Friday, December 30, 2011

Eve 2 Easter Challenge: The Ridiculously Long, Eye-Strainingly Detailed, Photo-Filled Initial Post (Triple Gold Stars for Those Who Miraculously Manage to Read it ALL!)

Okay, here we are on the eve of a new year and eve of a new challenge. Hooray!

Bad news: I regained weight since Christmas.

The Really Bad News: It doesn't take much to regain for me. I mean, no cakes, pies, trigger foods, binges. Just a couple more fruits this day, some extra eggs that day, too much olive oil on the veggies a few nights, some sugar-free chocolate here and there, and overall sticking to 1700/1800 calories. And yes, that is regain caloric level for me.

The SuperDuper, UberBad News: this and this. Only a couple of the dire things we obese/formerly obese folks have to deal with/learn about. Work around.

The Light in the Dark:  If I did it once, I can do it again. The power is in me.

The Reality Spark: Read this. It may not be the BEST news, but it is still good news.

Okay, setbacks are part of the journey. STAYING SET BACK should never be part of it, though. So, none of us ought to wallow. Up and onward. That's it! Just armor back on and shoes tied up tightly and the march resumes.

So, since I set up the particulars of this challenge, it behooves me to get on with them, and they are:

        1. Initial update with challenge dress/outfit before pic, weight, waist measure.

        2. Main weekly update by Sunday with linky; midweek 2nd update.

        3. Post my guiding quote/verse in challenge updates

        4. Reveal and post about the books I will be using

        5. Support my assigned challenge buddy consistently

        6. State measurable goals in assorted areas and track them weekly.

        7. Commit to support at least 3 challengers weekly.

        8. Vow not to quit the challenge
.
       9. Final update with after pic in outfit, final measures.

Here are the goals and how I will measure them, what tools I will use, etc:

~~~A.  To LOSE 10 lbs in 14 weeks.
^^^Tools:  Tanita-San, my Scale, My Menu Planner, and my SparkPeople nutrition Tracker
****might seem low to you, but for me, hurdle. I'm pretty sure 180 or so was my setpoint, as I had to fight to get to it and couldn't hang on much below it. So, I have to encourage my body--using whatever tools I have--to heal up, reset, burn fat, and let me get closer to my end goal of 160 lbs.  Trust me, even a 1/2 pound loss a week is a fight for me these days. I plan to track calories and keep myself at 1400-1500 calories. That might produce a snail's pace level of loss, but I won't go lower. It will be what it will be at THAT level. I bought a calendar for the kitchen that has a menu planner, so I can better organize meals. Might save moolah doing that, which helps!

~~~B. FIT into my Nine West size 14 dress. (See pic of zipper not zipping, lower down in this post)
^^^Tool: the dress, natch. And the camera to document. Dress is to be tried on in regular intervals: every 4 weeks, final update.
***Fits great below. Fits NOT at all above. Combo of back fat and big boobs. Can the fat selectively burn off my upper back? Well, no. BUT..that's what I'm gonna ask my body to do. Just burn that upper back hump o' lard and let me fit into this scrumptious little black number. I keep the faith.

~~~C. Get my WAIST NUMBER in a healthier range i.e, under 35 inches.
^^^Tool: tape measure--my Myotape and weekly measures to be updated on blog.
***My waist is really resistant. And when I regain, guess where it goes? Yep, seems like all 5.5 lbs went to my middle. I'm up an inch there to 36 today. I had been 35. Dr. Oz and pals say women should be UNDER 35 for less risk of obesity related diseases.
Ya know, I lose more easily off legs/thighs/butt, even hips,  (not that I had much butt, though). The belly and abdomen finally caved after a while, but as an appley gal, it's a struggle to get the torso fat off. I think the years on steroids made me prone to upper body fat (hence the FAT BACK, and buffalo humpiness--much improved, thank God). I am back on steroids to get through December (bad month for me, asthmatically, which is good so far, no infections). 40+ years of oral/inhaled/injected/topical steroids probably will mean that upper back fat will be resistant. I will insist it do something. I'm gonna talk to the body and see what the body does. Ditto the WAIST.

