Friday, December 28, 2012

192.0; The End and The Beginning

Have you heard about One Little Word?

Basically you chose a word to define you or your life for a year.  Weird, huh?  I thought so.  Who wants to think of something to define them for 365 days?  On the other hand, it's kind of like resolutions without big long wordy sentences or plans.

I decided that I needed to make 2012 a year of CHOICES.  Interestingly I found a bracelet that says "Dreams become reality one choice at a time."  It was like it was meant to be!  I put that bracelet on sometime in February and haven't taken it off.

My year of choices taught me a lot.  I have many small choices that add up to big things that are hard to see.  If I make a bad choice, there is no need to beat myself up, just make the better choice next time.  I do have may choices even when I think I have none.  I can only make MY choices, not someone else's choice.

Powerful stuff when I start looking back and reflecting.  And I realize how far that one little word has gotten me in 2012.

So my word for 2013?  GRACE. 

I want to live gracefully.  In beauty and kindness.  With poise and centered in myself.  I want to chose nice over mean.  I want to give myself grace and forgiveness and be ok with who I am at any given moment.  I want to be graceful in motion and thought. 

Grace.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

1912: The Space In Between

I'm a bit frazzled.  The time between Christmas and New Years is always weird for me.  I feel as though Christmas is all run run run.  Then normal days after.  Then frantic decisions on what to do for New Years.  Then it's all winter depressing setting in.

I don't know what I can do to change this.  I try to keep a schedule, but honestly, it's hard to do.  Reality is that I haven't been to the gym in a couple of weeks.  Reality is that I miss it.  Gosh, who'd had thought that?  I can't wait to get back to it this weekend.

But the bottom line is that while my weight has fluctuated between a 1-2 pounds in the last month, it's not shot up or a significant gain.  And that I am most proud of.  Very proud.  So I'm going to be the traditional "new year, new fitness goals" person and head back to the gym in full force this weekend.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

193.0; Traditions

I'm the family baker.  It's a tradition (expected) that I bring desserts to every gathering.  Mostly because I love baking and cooking, but also because no one else in my family likes to bake.

As a kid, I remember sitting at my parent's kitchen table and frosting cookies at Christmas time.  It was a rule that if you wanted to eat them, you had to help make them.  As I got older, my Mom, sister and I would get together one Saturday and make cookies all day.  We'd split them up and enjoy them all season.  Somehow we stopped doing that and it was just me making cookies.

The first year I did this, I make up dough on Friday and spent literally all day Saturday and Sunday baking and decorating.  Then I gave them away to my family.  In the last few years I've spent a dedicated day baking and some evenings here and there with other recipes.

This year?  I haven't done it yet. 

Part of my reasoning is that I didn't want them sitting, all baked and ready to go calling out to me and Pete to eat them.  Part of it is that I haven't had time.  The other day I was having a conversation with my coworker, the one who had the full bypass surgery.  He challenged me to just change my traditions.  To not make all those cookies that I normally make.

So I've been thinking about this.  Do I really need to make the cookies?  No.  But I feel guilty that my eating habits are no impacting others.  Strange this guilt.  I call it Catholic Guilt, but really it's Michelle Guilt. 

So for this year, I am going to go through with the cookies and desserts and all the stuff that I've made throughout the years.  But next year, I'm going to challenge myself and my family to think differently about desserts.  Maybe all those cookies aren't it.  Maybe it's just me making a cake or cupcakes or a yule log?  Changing traditions.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

190.8; The Pain of Food Sticking

When I decided that I wanted a gastric band there were plenty of people who told me not to do it.  I heard their concerns and thought about them all.  But after discussing it with my doctor and thinking about everything, I felt it was the best decision for me.  For me.  That's the important part.  It may not be for everyone and in fact, it really isn't for everyone.

And it's no magic bullet or I'd be about 150 pounds by now.  Instead I work hard 4-6 times a week, at 5am at the YMCA and watch what I eat.  I get comments all the time from the same people, who watch me eat.  Comments about aren't I eating too much?  Aren't I eating the wrong things?  I'm polite and I smile.  Inside I'm pissed off.  I'm not commenting on how they eat.  But somehow because I've lost weight (whether they know about the band or not) my eating is open for vocal criticizing. 

Yesterday my family went out to celebrate my Mom's birthday.  She wanted TGIFridays so that's where we went.  We didn't meet until 6pm and by the time we ordered and food for 8 came out it was close to 7pm.  Pete and I shared a 10 ounce steak (that was more like 7-8 ounces without the fat), 6 tiny grilled shrimp, mashed potatoes and a tomato salad.  When the food came I gave Pete all the potatoes and took the tomato salad.

I started with the steak and I was hungry.  It tasted good, but wasn't the most tender.  I had about 2 ounces of the steak and started on the shrimp.  At that point, I felt something stick.  It turns out that I should have listened to my body.  But I didn't.  I dismissed it and at the 3 shrimp, chewing very carefully.  By the end of the 3rd shrimp I knew that I was in trouble.

So I excused myself to go to the bathroom.  Sometimes walking helps and I didn't really want to go through a sticking incident in front of my family.  I spent painful 10 minutes in that bathroom.  The steak was really really stuck.  It hurt like hell.  About halfway through it I wanted to go home, but was afraid to leave the bathroom.  Finally I texted Pete to grab my things so we could go.  By the time the check came and he paid, it had gone down.  We went home and my band area is still sore today.

So why did I post about these 2 things in one post?  Because I opened myself up to more criticism.  My family now knows that I get food stuck sometimes and it doesn't go down.  They know that it's painful and causes me to leave a celebration early.  I'm pissed at myself.  I'm mad that I don't listen to my body when this happens.  I'm mad that I had to explain to my Mom later that the band may not be too tight, that it's likely my fault for not listening.  I'm mad because I don't think she understands it, she just wants me to loosen the band.  I'm mad that I did this to myself.  But It reinforces to me that I need to listen to my body.  Not dismiss the signs and go forward.  And if I can't listen to my body then I really do need to have the band loosened.  Dammit.

Monday, December 17, 2012

192; Kindness

I follow/read MamaLaughlin, do you?  You should.  About 2 weeks ago now, she posted again about buying something from Kiki La'Rue Boutique.  So I went on my phone and looked at the site. 

I'm forever trying to build a wardrobe of clothes that I love.  I used to buy clothes that were ok, because it was all I had.  Now my criteria first includes the question "Do you love it?"  if the answer is no or that I just like it, then I don't buy it.  Kiki La'Rue had some pieces that were different from what I saw in stores that I was going into and the prices were pretty great too.

So I ordered.  I ordered Keep Calm and Sparkle.  When I did, I mentioned in the comments that I found her site via MamaLaughlin so she would know where I came from and I mentioned that I had lost lots of weight and was trying to fit my new shape. 

That was Sunday.  Monday I got a message from Becka, the owner on my phone.  She asked me to call her.  I was a bit down because I figured that my top was out of stock in my size or something and I'd have to reorder.  I was wrong.

When I called her back she congratulated me on my weight loss.  (I love hearing this.  It is such positive reinforcement to keep going.)  But then she made me cry.  She told me that she was putting my money in my account and sending me my top for free.  I was shocked and I cried at my desk.  With tears running down my face I thanked her profusely and told her how she made my day!  It was such an act of kindness for me.  It was more than just a free piece of clothing.  It was acknowledgment of my journey.  It was reaching out and sharing my story.  It was a connection through a blogger that I read for inspiration.  It was a whole lot more.

Friday I got my mail and found this: 

 
Sparkly Pink package!

My top!  It was beautifully wrapped in tissue and had a sticker matching this tag.  I immediately ran to my bedroom to try it on.  It's not something that I would have bought for myself in the past.  It's likely not something that I would wear to work, but I 'd definitely talk Pete into taking me out and wear this.  It makes me feel beautiful!

Ignore the weird angle and the mirror.  And I think there is toothpaste from someone at the bottom that makes it look like a bird pooped on me.  But...I love it!  And you can tell by my smile that it makes me feel good!

So this is my shout out to Kiki La'Rue.  I don't do this often, because it's not often that places I shop at make such an impact.  But go check her things out.  I'll bet there is something you like.  Try it.  Try her service and her shop.  Then tell her and me what your experience was like!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

191.0; My Goal(s)

Man I hate to say this, but at the same time I need to say it.

