Well, hello again

It’s been a while since I wrote here.  I’ve been pretty busy elsewhere for the past nearly two years. (Yikes!)

So updates.

I completed the major exhibits project at work last May (2013) that I had been working on for nearly two years.

I completed my MA of History degree in May also.

And I finally got my ass in gear two days before turning 40 and joined Weight Watchers for accountability and support.  Since October 8, 2013 I have lost 48.6 lbs.  Tomorrow, I hope to log an additional 1.4 gone and make it an even 50 lbs.   I’m not even half-way to my ultimate goal, but I’m proud of how far I have come.  This is a pivotal point in my progress–in the past this is where I have fallen off track and started gaining it all back.  I’m averaging around 2.7 lbs per week right now and if I can maintain that average that will put me over 110 lbs gone and at my wedding weight by the time we head to my husband’s 20 year class reunion this summer.  And it would put me at about 138 lbs gone by the time my sister-in-law’s wedding rolls around in early October–and I will be at my lightest weight in my entire adult life–firmly in Onederland.  But even if I don’t maintain those numbers, it’s okay.  I fully expect to keep up the average of around 10 lbs per month and that is still significant progress.

Right now, I’m exercising a minimum of 2-3 times a week but aiming for 4-5 times each week.  This month, I started taking Karate with my three kids.   I’m loving that experience.  It’s something I have always wanted to try and I’ve always thought I was too fat to try it.  I’m not letting that stop me now.  There are things I can’t do right now, but there is plenty I can do and I’m loving my instructor’s encouragement and occasional surprise when I successfully catch on to something quicker than he anticipated.

I finally feel focused and I’m proud of the steady progress I am making towards my health and weight-loss goals.

I’ve been asked, what will make this time any different then all the other times that I have yo-yo-ed when I hit times of stress.  This time, I have cleared my schedule of any outside commitments besides work and my family, unless it is something that will get me closer to my goals (ie. Karate).  No more PTA.  No other volunteer commitments.  It’s time I take care of myself, because if I don’t, no one else will.

10 lbs at a time

Ten lbs gone in two weeks. I wish I could keep up that progress but my head tells me I can’t. It’s not reasonable to expect that. 8.5 was in the first week leaving a pound and a half this week.

Not only was the first week the typical water weight loss–but this was further exaggerated by my hormone cycle and getting off diet soda.

Yesterday was difficult. We are going through a tough financial period which is causing a lot of stress and depression. Plus, today marks my eighth fathers day since my dad passed and my husband’s second since losing his dad.

I didn’t get any exercise/activity in yesterday–that would have helped boost my mood. Then, I ended the evening with way too much pizza and my stomach punished me for it at 1am this morning.

Today is a new day and I am trying to focus on the most important dad in my life–the father of my children. So it’s off to a car show as a family and try to take the kids’ bickering and complaining with a grain of salt.

As for my progress, I will take it one healthy choice at time and ten lbs at a time knowing that sometimes that will mean two weeks and other times (most) it will be more like 4-6 weeks. And that’s okay. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

An All or Nothing Mentality

It’s my biggest downfall.  I have issues–perfection issues.  If I can’t do it perfectly, I don’t do anything at all–and in fact I go to the opposite extreme.  The all or nothing mentality kills me every time.  If I could conquer it, and accept that every little change I make, every little effort I make–actually could make a difference over time–then maybe I’d be down 30-50 more lbs in the course of a year instead of back up the same 30-50 I lost while I was being “perfect” for 3 months.

The yoyo has gone up and down for too many years as I lose and gain back the same 30-50 lbs over and over again. I can lose 30-50 lbs in 3-4 months and turn around and gain it all back in 2!  And I’m left feeling like my efforts to lose are wasted when I gain it all back.

I’m still working on it.  I wish I could find a therapist to talk to about my food issues.  Several years back I called around town asking if anyone dealt with eating disorders and food addictions and had no luck.  So I keep muddling through trying to figure things out on my own.  I’m self-aware enough to understand what I’m doing, my problem is I don’t know how to correct the problem.  I need coping skills and behavior modification therapy.

I’m cutting back on my time at work.  I’ve taken steps to make my work commitments less demanding so that I can focus on my family and myself and my home as well as helping my husband with his endeavors–and let’s not forget my thesis too.  It’s still out there unfinished.

Honestly, that’s one of my biggest roadblocks–this struggle to finish what I start.  I’m trying to set myself up in a position to succeed though.  I’m still here (or back, rather!) and my motto remains:  “Never give up! Never surrender!”

A healthy start makes a difference, right?

Up and at em. Lord help me.  I’m so sore, my head aches.

