Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Moment

My 7 year old granddaughter, Elizabeth, (who always says what she thinks) looked at the photo of me on the dresser.

“Is that you, Grandma?”

“Yes, I was 16”

“I hope you weren’t fat when you were a teenager”

No, Baby, I wasn’t….I just thought I was.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A late report....

I had a wonderful, relaxed visit last night with my good friend in her beautiful "magazine material" home. I just love it that even though we seldom see each other or get to have a visit, when we do get together, it is almost as if we've seen each other every week over the intervening months. It is good to have friends like that. We've known each other for probably 30+ years and been friends for about 27 of those. Some of those years we were very close (her husband and mine, as well) and some years were not so good, but it is going through the bad times as well as the good that makes for a lasting relationship, right?

Anyway, my fears were mostly for naught. She served salad with roasted chicken in it and when she asked if I wanted her to put the dressing on before she served it, I asked for a bowl of dressing on the side and I just dipped my fork in the dressing. She also served a big, fresh, whole-grain bun which I thoroughly enjoyed since I don't often allow myself such luxury. I pushed my croutons to the side to help make up for the bun. Except that there was more cheese in the salad than I would have used, I couldn't have asked for a better main dish option.

Then, she pulled out a mini birthday cake. How could I tell her that I wouldn't have even a small piece when she went to such trouble? Sometimes, other people are more important than whether or not I'll have to be extra careful for a couple days. Yes, I had the cake and a small scoop of sugar-free ice cream and lots of fresh raspberries on top! I scraped off a lot of the icing to minimize the damage, but I enjoyed it....without feeling a bit guilty.
I figured that if this "new" way of eating for me is NOT a diet, but a lifestyle, then I have to learn to accomodate special occassions. As long as I am not making up the special occassion as an excuse to indulge. There was no birthday cake at my party, so this is the first cake I've had for quite some time. And I politely refused all her offers of sweet drinks, preferring my water bottle.
This morning, I showed a .8 loss. I am aware that the cake may take a couple days to "show up", but I still don't feel guilty. I am learning to LIVE, not temporarily change my behavior.

On the same note, last week I was really wanting some chocolate. In the past, I've raided the freezer and taken a piece of the Nanimo bars that were left over from Christmas. I have no idea how many calories are in a piece of Nanimo bar, and the size was dependant on how strong my chocolate craving was (or how emotional I was feeling). When we defrosted the freezer a couple weeks ago, I pitched the rest of the bars so I would no longer be able to be so irresponsible. But last week, when I was desiring chocolate, I decided to make a plan. I bought a box of 6 "Cadbury Thins" dark chocolate bars - 100 calories each.

I took one out and ate it slowly. I was satisfied. The rest of the box went into the freezer, behind something else so it is not out in the open, sparking a craving that wouldn't be there otherwise. I totally forgot about them until today but I am not desiring chocolate so they are still sitting there - for the next time....and now I know how many calories I am using up with the chocolate so I can count them honestly. I hope I am not just kidding myself that this is a good idea, but at least it is better than what I was doing.

I got home very late last night so I've been quite tired today. Even so, I worked for about 2 hours on my library and made about 5 trips downstairs with books from my bedroom and the office. (Still probably at least 5 more trips from up to down stairs). I made a point of running back up the stairs after depositing the books in the library, but I did not do my treadmill.

Youngest son (19) is on his way home from a hiking trip in the Kananaskis Mountains south of Banff, AB. I can't wait to see his photos - that is some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, back there! This was his first ever real hiking excursion and he was worried he would not be able to keep up. They are coming home early, because one of the group wrenched his knee badly and they did not want to be caught back in the wilderness after it swelled up and stiffened too badly to easily walk out.

He said he was impressed with himself - 20 kms in 2 days, much of it up steep inclines and some through freezing rain with the wind whipping through the pass into their faces. I am proud of him! he was a little afraid to accept the invitation to go because he has not done anything so strenuous before. Of course, he started a labor job this spring and has had to make new notches in his belt several times over the summer! He doesn't know how much weight he has lost, because he's also put on lots of muscle. Let's just say that he has gone from being a pudgy young man to being quite a slim, hard fella! Obviously, working hard for 8 - 10 hours a day does the trick!