~~~D. Resume my more energetic EXERCISE mojo in the benevolent winter in Miami
^^^Tools: Exercise journal, exercise videos, exercise equipment, sneakers, trainer.
***I slacked off in the last couple months, once for necessity's sake (I sprained my ankle) and the next time from holiday lollygagging. Time to get back to what was working for me, which was 4x to 5x a week of 30 or more minutes of walking or dancing (ie, energetic, heart-pumping movement) and 2x a week minimum of strength/flexibility training (with Pilates trainer and/or a video). If trainer, 1 hour. If video, however long that is, from 20 mins on. I also want to incorporate eccentric strength training, and need to figure that baby out. That would not be a long bit of exercise, but it will be a HARD bit of exercise. I bought an exercise journal, and I aim to update it.

~~~E. Remain thoroughly HYDRATED
^^^Tool: Tallying 8 oz increments for a total of 10 cups a day worth.
***Basically, I count in my head as I drink and keep a running tally. I might just use the calendar in the kitchen and notch out the water tally. Other tools: filtering water pitcher and lots of fresh decaf green tea & coffee and coconut water. More sweat, more water.

~~~F. SUPPORT at least 3 bloggers in the challenge a week.
^^^Tool: Um, my computer? ; )
***I don't expect this one to be tough at all. I blog and check other blogs anyway.

~~~G: Stay MOTIVATED, learn, and apply knowledge
^^^Tools: my challenge books and science/research blogs and articles or blogs by other fatfighting experts.
***I'm a big reader by disposition, so my goal is to read something every day--blogs, articles, chapters in my books. Learn..and apply. Measurable: I will note in updates for the challenge how much reading I'm doing, progress in books, articles read, etc.  I will quote or link up to anything that was especially good, that I apply, or that motivated me most in my reading. I plan to reread THREE BOOKS to more fully absorb the info. All of them are useful and jampacked with stuff.

~~~H. Be a solid CHALLENGE BUDDY to JORDAN
^^^Tool: email, blog comments, maybe phone calls, not sure.
*** Since I have an assigned buddy in the challenge, I aim to be very supportive and watch their back. If I see any sign of flagging or demotivation, I will try to find ways to cheer them up, energize their mojo, whatever. I want to do right by my buddy. So, the measurable portion: leave a comment on all their blog posts!We'll work out whatever else is to be done.

~~~I. Be Affirmed by my GUIDING QUOTE/VERSE
^^^Tool: Posting the quote 2x a week (or more) with my challenge required blog post updates.
*** Yeah, gotta remember to do this one. But I believe in the power of affirmations and of words and verses.

~~~J. A Vow NOT TO QUIT
^^^Tool: verbal/written commitment made in public
*** I believe that when we actually put it in words of oath or vow or promise or commitment, we seem to activate something inside that makes it more likely we will do that thing we vow, promise, commit to do. So, I'm asking myself and the challengers to do just that. Make a vow, promise, commitment to stay in the challenge to the very end.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE EVE 2 EASTER CHALLENGE STARTING POINT:

STARTING WEIGHT:  183 pounds. (Sheesh, just SHEESH!)
STARTING WAIST: 36 inches

THE DRESS (basic, but elegant, sleeveless black)...and how it fits in the BEFORE PIC:

Excuse the messy scrunchied hair.
I wanted no obstruction to the back view.
The zipper stops here. I have this with
other dresses--14 below. 16 in boobytown
Dat's my supportive underwire sports bra.

Front view, full shot.
Love how this dress accents the waist.

Side view, and yeah, I coulda ironed it, huh?
The white tag is peeping out from my arm, see?
  Okay, that's dressy BEFORE.

Now, the BOOKS AND TOOLS:

Walking and Pilates
Books:
REFUSE TO REGAIN
THE SMARTER SCIENCE OF SLIM
SWITCH (on Kindle Fire)

SWITCH on Kindle Fire &
FITBIT for motivation to walk MORE
Two measuring tapes...but I'll use the MYOTAPE
for the official weekly updates.
More tools: weights, kettlebell, Pilates toning balls
These are the feet made for walking and Pilates, hah.


