Monday, September 30, 2013

Here it is!

Well well well.  Another week down.  My weight stayed exactly the same.  I’m not exactly pleased with that.  But at least it didn’t go up.   My weekend wasn’t the greatest eating wise, I will freely admit it.  I know where I went wrong and I know how to fix it.
I worked to add exercise back into my routine last week.  I got 2 zumba classes and 2 runs into my schedule.  I also went out for a bike ride with my brother and his family yesterday.  That’s improvement.  I’m moving in the right direction.
The article was in the paper today.   I feel really ‘out there’.  But I’m good with it. 
In case you don’t want to follow the link…here is the story.
SHARPSBURG — MaryFran Stotler can identify with people in the weight-loss trenches.
She understands the struggle of trying to lose a few pounds only to see them return almost overnight.
She knows about the health problems that slowly creep into your life, such as high cholesterol and arthritis.
And then there are the physical challenges.
“Almost everything you do is altered in some way,” the Sharpsburg resident said. “Simple things that the average person takes for granted are not the same for someone who is obese. Things like not being able to ride on a roller coaster because you have to fit in the seat AND be able to buckle the belt. Or trying to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling like your lungs are going to collapse or explode. Even being able to cross your legs like a lady.”
Stotler can relate because she’s been there.
Her highest weight, she said, was 315 pounds. She lost about 135 of those pounds from 2006 to 2008 and weighed 180.
But by 2010, she was beginning to gain again.
Despite positive changes in her eating habits, Stotler said something was missing.
In order to lose weight, she knew she had to hit the gym — or at least do some form of exercise.
The problem?
“I dreaded exercise with an unrivaled passion,” she admitted.
For a few years, Stotler had been hearing about Zumba, a dance fitness program.
“A friend of mine religiously attended a class and kept telling me that I should try it,” Stotler said. “I was having nothing to do with that. I was too embarrassed about my size. I was too scared to walk into a room of strangers. I couldn’t find a class that worked into my schedule. My gym didn’t offer a Zumba class. I can look back now and see that these were excuses. And, eventually, there came a day when my excuses ran out.”
Maybe, she thought, she should give Zumba a try.
When Stotler heard about a Zumba class that was being offered at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Lappans, she adjusted her schedule to attend a 6:45class offered on Tuesday nights.
“I won’t lie. I was scared and made myself do it,” she said.
That decision would mark a turning point in her weight loss journey.
Today, Stotler said she has whittled away the pounds and is “currently sitting at around 213.”
It’s an accomplishment, however, that didn’t happen overnight.
Even after starting Zumba classes, her weight loss continued to be an up and down battle, she noted, shedding pounds only to fall into bad eating habits and gaining everything back. Discouraged, she would skip classes and wasn’t focused on losing weight.
“At the end of last year,” she noted, “I turned the big 4-0 and I took a look at where I was in all aspects of my life. I thought about my weight. I liked the freedom that came with the lower weight that I had found during those ‘thin’ years. I liked how I felt and wanted that again.”
So she started watching her food intake “and I started to really push myself to my personal max in my Zumba classes. I stopped skipping classes and went to every one I could.”
This year, alone, she has dropped 40 pounds, she said.
Overweight for most of her adult life, Stotler said she wasn’t greatly affected emotionally by her obesity.
“I simply saw myself as MaryFran,” she said. “This comes from having a family that has always loved me no matter what I weighed. It’s easy to be secure and emotionally unaffected when you have that support.”
However, the physical toll was another story.
“By the age of 28, I was having problems with my knees and my doctor informed me that I had arthritis,” she said. “Yes, arthritis at 28, all self induced from too much weight on my body I also was diagnosed with high cholesterol in my early 30s.”
