A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Onward!

This morning the scale says 251.8....I'm up by .8 of a lb...no biggie....better than the 5.5 lbs I was up on Monday!! Can't wait to see what the scale says NEXT week....enjoying my egg white sandwich and decaf coffee. I'll be back later tonight! :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Too Close For Comfort

The most bizarre thing happened to me tonight...right in the midst of my newfound attitude towards healthy eating for life, crucifying Obesity, and gaining optimum health.

I almost ate an entire casserole. It was so close.....too, too close.

Here's the bizarre part....I have NO idea why. I had a good day. It was productive with cleaning house and packing more boxes for the move. No bad emotions going on...no major stress...heck, I wasn't even celebrating anything. No binge feelings, no plans to go over my calories...in fact I'm so in sync with my calorie limit now that I've actually been thinking about dropping them, but decided that's better left for when a plateau hits.

I almost always have around 800-900 calories left by dinnertime. I had the desire for a casserole...something a little creamy and a little cheesy. I had bought some 98% fat free cans of cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and broccoli and cheese a couple of weeks ago, and decided to finally try them. I figured with almost no fat that they would taste like crap. Boy was I wrong. Turns out the broccoli and cheese one I used was entirely too good.

I sauteed (3) 6 oz. chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces w/ my Pam Olive Oil cooking spray. I covered them in all kinds of yummy spices....a touch of salt, black pepper, Adobo, garlic powder and onion powder. I added them to my casserole dish along with 1 c. of instant brown rice, 1 can of the broccoli and cheese soup, some water, 1 jar of mushrooms, and 2 c. of broccoli. I baked it in the oven on 350 for 45 mins and then raised the temp to 400 for the last 15 mins to make sure it was good and done and heated all the way through. When I removed the foil I added 1/4 c. of reduced fat finely shredded Colby Jack cheese on top and watched it melt. I was already starting to salivate.

I went to the computer and added everything up on my nutrition website, SparkPeople, to see exactly how much I could have....I'm ususally pretty darn hungry by dinnertime. And even after nearly 7 weeks of reducing my calories from 4,000 a day to 1550, I'm still amazed at how much volume I can hold and not feel sick afterwards. The entire casserole ended up being 1150 calories, half of it being 575. I decided I needed to eat half the casserole, lol, and I did. Of course I shared some with my puppy dog, so I didn't eat the whole whopping plate full, but probably 80% of it.

Here's the problem. It was TOO good. Just creamy enough, just cheesy enough (I do NOT like a ton of cheese in my food), and the chicken had just the right flavor. I wanted more. I took my plate back to the kitchen, set it down, and stared at that beautiful casserole. After what I had already eaten, I had 289 calories left for the day. I could have had a little more, but I wanted ALL of it.....another 575 calories which would have sent me way over, not to mention probably would have sent me to the bathroom puking my guts out once the entire thing hit my stomach.
Who eats ENTIRE casseroles in one sitting????? Good grief.

I stared at it...my eyes glazing over as if I were in a deep trance...food trances are the worst kind. I could just barely hear Skinny Tammy screaming at me in the background....very, very faint....barely audible.

nooooooooooooooo fat tammy....don't do it!....think of destin....think of the 21 lbs you've already lost....think of how much you're going to hate yourself....it's the day before weigh day for God's sakes......step away from the casserole.....save yourself!

It was so faint...so far off in the distance......I could just barely hear it. The casserole was winning out. I took a bite. OMG it was sooo good. Why do I have to cook so good? Why didn't I eat egg whites for dinner on the night before weigh day? I took another bite. And all of a sudden I was jolted out of my trance like Skinny Tammy was standing right beside me screaming in my ear with a megaphone....

GET YOUR FAT A$$ AWAY FROM THAT DANG CASSEROLE!!! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING??? THIS IS YOUR AMAZING MENTAL CHANGE???? THESE ARE THE GREAT STRIDES YOU'VE MADE??? THIS IS WHAT YOU CALL "FINALLY" HAVING YOUR MIND IN THE RIGHT PLACE??? YOU IDIOT!!!!!!!

The best way I can describe the way I felt after snapping out of it is "frightened". I've read in other blogs where if people make a mistake or nearly do, they try to analyze it, identify trigger foods, certain emotions that set off bad eating, etc. I have no answer for mine and that frightens me. I very nearly ate that whole thing....1150 calories in one meal.....more food than any human being needs to put in their bodies in one sitting....would have totally killed all the work I've done this week to get off the sodium gain from all the birthday/restaurant eating LAST weekend.
And I just don't know why.

All I can say is that I hope it doesn't happen again...or if it does, I hope Skinny Tammy is a little more audible from now on. It's really, really bothering me. It's screwing with my mind. It doesn't jive with my decision to get this weight off at all. Yeah, I'm definitely frightened at what a close call that was, and having no reason to explain it.

Moving on....tomorrow morning is my weigh-in. I've drank enough water this week to float the Titanic. As I mentioned earlier in the week, after my 3 restaurant meals last weekend, I got on the scale Monday morning and saw a 5-6 lb. gain. Yikes. We'll see where it ends up. I can promise you one thing though....the following week WILL be a loss. The numbers WILL go down. How do I know that? Because I know what it takes to lose. It takes a decision to do the work, it takes daily consistency on staying within your calorie limit, it takes persistence with your daily exercise...pushing yourself as far as you're able to go. That's what I'll be doing this next week.

I'm really looking forward to the next 7 days. And there will be NO restaurant/Publix deli food this week. NONE. ZERO. I don't care what we're celebrating...I don't care if I win the lottery...we won't be celebrating it in SODIUM HELL!!! If I win, it will be more like....turkey burger and egg whites for EVERYONE!!! I'm buying. ;)

Quote For The Day:

"Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is the one who endures that the final victory comes." -Buddha

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Big Reward

Guess what I've been thinking about all day? My goal weight...and more importantly...the month I set to reach it by. I know that some people don't believe in setting a date...they say it's not important...that making up your mind is what's important and once that's done..it doesn't really matter when you get there because you now have the knowledge that you WILL get there.

Well....that might work for some people...but not for me. I'm a flounderer. I have to have a specific goal month set...something to lock my eyes on...something to work towards with everything I have in me...something to get me excited from knowing that with each month that passes and another 10 lbs. gone....I'm really getting there this time. I'm really doing it. It makes it tangible for me. It makes me work harder. It gives me the drive I need to buckle down and get it done.

With that said...I already know within me that I'm not going to completely freak and turn the other way and gain back 200 lbs if I don't hit my goal in April. My mind has already been made about losing the weight, and about doing it in a healthy manner...based on an average loss of 2 lbs/wk or so. If it stretches out a little further because I hit a few plateaus along the way, then I'm okay with that. I'm already expecting the plateaus....it seems to happen to everyone and I'm no different than anyone else. I know I'll hate them when they get here....probably cuss my way all the way through it. But I know they're coming and my goal month is not set in stone.

HOWEVER....in order to keep my focus and my drive at the level it needs to be...I'm going to continue to focus on April. After all these years upon years of being fat, overweight, and eventually obese....I mean YEARS.....April seems like it's only a stone's throw away and that in itself is exciting to me.

I was also thinking about my reward system for every 15 lbs. I really like that idea and I'm glad I did that for myself. As I said before, when I was at my highest point of 340 lbs several years ago....and I lost 83 lbs. in 7 months....I never once rewarded myself that entire time. I should have. I think it's tremendously important to keep the momentum going and give yourself a pleasant little boost inbetween all the egg whites and turkey burger.

Then it hit me the other day. I haven't established the BIG reward for when I reach my goal!!! How could I have forgotten that? The most important reward of them all? Yes I know....there will be little rewards along the way.....fitting into restaurant booths, not breaking chairs, clothes that don't have elastic in the waist, higher self-esteem and confidence, etc. But I want something that I specifically set aside to congratulate myself for finally getting control over my life. For finally taking my life back from Obesity. For finally making my health and my life the most important thing over anything or anyone else. I deserve that, just as we ALL do.

I started thinking about what I love most...what I love to do the most...who I would want to share it with...something that I'd really feel was a substantial reward for all the hard work...for beating the demons that have held me down for so long....for finally, once and for all, breaking the chains of addiction.

And I found my answer. I talked to Dwayne about it and he's all for it. Dwayne, Scarlette and I are taking a 7 day trip to a beach to celebrate my success. Probably going to go to Destin, FL because I love the blue-green waters in the Gulf. As I've mentioned before, I love the water. I can't get enough of it. And now that I don't live anywhere close to it like I did when I lived in Jacksonville, FL.....I miss it so much more. When Dwayne and I make our beach trips now that we live in the middle of Georgia...it's usually to Hilton Head, SC. because it's the shortest distance to drive to get to the ocean....5 hours. I think Destin will be about a 7 hour drive if we go down through Alabama.

I am soooo looking forward to this. And the incentive is already working....we just decided a couple of days ago, and in that short time period I've already caught myself thinking about popping something in my mouth that I shouldn't....would put me over my calories for the day...and I've stopped and remembered Destin. Ocean-front condo....palm trees....blue skies....waves rolling in and lapping against the shore....running with the puppy and flying our kite....sand between my toes....pool and jacuzzi close by....being with Dwayne and Scarlette together for 7 whole days with no phone...no interference from the outside world....

Needless to say....I haven't gone over my calories. I am right on track and that's where I plan on staying.....all the way to Destin. :)

"Quote For The Day"

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself." -Henry Ward Beecher

Treadmill Thwarted

Grrrrrrrr....I have been so upset this afternoon/evening/night. I have got serious knee issues and I don't know why. I guess it's possible that I twisted or strained something yesterday while moving stuff to the new house...but I didn't notice it at the time. I noticed it today when getting ready to go to the treadmill. Figures. The right side of my right knee is throbbing...like the tendon on the side that runs just above the knee cap to just below it. It's very weak, and there's a sickening feeling when I walk like the knee is going to blow out to the right or something. It feels gross and it hurts like hell. I went to bed at 11pm tonight without posting because it was hurting so bad. I got back up at 1:15am, unable to sleep, because it's throbbing beyond belief. I'm fixing to go take some Advil and see if it's an inflammation problem. Everyone knows that I've been trying to get off a sodium gain from this past birthday weekend, and now I can't exercise until this clears up. I am more than just a little miffed to say the least. I'm also really disappointed that if it doesn't get better soon, I won't be able to go hiking with Dwayne this weekend. Crap, crap, crap. Goodnight.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spreading The Love

Today has been pretty good. :) I stayed within my calories, and while I didn't walk on the treadmill, I did move a truckload of stuff to new house we're moving into in a month. With all the lifting and carrying boxes, up and down the stairs several times, I'm quite sure that my heart rate was elevated for an extended period of time and I can count that as my cardio for the day. :) Tomorrow's goal is to hit the treadmill right after breakfast, then over to the tag office to get my sticker for the car, and then to Mom's to borrow the truck to move another load. I really need to up my exercise...I need to push harder if I ever want my endurance to improve.