MY GUIDING QUOTE and VERSE (yeah, I picked two):

--Maxwell Maltz

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   

~~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 


My VOW: I vow here and now not quit this challenge, I will NOT QUIT.  And I commit to support fellow E2E challengers (some, if not all, and my "buddy" above all).

To all fellow challengers: WE CAN DO THIS!

If you aren't in the challenge, please encourage and support us. If you're praying folks, pray for us.

Let's do it.

Be good and be well....

If You're a Believer with Spiritual Gifts, How Does It Manifest In Your FatFight?

It's funny, cause it only just occurred to me today that my spiritual gifts manifest on my weight loss journey/blogging. I know, it makes sense that it would, but I hadn't actually really just NOTICED how much it happens.

Since I was sealed with the Spirit in 1975, I've heard over and over, including from ministers and pastor's wives, that my clear and present spiritual gifts were teaching and exhortation. I've used my teaching gifts overtly--I tutored deaf and Title I kids in high school, led tutoring groups in college, led Sunday School classes for teens and for adults. I always got amazing feedback on my teaching, whether secular or spiritual. I had failing students get B's and better, in short order. (If my health had been better, I would have taught high school English, cause, yeah, me likeys the booksies.)

My exhortation gift tended to take more personal forms, in conversations,  but it clearly did come out, and obviously should, in a class or group study situation. I really wasn't just happy teaching. I wanted to excite and move the students to apply. Including myself. I wanted people to shine. And I want to shine, too. About dang time for me, I say!

Maybe this is why blogging is helpful to me. I can teach and exhort MYSELF as I research, experiment, read around, try things out. Learn and apply. Learn and share. Kindly admonish myself and you, too. Cheerlead with faith and optimism that we can do it!

I think I like leading challenges because my gifts--well, that sounds snotty, but that is how we talk about them in the Church, gifts/abilities given by God through the Spirit--can be used. I like to feel useful to my fellow fatfighters. Yes, this blogging things is mostly about ME since its inception--me in my journey overcoming my weaknesses, getting stronger, moving forward. But I so much want to share what I learn that MIGHT be of use and I so want to pump you up to move over your humps, too.  I want us all to move forward together.

And so I wonder, if you are a believer and know you have particular gifts from God, how have you been using them in this forum? I mean, gifts spill over. A teaching gift doesn't evaporate cause the setting is secular or the topic is worldly. A gift of giving doesn't turn into a selfish hoarding trait if it's not a church setting. A gift is a gift.

If you have it, use it. Use it to help yourself and others win the fat war. Makes sense, yes?

I want to keep self-teaching and self-exhorting, and I want to win this fight. And because these are my gifts, yes, I'll still share what I learn and try to find where you have weaknesses you don't even notice, all to help you. I'll keep cheerleading you, cause it makes me happy to see you perk up and move forward.

Please use your gifts...on me! I need them. Use them. We all need help.

And if you aren't a believer, and you have skills/gifts, then use them. Think about what your real gifts are in relation to others--are you a good listener, are you an encourager, are you generous and a giver, are you highly empathetic, are you a tough drill sergeant who won't back away from truthtelling, are you motherly---and put it to use here in bloggy world for the benefit of those fighting the fight.

Don't waste what you have! Use it!

Be well...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Slot Open for my Eve to Easter Challenge....want in?

Edited to add: Thanks to those who responded. We filled the slot.

I had one bow-out due to medical reasons. I have one slot open. If you're interested, go read the Eve 2 Easter Challenge rules/requirements and see if you fit. Then comment HERE if you want to request that slot.

Initial challenge post will be due by end of Saturday, Eastern time (yes, New Year's Eve!)

A buddy will be assigned. You will need to be faithfully accountable (part of the strategy, natch).

Later, be well...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holy NaCl, Batman! WTF am I doing???? Oh, and Working on the Challenge....

I'm finishing up my tweaks to the E2E challenge, and still grinning like a silly girl at the so so so sososososososo cool badge Bluezy created for us. (I love you so much, Bluezy, smoochsmooch!)

This is it:

Seriously, how kickbutt cool is this?


