Monday, November 21, 2011

Time Keeps on Slipping...Into the Future....

I know I say this EVERY week but, Damn - time flies!
Ever since Halloween, I feel like life has been on perpetual fast speed and I just need to slow things down. It's the proverbial Catch 22 - I want time to go by quickly so that I will be finished with my classes and all the hellish time-sucking work that comes with them -  But I NEED it to also slow down because Lord knows the work load I have in front of me can't get done in the course of a few days. I have 3 weeks to go and in that time I have the following projects due: 2 research papers, a special ed modified lesson plan, a graphic organizer to accompany one of my research papers, a group presentation, 2 final exams and a HUGE field work observation write up that I have to do based on my 90 hours of elementary school classroom observation (totaling about 100 pages typed). Never mind the stuff I have to do for the upcoming holiday.

Yeah, my head is spinning big time. Like a friggin' top.
Stop the ride, I wanna get off.....

So... if you guessed that dieting isn't on the front burner this week, you're 100% correctomundo!! What is it they say about the word "STRESSED" spelled backwards....??? Oh, come on - You know.....and I have been having my unfair share.
Basically, it boils down to this: I'm eating when I can, and eating what is available to me - and it's not all veggies and fruit, that is for sure. It doesn't mean I am having corn dogs dipped in cheeze whiz and chocolate covered chicken wings or anything, but I haven't been cooking a whole heck of a lot, that's for sure. My husband is on kitchen duty. In other words - There has been pizza. And shepherd's pie. And steak. And today a turkey & swiss pannini from the deli down the street. I did manage to make homemade black bean soup that was absolutely fabulous, minus the gas it gave me for three days after the fact. Beg pardon - TMI?????

This week wasn't great to say the least - I am back at 231 again - so alas, a gain AGAIN...Hello, Yo-Yo! This story is so old, so annoying, and soooooo last July. I'm over it but I will say that in my heart of hearts, I know that until I get a grip on the school work hanging over my head, I will be able to focus on little else. I know it's wrong, but it's the reality.

Another reality is that I get to go for a physical next week as a part of my clearances for student teaching. I can't remember what I weighed the last time I saw my doctor but I was probably in the 220's, if I'm guessing. So I haven't changed much weight wise but I know that I expressed to her the last time I was there that I wanted to lose weight...that was at least 2 years ago. Um, hello???? Epic fail.

Anyway - I am sorry to disappoint once again - that goes for myself and my fellow bloggers. If I lost an ounce for every time I thought about dieting or losing weight, I'd be the world's skinniest woman. But let's face it, thinking doesn't mean doing....I'm not stupid. I know which end is up.I'm struggling more than ever and I hate it.

In three weeks I will be a free woman, though!! I will have time to live again and get my head in order and focus on a plan. Am I making excuses? Maybe...
Does that mean I accept the way I am and am ready to give up? No - Not at all.
I hope every one else is having better luck.....or better motivation...or whatever it is I lack.
Keep posting your success stories. Even a girl who isn't "there yet" still likes to hear good news from the "other side."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lost my Compass...

How is it that it is Monday already? I feel like I was just spewing on and on about my claims to better health and detox and all things weight loss related - gung-ho and determined -  and now another whole week has flown by.....and here I am. Practically smack dab in the middle of November, wishing, like Cher, that I could turn back time.

Ah, but the Christmas Dress Challenge update awaits! God - am I even really considered a contender at this point??? I just have to ask.

The past 7 days were not horrendous or anything. I lost just *a spit* under a pound in that time (I'm marking it as a pound because I had underwear and a bra on during weigh in), and I am relatively happy about that. What I am NOT happy about is that I didn't do what I had set out to do last week - and that was to get on my Two Week Turnaround Program so I could once and for all start seeing results. Real results - not the loss and gain of the same 5 pounds I have screwing with since July.
So much for my big mouth and big promises. What I have learned about myself lately is, is that I am awful at keeping commitments to myself. This is a character trait I find both annoying and shameful. It is undoubtedly why I weigh what I weigh, and why week after week the reports on my blog feature the same old shit, just wrapped in a different excuse package.

Speaking of packages, I have been thinking about the upcoming holiday season... a lot....Michele at Ruminations and Uncovering: Toward a New ME! always gives such great advice. She was the one who asked the tough question of "If Not Now, When?" She also advised that I put a plan of action in place for the holidays so that I don't completely go overboard - and I have been dedicating some thought to this, since I am one to literally celebrate the whole season long, as opposed to just for a day or two. Why even as I type this, I have some soft instrumental jazz Christmas music playing in the background. It's already begun...

If I don't watch it, I can get absorbed in all of the holiday hoopla and demands to eat, drink, and be merry and completely forget that there are no pounds to spare - I have ZERO wiggle room in my clothes -  and that all that stuff that I love to eat during the holidays acts as a caloric and fat pandemic on my body.  I NEED to start WANTING TO make my health a priority. Notice the wording there, because I know that it means something differently than just saying I need to make my health a priority. The want has to be there, and with so much failure under my belt, I often wonder if the WANT is what's really missing? These days it seems like everything, and I mean EVERYTHING comes before my dedication to weight loss. Yes,  I find myself doing some things that are healthful - but I don't do enough of them to see results. Or, maybe it's that I do too much of the things that are a detriment to my health to see the benefits of any of the good stuff I do. Either way, I need to change it up.


So, yes, this season is going to be tough. But I think I can handle it - IF I act now. And that's really the kicker, isn't it? I know if I started losing a few pounds, I'd want to keep that ball rolling.....but this one or two pounds up and down every other week isn't doing much for my case. I'm much more at the "what's the use?" stage right now than "I know you can do it"....and that isn't good. I have to dig deeper. I have to find that spark I used to have. I feel like I have lost my compass and I have no idea how to get back to that place.

In other news, I'm in the final throes of the semester and I know my lethargy and non-compliance to doing what I should for my weight loss efforts has much to do with burying myself in my school work. Not that it makes it right - but it gives my main issue a name or description anyway. But in less than a month I will be finished with the last of my classes for my master's degree and student teaching will be my "job" come Jan 17. All I know is that I need to get my shit together before then...I cannot go into student teaching feeling/looking/acting/thinking the way I have been as of late. I won't make it. I'll be stressed as it is - I think I might be able to handle myself better if I at least am on a healthier track.

Whew - that is a whole lot of aimless rambling. Sorry, guys.  Hope you are all having a good Monday!

End of year self-portrait? Yeah, this looks to be about right.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fat in Motion

Have you ever had one of those days where you just feel like no matter what, you are doomed to live in a fat suit forever? I'm there today....as a matter of fact, I have been there for a while now. Check any recent post of mine and you know that I have not been a successful life-style changer this past year. In a word, my attempts at dieting have SUCKED.

These days I am getting more and more reflective about it. Maybe because we are getting closer and closer to the end of the year and I am realizing (once again) just how much I have failed myself in 2011. I'm turning 40 at the end of December and that alone is enough to make me weep...Turning 40 while still residing in this body is a whole other level of hell.

I also made the mistake (or was it a blessing??) of watching video of myself from the summer and also some footage that was filmed more recently and I barely recognized the person I saw moving around on the screen in front of me. It's weird - I look at myself in the mirror and somehow I justify my appearance. Never mind the fact that my entire wardrobe no longer fits me. Denial baby - it ain't just a river in Egypt. However, a video, for whatever reason, gets my attention. Fat in motion....So. Not. Cool. But seriously? What did I THINK 230 pounds on a 5 foot frame looked like?? Damn, I have been kidding myself big time.

This isn't a get out a box of tissues and cry into my beer type of story....I don't do that anymore. I'm just stating facts because that's all I have. Those that read this blog regularly know I have been to the edge of my fatsanity before. There are no excuses, there are no words of comfort, there are no other bits of advice to get...I simply have to do it, and it must be on my own accord. End of story. The words are so simple to type...so difficult for me to execute. WHY?

I am in desperate need of a jump start - at least this much I know is true. I need a clean sweep to detox my body from Halloween candy and all things carb and sugar-related. My body is letting me know it's so damn ready for this. I dug out my Rodale book - The Two Week Turnaround Diet and I think that just may be the thing I need. Something that is going to get me going again, because ladies, I have STALLED in place and my battery needs some definite charging.

