Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Walk it off, baby!

I was watching tv yesterday with Marc while we were working out and we saw 2 "miracle diet" type ads.  I commented to Marc that I wondered why they were showing these ads now.  Then I realized that we are almost into May, so people are thinking about summer and shorts and bathing suits, so - like the first of the year - people are going to want to get that weight off and making promises to do so.  

I talk so much about running and other exercising that I do, that sometimes I think that people must think that I started this journey and on day 1 I ran 4 miles and did some P90X.  Far from it!!  Remember I've talked about where I started?  Slowly!  By doing some mild stuff on the Wii and..... WALKING!!  

I know that some of you are new at this and/or exercising is really difficult.  So let me encourage you to do what almost everyone can do - get outside and start walking!!  The benefits of walking are enormous, and I think some people tend to downplay that because it is low intensity, low impact.

But let's talk about what research shows:
  • Walking 40 minutes per day is shown to take off 14 pounds in a year, even when someone makes no other lifestyle changes!  So if you can lose 14 pounds just with walking, imagine if you are also making other positive changes, like eating better!
  • Research shows that overweight patients who walked 30 minutes per day were more likely to ward off Type II diabetes - even if they didn't lose weight - over those that did not walk.
  • Walking 1.5 miles per day cuts your risk of stroke and heart attack in half.  That's right - you are 50% less likely to have a stroke or heart attack just by walking regularly!!
  • Walking 30 minutes per day has been shown to be as effective - if not more effective - in reducing depression over medication.
  • Walking 45 minutes per day has been shown to increase cognitive functioning and lowers your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's.
  • Women diagnosed with breast cancer who walked regularly after their diagnosis had a 45% greater survivial rate then women that didn't walk.
  • Walking is a great way to reduce stress.  In that time you can process the days events, make plans, or to just enjoy everything that nature has to offer.
Are you convinced yet??  Another great thing about walking?  You can take your kids, your dog, your neighbor!  You don't need a "guest pass" for the gym and you don't need to hire a baby sitter!  Short on time?  Go for a short stroll around the block.  Got time to kill?  Find a trail and do a longer walk!   Even though I am a runner, I also walk a lot - it's great cross-training.  So even if you do other exercising, don't forget about walking.

Now get off the computer, get off your ass and GO FOR A WALK!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Feeling accomplished!

What an awesome weekend I just had.  There was nothing particularly amazing about it, but the weather finally soared into the 70's and that alone is enough to raise my spirits sky high!  I was able to break out the shorts and t-shirts and be outside without freezing my ass off for the first time in MONTHS. 

But the main source of feeling so good was getting a bunch of things accomplished.  I keep a "to do" list on my tablet and some of the outside things that I've wanted to get done have been sitting on that list since the beginning of the year!  So just being able to cross them out gave me such a feeling of accomplishment!

In other news, it is now less then 2 weeks until my half marathon.  I am both excited and nervous.  Marc and I were in the area this weekend, so I drove the course.  It is a toughie, that's for sure.  Lots of hills, including a steep one that looks to go on forever at about mile 10.  

Yesterday I ran 14 miles and came in at a 7:58 per minute mile average.  For me, that is a spectacular pace. So if I can come anywhere near that on the actual race, I will be happy with my performance. 

My weight is holding steady right where I like to see it, so I'm pretty happy about that, too.  I'm not going to tell you it's easy - it's not, at least not yet.  But I was able to eat this weekend without obsessing over calories.  It's a bit tougher today, because I am always SO HUNGRY the day after I run a lot of miles.  I'm trying not to snack before lunch.  Hopefully the cup of coffee I just brewed will help!

Hope everyone had as great of a weekend as I did!  Can't believe that May will be here this week!  What are your goals for May?


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Defining "exercise".

What constitutes exercise?  I had to ask myself this yesterday.  You see, I got up and it was on the agenda to clean our chicken coop out for the spring.  We use the "deep litter method" in our coop.  Which means that we layer the coop with pine shavings and rake it once and a while.  As it builds up with chicken poop you simply add more pine shavings.  As you might imagine, by spring, there is a deep layer of chicken crap and packed pine shavings. 

