Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FAIR WEATHER SUPPORTERS

Today I feel like I need to address something that has really been bugging me.

I recently read a post on a fellow bloggers weight loss blog, that I feel fairly certain was in reference to me and my journey (and even if it isn't - it might have well been):  The fact that I constantly fall of the wagon.  The fact that I gain steam, and then fail.

She wrote in her blog that she wanted to say "WTF - stop acting like an undisciplined child" -  but she just couldn't "bring herself to" and instead just chose to stop following my blog. Because, well - she didn't like the negativity.  It was "bad energy for her" .

NEGATIVITY! BAD ENERGY! - HONEY, THIS IS REALITY!  This is the reality that millions of people around the world face every single day.  This is the struggle.  This is the crushing, overwhelming journey - SORRY IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT.

Here's the thing, if you are looking for a blog that paints weight loss - or more than that - food addiction and fighting obesity - in a positive, Mary Sunshine light - YOU HAVE COME TO THE WRONG BLOG.  Feel free to stop following now.  Please - stop following - I don't need you reading this blog.  I can't inspire you - not even a little.  You want to read about people who already fought the good fight, not about someone wanting, desperately, to fight it!

This blog is about the REAL LIFE battle that an obese person, ME, CONNIE - A REAL EFFING PERSON,  faces when trying to deal with this problem.  Much like a drug addict or an alcoholic trying to get clean, this is a bloody, gruesome war!  And one that like MILLIONS of others out there are fighting, and failing - one that I am failing at right now.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, I AM NOT AFRAID TO SAY THAT I'M FAILING - I'M NOT AFRAID TO POST THE STRUGGLE.  AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE THAT - GET OFF MY BLOG.

Seriously - why do you think that in America obesity and overweight in adults is an epidemic??   Because its easy to beat?? Because we never fall down??

NO.  IT'S BECAUSE THIS IS EFFING HARD!

And many, MANY strong people will fail.  I might even  be one of them - but at least I'm willing to say that, and put myself out there - and document said failures in hopes that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE someone else can relate, and feel that they are normal when they fall - that they can understand - and provide support - and not just when it's convenient and positive!!!

Look, I hope I don't fail at this, but who knows!  The odds are certainly against me and EVERY OTHER FAT PERSON IN AMERICA WHO WANTS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

So, look, if you want to read a blog about someone who ALREADY  made it to the end of their journey, then see your way off this blog.  BUT, if you want to read about someone who is fighting to try to get there, even though there will be failures - and a lot of them - if you want to lend your support, hear it like it is, truly understand the battle that an obese person goes through to try to beat their ADDICTION - then, this is the blog for you.

To the fair weather supporter who abandoned me - good riddance.  I don't need your brand of support.

To those of you who are hanging in there with me, even though you wonder how many more times you are going to read about me falling down, eating McDonald's or just plain giving up - THANK YOU!  It means more to me than I can say - I hope I don't disappoint you forever - I don't think I will!  Regardless, your support is important to me and I appreciate it - it makes a difference, it really does!

OH, and by the way, to my faithful supporters - I give you full permission to say:

CONNIE, WHAT THE HELL!

A little tough love never hurt a soul!

FAKING IT

Rough patch - 4 weeks in and I am going through yet another rough patch.

Today, as I was thinking about WHY exactly I am struggling again, I realized - plain and simple - that I am choosing to struggle.   I have a choice in this - of course I do - and right now I am choosing to make bad decisions - and I am choosing failure.

So, WHY - WHY am I making bad decisions just 4 weeks into my latest "push" toward the 400 lbs. milestone?

I SWEAR I have some sub-conscious fear of getting below 400 lbs. What that fear is, I don't know.  But consistently, when I get within 5 lbs. of 400: a short 1 - 2 weeks before I bid adieu to that number, I choke.  Like sputtering, gasping for life CHOKE!

And interestingly, this isn't the first time I have gone through this...

When I was 30 I joined Jenny Craig.  I had just given birth to my second daughter a few months earlier.  I gained quite a bit of weight with her - I was weighing in at 350 lbs (what I wouldn't give right now to see that number) - and I was determined to get it off.

I joined Jenny Craig with my husband, and off we went.  We did fantastic. We were PEELING the weight off.  We started the program in August and by November we had both lost around 45 lbs.  I was at 304 lbs.  I remember that vividly - people, you should see pictures of me from that time - seriously, I looked fantastic.  ANYWAY - I digress - I was MOMENTS from breaking the 300 lbs. mark, which of course was a BIG deal for me.  I was SO looking forward to it.

Well, that Thanksgiving we went away for the holiday to spend it with family.  And seriously, can you imagine a holiday /slash/ vacation that wouldn't be filled with food, food and more food.  Chris and I decided that we were going to roll with it - I mean, look how far we had come, certainly we wouldn't be knocked off our diet by a few days of debauchery...OH HOW WRONG WE WERE...never did we imagine we would encounter our arch nemesis of food...

PUMPKIN PIE

Pumpkin pie is apparently a  MAJOR weakness of ours, and we consumed it that Thanksgiving like no other.  We were gluttons, eating pie at all hours of the day - pie for breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, 2nd dinner, etc - you get the point - we ate A LOT of pumpkin pie.  Add to that Thanksgiving dinner, leftovers, etc...well, it was a grim picture.

When we got home and stepped on the scale we were both up 10 lbs....and we were discouraged...but, it was the holiday season and neither of us wanted to try tackling the problem until the holidays were over (seriously, there is ALWAYS a convenient excuse to wait).  Well, when the holidays were over and I reported back to Jenny Craig, I was at 317 lbs.  I had been within 5 lbs. of breaking the 300 lbs. mark, and I crumbled.

Flash forward a few years - and one hundred lbs. later,  and here I am, within moments of breaking a major milestone number, and I crumble EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I get close to it.

Saturday was my weigh in - and I knew it was going to be bad.  I mean, I had abandoned the whole program and was just eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, however I wanted - and I knew it was going to show.  And show it did...to the tune of 11 lbs.  I weighed in at:

416 lbs.

An 11 lbs. gain in one freaking week

I was disturbed.  Disturbed for so many reasons:

1) I couldn't believe how quickly I can pack on the pounds - seriously, why can't I take it off as easily as I pack it on??

2) I couldn't understand how just 1 week before I had stepped on the scale and saw my goal within reach and then choked.  CHOKED.

3)  After weighing in, I thought the following:
"I am never going to let myself lose this weight.  I am going to get in my own way every single time I get close".
 And THAT discouraged me more than anything has, ever, on my weight loss journey.
So, what is the deal?? Am I afraid of success on the weight loss front?  Do I really, somehow believe that I can go off track and pull myself back on, even though I have countless examples of how difficult and self destructive that is for me?? Why do I keep doing this to myself?

As usual, I have no answer.

And on Saturday after weigh in, I didn't either.  BUT, I thought - DAMMIT, I can do something about this...so I changed my clothes, dragged my family to the rec center and I worked out.  I walked a 5K on the treadmill - and it felt GOOD.  When I finished I thought:

"WHY AM I NOT CHOOSING THIS?? WHY?  I feel great, I feel powerful, I feel FANTASTIC".  WHY, CONNIE, WHY?!!!

I don't know.  I just don't know.

Poor nutrition, failing to exercise - these things make me feel TERRIBLE.  So, why do I choose them?

Clearly, I need to figure that out.  I really do.  I feel like the answer to this question is a key that I need to unlock this door and step through to the other side.

So, in the meantime, while I am searching for this answer, what do I do?  Do I toss everything aside and wait until I know what the issue is?  Well, that answer doesn't feel right, now does it?!  I mean, I may not know why I continue to choose failure on this journey, but I CERTAINLY know that going backwards isn't the answer.  SO, what to do???

I decided to follow the advice of Holly from 300 lbs. Down and FAKE IT 'TIL I MAKE IT.

FAKE IT 'TIL I MAKE IT!!!!

Sometime we just have to fake it.  We have to pretend that the thing we don't want to do or don't feel like doing is ACTUALLY the thing we want to do most!  And then, THEN, we have to do it, regardless of whether we want to or not.  We have to force ourselves to do it!

I can give in to my current lack of desire to choose the right path.  I can lose ground, gain weight and put myself back to square one...OR I can FORCE myself to move forward - even though NOTHING in me feels like doing it.

