Friday, March 31, 2023

Adding a new challenge

I’ve got a new plan!   I know, I’ve written about a new plan a gazillion times!  That means that my plans don’t always work…but I’m still out here trying….so that is what matters!

It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling!  Seriously, I wrote about it last week when I somehow managed a maintain for my weigh in! I would love to say that things got better this week.   But I continued to struggle!  I seem to lack motivation and willpower.   The sad thing is that I KNOW that I lack it but I just can’t seem to get my act together.   So I’m true Maryfran fashion I sat back and tried to think about when I was super motivated and full of willpower.  If I can figure out what was so magical back in those times maybe I can recreate it!

The first thing that comes to mind was when I was attending weight watchers meetings.  Those meetings kept me straight!  The meeting and my weigh in were always looking in front of me and it kept me on point and motivated.  The meetings and camaraderie with the other attendees was so inspiring.   The meetings Bolstered my willpower week in and week out.  Unfortunately meetings aren’t in the cards for me right now.  WW has closed most in person meetings.   There is exactly ONE that I could possible make it to…and that would be a stretch.   Plus, money is tight right now as we try to recover from Jasons’s unexpected ‘holiday’ from work as he recovered from his encounter with an axe. (Read about it here.). So paying the extra for in person meetings is doable but not wise considering the meetings would be hit or miss anyway.  On top of that, I am questioning Weight Watchers and their current beliefs and current system.  But that is a post for another day. (I promise I’ll write about it!!). So at this point weight watchers is not the magic for me.

I then started to think about the weight loss challenges that I have been a participant in.   Honestly, I was never the winner of any of the competitions.  (I am pretty sure one was rigged….I even had some other people tell me that it was fishy…but that’s another different story.  Hahaha).  But the act of being in the competition was good for me.   I work well competitively!   I also loved the competitions that I was in because they included lots of emails, lots of chats, lots of real time interaction.   That was good for me!   So hmmm, maybe could look into a challenge.    I’m where do I find a challenge?   I started on MyFitnessPal.   I looked at their challenges.  And some seemed really good.  But they don’t seem to offer the interaction that I need.  I looked at DietBet.  Bit once again the money thing…and also the interaction in the one that I did was lacking.  Another bust.     Then I stumbled upon doing my own challenge!   I was excited!  but how to pull it off?   I am working on it in my mind!     I know that it will be a point system.  And I know that weight loss is important but being healthier is even more important.  So it will incorporate earning points for healthy things.     I am fine tuning and plan to test drive the point system.  But here is what I have right now:

Weight loss.  This is worth one point each week.  If I  lose OR Maintain my weight I can earn a point.

Tracking-   For me this means tracking my food and my points.  And it is worth one point each day.

Keep my eating on track-   For me I aim for a certain calorie count (points) .  If I keep it within 200 calories I will consider it a win…and I will warn one point.

Fruits and veggies-   Every serving I eat is worth one point.

Exercise/activity-  here is where the points can start to be wracked up like crazy.    Every 10 minutes of exercise will earn one point.   The trick is that I will ALWAYS round down.  If I exercise 19 minutes it will only be 1 point.  If I push through for that extra minute then I have reached 20 minutes and I can earn two points.  The sky is the limit.  10 minutes of walking…1 point.   20 minutes exercise class…2 points.   These points are stackable…earn as many as possible.  It also doesn’t matter what I do.  An exercise class/video.  Awesome.   Push mowing…we’ll that counts just as much!  Activity is good!

Steps-  I have pondered the aspect of giving points for steps.  But ultimately decided to do so.  This will take into account that day that I am exercising and run out of time…at 38 minutes.   I would only get 3 points since I round down…BUT; I can still earn points for the movement through my steps!     So for points, there will be one point for each 1000 steps!    Once again…rounding down.   If I’m getting ready to go to bed and see that I am at 9900 steps, that is only 9 points.  If I ante up another 100 steps (in that situation) I would earn 10 points.   Once again…rounding down will hopefully push me to get those extra steps!

