Monday, March 31, 2014

The "Best" Diet

Well...here I am...

...thinking about the "Best" Diet.

I was reading a blog earlier where the blogger posted a link to an article that rated and ranked the "best" diets.  Of course, this same organization/website also had an article about sex toy safety!!!

In my past, I've tried several of these plans with varying degrees of success.  I'm a lifetime member of one of them.  Go figure!

Given all the reading I've done over the last year, I think many of the recommendations are misplaced and based on a historical bias rather than results.  But to each his own.  What's the popular saying?  YMMV - your mileage may vary.  I know many folks have success on each of these plans.

I see an endocrinologist on a regular basis because of my previous thyroid cancer.  I loved the endo I had in Texas, but had trouble finding one once we moved here.  I'm quite picky when it comes to doctors and I totally believe that *I* am the one in charge of my health.  Anyway, I found an endo here.  He was okay the first time I saw him, but his true colors came out on subsequent visits.  He reduced the amount of thyroid medication I was taking to the point that I stopped having periods, I became sluggish, and my hair fell out.  The final straw came when he told me that I should eat no more than 1000 calories a day.  It was at that point that I knew he was an idiot.  I never saw him again and wouldn't recommend him to anyone.  Plus, one of his nurses was a real bitch.

So I set out to develop my own plan that I could use to lose weight and then adjust to maintain for the rest of my life.  One of my major tenants was that I had to reduce sugar and it seems to be working for me.  Granted - I think it's working... slowly.  I mean I haven't lost 100 pounds yet and it's been 3 WHOLE MONTHS!!!  What's up with that???

Seriously, I'm always trying to maximize my eating to help me lose weight while trying to maximum my nutrition.  What have I ended up with?  Basically, a ketogenic-type diet.

Most folks think ketogenic, immediately think Atkins, and then think high protein.  But this is totally not what I'm doing.  I'm doing moderate protein with about 20% - 30% calories from protein.  At the same time, I'm keeping the CHO low at approximately 10%; the remaining calories come from fat.  My total calories average about 1750 each day.

I've been keeping track of my intake using Fatsecret.  Sometimes I weigh, sometimes I estimate, but I've been 100% on tracking it.  As far as that goes, if I've decided to weigh my food, I'll zero out a plate on the scale, put the food I want on the plate and then record the amount.

It might sound like I'm a bit obsessive, but I'm not at all.   BUT, I think I might need to be.

I do get a bit frustrated at the rate of weight loss, but I'm not sure it's reasonable.  I mean - I'm losing, my plan is working, I'm not deprived, and I even have some "cheats".  Sounds like a pretty successful plan to me.

If I could stop eating out, I'm almost positive I'd lose faster.  But no one is making me eat out.  It's all a matter of the decisions I make.  What's that saying I quote a week or so ago?  You can have results or you can have excuses, but you can't have both.

I think that fits here.

Onward!

P.S.  I purposely walked more today.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Exercise

Well...here I am...

...thinking about exercise...again.

I've been thinking about the whole exercise ordeal.  And yes, right now, that's how I look at it - as an ordeal.  I'm fully aware that I need to have a major mind/attitude shift concerning exercise.

At the same time, I've been thinking ahead and trying to picture what I would like to do/accomplish in the future. In my mind's eye, I picture myself 10 years from now as an active, fit woman.  I also see a triathlon in there somewhere.  I started training for one right after I quit smoking, but other things got in the way.

It wasn't all that long ago that I was walking regularly, even walking half marathons with my office mate on the weekend.  I'd like to blame my quitting on his moving away, but no matter how much I'd like to blame him, the fault is all mine.

So how do I get from here to there?  That's the question.  I'm starting to formulate a plan that goes something like this:

Right now, I'm in no shape to be taking on an intense exercise program.  But, I gotta start.  After I get to about 240-250, I'm going to hire a personal trainer - I don't care about the cost.   I want the trainer to help me get STRONG - muscle strong.

After I get some strength built up, I'm going to try and start running.  Even writing that intimidates the shit outta me, but if I want to complete a triathlon, I gotta run.  I don't think I would be successful if I were to start running now because I'm too hefty and not strong enough - it would kill my knees and ankles.

So until then, I gotta start taking some steps.

One thing I've done is to wear my pedometer.  It's one of those OMRON ones and seems to be pretty accurate as far as steps go.  Each day last week, I logged more steps than the previous day.  My goal is to get up to the 10k mark.

For the last while, hubby has been dropping me off at the front door of our building rather than walking from the parking lot.  He was doing it when the weather turned bad and it's become a habit.  While he's gone, I want to re-establish the habit of walking from the parking lot .  When hubby returns, I don't plan to ask him to drop me off anymore.  This will mean about 300 extra steps a day.

I have offices in two different buildings.  I'm thinking about walking between the two buildings when it gets warmer.  It's about a mile, so about a 15-minute walk.  Is that wasting company time if I walk?  I'm not set on that yet, but I could probably do it a time or two a week.

One of my offices is on the third floor of a building and I usually take the elevator.  On Friday, I took the stairs, both down and UP!  When I walked back up to the third floor, let me tell you, my heart was pounding!  This is really pretty pathetic.

I am committing right here that I am going to take the stairs, both up and down, from now on.


A while back Crabby McSlacker at Cranky Fitness wrote a post about playground exercise.  Now just let me tell you, her level of fitness/exercise is a bit intimidating, but motivating all at the same time.  Anyway, in one of her blogs (2/27/14), she wrote,

"Just do SOMETHING and then run around and do SOMETHING else."

I've been thinking about that sentence ever since I read it.  So, that's what I'm gonna do:  Something.  Then later, I'll do something else.  Hopefully, one day, I'll be doing a lot! 

Onward!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's been a few days

Well...here I am...

...it's been a few days since I posted.

Gotta stay accountable, so I'm posting on a Saturday morning.

Things are going okay.  The week was a bit busier than usual, so we ended up eating out FOUR times!  If you look at my weight over the last week, it's done the same thing it's done ever time we eat out too much - it doesn't move.

Even though I do make good choices when we're eating out - grilled salmon, veggies, salad, unbattered wings, nekkid ribs - all things with minimal sugar - it doesn't seem to matter.  I think that even though I try to make clean choices, most restaurant food must have preservatives, which make me retain water.

I can feel it in my hands - they feel all puffy and tight.  So I think the scale is just reflecting water weight.

Hubby is out of town for the next week, so I went to the grocery store yesterday to prepare.  I ended up buying a bunch of pork that I'm gonna throw in the slow cooker and eat that while he's gone.  Along with some chicken for salads, I'm all set!

A friend of mine came over for dinner last night.  We ended up making tacos in romaine leaves - they were really good.  It was a fun and relaxing.  My friend is a good cook, while I'm just a poser.  When I put the meat in the pan, she asked about herbs and spices.  We went through the cabinet and I told her to add freely to the pan.  As she added ingredients, I got a little concerned - it seemed like she was adding a LOT of spices and herbs and I thought the meat might be overly herbed and spiced.

I worried for nothing - I mean, SHE is the chef between the two of us!  It was excellent!  After seeing how the meat turned out, I'm gonna have to be a bit more, okay a lot more, adventurous when adding herbs and spices to food!

After dinner, we just sat on the couch and chatted for a few hours.  I haven't had a chill girls' night in forever!  When she left, I went to bed, watched TV, and read for a while.  And then proceeded to sleep until 10 am this morning!

Well - that's it for now.  I'm off to get my friend for the day.  It's raining, so I don't think we'll be spending too much time outside.

Onward!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weighing Every Day

***NERD ALERT***

Well...here I am...

...thinking about weighing every day.

There are about as many opinions on weighing every day as there are people trying to lose weight.

Some folks like the accountability they get from weighing every day, while the thought of weighing every day drives other folks right slap up a tree.

I've discovered that I'm one of those folks who likes to weigh every day.  However, there is a caveat.  That caveat is the fact that I also plot my weight.