I spent a LOT of time on the computer tonight reading weight loss blogs. There have been a couple of ladies who have been commenting on my posts lately and I finally set aside the time to look them up and check out their blogs. What a great bunch of people! I've added all of them to my blogroll as well as signed up on theirs. If I missed anyone, please let me know!

I found Sheilagh at 60x60.....she lives in England and has a fantastic list of things she wants to do before she turns 60. I need a list.....still working on that!

I found Amy at The Not So Secret Life of a Not So Super Together Mom....I haven't read her entire blog yet....or anyone's for that matter....but I think she lives in VT. because she posted some pics of a lovely hike her and her husband took. The views from the mountaintop that she climbed are just gorgeous. I also learned that her sister is her personal trainer and I think that's great...I'm really going to enjoy following her blog.

I found another Amy at Amos the Lionheart a couple of weeks ago and she is one of my inspirations for walking. She's doing SO much more than I am.....just as K from Fat(free)Me is doing and I'm super jealous of these awesome women! They're really pushing through and getting it done and I think of them daily when I'm gearing up to get my exercise done.

There's also Tena from Texas over at Shrink To Fit. I love the way this woman writes. It comes across as if she's sitting right across the kitchen table from you. And she is perfect at placing her curse words in just the right spot.....her blog is REAL....and she knows, just as I do, that sometimes only a curse word will do. :)

Then there's Less of Lisa that I found about a week ago. Can't remember where she lives right now, but this girl is a TRIP! We have a lot of the same health issues, including PCOS, so I identified with her immediately when I found her blog. Lisa is so cool....she posts fat pics in her bathing suit and her underwear, lol. She's letting it all hang out there for the world to see as she grabs the bull by the horns and gets her weight off. God bless anybody who's got that kind of guts....I sure don't.

I have been amiss in not mentioning Diane from Fit to the Finish yet. This lady is amazing. I learned about her through my best friend Pam at Journey To the Healthier Side of Life. She has like 7 kids, lives in Florida and did all of her exercising in that high heat and humidity that I remember so well (I'm originally from Jacksonville, FL), and she lost over 100 lbs and has kept it off for like 12 YEARS!!!! Her blog is a help to me every day. She learned so many valuable tips and lessons along the way and is more than willing to share with anyone who wants to listen and better their own lives.

Speaking of Pam....I will never stop singing HER praises. Pam's blog is also REAL...she has her ups and downs and she blogs about all of it. What I really enjoy about her blog is that she's always reading and learning about health stuff that otherwise I'd never know about if she weren't informing me of it through her daily posts. Right now she's got 2 posts up that are REALLY cool.....all of you go check it out. One is a challenge by one of her blogger friends that I joined tonight and will be starting tomorrow. The other is Operation Fat Blaster...a website where you can list your goals and there's a whole group of people there to cheer you on to your victory. Very positive stuff. :)

I've mentioned Sean and his blog several hundred times now, lol, but in case anyone missed it, it's called the Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. Sean started his blog at 505 lbs. He is now down almost 200 lbs. and I just don't even have the words for amazing he is. He has a humility and a true desire to help others than I rarely see in people. In fact, he helped me reach out to a fellow weight loss blogger just tonight, which leads me to Susan's blog.

Susan has a weight loss blog called The Quiet Diet. I'm fixing to ruin the "quiet" aspect of her blog and I apologize to her for that....but she needs some encouragement. I'm hoping mentioning her in the post tonight will lead you to check it out on my blogroll, and head on over to offer her any kind words that you can. We are all in this battle together and when one of us is lagging, it is so important for the rest of us to lift them up and tell them that they CAN do it. I know Susan's got it in her...I can read it in her words...she just needs a little help from us. Thank you Sean for already reaching out to her with your amazing story.

There are others that I read every single day but to list them ALL would keep me here all night. Jack, you know you're loved. I also recently found Fitcetera...as well as Zaa who I'm really enjoying at Zaababy....and of course, there's Lyn at Escape from Obesity who was one of my first inspirations to start my blog, right behind Pam. There are a few others and I love you all!! You are all just incredibly amazing people...fellow soldiers in the battle...terrific inspirations to me during my travels...and I'm so glad I found you. I want you all to know how appreciated and special you are. :)

Quote For The Day:

"Every man has in himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy is he who acts as the Columbus to his own soul." -Sir J. Stephen

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

First I want to say thanks to everyone who has commented on my posts. I have read every one of them, but haven't had time to respond to everyone due to a REALLY busy and enjoyable weekend. But I have noticed....and thanks to those who aren't even followers on my blog, but have stopped by to leave their kind words. You're a fantastic bunch of people and I'm really enjoying the comraderie that is forming with us. :)

My weekend has been spectacular. You already know about the 2.5 mile hike on Friday and the 4 mile hike yesterday. We decided not to hike today and just let our bodies rest. I ran out to the salon and got a pedicure with the money Dwayne gave me for it last week....very sweet. I did a few chores around the house, just enjoying my day until Dwayne showed up to take me to Outback for dinner. I thought his gift-giving was complete but I was happily mistaken.

Last weekend, when he thought it was my birthday and was actually a week early, he gave me $100 for new clothes, $40 for the pedicure and 2 awesome books that I've really been enjoying this week. Today he gave me the sweetest card....4 beautiful candles with lovely scents....and a pair of diamond earrings in the shape of little flowers....they are gorgeous!! I explained before in a post entitled "My Guy" that Dwayne shows his love through giving you material items and cash...it looks like he loves me a lot! :)

Regarding the food this weekend....it's been bad. I admit it. I had a 3 lb loss this past Friday and will probably follow that up with a 5 lb. gain this week. I'm not being melodramatic. I got on the scale this morning and I've gained 5 lbs. since Friday and not sure if I'll be able to get it off in the next 4 short days!

Friday I had a light breakfast and a light dinner but after our 2.5 mile hike we had a heavy lunch in a restaurant. Sodium. Saturday I had a light breakfast and 2 c. of watermelon for lunch....maybe a total of 350 calories before dinner....but for dinner we had that food from the Publix deli...some of it was fried...plus MORE sodium. Today I had a light breakfast and a light lunch....maybe 500 calories before dinner. But then we went to Outback. I had 1 grilled chicken breast, 3 grilled shrimp, 1/2 of my rice pilaf, 1/2 of my grilled veggies, and HALF A LOAF of that dang bread they bring you!!! Plus EVEN MORE SODIUM!!!

I'm not worried about the gain that I so very much deserve and will probably see this Friday and here's why. My mind is still in the right place. I was conscious of every eating choice I made this weekend. It's unrealistic to think I will never eat in a restaurant again.....although most weekends I don't and won't be eating restaurant meals 3 consecutive days like I did this time! But that's just the way the weekend went, I enjoyed every single second of my stress-free weekend....the hikes way more than the food. And I've still got a tight grip on the overall picture and goal.

The weekend was full of sodium...... but it was also full of hiking, together time with my guy and my puppy dog, some lovely birthday gifts, positive thoughts and lots of laughter...and this will usurp any disappointment I earned on the scale this week. The next week will be better and will produce a loss....I just know it! I've got this thing...I'm going to beat it. I've never been filled with so much resolve in my entire life. I've never been so SURE of something before. I know I'm going to slay Obesity. I know I'm going to win. Not exactly sure how long it will take me....hopefully by next April....but if it's a little longer....it doesn't really matter....Obesity is going down!!! It's days are numbered...and that's an incredibly powerful feeling. :)

Quote For The Day:

"Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement." -Brian Tracy

Hurts So Good

This is going to be a short post....I am soooo exhausted tonight. But I'm happy. :)

Dwayne and I felt so good about our hike yesterday that we decided to do another one today. It was in the same general area but a different trail. This one is called the Kolb's Farm Loop. It was a 5.5 mile hike, and we knew we wouldn't make it all the way, especially after still being a little sore from yesterday, but we decided we'd at least do 2 miles of it.

We had another beautiful day today...enjoyed some lovely scenery. Part of the walk was in full sun and part was shaded deep in the woods. We crossed over two bridges that spanned Ward's Creek so I got to enjoy seeing the water....my favorite thing in the world. It's my therapy. We picked some blackberries and munched on them along the way but they were nowhere near ripe, lol. It was still fun to do. :)

We walked 2 miles in before we realized we needed to stop and turn around to get back to the car. That meant 2 miles back.......4 MILES altogether and we were only going to do 2 miles!! It was a lot harder getting back out than it was going in. There was a little uphill walking going in, but there was a HUGE hill that we walked down....which meant that we were going to have to climb it to get back out. After about the 3rd mile of walking I became painfully aware that I had blisters on nearly all of my toes and the pads of my feet. Unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy the scenery as much heading out as I did going in. My concentration was on my screaming feet and trying to breathe while climbing that dang hill. There were a couple of times I had to stop while climbing it and the thoughts of rolling back down it seemed like a very real possibility.

I think Dwayne thought I wasn't going to make it a couple of times. He would slow down and let me catch up. He knew my feet were shot so he held my hand in the downward spots so I wouldn't slip and fall. He gently encouraged me all the way....told me what a great job I was doing. He was awesome to take me hiking both days and I'm glad we got to spend that time together. We also had our little puppy Scarlette with us. Bless her heart, lol. We had been giving her plenty of water but she started lagging behind and when Dwayne told me to stop and let her rest, I turned around to look at her and she plopped down right in the middle of the trail, just a panting. We felt sorry for her so I carried her for a ways....and then Dwayne stuck her down in the backpack and zipped it only halfway to hold her in. I was walking behind him so she could see her Momma. She was so adorable....cute little face and front paws hanging out of the bag...bouncing along the trail on Daddy's back. Too precious. I really need to invest in a digital camera.

We finally made it out and I've never been so happy to sit down in all my life. I was hurting bad...even Dwayne was in some serious pain this time. We made it home and hobbled upstairs. We both got showers and sat down to eat some dinner we picked up at the Publix deli. He knew my feet were ruined and wouldn't be able to stand up and cook the turkey breast I had planned for dinner, so he suggested Publix, picked it up and paid for it. Works for me.

Our original plan was to hike all 3 days of my birthday weekend (birthday tomorrow!), but after today, we mutually agreed that there will be no birthday hike tomorrow, lol. My feet really need to heal a bit first. But I am so happy and content right now. I'm working towards my goals every day and now Dwayne is starting to tag along with me. It feels good...it feels GREAT!! Even the exhaustion feels good because I know it's due to really pushing myself with the exercise. It hurts to even walk across the carpet right now...but I'm doing it with a smile. :)

I said this was going to be a short post tonight didn't I? You guys should know me better than that by now. :) 'Nite nite.

