the 10 Day YOU Challenge: 7 & the DietBet results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 WANTS:

( will skip the obvious stuff like true love, world peace, cure for cancer, perfect health for all & stick to the materialistic stuff. Also great job & dream home on the beach are pretty much assumed right along side ability to swim like a mermaid & communicate with all species! Rest assured when I dream, I dream bigger than a list of 7 so I will limit it to items that can actually be purchased.)

7. This jeep. Love the color and quite frankly I am dying to get something with 4 wheel drive to get out to the North End areas of the beach to go camping & just relax in general. Sure I go to all the other beaches, but I want to be able to drive there too.

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ok pink or purple also would be awesome… black is good too.  Maybe I need to think more on this. But of the fun!

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6. Panthers jersey…. & of course a primo seat with season tickets.

5. Aviary greenhouse combo. Something where beautiful tropical plants can grow & a place where the parrots can get out & enjoy being “outside” but safely.  My own lil paradise.

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4. My own dance studio. Some space to just move around and work out. Barre, mirrored wall to check form when needed, pole & of course a great sound system & a weight bench over in a corner. Would be bliss. I miss the stretching involved in ballet dancing, the release of getting into the music & the strength that came from learning various pole moves.

3. New dish set that magically clean themselves after use. Too much to ask for? They don’t already make those? Why not?

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Ok so I guess just a fun new set of salad plates to have fun with would work too.

2. A boat.  No not just any boat, I want one I can enjoy & travel a bit on. Some space below to sleep.

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Like a ticket to the world. Plus imagine the adventures & the views!

1. All my memories.  Well organized. I wish we had organized all the photos we have taken over the years & made more notes along the way. Noted who was who & what date they were taken, where… all the details we forget. Hoping to start something better than just the old tote full of envelopes or the old peel and stick photo albums, although they are certainly a start. Wild how much work it can be all at once but if we just had done it along the way. No time like the present.

I could dream all day & actually have been thinking about this post several days. So much to desire in life, but also hit me how much I already have. I’m grateful for everything and that at times I have more than enough and am able to share. But oh what fun to dream!

Everything starts with a dream & thankfully I have happy news to report: I won my DietBet!

Baxter was happy too!

Baxter was happy too!

Not sure what the amount won will be, but I lost 14 lbs instead of the 8 lbs that was required. That in itself makes me a winner.  Will find out more after everyone’s outcomes have been verified & they determine how many people won. I have been verified so I am in! There were 1,10 people last I checked so that is a lot of people to verify!  & yes that means a pot of $25,250 to split up.

Hopefully the big payoff will be with improved medical tests when I return to the doctor. Either way I am celebrating with feeling great (& maybe buying myself something non-food). Need to dream more.

On the search for a new bet to place. Certainly can reinvest in myself, because I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Sweet Tea & Liberty

Hi. My name is Ali & it’s been one week since I took a sip.. of sweet tea.

I also take goofy selfies at stop signs.

I also take goofy selfies at stop signs.

Don’t mean to make fun of AA, but lately I have a new appreciation of the willpower & restraint it takes to give up something you adore just because you know it isn’t good for you.

Of all the things I miss, sweet tea is certainly the one I would love to bring back.

But it just isn’t worth it.

So water it is & occasionally coffee.

Still figuring all this out but so far it has been fun.  Like a daily puzzle. Track the numbers in the food & make it all work.  It’s a good distraction to give me a break from stressing over the love life or lack there of.

Cooking at home & having lots of healthy options ready to go has made it almost easy. Thankfully I have always been a lover of vegetables & who doesn’t love fruit?  There are a ton of great recipes for nearly anything you can think of all over the internet. Discovering a few new ones has been just what I needed.  (like this one.. hummus crusted chicken has rocked my world!)

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The biggest issue so far has been being afraid of eating anywhere outside of the kitchen. Used to just hit a drive thru when time was short. Quick cheap meal on the way to class is what got me into this mess.

Yesterday I found myself dashing from class to the beach & hungry. First instinct was just grab something quick. But I don’t really know what to get. Iceberg salads have never been appealing. Prefer lettuce with some actually taste & nutritional value and that isn’t wilted from being made a couple of days ago. I could blow all my calories on one meal, but that would leave me either going over or starving the rest of the day. I’m sure there are options, but I didn’t have the time to figure out where to go & what was safe.

