Monday, October 13, 2008

I am here! PLEASE look over my shoulder...

I cannot believe that it has been 4 months since I last posted. I just can't believe it!

Okay, here is where I am...

I took off the 40 lbs. Then, summer hit. My kids were home, and it became harder to find time for myself to walk and work and do all the other things on my plate. I was able to maintain my weight loss for nearly 3 of the 4 months...but now I am sliding.

I have gained back 7 lbs. In 1-1/2 months. It is because I am eating wayyyy more than I should and I am not watching the quality of the food I am eating. I have a nasty soundtrack in my head that is allowing me to eat what I want whenever and as often as I want.

So I need you to look over my shoulder. I have the resolve to lose the rest of this weight and I need some help! So if you are reading this, please prod me, poke me, wake me up to the fact that if I do not watch myself I will be right back to where I started.

I can get to my goal by January, I know I can.....won't you help me along?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Getting fat from veggies?

This is a true story. Buckle in! It's not pretty.

I took my sons to lunch last week. We went to Cosi -- it is a frenchish-chain bistro-ish restaurant (really, one step up from Fast food). they have salads, Flatbread sandwiches, pizza -- we really like the food there. Usually I get a salad with the dressing on the side...they are really good.

What I LIKE about Cosi is that they post the nutritional information about their food on their website. So I can eat there, go home, figure out how much I ate for the day, and move on.

Perfect for a responsible, weight-conscious individual, right? BZZZZZZ Wrong answer, Johnnie.

To change things up this time, I ordered this:
Vegi Muffaletta
Grilled eggplant, chopped green olives, banana peppers, green onions, olive oil, provolone, parmesan cheese & shredded romaine.

As you can see, that was copied right from their website. Looks good, right? All veggies...on whole-grain flatbread.

It was yummy. I told my sons that I would order it every time. I am telling you, I could eat one every single day.

Then, I went home and checked the nutritional information. .

That wonderful "Veggie" sandwich is the second highest caloric sandwich Cosi offers. It was 854 calories. PLUS, it had a WHOPPING 51 grams of fat. FIFTY ONE. and to pour salt into the wound, it has 2929 grams of sodium!!! My heart is still trying to recover! (but it does explain why the sandwich tasted so dang good LOL)

I was MAD. I actually felt duped. I know it is silly, and Cosi has no responsibility to those of us trying to watch our weight, but if you put a veggie dish on your menu, can you at least make it something that we can fit into our diets? I think they should have a notation next to it that says "NOT a healthy option."

So that is how I am getting fat from veggies.

That being said, I lost 1/2 lb this week. Not huge, but still a loss. I think I am still digesting that sandwich!!!! I am at 39 lbs. Looking for the big 40!

PS: If you DO eat at Cosi, not only should you check the nutritional information before you go, but you should eat the white flatbread instead of the whole grain -- the whole grain has more calories, fat and LESS fiber than the white. Go figure.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Still trying not to lick my plate...

Do you have this problem?

I grew up in a family with 6 kids. I was the second youngest. Every night we ate dinner as a family at the table together. The food was put on the table family-style.

My mother would buy enough for each of us to have a pre-determined amount of meat for each meal. For instance, each of my two brothers and my dad would get 2 pork chops for dinner; the four girls and mom would each get one (yes, isn't that sexist?). The sides were up for grabs -- you could put a serving on your plate, then if you ate it and everyone had some and there was still more, you could serve yourself some more. The key phrase there is IF THERE WAS STILL MORE.

So what do you think we did? We would SHOVEL those mashed potatoes, corn, bread or whatever into our mouths as fast as we could. We wanted more and there was alot of competition for it. My childhood of competitive eating (LOL taught me to eat fast and to eat everything on my plate.

So here I am, a bit more than midway in my 40's, and I still struggle with this! These are just two more factors contributing to my life-long weight issues (being called fatty-patty does not help you either, by the way). I am here to tell you that we CAN retrain ourselves. THIS dog is learning some new tricks!

Here is what I am doing...

