Current Happenings

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Ramblings

Today has been a rather slow day, more than likely because of the inclement weather. It is late fall, so I don't expect anything different. I am just glad that it is raining, and not snowing. That does lead me to start praying that everyone is safe out on the roads, and that the morning commute won't be all over the news because of ice and traffic accidents. Welcome to Michigan in the winter. I don't think that we get any worse weather than anyone else, but it is certainly a changeable and unpredictable thing.

My eating has suffered today. I just haven't felt all that well, though I don't know if it is because I haven't eaten much, or if I'm not eating because I don't feel well. It's a chicken and egg kind of thing. I was hungry this morning, but my stomach felt a little 'off'. Being the kind and benevolent husband that he is, DH stopped at McDonald's for me. I got a wee low-fat vanilla cone, a huge treat in my book. For 150 calories, I was happy, happy, happy. The only problem is that I didn't have anything else to eat because we were out and about for the afternoon.

I had gone to Lane Bryant yesterday and bought some things. I was really impressed with a couple of tops, but DH didn't really care for them. As he said, the only thing that matters is how I feel about them. However, I'd much rather save the money and buy something that I know he likes, because that makes me like it even better. *laughs* So, I took back what I wasn't happy with, and used the money to buy Christmas gifts for DH. I'd tell you what they are, but there is that minute chance that he could stumble upon my blog and read about it. I'll tell you after Christmas!

Even though we are home now, I just don't feel up to eating anything. That makes two days in a row where eating has seemed like a chore, and not something enjoyable. I am still getting my calories in, but I'm just barely hitting my 1,200 mark for the day. I really hate forcing myself to eat when I don't feel like it. Today shouldn't be too bad, I guess. I'm going to make myself a taco salad for dinner. DH and Pumpkin will have regular tacos, and I'm skipping the shells. I've got to eat my lettuce anyway, so it doesn't go bad. I've already got to throw away my cucumber and green pepper, because I didn't eat it fast enough.

I know that lots of people get tired of turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving, but I am enjoying having the roasted meat at the ready. We generally eat a lot of chicken anyway, and turkey is so similar. I've eaten turkey sandwiches so far, and tonight I'll separate the meat into portions for the freezer. I'm going to use them in skillet meals (like 'Hamburger Helper'), which will help to make those kind of meals a little healthier. There is just no getting past the fact that both DH and I were raised on the stuff, and we like it. I'm going to teach my daughter how to cook a lot of different dishes also, so she can eat the skillet meals because she likes it, and not because she can't cook meals from scratch. *laughs* (I really am quite handy in the kitchen.)

I weighed in at 207 lbs. this morning, though the scale was flirting with 206.5 a little bit. Maybe I will see that number again tomorrow. I'm not in a big hurry, but I wouldn't complain either. Anyway, that means that I am only up by 1 lb. from my low weight that I took before the holiday. Since my body is funny about this sort of thing, I might actually see better movement on the scale now that I've bounced up a little bit. I find that when I start to stall out a bit, I can get a decent showing on the scale by increasing my caloric intake for one day, and then going back to my standard calorie count.

Well, I guess it is time to get off of the computer. Dinner still has to be made, and I'm the gal for the job.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Haters

I understand that there are a lot of thin people who just don't know what it is like to struggle with weight. While I don't ever think that there is a good reason for being mean and rude to people, I know that they just don't "get it". Those are the people that I feel a little sorry for, because they are in for a hefty life-view adjustment should they one day struggle with maintaining their fitness as they get older.

What gets to me are other ladies who are so disgusted by extra flesh that they flay their own spirit with an acid tongue, and take a bit of my skin off too. I have a rather close relationship with a lady like this, and it confounds me so much that I'm sure that I look like a whipped puppy, cocking it's head in confusion.

I don't understand how any person can look at their body with utter disgust. Sure, I'm not happy with the amount of squishiness that I carry, but I don't hate my body. These are the arms that hug my family. These are the legs that play soccer with my daughter. This is the body that is so very happy when my husband snuggles against it. This body may not look "perfect" to me when I stand before the mirror after a shower, but it is my body. It is the only body that I will have during this mortal life, and I love it no matter what it looks like. Even the broken parts are alright, because they are part of me.

Since I've been losing weight, I have become so much more excited about shopping for clothes. I enjoy finding clothing that looks more my age, and turns my husband's head. For me, being at the size that I am is exciting, because while it isn't where I plan to end up, there is much more freedom here than there was at my high weight. Now, my lady friend, she has a different perspective. Even though her youngest child is only a few months old, she looks at her body with disgust. It makes me sad. I wish that there was something that I could say that would cause her to love herself more, and to be more forgiving. Instead, I find myself drooping a little more every time that she grumps about how bothered she is at the number on her jeans. My back loses some of it's starch because we are nearly the same size. I have a few pounds on her, and whenever she says how disgusted she is with the size of her body, I feel myself shrivel up a little more.

I decided today that I am going to go out shopping, all by myself. I've established the bad habit of asking my lady friend along, mainly because I don't trust my own sense of style. I've been teased a bit about wearing things that other people wouldn't, or in ways that seem odd. As I was trying on clothes the other day, it struck me that I really shouldn't be asking anyone else how I look. When I look at myself in the mirror, if I am happy with the way that clothes make me feel, that is all that should matter. I don't need to be preoccupied with whether or not someone else thinks my outfit is flattering. When I am happy, no one notices my clothes. They notice the smile on my face.

If there is something that I've learned this week, it is that it is wrong for me to allow anyone's negativity drag down my own happiness over where I am. Sadness and disgust have never been motivators for me to treat myself well and strive for better health. Instead, they deflate me. So, I am committed to embracing optimism, contentment, and happiness with an iron-tight grip. The world may look at me and only see a fat woman, but when I look at me I see a woman who has reached her halfway point. I see a woman who has succeeded in increasing her health and strength, and who has every reason to be confident that reaching a "happy weight/size" is easily within her reach. I've gotten this far, and can finish strong. It doesn't matter if it happens during this next year, or takes me a couple of years. So long as I am striving for better health every day, the results will show on my body. Because I have done so much to nurture this body that I love, I have the freedom to have pride in my shape, even if other people see me as far from lovely. I am not defined by the size of my jeans. I am a beautiful woman with a happy smile, and full curves that make my husband crazy. If someone wants to be disgusted by this size or shape, I feel bad for them. I won't join them. Life is too short to waste a moment on hating me. I've got too much loving to do, and not so much time to do it in.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Recovery

My Thanksgiving was a good one, and while I did overindulge a little bit, I didn't pack away the food like I probably could have. Instead, I dedicated myself toward helping our hostess cook and lay out the dinner.

