Monday, December 21, 2009

Losing it

Sounds good right? This is a weight-loss Web site and I have been doing the whole weight-loss program thing, but let me just say. I've lost it.

The last time I ran was when I went home in early December for a family get together. Granted, I've done quite a bit of shoveling since then with a winter-wonderland ready to greet me outside the door, but other than that and a game of volleyball I've accomplished nothing in the way of exercise. My excuse? It's cold out. And Icy. And did I mention cold? Okay, it's really the icy part. I can't go and run when I don't have somewhere to run. My solution? I really want to get a gym membership so at least I'll have a treadmill to attack.

But guess what else? Running isn't the only form of exercise out there and I haven't done any of them. I love stair stepping. I have steps right in my basement (though, Christmas hint, I do want some wider/taller steps than what I have right now!) I have the 30 Day Shred, I have Booty Ballet DVD's and I think I may have some Tae Bo (sp?) DVD's somewhere too. I have a wii fit that, while it's not the hardest core exercise routine I've found does get me off my butt and that boxing challenge? That always makes me sweat. What's my deal?

My deal is me. My deal is that I have defeated myself. For the last two weeks I've told myself, I'll do it tomorrow. What have I said about people who say that? That they need a good kick in the butt. Well, I'm asking, please kick my butt.

Today I am heading for my basement again. Today those 'Friends' DVDs (thanks Blair!) will get watched again as I sweat my way through some laughter. TODAY I will work at digging out the weight-lifting machine the SO has from long ago that keeps calling my name saying 'Work those hamstrings' and 'think about the killer biceps I can give you!' Today is my day. Not tomorrow, not after Christmas, not for New Years. Today is my day. Tomorrow is probably going to be mine too, and oh yeah, all my days for the rest of my life. You know what? They're mine.

I'm so glad I've only lost two weeks sitting on my butt. I'm glad that I have gotten that sugary eating out of my system and that I can push myself again. I'm glad I've fallen because this time? This time I picked myself up. I am not waiting for that magic moment because it will never come. I'm not waiting for the perfect day, it's only there if you make it there. I'm not waiting until I can afford the right shoes, the right equipment or that gym membership that I want. I can't afford to wait any longer. Today is here. Today counts. I am going to make today matter.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wise Words

This blog is from I read this blog almost every day and have drawn great inspiration from it. I wanted to make sure everyone who can read this blog does.

Self Exam Time
And no, I don't mean breasts. (Although you should be doing that every month anyway).

Every so often, it is good to really stop and *look* at yourself and your life, how you feel and why, and whether you are reaching your goals. December is a good time for this. Most people, near the end of the month, are bemoaning yet another year gone by with dropped resolutions. New commitment comes magically on January first, but it always seems so fleeting. Wouldn't it be better to do a self exam more often? Like, maybe several times a year? Then you don't get quite so far off track.

So here's mine.

I am 40 years old, which sometimes feels very young and sometimes feels ancient. I weight 229 pounds, which sometimes feels quite thin and other times feels humongous. I have a life filled with children, a paused career, a dog, and various hobbies, and all of this feels sometimes like an incredible blessing and other times like a huge mess. Isn't that how life is?

I feel, often, that I am doing well, comparatively speaking. Yet somewhere inside me I long to do better. What is "doing better," anyway? Well, I think it is a gradual improvement in one's state, whether that be health, happiness, productivity, or whatever other thing you have set your sights on. But what if your sights are not really set on *anything*?

Answer this:
What do you want to accomplish today?
What would you like to have done by next week at this time?
What do you think will be the same/different in one month?
What would you like to have done/changed one year from now?
What would you like your life to look like in five years? Really think about it. Five years from now, how old will you be? What will your relationships look like? Your job? Your body? Your home? In five years, describe yourself and your life... what you WANT it to be.
And then, when you have done that, go back to question #1 and tell me how what you are doing today is leading you to what you want to see in your life in five years.

It is all inextricably connected... what you do today, next week, in a year, in five years. Because five years ago I decided to get up in the morning and go to my classes, today I have a college degree. Because five years ago I decided to get up, go to work, and use the paycheck to pay my mortgage, today I have a house to live in. Because five years ago I planted a small tree in my yard, today I have a large tree with lovely blossoms that gives me great joy (well, no blossoms in winter, but I look forward to spring!) Because I fed my dog five years ago, he is still alive and healthy today. Because I decided to have sex five years ago, I have a lovely daughter today. Get it? What you do today determines your tomorrow. And your next year. And your five years from now.

You can sit and eat pizza and Big Macs and cookies today and think, "Oh, I will do something better for myself tomorrow" but the fact is that today's actions are building a path to your future. If you pave that path with Ding Dongs, your future is *not* going to be the picture of health. Every step propels you in a particular direction. Every step counts.

So, it's important to check your steps frequently to make sure you are not just going in circles, or walking to China when you wanted to go to Ireland.

My vision of five years includes: well adjusted (mostly grown) children who are still in my life, financial stability, a normal BMI, a strong body, an organized and decorated home.

My *concrete steps* for today (because making a list of to do's but never doing them is a step in the *wrong* direction) are: connect with my children in conversation this evening, stick to a budget, eat under 1700 calories of healthy foods, bike for 30 minutes, sort some stuff, and get glass for a broken frame so I can hang a picture.

If instead, my Today Steps were: be too tired to talk to my kids, spend extra money on some goofy thing I see in the store that I want, splurge on some donuts, be too tired to bike, lay around and let the clutter pile up, and forget to get the glass fixed... then, I am walking a different path that is leading away from my chosen destination. You might think that *lack* of doing something is neutral, but it isn't. A 30 minute workout is a step towards your goal, but *not* doing the 30 minute workout is *not* standing still. Lack of action is STILL A STEP. A step in the opposite direction. And goallessness is like being adrift at sea: you may not be *trying* to get anyplace specific, but you're still going to end up somewhere... and you may not like it.

So take a little time today to reflect on your steps. And make sure you're headed in the direction you really want to go.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas time is coming

Christmas. Stores and all marketing campaigns all over the country have made this out to be a holiday of excess. Extra presents no one needs, extra food no one other than those in starving countries need, extra time spent with family some don't have, and extra money spent that, in this economy, many don't have. Why do we keep coming back to a holiday that every year becomes more about excess and not about friends, family and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ?

Don't worry, I'm not a grinch or a saint. I want Christmas gifts, I love Christmas gifts. I love giving gifts in general. When I have spent time making a present or earning money to buy someone a present and when I have put time and thought into what I may give someone, I enjoy the look on their face when they enjoy and happy with what they've been given. That being said, that might be ten dollars, or even one dollar, spend on a book I know they'll enjoy. Christmas doesn't have to be a race to be bigger and better. If thought has gone into a gift, that should be all that matters. It does NOT matter what amount of money has been spend on a gift.

The same thing goes for food. I love to bake and cook and give people treats. Baking something wonderful and seeing the look on someone's face when they truly enjoy a treat I've made makes me feel wonderful. I love to please people. I can please people year-round with food. I don't need a special occasion to make chocolate chip cookies or to bake a cheesecake to try out a new recipe. I just can. That being said, I tend to go a little overboard on Christmas. Christmas reminds me of my grandma's sugar star cookies. Of sugar cookies cut into the shape of trees. Of Cherry pies and hams and all the wonderful things I can smell from Christmases past.

Then there's family. We get to see family we've been missing for days, weeks, months and sometimes even years. Family for most of us means love, for other it means love and stress and for still others it just means stress. But family is blood, like it or not and most years it's a pleasure to spend time in their company over the holidays. We celebrate in order to have joy with one another.

But Christmas also is about taking care of ourselves.

Taking care of ourselves? You may ask. But yes, you need to take care of yourself for many reasons. One of which is that after the holidays, after the buoying affect of Halloween, followed by the food, football and family of Thanksgiving and the giving, gifting and gratifying of Christmas you may feel like the love just ends. Put added weight on top of that and some people get depressed. Others just get down-in-the-dumps and they don't quite know why. By taking care of yourself through this holiday season you may help control the post-seasonal blues and be better able to reach out and help others.

For those of us who, like me, celebrate Christmas more for religious reason that for material ones, we are called to be stewards. We are called to take care of this planet. We also are called to be financial stewards. While we're at it, we're called to be stewards of our spirits, our minds and our bodies. We go to church and read our Bible to nourish our spirits. We read books, engage in conversation and go to school to nourish our minds. Most people are good at taking care of themselves mentally and spiritually. If we feel we've dropped the ball spiritually we talk to a pastor or a friend. If mentally we feel fried, or if we just can't get through life day by day all the time, we find help. We talk to someone, take some medicine or find a way to make it better and to get through it.

We find ways to fix or help along other areas in our life, we need to also concentrate on the physical. If you're like me, you've dropped the ball more than once on taking care of your body. I used to smoke, I indulge in beer (though honestly, I seldom overindulge) and I don't give my body the care it requires to be "A temple of God."

Health is important. Health for anyone, religious or not, can ensure a long and happy life. But if you believe in God, if you follow the practices that God sets out before you, you have a calling to be a steward for God. That means that while you attend church, you also have a calling to make sure you are all right mentally and physically. So this Christmas, please take care of yourself. Making it a priority is not selfish, it's not wrong and it may be necessary.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ode to George

This is not so much about my weight loss as my partner in crime. We have been together for five years now. Five whole years! I can say that in my life he is such a constant, such a rock. He laughs with (and at) me, he holds me when I cry, he worries when I'm sick and think about calling my mom for advice and he face lights up when he says something funny and I laugh.

He loves me. He loves me for me. I was thinner when we met, I was heavier than I have ever been just a short while ago, and he still loves me. The only thing he ever said is that he wished we were both healthier. He doesn't care what size I am, he only wants me to be happy.