So, I began by breaking up and shoveling out the poop/pine shaving mixture.  It was hard work and I had to actually SHOVEL it like you would dirt.  It took 3 full wagon loads to remove it.  After that, my next task was to fill a bucket with hot water and bleach and scrub down the walls - especially next to where they roost.  Finally, I carried down from our garage the large packed bags of pine shavings that probably weigh at least 50 pounds to the coop, opened up the bags and raked the new shavings out.  Then all the items I had taken out, like the box of chicken food had to go back in.

The entire process took about 2 and 1/2 hours.  And even though it was hard work, I felt guilty later because it was my only form of exercise yesterday.

You know years ago before they had fancy gyms and stuff, people didn't "work out".  They were no DVD's from Beachbody, no elliptical machines, and no weight benches.  Yet people stayed trim and fit.  They didn't worry about what constituted "exercise" when they were out working the farm all day.  

Whenever I run past the group of Amish kids that live next to us, they stop what they are doing and just stare at me.  They are probably wondering what the hell I'm running from.  Because they are outside working all day, and the concept of needing to run for fitness is probably beyond their comprehension!

So here's what I'm saying.  I know that everyone is always saying to people trying to lose weight that any movement is good movement and to take the stairs or park at the back of parking lots.  Well, I suppose that's true, but if you want to get really fit and lose weight, climbing a flight of stairs ain't going to do it.

BUT, you can get more active in ways that you don't traditionally define as "working out".  Wash your car in your driveway instead of going through the automatic machine.  Is your garage a disaster area?  Spend a day cleaning it out.  Does you shed need painting?  Do it yourself instead of hiring someone!   Don't just watch your kids play soccer, get in there and kick the ball around with them - even if you suck!

Not only does that get you some really great exercise, but you get something accomplished as well!  My chicken coop looks fantastic and it is nice and clean for when we move the baby chicks in in a couple of weeks!  No diseases to worry about and the task is done!

My next project?  Start my garden!  That will be great exercise and will produce a ton of healthy food for us through the summer!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring fever!!!!

Well, the weather is still pretty chilly here today, but it smells like spring out.  And the forecast for this weekend is FINALLY calling for temps in the 60's!  I can't tell you how much that improves my mood!

With spring through, comes a lot of challenges for me.  First off, we all know I'm not the world's best housekeeper, and I will fail even more miserably when warm weather hits because I will want to be outside all the time!

On the agenda this weekend will be completely cleaning out the chicken coop.  This means shoveling out all the old pine shavings and chicken poop and loading them onto our wagon and getting rid of them and then scrubbing the whole thing down with bleach.  Good times.  But it will work out well as we'll be moving the new chicks in there soon.

I also have to start planting some things in the greenhouse.  I can't wait to have fresh vegetables again from my own garden!  There's nothing quite like it!  That helps keep up the healthy eating.

On the other hand, with spring comes ICE CREAM stands, and barbecues, and a desire to just let go and enjoy.

This will be my first full summer in maintenance and I'm feeling confident and optimistic about my ability to do well.  Because while I'll face some challenges, I also will be out and about getting a lot of activity.

Plus I have to keep that bikini body to show off my belly button piercing!!!

Hope everyone gets outside and enjoys the weekend!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Recipe: Cheesy Calzone

I love pizza!  But it's not typically on the menu - wayyyyy to many calories.  Here is a low cal substitute that I love!


Low cal whole wheat Pita pocket
1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup non fat cheddar OR mozarella cheese
fresh basil
2 cloves garlic

Mix everything together, stuff inside the pita.  Lightly coat outside of pita with olive oil.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 mins.

Easy and delicious!  I stuff Marc's with pepperoni - you could really use any traditional pizza toppings you want!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Last week, my very good friend Peg and I went out to lunch and she asked me if I thought that a person needs to be "obsessed" on this journey.  My immediate reaction was "YES, absolutely!"

I have been thinking about our conversation since then.  You see the word "Obsess" tends to make people think of negative things.  But the definition of obsess is:  To occupy the mind excessively.  Now, look, if you are looking to lose 5 pounds this probably doesn't apply to you.  But I am assuming that most people who bother to read this are looking to radically change their lives and their bodies.

When I talk to my addicted clients I tell them this:  they should consider their life as a pie chart (mmmm....pie....) - oops distracted there for a minute...You guys are familiar with pie charts, right?