Once dinner was ready, I made plates for Pumpkin and myself. I tried to make my plate look more like hers than my husband's plate. *laughs* I ate a small portion of turkey breast, which I lightly covered with mashed potatoes and a tiny bit of gravy. I had a wee bit of stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and corn. Oh, and I did have roll. Dinner wasn't my downfall. However, I did eat two slices of pumpkin pie last night, one at dessert, and one later in the evening. I just started to get munchies around 10 p.m. or so. We were there for a long time.

When I came home, I knew that I had overdone it, so I started drinking my water. When my tummy is upset, it helps me to drink water, and maybe even a weak cup of coffee. Something about the coffee helps. I also put on "The Biggest Loser", and I rode my exercise bike for - check it out- 1 h. 20 minutes. The bike said that I logged 600 calories burned, but what felt good to me was that I felt lighter. I think that the added energy expenditure was helping alleviate some of my "heavy belly" feeling. I still felt bloated, but I kept drinking my water... and swallowed some Motrin.

I stepped on the scale this morning, and I was 3 lbs. lighter than I had been that evening. I am logging in at 209 lbs. right now, which is 2.5 lbs. heavier than my Tuesday weigh-in. I'm sure that a little bit of it is water weight, but some of it is bound to be fat too.


I've been more careful with my eating today. I haven't had a lot to eat, but that is just because I've been a little busy today. I am solidly resolved to not "punish" myself for eating what I wanted yesterday. Instead, I am looking forward to eating good, healthy foods for the next month. I am excited to see where I can be before Christmas. I know that I will probably have another couple of funky eating days at the end of the year, but I am fine with that so long as it is only a couple. I can have whatever I desire on Christmas Day and on New Year's eve. Then I can get back to business with my better eating for all of the other wonderful days that I have. I am learning that having a "feast" day is not such a big deal, so long as it is just one day and not any longer than that.

The longer that I eat a healthier diet, the more naturally it is coming to me. Even while surrounded by good food yesterday, I really didn't indulge all that much, not compared with how I used to eat. I didn't finish my dinner plate, and my snacks were somewhat moderate (for a holiday). I had the pie, a serving of potato chips, and some sugar-free jell-o. It was a lot of food, but I'm not used to eating much at one time any more. By the time that I was halfway through my dinner, I was already feeling like I had eating a little too much. My big problem with food is that I eat with my eyes, and that if there is food sitting out in front of me, I would like to at least try a bite. That's a very good way to put on weight, and we all know how much food there is at Thanksgiving. Wow.

Thankfully, every day is not known as a day of overindulgence and feasting. Today, things are back to normal.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grumpies

There is something good to be said for not trying to lose a certain amount of weight within a set time frame. I have lost quite a bit of weight so far, and I am generally very happy about it. Even when I'm not losing weight, my body is changing. Certain areas of my body still smooth out and feel nicer, even while the number on the scale remains the same.

So, it is frustrating to me that I'm grumpy about my progress today. I know that my impatience is a character flaw that I have. Everything is going very well for me, and yet I'm feeling melancholy because I'm not where I want to be. Well, du'h girl! Of course I'm not where I want to be. I spent too many days hanging my head and eating lots of garbage food. I'm not any kind of victim, and I am making changes to improve my health and fitness. I'm having success, so I wish that I knew just the right thing to shake off my doldrums.

I am thinking that maybe the weather is just getting to me a little bit, not to mention the stress of trying to plan for Thanksgiving. The weather makes me feel very dumpy, sad, and sleepy. Maybe I haven't been spending enough time under my special lamp. I will remedy that today, and I'll also do some heavier physical work. There is plenty of work to do, now that I've laid down another layer of drywall mud, and it is nearly ready to sand.

Yesterday, I had a hard time with my food. I didn't eat enough earlier in the day, and then found myself trying to squeeze my meals in tight during the evening. I didn't feel all that well from doing that. I also doubt that that helped my number on the scale this morning. I didn't gain weight, but I wonder what the scale would have said if I didn't have so much food hanging around overnight. Today, I am going to try and get more of my meals in earlier, and then just lightly snack later in the day. It is very hard to do, since my husband eats his meals later in the day also. That leaves me sitting there while he is eating, and I'm not great at ignoring that. It is easier to just do something else while he eats. There is a lot of work to do around here though! I'm sure that I can work it out.

In the meantime, I'm going to soak up some rays and work on getting less grumpy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Denim Dress

There is something so wonderful about digging through my closet and finding clothes. With having lost over 40 lbs. , it is pleasant to look over articles of clothing that I had forgotten about. I tucked them away in the back of the closet and stopped thinking about them. My denim dress is one of those things.

When I saw the dress at the thrift store, I remembered the days when I was stomping around in cowboy boots and chaps. I had so much fun going to the horse auctions, spending time with Cheyenne (my horse), and dancing at the church hoedown. Some folks take these kind of things for granted, but I live in the north. You can't just drive down the street and see cows in the neighbors yard, right next to the local convenience store.

I thought that the dress might fit when I bought it, but I was disappointed when I brought it home. It buttons down the entire front of the dress, and I couldn't get the buttons closed across my hip area. That certainly isn't a foreign experience for me, so I heaved a sigh and hung the dress in the back of the closet.

I went searching through the closet today to find something new to wear. I generally rotate through the same 3 outfits or so, and then find a new set to rotate through. I'm boring. While thumbing through the hangers, I saw the denim dress and thought to pull it out. I had my jeans on, and just left them on. I was pretty darned shocked when the dress buttoned up, all the way down to my knees. Wow. It went over my heavy jeans and everything. None of the buttons were strained, nor any gaps pulling open to flash skin. It was just Squishy, in a dress. That felt nice.