When I come home from a run and I'm excited at what I'm accomplishing he's excited for me. When I can do more pushups than ever before, he cheers me on, when I make time to work out instead of getting supper ready he makes it for me, or happily waits until I can get it for him. He pushes me through, carries me on and walks beside me.

I am stronger because of him. I can stand up for myself and that's part of what I think this weight loss journey is: Standing up for myself and putting myself first for my health. He has taught me to say No. He has learned with me in this relationship and he definitely has rolled his eyes a few times at the craziness that can be me, but he has never left. He will never leave. He loves me. The good and the bad. The crazy and the sane. The forgetful and the amazingly memorable times. He loves me. And I love him.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Choosing to take a step

It's not always an easy road to weight loss, but it is a road that can be traveled. Sometimes it's long, sometimes it's short, but it's there for you whenever you choose to take it.

I wrote this on someone's wall today at sparkpeople and it just made me think about my first step. My first step was over a year ago when I started trying to eat healthier. I was trying to cut out so many sweets. I was trying to control my portion sizes and I was trying to find an easy way to get healthy. It wasn't working. Then my dad, who was pre-diabetic was no longer pre-diabetic. He was diabetic, plain and simple. Everyone in my immediate family, including me, was overweight. I knew if I didn't start doing something, anything, my life would be shortened because of my excess weight and all the extra pressure I would be putting on my body.

I had been reading the blog and she was doing such amazing things in her life. She said she came to sparkpeople sometimes to track calories, so I came to check it out. That day my life changed.

To date I have lost almost 25 lbs. In 0.2 lbs. I will be halfway to my goal. I started running. Yesterday I ran 4.25 miles and it felt amazing. My clothes fit better, I'm happier, my self-esteem is better and I have more energy. This is happening in my life because I took that first step.

There are people out there that never take their first step. They know that they need it. They know that their lives will improve exponentially if they just make one change for their healthy, but they never do. Some are scared. Some think it's impossible. Some just don't know where to start.

To those who are scared, I pray you find courage. If it's courage within yourself, that's amazing, but often courage within someone else who can help you on this journey is just as good. Read, do research and learn that you can do this. Set a goal for five pounds. Set a goal to work out ten minutes a day. Set a goal to cut down your portion size. Set any goal that you can reach and that's related to your health and reach for it. You will meet it. That first success can propel you down the road to thousands of other small successes. One goal on top of another is all it takes to lose 25 lbs. Trust me. I know.

To those who think it's impossible. If you feel like you have too much to lose, too far to go and not enough time to do it in think again. If you lose one pound that means you are one pound lighter than you were. That's less stress on your body and one more pound to your goal. You will never know unless you try. You will never succeed unless you try. You will stay the same unless you try. Just keep in mind, our bodies are amazing things. There are things are bodies do that we cannot even comprehend. We can create life for goodness sake! Give your body a chance to prove to you what it can do. Few things in life are impossible. Sometimes they're just a tad difficult.

If you don't know where to start, you can do some reading online, ask a doctor for advice or question a friend who has lost some weight. There are a million places to start and most of them aren't wrong. You can start by exercise. You can start by eating more fruits and vegetables, you can start by portion control. The important thing is to start.

Once that first step is taken, things can begin to happen. Your life can begin to change. I know because mine has. If I don't lose another pound my life will have changed. I will lose another pound though. I'm geared up for it and my body isn't ready to say "No, this is a good weight now." My mind isn't ready to quit either. For me this is a life journey. I lost part of who I thought I was. I found part of me I never knew existed. And all because I took that first step.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Challenge me

I love having goals to meet. I hate not meeting goals. When I aim for something and fail, I feel like I'm a failure no matter how far I've come sometimes. But, as we mark the halfway point in our BLC challenge, I've learned that even though I feel like I haven't accomplished much sometimes it's a lie.

In six weeks I have lost over nine pounds.

In six weeks I have lost over seven inches off my bust, my waist and my hips.

How can I not be proud of this? How can I not cheer when a pair of pants that were SUPER tight three months ago, honestly that I never wore anymore because I hated how they dug into my waist terribly, fit comfortably, if not a little loose. Btw, I wore those same pants to work today. How can I not shout out loud when I finish my 3.5 mile course of RUNNING. How can I not smile when I climb the three levels of stairs to my office at work and I'm hardly (if at all) out of breath? I just need to think a little sometimes and see how far I've come on my weight loss journey.

This past week I lost 1/2 pound. I sighed a little when I saw that this morning. But then, guess what? It was still a loss. I didn't gain, I didn't even maintain - which I would have been happy with - but I lost 1/2 half of a pound. If you lose 1/2 pound every week, that's still two pounds a month. That's 24 pounds in a year. If I lose 24 more pounds I will be skinnier than I have since I graduated college. Since I graduated high school! Chances are I will lose more than 24 pounds, or at least lose it faster than in one year.

Was it easy? Sometimes. Sometimes not. What was easy was eating the food that I buy to put in the fridge. What was easy was buying things from a list I put together that I know I'll eat and I know is good for me. What was easy was measuring a cup of mashed potatoes for my plate. Four ounces for my meat, and almost all the vegetables I could ever want. I wasn't hungry. I didn't starve myself or deny myself. I ate sensibly. If I really wanted McDonald fries I had them, a small, and mostly only 1/2 of that. What was easy was putting foods into my calorie counter and seeing how it added up. Each of these, one by one, was easy. Putting them together took a little bit of effort, but once I started with one thing to do, and then gradually added others, it still was easy.

What wasn't easy? Getting my butt out the door to run the two miles, then three, now three and a half miles that I had in front of me. But once I was out that door, oh it was amazing. Once I was home and I had sweat dripping down my brow and a smile on my face it was always worth it. When I went downstairs to stairstep and watch 'Friends' on DVD it wasn't always easy. I laughed as I stepped. Afterward I always feel great. I have never finished working out and then said 'I really wish I wouldn't have done that.' When I do my 30 Day Shred, yes, I want to scream at Jillian sometimes. But I'm never sorry when I'm done.

What wasn't easy? Not eating when I would have before. Not eating from boredom or sadness or loneliness. Not going to those M&M's I keep in the cupboard for baking and eating them just to put something in my mouth. But it was easy to make a cup of tea instead. Something for my mouth, something for my stomach and something warm to warm me up.

Choices are both easy and hard. But choices are what the last three months in my life have been about. I have chosen to be healthier. I have chosen to be fitter and I have chosen to change my life forever. Now I'm asking you to challenge me. Challenge me to something. Whatever you see fit. I may fail, I may not meet my goal, but that's one more thing that I think I need to get over. If I never fail I don't think I will ever learn how beautiful it is to succeed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eating my life away

Birthdays, funerals, weddings and breakups. Life happens, these events in life happen and for me they all involve food. When I'm bored, I eat, when I'm tired, I eat more. When I'm sad or happy or somewhere in between I feel the need to stuff my face.

This has been my hardest habit to break, especially the eating when I'm bored part. It makes me wonder what happened to me to make me eat like this?

Maybe part of the problem is that I'm a bottomless pit. I can eat and eat and eat and it can take an immense amount of food to make me feel full. This is why portion control works so well for me. I do have the rare days when I'm just not hungry and I feel full almost immediately, but that happens MAYBE twice a month.

I don't think I learned this behavior. We didn't have a lot of treats around the house. We had meals we sat down to and I always had plenty to eat there. I don't remember seeing my mother or father always munching away. We maybe had chips or something at night after dinner, but that's all I remember.

So then why, when anything happens in life, do I immediately begin to eat it away, to welcome it in with a big slice of cake or to pass time with family and friends only when food is on the table? Food fills a void it's true. It releases those feel-good chemicals that we all allegedly love, but why food? Why, when something traumatic happens or something joyful don't I celebrate by getting my energy up and my heart pumping from a run that benefits my body and my mind? Why don't I go on a walk with family or friends instead of sitting down to a lunch? Both take time, but walks are significantly cheaper and you can talk more 'cuz there's no food to work your way through.

My next step, my next goal that I aim to meet is just being more active in my daily life. To go on a walk with my friends instead of out to lunch. Maybe to walk to church or home from church with my family when I visit. To reach out and be more active in my daily life. Not just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, but reaching out and being more active when happy or sad things occur instead of reaching out for a calorie-filled snack. This is life people. I don't want to say I spent it all eating.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The elusion of sleep

I like meeting goals. I like setting a date or a number of situps or a mile mark I want to meet. When I ran my first 3.1 miles without stopping I shouted out loud (the neighbors probably think I'm crazy) and then cried a few tears of triumph. It meant a lot to me. But one goal I can never seem to meet is getting enough sleep.

I wake up at 4 a.m. to be to work before 5 a.m. To get my eight hours that means I have to be to bed by 8 p.m. In the summer it's not even dark out yet! So I push back my sleep. Most nights I go to bed around nine or ten, anywhere in between there. The weekends are for catching up, for sleeping as long as I want. But then when Sunday rolls around I can't get to sleep at night because I've gotten enough sleep and slept in late and when 9 p.m. rolls around I definitely am not tired.

If I take a nap during the week to get enough Z's in then the same thing happens. I'm too well rested at night to get to sleep on time and then I am so tired I have to take a nap the next day, and, well, it's a vicious cycle.

I know that sleep is important for a healthy life. But it's the first thing I ignore when I want to fit more things in my day. When I want to spend more time with the SO sleep goes out the window. He's what I call a regular worker. He gets home around five and then that's all of three hours that we maybe spend together before I'm off to get myself some dream dust.

If I stay up late, my work and my attitude suffer the next day. Not to mention that I have some trouble with depression and two sure-fire ways to help keep it at bay are to get enough and to exercise. But, while all the changes in my life are making me healthier, the only time I really feel deprived is when I know I should go to sleep, but like a little kid, I can't make myself stop. I almost need someone to tell me, "You've had enough, it's bed time. Now go brush your teeth."