I'm so afraid that if I don't get on it, the scale is just going to keep moving in the wrong direction again.... I'm at 230.5 - up .25 from Wed...yep - that's the wrong direction allright. Frig.

So....not good news report for the challenge update this week, OBVIOUSLY.
I'm not even going to say a word about the week ahead....I'm just going to do my detox and see how it goes. Goodbye carbs, hello veggies. Oh, and exercise. Let's not forget I need to begin an affair with that again too.
I'm sure you all have had a better week than I. Stay strong....I will live vicariously through your willpower!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Snowloween Did Me In...

I know I am two days late and more than a dollar short on my Christmas Dress Challenge Post. I'm still fighting this nasty-ass cold and I'm thinking I may have to actually break down and make a doctor's appointment. This is so not like me - I normally will wait until I see physical signs of lung being hacked out of my mouth before I call a doctor. Well, let's just say we are close to that point.
I tried making some rounds on Monday to post on some people's blogs but still need to hit up a few of you. Never fear - in between blowing my nose and hacking up things that are better left un-described, I will get to them.

So, a quick update for now and I will post again when I feel human - is that a deal?

I am up 1.5 pounds from last week's weigh in. Technically it's 2.5 since I posted mid week last week saying I had been down a pound from my previous weigh in. No matter how you slice it, it ain't pretty. I know what went wrong -  Although I was holding out decently on that Halloween candy last week - that all went to hell in a handbasket over the weekend. We had a party on Saturday where only 3 out of 15 guests showed up due to Mother Nature's nasty Snowloween joke she played on the Northeast this weekend. Let's just say when you make food for 15 people and only 3 show up, you have some serious trouble on your hands. Yeah - basically I had food and desserts out the wazoo and since I'm not one to let my hard earned grocery purchases go to waste, we plowed our way through it over the past few days and now it's residing on my ass. Go figure. I'm the only person that gets sick and yet still wants to eat. Damn it all, you Martha Stewart cheeseball recipe.

All told, we probably had at least a foot of snow - although it was very wet and heavy so who knows the actual total. It sort of sank into itself as it fell - bringing down massive amounts of tree limbs with it. My parents haven't had power since late Saturday afternoon. They expect it to be restored by tomorrow. It has not been the best of weeks.

I'm getting plenty of fluids - it's the one thing that I am sticking with this week! The rest is just a mess but better days are ahead - let's hope.

Hope everyone else is kicking butt....I sure need mine kicked.

You can say that again!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Waging Wars Against Sickness & Candy....The Low-down

I realized I have been pretty lazy in my blogging lately...there's lots going on here but that's no excuse not to check in mid-week and update everyone as to what is going on in my world. Because I know you're just dying to know.....right? No? Well, I'm gonna share anyway....


The big headline of the day is that I am sick. Sick, sick, sick. I've got a wonderful cold that is slowly moving it's way from nose to throat to chest...I've already got laryngitis, and I anticipate this will soon result in that horrible death rattle cough - you know the one I am talking about. It's what inspired those Mucinex commercials. I'm sure of it.
Yeah, I'd say this jackass has definitely worn out his welcome.

Sunday was the last day I felt somewhat human. I barely have a voice and my nose is running constantly. In short, Good Times. Ha - Not.


In other news, the Halloween candy needs to be hidden. NOW. I am not sure how much more willpower I have to resist it. As a matter of fact, (honesty alert! honesty alert!) yesterday, I didn't. Me and the Reeses Peanut Butter cups had a face-off yesterday and I lost. Halloween candy - 1, Rochelle - 0.
I feel stronger today and my sugar craving has been subsided, but I am still upset that I couldn't hold out this year. I thought I might be able to do - but....nope.
It wasn't the type of candy carnage that has occurred in years past - but I did eat 2 of them, and admittedly wanted more. It's apparent that I still don't have the Sugar Demon beat and I am not sure that I ever will.

There is a happy twist to this story, even with my candy digression. This week I have been eating noticeably less. I guess it's the sickness, but honestly, I still have an appetite - so it's not that I am just avoiding eating because I have no desire to. Maybe being busy counts for something....we are having a Halloween party here on Saturday and we have been prepping the house this week and getting ready - ie: decorating ( I have a whole cleaning workout that is going to happen today too - hours of calorie burn ahead indeed!). Plus I have had a few projects due for school that have consumed my time. Either way, my mind has been less on eating, and more on getting other crap done. This is a good thing because there have been so many times when the opposite was true.

When i hopped on the scale this AM, it read 227.75 - down a pound from my last weigh in. Again, I have no real exercise to thank - just less calories (minus the Reeses). It's funny though - I am extremely  motivated to keep the downward trend going now that I have seen a bit of movement on the scale. It makes me all the more aware of the choices I am making throughout the day. I think it's safe to say, I won't be having any show-downs with the Halloween candy today.

And just because it's almost Halloween, I'll leave you with a little non-caloric eye-candy. I don't know if I have ever expressed just how much we get into it around here.....but I LOVE it. Last night we walked in our town parade (those are the witch and Hamburglar pics)....the other pics are from last year's trick or treat night.

Enjoy!

Channeling Anna Wintour for trick or treat at my friend's house last year.

My husband, The Hamburglar!
I do ugly just a little too well....
Who doesn't enjoy a little Mailman Stew?
Trick or Treat night at our place last year. I may have made a kid or two cry....
Spookiest house on the block...
My hubs and I make a good team - I design and he executes with power tools! May I present, the Martha Witch!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Christmas Dress Challenge - Week 5 Update

If meeting my Christmas Dress Challenge goals was the determinant of whether I received beautifully wrapped presents under my tree or a filthy bucket of coal for Christmas, I am pretty sure I'd be receiving the latter. I swear every time I say I am going to kick butt, something else always ends up kicking my butt.

Not that this week was any kind of epic fail, mind you.  I did manage to lose .25 pounds - by the mere grace of God, and nothing else, I can assure you. This week was busy for me and busy always means pushing all the things I know I should be doing to the "weigh" side, so to speak. Hence the minimal loss, lackluster attitude and general feeling of disconnect I have this week with my weight loss goals.
I know, I know - a loss is a loss, no matter how small. I say the same thing to others when they are unhappy about the barely-there movement on the scale. I know down is better than up. Loss is better than gain. Less chub is better than more chub. You get the idea.

And really, I should be jumping for major joy because I feel like I didn't do anything to really "earn" that quarter of a pound. All I can think of is that it must be some sort of bonus the Fat Fairies are throwing me for not strapping the humongous bag of Halloween candy to my face like a feedbag the second my husband brought it through the front door.

Allow me to recap the week and all it's unimpressive glory: First off,  I barely exercised - as in, I only took two walks this week (about 50 mins each), not to mention my water consumption was subpar at best (my body is feeling this especially), and sweat was definitely not part of my vocabulary this week. Maybe my portions were a smidgen smaller? Who knows. Whatever the case may be for dropping, I'll take it. One stinking quarter pound at a time if I have to.

I am very much hoping for a better week this week but I have this nagging cold that took hold of me yesterday that is making me feel like I'm paying for something horrendous I did in a past life. Working out isn't on my mind - but sleep sure is. I'd be sleeping right now if I could. Unfortunately I have class tonight so there goes that idea. Pffft. Like air out of a balloon, I tell ya.

I hope everyone else is having a better week. I may not get to my commenting on everyone's blogs until tomorrow, but I will get there eventually.
We have about 9 weeks until Christmas, right? I'm thinking forget about Miracle on 34th Street - I need a miracle right here.
Dear Santa, won't you please bring me a smaller ass for  Christmas?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cup Half Full vs. Cup Half Empty - Challenge Update Week 4

If I'm the type of person that looks at the cup as being half full, then this has been an amazing week for weight loss for me. I shed 3.25 pounds, which is the most I have dropped in a week in what feels like forfreakingever. However...if I'm a cup half empty type of gal (and I think I might be today), this really isn't all that impressive considering the 3.25 pound loss leaves me at 229 pounds which IS THE SAME WEIGHT I WAS AT ON JULY 29  (and various days in September as well)!!!!! So basically I have been up and down the scale flirting with this number for MONTHS.

Hey, I'm happy the anniversary weekend weight is bidding me adieu - make no mistake. I just know that the loss this week is simply one more time I am losing weight I already lost over the past few months. It's so very, very annoying to say the least.

