Thursday, December 28, 2017

There's Still Time

Lately I've been using the power of mantras to help me get back on track with my health goals.

(Let me clarify here: Health goals. Yes, that includes losing weight, but is not the be all to end all. I realize this more and more as I go along. My main impetus for my efforts is to feel good and be mobile for as long as possible. Losing weight, for me, really helps with that.)

Ahem, anyway. Mantras. I've been meditating at least once a day, every day since October 20th (minus three days) and I've done a plethora of guided meditations as well as self-directed ones. The guided meditations can be especially nice because they help me realize some new things about myself, and/or help to make important things clearer. Some guided sessions remind me to practice self-compassion, for example. I can always do for a reminder of that, what about you?

I'm doing this because the alternative is not acceptable.

It will not always be like this. 

I'm doing this because I want to be strong and live to my fullest potential.

These are examples of some of the things I've been repeating to myself a lot lately, and I have found that it is actually helpful! Having reminders like these floating around in my head all the time is important. It's easy for me to lose focus at random times and being able to take a pause and ask myself whether something I am about to do (like eat something when I don't need it) or not do (like skipping my daily walk) is in my best interest. I've been feeling insanely focused. Well, OK, maybe not insanely, because this doesn't feel, how do I say? Manic, maybe? It's making me feel strong.

It also feels totally doable again.

The thing is, things aren't happening fast on the scale. On December 9th, I weighed in at 327.0, my highest weight in over three years. My lowest weight since then, 322.0, happened within a week of that, BUT I've been playing around between there and 325. I'll admit, it's been a bit frustrating because I know I am doing everything right and I'd have thought that I'd be losing a bit faster. Then, I thought back to when I started this journey back in 2014 and how it took me about a month to really have things kick in. The important thing is that I finally did NOT give up back then, and that I CANNOT give up now. I have to give it time. It'll happen as long as I do the work. I know that.

It's kind of comforting, if you really want to know.

Also? Just those three or four pounds I've lost make me feel better. Maybe it's just mental, but it's true! Of course, it could be that I am moving my body around again most days of the week, even just a little, and that I've been eating higher quality foods and in better proportions (for the most part).

I guess what I am trying to say is just that I feel so much better, and it took relatively little effort – just a few adjustments to my lifestyle.

I am so excited about what I can make happen in the coming year.

What are your plans? I'd love to hear!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Christmas has come and almost gone already! It's almost 9pm and the day went by quickly – a day does that when it's an especially lazy one, don't you think? We did our celebrating with a nice dinner and all the trimmings yesterday, so today I was able to totally relax and loaf around on the couch watching movies and reading with my honey, playing with the cats, eating leftovers, and taking a heavenly four-hour nap. The perfect day to have, once in a while at least.

Tomorrow it's back to the office! Ho hum. The good thing about that is that it'll probably be very quiet with many people taking time off. That said I have some things that I want to get tied up by Friday, because then I am taking the longest bit of time off I've done in a long, long time – eleven days, to be exact! I cannot wait. It's been kind of an up and down year for me, and I usually just take off an extra day off attached to a long weekend, or just randomly, so  this will be a real treat. We don't have any plans to go anywhere or doing anything special, but that is fine with me. I guess I have turned out more like my mom in that regard, in that I'd usually rather have a stay-cation. In some ways doing it in the dead of winter seems kind of nice, too, because it is the time when you feel like snuggling into house and home like a hibernating bear seems like just the thing to do. After all, among our favorite things to do are watch movies and read books together.

So yes. I am very much looking forward to that!

I've more or less been between 322 and 325 the past two weeks – yesterday 322 at my recent lowest, but then gained three pounds today. I didn't even super indulge yesterday on our meal; I had one plate of food and a bowl of ice cream for dessert, and aside from a banana in the morning and about a glass and a half of wine, that is all I ate yesterday, not to mention slaved away in the kitchen. I didn't expect that much a gain, if any, but my partner reminded me that anytime we eat the stuffing I make on the holiday it makes both of us gain, true enough. Whatever, considering how I have been eating lately, I am not worried about it. I had:

A couple slices of ham, a few small pieces of turkey; a baked sweet potato with maple syrup and marshmallows; sausage stuffing; homemade cranberry sauce with orange and ginger; and of course, my delicious homemade cheese braid bread. Later, we split a tiny little cheesecake (literally – it was like three inches across) that my mom sent home with me the other night when I was visiting her.

Today I snacked on some cheese and crackers, and had a plate of leftovers. No wine, only water, and water for the rest of the day. I'm thirsty!

I guess, actually, that I haven't really checked in since the switch turned back on, that is, that I started eating better and more reasonably, and started walking regularly again – for now I'm going for at least three days a week for at least ten minutes, but have been doing five times the last two weeks, usually twenty minutes or more. There's a lovely little cemetery down the road from the office that's about a quarter mile away, so I've been going there and walking around a bit and ending up with a mile or a mile and a half. It's getting easier again. I'm thankful I can still do it. Even that little bit seems to be making a big difference in how I feel. I still have it in me to do this!

My mantra has been It won't always be like this. I'm hoping to be under 320 by the new year, and to stay there! While I am still very disappointed in myself that I let this much weight pile back on, I'm trying to look at in a positive way – it was a real slap in the face, I guess, to know that it can and will come back if you do not remain diligent. It's just a fact. And now I really and fully understand that, and caught myself soon enough so that I can double back and get to fixing it. I will never take that weight loss for granted again. Ever.

Therefore one of my main goals for 2018 is to continue in the right direction. I maybe won't set a specific goal right now, except that I should keep the number on the scale heading down or at the minimum maintaining in general. I've been weighing myself every day again as a source of data and to keep a close eye on what's going on – using the Happy Scale app, of course, to record it.

One thing that has been helping a lot is bringing food from home into work for lunch, and it's good for my eating and for my wallet, and takes away the guessing about what I want to eat and making not such a great choice when I am starting to get really hungry. Lunches have been things like soups, or a makeshift burrito bowl-type thing with black beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, maybe a tortilla or tortilla chips. Tomorrow I'm planning on a nice ham sandwich on whole wheat bread and some fresh veggies on the side. Fruits have been my desserts for the most part, but I'll have a nibble of chocolate or whatever here and there. As usual, nothing is off-limits, but I'm trying to make better decisions and not eat so mindlessly.

I haven't been counting calories, but rather eating intuitively and listing what I eat each day in my own files. That gives me the chance to make better considerations and to have a general awareness of what I have eaten and maybe what I need more of or less of. I don't really know how to explain it, but it feels comfortable and I have been feeling not so bogged down like I was there for a while, eating such heavy lunches and snacking all the time at my desk. That was a very bad habit that I had developed indeed!

It is my hope that 2018 will be filled with happiness, new achievements and opportunities, and continued good health! I'll be outlining some specific things in a coming post. In the meantime, I wish you a very happy Christmas and will talk with you again around the new year!

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

How to Get Your Mojo Back

Since I have been bad about posting photos lately here is me being happy.

I am very happy to announce that it happened. I got my mojo back, finally! I'm pretty sure, at least.

Unfortunately, I can't really explain how it happened. It's a total mind thing, though, and my mind was just NOT having it the past few months. Maybe all this self-talk finally did some good and my switch got switched back on. I just wish I knew how to fully control it!

The past ten days since I last wrote have been good. An adjustment period. Last weekend I felt like I was testing the waters a bit and trying to see how I could rein things in even just a little. Saturday was the day when I made a really conscious effort to watch the overall volume of what I ate. I ended up eating one large meal (homemade pizza) and drank a bottle of wine. I know it sounds like a lot, but for me at this point, it was a good step forward. Another thing that happened on Saturday was that I thoroughly cleaned the refrigerator, which needed it. Really needed it. I threw out all kinds of things that had gone bad and/or expired, and that amounted to... well, let me just say a LOT. I washed the shelves and got everything in order.

It was wonderful. You can't imagine how wonderful. It also took a bit of time and physical effort, so I considered that my "activity" for the day. I was very pleased with myself and loved the resulting state of the fridge. A thing of beauty.

On Sunday, I slept in. A LOT. As in, I woke up at 1:15pm.

It felt marvelous.

