Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Facing Christmas

Well, the scale was up. Not a surprise. 4 lbs. :( Bummer.

I am proud of myself for facing the music though and not letting things spiral of out of control and carry into this week. It's never harder to weigh in than when I know for certain the scale is up! Today I struggled through and forced myself to face the Christmas eating. In so doing, I feel I've powered through and am now back on the path.

Speaking of now ... it's going to be a tough week. TS is moving out. It's a good thing in the long run but it means there will be a few uncomfortable days ahead as the adjustment is made.

I need to focus on eating right and making wise decisions this week even though everything in my emotional makeup tells me to drown my sorrows in food. Eating right though, will make me feel empowered in the long run and I need to keep making those wise choices each time I take a bite.

This week, I need to think positively. I need to think of ways to reclaim my space. I need to do some rearranging, buy a few kitchen items, and start to put things back together. I will start repairing my space.

I plan to do some goal setting for 2011 and one of the things on my list is to repair myself physically. That means reaching my weight loss goal this year. I can do that.

Did I happen to mention that 2011 is going to be a great year?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Aw, Christmas

Well, I'd like to report that Christmas came and went with me being 100% on plan ... but ... well ... it didn't. To be honest, I was a complete wreck. It was probably one of the hardest Christmas' I've had in ages and truth be told, I let myself wallow in the pity of a lonely Christmas far longer than I should have. I beat myself up one side and down the other and in so doing, gave into the cravings for food I didn't need or sometimes even like.

There's no need to offer up all the goofy details here but I will tell you that in a world where Christmas is about families, traditions, and kiddos ... it's tough to not have any of those things and in fact be further from having them than I thought I was. I used to laugh at the whole biological clock discussion but it was my reality this year.

I feel very selfish for getting so far down in the pity party because the truth is that I have wonderful parents that work hard to make the holidays a lovely, wonderful time. And, they were ... once I pulled my head outta my "you know what".

I'm not necessarily looking forward to the scale tomorrow. It will reflect my off plan food choices and I'm sure I'll backtrack a bit in my progress. I'm still going to show up though and weigh in and face the music. I need to.

On another note, 2011 is my year of repair. In fact, that's my word for the year. I'm going to repair myself emotionally, physically, financially, mentally, and spiritually. This will be my biggest year of change. I'll be 34 this year and as I approach midlife, I want to be whole and ready for whatever comes up around the next bend.

I love the definition of the word REPAIR as it has so many implications. I'm excited to see where this word will take me.

–verb (used with object)
1. to restore to a good or sound condition after decay or damage; mend: to repair a motor.
2. to restore or renew by any process of making good, strengthening, etc.: to repair one's health by resting.
3. to remedy; make good; make up for: to repair damage; to repair a deficiency.
4. to make amends for; compensate: to repair a wrong done.

–noun
5. an act, process, or work of repairing: to order the repair of a building.
6. Usually, repairs.
a. an instance or operation of repairing: to lay up a boat for repairs.
b. a repaired part or an addition made in repairing: 17th-century repairs in brick are conspicuous in parts of the medieval stonework.
7. repairs, (in bookkeeping, accounting, etc.) the part of maintenance expense that has been paid out to keep fixed assets in usable condition, as distinguished from amounts used for renewal or replacement.
8. the good condition resulting from continued maintenance and repairing: to keep in repair.
9. condition with respect to soundness and usability: a house in good repair.

This week I'll be reflecting, redefining, and gearing up to face 2011 head on. It's going to be a spectacular year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Numbers Update

Down 2 pounds! Wuhoo! I'm on the cusp of the 220s and for that, I'm thankful. This is happening and I'm so excited to be headed in the right direction.

On another note, I made a goober outta myself again yesterday. It's becoming a Tuesday routine!

I participated in The Healthy Weigh's lunch time activity which meant I had to do like the other normal, well adjusted, dieters were doing and talk to the group. Out loud. In public. In front of people. While they looked at me.

So really what happened was that I stood up in front of a few people, turned 20 shades of red, cried, and I think I even snorted at them. Yeah, that's right, I said I snorted. I literally snorted. You know that snorty crying thing that happens when you're trying to hold back your tears 'cause you feel like a goober for crying and in so doing it gets all bottled up and finally explodes through your nose in a loud snort? Yeah, that's what I did. In front of people. While I was shaking in my shoes and pacing from being so darn nervous to be standing in front of them.

It's a funny thing. I can stand in front of a room of executives and talk about web stuff or branding or whatever marketing mumbo jumbo might need to be discussed but put me out in front of anyone to talk about something personal and I melt. It turns out I snort a bit too. (embarrassing!)

What I wanted to relate (and quite honestly it's all a blur so I'm not sure if I did this or not) was this:

I've lost weight before. A lot of weight ~ 118 pounds to be exact. But, I gained 50 of that back. What I learned about myself while I was in the process of gaining was as powerful as what I'm learning when I'm losing.

This weight loss thing is what you make it. If you're rushing through it to get to the end ... you'll find the end isn't reachable because it's not real. In weight loss, perfection doesn't exist and finality is a pipe dream. If you take the time to learn the why and how, stumble along the way, and then truly commit to lasting life changes, then you'll have greater success.

This is my life. I live each day with the choices I make and the things I learn along the way. I stumble over cookies and popcorn or I may fall flat on my red face with a glass of wine and some meatballs. But each time I do that and pick myself back up, I learn where the pitfalls are so I can maneuver through them in the future.

I'm truly committed to lasting change because I know deep down in my soul I'm worthy of more than what I've been giving myself the last 33 (eek!) years. I'm worth finishing this journey and literally being half the size I was on the outside while being triple what I was on the inside.

That's what this is about for me. Life. Living. Self-worth. Success. Change.

Thank you to everyone that shared at THW yesterday. Each comment was touching and inspiring in it's own way. I LOVE it and it energizes me! Your stories are powerful and keep me pointed in the right direction. Let's continue to share because we can all learn so much from others along this same path.

Oh, and someone mentioned that they're doing the sugar free flavors in their coffees ... I wanted to mention but didn't want to risk another snort, it's awesome to mix the flavors together too. Try a sugar free hazelnut vanilla or hazelnut cinnamon dolce mix. It's super yummy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Jeans

Today I'm wearing a pair of jeans that I love to love and love to hate.

These are the jeans I called Letha about when I slipped them on at Macy's and was beyond excited that a size 12 fit nicely. At my lowest they were too big and more than once had been on the goodwill pile because I didn't want clothes around that were too big anymore. Going up wasn't an option. But ... I'd saved them because I loved them and sentimentally, they meant something to me.

On the other hand, when I was gaining, I had them on hand because I needed them. For awhile, they were the only jeans I could wear. A month ago though, when I was at my heaviest, I hated them. They almost ended up back on the Goodwill pile because they were reminders of how far I'd slipped.

Through the various ups and downs and ups, these jeans held their place in my closet and today were again debuted with excitement.

There's something about slipping into a pair of jeans you'd almost given up hope of fitting into again that makes you feel energized and recharged. I CAN do this! I AM doing this!

I've attempted to slip these on before but I can't tell you how impossible that feat had become.

I'm sure the amount of pain I was in when I wore them last was written across my face ... it was for sure written across my waist! Ugh! I had to lay down to zip and button them, my toes lost feeling and I couldn't sit or my buttons would pop. I was consistently worried that my butt cheek could rip the pockets out. Not pretty! After that little venture, they were relegated to the back of the closet.

Well, today I'm happy to report that not only did I get them on but they aren't cutting off circulation or making my extremities numb when I sit for extended periods of time. I can wear them and bend my knees. In fact, I can wear them, bend my knees AND cross my legs. Whoa!

What's even better, I feel good in them again. What a feeling!

Yes, I love these jeans and for now I think it's a mutually beneficial relationship.

I see an ending approaching to our relationship though and this time, I'm ok with that. I plan to part ways with these jeans when they get too big. They'll venture off to Goodwill where I'm sure some other girl will be thrilled to find them. Perhaps these jeans will inspire her when she fits into a size 12 again and will push her forward in her journey just like they did with me.