I tell my clients that when they first are getting sober that focusing on getting clean and sober has to be a HUGE piece of the pie - their number one focus and that EVERYTHING - and I mean EVERYTHING ELSE - has to fall into the little tiny sliver that's left.  However, once they have been clean a while, they can start allowing that pie to get cut up more and the process of focusing on being sober should get smaller and smaller.  It will always be a slice of their life, but it doesn't need to occupy so much of their time and energy and focus.  

I think the same can be said about losing weight and being fit.  If you are COMMITTED to this journey, it needs to be the primary focus of your life, period.  When I was actively losing weight, what I was going to do for exercise that day was the FIRST thing that entered my mind the minute I got up.  What I was going to eat that day was what I thought about while in the shower in the mornings.  EVERY SINGLE THING that went into my mouth, I knew how many calories and where that fit in my calorie count for the day.

Yes, that is OBSESSIVE.  And it meant sacrificing other parts of my life.  BUT, now that I'm in maintence, I'm not as obsessed.  Real life, instead of the losing weight life, is taking over.  Slowly, but surely.

I don't think you can half-ass it.  Not if you want to see RADICAL change.  And I wanted life altering change, which I got.  I honestly don't think that you can devote only 10% of your life to this journey and lose 100 pounds.  And when I say be obsessed, I mean be obsessed with the PROCESS.  Being obsessed with the number on the scale I think is unhealthy.  If you are focused on the PROCESS of getting fit and eating well, that number takes care of itself.

How much does being fat and/or unhealthy dominate your life?  Think about that.  Does it effect your relationships, your breathing, where you go for dinner, what you do with your kids?  Do you sit on your ass on the weekend playing computer games and waste your life away?  If so, I would argue that you could use some obsession.

And I'll leave it with an awesome quote, but I am curious on your thoughts of obsession....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Changing my belly button ring!

So I stopped by the tattoo shop where I got my piercing, and the guy said that the piercing looks great!  Healed well, so there is almost no chance of rejection now.  WOO HOO!  He told me I could change the ring, so of course I ran right out and bought a few rings and changed it for the first time today.

And because I am a GIGANTIC DORK, I had Marc record it.  I was scared that once I took the original out that I wouldn't be able to get the new one in, but I did without a problem.

Wanna see?


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Guest writer - Traveling and being healthy

The following was written by guest blogger Mike Manning:

Traveling does not Mean Death to your Diet

Taking a vacation or going on a business trip is a fast and easy way to fall off the fitness wagon. The key to staying healthy on the go is planning. Learning ways to manage your diet and exercise helps maintain the lifestyle that keeps you in balance. There is nothing wrong with a little indulgence, but don’t let the stress of being away from home sideline your fitness goals.

Get to Know the Destination

Knowledge is a critical factor when planning a trip. You can get to know the area before you make any reservations and create a program that encourages fitness. In today’s Internet world, travelers have the ability to shop around. Try a travel site that lets you filter search results by hotel amenities. On a recent trip to San Francisco I used a travel review site that allowed me to see all of the hotels in San Francisco in order of rank. From here I could click on the hotel and see amenities offered, reviews from people that have stayed there, and price. Things to look for in lodging include:

  • On-property gym or access to a local gym close by
  • In room refrigerator and microwave for healthy drinks and snacks
  • Large guest rooms with space for exercise
  • Complimentary boot camp, pilates, or yoga classes

These little extras give you options when it comes to your fitness routine. In addition, scope out the neighborhood looking for jogging trails or bike rentals, healthy restaurants and hiking in the area.

Pack for Fitness

  • Running shoes and clothes
  • Swimsuit
  • Jump rope
  • Resistance bands

Wear a pair of walking shoes while at the airport or driving. This will encourage you to walk around instead of sitting down to eat or drink on a break. Many airports offer rooms or walking trails for flyers looking to stay active while waiting to board.

Manage Your Portions

Restaurants, particularly ones in the United States, are known for their massive portions. This is a major obstacle when eating out. One way to circumvent the problem is by sharing plates or saving half the meal for the next day. If dining alone, ask the server to pack up half of the high calorie foods on your order before delivering the meal. You can fill the plate with ala carte veggies and salad.

If eating with your family, consider ordering two or more main dishes for a smorgasbord. You can set the entries in the middle of the table and then order everyone a salad and vegetable serving to eat banquet style.

