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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let Freedom Ring! - Day 3

Again, don't forget I'd love to know what the words FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE mean to you in regards to your weight loss journey. You can drop me your thoughts by commenting on this post.

As I've been thinking on Independence Day I have been thinking a lot about freedom and what a wonderful thing it is. A famous quote keeps coming back to me, "Freedom isn't free." We hear that quote and understand that freedom for our country came at a price. It took hard work, perseverance, a focus on a goal and a willingness to sacrifice at times to reach a day when we could officially have our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain signed and begin living life in our United States of America.

I'd like to take a moment and show that freedom from an obsession with food is also going to come at a price. There must be some hard work put in to planning meals and making time for exercise. We must also persevere through the rough times. With our focus on the goal we'll know which path to take that will help us reach our goals.

Most of all we are going to have to be willing to sacrifice at times. I'm all for any food in moderation being okay, but I've learned that in my "weight loss" portion of my journey I have to sacrifice at times to see my goals met. Sometimes I have to let the desserts pass without taking one, or I have to give up a lazy 30 minutes to get a workout in, because I know these things are necessary for success in my weight loss journey.

Just like I'm proud to be an American and enjoy the freedoms that have been earned at sometimes high costs, I'll one day hold my head a bit higher for becoming a thin, healthier person. All I have to do is be willing to pay the costs the journey requires. I will and look forward to that day. :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let Freedom Ring! - Day 2

First off, don't forget I'd love to know what the words FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE mean to you in regards to your weight loss journey. You can drop me your thoughts by commenting on this post.
Today I'd like you to join me in seeing how our freedom from an obsession with food can be likened to some of these famous quotes.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine

I speak for myself when I say that I'd love to have a normal relationship with food, to be able to have a fit, healthy body and never worry again about weight gain. However, the only way this is going to become a reality for me is when I 'undergo the fatigue of supporting it'. When I take responsibility for my actions and live a life that supports the desire for freedom from food I will reap the blessings.

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

No matter how much I want to be thin and feel free from an obsession with food it is something I have to do for myself. No one can give me a thin body. There's no magical pill or surgery that will make it all go away. Ultimately, no matter how much help and encouragement I am offered it is something that I alone have to work towards.

There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought. ~Charles Kingsley

I think relating this quote to my weight loss journey was both the easiest and hardest. Easiest, because I clearly see the truth in the thought, but it's also the hardest thing for me to admit.

I don't think I'm alone in sometimes wishing I could just eat whatever I wanted and never have to worry about another pound. I mean, yes, I can eat whatever I want. In reality there isn't anyone telling me what I can and can not eat. Yet eating out of boredom, or overeating at a gathering only leaves me feeling so tied to food and feelings of failure and self loathing begin to settle in. There's no freedom in those feelings at all.

On the flip side, when I eat only when I am truly hungry and stop when I'm satisfied I feel good about myself. When I finish a workout I feel alive. When I eat what makes my body feel better I feel fresh and healthy. Doing all of those things may not be what I want to do, but because I know they are what I ought to do they lead me to feel completely free from food.

Thanks for joining me today as I continue my journey to freedom. I hope you've found something to bring some encouragement to you in your own weight loss journey.

Have a great day and LET FREEDOM RING!

All quotes were taken from Quote Garden.com.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Let Freedom Ring! - Day 1

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holiday. This year on my blog I have decided to spend this week leading up to Independence Day honoring the freedom we can have in regards to our weight loss journeys.

Also, don't forget your chance to be included in this week of freedom by entering your comment on this post. I'll accept comments through Wednesday.

And now....(drum roll please) ... meet Lori and see what she has to share on subject of freedom:

I feel very honored that Leah has asked me for a guest post on her blog! My name is Lori and I host the blog "Finding Radiance" where I journal life after losing 100+ pounds and what I do to keep it off (and hopefully take off a little more :D)

Leah asked to write about what losing weight has given me freedom from in honor of Independence Day. There are lots of things, like freedom from Lane Bryant, freedom from teasing, freedom from obesity-related health problems, etc. However, I wanted to mention a freedom that I *gained* from losing weight. This is the freedom of movement.

When I was at my heaviest (250 pounds), I was able to move around and do things, and I thought I was somewhat strong. However, doing stuff just tired me out. Carrying around 100 extra pounds is a lot of extra work that a body has to do just to function each and every day. I really never wanted to admit how tiring it was to try to exercise or even just walk around the mall. Being active was just not something I enjoyed. At all. Part of that was because I had an all-or-nothing mentality, so I figured if I was going to exercise, I may as well go out and run! Big mistake. I hated it because I expected too much of myself right out of the box. I then started with simple Walk Away The Pounds videos. Listening to Leslie talk about the importance being just to keep moving, not to be like everybody else, really sank in, finally. I realized it was okay to go slow and then try to improve each time.

As the weight came off, I began challenging myself to more and more active things. I began lifting weights (which I love), and building strength allowed me to do more and more. I then got a bike (which I adore!) and started riding small rides each day. Over the last couple of years, I have really increased my bike mileage and I have a goal of a single day 100-mile ride this summer. The old Lori never would have even wanted to do that. Now I look forward to it.