In the meantime, it's time to pull out my size 10s, hang them out for inspiration, and get those babies ready for their debut too. I'll be in them before you know it!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tricking the Scale

I used to be a notorious "scale tricker". When I stopped losing weight, and then restarted, and stopped, and restarted ..... I mean before I got SERIOUS about this weight loss thing again, I would play games with the scale to get the numbers lower. I would flub up during the week knowing it would impact the scale but hoping I could make up for that by changing what I wore or drank or whatever right before I stepped on the scale.

I mean, after all it was only a little bit of pasta, a little bit of ice cream, and a little bit of a doughnut that had distracted me that week. Obviously though, the reason why the scale wasn't going down had more to do with my outfit choice or my water intake than my ability to stay on plan with my food. I mean, OBVIOUSLY it couldn't be MY fault I wasn't losing.

Yep, I've tried all the tricks from wearing heavy clothes and then switching to lighter ones, drinking tons and tons and tons of water the day before a weigh in, weighing in in the morning vs the evening, starving myself the morning of a weigh in, etc.

I'll tell you though ... none of those things worked. Sure I might have been down an extra pound or whatever but it was a short lived victory. Not only did I have to work harder the next week to be down again (even more water, even lighter clothes, etc.), but I would walk away from the scale negating my weight loss and not feeling victorious. I'd say things like "well, of course I was down because I wore my workout pants. I'll have to wear shorts (eek!) next week." or "If only I wouldn't have eaten that doughnut, I might be down 2lbs." It was a self-defeating situation which always led to more panic as time went on.

When I played a game with my health, I came out a loser (and not in a good way) each time.

I'm doing it differently now. I'm not putting too much stock in what I wear or how much water I've had before I weigh in. I'm continuing my routine and just working the program like it's supposed to be worked because I have faith that if I do that, my weight will continue to drop over time.

Over time ... that's the key. My panic and trickery over the scale was a result of the race I was in with myself to lose the weight. I wanted the weight gone instantly. I was frustrated with anything less than stellar performances each week and when the scale started to only give me .5 and .3 drops, I got discouraged and started the games. When the games didn't work, I completely lost my focus and put back on 10, then 20, then 30, and then 40 pounds.

To make lasting change, I'm learning that this is not a race. It's a long, twisting, winding journey. It's a progression. I've had 30 some odd years of making unhealthy food choices. How can I expect to undo all of that in six months? It's impossible.

So, I'm taking my sweet time to figure this out knowing that slow and steady wins the race. I'm the turtle, not the hare and instead of racing around aimlessly, I'm taking my time to enjoy the scenery and learn from this experience.

There will be no more scale trickery because I know that if I eat right during the week, I'll see that reflected on the scale ... eventually.

Speaking of which, tomorrow is weigh in day and I'm ready!

Friday, December 17, 2010

TGIF!

I know it's trite but who cares ..... TGIF!

Has this been a long week or what?!?!?! My goodness. Anticipation of an awesome Christmas holiday coupled with the stressors that have flexed their muscles in my life recently have me sighing a HUGE sigh of relief to have made it through another week. Phewie!

Thank GOD it's Friday!

Yesterdays weigh in went ok .... I was down ... not by much ... but down so I'll take it. .16 ... Yeah, not much. But again, it's down.

Tuesday will be dramatic I hope. In fact, it will be because it has to be. Each time in the last six months that I've bailed on my weight loss program, it's been around the time that I would crack the 220s. I'm 233 and would love to be down below 230 on Tuesday. Before you know it, I'll be back down to the 100s! That's gonna be a great day.

This weekend is all about relaxing, recharging, rejuvenating, and refocusing. I need to get my head screwed on straight so that I can tackle Christmas!

I hope everyone else is gearing up for a great weekend and holiday time as well!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Promise of a New Day

Just as I said yesterday, isn't is amazing what a difference a day can make?

Today is a good day. It's a good day because I stood firm yesterday and didn't cave into any of my out-of-control cravings. It's amazing how empowering that truly is. There were many times yesterday when the call of a christmas cookie just about exploded my eardrums or the whisper of cheddar cheese just about yanked my heart out of my chest ... but .... I'm so happy to report that I didn't cave and thus today is a new, bright, sparkly, positive day!

In fact, it's another weigh in day. At noon, I hope to see the reward of yesterdays hard work. Each pound lost is another pound closer to my goal. That's a good thing!

Thank you everyone for offering up words of encouragement yesterday and giving me the boost to continue on. I so needed that and I so appreciate all of you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Struggle A Day

Isn't it amazing what a difference a day makes?

Today being on plan is a struggle. The stress and anxiety I've been fighting for the last couple weeks has seeped into my soul and taken over my brain. It is consequently playing negative tapes and suggesting I eat, eat some more, and then eat just a tad bit more and it will all be better ... magically.

Even though I know that's not the truth, my body and brain and working overtime to convince me it is. Thus, the candy dish, kitchen cookies, and Red Robin lunch are all calling me at a fervent pitch. My stomach is actually jumping on the bandwagon too and is rolling, gurgling, and talking in an attempt to force me to dig into the Christmas cookies that lay in weight (oops ... Freudian slip) in the kitchen.

It's one of those days where I need to fight back and take control of my thinking.

Yes, I need to focus on what's right in my life right now. What am I happy with? What is in my control today?

I'm thrilled that my jeans were a bit looser when I put them on this morning. I've lost 10 pounds. That's nothing to sneeze at! I know when I eat well, I feel well. The blemishes on my face go away and I can walk into a room with confidence again. By making wise food choices, I do feel more in control and can focus on the feeling behind the craving. Dealing with the feelings sucks, but when I do that, I do feel so much better in the long run.

I can't control the things that are stressing me out right now ... hence why they are stressing me out! ... but I can control how I think, feel, and what I do in reaction to them. I know that if I can stay strong today, I will be even stronger the next time temptation knocks.

Motivation is in the doing.

So, today, I'm DOING! And putting my faith in the fact that by doing, I'll believe and follow through.

After all, weigh in is tomorrow and I'd like to mark some more feet off my goal sheet!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

REWARD! (and I'm a goober)

Wuhoo! Today I reached my first 10 pound goal which means .... (drum roll please) ... It's reward time!

The first reward is some time with my horse, Scout. I see an extended grooming session followed up by some arena time in my future. And, just because I did battle with some demons this week and come out successful, I'm going to follow that up with a hot bath and a good book instead of the housework I'd originally planned to tackle. Aw, it's going to be a good night.

On another note, I made a complete goober out of myself today.

I went to The Healthy Weigh at lunch and one of the attendees came up to me and introduced herself as reader of my blog.

I'm always a loss when I meet someone that reads these ramblings. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love it because their stories always encourage me too but my first reaction is generally "WOW! They DO exist!" (kinda like the M&M's commercials).

So, she introduces herself, and in the silence that ensues I'm struggling to think of something to say. Oh my goodness ... what do I say? Thanks for reading? Cool, thanks for following along? Why in the world would you read this blog?

Although none of those are good options, what I pop out with is "Oh yeah? And you're finding value in that are you?" Um, really? Did I really just say that? Yep, that's all I got. I immediately feel like an idiot and I know my face turned 20 shades of red. Of course she's finding value in it, silly!!!! She's reading it, isn't she?

The truth is that I love to write this blog. It keeps me honest. When I'm off plan, I either can't write or when I do muster a few words, they're hallow. I guess in some ways, this has turned into my personal journal. Often times, I forget that real, live, breathing, dieting, people are actually reading this. Having people comment and meeting the readers in person are good reminders that I'm not in this alone. Although our paths are different, we're all working toward the same goal ... a healthier, happier future.

Anyway, I guess I relate all this so that I can apologize to her for being a little "off" during our conversation. Once that popped outta my mouth, I was waffling between thinking how cool it was that she was at her goal and then back to "why did I say that?!?!!". I'm sure I came across as a bit distracted!

So, to the beautiful, thin, and inspiring person I met today: I so enjoyed meeting you and you looked GREAT! Many, many congrats on reaching your goal weight. I know it's a struggle to maintain (the journey is never over, right?), but the fact that you reached your goal, means you can stay on the right path once you've made a decision to do so. You have the tools you need to be successful and I'm inspired by you. Thank you for that inspiration. I needed it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Numbers Update

I weighed in Thursday and I'm down 4.1 pounds since the previous Thursday which is 7 pounds total for the week.

Wuhoo! I love week 1 weight loss. It's so cool. It's motivating in and of itself. I feel empowered today.

