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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekend Highs and Lows

I headed into this weekend, after Friday morning's crappy weigh-in, with one major goal in mind, and a secondary goal to follow.  The major goal was to make it better than last weekend.  Last weekend I overate all 3 days...Fri, Sat and Sun.  I set myself up for a bad week right out of the gate.  I also said I would be eating processed stuff/sodium-filled stuff out of the freezer in an effort to get it cleaned out, and I did that, too.  Then I had a really bad day on Wednesday, and went out to eat that night...yet more sodium.  And the scale responded accordingly.

The good news is that this weekend was better than last weekend, so the major goal was accomplished.  The not-so-good news is that my secondary goal was to make sure I did not exceed 1800 cals on any of those 3 days.  Oops.  Here's the breakdown:

Friday:  a really good workout at the gym and calories were 1800.  Yay me.
Saturday:  rest day from gym (every Sat is) and calories were too high to count (Mexican food & margaritas)
Sunday:  a really good workout at the gym and calories are 1650.  Woo hoo.

So I guess 2 for 3 this weekend is better than the 0 for 3 last weekend.  At least that's what I keep trying to tell myself.  Progress, not perfection, right?  Yeah, whatever.  It's more like, "When are you ever going to learn and actually practice consistency Tammy?" 

And don't get me wrong....I am totally proud of myself for sticking to my guns on Fri and Sun.  I'm not posting this to b*tch about it...I'm just re-capping the stats from the weekend.  And I'm sorry, but I'm never going to be one of those bloggers that reveals their screw ups and then laughs about it.  You will NEVER read a post where I say something like..***.I'm sitting here typing this post, feeling sorry for myself about how fat I am and can't seem to lose the weight, while I finish off this large supreme pizza and watch crumbs fall on my keyboard...LOL***  I don't laugh when I mess up.  I can't...I don't know how... and I don't understand people that do.  I'm not judging...I'm simply saying I don't understand. 

So there's one high and one low from the weekend.  Here's another.  While Dwayne and I were throwing back the calories at the restaurant Sat night, he hooked up his laptop at the table, and we surfed the web for oceanfront, pet-friendly condos in Destin and Panama City Beach, FL.  He seriously needs a vacation from work....and I need one from my life, lol.  We found some pretty decent prices after a couple of hours of searching, and the plan was for him to go into work on Monday and ask for 4 days of his vacation time to be taken somewhere around the 3rd or 4th week of April.  He wants to go from a Tuesday through a Saturday, traveling back home on Sunday, and have 5 days on the beach.  I can't think of anything more perfect, especially after this ridiculously long and unusually cold winter. 

He said he would come over this Tuesday and we would pick the top 3 condos we were interested in, decide which one we want, and book it online.  Yippie!!  Something to look forward to!!   I was happy, happy, happy!!  Then I woke up this morning and everything changed.  My roommate told me that some congressman or senator or somebody important is holding up extensions on unemployment checks.  I went online to certify this morning, like I have to do every Sunday morning, and there was an "Important Notice" for all of us poor souls that are reliant on the government for our paychecks.

You don't know how much I HATE relying on Big Brother.  I'm such a capitalist and such a lover of free enterprise and people that actually WANT to work and make as much money as their pockets can hold.  I've always been so thankful to live in a country where you were free to do just that.  It absolutely KILLS me that there are people out here like me who are ready, willing and able to work and yet the jobs have become so elusive in this poor, struggling economy.  I keep hearing on the news that it's getting better.  So I go online to the Georgia Dept. of Labor website to check the stats.  The national unemployment rate is STILL 10% and Georgia's is 10.3%....up from 10.2% a month ago.  Hmmmm....that's improvement?  Seems to me like it's still going in the wrong direction.

Ok, I'm off on a tangent...forgive me.  I've joked on here before that if I ever start a political blog I'm naming it The Rabid Republican.  :)  Back to the Important Notice.  Turns out what Shane said was correct.  Things ain't lookin' good.  It said if Congress doesn't pass the latest extension, then the Tier that you're being paid out of now will be the last one you get.  The extension that was previously available after my current Tier will be gone.  I've got to go into the Dept of Labor tomorrow morning and look someone in the eye and have them give me the details to my face.  I also need to know exactly how many weeks of pay I have left.  From my calculations, it should be 4 weeks.  But I need to go ask just to make sure.  But as of right now, I'm 4 weeks away from rock bottom.  Can we say "emotional upheaval"?  Feeling binge-y anyone??

I called Dwayne this morning and dropped the bomb on him.  I told him I didn't think it was a good idea to schedule a beach vacation when I might need help keeping the lights on.  He said he really needs the vacation, and we would probably still go, even if we shortened the amount of days we went.  But who knows...I could go in there tomorrow and find out I only have one week of pay left.  It's happened before.  Which would mean relying on Dwayne to help me financially, and when we went through this the last time, back in December, he came over and looked at my extremely lean budget, and said it'd be hard for him to keep up both of our bills for very long.

So here I am again....facing the same ol' sh*t....feeling helpless and hopeless despite all of my efforts to get an interview with someone.  I've tweaked my resume and cover letter over and over.  I've got a job link that encompasses many different job boards that emails me every single morning with updated listings...and as part of my morning ritual, I apply to everything new that I know I'm qualified for, and even the ones that I think I can "wing it" on.  I've been to job fairs.  I've had friends contact the HR companies at their jobs, trying to get my foot in the door, but nothing's been available.  I've stayed in contact with several girls I worked with at my last job from a year ago...keeping up the networking with them in case something breaks on their end.  Only one of them has found a new job....the other 4 (including my boss) are still unemployed just like me.  I've joined a networking site called LinkedIn, just in case that provides some help somewhere along the way.  I don't know how else to say, "I WANT TO GO BACK TO WORK!!!!"

So these are the highs and lows from the weekend.  After I hit the unemployment ofc tomorrow, I'll be going to the gym to work out some frustration and fear.  Then I'm headed up to Ellijay to babysit for my sister.  My calorie goals for tomorrow are 1800.  I haven't hit that a single time while I'm up there...but it doesn't mean I can't keep trying.  I hope everyone has had a super duper weekend....and a couple of people gave me some awards this weekend which I'll recognize in Tuesday night's post.  Thank you 266 & Kyle!  :)

Quote For the Day:

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."  -Dale Carnegie

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sodium Sucks

I wasn't able to flush all the sodium from Wednesday night's dinner out.  And I know it's a sodium problem because I weighed less than this Wednesday morning, and have stayed within my calories and kept exercising.  I knew better and I just didn't care at the time.  I must always remind myself when I'm about to do something stupid that I will most definitely care when Friday gets here.....and that Friday comes around every single week.  My weigh-in is 234.0 this morning for a gain of 3 lbs.  Great way to start off my new month.  Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good News:Bad News

The day started off great and ended up crappy.  I woke up starving this morning, probably since the last thing I ate yesterday was at 5pm.  I made a huge breakfast scramble with 4 egg whites, 4 oz baked chicken breast, 1/8 c. of 2% cheddar cheese, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers & red onions.  The whole plate came to 270 cals and it was delicious.

