Monday, August 08, 2022

Positive Thoughts

​This is my post for positive thoughts.  And thankfully not so much because I am having to force myself to think positively, but because I am finally able to post something positive in relation to my weight loss journey! Go me!

Last weekend I actually joined a DietBet.  I had talked about it for a few weeks and I am proud to say that I didn’t just talk.  I ante upped the money and did it!  I was not happy with the number that I am starting with.  (Seriously, July was bad!)  I joined a one month DietBet. $35 for the month and I am required to lose 4% of my body weight in order to ‘win’ and get my money back (along with my share of the pot…should there be people that don’t lose).    

Joining a dietbet was just what I needed to give me the spark and motivation.  $35 is small change.  I won’t be destitute or anything should I not get my money back.  But let’s face it, I am a cheapskate and I don’t want to lose my money!     So I am motivated to recoup my money!   Yeah sure, I would love to make some money and take some of the money in the pot (from the people that lose their money) but seriously, the motivation is coming from the desire to not lose my money!  

So what has this motivation sparked me to do?  

* I have tracked every bite of food that I have eaten 

* I have kept my calories totally in check!  Even when I indulged on the weekend, my calories were in line and at a very nice level!  A level that is conducive to weight loss!

* I have calculated my mileage for my 2022 mile challenge.  I found I am 200 miles behind schedule. I read of lamenting that fact and giving up, I started riding my exercise bike and knocking odd miles.  It won’t be quick to make up those miles AND carry out my needed daily miles so that I don’t fall further behind.  And I know that I won’t be completing my mile challenge in September like I did in 2021, but I have started to chip away at the deficit while completing my daily miles and I am determined to finish my miles by the end of the year!

* I have also recommenced with doing Zumba!  I loved my live Zumba classes when I was taking them, bit I haven’t been able to attend a live class in years.  When my schedule cleared up which would have allowed me to attend, covid hit and classes were not as plentiful.  I have recently looked for classes near where I live and there are not all that many live in person classes.   There are lots of virtual classes.  But A month or so ago (on a false start) I tried a few Zumba workouts on YouTube and found an instructor that I liked.  So when I kicked back into my weight loss/healthy living routine, I Turned on those workouts and I have been doing Zumba most mornings before work.

* I have been making a conscious effort to drink more water! 

So as you can see, I am not doing anything earth shattering unique or crazy.  I am just making healthy choices.  I am being more cognizant of my actions. And it’s working!  I lost a few pounds the first week and I’m heading into week two strong and ready to lose weight this weekend also!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

When it rains….

​Why does it seem as when it rains it pours.   That is how July felt for me.  Just when you think it gets better it pours.

A few posts ago I shared how I was on track.  I was eating more consciously and even doing Zumba.  I was hot on the trail of health.  I was going to be unstoppable!  We were finally 100% moved and done with the apartment.  Life was going to get easier right?  

That’s not how it happened!  I was silent for a few weeks until  last post when  I shared the first week or so of July and how my mom had a stroke at the beginning of July.  I ended up that post by saying she was at a hospital inpatient rehab facility close to home… was going to get easier right?

I have been silent for a few weeks…and life didn’t get easier.   Mom was in the stroke unit for not even a full week before she tested positive for covid.  So off to the hospital isolation unit we went. 10 days of isolation and only sporadic physical therapy.  Her stay in the isolation unit ended earlier this week and we have finally gotten her moved to a nursing facility and she has recommenced with regular physical therapy.  The inpatient rehab unit was no longer a viable option even though she would have received longer and more intensive therapy.  But regardless we are back on the path to recovery now!   

With everything happening I was feeling quite discombobulated and off kilter.  I could feel the tendrils of depression uncurling around me.  I was struggling.  Really bad.   

In the midst of all of that going on, my work set up meetings with everyone on my team.  The meeting was to tell us that the main product we support will not be supported after the end of September.  Of course I asked about job security. And the answer was less than comforting.  ‘We hope to have positions for you…but you know with the economy we just don’t know’.  One director actually made a comment in the meeting I attended saying something to the affect of ‘look for other jobs and take care of yourself’ when someone asked if we should be seriously planning to not have a job.  Really?    I just bought a house!!  I just emptied my savings to buy that house and get it set up.  

