Friday, September 26, 2008

setting goals and keeping them...

You gotta see this!! At today's WW meeting, we were talking about dancing being a fun way to lose weight. So our leader dressed up in a disco outfit. What a hoot! He had on high heel shoes, bell bottoms, a huge afro and aviator sunglasses. That's Audry in the background. She's a staple at our meetings. She's been coming for years and has encouraged us all to lose it all. (Sorry, Ned, I couldn't resist!)

On to more serious stuf... I've made a huge mistake...

I thought Thanksgiving was the 3rd Thursday in November. Isn't Thanksgiving usually the 3rd Thursday in November??!! I thought that was the rule.

I guess I was wrong, because this year Thanksgiving is on the 4th Thursday in November. I asked my husband and he said he thought Thanksgiving was always on the last Thursday in November. So I guess this was a huge brain fart. Ugh!

Do you know what this means???

Our 18 Week Challenge has just become a 19 Week Challenge. Ugh!!!

I can't believe I did this. But I guess it's a good thing, right? Now we all have another week to lose the 18 pounds, right? So instead of there being 7 weeks left, there are 8 weeks left. I only have 6 pounds left to go. I sure hope I can do it.

I tried something new this past week. I didn't splurge at all (well, except for that tiny little dessert I had at Logan's Steakhouse last Saturday night, and that doesn't count because it was my birthday and it was only a 2 ounce dessert—that's my story and I'm sticking to it). I exercised 4 out of the 5 days (couldn't get my butt out of bed Friday morning to go biking, I wasn't being lazy, I didn't sleep well that night and only went to be at 1:30 am the night before). But the point is, I did real good this past week. I stayed in my 22 points a day. I only used 5 of my 35 flex points. I exercised and burned a total of 1,950 calories. And still by Tuesday I was up 2 pounds from Saturday's weigh in. I was able to get a half of a pound off by Thursday and then the rest of the 1.2 pounds came off on Friday. I'm not sure why my body does this. It really freaks me out, you know? I panic that I'm not going to get those freaky few pounds off and then at the last minute they come off.

Oh, well, at least they come off, right? It could be worse. I just know that I have to really keep a close eye on my gains from the weekends. It used to be that I could get up to 5 pounds off between Mondays and Fridays, but now, I think my limit is only 2 pounds. So, less splurging or very little on the weekends.

Okay, so my next WW goal is going to be my next 10%—my 5th 10%—159.4 pounds (total of 105.8 pounds lost).

Then after that, I'll go for my final "ultimate" goal weight of 140 lbs. That will put me at a total of 125 pounds lost—almost half my body weight. Half of my body weight would be 132 lbs (because I started at 265.2). If I get down to my weight being 140 and feel like I could lose more, then I'll go for the final 8 pounds and land at 132.

But here's the cool part... I started WW on 5/12/07. I think it's totally doable that I could reach my ultimate goal of 140 by 5/12/09—my 2 year anniversary! By Thanksgiving I will have lost 100 pounds. That only leaves 25 pounds left to lose to reach the 140 lbs. There are 24 weigh ins between Thanksgiving and May 12th. I think I could totally lose 20 pounds in 24 weeks. You think??!!

I'm so excited that I'm only 31 pounds away from goal. I never thought I'd make it this far. And I keep getting compliments from everyone about how good I look. I feel pretty again. Hubby even told me how good I looked this morning. I love it when he does that. I feel so special!

Well, I told you I'd update everyone's challenge weigh ins last Monday, so I'm finally getting around to it (sorry). Here are the updates:

"18 Pounds in 18 Weeks"

Challenge Update! -
Week Eight
(updates in bold below)

Bento Box Diet (sat WI) - No weigh in since week 4. Total loss 5.5 pounds. :[
Katschi (tues WI) - No weigh in since week 5. Total loss 3 pounds. :[
MaryFran (tues WI) - She was "up" last week.
Karyn (mon WI) - Lost 2/10ths of a pound
Donna (mon WI) - No update from last week.
Spunkysuzi (sun WI) - Lost 1.2 pounds
Cathy (fri WI) - Lost 2.6 pounds
Christine K. Sader - New member. Haven't gotten an update yet. Will keep you posted.



Monday, September 22, 2008

monday's over, here comes tuesday...

Well, you will be happy to know that I went biking this morning. I'm back on the horse (again).

Was really hard to get up out of bed, too. I don't know why I was so tired. Oh, wait, I wasn't tired, I was lazy. Oh, yeah. :]

I took a new route this morning and I learned that I really need to get a headlight for my bike. I start biking at 6am and it doesn't get daylight until 6:30 am. I hit a complete black patch. I couldn't see the sidewalk or anything. I just kept hoping I was staying on the sidewalk and hoping there was nothing in the way that would throw me off my bike. Whew, there wasn't. A car came up from behind and lit up the sidewalk just in time for me to see a small branch across the sidewalk. It was a little one. Wouldn't have made me wreck or anything, but it sure would have scared me to death.

The dark patch didn't last too long. Maybe 30 seconds or so. Then there were street lights again. Things are going to start getting darker and darker earlier and earlier so I'm definitely getting a light for the front of my bike. I saw one at Kmart a few weeks ago that also had a tail light that lit up. That should do the trick.

The new route was challenging, but not horrible. There was only one part where I thought I was going to have to get off and walk. It was a steep uphill. Right in front of the graveyard. Man it was beautiful, though. There was a beautiful rosy sunrise with big red rays coming out of the grayish rosy clouds. Made all of the big oak trees rosy looking too. The sunrise was to my back by the time the sun started to come up, so I missed most of it, but I kept glancing back when I got a chance.

Only burned 717 calories, but I guess that's better than 600, right? I'm still not sure if my heart rate monitor is set up right. I have never figured out how to enter my age or weight or anything like that. Oh, well.