I got up, got myself tidied up, and went to the store to buy things to make a homemade beef curry and naan for dinner/supper/lunch. It was another one meal kind of day, a hearty bowl of curry (which was fantastic, by the way) and basmati rice, and a couple small pieces of naan (which were OK, but still didn't really taste like real naan to me).

We watched movies, and I took a nice, hot, long bath in between The Missing and All the President's Men. Both films are recommended, by the way. If you didn't know, the former is based on a true story about an American couple living in Chile during the coup in the early-mid 70s. Sissy Spacek is in it and it's riveting. Of course, the latter is all about the journalistic investigation of Watergate by the Woodward and Bernstein, two Washington Post reporters. They make a nice double feature, actually!

I think it was during my bath that I started thinking more definitively about how I wanted to proceed during the week as far as eating and exercise went. (Baths are great for that!) I also wanted to try to save some from money by not getting take-out lunches every day like I have been lately. It would be nice to not worry about what I was going to eat and then gorge myself on a huge meal like I often do. I realized lately that the big crash I have at around 3pm is probably exacerbated by those excessive lunches.

So that was a big thing. I knew it would solve a lot of my problem, to be honest. Another thing I had been doing was getting "treats" to keep at my desk at work. It used to be gummi bears, but I got totally addicted to them and made a conscious effort to avoid them because it got so crazy. It became the first thing I started tracking as a new habit on the HabitBull app: No gummi bears! So far it's been 55 days and my initial goal was 66, which would put me at Christmas. I might treat myself to some chocolate-covered ones because I haven't had them in forever and they are crazy delicious. Anyway, so the gummi bears have been banned at least a while longer, as well as... oh, I don't know... Hostess or Little Debbie cakes? Chocolate bars? Etc etc. So no more of that stuff in my desk drawers. That is honestly half my battle, and if it is not there, it's not even an effort.

I also resolved to go on at least a 10 minute walk at least four times a week. I know it's not much, but I wanted to pick something that would be impossible NOT to do so that I could least develop the habit again. And the two times I have gone on a walk this week have both been 20 minute walks! I'm actually aiming for a mile generally, but hey! If I just want to do 10 minutes, then that is good, too.

So far, the result is that I have indeed lost a few pounds. I topped out at 328 on Friday, I think it was, and yesterday I was down to 323. Today was 324, which is fine. I had a great eating day yesterday so I am sure it is some sort of water retention thing or whatever. I also have the period from hell right now, so it will be interesting to see how I do once that is over. Peri menopause is great when you don't get your period for like six months, but then when you do get it, it lasts for almost two weeks and you bleed like a stuck pig – at least that has been my experience. It sucks, man.

Ahem. So, yeah. I'm pretty happy about what's going on. It's a great feeling to be able to share with you some positive stuff rather than the whining that has ensued the past few entries. It's a huge relief, to be honest.

Finally, in other news, our beloved cat Nico passed away on November 4th. It was absolutely heart-wrenching and her death left a huge void in our hearts and in our home. It was literally the first time in my life that I didn't have a cat to pet and snuggle. We did still have one cat, Henrietta, but she is nearly feral and we can't get within five feet of her. It's like having a little ghost around.

As a result, I was combing shelter listings for cats. I just couldn't handle a nearly catless home. Long story short, by the end of November we had adopted two cats – one the week after Nico's passing and one about two weeks after that. They are very intentionally both long-haired grey cats, like Nico was. They are the best cats! In fact, the other night when I was having some drinks I told my partner that I only ever wanted to get long-haired grey cats from now on. Not that we'll be getting any more anytime soon, just that that is what I would want going forward. They are stupendously sweet and beautiful and smart cats.

I'll leave you with cat photos.

Nico! RIP, sweet kitty.
Sami! He is a boy kitty and a total teenaged moose.
Me and Mia, the day I adopted her. She is also a teenager but more like a squirrel to Sami's moose. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

How to Gain 45 Pounds in Six Months

That's not exactly the kind of headline you'd think people would want to see, right? But that is pretty much what has been going on over here. Basically, I am NOT getting back on track and I am continuing to gain weight.

No, I am not happy about this. I don't mean to seem like I am bragging.

I've been racking my brain almost constantly to figure out how this happened and how I can make it stop. I mean, technically I know the answer to that second question. But for some reason, I just haven't been able to do the things I need to do – regular exercise, eating better and less (I have been the overeating, junk food queen these days).

I'm not even sure what to say here anymore, except that I don't want to let blogging go entirely because that will mean that I have given it all up entirely. At least, that is what it's amounted to in the past. I could write about the same struggle and crappy feelings, but who wants to read serial whining? I guess it doesn't really matter in the end – this is my little space in which I can do whatever I want, and if I need a place to vent about this stuff, then I shouldn't feel bad about it. And it's useful to the extent that it will help me dump my bad feelings and maybe just jiggle something loose again.

So let me tell you: This morning I braved the scale, and it read 327.

I know, right? How did that happen??? Well, for one thing, I gained almost 20 pounds alone in August. Things crept gradually after that, and I kept excusing it or saying things like, "Well, I won't let myself get over 310," or whatever, and then I'd get to 311 and up the limit for myself again. I'm really not sure why I kept doing that, and since then, each month I've added another 7 or 8 pounds. (I just updated my data page, by the way, so you can see the progression.) Basically, I haven't weighed this much in over three years!

The question is, will I find myself at the end of December into the 330s, or will I find myself back below 320? Either is entirely possible – it's kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, right? I much prefer to choose the path to the latter option, of course.

The thing I really hate about gaining this much weight back is that it all seems to land in my stomach. And when you carry weight around your middle, not only is it bad for your health, it's also very uncomfortable and gets in the way of a lot of things. It makes many activities that much more an effort. I'm finding myself winded again doing relatively mild exertions that had become like nothing. Putting on shoes and boots is getting to be more challenging (though not impossible quite yet). I feel bloated and gross, and a lot of my clothes are not wearable anymore or becoming less comfortable.

This is bad, very very bad indeed. I swore that if I was ever buying new clothes, it would not be because I grew out of the ones I had. This is starting to be a possibility and I just cannot do that to myself.

I don't really know how I am going to move forward, to be honest. But, I do know that I have to be especially vigilant from here on out, and at least weigh in every single day – one thing I have been avoiding. Like, if I don't see the number, I don't have to deal with it, right?

Right. Pfft.

I will check in again soon. Thanks for reading, those of you who are!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Long, Long, Long Overdue


My goodness.

Yes, I am still around. Lots of things have been happening, both good and bad. I am here at the blog just about every day, but it's been to keep up on my blog reading list (see sidebar). And every time, I look at the main section and see my posts in my peripheral vision (OK, maybe I went back and read some things, yeah) and feel like, oh boy, I really, really need to update here! If for no reason other than that it's really nice to look back a year or two later and see where I was at any given time. I know I'll be slightly peeved with myself one day and see how I let a couple months go by without writing anything here at all.

One thing I was really surprised by today, and so pleasantly!, was that I have readers – I mean, more readers than I thought. I was really touched by the comments that have been left on the last few posts in the last little while since I've been absent. Wow! Thank you all so much. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it, and I will be honest – it's making me feel like I really can get back on track and that blogging here really is a great tool. To know that I might be helping other people at the same time makes it that much better. I'm glad y'all haven't given up on me!

I want to be sure to be able to finish this and post it for real today, so I probably won't share everything that's been going on, but I'll do my best! Here are some highlights, things that come to mind immediately.

• I started using a great app called HabitBull, and have been trying to establish some good habits and eliminate some bad ones. I've been doing it since October 20th and it's been helping a lot in many ways. Of course, I'm having more success with some goals than others, but so far it helped me conquer my addiction to gummi bears, and to establish a solid meditation and reading habit.

• Our beloved cat, Nico, passed away in early November, and we adopted a new cat, who we named Sami, from the SPCA a week later. Normally we wouldn't rush in so quickly, but the void that she left when she died was practically unbearable. It was the first time that I have been without a cat to pet and snuggle EVER. I mean that literally. It was too painful. (We do have another cat, Henrietta, but she is pretty much feral and we can't get closer than a few feet away from her, so it's almost like having a little ghost around!). Nico (a girl) was a long-haired grey cat, and Sami (a boy) is, too! We loved Nico's coloring so much, and we love long-haired cats, so it was lucky we found him. They seem kind of rare at the shelter! Anyway, Sami has been a love, and while we do miss Nico SO MUCH, it has eased the pain a little bit to have him become part of the family. It'll be two weeks on Thanksgiving that we've had him, and he's adjusted fantastically!