After breakfast I got an email from Christian at Budget Life Insurance.  They wanted to tell me they loved my blog and that I was selected to be in their list of Top 25 Weight Loss Blogs!  Really????  MY BLOG????  Are you SERIOUS????  But I clicked on the link that he sent, and what do you know?  It's true.  I thought it was pretty cool to make ANYBODY'S Top 25 list for ANYTHING, so I felt very honored.  I share the list with several other bloggers that I know....some I follow and some I've seen around Blogland....a few I didn't recognize at all.  Pretty cool stuff....thanks Budget!

I was going to go to the gym today and simply walk on the treadmill.  I needed to give my muscles a rest.  We don't usually work out with Chris on Thursday's....only Tuesday's....but there's an exception this week because he'll be going home to California for vacation next week.  I've effed up my left elbow somehow...probably from trying to lift too much weight....and yesterday's workout was pretty hard on it.  Not knowing what to expect at tomorrow's workout (it's always a surprise!), I decided to just do a few miles on the treadmill. 

I got in my closet to put on some workout clothes and decided to try on the shirt I got free at the gym when I signed up.  I got it about a month ago and didn't even bother trying it on because it's an XL, and I knew I wore a 2X.  I tried it on today to see how far I had to go before I could fit into it.  Turns out....not far at all!!  It fits!!!!!!!!!!!!!  For the first time in at least 15 years, I am wearing a shirt that doesn't have a number in front of the X.  If you've never worn 3 & 4X's for as many years as I did, then you couldn't possibly understand the feeling of wearing just a plan ol' XL.  I've got to be the happiest girl in the world to ONLY be wearing an XL....who else gets THIS excited about wearing an EXTRA LARGE???  I do!!  That's who!!

 Given the fact that my number of pounds lost isn't all that much, I'm guessing it has to do with all the work I've been doing in the gym.  I think I joined the first gym last October...somewhere in there, and then switched over to Planet Fitness about a month or so ago.  So I've had steady, hard workouts for several months now and I guess I'm tightening up.  Now....I'm not going to turn into one of those happy a$$ people that says the scale numbers don't matter to me (yeah...right!).....but I will say that there's definitely something to toning up and losing inches.  Hooray for such a great NSV!!

After this is where the day, and my mood, went downhill pretty fast.  I was sitting in a parking lot talking to Pam on the phone, getting ready to head to the gym.  I rolled my window down and the dang thing came off track....WAY off track.....like, nearly-fell-out off track.  I got off the phone with Pam and since I had my camera with me, I took a picture of it just so I could show you what I'm talking about.  It looks like a triangle instead of a rectangle, because the front end just fell down in the hole, forward, when I tried to roll it down.
Instead of going to the gym, I called the garage that does all of my car repairs and asked if they could fix it.  He said he could, but he didn't know where he'd get the parts for a car that old.  I drive a '92 Honda Accord LX....so it's 18 years old and has over 200k miles on it.  It's pretty amazing that it's even still running.  He said he'd probably have to order them from the Honda dealership.  Yikes.

I just happened to be about a mile from a Honda dealership at the time, so I drove by there to get an idea of how much parts would be.  The guy came out and looked at my car and said things didn't look good....namely because the car is so old.  He said there's a good chance that it's not just one part that's messed up.....he said he would give me the worst case scenario, print it out, and I could take it with me to the garage to get it fixed once they decided what all it needed.  So.....if it needs all of the main parts...a motor, regulator, channel & 2 side sashes....the parts total just over $500.  Labor at the garage will probably be around $200.  So we're talking a possible $500-$700 car repair for a stupid WINDOW.....on a car that's probably only worth $1000 at best to start with (it does run really well....it's just super old).

This is just how fast my mood and attitude can turn from great and happy to very stressed, anxious, frantic and bingey-feeling.  Everyone knows I'm on unemployment, and while I have a tiny bit put back in savings for car repairs (I just had a $500 repair a month ago), I don't have the full amount to fix the window.  That would mean asking Dwayne to make up the difference...and I've never asked him for anything.  Enter in more stress from being unemployed for a year now and losing nearly all my financial independence.  I've paid my own bills for years....I'm very frugal, very responsible, very budget-minded and cannot remember the last time I had a late bill.  Even on my unemployment check.....I can pinch a penny 'til it squeals.  But when things like this happen that are beyond my control and more than I can afford.....well, it's just not good for me.

I texted Dwayne and briefly told him what was going on.  We were supposed to meet up for "date night" tonight.  He wanted to go to Barnes and Noble and grab a coffee together and peruse the aisles of glorious books.....we both have a thing for books...the smell, the feel, the knowledge within the pages just waiting to be absorbed....so it "would" have been a perfect, relaxing night together.  However, my mood was sour and I told him I wouldn't be meeting him tonight. 

He called me when he got off work at 6:30p to get the whole scoop.  I cried....I told him everything....I cried some more.  I was really feeling the financial pressure and the guilt of having to receive some kind of help from him.  At the same time, the thinking side of my brain just couldn't process spending up to $700 to fix a stupid window on a car that's maybe worth $1000 in the first place.  Turns out, he was thinking the same thing.  What I didn't know is that he has been casually looking around at used cars for me in case mine died.  He said it would be super cheap.....like maybe $2500....but he's seen some Honda Civics in that price range, which are known for their dependability & good gas mileage, on Craig's List.....and it will still be probably 8 years newer than the car I'm driving now.

I didn't even know he'd been looking.....that freaked me out and stressed me even more.  Dwayne does okay for a single guy....he works in IT....but he's definitely not made of money, and he's got his own bills to take care of.  I abhor the thought of him buying me any kind of car....even a cheap $2500 one.  The guilt associated with not being able to take care of myself financially was really starting to suffocate me.  He asked me what I thought about the idea.  I told him I appreciated the thought, but I hated the idea on a couple of different levels....he basically told me I'd have to get over it.  That he'd probably be finding something for me but I might have to deal with not being able to roll the window down for a couple of months while he saves up a little more money.  (I finally got the window up today, so if I don't try to roll it down again, it shouldn't fall out).

He wanted to come up and see me here at the house.  I first said okay, then 5 mins later I changed my mind again and said no....just don't come up tonight.  Basically because I didn't want to sit here and cry in front of him all night.  He's got a lot of high stress going on at his job right now with back-to-back software releases and talk about his boss being phased out and replaced, which in turn has him worried about his OWN job.  Qutie frankly, he's terrified of BOTH of us being unemployed at the same time and living on very little money.  He didn't need to be up here with me tonight watching me wallowing in my own self pity.  I told him I'd be fine...I just needed some time to think, and to go hang out with his buddies and have a relaxing night.  I'm pretty damn sure I heard a sigh of appreciation on his end of the phone. 

