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My Stressed Out Crazy Life

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Let's just say I have no idea what's going on with me weight wise. My scale right now won't currently weigh me (damn weight limits!). That means I have to go blindly and hope I'm doing the right thing. What's more...I spent most of the first week of this month out of my element...but I THINK I did alright.

Many of you probably don't know this, but I run a photography business part-time. It's a new venture for me and my lack of clients the past year I've been in business has been frustrating, to say the least. Also compounded by that is my lack of confidence in myself, and, well at least sometimes, in my pictures. So I decided before 2015 kicked in, that I was going to really put myself out there and make marketing and learning a number one goal for me this year. I'm in a small town in a small county in rural WV, and I have a lot of competition here, so I've spent the last year trying to figure out where my niche is...now that I've figured that out (I think!), it's time to put that to work and market the heck out of it and me. That means I need to get my confidence level back to where it should be...both confidence in my work (hence the ongoing lessons and training) and in myself (which all ties to body image and my current limitations).

So on January 30th I traveled to Nashville, TN for a huge international photographic conference called Imaging USA (yes, I said USA and international...I met one gentleman from Nigeria - now in Wisconsin - another from Puerto Rico - now planning a move to Orlando - and a girl from the UK - now, also, based out of Wisconsin...there was a significant international presence felt). The challenges for this trip were endless:

* Driving long distances.
You all know I used to do this a lot, but more and more driving has become increasingly difficult due to my increased weight and the issues with my pelvis/hips/back. I talked the trip over with the chiropractor and he gave me some tips for stretching along the way to keep me from things getting dangerous (I could actually lose feeling in my legs due to some of the pressure on my nerves or something...it's weird...I don't even really know what' going on...the worst part is the leg cramping and ongoing muscle soreness from my condition...or whatever we're calling it).

The trip out went great. I used the techniques the chiro mentioned and everything seemed fine the whole way there. I did end up walking a LOT more than recommended while there, though, and the drive back was pretty much torture.

* Eating healthy on the road.
We all have issues with this, I know. It's hard to keep yourself on task with eating healthy when you're spending 8 hours a day in a car or 12 hours a day on location. It's a challenge for everyone and I'm not going to whine my circumstances here. No sense in that.

I did make a few unhealthy decisions. A few too many cups of coffee with cream to keep me going. Burger King breakfast twice - once there and once back. The most delicious grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup I think I have ever tasted. (I'm still having wonderfully delicious flashbacks from this!) And Jack in the Box. And that one Starbucks breakfast sandwich. And the frozen yogurt.

But, I made MORE healthy choices. I bought some healthy snacks for the drive so that those two Burger King trips were the only fast food I ate there or back. So on the drive there I munched on dried fruit and roasted edamame and banana chips instead of my regular travel snacks of chips and candy. During my first day there I begged my friend to take me to the juice bar because I was missing my smoothie habit so much (BTW - for those in Nashville - Sips is THE best juice bar! Great job!)

Basically, I hadn't gone to the store yet. I got in late on the 30th, ate some great homemade chicken, rice and vegetables with my friend and then went straight to bed. The next morning I had class at 9am and had no idea where I was going, so I left early, grabbed a sandwich with my coffee at Starbucks and tried to find my way to my class. Lunch was a salad from Panera and dinner was a homemade chicken white bean chili made by my friend.

The second day was pretty rough. Let me just say, Opryland is a maze of crazy and I'm still pushing to get comfortable with my one mile again. I can't even tell you how much I walked, but I know it was a ton! I am pretty happy with how my body held up, but I paid for it severely the last day on the drive home. Anyhow, breakfast was a smoothie (yep, I brought my blender with me so kale, spinach, coconut milk and some frozen pineapple and mango) so I was pretty hungry around lunchtime...but the board said that all of the restaurants were closed save two right by the convention (I believe now that the boards were wrong, but I still didn't know how to find anything). I waited in line for 20+ minutes, nothing moved, I nearly fainted, and so I ended up with a half a cup of frozen yogurt instead (there was no waiting at that shop). What can you do? I filled up the rest of the way with roasted edamame and banana chips I packed. Dinner that night ...well, my friend was out, I was on my own and I was just looking for something - ANYTHING - on the way back. I ended up with Jack in the Box, which I've never had...so, yeah, there's that.