  1. I am trying to leave food on my plate at every meal. ESPECIALLY when I am eating out. Last night I went to a dinner honoring my Mother-in-law -- and the food was wonderful. I actually left 1/2 my mozzarella/tomato salad (yes, I left the cheese, not the tomato LOL) and 1/2 of my Fillet Mignon and Mushroom Risotto on my plate. They were good, too. But you know what? I had enough to eat after I ate just half!

  2. I am putting my fork down between bites and I am chewing longer and slower. Hey! I can actually TASTE my food!

  3. I am looking at other things in the dining area OTHER than my plate LOL People are fascinating when they talk -- eye contact is important!

  4. If I finish the food on my plate, I am having a big glass of water, and waiting 5 minutes before I decide whether to get seconds. Usually, I don't want them.

Okay, so enough rambling for today. Want an update on my weight?

I have lost a total of 38.2 lbs. Hmmm... what is that smell??? Smells like 40 lbs is just around the corner! Hopefully next week, right?

Drop me a note and let me know how YOU are doing. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Posted on a billboard...

I had a funny thought today. I was getting ready for my day this morning after my walk and started to think about how happy I am that I started this diet on January 4th.

I am happy because I have lost 35 pounds. Yup, thirty-five fine 'ol pounds. Then it kind of reminded me of something....

Did you ever travel on a highway and see one of those billboards that say "If you bought a home in XYZ Community, you would be home by now!"? That is what I started to think about. My billboard says "If you started this lifestyle January 4th, you could be 35 lbs lighter!" I wish I had see that LAST January 4th!

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am thankful that I am on the road (ohhh -- pun intended) to better health and a slimmer self. YOU can be "reading" your own billboard three months from now by starting TODAY! I hope my analogy here isn't mind works in strange ways sometimes!

On a final note today, I want to send my heartfelt thank you to all of you who continue to send me emails, motivational notes, inspirational stories, and picture. You inspire me. Really. I love having you look over my shoulder! Let's hear from you!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What does your soundtrack say to YOU?

Do you think you are hard on yourself? I think most women are. Why can't we just celebrate the "here and now" instead of beating ourselves up for the "shoulda-woulda-coulda"?

An example of this is my weight loss. This morning was weigh-in, and I lost another three pounds, for a total of 32 lbs. I am over the moon with ecstasy!

But...The moment I stepped off the scale I started beating myself up. I have been plateauing for the last few weeks -- I had only lost one pound in the past three previous weeks. So, of course, the negative sound track started to play in my head...

"Three's about time."
"You slacker, you should have lost this three weeks ago."
"If you did better while on vacation, you would have lost more by now"

I could go on with this, but you get the point. I did something different, though -- I stopped myself, grinned into the mirror, and congratulated myself. I have been watching my weight for 4 months and have lost 32 lbs. I am into a new "set-of-ten" on the scale. I feel great, I look so much better...I am going to celebrate ME!

So, let's switch our soundtrack to positive, shall we? Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go speed walk for an hour -- maybe my iPod has some uplifting, congratulatory music on it that I can listen to while I burn off more calories : )

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What keeps you going?

Bear with me for a minute while I give you some background. There is a point to this story!

I mentioned in an earlier post that my Father-in-law (Budge) was training me. He is 69 years old, bikes competitively, and was a phys ed teacher (he has a masters for it, too). The man knows what he is doing. I have a great deal of respect for him.

Several days a week I drive the 22 minutes from our house, walk on his treadmill for an hour, and drive the 22 minutes back. I walk locally on the other days (I take Fridays off). Budge has a plan for me each and every day, mixing distance, endurance and interval training. Each day is different and I have a plan every day to follow. The Hour and 45 minutes is a big hole in my day, but I do it, because I am worth it.

He rides his bike next to me every day. He has a contraption where he rides but the bike stands upright and doesn't move (obviously). Every day we watch a different bike race. I mean a Tour de France type of race. Long races -- each of the days of the race are over 100 miles of biking.

I have been going there for 6 weeks -- I am now conversant in bike lingo, races, gear -- you name it. My FIL is a walking cycling/racing encyclopedia, and he shares with me all the time. And you know what? I actually enjoy this!

