A New Self Image is Emerging

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose, Non-Food Rewards, Permanent Weight Lose | 135 Comments

Week of August 9, 2011:

Well, yesterday began Day 1 of a two month BLC (Biggest Loser Club) Buddy Challenge. I can say by the looks of my eating patterns in the past couple of weeks, if not months, that I really needed to be pulled back and take a “reality check” on my so-called weight lose efforts. This past weekend was a perfect example. I decided to do some baking which I  really enjoy doing. I haven’t made cinnamon rolls from scratch in probably 25 years!! I “forewarned” P that this might be considered the “baker’s dozen” meaning that this is the “trial batch” where I see what I need to do to “correct” any problems. It went well except for a few minor hitches which are easily corrected the next time that I make them. I just thought the whole process was enjoyable. Just kneading dough by hand “alone by itself” was a neat experience. Plus, the smells were just wonderful. What really made it a “perfect” baking day was that it was “pouring down” while I was in the kitchen. Paul was used to having cinnamon rolls with icing that was more like frosting. He had a couple but I did expect him to eat more. I ended up eating the majority of them, which had to have been thousands of calories over 36 hours.

I think that the next time that I make them; I will either “half” the recipe or make them up to one point (before the next rising of the dough) and then freeze the rest; whereas, I can bring out a couple as needed. Either way would help in doing “damage control”. I think that I am also going to have the option of making an icing from Splenda. In fact, now that I have begun this “Buddy Challenge”, I am going to revert to using more Splenda in both my cooking and eating. If I had made an icing using Splenda I would have saved the majority of the calories which come from the icing.

Well, I will say that a couple of things that I have learned  is that I really don’t like no sugar dessert products except for the ice creams. However, those dessert items with sugar in them are too loaded with calories to really include them in my food plan right now. So, I am returning to using Splenda. After briefly reviewing that Splenda cookbook N gave me back in 2006, I have decided that I am going to resume using that when I can. I was excited to see that the author and chef included several recipes for pies which is my all-time favorite when it comes to desserts. I think that I will be able to “indulge” myself, within reason, with some former favorites and not sabotage my food plan as I have done too much this past year.

I feel really fortunate that I am finally at a place where exercise is actually impacting my weight lose efforts. I am hoping that I will be at 30 minutes of walking, whether on the treadmill or even outside by the time I am half way through this “Buddy Challenge”. One thing is that it will allow me to have a few “mistakes” if I go over my calorie range. Well, it will be a “challenge” but one that I really hope that I can rise to the occasion on. I haven’t really completely applied myself since June 2010. I put my personal goal as losing 20 lbs in the next eight weeks. I have no idea if that is possible but I was able to lose 25 lbs in 4 weeks last summer and I have managed to keep that off with going up and down 10 lbs besides.

I do think that I have established some good eating habits for the most part. I think part of the deterrent for me has been I couldn’t match the eating with some good exercise habits. However, I have felt that I have made some significant progress in the past two months with starting and sticking with this strength exercises. I have finally been able to resume walking on the treadmill in the past couple of weeks. Now, to keep up the exercise and burning calories along with staying within the recommended calorie range. That will be my own personal challenge as I move through the next two months. Ideally, it would be nice if I managed to do that from  here on out so that I could start to steadily lose weight until I make it to my goal weight.
I think that I can do it. I think that what I need to do over and over until it sinks in is realize that not only can I do this but I have everything I need to do this. I think what I have needed all along was to believe in my abilities to do this like so many other things. I have simply believed it wasn’t possible and so I either didn’t try hard enough or I would try for awhile, lose my motivation and then slack off. It does mean applying continual pressure on myself to keep at it even when I don’t feel like it; like so many things in life that presents obstacles.

I do credit being in this Beck Diet group with regaining some of my lost confidence. It is very positive exchange of support, ideas and just plain talk on a daily basis. In fact, when I slack off and don’t post at least every other day, I really know something is missing in my whole approach to things. I am a little envious of those people who have already lost close to 70 lbs. There are a couple who have and even one person who has reached her end goal. I so would like the reducing part of this dieting to be over. It reminds me though of when we were in the last couple of years of paying off the car. I remember P saying that he was wondering if we would ever own that car. Well, we were six months past the due date on the loan which added enough interest to make two monthly payments but considering that we had both been laid off from our jobs, it still was a euphoric release of “We Did It!”

Although I am still somewhat skeptical about returning to college and going into an entirely different field with not any real clear idea of “where, what and when” I will get employed doing this or for how much money; I know that I can’t continue to do what I have been doing. I have realized for almost six months, if not longer, that I need some focus in my life. I have researched this as much as I felt I needed to and this still has more pros than cons. When I called the registrar office though I was told that I would have to self-finance my own education. Now, with the new legislation in July 2010, the individual higher education colleges are the ones who determine how financial aid is appropriated.  Although I am accepted to every program that I apply, I do not have the self-funds to return to college. I could ask my Dad to co-sign a loan but he is in his 80s and I am nearly 60; it is just something that I don’t want to ask him to do.  P was turned down because my financial “situation” is his as well.  Nearly 18 months has been in this kind of limbo for me. I always hit a dead end.

P is starting to get service calls from S; going out to customers’ homes. One thing that is really nice about that is the majority of S’s customers live around or north of here; mostly in A, etc. For almost five years P has had to go as far south as G (about 50 miles out of the city) for C’s. As a result, he has put a lot of miles on our car. If he could begin to have more work within 20-25 miles north of here, he would be facing less traffic (especially going through the downtown connector) and I think it would just make the commuting part of his job go a lot easier.

I started wearing my pedometer yesterday so I could just see how many steps I actually was doing and although it didn’t seem like a whole lot, I ended up yesterday doing 1.5 miles! It is hard to believe but I have already logged 1 mile of “walking” today!! My “daily goal” is to walk, at least, 1 mile. Considering that most days I am in this apartment all day it is really going to take some doing to get even a mile in unless I start pacing up and down the halls. I do think that when the weather is less hot and humid I just might venture out and walk around the apartment complex. Hopefully, by then, I will be able to tolerate the hills. I’ll have to start being “creative” in how I can get that in because once the stuff is done around here, I won’t have as much “reason” to get up and “do stuff”. I do look forward to that day though because I just feel so stymied by both of our bedrooms.

[I realize that the ones who engineered these pedometers were thinking of able-bodied people so it is probably laughable to think that I am excited about walking the equivalent of 1 mile but, for me, walking involves a significant amount of pain to do weight-bearing activities so it is what I can "tolerate" in terms of pain as well as getting back in shape.]

I have really been thinking about how to make more headway with all of my clothes. I tried on some the other day since I thought I was going to wear a certain outfit to Mass on Sunday. I will admit that some of the clothes that I am sending to Goodwill are ones that just plain make me look big. In fact, most of them I paid on average $80 for a dress or $160 for a suit and I have never worn them!!  I honestly am becoming more attuned to how I actually look in my clothes. I am also realizing that just because the outfit looks good on a 6′ woman who is probably a size 6 doesn’t mean that it will look good on a 5′7″ obese woman(who was a size 26-28W at the time). In fact, more than likely, it won’t. I spent quite a lot of money (money we really didn’t have especially since most of these I never wore)–thousands of dollars. The only consolation I am getting from this is that someone who is a large-sized woman will be delighted to have such “never worn” clothes at deeply slashed prices. I could have taken them to a consignment shop and gotten a few dollars out of it but they have such strict stipulations; current season, well-known labels, hangers, freshly dry cleaned, etc. that I just wanted them out of here. Period!

Yesterday I wore one of my favorite pair of khaki pants (which I cut off at the knees when I accidentally ripped them on a rocker) with one of my newer active wear t-shirts which has some spandex in it so it is more form fitting. All I can say is I don’t mind seeing my reflection in the glass doors. It has made me more aware of the fact that I have another criteria to consider as I am going through these clothes: clothes that not only fit but also flatter. That brings some new elements to ponder as I go through my clothes. Does this outfit or item flatter my newly emerging figure and where do I draw the line on that?

I have two pair of heavier cotton twill pants that I used to wear quite a bit about a decade ago. Of course, at one point, I “outgrew” them but I hung onto them. Well, finally they fit through the hips and through my pot belly but they are huge through the thighs (which is a problem I have with most Plus-size pants-they assume everyone has a lot of weight in their thighs which I don’t–I am more of an apple than a pear). So, do I keep them if they are like that or send them on their way?? How “picky” should I be about all of this? Especially in light of the fact that I am unemployed, will be returning to school within the month and I certainly won’t have a lot of discretionary money for clothes (although I know me well enough that if I want something I will find a way).

I just had an idea! Maybe, what might make them “work” is if I shorten them to just below the knees since them the “wideness” in the thighs won’t be so apparent. That is what I am going to do. I am also going to send anything that is really summery to Goodwill. Although we will have quite warm weather through most of September, I can still wear some of the clothes that I have now that are more trans- seasonal in both color and fabric.  I did that last year and although when this year rolled around and I wondered if I had done the right thing, there really is no point in hanging onto summery clothes when September 1st is three weeks away. I just don’t go enough places to have so many clothes that I only wear “on occasion”.

Well, I think that if I can go without the cane, I really should try to do so. I usually put it in my grocery cart when we go out. Again, let’s see how my legs can support me moving forward. Maybe, by the time we start back with Friday night Bible study I will be able to walk without it. Like P said, I could also carry it with me, “just in case”, which I think is a good idea. I will just have to start carrying either a tote or a bigger purse. Another thing that I have been waiting on is the fact that my shoulder and upper back muscles were pretty weak before I started doing all of these exercises. Even carrying one of my larger purses was a “task”. I was weak all over and that also contributed to me having difficulty in getting around.

