Sunday, September 28, 2008

Two Birthday Parties in one Day

You might think by the title of this post that I had a rough day, as far as eating is concerned.
But I am happy to bring a good report.

My Great Aunt's daughters arranged a party for her 80th birthday, to be celebrated today. I knew that a good number of my extended family would be there - people I seldom see anymore except at funerals, so I made the effort to be there for an hour before going to my son's home to celebrate his 27th birthday. (Which was actually yesterday)

The food at Auntie's party was beautiful! A fruit boquet too pretty to eat dominated the food table. Trays of finger sandwiches, cheeses, fruit pieces, and vegetable pieces led to two huge cakes - one Black Forest and one Carrot. The Black Forest was kind of calling to me, but I kept myself busy talking to various rellies so that I could not hear it. I also poured myself a glass of water so my hands were full. After the first couple times of ignoring the cake calls, I didn't even think of it again! Yay!

Then, the best thing......My sister, whom I have not seen since January, and who is herself obese, asked me "How did you lose all your weight?" Not "Have you lost weight?" But "How did you lose ALL your weight?" This is the first time someone who has not seen me in awhile and has had no idea that I was making an effort has commented. It felt so good! Especially since I knew that it would cost her plenty to compliment me.....we are... let's say "not close". Her obese daughter (my niece) also complimented me on my weight loss.

I felt pretty good leaving that place, I'll tell you!

Here is a photo of my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson with my 80 year old Great Aunt. Doesn't she look great for 80?

Next stop, my son and daughter-in-law's home. My second son turned 27 yesterday so the family gathered today to celebrate. All my kids were there as well as my Sister-in-law and her husband, my nephews, and my niece. My DIL served spaghetti and meat sauce and had everyone else bring a salad of some sort. I brought fresh veggies and low cal dressing as dip. By the time supper was served, I was very hungry since I hadn't eaten since breakfast.

I filled my plate with veggies, fresh spinach with DIL's homemade dressing, and a spoon of coleslaw. Then I did it again (minus the coleslaw this time) so that I wasn't feeling exceptionally hungry by the time I got to the spaghetti. I did not measure, but I took what I figured was pretty close to 1 cup of pasta and added one scoop of the meat sauce. I was completely satisfied and felt good about what I ate.

I always enjoy being around my kids - they are a fun group and my hubby's sister and her family are very close to us, so they are as much a part of us as we are. (make sense?)
My boys may be adults, but they are still boys. This is the birthday boy (no hat, no hair) and his younger brother entertaining themselves. At least, the fighting is more controlled and all in fun now. :)
It was a lovely, warm, sunny day here in the "frozen north", BTW.

It was fun to watch the two babies learning to play together....I took a couple photos of them but they didn't work out very well. Here is a photo of the second half of the "twin cousins". If you start singing "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands" He starts to laugh and clap. That is what he is doing here.

This is my crazy middle child, being silly and somehow getting his nephew to make the same face at the same time.....

My 7 year old granddaughter is so proud of finally losing her tooth. It has been wiggly forever - she would not pull it or let anyone else pull it, she just waited until it was so loose it literally fell out. LOL. She's hoping the other one falls out before Christmas.

And of course, we need a photo of the birthday second artist....father of my hand-clapping grandson.

So, now that you've seen some of my family, back to the main challenge of birthday parties.....the cake.

DIL made the family's favorite chocolate cake (my mother's recipie....SO moist, chocolatey and rich....the best) and at my son's request, topped it with whipped cream and cherry pie filling. This is a dessert to die for (almost). I was asked if I was having any and before I could answer, all 3 of my DsIL said "Oh you have to have just a little piece, Mom". I actually decided to have a small bit (I would serve myself, though, after seeing the size of the servings that were being passed around) The whipped cream wasn't real cream - it was Dream Whip (0 fat), in deference of my pregnant DIL who has gallstones - that would take some calories away (not to mention taste). So, having decided, I began carrying plates of cake, Dream Whip, cherries AND ice cream to the 17 people in the family room. I figured if I went up and down the stairs several times that would offset what I was about to do.

