Fiera's Diary

Fiera

Active member
Great to hear you made some tangible progress on the insulation front! For me the positive reinforcement of getting things done really helps with staying active. Getting started though...so hard.
Yeah. I have some anxiety / PTSD issues with this house and sometimes doing simple things can be anything but. Getting up in the attic while it was raining this summer to try to find the source of the leak was absolutely paralyzing. I guess I will get more into that at some point. In the present, I find myself on high alert as the temps drop and I try to see what I can do about the cold getting in. This morning I taped up 2 windows further in the dining room, added tape to both bedroom windows, and moved stacked boxes in the front part of the basement to allow better air circulation near the water main and front window. The taping seems to have reduced a draft from the bedroom to the den, which was quite pronounced. But now the wind is calm, the sun is out, and it is warming up outside so no more diagnostics can be done.

I delve into detail in this because it is becoming clear that this house continues to take up unacceptable amounts of bandwidth in my life. I have been looking for something already updated but wasn't willing to make certain tradeoffs on location, main floor bedroom etc. I don't really want to move into a condo, though there are clear benefits - at least not yet. But maybe it would end up being for the best. It just feels like I am giving up on something I care about (having my own home/yard) before I am ready to do it. But this house needs a massive overhaul - I mean EVERYTHING - and I don't want to spend 3 more years of my life trying just to get to a point where I can live without constant concerns and issues. Let a developer buy it and gut it; the value is in the land anyway. I just need to find a place to live where I can feel at peace.

Getting clarity and focus on what I want is key to moving forward whatever this life has in store. I am spending too much time and energy on things which do not serve me. House, food, relationship... gee Fiera, what are you doing with yourself? There are reasons that I am stuck. Most of them are fear related. I used to live fearlessly and I know what confidence feels like. This is not about just being older. But it also isn't just a mental game either, I do feel like there are biological components like hormones and brain chemicals. In any case, I would like to get back to living again. As Marsia said, I want to get back to being a human being again!
 

Fiera

Active member
Day 7 Accountability
B: Eng Muf (120), Poached Egg (70) Smoked Salmon (45) = 235 11A
Linner: Pad Thai (1000) Sushi (200) Tom Kha (200) = 1400 430P
Total: 1635
Activity: Negligible
NET: 1635
M/S: 11A (deliberately starting later today) 430P
Sleep: 10:30-2; 5-8 (huge donut hole - Binge related?)

Very jagged, turbulent today. Lots of FOOD! thoughts, maybe to soothe. Treated myself to Thai food for dinner, I ate 2nd helping of Pad Thai while talking with Proggy on phone, Yeah, I was definitely soothing without really caring about the fact that I was self sabotaging.
 
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Fiera

Active member
Random Thoughts:

I love my Demeyere egg poaching pan!

Am I significantly undercounting activity calories?

Trying later schedule with M/S to see if that helps evening cravings.

I am so glad I am back off the cigarettes. Nasty, expensive, unhealthy, inconvenient things. Its too cold to stand outside to smoke now anyway, so I quit at the right time.

It's Monday. After almost two years of being retired and now that Proggy is out of a job, I don't know what day of the week it is any more, Mission accomplished. 😆

I think I will scoot over to the pottery school and look for my stuff. This time without the pooch so I can really take my time and be thorough.
 

Llama

Well-known member
Yeah.. seeing all that it's no surprise you gained weight. Guess all that stress had to go somewhere. It's great that you're aware though: gotta know the problem before you can change it.
 

Fiera

Active member
Trusylver said something in her diary which reminded me about mental toughness - you could call it mental hygiene really. When I was marathon training I would have a running plan set by my coach, and I knew if I did what it took to stay on that plan then I would be able to get to the finish line. I discovered that if you start to mull over the potential excuses (weather, busy, bad sleep, a cold) - start negotiating with yourself - then you have already lost the battle. You simply have to drop that habit, drop those thoughts, shove them aside and GO DO IT. It's actually far easier on yourself to just GO DO IT then to spend 20 minutes thinking about the fact that you don't want to.

This also is how I know there is a difference between exercise (will power) and my food compulsions. When I am binging there is no negotiating and I can't simply push those thoughts aside. I imagine it is the same type of desperate craving which compels a crack addict. I sure hope it gets easier, and I can figure out what sets it off.
 

Fiera

Active member
Day 8 Accountability
B: Poached Egg (70), Salmon (50), Raisin Toast (100) = 220 10:00
L: Tom Kha (250) Veg Lasagna (220) = 470 1:30P
PIE: 1250 2:00P
D: Pizza (mainly toppings) = 650 8:30P
Total: 2590
Activity: 3DW = -180
NET: 2310 <-------- Double Blowout Day
M/S 10:00, 7:30P (v late, distracted today)
Sleep: 10:30-4

Weight: 178.4
 
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Llama

Well-known member
I discovered that if you start to mull over the potential excuses (weather, busy, bad sleep, a cold) - start negotiating with yourself - then you have already lost the battle.
So true. It gets harder to say yes the longer you argue with yourself.
When I am binging there is no negotiating and I can't simply push those thoughts aside.
There is some similarity to the exercise thing for me: if I give myself a solid, unnegotiable NO on the sweets I save myself so much trouble. And I do need something nice to have instead of the thing I'd normally binge on because I can't run on willpower alone for very long.
 