This is him in April - at the Kansas Speedway

This is him last weekend, in his work clothes...can you see the difference?

Wish I had the energy to work so hard, so consistenly! Ah well, that, too will come....little by little. I'm not 19, afterall.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A different kind of workout and a challenge for today

Well, I’ve had a couple good days, as far as not eating things I shouldn’t and exercising. Yet, I am up .6 lbs in the last 2 days ….actually, yesterday I was up .6 and today I stayed the same. I am not sure why. Not enough water? I have been on the treadmill – 1 mile walks each time.

I’ve also been doing some physical labor in my new library.
I have A LOT of books, the result of a literal lifetime of collecting books and almost 20years of homeschooling 5 children.

That adds up to literally a room full of books.

My son (and my brother in law) built me a room (15’ X 15') to hold those books and this week I have been working at transferring them from their shelves in storage (they’ve been mostly inaccessible for almost 2 years) onto their new shelves on the bright yellow walls. Armload after armload of books from one part of the basement to another….thank goodness I don’t have to carry them all upstairs (there were enough upstairs to carry downstairs as it was). Anyway, I have been working for an hour to an hour and a half at a time and by the end, my back muscles are screaming at me to stop.

This counts as exercise/working out, doesn’t it?

I’m still not sure if I have enough new shelves - I don't even know how many more books there are to move - they are stored in kind of layers starting at the wall, then forward so that I can only see the front layer at any one time. All I know is that I am a long way from the wall. Maybe it is not all books, I don't know.

Here are some photos of my work in progress:

about 2/3 of my fiction....just stacked in a's, b's, c's, etc

about 1/2 of my school books stacked by subject. Also most of the Hardy Boys books and below, children's books (many are still upstairs)

the only wall that is actually set up....encyclopedias, the begining of non fiction, classics, and kids/teen chapter books

Changing the subject, tonight I am going to visit an old friend. She offered to take me out for supper or lunch in honor of my birthday, but I suggested we just visit at her house – I’d rather be able to relax and take our time. However, with this suggestion, I did not take into consideration that she would be making our meal and therefore, did not let her know of my goals. I haven’t seen her since January and we did not talk about weight issues at the time….too much else to talk about (like 2 brand new baby grandsons for me). I also do not go around telling people that I am changing my eating habits.

I was going to say “on a diet”, but then realized that I do not think of what I am doing that way. So, if I am not “on a diet”, I am just learning to live and eat in a healthy manner, then what is there to worry about tonight?

Well, what if she serves pasta in a heavy cream sauce, for example? That could be disastrous to my goals for this week! I should have informed her of my efforts, I know she would have been glad to accommodate…..but I didn’t think of it until late this morning and I don’t think it would be nice to call at this late time.

I think I’ll bring a healthy, non perishable snack to have on my way home (an hour’s drive) – so that I don’t feel like I have to eat whatever she’s serving in a large enough quantity to last me all evening. Maybe that will help me to be very moderate in my servings.

Of course, all this worrying could be for nothing…..she could be serving something fat free, low cal, high fibre, the whole nine yards.

I’ll let you know.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Moral of the story: Don't be so Lazy

I was thinking yesterday about how surprised I was to lose over 4 pounds last week. I wondered what I had done or not done to get that kind of numbers. I mean, I hadn’t gotten on the treadmill even once! I had been careful with my food, but I’ve been careful all summer and lost only a total of 7 pounds in 2 ½ months before this.

It finally came to me.

My plan allows for frozen meals 5 times a week.

Frozen meals are easy.

I am a lazy person.

So, I’ve been having Lean Cuisine meals 5 times a week at lunch time since last December.

