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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Virtual Chocolate!!!








My best friend Pam at The Rest of the Journey gave me an Easter basket today!!  She left me a msg saying she had a present for me on her blog, and when I went over to see what it was, there was a picture of an Easter basket full of yummy chocolate.  My first thought was, "Oh I am SO going to beat her for mailing me a basket full of chocolate that she KNOWS I'm going to eat!!"  lol.  But as I read along, I realized it was a VIRTUAL Easter Basket....what a cute idea!!  This actually has some meaning behind it, too.  Hershey's is donating $10 per blog for every blog that participates in this blog hop, up to $7000, to Children's Miracle Network.

You can pass the basket on to as many as you like.  I have a hard time following rules with awards and such, but I'm posting them here and I'll actually follow them this time.  It would take me ALL NIGHT to notify everyone if I were to give it to everyone on my blogroll like I would LOVE to do, so I'm just going to pick 5 people.  I hope you enjoy your basket of Easter goodies, and more importantly, the meaning behind it.



HERSHEY’S BETTER BASKET BLOG HOP RULES




•Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.


•Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.


•Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.


•Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.


•Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules of this betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.


•This started as a meme of Hershey donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network up to $5,000 – but after so many bloggers participating, Hershey decided to donate a total of $7,000 honoring the kindness of blogger community .
 
I'm giving a basket to these 5 lucky little bunnies:
 
Alix at Casa Hice
 
MB at Why the Weight?
 
Zaa at Zaababy-The Incredible Shrinking Woman
 
Leslie at Something Brilliant Is Brewing
 
Shelley at A Forty-Something's Weight Loss Journey
 
Enjoy your calorie-free chocolate ladies and keep the baskets hopping along!!!  :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Taxes and Dwayne...A Love Story

I've talked about Dwayne on here before, but it's been quite a while since I've given a lot of detail about us and our relationship.

I've explained before that the way Dwayne shows his love is through buying/giving you things.  He absolutely SUCKS in the "emotionally available" department, and he knows it, so he tries to make up for it with money.  That's just his way.  It took me a long, long time to get used to this.  He and I are polar opposites in this area.  I'd much rather have a hug and an "I love you" from him than $100 bill any day of the week.  That's just my way. 

There's a commercial on TV right now...I think it might be for Bud Lite....where a guy and girl are sitting at the bar and the girl says "I love you" to her boyfriend, waiting on him to say it back.  And he can't.  He tries and tries, stumbles all over himself, but just cannot say the "L" word.  He even makes a comment about how gorgeous she is (and she is), but he still can't say it.  That's my Dwayne.  Or I should say, that USED to be my Dwayne.  He's changing, for the better.

I broke up with him last November, about a week before Thanksgiving.  Somehow, over a period of 2-3 months, we worked our way back together.  He didn't ask me to get back together, it was nothing official, he just asked if he could come visit me one Friday, under the guise of wanting to spend time with our puppy Scarlette, and he ended up spending the night instead of leaving like he had done on previous "puppy visits" during our break-up.  And that was it.  Together again. 

Except things are different now.  He tells me he loves me regularly now...we email throughout the day while he's at work, and sometimes he just blurts it right out...with no prompting from me...saying "I love you very much".  WOW.  That's new, lol.  He's said it before, but only if I say it first.  He's never been the one to initiate.  Now he does.  He'll call me and end the phone call with "I love you baby".  When we spend the weekends together, and it's time for him to leave, he'll give me a tight hug, a long, slow kiss, then lean his forehead on mine, look me in the eye, and say "I love you".  Makes me weak in the knees.  I love that sh*t, lol. 

He still does his "giving me money" thing, like he always has, but he's thrown it into overdrive.  He keeps telling me that his main concern is that I'm "safe and happy", and he knows that the lack of money w/ being unemployed is a huge stress point for me.  He knows how hard I'm looking for a job, and he's seen my incredibly tight budget.  He thinks I'm some sort of Budget Guru because, for one, it's so tight, and two, I actually stick to it.  When I thought I wasn't going to get this last extension, he called me and told me he'd take care of me, but he needed to know everything.  He wanted to know if I had secretly taken out any loans anywhere, or had I charged up my credit card (which only has a $500 limit to begin with).  He thought there was just no way possible that a person could live on this little money w/o completely freaking out and doing whatever they had to in order to get their hands on some extra money I guess.  I told him no, I haven't taken out any loans, the balance on my credit card is less than $100, I haven't robbed any banks, taken out any personal loans with family or friends....nothing.  I have no debt...just my month-to-month living expenses, which takes up all of my paychecks.  He was blown away....he said, "Wow baby, you are just amazing...I am so impressed!"

He's been giving me $100 most weekends when I see him since we got back together.  This is another big change.  He's given me money before, but not on a consistent, weekly basis.  He says it's to get me through the week.  He said he can't stand the thought that we live a good little distance away from each other, and he can't just pop over anytime to take care of what I need, so the $100 is to see me through each week until I can see him again on the weekend.  It's very humbling and so appreciated.  I often feel like I just don't deserve him, simply because I can't even do the little things, like buy him a decent birthday gift, etc.  I feel like he gives and gives and all I'm doing right now is taking.  I'll be happy when I'm employed again and things are more balanced. 

Then there's the tax issue.  Let me back up to last year.  I've never owed taxes, until last year.  Someone told me not to let the gov't. use my tax money all year by filing 0 or 1.  They said you can claim up to like 9 dependents (even if you don't have any), so that you get most of your money in your paycheck.  Then around August/September, fill out a new tax form claiming 0 and it should balance out to where you might not get a refund, but you shouldn't owe either.  I was a little nervous trying this "new plan", but I did it.  I claimed 3 dependents...all year.  I FORGOT to change my tax forms later in the year, and given that my memory is about an inch long, this is not surprising.  When it came time to file, I found out I owed the IRS $700.  I was laid off about 2 months before I filed, so guess what?  No money in the budget to pay it!

I figured I would just set up a payment plan, because I had heard of other people doing this, and send them the smallest amount they would take.  I didn't think it was that big of a deal really...several of my friends had done this in the past, so I told Dwayne about it.  He freaked.  Absolutely freaked.  I think he has an unhealthy fear of the gov't., lol.  He said if I didn't send them a high enough payment (it probably needed to be at least $100, he said), that they would throw me in jail.  He couldn't live with that thought, plus he was upset with me for doing this in the first place.  He got his return back, which was $1700, and he gave me $700 of it to pay off my taxes in one swoop.  Holy crap.  His generosity shocked me to death, and I couldn't stand the guilt of him handing me so much money at once...money that he had worked hard for all year, so I told him I just couldn't take it.  He said, "Oh you're taking it....there's no discussion about this.  And no more creative financing with your taxes....we're not going to go through this again.  You shouldn't be playing around with the government."

Fast forward to this year.  I owe AGAIN.  And again, from taking someone else's advice.  I had never been on unemployment before and had no idea how it worked.  I was laid off in Feb, and we knew it was coming.  My entire accounting dept was laid off, and we knew we were all going to be standing in the unemployment line together.  The day I went up there, my boss went with me, lol.  Sad.  Anyhoo, a couple of weeks before our last day, I had 3 or 4 girls tell me the way unemployment works...what you have to do to fill out the forms, certify for your check online every week, etc.  The subject of taxes came up.  ALL of them told me to not have any taxes taken out.  They said you don't make enough on unemployment for it to matter in the first place, and secondly, you won't be on unemployment that long anyway before you get back to work.  Well......it's been a year now!!  And I owe even MORE this year than I did last year.  $1100 to be exact. 