I just have to work out the final organizational bits, cause the first challenge linky goes up Friday and the initial update is due Saturday, New Year's Eve. I know, I'm insane to make that the start date, but I wanted "Eve" in the challenge title, and "Eve" in the metaphor and there it is. I'm certifiable. :D

I'm also astounded at my scale. Well, not, I'm not. It said 182.0. OMG. Well, lemme go update the ticker. I believe in transparency and honesty on weight loss blogs, so I have to turn back the 121 pounds lost. Geesh. I'll get it back.

So....why?

I've totally been on a salt binge. Notice, not a food binge. I've not binged since spring of 2010. My last binge was THAT long ago. But once in a while, I just go nuts with the salt tooth I have (salt tongue?). I've been hitting feta with my eggs, feta and olives with Greek salads, salty restaurant chicken veggie soups (cause I've been too lazy to make lower sodium homemade ones). Ham on Christmas Eve and the day after. If it's salty, I wanted to eat it. I was even tempted to just shake salt on my tongue.

Compulsion and addictive behaviors...they transfer. If it's not food as an outlet, some folks shop (I went on a wild spree a couple times during the DDDY challenges when I was eating 1200 cals.)  Or sex. (Um, yeah, hubby's gotten way more in 2011 than anytime after those first 7 newlywed years.) Or drugs, booze (ah, no, I don't go there).

My addictive personality has been downloading Kindle books, playing too much solo Scrabble and going for the salt.

I need to cut that crap out! I'm up 5 lbs from challenge final weigh-in!!!!!!

And that's dangerous. In more than bloaty ways. It reignites the urges to eat, salt can. Hyperpalatable foods (salty counts) can make the body fatten up again, appetite ratchet up again. It affects the brain, and the brain affects EVERYTHING.

I need to get a handle on it. Sigh.

I tend to do fine with some salt. It's when I go sodium mad that the cliff edge gets closer.

I don't want to mess up this close to goal weight.

So, yeah...pre-challenge, my goal is to ease off on the yummy salty overload. God, help me, and let's get this done!

Okay, I need to go have some water, plan out my exercise and errands and finish with some challenge stuff.

I also wanna say I'm glad to see Allan blogging again. He is a kick in the butt for many of us...a motivator. Some hate him, and yeah, I understand that tactful he ain't. And some love him, cause he helps folks get focused and stop making excuses. He'll always have a soft spot in my heart for those DDDY challenges. So, love him or hate him, maybe go read what he has to say and it might (or might not) help. Some need tough love. If that's you, head over. If you are really sensitive and gentle of soul and take criticism badly, stay away. Not everyone's cuppa, as they say.

Be good and be well...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

FELIZ NAVIDAD! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tonight is Nochebuena. Tomorrow, Christmas Day. Very special and holy days, and also family days.

It's a sad Christmas (lost my nephew 5 months ago) and my BIL had a double whammy--lost his brother a couple weeks ago, too, on top of his son's demise.

But, it's about celebrating new life--the miracle of the Virgin Birth of the Son of God--and the hope that gives. Life goes on. On this earth, beyond it. God makes all things possible.

So, believe in miraculous possibilities today and in the new year.

Feliz Nochebuena...let it truly be a "good night" for us all.

Friday, December 23, 2011


I've placed the "open for requests" post over at the E2E challenge blog.

The above (lame) badge is the one I created just now. I barely know how to work with Powerpoint/Paint, so if anyone is brilliant and can take the Eve/Easter images and work them into something amazing, knock yourself out and comment me the url for it. Or if you know me, email it to me. For now, that's our badge. (Sorry for my picturesmithing uselessness.)

I have 2 to 8 (10 maybe) slots open. We have 10 challengers as of right now. I put up the basic rules in a post on the challenge blog, but refinements are coming. I do get to choose who joins, and I have my criteria. The post lays them out.

Okay, I'm off to start my holidaying Don't really expect to blog until next week, Wed maybe, but who knows.