Goals.  I need more of them.  Nothing like the impending end of the year to think about goal setting, right?  I mean New Year Resolutions, 2013 Goals, Where Do You Want to Be in 5 Years?  Goals.  To be honest, until I started thinking about losing weight, I never really set formal goals.  That's not to say that I didn't think about where I wanted to be in life.  But I never sat and really wrote them down or told anyone.  Maybe this was the cause of my underachievement?

Pete and I had a discussion over the weekend.  About goals and trying new things and doing new things.  What it came down to for me, is that before him, no one ever encouraged me and I didn't have enough self confidence to try on my own.  My prior roommate did some pushing and encouraging, but I don't know that she did it for the right reasons.

So when I start to think about coming close to my 100 pounds lost...or my 53 pounds in a year...or my muscle definition, I get kind of teary.  Those are big accomplishments and big goals to reach.  Part of me wants to sit in the glory of those goals and live them and bask in the recognition of them.  You know, all safe.  The other part of me wants to really think about what else I can accomplish.  What can I really do if I put my mind to it?

Today I'm 191 pounds.  I've been steadily losing since my last fill in November.  I told Pete this weekend that I'm hoping to be out of the 190's by 1/1/13.  I have been mostly controlling eating and working out less.  I think I can do it.  I know that if I started exercising (damn migraine and exhaustion lately) I could be under 190 easily.  But I also need to know that if I push with unrealistic plans (going to the gym daily, eating only clean foods over the holiday...) I will burn myself out.  I don't need to do that during and already stressful time.

So my goal:  by 1/1/13 be 189 or under.

My 2013 goals?  I'm not sure yet.  I'm about 15 pounds from my goal weight.  I want to run 10K outside without stopping.  I need to get back to regular weekly strength training.  I need to eat better to feel better.  I need to think of some yearly goals for 2013 now that I've found my power. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

191.8; Coke

So remember how I have given up soda/pop?  How I've told you that occassionally I'll have some rootbeer?  My doctor actually told me at my last appointment to start keeping Coke in the house.

Let's back up.  I was a 5-6 can of diet dr pepper drinker for a long tme.  I loved the flavor, the bite of the liquid, the fizzy carbination.  Basically I loved it all.  As a kid my parents let us have pop a lot.  When I was a teen ager it was expensive so we started drinking Vita-Sun from Schwans.  Healthier Koolaid really.  Water?  No thank you.

In college and out of college I kept up my pop habit.  Water?  No thank you.

About 4 years ago now I decided to give up pop for Lent.  Really give it and all carbonated drinks up.  And despite some indulging, I've been successful.  Now when I have about 6 ounces I'm full.  Really bloated from the carbonation an it just doesn't taste good anymore; it tastes like chemicals.

So when I went in last week and explained that I had another episode of sticking food, they told me to drink Coke.  I told them they were nuts.  I couldn't and still can't imagine the carbonation pounding away at the food stuck and banging on the band area harder.  Honestly the thought of taking a sip of Coke while food is stuck makes me want to cry.  But the nurse and the doctor told me to give it a try.

Um, ok.

But then I thought about it and read up on it.  What I failed to remember is that Coke is like battery acid.  It will foam up yes, but it disolves things.  Lots of things.  Then I get all eeked out by the fact that I used to drink this stuff regularly and was really eating away at my body.  Yuk.

I digress.  The fact is I went out and bought a bottle of Coke to keep at home and one for work.  The next time food gets stuck, I'm going to take a small sip and hope for the best (likely with tears in my eyes).  I'll report back if I don't explode from the carbonation and crap.  (it's humor..)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

191.6;Where I'm At

I think (let's hope I don't have to retract this statement) that I'm where I should be with my band.  I think.  I did not get a fill in December so the last fill was from November. I'm also not scheduled to see her again until February.

All along I've been living with this band.  I've waited for the day when I realize that it's really working.  All along I thought that there would be some awakening from the heavens to show me that it's working.  I've wondered and waited for signs like Pete has, thinking that our experiences would be the same.

They're not.

Pete gets a warning hiccup when he's getting full.  I don't.
Pete has to cut everything really tiny.  I don't, but I chew more.
Pete can wait 5 minutes and eat more.  I can't.
Pete can use a piece of bread to get things unstuck.  It just adds to the mass of stuck for me.
Pete is hungry again at meal times.  I've got very little hunger, if any at all.

After the November fill I realized that the band is doing it's job and doing it well.  It's making me not have much hunger, if any at all.  It's making me chew more so that food doesn't get stuck.  It's making me fill up faster and be fuller for longer periods of time.  However,  can still eat more than 1.5 cups depending on the food I'm eating.  But in order to not have bad experiences I have to eat slowly and be mindful of the food I am eating and how I am eating it.

Where I'm still having the issue is the connection between my mind and my body.  My mind craves chocolate and carbs ALL.THE.TIME.  While I may only have 3-4 ounces of fish, 1/2 up of peas and 10 tiny tatortots (my actual dinner last night), by 8:30 I was craving chocolate and Trader Joe's Ginger Cookies.  Did I indulge?  Yes.  I had 5 ginger cookies (they're only an inch across).  I find that if I let myself indulge a bit, it helps from not obsessing and I eat less than if I let it build up to massive cravings.

Am I down a bunch of weight in the last few months?  No.  But I'm not gaining and I'm continuing to lose 1-5 pounds each month.  I'm not concerned about massive amounts of loss any longer.  I'm concerned about living a healthy lifestyle that includes foods good for me and good food.  I'm concerned about living an active lifestyle vs a sedentary lifestyle and one filled with activities and physical activity that I enjoy.  I'm concerned with maintaining the loss that I have and not returning to the bad habits that got me into this position in the first place.  When I take all that into account, I think that I'm doing a pretty good job.

Monday, December 10, 2012

191; The Geography of My Body

A Picture Post.

Just kidding. 

Every girl/woman should know their body.  Partly morbid curiosity and partly self preservation.  When I was younger I didn't want to know my body and by the time it became obvious that I needed to know my body, I was morbidly obese and couldn't see my body.  Neither of which is a good thing.

It occurred to me while I was shaving my legs that the geography of my body has greatly changed.  It took me almost 20 years to become morbidly obese, a day at a time.  It's only been about 2 years of losing close to 100 pounds.  I need to relearn the geography of my body.

The curves and rolls that were once there are gone.  In their place are much more angular and firm slopes.  I have to take care shaving my knees because they're no longer round, but rather boney and rigid.  I have to take care around my ankles because I can easily slice the back of them because it's linear, rather than curved.

I have muscles in my arms and shoulders and back, but still have hanging skin from my triceps.  My butt is much smaller and no longer shelf like, but I have a clear muffin top if I'm not careful about how I swear my pants.  I have smaller waist, hips and legs, but the skin from my thighs prevents me from getting smaller pants.

I still look at a certain top in my closet that is a Gap size large and think that I can't wear it.  Not because it won't fit, but because I'm sure that it's not long enough to cover up my butt.  I pull pants from the rack and can't believe that they will button around my waist. 

My geography is changing and I need to relearn it.  In some ways it's what I expected.  In others, it's nothing that I expected.  I expected less weight and slimmer body, but I did not count on my thighs retaining more skin.  I did not count on the wonderful muscles in my arms, but I also didn't thing I'd have that much skin waving long after I stopped.  And in some ways, I feel as though I learn my geography and in the next instant something changes it and I have to relearn what I have just learned.

So whether you're big or small or in between, I challenge you to think about your body.  Learn it.  Love it as it is and consider how you can change what you have the ability to change.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Fröhlichen St. Nikolaus Tag!

 
Pete is German.  Have I mentioned this?  His mom was German and his Dad was from Georgia (the state, not the country).  He grew up immersed in German culture and language for the first 20 years of his life.  While he went to school on the military base when he was in high school, he went to German schools through middle school.  He worked hard to lose his German accent and now he regrets it.  People would never know that he is German from hearing him speak.  His hears perk up at the sound of German and his eyes light up when he finds someone to converse with.
 
Today is St. Nikolaus Day.  You can read more about this tradition here. 
 
I never grew up with this and had no idea about it until Pete started telling me about his tradtions.  So every year since then, he'd had something in his shoes.  I love seeing the look on his face when he wakes up and sees that I've rememberd.
 
Last weekend we had the nieces & nephew.  Because it was so close to the day, we had St. Nikolaus come to our house Saturday night. 
Nico watching the girls with their shoes.
The kids put their shoe under the tree because we couldn't have them left outside.  They got a bracelet and some chocolates. 
 
