Monthly Archives: November 2011

Weigh Day (week twenty)

Welcome to another weekly edition of “Weigh Day.”  I am having some serious emotional ups and downs today (not related to weighing in, though), so I am thankful to be meeting with my trainer this afternoon.  Hopefully she will work me *hard* and I can momentarily mute my mind.

On the weigh in front, though, life is good.  No, life is grand.  I weighed in this morning at 258.4, which is a 3.2 pound loss from last week.  This brings my total to 56.6 pounds, and I could not possibly be happier about that.  It is truly wonderful to get results…consistently.  That is a true affirmation to all the hard work I have been putting in (day in, day out).

Here is an interesting experience I had yesterday, though.  I was out with some family (Holiday shopping), and we stopped for lunch at Frisch’s.  They had *very* little on the menu that I would even consider eating, so I began asking the waitress questions.  My questions were not absurd (I do not think so anyway).  I asked things like, “What is this grilled chicken breast cooked in?” and “Do you have 100% whole wheat/grain bread?”  The waitress looked at me like I sprouted another head – right there in the middle of the restaurant.  Then her reply was something like this, “I don’t know what it’s cooked in, why?”  Maybe I read too much into her inflection (or the horrible look she shot at my *body* – but I immediately felt defensive.  So, here was my reply back, “Well, I *know* it seems funny that a fat girl is so inquisitive about what everything is cooked in, but this fat girl was 56 pounds fatter just four months ago.  So, that is why I am asking.”  She never even went to find out what the damn chicken was cooked in, by the way.  I ordered it anyway (and a salad).  I barely ate the salad because it just did not taste right (not sure what in the world they put on the thing…not dressing, mind you).  I did eat the chicken breast, but nothing else.  I left the restaurant starving (and without leaving a tip…in case you were wondering).

People are *so* quick to judge others.  I experience that quite often.  Not only because of my weight, but because of my hair and tattoos.  Especially when I have my daughters with me.  People just assume that I must be a horrible mother/role model because of my appearance.  It fascinates me, honestly.  I try very hard to avoid judging others based on anything other than character, which is something you cannot tell by looking at someone.  I wish more people considered what others were *really* like – beyond their size, hair color, skin color (cause we all know *that* is still a big one), or anything else superficial.  If only…

Have you ever experienced some kind of discrimination for your weight (or any other superficial reason)?  How did you respond?


The Beaten Path

If you are on a journey (not necessarily a weight loss journey), you probably know that looking at the path you have taken to arrive where are you now is just as important as laying out a new path.  While looking forward is certainly the best option (positivity and all that), you certainly should not forget to look back.  Mull over where you went “wrong,” and where you found strength, guidance.

This is something I have been thinking a lot about recently.  Months ago I admitted to myself (and, subsequently, the blog-o-sphere) that I had a problem with food.  I was out of control and powerless against food.  Thoughts of food filled my head constantly…so much that it was often difficult for me to do *anything* without “snacking” – or at least thinking about what I would eat next.  Time consuming, seriously.

Even at the beginning, even after admitting there was a problem, I did not think too much about *how* that happened…the why.  When did I develop such a horrible relationship with food?  Why did I turn to food?  So, with the help of my therapist, I began to search my past (what I can remember anyway) for reasons I might have turned to food for comfort.

One of my first realizations was that my mother’s relationship with food certainly helped to shape mine.  I remember when I was about 10 we would order two large extra cheese pizzas from Old Towne Pizza every single Saturday night.  It was often just the two of us because my step-father worked third shift on Saturday nights.  Actually, that is *why* we ordered pizza every Saturday – because he was gone and we could.  He was not “on board” with eating out.  He found it frivolous and unnecessary.  So, we ordered those two large extra cheese pizzas out of spite.  Then we ate those two extra large cheese pizzas – all in one night (and threw the boxes in the dumpster so there was *no* evidence).  Crazy, don’t you agree?  That is where my “secretive eating” developed.  I am sure of it.  I would hide in my kitchen after my chicklets were in bed, eating.  I would sneak food into my office behind my back so they would not see and eat it alone.  Strange (and awfully sad) but true.

