Total Weight Loss

Monday, January 31, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

After much soul searching, introspection and discussion, I have reached a decision - I think.  My plan as of now it to stick with the hcg for the next two weeks as originally planned and then move in to the 21 day transition/stabilization plan.  Realistically, I can only expect to lose 5 or 6 more pounds at the very most during my last two weeks.  I'm trying to prepare myself mentally for about half that much.  Of course during the transition time the weight should remain stable.  So whatever I lose in the next two weeks will be it.
J-boy and I agree that surgery is going to be necessary to remove some excess skin and fine tune a little bit in areas dieting won't touch.  We really have no idea how many pounds that will be.  But I'm not counting on too many.  I don't have the kind of apron that I see being removed on TV.  I want to be realistic and not set myself up for disappointment.
I promised myself at the beginning that I would not get hung up on the numbers on the scale.  This is my opportunity to prove it.  This is hard for me.  This feels like a cop-out, like I'm giving up.  I know for sure I'm not a failure.  I'm totally committed to keeping the weigh off this time.  It is time to reclaim my life.  It is time to put this piece behind me and move forward a healthier, fitter person than I was two years ago.  It is time for me to remove food & exercise from the center of my life.
I'm not quitting, I'm moving on to the next step.  It is a step that I always knew would come, but I thought it would come with a magic number on the scale.  I need to recognize that I am not defined by the number on the scale.  I get tons of compliments on how I look now.  The lady from church that told me I'd look old, saw me yesterday and exclaimed that I still had not aged!!  Honestly, it isn't even about how I look although I'm glad to look better; it is about being healthy.  I've done that.  Of course, I'll check with my doctor to confirm that, too.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Scale Says

This morning the scale read 171.0.  That is a whopping loss of 1.2 lbs since last week.  Needless to say I'm discouraged.  I had high hopes for this round of hcg, and it just hasn't panned out. 

I'm proving my own theory that our bodies adapt to whatever we eat  and do so we have to continually change.  It is still hard knowing that I have not deviated once even in the slightest way from the food plan and I have been faithful in my exercise, and still have the smallest of results.  In fact, this morning the scales were up from yesterday, which is further disappointing.

I have two more weeks for the hcg, and I want to finish the round.  I'm not sure if I should or not.  It is not recommended to monkey around with the time frames, but I'm beginning to wonder if for my own mental health that I move to low carb for three or four weeks, and then come back to the hcg.

J-boy, being ever supportive, says that he doesn't mind if I stop losing weight now.  I think 170 is too much on a 5'4" body.  He points to relatives on both sides of the house that are and have been heavy.  His opinion is that I am fighting a strong genetic predisposition to carry extra weight, and will always be frustrated. 

I think that is coping out.  I am just barely out of the overweight category according to my BMI, and my goal of 145 is just barely into the normal weight range.

I said in the very beginning, two years ago, that I was not going to get all hung up on the numbers and label myself a failure if I didn't get to a certain number on the scale.  I am not labeling myself a failure by any means!  I've lost 83 lbs.  That is not a failure.  And during all of this soul searching, I have not once thought of quitting.  Instead, I've thought of what else can I do to be successful.  Those are both great milestones worthy of celebrating. 

I've just about come to the conclusion that if I lose 100 lbs, I'll say I'm at my goal.  That would make my weight 154. That is only 9 pounds above my ultimate goal, so that seems almost silly.  It is one of those mind games, I so often play.

The real question for today is what to do to get the ball rolling again?  How can I lose 15-25 pounds?  It should be easy to drop those few pounds, but so far for me, it has been an exercise in frustration.  Any ideas????

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Memorial Service

Tonight J-boy and I will attend the memorial service of our neighbor that passed away before the holidays.  We learned of the cancer diagnosis in October and he was gone in November.  It was sudden and shocking for all of us.

Probably like a lot of couples, Mrs N. was the one I spoke with more.  She called to make arrangements to have their mail/newspaper picked up when they traveled.   She was the one that was outdoors more, and we would exchange a friendly greeting on the way in or out of the house.  Mr. N was a likable fellow, but we just interacted more with her.