The denim dress is plain, like me. It is durable, and just begs to be worn with layers and a pair of boots. It is smaller than I've been in a real long time, and I'm finally able to put it on. I think that makes it the most beautiful dress that I have in my closet right now.

Meal Plan (Nov. 24) & Misc. Hoo-Haa

I was a very bad girl this weekend. *laughs* That's not completely true, I guess. I did have myself a bit of a "cheat" though. I know that I didn't make the best food choices, and I ate candy. Yes, I said it. I got into Pumpkin's halloween bag and ate a couple pieces of her candy. It was yummy and much goodness! Yes it was. I haven't had one of those peanut butter soft chews in the orange wrapper in forever. Ok, maybe it was just last year. Anyway, it was delicious and I enjoyed it. All in all, I didn't eat a ton of food on Saturday, but I did eat foods that I probably shouldn't have on a normal basis. To the best that I can figure, I ate about 2,000 calories that day. What got me in some big trouble, however, was that I didn't drink my water. D'oh! I know better than that!

When I stepped on the scale yesterday, I was up by 1.5 lbs. from my one day of foolishness. (In my head, Niecy Nash wags a finger at me for my "foolishness". *laughs* Too much tv...) Anyway, I ate clean yesterday, drank all of my fluids, and rode my exercise bike for about 35 minutes at a light/moderate pace. This morning, I was only up by 1/2 lb. from my low weight. I know that some folks would also be wagging their fingers at me, but I'm ok with that. I knew what I wanted, what the consequences were, and I was still willing to accept the trade. What I am not willing to do is to blindly each garbage each day and put on a bunch of weight. I'm going to continue to eat my clean diet, exercise for fitness, and drink my water. This 1/2 lb. will be work it's way off of my body, and I will be going back down in size and poundage without crying over how everyone else is free to eat what they want. I have the very same freedom that they do, along with the same responsibility to make adjustments to my lifestyle in order to have ocassional snacks without putting on weight.

Now, Thanksgiving is a day that I worry about a little bit. I am not choosing to indulge myself at our family gathering on Thanksgiving Day. There are too many food choices, and I don't control the ingredients for any of the dishes. Many people concentrate on taste, not on how healthy their holiday food is. I completely understand that, and that is perfectly ok. Since I know that I tend to get myself "in trouble" in that kind of situation, I am going to make a meal plan based on the list of foods that my uncle sent me. He is hosting the gathering this year, so he made a master list of the dishes and who is bringing them. With the help of the list and my food scale, I should be able to eat plenty of holiday food with everyone else. I'll pick foods that are safer for me, in the portions that I need, and maybe save enough calories for one small dessert. When I get home, I plan on riding my exercise bike to help move along digestion and the burning of said meal, instead of wearing it on my hips and thighs.

A big part of my game plan for Thanksgiving is to bring a vegetable tray. With so many rich foods there, I am sure that very few people will bother filling up on vegetables. However, it will give me some snack foods to nibble on, so it will be easier to avoid the chips, cookies, and pies. I can also keep busy by helping to prepare, serve, and clean up after the meal. Hopefully, it will be easier to avoid mindless snacking, and I'll be burning more calories than if I were sitting around watching football.

Well, before I get to Thursday, I need to get through today. I made up my meal plan this morning, and I'm working it. Here is a copy of what I have planned for the day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 21) & Stuff

I am feeling pretty good, though maybe a little stuffed. I made my own oatmeal this morning, instead of using a packet of instant oatmeal. It was very good! I just cooked oats, 1/8 c. of skim milk, 8 g. of walnuts, and 2 teaspoons of Splenda in the microwave. Some of my oatmeal packets have some nuts in them, but I wanted something nuttier. So, I sat down with my Fitday program and worked out how many grams of walnuts I could put in my oatmeal and still get the same calorie count as a packet of oatmeal. The magic number was 8 grams, and it seemed small while sitting in the bowl. That was a great amount of crunch though, and I am full. Since I'm not used to eating much at any one sitting, I almost feel as though I've eaten too much, though it was a whole 139 calories.

When I stepped on the scale this morning, it was sitting at 206, with a propensity to flirt with 205.5 . Since I would like to see that number for real, I'm going to spend some more time on the exercise bike today. I am going to shoot for an hour of steady biking. I may have to take some Motrin today though, because my knees have been hurting pretty bad since the arrival of cold weather. They ache constantly, and I'm noticing a more biting pain on the outside of my right knee, where I know I am arthritic. If I can pedal for an hour, that will be great. If I can't, then I'll break it up into two half-hour sessions.

There is something horrible about feeling like an elderly mule. *sigh* Not only do my knees hurt, but my hands are sore too. I'm not sure if it is carpel tunnel exactly, but I wouldn't be surprised. CTS is a "friend" who comes to pester me every so often. I'm not going to just grump about it though. I'm determined to do as much as I can, and then let my diet do the rest. I'm not exercising to lose weight, just to get strong. So, I can find ways to move that will increase strength without agravating my ouchies too much.

Anyway, here is my meal plan for the day. It is pretty packed with food! I wish that I had more vegetables in my meal plan today, but I need to do some cooking today. When I make new lunch plates, I am going to fill them with veggies. I think that I will also try to make some kind of vegetable to eat with my turkey sandwich tonight. I just need to see what I have on hand.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 20) + Stuff

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Not only did I eat well, but I also rode my exercise bike for 30 minutes. It wasn't all wonderfulness, however. I tried to roast eggplant for dinner, and it was kind of gross. The eggplant was just too meaty and chewy, I think. It wasn't great for a side dish, though I can see why someone might sub it in instead of using meat in some things. I don't think that it was a total loss, but something that I will have to work on. I'll look up some recipes and start experimenting a little bit. Of course, I will be the lone guinea pig. Neither of my family members would be happy to volunteer.

I am another 1/2 lb. down today. Wow, I've lost 42 lbs. so far! Yay! I can practically taste the 50 lb. mark. I want it pretty bad. By then, I'm betting that these pants that I'm wearing will feel quite a bit looser. I'm just happy to be able to wear them at all. They were *supposed* to be my size, but after they were washed, they came out a little different. Yes, and by different, I mean much smaller. So, they have been hanging out in my drawer for 2 years, waiting for me to get much smaller in the wash also. I've got them on today, and they are a little snug. They aren't tight, but they do remind me how important it is to eat the right foods.

