Saturday, July 30, 2011

Can I Still Lose If I Choose To Booze?

I have a dilemma.....well, maybe dilemma is too strong a word. It's really more of a situation that I've been mulling around in my head and am wondering if anyone else does this, or at the very least has an opinion about it.

I like my cocktails - I always have. I'm not a booze hound with a problem, but I am one of those people that very much enjoys the act of relaxing with a drink. I don't chug my bevvie down like I'm a cheerleader at a frat party....I savor it. Strangely enough, I truly like the taste of alcohol.

Because I am doing this diet "my way",  I have allotted myself one night a week where cocktails are allowed. I don't mean I'm sucking down copious amounts of booze - but more like a glass or two of wine, or 2 lite beers or maybe a couple of martinis. This process allows me to feel like I am living normal life. I purposely chose my weigh in day as the day I get to drink because I figure I have the week to repair whatever caloric damage I have done by imbibing.

I know that most people really throw themselves into dieting with every fiber of their being and eliminate alcohol because, well, nobody really wants to drink their calories. I understand this concept fully and for the most part agree with it wholeheartedly. I spent many years taking in my daily recommended calorie allotment in the form of drink, and then consumed double that in food form. I understand just how abusive I was to my body back then. There is no question as to how I packed on the pounds...

I guess my question or dilemma is this: Can I have my alcohol and drink it too? I found several articles that say yes, an occasional drink is OK, and some that advise that I kick my libations to the curb. It's not that I can't do it....but more like I don't want to.

I do know that drinking comes with a price. Calorically speaking, it's a trade off. I can't expect the same results as I might if I don't get my drink on. But are a few drinks a week a diet killer? Am I setting myself up for failure by not being stricter about this?

What are your thoughts?

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Like Being a Loser

It's Friday again - and you know what that means - It's Weigh Day, y'all!!!!!
I'm happy to announce I lost another 1.75 lbs this week - and while that is hardly setting the world on fire, I will take it and be disgustingly happy with it! For so long I have watched the scale either creep up and up and up, or hover around around the same hideous number. Now it is (finally) starting to reverse itself and I couldn't be more pleased. Can I get an A-men?

While I am keeping the morning walking routine consistent (2.8 miles today), I know I could be doing more in the realm of exercise. But at least I am still seeing some positive signs on the scale, so you'll get no (major) complaints here. I'm not going to dispute the fact that my food intake and food choices have more to do with the losses this month than any sort of physical exertion - but yesterday I talked about really wanting to master that issue anyway - and so far, it is working. But I do want to eventually release the exercise whore that I think lives inside of me. She knows that it will take firing up the old metabolism to get all of this lard ass melted off. She wants to show me how it's done - but I haven't let her emerge just yet...

When I started this new blog, I told myself I had 100 weeks to lose 100 pounds - and I did this because that is not only a reasonable amount of time to take off the weight, but completely DOABLE.  Granted, 100 weeks is about as slow as I'd ever care to go, but if I can go faster, then great! Reaching that goal of "100 pounds lost" speedier than 100 weeks is definitely going to require me upping my game considerably. My inner exercise whore has been whispering to me that when I am tired of the slow pace of losing through food manipulation, she will be ready to really git 'er done. I feel her lacing up her sneakers as I write this.

My husband, on the other hand, actually likes this slow and steady approach I have adopted and tells me that I need to stay focused, keep doing what I am doing, and not get so hung up on trying to drop more than a pound a week. Maybe he's right. I don't know. One thing is for sure, I don't feel food or taste deprived and THAT has not been the case during my diets of yore. Come on - just look at some of the dinners I have had this week:

Flank Steak Stir-fry with Pinepapple, Red pepper & Onion

Bunless Turkey Burger with Grilled Corn on the Cob and Broccoli
Notice there are no pictures of the offensive pizza! Just healthy, colorful and satisfying meals. In NORMAL-SIZED portions. Frankly I don't even feel like I am dieting - but maybe that's the missing link I have been looking for! So many "diets" make you feel like you are missing out on good food. They either promote pre-packaged, portion controlled convenience (hello, Jenny Craig!) without ever really teaching you how to make these portion controlled meals on your own. I am a self-proclaimed foodie that LOVES to cook. I love, love, love stretching my culinary muscle, and this "diet" or "lifestyle" or whatever term you want to give it, is still allowing me to do it - and I'm HAPPY!

I guess in the end, you can't argue with success. And for me, success is all about the scale going down at this point, no matter how slow. I'll know when I need to switch things up. More and more I am becoming in tune with my body, my hunger, my cravings and my emotions surrounding when I eat, why I eat, and even how I eat (inhaling my food isn't quite uncommon, let's say). As Rachellabelle @ My Hips Don't Lie said in one of her comments - this is about a life long journey - and she's right. This is not something I am going to drop the second I reach goal. It's for life....

So, with that said, I'll be here, plugging along and enjoying the company I have of the people that are doing this with me, and those that might not be in the "losing game", but are here for support. Hope everyone has a great Friday and keep a watch out for some page updates on the blog over the weekend!

Ta ta, my friends!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday's Musings...

Happy Thursday, my good people!

I'm feeling much better (and resolved of my pizza sins) after that confession yesterday. Today is a new day and I am back to feeling positive, empowered and in control. I think I simply need to accept that this kind of stuff is going to happen from time to time and getting my big ole' cotton panties all up in a massive twist isn't going to do anything but set me on a bad path (not to mention leave me with an excruciating wedgie). Staying positive and keeping my eye on the prize is key to getting past these blips on the dieting radar screen.

This morning Josh, the hounds, and I ventured out on a short 2.2 miler. The humidity was hovering at around 76%, which means I was sweating profusely and swatting gnats away from my head for a good portion of the walk. I'll be doing the elliptical or treadmill later (in a gnat free environment, thankfully) - as soon as I have access to my exercise room again. Josh is in there working while the guys who are installing the fireplace are all over the rest of the house. There is hammering and wood cutting and sawing and more hammering. Where are my earplugs when I need them?? At least they are cutting the wood in the backyard which is saving HUGE on the amount of dirt and construction mess inside. BUT our back screen door is sure taking some abuse. All day long it's in and and and out. I think we now have more flies in our house than can be found surrounding the asses of a zebra herd on the freakin' African Plains.

This summer has become known as "The Summer of Contractors" at our place...and frankly I am more than a little over having to work around these guys. Our house is in what seems like perpetual chaos - nothing has a "home" right now because 3 major spaces in our house (if you include the attic space) are being disrupted with the construction of the fireplace. The living room, our bedroom (the chimney is being built straight up through our bedroom closet) and our attic (where we store EVERYTHING). So the stuff that belongs in these spaces has been strewn about the rest of the house, making for a very, uh - unsettled existence at the moment.  Yes, it's all for the love of beautifying our home but damn - it's annoying as shit. We had painters here for almost a month in May/June and now we have the fireplace guys who have been here going on 2 weeks. It will be nice to get back to normal living once this is all said and done....(sigh). By that time, it might actually be time to throw a log in the fireplace. Oy vey.

