Monday, December 31, 2012

A year in review!

Today is the last day of the year and what a long year it has been!!  I woke up this morning and at the risk of tooting my own horn (TOOT!) I weighed in at 117.1!  So despite the holidays, the challenges and my indulgences, I am exactly in my right weight zone!  GO ME!  

I didn't allow myself much leeway on the way down, but have been giving in much more since hitting maintenance and with no ill effects so far.  That's pretty exciting for me.  I know this is terrible, but I didn't want to see the rest of my life without periods of pigging out or eating the wrong things sometimes.  I see now that I don't have to live my life like that!  As long as I eat right 95% of the time, it looks like I can veer off course every once and a while.

As far as the year in review - I have lost around 36 pounds from where I was at the end of last year.  I entered maintenance.  I increased my running and ran some 10K's and even came in first in one!  I battled an injury and it appears to be abating.  I kept up with weight lifting and am seeing some serious muscle definition all over my body.  I feel strong and more capable then ever.

I took my boys on a 5 mile walk this morning.  Here they are waiting to go:

Aren't they adorable?  Anyway, with that walk done, I looked at my spreadsheet and, between walking, running and hiking, I traveled 1,367.78 miles in 2012!  Not too shabby, huh?  Especially since I was laid up a month with surgery!

Speaking of that, obviously the biggest thing that happened to me this year was having my excess skin removed.  It was major surgery, and the first time I had ever had anesthesia.  I am mildly disappointed about how my belly button turned out, and I thought the huge scar would have faded more, but I don't regret for a moment having the surgery done.  It has been life changing!

I am looking forward to 2013 and just being a normal person.  I will continue to try to improve my relationship with food.  I have been greatly working on organization, but time management remains a challenge.  I always feel like I am running behind and there are never enough hours in the day.  Something will have to give there. 

But I have a plan to do a little every day and have already been implementing some organizational tactics.  I find that if I put stuff away or do something IMMEDIATELY, then it doesn't sit around.  

I hope you all have been reviewing the year like I suggested - reveling in your accomplishments and making plans to accomplish in 2013 what you didn't in 2012.

I hope that this blog has been helpful to people out there.  I am torn about whether to continue it or not, and would love to have your feedback.  Now that I am in maintenance, I'm not sure if my ramblings have any value to anyone but myself...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Get 'em while they're hot!

How is everyone doing out there?  Are you eating and exercising on plan or are you waiting until the infamous 1st to start/re-start?

This is the time of year when people flock to the gyms like mad.  Stores begin selling workout items and people that work out regularly start replacing stuff.  So now is a PERFECT time to begin getting items for yourself to workout at home if you don't want to go to a gym.  A search through Craigslist is a great place to start.  But also keep your eye out at places like Dick's and Walmart for deals on items. 

I thought today I would show you what I have in my workout room.  It might give you some ideas.  We have a fairly large basement so what we did was build an exercise room down there.  We actually are looking to expand it - I guess we had no idea we would get this into working out.  Some of the stuff that I'm going to show you is expensive and some you can get on the cheap.  And like I said, this is the time of year that you can get good quality stuff on places like Craigslist.
The most expensive item we have is our treadmill.  One piece of advice - if you're going to get a treadmill, buy a quality one - a cheap one will begin falling apart, especially if you use it for running.
 We've been pretty happy with this.  It's a Sole we got from Dick's.

Here is my stability ball.  These are cheap and great for increasing core strength and improving balance.  I highly recommend getting one of these!

This is our Bowflex which I LOVE!  I know there are a lot of haters of machines like this, but it is a great way to build muscle and poses less risk of injury then free weights.  I got this DIRT CHEAP on closeout from Bowflex 2 years ago, right around this time.

This is an Ab Roller.  This works great to teach yourself how to do crunches if you have back/neck issues, or if your core is not strong enough to do crunches yet.  PLUS, you can flip it up and do tricep dips which I do ALL the time, AND you can also use it to do pushups on when you are learning on how to do pushups!

This is an old rowing machine that Marc had.  I don't use it yet, but it is a great low impact workout.  We hang it up to save space.

Marc made this for me to use as a stepper.  You can use for aerobic workouts, but I also use it for things like dumbbell step ups.  You can buy adjustable plastic ones - I'm going to be buying one to bring to work for my noon workouts.

Free weights!  These are so expensive, IMO, but you need these for a good workout.  I have 5 pounders that I use for most of the DVD's that I work out with.  If you are not used to weights, you might need to start with 3's.  I prefer the vinyl ones for DVD's, but I use metal ones for regular lifting.  We have up to 25 pounds.  They also make adjustable ones that I wish I had know about when we started!

I only have one kettlebell and will be getting more.  You can get a great strength and cardio workout in one doing kettlebell exercises!

Finally we get to my favorite part of the workout room LOL...

In all seriousness, I can't run for over an hour on the treadmill without being distracted by television or music - it makes the time go so much faster!  We also have a DVD player down here to do various workout DVD's. 

We have a couple of resistance bands, as well which you can see the purple one next to the stepper Marc made.  Resistance bands are a great workout tool as well and are MUCH cheaper then free weights.

So there you go!  We have more to add - Marc would like an exercise bike and I would like an elliptical, but both of these are expensive and we need more room.  Our next addition will probably be a punching bag - boxing is a GREAT full body workout.

What do you have at home that you love to work out with?

Friday, December 28, 2012

One year

Last year at this time I was flying high.  I had lost 192 pounds.  The local newspaper did a story on my and I thought that I looked great.  This is a pic of me Xmas night 2011.

When I look at this now I am shocked at how much my body has transformed in a year.  The surgery - for sure - played a large part in that.  But I think lifting weights along with an additional 34 pounds lost has made a remarkable difference. 

