Cruel to Be Kind… in the right measure

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 230 Comments

4/8/11:

Well, officially, I lost 5.2 lbs in the past seven days! I even broke the 270 lbs mark. I am 269.8 lbs as of 5 am.   The interesting thing is that it isn’t as much about calories since I had a couple of days where I ate about 200-300 calories more than BL recommends but about the level of sodium that I have ingested and, quite possibly the amount of H2O I can drink each day.

So, moving forward, I am going to really push to drink more than 100 oz of water each day. I am also going to push for having less than 2500 mg of sodium with the end goal of having around 1500 mg sodium.
Now, that I am seeing the results of what I am doing, it gives me a clearer idea of what to do to hopefully continue to have these kinds of results. This has been a much needed shot in the arm for me psychologically. I was feeling really blue after having two dismal months at going up and down a few pounds. In fact, it also helped to make a better choice for Lenten Friday than I have been making in the past couple of weeks. I decided instead that we would pay the extra cost of having salmon instead of going to McDonald’s and ingesting all of that sodium. So, our dinner will be Alaskan pink salmon, a green salad, baked potatoes.[Correction: it ended up being lots of fresh fruit, raw vegetables, peanut butter on an English muffin. P's job overlapped our dinner hour and I told him to find a place to eat for himself, which he did]

It is hard to say just how much more I can expect to lose before Monday’s “official” weigh in. I would be thrilled to death to be 297 since not only would that mean that I have lost all of that extra bloat I was carrying on for the past couple of months but also I would be one pound less than my “official” weight I have been posting for the past couple of weeks on BLC. I have thought about what I will post on Monday’s weigh in and I will post what I actually weigh. I thought about the whole scenario and I think it would be in my best interest to have the weigh-in match what the scales actually say. Although I wouldn’t have the “ego-lift” of saying I had really dropped the weight that I have done, I would be starting out where my “official” weight matches what it is here at home. I had spent the better part of March covering up the fact that I was bouncing up and down 1 lb here and 1 lb there. Now, I will have “come clean” and I can just post what is actually happening to my weight lose. It is definitely in my best interests to do that. Knowing that the scales here and on BLC site match should be “reward” enough. It will have to be. At least, for this coming Monday.

I will have reinforced my integrity and sense of honesty which is more important than a brief moment of “back at ya” towards my leader and the comments she made the beginning of this month.  I freely admitted in my post that I was both disappointed in my March’s results but also knew some of it stemmed from my efforts. I did mention about stress being one factor. The leader came back pretty heavy-handed and said that there will always be stress and that is no reason to turn to food. Well, that was not what I was saying at all. I did explain that I had been through a highly unusual stressful 3-4 years. It was just not something that was temporary. Both P and I are weary from being under such financial straits for so long. Add to that N’s gender change(2007), Mom’s battle and lost with cancer(2008), both of our jobs being lost(2009) and then my arthritis getting worse(2009) coupled with barely making our rent (we’ve borrowed money four out of the past five months so far since last November 2010 and it would have been five out of five months but he had the foresight to borrow two months’ rent back in November), lack of sleep from the anxiety and depression I feel and, guess what, dieting and exercising were not top of my list. I am not super human. That is all I was saying.

Another person, who obviously has some feelings of intimidation of this leader, posted me with the promise that I would keep it secret (sad) about her feelings towards this leader. This other woman said that she felt that our leader didn’t always realize that she was being hurtful but sometimes it is also difficult to hear what she has to say. I understand her point but again, there is honesty and then there is being blunt to the point of being rude. It is a fine line but it is one where we all have to learn tact at some point in our life.

I was stunned and hurt by the leader’s remarks. After saying my piece, I have been pissed (read: hurt) ever since. It is quite obvious by this person’s lack of apology and her hell bent competitive attitude regarding this particular challenge that she is determined to be “top dog” at any expense, including other people’s feelings. In my opinion, leaders are there to inspire and lead by example not bully and browbeat you into “feeling inferior”. Well, I refuse to buckle on that part. All it does to me is the attitude of “bring it on”. “You want to play hard ball well I’m ready”. Whether she meant to be hurtful or not, it did feel that way and I will say that there has been part of me to want to “show her”. Well, that is plain silly. I need to acknowledge to myself that I had valid reasons why I was not succeeding at my weight lose. I don’t have anything to prove to her. In fact, the best “revenge” will be to continue to stay on track and have really good weeks from now on. If I really want to “show her” and “put her in her place”, which I still secretly do, than I need to really knuckle down and do all I can to facilitate a good weight lose every week. I am sure that at some point I will look back on this and think of how silly I have also been. Sometimes, it is easy to feed into another person’s “issues”. This time I came close to doing just that.