Fiera

Active member
I am happy that I managed to not snack last night. Well... it helped that I had a massive Linner but that was at 4:30. I made it all the way to bed and now woke up the next day; I am fine and not hungry this morning. Its strange how ever-present my brain is fixated on food though, esp. in the evenings. I hope that will go away in time, kinda like some kind of withdrawal process. Maybe this is similar to what people experience when they cut out sugar or carbs.

I have really been enjoying the alone time for the last couple of weeks since Proggy's job ended and he doesn't have an excuse to stay at my house all the time. It's like I am slowly starting to breathe again. Its also helpful that winter is here and I am allowing myself a mental break from the process of meeting with contractors and trying to diagnose what needs to be done with the house before winter and in what sequence. I can focus more on my own needs and thoughts and feelings. I like it. I never wanted to rehab an old house anyway. I just haven't found one that I was willing to make the tradeoffs for. Maybe I do need to rent for a year.
 

Fiera

Active member
I realize that I need to refresh my understanding of BMR versus RMR and which to use. I went onto a popular site and put in my stats and it says my BMR is 1371. And if you don't intake your BMR calories then your body goes into starvation mode. That seems a bit high to me. But if that is correct then I should set that as my daily calorie target for now, with exercise to create the shortfall needed to lose weight.

So that means that any day like yesterday in which I consume 1600+ calories but do not exercise is NOT a maintenance day. One day alone is no biggie. 250 Calories per day over 2 weeks however becomes a pound. Wait. What? Is my math correct? Is that really 26 pounds per year?

No wonder I am gaining so much weight so rapidly!

😬🧐🤯

So glad I am having this very grounding discussion with myself!

And I am reminded why I always said "exercise is the magic eraser". It erases mistakes! A 3-mile walk yesterday would have wiped that overage right out.
 

Llama

Well-known member
I have really been enjoying the alone time for the last couple of weeks since Proggy's job ended and he doesn't have an excuse to stay at my house all the time. It's like I am slowly starting to breathe again.
I can focus more on my own needs and thoughts and feelings. I like it.
Now those are things I love to hear!
So that means that any day like yesterday in which I consume 1600+ calories but do not exercise is NOT a maintenance day.
Hang on: didn´t you say your BMR was 1371 according to that website? BMR is only around 70% or so of your actual calorie use on an average, non-exercise day. It´s literally the amount you´d burn if you took a sleeping pill that knocked you out for 24 hours. If you´re up and about, going to the mailbox, walking from toilet to fridge to couch, etc, you´re burning more than your BMR.
 

Fiera

Active member
Here's a fact. Being a runner allowed me to gloss over my lack of accountability around my eating habits for years. When I dropped running I gained weight. When I ran I lost or maintained weight without having to really focus on how much my intake was. Essentially, I consumed what I wanted and then ran it off. Now that I am older and my body cannot take that kind of wear and tear, especially at a heavier weight, I have to do this with a more balanced approach involving intake management. Work smarter not harder!

Hang on: didn´t you say your BMR was 1371 according to that website? BMR is only around 70% or so of your actual calorie use on an average, non-exercise day. It´s literally the amount you´d burn if you took a sleeping pill that knocked you out for 24 hours. If you´re up and about, going to the mailbox, walking from toilet to fridge to couch, etc, you´re burning more than your BMR.

Well LaMa you have a point. Yesterday I went to the pottery school to look for my stuff (apparently still in process) and also to the pet store to buy a new bed for KDog. I folded a little laundry and scrubbed a lounger cushion and spent a handful of minutes raking leaves from the basement stairwell. And a couple of blocks dog walk. And picked up take out. Plus as you said trips to kitchen or bathroom or checking the mail etc. So even though I didn't have intentional, purposeful exercise, I still had SOME activity.

70% suggests I could have another 400 calories per day and not gain weight. 400 (1771 total) seems a bit much to me to incorporate for a day like yesterday. But directionally it makes sense. This probably is why I have a recollection from my previous tracking days that the occasional 1500-1600 day wasn't a big deal, it was just maintenance.

LaMa this is valuable feedback, thank you.
 

Fiera

Active member
In other news, I saw a cougar today. I am absolutely certain of it. I took KDog on a trail walk along the river late morning. We went further than usual and we almost turned back but she was having fun and acted like she want to go further so we did. Just short of the H road crossing the cougar darted across the trail. Solid color medum reddish brown, triangular face, rounded ears, long thick tail, moving very fast and bigger than any houscat. It is extremely rare for this area and I left a message for the DNR. I am fully expecting to not be believed, which is kind of a bummer, as it is an extraordinary and possibly dangerous thing.