Quote For The Day:

"Keep steadily before you the fact that all true success depends at last upon yourself." -Theodore T. Hunger

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Sunshine Is Back

Today has been FANTASTIC!!! Dwayne came over and we took the puppy and headed out for a little hike. He's in better shape than me and said he didn't want to kill me on the first hike out of the new hiking book he bought me for my birthday, so he said we'd take it easy today. We went to Cheatham Hill which is part of the Civil War Battlegrounds tied into Kennesaw Mountain. We did a 2 1/2 mile loop....some of it uphill, some of it down. It was nowhere near as uphill as our hike up Ft. Mountain a few weeks ago, but it was enough to feel the burn. I was proud of myself for doing it. Some of the walk was in the sunshine, but most of it was under the cool shade of a beautiful wooded area. There was a light breeze and we crossed over a creek in a couple of different places along the trail. The birds were singing...the june bugs were humming...it was a beautiful summer day. I released all of my negative energy and breathed in all the fresh air I could hold. I thoroughly enjoyed my happy day and it felt good to smile and laugh again.

Dwayne said we could go on another hike tomorrow....if his back and butt muscles stop aching, lol. It does my heart good that Mr. I'll-take-it-easy-on-you-today is in a lot more pain than I am. :)

I'm headed to bed....it's been a long, fulfilling day and I'm looking forward to getting some good sleep tonight. And by the way, I didn't have to delete any emails today because nobody tried to contact me....hallelujah!! The clouds have parted and the sun is shining on me once more. :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Made It

Well I made it to weigh day without screwing it up. I weigh 251.0 this morning for a 3 lb. loss. Although this isn't the highest amount of lbs. I've lost in a week, it is by far the biggest victory, due to the rough week I've had while trying to stay on track. Dwayne just called and said he's taking the day off and he's coming to pick up me and Scarlette to take us hiking. I'm glad. I need to get out and get some fresh air and a fresh perspective on things. I made the decision to delete any further emails I get from the girls w/o even reading them. This craziness has to stop sometime. I want my life back. I want to sleep again. I want to think positive, happy thoughts. But above all, I want my full focus and attention back on this weight loss thing. It's just too important. :)

The Saga Continues...

Boy has it been a week from Hell....the worst one I've had since I started my travels down the road to good health. My weigh-in is tomorrow morning and I just don't even want to think about that.

First of all, thanks to each and everyone of you for the wonderfully supportive comments. I responded to each of you individually.

After I sent Marie my "goodbye" email yesterday afternoon, I thought all the crap was over with. I was wrong. She responded to my email this morning by laughing at me that nobody wanted to have anything to do with me anymore. It was filled with all kinds of hurtful words and it was hard to read. She cut me....deep. I responded, and after an hour or so of going back and forth, we both finally parted ways and wished each other well in the future.

My eyes have been red and bloodshot for the last 2 days due to the lack of sleep over this...I can't seem to get my brain to shut off at night and get any rest. Today was no exception. I tried to move past it. I fought off the urge to binge ALL DAY LONG. As I told one of my followers, "Blue Moon", I've thought about mega buffets for the last 2 days. She reminded me that it is empty comfort and I know that she's right. Why is it so hard to change the old way of thinking and KEEP it changed? I guess if it was easy....the whole world would be skinny.

I didn't get on the treadmill yesterday so I knew I really needed to get down there today. I usually do it in the mornings...but oh my goodness...it took me til 4pm to finally drag myself down there. And when I got to the fitness room, it was closed. There was a woman inside painting the walls. I was so pissed. It took SUCH effort to get myself down there, and then I couldn't do my walk. I cussed all the way back to my apartment.

I emailed with my friend Pam today, catching up on the last couple of days. Thank God for her. I just love her so much. Pam and I have known each other since Drama class in high school. I can't even tell you all the things that we've been through together.....20 years worth. We now live over 400 miles apart from each other and we are STILL the closest of friends. Our friendship hasn't been perfect...you can imagine that in 20 years time, we've had our share of differences....some small, some rather large. But what our friendship HAS been is accepting, loving, forgiving....REAL and TRUE. Some people are only in our lives for a season while others are there for the long haul. I thank God that I found a lifetime friend in Pam.

I took a long, hot soak in the tub trying to melt away my troubles. I enjoyed a couple of cups of french vanilla decaf coffee w/ sugar-free hazelnut creamer. I had a long, refreshing talk on the phone with my mom. I had another long talk on the phone with Dwayne.....who by the way, has been nothing but loving and supportive through this whole ordeal. I thank God for him too.

I was finally thinking that maybe the negativity was over and I was headed into a good weekend with Dwayne. Then I sat down to do my post and found an email from Lori. She felt like she just had to put her 2 cents in. She told me exactly what she thought about me hurting "her" friend Marie....and I just snapped. I lost it. I know I SHOULD have taken the high road....but I didn't. I envisioned getting an email from Rebecca next and felt like I was being backed into a corner so I came out fighting. I gave it to Lori with both barrels. It was ugly. All true, but ugly.

I've already thought about how my parents are going to read this tomorrow morning and probably roll their eyes at the amazing ability their daughter has to act like a 3 year old. I have no defense for that, other than to say that nobody's perfect...especially not me.

So the saga continues.....just one big, bullsh*t ball of stress that seems to keep growing. Gotta' get on the scale in a few short hours and see what it says. I swear, if there's a loss there, or even if I maintained, it is solely by God's grace.

Thanks to all of you again for listening and offering your thoughts and your well wishes. Although it may not sound like it due to this post....it really is helping more than I can express. Until tomorrow.....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Three Friendships Severed

I really had to think long and hard about whether or not I was going to post about this. I'm not comfortable with it at all, but I know me, and if I don't write about it and get it out of my sytem, it's going to rule all of my thoughts and keep my focus off of the weight loss. My health is way too important for that, so I'm going to lay it out there (well, not every grizzly detail, but most of it).

Yesterday, my friend Marie emailed me and asked me to meet her for lunch. What I didn't realize at the time was that she was calling me out to publicly humiliate me in a restaurant, which she succeeded in doing.

Over 2 years ago, I told Marie a lie about something that I personally thought was unimportant, but knew it would save her feelings. My motivation was solely to keep from hurting her about something that I didn't think should matter in the first place, but knowing her so well, I really thought I made the right decision. And I forgot all about it.

Well.......it re-surfaced this weekend through a mutual acquaintance and she found out about it. She confronted me with it and it took me a few seconds to even recollect what she was talking about. Then it all came flooding back. What I thought was unimportant, and really didn't have a whole lot to do with her in the first place, was now HUGELY important to her, but she said it wasn't even the subject matter that she really cared about...it was the fact that I lied about it.

I apologized profusely, trying to tell her that my motivations were pure...that I would never hurt her intentionally. She flat out told me she didn't want to hear my logic. She thrashed me over and over...very loudly...in front of a restaurant full of people. I wanted to get up and leave, but I thought the bigger thing to do was sit there and let her get it all out. After all, I was the one who told the stupid lie in the first place, so I maybe I deserved this.

After several minutes of her self-righteous ranting, I finally cut in and asked her if she could honestly say that she had never in her entire life, told a lie to a friend for the sole purpose of saving their feelings? I told her there was a big difference in telling a lie to save your own a$$...and telling one to save someone's feelings that you care about. She said of course she had...everyone's told a lie at some point in their life (finally...something we agreed on)...but she said that wasn't the point. The point was I had done it to her and she didn't appreciate it. In fact, she said she was SO upset about the deceit, that she couldn't even go into work Monday because she was so distraught with me, laying in bed crying all day, and questioning everything I had ever told her over the last two years. Lovely.

After about 30 minutes of listening to her and apologizing more than anyone has ever done in their life, we finally left. And no, neither one of us ate anything. Since she was the one that was throwing my birthday pool party at her sister's house this Sunday, that obviously was out of the question now. I told her that I would text all of the people invited and let them know it was cancelled. We parted ways, I texted everyone, knowing they would all want an explanation on why the party that everyone had been planning for me for the last month was suddenly dead in the water. To take all the heat off of Marie and take full responsibility with all of our friends, I sent out a text that said the party was cancelled, I had lied to Marie about something, she was understandably upset, and that we weren't getting along right now.

I know Marie like the back of my hand so I knew she would blab all the details to EVERYONE she knows...not only our friends, but her sister, mother, dad, co-workers (that used to be my co-workers....Marie and I originally met at work), her PSA club at college (I also know these people...we go to the same college and I helped them with their conference this past spring)...absolutely everyone.

The main 2 friends that I was worried about their responses was Rebecca and Lori. I met both of them through Marie 2 or 3 years ago and we've become a pretty tight-knit circle. We do friend's night out together, have had numerous cookouts at my apartment with my boyfriend Dwayne being the grill man, went on several vacations together to the beach, etc. All that was left to do after the meeting with Marie yesterday was go back home and see how the other girls were going to react. Be neutral...side with Marie....still want to see me on my birthday...I just sat and waited.

Last night Dwayne called and wanted to know what the heck was going on, so I told him, and he said that just because there was a riff between Marie and I right now, didn't mean that we had to cancel all the birthday plans. He mentioned that we had celebrated all of their birthdays with them....him actually paying the bill for 80% of it....and that I shouldn't have to be alone on my birthday just because I made a regrettable mistake. He told me to text Lori and Rebecca and see if they still wanted to meet for dinner on Sunday at a restaurant.

Dwayne and I both texted Rebecca last night....no response. I texted her again this morning...no response. I emailed Lori this afternoon and she responded saying that after Marie and I both texted her, that she made other plans and would be out of town. I knew that was b.s. as soon as I read it. She wasn't going to be out of town....she was siding with Marie, judging me for my mistake, and avoiding me. I emailed again asking if Marie had told her the details of the fight. She emailed right back and told me yes, that she knew all about it, and didn't want to get in the middle of it, that it was between us.

No, it wasn't between us....Marie was burning up the phone and computer lines telling everyone she knew about it, gaining everyone's sympathy, and turning everyone against me. It's almost midnight and I still haven't heard back from Rebecca.

I emailed Lori and Marie (Rebecca very rarely checks email and she obviously wasn't responding to my text messages), and I told them good-bye. Now that it's plain that I'm being judged by them...even after a couple of weeks and everything blows over....now I'M the one that won't be able to be comfortable around them anymore. They all banded together and totally dissed me over this. There was no forgiveness....there was no contact to even say "let's let this blow over". I know in my heart that there is no way I will be able to "hang out" with them ever again without remembering these last couple of days and being paranoid over what they're all thinking about me. I will never be able to ever again have anything deeper with them past, "Hey, how's it going?". The friendships are over...severed....gone.

