Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Numbers, it's all about the numbers...

  • I still cannot escape the comforting numbers of the scale that tells me I am still on track.
  • I still cannot keep from having a bedtime snack, although now it is usually dried fruit instead of M&M's.
  • I still cannot keep from eating too fast, although I am more cognisant of this flaw and I do try to slow and again.
  • I still have cravings for fattening foods, and sometimes have some treat, although I don't binge on huge slices of cake, several cups of ice creams, bags of candy, bowls of nuts, boxes of crackers, huge chunks of cheeses, or bags of chips.
  • I still fudge here and there on my calorie counting, although I just as often, will fudge in either direction, under estimating as often as over estimating...just to play it safe.
I am normal.

I have changed.

My numbers impress some...they should. Look what I have done in one year! I have gone from the first numbers taken November 2010 to the second numbers taken November 2011:
  • Weight: 291 lbs. to 208 lbs. (83 pounds)
  • Waist: 50" to 39" (11")
  • Chest: 53" to 42" (11")
  • Hips: 54" to 46" (8")
  • Thigh: 29" to 23.5" (5.5")

Slow and steady IS the way to go. Do I get impatient? You bet I do! Do the numbers on the scale affect my moods? Yes indeed! Do I worry that this will stop working for me? All the time! Do I consider myself successful at this? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Ask me that one in three years. And although you've heard it often, it is SO true...if I can do this, anyone can! Really? Really!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why is it, IT?

Why is it that a scale can read SO differently? I admit it. Today when I went in to my Yoga class, I just HAD to step on the scale to see what it might say. I closed my eyes and listened for the beep to signal it was done reading my weight. I opened my eyes and saw 208! Wow! I must have been bloated with water from all the salty foods or something. I dunno. I am just glad that it happened. Now on to more important baking a cake for my son's 11th birthday! Don't worry, although he is having pizza, cake, and ice cream, I am hungry for chicken and roasted brussel sprouts! See ya next time!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why is it?

I really would like to know how our bodies can gain five pounds in 48 hours and then take 48 days to lose those same pounds? I expect I will find I have gained five pounds from the Thanksgiving feast. Even though I didn't eat half a pie with real whip cream, I did drink wine and I did have some dressing. Is that all it takes?

Here is a partial list of what I indulged in, over a 48 hr period:
  • wine - 1000 calories
  • pie - 400 calories
  • dressing - 300 calories
  • turkey - 200 calories
  • smoked oysters - 240
  • pickled herring - 300
  • crackers - 300
That adds up to 2740 calories over two days. The other foods eaten were things like my oatmeal and fruit breakfasts, the veggie tray, fat free/sugar free jello salad, a half a cup of mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, coffee, and other usual food consumptions. I must have amnesia or something. I have to be forgetting some foods!My normal intake for two days would be between 3000 and 4000 calories. If I add 4000 calories and 2740 calories and then divide that in half I get 3370 calories per day or just a little under 1400 calories over what I would normally eat. Even using those numbers, how can that add up to a five pound gain?

I won't really know until I go weigh in this morning, on the 'official' scale. Maybe my scale at home needs a new battery? But...if I HAVE gained that much, I really want to know why! It just doesn't make sense!!! Watch for my update to this posting, later today if you want to see what the results of today's weigh-in was!

I did gain...about three pounds. Unless you look at the actual weight that was recorded two weeks ago. According to that, I only gained two pounds. Blah! There is a silver lining to this. No one was there today, so I have a whole week before I weigh in again! hahahaha!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble, Gobble!

It is Thanksgiving morning here and I am about to go into the kitchen to start preparing some more of the food we will have today. I just got back from a half hour walk. It is cool and cloudy outside! I feel better for having walked too.

