Wednesday, November 25, 2020

What a rough week

It is weigh in time again and I was so not ready for this weigh in!   Could I skip it??? I didn’t want to see the results because I fully expected a gain!  It was in the cards!     But skipping isn’t a valid option so I faced the music and weighed myself anyway!!!

My week of eating
I did good with  my eating.  I stayed right where I needed to be with my food intake!  I kept my calories in a nice range and a range that is conducive to losing weight (for my body!).    I am happy with my eating and feel in control and on top of that.  It’s not always easy, but I’m feeling good!

Exercise through the week
I managed to get in a couple session on the exercise bike.  Jason and I walked after work every day but one (he was having issues with his foot so we took a break that one day!).   We got some walking in over the weekend also.   I also managed 5 days of yoga.  I could have bumped up some of the intensity level...but I was active!!! As evidenced by my calories and expenditures on exercise chart!!!

Nervous about my weigh in

So why was I nervous about my weigh in?   I was nervous because ok the first day of my weigh in my weight popped up by 2 pounds and it hovered at a higher weight ALL. WEEK. LONG.  Talk about frustrating!   It’s maddening to be doing what is right and see the opposite results on the scales.   

I took some comfort in the fact that the monthly scourge came to visit and I hoped that the weight would right itself at some point, but as days passed and my weight remained high I was feeling hopeless!  Yet I held on and stayed strong.

My weigh in results
When I tell you that I didn’t want to weigh in, let me be clear.  I really did not want to weigh in!  But I stepped on the scales.  I was so shocked when I saw the number!   I had an absolute even maintain!  What? How?    

I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.   I’m taking it and I'm running with it!   I at Chinese food the night before the weigh in so I am double shocked...and halfway expect the weight to pop again...but I am drinking my water to counter act that sodium! 

So this week I am moving forward.  The results on the scale didn’t change that mission at all.  This journey is Kanpur moving forward no matter what the scales do! And that is just what my plan is!!!  Moving forward!!!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Weight Loss Questions

 Last week I was tagged on youtube to answer some questions about my weight loss journey!  I had a blast with it and decided to share the questions here.  So I tag everyone that is reading this to turn around and answer the same questions on your posts!!!  I want to hear your answers!  Let me know in the comments if you do so I can go check out your answers!!!!

1. What is the reason for your weight loss? I started to lose weight way back when and my deep dark reason was to make my then husband love me in the way that I needed to be loved.  It didn't work.  I lost the weight and my marriage was just as crappy as it was before I lost the weight.  I also started to regain, mainly because I had lost it for the wrong reasons.    This time around I am working to lose this for me! I am wanting to lose weight for MY health....for MY future!  I want to by 80 and still hiking and riding a bike!

2. What pitfalls have you come across that have made your weight loss unsuccessful?  The biggest pitfall for me is that I slip up and then feel so mad and depressed that I turn to food for comfort.  That only compounds my issues which in turn makes me eat more!  The biggest pitfall for me is that vicious cycle and stopping that cycle!

3. What are your favorite meal ideas for weight loss? I don't have any favorite meals for weight loss.  I have in the past made only weight loss meals.  But this time around I am cooking normally.  I just try to use lean meats, lots of vegetables, lots of fruits and healthy grains!!!   My biggest thing is portion control.  Eat normally (even at a restaurant) But control my portions!

4. What are your favorite exercises?  I don't like exercise!  Plan and simple!  I don't like it!  BUt that said, I do enjoy biking and hiking.  I enjoy them best when we are out exploring something new and unique.  The hike at Fort Ritchie were we were exploring inside of old buildings was amazing...I forgot I was walking and climbing and whatnot!.  Likewise with the hike at the Browns Farm....I was so busy looking and learning that I forgot I was exercising!  So in essence, my favorite exercise is the exercise where I forget that I am exercising!!!!!

5. How do you stay motivated?  I stay motivated by remembering why I am doing this!   I can feel the aches and pains from my obesity and they actually spur me to lose the weight!  I don't want to be 80 and not able to walk!  I want to be hiking and enjoying life when I am 80!  To do that,  I need to turn this ship those aches and pains keep me motivated!

6. How do you celebrate your success?  I have celebrated in a lot of different ways over the year.  It depends on the time and place and where I am in life.  Money was super tight at one point so celebrating was difficult.  The biggest thing that I did was to learn to celebrate with something NON food related!  That was the hardest lesson.  I would think reward and immediately my mind went to food.  I refuse to reward myself with food.  That is just feeding the issue that brought me to this point!   I am toying with doing the charm bracelet again!  That is where I bought a pandora charm bracelet and bought a new charm every 10 pounds that I lost.  I would buy a charm that signified a milestone or event during that 10 pounds.  IT was a great tangible way to remind myself of my journey.

7. Have you got an overall goal?  I would love to get back to 180.  That was my doctor recommended weight.  That is where I was maintaining at my lowest!  Whenever I dipped below that people commented about how sick I looked.  SO my goal is 180.  From there, we will see how I I look....what the doctor says!

8. Do you follow any weight loss accounts on social media, if so which ones?  I am skipping this one!  I read ya'lls blogs.  I follow some on FB....I follow people on Youtube.  way too many too count and name!

9.  Where do you buy your workout clothes?  Where ever I can find ones that fit and that I like....oh and a good price too!  I've bought workout clothes at Target, Penneys ,Goodwill and Amazon to name a few.  I just recently purchased three hiking pants from them!

10. What advice would you give to any weight loss newbies?  Know that you will make mistakes.  Forgive yourself for your slip ups and get right back on the wagon immediately.  If you say "next monday...or tomorrow' that day may never come!   Forgive yourself and move on!!!!!!

So there you have it!  I hope that you enjoyed my answers...and I would love to know YOUR answers!!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Plans for the Holiday Meal

 I have a video planned for my youtube channel where I talk about how to navigate a holiday meal.   Thanksgiving to be specific.  (It should be live right now if you want to go to my channel and check it out.)  It gives all sorts of tips for navigating this weight loss land mine.  I have some great tips in there, if I do say so myself.  Furthermore, they are tips that I have personally used, so I know that they can work!   But what is my plan for the holiday meal this year?

I am going with version of a plan that I used a few years back.    In 2018 I decided that I was going to challenge myself to staying on track for the holiday meal.  I set up four rules.