Okay, this is where we get to the meat of what I have been thinking about today...

Yesterday, my task was to warm up, then walk three miles at the pace he set, then cool down, for a total walk of 3.5 miles. One hour of walking or less, depending on my heart rate and pace. Really, a cakewalk, considering that it is what I have been doing lately. The only problem is that I got into the walk, and after 1/2 mile of walking at pace, I just felt like I couldn't walk another step. My head was screaming at me to STOP!!!

So I made a deal with myself. Just walk another 1/2 mile. Just work through it. And I did. I made another deal. Just walk another half mile...and when I got to that point, I had an epiphany.

Here I am, just on a treadmill, just walking, watching these bikers. They are cycling 100 miles a day! What is wrong with me that I can't force myself to walk just 3 stinkin' miles?

You know what? That motivated me. I walked those three miles.

And today, when I was walking outside and had another of those "Maybe-I-will-just-walk-only-two-miles-instead-of-the-whole-enchilada" moments, I thought of those racers. And I walked the whole enchilada, plus an extra quarter mile just for good measure.

From now on, I think I will use the racers to keep me going. I am going to visualize them every time I hit that wall. If they can bike 100 miles, then I can certainly do my walk and get through it!
My question to you is this: What keeps you going? What do you use when you hit the wall? Please share it with me!

Okay, now for the quick update. Last week I lost two pounds, and this week, 1 pound -- for a total weight loss of 28 pounds. I just can't wait to get to 30!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring:Time for renewal, Time for change....

Oh my! It has been almost two weeks since I posted -- I am so sorry! Rest assured, though, I am sticking to it -- whole-heartedly! I have been walking between 3 and 3.5 miles every day, and walking faster as time goes on, too. I feel great!

I have lost 25 lbs total (actually, a bit more, but since I don't "officially" weigh in again until next Tuesday, we will leave it at 25). Hoorah for me! the best part is that I dropped a size. That is probably really the best thing...

We went to Virginia for Easter to see my sister. I had nothing to wear, so I "forced" my sister to go shopping with me (She is the BEST shopping partner in the entire universe!). I tried on a size smaller than usual, and you know what? The VERY FIRST dress I tried on fit -- and it happens to be the one I have on, above. Don't you just LOVE it when that happens?

Now, the renewal thing. I got my haircut this week. I thought that since I was shedding pounds, a little hair could go, too. I think a good haircut renews the soul, don't you? First, here is a picture of my family taken on Easter:

Now, this is my new haircut....oh, don't you just love self-portraits? LOL -- This is hard to do!
Note to self when taking a self-portrait in the bathroom mirror (um, I kind of struggled with this!!!):
  • Don't chew gum and snap the shot.
  • Look at the lens.
  • Don't take pictures of the bathroom lights.
  • Shut the closet door behind you so that no-one can see your mess!
  • Look at the lens...
  • Untangle the dog from your legs.
  • Look at the lens (sigh)

Not the best shot, but you get the idea. Hey! I feel lighter!

I just want to say thank you again to those of you who send me emails...really, I am more motivated every day by your emails and kind words. Thank you for looking over my shoulder and encouraging me, friends!

Now, how are you doing this week?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What's for dinner?

I have two teenage boys who are always hungry. They eat constantly when they are home. The worst time is when they come home from school -- they "snack-out." I find wrappers and pieces and parts all over the house (I swear, they just drop the non-edible debris wherever they happen to be at the time). Luckily for them, they are both into sports, and hence, both are thin. My oldest has to watch it -- he has my genetic propensity for weight, so he is always putting a check on himself if things get out of control.

I remember being like that after school. The word RAVENOUS comes to mind. I remember my mother telling me to "eat an apple" -- uh, right, like that will even come close to topping off the tank! Of course, I have made that same suggestion to my kids. Luckily, they like apples!

Afternoons can be treacherous for me. I was falling into the trap of eating when my kids got home from school, too. That seemed like as good as an excuse as any for eating, right? I've broken that habit now. I find something else to do during this feeding time for my voracious animals. I stay out of the kitchen, and it seems to work.

