Total Weight Loss

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wednesday Weigh In, Diet Coke Pedometer App

This morning the scales were down 0.6 lbs from last week.  I'm not sure why but I'll take it.  If I can consistently lose about half a pound a week, I'll be glad.

I'm guessing it is the more concentrated effort to drink water the past couple of days.  My eating has been OK, but not stellar.  I didn't find myself editing my intake because I didn't want to document it.  I ate cake twice over the weekend and wrote it down.  I know that my life has got to include cake every now and then.  Probably not twice in one weekend very often, but we celebrated two birthdays on two different days, so there were two cakes.

I wish that next week was a more typical week so that I could test my theory but it isn't so I won't stress about it.  I will, however, take lots of bottled water because the water at camp is gross.  I learned over the weekend that I enjoy water more than I thought.

I had a chance to drink Diet Coke over the weekend.  (Not as the same time as I was eating cake.) I have been doing a good job of avoiding artificial sweeteners so I'm not sure when I last had my beloved Diet Coke.  There once was a time that I drank so much, I laughed and said I would bleed Diet Coke if I were cut.  (This was in my middle and late 20's, when I did not grasp the dangers of artificial sweeteners.)  Anyway, I poured myself a glass and then nearly choked on the first sip.  The stuff tasted like metal.  It had been poured from a 2 liter bottle, which was plastic.  I had to dump it out.

I gladly went back to my water.  I still like my sweet tea, as far as I know.  I haven't had any of that in a while.  I'm saving that for the next special occasion.  I'm not sure when that will be.

Finally, I have two issue with the pedometer app.  One I have to remember to carry it or tuck it in my waistband when I move around. I'm not doing a very good job of that.  It is, however, a habit I can learn.  The other is, the app seems to eat up battery life like crazy.  I might have to use it to track steps when I'm actually on a walk.  I can create my challenge to get x number of work out steps per week or something like that.  I won't worry about that until I get back from camp.

The baby and mommy leave in the morning.  It will be back to my usual pattern until I leave for camp Sunday morning.  I'll probably weigh again before I leave since I won't be able to next week.  It will be interesting to see how the week impacts my weight.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My Weekend

I had a great weekend with family.  I got in lots of fun with my nieces and lots of snuggles with the baby.  My nephew has gone back to home, his wife and the baby are staying a few more days so more time for cuddling.

I've done a decent job of keeping my food intake recorded.  I didn't always take my notebook with me since when family is in town we have a roving party from house to house.  I feel good about recording the food I ate, it is the water that I'm not sure of.  

I have a favorite water bottle that I carry almost all of the time.  I kept it with me all weekend and kept it topped off.  I didn't keep a good awareness of how many times, I topped it off.  I think, I came up short on the water.  Funny thing, that is the one thing I thought I had no issues regarding.  I drink a lot of water every day.  I drink water almost exclusively.

Other than the possible need to increase water intake, I've not found anything that is glaringly obvious to change with my food.  I'll keep the journal through the rest of the week.  I'll not try to keep up with it during camp next week.  I'll just eat what is prepared and pick up the food journal when I get back.

My very early conclusions are that eating is OK, and water could increase.  Wouldn't it be funny if all along, all I needed to do was add another glass or two of water to start shedding the weight!!??

The final component of my weight loss trifecta is exercise.  My fitness level is coming back and will continue to as long as I push myself.  Sadly, the pedometer challenge is on hiatus for now.  I dropped the pedometer and it stopped working.  

On Saturday, I went to the bathroom and it slipped off my waistband as I took my pants down.  It has happened plenty of times before in that situation.  I thought little off it and clipped it back on.  Saturday night, when I looked to see how many steps I had, I was shocked to see just over 3000.  I'd taken it off for a while when I was in the pool but even allowing for that, it seemed far too low. 

Sunday morning, I clipped the pedometer to my skirt and went to church.  Imagine my surprise, when I checked my number of steps mid morning and saw 0.  I walk about 1000 steps in the morning getting dressed!  By this time, I had dressed, gone to church and had taught the 4 and 5 year olds!  I was expecting 1500 minimum and more like 2000.  That is when I realized the pedometer probably broke in the bathroom.  I probably had 6000 steps if not more on Saturday considering the time of day it fell and what I did for the rest of the day.  (I walked the baby every chance I got!)

I've downloaded a step counter app to my iPod.  I'll see how that works.  I've got to have it with me all the time and I don't have a handy clip like the old school pedometer.  I'm not planning to take my iPod to camp since it is worthless there  since there is no wifi.  I've got a few days to see how this step counter app works.  In the meantime, I'm open to suggestions.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Smashed My Goal

I managed to average 6262 steps per day for the last half of the month!  I have earned myself a new outfit.  In fact, I've already ordered it.  And, I never bought myself the consolation prize of one article of clothing from the thrift store.  I think I'll table that second place prize for another time.  I'm going to the thrift store next week to get some grubby clothes for church camp.  If I find something dressy that I like I might get it or I might not.

Here are a few fun facts.   Since I started wearing the pedometer on May 15:
I have walked a total of 304,588 steps
I have averaged 6481 steps per day (all that beach walking is bringing it up)
I have burned 12,269 calories (which should translate to about a 3.5 lb loss)
I have walked 104.33 miles, or averaged 2.2 miles per day

Overall I'm pleased with the challenge, except for the not losing 3.5 pounds part.  I feel stronger.  I am definitely pushing my limits. I feel like I am on the right track and if I just stay with it the weight loss will follow.  It will take a while for me to get to the ultimate goal of 10,000 steps per day but I will if I don't quit.

I'm not upping my goal for the first 16 days of July mostly because I don't know how.  Family, including a newborn I have not yet met, is arriving today.  Parties are planned starting tomorrow through Monday.  The mommy and baby are staying through the end of the week.  Daddy has to go back home Tuesday morning.  I expect that a good portion of my free time next week will be spent with family.  My sister has a pool so I will take full advantage of that every chance I get.  Probably not a lot of steps but certainly a lot of fun!  Swimming is excellent exercise and if my sister lived closer I'd be giving myself swimming challenges.

The next week, I'll be at church camp.  I'm one of four people assigned to care for the peewee campers.  They range in age from 17 months to 8 years old.  We will have 14 every day but one.  That day we will have 16.  My job is to teach them a Bible lesson each day.  They will be with us for about an hour and they will have a craft to do too.  The others are taking care of that.  I'm not sure how I will fill up the other 23 hours of the day.  I know it will involve a lot of walking.  I hope I am strong enough from the last 6 weeks, that I won't overdo or set myself back in some way.  I am taking my cane and Rx in case things get bad.  Let's hope I don't need either.  I am also taking my own lawn chair that doesn't sink down so much, and has arms .

So, it could be lighter on steps next week and heavy the week after.  I'm hoping the average will still be 6000 per day.   If so, I'll get myself a nice casual outfit.  When I get back from camp, I'll assess the outcome and set a goal for the 17th through the end of the month, and decide on another reward.

I'll just be popping in and out from now until camp week.  Then I'll be totally off the grid.  I'll be having fun and will have lots of tales to tell.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Harsh Reality

Over the weekend, as I moved my clothes from the guest bedroom closet to the master bedroom closet, I sorted and purged lots of clothes.  I had worn none of the clothes in the master bedroom closet since the floor fiasco redo.  

Some of the clothes, I knew I'd never wear again and they quickly went in the donate pile.  Other clothes were like seeing an old friend.  I'd missed them, and I was glad to put them back in the rotation.  Unfortunately, far too many of the clothes are too small.  That was a smack to the forehead.  And I needed it.

I'm not talking about those clothes I bought at a smaller weight.  I'm talking about the ones I wore but left thinking I'd not need them for a week or two.  I don't think the fibers drew up while they were hanging.  I expanded.

Instead of getting angry and frustrated (although I did - a little bit), I took some time to really think about what I'm doing for my health and fitness.  I stopped weighing thinking that was a good thing.  It may have been at that time, but it allowed me to  perceive I was doing things, very good things to get the weight off.  I wasn't.  Oh, I was doing things, I just wasn't making good assessments and thought if I kept on, that one day I'd wake up thin.  That hasn't happened.

