Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thoughts for the New Year

Christmas is over.  I've known for some time that once the holiday passed, I would have to hunker down and press forward with making over my lifestyle.  These past two months have been nearly a waste of time.  A waste of time because over the holidays I started drinking Dr. Pepper again.  And a waste of time because when I weighed in yesterday, the scale read 198.  Yep.  198. 

However, the two months were only a near waste of time because I think they'll serve like a warm up.  I'm relatively familiar with the blog and the chance to play with my goals for the last two months has helped me to zero in on what my goals need to be.

I won't deny that I'm constantly tempted to try to find a way to quick weight loss.  With every advertisement for meal replacements or other quick fixes that pass in front of me, I have to steal myself a little more against the temptation to buy in.  I win this battle with the constant reminder that I want a permanent change.  I don't want to lose 25 pounds just to put 35 pounds back on. 

This blog is about staying the course of changing my lifestyle in such a way as to achieve what I hope to be permanent weight loss and a permanent improvement in my health. I will stick to the original plan of the blog, and that is to post weekly a goal for change for that week.  All of my goals will be about changes to make in my lifestyle, like adding in more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, cutting out the processed foods, etc.  None of my weekly goals will be specific to pounds of loss.  My rewards, however, will be.

Reward for losing 10 pounds - Manicure/pedicure

Reward for losing 20 pounds - 30 Minute Massage

Reward for losing 30 pounds - 60 Minute Massage

Reward for losing 40 pounds - Day of Pampering (manicure/pedicure/massge and possible haircut)

Until I lose the pounds referenced I will refrain from indulging in these activities.  Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

In and then Out for the Holiday

Luck appears to be on my side as I haven't gained any weight in two weeks.  Of course, I haven't lost any either.  I suppose one could interpret that as luck being against me, but I prefer to look at the glass half full.  Besides, my eating habits haven't exactly been stellar lately.  There is too much good stuff tempting me. 

However, today I age a year.  I'm glad to be around for it, but one thought tumbling around in my mind is that I'm still fat.  Yep, sorry to put it out there like that.  But I've felt for some time that I could be at a healthier weight if I would just try.  I just haven't had the motivation to try.  But I really, really want this to be MY year to make that change.  So, when I come back after the new year, it is my goal to be a lot more disciplined.

Wish me luck. 

Hope you all enjoy your holiday, if you get one.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A little taste of success - Weighing In

I weighed in at 194.6 today.  I'm down two whole pounds.  It isn't earth shattering, but I certainly felt some satisfaction reading the numbers.  The best part of the deal is that I barely even tried! Of course, that's been my theme so far.  The only change I made last week was incorporating vegetables into my diet.  I've never hated vegetables, I just have a little love affair with carbs that leaves little time for courting the pretty colored food group. 
However, it occurred to me last week that so long as I'm still half-assing the whole weight loss effort it couldn't hurt to just try adding in some healthy stuff.  After all, my "diet" is supposed to be all about the life change.  So, as I hatched this little plan at the local grocery store, I was strolling down the frozen food section when I happened upon these Green Giant Health Blends.  They're absolutely yummy. I've been trying to make at least one of my meals each day, usually lunch, primarily veggies.  I supplement with yogurt, apple sauce, brown rice or some other add-in that I'm craving that day.  They Health Blends are quite tasty and very filling.  (I promise I've received no $$ from the big green man to pass this information along)
So, add the veggies to my previous break-up with Dr. Pepper and you pretty much have the extent of my weight loss "efforts," which resulted in these two pounds disappearing.
This week I'm making a concerted effort to have 2-3 dairy servings a day.  We'll see how that helps/hurts.

I've previously shared how I'm prone to pick up those cheap womens' magazines at the check out stands that promise 20 - 30 pounds of weightloss super quick, usually using a diet that has an ounce of sound advice with a pound of pure BS.  Well, I noticed in my last purchase that while the large font on the magazine cover promised significant weightloss on page 26, there was a full page immediately inside the magazine as well as on the back cover touting the glamour of big and beautiful.  I believe they were underwear ads. 
Now, I've nothing against larger people.  I think many are quite beautiful as they are and shouldn't feel any need to change,  unless in the interest of good health.  I'm not one of those people.  I feel like I'm bursting out of my skin between sizes 14 and 16.  However, I think it incredibly hypocritical for a magazine to capitalize on promoting large beauty and the need to get skinny.  I mean, pick one or the other.  I can only imagine how confusing a message these magazines are for girls and women with less self-esteem who truly look to other sources to have their self image defined. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Surviving Thanksgiving & Weighing In

I survived Thanksgiving.  I didn't conquer it.  As you may know from reading my posts to date, I'm only half-assing this whole diet thing at the moment.  I'm taking baby steps.  I want this to be a life-style change, not just a diet, and I am very self aware when it comes to my will power.  I have nearly none.  So, for Thanksgiving I ate.  I had truck loads of people at my house and we had a potluck feast of oh-so-tempting goodies. 