I spent most of the day crying over this. Dwayne called me 3 different times from work to check on me. I totally regret the lie, and I regret what it's lead to. I can say that this is the first time in my life I've ever lost 3 friends in a 2-day time period. The shock to the system is almost too much to take.

To tie this into the weight loss....I didn't feel like crawling out of bed, much less cook today. I had some rotisserie chicken breast for lunch that I picked up from the store on the way back from Mom's house today. I ate it, crawled in bed and cried the rest of the afternoon. Dwayne showed up around 7pm, worried sick about me, and took me to Bailey's for dinner. I was numb to my surroundings, but amazingly, not exactly sure how, my food choice wasn't too bad. I may have even stayed in my limits for the day, but didn't have the energy or desire to actually look it up when I got back home. I had the Jamaican grilled chicken. It came with 2 boneless chicken breasts marinated in a soy sauce, pineapple and ginger marinade...I ate one. It came with brown rice...I ate 2/3 of it. It came with a small bowl of black beans and a side of broccoli, and I ate all of those. I drank one beer. Wanted 12....but only drank one.

So, with putting this all out there in blogland, I'm leaving all of you the opportunity to judge me as well. We all judge...it's human nature...whether we do it out loud or not. I know what I did was wrong. The fallout has definitely proven that. I've learned many lessons today. Here's the main one:

Never, EVER, lie to a friend, family member, someone you care about, or stranger on the street in an effort to spare their feelings. Always tell the truth no matter how bad it hurts them. Even if you've left them laying on the floor bleeding, at least when their wounds heal, they'll know that they can always count on you for honesty.

I'm sorry Marie, Lori and Rebecca. I will miss you all dearly.

A Tribute to "LovIN My Tummy"

I've already done my daily post, but after reading Sarah's blog at "LovIN My Tummy", I was led to post again.

Tonight was Sarah's last post on her blog. Due to some issues with estranged family members accessing her blog and causing her a TON of heartache and stress, she had to end her blog. Much to my surprise, I cried my eyes out!

That response got me to thinking about how important the blogging community has become to me over these last few weeks. It's almost like a little family...maybe an extended one, if you already have a great family and tons of support. Maybe for some it's the only "family" they have. And maybe for some, it's just that feeling of comraderie....of being involved in something that maybe only you understand within your little circle. Maybe your significant other just doesn't get it because they don't have the same issues as you or share all the same hobbies. Maybe all of your friends and family members are skinny, if you've got a weight loss blog. Maybe the community you belong to shares the same passions you do. They are all important, and somehow, they get weaved into the fabric of our lives.

Sarah's blog isn't about weight loss. I started reading her blog MONTHS ago...long before I even considered doing a blog of my own. And to tell you the truth, I can't even remember how I stumbled upon it...but I'm so glad I did.

When I first started reading her daily posts, she was very much into fitness, training every day for marathons and the such, eating REALLY healthy foods, and was reading up on becoming a vegetarian. Over these last few months, she did end up going the no-meat route, refining it even more to a raw foods diet that she is thoroughly enjoying. She also had a back injury with her running, something that was a passion of hers, and had to have back surgery, which ensued in some depression (some of it maybe due to the medication she had to take) and the realization that she would never be able to run again in the capacity that she so very much desired.

Because Sarah is such a positive person, she drug herself out of the depression and directed her attentions to other things that she enjoys. Sarah loves to write, and was presented with the opportunity to write for a site called http://www.kidglue.com/, where she posts articles 5x/week. I've read her articles, and if you have children, I would encourage you to visit the site. She never disappoints. She would love to expand her writing with other avenues as well, and I certainly hope she's able to accomplish that. She has quite the talent.

Sarah has a very supportive husband named Chris, as well as 2 unbelievably adorable daughters, named Gracie and Livy. Her daily posts were full of funny quips, her razor wit, the occasional inappropriate comment that never failed to make me smile, but most importantly...it was REAL. Sure, her family looks perfect in most of the pics....but she never failed to include the ones with her kids picking their noses and throwing temper tantrums, telling us about her pain pill daze after the surgery and being afraid that the kids would end up loving Chris more than her because he was doing such an awesome job taking care of them, and letting us know that sometimes she was just so busy with life that she hadn't washed her hair in 4 days. Sarah is awesome. :)

Of all the things I really admire and love about Sarah, the top of the list has to be how she's raising her children. I don't have any kids of my own, but due to being overweight most of my life, and now obese, the healthy foods that she's raising her kids on really strikes a chord with me. I remember reading in one of her posts that her kids don't eat things like chicken nuggets and french fries because they just don't like them....but give them hummus and they think it's Christmas morning. What a fantastic upbringing in the way of food.

Now, Sarah still lets her kids eat "kid stuff", like ice cream, and I'm pretty sure I saw a pic of Livy shoveling down some mac 'n' cheese, lol. But she makes the healthy foods available to her children. She's leading by example....the kids want what Momma's having....and I commend her for that. I'm glad that these two girls will most likely not have the food/body issues that I've had because they're learning at a very young age what's healthy. Kudos to Sarah for being such an amazing example to her children.

I'm going to miss my friend. We live on opposite sides of the country, and will most likely never meet in person, but being able to read about her daily life with her family, along with exchanging a few emails with her, has made her feel like a friend to me. I wish her the very best, and for all of you following my blog, thank you for the continued support and encouragement you offer me every day. You're appreciated more than you know. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sodium.....So Stoopid

Today has pretty much sucked all the way around, lol. Some days are just going to be that way, and this is one of them. I had an argument with a girlfriend today....the one that just happened to be throwing me a pool party for my birthday this Sunday with all of our other friends, so needless to say, no more party. Bummer. My friend is still upset with me. Bigger bummer. I made dinner in the crockpot today and I didn't like it. Another bummer. And Mother Nature paid me a visit this week. Biggest bummer of all.

First of all, I hate drama with friends. I find it completely draining and a total waste of energy, but life isn't perfect, and sometimes these things happen. Secondly, I've always been a huge fan of birthdays. It's the one special day a year that all of your friends a family gather 'round to celebrate you and the importance of you being in their life, and them in yours. I love birthdays. So the fact that mine might end up being a downer this year is really discouraging to me.

Mother Nature and I have NEVER been friends. I'm working my big butt off as hard as I can, focusing..focusing..focusing, staying within my calorie limit, walking on the treadmill daily as fast as I can go...pushing myself to my limits...and then she shows up, plops down right in the middle of all my progress, and asks, "How does a 3 lb. gain sound this week?" Grrrrrr.

Here's the stoopid sodium part. As if it weren't bad enough that I'm battling bloating this week and working my butt off just to try my best to maintain and not gain this week....I end up with a dinner I just didn't like, feeling totally unsatisfied, totally drained from the day's drama and cranky from the cramps...and took myself right down to Los Reyes for some chicken soft tacos.

I had 800 calories left for the day, so I didn't go over my limit. I did my walk on the treadmill this morning, so I'm cool there. But I just didn't need the sodium. I was already in a tangle with Mother Nature, and I had to go and add insult to injury. Doh! How stoopid. Really, really stoopid.

Now I know from reading so many weight loss blogs that there are people out there who eat in restaurants/fast food every single week, and still show a substantial loss on weigh day. They're staying in their calorie limit, but somehow they're winning out over the sodium. I don't know if they're just lucky, if my system is whacked, if they're drowning themselves in vats of water to get rid of it, overdosing on water pills, or what. But I know from experience that sodium is the enemy for me and my body and that makes today's choice a really bad one. So, whatever ensuing gain I show on the scale this Friday, aside from my cycle, is completely well-deserved.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wholesome Eating

As I mentioned last week when I did my post on "Jillian's Nuggets of Knowledge", I started trying to incorporate some hormone-balancing foods into my daily eating. I've stayed within my calorie limit every day, and have walked 20 minutes on the treadmill every day at a rate of 4.0-4.5, resulting in a 1.42 mile distance so far. I don't know why the walking is still so hard/painful for me, but I'm hoping that with continued perseverance, it will get easier and I'll be able to walk further over time.

Here's a list of the foods that I've had over the last 4 days since I weighed in last Friday morning:

egg whites
homemade turkey sausage
bell peppers
orange peppers
red peppers
onions
tomatoes
fresh spinach
baby portabello mushrooms
Arnold's whole wheat sandwich thins
Wrap-itz 100% stoneground whole wheat wraps
97% fat free pork tenderloin
boneless skinless chicken breasts
99% fat free ground turkey breast
Canadian bacon
potatoes
carrots
eggplant (blech!)
yellow squash
zucchini
cantaloupe
peaches
plums
prunes (blech!)
watermelon
Rainier cherries
walnuts
olive oil
fat free sour cream
garbanzo beans
black beans
fat free cream cheese
Smucker's low sugar strawberry preserves
reduced fat crackers
mozzarella cheese
64 oz of water every day (including protein water daily)
1 glass of tea in the last 4 days
decaf coffee w/ sugar-free creamer
NO COKE
NO DARK CHOCOLATE

I went out Saturday night with Dwayne and some friends with the full intention of giving myself an extra 1,000 calories for special days like this. I ate about 500 calories during the day before we met our friends for dinner at the Mexican restaurant, Los Reyes. I ate 2 grilled chicken tacos w/ lettuce only, and 1 regular chicken soft taco (stewed chicken w/ tomatoes and onions) with lettuce only.....no cheese on any of the tacos. I also had 1 1/2 beers and a few chips w/ salsa. I ended up concentrating on laughing and enjoying time with our friends and the food was just a side note. I enjoyed what I ate, took my time eating it, and didn't need the extra 1,000 calories!! I took control over the food instead of letting the food control me (GREAT ADVICE, SEAN!!!), and the feeling of freedom that came with that was indescribable. I've finally got my head in the right place and I am LOVING this new sense of power.

Now, I'm not so naive as to think there won't be anymore rough/trying days....of course there will. In fact, I was at a store today and there was a Wendy's and Arby's right next door. My addiction to fast food kicked in as soon as I smelled them. I wasn't particularly hungry, but they were right there, and I could smell them, and I hadn't had any fast food (except for Subway), since I started changing my eating habits over 5 weeks ago. It's funny how easily you can slip into your old way of thinking.

Time to stop and think. It was after lunchtime, around 2pm, and I had over 900 calories left for the day. Could I afford to eat anything from either of these restaurants calorie-wise? Sure I could. Could I get rid of the sodium with lots of water before weighing in on Friday? Probably. Does it jive with my new healthy way of eating? Absolutely not...I'm eating as much whole foods now as possible to straighten out my hormones. Fast food isn't on the list. Is it time to go home and make a better, healthier decision? Yep. And home I went.

