Monday, December 30, 2019

Weekly weigh in

What a week!  I hope and trust that everyone had a fabulous holiday week!  It was a crazy one for me.  I took some time off work but I feel like I was running the whole time we were off work!   NUTS I tell ya!   It was a good one though…lots of love, laughter and…..FOOD!  

Oh yes, the holidays bring food and since this is a weight loss site, I have to be honest about it all!   So let’s get to it!

Over the weekend I feel like I did really well.  We stayed busy and I never really overate.  We hit up some stores to complete our errands and just to stay busy and active.  Yup, that included an antique shop where we roamed….and I tried on some more hats.  What is it with me and hats at antique shops?

On Sunday we went to Harpers Ferry to walk around.  Ok ok ok…we also went to see the remnants of the carnage that was a train derailment on a large bridge.  We had a lot of fun.  For the first time in years I have really WANTED to pull out my camera and just play around with angles and textures and d

On Monday I went up to my mom’s house and helped her get the house and some food ready for Christmas…which she was hosting.  We of course went out to eat….the choice was Mexican!  

And I took care of my brothers cat while he was out of town. (I did that on Christmas day also!)

I may have gotten into the cookies that day!  Ohh and of course the Mexican food didn’t help!  I tried to right the wrong and prepared a really healthy/light/nutritious meal for that evening to counter balance it though.  My weight was holding steady!  AHHH what a relief….but was the relief short lived?

On Christmas Eve I stayed at home and spent a lot of time in the kitchen getting stuff ready for our Christmas eve at home.  (I also did a few small things for Christmas day.)   I was planning on taking pictures and filming stuff…but that just didn’t happen!  I didn’t even get a picture of us opening our gifts that night! OOPS!

Christmas day started early for me.  I was in the kitchen mixing up bread down bright and early!  I didn’t stop there…I prepped a few dishes for the Christmas meal and by 9Am we were heading up to my mom’s house where we continued to prep for the holiday meal.  

We had a great time with family and yes…the food!  It was a nice day….again, no pictures!  I had my camera with me, but I didn’t have the time to pull it out and take a single solitary picture!

My calories were a bit high.  For most days I was up around 1700-2000 calories.   This doesn’t sound so horrible, but for me that range puts me at a maintain or gain.  It is hit or miss when I eat at that calorie range… I was not sure where I was going to be for my official weigh in on Friday.  But here we go….

So a gain of 1.8 pounds.  Not exactly what I wanted!   But I’m ok with it.  It was a holiday and I was still keeping it under control for the most part.  I bet there are people that stepped on the scales and saw MUCH higher gains….I have in the past years.  FURTHERMORE….my goal for the month of December was to maintain my weight.   Guess what?  At the beginning of the month I was 240.4 and on Friday I was 240.2. That is BETTER than a maintain.  I LOST!    Ok, I can’t celebrate yet…..we have to wait until I do an unofficial weigh in on New Year’s day to celebrate and count it as a LOSS for the month of December!

So now that the holiday is over, it is time to really get to work on this weight!  2020 is going to be my year!  I’m going to lose this weight once and for all!  I am going to better my fitness levels!  I am going to rock out this healthy living thing!

Friday, December 27, 2019

2019 Reflections

2019 is coming to a close!  Where in the world did this year go???  It’s absolutely crazy!  I blinked and months upon months passed by!   I swear, the older I get the faster time goes by.

A few weeks ago I started a tag on Youtube that was all about reflecting upon the past year and looking forward to the new year.   It was meant and created to generate positive responses.   I am not going to simply recreate the questions and answers here.  What is the fun in that?   Instead, I am going to create some similar thoughts and positive questions for myself to reflect further.    I will tell you though….some of my answers on that video were good……so if you would like…you can follow the link and watch that video here.  

But right now it’s time to reflect!  And by all means….feel free to steal the questions and post your own answers!  But let me know so I don’t miss your post!

1.        What is one thing that you did right in the year 2019?  

For the first time in my adult life, I feel as if I actually got a handle on my food addiction.  Now I’m not saying that I have totally conquered and eradicated this addiction.  No, quite the contrary, that addiction is still a very real part of who I am.  I doubt I will ever eradicate it totally.  Instead I feel as if I was able to learn some valuable lessons and techniques for dealing with that addiction.  The first and biggest thing I did was to stop saying “I CAN’T have it.”  I can have anything I want.  I changed it to “You have to CHOOSE if you want it.”   Some days the want to eat the food won out. Other days the healthy living won the battle.  Either way, it became a choice!   The other thing that I did to help learn to control this addictive impulse was to really sit down and make it a practice to tell myself that ‘you don’t have to eat 6…one will suffice.  There WILL be more tomorrow.”    The best example of this one is Reece’s Cups.  I can buy a King sized package and eat ONE and not worry about the others until a few nights later.  Yeah, sometimes Jason does eat the other three but I don’t feel the rush to gobble them up…why?  Because I have trained myself to continually tell myself. “They will gladly sell you more at the store…..this is not the last whatever on earth!”   You would be surprised how well that works!   You may also be surprised to learn how empowering this is!

2.       Name One thing that you did that made you feel proud?  

I got on a mountain bike and rode.  It wasn’t pretty!  It wasn’t fast!  It wasn’t exactly skillful!  But I got on that bike and I went up and down trails that were at times petrifying!  Oh yeah, I cried… but I did it!  I have a long way to go…but I started this past summer and for that I am proud! (video proof right here…and if you haven’t watched it, I suggest you do so….It cracks me up every time I see the video!) but I did it!  I have a long way to go…but I started this past summer and for that I am proud!

3.       Did you set any goals for the year 2019 that you reached?

I didn’t  actually set any yearly goals.  However,  I DID set some monthly goals.  One of them was to track every day.  While I didn’t exactly reach that 100%....I missed one or two days I think…..well maybe not…but I think!  Ok, I couldn’t leave it at an “I Think”  So I went back to all of  my monthly goal review posts.  I am going to call December a victory…because I tracked everything up to this point…I’m not going to fail now!  No sirree!    So out of the 12 months…I managed to totally ace 10 months.  There was ONE day in march that I missed and I went completely rogue for about a week or two in May.     This is still a massive victory.  You see, I didn’t let the little snafu of missing one day and then missing a week or two a few months later.  I picked myself back up and I started tracking again.  I call that a victory!