In the past, each time I weighed, the weight was compared against the previous weight loss, whether it was from the previous day or the previous week.  Because my brain is full of so much useless information, it was difficult for me to remember much more than that.  As a result, my measure of success or failure was based on two points.  If you know anything about math, you know that two points can't give you the big picture.

For some reason that I don't know, I decided to weigh myself on a daily basis and to record that weight.  Shortly after that, I decided to plot my weight.  Now, since I'm the ultimate nerd  (I even wear plastic black-rimmed glasses!), I keep a spreadsheet, akin to a food diary, to maintain a record.  After I put in my weight, the spreadsheet automatically updates to show new statistics.  I also update the graph on my blog every day along with the weight itself.

Now, mind you, most of these stats aren't really needed, but being a nerd, I like seeing the various numbers.  I've turned into my own science experiment.  The one thing that has been quite informative to me, in addition to the graph itself, is the notes I have for each day.  The notes are simple - whether or not I ate out, if I took some medication other than daily meds, or if I started.  Simple one/two word notes.

One thing I like about the graph is that is really is giving me the "big picture".  I can see that my weight is going down - really going down.  It's not water weight, it's real weight.  It also shows me that my weight fluctuates, which is totally normal.  The graph leaves no question that my weight is on the way down and I'm on a good path.

If I didn't have the graph, I think I would have given up a long time ago.  Some of the 3-4 day intervals in the beginning didn't look so promising, but they don't give the big picture.  Same thing with 7 day intervals - they didn't look so promising either.  But the trend over time is definitely there!

The weird thing is that even though I'm recording a number every day, it's the trend in the graph that I concentrate on.  It takes away the emotional impact of the number, no matter what it may be.  What's the saying?  One picture's worth a thousand words.  That's the case for me here.

There are a few things I've discovered with the graph as well.  The first is that the scale is *NEVER* down the morning after eating out the night before.  WITHOUT FAIL.  That doesn't mean that I'm doing anything wrong because I make every effort to make great choices.  To me, it means that there's additives, salt, msg, etc., in restaurant food that is going to cause me to retain water weight.  As well, I think we can estimate what we're eating, but do we really know what goes into restaurant food?

For years, I've blamed my period for weight gain.  Well - I'm starting to rethink that.  Because if I look at my notes and look at my weight for those times, I've actually LOST weight when I have my little friend.  Even looking at my weight the 2-3 days before I start, my weight is still lower at the end - every time so far!  I think what I've been blaming on my period in the past was really that elbow disease I had!  That elbow disease being bending my elbow so that fork could shovel food into my face!

Now I'm not by any means suggesting that folks keep a daily plot of their weight - not by any stretch.  It's what works for me.  You should only do it if it's helpful to you.

What I am suggesting is that we should make sure we take the longer view of our efforts.  Don't let perceived lack of progress in a week, or even a month, interfere with the real, long term progress that we may be making.  We all know it, but it really is true, we didn't gain it in a day, we're not going to lose it in a day.

Onward!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Visible changes

Well...here I am...

...thinking about the visible changes I'm seeing.

Yup - gotta say, I'm pretty satisfied (right now (subject to change at anytime))  with how things are going.

First, there was this:



Do you know what this is?  This is a picture of me in a towel.  The important thing is that the towel is crossing over the other end by a big margin!!!  There used to be a gap at the bottom of the towel and it was difficult to cover up the girlie bits!  No more!!!!  Just like a man, hubby said he didn't like it - the closed gap that is!  Pfft to him!  I didn't even realized it had happened and I looked down and BAM!

Yippee ki yay!

So THEN, I walked into my closet to get a pair of jeans.  I just *thought* that I might just try on the next size down.  These are a pair of pants I bought several years ago as an incentive.  Well, ding dang dawg - THEY FIT!!!  There's even room in the leg!  WOOHOO!!!

Hi Yo Silver!!!

Well next, I tried on a shirt that I'd previously worn as an overshirt because I couldn't button the damn thing.  What do you know????  It not only fits - it's even a little loose!!!

I Suwannee!!  Suuueeeeeeeeyyyy!

Just let me say, my ass was strutting around the house like I was off the chain!!

So even though hubby and I both slept through the alarm...by an hour!...my morning was recovered pretty quickly.  That, plus a new low on the scale, was a great way to start the day.

Having said all this, we ate out at both lunch and dinner!!!  I'm sure the scale will be up tomorrow.  It ALWAYS is after eating out!

Breakfast was my smoothie.  I'm not leaving the house during the workweek without preparing some sort of breakfast.  Otherwise, there are no good choices for me at all.  There's nothing on a fast food menu that is acceptable to me and we don't have time in the mornings to go to a sit-down restaurant, so breakfast at home it is!

Since we had overslept so long, I didn't have time to prepare salads today.  As a result, hubby and I went out to lunch.  I was trying to avoid anything that would have additives.  I'm not sure I succeeded, but I did the best I could by ordering plain grilled salmon and a salad with blue cheese.  It was good and quite filling.

At dinner...well, what can I say??  It is Tuesday and Tuesday IS rib night.  And we haven't had ribs in several weeks.  Guess what we had for dinner?  Yup - ribs.


I got them nekkid and they were good; but, they weren't the best they've ever been (Do I hear Charlie Daniels?)  No - I didn't eat all of them - just half.  The green stuff is collards - they were okay, but they put something hot in there that I don't recognize.  It's a different kind of spice and I'm not quite sure I like it.  It's quite different from the collards I grew up eating in SC.

So - we finally get home and what do I find??  Comments on last night's blog!!!  I *love* comments!!!  Comment once, comment twice!!  I love all of them.  So please follow and please post!!!

Onward!



Monday, March 24, 2014

Random Stuff

Well...here I am...

...Just thinking about random stuff.

Did you see the scale readings over the last few days?  It's kinda interesting that it's been the same for three days in a row.  Two days I can see, but three days seems a bit out of the norm.  I thought the scale might be stuck, so I weighed again to make sure the weight was the same and then took a big drink of water.  Sure enough, it moved.  So I'm pretty sure the scale isn't stuck.  I still think it's interesting though.

I think I figured out what gave me such an intense headache.  While I do get migraines, this last one was quite different.  I think it was my neck.  I had three herniated disks in my neck along with some stenosis in my cervical spine.  In the fall, I had a series of injections to help with all the numbness and pain, but I think it may be wearing off since I'm "feeling" my neck.   And if I'm totally honest, I haven't been wearing my brace.  Boo me.

As far as food goes, I've not really had much thought about food except what to eat when I get hungry.  I posted on another blog today that I've pretty much gotten rid of most processed foods (except for protein powder).  So with the exception of nuts, if I want to eat something, I have to cook it.  This is a good thing.  I had bacon, eggs, and cheese for breakfast, leftover roast for lunch, and a salad with chicken for dinner.   I do drink a lot of unsweetened tea.

I also came across this website today.  I've already forgotten where I found it, but it's quite interesting.  It's basically a photographic height/weight chart.  The photos are of different folks who've submitted photos of themselves.  Anyway, I thought it was cool.

So I'm talking to my son on Gchat and I say to him, "You know something interesting?"  He answers with, "Helium flash is dictated by an order -40 temperature dependency?"  Just let me say that he gets his smart-assiness from his father's side of the family.  ;-)  He is totally something else and has the best sense of humor!

They say we're gonna get more snow tomorrow.  Enough with the snow already!  This is Maryland, not Minnesota!  We've got daffodils and tulips coming up - I don't want to see them in snow!

That's the totality of my brain for today - hopefully it will hold some more substantial and meaningful thoughts tomorrow.

I'm off to watch The Following and The Blacklist.  The Following creeps me out, but I love Bacon in all forms!  And I think Spader is an outstanding actor!

Onward!

RIP to all the souls on Flight 370.  RIP Stephanie Kirkpatrick.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Because it tastes good

Well...here I am...

