Thursday, January 31, 2013


I've said it a few times in the past weeks about how I admire people that go outside and jog in extreme weather.  I have seen people running on snow packed roads.  I have seen people running in cold weather.  I've seen it all.  I look at them and I admire them.  I feel a bit envious actually.  I want to be that dedicated but I just struggle with it.  My house is so warm.  My bed is so toasty.  It's cold out there!   I have two friends out there that are planning on doing 5K's with me this year.  So this is the year that I turn myself into a runner.  Those two friends are lucky.  They both have access to a treadmill at their house.  I'm not so lucky.  If I want to do this I have to go outside and do it on the roads.  Yesterday I went to bed and I was determined.  I would start today.   I got up and putzed around the house.  I looked at the weather on my phone.  I looked outside.  My heart filled with dread.  It was WINDY as heck out there!  And it was COLD!  Yes, it was 39 degrees....with a wind chill more than 10 degrees colder and oh yeah, the wind was whipping at 25 plus MPH!

I didn't let that deter me though.  No no no.  I threw on a tee shirt and some exercise pants.  I threw on my socks and shoes.  I added a hooded pull over sweatshirt and then topped it with zipped up hoodie.  I grabbed my cell phone and I was off to the battlefield (Antietam Battlefield). I parked and opened the car door.  The open fields offered no windbreak for the wind that whistled against car door felt like it weight 8 tons.  But I crawled out of my car and started.   The first few minutes were really chilly.  I need to add some gloves to my ensemble.  My legs were chilled with just the light layer of cloth but not annoyingly so.  After about 5-8 minutes I was comfortable with the exception of my hands.  But by about 20 minutes in I was toasty, even a bit sweaty on top and even my hands were comfortable.  Day one of C25K in the books.  WOO HOOO    I'll hit it up again tomorrow.  :-)  (yeah yeah yeah, I know a day of rest and all that...but I'll do this MY way).  There I am, double hooded and face nice and red from the nippy weather and my exertion.  There were officially snowflakes a few I guess I can say I've run in the snow too!!!!!

That said, in the month of January I have added 103 miles to my virtual travel across the states.  I am still in Virginia (it is a rambling route through VA and Virginia is WIDE as all get out!)  I am currently 5.62 miles out of Scotchtown, VA!  

I went home and did a few things around the house including making lunch and getting ready for work (I didn't have to be at work until noon today).   As I drove to work one thing pounded in my head.  What word was that?   ALIVE!!!!!  I feel alive, and I like it!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I woke up this morning.  I had my eating plan for the day lined up.  All was well.   I was on target.  But then......somehow I forgot to eat my breakfast before heading to work.  Yes, I forgot to eat breakfast!   In fairness to my memory, I normally don't work the earlier shift, and I struggle with breakfast those days.  My body is used to waking up and relaxing an hour or so before eating.  So breakfast is the LAST thing on my mind on my early mornings.  In fact, I usually just eat a serving of fruit on these days.  In fact, that what was planned.....grapefruit this morning.  I got to work, typical to my day, I pull up MFP so that I can keep an eye on my calories and day. (I don't know why, it's not like it changes...what is planned is planned...but hey, it's working for me).  And that is when I saw "grapefruit" listed as my breakfast.  Uhhhhhh, oops.  I hadn't even thought about breakfast until I read my stomach is growling and grumbling.  Seriously?   I didn't even know I had skipped it until I read it and IMMEDIATELY my stomach starts growling?   No way.....that just PROVES that it's all in my mind! 

Zumba rocked last night!   Got a good sweaty workout in!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stress relief

How often has this comic strip happened in my past.  Throughout 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 this comic strip was my life.  It's actually not very comical.  Yeah, it shows me that I'm not alone.  But it reminds me of  my failures during not one, not two, not three but four long years.  Four years in which I gained 70 pounds of the 135 that I had previously lost.  Four years of feeling miserable because I had no control over my addiction, my body and my life.  No, that isn't funny at all.     I've turned it around though and I'm absolutely amazed at how incredible I feel.  I feel on top of the world.  Yeah, life still has many suck factors. But there is something to be said for taking control of something that previously was spiraling out of control.  It really does change my whole demeanor about life.  I teetered on the edge of depression for most of those four years. (OK, some friends would say that I actually fell over the cliff into the pits of depression.  LOL)  But miraculously, I got my eating under control and the depressive feelings have eased up.  The world doesn't look so bleak. 

Last night at Zumba I was talking to some of my zumba peeps.  We were talking about what an awesome workout it is.  But then we segued into the other side affects that working out has.  We unanimously agreed that when we are stressed out the last thing we WANT to do is to go to zumba...however we all KNOW that it is the only thing that we SHOULD do!   We talked about the healing properties that stomping our feet and blowing off some steam in the form of exercise.  Working out is not just for our health.  It is for the whole body.   Like I said, I HATE the process of starting exercise.  I dread starting, I dread it all.  I even sometimes hate the process of exercise.   However, I LOVE the after effects. I love that wide awake alive feeling that infuses my body when I'm done.  I love the sense of peace and happiness that overtakes me.  I love the sense of accomplishment and pride.  I love love love the aftereffects.  So I keep pushing on through the hate stages because I know what comes afterward!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Charming myself

I have been toying with various rewards for myself.  I've thought about this and that.  I've thought about just saying that with each ten pounds I lose that I will then set the next reward.  I've gone back and forth with this for so long. And then I remembered a reward system that I had heard someone else a long time ago use.  This girl (sorry, I have NO clue who it was...I read this probably 5 years ago... on a blog) bought a charm bracelet.  Her rewards were new charms signifying her loss.  I remember thinking how awesome that idea was.  I remember being saddened because I was already more than halfway through my weight loss and didn't feel like it would be right to retroactively reward myself for all the previous pounds lost.   But the idea stuck in my head.  It resurfaced today.

You see, today I had my official weigh in for the week.  I lost 3.1 pounds.  That is 11.8 pounds since the beginning of my restart which was at the beginning of this month.  Time for a reward!!!!

I decided to roll with this as my reward system. I'm NEVER going to have another chance to reward myself this way and it will be a great reminder for me to be able to look down at my bracelet and remember my accomplishments.   I decided on stepping away from the typical charm bracelet that we all remember from growing up.  I went with a pandora style charm bead bracelet.  I didn't want to spend a ton of money to start this I shopped around and bought a relatively cheap one.  I figure I can purchase a better bracelet down the line when money is not so tight.

I have decided to get a new charm for every ten pounds that I lose.  I have also decided to be open to getting a charm to signify big weight loss/healthy lifestyle events.  For example, a 5K that I actually RUN.  My first century bike ride, fitting in my engagement ring again (I had it resized smaller when I was at my low weight and have never had it resized up again).  In this vein, I got a charm to signify my starting this journey again.  I thought that what I chose was perfect because I lived in regret and doubt for so long that I never really put my all into restarting this journey.  And that just caused the regret to grow larger in my mind.  I saw this and knew that it was a perfect charm to signify the beginning of this FINAL mission to lose weight!