Then we went to the GAI in St. Paul.  The kids got to see St. Nikoluas and got free advent calendars with chocolate.  They love those things!
 
Pete with Alison and Grant.
Alison wanted Pete to help her because she thought that St. Nikolaus would talk to her in German.

It was great to see how the kids learned about the German traditions and listened to Pete talk German with the people there. 


Grant, Alison and Allie had a great time at the Germanic American Institute learning about German Christmas.  (so did the adults!)
 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

192.8; Healthy or Yummy?

It's the holiday season.  A time of year that is filled with parties and gatherings and celebrations that mostly revolve around food.  Already I have a few celebrations to attend that require me to bring some type of food.  And it's dilemma.  Do I bring healthy or yummy?

In the past I made the things that I never make myself during the rest of the year.  Things like little smokies, dips with cheeses and mayo, sugary desserts.  It's no secret I love to cook and bake so this time of year is my favorite.

I'm struggling this year.  And honestly it's from external sources.  My admission is that I'm happy and ok with bringing the yummy but not so healthy items to celebrations.  I know that I'll have very little of it because there are other yummy things to have and because I fill up fast.  Yet, the people around me seem to expect that I bring healthy things because I've lost weight.

So I'm struggling.  Do I bring the things that I want, that I never make the rest of the year, that I can indulge a bit in?  Or do I find something healthy that people will expect from me?  I can't decide.  I hope my mind makes it's self up soon...

Monday, December 03, 2012

192; 1 Year

When Pete started losing weight he weighed himself daily.  I didn't. 

I didn't want to be a slave to the scale.  I didn't want to obsess about the number going up or down.  I didn't want to be tied to a number that may not appear.  I didn't want to obsess about eating too much or working out too little.

But a year ago I got serious about my weight and starting the process to get the band placed.  That meant knowing what my body was doing.  So I started weighing myself daily.  First thing when I get up I step on the scale.  I now understand my body's fluctuations more.  I don't stress out as much as I thought I would.  And looking at this record I am reminded of several things:


1.  It's a marathon, not a sprint.  Over a year's time I've lost 53 pounds.
2.  Even when I think I'm not getting anywhere, I really am.
3.  Goals are important.  As I reached one, I moved my goal further along to track progress.
4.  Little ups will come back down if I persevere. 
5.  I CAN DO IT.

53 pounds in a year.  I'm amazed and happy and shocked really that it's so much.  I'm proud and hopeful and excited to continue.  I'm happy. 

So what's your goal in the coming year?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

194.2; I Eat Way To Fast

In the last month I've realized that my issues with my band and eating are due to eating too fast.  We live in the age of fast and instant gratification.  And while I've been following what I need to do since getting my band placed, this is the one thing that I have issues with lately. 

We all know that it takes 20 minutes for the brain to register that you're full.  Remember my post about how my brain is disconnected from my body?  Well it's still disconnected in this way also. 

There are times, like last Sunday, where I spend 2+ hours on a meal.  Several steps to many dishes.  This time it was roasted pork loin with cranberry sauce and bacon in and one it, cranberry sauce, roasted root veggies, beans and cornbread.  Labor intensive, but I loved every minute of it.  But you know what?  It took Pete and I 15 minutes to eat and we were done.  It's such a let down when that happens.  It feels like a lot of work for...nothing or for little reward/

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I can get myself to slow down.  Eating should not be a race.  I need to put my fork down and feel the food in my mouth and taste the food.  I need to eat so that I'm not hungry or have my brain think that I'm hungry and want to hurry and eat.  I need to really think about the food that I'm eating.

I found this Study on Fast Eating.  Listen to what it says about it:


Many people develop these fast-eating habits as children, desperate to get away from the dinner table — it’s amazing how these habits can be carried through to adulthood.’


Their study showed that eating a 690-calorie meal in five rather than 30 minutes induced up to 50 per cent more acid reflux episodes as the digestive tract is overloaded with larger lumps of food, prompting an overload of stomach acid.



Over a number of months sufferers can develop gastroesophagul reflux disease, linked with more serious problems including a narrowing of the oesophagus, bleeding, or the pre-cancerous condition Barrett’s oesophagus.



Eating too fast also contributes to wind and general discomfort, says Dr David Forecast, consultant gastroenterologist at the London Clinic and St Mark’s Hospital in London.



‘You’ll be gulping down large quantities of air, which can cause some discomfort in your digestive tract,’ he adds.
It makes sense.  I remember trying to eat fast as a kid so I could leave, or so we could go to whatever activity we had scheduled or whatever.  What I should and need to do is be like the Europeans and linger over my food.  Enjoy my food for a long period of time.  Not gobble it up. (sorry I had to put it in.  it is close to Turkey Day...)

Monday, November 19, 2012

194; Running in Heels

As a kid I dreamed of wearing those high heels that I saw my Grandma and Mom in sometimes.  I'd prance around on my tip toes and walk around as though I had heels on.

As a teen, heels really weren't in fashion.  And I was already the tallest girl ever at 5'6".  Who wanted to wear heels when you were already towering over the boys? 

In early adulthood my feet hurt.  I had this awesome sage green suit and tan strappy heels that perfectly matched it.  I'd wear it to interviews and pay for it later.  My feet would ache.  The balls of my feet would scream with each step.

For most of my 20s and 30's I wore flat shoes or small wedge style 1 inch heels.  Not that I had all these great places to wear heels, but still I'd have loved to have the option. 

About 2-3 months ago I started dressing up for work more often.  What I've found is that I fit better in dress clothes currently than casual clothes.  Weird, but true.  So I wear dress pants, camis and cardigans; dress pants and soft turtleneck sweats; dress pants and flowy chiffon tops.  But with those things I wear heels.  2 inch heels.  Granted, they're stacked heels, not spike heels, but still heels.  I feel girly and professional and good.

In the last couple of weeks I've noticed that by the end of the day I can't tell if I was wearing heels or not.  And, more often than not, I reach for those heels and try to make them work with the causal pants that I have. 

It's a little thing, but one that makes me smile.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

193.4; Disconnected Brain

One of my co-workers had the Roux-N-Y surgery 4 weeks ago.  This is what people traditionally know as gastric bypass surgery.  They take your stomach out, create a pouch the size of your thumb and attach it to your small intestines.  He chose this for various reasons that I won't get into, because it's his story and he's not here to tell it. 

He returned to work yesterday about 36 pounds lost in 4 weeks.  He looks great and aside from trying to relearn how to eat, he feels great.  His learning to eat is vastly different from mine.  Yet we still share some common issues.  For instance there are times that I have to make myself drink water later in the day.  I feel so full from eating for so long, that I don't have the urge to drink.  He has the same issue.

(hold on while I take a huge gulp of my water)

We were talking yesterday about how the brain is so disconnected from the body.  He had a period of time where he was so tired of the soup that made up his whole diet that he didn't 'eat' for 2 days.  Our other co-worker was shocked that he didn't eat and asked him if he was hungry?

Now let me explain that this is an honest question.  It seems logical, right?  But in reality hunger is mostly gone for me and all gone for him.  His body does not signal him to eat, he has to remind himself to eat at times.  I can do the same.  There are weekends when I'll be busy with errands and groceries and other things and realize at dinner time that I haven't eaten anything. 

However, both his brain and my brain continually tell us to indulge.  It tells you to eat.  So snack.  To get that pizza.  To gorge on the chocolate.  But your body does not want it.  It's painfully obvious to me now, how disconnected by body is from my brain.  It wasn't just that my body wasn't signalling correctly, it's that my brain had no intention of reading my body's signals.

My brain & body have been so disconnected for so long, that there was no hope of them coming together without outside help.  This is powerful stuff.  This realization.  Even now I struggle with that brain disconnect telling me to eat.  I don't need it and don't want it but my brain, it's a superpower of the body and it makes it plainly clear that it has a goal. 

So while the band is a tool, it's my brain that I need to retrain. I need to learn to ignore my brain for now and listen to my body.  It's my body that I need to be accountable to, not the brain. 

Is your body connected to your brain well when it comes to food?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

194.0; Self Magazine

Over the weekend I had a chance to catch up on the magazines that I read.  I should say that I had a chance to pick up my Nook and read.  Then I saw all the magazines that I decided to subscribe to, but never read.  I mean I had great intentions, but I skip months here and there.  It's likely whey I stopped the paper subscriptions long ago...