Shane called while I was on the phone with Dwayne, so I called him back.  As soon as he asked what was wrong, I was crying again.  I blurted everything out to him, and he told me not to worry about cooking, that we'd just go out to eat tonight.  Normally I refuse to go out to eat this close to a weigh-in, but I was in such a dangerous I-don't-give-a-sh*t mood, that I met him and Billie out at Moe's Southwest Grille for dinner.  I had a good bit of calories left for the day, and I ordered a chicken soft taco & a beef soft taco.  I think the calories are fine....but the sodium will be a disaster on the scale tomorrow morning.  That's not an issue.

The issue was going to be making it through the rest of the night without an all-out binge.  I had been crying on and off for hours on end....seeing no way out of my current financial situation because while I'm doing everything I can do on my end, I just can't MAKE someone call & offer me a job.  I had a splitting headache & my sinuses were clogged.  I am STILL on my cycle (too much info, I know, but it's been 8 full days now and I feel like bitching about it), upset about being a financial burden on Dwayne.....and all I wanted to do was eat.  Even after dinner.  I wanted to keep on eating....just to eat.  How many years have I used food as a comfort?  How many???  Enough to get me all the way up to 340 lbs. at one point and a prime candidate for a heart attack or stroke, and enough to give me Type 2 Diabetes, which is the 3rd leading cause of death behind heart attack and cancer, for those of you who don't know.

I really had to remind myself of this tonight.  I had to remind myself that the comfort from bingeing is TEMPORARY.  The guilt afterwards is immediate and does not wash off or go away.  It would be there to haunt me again on Friday morning when I weighed-in.  And when it comes right down to it....it wasn't going to solve a single thing in my life.  In fact, it was going to make me feel that much worse about myself.  And let me tell you something if you're not one who's prone to bingeing......although you KNOW all of this stuff....you KNOW it all to be true and factual....it is VERY HARD to bring yourself to CARE about it when you're in the moment.  EXTREMELY HARD.  It only takes 5-10 minutes to do a 3-4,000 calorie binge.

Those fleeting moments right before a binge are crucial....where you actually make yourself sit there in the car (in the parking lot after dinner, when everyone else had already left and you're all alone).....and tell yourself the facts over and over in hopes of saving yourself.  I told myself, "Tammy....you know what you're about to do....don't do it...please don't do it....you're worth more than this....you're becoming more and more important to yourself every day.  Don't damage yourself like this.  Think of how you'll feel tomorrow morning...think of how you'll feel Friday morning when you weigh-in.  Better yet....remember how AWESOME and PROUD you felt about yourself just this afternoon when you slipped on that XL shirt.  Remember?  Do you want to undo that feeling?  Do you want to go backwards AGAIN??  The food only masks the pain for a few short moments...it doesn't fix what's hurting you.  It can't be fixed right now, and it can never be fixed with food.  You know what you have to do.  You just have to go through it.  You just have to feel it.  Cry it out, then drive yourself back home and start flushing out that friggin' sodium you just ate."

And that's exactly what I did.  I cried almost all the way home.  But I didn't binge.  Thank God...I didn't binge.  So very close...but I made it through tonight.  I'm downing my 2nd 32 oz. glass of water right now.  I know what the scale said this morning....so I'll be drinking a ton of water over the next day and a half to get it back to that number by Friday.  I hope I can do it.  Sodium gains irritate me still....but they don't really UPSET me, because I know exactly how my body responds to it now and what kind of "fake" gain it produces.  It doesn't matter how healthy of a choice I make from a menu....it can be grilled fish w/ no butter and steamed veggies....and I'll still be up at least 6-7 lbs the very next morning.  That's just the way my body is....but I also know from experience that if I drink enough water, it will all drop off within a day or two and my weight will be back to what it previously was before the restaurant meal. 

My brain's a little fried right now....my head still hurts and my eyes are burning and puffy from so much crying.  I'm going to sign off now and drink a few gallons of water, lol.  I'll leave you with some pics.  The first one is my 270 calorie breakfast scramble this morning, the next one is me in the XL shirt, and the last one is my effed up car window.  'Nite friends.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy."  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hiking the 'Hooch

A HUGE thank you to Ms. Magnetism at Mission to Lose 130 Lbs. for bestowing the Sunshine Award upon me.  I'm honored that she found my blog worthy of such a sunshine-y award, especially when I post so much CRAP on here, lol.  Nonetheless, I sincerely appreciate her thoughtfulness!   As far as I can tell, the only rules are to pass it along to 12 other bloggers who bring sunshine into your life.  That's impossible for me.  If you're listed on my Blogroll, then I love all of you, and the award is yours for the taking, so enjoy it!!

I'd also like to say another HUGE thank you to Kelly at Happy Texans & Brittany at :Deliciously Healthy  for passing along the Beautiful Blogger award to me.  I've won this award previously and have it listed on my sidebar...that's why I don't have the picture here in the post.  Thank you again Kelly and Brittany for your sweetness and your always-entertaining blogs!  :)

My sister and I decided to hike at part of the Chattahoochee Nature Preserve today.  It was more of a walk than a "hike", since there weren't really any hills or tough inclines.  We walked the 4 mile loop...it started out  along the Chattahoochee River and looped around through a swamp with lots of ducks, turtles, etc.  The weather was crappy....overcast, cold, windy...but that was no surprise.  I took a lot of pics that I'll put up at the end of the post.

When we got back home I decided to try out that whole wheat pizza dough I bought at Trader Joe's.  I saw a recipe on TJ's Test Kitchen for whole wheat calzones so I gave it a whirl.  Rebecca at Screwdestiny was right....whole wheat pizza dough tastes like dirt, lol.  I thought of her and had to laugh out loud when Amy and I were trying to choke down our lunch today.  The filling was very good...turkey pepperoni, black olives, cheese, fresh mushrooms, bell peppers & red onions....but the crust, not so much.  Pam at Journey To the Healthier Side of Life has her own version of homemade whole wheat pizza dough on her food blog, Lobster and Fishsticks, so I'm going to try that the next time.  I also cooked mine a little too long...25 mins at 400 degrees....I should have only cooked them 20 mins.  I'll post those pics, too.

I went to the gym tonight totally dreading it.  Tuesday's are our nights with the personal trainer, Chris, and after walking 12.5 miles in the last 3 days, my legs were so dead.  But I went and I did everything he told us to.  A little slower maybe, but I got it done.  He showed us some new stuff tonight, and made up some new exercise sheets to give us the variety I asked him for, so that was very cool.  He's a good trainer....I really enjoy the workouts.  I still think I could do a little more than he asks of me....but I also understand that he's just trying to build up my strength and endurance right now.  There will be plenty of time to get to the harder stuff.  So everything's cool.