Alrighty, here is my meal plan for the day. I'll post this and then get my bad self on into the kitchen to cook some breakfast. I'm hungry this morning, and have put off eating too long already.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For Love of Oatmeal

Oh, my oatmeal is so comforting this morning. It is just one of those cold days, and the chill made it hard to even climb out from under the covers. So, a bowl of hot oatmeal feel like bliss. It has raisins, dates, and little bits of walnut- oh so yummy.

Yesterday, DH surprised me by saying that he wanted us to go to the bank with him, and that we could stop somewhere to get some dinner. The only problem for me is that I didn't know where, so I didn't look online first to see what I wanted to eat. We ended up at Burger King, and I was a little lost. Now, after having looked at things online, I know that I should have gotten a Whopper Jr. . At the time though, the little spicy chicken sandwich sounded good. However, it didn't taste as good as it sounded, and messed up my counts on everything. It's not that it put my calories over, because I generally eat less than what it takes my body to maintain my weight. What bugged me was how high the fat and sodium were. But, that is all done and over with, and I am intent on not regretting the choice. Hey, I had a nice time with my family. I sat close to my husband, and we talked and played around like teenagers. We had fun playing word association games with Pumpkin, while sharing a small order of fries. The experience was nice, even if I am feeling a little puffy from the salt. The scale is up by 1/2 lb. also, which didn't surprise me at all. That always happens when I eat even a small amount of fast food, not to mention that I was riding my exercise bike pretty late last night.

This morning, I started my "recovery" with a large blue cup of water. It holds 3 cups of wonderful H2O. I try to always drink one of those cups of water before I eat anything for the day. Generally, I get in 9 cups of water and 2 cups of coffee. That should be plenty of fluids, and I'm sure that I'll feel better tomorrow. I can certainly tell the difference between better quality foods and "junk" foods these days. My body reacts in predictable ways with each type of food, and even my taste buds seem to be changing.

DH was eating sour cream and onion potato chips the other day, and I was a little curious about them. I haven't had any in quite a while. So, I took one chip and ate it slowly. The initial enjoyment that came from the flavoring was gone in less than a second, and then I was just left with a rather lackluster potato mush that did nothing for me. It was nothing like the pleasurable mouth-feel of chewing something like oatmeal with fruit and nuts. There was no rich taste, no varying textures. It was just 'alright'. Who wants to waste their time and calories on 'alright'? That was the only chip that I had, and the rest of the bag has been perfectly safe from me.

Anyway, I have a pretty quiet meal plan for today. I'm not going to post a solid plan here today, just because I may end up modifying it through the day, to suit my needs. I want to try roasting some eggplant this evening, but I don't know if I'm actually going to end up eating it. I haven't had eggplant in a very long time, and I didn't know anything about cooking it the first time that I tried. So, we will see how that goes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 18) + Stuff

I had a rough night last night. I think that it was because I ate some ground turkey, and while not unhealthy, it had more fat in it than the foods that I have been eating lately. So, it bothered my insides, causing me a lot of discomfort last night. Once my insides started to feel a little better, I went to bed, was was oddly ravenous. I think that maybe the consequences of my intestinal upset were hard on my body, and it wanted a little bit more nourishment to get by. So, I joined my husband in the kitchen, and I had a tablespoon of peanut butter. It was just enough to make me comfortable so I could sleep.

This morning, the scale moved again. It had been hanging in the same spot for a few days, and it finally came down a little. I've now managed to lose over 40 lbs. in all. That makes me very happy. My main focus is on the 50 lb. mark though. I don't know why that is. It may just be because that puts me into the 100's. I am so looking forward to that day.

The closer I get to that threshold, the more excited I get. To be honest, I've just been looking forward to the day when some of my family members will stop using me as a weight/shape measure. I know that they don't mean to be hurtful, but it is hard to listen to people make comments about they feel sorry for me because my upper body slims down and it just makes my lower body look even bigger. It is hard to hear anyone measure themselves against how I look, and to hear anyone panic and get teary-eyed because their weight is near mine. I was told the other day that one person thought that they were doing pretty good with their own weight, because of the way that they carry it- until they found out that only a few pounds separate us in weight. *sigh* I hate to feel as though people that I care about use me as a measure, something like, "Hey, I'm not doing so bad as long as I'm not as big/heavy as Squishy."

I think that some of these thoughts have brought out feelings in me that has pushed me toward staying heavy. I don't like it when what I do becomes some kind of competition. I don't want anyone to start heavy dieting because they can't bear the idea of me weighing less than they do. It's like they have to "beat" me and always be just under me, or the shame might somehow be unbearable. It's more than a little humiliating. In trying to avoid this kind of situation, I allowed myself to just be a kind of jolly fat woman. I take care of everyone, as much as I can. I try to be happy and understanding of everyone's needs. I guess I figured that if I was as loving and giving as I could be, folks would really see me and not the squishiness. It apparently doesn't work quite like that. They still see the fat, and no matter how much I try to do for them, they don't understand what a kindness it would be to me for them to not say negative things about the shape of my body. I have been trying so hard, and those comments make me so sad. They can say how pretty my face is all day long, but one comment about how very large my butt is- that tends to be a real downer.

Oh, that is enough of all the gloomy-gus sort of stuff. *smiles* It is a very happy day today. 206.5 is a new low for me this year. I haven't seen this weight in around 6 years or so. I am so very close to being out of the 200's, I can practically taste it. I think it tastes like a turkey hotdog. *laughs* (I've been smelling phantom hotdogs lately. It's funny!) I look forward to being in the 100's when we ring in the New Year. That would be so exciting!! My next big goal after that will be to hit 184 lbs. , which is as low as I have ever gotten my weight since beginning to have children. I was doing so great, and then we made a difficult move and lived with some of DH's family for a while, and the stress added back a lot of weight. It will be so nice to work it back off again. At 184, I will be so close to my happy weight. I am hoping to settle in somewhere between 150-175. I don't know where I'll end up, but that is alright. My goal is to live within that weight range for the rest of my life.

Well, tonight is going to be a gym night. I just want to hike the treadmill a bit and lift some weights. I don't want to do anything terribly strenuous, just enough to strengthen my muscles and sweat a bit. We'll see how it goes when I get there.