Despite my best laid plans to increase activity during the long weekend, immediately following our feast, I fell ill.  I'm still not at 100% as far as feeling well goes, but I now weight 196.6.  Yep, that's more than I when I started blogging.  I've gotta admit, though, that I feel very little remorse.  I'm just not wired that way.  It's done.  I ate delicious holiday goodies and failed the weight loss battle.  But, it was, after all, only one battle.  I will win the war!  (In the interest of full disclosure, I probably won't win the war during December.  I have two birthdays to celebrate in additions to The Birthday on 12/25.  Chances are, I'll eat then, too.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weighing In

So my scales read 195.6 this morning.  I can't say that I'm terribly excited at the half a pound a week rate at which I'm losing, but at least I'm losing.  I'll take it!  I have to keep reminding myself that I'm really not trying too hard yet.  I have yet to make 5 days of exercise a week.  But I have ended my love affair with Dr. Pepper.  Oh, sure, I'll always be a little weak in the knees for his 23 flavors, but I'm done.  I'll never go back.

I purchased two magazines last week.  Both had cover stories about losing between 25 and 30 pounds by Christmas.  I don't know why I fall victim to the lure of quick weight loss, but I do, almost every time.  Both diets were relatively reasonable, but so far I've withstood the temptation of jumping on either bandwagon.  However, the very fact that I purchased the magazines got me to thinking.  All of a sudden I wondered how much I've spent in the interest of weight loss.

I looked back over what I could remember of the various efforts exerted over the last decade.  I know that I don't recollect them all.  I've done everything from the cabbage soup diet to Atkins and from Weight Watchers to Metabolic Research Center.  Of what I could remember, the total cost exceeded $1600.  That doesn't include any magazines I'd ever purchased for the sole purpose of getting a look at the diet advertised on the cover. 

Depending on what "ideal" weight I try to reach, I've already spent between $25 and more than $30 per pound on what I need to lose.  Keep in mind, too, that there are plenty of options (more expensive than any I've tried so far) that I haven't tried for losing weight, but seriously considered.  The fact is that anything I do from this point forward just makes that $ per pound figure grow. 

The sad thing is that nothing I've tried has had permanent success, at least not for me.  Whoever pocketed those $$ may have considered themselves successful.  But I've still got the weight to lose.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 3's Roller Coaster Ride

Today is the beginning of week three.  I'm happy to report that I weighed in at 195.8 this morning, which is .4 less than what I weighed last Monday.
I didn't meet my weekly goal last week.  I only managed to get in 30 minutes of exercise three times last week.  I did have a very busy week, but I won't make any excuses, I'll just shoot for 5 again next week.

I got my lab work back from my wellness panel last week.  See the results above.
They look good according to my doc. What is frustrating, though is that there isn't anything in them that helps explain why I am overweight.  I keep hoping something will show up and by default the quick and easy answer to my weight issues will become obvious.  No such luck.  Not only that, but the nurse weighed me in weighing a good 5 pounds over what I weight in at this morning.  I know the changes I've made aren't significant, and I can only pray that things will get better as I go along. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Days 9, 10 & 11.

It hasn't taken me long to realize that I've over extended myself.  I don't recall that I've provided you very many personal facts in this blog (and I'm too lazy to check at the moment) but here are a few if you're interested.

  • I am a full time mother to three kids and I have three step-kids.  The step-kids will be here the entire week of Thanksgiving.
  • I am a full time employee, and HR Manager. Our organization employees 1200+ employees and I'm responsible for all the HR features that support the organization and associated employees.
  • I am a wife.  My husband works.  All. The. Time. This leaves me to essentially be a single parent a lot of the time.
  • I teach a continuing education/certification class about twice a semester.
  • I'm trying to write a book on the side, which is my true passion
  • I have a ton of people scheduled to be at my house on Thanksgiving. 
So, with all that said, I hope you all will understand that though I said I'd post daily, I won't be able to keep that schedule.  I haven't posted in three days just because of the sheer volume of work I've been doing at the office.

