Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Struggles

I am struggling. I won't hide it. It seems the last few months it has been blow after blow. It isn't that I don't have the will or the want to do the right things. It isn't that I have a lack of knowledge. It truly is a lack of time.

I know, I know, everyone says they are pressed for time. When I was going to school full time in the evenings and working full time I felt pressed for time. However, even that does not compare to life right now. I feel like I just have to write about all that has taken place. Perhaps having it out there will muster up something deep inside to pull out of this dark place I feel I'm in right now.

The beginning of the year started off with a bang. My husband had back to back knee surgeries. That consumed much of my mental and physical energy, but we made it through with flying colors and I was doing pretty well. My graduation soon followed. It took a lot of hard work that final semester and it was a joyful but stressful time.

Soon after we received notice of a personal business matter that forced us to make the very difficult decision to seek out an attorney and file bankruptcy. Certainly, in these economic times we aren't the first or last that were faced with looming financial devistation. But, it didn't make it feel any better. We lost our home and moved forward to a better life in truly a better home. So it wasn't all bad.

At the same time, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. At first, we thought it was early, small, all the words you seek out to find comfort in the grave diagnosis. Then reality hit. Her surgery followed. We have been battling with chemo the last few months. Life has been changed and we look forward to "normal" again. Her last chemo is December 30th and once through January we will be finished with hell weeks!

I was diagnosed with diabetes. I seem to have taken the diagnosis a bit harder than I expected. I hate this disease. I'm pissed off that I have worked so hard to change, yet it was too little, too late. I hate that so far I don't have it under control which means I will need more meds. I HATE DIABETES!

In the last two weeks we have had two more blows. We received news that my sixteen year old stepson is going to be a father. Additionally, he hasn't been to school for months. He is now living in our home, is back in school, seeking employment to take care of his new responsibilities, and that feels right, but it doesn't come without its own set of major stresses.

Last night, after 6pm, I received that dreaded call.

"No one is injured."

It was my husband. On his way home, with our three youngest children in the car, a drunk driver hit them as they were getting off a major expressway. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the same cannot be said about our kid mobile. We suspect the minivan is a total loss. We will be surprised if it isn't.

So looking back at all that is going on, I understand why this has been the year of struggle. I understand why I have little energy to plan my meals, get creative I'm the kitchen, drag myself out of the house to make it to my early Sunday meetings. I understand it. I don't excuse it. But with this understanding, perhaps I can come up with a means to not give up. I flounder. I stumble. Hell, I have fallen down a few times. But, each time I manage to keep getting up and keep trying.

Right now, I'm doing the very best I can do. It isn't perfect. I don't see losses each week. In fact, I've been seeing yo-yoing and juggling mostly. But, I'm doing SOMETHING and that is more than the old me would have done.

So, we keep moving on. Eventually the black clouds will pass and if I just keep trying I will eventually do well again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week 80 - Weigh In (Thanksgiving Week)

I'm a little late posting about my weigh in this Sunday. Life's roller coaster just continues to jerk us around turns with major ups and downs. Not that I thought our life could get more complicated, but surprise, surprise . . . it can!

But, enough about that. My weigh in this week was great. I lost 2.4lbs. I'm now only 8lbs away from being where I was when I received my mom's cancer diagnosis. Only 8lbs to go! So, if all goes well, I will have a net loss for the year. I'll be thrilled if I can be less in January 2012 than I was in January 2011. I'll be happy if i can be the same as I was in January 2011. And, I'll settle for being only a couple pounds heavier. The point is, no matter what that first weigh in shows in January of 2012, I'm far better today than I was over a year and a half ago when I changed my life. I am healthier. I weigh less. I am happier. I feel better. For the most part I am capable of making good choices and my food addiction is under control.

Over the next six weeks, I would like to lose at least 3lbs which would make me weighing less than I did at the start of this year. I believe I can do far better than a 3lb loss. Certainly, I would have loved to have seen a loss of over 50lbs (avg of 1lb per week) for this year. However, this year has been an extraordinary one. If I maintained the first 50lbs lost. . .that gives me hope that once I am at my goal weight, I will be capable of maintaining it.

This week I am thankful for so many things. i'm thankful for my family. They are the most amazing people I know. I'm thankful for my children, which are never ending sources of joy in my life. I'm thankful for the scientists who work in medical research. They make it possible for my husband to remain active, after suffering from JRA since he was 12. The drugs are harsh (a chemotherapy drug) but they give him life. I'm thankful for the doctors and nurses that saved my mother's life this year. While she is still battling through chemotherapy due to Stage IV breast cancer, she is alive. I'm thankful for my husband's family, who are an extended family of my own.

There is a special place in my heart though for the individuals that attend my Weight Watcher's meetings and read my blog. The support system in place that we have for each other is second to none. I love these friends. We laugh, we cry, we battle similar problems and we walk together fighting something that has plagued many of us for years. We are doing this, we are winning, and we share our journey, together.

So, for all my Weight Watcher's meeting buddies and readers. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me. I could not be doing this without you. I need each and every one of you and I feel privileged to be needed by all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Coffee Talk with Grandma

My grandma in 1974 at my parents' wedding.
I've written about my grandmother before, she was a major influence in my life. I'm thankful for that. She helped make me the person I've become.  Today she would have been 98.

My grandmother baked. She cooked but the thing she really enjoyed was baking. I still wear on my body and am currently trying to shed, the numerous homemade butterscotch pies, apple cakes, chocolate cakes and cookies she made before I got home from school. She lived with us from the time I was six years old until she fell ill in the 90's. She was always there when I got off the bus and walked in the door crying about the words some mean-spirited child taunted me with that day. She would take me to the kitchen table and we would talk about it as we dunked cookies in coffee. I never drank the coffee but I so loved how that sweet cookie tasted soaked in that warm, creamy coffee. I always felt better after those talks. Little did I know that it wasn't the cookies that made me feel better. It was her. :)

Unfortunately, it took me a long time to realize that when we associate the comfort we felt as children with foods that were given to us for physical and emotional boo-boos - it wasn't the food that truly comforted, but the company that we kept.

Happy birthday, grandma. I would give just about anything to sit down at the table (my children sit on the same chairs after school that I sat) and go through all my worries. This time we could skip the sweets and head straight for the coffee. Or heck, perhaps we could get in to "the other" aka booze! LOL

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 78 - Weigh In

This week I nailed it. I need to do this every single week. I planned. I measured. I weighed. I tracked. I moved. I drank my water. It was a great, great week.

The scale rewarded me for my efforts with a seven pound loss!! Seven pounds! Yes!!!  I haven't seen a 7lb loss since late July and it felt so good to see that kind of movement. I feel motivated again. I know what I need to do and I'm going to keep at it.

Now if I can just start writing about a few more things than updates and come backs. My blog fills in for motivation when my self motivation wavers. I need to use that and keep pushing through.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's not the end of the world

The need for my lifestyle change has just been placed at an even more heightened level. Earlier this week I received the diagnosis of Type II Diabetes. I can't say it came as a shock. It did feel like a bit of a slap in the face for all the work I've put in over the last year and a half only to now be diagnosed with the disease, but that's really not the right way to look at it.

Perhaps my changes bought me a little while longer without diabetes? Who's to say that I wouldn't have received this diagnosis last year, if I hadn't made the changes. Who's to say the diabetes wouldn't be more out of control than it is, if I hadn't made the changes I've made. My A1C was a 6.1. Normal is 5.7. I've heard of others who have had A1C's in the 7's. My fasting blood sugars are in the 120's. They could be far worse. Without the changes I've already made, the transition to a diabetic diet could be that much more challenging.

So, I'm trying to look at the bright side of this very crappy, life-long illness. It forces me to be even more accountable. I mean, really, now not only am I battling a weight issue, I'm battling a disease. One that can be extremely serious if left unchecked. One that can result in blindness, amputations, comas, heart attacks and well, death.

My doctor did explain to me that my diabetes is not completely linked to my weight. While my weight didn't help my risks, diabetes runs in my family. I have had three pregnancies, all of which I was insulin dependent from gestational diabetes. That alone increases my chances of receiving this diagnosis by 50% five years after pregnancy. My first son was born over 10 years ago. So, I did stretch out my life without diabetes for a few years passed what was predicted.

So, now I get really serious. Fortunately, I've had a really great week. The Weight Watcher's plan is easily followed in conjunction with a diabetic diet. I'm on a medication to assist, which holds some promise in also making my weight loss a bit easier; as it will help the insulin resistance that it appears I'm dealing with. All and all, this isn't the end of the world and may just be the kick in the ass I needed to remain vigilant with my new life.