But you know what? By the time everyone had been served, I no longer even wanted any cake. Is that cool, or what?
So, I survived two parties and two chocolate cakes without feeling deprived and without doing something that would sabatoge my efforts of the past week.
A good start to this next week, I'd say.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Learning to Live

I’ve been thinking……should I be unhappy with the rate of my weight loss? I am averaging only 1 lbs/week over the last 9 months. At times, I get disappointed, thinking I “should” be losing much more quickly. I look at some of the others in this blogging community and feel somewhat envious of their quick losses and, a few weeks ago, in conversation with a weight loss “coach”, she told me I should not be satisfied with such a slow loss.

I can look at my plan and tell you exactly why I have not lost faster…..beginning with the whole exercise issue. If I had been exercising faithfully, I would be losing faster – no question.

I could also go through my food diaries and find many days where I did not drink all my water or did not eat all my exchanges or ate too many starches or had a treat or ate comfort food because I was not feeling well. Mostly, I fall "off" the plan by not drinking enough water and by not eating all my food - infractions are actually relatively few - and minor.

BUT…..I have been pretty OK with this rate of loss. At least, so far. Why?

And why have I not given up? There is another question, because every other diet attempt at weight loss, while giving me initial success, has ended much sooner than this – with the expected re-gain of the weight loss, never having even reached my goal before throwing in the towel.

(Yes, I was the stereotypical yo-yo dieter for pretty much all my adult life and even into my teens.)

What is the difference between this foray into the weight loss fight and the other 500,000 times?

I’ve been contemplating this of late and have come to at least the beginning of a conclusion…….

FIRST….my motivation was a little different this time.

I had come to a place in my life where I hated not so much myself, as what I had done to myself. (BIG difference…not hating myself) Something clicked within me and I realized that I deserved a better life than the one I had given myself. My husband deserved a wife he could put his arms around and who wasn’t always whining and crying about how fat and ugly she was. My kids deserved a mom who would be around to watch their kids grow up. My grandkids deserved a grandma who could play with them and hold them on her lap. All things which would give ME a better life.

Always before, my motivation had been simply to look better and thereby, like myself better.

SECOND….(related to the first)….my goal was different.

Always before, the goal had been to lose weight. (usually within a set time frame…by Christmas, for a wedding, by summer, etc)

This time, because of my slightly different motivation, my goal is to learn to live – to learn to have that better life I deserved. Instead of being my goal, weight loss will be the result of learning to live well.

THIRD….the time frame and the expectation. (see above)

Because my goal is to learn to live, there is no end to this plan. I don’t want to stop living well because I reach my goal weight. Nor do I only begin to live when I reach my goal – I am learning to live NOW, the weight I am now.

In learning to live, I acknowledge that from time to time, for the rest of my life, I will be faced with: eating out, dinner parties, birthday cakes, celebrations, and a simple desire for something really sweet or fat or carbolicious. It is unreasonable to expect that I can live the rest of my life without having a piece of pie or a plate of pasta.

SO, I am learning to manage these situations by NOT totally depriving myself and by learning to be satisfied with a small serving.

When faced with something I “shouldn’t” have, I do not say “You cannot have that”. I ask myself if I really want it. At this point, I calculate how it will affect the rest of my day’s eating plan. If I decide to go ahead with it, I might tell myself to just wait for a bit. Often, I’ve forgotten about it within a few minutes. If not, I allow myself a small portion. Why can I be satisfied with a small amount? Because I am not just saying NO to myself and depriving myself “until I lose weight”….I am learning to live with the sweets and fast foods and carby comfort foods that I will be faced with for the rest of my life. I am learning to control them rather than be controlled by them.

Also, it is good to know that now, because I am eating carefully, if I choose to have a sugary/fat filled treat, I don't have to hide it because I don't feel guilty. I am not cheating, I am living. Sweet treats will always be part of life....I need to deal with them wisely and with thought. And when I eat that treat out in the open, I am not tempted to have "just one more".

Now, to clarify…..I do not often say yes. Most of the time, I make a decision NOT to give in to a craving or opportunity. The difference is that I am making a decision based not on deprivation, resulting in feeling sorry for myself, but based on a real choice. Is this worth it, or not? Will my saying yes to this advance my goal of learning to live or not? Once in a while, it really does bring me closer to my goal.

Have these decisions slowed my weight loss? Undoubtedly. But in the long run, I am actually achieving my goal quite quickly, because I AM learning to live.

Next step…..learning to live ACTIVELY! :)


So, I ask again…should I be concerned that I am not losing weight faster?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sick of being sick

Man, I feel yucky. (Excuse the juvenile vocabulary, my brain is too foggy to speak more intelligently). I am still fighting this nasty cold/flu bug.

