An Extra 2,500 Steps A Day

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

So, I thought I would try to increase my exercise slightly. It might be my disease talking and if it is, I’ll keep an eye on it. I’ll talk to my sponsor about it. But, for now, I feel okay.

I signed up for a challenge on Lose It! that works with my FitBit. To do 12,500 steps a day.

FitBit Step It Up Challenge from Starling Fitness

It says 12,000 steps a day, but when I divide 375,000 steps by 30, I get 12,500.

ONLY 10K Steps from Starling FitnessEvery night, I’ve found myself hovering at the point where I used to feel proud of myself, which is 10,000 steps. The bad thing about this challenge is that they didn’t account for rest days. If you want to take a rest day, you have to do MORE than 12,500 steps on your “On” days. For example, if you want one rest day a week (or four days in the month), you have to do 14,424 steps a day to make your monthly goal. I’m struggling just to do my 12,500 a day, hopping on the treadmill to squeeze in a couple thousand steps right before I go to bed. I can’t imagine trying to do over 14K a day.

I might have set an unrealistic goal for myself. Maybe it’s time to call my sponsor…


Excess Fabric

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

Board Shorts from Starling FitnessBoard shorts. If you’ve never seen them, they’re like regular shorts, but they are made of material that works well with swimming. They dry quickly and they don’t chafe as much when they are wet. They’re shorts for when you are surfing the waves or kayaking the lake. You’re gonna get wet, but you don’t want to do it in a skimpy bikini.

They’re also kind of hard to find if you’re over weight and IMPOSSIBLE to find in the early Fall.

So, when I pulled on my board shorts Labor Day weekend to go boating, I panicked because they were so big that they were falling off my body. I had no idea my body had changed so much since I had last put them on (which was June 2012). I cinched them up with a couple of safety pins and the quick fix worked for the day.

So, when it came time to go boating the next weekend, I planned ahead. I went to the local stores in search of some new board shorts. I could find many swimming suits on clearance, but no board shorts in plus sizes. They’re rare at the beginning of the season, but NON-EXISTENT in early Fall. So, I did what my grand-momma taught me and I took them in.

Excess Fabric from Starling Fitness

I ended up removing a full three inches. THREE INCHES!

That seems like a HUGE amount, and that doesn’t even account for the seams, so I probably took it in a total of three and a half inches. I just measured and on the shorts that I haven’t altered the waist measures 40 inches. On the altered shorts it’s 35 1/2 inches. FOUR AND A HALF INCHES!

How Much I Had To Take Them In from Starling Fitness

Now, a 35 1/2 inch waist is nothing to brag about. It’s a LONG way from anything anyone would write a song about, but there is progress.

Progress that I just CAN’T see. When I look in the mirror, I still feel super fat. Honestly, I AM super fat. I weigh 179.7 lbs. On a 5’2″ frame, that is a lot of bulk. Sure, I used to weigh 231.1 lbs. BOTH of them are obese. Not only that, I feel the exact same as I did 52 pounds ago. I’m sure I could compare pictures, if there were any, but I FEEL the same.

Okay, that’s a lie. I DON’T feel the same, but all the changes that I can feel are inner changes. I’m less likely to bite someone’s head off. I’m more apt to apologize quickly. I’m calmer when someone is rude to me. And I don’t need to eat over any of those things. THOSE are the changes that I can feel.

Until I was confronted with that excess fabric I had shorn from my board shorts, I was unable to see any physical changes. All the changes I had experienced were of the emotional kind. It’s amazing how a few inches of excess fabric can show me what mirrors can’t.


The Apple Watch: OMG! DO WANT!

By Laura Moncur @ 10:56 am — Filed under:

I usually talk about watches and other gadgets on The Gadgets Page. I have had a HATE/HATE relationship with the watch designers of the world for the last nine years, so, understandably, this watch has pleased me VERY much. You can read the gadget review here:

I didn’t think Apple had it in them. Here is my journal entry from September 3rd:

In six days, Apple is making an announcement. The rumors have been flying for an iWatch. I would be reluctant to give up my FitBit and Lose It! They work so well that I am having a hard time believing that post-SteveJobs Apple can improve on that. Of course, after the 09-09 announcement, I might feel differently.

Yeah, yeah I do. Here is the video explaining the health and fitness aspects of the Apple Watch.

I had no idea that I would just give up my FitBit for anything, but the Apple Watch somehow did it.