So sleep is that elusive goal. I eat my vegetables, I sweat it out down in the basement or on my route outside. I get my complex carbs and my calcium and all that fun stuff. But good ol' sleep? Let's just say dream dust doesn't grow on trees.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back to the 170's, with hope

Over five years ago I met one of the most wonderful men in my life. The only man that might surpass him is my father who is a gentle, quiet and strong spirit of a man, but it's a super close race. We've known each other probably close to six years and in November we will have been together "officially" for five years.

He makes me laugh, he holds me when I cry and he deals with all the nonsense I bring into this world that I live in. He loved me when I was 160-something and thought I was fat, and he loved me when I reached 205 and when I knew I needed a change.

After three more pounds I will be in the 170's. I have not been there since shortly after the SO and I started dating. It's a milestone for me because of how I felt then. I felt fat, I felt like I would never be smaller like those other girls and I just felt unsatisfied with my health. At the same time I felt sexy. I know now that I didn't even think about my weight except for when I was trying on clothes or trying to find an outfit to wear to work or out for a fun night. I didn't think "oh, I'm fat." I smiled, I flirted, I laughed and I made no apologies about it.

As the pounds came on so did more frowns. I pulled away, didn't reach out to people to make friends as much. Those closest to me will probably say I haven't changed, and around them I haven't because I feel protected. I know they love me no matter what. I love them with all my heart.

The 170s are so important to me because they represent a time when I felt more carefree. Granted, I didn't have the bills or responsibilities I have now, but I was more open with my heart and I was more willing to befriend someone. I was a better friend, not because I weighed less but because there was less weight on my heart.

People at work call me PollyAnna sometimes because I want to see the best in people. My friends say I should be less naive about some things because I end up getting hurt when I place my trust in people who may not deserve it. My family laughs at my antics because they know my heart. I refuse to change. I refuse to give up on people just because I may end up a little hurt. I refuse to stop trusting just because someone hasn't earned my trust. And I refuse to give up hope for a better tomorrow, for a better person, for more achievement and possibilities and opportunities that may exist right around the bend.

I have hope. I literally am faced with hope every day, I have the pleasure of seeing it in my name. My parents blessed me with the middle name of Hope. Maybe they knew how much hope would mean to me. Maybe they knew how much I would need to reach out and grasp onto hope sometimes when my life felt the darkest. Maybe they felt called to give me that blessing. To bless me with hope and to see how it carried me through my life. Whether they knew or whether they just hoped, that name and that thought has meant more to me in my short life than I believe they ever dreamed possible.

On the same note, My parents gave my two sisters the middles names of Joy and Faith. We are drawn together because we are sisters, but we are drawn together because of our names. The middle names have remained even though my sisters' last names no longer resemble mine!

Back to the 170's. To me, these names represent how I feel about the next turn in my journey. I have faith that I will find hope again right around the corner. I want to see the joy I had when I carried a lighter heart. I want to find that part of me back and raise it up and laugh and cry and shout out when I find it.

This journey is about weight loss, sure, but it's about finding parts of me hidden in day-to-day life. Some parts I thought I had lost. Some parts I never even realized were there. I never realized I was this weak. I never realized I was this strong. What I did know was that I wanted change, I needed change and to find myself n the past and in the future was the best way to bring about that change. I can't wait to see what I find at 170!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Darn butt muscles

Okay, so I went out for my run and, pulled a butt muscle. Yeah, I'm really excited. I was 1.25 miles out, so I got to walk the 1.25 miles back, butt (heheh) now I'm icing it.

The Story:
I was feeling great, my pace was really strong, it's chilly and windy out but there were intermittent patches of sunlight and it was just a gorgeous day to run. The beach boys just finished Barbara Ann on my MP3 player, I love that song, and I felt my hair on the top of my head flopping around.

What? My hair is flopping around? That's why I have this stupid headband on! I stopped, looked back, and there it was, 10 feet behind me. I walk back to get it, bend down and WOOOT my left buttocks is SORE! What? I just bent down! I tried to walk another block to the stop sign waiting for me, jogged a couple of feet to test it out, nope. Bad buttocks, bad!

So I walked back home and now I'm sitting on an ice pack. Let's just say my butt's a little chilly.

Let's just hope I just need to sit on it for the day and then I'll be fine. I want to keep running, I want to be comfortable when I sit and most of all, I want my buttocks back.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Feeling the fullness

When I sit down to eat supper with the SO it's almost always with Wheel of Fortune on the TV. We talk, we laugh, we solve puzzles, but I don't really concentrate on what I eat. I set out my portions so I know I'm not overindulging, but I seldom ask myself in the middle of a meal if I'm full or not.

Part of my issue is that sometimes I have a hard time getting in all my calories. If I'm full halfway though my meal, how do I get more calories to make sure that I'm eating enough? If I stop, I might fall below the 1500 calories Spark says I should eat. I eat healthy foods normally, not a lot of junk, so I have to eat more vegetables, more grains and more of everything it feels like to get all my calories in.

The other part of the reason I don't pay enough attention to if I'm full or not? My name is Jessica and I'm a plate cleaner. I've said this before. I'll probably say it again! If there's a sweet that's not up to my standards, I'm getting better at just saying "It's not worth it" and getting rid of it. Not so much when it's chicken alfredo and I've made it for supper. I love chicken alfredo, I want to eat the chicken alfredo, and if I don't eat it and there's not enough for leftovers I just end up throwing it away. I hate that. I've learned to eat less, portion what I eat so that I'm still pretty much full all day. I know I'm saving money just because I'm not eating three times the amount of food that I'm supposed to eat, but I still hate throwing food away.

Any plate cleaners out there have any helpful hints?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Volleyball and Wicked

I had my first volleyball game in eight years last night. I decided a month ago to join the team at work that plays in a volleyball league. I was nervous. Like I said, I hadn't played in eight years, since gym in high school. Wow it's been a while.

I had such a blast. OH my such a blast. The people on the team are people I absolutely adore at work, so I had fun with them. It was good to be out with a bunch of people, playing volleyball, albeit losing at volleyball. I didn't care. I had fun, got my third serve over the net, and I know I'll get better as the season goes on! It goes all the way until Spring, so I have a while to improve. The paper also has a softball team and I think I'm going to ask if I can be on that, too! I was surprised by how much fun I had, and how relaxed I got once I hit the ball over the net for the first time. I don't know how much of a chance we had. The shortest person on the other team (guys and girls mixed) was taller than the tallest person on our team, but it was great.

I used to be so scared to go out and do things like this. I sang in high school and in college and then that wasn't a big deal to me, but sports? Activities that involved physical stuff? That always unnerved me. I'm a bit of a klutz and not athletic in any sense of the word. Getting out of my comfort zone there is a huge accomplishment for me.

Also, I found out that I get to go to Wicked in Des Moines in a couple of weeks. A friend of mine can't go for some reason, so our friends asked if I wanted to go. I'm super excited and wish Lisa was still going too, (sorry Lisa! :(....) but I'm glad that I get to go. I think it might be my reward for losing 20 lbs. instead of a new hairstyle.

In both areas, the volleyball and the Wicked I'm stretching myself a little. I get to do things with a group of friends who I see occasionally, but not a lot, and I'm stepping outside my box at work and with physical activity. It's amazing how your life changes when you let it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

-20 and counting

Can you believe it? 20 lbs. gone. That's 1/10 of my weight, In just over 3 months. Okay, I've got to say - even though it is me - that's pretty kick @ss. I realized it today when I did my weigh-in for my Biggest Loser Challenge. I have changed my life in three months. Honestly, I changed my life the day I found this site.

This is me with a new (smaller) shirt and my pants that fit better than the day I bought them.

I can see how happy I look in that picture. I'm so proud of myself because it hasn't always been easy. I'm eating better, I'm exercising, I'm paying attention to my body and what goes in it. I feel like my life will be better in the long run because it's already better now. I have more energy. I can even jog for 50 minute without stopping! I love how I feel when I'm done working out and I love how I just feel better about me.

I may not look a ton different, people are just starting to notice a little bit. Then again, the people who might notice are people who see me every day! The important thing is that I FEEL different. I feel sexier. I feel prettier. When I walk down the street I hold my head up high with my shoulders back. When I jog, sure, people might be watching, but I'm out there and I'm doing it.

The last couple of weeks have been a little hard on me I just felt blah, but I'm back baby! My teammates for BLC posted such nice things on my wall - thanks to all of you for helping me get over my hump - and the people in my life are so supportive. Then today, realizing that 20 lbs. of me is gone for good, it just made me realize how lucky I am. I keep finding out new things about myself. I'm stronger and faster and tougher than I ever though I was. Some times may be hard, some times may make me want to just sit on my butt and eat the brownies cooling in my kitchen (They're going to work, don't worry) but I see how far I've come and I can't quit now!

I'm only a third of the way to my goal and I have so much more growing mentally and losing physically ahead of me. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my journey this far. Thank you for your support, for you motivation. Every time you say good job it just encourages me more to keep going. It inspires me to try to inspire someone else. Every time you leave a message it makes me smile and I realize how many kind and good people are out there who have never even met me and yet want to help me down the road to my ultimate reduction. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

May we all be coffee

I read this on a Web site and thought the story should be posted again:

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.... It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans... She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.... Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way...

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Struggling to move

Things I'm finding difficult:
Getting off my butt and working out.
- there are no excuses. I get on here and see the wonderful things people are doing or I see people on TV and think, I can look more like that and I have to get off my butt and do it. I could use some more enthusiasm though. Btw, my 6-mile run/walk yesterday Kicked. My. Butt.

