Total Weight Loss

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Ate Radishes

I hate most vegetables.  I probably hate vegetables more than I hate exercise.  Any idea why I got fat? 

There are only two vegetables that I really like and they are corn & potatoes - not the best choices.  I'll eat:
  • green beans (especially if they've been cooked with bacon grease)
  • broccoli (best if served with plenty of cheese melted over it)
  • cucumbers  (if they've been soaked in vinegar & dill long enough to be called pickles)
I'll also eat leaf lettuce and zucchini, but both things have very little taste to me.  I'd much rather have a big old hunk of red meat, or white bread or anything with sugar, butter, flour & eggs, if you get my drift!!  Again, see any reason for a weight problem here?

I know, however that if I am ever going to lose weight permanently, I'm going to have to make peace with them.  I've gained strength through one of my blog mentors who goes to the local farmers' market and loads up on fruits and vegetables every week.  She posts how she liked them or not and how she prepared them.  Recently, I read one of her posts about radishes.  She had them cooked along side an omelet.  She said they were better than home fries and she was going to use them as a substitute from now on.  Since potatoes are one of my favorites, I decided to give it a go.

I got a small bag of radishes at the store.  They were something like $0.69 so it wasn't a large financial risk.  I prepared them according to her instructions.  I sliced them thin, and sauteed them in a little olive oil with salt & pepper.  I put a little of the drippings from the meat I was cooking just to give it a little more of an edge in winning over my taste buds.  I was all ready for the yumm-o home fry taste.  I'd even convinced John to try them. 

Let's just say they aren't making it up there with corn & potatoes, and in my book nothing like home fries.  I found the smell little off putting.  They smelled a little like turnips to me.  Really, they had no taste to me.  I figure what's the point.  I get to eat so little that I really, really want it to be satisfying not just filling.  Part of that is the flavor satisfaction.  John said they tasted like cabbage to him.  Between the two of us, we didn't even get the whole serving down. 

I've committed to try or re-try one new veggie each week.  The radishes were on Saturday.  On Sunday, I let them leave the tomatoes in my fajitas at the restaurant.  I thought that with the peppers & onions which I don't hate, and the beef which I love dearly, the tomato taste would get lost and I could sneak them in.  Yet another fallacy on my part.  I ate them only because they were too hard to pick out.  They gave the dish a tartness I didn't care for. 

I really want to like tomatoes.  I've seen too many people enjoy them and rave about how there is nothing better than a fresh tomato from the garden.  As a child I really tried to like them.  I was the only one in my family that didn't.  I don't much like anything that is too tomato based like spaghetti.  Even with pizza, I'll press down on the toppings so the sauce squirts out the sides.  But...I have agreed to try one fresh from the garden this summer.  We'll see if I can get past the slimy tartness this time...wish me luck!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Exercise Routine & A Quick Update

I don't have a book on tape right now, and while that is no excuse to skip exercise, I've used it as the final reason.  The thought process goes something like this - "Maybe I shouldn't exercise because my big toe hurts and it might be a very serious injury.  And, oh, I don't have a book to listen to, anyway."  This time, I'm determined not to let that happen.  After all, I want different results this time.

So, I've been soldiering on.  It is amazing how long 20 minutes can seem.  My friend L suggested that I try something I later learned to be called interval training.  It is where a warm up is done, then the exerciser works out at absolute maximum ability for 30 seconds, recovers for 30 and the cycle is repeated for a set number of times and then a cool down. 

I was up for it, no problem.  Right!?!  I did a 2 minute warm up and then proceeded to just about catapult myself over the front of the elliptical and in to the wall.  The resistance setting was on 1.  Oops.  The machine has 6 preprogrammed workouts.  The resistance can be set anywhere from 1 to 10.  That way, the user can gradually work up.  So, I upped the resistance level to 5 and tried again.  Still too loose, but no near injuries.  Finally, I put it all the way up to 10 to keep myself grounded on the machine.  The only problem was it was too hard to recover.  Don't misunderstand here.  I'd not gone more than about 10 seconds with each trial.  At about the 10 second mark, my machine would turn itself off.  I thought I was just pushing it too hard.   I was wiped out, so I quit for the night.  Hey, I tried.