Tomorrow is weigh in and I already know the scale is moving. I just can't wait to see the loss recorded!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Welcome Home!

Welcome home. That is what today was as I walked back into my meeting room. My last weigh in was on August 14th - 11 weeks have passed since that last meeting and my last weigh in. The scale showed no mercy.

In the course of 11 weeks I gained 20.6lbs. There is no way to candy coat that (pun intended) - that's really how I got to this point anyway right? Candy. Cake. Ice cream. Potato chips and more. All jokes aside, there is no excuse for that kind of gain. Certainly, with all that has been taking place, there is reason, but it doesn't excuse the self-destructive behavior.

Honestly, I knew what I had to face. I wish I had done so sooner, as the number on the scale would have been far better. I know this. But the dread, each week, of seeing the gain prevented me from doing the very thing that was going to stop the gaining cycle. Going home.

But, that is now behind me. I have crossed the line and I've taken the first step. I faced the scale, I survived and now I move forward. I am excited to see what the numbers look like next week. I'm re-committed. I'm doing all the things I know worked for me and I know I can do it. I just have to.


Isn't that what it boils down to? Just doing it? Nike may have been on to something with their "Just Do It" marketing campaign.
Are you struggling? Have you been "off plan" for a little while? What is keeping you from returning to the healthy lifestyle? Just do it! You won't be sorry.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

And this is how it starts

You know, the weight gain. The back to what used to be "normal." The pounds piling back on as old bad habits return - like having ice cream, regularly. Eating cookies and candy, regularly. Counting points? What's that? I still have a few healthy choices on my plate, I'm ok, right?

Yep, this is how the "undo-ing" begins. Typically, this is when all goes out the window. The Weight Watcher's membership gets cancelled. The reasoning of "I'm still less than I was when I started WW so I'm still ok" comes into play. Then the excuses come in only this time, I'm getting tough with myself. Over the last year and a half I've learned answers to these and I now can kick that devil off my shoulder. Hell no, you aren't getting back in!!!

"I'm stressed, I need that chocolate bar." (Exercise is the best stress-buster there is - get out there and walk it off!)

"I've ONLY gained back 10lbs. . .I'm still in the 'range.'" (Yeah, what range? The range to keep on gaining?)

"I have too much going on. I don't have time." (You're right, gain all that weight back and you won't have time. ANY time - you'll be dead!)

STOP! FREEZE! PUT YOUR HANDS UP AND DROP THE DAMN CUPCAKE, ELIZABETH!!!!

The good news, I haven't cancelled my membership. I've recognized the issue (which is far better than weight loss attempts in the past). I have "only" gained 14lbs, which I KNOW I can take off in a matter of a few weeks IF and only IF I commit myself to doing this. I didn't give up. I haven't stopped. This is still the same journey. This isn't attempt #325409345093409509132845. . .no, this is still attempt #325409345093409509132844 - the same attempt and I'm simply in a valley.

So, yet again you hear me say, I'm picking myself up, dusting myself off and I'm moving forward. I am NOT a quitter and I will not stop.

This morning I woke up and took a 1 1/2 mile walk with my dog. It was great to clear my head and breath in the cool air. Time to increase the activity, make the right food choices and next week, GET BACK TO MY MEETINGS!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week 66 - Weigh In

I'm on a roll! Weigh in was another loss again this week. 1.6 more pounds and it pushed me into new territory. Yes! My weight is now 319.4. It's the first time I've been under 320 in YEARS! I was so happy to get to move my weight tracker on the blog.

This week I plan to just keep doing what I'm doing. It's going to be a tough one as my mother has surgery this Friday. But, I can do this. I can make it through all this stress and not gain weight (ultimately keep losing). I CAN and I WILL!

I will be writing more in the very near future. But, at least I'm updating with my weigh-ins and holding myself accountable for what the scale says. . .fortunately, we are still moving in the right direction!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Update, yeah that is a catchy title

I has been crazy busy. The move, mom's cancer, preparing the kids to go back to school, but I'm hanging tough. My weigh in on Sunday was great, I lost 3.8 pounds.

I am getting ready to take on another hurdle, I'm going to quit smoking. I've quit a few times only to fall back into it months later, but this time is it. I'm quitting for good. September 1st will be my official quit date and it will be tough, but great.

There are so many reasons to do this now, the three most important are the ones I gave birth to in 2001, 2006 and 2008. I pray they never hear the words, "your mother has cancer."  Not that smoking caused my mother's breast cancer, but if I continue to use the cancer sticks, I'm sealing the deal that they will, at some point, hear those words.

I will be getting active again on the blog. Life is starting to get back to "normal" as far as daily routines.

Soon I will also have more than just updates and weigh ins. There is so much more to write about than just the progress, so more to come, friends. More to come.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 64 - Weigh In

I really haven't been MIA, although it's been two weeks since I posted. My family just went through a major change - we moved! It was a quick move, somewhat sudden, and was certainly bittersweet due to the circumstances behind it - but it is absolutely for the best and we are very thankful for the many blessings we have.

We moved all last weekend and by Sunday morning, while I had the best of intentions to go to my meeting, my body hurt like I had been run over by a truck. So, I missed my meeting. This morning however, I was up before 6:30, arrived at my meeting before 7:30 and was ready to jump on that scale!

Granted it's been two weeks since a weigh in but my loss was 5.6lbs! Yes! Woohoo! I made it through a stressful move and still lost weight! I've nearly caught back up to where I was when I fell off the wagon, HARD. Only about four more pounds to go until I start seeing new numbers on the scale. I'm so excited!

This week we are stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies. I'm getting ready to go prepare lunches for tomorrow. It's going to be a fantastic week!

How have all of you been?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 62 - Weigh In

It was a tough week but I stayed the course with my food choices and tracking. I lost 1.6lbs. No loss is too small when the goal is avoiding a gain.

This one is short and sweet today. But, finally, a loss! So, I'll repeat all I did last week, this week and look forward to seeing the scale again next week.

Thanks for sticking with me, friends. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another one down

I did it. Another day on track with good choices. I can check this one off as a success and am planning on how to make tomorrow equally successful. With diligence and planning, I can do this, I can keep it under control.

Truth be told, I actually had 9 unused points plus values at the end of the night tonight. I don't feel hungry, so I'm going to go ahead and just let them sit there, untouched. This left over balance is not reflected of deprivation but of really good choices. For really successful days (and perhaps the not so successful days) I am going to list what I ate, as I'm hoping it will be something I can look back on for the days when I'm struggling more to bring myself back on track.

Today my foods were pretty great.
Breakfast (6ppv)
Thomas Bagel Thin (3ppv) and a Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb Wedge (1ppv) with a Boiled Egg (2ppv)

Lunch (3ppv)
2oz Boar's Head Hickory Smoked Chicken Breast (1ppv), Steam Fresh Baby Brussels Sprouts (0ppv), Watermelon (0ppv), Breakstones 2% Live and Active Cottage Cheese (2ppv)

Snacks During the Day (8ppv)
Orange (0ppv)
Low Fat, Light Yogurt - Wild Berry (3ppv)
Weight Watchers Natural String Cheese (1ppv)
Vitamuffin Deep Chocolate (2ppv)
Boiled Egg (2ppv) (I don't normally eat this many eggs, 1 for breakfast 1 for snack but I had quite a few to use)

Dinner (20ppv)
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (11ppv), Cheddar Biscuit (5ppv), Green Beans (0ppv), Very small piece of cake with pineapple and cool whip (4ppv)

Evening snack
Sweet and Salty Bar (5ppv)

Also, I'm trying very hard to not make this blog about my mom's cancer. I can't promise there won't be posts about it as it is a major part of my life and greatly affecting every aspect. However, the purpose of this blog is my weight loss journey and I don't want to stray too far from that topic. Granted, everything that is going on does influence how much of a struggle this journey is, so from time to time I may have to just let some of those feelings out here. However, I also understand how sensitive a topic that may be for many of my readers and I recognize that while I'm seeking hope in helping my mother fight cancer - the perception may not always be of hope and I certainly don't want to cause anyone heartache.

However, if you are interested in following that journey, I invite you to visit the blog I have created specifically about breast cancer. I didn't feel it to be fair to share all that information on Fat Girl Fights Back - as I know your interest and the purpose of this blog is weight loss.

So, if you would like to follow that aspect, which is equally, if not more, personal than this blog, please feel free to do so.