Eating Healthy foods
- Part of this is because it's that TOM. Always an issue when it comes to my eating will power. Part of it is because, like I said, I just have no motivation right now! I got on the scale and weighed yesterday just to check it out, 'cuz I'm lame like that (I know my weigh-in isn't until later!) and it still didn't make me happy. Was I glad I lost weight, oh yes, of course! Was I as ecstatic as I once would have been? No. Maybe because it's become more normal for me to be reducing in circumference. Now that I definitely should be glad of!

I'm going through the motions, I'm doing what needs to be done, but there's not a lot of excitement for me right now. I know it's good that I'm still doing, that's part of life now, but I wish I would just smile more about it.

Part of this is the changing of the seasons. I love fall, it's my favorite season of the year, but the less light we have during the day, the more slanted that light becomes the less happy I am sometimes. I get done with a run or my 30 Day Shred and I feel great. There's a perma-smile on my face. I know that I can't give that up because it helps me so much. I love how I feel when I'm finished working out for the day, so that helps keep me going.

I remember the first week on Sparkpeople. I was so into it, so full of energy and just excited to be changing my life. Like anything new, the wonderfulness wore off a little. I'm still so glad to be doing this and to see my body changing and the pounds melting away (well, sweating away) but my initial spark has been dampered a little. Thank you all you wonderful people on Spark because part of what keeps me going is you! Your motivation, your virtual smiles :D and all the wonderful things that I see all of you doing!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

And she's off; 6 miles, right around the bend

At least, that's my goal tomorrow! Six miles, not necessarily running the whole thing, but I hope to have the whole thing run in the next couple of months.

So, story. If you've read some of my blogs you know I want to run a 1/2 marathon next year in Des Moines, IA. I'm in love with running. So, I'm moving toward that goal! I mapped out a new route today and it's six miles. Three miles out, three miles back plus a little warm-up and cool down. I'm excited because it's out and back so if for some reason I really need to turn around at some point I can. I didn't really have that luxury with my other route.

My other route is four miles. I can do the whole thing now and I'm looking for a little more challenge. The GREAT thing is, I can still use it for hill exercises, it's HUGE on hills. My new route is a little flatter, which for right now will probably be better on my knees. Also, it's a bike path so the curve of the road won't mess with my knees so badly either!

Can you tell I'm a little excited? More excitement? It will be so easy to add to when I get past six miles. More excitement? When I run the whole six miles it will be HALF of my HALF marathon!

Another plus, the SO knows this route too now so if it starts raining or he gets worried he can just drive it and find me in a snap. Now. Can I ask for some advice? What do you guys carry on you when you go walking/running? Right now all I carry is a water bottle and my little MP3 player, which really weights like two oz.! I know people talk about ID's and phones and things, what's the low down, what do I need to know?


Monday, September 21, 2009

Loving fall

It's beautiful here in Iowa right now. Crisp and cool in the mornings and the evenings with some heat thrown out in the middle of the day. Goodness I love fall weather. I loved it last night when I went on my run, too. The leaves are changing and it even just smells different outside. Those 3.5 miles went by pretty quickly. Mentally I was in the zone, physically I did it faster than I have before! I'm no speed-runner, I probably never will be and honestly, turtles might be able to move faster than I run, but it felt good! I love fall. It's my favorites season.

I love the freshness that fall seems to bring with it. There's a cleanliness about it that just speaks to me. You can look anywhere and everything seems to be coming to fruition. The crops are ready for harvest, the trees are exploding in their last final burst of color before the white of winter sets in. Everything is getting prepared, getting ready. I know birds are starting to disappear for warmer climates. Animals are getting fat or hoarding for when they know they need it. I just love the feeling in the air. It's sassy.

Many people feel like spring is the time for rebirth and rebuilding. I think it is too, but I also think that without fall and winter there is nothing to rebuild. Fall is what the whole season looks forward to. Winter cleans everything up so that in spring, when it's time to find those new little buds on the bare trees everything is just ready to go.

This fall and winter I'm preparing. Next summer and spring I'll still be preparing. I'll be preparing for all of the changes that I'm making and I know that I'll be preparing for the rest of my life, but every fall I can be reminded of how far I've come, how far I've bloomed. Fall is made to be remembered.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm going to make it

I used to love watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary was pretty, energetic, so sweet and nice, but she wanted to do well in life. Her boss, the big gruff Lou Grant, Ted, the idiotic news man, I loved it all. Most of what I loved was how Mary faced life. She had ups and downs, she got bruises from some of her falls, but she smiled, and oh how beautiful that smile was.

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it's you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don't you take it
You're gonna make it after all
You're gonna make it after all

How will you make it on your own?
This world is awfully big, girl this time you're all alone
But it's time you started living
It's time you let someone else do some giving

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don't you take it
You're gonna make it after all
You're gonna make it after all

That song has such inspiration and such hope. I love it when it says "But it's time you started living / It's time you let someone else do some giving" because that's where I am. I love the people around me and sometimes I just give of myself until there's no more left of me for me. I lose all my energy, lose all of my drive for myself because I've given too much away. I need to live. I can still help, I can still love and I will definitely keep smiling, but I just need to keep a little for me.

I'm going to make it. After all life has thrown at me, after all the obstacles and miracles and sad and beautiful things that have happened I'm going to make it. I can do whatever I set my mind on. I can change my life, change my patterns and make tomorrow so much better than this beautiful day already is. I'm going to make it, and so are you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Running Fiend

I accomplished a personal goal the other day. I ran for 50 minutes straight. Right now I'm not quite sure how far I went, only that I got done with my regular route and I just kept going. It felt amazing.

About halfway through my regular run, coming up the BIG Hill I eat for breakfast (Thank you MINKEOR!), the hill that makes me cringe each time I come near it, I got a second wind, that lovely beautiful second wind that every talks about and that I've never experienced before. My calves didn't ache anymore. My breathing was even (well, for jogging!) and I knew I could just keep going. So I hit the straightaway. Normally when that's finished my run is finished, but I kept going. It was amazing, I just kept going. At one point, near the end, I knew I was going to be sore the next day, but I was almost done so I just pushed myself a little more and made it though.

As I walked my cool down I just thought about what I accomplished. I've said it before and I'll say it hundreds more times. Our bodies are amazing things. Just when I thought the run would be the hardest of my week it turned out to be the best. I got home and I just couldn't stop smiling. I looked at the clock, realized how long I had been out running and just smiled even bigger. What a sense of accomplishment. The dread that I felt before the run because my calves were still aching from the previous day was almost forgotten with the euphoria I felt.

When I thought I was going to disappoint myself and almost didn't go because of it I ended up having the best run I've ever had. I almost missed out on that. I pushed myself through because I promised it to myself and because I didn't want to let my Saucy Sapphire teammates down and it turned out so well. What I would have missed if I would have let my thoughts get to me. What an amazing thing I would have missed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Breakfast, ugh.

I don't know if you can call Hardee's breakfast really breakfast, but that's what I had today. Oh, just a sausage and egg biscuit and some cinnamon raisin things. The same breakfast I've had hundreds of times but then normally I also would have had orange juice and the potato wedge things. So, I thought, I'll have the sandwhich and a cinnamon raisin biscuit. Well, I got the two, one for the SO's dad, but I ended up eating them both. Doh!

It kicked my butt. It's over 1,000 calories! I didn't' look it up before we went. We were dropping my car off to get a new muffler (I love my car, but it's a POS). OH MY GOODNESS! So, I already ate it, too bad for me. So for the rest of the day I'm having one of my favorite meals, baked potato with salsa on it and some mixed vegetables for lunch and for dinner, and some fruit for snacks.

I'm still going over my calories for the day, but only by 100 calories. Oh my. I just feel bad that I didn't even think about it, I just ate it! So, healthy eating for the rest of the day, I think I'm going to clean part of the basement! And I'm going to go on my long run today. The day won't end up too badly after all, but Hardee's still ruined my breakfast :D

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My obese butt

I have one, I can say it's obese because it's what my BMI is reporting right now. I know that BMI is not the end-all to body fat and whatnot but that's the easiest way for me to go. You know the coolest thing? In just one or two pounds, it will no longer be my obese but anymore. It will be my overweight butt. I love it 104

So I have to kick this butt into gear.

Luckily I have a team of wonderful people to keep me going right now. But sometimes I just lose all motivation. Like late last week when I was running. My MP3 player died halfway through my 3.5 mile run and I just wanted to quit. Like, turn around and go back (even though I was halfway finished) quit. I don't know why that happens to me. My brain just starts to talk my body out of the things I KNOW it can do. I had run the 3.5 miles before. The same route. I knew I could do it, but I almost let me talk myself out of it. Other times I have all the motivation, all the energy, all the drive and then I push myself way too hard. Then I have to take a couple of days off just to recuperate from the pounding I've given myself!

I need a happy medium. I want the strength mentally to carry on with this journey to a smaller, healthier me. When I hit a plateau I don't think I'm going to gain, but I could see myself maintaining for quite some time. I want that goal weight. I want to be healthy and I want to be happier because I'm healthy. Sometimes I just see the long bendy road ahead and think there's too much to travel by myself. There's too far to go and those hills, oh those hills might just kill me. My body tells me that it can do more. Every time I work out it can do more, work harder, go faster, be stronger. But my brain is a little lacking in the strength department. Hopefully, in some cases, my body will be stronger than my brain.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Loser? Definitely.

I love food. I overindulge on food. You know what gets me the most? Warm, ooey-gooey cookies, almost any kind, but the best is with melted chocolate. The SO reminded me of the days of yore, when I used to cook three or four pans of cookies, eat one, leave one for him (he's not a huge sweets fan) and then bring the rest to work. Oh yes. I did that.