I have chosen only meals that fall within the guidelines of my plan (LA Weight Loss):
200-300 calories
less than 40 g carbs
at least 14 g protein
less than 10 g fat
and less than 750 g sodium

The last time I was in at the center (2 ½ weeks ago) (I know, I am supposed to be in 3 times a week, and I was at first, because we lived in the city at the time. Now, the closest center is 1 hour away – I only go in every couple weeks) Anyway, the last time I was at the center, we talked about my frustration with being stuck on the same “numbers” for so long. The counselor recommended that I use the frozen meals only twice a week, at most because of the sodium.

After 2 weeks of no frozen meals, even with no exercise to speak of, I lost more than ½ of what I’d lost all summer!

Just another example of how my laziness has gotten me in trouble.

And you know? I haven’t even missed them! I’ve been having leftovers or salad for lunches – and enjoying my own cooking much more than the frozen stuff.

Oh, and I moved my ticker today.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Just had to report in.....the numbers on my scale reported no gain yesterday! No loss, either, but I had expected a gain - just because I know what my body usually does....after a loss of 1 or more pounds, I generally gain some of it back before going back down. Since my loss from Sunday to Monday was 1.6 lbs, I fully expected to gain a pound. I didn't! The scale still reads 220.2. YIPEE!

Still not going to change my ticker, though. I'll give it another day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Reporting In....

just a cute photo of my granddaughter, Elizabeth, looking after her cousin, Seth

Sorry I haven’t been very faithful with posting…these last 2 weeks have been crazy! First of all, it has been my hubby’s 2 weeks off work and I’d rather be spending time with him than blogging. Sorry, folks, that’s just the way it is. *smile*

Secondly, we had multiple breakdowns this last 2 weeks……hubby’s truck has been in for repair (with hubby helping with the work), my truck just quit when he was driving it out to work on his truck, our youngest son’s car broke down and had to be left at the side of the road – then it got towed and impounded before we could get it, our refrigerator quit and we had to go shopping for a new one, the front wheel fell off the tractor when Jim was cultivating, and now (as of last night) my car is making strange noises. All these expenses are on top of putting a new roof on our house (which is going very slowly due to wrong shipments, lack of labor, and (mostly) too much wind).

most of my boys, my nephew, and my man working on the tin

If all those things don’t sound like enough to keep me busy….our daughter-in-law, who is 5 months pregnant has been having recurring severe gall bladder attacks. She has completely changed the way she cooks and eats, down to zero fat, but the pregnancy hormone apparently has much to do with having gall stones and attacks. Also, fatigue triggers the attacks. She has 3 little girls of her own and also cares for 2 under two year olds in her home. They NEED her income, so she has been valiantly pushing through. Our son has told her all she needs to do is care for the children during the day and learn how to eat so she doesn’t make things worse – he comes home from work and cleans the house, does the laundry, puts the kids to bed…etc. Every time she has an attack, someone needs to go to their home and care for the children while she is either taken to the hospital or (if it is not as severe) takes some pain meds and goes to bed. Guess who that person usually is? Right….Grandma. We have asked her to quit her job and we will cover the difference in their income, so she will not have the babies after the end of this month, which will help with the fatigue factor. However, as her baby grows, the attacks will likely get worse. Every attack has her at risk for emergency surgery which would take care of the pain, but would (obviously) put our baby at risk.

Not the same baby I was talking about, but an example of the cute babies my kids make.

I would have liked to be posting on both my blogs every couple days, but that just has not been possible for the last while – I hope things will slow down just a bit, soon. Mr. Wonderful is off to work for the next 2 weeks, leaving early tomorrow morning….in some ways, I will have more time, but he takes care of quite a lot around here, so in other ways, I will have less time.

In spite of all these happenings, I have been eating carefully. As reported in my last post, I went on LA’s “Take Off” plan to try and get “off the plateau”. The first week after Take Off did not seem to be too successful, but…as I said last week “We’ll see what next Monday holds”. Well, it is next Monday……and guess what! I am DOWN 4.4 pounds! I realize that I could be up a pound or two tomorrow, so I am not going to move my ticker until I am sure I have stabilized at 220 or less.

This loss happened in spite of:

No treadmill
No pushups
My birthday party last night

Speaking of my Birthday Party, my daughter hosted a “wine and cheese” party for me. All my kids were there as well as my dearest friend and her boys, and also 2 other friends – one “new” friend and one that I haven’t seen or even talked to for about 2 years. What a blessing!