• I am pretty sure I am experiencing a mid-life crisis. I'm trying to figure out how to live the life that I envision for myself and my family and I'm not sure my current job fits that; or maybe that I can make it fit that. But it's been hard, and I've been dealing with ongoing depression and anxiety, Nico's illness and death, and generally orneriness so I'm struggling with a few things and trying to keep my head on. There are things I want to pursue more, like illustration, coding, pattern/fabric design, writing... luckily these are all things that I can do while I am working full-time, but I want to make them take up more time and space in my life. I would love to be a full-time freelancer but the issue of health insurance really scares me, especially in this political climate. I am hoping to get things figured out around the new year and move forward in a positive way.

• Can I tell you how freaking awesome meditation is? If you don't believe me, try even just a short guided session –  5 minutes, 3 minutes, 1 minute even! A friend recommended the app Insight Timer and it has changed my life, and it's free! I also do like Headspace and Calm and Stop Breathe Think, but to get their full range of resources you have to pay. Recently I did get a special offer from Headspace and so I'm using it for six months, so you can always look out for special deals. Anyway, however you meditate, please give it a try. It's made me a more calm, kind, not-as-reactionary person, which is pretty extraordinary.

• I've gained a lot more weight back since I last posted. I haven't weighed myself in about a week, but I was cresting 320 and I am not happy. Yet I haven't been able to get the switch back in the on position, so while I've been very aware of my situation and try my best (I actually hesitated to say "my best" because I'm not sure it really has been) to get out of it. I don't think that I will let myself get back to where I started almost five years ago, but then again I never thought that I would find myself back in this position, either.

I'd been doing the things that I was aiming to do the last time I posted. Let me refresh your memory, and mine:

• A cup of green tea and 24 oz. of water when I get to my desk at work
Most days, yes!

• If I want something to eat for breakfast, it's going to be oatmeal and/or fruit
Most days.

• Lunch will be fairly loose still. I will try to make better choices overall and aim to stay within my calories each day, eating most of them midday (1800–2000 to start)

• At least one more 24 oz. of water before I leave the office
Almost always.

• Depending on how lunch went, either no dinner or a very light one (yes, really)
This is where I am falling short – eating too much later in the day, even if I already ate plenty during the day.

• If I do eat dinner, no snacks after that
Yeah, no so much these days.

So I do feel like what has been broken is not that hard to fix in theory. I need to decrease the amount of food I am eating, and increase the quality of the food I am eating. That is everyone's struggle, though, right? It's nothing new, and as many of us know it is not that easy all the time.

• Our tennis regime rather abruptly ended mid-late season because my arm was bothering me, and so our level of activity went from 60 to 0 in no time flat. That definitely hasn't helped my cause. I never replaced tennis with anything else. Lately I have been trying to establish a walking habit again, but so far it's been spotty at best. I know that becoming more active again is really important – not just for keeping my weight in check, but also for overall health (well, that is what they say anyway – changing eating habits for weight loss, and exercising for fitness). It's funny/not funny that my body has been so ridiculously achey since we stopped playing tennis. My arm still bothers me, which really sucks. The doctor said that I likely have tendonitis and wanted to X-ray me, but I haven't yet followed up on that. My knees really hurt going down stairs, for example, and I hate that, too. When I was active regularly, I had aches and pains of course, but nothing like this.

Anyway... I know this is a LOT of text and I'm being lazy and not including photos this time to break it up. So if you have read this far, wow! Thank you! I'm realizing how important it is for me to keep this up and stay connected and just chronicle this whole thing, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I will be back again really soon.

I promise both to you and to myself.

Friday, September 22, 2017

23 Days Later

I am back in the land of the living! Hooray!

Maybe that is a bit dramatic, but not entirely inaccurate. I was feeling pretty close to dead quite a lot in the past month, to be honest. Depression has really been hitting me hard, and I have been stressed out for various reasons... for someone like me who tends to eat her feelings, it's not a good recipe. As a result, I found myself back up to 312 at my highest yesterday.

I'm not going to do this to myself again – I am not going to be the person I was when I started three years ago at 372 pounds. For one thing, may I be totally frank/TMI? My greatest motivator right now is bathroom hygiene. Going over 300 pounds does not bode well for easy cleaning, if you catch my drift. I feel like this is something no one ever really talks about, but it is a reality for some people! It's amazing to me how suddenly it came to that, how a few pounds in the wrong direction can make it an issue. But it's true!

(No, I am not walking around with a dirty butt. Seriously.)

I remember at my heaviest actually considering getting one of those devices made for people who can't reach for whatever reason. Oh man.

So anyway, more than clothes, more than being able to do all the things... I have discovered that THIS is my greatest motivator. It's a good one, I tell you what!

I'm back to 310 this morning, which is a small step in the right direction. I have decided to take a couple solid actions for now:

• A cup of green tea and 24 oz. of water when I get to my desk at work

• If I want something to eat for breakfast, it's going to be oatmeal and/or fruit

• Lunch will be fairly loose still. I will try to make better choices overall and aim to stay within my calories each day, eating most of them midday (1800–2000 to start)

• At least one more 24 oz. of water before I leave the office

• Depending on how lunch went, either no dinner or a very light one (yes, really)

• If I do eat dinner, no snacks after that

Generally, I prefer eating most, if not all of my food before 6pm. It doesn't always happen, but that is what I like to do.

Anyway... these are my goals for the next little while, and I am going to focus on these for now and not worry too much about other things like meditation and exercise. I know from experience that trying to make too many adjustments at one time usually ends in disappointment. My list now has things that I like to try to abide by anyway, but just haven't been, and I won't feel restricted. I'm not cutting out any certain types of food, only making sure that I don't eat too much, which has been my big problem the past month or two.

I'd also like to shout out to the readers who have taken the time to write some really lovely comments on the last couple posts – it means the world to me, and has definitely helped me get in a better mindset. I will be back to blogging on a regular basis from here on out. All the support I have received is so appreciated. If you're just reading and not commenting, thank you as well!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Catching Up, Kind Of

It's been over a month since I posted here, which hasn't happened in a long, long time. I really needed a break(?). I think? Make no mistake, I have been thinking about blogging about everything, but just haven't felt like whining more than I already had been. It's been a whine fest around here, believe me.

Let's see... I left off in late July. I was bitching about being back into the 290s again. Shortly after that, I fell back into the 280s for a while, and then... I got sick. It's really the only thing I can blame it on, this horrible month (eating- and weight-wise, that is, not my whole life), because generally I am not one of those people who loses her appetite when she gets sick. Just the opposite. Of course. 

That leaves me now finding myself over the 300 pound mark again. Gah.

The question I want to ask is, what the hell is wrong with me?

But probably a better question to ask would be, what the hell is RIGHT with me? So maybe I will start there. Or something like it. Things right are:

• Getting my shit together and pretty well enjoying my job

• Playing tennis (though not as much because of my dumb arm pain) and hiking with C.

• Lots of long summer weekends – I've got five days off starting tomorrow as a summer farewell

• Feeling comfortable in my clothes and my skin. I wear dresses and skirts almost all the time now!

• Liking my hair growing out and deciding that I will be an older lady who rocks long hair

• Red lipstick and cateye glasses


• Actually wanting to paint again

• Feeling pretty OK with the meds I'm taking for anxiety and depression

• Reading TONS

• Visiting kitties at the SPCA

Of course all the good stuff doesn't exactly negate the fact that I have gained like 20 pounds this past month. 20 pounds, can you believe that??? I've been thinking a lot about what I really want for myself and how I feel about the possibility of staying fat for the rest of my life.

I guess I just want to be careful about my degree of fatness, mainly out of physical comfort/ability with a little vanity sprinkled in, and the desire to shop at straight-sized stores. (Despite the vast array of offerings to plus-sized ladies, I just want to buy what I want to buy and not have to worry about going to a specialized store. Yes, this is a societal issue but I don't see it changing anytime soon.) I'm still aiming for size XL and 16-ish. I would really also like to see the size of my arms and belly shrink a bit – they are a source of discomfort for me.