A Merry Christmas and joyful (holiday of your choice) to all! My heart's desire is for us to become brighter, kinder souls in stronger, leaner bodies in 2012. Let's do it!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

E2E 2012...yep, I finally chose a challenge name

Read here...to see what "E2E" stands for.

Can you guess before looking? :)

Here are clues:


I already have my dress--it nearly fits. It's a size 14 Nine West. I fit some 12 and mostly 14's and some 16, depending on cut. My boobs tend to be the deciding factor....cause what fits fine below, won't fit above sometimes, especially snug fit items. The "little black dress"perfectly fits my hips/thighs/waist, but won't zip up where I have that upper torso fat/big boobs. I don't know it boobs/upper back fat will shrink selectively, but I love the simple, classic, sleeveless shift look and I can take a pic showing how far it will/won't zip up. :D

Monday, December 19, 2011

Challenge 2012...still in the planning stage...but firming up (like we will, hah)...and fatphobia for the season? How about l little mercy and good will along with that heaping helping of social critique?

For a bit more of a preview, see this post.

Beth, babe (obesity strike Beth, that is), ya need to let me know if you changed your mind. I don't know if you'll be up for it, but you had asked and I saved you that slot. If you don't want it (when you see the rules), it's A-okay. I know I can be rules-beeyotch. It's that Catholic School upbringing, I think. hah.

And in case you want a glimpse into what an obviously NOT obese blogger thinks of the likes of us (fat folks, once or currently obese), here's a bit of a rant. The good part of the rant--an observation of money perhaps ill-spent, of greedy and self-serving excess in a time of suffering for so many--gets buried under the chilling fatphobia.

And granted, self-destructive behavior on our part (with food and sloth) ain't pretty, but neither is taking the holier than thou attitude about it so that we lose sight of the humanity of those who are slaves to appetite. And yes, when we eat this way, we are slaves to gluttony, whether biologically-driven, emotional-fueled, trauma-derived, or just plain self-indulgently powered.

A bit of mercy is never bad, especially at Christmastime.  We all don't overeat just cause we're a bunch of piggy-pigs who can't be bothered to self-control. And when comfort comes immediately in the form of carbs and fat and protein....maybe look to why we're self-medicating. Some folks use sex. Some cigarettes or drugs. Some music and dancing. Some coffee and conversation. And some cheer themselves or forget their woes and loneliness with cake and beef Wellington.  I've seen too many women who blog and are post-sexual abuse who eat to wear a disguise (fat). And those who have depressive issues (like moi), who used food to fire up some happy chemicals.

It's not always just because we're weak and greedy gluttons. It's often cause we're damaged and look for cheer where we can fastest and most easily find it.

We're all flawed in some way...every single one of us. Perhaps we ought not tempt others with "bad foods". Maybe that is a good lesson to take. Donate some to the food bank and put out a healthier buffet...maybe that's a lesson.

If you're tempted to heap up your plate over and over with non-nutritive, indulgent foods, remember: Someone is thinking THIS about YOU....how does it feel to be seen in this light? Is it accurate? Does it help us NOT indulge to know we're seen as, well, basically,  Jabba the Huts in Food Heat?

I dunno. We are killing ourselves with overeating and poor eating, but these sorts of cruel depictions just seem to fuel more DIVISION and less cooperation. It may be as destructive as greed in the end to look down on others this way...including ourselves.

Okay, got my Pilates done, time for a walk...

Later all...be well...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

CDCC Final Update: Pics and Wrap-Up

Tanita-san: 177.4

Starting weight: 184.2

Very few pounds lost, but body composition has changed. I see it, and I feel it. Hubby sees (and feels) it.

The dress totally did not fit when I started the challenge. The pics of that are here.




Here's the dress today:






I still think it will take about 7-15 pounds for it to be absolutely perfect--if the pounds come off the belly and upper back. I hate that upper back fat...but this is how I am built. Even in the 130s as a teen, I was the spider (bulk in the middle).