The one thing that IS good about it, is that the loss has mentally given me another boost of hope that this whole thing is not for naught. It proves that I do know what to do - and what not to do. I'm not saying I met my goals in every way - but I made an effort and it paid off. Having the realization this week as to what works has provided me with a bit of a conundrum however, and I don't know how I can continue doing it because it basically involves my husband being away on a business trip, until I reach my goal weight....it appears I eat far less when he isn't home than I do when he is here.
Does anyone else have this issue?

For some reason I was perfectly content having an apple and a piece of cheese for dinner when he was away, but when he is home, suddenly I need to eat half a chicken and a pile of roasted potatoes????? What gives?

I actually hate when my husband travels so this "diet" simply won't do. Looks like Plan B is in order - which is actually stick with meeting my goals. How genius! Thankfully this is, once again, a new week and a new chance to get it right.

This week I definitely need to be extremely mindful of portions (the biggest issue I have when eating with my husband) and get my water in. That is something I have been really bad about and I know it makes all the difference in the world. Exercise wise, I am not being too much of a slug, but again, there is room for vast improvement. I need to stop letting my damn school work consume my days. Somehow I must master the work smarter, not harder method of doing my school work.

I've also decided that going forward, I am not going to blog or comment on others blogs unless I have worked out. That alone may be the ticket since I do enjoy getting on here and sharing what is going on in my world and hearing about what is going on in yours.
So here's to another week....let's see if I can kiss this 229 goodbye for good.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yet Another Reason To Hate Being Fat: Shoe Shopping

I had the most miserable shopping experience the other day...

It occurred to me that it's now the middle of October, and the temperatures will be dropping into the 50's and 40's sooner than I care to admit.  Transitional seasons confuse my fashion sense at times. For example, I struggle with letting go of my white pants on a 89 degree September day just because the calendar says I should. And I'm never quite sure just how long I can milk the wearing of my knee high leather boots in the springtime. Something tells me by Memorial Day, I've already over-extended myself on wearing those by a good couple of months or so.  Right now I'm a little worried that my flip flops aren't exactly the best form of footwear to pair with my winter coat and scarf this year...and there in lies the problem, my friends.

I need to find some closed-toe shoes - stat.

I'll be the first to admit I'd spend all year in flip flops if I thought it was socially acceptable. I have come to find out it's not - so now I have to go and find shoes that not only fit my hideous fat Fred Flintstone feet, but have some semblance of style that is not associated with a 87 year old woman who suffers from severe hammer toes, watermelon sized bunions and gnarly crusty corns. In other words, I am trying to avoid buying shoes that look like this:



Let's just say I'm not ready to go all "orthopedic granny" on my footwear just yet.....but my feet probably wish I would. While I may not suffer from bunions, hammer toes or corns, I do have a horribly high instep that leaves many, many, MANY shoe styles on the "go ahead and look but don't even think about wearing" list. Basically it boils down to this: if I like a shoe style-wise, it is probably going to be a huge old Hell No for my feet. Because of my extremely high instep (and let's face it, the extra fat on my feet) I get this odd mini-muffin top thing happening on my foot when I try on shoes that are cut a certain way. It's like the shoe digs into my foot the way a belt would dig into your middle if you made it too tight, causing your belly to pour out over the top of your pants. Use your best mental imaging skills to picture my foot kind of bulging over the top of the shoe if it is cut anywhere in the center of my instep, or close to my toe cleavage. Never mind the fact that I also have WIDE feet (but of course) that just adds to this already 'shitty on it's own' issue.  It's getting harder and harder to find any shoes that I can jam these sausage hooves into that won't result in me being crippled after 20 minutes. Keep in mind the mental trauma I have from all of this - I used to work in the fashion industry and spent years practicing the "fashion before comfort" rule. Once upon a time I used to LIVE in 4" platform heels. These days, uh...not so much.

Anyway, I digress.  After my realization that flips flops are really not the new black of cold weather footwear, I ventured out to DSW to do a little shopping. It's boot season ladies, and I don't know about you, but if you have wide calves, as I do, boot shopping is the ultimate bitch.
Not ONLY do I feel like are my calves wider than the Hoover Dam BUT I have short legs to boot (no pun intended) so the whole proportion thing is off, too...wide calf boots usually hit me at a weird place making the widest part of the opening up by my knee. So that wide part meant to accommodate a wide calf? Maybe that works on someone taller than 5'....but that person isn't me. I have found a few pairs to sort of work - usually they involve some type of stretch material, and a whole lot of sweating and cursing while putting them on.

But finding real honest to goodness normal shoes is still a huge issue....I can't help but wonder if losing weight will help my feet get back into fashion too? It's just one more thing to hate about being fat....(and the list goes on).

So with all of this said, it's probably a good thing that last week's gain is starting to disappear. As of yesterday I was back at 229, so that is a loss of 3.25 pounds since Monday.....
Hey, if it gets me back in some cute shoes, I'm damn near willing to do anything!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Diet Schizophrenia

The post I am about to write isn't a good one....but it isn't a "bad" one either. I'm tired of viewing dieting in terms of being good and bad. There's more to dieting than a basic black or white description of "how I'm doing." In short, this post is more of a realistic, here it is, I can't deny it or lie, type of post. I debated even writing it, but you know what? If I don't, my situation doesn't improve anyway, so I thought to myself, why avoid it?

I know I'm waaaaay late on the Christmas Dress Challenge post, so I apologize - but I wanted to get my "results" in anyway, because this blog is about honesty, and it's about accountability, no matter how ugly some weeks are. And this week? Well, this week is like Freddy Krueger on the ugly scale - just so you know.

Allow me to recap: I am just returning from a nice long weekend celebrating my 1 year anniversary. Sigh....I spent the past few days swimming in good memories and reminiscing about the happiest year of my life. Good times, indeed.

And make no mistake - by celebrating, I mean celebrating like a fat person. Not celebrating like a person who is is trying to lose weight. In other words, there was no calorie or point counting, or refusing of alcoholic beverages, or saying no to sweet indulgences that appeared in the shape of the top tier of my wedding cake. Oh no.

I know, I know - gasp all you want. It happened. There is no going back. Let's just say, I will not be receiving calls to be Jenny Craig's next spokesperson, nor will Jennifer Hudson have to give up her spot to make way for me as the new face of Weight Watchers.

BUT there were moments of sanity....moments that told me not all is lost. There was exercise - walks on the beach and into town with the dogs, riding bikes and well, other forms of exercise. Use your imagination (it was our anniversary, after all). A-hem......TMI????
Ok then.

In short, if I had to sum up what I feel like these days, it's a kind of like I'm going through diet schizophrenia. One day, I'm a 30-day shredding maniac, and the next day I'm Jabba the Hut. 
I gained 4 POUNDS this week (weighed in today). That's right - FOUR. I'm not making light of it - I'm just stating it as fact.
I could tell you I think it's period bloat, or I could tell you I think my scale is broken. Or I could just tell you I gained 4 pounds and call it a day.
I'm going with the last option.

I'm not really looking for any kind of pep talk over this. I'm not sure there is much to say other than I need to get my head screwed back on straight and get back to what I set out to do. I just wanted to man-up and post the news because when I began this challenge, I said I would.  I'm not going back on my word.

And as bullshitty as it sounds, I'm not giving up either. That's the funny thing about all of this. I haven't gone all completely "F-it" yet with trying to lose weight (despite the scale's unfortunate reading today), and maybe that's because I know that if I do, there will be no coming back. So when I said the time is now - it IS now. Meaning I won't let myself forget that even if I gain 4 pounds in a stinking week, that doesn't mean the fat lady has sung her final song. She hasn't. And she won't until she is thinner.
Much, much thinner.

So ladies, you'll get no excuses or "woe is me's" this week. Just a big ole plate of "this was my week and I could have done a WHOLE lot better." Don't hate me for it - just know I am glad you have heard me out.
Thanks for letting me get it off my chest.....