This is a pic of me from the day after Xmas this year:

Pretty big difference, wouldn't you say?

So whatever amount you are trying to lose, you can transform how you look. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The in-between time of year...

This is always a weird time of year for me.  The time between Christmas and New Year's always feels like someone has pressed a PAUSE button.  I never want to start anything new because, well, NEW YEAR is coming and that's the time we start new things, right?  But also Christmas is over, so there is little to be done.

I ate rigorously well yesterday and the scale was up higher then I'd like (119.8) this morning, but still under my "no-no" number of 120.  I credit the fact that I have been exercising well with that.  I did a 7 mile run on the treadmill yesterday.  It actually felt good to sweat and then eat a salad!

Thanks to my friend Cathi for sending me this.  I don't agree with this 100%, but the sentiment is largely correct.

 I only am working 1 day this week and, of course, it was today of all days when we are getting SLAMMED with a major snow storm.  Getting to work this morning proved to be an adventure!  I really, really hate this weather.

Tomorrow the plan is to get all Xmas stuff put away and begin to get back to normal.  I still expect some indulgances between now and New Year's Day, but it's time to get back in the right frame of mind.

I hope everyone here is getting back on track - how bad do you want it?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I followed my plan over the holiday - meaning I ate whatever and however much I wanted and now I am paying the price.  Have any of you ever heard of that controversial method to help people stop smoking where you put a bunch of smokers together in a very small room and have them light up and smoke like crazy?  The idea is that they get so sick that it cures their desire to smoke.  

I think that's what I did to myself.  I ate so much and feel so icky, that I could care less if I ever eat again.  Oh if only that feeling could last!

It is interesting to see on the weight loss sites people talking about their experience over the past couple of days and the reasons they feel that they overeat.  I've talked a lot on here about issues that I have with food and how it contributed to my obesity.  But I also realized something - I just really, really, like food.

Over the past 2 days surrounded by family, I was happy and content and was not dealing with any emotional issues.  I just really enjoyed eating all the yummy food!  
I did do one thing right over the past couple of days - I got in exercise, including a cold 4 mile walk with
the dogs yesterday. 

So what's the plan now?  This is what I'm doing and if you over-indulged and need to get back on track, it's what I would encourage you to do:

I will eat clean today.  No sweets or extra indulgences.  I will exercise.  I will drink a LOT of water to flush my system. All of these things will help my body get back on track.  I had my fun, now it's time to get back to real life and get back on track.
 I can and will do this starting today. How about you?  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to all!

What a great Christmas season this is shaping out to be!  Having gotten everything done before yesterday, I was able to just chill out and relax and watch football yesterday.  It was awesome to just hang out without anything pressing to do.

Then, my body decided to give me a Christmas present!  Despite eating with abandon since Friday, I hesitantly jumped on the scale this morning and it read 118.0!  Wow!  I was really excited about that - how it can stay in range when I've been eating many more calories per day then usual, but hell, I'll take it!

But more important then that is my mood.  I have a slight touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and as we get close to Christmas, I tend to crash.  Not this year!

I jumped out of bed this morning and when I saw the sun was out - a rare sight in Northern NY this time of year - I bundled up - because it is COLD, and took the dogs on a brisk 4 mile walk.  Good for them and good for me!  Especially getting some natural sunlight!

Marc and I just finished some weight lifting and now I'm getting ready to head over to my brother's house to celebrate Christmas with my family.  

I sincerely and truly hope that everyone out there is feeling as good as I am.

In case I'm not able to find time to post tomorrow:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2 days!

I can't believe Xmas is almost here!  

It's been an interesting couple of days for me.  I am continuing my experiment to eat without worrying about calories and trying to just enjoy the season.  We had family over on Friday night and I woke up yesterday feeling like I had a hangover!  It must have been from all the sugar I ate that I am not used to!  It was definitely strange. 

I am keeping up with exercise - not allowing myself to slack on that!  My IT Band has not given me a bit of trouble in the last several days (knock on wood!) so I think I'm going to try running on the treadmill today.  Since the treadmill is one of the "offenders" when it comes to aggravating IT Band issues, we'll have to see how it goes.

We got our first snowfall of the season yesterday and it was COLD.  But my boys LOVE this weather so I had to get them out in it for a while.

I hate the cold and snow, but it's hard not to enjoy it when they are having so much fun!  

Got all the food shopping done late yesterday and had the grocery store steam some fish for us.  But don't be impressed, because I bought a banana nut loaf and had a piece, too!  LOL

My weight is up this morning and I'm not going to lie, there is some anxiety with this, but I hope this experiment will be good for me in the long run!

Hope everyone out there is ready and can spend today relaxing!

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's (NOT) the end of the world as we know it!

Surprise, surprise, it's December 21 and the world has not ended.  Good thing.  I commented the other day that if I knew for sure the world would end I would have been stuffing my face with brownies!  Who cares if I go into the afterlife a little chunked up, right?

I received a couple of packages in the mail last night.  The first contained a gift that had been backordered.  So as soon as I got home, I wrapped that up and did a mini celebration that all my Xmas shopping - with the exception of food - is done and wrapped.  So no last minute worrying and rushing for me!!

The second package contained a dress I bought from Target.  It was a really pretty cowl necked sweater dress that they had on clearance.  I put it on and it just HUNG loosely on me.  I looked at the tag and confirmed it was an XS.  I think Target tends to run a little big, but still - an XS being to big for me??

