Total Weight Loss

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

The weather has delayed our celebration a day, but that is fine with me.  It just stretches things out another day.

I hope everyone has had a great time with family and friends.  I know I have.  And I will continue to all week.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Victory Thursday!!

I have struggled all day about what to include in my victories this week.  I have not exercised unless you count walking the long way to the copier at work and walking to a coworker's desk rather than calling, stuff like that.  I've eaten cookies, caramel popcorn, and cheesecake.  All in all, I was chalking this up to be a bad week. I was disappointed with myself for not doing better.  I was trying to think of a way to confess all of this and discuss how I needed to get back to the right path before I gained all the weight back when I realized I was slipping in to that all or nothing mindset.  If I'm not 100% on plan then I'm failing way of thinking.  That just simply was not true.
Even though I ate cookies, caramel popcorn & cheesecake during the course of the last 7 days.  I've also chosen nuts over candy because I really preferred the nuts.  I didn't eat the whole slice of cheesecake because I was getting too full and wasn't enjoying it enough.  It is in the refrigerator waiting for me, and has been there since Tuesday night.  Not once did I think, that I might as well polish off the cookies after I'd had one or two.  Those choices and the fact that I actually do walk to a coworker's desk rather than pick up the phone are all major shifts in mindset for me.  While I won't be conditioned for a marathon by doing that, every step does count.  Every good choice lays the groundwork for the next one.
I've also learned that I'm cued visually to eat.  If I don't see the cookies, I can get busy and forget about them.  If they are displayed on the table or even in a clear container, I want one every time I walk by.  All of the treats are in containers that are solid.  I can't see a thing!  I'm also cutting way back on the amount of treats I'm making.
This sort of progress is gradual and hard to notice, but is it the sort of progress that is real.  This is the sort of progress that will stay with me when the weight loss phase of this journey is over.  These are the choices that become habit.  The mindset becomes such that picking up the phone doesn't enter my mind, I just get up and walk.  From that perspective, I've had a great week!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fifty Day Report #5

I haven't had a very successful week this week in meeting my goals, but I did lose weight.  Not a good combination, as there is some negative reinforcement going on there.  Now, I'll start thinking about how I ate cookies and still lost weight.  Before I expound anymore, though, I want to get to my goal reporting, that will explain a lot. 
1.  Drink two protein drinks per day - didn't happen.  I don't think I drank a protein drink all week.  I knew my heart wasn't in it when I committed to it last week, but I thought the accountability would pull me through.  It didn't!
2.  Exercise three times per week - not this week! I got in two and the second one was before posting so I wouldn't have to confess only once.  I finally came to the realization that I'm going to have to do something totally new to get back on the exercise wagon.  I've sold my elliptical and am seriously considering buying a stepper.
3. Lose some amount of weight - check, total loss so far with my personal 50 day challenge is 2.8 lbs, and I have two weeks left.
4. Water - check.  I got this one this week

I will work Monday through Thursday of next week, and don't have any parties or anything to interrupt things.  I see myself staying on course easily during that time.  I read the term 'pre-cheating' the other day and I love it!  That used to be sooooo me!  Now, I think about how much weight can I lose before the event so as to negate the damage.  For those days, I plan to eat much like I did this week, small meals with healthy food.  I love clementines, so I ate a lot of those this week and will next week too.  I'm also planning to blog during this time too, even if it is only on Victory Thursday.

My sister from out of town will arrive with her family next weekend and will stay until January 1 or 2.  That is what I live for.  We have a blast every year at this time.  We have one big party from one house to another all week. I'm taking the week off from work so I won't miss a second of it.  Most of the time we're at our mother's house playing games, working puzzles, and just enjoying being together.  We sometimes go to my sister's house or my house because there is something that just must be done in that locale.  Really, it is great.  I love it.

There is snack food galore too.  This year, I've decided to take my own snacks.  I can make snack mix that is better than what is in the store.  I've got tons of fruit and my niece would pick a piece of fruit over a potato chip any day.  I've got an ally in her.  I offered to make a big pot of chili for us too.  I thought that way, I could control what exactly was in it!  My mother loved the idea, and expanded it.  Now everyone is making chili!!  It will be so much fun to see what everyone comes up with.  My nephews are even getting in on it.

For that week, I'll be reading blogs, but probably not doing much writing.  I'm planning to have some chili along with reasonable meals.  I'm not going to count carbs, calories or fat grams.  I'm also not going to eat the entire plate of cookies either.  I think this past week has proven to me that I can make good choices without following a strict regimen.

Once my sister leaves and the dust has settled, I'm right back in the saddle, baby!!  I'm going to get this last 30+ lbs off and move on to maintenance.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This Week's Victories

This has been a busy week.  It started with a snow/ice 'event' as the weather people call it, on Sunday.  From the time J-boy and I got home from church Sunday AM, I did not go outside until I left for work Tuesday morning!!  Believe me, I was fine with that.

I filled my water bottles and got all my water down.  I had made cookies for our church Christmas program Sunday night and for the group we facilitate on Monday nights.  Both things were canceled. I thought of all sorts of good reasons to eat the cookies, like they won't be fresh next week.  I gave in to temptation a time or two, but most of the cookies are still there.  That is huge.  In the past, I would have eaten almost all of them.

Tuesday was a catchup day at work and the board meeting Tuesday evening.  There are lots of goodies floating around the office these days, but yesterday I had a great eating day.  I was right back on the wagon without a thought to chucking it all until the first of the year.

