Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One year... 30 Pounds... Auld lang syne, my dear...


Well, 2008 is just about gone. Probably by the time you guys are reading this, it'll be next year.

I started this year at 208 pounds.

Wow. :|

I can't believe that. 8|

208??!!

That seems like a lifetime ago.

208 just sounds to big! Hard to believe that's what I weighed 12 months ago.

I'm 30 pounds lighter than I was a year ago. If you would have told me one year ago I'd be 30 pounds lighter today, I would have laughed in your face and said "Yea, right, maybe 75 pounds lighter! but definitely not just 30 pounds!" I probably would have said "Psh! I could do 30 pounds without even trying!"

Man, was that a lifetime ago. I've gained and lost the same pounds so many times this year it's hard to even conceive of it. I've exercised my butt off and deprived myself and sacrificed all of the things I love in life (my precious food). But looking back on it all, now, I think it was all worth it. I'm losing it so slowly, surely I'll be able to keep it off forever. If I'd lost it quick, I'd be much more likely to gain it back (and then some) right? Well, that's what they say anyways.

I'm realistic now. 30 pounds is HUGE! I had no idea I would have this much trouble losing 30 pounds. I was flying through the pounds when I first started WW. Why it only took me 7 months (my first 7 months on WW) to lose almost 60 pounds. Now, I've only lost half that amount in almost double the amount of time. I sure hope I can lose 30 pounds in 2009.

I figure that's an average of a half a pound a week, right? That's not bad. Actually, I think I would be tickled pink if I could consistently lose a half a pound each week. Wouldn't you?

Auld Lang Syne... Do you know what that phrase really means? According to Wikipedia, "auld lang syne" literally means "old long since", but a more common English translation would be something like "long long ago", "days of long ago", "in olden days", or even "once upon a time".

So here's to those lost 30 pounds. Long, long ago I was 30 pounds heavier. Days of long ago found me 30 pounds more than what I am now. Once upon a time I was 30 pounds larger.

And here's to 2009 and a year-long goal of losing a half a pound each week.

What about you? How many pounds did you take off in 2008?

.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Counting points is tough...

Well, since I completely blew all of my goal points from last week—and when I say "blew" what I really mean is completely obliterated! I've decided to give it my all this week and try those goals once again.

Although, I think I'm going to take another look at those goals and re-write them a bit:
  • High intensity workout, 3 times
  • Walk for 30 minutes 7 days
  • Stay within my daily points
  • Apple or almonds (or something high in fiber) for morning, afternoon, and evening snacks
  • 64 to 80 ounces of water a day (8-10 cups)
  • No eating after 8pm. Period!
So far, I'm not doing too bad, but I'm not doing that great, either. I'm not eating after 8. I'm drinking my water. I'm having the healthy snacks. I'm walking every evening. But I've only done 1 high intensity workout this week.

And, for the life of me, I can't figure out how to stay under 21 points of food each day. Like, here's what I had today (and this is typical, though I'm eating different foods each day):
  • Breakfast: Kashi Go Lean cereal with low fat soy milk (3 points)
  • Snack: Small apple
  • Lunch: Peanut butter & Banana sandwich (reduced fat peanut butter (2 tbspns), small banana, 1/2 tbspn honey, 2 slices of whole grain wheat bread (7 points)
  • Snack: Nabisco NutriGrain Sour Cream & Onion Thins (2 points)
  • Dinner: Smart One's Lasagna, steamed corn, tbspn butter (10 points)
  • Snack: 2 reduced fat banana muffins (home recipe) (2 points)
24 Points Total

Okay, so if I would have done without the butter at dinner, I could have shaved 3 points off my day. But plain, dry, steamed corn is just nasty. I don't have any reduced fat butter in the house. I could have probably shaved 2 points off if I'd had that in the house.

But seriously, I'm hungry all day.

And this is how my days have been going this week. Eat very little, count points, go hungry, try to ignore hunger pangs. Ugh!

I didn't exercise this morning but I went running tonight.

It was a bittersweet victory...

I found some motivation from Jason's blog. He's a runner who's lost 130 pounds by running (and WW). I love biking and running, but they both kick my butt! But he left me a note that said to take it slow. So I started out tonight taking it slow. My goal was to go around the block twice—3/4 mile. So I started out jogging. My heart rate got up to about 178-179 and stayed there the whole time I was jogging. I didn't want to run. I wanted this to be as slow as possible.

I made it 2 laps around!!

Then I went for 3.

I made it 3 laps around!!! Woo Hoo!!!

Then I thought, what the heck, lets try for 4 laps.

I made it FOUR LAPS AROUND!!!!!

Man, I couldn't believe it!! The last lap was really a cross between speed walking and jogging. I was breathing deep and trying to stay calm. But I did it. I ran (well, jogged) for ONE AND A HALF MILES!

That's almost a 3K (about 2.5K).

I walked for 5 minutes before and after my four non-stop laps of jogging.

Then I came in and read the amount of calories I burned, which I really thought was going to be like a thousand or something, and I had burned a measly 321 calories.

What!!!!?????

I burn 300 calories walking for an hour with the girls in the morning!!

I can't believe I only burned 321 calories.

Oh, well, I got 4 activity points out of it. Better than nothing, right.

At least I can say, proudly now, that I've actually ran around my block 4 times without stopping.

.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What a wonderfully fatty week...

I H-A-D S-O M-U-C-H F-U-N T-H-I-S W-E-E-K!!!

I think I ate my weight in food!

I haven't done this since before WW (19 1/2 months ago)!

What a blast!

I gained 8.4 pounds at WI this morning.

That's 8.4 pounds in ONE WEEK!

I have NEVER gained this much in one week before! The most I've ever gained in one week was back in June when I gained 3.4 pounds.

Last Saturday, I gained 1.8 pounds from eating sensibly but not exercising. But this past week, no exercise AT ALL and I ate WHATEVER I wanted.

So that's a total of 10.2 pounds in 2 weeks!

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

It started on Saturday when I had:
  • Cheeseburger and Seasoned french fries dipped in ranch dressing for lunch (I can't remember what I ate for dinner and I did not journal any of my food this week)
...and it went down hill from there.

On Sunday, I had:
  • Several Brown Sugar Cookies
  • Half a family sized box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
  • A cheese egg white omelet with veggies, oatmeal and cranberry muffin with tons of real butter and coffee with tons of real half and half (can't remember dinner)
  • Dessert at midnight: huge piece of cheesecake covered in hot fudge sauce topped with a whole brownie chopped up and sprinkled on top with maybe a quarter cup of white chocolate chips with a side of chocolate ice cream (Denny's Brownie Cheesecake)
On Monday, I had:
  • Sensible egg white omelet with veggies and goat cheese for breakfast
  • Kielbasa sausage with tons of sauteed onions and green peppers loaded with shredded cheddar cheese (not reduced fat) and some sauerkraut
  • A huge peanut butter sandwich with like maybe 4 or 5 tablespoons of peanut butter, gooped with gobs of honey and cinnamon and sugar
On Tuesday, I had:
  • Sensible steel cut oatmeal with flaxseed, honey, splenda, cinnamon and soy milk for breakfast
  • The same peanut butter sandwich for lunch
  • Center cut pork chops (fat not trimmed), pan seared then baked in the oven with stuffing (whole grain) until cooked through with corn and peppers (and butter) on the side
On Wednesday, I had:
  • Sensible steel cut oatmeal with flaxseed, honey, splenda, cinnamon and soy milk for breakfast
  • Half a box (regular sized box) of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (whole grain again)
  • Home made spaghetti sauce with real spaghetti noodles, real fattening ground beef and tons of Parmesan cheese on top
  • About 8 homemade oatmeal cinnamon cookies (my own concoction of oatmeal cookies made with cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg (gave it a pumpkin pie spice flavor to it) with a bag of Hershey's Cinnamon Chips. Oh, man were those things heavenly!
On Christmas, I had:
  • Scrambled eggs with real cheese
  • O'Brien potatoes cooked in real butter and oil and topped with real cheddar cheese
  • Real bacon
  • Wheat toast (2 slices) with real butter
  • Then for dinner, turkey, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, corn, Brussels sprouts, biscuits with butter, stuffing and gravy.
  • For dessert, a piece of real pumpkin pie with loads of whipped cream
  • Throughout the day, I munched on "Mock Turtle Pretzel" candies my mom-in-law made: put pretzels on a cookie sheet and top each one with a rollo and a half a pecan and put in oven until melted. Each one was 1 point. I probably had 15 of them.
  • And more of the oatmeal cinnamon cookies
After dinner, I realized that I'd left the broccoli casserole (broccoli, cream of mushroom soup and Velveeta cheese melted altogether) in the microwave. So I had a couple of servings of that after my dinner settled.

On Friday, I had:
  • Denny's Heartland Scramble. Listen to what's in it: "Two eggs scrambled with chopped bacon, country-fried potatoes, green peppers and onions, and topped with Cheddar cheese. Served with two strips of bacon, two sausage links, hash browns and two fluffy buttermilk pancakes." I got cheese on the hashbrowns and substituted the pancakes for grits but got some of their new pancake balls—they're little balls of pancake rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with syrup to dunk in.
  • Then for dinner a HUGE plate of left over spaghetti
  • And afterwards, after to coma started to set in, I had 2 more helpings of broccoli casserole, one more helping of sweet potato casserole and about 15 chocolate chip cookies.
Can you believe I ate all that stuff?!