I had a great weekend. My birthday was last Friday (you remember, right?). But I couldn't celebrate it proper like with cake or anything, so we went to Logan's Steakhouse on Saturday I got one of their little mini desserts. They come in tiny little tin peanut buckets. They're like an inch and a half tall and maybe an inch around. So the desserts are like maybe 2 ounces. I got a nutter butter one. It was yummy and just the perfectly small splurge.

Sunday was so relaxing. After church, I had bad cramps so I laid on the couch and watched movies all afternoon. I saw this really good movie called Max starring John Cusack (one of my favorite actors). Was really a great movie. It was a fictionalized account of the relationship between Max Rothman, a Jewish art dealer, and a young (pre-politics) Adolf Hitler, just after WWI. The thing that made the movie so fascinating was the dynamic between the two of them. Max was coaching Adolf on how to enhance his artistic talents and how to put his passion and emotions onto the canvas. Adolf had not yet decided what he wanted to do with his life and was contemplating that maybe art was his path. Noah Taylor played Adolf. Probably his most famous role to date (and not that huge of a role) was playing Charlie's father on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also played the road manager in Almost Famous. But neither of those movies or roles were all that huge. Here's a good picture of him in character as the young artistic Adolf to the right. John Cusack was amazing in this role. One of his better performances. Here's a "close-up" video clip of the stars of the movie.

I'll update the 18 week challenge tomorrow. :]


Saturday, September 20, 2008

gains really stink...

Okay, so it's week 10 of the 18 week challenge. 8 weeks to go. And I've got 7.2 pounds to go. I'm getting scared that I wont make it.

I gained 6/10ths of a pound at today's weigh in!

Of course, I know exactly what happened.

Last Sat and Sun I splurged way too much. By Monday morning, I'd gained 3 pounds. It took me ALL WEEK to lose those 3 pounds. Well to almost lose those 3 pounds. I just couldn't get the last 6/10ths of a pound off by this morning. Not for lack of trying, though.

Okay, let's do a rundown of what happened... Saturday, I over indulged twice. Sunday, I overindulged 3 times (including a ton of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies right before bed). Monday, I didn't bike, but I stayed on plan (except for one chocolate cupcake that was for a birthday celebration—doesn't count, though). Tuesday, I didn't bike, but I stayed on plan. Wednesday I walked, and I stayed on plan. Thursday I didn't walk, but I stayed on plan. Friday I didn't bike, but I stayed on plan. Can you figure out what happened? ... um, lets see... I think it was my lack of exercise, you think?

I was even good last night at a dinner party I went to. I had a huge plate of salad and one teaspoon of green bean casserole and one teaspoon of spaghetti and a slice of cake that was almost paper thin.

But alas, it didn't help.

So what did I learn?

1. No more overindulging on Saturday AND Sunday!

2. Exercise every day!

Sounds like a good plan, right? Well, so far it's going good. I ate a very sensible, low fat lunch. I've eaten my 22 points so far today. I'm not hungry, but I'm sure munchie.

You heard of Pavlovs dogs? Where he rang a bell and the dogs would salivate because they knew food was coming. Well, I've worked myself into the same type of response whenever video games are played at home. My daughter and I have video night from time to time and what we'll do is start late at night playing all kinds of video games but before we get started, I'll bake a batch of the Ready to Bake Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies and poor us two tall glasses of milk. Then we'll sit there with the plate of cookies in front of us, each with our glasses of milk, and munch and slurp our way through the video games. We've been doing this for eons. I didn't stop doing it when I started WW, but I slowed down on the frequency of doing it to maybe every other month or so. It hasn't gotten me into any trouble so far as weight loss, so I don't see why I need to quit it.

But herein lies the problem... Whenever I see or hear a video game being played, I start craving chocolate chip cookies. Well, hubby is playing a computer video game a few feet away from me and I'm jonsing cookies so bad right now! Ahhhhh!!!!

I think I need to end this blog and walk out of the room before I cave in.

Before I go, I wanted to tell you a really cool thing that happened this morning at WW. Charlotte weighed me in! I don't know if you remember Charlotte when I talked about her in my blog last month, but she was the one who used to weigh me in when I first started WW and she was subbing (she's a leader now) for our regular leader today. So it was doubly cool! Was a shame I had to pull a gain when she weighed me in, though. :[

Oh, well, onward and upward, right?


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

7 Things...

I borrowed this idea from Confessions of a CF Husband. I really liked the idea. Actually, he said it was okay to do it on my own blog. So I have permission. :)

