Sunday, May 31, 2009

One month = ?

It's the last day of the month of May. One full month of rededicating myself to eating more healthfully and regaining my fitness. And it's been fun and I feel fantastic! I've got a great momentum going and fully expect that I WILL reach my goals, big and small.

The concrete results of this month's efforts are pretty startling. As of today, I have lost 18.4 pounds, down from 336.6 to 318.2. Not only that, I went from barely being able to walk for a few minutes without experiencing terrible pain in my shins to doing walking/running sequences for more than 30 minutes with no problem. Isn't that incredible for 31 days' worth of effort?

I've cut out diet soda almost completely (I did have two glasses last night, just because. Eh.), and simply kept my calorie levels at around 2200 per day or less. Of course, I also exercised 3-6 days a week, plus lots of gardening. Basically, no changes I made were particularly difficult and I tried to remain as consistent as possible. I feel myself becoming stronger and stronger.

After a month's time, I truly do feel like I've established some great new habits. And I can't wait to see what the coming months have in store for me.

And hey, what do you think? Looks like I just might have a shot at getting down to 315 by my birthday on June 9th after all.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's all about give and take

Yesterday, I ate within my calorie boundaries, but well surpassed areas like sodium and fat—not good. So, I made sure to drink more water, and added more exercise for (hopeful) damage control. I'm pleased to say that despite a lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings (for a co-worker's birthday) and dinner from Wendy's (both of us too tired to cook), I did OK on the scale this morning, coming in about a half a pound lighter at 320.6. So close to the 310s! I will say that I tried to make "better" choices overall, though I indulged with some Wendy's fries at dinner, after having picked a salad for my side at lunch.

I successfully completed Week 4 Day 1 of C25K this morning, even though initially it felt like it would be impossible to finish. Once I got halfway in, I decided there was no way I was going to wimp out. I had a strong finish and went a wee bit faster than yesterday, even! Exciting stuff.

The sequence this week, in case you are wondering, is:
5 minute warmup walk
3 minutes jogging
90 seconds walking
5 minutes jogging
2.5 minutes walking
3 minutes jogging
90 seconds walking
5 minutes jogging
5 minutes cool down walk


On the docket for the rest of today is... you guessed it, more gardening. Pretty tough stuff, too—a lot of digging so I can plant my asparagus, and some more peppers. Plus, the last of the clearing out in the back yard.

I have to run to Home Depot before I get started on that, so I should be off for now. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 29, 2009

New Birthday Goal

I decided to make a new birthday goal, since I am just about there on the one I made initially (320 pounds). It's a week and a half away, and while I think 315 does sound a little much, I will set the goal there anyway. Shoot high, right?

However, I will not be disappointed with any number that starts with 31.

A Little More Effort = Results!

Weight: 321.2
Total Weight loss: 15.4 pounds

It's Friday, which means that it is my "official" weigh-in day!

I am so, so pleased with weigh-in today. Yesterday's eating kind of went out the window, so I was expecting several steps backward. To my delight, I only saw a .2 pound gain! That's pretty much a maintain in my book.

It didn't start out poorly. I had a pretty good day up until I got home at 8:30pm, actually! It was along day that included regular work and then a couple errands topped off by a meeting. I got dinner at McDonald's and figured that that would be it for the day. (I know, I know... this time I got a two cheeseburgers meal with water. Looking back, I see that one cheeseburger and a small fry would have been more than adequate, so lesson learned. Still, it's no double Quarter Pounder, that's for sure!) So, I get home and C. is frying up some chicken and cooking baked potatoes for dinner. Here I'd have thought he'd have eaten way before then! Anyway. That was fine, I didn't feel tempted or anything, just whatever... I already ate! No problem. But he was fairly insistent that I eat some with him. "You can have a potato." And that turned into me having to try a piece of chicken (boneless, skinless, at least!), and so on. Grrr. So there I sat, eating a full 'nother meal for no reason other than I felt obligated to somehow.

He doesn't see it that way, of course. This morning I tried to talk to him about it and he was just like, "Hey, I didn't shove that food down your throat," which is true, but seriously, when I told him at first that I had already eaten why couldn't he have just said, "OK, but would you at least come sit with me while I eat?" which would have been totally fine, of course.


So I ended up eating a good 1000 calories over my usual. Ah well. Next time I will stand up for myself better. *I* will be the one who's insistent. And hopefully he will know better if there is a next time not to do that to me again.

One good thing that came out of that was the increased impetus to get out and run this morning—I had planned on it anyway, to play catch up on my C25K schedule, but after a night like that, there was no way I was going to wimp out. I turned out to have the best, fastest session so far this time around, which brings me to the title of this post. A little more effort does equal results!

It was this post over at The Next 100 Pounds that got me thinking, what if I did make just a little bit more of an effort while I am doing C25K? I always kind of wondered, was I limiting myself thinking that I can only go so slow? Didn't I have some energy reserves left over after each running segment? What if I tried to go a little faster?

That's what I did this morning, and wow! It wasn't that much harder, and I managed to go about a whole half a mile an hour faster! This leads me to believe that I have not been living up to my potential. I'm going to test this again tomorrow and see what I can do (without killing myself or throwing my knee out or something)—what I can really do.

I'm pretty certain it really helped with my overindulgence last night. And boy, do I have a positive attitude today!

Week 4 of C25K starts tomorrow, can't wait!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Yep, my eyes just about literally popped out of my head this morning when I stepped on the scale (and yes, once again, flinching in advance of actually seeing the number)—imagine my surprise when I saw that I am down yet another two pounds! At 321 pounds, I haven't been this light since January. In fact, it was my last "starting point". Back then I lost about five pounds but it didn't stick... I barely stuck with it for a week, in fact. So I am extra proud that I have been doing so well this time around. It's not quite a month now and I am down over 15 pounds, which is just phenomenal (and certainly an anomaly—but wouldn't it be great if every month was like that?).

Anyway, I am also happy to say that I finally got my a$$ out of bed (begrudgingly, of course, I had to have an inner argument with myself. You should have heard it!) and got out for C25K again. First time doing any formal exercise since Saturday, in fact, but at least I got lots of manual labor in the form of gardening and yard work in. Not a bad excuse, I don't think. Yep, and it went really well! I'm a little off schedule now, but since I had a few days' break, I'll just finish up Week 3 tomorrow, and start Week 4 as I would have on Saturday. Should be OK.

I'm still going very slow, but I'm really trying hard to keep focused on just getting it done at this point and work on speed as I lose more weight and become more fit and capable. Intellectually, I know that it is just fine to go slow, even as slow as I do, but I still can't shake that nagging in my head about feeling like a loser because of it, to an extent. So, I just have to keep reminding myself that right now, I am getting my body ready for the "real" stuff. I wonder what I will be able to do by the end of next month, when I will be almost finished with C25K, or by the end of the summer? My plan, as it was in the past, is to keep working on distance, build up to being able to do a 5K distance comfortably. By the way: Yes, technically the idea behind C25K is to be able to run 5K at the end of the program, and last time I was able to, but a) it took me an hour to finish and b) it was still quite a push for me to do it. So my first major running goal is to run a comfortable 2 miles, which shouldn't be too far away since right now I usually cover about 1.5 miles. By the end of the summer I want to do the comfortable 3 miles.