As soon as I started to feel better, hubby and son both got sick so the virus was still floating around. Had to send my man back to work for 2 weeks before he was well. :( At least he weathered the worst of it at home where he could just rest.

Anyway, the night he left (Tuesday) I had a low grade fever and since then I've have felt not bad or terrible - but never it is more stomach related. Grrrr...hard to begin to implement those lofty exercise goals I made about 3 weeks ago.

I am working on clearing out what was our bedroom and turning it into our spare bedroom - yesterday I worked for a couple hours - including ripping out some carpet. My reward was a feeling of accomplishment and a hip that hurt so bad I could barely walk for the rest of the day. (I've had problems with my hips since my 3rd pregnancy (1981)....getting worse with each one and finally not limited to pregnancies.....probably because I got to be heavier not pregnant than I had been when pregnant.) It has been awhile, though, that I've had so much problem.

I babysat grandson Seth (8 1/2 mo) last night while his mommy was at the recording studio getting her vocals on their demo tape. What fun we had! Even though he is still sick as well, he was a happy boy and Grandma got a great baby fix. But it hurt to stand up and hold him.

You'll forgive this grandma for showing off her oh-so-cute baby, won't you? He's just learning to walk around the furniture and crawl. Actually, he's been at the furniture for about a month, at least. But he's only been crawling on his hands and knees for about a week.

Anyway, as I said, In spite of having the cutest grandkids in the world, I feel blah today - probably doesn't help that I have been waking up multiple times during the nights since my sweetie left. That is very unusual for me - especially adding in problems getting back to sleep. What's with that, anyway?

On a more positive note, I am down 3.4 pounds since Monday.... 8/10 of a pound less than when I first got sick. (You may recall that I gained an unexplained 6.8 pounds in the first few days of being sick) Also, I have been sticking to my eating plan, even though I have not been exercising. Still not doing so good on water, though. For some reason, water tastes disgusting to me when I have a cold.

A couple days ago, I went for a drive to try and capture some of the fall colors on my is one that I think turned out rather well. I do love the colors of fall, even though they are heralding the oncoming winter season.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Looking ahead.....

I recently read a magazine article about 5 or 6 women who lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off for a number of years.

Inspiring, for sure.

Their methods were all different, proving that ANY program will work if it is entered into at the right time with the right attitude.
Their personal “tips” for keeping the weight off are practical and do-able.

But I have a question…what is with the high heels?

Every one of those ladies is wearing 5 inch heels! Not 2 or 3 inch heels, and no flats…ALL were wearing 5 inch heels, even with casual dresses or jeans.

Is this the normal shoe apparel for a person who is not overweight? Or is it just that these ladies (all of whom weighed near or over 200 pounds at one point) could not wear heels of any sort pre-weight loss and are now overcompensating?

Even more to the point….Why do I have 2 pairs of 5 inch heels sitting around to “inspire” me?

What is it about these foot debilitating means of torture that appeal to us, make us feel beautiful?
Is it all just a cultural thing?
Is it because our men think it is sexy and ask it of us?
I have to agree that the shoes themselves are beautiful.
(I may have to be careful in the future….I do love a pretty shoe and I could become a shoe fanatic)
Yes, standing on tip toe makes the calf look more muscular and shaped, which could be seen as beautiful.
Is it that they force a woman to think more about how she stands or walks?
Is it all of the above or just one of the above, or none of the above?

I don’t know the answer to the question, but what I do know is that I look forward to the day that I can actually walk in shoes that make me 5 inches taller - torturous or not.

Right now, not only does my extra weight make my poor toes scream in agony from all the force applied to them, but I am so top heavy that I actually sway when I stand up in them. I am seriously afraid I will fall over just because I am so unbalanced.

Will I ever be able to wear these shoes and feel graceful?

For that matter, when was the last time I felt graceful?
Something else to look forward to......


Friday, September 19, 2008

A Vision of the Future

Yesterday I was at Kathryn’s (daughter). She was sick in bed so a young friend, Holly, was looking after the day home (an extra 2 yr old and a 3 yr old - both in diapers). Holly had to change a dirty diaper (poor girl) and when she and the 2 yr old came out of the bathroom, she asked me if the diaper was on backward. It was. She looked rather despondent at having to take it off and put it on again. I took pity on her and said “I’ll do it”.