I plan to eat smart but I also plan to not worry about overeating a little bit.
I like the thought that my diet is a lifestyle and if I were a skinny person, I would enjoy the day. I just don't have to gorge myself sick! I feel that the 90/10 rule works pretty good. I eat right and exercise right, 90% of the time. 10% of the time I might miss a day of exercise or have foods that are a bit on the indulgence side. As long as I go right back to the 90%, I can live, eat, and enjoy life without guilt over that extra smoked oyster, pickled herring, cracker, slice of cheese, piece of dark turkey meat, dressing (or stuffing as many call it), glass of wine (or two), or anything else I might have!

I DID make some changes for today. I have some low fat cheeses, crackers, and a very low fat pumpkin pie (using phyllo dough for the crust). I have lots of 'nibbles' in the form of healthy veggies. No one will go away hungry. Those that don't care as much, will eat the more fattening foods. I won't make THEM feel guilty because I am sitting there all mopey faced, depriving myself of the feast!And I won't chastise anyone for eating as they wish! Why ruin a perfectly good meal and wonderful day? It doesn't have to be such an ordeal to eat smart and to enjoy a 'foodie' day like Thanksgiving! In this house, it won't be an ordeal, but a celebration!

I hope you enjoy your day today. I love having family around and like Thanksgiving almost better than Christmas. It is mostly because there are no presents is all about family and sharing, not keeping up with the Jones or who got the best or most presents. (Although, if my husband reads this, "Honey, I really DO like presents, any time!")
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
(and no, that is not me in a bikini!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

She's All Wet

This morning, I thought I would talk a little about water. We've all heard it..."Drink gallons of water every day!" No? Ok, I suppose gallons would be a bit of an exaggeration. Did you know you can kill yourself by drinking too much water at one time? I doubt most of us will ever have to worry about that.

It is obvious that when you workout and sweat that you need to rehydrate. It might not be obvious that if you workout in the pool, you need to rehydrate too. I am not the best when it comes to drinking water as much as I should. I do keep a refillable bottle of water near me all day though. As soon as I think I am thirsty, I drink some!

I have heard all the suggested amounts and ignored them for years. One of my goals is to strive to be better about re-hydrating my body. These are my beliefs about water:
  1. You don't have to drink eight glasses of water per day.
  2. If you are thirsty, you are dehydrated.
  3. If you need to use a lot of lotion, you are dehydrated.
  4. If you need to use a lot of chap-stick, you are dehydrated.
  5. Water flushes out your system better than anything else.
  6. When I wake up, I try to remember to drink at least one glass of water, before coffee, before eating breakfast, before brushing my teeth. I need to start the day with a drink of water, as soon as I can.

Step number six above, is a new goal of mine. I have made it a point to drink as much as I can, as soon as I can, after getting out of bed. My refillable bottle is on my nightstand, and I grab it as I head off to the kitchen to make coffee. I don't want ice cold water, first thing in the morning. My bottle of water is just the perfect temperature to have then! The photo above is the actual type bottle that I own. It is made by Rubbermaid and is readily available in many grocery stores or department stores. They are BPA free too. We have a built in filtration system for water from our fridge. That is what I use to fill my bottle. (This is one thing you can do to help the environment too...the amount of plastic water bottles in the landfills is enormous!) I own several bottles and change them out every few days. I wash mine in the dishwasher to disinfect them. I used to reuse regular water bottles. Then I read about the chemical reactions and that they are not as sanitary as these other ones that I bought. Whether it is true or not, I prefer to use my own refillable bottles over the store bought bottled water bottles.