Another thing that I didn’t realize is just how other people :perceived” me. I think I am so used to expecting to be “overlooked” that when I got “noticed”(lots of spontaneous grins) at church two weeks ago when I finally wore the dress and shrug that I bought for Easter 2010; I had to rethink about what was I saying about how I felt about myself by the choice of clothes that I wear. I am sure that most of the people must have thought I didn’t care about myself. I do but probably not in the way that reflects a more positive body image. The next thought is “should I/when should I” ditch the cane I use for walking? My legs are getting strong enough where I don’t have the pain that I used to constantly have. I guess, I will have to see how all of this new walking goes and if I can walk without leaning onto something.

One of my “concerns” is that I have been using that cane for nearly two years and  a lot of people see me with it. If I get rid of it, what will people’s reaction be? I have a feeling some will be happy although many will attribute it to me losing weight. How much has losing weight helped? Well, what has helped me more is the fact that I have been doing these strength exercises and building up my leg muscles more so they can start doing the work the cane has been doing for me. Although, I will certainly see what another 20 lbs lose will do for me. I might be pleasantly surprised. I don’t really know what to expect since I haven’t been below 245-250 lbs in several years. So, some things to think about in the upcoming days/weeks/months.

Well, I just spoke to P and he told me he is now waiting on his check to be drafted so he can go and cash it then get D’s for both of us. I suggested that since he is so close and it is both really good tasting food and amazing portions for the price (double portions for $5.50 a meal). I am really getting hungry though. I have been sucking down pop and chewing ice and it is not filling me up. I really don’t want to start snacking because even half of a meal from D’s is around 800 calories and quite a bit of sodium. Yesterday, I stayed within my calorie range and I would like to do that as well today—if at all possible. I just had another idea (since I am so hungry). Maybe, I could make something else within the next hour and then when P comes home, I can divide up D’s and have some of it tomorrow for lunch. At least, that way I can adjust my breakfast accordingly. I think that is what I might do because I don’t think I can comfortably wait for another couple of hours.

P also told me that one of the other technician’s, J, who has had factory training, approached him and he would like P to learn more about piano prepping so that he can focus on voicing which is done after that. Both B, the owner and P’s “former boss”, and J wanted to know if P would be willing to come in 10-15 hours a week to do this. J would be supervising P’s work. We are both absolutely “floored” by this offer. We have had many discussions in the past couple of years about what P would like to be doing and this is exactly what he had been hoping for. Not only that but it would also mean regular hours/money we can “count on”. We are both “amazed” and very grateful!! As I said to P last night, “Do you think it is possible that the tide could actually be turning for us?” Let’s hope so.

Well, I decided to wait and eat D’s after all since P is probably now on his way home in the next hour or so. However, I did make a small snack to tide me over. Right now, I am at 1300 calories so I could have half of the meal and still come in just under my 2100 calories or very close anyway. I have been hungrier today but my “strategy” has been to eat smaller meals more frequently; which is quite a departure from what I have been doing recently. I know the drill by now. The second and third days are tough because now I am not going on the fumes of the previous overeating (like this past weekend). However, it still means that if I am going to keep all of this up I am going to have to be as diligent as I can be.

I have returned to the group to read some of the posts. Much like the Beck Diet group there is a lot of banter about what is happening personally in their individual lives. I am familiar with some of their personal stories since I posted there for several weeks last summer. There are a lot more sick (and older) people in this group though than probably any other on BLC. I think in the Beck Diet group there are younger people; certainly, younger than I. In fact, I might be the oldest one that in that group! As I told P, I would hate the thought of trying to diet well into my 70s. It would really be hard to be motivated. I don’t even want to think about being this heavy when I am that age. I just hope that I’m not. However; if I am, I know that I won’t stop “trying”. Even being 50 lbs less is still a lot better than where I was about 15 months ago.

I am really looking at everything more critically at the clothes that I am deciding on whether they can continue to “work” for me as I am losing weight and firming up my muscles. Also, how I might be able to “stretch” its use beyond now. I am also thinking about what I journalled earlier (above) about being aware of whether a particular outfit or clothing item “flatters” me. I decided to shorten a navy knit skirt that I have practically “worn to death” in the past few years. It was one of the few things I owned that I felt looked good on me (all things considering) and seemed to be quite “forgiving” as my weight went up (usually more than down). I just think that certain lengths can be matronly.

In fact, when I look at many of these 26/28W they all seem quite matronly. At the time, I must have bought them more on how they looked on the model than how they would look on me.  I haven’t tried on any clothing in a store in close to 20 years. Everything I have owned in the past 15 years I have bought from a catalog or an online website. Part of the reasoning was because I hated to try on clothes but I was also avoiding seeing just how they looked on me. Had I faced in a mirror how I looked in those sizes I might have actually decided back then to “do something” about my extra weight. Denial runs deep. Now, as I am being more selective and I can see these clothes for what they really are, I do see things more clearly. Everything was either in black or brown, the tops were usually tunic length and boxy and the skirts were all ankle-length.  They served one purpose–cover up the body. It now makes sense why I focused so much attention on my hair, skin and nails. They were really the only areas of my physical self that were covered up!

I do want to reinforce the work that I have done with my body and that includes wearing clothes that accentuate it. In fact, case in point: I noticed that one of the women  in this BLC group, whohas lost over 70 lbs and has even gotten into “Onderland”, but she still dresses like her former fat self. The outfit she was wearing in the picture makes her look ten years older and she is 5 years younger than me! That is what I am talking about! I know, I have done this myself (unintentionally too). I bet she doesn’t even realize it. I know that I didn’t.

No, I know that I am doing the right thing by getting rid of anything that doesn’t fit or doesn’t flatter my newly emerging body. I do not want to have any excuse or reason to return to these larger sizes. I mentioned what I was doing to this group. Another person mentioned that she felt that her too large sized t-shirts were comfortable and she didn’t want to part with them. Oh boy, do I remember a part of knit pajama bottoms I used to wear. I was newly married and they were huge, even on me, but oh they were comfortable! It was everything that I could do to part with them. Well, I do understand what this woman is talking about because I have a couple of t-shirts that I like to wear around the house that are quite big but in the interest of supporting my new weight lose (now around 40 lbs) I really do need to give them away (if they are in decent enough wear) or toss them.

Well, I packed up the sweaters that I had hanging in our closet and put the plastic bin up on the shelf on my side of the closet and…..I think I pulled a muscle in my upper back. The same area that seems to give me trouble. Now, I have a stiff neck, a sore shoulder blade and shoulder joint going down into my upper arm. I will definitely treat it for the next couple of days. However, I can be careful and continue in our bedroom. I just will wait for P to lift anything up onto that shelf. I may use the time then to continue to try some clothes on and see how they look on me. I am also trying to “let go” of some of the clothes I was wearing when I met P and, quite frankly, only made me look like a square box. I never felt very pretty in some of these clothes but I just felt more relieved that I could actually find something that fit me (sort of).

I think about the show “What Not to Wear”. I have begun recording it. One of the points that the host, Stacy London, always makes is it is better to have a few clothes that really fit you well and flatter you than a bunch of clothes that do absolutely nothing for you. I’ve got my work cut out for me.  I will say this though: there are some clothes that are really well made, “better quality” and which I was lucky to find. I am going to hold onto them until I am absolutely certain that I can’t do anything with them before they go to Goodwill.  Wow! I just realized that I have set myself some new standards to “live by”.

8/10/11:

At least, I have dropped 1.8 lbs so far. Of course, I know that all this was the sodium weight I had from overeating this past weekend and also the extra sodium the past couple of days. Still, I am now at where I was last week. Now, it is any one’s guess what I will be able to lose the rest of this week. Yesterday was a “challenge” as I knew it would be. I haven’t eaten two days in a row within my calorie range in a very very long time! Credit for that first of all. I was hungry all day and night long so I ate every 3 hours just so the hunger wouldn’t get too overwhelming and begin overeating to compensate for that. It seemed to work because I managed to get to bed by 1 a.m. and only be over my high calorie range by 148 calories which is very good, all things considered. I was also running to the bathroom throughout the whole day but I only went once during the night and I managed to sleep 9 hours!! (I only had 5 hours the night before and I didn’t have a nap yesterday either)

Today is going a little better although I am hungry even after eating an apple and a piece of string cheese. I have had about 1200 calories so far today. When you think that this is only the third day, I realize just how  “daunting” of a task it can be to lose even 20 lbs. Well, all I am going to do (I have to!) is focus on today. Right now, I have plenty to do around here that should keep me busy for quite a few weeks. I do hope though that I can get it all done by the first of September, simply because I will be studying and taking classes so I don’t need to have all of this as well to add any other “pressure”.

It is late night again but this is my third day on this Buddy Challenge and the most that I have gone over my calorie’s is by 148 calories. Amazing; considering what I have been eating in the past weeks and months.  It really makes me feel like I might actually be able to start seeing the numbers on the scales go down more than a couple of pounds. Finally, some money came in today. P got his unemployment, paid from CM, S and tomorrow he has a “personal”(from his own website) job. Yay!! The best news we have gotten in quite a very long time happened yesterday. One of the techs at CM is going to show P the ropes on piano prepping starting with a S tomorrow. This is hands-on experience. The kind he has been hoping(wishing?) for a very long time as well.

We went out to eat at A’s. I mentioned “celebrating” this good news but it doesn’t take much to get us to go out to eat. We just enjoy doing it so much. Fortunately, I hadn’t eaten too much prior to it and I was able to stay very close to both calories and sodium content as well. We went grocery shopping afterwards. I hate to say this but I don’t get out a lot and when I do I have a tendency to forget about how much things cost when I am putting them in the cart. As I told P, “You do better when I am not with you because I see something I would like to try and it ends up in the cart”. I know that if I had more money, I would be trying just about anything that is “new” or I find “interesting”.  Well, I also did my upper body weight workout but I decided against doing the lower body. doing the abs probably would have aggravated my upper back, which I am taking additional EX-Tylenol for. Wearing the pedometer and trying to find ways to move around this apartment including doing some “interval” walking on the treadmill besides walking around in the grocery store has again put me  at 1.75 miles today!!  That is three days in a row! It makes me wonder if I can keep this up but so far so good. Of course, let’s see what impact it is having on my overall weight lose.