Last but not least, I have water-   1 point for every 10 ounces of water.  Rounding down.  It doesn’t matter if I am nobly a sip’ away from 10…if it is less than 10 I don’t earn that point’

This plan requires total honestly from me.  I’m ok with that.  If I cheat, I am only cheating myself!!!   The emphasis is on living a healthy life and not the weight loss.   Weight loss is definitely a goal….but being healthy is the ultimate goal.

I haven’t given up on my project 50.   That is still going strong!   I’m just incorporating a bit of excitement into my life.

As I said, I’m thinking about offering a challenge…I will ante up a prize for the winner.   But for this test period my goal is to continually better my numbers!   I do want to throw out a personal reward though.   I calculated it up.  If do everything perfectly.  Exercise 60 minutes a day….have 8k steps, 5 fruits and veggies I should earn roughly 185 points a week…roughly 750 a month.    That is perfection.   I would love perfection…but that is not realistic.  I am going to aim for 150 points each week.  If I can do that…then I will reward myself at the end of the month….not sure with what…yet.  But Mmmm and it won’t be a lot…or anything big.  

So let’s get this moving!!!   If you want to join in…let me know and you can test it out with me!

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

I couldn’t do it

​how many posts have I started with ‘another crazy week’?  I honestly think I need to go back and count!  It seems as if life is just nuts and doesn’t slow down!

I’ve been a bit stressed of late.  Zoe just turned 6 months old this mi th and she has decided to exert her stubborn will…..on me!    On no, she is an Angel (mostly) for Jason.  With me she is a little hellion!  I turn my back and she has her nose pressed against the bird cage.  I look the other way and she is digging into the recycle bin and shredding cardboard.  Running like a fool on the leash. It’s like every which way it’s something.  Worst of all is our forays outside.  She goes out happily enough.   But when it’s time to come in.  No dice!

So let me explain.  I have her all day …I take her out for her first potty at 5am while Jason is in the shower.  I have no issues with her coming in because she wants her breakfast.   Jaosn leaves at 6:3 and we are fine.  I take her out at about 7:30 and we roll around in the yard for about thirty minutes before I start work.   Once work starts I have very limited time that I can be away from my desk (yes it is monitored).  I get two 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch.  I set an alarm for 13 minutes so I know that my time is about up and to get back to my desk (it was 14 but with Zoe I changed it to 13 in case I am outside).  Zoe was doing fantastic.   She would hear the alarm and immediately turn and walk toward the back door zzz. All was going smashingly well.  Until it didnt.   At the end of last week Zoe decided to start ignoring the alarm and ignoring me.   That alone is bad.  But she also would lay down in the yard and refuse to move.  70 pounds of dead weight!  I was back late from every break and lunch for 4 days.  I was so stressed!   I tried everything and ended up dragging her or carrying her.  On Monday I was dragging her into the house and she slipped her collar.  Luckily she was being stubborn and just laid there and didn’t realize she was free!   I started putting the harness on her every time we went out.   That worked a bit better because the harness has a handle and I literally pick her up and walk dragging her.  She usually starts reluctantly walking when she is in the walking position.  Silly dog…but the being late stresses me out big time!

I’ve also been stressed out over this project 50 thing that I started on March 1.   In particular the stress comes from the learning a new skill.  I chose to learn to knit.   I hate it!  It’s been a chore each and every time I go to pick up the knitting needles!   I dread it.  The time goes so incredibly slow.  I find no enjoyment from it!  I have been pushing through…because maybe I don’t like it because I’m not good at it!   Maybe I just need to knit enough to get me over that barrier and then I will love it! So I have continued on.   This week I came to the conclusion that putting myself through misery is NOT worth it.  Would I have ever learned to live kitting.  Maybe.  But probably not because I abhorred every minute of it!  I instead pulled out my long neglected quilt and started to work on it and loved it!  I had the time of my life.  The time flew!  

Is it a failure? Maybe.  But I’m looking at it as a victory.  I am listening to my mind and my body and doing something to make me happy!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Somehow and Someway

​Somehow and someway I did it!  

Last week was a total struggle!  I let the stress get to me and my Saturday was an absolutely disaster!  I didn’t let the total disaster spread through the whole week, but I totally struggled with getting back to being totally on plan!    I was within my points/calories the rest of the week but my choices were just…lacking!

So I was so afraid to step on the scales on  Friday. Some ask me how but I managed a maintain!  I’ll take it!