While I was on the elliptical for my warm-up, I was watching the news on the overhead TV's and the weather is calling for a little snow north of Atlanta.  Although we probably won't get any here where I live (we rarely do), it will still be freezing temps.  That's a little more than my lungs can handle, so I probably won't be doing any outdoor hikes or walks tomorrow.  However, I'm planning on making it to the gym sometime in the afternoon for some sort of workout.  I'm sore, but I don't really feel like taking a rest day yet, especially after the bad eating this past weekend.  I need to do as much work as I can before Friday in hopes of not showing a gain.  Staying even on the scale would be a blessing this week.  My calories are just below 1500 today, so I'm happy with that.

I hope all of you are making fantastic choices this week and striving to be a better you.  The freedom that we're all searching for is out there, it's just going to take a little work to get there.  We can do it....I know we can...I believe in us!  :)

Quote For the Day:

"Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can."  -Henry Drummond

Here's the stats on the calzone:

4 oz. whole wheat dough            240 cals
1/8 c. pizza sauce                 15 cals
1/4 c. 2% mozzarella chz       70 cals
veggies                              40 cals 
4 Hormel turkey pepperoni      17 cals   

Total calories:  382 

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Muscles Feel Like Jello

Amy and I weren't able to go hiking today due to circumstances on her end.  But we're planning on going tomorrow morning.  The blue skies and sunshine have vanished once again.  I woke up to an overcast, rainy, dreary day.  I opted for a walk at the park instead as my additional exercise for the day.  I took Scarlette and we made it 3.5 miles.  I was still sore from the nearly 5 mile hike yesterday (back and legs), and Scarlette started pooping out on me around mile 3, so we wound up at 3.5 miles.  Not too shabby I guess.

I went to the gym tonight and did my workout.  10 min warm-up on the elliptical, then I ran through the exercise sheet 2x that Chris gave me...doing more reps than required on each exercise, and raising the weight on a couple of them, just like before.  Threw in 30 Mountain Climbers just for fun.  Then I did something a little different when I got on the treadmill tonight.  I grabbed a 5 lb. weight for each hand, and walked 15 mins on the treadmill with the weights in my hands.  That sh*t started hurting after the first minute, but I made it 15 mins.  When I got done and put the weights up, my arms felt light as a feather, like they would float away.  My whole body feels like jello right now.  Muscles are shaking and twitching and sore as all get out.  Makes me smile.  :)

Something else that makes me smile is that after a high calorie weekend, I finally reigned it back in today to a normal level and even a little under for me.  Calorie total for today is 1393.  Yay for self-control!!  This doesn't happen often enough, so I have to celebrate it when it does.  By the way, I didn't have to babysit for my sister tonight....that's why I'm posting on a Monday night, and another reason my calories are decent.  Thank God for small miracles.  It's time to hit the showers.  It's been a fantastic day, even with the crappy weather....fantastic because I made it that way.  I controlled the calories, I exercised 2 different times, I've got a soul-satisfying soreness in all my muscles, and a hot shower waiting on me.  Looking forward to tomorrow.  'Nite friends.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"It's the constant and determined effort that breaks down all resistance and sweeps away all obstacles."  -Claude M. Bristol

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My best NSV yet

This is the 3rd day in a row that the weather has been absolutely gorgeous.  I'm not sure what the temps are exactly but it's been sunny blue skies w/ no clouds in sight!  I decided I better get out of the house and take advantage of it today.  I skipped the gym and opted for sunshine and fresh air.  I grabbed my sister Amy and went hiking at Kolb's Farm Loop.  The whole thing is 5.5 miles and I've never hiked the whole thing.  Dwayne and I have been hiking on this trail 2x before, and we've hiked 2 miles in, turned around, and hiked the 2 miles back out.  We had Scarlette with us both times and just wasn't sure how far her little legs would carry her, so we didn't want to push it.

Today I was determined to do the whole thing, mainly out of curiosity.  First of all, I wanted to see what the rest of the trail looked like, and secondly, I wanted to see if I could walk a whole 5.5 miles w/o dying!  Well, it didn't happen.  If I would have rememberd to take my book with me, I probably could have figured it out.  But I forgot my trail book AND my camera.  Amy and I passed the 2 mile marker and eventually ended up in a parking lot.  I was confused....I thought it was supposed to be a loop, but it was like the trail just ended, and I didn't see any signs pointing me onward.  I figured we had walked about 2.5 miles by the time we reached the parking lot, so I told her we'd just turn around and walk back the way we came and at least I would have gotten 5 miles of hiking in. 

When I got home I looked at my book, I realized we had walked 2.4 mi before we turned around, so we hiked a total of 4.8 miles today.  Not bad!  But I'm still determined to go back and find my way around the whole dang trail.  I'm not sure still where to go once I hit that weirdo parking lot, but I'll take the book with me the next time and try to figure out what the directions are talking about by the landmarks it gives. 

Here's the really cool thing.  When Dwayne and I walked this trail the first time, it was last summer, not long after I started my blog and FINAL attempt at weight loss.  I started blogging in June, and I think we did this trail in August.  We didn't even reach the 2 mile marker I don't believe before we turned around to head back out.  There's one really steep hill that you have to climb on the way back out and it seems to stretch out a good ways...a steady incline.  I've named it the Hill of Death.  I remember the first time I did the trail, only 3 miles worth total probably, I absolutely thought I was going to die.

I had to stop at least 3x, maybe 4, while trying to climb that steep hill.  I could hardly breathe.  Dwayne had to keep stopping and waiting on me, probably wondering if I was going to fall and roll back down the hill.  He kept asking, "Are you okay baby?  You're doing great, just hang in there...you can do it baby.  Do you need me to help you?  Do you need to hang onto my arm?"  I hated that shit.  I hated the coddling, I hated that it looked like I had to be helped.  Of course I didn't accept his help.  I just stood there until I could catch my breath, walked a little further, and stopped again.  I was overheated, sore as could be, incredibly worn out and tired, and was really starting to wonder if I could make it back to the car.  I didn't say that to Dwayne, but I was worried.  And embarassed to be in such bad shape. 

Today, I'm proud to announce that I walked a total of 4.8 miles.....further than the 3 miles I walked that day.  I'm extremely proud to say that I climbed that Hill of Death w/o stopping a single time, and did not even stop when I reached the top.  I just kept on moving!!  Huffing and puffing, yes.  Further behind than my sister, yes.  But I was too proud to be embarassed in front of her, who by the way, is 5'7 and maybe 120 lbs soaking wet.  I kept thinking back to the first time I walked it (this was the 3rd time), and just being blown away at how much my endurance and strength has improved over these last few months.  I had a smile on my face that I just couldn't hide.  There was no controlling it.  I really NEEDED this today. 