I also remember being forced to “clean my plate” when eating a meal.  Regardless of what was on it, how much, or if it was my second (or, sometimes, even third) serving.  I had to eat it all…stuffing myself beyond full.  Way beyond.  My step-father was such a control freak that he often made my plates for me, which compounded the problem.  He served me (a child) just as he served himself.  The portions were already horribly distorted – even for a grown man.  This is something I do not push on my children.  I usually serve small portions (tiny, in fact) and tell them they are to eat until they feel full.  If that means they do not eat everything, they do not eat everything.  Period.

I have two memories that are so vivid they seem as though it was yesterday.  One of which I will not share (because it is truly distasteful for public).  The other; however, is of my mother lying on bed with a giant bowl beside it.  She was lying flat on her back, arms and legs outstretched with her pants unbuttoned and unzipped.  She was miserable, but she was not sick.  We had just eaten (of all things) Thanksgiving dinner, and she was so full she felt ill.  I remember her lying on the bed for hours moaning and praying (out loud) to God that she would just throw up already so she could feel better.  She swore she would never eat another bite of turkey or apple pie again in her life.  Of course, in the middle of the night I found her crouched in the kitchen picking at the white meat while everyone else was supposed to be sleeping.  So much for never eating turkey again.

I also remember being upset (over a boy, no less) and my mother curling up on the couch with me…and a half-gallon of ice cream.  She was soothing my heart with kind words (and sugary, frozen fat) assuring me that I would not be sad forever.  This was something she often did when I was heartbroken or distraught about something – feed me.  We also took every opportunity to celebrate successes with…can you guess?…food.  So, eat when you are sad and depressed, eat when you are happy and celebratory, just eat.

Do not misunderstand me, I love my mother dearly.  I mention these things not to shame her (or make her look bad), but because these experiences helped to shape my unhealthy relationship with food.  Without recognizing these experiences, I doubt I could have truly understood where my dependency began, and just how deeply rooted it is.  That is certainly not to say I cannot beat this addiction (because I am doing just that now), that just means I have a serious battle that I should not take lightly.

Have you ever considered where your bad habits stem from?  How important do you think recognizing their origin is to changing those habits?


My Thanksgiving {victory}

This picture gives you an idea of how previous Thanksgiving went for me…really my whole family.  This year; however, was a *total* 180-degree change.  I am so very proud to tell you that I did not stuff myself…not even to the point of “mildly uncomfortable.”

Things I did differently this year:

First, and one of the biggest, I changed my mentality.  That is a *huge* step to any recovery (after all, I *am* a recovering food addict) process.  I did not let my *whole* week leading up to Thanksgiving revolve around the food.  I did not let my *whole* morning/day revolve around food.  I went about my week/day just like it was any other week/day.  Food was not in the forefront of my mind.

Second, probably the second biggest, I changed the food – including the quantity.  I did not serve cornbread, rolls, mashed potatoes, boxed stuffing (except one box for my mother and ex- who *insisted* it be on the table for them), etc.  I filled the table with healthy choices – even the desserts were not “wreck your day/week” kind of desserts.

Third, and this ties in with “second,” I started with a big and beautiful artisan salad with pears and pecans (and homemade vinaigrette).  It was *amazing* and I savored every single bite.  The rest of the family was digging into everything else, but I sat there quietly enjoying my salad.  Come to think of it, other than my chicklets, no one else even put salad on their plate.  Go figure.

Fourth, I actually let my food (dinner) settle before digging into dessert.  In previous years we all went running for the dessert the very moment we cleaned our plates.  Talk about stuffing ourselves to the max, right?  My chicklets were having some sort of mild panic attack around an hour after eating dinner because there was no dessert in front of them yet.  They remember that we *always* eat pumpkin and apple pie *right* after dinner, so they were a little concerned that maybe there was no dessert.  I served myself a super small amount of pumpkin custard and apple confit on a *tiny* plate (smaller than my children use, actually)…probably less than 1/4 cup of each dessert.  I enjoyed the dessert – bite by bite – slowly.  They were delicious.