How much do we need to drink per day? Do you think it is something like eight, eight ounce glasses per day? Would you be surprised that you might not need so much???
It is true! Although most of us never drink enough water, thinking that we have to drink a half gallon or more per day is not true either. Just keep it in your brain that if you ARE thirsty at all, don't ignore the feeling. You do NOT have to go get a full eight ounce glass either! Four ounces at a time is a lot easier to swallow.
  • Make it a point to get a few ounces down before, during, and after exercising.
  • Don't forget to get a little water in your system before and after pool exercises too.
  • Drink a few ounces, before anything else, in the mornings.
  • If you even have a hint of thirst, be sure to get a drink.
  • Strive to take a sip or three, every time you can, throughout the day.
  • Don't worry so much about the amount of water that you think you have to drink in a day. Listen to your body 'more better', as it will tell you when it needs water.
Let's raise our glasses for a toast! CHEERS!
Until next time, bye for now!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I set out my outfit for race day, the night before. The rain was supposed to hold off until later in the afternoon. I got up early and had my usual oatmeal with fruit for breakfast. Husband and son were ready on time and we headed out to where the race was going to be run. We'd never been there before, but found it just fine, with time to spare!
The starting line had pretty balloons. They announced they had 125 people who signed up for the 5K. I was a little nervous. Mostly I worried about being last! When they said "GO" I was at the back of the pack. About fifty people starting running off down the street. NO ONE ELSE was walking!!!

I had planned to walk for the first ten minutes or so, just to warm up. I lasted five minutes. I had to start jogging or I was going to be last for sure! I was pretty much alone. I did pass a few folks around the first mile. I ran as best I could and then walked when I was breathing too hard and hurting. Soon all the runners were coming back, passing me by. I counted as many as I could because only the first 75 finishers were getting medals of completion. I really hoped I could be in that top bunch so I could get a medal too. I soon realized I had no worries about that. I would not be finishing in the top 75.

I kept on going though, and hoped that I would be going fast enough to beat my previous personal best (unofficial) time of 18 minutes per mile. That is the speed that I do out on the trails I like. Oh, and asphalt is very hard on your knees and legs! I missed my softer trails!!!
As the finish line finally came in view, I dug down deep and talked myself into speeding up for a strong finish! I didn't want to embarrass myself or my family!
I heard my son and husband cheering me on and it was also nice that there were others in the crowd who were clapping too. I thought there must be a bunch of people behind me. (there wasn't)

Here I am, at the finish line! The time was 48min/15sec. I had beaten my old time by three minutes per mile! Yay me!
I wasn't in the top 75 finishers, as I had realized when so many passed me by as runner after runner went by me on their way back. So I didn't get a medal. Oh well, I wasn't last. I passed others. I went faster than I've ever gone before. And I have the tee shirt and photos to prove it all! hahahaha

I don't know if I will be brave enough to do a competitive race someday or not. This one mixed walkers, runners, and run/walkers all together. I was the 85th person across the finish line. This means I was faster than about 40 other people! (IF they had all showed up and run the race too)

Ok, ok, truth be told, those other 40 included a lady with a walker, an old man, a young girl that was heavier than myself, and others that were physically challenged! But you know what? I finished and a year ago, I wouldn't have been able to make it from the parking lot to the start line. I think that is the most important thing to take away from this...along with smiles and a great sense of accomplishment!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guess What I Did Last Night?

I walked the Big Dam Bridge from North Little Rock to Little Rock, and back again! It was at night and my husband and son went with me. They really have lights that color up the bridge like this photo too! It was a free event to promote fitness and community. We all got t-shirts. I was kinda tickled that I fit into a size L instead of XL. It took us 25 minutes to do this. We were walking really fast too! It was fun and I hope we can do this again next year!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Approaching the One Year Mark!

Next weekend will mark a full year since I started on this lifestyle change! As of this posting, I've lost 82 pounds. The graph above shows the pounds lost over this past year.

A safe way to lose weight is to aim for one to two pounds a week. My loss averaged out to be 1.9 pounds per week. WELL within what is considered safe and healthy for weight loss. It will also be easier to maintain the weight loss, for the rest of my life because it is gradual. New habits take time to take hold!

I really am feeling the move into the transition phase of my journey. I've used for their tools that include calorie counting, figuring out calories in recipes, motivational articles, fitness tracking, and many many other tools. It is a vast website with almost too much information! I can usually find answers to most any question I might have though. Regarding food or fitness or recipes, this site has an unbelievable amount of information on it.