In the meantime, I am working diligently on writing up my classroom observations for 2 of my field experiences. It is a long and tedious project that I won't bore you with the details about, but suffice it to say, I'd rather be doing ANYTHING else but this right now - and that even includes working out. I still have yet to post my "About Me" page (will try to get to that this weekend) but just to give you an idea of what this project is all about, I will give you this tid bit: I am 2 semesters away from getting my masters degree and teaching certificate in elementary education. It's quite the switch from my past life of working in the fashion industry for nearly 15 years - but I will get more into that on my page and you will be able to read about it there. Technically I have one more semester of classes and then I will student teach in the Spring. But I have 90 hours of field work to complete (I have already done 60) and there is a huge write up I need to do for each observation placement (each placement is 30 hours of class observation time). It is exciting and scary - especially to be on the cusp of 40 and in the midst of what seems like a 180 degree switch-a-roo of a career change. But I am ready.....I think.

There really isn't too much else to report....tomorrow is weigh day, and although 4 slices of pizza tarnished the menu this past week, the rest of my eating has been relatively "blemish-free." Tonight we are having turkey burgers (sans the bun) and corn on the cob and broccoli. I had 2 eggs, a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese and two tomato slices on high fiber, 100 calorie english muffin for breakfast and frankly I'm not even thinking about lunch. At least not yet. It could be the belly-filling 32 oz of sun tea I am drinking right now. I make it with fresh lemon juice and shakes things up versus drinking straight water all of the time. I have found that if I want to get in my liquid allotment (shooting for 64 oz a day at the least), chances are they need to be flavored with something to get it all down. I figure this tea isn't the worst thing I could be drinking right now (watermelon martini anyone??). Damn - now I am thinking about martinis.

Anyhoo - since tomorrow is weigh day I have been thinking about weight loss rewards for pounds lost. Based on many of the blogs I have read, people often set rewards based on 10 lb increments, which is also a good time to take update photos to show weight loss progress in the physical sense. I am always thinking of ways to reward myself (sadly in the past, rewards have revolved around food. Common story or what?) but I also have some ideas brewing about non-food rewards I'd like to earn...more on that tomorrow. Fingers crossed for another loss this week. Pizza be damned.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Bump In The Road

Well, it has been quite the week so far - and it's only Wednesday!
Thanks to all who posted about my mom and her recovery - I am happy to say that she was in great spirits after the surgery and did amazingly well yesterday when the nurses got her up to walk the first time. She is a real trouper! I know she has a long road ahead and the real pain will probably come once she is in rehab, but she is a tough cookie and she is determined to push on through, no matter how much it hurts.

I think I could take a cue or two from that way of thinking. Push through, no matter what the pain. Josh and I are now back to walking but I know I need to push myself harder in terms of exercise. You know what I'm talking about -  investing a little more "sweat equity" into this weight loss thing. I go back and forth between telling myself it's OK to take it slow and really resolve the eating issue first (since I think that is the biggest culprit to my ample girth anyway) and then once I have that figured out, jump on the exercise bandwagon hard core. I have been known to swan dive head first into both restricted eating and abundant exercise in my previous attempts at weight loss, and I usually get burned out on one or the other faster than you can say pepperoni pizza. Usually it is the food that gets me before my exercise mojo wears out - but after a few lousy calorie-laden meals and overstuffed helpings, that too disappears quickly thereafter.

There are so many things that have side tracked me in my weight loss attempts, that I cringe when I think about them. This time I am really trying to get to the core of why I failed in the past. Eating is something we humans HAVE to do to survive. In that instance, food addiction is difficult because we need to eat everyday. There is no getting around it and it's hard because we are forced to face that demon each day just to stay alive and be healthy. Because let's face it, if you think being fat is bad, try being dead.

This week has been stressful. I didn't do well dealing with my mom going under the knife and lost a lot of sleep agonizing over what could go wrong with this surgery.  I am a horrible worry-wart, apparently. I got to the surgery center in the morning and had a small bagel for breakfast and nothing else through out the afternoon. By 7:00 PM, I was ready to eat damn near anything. With that said, I will confess that I broke down and ate pizza after getting home from the hospital at about 8:15. It is the first time I have had pizza since the beginning of the month - and although that may not sound like anything to you, it is to me. (My husband makes the world's best pizza crust - as in touch yourself delicious. This is the pizza crust dreams are made of. No lie.)

The problem is, I didn't cheat on my diet with his good pizza - it was take-out pizza from a place nearby. The crust was mediocre at best. Kind of tasteless really. Definitely not Josh's orgasmic cust by any stretch of the imagination. A waste of calories, if I am being honest. HOWEVER....Four, yes I said FOUR slices later, I not only felt like crust but I had that nagging bitch of a voice in the back of my head yelling, "Now what the hell did you go and do a thing like that for?" Good question, my dear conscience. Good effing question.

Lack of preparation, tiredness and convenience are probably the biggest reasons pizza made it into this house on Monday (at least it's a far cry from the days when 2 pizzas were the norm). Josh worked long hours and wasn't able to get dinner made and I was at the hospital until 7:00 and had an hour ride home. Pizza seemed, I dunno....justifiable.

I know it wasn't - or maybe it was - but four slices were not, no matter what the circumstance. So, again, this is why I feel I need to dedicate the time and energy to getting the food thing right first because when push comes to shove, I want to be able to resist those "convenient" temptations and have that Plan B in my back pocket, ready to go. Yes, I needed food, but I just ended up eating the wrong thing. And in quantities I cannot justify - period. But at least this is becoming more the occasional slip up, and not the norm. I really have been doing well on the eating front and notice the changes in my behavior - I'm really watching portions (pizza debacle aside), no second helpings, drinking water so that I feel fuller. And it is working. Despite living through Pizzageddon on Monday night, my scale this morning says I am still am down a pound from Friday. But since this Friday is official weigh day, that's off the record. :-)

In the end, I am trying not to make too big of a deal of this. I know there will be spills and trips and other crap to try to throw me off course at times, and I need to not give them too much importance or they will consume me, and that 'why bother' mentality will try to sneak in and sabotage everything. But I am determined. There is no falling off the horse this time - just temporary moments where a a good buck or two causes me to have to readjust myself on the saddle.

Consider me now readjusted.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Choosing Not To Follow In Mom's Footsteps (for Good Reason)

Is it really Monday already?

The weekend seemed to fly by, despite my feeling sluggish most of the weekend due to the horrendous heat wave. With multiple days in a row in the 100's, walks outside were non-existent and even indoor workouts weren't that plentiful - I only got in two 20 minute workouts on the elliptical machine. Add the nasty heat, to my lovely corneal ulcer that I am dealing with, and suffering pain from Aunt Flo - and it's fair to say I wasn't quite feeling myself. And when I am not feeling myself, things just plain old suck.

Friday night Josh and I thought we'd escape the heat by having dinner with friends at a Thai restaurant we've been wanting to try in Bethehem - only to get there and realize that the air-conditioning at the restaurant was barely working. We sweat bullets through dinner (and it wasn't because of the spicy-factor of the food) and came home to a hotter than hell bedroom, which required an hour wait until the window unit air-conditioner had a chance to work it's magic and get the room to a balmy 82 degrees. Ugh.