1. Exercise
2. No bites licks or tastes while cooking (all food must be eaten off a the table)
3.  One plate/serving
4.  Picture of plate of food

IT worked for me, however the picture of my food was kinda awkward because I wanted to enjoy my family and not be pulling out my phone to take pictures of my plate.  But I did it.   So this year is going to be more of the same...with the exception of the picture.   I don't need a picture!

1. Exercise
2. No bites licks or tastes while cooking (all food must be eaten off a plate and at the table)
3.  One plate/serving....second helpings are not to be eaten!

Will I manage it?  I don't know.  But I DO know that I have to go into the holiday with a plan!  I am on a downward trend.  I have been in control of my eating and I want it to remain that way!  I do NOT want the holiday to derail me or even delay me in my progress!  

I have successfully navigated holidays before, I can do it again!   

What are YOU doing to get through the holiday?  If you don't have a plan....I challenge you to make one!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Weekly weigh in

We had a good week!   I had a good week!   I feel that I did some great work on myself over the past week!  

I am doing great with my Yogvember challenge!  I set a goal to challenge myself to do yoga consistently in the month of November.  My challenge was to complete yoga at least three days a week.   I am proud to announce that with half of the month of November completed that I have done yoga each and every day this far!   Now admittedly some of these days were short 10 minute sessions.  Or rather under 10 with Adriene on YouTube had some short under 10 minute sessions that I have utilized. Most days are 20-30 minutes though!  The reason I’m ok with short’s the consistency!   I think about edit each day!  It’s becoming a routine and a habit!

My eating has been really good!  Most days were right at the 1200-1300 calorie mark that I’m aiming for.  Over the weekend I did have a few days of 1500 calorie days.  But never more than 1500!    It is crazy how in control I feel!  Yes,  I feel grounded and in control and I love that feeling.  It’s hard to describe...because it’s just part of who I am, but I can look at the very recent past and see that weird feeling of frenzy I had when I was not in control of my eating.   It’s so much more calming and good to feel in control.  

So how did I do this week?

Last week I weighed 245.8 pounds and this week I weighed in at 244.0 pounds.  That is a loss of 1.8 pounds.     My average weight for last week was 246.32. And this week it was 245.175.    That means that my average weight is trending downward!    So success the whole way around!!!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Let’s look at the Average

I am a daily weigher!  I know, I know.  People tell me not to do it.  They say it messes with my’s not a healthy thing to do...yada yada yada. But for me it works!   I have weighed every day for years!   When I don’t weigh I worry about my weight.  Sometimes when I don’t weigh I get off’s easier to get off track and gain weight when not confronted with the numbers.   It keeps me on track.

But while I know that for my personality that weighing every day is a good thing for me, I’m not gonna lie.  Sometimes seeing the numbers on the scale drive me crazy!   There is natural fluctuation and it is annoying as all get out!  It’s maddening to see my weight drop low but then tow days later pop up high only to dive low again.   I have been able to identify some events and foods that cause those events that occur on the scales.  But it still makes me quite aware that the scales are not the best measurement in losing weight.  The weigh day may be one of those crazy up days....maybe I’m lucky and it is one of those awesome low days.  I try to manipulate it so that it’s low.   And manipulate I say I try to not eat foods high in sodium, I try to limit my carbs the day before...etc!

A few years back I instituted what I called my ‘it’s ok until’plan.   Basically this plan gave me the freedom to fluctuate on the scales because as long as I was within three pounds from my lowest official weight I was ok!!!  In theory it worked for me really well!  Ok, it worked when I was losing!   But during this past year of struggles I started to gain.  So when I said ‘I’m within three pounds of my last weigh in, I’m ok!   And then two weeks later I would say ‘I’m within 3 pounds of my weigh in two weeks ago, I’m fine!’   But I wasn’t fine because I was using my most recent weight as my ‘it’s ok as long as I’m three pounds from there’ number!   I kept pushing that weight up...I was always within three pounds so i was doing great!  Right????  No!  I gained 19 pounds that way!

So I am starting a new plan!  Since I weigh every day I am going to add  all of my weekly weigh in numbers and divide them to get my weekly average.   The average should give me a much clearer picture of my efforts.  If it goes up...that tells me that for most of the week of the week I was likely not on track!  But if the number gets smaller each week, then I know that even with those crazy days when my weight pops up on the scales and threatens to frustrate didn’t make a difference!  They were just that, a total random fluctuation due to water consumption or monthly hormones or whatever!

The average weight is the true determining factor of my weight loss.   I can’t manipulate the whole week by fasting before a weigh in, skipping sodium, limiting carbs or any number of those tricks that if we want to admit we all do!  The week average is the TRUE judge!!!

So starting this next weigh in you will see my weekly weigh ins AND my average weight weigh loss.   So get ready!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2020

A fun weekend and lots of activity

 This past weekend we had a fabulous time out and about in nature!   We hiked on Saturday for about 3-4 hours and we explored an old military base for about 3 hours.  It was a good active weekend and I it was the perfect way to get in exercise!

Browns Farm Trail:  Catoctin Mountain National Park

We started on Saturday by driving up to the Catoctin Mountain National Park.  I had researched a trail that I wanted to visit and an overlook that I had never been to (that I remember).   I was gung ho!   As we wound up the mountain and into the park property, I began to get a sinking pit in the bottom of my stomach.  There were cars EVERYWHERE.  Every little pull off had cars stacked up every which way parked.  It was insanity. As we got closer to the park visitor center and the road that we would be turning off on the amount of cars increased.  It was wall to wall people!  We turned onto the road that would take us to the parking lot at the trail head that I had planned to hike.  There were Park Police out directing traffic!  What the……..   Luckly it was just to control the mad amount of people that were visiting the park.  And even more happily, I had no run in with the police during this visit like I did a previous visit!

We drove carefully and cautiously through the swarms of people.  I was hopeful that the parking lot where we were heading would be a little less crowded.  After all, it was a mile or two from the visitor center.  But no.  It was jam packed!  No thank you!  I like a little peace and quiet when I hike.  I don’t want to be shoulder to shoulder in a crowd!  We drove on.  The next parking lot was busy also!  We were starting to think that we would have to ditch our plans to hike at Catoctin.  But I started to notice that the further out we went, the less people.  You see, there aren’t as many fabulous overlooks further into the park and that deters a lot of people. Not us!   We went to one of the furthest parking lots and there was plenty of parking. We hit up some trails off of that parking lot and we had a fabulous time!     Now don’t get me wrong, there were still people.  But it was a manageable amount!  I would estimate that we only see people once every mile of our hike.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh nature at last!