Here is my basic meal plan for the day. I may move some things around a little. I made it last night so I would have an idea of what I'm doing before the morning, but I think that I need to increase my calories if I plan to go to the gym tonight. This is my basic plan though.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Long Haul

The longer I do this, the more I am realizing that this is for the long-term. I don't know that I've every really succeeded in controlling my diet for more than 3-4 months at a time. I would starve myself and exercise like a fiend, and then fall off the wagon when big stress hit. Of course, then I would gain all of the weight back because stress equaled an excuse to eat 4 slices of pizza at dinner, instead of 2 slices and a light salad.

I've been carefully budgeting out my food since May 20th, and that means that I am up to 6 months of healthy eating and good exercise. I haven't starved myself at all, and I haven't exercised like a fiend. Instead, I've exercised to be strong. I've respected my body and done what was good for me, not punishing myself for eating any type/quantity of food. That is so refreshing.

I am enjoying this time to slowly become acquainted with this improved body of mine. It is nice to feel a sense of stability in this journey, instead of feeling flung around like a yo-yo.

These are just some thoughts that came to me today when I stepped on the scale and it read the same number again. There have been times when a few days at the same number would have had me really frustrated and disappointed. I felt that if I wasn't losing, then I wasn't "winning". I wasn't moving toward my goal. I guess what is different now is that my goal isn't so much a number on the scale as it is a healthy lifestyle. When I do what is good for me, and *that* makes me feel happier. Being happy is a wonderful thing, whether I am a single-digit pants size or not. There have been times this week when I've thought that I could be very happy at the size that I am now, and that is a little shocking, in a good way. Because I know that I am living well, I am growing a greater amount of respect for myself. Because I respect myself, I'm not so critical of bumps and bulges that I might have on my body. I'm more content in my own skin. That makes losing weight all the easier, because my main focus isn't on the numbers, but on being happy and healthy. It is just a wonderful benefit that with prolonged focus on living healthy, my weight comes down also.

Portions

It is funny how my brain and my stomach are just not on the same page. When I was making my dinner plate tonight, I measured out my food. It was amazing how quickly I came to 4 oz. of turkey stroganoff. It looked so small on the plate, but everything looked better once I put a little mashed potato on there, and a lot of zucchini. To my brain, that just didn't *look* like enough food.

Now, my stomach didn't end up agreeing with my brain. I ate my food, and it was all yummy. There was just enough stroganoff, and I am comfortable and content. I was even able to scoop a little bit of ice cream out for Pumpkin without feeling deprived at all. I had my little no-sugar-added fudgesicle, and I didn't miss the feel and taste of rich ice cream. That is nice.

I had the same kind of feeling this afternoon when I treated myself to a small piece of low-fat brownie that I made. I had my piece, felt quite full, and didn't desire even one more nibble of chocolate anything. That is so different from the times when I've sat down and eaten cake or brownies, having 2-3 pieces in a day. My brownies don't send me into a craze though, as there is no frosting on them. They are just sweet enough to be nice, full of protein, and dense enough to feel substantial. With the fluffy, super-sweet cakes, I always felt like I had to have a lot. I don't know for certain why that is, but I suspect that I've been very sensitive to sugar for quite a while.

Eating so often during the day has really helped me with my portions. It has helped me to see that having just a small amount of food can be perfectly satisfying. I can have almost anything that I want, and I don't eat too much because I am eating very frequently. I don't go long enough without food to make me feel like I'm "starving" and out of control with food. On the very rare occasion that I wait too long to eat, I'm learning that I don't have to scarf everything in sight to alleviate the discomfort. Just like sleeping 14 hours on Tuesday doesn't make up for poor sleep on Monday, eating 800 calories at lunch doesn't make me feel any better after fasting for 6 hours.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Babbling

I am learning about how I handle real hunger, and I think that maybe I can understand why I haven't liked the feeling very much. *lol* When I got home from church this afternoon, I felt like I was going to implode. My stomach was going to suck in so far that I would be turned inside-out with such ferocity that I would explode. Ok, so that is a little melodramatic, but I felt pretty crummy. I'm noticing now that when I wake up, I feel honest hunger. When I've been out too long without any substantial food in the morning, and it's been 6 hours, I get nauseated. It's a strange feeling to be queasy, yet also want to eat a ton of food.

Part of my problem is that I didn't have protein this morning at breakfast. I had little time to get everyone else set, and all of us out the door. I had a slice of toast with apple butter, and I took a bowl of cucumber, green pepper, and some FF veggie dip in the car. Yes, shame on me. It was good to try and take something with me, but that wasn't nearly enough to last as long as I had to. I should have packed a snack for my purse. Instead, I ate my light breakfast at around 8:30 a.m. and didn't get lunch until around 2:30 p.m. . On the plus side, I did have a lunch already prepared at home. I just had to pull it out of the fridge and put it in the microwave for 90 seconds.

DH had to go out to work last night, so I used the time to do some cooking. I had found some chicken in the downstairs freezer, and it needed to be cooked before it got freezer burned. So, I popped that in the oven (covered), along with a pan of low-fat brownies. I just use an Aldi brownie mix, and them substitute in egg substitute and apple sauce in the place of the egg and oil. I make mine in a round pie dish, and then just cut into wedges. I cut the pieces pretty small, since the brownies are dense. It doesn't take much to feel satisfied.

On the stove top, I cooked sausage links that I won't be eating. *laughs* I really can eat sausage. It's not a big deal... except that it makes my tummy upset. Fatty things like that aggravate my phantom gall gladder. So, instead of having any pain from stones, now I have irritable intestines if I'm not careful about what I eat. Anyway, I've taken to cooking up sausages for my husband, and then I cool them and store them in the freezer. When he wants breakfast sausage, all he has to do is microwave them for 90 seconds or so, and they are ready to eat. It is convenient, and I normally only have to handle the yummy sausages for a couple of hours one day.

Once the chicken was done cooking, I grabbed my stash of divided storage plates and started packing lunches. Each plate has 73 grams of chicken and 200 grams of mashed cauliflower. I ran out of cauliflower by the last plate, so it has 100 grams of cauliflower and 100 grams of yellow squash. I love yellow squash. Now, when I am frantic and ready to gnaw my arm off, I can eat something quickly without worrying about it. I know just what is in it, and the serving sizes.