As I have said many, many times before, I really want to be able to do anything I want to do – like running, hiking, playing tennis, whatever else. I want to be able to do a few more things in the bedroom that my bod prevents me from doing now (I know, TMI). I never, ever want to have trouble wiping my butt again. Ever.

But it scares me, because I also said that I never wanted to be above 300 pounds again, yet here I am. Never say never. I felt good in the 280s! I kept saying that I'd be fine even if I never lost more weight at that point. I'm really pretty angry with myself for letting this happen.

My eating has basically been, more or less, out of control.

I can also tell you all the good things I was doing for myself that I stopped doing around the same time it was obvious the weight was piling back on:

• A skin care regimen in the morning and at night

• Meditating

• Real, regular exercise – tennis once a week and a hike or two is not enough

• Eating mindfully and fueling my body rather than stuffing it with crap that shuts me down

• Keeping a nice house (I know, gross. Not sure what is up with that)

One positive step I am taking is participating in a virtual month-long marathon, which can be walked or run – so a little bit every day starting September 1!

I'm not sure what else I can deal with, but getting it typed out is helpful to see where I'm at anyway.

I have the courage to try again, even if I've failed over and over in the past.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

MOAR: Accountability

I'm getting real.

Well, I'm always real here. If you've been reading for a while, you know that.

But seriously, this morning was a real eye-opener. Got on the scale as promised, and... I am sad to say that I am back over 290 – 293.8! Whoa!

I ate like crap yesterday and so it's partly the weight of all that, I'm sure. I'm going to share with you what I ate, in fact. Note that this is pretty much how I ate before I got serious about losing weight, but every day without thinking twice most times. No wonder things got so out of control.

• Three donuts

• Subway footlong roast beef sub (I get all the veggies and vinegar on it, and pepper jack cheese, yum!), and Baked BBQ Lay's chips

• One hotdog on a bun, about a cup of leftover fancy black beans with a little cheese and sour cream on top, and some chili cheese Fritos

• An ice cream cone (at like 10pm!)

Actually, I probably used to eat even worse than this, but still. It's a lot, right? The donuts. God.

There were some positive things yesterday though!

• Drank 10 cups of water

• Played over an hour of tennis in hot and humid conditions (probably the most we've experienced so far this year) – plus I won a game in two sets! LOL

• I meditated!

So today I put on some comfortable clothes so that I would physically feel OK and therefore better mentally, too. I had three donuts left in my drawer and I ate them. I know.

I'm going out to lunch with a co-worker and not sure what I will do there, to be honest.

I'm not beating myself up. All I need are a few good days under my belt again. And I need to keep writing here. Another thing I considered doing was keeping a written journal of what I eat, when, and how I am feeling at the time. Same with drinking (alcohol). I think it will help me to better understand my patterns and therefore maybe try to adjust them. I mean, I know in general what I do – I am an emotional eater, no doubt. But I also eat to feed non-hunger cravings. I eat because the idea of eating that particular food sounds good. I want to do it. It's hard for me to moderate many times, though, so there's the rub. They say that the first few bites of a food taste best, and after that, we're just gobbling to gobble. Why can't I just have half a donut and be satisfied, or one scoop of ice cream, or one slice of pizza? OK, fine if I am hungry but many times I am not.

I think I'll meditate on it.

One last thing I wanted to note here? I don't get chub rub anymore. I play tennis in short skirts and I haven't had chub run one time this year! I wear skirts to work – nothing. It is totally fabulous. I mentioned it to my GYN, marvelling at it, really, and she said it's probably because my legs have more muscle now. Whatever the reason, it's pretty nifty. I haven't had to use my Body Glide in forever! Hooray!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I have not been meditating.

We haven't been playing tennis as much.

I'm not doing any other kind of exercise.

My eating has pretty much gone off the rails.

I don't really know what I am doing.

And do you know what this came off of? It came off of two, no three, really positive experiences in the healthcare system. I got such good marks from my doctors that... I don't know what the rationale is for it, if any... I just felt license somehow. Maybe it was a mistake for my GYN to tell me that even if I never lost any more weight, she'd be happy because she knows how active I am and the life I try to lead most of the time.

I mean, wow, right?

So my reaction is to just totally...

I feel very heavy and not very healthy. I've been eating pretty much anything I feel like. I have managed to stay under 290, but I won't for long if I don't stop this in its tracks.

Hey, I have been here before and picked myself up and dusted myself off. I know.

In fact, I am pretty sure we'll be playing tennis tonight, which is a step in the right direction.

I keep revising my path (which is totally OK, by the way!). Here are some things I would like to focus on in the coming week:

• Re-engage my meditation practice – even a little tiny bit, but every single day. (There. I just did a 7-minute meditation on the Stop, Breathe & Think website. It was the one about change, by the way. ;)

• Stop drinking soda (yes, even diet, which is what I usually drink if I do). Go back to only drinking water. (Just threw out what I had left from lunch.)

• Continue logging food, being completely honest. (Going to log today right after this.)

• Daily weigh again, and logging in Happy Scale. No matter what. I'm pretty sure this is essential for me after having tried so many different approaches. If I know I don't have to weigh in the next day, I am more likely to eat less than ideal foods. (I will weigh in tomorrow.)

• Oatmeal and fresh fruit for breakfast, and a cup of green tea. That was a good habit to have. (Looking forward to starting the day like this tomorrow!)

I think that is enough to try to get back to for now – I don't want to give myself too much and feel like I can't do it.

What are you struggling with lately?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Quick Update

Hello all,

It's been up-down in the past two days since I wrote last. I'm sitting at 285 again, which... is fine. But I haven't been very serious about getting my eating where I'd like it to be, and combined with no tennis or other exercise the past couple days, well... on days when I don't exercise I can't eat like I do on days when I do. Not to say that I think an hour's worth of activity makes up entirely for poor eating choices, but it does definitely give me a little bit of leeway, you know?

The good news is that I am still at 285. As I talked about before, I want July to be a 285-and-below month. But I have to do the work! I have to stay vigilant!

Anyway, the weather allowed for tennis again today and we met up with Rick as we hope to do every Saturday at noon for the rest of the summer. With breaks I still amassed about a good hour of pretty intense tennis... oh, man! I just really love it so much. I'm glad that I didn't give up trying when I was first learning.

I've been checking into MFP every single day, at the very least to log water intake and exercise; if I don't directly log the food then I do a loose list of what I've eaten in the notes section, which is less precise but way easier. I'm trying to eat more intuitively than counting calories so militantly, at least for a while. It depends on the day, it depends on my mood.

Speaking of mood, I had the first appointment with my new therapist on Friday morning, and it was GREAT! Totally fabulous. I feel so lucky about the health care workers that I've found in the past few years – my guy, Bob, is actually a social worker and not a doc. I've been feeling much better since I started on the Lexapro generic in addition to my Wellbutrin generic, so on one hand you could ask, "Well, why bother with therapy if you feel fine now?" but I still wanted to go because I am one of those weird people who actually like therapy and the chance to blab on about whatever (me me me, LOL) and try to work through all those thoughts that go racing through my head.

I feel very comfortable with Bob, and the conversation was pretty enlightening already and I think this experience will be valuable for me as I approach making a lot of big changes in my life. At this point he said frequency is up to me, and I think I'm going to go with two to three times a month and see where that takes me. I'm excited!

In summary... mostly good, still struggling a bit but staying as positive as I can.

Books from the library (reading lots lately!):

Jessamyn Stanley's Every Body Yoga

Jen Sincero's You Are a Badass at Making Money

Tony Robbins' Money: Master the Game

Roxane Gay's Hunger and Difficult Women (I just finished Bad Feminist and loved it!)

Haruki Murakami's Men without Women

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Back On It!

I'm happy to say that things are back to relative normal again. What a relief! I weighed in today at my lowest this year by a squiggle – 282.6. I'm very happy about that but really looking forward to getting back into the 270s.

Honestly, I think back to what happened last year and how I was on my way back to a place I didn't want to go, and that by now I could have been there already, or close to it. But in February, I finally got my head out of that fog and got back to business, knowing how hard I worked and what a shame it would be to erase all that progress. In these past few years, I've carved out a whole new way of life for myself in which I love to be active and I do my best to treat my body like the temple it is.