...thinking about eating food because it tastes good.

Since I've started on this FINAL journey, I've done a lot of thinking and a lot of reading about food, over-eating, emotional eating, just eating, etc.

I've said it before, but I wonder if I have an emotional food problem or if I just have a self-control problem when it comes to food.  Is lack of self-control an emotional thing?  Is not having food in the proper mind place an emotional thing?

I dunno.  Maybe.  I do think sugar is bad joo-joo for me, which made it sometimes difficult to stop.  But that's physical, not emotional.

In the end, I *like* food.  PERIOD.

It seems that since I've mostly gotten rid of the sugar noise, I'm better able to look at some of the food things in the past with a bit of a different eye.

With the exception of the big C, I don't really recall a lot of emotional eating.  I recall a lot of eating because it tastes good and Boy Hey, don't I like stuff that tastes good?!?!?!  Is eating until you're over-stuffed because it tastes good emotional eating or lack of self-control?

It seems that in the past, I had a lot of mindless eating, eating just that little bit more because it really wasn't enough to save, eating just to eat, getting a large even though a small would do.

I kinda think that I just got into the habit of overeating.  And that habit was a big, bad one!

I hope the control and objectiveness I have about food right now stays with me forever.  I really think the fact that I've allowed myself to be fallible and to eat whatever I want when I choose is working for me.  There've been a few times over the last few months where I've made a "different" choice, e.g., had a piece of baklava, had some bread, eaten fried chicken, etc.  I've just made sure that it was something I really wanted and that I was aware of what the short-term and possible long-term consequences were.

I hope to be able to make it a second nature sort of thing at some point in the future.

To that end, I've been really trying to cut out as much added sugar as possible and to avoid "white" food; yes, including potatoes and rice.  If I had to chose, I'd say the rice is harder to pass up.  I guess it's because I was raised on rice!

Tonight that was put to the test.  YumYucky posted a recipe for "fake" mashed potatoes the other day.  The substitute was cauliflower.  So when hubster went to the grocery store for me yesterday, I asked him to pick up a head of cauliflower.  He was immediately suspicious.

He *hates* cauliflower.

I made the recipe tonight.  It looked liked mashed potatoes.  It had the texture of mashed potatoes.  It didn't taste like mashed potatoes!  I even added some cheese, but there was no disguising that distinctive cauliflower taste.

Next time, I'm gonna go for the real mashed taters!

I still have a bit of a headache, but it's nothing compared to what Friday and Saturday were like!  I hate migraines!

It's been a bit interesting typing this post tonight.  Maggie the Cat decided she wanted to rest her head on the keyboard.


She's such a cutie patootie!

Onward!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

All's Quiet

Here I am...

...glad that all's quiet tonight.

It's been a long day today and I feel a migraine coming on.  YUCK.

I was really shocked this morning when I weighed and he scale was down again.  But hey, I'll take it. 

An article today at Authority Nutrition discussed the amount of protein you should have in your diet depending on your goals:  losing weight, increasing muscle mass, or maintaining weight.  It was quite an interesting article.  My average protein intake is a little over 28%, so I'm right in the middle of what they suggest for weight loss.

I also talked with a friend of mine who is also trying to figure her body out.  She's down 9 lbs!  I was so excited for her!  She's a good support and we've come to understand how to support each other, but still be independent in our efforts - meaning that we don't have to do what the other is doing to be successful.

One of my favorite bloggers, Crabby McSlacker*, has a giveaway going on for TWO books.  The first is Rick Hanson's Hardwiring Happiness; the second book is The Fit-Bottomed Girl's Anti-Diet by Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead.  Both books look pretty interesting to me.  If you think you'd like to enter the giveaway, read Crabby's blog at Cranky Fitness - it'll tell you what you need to do.  It's an interesting, funny, lively blog - always with a message - it really is one of my favs!

That's all I've got for today.  I have to get rid of this headache!

Onward!



*Crabby McSlacker is neither crabby nor a slacker.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Through the eyes of others

Well...here I am...

...wondering what things look like through the eyes of others.

But FIRST!

A new low!!!  I stepped on the scale this morning and it was 268.  I was pretty happy about it - I may just reach the goal of getting to 265 before the end of the month!  That's two large losses over the last two days.  I'm thinking the scale will be up tomorrow.  It's all good.

I had an incredible dinner tonight - tacos without traditional shells, but with whole romaine leaves instead.  Also, I grated the cheese very finely to increase the surface area, so it would have a stronger taste and go further - worked like a charm!  It was so, so good - I felt like I was "cheating" or something.  It was mmm mmmm mmm good!

My yummy dinner!
So...

I'm sitting at work today and I start thinking about my daughter.  She's had a tough time lately and I wish I could be there with her to just hold her and cuddle her.  We talk several times a day and Skype almost every day, but I'd still like to soothe her, rub her hair, and just let her talk.

It led me to thinking about the picture she gave me for Christmas and how much she loved the picture, just wanted to have a picture of us together, and how much it meant to her.

Next thing I knew, emotions were crashing around me and I was crying in  my office - to the point I had to shut the door.  It took me a few minutes to get my shit together.

I've had it so wrong for so long.  I've just wasted so much time on stupid shit that in the end just doesn't matter at all.

Those who love me don't look at me with judgmental eyes.  They look at me through our history together.   They look at me as wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend.  They think of me as loving, funny, caring, loyal, silly, hopefully intelligent, sometimes bitchy, periodically cranky, and a tad crazy.  These are very GOOD things.

They don't think of me as fat.  Their feelings for me aren't defined by my weight; they're defined by our relationship and our feelings for each other.  Hell, I'm crying now just writing this.

For some reason, this is just so overwhelming and I don't know why.  Fuck - I'm 52 years old and I JUST NOW realized that I am not my fat or my weight.

I'm much, much more than that.

Like Stuart Smalley in the SNL skits, "...I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog-gone-it, people like me."  Or Sally Field at the Academy Awards, "...you like me, you really like me!"

In light of that, I feel like I've been released from some sort of chain and I don't have to hide - like I ever really was - since I'm out there anyway.  Like what the hell is up with me now showing my face.  Really why do I give a rat's ass if someone were to see my picture?

So in light of this, here's a few pictures of me with the important folks in my life:

This is the picture that started it all.  My daughter gave me a framed copy for Christmas.  The frame said, "No one loves me like my mom."  After this picture was taken, I started lightening up a bit about the camera.

We were kayaking down the Shenandoah to the Potomac River in 2010.  My daughter says this is her favorite picture of me.  She sent it to me for Mother's Day and said, "This is always cracking me up.  I won't post it to Facebook, but I wanted you to know if I were to put a picture on Facebook...this would be the one.  None of that artsy-fartsy crap.  Caption would be:  Happy Mother's Day to DonnaAnn.  You think you have a great Mom, but I doubt she rocks the life jacket and kayak as well as mine can.  Love you Mom!

I like to joke that this is my 86 year old boyfriend.  He's a dear friend of our family.  He had a stroke in 2012 and lost most of his language.  Since his stroke, I pick him up one day each weekend and we spend the day doing whatever I've got planned.  Every time he sees me, he looks intently at me and says, "so beautiful" while he grabs my hand.  He doesn't see me as any body except someone he loves.  This was his 86th birthday.  He's also Maggie the Cat's papa. 

This is my family the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2013.  As usual, we couldn't all get it right at the same time.  In my daughter's words, "We're all fucktards!" but says that she looks "smokin'!"  My mother was in another picture and said, "It's a happy time and I look like shit.  Everyone else looks great."  My sister said, "You may have been adopted and my son is really tall."  I showed the photo to my husband tonight and he said, "Looks like you've lost weight since then."  My daughter LOVES making that pose.  I think I have some handsome kids.  We're all tall too.  My son is 6'6".