Food was: veggies and dip, sausage, bread pieces and spinach dip, crab dip, deli meats, shrimp and cocktail sauce…..Homemade Tiramisu, cream puffs, and cheese cake for dessert……Sangria and straight wine for drinks.

How did I do? Well, there were no plates….we just kept going back to “pick” so I was a little worried about how much I was eating – it was hard to keep track. I started out enjoying the bread and spinach dip (I love spinach dip) but when I realized I was unsure how many little pieces I’d had, I decided to quit eating that. After enjoying some veggies and the yummy crab dip, I switched to just veggies – no dip. I also had a few shrimp and a couple pieces of the deli chicken. When the desserts came out, Jim came and asked if I wanted some “Chocolate Mousse” (as he called the Tiramisu) I said I would take a small amount so he brought me about a ¼ cup of it. It was enough to give me a taste and I was quite satisfied with it. I popped ONE mini cream puff into my mouth and then walked away. I also had a small glass of red wine and I don’t know how many glasses of Sangria – which was made with diet pop, wine, and sugar free juice.

All in all, even though I had given myself permission to “compromise” a little bit, I think I did quite well in my choices last night. The next couple days will tell.

Here's a picture of me and Kathryn last night - compare to the photo at the side of my blog, I guess. This is 30+ pounds lighter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

That's me?!

Yesterday, I was going through the pictures on my camera. I came on a photo of me standing in my kitchen - and I was startled! I had to look twice - is that really me? I could actually SEE that almost 30 lbs makes a difference!!!

Then, 2 days ago, I put my hand on my hip and was surprised to find a waist! I said to my husband..."It feels like I am starting to have a waist again"! He replied "Well, it LOOKS like you have a waist again".

Before my man came home for his 2 weeks off, I went out and bought myself a sexy nightie. Without going into detail describing it, let's just say that I could not believe that I could look good in something like that! My sweetie liked it.

Also, there have been a few times this week that I looked in the mirror just before going out and I thought "I look pretty good!" It is not that I have never thought that before, but not often more than once in a week!

So, in spite of my frustrations with the scale, I have to say that I am encouraged - things are changing! I am getting a better life! I'm liking myself more and more, and I am certainly enjoying paying attention to what I am eating. I do not miss Nachos and Cheese at all.

Weigh In Report

On Sunday, my weight was DOWN 1.4 lbs. On Monday, I was UP .6 lbs from last week's weigh in. But, Monday is my weigh in day so I have to report a gain of .6 again.

Today I am up another 1.8 lbs. Before you start telling me I shouldn't weigh every day or be tied to that number on the scale, let me say that I have been weighing daily for 8 months. I understand what my weight normally does.

Every time I have lost a full pound or more from one day to the next, I have a gain the next day and then I lose between .5 and 1 pound every day after that until I am past the big loss. Until this summer, I have consistently lost every week, as long as I was following my plan. In fact, I consistently lost almost every day.

Here is what happened this week:

Last Tuesday and Wednesday I went on LA's "Take Off" plan....a 2 day only "quick start" type of plan (no carbs, limited protein, special drink, unlimited green veggies). I wanted to get past the "plateau" I've been on since the beginning of June.

The next day I was down to 221 (a loss of 3 pounds). I was pleased, but expected to gain the next day....however, according to what has been my pattern, hitting that 221 meant that I would soon be back there and beyond, into the two-teens and on my way to one-derland. Friday I was up (as expected) to 224.2 and Saturday I started back down toward 221 with a loss of .4 lbs. Sunday gave me another loss of 1.2 to take me to 222.6. I was excited to be able to report a loss for my weekly WI the next day.

That was not to be, already stated, on Monday the scale was up 2 pounds. But of course, Sunday morning I showed a loss of over 1 pound...I should not have been surprised to gain on Monday.

I guess we'll see what NEXT Monday shows.