In case that second paragraph was overlooked, I will repeat....I LOST 3.1 pounds this week bringing my total to 11.8 since I recommitted myself!   That would mean that I am due 10 pound charm.  I chose something relatively simple.  I chose a charm that simply said "Dream"  These first 10 pounds have happened simply because I allowed myself to dream about the possibilities that lie before me if I just put my nose to the grindstone and DO IT!   I started to dream and 4 weeks later I'm down 11.8 pounds.   Dreams are what keep me motivated.   :-)

Yesterday I wrote a bit about Masala Bhangra, the new exercise dance class that I had the opportunity to try yesterday.   Miscellaneous Mom asked me how I could compare Masala Bhangra to zumba.  I figured I would explain it on here, since Masala Bhangra is not a very well known class...YET.     Basically these are two classes that are both centered around dance.  While Zumba focuses primarily on music and dance steps that are Latin in flavor.....Salsa, Meringue, etc etc etc.   Masala Bhangra uses an Indian music and the dance steps are derived from the Indian Bhangra style dancing.  So very similar in concept, but very different in beat and style.   Zumba seems to incoroporate more fitness moves and masala Bhangra focuses more on the dance. (however that could simply be due to the fact that this was an introductory class for everyone)  However, that said, my muscles were just as sore from Masala Bhangra as they are from a killer Anita zumba class.   My arms got a better workout with Masala Bhangra yesterday....they were SORE last night.  Why is this?   The Bhangra dance apparently has lots more arm movements, as in most of the hour my arms were either over my head or held out at shoulder length.  Uhhhhhh arms get heavy after a while!   The class is just as fun as zumba...basically just a different beat pulsating through the room and my body!  It's just as fast paced as Zumba. Just like a good zumba instructor, the Masala Bhangra instructor yesterday showed modifications for moves that were above some participants levels.  So the class is easily adaptable for all fitness levels. The time flew by!  I hope that there was a LOT of interest in the class for the upcoming training in March.  If there is, I will be very hopeful that a class begins near me at a time that I can attend!  On that note, my mind tells me that I'm not in shape enough to become an instructor......I know that's a crock.  However, it's on a weekend I work and I don't have the money to pay for the class.  Yes, it was that much fun!  :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Masala Bhangra

Today was the day that they offered a Masters Class for Masala Bhangra at the place that I go for zumba.  I went in and didn't have too much information other than watching one video and knowing that it was Indian dance based.  Seriously, I knew nothing else.  I arranged my day around the class and I arrived early so that I could get a spot in the front (I like the front, it allows me to see the instructor and thus have a better idea about what I am supposed to be doing.)  The introduced the class and the style dance and then they began.  Oh my word.  It was a workout!  Fun!   I at one point thought that I was going to have to sit down because I was pushing it so hard.  I just drank a LOT of water and pushed onward.  Fun fun fun!  I was BEAT red during the workout.  In fact, I talked after the session for a few minutes, we took a group photo, I put on my sweatshirt and jacket and gathered my stuff and walked to my car and THEN I took that picture.  You can see my face is BEAT red, even after a good 5-10 minute recovery.

As I walked into the building they were collecting money as this was a paid event for us that we couldn't use our punch cards (we buy a punch card and each class we attend we punch..when we run out of punches we buy a new like a charm).  One of the regular zumba instructors (Kelsey) was there sitting with a fellow zumba girl (Karen) taking the money.  (The attendee has recently received her zumba certification).   Karen looked at me and said "Soooo, I'm dying to know.  How much weight have you lost."   Now I've been going to zumba for upwards to three years.  This girl has NEVER asked me that before.  I didn't think anything of it though and told her my results thus far (took a sneak peak and it SHOULD be good tomorrow).     She went on to say, "You came back after the winter break on fire.  You are pushing yourself and I knew that it meant that you were probably doing the whole thing."   She was tickled with my results.  She and I talked about deprivation versus eating healthy.  They are truly two different things!     It was really good to receive confirmation of my efforts.  (Sherry noticed my increased drive the first time she saw me at zumba after the winter zumba break and told me about it immediately!  :-)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Excuses meets dedication

I'm still a bit congested, but really do feel well enough to exercise.  I need to get my exercise mojo on.  Tomorrow will be easy as I will be trying out a new exercise class. OK, it's new to me..... Masala Bhangra is the name.  Hey, sounds like it could be a hoot.  :-)  It is an type of Indian Dance and I figure it will be worth a try out.    Then of course Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are my zumba days.  So I just need to find the mojo to exercise today.

 That said, I was totally floored this morning.  The road I live on is a back road.  It's narrow and dangerous in the BEST of conditions.  We are plowed last and even when plowed the road remains pretty bad until nature takes care of the snow.  This morning I was driving Todd to the studio and I was coming home.  It was about 9 AM.  I was taking my road slowly because of the treacherous conditions.  And what should I see?    A JOGGER?  IN this weather!  With snow on the ground!!!   Jogging on  small country snow covered road!!   That my friends is dedication.  I can't say that I will  ever be that motivated.  However, it really does go to show that my excuse of snow/cold/weather etc etc etc is a crock of doo doo!

Enough is my stay home and vegetate on the couch (or in bed at times)day and I need to get back to that activity!  :-)  (well maybe after some xbox kinect!)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feeling stronger everyday

I saw this the other day and little did I know that it was going to have such a profound impact on my mentality later this week. Yesterday I listened to my body and did no exercise.  I was starting to feel better but just still felt sluggish and run down.  I did however have to do some work in the kitchen.  Mainly, I had to make cookies for a workshop that our business is hosting on Saturday and I had to make Chocolate covered cherries (filled with cheesecake filling) for a co-workers going away party today (Friday).  I ate my food...and then I had a cookies worth of cookie dough and a baked cookie.  I then had a chocolate covered strawberry.   Yes, I went over my allotment of calories for my day.   Yes, I tracked!

I had planned on making a few kinds of cookies.  I however stopped baking midway through my baking marathon.  Why?   Because I knew that I had already consumed too much and that if I kept baking, I would consume more.  I KNEW I would.  There was no talking me out of it.  I KNEW it would happen.  So I stepped away from the kitchen.

I am at war with myself.  Part of me wants to scream that yesterday was a total failure.  I didn't manage to stay within my 1300 calorie goal.  HOWEVER, I was only slightly over 1500 calories.  I didn't blow it and eat 3000 or 4000 calories.  I went over by 200 calories.  Which is still a respectable calorie count.  Was it what I am for?  No.   Was it terrible?  No.    So I am going to count yesterday as a victory.  It could have been MUCH MUCH worse....but I kept my eating in line to lose (just not at the rate that I normally do).  Meanwhile, I learn from my mistakes.  :-)  That is what is making me stronger!

Today...potluck at work.  GRRR   I'm really going to do my best to keep this under control today!!!  I don't know what dinner holds, so I can't even say I've got 'such and such amount of calories."   So I am being tested and I WILL SUCCEED!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cough cough cough

Best laid plans.  Yup, that describes my 'killer workout' that I vowed was going to happen last night.  I was at work yesterday and I had my workout clothes here with me.  I was READY.  I was goign to do this.   And as the day progressed, I felt progressively worse.  My throat started to REALLY bother me, to the point that swallowing brought tears to my eyes.  My face literally hurt (insert all those jokes about my face hurting you too.....I had a brother, I can handle it).....which tells me my sinus' were really acting up.  My cough was a hacking wet cough.  I was not in any shape to exercise and I recognized it.  It really upset me to skip it.  But I'm endeavoring to live a healthy lifestyle.  Going to zumba when I feel like so miserably sick is NOT a good idea.  My body needed the rest.  I pushed through this earlier in the week and actually did a double session of zumba on Monday night and I did zumba on Tuesday also along with a jaunt on the exercise bike.  I was still feeling the effects of the cold those days but I knew that my body could handle it.  Last night, I KNEW my body needed a break.  So I gave my body a night to recover, to rest and to relax.  Will I do anything tonight?  The PLAN is to get on the exercise bike for a bit.  Will I actually do it?   It all depends.  If my body is telling me to rest and I discern that it really is what my body needs then I will heed the voice of my body.  This is about HEALTH....not just weight.   That said, I'm still eating within my calorie range!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Pain in the butt