I log all of my food using Fitday, since I have the PC version. What I find easiest is to combine my common meals into custom recipes, and save them in my favorites. I have a salmon lunch plate, a chicken lunch plate, and even a turkey dog lunch plate. I also have beverages saved, like a cup of coffee, prepared the way that I like it. I don't have to find the individual ingredients for the meals, because they are all accounted for (including weight) in the recipe. I guess it works because I am boring, and will eat the same lunch every day for a week. I change my meat and vegetables every few days, but I enjoy eating the same kinds of foods together. If I have fish, I need something mushy to eat it with, because reheated fish is a bit dry. If I have red meat, I like some kind of mash, whether potato or cauliflower. Chicken can be paired with just about anything, so I use it in lunch plates that also need to finish up the leftovers in the fridge. My only big rule that I try to follow is that I only eat one starchy vegetable at a time. I don't eat potatoes and corn in one sitting. I may have cauliflower and peas though.

It really doesn't take all that much though, or at least no more than normal. I try to always balance out dinners with protein and variously colored vegetables in varying starch ranges. I try to never have a dinner plate that is all beige and browns. It is just something that I've been trying to do since our daughter started eating solids. I want her to eat healthy foods, so I need to make them. There is no hope that my husband will eat even 1/3 of the vegetables that I cook, but at least they are available for Pumpkin and I. Because she eats so many good foods, I don't give her a hard time about the few foods that I know she just doesn't like (right now). So, I don't make tuna for her, no cooked carrots (only raw), and no mustard on anything.

Liike the title says, I'm just babbling. I like to write this stuff here to remind myself, because there are times when I eat a bunch of garbage for food, and then I feel out-of-control crazy. It makes it hard to get back on track sometimes, and it is good to refresh my memory on what really works for me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 13 ) + Stuff

Well, I struggled to eat all of my food yesterday, and it just didn't happen. Instead of the 1,300 that I am shooting for, I ended up with 1,202 for the day.

Today, I am still trying to get my 1,300 calories without adding any convenience food into my diet. I'm going to have to really start putting some of it away though, because exercising at the gym takes a chunk of time out of my early evening. Since I don't eat right before bed, nor right before exercising, it makes it hard to get all of my food in. I find that what I'm doing on gym days is that I am substituting more calorie-dense foods into my diet so I can eat my number of calories without feeling stuffed and bloated. I know that some folks might fuss at me for 'forcing' myself to eat anything, but the last thing I want to do is give my body too little to run on, regardless of what my appetite says.

Since I am eating very frequently, I have almost no desire to eat candy or junk. I don't want the sugar. I don't care about the sugar at all. Maybe it is because I can still have sweet things..... and I type this while chewing a piece of sugar-free gum. *grins* If I want something sweet and dessert-like, I can have some of my pumpkin custard. It is only about 170 calories if I whip it up with sweetened skim milk and a graham cracker. I had some last night, and I think that my sweet tooth fell right out of my mouth. It was very filling, made me sigh and smile about fall and Thanksgiving time, and yet doesn't mess up my caloric budget. Goodness, my light yogurt from Meijer is nearly as many calories as the pumpkin custard dessert.

I have to start working up a shopping list today. I need to do our household shopping this weekend, and I hate to come home to realize that I forgot something that I really wanted with my meals for the week. For example, I'm eating my daughter's light yogurt because I forgot to get my Dannon Fit 'N Light 80 cal. yogurt. Oops. I'm sure that I'll still forget something, list or no list. That's just how I roll. *laughs*

Anyway, here is my food plan for the day:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 12) + Stuff

I gave it a valiant try, but I didn't get all of my calories in yesterday. I came close though, by substituting a granola bar for my potato. The potato would have just been too filling, and I didn't have enough room in my tummy.

The gym wasn't too crowded last night, which I am thankful for. I walked at a brisk pace on a 3% incline, and jogged a little bit at 5.0 mph. After 30 minutes on the treadmill, I moved on to strength training. I did just a tiny bit of lower body, just to engage my muscles. Most of my work was upper-body. I'm feeling a little sore today, but not too bad.

I'm not logging my weight today, because I know that I always retain weight the following morning after exercising hard and lifting weights. So, I will leave that until tomorrow. In the meantime, here is my meal plan for the day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 11) + Summaries

Yesterday
I did a pretty good job yesterday! Since I wanted to spend more time with my family, I didn't go to the gym last night. Instead, I rode my recumbent bike while watching tv with DH. I got in 30 minutes of exercise, and it went by really fast. I could have done more, but I didn't want to do anything strenuous. I wanted to leave that for tonight, when I got to the gym.

One goofy thing that I did notice yesterday was that I had been forgetting to change the date on the top of my meal plans! *laughs* Well, each day was different, but they look as though there are all for the same day. That is kind of funny. I did notice it and fix it last night though.

The Week
When I started last week, I was a little frustrated with my weight. I just didn't feel like I was on good, solid ground. I had crept up to 213 lbs. because I had been choosing the wrong foods. I was still exercising wonderfully, but my diet was off. So, I thought that I would sit down and write down a menu for each day, because I didn't want to wander the kitchen every few hours, looking for something to eat while I was hungry. That always spells disaster, and I had started to graze on too many convenient snack foods.

Upon completing my day, yesterday, I reached a whole week "on plan". I ate well and exercised. I started out at 213 lbs. and the scale read 208.5 today. I don't actually remember when I last saw this number. This puts me below my first goal weight, which was 209. That was how much I weighed before I became pregnant with Ezzie, and then my eating went nuts. So, I have managed to lose 4.5 lbs. this past week! Boy, that feels really good.

Looking Forward
I've joined on with Mel in her endeavor to lose 10 lbs. by New Years. I think that when the ball drops and my husband plants a big ole kiss on me, I would much rather be full of thoughts about how wonderful I feel at that moment... and not how much weight I am resolved to lost in 2009. Do ya get me? Sure, I'll still be losing weight in 2009, but the real point is that I want a sense of accomplishment at the beginning of the year, not a sense of having messed up '08 and needing to "fix me" in '09. I'm all about finishing strong this year.