Wednesday we learned out neighbor passed away.  We knew he was gravely ill and wasn't going to last much longer, but it was still a sad thing to learn.  I had planned a blog entry about him earlier in the week and didn't get to it.  I still might.

Also on Wednesday, a co-worker asked if I'd started losing weight again.  She has struggled with her weight and so I've confided in her a little more about the recent stall in my own weight loss.  Another co-worker was there and said she'd noticed the same thing recently and was impressed that I was actually losing weight during the holidays. 

Finally for an actual scale victory - I have been yo-yoing between 181 and 179.6 for weeks now.  Finally this morning the scale read 179.0!!  Today, I am being extra careful so that the scale continues downward.  I'll report Saturday at the latest so stay tuned to see if this trend continues.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fifty Day Report #3

My thoughts are rather scattered today, so I'm not sure if this post is going to make much sense.  Sometimes, I've discovered if I just start typing the thoughts begin to settle, maybe that will happen today.

I began to think last weekend that the protein drinks had run their course as far as weight loss is concerned, but thought I'd stay with them since it is relatively simple.  No real planning is involved other than choosing which meal to eat and which two to drink.  I have stuck to that for the most part this week.  There were two days when I ate two meals rather than one.  One was the day I ate a clementine & banana for supper trying to sate an overwhelming desire for cookies.  The other day was yesterday when I had a business luncheon and J-boy's Christmas dinner for the College of Business.  I feel good about the choices I made at both meals, and the best news in all of this is, my weight has stayed the same for three days!!  That has never happened before.

I weigh myself every day and will continue to for the accountability of it.  I know myself well enough to know that is a necessity.  Most of the time, it has no impact on my mood.  I don't walk away from the scale feeling like a failure if my weight is up.  Generally, I try to analyze the eating of the last few days and see where the problem is so that it can be corrected.  Lately, I've had dramatic swings in my weight, as much as two pounds up or down.  I know that most 'normal weight' people don't weigh themselves daily so they don't know if their weight fluctuates like that or not.  I suspect that it probably does.  I think that when I get to my goal weight, I'll have a zone of tolerance, of maybe two pounds up or down.  Right now, my goal weight is 145, so any thing between 143 & 147 would be acceptable when I get there.

The issue now is getting there.  I have known for a while now that I'd start back on the hcg in January.  I've had it for several weeks, but I knew better than to do anything that drastic now.  That is totally unrealistic and asking for failure. my dilemma, what to do between now and January.  I know telling myself to eat intuitively is the same thing as telling myself to eat up, but I also know that I don't want to start anything new for just two weeks.  Even though the drinks aren't creating the loss I'd like, I'm maintaining, so right now I'm leaning towards continuing with those, knowing there will be more days ahead when I'll have two meals.

We have two Christmas gatherings tomorrow.  One is an open house at the university president's house, and the other is our annual Christmas Extravaganza at church.  Both places will have lots of finger foods/stand up meal type things to eat.  Other than the chocolate fountain that the prez has always had, most of those things I can pass up.  I can get a nice mug of cider and walk around with that, so people don't ask if I'm eating or not.   I can have a clementine or some nuts before each event so that I'm not hungry and tempted to over indulge at the chocolate fountain.  I think I'm OK with that.  I'll just have to decide day to day what that day's strategy needs to be.

For my 50 day goals -
1.  Drink two protein drinks per day - qualified check
2.  Exercise three times per week - check (but only three and not hard exercise either, just enough to keep my from lying on the blog!)
3. Lose some amount of weight - check, only 1.8 lbs but it is a loss
4. Water - the actual goal was to fill my water bottles on the weekends just like during the week.  That hasn't been a problem.  I have diligently filled the bottles, what I haven't done is drunk the water!!  I already confessed that earlier in the week, and I've been much better the rest of the week.

Now, I'm off to bake cookies for the church party tomorrow.  I'm always asked to help with those because I'm good at it.  ;-)  That is probably why I've had cookies on the brain this week though!  Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Wanted Fruit

This morning just before lunchtime, one of my coworkers came walking down the hall towards me. She was wearing one of those cute sling backpacks, because she's just stylish that way, but more importantly, she was carrying a container of chopped fruit. It was one of those containers that comes from the grocery store already chopped. It was so pretty and refreshing looking. I wanted that fruit. I wanted her to offer me some just like I used to want people to offer me cookies, but alas she did not.

Another co-worker offered me doughnuts, but I really didn't want one. There were even some snowman shaped ones. They were probably even cream filled. To make the snowman, there was a doughnut without a hole in it for the body and a doughnut hole above that to make the head. They were cute to say the least, but they really had no appeal to me. That particular brand of doughnut just isn't my favorite. They taste a little oily to me. They always have. The difference now is, if I don't love it, I don't want it. It isn't worth it.

I've become a little hesitant lately to point out those small changes that are taking place for several reasons. One, I don't want to come across as a braggart; two, it seems like once I become aware and pleased with myself about something I immediately stumble; and three. sometimes they are so small they are almost imperceptible.

But, today I am setting a goal to blog at least one NSV each week. I'm running the risk of being perceived a braggart, but that is a risk I'm willing to take. I'm determined to break the cycle of two steps forward, one step back, because I think it is important to look for those nearly imperceptible changes. Those small changes, the ones that happen without that internal struggle, or at least not any more, are the ones that will last. They are the things that become second nature. Things like choosing fruit over doughnuts because that is what I really want. I think those small changes get lost in the epic ones and all I focus on are those.

