Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reflective Ramblings

Last night we brought dinner to a friends' new home. We decided on Indian because we all love it and none of us wanted to cook. I had a relatively small portion of a few different things and stopped before I was stuffed. Today my Dad came for his Christmas visit and brought a platter of cookies. There were three kinds and I decided to taste each one and see if they were worth it - two were so I ate one each.

The boys are outside sledding and my house is quiet so I'm sitting here by the fire reflecting on my recent food choices and my whole weight loss "journey" so far. There are a few things contributing to my contemplative mood - we are approaching the New Year and that's always a good time to look forward and back. In addition to that a friend has asked me for weight loss advice. I really want to do a good job encouraging her and not just tell her what worked for me in a practical sense but find a way to put in to words the motivational causes that have made this time different. I'm also a little vexed by something annoying my father said... he has only seen me once since I started losing weight and it was at about the 45 lb mark. I'm now approaching 70 lbs lost. He said he knew I had been doing really well but wasn't sure if it would continue and now he's glad to see it has. He's genuinely happy for me and it's not the worst thing he could have said. It's also a fair assessment since I've made failed attempts in the past. So I don't blame him for the thought, but it probably would have been better left unsaid.

For these last six months one of my prevalent thoughts has been "every bite counts". What that means to me is that I try to make my food decisions conciously and I don't allow myself to think that this or that little indulgence doesn't make a difference. This is important for me because I can clearly recall times in the past where I shipwrecked my own efforts by denying the fact that, for me, one meal or one piece of cake or pint of ice cream usually leads to another. If one cookie was only one cookie, in the economy of my life, I would never have become obese in the first place. I've learned that every bite either helps or hinders my efforts. I'm not saying that if I eat one cookie I won't lose weight that week. I just mean that there are no neutral choices at this point because with every cookie I have to decide if there will be another and how I decide will make all the difference.

I made a decision at the begining of the Christmas season to allow myself to enjoy a few things here and there and not have to worry so much about keeping my kitchen stocked. Knowing that by doing so I may push back my ultimate goal by a week or two. I am not willfully allowing my self to gain - but I know that I may not lose the 2 lbs. I normally expect. The payoff is that I get to relax and enjoy my new habits - not throw them out the window. I'm getting a glimpse of what life is like on the other side where I can eat more freely but within reason. And Indian food for dinner on Tuesday does not mean I get to put my blinders on and go for broke until Jan 1. In this new life it just simply means Indian food for dinner on Tuesday. Today I woke up, had oatmeal and a banana, went to the gym, had Tuna with canola mayo on a sandwich thin for lunch, drank my water, etc. and my healthly life continues uninterrrupted.

I realize it's only been six months since I started this and I don't want to be over confident. I know that I'm on shaky ground and without my husband to hold me accountable I could easily lose my footing. I also realize that today's two cookies should make me wonder if I'm really just making excuses with all this talk about giving myself a break this week. Writing this has helped me process those two cookies - so if you've read this far thank you for tolerating me :) I am trying to figure out if I'm messing things up this week and just fooling myself.

I'm pretty confident that those two cookies are just two cookies and things really are different this time I feel pretty good about that. I know that I have hard work ahead of me. I still have 30 - 60 lbs to lose. I really want to get there sooner than later. I know it's not about arriving at a particular number on the scale and I will be actively maintaining for the rest of my life - but I am so ready for that. In some ways I feel like I'm sprinting for the finish line but 2 lbs a week is still "slow and steady".

Anyway - it's getting dark here in the Northeast. Time to figure out dinner. Thanks for listening :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 28

(end of week 27/beginning week 28)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 0

Starting Weight: 265.6
New Weight: 197
Total loss: 68.6

I'm feeling pretty good about that zero. I know what I've eaten for the past 27 weeks where every week I have lost something and I know that I didn't do the same thing this past weekend. I'm a logical girl and the zero makes perfect sense. I wanted to be under 200 for Christmas, and I am. This weekend for Christmas I decided to eat like I was maintaining - to induldge in a few things but not slip into a zone of eating whatever I want and ignore the impact it will have on my health and fitness - which is what I've always done in the past.

When I am living in maintenence world I should still weigh my options and only eat things are good for me in some way. It was good for me to eat some chocolate on Christmas morning. It was good for me to eat some desserts. Doing those things on Christmas will pay off later - I won't look back and feel deprived. I'm doing something sustainable not just for losing but for maintaining this healthy lifestyle that I've worked hard to build. I decided it wouldn't be good for me to eat chips and dip because that is something specific I can point to in the past that has been a problem for me. There are few regrets, things that didn't make a difference one way or another on the scale, but that were tiny mental failures for me. I think I've learned to learn from those.

I'm still going to wait to start measuring and counting calories until New Years Day - this is kind of an experiment - I want to see how I do "naturally". I'm going to eat my normal, healthy foods, with the health and portion savvy I've built over the past six months. I'm going to pay attention to every bite but I am going to enjoy the break from counting and recording.

Tuesday, January 4th it will be exactly 16 weeks until my birthday. January through April is the home stretch to 100 lbs. I enjoyed my "goal" of getting under 200 by Christmas. I view this birthday goal as a similar challenge. My final goal weight is still a mystery to me but it helps me to have mini goals attached to dates. For years at the New Year I would look at my weight and calculate how many pounds I could lose by my birthday. When I failed I would recalculate to summer, then Christmas and I never followed through. This year I AM doing it and these little goals are undoing some of the emotional damage I've done to myself by allowing all that past failure.

This year time instead of making excuses I'm setting and reaching goals.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 27

(end of week 26/beginning week 27)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 4

Starting Weight: 265.6
New Weight: 197
Total loss: 68.6

Before I jump for joy too much - we got a new scale and it's slightly lower than my old one. So I probably only lost 3 this week - I get a 1 lb advantage :) Ok, now I can jump for joy! I am now officially under 200! Even at night. That is all I wanted for Christmas :)

In my Kitchen
I'm doing well with meals but I'm running low on snack ideas. My snacks are usually either plain greek yogurt with honey, baby carrots with laughing cow or hummus, grapes or apple with reduced fat cheddar. They all sound good to me right now but they're a little boring. I've stopped putting granola in my yogurt because it was pushing the calories too much.

At the Gym
C25K week 8 starts today. 28 minutes seems too long :( I am working pretty hard to finish 25. I'm still super slow but I have gone up from under 4 mph to 4.2 and 4.5 so that's some good progress. Now that I'm over 4 I won't go back down. But I probably won't go faster until I'm done with week 9 - then I'll work on my time. Hubby was sick last week so I was working out alone - it was too easy to just go home after cardio. Tonight should be a good workout.

Goals and Challenges
The biggest challenge this week will be Christmas. We're having dinner here and that should be easy to handle - I'll probably make a filet roast with veggies. That night we're going to my inlaws and I'm bringing salad with some grilled chicken. It's usually a pot-luck type meal with sandwiches, etc. So what I'm bringing will be just perfect - for me anyway ;) For indulgences - I know my husband is going to put some really good chocolate in my stocking - but just a little bit. I'm also going to eat small amounts of a few treats. This will be a little more of a temptation than Thanksgiving was. But I'm ok. I'm not worried about going overboard. And I'm not worried one day affecting my progress.

I just hit a big goal that I care about quite a bit. The next one is the 100 lbs mark. That will not happen until Spring so I need to do some reflecting to come up with mini-goals to get me there.

When I started this in June I had no way of knowing how good this would feel. Too anyone on the fence, wanting to lose weight but not truly committed.... it's worth it :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Onederland 199.8

It doesn't seem real does it ? I don't even remember the last time I was under 200. It must have been before I got pregnant with my first son almost 10 years ago. I think I was 186 when I got married. In high school I was curvy but not "fat" and I started to put the weight on after I graduated. At one point I lost 50lbs or so, but I don't remember what my weight was.

Today feels like the first day of the rest of my life. I got up and went to the gym where I ran 2 miles. I ate a healthy breakfast, and did I mention I weighed in under 200 lbs?

I am nowhere near my goal weight but I feel amazing. So many times I started down this road only to stop and later look back and say "if only I had kept going, I'd be at my goal by now". This time I'm looking forward and I'm really doing it

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No Looking Back

Last night I walked out of my favorite plus size clothing store for the last time. I had to return a pair of pants that were cut strange and didn't fit. They let us in 5 minutes before closing but I couldn't find anything to exchange the pants for so I just took cash.

The truth is, I don't need to shop there anymore. I can shop at "regular" stores that I love. This is actually hard to adjust to. For so long my choices have been limited and my thinking hasn't caught up to the changes in my body. When I need to buy clothes I still think only of those few stores. I do this with other things too - the other night at book club I instinctively ignored a seat on the couch because I didn't think I could fit. I fit just fine - with room to spare - I could even cross my legs! I wonder when this will change.