Link: Boobs in a Vise  (Please know it will be extremely rare, if ever, that I update this blog with a blog post from there)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A small revelation and a little flexibility

On nights like tonight, I appreciate flexibility. When I got home from work I just felt drained. After receiving the call earlier today from my mom saying her biopsy results showed cancer in her right breast (making her diagnosis bilateral breast cancer) I've been fighting back tears. Once I walked in the door, I let them all out.  Needless to say, it's been an emotional day and the last thing I really wanted to do was cook dinner. We also had to run an errand, so I decided we would all just pile in the minivan and stop for something somewhere.

I knew I did not want fast food. Fortunately, the children and my husband all wanted to go to a restaurant and have someone tend to us. So, off we went, on the drive that seemed endless. First, we tried the rule out trick. My kids did not want Mexican, nor did I really. My husband did not want seafood. I really didn't want the big box Italian type restaurants (Olive Garden). My husband suggested Ruby Tuesday's but that didn't seem appealing to me. We have stopped going to TGIFridays, since the only seasoning they seem to know how to use is salt. We considered Macaroni Grill, but that didn't sound all that great to me. Pei Wei was on the list but then I decided I really didn't want that. It seemed every restaurant we mentioned, I ruled out.

Let me cut to the chase. We live in Orlando where we have just about every restaurant imaginable. None really sounded great. I realized in the car as to why. I was seeking comfort in food but in a round about manner. No matter what was mentioned, none of them were going to fill the void I'm feeling right now. My heart hurts. Food will not make it feel better.

My daughter finally said she really wanted to go to Mimi's Cafe. So, that's where we ended up. I really wasn't wanting broiled fish or broiled chicken tonight  and I remember my Weight Watcher's leader telling us, "Eat what you love. Don't eat things you don't like." Well, tonight, I didn't LIKE broiled salmon. So, I selected a pasta dish from the petite menu. I can honestly say this was the first time I have EVER ordered from the "small plate" menu but I'm so, so glad I did.

The portion was plenty. The point values were plenty. However, I had eaten light all day long. I had plenty of points to spend and I did. I was outside of my comfort zone as all our indecisiveness made it impossible to truly plan my meal before I left the house (which I normally do when we are going out to dinner). But it all turned out just fine. I only used 4 of my weekly points plus allowance, which is great. I even had a very small amount of dessert (about three bites) and walked out feeling comfortable. Not stuffed. Not uncomfortable. I didn't binge. I ate NORMAL.

I recognized my emotional eating urges and while I still ate a meal I wouldn't normally eat - it was all within the plan and I didn't overeat. I say that's a victory, tonight.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week 61 - Weigh In

I started today off right. I met a couple friends at the gym and we worked out for 30 minutes prior to our Weight Watchers meeting. It felt good to be back there, it's been a few weeks. I did notice I was more sluggish today. I think the combination of crap foods in, lack of sleep and the 7.2lb weight gain may have all played a part. But, it feels good to sweat and feel that soreness again.

It was also really great to be back at my meeting. This week is going to be a good week for the scale. I'm going to hit the gym and track my foods. As soon as I log off the blog I'm going to plan everything and then spend some time in the kitchen preparing food for the week.

The 7.2lb weight gain was actually less than I thought it would be, so that was a good surprise. I don't want to "officially" start over because I want to continue to build on the 44lbs already lost but because so much of weight loss is a mind game - I'm going to play one purposefully.

For this "restart" I'm going to consider today's weight as my starting weight. It's not a backslide. I'm not "up 7.2" - no, I'm starting this week at 332lbs. I really think that will help my motivation to get back to where I was seven weeks ago.  Everything is behind me and there is no reason to dwell on it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's time to just fight back

The weekend is now here. The damage that I've done is behind me. I have to just tell myself that whatever I did the last few days is just that - the last few days. It doesn't have to be today. It doesn't have to be tomorrow. I am in control and I can call the shots on what choices I make at this moment, in a few hours, tomorrow, and so on.

I realize that now would be the absolute worst time to throw in the towel and give up. Now is the time when I need my meetings, I need my support, I NEED to weigh in, - more than ever before. I need the structure of my program. I need to track my meals. I need to plan what I will put in my mouth so it's just routine - while nothing else around me is so routine.

Thank you for your prayers, well wishes, words of encouragement, stories of success, kicks in the behind. . .I need all of that!  I'm amazed at how many people reach out to complete strangers on the internet. I'm amazed at how many people haven't given up on me when I've gone through a few weeks of appearing to have given up on myself. Thank you so much.

So, with that said, now is the time that the title of my blog is truer than ever. It's time to FIGHT BACK!  I must use every ounce I have to fight my own addiction while helping my mother fight breast cancer. We both WILL succeed.

Last night, I took the reigns and I decided I will walk (perhaps run part of) the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in October. I've created a team, Blisters for Becky (if anyone in the Orlando area would like to join my team, please do!). The timing is perfect, as yesterday we were 100 days out from the race. 100 days.  I've started fundraising (and have already received some donations). It's not the time to take all of this laying down - no - it's time to FIGHT!

So in the morning, I will be at the gym. I am going to start training and push myself to at least run part of this 5k. I'm going to run for my mom. I'm going to run for me. At 8am I will be at my meeting. I need my friends so much right now and I need to keep myself in a state of food wellness. So, this is it. This is the plan. 99 days to go, folks. 99 days to go.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Out of Control

I'm not even sure how to begin this post. I've typed out several sentences and nearly worn my backspace key out. It's hanging off my keyboard, all the type rubbed off. . .ok, so it's not really but it could be. The fact it isn't - is a testament to HP. . .

I'm going through an emotional situation. Wow, that sounds so cold and is like the understatement of the year. My heart hurts, badly. I think that sounds slightly more fitting. I feel lost. I feel sad. I'm angry. But, I'm hopeful.

Two days ago my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It's difficult for me to write about because I do not want any words of my feelings or anything that I share to hurt her heart anymore than it's already hurting from receiving such a diagnosis. This isn't gloom and doom. We know she will fight and we know she will be well again - we HAVE to believe that. But, that doesn't change the fact that her life is about to flip complete upside down with surgeries, possible radiation, possible chemotherapy . . . it's going to be rough! (to say the very least)

As a food addict, my first response, of course, has been to comfort myself with food. Even after being in a healthy lifestyle for over a year, my first reaction was to run and get a dozen doughnuts. I didn't eat them alone, but I had my fair share.  After her biopsy today, it was fried food and chocolate cake. I know I've now spiraled out of control because I'm now facing a situation that is COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL.

I have to control what I can, which means, I have to, I absolutely have to, get back on track. I cannot allow this addiction to take full hold of me again, in the time that I am most vulnerable. I will not be of any help to my mother if I gain back 50lbs (and more).

If I could have made it to a meeting today, I would have gone. Fortunately, I do have my Weight Watcher's meeting friends in a group on Facebook and I've posted about my binging. They will hold me accountable for attending my meeting and I will be there.

I need to be on plan more now than ever. I know this. So, with every ounce of energy I have, I will control what I can in this situation - my lifestyle, my disease, my addiction and in turn, I will be there for my mom.

When the world starts caving in around you - hold on to the things that can be the same. THIS can be the same.

By the way, the consumption of doughnuts and chocolate cake did not make my mother's cancer go away nor did it make me feel any better. If anything, it made my stomach hurt (crap food tends to do that now that my body is used to good foods) and I had a nice helping of guilt to boot. No more of that crap. Moving on.

Sometimes these posts are self-talk. Sometimes it helps if I put it out there in words as if I type it - it sticks?

Friday, June 24, 2011

I have not given up

I've been quiet. Too quiet. When I get quiet on the blog it's reflective of what is going on with my journey. I've fallen, but I CAN get up.

So, what's been going on to cause the silence? A little bit of everything I suppose. I think I've grown bored of my food choices for one. I know that's when we all say mix it up. Change it up. I know, I know. But when you get in a funk it's difficult to dig deep inside to find the motivation to do anything other than the norm, even if the norm is driving you crazy and making you reach for things you know you really shouldn't reach for.

We have also been really pinching pennies. It's EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to eat healthy and change things up when there is a lot of financial stretching taking place. The really great news is my husband is back to work! Yes, after two years, ten months, two weeks and two days, he is back in the workforce and we will soon enjoy living off two incomes again.

Naturally this has resulted in a drastic change in our daily lives. Our youngest children are back in daycare. School is out for summer break so we had to scramble to find care for our middle son. But, all feels right in the world again and I don't dread our morning routines as I did nearly three years ago when it was so challenging to get everyone out the door on time. I would like to say I'll never take for granted the madness which we call mornings - but I'm sure in time it will become the chore it once was. LOL

The other good news is, I stepped on my home scale and I'm pretty much the same weight I was four weeks ago. Even if I'm up a couple pounds, I'm ok with that. The last four weeks I have not tracked, I haven't exercised, I haven't followed plan much, if any. I know you all have been here with me, hearing this same song and dance over and over again. I'm growing impatient with myself so I can only imagine what it feels like to be one of my readers right now.