For this week's homework, I need to come up with some goals and rewards. I have a major reward scheduled every 10 pounds (wuhoo ~ 3 more pounds to go!) but I need to put some thought into a few other rewards along the way. In the past, I substituted spending for food and I don't want to do that on this journey. Instead, I need to think about giving myself healthy, balanced, unique rewards that don't always involve spending money.

I'm at a loss.

My list at this point:
  • A luxurious lavender bath with candles, music, a cup of something nice to drink (you know like diet soda in a wine glass), and my Kindle.
  • Time with my horse which might mean a trail ride, an extra good horse brushing, or an evening hanging out in the barn with my good friend and our pups.
Yeah. That's it. Help!!!!! Ideas anyone? What do you do to reward yourself as you're making a change?

I wasn't so good at this whole process last time so I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'm going to get it right this time. It's one of the many keys to success and since I plan to be successful, I plan to work the goals and rewards like there's no tomorrow!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Future Me

I finally got caught up on The Biggest Loser and boy was I inspired! I think this is the first time in the seasons I've watched where the majority of final contestants are solid, dedicated, and 100% deserving. I love that show.

My humble opinion aside though, did anyone else see the videos they made for their future skinny selves? It got me thinking ... what if I wrote a note to my goal-weight self? What things would I tell myself to help me remember where I came from. When the high of being thin wears off, what thought would I put in my own mind to inspire myself to stay the course? Is that a mouthful or what!

Anyway, interesting concept.

Here's my letter.

Dearest Skinny Wendy:

You are my inspiration, my aspiration, and most importantly my greatest
motivation. You are the person I've always wanted to be, but until now, couldn't find. You're the person that I knew was inside just waiting to become a reality.

I can't tell you how badly I want to be you right now.

The confidence, security, and power you exhibit and have inside of you is awe inspiring.

Although you need to be rejoicing and celebrating your weight loss victory, you also need to remember how painful being the bigger Wendy was. Don't forget that when you were heavier, you didn't want to do things with others, you had little confidence, and you felt powerless in most things. I am miserable in my own skin and that's something you should remember when the skinny route seems hard to muster.

Take a moment to reflect back on how hard it was for me to get on my horse, how I would get winded at a bit of a canter, and feel again how walking across the parking lot would send my heart into tremors. Those are things you never ever never ever ever want back in your life. In case you need help remembering, check out the pics below.


Having said that, don't lose sight of the now while looking to the past. Recognize that wherever you're at, it's where you need to be. Perfection is an illusion but hard work, determination, and goals are priceless.

Trust, self-worth, and accomplishment are what you've been missing and what drives you now.

I so absolutely can't wait to meet you! You, girl friend, truly do rock!

With unconditional love,
~ Me

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beliefs About Myself

So, I debated, hesitated, analyzed, and tormented myself regarding this posting. I'm not generally this personal so putting this kind of information out there for the world to see can be a bit hard to muster. Having said that, I'm sure you all have similar or more difficult stories to share and part of understanding where we're going, is looking back at where we've been (check out Letha's recent blog for more info on this).

Thus, I'm posting this because I'm hoping my process will help you guys with your process.

As part of The Healthy Weigh's plan, we're asked to identify and then ask hard questions about our belief systems. The premise is as follows: Our BELIEFS dictate our THOUGHTS which dictate our FEELINGS which dictate our ACTIONS.

So, in my life, this plays out like this.

I don't believe I'm worthy of good things (lack of self worth) so I think "uh-oh!" when a good thing happens and instantly go to "I don't deserve this". I then feel horrible (sad, upset, depressed, apprehensive, etc.). Based on those feelings, I either sabotage good things (hello, welcome to my weight loss journey), don't seek them out (relationships) or don't fight for the good that I want (I settle).

That's just one example, but it's amazing how many different ways these things play out in my life.

I recognize, when I write it all out, that it's a bit silly. Of course I'm worthy of good things ... right?

Yes, I know that consciously but the messages or tapes that play over and over in my head buy into these false beliefs and then act them out in ways I'm not even aware of. This can be seen most recently in my attempts to continue losing weight.

I say I'm going to lose weight, but if I don't think I'm worthy or can actually accomplish it, will I really lose all my weight? Surely I won't be able to keep it off because those tapes will start to play and I'll start thinking I'm already a failure and thus, I will fail.

The first step to changing my tune is identification. If I can accurately identify my false beliefs, I can turn those tapes off and replace them with more positive messages. But how in the world do I identify something I might not even know is a false belief???

Well, it's a process! And I'm digging into it as I write this.

I'm asking myself the following questions to get my answers.
  • How would you describe yourself as a child? As a teenager?
  • What did you like about yourself? What didn't you like?
  • What were you good at? Not so good at?
  • What were some of the things about you or your circumstances that you've "always" believed about yourself?
  • Were you taught it was more important to take care of others before yourself?
  • What are some of the things you remember being told about your intellect? About your appearance, friends, abilities?
  • How do you handle compliments today?
  • Who do you trust? Why?
  • How did your family handle conflicts?
  • When you were upset as a child or teenager, what did you usually do in order to feel better?
Heavy stuff! Time to dig deep and find some answers though.

More to come on this as I work through it .... In the meantime, it's a new day and I'm starting it off right with a cup of tea in my hand, awesome holiday music filling my office, and a smile on my face.

Good things are gonna happen today!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A stumble

Friday night was rough. I was meeting my family at the Spaghetti Factory for a birthday celebration. I love pasta. I love bread. I love meatballs. I love wine. I love everything about the Spaghetti Factory.

So, knowing that I needed to plan to succeed, I'd looked online at the menu hoping to find a healthy option for dinner. I scanned the menu ... hmm ... baked chicken breast looked promising except that it was marinated in olive oil and served with browned butter and mizathera cheese sauce. What a way to bring a zillion calories to baked chicken breast! A BLT salad might be ok except I'd have to have them leave off the bacon, blue cheese crumbles, croutons, olives, avocados, and dressing. Then it's just a LT salad. That's not really worth the $9 price tag.

Ok, no problem. The food I need is in the kitchen. I'd just order lettuce, tomatoes, and a grilled chicken breast. I got this, I thought.

But I didn't have it.

Before I went in, I got a phone call that I knew I shouldn't have answered but did anyway and in so doing, I let my emotions get the best of me. I started to feel insecure and unhappy with myself.

When I start to feel those things, I eat. I started with a glass of wine thinking it would calm my nerves. It did. It also opened the door to the bread, pesto dressing, meatballs and scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Bummer.

I beat myself up one side and down the other side that night. I mean, I was just newly on this plan again and there I go derailing myself before I even got started!!!! When I got home, I opened the pantry door thinking that I'd already failed, I might as well finish out the night with whatever might tempt me in the cupboards.

But I stopped because I knew I'd only feel worse after another indulgence.

I shut the cupboard and instead opted for a hot bath with some smelly stuff and a few candles. I pulled out my journal and wrote about the feelings I'd had earlier in the night. I went to bed feeling slightly refreshed even though mentally I was still berating myself for the off plan meal choice. I was already dreading my next weigh in.

Saturday morning, I met a friend for coffee. I related the story to her and she said "You have to forgive yourself or the rest of your weekend will be off plan too."

Aw, forgiveness.

That's something I'm not so good at but something that I know can be freeing. So, I said to myself, "Yes, it was a mistake but it was one meal. It's not the end of the world. You are back on plan today. You are making healthy choices. You'll succeed because you're worth it. And I forgive you for the mistake that was made."

I know it sounds silly, but truly a weight was lifted off my mind when I forgave myself. I stayed on plan and focused the rest of the weekend. I even went out to dinner and a movie last night and managed to make wise, healthy choices.

I'm learning. It's happening slowly ... but it's happening. I'm finding that lasting change doesn't happen overnight and I need to be patient with myself as I soak in and learn all I need to learn. Each slip is an opportunity to regroup, refocus, and perfect that forgiveness skill.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Crisis = Danger + Opportunity

Well, it's been awhile and my how life has changed!

It's amazing that just when I think I've got a handle on life, it throws me a curve ball. Such is the nature of the last couple of months. I've had some ups, downs, arounds, and am now in process of climbing back up out of the hole I dug myself into whilst trying to figure out what in the world was going on.

