Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spreading Out the Food

I really like to eat. I don't necessarily like to cook, but consuming the food is something I'm really good at.

So over the course of my weight loss, I've tried to spread my eating out as much as possible so that I get more opportunities to consume. Ok, and I heard that it helps your digestion and metabolism to eat six or so small meals instead of three large ones.

I start out with a pretty hefty breakfast because, again, I read "somewhere" that it's the best way to kick my metabolism into high gear for the rest of the day. I also don't like to start the day hungry. Hunger is one of those things I want to get a jump on. If I get too hungry then I'll eat too much so best just to avoid that feeling to start with.

Anyway, after my breakfast around 6ish, I grab a snack around 10. Then lunch at 1 after my workout and another snack around 4. Finally, I cap off my day with dinner at 6. The goal being that all my food is eaten by 7 so that my body has time to process it before bed.

Weekends can be a little tough as generally there are other things going on and the time routine gets broken a bit but I still try to stick pretty closely to this methodalogy.

So far it's worked pretty well. I can get a jump on my hunger, eat throughout the day, and feel pretty darn good about my eating.

How do you guys manage your eating? Do you spread out food? Or eat fewer, bigger meals? What's helped you be successful thus far?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blisters and Workin' Out

So last night I was a bit silly.

We had a work event and I wanted to be cute so I wore my super high heels that are super cute ... but not so super comfy. Really bad decision on my part. I was walking, standing, and running around most of the evening. By the time I did sit down, my feet were swollen and sore. By the time I got home, I had two hefty sized blisters on the bottoms of my feet ... right on the pads of the foot.

Oh joy.

This new development has kinda put a kink in m workout regimen. Madison had us doing quite a bit of aerobic work this week with lots of bouncing, jumping, and flying across the gym. That will not be possible with the blisters placed where they are. Well, ok, so truthfully it might be possible but it would be darn uncomfortable!

So, I'm thinking this might be a forced break for a day or two while my body recoups.

The weird thing about that is that when I'm "forced" to break, I start to kinda worry that I might kinda sorta start slipping in my new found workout routine. Isn't that funny? Probably the very fact that I'm worried about it means that it won't be a slip. It just means I'm taking care of myself. Allowing my body to heal. And just goin' with the flow.

Our brains sure work over time to sabotage us though!

Today I'm working to silence my fears, have faith in myself and my body, and then just keep chuckin' along.

The mantra going through my head today is: "In all things, find balance".

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tivo and The Diet

I think every dieter needs Tivo.

I know that's kind of a weird statement but I think Tivo is a huge diet helper.

I mean, have you ever noticed how many food commercials there are? Last night I was watching "So You Think You Can Dance" (hey, stop laughing!) and I think every other commercial was of pizza, or subway, or McDonalds, or Burger King. It was crazy!

As a food addict, those ads can certainly be a trigger. It might not trigger me to go to McDonalds, but my stomach does start rumbling, my mouth starts watering, and my brain starts inventorying my pantry hoping for a tasty morsel.

I generally only watch my Tivo and have gotten so used that fast forwarding through commercials that I guess I wasn't aware of how much food is advertised on the TV. According to one report (when I find the link I'll post it but can't seem to track it down of course), junk food ads equate to 2/3rds of the advertising on TV.

Holy cow! Us dieters don't stand a chance!

It's hard not to give into those temptations when we're sitting on the couch attempting to relax. In the olden days (this was SOOO last year), while watching TV I would have popcorn on my lap, then maybe a beer or two, then perhaps some leftover pizza (if there was any leftover in the first place), and whatever else I could scrounge from the pantry. Sitting on the couch and watching TV was an excuse to stuff my face. And I sat on the couch a lot!

These days are different. First of all, I rarely watch TV. When I do, I've made it a point NOT to eat ... ever. I wanted to break that habit completely.

This whole new strategy is a lot easier when I'm not bombarded with temptation through the TV set!

I battled through my watering mouth and didn't indulge last night but it truly was a battle. For me, I think it's best to stick with Tivo so that I don't have to be faced with those ads so unexpectedly.

I mean, how rude!

And thank goodness for Tivo!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't Miss Oprah Today!

Hey everyone, just a quick note to let you know that Oprah will be featuring The Biggest Loser trainers today. It looks like she'll also be talking with some of the contestants that have lost the weight and kept it off.

I've set my Tivo and will be recording it for sure.

I don't know about you, but I'm inspired by others that have lost a lot of weight and I need to hear their stories of keeping it off! That gives me hope.

Anyway, happy viewing!

http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/health/weightloss/20081001_tows_jillianbob

Workin' Hard

So last night I had my workout with Madison and it was good!

After five days off from the gym and a head cold, I thought I'd be dyin' and unable to complete much of a workout. In fact, I almost thought about cancelling (gasp).

I found though that once I got started, I felt better. Granted I'm at the tail end of my cold. I don't think I'd want to work out when my nose is all stuffy and icky. That stresses me out just thinking about it! But working out at the tail end wasn't a bad thing after all.

I gotta tell ya though, I have a new "I hate that" exercise ... crab walks. I'm not sure who thought those were a good idea but it's probably the same idiot that dreamed up burpees and planks.

As I was doing my second set of crab walks, the trainer saw how much I was struggling (ok and I was complaining a lot too) and said I didn't need to finish out the second set.

When she said that, I was really taken back! For an instant I thought, yeah, I have permission to quit so I should 'cause these things suck! Then I thought about it again.

The reality is that it's not my trainer's job to push me to continue doing something I don't like. She doesn't have to live in my body. She's not responsible for my success or failure in the gym. She leaves the building and is still her cute, perky self in a petite, small, in-shape body.

I'm the one that has to look at my flab in the mirror. I have to live in my skin. I have to walk out of the gym and know I didn't work out to my full potential. I have to push myself to go further, harder, faster, longer. It's me that's in this skin and therefore I have to take responsibility and push myself.

So I did.

I completed my second set of crab walks and was pretty darn proud of doing them. I might even have patted myself on my own darn back had my arms not been jelly.

I walked out of the gym thinking that I had done good and accomplished something cool ... I probably looked like a big dork but the fact that I finished the task is what's important.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Hardest Pound

It was a tough weekend for me emotionally and physically.

It was my grandpa's memorial service and lots of family was in town which meant, of course, lots of food and no real schedule.

I was bound and determined to make it through the weekend without the scale jumping up. As hard as it was going to be to be on plan, I knew that if I accomplished it, I'd feel powerful and successful when I came through the other side.

I planned as much as I could by stuffing my purse with extra fruit, protein, and "on plan" snacks so that when I was tempted, I could reach for something healthy instead.

I can't even begin to tell you how many cinnamon swirl cakes, fudge brownies, chocolate chip cookies, mashed potatoes, glasses of wine, etc. etc. etc. that I passed up over the course of the last five days. Food was everywhere, sitting out on counters just beckoning me every time I walked by the kitchen.

It would have been so easy for me to accept the many offers. In fact, many times it would have been easier to accept and fit in with the rest of the family rather than pass it up and stand out like a sore thumb ... the only one not indulging. Or at least that's how I felt.

As an aside, it truly is amazing how much food is a part of these events. It's talked about and/or thought about around every corner. For someone that's making a shift to eat to live (not living to eat) this was quite an eye opener into my old life. The old me would have joined the family and been eating from the time I stumbled out of bed until the time I stumbled back into bed.

Anyway, I feel like I fought so hard for each ounce of the 1.8 pounds that I lost this week. With each decision to be true to myself, I kicked another ounce off my body despite it's protests ... and believe me, there was TONS of protesting!

But I did find that each time I made that decision to stay on plan, the next decision was just a smidgy easier. I mean, I went to Olive Garden and ate grilled chicken for god sakes ... that's a HUGE step people! In my old life I was so addicted to starch that there was no way in a million years I would have even given the grilled chicken a second thought. This time, I made a beeline for the grilled chicken and didn't even give a second thought to the pasta.

Yesterday when I was at the zoo with my amazing nieces and nephews, they all chowed down on hot dogs and pizza and, without too much of a battle (just a small one when I saw the peperoni pizza), I took out my apple and rice cakes and chowed down right along with them.