We even had time to stop and explore an old grave yard after our hike!!!

Fort Ritchie

On Sunday we woke up and we just didn’t know what we were going to do.  What to do?  Where to go?  I don’t know what sparked me to remember Fort Ritchie, but it came to my mind.  I had always known about it and had always had some vague idea that this was a decommissioned army base and that there were a lot of empty buildings.  But I knew nothing about it other than that.  I mentioned it to Jason and he was all for it!

Boy were we surprised.  The county uses it as a park and there is a community center and a lake on the property.  The lake is man made and was created in the late 1800’s by an ice company to cut ice and sell in Baltimore and Washington DC.  In the 1920’s the property was developed into a training camp for the Maryland National Guard.  In the 1940’s, during the war the control of the property transferred to the U.S. Army where it became a military intelligence Training Center.    Fort Ritchie closed it’s doors in 1998 and the future of the property has been questionable.   In the meantime, it was a fabulous place to walk around and explore! 

We were able to see the outside of a lot of old buildings.  Many of the buildings were locked with the windows boarded over.  But some of the buildings had previously been broken into and were open.  We did not break anything but if it was open and available we entered.  It was neat to imagine what went on within the walls of these old buildings!


After Fort Ritchie, we made the 2 mile drive and checked out the overlook at the PenMar park and drove up to High Rock.  We did not stay at High Rock Long, it was insane the amount of people that were there.  We inspected the view from the top of the rock and then retreated.  There was no way to enjoy the serenity of the view when there were so many people jostling and yelling.   This site has the most awesome view, but it is also one that saddens me the most.  The graffiti covering these mammoth rocks is atrocious.  People have no respect for nature and it is sickening what they are doing.   I had read a while back that volunteers had worked to remove much of the graffiti.  You couldn’t tell! I tried to get a good picture but there were so many people......  So instead, enjoy the view from Pen Mar park!

We had a great time over the weekend.  We were out and about.  We were exploring.  We were moving and active. I couldn’t be more than happy with my activity over the weekend and of course the cool things we saw!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Changing my weigh in day and the Results

We had a great weekend!   We went hiking and we expired an abandoned military base.  We enjoyed the weather greatly...more on that in a later post though.  Because I have to share my weigh in results!!!

So last week I made a decision to change my weigh in day!  My plan was to stop weigh in in on Friday.   You see, when I would weigh in on Friday I would kind of (or really I did) give myself a pass to have a cheat day on Friday.  Then the cheat day turned into Friday and Saturday.  And once I had gone as far as two cheat day...well Sunday was the weekend also!  Might as well make it a trifecta!

This was bad!  Each week I was gaining over the weekend and then trying, often in vain to recover during the week.  Some weeks I was lucky and recovered but more often then not I was gaining...just a half pound here and a half pound there...but i was never losing!  So I had to change my weigh in day to keep myself accountable over the weekend!   

Monday was my first weigh in on a Monday!

All week long I had been doing my yoga.  I had ridden the exercise bike on my lunch breaks.  We had walked after work.  There was hiking and long walking.  I hadn’t been a total slug!  

I kept my food in line all through the weekend.  I did splurge on a dessert on Friday...but it was accounted for and planned for!  All was well.   I admit though, I was worried!  I wanted a loss so bad!

So I stepped onto the scales and I was almost afraid to look down at the numbers.  But...of course I did!!!!

I lost 1.2 pounds.   Thank heavens!  A loss!!!  I was so relieved to see a loss!   Sure I wanted a big loss but that wasn’t in the cards for me.   And honestly, 1.2 pounds is nice and respectable!   No complaints!!!

I’m staying strong and I’m not letting, walking, excessive bike, calories in check....I’ve got this and I’ve got my eyes on another loss next week!!!

Monday, November 09, 2020

Creating a To Do list to Stay Focused


I have implemented a new addition to my life and I am loving it!   I have reinstitute a to do list in my life.  I know...that seems a bit overkill doesn’t it?  But it’s working for me!!!

The impetus behind a To Do list

Last week I talked about my goals for the month of November. And while I am confident that I can meet those goals, I wanted to have something in place to make sure that I meet and even exceed those goals!  But I know myself.  I start strong and then I fade away for a week or two and then I get all bold and string again.  There is a total lack of consistency and it shows in my weight loss efforts, my productivity, my dollhouses, my life.  I needed something to draw me in and give me structure!

I also wrote last week about the having a bucket list of things that I want to do and accomplish in life.  I created that list and I’m excited about it!   In that post I talked about how I have to decide if I really want to do it or if I just want to dream about those things. But how could I make sure that I actually work on the list?

The to do list idea came around quite naturally.  On Monday of last week I was in the shower and thinking about everything I wanted and needed to do that day.  I had a YouTube video to film.  I had one video to edit.  I had a blog post to write.  I had some household chores and oh yeah, I had to squeeze in my yoga session. Afterall, it is Yogvember!    I didn’t want to spend all evening on that stuff.  I like my evenings to be spent with Jason.  I’m in a relationship with him because I like spending time with him, not because I want to always be doing my own thing on my end of the couch!   So I decided to write down my stuff that I needed to do so that I could work on it!!  Not only did I write my list, I took great pleasure in crossing off completed items!   That simple act made me remember my old to do list!

For years I kept a running to do list.   It was just one large long list of things that I wanted to do.   Some things were put on the list and crossed off quickly while other things sat and languished on the list for months.   I would cross off completed items and whenever I had to turn the page I would move all the unfinished things to the new page and start a new list.  It worked for me and I work well with that small reward of seeing crossed off items on my list!   I loved the memory and I wanted to turn that into something awesome for my current life! 

Breakdown of my To Do List 

I am not creating one long list. I am creating a daily to do list.  There are some things that I am putting on the list each and every day.  Some of those items are :  track my food, cardio workout, yoga, devotions, etc.   of course there are things that are just a one day day I had a note to order vitamin drink packets from Amazon.     The daily list is working great!  I don’t beat myself up if something doesn’t get done (most most days everything does get done because I take great glee in crossing items off). BUt if something doesn’t get done I just move it to the next day and carry on.