This last year has been filled with life lessons and for that, I'm thankful. Someone very important to me said that the Chinese symbol for crisis is the symbol for danger mixed with the symbol for opportunity. What a great way to look at a crisis! It's dangerous because it means we have to go through something uncomfortable but it's an opportunity because we can come out on the other side of the crisis with a new outlook, new direction, and new attitude. For that, I'm thankful.

'Tis the season for thanksgiving, right?

It's no secret that I've been stopping, starting, stopping, starting etc. my diet plan for months ... ok, really, for the last year. You all have faithfully followed along with my ups and cheered me on accordingly. I've been writing that I'm going to get serious, I've been telling myself I'm going to get serious, and then life throws one of those curve balls my way and I get completely sidetracked. This shows that I've been letting life rule me instead of me ruling my life.

That changes now.

I've made some changes in my personal life and those are allowing me to better focus on myself. I'm getting back in touch with the Wendy I was becoming a year ago.

You know, I've missed her. She was starting to gain a bunch of confidence and was friendly, cute, fun, and had a passion for life. Those are all things that I want to get back to and bring out again.

So, for the reeeeeeeeally hard part.

I've ballooned back up to 243 which ... ugh ... it soooo pains me to write that number down. It's far more tempting to go back to the old way of doing things and ignore the number. That's not helping me though and it's certainly not letting me ignore it by the tight fitting clothes and lack of energy it's bringing back into my life.

A 243 pound life is not the life I want to lead. I deserve better than that.

I'd like to reach 174 which would be 60 pounds total. From Tuesday to Thursday, I'm already down 3 pounds. That leaves 57 more to go! I've lost 100 before ... I can lose 57. This is doable.

I created a little picture that I'm using to track my progress. As I lose a pound, I'm crossing off a step in my journey. Each 10 pound goal will be a BIG celebration (facial, etc.) so that I'm consistently reminded I need to reward myself as I go along.
So, I know you all might be tired of my back and forth behavior .... but you know, that's just how my journey is playing itself out.

I'm learning as I go along and each backslide is an opportunity for me to learn about myself and grow accordingly. My weight is a symptom of a larger issue that I need to get a handle on and I'm learning that old habits die hard. I can slip into the negative self talk faster than I can even recognize. In order to make this weight loss a LASTING change, I really do need to do all the work to make it so. Just because it comes off, doesn't mean it will stay off. Keeping it off is a whole new life lesson.

And it's one I'll be ready to tackle this time because I'm going to dig deep, work hard, and make some lasting changes in my life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

This is What Pizza Feels Like

This week I had a completely horrible 100% off plan kinda day. I had had a really stressful couple days ... not just stressful but life changing stressful kinda days. And I was tired, overwhelmed, anxious, dissatisfied, and lonely. Those feelings were not going away and I was maxed out emotionally. Honestly, I was feeling so many things, I had no idea what I was even feeling and knew that in order to figure it all out, I'd need time and energy I just didn't have to give.

So, when I woke up on Tuesday morning and before I even stepped foot outside my front door, I had made up my mind to be off plan all day and even skip my weigh in for the team challenge that night. I just didn't want to deal with anything and therefore needed a "day off" from everything including my diet. Stressed = food .... Right? (Stop shaking your heads no ... I know ... I know ...)

On my way into work, I stopped off at Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte and a pumpkin scone. When I walked into the office, I swung by the candy dish and downed three 3 musketeers mini bars (darn previous post and Halloween candy!). Later in the day, when I stopped at the grocery store for cottage cheese, I instead purchased an almond joy, peanut butter cups, and a bottle of wine all while ignoring the cottage cheese aisle completely. When I got home I ordered a cheese pizza and consumed quite a few pieces because for some reason, all my eating during the day hadn't solved my problems. I hate it when that happens.

Yes, I was in a funk. The stress I'd been under had driven me back to the 300 pound Wendy and I completely caved to that calling. I was the Wendy that would consume instead of processing the feelings and thoughts swirling around in my head. I was binging in the worst way and for some reason, I couldn't get a handle on it.

I felt like an overflowing laundry basket and although it would have been easier and quicker to just do the laundry, instead I was rebelling, stuffing it down into the basket, and continuing to throw more dirty clothes on the pile. I haven't had such a bad food day like I did on Tuesday since before I ever even started this weight loss journey like over three years ago.

That night I went to bed in tears. Not only did I have all the afore mentioned feelings, I also was now showered with guilt for letting my team challenge partner down and more importantly for letting myself down. I didn't just slip and fall a little ways down the hill, I took a running jump off a very steep cliff without a parachute.

Wednesday needed to be a new day.

I woke knowing I needed a plan. I needed to find a way to cope. So I carved out a couple hours early yesterday morning to journal (I had a loooooot to say!) and then planned horse time that evening to rejuvenate my soul. I called a friend or two and slowly started putting myself back together.

I don't know what the scale did after my little adventure off the cliff. I'm scared to know that truth until I'm in a more emotionally stable place.

I am thankful though that my nosedive lasted only a day before I was lifted by the breeze and put back on the path. If I truly would have given into the old Wendy, the nosedive would have continued until my full 300 pound self was realized. That didn't happen so that shows progress right there.

The 300 pound Wendy didn't understand that although pizza tastes good in the moment, it feels horrible. It's almost suffocating. Pizza comes with quilt, shame, and disappointment that take up residence in my brain whilst the pounds take up residence on my hips.

I don't need that added pressure right now. I can and will face this emotional battle with the proper tools so that I come out the victor.

Today I'm again trudging forward and in the process putting this little fiasco further in the past. I can't dwell on it. I will however learn from it and remember that the taste of something certainly doesn't outweigh the feelings it produces. Those feelings only serve to further destroy an already fragile soul.

And who needs that?!?!?!?!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tricky Treats

It's only ONE small itty bitty piece of candy.
It's only 100(ish) calories. I can work that off in the gym later.
I've been so good ... I deserve this indulgence.

These are things that are running through my head today as I pass by the candy dish in my friend's office. Those darn Halloween candies are trying to take up residence on my hips!

I'm combating them though by letting the things Letha said on Tuesday run through my head.

First of all, it's not just a small piece of candy. It's 100 calories which would equate to 20 mins on the stairmaster (hate that machine!). 100 calories is more than two pieces of fruit and it's 1/4 of the size of those fruits. There are also 5 (FIVE!) grams of fat in a little snickers bar. Wowza! For a gal that's consuming only 17 grams a fat a day on a well rounded diet, 5 grams seems a little excessive.

But more than the hard facts, there's also an emotional and mental side effect of going off plan. If I gave into the momentary craving, I'd be letting myself down. Perhaps I would be able to work off the calories and fat with a hard workout at the gym but I couldn't work off the fact that I'd knowingly gone off plan. I'd know I'd given up on myself and my commitment to become a healthier, smaller, happier person.

In fact, let's play this out just to see where the day would take me if I indulge this morning ....
  • 10:00: I have my first mini snickers at 10. It's a whole 5 seconds of chocolately pleasure.
  • 10:06: I'm feeling guilty. Why did I give in? The pleasure was short lived. Once the chocolate passed my lips, I felt worse. Hmmm... how to solve this guilt?
  • 11:00: on my way to fill up my water bottle, I have another snickers .. cause ... well ... I've already gone off plan so why not do it again and since the first piece didn't make me feel any better, perhaps the second piece will. Hmmm ... best try it out.
  • 11:05: I'm feeling guilter. Ugh! Time to hit the gym. HARD!
  • 11:15: I'm lacking energy. I don't feel mentally fit so physically I'm struggling in my workout. I've already quit my diet for the day ... should I quit my workout too? I can't seem to stick with anything so why stick with this horrible workout?
  • 1:30: After cutting out of the gym a bit early, I pass by the candy dish again. Perhaps another candy. After all, I did work out at least a little bit even though I didn't want to. I deserve a treat!
  • 1:35: UGH! Full blown guilt and ickines. Hating myself, hating life, hating food. Why did I give in in the first place?
  • 6:00: Dinner time. What to eat? I'm dying for some mac and cheese. Or, perhaps that bread because it looks soooooo good. I've already had my starch for the day but ... do I really need to eat chicken and salad AGAIN? No, I've already been off plan today so I'm going to eat what I want to eat and just be done with it. Why be good now? I've already blown it for the day. And, tomorrow is a new day.
  • 7:00: What a horrible day. I wasn't on plan at all. I'm guilty, upset with myself, and feeling pretty crappy about my choices and follow through.
  • The next day: The cycle repeats because even though it's a new day, I already know I've been off plan for the week for at least one day so why stop there? I already know my weigh in will be crappy so why not just do what I want to do and live with the consequences when they arrive on Tuesday?
  • Fast forward to Tuesday weigh in after another few days of poor choices and poor eating (it all cascades you know). I step on the scale knowing I've let myself down as well as my teammate and will therefore have bad results on my weigh in. In front of the other teams, my choices are revealed in the numbers reflected on the scale. My feelings of insecurity, depression, guilt, and weakness continue. The cycle continues.
I know this might be a bit extreme, but the reality is that one I make a choice to go off plan, it's easier to continue to make that same choice. Regardless of how negative it makes me feel, it's somehow easier because those negative feelings are familiar.

