Monday, September 27, 2010

Hot 100 Goals Revisited

Okay, so I've decided that having one of my three goals as "Stop with the butter pecan ice cream" is a wimp out.  That only challenges me when I go to the grocery store.  If I can make it out of the grocery store without the aforementioned creamy deliciousness in my bag, then I have tackled the challenge until my next trip.  Yes, it is a big thing, but it is not a daily thing.  It's as simple as this.  If I don't bring it home, I won't be tempted to eat it.  No matter how I may THINK that I can't live without it.... if it's not in my freezer, there is nothing to do but wait it out and see if I live or die without it.  Ha.  I'm going to keep it on my list of goals, because it truly IS a challenge when I'm shopping.  But, I'm going to add another goal, so that I am working on the goals every day.  Now to decide.  What will my goal be?  I'm pondering it.  I'm thinking of doing the calorie-counting thing.  This would entail keeping up with what I eat, which is a HUGE challenge for me.  I'm just lazy about it.  That's what I hated about WW, was journaling everything.  Up to this point on the journey, my day has looked like this:  Protein drink for breakfast, protein drink for lunch, then a "healthy, sensible" dinner.  I do love the protein shakes, and they pretty much fill me up and keep me full for a good four hours.  I'm finding now, though, that I want something to crunch on for lunch.  Just a few minutes ago I enjoyed a large salad of greens (spinach and spring mix), chopped baby carrots, 1/2 cucumber, one green onion, and about 4 oz of cheese.  Would have added a boiled egg, but we're out of eggs.  About 80 calories' worth of salad dressing (Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette).  A lovely, delicious, and satisfying lunch.  In order to avoid overdoing it at dinner, I might allow myself a protein drink (110 calories) later on this evening.  Mondays are crazy for me, with a 12-hour work day from 11a to 11p, so it's not the normal routine.  Anyway, I'm seriously considering adding the goal of counting calories/logging my food.  THAT will be challenge that will keep me honest, keep me humble, and keep me aware of what I'm doing.  And if the calorie-counting goes well, perhaps I can incorporate some of the pre-measured portions of ice cream like Skinny Cow, or some of the WW varieties.  I don't know, though.  I may not be strong enough to limit myself to just one.  How about you?  Are there any Hot 100 folks out there who are revisiting your goals?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

25 or 6 to 4

What in the world did that mean?  I have been a Chicago fan for over 30 years.  Never did quite get the meaning of that song.  What does it have to do with my health?  Nothing, really.  I was just contemplating the title for this post, and initially I was going to call it "6 to 10", and that made me think of the song.  What does 6 to 10 mean? Well, unfortunately, it means that the 6 lbs I have been battling with since my band removal has turned into 10 lbs.  YIKES.  Time to wake up and smell some calories, people!!  One of my goals for the Hot 100 was to stop with the butter pecan ice cream.  In MY mind, the best way to alleviate the temptation was to rid my house of the sweet, creamy deliciousness of it.  Sad to report that my method entailed NOT washing it down the sink, but washing it down my esophagus, into my tummy.  Very Poor Decision.  BUT... alas, the creamy deliciousness is gone, and I have vowed that AT LEAST for the duration of the challenge, I shall bring NO MORE ice cream into this house.  Butter pecan or otherwise.  I had hoped to obtain Ground Zero weight (my weight on the day of band removal) before leaving for the beach, but that would mean losing 10 lbs in 13 days.  I'm not sure how realistic that would be.  I'll be vacationing with my mom and dad, and she'll encourage me as much as possible, and under her watchful eye, I won't be tempted to continuously stuff myself with junk like I normally do on vacation.  And since I'm 52 lb lighter than I was this time last year at the beach (oh shoot.... 42 lbs, NOT 52 lbs), and can tolerate walking further distances, I am determined to do some serious beach walking this year.  I do plan to enjoy myself, and have some treats... after all it is vacation... but my goal is to watch portions and make much wiser food decisions than I have made on previous years' trips to the beach.   And until the day of departure, I will continue working my goals of
1) Walking on the treadmill or outside at least five days a week
2) Stop with the butter pecan ice cream
3) Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day

Day of departure?  Shoot, those goals will actually be easier to attain while I'm at the beach than when I'm at home, so I don't mean for it to sound like I'm going to stop while I'm gone.  I'm just sayin...