This is my mom and me.  One of the few we have.  The last one was at least 7 years ago.  I originally blacked out our faces so we couldn't be identified.  I don't know what I was hiding.




My seester and me.  She really is THE best sister ever - we've always been there for each other.  We took the picture to embarass her teenage daughter.  Seriously, there's nothing wrong with kissing girls - even if you're a girl!


So there I am.  I see all these pictures now and I really do see them differently today than I did yesterday.

I'm gonna repost my progress photos avec tete!  But not tonight.

Onward!

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Snow Day

Well...here I am...

...enjoying the snow day and the day off because of it!

NEWSFLASH!  I've added some progress pictures.  It's all a mismash on the photo page because I can't figure out how to format the damn things like I did in January.  Plus, I'm using Paint.NET and I've got to get the photos sized up correctly - apples to apples - before I can layer them to get a side by side comparison.  I'm wearing the same pants and the same shirt as in the original.  BTW - my daughter and I were going skiing in the original photos.

In looking at the photos, I think there may be a difference - like I look less "puffy", but nothing drastic.  Don't the boobs look all wampa-jabbered?  I dunno what *that's* all about!  The thing that bugs me a bit is that the original photos are from January 2013, not 2014.  Lots of wasted time....sigh.  There's a picture of my mom and me at Thanksgiving 2013 where it's clear I'd gained even more weight from January.

Anyway...

So the scale was down to 269.8 for about 3.2 seconds and has been up since - thought not by much.  I don't think it's anything to really worry about.  First, there's fluctation all the time.  Secondly, my sodium intake over the last few days has been higher than usual and I believe it's causing me to retain water.  I can feel it in my hands.

My food has been fine.  The only problem was Saturday evening.  We went to the yearly neighborhood St. Patrick's day party.  Every year, there's corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, lots of desserts, and lots of alcohol.  I really prepared myself before going and decided that I would freely eat the corned beef and the cabbage, but wouldn't have anything else unless everyone was raving like a maniac about how good "it" was.  Alcohol?  Meh?  I'm not a big drinker at all, so I'm fine with either water, tea, or diet coke.

I don't know if it's the change in my diet or what, but that corned beef and cabbage was the best I'd ever eaten in my life.  It was so incredibly good that I had a second helping, which left me quite satisfied.  I looked at the dessert table, which was full of a lot of store bought sweets and desserts, but two things caught my eye.  The first was brownies and the second thing was a green bundt pound cake.

When I took a second look at the brownies, I realized they were store bought - so there went THAT distraction.  The cake was a bit more difficult.  I make a seriously kick ass cream cheese pound cake, so I was interested in this one.  Plus, I thought I heard someone say that it was pistachio, so that piqued my interest.  But then, a friend of mine got a piece and said that it was good, but that it was just pound cake.  So there went THAT temptation.  There were a lot of leftovers, so we brought some of the cabbage and corned beef home.

Yeah for me!!!

So yesterday, the scale was up again due to the sodium (fatsecret estimates that I had 6618 mg sodium on Saturday!).  Did I make it any better when I had more corned beef and cabbage for lunch yesterday and actually ADDED some salt???  I must be crazy!!!  When I woke up this morning, I could *feel* the water in my body, but the scale was down a little bit, so that's good.

The geek in me has consolidated all my nutritional information into an open office spreadsheet.  I'm still maintaining a food diary at Fatsecret, but the spreadsheet allows me an instant big picture look.  I'm actually more interested in things other than the calories - like fiber and sodium.  Plus, I only plan to track my food off and on just to check to make sure I'm doing what I think I'm doing.  Anyway, I'd go into detail, but suffice it to say that spreadsheet is over the top!!

I was reading an article about weight loss the other day and it left me with a question.  The article said that excess sodium will keep you from losing weight.  Were they just referring to water weight or were they talking about ongoing weight loss?  Is it a one time deal?  If I cut back on the sodium, will I lose weight faster?

In terms of weight, I didn't really think it would do anything except get rid of water weight.  I looked at a bunch of different journal articles to get the 'skinny'.  And I was right, it's the water weight only.  However, given that lots of processed foods have higher levels of sodium, there's an association.  So perhaps if you get rid of processed foods, you'll lose weight.  Plus, higher sodium is associated with higher blood pressure - so is having a fat ass - but I digress.  My sodium intake for the month so far is 2373 mg/day with a low of 716 mg and a high of 6618.

I guess the biggest accomplishment of this snow day though is that I actually exercised.  It was only 15 minutes, but that's more than I've been doing and it's a start.  I just did some walking for about 10 minutes and then 2 sets of curls with 15 lb weights.  Like I said - it's a start.  Yeah Me.  Maybe I'll check out YumYucky's youtube videos!

Onward! 


Friday, March 14, 2014

The Scale, Part Deux

Well...here I am...

...thinking about the scale again.

So, I get up this morning like I do every morning...swearing that I've got anal glaucoma!  Alas, it never lasts.

I use the bathroom and step on the scale.  It said 269.6!  I was happy, but didn't believe it at all.  Weighed again - 269.6.  Now I'm wanting PROOF of this - something that I can go back and look at.  I grab my phone, get the scale set, and step on the scale.  Damn thing says 270.0.

Well shit.  Here we go again.  I could stop and take the best two out of three, but I've kinda committed that I'm going to take the last weight before I drink my coffee.  I step on the scale yet again and it says 269.8.  Several more times and it remains at 269.8.  So I'm good.

I took a picture of it and even had Maggie the Cat as a witness!

Below a zero!!!  Whoop!

I've gotta say, I'm happy to see the scale dip below 270.  Of course, in all likelihood, it will go above 270 again as my weight slowly zig zags on its "weigh" down.  I've also gotta say that the scale experiences this week have left me feeling a little silly.  I'm not sure it's a good thing to have the behavior I've had this week regarding my weight.  Surely, it's okay for me to feel positive about it, but I don't really like that I've basically "danced" with the scale two days this week - it's not about chasing 0.5 lbs, but in essence that's what I've done.  It's purely emotional.

The thing is that I know better.  All I have to do is look at my weight loss graph.  The only thing that is really important is that the scale is trending downward at a steady pace.  Sure, there's variation because there's variation in everything.  And that's okay.

For some reason, I really like my weight loss graph.  It gives me confirmation that things are going in a downward trend and if I'm doing the right thing, I don't have to worry about the temporary upward fluctuations because the overall trend is downward is downward at a steady pace.  But mostly, looking at the graph makes me feel good...accomplished...successful.

Know what bugs me a little though?  I'm "officially" down 19.2 lbs; unofficially, it's more like 25 lbs.  I can feel the difference in my body - it's easier to move, my clothes are looser, I'm a bit more comfortable overall.  If my goal is to reach 175, that means I've lost 16.7% of the weight I need to lose.  This isn't anything to sneeze at by any means!

But no one has noticed.  :-(  I'd love to hear someone ask, "Have you lost some weight?"  That would make me feel good.  I guess most folks see me every day, so they don't really notice because it's gradual.  I *TOTALLY* get and understand that.  But still.  It seems that the loss would be noticeable.  I guess when you have a great deal of weight to lose, you have to lose a lot before it's noticeable. That sucks.

So until someone notices, I think I'm good with the self-identified changes.  Those are probably the most important anyway.

Oh - wanna know something goofy about my losing this weight?  I've always been one to get retain water in my ankles, which then turn into cankles.  Well, I must have stretched my socks out because the damn things won't stay on my feet.  They slip off my heel to the middle of my foot.  I've been having to take my shoes off several times a day to put my silly socks back on.

Finally, I love that song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams.  In addition to the regular video, he has a 24-hour video of the song and I'm loving it!!!  Seeing all the different folks moving, dancing, and expressing themselves is so cool.  I wanna do that too!!!

Onward!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Great Bacon Dare

Well...here I am...

...thinking about The Great Bacon Dare.

So the story goes like this.