I then got on the scale this morning and it was 117.2.  "Perfect" I thought!  I then mentally gave myself permission to spend now through Xmas eating pretty much what I want and not worrying about calories or gaining weight or anything.  So at work, I discovered that a local lawyer's office had sent us a box of chocolates.  Normally, this wouldn't tempt me, but they were the really good chocolates - and I spotted that there was almonds covered in dark chocolate.  I ate 6 of them and then spent the rest of the morning mentally wrecked with guilt and shame.

It is so frustrating!  Every time I think that I've made progress I have moments like this.  I so hope that this is a temporary mental battle and that SOME DAY I will just be able to relax and enjoy holidays and special occasions without the mental struggle and debate.  I don't think that I should feel guilty - I believe I have earned some indulgence.  Intellectually I believe that, but emotionally I don't!

Marc gets very frustrated with me when I have these feelings - well trust me, I get frustrated with me, too!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays!!

Thought that I would show you guys our Holiday card!  I am wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

M = Janeway
E = Ishka
R = Miles
R = Neelix
Y = Crusher

C= Jen
H = Ezri
R = Geordi
I = Spock
S = Archer
T = Chakotay
M = Hoshi 
A = Marc
S = Kes

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Judging yourself...

A couple of things have happened in the last couple days that has made me sad, so I wanted to talk about them.  I am on a couple of weight loss discussion boards.  I really utilized them when I was actively losing weight - for advice, to vent, etc.   

On one site that I am on, there is an area for those of us who were overweight, have lost and are now in maintenance mode.  A woman recently got on there and is absolutely devastated that she cannot get to her goal weight - she is 5'1" (my exact height) and wants to get down to 110 pounds.  She has - in her words - been stuck at 111 and can't get any lower then that.  So her plan as of this morning is to radically reduce her calorie intake to 800 calories per day in the hopes to force her body to drop that pound.  

Oh boy.

Why are we so HARD on ourselves?  Why do we define ourselves by a number on a scale?  There are lots and lots and lots of reasons to lose weight and be healthy and fit.  It's something that I obviously have worked hard on.  

But I want to stress this to everyone here who is reading - please take it from me as I have been there and done that!  YOU ARE NOT A NUMBER ON A SCALE!  Please take time to love yourself and be good to yourself.  This is one of the reasons I encourage people when they are starting out to focus on good eating habits and starting an exercise program rather then worrying about getting to a certain number.

I guarantee that if this woman reaches 110 she will look absolutely NO DIFFERENT then she looks at 111. So she will continue to see faults and will want to go lower.

I think I am finally getting there in my own mental battle although it is a day to day struggle, and I'm much better at forgiving others then myself.  I went to our work Xmas party yesterday.  And I ate a very high calorie brownie for dessert.  And I am showing up a pound today.  AND I'm not freaking out, or berating myself, or worrying that I am going to get fat again.  Instead I will eat back on plan today.  And that brownie is nothing but a brownie.  It is not a SYMBOL of my life.

Please remember that being a healthy weight helps you HAVE a good life - it should not make you miserable.

My dorky outfit for the Xmas party:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A pat on the back...

Ok guys, we're on the home stretch!  One week until Xmas.  How is everyone doing?  Have you been actively maintaining?  Have you gained a little?  How many of you rock stars have actually managed to LOSE this season?

I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 118.4.  So I have to admit, I'm pretty proud of myself!  Even with all the temptations....

And the normal holiday stress....

And not being able to run due to an injury...

I have been able to maintain my weight!

Now the challenge is not over.  And I am fully and completely prepared that there will be some overeating in the next couple of weeks that can and probably will effect my bottom line.  But I am heading into it in a pretty darn good place.  If I gain, it won't be much and I know how to lose it.  It's nice to feel confident.  

I hope that all is well with everyone.  Are your gifts bought and wrapped?  Are you beating yourself up at all over your weight?  I sure hope not.  There is NO GIVING UP HERE.  If you've fallen off, I'll help get you back on!!

This will be my first THIN Christmas.  Last year I had lost a LOT of weight - but I was still 152 pounds which means I was in a significantly overweight category.  This is exciting new territory for me!  Just think where you were last Xmas, and then this one and what you can be next year!!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Guess what guys??  I am so excited to report that I just returned from a 5 mile run with the IT Band Strap and NO PAIN!!!  I am so happy!

Now don't get me wrong.  I know this has not solved the underlying problem.  I started to get a little stiff up through the hip towards the end.  Have you guys ever had a really bad headache and taken Ibuprofen and the pain goes away, but you can kind of still FEEL the headache and you know that the painkiller is only MASKING the pain?  That's what wearing the strap was like.  I could tell that it was still swelling up and a couple of times when I took a sharp turn or ran downhill, it hurt a little.  

So, I will continuing icing and foam rolling and stretching and doing strengthening exercises.  But if I can run - even just a few miles - while rehabbing this, it will make me feel so much better both mentally and physically! This makes me sound like such a dork, but I almost started crying out of relief about mile 4.

Merry Xmas to me!  

Hope all is well with everyone reading this - Xmas is just over a week away!  Keep sending me your GOALS for the New Year and let me know if I can share them on here!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Being productive!

As anyone knows who has embarked on this journey, you have to make certain choices and sacrifices.  There simply is NOT enough time to do everything that I want to get done.  Now while a lot of things in my life have gotten so much more organized and just together, the cleanliness of my house has NOT been one of them.

Now let's be honest - cleaning my house has never been a priority.  We're not DIRTY, but I am terribly messy.  And when there is a choice of cleaning or doing something fun?  Count me in to choose the fun.  

This is why one of my goals - that I didn't accomplish - is to do a LITTLE cleaning everyday.  If I could just keep on top of that, I would be happy.  But today, I had no more excuses - since I can't run, and it's nasty weather out, AND I'm having people over this Friday for Xmas - I need to get the house clean!  And I'm talking the down on hands and knees scrubbing type cleaning!
It's now just after 3:30 and I've been cleaning for over 3 hours!  And I have 3 rooms done.  Now I'm on to the living room.  
I need a housekeeper!