This has got to be one of the best NSV's I've had so far.  I really haven't been very impressed with myself where the food and the weight loss is concerned.  I've lost 41 lbs. so far.....but so what.  That's taken me 9 months to do, because I went backwards, gained some back, and now I'm having to re-lose it.  I had gotten down to 222.4 lbs at one point, and then climbed back up to 240 lbs.  I've still got a ways to go just to get back to where I WAS.  My eating this weekend has been kind of bad, too.  I still struggle so much with the food and making consistently good choices. 

I can say that I've made improvements with the food.  That would be a true statement.  For instance, I very rarely ever eat fast food anymore, whereas before I started my blog, I was the Queen of Fast Food.  You'd have to go back and read at the beginning of my blog to see just how bad it was, but trust me.....beating that part of my addiction was HARD.  But I did it.  I no longer feel controlled by fast food.  I used to drive down the road and could smell each different restaurants food that they were cooking.  I smelled Big Mac's, Whoppers, fried chicken, french fries, Wendy's double cheeseburgers, and don't even get me started on Krystal's....it was a horrible addiction.  Just horrible.  But it's gotten to the point where I now think most of it sounds downright nasty, and can't believe I ever liked it.  I've gotten to where I'll be out somewhere, starving, and will drive right past 10 fast food restaurants to go home and make something to eat that I know will taste better and be healthier.  That is HUGE for me. 

But I still struggle in a lot of ways with the food.  I have a lot of days where I don't feel good (thank you PCOS for being my living hell on earth)....where my emotions are tied up in knots from the job situation, no extra money to do ANYTHING,  living so far away from Dwayne etc.  Most of the time I'm just cooking for me, because Shane (my roommate) has made other plans or something.  I get TIRED of cooking for just me, and I still find it hard to cook a small amount for just one person.  I grew up in a family of 5 and that's the way I learned to cook...usually enough for everyone to have seconds.  Huge amounts of food.  Shrinking recipes down for one person is a pain in the a$$.

And I get lazy....that's easy to do when you've been out of a normal job routine for so long...a YEAR now.  I don't have any daily responsibilities, nobody to answer to, it's just me and the dog most of the time, so why cook?  I tell myself sometimes that I'm going to be like Sean or Jack and purposely put myself in an eating rut where I eat the same thing day in and day out.  Hey, it works!  You always know the calorie count and there's very little room for error that way.  But that only lasts a few days....I get bored with it.  I like variety too much.  I like food WAY too much.  Different tastes, colors, textures.  And then I get stuck in the bad thinking pattern that I'm doomed forever.  That I'll never get it right no matter how many different things I try.

This post isn't about being in a depression, or losing my focus again.  I don't have either one of those problems right now.  It's just about trying to press on and do better with the negatives (the eating), and accentuating the positives (the exercise).

So I was thinking today that I need to just keep trying to do the best I can with the food...maybe one of these days I'll get it all right.  But what I CAN do is concentrate on the positives for me, which seems to be the exercise department.  I've been doing pretty darn good in that area.  I've been working out 5-6x a week for months on end now.  It's really become a habit.  A lot of it has to do with getting out of the house every day and actually having somewhere to go, something to do, and people to see.  But who cares what the motivation is, as long as it's working.  And it seems to be working great.  I realized today just HOW great when I walked all that way without stopping, even up that hill that nearly defeated me the first time I tried it.

It really made me feel fantastic.  I know for a fact now that I'm actually, really, truly building endurance and gaining strength.  I'm getting better, no matter how many fat rolls I still have hanging off my body.  I was telling my sister today about my first time on that trail, and then compared it today's hike and she was really happy for me.  I told her that since I have this free time with not having a job, that I should take more advantage of it.  I decided that I'm going to do some kind of exercise 2x a day, every day, for the rest of this week.  What I'm not sure about is how it will affect my nights at the gym.  I'm a little sore after my hike today, so I'm not sure if that would have taken away from a workout if I would have gone to the gym tonight.  But I'm going to try some different stuff and see how it goes.  I mentioned to Amy that we might go on another hike tomorrow morning.  Some days I may just go to the park and walk around the trail there.  I'll be doing something to move more.  As my trainer says, you can never get too much cardio.  My brain might be wanting to do more than my body can actually handle, but I'm not going to know unless I try.  So I'm going to get out my hiking book tonight and see where we can go tomorrow.  Dwayne bought me this book for my birthday last year in July.  He knew that I wanted to lose my weight and do more physicial activities, so it was a very thoughtful gift and I just love it.  I need to take more advantage of it and that's exactly what I'm going to do. 

I'll leave you with a pic of my book, and a food pic of a crockpot dish I threw together today.  I took some boneless pork chops out of the freezer and threw them in the crockpot this morning, along with a large can of diced tomatoes, a jar of mushrooms and a jar of salsa verde.  I was going to put in the Rotel, but I figured the salsa would be spicy enough.  I was wrong....I should have used the Rotel.  I cooked it all day long and had a LOT of liquid in the pot, so I threw in 2.5 c of instant brown rice towards the end.  Pretty tasty.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"If you don't do what's best for your body, you're the one that comes up on the short end."  -Julius Erving

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Best Laid Plans...

I don't usually post on Saturday nights but man, what a bad eating wknd it's been.  Remember how I said yesterday that I was going to do a menu plan for this week and stick to 1500 cals/day?  Yeah well...you know what they say about best laid plans, don't you?  Nothing has gone right so far.  Over calories for yesterday and today, and I think out of the 6 meals I planned (brkfst, lnch, din for both days), I actually only ate one of them.  I have a picture of it.  I made a chicken sandwich on a Thomas Everything bagel thin w/ the spinach dip I bought at Trader Joe's.  Pretty tasty, and the only thing I've actually done right in two days.

I did manage to get in a good, hard workout that I was proud of yesterday at the gym.  We work out with the trainer one day a week because that's all we can afford.  As of this past week, he gave us a sheet of exercises to do on our own the other days we're at the gym.  I don't go on Friday evening because Dwayne comes over for the wknd, so I can't meet Billie to do our workout together.  I go earlier in the day on Friday.  I did my 10 min warm-up on the elliptical, then did everything he had on the sheet 2x, and I actually did more reps than he asked for on each exercise.  I also raised the weight on a couple of them because I just didn't feel like I was doing all I could do, and I really want to push myself more on the exercise front.  Then I threw in 50 mountain climbers at the end of the routine and 30 In-Out's, just for the fun of it.  I finished up with a 20 min walk on the elliptical at a 3.5 pace.  Then I went and found Chris (our trainer) and asked him to make up some more exericse sheets for us.  I wanted to have some variety and make sure we're working out ALL of the muscle groups.  He said he'd get it done this week.  Good.  That makes me happy.