I know this was (by far) the healthiest, most nutritionally dense Thanksgiving I have ever had.  Do you know how I know?  When I weighed this morning (just because it was going to kill me, you know) I was down 1.2 pounds from Thursday morning.  Yes, 1.2 whole pounds *right* after eating Thanksgiving dinner…and dessert.  That is awesome.

How was your Thanksgiving?


My {former} Favorite Cords

So, over the last few days I have really been struggling with the changes my body is going through.  Apparently, I am not alone.  Of course, everyone struggles with different aspects of change, and everyone handles these struggles differently.

I regret not having pictures of myself when I began my journey 50+ pounds ago.  However, I am making a promise to myself that I will begin taking pictures from here on out (if nothing else, for comparison purposes…and to avoid this strange “disconnect” I am experiencing now).

Years ago I purchased a really fabulous (and huge) pair of brown corduroy pants.  They were wide legged and comfy.  When I first bought them they fit perfectly.  Over the years; however, I “grew” out of them.  I could usually still get them up, but to button them was a challenging task.

These pants were in my “must get rid of” pile in my dining room right now.  I have already “purged” two sets of clothes before this group.  That is one thing I promised myself early in the game: I would *not* hold on to my “fat” clothes “just in case” because this time there would be *NO* turning back/giving up.  No way.

So, today I decided to take pictures of myself in these former favorite pants:

Yes, that is *two* arms in those pants with me. Without the crotch, the waist in these pants *might* just fit over my shoulders!

As if that was not crazy enough for me:

I would say they are substantially bigger than me now, which is why they were to be given/thrown away.

I also feel compelled to mention that these were *not* my largest pair of pants. These are a size 24. I already purged all my 26 and 28 pants. So, I cannot even imagine what *those* would look like on me now! I might actually hang on to these cords now. Not “just in case,” but for these purposes. As I lose more weight, I might enjoy seeing both of my legs fit into one pant leg of these (which is not all that far away – I tried today).

This is certainly undeniable proof of progress. Maybe if I stare at these pictures long enough it will sink in. 🙂


My {proposed} Thanksgiving “Feast”

So, since I came to the revelation that I needed (badly) to develop a plan for Thanksgiving dinner this year the wheels have been spinning…

I appreciate the input and advice from all of you.  I probably would not have come up with this fine “feast” without you!

First up – salad:

Fall Harvest Salad

To be honest, I usually do not prepare a salad for Thanksgiving dinner. This year; however, I will…and I am actually excited to try this one (because it looks/sounds delicious!). I will be using artisan lettuce instead of “plain old” lettuce, though. Also I will not be making such a large amount of the vinaigrette – my family is not big on dressings anyway.

Next comes the turkey:

Roasted Citrus & Herb Turkey

This is a bit different than my usual seasoning for the turkey, but I am excited to try something new with the turkey. You know, shake things up a bit (or a whole lot…as it might be).

Moving on to the mashed potatoes:

Faux Ta Toes

This is maybe where things start to get more interesting. I have been brainstorming ways to “change out” the mashed potatoes with all of their white starchy evilness (yes, I am aware that is not really a word). At first I switched straight to sweet potatoes, but that was an “I-may-lose-my-life-serving-it” kind of plan. So, I thought “faux” potatoes, or cauliflower. I will not follow the recipe above entirely, but this is the general idea. Instead of serving 100% mashed potatoes, I am going to switch out majority of the potatoes for cauliflower. I also usually use light sour cream instead of cream cheese. Additionally, I will be adding some herbs and spices to keep the flavor up (without adding extra calories/fat).

Now, I am not sure about anyone else out there, but when I have mashed potatoes (or even a knock off) I *have* to have corn.  So, I found this delightfully scrumptious recipe a while back:

Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Lime Butter

I am hoping I will be able to find corn on the cob in the grocery today. If not, I will have to come up with something else. Maybe a variation of this recipe that does not start “on the cob?” We shall see.