I went from wearing 16/18 women's jeans (18 if they were small fit designer ones), to now wearing 14 women's comfortably. Even bought a pair of 13 juniors to celebrate (hey, 12 bucks). These are the 13 Junior jeans, with my granny panties showing, cause, really, I ain't got nothing BUT granny panties. hahaha. What I like is that they aren't baggy in the thighs/butt, like "Misses" Jeans tend to be on me. I have that weird pannus/big belly, but my thighs aren't huge....so I'm the reverse of you pear ladies. If only the junior butt/thigh fit was made with the Misses higher waist, I'd be happy. So happy.

Anyway, here is the too low-rise juniors on me, size 13.

Flying my Granny Flag!


How i love the "thigh hug" on these. I have nice hamstrings. :D

So, with a thickish sweater over it, that's about the only way I'd wear these in public. I am not into granny panty flashing, and I refuse to wear itty-bitty stuff with  my big pooch/pannus.

Okay , with the pics outta the way to show progress has been made, let's see how to wrap this up.

I mostly did really well. I'm at a stage where losing is tough. I will no longer to 1200 cals, and I tried refeeding (caused some regain, then I backed off). I was experimenting with a metabolism stimulation program. I will likely continue this experimentation, just to see if I can help some stuff.

But I know I cannot eat anywhere like I have before. We all know this, right? Challenges are a way for me to stay focused. My goal of 160 pounds...well...I don't care when I get there. My priority now is to stay OUT of obesity (for me, the line is at about 185 pounds), and to get closer to goal, as possible, while staying very well nourished on good, solid, real food.

I take that back. I LIKE to get there by this blog's goal of September 3, 2012. Yes, I still would like to MAKE it. But I won't overstress my body to do it. I want to do it as nourished, rested, full of joy as I can. I will not do a TBL bang-up. But yes, 9-3-2012..how nice to beat that date to 160.

I was slack in exercise at points in the last months due to 1. an ankle injury and 2. the holidays right now messing with my schedule. But I know it's too easy to return to couch potatohood, and for the holiday season, I aim to keep to a 2x strengthening and 3 to 4x walking regimen. It's one that isn't too taxing, is feasible, is livable and makes me FEEL GOOD.

I am pretty stable and good with fluids. The DDDY challenges got me into that habit. And it has stuck pretty well.

I am pretty decent at supporting some bloggers, but hey, some days, you're just busy and you lurk. I hope the ones I supported got some good out of my chiming in.

I think, for me, the important thing learned in this challenge is that good habits must be kept up and an open mind must be nurtured. Just cause we did things ONE way, doesn't mean that's the only way. Just cause something worked in the past, it may not work now. I want to stay open to learning. Experimenting.


I've also learned what mainenance kinda feels like. I spent a couple months pretty much maintaining--as defined by varying only a handful of pounds (2 to 5) from one's regular weight (goal weight, current weight, whatever). It's still work. It really is. It is not easy peasy pleasy pie. It's still having focus on eating and moving and hydrating.

No magic wands or bullets people. It's always work. It's always something to be mindful of.

I'm lighter and leaner than when I started. I made progress. I fit (snugly) into my dress. I helped others. I did not quit.

That's what I wanted to do in this challenge, and I did it.

I thank all who participated and supported me. And if you're in the next one with me, let's continue to make progress together. The journey goes on for my "happy weight after"...though I'm darn happy with my "now"....even if I'm a weirdly shaped spider-lady.
; )

Hah.

Happy holidays to us all. (Let's not go on a mad eating spree, right?)

Be well...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Milestone Pics: My First "Medium" Top since the mid 1980s. And back in regular women's sized sneakers!! :D

I wore 11W when I began walking in January.
I'm wearing 10M now. In the same styles, too. :)
Yes. Feet get fat and feet slim down,
along with everything else.

My first "medium" top in decades. I'm ready for
the holiday partaying! Thanks, TJMaxx, for the
purdy and CHEAP tops.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eat Real Food: My Mantra...might heal some of your conditions....

Real food and nutrition got her out of a wheelchair from M.S.--what can it do for US?

I still feel so sad I can't have seafood. Sniff. Sob.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

CDCC Update #13:Back to walking, progress is achingly slow, but hey, size 13 juniors jeans!

Tanita-san: 177.6

For my official weigh-ins on this blog (I do them weekly, see my sidebar left, scroll down), this is a new low. I've seen this number on the scale before, but not in a weigh-in.