Sometimes I get so down thinking about how much further I have to go.  I REALLY want to snap my fingers and be at my goal weight.  I want to snap my finger and fit in all my smaller clothes.  I want to snap my fingers and be a thin Goddess.  I would like nothing better.  But that's not the way it works.  This journey takes time.  This journey takes persistence.  This journey takes a drive that requires focus and motivation.  Is it fun all the time?  Heck no!  Is it worth it?   Absolutely.   However, if I was able to snap my fingers I would not have learned so much about myself.  Through this process I learned and actually was able to figure out that I have an addiction to food.  In fact, I remember an 'aha moment' where I actually saw my addiction working and it all made sense to me. I made discoveries about what my body is capable of. I pushed myself further than I thought possible, often stepping out of my comfort zone.  I have learned what my body needs in terms of nutrition.  I have also rediscovered who MaryFran is.  This process is about learning.  Learning how to take care of this wondrous body that I was given.  This process is important and while I want it to speed along, I'm going to soak up every lesson I can on the way.  You see, every lesson I learn makes me stronger.  The stronger I am, the better my odds for maintaining all my results!

I'm having an interesting problem today. It started last night.  And yes, my husband had a heyday with this when I announced it.  My BUTT hurts!  OK, OK, OK....stop laughing.  It's not really my butt, but more like my butt cheeks.   I must have just pushed harder on the squats and lunges during the last few zumba sessions.  But seriously, I got into my nice firm bed last night and just the firmness on my buttocks caused that twinge of muscle pain to ripple through me.  Butt pain is very serious matter!  Will I let it deter me from zumba tonight?   Nope...I'll be there zumba-ing my heart out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Something + Anything = Everything

The mind is a crazy thing.  Last night I was plotting out my day.  When I say plotting out my day I was planning my food and thinking about my exercise.  Zumba after work was pretty much a non-negotiable thing.  I try not to skip that too often.  But I went to bed with grand thoughts of waking up and exercising for a bit in the morning to kick start my day.  Grand thoughts, grand dreams and actually a great idea.

However, I woke up and I felt like curling up on the couch next to my cat Desi.  (Actually Desi is my husbands cat...he doesn't like me all that much, he sorta tolerates my presence).  My mornings tend to be more on the lazy side.  I lay in bed and read a bit.  I get up and mosey to the couch and play around checking all of my various on-line sites that I visit.  It's a bad habit that formed on the days that I don't have to be at work until 10.  It's one that I know that I need to break. But it's just so tempting to curl up like a cat and sleep.

However, I knew that curling up on the couch wasn't an option. So after I dropped my husband off at the studio (still sharing a car) I came home determined to get on the exercise bike and get some kind of activity into my morning.  I walked through the kitchen and looked at the sink.  There were dishes in the sink.  Yes, dishes!  Dirty ones!  Now mind you, I hate house cleaning..I do it of of course.... but a few dishes in the sink would not have caused the end of the world in my house.  I could have tacked them onto the dinner dishes tonight and it wouldn't have been any skin off my back (it was only two glasses, a coffee cup, a bowl, a plate and a few pieces of silverware).  But mind just said "MaryFran you HAVE to do these dishes now!" So I did the dishes (our dishwasher is leaking and while we know that it is just the intake hose, Todd hasn't gotten around to fixing I am doing dishes by hand).   Of course pushing off exercise was not a problem.

While I was washing dishes it occurred to me that I really needed to make my bed.  Seriously!   No, I couldn't delay making the bed.  I had to do it right then there was a burning need within me.  I had to do it before the cats settled onto the bed for their first cat nap of the day!  Of course, this was once again pushing off exercise but that wasn't a problem was it?  After all, there were much more important things to do!  However I started to realize that my mind was trying to sabotage my efforts to exercise. These things were not important.  You see, I don't always make my bed.  GASP!   But it's true,  sometimes it doesn't get made, and the world does continue to spin on its axis.  So why was I gung ho today?  There was only one thing.  My mind was at war with itself.  Crazy eh?????   I made that bed...determined to go straight to the exercise bike afterward!

Best laid plans though......Of course I had made my discovery about my self sabotaging, so I was thinking about exercise.  And that made me think about zumba......and it reminded me that I didn't have my clothes out for zumba. I pack my clothes and take them to work.  Even though there is time for me to go home to change between work and zumba (about 15 minutes), I know that if I go home I would NEVER make it back out the door.  So of course I took a few minutes to pull out my workout gear.......My mind at this time TOTALLY knew what was happening.  Instead of letting it beat me, I vowed to not let it get me down!   Even as all these thoughts went through my mind I decided that I had to get pictures of my day for this blog.....GRRRR that took a few more precious minutes of my morning.

No fears though.  I STILL got myself onto that exercise bike!!!   It wasn't a long ride.  It wasn't a super strenuous ride.  However, I wasn't aiming for distance and I wasn't aiming for super strenuous.  Tonights zumba is my kick A$$ workout!  This morning was simply to get my body moving.  To do SOMETHING. Any kind of activity was what I was aiming for.  Because 15 minutes or 30 minutes is SOMETHING.  You see, if  you NEVER do it;  you will never get there.  Something, anything equals everything!

I'm still rolling.  Determination rules every step I take.  Failure is NOT an option!!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013


I think a big part of this journey is being happy with where I am now. I can look back and remember when I was thinner. Remembering how good thin felt is a positive thing. Remembering how bad fat feels is also good. But I can not dwell on the should haves, could haves and would haves. I'm where I am right now and that is all that matters. Comparing myself with the me from 2008 or 2010 or even 2012 is self destructive. Likewise comparing myself to the gal that stands next to me at Zumba or the woman I see walking down the street is self destructive. I am where I am and I have to be happy with it right now. The past is just that...the past. The future though....that's wide open!!!

Thinking thin and very happy with myself!!!

Ohhh and three weeks into the new year and I have lost 8.7 pounds thus far!!! 3.3 pounds this last week!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sick and tired and some gorgeous cats

OK, so I'm just feeling sick and tired.  Literally.   I have been on the go all day. And I'm just whipped.  My sinus' have been draining and my throat is raw and that rawness is causing a cough.  (or maybe I've got a cold or something and just refusing to admit it..I'm sticking with a little sinus drainage).  So I've been sucking on the Halls today.  Dang, I wonder how many calories those things are per lozenge (isn't that a fun word....lozenge lozenge lozenge)???   If those darn Halls threw me over my calorie count today I'm going to be one made cat lady!   CRAP!   each one of those drops are 15 calories!  Shucks!  I've had maybe  5 of those suckers!....that's what I'm counting.  So 75 freakin' calories wasted!!!  That...that's a half piece of cake!   Or maybe a whole apple (a big one)!!   I've been robbed!!!!!! 

