"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Friday, July 31, 2009

New Thoughts

After my gain this week I have to tell you that I know things are changing for the better in me because of how I think. I know I worked out at least 4 times this week. I know where I went wrong in my choices of how much and what foods I ate. Instead of wanting to quit and give up, I'm okay with it. I will keep working on this and THAT is not the way I would've thought before. . ... I would've wanted to give up or just go and pig out and think that it will come off eventually, but I'm not going to try and change things now.

No more. Slowly and surely I'm learning where I need to change things and I'm willing to do that.

My friend, Stephanie, noticed this a few posts back and I just have to share with you all that it is truly a miracle how my thinking is changing. Glory!!!

p.s. Last night I bought Oreos for the kids...and I didn't have even one!!!!! I almost had one, but I was afraid that once I tasted it I would want more. So, instead I sat myself down with a skinny cow ice cream bar. I LOVE OREOS, so this was a big thing for me. :)

Weigh-In ... Early Weigh-In

Today I'm taking my twin 11-year-old daughters to see a "school version" of Les Miserables at a local little theatre and then we are going to stay in a hotel for the night. Just us girls. Since I won't be home tomorrow for weigh-in I weighed myself today.

Today's Weight: 219.5
This week's Loss/Gain: + 1.0 lb.
Total Loss So Far: - 11.5 lbs.

I'll be honest that I didn't want to post this because I was embarrassed of the gain. However, I decided a few days ago when I was feeling like I knew I was going to be up this week that I wasn't going to post a "will-it-ever-come-off" post. No pity party here. I had a very busy week, ate some high-calorie foods last weekend that actually had me up on the scale and then I tried to fix it, and I did to some extent. I am only up a pound, versus 3-5, so that is a good thing.

I also learned that I need more fiber in my diet and really need to cut the higher fat things out. I didn't really even go really high on calories (except Sunday yikes!), but I ate potato chips and white bread more than normal. I journaled it and didn't go over my calories, but I think those starchy foods are getting me. hhmm....

So, I'm going to go clean my floors, then pack and shower before we head off on our mini girls-only vacation. I will keep pressing on and I WILL win in the end.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Right Tools

Last weekend I was hungry and noticed we were low on fresh fruit and vegetables. There was really nothing for me to grab for a snack or to add to my dinner (ie. a salad) and it was a bit hard to be careful what I ate. So, Monday I made sure to get to the grocery store to stock back up on fruit and some fresh vegetables. It made it much easier to grab lunch and make dinner and not feel like I was going to go "out of control" calorie wise since I had healthy choices to choose from.

I was reminded that having the right tools really makes all the difference. So, here's a list of the tools that I have and that I'm so grateful for:

1. Good support system - My husband and some close friends who regularly encourage me, are working on weight loss with me and listen when I just need to talk about my weight loss struggles.
2. Income to support making healthier meals and to buy lots fresh fruits and vegetables to have on hand.
3. A workout routine that I really enjoy - Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home DVDs are my daily workout and I LOVE them!
4. Motivation - Other websites and blogs that I can read regularly to encourage, direct and help me to keep on track on this weight loss journey. Diane at www.fittothefinish.com is my biggest help right now and I'm so glad I found her site!
5. SparkPeople.com - I joined this FREE website to utilize their FREE food tracking tools. The journaling really helps me out.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Against All Odds

We began revival services at our church yesterday morning and already God has spoken directly to my life. I'm always amazed how sometimes I'm able to relate a sermon to my battle with weight loss. Yesterday morning he preached about facing the odds. He mentioned that despite all the odds that may seem stacked against us we can make it as Christians in a wicked world.

Well, I was thinking this morning that it's the same with my weight loss. Despite the odds stacked against me - weight gain history in the women in my family, past failures at weight loss attempts, etc. - I can win in this battle. It may not seem easy at times, but it is possible. I can and will win in the end.

Gastric Bypass..Yes or No?

Diane from Fit to the Finish wrote about whether to have gastric bypass surgery or not on her blog today. I decided to post here the comment that I left on her site.

My opinion on gastric bypass surgery:

I have four friends who have all had gastric bypass surgery. I know for sure that three of them were told by their pastor that the surgery would either be their deliverance from the battles with food, or they would still need a deliverance from those battles (emotional issues, mindsets, etc.) For two of them it seemed to be the deliverance, but one of them gained it all back and has no exercise habits nor good eating habits in place now. This was her second weight loss surgery in about 15-20 years, and the doctors told her she can’t do it again.