I fought for this pound. I fought hard. And boy am I pooped!

My schedule is returning back to normal today. As sad as I am to say goodbye to family, looking forward to only being tempted to go off plan occasionally instead of continuously.

Gotta tell you though, after having successfully made it through so much temptation, somehow the vending machine seems so much less intimidating.

Seriously, I made it through the Olive Garden and the zoo ... I can make it through anything!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Foods

My old favorite foods were covered in either cheese or chocolate. I loved breads and pastas. A typical day for me used to be as follows:
  • Breakfast - Starbucks Mocha and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
  • Lunch - Pasta (calzone) or Mexican (Fajitas)
  • Dinner - Pizza (bring on that cheesy goodness) or Burger from a drive thru which was then followed by ice cream or some other sugary treat.

And on holiday weekends, well, let's just say there was more bad food scattered throughout the day. A few potato chip snacks, friend-party-BBQ's and beer, etc.

I don't even want to add up the number of calories I consumed on a daily basis. Geesh. It hurts to think about!

But, boy, have things changed!

My new favorite foods are fresh, wholesome, and healthy.

In planning for the Memorial Day weekend, I wanted my fridge stocked in goodies but not the kind of goodies that used to be lurking in there. No, this time I opted for fresh treats that I don't generally buy (mainly because of price) but that I love.

Here are just a few of my favorite treats for the weekend:

  • Fresh blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Organic baby spinach
  • Fat-free whipped topping (2 tablespoons goes a long way when blended with fruit and yogurt!)
  • Pomegranate berry yogurt by Dannon light and fit ... best yogurt ever and only 80 calories!
  • Fresh asparagus for the grill
  • Rosemary springs and chicken for the grill ... alongside the asparagus! (recipe on THW site)
  • Pumpkin and fat free milk for Pumpkin Custard (recipe in THW book)
  • Melba snacks - roasted garlic - yummy!

Having fun foods in my fridge gets me excited about the weekend and instead of wondering how I'm going to pass up all those other things, I start getting excited about making my own good things.

I hope that you all have a successful and fun Memorial Day! What kinds of foods did you stock up on so that you could be successful over the holiday?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Water Bottle Boggles

I've been on a water bottle journey and as a result, I've learned that water bottles are very personal.

Take a peek on Amazon. There are about a zillion options for water bottles! Ok really there are 10,000 give or take a couple thousand.

When I set out to find a new water bottle, I was a bit boggled. How in the world would I ever narrow down my options? Did I need BPA free? What in the world was that even? And metal vs plastic? White vs blue? Sport cap vs hook cap? Huh?
After a bit of pondering (and trying out cheapy water bottles I found at various local stores), I found the following criteria very helpful. Hopefully you will too.

1) Shape ~ The bottom needs to fit in my truck cup holders. The middle needs to fit my small (albeit chubby) fingers.

2) Capacity ~ This is tricky. Ideally we should all drink 1/2 our body weight in oz each day ... or so I've been told. So for me, that's just plain a lot of water. At work during the day I don't like to keep getting up to refill a bottle so I needed something that holds quite a bit. However, at home, I like something that's portable and can easily go with me. It also needs to fit in my mountain bike water holder. So, understanding this, I decide two different water bottles are in order.

3) Drink top ~ Phewie! Lots of options here. Straw vs spout vs sport cap vs ... yeah. Lots of stuff. For me it all come down to activity. At work I like to drink from the bottle so that I get more down. In my truck, since I don't like to dribble water down my front, I like a straw or sport cap.

4) Material ~ The water at work tastes horrible. I know you might roll your eyes when you read that, but it's true. When you're a country girl, drinking country water, it's hard to get used to city water. I put flavoring in my water when at work. But at home, I like "raw" water so I don't want my water bottle to still taste like yesterday's fruit punch flavoring. Icky. Metal is therefore my material of choice as it's less likely to hold the flavor.

5) Colors and Style ~ It must look pretty or cool. I know ... silly. But sooooo true. And you're lying to yourself if you don't admit that this is important to you too. :)

So after breaking all this down, I settled on Klean Kanteen bottles. I gotta tell ya, they're awesome (and available cheaper through Amazon.com)! I love having different caps that I can switch out when needed, no left-over-fruit-flavoring taste, and they all "fit" just right.

Me and my Klean Kanteen water bottles are officially in process of living happily ever after.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

An Eye on the Scale

Do you have a scale at home?

When I was 300 pounds I certainly didn't want to step on something that would remind me of my weight. A friend once told me she owned a talking scale and I was mortified that such a thing existed. I could just imagine that if I stepped on her scale the voice would scream (at a very high decibel level) "OH MY GOSH! GET THE FAT CHICK OFF ME! IT HURTS! IT HURTS!" So, not only would I then have to know my weight (shudder) but everyone within a 20 mile radius would know as well. Hello! That would be devastating!

Frankly, I don't even think skinny girls would think a talking scale was a good idea. My friend must have been a little nutty ... I love her ... but I don't know about that whole thing.

It threw me for a loop though and, since I liked keep my head in the sand, I concluded that talking or not, it was best to steer clear of any and all measuring devices.

I still have an aversion to the scale even though the numbers are going down ... most of the time.
Now I worry that having a scale in my house would mean that I'd be weighing first thing in the morning, right after I showered, before I did my hair, after I added make-up, when I got home from work, right before I went to bed, right after my midnight potty break ... yes, you get the picture. I'd be weighing myself obsessively.

Since I'm trying to find balance as part of my new life, I opted to find that by weighing in at The Healthy Weigh twice a week and call it good. Having the scale there has kept me from obsessing. As nice as she is, I think Letha might kick me out if I stopped by a couple times a day to weigh in ... so ... I don't. Well, she'd either kick me out of give me a strong referral to Glenda for some serious counseling time!

At some point though I'll need to hold my own self accountable to maintain my weight and therefore I'm kinda sorta thinkin' it might be time to maybe sortof start thinking about potentially getting a scale in my home.

Not a talking version though because I still think those things might be evil .. but maybe having something at home wouldn't be a bad idea.

I'm curious though, how do you find balance with the scale? Do you weigh in the mornings? Only certain days?

Anyway, your thoughts and comments would be appreciated.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hangin' On

Ok, I feel like I'm hangin' onto my diet by a thread.

With all the stress and life that seems to be happening around me, the last thing I want to think about is my diet and being healthy.

I'm almost using all this family stuff as an excuse to be off plan and not be as good as I should be which I know is the exact reason why I was over 300 pounds at one time.

It's amazing that once I start down the "off plan" path, it's pretty darn easy to continue down it. The first time I go off plan is horrible. I'm guilt ridden and beat myself up pretty badly about it. But the next time, it's a little easier. And by the forth or fifth time I've justified my actions so much that the guilt is pretty much gone. I say pretty much because in all honesty it does return when I step back on the scale and see the results.

The results of this particular cascade are that I'm up another pound.

This has to stop. So I'm taking Letha's challenge for the team challenge and am writing my pain list associated with going off plan and overeating.

If I overeat and go off plan:
  • I feel fat.
  • I have uber amounts of guilt and shame because I can't seem to stick with it.
  • I feel unhealthy.
  • I start to feel worthless and unhappy.
  • I feel hopeless.
  • I feel like a failure and want to give up.
  • I'm embarrassed when I step on the scale in front of others and am up.
  • I feel like I'm letting my teammate down for the Team Challenge.
  • If I overeat, I get fat and then will be right back where I started.
  • I'll gain weight and not be able to get back on my horse.
  • I'll gain weight and not be able to hike.
  • I'll gain weight and dislike myself again.
  • I'll gain weight and lose energy.
  • I'll gain weight and lose confidence.
  • I'll gain weight. Period.
  • When I gain weight, I'll have health problems.
  • I could develop diabetes which runs in my family.
  • Diabetes means limitations and if not managed, early death.

Icky. I'm actually pretty sad right now as I get in touch with all those feelings I had when I was 300 pounds. Besides hating myself internally, there were so many things I wouldn't do externally. I wouldn't walk into a room alone, I didn't want to try new things, etc. Life was so negative at 300 pounds. I might have smiled occassionally on the outside ... but it was fleeting and certainly didn't reach down to my heart. That's changed these days and I so do not want to be that person again.