Here are 7 things you may not know about me:
  1. I love hot air balloons. I've always been fascinated by them. I love the way they go so slow up into the air and you can only take on just a few passengers. A very intimate experience. And all the different colors and shapes that the balloons come in are just amazing. You know where my fascination started with hot air balloons? The Wizard of Oz. Yup, that's right, I'm a huge Oz fan. I love all things Oz. But when I first saw the Wizard take off on that hot air balloon and float off back home, I was hooked. And, no, I've never ridden in one. One day I will though. I will.
  2. I haven't taken one sip of a carbonated drink since December 1999. Yup, that's right! I decided as a new years resolution (New Years 2000) I'd give up sodas. I'd heard all kinds of scientists and studies say that carbonation weakens your hair, bones and nails. Well, I have extremely thinning hair and my nails are as flexible as paper. So you might be wondering if my hair and nails got thicker and stronger? No. Darnedest thing... they were wrong. But I still won't drink the stuff. Now, it's mind over matter. I gave it up, now I don't want it any more. No other reason than it's one small thing that I have complete control over in my life.
  3. I've never been to Craig's List or Facebook. No, not just that I've never surfed around their websites—no—I've never even typed in the address in my browser. I'm a huge social networker on the net. I Twitter. I blog. I subscribe to a thousand RSS feeds. I belong to about 25 different social networking sites. But I've never even visited Craig's List once. Facebook either. I didn't even go to the websites so I could hyperlink this blog. I don't have anything against them or anything like that. I've just never had the need to go to those sites. Someday, I'm sure I'll have cause to. Until then...
  4. I've never been to the town I was born in. Okay, other than to be born there. We lived there for only the first 6 months of my life and then moved to WV which is where I grew up. My sister was born there, too (she's 11 months older than me—poor mom!) but she went there once with dad. I do want to go there and see the town I was born in, but until then, it'll just be another town on a map.
  5. I was in a Christian band as a teenager. We were called the "Sonshine Singers". We were a band of 9. There was a keyboardist, base guitarist, lead guitarist, drummer and then 5 singers who sang harmony and melody. I sang harmony. Was only in the band for about a year, but boy what an experience. We travelled all over WV singing at different churches. We never charged admission, but we always took up an offering so we'd have enough gas money to get back home. What a blast!
  6. I LOVE boxing! For real! I'm not weird. But I love watching a good boxing match. I don't like the bloody ones or the ones where the boxers are in cages. I like a respectable fight between two substantial fighters—don't much care for watching featherweights fight, just doesn't seem right.
  7. My only child was born 10 pounds 1 1/2 ounces! Not many people can say they birthed a 10 pound baby. I can! And I had her all natural—no drugs whatsoever! She was 2 weeks late. She was sunny side up (her face was facing to the front of me rather than to my back). I had to do exercises in the hospital bed between contractions to get her to turn around before she could come out. When she came out, she ripped my pelvis bone apart in the front where the cartilege comes together and she split the bottom of my tailbone in half. But hey, she was all natural, right? Ugh!
So there, now you know 7 things about me that you didn't know 10 minutes ago (because I guarantee nobody knew all of those things about me), which is more than you can say about some blogs. Feel free to post your own 7 Things list on your own blog... I give you permission to steal from my genius... (ur rather, Nathan's genius) :)

P.S. If you haven't visited Confessions of a CF Husband, you really should. Be sure to read at the top right where it says "Start Here". What an amazing journey they've been on. Will make you thankful for the simple things in life, that's for sure. It did me.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

biking and feeling like a kid again...

Something pretty special happened today... Hubby went biking with me!

Yup, that's right. You heard it here first.

He's been wanting to get back into exercising. I don't know if you remember, but hubby and I do Weight Watchers together. He's been a little slack lately, but for the past two weeks, he's been back on plan—die-hard-style. So he wanted to start exercising again and he's been hearing me talk about how much fun (and hard work) it is so he's been talking about biking with me for the past week or so. So today he finally decided to give it a try.

He hasn't really exercised that much over the last 6 months or so. Not since he was in the hospital time before last. He was running on the tread mill pretty steady, every day, but one day he got so winded he couldn't slow down and we found out (after 2 days in the hospital) that his medication hadn't been adjusted since he'd lost 60 pounds—that combined with the fact that he'd started to get runner heart. He was basically overdosing each time he took his prescribed meds. But it was the exercising that put him in the hospital so he had to slow down on that for a while. Then the last time he was in the hospital, the doctor told him no exercise at all for a while. But now he's been feeling so much better that he feels (and his doc agrees) that it's time he started back.

So he wanted me to take him on a slow and steady route. So I chose a 3-mile course of mostly flat sidewalks and not alot of cross streets. We got half way around and he wanted to go further. He'd heard me and daughter talk about the foot bridge that goes across the interstate and he asked how far it was. We'd only gone 1.5 miles and the foot bridge was another 2 miles away. I told him it was too far to go on his first bike ride in forever, but he insisted. So I told him we'd go slow and see how he did. Well, he made it. Here's a pic of him to prove it. (What a good looking guy!) :)

Here's another funny pic. He pretended to collapse after I took the first picture and wanted me to take a picture of it and show you guys. He's such a nut!

It was a great bike ride. We made it back just before sunset (barely) and the sunset was absolutely gorgeous! I should have stopped and taken a picture of it. Was truly breathtaking.

I wore my heart rate monitor to see how many calories I burned. We were biking for an hour but only went 7 miles altogether, so I only burned 460 calories. Hardly worth the trip, right? But at least that was better than no calories burned, right?

I was joking and saying that hubby is so much more out of shape than I am that he probably burned 4 times as many calories as I did. Which is probably close to the truth. He was really wore out when we got back!

I'm so glad he went, though.

He said he wants to bike with me each day. So I think what I'll do is keep my regular schedule but then bike with him for an hour in the evenings. I don't think it'll be too bad. At least not until he gets in better shape and can go faster and push harder. Then he can come with me on the hard rides in the mornings. Besides, I could use an extra 500 calorie-burn each day. It'll start getting harder and harder for me to lose pretty soon (the closer I get to goal) and I'll have to start stepping it up a notch. Maybe this'll do the trick.

Was so fun biking with him. Felt like I was a kid biking around the hill I grew up on with my best bud.

Challenge Update! - Week Eight (updates in bold below)
"18 Pounds in 18 Weeks"

*Please send me your total loss since we started the challenge back on July 12th so I can show how much we've all lost total since we started.

Bento Box Diet (sat WI) - No weigh in since week 4. Total loss 5.5 pounds.
(tues WI) - No weigh in since week 5. Total loss 3 pounds.
MaryFran (tues WI) - No gain, no loss this week.
Karyn (mon WI) - She's sick this week, down for the count, she'll be back at it soon, though.
Donna (mon WI) - Lost 2.6 pounds! Alright!
Spunkysuzi (sun WI) - Gained 2.2 pounds Not to worry, it'll come off by next WI :)
Cathy (fri WI) - Lost 2.2 pounds! Way to go!
Christine K. Sader - New member. Haven't gotten an update yet. Will keep you posted.



Saturday, September 13, 2008

reached another goal today...

Well, I did it. I'm back on track.

I lost 4.4 pounds this past week!!