This is not so unusual. Except that the little one was already laying down on the floor for me. I cringed, because I don't get down on the floor for reasons I will go into in a moment. But, Hey! I did not want Holly to see that I could not get down on the floor. I mean, I have some pride, you know? And just in case she hasn't noticed that I am fat, I didn't want to draw attention to the fact. :)

Remarkably, I found it quite easy to get down! Then I noticed I could actually kneel in front of the child, and lean toward her without feeling like I was cutting off my breath. As I quickly switched the diaper around, I felt triumphant! I changed a diaper on the floor!

That may not sound like much, but ever since becoming a grandmother 8 years ago, I have had to avoid the diaper changing unless I brought the child up to a table. (my girls all change diapers on the floor) Even sitting beside her on a couch did not work very well. NEVER could I do it on the floor! My belly got in the way of my breathing. My belly got in the way of my reaching the baby. My knees were hurting long before the diaper was even off!

So, this was a victory!

We went back in the evening to look after Seth (grandson) for Kathryn until Vinjelu (SIL) came home from work. I decided to test my private little victory out again, got down on the floor and played with my grandson! I even laid on my stomach!!!!

I have a long way to go before I can get up and down off the floor with absolute ease, but I have tasted the freedom and the fun of playing on the floor with my munchkins…..I so look forward to what the next 10 pounds brings. And the next………

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adendum to yesterday's post

After reading comments and thinking more about the post below, I feel the need to make another comment or two.

First, I understand where my readers are coming from when they say that my title makes them feel sad.....that it is a negative title. Looking at it from outside myself, I'd have to agree with them.

However, I still feel that this title best describes the positive things happening in my life.

You see, I am the Queen of Procrastination......The winner of the Ostrich of the Year Award several years running.......I've been voted "Least Likely to Rock the Boat", and "Best Spin Doctor".

In every area of my life I avoid the unpleasant, the painful, the inconvenient. I ignore or put a positive spin on the worst situations. I do not do or say anything that will cause a confrontation - even with myself. I have gotten into trouble, had relationships crumble, and had to pay fines because of these tendencies.

(Of course, there is always a flip side to some cases, it is GOOD to be able to put a positive spin on a bad situation, or be able to ignore a bad situation. There are times that these tendencies have stood me in good stead. More often, however, they show up as weaknesses)

This is who I am/have been. These inclinations of mine are character weaknesses and have NOTHING to do with my being overweight. I would have been like this if I had always been a healthy weight. That being said, I have to say that these flaws in my character contributed to my inability to successfully lose weight when I tried. I could always ignore, avoid, hide, or fudge the truth about what I was or wasn't eating or doing. In other words, I basically lied my way to 253 lbs.

However, I am changing. I have been working on these weaknesses for several years, now. I still struggle with them but I have gotten some measure of control over all but the Procrastination thing (which has as much to do with laziness as anything). BECAUSE of these changes in my life....because I have been able to finally face truth and confrontation head on (most of the time) I came face to face with the fact that I had to take responsibility for my weight....I had to first of all admit that I had failed at my efforts to lose weight - it wasn't the program that failed me, it wasn't circumstances in my life that kept me from losing, it wasn't stress, sickness, pregnancy, moving, grief, busy-ness, lack of income, or any number of excuses I had used over the years.

I, Me, Karyn, Myself, and ONLY I was responsible for the fact that I had continued over the years to gain weight until I was 253 lbs.

Facing that fact was a victory for me. Taking ownership of all the "diet failures" in the past freed me. It didn't happen immediately..... at first, I had a "I'll give this a try" attitude but as I grasped the idea that I was in charge of this area of my life....for good or for bad, I went from "I'll give this a try" to "I'm going to do this".

Therefore, my title is, to me, positive. Long before I started this blog, I was viewing this new phase of my life as "A Failure's Journey to Success". I saw myself as leaving the Failures of the past behind as I followed the path to Success. Not only in losing weight, but in becoming more of the person my Father in Heaven meant for me to be all along. The weight loss will be icing on the cake, so to speak......changing from the habits and mindsets of a person who kept setting herself up to fail to a person who believes in herself enough to take the steps neccessary to change is the real victory.

Thank you to Shanna of (A Gym Rat's Tale) and to (Roaring Lioness) for your comments which made me think more clearly about why I felt positive when I chose this title. It is always good to be made to think.