Who is interested in seeing my dolphin themed - and clean - guest bathroom?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Getting some perspective...

I was in a terrible state yesterday as you guys know from my blog post.  The black cloud of despair was just hanging over me.  And then I had to go to a store around 1:30 and I was standing in the electronics department which is when I saw the breaking news on their television displays.  Like the rest of the country, I was beyond horrified by the shootings in Connecticut.  Horrified even can't describe what I felt.

Well, if that doesn't give me some perspective I don't know what will.  Not that there's any time ever that this wouldn't be an unspeakable event, but for these parents to have lost their children so close to Christmas under such violence.  And for the surviving children to have to go through what they did.  I don't even have kids and I just cannot imagine.

So that makes the problem with my IT Band seem pretty effing minor, doesn't it?  Even with this, I'm pretty healthy.  And the people I love are safe and sound and healthy.  I took the dogs for a BRISK 4 mile walk when I got home yesterday.  How absolutely lucky I am in my life is what I thought about.

When I got on the scale this morning it read 118.4.  Well within my "okay" range but I would like to be at least a pound lower.  But my VERY FIRST thought was - "I am SO glad that my main worry this morning is being ONE POUND heavier then I'd like."  I mean SERIOUSLY.

I can't promise you guys I'm not going to fall into another funk or that I'm not going to be on here tomorrow bitching about how my life is OVER because of the IT band issue.  But for today, I'm just going to relish what I do have....

Friday, December 14, 2012

Failing miserably!

What are some of the things that I have talked to you guys about here?  Well, let's see, there's the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, being flexible, reducing stress, not mindlessly eating.  Guess how many of those things I am doing effectively right now?  EXACTLY ZERO!

I am so upset by my body BETRAYING me like this.  I can't get any perspective at all.  I was so depressed last night.  All I wanted to do was sit in my puddle of pity - and eat.  

Is it going to be the end of the world if I can't run again?  Nope.  Does it mean that I am destined to gain back all the weight I've lost?  Nope.  I realize this intellectually, but emotionally I'm not there.  I estimate I burn about 2000-2500 per week running!  That's a lot of calories.  There is no exercise I can do that burns that amount of calories in the time I spend.  Which means that if I can't run I'll need to cut down my food in order to maintain my weight.  Which, as you might know, I really like eating, so I don't want to!

I am a person who LOVES Xmas-time and everything that goes with it, and I feel like it's being ruined this year.

So sorry that I can't be positive for you guys!

I've ordered an IT Band Strap which MIGHT help.  

And I did more strengthening and stretching exercises last night AND will be doing yoga later today, but I'm feeling incredibly pessimisstic...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thought I was going to have good news...

but I don't  :((((

I went out to run today.  For a glorious 2.5 miles I felt great - no pain in the IT Band AT ALL.  Then, out of nowhere, the pain came back with a VENGANCE.

I am so terribly discouraged.  I'm not sure what I should do at this point.  Suggestions and recommendations are actively being sought.

Here's one of the worst parts of it - I've been telling people that I don't even really like running that much.  I just like how much calories I can burn in a short time.  But when I started out - after not running for a week - I realized something - it felt really good.  I have truly missed running.  

This really, really, really SUCKS!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Goal talk!

Ok, did you guys work on your list yesterday?  Did you define some things that you wanted to accomplish and did?  How about things that you wanted to do and didn't?

For me, I was able to hit my goal weight and maintain.  Even though I've only been maintaining for 4 months I'd say that so far I've met this ongoing goal.  Now a goal that I had that I DID NOT meet has to do with my household.  I had a goal to clean part of my house each night.  This keeps things from building up so that they need a HUGE cleaning and I have to devote a day or more to it.  I did not come even CLOSE to accomplishing this goal.  I have to do some thinking about time management and priorities before I decide if this will be a goal again for the new year.  If I'm not willing to make certain changes, there is no sense of commiting to it as a goal, because once again it won't happen.

So let's start thinking about goals - NOT resolutions - we have for the new year.  First off, make you goals SPECIFIC and ATTAINABLE.  I would encourage you NOT to have "losing 100 pounds" as your goal.  Instead, break it down into concrete things that you can do that weight loss will follow.  An example of this is "eat 1500 calories per day 6 days per week".  Another goal could be "work out for at least 30 minutes 4 times per week".  

It is extremely frustrating to have goals that you aren't meeting, so make sure the goals you have are ones you are seriously going to commit to.  For example - if you are not a morning person and never have been and if you haven't been exercising at all, having a goal to "Get up at 5 AM 7 days per week and go to the gym" is not smart.  You KNOW you're not going to do that, so why set this as a goal and get completely discouraged the first time it doesn't happen?

I would also encourage you to write down your goals and place them where you can look at them frequently.  And think out of the box!  Losing weight is not all your life is about, right?  What other goals do you have in life to be healthy and happy?

Some suggestions:
  • Get 8 hours of sleep per night
  • Hug your child every day
  • Buy yourself a small present once per month for staying on plan
  • Organize your neglected (and messy) spare room by working on it 1 hour per week.
  • Trim your dog's nails once per week.
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Complete the Couch to 5K Program
  • Switch to whole grains instead of white flour products
  • Log my daily calories in myfitnesspal
Do some of these seem silly?  I would encourage you to give some thought over the next couple of weeks to what is missing in your life and how goals can make you a more happy, healthy and complete person.  That's what I'm going to do!  

