My name is Jen. I have lost over 225 pounds and had surgery to remove my excess skin. Now I work every day on making healthy choices to maintain my weight and stay fit and strong in a crazy and challenging world!
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
If I click my heels…
Do you think that there’s any way possible that changing the background on my blog can FORCE spring to come??
We’re almost done with what truly will sit in my mind as one of the worst months in recent history.
It’s official. Around here February was the coldest month in recorded history. Let me repeat – the coldest fucking month EVER!! Which was no surprise as I got into Dexter and saw –5 as I pulled out of the garage.
So this unbelievably crappy month is finally and agonizing coming to an end – but not without some additional parting shots for good measure.
That includes the sad news I just heard about the passing of Star Trek’s own Mr. Spock – Leonard Nimoy.
So one more day and then we’re on to March. It has to get better, right?
In the good realm, Marc’s father had his second of six treatments today. His first treatment went off without a hitch and no side effects at all. Here’s hoping that will continue!!
I need to get my ass in gear and in line, but so far no luck. I have been blaming the weather. I wonder what excuse I will come up with if and when the weather breaks? I’m sure I can find one, right?
Thursday, February 26, 2015
My baby boys as babies!
A woman I work with had a Boxer who passed away a couple of years ago. She and her hubby are now finally ready to consider getting a new baby to join their family, and she asked for my assistance, so I have been on Boxer patrol this week contacting reputable breeders to find the perfect fit for them. And I have been reflecting on my boys when they were little.
In 2009 we lost my first Boxer, Tucker. The circumstances around his death are still to painful for me to talk about without bursting into tears – maybe I’ll be able to share at a later date with you guys, but it is literally one of the most horrible experiences in my life, so I just can’t yet.
Anyway, after we lost him, my heart was broken and empty. Some of my contacts in the Boxer world told me about a breeder in northern Pennsylvania and I contacted her. I liked her immediately and she told me that she had a baby Brindle boy who she wanted to find the perfect home for. She told me that they breed for temperament, health and lastly conformation. He came from a championship line, but they had the litter hoping for a flashy fawn for the show ring and got 2 whites and a brindle. So they were finding homes for them and trying again.
We talked a little more and, through tears, I was telling her about my loss and she went strangely silent. She then haltingly told me that she wasn’t sure if she should tell me this… I waited… and she then said that this sweet little Brindle boy came from her female and had been bred to a male her friend owned – a male named….TUCKER.
I got goosebumps and cried harder. She sent me a pic:
She offered to meet me halfway between our places and we decided on a time that weekend.
It was – for both Marc and I – love at first sight.
He came home with us – this is his first day home:
His personality was as it is now. He is more wary of strangers then your typical Boxer. He is calm and laid back and sweet. He lets himself get walked all over – unless he senses danger. He went AFTER a neighbor’s dog while I was walking him shortly after I had my skin removal surgery when that dog came RUNNING at me from a yard.
It was shocking how fast and how aggressive he was. But if there was any question in my mind that he would give his life to protect me if needed? That disappeared in that minute.
But normally he is chill – like this pic with our nephew shows:
1 year later, our German Shepherd, B’Elanna, passed away of old age.
We contacted the same breeder who had no puppies. Then we heard of a breeder near Rochester who had just had a little of 11!
So I contacted her and most of her litter was spoken for, but she did have a 3 left looking for homes. She said that this one boy – #10 – was her husband’s absolute favorite. But they were looking for a show dog and since white Boxers can’t be shown, they needed to find a home for him. But we would have to undergo extra scrutiny from her husband to make sure he would have the “perfect” home.
We made a visit to their house and met the breeder and her husband and all the puppies.
After a quick sidebar where they talked about us and we talked about the puppy, we were both on the same page. #10 became Archer and we had to wait a loooonnngggg 3 weeks while he grew up enough to leave his Mommy and brothers and sisters.
We brought him home and it became IMMEDIATELY obvious that it was not a line – he definitely had been a favorite of the family. He was spoiled and stubborn and mischievous and headstrong.
That hasn’t changed. But he is also fun loving and playful and incredibly affectionate. He and Chakotay became instant best friends which made us so happy!
So there you have it – that’s how our boys – the love of our lives – came into our family.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about them. Even though dogs is not the purported subject of this blog, it’s my blog, so I can talk about whatever the fuck I want, right?