Monday, October 3, 2011

Christmas Dress Challenge Update - Week 2

Hello....I know it's been a while!
It's been a hectic week that has left little time for blogging. Sorry if I have been MIA in commenting. I will get better! This week just did not lend itself for much computer time if it wasn't related to school work. On top of regular classes, I have begun my last 30 hours of classroom observation. It's thrown a little bit of a monkey wrench into my morning routine but at least I find that I eat less than when I am super busy and away from the house.
Other than Fri and yesterday, eating was relatively good - and I even managed to get my 5 days of exercise in - although it was only 4 days of the Shred and one day of cleaning the house - but I cleaned for several hours (can you guess that my in-laws were coming over?) and I was literally sweating like a pig so I am counting that as exercise!
It may have been hard work but you know what? My house damn near sparkles!!!
So....as for the Christmas Dress challenge, it would appear I am not setting the world on fire per se, but I am at least happy to report a one pound loss this week!
Thank God for small favors, I say!
It's amazing that on a week where I feel like I am not doing that great, I show a loss. Can someone explain that to me? This weight loss thing sometimes confuses the hell out of me. The only thing I can think of is that by being in school, my calorie intake was significantly less for a couple of days. 
I weighed in this AM as opposed to doing it on Friday and even after a dinner last evening that included filet mignon and some birthday cake, I was still showing a loss.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. I'll take it anyway I can get it!
Water consumption this week was not that great and that is because while I am in the classroom, I cannot run to the bathroom every 15 minutes. I basically have a break in the AM before the kids get there, a short break at lunch and then nothing until the end of the school day. I just don't feel comfortable running out to the bathroom so much so my hydration suffered and I could really feel it in my body. I need to get back on that today, but I am in class again tomorrow so that will throw me off once again.
Also, just to update you on the WW tracking points progress - I have opted not to do that anymore. I like the My Fitness Pal and Calorie Count websites to help me track my foods. It seems to be helping me more than calculating points so I'm sticking with those for now...
That's really about it! I am so busy again this week but my husband and I are headed to the Delaware beaches this weekend to celebrate out 1st wedding anniversary (Oct 9). I am so excited!
Hope everyone else is having a great start to their week. I am trying to get to everyone's blogs but if you don't see my comment today, I will get to you on Wed (tomorrow I have observation all day and then class until 9:45 PM).
I think I may pass out when I get home tomorrow, so that's why I'm not making any promises for posts or comments tomorrow.
Until next time....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Humbled...

I am not sure if I can properly express the gratitude I feel for the support this blogging community has given me - and I am humbled by how many people "come to the rescue" at a time when you really need it most. This was never more apparent to me than it was yesterday.

As I am sure most of you already gathered, yesterday morning I had been feeling pretty low and my post certainly reflected that.  There was an incredible amount of self-doubt and disappointment I was allowing to grow inside of me, and I knew it was affecting my whole way of thinking about losing weight. But I wanted to be honest with everyone about how I felt (at that moment) in terms of where I am both physically and mentally in this journey. One thing I never want to do here is lay down some BS that has everyone thinking my weight loss journey is all rainbows and bluebirds and pots of gold when in reality, it's the exact opposite. That does me absolutely no good, and it would defeat the purpose of blogging entirely.  I pretty much wear my emotions and thoughts on my sleeve, or in this case, on my computer screen, so rest assured, you'll always know "the real skinny" about what's going on here in Fatville, NJ.

With that said, I never expected so many supportive, inspiring and motivating comments to come out of such a "downer" post - but I am extremely grateful to those who replied because it made a world of difference for my psyche both yesterday afternoon and today (the replies are still coming in!).

What I love best is that many of you gave me the tough love I so desperately needed - but you also did so with a kindness and compassion that I don't ever recall getting from people I have never met in the flesh (or even family members when it came to my weight issues - my cousin Andrea excluded - she is an awesome cheerleader!!!). You all told me what works for you (which I asked for), you gave me great suggestions on how to better organize my eating plan so that failure isn't an option, you gave me online tools I can use to help track what I eat, you gave me the offer of one on one support if I needed it, you confirmed that this is NOT an easy ride and that you understand what this is like and why it's important to take control, and overall all, you just showed me that you care and are invested in my success too. And a few of you even asked me some very tough questions I have been too afraid to ask myself. Michele at Ruminations and Uncovering: Toward a New Me grabbed me with this particular question: If not now, when?


I stared at those words for a little while and repeated them to myself aloud. If not now, when? When I think of the magnitude of that question, it really blows my socks off and I'll tell you why. When I was a teenager, I told myself by the time I was 20, I would have my weight under control. When I hit 20 and my weight continued to balloon, I thought age 25 would be the magic number and I would finally look and feel the way I wanted. When I turned 25, and nothing had changed, I was sure by my 30th birthday I could beat this problem. Age 30 came and went and so did 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39. I am now just about 3 months from my 40th birthday, weighing 229 pounds, which is about 6 pounds less than my highest weight ever.  If not now, when?????

Time stands still for no one - I have learned this the hard way. I am so tired of playing the "weighting" game with myself that I know the answer to Michele's question is this: The time IS now. All of those "if not now, when?" moments have come and gone....I have no more time to spare. I'm am doing this NOW.

There is so much more I could write about this, but I am not dwelling on the past, because it gets me nowhere. I just wanted you all to know that your comments are not in vain - I have gained valuable gems from them and am thankful you gave the time to stop by and offer your support.

And just so you know I am true to my word, I DID jump back into the Shred yesterday, and I was right - it was hard. Not as hard as Day 1 though. Apparently it takes more than 3 days for your body to go completely back to hell.  I got up an did it again this morning, followed by an hour walk with my husband and the dogs.

I feel like a new woman today.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Derailed

Ugh....is it Monday already?????
It's been a doozie of a weekend, folks. And I don't mean in a good way....or maybe I just mean, not in a good way for weight loss. More on that later....

I know I've been missing from my blog for a few days and that's because if I WAS sitting at my computer these past few days, it was for the sole purpose of doing homework. I had a paper and lesson plan to tackle and so if anything at all was going to get typed by these little sausage fingers, I felt those two things took precedence. I still have some tweaking to do on both projects before I go to class this evening, but decided to first spend a couple of minutes playing catch up in Blogland.

So, Monday is the Christmas Dress Challenge Update Day where we share our (a-hem) progress....
What can I tell you other than I continue to struggle daily with weight loss. Something in my head has not clicked the way it is supposed to. I don't know if this is because it's the umpteenth million time I have tried to do this, or if I just am focused on other things right now. What I do know is that my heart and soul has not been 100% into the game. And that is just the truth. I continue to write about it and keep this blog because I feel it helps me in some respect, but part of me has to ask, "What's it all for if you aren't going to commit yourself fully???? People do not want to hear about your failed attempts."

I was on a kick-ass streak with the 30 Day Shred but it has been three, yes THREE days since I have done the workout. I know when I go to do it today (and I will), it will feel like Day 1. But I am going to do it!

Although I have not Shredded for 3 days, I have taken walks with my husband and the dogs (usually close to 60 min a pop) - so I have not been a sloth on the couch all weekend either. Water consumption (64 oz) was on track until yesterday....I only got in about half of that. (And thanks to everyone commenting about the pee thing, by the way! Who knew it was such a popular topic?? Ha!).

The real trouble I am having is with tracking food....it is the thing I need to be MOST accountable for, and yet, it is really where I hit a wall. I thought that hopping back on the WW train was the way to go, but I am not so sure now. Each day as I lose track of what I eat, I feel like a huge failure.  I have always faltered when I had to write down absolutely everything I eat....Yeah, you read this correctly, and so many of you are probably ready to slap me through your computer screen while screaming, "Duh!!!" I realize what I just wrote is the dieter's #1 golden rule. Know exactly what you are putting in your mouth and how much it's going to "cost you." Here is where I should be having that "A-ha", or as I like to call it, "No Shit!" Moment where I say to myself - "Well, this is why you haven't lost any weight! You MUST be held accountable for what you eat." And I know this....really, I do.

So, my question today is this: For those of you that are religious about tracking your food - do you count calories or do WW points? Tell me what you like best about your method of keeping your food portions/intake "in check" and how you approach this each day.


My problem isn't necessarily that I don't know how to do these things....it's simply that I am doing them a bit half assed at the moment and it shows in the lack of weight loss I have had for months now. This past Friday (which is technically my official weigh day), the scale didn't budge from last week (holding steady at 229.25), despite my commitment to the Shred. So on Friday, I think I weighed in, got frustrated, wallowed a bit and then went off the rails....completely. There may or may not have been alcohol and Oreos involved.