I do want to show that I have been working hard this past week but again I just lost the weight I hadn’t been able to during the month of March. I continued to post 268 lbs because I knew that my sodium intake had been very high and the last week of March I ate whatever I wanted to since I had decided to call a “time out”. I didn’t even log my calories during that time. I figured that once I got back on a healthier food plan the weight would fall off. Well, I was right regarding that. It has. I haven’t exercised since I have been focusing more on getting my food plan back on track and also to get back to a more “normal” sleep pattern. However, I hope to resume some form of exercise either this weekend or Monday. I probably need that extra nudge.

I am also going to do another thing: I am really going to try to stay at the bottom of my calorie range and even try to go 100 calories below that some days. This will probably mean that I will be eating a lot more than 4 servings of vegetables a day but whatever I can do to shave off some calories I am going to do that. I might also have to start drinking less milk. I had been drinking a lot more since I started adding instant coffee to it. I also need to start getting some diet salad dressings since I will probably be using that as a dip for all the raw vegetables that I will be eating.
All of this may take several weeks to arrive at where I would like to be but that is my end goal and that is what I am going to strive for over the next days, weeks, months.

I would rather do a few things well than haphazardly do other things so-so. One of the biggest weaknesses I have had in my past efforts of losing weight on my own is inconsistency. I would have some really great days and then a string of really not so great days. So far, I have been able to sustain a 5.2 lb weight lose this week by trying to correct my sleep patterns, drink more and more water, work at lowering my sodium intake and, of course, tweaking my food plan. However, I do want to say that I have managed to also fit in some chocolate every day. I am really leaning towards dark chocolate so I get some added “benefits” from it.

Again, one thing that I can’t help but notice is that what really helps my hunger is eating really healthy and that does include eating the fruits and vegetables that everyone seems to stress. I will have to admit that they are right. When I eat the minimum recommended of 3 servings of fruit and 4 servings of vegetables, the rest of my food plan seems to fall into place almost too easily. I do have a tendency to overdo the fruit which can raise my blood glucose and then I will get a craving for more food. I honestly think that eating vegetables blunt my hunger pangs and control my appetite. Who knew?

I was explaining and stressing this “phenomena” to one of the “Coaches” on the Beck Diet Solution. He seemed skeptical but I thought everyone knew that. This is one of the key elements I took away from the South Beach Diet. In fact, I feel it is one of the important strengths of the low carb food plan. Some people are more sensitive to carbs and how they affect their body than other people are. I am able to handle a lot more carbs IF I am more physical but that is the key and something that I can’t always be consistent on; again, because of my knees.

I also think that since a lot of people don’t understand how food affects their bodies chemically they are frustrated and in the dark without needing to be. I really think that Dr. Agaston does a really good job in explaining some of the chemistry behind food in a way that made me have some real “a-ha” moments. I just hate to say that I forget to practice a lot of it. Well, this past week I have implemented some key elements that have allowed me to lose weight each day.  I will continue to push hard to get more water in and also to push that sodium intake down as far as I can comfortably go and still have an interesting choice of foods to eat.

Quite honestly, I am at the point where I don’t really care if I have to stay away from some real diet busters as long as I am losing. I mean, that is what I am trying to accomplish here, right? I am trying to get all of this extra weight off. I have been mistakely sabotaging my efforts for too long to continue to do it now that I have had these revelations. I don’t care if I have to limit my food choices to more home cooked meals, more fruits and vegetables, more water, less sodium, etc. as long as I am losing the weight. That is the real incentive. I also think that success can and does build on itself. I don’t know if I will be able to say a year from now that I am also down 130 lbs like starbrite has been able to do but even if I were down 80 lbs that would still be more than I have been in decades. I’m enthused again. I am psyched. I am pumped. I am motivated. Now, to do it!

Well, again, it seems like I am able to sleep about 4 hours before I have to get up. I had an organic vegetable pizza for breakfast this morning. It’s Lenten Friday for one and we have to eat non-meat food but it was also just nice to have one of my favorite foods instead of trying to fit it in after I have eaten a lot of other foods that I felt like I had to eat “just cause”. I think of all the times that I ate the usual eggs or cereal for breakfast when I really wanted something else to eat. I have broken that “atuomatic pilot” at times and I actually enjoyed having a tuna salad sandwich for breakfast. Again, it really gets back to what I am really hungry for right now instead of settling for what you think you should eat instead of what you really want. It gets back to the emotional component of eating to some extent but also how many times have I eaten many other things only to finally eat what I really wanted in the first place.