Back to the food and the feeling the need to post tonight.  I read a few blogs tonight before I posted.  The couple that REALLY stood out in my mind tonight were Jack's and Zaa's.  I'm sure you all know Jack Sh*t by now.  He's got over 800 followers in his occult.  He did a post based on a history lesson about Cortez.  He left Spain and went to conquer the Aztec's (I think), and when they got to that land, he told his crew to burn their ships.  He was leaving himself and his people no chance of failing at what they had come to do.  They absolutely HAD to win, because they had no ride home if they lost the battle.  I re-read this a couple of times because I was just in awe of what a brilliant concept that was.  And is.  It can be applied to the weight loss, or anything at all that you want to succeed at in life.  By the way, Cortez's army won.  :)

Zaababy-The Incredible Shrinking Woman is listed at the end of my blogroll.  She did such a wonderful post tonight that it brought tears to my eyes.  She and I started blogging around the same time, within a couple of weeks of each other, and she's lost 80 lbs. so far.  I've lost 41.  It just goes to show you what consistency does for you on this journey.  Had I been as consistent as her, I could be enjoying the same things that she is right now.  This is not a point of jealousy.  It's a point of pure joy for her....absolute pride and admiration in what she's doing in her corner of the world.  And it sparks a desire in me to do better.  Zaa's had some hard times along the way.....some really hard, emotional things to deal with, including deaths in the family, the death of her mother, her kitty cat, all kinds of terrible things.  And she just keeps going.  She's lost consistently ever since she started.  I let a lot of emotional crap in my life overtake me and reverse my weight loss from Oct-Dec.  I shouldn't have done that.  I should have followed Zaa's example and so many others out there that just keep duking it out.  They keep their heads down and just keep doing what needs to be done, no matter what else is going on around them. 

Heck, I get thrown off course when Mother Nature visits.  I can't imagine what kind of train wreck I'd be if someone in my family actually died, God forbid.  My emotions have really been in the toilet this week, for a lot of reasons.  I tried to not let it come through in my posts, but poor Dwayne has been beaten up something fierce.  He's the one that gets the bad end of the stick when I'm not happy and I hate that.  He puts up with a lot from me.  Besides my hormones being out of whack this week, this weather has also been weighing on me really heavy.  It's got me really down and I don't really care about much when I get like this.  I was absolutely amazed when I got on the scale and it still said 231.0, the same as last Friday.  I don't know how I've been able to stay focused enough to keep myself in the gym 5x/week, but I'm glad I have. 

Of course, the scale is back up at the moment.  Today's reading doesn't officially count, but it's all the way up to 236.0.  It's due to sodium.  I have a terrible time with it.  I decided that I finally needed to start eating through the stuff in the freezer.  There's too much processed stuff in there and I just can't bear to throw it away.  It's not really junky stuff, but some of it is pre-cooked and therein lies the sodium issue.  That's what we've been eating this wknd, and that's why I'm up 5 lbs. right now.  I've got to try and balance it out with non-processed stuff so there's no gain by the time next Friday gets here.  But I'm tired of not having enough room in the freezer to put in meats and frozen veggies that I like to buy when they go on sale, because I've been avoiding eating the stuff in the freezer for so long.  Being on unemployment, I just can't afford to throw it away or even give it away, so Dwayne and I have been eating it this weekend, and Shane and I will be eating more of it through the week I guess. 

On a good note, I haven't been bingeing.  Every day or every week that I can say that is a good day for me.  And you know what's weird?  Before I started blogging and reading other people's blogs, I never even knew what bingeing was.  It wasn't until I read several other people's blogs about bingeing that I understood what they were talking about.  The scary part is, that was my normal eating pattern for way too long.  And I called it normal.  I just called it eating too much.  But I never associated the "why" with the eating.  The tired or stressed or sad or depressed or frantic feelings that went along with eating WAY, WAY too much.  Once I started to learn more, I started trying to curb it and learn how to eat like a normal person.  The down side to that was now I was acutely aware of it, and realized how often I did it and was tempted to do it, and realized just how bad my eating problem and my relationship with food is.  Man, I've got a lot of work to do.  But thank God for education.

Thank God that I've learned so much from so many in these last 9 months or so.  And thank God for a place like Blogland where you can work through your issues and your problems without judgement.  You can gain knowledge and support along the way.  There's always someone there to help you with whatever you need, whether it's a pat on the back when you've done well, or a swift kick in the rear when you need to get your sh*t together (thank you Jack :)).  The comraderie is unbelievable.  In a world where a fat person so often feels like they're out of place, it's really nice to finally, finally find a place where I feel like I belong.  Like I'm welcome.  Like I'm part of the family.  It's nice to finally find a place where I feel like I'm good enough, no matter what size I am or how much I weigh.  And I know that feeling will be the same when I reach my goal as it was on Day One when I started at 272 lbs.  I wish I would have found you all when I was at my highest weight of 340 lbs.  It took me a while to find this place, but I'm glad I finally did.  And I know I don't say it often enough, but I'm thankful for each and every one of you.  Thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit me, see how I'm doing, and leave a word or two.  I love you guys.  Have a happy weekend and we'll talk again soon.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover."  -Mark Twain

Bagel Thin - 110 cals
Chile Lime Chicken Burger - 150 cals
Spinach Dip - 50 cals

Total Cals:  310

Friday, February 19, 2010

Holding Steady

Same weight as last Friday....231.0.  I've shown a gain on my monthly progress for the last 3 months.  This month, I showed an 8.6 lb. LOSS.  It looks like I've finally got things turned around and headed in the right direction.  Thank God for miracles.  :)

I'm doing some menu planning this week....something I never do.  My tastes change daily so I don't bother with planning out my food.  I decided to do it this week just to give me something different to focus on.  I think it will be a bit of a challenge to actually stick to it.  My goal this week is 1500 cals/day.  I want to try to start the first week of my new month off with a good loss.  I'll bump it back to 1800 next week.  I know 1500 is a little low if I'm working out 5x/week. but I also know that changing things up is a good thing, too. 

I made my own version of an Egg McMuffin this morning.  Here's what I put on it:

Thomas Everything bagel thin - 110 cals
2 egg whites                          -   34 cals
Kraft 2% Amer. chz.             -   45 cals
3 slices Canadian bacon        -   60 cals
1 tsp Kraft lite mayo              -   15 cals

My version is bigger than McD's, tastier, more filling and probably has less sodium.
My version is 264 cals.
McD's version is 300 cals.

Here's my pic:

Quote For the Day:

"Never be afraid to do something new.  Remember, amateurs built the Ark; professionals built the Titanic."  -Unknown

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Paying It Forward

I found this video on Pam's blog today at Journey To the Healthier Side of Life.  I have no words to offer.  I just want you to watch it.  It's 7 mins. long. 

Quote For the Day:

"We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse."  -Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Giveaway Winners

I had a really yummy pic to show you of some shrimp pasta I made today, but the battery was low on my camera and apparently didn't record my picture....BUMMER.

Anyhoo, I'll just tell you what I did.  I sauteed some fresh mushrooms in a little olive oil and added some shrimp.  I boiled some multi-grain angel hair pasta (3 oz).  When the mushrooms and shrimp were done, I added some 1/3 less fat Philly cream cheese and some reduced fat Breakstone's sour cream to the pan and mixed it in with the little bit of liquid that had cooked out of the shrimp and mushrooms.  Then I sprinkled in some oregano, served it over the pasta, and voila!!  It was soooooo good. 