I enjoyed every single bite of every bit of it!

I have absolutely NO regrets. I earned those 8.4 pounds!

The good news is, I'm back on plan. I'm counting my points today and back to exercising already. Getting ready to go for a walk soon.

It's behind me now. And I know it'll probably take me months to get these extra 10 pounds back off. But it was so worth it. I ate like I used to eat before WW and loved every minute of it. I never felt guilty for one bite.

Is that sad?

I weigh, now, what I weighed back on August 2nd. So sad!

I have no desire to cheat any more, though, I wonder why? :D

.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is this emotional reaction to food really worth it?

I was reading Mary Fran's blog day before yesterday and it got me to thinking. She was talking about how she'd started on a downward spiral a year ago at a Christmas party. And she mentioned how she didn't really crave the sweets but once she started eating them, she couldn't stop. I started thinking about how the sugar we eats really effects our brain. I mean in a scientific way.

I know that our brains use sugar (glucose), as do other essential organs all over our bodies, to regulate it's functions and maintain normalcy. Well, it would only make sense that if we get too much sugar, it'll effect our brains. If nothing else, it'll trigger an emotional response to the sugar overload. I know not enough sugar (like after you've worked out really hard and you're dehydrated) will make you sleepy because your brain is being deprived of sugar. So, in turn, too much sugar has the opposite effect by making us hyper and excited. That, my friend, is an emotion. To be excited about something can elicit feelings of euphoria and pleasure. It's like, the more sugar, the better we feel, the happier we are—emotionally.

Then in the car, I heard a story on NPR (my favorite station on the planet!) about a listener who called in about her comfort food (they were having a segment about our comfort foods). When she was a child, her mother bought some sweetened condensed milk one time and she tried it and said it tasted like a little drop of heaven. She immediately wanted more. Her mother was sensible and told her, no, she could only have one teaspoon a day. So her mother set the can of condensed milk up on top of her wardrobe and there it sat starring at her as she laid in bed. She couldn't wait to have more. Now, as an adult, whenever something wonderful happens where she wants to reward herself, she gets a can of condensed milk.

That sounds like a perfectly normal response to me. She associated the sweet milk with a pleasurable emotion she had as a child. She would dream about that milk. Couldn't wait for her next taste. She had built a pleasurable emotion around that milk. That milk made her so happy.

And finally, I got my new Cooks Country magazine today and on the first page is the letter from the editor (Christopher Kimball) where he talks about how his strongest memories are built on taste. "Drinking grape soda in the front seat of a green Ford pickup ... Or the taste of penny candies purchased at the Weston Country Store ... Watermelon slices, Root beer Barrels, Long strings of red and black licorice..." etc., he went on a bit further. But then after describing all of these wonderful taste sensations he had growing up, he started talking about how when we were kids, we didn't have to describe the experience of eating these wonderful things and he continued, "... that is the difference between pure, unadulterated joy and pleasure. One is ecstatic: the other is controlled. One is pure out-of-body happiness: the other is self-observed. In joy, one is overwhelmed by the senses, not merely tempted. It is what food promises but rarely delivers. ... That's why good cooks are often children at heart, easily swayed by a finger dipped into chocolate batter, their hearts open to the unexpected. We know that at any moment, we may once again fall in love with the juiciness of a peach, the flakiness of a pie pastry. We are like old lovers who continually rediscover the beauty of each other in a glance, in a thought, in a happenstance."

Wow. That is quite an observance! The "joy" of eating is one that overwhelms our sense, not just tempts us. And I love his line "it is what food promises but rarely delivers". And how he compares these joyful experiences we have with food to a love relationship. "continually rediscover[ing] the beauty of each other". It reinforces my thought about how food can really be addicting. I mean, not only do we need food to survive, but the "good" food messes with our heads. Doesn't it?

The same point was coming from two completely different people talking about two completely different experiences in life but yet their point is identical.

Why is it the most basic thing in life, besides breathing and sleeping, has, at its core, the ability to elicit such emotions from us. Come on! We need to eat! We don't have a choice. It's not like we can quit, like quitting smoking or drinking. We can't avoid it. It's there whether we like it or acknowledge it or not. And it can make us feel so good. Even the most die-hard health experts will tell you that if you eat a balanced diet of high proteins, low carbs, high fiber and low sugars and fats, you'll feel so much better. Your body will thank you for the healthy nourishment. So everyone agrees that food directly effects the way you feel and your emotional well-being.

I think, for those of us who have such a struggle with these decadent foods that give us this emotional high, we have an extra task in life to recognize which foods will give us that feeling of pleasure and that longing for a loved one, and realize that these feelings we seek from eating them are purely scientific and mechanical. Sugar=pleasure. Pleasure=indulgences. Indulgences=Danger Zone. Once we step into that danger zone, we have to realize, first, that we are there, then, second, take a look around and realize why we feel so good after eating that piece of cake, then, third, make a conscious decision to stop at that one bite or that one piece because we know that the effects of pleasure derived from it are not related to our well being but rather a false emotional stimulus that will be gone as soon as the sugar wears off. I think if we can put ourselves into that frame of mind whenever we're in that situation, we'll be much more equipped to take control and not give in to what that sense of pleasure and all it brings with it.

That being said, I'm still gonna want a piece of cake and I'm still gonna eat that piece of cake. But I have to assess that "euphoric" feeling I get when I first bite into it and realize that it's not going to "make things all better". That feeling is temporary. And if I can keep that in the front of my head, I'll be less likely to go back for that 2nd or 3rd piece of cake, solely based on how it makes me feel. If I can just keep the science of it all in my head, I can beat it.

I'm equipping myself to resist the sweets this week. How about you? Will you try and do this with me. This is the perfect week to try this. I'm not going to refrain from indulging. Come on, it's Christmas! But I'm going to stop and access my emotions after I have a bite or two and realize it's my body's chemical response that's making me feel wonderful and that if I eat the rest of it or more of it, it's not going to satisfy anything!

Think chemical. Think scientific. Resist overindulging this week.

.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weigh in today. I've had better...

Weigh in this morning was disastrous. I gained 1.8 pounds!!!!!

I wonder why? Hmmm. Was it because I ate this, this week:
  • 3 Brown Sugar Cookies
  • 4 Ferrero Rocher chocolates
  • 8-10 pieces of hand made (by my boss) candy
  • 1 Krispy Kreme donut
  • 4 pieces of Dove Dark Chocolate
And NO HIGH INTENSITY WORKOUTS????

Hmmm. You think that might have done it???!!!

I'm taking lead from the WW meeting this morning and setting goals for this week. Hopefully my goal setting will keep me in check this week. Here's what I'm aiming for:
  • High intensity workout, 3 times
  • Walk for 30 minutes 7 days
  • Eat sensible or at least only eat one cookie or one piece of pie, etc. (this one will be tough on Thursday, but I'm really going to try it this time, not like Thanksgiving where it was a free-for-all feast)
  • Oatmeal with fruit, flaxseed meal and soy milk for breakfast
  • Egg white omelet with veggies and goat cheese (or something high in protein and low in fat) for lunch
  • Apple or almonds (or something high in fiber) for morning, afternoon, and evening snacks
  • 64 to 80 ounces of water a day (8-10 cups)
  • No eating after 8pm. Period!
I think those are doable. I think the high intensity workouts are going to be the key. That and to stop indulging! I hope. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm right where I was TEN WEEKS AGO! This is for the birds! At this rate, I'll take me 10 years to lose these last 30 pounds!

.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

From indulgences to victory...

Boy has this week been a tough one—treat wise. I've indulged way too many times!

No huge indulgences, but indulgences nonetheless.

Like the Krispy Kreme on Monday—which I only had ONE of. I had two huge brown sugar cookies on Sunday. And then there was the homemade chocolates that my boss brought in Wednesday—chocolate covered peanut butter balls, chocolate covered coconut balls, white chocolate covered oreo/cream cheese balls and peppermint bark. I mean, come one, she made these delectables from scratch as her Christmas gift to each one of us. I'm just supposed to NOT eat any??!! :)

(I completely lost track of how many I ate.)

Then today I had 3 tiny little sugar cookies. Seriously, they were maybe an inch around. No icing. Oh, and one Ferrero Rocher (cool website, by the way). Okay, two, but that's it, I promise.

I feel like it's confessional time. "Bless me Father for I have eaten my weight in chocolate this week..." :D

Seriously, that's all I've had—she says as if that was a small amount of sweets, right?

On the flip side, I've been eating extremely healthy and completely on plan all week (aside from these minor indulgences). And I've been putting in extra exercise.

I even went running twice yesterday!

That's right. I ran!

(Hey, isn't that a country in the middle east?)

Two totally special things happened. The first was that hubby ran with me yesterday morning. This is the first time he's exercised in MONTHS. And probably the first time we've exercised together in years. We have different styles of exercise, different paces, etc., so it's hard for us to exercise together. But I went slow and he kept up. It was awesome! What a blast!