Mr. N. was overweight by a good bit.  He may have, in reality, been in the obese category, but I don't know for sure.  Over the summer, however, Mr. N. began a weight loss regimen that included walking every day.  The weight seemed to magically disappear off of him as it often does during the early stages of a diet, for men in particular.  I had already lost 70 pounds by this point, so he and I became kindred spirits of a sort.  On days when I felt like I really, really didn't want to exercise, I'd see Mr. N. trudging up or down the driveway and spur myself on to the elliptical.  Even though, he never said so, I feel certain he looked to me for inspiration at times as well.

What I didn't know for several months was that his doctor diagnosed him as pre-diabetic. He told him to get the weight under control or he'd be dead.  That was before cancer hit.  I never got to ask him how he felt after making the hard sacrifices to save his life only to learn of another threat to his life.  I wonder if he rued the wasted days of overweight/obesity, or wished he'd just eaten cake all summer.

The treatments Mr. N. was undergoing for cancer caused dramatic weight loss and the doctors were encouraging him to eat.  How ironic!  One day I asked Mrs. N. what they needed from us and she asked me to make the  most calorie dense dessert I could, knowing that I love to bake and would have just the right thing.  I did.  It was a brownie recipe, with 8 eggs and lots of butter.  I was happy to do it for him, but the whole time I was making them, my mind swirled.

What would I think if I was in this situation?  Would I lament the food I missed, or would I wished I'd started the weight loss plan earlier?  Sadly, I think I would have lamented missing the food.  Of course, at this time we had no idea that he would contract an infection and not be able to fight it.  I know for sure, if the end of my life was near, food would be far down my list of priorities.  I'd be too busy soaking up every once of time with my family.

It was a soul searching time, shining the light on a part of me that I'd rather deny existed.  I would choose food over health.  I shouldn't be surprised, I chose that over and over again to get to 254.4.  I'm hoping that knowing and acknowledging the issue is truly the first step in correcting the problem. 

And now I'd like to express my get well wishes to all my blog buddies.  It seems that just about everyone I've read in recent days and weeks has been sick.  Get well soon, my friends!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Scale Says

This morning the scale read 172.2.  That is a loss of 3.4 since last week.  This may be my new normal for hcg rather than the dreaded plateau.  I keep hoping to get back up closer to the 0.75 lbs per day that I averaged in the past.  I'm doing the same stuff - eating well and exercising.  I am taking comfort in the fact that the scale is still moving down fairly consistently.  I get a bobble up every once in a while, but over all the trend is downward and that is good.  I have just got to get out of the 170's.  I'm sick of them!

But rather than re plow that ground I'd like to discuss cosmetic surgery.  Anyone know anything about that?  I'm considering very strongly at this point.  I've already visited with a surgeon.  I know a little about what is involved, with regard to the cost and time off from work.  I think I would feel much better about my body with the 'apron' gone from where my belly used to be.  My backside is beginning to be an issue with me again.  I'd forgotten how much I disliked it in particular when I had my whole body to gripe about!

I'd appreciate any stories or comments anyone has from personal experience or that of friends.  I'd like to know if the surgery was worth it, as in did the person really feel better about their body & body shape.  I know a lot has to do with the skill of the surgeon, but still even with the best surgeon, there is a huge emotional piece.  I'm wondering if it will be worth it from that stand point.

I'm also concerned about the weight 'lost' during surgery.  I know some of it is real because that skin is gone.  Anybody have any idea how much?  I'm sure it depends on how much skin is removed, but anyone know an average?  A weight loss of 109 isn't going to leave nearly as much skin hanging as a larger loss, but I'm wondering if I need to revise my goal weight.  If I lose 20 lbs of skin/tissue that will leave my weight at 125 which I think will be too thin.  If it is 5 or even 10, I think I'll keep my goal at 145.  Anything more than about 10 pounds, I think I'll revise my goal upwards.  I weighed 134 at my smallest in my 20's and I think that was too small even then.  Now, I don't think it is maintainable.