4.       Name one thing you wish you would have done in 2019?   This question is NOT to make me look back with regret….but to make me look forward to 2020 with the thought that ‘not another year will pass me by without doing such and such.      

 There is really only one really big regret…and that is that I did NOT reach my goal weight!   I am happy with my progress in learning to deal with my food addiction.  I think that is huge.  Honestly, that is amazing!   Where the regret comes in is that I didn’t’ start sooner.  I didn’t focus a little harder.  I didn’t reach my goal.  I have actually lost about 15-20 pounds for this year and for that I couldn’t be happier.  But NEXT year, I want to be at goal when I’m writing a reflection post!

5.       Are you setting any new goals for the year?

   I do not plan to set any yearly goals.  I like the monthly goals that I have developed for myself.  They are working well for me.  They give me freedom to live my life yet still help guide me to a healthier existence.  I may start to tighten the reigns on some of them though.  Maybe I need to up the ante and make my workout 4 or 5 times a week instead of 3!  Time will tell…stay tuned!

6.       What is one thing you hope and wish for in 2020.  

Well since this is a weight loss website….I hope to lose lots of weight and to be amazingly fit!   And yes, my plans include getting there.   

So there you have it, my reflections on the year behind us and a wee little look into how I want the future to look!    It really is good for the soul to look back and reflect.  It gives us the opportunity to see our progress in a way that we sometimes overlook.  It gives us the chance to look at ways to improve ourselves for the upcoming year.  Now go out and reflect!  

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Weekly weigh in: hanging on

Happy Monday!   A new week is upon us and it is going to be a crazy busy one!  Welcome to Christmas Week!   I have so much going on…starting with a day with my mom today on December 23, Christmas eve with Jason at home, Christmas day with my mom and Jason’s parents and some other friends and family. I go back to work for Thursday and Friday and then on Saturday we have another family Christmas event.  I’m telling you…fun and busy!   But before we go there, I think we should talk about the week behind us!  Let’s talk about how I did with my weight loss and fitness efforts.  Let’s get down to the nitty gritty!

My weight loss week started with the weekend of October 14th and 15th.  On Saturday it was raining and just miserable outside.  So we took the opportunity to get our bi-weekly grocery shopping done along with some of the errands that plague use all.   It was the perfect day to do such things!   On Saturday it was beautiful outside and we knew that we wanted to be out there.  So we bundled up and laced up our hiking boots and out we went!
 We went to the George Washington Monument park.  This is a park that has the first completed monument dedicated to George Washington.  

Of course we explored the monument.

And when we were done exploring we headed north on the Appalachian trail, which is conveniently about 100 feet from the monument.  
We hiked for a few hours.  We had a blast!

I had some extra fun as I FINALLY really felt the urge to use my camera gear again.  It felt good to get my camera back in my hands.  (I haven’t really felt that urge since before I divorced!  Before my divorce my camera was my sole source of happiness….after the divorce I could barely stand to have it in my hands.  But the pull toward photography is back.)   Nothing too fancy, but I got a few shots.

The rest of the week was pretty routine.  We had a potluck at work and I managed to really do good.  My calories were a bit higher that day (and one other day) but not tragically so!  I know that I need to keep my calories at the low end of my range (1200)  to really lose weight and that the high end of my range (right around 1500) calories for my body is usually leading me to a maintain.  I’m ok with a maintain.  That is my goal for the crazy month December…a maintain!  (let’s be honest though….I would LOVE a loss!)
So here are my results…..

I managed to lose a wee bit..basically a half pound loss this week (to recoup what I gained last week!). I’ll take it!!!

Friday, December 20, 2019

An Early Christmas Gift

It is no secret that I have been struggling with getting in any kind of workout through the week.  And while I know that weight is lost in the kitchen and not in the gym (through a workout) I know that my eating tends to be a bit more under control when I am working out.  I also know that this journey is not just about being thin...this journey is about being healthy.......and being fit is part of that equation.

My problems actually started when I accepted my current job.  The commute is a killer.  I spent just shy of 3 hours in my car each day.  This is on top of my normal work hours.  That means that I am basically 'working' a 12 hour day.  I get home exhausted.  I still have to cook dinner, do whatever small chores around the house and of course sleep.  Add in the fact that it's winter and cold and dark!  Literally it is dark when I leave the house...and dark when I get home!  BOOOO.   When can I exercise?

I thought about running in the dark...but then our apartment complex sent out a notice about some 'occurrence' that was very vague but it was telling us to be very careful and be aware of our surroundings, even though they were 'sure' that it was just one isolated incident.  Well then, I just don't think running outside in the dark is the thing for me at this point.  The gym /fitness center was another option...but it just never seemed to happen.    We talked quite extensively about this problem and I grew more and more panicked because I could see my fitness levels dropping further and further.  I was literally watching all the progress from the summer on my bike dribble away!   I couldn't let this happen!   And then we had a brain child of an idea!

Let's buy our own exercise bike!

I started shopping and holy cow....those things are expensive!  Almost immediately I had to eliminate the two biggies from my wish list.  I just couldn't afford the $2500 price tag.  Not so soon after buying a new car and having car repairs on the old car...which you can read about here!  I kept shopping.  I made page after page of notes.  I looked at the cheap bikes.  I looked at the expensive bikes.  I knew the components and specs on all of them.    We were ready to settle on a 'cheap' no brand bike.   Literally ready to pull the trigger.  But then I had second thoughts.  OK we went with a bike that was a bit more expensive...but it is a brand name.  Schwinn has been around forever.....that says a lot right there.   The bike that I purchased is the IC3 bike.  They have the IC2 and also the this is not their first rodeo with this bike.  Another plus!    The price was in our range.....Even better!   My decision was made!

Over my birthday weekend Jason made an announcement!  For Christmas I was getting an exercise bike!  WOO HOO!  He had to tell me early because he needed my final answer and input.  He also needed me to get the room ready so we could get the bike and he also needed my help in getting the bike up to our apartment. (Third floor and no elevator!).   I was over the moon excited!   And we picked it up on my Birthday! 