I know that the soreness and headaches would go away if I lost the weight.  I don’t need a sleep study to know I’m not getting enough oxygen during the night.  I can’t sleep on my stomach or my back and I can only sleep on my side–and usually on my right. 

My left side hurts too much after about 30 minutes of laying on it.  I wrenched my shoulder this summer falling on a bridge in Colorado.   And after having all this weight on one side most of the night, it hurts too. 

There are so many times in the night when I wake up because I stopped breathing.  That shit has got to stop.

Right now I wake up so sore that I can’t even begin to think about exercising first thing in the morning. 

My tailbone hurts.  Why the hell does my tailbone hurt?

Anyway, all that has little to do with the title of this post. 

I’m up. I made the kids their lunches and in the process made mine too.  I’ve got a nice spring mix/baby spinach salad with grape tomatoes and baby carrots topped with just 5 or 6 croutons and some watered down Fat Free Ranch Dressing.  I’ve got a turkey sandwhich on 100% whole wheat with fat free miracle whip.  I even packed snacks of a small granny smith apple and some light yoplait yogurt in case I get hungry in the morning or afternoon.

I ate my breakfakst–a banana and 1 cup of fiber one honey clusters cereal with a cup of skim milk.  I’m nearly finished with my 1st 32 oz bottle of water of the day.  I’m working on getting back to drinking at least 4 of those a day (if not more).

Yesterday, I had the same breakfast and only had time to snarf down the sandwhich for lunch.  Came home starving and had way too large a helping of spaghetti and meat sauce and lord help me FOUR slices of garlic toast.  I LOVE my husband’s garlic toast. It’s a definite weakness.

Then, later in the evening, I polished off the cookie dough ice cream.  Another weakness.  But i’ts out of the house now and I’m not bringing it back–not even for my birthday in 11 days. 

I didn’t drink any diet coke yesterday–that was a masterful exhibition of will power.  I WANTED that damn diet coke.  I drove by Sonic twice during the day while running errands and I did not swing in for a Route 44 Diet Coke, telling myself each time over and over again “YOU DO NOT NEED THAT DIET COKE. You may WANT it. But you do not NEED it.  My husband recently referred to our diet pop drinking as poison.  He’s right.  It’s so bad for us. And I’m trying to think of it that way whenever I think of it at all.

This morning I weighed in at 295.something.   That’s down from the 298.8 I popped on Monday and 297.3 yesterday.  It’s water weight beging shed as my body figures out I’m not going to deprive it of what it needs most–and I will take it as a good start.  It means that just the small changes I’ve made in the last three days are making a difference.

I’m working myself back up to exercise.  Right now I just don’t have the energy–but that should begin changing as I continue to give my body the healthy fuel it needs.  Then I’ll start working that back into the routine.  But for now, I’ll concentrate on making the changes to my diet stick and changing my thinking about the process.  I’ve been doing this off and on for years–you’d think I’d have that part mastered too.  But clearly all the times “off” indicate that I have far from mastered changing my thinking.  I can change my eating, but if I don’t change my thinking about all of it and actively work on nurturing that attitude everyday, then it’s all lost the next time I hit a wall of stress.   I’ll just go back to all my old bad habits, and I don’t want to do that anymore.  I never want to see 295 again.  I refuse to see 300 or higher again, and its time I refuse to see each number I hit on the way down to my healthy weight again too.

Week 12: Woohoo! 5.2 more lbs gone!

This was a good week on the scale. It was hard in every other way, though.  It was just a really difficult week to get through and I still feel like its not over as I have deadlines and projects that I have not been able to make yet, BUT, I did not seek out sweets and comfort foods in response and I only over ate twice–Once when we had pizza, and then last night when I made meatloaf.

But I lost 5.2 lbs this week taking me to a total of 19.4 pounds gone since Thanksgiving Sunday. And 12.2 lbs since the Sunday after New Year’s.

I’m only averaging 1.7 lbs a week at this point, but when I’m focused I know I can up that average to as much as 2.5 – 3 lbs. I had three weeks there when I didn’t lose anything, I gained then lost what I gained again. So that’s totally throwing my average off.

I have to make this short, I’ve got to take my daughter to sell girl scout cookies.

By the way, that’s another victory–I haven’t dipped into the girl scout cookies in three weeks–not since I had those three weeks of no loss, and a gain.

Goals and Timelines

So this week I’m weighing in at 284.3.  I’m always looking ahead, setting goals for later in the year and its time to write them down here and share them.

If I can maintain a steady loss of a minimum of an average of 2 lbs per week these are the milestones I plan to reach or surpass in the coming year:

March 25th is my daughter’s 7th birthday.  Her birthday falls in the middle of week 17 of this journey and I hope to have lost 10 more pounds by then for a total loss of 24 lbs (or more!)  This is five and half weeks away and totally doable by then.