Now I know that a lot of people don't think that $1100 is a huge amount of money, but when your budget looks like mine does, it may as well be $10,000.  If ya' ain't got it, ya' just ain't got it.  I was terrified of Dwayne finding out.  I had absolutely no intention of telling him.  I've been very careful not to even mention tax season in any way, shape or form this year.  My plan was just to set up whatever I could with the IRS and take care of it myself.  So much for my plan.

Dwayne called me at the beginning of last week from work, sounding a little hurried and frantic.  I asked him what was wrong and he said it was almost April 15th and neither one of us had filed our taxes.  He said he wanted it taken care of before we leave for our beach trip....which is May 1st.  He said he figured I owed a little bit because of all the unemployment stuff...he said he knows I didn't make a lot, so it shouldn't be over $300 or so.  But I needed to get them done because he wanted to file them and give me the money to pay them by April 15th.  He said he didn't want any tax crap hanging over his head and worrying him while he was on his vacation.  At this point, I hadn't done them yet, so I had no idea what I owed.  I told him I wasn't going to even mention it because of last year...all the money he gave me and him telling me sternly that "we're not going to do this again".  He said just find out and let him know how much it was.

I had mom do them online for me and found out they're $1100....nearly 4x more than he was thinking.  Crap.  Now what.  I told him don't even ask me what it is.  It's horrible.  And I didn't want him mad...I'd just take care of it on a payment plan.  He didn't like it, but didn't mention it again for a couple of days.  Then Friday came and he came up to spend the weekend like he always does.  I was trapped, lol.  When he got face to face with me, he insisted I tell him.  I did.  And he took it a lot better than I expected.  He said we'd set up a payment plan and everything would be okay.  The next morning, Saturday, he went to H&R Block to file his taxes.  He called me and told he's getting back $1800 and he's giving me $1100 of it to pay off mine.

I was in shock...again.  Worse than last year.  He didn't even sound mad at me.  I didn't say anything back...I didn't know what to say.  He asked if I was still there (on the phone), and I told him I just couldn't believe his generosity.  I apologized over and over for doing this for the second year in a row....he stopped me and said, "You're my sweetie and I want to make sure you're taken care of.  I'm not mad at you at all baby.  It's going to be okay." 

We hung up and I cried.  I prayed and thanked God for him.  I know that our relationship isn't perfect.  We've both got our own set of flaws, and they get in each other's ways sometimes.  Dwayne and I have been dating for a long, long time.  It will be 6 years in August.  He's quite obviously a commitment phobe when it comes to marriage.  But I know that I love him...there's no question about that.  And if I ever questioned whether or not he loved me....I don't anymore.  He's the one...whether we ever put it down on paper or not.  :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's Cookin'?

I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of things at the gym after being out for a week.  Things went haywire on Friday and I wasn't able to make it there, so Saturday was my first day back.  My left elbow is still screwed up, so my plan was to just do cardio and ease back into things.  I only did 8 minutes on the elliptical because my quads felt like lead bricks.  I jumped on the treadmill and ended up carrying some hand weights for part of the time.  I've figured out that if I keep my arms engaged (bent at the elbow) while holding the weights on the treadmill, then the elbow doesn't hurt as bad.  I did 22 minutes on the treadmill, 15 of those minutes were with 7.5 lb weights in each hand. 

Since the exercise is slow going I decided I better make sure I get the food REALLY right this week.  I've got some food pics to show you.  The first one is a dish I made the week of St. Patrick's Day.  I normally make the traditional corned beef and cabbage, but decided not to this year because the corned beef tends to be WAY too salty and I'm trying to cut most of the salt out of my diet.  So this year I used some lowfat turkey kielbasa sausage, cabbage, onions and red potatoes.  I added the cabbage and red potatoes to the pot first, then mixed in the sausage and onions that I sauteed first:









Next is a pic of some chicken breast that I sprinkled with onion powder, garlic and rosemary and sauteed with some Pam olive oil spray....I used the chicken in an egg white scramble the next morning:



I made some chicken chowder this weekend that was pretty tasty.  I've never even attempted to make chowder before and didn't think I'd be able to pull it off.  Granted, it would have been thicker and creamier if I would have used more fattening ingredients or added more calories, but it was still good.  The recipe called for milk and 2 cans of creamed corn.  I used 50% less sodium creamed corn, and only 1 can instead of 2.  I also skipped the milk and used 3 tbsp of cornstarch to thicken it, along with the instant mashed potato flakes that it called for.  The recipe called for you to stir in some full fat cheddar cheese after it was done cooking.  I skipped that step and used 2 tbsp of reduced fat cream cheese just to make it a little creamier.  It made 4 servings, each serving being 2 1/4 cups.  Each serving has 348 calories, and has cubes of boneless chicken breast, shredded carrots, creamed corn and cubed potatoes.  Yum.:




I roasted some radishes with some Pam olive oil cooking spray, reduced fat parmesan cheese, and black pepper:





Steamed some broccoli w/ Mrs. Dash garlic & herb:



Sauteed some zucchini & mushrooms w/ Mrs. Dash tomato and herb blend:







And I grilled some asparagus on the Foreman grill:





Well that's all for now....I'm off to the gym.  Gotta' keep going and get back in the habit again.  Hope everyone's having a Super Sunday!!  :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Call For Prayer

I got a hard reminder this morning that no matter how bad you *think* you have it, someone always has it worse. 

I'm very honest in my blog, and most of what goes on with me winds up right here.  I spend too much time dwelling on what's going wrong and not enough time counting my blessings.  Every once in a while I read someone's blog and it reminds me of just how good I have it.  I read one this morning that has me in tears and it's bothering me so much that I had to take time to post about it.  Ann at Pretty Woman needs our prayers. 

Ann's blog is public and full of raw honesty.  Since it's there for anyone and everyone to read, I'm hoping that she won't mind me drawing attention to it.  I'm doing it for her daughter Georgia. 

I'll be truthful with you.  Ann's blog is hard for me to read most of the time.  She and her children have had a horrific life, due to her ex-husband, who is now in prison.  You'd have to go back through her archives to see just how unimaginably horrible it's been because today I'm just going to ask you to pray.  Ann and all of her children need prayer to be healed from the damage they've suffered, and more specifically, her 10 year old daughter Georgia.  She has had her innocence ripped from her and she's suffering terribly because of it.  Ann is afraid she's going to die. 

No human being deserves to be subjected to the sick and twisted abuse that Ann and her children have suffered and everyone deserves love and prayer in their time of need.  I'm a firm believer in Christ's salvation and the power or prayer.  I know that God can heal even the worst of wounds....be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.  This child needs your prayers and I'll hope you'll offer some up for her.  Let's never get too busy or wrapped up in our own situations to take the time to lift someone else up in prayer. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Friday Everyone!

My weigh-in this morning is 235.2 so I've managed to basically maintain this week!  On the harder weeks, that's just as important as losing to me, so I'm cool with it.  Shane's dad has shown some improvement in the last couple of days so we're thankful for that.  I'm getting ready to head out the door to the gym for the first time in a week....I can't wait!  I miss it so much.  My mind really gets into a serious funk w/o the constant exercise.  I've always said that the exercise does more for me mentally than physically and it's true.  I can really tell a difference being away from it this week.  I've neglected my house for the last several days so I've got a busy day ahead of me.  Hope everyone has a super weekend....spring is coming!  :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hello Again

Well my physical issue is starting to resolve itself and I'm feeling a lot better than I was.  I may even be able to get back in the gym tomorrow after being out all week.  Speaking of no exercise, I went ahead and weighed this morning to see how bad it was and surprisingly I weighed 235.2.  That's only up .2 of a lb from last week so I basically stayed the same.  Hooray for small victories after a week of feeling like crap!  I'll check it again on Friday to see if there's any change. 

