Saturday, June 30, 2018

David’s Success Story

David and I connected quite a few years ago through this blog and we had some deep email discussions about weight loss and what it meant for each of us.  We have emailed sporadically through the years and just the other week when we were communicating, I was more than excited to hear that he had reached his goal!! David’s story is not about his weight or the numbers on the scale as you will see in his responses. His story is driven by health concerns and the restrictions of those health concerns.

Due to professional reasons, he is choosing to not share his picture, but his story is amazingly inspiring!

What sparked you to begin to lose weight??
I always wanted to be a pilot when I was young. But it wasn’t until my parents offered to pay for my flight training one summer while I was in college that I was able to act upon that dream. I jumped at their offer and went through the training and acquired my pilots license.  However, flying is a bit expensive and with finishing college, then finding a job, paying  for a place to live, a car, and all of life’s expenses; flying took a back seat.  I always thought that I would get back to it sooner or later, but time kept slipping by me.  As I got older and more settled in life I started to occasionally think about flying again.  However by that time I had a medical complication, high blood pressure.  I figured that would prevent me from easily regaining my pilots license. I was placed on medication,which managed the issue but I figured it would prevent me from clearing the medical requirements to regain my pilots license so I never pursued it. Eventually I became prediabetic and started taking more medications to control that.  Of course shortly thereafter the itch to fly really took hold of me. I really missed flying and now that I was a little older and could afford it, I was ready to get back into the cockpit.  So I did some research.  I found that all of my medications were on the FAA approved list.  The only complication was the diabetes.  My blood sugar was being controlled with medication (granted it was a little high, but it was steady). I could get the medical clearance without changing anything, but it would be more difficult and would require special certification.  In order to walk into the examination and walk out with a valid medical clearance (with no special clearance needed) my blood sugar needed to be lower.   That was my goal and my motivation, to get under that magic number so that could happen!

 What was your highest weight?   Current weight?
At my highest point I think I was at 268lb.  Now I am probably around 240.  I go to the Doctor every six months and as long as I weigh the same or less, I know  I am on the right path.  

Furthermore, I have reached the magic numbers to easily obtain my medical clearance. I am currently working on finishing up my training to obtain a valid and current pilots license.

What plan did you follow to lose your weight?
I sort of did my own thing.  I eliminated all sugar, or anything that was naturally sweet (including fruit).  I stopped eating things like rice, potatoes, pasta, and drastically limited my bread intake.  I wasn’t super strict about it.  I would occasionally have those things, and even dessert every now and then.  However, kept them to a minimum.  And I also started  trying to have a NSNG (no sugar, no grain) diet, albeit slightly modified.  I would recommend anyone listen to Vinnie Tortorich (   I think he has some podcasts of his own, but I would listen to him when he came on Adam Carolla's podcast.

Have you reached your weight loss goal?  If so, how long have you been maintaining your weight?
No, I would say I have some more weight to lose, but I dont have a magic number in mind.  If I stay where I am, so be it.  There is more to health that meeting one particular weight goal.

Do you consistently track your food intake 
No, but I do tend to kind of mentally track it during the day.  So if I splurge a tiny bit at lunch I will eat a better dinner, etc.

Do your exercise regularly?  If so, what do you do?
No I do not.  It is something I hope to fix one day. I will do some things that get me moving around, but not exercise per se.  I have  always hated exercise for the sake of exercise.  Much more willing to go for a hike or bike ride, etc, because I want to do that, not just to work out.

Do you have any words of advice for someone that is just starting out on this journey of weight loss and health?  
You have to commit to it mentally.  I tried multiple times with multiple different diets, and they all worked to some degree, but were far too restrictive to stay with long term and eventually the weight comes right back.   I would recommend just picking something, just one thing, that you like but know is bad for you.  Just cut it out.  Keep everything else the same, and go without that one thing. It could be that can of Coke, or that ice cream, whatever it is.  I am not saying it won’t be difficult.  All habits are hard to break.  But that is what it is, a habit, not a need.  And if you just cut out one thing, the impact is minimal, and after a while you wont even want it any more. After you have broken that habit, it’s time to cut out the next thing.  Do this  until you find what works for you.  Don't go on a diet, change your lifestyle.  Make permanent changes.  In my case, since I have cut out sugar; whenever I do have a sip of something like orange juice or a coke it is way to sweet for me.  I don't want it anymore.  There are still things (like chocolate) that I crave occasionally, and I do let myself have a piece every now and then (or a few m&ms, etc), but just enough to enjoy the taste, and thats it.  And if you do have a bad day, where you just eat like crap, don't worry about it, just reset the next day.  If most of your days are healthy, the occasional bad one will  hardly have an impact. 

 As far as your weight...I would say don't check it every day.  Maybe check it once a week at a consistent time (like just when you wake up but haven't showered).  And don't worry if it was higher than the last are just looking for a trend over a long period of time.  If you like, plot them on a graph and you can easily see the downward trend.  Its hard to see when you are obsessed with the numbers day to day.  

Is there anything else you would like to share?
As far as weight loss goes I believe that weight loss is 90% diet, and 10% exercise.  Focus on the diet!

Thank you David for sharing your story with us!  Your healthy changes have helped you reach your goals and accomplish your dreams.  Keep up the healthy lifestyle you have set up for yourself and you will definitely have continued succcess.  I’m sure flying is so much sweeter because of the effort you had to exert to get there!   Enjoy your airtime and fly safe my friend!

If you want to read more success stories, check out Lori’s story about how she has been losing weight through Weight Watchers or Crystal who has adopted a slow and steady approach to changing her lifestyle and weight.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Drowning: lost in the numbers

It’s Friday! That means it’s time for a weigh in check in. It’s time for the weekly wrap up.  And of course it’s time to share any great deep thoughts or discoveries that I had made this week. This week I had some success with the sweet treats at night. I also had a few pretty big discoveries in regards to my weigh ins and sharing my journey. 

First I will say that I did manage to walk most days this week on my breaks and lunches at work. I missed one or two due to rain, but I’m still walking away!  I need to get my ‘formal exercise’ game on though!   I swore I would run three times...I only made it two times.  But that’s better than none!!!