Then there were the restrictions caused by being obese, she said, things like not being able to use a normal towel to wrap around your body or becoming out of breath in just five minutes from shoveling snow or gardening.
“Things just don’t happen easily when you have so many excess pounds,” she said.
Stotler said realized a healthy eating plan was conducive to weight loss, but she also needed to be physically active.
Without exercise, she said, the weight stopped coming off.
Stotler can still remember the first night she walked into the Zumba class.
With some apprehension, she opened the door and did what came instinctively.
She headed to a corner in the back of the room, where she hoped no one would notice her.
When the music started, “I found myself following the steps as well as I could,” Stotler said. “OK. Maybe I just moved as best as I could; but that’s OK, too. Suddenly, the music shifted and we started to cool down. Before I knew what end was up, the class was over. Holy cow. Seriously? That was an hour of exercise? I barely had time to blink. There was no question about me returning the next week. I was hooked. I had finally found an exercise that I actually enjoyed.”
Stotler gives credit to her class instructor, Anita Binder, who, she said, inspires and encourages class participants every week.
“She pushes through her own rough days, like when she had a case of the flu, and her own injuries, never missing a step,” Stotler said. “It makes me push just a bit harder because if she can do it, then so can I.”
Since Stotler has been attending the Zumba classes, “I have stopped being worried about what I look like. I no longer try to hide in the back row. I like to stand front and center. I’m having fun and that’s what matters.”
Stotler said Zumba “gives me what I put into it. I can tone up my movements or tweak them down according to my levels, my mood and my exercise threshold. There are days and weeks where I’m not totally in the zone of losing weight. However, there are also days when I am 100 percent focused on my weight loss efforts and I push it as far as my body will allow. The benefits those days are amazing Zumba allows me to be me.”
While Zumba has helped Stotler lose weight, “I really didn’t notice the difference in my body at first,” she said. “I never have been able to see the changes as they happen. However, everyone else was saying that they could see it. I will say that when your pants literally fall off your body and you don’t have to button them up to put them on or take them off, it’s pretty obvious that it’s working.”
Also, she add, “the more I exercise and lose weight, the more energy I have.”
In addition to exercise, Stotler said she monitors her food intake through a web site and app for her phone called myfitnesspal .com
“I practice a diet of calorie restriction,” she said. “I try to steer myself toward healthier foods, but nothing is taboo if it fits into my caloric budget. I find that when my eating is spot on, my exercise follows along and vice versa. It really is a two-handed approach.
“I also know, though, and my experience proves it, that weight is lost in the kitchen and exercise is just the icing on the cake.”
In the last few months, Stotler said “I have discovered that exercise really isn’t that bad and I have added some variety to my exercise routine,” including running and bike riding.”
In addition to losing weight and toning her body, Stotler said there are other rewards to attending the Zumba classes.
“I’ve made some great friends,” she said. “It’s a very open and friendly community that adds to the attraction. It’s the fun and the social aspects that keep me coming to the class even as I’m struggling with my weight loss efforts.”
A few months ago, Stotler said, “I was with my brother and his three young kids and was playing soccer. I could never have done that at 315. I would have been the fat aunt — albeit much loved and lots of fun to be around — sitting on the sidelines cheering them on and just happy to be with my family.”
“The rewards are in everyday life when you realize what you were previously incapable of doing is now normal activity,” she said. “Life opens up when you lose weight.”
Stotler said she would like to get back to 180 pounds.
After 180?
“Well, we shall see how my body responds,” she said “I’m in this to be healthy, whatever weight that ends up being. I will say this: ‘I’ve come a long way from the decidedly unhealthy 315 pounds.’”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Guilty as charged