This tan line reserved for Apple Watch from Starling Fitness

Don’t Change Be Yourself Unless You’re A Jerk

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

There is a more vulgar version of this floating around Pinterest, but it wasn’t that pretty and I really wanted one that didn’t swear, so I made one.

Don't Change Unless You're A Jerk from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Don’t change so people will like you.

Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

Unless you’re a jerk. Then you should change.

Sure, we get a little laugh from this, but the truth is, I am a bit of a jerk. I’m probably a colossal jerk, if certain people are to be believed. When I went through my Twelve Steps, I was brought face to face with exactly how much of a jerk I really am.

And I had to APOLOGIZE!

Not only that, I had to make it right.

There were some people on my amends list whom I couldn’t contact to apologize. They were the hardest people to work through my amends. In the end, my sponsor had me write a letter to them.

Then she made me write ANOTHER letter, because I was STILL a jerk in the first one.

Inside my God Box from Starling FitnessWhen I read her the second draft, she said it was acceptable and to put it in my God Box. I folded it up as small as it would go and it’s still in there, tempting me to pull it back out and read it. But the guilt from all my jerky behavior is gone. I did the best I could to apologize in the situation I was in.

And honestly, I’m still a jerk.

I’ll probably be a jerk for the rest of my life, but I’m doing the best I can to not be a jerk. And I’m apologizing quicker when I am.

What does this have to do with health and fitness?

I haven’t binged since I wrote those letters freeing me from the past. Despite my lack of belief in a god, writing those letters and handing them over to my God Box helped me. I have no idea how the act of folding those letters up into tiny rectangles and hiding them in a discarded Pringles can released me from my past jerkiness, but they did. Not only have they helped me keep my bingeing at bay, they have helped me to be a tad less jerky so I don’t have new situations to apologize for.

So, given the option to be myself and be a jerk or to change, I chose to change as best as I can.

Image via: Hunington Sunset by jonashaffer | Flickr


What Are Your Favorite Songs To Run To?

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I laughed out loud when I saw this Facebook post on Imgur the other day.

What Are Your Favorite Songs To Run To? from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Montreal: Hey Facebook kids, what are your favourite songs to run to?

Friend Replied: I made my own song. It’s a mix of zombie noises, people saying, “I’m going to cut you,” “Come here little boy,” and police sirens. I’ve lost 10 lbs. 3 of which were in tears. I’ve also lost my wallet and my keys.

Montreal: Hey NORMAL Facebook kids, what are your favourite songs to run to?

I’ve talked about this concept before. The Primal Workout is a theory that you can trick your body into becoming more fit because it believes it’s in danger:

I don’t know how beneficial it is to do that workout every day, because it might cause enough stress on your body that it negates any benefits you might get from it. The more important question, however, is what music is good for working out and I have talked about that A LOT!

I could never narrow things down to one or two songs, so I literally have HUNDREDS of songs in my workout playlist. The good thing about that is that I can listen to my tunes with every workout and not get sick of them.

Via: Fitness, Health, And Confidence


NOT My HP Anymore: The Scale

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.

- Arthur C. Clarke

Honestly, my scale was my Higher Power for YEARS. Whether I had a good day or a bad day depended entirely on my weight in the morning. My judgment about the previous day was clouded by what the scale said. If I had done a good job, but the scale didn’t show a drop, then I thought it was time to limit my food and up my exercise. If I had eaten poorly and my scale showed a drop, then I thought I could binge every day or maybe I thought I got away with something.

If my scale WAS a true Higher Power, THIS is what it would say every day:

NOT My HP Anymore - The Scale from Starling Fitness

Even though my scale is no longer my HP, I still weigh myself every day. I want my calorie intake to be accurate, so every day I weigh myself for the data. I log my weight into Lose It! EVERY day, no matter what. If my weight went up, I log it. If my weight stayed the same, I log it. Even if my weight drops and I don’t believe it, I log the lower weight.

After YEARS of this, I have learned that my weight loss follows a very strange pattern. I will lose five pounds in a week and then not lose any more weight for a month. Sometimes, I even go up a pound or two after the big loss. THIS is why my scale is not my Higher Power, because it really isn’t an accurate measurement of my progress. I am losing about a pound a week, but it only shows up on that last week of the month.