For a long time I have talked about how I like to weigh in every day. I know that this doesn’t work for some people. But for me it does tend to work. It keeps me on task and on target. Like I’ve said many many times this is an individual journey and we have to do what works best for us. So I weigh myself every day. Early on though, I realized that I needed to have one specific day for an official way in. On Wednesdays I report my weight to my friend Julie.  She weighs in at her weight watchers meeting that day, so  it’s an accountability thing for both of us. For the longest time I used Wednesdays as my way day…my official weigh in day. A few weeks ago I decided to change my day for the official weight results to be Friday. And I was happy with that decision and everything went fine. This week however on Wednesday I weighed myself and looked at the numbers and I realized that I was drowning in all of the numbers. I didn’t see any kind of success because my weight does fluctuate a bit and I don’t quickly know what previous weight I should be stacking my current weight agains.  So, I went to my weight tracker where I enter my weight. I enter it most days, or at least a couple times a week trying always to hit Wednesday and Friday for sure. I just looked at my Wednesday weigh ins. I ignored all of the other days. I was shocked! Here I was drowning in the numbers thinking I wasn’t doing anything and making no progress. Two weeks ago on Wednesday I was 254.6 pounds. Last week I reported my weight to Julie but didn’t really look at it as any kind of success… Because I was fluctuating from the weekend lack of water whatever. So two weeks ago I was 254.6 pounds.  Wednesday of this week  I was 247.2 pounds. That is a 7.4 pound loss in two weeks. Why in the world had I not been jumping for joy last Wednesday when I lost 4 pounds? I reported my weight to Julie… But where was the celebration for those first four pounds? That’s when I realized that I was drowning in the numbers. I was doing really good with weighing every day, but I wasn’t actually paying attention to the weeks losses. I missed out on the celebration.

So my official weigh-in was today.  The 254.6 was my highest weight in the last couple months and it coincided with when everything just clicked for me and I was ready to do this. (I have been gearing up for the last month, but was still resistant to a couple different aspects of this journey, maybe seeing 254.6 was my wake up call.) So today, my official weigh-in was 246.8     That is a loss of 7.8 pounds, just since  my eyes were opened two weeks back. If I want to be technical when I take from my highest weight of roughly 330 pounds, that means I have lost 83.2 pounds.

Let’s celebrate! (So do I get to re-celebrate 100 pounds gone when I get to 230 pounds?)

I was very resistant to giving up my sweet treats at night. I want to live life! I don’t want to live a life deprivation and restriction. I knew that there had to be a happy medium I just had to find it. I’m not saying that I have found the magic solution, but the last week or two I haven’t been as drawn to the sweet treats. Last week we had rice crispy treats that I had made. I’m not going to say that I didn’t have any. I had one or two small pieces. On the weekend I made a cake and I did have a piece every night. This past week I made cookies. I ate one. One cookie. (It helped that it was one of my least favorite cookies!) I have indulged the sweet tooth almost every night this week though. Every night, I have eaten a banana… With leftover chocolate icing on top. I think I just heard the gasp from people reading this post. Yes, I actually ate sugar and sugar is bad people will say.  But remember, I’m not aiming for the perfect diet with no sugar, or no fat, or no carb,  or high-protein or whatever whatever the perfect diet may be. I am aiming for balance. I am aiming for choices that I can live with.  I am aiming for choices that I can be happy with for long-term. Balance for me this week was eating something healthy like a banana instead of the cake. A banana and icing was a much healthier choice that cake with icing. Balance while living life. That sounds like a victory to me!

Last Friday I talked about the drama surrounding my work luncheon that I was choosing to not participating. Once a few people figured out that the drama that was created by some people, was in actuality the exact opposite of what my intentions were some people changed and tried to get me to participate. I was question pretty heavily on Friday about why I wasn’t participating. OK, They were grilling me about why I was not participating. They were friendly about it, But they would not accept my simple answer of I just am choosing to not participate. So, I admitted to my team…or at least to the four people that were present, that I’m not happy with my weight and I am really working on it and that I did not want all of the excess calories that a catered luncheon would carry.  They question me a little bit more about my newfound efforts and where I’ve been and where I’m going. They were trying to pass out sweet treats on Tuesday and when one of the girls came to my desk to give me something.  I said no thanks… She laughed and said oh that’s right I forgot, I’m sorry! So number one, it is good because some of the people will stop pushing food on me. But even more importantly, I have people watching now. My first response last weekend when I thought about how I admitted where I’m at and what I’m doing what is that, “holy moly… they know now and if I don’t lose the weight the whole world will know that I failed.”  I couldn’t take back the words of course but in a way, having that fear and not wanting to fail has made me redouble my efforts and keep me focused. Sometimes it’s so hard to admit to people that we want to lose weight and that we want to change. So we keep it a secret because it safe. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but maybe, just maybe sharing the journey will help keep us on track. (And let’s be honest, I don’t know one person that is overweight, obese really, that wants to be that way. So sharing the desire shouldn’t be scary. Anyone that looks at me can see the overweight girl and can already see that I failed… ) 

A few weeks back when I was revamping a couple things on this site, I took off the weight-loss progress page.  Honestly, I hadn’t updated it in a long time. And furthermore it’s embarrassing. In recent years there’s a lot of attempts and a lot of failures and that’s embarrasseing. However, with the epiphanies I had this week… Drowning in the numbers of my daily weigh ins, and see how the open honesty and accountability helped me, I decided to put it back on the site. I had a momentary thought of going back through my Weight tracking apps and trying to re-create the last 2 years since I last updated that page. Instead, I decided to put a few highlight weigh ins.  For most of the time, I stayed relatively close in my weight… Fluctuating maybe 5 pounds. So, I basically just notated that, and I did put in one or two events or weights that I specifically recall or saw my weight change drastically. One of those was in November when my dad died I gained 20 pounds in two weeks… If I want to be honest I gained it in one week. And since that time, I have been fluctuating within 5 pounds of that higher weight. (Until this week… I actually have started to move lower… Hip hip hooray.) So I have kind of updated the last two years, but I’m not going to go into depth on the actual nitty-gritty week to week weigh in results. While I do weigh in every day, the page will only be updated once...maybe twice a week (most likely for the official weigh in and the unofficial official Wednesday weigh in.). I am working to go back through my files and find pictures of myself to place within the page showing myself at the various weights.  I may also work on some graph...but that’s all yet still to come.