Two really great workouts in the gym last night and tonight.  My 5th workout for this week will be tomorrow night.  I'm hoping to get the dang scale to budge at least 1/2 of a lb!!  Don't know if I'm going to make it or not.  But I also got to thinking....my cycle is usually good for about a 4-5 lb. bloated gain, so the fact that I'm not showing a gain this week is remarkable in itself.  Thank God I've been in the gym to counteract the snacking I did the first 4 days of this week.  I finally reigned in the craziness and came in at 1500 cals yesterday AND today.  Yay!  Shooting for the same calorie amt tomorrow. 

I've also decided that I want to try to cook some different food this coming week.  I'm doing my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's tomorrow.  I've been following TJ's Test Kitchen, listed on my blogroll, and she's picked up some cool stuff at Trader Joe's lately that I want to see if I can find.  One of the things is whole wheat pizza dough and another one is a spinach sour cream dip that she spread on a Thomas everything bagel thin and made a chicken sandwich out of it.  I also want to use the pizza dough to make calzones like she did.  So things are going ok right now....just holding my breath til weigh day.  :)

The winners of the book giveaway are:

Kyle @ Getting Better and Better...
Sheilagh @ Sixty by Sixty
Jenn @ Watch My Butt Shrink!

Congrats to all of you!!  Email me (listed on my sidebar), and send me your names and addresses so that I can forward them on to the publisher!!! 

Quote For the Day:

"Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it."  -Sir Winston Churchill

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stalled Out

I took a peek at the scale today, as I always do mid-week, and it says the same dang thing it said last Fri, 231.0.  Of course, I know exactly why.  I've been eating too many calories this week.  I haven't had any binges...I've just noticed weirdo cravings that aren't my norm, like wanting something salty...so I had a few chips and some cashews.  Then wanting something sweet, so I ate a big chocolate chip cookie....the whole time wondering what's up with that?  I NEVER eat chips or nuts.....they're just not my thing.  And I've never had a big sweet tooth.  Usually, if I have a chocolate craving, one little piece of chocolate takes care of it and I'm fine.  The one exception to the sweet rule is brownies.  They're my kryptonite, so I don't keep them in my house.  You might remember that I encountered a pan of homemade brownies at my sister's house last week and ate 2 of them on the spot. 

So anyway, I've been snacking and picking at things like this all week, confused and irritated, and then they hit me.  Cramps.  Ahhhhh....finally!!!  Now I know what's up....Mother Nature is preparing for a visit.  But here's the REALLY stupid thing.  I do this every month.  Every single month.....and I FORGET every single month, until I get hit with a wave of cramps.  Unfortunately, thanks to my PCOS, cramps are a lot more like pregnancy contractions...more fun than the law allows....but that's just one of my curses in life.  But that's always what it takes to remind me of why one of my weeks is always a "snacking on weird stuff" week.

As soon as the "fun" is over and M.N. has gone on to torture some other poor girl, I forget all about it.  I have a fabulous weight loss one week (if I'm doing things right and on track, that is), get all excited, tell myself, "Hey!!  I'm gonna' lose 20 lbs this month!!  I'm feelin' great....YEAH BABY!!!  But that's just not the case.  I have a couple of decent weeks, and a couple of not-so-hot weeks.  Such is life.  The important thing is to keep the positive mindset to continue downward on the scale.  And my mind is still in a good place.  Well, mostly.  I'll tell you one thing.  I'm sick to dang death of this weather.  I'm so over it.  I hate it with a passion, really, and I crave sunshine more than any brownie I've EVER craved.  I want warmth, and sunny days, and outside hikes, and new green leaves on the trees, and pretty, colorful flowers popping out of the ground.

I'm still unemployed from my last job layoff.  I really cannot believe it's been this long.  Feb. 20th will make one solid year with no work.  Unbelievable.  Baffling.  Mind-blowing.  But I'm still applying for jobs every single week, and ONE of these days, someone's gonna' HAVE to call me for an interview and let me charm my way into another job.  :)  Until then, I'm trying to stay positive, keep an upbeat attitude, focus on the weight loss, and not let the other factors in my life pull me down.....especially the things I can't control, like the weather and the unemployment.  Oh, and Mother Nature.  How do I hate thee?  Let me count the ways....ah, forget it....I don't have enough fingers and toes. ;)

So anyhoo, this is where I'm at this week.  I'm waiting to hear back from the publisher to see if he's willing to mail any copies out of the country.  When I find out tomorrow, I'll let you know who the winners are....I might have to re-draw the names!

I'm leaving you with a couple of pics of some chicken soft tacos I've made over the last couple of days.  One is my version of Mexican when I want something a little spicy.  I sauteed some chicken breast that I cut into strips and then added a can of Rotel tomatoes and green chiles to it and let it simmer until all the liquid cooked out of it.  Added some reduced-fat sour cream (1 Tbsp...20 cals), and some shredded lettuce.  The other version is to satisfy my Greek cravings.  I sautee chicken breast with fresh spinach and chopped up artichoke hearts, then sprinke with a little Romano cheese and 1 Tbsp of reduced-fat sour cream.  Both of them were eaten on wraps that are only 50 calories!!  Enjoy!!

Quote For the Day:

"Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting."  -Christopher Morley

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Book Review & Food Pics

I'll save the book review for the last half of this post.  I've had a good, happy weekend so far.  Dwayne came up Friday night.  We got a little snow here, just an inch or two.  I went out on the front porch Sat morn and took a few pics.  We celebrated Valentine's Day on Saturday night, and had dinner at a restaurant called the Marietta Fish Market.  We won't even get into the calorie slaughter I committed....I just let the guilt go for the night, and enjoyed a tremendously delicious dinner with my honey bunny.  We had a great time together!

I had lunch with Billie on Friday, and then hit the gym for a good workout.  I made Sat one of my rest days (used to be Fridays), and Billie and I met at the gym this morning for another great workout.  We even did Mountain Climbers on our own.  I know, unbelievable, right?  Voluntary torture.  I've progressed so far from when I first started exercising, I really have.  I like looking back on things like that, especially on the days that I feel like I may never get there.  Sometimes I have to look behind me to remind myself of how very far I've come.  For anyone new to my blog, my highest weight used to be 340 lbs. a few years ago.  I've lost over 100 lbs so far.  That's progress, and progress feels good, no matter how much further I have to go.  :)

I'll show you some snow pics and then some pics I took of a breakfast casserole I made today.  I sauteed some yellow squash, onions, mushrooms, red & green bell peppers, and spinach.  I put that in the baking dish (sprayed with Pam), then added 3 slices of Canadian bacon that I chopped up, 1 c. of seasoned home fries (bought them on sale at Publix this week), and 1/2 c. of 2% cheddar cheese.  After that, I whisked together 10 egg whites & 1/2 c. of lowfat cottage cheese and poured it on top.  Then I baked it in the oven on 350 for about 40-45 minutes, until the egg whites firmed up and it was nice and brown on top.  I added all the calories and it came to 200 cals per piece (I cut the casserole into 4 equal squares).  Breakfast for the next 4 mornings!! 