Let's talk about my newest stress factors, shall we?  I asked my mom to do my taxes tonight.

Oh.
Dear.
Lord.

I cannot even tell you how much I owe to federal AND state.  I've never been on a payment plan with the IRS before so this will be a new adventure.  Do they accept $10/month payments?  If not, I may be doing my future blog postings from the pokie.

My roommate Shane's dad is dying.  He's been very sick for a long time.....he's had 5 heart attacks, has congestive heart failure, out-of-control diabetes, failing blood pressure, drug-induced Parkinson's disease and has been in and out of the hospital for the better part of the last 5 years.  This week they took him out of the hospital and instead of letting him go home this time, they moved him into a rehab center (nursing home).  Shane's mom is a nurse but hasn't worked in over 2 months due to having to give her husband constant care.  It's rough on the emotions for her, but also rough on the wallet.  Shane gave her an air mattress that she wanted to borrow, and has been sleeping in the floor of his dad's room at the nursing home every night.  She hasn't left his side.

Shane is their only child.  He has to go to work every day (to pay his half of our living expenses), and then goes to the nursing home to visit his dad afterwards down in Atlanta.  When he went down there 2 nights ago, the chaplain was in the room with his father and his dad told him he didn't think he would make it another day.  Billie said Shane totally lost it.  His dad is still hanging on but nobody knows how much longer he has.  Although he's been sick for a long time and the deterioration has been evident, it doesn't make losing your father any easier...just because you know well in advance that it's coming.  Shane's an emotional little guy anyway, but he's really been torn up and out of sorts for the last couple of weeks.  He jumps every time his phone rings.  He's not getting any sleep at night.  I feel very, very sorry for him.  To say that the stress level around here has been through the roof is an understatement.  And at the risk of sounding really morbid, it's a weird feeling to catch yourself sitting around thinking about funeral plans and how you can be of help before someone even dies.  Creepy stuff.

And did I mention my baby sister is going in the Army?  Good grief.  Amy's had a rough life, mostly due to her own choices (I've made plenty of bad ones myself in times past, so no judgement here).  I'm going to be perfectly honest with you.  This Army thing can either be a really good thing, or a really bad thing.  It all depends on her, and we just don't know how it's going to go until she gets in there and does it.  She's already passed her written tests and physical and for now, it looks like she'll be heading to boot camp in June.  My nerves have been completely racked over this.  And then Amy had to go and mention to me about some movie called Full Metal Jacket that I never watched, saying that if you mess up, the other people in your unit put bars of soap inside socks and beat the crap out of you.  In fact, she asked her recruiter about it, and he told her that kind of stuff happens all the time.  GREAT!!  JUST WHAT BIG SISTER NEEDED TO HEAR!!! 

Do you ever just want to disappear sometimes?  Just shrink away....*poof*...and not have to worry about LIFE anymore?  Nobody coming to lock you up for inability to pay your taxes....no roommate's father dying....no sister getting beat to a pulp with soap-filled socks.  You know, sometimes I wonder how many real-life Thelma and Louise's there have actually been, lol.  Just get in the car and drive....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blogging Hiatus

Good morning friends.  :)


I've been awarded the Sugar Doll award 3 times over the weekend!!! 

I love this award and want to send out my sincerest thanks to Leslie at Something Brilliant is Brewing, 266, and Matt at Lots to Lose.  I know there are rules, and I will try to get to those later, but for now I'll tell you about my blogging hiatus.

I've got a minor medical issue going on right now that will prevent me from being on the computer much.  It's a small problem that's surprisingly causing a LOT of pain.  My eating is still going okay, I'm just feeling pretty bad physically.  Another side issue is my left elbow.  I hurt it several weeks ago lifting weights, and it has still not healed...in fact, I think it's getting worse.  I was doing my workout at the gym yesterday and it was really screaming at me.  I plan on still going to the gym this week, if my OTHER medical issue allows me to, but if I go, I plan on keeping it to cardio only and leaving the weights completely alone for a solid week. 

If you don't hear from me sooner, then I will definitely be back by Friday to report my weigh-in.  Hopefully I'll be feeling up to snuff by then.  Hope everyone has a GREAT week!!  :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wake Up Call

I just read on Lyn and Leslie's blogs that Bethany at The Great Reduction died from a sudden heart attack.  She was in her early 30's.  She had a heart condition and needed to lose the weight for her health's sake.  She left behind 2 young boys and a husband. 

I have never seen Bethany's blog before tonight, and I hate that.  I bet she was wonderful.  As sad as I am for her family, this has been a bit of a wake up call for me.  She was younger than me and obese and she died.  I'm going to be 38 years old this summer, and I'm still obese.  Am I living on borrowed time?  Are most of us?  I don't want to wait on Death to catch up to me.  I ask that you pray for these boys who have lost their mother, and the husband that lost his wife and best friend.  I can't even imagine their pain right now.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Good Weekend Ahead

I weighed in this morning at 235.0.  I'm up 3 lbs from last week, but this doesn't shock me or upset me at all.  I'm finally figuring out and accepting that a couple of weeks out of my month are always going to be harder with my cycle lasting nearly 2 weeks every month....this week and next.  I'm not going to get upset about bloating that I can't do anything about, or not being able to workout as hard at the gym due to the PCOS cramps.  So I'm all good this morning!! 

Dwayne called me yesterday and said he found a dog festival in Villa Ricca so we're going to take Scarlette there tomorrow morning to "shop" and play with other puppies, lol.  I can't wait!!  I also have a baby shower to attend on Sunday afternoon and those are always fun.  I'm headed out shortly to do my grocery shopping.  I'll try to take more food pics this week.  The pics have been lacking lately because I end up eating a lot of the same things, lol.

Well I'm off to get my day started.  Have a super duper weekend friends!!  :)
*************************************************************************
Editor's Note:

After I finished writing this post this morning (just a few mins ago), I went to catch up on Chris' last couple of posts at A Deliberate Life (listed on my blogroll).  She wrote one on Wednesday entitled "The Best Year of my Life".  If you haven't read this you MUST.

I've seen Chris around Blogland for many months, but it's just been in the last several weeks that I started reading her regulary.  She has such an excellent writing style.  She's so real, so blunt, so raw.  She has a unique talent for either making me laugh my a$$ off, or making me feel like I've been slapped right between the eyes with a 2x4.  Today was the latter.  She talks about the day she decided to change her life.  And how that day has now turned into a year.  I'm so glad I found her, and if she's not someone you regularly read, you are really missing out.  She's a gem.  Go check out this post.  :)

Quote For the Day:

You can't lose the 90th pound until you've lost the 1st pound (summarized)  -Chris @ "A Deliberate Life"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Miracles and Blessings

I went to bed last night praying for a miracle with my job situation.  I got about 2 hours of sleep total, because I was thinking of what to do next.  Apply for retail?  Or temporary agencies?  And what would I wear to any kind of job, since I've shrunk out of all of my clothes?!