I’m feeling very strong and powerful in my emotions about this journey. I’m feeling very strong about my effort from the past two or three weeks and Strong in regards to my future weight-loss efforts. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

One Ton weight: 2000 posts

Welcome to my one ton weight loss post!   I know I have used the phrase ‘I weigh a ton’ many times, but I weigh nowhere close to a ton!  Today’s one ton post is in reference to the fact that this post will be the 2000’th post I have written.   Did I just say 2000?  Why yes I did!   It kind of blows my mind to realize how long and how much I’ve been writing!

From my early days of using this as my personal journal.  My first post  as on January 2, 2006.   
first post and I had no clue that this simple journal was going to be such an integral aspect of my weight loss. I included a picture of me after I had lost the first 50 pounds and where I was at that time in my weight loss.

In 2006 I joined weight watchers   It was a good choice for me because it taught me how to manage and balance my eating.  Nothing was off limits, I just had to adjust and work it into my food plan.

In 2007 I kept plodding along.  Exercise and weight watchers were my staple of life.  I had my ups and downs.  I had 230 I was pretty active on my blog.  I lost my favorite water mug in an unfortunate accident that year!  

2008 was my busiest year on this blog with 334 posts for the year. It was also the most successful year!  I made lifetime goal at weight watchers! And even included some before and after  pictures. 
That was also the beginning of the regain   I had lost my weight through total deprivation so when I had a bit of ‘the good stuff’ I went nuts!!!  

The next couple years can be defined as brutally honest, open and raw. My weight fluctuated. I would get totally focused and lose weight for a couple weeks which was then followed by a fall off the bandwagon and a regain of those pounds lost. It was during these years that my marriage really begin to disintegrate. I am in control of my weight and I should not have let that stress and those issues affect me. But I did, even though I was still keeping all of that angst out of my posts, or at least trying to, it was still very much present in my life.   During this time I was a typical yo-yo dieter. I’m not proud of those years. But they are what they are, and more importantly they have helped shape the person that I am today. A lot of my weight loss beliefs and methods come from lessons learned during those failures and victories. During some of those years I was quite prolific but some of those years I barely wrote anything at all.

Even in the midst of my yo-yo existence, I did have some  highlights. 

In 2009 I met a fellow blogger in person  and she and I rode some bike events together.   We rode Girls with Gears.  We also rode Pedal To Preserve.   I don’t believe that Girls with gears is an active bike ride any more, but pedal to preserve is and I would highly recommend it to anybody. It’s an awesome calls and very well organized. And just for the record, don’t be afraid to meet people, that gal I rode with? She and I still communicate a couple times a week! She and her husband are awesom and I would spend a lot more time with them if we lived closer.

In 2010 I rode pedal to preserve again. And continued to be active.

Somewhere around that time frame of 2009 or 2010 I actually begin to go to Zumba  At  that point my posts became utterly peppered with references to Zumba. I loved the class. I loved the instructor. I enjoyed the results of the work out. Looking back I can also see where it gave me confidence and an outlet for the stress of my marriage.

Running hijacked my blog in about 2013.  I started and actually completed the couch to 5k program and kept running!  

I ran through 2014...even running on vacations!   I ran in Jamestown NY...the birthplace of Lucille Ball.  I also went running while I was in Florida    On vacation and I was still dedicated!!

By the middle of 2014 I knew my marriage was over.  (I actually knew in 2013 but had to stay due to certain curcumstances).  I got out of the marriage and ran my heart out for the rest of that year and through 2015.   But I struggled with weight...trying to come to terms with the changes in my life I guess!  I even planned to run a half marathon in 2015...aborted due to health issues.   

I met Jason at the end of 2015 thing ever!!   We have hiked a lot!  And walked a lot!  We have remained pretty active though 2016.  

In 2017 we continued hiking but also added bike riding into the mix!    Mid way through the year our work situations changed and it sent me into another tailspin of trying to figure everything out.

2018 is halfway through...I am happier than ever in my relationship and I have finally gotten my head in the right place for weight loss!   I’ve got this!   2000 posts...and still going strong!!

Monday, June 25, 2018

The ride that goes down in infamy

Why do weekends go by so fast? We had a nice weekend, it was a combination of busy and relaxing if that makes any sense. I did not do too bad in terms of weight loss and eating. I actually did pretty good in terms of exercise and I am continuing to move forward.

I tracked my food all weekend long.  It was not a perfect week in terms eating. But I’m OK with with what  I did do this weekend. My weight was showing way down on one morning this weekend but I do believe I’m retaining some water due to some higher sodium foods and honestly today  due to just not drinking my water. I don’t think I’m going to keep my streak alive for the water intake today.  That’s  OK too.  I’m striving for perfection but I’m OK if I don’t reach perfection because this is life.

On Friday night we had our typical pizza dinner… My splurge for the week and I was actually OK with calories, right at the top end of my calorie goal for the day,  but perfectly fine. Saturday morning my weight was actually even down! So I was very happy

On Saturday we relaxed a little bit, ran some errends, drove up to Hagerstown to see my mom and run one or two errands up there. Any exercise and/or steps that I got that day we’re simply from grocery shopping and errand running. My calories were a little bit higher than I wanted them to be but I still felt pretty confident with where I was and what I was doing.