I've made a promise to myself that I'm going to get it together again. I'm thankful that while I haven't had it together, I haven't done too much damage, yet. But I'm right at the edge of completely falling off and I refuse to let that happen.

So, Sunday I'll be in my meeting. I'm setting a mini-goal of not missing any meetings for six weeks. Six weeks I will be in a seat at a meeting, period. 

I want this more than anything and I need it more than anything. Thank you, all of you, for your patience as I seem to flounder. It's been a few months of this same old, same old and I know it's not a very interesting follow. But I'm quite sure it will be the times like this that I look back on when I hit my final goal and say, "look at that, I stumbled a lot along the way, but I finally made it! I didn't give up!"

Watch for my weigh in post on Sunday. No matter what the scale says, walking back through the doors at the meeting center will be a victory this week (and the next six weeks that follow).

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Who has a story of motivation they would like to share? Have you made it to your ultimate goal? Did you have some months of sluggishness where you nearly fell off the wagon (or even did fall off and had to pick yourself back up)?  Please tell me about it. I'd love to hear your stories of success.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week 55 - Weigh In

It was an "oh, sh*t" kind of morning. At least, those were the first words out of my mouth when I woke up at 8:05 (my Weight Watcher's meeting starts at 8am). My first thought was, "just skip it, you know you're up."  I had already looked at the scale and surprisingly enough, I have gained, which I have to say wasn't expected. It's a surprise gain. (Can I stress anymore what a surprise it was? LOL)  It also didn't help that all forces of the universe seemed to be against me going this morning. 

I wandered into the office and my phone was flashing. Text messages. Not just from one of my Weight Watcher's buddies, but two - both asking where I was. This kind of support, these little nudges, make all the difference. I knew I couldn't tell them I was skipping my meeting. So, I quickly got ready so I could make the 9:30. I texted back, letting them know I would be there. They both were going to do some grocery shopping immediately following the 8am meeting, so I decided I would go a little early, stop in the grocery store to say hello and then go on to the meeting.

I looked for my keys. Yeah, no where to be found. I searched for my Weight Watcher's book, which I always keep on my desk - nope, not that either. It didn't matter, I was going. I finally found my keys.  I popped in the grocery store and chatted with my friends for a few minutes and then straight to the meeting I went.

So, I weighed in. I am up - 4.2lb gain. It's ok. This is the struggle of weight loss. This isn't a sprint. I'm undertaking a life-long battle of obesity. I will win it. I will just see set backs, sometimes.  It seems they are far more frequent now than they used to be, but we just deal with them and move on. I am the tortoise.

Friday, May 27, 2011

One Year and a Little Reward

On May 25, 2010, one year ago yesterday, I took the step to transform myself. It has been an amazing year!!  Looking back at the first blog entry, one that I wrote four months prior to allowing my blog to be published publicly, I see a completely different person, not just physically, but mentally. You can read that first blog entry here, if you haven't already.

One thing I did not expect when I joined Weight Watchers was the amount of support and strong friendships that I would make along the way.  I've had people ask me if I do just the online program or if I attend meetings. The response that often follows is, "I could do it online but I don't need meetings." or "I'm not into sitting in a room full of people and talking."

I get that, I do. Believe it or not, I'm a fairly introverted, private person. Whenever I take one of those personality type tests, the results always include something about being closer to an introvert than extrovert and having only a few, quality, deep relationships. So the idea of sitting in a room of 30 other people and talking about something that has been a source of much sensitivity and pain for most of my life, wasn't all that appealing, at first. However, now I can't even imagine NOT having my weekly Sunday meeting. I've had Sunday's where I've had to miss over the course of this year and I feel I'm truly missing out on something if I'm not there.

It has been a year of ups, downs and stalls. But it's been a wonderful year and I'm so happy I finally committed to changing my life.

Months ago I posted that I lost 50lbs (January 31st, actually). As a reward for losing 50lbs I was going to pierce my nose.  Weeks and then months passed and no nose piercing. I gained and lost the same 5lbs and eventually dipped back into the 45+lbs lost. At that point it didn't feel right to go get it done if I was no longer at 50lbs lost. When I saw the 56lbs lost this week, and knowing that yesterday was my one year anniversary, I decided it was time to do it. So tonight, I went and had my nose pierced. I'm so glad I did it! It's a great reminder, every time I look in the mirror, that I did it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eye of the Tiger



Oh yeah, that's right, eye of the tiger, baby.

I went to the gym tonight. I warmed up with .70 miles on the treadmill. Ok, so it was a little more than a warm-up, but I wanted 15 minutes on the treadmill before I started weight machines, so that's what I did. I moved to weight machines and did my full leg circuit - 2 sets with 15 reps each, on each machine. It really felt great. Once finished I did another 15 minutes on the treadmill.

I've started truly training for roller derby. Before when I worked out, I was doing it to see the numbers on the scale go lower. The intent was to lose the weight. While I've been extremely motivated to lose the weight, working out with another purpose in mind seems to have really lit a fire under my activity level. It excites me. It makes me happy. I get a feeling of a different kind of accomplishment. I had all that before I decided to "train" but there is something about doing these exercises for the ultimate goal of having enough strength to be a derby girl that makes me feel like Rocky.

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Think of inspirational movies, perhaps it's Rocky, maybe it's Karate Kid, maybe it's something completely different. . .when you're in the gym or working out at home, or running, or whatever activity you do that makes you feel like a superstar. . .what movie/book/character do you think of that really seems to get you moving?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Eenie meenie miney moe

You know, sometimes we take a while to see the answer that is right in front of us. Somethings are just so obvious that when it does "click" we wonder why it took so freaking long!

My first experiences with physical activity were mostly very negative. I dreaded PE class. In grade school we always had the typical selection process where two students (I haven't a clue how those two students got to be the ones, but they did) stood in front of a long line of first graders and got to point and select the kids they wanted on their team. The two minutes (or however long it took to go through the process) felt like an eternity. I was ALWAYS the last selected, no joke. My name was typically followed by an "ooohhh mann" by my fellow teammates.

This experience set the stage for how I would view exercise for the next 25 years.  I never played competitive sports. I never played softball. I often tried to find any way possible to get out of PE class. In fact, my senior year of high school, after moving to a new school district which required an additional semester of PE (Florida schools only required 1 semester, WV schools required a full year), I actually failed the semester and had to drop my Anatomy class (an elective) to re-take it to graduate! THAT's how much I hated PE class.

However, there was one time in my life that I was very physically active. From the time I was in 7th grade until I hit about 10th grade I roller skated. I was actually pretty good. My cousin, a few friends and I would go to the rink every Friday and Saturday night and for five hours straight we would shuffle, jump and speed skate. Rarely did we get off that floor unless we were dying for something to drink. We would sweat and we would go home SORE! I remember some Sundays my feet would ache or I'd have bruises and floor burn from some fall I took from attempting something I probably shouldn't have.  One weekend we attempted some kind of jump and when I landed I fell hard and broke a gold ring on my finger. That experience taught me to no longer skate with jewelry. At the time, I never thought of it as exercise, it was just fun. I loved it.  I was accepted there. I kept up. There were no "oh man's" when I skated with a group.

It was during that time that I also lost 90lbs on Weight Watchers. It was my first attempt at ever losing weight and the two just happened to be going on at the same time.

So yeah, slight "duh" moment that it's taken a year to figure out that there IS something I really enjoy doing that burns some calories. Sure, I walk and jog - but nothing compares to how great it feels to strap wheels to your feet.

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Think back to younger days. Is there a physical activity you loved doing then that you didn't equate to the status quo exercise routine? If so, what the heck are you waiting for? Try it again!

Week 54 - Weigh In

Amazing weigh in this morning!!!! I lost 7.2lbs this week. I'm only 3.8lbs away from a total loss of 60lbs. Yes!!!!! I feel awesome. (And I finally get to move my tracker and post a weight loss "sticker" today! It's been a while.)

I woke up extremely early. I knew I had a great week and had looked at the scale early on and saw a 6lb loss. So last night was like Christmas Eve. It's been WEEKS since I've seen a really great loss. One of my good friends happened to be online early as well. We chatted for a few minutes and as I thought about asking her if she wanted to hit the gym before our Weight Watchers meeting - she was typing it! So, we did it! 7am we were on the treadmills. My legs were a bit sore from yesterday, but once I got moving that worked out.