Even with my halls cough drops I am still OK on my calorie count today.  I have NO CLUE HOW.  OK OK OK, I DO know how.  Let me recap.  This morning Todd and I went to town early.  We stopped at Waffle House.  I REALLY wanted a Texas melt (egg bacon and's one of the only times I break my pork ban...for that sandwich) and hash browns.  But the sandwich alone is something like 750 calories.  I opted instead for a waffle.  I drank water and I had no hash browns.  Todd and I did our thing in town.  I took him back down to the studio (remember, we are sharing a car......very interesting to share a car...but surprisingly it's going well).   I almost immediately turned around and headed back to town to be with my family.  I got to congratulate my niece for her GREAT scores at her gymnastic meet yesterday.  I got to visit the museum in my 5 year old nephews bedroom.  (Lots of interesting artifacts....things like his Halloween costume, his favorite Christmas card....highly interesting things) and I got to talk to my extremely intelligent 12 year old nephew (I had to pretend I knew what he was talking about half the time.. ha ha ha).   And then we went out to eat.  Yes, the kids usually get to pick on we went to .....are you ready?   McDonald's!!!   I planned ahead and got a small fry and a grilled chicken snack pack wrap (although I get tongue twisted when I say that).     We hit up Sam's Clule and then we went and I bought a new mattress. I'm HOPING that a better mattress helps my back issues.  I needed a new mattress and box springs desperately.  My brother helped me get it with his truck.  Everyone came down to my house and it was a few minutes of out with the old and in with the new.  Then we all traipsed out into the woods for a brilliant winter walk.  I let them take out my metal detector and they had fun as we hiked.  :-)     After they left, it was dark and I had to set up my bedroom. (I upgraded sized bed things had to be shuffled a bit).  I put my new sheets on the bed and then took a shower.  I finally sat down to eat something but my sore throat is just taking any desire to eat (swallow) out of me so I just had an English muffin and jelly.

Some of the cats seem to approve of the new bed and sheets (the sheets were an incredible deal at Target....and the plum color is so fun!) Of course I had already tried the bed out and read a bit in bed, so it didn't look all neat and proper when I took the picture.   

Lucy and Ethel giving their stamp of approval to the new bed.

When I first made the bed Ethel pulled her normal stunt of running under
 the sheets as most cats love to do. However, instead of playing
 under there, she curled up and took a nap!
So more a lot more carbs than normal.  And few few veggies and fruits.  But still within my calories!!  That is  victory! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A change of thinking and zumba (again!)

I'll start with zumba today since there was some questions.  I stumbled upon was forced to try zumba a few years ago.  My friend Sherry had been telling me about this great workout.  She kept telling me that I just HAD to try it.  I threw up every excuse in the book.  You see, the fear that I talked about a few days ago was rearing it's ugly head.  I was afraid to try an exercise class.  I was afraid that I would look like a water buffalo on crack.  I was afraid of going in as a 'fat girl', I wanted to wait until I was thinner.  I was afraid of the unknown.  I was afraid of it all.   Sherry kept prodding...she was relentless.  She even went as far as to find a class that I could attend, even with my wonky work schedule.  (the zumba site actually has classes listed, it's case you missed that it is again!)  I was pressured and I was freaked out.  Remember, I said she was relentless. One day I caved and grudgingly said "OK then, I'll do it!"  I admit, that I said I'd go only to appease my friend.  I went.  I was scared.  I was nervous.  I tried to stay in the far back corner.  And guess what?   That hour flew by!  I worked up a sweat!   I was even smiling!   It was absolutely fun!  I went back the next week.  I started making friends at the class.  One night I accidentally found myself in the front row and found that zumba is even more fun when you have a birds eye view of the instructor. I fell in love with the class.  :-)  By the way....thank you Sherry!  You rock for getting me over that hump to try something that you KNEW I would love!  And this just goes to prove that sometimes we have to force ourselves to do things that scare us because we may find out that we LOVE it!

Reasons why I'm a huge proponent of zumba.
1.  The hour flies by. It is face paced music with a good beat that helps the time FLY by!
2.  Modifiable.  Zumba is awesome in that it can be modified.  If you are at a lower level of fitness you can tap your toes in time with the music. If you are medium level you can side step. If you are at a high level you can jump it.  A good instructor will give the modifications to the group.  Some days I am full of vigor and just rock my work out at the highest energy level.....but some days I go and I have to dial it back and lower the intensity level.  Zumba allows me to do that.
3.  Zumba is not just dancing.  It combines dance steps with fitness moves.  Those dreaded lunges, squats and jumping jacks (amongst others) get slipped into the songs choreography so that while you know you are doing them, your mind isn't screaming about it.  (yeah, it's a mind game).
4.  Variety.  Zumba has tons of different levels certifications that instructors can get.  There is zumba toning (zumba with toning sticks to help ton muscles), aqua zumba (zumba in a pool), sentao (zumba with a chair.....don't let the chair fool you, it's a KILLER workout), zumba gold (zumba that's even toned down further for people in their golden years), zumbatonics (kids I believe), etc etc etc.
5.  It's a great workout.  It has lots of work to help slim down and shape the body!  And don't we all want to be shapely???

I could wax poetic about zumba, but I wont' continue.  I do have zumba for my Xbox kinect.  I use it and like the workout.  But there is just a vibe and energy in a class that I personally love.    It's not for everyone...but I would encourage everyone to try it just once.  :-)

I have sat back on this journey and learned many things about myself.  The one thing that I've figured out but I just struggle with changing is the mentality of "I can't do that now...I will wait until I'm at my forever weight."  That was one of my thoughts with zumba....I'll do it when I get to a better weight.   You know what I'm talking's statements like.....I'm not going to buy new clothes now, I'm going to wait until I lose the weight. I'm not going to go on that big vacation now, I want to be thin and gorgeous first.  I'm not going to do this or that until I drop the weight.  Well I'm here to say Why the heck not?  Why does weight have to define everything.  We have to love ourselves as we are right now.  The person that we are inside right now.  That is the key ingredient to losing the weight....loving ourselves.  You see, if we don't love ourselves, then we won't value ourselves enough to make the effort that it takes to lose the weight.  It's a vicious cycle.  We don't feel worthy of doing what we want now because we are bigger.  That parlays into our efforts to lose the weight because self worth plays a BIG roll in weight loss. And if our self worth keeps us from losing the weight, then how in the world will we EVER get to the weight loss goal in order for us to do all of the 'when I get to my forever weight' things?  I'm rambling, but I don't know how to say it better.   I'm going to endeavor to not let my excess weight (that is temporarily clinging to my body) hold me back. If I want to go to a nude beach, I'm going to say "to Hell with it....I'm doing it!"  (luckily for me, that's not something I think I will EVER say though...haa haaa haa..but if I did....)

I will leave this post with a bit of a story.....

Once there was a girl named MaryFran.  She had a pair of pants that were HUGE on her.  She got into the bad habit of not unbuttoning and unzipping her pants.  She would just pull them on and off without that hassle.  One day...lets say it was a Friday...probably January 18th, maybe the year 2013. (haa haa haa) she was getting ready to go to work and was in a rush because as typical, she had messed around with housework all morning and found herself crushed for time.  She hopped out of the shower, dried off and quickly grabbed these pants.  She pulled them up and immediately put on her shirt and then was out the door.  About 45 minutes after getting to work, this poor girl put her hands in her pocket and noticed something funny about the pockets.  She pulled and prodded the pockets trying to figure out why there was only room in her pockets for her fingers and not her whole hand.  She was so confused.  She started to look more closely at the pants and that is when she noticed.  Why yes......she had pulled her pants on and had worn them backwards for the first 45 minutes of work, even as she waited on customers!   She quickly righted the wrong of course.  But it did make her laugh so hard that she was crying (and of course she told her co-workers who laughed just as hard).........just like she hopes it makes you laugh.  (yes, this is a VERY true story!)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Zumba weight gain