Right now I am writing from my mom's hospital room. She is currently in surgery for a double knee replacement, and I am hanging out, watching a riveting episode of Family Feud and trying to keep busy until we hear from the doctor. My mom's knees have been deteriorating for years now, and have come to the point of really affecting her walking capability and being the source of excruciating pain. While my mom is not severely overweight, she was a bit heavier years ago and spent a lot of her time on ladders remodeling her home (scraping paint and refinishing woodwork) or on the floor (washing up hardwood or kitchen linoleum). While she was "active" in the sense that she was always busy doing something, my mom never really did any aerobic activity to speak of. She wasn't exactly sedentary, but she didn't walk for the purpose of exercise so she didn't have much muscle tone in her legs (especially her thighs).

Her poor knees suffered for it for years and now she needs new ones. And she's getting them today.

It's going to be very difficult to see my mom in so much pain. She chose to get both knees done at the same time because she has heard horror stories of how painful the recovery is and thought she may never go back and get the second one done - and she desperately needs them both. It is a lesson to me to get this weight off before I, too, have to face such a decision.

At age 39 (and fast approaching 40) I am very much aware that I am no longer a "spring chicken." But that doesn't mean I am willing to accept that my body cannot be strong and healthy. I know that it can - but it needs work. Lots and lots of work. When I think about the alternatives to not exercising and getting stronger and healthier, I see a future with more issues than I care to deal with, and that isn't how I want to live the rest of my life. And I won't.

So, because I am not sure how long I will be here today, starting tomorrow, I am back in the exercise saddle. Morning walks and afternoon work outs with either the elliptical, treadmill or recumbent bike. Weights for my upper body work out. 

In other words, making an investment in my future.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hey, it's Weigh Day!

Happy Friday, everyone. The weekend is finally here!!

It's funny, but even for how long I have been unemployed, I still love the feeling that Friday eludes - a sense of the the week being put behind you and having two whole days to do as you please. Well, in Weightloss Land that's not exactly true. There is no more "do as you please" - especially if "doing as you please" has normally involved things such as indulging in donuts, ice cream and pizza, as it has with me.

I am trying very hard to define my new "norm" which isn't the easiest thing to do.  I will be very happy when I don't relate those aforementioned ass-expanding food items as something that I would really like to eat on a regular basis. And while I haven't really had wild cravings for them, and don't consider myself struggling in any way, I know that one day those cravings will hit me like a ton of bricks, and I will want to dive head first into a Dunkin' Donuts counter, mouth wide open. I haven't quite figured out how I will handle that feeling just yet, when it does arrive. I do know that I will fight it with all I've got, kicking and screaming the whole powder-sugar covered way.

Friday now also represents something else for me. It is the day I have chosen for my weigh-ins. I remember when I was a Weight Watchers member in NYC and I weighed in on a Monday. What a disaster that was. It was like walking to the gallows every Monday evening, wondering what my weekend indulgences did this time. I like Friday in that it will show me my progress for the week and hopefully hold me accountable for my actions on the weekend. If I do good and show a loss, the hope is that my success will motivate me to stay on course and continue the behaviors of the past week to further propel my weight loss. If I have a gain (gasp!), the hope is that I realize that I need to adjust my behaviors so the gain does not go from a small snowball to an avalanche over the course of the next week. It's happened - I speak from total experience here knowing that I have let things like a 2 lb gain turn into 10lbs and beyond. My thought now is that I can take the weekend to regroup, reassess, and get back into action - accept the gain and do what I need to do in order to reverse it. No beating myself up, just get back on track.

Overall, I have to say this week was a good week. My only real indulgences were 2 glasses of wine, but the eating part has been dare I say it - easy???? I don't want to jinx myself but hey, it's gotta be said that I feel like I am finally getting my head screwed on straight about this whole eating thing. Last evening Josh and I went to the grocery store to load up on more fruits and veggies. I am pretty sure our produce bills are going to put us in the freaking poorhouse.

Speaking of produce - I picked up this pineapple yesterday - it appears it may have been gipped of it's top "plume" just a bit (what is the technical term for the top of the part of pineapple, anyway? The leaves???). I thought it was sort of cute looking, so I bought it:
Pineapple with a bad haircut

Oh, and regarding the home gym - it's not quite all there yet (we can't agree on the positioning of the equipment) but it's getting there....I will post a pic as soon as it is complete. The problem we have now is where to install the TV and also which direction to place the treadmill so that it doesn't look like it's just sitting in the middle of the room when it's folded up (even folded it is a big momma). I like it up against the wall but then when you're on it, you are just staring at a blank wall (which I am Ok with since I listen to my iPod anyway). But Josh wants it facing the TV which does make more sense, but it really screws with the set up of the room. Oh well, I am sure we'll figure it out. For now, I can at least get to the elliptical and the bike (now if we could only find the cord to the bike we'd be golden). Ah, chaos at it's finest.

Soooooo - back to the real subject at hand - My weigh in!!!! I am proud to say I lost 3 lbs this week (and this is even with the old bitch Aunt Flo in town) - I'm down to 230.75 lbs. I'll take it! I know moving this ample arse will also make a huge difference so here's hoping for another great week!

Stay cool, my friends!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Clearing out the crap

Holy Heat Wave, people!
This disgusting weather is really doing a number on my motivation to get outside and exercise. It's 10 AM and 87 degrees already. I just got back from a quick walk to the corner deli for some milk and the air was just so....uh, thick. This kind of weather makes me have only one thought: My butt should be at the beach. End of story.

Since that's not my reality at the moment, I need to suck it up and put plan B into action. Today I am going to *finally* clean up the rest of the red room (not to be confused with "redrum" from The Shining), so dubbed because the walls are painted bright red - see below). It used to be a spare bedroom but we decided to take down the bed and convert it into a mini home gym of sorts. At least that was the plan.  I had promised myself (and Josh) that once summer classes were over and we got back from vacation, I'd haul ass in there and get everything organized so that the gym equipment could be arranged in a way that made it actually user friendly. Well, let's just say classes were over June 30th and here is the state of the room as of this very moment:
Oh, what a friggin' mess!
I think I see an elliptical machine in there somewhere...
A treadmill and recumbent bike are under there somewhere...
I have a shelf full of stuff from the wedding (which was back in October, incidentally) and some various fabrics I have a hard time departing with (I still have dreams of making something with them), and bins full of supplies and materials and books I will need for school and when I finally have a classroom of my own. The question is where to go with all of it??? I have tried to sort through some stuff and believe it or not, this room actually shows progress from the state it was in a few months ago. However, I still need to find a home for the plastic bins of shit important things because right now they are the biggest hindrances to getting this room in shape -  so that I can get in shape!

There is a part of me that fears I may have some mild hoarder mentality at times (have you seen that show?? SCARY!) because I seem to have a hard time parting with things - even things I know really won't effect me or my life if I get rid of them. I desperately need to break that habit because this room alone is a clear indication of what happens when you don't chuck crap that you don't need, or at the very least organize it in some manner that makes sense. There are times, however, (and I am reaching that point now) that I want to just scrap everything and start anew. Part of it is this "new" journey I have embarked on. I think of the process as not only de-cluttering the space in which I live, but also de-cluttering the mind, and allowing me to focus on the things that are most important - like getting healthy and exercising.  By not cleaning this room up, I am single-handedly sabotaging my own workouts. And that's so not cool, and I know it.