By the way - there is a "contact" button at the top of the page and you can send me an anonymous (or not anonymous) e-mail.  I would LOVE to hear what some of your goals are!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Taking stock...

Two weeks from today most of us will be celebrating Christmas.  Before you know it, it will be here and over with.  And then just one short week later we'll be in the year 2013!!

I have been encouraging everyone to stay on plan as much as possible through the holiday season.  But since I know many of us - including myself - are finding this challenging and the temptation is just to say "I'll start brand new in the New Year" I think now is a good time to take stock of where you are.

They did a study with smokers and had them pick a "quit date".  That date was a few weeks away.  But they had the smokers remind themselves daily of this quit date.  And the smokers that did this were more likely to stay quit long term then smokers who decided to quit and immediately tried.  So it's possible that having a commitment to start living a healthy lifestyle on 1/1/13 could actually work.  

First off, let's NOT talk about it being a New Year's Resolution.  Those things are trite and non-specific and people generally fail.  

Here's what I want us all to do - you know me and my lists - either get out pen and paper or create a table on your computer.  I want you to make a list of things that you wanted to accomplish in 2012.  Now take a look at what you WERE able to accomplish and what you WERE NOT successful at accomplishing.  Now let's take a look at WHY some things were obtained and why some things were not.  Are you in touch with this?  I think that it's very important to find out why you succeeded and why you failed BEFORE you start making a list of goals for next year.

Let's not just look at this in terms of "weight loss".  Take a look at your life.  Eating, exercise, relationships, organization, sleep, work - it all is part of the puzzle and we need to look at these and where our deficits are.

Get this done today and we'll talk about setting goals tomorrow! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas past...

My mother pulled out an old picture of me recently and posted to Facebook:

As you can see, I wasn't what I would call fat, but I definitely wasn't a skinny kid.  What would I say to that little girl if I had the chance to go back in time and talk to her?

Could I say something that would have made her never have to begin this arduous weight loss process?  Is there anything that I could impress on her that would make her have a healthy relationship with food and exercise so that she would be healthy and happy from this picture forward?

More importantly, even if I COULD do that, SHOULD I?  After all, ever step and mis-step that I have taken in this life has brought me to be the person that I am today.  Do I want to be a completely different person then who I am?  

Some days the answer is most definitely yes.  But I also remember that life is way to short to focus on regrets.  And since we can't change our past, maybe the only thing we can do is start now, today, this second, being the person we WANT to be.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I weighed in at 115.4 yesterday morning which alleviated some of my anxiety about gaining weight while not being able to run.  Not that I realistically would have seen much of a gain in less then a week of not running, but since so much of this is a mind game....

I had lunch yesterday with 2 of my father's brothers and their wives.  As I mentioned, my Dad was not all that close to his family and we've grown even more apart since he is not around.  There is no reason for it - it's not like we are estranged or that there is any hard feelings, it's just that no one has really made a concerted effort I guess.

I was prepared for it to be a little awkward since we haven't seen them in so long, but it wasn't at all!  It was really comfortable and we talked at length.  They of course asked about and commented on my weight loss and then we moved on to other topics, which was nice, too.

One of the brothers looks nothing like my Dad did, but the other brother looks a LOT like him.  Even though my Dad died so long ago, it was weird to see my uncle not just looking a lot like an older version of my dad, he has a very similar voice and the same mannerisms.  There was a certain sadness seeing him.

We all said that we should get together more often, so I immediately offered to host a summer get together for that whole side of the family next summer.  We even picked a date.  

I don't know if it's related to my weight loss or if it's just getting older, but I've found lately that I really want to have more family in my life.  Maybe it's even this time of year.  At any rate, I don't think you can ever have too many people who support you in this life!!

 I would encourage any of you that have grown apart from your family to reach out.  NOT the ones that are unhealthy or that will bring you down - you don't need them!  But is there someone out there that you've grown apart from that you miss or who would support you in this journey?  If so, do it now.  If you say you'll do it later, you won't.  Tell them you've been thinking about them.  Life is short!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Defining myself as a person...

You know, when I was obese I used to think that if only I were thin, life would be WONDERFUL and PERFECT.  As you guys bear witness to in my postings, that is clearly not true.  Don't get me wrong, a lot of things are wonderful but losing weight doesn't suddenly mean that you have a perfect life, that's for sure!

A lot of overweight people think about their weight all the time and define themselves by that.  Interestingly enough, I DID NOT.  Instead I defined myself by my intelligence.  Some of you already know this but I have a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology.  I got a 4.0 in every class except 1.  I seriously considered re-taking that class just to get a 4.0 so I would have a perfect score in my Master's - like that makes any difference in the real world.

At some point in this journey, I started to define myself by a number on the scale.  That is why this not running thing has thrown me so off-kilter.  It's like if I gain a few pounds then suddenly I become a horrible person.  Yesterday was a scheduled run day - instead of that at lunch I did P90X Core Synergistics and guess what?  I actually FELT GUILTY eating lunch, because I know I didn't burn as many calories as usual.  How messed up is that?  

So I took a deep breath last night and am trying to get focused again.  All I can do is what I can do.  I'm stretching, icing, resting and we'll see what happens when I try to run next week.  I walked on the treadmill last night at an incline of 7 and experienced no pain at all.  The swelling appears to have gone down.  I think these are good signs.  

The period between Thanksgiving and this date is a bad one for me.  In addition to my dad's death, a lot of crappy things have happened during this period, including me having to put my beloved Rottweiller to sleep a few years ago during this period.  Today marks the anniversary of the head on collision I was in when I was 16.  So if I can just get through today, I am confident that things will start looking up.

Thanks for bearing with me during my freak out.   