So on the upside, eating healthy and staying on plan:

  • I feel successful.
  • I feel empowered.
  • I don't mind stepping on the scale because my weight will be down.
  • I feel inspired to be a better person.
  • I will continue to lose weight and reach my goal.
  • I will eventually make it to stabilization and then maintenance (where more starch exists!).
  • I feel that if I lose the weight, I can accomplish anything.
  • I gain confidence.
  • I feel worthy.
  • I can be more active.
  • I can jog.
  • I can hike in the mountains - my fav place.
  • I dream up activities I could try that I couldn't before.
  • I lead a healthier life in all aspects (emotional, physical, spiritual).
  • I face things head on and win because I've succeeded in a major area of my life.
  • I feel that the possibilities are endless.

Suddenly, that snickers bar doesn't sound so appealing.

Perhaps I'm not just hangin' on to this plan after all. I'm succeeding. I'm rallying. And I will do this.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Workin' Out Beats

When I workout by myself, I HAVE to have music! Music keeps me focused and helps me continue on when I just ... can't ... make ... it ... one ... more ... second ... phewie. Done!

Workout music is hard to come by though so I wanted to share with you guys a site I found that makes it a ton easier.

Basically, go here, put in your beats per minute (I go for 150 - 170 depending on activity), then select your genre, and it will spit out a bunch of music options that fit those criteria.

I've created some great workout mixes using this site and I hope you find it helpful too. I have a bunch of different mixes too so that I can match my mood and activity.

It's all about staying motivated, right?

So, what's on your workout playlist?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Up Just a Little

Isn't Glenda such a sweetie when she so nicely says those words on Tuesdays when we weigh in and our weight is up "just a little"?

It's so much better than "Holy cow, girlfriend what in the world is wrong with you?!?!?!?"

And, knowing Letha and Glenda, I know that last phrase isn't even going through their minds as I step off the scale having just heard "up, just a little".

But it's going through my brain.

The truth is that for the most part I was on plan minus a glass of wine and a bite of snickers bar (thanks Carrie for saving me from the WHOLE bar!) and I seriously doubt that my body is holding onto weight because of those two things. I think it's much more related to stress which with all the running back and forth, processing emotional stuff from my grandpa's death, etc., must be the way my body copes. I hold onto stress, my body holds onto weight.

So, I'm up 2 pounds which means I'm back at 98 pounds total weight lost. I've decided I'm not going to stress about it though because I see that leading to an endless vicious cycle and eventually failure which is NOT an option.

Instead I'm contemplating another 100 pound reward ... hmmm ... Now that's fun!

Did I mention what my last 100 pound reward was? Can't believe I missed doing that! Everyone had such great ideas. I decided to save the jewelry until the end. I'm going to get something custom made specifically to symbolize my journey. That's still TBD.

Instead I splurged and ordered new saddle bags (for my horse ... not for me ... I'm losing MY personal saddle bags thank you very much) and some equipment I need in order to participate in Mounted Search and Rescue (MSAR) with my horse.

See, last year when I asked about joining MSAR, I was told that I probably wouldn't be a good candidate because I'd have to mount and dismount without any assistance and lead my horse quite a distance on a trail ... I mean like hike and stuff (eek!). Those two small things meant I shouldn't even bother trying out. I was bummed.

This year though, was a different story. We had the test earlier this month and I'm proud to say that my horse and I passed and are now on the MSAR team! Ordering the equipment seemed like a fitting reward. Something I couldn't do 100 pounds ago was now possible. Cool!

So perhaps in another 2 pounds ... when I hit 100 pounds again ... I'll celebrate all over and reward myself not only for hitting the number but for moving forward regardless of the hiccups that come up along the way.

100 pounds ... here I come!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Visualization

Did everyone make it to the Git 'R Dun class last week? It was great, I thought.

For me it was a good reminder that although eating healthy is a way of life, dieting doesn't have to be! I still have quite a few pounds to go, that was a very necessary reminder that if I buckle down and focus, I can go back to living a more normal life (one that includes more starch - yippee!) eventually.

I did struggle with the visualization portion of the class though. When Letha asked us to imagine our future selves walking toward us, I didn't have a clear picture as to what my future self really could be. It was interesting that when she asked us to do that, I saw the me I am right now reflected back at me.

Although it's good I'm getting happier with who I am now and that I'm doing the things I never thought I would be (hiking, getting up and down off my horse with ease, etc.), I'm sure there are things now that I don't even know I could do with another 40 - 50 pounds off my body.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I've yet to commit to doing it so, my mission (should I choose to accept it) is to write all of those things down and put together a picture of my future self.

One of the things on the list is to get on my horse bareback without a bench or stool or step. Phewie! That's a doozey in and of itself since besides being chunky ... I'm also short! But, if I could do it when I was young, surely I could do it skinny and ... um ... ahem ... slightly older.

What would I look like if I were a size 8?

Could I even dare to think of becoming a jogger? Could I jog three, four, five miles?

Hmmm... so much to consider and I'd better get cracking! The end is in sight and it's time to buckle down and Git 'R Dun!

Monday, May 18, 2009

100 Pound Picture



By popular demand (ok so only two of you mentioned it but it's fun to say "popular demand" ... so ... yeah ... anyhoo), here's a 100 pound picture.

I actually really love this picture but not so much for how I look (although for the second time in a row of seeing pics of myself I'm not throwing up in my mouth) more so because it clearly shows such a change in my life and thinking.

Here's the back story.

My grandpa lost his fight with cancer on Thursday. He was always an outdoorsy type. He loved to hunt, fish, hike, trek up mountains ... you name an outdoor activity and he was probably hammering to do it. So it seemed fitting that I would strike out on a hike while processing through his passing.

I harassed my friend Holly into going with me to Rock Creek which is a trail I've ridden on horseback many many times, never hiked, but always kinda wanted to.

As an aside, I've not hiked many trails as an adult. When I was a kid my dad would take us out on overnight camping trips where we'd pack our gear into the wilderness and hang for a few days. I had some good memories of us meandering through the woods together. Anyway, the older I got, the fatter I got, the less I wanted to do such things and eventually only got to the back country on horseback instead of on foot. Poor horsey!

But on Saturday, I wanted to do it the old fashioned way. The way my grandpa would have done it.

The weather was great as was the company. Holly and I jibber jabbered the whole way through the hike. I just know my grandpa would have loved being with us as we passed through some of the most amazing untouched country. He would have enjoyed the views of the mountains and he probably could have told us the name of every plant and wildflower we stumbled upon.

Holly and I meandered through the woods and across the hills, I did think about my grandpa a lot and the influence he's had on my life. Being in such a quiet place (even though we were sure talking a lot and making it not-so-quiet) helped quiet my heart and therefore my brain processed through a lot of things.

The old me would have run to the nearest pizza joint instead of trying to process through my feelings but the new me, the one in this picture, saw this as an opportunity to reflect and confront my pain and relish the memory of the good things about my grandpa.

Here I am, decked out in all my hiking gear finery, a big smile on my face, loving life and looking forward to being closer to those memories instead of running away from them.

I sure like the new me better!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shorts? In Public? No way!

Yes, folks, I actually decided to don shorts in public. This is probably the most shocking of all shockers I've yet revealed on this blog.

I can't even remember the last time I braved a public viewing of my bare legs. I generally reserve this kind of torture for the dogs at home. Frankly, I think the site of my legs is one of the reasons why my Lhasa Apso went blind ... but that's a whole different post.

With the nice weather this weekend, I was inspired to break outside of my box. After all, I was a size 12 ... people that are size 12's wear shorts, don't they? I mean, it's a normal thing to do, right? So, am I "normal" yet?

With all of this swimming in my head, this morning I shaved my legs (thank goodness, right?) and prepped them for their world-debut. I then made a trek to Fred Meyer to find the right shorts because I didn't have any of "those things" in my house.

I grabbed a couple pairs keeping in mind I wanted something I could eventually wear hiking and set off for the dressing room.

Slipping on the first pair, I was pleasantly surprised. Hey, my legs didn't look horrible! I mean, they weren't perfect, but, after seeing them in shorts, I didn't think they would scare anyone blind.