Hubby has been home since Wednesday evening, meaning I don't get on the computer as much - there are better things to do! :) I may be able to make another post before he leaves again a week from today, maybe not..........

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weigh In Report

My weight this morning is 224.0 so I am down .6 pounds this week.

I went on my treadmill 3 times last week. 15 to 25 min sessions, .6 - 1 mile each. It is getting easier.

I did week 1 of the 100 pushups challenge. I am doing them off the wall for now....maybe I'll go all the way through on the wall then all the way through off my knees...we'll see, the wall thing may get to be too easy. The first day, I did the perscribed number for each set then for the last set (which is set at "max that you can do") I did 25. The next 2 days I only managed 10. I had sore muscles in my triceps and my calves so I guess I was working muscles that have just been turning to jelly before. That is always good.

I started my week today by using the treadmill and beginning week 2 of the pushup thing. I was a little afraid that after taking the weekend "off", I would not get back at it. But I did...without even having to force myself. Small victory, yes....but the large victory will only be won by many small victories.

As to my weight loss.....I am beginning to get frustrated. I am not cheating, as in eating anything I should not be eating. In fact, there have been weeks where I DID cheat and lost more. The only things I have really struggled with this week are:
  1. water....I never seemed to get all my water in although I have a water bottle with me at all times
  2. food....There were a couple days, at least, this week that I was just not hungry (it was hotter than usual) so my food intake was way down those days. I am also still not ever getting ALL my exchanges in. It is hard to believe that this is a problem, but it was proven to me early in this journey that when I ate EVERYTHING on my plan I actually lost more consistently.

So, I know what I need to do this week....drink more water and eat all my exchanges. Both these goals will require that I pay more attention sooner in the day so that I don't look at my food journal after supper and see that I still need to drink 4 glasses of water and eat 2 fruits, 2 dairy, and 1 starch. (I never lack in the protein area....I love my meat)

It is so hard for a "lifer"....someone who has been in "on a diet" mode for almost my whole life.... to remember that NOT eating the good food is just as bad as eating the bad food. I mean, I feel like I have achieved something when I don't eat. In reality, I am sending a very familiar message to my body...."she's starving again...stop burning and start storing".

Anyway, I've lost only 7 pounds since the beginning of June. I am so frustrated! I had hoped to be losing at least that amount every month!

The greatest change in me, though, has everything to do with how frustrated I am. I am not tempted to quit. I am not reaching for the nachos and cheese or the bag of cookies. The other day at the grocery, I went over to the muffins (I love muffins) and looked them over. But looking at them, I didn't even want one....I'd rather make my own, knowing what ingredients are used than eat something that likely has spray-dried eggs, powdered milk, lots of margarine and sugar in it. The fact that I did not lust after them is evidence that my mind-set has changed quite drastically. That is even better than losing more than .6 lbs this week!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Invisible Me

I hate looking in the mirror and seeing someone else.

It is like that face isn’t mine. Oh, my face is in there, somewhere, all covered with layers of fat – but that isn’t me that you see. It only looks a little like me – an idea of what I would look like if I was visible.

Maybe that is why many obese people become so introverted and self-conscious – because we feel like we have disappeared. The real me is lost somewhere under all these layers.

Those who become the “jolly fat guy/girl” are those who deal with this loss by trying harder and harder to keep the real person at the forefront. It is all the same, though. We are all suffering a loss of our real selves.

I have heard or read people say that as they are losing weight, they will look in a mirror and be startled, wondering “who is that?” I think I will look in a mirror and be happy to see me again – I plan to have a ‘welcome back party’ for me as soon as I can begin to see me. When my glasses are too big for my face, I will happily buy another, smaller pair. Some days, I am more anxious to lose weight in my face than anywhere else.

What will I look like? I haven’t seen me for almost 20 years.

18 pounds in 18 Weeks

When I first discovered this wonderful community of people encouraging one another in their efforts to lose weight, I came across a challenge to join Cara ( in losing 18 pounds in 18 weeks. I committed myself to this endeavor then promptly forgot about it. (How embarassing).

Cara found me last week and reminded me of my committment. So.....