I've never been a neat-nick by any stretch of the imagination - but it seems the older I get the more I crave order and want to live to a more simple existence with less "stuff" around me that has no value. Oh, and do we have stuff! My husband and I combined each of our 36 years of separate living into one back in 2008 and the house just sort of exploded. We are beyond ready for a good weeding out of stuff - and I think that once we do, we will feel all the better for it.

I often wonder if the self-diagnosed hoarder in me is a part of my past issues with food. Not being able to throw anything away - not being able to let a plate exist with food still on it. Feeling like I had to stuff myself with bad-for-me "stuff", ironically enough to make me feel better - if only for a nano-second. With each day that passes, I learn a thing a two about myself. I'm finally dedicating time to THINK about my issues, instead of just complain about them and blame my weight on lack of will power. I know that isn't the real issue. It never is....

Anyway, I hope to achieve some progress here today so that by tomorrow this will be a fully functioning space to work out! Tomorrow is also weigh in day and I am both excited and nervous about what the scale will reveal. Hope everyone is having a good day and staying cool!

I also just want to say how happy I am to have made some new connections with fellow bloggers. Thank you for your comments and support! It is wonderful to be able to share this ride with people you know are working toward similar weight loss goals! Good luck to all of you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I didn't plan on my plan failing

~ By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. ~Benjamin Franklin

I imagine this quote by Benjamin Franklin is where Weight Watchers got the inspiration for their "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" quote that I loved so much when I was a member.

Quotes like this, really do inspire me and they speak volumes to the dedication and time and energy one must put into their weight loss efforts if they are to succeed.

I have always considered myself a horrific planner and my failure to plan has repeatedly gotten me into trouble.  When I was a regular working woman (which seems like eons ago), I was always so exhausted after work that I never planned for the next day. This meant I usually woke in a panic, showered, threw on my face paint and then prayed to god I had some clean laundry to wear the next day. I'd have to try on about half a dozen outfits to find something that fit and looked relatively acceptable. Those outfits that didn't make the cut were strewn about my room to collect dust for the next week or so (or whenever I actually got around to doing my laundry and/or cleaning up my room). It seemed I used to always be looking frantically for something having just minutes to spare before I needed to leave for work - my keys, my cell phone, my wallet, my bus tickets, my iPod, my favorite lipstick - and the list goes on. If I had just taken 10 -15 minutes at night when I got home from work to prepare for the next day, I know I could have saved myself a shit ton of anguish and aggravation.

Lunches were another thing I never prepared for, and it wreaked havoc on my waistline because I worked in NY and there was always a plethora of bad food choices all around me, from pizza to paninnis, Chinese to Italian - and every other ethnic eatery delight in between. The city was one big fattening smorgasbord - and I took advantage of it all. There were a few people in my office that packed their lunch regularly, and we had a kitchen with a microwave and fridge so I could have easily done the same. But again, that planning thing always got in the way (plus our kitchen was a bit of a roach motel which was real turn-off). In the end, it was easier not to think about what I was going to eat at lunch, and just let the chips fall where they may each day at about 1:00. And trust me when I say, the chips did fall....right into my wide open welcoming mouth. Preferably Miss Vicki's salt and vinegar kettle-cooked chips, to be exact.

Since I am currently not working, I have plenty of time now to plan for my meals. And so far, I am proud to say that since I have recommitted myself to my weight loss efforts, I have been doing quite well in the planning department. I have scoured the internet and my cookbooks for low-fat, low-calorie, yet tasty looking recipes. I have made sure that I have healthy foods within arms reach, and have tried not to let any "Uh-oh, now what?" moments interrupt what I consider to be the zen-like flow I feel like I have going on at the moment. So far, I feel this odd calm over me, and I haven't had any horrific cravings or desires to throw in the towel. I have been relatively prepared with my meals, and sticking to good portion control. However, I realize each day is a test for me - can I keep up the planning routine? Can I honestly and truly make this a natural part of my everyday existence? This way of life depends on it.

Yesterday I hit a small snafu. I thought I had prepared well. I found a black bean veggie burger recipe that I was excited to try. We usually have about 3 cans of black beans on hand at any given moment, but as I went to make my meal, I discovered there were no black beans to be had anywhere in our house (I forgot we had been addicted to those black bean wheat wraps last week and I never replenished the supply). I have a weird quirk that requires me to have ALL ingredients present and accounted for if I am going to try a new recipe. In other words, I wasn't in the mood to tweak or substitute, so I ditched my original black bean burger recipe that looked so yummy and decided to find a new recipe that used chickpeas instead (for whatever reason, I have like 6 cans of these). I found one that included ingredients I had (except chili powder which I also could not believe I was out of - what the hell?) so preceded to make that. I was excited. It looked healthy. I was going to pair it with a baked sweet potato. A stellar meal, indeed.

The recipe sucked. Sucked HARD, as in my husband took one bite, tried valiantly to smile and tell me it tasted great, then promptly spit it out when I confirmed his real thoughts aloud upon taking my own first bite: That it tasted downright nasty. I felt awful because I had really tried to make something low fat and healthy, but it just wasn't a good recipe. While my poor husband returned to the kitchen to make a salad, I decided to try to continue to eat my sawdust burger, with a little help from a slathering of hummus and a sprinkle of goat cheese to help give it some pizazz.

I'm happy that I didn't let that tragic meal send me straight to the corner deli for an italian hoagie to replace it would have been easy to do. But it was a lesson learned that this new way of cooking is going to be a process - finding healthy things that are also good tasting. Also planning meals and making sure I have EVERYTHING on hand for the recipes I want to make will be key.

Lunches have been challenging since I usually want a nice big sandwich and chips, but am learning that soup and carrots with hummus actually quells my hunger too. It is amazing what the last week has taught me about what can satisfy me. They are not the things I have traditionally grabbed for lunch in the past, but I am making changes!

Tonight we are having grilled salmon, roasted acorn squash and cous cous for dinner and I have everything I need to make it. This is a good thing since I can't run to the grocery store because we have contractors here installing a fireplace and I can't leave them alone with the dogs. I feel good knowing I have planned for this meal in every way, shape and form - there will be no spitting out of the food least I hope not.

Tomorrow may be another story.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Unprocessed Food for Thought

We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.  ~ Alfred E. Newman

Sad, but true isn't it?

When I think about all of the processed/artificially flavored foods I have eaten over the course of my 39 years on Earth, I wonder just how many days/weeks/months I've shaved off my life...I would imagine all of that crap must have done at least some kind of internal damage. Oy vey! (I should probably mention I'm sitting here sipping a Crystal Light lemonade as I type this - sorry, Alfred!)

This new weight loss journey has me focused on what I'm eating more than ever before. Having been on a multitude of diets throughout my life, of course food has been in the forefront of my thoughts a great deal. However, this time, I find myself really concentrating on processed versus whole or natural foods, much more so than in the past. 