Yesterday I enjoyed some retail therapy.  One of my purchases was a sports bra thingy like they wear on Biggest Loser.  I have lost enough weight now that I thought I might enjoy one of those.  Until now, I could never have squeezed myself into an XL.  And I couldn't find any 3X ones.  Anyhow... I tried it on last night, and had Whitney take my photo in just the bra thing and some jeans.  Ewww.  Let me just say that "My cups STILL runneth over."  Even though it is way better than it was before my journey began, there is still such a long way to go.  A fellow blogger has posted pics of herself from the beginning of her journey to the end, and the results are amazing.  (Click the video to be amazed!  Then scroll down her blog, looking on the right side bar, for a series of photos that will equally amaze and motivate you.  266, You Rock!!!) .  I thought it might help motivate me to do kind of the same thing.  I do have some really disgusting photos of me in my underwear before band surgery.  I dare not post those "before" pics until I am satisfied with my "after" pics... if EVER!  At any rate, I'm going to continue the sports-bra-photo thing throughout the Hot 100 Challenge to 'document' the changes.

Gee, I'm rambling a lot today.  Perhaps it's because I know when I finish this post, it's back to housework.  That does not excite me.  ....sigh.... but perhaps I can burn a few calories and ramp up my metabolism.  But truthfully, I'd rather just sit here all afternoon and read your blogs that so inspire me.  So go ahead now, and write something profound, because (in my best Arnold accent)  "Ah'll be baaack".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hot 100

Challenge me, baby!  I'm about to embark upon my first blog-oriented challenge.  Lanie posted about this challenge, and I am intrigued.

As of today, September 23, there are exactly 100 days remaining in 2010.  We all know that New Year's Resolutions are easily forgotten, and somehow we just never seem to make it happen.  I'm no exception, and December 31st usually finds me resolving to lose the same 50 lb (60, 70, 80, 90+, each year the number climbs ever higher.)  Normally I'm good for a week or two, sometimes a day or two, and then something delicious passes my way and I find myself reaching for it.

December 31 of 2009 found me anticipating lap band surgery in early 2010.  After jumping through all the hoops, I underwent surgery in May, and (repeating info from previous posts ad nauseam, sorry) and because of complications, had it removed nine weeks later.  However, I am still in a much better place 265 days later than I was New Year's Eve of 2009, and for that I am very thankful.  As noted in recent posts, I seem to have lost my oomph, and have fallen back into old habits, resulting in battling with 5-6 lb that I have regained since band removal. A challenge is exactly what I need.

From Steve's challenge:  What is the Hot 100?  The Hot 100 is a challenge focused on the last 100 days of 2010.  September 23, 2010 starts the clock.  From that day forward there are exactly 100 days left in 2010.  One hundred days to make this your year.  One hundred days to achieve your goals.  One hundred days, each and every one of which can be a great day!


One of the main focuses of the challenge is to set goals.  To be accountable, we are asked to list at least three goals.  Here's my list:
1. Walk on the treadmill (or outside) at least five days a week.
2. Stop with the butter pecan ice cream.  Seriously. 
3. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.


The old me would have made my #1 goal "Lose ___ lbs by New Year's Eve."  The new me truly understands that it's not about the numbers.  It's about changing my priorities and my habits.  When I do that, the numbers will change.  And, as I eluded to in a previous post, so WHAT if the numbers on the scale change.  If I'm not changing my priorities and habits, the numbers will just go back up, once the "diet" is over with.  Although I will say that I'm excited to see what the scale will report on December 31, 2010, when the above goals are met.  


Thanks, Lanie, for posting about the challenge, and thanks to Steve for making it.  I look forward to exciting things in the next 100 days!!!  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

One of the joys of losing weight has been the rediscovery of my bones.  They have been buried so deeply under the surface of my skin (and fat!) that I forgot all about them.  Oh, occasionally they would ache a bit, or protest if I tried to be too active, but for the most part they went about their job of supporting the rest of me without complaint.  Here in the south, we like to bless things.  We're always saying "Bless your heart", or "Bless your bones".  Well, bless MY bones for putting up with all the abuse I have given them over the past 20 or so years.  If you handed me a bag weighing 100 pounds and asked me to carry it around with me 24/7, there's no way I could do it.  And I'd probably tell you all about it, griping and complaining the entire time.  No doubt I wouldn't even be able to stand erect, but would fall to the ground underneath the staggering weight.

Yet my bones, my sweet faithful bones, have done just that.... and more.  They have born the burden of my extra weight through pregnancy and childbirth, through multiple moves, through band-mom chores and trips.  They have carried me through the streets of Boston on the Freedom Trail Tour.  They have walked many miles up and down the beaches of the gulf and the Atlantic Ocean. And let's not forget After-Thanksgiving-Black-Friday shopping marathons! They faithfully carry me through the aisles of Wal Mart and the grocery store several times a week.  And they hold me steady as I sit in my chair and work for hours and hours each day.  All this weight, mostly supported by two tiny ankles, and two knocked knees.

If my bones could talk, they would probably be singing my praises now, thanking me for relieving them of 50-something pounds.  It's still asking a lot to expect them to be patient as I strive to rid them of another 50-something pounds.

