Monday, August 20, 2018

This and That

Why oh why do the weekends go so fast?????   Or maybe I should be saying, why can’t I be independently wealthy so that every day is like a weekend???   Another weekend is in the books and it’s back to work for me. So this post is a bit of this and a bit of that...riding, weigh in results, cleaning and organizing and whatever else comes to mind.

Bike Bedroom

We have designated the den/second bedroom as the bike bedroom.  It’s also kinda the junk room.   Don’t know where to put something?  Drop it into the den!  It gets junked up quickly!   The dining room is also a quick easy place to dump stuff (shoes, helmets and  whatever else!). This weekend I decided to organize and try to find a home for some of those items that end up just sitting around.  So I worked on the den.   Really I just rearranged one or two things and put some stuff away.  I also added a rack for hanging packs and a small shelf.

Behind the door on the right is two more bikes.  You can see the black shelf on the right by the bikes...that’s what I added.  The bike helmets sit on top of that shelf.   (They were in the car so they didn’t make the picture). The next shelf down holds my hiking boots, my road bike shoes and the chin guard attachment for Jason’s helmet. The middle shelf holds two holds knee pads and elbow pads and the other holds random bike parts that we use more frequently than the parts that are in the bin in our storage closet.  The bottom shelf holds  both pairs of Jason’s hiking boots.  It works perfectly and really adds a sense of organization and order to the room!!!  The other big change?  Was the rack for the bags.

We have a nice place to hang our hydration packs...and to let the bladders dry! (And a close up shot of the shelf!). I want to get a rack to stack our bikes.  My brother has a wooden leans against the wall and  has space to two bikes .  (Not the wooden one...but the affiliate link gives the idea of what I’m looking at.)  The road bike would be hung high and out of the way. And in that way we would be able to eliminate some of the floor space that the bikes use.  (Although we will probably keep the old trek on the trainer!)

We did get out and ride.   We rode at Little Bennett Park again...but in a different trail.  LOTS of climbing.  Lots of tree roots.  Some rocks to navigate. A lot more technical than I am used to!  I did have to get off to walk around one or two things (mainly because I let my fear get to me) and I did have to walk up some inclines.   I was experiencing some weird cramping in my stomach throughout the afternoon (even before we that made the ride a bit uncomfortable.)  But, I felt refreshed at the end...and sore!

Hydration packs
The  hydration packs worked wonderfully!!!!!  We definitely loaded them up and strapped them on!   They say nicely on our backs.  The water didn’t slosh around messing up our balance.  And it was SOOO nice to be out and know that I had 3 liters of water with allowed me to drink when I wanted and not have to conserve!

Weight: did I break the pattern?

So, the pattern I wrote about the other day.  Where my weight is low on Saturday...and on Sunday pops up, and takes until about Thursday to start to drop again?  It was its lowest on Saturday. (By 2/10’s of a pound).  On Sunday it was still low.   I was cautiously optimistic!  And this morning?  I have popped up three pounds!   

In fairness, I did eat more yesterday.  I ate 1600 calories....which is NOT three pounds of overeating!!!  Oh and I also did mountain biking for 1.5-2 hours...which the apps (MapMyFitness And myfitnesspal) say earned me 2000 calories.   So the extra food should not be an issue!!!!!

I am so bummed!  Grrr!   But I’m still within that three pound ‘it’s ok fluctuation range’  so I’m ok...just confused as to why!!!  I’m thinking it has to do with the riding.   Because typically we ride on Saturday’s and my weight pops on Sunday.   This week we didnt ride on Saturday...and my weight didn’t pop on Sunday.   But when I rode on Sunday my weight popped on Monday.  So that’s my current theory!!! 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Smash the pattern

The scales have been displaying a particular pattern with my weigh ins during the last few weeks.  I’m not particularly happy with this pattern....and I’m determined to bust through the pattern.

 What is this pattern?  I weigh myself on Saturday and it’s my ‘lowest yet’ weight....which is awesome!  But then on Sunday or Monday my weight pops right up there about 3 pounds. It sits at the higher weight until Thursday when it starts to drop....and by Saturday it’s back to the low weight...and each week usually just a hair lower than the previous week.  So I’m happy because I AM dropping each week.   I have said I’m happy with small, slow steady losses...but seriously, 2/10 of a pound or 4/10 of a pound a week?  That’s slow!!!!  (Let me add that I’m handling the ‘pop up’ on the scale so much easier with that ‘three pound fluctuation allowance’ that I give myself.  I haven’t freaked out or gotten depressed, discouraged or upset!!! So that mentality really works!!!)

So what is causing this?  It could be a couple different things.   Each weekend I have really pushed myself with exercise.  So my muscles are aching and sore.  Muscles, while they are sore and repairing themselves do retain water.  Could that be it?   OR....Typically if I’m going to mess up and not drink enough water it happens on the weekend. So half the time I head into the work week trying to recover from a day or two of partial dehydration.  That could be it.    Maybe my eating???  Last week I did splurge on Sunday...I was over on my calories...I was ravenous!  I think that’s because of the extra calories I expended...but did that affect the scales???  I do sometimes through the week splurge on a dessert...but it is accounted for in my calorie tracker (and doesn’t always happen on the weekends...sometimes it’s a weekday!!).   So I’m not sure what’s up!   It is probably a combination of it all!

So how am I going to smash that pattern?   The weekend is upcoming.   No snacks!  No desserts!!  Lots of water!!!  I will be strictly watching my food and water intake through the work week and into  next week!!!  I can’t much help the exercise and muscles...because if the weather holds, I’m not giving up my bike rides and hikes!!

The water intake should be a real joy and easy to accomplish this weekend while we hike and or bike!   Jason had a birthday last weekend.   As one of his gifts he was given a card that said ‘pick out the hydration pack you want....’ (We have been talking about getting hydration packs for a LONG time, while we were hiking a LOT !!)   On Monday night he made his final choice and I ordered it from Amazon.  While he ordered his, I made the final decision and ordered one for myself!!  Mine arrived on Wednesday!   I ordered the Raven 14 from Osprey. (Amazon Affiliate Linkl)

His came on Thursday.  He chose the Raptor 14 also  from Osprey. (Amazon Affiliate link.)