Now that's messed up.

I don't want that to happen. I want to be successful. Saying no to a piece of chocolate and momentary indulgence will keep me successful. It will have the opposite impact. I'll do my workout today being mentally strong which will help me be physically strong as well. I'll push harder, workout better and have better results on Tuesday because of that. In addition, my weigh in on Tuesday will be great. I'll have stuck to plan and will know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'll be down at least 2 lbs. After the loss last week, I'll probably be down way more than that. Now thinking about that, makes me happy. Being closer to my weight goals and fitting in my clothes again, that's worth more than mini chocolate candies.

With that, I think I've successfully convinced myself to stick with my plan. Being firm in my convictions will make this an empowering and amazing day. It will get me closer to my weight loss goal and I'm so ready for that!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Down a little

Well, the weigh in wasn't as great as I'd hoped and today it would be so easy for me to wallow in the mire of negative self-talk as a result.

I was down .8 and TS was down 2.2. We were both pretty much on plan (TS had a few minor slip-ups) so I had expected a much better drop than .8. I was hoping for at least 2.

But ... ok ... weight off is weight off. Being down .8 is better than up and if my body was going to rebel against the weight loss thing this week, I'm thankful it didn't hold onto weight and travel in the up direction.

Speaking of which, is anyone watching The Biggest Loser? I know they all have to lose a certain amount of weight to stay in the house but one of the things that really bothers me about that show is how negative they are about the weight they've lost. Seriously people! You're losing a high percentage of your body weight and you're complaining that you're not losing enough?!?!?! Wowza. What does that negativtity teaching America about the weight we're losing? Does that mean we shouldn't celebrate 2 pounds? How about .8 pounds?

I say they have it all wrong. A pound gone today is one more pound than was gone yesterday. That's worth something. They should be jumping up and down with joy at the weight they're losing especially since I know how much of a struggle it is it even lose .8 pounds. Losing is losing and no matter the amount, it's a cause for celebration and reward.

It'd be so easy for me to get stuck in the "it's only .8 and I worked so much harder than that" cycle but I'm not even going there for a minute. Instead I'm focused on the positives.
  • I'm thankful I was down.
  • I'm thankful I'm continuing to work toward life changes.
  • I'm thankful that I have the tools at my fingertips to see this through.
  • I'm thankful that I have the strength to keep going.
  • I'm thankful I have the ability to control my thoughts.
  • I'm thankful that overall, I'm in control of my weight loss and CAN accomplish this journey even if it is .8 pounds at a time!
Next week I fully expect a big drop. I'll continue my workouts this week, eat on plan, and know that my body will support my decision to stay on plan by dropping weight next week. That's generally how it happens.

In the meantime, I'm taking my .8 and celebrating with a manicure on Saturday. I'm 1 pound away from new numbers and I want to reward myself for sticking to plan for four weeks and thus being so close to another goal.

I hope everyone else is taking a minute to celebrate their successes this week. There is no success so small that it shouldn't be rewarded and celebrated!

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's a Date!

Tonight TS and I are hitting the town with two other couples. In the past, this would mean huge amounts of calories being consumed by both him and me ... appetizers at dinner, pasta or slab-o-steak dinners, lots of beers, lots and lots more beers followed by a feeling of food regret and ick on the journey home.

Tonight, that's not going to happen.

At first I didn't want to go on this little adventure but on second thought, just because I'm losing weight doesn't mean I need to lock myself at home and hide away from the world. Why not go out and experience life and enjoy time with my good friends? I can go to dinner and order healthy, right? I can go dancing and not drink, right? So what's stopping me from making this a memorable and fun night without the post-food-indulgence regret?

Nothing.

TS and I strategized in advance and we're ready. We are holding each other accountable to the new healthy lifestyle we've chosen and will enjoy the evening by downing diet soda and water like it's going outta style. We'll dance with everyone else (well, TS doesn't dance but I'll be out there boot-scootin!) and we'll enjoy our friends without giving another thought to food. The decision to be healthy has been made and having done that, I know we'll be successful tonight.

And, on the plus side, dancing burns calories so my gym workout coupled with my dancing tonight will surely mean good things for the scale on Tuesday!

Here's to a great weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Crossing the Threshold

As mentioned yesterday, I think I've finally crossed the hunger threshold. This is the place where I'm no longer endlessly hungry and yet also not fully full. It's the place of tummy-peace.

When I first start back on plan, my tummy is rumbling at every turn. I would fill it with water and ate on plan but since it was stretched out and used to being overly stuffed, it thought it needed to be full every single minute in order to be satisfied. It was truly a bottomless pit ... hence why my weight was going back up instead of down.

Over the last couple of days though, that's changed. My energy has increased while my hunger has decreased. Yesterday I had to remind myself when to eat and once reminded, my stomach followed up with twinges of "oh yeah! I am hungry".

I like this place of tummy peacefulness. It's my happy place because I know I've finally settled into a new routine and am making new, better, healthier habits.

Pushing through, holding firm, and seeing results is worth the craziness of the first week or so on plan. Once I push through and am successful, I cross the hunger threshold and then know without a shadow of a doubt that I can kick this weight loss thing outta the park.

I'm saying that it's ever easy to eat healthy ... but I am saying that it gets easier. Routine and habits are a strong driving force and once I swift from the bad routine and habit to the good ones, that's when I know I'm on the downhill slope of the craving battle.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We're doing it!!!!!

Yep, TS and I ARE doing it. TS was down 6-something and I was down 2.8 since last Tuesday.

I was worried that this week wouldn't have shown a big drop after the drop the week prior ... but ... 2.8 is great and I'm thrilled!

I've finally hit a groove with my eating. I don't have cravings as often and I'm feeling fuller with less food. The gym is starting to be a routine too. I finally feel like I'm on track and can kick this weight off once and for all. That's a great place to me. It's a peaceful place. It's a place of confidence and power.

My reward today for a 2.8 drop is some quality time with my horse tonight. A I'm riding, I'll be feeling great about again fitting better in my saddle, getting on the horse a bit easier, and just generally feeling better about my body. I'm going to make a point to think about each thing I want to do better still and even those things I can now do better again. I want to have that front of mind and I'll be sure to thank myself for putting in the hard work to say yes to the good and no to the bad.

With this kinda loss, I wonder what next week will bring!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ignore and Conquer

When I was losing weight successfully before, I practiced the art of "Ignore and Conquer" quite often. I'd gotten to the point where I could go to Mexican for dinner and ignore the chips therefore conquering the temptation they offered up to me. That's why I was dropping weight like crazy!

This go round, that whole "ignore" feature is once again a necessity. I've needed a repairman to fix it up and get me back on track but finally feel as if I'm back in control of this handy device.

As you know, temptation is everywhere. We bump into our addiction at every turn. It's on street corners, in our work places, and (obviously) in our homes. We can learn to control the addiction, but it's dang hard. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaang hard!

I'm still learning to control it so until I do, I'm call out the ignore and conquer skill.

Ignoring is an art. It's walking into the break room knowing there are donuts on the table to the left and making a conscious choice to only look right, stay the course, and get the hell outta dodge before the temptation to even look over there gets too strong. It's going to Starbucks, pretending there's not a goodie case and ordering my tall coffee-of-the-day without allowing myself to even glance over to the tempting brownies and scones. It's going to the grocery store and only putting the foods on my list in my cart and eventually in my home.

Ignoring is knowing that I've made a decision to change my behavior and thus not allowing even a sideways glance, sniff, or thought to disrupt my course.