And so I choose to FORCE myself forward. I choose to fake it for the time being - and pray for all I'm worth that the desire and the motivation to meet this challenge squarely will return.

I really hope that my desire returns - my motivation - the pure knowledge that I am MEANT to rise to the occasion and meet this challenge head on.  I have faith it will - but I have to face that it may be unpleasant until then.

I also hope I can figure out why I can't seem to let myself be successful on this journey.  Again, I think the answer to that is crucial if I want to see long term success.

But, for now - FOR NOW, I'm faking it.  Heaven help me, I'm faking it!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

10 MORE FACTOIDS ABOUT LITTLE OLE ME

A while back I started to post a 25 THINGS ABOUT ME YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW series...and then never finished it.

BOO ME!

I like those kinds of posts, so today I am going to add the next 10.  Just in case you forgot, or heaven forbid - did not read my first post, go back and check out the first 10 I posted.  Here are the next TEN THINGS YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ME, AND MAY EVEN REGRET ONCE YOU DO!!!!
  1. I have a completely irrational fear (I think I start a lot of these little nuggets of truth about me that way!!! I definitely need to get my butt into a therapist) of...wait for it...MANATEES!  I hate them.  Gentle cow of the sea MY A**!  The other day somebody on Facebook posted an aerial picture of a woman swimming among a herd of manatee - it was horrific.  I had to close it out because it was just too much to look at!
  2. I am a Human Resources professional by trade.  BOY, the stories I could tell you.  Sometimes adults don't know how to be ADULT at all.  Although there are parts of being in HR I despise, there is a lot to love - and I remind myself of that every. single. day!
  3. I met my husband while serving a Mormon mission in San Sebastian, Spain.  Yes, he too was a missionary.  I often tell my children that I met Daddy on a cold winter night in the North of Spain - I stepped off the train onto the platform and saw him emerge through the steam - tall, and handsome...and you know what, THAT IS TRUE!  I didn't know I would marry him immediately - in fact, at first I thought "boy, this guy is going to be a problem".  But 1 month later I JUST KNEW.  When my parents came to Spain to pick me up at the end of my time there, I told them "Hey, see that missionary - I am going to marry him".  And so I did - 3 years and 11 months later!  
  4. I lived in Boston, MA for just about a year.  Why you ask?  Just because. I wanted to try something different and I had a GREAT friend who was living there and encouraged me to take the leap.  Salt Lake will always be my home -  and I was so happy to return, but I will always have a fondness in my heart for Bean Town!
  5. My father died of pancreatic cancer on my 27th birthday - 4 months after I married my husband and when I was 9 weeks pregnant with my daughter.  It is the single most life changing thing I have been through. Not even becoming a wife or a mother has changed me as much as watching my father die, and dealing with the subsequent impact his death has had on my family.  I have missed my Dad every single day of my life since he passed away - and I am grateful for the knowledge that we will be reunited one day.
  6. My favorite color is Black.  If you have to ask why - you need look no further than the title of this blog.  Black is the most forgiving color to a large and in charge lady like myself.  
  7. I grew up on a farm and spent most of my summers working on it with my little sister and my Dad.  I moved irrigation pipe, helped shear sheep, rolled hay bales, and just about anything else my Dad needed help with.  At the time I hated every minute of it - now I am so grateful that I had that opportunity.  It taught me the value of hard work, and of course left me with many fond memories of my Dad.
  8. While living in Spain I became very fluent in Castillian Spanish.  In fact, I had a roommate who spoke nothing but Spanish and after living with her for 2 months, I thought, dreamed and lived in Spanish.  In fact, at one point I tried to read a sign that was posted on a statue by my apartment.  For the life of me I could not figure out what it said - I felt very sheepish when I realized that the sign was in English.   I just didn't think in English any more!  Now a days I no longer consider myself fluent - but give me 2 weeks immersed in a Spanish speaking country and I will be back on my game!
  9.  I hate to cook.  DESPISE IT.  My dream is to hire a personal chef so I never have to set foot in the kitchen again!  
  10. I am proud to belong to the Mormon faith.  There are many, many reasons why - I could never list them all here...but I will shout out just a few: I love its focus on family as an eternal unit, and the supreme importance of family in this life, and the life to come. It provides me with the knowledge that I have a loving Heavenly Father AND a loving Heavenly Mother who know me by name and who want me to have all that they do - just like ANY loving parents here would want for their children!  It has taught  me where we came from, why we are here, what our purpose is, and where we are going when we leave this life...and that knowledge has brought me more comfort than I can say during some of the most difficult times in my life. NO, I don't drink coffee or tea, don't drink alcohol and don't believe in pre-marital sex - and I'm dang proud of it.  And, yes, I wear garments and cannot for the life of me understand the fascination with them - MANY religions have sacred clothing they wear  - we are no different. There is a lot of misinformation and a lot of misconceptions out there about the LDS faith - and in some cases a whole lot of hostility towards the church - and that just makes me plain sad.  There are so many wonderful things about this church! Sure, there are some bad apples in the church - but there are bad apples in every organization under the sun!!! You don't throw the whole bushel out because of a few bad apples!!  One HUGE pet peeve of mine is when people want to learn about the Mormon church and  go to anti-Mormon sources or ex-mormons to get the "scoop". If you want to know the scoop, ask a practicing Mormon!  ANYWAY, I am a proud member of my church and just thought you should know!!!
So, there are 10 more things you never wanted to know about me!  5 more to go!

Weight loss journey update coming soon!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

LIFE MAKES ME TIRED

Sometimes life just makes me tired.

Really tired.

And right now, Life has kicked it into high gear and I feel down right narcoleptic.

This week my girls started back to school.  Back to school is an incredibly stressful and frustrating time for me.  Most parents are jumping with joy, welcoming the return of schedules and normalcy to their lives.  The boredom of the summer is over, replaced with classwork and friends and purpose!

Me, on the other hand, I am trying to figure out if I can sell the story that we are American Gypsies and we are pulling our daughters from school because - HEY - they need to be learning to cook and clean so they can prepare themselves for a life of servitude to undeserving men who will never appreciate all they do...

OK, I think my feminism might show through a little too much for me to effectively sell that story!

Anyway, point being, back to school is incredibly stressful for me, and here's why:

The school my kids attend, although wonderful in many aspects, is completely incompatible with the schedules of working parents.  The start and end times make it impossible to effectively get my kids to and from school without begging for help from other parents - who, let's face it, have their own set of problems to deal with (please know there are those who have extended their help to me and I appreciate them more than I could ever say)!  Overall, it just makes me feel crappy that I can't do for my kids what I should be able to for them - for my reason for living, the most important thing in my life - and I can't EFFING GET THEM TO SCHOOL BECAUSE IT STARTS 25 MINUTES LATER THAN IS COMPATIBLE WITH MY WORK SCHEDULE!  25 MINUTES IS DESTROYING MY SANITY RIGHT NOW!!!

Yes, I could have them walk to and from school - but the town I live in has provided NO safe walkways for children.  There are no sidewalks to the school and so the children walk ON the road or in the gravel NEXT to the road.  They did attempt to install a walkway made of asphalt - but they ran it down the side of the road where the children would have to cross MULTIPLE streets - without the assistance of a crossing guard, instead of running it down the other side of the road where that would not be an issue.  AND SO, last year a child was hit by a car on this supposed "safe walkway".

Oh yeah, and then there is the whole PEDOPHILE thing that every parent in America worries about - that some disgusting, perverted human being is stalking their kids, waiting for the opportunity to grab them from the so called "safe walkway".

There are no before or after school programs to help ease the burden (even though many other schools and districts in the area have implemented similar programs)...and I'm sure that inquiring about the possibility of getting something in place will be met with a lot of excuses (mainly financial) as to why it can't happen.

And all of this combined with a very high maintenance parent who, although I love very much, I am tired of dealing with, stressful in-law relationships, maintaining a household, being an active member of my church, going to work everyday - and oh yeah, that roller coaster I am on called weight loss - and you have the making of a VERY tiring life situation.

And so, today, I feel tired and worn out from it all.

So, how did I deal with it?

Not well.  Not well at all.

Today I snapped like a twig, drove to the local McDonald's and drowned my sorrows in a quarter pounder, a large fry and the biggest Coke they could provide me.

And sadly, I feel better.

Yes - it is only temporary relief - but right now, I'll take it.