Dinner yesterday was foiled—no stir fry for me! Turns out C. forgot that I wanted to have it, and marinated the chicken in preparation for baked BBQ instead. So, I ended up having a BBQed boneless skinless chicken breast, baked french fries (hand cut russet potatoes tossed in some good olive oil, sea salt, and crushed pepper), and some sauteed spicy green beans (fresh beans cut in thirds, with minced onion, garlic, and jalapeno peppers—YUM!). 'Twas a very nice meal indeed, fairly typical for us.

Also, as a before-dinner wee snack I had just a few of those new Wheat Thins Artisan crackers, the Vermont cheddar flavor. Very good, slightly dangerous. For dessert, I had a serving of that awesome Turkey Hill Mango ice. More than satisfying!


Perhaps I should tell you that over the weekend, I had a couple glasses of diet soda. It was OK, just OK. I almost decided to have some with dinner last night, but thought better of it, that maybe if I started making a habit of it, it might send me down the beginnings of a slippery slope. Maybe not, but... just sayin'! I was certainly glad that my sips didn't seem to trigger any cravings, which I have to admit I was concerned about. Maybe a glass here and there is OK (like anything else), but just not two liters a day! Ha ha. I'm figuring this stuff out.

Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Wait, what? Three posts in one day? Unheard of.

Well. I just wanted to say that for some reason, I can't seem to sate my hunger today. And it's really hunger, not emotion or anything else. My stomach is grumbling like crazy, despite the yummy PB&J on multi-grain and the bunch of canned pineapple chunks I ate for lunch. Hm. Now that I think about it, that doesn't sound exactly like the big bang for my calorie buck I could have had. Oh well, lesson learned.

Stir-fry chicken and veggies for dinner, recipe to come soon!


Foods I've been enjoying lately

My favorite breakfast... fruit on the bottom yogurt mixed with fresh fruit and Kashi GoLean Crunch

Grilled steaks and corn on the cob

Chips and salsa (can't wait to start making homemade again with fresh tomatoes and chiles from our garden!)

Dill pickles

Turkey Hill Venice Mango Ice

Our chicken and veggie stir-fry, as always

Peanut butter on some toasted multi-grain bread

Another yummy breakfast... eggs, over easy and all cut up and sopped up with toast


Clothes I've been dreaming about

A-line skirts (I used to make them myself!)

Knee-high socks in all colors and textures

Cute little cardigans in sorbet colors

Sailor pants


Things I want to do

Make a Cathedral Windows quilt

Knit a cloche and mittens

Garden, garden, garden some more! (I need more Astilbes!)

Organize the little room upstairs, and tidy up the big room

Hang some art throughout the house

Try more new recipes (I did baked onion rings this weekend!)

Get back into the studio

Organize my art-related paperwork and documentation


Life is for living!

The Ultimate Goal

Lately when I step on the scale I am always, um, fearful. I don't even watch the scale while it does its calculating anymore, instead looking anywhere else but down until I hear the beep telling me it's got a result. Today was no exception and figured that since I felt fat that I must have gained weight. (I know, I know—I AM fat, but even fat girls have "fat" days and "thin" days.) To my glee and surprise, the scale read a new low for this time around: 323 pounds even!


As I said yesterday, my goal this week is to remain below 325, and it still is. Just a couple more days to go, and I am well on my way to getting below 320. It will be nice to say "I lost 20 pounds so far" again, which will be once I hit 316.6.

The best part about this is that it means I have gained less than half of what I lost last year, as opposed to nearly all. This is a pretty new thing for me. In the past, I have gained any weight that I've lost within a year. This time, it's different. I've decided to say goodbye to the past and say hello to the future, doing new, different things to affect how things turn out.

I have expectations, as you know. And I've decided that by the end of the summer (say, the end of August), I'd like to be securely under 300 pounds. I expect to be.

I also expect to stay the course until I have reached my ultimate goal.

One very positive step I have taken toward this is having joined gym with a year-long commitment. This will ensure continued exercise through winter, when I don't really care being outside to walk or run. That was one of my downfalls last year. I sort of gave up on exercise because I didn't want to go outside. (Not that there weren't things I could have done in the house, of course!)

I don't think I have talked about an ultimate goal here yet, that is, where I want to end up. While I am trying to focus more on the smaller goals in between, I have been thinking about what weight I'd like to try for. That number is somewhere below 200, I suspect somewhere between 165 and 185. I do have photos of myself from a time when I weighed that much or even less, but it is hard to envision the more grown-up version of myself being that small. It kind of doesn't seem possible, to be honest. But I have to try to believe that it is, because that is where I want to find myself.

I just wanted to share with you quickly the reason why I weigh every morning. This is my Physics Diet chart for the past month. It's a groovy device that not only tracks your daily weight, but also the trend of your weight. I love it because even if I seem to have a bit of a plateau, or fluctuate for a few days, I can still see that the overall effect of my efforts is a positive one. I am so proud that I have managed to stay "in the green" since I began on May 1st. It's a real thrill. So, see? Daily weigh can be a very constructive weapon in your arsenal if used correctly. You can click on the chart to see it larger, and see that it's not been all downhill for me—yet still progressive! The green field is so inspiring and encouraging to me. It tells me, even on a bad day, that I am taking positive steps to become healthier, more fit, and of course, lighter.

Here's to more green pastures and blue skies!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

HYC Check-In: Good news

Weight: 325.4
Total Weight loss: 11.2 pounds

I'm down a bit this morning, which is what I was hoping for. Last week my goal was to get under 325, and I did, but unfortunately it didn't stick. My goal this week ("official" weigh-in on Friday) is to get under and stay under 325. It's a modest goal, but I think sometimes it is good to do that... give yourself a very attainable and sustainable goal to reach. I still have my birthday goal of 320 to think about. It's two weeks from today, and if I stay very focused I know I can do it. I expect to do it.


I didn't end up doing anything at all on Sunday. Nothing, except take a really long nap and just feel crappy all day. Oh, and have Pizza Hut for dinner. Yep, my eating hasn't been the best this holiday weekend... but the universe has given me a pass so far and I've stayed at right around 326, which is fine by me for now.

I also didn't do C25K on Monday like I planned, but I did spend four hours of fairly intense lawn and garden activities. I didn't eat much at all during the day, but had a rather substantial dinner that included an 8 oz. steak, baked potato, corn on the cob, and a BBQed spare rib... I don't expect this to do damage, considering my activity level for the day. I worked hard and sweated a lot! But, we'll see. I am PMSing and therefore still feeling fairly bloated.

I took Tuesday off to make my holiday weekend extra long, but I have to say that I am kind of looking forward to settling into my old work routine, if only for a few more days. I'll be working Wednesday through Friday and Monday and Tuesday, and then I am taking a week and a half long vacation. The first few days I'll be visiting my dad in NH and I know I will be eating well (i.e. healthfully) there—my stepmom is a healthy cooking whiz and they generally don't have much to snack on there... not to mention I think I will be keeping pretty busy while I am there! That'll be really nice, almost like a spa.