Well, this morning that is what I chose to eat, it tasted delicious, it was satisfying for me, met the guidelines of my food plan (organic, vegetables, non-meat) and by eating it early enough in the day I have the rest of the day to “work off” the sodium that is inherent in frozen processed foods.
I hope so because I took two Aleve for my knees and I noticed that the two are 440 mg sodium! Now, I know why they garner a warning for those with weaker hearts. I also know I am going to really need to push the water today.

I just got to thinking about whether weighing every day could also have the same effect of creating an obsession with the scales. I don’t weigh as much with this new scale as I did with my old one. Maybe, because it seems more consistent in the numbers. I also can’t “manipulate” it either by shifting my weight, etc. I just wish I had this scales when I first started last year. I used the old scale and where I was at with that to “go back” to where I thought I was. If that was the case I actually did get over 300 lbs. That is hard to believe but when I think of how some of my clothes fit back then plus I was buying and wearing 26W which sometimes were tight depending on the style, how I was beginning to look through my middle especially and just how I felt overall, I believe I was. I am very grateful that I was able to get as far as I have but I won’t be out of the woods regarding being considered obese until I am at least in the 180s. That is 90 lbs away!

Right now, I feel like I have traveled up and down around the numbers of 265-276 lbs so much that I am almost sick of seeing them when I step on the scales. 265-276 lbs is sort of a “set point” for me and it was in the past as well. I want so badly to see 259 just because it will be out of this particular area I have been in for so long and which I hope to never see again. I made a vow last summer that I would get rid of a lot of the larger sizes as I moved down the scales. I am now also thinking that I have worn some of these clothes so frequently that I will probably be getting rid of them because they are becoming quite worn. So, it might mean that I will need to buy a few clothes in sizes 24W just so I have some clothes that are acceptable to wear out in public. I don’t need an excuse to buy clothes anyway because I just love following the current trends but again it does get back to still needing to buy the larger sizes longer than I thought I would. Wal-mart online has some of the nicest, cheapest plus-sized activewear for women I have ever seen. As we move through the really hot months, I hope that I will be able to supplement what I already have with some clothes. I guess, it will depend on how our finances are. Right now, we are really struggling just to make our monthly bills. There is not a nickel to spare.

Last night P and I went to a free discussion on organic gardening and canning. It was held at our North Fulton County Service Center where we can vote, get car tags, get funding for work-related education, etc. I had heard about it through the woman who gave the series on diabetes that I attended in March. It turned out to be two hours so full of so much information I left feeling excited that I had decided to go after all. I signed up Paul too. I wanted him to be exposed to the ideas so he would have an idea of what I was hoping we would “get into”. It was definitely worth the time. I would have even considered paying for it but being free (both of these) was very exciting, especially at this particular time in our finances.  I have now decided to apply for a plot in the community garden. There are only two spots left so I hope I’m not too late.If they are taken then I will ask to be put on next year’s list. We even both won a door prize each. I won a bag of organic compost and P won a starter canning kit. They served fruits, vegetable,s donut holes and chocolate chip cookies besides water, coffee and tea. I felt like I was really living it up. This is what being so broke for so long has done to me. I am literally grateful for anything “extra”.

The one aspect of all of this that has troubled P and I is the fact that it seems so “uncertain”. We just never know where our next dollar will come from. It is stressful on a day to day basis. Now, as I look over our tax forms, I see that we made $xxxxx in 2010. Even P was surprised! Then, why is it that we feel so stressed about money? Because we don’t have any savings so when he has these fluctuations in his income we scramble to know where the money is going to come from to pay our bills. I need to start contributing some kind of income as well. That would help us a lot. I have a feeling there probably will be this uncertainty for some time until both the economy rectifies itself, we can raise our income and the money coming in, and we are able to reduce our debt significantly as well. The new financial advise from all of the current financial gurus is to “live below your means” and sock a lot of extra cash into savings. Those are the people who are actually “riding this current wave and doing okay”. I am trying to do my best to absorb any/all of this financial advice that is floating around. I can see where I  need to steer us.

Both P and I have realized for some time that we each have strengths and weaknesses that contribute to making our life what it is. Actually, if I could quit being so stressed about things, I would be able to see more clearly just how well he is doing in spite of the local economy and the specialized type of work he is in. As this past couple of years have unfolded Paul has picked up work from several different sources and it continues to grow…slowly, but it is growing. Having said that though, I think both of us did appreciate the security of a weekly paycheck. That is the only thing that I miss about working for someone else. It is so much easier to plan when you know how much you are working with.

