Monthly Archives: January 2012

Affirmations and Other Brainwashing Techniques

Affirmation: noun: the assertion that something exists or is true.

That is the actual definition of affirmation, according to the dictionary.  My definition of an affirmation is quite different (and probably a whole lot more negative).  I consider it brainwashing…brainwashing myself, of course.  Now, I do not mean to attach such a negative connotation to the word affirmation (because it is intended as a positive influence), but the fact remains that I view it in just that way.

As my body is changing, my life is changing, my mind is changing.  The problem is these changes are not happening in linear kind of way.  My body is changing much faster than the rest…especially my mind.  I have talked before about the importance of getting the mindset in order, but I find I still struggle with mine.  Not because I want junk food.  Not because I think I cannot accomplish my goals.  My mind is having a hard time with the “I am not fat anymore” concept.

I have talked about my disconnect many times, and I have talked about it with my therapist (and my trainer).  They both came back with the theory/idea of affirmations.  I must “brainwash” myself into believing what I do not believe right now.

I am athletic.
I am fit.
I am thin.

Those (in my opinion) seem like straight up lies.  Lies.  I am being encouraged to lie to myself.  I thought that was a bad thing.  My therapist always says, “Fake it ’til you make it!”  That, in essence, means these affirmations will not be lies forever.  Eventually, after I tell myself these things for so long, they will become truths.  I will be athletic.  I will be fit.  I will be thin.

The point is getting your mindset to a place in which it starts to *believe* these affirmations.  Then your life will follow.  If I am athletic (and my mind believes it) I will do athletic things.  If I am fit (and my mind believes it) I will do things that will show off or enhance my fitness level.  You get the idea…

My biggest obstacle is (and always has been) this crazy mind of mine.  I associate athleticism with organized sports.  I will never play organized sports.  So, my association is that I will never be an athlete.

The purpose of my affirmation (I am athletic) is to break down my previous conception of what athletic means and associate my new lifestyle with it.  I workout four to five days every week.  I have pretty good endurance at this point (I think).  If anyone else fit that criteria, I would probably consider them to be athletic…but I cannot seem to do that for myself.  Interesting…

Another “brainwashing” technique that I have been encouraged to trying is studying myself.  Looking at pictures of me before I started this journey and looking at myself now.  I am to comparatively look at my entire body…look at it critically.  Study how rolls *used* to look and how they look now.  If I can convince (brainwash) myself into seeing those physical changes, my disconnect should be lesser (or completely go away).  That is the theory anyway.

I do not really intend to be so resistent, but I just have a hard time thinking I will ever love myself again (and I probably should not even use the word “again” in that sentence).  This line of thinking is, obviously, not doing me any justice, though.  I *must* get myself out of that funk…and quickly.  The only purpose all that negative self-talk serves is to sabotage my progress (and possibly create a detrimental relapse into morbid obesity).

..and so, here I go…forward facing into the phase of my life in which I lie regularly to myself in hopes of convincing myself I am athletic.  I am fit.  I am thin.  I love myself.

Do you have a positive or negative outlook on affirmations?  Do you use affirmations (either verbal or pictorial) or “brainwashing” techniques on your journey?  If so, what are your most-used affirmations (if you do not mind sharing)?


Weigh Day (week twenty-nine)

I must admit I was expecting this week’s loss considering my *huge* loss last week.  I am not necessarily disappointed, though, since I did mentally prepare myself to lose next to nothing.

This week’s weigh in showed: 239.2, which is exactly one pound down this week.  One pound.  This; however, does bump me over the 75-pound mark.  My total is 75.8 pounds lost in 29 weeks.

I am getting a little anxious to be measured again, though.  It has been four weeks since I was last measured at the gym, which means it will be coming up soon.  My guess is that during the weeks I lose very little weight, I am losing inches instead.  I am lifting weights at the gym, so I know I am gaining muscle and losing inches in the process.  Of course, I am fine with that.  I know some have decided not to do much with weights until after they lose the weight (because lifting weights does slow weight loss progression with the gaining of muscle), but I would rather just get it all done together.  Besides, I actually enjoy lifting weights.  Strange, I know.

On the walking/step-counting front, I have had some really good days…and some really stinky days.  I just cannot seem to stay consistent, which is going to have to change…soon.