Speaking of which: I wonder how much I “should” expect to lose for the rest of this week. What I have lost so far has mostly been the sodium “bloat” from overeating this past weekend. I think, I would consider myself to be doing what I “should” be doing if I could lose another 1.5-2 lbs. Then, I think, I would feel like I am on the right track. If I don’t then I am going to have to consider either stepping up my exercise which I am not sure how far I can take that right now and/or dropping down 100-200 calories per day. I am sure that at some point I will get to that place where I will have to make some tough decisions like that. I just hope when that time comes that I will be able to do that because I am hoping that it will be coming from the activity part of this plan. I could see myself going down to 1600 calories but I would really hate to go down to 1400. I just think there is too much temptation to cheat and binge. I don’t want to do that.

I am feeling both excited and a little impatient but if I keep concentrating on having “good days” every day those “good days” will begin to add up and their impact will be seen and felt.  I don’t know if I am going to be able to lose enough to break Onederland by Christmas but if I could lose 40-50 lbs that still would be awesome. I was already thinking about asking others if they would be interested in a pre-holiday challenge since we all know that we usually don’t do well during the holidays. I am hoping that this coming holiday season I have learned to make some Splenda pies, etc so I can really enjoy having my desserts without feeling like I am “missing out”. Well, even if no one else does want to, I hope to continue on with this on my own. Well, that is a long way from now. For now, I have to focus on today and what I can do to make it “happen” for the next 24 hours. Right now, I am starting to get hungry again. It is 1 a.m. and if I were “smart” (as P often says) I would go to bed.

I will say that right now I feel really confused about what I should do next. P had to go to his monthly guild meeting so I got back on the treadmill and walked another 10 minutes. That was a good thing. If I weren’t concerned about injuring myself or doing too much I believe that I would  have done another 10 minutes as well. After all that is one thing that can only benefit me. In fact, since this is Thursday and I have been walking now for about 10 days, it might not be a bad idea to try this again tomorrow. I wasn’t expecting to jump up my time on the treadmill just yet but since it seemed like my knees did “good enough” I just might try doing 20 minutes tomorrow as well. Ultimately, this is where I will be able to burn some calories that I am consuming and where I need to be heading as well. I am so glad though that I chose to deal with my uncomfortable feelings by doing something non-caloric and physical. What a change that is for me!!

I also just didn’t feel like making a formal dinner. Instead I finished off the NS Klondike ice cream bars. It upped my fat consumption which is not so good  but they are also gone now so I won’t have any other choice but to choose something else to eat tomorrow or the next day when I have a craving for something sweet. Maybe, this would be a good time to try using the agave nectar in place of the sugar in some of these recipes and see how that turns out. Anyway, I just feel really disoriented right now. I hate to admit this but I wasn’t crazy about going to school anyway but the fact that I am not contributing any money to our “situation” doesn’t make me feel very good about my efforts (or lack thereof).

8/14/11:

I broke the 265 lb mark and I weighed in at 262.6 lb. However, yesterday I weighed 265.2 lbs. Then, yesterday I was finishing up leftovers and I ate over 3000 calories with over 4400 mg sodium. I feel like I need to go to the bathroom. I didn’t go yesterday so maybe tomorrow I will have more than one BM. I sure hope so. So, maybe in the next week or so I will break the 260s and get down into the 250s. I would like to be in the 240s by the end of this “Buddy Challenge” but I am not sure if that is realistic. I guess, it will depend on how closely I can stay within my recommended calorie range and how much I can increase my activity level. I surprised myself this past week. I was able to walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes straight and the past couple of days I increased that to 15 minutes straight and 20 minutes in two separate sessions.

So, based on that I am going to increase my time to 15 minutes straight starting tomorrow. I am almost wondering if I will able to increase the weight of my hand weights by the first of September. I think what I should do first though is increase the sets or reps; like, 3 sets of 10 or 2 sets of 15 then increase it one more time so I end up doing 45 reps. Maybe, I should try 2 sets of 15 tomorrow and see how that works out. In the past couple of weeks, I added ankle weights to my lower body workout so I would increase the tension. I think I will continue with that and maybe increase one more set of 15 reps. I also might consider getting a kettle bell for one particular exercise (kettle bell swing) which supposedly is enough to cover a lot of different exercises and also work all of your muscles. I am just not sure how heavy I should go. I was thinking about 10-15 lbs. to start with. I think I will consider doing this seriously in September: up to a 5 lbs weight (which I think my silver weights are that) and a 10-15 lb kettle bell.

I have journalled recently about the reaction that I got when I wore that pretty dress with the bright pink shrug. I was worried that I might be “too big” to wear such a dress but it did look really pretty and it will only continue to look prettier as I tone my muscles and lose more weight. I am going to continue to try some of the clothes in my closet right now and see if they too need to be shortened. I have slender calves and I really should “show them off”. I think I have a good sense of style. I just need to practice more often. Tomorrow I will wear that navy blue outfit to church with black patent ballet flats and my hair down. However, as I lose more weight and continue to tone my waist, I am going to begin wearing some belts rather than wear my tops loosely as I have been. It’s all about “nudging” the eye to think I have a figure rather than just a “box”. I think, shortening the skirt will also help until I can find some belts in my size. (I might even consider making some if possible!)

I came across an article about Kate Middleton’s younger sister, Pippa. Although she is not as pretty as Kate (who is stunning!), Pippa does have a good sense of style which, of course, the magazines et al have picked up on. I feel that, at my best, my style is very similar. Again, I just need to tweak it. Surprisingly, Pippa seems to “prefer” flats or really low heels. For someone who is 27 years old, that is definitely a departure from what we usually see in the print media and on t.v. I was able to C/P a lot of photos of her so I can ’study” the separate elements of how she puts together an outfit and use that as my “guide”. I feel I really need to break free of the way I was dressing not that long ago. I am tired of being thought of as only a “pretty face”. Granted, I still am obese (and I will be for another 100 lbs) but I am getting more toned so I want the way I dress to reflect that as much as possible.

Well, I have got it started with, at least, three outfits so far. More will follow as I go through my closet and leave hanging only those that will support the “newly emerging” body image that I am projecting from now on.  One thing that I am going to “switch out” right away is the size of my handbags and sunglasses so they are more in proportion to my physical size. Fortunately, I do have some bigger ones so this will be quite easy to accomplish.

8/15/11:

I had a fitful night for sleeping. P was really crowding me while we were sleeping and when we make love my back really hurt afterwards. It is our mattress. It is just plain shot. I didn’t go to church but he brought me the host come to take instead. Then, we prayed the LOTH and did our weekly Bible reading. Afterwards, I made some pasta along with some of my leftovers. This time I made sure that I split it in half so that I didn’t overeat it “by accident”. I haven’t done that with pasta in a very long time. I just love spaghetti and meat sauce too much. Then, I did my calculations for my food and I walked 15 minutes at one session on the treadmill. Listening to 60s music really helps a lot. I finished my strength exercises around 11:30 p.m. I don’t like to wait this long but it is just the way it happened.

Tomorrow (or sometime later today), I will need to post my weekly weigh-in. I started in weighing heavier than I usually do although I knew it could be attributed to excessive calories last weekend and probably some added sodium. I wasn’t sure how much weight I would lose after that initial flush. After all, I have been at this for quite some time. So far, it appears that I have lost nearly 6 lbs. I have been faithful in getting more physical movement in, doing my weights and staying as close to my calorie range as possible. I decided to buck my hunger and make a bag of microwave popcorn. It didn’t put me over much on my sodium so I am hoping that it won’t significantly affect my weigh in.

I would definitely say that my working out has now finally begun to impact my body’s ability to burn off the extra fat. I decided to take it up a notch. Wow, it was a lot harder to do 2 sets of 15 reps with the 3 lb hand weights than I thought it would be. I reread the information about how many reps a person should aim for and the author of “Abs n Arms” said around 50 so I think my final increase will be 3 sets of 15 before increasing the actual weight of the hand weight. And, of course, I went an extra 5 minutes on the treadmill. For now, it is just a matter of keeping it up. I plan (and hope) to exercise 6x a week while I am in the reduction phase of my weight lose program. I can say this right now: it was nice when I had a day off. Interestingly, that was the day I really went over on my calories too. Part of it was simply because I didn’t measure some of the portions I ate. The other part was that I had some really good tasting leftovers to eat and that made it easier to “eat more” also. Well, this is going to be my “lot in life” for quite some time whether I like the idea or not. I am hoping though that I can get my activity level to the point where I can actually stay around this calorie range. I don’t know if that is possible, given my physical limitations of endurance and/or whether my knees especially will allow me to do that but I am going to give it a try.

Here’s some “numbers” to show where I am and how much weight I need to lose to say that I “accomplished” these mini-goals. I will need to lose 30.18 lbs in order to say that I have lost 10% of my original weight. I have already accomplished that although since I didn’t put my original weight on my BLC tracker when I rejoined it doesn’t show that. However, I have already accomplished that. (It was 271.62 lb.). In order to lose the next 10% of my body weight, I will need to be 244.62 lbs. which is about 18 lbs from now. In order for me to say that I am “only” 100 lbs overweight, I will need to reach 235 lbs. That is 27 lbs from now. In order for me to be in Onderland, I will need to lose 63 lbs. How long will all of this take? It depends on how much I am willing to really apply myself to this goal.

If I had weeks like this past week, then I would say that it could be possible for me to be in Onederland by January 1, 2012.

[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.]