4/9/11:

I can’t hardly believe this but I am 268.4 lbs!! I have lost 7.8 lbs since April 1st. Isn’t that amazing? Granted, it was my wish that I would be able to lose all of that sodium-induced water bloat that I was carrying around last month and make it to 268 lb (which is what I have been posting for the past three weeks on the BLC site) but this makes it real!! I am .4 lbs from being where I said I was. It has averaged 1 lb a day. I will say that the increase in vegetable and fruit fiber has made me a little constipated but I am not kicking it at all! I am drinking the additional water which is helping me to “release” the water weight. I don’t even know if I can expect to lose anything more before Monday but I am hoping that I can lose 2 more lbs. That would be a dream come true!!  Now, I feel like I am back on track. Really on track. Now, to stay there.

The other active group on BLC has asked me to join another Buddy Challenge. I am not sure what the details are but I agreed. It begins Monday. That is four groups that I will be reporting to. OY! Well, as long as I can “juggle” it all and do it justice I will continue. After all, these “challenges” do keep a person “accountable” even if it means that it shows up your weaknesses, like last month. Well, if I can’t say anything more than it was a revelation of just how much sodium I was ingesting and how it was impacting my weight lose, which is what this is all about, then I guess it was not all for lose.

4/10/11:

I had my annual eye exam late yesterday afternoon then we went to A’s to have the house sirloin. I ended up having the 9 oz steak, baked potato and broccoli. If you order two “qualifying” entrees, you get a free appetizer. I have always wished it was a salad but it doesn’t work that way. Instead, I got the onion rings with the idea that I would either have just one (or two) or take all of them home. Well, I had 3 small ones then took the remainder home and put them in the freezer. When we came home I checked the A’s website and I found all of my food except that there was no listing for sodium. I guessed and this morning I weighed 271 lbs. However, since then I had a very difficult BM (to pass) and I have eaten about 1/3 of my daily calories. After my nap, I weighed again and that was what I weighed. I am hoping that is only a 2 lb “gain” from having eaten already today. If we would eaten a restaurant meal four hours earlier it might not have affected my morning weight “gain”.  I just had another thought: I could compare notes with other restaurants and use theirs as a gauge for the sodium. It is better than guessing.

I went on GC’s website but I noticed that their restaurant seems to be more heavy-handed with sodium although I did write down similar food items for comparison. I had written down some of the other entrees that A’s have and I noticed that their sodium level was lower than GC. However, these were also “diet” entrees which I would think they have made an effort to lower calories, sodium and fat. I did some “ballparking” and after several calculations, tentatively, I have come up with what I think seems reasonable levels of sodium based on comparing with other entrees they have listed with the complete information. Well, no such luck so all I can do is gauge how the scales reads the next morning for now.

On a different topic, I also got a very heavy period early this evening. I started out with some strong cramps and the bleeding progressed over a period of hours. I passed a lot of larger clots and I’ve been bleeding very heavily for about four hours. Every time I get up from this chair, I feel more “come out”. It’s kept me busy changing my clothes, cleaning up and doing additional loads of laundry. I am not sure I am out of the woods yet. I plan on going to sleep within a half hour so I hope that this begins to taper off. One thing that I also hope is that this will help my Monday morning weigh in. I suspect that there was more sodium in the meal I had Saturday night than I suspected. Also, today I had 1000 calories in “fun size” Snickers bars. I logged all but 320 calories of those. I just couldn’t admit that I went 400 calories over my top of my range. It’s enough to log what I did log. Although I have been hungry since 9 pm, I decided to wait until 2 am to have a sandwich, skim milk and an apple. It can go on Monday’s food log although it may/may not affect my weigh in. So, right now, I am hoping that this heavy period will give me a 2 lb lose although it is not showing up on the scales right now. I know. I have weighed every time I go into the bathroom.

I’ve agreed to another “challenge” with another group. I had joined one of their challenges last summer. I started too with a “decluttering” one but it just seemed too overwhelming to me. I really don’t have that much to declutter although I certainly have quite a bit to do that I have been procrastinating on.

Ideally, I would also like to begin exercising again on a daily basis. Also, I need to switch out my cold weather wardrobe with my warm weather wardrobe. Somewhere in the midst of all that I would also like to finish up the painting that I began in here about a month ago.

I hate to admit this but the past couple of weeks I have spent almost all of my waking hours here at the computer and it was mostly playing online games. My sleep has settled down into a more familiar pattern of going to bed before 3 am the past several nights but I am still having difficulty sleeping more than four hours at a time. I took a long nap earlier this evening but I didn’t feel well. Between the cramps and my allergies, I just wanted to lay down.