So, here are the quick stats:
Loss this week: 7.2lbs
Total loss: 56.2lbs

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mind the gap

State of mind is a major driver in weight loss. Sure, purely physiologically speaking, weight loss or gain is equal to calories in - calories out - if you come up with a positive number, weight gain is going to happen, a negative number and woohoo you're losing some of yourself. However, drivers for the caloric intake and output are mostly in our minds.

It's not breaking news that many of us will eat (and some will not eat much at all) during major emotional turmoil. We also tend to overindulge during times of great celebration! But what about the gap in between those? Can monotony also make us reach for that bag of chips or a few extra cookies?  I find that when I've lacked giving myself a pep-talk, when I've stopped truly BELIEVING in my own abilities - I struggle. I think that is where I was for the last bazillion weeks (ok, technically 15, but who's counting). I think I've finally made the two ends meet and closed the gap.

This week has been a fantastic. I'm excited to go to the meeting and see my official number on the scale. Even a year into this weight loss, I still commit the big "no-no" and weigh myself during the week. I won't divulge that number now, as I only record my official Weight Watcher meeting weigh in but as of right now, it looks like a GOOD week!

I attribute it to a different state of mind. This week I had several big things going on, which could have resulted in food choice nightmares.  First was a meeting at work. It was a celebration of an accomplishment for a great group of people. Rather than eat the food provided, I packed my lunch, took my lunch bag to the meeting and enjoyed the company, rather than the food.

The second big event this week was my birthday. The day before my birthday co-workers took me out to lunch. Fortunately, the restaurant had grilled fish and plenty of fresh fruit, which is what I ordered. That evening my husband's family celebrated my birthday at their home. His mother made one of my favorites, fried chicken breasts. I kept my portions under control, budgeted 15 points for the double fudge chocolate cake she made for me and kept my day within my daily point values. On my birthday, my loving husband understood I preferred not to have birthday cake again, so we celebrated with a kid friendly junk-ish kind of food dinner (pigs and blankets and mac & cheese, both made as reduced fat recipes) and later that evening I had a deep chocolate vitatop as my birthday sweet.

This week could have gone way differently with food choices. I could be dreading looking at the number on the scale tomorrow. I feel so great that I don't have that dread. I don't have that worry. And, because of the healthy food choices I physically feel great!!

How has your week been? Have you faced any challenges? Have you celebrated any victories?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Let your freak flag fly

How many times have you wanted to do something but said you can't because you have a weight issue, or you don't want to look silly, or people your age just don't do that, or a myriad of other reasons that prevent you from doing what you want?  How many times have people said, "You can't do that. . ."

For months I've wanted to do something and for months I've told myself to wait until I weigh less than I do now. Wait. Wait. Wait. Do you have any idea how many times in my life I've said, "I'll do that when I'm skinny."

I'm done waiting. I'm done allowing the reaction of others to dictate what I will and won't do.

So tonight I took a major step towards a goal. What is this outlandish goal I have?

GIRLS ROLLER DERBY!

Walking in the smells brought back memories from 20 years ago when I was a rink rat who anxiously waited for Friday and Saturday nights where I would spend hours on the rink - skating, jumping, sweating and loving every second of it. A year ago I never would have dreamed of having the guts to walk into a skating rink, rent skates (little own put them on) and stand up on them! This journey I'm on is one that is so much more than just weight loss. For so long I've been trapped in this prison of fat that I've neglected to remember that part of life is having fun! And you know what, skating is FUN!

Now, I have months of practice and training to get there, as apparent by tonight's experience walking into the skating rink and strapping those rental skates on my feet. I did rent the low ankle speed skates as they are better crap than the high top brown with orange wheel rentals - and they served their purpose.

I grabbed the skates, tossed my flip-flops, car keys, phone and purse into a locker and put a quarter in the slot to retrieve the little round orange key.  Anxiety grew as I went to sit down and put the skates on.  My heart was pounding!!!  I quickly stood up on the skates, did a pretty large hurky jerky motion and immediately remembered to relax my knees to prevent the fall. OMG, like second nature I remembered!!!  My legs quivered as I stood in the skates.

Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't like I was able to immediately jump the step, push off, do cross-overs to gain speed around the rink and skate like I did when I was 14. This is all about setting realistic expectations right? I believe I wrote about that earlier in the week. . . Anyway, no, I actually didn't make it to the wood floor rink tonight. I stayed on the carpet, skated back and forth for the 20 minutes I had until the rink closed.

 While I didn't get on the rink and I didn't skate a single lap - I took the step and tonight, that's what it was all about. I can do this. I know I can. Soon, my legs will be strong again, I'll be skating around that rink with confidence and then. . .I can work towards my goal of DERBY!

I can't wait!

So this week, think of one thing you want to do that you keep telling yourself you can't. Think of one thing you've been putting off, saying you will do it when ____________________ and then, move that when up to NOW! You can do whatever you want. Nothing has to stop you.

Do it and then enjoy that feeling knowing that you stepped out of your comfort zone, let your freak flag fly and you HAD FUN!!!

I'm going back to the rink this weekend and I WILL get on that wood floor.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Deprivation and Over Eater's Math

When I stick to plan, I do really well. When I sit down, plan my meals, plan my snacks, have the kitchen stocked with all the right things - I do well. However, I tend to attempt to deprive myself, often, which results in moments of completely falling down.  My goal, through this entire journey, is to learn how to have the bad stuff, sometimes, while maintaining a healthy diet, most of the time, and in turn avoid binges, overeating, feelings of deprivation followed by feelings of entitlement. The ONLY way I can have a healthy relationship with food is to no longer abuse it and eat in moderation.

For many, having off-limits lists works and depriving themselves eventually turns into just lifestyle. "I don't eat that.' However, over the last year (yes, I've been doing Weight Watchers for a full year as of last weekend) I have discovered that doesn't work for me and I know it doesn't work for many that are just like me.

I attempted to cut Diet Coke completely out. I felt like I was missing something. I didn't feel "good" about it. I wanted something and constantly yearned for it. I'm sorry, I just am not into living my life unhappy because I am denying myself a drink that I really enjoy. So, I've made a deal with myself. I will drink Diet Coke. I have a "Diet Coke Time" and it's typically in the afternoons at work. I make sure I drink all the water during the day and then I have a small treat around 3pm each day to look forward to. If we go out to dinner, or running errands - I have a Diet Coke. I've cut way back and my consumption is no where near what it used to be - moderation. It's a great thing!

The same goes for sweets. For several weeks I attempted to cut out my evening chocolate fix, which, by the way, turned from regular ice cream, cake or candy bars before Weight Watchers to Weight Watcher's Smart One desserts and Vitatops which completely satisfy my craving and were on plan. But, I got it in my head that I needed to cut back on those things - that it was "time" to cut them out.  Well, consequently I felt deprived. I wanted my sweets. I wanted them so badly that I started the old tactics of sneaking them.  I started stopping at the vending machine at work and grabbing a candy bar or cookie.  At school in the evenings, with no one around, I would grab one of their homemade chocolate chip cookies.  I'm not sure who I thought I was hiding it from, perhaps myself and my tracker. If I ate them and only I knew, I could easily selectively forget - right?

Hence the same 5lbs I've been juggling the last 15 weeks.

What do I attribute all this to? DEPRIVATION!

I made the choice many, many weeks ago to change what was working for me. I wanted to strive for those stellar days of perfect food choices, no sweets, no refined sugar, no processed foods . . .

That simply doesn't work for me. I know this now. When I do that, I talk myself out of being on plan because the very first slip up I feel my day is no longer perfect and therefore, not worth while to continue on plan. It goes like this. . .

"Ok, I'm having an off-plan day (rather than considering it on plan or considering it an off-plan MOMENT), I might as well have whatever I want  now because tomorrow it's back on plan and I won't have it."  This thought then snowballs into having a full size Kit-Kat bar during they day, only to come home later that evening and have a fast-food milkshake. At least the milkshake was a small.

"I haven't tracked the last two days, this week is pointless, I might as well enjoy it because next week I'm back on plan."  If I know I like sweets and the plan is built to have what I want - make the sweets on-plan, in the budget and don't allow this to happen. Duh, Elizabeth!

"I NEVER eat sweets, so it's ok if I have two servings of that birthday cake. Today's a wash, anyway."  With over eater's math, those two servings of birthday cake can then equal birthday cake, ice cream, a handful of M&M's and several glasses of wine. Why? Because after being "good" for so long - I'm entitled, I deserve it, right?