Now for the book review. 

The publisher for this book emailed me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would read this book and review it on my blog.  I replied and told him I didn't mind reviewing it all as long as he was prepared for an HONEST review, no matter what that meant.  He said that's exactly what he was looking for, so he mailed
me a copy.

I enjoyed this book very much.  It was a quick read...only took me about 3 hours to read it from cover to cover.  The premise of the book is to educate you on cutting sugar and hidden sugars out of your diet in order to lose your weight.  The author lost 100 lbs. with this approach and has kept it off for 5 years.  His wife has lost 70 lbs.  I have to admit I was pretty shocked to learn just how much sugar really is in food.  He gives you a chart with a LOT of food items listed and the equivalency of teaspoons of sugar in that food.  It's really astonishing and qutie eye-opening.  This information is very useful for everyone, so I recommend anyone and everyone to pick up a copy and read it. 

Mr.  Varrieur did his research before writing this book, and gives a very simple, easy-to-understand version of the science behind his approach.  He also lists several different links directing you to where he found some of the information that he provides in his book...something that really impressed me.  This way, it's not just one guy's opinion on something.  What he has to say is based in facts that he has found and believes to be true, and as with anything, it's up to you to check out those same facts and decide if it's something that's right for you.  One little snippet that I had to chuckle over is that we both use the same natural sweetener...raw Stevia, and that we both refuse to use aspartame, because it gives us headaches. 

He has before and after pictures of both he and his wife within the pages that are really quite impressive.  And while I was a bit apprehensive when I read "lose weight...without exercise" on the cover, once I got into the reading I realized that he is a big advocate for exercise, as long as you're doing it for the right reasons.  In other words, don't eat a bunch of high-sugar, high calorie foods and then kill yourself doing cardio 8 hours a day just to work it off.  Do it for fitness, the mental benefits, endurance, stamina, etc.  The right reasons.
He also happens to be a chef and has listed a ton of fantastic-sounding recipes towards the end of his book. 

Matt, the publisher, has offered to mail a copy to 3 different blog readers in a giveaway.  If you're interested in reading the book, leave me a comment telling me so and why.  I'll probably have my roommate Shane randomly pick 3 names, since he doesn't know any of you and it keeps it fair.  You don't need to mention it on your blog and link it back here, and you don't need to say anything on Twitter, because quite frankly, I don't twit.  :)

I'll announce the winners in a couple of days, when I get back from Hell....I mean, my sister's house....on Tuesday.  Hope everyone has a super duper week full of GREAT choices!  :)

Quote For the Day:

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."  -John Quincy Adams

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Good Weigh Day

So it's not as amazing as the 6 lbs. I dropped last week, but it's still a loss.  The scale said 231.0 this morning for a loss of 2.6 lbs.  I feel pretty good about that, especially with bumping my calories to 1800 this week, as well as a couple of really high calorie days (Sat and Mon).  I did workout 5 days this week, so I'm sure that played a part in it.  All in all, I'm a happy girl.  I've got one week left in this month. After Christmas I said I was bringing back my 10/lb month goal to give me something to strive for, then I blew that all to hell in January.  So far I've lost 8.6 lbs in the last 3 weigh-in's.  We'll see if I can knock out another 1.4 lb. loss next week to reach that 10 lb/mo goal this time.  Hope all of you have a happy and safe weekend!  :)

Quote For the Day:

"More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin."  -Unknown

Thursday, February 11, 2010

B*tch Cakes Rocks!

I've said ever since I started my weight loss blog that my goal is not to be stick thin.  I don't need for my rib cage to show or for all of my limbs to look like pencils.  First and foremost, I wanted to lose enough weight to get off all of my meds, which I did.  After that, I want to get to a healthier weight, but still keep my curves.  I've seen pic after pic of other weight loss bloggers who have reached their goal weight or are well on their way, and just haven't seen a version of the vision I have in my mind of what I think looks FABULOUS for me.  Until today!!!

I was reading B*tch Cakes' blog and scrolled down a couple of posts to catch up.  I was going to post the link, but I can't get it to copy and paste here.  She's the first one listed on my blogroll, so just click on it and scroll down a couple of posts to see what I'm talking about.  Her body is my idea of perfection.  Of course, it's only a dream for me to look that damn good.  I've got enough stretch marks covering my body to construct a road map, and I'd have to have surgery to have all of the excess skin removed when I've lost all the weight....but still, a girl can dream!  B*tch Cakes is smokin'.  If I could pick anyone to mold my body after, it would be her.

I haven't been following her blog very long, but she did another post the other day that really struck me.  She said something about losing some weight, and then coming out of the honeymoon phase and stalling out for a while.  She never lost her desire to reach her goal, but she did get stuck for a while....as in two years.  TWO YEARS.  And then she caught that spark again and pressed on to what you see now.  She is the picture of perseverance and determination to chase your goals until you reach them, no matter how long it takes you to get there.  I admire and applaud that kind of positive attitude and fierce dedication.  She makes me want to try harder, pick myself up when I fall, and press on to the goals I've set for myself. 

Speaking of goals, I had another spot-on calorie day and a good, hard workout in the gym with Chris.  I really like this guy.  He doesn't scream or yell at you, but he doesn't let you quit either when you feel like wimping out.  Hiring him as our personal trainer has been worth every penny.  It's an investment in my health, fitness and weight loss goals and I don't think I could ever regret that.  What I DO regret is not having enough money to have him push me 5 days a week, so I'm just going to do my best to keep pushing myself when he's not standing over me asking for 30 more Mountain Climbers.

I took a peek at the scale this morning.  It's not near as awesome as the 6 lbs I dropped last week, but I've got a little something to report tomorrow.  I'll save it 'til then. :)

One last thing before I wrap this up.  Since that dang nutritionist told me to get my carb count up, I made another pasta salad today.  This time it was seafood pasta salad.  I used 5 oz of Dreamfield's pasta (lower glycemic levels for us diabetics), a bag of Contessa frozen salad shrimp, a little pkg of imitation crab meat, 2 Tbsp of lite mayo and 1Tbsp of ranch dressing to give it a little kick.  I added in a little s&p and some diced onions.  Didn't have any celery.  The whole bowl totaled 1034 calories.  I measured it out into 2 portions and ate one of them for lunch, which was 517 calories.  The serving size I ate was almost 3 cups.  I'm posting a pic of the Dreamfield's pasta box and of the bowl of seafood salad.  It was delish! 

Quote For the Day:

"You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through."  -Rosalynn Carter