It's pretty amazing, feeling and seeing my bones again.  I can feel my radial bones where they join into my shoulder.  I can feel my pelvic bones when I lay on my stomach.  Most amazing of all is being able to feel my femurs, or thigh bones, when I lay on my side.  At first I thought there was something wrong with me, that I had some kind of bone tumor or something.  Then I turned over on my other side and I could feel it on the other side as well.

Now my butt bones.... they are presenting me with a little challenge.  The ischial tuberosities.  Seems like I've lost quite a few inches in my buttOCKS (a little Forest Gump humor there).  My days and evenings are spent mostly in front of a computer, either working at my job, or tending my little homestead in Frontierville (Facebook application).  Every hour or so, I'm noticing that my right buttOCK and thigh are going to sleep.  Hmmm.  I guess those ischial tuberosities are making their presence known just like the rest of my bones!

I'm not complaining. I guess it's just my bones' revenge for my prolonged abuse of them.  One of the remedies will be more walking and less sitting!  Perhaps with some butt-toning, the ischial tuberosities won't be demanding so much attention.

In the meantime, I'll just put my arms around my own shoulders, and hug my bones.  (I can do that now!!)

How about you?  What's a change in your body that you have noticed recently?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Confessions Of A Blog Snob

I have to confess.  I am a blog snob.  And I have been humbled.  I find myself gravitating toward the blogs of *successful* people... People who always have positive posts about how they are succeeding with their attempts at healthy living, faithfully following their own personal plan to reach their goals.  I tend to somewhat avoid those bloggers who always whine about how they can't do it, and who never seem willing to make even one little change to facilitate reaching even one goal.  Now, I'm not talking about those who sometimes struggle... we ALL do that from time to time.  Thankfully, we have our respective blogs where we come to document the journey, both the successes, and the not-so-successful times.  We share thoughts, ideas, and encouragement, and hopefully find our way back to our plan.  Our fellow bloggers inspire us with encouraging words, and we are  motivated by reading the blogs of others. 

This blog snob finds herself now in the Whiner's Seat. I've totally blown it.  The appetite monster is riding my back so heavily that I just can't seem to do anything but stumble and fall.  It's not the first time I have fallen since being on this current journey, but it's the first time that I've had trouble getting back up, and getting rid of the monster on my back.  Or, more accurately, in my head.  I'm not on a "diet".  I have embraced the ch-ch-changes necessary to meet my goals.  I know that it's not a four-week-plan and then back to eating as usual.  I know these things.  Yet I find myself sitting at my desk just daydreaming about what I want to eat.  I haven't walked on my treadmill in several days.  (In my defense on that charge, I spent two days this weekend helping to clean out my best friend's mom's house, getting ready for an estate sale, and burned far more calories than I would have on the treadmill.  But still... I should have done it for the sake of continuity.)

So, to those bloggers whose blogs I have avoided because *you didn't inspire me enough*, I offer my sincerest apology.  And to those of you who perhaps read my blog hoping for a morsel of encouragement, I also apologize... because I know you won't be getting it today.  Please don't give up on me.  And please don't avoid me.  I need you.  :-)   (see... it's always about me, me, ME!) 

I have wallowed in Stinkin' Thinkin' for several days now, and I'm desperately trying to claw my way up to the surface, out of the mirey muck that whispers the lie that I'll never make it, Just go ahead and eat whatever I want anyway, and other such negative thoughts as these. 

I'm losing and gaining the same 4-6 lbs week after week, and it's time to plant my stake in the ground, and get back to the business of getting it done.  To heck with "starting on Monday".  Monday needs to start right now. 

And on that happy, positive, note, I'm going to boil myself an egg or two, nuke some frozen Tyson grilled southwest chicken strips, and make myself a delicious grilled chicken salad for dinner.  And I finished up the ice cream last night, so there won't be any of that to tempt me tonight...... 

...and I promise to stop with the blog snob stuff.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Back in the 70s there was a David Bowie song called “Changes”. Remember it? Catchy little tune, though I could never quite figure out all the words. Back in those days we didn’t have Google to find song lyrics for us, so we just did the best we could. I could tell you some funny examples of lyrics that I *thought* were correct. But I’ll save that for another time. I’ll bet you have some funny ones too.  Here are a few lines from that song:

Still don't know what I was waiting for, and my time was running wild. A million dead-end streets and every time I thought I'd got it made It seemed the taste was not so sweet.  So I turned myself to face me, But I never caught a glimpse of how the others must see the faker.

(Kinda loses some of the ooomph without the music...)
Today I’m thinking about changes. This time two weeks ago I was enjoying my Girls-Only Weekend Getaway. It was a wonderful, relaxing four days away from the everyday hustle and bustle that is my life. Four days of girlfriend time, drinking coffee outside in the mornings, staying up late talking and giggling like schoolgirls, and of course… eating. I had prepared for the trip by losing back down to my Ground Zero weight (the weight I was on the morning of my lap band removal surgery).