We actually did interval—1 minute running 2 minutes walking—for a half hour. Wow! That was great.

But then last night I decided I that I felt so good running in the morning, that I wanted to try it at my pace in the evening. So instead of walking the dogs (sorry buddy), I ran.

I loaded the soundtrack from Memoirs of a Geisha in my iPod and headed out the door. I turned the volume way up and off I went. I don't know if you've ever watched the movie, but the soundtrack is AMAZING! It's so powerful. Compelling. Perfect music for running! (you can listen to the tracks at the link above)

So, I did the same interval run/walk as the morning, but this time was more running than walking. Running for 1 minute and walking for 30 seconds. Then, at one point, I ran completely around my block (inside my community the loop around is a between a half and three-quarters of a mile). This was amazing.

I started out on that lap thinking I'd run half way around then when I got to the halfway mark I thought, "I feel fine. I think I'll keep going". So I did. I had my heart-rate monitor on and checked to make sure I wasn't up too high then kept going. I made it about three-quarters of the way around and I could really feel it in my bones and my muscles and for some reason, I could really feel it in my hips (don't have any hip problems that I know of).

Then the most wonderful thing happened. I had the end of the block in sight. As soon as I make it to that specific spot, I'll stop running and walk for a bit. But I started to doubt whether I could make it because my legs and hips were throbbing by now. I was so out of breath. I looked at my heart rate monitor and it said 189! I don't think I've ever gone that high before. But I could see the end of the block! I wanted to finish the lap—completely.

I took a deep breathe, shook my head from side to side to loosen up my neck and shoulders and the most wonderful sound came over the iPod. I don't remember the track, but as soon as I breathed in, the most powerful and bone rattling drum started pounding. Boom Boom! Then some more percussion of wood blocks being beaten—tap, tap, tap! Then bongo-type drums—bam, bam, bam, bam!

It's like the music was leading me on. It's like it knew I needed to reach down deep to somehow pull off this victory. It was encouraging me to finish with vigor and verve. This music lifted my feet right off the ground and carried me right to the end of the block!

Was truly spiritual!

I made it to the end of the block, settled my pace into a fast walk and took a deep breath just as the drums subsided and went back to strings and horns.

What a run!

I so want to go again!

.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It was a sad day yesterday...

This is how deeply food is connected to my emotional soul...

Yesterday, I had a fairly rough day—emotionally. I'm not sure why. I'm not PMS'ing. I'm not going through anything horrible at work or at home. I'm not one who get's down at the holidays. So I don't really know why, but all day yesterday I wanted to cry. I was afraid. I was irritated and very short tempered. Yet nothing "happened" to cause it.

I called hubby because usually he can calm me down. Just the sound of his reassuring words makes me feel safe again. The world starts spinning again with his words.

So his words were helpful yesterday, but for some reason, they didn't do the trick.

Here's where the trouble started...

I had to walk over to Editorial to talk with one of the editors and when I was finished, I was walking out of the office when something caught the corner of my eye on one of the desks.

It was a box from Krispy Kreme.

Actually, two.

Me and Krispy Kreme go way back. KK has been my favorite donut, no, my favorite food on the planet ever since I was a kid. The taste of those tender, hot, smooth and creamy donuts is like little drops of heaven on my tongue. Their smell is so sweet, it smells like I'm breathing in heaven's air into my nostrals. My long-time love affair with Krispy Kreme has been one that I've dedicated alot of devotion and heart to. Krispy Kreme is my hero.

So as I walked by those two boxes (yes, I said walked by, I actually walked right past them), I could see the light emitting from the edges of the boxes and lighting up the whole room like rays of sunshine from the sides of a cloud just after a rain storm. And I swear I heard music. Angelic music playing low. Violins and harps playing a wonderous song—I swear!

The sound and the light disapated slightly while I walked past it and I thought to myself 'self, keep walking, you can do this, be strong'.

And I did keep walking.

Right into a lady who has been on WW before and knows exactly what I'm going through. I thought, this is perfect, she can help me past this weak moment and help me resist these tiny tidbits of heaven who were still calling to me, yes I could still hear the heavenly music playing in the distant.

So I stopped and said "can I have a Krispy Kreme?" in the most innocent voice I could muster. Of course she said yes right away. That's what you're supposed to say, right? But then she stopped and she said "wait, is that what you want me to say?". Perfect. She knew why I was standing at her desk (actually, I was kneeling like I was purposing to her, but I was actually on my knees begging—oh the shame).

We talked for a minute about how these are my favorite foods in the whole world and how I CAN NOT resist them.

We struck a deal. I promised I'd walk extra last night after dinner if I only ate one. But I could only have one and I would HAVE to walk extra.

The deal was struck, I ran back to those wonderous boxes and opened the first one—all glazed donuts. I opened the 2nd one and it had chocolate glazed and chocolate kreme filled donuts. All of which are delicious, but I'm a plain glazed gal.

I picked up a napkin and put one glazed Krispy Kreme donut on it then I cuped the napkin with that spectacular looking donut in the palm of my hands and lifted it to my nose to breath in the sweet necktar of heaven. Mmmmmmm.

I walked back to my desk, with Krispy Kreme donut cupped in my hands and layed it on my desk to just look at it for a few minutes.

About 10 minutes when by and I finally caved. I had a bite.

Oh my gosh was it the best tasting thing I've tasted in sooooooo long. The chips of sweet glaze the crumbled off onto my lips as my teeth sunk into the tender flesh of the donut. Oh, man!

I sat it back down and waited another 5 minutes before taking another bite.

This went on all afternoon. That donut lasted me about 45 minutes.

Then after the last bite, I scooped up the fallen glaze chips that were left in the napkin until every last morsel was gone.

Here's the sad part...

After that donut, I felt healed. I no longer wanted to cry. I had no more fear. I wasn't irritated any more. I felt complete.

Isn't that sad??

This is how deeply food is connected to the core of my emotional being. That something like a sweet, fatty donut could repair emotional damage like that.

Sad.

I did not go back for a 2nd donut.

One had done the repair that it needed to do.

My life was back to normal.

How sad.

.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weigh in today went better than expected...

I lost a pound this week!

One whole pound.

At first, I was a bit bummed. I hear Katschi talking about how she loses 5 pounds a week on the Eat Clean Diet. But I have to remember that everyone is different. She's a bit heavier that me (sorry Katschi) and when I was that weight, I could lose 5 pounds in a week from eating healthy and on plan. Those days are behind me. I know. So I changed my mind and I'm now ecstatic that I lost A WHOLE POUND!

:D

I worked hard for that pound. Here's what I did:
  • Exercised 7 days a week: Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred workout 3 times, Walking with the girls for 60 minutes, 2 times, and walking in the evenings with the dogs for 30 minutes every night.
  • Ate clean all 7 days—stayed under my alotted 21 points through WW.
  • Only splurged on ONE meal—seriously! That one meal was Saturday night. Was at a very fancy restaurant (the food was sinfully divine!) that we would NEVER have gone to had we not recieved a gift card from a freelance client of my husbands. Seriously, the meal cost $80 for the 2 of us. Thank goodness we had enough on the card to put the tip—which was $15, man!
  • Drank my allotted water every day. Actually, I just found out that I drank about twice as much as I was supposed to. I always thought WW told you to drink 8 cups of water a day, but I found out this morning it was only 6 cups. I've been drinking about 12 cups a day.


I got another paper clip this morning. If you don't know, at our WW meeting, the leader lets us take one paper clip from the "treasure chest" (a little wooden treasure box) for every full pound of accumulated weight loss. I haven't been able to add a paper clip to my chain for 2 months (9 weeks, actually). I was so excited to add a paper clip. I have 97 paperclips on my chain, now... see? The way I do my chain is the dark colored clips (blue) are every 5 pounds and the pink ones are for the in between pounds. I have one gold clip in there (2nd row from the outside at the bottom right corner)—that one is for my 50 pounds. When I reach my 100 pounds, I'll get another gold clip and then again when I reach my goal. When I'm done, I'm hoping to have 132 paperclips on my chain.

I can't wait for the finale of Biggest Loser. I SO hope Michelle wins. Have you guys been watching it. I can't stand Vicki. Its so wonderful that Michelle is in the top two to go to the finals. The other 2 are Hebba and Ed. I couldn't care less which one of them makes it, as long as Michelle is there.

I did the math on their percentages, cause it's all about who's lost the biggest percentage of weight at the finals. And Ed has lost 24%, Heba has lost 25%, Vicki has lost 30% and Michelle 33%. So if they keep going the way they have on the ranch, Michelle will definitely win. She could totally be the next Ali (from last year).

Check out this video of Vicki. It's hilarious. Alot of the clips, I've seen before, but watch at the end when she has her last weigh in. I laughed out loud at work when I watch it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kicking habits left and right...

I was just reading Sunny Days' blog about habits she's kicked. Alot of her habits were also mine, though I've never been a big fan of bread (white or wheat). I can completely identify with the cheese-habit. Oh my gosh, cheese on just about anything makes it taste better!