I am in my early 40s and in better shape than at any time of my life. I'm not quite at what I think my weight goal could be, but I am so pleased at the types of movements I can do now. When I bike, I feel like I can fly! Obesity was a cage on the inner athlete that I never knew was there. Being active was not anything I ever wanted to do or thought I would even want to do. Losing the weight opened my eyes to a whole new me.

Independence Day celebrates the freedom of our great country. Let it be inspiration to free yourself to do whatever it is that you want to do. You might be pretty surprised at what you are truly capable of when you give yourself a chance.

~ Lori

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Plank Queen

I tried level 2 of Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred DVD this afternoon and IT WAS TOUGH!! By the time she did the last plank move I was verbalizing to no one in particular, "What is up with the planks?!?" I never heard of "plank jacks", "plank twists" and any other plank moves we attempted until today. When I was done I came out of my room and told my husband to just call me "The Plank Queen". When my muscles are shaking this much you bet I'm going to milk it for all the attention I can. :D

Don't forget to enter your thoughts on freedom and independence in your weight loss journey. Click here to see what I'm talking about.

I hope you're all having a nice weekend!

Under Construction

I'm slowly working on updating the layout of my blog. I apologize in advance for any weirdness that might show up in the next couple of days. :)

Your Input Please

Dear Readers,
With our nations Indepence Day holiday coming up in a week I'd like to try something a little different for my blog. I would like to pose a question to you.

What do the words FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE mean to you in regards to your weight loss journey?

My comments are always monitored by me before posting to this blog, so instead of "approving" the comments I will be compiling all of the responses and putting them into a post to share with everyone next week. I will also add my own thoughts to this post.

So, as we heard at a 4th of July rodeo last year here in Oklahoma... "Be thinkin' on it. Git it in yer mind."... and I add, please? I'd love to hear what y'all come up with. :)

With you in this journey,

Friday, June 25, 2010

Weigh-In ... Changes

Today's Weight: 201.5
Loss/Gain: -3.5
Total Loss So Far: -29.5 lbs.

Technically I see this as a maintain since I was 201.5 last Thursday and Saturday, just up on Friday. Nonetheless, I'm glad to see it's not anything higher.

I've been doing a lot of soul searching on some habits that affect not only my weight but other areas of my life as well. I've been reading a couple of books and having some very productive talks with a close friend of mine who is facing some of the same struggles.

I think/know I have some emotional issues related to food and, believe it or not, I'm finding they relate to other areas of my life as well. The same issues keep popping up. I'm probably going to do a small little series on a few subjects to get these thoughts out, but it's going to take some more time and reflection.

Meanwhile, these are a few changes that will be taking place in my life and my blog right away.
  • I will not be jogging/running again until my weight gets down some, or until the fall. I will continue working out 4-5 days a week using DVDs and walks at the park. Once my weight has lowered a bit I'm going to take my husband up on the offer to go to a running store and get fitted for some running shoes. I'm hoping the combination of weight loss and maybe "special" shoes will allow me to get back to my 30 minutes of jogging without hip pain for the 12-24 hours following each workout.

  • I am no longer using Lose It! to track my food. Counting calories was killing me, especially when I did great and saw gains that week. I am considering a food journal wherein I will track my level of hunger before each meal and fullness afterwards. More on that later. I must tell you when I decided to quit tracking my food I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I will continue to work towards having a fruit or vegetable with each meal and limiting my sweets to one small portion daily.

  • Finally, this will be my last official weigh-in. I am going to try a new idea for a month or so that I saw on another blog. I will post my weights each month and under the monthly totals keep a running 7-day average of my weight. This will make more sense when you see it. I have pretty much always seen my daily weighing as the tool I use to keep myself in check. I haven't my journaled food, counted calories or points, but I have weighed myself. Except for certain times of the month it doesn't bother me to see the fluctuations. What does bother me is knowing on Thursday I have a weigh-in Friday and that's the weigh everyone in blogland will judge me by. The past couple of months my Thursdays have become stressful knowing I have to post whatever shows up on Friday, even if I was lower on Thursday. And I'm a little tired of thinking I was awful throughout the week just because of what I have to post on here on Fridays. Of course, I rejoice in the weigh-ins that are good, but I need to do this for now. We'll see how I like it and if it stays permanently after a month or two.
So, I'm glad for this time of soul searching that I'm going through. It's not easy to face yourself and deal with deep issues that no one can see, but when you know the outcome is going to make for a more peaceful, productive, happier way of life it's worth the struggle and study to get there.

Also, I may be away from the computer until next Wednesday due to some activities coming up in our family. Thank you for checking in on me again and for standing by me through these moments. I know I will come out the victor in my weight loss journey and in life with God's help and a little work on my part.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Do You Think?

Last night in church our pastor was preaching on having a vision for whatever God has called you to do with your life. In the course of his sermon he made a comment that struck home with me in so many areas of my life, including my weight loss journey.

He said, "You will never go beyond what you think", and alluded to the scripture in Proverbs "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he..."

As I pondered it again this morning I had to wonder, what do I think?
Do I think I can lose the excess weight?
Do I think I have the strength to get through a stressful time without turning to food?
Do I think I can ever have a normal relationship with food?

These are things I had already been thinking on this week, so when Pastor said that last night I knew that God has been hearing my thoughts and prayers. God knows these are some things I'm not totally convinced of yet in my own mind. Funny, but it's the same feeling of "not totally convinced" that I've been struggling with in other areas as well.