Anyway, I was reading about running and working out and eating right and dieting.

One of the articles was citing ways that women lose weight and how they're successful.  A study from Penn State figured out that dieters who visit websites/blogs with tips from real people who lost weight tend to lose more weight themselves.  Very interesting.  It reminds me of how your Mom can tell you something all day long, but you don't believe it yourself until it actually happens to you. 

An expect can tell me how and has told me how to lose weight.  Yet, I wanted to hear it from someone who actually did it.  Someone who has been where I was.  Someone who understands the struggle.  I think that's why I used the internet to find support and help and motivation for weight loss.

Another study found that eating more protein earlier in the day may reduce cravings later on.  I'm not sure how that works.  I can't say that I've noticed a difference.  But I could try only having protein based breakfasts and see what happens.  But interesting was that those who didn't eat breakfast were 65% more likely to eat fat based snacks at night.  So breakfast is important in getting your day started right and does have lasting impact throughout the day!

Friday, November 09, 2012

197.4; Friday Five

1.  It's Friday.  Whew.

2.  It's a long weekend for me thanks to the Veterans who served. 

3.  I have no plans for this weekend, other than my office.  And even that is iffy.  I kind of like the no plans.

4.  In an effort for full disclosure, Pete and I ate 2 chococlate cakes since Tuesday.  Not big cakes, but cakes.  I bought one when I was looking for dinner ideas.  Pete had the same idea and bought one himself on the way home.  Therefore we each ate an 8 inch chococlate cake in 3 days. I may have had a piece of cake for lunch one day.

5.  I'm breathing.  I'm trying to live in grace.  I'm trying to just BE right now.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

198; Another Fill

I am at 9.75 out of 11 cc's in my band.  It's pretty full.

I'm still in a funk.  I say that like I think that acknowledging it means that it will go away soon.  Very soon.  Like tomorrow.  But I don't think that is going to happen.  Fake it 'til you make it.  At least that is what I've been telling myself.  And yet, I haven't gone to the gym in a week.  I'm hiding at home, in my bed, with my husband and my dog.

Don't worry, it's happened before and I'll come out of it.  But until I do, I just need to let it ride out.  It will come to a head.  I will likely cry my eyes out in the shower or scream while I dry my hair.  Or both. 

I moved my office today.  Since June I've been in a different office at work because I had computer issues.  I've been in limbo.  And I let myself live there thinking that by this time I'd be teleworking and limbo in the office wouldn't matter.  Only I'm not going to telework right now.  So I put in for my office phone change and I started walking my things down the hall.  Usually when I'm in a funk, some good cleaning & organizing pulls me out.  It's like it signals a fresh start. 

My office set up...so far.
I work in a 100+ year old building.  My old office and this new office have dormer windows that are really cool from the inside.  My office is huge.  Really big.  But I like feeling cozy so I make a desk space and try to scatter the rest of my things around the office. 

I'm going to finish moving things this weekend with Pete's help.  Then I'm going to fill up that fish tank to give me some happy at work. 

Then I'm going to breathe.  Just breathe.  And try to live in grace and ride this out.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

198.0; Still Here

I'm struggling.  Maybe it's time time changes.  Maybe it's the lack of sun and warmth.  Maybe I've been taking on too much for too long.  Maybe it's the stress at work.  Maybe it's hormonal.  Maybe it's the lack of fresh veggies & fruits from summer.  Maybe it's a combination of all of it.

Sunday night I had insomnia.  I believe it was about 2 am when I finally felt tired enough to fall asleep.  Monday morning I don't remember my alarm going off.  When I did get out of bed, my head hurt so much that I knew I couldn't go to work.  So I took the migraine meds and tried to relax.  I never could fall back asleep.  In the afternoon I headed to the dentist for the crown on my crappy tooth.  That only added to my headache by having to hold my mouth open.

Today I found out that I didn't get the position that I applied for a few weeks back.  I know, not that big a deal in the scheme of things.  But does it make it worse when I tell you that out of the 6 of us in my unit, I was the only one that actually applied for the job and I still didn't get it. 

Yes, my headache is back.  My back is sore from laying around.  I have no will to work right now.

What I want is my husband and puppy to cuddle with.  My warm heated blanket.  My Tivo filled with reality shows.  A good mexican chipolte burrito bowl with no meat.  And finally a fudgey choccolate cupcake with fudgey frosting.  Oh, and some root beer.  Barqs rootbeer.

Friday, November 02, 2012

197.2: Friday Fives

1.  I've had it up to -HERE- with work lately.  Without saying too much, there is a decision that has been dragging on for 2 months.  And while anxiety over newness is good and natural, 2 months of anxiety is horrible. 

2.  I plan on cleaning my house this weekend.  I need some aggression out and some clean-ness to take over my life right now (see #1).

3.  I rented RedBox for the first time in oh about a year.  Pete and I used to lay in bed and watch Blue-Rays on our big TV with great sound a lot.  But we have not done this in a long time.  Popcorn and everything.

4.  My sister turns 40 on Sunday. 
Happy Birthday Kim!  (I feel even older now that she is in her 40's also!)

5.  I'm looking for a source for 5x7 or about that size, spiral bound notebooks with colored pages.  Any sources for me?  I've looked everywhere locally, Target/Walmart stores, BN/Book stores, Office Depot/Max stores....  I use spiral bound notebooks for work to keep me organized and I'd love a colored one to brighten my day.

p.s.  Still trying to remind myself to live in Grace.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

197.2: Grace

GRACE: (from the Free Dictionary)
grace (grs)
n.
1. Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.
2. A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.
3. A sense of fitness or propriety.
4.
          a. A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.
          b. Mercy; clemency.
5. A favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence.
6. A temporary immunity or exemption; a reprieve.
7. Graces Greek & Roman Mythology Three sister goddesses, known in Greek mythology as Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, who dispense charm and beauty.
8.
          a. Divine love and protection bestowed freely on people.
          b. The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God.
          c. An excellence or power granted by God.
9. A short prayer of blessing or thanksgiving said before or after a meal.
10. Grace Used with His, Her, or Your as a title and form of address for a duke, duchess, or archbishop.
11. Music An appoggiatura, trill, or other musical ornament in the music of 16th and 17th century England.
_______________________________________________________
 
I am trying to live in Grace.  For a long time I didn't understand when people said that they were trying to live gracefully.  But I get it.  I'm trying to live in Grace for myself.  Generous not only to others, but to myself.  Living effortless in that I don't sweat the small stuff.  Indulging others because it makes me happy to see them happy.  Giving others immunity from judgement and myself also.  Loving others along with myself (no matter how hard I struggle to do so sometimes).  Protecting others from harm, if I'm able and making sure that I'm protecting myself at the same time. 
 
For such a small word, there is a lot going on.  And I'm trying to live every day in Grace and remember those attributes.  Sometimes I struggle.  Sometimes I fail.  But I start the next day attempting the same idea.  Grace.
 
_____________________________________________________
 
If you have a short minute, please say a prayer for my Grandma Phyllis.  She's in her upper 80's (A lady doesn't tell her age! *wink*).  Today she is having shoulder surgery to make her more comfortable and give her some range of motion back. 
 
Grandma Phyllis with her newest Great Grandson Mateo.
She's a feisty lady who I admire for many reasons.  She's determined that none of her Grandkids come see her at the hospital because it's a drive into the city.  She's demanding of my Mom and Aunt for after surgery and her stay at a nursing home for rehab.  But she's got character and I love her more than I really admit.  So if you could say a prayer that surgery is successful and that she is well watched over in the next few weeks, I'd appreciate it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

196.4; It's Winter & I'm Cold

Really the title says it all.  I've developed Pete's syndrome of being cold ALL.THE.TIME.  Friday I didn't want to get out of bed, but I did.  I spent the day off running errand after errand.  When I got home I jumped back in bed and turned that heated blanket on high.  I had a hard time again getting out of bed to get ready for date night.  Then I again followed Pete and took a HOT shower for about 15 minutes, with the door closed, to get warm.  Today, I have a sweater on and my office heater.  Plus hot coffee and anything else I can think of.

Want to know the worst part of all this?  I'm cold all day and evening.  Multiple heated blankets and everything to get warn.  When I lay down to try and actually sleep, I am HOT AS HELL.  Damn perimenopause.  I sleep most of the night with very little covers while Pete is holed up under 12 layers like an Eskimo.  I knew that I'd get cold when I lost weight.  But I thought that my hot flashes would counteract this and I'd be ok in the middle.  No such luck.