The rest of the time I'll be at home doing my thing, not to mention celebrating my 39th birthday (June 9th)! No plans as of yet, but I am sorry—I will be having the cake of my choice on my birthday. I just roll like that.

While I haven't been the most diligent the past few days, I also feel like I have balanced things well so that I didn't completely do a 180. For that I am pretty proud of—one of my major goals this time around has been balance and normalization. So many blogs I read I almost have to feel bad for the authors, they seem so obsessed with exact calorie amounts, and beating themselves up over this or that. I suppose that sounds judgmental, but I can't see that as healthy behavior (knowing because I've been there myself many a time). Of course, when we are writing in our blogs we don't always paint the big picture, do we? I just have to say, even though I do track my food and weigh every day, it's more like data collection than something to judge my overall success or failure on a given day. It has been so important for me to leave behind obsessive behavior in this journey. I'm not always successful, but I do try hard. I just really pains me to read about someone feeling devastated over what's going on with her eating, or her weight. I get it, I totally do, but hope that they can get past that one day.

Well, I am up incredibly early and think I should probably get back to bed. My sleeping patterns have been a little wonky lately and I know that is not a good thing. Have to get back on a good schedule!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Ugh. I did something stupid last night and decided to participate in a Keanu Reeves drinking game with C. while watching the totally underrated "Point Break" (also starring Patrick Swayze). As a result, I ended up drinking WAY too much, more than I have in a very long time. It wasn't pretty, but surprisingly I managed to keep my dinner in my tummy where it belonged, thank goodness. I usually don't do that sort of thing anymore, but somehow it seemed like it would be a fun thing to do. It was, for a time, and then I crossed the line into no-man's land.

Anyway, I'm not feeling the best this morning, obviously. I bailed on my gym session with my pal Jan. (So sorry, Jan!) But, later on I do have some gardening stuff to finish up so I'll get some form of exercise in... maybe I'll even go for a light walk later? We'll see. I'll likely spend most of the day relaxing.

Yesterday was productive. Went on my C25K outing, which went fairly well. Week 3 is 90 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking twice sandwiched by 5 minute warm up and cool down walks. I'm still going super slow, but doing well. Really enjoying it, in fact. More gardening, of course, but also a nap and a lovely steak dinner on the grill with corn on the cob and a baked potato. There's nothing like grilling out, and it was the perfect day for it.

My weight is fine. Not back down as far as I'd gotten last week yet, but fine for now. I'm happy with how it's going and I think that really focusing on the overall positive changes I've made to my lifestyle is truly what is most important. Seriously. It's liberating.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Just a quickie

Today is my "official" weigh in day, and it's a damn shame. This past week I saw myself down to 323.8, and today, I am up another pound from yesterday's big gain! The week's pretty much a wash with no net loss. Argh.

That's not to say I am giving up, nay.

Yesterday was the first day I've had since beginning on May 1st where I let my emotions rule my eating choices. I ate really well all day, but when I got home from work, I kind of crumbled. I've been a bit burned out at my job lately and I think the idea of having a chunk of time off (5 days) was overwhelming (in a good way, obviously), and combined with a raging case of PMS just let the floodgates open. That, along with the frustration of having crappy, noisy neighbors on one side. It all came crashing at once, and I demanded a crappy, "good" dinner at McDonald's. I was basically determined to eat a lot of junky food, and I did. Here, I will even lay it out for you, in the interest of full disclosure:

• A Double Quarter Pounder (I never had one before! I don't know why I felt the need for one this time. I wanted to eat).
• Large fries
• Large chocolate shake (I only drank about a quarter of it in the end)
• Brownie Melts

Ugh. I kind of tasted good, but not that good. And it certainly didn't fix any of my problems. I also hated how it felt sitting in my stomach, and had a wee bit of heartburn at one point.

I think I can honestly say that I won't be doing that again, at least not on that scale. Once in a while, maybe a cheeseburger, small fry and water? Fine. But not this again. Pure emotion, that was. Lesson learned.

The one pound gain I had today was actually a relief in the context of that episode.

I'm confident the gains will be quickly rectified this weekend. I've got plenty of gardening—hard stuff like digging and more—on the docket, along with C25K tomorrow and the gym on Sunday. I think I will be fine.

Anyway, I hope someone can learn something from my mistake, which is why i shared it with you. Also, to show that something like that doesn't have to be the end of the world, or the end of your healthy lifestyle goals.

Have a great day, everyone!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ups and downs

I spent my time in the shower this morning analyzing today's two pound gain. I'm a little miffed, but honestly I have been doing everything MORE than right, so I won't waste too much time worrying. Here are the things that could have caused this rogue gain.

• Water retention (I am feeling a wee bloated, I may have had too much sodium yesterday)
• Taking a few ibuprofen in the middle of the night to combat my poor, aching body (I don't know if pain medicine like that can have an effect, but who knows?)
• My muscles rebuilding themselves after some killer workouts
• My body saying, hey! Give me a break already, and then maybe I'll drop a couple pounds.

Seriously. Let me take you through a tour of the past couple days. On Tuesday, as you know, I took a walk in the morning and had the training session from hell in the afternoon. Yesterday, I actually did my scheduled C25K in the morning despite barely being able to get out of bed, PLUS two hours' worth of sweat-inducing, huffy-puffy yardwork in the evening. I've been eating well within my caloric limits and eating plenty of fruits and veggies, and drinking ample amounts of water as needed—at this point 10-16 glasses a day, mainly because I have been so active. Oh, and by the way? I'm taking a break from exercise today and probably tomorrow... though I may take a nice, easy stroll in the morning, just because. Otherwise, I've got to give my body a serious rest.

Seriously, I have got to think that this gain is just one of those things that we see the body go through as a matter of course. Because really? Shoot, the weight should be falling off me based strictly on what I've outlined above. I mean, OK, it kind of is falling off pretty well; I've lost over 10 pounds in the past three weeks! That's why I'm not going to get down or complain too much. But, as I am wont to do I just HAVE to analyze the crap out of it. Makes me feel like I am in control of something that I really can't control—normal, daily weight fluctuations.

I am so happy that I will have the next five days off! I took a couple vacation days around the long holiday weekend (Memorial Day for anyone outside the States who may happen to be reading this) for a much needed break from work. I plan to have all sorts of fun in the gardens, finally get back into the studio, and just plain relax.

All sorts of good. And hey, I will be starting Week 3 of C25K on Saturday! Wow! Time flies when you're having fun.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

HYC Check-In: Chug-chug-chugging along

Weight: 323.8
Total Weight loss: 12.8 pounds

All I have to say is, wahoo! I found myself down another two pounds this morning.

I took the day off from work to receive my artwork that had been hanging in the museum, and then to deliver a couple of the pieces to their new caretakers. I was up at around 8am (ahhh!) and hadn't planned on going out for a walk or anything; if you recall it's Tuesday and the gym in the afternoon is on the schedule. Today, in fact, I had one of my free sessions with the trainer at 4:30. But then, as I was checking my email and reading some blogs, I got inspired by MizFit's post and ended up deciding to go for a leisure walk anyway. It's funny, I was really hankering for it, too, go figure. I did take an easy pace, but took a different route than I have been, and spent just under a half hour doing it. It was a beautiful morning and I really enjoyed looking at everyone's front yards and gardens.