So I headed home. I took time out to make a hummus wrap & bag some berries that would travel just as good as anything that would come in some greasy bag and was a heck of a lot tastier. I was pretty proud of myself. Just a bit of thought and this all works out.

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Almost.

Didn’t think about the cherries. The pits in particular. A smarter version of me would have brought a spare container to put the pits in. A smarter version of me would have used a reusable container not a plastic bag. But live & learn.

I will get the hang of this.

 

Clean Plates

Just a few years ago, I ate incredibly. Working at a health food co-op and having an unquenchable thirst for information on nutrition with a never ending supply of inspiration & knowledge from the customers and staff helped foster that habit. Sadly when it was time to move on employment wise I rebelled a bit from everything that was the former job (other than some great friends I had worked with). Due to poor & extremely negative management I got burned out & needed the break.  Then life happened. Dealing with the attack & the physical ramifications followed by Mom’s deterioration in health ended up being my focus. Eating was just a necessary evil. Anything quick, fast & cheap was the go to. I didn’t pay much attention to anything nutritionally other than “did it taste good?” & “could I afford it?”. In some ways I saw this as a side of being recovered. No more obsession on counting calories or guilt from eating “bad” foods. Occasionally ED would rear its ugly head & try to work its way back into my life, but never for long. I had learned to eat. Which was good. Watching Mom literally waste away was brutal and made me appreciate every pound that was on my body. I no longer was that underweight anemic girl who skipped periods & never had enough energy to get through the day. So when I found myself a bit heavier than I would like & still not having any energy, it just seemed strange.

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So know I know why & know that eating HEALTHILY nutrition not volume wise, is vital to taking care of myself. It is not enough to get the recommended calories, but they can’t be empty calories anymore. My body needs more than a multivitamin to get through this.

There is a happy medium. Weight wise & nutritionally. That is where I have to get back to. Time to relearn healthy eating & clearly it isn’t what the average person eats. What works for most doesn’t work for me (& I question whether it works long term for anyone). My basis on what to eat can’t be based on taste anymore but other factors have to be included. No more red wine & dark chocolate dinners! How can I expect my body to be the best unless I give it the best, which never seems to come with a side of fries or soft drink!

Past few days I have tried to refresh my mind on what is truly a good way to eat. Also trying to learn how someone with high blood sugar should eat. Honestly, I’m still really confused on how the glycemic index works and what the ratios of protein to carbs to fats really means, but I will get this.

One of the hardest things is reading about food, while trying to watch what you are eating! It gets me craving just from reading the recipes while trying to find the ones that will be best for me. So far, so good. Even made it through a birthday party where I was the only one who just sipped water the whole time. No dips, no drinks, no cake or ice cream cake. I was the weirdo. I am tracking every calorie and last night I already had my calories before heading to the party. Knowing that the sugar in the cakes would have jacked up my glucose levels made “just one bite” less appealing. Could have experimented to see how it really effects me, but building a habit is more important right now. So I survived & being the exciting chick I am found myself exhausted & in bed shortly after 10 pm on a Friday night.

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Drinking in general has been a huge challenge for me. I can deal without alcohol, but I have been caffeine’s bitch for a long time now. Adding the withdrawal headaches isn’t ideal at the moment. Sweet tea is going to be my biggest hurdle. I LOVE IT. I have to have it normally on a daily basis. Not cola, soda or pop, but sweet tea & lots of it. Which isn’t going to work anymore. The options are limited. Anytime you are out to eat you basically have the choice of water (usually tap, which scares me & isn’t always desirable in taste), soda (which I never have been big on anyway) or tea. Some places you may be able to get juice or milk, but the juice is too high in sugar to drink & I haven’t enjoyed milk in decades. Tend to do the soy/coconut/almond options when it is needed. So what’s left? Tea. Plain unsweet tea. Which it seems is going to be my new best friend through this. I’ve made the switch & hoping that soon I won’t remember how delicious sweetened tea actually is & trick myself into thinking this is the good stuff, because well it is good to me. Also going to get into a habit of carrying water with me more. I’m guzzling like a fish, something I always have done, but with the decrease in safe options it is more important to have.