Don’t Give into Snacking Temptation

What you eat between meals might ultimately be the biggest challenge while on the road. Prepare for hours in the car. Pack a cooler with healthy drinks and snacks to avoid stopping for chips and sodas. When visiting attractions, try buying several different types of treats and letting everyone in the group have a taste of each. You can avoid the sugar blues and save money by restricting drinks to water.

Travel does have to mean death to your diet. Plan to stay active and manage what you eat. Your trip can be fun and healthy at the same time.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Done with what you ask?  Well I'll tell you - 

I'm done doubting myself.

I'm done downplaying my accomplishments.

I'm done feeling sorry for myself.

I'm done hating myself for minor slip ups.

I'm done thinking that my worth as a person is based on a number on the scale.

I am done putting myself down.

I am a powerful person.  I have lost 228 pounds!  That's pretty impressive.  I am a good person.  I love animals.  I am funny and smart.  I'm good - no I'm great - at my job.  I try my best and when I fail, I get up and try again.  I stand up for what I believe in.  I have faced adversity and prevailed.

I can do WHATEVER I set my mind to!!

Having said that - I am not special.  Every single person reading this CAN do it.  You can make a new life.  You can adopt this attitude!

Who else wants to be DONE????

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's been a year!!!

Can you believe that it's been a year today since I had the surgery to remove the skin?  It truly feels like it's been only a very short period of time.  So here are some updated pics.

Front and side shots:

Here is a close up of my belly button that never did materialize, but I'm liking the piercing so...  By the way, from the belly button down to the incision in about a 2 inch wide swatch, I have NO FEELING in the skin.  Everywhere else the nerves have come back, but not there.

Some close ups of the incision:  

 The incision scar is very visible but also completely flat - if you were to run your hand across it, it feels no different then regular skin.  

The exception to this is right in the top of my butt crack.  Where you can see the thicker scar, that is raised and bumpy.

You can also see that there is some extra skin on the back.  Because they pull the front so tight and you hunch over, the doctor can't pull the back completely tight.

According to Dr. DeRoberts, this is a current source of debate in the plastic surgery community - do you do 2 surgeries instead of one all the way around so that once the patient can stand upright you do the back area and then you can pull it completely tight?  

I think that I would rather have a little loose skin then go through 2 surgeries....

So there you have it.  Clearly I would say that the surgery was a complete and total success.  I am very happy and have absolutely zero regrets. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Get a life!!!

So I was thinking the other day that some of you here might think that my entire life revolves around weight loss and exercise.  I know that it seems that way, but honest, I do have other interests and hobbies!!

So I thought I'd show you something else that I do.  I crochet!  I like to do it at night especially while I'm watching TV - makes me feel a little more productive then just sitting there.

Here are some of my projects:

 I recently made this for Marc's niece for her new baby girl!
 In the back ground of the last pic, you can see the full afghan - thought I'd show you a close up of the snowflake.
I've made this one several times in different colors - these make GREAT wedding gifts.

Anyway, things are going well in my life - weather has started to break which improves my mood greatly!  I did notice last night that I'm beginning to slack off on my goal to clean a bit of the house every night so that I don't end up with massive cleaning to do every once and a while.  So, it's time to re-focus on that.  

My weight is holding steady in my range, although I'd like to push it down a little in order to have more of a cushion, but I really can't complain. 

Friday marks 5 weeks since I got my belly button ring and it's showing no sign of rejection!  So I'm going to buy some new rings and replace it - that makes me a little nervous.  I'll make sure to include pics - especially for my Aunt Karla who just LOVES anything to do with belly buttons!!

Tomorrow marks one year since I had surgery to remove the excess skin!  Can't believe it's been a year!  I'm going to take some pics so anyone who is interested can see what the scar and skin looks like after settling for a year.

Hope everyone is keeping up the battle - it ain't easy, I know!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Be strong Boston!

My 6.15 mile run today was dedicated to everyone impacted by the events in Boston yesterday.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Intuitive eating...

Been doing a lot of research and thinking on Intuitive Eating lately. For those of you who aren't familiar, this is the website http://www.intuitiveeating.org.  Here are their 10 Priniciples which you can read more about in detail on the site.
  1. Reject the Diet Mentality 
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police
  5. Respect Your Fullness
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Exercise--Feel the Difference
  10. Honor Your Health--Gentle Nutrition
 A lot about this system I absolutely love.  I love how they talk about not calling yourself "good" or "bad" depending on how many calories you eat.  I'm also beginning to believe that they are right that when you deprive yourself of certain foods, it makes you crave them to such an extent that you eventually end up going crazy with them, so moderation is the key.  