I got up this morning, showered, and took my letter up to the Dept. of Labor.  I wanted them to tell me to my face that the benefits had ended, before I embarked on the next leg of job hunting.  The counselor explained to me that my ORIGINAL claim had ended, and that I've been approved for the Tier 3 Extension!!  What???!!!!  She said getting the letter stating that I wasn't approved for any further benefits on my ORIGINAL claim was all part of the process.  That had to happen before I could receive the letter stating that I was approved for EXTENDED benefits.  As relieved as I SHOULD have been (and kind of was), I still got that old familiar stabbing pain shooting through my brain that I get every time I step foot in that office.  Things change so often and so rapidly when you're dealing with unemployment.  It goes from horrible, to wonderful, back to horrible....and that's just in a week's span of time.

So, for now, I'm supposedly approved for the next extension and just waiting for that letter to come in the mail so I'll know how many weeks it will be for.  There's my miracle.  :)

I was plagued with exhaustion today from almost no sleep last night and that persistent, stabbing pain in my brain, courtesy of the Dept of Labor.  I was relieved, but exhausted.  And my phone rang off the hook today!  That's where the blessings come in. 

First I got an email from Pam this morning, my BFF down in Florida.  She recently ended her weight loss blog that she's had for quite a while, and started up a new one called "The Rest Of My Journey".  I've got it listed on my blogroll.  She needed a fresh start, and I love her new blog.  Hop on over and check it out!  She offered me some words of encouragement and understanding, as she always does, and it was nice to know she cares.

I got 2 calls from Dwayne today, just to check on me and see how I was doing with all the ups and downs of the last 24 hours.  He also told me that he knew I've been stressed out for a good, solid year over this unemployment stuff, and informed me that he booked an oceanfront condo for me and him and our puppy Scarlette for the first week of May!!  We will have 8 full days on Panama City Beach, from May 1-May 8, and I absolutely cannot wait!  Here's the link of the condo we're staying in if you want to check it out:

http://www.findvacationrentals.com/florida/panama-city-beach-condo-rentals-8453.html

This afternoon, my niece Carla and my Mom stopped by for a little visit.  We had a nice chat...it's always nice to have a little family time.  Scarlette and Carla played in the front yard while Mom and I sat on the front porch enjoying the weather.   Even though we live next door to each other, it doesn't happen often enough, for one reason or another.  So I'm glad I got to see them both today.  :)

I didn't feel much like cooking tonight, so I was able to meet up with Shane and Billie for dinner out and enjoy time with friends.  Since this is the week of my cycle (well this week and next...lucky me gets it for nearly 2 weeks out of the month!), and I already have some serious bloating going on, I wasn't too concerned about the sodium from the restaurant food.  It was just nice to relax with friends and let my brain unwind.

When I left the restaurant, I checked my cell phone that I had left in the car, and had a missed call from Sean.  We have gone from blogging buddies to really good friends.  I called him back and we had a nice little chat.  He's a super great guy...just love him to pieces.  Then one of my friends, Chris, who I've known and loved since high school (he, Pam and I all went to school together), called me and we caught up with each other.  I did a post about him when he came to Atlanta to visit during Halloween weekend.  You can find it here.

And finally, one of my co-workers from my last job, Tasha, texted me tonight and told me that her company (she just found a new job in December) is hiring right now for a customer service analyst!  It's a permanent position in Downtown Atlanta.  She asked for my email and is going to send me some info on applying for the position tomorrow!! 

So I've had blessings all around today, from receiving the extension, to getting to chat with so many good friends and family, to hearing about a job opening from a previous co-worker.  I thank God for giving me such a good day and lifting my spirits in so many ways.  I hope all of you had a wonderful day, too.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"The world of achievement has always belonged to the optimist."  -Harold Wilkins

Monday, March 15, 2010

One Of These Days...

One of these days, all the bad crap in my life is going to pass and I'm going to have nothing but bright and cheery stuff to post about, full of rainbows and butterflies.  But for now....I'll just tell you how my Monday was.

I started my cycle...bloated like the Goodyear blimp...hormones are raging....worked out at the gym tonight for a good hour and a half trying to relieve some stress....only to come home and check the mail a few mins ago and find a letter from the Dept of Labor...the one I've been waiting on.  I am not receiving another extension.  The paychecks have ended. 

Their website states that the minimum wage right now is $7.25/hr, so I will be pounding the pavement tomorrow collecting applications from different retail clothing stores, gas stations, etc.  I absolutely REFUSE to put my fat self in a fast food restaurant environment.  I'd rather live in a cardboard box on the side of the road.  Let's hope it doesn't come to that. 

Hope everyone is having a super fantastic Monday (full of rainbows and butterflies)!  :)

Quote For the Day:

"This too shall pass."  -Someone Brilliant

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Practicing Normal

My emotions are all over the place tonight after trying to catch up on some blog reading.  I always read Jack Sh*t's first on Sunday, because it's his weigh-in day.  He put away the scale last weekend and decided to just concentrate on strength training, which causes the scale to go screwy.  Strength training always makes you more hungry, and he's got a bit of internal struggle going on with wondering if he's eating too much, and trying not to.  It was a good reminder that no matter how far you've come with your weight loss, there is still a struggle involved to get those numbers where you want them, and to keep them there.  I'm so far away from putting the scale away and learning to trust myself.  I'm really rooting for Jack as he works on his strength training and continues to work for his goals.

Then I read Zaababy's post.  Immediate tears.  She lost enough weight a couple of weeks ago to give blood for the first time in her life....something she always wanted to do.  It was an exubertant post, as all of hers are.  Tonight's post was a lot more sobering.  Due to giving blood, she got a letter in the mail stating she has Hepatitus C and has to have a liver biopsy.  She googled Hep-C and found out all kinds of scary, horrible, possible things it could lead to.  She needs our prayers and I hope you will give them to her. 

Then I read Jenn's post at Watch My Butt Shrink.  Her blog has changed to Watch My Bump Grow, because she just found out she's pregnant!  She's thrilled and I'm thrilled for her...but she's also concerned about her weight not going too high with this new pregnancy.  She struggles just like a lot of us, and now she's got to be extra careful to control the desires to want to overeat, even though she's eating healthy stuff for the baby.  I understand her fears and concerns, amidst all the joy, and I'm praying that she'll find the control she's striving for.

Next I read Sean's blog, which led me over to Chubby Chick's blog at Journeying to Lose 200 Pounds....a friend of his who's also struggling right now.  A read a couple of her posts and it was like reading something I very well could have written myself.  She's asking, "Why can't I just be normal?"  Ha!  Why can't we all, girlfriend?!  I KNOW that question all to well.  I struggle with it all the time.  ALL THE TIME.  She was saying how she's either totally on track, or totally off track....there's no middle ground.  She just wants to be a normal eater.  I know that struggle like the back of my hand.

I decided it was time to stop the blog reading and just come over here and do my own post for the night.  I discovered something this weekend in the way of normalcy.  I think if we keep TRYING, that eventually, we'll get it.  Maybe it's like building a good habit.....it just takes WAY longer than we think it should take.  Maybe it takes longer because we've had food issues for 20-30+ years....and it takes a hell of a long time to train yourself to do something you've, quite frankly, just never done.  Eating normally. 

Pizza is something I haven't had since I started blogging last June....so..about 9 months?  I've WANTED pizza...Mellow Mushroom, in particular, but I haven't had any.  The reason is because I don't know how to eat pizza like a normal person.  I would eat at least half of it in one sitting, another couple of slices cold the next morning for breakfast (which, by the way, is the best breakfast EVER), and finish the last couple of pieces for lunch that day.  The calories would be off the map, so I haven't even gone there. 