Now, getting the weight off is going to be interesting. I've been eating a 1,200 calorie diet for the past week. I don't know if that is what is optimal for my body right now. Maybe it is. I just don't know. So, I went poking around to find out what I 'probably' should be eating. Factoring in the 10 lbs. that I want to lose by the end of the year, it looks as though eating 1,523 calories each day will get me there. What I don't know is if I can eat that my healthy food in a day. Doesn't that sound funny? *laughs* It is real easy to eat that amount of food when I splurge on snack foods. However, the more I eat them, the more dependent I on them.

I am thinking that in finding me a happy medium, I will start eating 1,300 or so calories each day. That should be a nice amount of food. If I have any problems with that level of eating, I can always revise it.

Here is my food plan for the day:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 10) + Stuff

While I didn't post my meal plan for yesterday, I did make one. I just didn't want to spend the time on the internet. Anyway, I worked everything out so I would have a plan of just over 1,300 calories for the day, because I wanted Sunday to really feel like a day of rest. It is amazing what just over 100 calories can do to change the feel of a day. I worked with my numbers and crunched everything so that I could have a donut at church, and so I could have the same lunch that my husband was going to eat. It is really nice to not need a separate meal for myself, though I generally enjoy eating the many vegetables that my husband won't touch.

I'm back with my 1,200 caloric goal for the day, now that it's Monday. As I was looking over my Fitday food log, I realized that that can be a ton of food, if I'm not eating "convenience" foods. I didn't finish all of my food yesterday, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to today. I'll make a good try of it though. There's nothing wrong with leaving a few bites behind, but I don't want to fall into the habit of cutting my calories super-low.

I was wanting to go to the gym today, but the longer I think on it, I believe it would be best for me to ride my stationary bike at home. I can go to the gym tomorrow evening. I just want a long and gentle ride today, so I don't bugger up my reading on the scale tomorrow by retaining water. I did notice that when I stepped on the scale this morning, my body fat measurement had decreased by two percentage points. Now, I know that my scale doesn't have the correct measurement (never has, unfortunately), but it is always consistent with it's incorrectness. *laughs* Does that make sense? I know what it regularly says, and it is a guage even if it starts on the wrong number. It was just good to see that things are moving in a positive direction.

I've been thinking that I might just take my measurements today. It is difficult to do by myself (not that I've had any help before, mind you), but I'm curious. I can certainly feel the difference in how my clothes fit on my body. Things look loose. Clothes aren't so snug, and they look better. I guess that is what happens when a gal loses 38 1/2 pounds.

Today's Food Plan:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Interesting...

I don't know that I've run into this problem before, but I am not going to be able to get through all of my food today. It looks as though I am going to be around 262 calories short, give or take a few. I certainly don't want to be low on my calories, but I can't see pouring soup down my throat just in order to reach a number.

I roasted the pumpkin today, and I don't think that I'm going to bother doing that anymore. Quite frankly, it was a lot of work for little enjoyment. Maybe I used the wrong spices when cooking, and I should have stuck with a sweet mash like we do with sweet potatoes. If I make pumpkin again, it will have to be that way. All in all, it caused me to miss my yellow squash. Maybe I can talk my husband into running me by the store tomorrow, on the way home from church.

While I'm not expecting that I will reach my last pre-pregnancy weight tomorrow morning, it sure would be a pleasant surprise. I wouldn't turn my nose up at it. *laughs* It has been a long time in coming, since I have managed to flirt with the same 5 pounds for a while now. I guess it is good to go through this, taking things slow and being deliberate. Still, I tend to be an impatient woman in this area. *grins* I can wait though. I am sure that I will get there sometime between now and Tuesday.

Meal Plan (Nov. 8) + Stuff

I felt so good for most of the day, yesterday. But, late in the evening I started to feel some munchies coming on. I fought a valiant fight though, and I was victorious! Armed with one sugar-free butterscotch candy and a piece of sugar-free gum, I prevailed.

So, I have been feeling pretty happy with myself, knowing that I wasn't overcome by the Munchy Monster. I eat frequently, so I know that I'm not truly hungry. I think that maybe I just stayed up too late last night. I was watching a movie, but I eventually gave up and put it on to record so I could go to bed.

When I stepped on the scale this morning, there was some movement. I am happy to say that the number on the scale decreased by 1 lb. over the past couple of days. So, now instead of sporting excess water after having exercised, I just have sore legs. Oh, and boy are my legs sore! I guess that is the price that I pay for having prettier legs, and more room in my jeans. I have even noticed that my abs are feeling pretty tight of late. I became very aware of them after running. Retaining my good posture while tired and running made me understand that I do actually have some muscle in there, under the squish.

Speaking of squish, I'm not nearly as squishy as I used to be. I've got me some hip bones. I still have some squishy I-had-babies-belly that I'm sure will be awful to get off. I don't know that my flesh will ever be tight in my lower abdomen. So, I have a tummy and my inherited big bottom that comes with being a part of my family. I have been blessed with wide hips, and it is hard to have a tiny bottom when it has so much space to fill in. *laughs* It's a good thing that my husband likes that sort of thing, because it's just not going away. However, my waist has become much more firm. I guess that means that I've lost some of my fluff through there. It really does make clothing fit a lot smoother. The only bad thing is that it makes my hip/lower abdomen area look even worse because my upper body looks so much nicer. I've read a lot that lower body fat is much harder to get off, and takes longer. Goodness, I hope that it doesn't take TOO long, because I seem a mite out of proportion. It is the goofiest thing to have legs that are looking nice, and upper body that is looking nice, and then that darned lower belly fat.

Anyway, I had better get on with my day. I've worked up my meal plan for the day, and it is posted below.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 7) + Stuff

Even though I was feeling a little unmotivated, I dragged myself out of the house and over to the gym. I felt better once I got there. I just get so comfortable at home, snuggled up on the couch after dinner. The main reason that I don't like to leave is that I want to spend time with DH, because he is at work all day. So, I've changed the way that I look at my gym time.

I know that some folks look at their exercise time as an opportunity to lose weight. I don't look at it like that any more. If I were to walk on the treadmill for that reason, I would be there forever. I can easily eat 400 calories in a few minutes, but it takes much more time to work it off. Instead, I let my eating take care of the weight loss, and look at my gym time as physical therapy. I am shaping and molding my body, making myself strong enough to do life's tasks without difficulty. There is just the added benefit that the exercise makes my body look better, but that is just frosting on the cake.