What amazes me is how I can fall so quickly. I can be a powerhouse for days, feeling great, working hard at keeping things on the up and up - and then BOOM. I get lazy, and let things slide. Again, I know this is no way to conduct myself or handle this beast within.....I feel like for the past few days I have let "it" get the best of me, and I don't know why. Every time this happens (you get that this is not an uncommon occurrance, right?), it's like I am saying to the universe I really don't give a rat's ass about myself. And while I know in my heart of hearts that's not true, the actions say otherwise.

So that's what has been going on with me these past few days (aren't you glad you asked?).....just here fighting some familiar demons and hoping that eventually I will find my way back to a better mind set - because this one??? Totally not working for me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

With This Pee, I Thee Shed?

Hello peeps!
I'm supposed to be writing a paper for one of my classes but am finding it difficult to really get into it (what's new?). I know it has to be done, and I have a lesson plan that is next in line once the paper is complete - yet here I am futzing around on the computer doing anything but what I am supposed to be doing. Oh Lord, if you only knew just how typical that was of me. My friend (who happens to be a special ed teacher and is therefore quite familiar with the subject) confirmed my self-diagnoses for having Adult ADD. I swear, my ability to stay focused sometimes (as in a lot of the time) SUCKS.

Adding to my issues of not being able to stay focused is all this damn water I have been drinking. For those of you that regularly drink upward of 80 - 100 oz a day, how do you do it? I am CONSTANTLY up and down from my chair, back and forth to the bathroom because I have to pee. Like we're talking waterfalls of pee that I cannot believe my bladder can even hold....Please tell me this stops after a while. I mean, I am willing to pee my brains out if it means shedding some weight - but holy smokes is it inconvenient!

I'm sticking to my challenge goals, though - despite my raging desire to throw on a pair of Depends so that I can stay put in my chair for longer than a 30 minute stretch. I'm guzzling 64 oz of pure water - plus more liquids throughout the day - primarily in the form of coffee, but hey - that counts, right? I'm also tracking WW points, and getting in my 30 minutes of exercise. Yesterday it was the Shred and an additional walk, today it is the Shred and I promise, I will walk again a little later.

Speaking of the Shred, I'm still trudging through! Monday I did not do the DVD because my back was acting up (disc issues - so not fun) but I figured out that it was mainly the bicycle crunches that were causing me pain for whatever reason. Not to be deterred, I got back on the horse yesterday so for the past 2 workouts (Tues & today)  I just did a regular crunch combined with a reverse crunch during that last abs segment which seemed to alleviate the pain a bit (or at least not intensify it, anyway). What is encouraging to me is the difference I notice in myself (endurance-wise) now that I have completed Day 12 versus my struggles in the beginning. Even the jumping jacks are getting easier. And I NEVER thought I'd say that.

Technically this is supposed to be the last day for Level 1, but I am not sure I am ready to move on (mentally or physically) - however, I am willing to try if others who are doing the challenge are also sticking to the proposed schedule. Give me a shout and let me know how you are doing!! I am willing to suffer along and call Jillian even more harsh names in Level 2 if you are!

That's about it...just a wee little update (no pun intended). I'm sending good vibes out to everyone else to kick some butt and stick with your goals. I also want to thank everyone for their comments and support. You guys make this weight loss thing (*almost*) enjoyable - LOL.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Christmas Dress Challenge - Goals & Dresses

Ok, I realize I am just getting my post in for the Christmas Dress Challenge by the skin of my teeth, but I'm here and I have my info and pics, as promised.

I have given some serious thought to goals and what I'd like to accomplish in the next three months and how I am going to achieve these changes. Because this challenge runs simultaneously with the 30 Day Shred Challenge (until mid Oct) I am combining some of my goals I set for that along with this challenge.

I like the fact that this particular challenge is 3 months long, taking us through what I consider to be the hardest time of the year for weight loss. It's what I call the Triple Threat and it starts with Halloween, which will be here before we all know it. Boo, indeed!

Ok, so here are the dresses:
Looks so much better on the hangar than hanging on my body.

 This dress I bought last year in Oct as a possible rehearsal dinner dress but didn't end up wearing it. I thought I could wear it for our honeymoon in Dec, but by then I didn't feel comfortable in it. Rest assured, it's not a maternity dress, but it sure as hell looks like one on me (see pic below). The goal here is to wear this dress without someone asking me when I'm due.
It is size 16W. I'm currently riding the 1X, 18W or 18/20W train depending on the style/cut.
As a matter of fact, no, I'm not expecting. But thanks for asking.

The next dress I selected I have had in my closet for a few years. It's an XL (probably not accurate sizing but that's the manufacturer's fault, not mine) and I have always envisioned myself wearing this with some sexy knee-high patent leather boots. I bought it when I was probably close to 205 - 210 pounds but it never really fit that well. I thought with the magic of Spanx it would look OK, but my confidence must have taken a nose dive because I never wore it. I don't think that by Dec 18 this dress is going to look perfect on me by a long shot, but the goal for this dress isn't to have it fit perfect, but more so to have some of my body lumps and bumps smoothed out so the design doesn't look so ripply. I'm sure I'll continue to work on the "wearability" of this dress long after the challenge is over.

Goal: Make those lines on the waist STRAIGHT!
As for the meaty goals for this challenge, here they are:

1) I have made a BIG decision to do WW online and try tracking points (again). This is not something I had originally planned but after some heavy consideration, I am going to give it 3 solid months of effort and see if it gives me some decent results. I need accountability. Desperately.

2) I also will make sure to get in 30 minutes of exercise in 5 days a week. In one little secret corner of my brain, I am hoping for 7 days a week but this may be difficult and I want to make sure I am setting realistic goals. Let's face it, sometimes life gets in the way.

3) I will drink 64 oz of water a day. I have been BAD with getting in my H2O, so this is something I really want to do! 

4) Weight loss goal - 20 lbs. Enough said.

My measurements can be found on my 30 Day Shred page. They were just taken a few days ago, so I consider them valid for this challenge as well. More than likely, I'll post weekly weigh ins and monthly measurement updates.

That's about it for now....
Hope we all end up on Santa's Nice list by sticking to our goals this year!
Merry Challenge Everyone!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

If You're Shredding And You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Hello friends!

It's a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon here in NJ and I've got some Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup from  Skinnytaste.com simmering on the stove and have sent my hubby off to the grocery store for a whole chicken I plan to roast to compliment the soup and roasted balsamic cauliflower already planned for dinner. Rachellabelle at My Hips Don't Lie had posted the yummy sounding soup recipe a short while ago on her blog, and I immediately snagged it and printed it so I could make it once some cooler temps kicked in here. Well, the temperatures sort of cooperated, although it's not quite as brisk a day as originally planned for eating this kind of (healthy) comfort food - but, no matter, I'm making that soup anyway!

For those of you that have never visited skinnytaste.com, you really need to. Sooner rather than later! I'm not trying to go all 'high school peer pressure' on you or anything, but trust me, when you are having your first foodgasm over one of her recipes, you'll know what I am talking about. This website is awesome, especially if you are following Weight Watchers because Gina (the culinary goddess behind the recipes) has done all the hard work for you. Everything has been calculated out in both the old points system, as well as the new points plus system. Hey, I bet Jennifer Hudson is a fan! I personally am not doing WW, but sometimes I think I should, just because this website makes it so damn easy - no guesswork! :-) I like that.

So - you know I am not doing WW, but can I tell you about what I am doing? For starters, I'm still kicking ass and taking names with the 30 Day Shred Challenge. It's Day 10 for me!!!
Yeah - get up off the floor - I'm just as surprised as you are that I have stuck with this.

And not only have a I stuck with it - but I am beginning to (gulp)... even like it....a little. My biggest *holy shit* moment was yesterday when my commitment to this thing became glaringly apparent.  I opted for getting up early and getting in my workout before I had to leave to take my Praxis Exam, over sleeping in.  I chose to set my alarm for 6:00 on a Saturday and sweat via exercise before I had to sweat through taking my exam...(BTW - I think I did OK on the test, but I won't get my score back for 4 weeks - so stay tuned). Since most of you guys only know me through the blogosphere, you may not grasp the importance of this NSV - but sadly - this is not something I would have ever imagined I would have done in the past - and we are talking the relatively recent past. In the untimely words of the United States Vice President Joe Biden, "This is a big f*cking deal." (I posted the link of our VP's verbal faux pas here if you have never seen it). Better yet, I kept the promise to myself that I would get some additional exercise in, beyond the Shred, to kick up the calorie burn. Granted, the other exercise (an hour walk with my hubs and the dogs) was done in the early evening, long after the Shred was completed, but I got it done nonetheless.