I was finally confronted by pizza TWICE this weekend, and I think I actually acted like a NORMAL person in both situations.  I'm still a little shocked at myself....but I've been dwelling on this "normal" eating thing for so long, that maybe something's finally starting to kick in.  Saturday was one of my niece's 5th birthday party, and they had it at CiCi's Pizza.  I will admit that it helps that I've always hated their cardboard crap "pizza".  But I still can't think of a single time that I've been to an all-you-can-eat place, be it pizza or otherwise, and not had a single bite of food.  I went to the party....sat around and visited family, sipped on a Coke (didn't even drink half of it)....and just didn't eat.  I just didn't.  I watched her open her gifts, and then they cut the cake.  And I didn't eat a single bite of cake either.  I LOVE the cakes from the Publix bakery....it's the only place I'll order a birthday cake from.  They're fantastic.  But I just chose not to have any, the same way I chose not to have any pizza.  Whadda' ya' know???  You don't HAVE to eat the food just because it's sitting there.  What a foreign concept, lol. 

When I left the party, I went next door to Larry's Subs and got a 12" ham and turkey sub on wheat bread with lettuce and tomato, fat-free mayo & mustard.  I took it home and split it with Dwayne and ate my half....under 400 calories, and drank a glass of water with it.  Normal.  Hmmm...I'll have to keep practicing this!

Today...Sunday...I went over to my roommate Shane's parents house to help them do some cleaning and organzing.  Shane, Billie, her son Brandon and I were all over there working and cleaning for a few hours (after we went to the gym, of course)....and Shane's parents ended up ordering pizza for us as a "thank you".  Crap.  More pizza....and this time it was Pizza Hut.  Deep dish.  Supreme.  Two of them.  Uh oh.

We all sat down to the table to eat.  Keep in mind that Billie and I are gym partners, lol.  I had absolutely no idea how many calories were in one piece because I've never bothered to look it up.  I looked at her and said, "What do you think?  About 500 cals a piece?  It IS deep dish, ya know."  She was like, 500 calories???!!!  For one piece???!!! lol 

I ate one piece and I stopped.  Of course, I was still hungry.  But I just didn't know how many calories were in it, and I didn't think it was worth blowing the whole day over.  So I just ate one piece and quit.  Period.  Like a normal person.  Holy crap this could become a habit, lol. 

So I just wanted to offer some hope tonight.  I really think if we keep practicing this "acting as if" business, that eventually if WILL become a habit, and we will progress, and eventually we WILL learn how to be normal in the realm of eating.  It's definitely a foreign concept, and it definitely goes against everything I'm used to.  But it's something I yearn for....something I desperately want.  I know a lot of us do.  So let's keep trying, my friends.  Let's keep striving for our goals and one day we'll get there.  It will take some effort, but that's okay.  I've met some of the most determined, goal-driven people of my life right here in Blogland.  We've all got it in us to do it.  We may not win every battle....but we WILL win the war.  :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Weighed Today

I did my weigh-in today instead of tomorrow because I knew I would be out running errands and would be eating lunch out.  Even though it was only a deli sandwich, and well within my calories, I knew it would produce a sodium gain...and it did.  I checked tonight, just to make sure.  So I'm posting my REAL, ACTUAL weight from this morning....not my "fake" gain. 

I weighed in at 232.0 this morning for a loss of 7 lbs this week!!  Granted, most of it was sodium, but 232.0 looks a heck of a lot better than the 239.0 I saw staring back at me last week, so I'll take it!  I didn't salt 90% of my food here at home this week, so that was a big help, too.  I also worked out in the gym 4 days this week...not my usual 5 days, but still good workouts. 

About the unemployment checks....one of them showed up in my bank account this morning, but the last check was still missing.  I went back up to the unemployment office AGAIN this morning (we're very close to being on a first-name basis at this point)....and found out that although I certified, the system did not automatically generate the check like it was SUPPOSED to.  Love that system.  So the lady had to go in and manually release it and I should receive it in 2 or 3 days.  As of right now, that is my last paycheck.  The lady told me to keep certifying every Sunday, in case an extension goes through, but if I don't see something in my account in a couple of weeks, then I'm "dead in the water".  Lovely phrase, don't ya' think?

On to more positive things.  I'm changing some stuff on my blog, simply because I want to.  As everyone knows I've been having a hard time for quite a while.  Can't seem to get below 230 lbs for whatever reason.  As a matter of fact, next week is my cycle, and with the extreme pain of the PCOS, the psychotic hormones, and the horrible bloating....my main goal will just be to try and maintain....I certainly don't expect to lose anything.  I needed something to help me see the positive sides of what I've accomplished so far.

I'm changing my tattoo and my ticker on my sidebar to reflect my HIGHEST weight....the weight I was before I started blogging....340 lbs.  I started blogging at 272 lbs.  The truth is though....I used to weigh 340, and I did all the work and put in all the effort to get to where I am now at 232.  I want to be able to look at those numbers on my sidebar every time I log on, instead of the same old 40 lbs lost.  I need a change...a positive change.  So when you see those numbers on my sidebar now, that's the explanation for them.  :)

I'm going to wrap this up with a few food pics from stuff I made this week.....a chicken burger, made out of ground chicken breast, tomato, dill pickle, red onion, lite mayo & ketchup....a boiled egg I had as a snack....curry pork & veggies I made in the crockpot....and a breakfast scramble made with Egg Beaters, Canadian bacon, 2% American cheese, diced roma tomato and green onions.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!  :)

Quote For the Day:

"The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything.  It's your mind you have to convince."  -Vince Lombardi













Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Caging the Binge Monster

I know you guys are getting tired of reading about my frequent binge episodes, and quite frankly, I'm tired of telling you about them.  But I think posting about this crap is helping me in some way....not exactly sure what way, but I think quitting posting or shutting down the blog would end up being way more damaging than writing all this garbage out.

Today was a really bad day.  Yes, ANOTHER really bad day.  They're so frequent, and I feel the need to apologize for that, but it's simply how my life is right now.  This is the second week in a row that I didn't get paid.  I was supposed to have 2 weeks of pay left on the unemployment, pending on whatever's going on in Congress right now...and yet, I haven't received either one of those checks.  I'm holding my breath that all the paperwork that I had to fill out last week when I didn't get my check will be processed by this Friday and I'll get BOTH checks and can actually pay the people I owe.  At least that is my hope. 

I didn't even have the heart or guts to ask Dwayne for any financial help this week, because he came through for me so valiantly last week.  That, in turn, led to an argument, and it just grew and grew and I was pushing him away as hard as I could.  It's really for his own good....I don't want to pull him down into the muck and mire with me.  It's depressing down here.  How did all of this affect my eating today?

I had a 200 calorie breakfast scramble at 7am, right after I found out my bank account was still empty.  And then at noon my sister, nephew and I were out shopping at Goodwill for some clothes and we had a really big lunch around noon.  This is where I felt myself starting to slide downhill.  I got lost while driving around looking for a particular road, Cyress was in the backseat whining, it's been raining all day and my windows were fogged up and I forgot the driver's side one is broken.  I tried to roll it down and it FELL down and startled the crap out of me.  I pulled over and finally got it back up, got back on the road and a van pulled out in front of me while I was going about 45 mph....Amy and I both threw our arms out to the side (as if we were trying to keep Cyress from flying over the front seat) while I slammed on the brakes, and then I went to cussing at the van (like they could hear me), telling them I've got a kid in the car!!  Were they trying to kill the baby???  Yeah I know...it was bad to cuss in front of the youngin'.....but it was just one of those stressful days. 