I've been thinking about this when it comes to my quest to just have a normal relationship with food and exist peacefully in maintenance.  I have mentioned MANY times that I don't want to have to think about calories every single time I put something in my mouth for the rest of my life.  I just want to eat meals and not be obsessive and rigid.  

But here's the problem.  I don't believe that I have an "off" switch.  I am getting to the point where I can distinguish MOST of the time between being truly physically hungry and being psychologically hungry.  BUT there is NEVER and I mean virtually NEVER a time when I don't want to eat.  I want to eat all the time.  I don't recognize "fullness" until I am literally over-full and sick - which happens only after hundreds of calories.  I could just have eaten a very satisfying meal and I still could eat much, much more.  I DON'T - but I could and I want to - that's how I ended up weighing 344 pounds.

I have employed strategies to help this - I eat waaaayyyy slower now by concentrating on eating slow and chewing my food more thoroughly.  I also have learned about cooking and spices to make my meals more flavorful - which sends signals to the brain that you are full. I eat lots of veggies and protein which fill you up faster and longer then crap food. 

Having said that, though, I eat a lot of food and am never satisfied.  I always, always, always want more.

So while intuitive eating might work for some people, I'm pessimistic that it's ever going to work for me.  Like a drug addict, I think my brain is just designed differently that it doesn't have an off switch to tell me when I need to stop eating.  

That being said, I am getting better about my food rigidity and my quest to stop bashing myself based on food choices is getting better day by day.  This is a healthy thing 9 months into maintenance, I think.

Anyone out there practice Intuitive Eating?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When does life begin?

Wait - no one panic!  This is NOT a debate about abortion - I'm not jumping into that here!

Nope, I'm talking about people waiting for their lives to start.  Yesterday my friend/co-worker and I were talking about things, including retirement - which is many years away for both of us.  We both said that we are so looking forward to having more time and not having to work, BUT we don't want to wish our lives away, either.

It got me thinking about another co-worker who has gained a LOT of weight in the last few years.  She has always been a yo-yo dieter and can lose weight fairly easily and rapidly when she is extremely focused on it, but also puts the weight back on quickly.  Of course she does very unhealthy things to get the weight off and also goes back to terrible eating habits once she falls off the wagon.

Anyway, she was telling me that she wants to lose weight, but was also justifying why she just does not have the time to exercise, and it is "IMPOSSIBLE" for her to plan meals which is why she (and the rest of her family) HAVE to eat out at restaurants or eat fast food 4-5 days per week.  She made the comment that she plans to start eating right, exercising and being a healthy weight when her daughter goes off to college.  Her daughter is 10.  Yes, 10.  So that means she plans to start her new life IN 8 YEARS!!!!!

Wow.  That just blew me away.  I am so frustrated with myself for not starting this journey until I was in my late 30's.  Everything would have been so much easier in my 20's.  And all the years I WASTED being fat - I think of everything I missed out on.  I feel like this life I have now - it ain't perfect but it's a whole new life.  And I so, so, so wish I could go back in time and start it years and years ago.  I try not to dwell there but....

Which is why I don't want to hear people say that they'll start changing their lives next year, or next month or next week.  Or on their birthday or whenever.  This is not just for weight loss but any unhealthy habit.

I think of a smoker lying in Hospice with a 3 month prognosis wishing she had quit smoking years ago.  Or the man who weighs 350 pounds lying in his bed with one leg amputated from out of control diabetes who can barely move.  I'll bet he wishes he could go back in time and start eating right and exercising.

So what are you waiting for?  Your life has BEGUN.  Stop waiting for circumstances to be perfect, because they NEVER EVER WILL.  You will never have enough time.  It's never going to be NOT HARD.  Start now, start today.  Your future self will thank you.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New chicks!!

Today we went and got our new chicks.  In a few months they will be producing some eggs for us!  We have plenty of eggs now, but this is a hobby as well as we sell the eggs for a little extra money and it helps other people to eat healthy.

We got 6 Sussex chicks:

Cute, huh?