Next milestone is May 22nd, my husband’s 34th birthday.  This will be week 25 and my goal is to weigh no more than 256 on his birthday for a total loss of 42.5 lbs.  This will also fall at the end of my children’s school year and just two weeks before our big summer fundraiser at work. 

Next up is July 4th.  Independence Day is a big deal at our house.  We have family and friends over for a cookout and fireworks and make the day of it.  This will be week 31 and my goal is to weigh in at no more than 244–possibly less for a total loss of 54.5 lbs (or more!).

August 15th my oldest son turns 9.  This will be the week before the kids return to school as well.   I hope to weigh no more than 232 lbs.  In 2003, right before my dad died, I lost around 75 lbs and this weight will put me just under the smallest number I logged when I lost weight that time.  At 232 (or less!) I will have lost 66.5 lbs (or more!)

October 10th, I turn 37 years old.  But that’s not the next milestone I want to focus on.  Instead I am looking ahead one week later to October 18th, when we plan to arrive at Disney World for our family’s vacation.  The last time we went was in September of 2007 and I weighed in the 290s–probably closer to 300.  By the time we step foot on DisneyWorld property again I hope to weigh 214 (or less!).  This will put me very close to my weight when my husband and I married in January 2000.  It will be less than I was weighed when I went for the first time in the Summer of 2000 with my husband and his family–I had already gained around 20-30 lbs since we had married six months before.  When we go to DisneyWorld it will fall right between my birthday on October 10th and my youngest child’s sixth birthday on October 28th.  We will have a lot to celebrate in October at DisneyWorld–in addition to our birthdays–as I will have lost over 84 lbs and will definitely enjoy our trip a lot more than either of my previous two trips when I tired out easier and didn’t fit comfortably in the seats of the rides.  I especially look forward to taking lots of pictures with my family and actually being proud to display them, instead of hiding from the camera or deleting the photos that include me in them.

The final milestone for the year will be New Year’s Day which will mark my 57th week of working steadily towards my goals.  At the beginning of the new year of 2011 I will weigh under 200 at 192 (or less!)–taking me to a total loss of 106 lbs (or more!) It will take me one pound smaller than my lowest weight when I lost using Nutrisystem in 1997–and it will take me to a weight that my husband has never seen me at.

I have a lot to look forward to this year and every reason to remain focused and on track to make 2010 the year I finally reach my goals instead of looking back with regret at what might have been.

Week 11: The scale moves downward

I joined the local YMCA’s weightloss “competition” this week. I did their version of the “biggest loser” last year and quit part way through out of disappointment in the organization and what the program was offering–or not offering. I wasn’t going to join again this year, but some friends joined and said it was much better and invited me to join their team.

So I decided to give it another chance. So far, it does seem to be better run with more support than was offered last year.

I weighed in and of course the YMCA scale measures me nearly ten pounds higher than the one at home does–some of which probably has to do with the clothes and shoes I was wearing and the time of day I weighed in.

I got back on track this week, really stuck to my plan despite hormonal challenges, until Friday. Friday I tried to choose a healthy lunch by getting a salad–but because it was a fast food salad it was higher in calories and sodium then one at home would have been. Then we ate at the Hideaway for dinner.

For those unfamiliar with Stillwater, the Hideaway is a local pizza place that has been in operation since 1957. It’s very popular and we very rarely go there as its slightly higher priced than the chains. But the pizza is sooo good.

So there was that–I definitely ate more pizza and garlic bread than I should have, BUT, I didn’t have any diet soda–I drank water. That’s huge for me. I’m continuing to swear off diet soda and stick with water only. I refuse to drink my calories and the diet soda leads to cravings for sweets and refined carbs that make it extremely difficult for me to exert self-control and will-power. I won’t go back down that road.

Yesterday, I did well until dinner when we had KFC. I should have gone ahead and had a few pieces grilled, but I didn’t and I also had the potato wedges and two and a half biscuits. Lord, how I love biscuits. We also had corn on the cob–which I love and we made a pan of green beans here at home to go along with it all.

So, I’m paying for Friday and Saturday on the scale with a slightly smaller loss than I would have logged had those choices been healthier. Oh, and I forgot to mention the cake. We bought one of the cakes that was auctioned at the Boy Scouts Blue and Gold banquet earlier this week and instead of just letting the kids have a piece and toss the rest, I had several pieces Friday and Saturday. I clearly still have a long ways to go when it comes to these kinds of things.

All in all, I’m lucky to be logging a 1.3 lb loss for this week–which is totally due to the exercise I worked in as well as the really great days I had the remainder of the week with my nutrition.