Look, if you are thinking "Come on, you  have so many blessings" - you would be right - but today I can't see the forest through the trees.

AND, if you are reading this and saying "food isn't the answer", you would be right too...but when food has been your comfort - the thing you have fled to for 18 years to make it all go away - finding a different answer is far harder than you might imagine.

What I know is this.

Life makes us all tired sometimes.  And when we are tired, we don't always deal with things the best way possible - and that's OK.

A good nights sleep will change perspective and make all the difference.  So here is to the best damn sleep ever - tomorrow is a new day.








Saturday, August 25, 2012

WEIGH IN: Saturday, August 25, 2012

My weigh in is complete:
 
404.2 lbs.
-0.8 lbs.
 
I must admit I was a little disappointed.  I'm sure my weekend in Wendover, UT with 2 visits to the buffet did not help the situation...BUT, overall, I am glad the number is still moving in the right direction. 
 
I AM MOMENTS FROM BREAKING THAT DAMN 400 LBS. MILESTONE, AND COME HELL OR HIGHWATER, IT WILL HAPPEN!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HAVE A LITTLE FAITH

A few years ago the Hubs and I went to a concert at a wonderful outdoor amphitheater here in the Salt Lake area.  The performer was John Hiatt. I had recently fallen in love with his music after hearing it on the movie "Raising Helen", and I was beyond excited to see him perform.

I hadn't spent much time getting to know Mr. Hiatt's music, so I was surprised to find out that he was the writer of MANY songs that I truly loved.  One of them was 'Have a Little Faith'.

The night we saw him in concert it was HOT - I mean blazing hot.  The first two-thirds of the concert were nearly unbearable - we were frying, and melting, and languishing.  But, finally the sun fell behind the mountains, and it started to cool just a bit - and a fantastic summer breeze started to blow through the amphitheater.

It was then that Mr. Hiatt performed 'Have a Little Faith'.

He performed the song without any back up - just him and his piano.  Besides his singing, there were no other noises except the rustling of the leaves on the trees from the fantastic summer breeze that had just found our little neck of the woods.  No kids crying, no noise from the crowd, no sound from the parking lot - just John Hiatt.

It was a spiritual experience.  There is no other way to describe it.  The absolute peace and beauty of that moment was overwhelming and by the end of the song I had tears running down my face.

The Hubs and I often talk about that concert and John Hiatt's performance of 'Have a Little Faith'.  We remember it fondly - it is one of those moments in our lives together that we will never forget.  It changes us a little.

Last night as I struggled with frustrations and irritations and ultimately with the desire to eat away my emotions, that experience popped into my head - that peaceful, beautiful rendition of 'Have a Little Faith'.

I realized that the memory of that moment was coming to me as a gentle reminder that I need to Have a Little Faith.

Faith in myself that I can make the right choices - even when it feels like I can't.

Faith that if I will block out the unnecessary noise of the day, I will hear the beautiful message that is being carried to me.

Faith that, just like the hot, blazing sun sank behind the mountains, all of these frustrations and irritations will too sink and the heat will pass and the cool breeze will start to blow - and everything will be OK.  Everything will be OK.

Faith that there is someone out there who is my BIGGEST supporter, and he has no intention of letting me fail, if I will just let him walk with me - and listen when he reminds me to Have a Little Faith.

So, today I have a new perspective.

TODAY I HAVE A LITTLE FAITH.












Tuesday, August 21, 2012

YOU KNOW IT'S BAD WHEN MCDONALD'S IS THE SOLUTION!!

There are days, like today, when all I want to do is drive to the local McDonald's and down a fattening, greasy, bad for me Big Mac, or Quarter Pounder with a SUPER SIZED fry, Coke, Shake...I could go on and on.

Bottom line, I want to eat to drown my sorrows...eat to make the irritation and frustration I feel today go away.

MY DESIRE TO EMOTIONALLY EAT TONIGHT IS OVERWHELMING!

Do I know what the trigger is - definitely - knowing what the trigger is almost makes it worse because there is absolutely nothing I can do to change it...and that frustrates me more than anything else.

I feel trapped.

I feel like I don't have choices.

And that, that makes me feel CRAZY...

...and then all I want is to eat something.  Something that, for me, will make it feel all better - if only for a few minutes.

SOMETHING LIKE MCDONALD'S!

Right now, those few minutes of relief sound like bliss -  bliss in a cardboard box!

BUT...I have resisted the urge.

Instead, I am living it up with a huge Diet Pepsi and some Quaker Quakes:  Sweet Chili.  It isn't a hamburger or fries, but it is keeping me from going insane AND keeping me in my calorie range today.

Really, I should have turned to exercise to deal with my frustration - but seriously, tonight, the thought of rolling over to the swimming pool and hauling my ample frame up and down its length held no appeal for me...NONE AT ALL.  That probably means I REALLY needed to go tonight - but I didn't.

And you know what, right now I don't care.  I DON'T CARE ONE LITTLE BIT.

Instead of working out do you know what I did??? I curled my hair - curled my hair to try and take the edge off.

YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT. I skulked into my room, turned on my flat iron and started curling away.

You may remember that I have this hair goal (unrealistic as it may be) and my hair has finally gotten long enough that I can curl it. Tonight was my first attempt - it wasn't great, but it took my mind off things for a while.  I did try to take a picture of it to post - but that didn't go well and ended up depressing me even more.

{{SIGH}}

I throw a really good pity party.

Anyway, I am going to consider the action of lifting the flat iron to my head, winding my hair around it and holding it there strength training for my arms.

Yeah, that sounds good - tonight I worked my arms instead of going to the pool.

NOTHING WRONG WITH A LITTLE SPIN DOCTORING, RIGHT!

I REALLY hope tomorrow is a better day.  I need it to be a better day.  McDonald's can't feel like the solution again tomorrow!  I don't have the willpower to deal with it again!

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012 - Accountability

NUTRITION

Although I am staying within my calories, I am still struggling to eat truly healthy foods.  I need to turn that corner.  I'm happy that I am consistently staying within my calories, but realize I need to take it to the next level.


EXERCISE

Lap Swimming
35 minutes

This was a GREAT workout.  It can be deceptive when you are in the water because you don't feel as hot and sweaty as if you are walking or running, but it is definitely a great workout.  My arms and legs were BURNING and at one point I reached up to feel my face, and it was ON FIRE.  I didn't stop swimming for 35 minutes and I feel awesome about the workout I got in.

Back to marathon training on Wednesday!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

WEIGH IN - August 18, 2012

WEIGH IN

Last Weigh In:  411.4
Today's Weigh In:  405.0

Total Change:  -6.4 lbs.

Oh Yeah Baby!  How Sweet It is!


Friday, August 17, 2012

LIGHTING THE FIRE

For a very long time I have wanted to do a weekly post on people, places, products - ANYTHING that inspires or helps me to stay on course.  Those things that light a fire under me and keep me going.  Today I am finally turning my vision into reality!

This week, these are the things that LIT MY FIRE!!!

JONATHAN on Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition.  Weighing in at 543 lbs. at the beginning of his journey, Jonathan lost an AMAZING 270 lbs. in one year - while working full time AND being a dedicated husband and father.  The support that his family gave him was a  thing of beauty (seriously, those little boys coaching and training their Daddy...too cute).  Jonathan's story made me believe that ANYTHING is possible, regardless of what others may say.  THANKS JONATHAN!

I can't live without these...I bought them on a 10 for 10 deal at the local supermarket and have been loving them ever since.  So many flavors to choose from - the Sweet Chili are my current favorite savory snack - the Chocolate are my current favorite sweet snack.  YUM!

HOLLY @ 300 POUNDS DOWN.  Holly's story is amazing - it is the story of a woman who fought through pain, disappointment, anxiety and depression to become the woman she KNEW was there inside.  I respect the hell out of her for making the decision to do whatever it took to get healthy - to be there for her kids, and to survive.  Her blog is fantastic and when I need a boost, I always get it there!

In honor of the four year anniversary of her life changing plane crash, I would be remiss if I did not include Stephanie Nielson this week.  This post sums it up for me: Life goes on - and it is beautiful.  God will heal us -  if we let him - through him ANYTHING is possible.  She is a constant reminder to me of the beauty of life and the amazing love and power of our Heavenly Parents!