Help me out here.  What's the scoop?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


In March, 1999 J-boy gave me a lovely diamond engagement ring. It was/is a beautiful ring and I vowed right then and there to never, ever, ever take it off, ever. That lasted until I went to bed that night. The prongs in the setting picked the sheets and I was afraid that I would loosen the prongs and lose a stone in the bed. I couldn't have that so I took it off. Of course I put it back on quite promptly the next morning. That was my routine for 6 months.

Then in September, 1999 J-boy gave me a wedding band. This time I meant it when I promised to never, ever, ever take it off, ever. And I didn't.

Every morning I would get up and put on my engagement ring as a part of my morning routine. As time progressed, however, it became more and more difficult to get that beautiful ring on & off. Some days, I'd have to get my finger very soapy to coax that ring off. Eventually, I stopped putting it on. I told myself that working in the non profit world, I didn't want to be 'showy', but I knew even then that wasn't the truth.

The wedding band? Forget get about it. There was no way it was coming off. There was a time when my finger got swollen and I feared that the ring was going to have to be cut off. We managed to avoid that, but it was a bit of scare to day for sure.

One of the benefits of losing weight, that I listed before I began this journey, was that my rings would fit better. And they did. I restarted my routine of putting my engagement ring on in the morning when I got up and took it off at night before bed. The wedding band stayed right in place with no trouble.

I asked J-boy some time ago if my rings got too big would he have them cut down as a gift to me for losing weight. He, of course, agreed.

In the last few days and weeks, they have really gotten quite loose. I know that part of the problem is the cold. My fingers 'shrink' in the cold making even perfectly fitting rings a little on the loose side. Along about Thursday of last week, I went to flush the toilet at work, with my left hand and felt my rings slipping. I immediately made a fist so that they didn't fall into the toilet, so there was no drama. I knew then, that I'd have to do something soon.

I got a pretty chain to wear on which to wear some of my other favorite rings, but that didn't seem like the right idea for these rings. I put them on my middle finger and decided to discuss with J-boy the best course of action. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Showing him my hand with the rings on the middle finger, "Look, my rings have gotten too big."

Him: Apparently not noticing that my rings were on the 'wrong' finger. "Maybe you should stop wearing them for now."

Me: Coyly "What will I do about all the men that will hit on me?"

Him: "They're creeps, don't worry about them."

Me: Still trying to be coy "Do you think only creeps will hit on me?"

Him: "Yes, only a creep hits on a married woman."

Me: "How will they know I'm married, if I don't have my rings on?"

Him: "Oh...well...keep them on."

So, for now, they are on the middle finger of my left hand. I'm less than 30 pounds away from my goal and I don't think they'll get too big for that finger. If they do, I have my index finger and thumb!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Scale Says

This morning the reading on the scale was 175.6 that is a loss of 3.6 for the week.  Not bad at all, but at the risk of sounding like a whiner, it should have been better.

With hcg, my average weight loss has been 0.75 lbs per day for the six weeks of 'therapy'.  For the week my loss should have been 5.25 lbs, if I had maintained that pace.  I don't think I would have been quite as concerned if the last two days I hadn't posted a small gain both days.  That should not happen at all.  A gain almost always indicates an error in eating somewhere.  I know that hasn't happened, so I'm left wondering why.

As I began to contemplate, I remembered how I spent most of my 30's at about 175-177 pounds.  I began to wonder if my body decided that it liked this weight and was going to fight to stay there as hard as I fought to move down.  Probably.

I also began to remember how I felt then.  I felt like a fat cow, and helpless to do anything about it.  Of course, that weight is too heavy for me, but I was not the huge blob, I perceived myself to be.  Then I began to realize that I never really acknowledged how big a truly was at 254.4.  I knew I was a fat cow and felt helpless to do anything about it.  But I think my mental image of myself was largely the same at both weights.