We pretty much bought the same pack...Women’s version and men’s version.   We both wanted a bit of storage for some light gear and/or an extra layer of clothes. (For when I strip the outer layer during the winter!).  We haven’t used them yet...but I’m excited to get out there!!!

We are thinking that in his tool pouch we will probably have tools (surprise) but we read a review where someone used the tool pouch (built in tool roll in its own compartment on the bottom of each pack) as a first aid kid.  So his pack will have the tools and the plan is to make my tool roll/pouch a first aid kit.   Seems wise since we are together most of the time.

More to come...and maybe a full review on our purchases at a future date! But meanwhile....let me smash this pattern of weight!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Empowerment : Tips to find the strength to lose weight

How do we keep our heads in the game of weight loss?  Some people call motivation, some call it inspiration, desire, focus, affirmation, reminders or any number of things.  . I’m not sure I like any of those words. So we’re going to just say how do we keep our heads in the game during this long journey called weight loss.

It is really easy (easier) to keep your head in the game when you’re seeing losses on the scale. We are a very results oriented generation.  But what happens when the results are just not showing up quickly or at all? How do we stay focused on this journey during those tough moments.

There are so many things that can empower us to find the strength to push forward toward our goals. I personally have used a multitude of different ways over the years. By no means are my ways and tricks the only way. My methods may not work for someone else in fact,  they may not work for me now but they did at one time, and they may work again in the future. That said, this list is it in no way comprehensive.

  1. Goal clothing.  I have personally used this methid in the past. I found a dress that had a vintage flair to it… I love 50s style dresses. I bought it, even though it did not fit. I hung that dress on my bedroom door so that every day I would see the dress and remember what I was working toward. I have heard lots of other people doing this, and it can be quite beneficial.
  2. Accountability partners. Sometimes, knowing that someone else is waiting for your report is enough to keep our head in the game. It is easier to slip up and fall off the bandwagon when you know that no one is going to know about it or care about. And over the years I have use this quite a bit with various people. (Thank you Sherry, Julie, Donna and some others.). 
  3. Sometimes just knowing that people are watching is enough to empower us enough to keep us on track! Tell people that you are on a mission to lose weight.  Knowing that people are watching me makes me ignore the snack table at work!
  4. Weight loss meetings. I know there are different meetings out there. I have a friend that goes to a meeting at her church. They have motivational talks, a weigh in  and sometimes they exercise together. Her program is neat because if they gain they put money into a piggy bank… The money goes to missions project so it is a good cause. I personally went to Weight Watchers for quite a while. The meetings were instrumental in my first successful weight loss and the lessons I learned helped shape me and teach me so that I’m prepared for my current weight loss journey.  But the best part of Weight Watchers for me was the meetings.   There are a few different aspects of a weight-loss meeting that can come into play. The first is the fact that it offers accountability. Knowing that I was going  going each week kept me on track. A weight-loss meeting can also give us new ideas, encouragement andthe spark   needed to keep fighting for a healthier life.
  5. Success stories. When I am working, focused and losing weight and happen to stumble upon a success story, I have always gobbled up the words.  It was an excellent reminder to me that weight loss is possible!  And yes, I said to myself each time, “if they can do can I!” 
  6. Pictures. Sometimes we can’t see our progress. Sometimes we can’t see ourselves what we really are. There have been a couple times in my life where I have had to see a picture of myself before I knew that I had to get myself on track! In Lori’s success story she talked about a picture that showed her the unhappy overweight girl. A picture that sparked her and got her  head into the game. On the opposite end of the spectrum though sometimes we can’t see our success either and when we see a picture it finally sinks in and empowers us. At the peak of my weight loss (the first go-round), I looked in the mirror and I still saw the fat Maryfran. And I had people close to me tell me that I was unrecognizable… My own dad saw me sitting on his porch while he and my mom drove up and he asked my mom who that was on his porch. But I still didn’t get it. There was one picture that cemented it for me and really helped me stay focused. My then husband one day was flipping through pictures on his computer and I happened to look over and see a picture of a woman posing for him. Immediately I got angry. Who in the world what is this Skinnywoman? (A natural reaction for someone that is in a failing marriage.). He started laughing immediately. The picture was me. 
  7. Reward. Over the years I also set up reports for myself. I look forward to getting those rewards. Sometimes it was small things… A charm for my weight-loss bracelet, a new pair of shoes or something that. I wanted. For a bigger milestone losses I chose bigger. I bought a new camera for one of my large milestone weigh ins. And knowing that you will get something you want as a reward can be motivating.
  8. Complements.  These are amazing when you get them and  go so far toward helping us feel empowered to push forward. I’ve had a few experiences that stick out in my mind...compliments that really meant a lot. You really don’t have much control over this one. But there is nothing like a complement on your success that motivates one to stay the course better. And it takes a while for people to notice your effort… But the compliments will help you keep up the effort. Just one word of caution, people are afraid to compliment so don’t be upset if you don’t hear the compliments!  I had people that were afraid to comment and complement me. One year for July 4 I saw friends of my parents for the first time in a year or so and they didn’t stay on the word even though I had lost about 100 pounds at that point.  The next day my mom called me and gave me the compliment over the phone. Their friends had called them to make sure that I wasn’t sick because I had lost so much weight when they found out that it was just hard work and pier effort they were profuse in there complement to my mother. There are also some people that won’t make comments simply because weight is such a taboo subject in our society. But you will get compliments, saver and treasure them.

As I said earlier, this list is in no way comprehensive.  There are so many ways and tricks to stay focused during this weight loss journey.   It is all dependent upon ones personality.  

Monday, August 13, 2018

Mind over Matter

Ahhh another weekend!  Delightful!  It is actually still ongoing as we both have a vacation day today (Monday!). But what a weekend it has been this far!  Of course the normal weekend housecleaning was done and the grocery shopping and errands...they were finished first thing so that we could enjoy the weekend to the fullest!   I rediscovered the phrase ‘mind over matter’.  We hit up some fun events, we visited one of our favorite places to go as a couple, and we have spent time together.   Oh and let’s not forget the celebration of a birthday!!!