That means that I got a double dose of exercise today! And boy oh boy, did my training session ever kick my butt! Seriously, I can't remember the last time I worked out so hard. The thing is, when I tell you about it, you'll probably wonder what the big deal is, but really... I was working muscles I haven't before if ever, and I was sweating and huffing as if I'd just run a marathon or something. Goes to show how out of shape I really am. So, I was instructed to:

• Use the medicine ball to lean against on the wall, doing two types of squats, three sets of twelve each (ouch!)
• Use five-pound dumbbells to workout my biceps— again, three sets of twelve
• Use the medicine ball again, this time laying on the floor with arms raised over my head and with the ball between my legs. Raise my legs and my arms to transfer the ball to my hands, stretch back out. Again, three sets of twelve.

The last exercise was absolutely KILLER. I'm sure I looked totally ridiculous and gave everyone a good chuckle with all my roly-polyness and grunting, but my trainer was really encouraging and awesome. Plus, I am pretty much over caring what people think of how I look anyway, you know? At this point, I can't LET myself care. What I am doing is too important.

I'd like to continue working with the trainer at least once in a while, but I'll have to see how I can swing it financially. It was great to have someone supervising and mixing things up for me, and cheering me on. He definitely worked me harder than I would have on my own—but at least now I know what I need to do to start, anyway. It was a challenge, but I really enjoyed it. I like feeling my body working in a new way, and I kind of like feeling the pain, and I like sweating it out. That said, please pass the Ibuprofen!

Oh, and a cool thing about my trainer? He's been there, done that. Lost like 100 pounds last year. He showed me a photo. He's a young guy, a little arrogant, but he seemed to respect me and the reasons I was there and what I was trying to do. So I think I'd like to stick with him.

I do have my next C25K walk/run on the schedule tomorrow... we'll see how far I get, I'm going to try even though I know I will be feeling pretty beat up.

Hope you all have a great evening!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Winning the War

I may be winning the war, but today I am losing the battle with the homemade sponge candy someone left on the table in the break room at work. It's yummy!

I'm tracking it, too... looks like I'll be having a light dinner tonight.

Hey, at least I am being honest! (To myself and to you)

EDIT TO ADD: I am DONE with the sponge candy, after thinking hard about why I am trying to NOT eat junk like that. One or two pieces, fine. Six or seven? Headed toward trouble, and I am stopping now. I still have room for a little, light dinner.


I was so pleased to see that I weighed in at 325.8 this morning. That's right, I am up by .4 from yesterday, but I am happy because it means that yesterday's drop was not a fluke, which I had feared. So, yay!

I completed Week 2, Day 2 of Couch to 5K this morning, despite having a lot of trouble rolling myself out of bed and despite a slightly sore back. It wasn't the best run ever, a little on the slow side and I wasn't able to cover the full mile and a half I've been doing, but I did a full 30 minutes' worth, and I sweated and huffed and puffed. Good enough for me. One step at a time. I'm getting there!

One thing that has been helping me mentally is something my workout partner Jan said to me yesterday. I was trying out one the weight machines that has you face down on a slight decline in order to work out your legs. I was a bit dubious about being able to get on or off the machine at all, but tried anyway. It worked just fine, and Jan was like: "You're strong, Amy." And maybe she said that I was in good shape, but what really stood out me was that very simple statement. And I realized that she was right. Here I might be a 325-pound obese woman, but I can DO stuff. I think this is one of the reasons I have such a hard time reconciling my physical self in reality vs. my physical self that resides in my brain. But I'm not a typical obese person! Until I see a photograph of myself, like yesterday when I had C. take a few photos of me at my exibition, and some with my cousin Stacey. Man, I am big.

But I can DO stuff, and that's a good thing. I am happy that I am empowering myself more and more so that I can do more and more stuff. I don't want to have to say no to anything.

Can I say, though, how sick I am of being obese? I am so over it and can't wait to just be plain overweight, or maybe even *gasp* "normal"? I must say that being a "normal" size (I hate putting it that way, but I am not really sure how else to say it and retain a certain clarity about what I am speaking) has seemed completely out of reach for such a long time, it is hard to even visualize it. Sure, I have photos of myself as a teenager in which I am not fat, but that has become such a long time ago I hardly view that person as who I am now. I have no idea what the adult me will look like not being obese or overweight. The last time I weighed below 200 pounds was about 15 years ago.

I don't talk about it much because it gets too depressing at this point, but, I really love clothes. I have some quite fashionable co-workers that I envy like CRAZY for their wardrobes. Meanwhile, I've been pretty much wearing the same or similar stuff over and over for several years because it is what I have become comfortable and the least conspicuous in. I have to tell you, I am getting really bored with it all, and very frustrating because I don't feel that my clothes are telling people the kind of person I really am. As an artist, this is especially frustrating.

I hate to restrict myself from new clothes at the size I am now, but the reality is I just never find stuff that I like very much in the sizes I can wear, except for very basic items, not to mention that at the moment I don't care to spend the money on clothes that I may only wear for a short time. I'm being totally serious when I say that I am not going back again. I am fully determined and fully committed to losing the weight and keeping it off. I'm just too old for this crap, it needs to be done once and for all. I'm thinking that another new strategy that I may employ this time around will include getting rid of anything in my closet that is too big. I won't make the mistake of giving myself a backup plan. Either the clothes I end up in fit, or I need to get back on track—no exceptions. It's just going to have to be that way.

I have been reading this woman's blog for some time now, and I have to say she is my fashion icon. Those are the kinds of clothes I would be all over could I fit into them. I used to love scouring thrift stores and vintage shops for clothes, not to mention how much I covet the styles they have at places like Anthropologie—not that I could afford it, so I'd have to be resourceful. But hey, I wouldn't mind being resourceful if I could wear clothes like that!

Even shoes. Even my poor tootsies got fat. They were wide to begin with, so that spells more limitations.

There is all kinds of impetus for me to keep going on this course, and staying with it for the rest of my life. Some of the reasons are "deeper" than others (after all, fashion is pretty shallow), but all of them are valid.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Success, again!

I finally broke out of my 327 rut, at least for today. I probably owe it to the pretty great workout I had this morning with my friend Jan at the gym. We did about 25 minutes on the treadmill, about 10 minutes on the bikes, and about 25 minutes on various weight machines. It was so awesome—I really enjoy working out with a buddy. We both agreed it made it so much easier and made the time go by more quickly.

And yes, I was at the gym at 9am on a Sunday morning.

I weighed myself after I got home from my workout and the scale said, "Hello, 325.4." OK, so it didn't actually say that, but it may as well have for the wonder and amazement I felt. Finally, after the past six days stuck between 327 and 328, I broke out. Good stuff, and a boost I needed. I'll admit, I was starting to get a wee bit discouraged, even though what's probably happening is hormonal, based on what I can glean from past experience. I'm not PMSing, but I think there is a time during the month that my body likes to hold on to weight. It's sort of like pre-PMS.