This site, and it the app, are to die for. I know there are other similar programs out there - I have probably tried them - but this is the one I have found to be the easiest to work with.  I love it!  If you use this app, friend me!!!  Especially if you are in my area and have great routes you want to share!

And of course, these wackadoos ALWAYS inspire me. They are my EVERYTHING!

Fall 2011













Thursday, August 16, 2012

A VISIT TO THE DOCTOR - AND OTHER THOUGHTS

After trying to utilize WebMD and other online medical sites to diagnose and treat my Achilles Tendon (with no luck), I broke down yesterday and went to the doctor.

My diagnosis was spot on:  Achilles Tendinitis.

The doctor prescribed me a megadose run of steroids to knock out the inflammation, daily exercises to stretch my calf and strengthen the tendon AND...YEP, no walking for 1 week.

NO WALKING FOR 1 WEEK WHILE I'M TRAINING FOR A HALF MARATHON!!!!!
(Look, it never gets old saying I am training for a half marathon!)

I explained to the doctor about the half marathon - she thought that was fantastic - and we discussed other exercise options that wouldn't aggravate my tendon.  I settled on swimming.

Swimming will allow me to burn calories, stay on track with my workout regimen AND strengthen my legs.  So, I am not totally worried about this set back on my training program because, bottom line, if I don't get this tendon issue taken care of, I won't be walking a half marathon - and no amount of training will change that!

I started my prednisone treatment today, and seriously, I don't know if it is psychological or what, but my tendon felt so much better by mid day!  I was able to walk without limping, and I had to give 2 presentations at work today and was able to stand without it really bothering me.

PROGRESS!!! I am really hopeful this will work and I will be back on track for the Halloween Half.
_____________________________________________________________________

In other news, tonight we had an in-home demonstration of SaladMasters cookware. The sales representative comes to your house and cooks you a full meal using their product.  Our meal tonight was chicken thighs, a vegetable medley, cabbage salad, mashed potatoes and pineapple upside down cake. It all tasted wonderful - especially the chicken, which was cooked without any oil or water...just chicken and a pan.

Has anyone out there heard of it SaladMasters or used it before??  We thought it was awesome,  BUT, all that awesomeness comes with a not so awesome price tag.  We had to pass right now, but it is definitely something we would consider in the future.
_____________________________________________________________________

Final thought today - earlier this week spent some time catching up on Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition - I am so addicted to this show!  Anyway, the episode that aired on 08/05 with Jonathan - who lost an amazing 270 lbs in one year - moved me to tears.  I couldn't take it.  What a story!  If you haven't seen it, you should definitely watch it.  His transformation is amazing. At the end of the episode I wanted to scream from the rooftops - THIS IS POSSIBLE!  I CAN DO THIS!

I think Extreme Makeover is SO much better than Biggest Loser  CAUTION, CAUTION, RANT BEGINNING - Biggest Loser, in my opinion, takes a life and death struggle - some may even call it a disease - and turns it into a game.  Consider this, if Biggest Loser replaced obese participants with participants suffering from cancer, or multiple sclerosis, or AIDS and had them compete for a chance to be cured - but most would be sent home, never getting the help they needed - systematically voted off by their co-participants who are trying to win a cash prize...well, I'm pretty sure it would be universally condemned as completely BARBARIC.  I refuse to watch it any more! RANT ENDED.
_____________________________________________________________________

Overall I am feeling really good this week - focused and in the zone.  No, every bite of food that I put in my mouth is not nutritionally perfect, but I am managing my portion size AND my calorie intake - and that is a huge accomplishment.  I am also getting regular workouts in, despite physical challenges, and that is pretty awesome too!

ONWARD!








Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - ACCOUNTABILITY

NUTRITION

Great calorie wise (overall).  I had a huge lunch, but it was oh so worth it.  Adobos, Sandy, UT - If you haven't been, you MUST go!  The Ropa Vieja and Tostones are to DIE FOR!  Wow, I am so totally a food addict!  UGH!

EXERCISE

Swimming
33 minutes

I have no idea how many laps I did...I just know I swam up and down for 33 minutes - and my legs felt like they were going to fall off!  Seriously, what a burn!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - ACCOUNTABILITY

NUTRITION

During the week, it is really my goal to stay at 1800 calories - I went over a bit today, but I still consider the day a success.  OK, yeah, I could have skipped the Nacho Cheese Doritos, but you know what, I like being able to build that kind of stuff in sometimes.  I makes me feel like - yeah, you can have stuff like that sometimes (as long as it is a small bag and there isn't any possibility I could eat more than the serving given - a large bag in my home will be consumed in the blink of an eye).


EXERCISE

WALKING
1.6 MILES
35 MINUTES
21:55 MILE/MIN PACE

The pace here was MUCH slower than I wanted it to be, but that has a lot to do with this darn achilles tendon issue I am dealing with.  You know, SERIOUSLY, I am trying to get healthy and do the right things and I am rewarded with this issue! COME ON UNIVERSE!  HELP ME OUT!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012 - Accountability

NUTRITION

Breakfast & lunch were eat outs - UGH.  I had a free lunch at Cafe Zupa's - it included dessert.  I was so shocked when I tracked the calories!!  It adds up so dang fast!   AND, who knows how accurate my calculations were!  BUT, I rallied and made sure to eat a light dinner to make up for the horror of breakfast and lunch!  Brought the calories in at 1826!  YAY!


EXERCISE

Back in the saddle walking.  Pretty good walk last night.  My achilles tendon is still giving me problems.  I had hoped the time off would help, but when I got back it was so sore.  This morning it was even worse.  I am going to have to break down and go to the doctor - I was hoping to avoid it, but I don't think I can any more.

Monday, August 13, 2012

DEVIATION

This last week has proven one thing to me...

DEVIATING FROM THE PLAN AND GETTING OFF TRACK IS SO EASY TO DO! SO EASY THAT IT IS ACTUALLY FRIGHTENING.

...And it usually starts with something really small - something insignificant that shouldn't be a big deal in the overall scheme of things - but at the end of the day, it really is.

Last Wednesday we had a good friend over for dinner.  We hadn't seen her in a while and so we ate and chatted.  By the time she left, we didn't have much time for exercise AND I was exhausted so I didn't end up tracking my dinner before I went to bed.

FIRST SMALL DEVIATION - DIDN'T TRACK THE DAY FULLY, DIDN'T COMPLETE EXERCISE THAT WAS PLANNED FOR THE DAY.

Then, on Thursday, I started on program and was doing fine (except I didn't really eat enough during the day).  That night my husband and I went out - we had planned to grab dinner (a healthy dinner), but ended up having to wait until later.  By the time we were able to eat it was 10:45 pm and nothing was open - and we were STARVING. We made poor choices (we ate at Beto's - a local Mexican joint that is open 24 hours), and the next morning woke up feeling like gum on the bottom of a shoe!  And of course, it was late, and I didn't track the rest of the day, didn't post my accountability AGAIN.

SECOND SOMEWHAT BIGGER DEVIATION - DIDN'T TRACK AGAIN, ATE OUT - AT A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT!!!

Friday rolled around (TGIF, right!!!).  I was rushing in the morning and didn't grab a lunch before I left - so I ate out  AGAIN (eating out is like a fast spreading disease with me) - Brick Oven Pizza.  I had a salad, some soup and a few slices of mini pizza.  Not terrible, but, not great either. BUT IT GETS WORSE...THEN, my dear friend Rebs had free tickets to see 'The Bourne Legacy' (great movie BTW) - and those free tickets included free popcorn and free drinks - AND OF COURSE - we had to make a night of it, so we ate out too.  So, 3 eat outs in a 24 hour period AND popcorn AND a drink (I drank Diet Coke, so not terrible, but overall I am really trying to avoid soda, period).  OH YEAH - no tracking, no accountability, no exercise.

SPIRALING...
          SPIRALING...
                    SPRIALING....

THIRD MUCH LARGER DEVIATION - DIDN'T PACK LUNCH, DIDN'T TRACK, DRANK SODA, NO EXERCISE, ATE OUT - AGAIN!

On Saturday morning when I woke up I was dreading the scale, but I decided that no matter what, I was getting on.  I was SHOCKED when I stepped on and saw this:

411.2
4.4 lbs. lost

And then all I could think was "How much better would that number have been if you hadn't screwed up the last 48 hours!!!"