Mind over Matter

Years back when I was running a lot, I got in the habit of literally having to ask myself ‘are you dying’, Simply because I wanted to give up when things got hard.  I wanted to give up so badly that my head told me I was dying!.  It was a constant in my head as I pushed myself harder and further each time I went out.   Now,  I can’t take credit for the question.   Anyone that watched ‘The Biggest Loser’ tv show years back hear Jillian Michaels scream at the contestants ‘are you puking or dying?  No...then keep going’   And my brother has told me on many times that it’s a mental battle...our minds are honestly convinced that we are dying!  But his advice is that  that in reality we are not dying.   Our bodies are amazing things...if things do get too precarious, then our bodies will shut down and we will pass out...which is the bodies way of re-regulating us, cooling us down, calming our breathing and heart rate...etc.  I don’t know how true that is, since I’m not a doctor.  But it makes sense.

A few months ago we went biking on a trail at the Little Bennet Park.  It was difficult on my old bike but I worked it...and walked quite a bit of the uphills.  I mentioned it to my brother.  In a brotherly way, he reminded me that I wasn’t going to die...that I should have kept riding and not walked!   Yesterday, on my new bike we went back to that same trail.   I’m not used to my bike, so at times I was quite terrified as I don’t really know how my bike will handle in certain situations.  And I almost went down...I somehow saved myself from falling into a pit of mud that I was trying to avoid. (And my bike gave me my first set of bruises as I wrestled with the bike to keep from falling in the aforementioned mud pit.).  But I wanted to ride  the WHOLE climb up the fire road (which I previously walked). And I was determined to ride the whole trail without putting my feet down.   That meant NO breaks and NO walking up the inclines!!!   I managed the fire road.  The trail...wowzer!  I was pushing it!  Hard.  I was breathing like a freight train!  I just wanted it to end...the last bit was bad.  (At one point I even muttered a prayer ‘Dear God when will it end!’  All I could think about was coming to the trail head, getting my bike an inch off the trail and laying down in the grass!  I was pushing it HARD!  So hard that from behind me Jason said ‘it’s not worth killing yourself’.  But by that point I knew I was close to the end and I KNEW I was going to complete it unless my body MADE me stop!  I counted my breathing to try to regulate the gasps for air!   I pushed!  And when I rolled my tires off the dirt trail into the grass at the trailhead I wanted to cry from the exhaustion exhilaration.  I sat on the grass for a bit...sipping water and then I was ready to load up the bikes and head home and on to our next activity.

Bike Race

Next up in the weekend fun was a bike race! No...not one in which I was participating!!!  I was a spectator!!!
It is touted as the only race of its kind in America!   I went to it a few years back with my parents and brother’s family.  Now that We live in Frederick where the event it held and the fact that Jason has  never been to the race, it was decided that we should attend.   It is a high wheel race.   Definitely neat to see.   Some riders come decked out in period style clothes.  

Some riders are on new bikes...some riders are on old vintage bikes (the oldest bike in the race was from the late 1880’s early 1890’s)
The winner just ripped it up!  In this race the riders have 30 minutes to make as many laps as possible.  The winner actually passed and lapped the second runner up!   He was strong the whole way through!!!  He was actually from Sweden, and if I understood the race announcer right, the winner is the owner of the only place that is still.  making high wheel the world. So here is a picture of the winner.

We were not at the finish line...that was around the corner on a different block...but our spot was perfect...shaded...front line and they had speakers set up so we could hear the announcers....but we didn’t need to brave the wall to wall people that was crowding the finish line area.  It was fun...and added walking to our list of we parked way out and walked down to the town center!  And Frederick had done a nice job with their downtown area!

A Visit South
The birthday boy (ok and myself also) decided to head south into Virginia to stay in Front Royal for a night.  We have always just really liked this area.  We have spent a lot of time in this’s the closest access to the Shenandoah National Park and the pretty Skyline Drive and miles upon miles of hiking!  Here is a picture from a January hike.

A second bike ride
We took our bikes to Virginia with us.   I had grand plans...I found a mountain bike trail last year.   (Sherando Park) We actually hiked it.   I didn’t remember it as being too we headed in that direction.    Oh was a bit over my head in technical skills!  Walking it made it seem easy...but it was a bit more than I could handle on a bike!!!   I was creeping and had to walk my bike around some steep downhill switchbacks and up some technical rocky inclines.  Ohh...and my legs were shot from the day before at the Little Bemnet Park ride.  And as if that wasn’t enough. The skies that were blue turned dark and lightening started to pop in the sky.  So it was a short ride.  Luckily we cut it short as it was a downpour of rain within 15 minutes or so after we got off the bikes.

We relaxed the rest of Saturday evening in Front Royal...visiting our favorite stores and eating at our favorite choice for dinner.  

Food and weight
My weight was looking good at each weigh in.  But I am nervous about the scales...I was ravenous on Sunday!  To the point of headaches from hunger.  I ate way over my normal calorie range.  I try to keep it at 1200-1300....I ate 2100 calories.  I did burn some biking that’s good!

Monday plans
We are still in Front Royal.  We will make our way home today. We plan on trying to ride today...if the weather cooperates.  It may be on the canal...the deluge of rain from yesterday (and the overnight rain that I believe we got) will have probably made the mountain bike trails too wet.  Overall though, I think it will be a relaxing day.

I will not forget the mind over matter lesson!  I experienced great joy and satisfaction from pushing myself and conquering what I set out to do!  My body is responding to my efforts.  My legs grow stronger and my endurance builds. I will be back to the mountain bike park that we visited near Front Royal. I will conquer it.  It may not be next week...or even next month.  I have some skills to learn and some comfort to gain on my bike...and a bit more endurance to build.  But mark my words, I’ll be back...with a vengeance!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Overweight and Healthy

Healthy? Me? No way!! I weigh 240-some pounds (dropping though)! Take one look at me, I am not the vision of health. However, when a coworker had to come up with one word to describe me, his word was healthy.

The paranoid side of me immediately jumped to the negative. I’m healthy and robust… A healthy eater… Healthy sized… But in all honesty, I am pretty sure this coworker didn’t mean it that way. (This is obviously not the nasty coworker.) His comment really made me think about and evaluate  where I am in this journey.   Guess what, I am pretty healthy. My weight may not show it at the moment, but I’m pretty healthy.

So what makes me healthy? What made this coworker classify me as healthy?  Even at an o see weight?  I came up with a few thoughts.