We also got there and they happened to have Guinea Fowl which I have been thinking of getting.  They are voracious tick eaters and also eat wasps.  They are supposed to be a lot of fun and apparently actually act like "watch dogs" for your property!  So we got 3!!!

How about a couple of pics with the other members of the family?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bitchy and snarky....

No, I didn't get 2 new dogs and give them weird names.  Bitchy and snarky is how I am feeling today, so be warned!

Here's the deal - I try to be understanding and empathetic to people who want to lose weight.  After all, I have been there and done that.  And, everyone's experiences and journeys are different and what worked for me won't necessarily work for others.  

I have mentioned this before, though - when I was fat, I never made excuses for why I was fat.  Other people would even say things to me about how I didn't eat any more then they did or something like that, but I knew exactly why I was fat.  I ate massive amounts of food, ate bad food, and didn't exercise. 

So I get really frustrated some times when I see people who make excuses why they are fat and piss and moan and whine about how hard it is.  I just about lost it yesterday when one of my Facebook friends posted that she has come to the conclusion that she would have to (paraphrasing here) drink only water, exercise obsessively and not eat food in order to lose a pound.  AND - I am not kidding here - this post was in the middle of about 5 recipes that she tagged from various sites of high fat and calorie dessert items.

O.M.G.  Are you kidding me?  And then there was another person on the weight loss site that I am on who made a LOOOONG post about how she has absolutely NO TIME to exercise and make meal plans and HAS to eat fast food.  

Now, I am NOT judging either of them about whether they "should" lose weight.  But they need to dump the excuses!  In the time it took to "pin" a dozen recipes of high fat desserts, this Facebook friend could have gotten in a good 20 minute workout!  And the person who was posting about how tough this is could have gotten a week's worth of meal planning done!!

Losing weight is HARD.  It's full of sacrifice.  Do you know how many times I have said NO to a cookie?  Or walked by a plate of homemade brownies?  Or refused an offer to go out to lunch?  In fact just yesterday  I was at my satellite office and there was a pizza party starting at 11AM.  I got out of there and headed back to my regular work office and worked out for an hour and had my "treat" lunch - a SALAD from Subway!!

I am not saying this because I am some sort of hero - it's just the reality of how badly you want it.  It's your choice as it is mine!  You can sit on your ass and bitch about how hard it is and how you are missing out or you can change your life - BUT YOU CAN'T DO BOTH!!  Trust me - I would love to down an entire plate of brownies, and then go for a leisurely 2 mile stroll and break even.  But that ain't gonna happen.  

 It SUCKS.  But you either want to cook a high fat chocolate cake and eat it or you want to lose weight.  Which do you choose?


Monday, April 8, 2013

For Gayle...

Gayle's wonderful pup Ebbets lost his battle today.

I am asking all my readers to keep Gayle in their thoughts as she deals with her grief.

I have all too often had to deal with the loss of a pet, and I know the heartbreak...

Gayle, I know how hard you tried to save your boy and he was so lucky to have you!!!   Know that he is running like the wind - with no pain...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

More = Less.

To say our bodies are not logical must be the understatement of the century.  I guess your "average" person might not realize this.  But when you are someone who is paying close attention to your body, you notice these things.

I hate basketball, but I saw the footage this week of the basketball player who broke his leg SO badly.  He wasn't even hit hard.  You then see players who are NAILED and their bodies bend in impossible ways and they jump right up unhurt. 

Then there are people who seem COMPLETELY healthy, go in and see the doctor over something minor, get a cancer diagnosis and are dead in 2 days.  Then there's Lance Armstrong (yes, I know, he's a cheating piece of shit) but there is NO WAY he should be alive with the advanced stage of his cancer and he beat it!

What does this have to do with weight loss?  Well, on my way down the scale, I had 2 times when I hit a nasty plateau.  I wasn't doing anything differently - I was eating right and exercising and my weight was just STUCK.  It wasn't going up, but it wasn't going down, either.  Both times, it was suggested to me that I eat more calories per day.  

Now, when you are actively losing weight, and feeling good about losing, and someone suggests you eat MORE?  That prospect - at least for me - was utterly terrifying.  But both times I did and suddenly my weight dropped like 3-4 pounds!