 On the weekends I don’t have such a strict daily list of things to do.  I have the weekend lumped into one page.         I am simply marking down those items that we randomly say through the week but then forget when the weekend comes.   As you can see, I do have the yoga and food tracking listed there for each day of the weekend because they are things that I really want to continue through the weekend!

I have also included and created a weekly to do list.  This includes the posting schedule for my blogs and my YouTube channels.  It is also where I am placing those long term to do items.  If I have time to work on those things, awesome!  If not I will just move it to the next week!

I am amazed at how productive this had made me this week!  I have managed to get so much done!  I have completed projects and tasks that get pushed aside and/or forgotten.   I feel in top of things and not stressed out.  And I feel so full of pride when I cross an item off the list because it is completed!  I decided that I want the life that I dream about and that I will do whatever it takes to get it!   For me, a to do list keeps me focused on working on my goals each and every day!

Friday, November 06, 2020

More to Life

“There has to be something more to life than this?”   That is a line that I say quite frequently.  There has to be something more than the existence of waking up, getting ready to go to work, spending your day working then going home so tired (physically, mentally or both) that the evening is just trying to recover and recoup for the next day.   We talk about this quite frequently.  We are utterly and totally happy with our relationship (and without that I can’t even imagine how I would be feeling).   However, we spend our days working hard to make someone else rich while we take home a simple (yet adequate) paycheck and quite possibly be wondering if there is something more.

Jason and I haven’t figured out the answer to our question that “there has to be something more” yet……but I stumbled upon a book that made a lot of sense I regards to this question.  The book is called The Art of Non Conformity: Set your Own Rules, Live the Life you want and Change the world and is written by ChrisGuillebeau. (Amazon Link)  How could I not read that book with a title like that!    

The first chapters were kept repeating the same dissatisfaction that I have with my life.  The writer even used the same phrase “there has to be something more.”  Now don’t get me wrong.  We both have employment ….we are ok in that regards.  I am helping patients obtain a medication that they need.  So, there is a small sense of satisfaction there.  But there is just dissatisfaction with the fact that I work and with the commute (when I’m in the office) and the actual work day, I am gone from home for at least 11 hours.  By the time I add in sleep, showering and personal hygiene, cooking dinner, laundry and household chores, my day is over.  For five days a week my life is work and pretty much nothing else. Thus, the dissatisfaction.  As I read the first chapters of this book, I knew that I was not alone!

The next couple chapters were the eye-opening chapters for me.  They were eye opening because of a concept that the write was expounding.  It is a very simple concept also.   The writer wrote about two people that he spoke to.  Two people that wanted a life of freedom.  The one person that he spoke to was all gung ho to minimalize his life.  He was all set to sell his car, pare down his belongings, quit his job and take of on a lifetime of adventure and freedom. (Obviously with a financial plan in place.)  The writer of this book talked about how he felt the excitement of this person but how he was sure that it was ‘all talk’ and that if/when he ever saw this person again that the ‘dreamer’ would still be driving his expensive car and living the same humdrum  existence even though the dreamer had expressed how dissatisfied he was and how bad he wanted it!    You see, this apparently happens to the writer of the book all the time after presentations that he makes.  He spoke about a man that he talked to after a presentation….who he saw each year for the next 4 years or so.  That person was always so excited and ready to make the changes.  However, the each consecutive year when he saw the person again nothing would ever have changed.  BUT…that first person that he wrote about, the one that said he was selling his car?  When the writer saw him a year later he had done it!  That guy had done it all and was living the life he wanted.

You see….it’s easy to TALK.  It’s easy to DREAM.  It’s easy to plan.   But you have to REALLY want it in order to actually do it!  How badly do you want it?  Are you willing to DO or are you just content to dream and complain about what you don’t have?

Now, in terms of giving up my job and finding that financial independence it is a difficult step.  Because most of us just can’t up and leave a job to travel or do whatever the dream is.  But it makes one think about of our dreams.  Are you just dreaming “wouldn’t it be nice to be……?”   Or have you taken the steps to turn those dreams into an actual plan??  “I want to do……… and in order to get to that place in my life I am going to do this….this…and that.” 

Isn’t weight loss the same?  I want to lose weight.  How many times have we said that?  I know for myself that I have said that a multitude of times.  I want this bad.  But am I like the guy who wanted to travel and live financially independent that just talks about it but doesn’t DO it?   Or am I like the guy that wanted it and actually went out and sold his car and quit his job?  What kind of person am I when it comes to weight loss?   What kind of person are you?

I can honestly say that at times during my weight loss journey that I have been a doer.  I want and I do.  But lately I have been more like that second person.  I say I want it and oh, I want it bad!  But when it comes down to actually doing the work to attain my goals, I fall apart and revert to simply being a dreamer.  

Yes, sadly for many years of this blog I have been a dreamer.  I talk and talk and talk about my wants and desires but when it boils down to it, I have been making empty dreams and empty promises to myself.  THAT is not going to get me to my dreams!  That will have me spinning my wheels and going nowhere…. which is exactly what I’ve been doing in the last few months!   It is time to enact on my dreams.  It is time to stop making only half-hearted attempts. It is time to get this weight off once and for all!

This book, The Art of Non Conformity was an eye opening.  Yes, it makes me want to take steps to be financially independent from a 9-5 in the office job (and I’m pondering options and thoughts that may make it possible….working up some plan, because we do still need to have an income to survive).  But more importantly,  it made me sit back and look at myself realistically and I’m finally done simply wanting and dreaming about weight loss and to actually take the steps to achieve my desires!

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Monthly Goals and Showing Mercy

I can’t believe that it is already November.  This year is flying by!  The last few months have not been easy for me with my weight loss journey.  Not at all.  It has been so ‘weird’ that I haven’t even done a monthly goal post.  I haven’t even thought about my monthly goals and quite honestly in the month of October I blew most of the goals off!  But it is time to talk about those goals and get myself straightened out!

Setting Monthly Goals

When I set my monthly goals, I try to set them with the idea that I will falter and mess up.  I am a human and therefore I will have stumbles upon my journey.  I also know that for me I tend to be an all or nothing.  If I set a goal that I am going to eat perfectly for 7 days a week and I mess up on day one, my tendency is to quit because “all is lost”.  So with that in mind, my goals are more loose and fluid to allow myself the grace and mercy to be human and NOT be perfect.