This coming week, I will build upon the progress I made this week and hopefully I’ll double the loss I had this past week.

Week 10: I’m going to call it maintaining

Last week when I weighed in I was up five or six pounds.  This week I’m right back to where I was the week before and the week before that.  So I’m going on my third week of no further progress in the numbers moving down on the scale.  That means that since January 1st, I’ve lost 8 lbs and since Thanksgiving weekend, I’ve lost a total of 16 lbs.  Not the rate of progress I would like to see–I can do better than this, but all things considered, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

I dropped that excess weight–whatever it was–from last week, and I’m happy about that.  I haven’t gained.  I’m happy about that too.

Now, I just have to get my momentum moving again. 

We need to go to the grocery store–bad.  Of course, today is super bowl Sunday so who  knows how bad it will be if we try to venture out this afternoon.  Our timing sucks.

Super Bowl isn’t a big deal for us around here.  We mostly just watch  it for the commercials–we aren’t professional football fans. That isn’t to say that my husband may not be tempted to have his sister and brotherinlaw and their kids over (I haven’t heard anything at this p0int in the day yet) and pile on the usual football snack foods.

Whether that happens or not, I’m going to do my best to get refocused today.  Get back to doing what I know works and sticking with it.  There shouldn’t be anything (birthdays, holidays) to side track me again until Spring Break next month–followed  immediately by my daughter’s 7th birthday.  Valentine’s day does present the small temptation of chocolate, but its not a huge deal for us around here, as we just celebrated our anniversary.

I had one chocolate hershey’s kiss last night and didn’t want another–it was so sweet!  I just didn’t enjoy it like I would have in the past.  I’d definitely call that progress.

Yesterday I spent the day cleaning the house.  The kids had pretty much trashed their rooms again since we cleaned them at the first of the year, so I had to ride herd on them cleaning their rooms while I took care of laundry, dishes, vacuuming, mopping, and general cleaning downstairs.  

Today, I’m going to finish getting caught up on some work stuff I brought home, and I’m going to plan out my week and find time for exercise.  I know that half the battle is planning  (the other half is knowing, according to G.I. Joe). 

I just have to do the prep work.

Week 9: Frustration and Celebration

I’m seriously hoping that I’m just facing that “time of the month” and that I’m retaining water. Because I was NOT happy with my weighin yesterday. I refuse to record it right now. It was a gain.

Meanwhile, Friday, my husband and I marked our tenth year of marriage. We spent the day with our children, as school had been called due to snow. Then on Saturday the roads were clear enough we could take the kids to my mom’s for the night. We ate dinner out–and I didn’t make the best choice, but it was my only meal that day, so it shouldn’t have been too many calories–and then went to see Sherlock Holmes and The Blind Side. We never get to go to the Movies, it was nice.

So, back to my regular routine today. And somehow, I have to find the time to work in some exercise. Its a major part of this journey, and somehow I have to make it a priority.

Belated Update: 0 loss 0 gain

I just realized I forgot to post my usual Sunday update.

This last week was a challenge. Mostly dealing with my daughter’s Girl Scout Cookie sale (and the opened boxes the kids were sampling–and that I sampled as well) plus too much eating out topped by too much Pizza on Friday night.

I logged a no loss no gain for Sunday. It could have been worse.

I’m really struggling to get the exercise in right now. I’m going to have to do something about that.   Exercise is always a challenge–due to time and fatigue.

It looks like me and my hometown team of Sparkers are going to sign up for a local 5k/Fun Run/Walk in April. This will be a nice piece of motivation to get me up and moving so I can keep up with everyone.   The last walk I did was many years ago and I was the last one finished.  It was embarrassing.  I don’t want to do that again.

I won’t say I’ll run it. I’m just not there yet, and I don’t think I could get there by April. Running is just too hard on my joints and shins at my current size–BUT I will get to a very fast walk. I can do a 15 minute mile by then–if not better.

I’m doing better this week. Re-focused and staying out of the Girl Scout Cookies.   It’s a wonderful fundraiser for the girls, but seriously detrimental to weightloss if you are the kind of person who has issues stopping at one–and I am that kind of person.

Friday is my tenth wedding anniversary and I plan to splurge a bit this weekend eating out–so I’m staying really focused during the week to keep from totally blowing my progress this weekend.

I managed to skip ordering the all you can eat pancakes deal at IHOP yesterday–and I can’t tell you how hard that was!–in favor of the spinach and chicken salad. I substitued grilled chicken for the fried chicken it usually has.   It was very good–and satisfying.  Still thinking about those pancakes though…

But I’m moving forward.  This next Sunday I will be able to report a loss.