My desire is not to live a life of mediocrity, both as a wife, mother, woman and in my weight loss journey. I won't give up the fight to break the emotional ties to food. I will continue to work towards changing my thinking little by little, because only when I truly believe in my heart I can do this will the real, lifelong changes take place.

This is definitely easier said than done for me, but I know it can happen. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sunglasses Giveaway

I told you Tricia was the giveaway queen and here's more proof. She has a giveaway ending this Friday for a pair of Ryders Eyewear. You can read about it and enter by clicking here.

I'm hoping I win to get a pair for my husband.
Though after these dorky glasses I wore (and loved, I must admit) from about 12 years to 16 years old maybe I need a pair also. LOL

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Lori Lynn over at Sunflowers 'N Daisies was kind enough to award me the Beautiful Blogger award last week. I'm supposed to tell you seven things about myself and then forward the award on to a few other blogs.
So, here's the random things about me:
  1. I collect spoons. My collection started with one spoon and a rack that my grandmother gave me when I was in junior high. I now have over 100 spoons, about a third of which are from overseas. Some I've purchased myself, some were gifts and some have been purchased by friends when I find out they are traveling and sneak them some money.
  2. I got married and had my children at the same ages my mother did. We both married at 19, had our first child (twins for me) at age 21 and our second child (pregnancy for me) at 24. We even had the same sex of children at each birth. We're also both still married to our wonderful husbands, 36 years for them and 14 years for me.
  3. I gave my life to Jesus as a little girl, and no matter how great the temptations through junior high and high school I managed to keep living for Christ. He has been my strength and salvation through all of the ups and downs in life.
  4. One of my favorite days is a rainy one, where I can sit down with a cup of coffee and a good book.
  5. I can never decide if I love fall or spring more on those email questionnaires - when the time rolls around for each of them I enjoy them both immensely.
  6. I've always thought it would be fun to a step aerobics instructor. Of all the classes I've taken I've always loved step aerobics; and how fun would it be to make money while exercising!
  7. My natural curly hair didn't kick in until almost nine years ago. It was very straight growing up and I used to wish I could have curly hair like my mom did. Somewhere around 12 or 13 years old it started to get wavy, to the extent that I couldn't let it dry natural if I wanted it straight. Then suddenly it started going a little wild, I cut it VERY short and it grew in curly. It's been curly every since, and I love it!! It's one of the things I love about the humidity here in Oklahoma...it makes my hair easy to deal with since it curls right up with little effort from me. :)
Now, I'd like to pass this award on to the following bloggers. I'm keeping my list short this time, but there are many blogs I follow and people who comment on here that are a blessing to me in my weight loss journey.
  • Tricia at Endurance Isn't Only Physical - She's had great success in losing 100+ pounds, finds ways to keep fit even if her body isn't cooperating and keeps a smile on her face through it all. Oh, did I mention she's the giveaway queen?
  • Lori at Finding Radiance - She's recently celebrated her 2nd anniversary of losing 100 pounds. Her daily photographic accounts of her eats and workouts are a pleasure to peruse.
  • Barbara at My Journey to Healthy Living - Currently fighting the weight loss battle she is honest and real through every victory and defeat that comes with the task of losing weight. I love the beautiful smile she shows in every photo of herself.
  • Christine at My Life... - Christine is showing by example that it is possible to eat right and find time for exercise while being a wife and mother of a large family. She's almost to her goal too.
Have fun checking out their blogs. I'm sure you'll find them just as encouraging as I have.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Random Thoughts From the Weekend

Well, there were little bits of this and that from over the weekend, so I thought I'd do a random post today.

First off, I think I'm an advanced walker now. :) I started exercising in the beginning of my weight loss journey using Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds DVDs. Two miles maybe three days a week, then I bumped it up to three mile walks and added another day. I did that until last fall when I started using the elliptical machine at the gym. Well, Saturday night I pulled out one of her DVDs, the 3-mile Weight Loss Walk, and decided to do it for my workout. I have been hestitant to use these DVDs again because they don't seem to push me as much as jogging or the elliptical does. But I learned something this time....

....if you pull those knees as high as you can with every step, even when the tempo quickens, and do every movement to the fullest that your body can produce you'll get a good sweat. It may not have been as hard as jogging, but I was sweating just as bad after those 45 minutes as I do with The 30-day Shred. This made me happy for two reasons. (1) I found out I can still use these for a good workout and (2) I was capable of pushing myself to limits during that workout that I know I couldn't do last fall. Woo Hoo! I think I'll be adding some more walking at home into my summer workout routine.