During the MANY times I was on Weight Watchers, all pre-Points Plus days) I remember eating tons of processed foods, which I think is the opposite of what they probably had in mind for people following the program. The fact is - I found it so damn easy to just look at the labels of all of the processed stuff (soup, crackers, bread, pre-packaged lunch meat and even candy and cookies) to calculate my points versus having to look up things that didn't come with a label  (ie: lean meats or any healthy recipe I'd be inclined to make). In my mind, knowing right off the bat that a pepperoni pizza Lean Pocket was "X" amount of points made it the better choice for me. It meant I didn't have to dig out my food scale, weigh my chicken, cook it and figure out the calories, fat, etc. It's horrible, I know, and it's a good indicator of why I probably didn't stick with WW. I knew I was eating too much sodium, for starters. I found myself cooking less. Technically, I was doing the program "right" by counting points, logging my activity, etc, but I was not eating optimally - and that was my fault entirely. I was lazy, which I fully admit. Had I put in the work that many WW devotees do, and calculated points for healthier items that didn't come from a package, I may have succeeded. I guess in hindsight, I was looking for the easiest way possible to eat and lose weight - but it backfired. That is not what WW is all about, but I tried to pretend it was. I was lured in by the idea that I could "eat what I want, just make sure you count the points." It made me think candy bars, cookies, crackers and pretzels and ice cream were still OK to have while dieting - on a regular basis - as long as I held myself accountable for them. Guess what? They're not. At least not in my world.

I don't think I'm alone in the sea of Weight Watchers dieters that did this - in fact, I think it may have become such an issue that that is why they switched to the Points Plus system where now, as I understand it, most fruits and veggies are "0" points, encouraging more consumption of those healthier things over the boxed/bottled/canned stuff many of us ate while on the program.

In no way do I blame Weight Watchers for my dieting failures. As a matter of fact, I credit them with helping me at least THINK about the food I put in my mouth, because once upon a time, I can tell you that I didn't give a rat's ass about what I shoveled in (a-hem, chicken wings and beer in mass quantities, for example - and that's just the tip of the fat-laden iceberg). WW got me into the habit of label reading, which I still do faithfully. That practice alone has caused me to take off, and then promptly put back, food on the shelf at the store time and time again. I have calorie and fat guilt often before I even think about eating things now. Hey, it's not the worst thing to have come out of being on Weight Watchers.

This time around, I'm not on any given program, per se. It's more of a Rochelle-developed plan that I hope will allow me to lose weight in a way that promotes healthier and more conscious or mindful eating. So far, it seems to be working, meaning I am removing many processed staples in my diet and replacing them with more fruits, veggies and homemade items. I also am listening to my body and it's signs of hunger - and I have come to realize that much of my mindless eating was due to boredom or stress. I am trying to recognize symptoms of these things and make sure that if they do arise that I don't just dive head first into the Nutella. I also want to make sure I don't pop open a "healthy snack" (ie: almonds) and polish off the whole can. Ultimately, the goal is to eat when I am hungry, and maintain portion control. Don't let myself get so ravenous that I can't stop myself from overeating. Don't let myself be unprepared without healthy options in the house. Make sure I get my water in. These will be my weapons of defense.

And so, in the spirit of healthier eating, and diminishing processed foods, I am going to try this black bean burger recipe this week as one of my vegetarian meals (with this side of roasted acorn squash) and also this fantastic sounding mexican shrimp cobb salad as a healthy dinner salad option. Summer is such a great time to try these new light recipes. I'm excited to be back in the kitchen again, and feeling good about what I'm making.

I'll be sure to share my opinions on these recipes after I have tried them. In the meantime, happy eating and exercising, everyone!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Turning Wishes into Goals

"Goals that are not written down are just wishes." ~ Anonymous 

I absolutely love this quote - especially as it applies to weight loss because I think it is safe to say that everyone who is on or has been on a weight loss mission, whether it be to lose 10 lbs or 100 lbs, has specific end goals they are/were looking to meet; goals that stretch way beyond simply shedding the pounds.

Personally, I've read countless articles about weight loss, many of which stress the importance of writing down goals before embarking on a weight loss journey. The physical writing down of these goals not only solidifies them as "real" accomplishments to strive for, but written goals also act as a visual compass to guide you to your end results. They keep you focused on the reasons you set out on this journey in the first place, and if you keep them close by (not stuffed in a drawer next to your secret candy bar stash), they can serve as an excellent reminder of why you should stay committed to your weight loss when the going gets tough.

I must admit for all the reading I have done on the subject, you'd think I would have hopped right on that goal-writing bandwagon. But alas, I have never been one to follow through on doing this. Perhaps this is partly the reason for my multiple failed attempts at losing weight. Maybe I didn't take it serious enough or give it enough worth to sit down and devote a chunk of time to thinking about what it is I REALLY want - beyond losing 100 lbs. Sure, I have listed things here an there in my previous blog about why I wanted to lose weight, but when I think about it they were sort of fly by the seat of my pants random thoughts - not serious contemplations about what tackling the most difficult thing in my life (and what's more, succeeding at it) would actually mean for me. Because I do know that when (notice I am saying WHEN, not IF) I do this, that life will undoubtedly change. The magnitude of these changes is what I do not know.

That's not to say I don't have goals - or are they just wishes? Whatever they are, I have plenty of them and I think about them - ALL OF THE TIME. But maybe they really are just wishes because I haven't written them down and I don't look at them everyday to remind me of why I truly want to lose weight. For example, when I stare into my closet full of clothes I love but cannot wear, I often think to myself, "I wish I could still wear these." I don't think, "My goal is to wear these again." I think that is a problem - I need to turn those wishes into goals. After all, there is no bottled up genie residing in my house that is going to one day pop out and grant me those what the hell am I wishing for anyway? I think it's time to give my goals the pen and ink they deserve. Although I am going to list them here, I will be writing them in Sharpie marker and hanging in a prominent place to remind myself of their significance.

So, I have given it some serious thought, and although I may come up with other goals as I travel though this process, here are the major players thus far:

My Goals for Wanting to Lose 100 Pounds
  • To be healthy for the first time in a long time. I want to live a long, happy life with my wonderful husband. We waited so long to find each other, I want to make sure we have as much time together as possible.
  • To avoid health related issues that have plagued both sides of my family tree.  I DO NOT want knee replacement surgery - ever! Nor do I want to have a stroke!
  • To not get winded walking up stairs (I never again want to feel the way I did during our zip line experience in St. Lucia on our honeymoon. I thought my legs were going to collapse under me and my lungs were going to explode as I was climbing the mountain. I enjoyed the zip lining but probably not as much as I would have had I not been this heavy.
  • To sit without wanting to cover my stomach with my hands.
  • To be able to kneel without excruciating knee pain when I do housework or outside yard work.
  • To be able to cross my legs (I don't think I have ever been able to do this, at 5'0" and forever overweight).
  • To fit in the clothes I REALLY want to wear - and they do not already reside in my closet. I cannot remember the last time I have shopped in a Missy clothing department - but I am pretty sure it was well before high school.
  • To wear sexy shoes again - I used to be the queen of heels. Lately, my flip flops, sneakers and "Mandals" (mannish sandals) are about the only things that don't kill my feet, and how sexy is that? I can tell you - Not very.
  • To make my boobs smaller - they are freaking out of control - I can sport cleavage in a turtleneck!
  • To simply feel comfortable in my own skin.
  • To be pain free.
  • To stop comparing myself to others.
  • To stop coveting other people's weight loss success.
  • To wear a bikini before I turn 42.
  • To feel like a wanton sex goddess!!!
  • To stop envying people that are thinner.
  • To not have to think about how my body looks when I sit down.
  • To wear calf-high boots that are not for "extra wide calves"
  • To be Carmen Miranda for Halloween - this requires a bikini top!!!
  • To have only ONE chin!
  • To eliminate swelling in my ankles and feet.
  • To be able to tuck in a shirt or not have to wear shirts that hang below my stomach, or are A-line.
  • To be able to run without feeling like I am dying 1000 deaths, or that I am going to blow out my knee.
  • To not be embarrassed when I see people that haven't seen me in a while.
  • To stop avoiding social situations where I MIGHT see people that haven't seen me in a while.
  • To prevent the arthritis in my knee from being exacerbated.
  • To make me feel confident as I interview next year for a teaching position (a new career path for me after completing my graduate degree in elementary ed in May 2012).
  • To make exercise feel less laborious and more glorious!
  • To have a better relationship with food.
  • To stop feeling like a failure at something I have repeatedly tried to succeed at, with no luck.
  • To have an "after" picture and be able to see how far I've come.
  • To say I did it!!!!
  • To feel "normal."
  • To inspire others.
So there they are - my weight loss GOALS - not just wishes - but milestones I will reach with each pounds that disappears.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Walk This Way...