I want to raise my own level of awareness regarding those changes, and be happy with myself for those things. I don't want to be down on myself because exercise is a battle every day for me, or that I still want cookies like crazy. It is all to easy for me to notice that struggle and feel like I am failing, when all around me are those little choices moment by moment, when I make the right choice and don't even realize it.

Care to join me? Every Thursday I'm going to blog about the little things I've done that week that were good choices. I don't know how many weeks I'll go. We all might decide it is too braggadocios, or we all might move in to a place of better acceptance of ourselves. Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Blame the Cold

In yesterday's blog, I failed to mention that I haven't had all of my water at all this week.  I was concentrating too hard on not baking and eating a whole bunch of cookies.  On Monday, I only drank about half of the water I brought to work.  On Tuesday, even though I was at the office party for several hours, I managed to get in about 3/4 of it. Today, finally, I got all of it down.  It was hard, it took a lot of effort.  I blame the cold.

As I have mentioned before drinking water is the easy part for me.  It is almost second nature.  Lately, however it has been cold here.  I know I have some readers in the Pacific Northwest, so highs of 30 degrees is nothing, but for me - that is C.O.L.D!!!  I cannot stand to be cold.  The office is a chilly office even in the middle of the summer.  One of the ladies actually brings a lap blanket to keep her legs covered as she works, so it isn't just me.  Drinking water makes me feel even colder, so I'm not getting it all down.

I'm learning to dress in more layers, like 4 or more.  I've asked for underarmor for Christmas, so hopefully I'll thaw a little bit and get back to drinking water without a thought again soon.

Just for the record, I didn't eat any cookies last night.  I did eat a banana and a clementine rather than the protein drink.  I think that was a fair exchange.  Thanks for the encouragement yesterday.  It is good to know I'm not alone.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This is Hard

 I don't think I've ever tried to adhere to any eating goals this time of the year, other than indulge!!  Even last year after I'd lost the largest amount of weight in my life, I don't remember struggling like this.  Which is one reason I wish I'd had started this blog earlier.  I think these memories fade.

Today we had our office Christmas party.  It was a lunch event.  The food was quite good, also very rich and high calorie.  I ate it knowing that I'd have my drink this evening.  That was the plan all along, but now I'm struggling not to go grab something sweet.

I almost let myself not exercise, but I did.  That was really a big victory.  I had no excuse not to, and I knew I'd have to report on Saturday, so I did.  Go, me.  Now, I'm blogging to keep from eating.  I want cookies!!

Tomorrow should be a good, clean eating day. I have no challenges to derail me except my own little brain.  Thursday, I have lunch with a woman that may assist J-boy and me facilitate our grief group in January.  I can handle that with a small salad.  J-boy's college party is Friday, and the university has two holiday gatherings, one of which is Sunday.  Sunday is also our church Christmas program with cookies & cocoa. 

I know I have to be extra good now, if I want to have a small treat or two over the weekend. Instead, I keep thinking that old way of 'chuck it all until the first of the year'.  That is what had kept me overweight & obese for so long.  That is what needs to change.  Change is hard.  This is hard, but I'll be glad when the scale is down on January 1.  No cookies tonight!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fifty Day Report #3

I'm still plugging away at the 50 day goals I set for myself last month.  It hasn't been easy, with all of the leftovers, but it is different somehow as well.  In the past, I would have eaten the leftovers as quickly as possible, so as to get rid of them.  They would be on my mind continually until they were gone.  This year, I've eaten only a reasonable portion as allowed by the protein drink program, which is one meal per day, with total calories not to exceed 1200.  It really isn't hard.  BUT, my issue this year is watching the leftovers languish in the refrigerator. 

I gave as much away as I could on Thanksgiving day, but I still came home with quite a bit.  I've taken stuff to work just about every day this week, to the point that people were asking what I'd brought to eat that day.  Still there is a good bit of food in the refrigerator.  J-boy is whittling it down, but he too, is trying to trim a few pounds.  So there they sit.

I don't like waste.  My plan today is to see what will freeze.  I'll try to freeze individual portions so that once thawed, J-boy and I can eat them.  What I can't freeze, I'll try to give away today.  I really don't want to throw away what was once perfectly good food because it has sat around and spoiled.  None of this, except for the cranberry salad, is sugary or high fat.  It is just too much.

My lesson for Christmas, is not to 'binge' cook.  I'll select one or two special favorites and make a reasonable portion.  A portion that can be eaten in one sitting or easily eaten within another day or two.

On to the goals:

1.  Drink protein drinks two meals per day - check
2.  Exercise at least three days each week  - check
3.  Lose some amount of weight - check
4.  Fill water bottles on the weekend to ensure getting 64 oz in - check - The bottles were filled first thing this morning and I'm working on the first bottle now.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Perceptions are funny things, and reality as the adage goes. I'm having a weird time with my body perception lately. I am now certain that I was in denial with regard to the size of my body before I lost weight. When I saw pictures of myself, I thought that they must have been from a bad angle or something like that. Deep, down inside someplace, I knew this because often I'd point to a large woman when J-boy and I were out and ask if I was bigger or smaller. Poor man. I think he fibbed a time or two.

With that in mind, I've been asking him to find comparably sized women when we are out. I'm still trying to get a handle on my true size. I think at my biggest, I perceived myself to be about what I am now, too heavy for sure, but nothing that a few months of strict dieting couldn't take care of. (I know better on both fronts now!) I saw pictures of myself recently, and I've wondered who she was briefly. At least, I thought she was cute. :) Adding to the confusion is a new haircut. Who knew getting bangs cut would make such a big difference!?!