Talk about depression going into effect full force?   I was a mess for a few days.   Intrinsically I know that there is nothing I can do about the situation. It is what it is.  But it really threw me for a loop for a few days. After a few days I started to regain my footing emotionally thank heavens.  In the meantime,  I have kept my eyes open for jobs.  I also know that my manager has since told me that he is like 99% sure that my job is safe simply due to my work ethics, attendance, quality, etc.  but in the same breath he talked about his uncertainty about his job.   But of course I also know that his guesses aren’t set in stone.   

So, while we were ready to get a riding lawn mower the weekend after the meeting, we put that on hold. Spending that money would not wise at the moment….at least I don’t think so. So we are still push mowing…but hey that’s 3-4 hours of exercise right?

See, when it rains it pours.  You think it’s bad and it just gets worse.

So what is in the future?  Lots of visits to mom.   Work as usual and not slacking.  (Some coworkers totally slacked after the news…which just doesn’t seem smart when you know they are looking at you in terms of who to keep and who to get rid of….although I personally think the decision was made long ago!). And moving on with life. 

My weight has been on the back burner and I have to say that I have eaten horribly in the month of July.  Too much food in terms of quantity and definitely the wrong types of food for sure.  Seriously…fried foods has not been a common food group for me for years.  Sure I indulge every once in a while.  But July was near constant!

That is changing.  I have been toying with DietBet or stepbet for quite some time.  I have decided to join a DietBet.  It starts on Monday August 1 and goes for one month.  It’s only $35 but I’m cheap…I want to keep my $35 (and if I’m lucky win some too!). I have to lose  4% of my body weight to win.  If I lose my 4% I am guaranteed  my money back (plus my share of whatever is left in the pit by people that don’t lose).    If you want to join that one you can me at this link

I had decided to join that DietBet and my coworker decided to do a HealthyWage.  That one is $25 a month for three months.  This one requires 6% loss in 3 months…and starts august 8.    She just opened it yesterday evening.  So I think I may be the only one in it right now…but feel free to join us if you want.  It’s ‘anchors a weigh’

So I’m kinda excited about my challenges…motivation…accountability.  I’m ready to dive in and get this weight off and get back to living and being healthy!!!

   And just because…a silly picture of me when we ran into an antique store while waiting for an appointment last weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

The proverbial Rug

​I was so in line and going in the right direction…and then that rug was pulled right out from under me!   Yes…the rug was pulled out from under me and it totally messed with every positive thing I had implemented in my routine.

In my last post I was so positive.  I was tracking my food and watching what I ate.  I was working in the yard and doing Zumba.  I was hot on the trail of healthy living.   Things were going to ease up with time constraints and everything was fabulous!

Our apartment lease was up on July 2 and we made the last trip down…did everything we needed to do and said goodbye to that place!   I was so excited.  No more trips to Frederick to finish up moving/cleaning.  That would free up a weekend day!  I even made the comment  out loud,  ‘things will settle down now and we will have time to breathe’.   

Famous last words.

The very next day I received the type of  text and phone call that you never want to receive.  My mom was being taken to the hospital by ambulance.   I met her and my brother at the ER…and then they decided to take her by helicopter to a hospital 3 hours away, I followed as quickly as I could.

I had eaten nothing that day until I got to the hotel at 10…which is past my bedtime (hey I wake up really early every morning…).  Too tired to wait for delivery, I just ate some pringles/potato chips  that I bought from the hotel ‘kitchen/pantry’.   The next day my food choices were no better.  French fries AND onion rings from Burger King!  Healthy eating went out the window!  Ok, let’s be honest even being cognizant of my food choices was long gone also.   I ended up driving home and working Tuesday through Thursday..and then driving back to the hospital super early Friday morning.  I spent the three days at home  spending my time catching up from house chores that I had missed during the weekend and trying to get ahead for the upcoming weekend because I knew there was a good chance that I would be back in Pittsburgh at the hospital.  I ate snacks those three days.  I have long admitted that I’m a stress eater…so of course food was consumed.  And I was busy so no Zumba…and very little yard work was done by myself…I was busy doing laundry, getting groceries, cleaning, etc.