I c-hosted a baby shower this weekend.  Got some wonderful baby snuggles in and I am satisfied until I can snuggle again at Thanksgiving.  I saw family that I really haven't seen since May.  I do have to mention that I was rocking my new-to-me Silver jeans ($25 at Clothes Mentor than-you-very-much), a new black belt, a White long sleeve shirt (medium - YES!) and I black vest (medium again - YES!) with a cute scarf and tall black heels.  I felt AWESOME and for the first time I think EVER in fashion and at a size that I feel ok about.  I got comments about how great I looked from lots of family.  It felt good.

But.  And you knew there was a but in there somewhere, right?  At one point my aunt took me aside and told me how good I look.  When I told her that I was down 90+ pounds from my heaviest she congratulated me.  Then I told her that I'm about 20 pounds from my goal.  She told me not to lose anymore weight.  I inwardly sighed and immediately heard my voice in my head telling Pete something similar.  I now understand his frustration with everyone telling him not to lose anymore weight, somewhat. 

My goal has always get to 175 and see where I look.  Maybe I'll get there and think that I look great and try to maintain.  Maybe I'll think that it's too much and gain some back.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll decide that I want to lose more.  Who knows.  But I haven't wavered from that goal this whole time.  And yet, to others I look "ok" right now.  I understand now that my goal is what it is.  And no matter what people say at this point, I'm going to keep working towards the goal.  When I get to that goal I'm going to 1.  Assess my body shape.  2. Talk with my primary care doctor and my bariatric doctor about how I look and my BMI, fat percentage and muscle percentage.  3.  I'm going to listen to those around me and see what they have to say about how I look.  Then I 'll decide where to go from there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

199.0; Body Anger

I'm mad at my body.  I'm mad at it for teasing me with little things here and there and then taking it away.  I'm mad that it can't just continue in a nice downward trend.  I'm mad that I can't seem to get a handle on my body.  I'm mad that it fluctuates so much.  I'm mad that I...

Really I'm mad at myself.  My whole self.  I know what I need to do to lose weight and I know that it's not a quick process.  And even more so I don't want it to be a quick progress.  I know that I will get to where I want to be, but I have to submit to what I need to do. 

The reality is that it's so hard to keep up new things.  I know that I need to exercise 60 minutes at least 5 times a week.  I know that I need to eat small/sensible meals.  I know that life does not exist on cake and crap.  I know this.  My brain knows this.  My body has a hard time complying sometimes.  It's life.  It's bound to happen. 

What I need to do is start getting to sleep at a more decent time than 11:30 and getting all night sleep instead of broken crappy sleep.  I know that I need to get my ASS out of bed, no matter how tired I am and re-establish that pattern of regular exercise.  I know that I need to quit eating everything in sight.

I know these things.  All of them.  Now I need to put them into practice.  And I need to forgive myself for the things that I do and realize they are normal and part of the process.

Monday, October 22, 2012

199.8; And Damn Frustrated About It

My body seems to be doing weird things.  A couple of weeks ago I got down to 192.  And I don't know that I did much to do that, other than continue with what I was doing.

2 weeks later I'm up 7 pounds.  I'm not eating differently or exercising differently.

I am really trying to figure this out.  I spent 2 hours at the gym Friday for running & Body Pump.  Then Saturday I ran 7 miles.  I should say I fought hard and for 94 minutes to get that 7 miles in, but I did it.  Longest run ever. 

I didn't go to the gym yesterday.  But I rarely sat down.  I got up in the morning, body sore and telling me not to go to the gym, that I needed a rest day.  So I grocery shopped, cleaned & organized the kitchen, cleaned and organized the garage, cleaned and organized the hall closet.  Then I cooked dinner and ate.  I crocheted for about 40 minutes.  Then I cleaned the bathroom upstairs.  When I went to bed I was tired from all the movement.

199.8.  I'm almost back up to 200.  Can I blame it on my body?  I've been having an irregular cycle.  I went to the doctor who put me on birth control pills to help regulate my cycle.  Ever since I started those my hormones are all out of whack (crying and happy) and I've gained this weight.  While I want a regular cycle, am I willing to put up with the irregular so that I'm not gaining weight?  Or do I really need a fill to get me to slow down and eat less? 

~ signed the frustrated woman.

Friday, October 19, 2012

198: Friday Five

1.  I am determined to lose the 5 pounds that the medication made me gain.  So it was a 2.5 mile run and 1 hour Body Pump this morning.  100 calories goodbye!!

2.  I have a 31 Gifts party to go to tonight.  I am in love with the bright cheery bags and I'm hoping to see the new patterns.

3.  My Mom gifted me with her Keriug Machine yesterday.  Long story short, she got a new one and her old one broke.  The company sent her a new 'old' one and she gave me that.  I have K-Cups up the wazoo and need to figure out how to store them for short term and long term in my wee little kitchen.  Which in turn makes me want to organize the kitchen more.  It's a good thing though.

4.  Pete and I need a good old fashioned date night. 

5.  My goal is to go to the gym every day for 7 days straight.  I'm making it public here and now.  Call me on it next Friday, deal?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

197.

I'm up again and I don't like it.

I started a new medication last week and since then I've gained weight.  It's frustrating.  But it really shows that weight loss surgery is not a quick fix.  It's a long term change in patterns that you need to sustain.

This will not stop me.  I will persevere. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

195.6; Not Gonna Lie, It's Hard

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. 

When I first started thinking about losing weight it seemed so insurmountable.  I was at my heaviest 285 pounds.  I knew that I needed to lose over 100 pounds.  It's such a huge number!  For a long time I let that huge number sway me from even starting.  I kept thinking there was no way I could lose over 100 pounds, so why try?  Why start?

But then I started reading weight loss stories on the internet.  I remember reading one on Two Peas NSBR.  I can't remember the specific story or the details or who it was.  What I do remember is that it took her over a year to lose the weight that she had.  That's when I wondered where I'd be at that time if I started a year before?  Would I have lost 100 pounds?  50 pounds?  Could I really do this?

I ended up reading a lot on the internet about weight loss.  One of the things that jumped out was to set small goals.  Lose 5 pounds in a month.  Exercise 20 out of 30 days in a month.  Track food intake for 30 days.  Small goals.  I realized that if I set enough small goals, they would add up over time.  I also realized that if I didn't reach them I could keep going.  Even if I didn't reach my goal for that time frame, I had made progress and done something good for me, why would I stop?

So here I am, 90+ pounds down in 2 years and I can look back at my journey so far.  I can see that I have made progress.  I can look back and see that I'm almost to the top of the mountain.  I can see that the journey that seemed insurmountable, really isn't.

My point is, don't let the big goal deter you from setting out on the journey.  Don't think about the big goal, think about small, realistic, short term goals.  Reward yourself sometimes when you reach them.  They will all add up.  Maybe not to what you had envisioned, but to something good. 

Start now.  In a year you will look back as I am doing now and realize that it is worth it.  Do it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

195.2; I Can See Me

Sunday morning I got up about 6:30 and started my day.  I couldn't sleep any longer and Pete had a migraine.  Staying in bed was frustrating for me and hurting him.  I got my gym clothes on.  New ones at that.  A size smaller in sports bras (medium) and shirts (medium) AND pants (large).  I strapped on the heart rate monitor and headed downstairs.

There, I packed up my Trader Joe's reusable grocery bags.  I love the large wide bags that they have for groceries.  They work well at Costco too.  I grabbed my water bottle and headed out.  The gym wasn't anything special.  In fact, I was irritated because mid-run a trainer came up and started talking to me.  I couldn't do intervals while talking and I ended up walking for a mile in the middle of my run.  I still got 5 miles in, but it was a choppy, hard run.

Afterwards I took this photo in my suv.

Post run glow complete with Harley hat!
I stopped and stared at me.  I'm not a cute-post-run-girl.  I exercise ugly, complete with sweat, bright red face, no make up and matted hair.  But this?  It was like looking into myself.  I don't know how else to explain it.  Without the make up and hair, I look like me when I was a kid.  And it made me cry.  An ugly, hiccup cry.  For years I was hiding me under all that extra weight.  It was my protector, my excuse, but I was hiding me.  I am sad for that woman who lost all that time hiding when she should have been flying on a high of life. 