I really wanna break down past 177 and up my ticker to 122 lbs lost. Aaaah, dat would be nice.

But I'm okay with achingly slow progress, as the blog entry title puts it. I know, well enough, that as you get closer to goal weight, it's just a crawl. Barring starvation, which I ain't gonna do. I refuse to do. Period. I'd rather take another year, or TWO years to lose 17 or 18 pounds than do more metabolic damage. Ain't doing it.

So, I continue to focus on the positives. Feeling great. Looking good. My husband's dazzlingly adoring praise. I mean, I got the "You are awesome, you're beautiful" compliments even at 300 lbs, but not anywhere near the frequency and fervency I get it these days. And part of that, I'm sure, is that I FEEL IT, when I did not feel it before. I feel sexy again. I may be old and gravity-afflicted and crinkly and whatever, but I feel sexy. And I think that transfers, the attitude, not just the physical change.

I wore my snug Karen Kane dress to visit relatives yesterday, without shapewear--yeah, I'm brave!--and I felt girly and attractive and...man...ain't no cookie worth that feeling. Not a slice of pizza is worth that feeling. No soda pop, cake, bag of chips, ice cream bar or anything self-destructive foodwise is worth that feeling of liking how you look and loving how you FEEL...how your body feels....how it sits and stands and walks and bends. It feels so good!!!!

And, most surprisingly....though the loss is so minimal....

I went jeans hunting at ROSS (looking for bargains!), cause the jeans that were snug a month ago are not so snug anymore, and the but area has got some room and droop and the waist needs to be belted.  There weren't any in the women's area, so I headed out of curiosity to the juniors section. Well, long story short, I fit into a 13 juniors. The butt looked great. Nice and snug. All zippered up, too. Partay in the dressing room!!!!

I should upload pics of my thighs in that. I love how you can see the curve of my hamstrings. Purdy. I love that curve.

The top and dress I bought in size L fit quite fine, no snugness. I didn't even have to glance at the XL. :D

So, challenge particulars:

Fluids: fine but for one day, when I just sort of...spazzed. Yeah.
Exercise: met challenge minimum (2x Pilates, 3x walking) and added a bit of dancing.
Support: I was out there, and I commented. 
Calories: Sticking to around 1500
Mood: very good
And I ain't quitting!

Keep your head in the game and keep your hands reaching toward only good stuff. Right?

Yeah.

Be well...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bluezy is Fricken Brilliant!

She was inspired by my progress pics (the Playwalking one had kinda this pose and outfit). And, of course, my "royal" avatar....(I used to have a pink-begowned, tiara-ed, and Latina looking princess as my illustration avatar for years.)

How cool is that visual??? I love it!


Bluezy, big thanks and a sisterly smoochies!  Ready to make your own, with a Jayne Mansfield-ish vibe, for your blog. Let's all whip it into shape.

Tough love fat-fighting!!!!









Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ah, Tanita-San is making me happy again, allergies are not making me happy--again--and today I really hate all you &^%#$*&^% Meth Addicts! AND..SparkPeople on Worst Diet Scams of 2011....Plus the joy of OPTIONS!

Tanita-san: 177.6

:) Maybe this week will see a new low-low, at last.

I went back to my 2 meals and a high protein shake/snack, instead of 2-3 meals and 2 protein shakes...calories are still 1600 roughly, but I'm back to I.F.-ing and walking. Obviously, that helps with getting back down from regain, but what it will do metabolically, dunno. Still, nice to see the low side again.

Very noticeable to me when I woke up, too. I got a Fed-Ex and tried on my first pair of dress pants since the late 80s. When you have a huge protuberant belly, huuuuuge, like I had, pantsthat hook/button/zip just look weird. Apple gals know what I mean. So, I defaulted to stretch pants, leggings, yoga pants (and yoga pants I adore and imagine I always will cause nothing more comfy).

Well, these were Evan Picone size 14 suit pants (I got a suit). They fit perfectly in the hips, fell smoothly, no huge belly bulge. Even a bit loose in the waist. I was so happy. If I hadn't been nekkid (didn't even have undies on when I tried them), I'd have snapped a shot. But me, with bedhead and topless, you ain't gonna see.