Now it is the time to fully assess what I'm doing, what I need to keep doing and what I need to change.

What were the very good things:
*Eating real food, prepared at home most of the time.  This means meals that are protein and vegetable based, and snacks like fruit or nuts.
*Avoiding sugar and flour
*Setting the walking challenges with the pedometer
*Writing my mantra daily, along with personal affirmations
*Weighing weekly at the most, or hardly at all

What's working:
*Eating real food, at home - it should.  I have not kept a food journal, part of my more relaxed, make this part of my lifestyle approach.  But we wound up eating out three times last week.  That's a lot.  More than usual, as least I think, and we went places where I could get vegetables.
*Avoiding sugar and white flour - again, I have no evidence since there is no food journal.  And there were those brownies I made for church that weren't all eaten.  I brought the leftovers home.  I only ate one each day until they were gone.  I even shared with 65MD.
*Setting walking challenges - I am truly challenged to meet the goals I set for myself.  I can document the number of steps I've taken each day.  I think this is working and will continue to as I continue to push myself.
*Writing my mantra & and affirmation each day.  This is hard to measure.  I think it is.  I find myself making better choices, like only eating one brownie rather than a whole row.  I opted for fruit over potato chips at a function the other day without even having an internal debate.  That is probably due to that continual reinforcement.

What happens now:
In general I like the more relaxed approach.  I'm calmer and happier about food now than I have been in a long time.  Still, something must change.  My weight is creeping up slowly rather than creeping down as I expected.
*Eating real food at home.  I will continue to do this.  I will keep a food log to better document what I eat each day.  I will write Caesar salad, not 3 cups of romaine, 1 T Parmesan cheese, 13 croutons, etc.  I will not go 'all accountant' on it and list every last calorie or carb.  That is not sustainable and the reason I quit.  For now, I'm keeping a general assessment of what I eat each day.  Once I have a few weeks of logs, I can review and see what needs to happen.  
*Avoiding flour and sugar.  They are gone from my home prepared meals.  They'd crept back in, since it was allowable.  I'm struggling not to say they are banned completely because if I do have a little, I don't want to feel like I failed.  However, the avoidance is definitely going to be kicked up significantly.  I think the journal will help here too.
*Setting walking challenges - keep doing what I'm doing
*Writing my mantra & affirmation - keep doing what I'm doing

Also, I'm adding back weighing at least each week.  For  now, I'll hold off with all of the spreadsheets and graphs I love so much.  Even though the scales are a poor indicator, they are the most immediate reflection of progress.

Looking ahead, I have company coming at least two times in the next few weeks, a week at church camp in July (more on that later), and then it is on to birthdays, anniversaries, and on and on.  There will always be an excuse to start tomorrow or next week, or even next month.  That indicates to me that I need to figure out how to truly make weight loss a lifestyle.  I've got to learn how to navigate family functions, trips and the like without feeling deprived, nor sabotaging my weight loss/health goals.  This is a very daunting task.  Thanks for supporting me on this journey!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Some of my long time readers may remember that on spring break 2015, that would be mid March, 65MD and I began to redo the floor in our bedroom.  It would be a simple task.  Maybe spilling over a bit beyond the week, but not much.  I even told a relative in town for the week, that she would see the finished product when she came back at Christmas.  That didn't happen!

The week long project took 15 months.  The starts and stops were both within and beyond our control.  Changing our minds from recarpeting to tile certainly extended the project.  Doing it ourselves also took more time.  Some days we worked hard and made lots of progress.  It felt good.  Some days we just had other priorities and could not work on it.  That was frustrating.  Some days we were tired and didn't feel like it.  That didn't feel so good.  There were things truly beyond our control, like two surgeries and two recoveries. (one for each of us)

Now, finally, at long last the floor is done.  It looks fabulous!  I love it.  It has been worth every second of the wait.  The room itself is not finished.  (I'll post pictures then.)  We are going to chalk paint the furniture black, and I have some bedding and curtains to complete.  I am so enjoying going back there and deciding just where to put this lovely little thing or that.

Oddly, I'm purging a lot of stuff too.  It feels good.  It is spilling over into the rest of the house.  I'm rearranging lots of things and finding more than I realized, I can live without.  I walked over 9000 steps yesterday, moving stuff around, doing laundry, etc.  Well, not all actually in the house, but I did NOT go on a planned walk.  Really.

I felt good all day yesterday.  It was a good day, although not everything that happened yesterday was a good thing.  I had  good day.  This morning as I wrote down my 2016 mantra:  "I am strong, fit and healthy."  Then I went back and read what I wrote:  "I am strong, fit and happy."  Really.  I wrote that.  I just sat and looked at it.  I am happy.

It goes beyond the floor.  It is just a room.  In time, we'll redecorate or move or something.  It isn't permanent.  It isn't vital.  It isn't really even important.  I think what has got me so, hyped  is the accomplishment.  I'm not sure we'd do it again, if we knew when we started what all it would entail. but we stuck it out.  We saw it through to the end.  We did it together and we did a great job.

If I were really clever, I'd connect this somehow with weight loss.  I'd draw a parallel between the stops and starts of the floor to the stops and starts of healthy eating.  The decisions within and beyond my control to workout or not.  I'd take this lesson and apply it to being healthy, although, I'm not sure there is a final completion day there.  I still could use this somehow.  I enjoy this feeling.  I need to keep it.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Feet

I was so excited to share about my nephew yesterday that I totally skipped mentioning my feet.  In short, they are mostly fine.

The longer version:  My left foot, where the burr was is totally fine.  I think 65MD's 'surgery' on it is what made it so sore the next day.  I also think the burr came out even though he didn't think so.  After that one day of concern, it never bothered me again.

My right foot, where I snagged my pinky toe on the wooden pallet is much better.  It does not hurt to walk.  It hurts sometimes when it is touched just the right way.  I mostly wear open toed shoes so it isn't a problem.  Once I get my walking shoes on, it is fine there too.

My feet are fine for walking.  My hips are too.  They are just a little more particular about the surface.  They aren't too wild about concrete and uneven surfaces.  They're getting better at those and even better at the stairs.  Stamina, building up endurance is the name of the game for me now.

I'm on my way.  I wound up with an average of just over 5800 steps per day for the last 15 days.  It is down slightly from the first challenge, but that one was shorter and I had a little more control over my days (no family trip).  I expect to reach my 6000 average goal this time and sport some new clothes by the end of the month!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Back to Business

We had a nice trip to see my nephew graduate.  I'll share more about that later.

I didn't walk as much as I anticipated while I was there.  And with today being my last day, I don't think I'll make my average 6000 step goal.  I'm close with, as of last night, my average being over 5700. But, I'd have to get nearly 10,000 steps today.  It could happen, but I doubt it.

65MD and I met at school and walked Monday and Tuesday.  We knew we wouldn't be able to today, so I walked at the church building.  That has really helped my average.  Even though, I come home and ice my hips, they are telling me it is time for a wee break.

If I make my goal by the end of the day today, I'll get myself a new dressy outfit.  If I don't, I'll get myself one article of clothing, like a skirt, from a thrift store.  I made a valiant effort and I believe I earned something just not the grand prize.  I'll start tomorrow with the goal again of getting 6000 steps per day between now and June 30.  If I make that, I'll get myself that outfit.

It is doable, I think, if I take a walk each day. 65MD is committed to meeting me and walking.  We've only done it twice and I love it.  It takes a little effort to organize my day to meet him.  It is so worth it.  It is nice to have that break in the afternoon to see him and chat.  His summer schedule is ever changing, but we'll figure a way to keep on.  We are both enjoying it.

Now for the highlight of my trip - Most of my readers know about my special needs nephew.  Briefly, he came to us through adoption.  His parents lost custody of him because they were cooking meth in the house, when he was an infant.  It left him with a seizure disorder and he is very delayed developmentally.  He is 7 years old and still wears a diaper, cannot walk, or talk.  He goes to school and has therapists work with him.  He is taking a few steps with lots of help.  He communicates through his own sign language, like raising his eyebrows for 'yes' and an occasional well placed grunt.  He smiles and laughs at the right time, so he knows what is going on around him.  He also has an adorable grumpy face.  