4/11/11:

I am very happy to say that I was able to put down my “official” weight today as 267.2 lbs!! However, getting there was quite the ordeal from yesterday’s 271 lb. (and I am assuming the added sodium in the evening meal we had at A’s). I began bleeding around 5 pm but it started out slowly then built up momentum. At one point for several hours, I was changing my super maxi overnight pads every half hour. I was passing a lot of clots each time that I bled as well.  I was thoroughly exhausted by the time I felt I was able to go to bed and get some sleep. I lost 3.8 lbs during that time. That is a lot of body fluids. I was so weak when I went to bed. I slept for about 3 1/2 hours before I got up. I had to change then too. I had a light breakfast, posted everything on my different groups and went back to bed. I was able to sleep for another 5 1/2 hours. I had a late afternoon lunch and then I returned to sleep for another 3 1/2 hours. So, I slept a total of 12 1/2 hours!! That isn’t even including the sleep that I had on Sunday. I still weak but nothing like I did earlier today. I don’t know how many more periods like that I can handle.

4/14/11:

My early am weight is 270.4 lbs. I think this reflects that I ate 600-900 extra calories over the top of my calorie range. I slept well last night although I hope to return to bed soon for a few hours more before I “get movin” for the day. If I can stay within my calorie range the next several days, drink the water that I have been drinking and maybe even fit in some physical activity, I might see that 265.6 lb that I saw the other day. I hope so.

Last night, while Paul was at choir practice, I began reading the Beck Diet Solution. To me, this seemed so familiar that I am almost certain that I tried doing this book before. I am going to follow it as the author wants you to. So, last night, I made up Advantage/Response cards. These are single sentences that I am to read several times a day, much like subliminal programming, to assist me in developing the “resistance” to avoid eating for all the wrong reasons. I feel really pleased that I did not allow myself to eat more than a cold chicken sandwich and some raw vegetables for a light supper, even though I knew that they would push my calorie limit over the 2100 peak. I felt that if I hadn’t eaten that, I might have felt too hungry and overeaten later, usually less healthier choices, thus boomeranging and potentially widening the calorie gap even more. I think, that decision and subsequent action, would be considered following the BDS philosophy.

I also still stuck to the fruit/vegetables servings yesterday. Today, I decided to start trying to stay within 45-60 carb grams per “sitting”. That is what is recommended for diabetics to manage their blood sugar. I wore my pedometer and even though I sat a lot I did manage to take 1100 steps. Anything under 2500 is considered sedentary but I’m not fooling myself. I am sedentary. At least, for now.

Well, the game is still on. I made my goal of losing 20 lbs by Memorial Day and I am still going to do that. That could/would put me at 250 lb or less. I would like to see if I can scan our most recent portrait (for our church directory) onto a Photo Shop page on the computer, crop it and then save it to my flash drive so I could upload it as my avatar for both 3FC and BLC. Even though my double chin was “touched up”, I still think that it looks enough like me right now that I would like to add it as my most recent photo for both sights. I am also going to keep updated photos of me on both sites as I lose the weight. 10% of my weight would be 27 lbs. which would 249 lbs or by Memorial Day.

[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]

Fruit N Vegetable Food Challenge

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 228 Comments

Today I resume my reduced calorie food plan and a revised work out program. After a very tense and stressful four-six weeks (all about being short on funds) I decided to take a “time out” this past week and just give myself a “rest” from all the “bean counting”. Dieting is stressful enough on its own without the addition of other external factors.

I have gone through two plus weeks of the worst insomnia I have ever had. I had been accustomed to going to bed around 2-3 am anyway but it seems like once I got into bed I couldn’t seem to settle down. My knees would hurt, my back would feel sore, then I might have a reoccurring itch that bothered me or simply I couldn’t get comfortable. Or I would fall asleep for an hour or two and then be wide awake. Last night I ended up taking 6 Tylenol PM over a period of 12 hours in order to finally drop into bed totally exhausted. Once I fall asleep I do usually sleep around 6-8 hours and it is restful sleep  but I have also been getting up around 2-4 pm! So, then the cycle repeats itself. I’m not tired before 2 am and then it starts all over again. I almost feel like a vampire…certainly, nocturnal. I keep thinking that I have adjusted so well to this that it is a shame that I am not working a third shift job. I certainly could do it. I have gone to bed as late as 8 am.

Like I said, I am resuming my reduced calorie food plan and working out today. I will also resume posting on the different groups that I have been posting on. I have had a dismal “show” of my lackluster efforts especially this past month. I would not say I was even trying by the third week of March. I am afraid that I may have even temporarily gained some of my weight lose back. I do think that a lot of it is the kinds of foods I am eating and I believe that if I can really watch the calories for even 4-5 days I will see an initial 5-6 lbs weight lose.