So, since I don't look at my gym time as a means of burning off extra calories, I only stay there as long as it takes to meet my fitness goals. My goal last night was to try and improve my mile time. I was able to beat my previous time by 46 seconds, which is not bad with running it within the same week. This gives me a good starting point to work from. Now, I will begin to do walk/jog intervals on the treadmill to gently improve my stamina. I would like to start the new year with somewhere near a 10 minute mile. I'm not sure if that is within my grasp, but I'll be happy with every second that I get closer to it.

Anyway, as I wrote yesterday, I didn't anticipate the scale moving for me today. I know my body pretty well by now. When I exercise hard, particularly at night, my body holds on to water. I ran pretty hard on the treadmill, and then did lower body weights. I could barely walk up the basement stairs last night! So, I wasn't surprised to see the same number on the scale. Tomorrow will be a better day for that. It is my plan to ride my recumbent bike for 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday, but not visit the gym again until Tuesday. I want to do just enough to stay loose, so I don't get too muscle sore and bound up after lifting weights. My knees are finicky about pushing weight, so I have to baby them. Let me just say that my legs are looking just a mite sexy these days, at least compared to how they did look before. It's a small happiness. :)

Here is my food plan for today. It is very similar to yesterday's plan, but for a couple small changes. With eating so much *real* food, I'm finding that I don't feel the need to pursue junk food. My one little 'no sugar added' fudgesicle is enough. I added the other sugar-free candy because I needed a couple calories, and something to occupy my mouth between breakfast and lunch. I space my meals out so that I start a meal every 4 hours. I don't eat everything on my list at once, but break it up so that lunch and dinner are more like four meals instead of two. The only hard set-in-stone rule that I have is that I eat every 4 hours, so I don't go too long between meals.

Oh, and let me say that I adore turkey hotdogs. Come on- 70 calories apiece. It helps me feel more normal. Yay for the turkey hotdogs. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 6) + Stuff

Boy, having "convenience" foods in my hand all of the time must have really been messing me up! I've been making a point to drink all of my fluids during the day, with 9 cups + being strictly water. I've stuck to my caloric budget each day. That has been a little harder than I thought it would be. On the first day, I felt horribly hungry. But, yesterday I nearly skipped food because I didn't feel much like eating it. I took it slow and ate that bowl of oatmeal though, because I don't want to fall into the trap of not eating enough.

I am excited to see how things will look at the end of my full 7 days. At the start, I was logging in at a bloated 215. Now, having eaten well and flushed my body, I am weighing in at 211. That's not too bad for only 2 full days. I expect for that number to stay around for a couple days though, because I am going to run my mile and exercise tonight. I always retain water weight while my muscles recover. I should see a good number by Saturday though, I think.

Alrighty, here is my 'food budget' for the day. My lunch is already cooked and sits in a plastic container, waiting for me. That helps a LOT. I've traded my usual granola bar for a turkey hot dog. It sounded more filling and desirable today.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 5) + Other Stuff

How is a gal supposed to focus on being healthy when feels awful? Goodness, I just couldn't sleep for anything last night. My spine is still out of place, and it was really bothering my shoulders and neck last night. I feel utterly tired this morning.

I did really well with my eating yesterday. I am very happy for me, and I look forward to adding another day to my "days on plan" badge tonight. I am shooting for 7 consecutive days of good, healthy eating. I stuck with my "calorie budget" yesterday, and only pouted about it a little bit. In the end though, I didn't even finish my second cup of coffee allotted for the day. Maybe it was my having watched the election coverage that turned my stomach sour. lol I say that jokingly, but DH went off to get some Pepto before he came to bed.

Ok, I'm going to post the game plan for the day. I defrosted my carton of "egg substitute", but after my dinner last night, I don't want it any more. *chuckles* Eggs in a carton seemed so much easier, and guilt-free. I hate throwing food away, including egg yolks. Since my carton was still frozen last night, I just scrambled one whole egg and three egg whites, and it was wonderful! It was much better than the carton stuff, while still being healthier.

Today is the day. I'm going to run the mile again. I look forward to seeing if I can better my time. I was at the gym yesterday, walking out my sore muscles on the treadmill. It didn't work. I was still painfully sore all night. I'm not sure how that is going to affect my running time, but we'll see. If I can even just get to 13 minutes even, I'll be happy.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Meal Plan (Nov. 4)

Because I've been struggling so much, I am endeavoring to diligently log what I eat. I have given myself a food budget, and I need to stick to it. Hopefully, in one week I will have a much more pleasant weigh-in.

Here is a snapshot of today's meal plan.



Squishy Squashed

Oh goodness, I feel like I've been sat on by an elephant. Ugh.

I somehow put my back out the night before last. Then, after taking some Motrin, I went to the gym and exercised. I ran for a mile for the first time in... I can't remember how long. I jogged my mile in 13:15. While I know that it isn't spectacular, I felt pretty good about even being able to do that. I'm not *supposed* to run because of my bad knee. However, I enjoy doing it. What I don't enjoy is all of my floppy parts flopping around.

As I've been doing lately, I exercised very well... and then proceeded to eat everything in the house. *sigh* I am so disappointed. It's not that my weight is so out of control, but that my eating is so out of control. I feel as though I constantly need to be eating something, and it bothers me. I think that what is causing me such big trouble is my lack of prepared meals for myself. I have all sorts of "snack" foods around the house, and it is too convenient to grab something instead of cooking GOOD food for myself.

I am feeling pretty resolved to fix some of that today. Our freezer is freshly stocked with lean meats, and the house is overflowing with vegetables. This afternoon, I'm going to cook up a large meal and divide it into individual portions for me, and put those in the freezer.

In the meantime, I am taking it slow today. My back and neck still hurt, and I am muscle-sore now. So, I might do some gentle stretches today and stop there. I want to try jogging again tomorrow, if I feel able to move freely. For right now, I'm just working on eating good foods and drinking lots of water. All in all, I feel that I need a better game plan. I'm not as organized and excited as I was 7 months ago. I'm still much lighter than when I started out, but I won't stay lighter if I can't figure out how to fix these glitches in my WILL.