Tuesday – 10,258
Wednesday – 9,530
Thursday – 13,274
Friday – 8,125
Saturday – 3,792 (*super* stinky)

27 days
14.2 pounds

How did your week turn out?  Are you happy with your current plan/path?


18 Again

We are not talking age here, folks.  Let me tell you how this came to be, though…

I am at Wal-Mart with my older daughter Thursday night.  It was just the two of us (since I had to keep her up until midnight for a sleep-deprived EEG Friday morning) and I decide I am going to try on some pants.  I grabbed a size 20 and a size 18, just in case.  In the dressing room, I look at my daughter and ask her which one I should try on first.  She said, “The smaller one Mommy because I know it will fit.”  (Have to love that kind of support!)

So, I did…and they did!  I was *so* happy I started dancing right there in the middle of the dressing room singing a little ditty.  The lady outside the dressing room had to think I was absolutely nuts.  Little did she know the situation was going to get even more strange…

I walk out of the dressing room and proceed to ask the lady if the jeans look bad on me.  “You know, like you would look at me and think I must be crazy for trying to wear *those* jeans outside of the house.”  I was expecting her to pretty much just ignore me, but that is not what happened at all.  She came back with, “Can you squat?”  So, I did.  “Can you bend over?”  So, I did.  “They look just fine to me and, obviously, they aren’t too tight.  I say go for it.”  She still has this semi-confused look on her face as to why I would be so excited about jeans…and why I would ask her to judge what they look like on me.  I explained my situation and then she was like, “Oh!  Well, congrats!  You look great in those jeans.”

What a great feeling.  Really.  So, I left Wal-Mart with a pair of size-18 jeans in tow.  I was *so* happy!  I wore those jeans to my graduation party last night…and, again, I was *so* happy!  I still have a hard time wrapping my head around this all.  Six and a half months ago I was a size 28.  Today I can very comfortably wear a size 18.  Who knew?!

Of course…this means I crossed that one of my list of goals, too!

What goal have you met recently?  Which one are you working toward right now?


They Are So Sweet…

I have been nominated by two fabulous fellow bloggers for this award!  Blogger friends can be so sweet!

The first gal to nominate me for this award was Colline (back when she was still blogging through Nuggets of Health).  Her new blog gives her a forum to discuss a wide variety of topics (making her truly versatile), and is full of thought-provoking posts and great information.  If you have not already popped over to see her, please do.

The second gal to nominate me was Charity from What The Heck Are Skinny Jeans?  She has recently renewed her dedication to get healthy and was recently lucky enough to become my step-counting buddy!  I love her blog because she reminds me a bit of myself when I started on my journey 76 pounds ago.  She is real and talks about genuine temptations and hiccups that affect thousands of other real people battling obesity.  Again, if you have not been to visit her, please do.

As per the rules of receiving this award, I am to now share seven facts with all of you that I have not previously shared:

1. The athletic shoes I am wearing right now are *the first* pair of athletic shoes I have ever owned in my life.  Really.
2. My daughters’ names were chosen from a video game and a hair dye bottle (both of which I changed the spelling to include a ‘Y’ instead of an ‘I’).
3. My older daughter’s name was picked out when I was 12.  I did not have her until I was 22.
4. I saved *all* of my clothes from when I was a teenager and actually expected to wear them when I lost all my weight.  Most of them, by the way, are in *terrible* condition, and I would *never* wear them as an adult.  I have come to the conclusion I must have been completely out of mind.  Although, I am wearing a pair of old yellow camo pants which I have not worn in about nine years.  Yeah me!
5. I am crafty…in all sorts of ways.  I scrapbook, draw, paint, sculpt, and make greeting cards.  I actually have a little “store” on Etsy in which I sell some of my paper goodies…and my seven-year-old sells her polymer clay beads.
6. My house is a little crazy with color…and I love it.  My kitchen is a bright, spinach green, my dining room is a deep wine color trimmed in “garlic.”  The bathroom downstairs is a teal color, and my living room is deep, vibrant red with “garlic” trim.  My office (the room I probably spend the most time in) is white with big green polka dots all over.  My bedroom is deep purple…and my daughter’s room is about six different colors in contrasting wall/trim colors on each wall.
7. I know several very popular bands…personally.  When I was a teenager, I used to go to Detroit and stay with Twiztid (of course, they were The House of Krazees back then).  I met ICP (Insane Clown Posse) while we were hanging out with Jamie and Paul since they were all buddies.  My cousin even dated Jamie for a while…and I had a small, fleeting “thing” with Paul.  We met many other bands back stage during shows and such, too.  It was pretty cool.