Hubby always gets up first in the morning.  He likes to piddle around the house, read the news, do some work, make coffee, let the dogs out.  Me?  I'm a slug and stay in bed as long as possible!  I think it's the secret to the longevity of our marriage!

After I'm ready for work this morning, I head downstairs and I see hubster holding a plate and eating eggs and bacon!!!  He had cooked!!  I said, "Bacon!!!  Nom, nom, nom!!  I love bacon!" and took a small piece off his plate. There were several pieces left on the stove, so I took another small piece.

Hubster and I were talking about bacon in general as I started to make my smoothie.  After a moment, he said, "you should put it in your smoothie."  Like I wouldn't do that?!?!!?  In reply I said, "Do you dee-dawg-double-dare me?"  He said he was.  I didn't say anything further and continued making the smoothie.

Now I have a very particular order in which I add the ingredients.  After I made the initial mix of the bulky stuff, hubster said, "I knew you wouldn't do it!"

WELL...LET ME TELL YOU!

I walked over to the stove, grabbed the remainder of the bacon, and threw it in the blender!!!

You just can't dee-dawg-double-dare somebody and expect them to back down.  ESPECIALLY when it comes to bacon.

My morning smoothie with bacon!
Anyway, I finished making the smoothie and drank it.  To be honest, it tasted exactly the same as it always does (else I've got some messed up taste buds).  The only thing I noticed was that there was a little bit of bacon every once in a while.  But really, it was like a snack during breakfast!  Now if I didn't *know* that my smoothie had bacon in it, I might have been a little worried.  But I did, so I wasn't.

The scale - pffftt.  What can I say?  It was down to 270.2 yesterday and I was quite happy, but given the day before, I wasn't going to get overly excited less the scale goes up 20 lbs in 5 seconds.  It's been known to happen in a another universe...I'm sure of it!

I had dinner with a friend last night, so I expected the scale to be up this morning and it was.  I'm okay with it.  The night out with my friend and just the relaxing dinner and conversation was a lot of fun.  I rarely get to do this, so it was totally worth it.

Besides, the scale will go down.

Three other things happened today that I made a mental note about.

The first was that I visited hubster's office today.  He's only at the other end of the building, so it's not like I had to drive or anything like that.  It's just that I usually don't need to venture that way, but we needed to have a work-related chat.  Anyway, the admin in his office keeps the place STOCKED with treats - candy, pretzels, etc. - SUGARY stuff.  I looked at the bowl but without any thought in it.  When I didn't take anything from the bowl, the admin took out a huge bag and wanted me to find something I liked.  I had to tell her that I truly didn't want anything and that I had quit eating anything with added sugar.  The point being - it wasn't a struggle at all to turn down the candy - even when she pushed to take some.

The second was that the 3 boxes of thin mints I bought were delivered to my office today.  I had forgotten all about them.  This was a little more tempting, but not hard.  I gave one box to a colleague; the remainder are in a bag in the car because I forgot about them.  I'm going to have hubster give them to his admin!  That'll teach her!  ;-)  I think that's a win of some sort, don't you think?

The third is the hardest.  I've been on this path for a while now and I'm getting comfortable with it.  Not comfortable in a neglectful sort of way, but comfortable in a satisfied sort of way.  There are things I do and changes I try to adopt along the way - some are easy, some are hard.

Well, tonight when I got home and was changing clothes, I decided to take my measurements.  I pulled the tape measure out of the sewing kit and took 2 measurements.

Then I stopped.  It was making me quite unhappy and made me feel unsettled.  It was that old, familiar, doubtful, uneasy feeling that the road is too hard, the time is too long, the work is too hard, and I don't have what it takes to be successful in a permanent, lifelong sort of way.

I don't know what it was about taking the measurements that bothered me so much.  I've taken measurements before and never felt like this at all.  In any event, I HATE THIS FEELING.  I'm glad I stopped.

But DO take note:  THAT INSECURE PART OF ME CAN KISS THAT SECURE PART OF ME'S ASS!!!

That is all.

Onward!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Scale

Well...here I am...

...thinking about the scale!

My bathroom scale

So the story goes like this:

I get up this morning, use the bathroom, and then step on the scale.  It says 270.6!!!  I was ecstatic!!
I step off the scale, step back ON the scale and get the weight again.  It says the same thing.  270.6.  I put both fists up in the air.  My husband, who was shaving at his side of the sink said, "Must be good news."

Here's the crazy part and it is indeed TMI.  I said to him, "I've got to poop!!!"  Now, I didn't need to poop, but I wanted to lose another .8 lbs to get below 270!!  So, I go back into the bathroom.  Well, of course, I'm not going to be able to do anything.  That's not something I'm gonna be able to force.

So okay - I realize I'm being a bit...a lot....stupid about the whole thing.  I regain my sanity and then weigh for a third time.

271.2!!!

The damn scale went UP!!!  And I didn't do ANYTHING!!  I didn't drink any coffee, I didn't put on any clothes, I didn't do ANYTHING!  I weighed for a fourth and a fifth time and it didn't budge.  271.2.  So that's what I recorded for the day.

*I* think it was some sort of karma or cosmic justice teaching me a lesson and telling me to calm down!  My weight loss has to be the result of a real loss and not the result of emotional pooping!!  Emotional pooping!  Have you ever read THOSE words phrased together?  Bet not!

Anyway....(in my best Ellen DeGeneres voice)

So - if a horse gets bitten by a rattlesnake, is it as dangerous as when a human is bitten?  That question popped into my head earlier today as we drove by a field and it's been coming in and out of my thoughts sine then.

I've been tracking my food for the last week.  With the exception of the blowout last Friday, I'm averaging about 1730 calories a day.  I'm actually eating more calories than I thought I'd be able to eat and still lose weight, so that's a great surprise.  I don't track the calories until after I've eaten, but I do record the masses of my food.  I'm going to track for a while longer, but I'm not obsessing about it.

A colleague of mine told me one time that we were "decimal chasers".  To that end, I love numbers, I love manipulating numbers, I love understanding them.  That's why I've got a straight line, a trend line, running through my weight loss graph.

A few other nerdy things I calculated today were my average weight loss by day.  Turns out that it's 0.16 lb per day.  As well, my BMI is 39.47.  According to Wikipedia, I've moved from Obese Class III (Very severely obese) (BMI >40) to Obese Class II (Severely Obese) (35<BMI<40).  That's an accomplishment for sure, but the language seems a bit ominous and severe.  Plus, I'm not sure how much faith I put into BMI, but I guess it shows progress via a different number.

Back in November, I planned to buy some black pants to wear at a national meeting I was going to attend.  Most of the attendees at this meeting are male and usually wear suits.  Well, I'm not suit-wearing gal, but I needed to dress it up a bit.  Anyway, I couldn't find pants that fit around my ass that were also long enough.  There was no way in hell, I was gonna wear too short pants, so I ended up buying some very dark wash jeans.  The jeans were from Lane Bryant and had some sort of new fangled technology to make me instantly look 100 pounds lighter.

They were size 22 jeans and they.were.tight!  However, I liked the jeans, they did indeed help my tummy a little and gave me a less fat profile, so I bought 5 pair total.

Fast forward to now, I think I can safely say that those jeans are officially too loose.  I put them on and they're not tight at all.  They're loose in the leg, seat, and waist.  I'm pretty stoked about that, but I'm still gonna wear them for a while.  They're not falling off, but I know that I can comfortably wear a smaller size.

I also learned today that onions have a crapload of sugar!

Onward!

 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Ponderings

Well...here I am...

...pondering.


But first, I came across a great quote yesterday and it's SO TRUE.


Wow - how simple.  And how true!  I've got to get rid of the excuses, get rid of all the baggage, and start (continue?) working for the thing I want.  That's really the only way to get results.  For me, this speaks to me and my weight loss efforts.