But you know what?  I have freed her.  She flies today.  Maybe not as high as she wants to yet, but she flies.  I foresee lots of flying in her future.  More happiness, less sadness.  More exploring the world and less watching it go by.  More true joy.  JOY.

This morning I took out my baby photo.  I wanted to see if I was really seeing me as a kid or was it my imagination.  Can you see it?

Me at about 2.  Ignore the fact that my Mom wrapped the photo in plastic wrap to preserve it. 
 Or is it just me?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

195.2; The YMCA

About a month ago I walked into the Y at 5am and was greeted by someone other than the usual front desk associate.  Her name was Kristie and she smiled at me.  Then she asked if there was sometime we could get together in the following week.  I asked why and she told me that Pete had nominated me to be the member of the month. 

I cried.  At 5am, with no make up and my hair pulled into sloppy ponytail, swinging my green water bottle and juggling my keys and ID card.  I cried.  At the front desk.  We made arrangements to talk later in the week and I went upstairs to work out.  Before I started on cardio I texted Pete that he made me cry and told him I loved him.

October Elk River YMCA Member of the Month!
Kristi and I talked for about 30 minutes.  See that photo in the upper left hand corner?  When she got to that she asked who those people are.  I was speechless and then answered that it was Pete and I before we started losing weight.  It was her turn to be speechless.  To think that she didn't recognize me when I was sitting right in front of her.  That's mind blowing.  And today I was in a different building for work and I had 2 people who I used to work with daily tell me that they didn't recognize me.  I can't imagine it and I can't see it in myself.

While Kristi and I talked I gave much credit to Pete for so many reasons.  What I'm recognizing now is that while our journeys are different, our paths are close enough that we understand each other.  We know when to support and when to kick the other's ass.  We know when to back off and just let it be and when to stick our nose in.  We know when to encourage and how to encourage.  Having this person not only be my weight loss/work out buddy, but my best friend and my husband too?  It's priceless.  I can't imagine doing it without him.

I also gave credit to the internet blogs and sites that I've come across along the way.  I know that I've talked about them before and there are lots of various ones that I've visited.  The ones that I visit most often are:

Prior Fat Girl she is the one that started it for me.  Seeing and hearing that she did it made me wonder if I could do it also.

Twelve In Twelve hearing her talk about running 12 races in 12 months made me think I could do that also!

Mama Laughlin she says it like it is and doesn't mince words.  Her journey is vastly different than mine, but I appreciate the differentness of it and learned to embrace the things that could work for me.

Dessert For Two Ok, OK!  I know this isn't a weight loss blogger.  But when I love to bake and crave something sweet, I'd much rather make it for 2 than for 20.  I'm not tempted by the other 18 servings.

Fat Little Legs I met this nice woman at a blogger event and was so thankful I did.  Reading her struggles and seeing how far she had come, made me realize that I needed to just go with my journey.  I needed to work my own plan to get my results.

Grace 2882 Again, way different journey.  She is diabetic and controls it through food.  I don't necessarily want to cut all my carbs so her recipes are great ideas for me to start with and add to. 

Kris Gets Healthy  this woman is a fighter.  She is going to battle that weight and give it heck every waking moment.  Her honesty strikes a cord in me. 

Coffee With Sabrina  She and I mirror each other often.  (makes me sound like a weird stalker, but I'm not)  The issues that she has and writes about will sometimes be the same things that I'm feeling and going through.  She just ran her first big race and I can't wait to find a race to sign up for.

There are more.  Some that I read that are no longer online and writing.  Some that have moved their blogs or made them private.  While Pete and I go through this together, he's not a girl.  And sometimes I just needed to read another girl's experiences and be supported by a female. 

All this to say, that I would never ever have accomplished 90+ pounds of weight loss without support in one way or another.  I think one reason that people (me included) failed at losing weight previously is that we did not have the right support system.  The YMCA?  it's part of my support system and I can't imagine doing this without that place and those people.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

195.2: No Fill

Yesterday was my October appointment with my surgeon.  And it was the first month since surgery that I haven't gotten a fill.  It was weird walking out without getting a fill.  Really weird.  According to their scale I've lost 6 pounds in the last month. Clearly I was ok with not getting a fill.  To be honest I think I could have asked for a small fill and she would have given it to me.  But I want to see how this month goes without it.

Do you have a Clothes Mentor near you? (they have no idea I am plugging them!)  If you do check them out.  Seriously.  On Saturday I spent 6 hours looking for a pair of modern jeans that fit me for pictures.  6 hours.  When I got home Pete asked me what I got.  I showed him the 1 pair of jeans and he said, "That's it?  That's all you got?"  You should have seen my angry face. 

I've exhausted all of the regular places I shop:  JCPenny, Kohls, Target, Walmart, Old Navy, Gap, Costco...  I found a great pair of jeans that are modern looking with stitching details and pocket decorations at Maurices.  But I have a hard time paying $70 for something that I may not be able to wear in a month.  A friend told me about Clothes Mentor and told me to check them out.  So I did.

(can you hear angels singing?)

The place was awesome.  Rows and rows of gently used clothing that is like new and for about 60% less than what it retails for.  I spent over an hour there trying on tops and bottoms.  There were several things that I liked, but didn't get for various reasons.  I want to really love my wardrobe, not just like it.  So if I wasn't in the "gotta have it" camp, it went back.  Right away I found a Harley button down shirt for $14.  It retailed for $55 last year.  I know because I tried it on in the Harley shop.  I found a flowy, dressy work shirt for $5.  Score. 

I must have tried on 8 different pair of jeans and none of them fit perfectly.  Lucky brand, Silvers and Joe's.  None of them were over $30 a pair and they retail for close to or over $100.  I didn't even get into trying on work pants because I was on the mission for jeans.  But guess where I'm going to Friday?  I'm going to go through the 2 bags of clothes that I have for the Goodwill and take out the gently used items.  They usually pay you about 30-40% of what you paid for items.  Then I'm going to shop.  To my heart's content.

So seriously, if you've never checked them out, try our a Clothes Mentor.

As for the jeans?  I ended up at the outlet mall in Eddie Bauer.  Me.  I fit into a size 14 Eddie Bauer jeans and they are wonderful!  The best part is that they were $29 on sale.  I now have modern looking jeans that fit from a regular store.  Hard work.  It pays off.

Monday, October 08, 2012

194.2; My First "Real" 5K...Kind Of

14 years ago my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  (Have you had a mammogram this year?  If not SCHEDULE ONE NOW!)  Our family became involved in raising money for both Susan Komen and American Cancer Society.  We did the Race For the Cure a few times and the Relay For Life.  Both involve activity, mainly walking.  I believe that the first year we did this, between the walk from the car and the 1 Mile walk I was worn out.  The mile walk took us over 35 minutes.  The Relay For Life involves someone from your team walking all night long on a track.  We'd switch off and walk a mile at a time.  I was so sore from walking about 5-8 miles in a night. 

I never ever imagined that I could call myself a runner, let alone someone who regularly exercised.  I had given up.  I had decided that I would always be overweight and there was nothing I could do about it.  I had totally given up.  This awakening of getting healthy and losing weight really is a life saving event.  I can't imagine how my future has been altered by the good changes that I've made, but I hope they're good ones.

My sister Kim, my 10 year old niece Alison and I.
2 weekends ago I 'ran" a 5K with my sister and my niece.  I say ran in quotes because really my sister and I walked fast.  My back was sore and she wasn't in condition to run. My niece finished in 40 minutes with running and walking parts of it.  Afterwards we took this photo and I didn't think much of it.

When I looked at the photo last week I realized how much I had changed.  People often confuse my sister and I for each other.  We are 2.5 years apart, but look very similar, especially when I have my hair curly.  But I can see from this photo how much I've really changed.  My neck is smaller.  That's the first thing I noticed.  The second thing that I noticed is that I ALWAYS stand sideways in photos!  It's habit from being overweight and trying to make myself appear smaller.  I want to start standing full on that camera and owning my new body.

The third thing?  Never would I have imagined myself getting up on a Saturday to run/walk with my family.  Never would I have imagined that it would be fun to walk and catch up with my sister.  Never would I have imagined I'd be hearing my niece ask me to find a race in the spring that she could do with Pete and I and run the whole thing.  These are things that I never would have thought would enter my life even 4 years ago.

It's photos like this that make me realize how far I've come.