1     Track every bite of food.   This goal is set to help me stay consistent.  I know that when I track I tend to be more on target with what I eat.  But my goal is to simply track.  It doesn’t matter if I have a day where my calorie count is 6000.  I just need to track it to have the win!

2.      Save money.  This it not strictly a weight loss goal, but it is a life goal.  So I am including it.  Up until recently the goal was to save money. However recently I decided that I will be ok with a set amount in my savings account. If the total dips below that amount I will start dumping money into the savings but I’m not focusing on my savings at the moment.  What AM I focusing on?  Paying off the car!  You see, the car payment has what…3.5% interest (I’m just guessing…my paperwork is buried in files at the moment).  My savings account is earning me a whopping 0.1% interest (once again…guessing…and I think that is a high estimate).  You do the math.  Where is my month best spent?  Shaving off my principal on a loan meaning my interest will be reduced greatly over the years or earning that penny?   And once again, I’m not saying a certain amount.  Sure I would like to at least double my payment each month…but I’m not stressing about it as long as SOMETHING extra is paid!

3.       Weigh less!  I don’t care what I weigh at the end of the month as long as it is less then I weigh at the beginning of the month.  A hair less works!  Would I like it to be 10 pounds?  Or even 5 pounds?  Sure.  But ANY loss is a good one and considered a win!

4.       Be active at least 4 times a week. This is pretty easy to get….or at least it has been.  A simple walk outside with Jason after work suffices.  We do that pretty much every day. (I am not sure how the time change and the darkness that comes with it will affect us though!)   But 4 times a week…for a measly 20 minutes is doable.  I’m not asking for the moon.  I’m asking for just a few times!

5.       Keep my eating in line at least 6 days a week.  There will be events (hello Thanksgiving) and happenings that cause me to eat a bit more.  There are things that happen.  I have to show myself mercy and allow myself to have a day where I can eat more.  That day gives me the wiggle room to have a stumble and still not fail with my goals.  I would rather stumble and say “It’s allowed, so I better pick myself up because I used my one ‘get out of jail free’ pass!”  Versus “I messed up, I may as well eat every piece of chocolate that I see!”  That one day gives me room to mess up!

6.       Step count.  I know that they recommend 10,000 steps a day.  I would love to get that.  HOWEVER, with my lifestyle and work this is difficult.  So I am aiming for 5,000.  And yeah, that’s a struggle.  I allow an average of all the days of the month (and yes, those hikes save my behind many months).  I will also take out any days where I ride the bike instead of hike/walk.  If I’m spending my time doing something active that isn’t earning me steps, it shouldn’t count against me.  That’s my thought at least.  Once again…..grace and mercy!

Those are the standard monthly goals that I carry over from month to month.  And they will be my goals for the month of November for sure.  But November has a special goal.  IT has my Yogvember challenge.   For Yogvember I am challenging myself to at least three days of yoga each week.  Realistically that is my goal.  But I will let you in on a little secret…..I am actually aiming for 7 days a week!!!!

Goals are important.  But we have to make sure that they are attainable. We have to make sure our goals are not something that will actually derail us.   My goals are here….and with the room for stumbles, I’m sure that I can totally nail my goals in November!

Monday, November 02, 2020

Adapting for Success

 Weight loss…..boy is this journey full of adaptations and changes!  I think I have it figured out and then it hits me hard and I realize that I have no clue what I’m doing.  These last months have been this way.  I have been grasping at straws.  Resisting change.  And just not working my weight loss journey to my advantage.  Actually, I’ve gone backwards in this journey!  Yes, I’ve gained weight.  (at the highest 19 pounds to be exact).  I decided that it was time to change and adapt!

Running as an Overweight Woman and the changes Coming my Way

I have enjoyed running and I have been so anxious to get back to it.  So about two weeks ago I started.  I felt great going out there, even though it was tough and slow!  But almost immediately I started to feel some pain. I don’t mean the normal ‘I’m just sore from a workout’ pain.  I mean pain…..leg buckling from the issue pain.  But I had made a vow to run….so I kept running!  I wanted to run. 

After about two weeks though I had come to the conclusion in my mind that at my current weight I just needed to step back from running for a bit.  I had never run at this weight (maybe for a good reason).  I knew that I was not helping my body but rather beating it up.   I resisted giving up.   But then one day when we were walking after work, my knee buckled again and I could barely walk for a bit.  Jason actually offered to go get the car to come pick me up. (I said no and soldiered through.)  In the ensuing conversation he gently suggested that I need to lay off running for a bit.  At least until I get some of the weight off of my body.  He wants me healthy….not broken.  I have to agree….just two weeks of running was breaking me!  

So those new running shoes that I have worn just 2 times are going into their box and going to sit on the shelf for a few weeks/months until my body can handle it!   For now, it’s low impact stuff like the bike and walking!

Adapting my Weigh in Day

Sooo…here is the biggie. I have been talking a lot lately about my calories and how I need to keep my calories at a lower level.   That was the first epiphany.  I was spot on with that statement.  I had to figure that out and accept it.   Lesson accepted.  The next epiphany was realized and accepting that some of my struggles are due to the lack of consistency with my eating.  My calorie count is higher on the weekends.  I typically struggle and gain a bit during the weekends.   I see the weight pop up and I clean up my act during the work week (when it is easier for me to stay on track).  I can ‘usually’ recoup my weight gain and show a maintain for the week.  It is a true see saw action! 

Years ago I was going to Weight Watchers on Tuesday nights.  My weekend at that time was Sunday through Monday.  Thus, I had to be spot on through my weekend in order to have a decent weigh in on Tuesday evening.  Yes…..that goes against conventional thought doesn’t it???   But do you know what?  It worked for me.  That looming weigh in kept me in line.  I was so much more cognizant of my weekend eating.  I kept it in line.  I wasn’t tempted to ‘go crazy because I have the whole week to fix it”.  

So with that said, I am changing my official weigh in day.  For the last few years I have been weighing in on Friday mornings. (And it is all downhill from there.)  No more…….I will be changing my weigh in day to Monday.  This first week is going to be tough because I have two weekends to navigate.  But I have a weigh in looming and I know that I can do it!