Denial continues to be stronger than “Getting Real”

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose, Denial is Deeply Rooted | 22 Comments

Week of August 2, 2011:

I weighed in today at 266.6 lbs. So, I am still .8 lbs more than when I recommitted myself to a new goal of being 135 lbs by my 59th birthday. Not exactly moving in the right direction. I do think that it is a combination of all the stress that we have been under and the excessive, ongoing heat that the whole country has been experiencing. However, it has only been two weeks and I am moving forward well on my strength exercising for one thing. I decided that starting August 1st I would “test” my legs to see how I would fare on the treadmill. I did 5 minutes a short while ago. I could feel the same areas that I have had pain in the past hurt but the 5 minutes went relatively quickly so I take that as a good sign. I thought what I would start out by doing is 5 minutes morning-afternoon-evening. It doesn’t seem like much right now but I can build on that as my knees can tolerate it and as my leg muscles overall become stronger. In the past month, I have added five new exercises for my lower body; targeting the outer hips, back of my thighs, inner thighs and my gluts. All of these muscles are very important in supporting my body as I move. I want to shoot for 30 minutes every other day; ideally, non-stop and then add on a couple more days to bring that up to 5x a week I am walking for 30 minutes.

With something like this, you really have to plan and look long term. This is not something that I am going to be able to accomplish overnight. So, it is hard to say when I will be doing those 30 minute sessions 5x a week. It might be closer to Christmas. Who knows? However, once I am at that point, I should really be seeing some changes in how I am losing weight and how my body is shaping up. Yesterday, I increased my reps to 2 sets of 10 reps with the 3 lb weights. I just bought those for my birthday and the first time that I did them, they felt really heavy. I just can’t believe how weak I had become. It’s sort of “shocking”. I used to easily “lift” 40 lbs with my arms 30 years ago. Again, my decision will be to move up to 2 sets of 15 reps. At that point, I will probably buy a 4 or 5 lbs weight and start back again at 1 set of 5 reps, etc. I will stop though at 8 lbs since that was the recommendation of the author of “Abs and Arms”.

Right now, I am sticking with 2 sets of 15 reps for each individual exercise I am doing. For my abs, that is a total of 120 reps. I have decided to stick with that since with abs it is more about being able to move closer to your knees, etc. and I am not “there” yet. I think, once the abs become easy though then I will move on to some of these really challenging workouts that I have seen on t.v. I think by the time I am ready to try “Hip Hop Abs” or “Zumba” I will have been able to really strengthen my lower body so I can do all the movement with a lot more ease. It is really about becoming stronger and stronger.

Well, those 5 minutes caused my knees to both hurt more and to swell up!  I am really surprised that it took so little to do so. I did take some EX-Tylenol at dinner and then eventually I laid down for a nap but it shows that although it was “easier” last winter to get in 30 minutes per day(within 4 weeks, if I remember correctly), I’m not sure why it isn’t now. Well, I stopped at 5 minutes. It seems meager but I will do another 5 minutes tomorrow, etc. etc. and then I will add another 5 minutes. It is less than I originally thought I could “tolerate” but as the author of “Treat Your Own Knees”, he was more interested in building on time since that really defines “endurance”. That hardly seems like “enough” to call aerobic but I am also moving around the apartment throughout the day doing the dishes, making meals and straigthening up; some days more than others. It will have to be “enough” for now. That is all I can do and I want to do it “safely”.

P went to Eucharistic Adoration today. He ran into our Bible study leader, E, and she mentioned that one of our “members” just lost her job. I was surprised and I felt upset about it. This woman is a R.N., I think, and I thought the medical profession really needed nurses. This recession has really has been difficult for us. We have managed to hang on by the skin of our teeth but we need twice the monthly income we are getting and had I been continuing to receive unemployment we would have. I try not to beat myself up about some of this because it certainly isn’t what either of us wanted to have happen. We were already struggling financially before this all began. We did not “need” this to happen to us. I keep reminding both P and I that we are not alone in this but we both readily admit that we are bone weary from such a long time of struggling financially.

Although I don’t want to discourage P I said to him that since LK at C’s mentioned that it was just between him and Pl about P working at S what would stop L from cutting back on giving P work since he knows that P is getting some from S? P trusts L 100% so that would just break his heart if L would do something like that but when they talked earlier this a.m. L was mentioning about how he had heard that once the unemployment runs out this time there will be no additional unemployment. Well, I don’t think that is so. P has a claim established for a full calendar year until May 17, 2012. It also depends on just how much he makes as well. As long as he is making some money he is building up his unemployment. His weekly benefits are about $47 less but it is still over $xxx. We are grateful for anything. The one thing that we have been praying for is a steady weekly paycheck from an employer so we would be very happy to relinquish that unemployment should P be offered a full time job.

8/4/11:

Well, I am quite proud of myself that I didn’t even go on the computer yesterday so today I ended up spending nearly 4 hours catching up on my e-mails, “correspondence”, posting with the Beck Diet Group and logging my food for the past two days. Still, I managed to get some productive things done yesterday as a result. I made the M.O.M. whole wheat pizza again (third time). This time I added ground turkey crumbles as the meat. I decided to not add the cheddar cheese to the dough as the original recipe calls for since I really couldn’t see how that added to the flavor (and still added to the calories, etc). I tried this time to add less toppings on the pizza so as to keep the calories down and the sodium as well. I managed to do the first but with the kind of toppings that I put on additional sodium was almost a given. I like to have black olives on. Had I had some peppers and mushrooms, I could have added that without all the sodium. Another food items I need to have on hand.

I also made homemade fudge. Considering that we had quite a weekend eating a huge bag of small chocolate candy bars, it seems kind of “dumb” but I told P that I want to see if I can learn restraint around one of my “trigger foods”. I want to see if I can truly eat only one per day (or even every other day). I think that it would add to the confidence that I can handle slippery slopes better than I previously believed I could. We will see how this “experiment” works out. The past three days I have tried harder to eat closer to my BLC recommended calorie range. I have also begun walking on the treadmill. After my knees almost immediately began hurting the first day, I decided that I would walk only 5 minutes each day this week and then add 5 minutes each day the following week and so on. If my knees can tolerate the increase then I could possibly be walking 30 minutes per session 5x a week within 6 weeks. That is what is recommended to get the real fat/calorie burning happening.

[I never saw this as being a way to sabotage my dieting efforts by making homemade fudge and then trying to "test" my reserve but it is, isn't it? Why have I not been able to see this? Why haven't I been able to see the connection? It is like part of my brain is in a fog and the other part works.]

Six weeks will take me to mid-September so there is plenty of time to reduce by the time the holidays come up. I remember quite well how all the aerobic walking I was doing in the fall of 2007 really helped me through the holidays that year. I didn’t even gain any weight even though I both stopped walking and I ate whatever I felt like. I believe I can count on my body to deliver me this time as well. Although I do plan on exercising better judgment when it comes to the food choices I make.

Well, I am breaking up my time on the computer by going through our closet and pulling out clothes that I will probably not wear in the next season or two. I am trying to focus on keeping only those clothes that I will really wear; either now, the near future or next spring/summer. In the next day or so, I am also going to try on certain clothes as well so I can see where I am at in terms of sizes and what I can/can’t wear this coming season.[Side note: Some of these I ended up ruining my credit over since I bought a lot of clothes that I really couldn't afford and I have been hanging onto them for 6 years!!] Fortunately for me, I usually gravitate towards more “classic-styled” clothes so they will be fine if I wear them in the next year. Still, my goal is to clear out as many “non-contenders” as I can. Ideally, I would like to have some empty plastic bins when I get done so I can use them in the laundry room to “contain” some of the odds n ends on those shelves.

[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.]

What gives?

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose, Keeping It Real | 54 Comments

Week of July 26, 2011:

7/26/11:

My first “official” weigh in for this new birthday goal is 270.0 lbs!  That is 4.2+ lbs. from last week. Not exactly what I had hoped for as my first weigh in. I did add a comment section of what I thought “might” be contributing to that weight gain. I ate D’s on either Thursday or Friday of last week, I had horrible sleep for several nights in a row so I was having the “middle of the night” munchies, eating foods like potato chips or high calorie nuts and I also had high calorie sweets like chocolate covered almonds and extra-large homemade chocolate chip cookies. Then, we ate out twice over the weekend. Add to all of the additional calories and sodium I am also constipated. I don’t think I have had a BM since early Saturday. That is very unusual for me.

I mentioned that I had been in a “holding pattern” but it is self-imposed. I don’t have to be in this spot and yet I am. I hate to admit that although I have the Beck response cards right in front of me on the edge of the computer monitor screen, I rarely read them. I “allow” myself to eat out frequently and although I have been consistently exercising every day for over a month, I am still eating way more calories, along with hidden sodium and possibly hidden fats, without discretion. What gives?  It is like my mind and my actions are not in sync. I know what I “should” be doing but I am not doing it. Why?The only answer that I can come up with is simply I have done this for so long, that I don’t know how to do anything else. No wonder I am back and forth all the time. This is getting to be repetitive, demoralizing and embarrassing. I mean, I am sharing this with other people. I feel like the Emperor who thinks he is wearing a full regal garment when he is actually standing butt naked in the midst of a crowd.  Dear readers, this is not sensible eating, consistent “dieting”, nor even addressing a lot of issues. I am on auto-pilot.  It amazes me that I have even managed to lose nearly 30 lbs in the past year because the way I eat it doesn’t even seem possible that I have.

OY! I think I just walked blind-sided into this booby trap ensconced in “denial”. I know better but I was not even trying to use any of the Beck CBT skills to make better choices or even say “No Choice”. So, the next question is where am I really at with using the Beck CBT skills in assisting me to lose weight?  I would venture to say I am almost back at “square one”. This is very humbling. I can not deny the fact that I was basically thinking that I had this figured out and that I was doing better than I really was doing. Why? Well, I think that there is a part of me that simply doesn’t want this to be this hard. I want to have it both ways. Well, if I want to not practice these skills then I will be at this weight indefinitely. Do I really want that? The obviously answer is “NO’” but on the other hand how badly do I really want to lose weight and how much am I willing to commit to doing what it takes to get there? It might be a question that I ask myself every day until I am doing what I need to do to see the kind of results that you would expect from someone who is very serious about losing weight.