This week I'm focused on perfecting my ignoring skills once again so that I can be successful. This is a hard week. I was good on week one, saw results and now need to remember the battle is not over and I have to charge forward.

Ignore and conquer!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weigh In Wonders

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Everyone at the Team Challenge did sooooo well for their first week! I was so truly inspired by the pounds that were lost in the 5:00 group and I can only imagine it went up and up and up from there in the other groups. I mean really, women that already look pretty good were dropping 10+ pounds ... awesome! And the guys ... well ... really ... come on now. You guys make it look so easy!

As for team Gut-LESS, TS and I held strong and that paid off with a 7.6 loss for me and a 8.2 loss for him which is a 3.2% loss for our team. We are team #10 out of 50 ... Woot! Woot! I'll sooooo take that!

Certainly it's not about beating other teams because, as Letha mentioned last night, by losing we're all winning. I'd be just as happy with our weight loss had we been team #50 out of 50 because I know we worked hard for it and in so doing, our bodies rewarded us with the loss we had. Having said that, there's something pretty nice about being where we're at in the standings. I feel like we have a shot to take home the big prize. Being focused is more important now than it ever was before.

Now the hard work really begins. Week 1 is always a loss ... week 2 ... that's where the body and mind want to rebel. The mind starts playing tricks on me. Mine is already starting in on things like "you can't keep that kind of loss up" and "might as well give in now because others will always do better than you" and "just one little bite of something bad won't hurt" etc etc etc etc etc etc etc ....

STOP!!!!!

Today I'm working hard to control my thoughts and I hereby refuse to let my wrong thought-life rule my weight loss and choices!!!!

I'm focused, strong, and I WILL succeed!

Congrats to all the teams in the challenge. I'm so inspired by you and am thrilled to be part of this competition with you all.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weekly Challenge ~ Challenge

This weeks challenge in our challenge (say that 10 times fast) was to create a list of what we really wanted as a result of our weight loss.

This has been something I've been notoriously bad at documenting. I think it has something to do with not wanting to disappoint myself. If I don't document what I want, then I won't need to worry about not getting it. If I don't have a goal to reach, I won't be a failure when/if I don't get there.

Wow, until now, I've not realized I've done that. What a crappy outlook at the start of such a long and difficult journey! It's like walking on the edge of a cliff thinking I'm going to fall instead of staying focused on the end of the cliff and safety. As a horse rider, I know that if I look where I want to go, that's where I'll end up. The same should be true with weight loss. If I don't look where I want to go, I give up control. The truth though, is that I have control of this outcome and therefore, I need to think of what my life will be like when I reach my goal.

So, here goes.

I want ....
  • to feel confident when I walk into a room
  • to ride my horse with ease and not worry about my rolls, lumps, bumps, and shakes
  • to fit into "skinny" clothes and feel sexy
  • to be free from food and overeating
  • to see myself as beautiful
  • to find value in who I am
  • to accept compliments with grace and believe them
  • to understand and accept what I can control and what I can't
  • to finally put an end to overeating and the shame of being fat
As I've said before, when I lost weight before, I thought it was about getting to goal weight, fitting in cute clothes, and having the perfect body. It's so much more than that though. This go round I'm focused on the personal side and working hard to fix myself internally so that outwardly I'm reflecting who I really am.

The fat me ... isn't really me. It's who I was. But certainly not who I want to be in the future. I'm a good person that has tons of energy, spirit, vibrance, and joy. I want to exude that instead of hiding behind of a shell of skin and fear.

My body needs to catch up to my spirit and I see this process getting me there. I'll match. Inside and outside.

Goal weight and maintenance are a great place to live. I need to continue to refine my vision of how life will be when I get there, but on the upside, I'm working on it instead of ignoring it.

Gummin' up the situation

Gum. I love it. It's a lifesaver. When I'm craving sugar or dessert, I pop in a piece of gum, down a bottle of water, and tell myself I'm full. Most of the time it works.

Up until yesterday, my gum of choice had been sugarfree bubbleyum. The flavor of that gum takes me back to my childhood and is not only a way to keep me from straying off plan, it is that little treat I need to push past the hurdle.

Yesterday I discovered Extra Dessert Delights and in so doing I think I might have found a little slice of heaven wrapped in tinfoil. The gum comes in three flavors; Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream (my personal fav), Strawberry Shortcake (a close second), and Key Lime Pie.

I mean, really.

The. Best. Gum. Ever.

The chocolate chip is sweet, minty, chocolatey and the flavor lasts for quite awhile. The best part ... it's guilt free. At just 5 calories per stick as opposed to hundreds of calories for the real thing, I think I'll stick with the gum!

I don't know what it is about gum that helps with the cravings, but perhaps ours is not to question and instead just go with whatever works.

Tonight is the weigh in. I'm hoping the gum trick will help me lose even more weight. More news on that soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Preparing for Success

I'm so thankful that TS and I are doing this challenge together. It was hard to ask him to do it because it meant I had to ask for help. I seriously needed him to be on board with this to kick me into high gear and having him invested in it with me, has made it all that more fun.

Yes, I said it, it's been fun.

We've been planning, shopping, organizing, and supporting each others and (hopefully) tomorrow, we'll be celebrating together too.

TS is even writing down his food and saying "no" to beer and birthday cake ... I'm tellin' ya, this guy is great and I'm so thankful he's my partner. His firm convictions and dedication to this challenge have me even more inspired and committed. If he's doing it, I MUST do it! I was the one that roped us into this in the first place for goodness sakes!

Tomorrow is our weigh in. I know he'll drop weight (he's a boy ... boys drop weight just by thinking about it!) and I've been 100% on plan and will drop too. I don't know if it will be enough to put us in the top place for the week, but quite honestly, I don't mind.

I'm proud of us for getting through the hardest week. We stayed focused regardless of a busy weekend, birthday celebration, and about a million other things that in the past would have sent us flying to the cupboards. We committed to each other and are seeing this through together.

I'm one lucky gal to have found him as a partner not only in the challenge but in my life as well. What a man!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Inspiration at the Gym

I would think, of all the places in the world, a gym would be the most welcoming place in the world to a fat girl. Seriously, the staff should see a chubby person enter the doors and they should flock to that persons side with help, assistance, and encouragement. A round of applause should go up from the others working out when they see a sheepish chubby person step onto the stairmaster. Cheerleaders should pounce out of the locker room and start rah rah rah-ing their little hearts out with each step that person takes towards a new future.

Ok, perhaps that might scare the beegeezers outta someone, but the point is that if the world were rational, we would all be celebrating and encouraging that person's desire to change their lives.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

My gym is filled with fit people ... like uber fit people. In the last three days, I've seen muscles pop out from places I didn't know they could pop. It's been quite alarming. I've only had experience with small gyms in the past so now that I'm going to a big conglomerate, I'm seeing a whole new side of workout life. Did you know some women actually wear make-up and do their hair to go workout? And, seriously, don't most women know they need to put t-shirts on over their sports bras? Really? Come on now. And men ... wearing muscle shirts and eying themselves in the mirrors as well as checking out the girls butts (and sports bras) as they walk by.

Am I at a bar or a gym?

I show up serious and ready for business. I don't look cute. My hair is tossed up in a pony, I'm not focused on what I'm wearing ... old ratty t-shirt? PERFECT for getting sweaty! Speaking of sweat, I pour sweat. I can sometimes literally wring out my shirt when I'm done with the workout. I leave it all at the gym. That's the reason for being there, right?

When I was working out yesterday, I couldn't help but notice that the fat people were few and far between. Those that were there were doing their thing but they were holding back a bit too. They choose the machines in the corners, in the back, away from the muscle shirts and sports bras. They were focused and determined but I swear the fear of being noticed was oozing off them.

I could sympathize. I was reminded of how I felt when I was 300 pounds. I was fearful. I didn't want people to think "what's the fat girl doing here?" and judge me accordingly. What if I looked like a dork while walking on the treadmill? What if I couldn't do the stairmaster for more than 5 minutes (more like 2 minutes back then)? And what if, god forbid, someone actually noticed how overweight I was?

Those feelings, although often self inflected, are what kept me from going to the gym.

Being in touch with those feelings yesterday, pushed me forward. They propelled me to go faster on the treadmill, stay on the stairmaster for an extra few minutes, and even try out the elliptical (TORTURE!) before I left the gym.