I hope to find this woman I work with the perfect boy or girl for her and her husband who will make them as happy as we are with our boys.
And yes, I have already offered to babysit!!
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
A walk run strategy
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
The amazing human body...
Monday, February 23, 2015
Getting what you wish for…
I went to college with a guy named Scott. He was living in the dorms but was a few years older then most of us. When I got to know him I found out why - this was his second college experience.
You see, Scott knew what he wanted to do from a very young age. He wanted to manage a kitchen and hotel. So he went to a well known college and majored in Hospitality and Tourism. He excelled and graduated near the top of his class. So when he graduated he was hired by a very prestigious resort. He was on his way to everything he ever wanted.
And he then discovered that he HATED it. He was miserable. What the hell do you do when your dream comes true and it turns out it's not what you envisioned?
Scott did what I believe was a brave thing. He cut his losses and went back to school in a totally different career choice.
When I was fat, I didn't know exactly what would change if I lost weight. But I was absolutely POSITIVE about one thing - I knew my life would be PERFECT if only I was thin.
In fact it was guaranteed that I would skip through roses everywhere I went! And I would never struggle with anything because, of course, being thin is the best thing that a person can be, right?
Uh...not so much!!
Don't get me wrong, my life is so much better in countless ways now that I'm not obese. But it's certainly not perfect! I still struggle. Life still throws curve balls. I have lost friends because I'm not the same person anymore. And I never thought - and this is incredibly naive of me - that it would be so hard to maintain my loss!
So as you make this journey, don't be like me and think that reaching a magic number will be the answer to all your prayers! Instead - as I continue to try understand - life is indeed a journey, not a destination!!
And no matter what number the scale throws at me, no matter how fit I am, there are always going to be ways and times that I struggle. The elusive “perfect” life – I’m not sure it exists…
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Riding the wave...
Saturday, February 21, 2015
37 Calorie Brownies
Like many of you out there reading, I am on a never ending quest to eat as much as possible while paying as little of a price. So I read about these brownies that were supposedly 37 calories each.
I went to this web site:
I read the reviews and some people LOVED them and some thought they were disgusting. So Marc and I had to try for ourselves.
First we assembled the ingredients:
And then began dumping it all into a blender.
Note that we used vanilla flavored non-fat Greek yogurt instead of plain.
We added the egg and milk and salt as well and then blended until well mixed:
And then poured into a greased 8x8 glass dish:
It was much looser then normal brownie mix.
Then it was into the oven at 400 for 15 minutes. Now I like my brownies gooey but it was 2 gooey. 2 minutes additional was perfect.
It is 37 calories if you break it up into 9. We broke it into 4
How do they taste? Well, I loved them. They don’t taste like normal delicious tons of calorie brownies.
They are denser and since we used the dark chocolate cocoa, much more intense tasting.
But hell, for the calorie difference??? They are going to be a treat staple here!
Friday, February 20, 2015
Those of you that have been reading a while know that I am - well - nuts.
A couple days of trying to change my attitude appears to be working.
I lost 225 pounds. So the fact that I am now 15 pounds heavier means that I "only" lost 210 pounds.
I ran 30 miles this week in addition to about 5 hours total of lifting weights.
I have a resting heart rate of 48. My Achilles feels great.
I have a lot in my life that others would be thrilled to have.
So overall, I think I'm pretty successful. I'd like to lose at least 10 pounds. But I'm a 42 years old short woman who really likes food. So I’m never going to look like a fitness model! Is that a terrible thing?
I saw a "controversial" photo this week of Cindy Crawford. It was the "real" her without any photoshopping. She is saggy and imperfect and beautiful. And now the "shocking" untouched photos of Beyonce who has the NERVE to have some blemishes. Really? She is gorgeous and talented and "gasp" not perfect.
I am imperfect in so many ways. But that doesn't lessen me as a person now does it?
And if you have lost 50 pounds but want to lose 50 more, I would encourage you to embrace your success and keep striving, but remember how wonderful you are – no matter what.
That's where I'm at today!!
PS - Amazon has a fantastic deal on a deluxe pedometer - 50% off when you clip the coupon! Find it here!
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
PMA (not PMS)
I work with a guy who is in his second career, having retired from one career and is now working in my building. He is unfailingly positive. He just seems to be in a good mood all the time and I have literally never seen anything get under his skin.