Alas, just as I think the feeding frenzy is over do I hear that age-old question: "What's for dinner?". As the primary meal-maker and a consumption-conscious person who is perpetually short on time, it is imperative to prepare ONE meal for the whole gang rather than multiple meals. The challenge is finding things that are healthy, on plan, and appetizing to the whole family. I have to say that Weight Watchers has been brilliant with their recipes -- they are generally flavorful, full of color, and full of variety. My kids and DH just eat more (okay, 2 or 3 times as much) as I do. It works for us.

I thought I would share one of these recipes with you; this is a favorite of ours now.

Barbecued Turkey Joes

POINTS® Value: 6

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 15 min

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Use extra-lean ground turkey to help keep the fat down in this zesty, quick-cooking sandwich. Opt for a tangy barbecue sauce for extra flavor.
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 medium bell pepper(s), chopped
1/2 medium sweet red pepper(s), chopped
1/2 medium onion(s), chopped
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce
4 medium mixed-grain hamburger roll(s), sliced in half
Brown turkey in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain off liquid. Add peppers and onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
Add barbecue sauce and cayenne pepper; heat thoroughly, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
Top bottom half of buns with turkey mixture; cover with top half of bun and serve.

(I add extra Cayenne powder -- my family enjoys scorched tongues.)

Um, can it get much easier? Methinks not : )

Okay, now for an update:

I walked 15 miles this week

I lost 2.2 pounds this week -- total: 22.2 lbs!

I hope your week is going well, too...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A quick little update...

I just wanted to leave a quick little update on my progress...

I have lost another 3.4 lbs for a total of 20 lbs. I am amazed, but not surprised!

My Father-in-law is a healthy man. In his sixties, he can run circles around most of us in this world. He rides bikes competitively, runs, and has been a coach and phys ed teacher. He has had several high-level jobs, and has conquered almost every sport you can think of, from running to golf to bowling. He is totally physically fit. Truthfully, he is the most successful person I know.

And he just retired from his corporate job.

So now he has time. And two weeks ago, I asked him if he would train me. He agreed...and he has been working with me since. I drive to his house a few mornings a week, and walk on his treadmill while he watches my heartbeat and stats; he is working on building my endurance and measuring where I am so that eventually I can run. (he rides his racing bike in a stationary stand along side me -- it is very amicable!)

I am in a good place! I am excising, eating's all good. I feel terrific right now and hope to keep incorporating this into my lifestyle as a life-long habit of living.

How are YOU doing?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Don't give up!

It's a sad statistic.

Most people who resolve to lose weight at the beginning of the new year give up their diet this week. OUCH.

I invite you to take the challenge to NOT be a statistic. Stay the course. Weight loss and healthy living should be looked at as a life-long journey. If you can keep the course and steer yourself in the right direction, the results will make the journey worthwhile.

I had a friend recently ask me why I started this journey this year and why I am so resolved to lose weight. Other than the picture I showed you in a previous post, I realized one other thing.

NOT losing weight has dire consequences. Yes, Dire. I am 47, and I have two paths in front of me. One is health and well-being; the other is sickness and gloom.

I have Lupus and arthritis. Being overweight causes me to feel even worse than I might otherwise. If I stayed the course of an overweight person, how long would it be before my ticker decided to take a hiatus? Heart issues run in my family -- that is a pretty dire consequence.

Not only that, but from an aesthetic standpoint, DH is within 10lbs of the weight he was when we married. He has kept his end of the bargain to remain attractive for it is my turn to get back to the girl he married (well, at least within spittin' distance of that weight).

I lost another 1/2 lb this week. Not alot. But I lost, right? This is a journey, not a race. The direction is down, and that is where I want to be.

I am starting something new, exercise-wise. I will be able to share more next week, but I CAN share a short-term goal with you -- I want to be able to run 2 miles without stopping. By the end of April. Today starts that journey! I have help with this one, but that is a story for next week.

Have a healthy week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My weight loss is like a heartbeat...