My second trip to Pittsburgh was no better with food.  I didn’t skip meals leaving  myself super hungry this time.  I just made horrible choices.  A cookie for lunch!  Why yes, that sounds delightful!  Why not do cookies again for breakfast!!!  Fried foods?  Why yes, I think I will!  My eating was ferociously horrid during my second trip to the Pittsburgh hospital also!

Mom has since been moved to a stroke rehab back here near her home.  A 30 minute drive for me.  So much more doable for visits.  So things have eased up.  But I remain stressed and worried about her.   I’m trying to pull myself back together in terms of my health…I’m really trying.  

Seeing mom struggle with a stroke has made me think more about my own health.  My weight is not healthy.  I am heading down a path toward health problems such as strokes, etc.   I know it.  Obesity is the pathway to so many debilitating and deadly diseases and conditions.  I know that I need to fix myself. My head is not in the sand. I know I need to change.

The problem?  My mind is at war.   The battle I am fighting you ask? The choice to: Eat what I want and feel the food addiction endorphins that make me feel better right now or eat healthy and feel better in the future.    On paper it seems clear….but it’s NOT clear in my head when it comes to actually making my food choices.  

I know I will regain my footing again…I know I can do it.  And I’m not promising that things will settle down…life doesn’t seem to work that way does it?

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Positive Steps

​I know, two posts in a week when I’ve been quiet as of late!   I guess that means things are settling down!  Maybe.    I have started a new routine for my day  and I’m quite proud of myself for it!!!!  

Yard Work

The yard work continues.  During the week it’s a lighter work…usually.  But I do throw some extra tasks in there to up my activity level.    Most days my main task is watering.  It’s hot..and dry.   We have a lot of freshly planted trees…and plants.  Water water water.   Yesterday I added turning the compost pile and attacking a pile of brush that is beside the fire pit…cutting and stacking it into manageable pieces for a fire.   Movement on my body…it’s a good thing….right?

The mowing won’t happen again until this weekend.  (We we’re not expecting to get a place with property so I hadn’t budgeted for a riding lawn mower…which will make it a bit easier.  We have a possibility but it’s been delayed. Hopefully soon).  Weirdly enough, I’m looking forward to the 3-4 hour exercise.  Ok…on one hand I dread it…but I know it’s doing my body good…soooo I kinda look forward to it to see how my body handles it.  I can see it get easier each week!    Even after we get the riding mower I will probably still be push mowing….around trees and tight spots.    

Tracking my Food

I have actually started tracking my food.  I’m doing fairly well with tracking. Actually I am doing splendid with my tracking.   My calories haven’t been totally where I want them to be…but I’ve been relatively close so I’m good with that.  And by relatively close I mean that I have been about 1500 calories.  I know…that is still an awesome calorie count…but it for some reason doesn’t work for my body.  And true to form I haven’t seen any weight dropping from my body.  But that’s ok.  I’m doing good things for my body in the meantime.

The New Routine

So what is this new routine that I alluded to earlier?   Well, I have been getting back on the exercise bike…I missed one day because I was making phone calls during the break that I have set aside to ride.    So that is one routine I’m bringing back.  The other?   I have started to do Zumba again.  Not in a class setting.  (Weirdly enough I couldn’t find any in person classes in this town…I think covid is still affecting exercise classes).  I have looked at the Zumba classes that you can buy a spot in a stream and do live.  And I will probably try that at some point.   But what I have been doing is I went to YouTube.  Yup.  The first person I did a workout with did everything leading with her right foot…and no cues anywhere and that annoyed me. The leading with the right foot annoyed me most…it created and off balance workout.   The cues…I just got used to my most awesome Zumba instructor Anita (this lady is as awesome as I said in this post)!   She led her classes and directed us with hand motions so that we always had a wee cue of the next step to take.   I missed that.   So after that one day with the lopsided clueless instructor, I headed to a different Zumba channel and I struck gold.  This guy without saying a word makes me smile.  (Literally he reminds us to smile).  He exercises both sides of the body equally.  And he gives physical cues to help us through the workout.  Yay!