The picture I saw was a thumbnail print out of all the employees, contractors, and interns at my office. Someone had the bright idea to take a picture of everyone and put it on the shared drive, so we could keep up with the interns in particular. They change from one semester to another. One of the Admins was put in charge of taking all of the pictures. Once she had taken all of them, she printed the thumbnails out in black & white and asked me to review them. I do the payroll, so I would know if any paid employees were missing. I immediately scanned the paper for my own picture to see just how bad it was, when I saw 'her'. I really did think she was cute and wondered why I didn't know her. I looked closer because it was a very small picture. Then I remembered seeing her in the mirror recently! It was a small picture. I am so glad I didn't ask who she was!!

I've caught my reflection unexpectedly in a store window as I'm passing by or getting a glimpse of myself in a mirror that I didn't know was there and think that woman is a nice size, and I'd be glad if I could get to her size and realize it is me.

BUT, before I get too enamored with my new look, I am brought crashing back to reality. J-boy made a short video on Thanksgiving Day of me & my nephews chatting as we finished our meal. My first thought was that my hair was cute, and I was glad I'd gotten the cut. Then my sister entered the frame. She had gastric bypass surgery about 8 years ago. She lost all of her excess weight and has kept it off. My face compared to hers looked positively swollen. I've mentioned my 'youthful face' before, but it is really a euphemism for chubby cheeks. Truth be told it wasn't just my face, she's smaller than me all over.

Then earlier this week, I put on my size 16 blue jeans that I'd had to take up in the waist. I was feeling pretty good about my itty-bitty waist, when I caught a profile of myself in the mirror. The itty-bitty waist was eclipsed by the bubble-butt sticking out behind it.

I'm using these two episodes as motivators to stay on track since I know I have nearly 35 pounds to get to my goal, but at the same time, I'm wondering what's real???

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


After five glorious days off from work, I jumped back in the deep end of the pool!  Life will be like this for at least the next six weeks.  Of course, we our social calendar has ramped up again too.  I feel good still.  I have a plan and I'm sticking to it.

Although, I'm not posting like I'd like to, I'm reading blogs.  I'm doing fine with my eating, and I've actually exercised two times this week.  I'm looking forward to posting a big loss on Saturday.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Update

I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving season enjoying time with friends and family and staying healthy.  I feel good about my week so far.

On Wednesday I took the day off to cook.  I really enjoy cooking and have not really cooked in a long time.  Right now, to stay on track I keep my meals as simple and quick as possible so as to keep myself out of the kitchen.  So, on Wednesday I cooked as if I were cooking for an army and enjoyed every minute of it.

On Thursday, J-boy and I ate with my family.  There were only 8 of us this year, but no less food than in year's past when there were easily 3 times that many.  I got very small servings of the foods I really wanted, and didn't eat all of anything.  My two nephews that were there and never had a weight problem almost always leave some food on their plates, so I took my cues from them.  I also ate dessert.

Yesterday, Friday, I fasted.  I needed the mental cleansing of a fast.  Today I'm back on the protein drinks.

For my 50 day goals, I'm saying I met all of them.
1. Drink two protein drinks per day.  Although, I didn't do this yesterday, I'm still saying I met this challenge, since the challenge is focused on not overeating.
2.  Exercise at least 3 days per week.  On Wednesday, I even walked to the grocery store.  It was a good idea since the parking lot was horrible.  I thought it was a little more than 0.5 miles each way or a little over a mile round trip.  I was wrong it is 0.9 miles each way, so almost two miles round trip.
3.  Lose some amount of weight.  I'm still down a pound even after dessert on Thursday.
4.  Fill water bottles - check.  I am so glad I thought of that.  I've done it every off day from work, and I've drunk all of the water every day!!  Go me!!

I have the rest of today and tomorrow to enjoy and then it is back to reality on Monday.   I'm looking forward to having a good loss next week and finishing out the year strong.  J-boy and I have had the calendar out and marked out our parties.  So far, they aren't too stacked up and my using the party for a 'meal' strategy should work out fine, since right now we only have two parties and they are actual meals rather than party food.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In the Interest of Full Disclosure...

I ate three cookies last night. Why were cookies in my house? Because someone from work had a child selling cookie dough for a school fundraiser. (Refer to yesterday's sucker remark.) It was delivered on Monday of last week. I baked them after our group Monday night with the full intention of bringing them back to work for our potluck the next day. J-boy asked me not to. Since I already had my world famous (OK, very good) pecan pie, he asked if I would leave the cookies to have on hand at home. It didn't take much convincing and I left them at home.

I had also left them alone until last night. I put them back in the container in which the dough came. It is not see through, which is very helpful to me. It is almost an out of sight out of mind sort of thing. Last night as I was filling my water bottles for the next day, I noticed that the container wasn't completely closed. Rather than simply close the container, I opened it to see how many were left. Hardly any were gone, which sometimes perturbs me about J-boy. He specifically asked that the cookies be left and had hardly eaten any. I got one out and ate it, slowly as I continued to refill the bottles. Then I got another, and another.

I finally came to my senses and got out of the kitchen. They didn't call to me the rest of the night, nor did I berate myself, although I know I should have been stronger. I've learned that beating myself up after a minor slip like that is really counter productive. I recognize that I made a poor choice, and the thing to to now is get back in control and move forward. That is what I did.  BTW, I also gave him the candy last night.  We'll see how long that sits around his office!