Of course, I am not perfect. This is NOT about perfection, though! It's about progress; it's about learning as you go. I'm glad that I finally realized and fully embraced those things.

I have a long ways to go to where I'd ultimately like to be, but I am also pretty pleased about where I am now. A lot of that is because I upped my activity level so much since the end of last year – first with training sessions at the gym and weightlifting, then with tennis, walking, and hiking as the weather got better. I feel like I owe so much to trainer Rick and my partner, C. (who likes to keep his anonymity online). They have both kept me going and getting out and doing things even when I didn't feel like it. Exercise is truly my lifesaver, as someone who might always struggle with food and eating.

C. and I have been ramping up our tennis sessions lately, building up to beyond an hour on the court – an hour and a half, even two hours one day! We'll likely keep trying to build our endurance as the summer goes on. I think we're both kind of addicted, to be honest. You would not believe the amount of sweat we generate. Usually when we're done, my dress and headband are literally soaking wet, and we drink tons of water! Good stuff.

Tomorrow I have my first therapy session, and early next week I have appointments with both my gynecologist and my GP! It's really nice to be proactive about my health in all aspects and I've been feeling so positive lately. I think it is safe to say that the addition of Lexpro to my regimen has been really helpful.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say hello! How's your summer been so far?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

On a Roll

Checking in for accountability's sake.

Yesterday was: A big salad and a small slice of leftover pizza for lunch. Later, celebrating an old, good friend's birthday. He made the most delicious roast beef for beef on weck sandwiches. Holy crap, I could not stop eating the meat. Wowwowwow. Seriously. His mom made some tasty macaroni salad, and then there were these amazeballs Ho-ho-like things from Sam's club – kind of like petit-fours. Little cakes with icing. I ate, admittedly, way too many of these although if it had been a real, regular-sized cake, it probably would have been equal to a decent slice. Whatever. I enjoyed it. Also a couple beers.

Today was: An hour of hot, humid tennis first thing (which was actually late morning into noon because we slept in because I went to bed so late!). Hot! Humid! Much sweat was sweated. Followed by... a lot of R and R, to be honest. I had a big plate of nachos for lunch followed by some chocolate chips and beer. (I know, I know.) A long, hot afternoon nap. I snacked on delicious CSA strawberries in the evening.

WATER! Trying to get back to lots again.

This morning I was back down to 285 even (well, post-tennis, which is when I usually weigh on weekends and holidays), so very pleased with that. I'm looking forward to a sub-285 July.

It's been on my mind a lot lately but I usually don't talk about more personal, non-"lifestyle" stuff here, but... I have big dreams that I want to make happen this year. I speak it out to the universe a lot. I have files in my Google Drive about it. A big cross-country move! Career development. I name what I want. The job I want, the salary I want, the domicile I want for my family. I'm seeing it clearly in my head and I've been taking steps toward it.

But there are still several big practical things to take care of, most of all getting our house ready and selling it. It's been at least a good month now since we've made the decision and yet have done nothing on this side of things to get the ball rolling. It's hanging over my head. But I'm afraid to talk about this part, or even to act on it. Obviously on one hand I can't wait to make things happen, and on the other I'm totally scared.

So it's a lot, to keep all the momentum for all the things I am doing (including the weight loss and fitness thing) going. But it's all connected, one motivates the other motivates the other. I want to put my best foot forward. I want to be my best self. I want to believe in all the things I can do or think I can do given the chance. I'm aiming higher than I ever considered before. It's all scary, but it's all doable.

Make it so. Make it ALL so.

Just do it, etc. etc.

(Wish me luck.)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A New Beginning

I just posted the last post I started to write on Thursday – it ends kind of abruptly but rather summarizes what the past couple weeks has been like: Not-so-great eating and lots of tennis, in a nutshell.

Approaching a certain number again was also a concern. I was teetering on the brink of 290 again, and that just was not acceptable. I've made just some small adjustments the past few days and ended out the month hitting 286 and change, which is fine for me – far away enough for now. My goal for the month of July is to end up into the 270s (finally!), and to stay below 285 every day after today.

I'm making a pledge to myself for this month to weigh every day (even when I am scared), and log my food every day in some way (the past few days I have taken to just listing the food I eat in the notes section of MyFitnessPal instead of doing the whole calorie count thing).

Another thing I've been thinking about is time. As in, how long it takes to lose this weight. I've been at this now for three years and the net loss is currently 85 pounds – hey, not bad, right? The thing that I am most impressed with at this point is that I am still at it, and even though I have had some setbacks, I've never given up completely. I'm really proud of that! And while it would be really nice to lose a lot more quickly, I'm thinking that the slower I lose, the more likely I will keep it off long-term. So instead of being worried about losing a certain number of pounds each month (i.e. the 8 or 10 I always aimed for in the past), I just want to make sure that I lose something on a monthly basis – keep the downward trajectory, no matter how little it might be. Oh! And also to keep my Happy Scale charts in the green, all the time.

This allows me for not feeling overly restricted or wanting for anything. I can still eat what I want for the most part as long as I keep things balanced and in reasonable portions, most of the time. That is so important for the long haul, to make sure that what I have been doing remains a lifestyle rather than a temporary fix – which, at this point, seems pretty much the case.

Anyway, I am entering July with a fresh outlook and excitement. It feels good!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dangerously Close

Hello hello! It's been WAY too long since my last post. I admit it, I've thought about writing here probably every day since then, but I just couldn't do it for some reason. Things have been good, things have been... not really bad, but maybe interesting?

I think it started last week when my eating took a bad turn for some reason. I'll chalk it up to PMS, I guess – after all, it is that time of the month on my charts where I seem to show an upswing in my weight every single month since February. I guess I am not too worried about it because it does seem to be a trend that then goes way back down again at the beginning of the next month, but it's the way I've been feeling about food that bothers me more than anything. I've been indulging all sorts of cravings and not being as careful about portions. I've gone back to junky lunches again, mostly. That weird Subway thing that happens to me every once in a while – you know, when I get obsessed with the meatball parm sub and those godawful (delicious!) cookies, and I have to get three of them? Yeah. I've also had McDonald's joneses again, too. So yeah. The only thing really saving me at all is that we've been playing tennis a LOT. Like five or six hours a week a lot. It's good! My game has really improved a lot, and so when we play things are more rigorous and constant. Lots of sweat! At least I have had that.

But then, I didn't get on the scale for two days, which always spells trouble for me. I know it probably sounds ridonkulous to some of you, but daily weighing is my jam and keeps me on track. If I am not weighing daily, it's because I can't face the number I know will probably happen because I've been eating poorly. To do that two days in a row, well, you know I'm having a hard time. This morning I told myself to cut it out, and while there is some damage, I am still just under 290. What a shame, though! Just ten days ago I was at 282 and change! Argh!

The good news is that I think I am reigning things in little by little, and hope to be back down again pretty quickly. Downhill on my Happy Scale chart is imminent!

June (top) compared to May (bottom) – wild, right? The July Dip is coming!
Random thoughts:

• I'm 47 and I'm wearing a little swing dress that comes above my knees to work, with bare legs even! (Hint: I wear a tennis skirt underneath that has built-in shorts!) That's not untoward or anything, right? I'm over the whole what women should or should not wear thing.

• I've become just about truly obsessed with my face – skincare, I mean! Since we've been spending a lot of time in the sun lately, I feel like my skin has aged like 10 years in just a few weeks. I do try to wear sunscreen most of the time, but all it takes is once or twice in glaring sun... Up until now I've been very lucky about wrinkles and texture and stuff, and now, it is all falling apart. I'm upping my moisturizer game, my sunscreen game, my cleansing game, etc. etc. What are your favorite products? I'm in the market for a good SPF moisturizer right now and would like to try something new. (I was using Acure and Supergoop.)

• Tennis. Can we talk? Last night was truly game-changing for me. I don't know how to describe it, but I'm getting to the point where my body is just doing things automatically without having to think too much about it. I had a couple really great groundstrokes that happened – I wasn't sure I'd be able to get to them in time, but did and successfully and powerfully! It's such a rush. My serve is much better, too, though still really slow. 