I'm ready to get back to normal, eating, though. I couldn't believe it when Barb actually said 4.4 pounds lost! I worked so hard for it, too! Was so cool, she put a "bravo" sticker next to my weight in my WI little book. It's so cool how a little tiny sticker, like the ones you used to get in grade school on the top of your paper if you got an "A", mean so much!

There's something that our WW leader does that I think is SO cool. He has a little wooden "treasure chest" (he calls it) that he passes around at the beginning of the meetings and it's full of colorful, rubber-coated paper clips. And what you do is take one paper clip from the treasure chest for every one full pound of accumulated weight you lost that week. So this week I lost 4.4 pounds so I took 4 paper clips. And then what you do with the paper clips is you chain them together and wear them as a necklace, belt or just put them in a baggie and keep them as a visual representation of the progress of how much you've lost.

Well, the way I've always done my paper clip chain is all my paper clips are pink except for every 5th one—5 pounds lost means put a dark blue paper clip on. I thought this would be easy so I wouldn't have to count every single paper clip on my chain, I could just count blue ones to count the 5 pound increments. (I know me, and I know how I miscount, so this was my way of knowing that I had the correct number of paper clips on my chain.) So anyway, there were no pink paper clips in the treasure chest this morning. :( You know what's funny? This is what I told myself when I couldn't find any pink ones—I must have used them all up. LOL Isn't that funny?! I now have 93 paper clips on my chain so I figure I must have just used up all the pink ones. :D

So I switched colors. Now, instead of pink, I'll use white. It's still pretty. Doesn't really matter anyways, right? As long as I keep adding them on there, doesn't matter what color they are.

Oh, and the pouch that I keep my paper clip chain in is too small, now. I can't get all those paper clips to fit in there any more. I think I'm going to have to make a new pouch. I crocheted a WW bag that holds my weigh in book, a pen, my bookmark (star catcher) and my car keys and cell phone and has a little pouch on the front for the clips. It just keeps everything organized for me in one place. Oh, and it also has a band that goes around the back of the back where I can slip in a water bottle. I'll have to take a picture of it and post it here so you can see what I'm talking about.

So I've got 6.6 pounds to go till I hit my Challenge goal of 100 pounds lost by Thanksgiving. There are 9 weigh ins between now and then so I think I actually have a shot at it.

I was thinking about what my next goal should be after the Challenge is done. Well, I'll think about that when the time comes. I definitely do want to find a goal of some sort. And maybe it's not a weight goal. Maybe it's behavioral or physical or some sort of food goal. Not sure. But I know that this Challenge has really kept me focused. It's given me new inspiration to make it through this long and winding journey.

I hit another milestone today, too. I reached my 4th 10%. If some of you aren't familiar with Weight Watchers, they give you smaller goals to reach along the way and when you first sign up your first goal is to lose 10% of your body weight. It's usually an easy goal to hit because you have a tendency to lose weight faster when you first start—especially if you have A LOT of weight to lose, like I did.

I started WW weighing 265.4 pounds. So my first 10% goal was to lose 25 pounds. Well, today was my 4th 10% and I actually hit it when I was on vacation, but I didn't realize it. Though since I've been back, I've gained and gained so I would have been above my 4th 10% anyway.

But anyway, I hit it for good!

Now my next WW goal—5th 10%—will be when I get down to 159.4, which will be 12.4 more pounds. Here are all of my interim WW goals:

Start weight: 265.4 pounds on 5/12/07
1st 10% = 239.4 pounds - reached on 8/4/07
2st 10% = 216.4 pounds - reached on 11/17/07
3st 10% = 195.4 pounds - reached on 3/14/08
4st 10% = 176.4 pounds - celebrated today
5st 10% = 159.4 pounds
6st 10% = 144.4 pounds
Goal = 132.8 <--Half of my total body weight when I first started.

By the way, Ned, here's the link to Jen's blog: click here.

Challenge Update! - Week Eight (updates in bold below)
"18 Pounds in 18 Weeks"

*Please send me your total loss since we started the challenge back on July 12th so I can show how much we've all lost total since we started.

Bento Box Diet (sat WI) - No weigh in since week 4. Total loss 5.5 pounds.
(tues WI) - No weigh in since week 5. Total loss 3 pounds.
MaryFran (tues WI) - No gain, no loss this week.
Karyn (mon WI) - She's sick this week, down for the count, she'll be back at it soon, though.
Donna (mon WI) - Lost 2.6 pounds! Alright!
Spunkysuzi (sun WI) - Lost 2.2 pounds!!! Sweet!
Cathy (fri WI) - Lost 2.2 pounds! Way to go!
Christine K. Sader - New member. Haven't gotten an update yet. Will keep you posted.



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

thank goodness it's friday...

You know I feel so awful, but my favorite WW buddy (besides hubby) met goal weekend before last and I totally blew it off. I meant to mention it here on my blog to tell her congratulations and way to go, but I blew it. Well, at least I remembered, right?

So here's to you, Jen, CONGRATULATIONS! And, WAY TO GO!

You can check out her blog, here. Leave her a congratulations for me, will you? She started WW the week before I did. So we've been doing this together through the whole journey.

Went biking again this morning. I really wasn't motivated, but I went out any way. I was going to take a different route, kinda getting board with the same ole routes I keep taking (oh, I hope this boredom doesn't continue, boredom is what caused me to stop walking last fall) but I talked myself out of it because I don't know what the sidewalks are like and I don't know if there's going to be good enough lighting or how bad the cross street traffic will be. I'll have to check it out after dark one day to make sure of all this before I head out there.