I chose Monday as my weigh in day. Since it is 3 weeks into the challenge, I am aiming for 15 pounds in 15 weeks. This takes me to Nov 17 and will bring my total weight loss to 46 pounds or so. (over 1/3 of my goal loss)

So here is my first of yesterday (August 4) my weight was 224.6 lbs.

Unfortunately, it could have been lower, but I had gained .8 lbs since the day before.

*Sidenote: yes, I weigh myself daily. I know for many this does not work, but for me, it keeps me focused and continually reminds me of my decision. My weight fluctuates, of course, and I put more importance on the weekly loss than on the daily one. This works for me.*

Back to the .8 lb gain.....I made some BAD split second decisions on Sunday. May I tell you about them?

Some of my boys were here, working on putting tin on my roof.
I was sent to town to get some specific nails that were needed.
Since it would be lunch time when I returned, I thought I would order pizza for my hard working boys/men (bad decision #1)
Pizza place was not open until noon - I planned to be home by then SO I made an even worse decision (#2) to buy them KFC.
I bought a Ceasar salad for my vegetarian DIL and myself, not even considering eating any of the chicken myself. (good decision #1) I did not use the salad dressing that came with the salad, opting for my own low fat dressing at home (good decision #2)

Alas, my resolve faltered as soon as I opened the bucket.
"Well, I'll have just one piece - with a bit of is not like I indulge very often" (bad decision #3)
Besides, there is the whole "Don't deprive yourself, just have a small amount" thought. I've used that strategy in the past - successfully.
Not this time.
One piece led to two pieces (bad decision#4) and then to a third.(bad decision#5)
At that point, I quickly packed the leftovers into a plastic container and shoved it into the fridge....out of sight, out of mind. (good decision #3)

I tried to send the chicken home with someone, but no one wanted it! (unbelievable)

The next day, I told my husband what I had done. (Good decision #4)
Since he is currently working out of town (actually, out of the country) I could have kept it from him. However, I knew that if I did not come clean, I would begin a trend of "secret eating" which would cause me to gain, which, in turn, would make me hate myself and eat secretly some more, adding more pounds.....and the spiral down (or up - on the scale) would begin. I would again be a failure and soon my current top weight would no longer be the record.

During my conversation with him, I realized something.
I bought that KFC, because I wanted to "bless" my kids.
In reality, I did no one any favors....Deep fried ANYTHING is horribly unhealthy.
Hubby and I had made a pact a few months back not to buy snacks and drinks for our home that are unhealthy....including the snacks and drinks we serve our guests/kids/grandkids.
I TOTALLY forgot that decision in my desire to please the boys.
And where did the blessing come in, anyway? A momentary, culinary pleasure with LONG lasting negative affects on their health.

I felt pretty stupid, once I thought about it.

I was pretty disappointed in myself for having that first piece of chicken and gravy.

My scale proved what a poor choice it was.

I do feel good, though, about telling my man what I had done instead of trying to keep it from him.
AND I am not wallowing in my bad decisions (that would just be another bad choice). I have picked myself up, dusted myself off, and am continuing on this journey...I WILL succeed for good and for always this time! (good decision #5)

Oh, and the chicken? After my conversation with Hubby, I took the container full of delicious, fat filled chicken and DUMPED it all in the trash. Same with the gravy, potatoe salad, and coleslaw. (good decision #6)

Hmmmm....just realized my good decisions outweighed the bad.


On another note: I began the 100 pushup training program today. I did the pushups off the wall - 4 sets of 2 then one set of as many as possible. I did 25 on that then, my arms and shoulders were burning. I knew I would not be able to maintain the program doing the full, regular pushups - so we'll start where we're at.

I also did 15 minutes on my treadmill. I went for .6 miles. This is a very slow pace....not even out of the training zone on the speed control....but it is as fast as my short, fat legs will go. Although this is not real impressive, it is better than last year when I started using the treadmill regularly (which lasted about 4 weeks). At that beginning point, I could only do 10 minutes and did not make 1/2 mile. So, it is a beginning. My biggest challenge will be to do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.......