The goal of this blog is to help get me healthy, not just to get me to weigh less (thought that is a major party of it). In being healthy, I firmly believe, and I think research backs this up, that a person must know his or her limitations and manage their time in a manner that it is productive, and not a huge stressor.  So, that is what I'm going to do.

I'll still post here, especially my weigh ins, my goals, the associated successes and/or failures, the occaisional rant, etc. But, it won't be daily. 

So...on with the regulars.  My No Dr. Pepper Goal has been met and continues to be successful this week.  I've now walked twice on the treadmill and have three more times to do so between now and Sunday to meet my goal.  My food intake has been reasonable.  I haven't really made any concerted efforts toward modifying my diet, and keep in mind that hasn't been a goal yet.  I did have some blood taken yesterday for a wellness panel.  I'll share the results next week.  It should be something else that I can measure my success against in a year when I finish this blog!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 8 - Weigh In

My post will be short today. The first thing that I want to share is that I weighed 196.2 this morning. That is exactly what I weighed last Monday. I’m content with that since my only change was to end my relationship with Dr. Pepper. If you read my posts last week, you knew that there were a few times I hopped on the scale last week and my weight actually went up. I received great advice last week, though, to only fret about the scale on the one day of the week I actually assigned as weigh-in day. The numbers don’t lie, that was excellent advice.

So, my goal this week is 30 minutes on the tread mill for five days. I already did one day yesterday.

My food for the weekend was pretty normal for me. Saturday was toast and oatmeal, a BLT and potato salad for lunch and ice cream for dinner. Yes, ice cream. Not very nutritious, I know. Sunday, I had shredded wheat cereal for breakfast, cheese and a tortilla for lunch, a small dish of ice cream for snack and a new dish I tried for dinner that was essentially chicken, carrots, and onions on egg noodles. I wake up later on the weekends, so I don’t usually snack. During the week, though, I’m up early and to bed late and snacks are essential. I have a tendency to snack all day at my desk, especially if I am bored or stressed. That habit doesn't work so hot with weight loss efforts. So, I’m going to try to go ahead and start getting my eating plan a little more structured. It is one of my goals later down the line anyway, might as well try for a head start. No pressure, though.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 7 - And I'm Back

Today is Sunday.  The weekend really wasn't so bad.  For the most part I stuck to my no Dr. Pepper goal for the past week.  I say for the most part because Thursday, Friday and Saturday I struggled with headaches, not migraines, just good old fashioned throbbing headaches.  I thought it might've been caffeine withdrawal, but I really thing that should've kicked in on Wednesday, and not lasted for three days.  In any event, I did break down and have part of a 20 ounc Dr. Pepper.  I've already forgiven myself. 

However, I'm cutting back on Dr. Pepper because of the sugar, mostly.  I'm not too bothered by the caffeine, though I do recognize that in the long run, I'd be healthier without it.  But the good folks at Crystal Light have the answer to my prayers.  They have additives for your water that has caffeine.  I believe they have three different ones with graduated levels of caffeine.  So maybe it is not the best answer, but I believe I'll try them out to wean myself off the caffeine while still cutting out the sugar and other junk in Dr. Pepper.

So, my goal for this week is to walk thirty minutes on the treadmill at least 5 of the 7 days.  Wish me luck,

I'll be back to posting my food consumption tomorrow!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 5 and no progress

So, I weighed again today and while I wasn't as *up* as I was the other day, I still weighed more than I did Monday, and I hadn't had a Dr. Pepper.  I'm seriously considering cheating today, just because I'm pissed that I haven't lost anything.  Of course, my expectations are too high.  I haven't modified my diet yet and I'm not exercising.  I am also not eating anymore than I normally would, though, which is why I'd hoped that cutting out the Dr. Pepper (which I've replaced mostly with water) would drop at least a pound.

My original plan had plan to adopt one new healthy habit a week.  I'm starting to rethink that plan.  I'm wanting to adopt more than one to speed this little process along.  I"m resisting, though, because that is my usual path to failure.  I try too much, too quick.  I can't keep up with what I start because it is too much and I end up giving up.  That is why I've given myself a year to do this. 

So, I'm thinking what I'll do is stick with the one official change each week, but if I can squeeze in more healthy stuff here and there I will, but I'll remain very forgiving of myself if I don't. 