He went to the airport with us to see us off.  We all hugged each other and then I bent down and kissed his sweet face and  said "I love you, Sweetie.'  He immediately responded with three grunts.  I looked up at my sister shocked.  I said that I thought he just told me that he loved me.  She smiled and said that he did!  Of course, I insisted that my mother do the same thing to see if he responded to her the same way and HE DID!  I cannot express the joy that gave me, not just to be told I was loved, but that he knew what I told him and responded!  I'm crying as I type just remembering that.  It  made the whole trip.

Monday, June 6, 2016

And So It Goes...

On our last full day at the beach, I stepped on a burr.  It seemed like no big deal at the time.  65MD pulled it out and we walked along the surf.  I felt a small pinch from time to time, but thought little of it.  I thought I had a tiny cut and that it would stop hurting in time.

Since we've been back, I've felt the pinch from time to time but again thought little of it.  The pain was minor and fleeting.  Believe me, I know pain!  Yesterday, however, when I got out of bed, I felt the pinch with every step.   I realized that we'd been home plenty long for whatever minor cut to heal and that perhaps a bit of the burr was still in my foot.

I had 65MD take a look and that was the case.  The spot was sort of in the arch of my foot so that it really didn't get my full weight when I walked.  Until yesterday - when the place was puffy.  65MD got out the hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls and a needle and performed surgery!  He poked and prodded, wiped and cleaned and poked and prodded some more, but to no avail.

So, now I have two sore feet and I'm faced with a dilemma.  I'm headed out of town tomorrow for the rest of the week for my nephew's graduation and my niece's birthday.  I don't want to be limping around while I'm there.  It seems silly to call the doctor for something so minor.  It is not infected and we were very careful yesterday to keep everything clean.

I haven't decided for sure, but I think I'm going to just wait and see what happens.  I really don't have time for a doctor visit.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


Yesterday, I got in 6661 steps.  I should have taken 10 more but I didn't.

Even though I exceeded the average just a bit, I still didn't actually go for a walk.  I moved a lot more at home and thought I'd try a sidewalk walk after supper to see if I'd made any progress there.  As we ate, 65MD asked if I wanted to go to Home Depot to pick up a few more flooring supplies.  (Will this job never end?)  I agreed.  I knew then, I'd get my steps in.

We took a stroll through the garden area to see if there was anything there we wanted for the yard.  We found calla lily bulbs half price so we grabbed them right up.  As we were walking along, 65MD got a step or two ahead of me as I had stopped to look at something.  I was wearing flip flops and I was taking some quick steps to catch back up to him when I caught my pinky toe on a wooden pallet.  I yelped.

Not only did 65MD stop to see what had happened, two other customers did.  It was like at a car accident when several people stop to see if everyone is OK.  I was highly embarrassed and tried to play it off as no big deal.  One of the men that stopped said he knew better.  He knew it hurt because he saw it happen.  He was coming towards us from a side aisle, so he had the best vantage point  I insisted that I did not need medical attention.  We paid for our purchases and went home.  And my.toe.hurt.

I soaked it as soon as we got home and I think that kept it from turning black & blue.  It still hurts.  I can walk but it is going to be much more of a challenge to get to my average each day, especially since my average after three days is just 5600.  I've got over 1100 steps just to get even and then keep up the pace.  I must do it.  I need clothes!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Slow Start far I have yet to hit my goal of 6000 steps.  I know it is an average, but I won't get an average if I fall below every day.  Sigh.

Wednesday, I had plans to go to the grocery store so I didn't plan a walk.  I get plenty of steps in at the store.  Unfortunately, I didn't go to the store and I didn't even get 5000 step in!!

Yesterday, I didn't go for a walk either.  I did make it to the grocery store and got over 5000 steps.

Neither day went as planned, which is what I was alluding to in my post where I set the goal initially.

Life just happens and this summer the key word is going to have to be 'flexible'.  It is going to be a great summer.  65MD is going to be able to work from home most days.  I love it.  I'm sure we'll push some of those long awaited home improvement projects forward and maybe even finish the bedroom floor!!!!

That just means I am going to have to be much more mindful and deliberate in my actions to reach my goals.

I haven't been bra shopping other than browsing Amazon.  I will collect my reward soon.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I Did It!

I reached my goal of averaging 5000 steps per day since coming back from the beach.  I actually exceeded my goal by nearly 1000 steps each day.  My average was 5931 steps per day.  I will be shopping for new underwear soon.

Initially, it seemed as though I had to be intentional about taking a walk each day in order to get in enough steps.  It seemed to get easier as the days passed.  It was a good thing to push.  It made me go to the church building one day and walk and to the school gym another day.  I find that doing something for the first time is often the hardest time.  Now, I've done both and I plan to go back.  Both places good and both have their advantages.  The church building is closer and has no parking issues.  The school has a track specifically for walking, which is better for my hips.  Parking isn't much of an issue in the summer.  I had trouble with my wifi connection at both places too, making it hard to distract myself by listening to the book I'd selected.

I knew going in that this first challenge was to get a benchmark and I would up my goals for the next time period.  As I was pondering what my goals would be, 65MD announced that he want to trim a few pounds and wants to walk with me at school.  That is most exciting for me and I know it will help me stay on track.

I am setting my next goal to be done by June 15.  I had originally thought I'd do monthly goals.  But I can already see that my summer will be more unpredictable than the rest of the year.  I have a trip next week, to see my nephew graduate from high school.  I'm sure that will impact my steps on the days we are there.  65MD is teaching only one class this summer - one night per week at the women's prison!  (That is a whole blog post.)  It is just too hard to factor in all of the variables and know which ones I can push through, like walking in the airport on travel days and which ones I can't, like hip pain.

With all of that in mind, my goal is to average 6000 steps per day between today and June 15.  I had considered saying I needed to go someplace to walk a certain number of times, but in order to get that many steps in, I will have to go someplace, so that seems redundant.  If I meet that goal, I will give myself a new dressy outfit.  I'll up my game again for June 16-30 if this gets 'easier' as well.

BTW, I weighed this morning.  I weigh 235.0.  That was my pre-vacation weight.  I'm not sure if I'll weigh every Wednesday or not.  Being the first of the month, it seemed like a good idea.  I might weigh again on June 8, I might wait until June 15, or maybe July 1.  I'll decide at the time what I want to do.  This is not supposed to be about weight.  It is supposed to be about health.  I confess, I still want it to be about weight!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Could this be Personal Growth?

Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that I only had 4879 steps, and I went to bed anyway.  It was only 121 steps to my average goal.  I could have walked around the house and gotten them.  There was a time I would have done that without a second thought.  And, I would have estimated the number of steps the nocturnal potty breaks took, or worn the pedometer all night!! Particularly, when I was doing the 1000 mile challenge.  Not yesterday.  Which is better?

Is it a good thing to accept that I just didn't feel up to it yesterday?

Is it a cop out not to push through and get the measly steps?

I really don't know.  I find myself more and more accepting my limitations; working within them to expand them.  This is particularly true with my hips.  I had no choice there.

Still, I'd like to think that letting go of the all or nothing mindset; that perfect or fail approach is a sign of growth.  Maybe just maybe progress will still be made.  It will be slower and harder to measure.  (And I like to measure!)  I think, however, that the changes will be permanent.  Only time will tell.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Moving Right Along

The first week back from vacation seems to go by so quickly and the vacation seems so long ago. Still, I've had a good week.  I have met my goal of averaging 5000 steps per day.  I've actually exceeded it, so last night I began to wonder if I'd set the bar too low.  I tried to account for weather delays and one rest day per week when I set the goal.  I haven't had those yet.  (It rained yesterday but I went to the grocery store and got in plenty of steps!)  Sunday is generally my day to relax, which also hasn't come yet.  Plus, we have an out of town wedding on Saturday.  I'll be in the car for 3+ hours round trip.  I decided to leave my goal is is.