Sunday… In one way Sunday was a victory and in one way it was a failure. On Sunday morning I woke up and went for a run. It wasn’t  a long run. It wasn’t a fast run. But I was out there doing it. I came back and we hung around the house a little bit. And then got motivated to get out and ride our bikes. I was starting to feel hungry so I had two slices of pizza,  left over of course. And then we went out on her bikes and rode for a few hours. For dinner I was just hungry. Really hungry. No excuse really… we had cheeseburgers zucchini and bean salad… And I was still hungry I added baked beans and some deviled eggs. And then I had my small piece of cake.  Yes, I was way over my calories.  So calorie wise I’m going to say it was a failure. Exercise wise, I’m going to say it was a bit of the victory because I actually did it. (Looking at my net calorie/exercise chart...I was below goal!)

This bike ride?  Well that willlive in infamy. Why? Well, I’m going to say…very confidently, that this was probably one of the worst bike rides I have ever had. Top five at the very least. Let me highlight some of the wonderful aspects of this ride. Almost immediately, I rolled through some kind of pollen.  This pollen was a beast!!!  I was coughing and gagging. My eyes were running. My nose was dripping like a faucet. When I tried to speak, I started to gag. Water didn’t help. 2 miles!!!  That how long  it took for me to recover! Yes, I thought about turning around and giving  up. But, I was having some delusional thought of being a tough girl!  OK, maybe I just figured it would pass quickly. See, doesn’t this bike ride sound fun? The first 4 miles of this ride were pure mud!! Now, some days I don’t riding a mud big bike ride. With my less than stellar beginning though, yeah that was not one of those days. I slipped and slid in the mud.  I grumbled and moaned. I pushed my muscles through the mud.   (It takes more power to go through that mess). And I pushed through. After about mile 4 the mud dried up and the next few miles we’re not as muddy. But the whole time we were riding I kept reminding myself that this was indeed an out and back bike ride… Meaning that those  first four hellish blood muddy miles  we’re going to be repeated in reverse. Are we having fun yet? I guess it was right about the time that the mud eased up at the next event happened. I open my mouth to say something to Jason. In flew  a bug. I don’t even know what the calorie count on that sucker was. Tasty...not! Sadly, the extra protein didn’t make the ride any easier.   Anytime  we stopped to get a drink bugs would descend upon us. Swarms! Plague like!!!  Can I say yuck!!   Jason had a bug flying into his eye!! … He almost rode off the trail because it blinded him. He said his eye with stinging still an hour or so later. Maybe I should be glad that I just ate one instead of having it in my eyeball. The return trip after we turned around wasn’t that bad. It was still muddy, but as I was able to breathe and talk and not gag from some unknown pollen, so  it was not as miserable. Maybe next week we can repeat the fun? OK note the sarcasm… I want to ride next week but I don’t want to repeat that type of fun. But hey I got my writing! I got my exercise done!!!

Maybe I shouldn’t be too concerned about the higher calories on Saturday night due to a couple hours on the bike and a run.  

Monday…… A day off of work for me! Yes, I had a vacation day scheduled. I’ve been very productive. House cleaning, shopping, oil change for the car, laundry, bills paid, cookies made for Jason, A dentist appointment to have my teeth cleaned, so much.  I also did go out for a run. My Monday morning run was brutal. My shins  were cooking in pain. I did a lot of walking during the run.That’s OK. I still put the miles on my body. For lunch I had a salad and for dinner I’m planning chicken so I should be OK calorie wise also. My only downfall today, is my water consumption. I am very low for the day.

Her was my helper during my house cleaning and laundry chores!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Pill Popper: multivitamins and victories

Another week in the books and I am making some progress. I am making small changes that are setting me up for great success.  I am setting up myself for a lifetime of good habits and health, a sustainable future.  While I want this to go fast, I’m ok with where I’m at!   I added in a multivitamin into my daily routine this week, which has been interesting.  I am moving forward toward my goals and I am happy to say I did have some victories this past week!

I have had some history with taking multivitamins. I know that when I was losing the first time, I religiously took a multivitamin. I can’t remember what made me do it but I know I did it. Somewhere along the way I fell out of the habit. While I was working at the bank, one of my favorite customers was this elderly lady. She was spunky as all get out! In her mid 90s she was still driving herself to Florida to visit her daughter and to check on her residence that she owed down there… At least once or twice a year. She was so much fun to talk to. Every time she left the bank, she would leave us with two words of advice. Play the lottery and take your vitamins every day. Yes, she credited a lot of her health to her vitamins. Maybe I should back up and say that she was a nurse for many years… She was trained during the war. So I do have to give credence to her advice. We all know though, that I’m a little stubborn. So I did not run right out to get any multivitamins. Fast forward the clock to now. Jason and I are both very interested in living a much healthier life. We are trying to be more active. We are trying to eat healthier. We want to live to a ripe old age… Living life to our fullest the whole way to the end!  Thus began the talk of multivitamins between us.  We did a little research, we read a lot of labels. And finally we decided on A particular multivitamin. Oddly enough, we both chose the same brand. We are almost a week in to our new habit now.

So how do we feel?  Jason asked me the first day only an hour or so after taking my first dose and I put up my arms  like I was in a body builder competition and showing off my muscles,  but seriously?  It’s going well.  I’m not sure I feel different, but I’m ok with it and I know that I’m doing good for my body!  I’m taking care of my body!

Observations? I am a girl that takes very little medicine. Literally an Advil or two every once in a while.… As in I can go months without taking any. The brand that we chose comes in a box of 30 day supply. Inside the box are a little packets… 30 of them. Each packet contains a number of pills. Off the top of my head, the regular multivitamin pill (2 of them) , fish oil,  green tea, for me cranberry for him Maca and a few other things. So all of a sudden I went from taking no pills to seven pills a day. I have no problem swallowing pills… It’s just really odd for me to be downing pills like I’m an addict!

The next observation, my pee.   I started talking the pills around lunch on Sunday.  My pee was normal that day before hand ...a little darker in the morning but a nice clearer color indicating decent hydration.  That was the day we went to the zoo...and I was slamming water because it was so hot!    Before we left the zoo I ran into the bathroom....I came out and because we frequently talk about hydration I commented on the color of my pee (yeah we talk about the color and our hydration a lot!).  My pee was bright yellow...much  darker than normal!  It wasn’t until he went to the bathroom when we got home that we realized what was up?   The multivitamins!  I never had my pee turn different colors from it before (that I can remember).  But from research it happens when/if there are excess vitamins that your body doesn’t is eliminated and shows up as a bright almost neon color.  Who knew!  (Yes the color fades as I drink  more throughout the day!)