I was thinking about zumba yesterday.  I started zumba-ing myself almost three years ago (I think February or March will be the exact 3 year mark).  I was roughly 210 when I started attending zumba.  I was in great shape.  I was jogging upwards toward 30 minutes without stopping.  I was riding my bike religiously miles upon miles each week.  I started with one zumba a week and quickly progressed to 3 zumba sessions and even some double sessions (back to back classes when I could handle it) I was extremely fit.  In the last three years of zumba, I somehow allowed myself to go from 210 pounds to 252.8 (that was my highest and my new years day weight for this year).  Other than a few exceptions I did zumba religiously. (exceptions.....when I pulled my lower back out in 2011......the chest pains of late 2010....etc etc etc).  I rarely skipped.  It has been a constant in my life.  Yet I found myself gaining.  How could that be?  I ate badly.  I had weeks where I was totally on track with my eating, but I had weeks where I ate candy and desserts....because 'one piece of candy doesn't really hurt too much does it'?   Of course one piece turned into two, followed by some potato chips and then topped off with a piece of cake. I was not in control of my eating.  And that is the crux of the matter.  You can lose weight without exercise.  The food we are putting into our mouths really is the key to it all.  (well, unless you are exercising 5 hours a day or something ridiculous).  The good thing?   If something keeps us from exercising???   We can still lose based solely on diet.  It's not a two way street.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sadistically Sore

I have been rocking my workouts. I've been trying to push myself in my workouts....push myself to the next level, really give it my all!  I can feel it in my muscles.  Muscle aches have been my constant companion of late.    Lets see, there was Zumba Sentao on Monday night.  Don't let the Zumba Sentao description kill you.  Zumba centered around a chair.  Chair exercises...easy peasy right?   NO NO NO, think push ups, planks, squats, all while you are 'dancing' around.  It's crazy hard and the muscles twinge after a session.  (you know it's a good workout when your instructor comes back the next day and says "Is anyone else sore from Sentao last night, because I sure am!"   And this is a lady that leads upwards toward 30 zumba classes a age 65)  Then I went to zumba on Tuesday night.  I left my class on Tuesday night and felt vibrant and full of energy so after my quick dinner, I hopped on the exercise bike!    Therefore, since I was off work on Wednesday afternoon, I decided to go for broke.  I went to the early zumba class at 5:30.  I pushed myself through that hour and five minutes (she went 5 minutes over...and yes, I'm counting those five minutes).  I had a ten minute breather and then I started my second sixty minute class (5 minutes over again).  So 130 minutes of hard core jumping, squats, lunges, toning.  I got home and my muscles were shot!!!!  I was plumb tuckered out.      I woke up this morning and felt twinges in my arms, my legs and most of all, my abs!  Weeeeeee   I hate the pain, that first feeling of moving and just wanting to groan.  However, I just want to grin every time these twinges hit me.  I LOVE the feeling of the twinges.  It's a badge of pride that I ache.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Have my cake and eat it too

As I'm embarking on this journey for the second time in my life.  I sit back and look at my first attempt at losing weight.  It was highly successful.  I managed to knock about 130-135 pounds off of my body. I was able to see myself at a thinner weight.  I was able to experience the joys of being thin.  I bought really cool clothes.  (that's what's it's all about isn't it?)   I stayed near my lowest weight for quite some time.  But ultimately,  I wasn't able to maintain.  Why?   I have tons of excuses.  I lost the support of my weight watchers meetings and the friends I had made at the meeting literally the same night I made goal. (they closed down my meeting and not other meeting would work well enough with my schedule for me to attend regularly...well one did...but after I started attending that one, they cancelled that meeting and combined it with another......I must be the kiss of death for weight watchers meetings!)  Vacation occurred...and well that is kinda self explanatory.  But you know what, I need to look at this realistically.  I can make excuse after excuse about why I failed.  But I need to delve deep and find the real culprit so that I can keep it from happening again.  So after looking deep, what did I find?  While losing the weight the first time around I was absolutely fanatical about my weight loss.  I said no to cake.  I said no to cookies.  I ignored fattening foods like they were the plague.  This is good because honestly, does anyone really need to eat those empty calorie fattening foods all the time?   No, we do not.  However, I forgot that this was life.   Serious deprivation.  I was single mindedly focused on losing weight so I didn't eat cake.  My treat if I had a few calories left over at night was to drink a small glass of fruit juice.....or to drink a diet soda.  Yeah, really.    So when I reached goal at weight watchers, I let out a sigh of relief and when we left for vacation shortly thereafter I cut loose.  I said to myself, "Well I'm at goal so I dont' have to worry about losing this week."  So when the waiter would ask if I wanted dessert I would promptly answer, "Why yes!"   It started me on a bad habit....without the support of the meeting I struggled to get my focus back.   I slipped NOT because  of vacation.   I slipped NOT because of the cancelled weight watcher meeting.  I slipped because I had not learned how to PROPERLY have my cake and eat it to!

So fast forward to years later.  It is January 15, 2013. (yesterday).  A customer here at the bank brought in a cake.  Her food is usually to die for.   She announced that it was eggnog flavored.  Seriously?  I've never had an eggnog cake.  I wondered what it tasted like.  I pondered it.  And then I decide.  This is NOT a deprivation.  This is NOT about me curling up in a corner and refusing to participate in life.  I went back to the counter and I got myself a piece of cake.  Did I blow my day?  Absolutely not.  Even while I was eating the cake, I had myfitnesspal pulled up on my computer screen in front of me and I was looking at what adjustments I could make to the rest of the day to make this work.  It was actually easier than I though because since I had the cake at 11:30, I really wasn't all that hungry for the food in my lunch box.  I ate my green beans and I ate the carrots out of my lunchbox and left the rest and with just a bit of tweaking to my dinner menu, I was fine.  (conversely I would have been fine anyway because I knew that I was going to zumba and that I hadn't planned on utilizing those earned exercise calories..)   I literally had my cake AND ate it too!  And guess WORKED.  I did do zumba and I also added 30 minutes on the exercise bike (just cuz I wanted to, not because I felt guilty or felt like I needed to) and this morning, I couldn't resist....a sneak peak on the scales shows me down further!  :-)  (ps sorry for the crappy cake picture...but hey, I was in the middle of savoring that delicious goodness and couldn't be bothered to stop for a better picture...and yes, I savored EVERY morsel....SLOWLY!)

The trick of this path that I am on is contingent upon one main thing.  I have to know my level of focus and determination before I make the choice to do something like have a piece of cake.  I made cookies last week. I still lost 3 pounds.  How?  Because I felt strong and knew that I could stop at one cookie.  I ate the cake because I KNEW that I could adjust enough to work it into my food plan.  Next week a co-worker is leaving.  On her last day we are having a potluck to bid her adieu.  They asked me what I was bringing.  They stared at me as they waited for the answer.  I honestly didn't know what to say.  Finally I answered.  "If I'm feeling strong, I'll make cookies or something snacky....if I'm feeling weak, I'll be bringing a bag of chips or something that doesn't require me to resist temptation as greatly as baking cookies does"   That my friends sums it up.  Shazaam!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I am reading the book Becoming Fearless: My ongoing Journey of Learning to Trust God by Michelle Aguilar.   Michelle was the season six winner of the TV show The Biggest Loser.   For the simple fact that I watched Michelle as she went through the show it is interesting.  It is also interesting to get an inside glimpse to the TV show that so many of us watch.   I picked it up for those reasons mainly. (Well and it was offered as a freebie on Amazon for my Kindle.)  But even more so it's interesting because I also find myself mired in fear.