One of the things that Jillian mentioned that we should be eating some of every day is cruciferous veggies (broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage) and I noticed I haven't had any of those this week. I plan on rectifying that with some beef and broccoli later in the week. I will make it in the crockpot with a lean london broil, frozen broccoli, onions and mushrooms.

Tomorrow night I'm planning on making another crockpot dish that I found on Pam's food blog: http://lobsterandfishsticks.com/2009/03/30/chicken-and-sweet-potato-stew/. I love sweet potatoes but have only ever had them plain with a little butter on them, or sometimes brown sugar as a sweet treat. I'm so curious to see how they taste in a savory dish with chicken, mushrooms and onions. Looking forward to trying something new!

I'm also looking forward to the next few weeks to see if my body feels any better and some of my "symptoms" are relieved from the healthier food choices. I'm off now to make out a short grocery list of some of the produce I'm running low on. Can't live without onions!! I put them in EVERYTHING!! :) 'Night all.

Quote For The Day:

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." -Robert Collier

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Guy

I haven't said a whole lot about my boyfriend, Dwayne, since I started this blog, but after the sweet weekend I had with him I felt the need to share. :)

Dwayne and I have been dating for 5 years. My friend Pam in Florida, http://www.thinnerin08.blogspot.com/, is my best girlfriend and my roommate Shane is my best guy friend....but Dwayne...he's my BESTEST friend, and I'm his. He's college-educated, polished and diplomatic when he needs to be...but he's also very much a guy's guy....he's the funny guy, everybody's buddy or "bro", can throw back the beers with the best of 'em, and he's also the instigator in his group of buddies. In fact, I found out his nickname in the fraternity he belonged to in college was "Bueller", if that tells you anything.

As far as his role as a boyfriend, I have very few complaints. I've never had to pick him up drunk from a bar, drag him out of a strip club or bail him out of jail. So that's a plus. He's bought me jewelry for every Valentine's Day, birthday and Christmas since I've known him...except for this past Christmas. He really outdid himself this time. He gave me the cutest, sweetest, most precious puppy dog in the whole world. She is my angel, my sunshine, and I just love her to pieces. Major, MAJOR points for Dwayne. He's a good Daddy to Scarlette....he's bought her tons of toys, leashes, harnesses, pee pads, bags of treats and paid for all of her medicines (flea and heartworm pills) and all of her vet visits since I got her. He also loves to take us to the dog park so she can run around and play with other dogs, as well as take her on vacations with us when at all possible.

Since I got laid off in February of this year, he has given me between $200-300 each and every month to ensure all of my bills are paid, as well as paid off a $700 debt I owed to the IRS because I screwed up my tax forms this year and ended up in the red. Now, I'm not driven by money when it comes to my relationships, but cash and material things just happens to be the way Dwayne expresses his feelings and shows how much he cares. He's very affectionate with hugs and kisses, but he does NOT like to express his emotions verbally. To give you an example, we were together for nearly 4 years before he first told me he loved me (I mean, actually said it out loud). Now, he says it a lot more often....but it took him 4 long years to get comfortable with it. That's just the way my guy is.

As far as day-to-day life with Dwayne, he's pretty typical for a guy. He's sweet and caring and GREAT on holidays (thank God for calendars), but in our day-to-day life, sometimes he doesn't even hear me talking, lol. I get the "Uh huh, yeah, cool, uh huh" responses when I'm trying to tell him something important and he's engrossed in the latest Sci-Fi show on TV. So while I'm busy telling him about all the important things in life while he's busy digging for the remote, I'm thinking in my mind, "He'll never remember or notice this....why am I wasting my breath?"

Well, it turns out he HAS been paying attention to SOME things. A couple of weekends ago Dwayne indulged me and took Scarlette and I to Ft. Mountain to go hiking. I wrote a post about it called "High On Life...and a Mountain". Although it was a rough workout for me...hard time breathing..all of that...I absolutely LOVED it, and Dwayne knew it. Also, on my very first week of weight loss, I lost 6 lbs and was so excited....he showed up at my door that night with a food processor that I've been wanting but couldn't afford. He said he knew I would like to have it to chop up all my veggies and make my healthy recipes, so it was just a little reward for all of my hard work and that he was proud of me. Yay!!!

My birthday is coming up next weekend. Let's talk about Dwayne and birthdays, lol. The first 2 years we were together, he forgot them altogether. The next 2 years, I would give him gentle reminders about a month ahead of time. In fact, last year, I asked him in June, "When's my birthday honey?" and he got upset and snapped at me, saying, "Why do you ask me that?? It's like you want me to get it wrong just so you can get upset and pick a fight with me!!" After getting over my shock of him snapping at me (he's the most laid back guy in the world, so that was probably only the 2nd time in 4 years he had ever done that), I politely told him that I was simply trying to do him a favor by reminding him....because if he forgot me on my actual birthday after being together for FOUR YEARS, it wasn't going to be a fun day for either one of us. Apparently he got the point. :)

Normally Dwayne spends the night at my place on Friday nights but we were both super tired and he had to work really late, so I told him don't worry about it...just come over Saturday morning. Well noon rolled around and he wasn't here yet. I was starting to wonder what was going on when the phone rang. I answered it, and Dwayne yelled, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW BABY!!!!!" (My birthday is on a Sunday this year). I said, "What?" Again he said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW BABY!!!! I REMEMBERED IT THIS YEAR!!!!!!" Bless his little pea-pickin' heart. He was trying to be so "on top of it" this year w/o any reminders from me, that he was a week ahead of time! LOL! As gently as I could, I told him, "Honey....my birthday's not til next weekend....." Long pause. Silence on both ends of the phone. Then we both busted out laughing at the same time. It was one of those great moments in life. He was so proud of himself for remembering, and then so embarassed for getting it wrong, even though it was a "good" wrong by being a week ahead.....and I was just so tickled that my honey bunny tried soooooo hard to remember it this year all on his own. Very sweet. I love moments like that. :)

We're having a birthday party at a friend's house next Sunday to celebrate my special day, but he was so excited about my gift from being psyched about it being "this" weekend, that he didn't want to wait another week for me to open my gift from him. (By the way, knowing Dwayne like the back of my hand and knowing what a procrastinator he is with buying gifts, I now know why he was late getting to my place...he was out shopping. :))

He first gave me the $100 back that he told me to go out and buy clothes with the other day...that was part of my gift. Then he gave me $40 to go to the salon and get a pedicure because he knows how much I adore them, and haven't had the money to do it in a few months. Then he gave me the most beautiful gift bag....so beautiful, I had to ask him if his mom had picked it out for him. He said, "NO!! I picked it out....you like pink, right?" Another "proud-of-my-guy" moment. :) Inside the bag were two books and a card. He told me to wait and open the card at the party next weekend. One of the books is a hiking book!!!!! He's actually been paying attention to my new weight loss goals, and my desire to get out and do things outdoors that I've just been too fat to do. Another reason I haven't pushed the outdoor thing is because of Dwayne. He's not big on traveling or doing a lot of outdoor stuff. For one, he loves to just sit and veg out on the sofa and watch TV/movies on the weekends. Secondly, he doesn't like to sweat, lol. Outdoors in July requires a whole lotta' sweating. And third, he's got this weird thing about not wanting to drive too far to get to places (unless it's a trip to the beach and he's going to be there for a few days).

About the hiking book....it lists 60 places to hike within 60 miles here in Georgia. It is so awesome! He told me that we could start with some local ones (that's the no traveling part), and then work our way out....COOL!! He said we could pack a picnic and take the puppy, and he said we could even get a bag to carry with us for healthy snacks, bottles of water, toys for the puppy, etc. He really put some THOUGHT into this! I was sooooo happy. :) My second book is one listing all of the locations on the coastal southeast, for our little weekend getaways and beach trips!!!! Dwayne and I both LOVE the ocean.......absolutely love it. This second book was just as perfect and thoughtful as the first one.

Finally, I'd like to mention that Dwayne and I are complete opposites on a lot of things when it comes to food. He won't eat a vegetable....I love almost all veggies. He's a carbaholic....loves the white breads, pastas, rice, etc. I eat them in very, very small amounts now....mostly converting to the whole wheat pastas. He loves Coke....I do too, but because of my lifestyle change, I noticed yesterday that I haven't had a Coke in 6 days...GO ME!! He's all about red meat and pork.....I'd say that 90% of my meat content over the last 5 weeks has consisted of turkey, chicken, seafood, and some very lean deli ham. He's got a pretty big sweet tooth.....mine's hardly noticeable.

However, I've noticed some changes lately. He's eating more wheat bread.....he let me know, on his own, that he's been going to Publix and getting 6" turkey subs on wheat for lunches instead of hitting the fast food restaurants. He's drinking a lot more water and a lot less Coke. He doesn't bring junk food into my house anymore. He'll forego the white rice sometimes and eat brown rice with me. And yesterday while we were out and about, we stopped by a Subway and he made sure we got a sub that we could share that I could eat....whole wheat, no cheee, lite mayo, turkey w/ lettuce and tomato. He's still not eating any veggies, past a little lettuce and a thin slice of tomato.....but you never know. I've noticed that because of me finally getting serious about the weight loss and making some healthy lifestyle changes....that he's picking up on it...and willingly. I haven't pressed him to change anything and have no plans to. Everyone has to do it for themselves.

So this is my guy....I just adore him. He's a great supporter of my lifestyle changes, he takes care of me and the puppy, and I'm glad that the healthier eating and the outdoor exercising/hiking is starting to rub off on him. I hope everyone has had as nice of a weekend as I have. Talk to you tomorrow! :)

"They can because they think they can." -Virgil

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Dropped A Size?? Are You Sure??

First, I want to say thank you to all the wonderfully supportive people who have been leaving comments on my blog. I love, love, love to read them. Please keep them coming!

Secondly, I want to give a warm welcome and hello to all the new followers!! That just gets me so excited and makes me happy to no end. For those of you who haven't started at the beginning of my blog and read all the way through, let me tell you that my travels that I share with you aren't always smooth sailing. Some are happy, silly posts while some are downright depressing, lol. My intent with this blog is to be REAL...the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm glad you decided to tag along for the ride as I do whatever it takes to stay in this battle against Obesity until I've won. :)

Clothes shopping. I absolutely hate it....hate it with a passion. But I had to do some today. It is my intention to reward myself with something for every 15 lb. loss I accomplish. My first thought was Jillian Michaels' book "Master Your Metabolism". If you didn't read my post entitled "Jillian's Jewels of Knowledge" yet, please go back and read it. It's a super long one, but definitely one worth reading. It talks about hormone issues and the right "super foods" to correct them and level them out. I have about 85% of the problems listed in that post, so now I'm all over this whole foods thing, trying to get my body working efficiently instead of working against me.