I've done a lot of deep thinking about denial and delusions with regard to my body image. Unfortunately, I have yet to come to any grand conclusions, other than I have a bad case of it.  What I know for sure is that I need to lose 30 pounds to get to a reasonable weight.  I know that I have not strayed from the very strict eating plan I'm on now, and I have not missed a workout session.  I also know that if I keep doing those things that the weight will follow.  It is hard to really 'know' that though.

Just to be absolutely certain there were no errors on my part with the hcg plan, I dug out all of the original documentation I got with the plan nearly two years ago now.  I found a section on faulty dieting, and discovered that did not apply to me, so I kept digging.  Eventually, I found a section on plateaus.  This did apply to me.  Apparently in some instances, when individuals get to a weight where they spent a lot of years, this happens.  The procedure is to just keep on doing the plan, and it should break within, get this, TWO WEEKS!

Knowing that could happen made me feel better, but knowing that this could go on for two weeks was disconcerting.  It is going to be hard to maintain the stringent program and not see the scales respond.  The next several days will be a real test of my delayed gratification system.  This could be interesting...

Friday, January 14, 2011


I've, once again, been caught up in the whirlwind called work.  Although I haven't blogged, I've kept up reading most of them and commented here & there.  I've also written some great posts in my head!!  It is too bad that I can't connect the readers to my brain and just think them.  They're often much better that way.  I didn't make notes, so some may be lost forever, but here are a few of the ideas I had:
  • Ode to Elastic - it was my friend on the way up because I could wear clothes much longer than the manufacturer ever dreamed, and now on the way down, I love it even more.  Just a few inches sewn in the waist band, and I can wear my clothes once again much longer than the manufacturer ever dreamed
  • A Review of the Stepper - I finally got it on Tuesday and have used it some every day.  My arms have been the most sore, and I'm glad for that.  The bat wings were getting out of control.
  • Wii Wrecks - I might still do this since it could be funny.  I some how managed to knock wind chimes, not once but twice across the room.
  • Work Rants - and how I had to go in on Monday, but that isn't really what this blog is about, unless it counts as working through an issue
  • Denial - another one I might do.  I'm realizing now that I was in huge denial about my size before I lost weight, now that I am near the weight where I spent most of my 30's.
  • My sudden and almost overwhelming desire to eat dill pickles - all the time!
  • What about those potato chip commercials during the National Championship game?!?!  Potato chips, natural & wholesome - they're still potato chips!!
So, dear readers, know that you and this blog have not been far from my thoughts although I've been away.  I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and work should return to its normal level of chaos very soon.  I'll get back to my pattern and blog more regularly.

In the meantime, I've been eating on plan, and exercising every day.  My weight is responding.  I'll give a report on that tomorrow with my usual Saturday post.  Now it is time to get on the Wii and hope nothing is destroyed in the process.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

 I got a snow day today.  Although I might go in to the office during the middle of the day, right now I'm sitting here in my warm, snugly pajamas as I type this.

Late yesterday, as it became clear that the snow was going to come as predicted, J-boy and I began to plan how to get to work as historically neither of our offices closed.  This is the second snow day we've had in five years with my employer, and the first was in December of 2010.  Get the idea?

J-boy was thinking that I'd get the day but he would not, and he was right.  He is a professor and most universities don't close when the majority of students only walk from the dorm to the classroom. 

As we were contemplating, he said  "It's too bad you don't eat like you used to. Tomorrow (today) would be a good day for you to bake something good."
Me:  "Funny you should say that, I just blogged about that very thing."
J-boy:  " could make me a nice pot of soup."
Me:  laughing "Have you been reading my blog?"  Not that he can't he usually doesn't
J-boy:  looking puzzled, thinking that we've covered this already "No" somewhat hesitantly
Me:  "I put that in there too."
J-boy:  brightening "So, it's settled, you'll make me some soup tomorrow."

I will, and I'll choose one that uses lots of tomatoes so I won't be tempted by something creamy and high fat later on.

I'll also increase my time on the Wii.