Michelle writes about how one of her fears was letting the world see that she was not perfect.  The fishbowl living that comes with living as a preachers child apparently leaves certain scars deep within.  (Michelle spent many of her formative years living in a family who was deep in Christian Ministry).   Scars is too harsh of a word.  For me it left me with a fear of disappointing those around me when it comes out that I'm not the outwardly perfect person. You see, I was the 'good girl' that didn't rebel and become one of  "THOSE bad preachers kids."  I wasn't an angel by any means, I was a child.  But I it wasn't a rebellion by any means.  I kept the 'perfect child/teenager' show up for the fishbowl life that I lived in.   I still live with that.  The party I as at this past weekend?  I was proud of myself because I drank water and ate only one chocolate covered strawberry.  I chose to not partake due to my focus on my weight, not for any other reason. (I drink...I'll freely admit it.) However, when they were taking pictures of lines of empty bottles and posting it on facebook I was tagged, since I was present.  My first thought was "oh no, people are going to see that and I'm going to be in a hailstorm of negativity."   My perfect "good girl persona" was being tested because it looked like I was drinking...heavily.  Fear clenched within me, because my 'cover was blown'.   I live in fear about being transparent. Maybe it's time to face it...... So here marriage is in trouble...big trouble.  We also made some bad financial decisions  and we are struggling financially.  I'm not is tough.  I have problems in my life.  I know that these problems contribute to my weight problems because it is exhausting and overwhelming to smile when your heart is breaking.  It is disabling to act like nothing is wrong when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and forget.

 I'm not perfect.  I'm tired of pretending that life is one happy party. (although this blog has been one place where I had already opened up)   It's only hurting me....

The thought of the fear though.  It makes me begin to wonder if I'm afraid of losing weight.  Does fear keep working as a sabotaging tool for me?  I have been overweight for three quarters of my life.  It's what I know.  I loved how I felt when I lost weight, but the world was so new and different.  Fear of the's a terrible thing. Is fear keeping me from really changing within.

My only thought about this is to accept that there will be change.  There is unknown.  I am going to face it head on.  Last year I traveled by myself for the first time EVER.  Fear gnawed at me.  I knew it was a stupid fear so I ignored it and carried on.  Of course I was fine.....I had known it would be, even as I was wracked with fear.  That is how I plan on carrying forward.  I'm going to acknowledge that I have fear in my life.  But I'm going to also acknowledge that most of my fears are unfounded and carry forward.  Fake it till I make it!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Doing battle with my mind

My  mind plays tricks on me.  Yesterday morning I carefully figured out the calories on my favorite food at Southwest Moe's Grill. I ALWAYS order the regular size.  However, on the restaurants website  I saw that the regular size was roughly 750-800 calories and the junior size was 468.  Hmmm, that's a huge difference!   468 was doable.  So I planned to eat the junior size.  However, I got to the restaurant and my mom pulled out a buy one get one free coupon.  She and my dad were splitting a regular sized burrito, the free one was for me.  My burrito was going to be free!   Financially speaking, it made sense for me to get the regular sized burrito.  Seriously!  It makes sense right?  I got up to where you place your order.  I said "I want the Art Vandalay."
That part of my order was never in question.  The size issue is what was roaring through my brain!
  I looked at the guy and I wanted to stop right then and there and get the regular sized burrito.  It was free!  Yummy vegetarian burrito...FREE!   But then I finished my order......."Junior".   I know we have faced a fiscal cliff and that I just wasted the opportunity to get MORE free food than I already did.  I can tell myself that I would only eat half of it. I could seriously eat half of it and put the rest aside for dinner.  What a GRAND PLAN!  However, I know that I would fail miserably at that plan. I knew that if the food was in front of me that I would   Therefore, I summoned all of my will power and I added the word junior onto my order.  You know what?  I was still quite full and satisfied after a junior burrito!  This journey is only partly about my stomach REALLY is a mental game!  (ohh and I carted my big water jug into Moe's with me, no asparatame laden diet soda or crystal light for me.  WATER baby!!!!)

I joined a weight loss group on line and then was drafted into another.  One weight loss group weighs in on Sundays. The other one is Monday.  OK, not a problem.  I can weigh myself both days.  This is easy.  it will keep me on target on Saturday since I have a weigh in on Sunday.  It will also keep me on target on Sunday since I have to face the music on Monday also.  How perfect is that?  I had taken a sneak peak at the scales midway through last week.  My weight was down.  I was ecstatic.  So yesterday I hop on the scales and low and behold I was up. (still down from my previous Sunday weight).  Uhhh really?   I ate RIGHT!  I ignored the wine!  I ignored the beer!  I ignored the snacks!  I drank water and only ate one chocolate covered strawberry at a party for goodness sake!  And I gained?  WTF? (for the sake of honesty and integrity, I will admit it was less than a half pound up from where I was at my sneak peak..but still)  I stepped off the scale.  I wanted to scream!  Why?  I did it right and the scales didn't reflect my efforts.  I gathered my emotions and reminded myself that the scales are a fickle thing.  I didn't let the number on the scale deter me from my mission.  I watched my food intake.  At the end of the day I even had enough for a half cup of ice cream (of course individually packaged by me, in my freezer for ease of consumption without the temptation).  This morning I was nervous as I stepped on the scales.  I had weighed up a bit yesterday and I had that ice cream late at night, but it was all accounted for.  I ate RIGHT even though the disappointment with the scales in the morning made me want to run screaming and crying to the nearest bucket of food.  I stepped on.   And Low and behold I was down a pound from my sneak peak weight!  I lost 3 pounds this past week!   The scales do not always tell the true story.  Yesterday, I KNEW that, and I held firm and waited until the scales actually correctly showed my efforts!

Transamerican virtual walk is going well.  I'm 45.2 miles in.....I'm heading towards Glendale, VA!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The true meaning

Ended up being in a party like atmosphere last night.  I was worried because I knew there was going to be wine and food.  I took a bottle of water.  It was hard because peer pressure really pushes you to drink and eat.  I however didn't have the calories and didn't think that indulging was something I wanted to do.  I was there for the socialization not the food and that's what I told myself throughout the evening while I drank my water.  I DID have a chocolate covered strawberry.  But that was the extent of my eating and drinking.   Do I feel as if I missed anything?   Absolutely not.  Alcohol has never had a hold over me so that was not in any way missed. know what?  I didn't miss it.  :-)

We focus much on food that we miss the whole point of many situations that we are in.  I could have focused so much on the food.  And some of the people did.  We stood around the buffet table for heavens sake!   However, the focus of the time last night was NOT food in my book.  It was support and friendship.  We lose sight of the TRUE meaning of things.   Food is fuel to help our bodies work efficiently.....nothing more.  (maybe if I say that enough times I'll start to believe.)

I am going up to spend the day with my family today.  Typically Sunday is the 'kids day' to chose where they are going to lunch.  My brother (I do have the best brother) helped the situation and steered toady's decision toward Moe's....which the kids love...and it's a favorite of mine too.  SOOOOO this morning I have already put my burrito and chips into my calorie counter and I'm set to go.   I've got to get some exercise today though.   I missed yesterday.....another small implosion in my world sucked up the time and disallowed me from exercise.  (Dang curve balls)   I won't miss today though!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I was able to navigate the potluck yesterday.  It was difficult.  I wanted to eat eat eat.  I slipped up and ate three crackers with some spreadable cheese before I realized what I was doing.  I immediately went to my computer and logged the addition into myfitnesspal.  I had to make an adjustment to my dinner, but it worked out perfectly.   I've got this! I HAD it so well that later in the evening I looked at my calorie count and realized that I had enough calories to indulge in my super yummy cookies.  I had ONE cookie.  I nibbled that cookie and savored every nibble.  This is what it is all about!  SHAZAM!

Life continues to throw me curveballs.  But I refuse to allow these curveballs to derail me from my weight loss efforts!!!  They are coming at me and I'm ducking out of the way!  I am in control of only one thing in my life...and that is my weight loss efforts.  The curveballs will continue to fly around me I'm sure.  But I'm not going to let them win.  This is about so much more than my weight.  This is about who I am.  Am I a quitter?  Am I someone that doesn't value myself enough to take care of me?   NO, this journey that I"m on is too important.  It is not just about  my phsyical is about my mental health!   SHAZAM! 