I also have one good friend who had it done and I was with her from the surgery and through all office visits afterwards. She has kept the weight off for 3-4 years now with continued good eating habits and regular exercise. It was not easy to watch her go through the surgery, strict eating, almost choking because she hadn’t chewed her food down small enough, but she made it through fine with no major complications. It worked for her the best of the four ladies who I know had it done.

However, I’ve never felt it was for me. Have I wanted to have it done? Sure. I’ve reached my point of hopelessness in times past, but I know that a surgery is not going to solve my emotional issues that are directly linked to my bad eating habits. If I can not change on my own, I’ve felt a surgery is not going to change me.

I agree with you, Diane, that everyone needs to decide what works best for them. I will support those who choose gastric bypass and only pray that in the process they are able to deal seriously with their emotional issues. In the meantime, I will do it the “old fashioned” way and in the process deal with the fears and emotional issues in my life, so that as I reach my physical goal weight I will have gained an emotional victory as well.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back-To-School Challenge - Week 1

It's the end of the first week of the Back-To-School Challenge between my friend, Chris, and I. It's just a short little challege where we are both trying to lose 20 pounds by August 8th, just before our kids go back to school.

We both showed a loss this week. Hooray!

Stats as of July 25th:
Chris' loss so far: -15.4
Leah's loss so far: -12.5

Two more weeks to go. I'm sure Chris will make it and I will do my best to get as close as possible. :)

Why so nervous?

Last night I knew I was going to weigh in this morning and I was so nervous about it. I was nervous to the point that my stomach was in jumbles just thinking about it. Even this morning I was very, very nervous to get on the scale. I was lying in bed thinking, "Really? Some day my body isn't going to be this big?? I can hardly imagine it...well, time to get up so I can weigh in and be done with it."

I know I'm so scared I'll see a gain. It's that fear of not losing the weight that gets to me. It's so ridiculous. I mean, my goal is to reach my goal weight by the time my husband graduates from dental school in May of 2011. I still have over a year and a half to lose 90 lbs. That's plenty of time, so I should not be nervous.

But I am. Every week I am nervous about stepping on that scale.

Does/Did anyone battle this? I'd like to hear about your experiences.

Weigh-In ... Relief

Today's Weight: 218.5
Loss/Gain this week: - 0.5 lb
Total Loss So Far: - 12.5 lbs.

After such a large loss last week I was really nervous that maybe it was all a fluke and I'd be up this week. It's not that I overate really, but I was worried that maybe it was too large of a loss and I'd be up this week to even things out.

Before getting on the scale I kept thinking, "Please, even just one pound down or a maintain...anything but a gain; but if I show a gain I can't let it ruin my day." (deep cleansing breath, hesitant step on the scale...) When I stepped on and saw "218.5" I was relieved. No great loss, but no gain either. Whew!

I was a teensy bit sad that it wasn't more because of the back-to-school challenge, but I was so relieved that it wasn't a gain that I couldn't let myself worry about that fact.

I'll just keep working on it and do my best to be patient. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bathing Suit Miracle

I must start by saying that last summer I decided I wasn't going to worry myself anymore with what people though about my fat body at the public pool. I wear a suit with a skirt and I'm not exposing lots of cleavage or even lots of fat back to anyone. I decided I was not going to miss out on spending time with my kids because of my weight. Shoot! I'm also one of the whitest people around, so even if I was thin I wouldn't necessarily look good in a bathing suit with my white legs that don't tan. I've enjoyed every visit to the pool since then.

This summer I realized that my suit is just so old and stretched out that I can't even jump in the pool without worrying my straps will come right off. So, I decided that even though I'm working on weight loss I'm going to try and find an inexpensive new suit to finish out this year's worth of swimming visits.

Well, as I was trying some suits on today I was taken by surprise as I realized .... (dramatic pause) .... I wasn't dreading wearing a bathing suit out in public!! I was noticing that I'm standing just a little taller and my stomach is being held in just a little more. Yes, my thighs and pretty much most of me are still large, there are cellulite dimples and spider veins, but I didn't loathe what I saw. And that surprised me!

The last time I went bathing suit shopping I was about 40-50 lbs lighter and I HATED the thought of wearing a suit in public. I only bought it then to go swimming with two best friends on a weekend trip and I dreaded every minute of it.

Not this time.