On Saturday we had the great pleasure of having my trainer, Rick, join us on the court after his morning stint at the gym! It was really fun. C. got to play with someone a little more skilled, and he kept us out there a little longer that we might have otherwise because he's in that much better shape than us even though he never does cardio! Ha! It was nice to spend time with him again now that we don't have appointments anymore, and I think he's going to make it a regular Saturday thing.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Complete Self-Care

Wow, it's almost been a week since my last post already?

A lot has happened since then. Last weekend was a bit challenging, and my state of mind hasn't been the best for whatever reason. Some of it is internal to be sure, some of it external – I've been very stressed out and worried a lot, and it's been hard to stay focused at work, etc. At home my moods were getting out of hand and making it difficult for my partner to relate to me (and/or vice-versa).

Since earlier in the year, I've been taking a generic version of Wellbutrin. When I saw my doctor back then, it was for a regular checkup but I was in a bad spot – my weight was continuing to climb and I was very emotional. He felt that the Wellbutrin could help me with both things, so I tried it.

It seemed to improve things quite a bit for a while, but things have felt different in the past month or so. My partner suggested seeing the doc again and after last weekend's self-imposed strife, I called for an appointment on Monday. Wouldn't you know, he was able to see me first thing on Tuesday (I am imagining that he was concerned).

Long story short, he added on a generic Lexapro (I'm using the retail names even though I am on generics, because the retail names are MUCH easier to remember!) to work with the Wellbutrin to try to affect some of my other neurotransmitters in a positive way. One of my biggest concerns lately has been that I've felt so much ambivalence for many things that matter to me, and my motivation is straight out the window the same way. Hopefully the Lexapro will help with that.

On top of that, he also referred me to a therapist, and my first appointment is in early July. I haven't had talk therapy in almost 20 years and I'm kind of looking forward to it. It will be nice to be able to sort some things out in my head and try to make better sense of my history and where my feelings now.

I started taking the Lexapro Tuesday evening. It makes me feel a little funny sometimes so far, whereas I had zero anything with the Wellbutrin. Yesterday I was low-grade nauseated all day (though not enough to turn me off to eating!), and sometimes I feel like I'm having what I can only describe as like micro-spasms in my limbs, and a weird feeling in my mouth when I yawn. It's so bizarre! (I remember back in my 20s when I was taking Paxil, I used to feel like there was electricity running through me, so I guess it is something similar happening now.) It's not too bad, though, and I want to see how this will help me and so I will give it time.

I did notice this morning that I had no trouble getting out of bed (early even!), and when I got to work, instead dilly-dallying a bit, I got straight to work! Maybe it's coincidence or mind over matter, or maybe it is the drugs. Either way, I am feeling hopeful.

On another note (brain stuff in a slightly different way), I started Leo Babauta's 44 Training Program a couple days ago, and I am excited about it! I just love Leo and all he has to offer.

Also, happy that my weight is back down to 284 and change, after being up a few pounds during the past week.

It's so important to be wholistic when you're talking about self-care. It can mean so many things, right? But for me, I'm realizing that it needs to mean ALL the things: being active, developing a skin care regimen, making sure to have fun, fueling my body in a good way most of the time, and last but not least, taking care of my mental/emotional health and getting help when I need it.

Friday, June 9, 2017

47 Feels Good!

Happy 47th birthday to me!

I wanted to make a point to get some sort of good exercise in today, as a tradition carried on from last year when I started my day with a couple mile run. Today it took a while to get out, but I had it my head to go on a hike.

We ended up going out later in the afternoon, and not only did we go on a hike wee hike (about 30 minutes), we started the excursion with a wee bit of tennis, which I wasn't planning on. I was pretty tired, to be honest – we've been very active this past week, which is great of course, but... you know, tiring, right?

Hanging out at a nearby park, on our cross-country hike.
I love this pond – so peaceful!
So pretty! Getting out in nature raises the spirits.

So, anyway, I am happy to have gotten this far in life, and I feel good about where I am in many ways, not least of all my fitness level and my weight loss progress. It's been a relatively slow go the past few months, but it's been pretty consistent. This morning I weighed in at 283 even, my lowest this year. Very happy with that! My next loose goal is to be below 275 by mid-July, when I'll see my dad next for a visit. I think that is pretty doable.

Truth be told, my day started out pretty poorly. For the all the excitement I had building up to the day and thinking of the things I wanted to do with it, I woke up and felt kind of down and the feeling built up throughout the morning. It was hard to break out of, and I was driving my poor partner a little crazy with it. It wasn't until we went out that things improved and I'm glad to have gotten through the day having a nice time in the end. I still really don't know what was up with me, but I'm a little concerned it might be the anti-depressant I've been taking, so I'll probably be following up with my doctor soon to see if we can re-evaluate a course of action...

Tomorrow I'll be hanging out with my mom and "playing" in the garden, which will be really fun. I need to do the same in my own, but that will have to be for another day. (I have lots to do!)

Yeah. Today was a challenge, but I came through on the other side with the help of someone who loves me – the best present ever. Now, I'm off to make my birthday cake, minus the candied orange peel, though I would love to make those one day, too!

Yum yum yum!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sometimes, No Rhyme or Reason

Another reason why I am glad I weigh every day: I know how weird the body can be.

Yesterday, I hit my lowest weight this year at 284.6 – pretty thrilled to be under 285 indeed! We had played an hour and half's worth of tennis and I ate had a good eating day the day before.

I also ate well yesterday overall, hit my calorie goal.

This morning? Up two pounds.

Up two for no reason whatsoever, except that sometimes the body does what the body does.

It's OK... I just thought I would share. I think it's important information for anyone trying to lose weight to know.

I wore stripes today anyway!

Ahhh... this shirt fits comfortably again! Hooray!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Nothing If Not Consistent

As I often do, I was looking back at last year's posts around the same time. I found the two photos on the left, posted side by side comparing how I looked in early June 2015 and 2016 – about the same, really. So, I decided to take this year's photo for comparison! The result? Pretty similar, I'd say, which isn't the worst thing.


• I like my green cat eye glasses the best

• It's nice to wear patterns

• My hair looks best falling below my shoulders

• It's really nice to have my own office with real sunlight and stuff

June! (l to r) 2015, 2016, 2017. (You can click to enlarge if you want to.)

According to my Happy Scale data, in early June 2015, I weighed right around 280. In 2016, 285. In 2017? Yep, you got it! 285.

Hopefully, this time next year will a different result heading in the downward direction, numbers-wise. Time to make it happen!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

OH! And... I'm a "Best Blog"!

I've had a busy weekend so I neglected to mention that snazzy badge the blog now sports. Well, finally notified me officially of my status of one of the best weight loss blogs of 2017 and directed me to download the cool bling. So now it is official!

It's extra exciting for me, being in some of the company I am on the list – a few of my long-time favorites including Cranky Fitness, Runs for Cookies, Diary of an Aspiring Loser Maintainer, and Roni Noone! (All can be found on my reading list in the sidebar, by the way, check them out!)

This is really such a great honor. Thanks to all of your who have been reading – it means the world to me.

Happy June!

Ah, June. It means several things to me:

• Mid-way through the year

• My birthday! (the 9th)

• Summer (usually)

Every new month also represents the proverbial "fresh start", same as the new year, same as the new week. June is lovely.

After some big ups (back to 294, sheesh!), my weight is back down solidly to 285-even today, very pleased! The Happy Scale charts remain in the green. Overall I seem to have gotten down a good eating routine – I eat what I want, but I have been carefully logging calories so that I stay within a good range and hopefully keep losing. I'm feeling really good about where I'm going, at least for now. I know these things can be fleeting, and I will appreciate it while I'm here in that place.

Birthday plans: I'm taking off on Thursday from work, and we have a summer Friday off as well – four day weekend, here I come! This year I absolutely must have a chocolate cake, and I have been researching recipes to make my own. Originally I had it in mind to make a pure chocolate chocolate cake, but then got the idea for a chocolate orange cake – I love chocolate orange anything, so it seemed silly that I'd never considered this before. So that's that, and I think on the day of my birthday we're going to return to a place we just tried out last Friday called Freddy J.'s – a tiny little place run by Freddy (of course), with a small menu that includes things like southern fried chicken, BBQ, collard greens, grits, and ... red velvet waffles. I got them last time, and oh my. Just as you'd think. I'm sorry, but I am being that person and sharing a photo.

fried chicken breast and those waffles
So yeah. I'm getting that on my birthday.