The last rule for accepting the award is nominating five fellow bloggers for this award:

1. Diary of an Angry Fat Woman – Shonnie is amazing.  Really.  She has lost a tremendous amount of weight already and is always willing to share her knowledge about the journey.  She is uplifting, inspiring, and always has supportive and encouraging words for others.  The Butt-Kickers Club is her baby and helps to celebrate the loss of others in the blogosphere.  If you have not spent some time in her corner of the Web, you simply must.

2. Balancing My Chemicals – Andie’s blog is another of my regular reads.  She is currently in the middle of a “not-so-pleasant” detox, and she is sharing all the ups and (mostly) downs of it.  I love her wit and charm…and I am always looking forward to reading her posts and her thoughtful comments on my posts.  Andie has also lost a considerable amount of weight and is experimenting with ways to keep it coming off steadily.  Visit her blog, I promise you will not be disappointed.

3. 52 Weeks, 52 Pounds – J is seriously inspiring in so many ways.  He has a plan and he gets it done.  His original goal was met months ago (he is now in Phase III of his journey) so he set his sights higher.  Right now he is training for a marathon…that’s serious folks…and he is kicking butt.  Take some time to check him out.  His blog is full of information and that “I can do this too” kind of feeling.

4. Girl Worth Weighting For – This is another of my very favorite blogs.  I love her take on things…and I love how honest she is (especially when it comes to eating and boys).  Those of you who are single and overweight (and believe completely the two are related) will find some comfort reading GWWF.  So, go check her out.

5. Waisting Time – Karen is awesome.  I love reading her posts because her personality certainly shines through the words.  She has a great sense of humor about her weight loss journey, too.  So, you know what I am going to say now, right?  Go spend some time getting to know Karen…if you have not already.

A special thanks to Colline and Charity, again, for nominating my blog/me for this award.  I think the two of you are wonderfully sweet!


Healthy VS Real…Wait, What?

I must admit this is a post I have been thinking about for quite a while.  During my journey (of only six and a half months) I have heard countless people refer to eating healthy compared to eating “real” food.  What does that even mean?

What sent me over the edge was watching Ruby last night.  I watch it on Netflix, so I am behind on the seasons, I know.  The episode I watched last night was Ruby having Thanksgiving dinner at her house (with lots of family, friends…and food).  They actually prepared two feasts instead of one…one healthy feast and one “real” feast.  During the episode Ruby said something to this effect, “I don’t want everyone to have to eat healthy when they want real food.”  I ask again, what does that mean?

How is healthy food different from “real” food?  In my opinion (which is worth only as much as I think it is…inside my own head, of course) healthy food *is* real food.  All that deep-fried, heavily processed, over-sugared, mass-produced junk is *not* real food…not to me.  Half of it is not even recognizable as what the food industry is trying to pass it off as anyway.  Insanity.  I mean look at this picture:

If you have not already seen this picture floating around the Web, just guess what it might be. What it actually is…well, they *say* that it is chicken. McDonald’s chicken McNuggets, to be exact. That, folks, is mechanically separated chicken paste. It is absolutely repulsive and looks competely inedible to me. I showed it to my daughters (ages four and seven) and neither said they will ever ask me to swing into McDonald’s ever again.  (To be clear I do not take them to any fast food joints, but my mother does.  Then they hound me to take them on other days.  No more.)

So, I ask…Why would people *choose* to eat that chicken paste over a recognizable chicken breast?  More importantly…Why would people refer to *that* as “real” food and healthy food as something else?  It boggles the mind, really.

I think, on average, people have a serious misconception about healthy food.  I think people assume that healthy food equals bland or boring food.  Which, of course, is certainly not the case.  Some of the best food I have ever eaten was also some of the healthiest food I have ever eaten.  It all depends on how it is prepared/seasoned, I think.