Anyhoo, Jillian's book is $26 and that was a wee bit pricey for my budget. I'm going out with some friends and my boyfriend Dwayne tomorrow night for "Friend's Night Out". I have been wearing a size 26/28 from my highest point of 340 lbs up until now at 254 lbs. Let me tell ya'....elastic is an amazing thing. As I was telling someone the other day, I wish I was the gazillionaire who thought that stuff up. But at this point, my clothes are getting ridiculously baggy and I wanted to buy a new blouse so I wouldn't show up to meet my friends looking like a hobo. I got a coupon in the mail from Fashion Bug for $10 off a $30 purchase and decided to spend $20 on a top for my reward.

Dwayne called before I headed out the door and I told him my plan. He said, "Damn! You ruined my surprise!" Huh? He said he was going to give me $100 next weekend for my birthday as a gift to buy some new clothes because he's noticed how baggy mine are getting. (Can I just say how nice it is when guys who never notice anything, notice something as important as this?) He told me to go ahead and spend the $100 now out of my moving money (moving to a new place next month), and he'd give it back to me next weekend. Awesome!! Time to shop!!

First of all, clothes stores for fat girls are limited to start with. I've been buying 80-90% of mine at this one store, Fashion Bug, because their prices are about half that of Lane Bryant. Plus they send me coupons. :) I used to shop at the one in Cartersville, but they closed it down last summer...July in fact. So I had to start going to one in Woodstock. Got there today and saw signs all over the windows "STORE CLOSING", "ALL SALES FINAL", "NO COUPONS"....and the store was already half empty of merchandise. Everything had already been picked over and what was left was stuff that not even the LEAST fashion-conscious person would wear, even for a fattie.

Next, I had to think of another fat girl's store. Thinking.....thinking. There's Cato's, but out of the 50x I've been in there, I think I've only bought 2 tops. They have a LOT of sleeveless stuff in the summer, and I do NOT do sleeveless. Oh how I wish I could....it kills me that I can't...but the lower part of my upper arm hangs down ridiculously low. It looks like I have wings....no joke. I bet if I flapped my arms hard enough I could take flight with these babies. Hate 'em. I've always been jealous of those fat girls that have hard, solid fat and can get away with the cute sleeveless shirts. I have that soft, squishy, loose-skin fat....the worst kind. If anyone is close, personal friends with a plastic surgeon who wouldn't mind doing some Pro Bono work....let me know....I'm sure gonna' need it when I reach my goal.

I knew where a Lane Bryant was so I drove over there, cussing all the way. I just HATE paying their prices. In the same parking lot, there was a Kohl's. I've looked in here before and never been able to find my size that looked like something other than what my grandmother would wear. But since they're probably cheaper than Lane Bryant (not by much, it turns out), it was time to give it another shot. I finally found 1 shirt in there and got it. It's a 22/24...major milestone here. I've been in a 26/28 for years and years. I know this sounds weird....stupid, really...but I wanted to pick up the 26/28 so bad. I didn't even want to try on the 22/24 because I was scared it wouldn't fit and then I'd feel stupid for thinking it might fit in the first place. But I held my breath and tried it on. It fit. Weird. Let out my breath and it still fit. I mean, without hugging my fat rolls. If I was one of those people that wore clothes like they were a second skin, I could probably get into an 18/20, but I prefer not to look like my clothes have been painted on, thank you. :)

I ran next door to the Lane Bryant and managed to find 2 more blouses. These were sleeveless so I'll have to wear this little short, white, lightweight sweater that I have to go over just such things. I also found a pair of wine-colored flats that match 2 of the 3 shirts...very cool. So...all in all, the shopping trip went pretty good. I'm actually in a smaller size than I ever thought I'd reach. I seriously think I must have programmed myself to think that a 26/28 was "my size" and would be for the rest of my life. I'm still not entirely comfy with the 22/24. It's almost like I'm scared I'll blow up overnight and it won't fit tomorrow. Like I said, weird. Leave it to me to find something that anyone else would be exhilirated over, like buying smaller clothes, to be downright nerve-racking to me. :)

For those of you who asked me for my ideas for little rewards...I'm first going to copy and paste the ideas Pam gave me today in an email:

The kitchen gadgets are awesome because they will help keep you on track - like a kitchen scale, a mandolin slicer, stuff like that....

Costume jewelery - you can get cute watches and bracelets for less than 15.00 at Target, Cato, Wal Mart....

Go get some stuff from Bath and Body works - work on a set, lotion one time, bath gel the next....

Start a collection of something, then you will always have it to remind you of your journey....it could be salt and pepper shakers, coffee mugs, glasses, plates....

To add to this....it all depends on what your budget is....I would LOVE to have a new pair of running shoes for the treadmill, but can't afford them right now. Something cheaper would be a great book to help you with the weight loss battle....or even one from the genre you prefer if you enjoy a little time to yourself for reading while sipping your tea or coffee. If you still need to go cheaper, the kitchen gadgets are a GREAT idea. I saw something really cute the other day in Ross. It was a heart-shaped utensil (like a cookie-cutter) that you would use in a skillet to pour your scrambled eggs (or egg whites for me), or pancakes into. Adorable. It could signify how much you love yourself for FINALLY getting it right....for saying "NO MORE".....for finally taking control of your weight, your body, your future....what you pick doesn't have to be expensive, but it would be cool to make it something symbolic. :)

I got all of my fresh veggies and melons chopped and put away in the frig for easy use all through the week. Preparedness is so, so important when it comes to eating the right foods. I baked a turkey breast in the oven, brushed with a little olive oil and covered in tasty spices so I can shred it up and use it for sandwiches on my whole wheat wraps. I made a lovely French-style Pork Stew for dinner in the crockpot. Two of my favorite combinations of flavors is rosemary and pork. It's just so fragrant, so aromatic....it was awesome to come home from the shopping trip, open the door, and smell my apartment flooded with such a wonderful aroma. I used a 97% fat free pork tenderloin half, which was 16 oz. of meat. I added the calories for everything in the pot, divided it by 3 for 3 separate svgs (each svg. probably being around 2, 2 1/2 c.) and my dinner was 400 calories. Not bad. I'm staying within my calorie limit and it feels good. :)

I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend. I will be posting each night, but it will most likely be late. I read a wonderful quote on Sean's blog the other day. It said, "We know too much to turn back now". Yes, we surely do. Onward!

Pam provided the quote for tonight....I love it...and you will be seeing more Bible verses intertwined in the inspirational quotes in the future. :)

"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5

Friday, July 17, 2009

First Goal Met...and Surpassed!!

The scale says 254.0 this morning....I LOST 6 LBS.!!!!!! I finally met, and exceeded, my first 15 lb. goal and now it's time for a reward!! Problem is, I don't have the money to buy the one I had planned for myself, lol. Time to re-work the reward ideas. I'll be thinking about that and let you know what I come up with.

I've lost 18 lbs. in 5 weeks....man, this feels good!! All the scratching and clawing and crying this week was worth it. I used the advice of 3 different people on last Friday's weigh-in and ensuing gain to achieve my awesome loss this week. One is my friend Chris, who is a nurse, and alerted me to the fact that in order for cardio to really benefit you in weight loss, you need to have your heart rate elevated for a continuous 20 minutes at least.

My best friend Pam, who is also a weight loss blogger and can be found here: http://www.thinnerin08.blogspot.com/, gave me some FANTASTIC ideas on chopping up my veggies at the beginning of the week and having them on hand to use. She also suggested crock pot meals on the days I know I'm going to be away from the house or super busy and might be too tired to cook dinner in the evening. Those two tips proved to be invaluable to me this week. I ate TONS of veggies in at least 2 meals of each day, and I used the crock pot a couple of different times this week, also. Thanks Pam!!!

Finally, the third person that offered their advice when I begged for it was Sean at: http://www.losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com/. He's the one that let me know my calories were all over the map last week, and to give consistency a shot to see if that helps. He challenged me to keep them between 1350-1550 and just see what happens. Well, I chose to get even more consistent than that and kept them right at the 1550 mark all week long, and 6 LBS GONE is what happened!!

Thanks to all of you that assisted me in achieving this loss this week. I love you all and appreciate your advice, support and encouragement...as well as always taking the time to comment on my blog. It means a lot to me....it's a huge help in pushing onward.

Everyone have a GREAT FRIDAY, and I'll be back later tonight for my usual daily post! :)

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." -Vince Lombardi

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Aspirations

Wow!! Sean's Letter sure did solicit a huge response. There's obviously too many comments for me to address each one individually, so thanks to all of you for taking the time to leave me a message. I'm glad that most of you received the same blessing from it that I did.

Today is WAY better than yesterday in regards to food. I've already had dinner and even a Weight Watchers big, fat fudge bar for dessert (110 calories), and I still have 400 calories left for the day! This is what I mean on the days that I tell you I have to make myself get up to 1550, just to be consistent. By the way, Pam helped me with my fitness section on my nutrition guide. I've been steadily increasing the speed on the 20 mins I've been doing on the treadmill. The first couple of days I was burning 209 calories each time and now I'm up to 292. The nutrition tracker automatically readjusted my calorie limits and now my top number is no longer 1550, it's 1590, so that's where I've been eating at for the last 3 days.

I was thinking about all the things I miss today in regards to food....Grandma's Baked Macaroni and Cheese....Mom's potato salad that nobody else in the world can seem to get right.....Aunt Shirley's chicken and dumplings, the ones that Cracker Barrell tries to imitate but doesn't even come close to.....garlic fried pork chops and ginger fried chicken.........and then I stopped. I told myself that instead of focusing on the things that have led me to the size that I am and caused me all this hard work in the first place, why don't I focus on the things that I won't miss?

Things I Won't Miss

Not being able to squeeze into restaurant booths w/o Fire and Rescue having to call in the Jaws of Life to get me out.

Hiking up a mountain w/o looking around to see where's a good spot to land the Life Flight helicopter in case my heart finally announces, "I surrender".

Being able to wear my cute little high-heeled sandals again w/o looking like a potato on stilts.

Fat rash. If you're not fat enough to know what this is, don't even ask me...I'm not explaining it.

Being able to wear Dwayne's hoodies in the wintertime w/o waddling around looking like the Michelin man.

I'm sure there are more things that I won't miss, but these are all the ones I've come up with so far. I'll give you an updated list on down the road. I'm nervous as usual since it's Weigh-in Eve, but I feel like there should be a decent loss on the scale in the morning. I know you're not supposed to hope for a certain amount, but after busting my a$$ all week, I'm looking for at least 3 lbs. If you don't see my weight loss post pretty early in the morning, chances are I've thrown myself on the ground, kicking and screaming and shaking my head like a crazy woman, crying out to God, "Why?! Why?!?! Whyyyyyyyyyy?!?!?!?!"

