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.

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 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.

Week 7: Facing Adversity Without Turning to Food for Comfort. 2.5 more lbs gone

This was not an easy week for me. The stress at work has continued to build. I can feel the pressure of so many deadlines crushing down upon me.

Then there’s the sixth anniversary of my dad’s death. I’ve written about it many times before in other blogs, so I won’t go into detail now, except to explain to new readers that Dad was mentally ill, his meds were off, and he drove himself into a lake. In January. He went missing on January 14th and we didn’t find him and pull him and the  truck out until the morning of the 16th.

So…yeah. Tough week here.

I faltered a little bit on Friday night–but I held strong on my choices the remainder of the week.

One thing I did let slide is my exercise. I just didn’t have the time or energy for it. I’ve fought the stress, fatigue, and headaches all week–I didn’t have it in me to make time for exercise. It was all I could do to stay focused on not making poor food choices and sabotaging myself.

So, if you are following along, here are the stats:

In the last 7 weeks I’ve lost 13.2 lbs total. If you count my high weight during Thanksgiving when I creeped back across the dreaded 300 lb mark to 301, then I’ve lost 15.7 lbs.

From November 29th to December 27th I only lost 4.9 lbs. And while I say “only” I DO count that as a huge victory because I halted the weightgain and began a trend of losing during those four weeks of the holiday season. I may have only averaged 1.225 lbs lost each week during this time, but I proved to myself that I can enjoy the holidays and still lose a modest amount of weight. In the three weeks since then I’ve uped that average weightloss to 2.76 lbs per week–and I’ve accomplished this during one of the most stressful times of the year at my job.

Not to mention an emotionally difficult time of the year for me, personally.

Earlier this week, I also took my measurements and found that I had lost a little over 5 inches overall from my waist, hips, thighs, and biceps.

I’m happy with that. And determined to continue to build upon that progress–both on the scale and off.

If it often seems that I’m repeating myself in these entries, its because I need to remind myself of these things to keep my head straight.  I can’t allow myself to forget what I’ve accomplished so far and how I’ve accomplished it–because when I do, that’s when I allow myself to slip back into old, unhealthy habits–the habits that have gotten me over the 300 lb mark time and time again. 

The goal this year is to get me UNDER the 200 lb mark and never allow myself to cross that line again.  This is the year to make the changes stick.  And no one can do it for me.  I have to be the one to do it, because as the saying goes, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Week 6: Building Momentum

I’m pleased to report a 3.5 lb loss for this week.  That takes me to a total of 10.7 lbs since the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  I’m thrilled with this progress, as I continue to work on mastering moderation and attitude.  These continue to be the key elements to my success.

This week, I have faced the hormonal challenges that have been an affliction on a monthly basis for years.  In a word, I was a bitch.  I was emotional.  I cried.  And on only one night, did I succumb to the temptation of food.  We were pressed for time, and ended up eating out at a Chinese buffet.  NOT my favorite food by any stretch of the imagination.  I hate Chinese.  Yet somehow I always manage to overeat when we go there.  I’ve figured out that is has to do with my search for something that is both satisfying and tastes good.  I fill my plate and try dish after dish in my search and in the end walk away unsatisfied and disappointed but stuffed.  This time, I still filled my plate, but if I took a bite and didn’t like it, I didn’t feel compelled to keep eating it.  Clean Plate Syndrome did not dominate on this visit.

In many cases, I spit the offending morsels into a napkin rather than swallowing them.  Gross, I know.  But effective.

That night, when we got home, I really fell down though.  I ate a dozen of the chocolate chip cookies I made on New Year’s Eve.  Dipped in Cool Whip Lite, no less.

BUT.  Did you catch that?  The chocolate chip cookies I made on New Year’s Eve—over a week ago—are STILL in my kitchen!  I didn’t eat them all. THAT, my friends, is a huge step for me.  I made around 3 dozen of the best chocolate chip cookies ever—they are best warm from the oven by the way—and I have not eaten them all yet.  THAT is unheard of!  Progress!