So back to the store. They had to unlock the door to let us out - it felt so ceremonial. I looked at my husband and said "that's the last time I'm walking out of that store". It felt great. No looking back.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 26

Weekly Update - Week 26
(end of week 25/beginning week 26)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 2.2

Starting Weight: 265.6
New Weight: 201
Total loss: 64.6

Yay for 2.2 even with my more casual calorie counting. I really think I eat a little bit less when I'm not meticulously counting. If I'm not exactly sure how many calories I've eaten I tend to err on the side of caution - I think. The scale has been toying with me the past few days - yesterday I was a little lower and I thought perhaps I'd get under 200 today but alas, I will have to wait. That's ok. I actually think it's fun that I' will make that goal so close to Christmas. And either way it looks like I'll enter 2011 weighing in somewhere in the 100s!

In my Kitchen
My new favorite quick and easy meal is a Jennie-O turkey burger grilled, with a slice of Reduced Fat Pepperjack cheese on a whole grain sandwich thin with just a little bit of organic ketchup. It's so plain and simple but for some reason I could eat that every day.

At the Gym
Today is supposed to be C25K W7D1 but I have my monthly book club tonight so I don't know if I can squeeze it in. I did the 25 minute run on Saturday. I'm so glad I've been successful with this. It's something I never thought I'd be doing. I even increased my speed and incline on Saturday. I went to the gym yesterday afternoon because it was dark and rainy and the boys were all watching a movie. I knew I'd just fall asleep if I stayed home. I just did a quick 35 minutes of cardio but It felt great to just do it when I really felt like being lazy. Now if I could only do that in the morning I'd really be impressed. I changed my weight routine a little and I'm glad. I actually feel it in my triceps today and that hasn't happened in a while. All I did was switch from the basic tricep press I had been doing to the shoulder press that also works my triceps. Likewise I switched from the bicep curl to the pull-down that also works my back. Those little changes felt like just the thing to change things up.

Goals and Challenges
I'm so close to my next goal that I can see it from here. Hubby and I have been discussing rewards. We agree that losing the weight is enough of an incentive but it would be fun to have other rewards along the way. We also agree that they should be health/fitness/beauty related. I did have my nails done on Friday and that was a nice treat but for this upcoming milestone I'm not sure what I want to do. Any ideas?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 25

Weekly Update - Week 25
(end of week 24/beginning week 25)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 1.4

Starting Weight: 265.6
New Weight: 203.2
Total loss: 62.4

I was hoping for 2 but I'll take 1.4

In my Kitchen
We've settled into a comfortable routine with eating. Things are going smoothly. I don't even feel bored any more. I do need to lay off the Luna bars. This has become my new Vitatop... quick and convienient but not the best choice.

At the Gym
Feeling good about my cardio - I'm doing C25K W6D1 tonight. I need to do more with my weight routine. I feel like I'm not progressing anymore with my upper body. I've been doing the same amount of weight, same reps, for a long time.

Goals and Challenges
I plan to keep going with C25K. I'm coming up on a huge milestone and I'm not sure how to celebrate. If nothing strange happens I should have no problem getting under 200 lbs by Christmas. I have alot of thoughts and emotions attached to that number. I should probably get those all sorted out before it happens so I don't have a meltdown :) I think it's starting to sink in that I'm really doing this. I still have 60ish lbs to lose but I just feel comfortable in my own skin. Someone posted recently about how our perception of our own weight is often so wrong. For years I had a sense of how I looked and how big I was. The wierd thing is that I have "felt" for years the way I now actually look. I know that sounds strange. I am no longer surprised, except maybe pleasantly, when I see a photo or catch my reflection in the mirror.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 24

Weekly Update - Week 23
(end of week 23/beginning week 24)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 2.2
Total loss: 61

Phew! Good scale news today. I lost on Thanksgiving week. I also hit 60 lbs lost this week. I'm not sure what my ultimate goal weight is but I'm pretty sure I'm solidly half way there. I also should not have a problem hitting the goal I had set of getting under 200 lbs. by Christmas. Yeah, it's a good day.

In my Kitchen
I'm happy to reclaim my kitchen with all the healthy foods I normally keep on hand. Bye bye pie and other things I don't want to eat taking up my valuable shelf space. I haven't been very creative lately but I also haven't been bored with my staples.

At the Gym
Another good gym week. I started C25K this week - day 3 will be today. I'm feeling pretty excited about this and I think it definitly is going to kick up my weight loss. I can't wait to get to the gym tonight tonight.

Goals and Challenges
Now that the Christmas season is officially here I feel like I'm just going to buckle down and do what I need to do until the end of the year. Christmas food challenges exist but they are not too difficult - it's mostly about not bringing temptations into the house. My goals are to get under 200 by Christmas and continue with C25K.

I hope everyone is having a good Monday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Challenge

I'm participating in the Thankgiving Challenge over at Blog to Lose.

So much has changed since June 21 of this year. I am still a little surprised at my success. I've tried to lose weight many times - succeeded a little here and there. I even lost 60lbs once following an unhealthy, unsustainable diet. Of course I gained it back plus a lot more.

Every New Year, and every other milestone carried with it the "determination" to lose weight. My husband and made many, many promises of starting "Monday" or "after the ice cream is gone". With every other attempt I would have moments of victory and a few pounds lost but then over time the commitment would either dwindle or dissappear outright over some stumbling block. The excuses were like a calendar of obesity:

New Years day - can't start then, we have to finish the leftover Chinese food

Valentines day - we have to have some chocolate

Easter (gotta love mini eggs)

My Birthday


Beach Vacation

Summer, BBQs, etc.

Fall - comfort food, Anniversary Dinner, Fairs and fried dough




This year we tried our usual New Year's Resolution and lost it shortly thereafter. Somewhere between my Birthday in April and our camping trip in June a switch was flipped. There was a new Planet Fitness opening very close to our house. We joined online and picked up our membership packet on opening day - right before we went camping. We came home on Sunday and I think we went food shopping to stock up on healthy food. Monday we changed our diet and hit the gym. I had no reason to believe this time would be any different but here I am 58.8 lbs later and my commitment is just as strong, if not stronger.

What changed?

I now view my obesity and the habits that got me here as an enemy not an old friend. Watching shows like The Biggest Loser and Losing It with Jillian caused me to look at myself more realistically. This allows me to go into things like vacation and even Thankgiving planning to keep my healthy habits intact - not scheming to eat like an obese person and somehow get away with it on weigh in day. That is a huge change. Eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's doesn't seem all that different from doing something inapprpriate with a man who is not my husband. I'd be betraying myself If I let momentary pleasure turn my head from my healthy goals. That's why this has been "easy" this time around. Just like striving to be a loving, attentive, faithful spouse brings the reward of a happy marriage I'm reaping the rewards of my healthy choices:

■I am wearing a size 16 jeans instead of a 24 as I sit here with my laptop on my.... get this.... lap! I actually have a lap for my computer, my Bible or my children. It's amazing.

■I can run and play with my boys, not just watch them from the sidelines feeling exhausted from the effort of normal, every day activities.

■Doing laundry does not make me tired.

■Real food is delicious - I don't need things to be deep fried or drenched in cheese or unidentifiable sauces for them to be decadant and wonderful. I feel like I taste food the way it's supposed to be. I crave real food and I can tell it's for nourishment.

■It's fun to get dressed when I can actually look at my reflection and not see a fat stranger looking back.

■My husband and I enjoy working out together. It's a shared hobby that brings us together in a special way. We know we're doing something great for our family, for our intimacy, for our future and it's wonderful.

■I am no longer a walking testimony to my own gluttony and lack of self control. I still have a way to go but because I know how hard I'm working on it I don't feel ashamed. I find I am more confident and comfortable just being myself.

I think the biggest change is that I've just seen things as they really are. I came to grips with how unhealthy I was and I realized that I didn't want to be in that place for even one more day. I realized that I am the only one who got me here and I'm the only one who can change it. In the past I had the mindset that I knew there would be times I would "cheat" so I couldn't really commit deep down. I laid it out before the Lord and stopped holding on to the possibility of going back. I have made this process a priority and focus. I have the support of my family and that makes a huge difference. Every decision I make is not perfect but each is an individual chioce. I can approach Thanksgiving and Christmas knowing that I can fit special food "treats" in If I'm careful and want to be able to look myself and my family in the eye the next day and be proud of of how I handled it. I may have a little chocolate here and there or maybe 1 eggnog latte while I decorate the tree... but I will not trade my strong , healthy, shrinking body for a whole bag of Lindt truffles while wrapping Christmas gifts or a mountain of crab rangoon on New Year's Eve. Those things were killing me - now why would I want to do that?

Weekly Update - Week 23

(end of week 22/beginning week 23)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 3.4

Total loss: 58.8

I'm bouncing back today! My 3 week trend of losing <1 is over. I'm leaving plateauvill and I don't ever want to go back.

In my Kitchen
Nothing really noteworthy in the kitchen. I did make a wonderful veggie dish that will become a new regular feature. I'm enjoying cooking again. I have a new challenge of trying to add calories to my husband's food. He's at his goal and still working out really hard so he needs to add some healthy calories to his diet in order to not lose more weight. I'm doing things like adding olive oil to his pasta and giving him double servings of things. I've tightened up a little on what I'm eating - just weeded out the little habits that I thought may have been contributing to my not losing more. Because I had a good loss I think this helped.