I’m having to stay on the basic level for some of the moves….I can’t amp everything up to high intensity yet.   I also am still learning his moves and cues so I look like a list exerciser sometimes.  But I have been rolling the Zumba exercise each morning at around 6:30-7AM (depends on when I get my housecleaning done!). I may arrive at my desk a little sweaty…but hey, I work from home…who cares.  Especially since I’ll get sweaty again on my first break when I do the yard walk through to pick up downed tree limbs and whatnot  (I carry a bucket and weed as I go)…and I’ll get sweaty again on my lunch when I ride the exercise bike….and that last break bike ride also.  And I’ll get sweaty again when I go out for yard work when I get off from work.   

Ahhh work from home is great.  Even more great…finally taking control of my fitness level…accepting the lowered fitness level and taking the steps to change it!    Next up getting my food totally in line…that will come.  I know I’m much more cognizant when I eat now because my thought is ‘did I just sweat for that Zumba class only to negate the calories with such and such’. 

The work in progress that I am  is starting to make steps in the right direction again!!! 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Pushing to the Light at the End of the Tunnel

 The last few weeks have been difficult.  Oh my, have they been hard!   I haven't kept it a secret that we moved.  I have even talked about the sheer exhaustion.  What I haven't talked about is how bad it has been.  I guess I didn't want to admit how far I have slipped!    As bad as it has been, I have not given up and I have pushed through and I am FINALLY starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.....I think!

The Pain

A few weeks ago I wrote about my utter exhaustion from the combination of the move and the unfamiliar yard work upon my body.   What I didn't write about was the fact that I was in tears from the pain in my legs.   I would sit and contemplate moving because I knew as soon as I moved my body would be screaming in freakish agony at the absolute murdering pain in my muscles.   I couldn't sleep at night because the muscles in my body were literally vibrating with pain.  I'm telling you, I was in bad shape!  There were many nights I cried from the sheer 'torture' that I was putting my body through.   

Even as I sat in tears, I battled with embarrassment.  A few years back I was in amazing shape.  I was still overweight but I was in the best physical shape of my entire life.   It was absolutely nothing for me to wake up early on a Saturday morning.  I would go for a 3-5 mile run and then go home, grab some water and then head outside to push mow for about 45 minutes.   I would then go inside, eat breakfast, shower and shortly thereafter head out to go hiking with Jason....and we usually hiked between 7 and 12 miles (depending on where we hiked) and usually up some mountain. I would be tired, but I was never down and out.  I was never not able to sleep because of the muscle aches.  I was never in tears because of the pain.  I would wake up the next day anxious to head back into the mountain for the next hike!  

Pushing Through

I am not going to lie.  During these recent weeks I wanted to give up. I wanted to stop the madness that was causing me pain.  I wanted to throw up my hands and settle into my world of 'unfitness'.  I didn't want or need this misery!   I didn't though.     As bad as I felt, I kept going.   Tears and sleepless nights meant nothing.  The next day I headed back out the door to mow, to move, to water our new trees (the first weeks by carrying 5 gallon buckets to each tree) , to plant flowers, to clear brush.  I gritted my teeth and I kept going.   I CHOSE more difficult options on a regular basis.   Which push mower did I chose?  Do you want the self propelled mower or the standard one?   I consistently have used the mower that is NOT self propelled.  Wait until we have a wheel barrow to move that pile of rocks?  Nope, I can do it one at a hand!  Good exercise you know.   Even though my body was screaming at me!  I didn't stop, but just kept going.    I won't sugar coat it though, I have never been so happy to know that it was a weekday where I would be working.   You see, work days were my 'recovery days'.   