Well, guess what?  I am maintaining pretty well.  Last Sunday, BEFORE Easter dinner, I weighed myself and weighed 118.7.  So then I went to Easter and pigged out.  Then, when Marc and I went down to see Dr. DeRoberts, we had lunch at Uno Chicago Grill - and their ALL YOU CAN EAT soup bar.  And I ATE.  And then some other unplanned eating as I described a couple of days ago.  Then Thursday, an unexpected invite to lunch at Red Lobster where I had fish and steamed broccoli (yay me!) but 2 cheddar bay biscuits (bad me!!).  

And guess what - I got on the scale this morning and weighed 117.4.  That's over a pound LESS then last week!  Now a pound ain't much, and there is no way I plan to repeat this experience this week.  But it goes to show that our bodies are not logical, and sometimes we have to roll with that.

And one last thing that I'm the most proud of - keeping with my revelation of a few weeks ago, I didn't mentally BERATE myself during the bad moments last week.  I wasn't happy with myself, but I also didn't get totally down on me.  By Friday I was back on plan.  And I'm proud of that - no drama, no self hatred.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Muscles! Or lacking them!

I've talked many time on here about the importance of strength training/weight lifting.  It totally reshapes every part of your body.

When you look at 2 people of the same height weighing, say, 125 pounds, they can look RADICALLY different from one another depending on their muscle mass.  And looking firm and tight compared to "skinny fat" is MUCH more appealing to me!

Now I've been lifting for a while now, and have some pretty impressive muscles, if I do say so myself.  My calves are really defined from both running and weight lifting.  My biceps look good and I have some great shoulders.

However, I have almost no muscle definition in my back!  See?

Despite working my back, I have very little muscle definition in my lats and delts.  I do most of the exercises that they call for to increase muscle mass there including deadlifts.  

Apparently one of the ways to increase muscles back there is doing pull-ups.  While I can do chin-ups without assistance, I can't manage to do even one pull-up.  For those of you who don't know, in a chin-up, your palms face you and the biceps are highly involved.  In a pull-up, your palms face away from you and  the back muscles are more involved.

Here I am doing a chin up - palms facing - I can do a few of these from a dead hang.

But I have to use a ball or something else to give me assistance to do a pull up.

I guess I will try doing some more pull-ups with assistance, but someone also told me that, like the abs, muscles in women are harder to define until you lose more body fat percentage, and I'm not so sure that I want to lose any more body fat....

Friday, April 5, 2013


Ah, motivation!  She is one fickle mistress, isn't she?  Why is it that we have moments of complete motivation and inspiration and then - in a heartbeat - it can fly away from us??

Motivation has completely abandoned me this week.  Since Easter, I've had a terrible time getting back on track.  For one thing, I have been completely and totally out of my routine.  I don't deal with change well and don't make the best choices when faced with unexpected adjustments that need to be made. 

So even something good - like hitting the mall while I was in Syracuse for my doctor's appointment - that throws me for a loop.  Yesterday I started off motivated and down right determined to be back on plan.  And what happened?  By 11AM I had already jumped completely off plan.  And while I was doing it, I was telling myself that I shouldn't be eating this, and I continued to do it anyway!!

I know how this dance works.  But it doesn't make it any easier.  When you sit there knowing that you NEED to get off your ass and do something but every part of your being doesn't want to?  

This is where commitment comes in, right?  I have forced myself to exercise even though I haven't wanted to.  And that's what you have to do sometimes.  I wish I could say that every single day I look at bad foods and am not tempted by them at all.  I wish that I could tell you that every time it comes time to exercise that I can't wait and just enthusiastically go for it.  But I can't - it would be a lie.

All these quotes that you read like:

Yeah, right.  Sometimes that piece of chocolate cake tastes WAYYYYY better then thinking about being a size 2!!!

So it's Friday.  I'm not waiting until Monday to get back on track.  Nope.  Right now.  I'm on plan.  And I'll be okay.  Because I am commited - even if that bitch motivation doesn't join me!  She'll be back - I've seen her leave before, but she always comes back.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

One year follow up to the doctor!!

Yesterday I had my one year follow up to see Dr. DeRoberts.  It actually is 2 weeks short of a year, but close enough!

The appointment went great.  He looked at the incision, pulled at the skin, and pushed at my abdominal muscles and declared that everything looks great, he does not expect anything to change and that I don't need to see him again.  