The excuses are all a part of this wacky emotional thing and how it's related to food.  I've never had anything traumatic happen to me.  Okay, there seemed to be a time where I was getting cancer every time I turned about, but I had this emotional eating thing going on before that.  All the cancer did was REALLY open the floodgates.  And yeah, it really fucked with my life for a while, but I'm still here telling the tale!

Anyway, I have this emotional thing with food.  I know I do, but I can't even describe why it's so.  I don't know if cutting the ties between the emotional satisfaction I get when I eat food and just eating food for nourishment is as simple as just being aware and on top of it until the ties are severed; or, if there's something else that I'm not aware of.

I can say that most of the time I feel differently about my current endeavors than I have in the past.  I have this feeling of resolution and finality.   This feeling has truly helped me remain cool and collected - calm in my head.  I don't know if it's because "THIS IS IT" or what.  Whatever it is, I'm very thankful to have the calmness because it allows me the time and objectivity to put food in its place.

In my previous efforts and plans, I always felt that I was in a race, that I had to be perfect, that I had to know it all.  There was also a sense that I had to hurry up and lose the weight so I could get on with the rest of my life.  I was putting my life on hold even though life was progressing day by day, week by week, and year by year.  In the process, I was learning absolutely jack shit about how to deal with food, how to enjoy food in its proper place, how to eat food for nourishment and not for emotional satisfaction.  Somehow I thought that once the weight was off, I would automatically have the wisdom, the knowledge, the end-all, the cure-all, and the be-all for everything that ailed me.

I think I've come to *really* understand that if I want to see the weight loss results I want and maintain my sanity for the rest of myself, I've got to make a lifestyle change that I can maintain for the rest of my life.  I don't know what's happened, but I'm feeling strong and beginning to understand that this is for the rest of my life, for the long haul.  I won't be perfect and there will be ups and downs, but I'll get there.

The only disclaimer I have with any of this is that until I've dropped a good amount of weight (and I kinda think I need to step it up), I need to be almost hypervigilant.  There are some things that are not going to be part of my life right now.  For instance, I currently only eat 1/2 cup of fruit a day in order to minimize sugar.  I'm sure that will change one day, but not now.  For now, I'm going to minimize sugar as much as I can.  I haven't had more than 28 grams of sugar a day IN TOTAL since I started these current efforts.  Of course, there's been some screw ups, but for the most part, less than 28 g/day has been the rule with few exceptions.

Anyway - that's all I've got tonight.  It's been a successful day I think.

Onward!



Saturday, March 8, 2014

See that horse?

Well...here I am...

See that horse?  See that saddle on that horse?

My ass is back in the saddle!



Onward!  Indeed!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Well sh*t!

Well...here I am...

...thinking, "well shit!" 

So I go to bed early last night hoping I'll get a good night's sleep.  I slept better than previous nights, but I still don't feel fully rested.

I get on the scale...and the damn thing is up!!!  WTF????

This has happened many times in the past.  I get to THIS weight range and it just STOPS - it teeters back and forth between a 3 lb range...

My first thought was "shit!".  The SECOND thought was, "YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BEAT ME!"

So, exactly who is this "You" I'm talking about?  Well, I think it's gotta be me - that me that's insecure, impatient, easily swayed, less motivated, and willingly to give up at the first sign of struggle.  Well...let me tell me...YOU WILL NOT FUCKING WIN!  *I* will win this.  I might be frustrated, I might fall off the wagon, but I will WIN in the end - I am not giving up.  I'm better than this.  Hell, I live for tough situations! 

I had my usual smoothie for breakfast and then some grilled chicken and guacamole for lunch, so I was in good shape there.  We usually stop at a fast food place and get a coffee before we get to work.  I always order a large coffee with 2 creams and a splenda.  Well today, they screwed up and put sugar in my coffee.  I didn't drink it - it was way, way too sweet.  Okay, so deal with it.  Further in the day as I was sitting at my desk, I had a handful of nuts and then I went for a second handful of nuts.  That's not bad; the bad thing was that I finished eating the before I really even realized that I had eaten them.  NOT GOOD.  Needless to say, I put the nuts away.

The day was quite busy, I went back and forth between two buildings, and had a few "fires" to put out - one of my own creation!!  I hate it when something is my fault.  But I gotta say, when it is, I own it!  That is a good thing about me.

Toward the end of the day, I'm tired and ready to go home.  I call hubby and he's ready too.  He then says that he wants to go out to eat.  Well shit.  I was really wanted to eat at home to at least see if I could help the scale a little bit.  I always thought it was me that wanted to eat out all the time, but I'm starting to think that hubby's is responsible for at least half of our eating out activities.

I know hubster had an intense week this week and we're leaving work before 6, so we'll beat a bunch of the dinner rush, so I agree figuring that I'll do the best I can.

Hubby originally suggested Bennigan's, but their menu really wouldn't allow for anything that I'd like to eat, so I suggest that we go somewhere else.  We settle on Longhorn Steakhouse and head in that direction.

We were seated immediately, so I was thankful for that.  Of course, they've revised their menu, so I have to look at the entire thing.  Hubby suggested an appetizer, so I got the grilled stuffed mushrooms, since it appeared to be mostly cheese and mushrooms.

For my meal, I order the Outlaw Ribeye, a salad, and asparagus.  This is where it all goes wrong I think.  While I'm not counting calories - well, I am this week as a check - it's probably too much food.  I don't even think about the bread; even though hubby had bread - so that was a success.  The problem was when I ate the entire ribeye!!  I mean it's an 18 ounce piece of meat.  But I gotta say, I was full, but I wasn't stuff.  Oh - we didn't order a dessert.

When we got home, I used fatsecret to calculate the calories of that meal.  I come up with 1898 calories.  Add that to breakfast and lunch and I have an estimated 2842 calories for the day.

WOW!

Now - do we know what the scale is going to do tomorrow?  The SOB is gonna be up and it's probably gonna be up on Sunday too.  Plus, tomorrow will be another evening dinner out since we'll have our elderly friend.

And it's my own fault.

The number on the scale this morning was the result of a biological process.  The number on the scale for the next few days will be, in addition to poor choices, the result of an emotional process and my inability to rein it in today.  And guess what???  It's done and it's over and there's nothing I can do to go back and change it, so I have no choice but to face the music and suck it up.  *You* got me today.

Was the day a failure?  Nope.  It certainly wasn't the day I'd planned for, but there were good things I did.  I didn't drink the sugared coffee, I didn't eat the bread at dinner, I blogged tonight even though I had a big "fuck it" going through my head, and while I don't like it, I'm kinda prepared for the next few days.

What can I say?  When I woke up this morning, I didn't plan to be awesome...and I wasn't.

Onward!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tired

Well...here I am...

...I'm just tired.

I haven't slept well the last two nights and it's taken its toll.  When I woke up this morning, my eyes felt like they had something in them and didn't want to open.  They wanted to go back to bed.  Initially I had anal glaucoma*, but I ended up going to work anyway.

While I was getting ready, I realized I had a horrible tummy ache and was quite bloated.  I mean, it was actually noticeable!  Hell, hubby even noticed it.  Is it aftereffects of TOM, gas, constipation??  Hell, I didn't know.

All in all, I just didn't feel good today at all.  I'm not a clock watcher, but I was ready to get out of there today!

For dinner, hubster cooked a bunch of chicken breasts with some garden peas from my dad's garden.  I'm not a big pea eater, so I just ate the chicken.

Now, I'm done with my day and my head and brain are devoid of any intelligence.

I've read before that getting a good night's sleep can aid in weight loss; rather, a lack of sleep can interfere with hormones, which in turn, could possibly interfere with weight loss.

I'm going to bed early tonight.  Hopefully, I'll get a good night's sleep.  Who knows?  Perhaps the scale will budge lower as a result.

Onward!

*anal glaucoma - can't see my ass going to work.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Truth or Consequences...of Eating Out

Well...here I am...

...thinking about choices and consequences.