Besides, having to be analytical about this has given me reason to put off doing my bills. LOL
I am still too good at procrastinating.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Re: the title of my blog

Someone commented today about the title of my blog. She said that my blog title made her sad because "no one should think of themselves as a failure".

I would like to comment on this.

First of all, let me be clear on a couple things.

To begin with, I have never considered myself to be a total failure. I have always seen myself as being successful in most areas of my a wife, a mother, a friend, a mentor, a teacher, a person, etc. etc. etc.

I have accomplished much, worked hard, grown, become a better person, and been loved my many people, regardless of my weight losses or gains.

I've led different kinds of support groups, planned community events, talked to government officials about things I was passionate about, I've given speeches to groups of women and also to mixed crowds, I've been the main pianist at church (even though I am only a passable pianist), I've sung in public (even though I am not a good singer), I've sat on community commitees and contributed positively to them...........I could go on, but I won't.

In the most important areas of my life, I have been a success. My man loves me more today than when he married me. My children are well adjusted, intelligent, confident adults who are all (but one) happily married. None of them veered far off "the path" as we negotiated their teen years together. All have a relationship with God, their Father.....they are each other's best friends, and they all have good relationships with their dad and myself.

So, be assured, the title of my blog in no way says that just because I have been fat for most of my life that there is nothing of value in my life or in me.

The fact remains, however, that I have been fat (or thought I was fat) since I was a girl. Even when the problem was simply that I was shaped differently than my tall, gangly best friend, I saw myself as fat. My vision of myself did not change as I got older, in fact it got stronger. And, since the way we see ourselves has more power over us than the way others see us, I began to actually become as fat as I thought I was. Then I became even fatter.

I began to diet, to try to lose the weight, to gain control over my eating habits and my ever increasing size when I was only 14. You know the deprive yourself, you lose weight. You go back to eating "normally", you gain more than you lost. This cycle continues over and over. Soon, you begin a diet or even "a lifestyle change" only to quit a week or two down the road.

When I look at myself in respect to weight loss over the last 36 years, I have failed. There is no other way to say it. I have failed in all my weight loss efforts up to December 2007. Therefore, since this blog is ABOUT weight loss, I have been a failure. I see no reason to avoid the word just because it is unpleasant.

But now look at the second part of the title........My title claims that I am on a journey ...from being a failure (as far as weight loss goes) to being a success.

I have made a decision. I am NOT going to fail at this attempt to change my physical appearance, my health, my self image. I WILL be a success in this area - just like I am in the other areas of my life.

My title also acknowledges that this is a journey....I cannot just say to myself "I've succeeded" or "I am a success" or "I am not a failure" and be there. There is a process, choices to make, bad habits to break and new habits to cultivate. Some days will be successful, some days will be a dismal failure. BUT I will continue on to the finally succeed in this area of my life.

I understand that if I tell myself on a daily basis "You're no good, you're a failure" that I will become just the same way that I convinced myself that I was fat and then became fat. I am not doing that. I am simply saying that I have been a failure and I am making a choice to change that - to become successful at being healthy.

I make no apologies in calling myself a failure in my title - if I wasn't a failure in this area, I wouldn't be working on losing weight at this time of my life.....I'd have conquered my weight issues years ago.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sick - and now a bit discouraged

In reading some of the other weight loss blogs, I've noticed people have some major challenges with emotional eating or specific holidays/activities. Some folks binge when they are upset or sad. Some binge for no apparent reason. Others stash food and eat in secret. As I've read about these struggles, I have felt compassion and understanding for the authors, and I've also thought "Do I do that?"

I wondered if I was lieing to myself when I answered my own question with a "no". I mean, lieing to myself is something I am very good at - and one of the reasons I am on this journey in the first place. Is there something wrong with me, that I do not and have not had those kinds of challenges? How did I get to be obese if I wasn't bingeing? I mean, I've never eaten a whole bag of cookies at once. Have I? I wonder if I am lieing to myself about things like that. I do not know the answer to that question - yet.

I've really had a relatively easy transition from fat girl eating to healthy girl eating. I truly enjoy eating healthy and I don't miss french fries or nacho chips or chocolate cake. I worried a bit about this. Does that sound silly? I was waiting for the other shoe to drop - waiting to discover that I have a split personality or something.....that I DO binge when I'm emotional, I've just managed to hide it from myself.

Well, I'm still on the lookout for destructive habits that I am keeping hidden even from myself, but these last few days I've discovered one area where I want to throw all progress out the window and wallow in certain foods.