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle

This particular quote inspired me to get my butt out of bed this morning, despite the nagging pain in my heel (I fear planters fasciitis or a heel spur) and go for a 2.85 mile walk with Josh and the dogs. I have been known to make any excuse under the sun as to why I can't exercise in the morning - using anything from back pain to period cramps to a broken nail to the bubonic plague - you name it - I came up with it - as long as it would allow me to stay in bed and be a lazy ass.

But over the course of the past few weeks, I have been walking rather faithfully with my husband in the morning ( I think I literally ran out of excuses and was starting to feel pathetic and frankly more than a little bit of an ass when my husband kept asking so nicely if I wanted to come along with him), and while it took me some getting used to, it is now pretty much routine. Yesterday my foot was really bothering me so I begged a reprieve for the day, which Josh conceded to. However, all day long I felt so damn guilty for not going so last night when he asked if I'd like to go for a bike ride - how could I say no? I'm not saying we did the Tour de France, but we got in over 4 miles so I felt pretty good about that.

In the past when I gave my half-assed attempts at weight loss, I would work out sporadically and get irritated when the scale didn't cooperate, when really, I shouldnlt have been surprised at all by it's lack of movement. I mean, why should the scale move when I wasn't willing to? Who could blame it? Now I realize that exercise isn't negotiable in this process - it is a must  - and it is something that I will need to continue doing the rest of my life, not just until I reach my goal.

I found this great blog post about making exercise a habit that gives some good common-sense advice on what to do if exercise isn't exactly second nature to you yet. This has always been a struggle for me, as I'd sort of do it here and there but not consistently enough to make it feel like it was natural part of my everyday schedule. I am happy to say that is changing and I am embracing exercise more and more. There have been times in my life when I have been a member at a gym and really enjoyed it. Last night I took the first steps to becoming that person again by calling the local gym and signing up for a seven day free membership. I am pretty sure I will end up joining - it is something I have wanted to do for a while now.

In the meantime, I just continue to keep on, keeping on.... I have to remind myself, this is not a race. This is for life.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today is a good day

Happy Friday!
Today marks my official first weigh-in since the scale was busted at the beach, causing me to miss last weeks regularly scheduled first weigh-in. As promised, I did weigh myself upon my return from vacation, only to discover I had gained a pound (pretty miraculous for being at the beach for more than a week) but I want to make Friday my weekly weigh-in day going forward.

Note to self: Buy a new scale for the beach house so I can do this even while on vacation! Any suggestions as to what kind is the best to buy? Speaking of scales, I also need a food scale come to think of it...

Anyway, without further ado, my weight today is 233.75, resulting in a 2.25 pound loss from my post-vacation weigh in earlier this week. Not bad! At least I see the scale moving in the right direction, which is motivating, no matter how little the amount.

I went to the grocery store yesterday and loaded so much produce into my cart, I almost didn't recognize it as being MY cart (meaning not a bag of Tostitos could be found ANYWHERE). The goal was to buy as little processed food as possible, and I ended up with the following rainbow of colorful goodies in my cart:
  • blueberries
  • bananas
  • watermelon
  • cherries
  • lemons
  • fresh corn on the cob
  • acorn squash
  • zucchini
  • broccoli
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • onions
I am stoked because the hubby is going to make a mega-batch of this amazing gazpacho recipe this week so I will have a low calorie filler I can eat before lunch and dinner meals, to help keep the over-eating at bay. I'm still searching for the best type of breakfast to eat that satisfies me for a long time and isn't too calorie-heavy. Yesterday I had 2 eggs on low fat, high fiber english muffin spread with Laughing Cow and it was absolutely delish and filling - but I don't want to get into the habit of eating eggs every day (because that will get old fast). Unfortunately, I am not the biggest fan of Egg Beaters since I pretty much OD'd on them when I was on Weight Watchers and I still can't get that taste out of my mouth. Blech!

That is about it for now (I have a very important date to keep with my elliptical machine). I plan on updating the blog in a few days with an "About Me" section and some other information (like those measurements I keep promising)....stay tuned.
And have a great weekend!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Turn that frown upside down

"It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect it's successful outcome."
-William James

They say attitude is everything - and I think there may be some solid truth to that. Especially when taking on a task as seemingly mountainous as losing 100 pounds. Let's face it - that's no small potatoes. As a matter of fact, it's the equivalent of 10 large bags of potatoes, if you want to get technical. That's a huge amount of chub and blub we're talking about. You have a bad attitude going in to try to shed something as significant as that, and you may as well call it quits before you even begin. It's kind of ironic because let's face it, no one is HAPPY about having to lose 100 pounds - so the question is: How does one get the right attitude about tackling such a big, difficult task???
I wrote yesterday about the past and how easy it is to sometimes let the ghosts of days gone by control future actions. The attitude is that since failure was such a prevalent part of the past, it's bound to be a significant part the future, too. That way of thinking is NOT the attitude needed to begin this journey - so I am banishing it from my thoughts completely. POOF - gone!

In all honesty, I feel rather optimistic about climbing this mountain, even if it is the biggest thing I have ever had to do, to this date. In fact, I find this much more difficult than switching careers mid-life, and trust me when I say how crazy-ass hard I thought that would be - especially in the beginning when I ventured back to school after being out of the academic loop for the last 15 years. And yet, I did it (or, am doing it anyway). And what's more is I am excelling at it! I have never had that kind of determination in my life, but I hope to find it again, as I tackle this next life challenge to getting myself healthy.

My attitude truly is everything in terms of how successful I am at losing the weight this time. Staying positive, and hopeful, and determined, even when things are not all sunshine, rainbows and chirping birds, is going to be key in making this work. Not feeling as though the instant I slip up that the world is ending so why give a shit, will be crucial to navigating these often temptation-infested waters. I feel so positive now - I wish I could bottle up this feeling and open it and chug it with wild abandon when those days or weeks do come when the results are not what I want or expect them to be.  I know this will be challenging - especially when the negativity pill seems much easier to swallow at times.