I love to bake, I love to bring food to work for other people to enjoy, and I can't resist freshly-baked cookies. The SO didn't bring that up to make me feel bad or to remind me of my (past) horrible eating habits. He brought it up to tell me how, even if I wasn't exercising like I am now, he thinks I would be losing weight because

I've changed my eating habits so much. Instead of having 2-3 portions of meat a meal, I have one. I have tons of vegetables, I've always loved them anyway, and my snacks are sometimes crackers and cheese, or fruit. I like baked goods. I can't say I don't, so I do fit them into my calories when I want them. My life has changed, and the SO was just pointing that out.

I have been on since the end of June, and my life has changed so much. I have lost almost 15 pounds. I'm just a couple of pounds away from a overweight BMI instead of an Obese one. I've lost a size in pants and one in shirts. I feel better. I look better. I know I'm more confident. Well, darnit, I'm pretty sexy!

Now I'm beginning a new challenge, the BLC. I want to be a big loser. There, I said it. My plan for the losing? Well, I'm cutting out alcohol completely for 12 weeks. Wowzers, that might be hard. I'm not a lush, but I like to have a drink or two on the weekends. I'm going to keep running 3-4 times a week, 2.5 to 3.5 miles, hopefully getting it up to at least 4 to 5 miles. On my off days, I'm doing the 30 day shred (my abs are hurting from my workout yesterday) and probably stairstepping or walking. This is my plan. I am going to attempt to stick to the plan. I'm going to have some wonderful people helping me with this goal. To all the Saucy Sapphires out there (my BLC team) We're gonna rock this out!

Hello motivation, c'mon in my door. We're gonna have a good 'ol three months to get to know each other!

Happy Wednesday to you!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Homage to my Hips"

Homage to My Hips

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

Lucille Clifton

I love this poem. This poem embodies exactly how I feel today. I feel like my body is strong, my body is amazing and my body can do things I never imagined it would every be able to do.

I am not a size two. Even when I meet my goal weight I will never be a size two. My body is not built like that. But, like Lucille Clifton, I want to embrace my body. I do not need to apologize for the way my body looks. I do not need to make excuses for why my body is different than the ones of the girls in the magazine, for my body is mine, my body it me and my body is lov-el-ly.

Today I feel strong. I feel the muscles moving when I walk, when I sit and when I squeeze my shoulders together, life them to the sky and stretch my legs. My muscles are talking to me now, and some of them are definitely saying that they're sore. But they are mine.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And the announcement it ...

I'm going to run a half marathon.

Wow, it was really hard for me to type those words. Let's just say, it's scary that I will run 13.1 miles next year around this time. It hard for me to realize that I've been sticking with my new lifestyle so well and for so long.

If you ever look at my status you probably saw that I ran 3.5 miles the other day. Then yesterday when I was running at did 2.5 miles in 25 minutes. This is huge for me. My goal since I've started trying to lose weight was to run a 5k. Now that I've run 3.5 miles, more than a 5k, I realize I can do so much more than I give myself credit for. So, now my goal is to run 13.1 miles. 1/2 a marathon. I hope to do it in Des Moines next year for their 1/2 marathon and then whoever wants to come and watch me run slowly can!

This is big for me. This is huge. I know that I can do this, which surprises me sometimes. That I now have that much faith in myself to attempt this run. This is one more thing the journey toward a smaller me has brought.

I've talked to the SO about it. He's all for it. He's so excited that I'm so excited. When I came home from running my 2.5 in 25 I just came in and told him and this huge smile spread across his face. He's happy because he sees how happy I am. Knowing I have his support is huge. He doesn't push, he doesn't nag, he's just there if I need him to be.

So, I've talked to the SO, I've consulted with myself, and now I'm asking everyone else for their support. I want to do this. I know I can do this. I hope that you'll be with me while I do it! I have a year to train, a year to get my running up there. I think that's more than enough time for what I want to do. So, here's to my next few hundred (thousand) steps. Care to join me?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


So, I'm large. I'm not putting myself down, not in the least, not in any way, SHAPE (hahah!) or Form! Okay, If you can't tell, I'm excited. I'm officially wearing a large shirt. Down from Extra Large? XL goodbye! Okay, except for button-down shirts. My chest is too large for button shirts not to gape still. Oh well, it runs in the family.

I have not been a large since the beginning of college, eight years ago. I probably won't ever be much smaller than a large, due to the large chests that run in the family. I'm just so excited though! I'm going to try to get the SO to take a picture of me later tonight in the LARGE shirt that I'm wearing. The thing is, I know it's only a size. I know it's a LARGE instead of an XL, or a medium or a small. But I look in the mirror and go. Darn it I'm sexy!

I have curves. Good! I love curves, but my stomach is getting flatter and those curves aren't all the rolls in my waist anymore. My back is slimmer, it's crazy. I used to think that I had a decent profile. From a front-on view I didn't think I looked so hot because my hips were wider and my chest is large. Then I gained a bunch of weight and I didn't like my profile, my font, my back or anything.

I'm not perfect, I'm not thin, I'm definitely not a size two, but I'm starting to like what I see in the mirror again. Most of the time, it's probably because I'm smiling.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Death of a friend revisited.

One year ago today a friend of mine died. She was 30, healthy, married for one year exactly the day before (Sept. 1) and they were expecting. Life changes so quickly.

She was one of the SO's, Friends' wives. She was one of my first "real" friends here in Waterloo. Not friends with me because the SO and her hubby were friends, but friends with me just because we were friends. She called me if she wanted to hang out. We went to lunch, we texted, whatever. Granted, the SO and her hubby were friends, but she was MY friend.

They say she died from Sepsis. Basically her body was so overrun with SOMETHING (they don't know what) that it killed her. She had spent a long weekend with her hubby in Omaha to celebrate their anniversary. We dog-sat for them. Then they came back. Then she was gone. She had quit smoking, was eating better and was so happy with how her life was finally going. And she was gone.

I'm just thinking about her today. Thinking about how the year would have been different. Thinking about how her life would have been different, many of our lives would have been different. I miss her. That day was so hard. So was the day after it. And the week. And the month. I still think about her. It still makes me cry. I still miss her.

I'm just thinking, life's short. Too short for some.

Monday, August 31, 2009

So long ho-ho

Chocolate, gumballs, cupcakes, cookies, icecream, doughnuts, peanut butter cups and candy bars. Call it out if I missed your favorite.

These are "treats" to us. These are the foods we're supposed to crave when we want something to satisfy our sweet tooth. Do they ever really taste as good as we think they're going to? The last time I had a Snickers I remember thinking I liked the caramel and the peanuts, but the chocolate tasted waxy. With peanut butter cups it's that the peanut butter is really grainy. What about doughnuts? I think I've said here before that the texture is amazing, but what's left after that?

Lately my snacks have been fruit, or I've taken some of the Yoplait Whips and frozen them and then I can have portion-controlled frozen yogurt. The fruit and yogurt fill and satisfy cravings I have. When I have chocolate I never am satisfied. If they could make something that tastes like chocolate that you can just suck on forever I would be sold. I love the taste, I hate the sugar high and low I get after trying to satisfy my sweet-tooth craving.

I have to remind myself time and time again that most things don't taste nearly as good as I think they do. I made my monster cookies to bring into work today, I tasted. Sometimes I can eat a bowl of green beans and when I get done I think, 'oh, my, that was delicious.' I think sometimes I just want snacks like doughnuts and cookies and such is because they're "special" treats. Whatever. My butt doesn't think they're so special when it carries the extra weight.

So why do we crave these treats that really don't treat our tastebuds to any sensations? Are we programmed to want them because they were always special when we were growing up? Do we crave them because they're things we're "not supposed to have?"

What we have to do is retrain our tastebuds. A strawberry has more incredible eye-popping flavor in it than any candy bar I can remember. A nectarine or peach can outdo any doughnut. Then why are we hanging on to food thata can't sustain our bodies in any positive way, and, when you really think about it, we can't enjoy that much either. If my body calls out for some broccoli, should I say no? No way. Fill your body's cravings with the things it really wants. Healthy grains to make your brain and body work better. Some proteins to make your muscles strong, and the fruits and vegetables that put your mind in the right place and help your day to be so much better than a Krispy Kreme will.

it's easy for me to reach for that treat on the table, but it's just as easy to reach for the banana in the fridge. So how do we being to crave the right things? For starters, give them to your body. You'll be surprised by how it will reward you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Facing an addiction

What if it was that simple? The choice between if we want to eat something that we think will be tasty or if we want to be healthy? For many of us the choice is that simple. Over time we realize that the mocha for breakfast or the ice cream for dessert isn't a good choice if we want to lose weight. We realize that if we eat more than we need to, simply to feel stuffed, our body will retain those extra nutrients and convert some of it to fat.

This choice, while not easy for me, is definitely becoming easier. But I also fit in a group called emotional eaters. I eat when I'm upset, I eat when I'm happy, I eat when I'm bored and I definitely eat as a social activity. I'm also addicted to food. While it's fine to celebrate a birthday with a piece of cake if I choose to, I'm not always capable of backing up and saying "no, I've had enough, I don't need it." Much like an alcoholic has a taste of alcohol and finds it nearly impossible to stop, so when I have a taste of certain foods, like, oh, I don't know CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, I lose all willpower and dive in face first.

I have had to retrain my body to eat the way it's supposed to. The other day I went out with some coworkers for lunch to say goodbye to someone who's leaving my place of employment. I got a Gyro, held the cheese and a side of green beans. My boss made a comment about me eating green beans. He didn't mean to be mean or rude or anything, he was just making an observation. I told him I liked green beans. This is the truth. I have a definite affinity for most vegetables. I also didn't order a side of fries because I knew I wouln't be able to stop at just a quarter of my fries.

My addition to food and my emotional eating when it comes to food isn't over. It may never be over. I may struggle with food on a daily basis. But so far I've lost 13 lbs. That is worth it to me. I don't have a simple decision to made when I see goodies in the break room or when I'm at a restaurant. I have a mental war to win in five seconds or less. To eat the fries or to get some fresh vegetables. To pass by the cake or to have a piece, or ten. Like an acoholic I will not get better if I continue to nash on whatever food comes my way.