Now the only cheese I'll have is hard cheese or goat cheese. Mostly hard cheese, but only maybe an ounce or two a day at the most. And always 2%. It's such a great source of protein and calcium. Sometimes I'll just have a big bowl of fresh fruit and a two 1-inch squares of sharp 2% cheddar cheese for dinner. Was a great balance of nutrients.

Another bad habit of mine was chips and cream cheese. I know this sounds weird, but a big bag of Ruffles potato chips with a brick of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (I have always preferred the 1/3 less fat, ever when I was almost 300 pounds). You take a chip, and slice a hunk of cream cheese off the block maybe an eighth of an inch thick. Oh, the combination of the smooth and creamy rich cream cheese with the salty and crunchy chips is divine!

I haven't had any since last summer. I have sure craved them from time to time. But I won't indulge. These used to be a bad habit of mine. I'd sometimes stop by the store on the way home for lunch and pick up a bag and a brick and they'd be gone before I got back to work.

And butter is another habit I had to kick. Butter makes everything taste better, doesn't it? Seriously. But now, my habit is butter spray or butter flavored oil spray. If I have butter, which is rare, it's in very small amounts.

I've kicked the ice cream habit, too. I used to have an ice cream bar every night after dinner. Well, maybe one or two. I just had to have something sweet after dinner. Now, not so much. Not even diet or "light" ice cream. I've found the more I have, of the diet stuff, the more I'll crave it. So no more. A sweet apple after dinner does the trick now.

I guess I've kicked alot of bad eating habits. Replaced them with healthy tendencies.

What about you? What habits have you kicked?

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Eating out isn't all it's cracked up to be...


Do you want to know how bad I DID NOT want to work out this morning???!!!

Man, I did not want to get out of bed!

But I did. Yea!

I actually accomplished my exercise goals for the first time in a LONG time! My goal has been, for months, to exercise hard (either biking or working out, high intensity) 3 times a week and walk 2 times a week. Well, I did that this week! Woo hoo! And I feel really good about it.

I really hope I lose something this week. If I don't, it's because of muscle gain that's for sure. My muscles are so tight. They're sore, but not horribly sore like I thought they would.

And I did something last night that I totally could have regretted. Money's been so tight lately, but we still want to be able to treat ourselves every once in a while to a nice meal out. I almost always cringe when it comes to dining out, nowadays. NOTHING is good about eating out. Bad food. Spending money that is silly when you could cook at home for a fraction of the price. Dealing with a loud dining room. Never knowing if the server is going to be on your side or working in cahoots with the kitchen to sabotage the experience. But we did it anyways. It's an Italian restaurant about a half hour away that is divine and horribly cheap! It's actually our favorite Italian restaurant on the planet. It's a mom & pops place where the daughters are the servers. The pasta tastes like it's made fresh right before you eat it and the sauce is so delicate it's like little angels came down and made it just before they put it on the divine pasta. (can you tell I like food?)

Anyway, I so did not want to go there because there's absolutely nothing nutritious about Italian food, especially at a restaurant. Then I found the salads and the soups. Score! First of all, I have to tell you that I have always hated salads. They seem like such a waste of good chewing efforts. Lettuce doesn't do anything for me, I might as well be eating water for as long as lettuce sticks with me. And they're always so tasteless (well, the healthy way).

The best salad I could find was a chef salad. It was about 5 cups of iceberg lettuce topped with two cucumbers, two tomato slices, three rings of white onion slices, one slice of ham and the outside rim of the plate was lined with pepperoni slices (13 of them—I counted).

I got oil and vinegar dressing but just put vinegar on it. Then I got a bowl of Minestrone soup. Wasn't the best soup in the world, but it was the best I could do.

The best thing was I resisted the pasta! Man was that tough. Especially when hubby ordered a cheesy Calzone. Oh! I sat there watching him eat that thing wishing I could. Man that was hard!

But I made it. Of course, I had to have a half a peanut butter sandwich after I got home because by the time we made it home, my salad was gone and I felt like I hadn't eaten anything.

Can't wait for tomorrow's WI!

Oh, by the way, I cut back on the water yesterday and only had 80 ounces. WW says I should have 8 glasses (64 ounces) and many other weight loss experts say I should have half my weight in ounces. So I'm 168 so I should have 84 ounces. So I'll try and keep it between 8 and 10 cups of water. Just to be safe.

P.S. What's an "NSV"?

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two posts in one day... whodathunk?

I had a great day!

Check out what MyFoodDiary told me today:















I love that last line. Wasn't that special? If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a link to where I talked all about this new website this morning.

The coolest part about today was tonight. I went walking after dinner, like I do every night. Four laps around the neighborhood (1.6 miles), one lap with Emma (our 85-pound "little sister" to my 10-pound "big brother" chihuahua) and three laps around with Mocha (big brother). Mocha's 8, Emma's 2, hence the little sister, big brother funnies. When all of the sudden, after one lap around with Mocha, my daughter pulls into the neighborhood! I call her on her cell and ask her where she is. She's like "um, I'm in the driveway". I said "yea, I know, I can see you, come walk with me"!

We never get to walk together any more. She's so busy with her college life. Working 2 jobs and going to school full time keeps her away almost from sun up to sun down and beyond most days. So it was so cool that she got to walk with me for the last 2 laps. Was only 15 minutes, but it was so cool catching up with her again!

So that finished off my good day to make it a great day!

I'm feeling really good lately. I haven't weighed myself at home for several weeks, now, but I feel thinner. I've been working out a lot this week. I've already done 2 Jillian Michaels' workouts. Tomorrow I'll walk with the girls and then Friday one more Jillian workout.

Man, I love ExerciseTV. It's on-demand on my cable and it has hundreds of workouts to choose from. I think whoever thought up this idea sincerely deserves a huge bravo star! There's just about any kind of workout you could imagine. And it's all free!

I can feel my muscles tight throughout the day. I wasn't sore today and I was surprised at that. I'm usually sore the 2nd day after a hard workout and yesterday morning I did the Shred #3 (third level). It was a bear!!! But I actually did it. I thought I was going to die, but I did it! I can really feel it in my arms and today I could feel it in my inner thighs and stomach especially.

I'm drinking lots of water, lately. Is there such a thing as too much water? I've heard it can be bad for you. I'm having between 80-96 ounces a day. I just can't get enough of it. I used to have the hardest time drinking my water, but now, I love it so much. Hope it doesn't make me sick or anything.

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I've found a new tool to help me through this...

I signed up for a food diary website that I think I might just like. It's called MyFoodDiary.com.

Look at what it told me about my goal weight...

Ideal weight range: 128 - 141 lbs.
  • You are currently 27.8 lbs. over your target weight range. With the help of MyFoodDiary.com, you can reach 141 lbs. in 24 weeks or less. Imagine that! You could be at your ideal weight by May 23rd or sooner!
  • Best of all, our approach is based on sound science that helps you lose weight and keep it off the healthy way.
Isn't that cool? I wanted to be to my goal weight (which was actually 3 pounds less than the goal they chose for me) by May 12th (my 2-year anniversary with WW). But this is the cool part... I have a desk calendar at work that my mother-in-law made for me. It's made out of plastic canvas with yarn. You can choose the Month and the 2 day numbers from little compartments for each day of the year (three compartments, one holds the month card, and two hold the 2-digit day numbers—hope that makes sense). I'd had such a hard time keeping it up-to-date every day so I decided last week to just choose a date I liked and leave it there. 23 is my favorite number, so I chose the day 23. Then I chose May because May is the 5th month of the year and 2+3=5 (get it, 2+3 ... 23).

So isn't that cool. May 23rd is the date the MyFoodDiary chose for me to be at my goal. Gotta be a good sign!

But that's not all... it's very similar to WW's eTools and SparkPeople but it has a lot more going on after you log your food in. Lots of features that keep you motivated and show you your progress and shows the specifics about the foods you're eating and the exercise, too.

Here's an example of one feature I LOVE. It has a feature called "Calories remaining to..." in the Daily Report section. It'll tell you how many calories you have remaining to reach certain goals. Like this (click on the pictures to make them bigger if you're having trouble reading them):


It also keeps track of the details in the foods I eat and tells me what I've been eating that's good for me and bad for me. Here are some of the reports.

































This one is cool. This is where some of the motivation comes in. It's nice getting the immediate response to the foods I'm eating so I can know I'm on the right track or not.



















It highlights in red the things that I eat that are bad for me or over the recommended daily allowance (according to the FDA's daily recommended percentages).














It has a recipe builder and a "fridge" where you can store commonly used foods to add quicker. And you can enter foods based on the label (every bit of info that's on the label). It's really cool.

I really like it. But it cost $9 a month. So I thought I'd try it for a month and see how it works, kind of an early Christmas present to myself. I can cancel at any time. No commitments.

I already pay for Weight Watcher's E-Tools, and I don't (won't) cancel my WW eTools. I've got too much info in there that I don't want to lose. My whole weight loss history is in there.

On my weight loss efforts, I'm still going strong. I haven't splurged at all this week (except for a celebration dinner we had Saturday night—celebrating hubby's new job, Woo hoo!). I've walked every night after dinner. I've logged every bit of food I've eaten and all my exercise. I've done 2 Jillian Michaels' workouts so far this week. I feel great!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

a science lesson...