I have decided that I am going to drop down to 1500-1700 calories per day. Mostly because I can’t count on being active enough to eat more calories, in spite of my weight. I am also going to continue doing the strength training exercises since they seem to have been easy to adapt to my joints. I am really going to try and do a complete yoga/pilates dvd and I may even return to Richard Simmons since that does “break a sweat” and it isn’t as static on my joints as walking on the treadmill seems to be. One thing that I look forward to with getting some more money into our account is that I want to return to buying foods that will allow me to follow a more specific plan rather than hit and miss like I have been doing. I am sure that I will feel like I am “starving” for the first several days until my stomach gets accustomed to less food. Hopefully, drinking lots of water will help. None of this will work if I don’t apply it. I might actually have a new incentive to do so.

I decided that I would start a diet blog on 3FC when I resumed posting on there on a regular basis. I just wanted to be able to look back and see how I did and how far I had come. Well, the intention was good but the first two months has been short of a disaster. I ate a lot of extra sweets during the month of February. Then, in March, I was “pushing” for us to eat out a lot so I had to contend with the added sodium in restaurant food. Now, I am hoping that with spring really here and April being a new month that I will get back on track and make up for lost time. April will only be different if I make different choices. Period!

An incentive that I had never considered is the fact that since posting my diet blog I have actually had people who have checked it out and even commented on the content. As I was explaining to Paul, I now feel some added pressure to make sure that I am “walking the walking as well as talking the talk”. No, I’m not ranting about being obese and having been obese for nearly thirty years. However, I also haven’t applied all of the insight that I have shared either. So, this month has to be a plan of action put into practice. I understand if I don’t have dramatic results and I’m not even sure that any of the readers are expecting that but I have to at least put forth the effort.

One thing that I have given up, which I think is a good thing: is not pre-planning the end results. Who knows if I will lose  2 lbs or 10 lbs this coming month but whatever I lose I really have to put forth a good faith effort or I will risk losing my credibility which is something that I don’t want to do. So, I am returning to the belly of the beast and it starts when I awake from whatever sleep I will get between now and later this morning/early this afternoon.

Well, Day One of my returning to “eating less and moving more” wasn’t too bad. Although I pushed the calories over by 300 by eating a whole dark chocolate candy bar. It doesn’t feel like I am being “off ” my food plan since dark chocolate does not seem like a “sweet”. Paul got me a 90% dark chocolate bar the other day. It was like eating baking chocolate. It was bitter. I finished it off but it was definitely not something that you would “pig out on”. This one was 60% cocoa so it was more palatable. I definitely will continue to buy dark chocolate when we go to the grocery store. I really find that chocolate has a soothing effect on me and the antioxidants it has is also beneficial. I did my strength exercises. I also went into the grocery store with Paul. I feel like I would like to check everything out on the shelves. There just seems to be so many interesting choices. I can see that Publix is moving towards more “green” and organic foods. In some ways it seems like it is becoming more of a speciality store. I do know that I like it a lot and I like the direction that it is going too. Since we are “watching” what we spend there, I have fallen back on buying some of the generic store brands for things like bread, eggs and milk. For a long while I was buying Smart Balance, organic milk and Nature’s Own bread, which are all more expensive but lately I feel we need to cut back, at least for awhile. I’ll return to those other brands when it looks like our “finances” are improving.

IF he would have had a weekly paycheck that we knew what it was and it was something we could count OR if both of us were working, then I might have agreed to it but we do not know from week to week what his income will be. We are literally (and have been) living week to week for months now. I am so damn sick and tired of being so strapped for money. It has stressed me out so much for the past several months and especially the past couple of weeks. I am sure that is why I was having such difficulty sleeping. Here I thought it was all behind me. We need a break and we need it badly! I will admit that we do have spurts of extra cash that have really come in handy but that is not the same as moving us up economically from just above the poverty line to a more secure level of income. I have prayed and prayed about this until I feel like I am tapped out. I do feel like I have faith that God will and has answered our prayers in many different ways and many different times but this is one area that it just seems like we are limping along.