So - I asked the question of how to get and keep the cheerful attitude when ticking off pounds 1 through 100? I think it starts with support.  I just sent my new blog link to a few close friends and family that have seen the ups and downs of my weight loss attempts and have been supportive through each and every battle I have had with the scale. There are some who walk in similar shoes and I think understand this struggle more deeply than others, and then there are some who might not have had to deal with this first hand, but are still very supportive and believe in me nonetheless. I have humbly asked them to share this ride with me, and support me through the good, the bad and the ugly. With their encouragement and those of others perhaps in the blogging community, I can get through this and not feel alone.

My dear and wonderful husband is also a huge source of support. He is by far the strongest pillar of strength I have and I know he has my back on this 1000%.  But without the right attitude coming from this girl (pointing two thumbs right at me), I don't stand a chance. Being positive is a choice. Just like eating the right foods, in the right portions, and getting in exercise, it is something I will choose to embrace each day. And that is how I will make these 100 pounds history for good.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Letting the past in the past...

"Do not let the future be held hostage by the past." ~ Neal A. Maxwell

Hmmm.... these are some pretty interesting words indeed, and I find them quite poignant as I venture (once again) on this new journey to lose weight.

As a woman who has embarked on many a trip down Weight Loss Lane in my past, only to get terribly lost, frustrated and feeling like a failure when I end up back at Square One, I can easily relate to the idea of how simple it is to let the past dictate, or as the quote says, be held hostage by the future. When all I can see are the many past attempts at losing weight, some resulting in minimal losses and others ending in complete disaster, it is difficult at best to envision me ever being successful at dropping the pounds for good. The past has been liberally littered with good intentions but bad follow through. Somehow, the ice cream always won, or my resolve to not buy bigger pants weakened with every bite of pie.

There were the rare occasions when I did follow through - however, if I did manage to lose weight (maximum loss was around 32-ish pounds), I never stuck with it long enough to see any long term goals met. I either gave up or gave in or whatever you want to call it, when things either didn't progress as quickly as I'd have liked or I simply didn't commit myself fully to doing the work I knew I neded to do. In other words, I half-assed my weight loss attempts - which did not result in me halving the size of my ass, unfortunately.

The problem is, the majority of my past revolves around being a fat person - from the time I was a pre-teen to the woman I am now: someone who is staring down the big 4-0, angry that I have allowed so many years to go by buried under these layers, and someone who is equally petrified that I may not have what it takes to remove them. I'm not one of those people that has a past life where I was skinny. My fat genes took over at an early age, and I never got them under control. I don't have any pictures, unless you dig up some from elementary school, where I was considered a normal weight. All I know is a lifetime of being overweight, and I think that when that is the bulk of your past (pun intended), it's easy to allow thoughts of "you can't do this" to creep into your head. These thoughts, created entirely from MY past, need to be changed. Or maybe I just need to stop thinking about the past entirely.

Even now, although I am feeling VERY optimistic this time around (despite a 1 lb. gain last week while on vacation), the fear is that I will let the past, and all of the memories of my lack of will power to poison my thoughts about the future of this journey. I don't want to have these thoughts floating around me like a big negative aura, but the reality is - well, this has BEEN my reality -  and until I change it and make weight loss success become my new "norm"," it is hard to shake them off.

But I will try....and I will succeed. Because in the end, the past is just that - the past. It is behind me, and I need to let it go. Stop looking in the review mirror and keep looking forward. There might not be anything I can do about what I've done or didn't do in the last 39 years, but I do have a say over what happens in the next 39 and beyond, if I'm lucky.....

And I see good things ahead.....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Homeward Bound: Making Plans for Success

I figured I better update the blog today because I realize  have been really bad at doing so while on vacation - which I still am on, as a matter of fact. We leave today and I am actually looking forward to going home and really getting my diet and regular living under way. I mentioned all of the temptations here - and while those type of temptations may also exist at home, I somehow feel more willing and able to say no to them there - for whatever demented reason.

I have been throwing a few ideas around in my head for my plan of action when I return home. First on the list is to weigh myself because I didn't do it here. The scale we had purchased for the beach house last year wasn't working so we tossed it and I was unable to weigh myself - which isn't great for the start of a new diet. But in all honesty, I have not been the best at sticking to a strict diet here, so the way I feel is that getting back home will be the true starting point to this journey. I can hope for a loss within the past week and a half I have been here but the odds don't look promising. In other words, I'm not getting my hopes up.

I haven't been eating the worst I ever have in my vacation history, but then again, I haven't been eating the healthiest either. I wouldn't call my meals "dietetic" in any way, shape or form, but I have been watching portions (albeit, not religiously), which is a good step in the right direction for me. I want to master  being able to stop eating before I feel like I am going to explode, which depending on the food, hasn't been easy for me in the past. If I love what I am consuming, I can eat it til the cows come home (and in turn, resemble a cow as a reward). So, I'll take the small step toward being more cognizant of my portions as a tiny victory, even if it doesn't result in a loss during my vacation.

I am trying to listen to my body's hunger signals and trying to change how I think about portions and what portion I think will satisfy me. I have previously struggled with thinking that I had to have copious amounts of food before me to ensure I wouldn't go hungry. It was a very screwed up way of thinking and was a huge contributor of how I reached 235 pounds. I am confident that changing that simple (or not so simple) mind-set will be one of the paramount things I conquer to help me shed this weight.

One other thing I have been giving a considerate amount of thought to is my exercise plan for when I return home. I have a room where we will set up a small home gym, but I am thinking about maybe investing in a gym membership - at least for the 2 months I have before school starts. I want to get into the swing of the gym again so that when school begins in fall, I can feel comfortable going to use theirs (it's free!) - and continue going to a gym on the three days I have my classes. The other days I can work out at home - but I do like the structure and versatility of a gym environment, and I have always had success when I have joined one. But the last gym membership I had was over three years ago when I first started dating my husband, and it's obvious to see what I have been doing to my body since then, isn't it?

Someone also recommended a link on Facebook about an organization called First Strides, which is a beginners walking/running group for women. They have multiple locations/groups and at least one or two times/locations will work with my fall school schedule. The end goal for all participants is to run a 5K benefiting breast cancer research, so it's for 2 good causes - breast cancer and my own health!!! This would help me reach my goal of running a 5K, since I told myself I would do that before summer's end. And while I may not get there before the end of summer, the 5K for this group is mid-October, which is totally doable!

I'm more than a little nervous about it, and I wish I knew someone that would be willing to do it with me, but I think I would prefer to do the morning session and most everyone I know that might be interested works during the day. You actually need a doctor's approval to do it and it costs 50 bucks to join, so this is not a fly by night, maybe I will, maybe I won't type of commitment - it's sort of like, if I'm doing it, then I better be damn serious about it. It's really intimidating, and I am not sure of my knees would cooperate, but it may be a great way to meet like-minded, similarly situated people and get in some much needed exercise. I'll give it more thought and let you know what I decide.

The last thing I need to do once I get home is grocery shop - but before I do, I reallty need to carefully plan my menu for the week and STICK WITH IT. This sounds easy in theory, and should be since we left for vacation with minimal things left in the fridge and cupboards - so essentially we are starting anew with our food supply. :-)  My food goal is to just buy and eat simply and as cleanly as possible - grilled lean meat, steamed veggies, fish, fruit - you know - healthy things.....and really, really , really try to cut out the processed foods. I hope the hubs is on board!

That's about it for now. I look forward to getting home and really getting into the groove. I'll give an update on my weight and measurements tomorrow, too! Until then.....