That was about the highlight of my weekend as far as health goes. The rest is some lessons I learned:
  • I still get rebellious and after a gain want to just eat and eat and not care anymore.
  • I'm still having to learn to believe in myself that I can lose this weight. At the same time I almost felt a load come off of me after getting all my feelings out about mourning the loss of food.
  • Greasy foods give me heartburn and I had it both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Just because a cake looks cool, doesn't mean it tastes that good. I think I'm going to have start becoming a food snob and only allow a bite of cake to first see if it's worth spending my hunger on. The cake I tasted on Saturday was not, but it didn't stop me from eating my small sliver. (Yes, small, that was the best part of that choice.)
  • Speaking of things that aren't worth it....Whataburger shakes ARE NOT WORTH THE CALORIES right now.. First off, the "medium" is 32 oz, of which I maybe had 1/2 to 2/3 of it as a treat Sunday night. All the fun was taken out of my treat when I got home and journaled it only to find out a 32 oz. chocolate shake has 1,000 calories in it. Yes, you read that right, 1,000. I even looked it up online to make sure. When I did the math I figured that's about 125 calories for a half cup, and I've spent that much on a small treat before...now just put a bunch of those into one large shake. Suddenly I didn't enjoy it as much. I told my husband, "It will be a LONG time before I ever get a shake again!"
  • And last, but not least, having water with a grilled chicken sandwhich at Whataburger is just as satisfying as having soda. Actually after having the heartburn, and a soda the day before, grilled chicken and a cup of ice water was just perfect! (and much less calories too...)
  • Blogging is a wonderful tool and I'm so grateful I've chosen to be a part of the weight loss neighborhood of blogland. Your support and smiles helped me so much this past week.
  • Oh, and I am rebellious in another way...I refuse to give up on my weight loss journey because of some stress. I will acknowledge that it can play a big part in my emotions and eating habits, but I will fight it and learn how to win.
So, there are a few thoughts I had over the weekend. Oh, and of course, we had a very nice day Sunday celebrating Father's Day with this wonderful man - my husband and father to our three children.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'm Not Crazy After All

Well, yesterday was a very stressful day, as is pretty much the case many days with a mother and brother both going through cancer treatment and other daily life stressors - like scales that jump up 4 pounds on weigh-in day.

Which brings me to my reason for this quick Saturday post.

I was 201.5 this morning. See? I'm not crazy. I know you didn't think so, but I felt the need to show everyone that it really was a fluke of the scale.

I'll leave my weigh-in the same, but it makes me feel better to let everyone know that the gain I had to post wasn't really as bad as it looked yesterday.

Thank you for all your kind comments and words of support and direction. I do think the stress is having an effect on my body, so this is going to be an interesting couple of months. If I can lose weight with everything going on in my family then I will be doing wonderful.

And that's my goal - to lose weight even in times of stress. We'll see how I do.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Weigh-In ... Summer Challenge Ending

Today's Weight: 205.0
Loss/Gain: +5.0 lbs
Total Loss So Far: -26.0 lbs

When 205.0 stared up at me this morning I just started crying. So very frustrated. These thoughts went through my head:
  • What?!?!?! Yes, all week the scale has been a bit over 200, and even though I'm not sure why it hasn't shown 205 since my weigh-in two weeks ago. In fact, it was just 201.5 yesterday.
  • I have been tracking all my food using Lose It! on my iPod Touch for over two weeks and I ate less this week than last...but I show a GAIN???
  • Wednesday night when everyone got Sonic I declined and settled for a greek yogurt and some Triscuits when we got home. I had room for a snack on my calories, so I chose a healthier option. For what again?
  • I wasn't as diligent with the water, but the last two days I have been...and yesterday I drank 128 ounces of water...again, for this to happen??
  • This is stupid. It seems like I tried to be diligent and it only ruined me.
  • I need to stop crying and just get ready for my day.... I won't give up, but this is the absolutely worst weigh-in I've experienced in my weight loss journey, and I'm so embarassed, especially because it was the week I really began to fine tune things. I'm so confused and frustrated.
I went on to get ready, didn't cry any more, made my coffee and sat down to do my devotions. I was very distracted by this, but I got through that.

Folks as if I don't have enough going on in my life right now to stress me out I had to add a HUGE gain after a week of eating less. The last time I was up I knew exactly why. I had eaten beyond full all that week and not exercised once.

I have only been over my daily calorie budget of 1,318 one day this week, but last week I was over it SIX days (and higher the week before, so last week I saw a 5-lb loss). This last week I actually had a daily net under my budget on the days I worked out - that is to say that I might have been right on budget or just over, but after the program deducted what I burned in exercise I ended up under my daily allowance.

So, needless to say I'm a bit frustrated and truly at a loss here. I'm not sure if I ate too little this past week, or just having those moments where I didn't eat when hungry and then ate a larger meal was counterproductive, or not getting 64 oz. of water in daily affected me, or is this like week 2 of The Biggest Loser wherein most contestants maintain after having a large loss?

I'll keep plugging away and make myself take this weigh-in with a grain of salt. It's one week, it's not my entire journey. I have to take the little bit of mustard seed faith I have left in myself and do what I know to do to see my weight go down. It's not over folks.

Oh, but one thing that is over for me is being a part of the Summer Challenge. One of the requirements is to get a picture of the scale at weigh-in and I just haven't been getting that done. I'm still setting myself a goal of losing ten pounds and exercising at least four days a week through the summer, but I need to back off being officially involved in a challenge right now.

Thanks for bearing with my long posts recently. I know it's a lot to take in, but this blog is mostly an open-book journal for me to get my thoughts out and share them with you in case they might help you in some way.

I hope you have a nice weekend! I'm off to clean house, drop girls off for volunteering and get my mind off of my weight for the moment.

Mourning the Loss of Food - Part Two

While I now realize that mourning the loss of certain foods is very real I also realized something else - you must be careful what you read. As I was typing the portion in Mourning the Loss of Food - Part One about reading Jillian Michael's very strict diet plan and feeling like a failure before I even tried it a light went on in my head.