In my Closet
I'm officially in a 16. I even bought a new pair from a different store to see if it was just the one brand that was fitting. I am so excited about this. I started this at a size 24! 16s look so tiny to me when I hold them up. I bought a little dress and some leggings and I just feel so happy about it.

At the Gym
Great week at the gym. We went 5 out of 7 days and I worked really hard while I was there. I think stepping it up also helped get me out of my rut. I tried to run a bit more this week. I feel pretty good jogging for 5 minutes at a time but each time I went back for a 2nd five minutes my legs just felt like lead. Is this normal?

Goals and Challenges
The big challenge on my mind is obviously Thanksgiving. We're having dinner at home and dessert at a friends house. It's all up to me. There are a few foods that I'd miss if I didn't have them but I haven't exactly decided what I'm going to eat. I don't have a big sweet tooth so dessert might not be worth it for me. The big question is this: am I going to count my calories and workout to make up for it, or am I just going to eat what I want within reason and not worry about it. Decisions, decisions. I'm going to do my Thanksgiving Challenge post later. That may help me decide.

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 22

(end of week 21/beginning week 22)

On the Scale
Lost this week: .8

Total loss: 55.4

The number says it all. Not even 1 pound. I know slow and steady wins the race. I'm still happy that it went down. To those who have already reminded me that I'm still losing at a healthy rate - I am listening to you, I really am. There is a big part of my brain that even thinks this is for the best, that my body will adjust to the weight loss better after this little slow down.

That being said, I'm still a little discouraged. The weight loss road has been pretty much smooth sailing until now. I keep telling my body that we're only about half way there so now is not the time to slow down. It doesn't listen. I have no choice but to keep doing what I've been doing and hope this passes soon. In lieu of my normal update categories I'm going to go through a few of the "little" changes that I'm hoping to blame for my new trend. Maybe I'll enlighten myself or something will jump out at someone reading this and I'll find a solution.

I've been drinking more. I used to be a total caffiene-aholic but with my weight loss efforts I had cut back to 2 - 8 oz. cups per day, and often the 2nd was decaf. I'm back up to 4 cups on many days, mostly not decaf. I don't use sugar and I track the calories in my 1% milk. It's possibly I think I'm using 1/4 a cup when it's really slightly more.

Night Time Snacking
Night time snacking has become a habit. Usually a Vitatop or baby carrots with Laughing Cow - so we're talking about 100 calories. But this has become something I'm doing even if I'm not really hungry - just a habit.

Eating Past Full
I've noticed a few times that I've eaten more than I needed at dinner. It was a nutritious, healthy dinner and I had the calories available but afterward I just felt "full". Not just satisfied, but really full.

Less Activity
Every few weeks we have a really full schedule and that often impacts my workouts. I haven't made it to the gym more than once or twice a week. This week I didn't even compensate with working out at home or walking outside. I have done more Weight Loss Yoga - but that is not cardio and that's what I'm really lacking.

Hormonal Stuff
I have REALLY irregular cycles. It's not unusual for me to go months without TOM. Yesterday I started spotting so something hormonal is obviously happening.

Because of my blood pressure and the fact that I am just ridiculously addicted to salt I had pretty much gone cold turkey... until recently. I have been givinn myself the freedom to salt certain foods a little bit - it's possible that I'm not paying attention and this has become more of a habit than I thought.

I've always struggled to drink enough water. I found that filling up two of those reusable plastic cups that look like Starbucks cold cups and then refilling them both a couple of times helped alot. The straw helped me drink more and faster. Well I left one of my cups at church a couple of weeks ago and that threw me off. I found it yesterday though... so that's good.

I think it's possible that I eat more using this tool. Before I had it I was more focused on balancing my diet - so many proteins, so many grains, etc. But counting calories and using the Bodybugg I have been more focused on my deficit and as a result eating more as long as it fits in to my calorie "budget". But I know I'm supposed to make sure I'm eating enough so I don't know how much impact this has. I just know that I've only had 2+ lb week since I started using it and prior to that most weeks were 2+.

I think that's it. This may seem like I'm over scrutinizing my habits but this is important for me. It's the little things that got me to where I was and I need to make sure I'm changing in the right ways. I'm all for learning the hard way but I don't want to waste time - I've wasted too much already. So I'm going to pay attention to these little things this week and see if it makes a difference. With Thanksgiving and Christmas and my Husband reaching his goal this is no time for me to lose my motivation.

Needless to say I have abandoned my goal to be under 200 by Christmas. I'm ok with that. That was really just a mind trick to keep my motivation up. Those games aren't working anymore. In the beginning it was all about Motivation and Momentum. I'm finding out that this middle part is all about Perseverance. Eventually it will be Maintenance. Each stage has it's own challenges, lessons, and rewards. Sometimes, especially on Monday mornings, I just don't know if I'm up to this :(

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I've been a little bit down lately because my weight loss has slowed down. At only just about the half-way point this is not motivating for me. I don't know if this is a normal plateau or if I need to change what I'm doing - or both. My husband is transitioning into maintenance mode and I'm afraid that somehow I'm subconsciously doing the same.... so much to think about.

I know that now is a good time to step it up in my eating and my workouts. The trouble is that with the cold weather, the holidays, and hubby reaching his goal, everything is working against stepping it up. Also, I'm highly motivated by success and not seeing it makes me want to just hide under the covers.

I'm considering putting the scale away until after Christmas and just putting all of my efforts into doing the best I can. Because at this point weighing myself doesn't actually do anything to help me in my efforts AND it's just depressing to see the number creep down so slowly (really isn't 2 lbs a week slow enough without slowing down more from there?). So what if I put the scale away, cut my calories a little bit more, and work out as much and as hard as I can? Then get on the scale on New Years Day and see what happens. Then, on Jan. 1 I can buckle down for the home stretch.

But what if it doesn't go well? What if I only lose a miniscule amount? I doesn't matter if I know I'm doing the best I can. And then I can learn to have other things as the first measure of my success and leave the fickle scale as just an additional tool. If Monday's weigh in doesn't go well I think this will be my next plan of action.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 21

(end of week 20/beginning week 21)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 1

Total loss: 54.6

I'm biting the bullet and switching back to a Monday weigh-in. That means I'm a day short. I only lost 1 lb this week. After a small loss last week I expected more but it is what it is. I had a great week and I will continue to work hard and eat right this week - and I'll hope for a spectacular rebound week next week.

In my Kitchen
I had a good week - I made a few new things and a few old favorites and I think everyone was happy for the most part. This week I'm going to try to lighten up a few of our old standbys - Shepherd's Pie tonight. My backup grocery store now carries extra lean ground beef which makes me really happy. I'm going to do half with sweet potatoes I think. Hubby bought me a new healthy cookbook and I'm going to find a few new recipes to try this week.

In my Closet
I can't wear my size 20 jeans anymore - I just cant. I look like a clown. But last night I was able to zip up the 16s I bought a month or two ago to have on deck. They are not super comfortable but I know they will be fine after wearing for a couple of hours. I know not all 16s will fit - I even bought a couple of 18s at a thrift store that don't fit but this brand, this style is working. This is a huge NSV. I can't remember the last time I wore a 16.

Another sweet victory is my new pajama pants. Every year we buy the boys new PJs for Christmas Eve. Hubby usually gets some too. I usually don't because I just didn't care. Clothes were a necessary evil because I didn't feel cute so "why bother". Well this year when I ordered theirs I ordered a pair for me too. I just love them! I know it's not Christmas yet - but I'm not waiting. Althought I'm enjoying clothes right now I hope this will pass. This was never an important budget item for me but it's becoming one...

At the Gym
This was a good workout week though I only went to the gym once. Hubby set up a pretty decent workout area in the basement - I can get my cardio (bike and boxing), plus weights and a few other fun things - medicine ball, bosu, etc. Now when it's cold and rainy and our schedule is tight I can workout downstairs. I've gone back to doing weights for my lower body and I did Weight Loss yoga 3 or 4x (I can't remember). I feel strong and even though the scale hasn't moved as much as in the past I can tell things are changing.

Goals and Challenges
If I keep losing less than 2 lbs a week I won't make it to 199 by Christmas :( I would have to lose a solid 2 lbs a week and that includes Thanksgiving. I'm not revising my goal just yet but I may have to make it New Years - which is where I had that goal originally. I'm slightly tempted to just work my butt off and not weigh myself till then. As a daily weigher I don't think that will fly... pondering.

My Bodybugg is aggrivating me. It says I have a 1000 calorie deficit each day but the scale is not reflecting that - two weeks in a row. I am really good about measuring portions and tracking everything so something else has to be going on. Hopefully it's just muscle building and not that the stupid thing was a waste of money :)

Tonight is my book club - late night out but it's supposed to be picture night. We'll see if hubby is still awake when I get home. If so I may have some before and afters to share tomorrow.

It's wet and rainy here in New Hampshire - there was even a bit of sleet last night. I'm anxious to try my new snowshoes so "let it snow!"

I hope you all are having a happy Monday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 20

(end of week 19/beginning week 20)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 1.6 since

Total loss: 53.6

Not loving < 2 but it's not horrible. Too much sodium, not enough water, not enough exercise. My calorie deficit was still more than 1000 a day so I should have seen 2 lbs. but I know there are other factors. My weekly average will still take me to my goals and I know I'm doing what works and eating in a way that I can live with.