Change isn’t easy.  It is much easier to stick with what we are doing.  It is the path of least resistance.  However, that path doesn’t always bring us success.  I am changing and I am adapting because I want success!!!!!!

(Ohhhh and I maintained this week!)

Friday, October 30, 2020

What gear do you REALLY need to get out and walk or run??

 I have been really working to try to be more active in the past weeks.  As I have done so I was reunited with my enjoyment of running and I had the opportunity to pull out old familiar gear and to buy some other new gear! It was a fun time!   It really highlighted the fact that we don’t need fancy new things and the best of everything to get out and exercise.  I will be sharing   with you what I started with and how I have evolved! When I first

The Gear I used when I started to Run

When I first decided to start running way back in 2013 (give or take), I did not start with much equipment or gear.  I literally laced my feet into whatever tennis shoes I had in the house and I went outside.  I carried my cell phone in my hand for the first few runs and I used the headphones that came with my cell phone to convey the music to my ears.  I had nothing fancy and that is all I needed.  There was no excuses about why I couldn't run because I didn't have what I needed.  I literally went out wearing my normal clothes and using everyday items that I had around the house!  There is no need for fancy gear!

After just a few runs, I did decide to purchase an arm band to hold my cell phonewhile I ran.  It seemed like a great decision.  I didn't pay a whole lot of money for my purchase (I believe I may have purchased it at 5 Below)  and it was the perfect piece of gear and the only extra thing I purchased for quite some time!

The Upgrades to My running Gear Begins

I didn't really set out to upgrade my running gear.  It happened quite naturally and painfully.  Yes, pain came a calling in the guise of Plantar's Fasciitis.  It was no fun and it really put a damper on running.  I went to the doctor and received my diagnosis.  I was determined to get it under control naturally.  So I started to read.    One of the first things that I read was that wearing shoes with poor support and broken and old support is a big contributing factor to plantar's fasciitis.  Uhhh ohhh!   I had been running with whatever tennis shoe I grabbed first and let me tell you, they were old!    

I learned a very valuable lesson that day.   The ONLY thing to worry about in terms of gear is your shoes!  Buy a good pair and replace them frequently!!!!!!   I began to wear the Asics Cumulous running shoe.  I would be honored if you tried them and said that they were the most fabulous shoe.  But I am going to advise you to instead try on different shoes and find the one that works best for your feet!  And then replace them frequently!!!!  Learn from my errors!

My two favorite  Purchases for Running and Walking

When I talk about gear for running and walking my two absolute favorite purchases are my Aftershokz headphones and my Run Buddy.  If you have been reading this website for a while, you will probably know what is coming because I have talked about these two things on quite a few occasions.   

The Aftershokz bone conducting headphones are the most amazing thing!   When I started to run I used the ear buds that came standard with my phone.  They worked but the buds never stay in my ears properly.  When I run or walk I am always fiddling around and replacing one or the other of the ear buds.  I started to think about replacing then with something different and in the fall of 2014 I found what I was looking for.  I found the bone conducting wireless headphones from Aftershokz.  This things are fabulous!  I can hear all that is going on around me, so I am not in my own bubble unaware of my surroundings.  The sound is great.  The quality of sound is wonderful and they are NOT IN MY EARS, which means that they don't fall out and I don't have to constantly fiddle with them when I run!!!

The last thing is my Run Buddy.  I absolutely love this!!   100% recommend it to anyone!   I bought this to replace my armband that I talked about earlier in this post.  The arm band cell phone holder worked for me.  But I was never totally happy with it.  I am overweight and my arms are larger.  The armband seemed to cut into my arm, uncomfortably so.   If I wanted to change something on my phone....check my stats.....turn off the music....or take a picture (the most important thing...right?).  I had to practically stop running to get the band off my arm and to remove the cell phone.  Hooking everything back up was just as cumbersome!  So when I stumbled upon the Run Buddy and read a bit about it, I KNEW that I had to have it!  It is absolutely amazing!  Seriously, I love this thing so much that when I thought I lost it, I went out and bought a new one! (So yes, I have two now!)    It is basically a pouch that has a flap that goes inside your pants.  The pouch has magnets and the flap has magnets and it holds tight.  I have NEVER had a problem (except that one day when I was wearing pants that were too big and the weight of the run buddy and my phone pulled my pants down mid I do not jest...that really happened).    This thing is incredible!  

Running And Walking Gear

This post goes to show.  I started to run with next to nothing.  Sure, I upgraded a few items that I love.  But they were convenience items.  We can walk.  We can run.  We can get out and exercise without all those fancy trappings.  We just need to get out and do it!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Yog-vember : I challenge YOU

 Welcome to the Yog-vember Yoga challenge for November!   Last year I was reading a blog post (I am so sorry, I can't remember who posted it) and I was challenged to complete a 30 day Yoga Challenge!  I did it....against all odds.  And I was super proud of myself.  But somewhere along the way, I fell off track and I stopped doing the yoga.  Over the last year I have told myself over and over again that I was going to get back on the yoga bandwagon.  But it never happened.  Until now.  I am setting a challenge for the whole world to hear! (Ok,  my small world of whomever reads my website and watches my youtube videos)

My Experience with Yoga

Before we get into the Yogvember Yoga challenge let me tell you why I am doing this.  Last year I was really struggling with a pinched nerve in my arm.  It was bad.  My fingers were going numb.  I had no range of motion in my right (my dominant) arm.  The strength was diminished.  It was just bad.  I went to the doctor and they gave me pain meds and muscle relaxers which dropped the pain and lack of motion down to an annoyance. But it was still there.  Quite unrelated I read about this 30 days of yoga playlist.  Something clicked for me and I decided to do it!!!!  

It took a few weeks for me to realize what had happened because there was no grand revelation.  But the arm pain receded.  I could barely feel any pain!  It was the craziest thing!  I had been in pain for months and I started Yoga and within a few weeks the pain had all but disappeared.  I noticed I was riding better on my bike also!  It was just amazing.   But life (vacation) happened and the routine was broken. I always wanted  to restart it, but it just didn't happen.  (yeah, bad me!)  

The Yog-Vember Challenge

So the time has come for me to get back to this yoga stuff!  And what better way than to challenge myself to a month of Yoga....thus....Yog-vember!  And you know I can't challenge myself without challenging you go join me also! 