I got about 20 minutes into my ride and really felt like turning around and coming back home. I was so bored. But then I started thinking about things... strategizing about different issues and problems in my life... trying to solve things in my head... and before I knew it, I was 10 minutes down the road. So then I thought, that was cool, what else can I concentrate on. So I started focusing on other things and not the ride or how tired I was or how bored I was and wow that made a huge difference. I even started doing math in my head. I like trying to see what different number sequences (like a phone number or social security number, etc.) can add up to 23 (my favorite number since I was in grade school). I found out that the end of the world date (12/21/2012) ads up to 23 (12-21+20+12=23) and found out that my social security number ads up to 26—bummer. Oh, well, you get the drift. You ever drive down the road for a while and then suddenly ask yourself "how did I get here" because you're on autopilot? Well, that's what happened. Man was that cool!

After I got back, I looked at my heart rate monitor and it said I'd burned 645 calories. I excpected as much because I really didn't push myself at all and I didn't go all 12 miles (maybe not even 10 miles). But then I left the monitor on after I got home and after about a half hour of cooling down, my calories burned went up to 732. Not bad. Just sitting at home, watching TV, drinking water, I burned another 87 calories. Sweet!

My weight loss has gone terrific again this week. I'm down another 5 pounds from last Saturday's weigh in. I was curious if I could do it two weeks in a row. Now, granted, I'd gained 5 pounds the week before last, so to drop 5 pounds isn't that bad, but these 5 pounds are new pounds I've never gained before. So I think I'll stop what I'm doing and go back to normal weight loss next week. 5 pounds a week, really isn't good for your body, I know. It's tempting, though, because I've found a combination of very healthy foods and intense exercise for me where I can drop a pound a day. I think I'll just stick this one in my back pocket and keep it for crunch time. I really enjoy the diet, too, because it's so yummy and satisfying. I'll let you know my official weigh in tomorrow.

(Donna B., I get the calories from my heart rate monitor. I'm not exactly sure how it does it, but I guess it takes my heart rate and figures out how many calories would be burned at the different heart rates and then give me a total. I'm not too good with technology. But I like it when I burn lots and lots of calories.)

Have a great Friday!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

breaking another bad food habit...

Today is Tuesday, right? Sure feels like it should be Friday. My last two days have put me through so much at work that it really feels like it's been 5 days—feels like it should be Friday.

I went biking again this morning (and yesterday). I really pushed myself this morning. Went the full 12 miles. Took me 10 minutes longer than it did the last time I was able to go 12 miles, but at least I did it. When I got back I was so happy to see that I'd burned 800 calories. I haven't burned 800 calories during a workout/exercise in weeks. I am so bound and determined to get these last 12 pounds before Thanksgiving. I'm gonna do it.

You know I was thinking about something on the way to work this morning (which feels like it was days ago... but I digress). I'm not sure what made me think of this, but I think I've broken an old eating habit I used to have. I don't know if I'm the only one who ever did this (did you?), but I used to sneak and binge on food when no one was around.

I would get so excited whenever everyone was going to be out of the house for lunch so I could stop by the store on the way home and buy a big bag of Ruffles potato chips and a block of real cream cheese and sit down and eat the whole entire block (that's my version of chips 'n' dip, by the way) and most of the bag of chips in maybe 20 minutes flat. Then I'd stuff the cream cheese wrapper and the half empty bag of chips in the bottom of the trash can so no one would know.

Or if I could somehow squeeze in stopping by McDonalds on my way into work to get breakfast, I'd be in heaven. I'd get two sausage biscuits with cheese, two hash browns, two large milks and a large OJ. I'd stuff each hashbrowns inside the sausage and the biscuit and then coat it with gobs of salt. Then I'd wolf it down drinking milk in between to help it go down. Oh, the OJ? That was so that when I got to work, people would think I was eating healthy by drinking OJ for breakfast.

I can't tell you how many times I'd sneak food—either into the house or in a drive through. I was the absolute worst at ordering something "extra" (like an extra big mac or 2 extra bean burritos) from the drive thru whenever they sent me to get lunch or dinner to eat at home. And then I'd eat that "something extra" before I got home and then eat my meal on top of that. Well, you know, so I didn't look like a pig when I was eating in front of the family.

I would hide cookies and candy bars all over the house. You'd be amazed at what you can hide in plain site.

But what I realized this morning was that I don't do that any more.

I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to hide my food any more.

I eat sensible and I eat in plain site now.

Quite an accomplishment.

And I didn't even realize it happened. It just dawned on me this morning. :]

And onto a slightly lighter subject... I found this United Airlines commercial on YouTube the other day. It's my new favorite commercial. It's totally me! Or at least what I'd like to be one day. Or maybe I'm already there, I just need to convince myself that I can do something like this and just do it. Or maybe I already have done it, I just didn't realize it.

Anyway, picture me sitting at this table trying to come up with the next greatest design that the world has never seen before:

"18 Pounds in 18 Weeks"
Challenge Update! - Week Eight (updates in bold below)

*Please send me your total loss since we started the challenge on July 12th so I can show how much we've all lost total since we started.

Bento Box Diet (sat WI) - No weigh in since week 4. Total loss 5.5 pounds.
(tues WI) - No weigh in since week 5. Total loss 3 pounds.
MaryFran (tues WI) - No weigh in last week. (2 pounds total gain.)
Karyn (mon WI) - Lost 3 pounds! (6.6 pounds total loss since 8/12.)
Donna (mon WI) - Lost 2.6 pounds! Alright!
Spunkysuzi (sun WI) - Lost 2.2 pounds!!! Sweet!
Cathy (fri WI) - Gained 6/10ths of a pound. Hang in there!
Christine- New member. Haven't gotten an update yet. Will keep you posted.



Blogging ROCKS!

Yesterday's weigh in was a victory, even though I gained.