In my Kitchen
I'm trying hard to find some inspiration here. I like my meal plan for this week but lately the boys have not been super happy with my cooking and that makes me sad :( I think they're feeling the loss of some of their favorites. I need to figure out how to strike a balance here. I also want to be creative and have fun cooking. Summer was easier because of all the salads and grilling. Now my goals have changed to lighten up some of our family favorites and find some new recipes that take advantage of all the fall flavors and colors.

In my Closet
I have alot of tops to choose from but I'm in-between pant sizes. I look silly in my size 20 jeans :) I have a semi-formal event coming up on December 10th and I'm forcing myself to wait until it's closer to buy a dress so I don't get a size too big.

At the Gym
Last week our schedule got in the way alot. Too much. My commitment hasn't waivered though and that's a good feeling. I just have to adjust and find more ways to work out at home when I can't get to the gym.

Goals and Challenges
Daily my main goal is to drink my water and find a way to workout most days of the week. I'm bound and determined to get under 200 lbs by Christmas. There's no reason I shouldn't be able to reach this goal at my current pace. I've been thinking about Thanksgiving alot - I need to decide what's important and what we can live without this year.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old Habits Die...

Why didn't anyone tell me I could trade fudge for an Eddie Bauer down vest in a regular size?

This past weekend we went "up North" to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We've been going to this spot for more than 16 years and the trip always includes a little penny candy/general store. This year we bought the kids each a bag of candy but we didn't even consider the fudge, gouda dip, chocolate covered pretzels, grape soda, etc. that we would have normally gotten. This is what I did get:

1. A new down vest in a regular size

2. A new coat and boots for snowshoeing so I can keep active this winter

3. Spur of the moment hikes where I barely lost my breath going up inclines that felt like death last year

I'm not saying I'll never eat a piece of fudge again. I know I will. But right now my goals are more important. I even got a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate but decided not to drink it when I checked the calorie content (400+ for a TALL!!) Hubby took one for the team and gave me his nonfat Cappuccino. I used to think that my traditions would be meaningless without the food - but that is just not true. We had a great time without the old habits turning it into a setback.

I'm not perfect - although I made a great entree choice at dinner I ate a few too many bites of my son's butternut squash at our favorite restaurant and I know it had butter and brown sugar in it, I also had a few crackers and slices of cheese. I was annoyed with when I added it to my calorie total for the day because it was so not worth it.

With Thanksgiving coming I'm going to have to make some serious decisions about what traditions are "worth it". With this weekend under my belt I am convinced that my old habits are dead or dying and I'm so grateful.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 19

(end of week 18/beginning week 19)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 2.4 since Tuesday (4 since Monday)

Total loss: 52

I have two weights because last week my Monday weigh-in and my Tuesday weigh-in were dramatically different. Obviously there was some water retention or something on Monday. This week I was away for the weekend so I weighed in on Tuesday - since this is the day to record my weight on my Bodybugg this will be my new weekly weigh-in.

I'm super happy with this weigh-in. We went away for the weekend and ate out for dinners so I was a little nervous - even though we had healthy choices. Knowing I ate in a way that I can live with long term, and having results like this is very encouraging!

In my Kitchen
I love fall cooking. I have been using my crock-pot and making stews and sauces. This weekend we went away and I seriously missed my kitchen. Today is my Monday so I'll be working on my meal plan later.

In my Closet
It's so nice to like clothes again. My clothes keep getting looser and I keep being surprised by fitting into things I didn't think I could. I have a friend who lost some weight in the past couple of years and she has been giving me some of her old clothes. Now, this lady LOVES clothes and she worked at Banana Republic - so she's giving me some nice stuff. I feel like it was only a week or two ago that I was jumping for joy at shopping in the "regular" section - now I'm able to wear sweaters from one of my favorite stores - XL and even a few L - My new jeans now look silly because they are so baggy. I still have a long way to go but I like I look a little bit more on the outside the way I feel on the inside - and that is alot of fun.

At the Gym
I've tried to step it up a little bit in my workouts. A little more incline on the treadmill, pushing it at a higher level on the eliptical, stuff like that. I feel good. Last night we went to dinner and then my youngest son and I ran across the plaza parking lot to a store - I jogged the whole way and actually felt awesome. In the past that would have been horrible. Now little things like that energize me. We've also been going for walks around my really hilly neighborhood at night to squeeze in some activity.

Goals and Challenges
I reached and passed a big goal this week - 50 lbs. I don't know for sure what my final goal weight is but my first long-term goal is 100 lbs. and I'm half way there. My next goal is to be under 200 lbs. by Christmas.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bodybugg update

So this is a little update after one week of using my Bodybugg. I really like it. It's motivated me to log my food every day which I rarely did before. Today I updated my weight and got to see all the goals and results pages update. Fun stuff. The program compares your actual results based on weight loss compared to the results you would have gotten if you had logged accurately.

One trend I see is that it looks like I over-estimate some of my calories - which I knew. I'd rather err on the side of caution so when I eat a yogurt, for example, if it's a flavored, fruit-on-the-bottom kind I usually don't eat the fruit but I count the whole thing. I usually round up not down when I'm not exactly sure of my portion size. So I lost a tad more than I "should have" based on my food log. This could be a water weight thing - time will tell if this is a trend or a fluke. The program says that most people under-estimate. So it's a great reality check if you tend to do that.


It's an awesome accountability tool. It encourages me to log my food daily - something I've never done regularly. It's fun to update my calories burned and see what each activity actually accomplishes. It makes me try to squeeze in extra activity whenever I can. I'm more likely to say "hey let's go for a walk after dinner" if I can see an actual graph of how that will benefit me. It takes the guess work out of deciding if I can "afford" to eat something and still reach my goal. I've actually eaten more this week because I had more confidence that I was doing the right thing. It's allowing me a new level of control over my progress. If I don't wear it for a period of time it knows it and asks me to put in my activity for that time period - giving me an option to say "I burned the same as ... yesterday", etc. It's not uncomfortable to wear.


The food database seems limited. I frequently have to put in my own nutritional information. Not a huge deal but I wish it were more comprehensive. The armband is low profile but not invisible. I have to think about what I'm going to wear in public.

Overall I am really enjoying it and it's breathed new life into my motivation - but it's pricey. DH surprised me with it and called it an anniversary present. He has since said it's not my real present. In reality he did it because he knows how important it is for me to succeed this time and every bit of help helps. We have been doing this together and he is already pretty much at his goal. He's lost about 50 lbs and looks and feels amazing. But from the outset we knew he would have to stick with me until I am in the maintenance phase as well. He is giving himself a little more freedom with portion size but we're still eating the same things. This is one way for him to provide me with support and he loves to do that. For him the reward is a healthy and happy wife - worth the cost I think :)

It cost $165 and that includes 6 months free subscription to the online service. If you have the $ in your budget and you are motivated by seeing real time results I think it's a good idea. It's as much a toy as a tool but it's helping me keep my focus and that's a good thing because I still have a long way to go.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 18

(end of week 17/beginning week 18)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 2.2

Total loss: 48

That's better. I was afraid I had hit a plateau but after a little research I realized I just hit a failure to accurately calculate the calorie content of Sushi :) I won't make that mistake again.

I have a 2nd weigh in tomorrow for my Bodybugg. I started wearing it last Tuesday and the program is limited in that way - I couldn't manipulate it to coincide with my Monday weigh-in. Since I weigh myself every day it's not a big deal. I will just record my Monday weight the way I always have and then my Tuesday weight on the Bodybugg site.

In the Kitchen
This week was a little more exciting in the kitchen. I made a few new dishes and made the transition into fall cooking. I'm going to do a new meal plan this week and hopefully have a some fun with new recipes.

In the Closet
Yesterday I wore a skirt I haven't worn in years. I've had it for so long that it's back in style. I am also excited to report that I wore tights I picked up at the grocery store. I know, you're wondering why that is such an accomplishment. I haven't worn nylons/pantyhose in 10 years or more. I left corporate America in 2000 to work in ministry at my church and then I got pregnant and lived happily ever after in Mommy land. I wear flip-flops from April through November. Even times in that span where I've had to dress more formal I got by without wearing pantyhose (that word seems so strange to me because I never say it). As I gained weight in that time I occassionally would consider buying some but I had entered the plus size domain and that was so intimidating to me for some reason. So I went without them for 10 years. So anyway, the skirt I pulled out of the recesses of my drawer just begged for tights which I didn't have. So on a late night trip to the grocery store to pick up some essentials I grabbed a pair of black tights and they FIT!

My "new" jeans are getting baggy. Life is good. I'm going to try to resist the urge to buy clothes in this size because I think I can get by with what I have until I go down one more. Maybe I'll check out a consignment shop. I've never done that for my own clothes but this may be the time. I'm wearing my engagement ring. I was going to wait until my anniversary on Saturday but I am not patient like that.

At the Gym
Recently I got a newsletter from and it said something like "if you think your workout is too easy, it probably is." That's where I am right now. I'm doing pretty much the same routine I've been doing all this time. I've stepped it up on the cardio a little. In 18 weeks I've gone from 3 mph/0 incline on the treadmill to 3.5 mph/1.5 incline and increased my overall cardio to 45 minutes. The last 15 minutes of that is usualy on a bike but I realized last night that I was hardly breaking a sweat on the bike. And my weight routine was not really a challenge.