I'm still going strong, though, really enjoying the changes I've made in my lifestyle. Yesterday, my first day of the second week of C25K went just great. I'm not saying I didn't struggle at all, but I am doing fine. Having last year's experience helps me to work through rough spots and push myself a little harder. My shins are fully trained now and not giving me any problems. It feels phenomenal to be able to do this again.

It'll be nice to get past the three-week mark. Isn't it 21 days they say it takes to establish a new habit? I feel pretty ensconced now after just over two weeks, but at three I will feel like, "Yeah, we're IN."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Drum Roll, Please! (Official Weekly Weigh)

Weight: 327.2
Weight loss since last week: 2.8 pounds
Total Weight loss: 9.4 pounds

So, I wasn't bowled over by this morning's weigh-in, but at least I am down .2 since yesterday! Ha ha. No, but seriously. I lost almost three pounds this week and almost ten since I re-booted! Not too shabby at all. Sometimes you really have to view the bigger picture, and in that sense I can't complain at all. So I won't.

I had a good day yesterday all around. I drank TONS of water (16 glasses or 128 oz.), and ate just under 2,000 calories. Hm, you know, I am kind of wondering: Is it possible to drink TOO much water? I do feel a little bloated, which may explain why I haven't been losing so readily this week. That's not to say that I haven't been visiting the ladies' room every hour on the hour...

Anyway. I think tonight I will spend a little more time in the garden (but not so much that I kill myself like last time), and then tomorrow I am back on track with Week 2 of C25K—I can't wait to see how I do! I also have a gym date for Sunday morning with my workout partner, and will continue with my routine into next week.

I'd also like to set a goal for my next weekly weigh-in: I want to get below 325. This is totally doable, and I fully expect to achieve it! I am so looking forward to that day—I am taking off to have an extra-long holiday weekend. Fun!

Catching Up
Hey! I almost forgot to tell you. On my last walk/run on Wednesday, I saw the woman who had talked to me the time before that. This time, I went over and introduced myself and chatted briefly. She told me that she and her husband would be eating breakfast and always see me out there, plugging along and think how great it was. Aw! That just made me feel so good. To think all this time I figured all the neighbors were having a good snicker on my account.

I had also meant to tell you about something else that happened, like a mental thing, that really surprised me a few days ago. I can't recall the specific incident now, but I know it was something to do with my perception of what something "good" to eat would be, and I shocked myself realizing that the idea of having take out food or some sort of junk just totally did not appeal to me at all. I LOVE that I am not craving crap food anymore. It is such a liberating feeling!

I need to tell myself over and over, as an affirmation: This way of life feels good. You are taking care of your body and your soul. You are empowering yourself to do good things.

I want this feeling to last forever.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Daily Weigh

So controversial: To weigh daily, weekly, even monthly? Everyone has an opinion about what is best. My answer is that it's different for everyone. I, as you probably know by now, do weigh every day. I find that it really helps to keep me on track and in tune with my body (though not always in harmony, like this morning). Also, if you track your weight every day, either with an Excel spreadsheet or on a site like my fave, Physics Diet (which, unfortunately has been down all day, grrr!), you can actually see the overall trend of your weight loss. So, that even if you don't lose weight on a particular day, you still might see your losing average go down. It's actually pretty heartening, if you ask me.

On a day like today, which made me a little mad, the trend makes me feel better. After a good eating day, and good water day (another 112 oz!), a good C25K workout in the morning, and about 4 hours' worth of yard and garden work in the evening, I fully expected to see a more than a good loss on the scale this morning. Didn't happen. I was UP .4 pounds! Grrr.

Stuff like this has happened to me before, so I know that as long as I keep on track, I will see a big loss soon. But it still feels crappy. Do I regret daily weighs on a day like today? Yes and no, but mostly no. I just think it serves as an excellent illustration about how our bodies function and vary from day to day. It's kind of fascinating, really. I wish I knew more about the science behind it.

Who knows what the reasons are that I haven't lost in a couple days despite really fine efforts? All I know is that I am not going to let it get me down, or give up.

After last night's marathon gardening session, I was very sore all over. And I woke up sore all over. So, I decided to make an executive decision to take an exercise break today and tomorrow, and let my body recover a little bit from the past couple day's workouts. I think come Saturday I'll be totally rejuvenated and do well on starting my second week of C25K!

Hey, I want to tell you guys: If you are a diet soda addict like I was, seriously? Stop drinking it! For some reason it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be; I just decided to stop on a particular day and haven't touched it since. I don't crave it at all, and I really believe it has done something to my appetite and cravings, in a good way. I don't have proof, but all I know is that it has NEVER been this easy to right well and healthy. The only thing that has been drastically different is that I stopped drinking diet (and all) sodas. Tell me what you think!

I wish you a wonderful, healthful evening, and see you tomorrow for my official week 2 weigh-in!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Honeymoon is Over

...But I am still in love!

Scale-wise, I pretty much maintained today (it was actually a gain of .2, if you really want to know, but to me, that's a maintain). I was a bit surprised since I ate well yesterday, drank tons of water (try fourteen 8 oz. glasses!), and had what amounts to a double dose of exercise: went to the gym after work yesterday for about a half hour, and did my C25K routine this morning, another half hour. Go figure! I won't let it bother me since I am doing all the right things, and I feel good. Well, I actually feel a wee bit ragged this morning from doing two days in a row of active, sweaty cardio. I think tomorrow, since I won't be able to go to the gym because of a workshop I am attending after work, I will go for an easy 30-minute walk on my lunch break, and then take my scheduled Friday off. Then Saturday I should be all rejuvenated and ready to start the second week of C25K!

I guess I need to figure out a better plan for my gym time, because focusing on cardio and leg stuff (basically, treadmill and the bicycle) makes things a little harder the next day when I am trying to do C25K... like this morning. It went well, but I definitely felt like I was really dragging by the end of my last running cycle. I want to get on the weight machines next time I go to gym and start working on my upper body and core muscles especially. I'm really not as worried about my gams... they are pretty solid, though no doubt they could use some strengthening to better support me on my runs. I also have yet to try the elliptical, which I have never done before!

Going to the gym with a workout partner was totally awesome. I found that I challenged myself a little more than usual, and it was just nice to have the company and encouragement. Jan is in better shape than I, but we make a good pair regardless, and we have similar reasons for wanting to get into shape. Sure, losing weight is nice, but we're starting to think about our future selves and what kind of life we'd like to have when we're 60, for instance! Not to mention, we want to rediscover our glamorous, hot selves—the kind we were 10 or 15 years ago.

I like the fact that I am taking the things that worked for me previously, and adding new elements—like working out with a friend—to mix things up and give myself an even stronger support system. I'm also very happy that I will have somewhere I can go in the winter time to run, so hopefully I won't ever lose my fitness again! Just think, by the time the snow flies (five or six months from now), I should be in pretty good shape and just flying on that treadmill. Not to mention, a good 40-50 pounds lighter? Well, we'll see about the latter. I fully expect to be well under 300 pounds by then, that's for sure.