Today I shopped for a suit with the realization that I'm a work in progress. Hating myself and my faults isn't going to change anything. I know where I need work and I'm working on it. So, while I'm still shopping around for a more affordable suit (couldn't bring myself to spend $50 on one), I did learn that I am reaching a point where I can love my body...even in a bathing suit.

What a miracle!

Walking Works

I just read Diane's blog post "Is Walking Alone Enough To Lose Weight?" today and was encouraged that walking does work as exercise and in being successful in weight loss. It's not that I didn't know this before. My friend Chris and I both walked when we lost the weight before, but I have heard comments that insinuate walking alone is not challenging enough, or is too easy.

Ha! Well, tell that to my friend Diane!

Just kidding. (kind of...)

Actually, I know of quite a few ladies who have kept their weight down over the years simply by walking daily, so that's why I know it works. It was just encouraging to read a post by someone who not only controls her weight with walking, but has lost a significant amount with walking as her main exercise.

I agree with her that we have to make sure and push ourselves to walk more intensely as our bodies are able, and that's why I especially love Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home DVDs. Leslie pushes me sometimes when I just want to take it easy.

Walking is the exercise that just clicks with me and I'm so happy to once again hear someone say that it works.

p.s. I love step aerobics also...but I love being to workout at/near my home more - and it fits my budget better! :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Month Two Pics

I've taken and uploaded my month two pictures. Sorry, they aren't open to the public, but for those who can check them out here's the link: Month Two Pics

I'll post a photo on this blog when I lose my first 20 pounds. Deal? Deal. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Back-To-School Challenge

I see weight loss challenges all over the place, but I never do them because..well, I haven't really been serious enough, or brave enough, to think I could do it.

Well, my best friend Chris and I are working on getting healthier together and we decided to start our own little challenge. Our kids go back to school in just over 3 weeks and we have both lost 12 pounds so far. So, our challenge is to lose 8 pounds by August 8th, so we will have lost 20 pounds total before our kids go back to school.

Here goes!

Stats as of July 18th:
Chris' loss so far: -12.3
Leah's loss so far: -12.0

I'll update this next week. As Chris always says, "Power on Sister!"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Knowledge & Planning Work

(I was waiting to see if I had a loss this week before posting this.)

I just have to say that planning does work and so does working the plan.  I say this because it was my birthday on Thursday and my husband invited friends over to celebrate with a bar-b-q dinner.  That included my daughters helping a friend of ours make the cake.  This was probably the best cake that's been made for me since my mom used to make my cakes.  

I knew that I wanted to have a piece of cake (even before I saw it), so I planned for it.  I ate lighter throughout the day, I did a 65-minute walking DVD and I was careful during the dinner to make sure I had room for the cake.  

And I still lost weight!  

After the party I journaled everything I ate - down to the piece of chocolate cake that had a cream filling made of peanut butter and chocolate frosting mixed together with milk.   

Knowing where I was before the party and where I stood afterwards made it easier to fit this celebration into my week.  If I can make it through this week, then I know I can make it through this weight loss journey. 

Weigh In ... Payoff

Today's Weight: 219.0
Loss/Gain this week:  -6.0
Total Loss So Far:  - 12.0

Last Monday I finally decided that I needed to adjust my eating habits if I'm going to lose the weight.  I've gotten myself into a pretty good exercise regimen and, though I was fighting it with most everything in me, I knew I had to change how I was eating in order to see steady weight loss.  

I decided I would journal what I was eating and stop eating late at night (unless it was a small light snack).

Diane suggested utilizing sparkpeople.com, so I joined them this week to use their food tracking tools. It really helped me to track everything and I found myself being more careful about my choices.  It keeps a running total of your calories, fats, carbs and proteins for the day.  Their calorie "limit" for me seemed low, so I usually went over it by just a bit, but I think that was a quick start thing or something.  Like I said, I'm only really using the site for a quick, easy FREE way to track my food. 

Back to the subject....

Well, it paid off!  I know this is a large loss, but I feel like it was the first real week of working on my weight loss.  It was the first week that I watched what I was eating with the serious attitude of reaching a healthier weight.   

I don't expect this large of a loss in the weeks to come, but I tell you that it is a thrill to know I've finally loss my first 10 pounds, and I'm out of the 220's.  :)  

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It Came To Pass

When I go through a trial or struggle my mom always reminds me that her mother always used to say, "The Bible says "it came to pass", so it didn't come to stay...."  [grin] I was remembering that thought again today as I realized that yesterday and today have been very good post-PMS days.  