This morning when I got up, it was my husband's turn to surprise me when he said he wanted to join me in doing the Shred. He had just returned from a mile run (he's easing back into running after going through a year long issue with an broken ankle that didn't heal properly) so I was impressed that he even entertaining the idea. Usually I am not a "share my workout with others" type of person. I like to work out alone. When I used to go to the gym in NY, I never wanted to talk to anybody while I was there. My thinking was this: I had one purpose for me being there and that was to grunt, sweat like a wild boar in heat, and look about as unattractive as possible while making my body do things it was uncomfortable doing - I was not there to make friends. But since my husband has already seen me at my best and worst, I made a concession and allowed him to join me, Jillian and her 2 workout cronies for our daily shred. I figured at the very least he'd get a real kick out of watching my boobs hit my eyebrows as I did the jumping jack segment. Isn't that every guy's biggest fantasy? Uh, Not.

Well, today the crazy workout junkie in me emerged. I really kicked it into high gear. Maybe it was the show off in me, maybe it was because I really feel like I want to up my game - but either way, I really made my body work today under Jillian's command. I started to incorporate some real push ups into the work out instead of just the girly ones (5 total today!!) and I only took ONE 3 second break. I did *real* jumping jacks the whole time but am still modifying the jump rope move slightly ( I sort of jog in place now). All in all, I feel some good progress being made which is encouraging. It also felt good to know the workout kicked my husband's ass too, so I think he may have gained a whole new appreciation for me taking on this challenge. After finishing the Shred, we went on another hour and 10 minute walk. It feels so great not breaking that promise to myself to get in the extra exercise. I have done that kind of promise-breaking self-sabotage crap so often that I am trained to think it's the norm. It's what I have come to expect of myself. But these past 2 weeks have taught me that I CAN stick with something - and the expectations I set for myself should be so much higher.

That's about it for today. Goals met! Happy with my progress! Content with this new way of thinking! I'm trying to get the eating thing under control too (and I definitely need to start drinking more water)....maybe I shouldn't be so cavalier with dismissing the WW idea....I know so many people that are rocking it right now. Could I? Should I?

Tomorrow I will post about my goals for the Christmas Dress Challenge being hosted by Thursday's Child. I have to dig out my dress, take a pic, see how badly it doesn't fit, and think a little bit more about the goals I want to set for this challenge.
I'm feeling unstoppable today....Damn, I hope it lasts!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Am Not A Leper - I DO NOT Have Malware!

Hello peeps!
I am having an issue (that actually has nothing to do with weight loss believe it or not).
I am not sure what is going on with my blog and I'm a little concerned. I received a troubling comment from Thursday's Child that there is a message when you try to view my blog that says I have Malware and it could be preventing folks from reading it. I am pretty sure I don't have any type of Malware attached to my blog or computer and checked through Google diagnostic which confirmed that my site was A-OK. When I tried to access my blog from my husband's computer, I did not get any message pop up indicating I had it so I have no clue what is going on. I have a Mac that is relatively safe from this type of thing.....yet I can't help but wonder if others receive this message when trying to get to my blog? I know that I got the message when I tried to get to view Katie J's Weight Loss Journey and Watch My Butt Shrink - but I never opened their blogs pages for fear there was something bad lurking out there. 
I am sooooo not a techie so I really am frustrated about this. If anyone knows of how to properly check to see if this is really happening to my blog, I'm all ears. You can send me an e-mail at dirtymartini34@yahoo.com
Thanks!


Now on to other news (for those of you that can still read me here without fear of my blog imploding your computer): I was awarded a my very first blog award yesterday by Becca at Size 24 No More. I was very flattered to receive this, as I haven't exactly been setting the world on fire with my weight loss. But I am tickled that she nominated me and gave a shout out to the fact that I am kicking ass in the 30 Day Shred....(will get to that later). 
Anyway - Becca has given me the Liebster Blog Award!


"Liebster" means "favorite" or "beloved" in German. 
This award is for bloggers who have under 200 followers (that's me, for sure).

So now I get to spread the love and award this to 4 of my favorite bloggers! Go check out their blogs and read their story. They promise to inspire you, make you laugh, make you think and get you motivated!
Here goes:

First I award Rachellabelle at My Hips Don't Lie because she is out there making WW her b*tch! She has dropped over 40 pounds in about 21 weeks and is looking gorgeous! She just hit a plateau so for any of you with experience with how to kick start weight loss when the pounds won't budge, no matter how hard you're working, go visit her blog and give her a pep talk and some good advice!

My second award goes to Shala at Follow Me Down. She and I are riding similar weight rollercoasters at the moment - we are both hovering around the same weight and like to cheer each other on with "Let's Just Do This Thing Already." I love her blog because I relate to her down to earth sensibilities and approach to weight loss. 

My third award goes to Liz at The Feel Better Project who has vowed to workout everyday for at least 30 minutes over the course of one year. You know how easy it is for life to get in the way of working out sometimes so this commitment is no joke. This girl may not have have the type of junk in her trunk that you or I are trying to lose but she does have dedication and determination and I like her approach to working out. JUST DO IT! And she has a great writing style and is funny, so - win/win!

My last (but not least) award goes to MB at Why The Weight. This woman has truly been instrumental in allowing me to adjust my thinking in terms of how I approach weight loss. She has lost almost 100 pounds through a very sensible "slow and stead wins the race" approach and is still striving to hit that goal of 101 pounds lost. She is inspiring, enlightening and gives me hope that I can beat this fat demon too...I just love her.

That's it....those are the peeps I bow to this week. You all deserve props - so I'm giving them.

In other news - just a quick update on the weigh-in (it is Friday, after all) and 30 Day Shred Challenge.
Today I completed Day 8 of the Shred!! Yey, me! I have to tell you that yesterday was a struggle to get through it and I totally said "F*#@ it" when it came to the last round of ab exercises (those bicycle crunch suckers are the devil - and my herniated disc REALLY doesn't like them). Today's workout, although better than yesterday by a mile, still kicked my ass sideways. I think having "The Curse" right now has a lot to do with it. Working out while there's an exorcism going on in your uterus and your body feels about as inflated as a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon isn't the most ideal of situations for Jillian to pound you into submission - but I am proud of myself for plugging on through....(seriously, did I just say plug?)

However, even with The Curse, I am happy to say that i am still showing a loss for the week. Happy Days are here again, as the scale makes its way in the right direction this week. Granted it's only 1.75 pounds, but beggars can't be choosers - so I'm good with it. Hell, I am better than good with it. I'm thrilled. It could have been worse.

Anyhoo - hope the rest of you 30 Day Shredders are feeling the burn! I have to go study for my Praxis Exam that I am taking tomorrow morning....I haven't really stuck to my study schedule as I had planned. Wish me luck I pass this thing (it is crucial)!!!

Until tomorrow......



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

I have just one thing to say about Jillian Michaels.
She does not take kindly to people who take days off from her Shred workout. And dissing it 2 days in a row? Hmmm... that may be punishable by death in her book.
I think I may be dead meat.

So, let me give you the scoop on what's been going on with me and the 30 Day Shred Challenge....I was busting ass like a rock star with it for 5 full days BEFORE the official challenge even started. I was feeling awesome and the workout was becoming less of a dread and more of, well, just a challenge. I felt my mindset changing - I wanted to push myself - I wanted to prove once and for all that I was capable of doing something that in the past would have scared the bejesus out of me. I listened to Jillian encouraging me through the TV and I did what she told me to do. Don't give up. Keep pushing. In the words of the Biggest Loser theme song, I was starting to really feel that there was something I had done today to make me feel proud.

Then, on the day I was SUPPOSED to officially begin (Sept 12), I fumbled - big time (enter loud BOOO-HISSSSS here). I like to do this workout in the AM because it gets me moving and I feel good knowing I have that bit of exercise, at the very least, under my belt for the day. But on Monday morning I knew my in-laws would be coming by to drop their rather rambunctious 4 year old golden retriever mix off at our house so they could head to Rochester, NY for a funeral. I spent the morning trying to frantically clean the house up, do dishes, vacuum, clean the bathroom - all things that could have been put on the back burner for the morning until after my workout - but I wanted to make sure I had time to get it all done before they arrived. I didn't want my MIL to think I don't know how to properly "keep house" (It's such a 50's mentality but I can't help it). Suffice it to say, the place looks pretty good right now!