We also may do some really good steaks on the grill, too, over the weekend. It's that time of year, assuming it doesn't rain, of course! (Sadly, it is in the forecast.)

Finally... it is my desire to finally get under 285. I'm just about there, but I am taking nothing for granted – I know how fickle the scale can be. I think it can be done, though!

Monday, May 29, 2017


So much changes in a week. I haven't had the best week in general, though also specifically with the program. It comes and goes, right? Always has. Since my arm has been hurting we've been avoiding tennis, but the extra bad news is that I haven't been doing anything else to fill that void. So I've really been such a slug lately and it makes me feel crappier. The one exception was on Saturday, when we went to my mom's house to finally pick up our mostly-feral cat, Henrietta, to bring her home. Even though she doesn't spend a lot of time with us, and sometimes we don't actually see her much, her absence from our home has been palpable.

It ended up taking three of us TWO HOURS to catch her in the confines of a relatively small bedroom. Unfortunately she camped out under the bed the whole time and practically fought to the death to not be removed from there, so... strained muscles, scratched/bit hands (not sure which, maybe both), getting up and down from the floor multiple times... ugh. But, we finally did get her, and after all the struggle she was fine wrapped up in my arms, and fine once in the cat carrier, and fine on the car ride home. So yeah, that was the most exercise I've had since my arm started hurting. (It still hurts sometimes, and C. said we should really wait until it just doesn't hurt anymore. Sucks.)

Eating has all but gone out the window, to be honest. It's not really an excuse, but I have been pretty stressed out about various things in my life and it's just all... like, I just want to stuff my face sometimes and not worry about what I'm stuffing in it. The result is that this morning's weight was back up to 294, WTF??? It can happen so fast.

That said, I have enjoyed some of it, but then some others of it was just plain eating for eating's sake and not really even super enjoying it, which is always my goal (to savor, to eat quality food).

I have weighed myself every day, no matter how "bad" or "good" the eating has been. It's mostly been OK-ish until the past few days, so my goal this week will be to get myself back down to 290 for good. (I know, I have said this before! I will say it again!)

Disappointing, but not unfixable.
Honestly? Super disappointing. I had been doing so well! I touched on 285 not too long ago, isn't that something?

BUT I cannot dwell on the mistakes; I can only look ahead to future success.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Miscellany, Including "Embracing the Frizz"

I know, I am always posting variations on this photo.

1. I am finally embracing my frizz! In the past few years, my hair has changed texture quite a lot –  thinned, for one thing (boo!), but also unbrushable when dry because it turns into a massive frizz. My hair person told me, in fact – "Oh no, don't brush your hair EVER when it's dry. Only when it's wet." She is also of a certain age and has the same issue.

The problem is, I don't always wash my hair in the morning when I am getting ready for work. I am almost always a nighttime bather/hair washer, so that means I sleep on my hair and then it's dry in the morning and disheveled. BUT I CAN'T BRUSH IT. 

I guess I could spritz it with some water so that I can brush it, but what I've been doing lately is embracing my inner Doc Brown (you know, from Back to the Future?) and letting my hair do what it will without much fuss. I do run a comb through to define my part, but all I ever do now is pat/fluff/run fingers through it, and for good measure, twist the front parts between my fingers to kind of smooth them out and create cute little wavy bits. 

As you can see here in today's photo, my hair DOES look a little disheveled, but I am also starting to really actually like it. Of course, if I didn't have my fabulous glasses and red lipstick to complete the look, I might not feel so good about it – those things, which look very put together, balance out the

2. After all this time, I am still trying to figure out whether time of day matters for eating and weight loss. Case in point: yesterday, I ate right around target cals, and exercised for over an hour, but still gained a pound. I mean, this could be caused by a number of things, not least of which could be the time of the month. I am pre-PMS right now but it seems like my body likes to hold on to some weight around this time – last month I had the same weight pattern: Big losses early in the month, some gains mid-late, and then evening out at the end. So, I am not too worried about as long as I stick with the program more often than not, but... it is a little annoying to be sure. That said, I also ate pretty lean during the day and had a big meal after we played over an hour's worth of tennis – dinner ended up being after 8pm, which I prefer NOT to do.

And because I ate light all day, and because we exercised, I was hungry and I ate a big meal. Within calories, true, mostly good stuff, true, but big, also true. (It was like a deconstructed burrito with two small tortillas, a can of black beans, a small piece of chicken, a bunch of cheese, jalapenos, and sour cream. Yum! Crazy protein, too!)

The result the next morning was a one pound gain, which puts me back to 290 even, which pisses me off, but... whatever. As my partner told me, It'll come off fast. And I am sure it will. But still! *sticks out tongue*

3. I feel like I have been super busy lately – things are converging in a way they hadn't yet with all of my jobs (I have three – one full-time and two part-time, both of which are remote/mostly remote). My most recent job is getting busier and my role will be expanding shortly (I find out more tomorrow evening!), so it'll be interesting to see how it all goes. At the same time, I am also thinking about the future (i.e. six months to a year from now) when my situation might be (better be!) completely different. No lie that all this stuff weighs heavy sometimes, but I am grateful for all the opportunities I have and I'm happy to do my best to rise to the challenges and getting out of my comfort zone a bit.

4. My tennis arm hurts today for what I think is the first time! I've been using one of my partner's racquets (a Boris Becker London) the past few outings and while it seems to help me play better, it might be a little too heavy for me. So today when we're out, I'll be going back to my own newer racquet that I also really like – a Babolat Pure Strike. Hopefully my arm will stop hurting! I finally got my knees feeling a little better. (I would LOL but being middle-aged is no joke, man.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Reader Q: How Often Do You Weigh Yourself?

I got this question from reader Nicole a few days ago:

I had a question for you about how often you weigh yourself. I've read a few of your posts and read about the weight tracker app you use, Happy Scale. I realized that app is best used when checking your weight daily or at least that's what I gathered from what I read. Do you weigh yourself daily and (if you do) do you find it to be discouraging when your weight fluctuates? Currently, I weigh myself once a week, but I've actually found myself becoming anxious (well half anxious and half excited) for Friday morning because I want to see how much (if any) weight I lost that week. I'm wondering if weighing myself daily will help with that. Plus, I think it would be nice to have an app dedicated to only tracking my weight. I looked at other weight loss trackers, and I haven't found any like the Happy Scale. I especially like how you can create multiple milestones for yourself!

Hey Nicole, 

Great question! I've been thinking about this a bit and wanted to answer you thoroughly. So, here goes: Yes, I do weigh every day (unless there are mitigating circumstances, like being out of town or whatever). Yes, Happy Scale definitely works best if you do weigh every day, because what it does is calculates a moving average as well as tracking your actual weight – it shows you what your overall progress is, which I find very helpful! I think I have mentioned before how my goal has been to "stay in the green" on the app all the time. Let me show you an example of what I am talking about.

Even when my weight fluctuates, it shows me the general trend.

As you can see by this chart (the monthly report in Happy Scale), my weight loss is never a straight line down on a daily basis – which, of course, is normal! That is what our bodies do! However, rather than get discouraged by these ups and downs, I see that I am still on a downward trend overall – I'm "in the green". So while I am getting on the scale every single day, I obsess about my weight a little less than I might ordinarily, because I know that I am still on track. Conversely, it makes it really easy to see when I need to rein things in a bit, if I am tipping into the red. See this example from last November, which was the last time I was in the green but got into the red in a big way.

All the months after this until February 2017 were red, red, red.

You can also see that I didn't weigh every single day that month, so it can still make a calculation without daily input – but obviously the more data you put in, the better it will work for you.

Now, take a look at my weight on a weekly basis. This is why I don't weigh in like this anymore. It would get really discouraging and I wouldn't have the benefit of seeing all the stuff in between that would have clued me in that things were actually happening.


2/7/17: 308.8

2/14/17: 303.8, 5 pounds lost

2/21/17: 307.4, 3.6 pounds gained

2/28/17: 301.6, 5.8 pounds lost

3/7/17: 300.0, 1.6 pounds lost

3/14/17: 296.0, 4 pounds lost

3/21/17: 297.6, 1.6 pounds gained

3/28/17: 295.4, 2.2 pounds lost

4/4/17: 299.0, 3.6 pounds gained

4/11/17: 292.4, 6.6 pounds lost

4/18/17: 295.8, 3.4 pounds gained

4/25/17: 293.2, 2.6 pounds lost

5/2/17: 292.6, 0.6 pounds lost

5/9/17: 288.4, 4.2 pounds lost

5/16/17: 289.0, 0.6 pounds gained

So far, my lowest weight has been 285.8 on Sunday 5/14. Today I weighed in at 286.8. But I would never have known that if I only weighed weekly.