Then I woke up this morning sore in both my hips.  Generally, they take turns.  This time, they decided to work as a team and ache.  It is nothing like pre-op.  It is more of a reminder that I've increased their usage lately, confirming that perhaps the goal is indeed acceptable.  It is almost 3:30 as I type this and I'm only at 3600 steps.  That is with a trip to the church building to walk for 20 minutes.  I am not pushing it.  This is the very reason I set my goal as an average of 5000 steps per day rather than walking 5000 steps every day.

My eating has been quite good.  65MD worked from home until today.  We were able to have our big meal midday which my body loves.  I've already lost all of my vacation gain.  I'm ready to get into new territory finally.  (Well, not really new, but numbers I haven't seen in a while ;) )  

His working from home has allowed some working AT home too.  The grout is finally finished!  Only my long term readers will understand the significance of that!  We're hoping to get the sealer down tomorrow. If it weren't for the out of town wedding we just might be planning to get the moulding installed and furniture moved.  I'm fine with taking it one small step at a time.  Yahoo for grout!  Hopefully, I'll be cheering for the sealant being down in my next post.  The floor is looking gorgeous and well worth the wait.  Perhaps, I can say the same thing about me in time!!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Week at the Beach

65MD and I had a most glorious trip to the beach last week.  It was a trip that seemed charmed from the beginning.  We flew out on Monday morning and in spite of the tremendous crowd at the airport we got through security and to our gate in plenty of time to rest there before boarding.  When we went to pick up our rental car, we learned that they were out of the compact cars we reserved so we got an upgrade and a deal on gasoline for $1.99 per gallon.  We brought that baby back empty!  Then the hotel gave us a free upgrade to a ocean side balcony room!   One night we went to a BBQ place for supper.  We ordered a meal to share.  It was enough for us to take more than half of it back to the room for lunch the next day.  When we got our bill, it turned out that particular meal was on special that night!  After that, we were beginning to expect upgrades everywhere we went. But the neatest part of the whole trip was the weather.

We knew when we left town that rain was predicted every day while we were planning to be there.  Afternoon showers often happen at the beach so we weren't concerned.  65MD even said he'd like to see a good storm out over the ocean.  He got his wish.  We'd just returned to our room after an early supper Tuesday night when a real rip, roaring storm brewed up.  We pulled our chairs up to the sliding glass door, that opened on to the ocean view balcony and watched God's fireworks.  It was amazing.  We were rewarded with a tiny rainbow at the end.

There were two more storms that came up during the week.  After one, we saw a full rainbow.  I don't know that I've ever seen a full one.  We tried to take pictures but we couldn't get far enough back to capture the whole thing.  I took three photographs to get the whole thing.  They do not do it justice. As we were standing there admiring the rainbow and discussing its beauty, it turned into a double rainbow!

We saw one more rainbow in the clouds on our last day.  Once again, it was a new sight for me.  The sky was blue with puffy clouds and the sun was shining brightly, and between two clouds, there was a rainbow!

We had plenty of sun and lots of time to enjoy it.  I even got in the surf and played in the breakers for a while.  That is huge.  Last year, I spent a lot of time in the pool because it was the only place I was pain free.  This year, I didn't get in the pool at all.  I was nervous wading out to the breakers.  I almost chickened out when the waves caused the sand to shift under my feet.  I don't do well on uneven surfaces.  65MD helped me out into the deeper water where I could actually jump!

We took lots of beach walks. Much like getting into the deep water in the ocean, it was hard to walk on the soft sand near the buildings.  Once I got past that onto the hard packed sand nearer the surf, I would walk all day.  On the one day the weather permitted us to take two beach walks, I got in over 16,000 steps.  Sadly, when I got back home and tried to take a walk even on the sidewalks, it was much more uneven and there is no way I can replicate that many steps.

I know that, under the right circumstances, I can get in a lot of steps.  Now, my task is to recreate those circumstances.  I have a couple of ideas - the school gym, which I haven't used yet, or the church building with its long flat hallways.  Both are close; both are free to me.  I just need to do it.

My goal is for the rest of the month to average 5000 steps per day, which will require at least one walk under good conditions or two short walks on the sidewalk.  If I accomplish that, I'll reward myself with some new underwear.  This is really becoming a necessity rather than a reward, so even though meeting my goal will require effort, it is quite doable.  For June, I'll make the goal a little more difficult.  If I meet that, I'll give myself a new dressy outfit.

Other rewards I'm considering are, a new casual outfit and a facial/new make up.  My goals will always be something I can control like getting in so many steps or taking a certain number of walks each week.  They will NOT be related to the number on the scale.  That will probably follow if I meet my movement goals, but it might not.  I can't let that dictate how I feel about myself.  I already know how it messed up my perceptions  at a young age.  I won't let it have that kind of control over me again.

And finally - THANK YOU!  I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback I got from every.single.commenter on my last post.  I really considered taking it down as soon as I put it up.  I felt very vulnerable but there was no need for that.  The response was 100% positive.  For that, I am grateful.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Little Documentation

I thought I'd post a few of those photographs that I discussed in my last post.
This my senior year of high school.  I was a flag girl in the band.  This is one of the few shots where my body can be seen. Maybe less than ideal, but not nearly the fatty I thought.

This is my senior picture, taken the summer before my senior year.  The same summer my mother took me to the doctor for diet pills.

This is my junior year in college.  She that double chin!?!? No wonder I couldn't get a date.

This is my mid to late 20's.  I had lost down to 134 at my lowest.  I had regained some in this shot.  I still thought I was fat because I didn't weigh below 120 like the weight charts said I should.  I see collar bones.  I don't know what I would have looked like twenty pounds lighter.  BTW, this was the era of big hair, but my hair is not quite that big.  There is a shadow making my hair look bigger.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Perception vs Reality

I've done a lot of walking down Memory Lane these past months as we packed our childhood home to move my mother.  She kept all of our report cards and lots of our artwork and tons of photographs.  I grew up with certain perceptions of my life and that of my sisters.  As we sifted through the mementos, I learned that some of those perceptions were not, in fact, reality as reflected by what my mother saved.  Here are a few of my perceptions of childhood:
*My older sister was photogenic; and, I was not.
*My older sister was artistic; and, I was not.
*I was smart.
*I was clumsy.
*I was fat.

It is true that my older sister was and is quite photogenic.  I don't know where I got the idea that I wasn't but that simply was not true.  I was a cute baby, toddler and little girl just like both of my sisters.  We all three went through that awkward middle school transition from little girl to young lady.  None of us was any worse than the other.  I once called those middle school years "The Big Uglies" in reference to myself.  The picture, I most hated from the eighth grade won't win any prizes for beauty, but it isn't horrid beast I remembered.  What changed?

My older sister is a good artist.  She was told from a very young age that she was, so she developed that skill.  Looking back at my artwork from the early years, it was just as good as hers.  I somehow got the message that if she was pretty, or artistic, or anything else, that slot was taken and I could not be 'it' as well.  I think that is typical second child behavior. 

I was smart and I have the report cards to prove it.  My sisters were too, but they were more social and outgoing.  I was more school oriented so I got better grades.

I was probably a little more clumsy than my sisters because of my hips.  There is no real documentation of this.  But I was told I was, I believed it so I was.

Same with being fat.  I was NOT fat.  I have a round, youthful face.  I did not like it growing up because I was always thought to be younger. Of course, I embrace that now, as I was told that I would.  The chubby cheeked nature of my face, I think, created a sense of heaviness all over.  Since I was not skinny and angular like some of the other children, I must be fat.  I got this message from many different sources.

The children at school called me fat.  In the fifth grade, I remember the boys making up a chant and beating the desks in a rhythm chanting "Fat Mama, um, a hubba, hubba."  Over and over.  It brought tears to my eyes but I would laugh along with them so as not to let them know they'd hurt me.  I thought it would make them stop.  It didn't.  I remember telling my mother and she laughed.  That hurt even more.  My mother does not remember that and insists that if she laughed it wasn't AT me.