We'll see what happens when I try to run and we'll see where my weight is come January 1, and if I have to make adjustments, then I will!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

In other news....

I'm tempted to write again today about my band issues, but I'm sure you're sick of hearing about it.  So I'm going to instead let you guys know something and ask a favor.  This may bore you too, but que sera!

You may have noticed me linking to Amazon for some products.  I am now an Amazon Affiliate.  This means that every time someone goes through my blog and orders something off of Amazon, I get a percentage of that.

You DO NOT have to buy anything that I linked to for me to get the credit.  ANYTHING that you buy I get credit for if you've gone through my blog.

So IF you plan to order through Amazon AND if you feel you've gotten any support/information/inspiration from my blog, I'm asking you to go through here when you order something so I get credit.

I very much appreicate it guys!!

You can go from ANY link but I'll put one for the main Amazon page here:  AMAZON

I'm hoping to be less sad/anxious tomorrow and can give you positive news on my progress!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Still feeling sorry for myself

Well guys, I'm still feeling sorry for myself.  My knee hurts today - not bad, but it definitely is reminding me that I have an injury!  I did compress it yesterday and kept it elevated.  And I've been taking Ibuprofen to keep the swelling down.  I know the main thing I need is to rest it, though, so no running for me for at least a week.  

I have been doing a lot of reading on IT Band Syndrome.  It seems that one cause could be overly strong quads and underdeveloped butt and hamstrings.  Funny, because I was just talking to some people about my center of balance is completely on the balls of my feet.  I attribute this to having taken 10+ years of dance classes.  Dancers are constantly on the balls of their feet.  So I notice even when I'm talking to someone that all my weight is forward.  

This is what made it so difficult - and continues to be an issue - for me to do squats.  It feels highly unnatural to have my weight back in my heels.  So, since squats are usually a no-no with this IT Band issue, when I work legs tonight I'll be concentrating heavily on butt exercises as well as some specific exercises for IT Band issues.  

I also bought a foam roller that is supposed to help.  I've never used one of these before, but I know people use them for all kinds of muscle issues and it's specifically supposed to help stretch the IT Band, which in combination with strengthening it is supposed to make a difference.

My friend Peggy told me that I need to stop freaking out - it's not like I'm going to get obese if I take a week or two off running.  I guess I know this intellectually, but for a black and white thinker like me, I'm either perfect or a disaster.  And right now I feel that even gaining 5 pounds would be a DISASTER!!!  It's absolutely unthinkable!

And I'm getting into the "What if?" frame of mind.  What if this is a chronic condition?  What if I have to give up running - my main way to burn calories?  It's SO, SO, SO scary for me.  

So everyone, please send good vibes my way!  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Talk me off the ledge...

As I type this, I am in total and complete meltdown mode.  I know I tend to be an over-exhaggerator/drama queen, but I mean it.  I am seriously freaking out.

Last night my knee felt fine and when I woke up this morning it wasn't bothering me at all - not even a twinge when I got out of bed when it "should" have been stiff.  I was delighted.  And all morning I felt good.  We are having a veritable heat wave here and I was staring out at the bright sunlight all morning, excited to get out and run at noon.

Well, I ran.  And less then 1/2 mile in, the knee started killing me.  I know it's IT band syndrome, because I can feel is run right up from the knee to the outside of my hip.  I kept running and about 2 miles in it startedd to loosen up, so I thought - "Great! It just needs to loosen up."  By 4 miles in it really was killing me and I barely made it my 6 miles.

I am SO, SO, SO upset.  I can't believe this came on so suddenly.  What the hell am I going to do?  I can't stand the thought of not burning the calories I am used to.  Not only can I not run, but squats are a no-no, which leaves out some of my strength training and other cardio DVD's I have.

I am not doing well here guys - this is not how I wanted to end the year!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Unexpected Developments...

Yesterday was an interesting day.  I found myself in a position that I NEVER EVER thought that I would be in.  After I ran, I jumped on the scale and it read 113.8.  If you remember, I made a commitment to the dietician I saw as well as to Marc that I would not drop below 115.

I typically drop a couple of pounds after a long run so I wasn't too worried about it, but after being at 117 pretty consistently it was a surprise.  I thought I would be up this morning - especially since I tend to gain weight from water retention after a long run - but I weighed in at 115.0.

So now what?  The easy answer is to eat more.  Yeah...  That thought remains scary to me.  I'm not too worried about this month - I think that with all the holiday stuff going on I'm going to be overeating on occasion enough that my weight will be within range, but it does give me something to concentrate on come January.  

The two thoughts that I had yesterday were opposite sides of the same coin and shows how many "food issues" I still have.  The first thought was the power I felt having dropped another couple of pounds.  I never understood anorexia when I was obese, but I get it now.  There's a certain POWER or something in seeing the scale drop.  The other side of the coin was that I was separating a big bag of chocolate treats (including my weakness of Peanut Butter Cups) that I was going to put into the Xmas gifts for my nieces and nephews.  That voice told me to shove a few chocolates in my mouth because I needed to gain a little and I could justify eating them.  I didn't eat any and wrapped those little fuckers up quick.  :))

 It's true that I can increase my calories some, but it needs to be with healthy things!  So I added a little extra quinoa to my dinner last night.  

The second thing that happened is that I hurt my knee while running on the treadmill. I have never had knee problems while running, at all!  But about 8 miles into my run, my left knee started to really hurt.  Because I am a DUMBASS I continued running for another 3 miles until I just couldn't stand the pain.

I hurt last night and am hurting today.  I'm worried from what I've read that it's IT Band Syndrome - a common affliction in runners.  The main prescription is REST.  The thought of resting and not running or other cardio which inevitably uses the knee is unthinkable.  So I bought a knee brace today and did a Zumba DVD at lunch.  It did twinge on some moves, but wasn't too bad.  