I've also noticed a strong correlation between posting NSV's and a goof soon thereafter. Anyone else have that problem? Is it some sort of self sabotage, or am I just paranoid or something?  I'd like to list how much better I handled the whole thing, but I don't want to mess up again.  ;-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Two Candybars in My Purse

On Thursday of last week, our receptionist here had some candy she was selling for her grandson. It was some sort of fund raiser for school/sports team/something like that.  I'm a real sucker for that because it was hard for me to sell stuff for school when I was a child. I was so shy and scared of people I would start crying when I tried to speak. So if a child, or their parent/grandparent has the courage to come ask me to buy I do. These were just a dollar, so I got two. BTW, they were a dollar when I was in school too, but I think they were a lot bigger!

Anyway, I dropped the candy in my purse. I emailed J-boy to tell him that I'd purchased them for him. One - because I had, and Two - I couldn't sneak and eat them if he knew.  Just now, had to dig something out of the bottom of my purse and found those two candy bars sitting there!! I'd totally forgotten about them, as apparently did J-boy.

I absolutely cannot imagine forgetting about two whole candy bars for three whole days! In times past those candy bars would have been calling to me. I would have convinced myself more than once that it would be OK to have a little nibble here & there before I'd even gotten home on Thursday, In fact, I probably would never have even told J-boy about them. I would have squirreled them away in my desk at work.

That is a victory for me for sure!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fifty Day Report #2

 I committed to three goals each week for the last fifty days of the year on November 12, and I added another one over the weekend.  I am proud to say that I met all three challenges for the week.
1.  Drink protein drinks two meals per day - check
2.  Exercise at least three days each week  - check
3.  Lose some amount of weight - check
4.  Fill water bottles on the weekend to ensure getting 64 oz in - check - The bottles were filled first thing this morning and I'm 3/4 of the way through them.  I'm glad I thought to do this.  It is good to keep track of this, even when it seems like a no brainer.

On November 12 I weighed 181.4.  This morning I weighed 177.4!!  That is a loss of 4 pounds in a week!!  Isn't it amazing what a little focus will do?

Friday, November 19, 2010


The Little Voice is a liar and a very sore loser. Last night on the elliptical machine TLV and The Voice of Truth (TVoT) got into it again. TVoT is always going to be right because, well, she speaks the is the truth. TLV does not like that one bit. Once she realized that, she started in on the personal attacks. I've had a successful week, which I'll blog about tomorrow in my weekly status report and TVoT was pointing this out to TLV. So, TLV got nasty. She said things that were 'true' too, but not quite right. She said things like

"You know you won't lose this much weight every week."

"You can't keep this up forever. No one can be that good all of the time."

"You're trying to work on your perfectionism, right?"

TVoT can be pretty savvy and countered with things like:

"I know, but I'll be glad for whatever loss I get."

"I only plan to eat this way until the end of the year."

"I don't expect to be perfect, just the best I can be."

TLV just wants to eat, and eat a lot. She doesn't even really care any more what it is. She even brought to mind mini quiche last night. I don't even like mini-quiche. I don't know what she was thinking. I was in the bathtub relishing a long hot soak, when the idea of eating mini-quiche popped in my head, and a battle between TLV & TVoT ensued. Suddenly, I began to wonder about my own sanity. Honestly, I'm trying to relax in the bathtub when I am having an argument with myself about a food I DON'T LIKE!!  Even if I did, there was none around.

Luckily, my employer has a counseling branch. I grabbed one of them this morning during a break and asked if I needed to schedule any sessions because these little voices were taking over my brain. She was quite professional and did not laugh right in my face.  She assured me that I was perfectly normal. Whew...of course now I've got to learn how to shut TLV up. I don't think she's going to go quietly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Other Voice

I've been trying to cultivate and listen to The Other Voice, rather than The Little Voice. For the past two days I have done a full workout, even yesterday I squeezed it in when I had plenty of very good reasons not to. TOV told me that I would be glad if I did, so I did. Then I got on the elliptical warmed up and started going full out. I was wearing a lot of clothes to get a good sweat going because that motivates me somehow. Fairly soon in to the workout TLV mentioned that if I kept working out this hard I would have to continue at that level to get any results. TOV reminded me that this was about being healthy and strong; being able to work out at a higher level is a sign of progress. Then my legs started to burn. TLV told me to stop so it wouldn't hurt anymore. TOV told me to relish the burn as as sign of progress.

TLV "You might injure yourself and not be able to work out. Then what will you do?"

TOV "This is just the good burn that comes from using your muscles. You won't get hurt"

TLV "You're tired. You've done so much just since coming home from work. It is OK to cut this short."

TOV "You have plenty of time. But if you really want to stop wait until you get to the next level of calories burned."

By that time I was OK, and kept going. Then TLV started in with the list of all the things I had to do. TOV reminded me that they didn't all have to be done right then and to keep going until the commercials came on, as I was watching Seinfeld reruns. TOV can be a little sneaky because once the commercials came on, she suggested that I keep going until the commercials were over. Perhaps I should go as hard as I possible could during the commercials and then cool down once the show came back on. So, I did. During the commercials, she kept telling me how good I looked and how that pretty red Christmas dress in the closet was going to look so hot on me, and how I was going to get new shoes in just a few more pounds, and the next thing I knew, I'd done the full routine.