By the time they arrived, I had already done a full "housewife workout" and was literally sweating my ass off. My MIL even asked me if I had been exercising! "Ugh, no, not exactly. Just trying to prevent you from seeing that I may not be the world's biggest neat nick. P.S. - Neither is your son, by the way. I think you know this about us already, but at times, we do like to keep up the illusion for you."
By the time Henry (their dog) and our three furry babies got reacquainted it was quite the dog-fest, a literal canine carnival if you will, right in our living room (aka my workout space) until they finally got settled. Since they arrived right about the time I would normally be getting ready to pop in my DVD, I could tell my opportunity to do my workout was going to hell in a hand basket in a wicked hurry And it did. In the back of my mind, I knew I had other (not necessarily bigger) fish to fry. I had a ton of school work these past two days so that unfortunately took precedence over everything else. Even yesterday, while there was no major doggie diversion to get in my way, I woke up at 5:30 and immediately began working on school stuff and didn't stop until about 3:00 when it was time to get ready for class. Another day of working out, down the drain.

Well, I am here to say - No More! I know that this challenge is important and I need to treat it, and my weight loss goals, with the respect that they deserve. Because to me, this is not just a fun little challenge that I am doing simply for the hell of it. I realized that today as I got back into the work out (technically Day 6 for me with a 2 day break in between Days 5 and 6). I am doing this because I NEED to. This is no joke.

I am curious how many of you have taken full body shots of yourselves lately? I know many of you do, but some might not. And some might take them but not post online. It's a personal choice - I totally understand. For me, taking these pictures are real eye openers (that admittedly make me want to quickly shut my eyes tightly closed again). I took some again today (and measurements too, because I was feeling particularly self-depreciating this morning) that I uploaded, post-workout and my God, they just never fail to horrify me. These pictures remind me that I have some serious - no I mean F*%#@!G SERIOUS -  work to do. They remind me that this 30 day Shred Challenge is just the tiniest, teeniest tip of my big, fat iceberg. They remind me that I still need to do so much MORE than this DVD, and I'm working on that, too. My goal for this challenge is to get an additional 60 or more minutes of exercise in - whether it is at my college gym (I found out they have showers - YEY!!!), a walk in town, working out on my elliptical here at home, another workout DVD (I may actually be starting to really enjoy these things) or a combination of those. It just needs to be done. End of story.

It's going to mean getting up early. And it's going to mean finding an eating solution that makes sense and works for me. I think I need to get back to calorie counting as much as I hate to admit it. I am not eating horribly, but I still need to work on those portions. This is all still such a work in progress.
Anyway, that's my update. I'm back in the saddle and did Day 6 of Level One. It was admittedly harder today. I'm serious when I say it doesn't pay to take time off from this thing. I swear Jillian has a way of knowing.

Hope everyone else is kicking some ass today. I'm off to the grocery store to load up on some good eats for the week. See you all looking slimmer and feeling better at the end of this 30 days!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Noticing A Difference - Day 5 of The Shred

I don't have a tremendous amount of time to blog today because even as I sit here for these few delicious moments, savoring my coffee, I have a to-be-done list a mile long swirling through my brain. Mounds of laundry aside, I know I should be working on school work first and foremost. I have a lesson plan I need to finish today plus some wonderfully boring textbook reading for tomorrow's class. AND I have to hit up Barnes and Noble for a Praxis Exam study guide so can pass my test on Saturday. I'm waaaaaaaaaay behind on studying for this exam and absolutely, positively HAVE to pass for my teaching certification, so just a warning -  if you don't hear much from me in the next week, this is why. I will have my head buried in a book from now until about 2PM next Saturday.

But - I will promise you that I will continue to keep doing the Shred - even if it means more 5:45 AM bird chirping wake up calls. I'm Ok with it. I feel much better knowing I get that part of my workout in early in the day. Miss April @ 30 Before 30 had asked me if I am supplementing the Shred workout with any other means of exercise and the answer is, until now, no - not really. I had taken a walk around town the second day of doing the Shred but haven't done much else since and I know that I have to....the first few days left me so sore that it was difficult to even THINK about doing anything else, but after today my body is telling me I am ready to keep progressing, and I need to start doing more than just shredding it.

Anyhoo - here's a brief recap of Day 5:
I am beginning to notice a difference in both increased endurance and strength and far less soreness (yey!). I even did some REAL jumping jacks, butt kicks (which is similar to jogging in place) and jumping in place for the jump rope assimilation. I also took barely any breaks (breathers) in my arm/shoulder exercises - I really felt myself pushing past the feeling of shoulder discomfort and fatigue and just doing the reps that Jillian expected of me. Basically I probably skipped all told only 3 reps through the entire workout - and for me that is good.  I have also noticed there is far less cursing going on! Ha!
I will say that the last portion of abs work, which is a solid minute of bicycle crunches, is very difficult for me, though. I have a herniated disc in my back so there is something in that move that puts some strain on me that doesn't always feel so great. I have to be careful with it - so I will admit that it takes me about 2 minutes to get through Jillian's one minute of abs because I do take some breaks during that last part (however - again, I notice a significant change today versus Day 1 - so I am getting there). I kind of end up doing my stretching about a minute after she does hers - but that's OK...


So, that's pretty much it, except I STILL haven't taken my measurements! Can you tell I'm not that thrilled about knowing what the actual numbers are? I have enough issues with the scale number let alone the actual dimensions of my ample body parts. Ugh. However, I do want to do it before I go any further with "The Shred" because most people that have done the workout before say the noticeable changes are in inches versus pounds - and I can definitely understand that. Perhaps tonight I'll dig out the tape measure. I know that seeing results is motivating - so what am I waiting for? I'm already 5 days in! 

That's about it...hope you are all enjoying the weekend and sticking with your plans of action, whatever they may entail! Tomorrow marks the OFFICIAL starting day of the 30 Day Shred Challenge - so good luck to all who are involved! This challenge is going to be a real ass-kicker!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 4 of the Shred - Got 'er Done!

This morning when my alarm went off at 5:35 AM, I had a good mind to throw my iPhone out the window.  It seems I was wrong in naively thinking that by setting the alarm wake sound to the soothing coo of "chirping birds", I might be more inclined to getting up at the ass crack of dawn to do Day 4 of the Shred. Guess what? Not so. If anything, the damn alarm just made me hate birds.

The problem du jour was that I knew I had limited time to work out this morning, so there was no option to hit snooze or dawdle around in my usual manner. I had a baby shower to go to that was starting at 10 AM of all times (tell me, who does that???) AND it was in New York City, so, according to my dear husband, we would have to leave here at 8 AM because even though he was acting simply as my chauffeur, he is never one to be late. As a matter of fact, his mojo is usually to give himself such a huge window of time to get where he's going that usually he arrives an hour early to most appointments/events - (or at least he did until he met me, the woman who practically invented the term "fashionably late"). Factoring in working out, showering, getting ready, ironing my pants, and having coffee, I knew those birds meant business. I turned the alarm off and got my ample arse out of bed.

So - what can I tell you about Day 4 of the Shred? I am still sore, but happily, the feeling that my body was used as Mike Tyson's personal punching bag is subsiding. I can walk down the stairs normally and am not walking around like I have just given birth to octuplets. Meaning, my thighs are feeling better....oh, but those ARMS and SHOULDERS!!! They are another story.
I think the toughest part about Level one is definitely the arm/shoulder work. I'm only using 3 pound weights but damn - those repetitive arm exercises are killer. I am waiting for the day when I don't need the to take a break during those exercises - then I will know I am making major headway. I'm still modifying movements and think that I will have to continue to do so for a little while yet, but that's OK. For now, I am feeling good about the simple fact that I am sticking with it. Trust me - today would have been VERY easy just to say screw it - and in the past, I probably would have. But the important thing is that I didn't. And that, my friends, is progress.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 3 of Shreddin' - In The Bag

Happy Friday everybody!

Well, I'm happy to report that I have survived Day 3 of the Shred. But I will admit - today was HARD.
I found myself having less breather-breaks today, but I did end up modifying my moves quite a bit - especially those movements that require demands on the knee, such as the jumping jacks, jump rope, and butt kicks. My knees are not ready for any kind of pounding just yet and they are letting me know it.
C-R-E-A-K....C-R-A-C-K!! (ouch!)