The next night I tried again.  I set the resistance level to 8, warmed up for 2 minutes and proceeded to give it everything I had.  After about 10 seconds the machine blinked off.  Now, I'm really beginning to believe that I had developed some real super abilities.  I was stronger than the machine.  I reset everything and tried again.  Same result, so I quit for the evening again.

Sometime much later, I remembered that the control panel on the machine is battery operated.  When the batteries get low, the machine blinks off at strange times.  It was probably just a coincidence that it was blinking off at the same time I was going like a mad woman.

The next night, I installed new batteries and tried yet again.  In between the time L and I had discussed this type of exercise and the night I was finally going to get it right, I had changed the 30 second interval to 1 minute in my mind.  There was no way in the world I was going to be able to make it a full minute at that kind of pace, and the blasted machine wasn't about to blink off now, when I really needed it to.  I tried three times to do a full minute, but could not.  My legs were like water and I had to stop.  I did do a slow, slow cool down for a couple of minutes.

I mentioned to L that I was going to have to work up to the one minute thing and friend that she is, she quickly set me straight.  Sadly, I'm still going to have to work up to 30 seconds!!!  After more trial & error, I've come to this:
  • warm up - 2 minutes 
  • full capacity 10 seconds, recovery 20 seconds (4x)
  • cool down - 2 minutes
It is a 6 minute work out that kicks my behind!

I'm also lifting weights, and messing around on the Wii.  It is hard to call that exercise, but it does work a body out.

UPDATE- I lost back down to my pre-travel weight last week.  The very quick gain and loss indicates to me that it had to be fluid.  I'm back in the mindset now, so I'm hoping to keep the momentum going this week.  My goal is to get to my lowest weight this month, which means about a 2 1/2 lb loss.  I think that is reasonable. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Like most every woman in this country, I have more sizes of clothes in my closet than many department stores.   Even though I thought I'd purged myself of all of those small clothes that I hadn't worn in years, I've been amazed by the fact that I've found clothes to wear.  As a result, I have just now begun to need to buy new clothes.   I've bought most of my 'on the way down' clothes at Goodwill and Ladies of Charity.  It is surprising what nice clothes can be found at those places.  I've been saving my mileage reimbursement checks and other 'found' money to use for a huge shopping spree when I get to my goal. 

I decided a few weeks ago to dip in to my savings and actually go shopping in a real store.  I got some coupons from Stein Mart, one for 20% off a regular priced item and one for 20% off a clearance item.  I'd planned my outing for Saturday so I'd have plenty of time to peruse. 

Sadly, I woke up that morning with a screaming headache, a call in to work sick type headache.  I tried all the remedies in my arsenal because I felt compelled to go shopping that day.  Finally, my head eased to a dull throb and I headed out.  I definitely looked like I didn't feel good, I had on no makeup, and a raggedy hoodie, but I was going shopping - yes, indeed!!

One of the first people I saw upon entering the store was a woman that I worked with about 20 years ago.  Back in my, relatively speaking, thin days.  She had a modeling agency on the side, and I did a little modeling for her.  (I'll do another blog about that later, maybe.)  I was a good 40 pounds heavier than the last time I'd seen her despite of the weight loss.  My first instinct was high tail it out of there! 

I've been working on the pride thing, so I went up to her and said hello.  She remembered me, and to her great credit, she did not say anything about how gross I looked.  I confessed that I'd been much heavier, and had lost 70 lbs, and that I was sprucing up my wardrobe.  She steered me in to a dressing room and started bringing me clothes.  I felt like I was in a movie with all of the attention she was giving me.  It was great!  I made my selections and went to pay.

I had an arm load of purchases and as I was approaching the line, another lady walked up with one item.  I stopped and told her to go in front of me.   She acted as if that was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her and told me that my kindness would be rewarded.  Just then another cash register opened up.  She nodded at me, so that I would recognized that my kindness was already being rewarded.  Little did she know...

I laid my selections down on the counter and got out my coupons.  The cashier started looking through the items trying to find the most expensive regular priced item and the most expensive clearance item, so that I could get the most out of my coupons.  I thanked her for that, and told her, again swallowing my pride, that I was buying so many things because I'd lost a lot of weight.  She kindly asked what I had done and how much I'd lost.  I told her briefly about my plan and that my loss so far was 70 lbs. She was so impressed that she stopped looking for the highest priced items and gave me 20% off my entire purchase!!!