I'm a little sore in my midsection today from two days of exercise in a row, although I didn't do weights yesterday because even TOV agrees that a day should be skipped in between those for muscle repair. It is that good kind of sore.  The sore that is a reminder of the good choices being made.  I think I like TOV. She's not nearly as whiny as TLV. She's strong and does the hard stuff to get to the good stuff that she wants.

I'm thinking she needs a better name though...The Better Voice, The Right Voice, The Strong Voice, The Happy Voice, suggestions?  It just came to me - The Voice of Truth!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

First Thanksgiving Meal of the Year

Yesterday was our annual Thanksgiving potluck meal at work. I am blessed to work in an environment where Christian values and principles are lived every day. Plus we have some fabulous cooks. Every time we have had an occasion to have a covered dish meal like this, the food has been plentiful and delicious, no exception.

I knew I had a challenge ahead and that I'd have to blog about it, so I fell back on my 'serving' plan that has worked so well in the past. I parked myself at the drink area and poured drinks for every one as they finished filling their plates. One person even commented on how I was missing out on the good food, and I explained that was by design. I was secretly hoping that some of my most tempting dishes would be gone, or look gross. Sometimes, after several people have gone through the line serving themselves, food gets dripped on to the table or in other dishes, and it losses appeal for me.

I wasn't quite so lucky on that account, there was still plenty of food and it still had appeal. I had already considered exactly what I liked the most and would be the most upset about not getting. In our office, through the years several people have their specialty dishes, so I knew ahead of time what some of the offerings would be. I went through the line and made my selections taking only the smallest servings. *WARNING* Those that get tempted by reading about food might want to skip down to where is says *SAFE*. I had ham, turkey, corn casserole, baked apples, hash brown casserole, strawberry salad (not the healthy one) and a roll (homemade by me). It was all delicious.

I was even more particular about my desserts. Anything that was not homemade was immediately eliminated. I also knew that I could make any of those remaining dishes for myself anytime, so even they lost some of their appeal. I finally settled on an apple strudel pie, over chocolate pie. That was a bit of a surprise even to me. I made a very good choice with that pie. It was fabulous. I even got the recipe.

*SAFE* After I had eaten my meal, I was very full and decided to save dessert for later, even though I already had it there with me. I could easily take it back to my desk for an afternoon snack. Sadly, I did not. As we sat there chatting and enjoying each others company and a break from the whirlwind, I nibbled on the pie. I would take a very small bite and savor it slowly all the while thinking that was the last bite. But the last bite came when there was none left. The lady sitting next to me, was doing the same thing. Finally, she breathed a heavy sigh and stuffed the last bite of her dessert in her mouth. She said she was stuffed but the pie was too good not to finish. (BTW, it was the one I made.) We had a conversation about why we had to do that. Why do we feel like we have to eat everything that is in front of us?
The lesson for me is tiny, tiny portions, and giving myself permission to get more if that doesn't suffice. Yesterday, I was never tempted to go back for more. That is another surprising development. In the past, hunger had very little to do with if I got more food. It was if it tasted good and I wanted that taste again. Now, that almost seems strange.

Later in the afternoon, after the sugar buzz wore off, the little voice (TLV) came back telling me to nibble. I would have had my pie if I hadn't been so weak earlier. I told TLV that and she got quiet for a while. Then J-boy emailed and asked if I would bring him some of the leftovers for supper. He knew I'd have my drink and he'd be on his own. I went in to do that, and found myself nibbling, but as soon as I became aware of it, I stopped. It scares me a little bit to think that I did that all the time a couple of years ago, but moreso that I still do it now. I'll have to be ever vigilant on that respect.

Last night I exercised like crazy, and I wound up not having my drink. Even that seemed like way too much to put in my overly sated belly. This morning, I've had my drink and feel fine. I'm back in the game and intend to stay there. I'll give a full update as to how I'm progressing on my 50 day goals at the end of the week and each week through the end of the year. I'm looking forward to giving good reports.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just Add Water

I need to add drinking 64 oz of water, minimum, to my 50 day goals. During the week drinking water is just about as natural as breathing. I take water with me to work because the water at the office is not filtered and has an under taste to me. That makes it very easy for me to keep up with how much I've had each day, although it is a rare day that I don't drink all 64 oz while I'm at the office.

On the weekends, I'm a sipper. I carry a glass around with me as I go about my day, but I've not been careful to keep up with the amount of water I drink. Most of the time it isn't an issue. I go about my day sipping water and think nothing of it.

Saturday, however, I didn't get a full glass (12 oz) down. It wasn't an unusual day. I had my typical errands to run and really did not even register that my water intake was down. The harsh reality of not drinking came to me yesterday morning, when the scale was up a whooping 1.4 lbs!!

I was stunned to say the least and it took me a while of really concentrating on exactly what I'd eaten on Saturday before I realized that it had to be the water. Even though the little voice tortured me all day Saturday and yesterday, I stayed true to my plan. I began to question my sanity and wonder if I was eating in some sort of blacked out state, when I remembered emptying my water glass at the end of the day to put it in the dishwasher. After I had considered it some more, I don't ever remember refilling the glass during the day.  So, I'm fairly certain I only had a partial glass of water on Saturday.

Yesterday, I was more aware of my water intake, but still only got about half in and my weight stayed the same. I get too easily distracted. So beginning this weekend, I am going to fill my water bottles on Saturday & Sunday mornings just like I do Monday through Friday and commit to drinking it just like during the week.