That's where my mourning really hit. When I read something that was meant for direction and clarity on certain issues and left feeling like I could never live up to it I was saddened. I felt hopeless and like I didn't have any hope of succeeding. Portions of her book were very interesting and even helpful to me, but to set out to follow a strict plan like she teaches was too much for me.

This last week I finally reached a point in my weightloss journey where I felt ready to get serious. I've been tracking my food for two weeks. Saw how much I was really eating and where I needed to cut back. I was ready to get serious about my food intake and cut where I need to in order to see more consistent losses. I understood that this would mean cutting out certain foods for a bit, or cutting them to very small portions, and I was okay with this.

To help me learn some more about where/how to tweak my eating I read this book, but suddenly I was hit with a feeling of remorse for committing to a stricter plan. I was almost sorry I ever looked for help, because now I read something that seemed too much, too strict. Back came the old feelings of "I never win at dieting." and I felt hopeless. Having seen higher numbers on the scale this past week, and not understanding why, had a lot to do with my mournful attitude.

I suddenly felt like I wasn't going to be able to do this after all, because I love all those foods too much to give them up.

This lead me to realize that I was taking Jillian's book a bit too seriously for me. I can only read what is helpful and store away was was too overwhelming to draw on at a later time. Later I might need to know how and/or be ready to implant more stricter plans, but for now I still have to take it one day at a time. I have to keep taking one baby step of change at a time or I'll be so overwhelmed that I won't try at all. And not trying at all will only lead to failure.

I refuse to give up on my desire to become more disciplined and see more consistent loss. I even have hopes of losing more than 30 pounds in this next year. This is going to mean letting go of my hold on certain foods, but it's also going to mean learning to rejoice in all of the things I gain by being a healthier, happier me. The mourning won't last forever, but the small changes for the better will.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mourning the Loss of Food - Part One

I've heard about people mourning the loss of food, and today I think I experienced it. I've been doing some talking and reading lately finding out tips on what needs to change in my life to see a more consistent weight loss. I'm ready for a seriously focused plan, no matter how hard. This has included beginning to track my food and calories to see just how much I'm eating and finding out what needs to be tweaked.

I've already begun to cut back in certain areas this week and am getting that water in like it's going out of style. So why was I vexed this afternoon? My scale has shown me up every single day since my weigh-in of 200.0 last Friday, so I thought maybe that was it.

However, the more I thought on it I realized when my attitude took a dive for the negative. It was this afternoon when I was hungry and realized I needed to be careful what I ate or I wouldn't leave myself enough calories for dinner. I was scared of going over for the day and sabotoging myself, but I was truly hungry. I made myself a light snack and it was good for an hour or so. Then I started to feel a little bummed again, but I couldn't put my finger on why.

My husband grilled a yummy dinner with chicken and some beef steaks, adding zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers and onions on the side grilled in his grill basket. It was so good and I enjoyed every bite!

But my attitude didn't get any better. I voiced to him that I was worried I ate too much for my weigh-in tomorrow. He suggested I go for another walk, but I really didn't want to. I already worked out today and it would mean taking a second shower and not getting some things done around here (like blogging out my feelings and researching why I was bummed).

I took a minute of privacy in my bedroom to really think about where in my day did my attitude go from bright and cheery to sad. I thought about a relationship issue that was bothering me earlier this week, and my mom starting chemo on Monday, or my brother in the hospital with an issue related to his cancer, or my preteens who have bad attitudes, but none of these things seemed to be the reason for my sad emotions. They all have their places in my life right now and can each bring sadness, but none of them seemed to resonate with what I was feeling.

Suddenly I remembered hearing about mourning the loss of food. Aha. That hit home with my emotions. So, I took myself to the internet and searched some articles on the subject. There wasn't a whole lot out there, or I didn't find it all. If you're interested you can read some of what I found here , here and here.

It sounds so dramatic, but I'm sure that's what my problem was. As I've been refocusing I've been realizing that there are certain foods I need to stay away from during the weight loss part of my journey.

I had also just finished reading a book my Jillian Michaels (more on that later) that laid out a very strict eating plan to see quick weight loss and it left me reeling thinking I'll never be able to lose the weight, because I'll never be able to live like that.

I still feel that I can have anything in moderation, once in a while, but I know that there are foods that will no longer be a regular part of my diet. For some strange reason this made me sad for a bit.

Journaling this all out on my blog has helped the feelings to dissipate and I'm doing better now. Looking back over what I wrote I'm seeing some things that may have had more of a part to play in my mourning of food than I originally suspected.

Have any of you been through this in your weight loss journeys? I'd love to hear from you.

A Solution and Cool Shirt

First off, check out my fun tank top that I found at Old Navy a couple of months ago. I just had to get it because of the motto on it and because it was my "new" size XL. It's a little too snug for me to wear in public just yet, but since I workout in my house I can wear it to "my gym". Of course, posting it online for the whole world to see is pretty "public" isn't it??? LOL I'm holding my stomach in a lot for this picture, and I just know you guys are more forgiving in health blog land.

In that cup you will see today's solution to finishing off my last Yoplait greek yogurt. I made a smoothie with greek yogurt, chocolate 100% whey protein powder and a banana. YUM!! My kids tasted it and want one now.