The stuffing:

Wild Rice Stuffing

The last dinner item I will be serving is broccoli:

Broccoli (no special recipe)

I did not pick out a “special” recipe for broccoli because I do not really think I need one. I cook broccoli often (because I love it) and I think the way I usually prepare it is just fine (steamed with some garlic).

On to dessert.  As I mentioned before, we have always been a “multi-dessert” kind of family.  That is mostly because I *love* pumpkin and my mother hates it.  I refuse to skip pumpkin *something* on Thanksgiving, and my mother feels the same way about apple *something.*  So, here is my plan:

Apple Confit

Per the reviews on the recipe, I will be significantly reducing the sugar in the recipe. I will also likely increase the cinnamon and maybe a dash of something extra. It sounds absolutely amazing, though.

…and the pumpkin dessert:

Light Pumpkin Custard

I will be making smaller quantities this year (so I may end up halving some of the larger recipes listed above), so that it decreases the amount of food on the table (and in my fridge afterward). All in all, though, I feel as though this is a decent menu with very little room for “disaster” in the way of my weight loss path. I also believe that my family will not be too terribly upset about this menu, so that is another positive.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Will you be allowing yourself a “free” day, or will you be mentally preparing to curb poor eating habits?


Notice Any Differences?

May 23, 2011

 This girl right here…well, that’s me.  Well, that *used* to be me.  I was at my uncle’s house with my chicklets having a good time in the pool.  Notice that I am not wet…yeah, that’s because I did not want to take my shirt and shorts off.  Why?  Well, because I knew I was fat, and I was extremely uncomfortable in my own body.  Even though I was with family, I was still so self-conscious about my body.  I hated it.  Funny thing – I still ate probably twice (or even three times) as much food that day as I should have.  Go figure.

Next comes me in July.  I was already losing weight, but I had not started blogging just yet.  That came just a few days after this picture was taken, though.  Here I am guessing I had lost a pound…maybe two.

July 5, 2011

The only thing I am loving about that picture is my really awesome lime green hair with purple and hot pink streaks. Honestly.  Notice the slight double chin and the really “puffy” cheeks.  I even appear to be developing neck fat rolls.  Ick.

So, where am I now?  Here:

November 20, 2011

Okay, so can you see any differences because I am struggling. So many people tell me my face looks *much* thinner, but I fail to recognize what in the world they see (or are they just being really nice?). I can see a *slight* change in maybe the size of those neck fat rolls…and maybe a little less of a double chin.  What do you think?  Can you tell the difference?


Shoe Talk

Last night I walked in my first 5K.  I was excited to get going…so much so that I never gave a second thought to the shoes I was wearing.  I am a basic/plain kind of girl (except my excellent, beautiful, hot pink and purple hair, of course).  I am not really a “shoe girl” – never have been.  When I was in high school I owned one pair of boots.  One.  They cost over $100 and I had to buy them with my own money, so I was not into “splurging” to have all kinds of shoes.  I loved my boots, and I wore them every single day – to any function – no matter the occassion.  I could always be found in my black leather platform chunky boots (think “KISS army” kind of boots…or so my ex- says – LOL).

As I grew into adulthood, my style really never changed.  I look pretty dang similar (aside from this extra weight, of course) to the girl who sat in the middle/side of the classroom trying to drown out Ms. DeBra’s monotone take on American history.  I had tattoos then, I had colorful hair then, and I had my boots.  Honestly, I would still be rocking those boots if the zipper had not given out on them (they are actually still sitting in my basement because I cannot bear to part with them…weird, I know).

Anyway, back in 2009 I went through a “I-am-going-to-be-skinny-in-a-few-months” phase and I went shoe crazy (apparently) for the first time in my life.  The funny thing?  I bought an “abundance” of shoes I have never even dreamed of wearing…heels.  Chunky, platform, “hooker heels” (as Shonnie would say).  Aesthetically speaking, I love all the shoes I bought…and I bought them all on clearance (yeah, baby!).  I spent less than $150 on five pairs of heels and two pair of “sneakers.”  Not bad.

A line up of tallest to shortest heels.

You’ll probably start to notice a trend here…

The rest of the line up...

Black and white are (apparently) quite appealing to me…

Black polka dotted hooker them!