I'm still on board with drinking the protein drinks, and blogging. I have yet to exercise this week, but it is just Monday, so I'll get it done. I'm drinking plenty of water now, and judging by the number of trips to the bathroom today, that 1.4 lbs will mostly be gone in the morning.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fifty Day Report #1

I did fine yesterday and so far so good today.  I am having my second protein 'drink' right now because I am going to eat my evening meal tonight.  I put drink in quotes because I blended the powder with ice, and it is like chocolate sherbet.  YUM!  It is a gorgeous day here so an ice cream like treat is just the thing.

Why is it, however, that once I made the commitment yesterday to have two protein drinks per day, exercise 3 times per week, and report weekly, that the little bratty voice came to life?  I felt like I was rocking right along, although I was making no progress to speak of, my little voice said things to me about how I really should exercise, and the like.  Once I made the mental and written assent to recommit in this time of turmoil, the little voice started telling me that two protein drinks per day weren't nearly enough, that I'd probably starve before Thanksgiving and how in the world was I planning to exercise three whole days per week.  She brought to mind foods I hadn't thought of in weeks.  At the grocery store today she pointed out all the things that are only available this time of year, and maybe I should get them while I could.  She doesn't believe that I'll lose any weight before the end of the year anyway.  I triumphed over the little brat, and told her that I was reporting all of this on my blog.  She tried to talk me out of that, but once again I prevailed over her.  I will continue to until she goes away again.

Right after yesterday's post, I discovered that Mertle had tagged me in a little game.  I am supposed to answer 4 questions and tag 4 bloggers.  I felt so special to be asked, and it is only 4 questions, so I thought I could spare the time.
1.  What is your mantra/motivational words/favorite quote?
I don't really have one overarching quote or mantra.  Perhaps that is part of my problem.  One of my favorite movie quotes is from A League of Their Own, when Tom Hanks tells Gina Davis There's no crying in baseball!"  Seriously though, the thing that popped in my mind first was Philipians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
2.  What was your favorite book as a child?
I loved the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.  It was a whole series about an eccentric lady that knew children far better than their parents. 
3.  What is your favorite recipe?  Cookbook?
I have a favorite recipe for different categories of food - mostly dessert.  I have a cookbook from the phone company that I turn to over & over because it has every kind of recipe anyone could ever want.  I have several recipes from my grandmother, which I treasure.  One is for the best dill pickles ever in the whole wide world!
4.  What do you want for Christmas?
I don't have a list of material things that I want.  Odd, I know.  I want to stop working, but I don't think Santa will bring that.  I know that I will get a treasure trove of fond memories of my family.  We spend the week between Christmas & the new year together, rotating from house to house while my out of town sister is here with her family.  We have a blast!
I am tagging SharonGeorgiaLisa and Eve.
Your questions are:
1.  How do you silence that bratty little voice?
2.  What is your favorite exercise/work out?
3.  What is your Thanksgiving indulgence, if any?
4.  What is your favorite holiday memory?

Friday, November 12, 2010

When Blogging Isn't a Priority

Lately, I've been caught up in a whirlwind at work. That is just after an unusually active social schedule with the start of the school year. Every time I think I see a little reprieve coming, something happens to change that. It is a safe assumption now that work will be busy until mid-January, and with another busy social schedule coming up with the holidays it is time to face the reality of my new normal.

I have got to come up with a plan that is reasonable during the chaos. Without a plan, I've done fairly well with my eating. In fact, that's been the easiest part. Since I'm drinking two meals, I only have to figure out what to eat for one.

The two things that have suffered the most are blogging and exercise. I'm just too tired mentally for blogging and physically for exercise. Of course, it doesn't take much for me to find a reason not to work out! :P And I think the lack of blogging has allowed the lack of exercise. If I don't acknowledge it via the blog, no one knows and lah-dee-dah, I just go on. That has got to stop.

I've struggled with goal setting all along, and with this added circumstance, I'm at even more of a disadvantage. So far, I've just not set any weight loss goals. For me that is just about tacit approval for gaining. Something must be done ASAP to get my focus back on the task at hand. Even though I don't think that I will have my life back from my job at December 31, it seems to be a logical place to put a marker for goals. There are 50 days left between now and the end of the year. During that time I pledge to:
  • Stay on the protein drinks two meals per day 
  • Exercise 3 days per week minimum 
  • Blog each week giving a report on my goals that week
  • Lose some amount of weight 
I recognize now, that I need the accountability of this blog. I was concerned for a while that I was using this blog as a substitute for real work towards my goals. I know now that was wrong. I need to give an accounting of my behavior even if no one ever reads or comments. This is for me and this is what I have to do for me. That is what we all have to learn.   I hope to have some friends join me along this journey, but even if I don't, I'm here for the duration.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not Much to Report

I'm still working crazy hours and will continue to probably through mid January.  I'm working with my current reality to get in some workouts.  Most of the time, I'm so exhausted that I just 'phone it in' so to speak.  I'm disappointed with the heart rate/calorie counter.  I haven't really been able to make it function like I think it should.  This afternoon, I decided to really give it my all on the elliptical.  I was beginning to get in the groove, getting a little sweat going, when it started buzzing.  I couldn't figure out why.  My heart rate wasn't too high, at all.  I tried to stop it but it is hard to do something else while on the elliptical.  The rhythm gets messed up.  Finally, I got so frustrated that I took it off.  I'll still try to figure it out, but maybe not when I'm so tired mentally.

I've decided to do the protein drinks through the end of the year, mostly because it is easy.  I don't have the brain power right now to figure out carbs or calories.  It is a pretty flexible program in that I can choose the meal I want to eat.  I can go to parties during the holiday season and use that as my meal for the day.  I'd like to continue to lose a pound or two each week through the end of the year, and at the first of the year hit it hard again - with everyone else in the country!!

