Out with the Old- In With the New

December 31st, 2012

There has been a lot written on habits being formed in 21 days- I doubt it and have read a good deal of research to indicate that I have a good haul to go before I have a healthier lifestyle as a habit.  This study How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world seems to sum up the fact that I have a long path in front of me…

I am going to consider the first 100 days of 2013 to be my new adventure. Weigh in and measuring tomorrow morning- see you then!  For now …….

Know Thy Enemy

December 30th, 2012

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise thought to be the work of Sun Tzu. It is commonly known to be the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time. It has been the most famous and influential of China’s Seven Military Classics, and: “for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name.” It has had an influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond. (Wikipedia)

Verses from the book

So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.

My Enemy

My need to be “perfect”- If I make ONE slip up in a day of watching calories I tend to go hog wild.  Instead of just adding a few extra calories and being OK with that- it turns into a total blow out.

I have a total weakness for any carb.  While I won’t being doing a carb free diet I have to fight my urge to eat a whole loaf of french bread for dinner rather than a balanced meal. Age and hormones have conspired to make carbs attach themselves savagely to me- most of my weight gain I know is related to oatmeal for breakfast, pasta for lunch, pita chips for snacks, pasta for dinner.  I know my body well enough over the years to see when eat like this- no matter how the calories measure out- I will GAIN weight.

My Dad once told me “You are one of those people who pack 10 pounds of sh#@t in a 5 pound bag- which only means you are often dropping sh#@t as you go”  I tend to do way too much and can’t do it well enough.  Right now I am working 2 very demanding jobs- fitting in the time to shop for healthy meals, time to make the healthy meals, WORK OUTS- all of this is going to take a huge commitment to managing time well.


Prepping for the Adventure!

December 29th, 2012

I would rather be in a tent set in a pine forest than any 5 star hotel room- really!

My husband and I are wildly addicted to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area (BWCA) and especially love being there just after the ice melts off the lakes at the end of May.  My family and I have hiked 75 miles in the back-country of Yellowstone- yep we did that on purpose.  We shake our head at the people who would choose to be at Disney World vs the outdoors- but we are grateful that they are not crowding up the woods for us!

The preparation for any of our trips to the wilderness is extensive.  We research the route we will take and spend months obsessing over detailed topographical maps so that we “know” the area as best we can before immersing ourselves in very remote, wilderness.  We carefully research our gear and buy the perfect stuff to get us through our adventure- always setting it up and using it before we go out with it.

It takes a lot of planning to make something big happen-

So applying the same logic….

My planning for losing the weight I need to- is going to be be just as obsessive.  I am a Certified Nurse Midwife and work in a major academic center as well as a faculty member at a university.  My religion is evidence based science.  So with savage research tools in hand this is my plan….

Check up!

Other than being overweight- I’m very healthy- not one medical problem in my life.  At 52 my blood pressure is great- but I am 52 and have never had a primary care doctor.  Anyone in the “business” knows we health care providers take terrible care of ourselves.  So I will have a full physical on January 3rd- and get the go ahead to get rid of the 45 pounds in a healthy way.

At 5’3″ and 165 my BMI is 29.2.  Basically a big meal or so away from obesity- that is unacceptable for so many reasons.  Mainly, if I want to age well from here- to be able to do all that I want to through these “golden years” I need to get my butt moving!

A BMI of 20-25 is considered healthiest- putting you at the lowest risk for diabetes and heart disease.  I would like to be at 125- 130 pounds which puts my BMI at 22.1 to 23.0.  I look pretty darn good at this weight too!

From my favorite peer reviewed medical research portal- Up to Datethe best evidence we have for what works in the weight loss game is….


An initial weight loss goal of 5 to 7 percent of body weight is realistic for most individuals. (See ‘Goals of weight loss’ above.)

  • Many types of diets produce modest weight loss. Options include balanced low-calorie, low-fat low-calorie, moderate-fat low calorie, low-carbohydrate diets, and the Mediterranean diet. Dietary adherence is an important predictor of weight loss, irrespective of the type of diet. (See ‘Types of diets’ above.)
  • We suggest tailoring a diet that reduces energy intake below energy expenditure to individual patient preferences, rather than focusing on the macronutrient composition of the diet (Grade 2B). (See ‘Comparison trials’ above.)
  • If a low-carbohydrate diet is chosen, healthy choices for fat (mono and polyunsaturated) and protein (fish, nuts, legumes, and poultry) should be encouraged. If a low-fat diet is chosen, the decrease in fat should be accompanied by increases in healthy carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains).