Friday, October 05, 2012

193.4; Friday Five

1.  I realized today that I've been labeling this Friday Five(S) when really there are only one set of five.  Oh well.

2.  We are photography jinxed.  And this year was no different.  So we are no scheduled to have photos taken Sunday after the first official hard freeze and potentially after a night of snow.  Initially I was thinking warm on the first weekend it was planned.  Then last weekend I changed outfits to cooler.  Now I think I'm set on snowsuits for us and the dog.  (kidding - kind of )

3.  As if photo day take 3 isn't already stressful, I have plans int he morning and a motorcycle club meeting in the afternoon.  Help me.

4.  If I don't chicken out, I'm getting an itty bitty teeny tiny tattoo on Sunday.  Help me.  I'm scared poopless.

5.  This has been a stressful week at work.  Busy plus changes are in the works and no one has said what the changes will be.  My initial thought is that I could use a greasy burger, fries, a beer and chocolate cake tonight.  In reality I may just settle for good for me food and crochet. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

194.6; Are we just cheap?

Date night was last night.  Pete and I got on his motorcycle and let the wind hit our faces and the sun on our shoulders.  Yesterday in Minnesota it was almost 80.  Today it's not getting out of the 40's.  Typical swing season time. 

We had a hard time deciding where to go but ended up at Texas Roadhouse.  We each dove into a pillowy roll, mine with butter and Pete's plain.  Then we ordered.  It's the same thing that we get there all the time.  8 ounce Dallas fillet, house salad with no dressing and fries...to share.

Here's where the weirdness starts.  And I get it, really I do.  Had you asked me 3 years ago about adults "sharers" I would have rolled my eyes.  Obviously they can't afford a meal for each of them.  Right?  They're so cheap, they probably ate before going to the restaurant and only order one meal to save money.  They have to be hungrier than that, right?

What's that old saying?  Don't judge until you've walked a mile in their shoes.

Because Pete and I get that cheap, low class, weird stare every time we do this.  Whether it's at Texas Roadhouse or Ruth Chris Steakhouse.  I almost want to explain that we've both had surgery and can't/aren't supposed to eat more than abut 1.5-2 cups of food.  But really, even if I explain, people walk away shaking their heads.  How do I know.  I tried it.  Yep.  I tried explaining this at a very fancy steakhouse not to long ago and got the weird stink eye.  So I stopped trying to explain.  I figure it's none of their business.

Then there are the places that have on their menus "no splitting plates" or "$15 split plate charge".  Really?  I understand it's a pain to get weird orders.  But we can't be the only ones doing this if they have that on their menu.  And we never ask them to actually split our food.  I'd rather admire the chef's beautifully presented plate and actually share one romantic plate sitting next to Pete than pay $15 for another plate to split it halvsies.  And on more than one occasion, Pete's ordered dinner and I've asked for nothing so we could eat our little 1.5 cups without taking home well over one leftover meal.  Then he just gives me bites.  Romantic, huh?

So are we cheap?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

195.6; Is It Still Ok To Call Someone Fat?

Have you seen this:  Bully Calls News Woman Fat?

Sometimes I feel like calling someone fat is the last class of people that are 'ok' to prey upon.  If I hear someone say "that's so gay." I call them on it.  It's not right and they need to think about what they're really saying.  If I hear someone use the work 'retarted' I again call them on it.  It's not a descriptor for something and it's not nice to call someone with a disability names.

Yet, I've heard people call me fat.  I've been told that I wouldn't likely be hired as my current job title because I was "so large".  I've heard people call overweight persons 'fat' in a derogatory manner.  Why is this still ok?  And if you tell me that it's not happening, I'm here to tell you that I heard it this week.  If you're telling me that it's not ok in your area, I want to know where you live and if you call people on it.

I think the internet is the cause for a lot of this name calling.  It's anonymous.  No one has to do it face to face.  And often people are 'protected' with no way to track them down.  It's made a generation of people who don't think and don't think that what they're talking about has real world implications.  That it's not abstract, there is a real person on the other end.  They simply don't see that.

When I was a kid, if I called someone a name, I was in big trouble.  But I see actions from parents lately that are horrible at kids sports games.  They call the other team names, they make fun of them...all in front of their own kids.  What are the kids taking from this?  It's ok to do that.  But it's not.  It's simply not.

When you use a derogatory name for someone, it's a real person.  Understand that words do have power. Know when to say something, how to say it and when to say it. 

And lastly, be kind.  EVERYONE has struggles and needs a kind word at times.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

195.2; Body Changes

Have you ever heard a woman say or said yourself:  "I gain 3 pounds with my period and I'm bloated."

(sorry if there are any men reading this.)

I heard it all the time in my teens and in college.  Even as an adult I heard women say this.  And I never understood it.  How can you know that your body reacted that way to your period?  I never felt bloated or gained weight. 

This month I had 2 periods.  (Lucky me, huh?)  I believe I'm in perimenopause and have been for a while.  Night sweats like crazy, hot flashes and other symptoms lead me in that direction.  Unfortunately I can't judge if I'm there by my mother's and grandmother's starting ages.  They both had forced menopause with chemo from breast cancer.

The first one went as usual.  PMS, salty, sweet, chocolate and irritability.  Normal for me.

The second one?  I gained 3 pounds and felt my tummy area more fat feeling.

It's the strangest situation to realize that being overweight lead me to miss cues from my body.  I never realized the weight gain because I was so big that 3 pounds never made a difference in my clothes.  My tummy area was already so fat, that I missed the feeling when the weight came on.

I thought about trying to explain this to Pete, but he'd just shake his head and smile at me.  Men don't really get it.  But other women get it.  And now I get it too.

Friday, September 28, 2012

196.0; Friday Fives

1.  I'm really doing the 5K this weekend.  I mean I confirmed with my sister that I have the right weekend this time and everything.

2.  My back is sore.  I need to figure out how to heal it as quickly as I can.  I hate not working out right now.

3.  Sunday Pete and I are having photos taken.  Some with the bikes and some without.  Some all bikered up and some without.  I can't wait and hope that they are awesome!

4.  Grocery shopping.  I'll take more about this next week, but we've been "eating our fridge" before I shop again.  It's nice to see it all empty and then filled up with good food again.

5.  I really really really want my first "cool" pair of jeans from Maurices.  You know the kind, bling on the pockets, cool seams and distressed.  I'm just having a hard time paying $56 for something that I might be too big in a month.  We'll see if I can talk myself into them this weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

197.0; The Mall

Last night Pete and I headed to where we first met.  Mall of America.

We had dinner, gellato.  We walked around and we made this bear.  The bear is pretty cute.  We were going to biker it up, but they didn't have the leather jackets any more in the store.  So we put him in leiderhosen.  As a tribute to all the German traditions we had at the wedding. 

Very fun night.

But what occurred to me as we were walking around was this:  I can shop in any store there.  I fit into any of the clothing that they have in the various stores.  I'm no longer limited to the few plus sized stores and watching as friends/family try on clothes in other stores.  This was an awesome feeling.

PS.  Pulled a muscle in my back this morning running.  Not sure how.  But I stopped immediately when just walking hurt.  Now, hours later I'm in pain.  It's spasming and doesn't feel very good.  I'm stiff to sit and walking hurts...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

198; Baking vs Shoes

I've been slacking.  Oh, sure I had my excuses.  I worked out at the gym 2 1/2 weeks ago and realized afterwards that I needed new shoes desperately.  I knew this because my foot hurt so badly for 2 days that I could hardly walk.  I couldn't do cardio and despise the bike and can't do Body Pump.  So I didn't go. 

I went that weekend and got shoes.  I know that I've said this before, but shoe shopping for me is hard.  I want all the cute pink and green and orange shoes, but they do not want my feet.  So I end up with the sturdy shoes that are ugly and big.  Usually the top of the line in New Balance.  But this time I decided to try Brooks again.  They've worked in the past and I wanted to try something different.  So they came out in all their AQUA glory and my mind sang!  I tried them on and they fit.  I wondered to the sales girl if I needed the wide, because I usually get the wide and she said she thought I didn't need it in this brand.  Angels sang and I went home with cute shoes!

Guess what?  After running two days in a row my feet hurt again.  Damn pretty shoes and their allure.  The thing is that the store closes at 6pm and I can't physically get there after work in traffic to exchange them.  So it had to wait until Sunday.