I have a bad cold. (Not nearly as bad as I usually get, thanks to Cold FX, I'm sure) Since Tuesday, I've been sick. Coughing, fever, stuffy nose, congested chest........When I get a cold I seem to get VERY sick. In -bed -for- two- days -at -least -sick. Well, I've not had to stay in bed, which is why I say I'm not as sick as I normally get - but sleep is interrupted and I don't have the energy to do much in the way of housework, etc. AND I have been craving carbs something awful.

I want to eat constantly to make myself "feel better". I want pasta with creamy sauces, I want casseroles, Hamburger Helper, creamy soup.....I want to drink hot chocolate all the time, and if I could add a few drops of Bailey's, all the better. I do NOT want salad, vegetables, fruit, chicken breast, fish............. I kind of knew this about myself, but did not realize the extent of my cravings until I actually began to pay attention to them.

The first day I was sick I made a plan (thankfully).

Knowing that I love creamy soup when I am sick, I made myself a big pot of soup. I started with low fat chicken broth with the lowest sodium count I could find (next time, I'll make my own chicken stock to eliminate the sodium issue), added some chopped up chicken pieces, a can of tomatoes and a can of tomatoe sauce (forgot to check the sodium content there), a can of chickpeas (rinsed), celery, onion, zucchini, fresh green beans, carrots, cabbage, and garlic. I used various spices/herbs until it tasted good, then after the veggies were cooked, I took half of them out and put them through the blender. Once the pureed veggies were added back to the soup, it was nice and thick. About a half cup of whole wheat flour and half cup of skim milk mixed together and added to the soup gave it a bit of a creamy texture and taste without adding many calories.

This is what I have been eating for almost every meal since Wednesday night. The problem is that I also bought some fresh grainy buns to have with the soup. Oh my goodness! They are wonderful! They probably count for 2 carbs each and I've been having 2 with every bowl of soup! With margarine (low fat, yes, but lots of it) I would love to slather those little babies with butter, but I've been resisting.

I am glad I took the time to make the soup, because otherwise I'd be eating canned soup or Kraft Dinner or some kind of pasta with Alfredo sauce.

AND, although I've given in to "Timmy's" English Toffee Coffee twice (small cups), I am trying to keep my hot drinks to tea rather than hot chocolate with Bailey's.

On the up side, I could be alot sicker. On the down side, I have not been able to do anything remotely looking like a workout - or even work. And hubby still doesn't have that Poppyseed cake I was going to make for him BEFORE he got home. Maybe today.

I'm hoping that by Monday I will feel up to walking a mile and working out at Curves.

I was UP 3 pounds yesterday! I KNOW I have not eaten or drank enough to gain 3 pounds! But, I also noticed that I am swollen, as in retaining water swollen. I'm hoping it has to do with being sick and that those 3 pounds will drop quickly.

Wait a is morning (I got up before morning to take some tylenol and have a cup of tea) I'm going to go step on the scale right now...

224.0!!!!!!! How is that even possible? That is a GAIN of ANOTHER 3.6 pounds for a total of 6.8 pounds! The scale said 217.2 just 3 days ago, and it had been pretty stable at 217-218 for about 3 days before that. Seriously, how is that possible? I have NOT gone off the deep end with food, in spite of my cravings. How could a few extra starches do that? I've done worse with less consequence.

Has anyone noticed a co-relation between weight gain (water retention?) and being sick?

For the first time, I am actually discouraged.

I'm going back to bed before I eat.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This summer was really slow – as far as weight loss is concerned. It bothered me, but I did not even have one thought about giving up or “falling off the wagon”.

These two facts told me two things:
I really HAVE changed in my thinking toward food
I was too willing to accept a 2 – 3 lb per month weight loss

One thing I was very aware of was that I needed to put some kind of activity into my daily routine. In reading your blogs, I noticed almost everyone is involved in some kind of physical activity – and it seemed like everyone was either working out at a gym, training for a marathon, or riding miles on a bicycle every day.
I also noticed something else that I seemed to be missing…..goals. Real goals.