  1. My water consumption.   I always drink a fair amount at work. I drink multiple bottles of water. Most people sit with a soda on their desk. Of course some do sit with a bottle water at their desk but the water level never changes. OK, so that could be a reason why he called me healthy. 

  1. My food.  I don’t order out with everyone… I stick to fruits and vegetables. I don’t go down to the cafeteria every morning and get a muffin, waffle or other breakfast foods. If I need something… It’s usually a fruit or vegetable. OK… That’s a very healthy habit that would get me classified as a healthy person. 

  1. I am not the only one that  walks on their breaks and lunches. I am however probably one of the only few that do it consistently.  I walk every  day possible.  I am also pretty sure that I am the only one on our team that keeps tennis shoes and socks in my drawer to make my lunchtime walk more pleasurable. Yeah, that’s pretty healthy.

  1. When asked what I do on any given weekend… I mention bike riding or hiking if that’s what I did. Most of my teammates mention shopping, movies, watching TV… OK I do those things also, but I usually get at least something active into my weekend.

  1. Throwing into the mix is the fact that I don’t call out sick all the time….I never have at this job. I don’t sneeze and cough and hack while at work… I don’t limp around or talk about my aches and pains. So at first glance it does appear that my body  is in pretty decent shape also.

I am not discounting the fact that my weight is very unhealthy. But in the grand scheme of things…there are five healthy things versus one unhealthy trait, and not even a trait...more a a characteristic. I guess we can see which side the scales are tipped on.  Definitely the healthy side wins out. Isn’t that crazy to think about?

I’ve called myself a fit fat person in the past. Even while overweight, I ran a lot of races. I even rode some bike events while overweight. I did Zumba classes…High intensity...multiple classes.  I was overweight but I was pretty active. It’s the truth… You can be fit but still be fat. The fit though should eventually eradicate the fat.

So even though I am overweight… I guess I can call myself healthy. That is a totally new way of thinking for this 200+ pound girl.

And my quick update.  I have ridden my bike EVERY DAY this week!  My muscles (and butt) are getting used to the new bike and bike seat and I can feel a difference in my legs and how I feel...just from 5 days straight of riding.

My weight...

Last week: 242.4

This morning:  241.6

Loss this week: 0.8

Total loss: 78.4lbs

Loss since restart in June:  13 lbs

My weight was up for most of the week.  I wasn’t happy...but I just kept following my plan.  And it’s back down.   The ‘range’ plan is working well for me.  As long as I am within spitting distance from my low weight (3 pounds is what I’m aiming for) I am ok!  

I am concerned about this weekend...we have a three day weekend..a bit of traveling...and a birthday celebration. So my eating may be out of whack!!!   I should be active though!!!   

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Eating our emotions

Some interesting days!   I had some revelations  about the stress eating cake to light during the last few days  as I continue to process the issues at work and how I handled them on Thursday night when I chose to not indulge in excess food.   And of course i have now lived with my new bike for a few days...

Eating our Emotions

An update on how things are going at work?  So the stressful situation at work is obviously still there. It will be there until either I switch jobs or this other employee  leaves the team/company.  Friday and Monday were much better....she didn’t show up for work.  Furthermore more of my coworkers talked to me and told me how they are behind me 100% and confirmed my suspicions that this other person is just highly jealous.  That makes it better..somewhat. But in the morning my stomach still clenches tight waiting for whatever fresh hostility would be coming my way, because I’m sure it will read it’s ugly head again....sooner or later .  I am relieved when she is MIA (which she is quite often!).  

Ok ok ok, enough about the update...what about my revelations?   On Thursday night I wanted to eat but I chose to not eat my emotions.   (And yes I was proud of myself.).  On Friday morning I wanted to dive headfirst into some kind of amazing food as I worried about the day to come.  But I didn’t!   I didn’t because I realized a few key factors.   

* I recognized that my desire to eat all sorts of food was a coping mechanism.   A very unhealthy coping mechanism. This coping mechanism is to eat my will bring me comfort. Af least that is what my mind tells me.  I recognized the desire to eat for exactly what it was....not as true hunger  but as an effort to eat my emotions.  

* I recognized that eating my emotions would only delay this process of losing weight.  If I was LUCKY it would cause me to have a maintain on the scales. But an indulgence would most likely lead to a gain in the scales.   I sooooo did not want that!!  

* Once I recognized the previous two things, it was an easy conclusion to realize that caving to the desire to eat my emotions would only lead me to be more stressed...because I would then have the stress of the scales not moving on top of the work drama stress.  

* In conclusion, the biggest  shock of them all?  I got as much comfort....ok more....from the arms of Jason wrapped around me holding me tight as he listened to everything.   So seriously...find a good man (life partner) and problem solved!   Sorry ladies...Jason’s taken!   Now just to remember this lesson next food, hugs from Jason food, hugs from Jason food, hugs from Jason instead!  (How many times do I have to repeat this until I remember it!!)


I have been on target with my eating.   I had one minor bobble on Sunday night.   I made muffins for work. 

I ate some.  It was totally accounted for and I remained within my caloric goal!!!!

The beautiful bike

We rode on Sunday...a nice long ride!   On Monday we started a new habit!   We got home and immediately took the bikes out on the local little path!!

Granted we weren’t out there long.   But that was my fault.   The trail was flooded and I didn’t want to get my bike dirty!!!

On Tuesday we repeated it!  But this time the water had receeded and I deemed it ok to take my little beastly baby onward!   

It’s amazing how good I feel from that extra exercise in the evening!!!


My weight was at a low this weekend...and it has popped way up.  I’m disgusted.  But I’m ok with it.   Well not ok with it...but not distraught about it!!!  I think the biggest thing for me is the mystery of why!   Why has it popped up?   I know the first day was because I had inadvertently gotten dehydrated.   But that was taken care of.  The next day was the muffin day...was it the carbs?   But that was a few days ago.  I have ridden and excercised more so my muscles are getting a workout ...could that be it???   I just know that my weight is standing still at this higher weight.  I’m not giving up...the scales will catch up to my efforts!!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2018

It’s a girl!

A while back Jason  and I decided that we wanted to expand our ‘family’.   Come on now...when we found our apartment we made sure we had a spare bedroom/den. We knew we would need the extra space.   We have been working toward this goal for a while and it is time to announce it!!!   We have welcomed a new girl to the family!!!  Wanna see her??