It feels so good to be so involved in this again. I love that it feels normal, too. I'm not being overly strict, and I am finding it more and more natural to make better choices about my eating and getting more physical overall. Gardening season will be in full swing soon, so between that, C25K/running, and the gym, I should be good to go for months to come.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

HYC Check-in: Hello again!

I am happy to be checking in each Tuesday over at Scale Junkie's Healthy You Challenge once more. So, if you have found me from the blog roll there, thanks for visiting and welcome!

I am back down about another pound this morning, so that is good. Even though I had a good eating day yesterday, I still had worries about the results. I guess I can't shake the feeling of uneasiness, being able to gain weight so quickly and easily. I don't want to anymore! This fear has helped keep me ever-vigilant this past week and a half, so that it has been relatively easy. I am trying to develop new, better habits that will become the norm. I am trying to develop new taste buds—I've heard it can be done! I am trying to give myself time to do achieve these things, and be patient with myself. Permanent changes do not happen overnight, especially when they have been built up over a lifetime.

One little tiny tidbit I came across earlier on another blog that I was skimming suggested something about leaving behind the past. This jogged something in my brain. Though I do think it is important to learn from past mistakes and successes, it is also important to clean your slate and allow yourself to become someone new. Just because I have acted a certain way in the past does not mean that I have to continue to do so for the rest of my life! You can look at it as if I have never grown up in my eating life. Can you imagine if I continued to do the same things I did when I was 5 years old? Or 12 years old? Or 18? You get the picture. Yet, in my eating life that is pretty much what I do, give or take the odd thing. (For example, I don't starve myself and take laxatives to lose weight like I did when I was 17.) I find I continually look back at all the failures I've had in my eating life, and it is hard to think that I could ever do anything differently. This is also tied to those expectations vs. desires that I was talking about a few posts back. If I am really honest with myself, I would probably have to admit that I expect to fail, since that is what has always happened in the past. But, if I try to reframe myself, I can stop that cycle. I am expecting smaller successes, but truly expecting them to happen. Before, I set very large goals that sounded great but really set myself up for failure in the end.

So much to chew on! No pun intended.

Today after work I will be signing up for a gym membership with my friend Jan. My expectation is to go to the gym on non-C25K days, so Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Fridays will be my day off. Of course I leave myself open to variations because that is just how life is, but that is my goal. Excited!

I expect success, however small.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Good Weekend

Saturday was a peach of a day, chock full of physical activity. Not to mention an amazing result on the scale—I found myself down another few pounds! I was totally shocked and amazed, such a nice way to begin a weekend. I went out to do the first day of Couch to 5K and did well, better than expected! My shins, I think, are finally broken in and don't give me so much protest anymore, which is great. GREAT! After that I had a little breakfast and HGTV, and then headed out to the garden to play a while. Ended up being two and half hours a while! I had a great time, though, and got a lot done before I was rained out. Holy cow, was I super sweaty by then.

Later on in the day C. and I did some rearranging of large furniture in our upstairs area, which made me even more sweaty. Needless to say, I was pretty knackered at the end of the day.

Yesterday started nicely on the scale again, down to 325.4. I had a normal breakfast but knew I'd have a challenge ahead going to my cousin's house later on for a Mother's Day cookout that also celebrated her sister's birthday. So I planned out the main things I knew I would have and gave myself some room for miscellaneous stuff I knew would probably find their way into my mouth. I also planned to not eat dinner, but just drink water for the rest of the day. I wasn't really hungry after lunch anyway, so it worked out OK. Overall, I did OK. I ate what I wanted, but tried to watch portions as best as I could. I feel confident that I stayed within acceptable calorie limits for the day, but unfortunately this morning I did show a two pound gain. I think it is probably something that was going to happen eventually anyway, considering that I've lost weight every single day for more than a week, so I am not upset about it. I am thrilled to have done this well so far and well on my way to getting below 320! I feel like it is going to be any day now. I expect it to be. :)

This morning I finally got myself up and out into the just above freezing temps and did C25K Week, Day 2. It was even better than day 1, feeling much more capable and not inducing myself to anger with my lack of fitness so much. In fact, I am starting to feel like my old self again.

The best thing happened on my walk/run today. I was on my way back, and thinking about how proud I am that I no longer care what people might think of seeing a big, flabby person like me out there actually jogging and jiggling all over the place. I was thinking to myself, Yeah, I mean, who knows who is looking out their windows seeing me go by and thinking instead, "Wow! Look at her! If she can so that, so can I!" You know, maybe inspiring people rather than making them laugh. Not two minutes later does a lady heading out the door to go work across the street yells hello to me and says, "You are so dedicated! I wish I could do that!" And I replied, "Well, I didn't really have a choice. It was either this or... the other thing." She said that she at that point, too, so I told her that she can do it, too, if she decides.

The whole exchange was so surprising and lovely. And inspiring to me! Now I feel like I have followers who I am indebted to, whom I do not want to let down. And you know, I don't want to let ME down, either. I am so grateful to that woman, and hope I see her again! It's great to do things for your own benefit and satisfaction, but it's a whole 'nother thing to give something to the community, even one person at a time. Maybe I should seeing what I do as a public service in a very small way. That would be a good way to keep me focused.

Finally, I would like to wholehearted thank Ria for this award! Ria, thank you so much for all your support and encouragement.

In turn, I would like to award it to a few of my favorite blogs since I've begun this journey.

Diary of an Aspiring Mama



Weight by the Seashore

Scale Junkie

And there are many more I really enjoy on a regular basis. I've got many more great links on my former blog, The Forty Project.

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Banner Week

Weight: 326.8
Total Weight loss: 9.8 pounds

I could hardly believe my eyes when I stepped on the scale this morning. I had actually not had too high hopes because I had some variables yesterday that I wasn't exactly sure about... mostly lunch, really.

So before I tell you about that, I want to say that this week was so successful not only because I lost almost ten pounds (!) but because I handled two potentially damaging situations really well. The first was resorting to Italian take-out the other night, and the second was going out to lunch to celebrate a beloved co-worker's birthday. In both situations it's really easy for me to throw pre-planning out the window and say, "Oh, what the heck! A little indulgence for a special occasion never hurt anyone." Ahem. But, this time, I didn't. I didn't panic in either case and simply tried to make the best choices I could and made sure I ate reasonable portions that fit into my daily allotment. I must say I am proud of how things turned out!

You already know about the spaghetti dinner the other night. Yesterday, I had a yummy but mostly pretty healthy Mediterranean meal, including chicken kabob, roasted vegetables, hummus, and pita, as well as some Lebanese-style potato salad. I also ended up drinking 4 glasses of ice water! The portion with the meal was what was key here. Just five or six one-inch pieces of grilled chicken, and small amounts of the other items. It was still very satisfying, since the quality of the food was so good. Very tasty indeed. Note that down: Quality trumps quantity!

This morning I started up the Couch to 5K program again. I did it successfully last year, and even finished a 5K race and continued running for a few months afterward. Then, winter hit and it was all over, sadly. This time around once winter comes, I will belong to a gym and will be able to continue running indoors, problem solved. Today's outing went well; I was able to do the whole sequence without too much of a problem, and my shins cooperated after a day off. Awesome!