When I compared the nutrition information of regular yogurt to greek yogurt I just knew that the greek is better for me because of it's high protein content. So, I'll keep looking around for something more enjoyable, or just keep finding ways to make it more palatable for me. It's kind of like a workout...I just feel better after I've eaten it even if it wasn't the most enjoyable going down. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Couldn't Stand It

A good day today. Ate well and exercised in the evening after dinner by walking in the park.

During the walk a speed walker past me and reminded me that I can go faster, though I never quite caught up to her.

A few runners past me as well and suddenly I couldn't stand it. I had to jog.

For those that don't know, my hip has been bothering me when I jog ever since my 5K on April 5th. So, I've quit the regular 30-minute jogs and stuck to other workouts.

But this evening I couldn't stand simply walking fast. Before I knew it I stepped it up into a jog. I took it easy (well, that's not saying much since my jogging pace is barely about 4.3 mph - LOL ) and did walk/jog intervals for about a mile of the 2.7 miles I did on the trail.

It sure felt good, and so far my hip doesn't hurt. I came home proud of my red, sweaty face and sweat drenched t-shirt. I will sleep good tonight. (which, by the way, is a reminder of why I love to jog...I feel so good afterwards and sleep wonderfully.) :)

Oh, and in case you're wondering...I do still have plans to one day be a real runner. So stay tuned and find out more about how I plan on accomplishing this. I have plans, my friends, including not giving up, losing weight and getting fitted.

G'nite! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Where Are They Now?

As most of you well know my weight loss journey has been a slow one. I started blogging right about the time I began working on losing weight, one year ago. During that time I've broken through many emotional walls, and lost 31 pounds and almost two full pant sizes (not ALL 16w's fit me just yet).

Over this past year I've watched as people began following my blog. I'm honored that they would add me to their lists and recently I've been wondering where they all are in their journeys. To find this out I sat down and clicked on each follower, viewed their blog if they had one and then took notes. My results were as follows:

Only one person was no longer working on their weight.

Twenty five people have blogs updated and are still working on their weight, or have already reached their weight loss goals. Today I tried to comment on all the ones I have not officially committed to as a follower.

Twenty people did not have blogs for me to check in on. However, one of these is a dear friend of mine who had gastric bypass surgery about four years ago and I know she is still thin and fit and in control of her health to this date. I also think about five of these do have blogs, but I didn't see the link to it, but I've seen them comment and they are still working on their health. I also am pretty sure that two of them are no longer working on their weight, because I used to have a link to their blogs on mine an they stopped blogging last fall.

I found my little evening of blog visiting to be very rewarding. Maybe many "followers" are no longer following my blog, but that's okay. I know I don't regularly have time to sit and read blogs like I did this evening. Yet, it's still very encouraging to know that over half of my followers are continuing their healthy lifestyles.

So, if you're looking for some weight loss journey encouragement click on a follower of my blog. You might be surprised to find someone like you who is struggling, or who is sharing their tips for weight loss, or who is struggling and could use some encouragement themselves. We're all in this together folks and we're not giving up!

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Two Small Victories!

I have a sort of mindset non-scale victory (NSV) to report. I'll start with some honesty here....

Since Fridays are my weigh-in days I usually feel a freedom to eat whatever I want on that day. I have six more to make up for it, right? That's usually how I think, as non-focused as it sounds.

Lately I've been thinking and planning that I want to be focused all seven days of the week. I will allow certain treats, but I don't want to keep yo-yo'ing with a few pounds every month.

So I was a little excited when yesterday my mind didn't do it's usual switchover to "Let's eat everything we want today!" mode. I stayed focused and still watched what I ate, even though I had a weigh-in and had seven more days until the next one. Same for today as well.

In fact, I also tend to go into "weekend" mode and kind of not worry about how I eat until Monday again...to some extent, some weekends worse than others.

However, today we spent the day at a soccer tournament for my son and I packed sandwhiches and fruit for us all. LOTS of fruit so there would be plenty to snack on.

Now we did go out to dinner and I enjoyed some spinach and artichoke dip before eating half of my pasta with bruschetta and grilled chicken. It was okay though, because I planned to allow myself one meal eating out each week since we usually go out once a week as a family. Also, being that I was careful all day there wasn't too much damage done.

This evening I also ended up going over to the gym to workout on the elliptical for 30 minutes while my family lazed about. I knew I had the extra time, I've been wanting to try and get more than four days of exercise in when possible, even for a walk, and finally I knew it would be good for me to workout after that restaurant meal (thinking artichoke dip and chips here...).

On the way there I wanted ice cream really bad. I even heard an ad on the radio for Sonic having 99 cent sundaes after 8:00 pm. I would be finishing up at the gym at 8:00, so that would be perfect.

Well, as I drove towards home I just couldn't bring myself to get ice cream. I needed to stop at the store for something else so I pondered what kind of cold, creamy sweet I could get that would satisfy my craving without being too high in calories.

I opted for some Jell-O Sugar Free chocolate pudding. I almost bought some low-cal Edy's ice cream, but it's still 150 calories for 1/2 a cup. I didn't want to "spend" too much on a dessert and the Jell-O sounded good and was only 60 calories for a serving.

I just finished my Jell-O before logging on here to post and it was perfect.