As we all (well...me) know, since our kids left home, my hubster's and my preference has been to eat out quite a bit.  We work long hours, so if we can sleep a little late in the morning and stop to get breakfast or work later in the evening and then grab something to eat and unwind a little big, that's what we've preferred doing.  Luckily, we can afford it.

HOWEVER...

I noticed quite early on that when we ate out, the scale remained fairly static with no downward trend at all.  And sometimes, the scale would even show an increase.  Even though I was eating properly, the scale wasn't moving.  It took seeing my weight graph and then correlating events...okay, I realize it would be considered anecdotal, but still...to the numbers.

Well, let me tell you.  It pissed me off.  I mean - I was just relaxing, I wasn't going outside of my own self-set parameters, but the scale still wouldn't move.  I think I was thinking to myself that I was being good, and I could mentally kick and stomp and scream and rant and rave, and force there to not be an increase on the scale the next morning.  But ya know what?  There always is.  EVERY SINGLE TIME.  There was this morning.

Emotionally, when I eat out and I behave...hell, even when I don't behave, I don't want to see a gain on the scale.  But I do.  And I have two choices.  Accept it or change it.  This is the hard part, the part that needs to be objective, but behaves emotionally.  It can be a bear working through, recognizing, and separating the emotional part and seeing the objective part.

So, the first choice is to accept it.  If I continued to eat out with the same regularity that we were, I would probably lose weight, but it would be at a rate that really was unacceptable to me.  If I was willing to accept the consequences of this - well....all well and good. 

Except for the fact that in reality I would be going against almost everything I was trying to do, trying to change, trying to learn.  I was displaying the VERY SAME BEHAVIOR, but expecting a different outcome - not because of my efforts, but because I selfishly wanted it to be different without having to make a choice or a decision.  Without making a change.  How three-year-oldish can I be???

INTERMISSION:  Can I just tell you that my cat just went over to my dog, who was sleeping and TOTALLY minding her own business, and swatted the living shit out of her?  Maggie the Cat then just jumped off the bed and went on her merry way.  Poor Penny.

The second choice is to change it.  Once I got over (sometimes still 'getting over') not being able to eat out as much and still get the result I wanted, I realized I had to stop eating out so much.  Hubby is totally on board with it.  In addition to helping me lose weight at a little faster pace, there are a lot of other benefits, such as having control over how the food is prepared, more options as to what I can eat, and saving money.  There's also the realization that I'm not losing weight super quickly and I don't want to slow it down for some stupid, emotional reason.  So the consequence of not eating out will be that I won't show a gain on the scale because we ate out.  It's weird, but if the scale is up tomorrow, I'll be okay.  I know it will be for some reason outside of my control.  It's just when the scale is up the day after eating out that gripes my ass.

I'm writing about this tonight because hubster and I didn't get home from work until after 7.  It was so tempting to just stop and grab something, but we didn't.  We had tilapia with pesto and green beans.  Not fancy, but fast and nutritious - and it tasted good.  After dinner was over and the dishes were done, I was proud of the choice I had made.  Plus, it probably took us less time to prepare, eat, and clean up than it would have if we'd gone to a restaurant.  So there me!

Now - does this mean that we're not going to eat out.  Absolutely not.  I'd made a pledge to only eat out once a week; but we're eating out about 2 times a week, so I can deal...mostly...with this without too much angst.  On those evenings where we are eating out with friends or a new restaurant or whatever, I do my best to make good choices, but still enjoy the evening.  I make the decision ahead of time whether or not I'm going to have wine or an appetizer or a dessert because I want to enjoy a treat without feeling guilty.  I mean this IS the rest of my life.  I have to learn to eat out as a treat and accept the consequences of a short-term gain without it derailing me or knocking me into a tailspin.  I got to not make eating out some sort of weird emotional deal.  I have to learn that eating at home is not a chore, but the best way to take care of me and my body. 

And if this is for the rest of my life, it doesn't matter how long it takes as long as I'm doing it - making progress, going in a forward motion, making mistakes, learning from those same mistakes.

By the way, I came across a GREAT quote today:  If you remember nothing else, remember this: the game is won – or lost – not by the infrequent big changes, but by the frequent, deliberate, and repeatable small ones. This is where grit comes in.  ~Peter Attia (eatingacademy.com, Got Grit blog)

Onward!




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Deprivation versus Choice

Well...here I am...

...thinking about the difference between deprivation and choice.

But before I get in to that, I have to say that I was quite happy with the loss on the scale this morning.  Truth be told, I was a little surprised, but happy nonetheless.

Yannow - when I write it always makes sense to me.  I wonder if it ever makes sense or hits home with anyone else.  Just a passing thought.

Anywho, I spend a lot of time thinking about the DIP (the Donna Improvement Program) - not necessarily about the weight itself all the time, but rather how best to go about making permanent changes that will stick for the rest of my life.  And let there be no doubt - I plan to have a LONG life!

One of the folks in my group is quite thoughtful and always makes sure that she remembers everyone's birthday.  She sends out group emails and we always meet in the break area and have cake and ice cream.  Today was one of those celebrations.   My first thought was that I wouldn't go, but then thought it would be bad form since I recently took over the group and would be kinda crappy if I didn't go.  So I felt I had to go.  I ate some nuts before I went and took my big ass mug with me.  Turns out it was a homemade chocolate sheet cake with chocolate icing and nuts.  I took a good look at that cake and decided that I didn't want the sugar.  While it was a chocolate cake, it didn't look like a GREAT chocolate cake.  The choice wasn't a big deal.  I made the decision a while back that I'd eat cake, but it'd have to be a damn good cake.

It would have to be WORTH IT.  Of course, that "worth" is subjective, often depends on the situation, and the total value of that 'worth' might change over time.

That was the first thing.

So then, around 4:30, hubby calls me and says he wants a beer and says he wants to go to rib night.  I was a little hesitant at first, mostly because I didn't want to "reward" myself in any way with food since I showed a good loss this morning.  But okay - we'll go.

We get to the rib place and it dawns on me that even the dry rub has sugar in it!  But who knew - I can order them naked, so that's what I did.  I also got a side salad.  I'm serious about this sugar deal - it's gotta be fecking worth it!

Other than the fact that we were eating out when we said we weren't going to, I was okay.  I ate my dinner, drank my tea, and talked with hubby.  He had ribs as well, along with cornbread, rice and beans, and a few beers.  During the meal, I wasn't fixated on anything and I stopped eating when I was full.

As we were leaving, I realized that I was totally okay with all the decisions - all the CHOICES I had made regarding food throughout the day.  No great amounts of willpower involved at all.

At the same moment, I also realized that for me - maybe for lots of overweight folks - there's historically been a fine line between CHOICE and DEPRIVATION.  And it really is a matter of mind set.

When I started on this road, I gave myself some simple guidelines.  These guidelines were to be mindful of what I ate, avoid added sugar, don't beat myself up, and not to give up before I got started.

Pretty simple guidelines, huh?  Nothing earth-shattering really, but these little guidelines, especially the not beating myself up one, has allowed me to give myself PERMISSION to be imperfect, to make good choices, and even to make bad choices without being a failure.

I never understood before that the multitude of rules from all these different plans were making me crazy; that when I made the choice to not eat something because it wasn't "allowed", I didn't feel like I was even making a choice; I was feeling *deprived*.  Like I was having to punish myself for even wanting to have something that wasn't on whatever plan I was on, punish myself for being fat, punish myself for not being perfect.  I didn't have the freedom to *choose* to eat a piece of cake, drink a beer, whatever, without feeling guilty and like a failure.  I felt like that even when these things were allowed because so much emphasis was put on them - like they were really for the gods on Mt. Olympus or something.