I had full intentions of getting up today and using my late start Thursday to accomplish a few things.  I was going to run first, around 8 or so.    I was going to go home and rest a bit and then head out on my bike.  Back home by 11 and showered and out the door to work by 11:44.   I had my plans.  Seriously, I did!

However, what really transpired was something much different.  I woke up early.  Todd asked if I wanted to watch a tv show that we had recorded.  I said yes, it was afterall 6AM.  I could watch the show and STILL have time to do everything.  I flipped on my computer and started to edit pictures from the wedding that I photographed on Saturday.  I have only halfway edited and processed the tons of pictures.   I started editing.  Todd and I finished our show and Todd headed out the door.  I was enmeshed in my work.  Time passed.  I did briefly think about going out for a ride, but by that time I could see the end in sight.  I chose to finish the pictures and get it off my plate.   I worked right up until I left for work. (all I have to do is burn the disk for the bride and groom and also a disk for the lady that arranged the flowers as she and I had talked and I had offered her some pictures with her flowers).  

A conscious decision was made.  Was it a bad decision?  Maybe.  Was it a good decision?   Maybe.  I am walking with Sherry tonight so I will get some activity in. (If I don’t walk with her, I will go out for a short run).    I feel like I made an excuse to not exercise.  Realistically, I know that while I spent a few hours on Sunday that since then I’ve only been able to spend a few minutes here and there with the pictures and that they were not going to get done if I didn’t devote some serious time to them.    
I need to remember that this is a journey of making exercise fit into my life.   It means that when I have other obligations that I adjust to make them work and to STOP FEELING GUILTY!  Ok, I feel guilty because I haven’t been on my bike at all this month…and only two runs….yikes…BINGO…there is where the guilt is occurring.  But I’m back on track.  I ran on Monday, Zumba’d on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m walking tonight. I’m doing ok.  No guilt!  (if I say it to myself enough times maybe I’ll actually start believing it!)

I'll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from the wedding.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Go big or go home

I started this interview for the paper without really thinking about what I was doing and committing to. I wrote a short synopsis of my weight loss journey and sent it via email to the reporter without any real thought.   By the time the next round of questions came flying back to me I had started to seriously think about this. Wow….I’m putting myself out there BIG TIME.  Uhhh yeah, like my highest weight and my current weight and my goal weights.  My failure of regaining…my original success, it was all there.   I need to admit, I panicked a bit about the prospect about putting it all out there on the line.  Weight loss is such a personal subject.  Then I reminded myself of a vow I made on my blog many many years ago. I vowed to myself that I would be true, raw and open about my struggles, my journey and my efforts.  I’d like to think that I have maintained that promise of integrity with this blog.  Once I remembered that promise that I made to myself, I went forward with answering the deeply personal questions.
I’m not going to say that I haven’t had moments of misgiving about it, but I’ve been comfortable with everything.  That is I was comfortable with it UNTIL it really hit me that I had agreed to not only a story but a photograph.  Uhhh this won’t be too bad will it?   I waited for the call to set up the appointment and finally it came.  I don’t know why I was such a num-nut and didn’t realize that they would want a picture of me actually at zumba (since the tie in was zumba)…but of course that’s what they wanted.  And that is where my next big decision came in.  Dress in baggy clothes or in my tighter fitting (albeit absolutely comfortable) workout clothes.  I go back and forth at zumba in what I wear but typically running I wear the tighter clothes.   Decisions decisions decisions…..I hate them!  Most of my baggy shirts are logo teeshirts that I’ve picked up here and there so I decided to go with real workout gear…..even though it is form fitting.   Go big or go home.  Nervous wreck, but it is done. Photographer showed up and took the pictures and for better or worse it’s done.  Now I just need to wait for the story to be published (if it gets published and not pushed by something else).
Go big or go home.   Shouldn’t that be my goal in life? Shouldn’t we always be aiming for the biggest and best??  Pushing ourselves to our max in an effort to get the most out of life?   I want to live big and have no regrets!
So last night at Zumba I made a colossal error.  I didn’t realize it until this morning when I tried to get out of bed.  What was the error?  Well in a fit of vanity, I decided to forego taping my foot.  Yes, it was vanity because I KNEW I was going to be photographed and I didn’t want the KT tape showing in the picture.  Pure vanity, I know!  In the past months since this plantars fasciitis thing has reared it’s ugly head in my life, I’ve questioned the validity of the KT tape.  I will question no more. Zumba without taping my foot came back to haunt me this morning.    I could barely step on that heel so I quickly taped the foot and while it didn’t take the pain away, it eased it up a bit so I could walk somewhat normally.  (That is without a hobble that Todd says makes me look like I’m doing the hokey pokey AND without groaning with each step).
My calories have been right around the range of calories that I set up as my budget (1200-1300 daily).  I’m not anal about being exactly spot on.  I just aim to be close. (close as within 100 calories is good for me).
I also got the information about the Turkey Trot in Hagerstown.  I’m in!  I need to round up my peeps to see who I can convince to join me!  This will help motivate me to run regularly.  Maybe I can knock some time and set a PR!!!  (We shall see about that!)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What do you want the most