I am just getting more and more excited about everything I am doing. I have to figure out how to keep this great momentum going beyond the first few weeks (and months). It's the only way I'm going to fully succeed and keep the weight off once and for all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'll take it!

Weight: 330 pounds
Total Weight loss: 6.6 pounds

The scale reported a maintain today, which is fine. Yeah, sure, seven pounds even would have been awesome, not to mention being under 330, but who I am to quibble about a half pound? I can't show a loss every single day, I know that.

Last night we ended up getting take-out for dinner, at the urging of C. who didn't feel like eating the BBQ boneless skinless chicken breasts and asparagus I was planning to make... and honestly, I was a bit of a mess after seeing what the vet's office sent us: a little clay plaque with our recently-deceased cat Azrael's paw print and a lock of his fur, with his named stamped out in the clay. It was so touching that I just kind of collapsed into a teary, weepy mess. The last thing I felt like was cooking.

So we opted for the better of the many Italian places in town and I ordered some spaghetti and a salad. I ate all the salad (just some iceberg lettuce, grape tomatoes and rolled mozzarella cheese with the house dressing, by the way, some sort of vinaigrette) and a few bites of the spaghetti (homemade noodles!). I had ample calories left from earlier in the day so I think I did just fine considering the circumstances; tracked the food best I could at The Daily Plate, as usual. Take-out almost always involves guess work but I think I was accurate; if anything I overestimated what I ate just to be safe.

I usually don't talk much about what I eat specifically. I mention last night's meal because I was dealing with an emotional situation. Another time I might have said f-it and just ordered a pizza and wings anyway, maybe even drunk some diet soda. But no. It didn't seem worth it to me at all to do that to myself. The desire really wasn't there to indulge, even though I felt sad. So that's a pretty big thing for me.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. I'm going to start on the Couch to 5K program again and have high hopes that I will do well, considering that just about a month ago I was able to run half and walk half of a mile with no problem... hopefully, despite my shin issues, it will go well. One thing I have noticed in the past is that many times my shins might bother me while walking, but not jogging (or running, or whatever you want to call what it is I do). Must just be different muscle groups involved, or something. I am also hoping that a trainer at the gym I'm joining might be able to advise me about that.

Another thing I have planned is more work (or play!) in the gardens! I still need to finish shaping out the backyard beds, and get going on the weeds. It's amazing how fast they take over, but I noticed this morning as I pulled a few away from some ferns I planted last fall, they come out easy and they are mostly big. Still, that will be some good workout right there. A few hours' worth at least.

I just want you all to know that I fully expect to lose another 5 pounds, sooner than later. I also expect that I will get down to 320 by June 9th, which is my 39th birthday.

Yeah. I like these expectations. What are yours?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What do you expect?

I'll enjoy it while I can... the first week almost always sees the fastest loss. I'm down to 330 even today, which makes a total loss of 6.6 pounds. Tomorrow will be a week officially, maybe I can make it beyond seven for kicks!

I was reading on PeerTrainer today about expectations vs. desires, and it was definitely an "aha!" moment. I know I have other things to sort out, but recognizing the difference between the two seems like something that can bolster my success. Like, I can say all I want that I want to lose 100 pounds, but I know that at this point my expectation is really, Oh sure, I'll lose 50 or 60 pounds and then, back to my old ways! because that's what it has always been for me. I don't want it to be that way. So, focusing instead on each five pound section, which I know I can lose and keep off might be a better approach—which is what I have been doing anyway, this time around.

I'm looking forward to seeing what sorts of tools the author will be suggesting to help alter your expectations in future articles. In the meantime, I'm taking it one step at a time, and expecting that I will continue to do well.

Really, I do.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Got to admit it's getting better

Weight: 331.2
Total Weight loss: 5.4 pounds

Well, of course I am pleased to have done so well so far. I was down another 1.2 pounds this morning, which is great. I'm almost to my first modest goal, which is simply below 330 pounds. Psychologically, I am taking it five pounds at a time, but I gotta say that I cannot wait to get below 320 again. I'm hoping I will get there by my birthday, which is just over a month away. I think it is doable.

I am more pleased about my walk today than those of the past few days. I walked for 25 minutes and covered just over a mile—super slow, but I'm doing it. My shins and ankles did bother me, but not as much as they have been. Maybe it really is those few extra pounds throwing me off, or maybe it's just a matter of getting back into things in general. Either way, I am glad that there has been some improvement.

Here's something I don't usually do, and that is review food. But recently I have had some really yummy encounters in the frozen food aisle that I'd like to share.

First up is Palermo's Primo Thin Crust Margherita Pizza. It is SO good! The thin crust does NOT taste like cardboard, not in the least, and the toppings include basil and garlic which makes this meatless pizza so yummy. Seriously. And the best part is that it can fit into a healthy lifestyle—OK, mine anyway—at 780 calories, 36 grams of fat and 42 grams of protein in the whole 12" pizza is a pretty good bargain if you are a pizza monster like I am, and since my daily allotment of calories is around 2,000, this gives me room to indulge once in a while and not have to do any guesswork. Yay! Another bonus is that this pizza cooks up pretty darned quick—just 10 to 15 minutes. What's not to love? (P.S.&mdash:You can sign up for email offers, and get a coupon for a dollar off right away!)

My second new favorite frozen meal by the beloved Kashi. I've been enjoying their cereal, Kashi GoLean Crunch! for a long time now, and more recently I was pleased to see their eclectic and unusual selections of frozen entrees. Past favorites have included Black Bean Mango, Lemongrass Coconut Chicken, and Lime Cilantro Shrimp. But one of my complaints about these meals, even though I do really like them a lot, is that the spice level was never high enough for me. I wanted the flavors to be more intense, and I don't even necessarily mean in a hot way (though I do love just about everything with a little extra heat). Well, I am glad to say that they really hit the mark with one of their newer offerings, the Mayan Harvest Bake. Oh my god, it is great! There are so many flavors and textures going on in this dish, and nowhere else in the frozen meal genre that I know of will you find something like this. (Please correct me if I am wrong, by the way—I am always on the lookout for new tastes.) The sweetness and creaminess of the plantains and sweet potatoes is perfectly offset by the spices (on the warm side, but probably not overwhelming for someone who doesn't usually go for spicy foods) and the textures of the black beans and grains. Just genius, if you ask me. Kashi, please make more of these inventive, interesting meals!

They have a great selection as it is, but I want more. :)

Well, I guess that's about it for now. Tonight we've got some yard and housework on the docket, so I'll be busy and physical. Sounds good!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Take Two: The Walk

So... I went for my lunch break walk. And I ended up doing 22 minutes. However, it is still bad. Maybe not as bad as the past couple days, but bad. Like, WTF? bad. Seriously. I was approaching the end of the walk and actually saying out loud, "How did I let this happen to myself?" Again, just really angry about it, too.

But I guess I will let that anger fuel my efforts. I am determined to get some weight off more than I think I ever have before, especially this first 20 pounds. That'll bring me down into a bit of a comfort zone, where I can at least talk a leisurely stroll like a normal person (because that is basically all I can manage right now).