Isn’t she a beast???  Welcome to our family Ms. Trek!

 Yes, we seriously started bike shopping a few weeks ago .  I almost hit the trigger last weekend on this same bike (different color)...but that bike shop didn’t have it in stock and said that there wasn’t any available yet in my size and it wouldn’t be available until mid September.  I actually started the paperwork to order it...and when he quoted the price it was 400 bucks more in price .  When I questioned him he said ‘oh you were looking at the 2018 model and the one you are ordering is the 2019 model.   I put the purchase on hold and he emailed me the quote.   I later found out when I looked at the email that he took it upon himself to ‘upgrade me’ to a higher (Yes...better but out of my price range) model.  He lost that sale!  So we kept looking.  More bike shops this weekend.  On Saturday...and on Sunday we headed in a different direction to hit up more shops!   And I hit pay dirt.   We found a bike shop that carried a LOT of brands of bikes...Scott, Trek, Santa Cruz, Cannondale and Felt.  So I had options and was able to really compare in person!  The Trek gave me the best bang for my buck.  And what do you know....they had one in my size.  They had a black matte one in my size...and I really liked that color.....but it was the 2018 model and while it was about $100 cheaper it was missing a component that I really wanted!  So I went with the light green (seafoam green???) color.  

Yes it hurt to spend the money!!!   I don’t like spending money!!!

We put my bike on top of the car and headed home to pick up Jason’s bike and hightailed it to the canal.   While the bike was purchased for mountain bike trails, I wanted to spend some time on the bike on an easy path before I hit up something more difficult. It is a dream to ride. I do have to get used to the fact that I sit on the bike and feel ‘higher’.  I’m not in any way stretching to reach the’a just the different geometry of the bike (and bigger tires) that make me feel this way.  And well...I sit differently on this bike so my muscles are a bit achy after riding.

It was muddy...and my new baby girl got quite dirty!!!

I did stop and enjoy the wasn’t all ogling my new bike!!

We ended up quite dirty on this ride....But don’t worry...we hit up a car wash on the way home!!!

So the extra room....aka the bike bedroom has a new new baby girl!!!  It’s getting crowded in there with four bikes!!!

I chose a hard tail.  I originally had a few ‘must haves’.      I wanted full suspension...but the price jump for a really nice  hard tail to an entry level full suspension bike was just too much for me right now.   I also wanted a dropped post (a button that I can press to make my seat drop or raise).  Jason wanted a few things for my bike also.  I’m happy to say that my bike has all the must have’s..mine and Jason’s...except for the full suspension.  Even without the full suspension, I’m quite happy.  

Let the fun begin...and welcome home little green girl!  Little...Hahahah this bike is a beast she’s not ‘little!’

Don’t they look nice together???

And yes...we have noticed that the labeling on his Santa Cruz matches the color of my bike!!!!

Friday, August 03, 2018

Take that: Stress comes to haunt my weight loss efforts

A month or so ago I wrote about some stress at work.  It was bad!   The stress simmered down and I was doing ok and things were peaceful at work.  In the meantime, I have gotten my eating under control.  So what happened when that stressful thing at work reared it’s ugly head again?  

There is a person at work that..well...she has taken an intense dislike for me.  I know exactly why. She had  made it clear whenever I moved ahead of her in terms of training (we started at the same time and since I learn quickly, I moved through the slow process of training at a faster rate than her).  I know this because she would message me telling me how angry she was with ME whenever I got moved to the next step of training.  Not very subtle eh?   Well she had gotten more subtle.   She jumps on every and anything I do.   I wrote about a month ago about the stress resulting in me not participating in a purchased lunch. It got really ugly.   Really ugly!  There were some very rude and cruel comments made by her...and my other teammates jumped on the bandwagon at that time.   But I overcame them..and by holding my head high, the people that laughed at and with her comments came around and had their eyes opened a bit.  Well it all simmered down until yesterday.   And now it’s back!!  Yesterday was extremely hostile! (Always when the manager/supervisor was not present...of course.   And mostly just one main person...)

I started my day yesterday (before the drama)  with a headache and it just intensified with the stress and open hostility.  I actually grabbed a more substantial lunch (versus my primarily fruit and veggie lunch that was packed), I downed some Advil, I drank caffeine and I tried to keep the headache at a mid level roar.   But by the evening I was a basket case.  I wanted to eat!!   I wanted to eat all sorts of things!!!  Bring on the snacks...the desserts...the candy...I wanted it all!!!

I didn’t indulge  though!!!  I held it together and made wise food choices.  

I worked my altered lunch into my calorie tracker.   I stuck with my planned dinner which was by some miracle already lower in calories.  I ignored the after work snack.  I DID indulge in a bit of ice cream after dinner.  (Small portion!!).  But I held it together!!!

And my weight showed a loss this morning.   I was 242.6.   That is down even further!   So my official loss from my high weight in  mid to late June is 12 pounds!   That makes my ‘acceptable weight range’ 242.6 to 242.6, to account for my daily fluctuations!  That range keeps going lower and lower!   I like it!!!!  I especially like my weight this morning...because that loss is in the face of stress and upset!!!  Take that!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Scales are stupid: and other stupid things

This is the politically incorrect post.  I will be calling myself all sorts of  things I’m sure!   And I will be sharing a bit of a victory...even on the stupid scales!   But really, stupidity  is what is the theme!  Scales are stupid!  Pictures and cameras and people are stupid!!!  They are all my nemesis!!!   I have had experiences with all in the last few days and all I can say is...they are stupid!!

Scales are Stupid

I weigh myself every day.  I do it because I want to know the fluctuations.  I have always had this fear that if I only weigh once a week that I’ll be having a high weight day on my official weigh in day...the one day of the week maybe, and I won’t get my true weight.  I want to know if the ‘high weight’ is a one day fluke or a true weight.  I also find myself panicking more if I don’t know how I’m doing.    

Seriously, weighing every day shows how stupid the scales are!  There really is is no rhyme or reason sometimes to what they say!   I have been spot on the last few days...limiting my carbs...good level of calories...etc and the scales go up?  Senseless!

