The Recovering Pessimist

Helping pessimists see the bright side of life without losing their "half empty" roots.

Back to Center: Update 2

Dec
09

The Recovering Pessimist: Back to Center Update 2 -- Recognizing when I'm full is a huge part of this lifestyle journey. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistIt’s been a while since I posted an update. Since the last update, I  fell off the wellness wagon. My weight was slowly going up on the scale, but I didn’t really pay it any attention.

My size 12 jeans, however, were my Come to Jesus moment. They were getting too snug for my tastes and I refused to go back to a 14.

I started analyzing where I was going wrong and it all boiled down to two words:

Portion control.

My arch nemesis.

Instead of having one glass of juice, I would have three. My plates were disproportioned. I wasn’t eating enough fruits/veggies and healthy snacks. When I would dine out, my food choices weren’t the best. Once I figured the sources of my weight gain, I focused on creating better habits so I could get back on track.

Pay attention to labels!

Sugar is my weakness and because of that, I have to pay special attention to labels. If an 8 oz. glass of juice (orange juice not included) has 20 grams of sugar, I only pour 4 ounces and add at least 4 ounces of water. I’m pretty sure this is why my jeans are snug again.

Exercise

I hate to exercise. In order to make exercise fun, I have to find a method that works for me. Three times a week, I exercise for 15 minutes using my Sworkit Pro app. Five-minute warm-up, five-minute cardio, and five-minute cool down/stretch. It may not appear to be much, but it’s better than nothing. Eventually, I want to increase my total workout time in five-minute intervals.

Stress Less

When I stress, my body reacts. I don’t sleep well, it’s hard to concentrate, and my eating choices are horrendous. While I can’t eliminate all stress, I not to allow myself to stress over trivial things.

The Scale Isn’t the Standard

For the longest time, the scale was the only way I noted changes. While I still weigh myself one a day in the morning, I rely more on how my clothes feel in order to get a real understanding of the progress I’m making.

It won’t be easy, but after this recent setback, I’m even more determined to be successful. What healthy habits have you created this year?

 

Updated March 4, 2016

Back to Center: Update 1

Apr
15

The Recovering Pessimist: Back to Center Update 1 -- My journey to wellness begins. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistIt’s been a while since I’ve posted Back to Center and I’m LONG overdue for an update. Currently, my weight ranges from 159-162. I’m pretty excited. I’m maintaining existing habits, establishing new habits, and had a few light bulb moments.

Without further adieu, let’s dive in!

Infused Water

Plain water can become a bit boring. I’ve added lemon juice to ice water for a while, but now I want to add fruit, cucumber, and fresh herbs. Pinterest has a ton of infused water recipes.

Portion Control

I had no concept of portion control. I would put huge portions on my plate AND eat all of it! Despite healthy eating habits, overeating was preventing me from shedding the pounds.

Light bulb moment.

I paid more attention not only what I was eating, but how much I was eating. I started listening to my stomach tell my brain it was full. Once I felt full, I put the cutlery down and pushed the plate away.

Hello Sexy

I brought a full length mirror so I could really track my progress. One random day, I happened to stand in the mirror and noticed that I could clearly see my waist…without having to contort my body.

*insert happy dance here*

 Seeing my curves inspired me to overhaul my wardrobe. This is the first summer in a LONG time that I won’t be wearing  jeans. I’ve browsed websites for dresses, skirts, and sandals for the warm weather. Skin will be shown!!

Embrace the Kitchen

I’ve managed to bring fewer and fewer processed foods into my home. Since the weather is warmer, I eat lighter meals. Heat and heavy food is never a winner. For inspiration, I frequent Pinterest, TheKitchn, and YumSugar. I promised myself that I would freeze a lot of fruits and veggies this year so I won’t crave them in the colder months.

At this point, it’s more about maintaining my progress. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far and I want it to stay that way. As far as the next update is concerned, I won’t take so long to post it. Promise.

 

Updated March 4, 2016

Risks and Choices

Mar
12

Recently, I overheard a discussion about the documentary Forks Over Knives. A woman was speaking about the difference between the diets of those in the U.S. versus those in Asian countries and the effect it had on their health. When she finished, another woman made the following statement:

“I’m not going to drink tea and eat rice every day.”

insert deep sigh here

The choices you make are directly correlated to the life you live. In the above scenario, choosing to not live a healthier lifestyle comes with various risks. Those risks are both known and unforeseen.

Risks cannot be avoided, but actions can be put into place to prevent the risks from becoming detrimental. In order to implement those actions, one must choose to do so first. The cycle continues.

 

Thankful: New Management #XD31

Dec
21
What makes a happy vs. sad, disengaged worker

What makes a happy vs. sad, disengaged worker (Photo credit: citrixonline)

I recently started a new job. After working in a strict environment for so long, it’s taking a while to get used to having the restraints removed, so to speak.  Chillaxed (chill + relaxed) would be the word I would use to describe my current job. No more high blood pressure, irritation, stress, etc. Mellow.

Life has a way of blessing you with the unexpected, whether it is good or bad. Thank you to the Universe and Sweet Baby Jesus for being on the lookout.