I'm not going to lie - as a very NON morning person there are times when I see him just after getting to work and he heartily and happily greets me and asks how I am doing and I want to punch him in the face. BUT mostly I admire his positivity.
It doesn't come across as fake or like he's being a "Pollyanna" either. It feels genuine. He had cancer in the not too distant past and went through treatment and is in remission. I didn't really know him well before this, so whether surviving cancer changed his demeanor or whether he was always like this, I don't know.
I am trying so hard to maintain a positive mental attitude. But it's not terribly in my nature, plus I'm so miserable right now - the weather, my weight - that I have to "autocorrect" myself multiple times per day.
Research shows how having a positive mental attitude can make you so much healthier - it is associated with weight loss, lowered stress, less sickness, all kinds of good things.
Last night I "tweeted" the actor Terry Crews. I've read some interviews with him and he appears to be an extremely positive person as well as just a generally awesome human being. He tweeted me back about patience, faith and self talk about "I can" versus "I can't".
Thanks Terry - I'm trying!!!
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Bored to fatness!
When I was a kid I remember whining that I was "bored to death". Well, apparently I am now bored to fat.
-36. MINUS FUCKING 36 DEGREES!! That was the temperature yesterday morning. And so - yippee fucking Skippy - we made the national news for being the coldest place on the country.
Don’t believe me?
I seriously am about to lose my mind. We went to our small mall yesterday just to get out of the house but I feel totally and completely trapped. And bored. So fucking bored. So I start to eat. And eat and eat and eat.
I feel like I will never get back on track again.
And the dogs are going stir crazy from being trapped inside, too. So then I feel guilty. You can't exactly throw the ball around the house for 2 70+ pound dogs. I feel like a terrible parent. And so logically I must eat to relieve that anxiety, right?
I feel like I'm in this horrible soul sucking vortex and I just keep getting fatter and fatter - and I'm doing it TO MYSELF. No one else can be blamed.
“So what are you going to do about it?” I asked myself last night. I awoke today determined to change my attitude and get back on track. And I got to work and someone had nicely placed a HUGE FUCKING VALENTINE'S COOKIE on my desk.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
There’ll be days like this….
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Happy Valentine’s Day!!
I am proud of the fact that I am a pretty low maintenance type of chick. Although sometimes I do envy those girls that believe that they are princesses and do everything to the nth degree.
But no, that’s not who I am.
Marc and I somewhat celebrated Valentine’s Day yesterday. Given the type of people we are, celebrating on Friday the 13th was pretty apropos, anyway.
After working out in the morning, I got dressed in some fine duds – a Miami Dolphins sweatshirt and some fleece leggings – classy, huh? We went out to lunch at a white-trash kind of place. We then ran some errands, and – in the ULTIMATE romantic gesture – I took Marc into Staples walked over to the office chairs and yelled “Happy Valentine’s Day!!”
I then made him sit in all the different chairs so that he could pick one out as his other one is shot to hell. We then bought it and headed home.
Late in the day we took a bubble bath in our jacuzzi tub and then watched TV the rest of the night. There might have been something else in there too, but I wouldn’t want to kiss and tell!
For me? This was a pretty great day.
So I know some of you will be getting majorly dressed up and going to a fancy restaurant tonight! Or maybe you’re cooking a 5 course dinner with some expensive wine and chocolates.
Maybe some of you are on a trip or staying the night at a hotel! And if that’s a treat for you, I hope you enjoy every single minute of it!
Most of all, I hope that you have someone to love. Whether that be another person, an animal, and most importantly, I hope that you show yourself some love today!!
And in the spirit of the day, I want to tell you guys how much I love you for the support that you show me – when I’m doing great and when I’m falling apart. You cannot possibly know how much it means to me!!!
Friday, February 13, 2015
Yesterday evening, I ran across this:
I am one of 15 people featured in an article about running and weight loss. I don’t remember submitting myself for this story, but I probably did.
Anyway, I was just scrolling through and when I saw myself it kind of jolted me.
So I posted the link to the story of my Facebook page and received a lot of positive comments from friends and family.
It was a weird place for me to be. Because on one hand, I thought that I should indeed be pretty proud of myself. But right now, where I’m at, I feel like a failure.