Some months the hormones aren't so bad and some months are horrid.  This was a horrid month and I had almost a week solid where I was about to give up on thinking I could ever lose the weight.  I hate those kinds of days.  It's like my thinking is all clouded up and even though I know deep inside I will do it, I can't get my emotions to cooperate.

Well, as is true in every month, those days didn't come to stay - they "came to pass" and I'm so grateful for that.  I am once again in my sane mind and can picture myself making it to goal.  :)  Glory!!!!  

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not easy, but possible

I admire people who have lost weight and kept it off for any length of time.  I also admire a good friend of mine who has worked hard to keep her weight down, when she also has overweight women in her family history (Steph!!).  

Diane, at fittothefinish.com, said in a recent guest post about her story that "It wasn't always easy."  My aforementioned friend has also said before that she just knows it's going to be something she has to be careful about for the rest of her life.   Notice neither said it was so easy and the weight just dropped off!!  

When I hit those rough days or moments where I just want to eat too much I have to remind myself that no one said it was going to be easy; but they did say that it is possible and can be done.  

Hard Work

My husband is making the kids do some pages in math workbooks throughout the summer so that they don't forget what they've already learned.  It seems harsh (to me), but it's good because they always have a hard time remembering multiplication and figuring out word problems.  

So, my 8-year-old son just came to me and told me that something was "too hard".  As we chatted I began to tell him how in just a year he'll know this stuff so well that he'll look back and think how easy it is.  I encouraged him that he'll be so smart!!  I told him how it may seem hard right now, but he'll get it and it will be worth all the hard work.  

Suddenly I realized that I was preaching to myself.  It may seem hard now to cut out certain foods and calories, but in the end it will be worth it.   Just like my kids' hard work in school will pay off so will my hard work on losing weight.   

It may not get easier with time for me, but it might; and whether it does or not I will look back on these heavier days and see that hard work really did pay off. 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Weigh-In ... Not surprised

Today's weight:  225.0
Loss/gain this week:  + 1.0
Total loss so far:  - 6 lbs.

In all honesty I wasn't surprised about this gain considering the past week; and last night I really didn't care what the scale was going to say.  I didn't pig out on anything, but I do know where I ate a little too much of high-fat-content foods.

Some non-scale positives are that I stayed faithful to exercising every day, even when I didn't feel like it, and I also stayed away from regular soda this week for the first time in a long while.  I opted for diet when I felt I really wanted a soda.  That's a big step, because it seems I've been drinking regular soda for so long now. 

I know I can't make excuses for myself going up and down and up and down, so I won't try.   I really have no desire to be on a strict diet, but I am realizing that in order to lose the weight I'm going to have to be a little more careful about my food choices.  I have the knowledge I need to make it work.  Now I just need to stick to it and get it done.   

Friday, July 10, 2009

Endorphin Relief

endorphin:  en-ˈdȯr-fən (noun)  : any of a group of endogenous peptides (as enkephalin) found especially in the brain that bind chiefly to opiate receptors and produce some pharmacological effects (as pain relief) like those of opiates.     
  -Curresty of www.merriam-webster.com

I was just about to do my 4-mile workout today when a few things were said within two phone calls and 30 minutes that started to upset me.  They weren't big issues, or anything that should change my otherwise-good day; however, I felt my emotions take rise and my spirits begin to fall.  

Though I wanted to cry for a minute, I didn't but just began my workout.  A family member asked me a question and I answered in the least-biting reply voice I could.  

As the workout intensified I began to notice my anger diffusing.  I no longer had the energy to be upset because I had to focus on keeping up with the workout.  Then I no longer had the desire to be angry.  It was as if the anger melted away to the realization that the two things that were upsetting me really weren't worth being upset about in the first place; one was someone else's opinion and the other was something that I can't change.  Finally I realized that this must be the chemical reaction in the brain to exercising.

You see, I've heard endorphins are flying through your body after a good workout, and that's why you feel so happy and ready to conquer the world when you're done.   Well, I may not understand the science of it all, but I was grateful for those endorphins today.  I felt better physically and emotionally after exercising and was able continue on with my good day!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Real Life

This week we are babysitting two toddlers while their parents are out of town at a Bible Conference.  They are good little boys and a joy to have around, but there is one way that they are different from my kids - they don't sleep in.  