The worst part of it all was when I would lose five pounds in a week, I would start fantasizing. If I could lose five pounds EVERY week, how long would it take me to get to goal? My mind would instantly snap to that mindset and I would get INCREDIBLY frustrated when I didn’t lose the next week, or the week after that, or the week after THAT.

Now, I just look at that number as data. Sure, I’m happy when I see the number go down, but it’s just DATA. I show a downward trend in my weight, so that makes me happy, but today’s number doesn’t make or break my day. I keep plodding along, no matter what the scale says, because the scale is no longer my Higher Power.


I Was In No Mood To Eat One

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I Was In No Mood To Eat One from Starling FitnessMy friend, Roland, and his wife did some service for the local boy scouts and manned the Tiger Ear Booth to help them earn money. He wrote about it here: Magic Number: 7 — Eastern Idaho State Fair | Roland K. Smith’s Weblog

The Tiger Ear Booth was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime event (that is, you only want to do it once). Both Nina and I spent the four hours shaking cinnamon-sugar on the Tiger Ears. About a half-hour before we were finished, I finally found a stool to sit on … but by then my feet were definitely done for the day.

Tiger Ears are some kind of a scone with the dough squashed flat then fried in a deep-fat fryer, sprinkled liberally with cinnamon-sugar, and sold for $3.00 (extra honey-butter 50¢). The squishing process takes place in a hydraulic press with blobs of dough soaked in oil, then fried in oil. It is an oily, greasy process. By the time we were finished, I was in no mood to eat one!

Elephant Ear Stand at the Fair from Starling FitnessAt the Utah State Fair, they call them Elephant Ears. I have never in my life been in “no mood to eat one.” In fact, the ONLY reason I went to the fair for the last seven years was to binge on the food there. The fire-roasted corn, funnel cakes, fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, elephant ears, huge corn dogs and anything else sold to me out of a little traveling food trailer. I didn’t go to pet the goats. I didn’t go to look at the booths. I went for the food.

I didn’t go to the Utah State Fair this year. It lasts until the 14th, but I just have no desire to go to it. Despite listing all my previous binge foods from the fair, I don’t really don’t want to binge. Could it be that for the FIRST time in my life that I’m in “no mood to eat one?”

Images via:


Not Worthy of Something So Delicious

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I haven’t played Animal Crossing in quite a while, so when I saw Tank, I was so happy to help him. He said he was hungry and wanted some fruit, so I grabbed him a perfect pear. Perfect pears are worth A LOT of money in the game, but I have so much money that I don’t really care and I really missed Tank, so I gave him one. After he ate it, this was his reaction:

Not Worthy of Something So Delicious from Starling Fitness

He said,

I feel like I’m not worthy of something so delicious!

Then he cried profusely.

It felt so sad to me to think that Tank didn’t feel like he was worthy of a perfect pear, but honestly, I have felt the same thing. When I am deep into the facet of my disease that makes me limit my food too much and exercise too much, I have felt unworthy of delicious food. I truly believe that feeling of unworthiness is an aspect of my eating disorder. It’s why I restrict my eating so much.

At the same time, it is also the reason I binge. I may feel unworthy of such delicious food, so when it is offered to me, I eat it to prove that I’m worth it. I’ve been a good girl, so I DESERVE this food, don’t I? People who are good get to eat delicious food, right? So, I must be good if I eat it, aren’t I?

The truth is, I am worthy. I AM a good person. I don’t need to eat a perfect pear or any other food to prove that I am worthy. I don’t need to refrain from eating a perfect pear or any other food to make myself worthy. In fact, whether I FEEL worthy or not is irrelevant. I might ALWAYS feel unworthy, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am worthy.


And This, Too, Shall Pass Away

By Laura Moncur @ 8:01 am — Filed under:

Last night, I painted my nails. I combined two colors, a really dark green creme with an iridescent pink and ended up with this shade.

And This Too Shall Pass Away from Starling Fitness

I don’t know if I like it or not, but then I realized that it doesn’t matter. In two days, it will be chipped and need to be removed, whether I like it or not.

If I adore this shade, it will be gone in two days. If I abhor this shade, it will be gone in two days. My feelings about the color of my fingernails are irrelevant. No matter what happens, it will be gone in two days.

The same is true for EVERYTHING in life.

I literally felt at one with the universe while looking at my fingernails this morning because I knew that all of life is the same. Whether I love my situation or hate it, it will change. I can’t stop that change. No matter what I do, my situation will be different two years from now than it is today. I can’t stop it. I can’t speed it along.