Still, my mother was constantly on me to lose weight.  She took me to the doctor in high school and insisted that he put me on diet pills.  This was the era of height/weight charts based on body frames.  The weights were quite low particularly since I was considered to have a small frame.  I was in the overweight category for my body frame, but I was a long way from obese at that time. That was the first formal eating plan I remember, designed to make me lose weight.  I didn't.  I gained weight.  

I probably weighed around 145 lbs when I was taken to the doctor.  It was probably more than most girls and significantly more than some.  I felt fat, but the pictures do not support that feeling.  After the episode with the diet pills, I gained nearly 30 pounds.  I remember that I graduated from high school weighing 174 lbs.  I worked hard to lose weight before starting college.  I was able to maintain at 160 to 165.  Folks, I looked fine in the pictures from that era.  In fact, I'd love to get to that weight and stay now.  I think the problem was, I was just bigger and curvier than the other girls around me, so I thought I was fat.

Although, I am broken hearted for all the wasted years thinking I was fat and I wasn't, I can't change it.  I can only move forward from where I am right now.  I am telling myself constantly that I am strong fit and healthy.  The words we tell ourselves and believe from others are hugely powerful.  I am NOT and never was the nerdy, fat, klutz.  I weigh more than I should but that does not define me.
I am not using the scales as a measure of success.  I will still weigh, but I'm not sure how often.  Instead, I am going to focus on what I can control in addition to the messages I give myself -  like going to the gym or walking in the neighborhood. Both things are low hanging fruit right now.  The weather is great for a stroll around the neighborhood.  School is out so no worries about parking for the gym.  I am focusing on being healthy.

I am also no longer putting off this or that until I lose weight.  That is silly.  I'll do what I want to when I want to.  I need new clothes.  I have worn out my larger clothes because I only have a few and refused to buy more at this size.  I changed my mind when I saw a woman at the grocery store who was quite attractive.  She was dressed quite fashionably, had her hair and nails done nicely and was made up to look her best.  She was also a plus sized woman.  I know I can look good too if I stop putting off trying until a certain number appears on the scales.

I'm going to take a few weeks to get some benchmarks for just how much I can comfortably do physically, since the hip issue is real.  I dug out my pedometer which needs a new watch battery, which means a trip to the store and thus another day or two on starting that.  Once I get an idea of what I can do naturally and comfortably, I'll set some goals to stretch myself.  My plan is to have some definite goals to work towards in a few weeks.  Then I will do a post with my goals and incentives.  Something like walk X times, or average X steps, or go to the gym X times, or maybe some combination.  If I reach my goal, I'll get a new outfit.  Maybe it will be a smaller size or maybe it won't. I know that I will be stronger, fitter and healthier.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Move that Wouldn't Die

On Friday of last week, April 29, we moved my mother to a lovely new house in a senior living community.  I naively believed that the move would take a couple of days and that there would be issues spilling over in to the first of the week, like getting the Internet set up, etc.  I was wrong.

Friday and Saturday were great days.  We hired some of the best movers ever! They moved everything from house to house.  They even brought down furniture from the upstairs that was not going to the new house, so that we could get it more easily.  They put the furniture where my mother wanted it, and then moved it without complaint when she didn't like it in that spot.  (She is still deciding and moving furniture.)  

Also on Friday and Saturday, we had a steady stream of new neighbors welcoming us all to the community.  All of them brought gifts, from roses to supper Friday night, to cleaning supplies.  I know she is going to love it there once she is through the transition.

Moving was hard on all of us physically and emotionally.  We all had our turns crying and just needing a time out.  We all worked together well.  No one seemed to get upset when one of us took  a break.  It was still hard - just plain hard.

Having moved into her house about 55 years ago, my mother had no idea when she should call to get the utilities transferred.  We did all that on Monday after the move.  Everything was still in Daddy's name, while the various folks were kind and made the transfers, it was hard.  (We did have one issue with the water company but I won't get into that!)  

The new owner put in the contract that we had until May 10 to remove everything from the old house.  Anything left after that date, would become their property.  Prior to the move, various ones of us had been given pieces of furniture she no longer needed or wanted.  All of those and most of the items in Daddy's shed were left.  We thought we'd gather them up this week and easily meet the May 10 deadline.

Life doesn't always go as planned.  A lot of the furniture is still there and most of the contents of the shed are still there.  We are giving it one last push on Saturday.  The plan now is for everyone to get what they can and take it home.  Since 65MD and I are closest to the old house, we'll bring all the leftovers to our house for folks to claim later.  I'm hoping that is a good idea and we aren't left holding a lot of stuff for a long time.  We might also decide that the new owner would enjoy some of those items!

My younger sister and niece have already gone home.  They stayed at the new place with my mother which helped with the transition immensely.   It feels strange to all of us.  I'm used to her being 2 1/2 miles away.  I could be over there in mere minutes in an emergency.  Now, she is 15 miles away.  On a good day, it will take 20 minutes.  I feel as though I've lost my bearings somehow.  

I understand that I'm going through a grieving process.  It will just take time to work through it.  I think we will all be happier in the end.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday Weigh In

The scales read 231.2 this morning.  That is up 1.2 pounds from last week.  Sigh.

I really felt like I'd had a good week.  I'd eaten good healthy food and done as much exercise as I could.  I'm disappointed to be sure.  But, I'm not over the top about it.  I had a good week.  I made good choices.  I can't control the scales.

Recently, I've been reading about women in my stage of life trying to lose weight.  The old cut calories in and burn more calories just doesn't cut it.  In fact, it can backfire (see above).  The culprit is cortisol.  

I can't explain it fully, but somehow estrogen helps keep cortisol in check.  When estrogen decreases cortisol begins to wreak its ugly havoc.  Cortisol is the stress hormone.  It is released when we are under stress.  So, the remedy is slow relaxing walks, warm baths, soothing massages, anything to decrease the cortisol.  I can get behind that!

As counterintuitive as it sounds, I'm all about relaxing.  Relaxing about how many calories or carbs something has.  I know that an apple is a better choice than a cookie.  Relaxing about how fast I can walk a mile.  I'll just walk and enjoy it, or the Wii or whatever without trying to beat my personal best all the time.

Unfortunately for me and my cortisol level, my mother is moving this weekend.  The emotion of it is catching up to me.  I had a major meltdown in church on Sunday.  As much as I tried to be discreet, people five rows back came to check on my after worship!  I have cried every day since.  I thought I was ready.  But the reality of it staring in my face is another thing indeed.

My out of town sister and her daughter are flying in bright and early tomorrow morning.  They will be here for a week.  The movers come on Friday morning to get the big stuff.  The new owner has given us until May 10 to get everything out.  We don't think we'll need that long, but we're all criers.  So, factoring that in, it could be a while!!!  Actually, we think we'll have everything out of the house by Monday.    My sister and niece are planning to stay a few more days to help my mother get settled. 

On a happier note, my nephew's wife is due to have the baby tomorrow.  She is waiting to go into labor so the baby may or may not arrive tomorrow.  Now to get them moved here...

Anyway, I don't know how much I'll be around over the next few days.  Don't fret if you miss me, and if you do miss me say a little prayer.  I'm sure I'll need it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Great Chicago Wallet Incident Part 2

65MD and I have been a little off kilter since coming home from Chicago without his wallet.  We have this sense of waiting for the other shoe to fall.  We have continually remembered things that were in the wallet that need to be replaced, like his library card.  Those can't be bridged.  Nor can store loyalty cards, so whatever loyalty points we had would just disappear like his wallet.  We were trying to decide what we wanted to replace and what we would just let go.

While we were waiting for the new credit cards, we had the unusual experience of having to use cash.  We relied heavily on our cards, paying them off each month, in order to collect travel points.  On Friday night, after my three year old niece's art show at preschool (which was wonderful!), we decided to stop at Wendy's for supper.  Just as we were walking in, 65MD suddenly realized neither of us had a card to use. Before going inside, we counted his cash to see if we could eat there or not.  (I hope this doesn't sound arrogant.  I know most people have to do that.  We do to, only on the back end.  We keep track of our receipts and know when we need to reign it in.)  It was just different than typical.  We had enough cash to each get the 4 for $4.  It was plenty although perhaps not the healthiest option.