Well, I was able to stay in bed from 10:15 p.m. last night until 6:30 a.m. today. I have not been able to sustain that kind of prolonged sleep for so long I don’t even remember when it happened last. My guess is that it could have been months. I did get up multiple times to go to the bathroom but it “released” 4.4 lbs of sodium-induced water weight so it was “worth it”. Now, to start out today on a good foot and recommit myself to practicing my Beck skills. Already, I am hungry less than 2 hours after my breakfast! I think that is because I went over 75 grams of carbs and my blood sugar has risen so that sparks my appetite. If I start getting busy then, of course, that burns off some of that sugar pooling in my blood and the appetite decreases. I am really more aware to how my body processes carbs/sugar than I would have ever been before I “discovered” I had elevated blood sugar. Now, to really take to task sodium in my diet. I am eating double of what is currently recommended!!

After P hands in his invoices so he can get paid, then he goes to D’s to eat (and kill some time while his check is being cut). Usually, he brings me home a meal as well. Again, it is a lot of sodium but this is really “cheap eats” at a time when it really helps. I have been dividing the meal in half and then freezing the second one to be eaten later. We both are so amazed at how much food you get for $5.50!! You get enough to make two complete meals out of for one thing and it is the kind of food that we both love to eat: home style Southern cooking. It also goes to show you how huge the portion sizes are from most restaurants. I spent quite a bit of time trying to work around my D’s meal. More than likely I will end up going over my recommended daily calories. I am just hoping that I can stay under my recommended sodium. I’ve decided to aim for under 2500 mg sodium for awhile so I can start releasing a lot of that sodium-induced water weight.

7/27/11:

Well, it took me three days but I managed to do just that—keep the sodium down (which isn’t as easy as you would think, at least, for me) and the sodium-induced temporary weight gain is no more. It is a dilemma though and one that I hope I can also work on when I restart “sweatin”. 7/28/11:

Yesterday, once P got his check from C’s, we went to GC for an early supper. Then, we went to Ls. I got a large bag of organic potting soil and P got the “replacement” hardware needed to finish assembling the wooden media rack. Wow, it was really warm out. It was in the mid-90s but still felt warmer than this past weekend. We ended up watching t.v. for the remainder of the night and it was the third night in a row where I was able to sleep through the night, except for a bathroom break around 3 a.m. until early morning!! All I can say is “Wonderful! Wonderful!”. Today, I made another large stock pot of homemade chicken noodle soup. I also made a “wonderful” breakfast for myself. I did a “repeat” of the “pork” (aka turkey) sausages, scrambled eggs with chopped spinach and garlic herb feta cheese crumbles, the homemade carrot-prune muffins and mandarin orange slices.  Yum!!

I ended up putting the small but very “substantial” pineapple based fan on the traditional end table along with the olive colored based lamp (which I got this past winter and I had as a printer stand since then) next to our loveseat. P really liked the placement of that in our living room. Granted, we could easily use a living room about 4-5 feet wider to accommodate all of the furniture in there but it will have to do for now. I just wanted a place to “house” all of his odds n ends that he leaves lying around on the furniture. The end table has a deep drawer where I would like him to just put some stuff in there (out of sight-out of mind and everything just looks neater as a result!). With the wooden media rack now assembled I transferred the remainder of our dvd collection onto that. For the time being; it is staying in the dining room until I get the second bedroom finished. We could get another 35-50 dvds before we needed to get another media rack of some kind.  I also put the glass top demi-lune sofa table behind the second loveseat. It does cut off some of the space in front of the front door so I am not sure that it will stay there indefinitely. A couple of years ago I had it in front of the patio door which I might end up doing again. It is also possible that I might either put it in either of the two bedrooms. We’ll see where it looks like I might have some “freed up” space once I rearrange some of this furniture.

Every time that I am able to add one more piece of furniture or decorative item that makes this seem more like a “home” rather than an “rental”, I am very happy. [When my arthritis wasn't so bad (about 3 years ago) I was able to both paint and wallpaper 3/4ths of our large apartment. I have always loved the floor plan of this apartment. It has generous closet space including a large walk-in closet in our bedroom and a separate laundry room off of the kitchen. Five years ago, all of the apartments were remodeled with new flooring and cabinetry. This two-bedroom unit also was able to get new appliances and a new central air conditioning unit. We have an open porch that overlooks a heavily wooded area where we can see lots of birds and even an eagle once in awhile. Although we have lived here nearly eight years, we have never really tired of our "home". It meets all of our needs.]

It is easy to forget that too until I look into some of the apartments where the walls are all beige and there are few wall decorations. I just couldn’t do that even though I am sure at different points in time, I probably ran a risk of breaking the “rules” of what you can or should do to alter the interior appearance of our apartments. We have had some leasing management who were fine with painting although they did balk at some people who wanted renovate the showerheads, etc. until last year when they replaced all the plumbing with more water-efficient ones (water has gotten very expensive here in the past couple of years).

The irony in that is from the time I left my own home I owned, I have decorated almost every apartment I rented. Some more than others. It usually depended on how much money that I had at the time. Plus, back in Minnesota, the choices among second hand stores, were very limiting. I didn’t do much shopping outside of the local area plus I didn’t have access to a pick up where I could have brought much home. So, the combination of all that really made for “slim pickin’s”. I have done more since we have been down here simply because there is such a “wealth” of second-hand or discounted “resources” to draw from. I have gotten several really good pieces of gently used, second-hand traditional furniture from G. That alone has really been a real “blessing” because it is difficult to find really nice furniture that isn’t either out of my price range or if within my price range then cheaply made. Then, all I have had to do was tie it in with the wall color and accent it with decorative items. I would love to see what Pa’s reaction would be; if she would ever actually get down here to visit. I have gotten a lot of compliments from different work men as they have come here to do something to the apartment. Although he was here late at night and only stayed overnight, P’s brother, L, thought our apartment was really nice. That’s nice to hear. I don’t entertain much so not many people do see the inside of our “home”.

Well, as I have said before: I just need to keep editing what we do own so what is left has a place and it is something that I really use/need/want so I can “justify” the space it does take up. It’s a process. At this point, I would love to be able to split up some of this stuff in another “residence” just so I could use it without it make our existing space cramped.

[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.]

Stuck in a Holding Pattern

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose, Keeping It Real | 36 Comments

Week of July 19, 2011:

Once again, I am up past midnight. I took a nap from 4-6:45 p.m. so I figured  that I wouldn’t be very sleepy. I was right. It’s not the best pattern that I’ve gotten myself in but I am sure that once I set a few other things in place I will feel more like going to bed earlier than what I have been doing. I decided earlier tonight that I was going to make my yearly birthday goal “big and bold”. I would like to lose the remainder of the weight I have by my 59th birthday, exactly one year from now. That averages 2.7 lbs per week though! It is doable provided that I really get down to business. Between the information and help available on BLC site and the Beck Diet strategies; I can do it.

7/21/11:

My 58th birthday really ended up being quite “lovely”. It was quiet but I was okay with that. I ended up ordering pizza from PJ’s and I even managed to stay within 500 calories of my recommended range. I don’t feel that was a bad “celebration” at all! We watched AGT and I was able to talk with T for over an hour. However, yesterday just plain sucked! We went to bed around midnight. I awoke around 2 a.m. P redid his resume so it was reflecting his past experience in music. He checked with both the office at our church and with our current Music Director about the position. Our current Music Director even said he would put a good word in for P but he told P to not wait on applying. Well, I was thinking about that when I awoke so I came in here and drafted both a resume and cover letter on Word. I wasn’t sure on a couple of the dates (I was only off by one year) so since it was getting closer to when I “thought” P would get up I pushed myself to stay up a little while longer so I could do some “fact checking” with him. Well, after he proofed the resume/cover letter I sent it via-email to our church’s office.

As I told P, I feel like these kinds of opportunities don’t come along very often and since this has only been advertised internally (that we are aware of) I felt the pressure to get on this and not delay. In fact, I was very tense about getting this done and sent right away. I awoke thinking about it. This would really put P “front row center” if he got a position like this in our church. It would also mean a steady paycheck and an opportunity for Pl to step outside of what he has been doing. I also feel that should he get something like this it would also mean that I would need to be there to show my support if not even be in the choir itself which would mean an every week commitment. Although S did say that they would be calling him this fall, who knows how busy P could be? Maybe, that is all he will need to start bringing in more money but fall is about six weeks away and until then we have to think of every possible way he can bring in more money. This seemed like a genuine opportunity.

So, pushing past when I “should” have gone to bed I ended up sleeping poorly when I did and I awoke very irritable. After having something to eat, I decided I couldn’t stay up any longer and I went to back to bed for a couple of hours. It was a really good nap. I tried to stay up but I just couldn’t. I was so tired I felt nauseous. I slept for a couple of hours. Well, I did awake in a much better mood. We watched some of our summer programs and then P went to bed. I decided to come in here and play some online games before I return to bed. Besides my sleeping suffering today so did my food plan! I am just going to have to say “No!” to having any kind of nuts around here. I thought that I could try again but I can’t seem to leave them alone. Although they are high in monounsaturated fats, they are also high in calories and I just can’t seem to stop at one small handful. I had already eaten close to 1600 calories before I returned to bed. Not exactly how I wanted to start the first day of my year long countdown to a “New Me!”. Not at all!!

I have always handled these kinds of problems when they arise since I am the one who makes the majority of our financial decisions. It is an arrangement that has worked well for us as a couple although there are times when I am concerned that should something happen to me, P would really be lost as how to go about handling our finances. In fact, I have been thinking about making a record of account numbers, passwords, etc. to keep in our safe so if I were unable to deal with this for any length of time, he would be able to make sense of it. That is a good thing that I should consider working on asap.In the meantime, I always share with him what is going on and how it has been resolved.

[I also see the "irony" of this as well since I am a self-professed "recovering" compulsive spender. I used to say that I had a tri-core addiction: bad relationships, food and money. Well, I have a very good relationship and marriage right now, which I am very grateful for, but the other two areas are "works in progress". We are still snowed under in $65K in debt from some unwise decisions we made six years ago, that we are currently paying back. I still have over 125 lbs to lose before I see a "normal" weight.  There is such a long road ahead for me/us. I get so weary from it all sometimes.]