Right after that I told Amy I feel like binge eating today.  She said, "Awwww....I'm sorry......I know what that feels like."  Even though she's a twig and I didn't believe that she really knows what that feels like, the fact that she was sympathizing with me got me teary-eyed.  It felt like someone cared, but was it enough to stop the cycle I was in?  We stopped at Quik Trip to get gas and I got a medium caramel macchiato and a brownie.  I drank half the coffee and threw the rest out when I got home.  I shared the brownie with Cyress and Amy, so I ate about half of that.  That was my attempt at trying to save myself before the whole day was ruined.

I got home about 3:30p I think and started drinking water....lots of water.  Argued some more with Dwayne through email....texted Billie and cancelled the gym for tonight....cried for about an hour, took an hour nap, woke up and cried some more.  I knew what I was headed for.  Didn't I just do this last week?  Yes I did.  Am I going to have to go through this every week?  I don't know. 

I guess the first bit of good news is that I'm now acutely aware of when a binge is coming on.  I've read in other blogs where people say they kind of "wake up" in the middle of one, after they've ingested 4,000 cals, and can't even remember how it really started.  I may have been guilty of that in the past, because before I started blogging, I really didn't know what bingeing was.  To me, it was my "normal".  I didn't know there was an actual term for eating like a moron or stuffing down your emotions or stress with food.  But now that I've been at this blogging thing for a while, I'm all too aware of what's going on....what leads up to one, how quickly the downhill slide is if you enter into one, and how amazingly fast it's over with and how many calories I can eat in such a short amount of time.  I'm also becoming aware of just how horrid I feel afterwards.  The guilt and disappointment in myself is overwhelming.  It's absolutely suffocating.

That's actually a good thing, because if I keep concentrating on that when I feel a binge coming on, then hopefully I'll be able to stop myself more frequently, and they will be fewer and farther inbetween.  I've just about decided that emotional and stressful stuff will always trigger the binge feelings for me.  Kind of like once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, no matter how many years you're in recovery.  I'm thinking it's also once a binge-er, always a binge-er (no, that's probably not a real word, lol). 

Back to the eating.  I woke up from my nap and drank some more water.....I think I've had my usual (3) 32 oz. glasses so far today.  Then Shane called me at 7pm and asked what's for dinner.  Sh*t.  I was trying not to cook dinner because it was one of those desperate feelings of eat absolutely nothing else today, or you're going to eat everything in the house.   I hate to sound so extreme, but that's the truth for me.  Some days are just like that.  I told him I'd make some chicken tenders in Rotel for soft tacos, because I knew I just had those a couple of days ago, and they didn't sound that appetizing to me tonight, so I shouldn't be tempted.  So I made them, and I didn't touch them.  It's 8:30pm right now, and I haven't had another bite of food since that 1/2 of brownie this afternoon around 2:30pm.  I think I made it through the binge feelings w/o doing too much damage for the entire day.  I had a big lunch, and fattening snacks with the brownie and coffee.  But since breakfast was only 200 cals and I haven't had dinner, I think the overall day may still be intact. 

There's nothing saying that I won't be back on here Friday if I don't get my check again, telling you how I ate 10 bacon double cheeseburgers.  I'm not brazen enough to claim that kind of victory over bingeing.  But I made it through today.  I stopped the cycle before it really got out of control, and I feel pretty good about that.  It's still a crappy day and I feel bad in a lot of other ways, but there's one tiny gleam of hope that I get to hold onto for today.  I have to believe that the more I work at breaking this cycle, that the better I'll get at overcoming it for longer periods of time. 

Other than the big lunch today, I've done really well with my eating and exercise this week.  I'm still looking forward to my weigh-in this Friday....I'm not dreading it...and that's a good feeling.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs one step at a time."  -Mark Twain

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Advice From My Trainer

Ok.  Get this. 

Our personal trainer, Chris, went on vacation back to his hometown of California, the last week of Feb.  The first of March, when I found out that my unemployment was ending in 2 weeks, I called Billie and told her I had to stop paying for the trainer, because that's $60/month I just can't justify if Dwayne's going to be paying all of my bills until I find a job.  He would let me keep the $20/month gym membership, but not the personal trainer that we see once a week.  Since I had just paid for the month of March a couple of days before, I have this month left with the trainer. 

The same day I told Billie I was cancelling and only have this month of March left, she texted me later that afternoon and told me the gym called her....that Chris, on vacation in Cali, decided not to come back!!!!  So...they assigned us to a new trainer....a girl named Theresa.  She took our measurments last Thursday, and that's when I found out I lost 1.5 inches off of my bat wings over the last month!  Tonight was our first workout with her, and I'll only get to see her a couple of more weeks, and then my personal training days are over until I can find a friggin' job and afford to start it up again.

After our workout on arms and abs (she's a killer, by the way)....she asked me how much water I'm drinking.  I told her (3) 32 oz. glasses a day.  She told me that's not near enough....drink more.  How much more?  She said I should be drinking 1 oz. of water for each pound I weigh.  ***Brain freeze after I do some quick math in my head***   Ummmm....that's like (30) 8 oz. glasses of water a day.  She said, "Yep...I weigh 156 lbs and I drink 156 ounces of water a day."  So, according to her, I'm only drinking enough water for a 96 lb. person.  I asked her then why is the recommended amount of water 6-8 glasses a day.  She said that's all you need to live and function okay....but if you're lifting weights and building muscle, it needs to be one ounce for every pound you weigh. 

I started to say I'll think about it...I said, "I'll thhh....I'll try."  She said all she asks is that I try!! 

Ok....so has anyone else ever heard of this before?  I really just can't even fathom drinking that much water in a day....much the same way I can't fathom eating 2300 cals a day/7 days a week and actually losing weight, like the nutrionist told me to do.   I swear, the more I try to involve myself in this fitness crap and try to get in better shape, the crazier the advice gets!!! 

Came in at 1800 cals again today, and as you just read, another great workout.  I get so red-faced and red-chested & so drenched in sweat....soaking wet head and clothes...that I think my trainers are worried I'm near heart failure.  Both Chris and Theresa have asked if I'm ok...if I got in the tanning bed before I worked out because I'm so red, etc.  And Billie never sweats.  Ever.  She even commented tonight after the workout that she was actually SWEATING tonight (told you Theresa was a killer).  I don't get it...but whatever.  Maybe some people just don't sweat no matter how hard they work.  I leave the gym every night looking like I just got blasted with a water hose....sooooo attractive, lol.  Another good day in the books.  'Nite friends. :)

Quote For the Day:

"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."  -Benjamin Franklin

Monday, March 8, 2010

Self-Sabotage??

Super short post.  I don't know what's up with me today.  I have been sooooo tired and lethargic and I woke up wanting to eat everything in the house.  Don't know why.  Nothing particulary crazy going on in my life right now (but then I ask myself on most days, how much crazier can it get????!!!)  I managed to keep my calories at 1800, which feels somewhat miraculous, because I've been fighting my food thoughts all day.  Get this.  My mom even called to chat for a while and told me that her and my sister were going out to lunch today at the Chinese buffet....and I was welcome to join them.  Holy crap.....oh that took some real restraint.  Can you believe I said no??  I still can't believe I turned down Chinese, of all things.  But I did.  So yay for me, and on an especially difficult day.  Got in a good, hard workout at the gym tonight with Billie.  Still working on getting the water in for today....6 glasses so far, 6 glasses to go before bedtime.