I know, I should be completely resting it, but I can't do it.  Let the lecturing begin....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A sad anniversary...

Today marks a sad anniversary.  My dad died 22 years ago today - he was 42 years old and we had absolutely NO warning.  It was a Sunday.  It was my freshman year of college and I was in bed at home when he had a massive heart attack.  He was rushed to the hospital but the damage was too great and they could not save him.

Unlike the relationship I spoke about yesterday that I have with my mother, I was not close to my father at all.  He was - as the trite saying goes - "emotionally unavailable".  Why?  I don't know.  He was a Vietnam Vet, he lost his father to a massive heart attack when I was 10 months old.  And he lost his best friend in a freak and tragic accident when I was about 8-ish.

And he had a drinking problem.  There was a study done several years ago that showed that while sons of men with drinking problems often end up with drinking problems themselves, the daughters - especially eldest daughters - are more likely to have eating disorders. 

My father used to make fun of my weight.  He did it in a joking manner and I think he thought he was being funny - I'm not sure he realized how much it hurt.  Which made me feel terrible about myself.  Which made me eat.  Hello, irony.

Now don't get me wrong.  I have been an adult for a long time and my weight problem was my fault, period.  I am the one who chose not to do anything about it for a long time.  But we can't discount the impact that people and experiences play in influencing the direction of our lives - especially when they happen in childhood.

I always have been and am still jealous - even 22 years later! - when I hear women talk about being "Daddy's little girl" or see the relationship that Marc's nieces have with my brother-in-law.  That is something that I feel is a profound void in my life.

I know my father loved me, he just didn't know how to show it.  I was in a pretty bad car accident when I was 16.  The car was totaled, but I was fine.  My father saw me at the accident site and I was up and walking and talking.  But the ambulance workers wanted me in the ambulance on a backboard which is SOP for an accident like that.  My parents were waiting when the ambulance arrived at the ER and I was unloaded on a stretcher.  My father saw me and burst into tears and quickly turned away.  And I was SHOCKED.  I mean completely and utterly SHOCKED.  He obviously felt things and could not show his emotions. 

I often wonder what our relationship would be like if he had lived.  There is no way of knowing.  I wonder if he would be proud of the things in life I have accomplished so far and the choices I make.  I hope he would...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish my mother, Kathy, a very Happy Birthday! 

I have read so much on weight loss sites about women who have such adversarial and difficult relationships with their moms.  It's so hard for me to understand this.  As an adult, other then Marc, my mother has been my best friend.  She has always been there for me and has supported me 100% in my journey to lose weight - without judgement and without unsolicited comments.  

My last semester of college I needed to do an internship and my brother left home for college.  My dad died my freshman year of college so when I can home it was just Mom and I living there.  Marc, Mom and I used to hang out all the time.  We would go to dinner and the movies together.  We would hang out at the house.  It might have been weird to other people but it seemed perfectly normal to me.  I remember those days fondly.

Even though we live close, and talk on the phone often, we don't see each other nearly as much as I'd like.  But I know that she will always be there for me and that, my friends, is priceless.

So Happy Birthday Mom!  I hope you have a great day!

Friday, November 30, 2012

It's so easy....

and yet it's so hard!

You know - that's it in a nutshell!  As I was talking with a friend yesterday who has struggled with her weight for years and she truly is a yo-yo'er.  She gets down to a really low weight and then just stops doing what she was and gets back up in weight.  And every time she gains more then where she started from.  It's a vicious cycle, but she told me that she just is not ready to change.

If this journey were easy, everyone would be thin, right?

But it truly is as simple as the card above says.  If we just do the right things and string several of these "right things" together, life becomes simple.

I was asked today what my triggers are.  I know I have triggers, but sometimes they come out of nowhere.  Today I walked by a table and on there was these oreos covered in white chocolate.  And I wanted one SO BAD.  It surprised me a little because I haven't eaten processed type food like this for so long it usually doesn't trigger me the way home-baked goods do.  I looked at the package and they were 100 calories - EACH.  Nope - not worth it.  

It is just simple.  I DON'T EAT THAT STUFF.   Period.  No debate, no questions, no nothin'.  I just don't eat those things.  Simple, right?

Of course we all know it's not that EASY, but it is that SIMPLE.  We complicate things when we try to bargain - like - "I'll cut out 100 calories from dinner."  What are you going to sacrifice?  Protein?  Vegetables?  For an oreo.  Nope, don't complicate it.  

To what lengths are you willing to go to be fit and healthy?     

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Restaurant review: Applebees

Yesterday I took my mother out to eat for her birthday which is this weekend.  She wanted to go to Applebees.  I don't eat out very much anymore, so the first thing I did was take my own advice and look at their online menu and then went to their nutritional site where calorie counts are listed. 

Since we were going out for lunch I logically went to their lunch menu and looked at the Pick 'n Pair lunches where you can order 2 of a salad, soup, or 1/2 sandwich.  I decided that I would have the tomato basil soup with a 1/2 of the roast beef sandwich.  That also comes with a breadstick.  All to the tune of 220 for the soup, 480 for the sandwich, and 130 for the breadstick.  This is many more calories then I normally eat for lunch, but I thought that I would have a small dinner instead.

Then we got to Applebees and I remembered ordering a soup and salad combo the last time I was there and the portions seemed really small.  So I began looking over the menu again, and saw that they have several selections under their under 550 calorie menu.