A bit of history- the lap band experience, though it netted me a 52 lb weight loss, was pretty much a nine-week disaster. You can read older posts if you’re interested. The last couple of weeks I was barely able to keep anything down, and for the past few days pretty much existed on sips of water. When even that was impossible, the band was removed in a semi-urgent fashion. For a week or so, I was pretty much afraid to eat anything, but slowly added food back into my life. Of course, after hardly any food intake at all, eating even small amounts of food resulted in my gaining about 6 pounds over a couple of weeks. I tried not to panic – but the appetite monster had returned! (That was the ONLY good thing about my personal lap band experience – NO HUNGER whatsoever!)

I knew the girls’ weekend was coming up, and I desperately wanted to lose back down to my Ground Zero weight, so that the anticipated pounds gained wouldn’t just pack on top of the ones I had gained postop. Success!!! I reached the GZ weight two days before we left for the trip.

I allowed myself the choice to partake of the snack foods that we were preparing to take. I told myself that I would eat and enjoy, and not beat myself up. It was my hope that I simply wouldn’t consume said snacks in as large a volume as I once would have. I must say that I did indulge in whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted. I’d like to think that I consumed less than I would have *before*, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. But I do think it was less. Because I knew in the back of my mind, even though I was allowing myself to enjoy it without guilt, that when I got home, I’d just have to get rid of whatever poundage I acquired while away.  I knew, though, that it wasn't so much about gaining weight while gone, rather the challenge would be changing my mindset after I got home to once again making better choices.

I waited a couple of days to weigh, and the first day I weighed, I showed a 4 lb gain. Not too bad!!! Especially since my *constitution* had gotten a little out of whack while I was gone. (Sorry, TMI, but it does factor in.) The next day when I weighed it was UP 3 more, and the day after that another 2. WHAT? A 9 pound gain?

Well, let me back up. I had a little trouble getting back on that proverbial wagon once I returned home. That’s always the way it goes with me. I work a program like a mad dog… but once I fall off, that’s usually it for me, and after a few attempts to get back up, I just say screw it, and forget about the whole thing. So the wagon rolled along without me for a week and a half. Ish. Determined not to let it get out of hand, I borrowed a crane and got myself lifted back onto the wagon, and I have strapped myself in with a nice strong safety belt.
So that’s my story. Now here’s the “change” part. I’ve noticed the numbers start to fall again this week, since firmly planting myself back on the wagon. Of course, that is the ultimate goal, to have the pounds come off. However… I am reminded that it doesn’t matter what Mr. Scale says. We all know how to manipulate the numbers. When I was going to WW I could eat what I wanted for three or four days, then a few days before weigh-in, I would get down to business, make sure I visited the bathroom regularly, and on weigh-in day, I wouldn’t drink water all afternoon. And I would usually show a loss. But what had changed? Certainly not me. Yes, I would make good choices three days out of the week, but my mindset was still all about how I could manipulate the system, eat what I wanted, and still show a loss, and get my Bravo Stars.

Until we change our thought patterns to be more about healthy eating/healthy living, it makes no difference what the scale says. We must find a happy medium place with food choices that work for us. Some don’t like to use the word “diet”, because it denotes a temporary thing - changing our eating habits until the magic number is revealed on the scale. Then what? When we go OFF the diet, back to our old way of eating, the weight comes back.

There’s something to be said for programs that kick-start us, different kinds of protein shake meal replacements, prepared foods such as Jenny or Nutrisystems. I am certainly no critic of whatever works, but the bottom line is, when the shakes are gone and the Jenny boxes are empty, if we haven’t made serious changes, then the only thing we’ve lost is a pocket full of money and maybe a little bit of heart muscle tissue. If, however, these programs get us motivated to make healthier choices and continue with healthier living once the program is over, then WOOHOO!!   

The ch-ch-ch-changes that I have made do include a protein drink that I have for breakfast and most days for lunch. I don’t view it as a temporary thing. I see me doing this for… well for as long as the company manufactures the drink. There are many reasons 1) I love the taste, 2) They fill me up and keep me full for a good four hours, 3) They are super convenient – no cooking, no planning, no counting/weighing, 4) They are relatively inexpensive, 5) Packed with protein and vitamins that I’d never get from a bagel or a sandwich, 6) I love the taste. So that’s a win-win for me. Once my goal weight is achieved, I still see me following this routine, because of reasons 1 – 6 above.

The changes that I have made include 1) a food plan that I can live with NOW, as well as AFTER my goal. 2) Move my body. I have a big honkin’ treadmill taking up space in my room. To make the unsightly inconvenience worth it, I’ll be workin’ that baby to MY advantage by logging some serious miles and gaining some serious leg muscles.

With these changes in place, I do not have to worry about the scale. There’s nowhere for it to go but down.

What changes have you made to help you reach your goals?