I'm starting to wonder if I have some weirdo mental hang-up about getting below 230.  I seem to keep bouncing between 230 & 239....I've jumped up and down between those numbers a couple of different times now.  It strikes me as odd.  I can't think of why the 220's would scare the crap out of me, or why I'd have some kind of self-sabotage thing going on, but that's the major hurdle I'm trying to concentrate on right now.  I want to see the 220's, and NEVER see 230 again.  That's my next goal.  Wish me well friends. :)

Quote For the Day:

"Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them.  You will find that they don't have half the strength you think they have."  -Norman Vincent Peale

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Things Are Improving!

I reported my weigh-in on Friday...239.0 lbs.  I'm happy to say that this morning, Sunday, I'm already down 3.2 lbs to 235.8....so I'm finally releasing some of that sodium that my body was hanging on to.  Woo Hoo!  I feel better already!!

I've got some food pics to post.  I've been trying to keep the salt out of my diet the past few days, so I've been using stuff like garlic powder, onion powder & Mrs. Dash (salt-free) to season the foods that I cook.  Here's some chicken breasts that I baked with Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb.  I use these to chop up and put in my breakfast scrambles.  I also bought some Egg Beaters that were on sale this week...it's a mental thing....seeing yellow egg whites makes me think I'm actually getting to enjoy whole, yellow eggs without the high calories, lol.




I also made some chicken for soft tacos.  I used Ro-tel, garlic & Mrs. Dash tomato & Basil:





I made a breakfast scramble with egg beaters, baked chicken breast, spinach, black olives, onions & mushrooms:



For dinner last night, Dwayne and I AVOIDED the Mexican restaurant this time and had "date night" at home.  We grilled pork chops and I roasted some red potatoes and sauteed some mushrooms, red onions & zucchini (for me...he doesn't eat veggies).



Mom and I went to the Farmer's Market on Friday and I picked up just a few things.  It seemed like the prices were a lot higher than the last time I went, so I wasn't willing to buy as much as I normally do.  Here's what I bought:

A small bunch of green onions
Head of cabbage
3 zucchini
Bag of Fuji apples
A pineapple
Large yellow onion
5 Roma tomatoes
4 red potatoes

I spent $8.50.

I tried to get Dwayne to go on a hike yesterday...the sun was shining and it was 50 degrees outside...absolutely gorgeous weather....but he didn't want to go.  He has a serious aversion to exercise.  It's time for me to go get ready now to meet Billie at the gym in a little bit.  I'm looking forward to a good, hard, sweaty workout.  Hope all of you are having a great weekend, too!  :)

Quote For the Day:

"Rule your mind or it will rule you."  -Horace 




Friday, March 5, 2010

(Eyeroll)

I weighed in at 239.0 this morning for a gain of 5 lbs. this week.  And that's all I have to say about that.  Be back later this weekend with something more positive to say!  :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Bat Wings Are Shrinking!!!

I think I've finally been inspired to straighten up and get fully back on track.  I did a post about my bat wings I think about a month and a half ago.  Billie and I measured each other's arms with the cloth measuring tape in my sewing kit.  I reported that they were 17" around.  Yikes.  Turns out our measurements weren't exactly accurate, because when we joined the new gym a couple of weeks later, they took ALL of our measurements and my arms were 17.5".  Even worse.

They took our measurements again tonight because it's been a month and it was time for a progress report.  I was not happy about this, lol.  The truth is, when I first took the pic of the bat wings, I really and truly thought there was no hope.  I was going to try and shrink them but they're so saggy and there's just so much loose skin that I really didn't think they'd shrink up any at all.  But I was wrong....I've lost 1.5" off of them in a month's time!!  My bat wings are 16" now!!  Can you believe it????  Yeah I know....me neither...but I'm totally psyched about it!!!  I don't see the difference just by looking at them...probably because they'll always look hideous to me....but when I've lost a total of 3" total then I'll post another progress pic.  Maybe then we'll see a difference.

They only measured one arm, and one leg, I guess assuming that you lose the same amt on each limb, beings that you lift the same weight with each one.  My total inches lost off of my body was only 5"....no big deal....but 1.5" of that was off a bat wing!!!  For the last couple of weeks, I've been grabbing the 5 lb weights before I get on the treadmill and doing my 20 min walk with them at the end of my workout.  Tonight I was so excited that there's actually hope for my arms, that I grabbed the 7.5 lb weights and hit the treadmill with those....the 10 lb's are still a little too much for me to do for 20 mins, but I'm working on it!! 

Here's the total body rundown:

Hips:      Start:  50.25"    Today:  50"            Lost:  1/4"
Thigh:               23"         Today:  21.25        Lost:  1 3/4"
Bat Wing:         17.5"      Today:  16"            Lost:  1 1/2"
Chest:               45"         Today:  44"            Lost:  1"
Shoulders:         46"         Today:  45.25"       Lost:  3/4"
Calves:              16"         Today:  16.5"         Gained:  1/2"

Did you catch that last one???  My calves are getting BIGGER!!!  This is a huge problem for me.  The very first day I signed up with the personal trainer, I instructed him to NOT give me ANY exercises that target the calves.  I told him I already have man calves, and I do NOT want them getting any bigger.  And he hasn't given us any calf exercises.  But I'm thinking the elliptical, the treadmill, and the outdoor hiking must be contributing to them getting larger and that totally stresses me out.  Just so you will understand what I'm talking about, I hiked my pants legs up and stood on my tippy toes so I could flex them, and had Shane take a couple of pictures of them to show you:



These babies developed in high school when I used to take dance and they've always looked like this.  Even at my highest weight of 340 lbs, my calves have always been solid muscle.  It's hard for me to wear high heels and not feel self-conscious about them because they're so big.  I've always been very feminine, but these boulders make me look like a guy that had a sex change or something.  I really don't want them getting any bigger.....has anyone got any ideas on how to keep them from growing????  Please help me, lol. 

I'll be back tomorrow to report my ridiculous gain on the scale, but it will probably be tomorrow night.  I'm certainly not in any hurry.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them."  -Michael Jordan

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One Leg At A Time

You guys are the best.  Really, you are.  I was humbled by all of the supportive comments.  I love that you care and understand about what's going on with me.  Thank you for not judging me for my bad choices and my negative attitude, and thank you even more for encouraging me to never give up, no matter how rocky it gets.  You make a girl want to dig deep and find the fortitude and strength to get back up on the horse....for the millionth time.

The first comment I received last night was from Jack Sh*t.  When I saw it sitting in my inbox I was like, "Ahhh crap.  Time to take my butt-kickin'"....lol.  So I opened it and read it, and when I got to the part about time to put my big girl panties on, because if I don't, pretty soon it will be time to put on the REALLY big girl panties.....well I just had to laugh out loud.  It was so endearing.  He actually cares about little ol' me...just one little speck on his global map of followers....and I appreciate that he's always willing to plant his foot up my rear whenever I need it.  I'm glad that all of you care, and I love all the different ways that you express it. 

Sean and I are pretty close friends and have been for a while now.  He called me last night and let me cry on his shoulder.  Then he left a big comment on my crappy post, too.  I really wish I was as awesome at this whole weight loss thing as he is.  There's a few of you out there that just blow my mind.  I'm glad I have all of you as inspiration to keep fighting the fight.

I'm trying to put my "big girl panties" on...one leg at a time.  I feel like I got one leg in today, but I'm kind of hopping around on one foot.  I still don't have it all together.  My calories went over 1800.  I'm going to have a significant gain Friday morning.  I got on the scale today and oh dear Lord I don't even want to report it.  But I'm going to.  It's all part of that whole honesty thing.  And I hope none of you are actually looking to me or my blog for any kind of real inspiration on how to lose weight, lol.  If anything, I hope you're here to learn what NOT to do...especially when the going gets rough.  I fail way more than I succeed.  I really don't know why I stay in the game.  Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. 