I read a post by a woman not long ago wanting to know if she had totally screwed up her diet because she used Splenda instead of stevia?  Really?  Are you serious?  Well, yeah she was dead serious.  I also knew that I've been just that...THAT...intense about a plan.  Like choosing one over the other is gonna be THE difference in whether or not you lose that extra 100 pounds!  That type of thinking always left me feeling less than and if I was anything but perfect...well, I might as well give up now.  It's CRAZY!

I feel so much more relaxed and calm about this whole process now.  I'm not perfect by any stretch - I get frustrated, but I'm starting to beat myself up less.  I'm starting to learn how all these things are inter-twined in how I feel, how I relate to food, how to separate the wheat from the chaff.  I'm learning to not give up and that I don't have to be perfect to be successful.

Onward!


Monday, March 3, 2014

A Great Day!

Well...here I am...

...having a great day!

My head seems to be in the game today.  I feel upbeat, motivated, positive, with my eye on the long term goal.  Today, I can *see* myself 2 years from now...and I like what I see.

We had a snowstorm come through today, so everything in metro DC was closed, so we got to stay home from work.  I slept a little late, drank some coffee, did some laundry, played with the critters - just a chill day with good things in my head.

When I sat down to the computer to do some blog reading,  Crabby McSlacker suggested that we post something positive about ourselves.  That's difficult for most folks to do and I'm no exception.  I commented that I'm trying to match up the internal version of me with the external version.  Inside, I'm a mess of insecurities; but on the outside, I look like I'm quite in control and in charge!

Anyway, in reading the blog and all the posts I started thinking of the Roger Miller song, "You Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd" - I don't know what triggered the thought.  It's such a wonderful song and reminds me of my childhood.  A lot of Miller's songs are nonsensical, but they always put me in a good mood.  Anyway, part of the lyrics say:
"You can be happy if you've a mind to.  All ya gotta do is put yer mind to it.  Knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it."
Anyway, my mind is "to it".  And I can "do it".  I WILL do it!  That whole thought process made me feel so strong, so motivated, so GOOD!  Just dig my heels in and stick with it.

I CAN DO THIS!

So I was in a great mood after going through Crabby's blog.  I moved on to another blog and I swear, it was amazing.

But let me digress for a moment.

I've never liked to have pictures taken.  I didn't want any one to see how fat I was.  Of course, that statement is the essence of ridiculousness, but that's another blog.  My daughter has harped on me to be in pictures.  She says that when she looks back, she wants to be able to remember me in the photos as well.  Anyway, a few months ago, she was going on a trip and wanted us to take a picture together.  Initially I told her no, but she fussed at me until I relented.  In the picture, my daughter and I are smiling and she has her arm around me.  When I saw the picture, I saw how beautiful my daughter was; how bright her smile was; how she looks so full of promise and enthusiasm.  When I looked at me in the picture, all I saw was how fat and ugly I was - I was disgusted.

THAT moment was the beginning of the change in myself.

So, let's back up for a second.  I mentioned earlier that I read a second blog today.  Well that blog was at Lynn's Weigh.  When I first started looking at successful weight loss and fitness blogs, I came upon hers.  In particular, she had written about the "One Thing" that made her begin her final journey to getting fit and losing the excess weight.  Her "one thing" was also a picture of her and her daughter.  It was a great blog and I remembered it.

Anyway, when I saw that picture of my daughter and me, everything kinda crashed on me at once and I vividly remembered the blog Lynn had written.  At that time, I wasn't positive who had written it or even where I had read it, but I remembered the photo I'd seen and looked high and low for it, but I could never find it.

So today, when I went to read Lynn's blog, I was SO excited to see that in the context of the current blog post, she posted the very picture that I remember and even gave a link to the post that was so vivid in my mind.  I'll probably never meet this woman, but she's part of my "one thing".

Having that reminder, that emotional jog of what made me start this journey was positively powerful and just further cemented my resolve.  Combining that resolve with the positive motivation is just a fantastic feeling.  I hope to maintain this outlook for a long, long while

By the way, that picture of my daughter and me?  She gave me a framed version for Christmas.  The frame says, "Nobody loves me like my mom". 

I *can*, I *will* do this!

Onward!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

Well....here I am...

...lazing on a Sunday afternoon!  In case you don't know, that's also the title to a Queen song.  Queen is my all-time favorite rock band.  Their hit songs are great, but it's their other music that didn't play on the radio that I really love.

Enough about Queen.  This is my first post since Thursday.  Things are going okay, but I am frustrated - it's the culmination of a lot of different things and I need to get my ducks in a row and get a move on.

The scale was at 273 on Friday, but was up to 276.4 on Saturday morning.  This is directly linked to dinner Friday night - my *cheat* meal - and the fact that I started.

Hubby got back to town Friday evening and we decided to go for our dinner out.  I had noticed that my weight stalled when we ate out, so we decided that we would limit our eating out to one night a week.  We do a good job of following that for the most part.  I've gotta confess though, we did eat out with our elderly friend last night as well.  Persian again, so it was joojeh for me.

Anyway, dinner Friday night included a bottle of wine and appetizers.  I had a pork dish with spinach and salad for the entree.  No dessert.  I expected a temporary again, but it was more than I expected by a long shot.  But wine and that TOM does that to a woman - especially me.

I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately at the idea of how long it's going to take me to lose the weight.  I'm thinking about 2.5 years.  I try NOT to think about it and instead concentrate on figuring out how to make permanent changes in my eating habits, enjoy life, lose weight, and NOT go batshit crazy in the process.

Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's hard.  For the most part, it's manageable.  But sometimes, I become aware of this strange, knawing, dissatisfied feeling.  It's hard to put into words.  I don't know if it's because I'm inept at writing and just don't have the words or if I don't want to voice feelings and emotions.  I don't think so, but sometimes it seems like I'm feeling something that I don't have the words for - does that make sense?  In any event, it makes me uneasy - like a hammer is going to fall or something bad is going to happen.

One thing is the slow rate at which I'm losing weight and there are reasons for that - reasons that I think will help me be successful in the long run, but right now, it's frustrating.  The biggest thing is probably because I'm not counting calories at all - I do a spot check every now and then to make sure I'm doing what I thinking I'm doing, but that's it.  I'm trying to eat as healthy as I can - real food and no "white" stuff the majority of the time.  The other thing is probably my age - I'm not in my 20's anymore; the third thing is my activity level/metabolism.

But, overall it does seem to be working albeit slowly.  Intellectually, I think this will hold me in good stead in the long term, but I get impatient, particularly when I *want* to lose faster.

And then...the little voice inside me starts talking about all the things I can do.  Yannow...if you  combine 3 or 4 different plans - yeah, you'll lose faster.  If you track every single bite that goes in your mouth, you'll lose weight faster.  If you only eat 1000 calories a day, you'll lose weight faster  If you force yourself to exercise for an hour everyday, you'll do better.  If you only do this, If you only do that...

It's all these "if's" that make me feel like I need to be perfect in order to successfully get this weight off.  It's these same "if's" that have lead me to failure. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

I *know* this - my brain knows this.  So WHY do I still have this bullshit in my head?  If I knew why, I think I'd be a rich woman.  Because in the end, I know I'm not the only one.  I read another blog today that spoke of this in a manner.  This blogger has lost a large amount of weight in the past and is currently struggling after having gained some of the weight back.  Reading her post really hit home to me because she was talking about how she's lost her motivation - her IT. The other thing that struck me about her post was that she was putting more emphasis on her failures rather than on her successes - and she's been quite successful.

Why do we do that to ourselves?  Is it a woman thing?  I mean, I understand tempering your successes and being aware of how easy it is to backslide, but still.  I don't know how to overcome our self-negativity, except to talk positively to ourselves and perhaps one day, we'll have more positive self-talk than negative.

I have a lot of thoughts/feelings wrapped up in this that I don't know to fully express.  All I know is that I do have plenty of my own negative self-talk, which causes me to be dissatisfied.  In turn, it's lead me down the wrong path in the past.  I'm working hard to make sure it doesn't happen this time.  I MUST turn this around.

Onward!