Perhaps I was safe to venture out after all! I went home, changed into the shorts, and then prepare for my first outing in public in my new attire.

When I got to my destination, I hesitated before getting out of the truck. I just knew someone would fall over dead when I stepped out and showcased my legs. I very sheepishly started getting out of the truck - first one leg (no one screamed) and then the second leg (no one fainted) until I was fully in the public eye.

That's when I decided to own it!

I was wearing shorts and showing off legs that I'd been working hard to build. After all, I had a muscle in my leg now! It was visible, like people might see it and stuff! Why was I hiding and being fearful?

So I confidently strode into the grocery store in my shorts thinking all the while that I was a rock star for stepping outside of my box and changing a negative thought about myself.

After that little episode, I think I'm unstoppable! Will tank tops be next? Hmmm....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

More Adventures on the Mountain Bike

Now, for those of you that know a bit about me, you'll know that I have a big, white, goofy Labradoodle named Noodle and you'll also know what I mean when I say it takes her awhile to warm up to new things.

Being her owner, you'd think I'd realize this and embrace it, use it to teach her new things, encourage her to be a braver dog, and most of all, be patient in her training.

Yeah, not so much.

The whole reason for getting a bike - well, one of the reasons - was to get Noodle out on the trail with me. She's a bit over-excitable and can't be out without a lead so I invested in a bike bar that I could use to attach a short lead to the bike.

And thus, I found myself thinking we were going to immediately go out and hit the trail cause in my brain, that's what made sense! I want to exercise so she must want too as well. I heard Letha saying "visualize" so I was picturing wind in our hair ... bugs in our teeth ... life being great and wonderful ... her being tired from the trek ... yeah ... um ... not so much.

First of all, Noodle doesn't like the bike at all. I tried just riding it around the parking lot without her attached to it and she proceeded to back up as fast as she possibly could all the while barking her head off like it was attacking her.

Not taking any lessons from the afore mentioned reaction, I thought it might be better if perhaps she couldn't back away from the "scary thing" and instead had to be in close proximity to it.

So, yes, I know, I'm silly and you can probably see where this is going .... I attached Noodle's leash to the bike bar.

As soon as I clipped her in and bent down to lift up the bike, she took off - taking the bike with her.

Of course, the fact that the bike was following her just reinforced to her that the bike was pure evil. She was yelping, barking, and racing across the driveway, dodging cars, trucks, chickens, and plants. And I was trailing along behind yelling for her to sit (yeah, right), stay (um, yeah), or come back!

By the time I could get a handle on the bike, poor Noodle was shaking and pathetic. As mad as I might have been that my $800 bike had just been part of a mini demolition derby, my heart melted when I looked into her poor sad, scared eyes.

We were back to square one. I couldn't leave the situation like it was though because if I did, I knew that we would never move past it. I could just see her going ballistic if she ever ran into a biker on a hiking trip.

So, after 3 hours of working with her, we finally got to a point that we could ride together side by side. She was still a bit iffy on the bike bar, but we made progress on that front as well.

I have faith that with a little persistence and time, she'll be racing along attaching to the bike bar and hitting the trail.

Perhaps by tomorrow ... maybe ... yeah ... ok ... you're right. Best not to push it.

In the meantime, I'm working on that whole visualizing thing. I do want to be out hitting the trails with my dog so that's what I'm picturing. Eventually, it will happen just like I'll reach my goal of being a skinny girl on a bike!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Teeny Tiny Trainer

I signed up with Madison at Anytime Fitness and I've really enjoyed working with her over the last couple weeks.

I've gotta say though, she's the size of a flea. I say that with all due respect because I'm sure she works hard at being that tiny and in shape.

Frankly, seeing her do the exercises with such ease is actually quite motivating. She pops up and down on the push-ups like they are no effort at all. I'm sure she could do squats for days without screaming in pain like I do after 10 seconds. And she (most likely) could run for hours on the treadmill without breaking a sweat. I run for five seconds and need to wring out my shirt.

She's great at pushing us to work harder, squat longer, step higher, and go faster.

I have no thought that I'll be as teeny tiny as her, but, all this working out is helping me tone and reshape my body. I've noticed that my stomach doesn't stick out quite so much, there is a well defined muscle in my thigh, and the flab in my arms doesn't swing back and forth when I wave.

It's all starting to come together a little bit at a time.

What I would like to see is that these exercises become easier and easier. I would like to be able to do my push-ups without shaking, squat without getting angry and perhaps, just maybe, be able to do a sit-up without assistance. Yes, embarrassingly enough, I can't do a complete sit-up right now.

I never ever would have thought I'd become a gym rat but perhaps I just might be one after all. I mean, I'm walking in that darn gym and jumping on machines like I actually know what I'm doing! Of course, I also have a good trainer giving me good instruction on how to do things first.

In fact, this is getting added to the "Couldn't Wouldn't" list. Because 100 pounds ago I never would have walked into a gym, gotten on a treadmill in front of other people, or attempted planks, burpees, inch worms, and pull-ups in public.

I'm really excited that Madison is helping me reach further than I thought I'd reach. That's going to be key in helping me reach my goal.

I hope you have a workout partner or trainer that can push you too. It doesn't matter if it's a personal trainer, friend, or DVD trainer ... it's all good as long as they're inspiring you to go harder and accomplish your goals like Madison is doing for me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Calamari, Buffalo Wings, and Chips! Oh my!

I recently met some friends at The Nine's hotel in Portland for dinner and drinks.

First of all, if you haven't been to this hotel, you should really go. It's incredible! I felt like I was in some swanky LA joint and yet it still had a cool, down-to-earth Portland feel.

Anyway, it was a great test for me because the food there was supposedly exceptional.

Being as diet-die-hard as I am right now, I really didn't want to use this as an opportunity to go off-plan. I needed to keep my goal front and center as I approached this dinner.

But would I be successful?

I mean, what if others noticed that I wasn't eating and made a big deal about it? Would the peer pressure be so overwhelming that I'd give in? Would they think I was weird if I didn't order an alcoholic drink? Would they laugh if I ordered a salad? Would I have to offer up all sorts of explanations all through the evening?

I really thought the evening might end up being torturous.

But the truth was that once we were there and I ordered my seltzer water with lemon in a wine glass (trying to trick the brain into thinking it was something other than it was), no one said one single word.

When they ordered the appetizers (calamari, buffalo wings, lotus chips, tuna pops) and I ordered grilled chicken ... no one said a peep.

I shared my grilled chicken and several of them actually commented that they wished they'd ordered it.

It was such a relief to be in a social environment and be able to make healthy choices. I found that the others were so preoccupied with their own goodies and drinks, they didn't notice what I had and didn't have.

This social situation was more about the friendship we shared than the food we ate.

Realizing that and putting it into action in my life represented a huge shift in my thinking. I had the best evening, truly enjoyed the laughter and friendship, and didn't come home with any guilt for going off plan.

Phew! I love progress!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The 100 Pound Club

Wuuuuuu-freakin-yabba-dabba-doooo-hooooo!!!!

I'm officially down 100 pounds.

I hit it at the noon team challenge weigh in.

I'm not sure why today my body decided to lose a whole pound between breakfast and lunch, but it did and I'm not questioning it.

Ok, I did question it a little bit ... but Glenda assured me that the scale in the Team Challenge room was 100% accurate so I'm taking my 100 pounds to the bank and considering it official.

I'm not really sure at this point how to even begin to wrap my brain around reaching this goal. It seems somewhat unreal even though I've been waiting for this to happen for like a month!

I do feel though that I've just been accepted into some kinda club called the "100 Pounders" or something. How many people can say that they've lost 100 pounds? I don't know, but how cool that I can officially say it.

It's truly amazing to look back at where I started and think that at one point I didn't think I'd make it to 30 pounds. Then I hit 40 and couldn't imagine hitting 50. At 50, 60 seemed unattainable. At 70 I thought I'd never get to 90. At 90, I struggled each day to hit 100.

But I did it.

I think I've mentioned this before but when I walked into The Healthy Weigh, I didn't know my weight so Letha suggested I just lose 100 pounds in a year. When she said that I wanted to crumple into a ball and die. No way would I ever (EVER) be able to hit 100 pounds, I thought. Since I didn't want to know my weight, she asked me to pick a size that I would be most comfortable being and I picked size 12. How ironic that both of those things ended up coming true within a short time from each other.