The rest of the time went a lot better. I found lunch places. I got a salad the next day that was amazing. (The day after I splurged on the tomato soup and grilled cheese and I do no regret it. SO good.) Again, munching on dried fruit, banana chips and edamame. I was skipping desserts, drinking smoothies for breakfasts, and trying to limit my coffee intake and drink tons of water. All in all, I didn't do that bad. I cannot be completely upset at myself over it...but I have no clue what it translates to in calories in, miles walked, weight lost or gained. I literally have no idea how it panned out for me.

* Walking. Too much? Too little?
I honestly feel like I walked way more than my chiro wanted me to. Even more than the doc suggested. That being said, I had some issues with blisters the first two days. The second two days I switched shoes and struggled a little more with the PF. And that drive home...boy did that kill me! They parked us on the OTHER side of Opryland from where classes were, so every day included a hike into the conference and a hike back out - and finding parking anywhere other than the back of the lot was impossible after day one. For lunch, we typically walked to the other side of the building to one of the restaurants and then back again after. So that, and then walking in between classes, doing some stairs...and then the EXPO. Oh, boy! What a maze that was! All we did for hours each day was walk around in circles or stand to watch certain speakers...it was painful at times...and then by the end not so much. I feel like I gained some stamina and did more than I thought I could...but maybe it wasn't that much...how am I to know?!?

So, yea....that plus being away from family was hard. But I learned a lot...and I had a pretty good time...and I met some pretty great people.

This week has been a little better. I'm back to smoothies. I was happy I was brave enough to try the kale in my smoothies because it just adds more healthy goodness and doesn't change the taste at all. My typical day:

7:00am - Green Smoothie in the car on the way to work
10:00am - Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of granola
12:00pm - Lunch
3:00pm (MABYE) - optional snack, varies, sometimes this waits until 4-5pm
7:00pm - Dinner with the family

I try not to eat too many random other things, but sometimes a bite of chocolate slips in. (Kisses are 22 calories each, so I can afford one or two now and again...)

Last night dinner was pork chops and baked potatoes. Tonight it's either stir fry or tacos (I generally go with a taco salad...and it depends on how I feel as to whether I use just straight lettuce or use some corn chips in there too..). I will try to go the healthier route if I can...

Here's the thing. Life is stressful. I know that. It's not an excuse, but boy does it get in the way sometimes. I'm dealing with a husband and a rocky marital situation, two teenage boys - grumpy and moody and fighting all the time, a foreign exchange student that honestly gets on my nerves a lot because the situation ended up being more of a boarder situation instead of a family member add and we feel very taken advantage of (and, yet, still have to discipline like parents...which is exhausting). I'm working basically two jobs. I'm trying to make homemade dinners as often as possible. The extra household member and photography business have severely impacted our financial situation. The new house still has random things wrong that need repaired. Band boosters. Weight loss. Surgery goals. It's all just a little much sometimes, so I struggle.

We're looking for balance. All of us. We're trying to work as a family unit to create some semblance of balance...but we aren't there yet.

The hardest part for me has been knowing if what I'm doing is enough or too little. I go next Friday for labs, so I'll get weighed in while I'm there, but then I only have one week to make up any of the difference I need. I need about 5 pounds a month every month at least. I'd rather have 8-10. I guess we'll see....

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ERIN1128
    It does all sound very stressful...but you know what? In spite of it all, you are still making a LOT of good choices and not throwing in the towel. Good for you!!
    2274 days ago
    Esther, you WILL find your balance. I think you did an impressive job of making healthier choices during your trip. emoticon
    2274 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4764832
    emoticon emoticon
    2274 days ago
    It sounds like even in the midst of the stress you are making some very positive steps forward in your journey to not only weight loss, but more balance and fullfillment in life... and THAT IS AWESOME! emoticon emoticon
    2274 days ago
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