Although BD, who recently had the heart attack, invited both of us over for dinner, I reneged at the last minute. I am self-treating my back again, which seems to be an ongoing problem that is not really going away as I would have thought it would have,  and that, at the moment, I was in no mood to “be social”. I always feel so bad about doing this because I do it a lot.  I realize that things like this happen in life so I “should” be able to just “let them go” and move on. I am getting better about it but I still balk at switching gears a lot of the time. I guess there is a part of me that is wanting to feel sorry for myself that life has to be so damn difficult at times. I want to just pout and make a scene rather than shrug it off and actually turn to something like a nice dinner with another couple and “forget about it”. [P returned and told me that BD has done a complete 180 degrees. He now walks 3 miles every day. He has become a vegan and he doesn't eat any sugar. Wow! For someone who had a mild heart attack, he really took things quite seriously]

This is the first time that I have identified my thought processes on this so I consider that a “breakthrough” of sorts. Now, to just put an alternative way of handling it into place from now on. Tonight would be a good start but, again, I’m not in the mood. Which Dr. Beck would say “do it anyway” whether you are in the mood or not. She would be correct in saying that too. So, for now, I see the root of my reaction(s) to these kinds of upsets and that is progress. Maybe, I will get to a place where I can shrug it off, clean myself up and move past it. Today probably isn’t it but that is only because I have chosen not to take this one step further. That is my weakness at this moment.

I love having revelations like this because they also show the work that is happening beneath the surface while I am working on my physical self. It is moments like this that really test an emotional eater “in recovery”. I didn’t turn to food to “comfort” me or ease the tension I felt. In fact, I was relatively calm during the whole conversation(s) I had with different reps. I take notes while I am talking because invariably I will have to repeat what I said several times because once I am transferred the previous person doesn’t fill in the following person as to why I am calling. That alone escalates my frustration.

I just got a phone call from the W.I.A. person. I am not even sure if it was my career counselor. I can’t remember what her voice sounded like. She sounded nervous though. I just told her that I had some health concerns this past spring that didn’t “allow” me to finish the final exams.  I also told her about my future plans to return to a college degree program (none of the “free money” government retraining programs won’t cover those). She sounded nervous when she asked me if I had found a job or whether I wanted her to close my file. I told her to go ahead since my plans now include taking out a student loan and returning to school so I really won’t be needing their assistance any more. I also don’t want that “over my head” either.

I also told her that when I pass the final exams for the MOS program (I have until late this fall) I would send her a certificate of completion. I feel that is only fair since it was paid for through the program. I think their concern is the fact that I haven’t found a job as a result of that training. They have to show that their program is effective when requesting government agencies’ funds. I guess, since I haven’t completed the final exams nor gone out and sought work with that upgraded job skill, I can’t really say if it was worth it or not. I wasn’t sure if it was something that I really wanted to do or not. I knew that it was a “time filler” for me. The one person that I feel that I have “let down” through this whole process is P since he has shouldered the entire responsibility of working and paying the bills. I feel some “guilt” regarding that. He has been incredibly sweet during this whole time. He is amazing.

That is why I try to really help him when it comes to looking for work like using my writing skills to draft a more powerful cover letter, deal with the headaches of our finances, stretch our food budget and provide moral support when he is feeling down himself. I know that those are my strengths right now. He also recognizes them as such, acknowledges it to me and that makes all the difference in how I see our “situation” and how I feel about myself. I think if he were critical of how I have conducted myself this past year or so I am not so sure how “good” our relationship would be. I am sure that I would feel a lot worse than I do already. It really brings home to me just how we do bear each others’ shortcomings at different times during our marriage and how fortunate we are that how we have handled the aggravations of life have spoke as much as each of us as individuals and how well we work together as a couple.

7/23/11:

Well, in spite of the fact that I ate/drank over 3000 calories yesterday, including eating 800+ calories in finishing off a large bag of potato chips, I weighed 264.6 lbs this morning!!  I was half expecting an increase because my food plan has included delivery pizza, regular soda, potato chips, chocolate covered almonds, etc. the past 4 days or so!! IF ONLY I could eat 1800 calories a day, I do believe I could break the 260s before the end of this month. If I could weigh 259 lbs on August 1st, I would be a “happy camper”. What do I attribute this to? My “educated” guess: is that I am eating lots of fiber along with these foods that are high in fat (foods like whole wheat bread, cheerios, whole fruits, popcorn and nuts); I am starting to gain some “serious” muscle and therefore, burning more calories; I am drinking lots of non caloric liquids and chewing a lot of ice; I am logging everything I eat so I am aware of what, when and how much I am eating; I am really trying to reduce the amount of sodium that I have.

[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.]

This is a Must Read!

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FYI: For those who have been following my diet blog, first of all, I am both surprised and humbled that any one would be interested in reading about my obviously flawed attempts at weight loss this year. However, I did want to mention to those whom have left comments how I have been quite “moved” by your comments. Thank you so very much!

The fall of 2011, this diet blog was part of a techno bug and I was unable to add any entries into it. I alerted the site administrators and they promptly did a “fix” so I am good to go. I am transferring all of the older entries onto this “fixed” blog one month at a time. Please be patient as I get “caught up” chronologically with my ongoing weight loss journey. I am setting aside time each day to do the “mechanics” of this so all of this will make sense.

In the meantime, once again, thank you for taking the time to share your comments and suggestions. All are appreciated and valued.

As always, “to be continued….”.

[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.]

Calorie Counting: More Pros than Cons IMO

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I address this issue on a separate post here in my diet blog but this is a recap of what I have found out to be true for me:

I read the actual labels on the actual food that I am eating. Here is the one caveat on that though. For example, I have noticed that although the labels may say that there are 8 servings in the whole package, often more than not, there are only 6(for example). So, what I do is this formula:

Let’s say the frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts are 100 calories each.
The package says there are approximately 8 servings enclosed. If there are only 6 pieces then I multiply 8(what the label says)x100=800 and then divide by 6 (what actually is in the package)=133 calories per piece instead of the 100 calories listed as the calories for each piece. 33 calories may not be a big deal but depending on how many items you eat during the day, it could add up to several hundred extra calories that could make a difference in your weight lose results.

Also, there is the issue of uniformity; as in, it doesn’t always happen. So, if those same 6 pieces of chicken breast are not the same size then you will need to know what 3-4 oz looks like ( the size of a deck of playing cards) and determine just how much you are eating as a serving.

You can even take it further and weigh each piece with a digital scales. They cost around $65-80. I have an older WW balance scales I use but I find it kind of messy and it does involve keeping it clean from added bacteria so I don’t really use it much. I used to work in a deli many years ago and in order to accurately weigh food, you also have to first weigh the paper wrapping or container first (called the tare) and then subtract that from the additional food item so that you get an accurate pricing. I’ve digressed here some but the point that I am making is that unless you understand weights and measurements in at least a basic way, you can easily miscalculate calories.

I also use an online calorie counter and a standard calorie counter book as cross references usually when I am eating something from scratch, a whole food that normally doesn’t come with a nutritional label or when I am eating out. Some restaurants now have nutritional information posted within the restaurant, some even have it on their websites but also some restaurants do not.

When I eat out, I make a mental note of how the food tasted for how it was prepared. For example, if it seems to have an oily texture I automatically add 120 calories(the approximate calories for 1 TB vegetable oil) for the portion that I have eaten. I also take into consideration that the food might have been prepared with MSG and/or added sodium so often I will try to find comparable foods in those above mentioned resources and then add the sodium content as well. Between added oils and sodium, an innocent seemingly healthy meal can be shocking in added calories and sodium, which will definitely impact your next day weigh in, if nothing else.

I do weigh and measure my food that I eat at home. I start out with standard measuring cups and spoons. When I transfer them to a specific glass, dish or bowl then from that point on I use those as my measurement guide. I know that a lot of people use smaller plates but unless the restaurant you are dining at has those you won’t have your visual cues to help you judge how much you are eating so that is the reason why I stick to a standard dinner plate.

Lastly, if I am uncertain about the actual calories I will estimate on the high side. It takes a little practice but it really doesn’t take a lot of time out of my day. I waste time doing a lot of other things that have less impact on my weight lose than this.

Last summer, I began following the Biggest Loser food plan. It was the first time that I also took into account the macronutrients breakdown as well. It was the first time that I ever considered the impact of sodium on my weight lose efforts. What an eye opener that was for me.

By making an added effort to eat a balanced macronutrient food plan; ie, a specific amount of carbs, fats, protein, fiber and sodium each day within my allotted calorie range, I have significantly improved my health while I am losing weight. On previous food plans my hair was thinning for example. Since following this food plan, my hair has gotten thicker. My complexion is clearer.

I want to also add that I have discovered that if I increase my daily fiber intake to 35-45 grams coupled with an increase in plain water consumption and lower sodium intake, I can work through a plateau, budge myself to lose a little more weight each week and in general feel more full on “less food”. Put simply, I feel I have more control over the outcome. The “mystery” (or so it felt to me before) is no longer there for me.I feel that now when I see my weekly results I can follow the thread back to the beginning of the week and see what I did (or didn’t do) to get the results I got. In other words, there is less surprise involved. I pretty much know what the scales are going to say, if I’ve done my homework.

I always hated calorie counting in the past. It is the one thing that makes my food plan seem like a diet because if I weren’t counting calories I essentially eat healthy. Period. 80/20 is the ratio. 80% healthy whole foods/20% pizza, chocolate and Coke. I ain’t complaining.

By counting calories I am assured that I am also training myself to recognize and practice portion control, which is an important tool I will need not only to lose weight but to keep it off. So, I vote “Yes” for calorie counting within the perimeters that I just outlined.

__________________

Things..They are A Changing

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It’s been about three weeks since I re-started my weight lose and exercise plan again on BLC. (Biggest Loser Club online site)
Here is an update on what has been happening since I “signed on the dotted line”.
I joined two support groups: one on the BLC site and another one on 3FC diet support site.