When I picked a size 12, I couldn't imagine being smaller than a size 12 because ... well ... being a size 12 was already 1/2 the size that I was at the time. Surely I'd never lose 100 pounds. Surely I'd never be in a size 12. And surely I would fail.

Yet, here I am.

Having reached this goal, anything I do from here on out is cake. Not fatty cake though ... fat-free, guilt-free, life changing cake ... with a bit of icing just 'cause!

I still have weight to lose. I still have toning to do and muscles to build. Truthfully though, I'm winning this battle. I really am. I'm fighting and investing all I have to conquer this thing and it's really paying off.

Now we all get to celebrate and a reward is in order!

Next on the agenda ... I'm movin' out of the 200's baby and it's time to firm up my final number. I see the end in sight because frankly, if I can make it to 100 pounds lost, I know I can complete this journey.

Bring. It. On.

A-l-m-o-s-t There

What's more frustrating than being 2 pounds away from 100 pounds? Being .7 pounds away!

This morning I weighed in at 207.7 which is just .7 shy of my 100 pound weight loss mark.

I'm crossing my fingers, wishing and hoping, that when I weigh in for the team challenge at noon I'll be down that additional .7 pound. Although, it seems that the further along I get in the day, the more weight I put back on.

So, I guess even if I'm not at that 100 pound mark, I can take solace in the fact that on Thursday I should hit it.

But I still kinda sorta wanna reach it now ... this moment .. this instant!

Must ... have ... patience.

Phew.

Excuses Excuses

I was a notorious excuse giver. Give me a second and I could come up with just about any reason there ever was as to why I couldn't even think about losing weight.

I didn't call them excuses though. I called them "reasons". Those little reasons were the things that so many times controlled my life and stopped me from reaching my goals. Any goal really whether related to weight loss or not.

Here are just a few of my so-called reasons:

  • I'm too busy and there's no way I can fit one more thing into my schedule.
  • It was (is) only 100 (or 200 or 300) calories so I can eat it and it won't hurt me.
  • I read somewhere, at some point, that eating hamburgers is actually good for you. I just can't remember when or where that was but I know I read it so it has to be true.
  • I'll just have a few extra bites cause I deserve it!
  • I'll make the workouts a priority tomorrow. Today I just need to relax.
  • This whole "getting healthy" thing costs way too much money!
  • It's been a hard year, month, week, day, hour, minute and therefore I deserve to eat whatever I want whenever I want to.
  • People need to accept me as I am and therefore I don't care if they think I'm fat. I'm happy with myself .... I think ... sometimes I am anyway. Oh, where's that ice cream?

When eating right and taking care of myself became a priority, the excuses stopped making sense and I realized that they were just that ... excuses.

The reality is that when I made health a priority in my life, there were no more excuses that held water.

If I went out to dinner with friends, I had a choice and could eat healthy. If everyone else was drinking wine, I could order a diet drink. If I felt like I couldn't fit one more thing into my schedule, I could prioritize (say no to some unhealthy things) and fit that workout in after all. And, when I truly did deserve a reward, I could find one that would fill me up longer than a donut could attempt to do.

Now, when I hear others offering up a million and one reasons as to why they can't or won't get healthy, I flash back to my old excuses and feel so blessed to be free of that faulty reasoning.

Life is what we make it so let's make it exactly what we want it to be!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Healthy Hospitals?

I've spent a lot of the last weekend in a hospital in Olympia visiting with my grandpa and family.

Now, you'd think that at hospitals, one would find a plethora of healthy food options.

For some reason, I thought instead of chocolate bars, chips, and gummy worms in the vending machine, I'd find fresh apples, oranges, and cottage cheese as healthy snack options. I also thought there would be a HUGE salad bar with tons of fresh veggies in the cafeteria. I had visions of steaming grilled chicken and roasted veggies complimented by a fresh salad on the side. Sounds like a nice dinner, right?

After my little talk with Glenda and Letha, I had planned ahead and brought all my normal snacks (rice cakes, apples, etc.) and most of my meals but I also assumed I could grab a hot meal in the cafeteria at least once a day that would be on plan.

It turns out that this particular hospital wasn't exactly catering to healthy eating.

Instead of a robust salad bar and grilled chicken, I found a donut bar and deli with deep fried jo-jos, french fries, and fried chicken.

Really? Hmmm ... I smelled a serious case of comfort food.

There was a small - very small - salad bar that featured wilted lettuce, mushy tomatoes, and slimy green peppers. The yogurt in the fridge case wasn't lowfat so the calorie count was through the roof. The fruit looked like it had been sitting out way too long. And there wasn't a piece of grilled anything in sight as most of it was fried or slathered in oil.

I obviously didn't have many options so I suffered through a slimy, wilted, mushy salad and tried to grin and bear it.

As I plugged my nose and downed what I could for sustinance, I couldn't help but think that there was more than a little irony in the fact that even a hospital had bought into the comfort food theory.

I'm sure they are just stocking the foods that sell well. Hospitals are notoriously icky places for the most part and so for many of us while at such a place, comfort food is on the brain. The cafeteria probably stocks up and most likely sells out of these "comforty" foods. All the while the poor salad bar gets very little attention. Hence the wilted lettuce, mushy tomatoes, and slimy green peppers.

How cool though that I made a healthy choice in the face of such temptation. After my little trip-up on Thursday, I was bound and determined to make it through the weekend with renewed focus and determination. I was so tempted by the donuts but I turned them down and instead opted for a bruised red apple. Not as appetizing but I sure did feel better about myself afterward.

I felt stronger having resisted the urge to splurge. I felt empowered (see, I do use that cool feeling wheel!) for taking responsibility for myself and my eating. I was also proud for not giving into the many "excuses" I could have used to go off plan during an emotionally charged weekend where excuses and opportunities came at me around every corner.

This weekend represented another small victory in my battle with my weight even though I don't know yet if the numbers will go down. Regardless of that fact though, I kicked some serious temptation butt and I'm therefore celebrating the victory!

Today I'm happy to be back home where the food choices are all on plan. As prescribed by my THW friends, my reward or doing well with healthy eating choices over the weekend was a day of relaxing and me-time.

It was a great reward and I feel renewed, centered, and ready for the week.

Now, let's bring on that 100 pound thing already, right?

Happy Monday, friends!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm Just Me, Being Me

I love that people are coming to this blog and finding inspiration. That, in and of itself, is inspiring to me. I hope you all know, you're helping hold me accountable to accomplish this goal!

On the other hand, I feel quite humbled by the fact that so many people are coming here and not only finding out a bit about me ... but a bit about themselves too.

I need to be honest here. I'm just me ... I'm not a super special weight loss person. I'm not an expert. I'm not anything more or less than what you are as you face this same challenge.

I'm not losing this weight for any other reason than that I made a committment to do it and was blessed enough to have the tools around to help me do it.

In fact, I think at one point when I was feeling really "down" and unable to continue, Nancy wrote on my journal "I have the tools I need to be successful". What a relief that was to me! I still repeat it to myself occassionaly because I think it's so important to know that we're not alone and that there are resources ready and able to support us.

Anyway, the good news about all of this is that this means anyone ~ and I do mean ANYONE ~ can do the same if they set their minds to it!

I walked into The Healthy Weigh thinking of all the other diet plans I'd started and failed. How I couldn't seem to muster the engery to start just one more. And how surely, since I was a failure in all things weight related, that I would fail this too. My mind was sabotaging my efforts before I even started!

Nice, huh?

But somehow, I pushed through. Now that I'm standing on the edge of 100, the only thing I can think is WOW! Look how far we've come baby!

Make a decision.

Cut yourself off from any other possibility.

And make it happen.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Unfriendly Friends

As I'm going through my weight loss journey, I'm learning that not everyone is supportive of my progress. It's a very odd thing really to have friends not be so friendly when you're making such huge changes in your life.

I was talking with an-unnamed-"friend" at the start of my journey and the conversation turned to weight loss which is often the discourse shared between women.