I am guessing that the problem is the extra weight. Last year when I started exercising I weighed about 325. Maybe the extra ~10 pounds is making enough of a difference. I mean, it obviously is.

Dagnabit, I just want to feel normal again. And I WILL.

The Secret to Success

I think I found the secret to successful lifestyle change. It's getting really pissed off at yourself.

I know it's only been half a week so far since I've been back on track, but I am pretty sure someone flicked the switch back on again. It feels fairly effortless and it feels like it just may stick.

But really, I have just been so mad and frustrated about gaining so much of the weight I lost last year, and feeling so yucky that it's like, I just had no other choice but to take this path. And once I laid it out for myself in such a simple way yesterday, either as much as I want to whenever I want and feel physically ill all the time to OR take action to lose some weight and get fit and feel good, it became a total no-brainer what I wanted to do. So it's been relatively easy.

I'm down just over another pound this morning, which is great. We had a fantastic chicken and veggie stir-fry last night for dinner that was so yummy. To tell the truth, I had really been craving some green stuff.

The walking is not going so great, but I am still working on it. Yesterday I did a short, 15 minute walk on my lunch break at work and while it was better than the day before where I could barely walk at all, it still wasn't great. Coupled with the fact that there is a lot of traffic and no sidewalks in the business park, it pretty much sucked. But, I did it, I got myself out there and did what I could.

I had trouble dragging myself out of bed this morning so I brought my running sneaks with me to work again today. I'll do another lunch break walk, but I am going to drive over to the lovely path that runs nearby from the university campus instead, just a few minutes away. I'm sure it will be an infinitely better experience.

I am also proud to say that I still have not had a drop of anything but water to drink since Thursday evening. This is really a true feat that I am very proud of. Don't worry, soon I won't feel the need to share each day's water drinking with you anymore. For now, it is still a novelty and a wonder. And as I said previously, I really think that dropping diet soda from my diet would have such a positive effect on my approach to food. What do they put in that stuff, anyway? You know?

It'll be a busy week ahead with lots of activity, so I have high hopes for continued success. My dad and stepmom are visiting this weekend, and of course Sunday will be spent with mom, so I anticipate a lot of housecleaning (in prep for vistors) and gardening and other assorted yardwork (both at home and at my mom's). Lsst night, C. and I shared a romantic evening of breaking down the embarrassing collection of boxes in our basement to put out for the trash. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it actually got me sweating and my heart rate up a bit! Hey, whatever works!

Whatever works. Totally.

Monday, May 4, 2009

So far, so good.

Weight: 333.6
Total weight lost: 3 pounds

Not too shabby for a few days' worth of determination! And plenty of elbow grease. I've upped my physical activity quite a bit since late last week, which I think has been key. Actually, now that I think about it, drinking only water has really helped, too. I can definitely sense a change in my approach to food now that diet soda is not involved anymore... that is a big surprise! Yes, it is true: I haven't drunk any diet soda at all since Thursday evening. That is huge for me.

It hasn't been too difficult, really. I happen to like water a lot, and especially when I get all heated up from doing housework or yardwork or exercise, there really is nothing like water to quench one's thirst. I just keep telling myself, "I am establishing a new habit. No use in backtracking." Same with my daily walks, which I have done every day except that yesterday and today's walks were rather lacking. My shins have been bothering me a lot the past two days, making it almost impossible to walk much more than 15 minutes at a time. Really disappointing, but I am making myself do what I can each day anyway. Just to establish the habit.

And on Wednesday after work? My pal Jan and I are joining a gym together! World Gym has a 2-for-1 membership that amounts to $10 a month after you pay an initial lump sum of... I think $50? It's a really good deal, and I am super excited about getting a full body workout a few times a week again. Plus, I'll have a workout buddy to account to. No dropping out because I don't feel like it anymore.

Today I went for my walk at work, during a short lunch break. The whole time, though especially on the way back, I was just cursing myself for having let things go to this point again, where just walking a short distance is rough. It really sucks, and I don't want to be like this anymore! I was also thinking about my wardrobe situation, my whole image really, and how easy it is to just give up on looking good once you hit a certain size. I don't want it to be like this anymore. I want to be the one on Facebook who writes about how many new, cute spring outfits she can't wait to wear. (One of my acquaintances did write that, in fact, and I was insanely envious.) People don't have any idea by looking at me what kind of person I really am. Sometimes, looking in the mirror, I don't even know.

I've read about how some people, after they lose large amounts of weight, still find themselves unhappy. Me, I can honestly say that I will be much happier when I get back well into the 200s again. I just know, because I've been there. I've felt the difference, and what it is like. I felt gorgeous and capable and free when I weighed 250, which is probably for a lot of people a weight that makes them as uncomfortable as me at 350, or even now. I'm just thinking about tipping points, points of no return—they're different for everyone, I know. Based on past experience I will say now that mine is 310 pounds. When I get beyond that, it gets really uncomfortable and physically, I feel like shit. That's the worst part of it, worse than not having enough clothes to wear.

Pardon my brain dump here. My walk today made me really mad and really determined to be done with this already. I want to be able to run, I want to be able to fit into furniture and not be afraid to break it, and I want to be able to wear pretty clothes, anything I want. It's those things or the other, which is eating junk food whenever and however much I want to. It looks like a no-brainer which is the better choice. That's really what it comes down to.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Did it.

Weight: 336.6

Just about back to the old drawing board (if you've been with me for a while you probably know that I started this whole thing January 2008 at 350 pounds, and got down to just below 300 by the time August rolled around).

But! Despite my transgressions, I've always come back here and never quite totally given up, which is something new and different in my life experience. So I have hope, still. This morning, as promised, I got up early and went for my first walk in exactly one month. I didn't do nearly as well as I did then, and the first 20 minutes my legs protested madly. The last 10 minutes felt more comfortable. If I had had more time, I might have just kept going a while longer, but that was good for the first day out, and tomorrow's Saturday... I might see how long I can go for once the old legs are broken in.

I went pretty slow... to give you an idea, I greeted an elderly, white-haired gent out walking his little white bichon frise who looked quite comfortable at his rather quick clip and put me to shame. Tsk. Then again, I guess just because you're of a certain age doesn't mean you can't still bolt, right? Left in the dust by an little old man and his lap dog, ah well. I had to keep reminding myself to go slow, that I couldn't be expected to be able to do the things I was able to at the height of my fitness last year. Oh, how I want to get there again, and get even better!

My plan is to walk every day for a week, and then start the Couch to 5K plan again. I'm excited about that.

I've also made the decision to not just drink more water, but drink ONLY water (or tea). No more diet soda, not even with dinner. This will be better for me not only physically, but it will save a little money, too. I know C. will probably still drink it, but it'll still cut our soda consumption in half overall.

Aside from that, I am not going to do anything drastic or crazy. I'll just be tracking my food and trying to keep calorie intake at or just above 2000. I'll try really hard to incorporate more veggies and fruits in my diet, and eat less processed foods.

That's it. I've had so many fits and starts the past few months, I'm not sure what to expect and whether this will stick this time. But I sure hope it does, and I have a lot of faith that I will do right by myself. Wish me luck!