I kept telling myself that there would come a moment where it would get easier.  There would come a moment where my body wouldn't ache in freakish misery when I worked out in the yard.  The day is getting closer and while it's not totally here, I can see just this weekend how much better my body is adjusting to this 'new life'.   We mowed yesterday.  We are currently push mowing our property....and it takes about 7-8 hours TOTAL.   We have two push mowers at the moment so I mow for about 4 hours.  We also cleared brush from a stand of trees.  (and got to add a cherry tree to our list of fruit bearing trees and plants!) and of course watered.  (I chose to carry the water to the outlying plants versus using the hose...more exercise right....still choosing the hardest option).    I can't say that I was ready to go out dancing last night.  My legs were tired.  But my legs were NOT aching with utter misery.  They were not vibrating and so sore that the pain kept me awake.  And there was definitely NO tears.  

I still have a way to go.  I want to get back to the point where I do not even have the 'tiredness'. in my legs.    I want to get back to the fitness level that I was at a short 6 or 7 years ago.  But I can see that I am on my way!  I am not giving up!   It may hurt, but that is only my body getting stronger!  And maybe, just maybe; since I'm not totally wiped out maybe I can add in some exercise through the week!

Weight Loss Efforts

My vows that I have made in recent posts about tracking food and whatnot have not been executed to the degree that needs to happen.  I have been  morecognizant of my eating. I have stopped the nightly sweet treats.  BUt I haven't been spot on.  I haven't tracked. So in essence I haven't really been working on my food intake all that much.  HOWEVER, I have managed to lose about 6-7 pounds since we moved!     I'll take it!  Now I just need to get serious and actually work on my food intake.  

Monday, June 13, 2022

Four weeks

​Today will mark Four weeks since we settled on our new house…and this upcoming Friday will mark 4 weeks since we have been living in this house.  What a crazy four weeks it has been! There have been tears.  There has been lots of hard work.  There has been lots of happiness. And let’s not forget lots and lots of moving!


I have spent most of the last four weeks in a state of pure and utter exhaustion.  Most of the time I have been physically and/or mentally exhausted.  Our moving plan (based on necessity as it has just been the two of us)  has been amazingly long and utterly draining.   The last time I wrote (two weeks ago) I wrote about this. Luckily at that point ‘most’ of the big stuff was moved and we only had one more big load.  I had been optimistically hoping to get a lot of our boxes in there during that load.  But my grand plans were not to be.   We had some bulky odd shaped items that took up lots of room.  (Portable quilting frame…big perch/playground for our bird….just to name two).

Every night after work, Jason stops by the apartment and fills up his car with boxes and ‘goodies’ from the apartment. (I had everything packed and in the living room).   We unload his car and the next day I spend my spare time (before and after work, breaks and my lunch time) to unpack those boxes…or to move the storage items to the basement.  The apartment is mostly empty and devoid of boxes…there are some things left…but not much. (This week will finish that up).  The plan is to next week go and clean that place so that we can turn our key in and be totally done.

On top of the move, we have had yard work.   We are adjusting to the yard work and never have enough time in the weekend to get things done.   The property was rented for years and the yard shows the disinterest of renters.  Flower beds are overgrown.  The garden path is in disarray.  This will definitely be the year of reclaiming.  So we have spent hours upon hours doing yard work.

So to boil this all down.  There has been more than day when the utter exhaustion breaks me down.  Some days I’m in tears from the physical exhaustion.  But I have had days when I’ve been overwhelmed mentally as I’m trying to shuffle it all and I just want to cry. (Ha..ok I admit…I have cried.).  Right now it is a thing of just trying to keep our heads above the water.  And luckily, this never ending move is ALMOST behind us.  Also almost behind us (hopefully) is the need to push mow this property….which with two mowers running at the same time takes us about 3.5 hours.    So there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Weight Loss Efforts

So what about my weight loss efforts?  I just laugh and say,  “What efforts!”  I didn’t get my scale until last weekend and my years long habit of weighing myself every morning was broken…and most mornings I don’t even think about it.   I have tried to curb the desserts…I vowed last week this time to get serious and track food and make healthy choices.  But, let’s admit, I haven’t tried very hard!   