In those two weeks I've been baking up a storm.  Pumpkin scones, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting....  Oh yes, fall baking.  And will fall baking comes fall eating.  So I indulged.  Because I'm good an indulging only a little and maintaining weight.  But here's the thing, Pete's not a fan of that baking.  So guess who are 3/4 of a recipe of scones?  And 2/3 of a recipe of pumpkin cupcakes?  Me.

Sunday night I planned to workout every day this week.  But Sunday night I didn't have insomnia meds and was up every 15 minutes, unable to stay asleep.  So I didn't work out on Monday.  Tuesday I got up and my eye had been giving me so many troubles I went into see the doctor.  (see what I did there?  Excuses).  This morning I got up to let the dog out at 4:40 when my alarm went off and weighed myself.  198.  I was down to 195 at one point and I'd squandered that loss away. 

So I took my new shoes and headed to the gym.  I ran for distance, not intervals and ended up with 3.7 miles in 50 minutes.  THEN, I headed into Body Pump for the first 45 minutes before I had to head home and get ready for work.  1200 calories burned in 1 hour and 35 minutes. 

I felt awesome.  AWESOME.  I haven't needed coffee to stay awake all day (but talk to me at 9:30 when I'm nodding off during the news).  I'm not hungry all day and haven't been eating cupcakes or candy.  And have I mentioned that I feel awesome?  It's my wake up call and reminder that working out is good for me and I need to limit my excuses to real ones.  I also need to limit my baking and indulging.

And in other news...
4 years ago today I was doing this:
Happy Anniversary to my love!

And to show how much we've changed, this is us now:

Monday, September 24, 2012

197.8; New Attention

When I was big, I lived the same life that I do now.  I worked, kept my house, went shopping, enjoyed family gatherings, went to movies and restaurants... 

I've noticed in the last couple of weeks that I'm getting second glances from men in public.  I'm getting doors held open for me more often.  I'm seeing women in stores pick up the same clothing choices I have after looking at mine.  I'm noticing more attention.

I can't help but wonder if I was receiving this in the past and just never noticed it?  Or was I so closed off to those in public that no one ever thought about doing those things?  Or is it really that I'm getting to be an average sized woman and it's "ok" to do those things to me/at me?  I think that it's likely a combination of the fact that I was really closed off and I was overweight.

We humans judge other humans.  It's just what we do.  Right or wrong.  We make judgements in the first seconds of seeing and hearing someone even without knowing it.  We continue to make judgements while knowing them and hearing them throughout a relationship.  Some of this is just the way it works and it's acceptable.  Other judgements don't feel as acceptable.  When you're fat, you're often judged as lazy with no self control or will power.  You're seen as dirty and someone who doesn't care about themselves.  Those judgements aren't ok.  But I realize that they happen.

And the thing is that I was comfortable with those judgements.  Wrong or right I was comfortable with them because I knew that they were coming.  I knew what to expect.  So when I catch a man taking a second glance at me and smiling, I'm caught off guard.  When I get multiple doors held open for me, I'm caught off guard.  When I have a woman ask me for advice about clothing choices I'm caught way off guard.  I always smile and thank them and in the case of the woman, give my opinion.  But it's not comfortable.

Getting healthy was more about getting me out of that comfort zone that I had walled myself up into.  It's about feeling good and looking good and all that comes with it.  So I need to understand that as my person changes, the world's reaction to me changes as well.  I need to understand that, be ready for it and also be comfortable with it. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

195.2; Friday Fives

1.  I am signed up for my first official 5k.  Never mind that it's at a local school and my 10 year old niece is going to do it with me.  What?  She can run the mile in 9 minutes.  Way faster than I can. 

2.  My new shoes aren't working out for me.  I so want those pretty running shoes in various colors.  I try every time to stray from my boring New Balance shoes.  But I guess I am mean for boring.

3.  I saw people from work that I haven't seen in quite a while.  One of them told me I looked great.  It's such a confidence booster when someone does that.

4.  I plan on going to see Trouble With The Curve orThe Master or both this weekend.  I also want to see Taken 2 when it opens next weekend.  All the sudden movies are getting good for me again.

5.  I want to talk more about this next week...I'm noticing more people paying attention to me in public.  I can't decide whether to be flattered, uncomfortable, mad or what. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

195.6; The Falafel Did Me In

I have to tell the back story, so bear with me.

Monday night I made baked fish and oven fries.  I usually just bake the fish with spices and herbs on ti.  Only I had some tortilla strips that had been on my counter all summer.  I decided that crushing those up with whole wheat flour would make a great crust.  And it did.

Yesterday for lunch I had the rest of the fish.  I heated it it in the microwave at work so the crust wasn't super crisp, but wasn't soggy either.  Only the fish kept hanging up at my band.  So I took the crust off and only ate the fish with a small banana and a sugar free pudding.

Last night Pete and I planned to go walking at the park where we got married.  A little date night for us and a little walking for the pupster.


Next to the park is a Whole Foods.  Our plan was to stop at Whole Foods for dinner and then walk.  I love all that they have to offer.  We made our selections and walked to the car to eat with the pup.  My first bite was of a falafel bite.  It was so good.  Then I had a few pieces of curried veggies.  Then a bite of a flaky crust off a savory pastry.

Then it happened.  Something was stuck.  Usually if something is stuck, I sit fully upright and it goes down.  It doesn't feel good when this happens, but it's usually over in a minute.  Not this time.  Whatever it was, it was stuck good.  I spare you the details, but it was about 20 minutes of very painful waiting.  It felt as though the food was pounding on the smaller opening where the bad was.  Just pounding and pounding and not getting through.  Painful.  It brought tears to my eyes and worst of all there was nothing I could do about it.

Pete helped me think about what I was doing and what I was eating.  It's true, I was hungry and at quickly.  I was so into the good food that I had to choose from that I wasn't paying attention to how I was eating.  Looking back it was my initial bites of falafel that likely got stuck and the rest of the food after that was just adding to the congestion.

That was the end of eating for me yesterday.  I had no hunger and no want to eat at all.  I had some water at the park.  Then we got home and I watched Sons of Anarchy snuggled up with Pete and the pup and went to sleep.  Even this morning I am sore.  Have you ever had a chip stuck in your throat?  That soreness from afterwards is what I am feeling.  I'm guessing that it's swollen and will be sore for a day or so.  I'm sticking to soups and pureed foods for the next couple of days.

So as Pete calls it, my wake up call occurred last night.  My first really negative experience from the band.  All I can say is that it's a wake up call that I don't want to happen again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

(still) 197.6: I NEED A NEW BLOG DESIGN

Iapologize up front for some random changes that I made today.  I try to update my blog every year to a new fresh look.  However, either Blogger is becoming way beyond my abilities or I suck at this.  Or both.

So I'm in search of a new design.  I don't mind paying someone for a design, but, uh...who?  Do I search Etsy?  Is there anywhere else that has design that I can check out?

Anyone?

197.6: Size 14

I am a size 14 in pants.  You know when I was last a 14?  College. 

My second year of college my parents came up in the spring for my birthday.  We had dinner and then went to the mall.  They hadn't bought me a gift and my Mom decided that they'd buy me some jeans.  At that point I felt fat.  I didn't want to buy jeans because I didn't want to see the size 18 tag.  I didn't want to buy jeans because I didn't want to have to chose from the 2 styles when the 'regular' section had 40.  I just didn't want to.

But ultimately my Mom and sister pulled me into a couple of stores.  I believe they picked out some styles and sent me into the dressing room.  I was shocked when I came out in a size 14 jean that I felt good in.  (This is where I'm choosing not to remember that they were the "paperbag" cinched style waist.  I am also choosing not to remember that they were tapered leg and likely made me look like an upside down triangle.) 

When they left for the day, my room mate and dorm mates convinced me to to to a party.  A party where I met a boy and kissed him.  Nothing came of it.  But to me, the smaller sized jeans that I felt good in, were both a protective sheild and a power booster.  The the jeans took on a life of their own to make me more outgoing and protect me from hurt should something go wrong from the outgoingness (is that a word). 

I hadn't thought about that day in a long time.  But Friday I was bound and determined to add to my collection of 3 pair of work pants.  I spent time going from sales floor to dressing room in multiple stores in search of my goal.  At Target I pulled a 14 off the rack and thought there is no way my hiney is going to fit in those.  But sure enough, they did.  And I sat and wondered how long it's been since I fit into a 14.  I almost cried there in the dressing room.  The flashes of that day in college when I was 18 going on 19 flooded my brain.  And now 23 years later I'm back there, if only in the size of my jeans.