I also really like the podcast that the Fat 2 Fit guys have. I love their motivation. I am not sold on their methods just yet. They advocate eating like the thin person you want to be. Generally this allows for more calories than I would be comfortable with eating! I am trying different things they are suggesting because it is more like a lifestyle, rather than a diet. Why am I not totally sold on it yet? Well, it is just too easy to follow their ideas! There is little to no suffering that I have always associated with weight loss or even with exercising. Can it really be THIS easy? Time will tell. For now though, I am sticking with these guys to see if this really does keep working as it has so far!

Next week I will be getting ready to run/walk my first official 5K. This also marks the one year anniversary of the beginning of my new life. I think it will also be the time to change when I jump on the scale. I think I should try to do this every other week for a while. Once I can prove to myself that the weight is still coming off, slow but sure, I can get rid of that crutch of a scale! To flip this around, because I AM at the tail end of the journey, weighing in every two weeks will show more pounds lost than every week would. I might only lose a half pound a week now. If I weigh in every two weeks, that will show as a pound loss.

Everything in moderation seems to be the ticket I need. Whether it be food, exercise, or most anything that touches me in my life, if it is in moderation, it seems to be the best way to go. Slow and steady might be boring, but it really seems to be the wise way of doing things!

PS: I gained .4 pounds today. I am not worried. Annoyed? YES! But not really all depressed about it. It will be two weeks before I weigh in again. See ya then! (or probably sooner!)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Don't Tell Charlie the Tuna!

If you are old, like me, you will remember the Starkist commercials that featured Charlie the Tuna. Don't tell him about what my lunch was today! There are two ounces of tuna, canned in water, in this mix. The rest is filler. I added chopped onion, pepper, tomato, and bread and butter pickles. There is also some fat free cheddar, low fat Miracle Whip dressing, honey mustard, and seasonings. (the tuna comes prepackaged in two ounce cans...very helpful to have a pre-measured serving!)

I took about half the mix and put it on a few slices of french bread and then broiled it a bit.
The rest was put in lettuce cups. Remember that lettuce that I like so well? The artisan romaine? I love putting tuna salad or egg salad in them and eating them like this:
The lettuce is so crunchy! It really satisfies the mouth.

As I move into the maintenance phase of this lifestyle change, am I finally getting it? Sometimes I really don't understand why this is all working like it is. It has been too easy! Yes, there have been challenges, but they were all surmountable. Mind you, I am NOT complaining!!! I just feel, if I could grasp why this worked this time and never had in the past, I could help others, even more!
If I ever figure it out, I will be sure to share!

Saturday, November 05, 2011


It has been two weeks since I last weighed in. Since we were out of town and eating on the road, I didn't expect to see much of a change, other than perhaps a gain of a pound or two. I did not expect a loss. Really? TWO - OHHHH - NINE???!!! I'll take that!
What a wonderful feeling to be validated that I CAN work a maintenance program and live like a normal skinny person. What a wonderful weight to say out loud. Two O nine. Not two-ten, or two-twenty, or two-insert all numbers other than an O, but two O nine!

I'll take that. Thank you very much!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Staying Motivated As I Go Into Transition

Staying motivated is always a problem when "dieting". It doesn't get easier, just because I call it a "lifestyle change". In the beginning I was a fanatic about food, especially the fat calories. It has been almost a year now, since I started relearning how to eat better and exercise regularly. I honestly never thought I would still be working my program this long! Now I am gradually moving into maintenance mode. I still have 20 pounds to go before I reach my first goal of losing 100 pounds. I hope I can reach the 170's someday.

The closer I move towards that first 100 pound loss, the more I am trying to "live like the thin person I want to be." I had my first taste of this life, this past weekend. We went to a renaissance and fantasy festival out of town, where my husband, son, and I performed as minstrels. I took a bag of apples along and some sandwiches that I had made. We supplemented this with foods from the performers' kitchen and fast foods. We also had wine one night, after the show closed down. It was a two day show where we did a lot of walking around the fairgrounds where this was held. We also performed on stage twice a day. We had a great time!