Personally, I love healthy food.  I love fresh food (veggies and fruits are absolutely delicious fresh instead of frozen or canned).  I do not even consider myself to be “on a diet” right now.  The word “diet” (to me) signifies temporary change and that is not what I am after.  I am after a new lifestyle…these changes are forever.  So, it is important that I eat food I love.  Food I do not have to “make” myself “live through” until “better” food is “allowed.”  Maybe that is the difference?  Does the average American think healthy food is strictly designated to those on restricted weight loss diets?  Is that what the negative association is all about?

As a side note about delicious, flavorful, healthy food…I found this gal through one of my other blogger friends (sorry, I cannot remember which…).  She has *all* kinds of great recipes that are also healthy.  Guess what, though, it is all *real* food, too!  How great, right?

So, now I must know…have you encountered this healthy versus “real” food issue in your own life?  How do you feel about healthy food?  Do you hate to eat healthy food?  Would you prefer to eat what majority of Americans obviously consider “real” food?


“Ultimate” Get-Slim Guide

This is the first issue of Eating Well I have received, and I found their Ultimate Get-Slim Guide intriguing.  For those of you who do not read/receive this magazine, I thought I would share their tips with you…

1. Define Your Goal.  They provide a math problem to determine your caloric intake:
[Your weight X 12] – 500 = Your daily calorie goal to lose 1 pound a week
*Subtract 1000 if you would like to lose 2 pounds a week.  Also be sure not to dip below 1200 calories per day total.

2. Use Little Plates. This, apparently, causes you to eat less because you just think of it as “I ate an entire plate of food.”  I already do this, by the way.

3. Set A Date. Setting a specific goal (“I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months”) increases the likelihood of success.  Be as specific as possible to give yourself less “wiggle” room in your goals.

4. Make Your Dinner Plate Like This: 1/2 colorful mix of veggies; 1/4 whole grains; 1/4 lean protein.  I will admit I struggle with this…I am getting better, but I am not great still.  This is part of the reason I will be meeting with a nutritionist on Feb 3.

5. Visual Portion Sizes: 1 tsp = tip of your thumb (to the middle joint); 1 Tbsp = your whole thumb; 1 cup = your fist; 3 ounces of meat = palm of your hand

6. Breakfast Is Vital!  Those who eat breakfast are far more likely to acheive weight loss goals…never skip breakfast!  According to the magazine, repeating the same meal can help shed pounds (I thought the idea was to mix it up, but I’m no expert).

7. Eat Soup.  A study published in Physiology & Behavior showed people who ate soup consumed fewer calories during those days.  I should eat more soup.  Got any great recipes to share?

8. Snacks = Protein and Fiber.  They suggest carrots and hummus, nonfat cottage cheese and orange slices, and an apple with almond butter.

9. Ditch Top Buns. Open-face sandwiches reduce calories by at least 100 calories instantly.  So, do not eat the top bun next time.

10. Allow Small Treats Each Day. Apparently, according to Journal of the American Dietetic Association, eating a treat under 150 calories is okay and will not wreck your diet.  They suggest a 16-oz skim latte, two squares of dark chocolate, or 1/2 cup (non-premium) ice cream.  I personally find this insane, especially for anyone with a food addiction.  Opening that gate every day could be dangerous, so think about how you *really* feel about food before deciding to do this one.  I know I will not be even considering it…

11. Count Calories.  Here is a chart I created based on the information they provide in this article: Calorie Tracker Options

12. Post A Picture. Use pictures for motivation and post them anywhere you can (on your fridge, as your phone wallpaper, on your desktop/laptop wallpaper, etc.).  The pictures can be of yourself at your healthiest, your children, motivational quotes, etc.

13. Get Eight Hours of Sleep. Studies show people who sleep fewer than eight hours of sleep often weigh more than those who get eight or more.  Sleeping less can alter hormones levels that control hunger.

14. Use a BIG Fork. A study at the University of Utah showed bigger bites leads to eating less.  Also try holding the fork in your nondominant hand.  Eating slower allows your body to feel full faster, thus making you eat less.

15. Pick A Prize. Reward yourself as you meet incremental goals.  I have discussed this topic previously, and I am also an occasional “rewarder” (my rewards are *always* non-food items, by the way).