There was one women there that really caught my attention. She was probably as heavy as I was when I first started my weight loss journey. She had been on the stairs when I first noticed her and her pace was slow but steady. She was struggling but trudged forward and pulled out 15 minutes on those things. I was impressed. I had a hard time doing 15 minutes now let alone when I was 300 pounds! She then came over to the treadmill and proceeded to push herself for another 20 minutes at a slow and steady pace.

Wow, I thought. She's doing this. She's committed. She's dedicated. She's inspiring.

As I was leaving, I intentionally walked by her treadmill. Her face expressed a mixture of determination, fear, and pain. As I walked by, I gave her a HUGE encouraging smile and said "you're doing great". Her face went from scared, to shocked, to happy. "Thanks," she panted as she picked up her pace and smiled back at me.

I'm not saying my smile will change her world, but I hope I left her a bit of encouragement for all the encouragement she'd unknowingly given me. I hope I see her at the gym again. That woman was so inspiring. Watching her struggle and push forward was far more inspiring than the teeny tiny beeboping girls and beautifully built men that traipsed by me. This woman was a reflection of who I used to be and seeing her struggle and succeed was amazing. If she can do it, so can I.

And I did at one time. And I will again.

Here's to working toward the goal, encouraging those on the journey with us, and celebrating together each victory we have along the way.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Let's Go Back

Day 2 and I'm doing well, feeling strong, confident, and still on track. I feel like I'm back on top of things again although my hungry, rumbly belly seems to disagree with that statement. The belly lies though so I'm choosing to ignore it and instead stay strong and focused on my chosen path.

I actually ventured back to the gym today. It's been far too long since I cracked open the gym door. I'm attempting to seal that up as a routine again though. I used to love it. I felt empowered after a good workout. After today's workout though, it's hard not to feel a bit disheartened.

The workout was to consist of 30 mins on the stairs at a level 5 followed by 3 rounds of a rigorous weight lifting which was to include 1 min planks, 60 shoulder curls, 60 lunges, 60 shoulder presses, 60 biceps curls.

Cool, I'm thinking, let's do this! My good friend and workout partner has me pumped! I'm on it! I can fly through this, I think to myself.

So off I go. I start the stairs and quickly realize that my poor, out of shape body will not last 30 mins at a level 5. It will be lucky to last 30 mins at a level 1. I'm 10 mins into my routine and my thighs are on fire. My arms are sweating. Even the tops of my hands are sweating. I'm already checking the time every 10 seconds to see if I might be done yet.

As I'm dripping sweat and red faced, who do I see walk past but my ex boyfriend. Aw, classic. He, of course, looks great. I can tell he's a regular at the gym. Great. I see him, lose my balance on the machine, and drop myself as well as my ipod on the ground with a loud crash. Again, classic.

Not only am I'm heavier than I was last time I saw him, I'm far more out of shape. My spirits drop and it takes everything in me to get back up and keep pumping my legs on those stairs. My brain was yelling at me to quit and hide out in the bathroom until it was safe but my heart was telling me to push through, do this for me, and not worry about some silly ex boyfriend. The old Wendy would have hidden in the rest room. The new Wendy needed to take back the control and continue onward for herself.

I did push through and believe me, it was a struggle. I pushed through the stairs, the weights and managed to pull out the planks. I had to cut down on how much weight I was doing, adjust the levels, and modify a few exercises so that I didn't kill myself, but I did it. I literally didn't stop sweating until 30 mins after the workout was over.

And, looking back on it now, I feel great! I have that same empowerment feeling that used to come over me back in the day. The feeling of accomplishment, security in my body, and hope for change.

Although I'm tempted to get down on myself for how much I've lost in endurance and muscle (and how much fat I've gained in it's place), I know that if I stay focused, my body will get all the good stuff back quickly while dropping all the bad stuff even quicker.

Today I proved that this is doable. Not only can I eat well again and make wise food choices, but I can go to the gym and push myself to succeed.

This is only day two .... Oh, this challenge is gonna get good!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 1: Prepping

Well, it's day 1 of the challenge. Tonight we will weigh in and start our diet plans. Although I've done this for awhile, it feels new to me. I'm excited to start this. Doing it with TS, I know we'll be successful. He drops weight just by thinking about it (darn men!) and since we're both focused on losing, we'll help each other make wise choices.

Last night we stopped off at Costco and loaded up on veggies, fruits, shrimp, scallops, baggies, and freezer bags. We even splurged and got new plastic food containers ... the nice kind that snap close. As an aside, there's nothing quite as satisfying as hearing the container SNAP shut after you've loaded it up with fresh, delicious foods. For some reason, that sound made me feel comforted. Anyway, when we got home, we cut up all the veggies, marinated meat, cut up fruit (yummy watermelon!) and organized the fridge.

What a relief to have everything organized and ready for the week! Today, when prepping my lunch, I just opened the door and pulled out cut up peppers, a container of watermelon, etc and was ready to go. Preparation makes a huge difference!

I'm a bit nervous to weigh in tonight. I haven't been on plan for a week and I've made really poor food choices, not drinking my water and pretty much doing all the stuff that I used to do at 300 pounds.

I've also felt like I felt at 300 pounds ... not wanting to do anything, feeling horrible about myself and my body and being really really tired. I know my diet change will take that all away. As I lose weight, I'll feel better about myself. As I eat better, I'll have more energy. As I lose weight, I'll also want to be more active.

So, today marks a new beginning. A fresh start. And a new journey.

TS and I will be kicking some butt tonight and we're looking forward to all the rewards that will come from participating in a team challenge. We look forward to the group support, competition, and celebration as we all reach goals and change our lives.

See you all tonight!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weight Loss Challenge

I'm diving in, making a commitment, and aiming to change my life.

I participated in The Healthy Weigh's Team Challenge before and although I didn't win first place, it was a boost I needed to stay on target during some really rough times in my life. I'm ready for that push again. The weekly weigh in's in front of a crowd will force me to be accountable. No one, especially a fragile dieter, wants to hear "up just a little". Add hearing that in front of 20 - 30 people and you've got one committed dieter! I know that shove will help hold me firmly in line for the next 10 weeks.

TS is doing the challenge with me. That makes the weight loss journey so much more enjoyable! Knowing we are accountable to one another and then holding each other to that promise throughout the day will make meal time and weekends so much easier. Although TS is great, it is hard to be with someone that's indulging when I know I can't. After 10 weeks, my "no" will be fixed and I'll be able to hold firm while I continue on the journey. In the beginning though, I need all the help I can get! Plus, TS is a boy and boys lose faster than gals so I'm thinking we might have a real chance here if we stick to plan and work hard together!

I'm still debating on team names but might have maybe settled on "Gut-Less Couple". Any suggestions? I want something positive and fun. For some inspiration, check out the other team names from a challenge or two ago.

I'm excited for this Challenge and am so ready to kick some team booty!

Let's rock!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How much and how long?

Did anyone catch the Oprah show a couple weeks ago on the biggest and most impressive weight loss stories she's seen? I think it was a rerun from an earlier time. I'm not generally an Oprah watcher but when something pops up about weight loss, I tivo it so that I can be inspired.

The stories were incredible. Women losing 250 pounds in a year. Men becoming half their size in a short period of time. These people all looked incredible. I was impressed. Oprah and her doc (can't remember his name) were both in awe of the hard work and results each person had accomplished and rightly so. They were inspiring.

Some of the women started out at the same weight I did. I listened to their stories and could so relate it to my own. One lady talked about how she couldn't walk without getting out of breath and that brought back memories of not wanting to park too far from the store because I didn't want to be out of breath and sweating when I got inside. I'd forgotten some of that.

Anyway, what really got me thinking though, was that each time they'd relate their stories, Oprah wanted to know how long it took them to lose the weight. Some were a year, some two years but it was all generally a short period of time in relation to the amount of weight they had lost.

I was actually a bit surprised at the emphasis that was placed on the length of time. We all do that though, don't we? I know I did.

When I started, I wanted to know how long I was going to have to eat like a rabbit. Give me a date, a timeline, an END! And when I didn't reach my goal weight in the timeframe I'd established for myself, I was severely disappointed and somehow felt as if I were a failure.

In reality though, is there ever an end? Aren't we making life changes here? Do we ever really stop losing weight and working toward our goals? I don't think we do and that can be a bit hard to digest.