The BLC group is more about what I am doing physically for myself. I checked in with the group, read what they were doing and asked if I could join. They said “Yes, provided that I follow their rules.” It is all about accountability and offering positive support. I have fast “fallen in” and I have received a lot of coaching and helpful feedback.

Based on the format of this group, I bought myself a pedometer for $30 and I wear it from the moment I get up until I go to bed. I report to the group and leader how many steps I am taking and how much plain water I am drinking. Once a week, on Monday. I report what my “official” weekly weigh in is. The leader has made a spreadsheet where she shows our individual progress and also within the group. If we drink at least 64 oz of water each day for a week we get a gold star in front of our name. If we go from one ten pound range to the next lower we become a member of the Ten Pound Club. I haven’t done that yet but it is neat that our efforts are being shown not only to ourselves but to others. It is a neat idea and it has a fun element to it!

There are other recommended exercises posted by the leader that  I can also participate in if I wish.

My other support group here on 3FC is using the “Beck Diet Solution” as the “rulebook” for the group. Essentially, this is change from the inside out and mostly what is between our two ears. It is a method of “Cognitive Therapy” that was developed for people who want to lose weight, stick to their food plan and maintain a weight lose for life.

For myself; I have decided that there is no eating “on plan” or “off plan” but only ONE PLAN and that is the plan that I am learning to live from now until I am “six feet under”.

I received an e-mail from BLC right away about 80/20 healthy eating. I hope that my food log looks like that. It feels kind of “weird” logging that I ate “unhealthy” foods but seeing it in black and white is a daily reminder of what food issues I do have, how I may or may not be handling them and that I am still working on my weight lose even if it isn’t all about salads and raw vegetables. I have been on so many diet plans, programs, followed so many of “don’t eat this and don’t eat that” that I just can’t do it anymore. There are no good or bad foods on my ONE PLAN; only better or best choices.

Another thing that I have been making slow but steady progress in is being more active. I never thought that having the pedometer on me would actually incite me to move more but it seems to do that! I am constantly checking it and I even find myself saying “No, I will do that” because I know that it will mean getting up and moving my body more. Hmm?? Who knew?

I also bought two books by Peter Egoscue: Pain Free at your PC and Pain Free. Peter Egoscue is a sport physicologist who developed a Method that will alleviate chronic pain; something that I have dealt with since 1993! I just started this but it comes to me through the recommendation of a friend of my sister’s who has alleviated chronic pain in her shoulder, an injury from long ago. My sister, who was in a life-threatening car accident, and who has been making routine visits to her chiropractor for the past couple of years, told me about this. I’ll keep you posted on how I am doing. I will say that chronic pain has robbed me of my sleep, my energy level and my disposition (at times).

I am now currently up to 4 ten minute “sessions” on the treadmill. I started out three weeks ago at 2 ten minute “sessions”. The pain in my knees were so bad that was all I could tolerate and that is coming from someone who has dealt with chronic (and at time debilitating) pain for close to twenty years.

Side note:
By doing the lunges in the Basic Core Stabilization exercises, I have slowly increased the muscle strength of the front of my thighs to the point where I have also increased my “sessions” on the treadmill.My hope and plan is to add another ten minute “session” next week and then the following week until I am at 6 ten minute “sessions”. At that point, I would like to break that into 4 fifteen minute “sessions”, then 2 thirty minute “sessions” and then, hopefully, I will be strong enough to “tolerate” 1 sixty minute “session”.

My “outdoor” goal is to be able to walk outdoors along with my husband by Easter for an hour. Ideally, without my cane.
This past week I have also been busy turning my once “dedicated” home office into a “dedicated” home gym. We do have a very nice work out facility on our apartment complex but it just doesn’t seem to be “worth” going down there for ten minutes here and there. Plus, I am an older woman and there is mostly all young guys working out. This way, I can work out in the privacy of my home, on my own turf and on my own “terms”.
I had purchased a work out bench years ago and it had been in the box in a storage unit for the same amount of time. This coming from someone who not only belonged to a fitness center for years but also was quite involved in body building “eons ago”! I asked hubby to help me assemble it for my Valentine’s Day gift. I worked on painting the walls and moving out “extraneous” furniture” this past week and it went in there along with our wonderful treadmill (I am so glad I bought a really good one when I could actually afford it).

I also purchased a new pair of work out shoes. I have some that aren’t too worn but I really want to have a better pair for serious walking. I also bought myself a MP3 player. I do not know how these work except that I am hoping I can listen to tunes while I am walking. Again, since I live in an apartment I have to comply with noise “regulations” although our neighbor’s dog doesn’t seem to be aware of that.

I wonder if they are allowed music in the gym on the ranch. To me, there is nothing like a good rock beat to really “rock” your workout.

Today, I decided that I am “ready” to increase my Basic Strength exercises to the Intermediate level. They are below:

Core Combination
(Do ALL of the exercises in this group):Abdominal crunch 15-20
Hip bridge 15-20

Upper Body Pull Combination
(Do ALL of the exercises in this group):Bent over one arm rear fly 15-20
Prone cobra on floor 15-20

Standing one arm row 15-20

Lower Body Combination
(do ALL of the exercises in this group):Squat 15-20
Stationary lunge 15-20

Upper Body Push Combination
(Do ALL of the exercises in this group):Modified pushup 15-20
One arm bench press 15-20

Prone shoulder combo 15-20

So, right now, this is what I am doing to move towards my weight lose goal:

Monday-Saturday: walking on the treadmill 4 ten minute sessions.

I also log any additional calories burned
. I use Livestrong.com as my source since they have an accessible directory of calories burned for some of the most unlikely things I have ever thought of. (PS Yes I log my sexual activity–hey, calories burned!–new incentive to go for the “burn”) The list is short right now because I am still using a cane for most ambulatory activities but it will increase as I become stronger.Following the 80/20 healthy eating recommended here within my recommended calorie range of 1800-2100 calories per day. So, for now, those are the changes that are occuring for me.
 

 

 

The truth is out there…reading labels warning

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I have found that if I check different sources like calorie counter books, online calorie counters and then the actual label on the food item that I am going to eat; invariably they will all differ! It is frustrating so what I decided to do was use a combination of standard measuring cups, spoons and a calculator!
What I now do is take down the nutrtional label’s information (I count all of the macronutrients on my plan) and I use that. However, this is where the calculator comes in handy. For example, I have a favorite brand of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I buy. On the label it routinely says that there are 12 servings but usually there are 8 chicken breasts in there! So, if I were to ignore that piece of information I would actually wrongly think I was having one portion when I might be having 1.5 portions.

 

Hey, calories do count, especially as you are moving down the scale and you are eating less and less. When you are first starting out, you can “absorb” this inaccuracy but as you get closer to your goal weight it could be the reason why you aren’t seeing the weight lose results that you would like and all along you are thinking “Well, I measured this before and it said….”. See what I mean? Through no fault of your own you might actually be eating more calories than you think and have a false sense of accuracy. Thanks to the mislabeling that exists.

 

This is the main reason that I don’t go by how many servings they think it will serve. I have seen it wrong more than right. So, in the case of the chicken breasts example above, what I do is I take the average portion calories x the total amount of stated servings to find the total calorie for the whole package: 110 x 12=1320 calories total then I divide the 1320 calories by 8 pieces (that are actually in the package) which would be 1320/8=165 calories! See, there is a 55 calorie difference. If you do this often enough you could be eating several hundred calories more a week and not even realize it.
I still feel calorie counting is the best way to not only find out how many calories you eat but also it has an added benefit: it indirectly teaches you portion control which for me is a real big deal. It also helps me decide whether I want to continue to add that particular food item in my food plan.
I started counting sodium milligrams last summer and that was so eye opening to me that now that is something else I really eyeball when I am buying a food item in the grocery store. There are a lot of food items that I put back after I read the label!

And, we thought we were safe if we “just” counted carbs and/or fats! As if!

Everything on the nutritional label has to be factored in if you want to lose weight in a healthy way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Less Does Not Translate to Losing More

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There is this common fallacy that still lingers on although it has been proven time and again to be wrong and that is this: if I eat less calories, meaning under 1200 calories, I will lose more weight. At the initial glance, it seems to be correct but it’s not. All we have to do is look at nature and see how mammals that hiberate during the winter purposely store up fat so that they can live off of that during inactive periods. Movement equals calories burned. So, if you want to lose weight, the better way is to move more not eat less. If you want to gain or retain weight, move less, even with consuming less calories, and you will either maintain your existing weight or even gain weight, depending on how efficient (or inefficient) your body is.I have also heard it another way. Every time we eat it forces our body to burn that fuel for energy so if we deprive our body the fuel to burn it will burn muscle, when needed. It is a lose-lose situation.

I tried that “eat only when I am hungry” until I had also read that most of us chronic dieters and/or obese people have eaten when we are not hungry to the point that we would have to go without food for a couple of days before we really understand what true hunger is and even then we might only be thirsty. In other words, our natural appestat is broken after years of chronic dieting and overeating. So, unfortunately, to tell us to trust something that doesn’t work any more is like telling someone it is okay to drive a car with a flat tire. You can do it but not without some residual damage to the wheel rim and the supporting framework of the car. We’re no different!

 Right now, I am eating within 1800-2100 calories, based on my weight. It won’t always be that range because as I move down the scale my body size will need less calories to maintain itself and therefore one of the “downfalls” of losing weight is that we will need less calories to do what we were able to do before. I I think, at some point, we are all tempted to eat less so that we can see a bigger weight lose. It is interesting that we weren’t in any rush to lose weight when we were stuffing our faces before but suddenly when we do decide to do something about the extra weight, we want to lose it and lose it fast. This is uncomfortable, it is even sometimes painful and yes it is definitely frustrating, so we want to take the route and pull the Band-Aid off in one fell swoop; no inching it off for us. 