It's weird - I only met him one year ago, but since he is such a crucial piece in my transformation it feels so strange to think that I might never see him again.  Barring a miracle and some company choosing to sponsor a thigh lift for me, I don't expect that I will see him in the future.

Speaking of the thigh lift, he looked at my arms and said that while there is clearly some extra skin, that my arms look great.  But then he grabbed HANDFULS of skin on my thighs and pulled it tight and I was able to see what my legs would look like if I was able to get that done.  Ug... they would look so much better, but I just can't justify the cost.

During the exam, he told me how "tiny" I am and how impressed he is with my abs.  He then opened my folder and looked at the LARGE before photos he had taken, and the massive amount of hanging skin.  He was like "Wow, LOOK AT THAT!"  And I was like "Trust me!  I remember well!!'

When he first went to examine me, he saw the new belly button ring and made a face.  Marc and I aren't 100% sure if he didn't like the ring or was disappointed in how the belly button itself looks.  I think it was the latter, because he poked at the belly button and made some comment about how it never did "settle down".  

As an aside, this is looking pretty good I think - 2 1/2 weeks in and no sign of rejection... Still keeping my fingers crossed!  I looked at some jewelery for the belly button yesterday while we were in the mall - I'm excited!

Finally, Dr. DeRoberts did one more treatment on my birthmark which should take care of all the rest of it and I will be birthmark free.  It had faded significantly from the first 2 treatments, but this should be it.

So, there you have it.  I can't believe that it's been a year.  I'm going to wait until my actual 1 year date and then will post pics of the incision scar and talk a little about the small amount of extra skin still on my back.   I'm thinking that some people might want to see what it looks like one year out. So stay tuned for that.

Monday, April 1, 2013

No Fools here!

Welcome to April everyone!!  I'm feeling really good, despite Mother Nature being a total bitch and refusing to let go of winter.  We're expecting CRAPTACULAR weather for the first part of this week, but the week is supposed to end with some nice weather, so that's good news!

As planned I totally over-did it for Easter, but will be back on track 100% today.  I have been at a stable weight under my redline for most of last week and expect that yesterday's indugances won't effect that after a couple of days as long as I get right back to plan.  

Anyway, I've been really frustrated at some of the stuff I'm been reading on the weight loss forums lately, and that's what I'd like to talk about today.  I keep seeing people complaining about people in their lives tempting them or sabotaging them by exposing them to food that they have declared off limits for their lifestyle change.  And example is a woman whose husband keeps ordering pizza and she is "powerless" to resist the temptation and ends up eating the food with him.

Now first of all, let me say this.  I think that in a marriage - a partnership - that partners need to support one another and if they don't I think the entire state of that relationship needs to be re-evaluated.  Let me tell you something, and I mean this - if Marc continuously brought home donuts, pizza, chocolate, etc. to our house he and I would be having a serious talk.  AND, if that behavior continued, that would be IT - either he or I would be out the door.  If a husband does not support his wife, he's a pretty shitty man, and that marriage is not what it should be.

That being said, where does personal accountability come in?  Another woman has been complaining about co-workers bringing in unhealthy food and trying to get her to eat it.  Well, that's reality folks.  Do you think that just because you have made a lifestyle change that everyone around you is going to bow down and change their lives?  Fat chance (no pun intended!).  Stop playing the victim!

You are responsible for what goes in your mouth.  You make the choice to say yes or no.  You make the choice of whether you will exercise today - no one else!  It is not the responsibility of someone to put on your shoes for you and carry you to the gym

I had all kinds of exposure to temptations when I was actively losing and I was the one who had to say yes or no!  Even though I have to say that I've been pretty lucky with having people support me, I clearly remember coming in from a run last fall and security tried to hand me a GIANORMOUS piece of cake saying that I had "earned" it with my run and that it was okay.  They were quite put off - and quite persistent - when I wouldn't take it.  But I can't blame them for offering - it was up to me to say no thanks - firmly but nicely.  Is it easy - hell to the no.  But if this were easy we wouldn't have an obesity problem in this country!

So here we are on Monday, April 1st.  Who cares what happened yesterday or last month?  Today starts us anew.  If you want it, YOU will do it!!!  Let's get going!  TODAY.  NO EXCUSES.  NO BLAMING OTHERS.