On Saturday I woke up and I the shower I was all strong. I was saying things like ‘yeah, I’ve got this.  Today is going to be a strong Saturday.  No breaking my fast early.  No fast food.   No crazy high caloric dinner.  In fact, I don’t even need dessert tonight!  I was so stinkin’ strong it was ridiculous!

I actually had a brief moment of coming on here and making my declaration!  But I didn’t …obviously!   I left the house to head to my mom’s.    I’m telling you…I was so super strong!    

That strength lasted maybe a mile.  I didn’t make it past the first tempting place!  I stopped at the first place that served breakfast….a convenience store!  (Sheetz if you are in the mid Atlantic region and know which store broke my willpower…..and honestly they have pretty tasty breakfast sandwiches that are made to order).  

I’m embarrassed to say that my Saturday was the exact same as the week before.  We even went back and had the exact same stinkin’ dinner!  (Which was also tasty!). Why do I do this to myself?????

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


 I am totally struggling! I had a fantastic time last week in regards to my weight loss journey and now it seems to have totally slipped away into this big messy pile!

It started on Saturday morning.  I woke up and I just felt the heavy weight on me.  I was going to visit my mom.  I was expecting the visit to be a really rough one based on how she was on Friday night when I had talked to her and when my brother had talked to her.  I was not looking forward to going.  I got myself ready and headed out the door early. Sitting and worrying about what the visit may hold was not going to do me any good.  I didn't eat anything before I left...of course not; I am doing the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan.  So I wouldn't be due to break my fast until lunch time.   I was driving down the road and trying to psych myself up for the visit and all I could think about was food.   Food has always been my comfort and I wanted some that morning.  I got off the interstate halfway there and picked up a fast-food breakfast.  Not Healthy.  Not in keeping with my Intermittent Fasting plan.  NOT something I even needed.  That was purely me giving in to my food addiction.

It didn't end there.  I got home and I ate lunch.  And when Jason mentioned Cheeseburgers I was like "lets go to Five Guys".  I didn't get the mini cheeseburger.  I got the double patty one.  I also didn't forego the french fries.  No siree.  I ate French fries also.  My ww points were like 77 for the day ....calories were about 2200.  CRAZY

Sunday I did a bit better.  I didn't break my fast until the proper time.  I didn't cave and eat fast food.  I did indulge a bit too much.  But in the grand scheme I did better!

Monday I fell apart in other ways.  First of all, my glasses fell apart!  I have NEVER broken a pair of glasses.  I literally picked them up and the arm fell off.  Looking at the, not sure that they can be fixed...although I will try!  I didn't get any reading in...and I didn't get any knitting done.  So I totally messed up my Project 50 for the day.     I will say that reading is difficult with an old pair of glasses that are only for nearsighted and do not have the progressive lenses.  I have had a low grade headache since wearing the old glasses.    BUT, that really is just an excuse.  So I will be reading today no matter wht happens with my old glasses.  THe knitting....I have 40 minutes of kitting completed for the week.  I need 2 hours.  So i have 1 hour and 20 minutes left to finish midnight tonight!   I'm gonna try!

I'm not out for the count.  But I've really struggled these last few days!   

And just is a picture of Zoe!

Friday, March 17, 2023

You win Some You Lose Some

 You win some you lose some.  That is how life goes sometimes.  That is definitely the way it goes within a weight loss journey!   This week was a not so much a win on the scale!

I had a great week.  I stayed the course.  I did what I was supposed to do.  I exercised.  I tracked.  I drank my water....all except for ONE day.  I had a great week!  In fact, in my daily weigh ins, my weight was going down!  On Thursday, the day before my official weigh in I was showing down by 2 pounds! I was confident that I was going to knock the weight off the charts for my official weigh in!