Think Thin!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Water boarding

Chinese Water Torture doesn't have a chance against the workout that I just found for myself.  Water-boarding, that's for sissies in comparison to this workout!   This workout is pure torture.  Absolute!  Let me tell you how this torture came about.  I sit at work.  I have a lot of down time.  I had read a story awhile back, (sorry, can't remember where) about a gal who took one break at work, changed into workout clothes and tennis shoes and climbed up and down the steps of the building where she worked.  I thought about how cool that was. But even more so I thought about what an awesome way to get a quick 15 minutes of activity in.  After all, 15 minutes is better than nothing in the middle of a day where I'm just sitting around on my keister.  I talked about it at work.  I decided that I could break my lunch down (we only get a half hour paid lunch, no other breaks per say......haa haa haa, if you know me you are probably saying she needs a break from what? sitting at her desk and reading or working on a cross stitch project between customers!  haa haa haa).  Anyway, I digress. I had originally decided that I could break down that half hour.  15 minutes for eating and 15 minutes for stair climbing.  I had the best intentions.  Really I did.  But I kept 'forgetting' about my plan.  I forgot to bring my tennis shoes.  I didn't want to get all hot.  I didn't want to rush my lunch.  What if I got back and was panting like a dog and a customer needed my attention?    Excuses excuses excuses.  And then it hit me.  The last two hours I'm here, I rarely do anything.  I get no customers...and I'm only here to be the second person and as a supervisory override for the person that is doing the work and occasionally back them up if they get more than one thing at once or if they have to run to the bathroom. (yeah, my job is a piece of cake.).  I devised a plan that if I left the one door open, that worker could easily call out and I'd be able to be there in a jiffy.  That way I could do my stair climb thing after that time when I wouldn't have to worry as much about scarfing down my lunch and  being all hot and having a customer come up to me while I'm panting from exertion!  So yesterday  I threw my tennis shoes into my bag.  The hour rolled around when my time to do the steps was upon me.  I won't lie and say I didn't think about making an excuse.  I did.  But I totally ignored it!  But then I just said no wayI'm doing this!!  And I put on my tennis shoes.  I started strong. I was counting my flights,  but around 15 trips up and down I lost track.   We are only in a one story building so it literally is 8 steps up....make the turn on the landing.....8 steps up......swivel on foot on the top landing....8 steps down...make the turn on the landing....8 steps down.....swivel on foot and back up.  16 steps up...16 steps down.   That 15 minutes went by soooo SLOW!   But my heart beat was up.  I was hot.  I was sweaty.  My legs were ON FIRE!!! (look at those pink cheeks....which isn't all that visible in the picture,but even my arms were RED!)   I LOVE IT!  I had grand plans to go 30 minutes...but 15 was quite enough for my first day.  I did learn that I need to leave my cell phone at the bottom (otherwise I checked the time every minute and consequentially moan because only one minute had passed and I was soooo ready to stop). I also need to devise a way to count my flights easily so I can mark my progress!  Today my calves are tight, but I'm not in pain or really hurting.  So upward and onward!(by the way, I'm not mocking water-boarding,  I'm just poking fun at my workout and simply saying how difficult that 15 minutes really was for me)

Today there is a small potluck here at work to celebrate my co-workers birthday. I will be partaking a bit.  But a BIT is the operative word.  I don't have to eat a hogs load of food! I can do this!  I made cookies for the potluck.  Banana-chocolate-peanut butter cookies.  My husband calls these cookies crack, because they are that scrumptious that you just can't stop.  Seriously, how COULD you go wrong with those three things together.  Not exactly healthy, but good none-the-less.  I had ONE cookie last night (and yes, I had the calories set aside for it!).

I've tried the deprivation routine with my lifestyle.  Saying "MaryFran, you are not allowed to have any cookies..."  (insert voice over of Adam Sandler in the movie Waterboy here) "mam, mam mam maamaa says that cookies are the devil!"  That doesn't work any longer.  I want the changes that I'm making to be for the rest of my life.  It's not going to work if I say I will never have another cookie...or another piece of cake....or pizza from the greasy joint that serves the best pizza.  It's unrealistic and just sets me up for failure.    I ate a smidgen of the cookie dough and I ate ONE small cookie.  Yes, I actually said I ate ONE cookie.  The thing is, I didn't eat 6 cookies...or a dozen cookies.....I didn't even eat two cookies.  I ate one cookie.  I gathered my will power and ate my one cookie and then I walked away. 

I am not saying that I can do that everyday.  I'm not saying that cookies (or pizza or cake or any number of foods) are not trigger foods.  They are.  They trigger me to want to eat and eat and eat. However, I know that I have to figure out how to manage to still have these ultra yummy favorite things in my life, in essence how to partake, hear the trigger and stomp the *&^#  out of the trigger.  It's LIFE and I'm losing weight so I can LIVE....and that includes baking cookies for a co-workers  birthdays.  I can't bury my head in a corner and refuse to live.     If I hadn't felt as if I was  feeling strong enough to know that I could resist the temptation, I would not have made them.  This week I made cookies to celebrate life.   I won!  (as a side note, the cookies, half came to work today to be scarfed down by my co-workers and the other half are going with my husband to his work for his clients!)
Nothing is slowing me down!  I'm stomping on the stress in terms of my weight loss. I am not succumbing to the temptation to eat away my sorrows! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I have said it more than once in the past years.  I have control over one thing in my life...and that is my weight.   If I've said it once, I've said it twice.  I have control over only  me.  Life swirls around me and threatens to tear me to pieces but there is ONE thing that I have ultimate control over and that is my eating, exercise and ultimately my weight!   2013 is the year that I am taking control of that aspect of my life.  I am taking no prisoners.  I am not looking back.  I am doing what I need to do and I am not wavering.  Yesterday I ate exactly what I had planned and thus stayed within my budget. I hit up zumba even though I wanted to sit in a corner and cry my eyes out.   At the end of the day I actually had enough calories for  nice evening snack. (not even including my calories burned during exercise...I had enough BEFORE exercise).   I however did not want it.  Yes, I actually typed that!   I didn't want my planned snack.  I didn't NEED it.  I therefore was 150 calories UNDER budget.  I'm not worried. If I were eating under 1200 calories on a daily basis it would be a real problem.  But dipping below once or twice here and there is not an issue.  (More on that later.)  I am at the top of my game thus far in 2013.....weight wise.

2013 has NOT started out in a stellar fashion.  We've had death.  We've had issues with our business.  And yesterday we actually had a car that heard it's death toll.  We are now officially a one car family for the unforeseeable future.  All of this is demoralizing and rather upsetting.  I'm floored with stress..words can't describe.  HOWEVER, I have NOT given up. I'm rolling along with my weight loss.  I'm not letting these outside factors affect my efforts.  I'm not letting my addiction win.  Ohhh it may win some battles, but I WILL win the war!