BUT, I determined to make the day better - I ate a good breakfast and then headed outside with the Hubs to do yard work.  We mowed the lawn, pulled weeds, planted trees.  For lunch we decided that because we had worked SO hard, of course, we should reward ourselves with an eat out.  TACO TIME!  Not good, not good at all.  I tried to choose well - I wasn't totally worried because I knew I was burning a lot of calories working in the yard - but in the end - the food I chose was CRAP, and did nothing to fuel  my body and help me get through the grueling work we were doing in the yard. That night we celebrated my brother's 50th Birthday - family BBQ - hot dogs, taco salad (a family recipe), chips, cake.  I didn't go nuts, but I also wasn't super careful.

FOURTH NOW HUGE DEVIATION - ATE OUT AGAIN, BUT THIS TIME AT A RESTAURANT THAT IS A TOTAL TRIGGER, DIDN'T TRACK, DIDN'T EXERCISE ON PLAN (YES, I GOT SOME EXERCISE IN FROM THE YARD, BUT MY HALF MARATHON TRAINING IS DOWN THE TOILET RIGHT NOW)

BUT, the point here is...AN ALCOHOLIC DOESN'T GO OUT AND TAKE A SIP OF ALCOHOL WHEN THEY ARE GETTING CLEAN - AND STAYING CLEAN...AND I SHOULD NOT BE EATING ANY OF THIS STUFF WHILE I AM TRYING TO GET HEALTHY - AND STAY HEALTHY!!!

Sunday played out pretty much the same - not wanting to cook, eating out, poor choices, no exercise.

FIFTH COMPLETE MELTDOWN OF PLAN - NO TRACKING, ATE OUT - TWICE, NO EXERCISE.  

DANGER - DANGER - DANGER - KABOOM!

That brings me to today.  I logged on this morning and looked at by last blog post - I was floored that my last accountability post was on TUESDAY!  How in the heck did that happen!  I couldn't believe it!

Although I realize that I have to celebrate the small victories and identify the things I do well, I also have to admit that I AM BASICALLY AN ADDICT - MY DRUG OF CHOICE - AN UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE.  And making change means identifying triggers and staying away from them - maybe forever!!  It also means following a routine - diligently - to try to break the bad, addictive behaviors that have built up over the years.

Meth addicts aren't told - Hey, it's OK to have a little meth, don't beat yourself up if you do!
Alcoholics aren't told - Hey, a little alcohol won't kill you - It's OK to have a little every once in a while.

THIS IS NOT ANY DIFFERENT.  This is an addition, and breaking it is just as difficult as breaking any other addiction.

It is not OK to let the very behaviors that have gotten me here sneak back in - it isn't OK to indulge them in anyway.  No, I can't beat myself up and I do have to pick up and move forward - but every time I indulge in these behaviors, I set myself back! CRITICALLY.

So, today is a new day - YES IT IS.

I am tracking - I will be walking tonight - I will be cooking at home this evening...and you will see an accountability post - come hell or high water!

END DEVIATION.






Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - Accountability

NUTRITION

I stayed within my calorie range, although during the week my goal is to really stay right at 1800 calories per day - so I was a little bummed about that.  My lunch was much higher in calories than I had thought, and that really got me.

Somebody brought in Salt Water Taffy at work - it is the death of me.  Every time I walk by the desk, I grab one.  UGH.  Thankfully they have all been consumed, so that should help my calorie count!!


EXERCISE

1.56 mile walk
33:23 minutes to complete
21:25 min/mile pace

The walk was good - continues to be tough for me though.  It just irks me that I am out walking at a pace that, let's face it, is pretty slow for most - and I am huffing and puffing and really having to work at it!

I have to cut 3 minute off this pace in order to be ready for the marathon!!  That makes me pretty nervous!  When I walk on a treadmill I can definitely get my pace up much faster.  Maybe I need to do some work on the treadmill to increase my pace??? I don't know!!  

I am having some trouble with my left ankle.  I completed my own diagnosis on Webmd (boy, I'm sure doctors just love to hear that) and am pretty sure that I have Achilles tendinopathy.  Before and after the walk I made sure to stretch and have been taking Ibuprofen.  I also iced it when I got home.  I really need it to stop hurting.  It is definitely slowing me down!!  It is so frustrating that when I decide to get going and get in shape, I have something stupid like this flare up!!!  BOO!


Zero Gratification Marathon

In light of my recent half marathon announcement, a good friend sent this to me...




HILARIOUS!  I wish this was the marathon I was prepping for!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012 - Accountability

NUTRITION


EXERCISE

1.42 Miles Walked
30:35 Minutes
21:26 Mile/Min Pace

LIVING IN THE EXTREMES

If you have been reading my blog for any period of time, you probably understand that I am a woman of extremes.

I swing from one extreme to the other like a big, emotional pendulum!!!

I don't tend to play in the middle very often where weight loss is concerned (or anything else for that matter).  I am either on track and gung ho, or I am off track - and eating at McDonald's every day.

Long term, I realize living in the extremes is not healthy or sustainable.  Obviously it hasn't been exactly fruitful for me either - yes, I do well for a period of time, but then I burn out...and the pendulum swings to the other extreme.

I know I will have to moderate myself if I want to make a lasting, life long change.

BUT, sometimes when I am 'in the extremes', I push myself and do things that I never thought I were possible.  HENCE, my hike to the Y.

Well, friends, in true Connie fashion, I have once again gone to the extreme!!!  I really felt like I needed something to motivate me to incorporate exercise as a key component of my current weight loss journey.

I believe strongly that my prior attempts to shed weight and get healthy have been far too focused on nutrition, and not enough on exercise. A good friend of mine is currently on her own weight loss journey, and she is REALLY kicking butt.  She started her journey SOLELY focused on exercise.  Slowly, but surely, the nutrition came along - and seriously, the weight loss has been amazing - in fact many people think she has had lap band or gastric bypass because she is shedding weight so quickly!!.   This has convinced me that exercise MUST be a priority.

So, this time around, I am trying to put a heavy focus on exercise.  AND, by put a heavy focus on exercise, I mean I signed up for a Half Marathon!!!

Yes, friends, you heard that right....I signed up for a half marathon. The Halloween Half in Provo, Utah to be exact!!!  I will not be running it....I will be walking it. This half marathon is friendly toward walkers (I really think more of them should be!!!) allowing 4 hours to complete the course (about an 18:20 minute mile pace).

Katie at Runs for Cookies (do you get tired of me referring to her???  Really, have you checked out her blog???  If not, you need to - then you will understand why I constantly refer to her) walked a half marathon BEFORE losing weight.  I decided I could do the same.

I think having this goal will help me to truly focus on the physical aspect of my journey and help me to take the next stop to getting healthy.

NOW, because I do much better when I have comrades in arms - I went ahead and signed up the Hubs AND my poor unsuspecting sister!!!  No, I did not tell them I was signing them up - this was done without their knowledge.  I JUST SIGNED THEM UP!  I didn't want to give them a chance to say "No".  LUCKILY, they both got on board and last Monday we started the Hal Higdon training program to walk a half marathon!!!

AND...now my kids, my sister's Mother in Law, and two of my nieces are training with us!!!  We also have a dachshund - Magnum, and a bichon/yorkie mix - Ripley, in tow.  WE ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH!!

Saturday we completed our first week of training - culminating in a 3 mile walk (we actually walked 3.42 miles, but hey, who's counting!!)  Let me tell you, my body hates me - I am stiff and sore - and really stiff and really sore.  During the 3 mile walk I tripped and fell flat on my face - I bruised my ego, banged up my left knee and elbow, and twisted the right knee.  BUT, I got back up and I finished that walk.  AND tonight I will be back on the streets again, pounding the pavement, prepping for that 13.1 mile walk.

I will finish this program and walk that damn half marathon!!!

It will be worth it.  I know it will.  Even it if is extreme!

(P.S.  if you are interested in training with us for the Half Marathon, drop me a line!  We walk every scheduled night at 9:00 pm...the more the merrier!)

ALSO, check out my good friend Erin - she is rocking it on her Couch to 5K program!!! GO ERIN!!!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012 - Accountability

WEIGH IN

415.6 lbs.
-9.4 lbs.
 (people, I had worked my way back to 425, so this was a great first week back on track)

NUTRITION

Some not so great moments nutritionally today - yes, I ate freaking Doritos for Breakfast, and YES, I consumed 2 Slurpees.  UGH!  Improvement and moderation needed there!