So I was forced to kind of process where I’m at. Does the fact that I am about 15 pounds heavier now then I was in that photo negate the progress I made?
I guess maybe it doesn’t. I think that maybe my story can still hold value for others even though I am struggling?
I hope so!
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Putting on the brakes…
Just because you crash it doesn’t mean you have to burn, too.
I guess that what’s I learned after my miserable crash the other day. I felt wiped both mentally and physically.
I can’t say that I’m back. But I haven’t thrown in the towel – not yet anyway.
In the last 2 days I got a lot done at work. And I received some very good news that I have been approved to attend a conference that I was hoping to attend next month.
Marc’s father had an appointment yesterday and he is completed healed up from the surgery with no complications. So he starts his 6 immunotherapy treatments next week and by the time April 1st rolls around, we can hopefully be putting this whole drama in our rear-view mirror!
Because I am a state worker, we have today off for Lincoln’s Birthday and Monday off for President’s Day (yes, I DO know how tough I have it!!) So I took tomorrow off to give me a long 5 days off to relax and recharge and to get some stuff done.
Just when I thought I couldn’t get any crazier, I got home last night and was just completely and totally worn out and exhausted. I told Marc that I had been planning on running on the treadmill, but also told him about how I was feeling. He told me that if I was that worn out, I should take the day off completely or do something light.
I put on my running clothes anyway and told myself that if I couldn’t bring myself to run then I would just walk. I started running and – bafflingly – I felt AWESOME. I ran 7 miles and felt like I was FLYING. I could have gone on, but it was getting late and Marc was starting dinner.
So what gives? I am being my typical drama queen self, I guess. Making mountains out of molehills.
For now, I keep pushing onward – when – AND IF – this fucking weather breaks (BTW, the projected high for tomorrow is –1 F – so much for global fucking warming) – I might get some hope!!
Monday, February 9, 2015
A man’s world!!
It couldn't last. I've really been doing well. But when I woke up this morning to 5 degree temps, snow, frozen pipes AGAIN and a scale that informed me that I GAINED 4 POUNDS this weekend, I seriously felt like I was going to break down.
It was not helped when I ran across this article reinforcing that women - particularly short women are fucked when it comes to losing weight.
You really should read this article. It is full of facts and research. And one of the things he talks about is how men turn loads of food – without exercise -into fat, but also lean muscle while we women just get fat.
The guy who wrote the article was singing my song, too. Talking about endless hours of cardio and insatiable hunger and carb restriction with no effect on the scale.
Sometimes you guys, I just want to give up. Shut down this blog and let the inevitable return to obesity happen. Today is one of those days...
Sunday, February 8, 2015
I am not a basketball fan and know very little about Michael Jordan and his career. Yet this is one of my favorite quotes of all time.
There seems to be something special about sports stars. They are able to take setbacks and failures in stride and as motivators to be even greater.
It’s a quality that I don’t feel that I possess and one that I am definitely envious of.
But I am getting better about not defining everything in my life that I don’t do perfectly or don’t succeed at as a failure.
I remember a particularly bad time in my life many years ago. And I remember being DETERMINED that this was it. I was going to take this time in my life, when things were complete SHIT to change my life. I was going to lose weight and get fit and shove it in the face of the haters!!!
That resolve lasted about 3 days. And my life didn’t change. I immediately reverted to old behaviors and got fatter and more out of shape.
But who is to say that what I learned in those 3 days didn’t contribute to the success I would have later in my life?
I tell my clients who have relapsed after a period of sobriety that they may have to change their “sober date”, but that whatever they learned – whatever skills they gained during their time clean and sober – 1 week, 1 month, 1 year – no one can take that away from them.
And while I struggle to not feel like a failure due to my regain, I need to remember this.
Any time that I am on the right track. Any day that I exercise and eat right. Any time that I make healthy decisions for myself mentally and physically – those are skills that can only benefit me in the future.
Today I ate well, and have a healthy dinner planned. I biked 20 miles on the exercise bike and then ran another 10 on the treadmill. Today was a good day. Tomorrow I might eat like shit or make unhealthy decisions. But today is mine.
And if we string together enough good days, that’s a good thing. And it will contribute to long term success. From time to time, we just may have to tweak how we define success. And as I’m been learning lately – being successful and being perfect? They ain’t the same thing.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
I must be nuts....