This, my friends, is a new way of thinking for me. To be focused through a Friday and a Saturday and not give in to the ice cream are small victories in my life. I'm very content with these steps in the right direction...they are leading me closer to my new ending! :)

Have a great rest of your weekends everyone! I know I will. G'nite!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Weigh-In ... Summer Challenge #3

Today's Weight: 200.0
Loss/Gain: -5.5 lbs.
Total Loss So Far: -31 lbs.

Yes! Getting with the program is paying off. I'd love to chat more about it, but I woke up late and have to get ready to take my girls to the zoo while husband is on his way home to spend time with our son.

My Goals for the Summer Challenge:

(Not sure why photo is sideways, but no time to fix today..sorry...)

  • Lose at least ten pounds - Beginning weight 199.0. Getting back on track. Still not down, but not six pounds higher either.
  • Exercise four days a week. Three down this week and one scheduled for today.
Thanks for checking in and being so supportive all week. The comments are icing on the cake of this journey. Or should I say, it's the rush after a good run/workout? LOL

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yuck & Yum

This morning I once again tried some Greek yogurt. Yogurt is not my favorite food in general, but I'm seriously having a hard time getting used to it. I've tried both Dannon and Yoplait, and this Yoplait Non-Fat Blueberry is so far the less than desirable of the two.

Thankfully I ended my breakfast with some fresh raspberries and they helped brighten the rest of my meal.

(Thanks to Lori for the idea on taking pictures of reactions to food and my daughter who was my personal photographer this morning.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Letter to Myself - In Case You Forget....

This past Sunday morning I was wishing I had time to post because I was thinking along these lines and I desperately didn't want to forget my thoughts. So, now I'll try and get those thoughts out in a somewhat orderly fashion. It goes something like this...

Dear Leah,
When your weight loss journey gets rough please take a minute to read this letter and be reminded of why you are working on becoming healthier and more fit.

The past month has been very stressful and it ended with you finally deciding to not worry about food or exercise until after your return home and your mother-in-law leaving. You also decided that you would really get with the program during the summer, so you were going to use these last few days, maybe a week, to just enjoy yourself.

During these days, when you just didn't care anymore, you allowed yourself to eat whatever you wanted, how ever much you wanted and whenever you wanted. The results were very interesting to say the least. The flow of emotions went something like this:
  • At first it felt like freedom to be able to eat whatever and however much you wanted, whenever you felt like it.
  • You enjoyed sipping a high-calorie iced coffee drinks whenever you wanted.
  • Being able to savor tasty, fattening foods and sweets was such a wonderful feeling.
  • There was only guilt if you ate pure junk for a meal (the Saturday cake for breakfast), but if you ate "real" food you didn't feel as guilty.
  • However, soon you did begin to feel new things...like never feeling hungry, except maybe at breakfast if you waited a little later to eat.
  • You were not simply "satisfied" all day, but usually pretty full. The next meal came because it was time to eat, not because you were hungry.
  • Your clothes began feeling tight and you realized that it had been over a month since you had regular, fairly intense workouts. So, you realized you were probably beginning to "spread" or lose muscle tone.
  • The peace you felt when eating pretty much what you wanted and maintaining at 199/200 lbs started to slip away as you saw the scale creep up.
  • You noticed that your own mother was watching her portions while you were visiting, but you still felt the need to go into "vacation" mode and eat more than normal.
  • You couldn't totally get away from some new habits, like eating smaller portions; or if you did, you ate all the while noticing that you didn't truly want the food. It was almost as if you forced yourself to overeat simply because you had given yourself permission to do so.
  • Upon your return home you were embarrassed for your mother-in-law to see you, though you were at least 10 pounds lighter and a size smaller than the last time you saw her.
  • Though your little shopping trip with her had you trying on extra large sizes in the regular department, versus the old 2X's you used to wear, you really felt fat and out of shape.
  • Suddenly you noticed this last Friday and Saturday that you had no energy and no desire to do anything productive.
  • Yes, you might've still weighed 200+ pounds this past winter and spring, but you had begun feeling fit and "light" from the exercise and better eating habits you were adopting; but those feelings were now gone and were being replaced by the old feelings of laziness and self-hatred as you indulged yourself.
  • You realized that while the first bites of "whatever-whenever-however much" were fun and enjoyable they weren't really worth all the negative feelings that would follow.
  • You also found yourself beginning to turn down foods (even though your mind kept telling you that you should take advantage of these last few "free" days) because they just weren't sounding so good anymore.
  • You decided that exercise is definitely a must in your life and that you miss it when you don't make time/have time for it. You realized it doesn't have to be on someone's else time table. Just getting it in each day is good enough, and it's only you who can decide when the best time for that is according to your own schedule.
  • You decided that no matter what the cost you were going to get your eating habits back in order and work hard to meet your weight loss goal, because you never felt better in your life than the past two to five months wherein you were eating healthier and getting solid, regular exercise in each week.
  • You finally realize that being free to eat whatever/whenever/however much did not give you any freedom at all. It only left you aching for a desire for control back in your life, and a reason to hold your head up high. It really wasn't worth it.

And that's what I want to remind you of...it's not worth it, Leah.

You know already know this, because every time you overindulge you feel terrible. Yet until now, you've never admitted to yourself that the overindulgence really, truly isn't worth the regret, heartburn or negative feelings that follow. Or you never truly felt like it wasn't worth it until you completely slipped back into your old habits and saw the pain and discomfort they brought.