It was surprisingly easy to put together and only took about a half hour.
I was ready to rock and roll with some exercise.   So how am I fitting it into my schedule?   Well normally my alarm goes off at 5:30 AM?  I have my watch buzz me at 4:45 AM.  I use that extra 45 minutes to exercise.  I am aiming for a minimum of 3 morning rides each week!  But I am hoping for me.  I just say three because we all know that there are days that is just isn't happening!  I don't want to set unrealistic goals, because if I do then I will NEVER keep them!  And in this case, I don't want the bike to become a clothes rack!

Thus far, I have been doing intervals.  I ride sitting down for 3 minutes and then stand up and push it hard for a minute.  Over and over through a 20 minute ride.  I plan to increase my intensity as time progresses.  I also plan to introduce some instructional videos.  I have found some on youtube and I have not ruled out getting the Zwift or Peleton App to use in conjunction with this bike.

I am super excited because this bike can help take me back to the level of fitness that I had achieved a few years back when I was exercising regularly!    This bike is going to help condition my legs to make me ready for spring when I can get back out on the mountain bike trails.   This bike is going to help me lose weight.   I now have the tool that is going to take away the excuses!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Changes and plans

I am really going to be working on making some changes in my life in the new year.  I am tired of sitting around and planning and plotting and not carrying through....or only doing things with half of the ability that I am capable of.   This goes hand in hand with my word of the year that I talked about in a recent post.  Committed!

You see, I want to be committed to my website and to my youtube channel.  I have gained amazing things from these two social media outlets.  I have gained amazing friends.  I have gained amazing support.  I have gained a never ending supply of advice.  It is an awesome tool for life.   I am not walking away from any of that.  Quite the contrary. I am even more committed than ever to make this a priority in my life and to do it RIGHT!   But to do things properly and stay committed I have to come up with a plan because time is limited and these tasks really do take up time!  Dare I say that keeping up with the creation of content for both of these outlets is the equivalent to having a part time job? So I need to make things work better for me if I’m going to carry on and carry on with commitment.

The first thing that I am going to change with this site is that I am going to be committed to having more of my posts created in advance.  So often I am writing my posts on the fly and publishing them all within almost the same breath!   This has added some extra stress to my life in relation to this site.  Why is it adding stress?  It's adding stress because I have tried to get into a posting schedule of Monday-Wednesday-Friday.     I like the posting schedule I have.  It keeps me accountable!  When I don't stick with a posting schedule I tend to write sporadically and when I write sporadically my weight loss efforts tend to be a bit more sporadic. (It's crazy...but true!)

But you see, I weigh in on Friday morning.  I would then turn around and try to get the weigh in results post written and published all before I left for work.  I leave for work at 6:30 AM.  It was just not working for me!  I was stressed and just struggling to get things done.  All it took is for me to say "Why don't I post the weigh in information on Monday.  That way I have a few days to get the information written out in a clear concise form!     I are saying "well duh"!     So that is one of my HUGE plans.   

I have toyed with trying to post things more routinely...such as having a day dedicated to a certain topic.   I like this concept....but every time I think I’m going to do it I then sit back and say ‘but what about....’ and I realize that it won’t work for me.   I can say that Monday’s will usually be my weigh in blog posts.   I would say always but I have a blogiversary coming up and it falls on a I am planning to postpone my weigh in report until Wednesday.   See how being too strict doesn’t work for me?

In relation to my youtube channel....  I have been posting on Sundays and Wednesdays (with random videos here and there.  I will be altering that a bit to be a Sunday....Wednesday....Friday rotation. 

*  The Sunday post is my review of my weight loss week (which will be linked on my monday Blog posts)
*   I have Workout Wednesdays...this will be mostly fitness and workout related.
*   Fridays will be Foodie Friday.  I am planning on posting a video that relates to cooking....either a recipe or a review of a food....or maybe a review of a kitchen gadget!  And some of those recipes may make an appearance on my blog....time will tell!

Also on my YouTube channel there will be random videos and posts here and there.  Whatever and whenever strikes my fancy!  A day or eating.....a review of a product.....any collabs or tags that I am asked to participate in.....anything and everything.....just random bonus videos!  I will be linking those videos to my blog as often as possible.

The videos are also done in advance....usually I finish the videos for the week ahead of me and have them uploaded and scheduled quite early.  I usually spend those lazy weekend mornings where we are just lounging a bit before we head out for our weekend activities  on editing videos.  This is working for me.   This allows me the time during the week to film the clips that I need and to write my  scripts.....basically just do whatever needs to be done.

I also have been toying with a second blog.  It is a bit of travel and a bit of reviews.  I am still toying with it to find my niche....but I will be trying to post there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This one is still in the works and is still being developed so I am not quite ready to make bold statements about definitely posting and what I'm posting!  Or even if it is going to stick around.  Another two posts a week is a huge commitment!  (But that is my word of the year so maybe that's my answer!    Regardless....we shall see.  I am still getting my feet wet with the reviews and the travel reports....time will tell if I like it!

I have a few ideas in the works for some other projects and i am also committed to seeing how the take shape.  And of course I will take you along for the ride when I actually get to a stage that I can share! 

So there you have it.  I am committed and plan to continue my quest in each of these outlets.  They bring me joy, happiness and support.   I am also on the lookout for ways to expand and learn stay tuned.  This next year is my year for commitment and I am going to rock it out!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Word of the year: Committed

As the year rolls to a close it is the time that we just naturally look forward to the new year.  We are getting new day planners and calendars and getting ready to get used to writing 2020 on everything that we date.  (that first week or so is a doozy!)   And it is also the time to think about making a word of the year for our weight loss lives AND for our lives in general.

What is a word of the year?  This is one word that will be an action that we can use to live our lives.  A mantra or motto if you want to call it that.  It is a word that should be at the base all of your choices and decisions you make.  

I have a YouTube channel that I started this year and I was invited to participate in a collaboration where a handful of us create a video on the same subject.  I was asked by "Trials of a Long Haired Girl" .....who ironically enough, I have followed her blog for a while also.  You can check out her blog here.   I was so excited to participate in this collab.  You see, I have done this during previous years.  But it was always as an afterthought.....usually in January when the year had already started!  It was usually done in a spur of the moment decision with little or not thought into my actual word.   Of course with that lack of thought you can guess what happened to the word of the was long forgotten as soon as I hit the publish button on the post!