Let’s however give credit where credit is due.  We are back to eating at home…and that includes healthy servings of vegetables.  

So, after a few weeks of moving and ‘hard labor’ but crazy eating what happened on the scales?  I brought them home a week ago.  I was fearful when I stepped on. But, I dropped 5 pounds.   All I’m going to say is that is a true testament as to how hard I have been working because I have been eating ‘vacation levels’ of food and I have gained 5-10 pounds on those weeks….and here I just ate like that for a month but actually lost weight.

I am not a fool though.  I know that if I don’t curb the eating…like NOW, that I will start to gain weight sooner or later as things start to settle down.  So I am vowing that today is the day.  I’m done with the constant barrage of desserts that pass my list.  I am done with the plethora of snacks that find their way into my hands.  I am vowing to clean up my eating starting here and now (it’s Monday morning as I wrote this).

My body has felt like death much of this experience.  I have been in pain.  It’s been really difficult. And the worst part about it is that I know that I feel horrible because I let myself go!  I gained weight over the last 10 years.  I have let my fitness level slip away.  And I am paying the price right now.

So I know that it has to change!  And I’m vowing to start that change today.  My body is still being abused with moving (almost done) so I’m not planning on diving into heavy exercise yet…but cleaning up my eating….game on!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Pits

Moving is certainly the pits!  That’s really all I can say.  It is horrible!  Oh sure, you get to purge stuff you no longer want.  You get to start over in a brand new spotless house (easy spring cleaning).   Everything is fresh and new.  But the formal act of packing your belongings, moving said belongings to a different location and then unpacking those belongings….absolutely the pits!

We settled on our house about two weeks ago.  (May 16th).  We spend that week moving furniture and boxes.  We did it ourselves using my brothers cargo van.  Small loads at a time.  It prolonged the misery but since it was literally Jason and I alone doing all the moving it was the best option for us as we didn’t overtax ourselves and rather took our time with breaks for our bodies.  (Let’s not forget we lived on a  third floor apartment with no elevator….steps are the devil in a move!). Even so, we were sore…achy and I was covered with bruises!

We actually started to stay at our new place a week ago…the Friday after settlement.  Most of our belongings have been moved, but we do have one more trip with the van to make.  We have about three of four ‘larger items’ that we need to move in the van…but nothing too terrible. (The exercise bike….terrible to love.  The couch…..hideous to move.  Heavy awkward stuff is just a bummer to move!).  We have some more boxes and random items that we may be able to get in this last van load.  But as long as we get the big items we are good because we can throw other stuff in a car.  (And Jason still works near our apartment so he can grab stuff each day when he is in that area).   We actually have the apartment until the end of June (when our lease ends) so there is some wiggle room.  I just want to say that the move is done!  I want it behind me!!

That said…..(confession time)…..

* I haven’t weight myself in about two weeks.   The scales are still at the apartment!   I plan on grabbing them this weekend!  I’m curious…and worried about what those scales may reveal!

* I haven’t tracked a single bite of my food in the last umpteen weeks!  Not a single solitary bite!

* I haven’t even THOUgHt about or tried to curb my eating.  I’ve eaten what I wanted and when I wanted.  I can honestly say it wasn’t good…but thank heavens my eating, while not great wasn’t that bad.  However, The scales will be the true judge!

*. There has been desserts involved…and diet soda won out over water a few days.

* formal exercise…like I was planning for my time in the mornings and evenings while Jason commuted to work….has not yet commenced.  Furthermore, I haven’t been on that exercise bike in about three weeks….so I know that I am behind in my 2022 mile challenge!

So lots of confessions there!   I wish it could have been an easy bruise-less move.  I wish I could have sailed through it with healthy foods, tracking every bite and n100% on plan.  But that wasn’t how it went.  

This weekend we move more stuff…but I plan on restarting my exercise bike riding….at the very least…next week during work!    I’ve got some miles to make up!  Will my legs feel horrible for a gazillion steps that I had to go up and down this weekend.  Sure, but I can’t let that stop me!!!!