When I reach my 157 pound goal, I'll need to maintain it. That will mean consistent adjustments, changes, and work to keep my eating in order. It's a fact of life.

So is it really that important that I get to my goal immediately? Or is it more important that I take the time needed to learn how to manage this for the rest of my life?

I'd rather have a few mess ups now, take an extra year to lose the weight, and then really learn how to manage my eating. Dumping my weight quickly, being released into the world, and putting it back on is not an option in my book.

Time is irrelevant and often an unnecessary roadblock to our weight loss. The time will pass whether we're working on our goals, at our goals, or ignoring our goals.

So what would happen if we ignored the time factor and instead focused on the process? If each day we focused on the now and dealt with the issues that brings up instead of beating ourselves up for not being where we should be?

That, to me, sounds like a much healthier and easier to manage approach.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Great Expectations

I have a big drop.
I get excited.
I expect a big drop again.
I'm disappointed when I'm only down a pound or half pound.
I want to give up.
I cheat.
I go off plan.
I go up in weight.
I get mad at myself.
I quit.

Sadly, that's been my pattern in the past.

The big drops in the beginning are highly motivating. They propel me forward, keep me focused, and keep me striving for the continued big drops. Unfortunately, weight doesn't always come off in big numbers like I'd like it to so when I'm only down a half pound or pound, I start to lose that focus and determination.

Instinctively, I know that losing at a slow steady pace is much healthier for my body and although I know that, I still expect that the weight will just magically melt away. This is especially true when I've worked hard mentally to stick to plan. The harder my brain works, the more weight I should lose, right?

So, having said all of that, today I'm struggling. I was super jazzed yesterday to lose a pound from Tuesday to Thursday but today my little brain is saying things like "Wow, I'm gonna be losing weight forever at this pace!" and "Ugh! I turned down PIZZA! Isn't that worth more than 1 pound?" and "1 pound ... hmm ... how much water did I drink yesterday? What clothes was I wearing for the weigh in? Did I REALLY lose a pound?", etc. etc. etc.

Yeah, expectations can lead us down dangerous paths.

I need to change my thinking here. Quickly! What a switch from yesterday, huh? The brain does some not so wonderful things to us when we get stuck in our old patterns.

So, instead of focusing on the phoney expectations, I'm speaking a few truths to myself.

First of all, time will pass regardless of whether or not I'm working on this goal or another one. So, why not make the most it and continue working on the one that's most important?

Weight is weight. 1 pound. 2 pounds. .5 pounds. It's all off and gone never to be back again and for that, I'm thankful.

I will not continue to lose huge amounts of weight each week. My body will slow down and this will get harder. I will need to account for each and every calorie in order to reach my goal. That's a normal thing. Being normal (in this case) is good and I need to accept, prepare, and trudge forward.

This morning I put on a sweatshirt that last week had been a bit tight across the chest. In fact, it's the pink sweatshirt I'm wearing in the side picture on the right. I tried it on before I started losing again and the zipper barely went up over my chest. Needless to say, I didn't wear it. But, this morning I cautiously tried again. I wasn't quite sure if I could handle it if it didn't fit or not but I also knew I needed the morning boost if it did. I slipped my arms in and zipped it up without any struggle. Wuhoo!

I need to think about that and how motivating that is instead of focusing on the negative self talk.

Clothes are gonna fit. I'm gonna lose this weight. And life is gonna be great!

Now, time to prep for the weekend. I see a food shopping trip in my near future. Time to stock up for success!

Pizza (won't) Power

I know I talk about candy, and sugar, and extra melba snacks, but if you want to know what really gets me going ... it's pizza.

Back in the day (waaaaay back in the day) when I'd had a bad day, I'd call up Godfathers, order an extra large extra cheese extra black olive pizza and then inhale the entire pizza without taking a breath. Literally. In the 20 minutes it took me to get home, I'd have devoured the entire pizza.

Yes folks, that behavior is the exact reason why I was 307 pounds! I shudder now to think of the calories I pumped into my body. Incredible.

Anyway, I digress.

Last night, I was confronted with pizza head on. It came to my door and sat in my kitchen on the counter (ugh, the nerve!). The smell wafted it's tempting finger of goey goodness through to the living room and beckoned under my nose for me to partake.

I swear that pizza was talking to me. It told me it didn't have any calories, would solve all my problems as well as world peace, and generally settle a sense of euphoria upon my heart. Ahhhh, food euphoria. Yes, I remember that feeling. It was short lived but what a high. It was a high that came while I was consuming then quickly turned on me when the food was gone ... but ... with the smell and talk beckoning me, it was sure hard to remember all the bad things I felt after the food slipped through my lips. It was way easier to stop at remembering the taste of the goodies rather than the feelings.

Rewind to earlier in the evening before the pizza took up residence in my kitchen.

TS wanted pizza for dinner. He'd hinted at it a bit, asked if I would have a piece or two to which I said a firm "no, thank you though" but I told him he should order it for himself if he wanted it. He wasn't on a diet. Why should he change his eating behavior for me? Although I appreciated his willingness to do so, I also knew it was unfair to ask him not to. I needed to take responsibility for my own choices and I thought I was strong enough to resist the pizza if he did order it.

So he called Domino's and placed the order.

In the meantime, I started preparing myself mentally and physically. I made a HUGE chicken salad with fresh veggies (garden tomatoes, string beans, onions, spinach, etc.) and decided I'd eat before the pizza arrived so that my rumbling tummy wouldn't add to the beckoning of the pizza.

I repeated to myself over and over "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" and went to my closet numerous times to see my inspiration clothes (skinny jeans and a cute little jacket I used to flaunt around in). I even pulled the jacket out and slipped it on the dining room chair so I'd see it when I walked through to the kitchen where the pizza would sit.

I was ready!

Pizza arrived. As mentioned, temptation ensued in rapid succession. I resisted.

I won.

I'm so proud of myself! All of my mental work paid off. I heard the pizza talking to me and yes, it was a struggle not to have a slice or three, sneak a bite, or pinch off a topping or two. But I didn't give in. I kept repeating to myself that I was worth more than that pizza. I was worth the self-control it took to resist. I was worth fitting into that cute jacket again. I was worth seeing this through. And, the fact that there was a Thursday weigh in looming in my future really helped me continue down the right path. I said over and over "I won't give in. I won't give in. I won't give in."

It was one of the hardest evenings I've had while on plan and the pizza temptation took me back to the beginning of my journey. I remembered what it was like to eat what I wanted and I also remembered how I felt when I ate what I wanted. Not so good.

The feeling of success I have today is way more satisfying than the pizza would have been. I also feel powerful and confident instead of weak and self conscious. My weight loss goal is in the gross hairs and I'm on the hunt.

I call what happened yesterday Pizza (won't)Power. I had the willpower to say "I won't eat pizza" and I didn't. I had Pizza (won't)Power!

Oh, and by the way, that pizza (won't)power helped me lose another pound since Tuesday. Power that helps me reach my goals? Yep, that's the best kinda power to have!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Inspiration

Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. As mentioned before and as you can see from recent posts, I love quotes. When I'm feeling a bit outta sorts, I punch a word in Google, add the word "quote" to the end, and cross my fingers that some sort of inspiration will hit me.

As of late, I've create digital word pictures that combine my inspirational quotes with pictures and other words that help keep me focused. I'm attaching one such creation.



I printed that out and posted it on my fridge. Each time I see it, I think of what those words mean to me. What am I going for in the fridge? Inspiration? If so, then this picture reminds me to find my inspiration by other means.

I'm also truly inspired by other people. I don't care how you've lost the weight ... if you've lost weight (any amount), you inspire me! We are all on this journey together and seeing others succeed inspires me to succeed. I love blogs for this very reason. When I'm feeling I can't do it, I go read about others that can and suddenly feel as if anything is possible!

TV shows about weight loss, talking with my friends about their struggles, lifting up others, visiting the counselors at THW, and even listening to music help me stay on track.

Speaking of music, have you heard this song by Michael Buble? He does such a great job on this version. I love it! It is a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life! And I'm feeling good! I hear this song and it fills me up a bit.



So, inquiring minds wanna know, where do you find inspiration? What keeps you focused and on track? What things do you do when you're at the bottom of the barrel and want to reach for food?