Well, in a way it is like a heartbeat. One week I lose 3+ pounds, and the next week I lose one or nothing. At least my "weight-heartbeat" is staying above the line -- meaning weight loss (in this case, below the line would be weight gain, and that would not be good!). So technically I guess my weight is more like a mountain range -- some of the peaks are high and some are low.
I have a theory about this. I really think it has nothing to do with what you eat or how you excersize. I think when your body loses a bunch of weight (for me, 3 lbs or more in a week is a bunch of weight), then it needs the next week to "catch-up", so it doesn't lose as much. I'm okay with that personally, because this is a weight loss journey -- not a weight-loss race.
Do you like my theory? It is not based in any medial or scientific fact. Just my observation. I guess it really doesn't matter that much -- if I don't lose that pound one week, perserverence tells me that I will lose it the next week, or the week after that.
So I bet you can guess how much I lost this week -- another pound. That brings the total to 16.6 pounds.
How did you do this week?

Monday, February 11, 2008

To love or to hate...the scale saga

Do you love your scale or hate it? Well, that depends.
This week, I love my scale. I lost 3.6 lbs this week -- bringing my total loss since January 4th to 15.6 lbs. I am astonished that the scale was my BFF this week! It was due to the fact that I went skiing yesterday -- it is such an intense workout and I know my body reacted positively to it.
I confess, I also hate my scale. I even hate it a bit this week too. I hate it because I am afraid that this week's weight loss it too good to be true and when I step on the scale again tomorrow, it will show me weighing in higher. That's silly, right? But I know YOU know what I mean. Those little numbers (little, mean, rotten digital numbers) are our gauge. Yes, I know. I am not supposed to "care" about what those numbers say. Weight gurus tell you that it is all about how you "feel." Sorry, skinny gurus. When you have 70 lbs to lose, you CARE about that scale number.
Of COURSE I am happy that my jeans are looser. I do feel better, even in a short period of time. But I care more about that scale. It is my measurement.
Yes, my diet is a lifestyle change. When I get to my goal, the numbers will be less important. But right now, friends, I am living by those digital demons.
PS: I have been receiving quite a few personal emails from those of you who have been following my journey and/or have been inspired by it to start your own journey. Each of you have touched my heart more than you know, and have inspired and motivated me to stay on track with you. WE can do this together!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What tips your scale?

Sorry I haven't posted in the last week. I have been faithful to my diet, though. I was a bit depressed last Monday when I weighed in -- I GAINED 1/2 lb. Sigh. I think that the alcohol over the weekend -- although it was NOT excessive, and certainly I had points to share -- killed me. This weekend, I was virtuous -- even through a Superbowl party at my house -- and I lost the 1/2# plus more! I am now down 12 lbs total. Thirty Days, twelve pounds. Not too bad!

I was thinking about what "tips my scale." What I mean by that is: What is the thing that got me off my big behind and got me moving to lose weight? I know what did it...

A few weeks ago, I posted a layout here titled "just me". If you scroll down you can see it. I had quite a few comments --on and off the blog -- that I didn't look "that bad." Let me tell you, that was NOT the zenith of my weight! That picture was taken in July and I put weight on since then.

What tipped the scale for me is the picture below. This is a picture taken in October with my brother when he and his wife visited from Chicago. My SIL sent it to me after Christmas via email. Now, I know I have ALOT of layers on -- but still, not THAT many. The biggest layer is my own skin!! If the lens sees me this way, other people do, too.

Before you look, understand that posting this picture is HARD. It is facing up to the mirror. The inner picture I have of myself does NOT look like this. My tipping point was when I faced up to the fact that I DO look like this -- or at least I did 12 pounds ago! : )

Okay, look now. Then YOU tell ME what YOUR tipping point was. I know many of you are following this journey and joining in...


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Delusional Thoughts...

This picture was taken in June 1986.

Other than the fact that I have big hair (of course!, any self-respecting person did in those days), my DH has a skinny black leather tie on, and it looks like I am robbing the cradle (he still looks young, dang him!), I want to point something out.