But remember when I said I didn't drink enough water on ONE day?  That day happened to be on Thursday....the day before my weigh in.  I didn't realize it until late at night....too late to recoup!   And honestly, downing a ton of water right before you go to bed is NOT wise....not if you want to sleep the whole night through at least!   In fairness, my water consumption was about 55 ounces.  So not too far off from my minimum....but about 25-30 ounces from my normal consumption!  So that was the first strike against me in terms of a great weigh in.   The second issue?  We had bacon and eggs last night for dinner.  Oh my word, that bacon was scrumptious!   But I knew at my very first bite that it was going to haunt me!  This pack of bacon was so extremely salty!  Salt does it to me.  I will retain water like crazy!  I knew it last night!  I knew it this morning when I woke up and my mouth was dry.  I said to myself "this is NOT going to go well on the scales".   And yes, I know that it is not a TRUE weight gain...but it is still yucky to see the scales go up!

I actually thought about NOT weighing myself this morning!  Just avoid the scales all together!  No need to even see the weight!  But I have been doing so good with my religious tracking and I didn't want to mess up my perfect streak.  I have also always had this belief that it is better to face the awful truth.  I always think that if I don't weigh in because I feel/know that my number is going to be bad, then I am in the dark.  I don't know where I am.  The theory that people use to skip weigh ins is that they don't want to face the disappointment and they can 'get the weight off before my next weigh in".  That is a great theory.  But I would rather face the truth on the week that I expect it versus a following week when I am on track and I weigh myself and still see my weight up (because I haven't lost all the 'bad week' pounds).  Ok, I am not explaining this well.....maybe I'm just too tired.  But if I have a bad week and weigh in and see a 5 pound gain....yes I will be disappointed but I expect it and can look at my actions from the previous week to account for the gain. And then the following week I can see how much I actually recouped from my gain...if I lose all 5 pounds...awesome.  If I only lose 2 of the five pounds, I can still look at my week and see how successful I was.  I fear that if I don't weigh in that I will have gained 5 pounds and have no clue that it was the next week when I work my tail end off and lose a fabulous amount of 3 pounds (or whatever) it will STILL show me gaining weight and that  I would be totally demoralized to work hard but show a gain!   Even though the gain actually was because I didn't face the music at the right time!

Ok, I totally messed up that explanation!  SO, let's just get to my weigh in.   On Thursday I was showing two pounds down.   On Friday my official weigh in, I was showing only 0.4 pounds down .   Sure, that's disappointing, but I know what happened!   You win lose some!

So I am drinking up!  (Water of course!)

I am so glad that the weekend is here. It is shaping up to be another crazy busy weekend. I have so much to do that it's ridiculous!  But that's ok.  Hopefully we will be able to get Zoey out again for some trips away.... trying to get her used to being in public without acting the fool1  (Let me tell you, taking a 60 pound puppy somewhere and then trying to contain her when she gets over-excited is a workout!) One of the trips last weekend had me sweating like I had just run a half marathon!   But hey, I was still smiling!  (Don't believe it for a second...she looks innocent in this picture but she had just been giving me a run for my money minutes earlier!)

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Not gonna let the Stress win

 I'm not giving up!   No way.  Now how.  Not gonna do it!

I'm feeling overwhelmed by life right now.  I feel like I am being pulled in so many directions.  I know some of it is my own doing.  I mean, I don't have to maintain my youtube channel.  I don't have to even post three videos a week.  I had taken a break and when I came back after my hiatus I had said "well just one a week".  But that just grew.  I enjoy doing it and it is good accountability....but it takes time.   Of course writing here on this blog/website is non-negotiable also.   This is my place to vent, to share, to be accountable.  To focus on where I am in my journey!    But I have so much else pulling me in so many directions and I don't know how to squeeze it all in!   It sometimes just adds to the stress. 

I woke up this morning and immediately my mind registered that it was Wednesday.   And I groaned and said (to myself as Jason was still asleep), "I hate Wednesdays".  Why do I hate Wednesdays?   I hate Wednesdays right now because it is a super long day for me and I usually end the day in tears, heartbroken and just an emotional mess.  Why is it so long?  It is a typical day that starts at 5AM and is pretty much non-stop all day long."  The difference on Wednesdays is that I go visit my mom. When I take that onto my day, it just makes a long day.   Honestly, the long isn't the worst part.   The emotional battle is the worst.  