I could have avoided all of these situations of "blowing" my days if I had just done what Weight Watchers preaches - plan it, have it, track it - it's ALL still on plan!  With the "I'm still on plan" mindset, I know I'm less likely to overeat the special treats because I know I'm within my limits to still lose weight. Nothing is blown, nothing is ruined and progress continues.

It's all a mental game.  My deprivation days end here. I know what worked for the first 50lbs and I can tell you, it wasn't following a strict diet of no treats, no chocolate and no enjoyment.

Week 53 - Weigh In

This is the start of something great. I feel re-motivated and I feel ready to go. I went to my meeting this morning expecting a gain. In fact, I came very close to using my no weigh-in pass just so I didn't have to see the number. However, I received an email from my wonderful leader. It was sent out to the group but it really spoke to me, personally. It was about coming home, no judgment, starting fresh and I told myself it's just one weigh-in, it's just one number and next week will be fantastic.

To my surprise, I lost 1.2lbs.

I've been in a rut with my weight loss. First it was my husband's surgeries, then finals, then graduation. Once all that was over it was like I took a giant sigh. I can't say I was always 100% focused on my weight loss, as I've always had a lot of stuff going on, but my focus certainly was more than it has been the last few weeks.

So, I'm re-focused and re-committed. Today, I'm changing it up. I'm cooking foods I haven't had in a long time. I'm setting myself up to have a really great week.

It's been a little while. How are all of you doing? Have you reached any major milestones? Have you tried anything new? Share!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fifteen years is a long time, but sometimes, it feels like it was yesterday

It was a Monday.  We received a call from the nursing home and the nurse on the other end told us she wasn't doing well. I immediately went there and found her gasping for breath. She had an oxygen mask which covered most of her face.  It was difficult to imagine what she was like several years prior - still a spry, spunky, independent woman. The last three years had certainly taken their toll. Her body was visibly smaller from the weight loss she experienced.  Her face drooped on the right side, as did her other right extremities. It had been two years and six months since I had heard her speak a word to me. Sure, we communicated, mostly with her head nods and I often just knew what she was wanting or needing; but we hadn't had a verbal conversation for two and a half years.  Strokes aren't forgiving, strokes aren't relenting and strokes do not discriminate.

Soon after I arrived she woke up. She made motions with her left arm making half moon swoop towards the ceiling.

After a series of absurd questions ranging from, "Do you want to go outside?" and "Do you want to go to the hospital?" to "Is the room too cold?"  my mother and I both asked her, "Do you see something there?"

She adamantly shook her head yes.

More random questions continued.


Her frustration grew. She started pointing at a photo frame that had photos of all the family. You know the kind, those that have the different shaped cutouts in the mat. In a medium sized oval was a photo of her son who had passed on three years prior. It was that single event that I truly believe was a catalyst to her stroke.

"Mothers should never have to bury their children," she told me on the day of my uncle's funeral. "I was supposed to go first. Not any of them!"

Eight months later, she was in the hospital paralyzed on her right side and unable to speak after a blood clot blocked a major vessel in her brain.

She continued to point at the frame, frustrated, tired and afraid. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like to be in your right mind, have 100% of the cylinders firing for conscious thought but have no ability to speak words and communicate verbally.

We finally asked the question, "Do you see him?"

She nodded her head and burst into tears with what little energy she had left.

"He's here, now?"

Again, she confirmed that he was, indeed, there. Her son. Her oldest son.  She then did a wide, swooping motion with her arm. A HUGE half-moon towards the ceiling.

"Are they all here?"

Softly, with tears in her eyes, she nodded. Her family had come for her.  She wept. My mother and I wept.

I think many would have dismissed these events as psychological breakdown during the dying process. I think many would say that due to the congestive heart failure her brain was slowly dying due to deprivation of oxygen which caused hallucinations and delusions. Perhaps, for them, that is the best explanation for events of these types. For me, I had seen it far too often.

After my grandmother had the stroke and after she had gone in the nursing home, I decided I wanted to be a nurse. Immediately after high school I enrolled at a branch of WVU as a pre-nursing major. A friend of my mother spoke to her about me training as a hospice aid. I jumped at the chance and soon I was working with cancer patients, aids patients - individuals that were terminally ill with less than three months to live. Honestly, it was the most rewarding job I have ever had.  Needless to say, I saw a lot of deaths as an 18 year old college freshman.  It wasn't uncommon for these events from "the other side" to happen during the active dying process.

I truly believe it was my destiny to do that work. It was training for the event that was about to take place. Without that training, without the greater understanding of death, which I had been given by witnessing the dying dance time and time again, I'm not sure I would have been able to handle the grief that was about to be handed to me.

I knew what my grandmother was seeing was real.  I stroked her head, softly cried, and told her to go with them. They were there to take her home.

More events took place throughout the night as I sat by her bed, listening to the soft mechanical hum of the oxygen machine and humidifier. Some were signs sent to me from above to comfort me. Some were signs sent to comfort her and lead her home. I am forever thankful I received and saw those signs the night of May 6, 1996.

The next morning, upon arriving home for a quick shower, the phone rang. My grandmother had passed away fifteen minutes after I left her bedside. It was clear that it was too difficult for her to let go with me there, pulling her to stay on this earth with just my presence; while they all gathered around her, encouraging and comforting her to go with them.

On May 7, 1996 I lost my grandmother. She was like a second mother to me. I miss her each and every day. Tomorrow, May 7, 2011,on the fifteenth anniversary of my grandmother's death, I will walk to accept my A.A. degree marking the halfway point to my R.N. degree.

I know she will be there with me.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Yes, that title is a very loud sigh of relief. About a half an hour ago I received an email on my droid informing me that final grades were posted and I could visit the website to view them. My heart immediately started to flutter. I am typically a 4.0 student. However, this last term was slightly different. I didn't have the time to study as much as I normally do. I didn't "feel" as organized or as accomplished. In fact, I really felt like I was struggling. It just wasn't my norm with all the outside distractions.

Needless to say, I've been stressing since I finished my last final exam. Had I done enough?

The class that stressed me out the most was my second term of Spanish. I had Spanish in high school - over 15 years ago. Unfortunately, those high school credits were far too old for the school to even dust off and consider, so I found myself taking both terms of Spanish as an accelerated course this last term. Spanish I wasn't a concern. I knew I passed it, as I wouldn't have been allowed to continue in Spanish II. However, the second Spanish caused me a lot of concern. I missed more classes. I failed one test. Yep, that's right, FAILED a test. (I NEVER fail tests.)  I threw my presentation together in the matter of a couple hours. My work in that class just wasn't up to my normal and I knew it. So, after the final, I stressed.

I couldn't imagine receiving a D or even worse, an F in that class and having to admit to myself and everyone else that my graduation would be held up another term. I couldn't imagine having that low of a grade on my transcripts.

So, back to tonight. I quickly typed in my username and password, took a deep breath and clicked the link for my grades.

OMG!

O.M.G.

To my surprise, staring back at me were two wonderful, wonderful little letters. Spanish I - A and Spanish II - B. OMG I pulled a B out of my butt!!!! LOL

I did well in my other two classes as well.

So, stress is gone. I am walking, in cap and gown, to pick up a degree that would mean very little to some (A.A. in General Studies) but means so much to me. It's really just a stepping stone degree to continue to my Bachelor's in Nursing and it's not a degree I can really do much with, other than know how hard I worked, how many hours I spent away from my children and family, how many late nights I spent studying and how much Diet Red Bull I consumed the last two years. It really means the world to me.

I did it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week 51 - Weigh In

Welcome home! That's what I felt as I walked back through the doors of my Weight Watcher's center. It's been three weeks since I attended a meeting and it feels like an eternity. I really miss my meetings when I don't attend and I really NEED my meetings. I gained. It wasn't a little gain. There is no sugar-coating this one (well, actually, this one was sugar-coated considering the things I consumed to get to it). It was a major gain. But that's behind me. No looking back, only forward. I know what mistakes were made, I know what I did. Today is a new day and a fresh start.

This fresh start truly is a new beginning. I'm approaching my year anniversary of weight loss and over this year I've had some pretty major events that could have put a stop to the entire process. But, they didn't. Not that I want to jinx myself but my life has changed greatly in the last few weeks. Since I'm finished with school until next January, I've been given the gift of time. I plan to hit the gym regularly again.

Immediately following the meeting a friend and I went to a local gym and put some time in on the treadmill. It felt great. I feel great!

I'm confident the SIX pounds I gained will come right back off in no time. This is going to be a fantastic week. I'm going to work hard, track precisely and welcome next week's weigh in with open arms.

Bring it on!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Normal

Most people that know me know I often consider the word "normal" a four letter word. Yeah, yeah, I know it's six letters.