I was able to lose the 5 pounds that I gained last Sunday. (Well, almost.) My official weigh in was up 2/10ths from last Saturday's WI. But what WW doesn't know is that between last Sat's WI and this Sat's WI I gained and lost 5 pounds! I worked hard for it too! Exercised my butt off (literally) and ate nothing but fruits, veggies and foods that were high in protein and fiber. I got my dairy in each day. And I drank plenty of water. And no cheating or indulging AT ALL! Wouldn't it be nice if I could lose 5 pounds every week? Man! I'd be done with this whole dieting thing in less than 2 months! Oh, that it were that easy. I think losing these 5 pounds goes along with my theory "easy on, easy off". You know, kind of like your body cleansing itself of the excess fat that was piled on in over a short period of time. I guess it shouldn't be "easy on, easy off" it should be "quick on, easy off" or something like that. You know how it's easy to lose those first 5 pounds after you haven't been dieting in a while? Same theory. Just excess fat that your body that's easy to drop off.

I weighed myself this morning, and I was down 1.4 pounds since yesterday's weigh in. Now if I can just keep it off all week. Saturday is a LONG ways away!

So far, I'm doing good. No indulgences. I ate a very sensible (though rather large) meal this afternoon. I won't eat anything else for the day, though, because it was so much food. All healthy food, though.

I wanted to point out that I updated my before and after photo. Actually, it's a before and "during" photo—Still have 30 pounds to go. The "during" photo was taken while I was on vacation last month, standing underneath a 45 foot high waterfall.

I've also added something to my sidebar called "My Followers". It's a new "gadget" on Blogger that allows people who come to my blog to see who is reading it. It's a great way of linking back to your blog. It also gives me an idea of how many people read my blog. It's almost like a "sign in" sheet. So if you wouldn't mind, I'd love to know who's following me. It's on the right, just above my before and "during" photo.

Oh, and some really cool news. I've been nominated for a Love! This Site Award from Divine Caroline. Check out the cool badge over at the top right and vote for me (well, if you think this site is cool and all). The only thing is you'll have to register before you can vote but the only things that are required to register is your first name, your email address (and it doesn't have to be a valid one), your gender, the year you were born and your zip code. Everything else is optional info. And you can uncheck their newsletters so you won't get any. So it's not very intrusive. A friend told me that trying to vote was a little tricky, though. She had to keep clicking the "vote" button until the total number of votes changed.

A found another cool tool on Blogger. Mobile Blogging. It's way cool. You can post to your blog from your mobile device. Man that's nice! You can just send an email from your phone to their email address and it'll post on your blog. Now I just have to get a phone that can send email. My phone just does text messages. I need to upgrade, though.

I've been having so much fun blogging this weekend. I haven't had the time to just see what's out there in so long. I found a new blog that I think you guys should check out. She has A LOT of weight to lose and she's only just begun. But she needs our support. You should read her first blog post and you'll see what I mean. I can so identify with her pain and I was just the same way when I finally decided enough was enough and I wanted to shed my false exterior.

I have to say, I'm fairly excited about the new things I've discovered about myself. I'm seeing things change in my life. I'm making decisions based on who God has made me and how proud of me He is. I'm really worth it, you know? I've always thought that I need to hide in the shadows and let others be seen. I think over the past 16 months of metamorphosing into this new person on the outside has really help, too. Now I'm working on who I am on the inside. We talked about this, too, in WW yesterday. The leader was asking us to remember what it was that made us make that change and start our journey into a healthy lifestyle. And all the good decisions we've made along the way. (I love how everyone can take something different away from the same meeting.) I now feel like I have the strength and confidence to finish this battle over obesity and become the person I so desperately want to be. Your blogs and comments have helped me so much, too. I don't think I could have gone this far without you guys.

So here's to you.

And me.

We're both going to make it...


Challenge Update! - Week Eight (updates in bold below)
"18 Pounds in 18 Weeks"

*Please send me your total loss since we started the challenge back on July 12th so I can show how much we've all lost total since we started.

Bento Box Diet (sat WI) - No weigh in since week 4. Total loss 5.5 pounds.
(tues WI) - No weigh in since week 5. Total loss 3 pounds.
MaryFran (tues WI) - No report from last week.
Karyn (mon WI) - No report from last week
Donna (mon WI) - Lost 2.6 pounds! Alright!
Spunkysuzi (sun WI) - Lost 2.2 pounds!!! Sweet!
Cathy (fri WI) - Gained 6/10ths of a pound. Hang in there!
Christine K. Sader - New member. Haven't gotten an update yet. Will keep you posted.



Friday, September 5, 2008

quite an adventure on my bike this morning...

So I went biking this morning. I had a biking partner too. You'll never guess who it was.


As in Hurricane Hannah!

(Well, now she's a tropical storm, thank goodness.)

Yup, she was out in force this morning. When I first started out, it was warm with a strong, warm breeze blowing but really not too uncomfortable. Then as I got about a mile from home, it started sprinkling. Actually, it was pretty cool. You know those hand-held, battery-operated fans that you can squirt a mist of water from and it blows a cools mist of water into your face? That's what it felt like almost the whole way and it was fabulous. The winds gusted a bit from time to time but most of them were head winds so it was refreshing. There were only two times when the wind knocked me sideways just a bit, but it wasn't so bad.

When I start out biking, it's dark (6am) and the sun doesn't start coming up until 6:30 so I like to stay on paths that I've ridden on before. Who knows what'll be on paths I'm not familiar with—a gap in the pavement or a tree branch or something like that. But this morning, I wanted to try a path I hadn't been on in quite a while.

What did I learn? I need to get a light for the front of my bike, oh and a bell. I thought I knew the path well enough, but something scary happened. I'll tell you about it in just a minute.

First, I'll tell you about my route. I went on the sidewalks through residential areas and two school zones—a high school and a middle school. So the kids were out on the corners waiting for the buses. Middle and high schoolers don't really pay attention to what's going on around them for the most part. They're in their own special world. I just about hit one girl because she didn't look up as she walked right out onto the sidewalk. Then I scared this one poor guy to death. I came up behind him while he was walking his two pups. I don't have a horn, but I did announce myself as "coming up behind you" real loud. I thought he heard me because he started moving to one side of the sidewalk but then when I got up next to him he just about jumped out of his skin and he gave a short scream and grabbed or his dogs. I felt bad. I yelled back "Sorry! I didn't mean to scare you!" Yes, I need a bell, poor guy.