On Saturday, the new cards arrived and we activated them.  It felt much better, but still we were unsettled wondering when something might come along to bite us.  Not knowing where the wallet was and if the pickpocket had trashed it, perhaps someone else found it and gotten the cards.  It was an issue we were just going to have to adapt to.

Much to our surprise, when we got home from church yesterday, there was a call on our answering machine.  Everyone knows that we are at church on Sunday mornings.  A call is either an emergency or a wrong number.  I was going with the latter since the caller name & number were totally unknown to us.  As we listened to the message, I fully expected to have to jot down a number to call and tell them they had the wrong person, but I was wrong.  I had to jot down the number but for a totally different reason.  The man had 65MD's wallet!!

He and his family were in the same room as us in the Palmer House.  His four year old son found the wallet completely in tact with cash and everything "underneath the headboard."  We still haven't quite figured that out.  The headboards are attached to the wall and we looked under the bed.  We stripped the sheets and shook them out and both looked under the bed.  We think it must have been between the mattress and the wall.  Maybe the housekeepers knocked it loose or maybe the 4 year old was playing under the bed and found it.  It really doesn't matter now.  The important thing is it was found by honest people.

When 65MD called back, the man was extremely glad to hear from him.  He'd gotten 65MD's school contact info from the wallet and had called Friday afternoon.  However, 65MD left work early and does not check voicemail on weekends.  So this kind, kind man googled 65MD and found our home phone number!  65MD, at that time, did not know the son that found his wallet was only 4.  He told the man to take the cash out for his son as a reward, thinking that it was about $50 and the son was a teen or at least old enough to be impressed by that much money.  The man then explained that his son was only 4 and he just wanted him to learn to do the right thing because it is the right thing.  65MD insisted on at least taking $20.  We'll see.

65MD, not wanting to cause any more trouble for this very generous family asked them just to give the wallet to hotel security and have them send it.  He then called hotel security to make sure they had our address still.  He then learned that the only thing the hotel will mail back is the wallet itself.  They will not mail contents as they do not want to be held liable if all of the contents do not arrive safely. No matter the value of the contents, or if the credit cards have been cancelled. And we would still have to pay the shipping cost. The wallet really was of no consequence.  It wasn't a special gift or anything like that.  It was just a black wallet.

So, 65MD called the gentleman back and explained the situation.  The man said he would send the wallet no problem.  65MD, then insisted that they keep the cash to cover the cost of shipping.  Again, we'll see.

I would really like to publish this man's name and give him all of the accolades he deserves for being an honest man and raising his son to be honest as well.  I won't since, I'm not sure where this will wind up and the last thing I want to do is cause trouble.  I pray that his honesty will be rewarded and I am glad to know that there are a lot of good people out there.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday Weigh-in and Water

Today the scales read 230.0.  That is up 0.6 from my last weigh in before our trip.  I'm sure this is just a little souvenir from the trip and will be gone by next week.  Even though I tried Saturday and Sunday, I really didn't get my mind in the right place until Monday.

My total weight loss from my highest weight five years ago is 24.4 lbs.  It is a real victory that I haven't regained everything.  I'm leaving my ultimate goal weight open.  I want weight loss to be a natural part of my life.  I think it will be with the Granny Plan.  

I think I'll set some mini goals though.  Like getting to my pre-op weight, which was 219. And getting below 200.  I think I'll give myself little rewards as well.  Or I might just give myself an reward every time I lose 10 pounds.  I'm not sure.  I'll let it roll around in my mind a while.

Now, about water - it is almost the only thing I drink.  Obviously, I have cut out sugar.  I've also cut out artificial sweeteners.  I am almost to the point that I think sugar is better than the artificial sweeteners, just almost.  Right now, I'm allowing myself honey or stevia.

I have found some stevia sweetened flavorings at Publix called Everly.  I really like them.  They are nice mild flavors.  Not overly sweet like Crystal Light or Mio can be, IMO.  But I miss my tea.

I like honey in hot tea but not in iced tea.  I've tried several brands of stevia, but I haven't found one that I truly like.  That stuff isn't cheap so I don't want to buy it if I don't love it.  I discovered that I like agave nectar enough to pay the price for it but then I learned that it is really no better than sugar as far as spiking blood sugar is concerned.

A couple of years ago, we grew some stevia in the garden.  I brewed those leaves with my tea.  I enjoyed that.  It took about a cup of leaves per pitcher and just gave it a mild sweetness.  So, of course, that only works in the summer.

I'm searching for a nice chemical free way to sweeten my tea.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Great Chicago Wallet Incident & Getting Home Without It

On Friday, the plan was for 65MD to attend the morning session of his conference and leave the hotel at noon. (We had arranged for late check-out. I don't know why conferences schedule meetings past check out time.) We would make our way to the airport, get through security and have lunch in the airport while waiting for our flight. All neat & tidy like. That is not what happened. 

I fasted breakfast because I'd overdone it on Thursday. Then around 11:30, I realized that it would be another two hours before lunch. I was getting a headache. I decided to eat a Larabar that I'd brought with me. About that same time 65MD got back to the room and began to pack his last few items and he could not find his wallet. We tore the room apart looking for it to no avail. We called hotel security using the in room phone. They were no help. We tried calling the credit card folks to see if any charges had happened since he'd bought breakfast but we could not get a cell signal anywhere, even outside on the sidewalk. He retraced his every step since breakfast and could not find his wallet anywhere. I sent out an emergency 'please pray' email to my family and we left the hotel. When we checked out, 65MD asked if they would send his wallet home if they found it.  They said they'd call and get an address and let us know how much shipping would be.  Really!!

I had $23.63, because my mother had given me a $20 bill before we left! He had $2.00. I also had $100 gift card that I brought just in case I ran across something I couldn't live without. I had not spent any of it. I also had the other credit card on the joint account. His was in his wallet. We needed money for the train ride to the airport and for lunch. We thought we could make it. We bought the train tickets with the credit card. It was a good sign that it hadn't been maxed out already. We got to the airport and found a hot spot to call and report the lost cards. He had two. No charges had been made to either one that weren't ours.  Then it was on to check in and get through security. 

The airline folks (Southwest) were most kind and checked our luggage in early and gave us both boarding passes without a hassle. They said that it was really TSA that made the decision to let us fly or not. We stood in the eternal line to get our ID's checked. The security man was nice, and took us to his supervisor. She was all business. Not unkind, but quite firm and told me to step away since I was not a party to this! I wasn't leaving my husband, but I did move about a foot away. He had nothing that she would accept for proof of identity. He had to complete some sort of document, I was not allowed to assist with and then she made a phone call. He had to answer some questions and passed. Another TSA agent escorted us through security. If I hadn't known what was going on, I would have thought we were getting VIP treatment. This guy was very nice and seemingly quite concerned about the missing wallet.  He surmised that 65MD had his pocket picked.  He said they targeted the nice hotels, dressed to blend in and knew how to spot the tourists.  Of course 65MD had a lanyard around his neck as a conference participant.  He might as well have had a sign saying "I'm not from around here!" 

Once we got through the scanners, 65MD got a very thorough, very complete pat down. When we got through all that. I realized, I'd never finished the Larabar (I'm not sure where I left it, maybe on the bed in the hotel, and that is good enough for them!) I was quite hungry. I didn't want to eat in the food court because we still had our carry on luggage with us. I didn't want to have to try and schlep that around with food as well. We stopped at the first, sit down place we saw.  As we were waiting for the table, I thought I was going to get a Coke. A real one with sugar in it and dessert - something creamy and cool. Almost immediately, I thought that really wouldn't help anything and decided to get a salad. I needed cool greens. I got probably the worst restaurant salad in history and water. I ate it anyway. It wasn't awful, just not good. Besides, I was hungry. 

We got to our gate only to learn that our flight had been delayed. I got hungry again. I remembered passing a nut shop and went back to find it. It must have been before security because I couldn't find it. I was not going through that again even with my ID. I wound up buying some overpriced trail mix at a little stand. It was good, but had too much sugar. AND, I ate the whole thing. The package was 4 ounces and was supposed to be four servings. Right!. We finally got on the plane, where I drank two glasses of ginger ale and ate all 10 peanuts in the package. 