This was different.  I was going to have to get in front of a camera and talk about my word!   I was going to then come here and write about it.  I was going to have to really think about this word!   And I did think and ponder my word choice!   I came up with the perfect word too!   I came up with the word  Committed!
No....I"m not being committed to a mental institute...although sometimes I may qualify!  hahahah    Committed...this is what I want to be!    I have such amazing ideas, goals and dreams in life.  But they all take work.  They all take a certain high level of commitment in order to be a success!   This is the year that I am going to be committed!  

Some of the areas that I am especially committed to?
*  Of course my weight loss!  I am committed to getting this weight off this year!
*  My fitness.  I am committed to becoming a kick butt mountain biker!
* This blog. I am committed to posting continue to chronicle my life on this format.  I am almost to 14 years of posting....and that is amazing!
* I have a book that is 95% written.  I am committed to finishing it.  I am committed to getting it published. (most likely self published....but that is A-OK with me!)
* I am committed to my youtube channel.

I am committed to making me the best version of me that I can be!

If you want to see my it is!

I encourage everyone to sit back and think about what they want their new year to hold.  And chose an action word that will help you be that person that you want to be at the end of the year!  But for me.....I am going to be committed! 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Birthday week

This week was my birthday week.  How in the world can I be 47 years old?  I certainly don’t feel like I’m 47 in my heart and mind,  that’s for sure!  But alas....that is my age and I shall wear it with pride.

But anyway, my birthday week....

We both took some time off work and had a four day weekend, which was heavenly! We  visited family and ran some errands but we also took the time to go away for a short trip.  We went to Lancaster, PA.  It was good to get away!

Jason didn’t know much about the Amish so we went to the Amish Village.

We did the Sturgis Pretzel Tour and learned the history of Sturgis Pretzels...the oldest continuously operating pretzel company.  

We hit up a bunch of antique shops!

I even bought myself a gift...for my dollhouse!

And we did some shopping at a few places....hey a girl needs some shoofly pie....and some Wilbur Chocolate!!

We had a great time!

The problem?  Food....shoofly pie is not exactly low calorie!  Neither is chocolate!   

We went back to work on Wednesday and I was determined to get back on track.  I actually wrapped and froze the rest of the shoofly pie.

But then failed anyway when my coworkers arrived at my desk with this monster piece of cake!

I honestly stared at the cake for an hour or more before I caved and ate it...I was only going to have a few bites (and tried to split it with coworkers) but ended up eating the whole super rich and sugary piece! Oops!

I’m barely hanging onto my weight....and not doing all that well with it....November was rough with a gain...and for December this far I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread with my weight teetering on a ‘maintain’ one day and a ‘gain’ the next day.

I’m determined to live a balance...and this week the balance fell more toward the indulgent side.  While that is not good for my weight, it is the balance that my mind and heart needs.   Furthermore, I know that I can still balance it out by getting right back on track!  all is not lost!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Reflections about 2019

As the year comes to an end I have taken the time to reflect upon the year behind me and to look forward to the year ahead!

I can't call 2019 a totally successful year in terms of weight loss.  I got more serious about my efforts...and that was good!  But in the grand scheme of things I didn't lose much.   Wait.....I LOST....and that is what is important.  Right now it is looking as if I will be down about 10-15 pounds....depending on how the rest of December goes.  So that is a victory.  ANY pound down is a good one!

I didn't quite kick butt on the bike...but I did make some progress.  Exercise continues to be spotty and hit or miss.  However there are some things that may be changing!

My big thoughts came into play when I started to look forward to 2020.   I want to dedicate my 2020 to making me a better me.  This encompasses weight, fitness, work life and everything.  I want to be a better person in every way at this time next year!

I have a video that I put together with some of my reflections and my plans and hopes for the future.  Feel free to watch!   If you have a youtube channel consider yourself tagged.  Just let me know so I can come watch your video!

So what was your big accomplishments of 2019?   What do you want to accomplish in 2020?

This is a lifelong journey.  It is a lifelong quest to learn.  It is an adventure!  We reflect and we move forward and this is the perfect time to do that!

Sunday, December 08, 2019

November Review

Here it is more than a full week into December and I haven't talked about my goals for November OR my goals for December.  How remiss am I?   So here we go!

My November Goals were as follows:
1.  Track every bite of food!  I am proud to announce that I did manage to track each and every bite of food! WIN!!!
2.  Put money into my savings. (The tweak for November is to hold steady on savings...I have some expenses I still need to cover in relation to the car issues!) 
 I managed to hold steady!  I did not dip into my savings at all this month!  I didn't ADD to my savings but I didn't deplete it any more!
3.  Weigh less than I do now!  I don't care if it's a measly ounce...I want to weigh less!  Yeah, this didn't happen.  I GAINED weight in November....a fair amount!
4.  Do something active (a walk suffices) at least 3 times a week and aim for at least three sessions of formal activity (bike ride, run, hike) a week!    The first two weeks I was awesome...and then I totally fell apart!
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week.   Once again, the first two weeks I did great....and then I fell apart and my calories were up between 1500 and 2000 each day!
6.  Walk and average of 5000 steps  per day. (total monthly steps divided by the days in the ride days on the trail are exempt from the 5K step goal...cuz it's hard to get  steps when you are riding)   I somehow squeaked this one out!!!  BARELY!!!!!  Like literally, my average was 5001!

So here we are in December.  My goals will be remaining the same...with one or two small tweaks.

1.  Track every bite of food!
2.  Put money into my savings.  The tweak for December is to once again MAINTAIN my not dip into it further. 
3.  Weigh less than I do now!  I don't care if it's a measly ounce...I want to weigh less!   I am tweaking this to be 'maintain my weight' for this month!  Hey, it's a busy month with the holidays and birthdays in my family.
4.  Do something active (a walk suffices) at least 3 times a week and aim for at least three sessions of formal activity (bike ride, run, hike) a week!  
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week.   
6.  Walk and average of 5000 steps  per day. (total monthly steps divided by the days in the ride days on the trail are exempt from the 5K step goal...cuz it's hard to get  steps when you are riding)

There you have it!   I have my goals set for December.  Now it's time to rock them!