I have learned that right now I cannot have chocolate chip cookies. Maybe one day I'll be able to add these back into my life, but for now they're off limits. I can have all the fruits and vegetables I want though. I'm not depriving myself, I'm healing my body and my mind when I eat right. But I can't do it alone. So Hi.

My name is Jessica, and I'm a food addict.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vacation and the scale

I'm trying to blame vacation for over-eating. It's either vacation or PMS, or both. I ate more than normal when the SO and I were away this weekend, but I also burned a LOT more calories by being in the water at least an hour or two each day. How did the scale go up then?

I'm not stating my weight as of right now, and since Saturday is my new official weigh-in day (started last week) but let's just say it's up a little bit. It's slightly disheartening. I know it could be complete water weight, especially since it's that TOM. But still. We'll see. So I've kicked my butt in gear again. Two hours of stair stepping today. When you do it while you watch "Friends" it's just so much more enjoyable! Anyway, healthy meals, low-cal snacks. Hopefully on Sat. I'll be back at or lower than my weight from last week!

I have no excuses. I'm on vacation until next Wednesday, so I can't possibly be too tired to work my butt off. I'm cooking all my meals, so it's not like I can't eat right and I'm in charge of this trip up AND down the scale. Let's hope my body agrees!

So, aside from pushing away the hurdle in the road, my day has been great. What about yours?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Get over yourself

I was on vacation this past week and I had to do just that, get over myself. My family and I were at Okoboji in Iowa. It's a lake. A beautiful lake. At lakes, most people swim, tan, tube (or ski) and ride in boats. In most of those things you wear a swimsuit. I had two choices, wear regular clothes the whole time and participate in boat rides but nothing else, or wear a swimsuit and have a grand old time.

Which do you think I did?

And OH did I have fun. I went swimming for hours each day we were up there. I went tubing in the cold cold water - the water in the lakes is from a glacier - and I went out on the boat all of the time and didn't have to worry about getting my regular clothes wet.

My dad and the SO and I all lined up behind a pole on the docks. We were joking about trying to hide, because none of us are small. I honestly don't think you can see my dad. We laughed our butts off about that. Oh, the fun I would have missed out on just because I would be too worried that people would make fun of me in a swimsuit, that they would think I looked disgusting. They are my family! Man, if I can't be in a swimsuit in front of them who can I be in a swimsuit in front of?

I would have missed out on hours of activity, hours of laughter, and hours of pleasure just being beautiful 'ol me! I had a decision to make when I went on vacation. Am I going to let my fat continue to control me? Am I going to let myself miss out on activities that might help keep me more fit, not to mention the fun that went along with them because I was ashamed of myself? Uhm, no. I didn't think so.

I will not miss out on life because I think I'm too big to enjoy it. I will not miss out on fun because I think I'm too big to participate. Isn't that what this whole healthy trip is about? I'm changing my life, I'm changing my attitude. I will not be controlled by what I have left to lose. If someone had a problem seeing me in my suit, well, they can look the other way. I wanted to live my life and not worry about what SOMEONE ELSE who I probably don't even KNOW thinks about me. The fat-haters cannot control me anymore. My perception of myself is done, through, finito.

When I decided to put on my suit I just reminded myself that I am amazing. I am me and I should love myself for that. Yes, I am not a size two beauty queen in a suit. I may never be. Do I love the way I look? No, I never said that. Am I done letting it control me? Heck yeah.

Friday, August 21, 2009

We can DO this

Does it ever feel like the journey ahead is an impossible one? That those 5, 10, 30, 100 lbs. will never come off? That you'll never walk that mile, run that 5k or finish those 100 pushups? Guess what, it's a lie.

I've learned in life that we are capable of amazing things. We can love again and again, though many time we end up getting hurt. We set out, make new friendships, adapt to new environments and have everything turned on its head again because we are strong. Our strength is untapped and sometimes our strength exists in the people around us when we need it most, like at

While our hearts and minds are strong, sometimes our bodies are even stronger. We can go from sitting on the couch, struggling to get on our feet to RUNNING MARATHONS. We can go from not being able to lift 2 lb. weights to having biceps that stand out from the rest of our body.

We have these wonderful minds, wonderful hearts and wonderful bodies and with all of those things, we can DO this! I have 40 lbs. left to lose, maybe some more after that. Sometimes I look at the last two months and think, I've only lost 11 lbs. and I have so far to go yet. But guess what? That means if I keep up my weight loss that in less than one year I will be at my goal weight. One year, a single year. What have I put off more than a year? I can think of a few things. What do I want to do in a year that may have been super hard or impossible when I was 50 lbs. heavier? I can think of Many things.

So here we keep on. Our lives are changing, we can handle that. Our bodies are changing. Well, boy-howdee-do I'm pretty sure I'll happily handle that. Our minds are changing. Sometimes this is the hardest but we will get through it, we will do it and surprise ourselves in the future. Days are hard, some more than others. But think of the people you love, the people who know you and help you and keep you going. With them, with you, we can DO this!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A natural high

Last night I was laying in bed before I went to sleep watching the finale to Top Chef Masters. I love Top Chef. Anyway. I was just laying there and I felt great, I felt amazing. I was a little sleepy and some muscles were aching and as I stretched out my legs it felt so GOOD! And I felt A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I started to think about what brought me there. What brought me to feeling amazing. Well, I was sore, but I felt strong. I was tired (even though I had a 3-hour nap that afternoon) but I felt rested (maybe because of the nap) and I was wearing some newish pajamas from Old Navy that just make me feel sexy. I was reflecting on my day, on my week and even though my week has been long and I've been super tired from lack of sleep and from working out more than I've been used to in year, it didn't matter. I had a natural high.

My workout earlier in the day, eating right, my body getting in tune with my mind, that all culminated to give me a feeling of happiness I haven't fully had in quite some time. I've been pleasant, little happy, LOL happy, down in the dumps and everywhere in between, but this euphoria had eluded me.

It's amazing to look back about seven weeks and see how much my mind has come in balance with my body. How this work that I'm doing isn't just to lose the fat trapped around my waist and thighs but how it's making me better mentally.

This journey keeps surprising me. I keep thinking that it's hard, and don't get me wrong, it is hard, but these pleasant things happen. I feel better, I have more energy (when I get enough sleep) I'm probably more pleasant to be around because my mood is better and I'm more focused. I see more around me, I take part in more around me. I am overcome with moments (like right now) of so much happiness that I almost want to cry. I just am starting to feel "right." Starting to feel like I should. And I know more is just around the bend.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ups and downs

My week so far has been good, and meh.

The good happened yesterday. I ran my whole route (2.5 miles) all the way through. One stop to stretch out my calves a little bit, but even this huge hill at the end that I hate to run because it's ALL uphill was completed. I was just really proud of myself when I got home. It's been since last November that I ran that all the way through. I've been working hard, but it's been so humid that every run has been a major chore. Yesterday the humidity broke and it was wonderful to feel what it was like to complete my route.

My down? My weigh-in this week only had me down one lb. Sucks right? I feel like I've been working out so hard, pushing myself, eating right and then, one lb. I have been doing more strength training, so maybe I just gained some muscle, but I'm just disappointed. I'm wearing different clothes today than normal so I can't say they feel lose or anything like that. Today I think I'm just feeling sorry for myself.

So I have a big accomplishment, running my route. When I get that down pretty well it will go to 3.5 mile and then 4.5 miles. It's a route by my house, so it's easy to do, well, not easy, it's pretty hilly, but I don't have to drive and go somewhere. I can just step outside my house and go.

I know, I just need to keep my chin up, my stride swinging along and those one lbs. will be forty more.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just say no, right?

Doughnuts. Lovely, fresh doughnuts, made merely hours ago sit on the snack table in the newsroom. Oh how I love doughnuts, from the good bakery too, not one of the box stores.

I have just said no to doughnuts, well, hopefully. I don't leave here for a couple of hours yet and there they sit. I've had my snack and my lunch (I go to work at 5 a.m.) and so I should be good to say no. No hunger here. Not when there's doughnuts involved.

That snack table. You walk past it to come in or out of the main room with all our pods in it. And, since they're fresh doughnuts the smell just wafts over to the doorway. Oh my. I love doughnuts. Why is it so hard for me to say no to doughnuts but not so hard for me to say no to cauliflower? When I bite into cauliflower the taste is amazing. When I bite into a doughnut the bite is amazing, the cushiony softness of the dough, but the taste? Plain sugar.

Just like this morning. My boss brought out homemade blueberry muffins for the very few of us (copy-editors, of course) who are here at five in the morning. I was perfectly fine with that as they were small, I could eat part of it and then not go over my calories. My meals planned for today are pretty low in calories. So I smell it, always an important part of eating. Oh, you can smell the blueberries and the freshness with them too! Then I tore off a piece. It was ripe with blueberries, just plain stocked full of them. I took a bite, thinking about the way the blueberries would burst in my mouth and taste so good.

No such flavor.

They were (surprisingly) bland. I threw it away. I was super proud of myself for that. I wanted to eat it, but it didn't taste good at all, so why would I eat it? I keep reminding myself that that's how the doughnuts will taste too. Great smell, nice bite, no taste.

So, just say no, right?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

And the eating began

Oh my, I've kind of sucked it up the last couple of days when it comes to eating. On Friday, I decided to have a cheat day. I haven't had one since last month, I told myself I could have one a month, so, since we were having a potluck at work I thought it would be a great day for a cheat! People bring such amazing food and I wanted a bite of everything (isn't that normal).

so I stuffed myself. And then, I went back for a chocolate chip cookie and more watergate salad. I ate a really sensible dinner and when you check it out on your daily report, I don't think I ate more than my body expended, but at the same time, OMGoodness I ate a lot.