It's either going to be that or the buck-naked Happy Dance....neither one of them are going to be pretty. :)

Pam gave me the quote for tonight's post...it's a good one. Sleep well and sweet dreams to all.

"Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." -Roberta Brenick

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sean's Letter

Here's the long post I promised you this morning.

I have a lot to get out...to say....to purge from myself. I usually try my best to write a coherent, well-put-together post, but there's a good chance that tonight's post may come out sounding like jumbled ramblings. However it comes out, I hope that you are able to take something from it that will help you in your travels.

Without getting into details about things other than food, the last couple of days have been pretty rough for me. Regarding the battle with the weight loss...and make no mistake, this is a battle, it's been even rougher.

In order for me to do well with my calorie intake for the day, I really need to stay at home. Indoors. Away from other people's houses....away from the ridiculously numerous restaurants and fast food places. I really start to get in trouble when I'm away from home. I know how ridiculous this sounds. It's absurd, really. I mean, people leave their houses every day...to go to work, to take the kids to school, to run errands, to do extracurricular activities...you can't live like a hermit. Why is it so hard for me to stay on track when I leave my apartment? I really don't know. I ask myself that question every time I venture out. I hate it. I resent it. I wish I could be normal. But this is the way life is for me right now.

Today I had to go to Mom's for a few hours. I knew last night I was going so why I didn't plan better ahead of time is beyond me. I'm getting incredibly low on groceries so my choices are getting really limited. I thawed out some ground turkey breast last night for this morning's breakfast. That was my first mistake of the day....having a big, fat turkey burger for breakfast w/ my 2 cups of coffee. Way too many calories to use up at 6:30am. Secondly, I was at Mom's when lunch time rolled around. Second mistake of the day...I didn't bring any food with me, not that I had a lot to choose from. When I get stuck at someone's house when it's time to eat, it stresses me to no end. At home, I have the lite mayo, I have the whole wheat sandwich thins, I have vegetable soup in the frig. I know all of the calories by heart, and if I don't, I get on the computer right in the next room and look it up on my nutrition website. Having the right foods, planning out stuff, budgeting calories....these are tools to the success of staying on track and not straying. I have none of these when I leave the house. None.

While I was out running errands for Mom, in the uttermost depths of fast food Hell, I decided to go to Publix to get a turkey sub for lunch. I knew about what the calories were....too many when I'd already eaten too many at breakfast, but it was either that, or the Taco Bell, Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, KFC, Krystals, Wendy's, Captain D's, Chinese or Mexican. I think I made the better choice. While I was there I spotted the buffalo chicken tenders. The fried potato wedges. The mojo wings. I made a bad situation even worse and besides my 6" turkey on whole wheat w/ no mayo and no cheese....I gave into the Mojo wings and got 4 of them.

When I got home from Mom's I was stressed (for a lot of reasons)...one of them being this constant, unrelenting hunger I've been having for the last 2-3 days. I want to say that I don't think it's emotional or stress eating I've wanted to do because of the physicial characteristic of my stomach growling. It's loudly audible. But maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Can stress and whacked out emotions cause your stomach to growl? I really have no idea. But I've been hungry a LOT lately and with the calorie limit I set for myself at 1550...I can't seem to get a handle on it. It's like I'm just not eating enough.

I hate feeling hungry. It stresses me out, it raises my anxiety level, and I can't seem to concentrate on anything I'm trying to do when my stomach is barking, "FEED ME!!!". When I got home I had a couple of snacks here and there....just trying to make it til dinnertime. That was a long wait. I sat down at the computer right before time to cook dinner and logged every single one of my calories for the day. Now that I had suffered through and made it to dinner time and could finally eat something substantial, I found out I had exactly enough calories left for the day to have 3 oz. of fish. That's it. Nothing else. 3 oz. of fish.

I lost my resolve right then. Gone. Out the door. Poof. I was sick of being hungry and I was going to eat. I thought about how I've made the decision to lose the weight for good this time and there's no turning back. I thought about weigh day being only a day and a half away. I thought about how dilligent I've been at being consistent with my calories this week, and walking/jogging on the treadmill every single day this week since I weighed last Friday...steadily increasing my speed every single day...pushing my body to the absolute max.

Was I fixing to undo all the hard work I had put in this week? Was I fixing to betray my decision to get it right this time? Was I fixing to surrender to the addiction?

Yes I was. Yes, I surely was. Dwayne called me right about that time, said he was coming over in about an hour or so and did I need anything....any food or anything, he asked. Oh I wish he hadn't of specifically asked me if I needed any food. I told him to bring me 3 Krystal's (knowing in my head I was at my limit for the day and was fixing to add another 460 or so calories to it with the Krystal's). He said ok and we hung up.

Did I feel guilty after I cemented the fact that I was going to fail tonight? That I had ordered food and had it on the way? Absolutely I did....the guilt was immediate. Did I feel defeat? Immeasurable defeat. Did I still intend on eating those Krystal's when they got to me? You better believe it.

While waiting on Dwayne, I sat down at the computer to catch up on my favorite blogs. I really wanted to read some more of Sean's archives, http://www.losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com/. He's been fighting, and winning, his battle for over 300 days now and I just haven't had the time to get it all read yet. I randomly selected Day 139. In this post, he referenced something about a letter he'd written on Day 135, and was thanking his followers for their response to it. Curious, I scrolled down to Day 135 and found the letter.

Wow. Someone......Sean.... had written a letter about me. It was like someone had followed me around my entire fat life and chronicled every bad, sad, and cruel "fat" thing that had ever happened to me. Someone knew my pain....I mean really knew it. I was laid bare for the entire world to see. My secrets were out. All the pain I'd been hiding for the better part of 36 years was exposed. He knew it all, and he actually wrote it down for anyone that was interested to see. It brought me to my knees. I sobbed. The flood gates had opened and there was no shutting them. I cried for me. I cried for Sean. I cried for all of us that have been through these same things. I cried at the knowledge that I'm not alone. I cried because someone else had suffered in the same way I had.

Obviously, Sean was writing about his own pain. He was surveying his own scars and chronicling them. It was the most horrible letter that could have ever been written. Horrible, and beautiful.

Why beautiful? Because Sean did something I could never have done. He found a way to find the good in the bad. He took all of the wretched daggers that have been driven into his sweet, sweet heart, and he cast a positive light on them. He took all the bad and found a way to make it sound good. I mean, almost like a blessing. They are the most life-changing words I've ever read, and dare to say will ever read, in my life. Life-changing for me.

I haven't had a chance to talk to Sean yet tonight to ask his permission, but I'm betting that he won't mind if I post that letter here for all of you to read. If you haven't read his blog yet...please, please do. It is so apparent to me that Sean's destiny is to share his story with others, in hopes of guiding them down the road to freedom.

I realize that the letter may not affect some of you at all....some might say, "Aww...how sweet", or maybe some might have the same reaction to it that I did. Some might find it beautiful, just like me. An inspiration. A knowledge that you're not alone...and that no matter HOW hard things get despite your best efforts....it's all going to be worth it one day if we just stay the course. Keep our eyes on our goals and push through the rough times.

Wanna' know what happened to the Krystal's that Dwayne brought me? Let's just say that Momma's going to bed hungry tonight, and my puppy Scarlette will be slipping off into slumber with a full tummy and a content smile on her little puppy lips. :)

A word to Sean.........Sean, I don't even have the words for what you've done for me tonight. Thank you, my friend, for being the open, brutally honest, caring soul that you are. We are simpatico in this battle. We are soldiers. We will defeat the demons. We will win. And the world is a better place because you're in it. Onward.

Here's the letter.....

Dear Morbid Obesity,

Thank you for teaching me how to be compassionate toward others. By making me different and the subject of so much weight related bullying as a kid, you taught me to always care about other peoples feelings. Thank you for making me unique in an age when I was often the only fat kid in class, because it gave me added attention that I may have felt was lacking in other parts of my life. Thank you for giving me a very strong opinion against discrimination in all it's forms. By showing me the pain of being discriminated against based solely on my looks, you taught me to never judge a person based on appearance. Thank you for giving me the defense mechanism of a good sense of humor. Although it was sometimes masking emotional pain, laughter and making others laugh has always carried me through. Thank you for protecting me from every dangerous thing I would have tried had I been able to fit on that ride, or into that harness, or on that horse, or in that sports car, or whatever the dangerous situation could have been, you were there keeping me safe inside your embrace. Thank you for giving me a fashion sense born from complete insecurity. I know you don't give this fashion sense to every morbidly obese person, but it kept me from further ridicule because I never wore things too small, ever. You saved me from the spandex revolution, how can I properly thank you for that? To make me want to wear a big jacket when it was ninety degrees outside just to cover my boy boobs, well I have no choice but to conclude that you must love me more than other fat people, because if I had a dollar for every morbidly obese person I've witnessed in spandex and a shirt three sizes too small, I'd be wealthy. Thank you for giving me the ability to spot shallowness in others. I'll never forget the first time I was completely rejected by a girl who said out loud, in class “eeewwww, I would never go out with you.” She didn't take the time to see the good guy I was inside, to look into my heart and see the eighth grader that would have cherished her and respected her in a most grateful 8th grader way. She was shallow and without you I may not of recognized that side of humanity for many years. Without this “shallowness radar,” I may never have recognized the pure spirit in the eyes and heart of Irene Brake, my high school sweetheart and wife of nearly twenty years. Most of all, thank you for my life. Without you I don't know if my path would have been the same. Would I have my family that I hold so dear? Would I have found a career that felt so perfect for me, a career that allowed me to hide behind a microphone and communicate with people without them being able to see me? Without you, maybe, just maybe I would have become a complete jerk. Thank you for bringing me to this point in my life and keeping me in one piece along the way. But despite the flood of gratitude in this letter, you know your days are numbered here. We can't continue our relationship. Morbid obesity, I'm slowly shrinking out of you. I'm moving on to a life free of all the dangerous effects of our relationship. But I'll never forget all of the wonderful things you taught me, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my overworked heart.

Sincerely,
Sean

It's All About Attitude

GOOD MORNING BEAUTIFUL WORLD!!! Ok, I'm not really feeling that chipper, but it's the attitude I'm choosing to take today. We've all heard the saying...."life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it". Each of us gets to choose what attitude we're going to have towards life and circumstance every single day. I'm choosing to push past all the b.s. today and focus on more positive things....things that will help me stay on track and further myself in my travels to good health. I've got a busy day ahead so I'm going to finish my breakfast, hit the treadmill, and take care of business.