4/2/11: Well, I have lost 2 lb of sodium-induced weight. It is a shame that I have as my “official” weight on BLC as 268 lbs. I still have 6 lbs before I will reach that. We are starting up a new challenge in my BLC support group. It is a fruit n vegetable challenge which I feel relatively confident that I can meet each day quite easily especially if I put my mind to getting all my vegetables in. Also, for the person who has the biggest percentage of weight lose besides eating all their fruits and vegetables plus a mystery value(which I’m not sure what that would be either) has a chance to win a BLC t-shirt. I think that would be really neat if I did win it although a lot of these people are a lot farther along than I am in terms of being able to be physically active. I’ll do my best which I really hope that I do this month. It would be nice to be the “comeback kid”. P, the leader of this group, lost over 10 lbs in the past 4-6 weeks. She also does a lot of working out. She seems to be the one who is the most motivated. It is hard to tell what the others are doing though. It sounds like a lot of them are either just maintaining (like myself) or bouncing back and forth (like myself). The person to beat then would be P.

Well, for me the real key for me is to keep my calories down and try to find ways to get activity that burns calories in. I did walk with Paul when we went grocery shopping last night. I didn’t have much  pain in my knees. As long as I go slow, it is doable. I am going to try Richard Simmons dvds again. I find them fun and I do end up “sweatin”. I am going to do my best to make this a priority and keep it a priority from now on.

4/4/11: Again, it is around 1 am on Monday. I still consider it Sunday night though. Well, so far I have been doing pretty good with my food plan. I weighed this afternoon and I was down 6 lbs!! I have noticed that if I can keep my sodium around 2500 mg I can see some weight lose. So, 3000 is just too much for me and anything above that I know I will be retaining some “water weight”. I was back on the website a few minutes ago so I put down the weight I was last Monday and also Friday even though I am not sure if I will weigh in on that later Monday morning. I do think that if I have a really good week I could easily surpass that. I sure hope so. It will be nice to be on the “same page” both at home and the website. I knew it was sodium-induced weight gain and I believed that if I really kept a close tab on everything I would lose that quickly. That may not happen after this initial weight lose but for now I will be happy back to what I am posting on BLC and also my ticker on 3FC.

I am very proud of myself for saying “No’ to our favorite Chinese restaurant and instead using that money we would have spent there on additional groceries to support my food plan. I knew we would spend $20 there and we really didn’t a lot of groceries when we went on Friday night. When I weighed and saw the lose I was so glad that was what I chose to do. Now, maybe, I can lose 2-3 lbs a week if I can really stick to my food plan, drink the water and especially keep that sodium around 2000-2500 mg.
It really means that I will have to consider carefully what foods I am willing to eat based on their sodium content. Well, we have four weigh ins this coming month. May 2nd is  the first Monday so I have 4 weeks to lose an additional 10-12 lbs with 15 being the best. Although I have no way of knowing if my body will respond in the way I would like it to; ideally, I would like to be 258 lbs by May 2nd.

Well, I have my “work” cut out for me. I limited myself to the mini chocolate candy bars but my dinner was pretty sparse. Since I had two hamburgers for lunch I ended up only having an apple for dinner and some chocolate candy bars. I could have had peanut butter on celery but, quite honestly, the candy bars sounded better. I didn’t exercise although I had intended to. I feel somewhat self-conscious when Paul is hanging out around here. However, I am going to have to get over that because I do need to work out. Period!

Later in the Day/Evening of 4/4/11:

I ended up having 2 1/2 hours sleep! Tops! I am speechless about this and how it has evolved. I am trying not to “freak out” about it and not dwell on the fact that I have bouncing between 3 hours of sleep and 10-12 hours of sleep. Obviously, it is not a “normal” sleep pattern. I actually awoke feeling hungry so I got up and made a breakfast like I like to have only it is usually 600 calories or 1/3 of my daily calories.  I am very tense about deciding whether to get a quick cash loan or not. I often wondered what we would do in a real “emergency” and now I think I know where we could turn to. It is sort of a relief to know that we would be able to get access to some quick cash if we absolutely needed it.
After all, we might need to fly home to Minnesota if one of our parents became seriously ill.  Or car repairs that extended what we could comfortably come up with. However, I don’t want to use it just because we “failed to plan”.

Then, we went to my favorite Chinese restaurant and I made some good choices. I was so hungry though that I could have easily gone back for seconds on many of the different food choices. I didn’t. I managed to keep my sodium under 3000 mg which that is saying something considering how notorious Chinese food for being high in sodium and probably MSG. I ate more foods off of the cold buffet like fresh fruits and vegetables. Still, I went away wanting “more”. Later in the afternoon after the wire transfer was done with the money I felt like I was relaxed enough to lay down. I fell asleep for about 2 hours. When I got up we watched one of our movies. When he went to bed I made homemade chicken noodle soup. It smells so good in here. I had promised him that I would make that Sunday and then today so it was close to midnight but I “got it done” In fact, he smelled it and he came out around 2 am to take a taste before I put it in the refrigerator.