Tales from the ER

Dec
18
Hospital

Hospital (Photo credit: Ralf Heß)

Sharp chest pains this morning had me stuck and panicked on the side of the toilet. After about 45 seconds, the pains went away. I got ready and headed out to work. Got to work and I felt “off”. Physically, I was there but mentally I was in space. Once I cleared the brain fog, I left work en route to the hospital. Once it was confirmed that I wasn’t having a heart attack or a stroke, I decided to take some notes to keep myself entertained. Enjoy!

– Putting on a brave face when I’m an emotional wreck. I hate crying. I need a beer. Beer makes everything better.

– Sharing a room with two annoying individuals disputing a $8 charge on a phone bill. Sir, a roaming signal doesn’t mean that the phone is off, your signal sucks.

– If the Universe is trying to tell me something, I need to know what it is.

– Will they charge me for water?

– Why is the bathroom so far away?

– Why is the door open? This curtain/sheet thingy isn’t providing any kind of privacy. Lemme go shut the door.

– He better not ask me to use my phone.

– Chest pains will get you out of the waiting room QUICK!

– How much is this going to cost me?

– Did she say I was being discharged? Is anything wrong with me? Where is the doctor?

– I got all comfy in this robe. Too bad I can’t wear this out to my car. Guess I should put my clothes on. Ugh!

It’s either laugh or cry. I cried enough for the entire waiting room so laugh it is!

Overly Invested

Nov
29

Early yesterday, my Twitter timeline was up in arms. Why? Allegedly, Jessica Simpson is pregnant again. Yes, word on the playground is that she’s pregnant after giving birth to her daughter seven months ago. I don’t understand why it’s so…shocking. It happens. In this case, she’s a Weight Watchers spokeswoman. The general consensus on my timeline was that if she’s indeed pregnant, how does the pregnancy affect her contract with Weight Watchers?

What I don’t understand is why everyone cares so much. I mean, folks were all up in their feelings about it. Worrying about it like it’s their contract and their money. Mad as hell over something that’s irrelevant to their daily lives.  It’s ridiculous.

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People have become overly invested in the lives of strangers. These strangers don’t know them nor would they give a damn about their existence if they did know them. That doesn’t stop the ridiculous levels of investment that people put into the lives of others. In the case of Simpson, she has the means to provide for her family.What’s going on in your life? What’s in your bank account?

There are relevant issues to be invested in other than her wealthy uterus. Yes her uterus is very, very rich ladies and gentlemen. Her worries and concerns are not your worries and concerns. She don’t know you. Hell, you don’t know her. I’m sure you can channel all of that interest into your own life and do a little self improvement.

Your life will thank you for it.

Back to Center

Oct
31

From April-July of 2011 I dealt with high blood pressure as a result of  bad eating habits. My option for resolving this issue was a lifestyle change because medication wasn’t an option. I ate my way into this predicament and I will eat/exercise my way out of it. In mid-July, I started the first of several lifestyle changes. Better habits, better me. In order for those habits to stick, I need to gradually work towards the goal versus stopping cold turkey. I wanted to share what I’ve accomplished on this journey and perhaps someone will get inspired to begin a lifestyle change of their own.

With that out of the way, here are the five changes I’ve made to my lifestyle thus far:

One: Eliminate Soda

I used to drink at least one soda each day. I craved soda. As a baby step towards elimination, I would have a soda every other day or every couple of days. Over time, my infrequent consumption of soda led to not craving it period. Success!

Two: Track Progress

I downloaded MyFitnessPal, a food journal app, to my phone. MyFitnessPal allows me to log my meals, water intake, and exercise. It also allows me to record weight and measurements. A genius way to keep myself accountable.

Three: Hello Water, Goodbye Juice

Perhaps years of sugary beverages stunted my taste buds, but I hated the taste of water. For someone who rarely drank water, I started drinking about three glasses of water a day. As that became routine, I increased my water intake to at least eight glasses a day.

When I started drinking water regularly, I slowly decreased the amount of juice I consumed. If I wanted juice, I cut it in half with water. Now, when I want a glass of juice, I aim to get a single size serving versus a full container. I’m too afraid I’ll backslide down the sugary mountain.

Fourth: Red Meat

I loved steak. Ate it all the time. At some point, I noticed how sluggish and heavy I felt after eating it. Not a good feeling by the way. I began incorporating chicken and turkey into my diet while lowering my consumption of red meat. Now, I rarely eat red meat.

Fifth: Exercise

Exercise is the last on this list because I’m still working on making it a habit. If I had started exercising earlier, my eating habits would have changed. I downloaded Workout Trainer, a fitness app, to my phone to keep me accountable. Workout Trainer has workouts and fitness programs that I can choose from. The app calculates calories burned so I can plug them into MyFitnessPal. Right now I’m a fan of short, intense workouts at least 3 days a week.

A year later, I look back and I’m proud. So far, I’ve lost about 17 pounds. Yes, the weight loss is awesome, but I’m more concerned with how I lost that weight. While I’ve gained a couple of pounds back, I’ve managed to create and stick with habits that have improved my overall health. My blood pressure is normal now. I don’t feel sluggish and I don’t get out of breath when walking long distances. There are some other things I want to work on, but I need to get the major goals accomplished before I do that. Doing too much could result in a setback that I don’t need.

Getting back to center feels damn good.

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