First of all, still eating clean, still exercising, still counting points, still going strong. Oh, and I did Jillian Michaels' Shred 3 this morning. Ugh! Am I going to be sore!!!

Now, on with the science lesson...

Before WW, I tried NutraSystems and lost 10 pounds. I quit the program because the food was so boring. But a couple of weeks ago I was talking to my mom about the science behind their system because I had just read something similar in the Eat Clean Diet book. So I thought it might be worth iterating here as sort of a science lesson.

I'm sure most of you already know all of this stuff, but here goes anyways...

First of all, my disclaimer, I am not an expert on this subject, I am only piecing together bits of information I've researched.

The one thing that both diets have in common is they both believe that having a low Glycemic Index (GI) is a good thing. They also say that complex carbohydrates and low insulin levels help promote weight loss, too. But what the heck does all that mean??

Here's what NutraSystems has to say about that: "Carbohydrates that break down slowly in your body encourage stable blood sugar levels, which is good, so they rate well or "low" on the Glycemic Index. On the other hand, carbs that break down too quickly cause your insulin levels to spike, and high insulin levels can cause your body to store fat. These "bad carbs" are given higher glycemic values and most often leave you hungry soon after a meal. So if you’re looking to lose weight, you should stay away from "bad carbs" and instead, seek to incorporate more "good carbs" with low glycemic values into your diet to help keep your blood sugar levels stable and your appetite in check."

And here's what the Eat Clean Diet has to say: "Foods comprised of simple sugars have a high glycemic index. This causes a spike in insulin levels, which negatively affects the metabolism. Too muchy insulin tells the body to store fat quickly and prevent your body from drawing on fat for energy needs... Complex carbohydrates are processed slowsly, staying in the gut for far longer."

Very interesting... too many carbs too fast and your body can't process them so it sends an emergency signal out telling your body to store all the fats it can find.

Weight Watchers, on the other hand, presents both sides of the "glycemic index" debate as there are studies out there that say the GI both helps and doesn't help weight loss: "Theoretically, using GI as a weight-loss method makes a lot of sense. Several short-term studies indicate that a low GI diet creates a feeling of fullness, delaying the return of hunger following a meal. The effect of a low GI diet in reducing the body's production of insulin is also widely recognized. And a low GI diet may favorably affect the resting metabolic rate, represented by the calories used to keep the body's systems going, when compared to a low-fat diet. ... In another study designed to evaluate the impact of encouraging low GI foods as part of the Weight Watchers food plan, no significant difference in weight loss was found, although there were significant differences in the reported feelings of hunger and satiety."

I thought what Wikipedia had to say was so interesting: "Carbohydrates require less water to digest than proteins or fats and are the most common source of energy in living things. Proteins and fat are necessary building components for body tissue and cells and are also a source of energy for most organisms. Carbohydrates are not essential nutrients in humans: the body can obtain all its energy from protein and fats. However, the brain and neurons generally cannot burn fat and need glucose for energy; the body can make some glucose from a few of the amino acids in protein and also from the glycerol backbone in triglycerides."

So basically, carbohydrates aren't a necessary fuel to keep you alive but you do need them to burn fat because your body can't burn enough of it by itself. Neat, huh?

Are your eyes glazing over yet? :)

So what is a carbohydrate anyway? I know that sounds like a silly question, but I'm someone who has never tried a "low carb" diet and never read anything about it so I really didn't know.

Carbohydrates are basically sugars with fiber and starches attached to them. That's why there are good carbs and bad carbs. Our body needs sugar, but too much sugar and we'll get fat. Our basic metabolism needs sugar to run our basic brain functions as well as just about every important organ in our body. But when we have too much sugar, from bad carbs, our body simply stores the extra in fat cells.

Here's a basic list of good carbs (complex carbs):
  • whole grains
  • beans
  • nuts
  • fresh fruit
  • fresh vegetables
  • fish & chicken
Here's a basic list of bad carbs (simple carbs):
  • sugar
  • white breads
  • pasta
  • potatoes
  • red fatty meats
So here's the low down: good carbs are foods low in sugars and high in fiber and nutrition that emit low levels of sugar into your body—just enough to keep it functioning properly; and bad carbs are foods high in sugar and starches that will overload your body with sugar too quickly and will cause it to store it in fat cells.

Okay, so that's my science lesson for the day. Hope I didn't bore you guys too much. I was doing this as much for me as anyone else. Because it really helps me to write things down to remember them.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another weigh in another gain...

Well, I think last week might have been a fluke.

I gained 4/10ths of a pound this week.

Who knows.

I did the same thing I did last week. I ate high protein, high fiber, low fat, low sodium, low sugar all week. I drank 65 to 85 ounces of water every day (8-10 glasses). Only had chicken, turkey and seafood (shrimp & crab) with fresh veggies and fresh fruits. Whole grains. Omega 3 & 6 oils. Hard cheese dairy products only. Very well balanced. Nothing processed. All natural like God had intended for us to eat.

I did hard-core exercise twice and walked with the girls once. (Yea, I probably should have done more. My goal was hard-core three times and walking twice.) I walked every night after dinner for a half hour (fast paced). Took the stairs and parked in the back of the parking lot every day. Walked to visit co-workers rather than emailing as much as possible.

The only thing I can think is that it must have been the Lasagna Tuesday night. We had a coupon at an Italian restaurant and I had a week moment and ate a whole huge order of greasy, cheese and oh-so-yummy lasagna. Maybe it just stuck with me longer than I thought.

Oh, well, I'm not discouraged. Because I feel so much better eating the way I have been. I don't even want to cheat today. I'm just craving healthy food so much, now. I came back from the meeting and immediately fixed myself a bowl of steel cut oatmeal with flaxseed, soy milk and dried cranberries. Yum yum! After meeting is usually when I'll fix myself a big plate of scrambled eggs with whatever kind of bad-for-you food I can pile in there with greasy potatoes and some sort of greasy breakfast meat.

Weight Watchers was good today. Hubby went with me (he's been kind of hit or miss lately) and I think the meeting was a help. There was another woman who was going through the same thing. She had gone off plan a while back and, though she's back on plan, she's been having a hard time committing to it.

WW has a new plan coming out next week called Momentum. It's a combination of Flex and Core where you count your points but eat the "fuller" foods from the core plan. I think I should come up with my own plan. It's a combination of eating only healthy (clean) foods but still counting points. Hmm. What could I call it. Clean and Flex? CleanFlex?

Hmm...

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Who is this strange person...

I think there's something wrong with me...

I keep craving healthy food.

:|

Am I alright??



Since I've started eating clean, it's all I want to eat. I think it might be because I know the effects of the bad food on my body. I never knew that the simple foods we eat over and over can really be bad for our bodies.

I've learned how to listen to my body a lot better, now, too. I can feel the effects of healthy food on my body. I can feel how I stay fuller longer from the healthy stuff. I can also feel how bad I feel after eating unhealthy food.

Like the other night, I was in a rut and did not want to cook to save my life. I didn't want chicken either. So I had lasagna. The real stuff, too, not Lean Cuisine.

About a half hour afterward, I could feel my heart racing and and I felt flushed. My stomach was tossing and turning and I kept burping.

It was the effects of the sugary pasta and the fatty cheeses.

I felt so bad but there was nothing I could do. The damage was done. I just had to wait that one out. I went walking just afterward to try and "compensate" for the yucky stuff I ate, but it didn't help much. Sure it was a definite improvement from just sitting around and feeling sick to my stomach. But I don't think it burned much of that lasagna off. :)

The best part is that the more healthy food I eat the more I crave it.

If you'd have told me a year ago that I would be craving granola bars, I'd say you were completely out of your ever-lovin mind! But here I sit in the afternoons craving some Pumpkin Spice Flax granola bars. And, oh my gosh, I'm craving apples like all of the time!

Have I totally lost it?

Who is this girl??

She exercises all the time. Eats healthy. Feels great. Looks slimmer.

I barely recognize her in the mirror.

I can't wait for weigh in tomorrow morning. I hope last week wasn't a fluke. I hope I didn't gain it all back this week. Still no scales. Yippee!

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Monday, December 1, 2008

I think I'm becomming healthy...

My days are going quite good. I feel very good. Very healthy. Very fit.

I'm still eating clean. I'm getting better and better at it. And still staying inside my 22 points a day. I love how I can be on both plans at the same time. I think that's a testament to both of them. Not many "diets" could do that, you know. But being as they're both "lifestyles" they both work perfectly.

I'm getting used to the egg white omelets for breakfast. I'm mixing in all kinds of cool things. I still have my steel cut oatmeal. I haven't added any supplements to my diet. I'm not sure if I will do that. We'll see.

I found a yummy recipe for Pumpkin Pie French Toast on Spunky Suzi's blog. I'm definitely going to try that. But tomorrow morning, I'm making pumpkin protein pancakes. If it turns out okay, I'll leave the recipe on here tomorrow.