I have an internal struggle going on.  I love food.  I love the textures and flavors. It's hard to curb that love.  It's difficult some days to say no to the cupcake.  It's  murder to decline the ice cream.  It's just plain no fun.     But the flip side is that I have a desire to be thin.  I want to be thin do badly.  I can remember the way I felt at my lower weight!  I loved that feeling.  I remember how I feel when I'm heathy and able to wear whatever clothes I want.  That's an awesome feeling.

So those two desires war within me.   I think it's time to chose the desire that shows that I love myself!!!!   It's time!!!

I will still indulge in those favorite foods on rare occasions.  I can still have them...just not often...and that will make them more special.

My weight is 215.5 this morning.  So yeah dropping that sodium weight!! 

By the way...I ran yesterday (ok jogged).  Felt hard but good!!   I had the unique experience of running up on a cow that was loose on the road.  I kept my eye on that hunk of beef and I passed on my way back home!!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

This means war

Ok, so I’m not happy with my weight this morning.  I am 217.1   My weight in the last 3 months has teetered between 218 and 213.   I’m at the top end of that number right now and I’m not happy.  At least it’s not more….I can look at the positive.  (I can also say that Chinese food….high sodium…for dinner could be affecting that number…whew!)
I had already decided that I was totally recommitting to this weight loss journey.  I’ve sat on the fence during the last three months.  I’ve not gone crazy, but I’ve not really focused on doing what I KNOW needs to be done.
NO MORE.   The battle is on!   My short term goal?  I’m setting a really easy goal. (well, in terms of numbers it’s easy…NO weight loss is easy when we really look at it).   But my goal is to be under 200 pounds by the New Year.  Yes, I originally hoped to be at my goal weight (the top end of 180) by the New Year.  However, I’ve revamped and rethought and my goal is under 200. That is 1.2 pounds a week.  Healthy and extremely doable!
Lets get this show on the road!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Top of the list!

II keep telling myself that I've got to do this. I've got to get myself on track and finish what I started.  I am still working on finishing projects around my house.  I started this 'finish up unfinished projects back at the end of 2012.  I have done quite well and have finished quite a few projects.

  I've finished quilts. 

 I've finished cross stitch projects. 
 I've been doing well.   But I have started to falter on the MF project.  You see, I'm an unfinished project.  My weight loss is NOT finished. I need to finish this just as much as I need to finish all these craft projects (and yes, I have a few brand new projects lined up for as soon as I deem myself caught up...but I WILL NOT put a stitch, or lift a pair of scissors or buy anything new until I'm caught up!)

So I have been thinking deeply about finishing my projects....namely the project of myself.   I've vowed to do it.  Finish and then strut my stuff to be a hot chickie pie!

Today I ws sitting at work and a message came through on facebook from my zumba instructor. He message read something like this.  "Hello.  I know that you've lost quite a bit of weight and you have utilized zumba as a means to help you in this quest.  I have been contacted by the Herald Mail (our local newspaper) to try to find someone to write an article about for the lifestyle section of the paper."   I was at work and somewhat bored, so without thinking I responded to Anita and shortly thereafter was corresponding via email with the reporter that was writing the article.  Before I knew it, my 'interview' was completed via email.   I then received the news that a photographer would be contacting me to have my picture taken for the article.  Uhhhhhh  this is really real.  