I’m angry & scared about it all, but in a way I also am excited. I do have a chance to become as healthy as is possible. Thankfully I have witnessed others overcome less than ideal diagnoses. My Dad was diagnosed with high blood pressure and as a Type 2 diabetic & through diet and exercise is now significantly reduced the blood pressure medication and no longer at levels that are considered diabetic. I’ve watched a friend learn that she was diagnosed with celiac disease and struggled to learn how to avoid any & all gluten in a world where it is EVERYWHERE. Seriously she is an inspiration & although she says she may still feel like a rookie, she is a pro & now focuses on fitness because she finally is healthy and has energy! Check out her blog for more on her journey- Gluten Hates Me. I can do this. Just have to keep reminding myself & keep focus.

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As much as I don’t feel like it, I am lucky. We are figuring out what is going on with my body & hopefully this will arm me to fight to prevent any worse conditions.  In the grand scope of life, I am very lucky to have the health I do have. Just want to make sure I keep it that way & repair what I can. It will be awkward & it will be hard, but I am worth it. Deserve this. I will get back on track and back to me.

… just a me without sweet tea.

Betting On It

I have a confession.

I may have a gambling problem.

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Will know more in 4 weeks.  Just teasing, this time I placed a bet on myself that I WILL win.

A friend recently posted on Facebook that he was losing weight & had made a bet on it. He won that bet.

My recent physical opened my eyes to a couple of potential issues I may be facing and one of the things that may help is to lose a few pounds. Genetics can be a real bitch. Also there are some eating issues that stress brings out in me. Noticing patterns has me aware, but awareness is only part of the solution. Actions are what matters. In this case, I need some accountability to make sure that I don’t get myself in trouble. Namely I need to eat regularly and I need to eat healthy.

No more skipping meals by accident and no more junk food. Ok once in a while, not forbidding anything. I know that game. The minute you say no more X, then X is all you crave. Self control is going to be easier than absolute restrictions.

The good news is there is some explanation for the “off” feeling I have had most of this year. It isn’t me losing my mind or just being lazy. The crappy news is now things have to change to try to gain back energy and be as healthy as possible.

First step is to start tracking everything I eat and eliminate a few things. Thanks to a couple of aps, the food tracking has been more simple than I expected it to be.  Started that today & admit it feels very familiar. This time I am using my power for good. Working with my doctor and psychiatrist to ensure this is going to be a step in the healing direction. Healthy is the goal.

In addition to the professionals, I wanted daily motivation and social support. A cheering squad to keep me on track.

So I placed my own bet. A simple $25 statement that says I believe in myself & my ability to do this. Well I believe that I can lose 4% of my body weight at least.

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Enter DietBet!

The rules are easy to understand. You join a group and the money is pooled together. At the end of the designated time, if you reach your goal, you get paid. I have 4 weeks to lose the 4% and then I will get my $25 back as well as my share of the pot (split between winners). At the moment the pot is over$16,575!

Admittedly the before pictures were a challenge in themselves. Emotionally and logistically. You get a code word to write on a piece of paper & hold that in 2 pictures – one full body, with face, showing you standing on the scale & another of the code word beside the scale as you are standing on it, showing your weight.

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This ensures that you are starting at a real weight instead of jacking your weight up above what it actually is.  Lots of trial & error since Baxter has yet to figure out how to take pictures. Lazy pug!

So now the game begins. There is a lot more than $25 on the line. As they say, Tomorrow is the first day…. of the rest of my life.

 

 

Earth Day – Grab that butt

Today I start a new adventure.

A challenge.

One I really hope that others join me on.

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In honor of Earth Day, I pledge to pick up one piece of litter everyday for the next year.

Could be a plastic bag, cigarette butt, straw or whatever is found to be laying around. Of course picking up more than one piece would be even better, but can you imagine if each and every person on this planet picked up one single piece a day? Together we would literally change the world and save lives.

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So will you join me? Maybe bring along a few friends to join the challenge. Together we CAN make a difference.

But wait, is it really that big a deal? I mean I walk outside & I see plenty of trash cans & plenty of grass. Is litter really a big deal?

YES.