And now for those minor victories… Bullet point style to make a Friday nice and easy.

*On Wednesday my team at work won a lunch. They ordered pizza. I know that I could have eaten a piece of pizza and been fine. Would I have just had one piece???  Would I have stopped at one piece? What was the healthy option for me? I actually stuck with my packed lunch which was primarily fruit and vegetables. Surprisingly, I did not miss the pizza at all!!!  By passing up on the pizza, I was able to stay within my calorie range with eating my planned dinner.  

*We have rice crispy treats at the house that I made. I have managed to keep my pieces very small on the nights that I have indulged.  But I have also actually been able to manage to say no once or twice this week.

* I am starting to get my calories down to the lower end of the caloric range that I set for myself.   Yes, I did bump up to the higher end once or twice...but consistently I was much lower!

(Yes I know I was too low on Thursday...but I was feeling queasy and just didn’t feel like eating much....eating made me feel better maybe my stomach was hurting due to being hungry!)

*My team is having a potluck today (Friday) . Well actually they’re having food catered in. I am not participating.Honestly, this one was an easy decision. I think the price is outrageous!!  I participated the last time we ordered from this place  and the amount of food I ended up with on my plate was ridiculous!  A rabbit would walk away hungry. But, even beyond the price of the catered lunch is the fact that Friday night is when Jason and I usually go out. I want to be able to enjoy that with the love of my life versus eat an overpriced meal at my desk while I’m trying to work and take phone calls. It has caused some tension for me as my team (some people) did not handle it well and made comments about how I better not eat if I wasn’t paying and some really rude comments about how if I were participating I would eat all the food anyway.  As for eating without paying, would I do that?  Well of course not, I wouldn’t even dream of doing that!  But it stressed me out because I don’t like drama and that’s what it was.   But guess what I’m eating for lunch?  My normal fruit and veggie lunch!  So a victory! 

*I have walked on all my breaks!  It was hard because we had some rainy days where literally it rained before my walk...and started raining again at the end of my walk.  I also had to walk in the parking garage because of rain during some breaks.  Oh and it was stinkin’ hot on some of the days!  But I walked!

*My weight...I am down!! 2 pounds and the lowest I’ve been in a while (since March!!). And hmmm....that is when we moved...has it just taken me a few months to get into the groove and find my footing with my new housemate and living quarters?  Either way, I’m on the downward trend now!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bottoms up: guide for drinking more water

Bottoms up! No, not alcohol!  Water… The elixir of life.   Was that a little melodramatic? No I don’t really think so. Water is absolutely essential to our bodies. I’m not going to get into the mechanics  of why it’s essential… that’s not who I am, at least not today.  I will touch on a few things though. They say water aids in weight loss and that a good deal of the time when we think we are hungry, that we are actually thirsty. Water is  good for your complexion. Water is  good for organ function. Ok,I’m done with the mechanics of why we should drink more water.…I think it’s a given that water is healthy for us. I will however say that it is recommended that we drink a lot of water. I’ve heard that a good general amount to drink is  64 ounces a day. I’ve also heard that we should be drinking half of our weight in ounces. So if someone weighs 200 pounds they should be drinking 100 ounces of water.  But really, it doesn’t matter what method you used to come up with your daily goal of water intake, what matters is that you drink water. A lot of water.

There was a time, when I drank absolutely no water. None. Zilch. Nada.  I drank a lot of soda though. It was actually a  very difficult process to actually get myself into the habit of drinking my water in the quantity that I need. And I don’t understand it, but Pepsi and sodas seem to go down the hatch a lot quicker than water. (I believe I read somewhere about some of the chemicals in diet soda having that effect… But once again, I’m not getting into the technical side of it….it’s too mechanical for me at the moment.) So how do you do it? How do you get yourself to the point of drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day.? For me, it’s a thing of setting the goal and then simply striving for it. The biggest issue is keeping track of how much you drink. Sipping out of a glass here and there is probably not going to get you your 64 ounces of water. It’s better than nothing and you may think you are drinking a lot, but in reality you may only be drinking 8 ounces or 20 ounces. So one of the biggest things ismaking sure you’re drinking your water and building that habit is to track the water.

I’m going to give a few little tips about making water consumption easier in the beginning because it has to be palatable in order to make us drink it and I know I actually struggled with that in the beginning.  After that,  I will move into ways to track the water consumption to make sure that you really are drinking what you need to be drinking.


Drink Flaroviring
If you are new to actually drinking water…plain old water and especially switching over from straight soda it could be difficult because you’re used to the flavor. Do not despair, there are some wonderful products out there on the market to help.The flavor really does make a difference.  I still use them to flavor one or  two bottles a day just for something different to break up the monotony.

Temperature! For me, Cold water seems to go down faster and easier than warm water. For this reason I try to keep my water as cold as possible.

The bathroom!!!   I do find that when I am dehydrated or just starting out with upping my water consumption I do run to the bathroom quite a bit. After a day or two of consistent drinking the water it levels out some back to a more normal amount. Apparently this is because when you’re dehydrated and not drinking enough your body will store every little bit of water that it can. (My weight goes up when I stop drinking and become a little dehydrated for this same reason, my body goes into panic mode and holds onto every drop it can.) Once your body starts getting the water it needs it will stop conserving and holding onto that water.   At that point it begins to eliminate some of those excess stores of water…..extra trips to the bathroom…like I said, it will even out!  Another bathroom issue that I’ve been able to navigate is  going to the bathroom six times in the middle of the night. I tend to start to taper my water off toward the evening. I still do drink at night but I don’t pound the water quite so quickly. It works for me… experiment to find out what works for you. One last bathroom tip?   Actually pay attention to the color of your urine ! Seriously keep an eye on the color of your pee, if it’s really dark drink more! If it’s light/almost clear, then kudos and keep drinking!