Of course, there is always a long list of household chores, that I'll get to do.  What I won't do is eat anything off of plan just because it is snowy and I'm home. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Question

My nephew got a new laptop computer for Christmas and needs a carrying case.  Does any one know about a laptop messenger bag or any other good options for him?  If so, just leave a comment and I'll pass any suggestions along.  I know I have quite a few students that read this blog, and I thought they might have good ideas.

Things are going well on the weight loss front still.  I am eating on plan and exercising.  Patrick read the situation well.  I'm looking forward to my new stair stepper tomorrow.  I hope!

We're in for a winter storm here in the southeast.  Around here, we don't try to drive in it and we don't have snow plows or other snow moving equipment, so we just shut down.  It usually only lasts a day or two anyway.  In the past I've been up for a day off to hang around the house in my jammies and watch mindless daytime TV.  But one of my most favorite things to do on a snow day is bake something.  I'll have to suppress that urge and maybe channel it in to making some wholesome soup for J-boy.  I'm not a fan of soups.  Besides not liking tomatoes, I have issues with hot liquid in my mouth.  I'm not a coffee drinker.  As a result, I like cream based soups that are waaaaaaay too fat for my eating plan right now.

Who knows what the weather will bring.  One thing I've learned is that the forecasters always predict things in the most dire way.  If we do get enough snow to stay home, I'll use it as more time on the Wii.

I hope everyone is warm and cozy, enjoying Sunday!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday Scale Says

This morning I weighed 179.2.  That is 34.2 lbs away from my goal of 145, and 6.8 lbs away from my lowest weight over the summer.  I'll get there soon enough.

Some of my long term readers might remember me blogging about a friend of a friend losing weight and giving me clothes.  She stalled out for a while, but has now dropped enough weight to clean out her closet again.  Once again, she thought of me and I've received quite a few new to me clothes.  This is just working out perfectly, if I can stay one size behind this lady all the way down, I'll be set for clothes. 

Catching up on the broken co-worker volunteered to exchange it for me in her neighborhood!  Isn't that kind!!!  I hope to have my new equipment on Monday.

Both of these things, I believe to be confirmation that I am on the right track.  I hope everyone reading this is having great success and getting positive confirmations also!

Enjoy Saturday.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Victory Thursday!!

I've had a crazy week, and not much time to think about blogging.  So, this might not make any sense.  So, what else is new?  Right?

I returned to work on Tuesday after 11 glorious days out of the office, counting holidays and weekends, only to discover my computer out of commission.  I was unable to do much productive at the office for almost two entire days before the problem was diagnosed and resolved.  The diagnosis was the long part.  I knew I'd be behind after the extended absence, but now it has increased exponentially!

Despite that issue, I started the new year with a renewed vigor and focus on my weight loss plan.  I am determined to get to my goal this year.  I've had a great week of eating on plan, exercise and guzzling the water.  I feel great.  It hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it.  I can get to my goal.  I feel it deep inside.

And now for another story of my frustrating week...On the way home from work today, J-boy and I stopped at the store and bought a stair stepper.  I sold my elliptical before Christmas because I felt like I had gotten all of the good I could from it physically.  Since that time, I've been faithfully using the Wii and Wii fit.  That feels like cheating at some level, since it is enjoyable, but I still get my heart rate up. 

Anyway, I'd had my eye on this piece of equipment for a while, and a co-worker told me that she'd seen them half price.  She told me where they were in the store and even offered to let me use her car to go get one.  (I have the best co-workers ever!!)  I managed to wait until the way home and got the last one in the store.  We came home and I put it together and I proceeded to try to use it.  J-boy had only been an observer up until this point.  When it didn't work he stepped in to save the day for me by putting it together properly.   Ahem...that didn't work either.  We realized fairly quickly where the problem was and then noticed that a weld had come loose causing it to malfunction.  The steps wouldn't go back up after they were pressed down.  Both of us got a pretty good work-out trying to repair it, but I still did my Wii work-out.  

We'll have to take it back.  I'm bummed on two levels.  One, just the pain of having to take it back is irritating.  Two, it was the last one, so I'll have to keep shopping.  I had my mind ready and now I have to wait.  I'm not good at that.