In order to not get so totally bummed out with the fluctuations, I have started to look at my weigh in terms of ‘range’.    I look at my low weigh fans as long as I am within three pounds of that I consider it a maintain!   Monday and Tuesday , even though I was up a bit from my low, I was still well within that range.  So I was maintaining even though the scales were jumping all over the place!    And I am seeing the lower numbers a few times a week.  And the low numbers are slowly dropping lower and lower.  As in, Wednesday I saw 243.4....a new low (which means my three pound range changed...a maintain is anything from 243.4 to 246.4).   So I know I’m on the right path.  But seriously...scales are stupid!!!

Pictures are stupid

I wrote a few days ago that I joined an 8 week challenge   As part of this challenge I had to take pictures of myself.  Front view, side view and back view.  I did this last night...and uploaded them.  When I saw the pictures I was so disgusted!  How did I let myself get here?  What realm of fantasy have I been living in to think that I didn’t look ‘too fat’?    It was bad.  So bad that I don’t even want to post them here!

My self loathing began as soon as I saw them.   Seriously bad self loathing...wondering why Jason loves me.  Wondering why I even bother.  Wondering what in the world have I been thinking...I am so dumb!   

It has to change!!!!!   I have actually changed my diet recently I am working on it… I just need to not hate myself for letting me get to this point again.

People are stupid

So this weekend we went bike shopping for me. We went into one little bike shop and he asked what kind of bike I wanted to buy.  I told him a mountain bike for trails.   He walked me to the cruisers and told me all about the C&O canal ‘trail’.  When I corrected him and told him that I had a bike for the canal, but needed a mountain bike for real trails he just started to laugh.  Literally laughed in my face.  And repeated my request  incredulously!!!  Really?  Is it that odd for an overweight person to buy a mountain bike?  And absolutely rude are you.  And it was the owner of the shop!!!!   He didn’t carry any bikes that would work for me...he was primarily a repair shop....but even if he did...I wouldn’t be back.  I don’t need more of his shock and awe over my fat body riding a bike!    He he was stupid!!!

OK, I think all of my stupid things are out of me and I have vented enough. I actually am very proud of myself for the way I have been eating the last week or two.  And I’m tickled that my weight dropped again today!!    My body feels pretty good for the most part with what I’m eating. My downfall is still that snacktime right after I get home from work.But I am also working on that. On Monday  I ate two big marshmallows… So I didn’t exactly eradicate the snack but I’m going to say to giant marshmallows are much healthier than a bowl of chips! So a step in the right direction.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Intermittent Fasting: I accidentally fell into this diet method

Who knew that I was actually doing a popular thing???   I have just been trying to set myself up for a healthy sustainable life.   I’ve been just trying to find an eating plan that brings balance to my life and is natural for me.   I was just trying to listen to my body and eat when I want to and not because the clock said it was time to eat.   Who knew that what I was doing was the ‘new diet fad’ called intermittent fasting.

Let me start back at the beginning of my recent turn around.   I’m not talking about my very first post on here.  I’m talking about a few months ago when  I was starting to get serious about losing weight and regaining a healthy life!   I began to reflect upon my journey through weight loss and a subsequent regain.    I decided that in order to succeed for LIFE I had to find a balance.  Not total restriction, but not a free for all.  I decided that I would have to find a plan where I was enjoying what I eat and furthermore when I wanted to eat.  I in essence had to find a plan that worked for me!

A few months ago when I decided to get serious in terms of weight loss and more importantly healthiness, I looked at what I had done before.  I wanted to pattern myself after that model because I had great success!  And I want to repeat that success!   But I also had great failure with the subsequent regain.   And I don’t want to repeat that!  The regain made me decided that I had to do something different.  I had to really work to find a balance between life’s food challenges (normal living) and healthy living.   

I liked some of my beliefs from before.  I would not be starting to eat yogurt just because it was ‘healthy’ for me.  (Yes at one point I was eating yogurt every day for lunch...even though I’m not a fan of yogurt...ok, I kinda hate yogurt!). Food is fuel, but it also needs to be palatable and something I at least like to eat!    The next thing was that I wasn’t going to eat just because the clock said it was time to eat.  When Jason and I first started dating I realized that I was with a man that ate according to when he was hungry.  NOT because it was simply lunchtime.  It started to open my eyes.  And while he has always been more than happy to stop for me to grab a bite even if he isn’t hungry, I started to realize that I was just eating because it was ‘time’ to eat.  That practice was going to end.  First up on the chopping block?  Breakfast!  And I don’t miss it at all!!!  My stomach doesn’t growl and I rarely even feel true hunger pains...even as lunchtime approaches (this past week was a rare exception!)

I have been hesitant to announce my breakfast free lifestyle in a post because it was pounded into my head that ‘we must eat breakfast’.  But other than a rare occasion (usually on a weekend....and in all honesty usually because I’m bored!) I haven’t had breakfast in maybe 4-5 months.   But I’m coming clean today because recently I read about someone else following this model of eating. (Escape from  And I have also heard the buzzwords intermittent fasting a few times.   

I finally found the time to look up intermittent fasting and what do you know?  That’s what I’m doing!   I’m apparently doing the 16:8 method. Fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour window.  They say there is incredible benefits.  Weight loss for one (as long as one doesn’t just shovel food into their mouths during the 8 hours...they say you don’t even track your food during those 8 hours...however I still track).  They say that without a constant food source your body will start burning fat.  Sounds good to me!   There are other benefits.  They said energy, lower insulin levels and all sorts of other things.  So I guess I’m an intermittent faster.

Weekend shenanigans

We of course did our normal weekend errands...groceries (We hot up two stores each week...Aldi’s and then usually giant or Walmart).  I had to pick up cat food from the pet store.  And we hit up a farmers market. 

 Once fully stocked we were ready for the fun!  :-)  We headed out for a bike ride.   We have amazing conversations, deep and intense while we are biking...or hiking!  So it was a good ride.  Well....except that my one gear kept slipping (the one I wanted/needed to be in!)  Furthermore, something is rubbing on my bike.  I thought it was the brakes, so I disengaged the breaks and rode breakless for a while...but that didn't take away the problem.  Ironically enough, bike shopping for  me was a conversation that we had already had during the bike ride, so I wasn't too upset about the bike issues...although I do want them fixed!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Evolution: Beginning, middle and end

Another one bites the dust...weeks thatbis.  I just have today at work and then I’m free as a bird...for two days.  A somewhat typical week, I guess.  I’ll let you be the judge!   I did however make some discoveries about the evolution of this blog.