So, to avoid injury and ensure I will be able to continue with the workouts, I do the regular arm motions for the jumping jacks while doing a deep march (knees up high) as opposed to the scissor jump. And for the jump rope, I sort of do a side to side step while doing the correct arm motions. For the butt kicks, to ease the impact, I just side-step and pull my leg back to my butt as quickly as I can - it is sort of less like running, but more like a lunge with one leg, and then kick my opposite foot back to my butt. It works - I am definitely feeling it! While it may not be the exact prescribed moves by Jillian, I don't think I am "phoning it in" either, to use her phraseology. If the sweat pouring off of my face at the end of each workout means anything at all - my heart rate is up and I am not slacking off. According to Jillian, I should notice a big change in my endurance on Day 5, 6 and 7. We shall see!

Today is also weigh day - and while there is no great change on the poundage front, I am not fretting. I'm only down a quarter of a pound, but I think there are a few factors that could be affecting the weigh in today. First of all, I weighed myself before, well, you know, I hadn't had a chance to, well, uh - you know (TMI?? sorry!). And I did drink a TON of water yesterday (starting to get back on the hydration bandwagon) and I am two seconds from "The Curse" arriving for the week. Not to mention my dinner last night involved noodles. It was pretty carb-rich and not in a good way - plus I had a glass of wine to boot. In other words, could I sabotage my weigh in a little more? Hardly! SO - I know what I need to do - and I will get there. I am confident next Friday I am going to have a much better report.

I will say that this working out thing has me seeing things a little clearer - even in three days time. I am aware I have but only one life to live (insert soap opera music here) and I'm not going to spend the rest of it feeling like a prisoner in my own body. And that is how I feel sometimes - almost like my brain belongs to someone else and this body somehow mistakenly was given to me and now I have to figure out how to live with it - but I don't really want to. It has made me bitter at times, but I know that getting angry really isn't the answer either. Sweating is. Getting back to whole, unprocessed foods is. Reminding myself that I CAN and WILL do this is.

It literally is one step, one choice at a time. I'm happy to be making the choice to exercise, and I do think it will be easier now to follow suit with the eating. Once I start seeing the results, I know I will be hooked.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Even My Armpits Hurt...

Every fiber of my body feels like Jillian Michael's tiny little sneakered feet have stomped all over it. And in her own special way, she kind of did.
I have just completed Day 2 of the 30 Day Shred. And let me tell you, I am feelin' it.
In a word, if my muscles could talk, I think they might say something like this - "Ooofa..."


As I laid in bed last night, feeling the onset of effects from yesterday's workout, I turned to my husband and said in all seriousness, "Jeez, I hope I can do my workout tomorrow. I'm really sore." He simply laughed at me, no doubt waiting for the list of excuses he figured he'd soon hear as to why I couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't continue with this working-out thing upon which I had literally just embarked. You see, he's heard it/seen it all before - my initial over-the-top enthusiasm for working out and committing to a diet - yadda yadda yadda -  only to witness me drop it all like hot potato - slathered with butter and sour cream, of course. While I was very committed to losing weight last year prior to my wedding, this year has been  one massive struggle to get back on track, so in my husband's defense, his reaction was understandable. But it did get my wheels turning in regard to my behaviors of yore....

This morning, my husband took our car in for service and called me at 7:30 to let me know he'd be a little longer than expected, because our oil filter was leaking and they had to change some gasket thingy. When I  picked up the phone, I guess it was more than a little obvious I was still in bed (hey, blame it on the rain) so before he hung up, he gently reminded me not to forget that I needed to let Jillian "shred me" today, preferably before he got home. He uses our living room as a home office so I knew that if there was snowball's chance in hell for me to do my workout today, I best bust a move and do it quickly.

I won't lie - I didn't exactly hop right to it (old habits die hard). I putzed around first, telling myself I couldn't work out without a dose of caffeine, so I drank half a cup of coffee first and then watched the weather (we are under flood warnings right now, so I felt this particular stalling tactic was perfectly justified). I also sat and contemplated how the hell my body was going to actually do jumping jacks, given that my whole body was still reeling from yesterday's jump-fest. But I was committed to finding out.

I've made a choice -  I have no desire to let myself down any longer. And I certainly don't want my husband to be right with his thinking that I probably won't stick with this (even though he hasn't said it aloud). I have done that so many times this past year that frankly it's become laughable. Or maybe pathetic is a better word choice. Whatever the case may be, I'm changing my course of action for the good.

What's more is, I really surprised myself by how good it felt doing the workout today. Yes, I cursed through it quite a bit, but I stuck with it. I'm not saying my form was perfect or that I didn't stop for a 5 second breather here and there, but I did get through it. And funny as it sounds, when I heard Jillian's voice booming from the TV, telling me I can do it and that those last reps, when I feel like I can't keep going, are the ones that count the most - I felt myself pushing harder. I can't wait to take my measurements tomorrow and see the changes at the end of the challenge.

My only complaint with this exercise regime thus far is that my 3 dogs like to hang out in the room with me while I am working out....do you know how difficult it is to do bicycle crunches with an 85 pound chocolate lab licking your face?


They only look innocent...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hello Sweat, It's Been A While...

Sweet Mary and Joseph.....Jillian Michaels really IS the devil.
I now know this to be true, first hand.

As you may be aware from yesterday's post, I had decided I wanted to participate in the 30 Day Shred Challenge starting Sept 12, along with a few fellow weight loss bloggers. There really aren't any major rules to the challenge, other than the date we start and the dates we are meant to progress from one level to the next. I decided that before I begin, I want to take measurements and post a start weight and I will more than likely do a weekly bitch session update about it to share how I am doing/feeling while being tortured by the likes of Ms. Michaels herself, even if it is only by way of my DVD player.

Because it has been so long since I have done any major work out in a gym or participated in a cardio session other than sporadic dates with my elliptical machine or walks with my hubs and the dogs, I was feeling a little worried about what might be in store for me next week. I've watched the Biggest Loser so I am fully aware that Jillian is a "take no shit/no excuses" kind of gal. I was in no way, shape or form, under any impression that this workout was going to be easy. So yesterday, making good on my promise to my fellow challengers and myself,  I stopped at Target before my class to purchase a copy of the 30 Day Shred DVD. Admittedly, I was looking for the disclaimer that would tell me that 230+ pound women might be better suited for a lower intensity workout, but alas, it was nowhere to be found. So I did what I set out to do and I bought the thing, wondering all the while if I'd still be alive after the 30 days of this challenge was over.

Since I'm not the type of person who really cares for surprises, this afternoon I thought I'd maybe take a sneak peek at the DVD to see exactly what I was going to be up against. I put the DVD in the player and watched as Jillian introduced me to her two buddies and explained that in no uncertain terms she was here to kick my ass and I may not like it at first, but I would most certainly be thanking her later. I sat ON MY COUCH as I watched her do her warm up arm swings, hip circles and knee circles. Then I watched her and her cronies get into the jumping jacks, jump rope and squat lifts with weights. Then I think she went on to do some butt kicks and maybe some ab stuff.....And then I thought to myself, "What the fuck are you doing sitting here on your ass? Do you think you are burning freaking calories through osmosis?????" 
And then I got the hell up, restarted the DVD and DID THE DAMN WORKOUT.

I know I am 5 or 6 days early on the challenge, and I apologize for that, but something inside me realized that today is the day I need to start, and I cannot look back. I have spent far too long making excuses as to why I can't work out that I certainly don't want to deny myself the chance to when the spirit actually moves me. I'm still a part of the challenge - but I wanted to come clean. Lord knows I need the head start anyway; my body needs to get used to moving again. If today was any indication, progressing from level 1 to level 2 won't be a picnic - but I will try to keep on schedule with the rest of the girls going forward.

Anyway, that is about it....I feel a sense of renewal today. This was just what I needed. Now I'm off to go take a hot shower (I feel my muscles starting to get sore already) and start prepping dinner....
Here is what we are having tonight....Lemon Garlic and Basil Slow Roasted Chicken. I cannot wait to try it! I'm also making steamed carrots and pan roasted broccoli on the side. Back to healthy eating.
Hope everyone else is having a good day.
Has anyone else done something today that they didn't expect to do?