Okay...so the food for yesterday:
pancake on a stick for breakfast
lasagna, salad, bread and carrot cake for lunch.
small ice cream treat
carne guidsada and a tortilla for dinner

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 5 - Checking In

To be honest, Day 4 sucked and today ain't looking too hot either.  Yesterday was incredibly crappy and frustrating day in the office.  So while I made it through the day with no Dr. Pepper, and my meals were even kinda decent, I had Pizza for supper.  Cheese pizza and a cupcake with buttercream frosting (had to make 'em for the kiddo to take to school).  Of course this week, my only goal is to cut out the Dr. Pepper.  But when I got on the scale this morning (and I'm not supposed to do that again until Monday), I weighed more than I did 3 days ago!  I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything.  But, it was incredibly deflating and did nothing for the headache I woke up with.

So, here is what I ate yesterday:
IHOP for brunch (hubby had an appt. w/the cardiologist and we were celebrating that the heart is okay...)
- two eggs over easy
- hashbrowns
- 1 pancake
- two pieces of bacon
Peanut butter & jelly sandwich
Peanut butter crackers
Two pieces of cheese pizza

Oh, yes...I can see that my diet need MUCH improvement.  That'll come later.  I broke down and had a diet Dr. Pepper today to try to get rid of a headache after 8 advil.  At least it was diet.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 4 - Hanging In

I'm patting myself on the back and praying simultaneously.  The pat is for sticking to my No Dr. Pepper rule so far.  The prayer is because it feels a bit harder today, than the last two.  I have a headache and am finding myself easily irritated.

So, again with what I ate yesterday:
1% milk w/nestle chocolate
bacon sandwich made with Orowheat 100 cal bread
garden salad w/cilantro ranch dressing
4 small chocolate chip cookies
hot tea
two homemade soft tacos (beans, meat, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, onions and guacomole).
small handful of halloween candy (prolly 5 fun size pieces).

I may go ahead and add some exercise sooner rather than later.  My pants were still pretty snug this morning, not that just drinking water should've had that much of an impact, but still, it would be nice to be comfortable in my clothes. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 3 - Checking In

So far I’m doing okay on my week #1 goal to give up my Dr. Pepper dependency. But, I’ve gotta admit, I’m really kinda craving one as I type this.

I thought today would be a good day give you, my dear reader, a little background on what brought me here. In my mind, I’ve always been overweight. I’m not sure that technically my weight has always measured clinically obese, but I’ve always felt larger than my peer groups. I can remember this feeling from back in junior high when I first noticed that my thighs rubbed when I walked and not everyone else’s did.

I can recall trying a couple of diets while in high school.  But, I can’t say that I really got interested in concerted efforts at dropping pounds until after I had children. Since that time I’ve tried weight loss drugs including phentermine and meridia. The thing about phentermine was that if I lost ten pounds the month I was on it, I’d gain back 18 when I went off of it. It was a very self-defeating experience.

I’ve also tried Metabolic Research Center, Weight Watchers, LA Weightloss and various fad diets like Atkins, the Cabbage Soup Diet, etc. Some worked for a little while. None resulted in significant or permanent weight loss. I should throw in the mix that along with all these diet attempts were sporadic attempts at exercising.

Along the way, I probably dropped a fortune in diet books and those womens’ magazines that have a new diet in them every month. But, I also spent some of that fortune on health oriented magazines like Prevention, Shape, Self and Fitness. I recognize the advice in these magazines to be mostly sound, but it still seemed geared, for the most part, toward people who were already somewhat health conscious and not still struggling to get there.

However, it was in these magazines and other similar printed material, that I kept reading about the lifestyle change. There is a whole mindset out there that is more about adopting a healthy lifestyle, and not trying for any quick fix. The weight loss piece of the deal seems to be the, “if you build, it will come,” sort. So that is where I am today. I’m going to adopt those small steps toward a healthy lifestyle. I’m also going to hope and pray that doing so will result in some significant weight loss for me over the course of the next year.

Now, I promised to post my daily food intake. Keep in mind that I'm not modifying my diet yet.  Here is yesterday’s:

Bacon sandwich (made with 100 cal Orowheat bread)
Chocolate milk (1% milk and nestle quick)
Vanilla Almond Shredded Wheat + 1% milk
Peanut butter crackers
Lean Cuisine
Apple Sauce
Hot Chocolate
100 Cal popcorn
Roast Beef
Instant Taters (last night was a basketball night for the kiddo)
And there were a few pieces or hard candy in there throughout the day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 2 - Weighing In

As promised, I weighed in this morning.  The scale (digital) has me at 196.2.  I'm 5'5".  That gives me a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 32.6, which means I'm obese.  According to the Center for Disease Control, BMI is a measure of fatness.  It is supposed to be fairly accurate, though I believe you can easily find debate out in cyberspace on the topic.