When I began this part of my journey last December, the only goal I had was to lose 130 lbs within a year. And the 130 lbs wasn’t a real goal because I did not know what my goal weight should be – it was always kind of fuzzy (actually, VERY fuzzy) because I have NEVER been happy with the way I looked as far as weight is concerned so I had no idea what weight would be good for me. I mean, even as young as 10 I was thinking I was fat. (I wasn’t) I don’t know why I have had such a poor self-image – I guess that is a matter for further contemplation and a possible future post. Getting back to my point, I have had NO IDEA what my goal weight should be – I’ve just been willing to “know when I get there”. And when it became apparent that I would not lose over 100 lbs within a year, I started to just kind of float along…..eating healthy, writing almost everything down, weighing and measuring almost everything, following my plan 98% of the time, but being just a little nonchalant about it all. I didn’t eat all my exchanges, I didn’t drink all my water, I drank too much diet pop, and had too many alcohol based drinks. I wasn’t gaining, but the losses were v-e-r-y s-l-o-w.

These last couple weeks I’ve felt the need to set some hard and fast goals – long term as well as short term. And here’s the tough part… to reach those goals.

My first step in setting some goals was to decide on an exercise program. I live in the country so there are no walking paths nearby and Hubby doesn’t like me walking along the narrow gravel road where people speed by at 100 km/hr. Same for biking. As well, I live in the part of the world where summer is short and winter is long and cold. So, those two activities are out. I do have a treadmill though, and I can use it for walking. The strength training options kind of confused me, though…..there are many that are inexpensive and can be done at home. I have a pile of books and videos containing oodles of exercises that promise to strengthen and tone every muscle in your body. Most of those have never been used and although I have had a real shift in my thinking, I don’t trust myself to oversee my own strength training using the books or Videos I already have. So, I went back to the only exercise I’ve ever really enjoyed and stuck with for any length of time….Curves.

At the gym, I told the manager/owner my story. I told her that I was tired of just “floating” along and wanted to set some goals, work hard, and begin to lose at a quicker pace than I have been. She told me what they could offer in terms of maximizing the machines and the workout, promising that they would coach me and push me as much as I wanted.

At Curves, they measure your % of Body Fat as well as how many pounds of Fat Mass you are carrying. Based on this information, and the healthy % of Body Fat for a woman my age, she came up with a goal weight of 144 – 149 which shocked me! (That seems high) But, if I am building muscle as I burn fat, I guess……. I’m still thinking “We’ll see”. I do know that my daughter looked terrific and was wearing a size 6 or 9 at most when she got married. She weighed nearly 150 lbs (she is 5 ft 2 in) but she has always been a very strong girl with lots of muscle. As well, the Curves owner herself looks fit and firm in every way and her weight is 175 (she is about 5’7”) So, I’m willing to shoot for a firm 145-150 lbs.

Thus, I have established a goal weight. What I need to do is establish a time frame……still thinking about that one.

I have also established an exercise goal……workout at Curves 3X per week, and walk on my treadmill 6 days a week. As for the treadmill – for now, I am doing one mile. I want to be up to 1.5 miles by next week, 2 miles the next, and so on until I am doing 4 miles every day for a total of about 100 miles per month.

I’m excited to take a step up on this journey.

But yesterday, it became obvious that I was about to take two steps backward. I was getting sick. By evening, my 100.4 degree temperature confirmed that yes, I am sick. And Hubby is coming home tonight! This really sucks. There is no way I can stick to my exercise goals when I am sick. It will be nice to have my sweetie take care of me, though.

I’m going to drink lots of water, take Cold FX and Garlic, eat properly, and take it as easy as necessary until Mr. Wonderful gets home to take care of me.

And when I am feeling better, my goal is to immediately implement my exercise goals.

For now, I cancelled my workout at Curves for today. I still need to go into town for a few things …… I want to make Mr. Wonderful’s favorite Poppyseed Cake for his homecoming and I am out of eggs. I’m also almost out of Cold FX and Tylenol. And, I like to have my car clean for my man when he gets home – a trip to the car wash is in order….although, in deference to the way I am feeling, I think I’ll just run through the auto wash rather than use the wash bay.

I really hope the Cold FX works and I don’t get any sicker than I already am.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I'm Back....with an NSV

Hey All! Sorry I haven't been around much (at all) this past week....TOM really did a number on me! I did nothing but lay around for 2 days then Thursday, I had an appointment in the city so I took the opportunity to check in at the LA Weight Loss Center. I was pleased that I have lost almost 10 pounds (I forget the exact number) since my last visit about 3 weeks before.