I will be doing a balanced calorie counting diet.  1200 calories in- with a deficit of 500 calories per day to hopefully acheive a 2 pound weight loss per week.  It gives me all the freedom to make choices, as a foodie, that will be essential to me staying on a diet. My exercise plan will be a daily cardio work out of at least 30 min, and 3-5 times a week weight training.

Support and commitment to which ever effort chosen is consitantly noted to increase effectiveness… SO this is what will be going into my pack for this adventure!

This blog will keep me on track documenting stuff each day.

I have played around with CalorieCount.com and like the mobile app so this will be part of the tool belt.

I want to start running again- a gentle ease into that seems to be the couch to 5K program- another app for support.

I know- everyone is starting on January 1st….

Setting a date and planning for the beginning gives me time to get my head into the game.  I have a bit of an OCD thing on starting anything- so the first day of the year is it!

Happy Birthday to ME!

December 28th, 2012

I have given so many presents over the years… I think am pretty good at it.  I love to figure out “just the right thing” for the people I love.  I have toned things down a lot over the years- but I have always loved to give really big WOW presents.

On the hand, am terrible about GETTING presents.  I just can’t seem to justify being given anything…

This year I am giving myself a big gift- a new, healthy body!

It is going to take some time- likely near summer really. I have started and failed lots of diets in my life- but I have also tried and succeeded at losing weight.  It takes a certain mind set I have found.  I am laying the ground work for a long process- not a quick fix.

This is my sketching period- drawing out the plan…

A call to arms….

December 27th, 2012

He loves me- but even he mentioned the arms recently

To fix my FAT arms really…

This picture taken almost 2 years ago is so hard for me to associate with.  My arms are just huge for me- I can’t stop looking at them!  They just look like the arms of some middle aged woman- not me!  That guy loves me so much, he lives to make me feel loved and precious- but even he gently mentioned the fat arms awhile ago.  I am just so grateful that he is still 100 pounds more than me and keeps me feeling small.

I am a day away from being 52 years old.  I have never worried about aging- the numbers seemed to go by with out any real concern about the increasing years of life they represented.  I have always been proud of looking a significant number of years less than I really was….

Until recently… the weight I have gained recently has aged me dramatically.

I have never been thin.  I am built to be “sturdy”, size 6-8 was my general range, but with size 8 shoes and “man” hands I would never have been mistaken for delicate.  I have been small, but powerful all my life.  Just like many women my body was never exactly what I wanted.  I was always slightly more pounds than I thought I should be- thicker thighs and smaller boobs- but a flat tummy and a nice bubble of a butt made me OK with what I had.  I never obsessed about weight and actually in comparison to many others I was proud that – the little body of mine could power through ANYTHING.  Five children, expert skier, powerful hiker…

My weight past…

As a teen I was about 145 pounds- slightly chubby for my 5’3″ height.  By my early 20’s I was cute and compact at 125, with the occational drop to under 120.  I would weigh about 165 by the time I went to the hospital to have anyone of the 5 kids, then I would have to spend a year or so dropping from my post baby weight of 145 to about 130-135, occationally dipping back to my “fighting weight” of 125. At age 40 Iwas horrified that I was back up to my teen chubby weight of 145 and worked like a fiend to get back down to under 130 for a family vacation on the beach- that made my sister in laws green with envy.

A horrific divorce, a massive work schedule to afford life, a new love-  and I was back up to the 145 range towards the end of my 40’s.  Then, without any past history of my body doing this to me, it took 6 months of not really watching my weight or working out to gain 10-15 pounds.  I was horrified- but then gained more!

Where I am now…

Instead of being a 5, 10, or maybe 20 pounds overweight athletic woman- I am now  an obese, middle aged woman (weighing what I went to the hospital to deliver a baby at- 165 pounds!) who is going to have to lose 45 pounds to be healthy again.

The next few days will be my planning days.  I will need some ammunition to begin this battle.