EXERCISE

3.42 Mile Walk
1 hr. 13 Min.
21:43 Pace

Thursday, August 2, 2012

EYE OF THE TIGER

The last few days have been good.  REALLY GOOD.  My new boss at work isn't a troll or an ogre, I've watched a TON of Olympic events on TV (Go Team USA!!) and screamed until my lungs burned and my throat was hoarse, AND I have done really well on my health journey.  I have the Eye of the Tiger!! OH YEAH.

I have tracked my points and easily stayed within or below my calorie target every day this week (starting on Monday).  I have exercised each of the last five days - even though my body is pretty much at war with me and is very hostile toward my efforts.

It feels GREAT.

OH HOW I WISH I COULD RECORD THIS FEELING AND PLAY IT BACK WHEN TIMES ARE TOUGH SO I COULD BE REMINDED OF HOW WORTH IT IT ALL IS.

My body is starting to crave the right foods again, instead of all the wrong ones.  Water tastes so dang refreshing, and my Coke cravings are nearly gone.

{{SIGH OF RELIEF}}

I am thrilled to be back on track.  I am ecstatic to be once again focused on and working toward what I consider to be one of the most important goals of my life.

It feels FANTASTIC.

I have also realized that there are a few things I need to avoid like the plague if I truly want to stay on track:

CHIPS - Look, I try to tell myself I can eat the right portion, but I can't.  I CANNOT.  I will continue to eat, and eat, and eat until before I know it, I have consumed the entire bag.  They cannot be in my house.  THEY CANNOT.

COCA COLA- I cannot touch the stuff.  EVER.  If I do, I am immediately spiraled into bad habits - it is my Kryptonite.

EATING OUT - Although one day I hope to be able to learn to be moderate when eating out, right now I just have to admit it isn't possible.  Even if I make good choices the first time out, what happens is I start to go back over and over and over.  And on the subsequent visits, I do not choose wisely.

In addition to those things I have realized I must avoid, I have also found AND remembered things that really do help me stay on track and stay focused:

TRACKING:  Yes, it is a pain, and no, I don't like to do it...but it really is necessary.  It is like balancing a checkbook, if you never do it, you will most definitely overspend.  If I don't track, I will definitely overeat.

FRUIT:  Having fruit readily available is an absolute must for me.  I am so much more satisfied if I finish off a meal with a piece of fruit. AND, a piece of fruit as part of a snack...well, fuggedaboutit.  Today I was so desperate for fruit that I went to a local produce stand AND Walmart during my lunch period so I could have some at the office with my lunch and snack (I had run out of fruit and was seriously crazed that I wasn't going to be satisfied and would go on a binge).

A KICK A** TASTING LIGHT MEAL - There is seriously nothing so gratifying to me as having a fantastic meal, that is on program.  I walk away thinking - WHY DO I EVER EAT OUT OR OFF PROGRAM.  This tastes so good!  Tonight we had Angus Burgers.  Now, at first I was like, this may be too much, but it wasn't.  I had the burger, sans cheese, with light mayo, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and a toasted fresh baked bun.  SERIOUSLY, IT WAS AMAZING.   On the side I had fresh picked grilled sweet corn with a pat of butter, salt and pepper on it.  OH, HEAVEN.

QUAKER QUAKES - I have no idea how I didn't know about these things before.  They are divine!  They are a satisfying and filling snack and I love them! The chocolate, sweet chili, and sea salt and black pepper are my faves.

I am feeling so good about it is hard to imagine I could ever fall back down...but, as we all know, I certainly can...so I'm trying to remember that and not take my current few days of success for granted!

I'm also singing, RISIN' UP, BACK ON THE STREET....EYE OF THE TIGER!!!
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I want to start doing a daily "accountability" on this blog.  So, here are my 'STATS' today:

NUTRITION:  Fully tracked and on target to be right at or slightly below my daily goal.
BREAKFAST:  Skipped - not on purpose, I was just so busy!!
LUNCH:  Healthy Choice Italian Sausage Pasta Bake, Salad with croutons and 2T. light ranch, 1 pink lady apple (YUM)
SNACKS:  Clif Bar - White Chocolate Macadamia (meant for breakfast); Medium Pina Colada Slurpee (OK, this isn't the most nutritional snack, I get that, but I have to have a little something every once in a while.  It did only have 175 calories!!)
DINNER:  Fantastic Hamburger dinner described above!!
WORKOUT:  Today is my rest day. Thank goodness.  I really needed a break.






Tuesday, July 31, 2012

MY BODY HATES ME!

Yesterday my body let me know how much it hates me right now. It was punishing me.  Forcing me to face the fact that I haven't been treating it so well, and so it wasn't about to treat me well when I decided I wanted it to perform for me.

I pushed my body hard over the weekend.  HARD.  Now, you my be thinking I went out and ran a few miles or walked many miles or even worked out at the gym like a mad woman. You would be wrong, though.

I did yard work.

Now, that may not sound like grueling exercise to anyone, but let me tell you, it was.

We pulled weeds, we trimmed bushes, we raked flower beds, we hauled loads.  FOR 6 HOURS ON SATURDAY AND 4 HOURS ON SUNDAY!  And all of that resulted in a massive 1000 calorie per hour burn...WHO KNEW!!!

In addition to the killer calorie burn, my yard looks AMAZING right now.  AMAZING! I am so proud of all the hard work we did!  BUT, my body is so, so, so sore!!!  My shoulders hurt, the backs of my legs hurt, my hands hurt - pretty much everything hurts.

THEN, as if that wasn't enough, I started a training program last night (more to come on that) and so with a very tired body that was sore, exhausted and begging for rest, I hit my first day of training...and it was ugly.  I felt SO sluggish and tired...my body was in complete rebellion against me.  BUT, I showed it who was boss, let me tell you!

Even though I am sore, and I hurt, and I'm stiff...you know what, it feels good.  It feels really good.  I know that I am once again doing what my body needs me to do, and even though it is groaning a bit, it will start to cooperate soon.

Now, I didn't do great with food this weekend. You see, I felt like I was working so hard in the yard that I couldn't possibly bring myself to make any food. SOOO...I ate out three times (UGH), and we cooked once.  I didn't drink Coke, which is a huge positive. Yesterday, though, I kicked my food into gear.  I tracked everything I ate and stayed within my calorie range.

AND, GUESS WHAT!!!  I have a secret weapon this time around,  I can't tell you a lot about my weapon right now, but I KNOW I am going to be successful because I have it.  My secret weapon has given me a laser like focus, and is motivating me like nothing else could. My secret weapon signed up for Spark People with me and is doing SO well - It makes me so proud and I wouldn't dream of doing anything that might take us off track!  Hopefully more to come about that!

AND AND AND....The Hubs started training with me too!!!

So, all the pieces are falling back into place.  THAT ALWAYS SCARES ME!  I am convinced it is just the calm before the storm.  BUT, I am going to try to be optimistic and see this as just the start of great success!!!

And, even though my body might hate me right now...it is going to thank me in the long run!

OH YES, IT. WILL. THANK. ME!




Friday, July 27, 2012

RECALCULATING ROUTE

Last time I posted I mentioned that I have been on a detour of sorts.  A detour filled with twists and turns, and few sign posts to tell me where to go - or at least not any I am paying attention to.


Over the weekend I had a realization.  I realized that it was time for my detour to end.  It was BEYOND time for it to end. 


I realized it was time to RECALCULATE MY ROUTE.


I have been struggling with weight loss for so many years, and although I have had some victories, I have had far more failures.  It is difficult.  Far more difficult than I want it to be.  Far more difficult than most can understand.  Being obese presents a whole new set of challenges where weight loss is concerned.  And being  super obese makes it even harder - in fact, many statistics say it is near impossible.  GREAT!


I am super obese - no secret there, I think we established that with my very first post on this blog.  As much as I want to be able to say that I can overcome this, it is hard to look at my track record and believe it.  It is hard to look at the plight of others in my situation and believe that anything can be done (even those with a celebrity trainer fail sometimes).  IN FACT, over the years and through all of the attempted diets, exercise kicks, etc. I have just ended up getting bigger and bigger.  


So, no, it isn't working.  And when I try again, OF COURSE the specter of the many failures I have endured is constantly there - reminding me that I have failed, and have failed frequently.  Reminding me that this attempt probably won't be any different, so why bother!!