That is incredibly sad…

I am happy now. I have a family. I have a husband I adore. I have a boy in my life who brings me joy and laughter. I have a cute little dog, a cat who hates me and a another cat who follows me around wherever I go. All of this will change and I can’t stop it. I can’t even predict HOW it will change. I just know that two years from now, things will be different.

And this, too, shall pass away.

At the same time, it can be incredibly comforting…

Whenever I am unhappy, I just need to take in a deep breath and remember that in two years, all of this will be different. Just as it is guaranteed that two days from now, my chipped fingernail polish will need to be removed, two years from now, things will be different.

And this, too, shall pass away.

There is a legend that a powerful Persian king asked his wise men to create him a ring that would make him happy when he was sad. They did, but it had a consequence. The ring also made him sad when he was happy. Inscribed on the ring was the phrase, “And this, too, shall pass away.”

The corollary to this is the knowledge that our feelings are irrelevant. Whether they are joyful or grieving, blissful or raging, our feelings will have little effect on the march of time. Whether we like a thing or not, it will change.

I learned this lesson in a fit of pain and agony. I was having a migraine and something misfired in my brain. Suddenly, I was crying. It wasn’t a normal cry, it was a gut-wrenching cry that I hadn’t had since I realized that I had spent four years getting a degree that I didn’t want. But I wasn’t sad. It wasn’t a cry from the pain. The pain was severe enough, but nothing to warrant the horrendous sadness. Logically, I didn’t have a reason to be sad, yet, I felt an utter hopelessness lost in a depression of agony.

All because my brain misfired somewhere during the migraine.

Fortunately, I’ve also had migraines that gave me complete and unwarranted joy. Every touch felt like supreme ecstasy. I was still in pain from the migraine, but at the same time, I experienced an ancient and sublime happiness.

All because my brain misfired somewhere during the migraine.

If my emotions can be hijacked by a misfiring in my brain, then are they real? If there is a question of the reality of my emotions and a relevancy as well, then why did I EAT so many times in response to them? Knowing that how I feel could just be a blip in my brain is POWER. Knowing that how I feel is irrelevant in the march of time is POWER.

When my feelings are proven to be specters, I no longer need to react to them to my detriment. If someone makes me feel stupid, I don’t need to retaliate or prove myself worthy. My feeling stupid is just a misfiring in my brain. My feeling stupid is irrelevant. I am now free to react positively. I am now free.


The Two Facets of My Disease: Angels and Demons

By Laura Moncur @ 6:47 am — Filed under:

The Two Facets of My Disease - Demon Vs. Angel from Starling FitnessI saw this Tumblr post from RyanJJohn today and I cringed with recognition. He said:

Every day I struggle between “I wanna look good naked” and “treat yo self.”

There they are again: the two facets of my disease. For the longest time, I only thought that the “treat yo self” aspect was my disease and that the “I wanna look good naked” part was healthy, but they are BOTH manifestations of my eating disorder. The “I wanna look good naked” part of my disease makes me exercise too much and restrict my food too much, which, ironically, makes the “treat yo self” aspect surface.

They appear to be polar opposites. They appear to be a good and bad side of myself, like an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. That’s how they are portrayed in every cartoon I ever saw.

The Two Facets of My Disease - Angels & Demons from Starling Fitness

In reality, however, they are BOTH bad. They are both on the same team. They are both trying to hurt me. Whenever the “treat yo self” aspect of the disease shows up, it means that there is something amiss in my life. One of my character defects have resurfaced and is causing trouble. Maybe I’m upset about something and haven’t been honest about my feelings. Maybe I am feeling self-pity and want to make myself feel better with food instead of working on my gratitude, acceptance and setting realistic expectations.

At the same time, if the “I wanna look good naked” aspect of myself shows up, urging me to skip a meal or do more exercise than is healthy, it ALSO means that there is something amiss in my life. Sometimes the SAME problem will spur BOTH feelings within me. My self-pity might make me want to exercise too much to show those guys that I’m worthwhile. Instead of jumping on the treadmill, I should be working on my gratitude, acceptance and set some realistic expectations.

The “I wanna look good naked” is just as evil as the “treat yo self.” It has taken me a decade to realize this. One isn’t good while the other one is bad. They are both bad and they are both trying to kill me.

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