So I got all the way back home and realized I'd only been peddling for a half hour. Man! I was so tired and it had only been a half hour!!?? I had really been pushing it hard and going so fast. So I looked at my heart rate monitor and said "if it says I've burned at least 500 calories, I'll go home".

It said 332.


So I turned around and went back through the same route but the opposite direction. Now is when the ride got beautiful. The sun had started to come up and things were starting to turn a rosy color. Then around the corner I saw the most beautiful lake. It's a lake I see all the time. I've probably passed by it at least a thousand times. And I've noticed it glistening in the sun and it is beautiful. But I'd never seen it like this morning. The trees were silhouetted black. The sky was only still a dark gray but because it had been dark up until then, it looked a light gray to me. And it was reflecting on the black waters that made them glow a beautiful rosy gray color. It was breathtaking. I wished I could have taken a picture of it, but I remember thinking there was no way this would show up in a photograph. It was one of those moments that you just have to ingrain on your brain and remember for all time.

So onward and upward (literally) I went on the sidewalks. (Here comes the scary part.) Then I got to this one part where I saw a skinny, white tube-looking stick that was about 5 or 6 feet long that was sticking up out of the side of the sidewalk next to the grass and kind of bending over the sidewalk just a bit. It was bending away from me so my first thought was "whew, that could have been dangerous if it would have been bowing the other direction, towards me, and I didn't see it". It could have impaled me. But then I remembered, I had just ridden my bike down this exact same pathway only the opposite direction. And I though, man, was I lucky. I didn't even see it in the dark. That thing could have really hurt me. Then I thought, what about someone else who might not see it, it might impale them. Yikes. So I stopped, got off my bike and bent the pole thingy the opposite direction and tucked it into the fence behind it. I have no idea what it was.

Then I come to the school zones for the second time, but this time all of the parents have decided to drop their kids off at school at the exact same minute. So all the roads are backed up and the sidewalks are blocked by their cars waiting to move into the drop off lanes. Ugh.

I had to be really careful and go real slow so that ALL cars saw me when I crossed the parking lot entrances. There were cars coming and going from every direction. Shew, I made it through the first parking lot entrance, one more to go. So I have to come to a complete stop at the next entrance because it has a light and was the main entrance to the school. So I wait until everyone makes eye contact with me and they let me past. So now I'm about 20 feet down the sidewalk, with the entrance behind me, and I hear this gawd awful screeching of tires. And not a quick one either, but a long screeeeeeech. I look back over my shoulder and some idiot had decided to take advantage of all the cars stopping for me and thought he could skip line and get around the car in the front of the line, only to find out that another car was already turning in front of him. Man! That noise was awful!

Then the rain picked up a bit more and the drops were hitting my face like thousands of tiny sand pellets. It was no longer refreshing but now it was a minor annoyance. But what am I going to do? Not like I can stop and go home, right? I gotta keep going until I can get home.

The last mile was the worst. It was all up hill. And there's this one overpass (passes over a trail underneath) that is straight up and over. Ugh! I was audibly coaching myself trying to get up and over it... "come on Cara, you can do this" ... "push through" ... "a little further, don't give up". I'm sure if there were people in their yards listening to me they got a good chuckle. :) I know I would have. But I made it up and over. And then just the littlest hills seemed so huge. I can't believe how out of shape I am. I was never so glad to see the entrance to our community.

And I still haven't lost those 5 pounds that I gained last Sunday (remember the Oreo's, greasy breakfast and pizza?). I'm usually up anywhere from 3-5 pounds on any given Monday, but by Thursday or Friday I'm back down to my usual weight and below. But I can't kick these pounds. I don't know what's up. I thought "easy on, easy off". Nothin' doin'.

Oh well, nose to the grindstone, right?

My main worry is that if I keep going the way I am I won't make my 100 pound goal by Thanksgiving. I really want to do that so bad. I knew it was a tough challenge to begin with, but it's seeming like I'm getting alot more than I bargained for.

I'm not losing hope or getting discouraged, just a little bummed.

Eye on the prize. You can do it Cara.

Being as tomorrow is weigh in for me, I'll do a Challenge update for you guys then.

Wish me luck.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

my journey into finding out who I really am on the inside...

Well, I went walking with the girls this morning and plan on going tomorrow, too. I'm back to my routine. Yea! Finally. Two weeks of not doing it was a drag. And I know me... once I stop doing it, it takes me the hardest time to start doing it again. You just don't know how bad I wanted to text the girls and tell them I was too tired to walk this morning. Man I hate walking. I love the company, though.

I lost a pound yesterday. Hope that trend keeps going. I have 4 more to lose before Saturday morning. I'm gonna do it!! I am!!

I just spent some time reading some of your blogs and I love reading about your lives and your weight loss journeys. That's what it's all about, you know?

I learned something fairly significant about myself yesterday. Actually, a colleague shed light on it. I won't get into the whole big story, but I learned that I have a problem admitting that I'm good at my job. Or my life, for that matter. I've always been the type to let others shine and to help them shine and when they succeed I feel my job was done well and that's my reward. I'm not the type to look for the spotlight or look for the "at-a-girl" for a job well done. My satisfaction comes from within.

But he (the colleague I was telling you about) brought it to my attention that I come across as very negative about the design work that I do. I've always thought I was a very talented designer and I've always thought I was proud of my work but I was showing him my portfolio the other day and afterwards he told me how I really put down my own work and it came across very negative. I had no idea. But you know, he was right. I totally put down every piece I'd designed.

But why?

Like I said, I've always thought my work was good and even great sometimes. But I kept picking it apart to the nth degree.