I'm comfortable with what I'm doing but I know that "comfortable" is not the key word you want to describe an exercise routine if you want results. I've played around with 30 Day Shred, Weight Loss Yoga, C25K, etc. but mostly I've just stuck my comfortable little gym routine. As I'm typing this I don't really know if I have it in me to really challenge myself. Hmph. I'll have to think about this some more.

Goals and Challenges
This coming weekend is my Anniversary. We're going "up north" for a couple of days. I'm not really worried because it's not exactly an eating destination and we'll have alot of physical activity but I won't be able to cook. I have figured out a few places around here where we can eat out and still eat healthy but up there I'm not sure. We'll have to bring some food. I really want to stay disciplined this week because I will probably hit my 50 lb "half way to 100" goal if I do. I'd also love to work out at the hotel - that is something I've never even thought about doing.

One thing I'm enjoying about the Bodybugg is that I have the ability to look at the week as a whole. It averages out my calorie deficit so I can make adjustments throughout the week. That gives me a little more control.

So goals:

Eat right everyday
Drink my water every day
Figure out how to set up my workouts

Happy Monday!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 17

(end of week 16/beginning week 17)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 1

Total loss: 45.8

I can't pretend I'm not discouraged by the small loss. But I can't pretend I'm surprised either. This was the week of the birthday cake. The day after my son's birthday we had dinner at the home of an older couple from church. The dinner was relatively healthy but heavier than I should have had following the birthday cake. Saturday we went to our favorite apple picking, pumpkin picking-out, hay maze, apple cider donut eating place. DH and I had 1 donut which is a great improvement from the 4 or 5 we would have had in the past. But again, that maintenence talk - not "still have a lot of weight to lose" talk. And definitly not "I had birthday cake and pizza this week" talk. I am glad to see the fruit of my labor in my clothes, in the mirror, in my fitness level and in my habits but I also really want to meet my goals.

DH ordered me a Body Bugg and it will be here mid-week. I am really excited - I think it will be a nice motivator.

My goals for this week are simple:

Eat the way I know I should
Drink my water
Challenge myself with my workouts

My anniversary weekend is coming up. About ten years ago I lost 60 lbs and had my engagement ring sized. After I gained weight I had to stop wearing it - but it fits again. I tiny bit snug compared to my wiggly wedding band (which I did not have sized back then). Anyway, I would like to start wearing it again on my anniversary.

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekly Update

(end of week 15/beginning week 16)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 2.4

Total loss: 44.8

Not bad. I've been cringing at the thought of this weigh-in because I've just felt plateau-ish all week. But I guess this isn't one. When I'm not losing at least 2 a week I feel anxious and insecure all week that what I'm doing isn't working and I'm wasting time. When it's working I feel like I can just relax and do what I do. Does that make me a slave to the scale? Maybe. But because I am not even half way to my goal I need a way to measure and I need to see that this day in and day out lifestyle is "working". Getting the approval of the scale boosts my confidence and motivates me for the week to come.

In the Closet
It's been fun to get dressed lately. It's nice to know that I am solidly in a smaller size and it's only going to get better from here. I bought a cute little sweater on clearance the other day and it's actually an XXL instead of a Plus size 1 or 2... it's amazing how much better I look in clothes that fit.

At the Gym
Not the best week because we had a busy day Saturday which is normally a gym day. But I did 40 minutes on the bike at home and then we went hiking. I'm looking forward to working out this week. DH bought me some boxing stuff a week or two ago and I haven't gotten to try it yet. Maybe today.

In the Kitchen
Still in a bit of a rut. I hope I'll be able to spend some time looking for new recipes this week. We've been eating out way too much - but it's been all healthy choices and that's a good learning experience.

Goals and Challenges
Looking forward to a good week. My son's 9th birthday is Wednesday so that means he gets to choose dinner and there will be cake and ice cream to contend with. As long as he doesn't want to go out to a mexican restaurant I think I can easily handle whatever he chooses. I honestly don't know if I can figure out a really healthy choice at the mexican place we go to. Any suggestions?

Have a great week!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekly Update

(end of week 14/beginning week 15)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 1.6

Total loss: 42.4

Not the kind of loss I wanted to see. Last week I lost 4 lbs without working out and this week I worked my tail off and lost only 1.6. I'm sure there is some muscle gain contributing to the smaller loss and I am also sure there is some water retention going on because my rings are tighter than normal. So that means there are a few things I can do differently. We ate out more than normal and even the healthiest of restaurant meals has too must sodium. I also have been struggling to drink my water. I don't know why. I've been eating the same foods but I haven't been as attentive to getting the right balance of fruits and veggies, etc. So I can tighten up this week in those areas. I've been alternating high number/low number this whole time pretty much. So this is my low week - next week should be a high. I think I've just exposed myself as a control freak...

In the Closet
I'm happy in this area. Did some shopping this week and found out I'm a smaller size than I even thought I'd be. My pants were all 24 and a couple of old 22's that I recently fit into. The new pants I bought are 20s and they are loose :) That makes me really happy. I haven't worn this size since before I had kids. Going back to the dress up challenge - I feel like a different person when I'm wearing clothes that fit. I got alot of compliments at church yesterday and It was actually fun getting dressed today. All along my husband has been getting comments about his loss and I've hardly heard any feedback. Part of that is because I still have a long way to go and he's almost at his goal, but a big part of it was that I was wearing baggy ill-fitting clothes. It makes a world of difference to wear clothes that fit...

At the Gym
This was a great week at the gym. We got three solid workouts in plus one outside on the trails. I increased my treadmill incline to 3.5 on Saturday. That felt great. DH bought me some kickboxing stuff - I'm really looking forward to trying it out. It's good to be back in a routine after being sick.

In the Kitchen
I have not found my missing kitchen inspiration. I'll let you know if it comes back. For now it's just "same old, same old". We're eating what works but we are not very creative these days.

Goals and Challenges
I've been thinking alot about goals. My first goal was 10% of my body weight. My second goal is 50 lbs. - Half way to 100. After that it will be getting under 200. Then it will be the big 100 lb loss. I'll decide on my ultimate goal weight at that point. I'm still determined and focused. It's not "easy" but it's really fun. I enjoyed getting comments yesterday but I know that will get embarrassing at some point.

I feel like I'm entering dangerous territory. I feel really good and healthy and strong. I also carry my weight in a way that I can look in the mirror and not really see how overweight I am. If I am wearing clothes that fit and only look at myself straight on I think I look pretty good. My husband loves me and tells me how beautiful I am all the time. One of the reasons I allowed myself to gain weight over the years is that I didn't "feel" as fat as I was. I have these special rose colored glasses that trick me into thinking I'm ok the way I am. This time is different in so many ways but I think I've reached a point where I will have to work at reminding myself of how far I have to go. I will also have days where I feel like I haven't made any progress at all but the good days will be plentiful and that worries me a little. BUT the good days are good. And it's nice to have made enough progress to really make a difference in my day to day life. The challenge is to enjoy the fruit of my labor without being lulled into complacency.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekly Update Week 14

(end of week 13/beginning week 14)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 4

Total loss: 40.8

Let's see...this was a challenging week. Monday and Tuesday I was having some really bad shoulder and hip pain. At first I attributed it to working out last Saturday for the first time since I got sick. But I barely ever get sore so it seemed strange. I ended up back at the Doctor's office and it turns out it was a side effect of the antibiotic I was taking. AND one of the potential side effects was ruptured tendons... NO THANK YOU! So they switched me to something else and the pain was gone in a couple of days. But that meant more rest for me. So tonight is back to the gym and I'm just hoping I'll bounce back quickly.

I did lose 4 lbs this week without working out and that actually just upsets me because I know it's probably lean tissue that I lost :(

I know I sound whiny. I won't lie - I am whiny. I had so much momentum and I was so excited but this little setback has made me grumpy. In the end it will be a good test because life doesn't stop just because I have a goal. I need to find ways to work with setbacks and stay focused.

I don't even want to talk about clothes. This has been a big discouragement for me this whole 13 weeks. I'm STILL "in between" sizes. My original size can still be worn - though some things look rediculously baggy. But the next size down isn't quite comfortable yet. How can this be after 40 lbs. lost??? I guess everything was was too tight to begin with - I didn't realize I was probably a size bigger than what I was wearing :( Blah!

On a fun note - we went Kayaking on Saturday. That has been on my goal list for some time. We have friends from church who love paddling and love sharing it with others. We used to canoe and we really loved it. I've wanted to do this for years but I always felt hindered by my weight. I know overweight people can Kayak but the whole thing just intimidated me. Saturday was beautiful all around. We paddled for hours and kept up physically. It felt great to do something active with other people and not be embarassed. I still have far to go but this was a little victory and I'm grateful for it.