I had a cougar encounter over 20 years ago at our vacation home in another state, which was corroborated by a neighbor who mowed the park and had seen it a couple of times. It was also confirmed "off the record" by the DNR agent who investigated and found the cougar's den in the overgrown thickets behind the house. The official position of the DNR in that state was "they don't exist here". But there are plenty of sightings and even a horse that was killed a few miles away from that location within a few years time span.

If you don't have photographic evidence be prepared to be treated like an idiot. But my conscience requires that I report it, because if it wasn't just passing through and multiple people report it, they can put up some caution signs or something. I just hate putting myself in a position where people aren't going to believe me.
 

Llama

Well-known member
A cougar? How exciting! Definitely kind of scary (I'm a wuss) but also super exciting.

These calculator websites can't offer more than an educated guess because there are way more variables than they can reasonably consider but their estimates can be a good starting point. You can always tweak later.
 

Cate

Long-term member.
Seeing a cougar is very exciting! I'm glad that you have some breathing space again with your BF not being there all the time.
 

Fiera

Active member
Well...I bought a pecan pie for Proggy because I was supposed to be seeing him Sunday, then Monday...but we kept rescheduling and the pie was in my kitchen and I guess I was a bit wound up from the cougar sighting/reporting as after lunch I wandered in there and cut a piece, and then another, and then rounded it off to complete the entire half of a pie. 1250 calories. I have nothing to say about that except (a) I know better than to have something like that sitting around in the house and (b) I was surely emotionally eating. If I would have been slow and deliberate and savored that one piece of pie in a controlled fashion it would have been a different story. Gee, I am having a blowout almost every day. 😕
 

Fiera

Active member
So now I find myself in the evening and - while not hungry - thinking about pizza. Good grief.

I wish the DNR had called me back same day. I ended up making very detailed notes before I forget or mix up some of them. My memory fails me all the time. It was actually two sightings about 15 minutes apart in the same general area. I want to give them the info and then get on with life. But I have to be patient, it is a holiday week, and it is not an emergency.

I had a super nice soak in the tub and shower. I taped up the bathroom window with thermal tape. The bedroom windows need more tape than what I initially put on, and there is another 100 ft. roll scheduled to be delivered tomorrow so I can go nuts with it. At this point, I no longer care about the potential for peeling old paint off the woodwork. I will be happy if I can make my house cozy for the winter. Besides, I might save money on heat, natural gas prices are triple this year.

The leaves are all finally down from the maple so another day of leaf duty will have the yard set for winter. Would be nice if Proggy wanted to help with that. I don't know what he wants to do when he comes up tomorrow. He wants to go do something, but downtown will be too windy for him and indoors on a sunny warmer winter day, (like doing a museum or movie), is a waste of a nice day to ME. I could tell he wanted me to figure out plans for us. But he doesn't want to spend any money right now so we can't go to a museum or movie anyway. We really are not very compatible and it's making me nuts. I told him that he could look up some ideas online.

I'm going to try reading for a bit tonight. I have a book on digital minimalism and one on foods to help the body avoid cancer. If I can't get into those I will grab a Christopher Moore book for a quick light easy read. Maybe The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove. 🙂
 

Llama

Well-known member
Sucks about the pie. At least recording the when, why, and how much helps to assess the problem more precisely. I generally take a while to from head in the sand, eating whatever, to being on track properly.
I could tell he wanted me to figure out plans for us. But he doesn't want to spend any money right now so we can't go to a museum or movie anyway.
:p Beggars can't be choosers. If he doesn't have a plan your plan is leaf duty :D
 

Fiera

Active member
Thanks ladies. I will push the boundaries of his comfort zone today and see if I can get him to take ownership over planning our evening. If he wants to come help with the leaves he needs to get up here by 12 or 1.

Separately, I need to find something that fits to wear to Thanksgiving dinner at his uncle's. I seriously don't think I have anything and may have to run and get a skirt and top. I'd better get on that now. I also am having the foresight to anticipate this triggering some negative emotions, which I need to let pass and not tackle with food. Taking a walk and doing yard work are healthy outlets for my emotions.

ETA: It wasn't that bad. I found a skirt which fit and then built on that with 2 pieces I had picked up randomly. One is a clearance blouse in blue that I liked and the other was a (very generous) black sweater that drops down past your butt, grabbed 2 weeks ago at the warehouse club. Neither had been tried on but together they can get me through the day. Not elegant, kinda droopy, but better than looking like a stuffed sausage in too-tight jeans. I got a pair of (flat heeled) tall boots out of the closet and those will do. I don't know if I will ever really wear heels again but I surely won't do it when I am significantly overweight. I really do have quite an awesome boot collection though. I miss wearing them. It is one good thing about fall/winter. Guess that will be a perk if I can drop a few dozen pounds....
 
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Llama

Well-known member
I also am having the foresight to anticipate this triggering some negative emotions, which I need to let pass and not tackle with food. Taking a walk and doing yard work are healthy outlets for my emotions.
Excellent forward thinking. Glad to hear it turned out easier than you thought though. Boots are the bestest kind of footwear in cold weather and I love all of mine!
 
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