She brought up the topic and I was excited because I'm on this big weight loss journey and therefore felt I had some things to share. She made a comment about how hard it was for her to lose weight and I naively added that yes, it was hard but that I was so excited because, as of that moment (a week or two into the program), I had shed 10 pounds (happy dance)!

After a short pause, her response was (very sarcastically) ... "Well, that's easy to do when you have SO MUCH to lose."

Hmm... ok perhaps true ... but ... um ... how rude!

Being the goober that I am, I took this to heart and this nasty comment made a nice cozy home in my brain. It rang the bell each time I weighed in (another two pounds ... oh please, that was easy!), it stamped it's foot when someone congratulated me (oh please, whatever, you're fat!) and it tried to push every positive thought out my ear so as to have more space for it's negative friends.

Then I stumbled into Letha's weight loss workshop expecting to take a little morsel of brain food home with me but not expecting my attitude to be impacted.

Letha was telling us that we were we're going to learn about boundaries and control.

Immediately my hackles came up. I am a TOTAL control freak! So .... WOWZA whatever we were going to cover would be d-i-f-f-i-c-u-l-t!

As she went through the control stuff, one of the things that really struck a cord with me was that we all came into this world with a backpack. In the backpack were the things that we were meant to carry with us through life. These were the things that make us who we are and that we can control.

For more information on that sorta thing, best to check with the experts. I'm sure Letha and Glenda would be more than happy to fill you in on the full details on your next visit.

Anyway, what the backpack meant was that each person in this world was responsible for their own pack. Essentially, we were all responsible for our own thoughts, feelings, and attitudes.

The wheels were turning.

I started thinking about the comment from my friend.

The reality was that I had no control over what she thought (the art of mind control hasn't been perfected) or said to me. But I did have control over my reaction.

Hmmm... oh crap. The bad news was that I had to take responsibility for letting her comment get me down in the dumps. The good news was that I also could change my thinking and control how those comments impact me.

So I put that plan into action.

The next time someone complimented me on my weight loss ... I hesitated ... took a second to serve an eviction notice on the negative comments ... and responded with a huge smile, a thank you, and a positive self thought of "yeah, losing this weight is amazing and it's darn hard work!!!"
And wouldn't you know it, my head actually took in the compliment and offered it residence in the cozy, empty little house the negativity once lived in.

As an aside, Letha's Workshop series is available on CD. If you've not heard her series or if you need a refresher, I strongly suggest you check it out. I learned soooo much about myself while listening to the CDs and I don't think I'd still be working the begeezers outta this plan had I not had that foundation.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Off Plan But Refocused

Isn't it amazing how we can be floating on a cloud and be close enough to heaven to touch the pearly gates one day and then, the very next day, be closer instead to the pits of hell? Yes, I know, strong language.

I feel sometimes that I'm a little piece on a board game and the person "playing" me is winning so all is good. Suddenly, from out of no where, the giant dog (Personally, I picture a white labradoodle cause I have a crazy one at home that does stuff like this) comes racing through the living room, bumping the coffee table and sending the game board, me and all my buddies into a free fall to the floor.

Today, I'm on the floor.

I could list all the things that are pulling me down but then I would be whining and I know no one likes a whiner!

I will say that yesterday I went off plan.

First of all, I was up 1.8 pounds on Thursday morning despite being down almost four pounds on Tuesday. I blame this on two things; 1) Being a woman (darn Mother Nature!) and all that womanly stuff that happens way too often and 2) exercising my buns off at the gym (darn trainer!). I'm trying hard not to beat myself up too badly about the weight gain but I did let it sit in my brain longer than was necessary.

I allowed that added weight, coupled with my current emotional whirlwind, to throw me off balance and unsettle me for the day.

I had a work thing and ended up indulging in the Parmesan ouzo with cheesecake for dessert. It was a catered lunch and I had made a choice not to bring my lunch with me to the event which normally I would have done so as to stay on plan. But I went unprepared. I made a choice to consume the food. And thus I must move on.

I am gearing up for another hard weekend emotionally as things with my grandpa continue to decline. I'm travelling North to be with family again.

Even though I went a little off course yesterday, I'm refusing to let the rest of the weekend follow suit.

I will not be up again on Tuesday.

I could use this time as an excuse to be as "off plan" as I wanted to be and in the past, that would have been the route I'd have taken.

Now though I have a hard time believing that going off plan would solve any of my problems.

In fact, the only thing I feel right now after indulging in rich foods yesterday, is sick to my stomach as I've not had food like that in literally ages.

So, to get prepared for the weekend ahead, I talked with Glenda and Letha ... cause you know, they've got goooood suggestions! With their guidance, here's the coping list that I'm going to follow to a "T".

1) Control List: Since at the moment I'm feeling a bit out of control, I'm going to make a list of 7 - 10 things that I can control. #1 on the list, food and my eating.

2) Journal: Journal. Journal. And then think about journaling yet again. (Ok, ok, I get it!)

3) Plan ahead: Pack lunches, snacks, and other things that will help me stay focused and on plan.

4) Nurturing: Find something that fills me up and thoroughly enjoy doing it at some point this weekend. This could be a hot bath with some candles, a good magazine, and some flavored water in a fancy glass (just say "no" to wine!) but since I don't have a tub that will be a little hard for me. Instead, I'm thinking some quiet time in the barn with my horses. Just them and me in a calm, relaxing, grooming session. That always fills me up and leaves me feeling relaxed and peaceful. Ultimately, this will help me find some ray of sunshine in the midst of all the rain.

5) Rewards: At the end of this weekend, when I've successfully come through it on plan and emotionally focused, have a reward lined up. This reward will not be food related but instead be something that will continue to nurture and fill me up emotionally.
Despite a minor trip-up yesterday, I plan to succeed this weekend. Following the list above will help me stay focused.

And with that, I'm off to start my homework.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Biggest Loser Inspiration

Did anyone catch the week 17 episode of the Biggest Loser? I know the Blazer game was on so many people missed it and if so, I'd encourage you to check it out on Hulu.com.

I thought the challenge the contestants needed to accomplish was brilliant. I've embedded a snippet of that challenge below so that you can check it out.




What a symbolic way to recognize how much weight those participants had lost. Amazing really to see how much of a struggle it was for them to accomplish the task in the beginning with all that weight attached to their bodies.

This reminds me of Glenda's directive to pick up the dog food bags in the grocery store.

I need to do these things again when prepping for my next 50 pounds. I mean, I've come to terms with what 100 pounds means (even though I'm two pounds shy - ugh!) but I need to grasp what another 50 and reaching my goal will do for me.

As part of The Healthy Weigh's Team Challenge last week, we had to list out the seven ways in which our lives would change when we hit our goal. That was a really hard task for me as I'm accomplishing the things that I had originally written down when I started at The Healthy Weigh in September.

I need to create a new "goal" list.

So, instead of settling for getting on my horse without a bench or step (which I can already do), could I really dare to think that in another 50 pounds I could bound onto my horse bareback without any aid? Shocking!

Could I perhaps ... just maybe ... be able to walk into a room of strangers with confidence?

And could I really be comfortable accepting a compliment? Really?

Hmmm...

What a great opportunity to adjust my focus.

I'm not finished with my goal. I am over 1/2 way through but now it's time to complete the journey. As Letha and Glenda readily point out, having a vision for my life at goal will be paramount to my success.

With that, I'm off to think, ponder, and revise my list. I need to come up with some really great stuff. And don't worry, I'm sure I'll be torturing you all with the list just as soon as I come up with it!

In the meantime, feel free to share things that made it onto your list. I could use a bit of inspiration!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mountain Bikes and Hamster Wheels

The term "spinning my wheels" had a whole new meaning a couple weeks ago when I took my new mountain bike out for a spin.

It was a gorgeous day and I had been wanting a bike for quite some time. Those of you that know me well know that I'm not one to wait for something ... so ... the first ray of sunshine I saw, I took that as a directive to buy a bike. Sun = bike. It all made perfect sense in my head. Trust me.

It's important to note that prior to this adventurous day, I'd not been on a bike since I was a kid. Probably since I was 12ish. I'm 32. Yeah, that's awhile ago.