The challenge is simple!  

1.  Find a yoga program to follow.  If you can go to a yoga class...awesome.  If you do it with a VHS tape or DVD.....awesome.  If you want to do it online through youtube....awesome.   If you don't have a clue where to find yoga to do, I recommend Yoga With Adriene.  She is good...she is easy to follow and she has a dog laying beside her on newer videos!  

2. Commit to a certain number of days each week that you will be doing yoga....chose at least 3.....come on now, it's less than half the week!  If you want to aim bigger, go for 5.  If you are totally committed, by all means do yoga each day of the month!  The trick is to find what works for YOU and your lifestyle!  Furthermore, I'm not even putting a number of how long your yoga session has to be!  I will be doing mostly 15-20 minute yoga sessions....but I love that Yoga with Adriene has playlists that are separated by time!  You can find a yoga session that meets your needs!

3.  Let me know if you are joining me! (if you want to!)

And that is all there is to the Yog-vember challenge!  A month of consistent yoga!  Lets see what a month of yoga does to our bodies!  Lets see our bodies adapt and adjust and get stronger!!!!  Lets rock out this Yog-vember!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Healthy Choices

I am super proud of this past week.   The scales may not show my efforts and the steps that I took to be healthy.  I however know what I did in the arena of my healthy eating and my healthy fitness pursuits and I couldn’t be happier!  

Exercise through the week
Let’s start with exercise because this may be the place that I am most proud.  I started my work week and I had been planning on running on my lunch breaks and that very first day I wimped out!  Oh yes I did.  All morning I flat out decided and vowed that there would be no run!   And then about 10 minutes before lunch I got my mind straight and I went out!   Day one done!   I used my lunch break all week wisely for exercise (except one day when I had some other stuff to do)  I rode the exercise bike one day but the rest of the time I was outside jogging.   And of course we had that nice hike over the weekend!

Healthy Eating

I am not going to lie or stretch the truth and say that I didn’t have ANY sweet treat.  I did.   The first day of my weigh in week I splurged and had a piece of shoofly pie.   The rest of the week (and the week before) I did not indulge in any sweet treat!    I didn’t succumb to any unhealthy snacking temptation.  One day I was really struggling and I ate a banana!   I ate lots of fruits and veggies.  My lunches were a nice salad.   I was eating healthy nutritious food.

My calories were up between 1600 and 1800 calories each day.   That is exactly where all the calculators and whatnot tell me I need to be in terms of caloric intake. 

Scales are Stupid

I made healthy choices all around this past week.   For a while I thought I was going to have a gain....but at the last minute my weight leveled back out and I had a maintain!    (Whew!)

It is infuriating to be active and make healthy choices and still gain/maintain!!!!

So looking more deeply.   I know that 1600-1800 calories should have me losing weight.  I read the books, I listen to the comments.  I try it, because honestly I WANT to be able to eat those calories!   But I figured out long ago that my body doesn’t work that way.  When I did weight watchers (successfully) I figured out that when I ate my extra flex points/weekly points/exercise earned points that I didn’t lose weight. I remember a night when a friend from the meeting turned to me and said, ‘I find it so sad that you can’t eat those extra points’.   It just doesn’t work for my body!  I have at various times over the years had my thyroid’s working just fine.   It’s just how MY body works...sadly enough!

Moving forward to lose weight

I plan on continuing the lunchtime runs/bike rides.   I also plan on keeping up with the healthy nutritious foods.    The big change?  I will be working to bring my calorie count a whole lot lower!!!!  I know for my body it is important.  I talk about it constantly, but I just have resisted doing it!!!!   I can’t resist any longer!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Covid 19 pounds

 I had such grand plans when Covid began.  Sure I was stressed out about the state of our world, but I had grand plans and I was going to rock out the quarantine!   I was going to lose weight.  I was going to get fit.  I was going to show the world who was boss....and it wasn't Covid!

Original plans for the quarantine

When I was sent from the office to work from home in mid March, I was so excited!  I was going to reclaim time in my life.  I would have time to walk after work!  I would be able to get a good workout in on my lunch.  OH my, I could actually start running, something I have missed so much!  I was going to continue to eat my on the go lunches and make this work!  At that point I had been losing slowly but steadily and I just knew that  the changes were going to be an opportunity to build upon that foundation!  I had this in the bag!!!

I am not even going to go into detail about what happened.  They are excuses!  Some of them valid (like plantars fasciitis) but there were always options to circumnavigate the excuse.  I failed BIG TIME!  I didn't do my lunch time workouts.  I didn't run. (well...I did maybe 5 times total in the first 6 months.)  I allowed snacks and larger than necessary lunches.  I just totally fell apart!

Covid...19 Pounds

To the best of my knowledge, I have not contracted the illness of Covid.  But regardless, I struggled with Covid 19.  The Covid 19 illness chewed me up and spit me out!  What am I talking about?  I am talking about the weight gain!  It started slowly. For the first few weeks I maintained my week and then my weight went up by a pound or two.  I maintained that for a few weeks and then it went up by a pound or two.   Over the last 7 months, I have managed to gain......19 pounds.  Yes, I  really did gain the covid NINETEEN.  

How embarrassing!

Ending the Pandemic Pounds

I do not want this pandemic to go on and on, but I fear that it will.  But regardless of what happens with the pandemic and covid-19, I have to stop the gain.  I have to regain control of my life, my body, my weight.   I do not want this to become worse than it already is.   I have to draw the line in the sand!  Enough is enough!

Starting now.....the calories have GOT to be in the correct level for my body to lose weight.  There are no excuses...I am worth the effort!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Historical Hiking

 It is no secret that I love history.  So when we hike somewhere where there is history involved, I love it!   Such was the case with our hike on Sunday!   We hiked a side trail up to a ridge and the Appalachian Trail.  It was a great hike. 

Return to the scene of the Hiking Crime

We last hiked this trail on January 1 of this year.  That day, almost 11 months ago was a great day for hiking.  It was cold, but not overly so.  The trail was well trafficked but not annoyingly so.  It was the first time we had hiked in quite some time.   I was tired and winded going up, but coming back down my legs were so wobbly.  And yes, that was one of the tumbles (aka falls) that I took while hiking earlier this year.  That was actually the first fall.  I was embarrassed and a bit sore but thankfully not seriously hurt.  