"No one knows what he can do until he tries." ~ Publilius Syrus

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Food, Sweat, and Beers

Well, we had another washout at the beach today. Thankfully the hubs and I decided to hit the sand early (aka - 10:30 - not exactly the ass crack of dawn but hey, we're on vacation), but by 1:20, the thunder was rumbling and the lifeguard whistles were blowing and there was a mass exodus off the beach for the second day in a row.  I was a little disappointed because I didn't have a chance to hit the waves today, so no calories were burned swimming and jumping waves, but I did get an extremely sweaty 2 mile walk in this morning in the extra thick, extra humid air. By the time I got back from the modest 2-miler, I looked like I had just completed the Iron Man, I was so dripping with sweat. Ugh, so gross.

This week has not been ideal in terms of weather but we are having a great time anyway, as we always do when we are here. I always feel more energized and willing to exercise while here than I do at home. Not sure why that is but I'll take it this week! I just need to learn to transfer this feeling when I get back to NJ - except remove all of the temptations that are around every corner here (Kohr's Brothers Custard, I'm talking to you).

I have two more days to weigh day and I am a little nervous - not so much because of any kind of bad eating, but I haven't been in "diet" mode either. Plus I have a bit of challenge coming my way this weekend since we are heading to DC for a friend's BBQ - with a menu that includes crabs, pulled pork, peach cake, corn and black bean salad, banana pudding, a few other appetizers I am not sure of and lots and lots of beer and booze. In other words, a diet nightmare.
I need a plan of attack.

I know most of it is mental and I really am committed, so I am hoping I can just get through, maybe sampling things, but not taking full portions.I just need to keep my goals in sight and not forget what I am trying to achieve here.
Stay tuned....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

When Pie Lives Where You Do....

I said I wanted to post every day.....and here I am - slacking already!!!!!
Someone give me a swift kick in the arse - and fast!

I guess being MIA  for a few days would be bad if the reason for my lack of posting was that I had gone on some feeding frenzy and had a bag of kettle chips strapped to my face like a feed bag or my head was wedged in a half gallon container of chocolate marshmallow ice cream - but thankfully that's not the case.

I am actually on vacation, and so my normal schedule is a bit off, and I'm am not spending much time in front of the lap top since  there are far more important things to tend to.....such as my tan. :-)

However, I am happy to report that even though I am at the happiest place on Earth (or at least MY happiest place - the beach), I have been getting in quite a bit of exercise (biking, walking & swimming) and have been able to keep my eating in check, with only a few obstacles to jump here and there. We don't have a good scale down here so I am a little hesitant to weigh myself here but I think I will this Friday regardless to see if it shows any progress at all.

I love coming to the beach and feel extremely fortunate that my in-laws have a place that we can come to and vacation regularly. But the beach is loaded with temptations and has historically been my "indulgence place," which maybe I have associated with as making me happy in the past. Now I may need to redefine what I think makes me happy - since things like frequent ice cream runs, cheeseburger subs and copious amounts of beer are no longer part of the equation. There is never a lack of "triggers" - and they don't just lurk on the boardwalk or in the town restaurants. As of this every minute there are no less than 4 types of full fat ice cream residing my my mother-in-law's freezer and 3/4 of a gigantic cherry pie left over from a dinner with my husband's aunt and uncle last night. Lots and lots of temptation, and nowhere to run.

But there is something this time that tells me I am going to be OK. I really credit the other blogs I read in making a big difference on the mindset I have. So many stories - so many tips - so many similarities, yet everyone's journey is truly unique to them - as mine will be for me.

I am taking this one day at a's all I can do. I had the conversation with my mother-in-law this morning about wanting to lose 100 lbs and how serious I was about it. She asked if there was anything she could do in terms of having things here that I wanted to eat, or things we shouldn't have to eat. I really don't want to enforce my "diet" on anyone so I just said that I hoped she would not be offended if there were things that I just had to refuse while here. I think that's fair and a good approach. No sense in making others do this if they are not ready or don't want to....This really has nothing to do with anyone but me anyway. And I kind of like it that way!

Anyway, guess I should go dry my hair and make myself presentable.
Hope everyone is having a great holiday week.....I know I am!

P.S. As soon as I figure out how to create a page for my before pictures, I will post them. Someone (a-hem) was not born with the technologically saavy gene!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's a New Blog, It's a New Day, It's a New Life, and I'm Feelin' Good...

Welcome to my first day, and first post of my brand spanking new blog!!! I finally manned up and did it....out with the old and in with the new! For those that have followed me, you know I have been desperately wanting to shed not just physical pounds, but also the old skin of my previous blog -  - and in turn, begin a new blog - a clean slate if you will. It might seem a little weird but I have my odd ball reasons for doing this, no matter how ridiculous they may seem.

Since this is not my first weight loss rodeo (but is intended to be my last), I am under no delusions that the simple act of dropping an old blog site gives me a leg up on dropping the pounds; but I did feel as if I needed the symbolic change of starting fresh with something that is strictly about THIS particular journey.

My old blog focused on life before marriage and the goals surrounding losing weight so that I could look good in a white dress. I didn't exactly meet the goals I had set and when I went back to read old posts (as I often did), I would always end up opening a huge can of self-berating whoop-ass on myself when I reviewed my various failed attempts at losing weight. I felt like I needed to cut the cord so to speak, and give myself a change of scenery, even if it's only web-based.

I have decided that with this blog, and this new start, things are going to be different. I have been reading so many wonderful and inspirational blogs (see blog list) and the main thing I notice is the positive attitudes and the dedication other people have to getting healthy. For anyone who has tried to lose weight in the past, it can be a long and winding road for sure...undoubtedly,  there will always be bumps and hills and various other forces to be reckoned with, but the important thing to know is that it is navigable. I have to keep reminding myself of that. This is not some insane venture I am taking on that has never been attempted before - this is something that people are doing for themselves EVERY DAY. And I do believe that I, too, will have one of those glorious "after" pictures someday....

I now realize that my past behaviors have lead me to give up when I had a bad day, adhering to that unhealthy all or nothing approach that so many people adopt when trying to shed the pounds. I have decided that that isn't going to be my mojo anymore....I am OK with slow and steady. I just want to see progress being made, not excuses be handed out left and right. I also want to be upfront about my progress and that is why for the first time I have decided to include pictures of myself, no matter how embarrassing. These pictures do not lie, no matter how much I'd like them to.

Deep down, (until today when I took those bare-my-soul pictures) I think I had some warped image of what I looked like (sort of the reverse of anorexia??), and maybe in some ways I was able to shut out the reality of my image to the outside world that way. It's odd, but for me, fat was more of a feeling I had, not necessarily a look. However, in the past 6 months especially, as my weight ballooned, I started to avoid mirrors, cameras and anything that would show me the results of my bad behavior. But one thing you can't escape is the feeling that you have when your clothes don't fit. Tight pants are tight pants and no amount of camera avoidance can change the way they feel or the red ring they leave around your waistline. And for this reason especially, I need to make this change.

So, I have thought long and hard about what I want this blog to represent. It's not just a story through words, but it also will be a story through pictures, stats, and gained information. Weigh-ins will be on Fridays and progress pictures will be posted monthly. I hope you will join me as I make the way to a new me.
100 pounds.
1000% determination.