16. Portion-Control Your Lunch. A Cornell study revealed those who consumed a packaged lunch of 200 calories (such as a nutrition bar) consumed 250 fewer calories for the day.  The participants reported they still felt completely satisfied, too.

17. Weigh In and Log Progress.  Weighing in at least once weekly helps to keep you accountable, motivated, and on track.

18. 30 Minutes Per Day. Running, swimming, or biking should consume at least 30 minutes of your day…every day.  That will equal about 250 calories burned, which is about a 1/2 pound in weight loss each week.

19. Make A Bet. At you can set a goal, appoint a friend to keep you accountable, and wager money (optional) for charity to meet that goal.  If you do not meet the goal by the set date, stickK will automatically charge your card and send the money to your charity.  Apparently, putting up the money will cause an increase in the likelihood of success, too.

20. Drink Water. In a 2010 study, people who drank two cups of water before meals lost more weight than those who did not.

21. Back On Track, Stat. Repeat this mantra if you slip up.  The mindset of “waiting till Monday” to get back on track really adds on the pounds over the weekend.

22. Eat Yogurt. A recent Harvard study linked yogurt closely to weight loss.  So, have some.

23. Move, Move, Move. Incidental exercise significantly increases calorie burn. (Unpacking the car: 3.0 calories/min; Straightening the house: 3.1 calories/min; Take the stairs: 10.7 calories/min; Shovel snow: 7.6 calories/min)

24. Take EatingWell’s 28-Day Challenge.

25. Make A Plan. They provide a 1,500 calorie/day meal plan and others can be found here.

How many of these tips do you already utilize in your journey?  Will you be adding anymore of these strategies to your journey?  Do you have any of your own tips to share?


Weigh Day (week twenty-eight)

This week has really been something…I had some drama with my older daughter that landed us in the hospital for eight hours.  That also led us to a specialist at Children’s hospital for some neurological testing.  Scary stuff, really.  My younger daughter had to endure getting six shots this week for her four-year well child visit.  Also not fun.  I have been busting my butt to finish finals (due tonight by midnight), which will be the finish line of two years in college.  I cannot wait.

I also was able to spend some time with my bestie, Leslie, this week at the comedy club.  My trainer, Denise, switched up some of my routines…okay, all of my routines…at the gym this week.  I love that she listens to me.  Two weeks ago when I had that horrible 0.6 pound loss for the week, she knew it was time to switch some things up.  Great idea she had (and you will see why shortly).  I spent four days at the gym this week (and that is not even counting this afternoon when I go to see Denise).  That is one “extra” day than my normal, so life is good.

My new toy paid off this week.  I was happy to see my initial step count in the 9000’s…that happiness quickly dissipated, though.  Here is my “log” so far for the week:

Wednesday – 9206
Thursday – 6975
Friday – 11321 (yeah me!)
Saturday – 3832 (BOO!)

Saturday’s step count is super stinky, I know.  That is the product of me sitting in my office chair pretty much *all* day trying to finish up my accounting final.  I will likely spend majority of this day parked in this very chair as well; however, I know today’s count will be better.  I know it because I will be spending part of my afternoon with Denise…and she will keep these feet moving.

The last mentionable thing that happened this week was I started physical therapy again.  I can only hope a few more weeks of attention on this right ankle will get me out of this brace (and stop the pain in that darn ankle).  I injured it last March, so I am inching up on an entire year of discomfort with this stupid ankle.  What I wouldn’t give to have it all better…like now.

Alright…so, on to weigh in.  Can I just say that when I weighed myself this morning it shocked me so much that I actually weighed myself three times.  Yeah, I know.  So, on the scale was 240.2 which is a 4.2 pound loss from last week!  Crazy, right?!  That brings my total weight loss to 74.8 pounds in 28 weeks!  Let me just say I love Denise…again.  I doubt I would have seen such a dramatic loss without her switching up my rountines and pushing me hard.  Excellent.

34 days
15.2 pounds

Do you vary your workout routines?  If so, how often do you switch things up?  Do you notice a “bigger-than-usual” drop in your weight during the week you change things?  If you do not switch your routine up, why not?


Those Pants…and Me

November 20, 2011

Well, there they are…those pants.  My {former} favorite pants.  They were *so* comfy and I wore them any chance I got.