I don't mind sharing my story.  I will say it like it is.  I was fat.  I was thin.  I regained my weight and now I'm struggling to be 'thin again'.  I don't mind sharing.  What gets me is that the whole world (or at least everyone that reads the local paper) will know where I'm at.  They will know that I'm still trying and that means that I'll be in the spotlight.  Uhhhhhhhhhh  that means I can't sit on my arse anymore this 'weight loss project' has now sky rocketed to the top of the list of my priorities!  BIG TIME move to the top of the list!   Failing in privacy (or at least the relative privacy of my blog and close friends) is one thing.....failing with the world watching is unthinkable!!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm just not......

The ‘only two day’ challenge of keeping my calories in line is over.  It ended on Sunday.  I did fairly well and have continued to keep my calories somewhat in line.   Today I’ll be over by a few hundred (250 from my low end goal to be exact…only 150 from the high end of my range).   I’m happy with that.  I’m continuing on with that and hope to make it a habit again.   Sherry set the challenge for this week. (well we discussed it and she made the final decision.)  This week our challenge is to drink enough water (or at least the recommended goal of 8 glasses….64 ounces…a day).   Once again it’s not a forever challenge.  It’s a challenge that runs from Monday through the next time I’m set to see Sherry which isThursday night for our weekly walk.  3.5 days. Who can’t chug a lug some water for a few days. However,   I’m struggling with this one. I’ve gotten a late start on the water drinking both Monday and today (Tuesday).  Not entirely my fault.  Jury duty……both mornings……no food or drink in the courtroom.   So it was  kind of out of my control.   And boy, knowing I couldn’t take sips when I wanted made me sooooo thirsty.  I drooled every time a lawyer or the judge would take a drink!  I’m back at work and I’m soaking I the water (no, I’m not trying to take in my water through osmosis or any other crazy method…I’m just drinking it steadily). No problem.  I’ll still either do it or come close. (I was very close yesterday….I may have made it…not sure how much water was in those glasses at the restaurant!)
“I’m just not losing weight even though I’ve been trying like mad!”   How many times have I heard that statement?  Worse yet, how many times have I made that statement to myself?  Probably more times than I can count!
This morning we were watching a tivo’d episode of Sister Wives.  (don’t be a hater….the show isn’t that bad….yeah, it’s a practice that I don’t believe in, but the people on that show are NOT fanatical and everyone seems happy, well adjusted and there of their own free will…through love)   Janelle (wife two or maybe three) has been very open in the recent seasons with her weight loss.  She’s been moaning a lot in recent episode about how she’s just not dropping pounds on the scale.  She just doesn’t understand why because she’s at the gym daily and she’s doing everything and the scales just aren’t dropping. She’s even said that she’s counting calories and staying within her set range.  Uhhhhh I don’t mean to downplay your efforts but something is seriously wrong….for weeks I’ve made snarky comments while watching the show.   I’ve made comments like “yeah, why you aren’t losing is because you are eating junk food” and “if you eat tons of food and the wrong kind of food it doesn’t make a difference how much you work out.”  I’m not being mean, it’s just an observation.  Her personal trainer has had her throw her scales away to try to take the importance off the number but all to no avail. So this past episode he FINALLY had her sit down with a nutritionist.   And FINALLY Janelle made a comment “I’m nervous but excited to be changing the way I cook and eat” BINGO….obviously you were not watching your food as carefully as you thought you were doing.