But being the stubborn gal that I am, I insisted that I didn't need a "gears" and riding lesson. I mean, how embarrassing. The phrase "it's like riding a bike" flashed in my mind as I thanked the (very cute) sales person and plunked down my credit card. I couldn't wait to hit the open trail. Wind in my hair, breezing over hills, twisting and turning over the terrain ... awww ... this was gonna be awesome!

So off we go. I get on the bike, take aim down the trail, and instantly start sweating. Ok, so it turns out that the whole pedaling thing is much harder than I remembered. My legs are pumping at 1,000 mph and I feel like I'm hardly moving at all.

I try to suck it up and continue down the path all the while thinking I'm going to die and never make it the whole six miles.

Meanwhile, my riding partner is breezing through the ride. She's not sweating at all and she looks comfortable and relaxed.

Geesh! I'm WAY more out of shape than I thought I was!

I call for a break, mopping the sweat off my brow with my glove to which I then need to wring out before putting it back on.

My riding partner just chuckles as I rant about how hard this is and how out of shape I am and why does anyone wanna ride a bike again anyway and I'm not sure I can do the whole trail and who said horses worked your legs cause mine are dying and why didn't someone talk me out of getting a bike and I should never have paid this much money for a crappy bike that's pedals can't push the bike forward and ... yeah .. on and on.

At the half way point, I've had enough.

I encourage my buddy to get on the bike so that she can see how outta control this whole stupid bike is.

She steps on and starts off down the trail ... pedaling like I was. She looks exactly like a hamster on a wheel!

She drives back, checks the gears, and says ....

"Yeah, you've been riding in first gear."

Well, HELLO! That's the kinda information I shoulda maybe needed to know 3 MILES AGO!

She casually flips the gears up to 3 and takes off down the trail. One teeny, tiny push of the pedal and she's flying.

I guess it would be good to end this little post with a statement like "I learned my lesson that day" or "I'll be more apt to take direction and a lesson in the future" or any other number of positive statements ... but ... the reality is that I'm still me and I'm sure that next time a cute boy is helping me and I want to seem all smart and stuff, I'll still do something like this and end up looking way more foolish in the long run.

Makes for interesting blog posts though, right?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Update on the numbers

I'm down to 209 which is just 2 pounds shy of my 100 pound mark.

As I posted previously, I'm so anxious to get to 100! And right after I hit 100 I'll be setting myself up for new numbers ... down below 200 pounds for the first time in years.

Being 2 pounds short of the 100 pound mark is actually quite annoying! On the one hand I'm excited I had a four pound loss in one week. On the other hand, wouldn't it have been nice if the drop was six pounds and be at the 100 pound reward???? I mean, come on darn body! Let's get it together and get it done already!

Yes ... yes .... you're right. I need to practice patience.

And this is most definitely a lesson for me in patience. The last three weeks have been up, down, all around and sideways. I've been up 1.6 then down 1.6 then nothing and now down 4. Let me tell ya, I much prefer the going down part!

I really think my body is staging a revolt because I've kicked the exercise up a notch. I'm now walking and/or jogging at least 5x's per week, strength training 3x's per week, and adding in a hike or bike and horse ride when possible on the weekends. That's a lot of working out for someone that doesn't like to sweat!

Even though I've had a couple tough weeks in terms of the numbers, I don't plan to stop the workouts. It's tempting, but I like that I'm reshaping my body at the same time as losing the weight.

Here's something neat ... Did you know I have a muscle in my leg? I mean, really, it used to be hard to tell. Now it kinda sorta pops out when I flex it. Coooooooooool. See, workin' out is doing good stuff for me even if the pounds aren't coming off quite as quickly as I'd like!

So, I think I'll chill out on the 100 pound stress and just let my body do what it's going to do. I'm eating the right foods in the right amounts and expending the right amount of energy so that means I should be setting myself up for success.

I'm going to trust that's the truth and stop stressing!

Change is Happening ... Right?

It's another rough "being good" day even though I'm armed with my snacks, healthy lunch, and THW "brain" tools.

Gooey Pizza, crispy tater tots, wine, beer, cheesy omelet with tomato's and green pepper, cheesecake, chocolate all seem to be floating through my head.

My brain is protesting, literally kicking and screaming, because I keep telling it "no" to the afore mentioned list.

That little brain keeps telling me the lie that my body has come to a screeching weight loss halt. The pounds aren't rushing to exit by any means necessary. Instead, they are taking their time, packing their luggage, telling their friends goodbye, throwing a party, loitering by the door ... and maybe sorta not thinking of leaving after all.

It's telling me that eventually those pounds will just flat out refuse to leave so why not eat whatever now instead of depraving myself of the satisfaction.

As I fully recognize and freely admit, I am not one that has a lot of patience. So when my brain points out such things to me, I take it in and then get annoyed and discouraged.

I WANT CHANGE NOW! This week. This instant. This moment.

I want to fit into those itty-bitty jeans, be at my goal weight, feel confident all the time, and be healthy, happy, and whole.

Now that I've added workouts to my plan, I'm finding that my weight loss is actually slowing down a bit. I'm sure it's because my body is readjusting and reshaping ... I can see differences in how my clothes are fitting.

But, that doesn't help me when I want to see the numbers go down too. In fact, at this point, I'm so fixated on the number and pounds, that I'm on the edge of obsessive. I want so badly to hit 100 pounds that I'm adding all sorts of insane pressure and anxiety to the process for absolutely no good reason other than ... I WANT IT!

So, with that, I absolutely must find a way to shut my own darn self up and get out of my own darn way.

I think it's time to fill up my water bottle and as I do I'll be repeating to myself over and over (and over and over) ... Change is happening.

Change is happening.

Change is happening.

(One more time with feeling) Change is happening.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cool Jewlery

I'm in process of hunting down my 100# reward and my friend Carrie directed me to JCP and some really cool jewlery that's on sale right now. I thought some of you might like it too so I thought I'd share.

JCP Jewlery - The collection

My favorite so far: Necklace reads: Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself.


And the notecard that goes with it: Each time you wear this necklace remember that this moment is the beginning of a new you made of every new smile, every new love and every new encounter.

Pictures Speak 1,000 Words

Don't you just hate pictures of yourself?

I know I do.

I don't think I look too terribly bad ... but then I see a picture and it's always a little wake-up call. I'm instantly beating myself up for being fat, not being tan enough (yes, I'm translucent), having too many wrinkles, not wearing the right clothes, or having the right hairdo. Then, of course, the tendency is to give into the negative self-talk and believe all that icky stuff which only leads to further problems and the cycle continuing.

All of that is changing for me though. There are actually a couple pics of me now that I actually don't totally hate and although I can't say I LOVE them, the fact that I'm not repulsed by my own image is huge for me.

The latest pic (posted here and it's a cell phone pic so it's a little grainy) was from a great horse ride I took last weekend. It was a great ride with awesome views and awesome friends.

I like that my horse doesn't look pained. He's tired from running (full out running which was a BLAST!) up a really big mountain, but he's not stumbling under my weight and I think he actually enjoyed himself for the most part.

I like that I don't look at this pic and think, "wow, look how fat I am!" But instead think, "WOW, look how far I've come!"

I like that I'm doing something I love and truly lovin' it without worrying about silly things. I'm living in the moment on this ride.

I like that I'm seeing this as the middle of my journey and instead of a miserable future, I'm seeing something awesome out there in front of me filled with many more rides, many more adventures, and many more good pictures!

Hmm... on second thought, perhaps I do love this picture after all!

In fact, I think I need to print it out and tape it to the fridge. Change IS happening!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Smackdown on Emotions

I'm writing this post at the end of a very emotional day and for those of you that know me, you'll know that these kinds of days aren't my strong suit.

First of all, I started the day by attending Glenda's "Breaking Free From Emotional Eating" class. Wow. What a class.

Being honest, it was really hard for me to sit through. It took everything in my being to sit in that chair, force my ears to be open, and my mind to be accepting. There was so much good information but for someone that doesn't like to "feel" it was a toughie. I identified with almost everything she said and seeing my triggers (depression, anxiety, boredom) all so plainly laid out for me was almost unbearable.

On the one hand, how nice to know what the triggers are. On the other, it meant that I was going to need to process those hard feelings in order to break free from the eating. Inside I was stamping my foot on the ground and shouting "NOOOO!!! You can't MAKE me!" and I left in much this same mindset.