After the last couple weeks, I'm craving normal. Now more than ever! I'm happy to say that school is over and I have a break for many months. My husband is healing pretty well, although still battling considerable pain with the new knee, but BETTER! Things are looking more and more like we are going to experience some "normal" for a few months and I'm so excited about it.

My weight loss journey has stalled. I think much of it has been due to being outside my home for more than 12 hours per day at obligations (school and work) making it impossible for me to workout. I know, everyone says they don't have time to work out. I honestly haven't had the time. But, that all changes now.

So, here we go. Woohoo!!! Tomorrow is my meeting and this week is going to be fantastic!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 48 - Weigh In

Ok, this is crap! I gained .2 pounds, mmhmm, POINT TWO POUNDS. I'm fed up with this yo-yo action and have to kick it into high gear. This is crazy! Honestly, my week wasn't bad.

I'm fairly certain I know what is going on, it's a combination of a few things.  I am pretty sure I'm retaining some water this week. But mainly, my activity has decreased. I know lack of time shouldn't be an excuse, but honestly, since this term of school started in January, my time has been extremely limited. Work all day five days per week, school four nights per week, my days outside the house don't end until 10pm and then I have to hit the books until after midnight. It's been extremely challenging to find a spot to get a workout in. I attempted to set myself up with a goal of using a personal trainer, doing weights several times a week, etc. and because I wasn't able to do it just as I planned (five days per week), I've let the all or nothing attitude get to me.  I need to remind myself that even 10 minutes of doing something is SOMETHING. One day doing it is more than zero. . .so this week I am not setting the huge goals of "I'm going to put seven hours in on the treadmill over the week!" No, all I am going to say is I will get some activity, I will vow to do SOMETHING. 

This upcoming week is slightly more complicated (understatement of the year) because my husband has his second knee replacement this Wednesday. Fortunately, since we did this recently (first one was done on February 2nd) I know what to expect and I can plan accordingly.

I went to the store and purchased plenty of fresh fruit and healthy snacks to take with me to the hospital. I refuse to seek out a vending machine at 3am for a KitKat just because I can.

So, it's onward and upward (well downward, oh whatever). Thus rut is one I desperately need to get out of and I think some form of activity is the answer.

There is light at the end of the tunnel for my schedule. I graduate on May 7th and will be out of school until January when I will hopefully (I have to apply and be accepted) start nursing school!

Quick Stats:
This week's weigh in +0.2lbs
Total Lost - 53.6lbs

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fat girls aren't the only one's fighting back

Last night I was watching the TLC show Hoarders: Buried Alive and one of the stories they were telling was of an individual who had built a wall of clothing. The wall building wasn't purposeful (or perhaps it was) but it was certainly symbolic of her struggle. She put up walls. She attempted to fill painful places with a hoard of clothing, so much so that she built her own prison within her home. She couldn't use certain rooms. She couldn't enjoy life. She was stuck in her self-induced prison of clothing walls and clutter which now filled every free space available.

Sound familiar?

It certainly does for me. As much as she buries herself in clothing and material items - as a food addict I'm prone to bury myself in food. We pack it away, don't we? Just as she has packed in the maximum amount of things in her home - I've packed in Reese's cups, Kit Kats, Wendy's, McDonald's, Chips and Fries.  Oh yes, the hoarder and I are not much different.

I respect the struggle of her journey to de-clutter - she is fighting back! While she works on de-hoarding her home, I'm de-hoarding my body! It's difficult to change these behaviors, isn't it? Like the hoarder, my disorder started very early on in life and it has been my comfort, it has been "what I do."  For years, I justified it in my head. So tricky, we are - to justify these behaviors to ourselves and others. Often, we believe our own excuses and for a moment, we think others believe them too.

The hoarder's hoard is shocking and visible when people visit her home. However, she can keep hers tucked away privately. I wear my hoard with me, everywhere I go.

It is such an empowering and wonderful feeling to be gaining control of this self-destructive behavior. I know it will be a struggle for the rest of my life but I also know there will be fantastic days filled with life experiences I couldn't have if I wasn't actively "de-hoarding."

The point is, I honestly believe most people have something they do that is their "vice." Some, more than others. We all battle our own demons, don't we? Some may be material items, food, sex, drugs, alcohol, anger - you name it, human beings can fill voids with nearly ANYTHING.  We try to cover our weaknesses in different ways but we all have them.  We really aren't that different.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Week 47 - Weigh In

I'm a bit late giving my weigh in from Sunday. Truth be told, we decided to go on a small family outing to The Florida Aquarium, so I ran into my meeting long enough to get weighed and then we were on the road to Tampa. Once we got back home I had to run to the grocery store, treat my dogs for a flea problem they have developed during our dry season and then get kids ready for bed/school the next day.

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with my results on Sunday. I saw a loss, so that was good, but it was 0.6lbs. I know, a loss is a loss is a loss. And any loss is always better than gain. I get that, I do. But, I worked hard last week, watching everything I ate, sharing my tracker on here each day. Giving up Diet Coke. I really expected to see a really great loss. So seeing only a 0.6 on the scale was a bit lackluster.

It's ok, moving forward, glad the scale went in the right direction and I'll just keep on, keeping on. :)

This weeks loss: 0.6lbs
Total loss: 53.8lbs

Saturday, April 2, 2011

And they had vacuum cleaner hoses coming out of their noses. . .


For those that follow me on my Facebook page and Twitter, you know I had a bit of a surprise last night when my 10 year old son informed me that he had a pencil eraser cap (from a mechanical pencil) stuck high up in his left nostril. He said he did it when trying to be funny waking up his sister that morning. I'm not sure why it took him 12 hours to inform us that this little bobble was stuck in his booger-maker, but he did. So, off he and I went to pick up my mom and head to the ER. Yes, I am a 33-year-old mom of three but my age and maternal experience doesn't matter - any ER trip usually requires a trip to pick up my mom.

Katz Extractor
Off we went to the ER at one of the local children's hospitals. A parade of sick children and worried parents walked through those doors. I was thankful our visit was due to something so insignificant (and kind of funny). It's not all that unusual for kids to put things up their noses and in their ears, so I wasn't too concerned. The worst part for him was having the Katz Extractor put up his nose. It was extremely uncomfortable and painful but he dealt with it like a trooper. He did nickname it the "torture device" and said he certainly learned his lesson to not put things up his nose. Unfortunately, the Katz didn't pull anything out, so off to x-ray we went only to also be told, the pencil top was not anywhere between his sinuses and his rectum and it must have fallen out of his nose earlier in the day without him noticing.

The good news is, he is no worse for the wear.

Due to the excitement, I didn't get to do my Day 6 - Week of Accountability. I think the trackers may have been getting a little boring to look at, anyway. So, I'll just write about my day.

I did well on plan and even went out to lunch with my co-workers. We visited a small local restaurant called Urban Hibachi.

Edamame
We enjoyed some fresh steamed edamame. I'm not sure what it is about the little pods but I think I could be addicted! Anytime I order it out, I really enjoy it and I'm not sure why I haven't tried to cook it at home. And with a cup only being 2 ppvs, I think it's a snack I'm going to try to incorporate! I really like food that makes you work for it. I know, sucking the beans out of the pods isn't really work, but it does consume a bit of time to get three beans vs. shoveling them in your mouth with a fork. I may try to create a "work for it" menu this week and see what happens.

Shrimp Hibachi
I was proud of myself for ordering water with my meal rather than Diet Coke. I even special ordered my Shrimp Hibachi without butter and oil and I only ate half of the brown rice. It was so delicious.

I was mostly satisfied the rest of the afternoon. I did enjoy some crackers with laughing cow and of course, my orange.

California Sunkist navel oranges are in the stores, and even though I live in Florida, I'm partial to California oranges. Consequently, my servings of fruit lately have been a couple oranges per day. They are just so sweet and juicy - it's such a nice treat! I know, I know, why am I raving about oranges? Well, before I started Weight Watchers I absolutely hated eating oranges. It was something I NEVER did. I didn't like peeling the orange. I didn't like the texture of an orange. The entire experience of eating one was just daunting and I hated it. Since then, like with a lot of other foods (*whispers* brown rice, whole wheat pasta, carrots) my tastes have changed. I enjoy these foods and my orange is like a special, sinless treat that I look forward to in the mornings with breakfast and in the afternoon for snacks. Unfortunately, the Sunkist navels aren't around all year, so I try to really cash in when they are.