I have been writing posts on here for twelve and half years.   This blog has undergone some changes, ideas and beliefs.  I have recently been going back and reading old posts and it has been interesting.  There have been a few things that I totally forgot.   I apparently forgot the original name for my blog!  I also forgot a 'mantra' that I had for a while also!  Both of them were pretty good too!

Back on February 11, 2007 I wrote a post.   In reality the post was rather insipid.  But it contained  a neat nugget of forgotten information.  The first line of the post was  "Ok...this is's post title  is a new start..and that is the name of my blog."    As I read this the other week, I had to do a double take!  Really?   This post wasn't always called belief in myself?  When did this change occur?  How did this happen?  I have no memories of this early name.  Nor do I have any memories of what sparked the name change.  I am however still in the process of reading through and labeling old posts, maybe I will find another nugget of information giving me clues to when and why the change.

Even cloaked in my faulty memory mystery, I can look back and see where this was the perfect name for my blog when I started.  I was embarking upon the journey of a lifetime.  It has led me to experiences I never thought I would have.  It really was a new start for me.
In those early days of losing weight and success, I had a motto, think thin.   I actually called it my motto in blog posts.  I finished every comment on fellow weight loss blogs with the two simple words. I was in a few weight loss challenges and even led a few).  Every email and correspondence ended with the words, Think Thin.  I literally used it as my sign off.  Instead of "sincerely, MaryFran"   or  "love, MaryFran"  I would finish everything with "Think Thin, MaryFran."

Think thin worked for me.  It guided my decisions.   I was always thinking thin, meaning that my decisions were ruled by the thought of beng thin.  It also reminded me to try to pattern my thinking after 'thin people' in terms of eating and food.  And yes, there is a difference in how most thin people look at food versus how a morbidly obese person looks at food.  (Generally Speaking at least.)  The perfect example of this was the cheesecake lunches of my size 0 boss.  I also talked about this different thought process in 2008 when I found an article that talked about the difference between thin and not thin people.

Belief In Myself
Somewhere along the way this site and blog segued into belief in myself.  It was a good change.  It encompasses every aspect of life.  We have to believe in ourselves if we want to have success in weight loss.  We have to believe in ourselves if we want to follow our dreams.  We have to believe in ourselves if we want to achieve true happiness.  
I don't foresee the name of my little piece of the internet world changing anytime soon. I like Belief in Yourself.  It covers it all! 

Week Recap
It was a somewhat typical week.  Work, eat sleep. With the commute that does seem like my work week.  (Even with a much shorter commute, since our move it was cut from 2 hours down to one, my days are still 11 hours long.  Yes I leave the house at 7AM and don’t get home until right around 6.).  So let me give you the week in bullet points.

**I had some experiences with hunger this week.  What typically has worked for my food options, this week just didn’t cut it!  I was hungry to the point of being sick a few times at work. What makes this ironic is the fact that I had already written the main part of the hunger post a while back to use at a future time.  (Yes, when I have a nugget of information that I want to include in this blog I will write it out.  Sometimes it immediately makes its way to a post..if it’s appropos for what’s going on.  And sometimes it just sits in the hopper awaiting the right time.)

**I've been having some pain in my right foot.  This isn’t too extraordinary though.  I deal with a fair amount of pain in my feet...they are a mess and have always been!

** I am in the process of self publishing a collection of stories/tales of my online dating experience.  The collection of stories are totally true. The collection started as emails to friends because they wanted to know how my first date after divorce went  (or second...third). They encouraged me to keep writing the I did.  Now it’s time to just put it out there instead of having the writing sit untouched forever.  So I spent a lot of lunch and 15 minute breaks this week on my final edit and final read through.

**What?  No walking on my breaks?  Yeah...that didn’t happen this week. NOT because of the final read through.....but because we had rain...lots of rain!!!  I think they said 10 inches in like 5 days or something crazy like that!

** The magical cookies are gone.  And literally two days after they were gone, my weight popped back up on the scales.  I didn’t panic or anything. I was still within the three pound acceptable fluctuation range all week. (But I was nervous about the official Friday weigh in!). But seriously...maybe they are magic!!!

**I have joined a transformation challenge.  I am as of yet, totally undecided how I want to approach this challenge.  I have waffled back and forth!  Do I want to dive in full force and go for the win (ha I don’t hold out hope of that...but at least really try)...meaning work my goal end off for 8 week.  Total restriction of calories and high amounts of exercise (well as much as I can fit in).  Then at the end of 8 weeks move back into my ‘live life’ approach of finding a balance.   Or do I want to stay the course that I’m on...which is slow and steady.  Ok...very slow!

**Weight..the official numbers  for this week?  Low of 244.6 and high 247.2.     Today I was 247.0.  

So as as I write I realize that the title of this post  Evolution:  Beginning, middle and end is not really correct.  It does cover the beginning.  It also covers the middle.   However, it doesn't cover the end.  This is an ongoing story.  There is no end.  Each week I will be moving forward in some way.    I will be striving for success until the day I die.  I will believe in myself until the day I die.   My hopes and dreams have no end!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

False hunger

Are you really hungry?  Or is it a false hunger?   How can you tell if you are really hungry?   There have been many times in my life when I have been convinced that I am literally starving with hunger.  (I am too ashamed to admit how many....oh wait, I can't quickly count that high!)  In reality, what I usually think is hunger is really not hunger.  There are different things in life that masquerade as hunger.  All of them are manageable, as long as you recognize them for what they are.....NOT HUNGER.

On Monday evening I ate something that didn’t agree with me (or maybe too much of something...although I didn’t overeat).  I was sick for a while in the middle of the night.  Nothing a few trips to the bathroom didn’t take care of.  Way too much information, I know.  But the point is, I probably emptied my system a bit more than normal.   I’m usually not at all hungry at breakfast and thus many times don’t eat at that time...I’m not forcing myself to eat just because the clock says it’s time to eat.  So I didn’t eat breakfast on Tuesday morning.  Around 10 or so my head started to pound.  I drank water and took more Advil.  Nothing worked!   I immediately thought about caffeine, but then I decided to get a sandwich for lunch instead of eating my low cal/light lunch.   I couldn’t wait until 1PM when my lunch break would roll around!  It finally arrived...I got a turkey sandwich and ate it with my packed cherries.  I skipped the chips and did not cave to get a soda.  And guess what?  The headache went away.   I was hungry!!!!