What a paradox....2013 on one hand is absolutely horrible but on the other hand it's fabulous!   (it's like I have a split personality or something.  haa haa haa)

I have tried to forge my own path on this weight loss thing.  I lost it all the first time through weight watchers.  I will forever be grateful to weight watchers for getting me past the hump and actually walking me through the journey the first time.  The program, leaders and yes fellow attendees (Hi Sherry!!!) helped me believe in myself to get me to goal.    I have learned lots of tricks and have read about a lot of rules out there.  I take the best of the best I throw out what doesn't make sense to me and I have tried to forge a path that works for me.  However, there is ONE rule that I adhere to without fail.  That rule?   Other than occasional and rare situations, I do not go below that 1200 calorie mark.  Yes, It has been a proven thing that a person should NOT eat less than 1200 calories a day.   Preferably GOOD nutritious calories. Our bodies need a certain amount of calories to exist in a healthy manner.  It is pretty much accepted that 1200 is the low for women.  When a person dips below that number our bodies tend to think they are starving and instead of helping out bodies, our bodies actually go into a starvation mode.  Starvation mode is bad because our bodies store the fat and slows down metabolism.  Storing fat is BAD. (obviously).Slowing the metabolism is bad too! So that is one 'rule' that I do follow almost religiously!   :-)

Rock on and for God's sake....THINK THIN!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Fact, Fiction and myth

Even in the midst of this crisis that has me reeling in my personal life, I'm walking with my head up.  I'm walking with more 'swagger'.  I have lost 4.4 pounds since the new year.  That is fabulous!  But those four pounds have not changed me.  What has changed me is that for the first time in a while, I actually have taken control of myself.  I am not letting my addiction beat me down and take over all decisions in my life. I am taking control of myself.  And it feels GREAT!   My confidence in myself is blossoming!  It's amazing how being in control makes me feel better about myself.   The fact of the matter? The more I can manage this, the more the confidence blossoms.  It's like a  snowballs, it keeps growing!

Todd and I have been saddened.   A long time client at our business has passed away.  He died from obese related illnesses.  The diseases and illnesses started out simply and kept compounding one upon another.  He actually tried to get gastric bypass at one point but his obesity had taken it's toll on his body and he needed to lose a significant amount of weight to try to erase enough of those effects to make him a candidate.  About two years ago, our client was told by his doctors that he HAD to lose weight.  His weight was killing him.  There was nothing they could do to prolong his life.  It was HIS one else could save him.  His close friends held an intervention.  But sadly, he had given up and nothing could change his mind.  He passed late last week  from obesity driven diseases and illnesses that ravished his body. He was close to my age, in his early 40's.      It's sad.  It's also a reminder to me that my excess weight and my bad habits really CAN kill me.  It is not a myth....weight DOES kill!

Yesterday my food was spot on and my hour of zumba was a killer!   I noticed a change in myself during zumba.  I've been going to my class religiously for years.  Last night I was halfway through and I realized that in the last year or so I've only been going through the motions at my classes.  Last night, automatically my body kicked into overdrive and I put my all into it.  I don't want to hex myself, but I think I really have turned the corner and I'm ready to DO IT!

Emotionally, I'm holding it together.   Health wise, I'm rockin' it!  Eating is spot on (even my macaroni on Monday night was not a disaster. It was unplanned and definitely not necessary but in the grand scheme of things it only threw me 100 calories over my low daily goal...1411 calories for the day is still fabulous!).  Exercise is rolling.  I'm focused.  I'm motivated.  Like I said, I'm rockin' it!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


Yesterday was the first day of this new year that I did nothing active.  I had great intentions.  I packed my workout clothes and took them to work.  Zumba was restarting after the winter break.  WOO HOO.  I was excited.  I wasn't at work for even an hour before my world imploded.  Yes, imploded.  The issues from Friday that seemingly were at rock bottom?   Nope, definitely not rock bottom on Friday.  And I can only hope that yesterday was rock bottom.  Todd and I were texting back and forth when things became cleat to us and it was terribly difficult for me to text Todd and still hold it together for any customers that came up to my desk.  There was no question in my mind.  I immediately sent out an apology to my friend that was going to be at Zumba with me that night and I told Todd that I would be home at 6 versus 8 and that we would sit down and talk openly and clearly and make some kind of plan of attack.  Todd tends to put his head under the sand about this issue, so this was a big step because I was going to force him to take half of the stress and worry from me. (in theory at least).  I struggled all day.....lost it a few times. (usually when I was alone for a few...I would let my guard down and just sob).  I sobbed the whole way home and for the first 20 minutes after being home. It was  complete breakdown.  I was struggling to breathe, it was horrible.  Eventually I calmed down enough to try to attack.  And then Todd and I sat down.  I'm not sure we came to any conclusion.  Things are the same as they were before....but we at least are in it together now and we do have a very vague idea of where we are at and where we are going.

SOOOO, exercise was out the window.  I sat after this was all over and I was relatively calm......I was watching The Biggest Loser and I felt guilty because my exercise bike was staring at me.  But I just couldn't do it.  I was so wiped out from my emotional breakdown.   I just couldn't do it.

Furthermore, my planned dinner didn't work.   There was no way I felt capable of making dinner.  We grabbed subs from a local sub shop.  I did good....subs and some veggie chips.  Where I failed is that I added a bit of macaroni salad that I had purchased for Todd while at the grocery store the other day.  THAT threw me over my calorie count for the day by about 50 calories.    It's not a good thing...but it wasn't a bad thing.  

My emotions today?  Still a bit spotty.  But I'm planning to exercise and I'm planning to eat right!

Monday, January 07, 2013

It rears it's ugly head.

The weekend went well.  I managed to avoid all the pitfalls and temptations that a weekend normally holds.  I was hanging out with my family on Sunday and they went out to eat at fast food (Sunday is usually kids choice).  This struck fear for a moment in my heart.  First because I don't eat at fast food on my own and secondly because "holy cow, what am I going to eat!"   Not to be deterred, I calmly smiled at my family and said "sure".    I decided that I COULD and WOULD do it.  I went and with kids clamoring for my attention I studied the menu board.  I chose a grilled chicken wrap and a small french fry.  I noticed my father (my parents were also there with my brothers family) didn't get french I dropped half of my fries beside his sandwich and thus ate 1/2 of a small fry and a grilled chicken wrap.  I HAD left a huge chunk of calories for lunch because of the unknown factor so when I finally had a chance to get my phone back (my niece and nephews usually commandeer it to play games) I put in my food intake and low and behold...I did GREAT!   I even had enough calories to have 1/2 cup of ice cream after dinner that evening!   You can 'have your cake and eat it too' just takes planning and some minor adjustments.  I didn't order the CRISPY chicken wrap, I didn't order crazy.  I split down my fries.  I made minor adjustments and enjoyed the time with my family.

On Saturday night I made a casserole and we sat down to eat.  I knew what I was doing.  I had it all planned out.  My food was on my plate.  My food was all within my budget and I was OK caloric wise.    I ate what was planned and when I was done I felt a bit stuffed.  Not sick, but seriously full.  It was not a new feeling.  I had felt like that through most of the Christmas week.   I have felt like that a gazillion times.  It is a familiar feeling.  But seriously, after one week of eating in healthy amounts and healthier foods I was shocked at how icky I felt.  Seriously icky!  I do not like that feeling!!!! 

So why did I keep eating.  I had a vague notion inside me while I was eating.  A vague notion that said "maybe you should stop eating".   So why did I ignore that?  I ignored it because the food tasted SOOO good and I wanted to keep eating because it tasted good and filled me with that warm feeling of happiness.  Ohhh hell, that means my addiction beat me momentarily!

I still coun my weekend as a success.  I stayed within my calories.  I did great.  I was watching The Biggest Loser last night and I sooo wanted to go to the kitchen to get something to eat.  I had already eaten my snack of ice cream, and had no spare calories in my budget, at least calories that I wanted to eat.  I did not want to eat any of my earned exercise calories so I kept my butt firmly glued to the couch and ignored the craving and continued to sip on my water.  I navigated fast food.  I navigated a whole weekend and stayed within my caloric count.  VICTORY!