After LA, my sweet MIL took me out for lunch. We went to Applebee's where I had a salad with grilled chicken, dressing on the side and one of their mini desserts. (An indulgence, for sure) I took Mom back home and went in for a bit of a visit which lasted longer than I intended so I did not get home until about 7:30 pm. I was still dealing with a heavy flow, so by that time, I was just too tired to think about food and just went to bed.

Friday became a day where my emotions played havoc with me......going down and working in my library helped, both the physical activity and the distraction.....but I did not eat between breakfast and later in the evening when I suddenly became very hungry. I did not overeat, but the time of night was not the greatest.

Saturday, one of my boys and his wife came out for a visit. They stayed until I had to get ready to go into town - I skipped lunch. My plan was to go to my oldest's son's home to visit with them until time to go to church.

I am one of those Christians that do not make a habit of going to church - long story- but this night, my daughter and SIL were performing one of their own songs during the service. I have not had the opportunity to actually see them perform so I jumped at the chance. Oldest son, etc. were also planning to attend. Daughter dropped her baby off with us while they went early to practice, so I had the delight of caring for my grandboy - feeding him his supper, cuddling him, etc and did not take time for supper. (tsk tsk) was a pleasant experience and I was so proud of my kids! They did so well. My SIL is a very talented songwriter - except that his genre is rap. I don't understand a word he is "rapping". LOL. I have, however, read the lyrics and they are great! My daughter takes after her dad - she has a sweet, pure voice for which SIL has written melodic choruses and verses to go with his rap. They are preparing to enter a talent search contest next month - this was their first performance of one of their entry songs. They will be recording this and one other next week.

This is the chorus:

"Jesus, you love me as I am

At odds with the love I find in man

All that I have comes from your hand

Jesus you love me as I am"

It is a beautiful, simple melody on this part.

Their goal is to be able to sell some of their music and so become financially self-sufficient while they are working with Youth With A Mission in Zambia - beginning next fall.

So....back to my story......

After the service, there was cake and ice cream to celebrate a couple birthdays that had happened during the week. By this time I was very hungry and I did NOT want to succumb to the sweets, so I left.

Again, I ate within my plan, but much later in the evening than I should have.

Today, I was invited to lunch at a friend's home. She knows about my weight loss efforts so checked with me on her menu - salmon and salad. She is a wonderful cook, no matter how simple a meal, so it was very was the visit. I still ended up having supper later than usual - about 8 pm - but the weekend is over and TOM is almost done with and I can get back on a more regular schedule.


But, I've saved the real news for last.........Can you imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale the second day of TOM and found a LOSS of 2.8 pounds!!!! That is not supposed to happen! That weight was maintained for a day and since then I am up 1 pound. Still, an overall loss during a time that I normally gain!

The best thing, WAY better than the scale's numbers is this:

I have been wearing my wedding rings for 4 days and 4 nights!!! This is the first time since I can't even remember when that I've been able to keep them on for more than a few hours - and NEVER overnight! (I get claustrophobic when my rings are not a little loose) I love my rings and it has been one of the greatest disappointments of gaining weight that I could not wear them. I even had them sized up several years ago - that worked for about a year.

This is one of the first MAJOR milestones in my weight loss journey. Another will be when I have to get them sized down again.

Who cares what the scale says? I can wear my rings!

PS I've added a new feature from Blogger that allows you to become a "follower" of my blog. This also adds a link to your blog and lets me see who is reading my blog. Check in by clicking the link at the right - just above the photos. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A bad day

I feel awful today.

Sluggish and crampy and Blue.

Totally unmotivated.

In fact, I don’t even want to move.

My back aches terribly.

Yes, TOM is upon me.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if this is something I was used to, but I haven’t had a visit from Aunt Flo since the beginning of March. (remember, I am 51 years old) I’ve gotten so used to being free of it, I forgot to even look for symptoms. So, when I was weepy and depressed on Sunday, I couldn’t figure out what the problem was until the next day. I knew I’d be in for a bad bout since it had been so long. The physical aspects (although quite severe) I can handle, but it is this feeling of being sluggish and unmotivated that is bugging me. I don’t even feel like eating – which is better than feeling like stuffing my face, I guess. I know I should just get up and DO something, but there are certain physical realities that make it hard to do so.

Maybe I should just give in, cuddle up on the couch with a heating pad and a good book and wait it out.

Should be better tomorrow. I hope.

On the up side, even with the cycle, I have not gained.