Monday, November 14, 2016

Stress... Am I still Standing?

I like to think that I can handle a great deal of stress. Often people that work with me or close friends have said something to that effect. Here lately - my stress is at an all time, lifetime, high.

The fact that I haven't gained another 40 pounds is amazing to me - as I'm fighting off the burning desire to consume an entire package of sugar cookies, bags of candy or other very unhealthy behaviors.

Stressful Life!
So what's the source of stress - oh so many. I went out to a few websites and took online tests for level of stress.  This one, looks at events in life that cause stress - like buying a new house or losing a job. I scored between 540 and 700 points the last two times I took this test. They say anything over 300 points means more than 80% chance of major illness related to stress.

Bummer :)
Then I looked at this site and free anxiety test. This one looks at behavior and physical response to stress. On this I scored 45 out of 168 - which I thought was low, but they say anything over 28 is signs of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress.

OK so I guess that I knew all that and really didn't need an online test to tell me.

The thing is - to eliminate sources of stress can sometimes be an even more stressful activity all by itself! Definitely not an overnight thing. :(

But I have realized as I've been on this journey to get healthy - that losing weight is only one component of that. Being physically strong is not the only way a person can be strong. Making the changes in life and bearing up under the plethora of changes is another way to be strong. Unfortunately (or fortunately) a skill that we don't practice often.

Just to keep it interesting - I will be traveling at least 5 of the remaining 7 weeks of the year....

I hear exercise is good for getting a positive mental attitude going!


Teresa Marie

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

California Hiking and Meetings..

Oat Hill Mine Trail - Calistoga, CA (Oct '16)

A Sunday in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hiked in Napa Valley, had a massage and Mud Bath, visited a few wineries, hiked in the Muir Woods Redwoods, and finished the day at the beach. 22K steps. Felt really good about being so active!

Busy beautiful day!

Followed by Monday which was 9 hours of sitting in meetings :( and then out for Italian dinner :0

Well as with many things it's all about balance!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Day at the Beach

Happy to have a few days in California to relax and explore....happy to have hiked a few miles along the coast!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Work, Work, Bike, Travel, Bake...

Keeping it in check...not stress eating :) The other night two friends from work called to talk late in the evening and as a result I had some restless sleep. I'm so much better when I get at least 7-8 hours of restful sleep - last few days I've been below 4hrs! ARGH...

Gifts from Germany
Day 32 - Today a visitor to the office brought me a present. Most unexpected and so needed! Now this little beauty graces my workspace. Giving me flowers every day! Little surprises and acts of kindness like this can make such a big difference!
Tuesday: Net Calories  959; steps 5,928

Day 33 - 5:30AM workout with my trainer. Always a great way to start the day. Know that my energy is high!

Wednesday: Net Calories  838; steps 10,116

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 31 - No Donuts or Danish for me!

Don't Eat Me!
Don't yah just dislike Mondays - especially after such a nice busy weekend.

Getting up for work (starting with a 7AM meeting) can just be so difficult. Plus I learned today that I will not have the opportunity to work on a project that I was very much looking forward to supporting. I learned through a 3rd party via email. It was rather disappointing.

I love the team I'm working with yet I feel a tad unowned which causes some stress.

Luckily avoided the table of sweets which greeted me at dawn - and ate healthily all day. No workout - but succeeded in getting chores done at home in the evening :)  

Day 31 - Monday, Day 28: Net Calories  485; steps 7,093

Another day down....

Teresa Marie

Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 27 - 30: Biking and Baking

Continuing onward in the 100 day day at a time! Some good days here recently. Always better when I'm not traveling...

Day 27 - Thursday

Another day sitting at the desk for work - but ended with a good hour working out with my trainer! Followed by the most boring tilapia/spinach dinner you can imagine (not my night to cook.)

Day 27: Net Calories  839; steps 8,656
Day 28 - Friday

Rest Day - Getting ready for the long ride tomorrow! A tad too many calories today yet net still under target :)

Day 28: Net Calories  1160; steps 9,407

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 9 - 26: Travel, Eating :( - Healthy Baking

Fall is here! Yeah - I love that feeling of crispness in the air, color in the trees, diving under comforters, and starting fires! Downside lately has been way too much travel for work and dealing with some stressful home front activities. As noted in the daily summaries below - not too back but not great in terms of a strong finish...