Friday nights are typically a "family fun" kind of night. We usually order out for two reasons - it's the end of the week so my pantry is somewhat depleted and it's just a special Friday night kind of thing to do where I get a break from cooking. It's a one per week and sometimes every other week occurrence and I usually try to keep myself within some form of boundaries while still having something I don't normally have during the week. Last night it was Chinese take out. Yes, I seemed to have an Asian themed kind of eating day. LOL

While I still used a mess of points on the meal (points I had from dailies and dipping into weeklies - so it was completely "on plan") I still made better choices than I would have made in my "previous life." My favorite thing on the menu is the garlic honey chicken. Unfortunately, this is essentially batter dipped, fried, smothered in honey and garlic - chicken nuggets. I did NOT order it. Rather, I ordered a shrimp fried rice (shrimp because it was the lower point option), a veggie egg roll and I had a couple of my daughter's favorite crab Rangoons. Again, not the greatest of meals health-wise, but within my points and extremely enjoyable. It's WORTH IT to do these things a few times per month with my family. Some weeks my selections are far healthier, some weeks they are worse - and that's ok. It's moderation and I'm thankful to have the opportunity to pass that little life lesson on to my kids.

One slip up I did have is on the way home from the hospital with my son's nose ordeal I did run through a Burger King drive-thru for a Diet Coke. However, I don't anticipate having another for a while and I had gone seven days without one. That is a HUGE improvement over the six or seven I used to drink on a daily basis.

I'm excited for tomorrow's weigh in. Today we are doing some light eating, will have a light dinner and perhaps a popcorn snack this evening with movies.


I love weekends!

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Do you change up your weekend eating a bit from your daily, during the week eating? Are there any foods you eat now that you never would have eaten or even liked before you started on this journey to be healthy?

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Fat Label Society

For years I've held in my memory labels and words that have been assigned to me by society. Some date back to the playground at five years old. Others are from even more recent years. Some may have come from tabloids I saw while waiting for my grocery order to be rung up, others in movies or in simple casual conversations.

Ugly, gross, huge, whale, fatso, disgusting, hideous, grotesque, stupid, loser, awful, blubber, fat ass, jolly, lazy, dumb

You get the idea. You can find these and many more on school playgrounds, in work places, in the monologues by late night tv hosts, magazines, comments to news articles on online publications, social media sites - they are EVERYWHERE! 

I've lived with these labels stamped on my body. I've allowed them to clutter my mind and drive the need to compulsively eat. I've allowed them to control me.

But with all the damage these labels did they still are not enough motivation for me to lose weight. Not a single one of those words holds enough power to keep me on plan. Even the sum of the lot doesn't provide enough motivation to lose 230lbs. Why? Because there is only one word strong enough to provide the motivation needed to lose this weight, one word . . .

ME

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Food Journal - Day 5 - Week of Accountability

Today really was a great, on plan, day. Unfortunately, I am nearing the end of the week which means it's grocery store time. Some of my easy grab lunch/snack stuff is gone. But, it's ok. I made do with what I had and I have points leftover for the day.

How did you do today?

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 45
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 9




Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Food Journal - Day 4 - Week of Accountability

Today was a bit more challenging of a day. Not because I was more hungry but simply because it started off with a co-worker's birthday celebration. Let me say I love the fact that my team at work does these things but it does make it really challenging.

Honestly, I did well with it. I had a small sliver of a cookie cake and mostly fruit. But, I do so much better when I don't have sweets like cookies, cakes or ice cream during the day, and I KNOW THIS. I try to avoid but sometimes it's just impossible. That's why we have weekly points. :)  So, today I did have the little treat and it tasted soooo good. So good in fact, I craved it the rest of the day. When afternoon came, I did have another very small portion of it but again, very small and I tracked it the best I could. I'm proud of my portion control. I think that in and of itself is a win in this scenario. The rest of the day was fine as far as tracking goes.

Woooohoooo over halfway there for the week and still on track! How are you doing?

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 50
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 9


Loose skin, poop, pee and tinfoil hats - life's lessons while I lose weight

I've learned a few things the last 10 months on this weight loss journey. Some are a bit crude, some are a bit funny, and some may even be informative.

1. After popping three children out of your uterus, drinking 100oz of water in one day may cause emergency pee situations! If even the slightest urge to pee is present before leaving the office - FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY GO PEE! Shoot, even if the urge isn't there, just go!

2. Loose skin is exciting!!! It shows that your body is changing. Fat be gone - *poof* - loose skin! It's all good baby!

3. No matter how you dice it or slice it, eating a Big Mac will never, ever again feel "good" after knowing how terribly unhealthy it is. The feeling you get afterward just isn't worth it.

4. You will feel really great when you fuel your body with good foods. On days when I make poor choices, I physically feel sluggish. It's like putting bad gas in a car and it putters as it drives down the road. I don't like putter days.

5. Everybody poops and sometimes (and this is where you can stop singing that to the REM song "Everybody Hurts"), being a Weight Watcher, you have to forget about the no-pooping-in-public hang-up and just go! That high fiber cereal for breakfast and a plateful of broccoli at lunch will NOT wait until you get home from work. Stop suffering and fretting and just do it.

6. Speaking of feces. A "gain" CAN be from a bowel movement that came just an hour too late on a Sunday morning. It really can. And that's all I'll say about that.

7. You don't have to be deprived, hungry, starved or unhappy when changing from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one.

8. Diet Coke is way over-rated - a Diet Coke addict can go for five days (and counting) and not really miss it.

9. Don't set your goals or expectations too high, they can quickly flip from goals to motivation zappers in the blink of an eye.

10. There will be people that want to sabotage you. *dons tinfoil hat* They are out there! Don't give in, stay strong - they will eventually stop.

11. Sometimes the absolute best support comes in text messages at 7:55am on a Sunday morning saying, "Where are you?"

12. People care and are genuinely happy for you when you make this change. Learn to accept a compliment already!

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Do you have any funnies you've learned while losing weight? Perhaps some serious lessons? Feel free to add to this list!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Food Journal - Day 3 - Week of Accountability

Here we go. . .Day 3 of my Week of Accountability.

How did you do today?

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 44
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 0

The little lunch bag that could



I pack my lunch daily. Quite honestly, it's way more than lunch. I pack my breakfast, lunch and snacks to cover me from 9am-5pm. I've done this nearly everyday since I started Weight Watchers last May.

Days that I don't pack are challenging days and I don't like them. So, no matter what, I spend the time to fill out my meal plan for the day and pack my lunch bag.

It is also a great way to minimize waste, as I can always throw in left over veggies from the night before or make a little extra for the following day's lunch.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Food Journal - Day 2 - Week of Accountability

Here we go. . .Day 2 of my Week of Accountability.

How did you do today?

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 45
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 0

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Food Journal - Day 1 - Week of Accountability

Here's my Weight Watchers PointsPlus tracker for Day 1 of my Week of Accountability. I still haven't had my snack for later this evening, but I already have it planned and tracked with a few points left over for the day.

How did you do today?  If you wish to do so, please reply with your food journal, calorie count, PointsPlus Values, etc. for today.

(If you are unfamiliar with the Weight Watcher's program, please scroll to the end of this post where I explain what these values mean.)

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 45
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 0

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Weight Watcher's PointsPlus Program Summary
For those unfamiliar with the Weight Watcher's program, let me explain. On Weight Watcher's you don't count calories, you count PointsPlus Values (PPV). Your daily allowance is based upon your age, weight, height and gender and calculated by Weight Watchers. This number will change as you lose (or gain) weight.  You are also provided a weekly allowance of 49 PPV which you may spend at any time during the week on anything you wish to spend it on.  So basically, this is your budget. You have a set number to spend daily, and a number of weekly PPV's that are optional to use throughout the week.

Of course, all foods have a PPV. The value is based upon how much Fat, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fiber are in the food. Weight Watchers has a calculator that can be used for these calculations. (Available as a pocket calculator you can carry with you, an Android App, an iPhone app or through membership of etools on the Weight Watcher's website, where my screen shots came from.)

The key is to keep your daily food intake within the budget. For me, this requires planning, tracking and measuring my foods.

You can also earn additional PPV's through exercise. Again, the value of PPV's given to an activity is based upon the persons weight, longevity of activity and the intensity of the workout. These PPV's are also optional on if you spend them or not.

So there you have it, Weight Watchers PointsPlus plan in a nutshell. 

By the way, Weight Watchers is running a special that if you sign up now for a Monthly Pass, you get it for $19.95! The regular price is $39.95 so it really is a great deal. If you have been considering joining, now is the time to get nearly 1/2 off your first month.

Now let me say this, I am not a spokesperson, salesperson or employee of Weight Watchers. I don't make any money by telling you about that special but this program has changed my life. I am just a member using the plan and sharing what knowledge I have after being on the program 46 weeks.