I went for Mexican and dove into the chips. Ate big desserts. Fried chicken. The works. Unsurprisingly, I weighed in at my highest number in several years.

So now I’m back on the nutrition bandwagon. Here’s the plan… I’ll keep the vegetables and protein. I’ll reduce the fats and non-vegetable carbs that had been taking up more and more of my plate of late. I’m going to add back in high-protein flavored yogurt and some chocolate chips in moderation. I’m hoping that intentionally incorporating some of the things I crave will keep me on track and not going overboard.

Still working on water. Still skipping alcohol. Keeping up with workouts. Posting here for accountability. I have until May 2 to see how this little experiment works out. Updates will follow.

In the mean time, readers, how do you deal with nutritional backslides? Setbacks? Redirects?

awareness

Safe Place

There’s at least one every year.

It usually starts with a drop-in from the counselor. “We need a safe place for _______________. Is it ok if we have the library as her safe place?”

The answer is always yes. Of course.

The reasons are many. For some, it’s a desire to run away. In my years in the public education system, we’ve had a handful of students who cope with things by physically running out of the school. Sometimes they make it to the street, down the road, into the woods. As you might imagine, a student exiting the building is cause for everything and everyone to stop what they are doing until the student is found. After the student is located, there is a process that begins…protocols, safety measures, and so on. One part of the protocol is identifying safe places for those students to go when they feel that urge to escape. My library is pretty big and I have no problem leaving students alone. So the counselor brings that student in and shows them where they can go to be undisturbed.

We’ve had other students who try to harm themselves. Much like our students who need to escape, the library is a place they can go to be alone and decompress. I have worked on the art of watching these kids without putting them under a microscope. We all know adults to just need a time out, but don’t need to be overly isolated. I strive to be that safe place where a student can be just alone enough to gather themselves.

At times it is students who can’t be in the room for whatever is being taught. We have families who don’t want their students exposed to stories about magic. We have other families who don’t celebrate certain holidays. In that case, we are the place that students can come to avoid that content.

And then there are the students with health conditions. From seasonal allergies to epileptic seizures, I am the place where students go when being outside for recess isn’t a safe option. I try to give these little guys things to do while they are inside. I hurt at times for these kids, since being outside is so vital to health and such a fun part of the school day.

I guess I am in the margins. A catch-all for students who need a place to just be who they are for whatever reason. A welcoming spot for anyone who is a little different. Do you have a place like that? Or maybe it’s a person?

fitness and nutrition, healthy hacks

Ahoy There!

Ahoy there! Chips Ahoy! flavored protein from Ghost is simply amazing. This might actually be my most favorite protein of all time and I really don’t even like most protein powders. 

For starters, most days I struggle to fuel my body with its needed protein level. I know I’m not alone either. Many struggle in this area but it’s a critical piece of my recovery and meal planning. In order to hit my defined goals, I have to use protein to supplement meals. Specialty flavors or hiding protein in something like orange juice helps me a lot.

I’ve added protein to shakes. I’ve added protein to coffee. I’ve purchased salted caramel to watermelon to vanilla and so on. Some taste better than others that’s for sure. I’ve shared protein samples with friends to test out new flavors so I don’t end up with a tub of blah protein. Sometimes I’m lucky sometimes I’m not.

Today I feel like I hit the jackpot. I feel like I’m having cookies and milk but I’m really just having protein and water. It’s a fair compromise since I smell chocolate chips and it even had some grit to its texture. Served over ice makes it smooth.

Just thought I’d write a quick blog about this protein hack in case it can help somebody manage their macros or just offer a new spin on Chips Ahoy! and milk. A much healthier option for sure.
As I sign off, I’m wishing you a happy and healthy day. Hats off to chips ahoy protein makers.