We parked the car at a hotel near the airport.  They have a very reasonable daily rate and they run a shuttle to the airport every 20 minutes.  We got our luggage and the shuttle arrived very quickly.  We had the kindest driver.  We told him about the lost wallet and he seemed genuinely concerned for us.  He drove us straight to our car, since we were the only passengers.  65MD tipped him the last $2.  It felt good to be home.  Even the air felt welcoming.

On Sunday, 65MD got online and reported the missing license and has a new one on the way.  The bank has already sent a new debit card.  We expect the new credit cards any day.  He has a new work ID.  Now the only things to replace are the voter registration card and a couple of store loyalty cards.

It was an ordeal.  We've learned a valuable lesson.  We are taking copies of our ID's with us from now on when we fly.  We'll leave the originals locked in the room safe while we are out and about.  We are thankful that we got home safely and the only thing lost was material.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Quick Catch-up

65MD had a conference in Chicago last week.  I happily agreed to tag along.  I love the tag along!  We planned the trip at the first of the year, thinking that it wouldn't be so cold in Chicago in April.  We were wrong!  They were actually having snow just days before we arrived.

We had a nice trip, but I won't bore everyone with the details.  I'll just share a few tidbits:

First, Chicago is quite windy.  But it is called the Windy City because of the politicians yak & blather.  The name works for the weather too.  I have never been so pummeled by wind.

Next, we stayed in a palace hotel called the Palmer House.  It has an interesting history dating back to the great Chicago fire.  Google it.  If anyone ever finds themselves in Chicago check it out.  A second mortgage is probably required to stay there.  We got a conference rate and 65MD's employer paid, since they require attendance at these things. Just go look around.  It is fabulous.  I hardly left the hotel alone.  Besides being a cool place to explore, I could hardly open the doors against the wind!  

Finally, I had a break through with my shoes!  I found the right tension with the laces.  I can get them on & off without adjusting them and they don't feel floppy when I walk.  We walked a lot!  It was probably 1/2 mile from the gate where we landed to the train that took us to the city.  No exaggeration!  We didn't rent a car because we were staying at the conference site.  So, we had to walk if we wanted to eat outside of the hotel.  We did.  We also wanted to explore the area.  We walked to Lake Michigan and the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower).  We went to Jeweler's Row but I couldn't convince 65MD that I needed any more diamonds!!

We had a very nice trip until Friday, our departure day.  Then 65MD's wallet went missing.  I'll do a whole post about that in a day or two.  Getting on a plane without photo ID can be a challenge.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Wednesday Weigh In

I know it is Thursday.  Yesterday was just one of those days that got away from me.

The scales read 229.4.  YIKES!  That is up 1.6 lbs.  I know it is from the weekend pity party.  That is over now.  It is time to get with the program.  I have.

Not to brag, but I had a great day yesterday.  I decided to go to the knitting/crochet group that meets at our church building on Wednesday mornings.  I have a nephew coming in just a few weeks and his blanket is far from ready.  It seems that the only time I can make any progress is when I'm with the group.  I just can't seem to carve out the time every week to go.  I'm going to start having my nieces on Wednesdays so I'm a little worried about the blanket.  Anyway...

Someone in the group brought leftover Easter Reese's!  I love those things.  I could scarf down a bag of those eggs without taking a deep breath.  She insisted on passing them around.  Oddly, I wasn't even tempted.  I had to touch the bag to pass it along, but that was all I did.  I didn't even take a whiff.  Even when the woman next to me kept asking for the bag back.

As it was getting to be time to go, some of the women started making plans to go have lunch.  I politely opted out.  I really had no desire to go.  No one pushed it.

Just as I had my things packed away to leave a straggler showed up with some freshly baked goodies from a Mexican bakery.  I had never seen such pastries and was quite curious as to how they tasted.  The bag was passed around.  I was tempted, but only by the curiosity.  One of the women, took one out and broke off a piece saying she just wanted to taste it and not spoil her appetite.  A couple more ladies followed suit and took a pinch.  I left as quickly as possible without taking even a taste.

I went to the grocery store and got some fruit and nuts for healthy snacks at home. Going to the grocery store right away was another victory for me.  There was a time when I'd have to come home and rest.  I did my shopping came home and put everything away before needing a rest this time.  Progress is being made, however slowly.

Finally, 65MD asked if I wanted to go to a steakhouse for supper.  I agreed.  I steak and Caesar salad are a great low carb meal.  He had a BOGO for burgers.  Often they will still give the free item if the purchased meal is of greater value.  Not this time.  We both had to get burgers.  So, I did.  I did not eat the bun though.  I indulged in a hot roll, fresh from the oven.  It was much smaller than the bun.  That is how I knew it was still me!

I couldn't believe I was making these choices with hardly a struggle.  The Mexican pastry was the biggest.  One day, I can go get one, if I am still curious.  I liked the way I felt at the end of the day yesterday.  I felt strong, fit and healthy just like the mantra, I have been writing daily since the middle of December.  It took a while, but maybe just maybe it is kicking in.   Time will tell.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sweet Success

I have a lot to catch up on and the word I wanted to use to title this post was "Inconsistent" however, I wanted to be positive and focus on the successes without omitting the inconsistencies.

On Friday, I threw an amazing pity party for one.  I knew I was exaggerating my perceived short comings, but I just didn't have it in me to stop the madness.   65MD fixed my shoe laces saying that they hadn't caught in there properly when he snapped it shut and it wasn't my fault they came apart.  He's a good man. 

On Saturday, I woke up feeling a bit fragile still, hung over from all the whine of the evening before.  65MD wanted to go to the store to get the last of the things we needed for the floor, like grout and baseboard.  I put my shoes on all by myself and didn't break anything - shoes or me!  It took a LONG time, but I managed.  I wore my shoes to the store.  They felt fine, but the warehouse store had concrete floors and everyone within 100 mile radius of the store was there.  It took forever.  By the time we left, I was feeling it. (BTW, the whole floor has been dry fitted!)

Even though things were better on Saturday, I didn't do my best eating.  It wasn't off the charts horrible.  It was my 'on plan' cheating.  I was really wanting dill pickles.  So, I grilled some hot dogs - burned them black,  I love them that way.  I grilled the whole package.  There were only 8 and 65MD wanted some to.  I thought we'd each have two and then have the rest for another time.  I ate two without bread but with lots of mustard and dill pickles.  They were yummy.  I was struggling with eating a third one, when 65MD grabbed another.  So, I couldn't allow him to eat alone, so I had another one as well.  It was protein and no carbs, so it wasn't awful.   Yet, I know that three hot dogs even though that is all I ate was just too much.

I woke up Sunday morning unable to make a fist my hands were so swollen.  My ring finger on my left hand looked like a little sausage where my wedding band was pressing in.  So, once again, I determined to make Sunday a better day.  I did.  

We went out to lunch and I made a good choice there, but even so, restaurant meals have more calories than home prepared and they're sneaky about sodium too.  I did fine until I wanted ice cream for supper so I ate it.  Since nothing is truly off limits, then that wasn't cheating and I didn't have to polish of everything else sweet in the house.

Yesterday, was spot on.  Therapy in the morning and my big meal at lunch just as planned.  Today is on track for being the same.  I've had a good breakfast and plan to break out the Wii this afternoon.  Baby steps to actually going to the gym.  I think I just need to go, even if it is only for 5 minutes.  I feel like once I get that first trip done, it won't seem so intimidating.  