Water first! I typically try to drink my water goal amount first before I start drinking a diet soda, juice, whatever other drink I’m around.  I found early on that if I drank my soda first then I would never want the water the rest of the day.  It started me on a slippery slope of only soda for the rest of the day.  So I set a little rule for myself that I had to drink at least 64 ounces before I switched to anything else. Over the years I’ve been able to relax that rule a little bit simply because soda is so sweet… Even the diet so I will actually begin to crave the water after drinking the soda for a little bit. I actually only only drink soda nowwhen I’m having a day where I am really struggling with exhaustion or a headache or something that makes me feel like I need the caffeine boost.  I’ve come a long long way!

How do you track Water? I have some ideas and tricks that I have used or seen used. 

Number one. A giant mug. This is probably the first thing that I did in my quest to drink my daily goal of water.

I purchased that 64 ounce mug and the first thing I did every morning was to fill it up with water and ice.  Then I would start drinking. That first mug had  water facts on it but it  also had a line that showed how many ounces of water was left in the mug at certain points.  In this way I could quickly glance at my mug see the water inside it and look at that line and see where I was in my water consumption for the day.  I always knew how much water I had drunk and how much more I had to go! This mug was so well insulated that my water would  still be cold at the end of the day, I prefer cold water so that was a huge plus. I loved that mug! I carried it with me everywhere! Family dinner?  My mug sat beside my plate!   Out to dinner? Unless it was a really nice restaurant… I carried my mug inside with me. Many days, I would have to refill that mug. Sadly, the mug met with an unfortunate end when I set it on top of the car to grab something and I drove away without retrieving the mug… The mug did not withstand the fall from the car . I bought a replacement… It was the same size but it wasn’t the same.  I bought another replacement… The Bubba mug (amazon affiliate link) and used that one for many years (I actually bought three agreement red, green and brown).Nothing ever really truly replaced the first much loved mug, but this method worked for me for many many years.
Bubba Mug

Number two. This is a method I have not tried myself, but I have seen it many times. Simply carry a gallon jug of water.

This is obviously aiming for more than 64 ounces a day, but is the same concept as the mug. Carry the what are you going to drink that day with you at all times. I have actually seen people draw  horizontal lines in permanent marker periodically on the gallon jug and they label each line with the timeline. The top line might say 8 AM the next line might say 10 in the third line might say 12. That way they have an idea of where they are in their water consumption and where they should be by a certain time of day. It sounds good to me because that’s exactly what my favorite mug did it showed me how much water I was at and where I needed to be.

Number three. Water bottles. This is been my primary method over the last year or so. But I also did it a few years ago when I worked at the deli. I carry water bottles to work. Every day in my insulated lunchbox I pack one frozen water bottle and threecold water bottles. Yes it takes up half of my lunch box but the frozen bottle is also my ice pack. I then walk out the door with my lunchbox in one hand and my one water bottle in the other hand. The water bottle in my hand is usually flavored water. Which as I said earlier is a great way to help get into the drinking of water and break up some of the monotony. I drink the flavored water during my commute to work. And then I work on the water bottles in my lunchbox at work. I can easily keep track of where I am by how many water bottles are left in my lunchbox. I typically try to drink one water bottle before my first break, one water bottle before my lunch and then at least one water bottle before I go home. Sometimes I make it to my ice water sometimes I don’t. But that’s OK because even without the ice water bottle I am already over 64 ounces. And that does not include any water and I drink at home.  (Notice that I’m still carrying all of my water with me!  This seems to be a trend for me!)

Number four. I have also tried filtered water bottles. (amazon affiliate link). Typically they are smaller, and require me to refill out of a water cooler,sink or some other tap water means while out and about. I have one of these bottles at my desk at work because it does come in handy in a pinch. I typically do not use this method very often, mainly because of the fact that the bottles that I have purchased tend to not be insulated as well as I would like the larger bottle gets warm and I prefer my water cold.

Number 5. There are some water containers that sync up with your phone with an app that helps remind you....I have not tried them...but they look cool!

Number 6.  Myfitnesspal and other trackers allow you to track the water

So there you have it!  My collection of  tips and ideas to help boost your water consumption. Water is honestly the most overlooked aspect of weight loss.  It is  also one of the most overlook aspects of health in general. It really does make a difference in everything!  I’ve said it many many times this is an individual journey and what works for me may not work forsomeone else. Find what works for you! Just like I have tried many of these ways and have to continually strive to find what works for me in each stage of my life and each stage of my weight loss journey.  The benefits are out of this world!   So come on and tilt the bottle, the mug, the jug, a glass and have a drink with me….WATER of course!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Kindness goes a long way: Encouragement

I had an active and fun weekend. I got a bike ride in, a lot of walking and a run too!!!   My eating while not perfect was within my range.  I am happy with how it went down.  I had a reminder about how important our words are though.

We had a really lazy day on Saturday. Neither of us had much energy, so we spent a lot of time in the couch just relaxing.  I did play around on my computer a bit and did some work.  (Mostly I worked on my recipe site which is a complete work in progress...I am slowly moving recipes from my now defunct site. I have quite a few entered and have been linking them, but it’s coming along very slowly!  I will be updating those pages and doing new pictures as time goes by...right now I’m just trying to get it all moved into one place.  My recipe page  on this site also has the link).  We also got the bulk of our errands out of the way!  (A few more popped up throughout the day as we chatted. So Sunday  we had to stop a few more places.) Around 5pm in Saturday we decided that we needed to do ‘something’ so that we wouldn’t  feel like total slugs!  We decided to hop on our bikes and ride the local trail near our’s paved (boo) and right now really short (double boo...but they are working on extensions yay!)

We did make our ride a bit longer by checking out where they are working on expanding the trail (no sir, we did not go past the fenced off area and ride off road/in construction zone.  Never! Wink wink!). We also took a complete tour of our apartment complex on our bikes. When we got back to our building we rode through the breezeway and went into the grassy area behind us.  I decided to try to mount my bike like a boss!  I want to learn to stand beside my bike with a foot on the pedal...push off and on that movement motion throw my leg over the bike and ride away.  I want to look badazzzz!   Still don’t get what I’m talking about?  Standing still on the left side of the your left foot on the pedal and hands on the handle bars. With  the right foot on the ground push yourself and the bike into a forward motion and swing that right foot over the it on the right pedal and keep pedaling off into the sunset (aka down the trail).  I was able to do it a few times...but I’m really rough and choppy!  It will probably be easier on pavement but right now the perceived softness of the grass/dirt gives me comfort!   I will be practicing this more!