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Face it, people are lazy or they just simply don’t even realize they dropped something or the wind blows it out of reach… life happens. The problem lies in the “it isn’t my job or my stuff littering, so I don’t need to worry about it” attitude. You are right in that it may not be anything you caused or created, but we are all living together. So be kind and help out by tossing those left behind items where they belong.

The blame game doesn’t get us anywhere, but action will.

This is a simple act that absolutely anyone who shares life on this planet can easily do. Just takes a few seconds and doesn’t cost a single cent. All it takes is motivation and dedication to make where you live a bit better. Increase the property value of Earth and feel great while doing it.

So can you join me? In honor of our beautiful planet.

Day One - piece number one, right in my yard. yuck!

Day One – piece number one, right in my yard. yuck!

Let’s clean it up.

As they say, this is the only home we have.

Happy Earth Day!

1,667 words a day REALLY?

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November 5k has been scheduled! Excited? Absolutely  & thankfully it will be just in time to be helping get me out of a turkey coma after Thanksgiving!

Has already been a wile November around here but so far so good.

Other than thinking I could possibly be part of this NaNoWriMo challenge! 50,000 words? In ONE month! Sounded easy but nothing says bring on the obstacles like setting a challenge up.  Has been a really busy weekend & looks like with school work, working out, family & friends time…. well writing just is getting tougher to fit in.  Still I know that is why we focus – to make it happen.  So far it seems like inspiration and great ideas seem to come at those times where I am away from my laptop.  Couple of times I have written down the ideas, but I have yet to add them into the actual piece I am working on.

 No clue how many words per day I would typically write if I were writing but having the goal of 1,667 words to aim for is enough to take your breath away & make your mind shut down as soon as I open the file.

Second guessing everything is a challenge too.  Which way to go with each moment, how to describe everything I see in my head, etc.  So many roads that can be wandered down & making decisions on a deadline just is clogging up my mind.  Writing something to turn around to change it all means less words that day and a general feeling like now I need to write 5,000 words each day!

Plus there are just so many distractions in this house.  So many other things to do that are popping up.  Maybe it is due to the holidays barreling down on us faster than the first person through the door at a Best Buy Black Friday sale.  Either way I WILL find my way around the obstacles.  Just have to try a few new things to build up the habits.

What it all boils down to is this..

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I need to stop worrying about it being so awesome (well as awesome as I want it to be) & just do it.  Stop being so hesitant & careful that I don’t do it.  I am doing this for me.  To prove to myself I can.  Not to publish something, but to achieve something.  50,000 words in one month… why not?

Just have to breath deep & look at it like everything else.

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Step by step.

That first 5k started with a single step.

This will happen word by word.

Now if only I could find a way to write while exercising!

 

Why Hello Nov

How on earth is it possibly November already?

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The time is going much faster than I realized.  Just doesn’t feel like it should be here yet.  Enjoyed my Halloween night, probably more than I should have, but still I forget it means the end of the year is so close.

Decided that whatever happens this month, happens.  I am going to try best not to expect too much.  Tradition will come back in time.  This year we just need to be together and support each other.

That & I am going to focus on non-holiday goals as distractions.

Which speaking of goals… I achieved one MUCH quicker than I thought I ever would!  At the start of the year I joined the GoodReads.com challenge to set a goal number of books to read in 2013 & by the end of October… I have done it!

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Thought with my history of not finishing them last few years, that 2 a month would be a stretch!  Here I am at 25 instead of 24 with two whole months left to go.  So I will keep going & who knows.

Now will I be able to write a novel in a month? We shall see.  Again it is NaNoWriMo and I’m jumping in.  Why not?  50,000 words in 30 days, who says I can’t? Others have.  Shall see.

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Definitely feeling inspired today!  Starting something new with a new idea.  Who knows where it will lead.  Something to publish? Something just for me?  Or something for the recycle bin!  Either way it is all in the experience.

Still debating on which 5k to do this month.  Thought for sure I would be registered for one by now, but nope.  Dragging my feet.  Why I just don’t even know.  Part is the decision.  This one or that one.  Course I guess there is nothing that says you can’t do two a month!

Oh yeah & toss in all the normal daily stuff.  Should be an interesting month!