Monday, December 02, 2019

Back on track

The last few weeks of this weight loss journey have been rough!  I have gained a fair amount of weight!  It’s infuriating!  But it is the story of my last few weeks!

Now lets be real here.  I haven’t gone off the rails and eaten thousands and thousands of calories over my goal!  Not at all!  But I have eaten over my caloric goal on many goal is around 1200 to 1500 calories a day.  I have been around 1700 to 2000 calories most days.  So definitely NOT crazy eating!   So I personally feel 8 pounds is unwarranted!  But it is what it is!

Yesterday started a new month....and I’m ready to rock this new month.  Even with lots of weight loss obstacles!   I can do it!

So what obstacles do I have this month?  

* Well first up is my birthday!  (How on the world will I be 47 years old??). It’s hard to say no to my own birthday cake!  My birthday comes with a four day weekend from work...and I struggle more on weekends with my eating!  Oh and we will be going away for a night or two during that weekend!  ~~sigh~~

* Speaking of birthdays...December is birthday month in our family...we have two more birthdays to celebrate!  Three if you count my fathers birthday...though he is no longer with us.  :( 

* Christmas potluck at galore!  

* Christmas Eve...Jason and I celebrate at home

* Christmas Day celebrations with our families.

* A second long weekend...5 days at Christmas...once again...difficult to keep in line on the weekends!

* whatever random celebrations and events that pop up!

So it won’t be an easy month!   But I am determined to lost SOMETHING this month!  I am focused and I can do it!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Weight loss journey gone wrong

It’s confession time! Uhhh yeah, I think the title says it all!  This weight loss journey has taken a wrong turn!
 I am so struggling to get back on track!  I want to!  Oh how I want to!   I am ready to.   But....woah...I just had an epiphany  while I was writing my confessions.   Like right when I wrote the word woah It all became clear to me!  

I have a food addiction.   Over the past few months I’ve actually had a pretty good handle on my addiction.  I have been in control.  I have managed.  And while it hasn’t been fast, I have been losing.  Queue in the sound of tires coming to a screeching halt!  Yes, and then I hit that wall.  I gained unexpectedly.  I gained 4 pounds unexpectedly!  And I took a mini vacation from weight loss.   And that mini vacation set the addiction free.   

Oh I’m still in the game.  I still am working on losing the weight.  But more of my time is spent in regrets for eating what I ate!   Seriously, I sit there and KNOW I shouldn’t eat something!  Yet a few minutes later...almost without any control over myself I find myself eating said item!  I’ve lost control!

So back to square one.....controlling the addiction!   This is hard work...and a total mental game.  But I know I can do it!  I am going to starting to get myself back under control at the most impossible time....two days before thanksgiving!   Two weeks before my month before Christmas!   But I can do this!!!

Friday, November 22, 2019

What a week!

This week was a rough one!    I just wasn’t mentally in the mind game of losing weight!   I fear what the scales are going to say!

So why was this week rough? start off.   That large weight gain that I feel was largely unwarranted really threw me for a loop and I kinda threw up my hands and said ‘I just don’t care’.   Luckily for me I didn’t totally stop caring...but it was bad enough!   I ate more food then I should have!  I ate mode junk than I should have!   I just stopped caring!  Luckily that mindset only lasted half of the week!  But it was enough I’m sure!   So yeah, I had a bit of a vacation from weight loss this week.

On Thursday my work had our annual thanksgiving dinner.  The company has the main portion of the meal catered and we bring (are supposed to’s crazy how many people don’t feel the need to participate) the desserts and drinks!   I feel as if I did pretty good with my choices...but I did indulge in a bit of dessert!  

Exercise?   It’s cold!!!!   We didn’t do ANYTHING active over the weekend!   I didn’t run after work....but I have a valid reason for not running!    There was some ‘incident’ at our apartment complex!  It was bad enough that they put flyers on all of our doors and sent us all emails advising us that there was an incident and that we need to be aware of our surrounds...uhhhhh ok!  Oh and then it threw in a sentence saying ‘don’t open the door to strangers either’. It was a very could have been any nefarious act!  Jason’s comment was that he wished they gave us a bit more we knew exactly where to be extra vigilant.   Meanwhile...we are in the early stages of pondering getting an exercise bike/spin bike for our house...something to help progress our biking skills/endurance and keep us active this winter.   Problem is...I just bought a car and I’m a bit tighter on my money right now.  Hmmm. So I’m looking at some of the cheaper alternatives to the good ones.   Because sure...if I could afford the peloton bike or Nordic track one...I would certainly go with those!  But....

I have walked outside on a few days during my lunch that’s a plus!!!   

I haven’t given up.  I just hit a bump in the road.  This is part of the journey to lose weight.  And the fact that I got back up and started to care again after my vacation from losing weight is the victory!   I’m still in this game baby!!!!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Out of nowhere

Last week was....well....ok les just get to it!

I had  been training new hires at my job for about 2-3 months.  All of the classes are through training and last week I went back to my normal job.   It was interesting to be doing the actual work again after such a long break.  The first day or two I was still relatively slow with the work but by mid week I had picked up some other projects and tasks and by the end of the week I was so busy that I could barely breathe.  Yup...crazy busy!   It makes the time go fast for sure!  I’m tied to my desk though...not walking around a training room and on my feet all day.  So that was a small adjustment!

The weather turned nasty!  It was cold!   Ok Monday was super nice with the temps in the mid to upper 60’s!  But by Wednesday we had days with a high in the 30’s.   Ok, that’s a wild fluctuation!   And I caved and didn’t walk at all!  Nope!    Furthermore, I didn’t get that second run in after work either!  I thought about it...but the cold really played a number on me!
So this week...this week I am doing it!  I’ve got to!!!

I did a thanksgiving collaboration video last week.  It is where a bunch of you tubers get together and all post videos of similar things.  This collab was a lightened you thanksgiving dish. We all chose a dish (or two) to make that was healthier than the original version.  I made a caramel apple salad (more desserty than anything....8oz cool whip, small box of butterscotch instant pudding, large can of undrained crushed pineapple, two apple peeled and chopped....mix it all together....makes eight servings....72 calories a serving) and I ate it in 4 days.  So about 150 extra calories a day.  Not the end of the world right???