Full Irish Breakfast (Wiki)

I cannot fully share the lure and dangers of the full Irish Breakfast... this is more than 100% of my daily calorie intake. The hotel I was staying at only had buffet no other options feasible. Practically no part of it is healthy - save the stewed tomato and cup of tea. A full fry-up contains on around 1,300 calories, which is an OMG moment. What would you eat here? Not to mention that there was also a bread bar (muffins, toast, etc.) Here's the full list:

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Day 7-8/105 Days - Rolling HIlls

Day 7 - Friday

Rest Day - every body needs one! Today was mine. Had a meeting in the office in the early AM and then worked the rest of the day at home. Made some big decisions on things around the house - and then putz around getting ready for my ride in the morning. Eating on Track! Great Day!

Day 7 Summary: Net Calories  762; steps 12,773

Day 8 - Saturday

Bike Ride Views - Aug 2016, Illinois
The day of the big ride! My new bike buddy Holly and I took off at dawn to partake in the Tour Of Scenic Ogle County bike ride.  It's 2 hours west of Chicago - and wow what a different it makes in topography. I indulged in a Vente Soy Latte knowing there was a big workout ahead of me!

When I initially looked at the route I thought that there were not many steep bits so it would be OK. Now having ridden it - I notice that the first 4.5 miles are all uphill and the uphill has hills! Then even when it is downhill the downhill has hills. This went on for 3 hours! The never ending Spin Class! Everyone seemed to really be enjoying that - Not! My buddy was exceptional at keeping me motivated!  The blue line at the bottom of the photo is my speed over time... up hill aka 3-6 mph, downhill aka 18-32 mph, flat aka 10-15 mph...

It was an awesome energy burner! Plus we biked past the Naschua Grasslands Tall Grass Prairie complete with Bison - so you know I loved that.  You can barely make out the bison dots in the middle photo above.  I definitely burned off the cookies I ate at those rest stops...

Day 8 Summary: Net Calories  829; steps 30,883

Friday, September 23, 2016

Day 5 - 6/105: Opening up the Club

Wake Up Sleepy Head...

Day 4 -

Start the day before the sun comes up. Get to the club for a 5:30A session with my trainer. I am turning on the lights at the gym.

Feels like my private place. Sweat but no tears :) Although we used the dreaded TRX (which after last time my knee was out of sorts for a month or so - no direct cause  / effect noted perhaps just timing) it was all good!

Day 4 summary: Net Calories  947; steps 8,2182

Day 5 - Again start the day off working out at the club - a late start today, 6AM. Tonight was going out with my girlfriend to workout - however we did end up at the bar, but this after a brisk walk. Even with the martinis - maintained calorie intake for the day! At work a girlfriend gave me a Paleo Cookbook - she swears by it. So this can be some weekend reading.

Day 5 summary: Net Calories 1,010; steps 9,647

OK Back to work and sadly planning another business trip....

Take it away Willie: On the Road Again, Just can't wait to get on the road again.... (Not!)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Days 3-4/105: Work out and Reward


Day 3 - I took off to the Club (aka Five Seasons in Northbrook) and enjoyed one of the group classes. This was toning - and standing in front of the mirrors was a bit tough to take. Bypassed the pasta my daughter made for dinner. Hydrated and cleaned house. Checked off for the day complete. Also made plans for a 30 mile ride this weekend. So all good.

Day 3 summary: Net Calories 607; steps 10,415

Low Fat Low Sugar Apple/Pear Cake w/ recipe below
Day 4 - Today I just had to use up those pears and apples picked over the weekend. Created the low-fat, low-sugar cake recipe below. Reward! Turned out rather well - super moist. Looks yummy right? Next time will reduce the milk if using pears because they are much moister than apples. I had a totally veggie dinner to allow for a piece of this cake.

Workout today included going for a long walk outside; just love the fall crispness :) Food on track.