In case any of you are wondering, I haven't gone on a binge. I thought about it...for about 2 seconds. And then I chased that thought out of my head just as fast as it entered it. I didn't allow myself to binge because it just doesn't jive with what I'm working so hard to accomplish. It's simply not an option for me anymore. Not saying it's easy....but it IS that simple. I'll be back later tonight with a longer post....I know how much you guys loooooove the long ones. :)

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." -Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Apology

I've been trying to pull my thoughts together all day for tonight's post and there are just too many other things overwhelming me...most of it financial. I'm in a dark place right now and I just don't have anything positive to share with you. I wish you all well and let's hope tomorrow is a brighter day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Jillian's Nuggets of Knowledge

I'm warning you ahead of time that this is going to be a super long post, but I found out some really interesting information today. I want to tell you what my thoughts are on it, and put it out there for you to make your own decision.

I was in the checkout line at Publix today glancing at the magazines. I'm one of those people that gets really irritated by those magazines targeted at fat women that splash titles across their cover such as..."Lose 50 lbs. in 3 days with this Miracle Diet and NO exercise!". Bugs me. I saw one today called "for women First" and the cover said "Drop 19 lbs. in One Week". Would you give me a break? I'm so sick of this sensationalized crap...what a bunch of hooey.

Then I noticed the words "Master Your Metabolism" with a little picture of Jillian Michaels beside it. As one of my followers on this blog, Rebecca, had already alerted me....this is Jillian's latest book...in fact, this very book is the one I decided would be first reward for reaching my first 15 lb. goal. I rolled my eyes, said to myself, "Damn. They got me. Hook, line and sinker", and I bought the magazine.

I brought it home and read the 4 page article and the best way to describe my reaction was shock. It talks about how our hormones being out of whack can cause us HUGE problems with weight loss....things that we're probably not even aware of, so we have no idea how to fix it. Hormone imbalance, or "the hormonal storm" as Jillian calls it, affects 90% of women in making them heavy, tired and stressed. NINETY PERCENT!!! What are the chances you and me are in that percentage? Pretty darn good, I'd say. It was enough to make me keep reading.

Because we may not know about the hormone problem, we don't know how to fix it...what the right foods are that we should be eating to combat it. Instead, so many of us try and try, kill ourselves with exercise, only to make very slow progress. Jillian did these same things before she found out from a doctor about the hormone problems. In the magazine she states, "If I knew then what I know now, I could have done HALF the work to get the body I have". Before she found out from a doctor about hormone imbalances, she used to weigh 175 lbs. She now weighs 121 lbs. Jillian said, "I've won my weight battle outside the gym. No more grueling hours - I can do less strenuous workouts and not see an inch of fat creep on."

Now, obviously, I encourage everyone to pick this up at their neighborhood grocery store and read it for themselves. I believe the information I'm about to share with you to be invaluable. But just in case you don't go get the magazine, I want you to get the jist of it by reading this post.

I'm going to list the hormonal imbalance and the Nutritional Rx to help it, exactly as it is listed in the magazine:

Low Thyroid:

Depression, fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, hair loss, constipation, body-wide weight gain.

Rx: Selenium aids the manufacture of active thyroid hormone T3.
Sources: walnuts, Brazil nuts, wheat germ, whole grains, pork, tuna, salmon.
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Low Progesterone:

Cravings, low libido, PMS, insomnia, anxiety, fat gain in belly, hips and thighs.

Rx: Indole-3-carbinol stimulates detoxifying enzymes that flush competing hormones from the body.
Sources: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage.
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Low Testosterone:

Weak muscles, blue mood, fatigue, low motivation, low sex drive, belly fat.

Rx: Niacin boosts HDL ("good") cholesterol, which is a building block of testosterone.
Sources: dairy, eggs, fish, lean meats, poultry
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Elevated Cortisol:

Insomnia, fatigue, frequent infections, high blood pressure, low libido, belly fat.

Rx: Vitamin C increases the adrenals' resistance to stress, preventing cortisol spikes.
Sources: Cantaloupe, citrus, strawberries, watermelon.
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Elevated Insulin:

Facial hair, fatigue, cravings, mood swings, irregular periods, severe menopause, belly fat.

Rx: Magnesium regulates insulin production and increases cells' sensitivity to the hormone.
Sources: Swiss chard, spinach, black beans, walnuts, quinoa.
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Elevated Leptin:

Hunger, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, signs of inflammation such as joint aches.

Rx: Omega-3 fats cause a drop in leptin and increase the body's sensitivity to the hormone.
Sources: salmon, tuna, sardines, fish oil, flaxseed, flaxseed oil.
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The reason for my shock was because I have about 85% of all of the symptoms listed. Is it possible something besides a hormone imbalance is causing some of my symptoms? Sure. Would it hurt me to try and incorporate as many of these foods into my diet as possible, just in case it's truly a hormone problem? Not at all. In fact, I already enjoy many of these foods. There's only a few things that I would have to incorporate that I don't already eat.

They give you a very specific plan to incorporate all of these helpful things into your diet. But before I lay it out for you, let me just say that I still think there is some sensationalized stuff and possibly irresponsible things going on here within this article. They said on the cover, "Lose 19 lbs in One Week". When you actually read the article, it states that "contestants on The Biggest Loser who have followed this plan have lost between 12 and 19 lbs in a single week". First of all, they should have said "UP TO 19 lbs in one week" on the cover. Secondly, although I haven't watched a lot of this show, I have seen it some, and I believe that they have those contestants exercising their butts off several hours a day to go along with the healthy eating. This article didn't mention one word about exercise. I guess it's possible that someone followed the specific foods in this plan to correct a hormone problem, and lost 19 lbs in a week w/o doing a single scrap of exercise....but I seriously doubt it.

With that said, I plan on trying these foods for a few weeks (3 or 4 in a row, because I don't think hormones get all straightened out in only 7 days) to see if I feel any better. I want to stress that I personally am not doing this to try and lose 19 lbs in a week. I still think that's a bunch of crap. But....I've got a lot of health issues. As I stated earlier, I have about 85% of the symptoms they listed. I am choosing to give these foods a try to see if I FEEL any better. They have a girl in this article that has hypothyroidism just like me. She's no longer on medicine due to these whole foods. I think it's worth giving it a shot, purely from the health side of it. If I lose weight a little quicker than I normally would, cool. If not, the speed of my weight loss is not my main concern. I set my monthly goal at 10 lbs/mo and I'll be happy with that (average of 2.5 lbs/wk). My main concern is to get as healthy as I can and take as little medicine as I absolutely have to.

Because I am quoting EXACTLY what the magazine says about this food plan that Jillian Michaels is endorsing, I am putting the entire section in quotations.

"Hormone Power Plan"

"Daily, enjoy at least 1/2 c. serving of berries (frozen is fine); three 1 c. servings of dark leafy greens (such as spinach, arugula and dandelion greens); two 1 c. servings of cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and bok choy); and five 1/2 c. servings of fruit and veggies that are orange, yellow, purple or red (such as carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, purple olives, tomatoes and watermelon). Jillian also advises adding alliums (like garlic, onions, chives and shallots) to meals to help the liver detoxify endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Also, consume protein that optimizes fat-burning hormones, including one to two daily servings of nuts, seeds or their butters (such as almonds, walnuts, sesame, flax and pumpkin - one serving is generally 1/4 cup nuts/seeds or 2 Tbsp. nut/seed butter); one to three 1/2 c. servings of legumes (like chickpeas and red and black beans); and three to five 4 oz. servings of eggs, lean meats and poultry (preferably organic, free-range options) and fatty fish (preferably wild-caught).

Healthy protein also includes one to three daily servings of dairy (preferably organic). 'I'm a fan of cultured dairy like yogurt, Greek yogurt, buttermilk and kefir', says Jillian. 'Their beneficial bacteria enhance digestion, making hormone-balancing and fat-burning nutrients more available to the body'.

To ensure these nutrients are readily absorbed, use about 2 Tbsp. of healthy oils (such as olive, avocado or flaxseed) to dress salads, stir into soups, saute veggies or grill meats. Finally, aim for three servings of fiber-rich whole grains (like oatmeal, brown rice, cous-cous and whole-wheat pasta) daily.

Smart Strategies that Speed Slimming

To keep metabolism high and return hormones to fat-melting levels, don't skip breakfast, eat every four hours, aiming for four or five mini-meals dialy. At each meal pair one carb serving with one protein serving to keep blood sugar even. And favor hormone-restoring drinks like water (at least 64 oz. daily) and green, white and herbal teas.

For the fastest results, limit soy, alcohol and caffeine, which throw hormones like estrogen and cortisol off balance. Avoid processed foods and beverages, like those with trans fat, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring and glutamates (such as MSG). (Processed foods that passed the Master Your Metabolism test include products from Arrowhead Mills, Amy's, Ezekiel 4:9, Health Valley Organic, Horizon Organic, Kashi, Nature's Path and Newman's Own."

The magazine goes on to explain that our environment and chemicals play a large part in throwing our hormones out of whack. They offered 3 tips to try to lessen these effects.

"Make a plastic wrap switch. The PVC in many plastic wraps can release hormone-disrupting phthalates or bisphenol A (BPA) into food. Glad Cling Wrap, Saran Premium Wrap and Saran Cling Plus don't contain PVC.

Buy eggs packages this way. The polystyrene (plastic #6) in eggs' foam packaging is known to cause endocrine imbalances. Instead, choose eggs packed in cardboard, which is much safer.

Switch drinking bottles. Hard-plastic bottles contain hormone-affecting ingredients like BPA (used to produce polycarbonate, or plastic #7). A better bet: stainless-steel bottles and kids' sippy cups (like Klean Kanteen, $10 and up, at amazon.com), which don't leach harmful ingredients into liquids."

Phew! That was a long one!! I'm looking forward to incorporating some of these whole foods into my healthy eating lifestyle. I'm going to take the rest of this week to do some research on the calories on some of these items that I'm not used to eating, come up with some recipes (I'm already thinking about making some chili w/ red kidney beans and turkey burger, as well as chicken burritos w/ whole wheat wraps, and pureeing some black beans to use in place of refried beans), and set up a meal plan that still keeps me at no more than 1550 calories a day. I can't endorse anything I have not yet tried myself, but I truly can't see a thing in the world wrong with all of us eating more whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Since this post is so ENORMOUS, I won't list my food intake for today. I was sitting at 1554 calories when I sat down to write this post, then decided I needed my usual 2 cups of coffee that I drink when I'm posting (I forgot to save the calories for it tonight). I pondered the 836 calories I've burned on the treadmill this week, and decided I could afford an extra 60 calories tonight for coffee w/ creamer. So my total calorie intake for the day is 1614.

Knowledge is power. I hope you found this information useful in some way. Let's take control of our health!! :)

Quote For The Day:

"Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow." -Doug Fircbaugh