When I stepped on the scales for my official weigh in I was sickened!  I gained a lot of weight!  Like over four pounds!    What?  Nope, it’s not that time of the month!   And yes I counted my calories.  I was a bit high...I aim for between 1300 and 1500 calories a day...I was right at about 1700 calories for a few days. So not crazy high.   And not high enough to warrant a 4 plus pound gain!  Crazy I tell ya!

Admittedly I gave up a bit the day that I had my weigh in.   Seriously...why bother when the scales are going to do what they want to do.  But that day was only one day (and my normal cheat day/ not too out of the normal) and I am back on track.   (The scales went down a pound after that ‘I don’t care say’. But not by a whole bunch).  I’m still in this.   I have really important reasons to lose weight.  Most importantly my health...I want to be fit and healthy....but I have valid reasons and a definite goal for some weight loss....which is unnamed and secret now...but hopefully be revealed sooner rather than later!!!

A more clear view of my last week and my exact weight (I am laying in bed typing this and can’t remember the numbers of my exact gain). can be seen on my YouTube channel. So that’s the latest report in my weight loss journey.   Back to work today!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Surprise...I did it!

I know I know...I sometimes make bows and don’t keep them on here...but on Monday night I kept one of my vows!

I have been saying that I need to start exercising during the work week...and Monday night I took the first step.

Yes...I went for a run!   Oh my was slow!  My arthritis in my knee has been kicking for a few weeks and I wasn’t sure how it would go.   But I didn’t dwell  on that and just went out.   I only did a mile!  It wasn’t pretty but I did it!    Ohh and while I was slow I was running/jogging every step of the way!   Go me!!

The weather has taken a sharp nose dive since was about 60° when I ran on Monday is about 20° right now.  But I plan on doing something tonight or tomorrow night...two nights a week!   I want to run...but I will allow myself to default to the stair step thing that I have...20 minutes on that should suffice!

So here we go!   I can do this!!!  Exercise is my friend and will bring me close to my long term goals!!!

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Loss!!!

I had my official weigh in on Friday!  I can't even write an opening paragraph.  I need to get right to it!!!!!!

I lost weight!   The week before I had gained some weight...and I knew that it was mostly water retention from that icky time of the month......but I still showed a gain.  Even so, when it came time for me to step on the scales I was so nervous! 

WOOOHOOO!  I lost weight!!!!
No more words are necessary! 

Ok, yes there are.  I am SOOO close to reaching that 100 pounds gone mark......again....but I am just as excited...or even more excited this time around!!!!!  Somehow, the first time around 100 pounds gone didn't really register!  I'm not sure how....but it did!

Anyway....lets celebrate!!!!

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

When the going gets tough the tough gets going

 When the going gets tough ...what does MaryFran really do?   What do YOU do??

A few weeks ago we stumbled upon a series of videos on YouTube.  They are created by RaceFace....which is a company that has quite a few products for naturally these videos are about mountain biking.   (Search for Race Face....and it is the creator series).    These videos are so incredibly well done.  The production is top notch and the content is inspiring!

The content would be inspiring for anyone that was watching, even though they are about mountain biking.  Most of these videos have a similar plot/concept.  They are about a place or a person that has faced unimaginable loss and has persevered to overcome the obstacles that their loss has brought them.

There is the story of a mountain biker that through an accident found themselves in a wheelchair...or without a leg....yet they found a way to get back on their bike and ride the trails. Or maybe you want to hear about a gal that had a routine surgery that left her with nerve damage, unable to walk and in constant pain....yet she relearned to walk and the video picks up when she decides to not let her injury/disability stop her...instead she signs up for a 7 day mountain bike race..  Those  stories don't strike you?   What about the very small, isolated town that suffered a landslide and lost 50 town members in about 6 seconds.  The town was so small that everyone suffered the loss of at least a family member or a close friend. In an effort to honor the lost they created world class mountain bike.  All of these stories...they could have shrivelled up and went deep inside themselves due to the loss.  They could have allowed these tragedies to turn them bitter.  They could have given up and/or lost the will to live.  Yet they pushed forward.

Somehow....someway I think I am missing that little piece of personality that those people had.  You see. When the going gets tough......I tuck my tail and flee.  I lack perseverance. 

How many times have I started a weight loss journey.  (or should I say restarted)   I have written about a restart on this website so many times!  Yet look at me?  Am I thin an svelte?  NO.  I don't persevere!  I give up when it gets difficult!

I say I have a book or two floating around in my head that needs to be written.  I have even started them.  Yet are they done?  Do I have a finished product....even though it has been YEARS!  (I just have this one finished product....)

How may things have I tried.  Running?  Yup.  Biking?  Yup?  What in the world is my problem?

I was seeing incredible success on the bike.  This summer I was pushing myself and I didn't give up.  I was working to get up a hill on my mountain bike.  I failed but went right back to the same place the next ride and tried it again.  I tried it again for a few months.  And guess what?  I did it!  I had success
 I headed for my next hill.....and I kept going back until I could climb that and I had success again.  I was ON FIRE!  And then October came and I had a few bad rides.  Ok...almost every ride in October was bad.  Yes, I shed some tears on one of the rides.  (The video honestly cracks me up...because yes, we got my meltdown on video). 
What changed within me to go from September and awesome riding to October and pitiful rides?  I do not know.  But my will to persevere seemed to disappear.   I want it back!  To be successful, you need to have perseverance!  Luckily my perseverance in my eating and keeping that under control is still alive and well.  I am still eating within my calorie range and feeling pretty good about what I'm eating.  I"m not losing weight fast...but I feel in control and I really do like that feeling. But that drive to push myself and to keep going when it gets touch on the bike trails......that is slipping.  I need it back!  Any suggestions would be appreciated!

I need to live up to the mantra...when the tough gets going MaryFran gets going!   I have it somewhere deep inside me.  I think we all do.  we just have to find that missing piece and start using it!

Monday, November 04, 2019

I found my winter challenge!!!

I found my winter challenge!!!  Why yes I did!   We have been talking about how we want to stay active throughout the winter and not let the cold weather keep us from getting outside and moving.  We have talked about substituting hikes for the bike rides when the weather gets to cold or snowy. We have both been happy with this plan and actually have looked forward to hiking again!