You see, my mom is in an assisted living home.  She had a stroke back in July of last year.  Her rehabilitation has gone slowly, and she is still incapable of walking on her own....or even alone with the help of a walker.  She needs someone beside her when she stands and attempts to walk.   She has come so far from where she is...but is still nowhere near being capable of living with any semblance of independence.  Watching her with her lost mobility is bad enough but no where near as bad as it is.  You see, after the stroke we were forced to face what I had suspected even before she had her stroke.   We have been confronted that mom's mental capabilities have diminished.  Much more quickly after the stroke of course.  (Or maybe she just became incapable of hiding it after the stroke).  Before the stroke when I spent time with her I noticed her memory was not there.  She was struggling with basic functions.  You don't want to face the when I mentioned it to family members, we all just agreed that she was getting older and that she didn't have to be sharp as a tack and remember everything.   

After the stroke she was still doing really well.   She was sharp, maybe a bit forgetful but nothing that made us sit back and panic.  It was a few months after the stroke that she started to really show signs of diminishing mental capabilities.  By December I mentioned my birthday was coming up and she had no clue what day my birthday was.  In January she introduced me to one of the aides at the assisted living facility and told them that I was 37 years old.  Now I wish I were...but no, I am 50 years of age!  My brother has apparently been told that he is 34 years old (interestingly enough that makes me the oldest child now I guess).  She has days where she is clear and doing well.  But other days she is just whacky in the head.  It's heartbreaking to see.    We hope to find a valid diagnosis for what is happening...and that there is some solution. (she has some other issues going on that indicates that it may be something neurological).  But until then, I (we ) deal with the heartache of watching her decline. 

Add that to the financial strain we have after having Jason off work for so many months (immediately following the purchase of our house...) and I'm super stressed!

I haven't sunk back into a depressive state again.  But I can feel the tug.  I think my salvation right now is my daily exercise and that fresh air and sunshin (today was too cold though) that I get when I take Zoey out for her walks on my breaks.  As much as it makes my day more hectic, it is probably a good thing for MY mental state!

In the meantime, I am pushing foward and working to not let the stress derail me from the healthy path that I have chosen!   I am conquer this weight....even with the stress!

Monday, March 13, 2023

Time to check in with my weight

 It was a really good week. I feel as if i was able to keep my eating under control.  I made wise choices.  I stayed within the caloric/point range that I set aside!  I did indulge in a sweet treat over the weekend, but the indulgence was the single night. Even better, when the weekend was over, I was only up by 1/2 pound!  That is a huge victory!  Typically, on weekends I am up about 2 pounds and then spend the weekdays trying to play catch up!

Healthy Habits

I am doing fabulous with the three main healthy habits that I am working on! 

I have been doing amazing with the tracking.  I am like a machine!  I have actually been taking my tracking to a new level.  I have my food tracker apps that I use. I have my garmin app.  I have this app and that app.  But I made a spreadsheet and I am putting all of my stats onto one spreadsheet.  It has been amazing to be able to see all the stats in one place....and see how they correlate and work together (or against each other!).   

I have also been doing great with my water intake.  I was a little worried because at the beginning of March I decided to start to do Intermittent fasting and to do it RIGHT.  That meant that my morning flavor packs had to go.  I was nervous, but switched to lemon in my water and it has been going great!  I typically get my 64 ounces completed by the end of my day and then switch to my flavored water (which contains my vitamin pack).   SO, with this said, I've not only managed to make an even switch....but I have also upped my water consumption from 64 ounces to 72 ounces per day!

Exercise has been rough.....simply because my leg is acting up. NOt sure what it is doing.  But I have been having pain behind my knee.  Some days it radiates down to my calf...and other days up my thigh.  I can pretty much trace the pain, so I think it is a nerve or a muscle.  Jason looked at the back of my leg and saw a lump and some swelling.  For that reason, I have lowered my intensity level on my exercise by quite a bit.  I have also tried to limit how many squats and lunges I do.  I'm here to build my body not to tear it down.   So, working through the pain and restrictions have been difficult.  But I have managed it!   I am going strong with my exercise!

Weigh IN

Last week I had a fabulous loss, and I was worried about pulling another fabulous weight loss for the second week in a row.  But I vowed to hold it together over the weekend and do everything right.  Live but manage wisely was my motto!  And I am so happy to say that I lost 2.6 pounds this week!  YAY

I am pushing foward.  I am more determined than ever!