Friday, February 6, 2015
It’s ALL or NOTHING!
I've said before that I have such all or nothing thinking.
I have no doubt that some of this stubborn and rigid way of thinking is partially responsible for the success I had in losing the 200+ pounds I lost.
But in the past few days I have been reflecting on that mindset and I'm also seeing how it gets me into trouble.
Here's some of the thoughts i have.
- You MUST run at least 25 miles per week or you are not a real runner.
- When you run, you have to go at least 6 miles or you might as well not run at all.
- You HAVE TO weigh less then 125 pounds or you might as well be obese.
- If you do something different than what you planned - either exercise or food wise - you have failed.
And the BIG ONE - that gets me in the most trouble is this belief:
- If you eat something "bad" then you have ruined the entire day, so you might as well say “fuck it” and just eat like shit the rest of the day.
That one, my friends, is very dangerous for me. Because - literally - eating something as small as 1 Hershey's chocolate kiss is labeled "bad". Although a Kiss might not be the best choice, 1 of them is a small drop in the bucket as far as calories go and does not have to ruin a whole day.
So I have been making an effort to be more grey in my thinking instead of so black and white. It is so hard for me!
But I have been saying to myself that I don’t HAVE TO do anything. 15 minutes of exercise is better then NO exercise. And making BETTER food choices is than throwing a day away because of one small bad choice!
Do any of you struggle with this too?
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Shall we eat?
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
An ordinary hump day...
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Like a girl…
If you watched the Superbowl you saw lots of commercials. Some were awesome, some boring, and some simply terrible (Hello? Dead kid + football game = BAD!)
One of the ads was asking post-pubescent boys and girls what doing things "Like a Girl" meant. Predictably, doing things - specifically athletic things - "like a girl" was bad. We saw kids lamely pretending to throw a ball and running by kicking their legs up.
Then they show younger kids being asked that same question and instead of making fun of girls, the kids saw girls as powerful and capable. Being “like a girl” was a good thing. The voice over then tells us that the self-esteem of girls plummets during puberty.
Now I'm not normally the type of person that feels the need to stand on a soapbox and scream for equal rights - not for race or gender or sexual orientation. But I've been thinking a lot about this ad the last couple of days.
There is no doubt that I have self-esteem issues. As do a lot of you out there reading, right? And I can't help but wonder how my self perception - my self worth - would have been different if, as a child, I received different messages from society.
What if I had more encouragement to be athletic? What if I believed that as a female I was just as capable at physically challenging things as my brother? What if I wasn't judged so incredibly harshly and mocked for my weight by everyone including my own family! Which, as well know, just exacerbates the problem?
Maybe nothing would have changed - I mean I had choices, right?
But certainly empowering young girls to see themselves as strong and beautiful and smart – that can't be a bad thing?
You know, the messages still persist. I had a subscription to Shape magazine but dropped it after reading article after article showing an impossibly thin gorgeous blonde getting a "great ass" by squatting with 2 pound weights. Or what exactly I need to look like to turn my husband on in bed.
Instead I read Marc's Men's Fitness magazine which is far more useful for me even as a chick. Their articles talk about getting strong and fit without a eating a salad and smoothie a day for weeks on end.
Today on Twitter, I posted this pic and announced to the world that I lift weights #LikeAGirl
Monday, February 2, 2015
A new day…
Did you over do it yesterday at a Superbowl party? Are you not feeling great? Hey, at least you're not waking up as the person who made the stupidest fucking play call in Superbowl history!!
At any rate the great thing about life is that every single moment offers you an opportunity! Changes – big or small can be made. Decisions can be changed. Thoughts can turn into actions.
Have you fallen off track and lost your way? Today is Monday February 2nd - what a perfect day to get back in the saddle - to start anew!
With a huge snowstorm here and temps in the negatives it's hard to believe it's ever going to get warm!! But it will and I have some bikinis that want me to wear them this year!
I dyed my hair again this weekend - an even more obnoxious shade of red - and I love it!! I am throwing out old magazines and getting rid of some clothes I don't wear. I am trying to remove clutter from my life mentally and physically.
It’s too early for spring cleaning and yet – that’s what I am feeling the need to do. Making adjustments and changes – hopefully for the better!!