The cool bike mount method was awesome, but the real victory is not my badazzz way to mount a bike.  The real victory was the ride itself.  The trail has some inclines.  As we rode the trail and would hit a downhill section  I kept thinking to myself ‘well this is going to be yucky on the way back when I have to climb’. But on the return trip I kept waiting for the uphills...and while I would feel myself pushing harder on occasion, I never felt the abject misery of any of those dreaded inclines!   Did my ‘push myself’ post from last week where I rode out of the saddle and way out of my comfort zone more help?  Is it my walks at work helping?

I don’t know...but I was happy!!!  And yes....I rode out of the saddle some more on that Saturday ride!  I’m going to build these legs into legs of steel!

On Sunday morning I went out for a run when I got up.  I am slow.  Sooo slow! I’m not sure, but walking may be faster!  Hahaha. But I did it...and time and miles on my legs will bring improvement!

We were still feeling wiped out on Sunday.  So instead of going on a long bike ride we instead went to the zoo to get a bit of walking in!

While our running I had an interesting experience.  I was running and passed (in the opposite direction) this guy.   He gave me words of encouragement but reached out and patted my arm.   Yes!  He touched me!   It kinda freaked me out a bit.    But his kind words were really uplifting.    So it was a combo freaky thing /nice thing!    I told Jason...his words were ‘I don’t like that he touched you.’   That’s my protective boyfriend!   (I don’t run on the local’s too secluded for Jason’s comfort!!!!  Even though years back I ran even more secluded places!  I actually appreciate the fact that he cares enough to worry and ask me not take the risk!).  And yes...I had pepper spray with me! I read two or three blogs one day last week that talked about pepper spray while running....I figured the multiple warnings/reminders should be heeded.  So...I bought a new canister (I know mine were all bought before I met older than 3 years) and actually used it!

So even though I was freaked out by the touch.  I was ‘touched’ by that mans encouragement.  It made me think about how often we remain in our own world and fail to say a kind and/or encouraging word to someone.  How often we fail to encourage our fellow humans.  And while I don’t want to be physically touched....the words really made me push through my run to do the best I could! It was a wonderful reminder that I was doing what is right for my body!   It reminded me of my encourager while I was doing the C25K training.   I saw this same guy almost every days. He didn’t say anything...until the day that I ran my first 20 minutes straight and that was the day he chose to tell me how good I was doing.  His words gave me the boost to do something that up until that moment had been impossible!  I needed his words!   I did thank him on a subsequent day!  I also had an ‘angel’ one day while running while I lived at my parents house....But seriously....our words have the power to encourage.  They have the power to make someone smile.  They have the power to take away pain.   Use your words to uplift!    (Just don’t touch the stranger while you are giving them your uplifting words!  Lol). And I thank my ‘angels’ that have made wonderful comments while I’ve been out there working it hard!  

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Courageous Lion: fighting fear

I was recently reminded to be fearless.  It  wasn’t said to me in the realm of weight loss, but it still nailed me on the head pretty squarely.  I was reminded about how I have let my fears hold me back so many times.  I don’t lose weight because of my fears.  I lose weight because of my fears.  I allow my fears to stop me from doing things that would be healthy for me, emotionally and physically.   I can quickly drown in my fears and I don’t want to be like that!


Let me start by talking about what sparked my thoughts about fears this week.  At my job we have recently started a “huddle” in the mornings before it gets busy.  Each person has a few minutes to present something to the team.  We are encouraged to be creative.  I like to bake, so for my last inspirational moment, I shared a quote and provided cookies. One girl wrote a poem for the team, we’ve played games, eaten donuts, drank virgin mimosa’s and been given candy.  The other day there was an inspirational thought that we have to believe we can do it and be it ..that is the first step to success .  The presenter then handed around a basket with some candy in it.   (A  Three Musketeer if you are interested in knowing…and yes, I love Three Muskateers so yes, I ate it!)  The candy was wrapped in a slip of paper.  When we unraveled our paper to get to our candy we received a word.   That was what we were to strive to be.   My word?  




WOW.  The presenter couldn’t have planned that one better.  I have long struggled with fear!  It can be debilitating!   Many times I have allowed fear to keep me from doing something.  Many other times I find myself paralyzed with fear, but I force myself to do it and low and behold I survive…and find that it wasn’t bad.  And what’s even better?  When I push through my fear, I come out so much stronger!  I did this when I flew by myself for the first time many years ago.  I wasn’t afraid of flying, but going by myself scared the dickens out of me.   I wanted to see my brother and his family bad enough, I did it!  I look back now and ask, Why was I even fearful?   I was petrified of running a race with no one there.  I begged people to run with me. I begged people to go spectate.  But to no avail.  I almost didn’t go because of my fear.   I’m so glad I did’s my best run to date!!

There was also a time when I realized that I was totally afraid to lose weight.  I wore my excess pounds around me like an armor.   I used my weight as an excuse for everything.  “Oh, I didn’t get that promotion because I am overweight.”  “I can’t do that because, well…because I’m overweight.”  Things that didn’t go right in my life?  It was obviously because I was overweight!  Right?  Absolutely not, but in my warped sense of thinking I certainly believed it.  “My ex-husband cheated on me, didn’t love me, etc …it was obviously because I was overweight.”  Seriously, I believed it!   Excess weight was a convenient scapegoat.  And I wore it around me like an armor.    How so?  Well, if I lost the weight…would I have to face the truth?  Would I have to face the truth about my marriage. (Well that should have been done a lot earlier!)  Would I have to face the truth about my capabilities?  Why yes, I would….and I didn’t like it.  I was so afraid of losing because then I would lose that safety net….I would lose that excuse for why my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be!