Work has been extremely stressful this week.  The weather over the holidays really caused me some headaches by keeping me from being able to go in.  I’m so far behind and January is normally a nightmare anyway, as it marks budget, taxes, end of the year reports, new year planning, newsletter, and our supporter solicitation for funds.  It’s a massive mailing that we do in-house and is responsible for garnering a huge chunk of our operating funds for the year.  So it has to be done—and done quickly.

I’m proving to myself that if I can stay focused at this time of the year (granted, I have the edge of the New Year motivation) then I should be able to stay focused throughout the year.

Finishing what I start: Week 5 7.2 lbs total lost

I am extremely proud that I managed to LOSE 7.2 lbs over the past five weeks–in the midst of the holiday season with parties and baked goodies and all the temptations that go with it.   Many people GAIN that much during this 5 week period of time.  I did not.

I can do this–I can make my goals happen in 2010.

Yes, I could have lost more in 5 weeks. It could have been 10 lbs easily, but the point here is that it’s a loss.  And average loss of 1.44 lbs per week, during the hardest time of the year to lose weight. If I can lose 7.2 lbs at this time of year then I can certainly lose another 7-10 lbs every 5 weeks. That is certainly acceptable–more than acceptable! At that rate of losing, I could be down an additional 28 to 40 lbs by May 23–the day after my husband’s 34th birthday.   That’s weighing in somewhere between 263 and 251.  That’s down one size, maybe even two sizes.  

If I do more, than great–but if not, I’m still making progress and that’s all that matters.  Especially when I think about the lack of progress I’ve made the last several years.  I’ve yoyo-ed for far too long.  It’s time to get that scale moving down towards my goals and maintain those losses.  Not backtrack over and over again.

As I was typing this, I heard a quote from Martina Navratilova. She said that Katherine Hepburn once told her, “It’s not what you do in life, it’s what you finish.”  The universe keeps sending me messages and reminders of what this year is about for me. It’s about finishing what I start. It’s time for me to finish what I’ve started so many times before.

And if I can keep doing what I just did in the pasts 5 weeks, than I will be 73 to 104 lbs closer to my goal by this time next year. That’s weighing between 218 (my wedding weight–10 years ago) and as little as 187 (a weight I’ve never seen in my adult life).

This is my year to make what I finish count in my life.  My weight and my health will improve and I will be much closer to goal than ever before, and I will finish my thesis and get that MA in history that I’ve been working on for so long.

“It’s not what you do in life, it’s what you finish.”

Pete and Re-Pete

Pete and Re-Pete were crossing a bridge, Pete fell off.  Who’s left? 

Re-Pete.

Pete and Re-Pete were crossing a bridge, Pete fell off.  Who’s left?

Re-Pete.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m repeating myself here.  Over and over I say the same things.  Make the same promises to myself.  It’s because for me, this is a mental fight.  If I can get the right frame of mind, I feel like all the rest will fall right into place.

I posted the following (like most of these entries) at Sparkpeople today:

It’s that time of year, when we all begin looking at the past year and what we did or did not make happen and what we want to make happen in the next year.

I didn’t make much progress–in fact I backslid.

It’s in the past, I have to leave it there, but at the same time I must learn from my mistakes.

I’m working on correcting my attitude so that this time next year I can in fact be proud of what I have accomplished, instead of regretting my lack of progress.

I’m turning my attention towards changing how I think about food and exercise. I’ve always needed to do this, but haven’t really actively WORKED at it. This is key. For me, weightloss is absolutely a mental issue. If I can master this, then the rest will follow.

In 2010, I will learn to like salads.  I will make healthy substitutions. I will learn to limit sweets and be okay with that. I will learn to enjoy exercise and be consistent with it. I will give up diet soda. I will learn to limit my portion sizes. I will also stop obsessing about food and my weight.

I will learn to live in the moment and find contentment with who I am in that moment, while still looking forward towards my goals.

I can and will be fit before I turn 40. I turn 37 in October. I want to make the most of these final years of my 30s. I’ve wasted too much time already.

I will actively work to have a positive attitude and believe that I am worth making positive changes.  I will believe in myself and all that I can do. 

I will finish what I start.