Now I’m not saying that people can’t plateau. But I’m really of a mind that when our weight stalls, that we should look really deep at ourselves.  Because every time my weight has stalled I’ve been able to look at my food intake and my exercise output and I’ve been able to see where the problem is/was.  For example, earlier this year my weight was not dropping.  I was eating the right amount of calories.  I was exercising like a mad woman.  By all rights I SHOULD have been dropping pounds.  But I wasn’t.  And then one day I was walking and I realized that I was eating baked oatmeal every morning.  Now I have nothing against baked oatmeal.  It’s actually quite delicious.  The problem?   I wasn’t thinking about that food in terms of carbohydrates.  I know that I’m a bit of a carb addict.  I love carbs but I also know that when I eat too many carbohydrates that my body does not lose. It doesn’t matter how few calories I eat…if I have too much bread and pasta, it’s NOT GONNA HAPPEN!  So that week I was starting to think about not losing.  I had one or two people mention the dreaded plateau word…but I wasn’t anywhere near a plateau….I was eating the WRONG FOOD!   That is not a plateau.
So before I (and you) say “I’m doing everything and I’m just not losing”   Look deeply. I would wager a wild bet that there is something that is off kilter.  I need to stop whining and just FIX the issues.    Which is what I’m doing. I’ve been stalled for 2-3 months.  I’m reevaluating and recommitting to things that I know work…..drinking my water, exercising regularly, tracking my food and keeping my food at a certain caloric level.  I’ve GOT this!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

excising the badness

I had a conversation with my brother today. We were talking about people that say they are trying to lose weight and things that we see and have witnessed.  Is it any wonder that our society has a problem with obesity???  Is it any wonder that the city/town nearest to the small burg that I live in is listed as one of the top 5 cities in terms of obesity?

So what are we seeing?

1.  People that exercise for a half hour or so that feel entitled to eat like a starving pig.   I've completed a few 5k races and I have seen people double fisting bagels and food after the run.  Seriously?  It was 30-45 minutes of exercise.  Your body is NOT depleted that badly.  If you are fueling your body with the proper foods you do NOT need to snack after a half hour or hour of exercise.

2.  People that eat salads and other healthy foods simply because it's "healthy".  I did this for years.  I would pack carrots in my lunch box to eat at work.  This in itself is not a bad thing, until you realize that I HATE raw carrots.  Cooked carrots I love...raw taste like dirt to me!   But I was eating them because they were 'healthy' for me.  Seriously?    I'm ashamed to say that it wasn't the only food that I ate simply because it was 'healthy'.  I was eating yogurt.  Yogurt to me is only a step above snot!   (just my opinion, if you love yogurt and carrots, I don't mean to step on toes...I"m sure there are things in my food repertoire that will make you gag!).   Yes, I was fueling my body with healthy nutritious foods...but I'm a food addict and I was NOT satisfying that aspect.  I"m not saying that I need to feed my addiction, but I need to at least satisfy it...and carrots and yogurt are NOT gonna do that.  There are other foods that have the same benefits....and that WILL make me satisfied.

3.  Salads.  Yes, salads can be incredibly healthy and they can be low in calories.   BUT.....who eats a bowl of lettuce.  Oh no, the average person adds croutons, nuts, berries, scads of salad dressing and who knows what else.  Each of those things add on calories...and I know or a fact that a lot of salads tend to be more calories than having the slice of pizza that we are all dying for!   So why not have the pizza and feel satisfied. (OK, making sure to get enough fruits and veggies in your daily food intake).

A picture from my morning run!
4.  People feel that Fat free and 'health' foods gives them the license to eat double the amount.  I buy them.  I admit it. However, being fat free or low fat or low sugar foods are NOT a license to eat extra.  If a serving is one cookie....then eat one cookie...don't eat two because two low calorie cookies are the same as one regular.  Do yourself a favor....EAT ONE!

5.  Over valuing our exercise is another way that we cheat ourselves and derail our efforts.  So in the sake of fairness.  I told everyone on facebook this morning that I ran 3.5 miles.  I have to was really 3.41 miles!  But that is exactly the point.  How often to we over emphasize how hard we work.  How much we sweated and how far we went.   It's only short changing ourselves!