Well this past weekend was a bit cooler so we laced up the hiking boots and out we went!  I had never been to Greenbriar...a local park that has a lake and hiking trails.  So off we went.  It started off deceivingly easy with a path/trail around the lake. But then we veered off onto the red trail. 

And oh boy did it get rough!  It was a STEEP incline.  Like stair step steep...but not steps!  Eventually it did level out!  (but it was a bit of a rollercoaster the rest of the way...down a bit,  up a bit....down a lot..up a lot!)  Adding to the joys of the trail were the rocks.  This trail was ROCKY!  Now in all honesty, this MAY not be a problem when there are not leaves covering everything on the ground.  But with the leaves on the ground it was hard to see the rocks and thus it was difficult to place your feet accordingly so that you were not stumbling and constantly off balance.

But even with the felt AMAZING to be out in the woods on a crisp cool day!

So my challenge?  I need to return to that trail and I want to be able to power up the trail without my calves screaming in freakish agony.  I want to be able to practically dance up the trail without my lungs feeling like they are going to burst.  I want to be able to talk and even sing (should I choose) instead of breathing like a steam train.   Sure I've already conquered that hill....but I want to be the boss of that hill!!!!!

So welcome to my challenge!   Lets get hiking!

Friday, November 01, 2019

October is in the books!

Well here we are at the beginning of another month!  It’s crazy how time flies!  I do have to say that the older I get the faster time flies!  It’s nuts!

October was a busy month!   We started our month at the beach!   We were on vacation!   Woohoo!  

 The rest of the month was pretty routine with work...but we still got some bike rides in. 

We got the news that my car was dead and not fixable.
We bought a new car.

And the old car revived itself!

It was crazy! But the real question did I do on my monthly goals?

So here we go!  Here are my monthly goals.  These goals were my October goals and will be my November goals also! (I tweak them when needed but this month they will remain the same!

1.  Track every bite of food!
2.  Put money into my savings. (The tweak for November is to hold steady on savings...I have some expenses I still need to cover in relation to the car issues!)
3.  Weigh less than I do now!  I don't care if it's a measly ounce...I want to weigh less!
4.  Do something active (a walk suffices) at least 3 times a week and aim for at least three sessions of formal activity (bike ride, run, hike) a week!  
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week.   
6.  Walk and average of 5000 steps  per day. (total monthly steps divided by the days in the ride days on the trail are exempt from the 5K step goal...cuz it's hard to get  steps when you are riding)
         My Not so Secret Goal:   Lose 5 pounds!

So how did I did!

1.  I tracked my food every day but two!  Surprisingly the two days were NOT during the vacation week. I tracked religiously during vacation!  They were random days that when I went back to check for this post, that I found were missing information (both weekend days...different weekends)

2. Savings....hmmmmm.   I did put money in savings at the beginning of the month...yes, even with vacation my savings went up at the beginning of the month.....but then I bought a new car and that savings went way down!   So call this one a failure or a victory....some of the savings was earmarked for a car it’s not really a failure.  But the end result is that my savings is a couple thousand less, so if you think that’s a failure then so be it. But the fact that I had the savings to use when I needed it and for what I been saving so hard for...that’s a victory!   It’s a wash in my mind!

3.  Weigh less than I did at the beginning of the month...hmmmmm... I recouped my vacation weight gain a week ago...but then had some stress eating and the monthly hormonal water weight gain is upon me...and today I find myself 1.6 pounds in October I officially gained 1.6 pounds!   Grrrrrr

4. Do something active at least three times a week.   The vacation week was super active...hours upon hours of movement each day!   We got home and we rode on the weekends but that was it for the next two week....until the end of the month when I saw my endurance slipping on my bike rides.  So we kicked it into high gear and we rode 4 times that week and I walked every chance I had on my lunch breaks (not when it was rainy though!). 

5.The next was to keep  my eating in check for at least 6 days a week!  So I gained weight on vacation...but my eating was in check.  I was not eating more than mfp (myfitnesspal) was telling me I could eat....when I added all my activity calories.  (even though, I gained four pounds that week!). The rest of the month there were four days I was over the top end of my range.   Two  days I was only over budget by 100 calories ...and two days I was over budget by 400 calories.   

6.  The last real goal was to walk an average of 5000 steps per day for the month.  I struggled with this...for a good portion of the month while at home I was averaging about 4K steps.  What saved me was the week of vacation where I was walking 25k steps a day and the weekends where I was walking 10k steps!   So I nailed this one!

And my not so secret goal to lose 5 pounds...failed! Colossally!

So this month had a lot of ‘failed’ attempts.  But that is ok.  Life happens and we have to accept it and roll with it!   I’m not giving up.  I’m still going strong!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Don't even miss it!

The last couple weeks I have been doing pretty good.  No, I haven't lived the life of a perfect lose weight eating plan.  I have lived my life.....exactly how I have chosen to go about this weight loss journey at this point.   So yes, there have been some piece of cake.  Some candy.  Some.........

But while I have indulged in some sweet treat or some decidedly unhealthy food on occasion, I have also sat back and made healthy choices during many more situations.  We have had a carrot cake in the refrigerator for the last 5 days.  I indulged in ONE small piece over the weekend.  Jason has been enjoying the rest.  Do I WANT a piece?  Sure, it is delicious and I would love to have another piece.  But I have chosen to say no.  I have chosen to not indulge.  And something crazy has happened. 

I don't even miss not having it!  Sure, I look in the fridge and see the cake and think about how delicious it is.  But I don't sit there and have a mental battle with myself over eating or not eating a piece.  I have had some unknown force of motivation take over and I haven't been tempted.  And the most amazing thing?  When I walk away I don't think longingly about what I gave up.  I move on with my life and it is a none issue! 

So really?  Where in the world did the real MaryFran go???
Me standing beside a piece of art made from all Honda Car Parts

Life is settling down after my week of car highs and lows.  Work is still crazy, Monday they had me finishing up the training class that I have been leading for the last 6 weeks.  And on Tuesday they had me take over the training for the new hires that started a few weeks back.  This new class is in a much smaller room so I won't even be getting the steps that I got in the larger room as I go back and forth between their desks.

I haven't been walking on my lunch breaks and I am seeing a change in my bike riding.  Not a good change either.  (If you watch my youtube videos...the fist video about this will go live on at 4PM ET tonight ...Oct.'s crazy......makes me laugh to watch the footage as I had a meltdown on my bike).  So I am determined to get out on my lunch break and walk.   I would like the two 15 minute breaks to be walking also...but that might be asking too much. 