I have “unique” taste, I know…

I *love* the piano keys along these heels...really!

Could these be any more adorable (channeling some old school Chandler Bing)?!

I'm pretty sure I actually gasped when I saw these...the checker board pattern, the zipper framing...

The problem?  I have never worn any of them…and I may never wear them.  In 2009 I lost about 30 pounds (all of which were back with me in the beginning of this year) and had dreams of reaching a size 13/14 within a few months (maybe six?).  That, of course, was an absurd and ridiculous ideal…and totally unobtainable.  I gained every bit of that 30 pounds back (and probably a few more) within six months after hitting a plateau and becoming frustrated.  These shoes have sat in my closet ever since.

The reality is at 300+ pounds these shoes were impossible to wear…impossible.  My feet barely fit into a few of them (bulging at the straps and toe portions of the shoes.  I would sit on my couch and angrily curse the adorable, trendy shoes that just would not feel comfortable – no matter what I tried.  Even now, after losing 53+ pounds, I cannot wear them.  My feet no longer bulge at the straps, but this bum ankle (and the constant requirement of a brace, which is the wanna-be-skin-tone-color of a manequin) prevents me from taking a single step in any of these cutie shoes.  Sigh.

So, what brings about the shoe talk?  Last night’s 5K walk, of course.  As I am rocking my only pair of “gym” shoes walking briskly with my pal, I start to notice a certain “burning” on the bottom of my left foot.  A blister?  Could not be.  Another 1/2 mile passes and the burning gets stronger.  Pretty sure that is a blister after all.  I ask my girlfriend if her feet feel like they are developing blisters, and she replies (of course) that her feet are just fine.  She looks at my shoes and says, “Maybe you should have worn different shoes, though.”  I look at the other people around us and realize I am the *only* person walking in shoes that are not designed for such a purpose.  My “gym” shoes were purchased at Wal-Mart for probably $15 about a year ago.  While they do not look as rugged as the shoes at the top of this post, they are probably just as ineffective at comfort when walking over 3 miles.

When I got home and peeled off my shoes and socks, I was shocked to find a blister easily the size of two quarters next to each other on the ball of my left foot.  Another blister (about the size of a dime) was in the same place on my right foot…only this one was bright red.  It took me a second to realize the blister was bright red (and not white/clear) because it was/is filled with blood.  Crazy.

Needless to say…I need new shoes.  I am going to have to dump my old, cheaper Wal-Mart shoes and spring for real, comfortable walking/jogging shoes.  The problem is I have *never* even looked at real walking/jogging shoes, much less bought any, so I have no idea what I am really looking for.  I need some advice or direction here.

What kind of shoes do you wear?  What kind of shoes do you recommend?  Also…what in the world can I do about these blisters on my poor feet?  They are killing me, and I am not sure how to effectively treat them so they can heal/go away quickly.


My Routine(s)

As I mentioned in my weigh in post this week, Denise changed my routines Wednesday.  I was working solely on four or five machines in a circuit fashion.  Apparently, that was not the best use of my time at the gym (go figure).  So, I thought I might share my new routines with all of you.  Some (actually most) of the exercises I do now *could* be done at home.  For those of you who do not go to the gym (for financial or other reasons), these moves may help you still get a great workout.

15 minutes of warm up on elliptical/treadmill/bike
bicep curls – 25 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
tricep extensions – 50 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
lateral raises – 10 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
front raises – 10 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
rows – 50 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
tricep sides – 10 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
ab dipper (nautilus) – 3 sets of 5+
planks (inclined) – 3 sets of 10+ (holding for a count of 10)
35 minutes of high intensity cardio on elliptical/treadmill/bike

15 minutes of warm up on elliptical/treadmill/bike
front lunges – 3 sets of 15
sumo lunges/squats – 3 sets of 15
pelvic raises – 3 sets of 20
calf raises – 200 lbs. – 3 sets of 30
thigh/hip abductor machine – 130 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
thigh/hip adductor machine – 130 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
leg raises (up and out) – 3 sets of 15
lower back extension – 260 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
crunches (on yoga ball) – 3 sets of 25
oblique twists (with med ball) – 3 sets of 20
35 minutes of high intensity cardio on elliptical/treadmill/bike