So I spent last night in contemplation about the conversation and I can't believe it but he was right. How can anyone else like my work if I don't. Sure I like my work, inwardly. But I have to like it outwardly in order for anyone else to like it or give it any merit.

About a year and a half ago I had applied for a job in one of the design departments where I currently work and I didn't get the job. I just assumed it was because they didn't like my portfolio or my design talent. Isn't that funny? I thought I wasn't talented enough. That's where my thoughts immediately went to when I didn't get the job.

This morning I went and talked with the guy I had originally interviewed with a year and a half ago and would you believe before I could say anything to him, he said he'd been wanting to talk to me for some time and he was so glad that I stopped by. And when I asked him why, he said because he never did tell me why he didn't hire me. I was astonished when he told me that he thought I was extremely talented and had a great portfolio of work. I couldn't believe it. So why didn't he hire me? He was looking for a different type of designer to fit a specific need in his department. I couldn't believe that. Here all this time I thought I wasn't good enough and all this time I was totally good enough.

I am good enough.

I'm a great designer.

I'm also a great person and I need to give myself credit for that. Outwardly.

God made me this special and wonderful person and I shouldn't be ashamed of my flaws or shortcomings because the gifts He gave me far out way the little things that don't really even matter. And I can't believe it's taken me all these years to see that.

So this is the first day of the rest of my life of being proud of the person, designer, mom, friend, co-worker, daughter, sister and wife that my God made me to be.

Go me!


Monday, September 1, 2008

and the journey continues...

Well, I went biking this morning.

I can't believe I actually did it because today is a holiday and all. But I did. I told myself I was going to start biking on Monday, though when I told myself this, I forgot today was a holiday. Ugh. But I kept my word to myself. And boy was it rough!


It's been 2 weeks without serious exercise and my body was screaming at me. Sure, I walked a bunch when I was up in WV and I did walk once last week, but walking for me just doesn't count as serious exercise any more. I'll only burn 200-300 calories when I walk for an hour. That's kind of cool saying that, you know? I mean, a year ago, walking for an hour would kick my butt! I've really come a long way.

I still can't believe I've lost almost 90 pounds. I was only 2/10ths of a pound away from 90 pounds on my last weigh in, but this past weigh in put me 8/10ths of a pound away. Still, I'm getting close.

Bad news is that I'm up 5 pounds since weigh in.

I totally cheated yesterday. I can't believe I did that. That's the first time in a long time that I completely let it go all day. For breakfast, I had scrambled eggs (egg beaters) with cheddar cheese, 2 real sausage patties, "home fries" (new potatoes with onions and green peppers) and toast with real butter and real jelly. Then for a snack, I had about 10 or 12 Oreo cookies with a very tall glass of Reduced Fat milk. No, I get no brownie points for the reduced fat milk... it was a splurge. I haven't had reduced fat milk in over a year. It's the closest thing to real milk and it was so yummy and creamy. Then for dinner I had 4 slices of Pizza Hut Supreme pizza on thin and crispy crust and two slices of buttery garlic bread with extra mozzarella cheese gobbed on.

Oh, and did I mention that the night before (Sat night) had another big bowl of Oreo's with milk and then had probably two cups of "light" ice cream (which wasn't very light) topped with crumbled Oreo cookies (probably about 6 or 7 of them). It was an Oreo weekend. I haven't had an Oreo since before I started WW. I don't usually crave sweets, but I had a bad craving for Oreo's Saturday afternoon.

They're all gone now. Thank goodness!! Milk's gone, too.

I just wonder how many times I'm going to continue to sabotage myself?? I have the best of plans to stay on plan and eat healthy and be good but then it's like I completely lose my mind and can't stop eating whatever is in front of me or whatever kind of food pops into my head. Like those Oreo's... I didn't want to go out to the store to get them so when daughter called to say she was coming home from work, I asked her to get them for me. I shouldn't have done that.

I just get the thought of bad food in my head and then I can't stop until I've eaten it. The same thing happened with Pizza Hut... we got some coupons in the mail yesterday and it put that thought in my head and I couldn't stop thinking about it.

It's so hard to resist food when it means so much to me. I've had a lifetime of indulging and over eating and gorging myself until I am completely satisfied. That's a long time to build up a bad habit and then it's only been 16 months since I've been on WW so that's a short time to expect the habit to be broken. I'm sure I'll have to battle this for the rest of my life. It's bad. But that's what I've signed up for. If I want to be happy and healthy, I'll have to battle the food demons for as long as they'll stick around. It'll continue to be hard, but I just have to resign myself to that fact and push through.

Blogging helps me so much to get through this, you know? It helps me to put my thoughts out there and see them and then they become real and I can deal with them. And then the community of people who are so darn supportive is just amazing. I hear them say how I've helped them to overcome this or that or just helped them make the journey a little easier to get through, but it's really you guys who are helping me. I couldn't make it through this horrible journey without my blog and my blog-buddies. I know it. I know I would have given up a long time ago. Like I'd done so many times before on all the other diets I'd tried and failed at.

So here's to us.. Blogger. Thank you for helping me through this. Thank you for being there for me. And we'll keep trugging through this together and help each other through this. We will prevail.

Now... how do you lose 5 pounds in 5 days??? Stay tuned... I'm gonna do it!

Challenge Update! - Week Seven (updates in bold below)
"18 Pounds in 18 Weeks"

Bento Box Diet (sat WI) - gained 3 pounds las week

Katschi (tues WI) - lost 1.2 pounds last week

MaryFran (tues WI) - gained 5 pounds last week (I hated to type that in here, I'm so sorry, MaryFran)

(mon WI) - lost 4.4 pounds last week

Donna (mon WI) - lost .4 pounds last week

Spunkysuzi (sun WI) - Lost 1.4 pounds!!!

(fri WI) - Lost 6/10ths of a pound! Way to go!