So I am trying to re-take control and get moving more.  Jason and I are trying to ride our bikes around our neighborhood after work also.  we have plans to pick up a light to make it work after the time changes also.

So things are still moving forward on my quest to be healthy and lose weight.  It's just a REALLY slow process.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Super stressed

Last week was a rough one for me!  It was terribly stressful.  I tried to fight the stress eating.  I tried my hardest to hang on and lose the rest of my vacation pounds that I had gained! But oh it was so hard!

The week was the beginning of my weight journey week my trusty Honda Civic broke down.  The stress started!   The stress just kept mounting as the news about the car turned uglier and uglier!   By Tuesday I was car shopping.  My back was against the wall.  I had a car that they told me was dead...after spending $500 to try to fix it!   I was in a car rental throwing more money down a black hole.  I was trying to fight the urge to eat everything in sight!  It wasn’t easy and I wasn’t overly successful!  There was carrot cake...a few nights.  

By Thursday I was ready to buy a car...I had no choice.   Thursday morning my weight was looking like a decent loss....but the stress eating that day got me...and it got me bad!   But I bought my new car.   A 2019 Honda Civic.  My fourth car I will/have owned and my fourth Honda Civic.

But I was still stressed because if some more bills and expenses that were coming my way in relation to this car fiasco. but by Friday I was starting to be able to contain the stress eating!  The next big thing would be getting a bike rack so we could carry our bikes to the trail head....until biking except for the roads around us!

I weight in on Friday and while I didn’t lose a LOT...I was able to lose 0.6 I can officially say that I recouped my vacation weight gain!  I officially weight exactly what I weighed the day before vacation!   So October was a week of vacation where I gained 4 pounds...and three weeks of losing those four pounds.  Honestly...worth it!  That is life....and I want to live life!

On Friday I also went to the dentist where they numbed two quadrants of my mouth to fix some cavities.

That is me trying to smile!   The only good thing?  My appointment was early and I wasn’t thinking so didn’t eat breakfast before hand...and I was too numb to eat lunch afterward....I was numb until about 3pm...numb as in biting my tongue and not feeling it lunch was out.   I did manage to eat a Wendy’s frosty at around 2 biting required!

On Saturday we went to pick up the old car.   The old car was long as you didn’t stop ...driving was smooth as all get out...but the car was idling so bad that it would die if we stopped and let it idle.  We mapped out a route that would have the least amount of stops and went to pick up the car....I was nervous and fully expected to be calling a tow truck half way home.  But we wanted to get it home so that we could have a friend look at we could clean it out...and so that we could sell it at our own pace.  (Plus I had already made enough huge decisions for the week...I needed a break from big decisions!)

Jason started the sounded horrible.  He Reece’s the engine..  and we set off....he said he drove it in low gear...high rpms for the first mile.  (I was in the new car....lucky me...he is awesome and took the  stress of driving it from me...but for some reason this part of the week was driving me nuts with worry!). And then something crazy happened.  The  engine light went off.   The car started driving smooth.  He started to stop right behind me at stop signs and I couldn’t hear anything amiss!   At one stop sign I saw him throw up his hands in the classic ‘I don’t know’ motion.    Could it be?

Why yes...the car fixed itself.  The supposed wiring issue was gone.   We drove that car all weekend...and even got in a bike ride (since we could cart our bikes to the trailhead!). The car was riding a smooth as all get out!     Did we get bad gas?  I had been really low when it was idling bad the week before ...and we stopped to get gas hoping that would fix it...and within 1/4 a mile the engine light came on.  We didn’t drive it because we didn’t want to damage it further.  But had we just taken it out in the open road and pushed it...would it have pushed that ‘speck of dirt’ out of the way and cleared up the problem?

Now I’m not upset about the fact that the car started to work after I already bought a new car.  We needed a second car.   The car that broke down was a 2004 civic with 267k miles on it.  We needed a new car...badly!  So it just forced us to take the time and do the deed.  (And I had been saving for the down payment so it wasn’t a complete shock!  Lol).   

But that was my previous week.   I’m praying for a nice simple week of sunshine and happiness and huge weight loss this week!!!!

Monday, October 21, 2019

A little more to go

Ahh what a weekend!   It did NOT go as all!   But amidst some stress and pain we still had a good time!

Let’s start with my weigh in.   I am currently officially sitting at 235.4 pounds (at my official weigh in on Friday).   I have to lose 0.6 pounds to be back at my pre-vacation weight.   I am crossing my fingers and hoping for that to happen this upcoming week!!!   That would be one week of vacation and three weeks to recover.  Not the greatest...but I’m ok with that.  Well worth it!

We did get in a bike ride over the weekend.  It was absolutely horrible...from lunging dogs, failed attempts  to complete things I know I can do and wasn’t the greatest.  (Stay tuned on YouTube...that video will go live next week..October 30th to be exact.). And as if the ride wasn’t bad enough...on the way home my car broke down!

Sooooo....the car breaking down totally changed the plans for the rest of the weekend.  We obviously couldn’t ride if we couldn’t use the car—-with the bike rack to get to the trail head.  Oh and the rain on Sunday played a part in the plan change also...when the car broke down we said ...well we can hike, until we saw the rain.  But anyway,  the car has been towed...I am crossing my fingers for something simple to fix!   (When we were about two miles from home it started idling really rough...but was still driving fine....and about 1/2 mile from home the engine light came on....oh heavens!).   

 Cool art made form all Honda car parts at the place I took my car (not the Honda dealership but they specialize in Honda!)

So we hit a few stores...and just moseyed around locally a bit.  And of course had to try on Halloween masks.

I tried this one on...

But didn’t start really laughing until I added my glasses.

We went home...cleaned the house and carved pumpkins!

And that was the weekend!

If you want to have a recap of my last week...visit my YouTube channel video (my weight loss blog video) here.  Please subscribe to my channel also...even if you don’t watch...I would appreciate it!)

so that was the weekend.    Today is back to work.  Most of all, I am determined to lose the rest of this vacation weight this week!  I’m ready for this weight to be gone once and for all!!!!