So then yesterday I didn't feel so hot. I didn't feel bad, mind you, but I didn't feel good either. Since I didn't feel good, I didn't feel like making supper. We ordered pizza, which normally I would have a slice and then have some veggies and such and be good to go. Get a slice of pizza and still stay in my calories, maybe even at the low end. I HAD THREE PIECES. Oh wow. Boom, calories blown. I still stayed within the calories my body is burning, so I shouldn't see a gain just from eating 2,000 calories two days in a row, but now, again, I don't feel so hot today.

I don't mind eating right, but I have no motivation to exercise. I'm still going on a walk today. I'm making myself because I know this is a cycle. I'll eat bad, feel bad, won't exercise, feel worse and spiral back those ten lbs. I've lost.

Am I down about not eating so great? A little. Is it going to affect my dream of the loss of 50 lbs? No. That would be dumb on my part! Anyway, Today my challenge will be to go walking. Yay for overcoming challenges!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Treating myself better

I painted my toe nails the other day. A week ago I gave myself a facial. And, this is an overshare, I've definitely been shaving my legs every day. Why is this important? You may ask. Well, it's important because I've been treating myself better since I started working on my health.

Some people may go "ick" at the leg-shaving thing, but I never wear shorts, rarely wear skirts and so, what was the point? The point now is that I feel better. My clothes fit better, I know I look better and so I want to LOOK BETTER. Amazing, isn't it. I gave myself a facial because I wanted to. I painted my toe nails because I thought it would be cute. I shave my legs because it makes me feel sexy.

But why didn't I treat myself better before this? Maybe I can also ask myself why I ate so much. Was it to punish myself for something? Did I just not care about myself enough to decide to be healthy? Was I bored? Was it to deal with some unknown trauma? Right now I don't know the answer to this. I think it honestly might be that I didn't care about myself enough, or that I just thought I was "normal" when my BMI was obese. I ate and didn't think. I didn't move around much and didn't think about it. The only time I really thought about my weight was when I went shopping for clothes. Oh yes, then you would hear me complain and mope and whine and be sad about the body that I gave myself.

But now the times they are a'changin' as I've heard many Westerns state. It's amazing how one good step leads to singles, tens, hundred of others. Taking care of me by looking at the food I put in my mouth and exercising to get myself healthy has pushed into what I put on my face to make my skin soft, what I put on my toes to make me smile, and shaving my legs so I feel sexy and good! Who knows what's next. I can't wait to find out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I wanted a cookie

I was laying in bed, watching one of my shows that I watch in the bedroom because I know the SO wouldn't want to watch it and so I will not force it upon him in the living room. While I was laying there, a commercial for something or other came on. Since my mind was not paying attention to the commercial, I started thinking about the fact that I wanted a chocolate chip cookie.

Now chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. You can make any other dessert you want for me, even triple-chocolate cheesecake comes in second to chocolate chip cookies. I've spent time perfecting my recipe. Just that extra dash of salt, a tad less baking soda, one dash cinnamon, etc. To the point where I love them and they are ooey-gooey-melt-in-your-mouth good. I can whip up one of these batches in approximately twenty minutes (and I'm sorry if I just made any of you want a chocolate chip cookie).

Then I started to wonder if I really wanted a chocolate chip cookie or if I wanted one of them because I was bored due to a commercial taking up three minutes of the show that I was interested in. I was bored. I knew I was bored. So knowing this, why did I still want a chocolate chip cookie.

I went and got a drink of water. By the time I came back my show was back on and I settled in to watch it. Then came another commercial. Thoughts of chocolate chip cookies came dancing into my head. "NO" I don't want a chocolate chip cookie, I told myself. Then I thought of the weight I've lost so far. I've lost 10 lbs. 'Not a miraculous number by any means,' I thought, but then my mind countered, 'But it's still ten lbs. Ten lbs. less than you weighed six weeks ago.' My brain was right.

I wanted to know what ten lbs. looked like, what it really weighed when placed in my hands. I suddenly needed to feel how much weight I had lost. I had three pounds of beef in the fridge to make meatballs for a potluck at work this week and so I darted to the kitchen and held that three pound package in my hands. It was heavy. It was heavier than I expected. I had lost more than three of these put together.

Suddenly I didn't want a chocolate chip cookie. I was proud, not bored. Proud of the achievement I had made even if it was "only" ten lbs. I was proud that I was going to lose another lb, and another, and another. That ten was going to become twenty and that twenty would be thirty, and, well, you get the picture.

I hit a bend in this road I'm on. A roadblock labeled "COOKIE" stopped up my path for a minute, but "FAT" or a little lack of it pushed me passed it. In this instance I succeeded, in others I won't. I just have to keep reminding myself that this journey is not a 1-lb-trip to the local market, it's a trip now forty pounds (not fifty!!!) away. I just need to keep going.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I didn't think I'd feel this way

I didn't think I would feel this way about fitting into sz. 14 jeans. Maybe I should preface this by the fact that I got a new pair of jeans and they're a size smaller than what I've been wearing for at least two years.

Honestly, I went out shopping (Iowa tax-free holiday) to buy a pair of jeans that I could look at and think 'I will fit into these.' Kind of a motivation hanging on a hanger in front of my closet. So the SO (kindly he went with me, he hates shopping) went out. I tried on a couple of pairs, one in sz. 16 where the waist was too big, and another pair that was too short.

I was bummed. So I went back to the jean wall and looked at another pair. I didn't want to try any more on in the store because it was CRAZY busy (again, tax-free holiday) and so I just bought them, in a sz. 14, and we went home.

Well, we get home and I have to try on my stuff. I bought some shorter leggings to wear around the house, comfortable style, this shirt-sleeper thing because I had gotten a gift card for my birthday and I wanted to use it :D You know how it goes! So, the leggings and the long sleeper thing, the SO said all I needed to go into the eighties were some head bands. So true and I love them. Then I put on the jeans. Ok, they go up over my legs, great, I've lost a little there. Then I pull the buttons together to see how far I have to go to fit into them. And they button.


They are a little tight, so maybe I'm not completely in a sz. 14 yet, but I'd say in a week, maybe two, they'll be comfortable.

If you can't tell, I'm pretty ecstatic about it. I know I've been working out, I know I've lost some inches in some places, I can feel my muscles and sometimes I just want to eat until I feel COMPLETLY uncomfortably full like I used to do, but it's worth it. Seeing that size, fitting into a smaller pair at a store I shop at a lot, I love it. I absolutely love it.

Six weeks in, I was getting a little unmotivated, let's say. This just jumps me back in, it makes me want to go and run again like I did this morning! Anyway, I didn't think I'd feel this way. I knew I'd be happy, but I didn't know how happy. It's like I dropped into hundred-ville from two-hundred-ville all over again.

I guess I want to say Keep going, keep moving, keep pushing yourself. It's totally worth it.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I'm sitting at my desk, thinking about what the SO and I are having for supper tonight when I realize that I don't know. The SO told me last night that he would make supper and I wouldn't have to worry about it. Now, I am blessed because he does this, but not just for tonight. He likes to cook just as much as I do, but I plan a lot of the meals because I have more time in the afternoon.

After he informed me that I would not need to cook tonight he did something spectacular. He asked if there was anything he shouldn't make. It took me a second. Why shouldn't he make something? Oh yeah, because of my "diet."

The SO knows I'm changing my life. He sees it when I put fish or a vegetarian meal on the table at least one night a week instead of more hamburger or another steak. He sees it when I take double portions of vegetables and half the serving of meat. He sees it when I eat one chocolate instead of twenty. We've talked about it, about what this weight loss and me being healthier means to me and to him. He's told me time and time again "I love you however you are, but I wish we were both healthier." And now, he's even looking out for me more.

He wanted to make sure that he didn't put something on the table that was "bad for me" or that would cause me to become a glutton in a matter of seconds. I love him for that.

I told him that I can eat whatever I want, just in moderation. Then I rethought my answer and asked him to make sure there were two kinds of vegetables. That was my only requirement and it's something I try to do whenever I make a meal for us. All he said was "ok."

I just feel blessed. Blessed that he's on this journey with me, not necessarily on like I am, but that he's trying to make it easier. Trying to make me last at it. He's right, we could both stand to be healthier. The healthier we are, hopefully the longer we'll live, the more we'll get out of life and the happier we'll be about certain things.

Here's to health.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gotta Keep Moving

In life, in working out, in anything that you're trying to be better at you have to keep going. Keep moving forward, keep trying, keep living and keep on at it. When I had my fun little blah-week last week, I kept on going, and I'm so proud of myself for that.

I'm proud of that fact, that I kept going, because I have a tendency to just let life catch up with me and deter me from the things I really want. I give up and let go and completely regret it down the road.

I didn't want to work out last week. I didn't want to eat right. But I did (other than a few snack attacks brought on by my attitude and that TOM) and this week, while I only lost one pound, I feel so much better knowing that I got through one hard time and that feeling, hopefully, will bring me through others that I might have in the future.

I know that my life is getting healthier. I can feel it in the way I hold myself, in the way those pants that were tight a month ago are getting looser, and in the way I'm thinking. I can have snacks, I can have cravings, I can give into those cravings too, but just a little bit. If I'm craving chocolate I can have a piece. I'm not on a diet, I'm changing my life.

My life doesn't restrict things, doesn't cut out whole foods or groups of nutrition that my body needs, but my new life does require certain nutrients that I don't normally get enough of because I'm too busy putting other things in my face. That's my goal.