I figured out the fear. Or so I thought.  I lost the weight.  I faced my fears.  I took responsibility for my errors and stopped blaming everything on my weight, even when I regained!

So why in the world did this single word on a piece of paper throw me for a loop?  Why did I feel like I was going to cry every time I looked at the slip of paper?  Why indeed?   The fear has crept back into my life.

In my weight loss journey ....I fear I will fail.  So I sabotage myself...and thus I DO fail!   I have other fears too...some pertaining to weight loss but most not, and I let these fears rule me!

How does one stop allowing fear to rule their life?  In my experience it really is just recognizing that this fear is irrational and forcing myself to do it..even as my knees quake and nock together with fear!!!

Now is the time!  It’s time to stop dreaming, kick those fears in the arse and start living!!!!

Happy Father’s Day!!!!

I miss you daddy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Chaos Be Gone

This is been an interesting week thus far. In some ways I feel like a complete failure. In other ways I feel totally in control and on top of the world. It’s crazy how weight loss and this journey can be so conflicted at the same time.

For the first time in a long time, I feel totally in control and on top of the world with what I’m doing in regards to my eating. I am consciously making wise choices. I am consciously making healthier choices. I am not over eating. I have even done really really good with the after work snacks and with the evening sweet treats. When I say really good, I mean that most days I have not indulged and when I have it has been managed and in moderation. That’s an awesome feeling!  I like feeling in control and so often my eating is out of control and it that gives this feeling of chaos to my life. I like this control.

I’ve been consistently walking...not quite active exercise but movement nonetheless!   I enjoy my break time walks!  Yesterday I saw babies!

In the midst of these really good strong feelings of control, pride and peace,  I find myself feeling despair. I told you these emotions were conflicting and off-the-wall!

So what am I talking about when I say despair? My weight. My calories have been in line with where I want them to be. True, they may be at the higher end of the range that I have set up for myself. (I am aiming for anywhere between 1200 and 1500 cal a day.) Even at the higher range I should be still able to lose a pound a week… Strictly by the numbers. Yeah, that’s not happening this week. My weight is actually up higher than it was last week at this time. I can rattle off the excuses… The monthly ick was here, I accidentally allowed myself to get dehydrated on Monday, I’m battling sinus issues, it’s my age or any number of excuses. But I don’t care about the excuses. I want results.

I did have one day where I was super high in my calories… But one day should not cause me to gain 5 pounds! And that one Day? I was only about 500 to 600 cal over my budget.

So I vacillate between happiness over the control and despair over the weight gain. Yes, I said 5 pounds!

So what’s the plan? Well first and foremost, I want to retain the control. That means I’ll continue tracking, I will continue being in control of my eating versus letting the eating be in control of me. As for the wait. I am going to try to work on cutting some more carbs out of my food intake. I’m going to try to have more lower budget days… Meaning I am going to try to be at the low-end of my range on more days. And maybe, just maybe I’ll get this exercise things started.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Crystal- success story

“I struggled with my weight for most of my life,”  Crystal told me in an email.    She would lose some and then gain some, but it wasn’t until she went through a really bad time in her life that sent her into a deep depression that she really lost control of her weight.  It was during that time that she hit her highest weight.  It wasn’t until she ended up in the hospital that her eyes were opened.  During the 5 days in the hospital she lost 20 pounds and that five pounds made the difference.  She noticed an increase in energy and a difference in how she felt.    It was  the wake-up call she needed.  She wanted to feel better and she knew that losing more weight would give it to her.  Her journey had started.


I have known Crystal since we were young.  We were in the same school/class in second grade.      We lost touch for many years but recently connected through Facebook.   A few weeks ago when I saw her post something about her weight loss success/progress, I knew that I wanted to feature her as a success story.  She graciously accepted my offer to answer some questions and her weight loss success story is one that shows true perseverance!



What sparked you to begin to lose weight??  My weight loss journey began when I ended up in the hospital for a bowel obstruction in 2005   I was in the hospital for 5 days.  When I left the hospital I was down 20 pounds.  I immediately  noticed that I had more energy and felt better with that twenty pounds gone.  That difference was enough to make me want to continue to lose weight.

 How much weight have you lost in pounds? As of yesterday, 151 lbs

What was your starting clothing size?  28 Your current size? It varies on style of clothing but average 16. 


What plan did you follow to lose your weight?  (ie weight watchers, slim fast, a plan of your own creation...) The first thing I did was to  cut out soda. I immediately lost an additional 40 lbs. In case you missed it, that is 40 pounds in  just a few weeks!  I rarely drink soda anymore.  The other thing I have done is to simply watch what I eat.  I don’t deny myself anything, including goodies.  I found if I tried to cut something out completely that  I would go over board when I indulged. Now, if I want a candy bar, ice cream or snack cake; I will  go ahead and have one.  I've learned everything is allowed in moderation. It's become my mantra. 

 Have you reached your weight loss goal?  If so, how long have you been maintaining your weight? No, I want to lose about 30 more. I've had some ups and downs. I was fluctuating back and forth about 30 lbs for a while but for the last year I've only been fluctuating about 10lbs. 

 Do you consistently track your food intake (via online or paper form) I found doing so stressed me out to much and I would relapse.


How often do you weigh yourself?  At least once a week... sometimes more.

How did you come to that choice for how often? Never really thought about it. 


Do your exercise regularly?  If so, what do you do?.  Other than running around like a mad woman at work, I do not exercise. 


  Do you have any words of advice for someone that is just starting out on this journey of weight loss and health?  You have to make a decision for yourself... no one else really matters. It sounds a little self-centered, but it is along the same lines as you have to love yourself before you can truly love someone else. You will have ups and downs just like everything else in life. It's not an easy road, but it's worth every bump to see yourself transform. Be patient, you may not see the transformation for a while, but it will happen.  Also, make sure you talk to your doctor if you are thinking of trying a diet plan. 

Crystal is a true success story!  Thank you Crystal for sharing your story with us.  You are an inspiration to everyone.  You are doing an amazing job