See that dress? The black and white cow print dress? It was a size 8. I felt great in that dress. I am sure that it was a cheap dress. It was fitted through the waist, let out in the hips, then skinny through the legs. It also had large pockets in front (um, designers, what were you thinking?). I think out of all of the clothes I have ever had, I loved this dress the most, because I felt pretty, sexy, and fabulous in it.

This is where the delusion sets in.

I JUST -- and I mean 6 weeks ago -- JUST -- took this dress to Goodwill (because I am sure that someone else will just snap up that 21 year old dress that was worn three times -- NOT). For all these years, it was in my mind that I would fit back into that size 8 dress again. Um...then what? Wear it?

I do not think I will ever be a size 8 -- it was a struggle for me to get there even then, and I had to do horrible things to myself to stay there (ie: it was not healthy for me to be there, maybe we will talk about that another day!). I will settle for a size 10. As long as I can stay there and eat like a normal, healthy, weight-conscious person.

When I get there, I will buy myself a whole new wardrobe. I know Mark will buy it for me! My delusion was holding onto something for 21 years that just wasn't realistic. I let it go, bought some clothes that fit me now -- so that I can feel good about myself WHILE I am losing weight -- and I am moving on. Or should I say "moving down"?

Till next time -- eat less and move more : )

Monday, January 21, 2008

Who is SHE???

Yee Haw! Who is that chick? Hey, she is 2/3 of me!!! THAT is what I looked like 20 short years ago -- and 1/3 less than I am. Well, I think I was less that that, but this was probably my best weight. The date was May, 1987...about 7 months before I married my husband.

I am 5'10", and I don't think I ever looked better than this. I had to dig to find a full-bodied shot -- even then I was the one behind the camera! This, at least, gives you a starting point to visualize where I was. While I don't necessarily want to get back to this weight, it is a good reminder of what is hidden in me below the layers of unnecessary weight I am carrying around. I have to tell you, I showed Mark this picture before I scanned it, and I thought his eyes would pop out of his head! HE remembers me at that weight.
Okay, now for the reality check.
This is me now. It is not a full shot -- I am not ready to reveal that yet -- but you can see by my face that I have that layer of weight on me that I am desperately trying to shed.

So here is an update on where I am...
I started WW on 1/03. According to my tracked weight today, I have lost....10 lbs! Yes, I have lost the first 10. It helps to be motivated!

I skied this weekend -- and even though I had some equipment problems, I still managed to get three hours of skiing in. And I even did 15 minutes this morning on my Nordic Track (it is too cold to go outside and walk).

Hooray for me! How did YOU do?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Welcome to my Journey!

Welcome to my weight loss journey.

I know that some of you are thinking that I have so many online "irons in the fire" - why would I want to start another blog? Well, the answer is simple -- this one is for me. And I need YOU to help ME.

You see, I have to become Two-Thirds of myself. I need to lose 1/3 of my current weight to get back to a healthy, attractive, reasonable weight.

One-Third. Whew. That is a lot, isn't it? Thats a ton of good eating behind the 1/3 that needs to melt off me. Well, no-one says that I can't eat well and be well while I am losing that third.

This blog is my way of putting my weight loss efforts out there for all to see -- a very public way for me to lose my weight. A bit of accountability. I need accountability and the idea that there are people looking over my shoulder. So will you join me on my public journey? If you decide to lose weight, too, great -- but just keep me accountable, will you?

Alright, down to Brass Tacks.

I started Weight Watchers online on January 4th. I have lost 6.4 pounds in the 10 days that I have been on the program. I really love this online tool -- I spend a great deal of my life in the cyber-world, why not diet on it? Really, I like the immediacy of the tracking tools and the way that it keeps me in focus.

Okay, that is enough for today. I hope to have some pictures for you tomorrow -- before and current -- so that you can visualize the extra third and get an idea of where I want to go.

Come on along for the journey! Care to join me? I'll try to entertain, tell a few stories, shoe some pictures, educate and share as I work toward becoming two-thirds of myself.

Won't you look over my shoulder?