So my focus is on my success:
*I got my shoes on all by myself
*I made a good choice while eating out.
*I ate ice cream without binging after
*I still have not had one slice left over of Easter cake
*I had a spot on day yesterday
*So far today is spot on as well

I am focusing on the success, and acknowledging areas for improvement.  I am trying hard to learn to enjoy the process and not obsess about the results.  I have added a sentence to that end in my daily affirmation.  I think I need to come up with some rewards for reaching the 'process' goals.  Something like a manicure when I've been to the gym 5 times or a pedicure when I've done therapy 10 times.  Those thoughts are still forming.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


I had a brilliant idea how to get the lock-laces cinched - kitchen tongs!  Mine are rounded and open at the end and I could easily hold the gripper part of the laces with that while I slid the slidey thing into place.  To test my theory, I sat on the bed and put my right let out to the side on the bed with my knee slightly bent.  I put on my sock with my right hand and then my shoe.  So far, so good.  I held the tongs in my left hand and placed them over the gripper.  I pulled with that as I slid the other piece with my right hand.  Success!!  

I immediately started mentally writing an inspiring  blog post in my mind all about how when there is a will there is a way and how we should all just hang in there and blah, blah, blah.  Then I sort of panicked about not having any more excuses about the gym and trying to figure out when I'd go since the rest of the week is jam packed.

I decided to put on my left shoe and wear them for the rest of the day in order to get used to them again so that when I did go to the gym I didn't get blisters or anything.  And sort out actually going to the gym later. So, I tried the same thing only with my left shoe.  Leg on the bed, sock on, shoe on, tongs in right hand, slider in left hand and...I pulled the laces out of the tip/gripper.  UGH!  I can click it open to put the laces back in.

Now, I'm no longer feeling inspired.

Am I being taught a lesson in perseverance? Or am I being told 'don't do this.'? I don't know yet.  Perhaps when 65MD comes home, he'll know how to pop the thing back open to put the laces back in.  Sigh.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 227.8, down 0.4 from last week. I'll take it.  I'll take a loss no matter how small, especially after the weekend I had.

I did the Granny Plan on Easter.  I ate my big meal in the middle of the day (more on that later).  I even ate part of a slice of cake.  I made a lemon blueberry cake from scratch just like Ganny would've.  She always had cake, pie or cookies around that she'd made.  The only cookies I recall her ever buying were chocolate covered graham crackers.

Anyway - I served myself a smallish slice of cake along with the others that wanted some.  I was a little surprised that it wasn't very good.  I'd made this cake before so I knew what to expect.  It was dense, like maybe I left the baking powder out.  It tasted fine, the texture was off.  I nibbled on it trying to figure out what had happened while accepting compliments on it.  So, it wasn't horrible.  

I can't remember what happened to take me away from the table, but I left and never came back.  We all wound up outside having a wonderful time.  Once everyone left, and we came inside to clean up.  I found my partially eaten piece of cake in the kitchen, with someone else's leftover cake on the same plate.  I suspect my mother.

There was a time in my life when I'd eaten everything on the plate both mine and the other.  This time, I tossed it all in the trash.  And the rest of the cake is still in the refrigerator.  I keep telling myself that it isn't good and so far that is working.   I'm calling that a Non-Scale Victory.  Both the fact that I didn't eat the leftover cake and that I've not had anymore.  I don't want to waste my hunger on something that isn't good. I'm going to have to send the cake to school with 65MD before it molds. 

Now about the midday meal - I'm getting into a rhythm of it a little more.  I got some divided plates.  I prepare 65MD's meal for the next day on one of those, before I put the leftovers away.  That way all he has to do is get his dish out in the mornings.  I'm still sorting out how to figure in my work and the gym.  It will come.

Speaking of the gym, I figured out how to work the lock-laces.  It was really quite simple.  Sadly, though it has not quite solved my problem.  I put my socks on these days by putting my foot on the bed beside me with my knee slightly bent.  If my right foot is on the bed, I reach over with my right hand and put on my sock.  I gather the sock up so that I can slip my toes in and then pull it over my heel with one hand.  I repeat the process on the other side.  I put my shoes on either the same way if they're a little soft, or just by standing and putting my foot in if they're firm enough that I don't push the back part down.  (I hope that makes sense.)  I thought that I would be able to slide the lace locks with one hand while my foot was on the bed beside me.  But, I don't have that kind of dexterity.  I also can't reach across my body with the other hand in order to use both hands. - SIGH.  

I will not be defeated by shoes!  I tried and tried with 65MD's coaching to find a way to pull the tab and press down on the button at the same time without breaking a hip rule.  The best we came up with was looping something through the laces that was long enough for me to hold with my opposite hand.  I would pull with that while pressing the button with my closer hand.  It worked but not well.  We're still thinking.  We'll come up with something.  (65MD will.  He's a good problem solver.)

I'm determined to get my shoes on and get to the gym, however, I am not going to get discouraged by the delay.  I am taking it, that I'm being delayed for a reason.  Perhaps my body isn't quite ready for that kind of workout.  It has only been 5 months since surgery.  My previous attempts to do anything more strenuous than therapy or the Wii have set me back.  Besides, in a few more weeks the semester will be over.  Most of the jocks will be gone and I won't have the intimidation factor to deal with.  Am I right???

Friday, March 25, 2016

Lifestyle Change?

We all know that the popular term for any weight reduction plan is "Lifestyle Change."  It is more that just a euphemism.  It is reality that lasting weight loss is a result of permanent changes in behavior, both in diet and exercise.

I freely admit that in the past I have given lip service to making a "Lifestyle Change" knowing deep inside that once I got to my goal, I was going to eat cake, or ice cream or potatoes, etc.  Exercise might continue if I looked really cute in my exercise clothes and it didn't interfere too much with the rest of my life.

As I've grown and learned myself better, I know there are certain things that I will not do.  I will not eat food from a place like Jenny Craig or NutriSystems.  I won't eat frozen meals from the grocery store, so this isn't a slam against those places.  Some people do quite well with them.  I just isn't for me.  I always wonder what is really in that meatloaf. Even if it says "all beef" on the label, there are still lots of parts of a cow, I really don't want to ingest.  I know I need to mostly make my own food.

I also know that no food can be 100% off limits.  It is all I want.  If I allow myself anything I want, any time I want, I am freer to focus on healthier choices.  I think, I can have ice cream later.  I need to eat broccoli now.  As silly as it sounds, it works.

So, eating whatever I want, in amounts that I want, whenever I want is my weight loss plan!  The real key for me seems to be eating my big meal in the middle of the day.  Simple enough.  NOT!  As much as I love my Granny Plan, it has rocked my world! 

Since I work from home, I am free to structure my day as I please.  When 65MD and I agreed to do this a few years ago, I promised not to work 24/7.  I try very hard to keep my paying job, work day within the same confines as his.  My days were loosely - work at my paying job in the morning to early afternoon.  Household chores were next, which segued nicely into evening meal prep.  That isn't to say that things were totally separate.  I'd toss in a load of laundry while printing a large report.  Or grab something out to thaw for supper at some natural break point in the day.  Lunch was often something grabbed quickly and more often than not eaten at my desk.  Not so any more.

I have yet to find a pattern that works.  I am still eating my big meal in the middle of the day and 65MD takes leftovers for his lunch the next day.  I'm flipping my day.  I'm trying to do household things and meal prep in the morning.  The whole time I have thoughts nagging at me about work.  Did I remember to do this?  Don't forget to make that call.  Plus my work is spilling over into the afternoon after 65MD gets home.  He's not complained.  In fact, he's fine with it.  I just feel like I've reneged on my agreement.  Since he doesn't care, neither should I.  

I'm sure in time, this will feel as natural as my previous schedule.  Then, I'll have to figure out how to fold in going to the gym.  Because of parking, it is better for me to go in the afternoons, say around 2:00.  Pre-Granny diet, that would have been fine to do two or three days per week.  Now, that is my prime work time.  I might just have to suck it up and go one day per week and see how that works out.  For now, I'm sticking with therapy most days and Wii the others.

BTW, I got my new laces yesterday.  My next order of business is to earn a PhD in engineering so I can figure out how to put them in my shoes.  I got two pieces of elastic type laces and four pieces of plastic and no instructions!  YouTube, here I come.  If I can't figure it out.  I've got a nephew that is a genius when it comes to things like this.  I'll put him on it on Sunday when he's here.

This is more than a lifestyle change.  This is a lifestyle upheaval!  It is one I am willing to make.  It will truly make a difference in my life and it will be worth all of the time and energy it takes to make it work.