Changed up a girls night out date that was wine/dine - but is now working out and sauna :)

Day 4 Summary: Net Calories 760; Steps 12,210

Teresa's Low-Fat Apple/Pear Cake Recipe 

  • 1.5 pounds firm apples or pears sliced thin
  • 1 egg and 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar or lower cal option use sugar substitute with 1 Tbl Molasses
  • lemon zest
  • salt
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup no-sugar almond milk
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • Nutmeg and Cinnamon to taste
  • Optional Raw sugar to sprinkle on top
  • Bake - 350 F for 30-40 minutes
  • Nutrition estimate: Should be ~115-135 Cal/Piece

Monday, September 19, 2016

Day 2/105 - Bike Wisconsin

For Day 2 of my run to the end of the year I went to Wisconsin. 
Apple Holler - Asian Pears :)

The first part of the day was a walk through the orchards at Apple Holler - wow this pace was crowded! none the less a nice opportunity for real time apple tasting and testing. I really like the Honey Crisp. Also fell in love with Asian Pears - later this week time to make some pear tart of pear/apple sauce.

After that, met up with my new bike pal, Holly, and we biked the Pike Trail and County Line Trail. Super weather and nice time biking along the lake and the marina was beautiful. Sadly fell a few times - at one point breaking the seat stem on the bike! Luckily found an open bike shop only 5 miles off the route. In total we biked just over 22 miles. All good.

Daily summary: Net Calories - 400, Steps 15,200 :)

Another good day!

Finishing the Year Strong - 100 Days of Fitness

Did you know that there are about 100 days left until the end of 2016? OMG this year has gone by so fast. I started the year wanting to break through 100 pound loss - and I still haven't made it. In fact with traveling 25% of the time, dealing with loss, other stress eating - I've actually gone backwards and gained weight.

So - I'm going to finish the year strong. 100 Days of Fitness.

Day One -
- Eat right
- Spent 2 hours kayaking in nearby park
- 1 hour cleaning house :)

Day summary: Net Calories 1004 :)

Day 1 - Kayaking Skokie Lagoon

Yeah - one down, 104 to go!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Greetings from the UK - Traveling Too Much

Today I find myself outside of London for a few days of business meetings. While that sounds like fun - I'm now traveling 50% of the time and quite fatigued by airplanes and hotels. 

I've lost three of the past 5 weekends - traveling on Sunday to be at meetings starting on Monday morning. 

Frankly - this sucks and has put my ability to manage my New Leaf commitments at risk. Eating in restaurants or worse yet, office catered meals leave zero room for customizing my choices. Many meals are now in airports or on airplanes :(

Hell - when packing for the latest trip I had to reach into the size 14/16 to get the right items. DAMN! At the start of 2016 I was squeezing into size 10/12. YIKES. I hate this.

I'm now missing half of my weekly workouts with my trainer because I am simply not in town. So that makes the weeks that I do meet with him great - but also challenging as it seems like every time is new. 

I'm not sure how, I injured my knee. I'm going on a month or so of weakness and pain. This has constrained the workouts. Although I still bike - which might not be the best decision. 

One the positive side - a few weekends ago I participated in a charity bike ride outside Chicago. Despite arriving from Europe only the day before and being sleep deprived and jet-lagged. I rode the furthest I've ever done at one time - 38 miles. This was in 88 F and 70% humidity. I didn't feel at al fatigued or sore the next day. Great news.  A few days ago in Ireland we went hiking in the Wicklow National park. It was over 25k steps that day. 

I need the turnaround plan to get in place and kick in. 

Starting next week - I'm going to refresh the weekly summary tracking. Perhaps a tad more visibility and accountability. I'll also start with the weekly weigh in again Sept 2... that gives me a few weeks lead time.

My Life not in balance.

Teresa Marie

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bike Ireland!

Very enjoyable - and I'm not at all kidding using those words - biking 30 miles in Ireland a few days ago. 

I was able to go the distance and even hit a few new high speed records. I was not in the back of the pack :)

Non-scale Victory.

Take care;

Teresa Marie

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Stress, Travel, & Biking

(Photo: Indoor Cycling Assoc. Website)
The past few months have been full of unusual and challenging events.  I like to think that I'm very good at handling stress - but my limits have been tested. 