Today, of course, they are less than comfy.  They are certainly *not* my favorite pants anymore…and I will *never* wear them again (other than for this kind of purpose, of course).
This photo was taken one day shy of two months ago.  At that point I had lost 50 pounds and I was feeling pretty happy with my progress.  I will be honest, though, I am not sure I thought I would be sitting here two months later and nearly 25 pounds thinner than that moment.  I still find it crazy…really.  As of this morning I am down 73.4 pounds.  Which is wonderful, crazy, and probably the third most exciting thing that has ever happened to me (next to my two beautiful chicklets).
So, with that being said…and a little gentle hounding from some of my Facebook buddies, I decided I should probably take some new photos in those pants.  Just to see how different they look on me today.  Now, we all know I am a total weirdo… So, even though I know the numbers have changed pretty dramatically, I was not really expecting to see much of a difference in these pictures.  I think I was wrong.
I should also mention I bought this shirt probably four years ago and was not able to even *dream* about putting it on.  I still would not wear it outside, but it certainly fits.  How exciting is that?!
This is where I see the most difference in between today and November 20th.  My chin looks thinner…and I can actually tell my tush is smaller.  Go figure!  I think this kind of thing is what is going to push the kibosh on that weird disconnect I seem to be struggling with.  I am truly astounded just trying to think of how tight these pants once were on me.  Amazing.
Just to finish off this post…here’s a comparison shot of November 20 and today:

I must admit…I am excited to see what those pants are going to look like on me in two *more* months. I actually tried standing in one leg of them today…and I can just about make it. My guess/prediction is in two months I will be showing you guys a picture of me completely fitting in one leg of those suckers!

What a fabulous day this is…How is yours going?


9206 and One More Time…

So, my new toy arrived yesterday! I was so excited I strapped it on immediately! My plan was simple: the first day I am just going to be “normal” and see where I am starting with my step count. To be honest, I thought I would be in the lowly 4 or 5 thousands. I was pleasantly surprised to check it just before bedtime and see 9206.  Yes, I am still below 10,000 steps, but not that far under.  How exciting!  I guess I really do not give myself enough credit sometimes.

I am interested to see how today goes.  Yesterday was a gym day, today is not.  I did not do cardio on the elliptical yesterday, but I did do 10 minutes (1 mile).  So, I know that accounted for a decent amount of my steps for the day.  My goal is to be solidly up to (and beyond) 10,000 steps consistently by the end of this month.

As for the “One More Time” part of the post…well, Andie decided since she already had a cool, nifty toy that she wanted me to redraw for a winner.  So, someone else still has a shot at this level of fun with me…

And, so, that brings us to Charity as my new step-counting buddy! This should work perfectly with her new goal to take the stairs each day at work! Congrats, Charity! Please e-mail me at with your address and I will get this gadget out to you immediately.


{might be} A Local Celebrity

Yup, that’s me (from November 2011)…and I might just become some sort of local celeb.  How, you ask?  Here’s the story:

I went into the gym this afternoon for physical therapy (ankle) and was stopped by the GM of trainers.  He told me he was given a budget to film some testimonials for personal training…and that I was at the top of his list.  Go figure.  So, of course, I asked what the intended purpose of the testimonials would be…marketing (commercials and such, folks).  Me.  On television.

You might think I was immediately excited and thrilled to have such an honor, but that was not the case.  Not at all.  The first thing that popped into my head was being “that fat girl on TV” every time I went to the grocery.  Crazy.  I know.  I actually contemplated telling him I would not do it.  In fact, I was *this* close to doing exactly that.  Then…

It occurred to me just how awesome my trainer is, and how nice it would be to share that…and show some appreciation.  How could I not help them spread the word about how amazing my gym is?  How could I be so selfish, right?  More people *should* know that Fitworks is different.  Fitworks is can be life changing (with some personal dedication, of course).  Most of all, though, I am going to do it for the same reason I created this blog:

Maybe, just maybe, someone else out there will think…”If she can do it, I can do it.”  Maybe I can help to inspire someone to change their life.  If that happens, it would certainly be worth it to be “that fat girl on TV” for a while.  After all, I won’t be fat for much longer…right?  🙂