I had a BLT for lunch today. First of all, if you knew me well, you'd know I HATE BLTs! I always have. My sister was always the BLT person and I was the grilled cheese. But today, it was quite yummy. Oh, and the "B" was actually a "T"—turkey bacon. The whole sandwich was only 3 points. Actually, I added a bunch of fat free mayo to it that probably raised it to 4 points. But still, not bad!

I've never liked tomatoes or lettuce on bread of any kind. Just always tasted gross to me. Now, I actually like it. I'm considering just having a lettuce and tomato sandwich, but that's not very healthy.

I keep finding myself craving healthy food. I can't get enough of it.

I can feel my arms burning as I'm sitting here typing. I am still doing the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred workouts on Mon/Wed/Fri. I couldn't finish the whole workout this morning. It's only 20 minutes, but I could only make it to 15. I've been sick since last Wednesday and it was only yesterday that I could start walking around again. So I know it was just a lack of energy.

I just got back from my evening walk. I'm still walking every evening after diner. I'll have to ask hubby to un-hide the scale so he can weigh my chihuahua to see if he's dropping any weight. He goes 3 laps around and his little feet just scream so fast. He's a pound and a half over weight. Not much, you might think, but he's only supposed to be 9 pounds. So 10 1/2 is a lot!

My blogs are always so long. I know I have a problem with typing too much. I usually have to trim down my emails before I hit send. But there's just so much I want to type about in here. I'm truly amazed that anyone has the strength to read through my blogs.

Check this out:

I entered the Mary Lou's Weigh Platform Giveaway!

Check out Roni’s Weight Loss Blog for more information.

Roni is reviewing a scale and then she's giving it away this coming weekend. It's the coolest thing, this scale. And if I don't win one, I'm going to have to find out how to get one. It's a scale without numbers. How perfect could that be??!! You get on it the first day and it logs your weight in it's memory. The the next time you get on, it tells you—verbally—how much you've gained or lost. If you gain, it give encouraging words and if you lose, it applauds. How cool is that??!! It's absolutely perfect for me. Me and the scale just don't get along at all. I'm so much better without it. But this one is really cool. I could get on it to see if I'm up or down, but I wouldn't know how much. I'd still rely on my Weight Watchers' weigh in to tell me my weight. Perfect!

Maybe I'll put that on my Christmas wish list. :D

Okay, I'll stop typing. I seriously could go on and on and on...


(Thanks for making it this far.)

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thank goodness Thanksgiving is behind me now...

It was supposed to be a momentous occasion. It wasn't quite what I had hoped, but it was still wonderful.

I had so wanted to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner and be thankful that I'd lost 100 pounds. And, though I didn't get to do that, I was still thankful for the weight I've lost. I did think about it throughout the whole meal, though. Although the food was not healthy, loaded with fat, loaded with calories (and oh so yummy), I took smaller portions and only ate until I was full, like I should. It was still an accomplishment!

Let me back up a minute first, though. Thanksgiving day started with me having a bit of a cold. I'd come down with it the afternoon before. So hubby (I so love him for taking care of me) went to the only grocery store open and got me some Sudafed. He also got me another something special. ... Okay, are you ready for this... deep breath... he got me a box of Entenmann's powdered sugar donuts! Oh, man! Were they good!! It was the perfect beginning to a perfect Thanksgiving. There were 18 donuts in the box. I gave hubby 2 and daughter 1. Do the math. That's 15 donuts I ate. They are 2 points a piece. ... Yup, 30 points for the whole box, which I downed in less than an hour. Man were they good!

So now I have those elusive yummy donuts out of my system. I ate so many of them, they're really not appealing to me any more. Whew!

Then for Thanksgiving dinner, I ate what I wanted to eat, even though it was smaller portions. I even had one piece of pumpkin pie afterwards. I did not count the points for dinner, though. But I imagine it was well over 50. :(

But all that aside, something wonderful happened this morning...

At weigh in...

I lost 3.4 pounds!!

What?!!??!!

Can you believe that???!!!

I know I can't. I seriously thought I'd gained 10 pounds. Seriously. I'm not over exaggerating.

I exercised only 2 days (Jillian Michaels workout on Monday and walking on Wednesday). But I think this was the key... I've started eating clean. That combined with the fact that my scale is still hidden somewhere in this house. He hid it good!

Each morning for breakfast (except Thursday), I had either an egg white omelet with ground turkey and veggies or steel cut oatmeal with either pumpkin or just some Splenda and soy milk and dried cranberries. Then for lunch, something with high fiber and protein (pinto beans, peanut butter sandwich, etc.) and for dinner chicken or turkey with fresh veggies—no butter. Then in between meals, I'd have an apple or some pecans or granola bar, etc. Oh, and I've been drinking my 8 cups of water every day!

It's not 100% on the Eat Clean diet, but it's alot closer. I'm still not through reading the book, yet, but so far, it's got alot of great nutritional information in it. It's a real easy read, I just haven't had much time to read (I never do), but the best thing about it is how she explains the science behind the different chemical reactions that happen from eating different things and exercising. It's like, finally, someone is telling me how to eat healthy and the 'why' behind it all. Really good stuff.

Most of the principals behind the "diet" are just to eat healthy, chicken/turkey with fresh veggies and fresh fruit with a hearty breakfast of oatmeal or egg whites and then regular exercise, strength training and eating every 3 hours. But what's so great about the book is the way I'm becoming equipped to really know how to make healthy choices. To recognize when food seems like it's healthy, but really isn't.

Well, I hope this week's weigh in wasn't a fluke. I hope this is what I can expect while I keep eating clean.

I've now lost a total of 96.8 lbs.

I'm still doing Weight Watchers. Still counting points. I won't ever stop that. WW has been such a trusted friend to me through this whole journey.

So we'll see how next week goes. I'm still going to continue eating clean and counting points and exercising my butt off. And NOT weighing myself at home. That has been such a huge stress reliever for me. I can now look to my body to tell me how I am doing rather than the scale. It's funny, because this morning when I was getting ready, I felt skinnier. I knew in my heart that there was no way I could have lost this past week after all I ate on Thursday, but I could really feel skinnier. Now I know how to listen to my body for signs of how I'm doing. What a great feeling. I know I've said this before, but it has been so liberating for me to not weigh myself at home.

How was your Thanksgiving?

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday, Monday, so good to me...

Good Monday morning to you all.

And thank you for the wonderful comments yesterday. :]

I had a great weekend. Hung out with hubby all weekend. Couldn't have been better. We even went and walked around the mall yesterday for no reason at all.

Tell me, ladies, how many husbands would do that? Just walk around the mall and with no agenda or reason to be there? We didn't even buy anything. Oh, except for this adorable t-shirt we got for hubby at the Disney store. It was Grumpy with his arms crossed and it said "I'm allergic to happy people". :D

I found some beautiful dresses. I mentally added them to my "goal weight closet". Can't afford to buy them (mainly because they cost over $100 each). But they were gorgeous!

On Biggest Loser last week, my favorite contestant, Colleen, the one who I wanted to win the whole thing, brought out a shirt that she had in her "goal weight closet" and tried it on and she was so excited that it fit. And it looked perfect on her, too. I'd never heard of a goal weight closet before. But I LOVE the concept. So I went out this weekend and bought a piece of clothing to start my goal weight closet.

I got this adorable little cotton tank top undershirt/nightie with matching undies that are pink with brown drawings of cupcakes all over them with brown piping. Cuz you know how much I LOVE the cupcake. They're adorable. I have them hanging on the back of my bedroom door for now. Once I add more clothing to the "closet", I'll start a section in my actual closet.

I got up this morning and did another Jillian Michaels workout. The same level one Shred video. It was still extremely hard, but I got through this one much easier than the last one. I'm sure the more I do them, the easier they'll get, though I'm sure they'll never be easy. I heard her say in this one "if this is your 5th or 6th time through this video, I'll bet things are getting easier for you". So I'm on the right track. Her video touts that you'll lose 20 pounds in 30 days. I'm not looking to lose that much. Maybe even just 2 pounds in 30 days would be good for me.

I'm still dumbfounded that it look me 4 1/2 months to lose 10 1/2 pounds. I remember the day when I could lose 10 pounds in a month. I know those days are gone. But I'm not focusing on the numbers any more. I still don't know where my scale is. Thank goodness hubby won't tell me where it is. I KNOW I'd sneak and weigh myself.

Well, how is your Monday shaping up?

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rounding the corner and gaining momentum...


Well, today was weigh in...

Didn't do so good—according to the scale!

Gained 1 pound.

However, and this is a triumphant "however", I am not upset in the least little teeny tiny bit!

I HAD A GREAT WEEK!
  • I ate truly healthy—no cheating.
  • I exercised every day—yes every day.
  • I didn't depend on the scale to tell me how I was doing—wow, was that hard!
  • I drank tons of water every day—I think I can swim, now, without being in a pool.
  • I exercised much more than I ever have—added two new regiments to my routine.
  • I resisted extremely tempting food—twice.
  • My cravings changed from wanting junky food to craving healthy food—never thought that would happen, seriously!
And most importantly, I feel great!

You know, if you look at the list above, for just one of these things to have happen to me last week would be a triumph. But to have all of them happen, is monumental! I really feel like I've turned the corner in my weight loss.