Swallowing my pride got me great service and saved me a bunch of money,  and my kindness was very generously repaid!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Little Help from my Friends

I just got back from a quick trip to Ft. Walton last week, and the week before was the financial audit at work.  So...I've been out of pocket for a while.  I gained 6 pounds while I was gone, but I'm back and ready to get back down to business with eating, exercise and most importantly blogging.

One of the most invaluable aids in my weight loss efforts was and still is my friends.  As I mentioned earlier, I was very reluctant to make my efforts public, but once I did, I wished I had done so earlier.  A couple of friends made what to them was almost an off hand comment, but they resonated with me.  I have considered them repeatedly while I have been on this journey.  I'll share two them now.

I was lamenting one day at work, that the weight loss process was slow and one woman agreed by saying "It is a long walk of obedience."  Some how that statement hit me right between the eyes.  It is a 'walk' for sure.  It is not a race or sprint or even a jog.  It is a walk and a long one a that.  To be successful in the weight loss arena, obedience is paramount.  Obedient to the plan, and to your body.  Any time I begin to think about how long this whole thing is taking I remember her statement - a long walk of obedience, and I put one foot in front of the other on the long walk.

Another day, a friend was relating a tip she'd heard at a Weight Watchers meeting.  When driving along and the car hits the rumble strips on the side of the road, the natural reaction is to pull the car back up on the road where it belongs and proceed on the journey.  With weight loss, if the car hits the rumble strips, which is going off plan, the thing to do is pull right back in the lane and continue on the journey - or get back on plan.  Somehow, dieters have decided that if they hit the rumble strips, they swerve on off of the road and in to the ditch.  That makes as much sense as swerving in to the ditch as soon as you hit those rumble strips.  None of us would do that. 

That really helped me tremendously, and whenever I ate something I wasn't supposed to, I just pulled the car back in to the lane and proceeded down the street rather than thinking I'd pile it in for the rest of the day/week and start fresh in the morning/Monday/next month.

These two statements helped me with the mental battle in weight loss as much as the eating plan and exercise did for the physical battle.  I hope they are helpful for the reader.

One other thing I've done is join the blogging community.  I've created this blog with the hope that it will help keep me accountable and help others on their journey besides being a record of how far I've come.  I read blogs too.  One of my favorites is here.  I feel like the author is a friend, although clearly, I've never met her.

If any reader has started their own weight loss plan, leave a comment saying how you are doing.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tips & Tricks

I thought I'd share a few tips & tricks that I've learned along the way.  Most, I've alluded to in previous posts, but I thought it would be helpful to have them all in one place.

  • Find your own way.  This is probably the most important thing that the reader should take away from this blog.  Each person must do what is right for him or herself.  There is no 'one size fits all', when it comes to weight loss.  Search inside to find the right path.
  • Weigh yourself every day.  This has been huge for me.  It is all about accountability.  I know that popular weight loss plans advocate weekly weighing but for me that doesn't work (see above).  I've recently run across articles advocating the same thing.  Here's One
  • Plan ahead as much as possible.  For me, it helped to weight out all my food for the week on Sunday afternoons.  It was important for me that my meals be quick & easy.  Getting stuck in the kitchen was too risky. I love to cook, and being in there too long meant being tempted to cook the wrong things.  An hour or so on Sunday afternoon was not too high of a price to pay to have the rest of my meals for the week ready.
  • Get some good scales - both for your body and the kitchen.  Don't blow your plan by having inaccurate measurements of your body or of what you eat.
  • Measure your body with a tape measure at the beginning and again about every 6 weeks.  Measure the typical areas bust/chest, waist, and hips, but also measure arms, legs, neck, ankles, wrist, etc.  It will be amazing to watch body parts shrink.
  • Find one body part to love.  Don't focus on the thunder thighs, junk in the trunk, etc.  That is counterproductive.  Everyone has one thing that they like, eyes, hands, hair, something.  Focus on that part, pamper it, show it great affection.  In time the thunder thighs won't be thundering quite so much and they can be loved and pampered too.
  • Tell at least one trusted friend.  I'm planning to do a whole post about this later.  I kept my efforts quiet from almost everyone I knew, initially.  After all, I'd failed too many times to count, and I did not want to be embarrassed again.  In time, people noticed and when I shared what I was  doing all I got in return was support.  It really helped me along the way.  One friend said "It is a long walk of obedience."  She is right.