After Kayaking the people who took us out suggested going to their favorite pizza restaurant. This is actually a good thing because I want my kids to feel "normal" and have a healthy relationship with all kinds of food. DH and I each had one (big) piece and a salad with light dressing. The pizza was really horribly cheesy but it was really good so I didn't feel like it was a waste of calories. I know that for long term "living like a normal person" we want to be able to do this kind of thing without freaking out. Another score.

This was a busy week and we ate out last night at The Outback. I don't know when they started this because it's been a long time since we've been there but they have a "light style" option on some of their entrees. Our server was really great to point out what made it "light". I had:

6 oz. steak, steamed veggies, salad with no crutons or cheese and light tangy tomato dressing plus two very small bites of the mashed potatoes they put on DH's plate by accident and one bite of bread with a tiny bit of butter.

Lessons Learned:
I still feel that eating out is not worth it but I know I can if I need to. I know that I really get grumpy when my workout schedule is messed up. I also get grumpy when I try on the clothes in my closet. Oh yeah, and I love Kayaking.

That's all - have a good week!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 13

(end of week 12/beginning week 13)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 1.4

Total loss: 36.8

At the Gym
Blah. Kidney infection = no workout Sun - Friday. But I got back to the gym on Saturday and RAN! Well, jogged. At 3.5 which is my walking speed. I don't know if that counts but it was for 10 whole minutes! I'm counting this as a huge success because I was really worried about what a week on the couch would do to me. I had tried to start C25K a few weeks ago but I think I messed up my head by trying to go too fast too soon. I have an irrational fear of injury and as soon as my knees or ankle hurt I worry so when I attempted to run before I just stopped after a few minutes and decided to wait until my fitness level increases. Well, anyway, after a few minutes of waking I just felt like jogging. So I did. And I really liked it. AND I plan to do it again :) This week our childcare (aka my mother who lives with us) availability changes so we will be on a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday gym schedule - more if possible. I have visions of my future as a runner and I'm very happy.

Challenges and Goals
I need this week to be an improvement. The number on the scale is not a surprise based on the fact that I spent much of the week on my tush and on medication. I ate right and drank plenty of water. Hopefully this will set me up for a big week next week. AND did I mention I ran? Jogged. But still!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 12

***9/9/10 I'm revising this to reflect my weigh in on Tuesday because that is much more realistic than the "day after being in the ER craziness" ***

(end of week 11/beginning week 12)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 3

Total loss: 35.4

At the Gym
Meodicre week at the gym because I didn't get up to 60 minutes with each cardio workout like I had planned. I guess I'm just lazy :)

But really, I just feel good at 45 - 50 minutes and I start to feel horrible after that. I am going to be at this thing for a while and slow and steady progress has worked for me so far.

Monday I grabbed the kids and the dog and walked 2.12 miles to a local trail system. On Friday we went for a family "walk"(The boys rode their bikes and my husband limped a little with his pulled calf muscle). The trail we were on was really hilly and bumpy so at one point my husband and the kids took a detour to the pavement and I continued on. I loved this walk. It was not easy - alot of up and down but it was the kind of trail I can imagine myself running some day.

In the Kitchen
I found the key to breaking a food rut... get sick so someone else has to do all the cooking!

Yesterday I ended up in the ER with what turned out to be a pretty bad kidney infection. That landed me on the couch for the rest of the day. My husband did all the cooking - and it was wonderful. He made me perfectly cooked eggs, a beautiful little spinach salad with goat cheese, sliced almonds, and strawberries. He made flat bread pizza for dinner - another winner. I hadn't eaten all day and I think I ate a whole day's worth of food from 4 - 9 PM! But it was all good nourishing food and it helped to balance out all the medication. I feel alot better today as I sit here waiting for my egg white omelette to be delivered by my handsome chef :)

The Closet
Nothing dramatic but when I throw on a t-shirt that I've worn a million times it looks and feels like a different shirt. That is a great feeling! I remember way back in my WW days when a leader once said "nothing tastes as good as thin feels". I'm by no means thin, and I'm longing for the day when I need to buy all new clothes but in the meantime it's fun to relish the feeling of my pants falling down as evidence of all my hard work.

Challenges and Goals
This week will be interesting. I can probably attribute part of my big loss this week to being sick and some level of dehydration - although I drank a ton of water after getting home from the ER. It will also be hard to workout with a kidney infection. So I do expect to eek up a little bit as the week goes on. But If I still manange a weight loss this week in the 2 lb. ball park I'll be happy. And I don't mind resting a little. Me being limited with encourage my husband to rest his calf as well.

So I'm just going to keep pressing on. Happy Monday everyone!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 11

(end of week 10/beginning week 11)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 2.8

Total loss: 32.4

At the Gym
Pretty good week. My husband hurt his calf running this week so we had a slightly modified schedule. We still made it to the gym 3x but one of our cardio workouts was cut short. I made up for it at home. With life getting busy getting ready for the new school year the days off from the gym have been mostly rest days. It won't always be that way but the next few weeks it will have to be enough.

1/2 of a yoga workout :( No extra activity because of the hurt husband and the busy schedule.

In the Kitchen
Food rut continues... I'm enjoying the food we are eating but there is not much variety. Basically I rotate between the same 3 breakfasts, salad with some kind of protein for lunch and a rotation of the same 5 or so things for dinner. I think we are all getting sick of chicken. My creativity is limited until payday and then I can have some fun in the kitchen. For now we will wallow in our rut.

The Closet
I found two bras! LOL, they were in my drawer but were way too tight to be comfortable. Now they fit just fine. I also had to discard one in a bigger size that is just to big. My wedding ring fits again. I haven't worn it in years. My ring is a diamond band - which is costly to resize because the whole thing would have to be reset (or so they tell me) so we had bought me a simple gold band - probably after my youngest was born. Now I'm wearing both but the little gold band is getting really loose so I may have to retire it. My engagement ring is another story. About 10 years ago I had lost about 60 lbs (pre-children). At that time we had my engagement ring sized and I wore it above my wedding band so it would keep that one from slipping off. Well it's still way too small but it's one of the things I am most looking forward to when I get closer to my goal weight - not because of the ring itself, although a diamond ring is a nice reward, but because it will be a big milestone for me.

Challenges and Goals
I really want to drink my water this week. I've slacked off a little and yesterday I just felt so dry and thirsty all day.

I want all of my cardio workouts this week to be 60 minutes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekly Update - Week 10

(end of week 9/beginning week 10)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 4.4 POUNDS!

Total loss: 29.6

At the Gym
We made it to the gym 3x this week. I actually think it helped to rest on our normal "light" days. 40-45 minutes of cardio plus weights. We've stuck to upper body mainly because my legs are exhausted by the end of my cardio workout. Every week I say, "ok, let's go back to lower body this week" but I always wimp out. It doesn't help that we workout at night and it's usually well after 10 when I have to make the decision. I know my legs are getting a workout anyway so I'm not too worried about it. I see and feel the results even without the weights so that is a battle for another day.

We did get a nice family walk in this week and I did just a little bit of yoga.

In the Kitchen
Food rut maybe? I made hummus this week.It was too garlic-y but otherwise good. I also made whole wheat pita chips. They came out pretty good but still, not something to make a meal out of. I'm enjoying all the fresh produce and salad every day but I didn't make anything new for dinner this week.

I am totally in love with a few of my new "staples"

Bagel Thins
Ezekiel Bread
Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Granola

I'm also happy to say that my husband has been eating baby spinach in his salad and LIKING IT! Me too, but I always have.

With my weight going down my calorie allowance is too. But this is actually a good thing for me because I was often under my calories and that stressed me out.

The Closet
I got to wear my smaller sized jeans yesterday and they fit great - a little loose even. I can't wait for the day when everything is just too big but my budget is happy with everything just fitting much much better for a little while.

Challenges and Goals
This week was a nice boost. Coming off vacation with no gym and getting a 4.4 on the scale is sweet. It also puts me well within range of my next goal which is to be under 200 by New Years. My husband and I are doing a 5K in October. I'm toying with the idea of trying to run part of it. C25K is looking pretty doable.

Main goals for this week:
3+ gym workouts
2+ yoga workouts
Find a few new recipes and break my food rut
Drink my water

I also hope burn hundreds of calories cleaning my house and getting ready for the first day of school - we homeschool and this is like spring cleaning for me because we are so stinkin lazy over the summer. The school room is mostly done but in the process I basically demolished the family room and the toy room. There are toys and books simply everywhere - I have my work cut out for me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why did I wait?

I blew past my first real goal this morning - to lose 10% of my body weight. I'm part of the way into week 9 and things have been difficult but smooth for the most part.

So I've lost 27+ lbs and it's been pretty "easy". I know it hasn't actually been easy - it's been alot of hard work. Meal planning, keeping the kitchen stocked, preparing 99% of meals at home, going to the gym after 9 p.m. 3-5 times a week... none of that is easy. There have been a few moments of temptation but for the most part I've just been doing "what is needful" and I have done it without kicking and screaming. So the question I'm asking myself is "why did I wait?" Why did I wait until I was seriously concerned about my health and my quality of life? Why did I wait until my kids were old enough to notice that I am fat? Why did I wait until I had 100+ lbs to lose?? If it was this easy why didn't I do this sooner?