I drank more water today, but not enough.  I did manage to get my fat a$$ to the gym tonight and I worked out with Billie for an hour.  I so did not want to.  By the time 5:30p rolled around, when it was time to leave for the gym, I really had to drag myself out to the car.  I repeated, "I don't want to do this...I don't want to do this..." all the way there.  But once you get to the gym and your workout partner is there waiting on you, you kind of have to do it. 

I checked my bank account this morning, and my paycheck wasn't direct deposited.  Uh oh.  I thought I had 2 more weeks of pay left.  Great.  So I went BACK up to Hell (Dept of Labor), just like I did on Monday...sat around and waited forever....and finally found out that my year had "ran out", and it was time to fill out new paperwork before I could get paid.  "When did my year end?", I asked.  "On Feb. 19th", I was told.  "But I was up here 2 days ago, on March 1st, so why didn't you have me fill it out then so I could get paid today?".  "I guess it got overlooked...sorry". (Oh it's no big deal...no problem...it's just my LIFE you're screwing with lady!)  Pffft.  Whatever. 

So I filled out my paperwork and they told me there was a huge back log due to all the red tape bullsh*t going on with Congress and the extension scare.  She said I'll get a check some time next week...somewhere between Wed and Fri.  Great.  No money for a week.  Now what?  I left and ran some errands with my sister Amy, then went home and thought about who wasn't going to get their bill money this week.  Dwayne called this afternoon and I told him what happened. 

So tonight, after I got home from the gym, my knight in shining armor (Dwayne), rode up to my castle on his white stallion (drove up to my rental house in his Honda Accord V6 coupe), and laid his riches at my feet (handed me enough cash to equal the paycheck I didn't get).  I really don't know why he loves me.  I have nothing to offer him.  I can't pull my own weight with my own bills, I can't seem to find a job, I drive a really old, crappy car that HE keeps paying the repair bills on, I lost some weight and now only have 3 shirts in the size I'm wearing now, so he sees me in the same old clothes week after week....the boy is blind, quite obviously, but I thank God for him every day.  He and Scarlette are the bright spots in my life, without a doubt.

The lady at the Dept of Labor said that Pres. Obama signed off on the extension last night.  Apparently they conned that Senator in Kentucky into putting it through (God only knows how many billions they promised to give him for his state to get him to comply).  They said there will be a little backlog, but since I still had 2 checks coming anyway, then it might all go through before my checks end.  They said the tier I'm on is scheduled to run through April 3rd with this new legislation, about 4 more weeks from now.  They also said that it should....SHOULD....make me eligible for the next tier...but couldn't give me any idea whatsoever on how many weeks that would be.  They said I'd get a letter in the mail if I'm going to get anything past April 3rd. 

I should probably be happy and relieved about this right?  So don't ask me why I'm not.  It's not that I'm ungrateful or unappreciative.  It's hard to explain what I am.  Scared, for sure.  Untrusting of anything they say because they've abruptly ended my checks 2x now with very little notice.  Things change on a dime around that place and it's hard living day to day with no safety or security.  I'm not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda' girl.  I like to know what the hell's going on.  I like to plan things and know what I can count on.  I like things like job security, no matter how boring and mundane the job is.  But you don't always get what you want.  This past year has been one of the roughest, most stressful ones I think I've ever had.  I should be used to the curve balls by now, but obviously I'm not.  I obviously don't handle stress and emotional upheaval very well at all.  The scale will scream that loud and clear Friday morning. 

We buy groceries every 2 weeks, and this is grocery week, so I'll be going to the store tomorrow.  I'm planning on stocking up on a bunch of healthy junk....fruit and veggies out the ears.  I'm going to try to get that other leg in my panties tomorrow and see if I can get this show back on the road.  My focus is still not squarely back on the calories and exercise like it should be....my mind still keeps drifting off to the money problems and such.  But I'm going to keep working on it.  Hopefully I'll get it right soon.  One thing's for sure.  I do care enough to know that I don't want to go back up the scale.  And I know how very fast it happens.  It takes FOR-friggin'-EVER to lose the weight, but it only takes a flash to pack it all back on.  Life is so unfair in that way, don't 'cha think?  Yeah, me too.  But I guess nobody ever promised us fair.  What we do have though is the power to choose our own attitudes each day, and the power to make daily choices.  It's up to us to decide whether those choices are good ones or bad ones.  I need to really concentrate over the next few days on making the good ones again.  I don't want it to be too late. 

Quote For the Day:

"Knowing is not enough, we must apply.  Willing is not enough, we must do."  -Johann von Goethe

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Off The Wagon...Again

Well.  The same thing happened that happened back in Dec.  I walked into the Dept of Labor yesterday and was told I have 2 weeks of pay left.  I thought since I'd already been through this once, that I was better prepared to deal with it.  I wasn't.  The exact same thing happened that happened the last time.  I got an instant surging pain in my brain that required some Excedrin Migraine medicine.  My mind just nutted right up...I didn't go to the gym.  All I did was call Dwayne and apprise him of the situation (translation:  in 2 weeks time, I'm going to need you to pay all of my bills)....and went home.  The crying only lasted about 5 mins, because once you've been through this before, the shock value isn't nearly as bad.  But as it turns out, the fear is exactly the same.  The mind-numbing guilt of having to rely on Dwayne to pay for my every need is the same. 

I just sat in my bedroom and stared at the walls for a couple of hours.  I went to my sister's house, as planned, to babysit.  She handed me $10 and told me to take the kids to Chic-fil-A for dinner...AGAIN.  Sure.  No problem.  I don't give a crap about anything right now.  Fried sodium for everyone!!!  Then this morning, it was snowing really heavy, so she had me follow her out of the neighborhood (which means down the curvy mountain roads).  I had the kids in the car with me.  She slid a couple of times, but I managed to stay in her tire tracks and we made it out...but it was a painfully slow drive for about an hour and a half.  Then she stopped at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  Why not???  I don't care about anything but being destitute!!  Calories, shmalories.  Eh.  Whatever.

So....I haven't counted the first calorie in 2 days now.  I've had 3 restaurant meals in the last 2 days.  I've only had 4 glasses of water in the last 2 days.  And I haven't been to the gym in the last 2 days.  I'm starting to really hate Fridays. 

I'm not even going to pretend that I give a crap right now, because the God's honest truth is that I don't.  Maybe on the outside fringes of my mind I do, but 98% of my brain couldn't care less.  I know this is toxic thinking, and I know where it will get me.  It got me about a 20 lb. gain just a few months ago when everything went south.  I'm only 2 days into the abyss right now.  Technically, I still have a chance to save myself, in regards to the world of weight loss.  Technically. 

I'm not making any promises, but I will say that I am going to attempt to "act as if" I care tomorrow.  I'm going to try to go to the gym with Billie tomorrow night as we are normally scheduled to do.  I'm going to try to keep the cals under 1800....asking for 1500 is just laughable to me right now.  I am going to try to drink plenty of water.  I hope I make it.  I hope I can climb out now.  I'm scared if I don't I might not ever make it back out this time.  A girl gets tired of trying, especially when so many things are working against her.  Did I just say "I'm scared"?  Ok....maybe than 2% of my brain cares.....maybe it's a whole 3%.    I'm also going to read some blogs and leave some comments.  I need some inspiration.  That always seems to help.  'Nite friends. 

Quote For the Day:

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do.  Where there's love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."  -Ella Fitzgerald