I normally eat within my calorie range, when I have eaten out of it I don't feel bad because I'm exercising more than I thought I would. What I don't do is get enough calcium or iron on a pretty-much-daily basis. I can't drink a lot of milk or have too many milk products and I was wondering, how do you guys get some of the calcium you need during the day? What about iron? My fiber is up because I've been working on that, I know I can work on this too, but, as I'm moving toward my goal, anyone have any help they can offer on ways to reach it?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Trudging on

There has been a little change this week in my weight, I measured and the results were good, and while that is great I feel like I'm just going through the motions when it comes to this lifestyle. I know that "they" say people learn from doing, so if I eat healthy and continue to exercise, the habits I'm making will become my life. I hope so.

It's not that things are horrible in my life, it's not that I'm not content with the way my body is changing, I think I'm just worn out. Honestly, I think I just want some added zest today. I want a little spice, I want a little newness. I get stuck in these ruts and then I feel blah.

Summer is coming to an end sooner than I want it to, I'm back at work after almost a week off, and I think newness has some appeal. So, for newness, any suggestions? And advice on how to get rid of this blah-ness today? I'll try anything once!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Empty excuses

I was so busy this week I didn't have time to work out. I just couldn't muster up the energy to get those crunches done. I was on the go all the time and so the only food I had time for was fast food, that's why I haven't lost any weight. My dog ate my resistance bands.

Yeah, I hate excuses. If you didn't work out, fine, whatever. But don't tell me that somewhere in the back of your head you didn't make the choice to not work out, to not decided to walk some extra steps around the house while doing chore, to not order something healthier or smaller at the drive through. And for goodness sake, keep those bands away from that dog!

As much as I hate excuses, why did I find myself using them so much this week?

I painted the kitchen and I'm having a Pampered Chef party this weekend and so I have to clean the whole house and I've been so tired so I really didn't have time. Sound like the excuses above? That's right, they are. Every "reason" is really just an empty excuse.

Empty excuses are like empty calories. They add up quickly but they really don't do anything meaningful for you. Every time I make an excuse for myself I just set myself up for more failure. I can mess up, I can make mistakes, but an excuse doesn't do anything. It just let's me, in my own little world in my head, have a good "reason" why I didn't do something to better my health.

I'm tired. Why do you think I'm tired? Probably because I'm not getting that energy kick workouts normally give me.

I didn't have time. Yeah, but I definitely had time to watch my hour-long favorite show. Who's to say I couldn't have picked up my dumbbells or sit on my ball and get some work done on some muscles, even if it was just during the commercials. Those commercials really add up.

I couldn't make healthy meals. There are healthier choices wherever you go for fast food or sit-down dining. Almost any place you goes has grilled chicken or salads, or both. Skip the mayonnaise and you have some tasty treats anywhere you can drive through or drive to.

Working out and being healthy. We each get to decide where this activity, where this life goal fits in our lives and in our schedules. There are things that may get in the way sometimes, but if I decide that working out is high on my priority list, it will get done. If I decide that eating to be healthy is important enough to be ahead of a lot of other things on my priority list then it will get done. When I decide that "I'm too tired" or "I have too much cleaning to do" I am choosing where I fit, when it comes to my health, on my list of priorities. When I choose to place myself lower on that list then I need to own up to it. Not make an excuse about why something didn't get done.

I hate empty excuses. Hopefully I can place me high enough again that I start to get healthier because I also know that to go back one month to where I was before I started this journey is not going to happen. I know I'll falter in this goal at some point in time just like most others. We fail, then we get back up and try again, maybe even harder this time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Overdosed and frustrated

Oh my. I just had a couple of days to remember, and not in such a good way. Have you ever heard of Pizza Ranch? I love Pizza Ranch. It's a midwest thing, I'm pretty sure, but it was first invented/built/made whatever you want to call it near my hometown. Anyway. My SO and I went down to Ames to visit my sister and brother-in-law. Sister, it turns out, was in my hometown, but we went out to eat with by BIL anyway, 'cuz we love him. The SO asked if we could go to Pizza Ranch. He knows how much I love it, it pretty much reminds me of home, and even though we had pizza a few days earlier, wanted to make me happy. So we went.

Keep in mind I know I'm changing my life, I know that I've been making better choices and trying to live a better life. Most days I'm doing pretty well. Not this past Sunday. I figured I would have salad, a little chicken and some pizza and I would be good on calories. Not.

I had my salad (with peas!), I had about half of a small piece of broasted chicken. Two tiny pieces of Italian sausage pizza, (seriously, little kid sized, they were from the buffet so they eke those suckers out) two cheese sticks and, to treat myself, a little butterscotch pudding. To treat myself, yeah right, like dousing my mouth in grease wasn't enough of a treat. Anyway, I digress. I though, ok, this is a pretty big meal right here, but I'll still be in my calorie range. Whatever. Oh, I forgot the little piece of cactus bread. Another treat.

That meal? My entire calories for the day. FOR THE DAY!

That wasn't bad enough. For supper, since I was in the middle of painting the kitchen was prime rib sandwiches. With fries. And garlic bread. 1,000 more calories. What was I thinking? I know I painted for over two hours, some serious calories burned there. I also know I painted the next day and stripped and sanded a little table, which is probably why at my weigh-in this week I didn't lose any weight but I didn't gain any either.

I just know I overdid it. I completely did. For some reason, when the prime sandwich hit I couldn't just eat half of it like last time, I devoured the whole thing. The same as yesterday, when the SO and I got fast food I ordered a sandwich and forgot to have them hold the mayo. Then did I scrape it off? No. Did I eat half the sandwhich? No. I ate the whole thing again. I thought I was to the point where my body and I were having a conversation about if I was full or not. Maybe I need to listen a little longer and a little harder.

So, the only thing I'm not upset about from my long weekend? My kitchen is painted.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.
- Aldous Huxley

This was my quote of the day today on my google page. It's interesting because my SO and I were just talking about happiness the other day. He said that I seemed happier since I started doing Sparkpeople, and he hoped I kept it up.

Then I asked if he thought that happiness was a constant state of being. Some of you are probably going, 'of course you can be happy forever.' I say it's a lie. I believe happiness, complete and utter happiness can be experiences for moments, minutes and even a few days, but beyond that happiness either goes into the realm of crazy, or it's probably not really happiness.

I had a great argument with a professor about this one time when we were discussing "Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia." Basically Rasselas and his sister set out to find happiness somewhere in the world because they both know they're not happy at home. Eventually, sorry to give it away, they realize they were never more happy than when they were at home. The professor found my belief about happiness to be, as his exact words were "depressing."

I have things that make me happy. Succeeding makes me feel happy. Sometimes I have an overwhelming rush of happiness when I look at my SO and feel all the love I have for him (I know, completely cheesy). When I learn something new, I normally feel happiness. This happiness does not last. I have a feeling, a moment, and then I am back to me, back to my daily life. My life is not devoid of happiness. I am content in my life most days and in most things.

My point? I am happy about Sparkpeople. I know that this may fall to content, and I'm completely satisfied with that, but the SO was right. It has been making me happy for almost three weeks now. I hope it keeps that way, too.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The feeling

I got hit by that feeling last night. The feeling that my food day, my calories all of it was going to go to crap. My day went pretty well. Nothing too out of place. I packed my fruits, got some leftovers (pasta and shrimp, oh yum) and went to work.

At work I remembered that we were going to have a cookout. Brats and burgers. I figured I would go down and help (I'm on the committee that threw it) and have my lunch earlier in the day. I knew that I wouldn't make it to 11 a.m. to eat (I got to work at 4 a.m.) and so it would pan out. Things went according to schedule until about 11 a.m.

I went down to the cookout and helped people with things. Oh the smell was overwhelming. I love the smell of grilling. I heard someone once say that smelling is free and you can't gain any weight from it, so I smelled and smelled and smelled. It hit the spot for a while. Then, three hours after I had eaten my portion-correct meal I smelled the brats again. Oh my, so good. And I had a brat. Just one. No hamburger, no ketchup, just a little bun, a brat and some mustard. But that little bun, brat and mustard packs a few calories. When I put it in the system and found out how many calories I was kind of bummed, but I thought, 'oh well, I'll just eat light tonight, that counts as a (heavy) afternoon snack and I'll still be ok.'

Moved on and went hom.

My SO called. He got a interview for a job and wanted to go out for a few beers after work to celebrate. I wanted to be there for him so I figured I'd just go and drink water. I'm normally the DD anyway so I do that a lot. I went and picked him up (my car was getting worked on) and we went out. As soon as we got there I knew I was going to have a beer. And I did. Just one, but it's 100 calories. Also that night I knew we were going to have mushroom Swiss burgers and fries and little pieces of cheesecake for dessert (one for me and one for the SO). This would have been fine if I had stayed in my calories, but I hadn't. It didn't matter that my bun was whole wheat or that we bake the fries and don't fry them. I was still going to go WAY over my calories. Too bad. I was still going to eat. So here I am, feeling bad, but knowing that I was still going to eat supper.

I could tell myself that I've been good all week but that doesn't cut it. I can tell myself that I've been good all day some days but that doesn't mean that I'll help myself to a 400 calorie ice-cream cone every night. This is the way I'm going to eat, it's my new life. I just can't treat myself to food.

So we went home, made supper. As supper was cooking I had a bite of my cheesecake. Then we ate. The miraculous thing was that halfway through my 4 oz. burger and my fries I was full. I looked down and as good as the burger was, I was done. It was a great burger too, my SO is a great cook, but my body was telling me that I'd had enough. I didn't have more dessert, I didn't even need to have a bite because I'd already had one.

I finally got that "I'm done" feeling that people talk about. I've been feeding my body right and giving it what it wants. Oh it wanted that burger and those fries, it probably would have let me finish that cheesecake if I had pushed it, but it told me I had had enough.

I feel like even though weight is coming off this is even more of a victory. Now I can just stop. I can have some little treat and stop. I can eat and even though the food is delicious, I can stop. I got that feeling, the feeling that I was finished, and I was. Victory was pretty sweet.