Sure, I've made changes in my weight loss program over the last 18 months by changing my habits or changing my regiment and I've seen some amazing outcomes. But this one is different. I no longer want to be a slave to the scale. Now I totally get why Scale Junkie only weighs herself 2 or 3 times a year. I don't think I could dare go that long in between weigh ins. Maybe some day I'll be able to. But for now, not weighing myself at home is so incredibly liberating. I totally feel like a new woman.

I've really been noticing changes in my body and my life, lately. And I'm so happy with myself.

I remember feeling so embarrassed when I'd go to the grocery store or a restaurant. I was so fat and being in a place where they sold food was like saying to the world "look out, here comes fatty, fatty two by four, she's going to eat all of the food in this place".

Now... It's so cool. I walk around with my head held high. I'm so proud of my new body. I'm even getting the feelings back that there might actually be a man out there that would look at me and say to himself "wow, she's hot". Can you believe that?! I used to want to hide my head in the sand and now look at me.

I started in a size 26/28. I'm in a 12/14 now. I've lost a total of 93.4 pounds.

Side note: You might notice the Healthy You Challenge badge on the right side of my blog that says I've lost 95 pounds. Well, I did, a few weeks ago. Well, actually a little over a month ago. I'd lost 96.2 pounds as of Oct 18th. Then I hit my proverbial brick wall. Things just started to fall apart for me. I've never unraveled like this before. I knew I'd make it through, because my glass is always half full, but I didn't know how. But I think I've made it through and I think I'm going to be okay.

Anyways, 93.4 pounds is amazing! I'm so proud of it! I sometimes still can't believe I'd done it. Sure, I still have about 35+ pounds I want to lose, but I'm not obsessing over it any more. When it happens it'll happen.

I was watching a show, tonight, about these ladies who had gastric bypass surgery and how much weight they'd lost. One lady in particular was so amazing. She'd lost 180 pounds. And you should see her. She looked amazing! She's a hard body, now. She actually teaches people at the gym, now, about how to exercise and eat better to lose the weight. She works with obese people mostly. And it was so amazing seeing her work with these women who I can (and she can) totally and wholly identify with. We know their shame. We know their pain. We have been through it. I said to myself, I want to be just like her some day. And at first, I meant my body. I want to be a hard body just like her. But I think I want to be more than that. I want to be an inspiration to all those women out there who are just like I used to be. I want them to know that they can do it. They can. I did.

My husband is sitting next to me at his computer playing the guitar (reading the music online) and he's playing The River by Garth Brooks. Wow, how appropriate! It's been a long time since I've heard the lyrics. It's like he's playing the sound track to my life right now. Listen to this verse...

You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin' as it flows
And a dreamer's just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what's behind you
And never knowing what's in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores...

My dream is to be a whole and happy person again. I'm learning from what's behind me. I don't know what's in store for me. And each day is a constant battle. But I will sail my vessel until the river runs dry. Until I make it through and reach my destination.

That being said, one journey comes to an end today. Today is the end of the 18 Pounds in 18 Weeks challenge that I started last July. I had hoped to lose a total of 100 pounds by Thanksgiving so I could sit down to Thanksgiving dinner and be thankful for losing it all. Alas, I did not meet the challenge. But I gave it my all. And I'm not sad that I didn't make it. I am astounded that I've made it as far as I have.

Some of you came along with me on my journey to lose 18 pounds in 18 weeks and I want to honor you and your efforts today. Some of you have gained and some have not lost as much as they wanted to (welcome to the same boat I'm in). But we did try. We did persevere. And here's to you...

Mary Fran gained 14 pounds. Please don't be down on yourself for this. You're still in it. That's what counts. If you'd given up, that'd be a different story, but you're still here and going strong.

Karyn lost 10.4 pounds. Way to go Karyn. I'm so proud of you. Quite an accomplishment!

Katschi has lost at least 15 pounds. She doesn't know for sure if that's her total loss since the start of the challenge, because she accidentally deleted her blog and doesn't have the records. :( Still 15 pounds is impressive in only 3 weeks! You're such an inspiration for me!

Donna has lost a total of 8 pounds. Not bad considering what's been going on in her life lately. She completely dropped off the blogsphere for two months. But she's back now! Yea!

Cathy lost a total of 8.6 pounds. (She doesn't have a blog.) She even lost 2 pounds just this past week so she's doing awesome!

Spunky Suzi has lost 13.6 pounds. She's going strong. I love following her food blog!

There are one other member of the challenge who I haven't heard from as to how much she's lost. But I want to mention her here, because she deserve the attention just like the rest of us. So here's to Bento Diet — the last she logged in with me, she'd lost 5.5 pounds.

And then there's me. I lost a total of 10.4 pounds. Not quite what I had hoped for. But that's 10 pounds more than I had lost before July, right? That's 10 pounds that I'm not carrying on my body any more. Be happy, Cara!

Great job, girls! We did it! The challenge is over and we're so much better for it. Even if we gained more than we wanted or didn't lose as much as we wanted, we're still in this and we're still going strong. Together we'll make it all the way to the end!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Today is the start of a great day...

I did it, I exercises again this morning!

I so did NOT want to get out of bed this morning. And I thought, I'm still sore, I don't need to exercise, right? But I knew if I didn't, I'd be hating myself all day and probably for a long time.

I did another Jillian Michaels workout. This time, though, I only did the Level 1 30-Day Shred workout. Was still extremely hard. I kept yelling at the TV asking her to please stop. "Come on, this has got to be the last rep!" She didn't listen, though, she just kept pushing.

She kept saying things like, 'if you feel it burning, you know its working', and 'I know you want to stop, I know you feel like you're dieing, but this is when you need to push through because you asked for radical results from us and the only way we can keep our end of the bargain is if you keep your end and push through the pain and exhaustion'.

She was right.

I really feel good.

Now, I'm off to go have some breakfast. Steel cut oats with a little sweetener and soy milk, oh, and dried cranberries.

Eating still going great. Drinking LOTS of water. Still no scale. I sure do miss mister squarepants. :[

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Boy am I sore!

I am so sore!

That workout yesterday morning really did me in. I can't believe it! Jillian kicked my butt! — Literally!

My legs and butt and arms are so sore. I had no idea. It really looked like an easy workout.

I went walking last night. Took the dogs around the block 4 times. That's a little over a mile and a half altogether. Half hour at a leisurely pace.

I have two dogs, one is an 8-year-old Chihuahua and the other is a 2 1/2 year old shepherd/lab mix (rescue animal)—Emma.

When we first got Emma, she was very sick. We didn't know it at the time, but she had distemper. It totally freaked me out because I'd always heard that dogs who got distemper died—there was no cure. Well, there is no cure for it, actually. We found out that the only treatment for it is antibiotics. We took her to the vet, 2 days after we got her, and the vet immediately put her on antibiotics. She seemed to get better, for a day, but then she got worse again. So we took her back and they tried different antibiotics. They didn't work either. So we took her back and they "admitted" her into "puppy hospital" where she stayed for a few days so they could give her intravenous antibiotics.

That seemed to do the trick, but there were some side effects from each of the antibiotics. Things like, she'll go blind when she gets older, she'll have hip problems and a couple of others and the one that is a problem now, is the pads on her feet are extremely thin.

She's the toughest dog I've ever seen, you can do anything to her and she tolerates it and never whimpers or shows any kind of pain (no I haven't inflicted pain on her intentionally, but on accident things happen). So when she's out walking, her paws get raw (they'll even bleed if she walks for too long). But she won't tell us. She just keeps walking and wagging her tail and having a blast. So she can only go once around the block with us then she gets dropped off at the house and her "big" brother (ha ha, he's a 10-pound dog and she's 85 pounds, but he's big brother to her) gets to go around another 3 laps.

He needs the exercise the worse. He's supposed to be 9 pounds and he's one pound too heavy. But we're working on that. He's working on his first 10% :]

I posted her blog entries, from her MySpace page, if you want to read some really cute stories about her illness. They're written from her perspective... Here.

So, anyways, I'm still extremely sore, but I haven't let that slow me down. Walking every night for 30 minutes and walking with the girls 2 days this week for an hour. I'm going to try another workout tomorrow morning, but this one will be level 1. Although I know I won't be able to do much, I know I do need to keep exercising.

Eating has been going great, too. I bought some fresh baby spinach at the store yesterday and cooked that with some grilled chicken (with onions and peppers). Was very yummy. I've never cooked fresh spinach before. I didn't even know how to cook it. I had to look it up online. Ends up its about the easiest thing in the world to cook.

Thanks for all of your responses about the 18 Pounds in 18 Weeks challenge. I'll post everyone's final weights this weekend after my last weigh in.

Still no scale this morning. It's driving me crazy!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm back at exercising and having a great week!

I found something wonderful this morning! I found this channel called "Exercise TV" on my cable. I had no idea it was there. I've never seen it. It's ALL exercise videos!

I can't ride my bike out because its in the upper 30s in the mornings so I need to find something I can do inside. I only have Billy Banks' Cardio Circuit Tae Bo video. It's a great workout, but I'm kinda getting tired of it.