Now, I eat half of my meals every day when I am not hungry or even mildly hungry. I do not even try to undereat on purpose. This is one of the benefits of logging my meals as the day progresses. If it looks like I have some calories that I haven’t used this might be the time where I decide to follow the 20% “off plan” and eat something that is 20% of my daily calories. Right now, that could mean anything that is approximately 400 calories. I don’t do it every day but I have done it. It might seem like I have my feet in both camps right now but there is a “method to my madness”: I want to someday eat like a “normal aka thin” person. For me, that will mean learning to trust myself with food. This has not been a linear process either. I have periods where I do really well and periods where I don’t but when it works, it is a beautiful thing to witness. OA defines a normal eater as someone who can have “just one cookie”. That is my end goal. Someday….. and, yes, someday, I might actually be able to eat only when I am hungry but it is not now. I think that would be something better left for maintenance.

I know that it is more conventional wisdom to pre-plan your meals but I honestly need a little more flex room. When I have days like that where my hunger doesn’t seem very strong or “loud”, then I try and eat something that has a lot of flavor in it so that it “awakens” my taste buds.  When I hear people say that they are not really “all that” hungry, I think what they really mean is that they are bored with plain tasting (maybe even dull) food. I experienced that also. My remedy was twofold: one, I learned to cook differently than I had in the past including trying foods and recipes that I would never have considered before, ie; Jamaician food! me from the meat and potatoes farm belt?, and to up the ante with how I “spend” my calories each day.

 I like the “surprise” of deciding at the last minute what I am hungry for. First of all, in order to do that, I keep a “clean” kitchen. I don’t routinely have a dessert at the end of every meal any more. I have since learned that fresh, ripe fruit does what high calorie, overly sweet carbs used to do. Even when I feel like binging, unless I bring it into the house at that moment which is unlikely unless I order pizza in, it doesn’t exist in my kitchen. Granted, I could actually bake something but we all know that the definition of a binge is that it is impulsive and somewhat out of control. So, if I am feeling a binge coming on, I might end up having a no sugar fudgsicle when I am craving chocolate or sugar free instant pudding.  I am also learning to stock up some modified former “binge foods” like pizzas in the freezer so even that is covered.

Binges used to frighten me because of the lack of control at the epicenter of them but as I learn more about my reaction and relationship with food, I realize that an occasional binge is okay because it takes me off the stress and tension of ongoing discipline that eating “on plan” demands…even if it is only for a brief period. It is sort of venting steam. It is an emotional release. Now, that I am beginning to understand what triggers a binge for me, I am no longer as afraid of it as I once was. So, in a sense, I have even learned to prepare for a binge happening so it doesn’t throw me into a tail spin when it happens because as much as we would like to be “perfect” about our food plan, we aren’t!  

Another benefit of logging my food as the day progresses is that if it looks like I have a lot of calories left for the day then I will “splurge” and have something that will really be flavorful. For me, that could mean vegetarian pizza, chili, tacos, homemade burger. It can even sometimes mean having something I used to eat when eating out. When that happens I have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Yes, it might look like I am back to rewarding myself with food but it is still different. It means that the results of my planning and keeping a “clean” kitchen is that I can, within reason, enjoy a restaurant meal out without eating a salad as my only choice!

I think a lot of the times when we want to eat out is because we miss the heightened flavor that is associated with the foods. We can still have those kinds of foods at home , just modify them to lower the fat, salt, etc. I have to say I have learned how to make a mean tasting homemade burger including a meatless version. I make awesome chili and my homemade pizza ain’t half bad either! This is how I stay interested in my food plan and keep losing weight steadily. Somewhere, one of the diet experts advised not to drop below 1400 calories and that is exactly what I plan on doing. Of course, what that means is upping the exercising but if I am at the place where my calories are at that range I “should be” working out at least 60 minutes a day anyway. (stay tuned… I’ll let you know how I will adapt to that)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

This reminds me of the very first lesson I learned in how to drive a car when it goes out of control. When I took behind the wheel driver’s training as a teenager, one of the first things my instructor had me do was go on a parking lot that was iced over during the winter ( I so happened to be taking driver’s ed then). She told me to purposely put the brakes on hard which will automatically cause most cars to spin out of control. It is a terrifying feeling but the next step is crucial.

Our “instincts” is to grab the wheel and jerk it the opposite direction of the way the wheels are going thinking you will jerk it back to being straight but actually the way to get out of a skid or spin out is to turn the wheels in the direction of where the car is going not the opposite way. Going into the spin doesn’t seem to be logical but it works and it slows the spin down and the car corrects itself.

So, how does that fit with calories? We think that eating less will get the results that we want: which is weight lose, but, in fact, it has the opposite effect. We need food to fuel our bodies so that it works properly. Eating less puts our bodies into a hiberation phase and it basically conserves whatever calories we are eating.

The key to weight lose is finding that balance where you are eating just the right amount of calories that keep our engines stoked, give us enough energy to do what we need to do but also burn off so we see a drop in weight. Some of us burn calories more efficiently than others. It could be we are “lucky” but most people need some help in teaching their bodies to do that. This is why it has been repeatedly said that losing weight is a science.

to have science work for you. All you have to gain is weight lose. That is not a bad deal. Not at all!

Week Two….now, the real work begins!

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I am glad that week one is over. I just felt like I running around trying to get everything in place. I certainly didn’t feel like I was in control, more like walking on ice, slipping and sliding.

I joined two separate support groups: Beck Diet Solution on this site and another one on Biggest Loser Club site, which I am a member of. [I will refer to them from now on as BDS and BLC] I have been away from 3FC for quite some time, checking in peridiocally. Now, I am back and I knew exactly what I wanted to do right away. I wanted to connect with a smaller group of people whom I shared the same goals with. I really feel that this is important. This time I knew what I wanted and it wasn’t “another diet plan”. I have been there, done that more times than I care to admit. What I was looking for were a group of people who were also committed in being accountable to each other. I have found that here and on the BLC site. The other aspect of this renewal of weight lose efforts on my part also was that I would actively listen, participate and share.  I am coming to both of these sites with my mind, heart and hands open wide to receive, whatever that might mean.

So, last week was busy just getting the foundation in place. I returned to BLC because it has a lot of online tools that I really liked, it is relatively cheap for membership and I really like their philosophy. I returned to 3FC because of the support I have received, the earnestness of everyone who posts regularly which is “catchy” and fuels my own personal efforts, the price is right and there is such a smorgesbord of choices here. If you can’t find something or someone to connect on 3FC you just aren’t trying hard enough!

So, the reason why I was so busy last week was I found out what my particular sub-group was using for their own efforts and then I went out and got it. I bought books, pedometer, began drinking water, measuring steps I moved, logging food and exercise, seeking out “experts” when I had questions, and in general starting setting my own personal plan into motion so that I could track my progress.

Here’s this week’s stats:

Official weigh in: 274 lbs. [BLC recommends losing 1% of your body weight each week.] I lost 2.76 lbs so I made my weekly goal.

Water: I begin the day by pouring myself a glass that holds 16 oz of plain water. I bought myself a Pur water pitcher a few years ago and I use that. The water is cold and that makes it much more enjoyable to drink. TIP: I have found that if the water is really cold it is easier to drink (if you have trouble drinking plain water) and if I “wait” until right after I have worked out I find that I can drink more at a given time.

My personal goal is: to not drink any other beverage until I have at least drank 64 oz of plain water.

  • I am wearing a pedometer because of the sub groups I now “report” to does that. I have already discovered how to move more and I actually find that by seeing how much I move makes me want to move more.
  • Since I am both out of shape from not being active in the past couple of years due to dealing with depression and inflammation from having arthritis, I have really started slow when it comes to exercising. I did 2 ten minutes walks on my treadmill Monday-Friday last week. LiveStrong.com has a great resource for calculating how many calories burned doing all kinds of everyday activities. I recommend checking that out.
  • Since I am only walking ten minutes at a time, my treadmill (which has a lot of bells and whistles that I really like) counts my calories as well so it is very sobering to realize that walking at 1.5 mph is only burning 33 calories for ten minutes. At first, I found this disappointing but it also is a good reminder that when you eat that extra yummy “whatever” think about how long you will have to walk to burn that off. It does give you something to think about. It may not change your mind but it does make you realize how you (and I) got fat in the first place.
  • This week I have added a 3rd ten minute session to my walking.

My BLC food plan is as such:

  • 1800-2100 calories per day which is broken down into the following macronutrients:
  • Carbs: 225-315 grams
  • Fiber: 25 + grams
  • Protein: 68-130 grams
  • Fat: 40-70 grams
  • Sodium: < 3000 milligrams

BLC philosophy is 80/20 healthy eating food plan. Before I joined BLC online program I had never monitored all of these macronutrients. In the past, I have limited my carbs, fats, proteins, etc. I have really found that following this food plan has taught me more about eating in a balanced way than I have ever eaten in my entire life!  It doesn’t feel gimmicky either. It also doesn’t feel like I am dieting. I am making healthy food choices the majority of the time. This will help prevent any sudden sugar spikes and/or most physical cravings but if you are an emotional eater, which I am, then expect to have some days where it is more difficult than others.

That is where I hope the Beck Diet Solution (BDS) will help. I have long ago realized that losing weight and keeping it off is not just about counting calories, doing so many situps and walking so many miles. It is also about your behavior with and towards food; when you are by yourself and when you are with other people. There are many good books available about changing your “fat head” and this is yet another one. I have spent time in the past working on the emotional issues that have halted my weight lose and/or caused me to regain the weight that I had lost. I want to get to the place where when something “big” comes up I can get through it without additional food. That is my personal goal as I am beginning this sub-group here on 3FC.

Since I plan on losing this weight once and for all, I have decided that I am going to give you as much information about what I am doing as I can so when the time comes and I am where I need to be, you will have followed my journey enough where you will be able to see what worked for me and what didn’t.  That is the primary reason why I am keeping this diet blog. I want a record of the time that it took for me to lose all of this extra weight, what I did to accomplish that and what else I learned along the way.

So, I will try to keep to that task as I have set forth here. Thank you, reader, for checking in and if any of this has helped you acheive your weight lose goals, then it has helped two of us.

Good luck! Now, let’s get to work…..

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