What's happening...I have been to two family funerals, gone through job changes, new bosses, had a major shift to financial situation, major home remodeling and repair, supported kids through tough times, and yes, sad to say eaten my stress.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Together We Make A Normal Person

I've been thinking a great deal lately about family, genetics and fate. 

Apropos of my subject line, my sister "Little Linda" and I together make a normal person. 

She and I are just two years apart in age. We were dressed as twins until we were nearly teenagers. We shared a bedroom through high school. We went to the same college. We both have brown hair and brown eyes. We are both under 5'4" tall. We both like getting outdoors - canoeing, hiking. That's the end of similarities.

So here we are as kids - Little Linda in a dress even though we are all out fishing :) I'm in the photo on the right - plump little girl taking care of my baby sister.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sitting on the Fence

I have not lost any weight in months.

I'm in a very odd situation - on the one hand I have only a small distance to go to make my desired weight goal; on the other hand I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm at. It might not sound like those are at odds - but they are. When I was 100 pounds overweight it was easy to see that I needed to make big changes. Now it is even harder to stay focused plus everything that was working to drop pounds before - isn't working now.

I'm on the fence and it's uncomfortable - I want to move forward (which is downward) but my mind and my body are fighting me. I know my past and I'm looking over to the greener grass in my potential future. 

I am now at a weight where I've been most often at the bottom of my weight loss swings. 30 years ago I was at this weight for a long stretch. Holding steady at 20-25 pounds over weight. I think my body is happy here. Maybe has that memory. It seems like it's driving me to eat to maintain this weight. Evil invader within. For example - a week or so ago I started craving chocolate. While this might not seem odd - I haven't ever liked chocolate. The smell of it would typically make me slightly nauseous. But now, hum, it's looking pretty tempting! Ouch - when did that happen.  Ditto with carb cravings - totally out of control. 

Intellectually I understand what I need to do. Stick to the plan. Make good food choices and shake up the workout routine. Yup - I have good intentions to workout 6/week and kick through this. 

People have often asked me how I stay motivated to stay on track - I respond that I have not been motivated. I've been committed and dedicated to making good choices. Now I'm feeling like I need a little motivation or inspiration. 

I'm rereading my own blog let's me know that I can do this...

Teresa Marie

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Gurl, Where have you been?

Wow, has it been a month since I last posted? 

The good news is that I saw the scale dip to 159#!! Woo Hoo I was very happy by that. Then - life happened and I crept back up into the 160's. It wasn't a surprise - I know fully well the implications of my food choices and exercise plan. 

My baby - watching out for intruders
After my work trip to Germany I started juicing - bought a NutriBullet and have been using it religiously. It's been fun and I've gotten very creative. Yes, I've had spinach, tofu, wheat grass smoothies for breakfast. That said, I was putting in fruit each time and that was a great deal more sugar that I had been eating previously. A good way to shake up my eating plan.

So for the past month - I've maintained or sadly gone up by a few pounds. 

Including a nice picture of my Chow-German Shepherd who should be on an eating and exercise plan - her Dr. wants her to lose 8 pounds. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Traveling - Eating in Style

Sometimes one just needs to go with the flow and throw caution to the wind.

This past week has been just that.

Every meal in a restaurant - and some very nice ones at that. I didn't want to say no... so I said a few yeses! Knowing full well the potential implications...

Case in point, last nights dinner, at a french restaurant, Le Corange, was superb! I'm fairly certain that I consumed a weeks worth of calories in just one meal.

Care to dine vicariously?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015 Resolution Update

Here's my report card for 2015 versus the original goals that I set for myself. 

Teresa Marie's New Leaf Goals - 2015

  • EXCELLENT: Maintain eating/workout plan to support 1-2#/wk average.  Towards the end of the year around the holidays this was a bit of a challenge - but no day was too high. My weight loss has been 1-2#/week all year. Yup 96# lost! Whoo Hoo! Consider this goal attained! Will stick to the plan going forward - with expectation of continued progress albeit at a slower rate as I reach my final goal.
Teresa Marie's Weight Loss Progress in 2015