There are so many more.  It's time to get rid of these bad habits from my life.....and to look deeper to find more and get rid of them too!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Only two days

So I’ve struggled in the last two months. Plain and simple, July and August were NOT good months for me in terms of weight loss.  The GOOD thing, is that I managed to maintain within a 5 pound range.  That’s actually an AWESOME thing now that I really stop to think about it…in previous months  I would have gained 10 pounds in that time frame especially with everything that has been going on in my life. However, my weight is sitting at about 212-215.  That is NOT where I want it to be. That is STILL in the obese category. I have to make it to a few pounds under 200 to be considered simply ‘overweight’.   I have a long way to go. 212-215 is NOT the end of the road.
I am struggling.    I am at a cross roads. I’m trying to get accustomed to the restrictions that my sore foot impose, the weather restrictions that are forthcoming and of course my schedule and responsibilities that impose their difficulties into my exercise routine. But more importantly, I have to get my eating under control.  I’m not being ‘bad’  but I’m not being as strict as I need to be in order to really lose this weight!

So as I was walking with my friend Sherry last night I suggested a challenge for us. We will be walking again on Sunday morning.  That means we had two full days before seeing each other again. Friday and Saturday, in case you are wondering. Ha ha!    The challenge???  The challenge is absolute strictness in our caloric intake for those two days.  I aim for between 1200 and 1300 calories a day… that is what my challenge is, staying within that range for the days.  Seriously…it’s just two days.  Who can’t do something for two measly days???? 
Small increments.  I’m not looking at the big picture (although I could be back at my all time low weight of 180 by Christmas… I’m looking at small increments of time.  Saying that I’m going to be ‘good’ for the next four months is a huge undertaking.  But I CAN say without a doubt that I can do this for the next two days.  Come Sunday, I’ll be back with another mini challenge/goal.

I lost pretty much the first week of the month with the patio I'm aiming for 150 miles this month!  :-)   5.22 in thus far!!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Exhausted but Happy

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  Not at all.  I will admit to not really watching closely everything I have eaten in the last 5 days  I do have a reason though!   The reason?   On Saturday we started a HUGE project.  We built a patio.  So I spent hours upon hours out in the hot sun carting dirt (leveling the ground) then hauling a truckload of gravel from the pile to the patio, then hauling a ton of sand and a ton of paving stones.  Yes, I worked HARD.

Before the patio was built and a few of the paving stones.
The Frame built and we are starting to haul dirt to fill in and do preliminary leveling.
Completed patio (well, we have to finish cleaning off the finishing sand in this picture)

That project, while huge was NOT the only thing that was completed though.  We built a new bookshelf to put under the bay window in the library and some shelving for the closet.  I then spent hours reorganizing the library.  

Finished bookshelf under the bay window.

We also fixed a bad spot on the driveway and built a raised flower bed (more to come at a later date).   Hard, long, exhausting days.....

I knew early on that my weight was going to be all over the place.  At the beginning I was drinking water like mad, but also drinking diet soda like mad.  One day (oh yes, did I mention that it was hotter than Hades on Saturday through Monday?) I was downing Gatorade like it was going out of style.  My caloric intake was high.  I was eating about 2000-2500 calories.  However, according to the calorie counter I was earning tons for all the work.... So I'm hoping that the weight settles down and drops. Yes, the last time I glanced at my weight it was up.  I vowed to not worry about really looking at my weight until my next official weigh in...which is Monday.  I am back to work today, so I will refocus on eating the correct amount of calories AND drinking the correct amount of water (yeah, the last two days of vacation water consumption was not where it was....I was mostly drinking diet soda).

So I'm OK with whatever happens with my weight.  I know that I'm READY to knock this weight off!  I walked a bit this morning, plan to walk tonight....and I plan on getting back to running and riding ASAP!