SO it was with some laughter (and maybe fear) that I walked this trail again!  We talked about my previous swan dive each time we crossed that stupid rock crossing/stream too!   Jason cautioned me to go slow and be careful, which I did!  But this time I had my trusty trekking poles (Amazon Affiliate link) and there was no problem!  I zipped right across.  


A Wee bit of History

Every time we hike this trail we are so intrigued by the fact that there once stood an old hotel at the top of this rocky and steep trail.   It just blows our minds!  We have tried numerous times to look for information and come up with very little.   What we can find is absolutely fascinating!  I have written a post about the history (what we know if it) on my second website, Belief in Living. (There is a link to the youtube video I put up about it on that website also if you are interested.)  

Black Rock Hotel (c 1920)

We also discussed and pondered the two men who have trails and a campsite named after them.   I'm telling you....chock full of history!   For me, when I can occupy my mind with fascinating thoughts, like history, I kind of forget that I'm hiking.  And that is when I don't feel pain or tired!   That is a perfect hike in my book!

The actual hike on Thurston Griggs and the Appalachian Trail

The hike up the Thurston Griggs trail was rocky and steep, but that was expected.  Ironically enough, it wasn't my legs that got me.  It was my cardio endurance.  It was my lungs and my breathing!  I duly noted my weak spot and have vowed to work more on building my cardio strength!

Once we got to the top of the Thurston Griggs trail, we roamed around the Pogo Campsite a bit. Jason has vowed that we will be buying that tent that we need and camping SOON. I have a feeling we will be trying out our new tent at the Pogo Campsite.  (The hike up Thurston Griggs is one of our favorites and probably the most frequently hiked trail that we have done since we have been together). 

After roaming the primitive campsite a bit, we headed north on the Appalachian Trail.  Yes, if you are familiar with the area, you are probably wondering why we didn't head south.  After all Black Rock was only a short distance away and the Annapolis Rock overlook just a mile or two further than that.  Both of them offer fabulous views.  But you see, we had driven by the parking lot for the trailhead that was closest to Annapolis Rock and it was overcrowded.  I knew that there were a lot of people on the trail and we like trails that are less travelled.  In essence, we want the woods to ourselves!   So we went the way that we figured would be less populated.  

It was probably less populated, but there were still a lot of people out and about!  Was it due to the nice weather?  Was it due to the never ending pandemic?  Was it some weird uprise in fitness?  I don't know.  I just know that I'll be searching for less populated trails for our next hikes!!!

All in all, it was a good hike.  My legs felt tired and I did have one small ache in my left knee when we were done but I felt strong and feel like I did pretty good.  I am loving my new hiking boots and my hiking pants...both great purchases!  Best of all, Jason and I were together and able to enjoy the splendor of nature!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Recouping my Weight after Vacation

 So vacation ended roughly a week ago. I admitted that I ate more food than necessary, or rather more dessert than necessary.  I also advised that I had  weighed in immediately upon returning home and I saw what the damage was.  I was ready to start this weight loss journey and get back on track!  I took every step and chance that I had to succeed! 

Setting myself up for Weight Loss Success

The very first day we were home I headed to the grocery store.  I stocked up the kitchen with healthy foods!  I got fresh veggies to cook with our dinners.  I got fresh veggies to nibble on.  I bought a variety of fruit.  I made sure I had the foods for success!

I had grand plans to start exercising on my lunch breaks.  I really had the best intentions.  But the first part of the week was so chaotic!  So I didn't get my lunch time exercise happening until Thursday when I went out for a run!

My first time jogging/running

Oh my word.  I knew that going out for a jog was going to be bad!  I haven't run in months.  I have been dealing with plantars fasciitis and well, I've gained weight.  I knew it was going to be slow.  I knew it was going to be REALLY slow.  So much so that I actually prepped my lunch on my first break from work.  I put it all on the plates/bowls and put it in the fridge.  I figured that I could just grab the lunch and eat it at my desk.  I was that prepared to use the whole 30 minutes to complete my predetermined route.  

It was bad!  I'm not going to lie.  It was ugly!  However, I will say that it could have been worse.  I made it halfway before I really had to stop to walk. Halfway is better than none!!!  Right??  I didn't feel all that horrible when I was running.  But once I stopped to walk, the pain came crashing down. My heel? heel hurt a bit when I was first running but that settled down a bit.  What hurt though were my shins.   My shins HURT like the dickens! 

I ran the first half.  Ok it was more  like a slow laborious painful to watch jog.  The second half, I walked a lot and tried to run some sections.  It was rough! But I did it!

A new Start to Lose Weight

This isn't technically a new start.  It is more like a continuation of my journey.  But before we went on vacation I decided that I wanted to give myself something new for this restart. I wanted something physical that I could see and 'love' and get  excited about.  So I ordered a new water bottle  Now in case you don't know,  I love water bottles.   I have typically tried to always carry a 64 ounce water bottle around.  It works because I simply know that I have to drain that each day to get my bare minimum of water.  It works for me.  Years ago, I had a water jug/bottle that I loved. It was insulated so it didn't get condensation.  It held 64 ounces. It had all sorts of water facts on the side and best of all, it had lines to show me where I was in my drinking and how much more I needed to go.  I wasn't just guessing that 'it feels like I've drank half".  The line indicators told me exactly where I was at any given moment of the day.  Sadly, that bottle/jug met an untimely death.  I have never been able to find one to replace it.  I have tried other 64 ouncers.....they are 'eh'.  So when I saw a 32 ounce bottle (Affiliate Link) that has the indicator lines, I decided to go for it.  I figured that this would be a good thing for me.  Refilling it isn't that bad since I am after all working from home.  So I have a new bottle to signify my new (re) start!

First weigh in after getting back on track

So I got myself back on track and I was anxiously awaiting the numbers on the scale to go down.  But on Monday and Tuesday the numbers kept climbing!   I was so disheartened and disappointed!  How???   but I guess it was just the vacation weight settling on me....and maybe the water retention.   I didn't give up (although I was sorely tempted).   And on Thursday I saw the numbers start to drop again!   So by Friday, my official weigh in showed me at 247.0   That is a lost of 1.6 pounds since we got back from vacation.  SO I have lost about half of my vacation gain.  I'll take that!!!!  I'm aiming to recoup it all by the end of next week!!!!!