My husband and I discussed this last night after a really, really large woman was behind us in line buying Depends at the grocery store at 10:30 p.m. I'm making a few assumptions here but stick with me for the sake of my point. She was probably in her late 50s. Judging by her appearance she probably has high blood pressure and diabetes. She waddled, kind of hunched over, instead of walking with strength with her head held high. She was buying incontinence products - so she likely has bladder control problems. She looked very sad. Of course you can't judge a book by it's cover but even if I'm dead wrong about all of these things there are many many people out there who have let preventable health problems ruin their quality of life - I was on track to be that lady. My husband's co-worker's dad is about to lose his foot and his eyesight to diabetes, I know a few single 20 something young ladies who would love to be married but in reality have hindered their potential to meet prince charming because of their weight. Why does it ever get to that point? Why don't more of us have the wake-up call when our jeans are a little too tight - long before we ever have to go over to the plus size section.

I'm not going to try to analyze the reasons for getting fat but the clearest reason I can see for staying fat is that it really takes 100% focus and commitment to lose weight in a healthy way. Of all the times I tried to lose weight in the past that is what I lacked - not the tools or the know-how, just the focus and the commitment. Life gets in the way of weight loss. Stress or celebration or change - any of those things could potentially cause me to lose focus. I think deep down I knew that just one healthy choice or one healthy day/week/month wouldn't solve my weight problem - it would take a total life change. Total commitment. I wasn't ready to give my whole life to solve this problem. I am now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekly Update

(end of week 8/beginning week 9)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 2.6

Total loss: 25.2

At the Gym
NONE! We were away on vacation.

I did Yoga Meltdown 3-4 times and it kicked my butt but I really like it. I think I will stick with it. We also hiked and biked and walked so I got plenty of activity. It wasn't the same time of sustained heart rate cardio that I get at the gym but it helped keep me burning calories.

I bought a pedometer and wore it everywhere. I averaged about 12000 steps. I remind myself that some of those steps were straight up a mountain and it doesn't register that. I worked really hard this week - just not at the gym. We go back tonight and I can't wait to see what a week off did to me or for me.

In the Kitchen
We cooked or prepared most of our meals this week. I had access to a fully equipped kitchen and we shopped before we left so we have all the same foods we have at home. We did eat out a few times but we didn't make any food choices that we regret. Thankfully lobster is very low in calories and fat :) I did skip the butter and it was just fine.

My favorite breakfast place makes egg white omelets so while I couldn't have their awesome eggs Benedict - I did get an excellent goat cheese, basil, tomato, parmesan omelet that kept me within my calories. I enjoyed it. Along with Turkey Bacon and a couple of bites of home fries.

We had lunch at a restaurant that we had always wanted to try because they look really charming and fun on the outside. I got a grilled chicken salad and it was really bad. Really, really bad. Not worth it at all.

The other restaurant meal was dinner at a Lobster Pound right on the water. I had a raw bar sampler and that was all cold shellfish. I passed up the dipping sauces they served with it and just used lemon and cocktail sauce. I was starving afterward.

We also cooked lobster at the house one night.

We got the boys ice cream a couple of times. We had some lowfat frozen yogurt and it was ok - not great and not something I'd do every day but it kept us from feeling deprived.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday as well as a wedding celebration cookout for some good friends. The food at the cookout was excellent and could have been tempting but they had grilled chicken and salad and lots of fruit so it was fine. I love cookouts for that reason. There is almost always a healthy choice as long as you can walk by the potato salad and they're grilling something besides burgers and hot dogs. I think I will have to remember to always offer chicken when I have a bbq.

My husband's birthday dinner was excellent. We cooked at home. Grilled Shrimp and Steak (really small, nice tenderloin) salad, steamed broccoli and citrus fried brown rice (fried in a nonstick pan with a tiny bit of sesame oil- inspired by Roni's scallop and rice recipe). We bought a tiny cake - probably 6 inches in diameter- and split it between 5 of us. We also picked up some of The Skinny Cow single serving cups of lowfat ice cream. These things are brilliant! If you are going to have ice cream I recommend these things. The perfect serving size and only about 150 calories/2g fat. Again, they're not exactly "healthy" - they contain corn syrup and won't do anything to help break a sweets craving but they are yummy and definitely have a place.

So all things considered I think it was a good week. I know I didn't drink enough water because we were out and about so much and it wasn't always convenient to carry my bottle. In the past we would have used vacation and birthday dinner to excuse food choices that aren't in line with our goals. I'm so glad we didn't - that kind of behavior always derailed me in the past. Not this time.

The Closet
I'm frustrated here. My clothes are a lot looser, but I really want to be moving down in sizes and I'm not. I feel like 25 pounds should equal 1 or 2 sizes. But where the weight is coming off doesn't necessarily translate perfectly. I also realize that my size 24 clothes must have been tighter on me than I thought. We did our 8 week pictures last night and there is a clear difference so I have to just not worry about it and give it time. Right??

Challenges and Goals
With vacation behind me I'm excited to get back into my routine and back into the gym. I feel renewed motivation for my workouts and I'm hoping that week 9 will be a great week. I also signed us both up for a 5K in October as a birthday gift for my husband. I don't plan to run it but I am going to start working on my waking speed. Who knows, maybe I will get on the treadmill tonight and decide to train to run it :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekly Update

(end of week 7/beginning week 8)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 3

Total loss: 22.6

At the Gym
3 days at the gym

This week was rough because I had a cold. I did my normal routine for the most part but I skipped some of the weights that I normally do.

In the Kitchen
I don't think I made anything special this week. The days and weeks and meals are all blending together ...

The Closet
I have to get rid of a few things. I have a couple of pairs of pants that are a little bit silly to wear. This area is a little stressful for me. I don't know why I expected quicker results but I did. I just feel so much smaller IN my clothes that I tend to try things on fully expecting them to be too big and when they're not I get a little disappointed. I know I'm not being realistic.

Challenges and Goals
We're on vacation. Last week was a blur of being exhausted, which ended up being because I was getting sick, and the rest was all getting ready to go away. I managed to workout even though I wasn't feeling good. We also tried walking around our neighborhood after the boys were in bed (my mother lives with us). We live in a very hilly neighborhood and this was HARD. I was totally winded. Not planning to do that again any time soon.

I'll write something later about vacation specific challenges.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekly Update

(end of week 6/beginning week 7)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 2.4

Total loss: 19.6

At the Gym
5 days at the gym

Bike Ride
Family Walk/Hike
1 Yoga workout

I was feeling good during the week. I'm easily doing 40 minutes of Cardio 3-5 days. I am working on building this up to 60 minutes but I'm really trying not to do too much too soon. I have personality with a high potential for burn-out and I'm afraid of injury. I keep reminding myself that this is a lifetime habit I'm creating and it's not a race to the finish line. I upped my weights in my strength training this week. Just a little. I see some results in my biceps and that's fun.

I also ran a tiny bit! During a couple of my treadmill sessions I ran for 1 minute at a time. I have always hated/dreaded the idea of running. Now it's on my list of goals.

In the Kitchen
Yummy Shrimp Fajitas, great omelets, we grilled alot. Yeah, this part isn't hard. I'm really enjoying cooking healthy foods. There have been a few meals that the boys just didn't like. Our normal rule for eating is that they have to eat what I make unless it's something really odd. In that case Daddy will make the them PB&J. My 7yo took advantage of that option a few times this week. Next week we're on vacation. The great part is that we're staying at a well equipped house and we'll be able to grill and cook the same way we would at home.

The Closet
Some things are baggy, some are falling off a little. I thought the downward trend would be faster so trying stuff on is a little discouraging. Some of my tshirts and tank tops are alot longer - which means losing inches in my tummy. I'm ready for the day when I have to get rid of stuff because it just doesn't fit - that will be a very fun day!

Challenges and Goals
My mood was not good this week. I was really irritable and I'm wondering if that contributed to my small weight loss. I need to make sure I'm having my quiet time and working with the Lord on my attitude.

We had a few food challenges this week. We took the boys out for ice cream and shared a frozen yogurt. We also made frozen yogurt at home and I had less than 1/2 cup. We also went to a birthday party last night. Burgers, hot dogs, chips and dip, really fatty dressing already on the salad - it could have been a nightmare.

I made a nice turkey chili before we left home, we each had a small bowl of that and then just had some raw veggies and a few slices of turkey at the party - knowing we'd have more chili when we got home. There was a beautiful cake and we each took one bite - I'm totally ok with that. My husband threw our piece away after the bite so we wouldn't be tempted to eat the whole piece. I also had a tiny bite of my son's hot dog to rid my mouth of the taste of some wierd pepper from the veggie tray - and one piece of popcorn to get the hot dog taste out of my mouth - lol.

I'm dissapointed with my loss this week and I'm trying to decide if there's anything I can reasonably do about it.

I've been slacking off on my water drinking - that's an easy fix. Also I've been under my calories for a while - but to be sure I'm going to be careful to weigh and measure and log every bite. I tend to not measure the milk for my cereal, for example. I need to go through the exercise of logging everything before I do something crazy like eat more calories.

I had toyed with the idea of a 2nd cardio workout each day. I just don't know if I can do this mentally right now. I have the opportunity and the time (sort of) but I don't want to feel resentful. But, on the other hand, if I did that and it really increased my weight loss I'd be so glad I did... hmm.