The last time I checked, my weight would have to get down to somewhere between 145 pounds and 150 pounds for me to register as "Normal" based on the BMI charts.  I can honestly say that I don't recall when I might've last weighed in that range.  I can recall weighing around 165 shortly after having my second child, and I felt good at that weight. 

According to the measurements I provided yesterday, my waist to hip ratio measures a .87.  For a woman, anything higher than .85 is an indication of potential future heart troubles. 

So, much like the pictures on the previous post, things just don't look good at the moment.  I haven't had a soda today.  So far so good.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 1 - Getting Started

So today is day one. I’m committing to this blog for one year. For one year I will slowly adapt the better habits that are supposed to help me get naturally to a healthy weight. I will not follow any fads or try anything that promises quick and easy weight loss. I’m going to test the advice of all those experts who say its all about the small change, the lifestyle, etc. I’m hoping they’re on to something. I guess we’ll see.

Here is how it’ll work. Today I’m going to post some of my stats and some rather lovely pics of yours truly. Every three months I’ll update the stats and the pics. At the start of each week I’ll announce what one change I’m going to make during the week in the interest of a healthy lifestyle (always with the ultimate goal of losing weight). Every day I’ll post about my success in sticking to the weekly goal. I’ll also post my daily food intake and, when I start, my daily exercise routine. Periodically, I’ll probably also blog a bit about my general opinion of certain subjects relative to the weightloss industry or my particular experiences with this project.
So here are some lovely snaps of me as of today:

Full Frontal (yes I am embarrassed)

And the Wonderful Rear View
I didn't weigh in today, so you'll get that tomorrow, but here are my current measurements:
widest area around the breast = 43.5 inches
around the belly button = 39 inches
3 finders down from there = 42 inches
wides area around the butt = 45 inches
bicep = 14.5 inches
thigh = 25.25 inches

My goal for this week is to cut out soda completely.  My drink of choice is Dr. Pepper, but I'll drink pretty much any dark cola.  So this week I cut it out completely.  I've read that if you regularly drink one soda a day and cut it out, that change alone could amount to as much as a twenty pound weight loss in one year.  I guess we'll see.

My goal for next week will be to do at least thirty minutes of exercise three times a week.  I'm telling you now because if I can get a head start by squeezing in a session or two this week, I will.

So, that is it for now.  I'm guessing that's enough public humiliation for any one person in a day.  

Friday, October 30, 2009

Intro - Fed Up

So, I’m not sure if it is appropriate to say I’m a fat girl. Just using the word fat will get plenty of ire, from those who think big is beautiful and from those who wish to protect my delicate sensibilities from such nefarious and self deprecating commentary. But I’m definitely not a small girl, and so there is a problem.

The problem is I’m pissed. I’m pissed because I’m a size 14, barely. Some of the buttons on my size 14s are clinging desperately to their clasps for fear if they let go, they’ll never see each other again. But at a size 14, I’m a little too big for an average shop in the mall and a little too small to walk into a Lane Bryant without the sales lady making haste to come explain the store’s sizing chart to me.

I’m pissed because though I know I’m over weight and so does my doctor, I’m not over weight enough to qualify for gastric bypass, or any other “easy” fix. The average person can look at me and tell that I’m over weight, but they’d probably miss the guess on my exact gravity measurement by anywhere from twenty to thirty pounds.

I’m pissed because people much, much larger than I can have surgery or qualify for some other miracle diet that results in their being much, much smaller than I. Yet, I can’t even make use of the diet options offered at Wal-Mart with even a modicum of success.

I’m pissed because despite my desire to drop the weight, I can’t find the motivation to get on the treadmill or put down the Dr. Pepper. I know what I need to do. I’m almost an expert on the topic. I just haven’t done it. I’ve wanted to, for sure. There have been nights that I wanted to lose the weight so badly I shed tears over my frustration, but nothing has actually lead me down that path to weight loss success.

So that is where this blog comes in. This is my last ditch effort to get into those skinny jeans! I’m hoping that the public forum of the blog will help to either motivate or shame me into motion. If you choose to follow, be prepared. There will be cussing, self-deprecation and self-loathing to spare. But there will be battle cries of success and joyful elation also. I’m human, I know the range of my emotions, and I plan to bare them all here, for the world to see on this journey. Are you with me?