So this morning, I chose Jilian Michaels. I'm a die-hard Biggest Loser fanatic! Bob Harber has a workout on there too. I'll do his next. I can't make up my mind which trainer I like the best, but I lean more towards Bob because he works alot with yoga and relaxation, which, face it girls, we need a lot of—relaxation!

So anyway, I did her 30-Day Shred workout. It was level 2. I missed level 1 somehow. It was 20-minutes of hell! Man am I TIRED!!!

I previewed the video before I started and it didn't look very hard at all. Man was that deceiving! I worked my butt off!

I feel real good! This is the first "real" exercise I've done in weeks. Sure, I walk every Tues & Thurs mornings for an hour, but that's more medium/low-intensity cardio. This was a great change.

Now I'll just have to see if I can get my lazy butt out of bed on Friday to do a different work out.

I've had a really great week since I've decided to stop beating myself up about not losing like I want to. I've actually done some really cool things this week:

  • I only ate ONE piece of pizza when the family ordered a large pizza from Pizza Hut (my favorite pizza place on the planet!). It was loaded with everything I like. But I said I could only eat one piece and I told them I couldn't order it. I figured I didn't want to be the catalyst to bringing pizza into the house. And I stuck to my guns ... ONLY HAD ONE PIECE!
  • Then a day before yesterday, we had a coupon to a local restaurant (35% off!) so I met hubby after work and I was running a bit late. So he ordered an appetizer. POTATO SKINS!!! I couldn't believe it when I sat down and saw those awesomely scrumptious delights sitting there waiting on me! And loads of sour cream too! ... I DID NOT EAT ONE OF THEM!
  • Then, I decided to try not weighing myself this week, at all. Well, the week started off rough, because I weighed myself Monday because I just couldn't not do it! Then I talked to hubby about it that night and he said he'd hide the scale for me. (Isn't he mister wonderful?!) So, perfect! I wouldn't have to even see the scales so I won't be tempted. Well, Tuesday morning came and the scales were still there. ... so I weighed myself. ... I have no restraint. None! ... This morning when I got into the bathroom, you'll never guess... the scales were gone! Woo hoo! I'm free! It actually feels liberating right now. We'll see how it goes the rest of the week, but for now ... I DID NOT WEIGH MYSELF THIS MORNING!
  • I've also been drinking more water. That's been a struggle of mine for soooooo long. Some experts say you should have 8 glasses a day. Some say, take your weight and divide it in half and that's how many ounces you should be drinking each day. Well, for me, that's about the same. So I've been trying to drink 5 bottles (16 ounces or .5L) a day ... YESTERDAY, I HAD ALL FIVE BOTTLES!
  • Oh, and I've walked for 30 minutes every night this week. This is in addition to my regular exercise routine. I still exercise and walk in the mornings for an hour. But this is a new addition. The nights have been so wonderful and I figured the dogs could use the exercise. So every night after dinner, I've been taking them out for a half hour walk around the neighborhood. I know that's helping with my digestion and keeping my metabolism reved up. So here's to ... WALKING FOR 30 MINUTES EACH NIGHT!
I've also been making extremely healthy choices for my food. I've been reading Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet book and getting some great ideas for the types of foods that will hype my metabolism and will make me feel fuller longer and feed my body with the proper nutrients.

Yesterday, for breakfast, I had 3/4 cup steel cut oats with a half a cup of pumpkin, a tablespoon of honey, a shake of pumpkin pie spice and 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries. It was like a sweet Thanksgiving treat! Was so yummy!

I've made very smart choices this week for my food. So far, this "break" is going great.

By the way, this is the last week for the 18 Pounds in 18 Weeks challenge and I didn't want to ignore you guys that are still on the challenge. I would love to hear what you guys have lost since the challenge started on July 12th. I'm sure everyone else here would love to hear also. So, let me know: Karyn, Katschi, MaryFran, Donna, Spunky Suzi and Bento Diet, Cathy. Even if it's a loss or a break even or even if it's one pound, we should be proud of our efforts. So please let me know so I can post a final post this weekend with our final results.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Am I obsessed with the scales???

You know I've been thinking about something I said in my last post. I had been weighing myself all week, last week, and counting down how much I'd lost each morning and then by weigh in day I'd lost 1.2 pounds from my previous weigh in weight (the previous Saturday). Then when I weighed in (at WW), I'd only lost 4/10ths of a pound.

I wonder if I'm trying to tell myself something? In my quest for tracking my weight, I wonder if that isn't adding to my frustration?

I used to not be able to weigh myself every day because it would really add stress to my life. But since WW, I've actually looked forward to weighing myself each morning. Because the scale always showed a loss, it was exciting to get up in the morning and weigh myself to watch the numbers go down.

But now, after 18 months of this, I wonder if it isn't time to go back to the way I used to do it and not weigh myself except at weigh in.

It might relieve some of the stress of my obsessing over my weight.

My mom has decided to put the scales away for a while. We seem to be going through the same highs and lows lately and she's having a hard time with all of this too. But I wonder... if she can do, can I?

I don't know if I can. I can't imagine not weighing myself each morning. How will I be able to tell if what I'm doing is working?? I'd have to wait an entire week to see if what I'm eating or how I'm exercising is actually working. Could I actually do that??

What's the alternative? Frustration. Obsession. Compulsion.

Do you weigh in every morning?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

still going strong...

I feel a lot of pressure off since my last post. I'm still working on losing weight, but I've put the "goal" behind me for now. Or actually, just extended it for a while. Barb (the wonderful lady who weighs me in each Saturday morning) mentioned this morning maybe aim for the end of the year. That's a possibility. And maybe something more realistic.

(Time out for a sec... I have to say that I really enjoy my WW team. They're always so encouraging. And if you haven't done so, you should read my leader's comments on my last post. Very supportive. I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting today too.) Now back to my post...

I realized when I first started the 18 Pounds in 18 Weeks challenge in July it would be a hard one to accomplish. Let's face it—one pound a week can be a lot! But I'm all for setting goals. If I don't have a goal, I'll flounder. But I think this one was just too much for me. I just took it too seriously. And 18 weeks didn't seem like that long of a time. But it was FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS! What was I thinking!?

I lost this week!!

Yea!!!

It was only 4/10ths of a pound. But you know? I'm proud of it!

I had to admit that when I first heard that I'd lost the 4/10ths I was a bit disappointed. But let me explain why. I had weighed myself at home and, according to my weight before WI last Sat and my weight before WI this Sat, I was down 1.2 pounds.

I sat there in the meeting feeling sorry for myself. Man! I had only lost 4/10ths!

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???!!!!

4/10ths is huge!

It hit me when I was sitting at lunch with my family today (our regular Saturday afternoon event). I sat there about to order and thought about ordering what ever I wanted and was even considering getting dessert. But as my eyes were perusing the menu and my mouth was watering at all of the fatty delectables, it hit me... I had just lost 4/10th of a pound! And if I ordered whatever my heart desired, that 4/10th would go down the crapper (literally). My whole week of struggle would be for nothing. So then I started to cherish that 4/10ths ... 4/10ths was really a great loss!

I'm so proud of it, I made a graphic in honor of it:

You know, something else happened this week that wasn't reflected on my WI that I should be darn proud of...

Okay, to start with, I have to confess to all of the junk I ate last weekend. I won't go into the gory details, but lets just say it wasn't pretty. The weekend ended with a Chocolate Stampede from Longhorn Steakhouse. Here's the description from their website: Two peaks of chocolate cake packed with six (yes, six) types of chocolate including chocolate mousse, fudge icing and chocolate shavings! Served with vanilla bean ice cream, fudge sauce and whipped cream. OMG! Was it rich! And probably 300 points! Here's a pic:

The whole weekend was pretty much like that.

I gained 4 pounds by Monday morning.

So technically, I didn't lose just 4/10ths of a pound, I lost 4.4 pounds right?!

I really did try, too. All week. Though I only exercised twice. Boo! No excuse for not exercising more. None at all!

But you know, I'm still in this for the long haul. I'm going to make it to 140 eventually. My next goal is still 100 pounds. I'm 5.6 pounds away from it. It might happen before the end of the year, it might not. But when it happens, it'll be great! I know it will.

By the way, check out my new "before and during" photo to the right. I'm looking so good, aren't I?

Oh, by the way, thanks for the encouragement, Katchi. I went out and bought Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet book. I was very excited to hear how much you'd lost from "eating clean". I'm not sure if this diet is right for me, but it does look interesting. I'm not usually into eating grains and nutty things, but since I started WW I've always wanted to eat ultra healthy. And this looks like a great start. I'm just reading through the book this weekend, but so far, it looks great. It's in line with my "eating healthy" practices that I've adopted so far—whole grain, low fat, high protein, high fiber, organic. I've also wanted to try the Maker's Diet by Paul Rubin. Both of these books seem to take you back to the traditional way of eating that we did before there were processed foods, when grains were the main staple of every diet. We'll see how it goes.

And thank you to everyone who has been such an encouragement to me via this blog and in my life. It is so awesome for me to hear how I could possibly be an inspiration to anyone. I'm so happy I could do that for you. Your comments just make me want to keep going.

I won't give up!

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