As you sit here writing you finally get that, just like in every other area of life, the real freedom comes with a little discipline and some well placed boundaries.

Yes, there will be times you'll allow yourself a treat and enjoy it immensely. There will also still be those times of the month (ahem) that you'll crave chocolate and the best thing will be to have a small portion. But next time you want to snack on something and you hear yourself saying, "You're full, Leah." or " Do you really want that?", stop and remember that you'll feel much better about yourself both emotionally and physically if you practice a little discipline and stay focused on your health goals.

And in case you forget why you're taking time to care for your health, well, just take a look at that list above. Remind yourself once again that you never, ever want to go back to the old, sad Leah who had no control in her life.

With sincerest love and

Ever hopefully yours,

Me..or I should say ... you. :)

All In Good Time

Well, I've been home for a few days, I've enjoyed some lazing around (planting flowers last Friday evening - see picture to the left), then some cleaning up and today getting laundry done. I have a post brewing in my mind about my past weeks' experience with "letting go" health wise. It wasn't a pleasant experience for the most part (except for temporary enjoyments that came with the first bites of yummy foods), but it was a learning one to be sure.

In the meantime, things are getting back to normal. I did the 30-day Shred yesterday. Then my kids and I went to the public pool where I spent about an hour treading water on and off while they splashed about. I felt great.

Then I woke up today sore as all get out in my upper body. Whew! Taking time off from regular exercise sure left me out of shape and I felt every odd muscle that I used in my workout yesterday aching this morning. I have to say, though, that it still felt great. Today I'll be doing a walk just to give those muscles time to recoup a bit more.

The eating is also getting much better and already I can feel the difference it's making. I think I mainly feel better knowing I'm getting control back in my eating and exercising life. I know the scale will start to go down soon, and I'll once again start to see more progress towards my weight loss goal.

I hope you're having some nice summer days and thanks for checking in on me!

p.s. I got the "thanks for checking in " from Staci at Weight Loss Mama...she's so sweet and that's how she ends her posts. I just had to adopt it, because it's how I feel every time someone comments and I know you're rooting for me and my journey! :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Weigh-In ... Summer Challenge - HA!

Today's Weight: 205.5
Loss/Gain: +3.5 lbs
Total Loss So Far: -25.5

I'll be honest I wanted to quit the Summertime Challenge because I have showed two "huge" gains these first two weeks. Then I remembered a few things:
  1. I've been stressed emotionally beyond pretty much anything I've experienced in my life up until now.
  2. I wasn't at home and in place to get back into my groove until basically yesterday.
  3. TOM came in like a pre-tornado thunderstorm causing all sorts of physical and emotional feelings of pain and frustration...just two days ago. Good lord, I'm wondering if this month is making up for some previous "not so bad" month I had. Not sure, but it's in full force and I honestly don't care if I workout until I can quit taking Aleve more than is really good for you. Sorry, for TMI, but I'm being blatantly honest here.
Now, having posted that last bit of very personal info let me say that again this number has not been seen on my scale all week. Remember me saying that about last week? Well, the next day the scale was back to 200 and that's pretty much where it's been until a few days ago when it took a slight jump, but then yesterday it was back down there. Of course, I know that I've felt like a bloated whale and I can't blame the scale for showing that I didn't eat weight-loss portions or foods the past couple of days.

So, while I'm very embarrassed to even be posting another large gain I decided to put my big girl pants on and deal with it. I know I haven't cared about exercise or eating a bit lighter the past few days, but it's one thing to admit that to yourself and another to post about it for everyone to see.

However, one of my goals in this journey is to be honest and as much as I didn't want to post this huge weight I know I have to. Plus, then when I get back into my groove you'll understand why I'll be so happy to see a large loss. Because I AM going to get back into my groove. I have a plan in my head that I'll put into place as soon as my body quits feeling like early labor is going on down there.

Also, the camera thing wasn't working out this morning ... I think it didn't want to see 205.5 either. *sigh*

Oh, and for the record....
My Goals:
  • Lose at least ten pounds - Beginning weight 199.0. Not even close yet. Loss so far: -0
  • Exercise four days a week. Nope. Cleaning on Monday was the only intense exercise I did all week.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Home Sweet Home & French Women

I'm home again, finally. I'll be back to post my weigh-in tomorrow and then most likely get back into regular blogging after MIL leaves on Saturday.

Here's a little tidbit for you...

Larkspur asked me if I've read this book French Women Don't Get Fat. Yes, I have and it's a great book. So, if you're looking for some summer reading, check it out at the author's website by clicking here.

Have a great day and thanks for checking in on me!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hope Remains

Good morning!

I hope you all had a nice Memorial Day weekend. Here at my parents it was very simple. My dad had to work and I cleaned house for my mom. She is recovering nicely, but I leave tomorrow, so I wanted to leave her with a clean house.

Thank you so much for your encouraging comments and show of support on my vent. It's another reason I blog, to know that I'm not alone in this battle.

The eating has been pretty good. I haven't gotten out there for any walks yet this week, but spent about 5 hours deep cleaning yesterday - top to bottom - so I think that counts for something. It also kept me busy enough not to munch all day. : )

My mom and I were talking about how once my visit is over things will get back to some semblance of weight-loss-portions normal in both of our lives. So, all hope is not lost and I am feeling refreshed and a bit refocused.

Have a great week everyone!