As long as I have been working out consistently (about 18 weeks) at the gym, there have only been a handful of times I have been sore the day(s) after working out.  This, of course, always frustrated me because I felt like I was not working hard/smart enough to really break down the muscle tissue and build more lean tissue.  However, since starting this new routine (on Thursday) I feel like I am working out “better” (so to speak).  Thursday I did the arm/ab routine and certainly felt it in my triceps Friday and a little Saturday.  Friday night I worked on the legs/back/abs and felt it yesterday.  My legs are still sore today, but I did walk (briskly) in the 5K last night, too.  So, I am sure some of my soreness comes from that.

If you workout on a time crunch, you can combine a lot of these moves into complex exercises.  My trainer says complex exercises work multiple muscle groups (including your core) at the same time…which can minimize the time/days you spend working out.

Combining moves into complex ones:
front lunges with lateral raises (or curls or shoulder presses or both)
sumo lunges/squats with front raises

I am sure there are other ways to combine moves, but those are the only two I know…for right now anyway.


Weigh Day (week nineteen)

Here we are…another edition of weigh day!  This week has been a busy (and exciting) one.  Wednesday I had my fit eval with Denise (with astouding results) and was given a new workout routine.  All this week I have been preparing (with my older daughter) for a craft fair.  We participated in the craft fair yesterday, and we had a great time (aside from having to get out of bed at 6:30 AM).  Then, of course, last night was the Holiday in Lights 5K!  My girlfriend, Leslie, walked with me to celebrate my loss…what a wonderful friend she is (I love you, Les!).

After all that…weigh in this morning.  So, without further ado…I weighed in at 261.6 this morning!  That is another 3.2 pounds lost this week (go me!) and a total of 53.4 pounds!  I cannot find the words to tell you how truly excited I am.  I am *so* close to the 250’s…and it has been about eight years since I have seen 25X on the scale!  The excitement is almost unbearable!

My next couple of goals are approaching:
1. I want to be at/below 250 by Christmas (35 days/11.6 pounds away)
2. I want to be at/below 225 by my birthday on 2/25 (can you see the significance there?) (97 days/36.6 pounds away)

I am fairly certain/confident I will hit 250 by Christmas.  That works out to be an average of about 2.3 pounds per week required to make that goal (totally doable).  My birthday goal works out to be around 2.6 pounds needed per week, which is still not totally impossible.  So, here’s to working my butt off…

How did your week go?


It Just Occurred To Me…

Despite nearly everyone else discussing the upcoming “gorge fest” holiday, I seem to have let it drift very far from my mind.  I suppose in some small corner of this crazy, disorganized subconscious of mine, I just assumed I would make “the usual” for Thanksgiving.  The problem?  There are so many!

First of all, the sheer quantity of food I usually prepare is astounding (and ridiculous for only five people).  So, that is something I must change this year.  Second, I usually load the table down with all sorts of carbs (mashed potatoes, stuffing, yeast rolls, cornbread, and more).  Most (if not all) of those things are on my “no-no” list.  Third, dessert is usually a main attraction at my house.  I. Love. Pumpkin. Pie. (with tons of whipped cream)

So, apparently, I need to develop a plan.  My family will be fine with the reduction in quantity (because they will not have a choice).  However, if I serve *no* stuffing, *no* potatoes, *no* rolls, and *no* dessert…I may not live to see another day.  Really.  What in the world do I do now?

I ran the idea of having mashed sweet potatoes (instead of the white potatoes) and I got the stare that said, “Is she really serious behind that face?  This has to be some sort of joke because she would *never* mess with the f*&$ing mashed potatoes.  Right?”  That, I suppose, is not going to fly.

Now that I am actively thinking about the upcoming holiday, I am entering a stage of panic.  What in the world am I to do?  Do any of you have suggestions for recipes that will not make my family murder me…but that I will be able to eat and enjoy?  Help!  (tee hee…but seriously)