We are on vacation next week - I'm not too worried. We can shop and cook and the restaurants there are not the huge plate of cheese fries kind that would be a big temptation. We've been going there for a few years but for some reason we don't have a lot of food associations with this place. It should be easy to make healthy choices. We won't be able to go to the gym but we'll be doing so much hiking, walking, biking that I think we'll be ok. We're going to bring my yoga stuff and maybe the adjustable kettle bell so we can do something strength training related. Sounds like a good plan to me... we shall see.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Shrimp Fajitas

These were so wonderful for a few reasons. Yes they were low calorie and nutritious. They were also really delicious. But the real reason they made me happy -cc I made the tortillas from scratch. 100% whole wheat - way better than anything you can get at the store. Fun, easy, pretty quick. I don't know if I'll ever buy tortillas again. I probably will because I'm lazy like that but I won't if I don't have to.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekly Update

(end of week 5/beginning week 6)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 3lbs

Total Loss: 17.2 lbs

At the Gym
3 days at the Gym

Bike @ home on non-gym days

Bike ride with the boys

Family Walk (while the boys biked - great workout trying to keep up with them)

Weight Loss Yoga 1x (but I got a new yoga mat and I'm super motivated to use it this coming week)

I'm thrilled because I was able to go much faster this week - almost up to 3.5 on the treadmill. I know that's not all that fast but considering I started at 2.8 or something like that I am impressed. It actually feels easy. I've been switching my cardio machine throughout my workout because I'm worried about the repetitive stress / impact of the treadmill. And I simply can't do 30+ minutes on the elliptical or bike without going insane. So I do 15 - 20 minutes on the treadmill, switch quickly to the elliptical for 10 and then finish off on the recumbent bike. I was able to get through my workout on Saturday morning without my little ankle support thingy and it worked out great. No pain to speak of. I hope that continues. My heel still hurts - but that's hurt for ten years (the reason for my treadmill fear). It doesn't interfere with my workouts so I can live with it. Ice helps and that makes me happy.

In the Kitchen

I made meatballs this week. From The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook. They were awesome. I am really happy to have a meatball recipe that I like. I've always envied people who made their own meatballs. Now I do and they're healthy!

We also went to Whole Foods this week for the first time. There isn't one near us so we took a little field trip. I was under impressed. It turns out that my local grocery stores have a good selection of organics. The meat and prepared food WAS impressive though. After spending nearly $20 on a boneless Turkey Breast I think I will be impressed from a distance in the future. We don't have alot of wiggle room in our budget and I will quickly send us to the land of Ramen Noodles if I spend that kind of cash on meat... so we'll do it when we can but for now I'm just going to have to not think about all the icky stuff in our meat - add that to the reason we pray before meals :)

We had a great dinner at the beach last night. I made Chicken Salad with grapes and apples and Canola Mayo on Ezekiel Bread - so good!

We indulged a little with the brown rice sushi - because of the sugar in the rice vinegar - and then there were the PopChips (see below) but this week my kitchen yielded lots of wonderful healthy meals and snacks. I'm happy with the choices we've made. In may ways this is getting easier. My fridge and cabinets are stocked with whole, healthy foods

The Closet
My favorite pants feel all loose and ready to fall down if I'm not careful. I am not feeling like running upstairs to try on stuff right now so that's all for now.

** I think I'm officially "in between" sizes. The pants I'm wearing now will fall down if I don't watch it, the next size down is not comfortable -but does fit. **

Challenges and Goals
I want to step up my workouts this week. More yoga, maybe a second cardio workout each day??? I don't know.

Our little trip to whole foods yielded an unexpected temptation. We bought the boys a bag of PopChips to try. They're made from white potatoes and not fried or baked. We tried them and in the end shared the bag between the four of us - saving a little bit for Grammy (aka my mom) to try since she is a chip fiend. The bag had 3 servings at only 120 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving. Not that bad in the big picture but that was the first time a white potato has crossed my lips since we started this healthy new life. Add in all the stinkin salt on those chips.... plus the sodium in the soy sauce we used on the awesome brown rice sushi.... yeah, that little trip was sort of that temptation I was bragging about not having. Anyway, not horrible choices, but not quite in line with the attitude I know I need to have to persevere in this thing - not at this stage anyway. On the bright side - PopChips are yummy and I'm glad there is an option for my kids and for the future other than baked chips which are not yummy (IMO).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Meet my friends

I have a few new friends I want you to meet. These guys have played a big part in the success of my weight loss efforts these past few weeks.

These guys are oil sprayers. Basically you fill one of these babies with your own healthy oils and use it like you would a commercial cooking spray. The nice thing is that you can spray it right on your food. I love the results and I love that I'm not spraying chemical propellants around my kitchen. I had one of these years ago, I don't know what happened to it. I bought two - one for olive oil and one for canola as you can see from my beautiful little chalkboard labels (I added those). BTW, chalk doesn't work well when you touch it frequently while cooking. Oh well, they look cute even when the chalk is all rubbed off.

This guy doesn't have a name yet, but like my vacuum Moe, he is such an integral part of the family that he deserves one.

Just a simple non-stick skillet, but he has been the key to my becoming the queen of egg white omelets and other wonderfully healthy gourmet creations I've been cranking out of my kitchen lately.

These are a few tools that have really helped me stay out of a food rut. Cooking can be art. Healthy cooking is a skill. Having the right tools can really help.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekly Update

(end of week 4/start of week 5)

On the Scale
Lost this week: 2.6 lbs.
Total: 14.2 lbs.

I'm working on my 10% goal. I feel good about my progress. I still have quite a ways to go before I reach my end goal but that's no surprise.

At the Gym
My cardio workout was at 30 -40 minutes long all week. My speed on the treadmill is up as well. When we started this 20 minutes at 3.0 mph was hard. To deal with my sore ankle I've been switching from Treadmill to Elliptical to Recumbent Bike during my workout. That, in addition to the ankle support, has helped a lot. It also helps with my time because I don't get bored. I also noticed that it takes more work to get my heart rate up. That is fun to see because I know it means my body is responding to the conditioning of regular workouts.

In the Kitchen
My favorite meal this week was.... you guessed it, the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. But we had some other successes as well. I made the Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf from TBL Family Cookbook - that's why I even had the wing sauce and blue cheese in the fridge. We all liked it - but that's the day my son got the stomach "flu" - so we won't be repeating that one any time soon. I also made a great red sauce with summer squash, zucchini, and eggplant - that was a keeper.

The Closet
A few of my pants are in need of a belt. On Sunday I wore a blouse that was pretty snug on Easter - it now fit with room to spare.

Challenges and Goals
This week holds a challenge. My mother - aka Grammy - is away for a few days so we have no childcare for the first part of the day. That means working out at home. For me that's Weight Loss Yoga and the bike.

We haven't done much in the way of extra activity because it's been so hot. I guess swimming in the pool counts - but sitting around in the air conditioning does not, and we've done a fair amount of that as well. This week I'd like to take the boys hiking and Geocaching at least. Maybe even a bike ride if it cools down some.... we'll see.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

I just had one of the best dinners I've ever had. I made it myself and it was really healthy. Go me!

I started with an 8 oz. Chicken Breast - grilled with just a little salt and more than a little pepper. My husband actually did this part so I can't take all the credit.

I (he) toasted a whole wheat bun on the grill . I tossed the grilled chicken breast in a few tablespoons of Franks Wing Sauce.

I took a nice thick slice of tomato an sprinkled it with a little bit of Treasure Cove Reduced Fat Blue Cheese and put it under the broiler until the cheese just barely started to brown.

This with a generous piece of leafy lettuce all went on top of the chicken in the sandwich. Honestly - this was as good as any buffalo chicken sandwich I've ever had. The Blue Cheese melted and mixed with the tomato and created the illusion of blue cheese dressing - which in the past would have made up the majority of this meal for me.

Wicked spicy - serve it to your friends delicious. 450 Calories - 10 g. fat. So awesome I can't stand it.
I'm also sharing this beauty over at Good Cheap Eats. Come check it out!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What exactly is needful?

"Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me
neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. " (Proverbs 30:8-9)

This verse is not really about food. It's about the condition of our hearts. The fatal condition that causes me to slack off on my devotion when things are good and even when they are horrible. It's about idolatry - wanting what I don't need and valuing what is not best. There's more in there, but that's how it relates to this blog.

This blog is about me and my needs (it's my blog right?). What I need most is to be content and satisfied with what the Lord gives me - to look to Him for my daily bread and for my joy, satisfaction, peace, freedom, etc. All of those things are the "needs" and He is the solution to all of them.

Here's the link: If I am looking to God for my daily bread (only the food that is needful for me) I will feel conviction over gluttony and other besetting sins that are really rooted in idolatry.

Practically speaking this is my weight loss blog. I have finally applied my desire to "honor God with my body" to my health.

Even more practically - I need to lose weight. I need to have self-control, self-discipline and to value a healthy future with my kids more than I value the freedom to eat whatever I want whenever I want.

So that's the really chaotic and not completely logical story behind the name of this blog. Get it?