It was scary to not be using my old crutches, faithfully. I did not count calories but did keep mindful of what I was putting in my mouth and how much of it I was having. I had funnel cake! Yes I did! But where I would have eaten the whole thing in the past, I had little bits of it as my young son scarfed it down. I think I might have eaten a sixth of the whole thing. In the past, that would amount to ONE whole bite! I nibbled little bits and was more than satisfied because not only had I enjoyed the sweet treat, I had enjoyed it sensibly. NO GUILT!

After our last performance on the second day, we collapsed into the car for the long ride home. We had slept in a motel for two nights and been outdoors for the festival for two days and we were spent! We got supper on the way out of town, at a fast food place. Mind you, I have not had a fast food hamburger for at least a year now. I was ready to indulge and enjoy one! I actually had given myself mental permission to do this on this trip.

We stood in the short ordering line at the restaurant and I kept looking at the menu over the counter. That hamburger didn't look all that great. I recalled that I read somewhere that the chili was better for you than the fries. I ended up and got the grilled chicken sandwich with veggies and no sauces or cheese, the chili, and a diet soda. Not only did it taste better than the burger would have, I again, had NO GUILT! I think not having guilt makes the food taste better.

Here is a before and after photo of me in the costume I wear for performances. They were taken about four years apart. It is the same dress in both photos, but in the one on the right, I had taken the dress in, over eight inches!!!

I am going to have to totally remake my costumes if we do many more of these shows next year. You can only alter them just so much before they start fitting really weird.

I remember in the beginning of my lifestyle changes I stayed motivated because I had a lot of support and no excuse to not keep on trying. I had access to a gym and exercise classes and swimming pools that I could afford to utilize. I also had over 45 years of 'training' in how to lose weight! I had the full support of my family to keep me on track too.

The middle part of my saga was filled with challenges of my child being home from school for summer vacation, and the hot summer weather, making exercise time a challenge. If I slipped on my eating or exercise, I would not let it become an excuse to quit though. When I wavered I would look at how far I had come and how long I had been working on this. Why would I want to throw all that away? Why would I want to have my knee hurt again, so badly that I needed a cane to walk? Why would I want to find ugly fat clothes to wear again? Why would I want to risk dying too early due to obesity? How could I give up the new-to-me clothes that I had been buying as I shrunk? How could I want to crawl back into my hole and hide from the world? Slowly but surely my mindset is changing. The rewards of keeping on with my changes mean more to me than eating a candy bar, or a cheeseburger, or a bag of donut holes. (You know donut holes don't have any calories, right?)

If I feel myself wavering I make it a point to address that feeling. I might listen to something motivational. I might go to the support group meeting and address my feelings, if need be. Often I find that helping others to be motivated, helps me to keep motivated. It is important to not let any slip become an excuse to quit. It took me 56 years to become the way I was last year. I am only one year into the new me. I need to remember this. And if I do slip, I don't wait until tomorrow to get back on the right path, I get back on the minute after the slip happens. This is my new way of living for life.

Don't wait until tomorrow to begin changing your life. Do something, anything, to change right now, today. Even if it is eating one less bite or walking out the door and around your house and back inside, that is one more thing you are doing right now, that you were not doing before.

Baby steps lead to toddler-hood. Toddler-hood leads to child. Child leads to teenager. Teenager leads to young adult. Young adult leads to adult. Adult leads to mature adult. I am not sure, but I think I am somewhere between child and young adult. I am still impulsive, but I am starting to 'grow up' a bit.

I hope you are growing up (not out) and learning how to live the best life you can. We really have only one chance at life that we know of, for sure. Why would we want to squander that?

After the frenzy

Abby is still around and about.  I know she's been pretty quiet though.  She kinda over celebrated the new year's arrival. A souther...