I had experienced true hunger!  However, usually what I think is hunger is actually something else entirely. Here is a short list of possible culprits when we THINK we are hungry.

I've heard it said that close to 50% of people mistake thirst for hunger.  It's actually a common thing and easy to understand how it could happen, the same part of the brain controls hunger and thirst.  This is an easy one to fix.  Literally....drink up!  If you feel hunger, the first thing to ask yourself is "When was the last time you had something to drink?"   I bet you find that it has been a while!

Yup, we eat out of boredom.  When we have nothing to do, we look for something to fill that void. One  of the most recurring things we do in our life that takes up our idle time is to fix, prepare and eat food.  So it's only natural that we turn to food when we are bored.  So if you are feeling hungry, find something to do.  Pick up a book to read or go take a walk!  If you are experiencing true hunger those hunger pangs will not disappear but only intensify.  But I bet you find that you don't think about food at all while you are otherwise occupied

This one is a hard one because we don't have a lot of control over the stress that enters our life.  I can  look at the history of my weight loss and see a direct correlation between weight gains and those really rough spots in my ex-marriage.  Stress hunger.   More recently I experienced the death of my father.  Stress hunger came into play.  I gained about 10 pounds in that first week and a total of 20 pounds in the first month.  That's a LOT of donuts (and other bad stuff) eaten through stress hunger.  I obviously haven't mastered this one yet.  However, I vow to indulge in healthy snacks the next time stress hunger hits!

I leave work every day and drive the two or three blocks to the interstate.  As soon as my car is safely merged into the traffic I have an incredible need.   I have a need for some gum.  Now let me say this, I don't normally chew gum.  But EVERY DAY on this stretch of highway I NEED my gum. It's a habit that I somehow picked up.  Even on weekends when I'm with Jason, if we happen to be on that stretch of highway, my mouth begins to water and I just NEED that piece of gum!

Food is the same way.  Eating a small snack as soon as I get home is a habit.  I tell myself i'm hungry, but it's a habit.  You see, if I get sidetracked and miss my wee little snack, I find that I don't miss it in the slightest and I feel no signs of hunger from the missed snack.

Even though I ate a much larger lunch on Tuesday,  my body still told me that I was ‘hungry’ and needed that snack after work that day.   I didn’t give in, because I knew it was a false hunger!  I worked on my dollhouse during that critical time!

Eliminating habits is something I've talked about before.  It's simply a practice of recognizing it as a bad habit and having the willpower to resist and change.

True Signs of hunger
There are some signs of true hunger.  Some of these include
*gurgling, rumbling or growling in stomach
*dizziness, faintness or light-headedness
*lack of concentration

  I still remember the day that I felt true hunger, probably for the first time in a LONG time (maybe ever).  I was convinced I was getting sick because my stomach was hurting.   How sad is that?  I was  (am) so overfed that when I do feel real hunger I don't even know what it is!  Hunger, it happens.  It's ok to eat when it happens.  But we need to be careful to make sure that we are really hungry and that we are not false hunger.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Listen to Your Body

Our bodies are pretty smart and they can do amazing things.   I have long said that if we listen to our bodies, truly listen; that they will tell us exactly what we are needing.  If we heed the call and supply our body what it needs than we will be so much healthier.  Sometimes it calls for a day of rest....which we did a lot of relaxing over the weekend.  We just need to listen to our bodies when they speak!

What am I talking about?  I'm talking about those cravings, those niggling thoughts that something would be "Soooooo good."  I have always believed that our bodies tell us what they need.  Have you ever craved a salad, or green beans, or even potato chips?  I'm not talking about a simple 'want'...I'm talking about the mouth watering craving that no matter what you  do won't go away.  I think a true craving is our bodies way of telling us that something is missing in our diet.  If your craving a salad, I think your body is telling you that you need some nutrient in that salad. Potato chips?  Maybe your body is telling you that you need the salt!   Out bodies require so many different things to function properly and when it doesn't get what we need, it will definitely tell us.  At least that is my personal opinion.

A few weeks ago Jason and I were in the grocery store and we saw cherries.  Jason commented on how he had been really thinking about cherries and how they sounded so delicious.  We bought some. They didn't go to waste.  I ate them.  Jason got sidetracked and didn't have any.   By the end of the week his foot was bothering him. The dreaded gout had reared its ugly head.   If you read about gout online, you will see that one of the home remedies for gout is cherries.  They say straight up cherries work.  Tart cherries work better....and even juice works.  So we bought some juice concentrate (amazon affiliate link) to have around the house....and we have a fresh supply of cherries.

So was his craving a coincidence?

I don't know if it's a coincidence or not.  But seriously.....if he would have heeded the call of cherries, he would have most likely avoided a flare up.

On to the weekend.  It rained.  Isn't that said?  It poured on Saturday.  YUCK!    We did buy a small grill and we did fire it up under cover on our deck.  (shhhhh....we were careful!) 

We are happy with the grill we purchased. (amazon affiliation link).  We used it and ate buffalo hot dogs and corn on the cob for dinner 

On Sunday it was threatening rain.  We relaxed a bit and did try to get outside a bit so we didn't feel like total slugs!  We

The magical cookies are still working their charm. My weight is still nice and low and slowly dropping.  I have two theories.  I'm not sure if either are correct...but hey, this is my post and I'll share my theories.  Theory number one is that the I was stuck in that 'sweet spot' that my body seems to revert to quite easily if in the area.  I was doing everything right to show a loss (small losses...nothing drastic) but nothing was happening.  Eventually my body caught up with my efforts and the weight dropped.  The second theory harkens back to a book I read a few years back. It was written by Jillian Michael and if I remember correctly, she talked about eating the lower calories every day of the week...except one.  She wrote that your body gets into a rut if you eat the same everyday.   Your body adjusts and in theory just begins utilizing those calories efficiently and you lose less.  She recommended that high day to keep your body guessing.  (and my apologies if I got that totally incorrect.)  Either way I'm happy.    The magical cookies are almost gone and then no cookies for a while....back to the grind of eating healthy and getting this weight GONE!