And, for me – maybe not for you, but for me – I do know that I wouldn't have dealt well with those few bigger weekly gains. I just wouldn't. I have nightmares about Weight Watchers weigh-ins and remember how devastated I would feel if I had a gain like that, or even just not showing a decent amount of progress at all week to week. And wouldn't you know... I always gave up, inevitably. For some reason, keep track of things every day helps to lessen the blow of the ups and downs, because I see it for what it is: A natural fluctuation, OR sometimes things like eating foods like Chinese or Mexican take-out that usually make me gain no matter what (sodium, I'm guessing), OR of course the off day here and there when I plainly just eat too much. Daily weigh-in keeps me in tune with my body and its quirks, and I can better deal with the gains when I know better what might have caused them. It's all mind games, isn't it?

Ultimately everyone has to decide what works best for them, but if you've never tried daily weighing, I recommend giving it a shot for a couple weeks. You just have to make sure you get in the right mindset, which does take some work – you're collecting data, you're basically being a scientist in a way. Try not to attach moral judgment to the number on the scale; just let it inform you and go about your day.

Basically, I LOVE Happy Scale – I think it is a fantastic tool that throws a little smarts into my efforts. It's like the old days when I used to use the Physics Diet website, which did the same kinds of calculations but then went away after a few years (so sad – that was a great forum!). When I found Happy Scale, I was, well... super happy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Really, I Am NOT Afraid of Stripes!

Queen of the bathroom selfie!

Yes, I am fat, and yes, I wear stripes any damn time I want.

This past week I also found out that my mom loves stripes, too! It must be genetic. 

(Swing dress is Old Navy, and the fabric is so lovely and drapey and comfortable, plus I got it on sale super cheap – win-win-win.)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

In Times of Trouble...

It's nice when you can like a photo of yourself once in a while.

It's been a while, yes, but not for bad reasons. Well, maybe kind of, but not those kind that relate to my health and fitness – save the stress and makeshift meals and things, and not going to the gym anymore.

Despite all that, though, I finally saw a number on the scale below 290! My lowest weight so far is today's, 288.4. I'm pretty thrilled. I actually hit it on Saturday first, but was without access to a scale Sunday and Monday – so it's nice that it's stuck for a few days, at least.

Considering all the crazy that has happened in the past week, I'm hanging in there pretty well. Long story short is that we decided that we're going to sell our house – more or less under duress – but that's what we're doing. There's so much to be done to get ready and at the very least it will be good exercise, but honestly I am ready for it to be all done. Yes, I know real estate transactions often take a while! At the very least I am hoping for a relatively quick sale and to get enough from it that we walk away with at least something.

In the meantime, I'm keeping on keeping on sans gym appointments – mainly to save money but also because of the time factor, and I do think I will get plenty of physical activity in the coming month or two to make up for it. But the eating seems to have gotten easier, not as likely to binge and less likely to eat as much crap as I used to. I'm preferring water again over diet soda (though sometimes still, there is nothing like some fizzy stuff), and I drink a lot of it!

So yeah, aside from the drama, I feel pretty balanced and good about what I am doing for myself.

I also think that meditation really, really helps, even if I just do it when I am in the bathtub or when I am trying to fall asleep. Try it out if you're having trouble in any area of your life!

Onward. Bigger and better things.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Where I've Been, Where I'm Going

The last day of the month is when I post my loss or gain for that month on the data page (see menu above). Yesterday was the last day of April, and while I did show a loss from March, I was a little disappointed in how I did. Instead of the 7 to 10 pounds I'd hoped to see gone, it was just 4. But, we all know... there should never be a "just" ahead of any loss. Any and all losses (in my case, at least, in this context) should be celebrated! So that is what I am doing, also knowing that I did make it to 290 during the month.

Losses have been sluggish the past couple weeks, stubborn, even. I'm not sure why but I'm not too worried about it, either. Right now I'm in PMS week and the scale was up by a pound today (294), which is frustrating but also not exactly surprising. My tummy feels kind of off today and my sleep hasn't been great lately, and... hormones. I'll just keep doing what I am doing, knowing that perseverance always pays off eventually.

Assessing the year so far (I guess this is kind of like a quarterly report!), I see progress. It's slow, but I'm definitely making progress.

• In January and February, I was still struggling to get out of the 300s. It wasn't even until mid-March that I finally broke out of there for good, actually!

• In March, I broke the 295 barrier but still found that my body was fighting it.

• Throughout April I was in the 290s, having got down to 290 on two of those days. My body is still fighting that, apparently, and as I mentioned, ended the month at 293.

• I had an amazing walk/run in the dark in the rain late last week. It was great! I ended up doing a 5K distance, my first since January, and it felt really good. I did walk most of it, but the last mile was more running than not. My average pace was in the 17s, with the third mile at just a squeak over 16 – super awesome for me, especially since I haven't been doing a lot of walking and, like, no running in quite a while (minus some treadmill work here and there). Strength training does help!

YEAH! Nicely done.

And I'm still in the green on my Happy Scale app! If nothing else happens, I always ever want to stay in the green, which means that I am losing or maintaining my average weight. I saw WAY too much red in 2016.

For May, I definitely want to make my way out of the 290s solidly. I would say that I want to be under 280 – aiming high, I know – but based on my history I very well could pull it out. It would be amazing to be in the 270s by my 47th birthday on June 9th. (OMG, I initially typed in 27th instead of 47th, LOL! I tell you what, though – 27 does NOT seem that long ago.)

I'm also very happy to announce that my partner, C., broke the 300 barrier! I'm so thrilled for him. He's also been working hard and has been such a great support to me. It's so much easier when you have a built-in support system at home.

In other news, I feel like the luckiest girl alive lately! I was able to lease a new car on Saturday, which I am still stunned by because my Toyota dealer was giving me such a hard time about my situation – the lease on my Prius was out very soon, and I've had a not-so-lovely credit report these days; they were asking me for pay stubs and utility bills, whether I could get a co-signer, how much money could I put down, etc. etc. – just making things seem dire and not being very helpful. Hey, I get it. When you have shitty credit, that is what happens. But, I thought at least that customer loyalty would factor in at least some. Didn't seem that way at all, though!

In frustration and after talking with C. about what kind of car we'd like, settled on trying for a Honda Civic, a car his sister got last year and loves. Since I wasn't really into the new versions of the Corolla or the Camry (felt like tin cans!), I was into it. I looked up who was the best Honda dealer in the area and contacted them. Long story short, within a day they got me into the mid-level Civic, an EX-T (Moon roof! Heated seats! Turbo engine!), for almost $100 less per month than my Prius, and with better insurance rates and lower deductibles! On top of that? I won't ever have to worry about mileage overage again because they got me 20,000 miles a year. (I drive a lot!) Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pay for the excess miles I put on my Prius, but hey – I am outta there and I am HONDA FOR LIFE now. Classier dealership, nicer people, better financing, better cars. That Civic feels practically like a luxury car to me, especially compared to the Toyotas I recently test drove.

Hello! My name is Jabberjaw!
Hooray for Ray Laks Honda and my salesman, Mark Snipes!

Anyway, you can imagine how insanely happy I am about this. It takes a HUGE load off my mind. I'd been stressed out about it since the new year, when I first started talking to Toyota about what to do at the end of me lease. Honda made it so fast and easy, I was seriously shaking my head and really wishing I'd gone to them in the first place. But now I know, and I should be set car-wise for a very long time. (Now that I have the right mileage deal, I just love leasing – new car every three years!)

Then, on top of all that? I got an email from Panera Bread this morning telling me that I am entitled to one free bagel every single day of May! What??? Yep. I guess they pick random customers to do this sort of thing, and I got lucky. That's like $35 worth of free bagels, and I am using it to the max.

Things are looking up in many ways. I hope that I can keep the good karma coming my way. It feels amazing!