The scales are moving in the right direction with the Wii/Wii fit combo, so I won't stay upset long.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year one & all!  I've been dropping in and reading blogs, commenting here & there, but haven't been fully engaged in over a week.  I've had a blast with my family, but the out of town ones are on their way home, so I am slowly returning to reality.  I have one more day off from work to recover and prepare then it is full steam ahead.

There were two incidents/conversations that happened during the course of the week that I want to share, but first the big happy news from my younger sister and her family.  They decided to adopt the precious little foster baby they've had in their home and in their hearts for most of his two sweet little years on this earth.  They are displaying enormous faith and love by taking in this little darling.  His mother used meth while he was in uteri and he will suffer the physical consequences the rest of his life.  We would all appreciate prayers for his life with them.  To think of what his life would have been if YS and her family had not been open to him still brings tears to my eyes.  Now on to the more weight related portion of this blog...

Our celebration was delayed a couple of days due to snow and dangerous driving conditions for YS.  We had a grand time once they got here and the festivities began.  I had decided that I would eat whatever was served in normal portions and not worry about the carbs/calories/fat and just enjoy the time with family.  I did, and the scales responded accordingly.  I think there were two factors involved, one is my body overreacts to any increase in fat, sugar or simple carbs.  The second is, I have a lot of amnesia when it comes to the amount of snacking I do.  I know that I cannot ever be 'normal' when it comes to food. 

Although the week got off to a cold, snowy start on Thursday we had an almost springlike day.  We decided to grill hamburgers.  J-boy did it all.  He even sliced potatoes and made real french fries, cooked in oil on the stove.  YUM!  I had a burger with my homemade dill pickles and fries for supper.  It was indeed a taste of summer time.  But, the food just laid in my stomach like a lump.  I could feel it there and it was not happy.  I tried to rest on the couch for a while, but that didn't help, and I finally chewed some antacids.  We decided to watch a DVD and relax for the evening.  I was really not feeling well at all.  About 45 minutes in to the show, I got sick.  I'll spare the ugly details, but I spent a few hours on the toilet with the trash can in my lap. 

I was fearful that the whole family had picked up a bug or had eaten something bad, but no one, not even J-boy, had a twinge.  I was as sick as I had been in years.  I could not even keep down Sprite, and everyone else was walking around hale and hearty.  It was clear to me that my body was saying it had enough and I needed to get back to wholesome eating.  I couldn't eat for about 24 hours, but I'm fine now and right on target with eating.

The conversation I want to share also happened on Thursday.  I was going to make it my victory for the week, but I was otherwise occupied Thursday evening and unable to blog.  ;-)  My sisters and I were chatting about the joys of growing older.  My older sister mentioned that she was wearing glasses now to cover up how old her eyes looked.  I disagreed that her eyes looked old and suggested that she drink more water to ease some of the puffiness she perceived to be there.  Honestly, I really didn't see it.  I lamented the growing turkey waddle under my chin.  It has grown with my declining weight.  My younger sister said she thought it had improved since she'd seen me at the end of the summer.  Since she doesn't see me as often I think she has a better perspective from which to measure change.  I thanked her, but said I was still considering surgery after getting to my goal.  My older sister laughed a good bit at that idea and said she didn't know why I'd do that.  She said, "You look so much more comfortable than you did before." 

I thought that was a very interesting choice of words - 'comfortable.'  I've contemplated that quite a bit in the days since.  She's right.  I am more comfortable.  I am more comfortable in my body.  I can move more easily.  I am more comfortable in my clothes.  They don't bind and constrict like they used to.  I am more comfortable at work.  I feel somehow like I have more credibility after gaining control over this part of my life.  Comfortable...

The process hasn't always been comfortable, but it has been worth it.  For 2011, I'm going to continue a pursuit of comfort!  I like thinking of it in those terms.  A little 'discomfort' now in the form of forgoing foods that I know are bad for me anyway, and getting with it in the workouts, will pay off with far more comfort in days to come.  Here's to comfort for all of us in the coming year...