After the class, I headed North to Tenino to see my grandpa that has stage four cancer. I was planning to meet up my parents at his house for dinner. I love my grandpa and coming to terms with the cancer has been difficult to say the least.

Trying to plan for the day in advance, I brought salad, veggies, apples, oranges, strawberries, and string cheese so that I could be on plan throughout the day.

In the past I've been a binge eater (see, I did listen during the class!) and I knew that after an emotional day, I would be tempted to drive to the nearest drive thru or pizza joint and literally pig out until there was no pigging left to do. Having an arsenal of healthy snack options in my truck would hopefully curb my craving.

As an aside, I have to admit (and this is super hard to write) but in the past on a hard day such as today ... or even on an easy day for that matter ... I would pick up a family size pizza and consume the whole thing in 20 minutes without a second thought. Yes, that's one reason why I was over 300 pounds. I knew that the likelihood of my doing something along those lines today, would be high.

Anyway, I did well with the family. I stayed on plan for the most part. I did allow myself one indulgence.

My grandpa makes the most wonderful homemade wild blackberry jam and I just could not be at his house without having a roll with jam. That was one treat that I knew in advance would be on my plate. No guilt.

On the way home, that's when the emotions of seeing my grandpa hit me full in the face. I felt so many things that it's impossible to regurgitate it all here and probably would bore most of you. That's why I pay a counselor, right?!

Around the Kelso exit, my brain was struggling to find a reason why I shouldn't indulge in the McDonald's value meals that called to me through my fog. French Fries would surely drown my thoughts as the blaring music just wasn't able to do much good.

I pulled off the freeway and got to the light at the bottom of the exit.

I don't know why, it wasn't a conscious decision, but instead of turning left to McDonald's, I turned right and made my way to JCPenny's. Going in, I had no plans of what I'd find or do. I was just looking for something to take my mind off my own thoughts.

I grabbed a handful of random clothes from the racks and frankly, I don't even remember looking at sizes as I flung them over my arm. Then I went to the dressing room.

A pair of black stripped pants was the first item I tried on. They were snug but comfortable and ... huh ... kinda cute. All angles seemed to check out ok in the three way scary mirror so I pulled them off and looked at the size ... 12.

I just about fell over.

I used to be 307 pounds and a size 26/28 in Lane Bryant sizes that equates to about a 3x or 4x in other sizes. When I started at THW and didn't want to know my weight, I had set the goal of just getting to a size 12 cause surely then I'd be happy ... right? And here I was, I had just put on and could successfully wear a large ... a size 12. Wow.

I soooo bought those pants!!!!!

But it wasn't the purchasing of the pants that allowed me to move past my craving. However, they did serve to remind me of why eating wasn't going to solve my problem.

I got back in my truck, pulled out my journal and spent the next 20 minutes "feeling" instead of eating.

And wouldn't you know (and this is when Glenda gets to smile her awesome I-told-you so-non-judgemental-supportive-smile) like the dentist's drill, the feelings did subside.

I left that parking lot feeling powerful for making a dent in my own emotional armor.

Water Wonders

Do you ever feel that your eyeballs are swimming?

I feel that way sometimes. I try to drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water per day. For those of you keeping score, that's about 105 ounces. And, truthfully, I'm not that much of a water fiend. Every day it's a struggle to get it all down but thankfully it's getting easier!

If I consume that much water consistently, I do notice a difference in the scales. The weight comes off faster, I'm not as hungry, and I find myself having fewer cravings.

I read somewhere (hate it when I can't remember where!) that sometimes when we think we're hungry, it's really just our bodies telling us we need water. So, when I start to get hungry, I reach for the water before reaching for a snack.

Here just a few tricks I've found to help me down this much H2O.

1) Know your bladder! I can't stress this point enough actually. I know it's kinda funny to mention but as you all know, there's nothing worse than really needing to pee ... and not having a rest room anywhere near. That, in and of itself, is enough to keep me from drinking my water! If I'm walking at lunch, I stop drinking around 10:30 so that I'm able to make the four miles without a break. Same goes for trail rides, meetings, and other things. It's all about planning!

2) Add a little flavoring now and then. I have well water at home that is sweet and tasty. I can down that water in one gulp! On the other hand, the water at work is really hard to manage. So I add the zero calorie flavorings from Safeway to my water bottle when at the office. They are cheap and have just enough flavoring to add a little boost without making it too sweet.

3) Get a big water bottle. I don't know about you, but when I'm at work I don't like to keep getting up and filling my water bottle. So, I invested in a really nice 40 oz bottle that I can fill just a couple times. It's also easier to track my total water consumption.

4) Drink warm water. My office is freezing and downing cold water makes me shiver. So on cold days (which hopefully we won't have too many more of), I put luke-warm water in the bottle. It helps warm me from the inside out and it's easier to consume.

5) Use a fancy glass now and then! I have some really nice wine glasses that I used to only pull out when I had company. They now routinely don my dinner table. Somehow, drinking flavored ice water out of a fancy smanshy glass makes me feel so super cool and I drink more of it. Or, how about filling up a special glass, putting in some sliced cucumber (thanks for the tip, Carrie!) and ice and enjoying a bit of sun on the back deck? What a treat, right?

6) Have more than one water bottle. I have one in my house, in the barn, at work, in my gym bag (yeah! Cause I have a gym bag now!!!), and in my horse trailer. They stay in those places for the most part so that I don't have an excuse not to drink my water. The weekends have been the hardest for me as I tend not to have too much of a routine, but with water bottles in all my likely hang outs, it's easier than it used to be to stay on track.

I hope some of these ideas help. Drinking water can be a bit of a hassle but each time I have to go to the rest room I think ... there goes another quarter pound!

It helps ... no really ... it does. :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Instant Weight Loss Pill

Did anyone catch Oprah yesterday? I did ... thanks to Tivo!

There were so many times during that show that I just wanted to jump through the screen and say to both Oprah and to Kirstie Alley ... "HEY! You guys soooooo need The Healthy Weigh"!!!!

At one point Kirstie was talking about her addictions. She said she was addicted to drugs, then smoking and now food. Ding! Ding! Ding! She's got it!

When I realized this (thanks to Letha's workshops), it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Literally. I think the room got brighter and stuff. Anyway.

Knowing my issue with food was an addiction meant that there would be no pill that would "cure" my addiction. Just as alcoholics couldn't take a pill to suddenly not want a drink, dieters couldn't take a pill to suddenly not want to eat. There were and are no addiction magic fairies.

Food is the drug we use when we don't to feel or deal (hey, I rhymed! yeah me!).

It's so interesting that we recognize this on some level and yet we're all out looking for the "magic pill" to help us lose this weight. 'Cause, I mean, if it was this easy to put on, shouldn't it be that easy to take off??? That used to be my thinking anyway and it was reflected by Kristie during the conversation with Oprah.

It's crazy really to think of how much food is tied to our emotions. In fact, this very thing is playing out in my life right now.

This weekend I'm going to visit my grandpa that has cancer. His cancer has spread quickly and drastically. I just keep thinking that this might be the last time I'll be able to spend time with him. And those thoughts make me want to run to Godfathers so that I don't have to feeeeeeeeeeel. Ugh. Feeling. That's so darn hard!

It seems so fitting that there's a class this weekend on emotional eating. Hmmm... think I should attend that one? So, yes, the current plan is to head to that class, get my dose of inspiration and coping tools, and then head North to see my grandpa.

After many yo-yo diets, pills, plans, and fads, I've learned that there is no easy fix. I put this weight on one painful mouthful at a time and it must come off one painful emotion at a time.

This is the most weight I've lost. This is the best I've felt in my life. And I know that if I can tackle the emotional roots of my eating issues, then I'll be successful in making this the last time I struggle with my weight.

Anyway, if you're interested in going to the class, I think there are still spots left. I think ... :)

I hope you can make it because all of us can be successful if we put in the time and effort now. Wouldn't it be nice to never deal with this weight again? To have the tools necessary to free ourselves from the extra pounds and emotional baggage?

Phewie. Now that sounds like fun! I'm in!

See ya there!