Ideally I would get up at 6:00 am, do my devotions and then workout and be ready to make breakfast for everyone.  Um, but that's with getting to bed on time, which hasn't happened every night.  Instead, I've gotten up at 7:00am or so, finish devotions and realize that they are all awake.   Then one morning my husband watched them while I went to a local free gym and worked out for a bit and yesterday I exercised during naptime.  

However, this morning I was wondering what I should do.  I had done devotions, but I hadn't worked out and they were all awake.  My DVDs are usually 50-60 minutes, but I no longer had time for that.   I was getting sad, because I knew we have a full day ahead and I wanted to have it over with.   I was even thinking that I should've worked out first and then did devotions, but I just knew I have to get my time with God in first or it will NEVER get done.  

As I hugged the waking children I came to a decision to put them all to eating breakfast in the dining room and I would do a 35-minute DVD in the living room.  Then I told them they could all go upstairs and play when they were done and while I finished exercising. 

As I was working out I realized that this is real life.  Schedules might change and I am going to have to learn to work around them and still stay on my weight loss journey, even if it means cutting my exercise short once or twice a week.  

And it's okay.  

P.S.   I felt so much better after I worked out (with interruptions to clean up the 1-year-old in the high chair and send him upstairs to play, etc. etc.) and now I'm going to go shower so we can go to the zoo.  

Monday, July 6, 2009

PMS or a slump...God can help.

I think "it" is coming...because I've had the munchies all day.  I haven't over eaten too badly, but had junk that I'm trying to stay away from.  I don't want to sabotage my weight loss this week, but I've had a day where I feel like "who cares???".    

I don't like these days, but I know they are a part of life.  There was a part of our adult Sunday School class in church yesterday that talked about living by faith, not in what we see, and then acting on that faith to get the tangible results.  While I know this applies to my spiritual life and working on what God wants me to become I couldn't help but think how much this was also true in my view of my weight loss journey.  When days like today hit I have to "walk by faith and not by sight" (or emotions).  I may not feel like it's worth it when I have the munchies, but I have to stay committed and go on in faith knowing that in the end it will all pay off.  If I can remember more of the details, or the guys name, I'll post it later. 

Having said that I have to mention that this morning I did Leslie Sansone's two-mile faith walk and she mentions walking by faith and not by sight and the scripture "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13) went across the screen at one point.  I don't know what her beliefs are, but being a born-again Christian myself I was encouraged that I truly can do all things through Christ and I know He cares about me being healthier and so He will help me when I think it's impossible.  

I'm off to bed now.  Onward and upward.  Thanks for "listening"!  :o)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

If you are celebrating Independence Day and working on losing weight, then I suggest you read Diane's article on gaining independence from food at www.fittothefinish.com.  It has some very true insights.  

The last time I lost a significant amount of weight it was simply by eating when I was truly hungry and stopping when I was satisfied..and then not eating again until I was truly hungry.  At times I would get that my body only needed a smaller portion to be satisfied and lose weight, while other thin people could eat as much as they wanted without giving thought to the scales.  I had to learn to be content with my body and it's needs and not give in to its wants.  It was the only other time I felt in control of my eating; and I  did fine until I just got lazy and well lost track of things. 

Now I'm relearning that I can enjoy company, parties, etc. etc. without having to indulge in great amounts of food.  It's not always easy, in fact it can be pretty hard right now, but the small steps are paying off and there is a great feeling inside when I know I'm not dependent on food to make get togethers fun and enjoyable.  

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Weigh-In ... It's Finally Working!

Todays weight:  224
Loss this week:  - 2.5
Total loss so far:  7 lbs.

I was so scared to weigh in this morning.  I even text'd my best friend last night (who is also working on losing weight) and told her that I was not looking forward to weighing in this morning.  

When I thought more about it I realized that I was scared to weigh in because stepping on that scale knowing that I'm going to post about it makes me accountable for what the scale says.  If I weigh myself and don't tell anyone what it said, then it doesn't matter if I am making progress or not.  I know this is a stem of my fear of failure that I regularly battle in my mind. 

The weak side of me regretted telling anyone I was working on losing weight, but deep inside I knew it's the accountability that I probably need to get/keep me on track.  It was the "oh-well-you're-doing-your-best-and-I-love-you-anyway" attitude with no results that got me up to 231 pounds.  

Having said that I have to admit that I was thrilled!! I was hoping to be down even one pound and I was down over two.  It's working..it's finally working!!