4/6/11:

It’s a little past midnight. I didn’t go to bed “last night” until 3:30 am! The storm had settled down by then and I had finished making my homemade chicken noodle soup. I got up about 4 hours later.  I made some much needed phone calls. I ended up laying back down since I had taken a couple of Tylenol PMs in the meantime. I also figured out how I could fit in my fruit and vegetables for the day so I did some meal planning.

Since P had to go to a monthly  meeting, I decided to go back to bed and I ended up sleeping until 8 pm! At least, this sleep is restful and I did awake feeling like I had gotten some quality rest. I have just tried not to “panic” about the fact that my sleep pattern is very irregular. I try to do what I can during my waking hours to “take care of” what needs to be taken care of so I am not “losing out” in doing what I need to do during the daylight hours.

As I am prone to do, when I was posting on the 3FC website I ran across a link someone suggested about exactly how many calories per day a person should have. Of course, I am always interested in stuff like that; more information to help me in losing weight, and that link of course brought me to some other information about how to really “burn the fat”. Well, I am always leery of any site that doesn’t say right out how much something will cost so I took down the information and went on Amazon.com and got what appears to be a similar book by the same author “second hand” for $10.47 with S/H. I think it’s a lot better deal anyway. I can mark it up as I want and read it more effectively than an e-book. Plus, I am sure I saved $12-25 as well.

I am liking this fruit n vegetable challenge. I think that is probably all I needed to make sure that I get those in every day. I also noticed that by making sure that I am eating at least 2-3 servings of both food groups the accumulative amount of calories I am eating is a lot less. That sort of surprised me but I am also glad to see the variety of foods I can eat even around 1500 calories. I weighed when I got up from my late afternoon nap and I broke the 270 lbs mark at 269.4 lbs!! I sure hope that is what I will weigh tomorrow morning. It will definitely be awesome if I do. As soon as I hit 268 lbs then I will finally be at where I have posted my weekly weight on both websites. Yes, I cheated there for almost a month but I just couldn’t admit that I had really slid back into a lot of overeating and bad food choices. Ideally, I would like to get down to 267 lb by this coming Monday so I could legitimately be at the same weight where I am here. I think if I continue to really follow this fruit n vegetable challenge I will succeed in losing at least 10 lbs this coming month. When I say that, I am also hoping that it will be 10 lbs beyond the 8 lbs that I was carrying around for the second half of March. I think that it is possible for me to lose 18-20 lbs this coming month if I really keep my sodium low and try not to go way over the calories I should be eating to lose weight. It would really be great if I could start out the month of May around 256-258 lbs. It is possible.

Since Easter is practically at the very end of this month I should have no trouble fitting into what was supposed to be my Easter dress last year. I am looking forward to wearing that. I have since lost over 30 lbs since last Easter with the possibly of losing another 15-18 lbs so it should fit quite comfortably

4/6/11:

I am very pleased to say that I have lost 5 lbs since April 1st. 1 lb per day. It is a much needed boost in the arm for confidence regarding my ability to get back in the saddle and knuckle down for losing weight. I did some reviewing of my sodium levels and if I can keep my sodium intake around 2000 mg or less I have a better chance of really seeing some significant drops;which, of course, is exactly what I want to do. Paul is picking up Donnie’s for me today but I will be eating that for lunch/dinner so hopefully I will be able to flush out the added sodium so my weigh in tomorrow will be good. Now, that I see what I need to do to get the kind of numbers that I would like to see helps me plan my meals more carefully. Wouldn’t it be nice to lose 20 lbs this month? After that, wouldn’t it be nice to see a 12-15 lbs lose after that as well? Again, knowledge is power.

I really credit weighing every day last month with really opening my eyes to the impact that sodium has on my weight lose. Now, the challenge will be to navigate throughout each day and make sure that I really bring that sodium down. It might simply be more of an issue now since I am not at my heaviest any more. I have read other people talk about how they have to bring their sodium down to levels as low as 1200-1500 mg!! Considering what I have been ingesting that seems nearly impossible to me but I do love stepping on the scales and seeing the weight drop like this so I will really hone this from now on.

Another thing that I have noticed is, in the brief time that I have been eating fruits and vegetables and also measuring my portions, has also allowed me to “eat more” food since they are lower in calories to begin with. It does make me stop and reconsider how I have been eating before. I now see how I was setting myself up for frustration unknowingly.

[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]

6/29/12: There are no accompanying videos to any of my blog entries. For those of you who claim that, you are confusing me with another blog or site. Please check your facts before leaving comments to that affect. Thank you.

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