By mid-January things should ease up at work and I'll get back in to my five day a week workouts.  Until then, I'll do the best I can, even if it is just one round of step aerobics on the Wii fit.  That is better than nothing, right?

I'll keep in touch.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Still Here

I'm still here and still fighting. I haven't had much to say lately. Even I've been a little bored with the minutea of the whole thing - drink a protein drink, lose weight/drink a protein drink, gain weight/drink a protein drink, lose weight yet again. Get the picture?

I'm still not as focused as I was this summer, and that is part of the problem. Work has been absolutely nuts lately and it isn't going to get better any time soon. On the one hand that makes the eating part easier. I'm too tired to cheat. On the other hand, I have no time for work outs. I do the baby things like take the long way places, walk instead of call, etc. But that won't yield the results of a heart pounding, sweat pouring work out.

Here's how tired I am. The other night I was laying on the couch getting some well deserved, hard earned relaxation when thoughts of sugar plums danced in my head. Lately, I've been entertaining those thoughts rather than banishing them because I've learned that the thoughts are way better than reality. Sort of like how the food on the TV commercials never looks that good in real life. I can't even remember now, what it was that came to mind, but whatever it was, I had the ingredients in the kitchen. I could have actually prepared it, but then I realized nothing I could eat would be worth all the trouble of getting up to go get it, much less prepare it. I actually started laughing about that. I never, ever, ever thought I'd be too tired to eat. There may actually be something to this working like crazy!
Don't worry.  I'm not quitting, not by a long shot.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Day Trip

J-boy and I took a day trip yesterday to see some of his 'people'.  They are nearly 4 hours away by car, so nearly 8 hours just going & coming keeps us from visiting as much as any of us would like.  So I had not seen a couple of the women since I'd begun my weight loss journey a year and a half ago.

We were greeted warmly when we got there, and P1 started talking about how great I looked and how she wouldn't have recognized me had she just run in to me out someplace.  She was effusive in her praise, but that is the kind of person she is.

Having just got out of the car from a nearly 4 hour trip, I had to go to the restroom.  While I was in there P2 came in.  I could hear them talking as I was taking care of business.  P1 said something along the lines of 'wait until you see her' and 'I didn't recognize her'.  I was prepared, then,  for P2's response.  She was very complimentary of my new look, and showed appropriate interest how I'd shed the pounds. 

It was a real ego boost for me, and just what I needed to stay focused through the end of the year.  I think I'd lost sight of just how far I'd come on this journey.  The rest of the weight will come off when it comes off.  All I have any control over is how much I eat and how much I move.  The scales/clothes sizes will take care of themselves when the time is right.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Discussion Topic

I visited with my Primary Care Physician yesterday. It was a follow up exam primarily to aid in weight loss. As I've noted before on this blog, my PCP is very kind and understanding. He has never, ever fussed at me about my weight, not even at 254.4. Whenever I mentioned the desire to lose weight, he was right there willing to offer his encouragement. I have always been able to speak freely with him about whatever was happening. Yesterday was no exception.

I thought going in that I'd lost 3 lbs since my last visit, but I did not go back and look at my many, varied graphs and spreadsheets to verify that fact. I knew that he'd be pleased with a loss no matter how much, and I'd just not tell him that at one point over the summer I'd been down even lower.

He doesn't even weigh me anymore. He just asks what did my scale say that morning. He used to both weigh me and ask, but the difference between the scales must have been consistent enough that all he does is ask. I told him my weight yesterday morning adding that I thought that was three pounds below the previous weight. Imagine my surprise when he told me that I had actually gained 5 lbs since my last visit!!

I confessed that my weight have even been lower than his last recorded weight, and that I'd planned just to keep that my little secret. He responded in his usual way saying that he was the last person to "do this" as he pointed is finger at me and shook it as he laughed. He typed some stuff in his laptop though, so I might have lost my no scale privileges for a while!

Everything physically checked out fine. I assured him that I had not given up in the weight loss department, but that my job had become so demanding and I was working such long hours that I wasn't focusing like I had in the past. I don't really know when this will end, as far as the work situation goes, so I've got to figure a way to schedule things a little better so that I can plan meals and exercise like I was this summer. He offered to schedule a follow up in 90 days if that would help keep me on track, because that is just the kind of guy he is. I declined, because, one I think I can do it without that authority accountability, and two scheduling something else just about gave me a stroke!

So, we set an appointment for the end of April. Then he suggested that I set a goal to lose 10 pounds before that date. It was my turn to laugh, and I told him that I needed a real goal. He gave me the standard, don't set yourself up for failure argument. While I understand that, and I know that most of this battle is mental, I still think that I need a goal that is going to make me work. I think a goal of 10 lbs in 6 months is so easy that I won't even try until sometime in March.

This is my dilemma - goal setting. It has been all along. I  mentioned very early in this blog how I attributed my past failures to poor goal setting as far as a goal weight went. I have a much more reasonable goal weight, which the doctor confirmed yesterday. My problem now, is how long should it take me to get there. When I set my four goals just a few weeks ago, Sharon said she thought they were too much of a stretch. I really, really appreciated her honesty. It turns out, she was right.

So now, I'm turning to you my faithful blog readers. How do you set goals? What do you do if you don't meet them? What is a reasonable amount of time to lose 10 pounds? I have some goal setting to do. I need your help.