I then - somewhat skeptically - decided to try their Grilled Chicken and Portabello Mushroom entree off of their "Under 550 Calories" menu.  I was shocked when they brought it to me.  It was a huge piece of chicken, COVERED in big chunks of mushrooms and a lot of onions.  It had a very large portion of herb-roasted potatoes and they were incredibly tasty.  There was also some zucchini, and in my opinion they were a little skimpy on that, but what was there was seasoned perfectly.  The chicken was done perfect and tasted great.  All to the tune of 450 calories!  I was stuffed when I was finished - for almost 300 calories LESS then a cup of soup and 1/2 sandwich would have come to!

Here is a picture from their website and the actual entree looked very much like this - which in my experience is very unusual for these chain restaurants!

So, needless to say, I was very happy with the meal.  It just goes to show that you should review the menus while out this holiday season and you can find some yummy AND healthy meals even at chain restaurants!  I'm going to have to go back and try one of their steak entrees, now!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My fit dogs...

I thought some of you would enjoy seeing this video that Marc recorded.

Our dogs love to run.  Being Boxers, they are very high energy.  In the winter it's sometimes hard to get them adequate amount of exercise.  Especially since when I arrive home it's dark out.

It didn't take them any time at all to learn to run on the treadmill and - as you will see in the video - they like it so much we don't even have to tell them to get on!

Yesterday I didn't run outside at lunch because there was snow on the sidewalks and I am so afraid of falling and hurting myself.  So I ran on the treadmill when I got home.  Boy, their noses were really out of joint that I had the NERVE to run on "their" treadmill!!

So see, not only are we changing our fitness, but the dogs are getting fit, too!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Things I Love - PB2

Whenever I mention this product to people, I am SHOCKED at how many haven't heard of it.  It's called PB2 and it's made by Bell Plantation.  Essentially it's peanut butter created from pressing the peanuts into powdered form, so you get all the good taste of peanut butter without the fat and calories of regular peanut butter!  It comes in regular peanut butter flavor as well as chocolate.  

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE peanut butter.  I seriously could sit down and eat half of a huge jar in one sitting.  But it has a lot of calories at 190 for two tablespoons.  It also has a lot of fat.  While it's mostly good fat, there's still some saturated fat.  

So this PB2 has only 45 - yes, I said 45 - calories for 2 tablespoons.  It also has 13 calories from fat instad of the 130 that regular peanut butter has and it has no saturated fat.  What you do is take your two tablespoons of the powdered peanut butter and mix with 1 tablespoon of water (I actually like mine a little looser so I use a little more water) and stir it up and TADA!  You have peanut butter for lots less calories.  

So I know what you are wondering - how does it taste?  Well, to me it does not taste exactly like peanut butter - it's not quite as rich tasting - no duh since it doesn't have all that YUMMY fat in it.  But for someone like me who has had to switch to lower fat and calories foods, this is something I'm used to!  I still use "real" peanut butter at times, but this is great for a snack or for when you are trying to keep calories down in the day.  It still tastes really good - I had this in a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich over the weekend and it melted up so well and was delish!!

I have this for breakfast a lot when I spead it over a banana.  It tastes GREAT like that.  I know a lot of people use it for baking, but since I don't bake, I haven't tried it, so I can't attest to how that would taste, but I've seen a ton of posts from people who have tried it and loved it.  

As far as nutrition goes, it does not have as much protein as regular peanut butter, but still has 5 grams a serving (the chocolate has 4) and has low sugar - 1 gram (chocolate has 3 grams). 

For me, I can get the taste of peanut butter without the guilt.  I get mine off of Amazon, and you can buy it in your local health food stores.  

Try it and let me know what you think!!      

Monday, November 26, 2012

Getting it together feels great!

This is a bracelet that I bought myself during Black Friday shopping.  It totally describes how I'm feeling today.  I feel like my life is in control.  My weight is back to where it was Thanksgiving Day which is a feat in and of itself.  I ran 10 miles on the treadmill yesterday despite how much the treadmill sucks, and I also wrapped about 75% of my Christmas gifts!  

Losing the weight has given me so much more energy and ambition.  I remember when wrapping gifts was something I hated.  It took so much energy just to get out all the supplies and then pile the gifts up and then the time of wrapping.  Not to mention putting everything away!  But not yesterday - it was just something that I did while watching football.  And what a feeling of accomplishment to get that task done!  I even had time to do an hour of yoga because I felt really tight after the tready run.

I sometimes worry that when I make posts like this it will come across as braggy or preachy.  I hope none of you feel that way.  It's just for me, when I feel like this, I want to spread it to EVERYONE.  If you are out there feeling stressed, tired and/or discouraged it doesn't have to be that way!  Trust me!  You too can have this feeling!  You can feel strong, empowered, fearless!!  I promise!  

Ok, can I make a small suggestion that I use that might help some of you out there get organized for the holiday season?   I know that buying for people and keeping track of the money spent and everything can get overwhelming and can be stressful - especially if you have a lot of people to buy for.  If you are a computer person, do this in a word processor.  If you are not, do this with pen and paper.

Create a table with 5 columns.  Under Column 1: put NAME; Column 2: ITEM; Column 3: PRICE; Column 4: *; Column 5: +.

Now for the obvious - under the first column add all the names of people that you need to buy for - give them each their own row.  Under the 2nd column, add either what you HAVE bought or WANT to buy for them - you can put 1 thing or many things in this row.  In Column 3, put how much that item cost.  In column 4, add a * when you buy the item(s) and in Column 5, add + when you have wrapped the item(s).  It's an easy peasy way to keep track of who you have bought for and how much you have spent and whether you have it wrapped or not.

The other nice thing is that if you save this under a different file name every year, you can see what you bought people in the past, and you'll have all the names already there and can easily add people or, if they were naughty, delete them!

I hope this suggestion was useful - the more organized you are the better you control your life!!