I watch shows like Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and see these people lose massive amounts of weight - but let's be real - They are dedicating all of their time and energy to it.  They take time off work, or don't work at all, or quit their jobs.  The last EMWLE I watched had a nanny available for 3 months during 'the journey'!!!


Look - I am a wife and a mother - and a working one at that!  In addition, I have a home to keep - and I believe wholeheartedly that my home is my families' temple - our refuge from the world, and I'm not willing to let it go to hell.  The fact is,  I don't have the luxury of working out 4 hours a day, or hiring a nanny or quitting my job or letting my house go to pot. Even if I did, I would feel HORRIBLE if I did. I am not willing to sacrifice those things.  So, spending 1 year dedicated to 4 hour workouts and 1500 calorie diets just isn't in my future.  


IT IS NOT IN MY FUTURE.


I am also unwilling to spend one more dollar of mine or my husband's hard earned money on a weight loss program.  I have tried them all!!! Jenny Craig - CHECK, Weight Watchers - CHECK, Atkins - CHECK, Suzanne Somers - CHECK, Nutrisystem - CHECK, The Diet Center - CHECK, LA Weight Loss - CHECK.  The reality is they are businesses designed to make money.  AND, their success rate - ABYSSMAL.  I am not saying that those programs are bad, or that they don't work.  I'm saying that the failure rate for participants is HUGE.  AND, I have failed at every single one of them.  So, no, I am not going back to any of them.  I won't give our money away any more.


Ok, so I know what I am willing to do and what I am not willing to do.  So, again, what will make another attempt at weight loss different??


I DON'T KNOW!!!  I have no freaking idea.


But what I can say, is that I am not willing to quit trying.  Honestly, I may try and fail a million times...I may get to the end of my life and never reach this goal.  BUT, I will never stop trying.  And at least I will be able to say that I never gave up.




  • So, I am recalculating my route.  I am getting back on track.  
  • Wednesday night I hit the gym, Thursday morning too. (It was sad, friends, sad.  BUT, I did it.  I walked slow, and I sweated like I was running a marathon - while in reality I was whopping at the breakneck speed of 2.4 on the treadmill, but I did it!)
  • I haven't had Coke to drink since Tuesday. (Oh, the headaches)
  • I cooked dinner at home yesterday and the day before.   (Did I cook light, no, but I did cook at home and that is a huge step)
  • I brought my lunch to work today. 


I AM TRYING.  And for the moment, I am back on course.


Will I get off course again? ODDS ARE I WILL


Will I make a wrong turn?  MY HISTORY SAYS  I WILL


BUT, I won't stop trying.


So, I guess what I want you to know is that this blog may never be about me actually reaching my goal....I desperately hope so, but I can't guarantee it.


What I can guarantee is this...this blog will document a journey - a spirit that refuses to give up.  It will be HONEST and document the FIGHT, the STRUGGLE, the UPS and DOWNS, the FAILURES and SUCCESSES.  


Period.


I hope that is enough to keep you interested.  If not, I understand.  There are blogs out there with fantastic success stories - I read many of them, some are my absolute favorites. RUNS FOR COOKIES - ADORE! 


This blog may never be that kind of success story - BUT, it will tell a story - a valuable one at that.  It will be my story - the good, the bad and the ugly.


RECALCULATING ROUTE!!!!


Monday, June 25, 2012

REGROUPING

The last few weeks have been spent regrouping - trying to find my way out from under the  the constant feeling of being overwhelmed and being unable to live up to my own expectations.   Trying to recapture the drive and motivation I had before.

REGROUPING.

I'm still not there yet.  But I will get there.

Life is a journey, and not an easy one at that, and here I am finally figuring that out.  Sometimes we make wrong turns, sometimes we make complete U-turns...sometimes we make a wrong turn but end up where we are supposed to anyway  AND sometimes we actually stay right on the path.  I guess what matters is the destination and our commitment to get there.

My commitment to my journey has not waivered, nor will it ever....but right now, I am on a detour of sorts.

So, while I am winding my way through the detour, I thought it would be a great time to share a little about myself - let you get to know me a little better.  I am definitely more than just a weight loss story (and right now, that is clearly not really the story)  So, over the next 5 days I present for your entertainment 25 things you NEVER wanted to know about me, but will be oh so glad once you do!


Here are the first 10!

1.  I am obsessed with brushes, picks and combs.  I have so many of them it is ridiculous.  In my mind, each one has a special purpose - it performs a certain function with my hair that the others couldn't possibly perform.  When I travel, I travel with nearly all of them - and when I have to leave one home, it is seriously concerning to me.  In fact, I typically find myself saying "I KNEW I should have brought that one".  My brushes, picks and combs are off limits to my daughters - and when they touch them (which happens alot because they think there must be something magical about Mom's brushes, combs and picks because she loves them so much), it makes me very unhappy!  The whole situation drives the Hubs crazy...but he loves me, so he tolerates.

2.  I love BIG hair.  The bigger the better.  Seriously, how I wasn't born in New Jersey is beyond me.  Now, do I wear my hair big - not really - full, with some volume...sure, but New Jersey, no.  I once told a hair stylist to think "news caster" when she was doing my hair.  I even stopped going to a hair stylist because she didn't believe in back combing - we weren't a match.  I LOVE BIG HAIR!

3.  My hair goal (every woman has that, right???) is Jennifer Love Hewitt.  I frequently tell my hair dresser this and I can just see her mentally pitying me for having such a lofty, unachievable goal.

4.  I have a diagnosed, level 4 anxiety disorder related to fear of flight.  I HATE flying.  Now, I have done my fair share of flying, but I do not enjoy it, and there are times (like now) where I just cannot do it at all.  Before boarding a flight I investigate the aircraft type, the layout, its safety record...you name it.  I check weather patterns before flying. If they would let me have access to the pilot's flight record, I would review it before hand.  I also go through a "process" at the airport to prepare for the flight - if I am not allowed to go through said process, it sends me into a tail spin. I have cried often on flights - once with my kids (ugly) and  even on business trips.  My husband worked for jetBlue for over a year, and we didn't take one free flight because of all this.  

5.  I have an illogical fear of impalement.  I cannot stand to be around anything that could potentially impale me, or a loved one.  The handle of our plunger (or any plunger for that matter) and rebar are a couple of my more recent impalement concerns.

6.  I love MADEA.  For years I REFUSED to watch any of those movies.  I thought they would be stupid and irritating and offensive.  Then I watched Madea goes to Jail, and I was hooked.  Now I can't get enough Madea.  I squealed with delight when I saw the preview for the new Madea movie.

7.  I have an official favorite movie, and a real favorite movie.  My official favorite movie is Gone With the Wind. I do love the movie, have watched it a million times, and can't wait until my kids are old enough to watch it with me AND appreciate it.  BUT, my REAL favorite movies are Wedding Crashers and Couples Retreat.  I would choose to watch them ANY DAY over GWTW.  But, when asked my fave movie, I always say GWTW - classier, you know.

8.  For years I considered the use of chicken on a pizza a complete perversion - and I couldn't even calmly discuss the use of anything but traditional sauce.  I refused to touch any of the chicken, white sauce, etc. pizzas.  Flash forward to today...not only am I eating crow, I am also ONLY eating chicken pizzas!  They are so much more flavorful and interesting!!!  Given the choice, I would pick a chicken pizza over a traditional pizza any day!

9.  I was a die hard New Kids on the Block fan.  At the ripe old age of 15 I was convinced that Donnie Wahlberg was my soul mate!  While living in Boston I had the opportunity to meet Joey McIntyre (not my fave, but still a new kid!)...I passed...I was too afraid that I would behave irrationally and embarrass myself and the company I was working for!

10.  I am a sucker for a romantic comedy and I DESPISE critics who completely miss the point of them all!  No critic should EVER be allowed to review them, because they just don't get it. My absolute favorites of all time include Overboard, The Notebook and Raising Helen.

So, there are the first 10 things you never wanted to know about me!  I would just LOVE to hear an interesting little factoid about you!!!  COMMENT AND SHARE!






Wednesday, May 30, 2012

THAT MOMENT WHEN...

...your daughter calls you upset because one of her school mates told her that her Mom was "HUGE"

...and then later, when she looks into your eyes and tells you how sad it makes her that people might see you that way, when all she sees is her beautiful Mom.

