I’ve really enjoyed my long break. It gave me perspective, a chance to get out of “the loop” and look at life and weight loss in a different light. My weight is pretty stable and my arms are getting buff! And I’m happy.
It’s actually a good thing I decided to take a break from the blog because for the past month while I’ve been working out on our property I really had no way to get on the internet short of heading to town and sitting in a McDonald’s and using their wi/fi and I just never got around to that. I was too busy working my butt off. Check out my other blog to see my adventures.
I’ve never worked my body harder in all my life and now it shows. NOW I get why people lift weights. Because it works. OK, I never lifted weights last month, but I moved 16 yards (I think something like several tons) of gravel all over the property with a wheelbarrow, a shovel and a rake which works your abs like a son of a gun, not to mention your back, shoulders and arms. I did that every day for about 4 hours a day for about 2 solid weeks.
Then when the sun would get too intense (It was way over 100 on many days) I would go into the cabin and work on putting in the insulation and using a hand saw to cut through every single 8′ long board that had to be then hammered up onto the wall. My arms WORKED people! Every 8 foot long cut would take me about 2-3 hours taking frequent hour long breaks away from it because it was just so hard.
And now that I’m back home in Albuquerque, getting ready to fly out on a business trip with my husband for a whole month (I haven’t seen him in a month. NOT fun.) I’m looking at my arms and realizing that, wow, they look different. I still have the hangy-down 51 year old arm flaps but they’re half gone and I have muscle tone now! Muscle Tone. Which blows my mind and sent me straight to the store for 8 pound weights because there is no way that I’m going to lose that tone now. It looks good!
But more than that, way more than that, I finally get how incredible it is to be in shape enough to do a very hard job for weeks on end, either for yourself or for a friend or someone in need. Service is becoming more and more important to Jeff and me and I love the concept of keeping your body fit if ONLY to be in a position to be able to actually function at a high level and be useful to someone else in their time of need. Does that make sense?
I’m heading to Seattle this morning, where my single sister is having gravel delivered today because, I kid you not, she’s finally putting in the gravel driveway she’s wanted for 10 years. That made me laugh out loud because I literally just wrapped ours up days ago. So I’m going to help her. And I CAN help her. That means the world to me. I don’t have to sit on the couch and fan myself and talk about how hot I am because I have 100 pounds of fat encasing my body. I can grab a gallon of ice water and get out there and work and laugh and have fun and sweat and make a difference in someones life.
AND my Mom’s long walkway has finally rotted to the point where it’s not safe (The rain in WA state is the reason we got out.) so Jeff and I are going to work evenings cutting and nailing to refinish the walkway. So more free workouts are ahead. Those two jobs will keep me in shape without stepping foot in a gym, and in the end, more than I get to benefit from the workouts. I think that’s so fun. At the end of this past four weeks my body looks better, I feel great and I was able to finish a hugely long circle drive and parking pad by myself, insulate the cabin and cut and nail up beautiful tongue and groove paneling. It looks so great and we’ll benefit from it for the rest of our lives. That beats the gym any day. I’m going to keep looking hard to see how I can can use my body and have the added benefit of staying in shape.
I had about a week and a half where I was eating all sorts of high carb, low quality food while I was out in Deming. Having no refrigeration in 100 degree weather was actually pretty challenging in that it was impossible to keep most healthy food fresh for any longer than one day. Town is a 40 minute drive away so every time I wanted a bag of ice to keep fresh veggies fresh it was $12 for gas, plus the ice. NOT happening. I was able to get ice 2 times a week and whether I bought 30 pounds or 10, it was all always melted by noon the next day. NOON. In a good cooler, in the shade, carefully covered. That’s how hot it was. I would buy bananas that were green and 3 days later they’d be black.
For awhile I just gave up and went to canned foods and not-so-healthy stuff which of course, made me gain several pounds. Which totally made me freak out. But then I calmed down, sat down and looked at my habits and started undoing the bad ones one at a time without kicking myself over it.
It took two weeks but then I was solidly back on my game with some lessons learned. I realized, there is nothing to worry about when a few pounds come back on, just begin again, start at the beginning and move on. It’s a life-long thing no matter what you may want to think. Keeping your weight in check when you’ve had a weight issue EVER makes eating right and struggling with gains and loses a life-long thing. Once you grasp that and stop being angry about it you can just be all, eh, “Alright then, it’s not ever going to get the best of me.”
I learned finally, that when I did go to town I should buy fresh fruit and veggies and ICE and then really enjoy it, eat it all up that day and the next and then when it was gone I would move to canned foods. Then when I went back to town several days later, I’d repeat the cycle. Not ideal, but in that situation it was what worked. Oranges absolutely shriveled up in the heat in a few days, tomatoes did fine for 2-3 days, apples did great. Apples make me poop my brains out, but in the end, oh yeah, I moved over to the apple eating side. If it didn’t rot in the heat, I’d eat it.
Simple carbs are for sure not my friend, but like an idiot I seem to always have to go back and play in them for awhile. Then my eyes start going again, my brain gets really badly scrambled and I’m exhausted beyond all reason. It makes it easier to pull myself back off of them I’ll tell you what!
Now that I’ve had a break from the drama of weight loss, and the emotion, I’m starting at losing the last 20 pounds or so. I’m going for around the 176 range I was in when I got married 30 years ago. Not because I want to wear a different size, which I’ve come to not care about anymore, not because I want to be skinnier, but because now, I don’t feel quite as good as I know I could within my skin if I just went ahead and lost the rest of the belly fat. So I’ve begun that last phase and I plan on taking a full year to do it. I’m in no rush. I won’t be doing “weigh-ins” and I won’t be setting goals.
At this point I feel goals are detrimental to me and to my mind. Instead, I am setting an intention of being at my best and healthiest, whatever that happens to end up being. I lay in bed every morning and visualize my intentions for the day which are usually along the lines of: being active, eating the foods that make me feel healthy and knowing that every SINGLE choice will move me either in a bad direction or a good direction, I visualize myself making the choice that I know will support who I want to be and what I want to do with my healthy body.
It’s good to be back on the blog. I hope everyone is doing well 🙂