Crushing.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

TIRED...REALLY TIRED

I have felt tired lately - really tired.  Tired of all of the demands on my time and attention.  Tired of feeling like I HAVE to do something...tired of feeling like I don't have a choice.

Tired of laundry
Tired of cleaning
Tired of yard work
Tired of church
Tired of work
Tired of budgets
And yes, tired of weight loss 

I just feel exhausted by it all right now.  I feel burned out.  I feel tired of constantly worrying about so many things, putting so many demands on myself, and constantly feeling like I'm coming up a little short.

I'm also tired of feeling like I HAVE to do something.  I want to feel like I have some choice in what I spend my time and energy on - right now, I don't feel that is the case.

Also, I am tired of feeling EXPECTED to do something.  Seriously, if one more well-intentioned person gives me the line about being around for my daughters' weddings, I will explode.

LOOK, being fat is not a death sentence - yes, yes...I know on Biggest Loser they make it seem like life is gloomy and that every fat person in America is just moments away from the grave - but we aren't.   I am NOT at death's doorstep.  There are so many health issues out there and being fat is but one.  I don't smoke!  I don't drink alcohol AT ALL!  I don't take drugs!! I don't drink coffee!  And normally, I don't even drink caffeine!  I live a fairly clean life.  Does my nutrition & exercise need to improve, hell yes...but when do I get credit for the things I do right!!! WHEN!!! 

My doctor told me that my risk of a cardiac event or stroke is incredibly small - 1) I am a female 2) I have no immediate family history of heart attack or stroke 3) I don't smoke or drink...he told me that I should stop worrying about it and in fact said that my worrying is probably more of a risk factor for issues in my life than the damn weight I am carrying around!!

I have a full life.  I like me!  When I look in the mirror, I like the person looking back.  I like my hazel eyes, I like my hair, I like my skin (that BTW has remained fairly wrinkle free thanks in no small part to an extra layer or two of fat).  I LIKE MY CURVES!!!  Do I wish I was thinner, of course!!  But doesn't everyone wish something was different about themselves???   If I never make it to the end of my journey I will still be of worth! My value isn't tied up in my weight.  All my accomplishments in this life won't be wiped out because I didn't reach 165 lbs.  And if there is some a**hole out there who feels like I am somehow less of a person because I stayed fat - they can go pound sand.

I haven't given up on my journey, I really haven't.  It is important to me and I do want to do it.  I just have to get through whatever is making me feel so burned out - making me feel completely apathetic to the whole situation, and many other things in my life right now.  

I need it to feel like a choice, rather than a requirement.  

Stay tuned, don't give up on me.  I'm wading through it all - I'm still climbing - I'm just going a little slower right now.




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RECIPE: Mexican Rice

I am a SERIOUS fan of Mexican food, and given the opportunity I would eat it every single night of my life.  This is one of my absolute FAVORITE recipes. It is SO versatile and I use it as a side dish almost every time we have a Mexican night at home. 

Adapted from Elizabeth Bryant at Simple Fancies
2 T. Olive Oil
1 1/2 c. Long Grain Rice
1 can chicken broth
1/2 c. water
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 pinches of kosher salt

Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add rice and brown.  Add chicken broth, water, tomato sauce & kosher salt.  Stir to distribute ingredients evenly.  Reduce heat to medium low. Cover.  Cook for 22 minutes.  Remove from heat. "Fluff" the rice, re-cover and let it sit for 5 more minutes. Makes 6 servings


If you want a spicier version, replace the tomato sauce with El Pato sauce.   Next time I make this I am going to substitute a can of green salsa for the tomato sauce and see how that turns out.

I plugged this recipe into Weight Watchers and each serving is 5 points.  To make the recipe healthier I'm sure you could substitute brown rice.  I haven't ever done that, but I'm sure it would taste fine.

Now, let me tell you, when I make this for my family of four, we all have about two large scoops of rice and there is still a TON left over. I always end up taking it for lunch the next day. 

Tonight for dinner we had tacos with baked corn tortillas, Mexican rice and refried beans (I don't fool around with the fat free stuff - the difference in points is minimal, but the difference in taste is HUGE).  It was DELICIOUS!  I am SUPER full and very satisfied!

I have to say, baking corn tortillas is an awesome way to save on points or calories, but still get a ton of flavor.  We spray the tortillas with olive oil on both sides, add a little seasoning (chili powder usually) and then drape them over 2 rails on the rack in our oven.  We bake them at 400 degrees for about 5 - 7 minutes.  Tonight we used Mission Yellow Corn Tortillas - Extra Thin.  They crisped up really well.  But the best part 2 tortillas only have 2 points!  SERIOUSLY!  You can't beat that!

Some other awesome dishes we have made, incorporating this rice dish, include my knock off Cafe Rio salad, my knock off Chipotle fajita bowl, and Mexican pile ups (ever heard of Hawaiian Haystacks - same concept, substituting Mexican food ingredients).

I really think this rice dish has the potential to be changed and manipulated in a million different ways.  

Any suggestions on ingredients or tweaks that can be made to the recipe?




Sunday, May 13, 2012

MY MOTHER'S DAY GIFT - CONQUERING THE "Y"

For Mother's Day I wanted one thing and one thing only...

To CONQUER the "Y".

The Hubs wasn't into it, but I persisted and with the help of some new hiking gadgetry (the way to my husband:s heart - gadgets of any kind) he got on board.  

And so yesterday, I did it....I conquered the "Y"!


The hike was harder than I wanted it to be.  First of all, I made the fatal mistake of failing to eat anything for breakfast, and boy, did that cause some problems.  I was really sapped for energy and was surprised how quickly I was tiring out.  

Second, it felt so hot on the trail!  There is no shade whatsoever on this hike and even though the ambient temperature was in the low 60's while we hiked, the sun beat down on us pretty hard AND there was no breeze at all.  So it felt pretty stifling.

Also, at the sixth switchback I realized I REALLY needed to use the restroom...and not something I was willing to take care of in a wilderness setting, if you know what I mean.  That plagued me for the remainder of the hike.  Several times I wanted to turn around just because of this issue.

You can see in the photo at the tenth switchback that I was ready to die.  I honestly had nothing left (or so I thought)  In fact, I quit here (I also quit at the eighth and ninth switchbacks LOL!).  Once you reach the tenth switchback there is a .16 mile trail that takes you to the "Y".  It was longer than I thought I had in me and there was one fairly steep section that I just couldn't bring myself to want to go up.  I told the Hubs that I was happy with reaching the tenth switchback, but I wasn't going any further.  Of course, in his mind, I'm sure he thought this was ridiculous - we were mere moments from the end.  He pushed me and told me not to give up - and it worked - eventually.  I got up and started hiking the last part of the trail....and half way up, I quit again (Poor Hubs - how he did not strangle me on this hike I don't know) - I even stopped and started to walk down.  

But I turned around...and I finished the hike.

I conquered the "Y"!

When I got up there, I literally spent 1 minute at the top and then immediately started back down (see comments about restroom issue - I seriously needed to get back down - how I had made it this far without incident is truly miraculous). 

In the picture above "The Descent" you can see my friend, Katy, who joined us on the hike.  Katy is a marathon runner, and incredibly fit.  When we told her we were hiking the "Y" and invited her to join us we told her she had to pretend to be out of shape - and under no circumstances could she wear those freaky toe shoes.  She barely broke a sweat on the damn hike!!  BUT, she was really awesome and stayed right with me the entire time.  And when I thought I was done - when I was ready to quit - she cheered me on and kept me going...THANKS KATY!

Big thanks to the Hubs, and the Girls and to Katy for indulging my desire to hike the "Y", and for encouraging me and sticking with me all the way to the top!  I can't say it was fun, but I can say it was totally worth it!!!


About the hike....

Here is the trail map for the hike.  You can see the multiple switchbacks.  The elevation gain on this hike is approximately 1000 feet, and round trip you cover 1.75 miles.  


Weight Loss Update...

I realize it has been a while since I updated my weigh in.  I weigh in on Saturdays (and right now on Fridays too for a friendly challenge with some lovely ladies - but Saturday is my OFFICIAL weigh in)

I am currently at 404.6 lbs!!

I am pretty happy that I am recovering from my detour, and that I am just about down to my low.

OF COURSE this week I am hoping to break the 400 lbs. mark.  WE SHALL SEE!