So, I have a suit again. I have zip jeans and zip dress slacks again. This is so fricken exciting!!!

I do have to remember to disassociate from these clothes. I don't want to mentally attach to my new dresses and suit and pants and jeans and then not want to lose in order to stay fitting in them. I need to just say, "Some other size 14 person, maybe my banker SIL, can put them to use!" And release it. Or I know, psychologically, I'll hang. Cause I finally have a WARDROBE.

I finally have red and purple and green and blue and pink and magenta  dresses and tops...and most are now form-fitting, not loose tents to hide in. It's not a just a bunch of dark grey and black with some navy in my closet. Though I adore black and I look kickass good in black, so I'll always buy lots of black. I feel girly again..with options. It's not just the same black outfits over and over to cover up my bulk when we go out. OPTIONS!

Aside from energy, flexibility, and mobility--the best things about a body that's not obese--the options for dressing up makes me so happy. It's not an agony to think about what to wear to dinner out or a wedding or a party or a holiday event or a date-night. I can just walk in my closet and have real choices. It's not just elastic waist anymore. It's not cover it all up anymore.

Skirt. Dress. Leggings. Slacks. Zipper Jeans. Yoga Pants. Suit. Colors.

I am in a frenzy of joy about having options.

~~~~

I'm also thinking more about the 2012 challenge I'm planning, and I wrote a few more thoughts on it over at the CDCC blog.  Pretty much, it's already half-full (unless the pre-approved, blog-post mentioned folks decide not to go on ahead with it.)

~~~~

Anyway, so, the allergies are still annoying. I went to get some Sudafed at CVS, and I had to go through the whole annoyance of waiting in line for the pharmacy tech to get it for me (when for all my adult life, it used to be OTC). I tried the Sudafed PE and it's crap. For hardcore allergic folks, that stuff's dreck. I need the real thing...the one all you fricken meth addicts and manufacturers out there have now made a protected, behind the counter item for which I have to sign an affidavit and can only get 10 pills. Great. For anyone who's had bad bronchitis/flu and needs decongesting you know that 10 pills can go mighty fast.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, YOU IDIOT METHHEADS, FOR WASTING MY DAMN TIME! All of us with colds, flus, and allergies really appreciate having to take the extra effort to get decongested. :::dripping sarcasm::::

Okay, had to let that rant out. Ah, well. I guess I'll have hubby pick up a pack for me up in the next county and hope the FBI understands I'm a lifelong allergic type and not out to manufacture stupid-ass illegal drugs in my back room. Sigh. I like to have a stash (previously 24 or more pills type of stash, cause if you take some every 4 to 6 hours when sick, that's not even enough to cover a bout of bronchitis that last 3 weeks, but it will cover a few days of allergy attack or a milder cold) in the medicine cabinet for when the seasonal ickies hit. Guess making a stash these days means alerting the authorities.....

So, there it is. I'm lighter, stuffier, full of options, and annoyed at pharmaceutical shenanigans.

And looking forward to some concorde pears tomorrow in the organic coop. Best....pears...evah!!!

Hope your Tuesday goes well. Eat soundly and move healthfully and smile a lot...and, psssssttt,  if you have some spare Sudafed, chat me up. ;P

And did you avoid the Worst Diet Scams of 2011 (chosen SparkPeople)?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

CDCC Update #12: Man, think I'm coming down with something, boo...and the scale is still down, yay...

Tanita-San: 178.4

I'm putting this "short for me" post as a possible placeholder here, as I have to head out for a family party. But man, I do not feel spiffy. I can't tell at this point if it's allergies, a cold, an asthma flare, a combination of the previous, or whatever. Might be an active "attack thyroid" phase. I just feel off. A bit stuff. A bit tight in the throat. A bit heavy in the chest. A bit draggy.

I'm gonna take a big dose of C, drink hot green tea, and think positive thoughts.

December is a bad month for me, nearly always. Things bloom that mess me up. I hope my better overeal health status helps me get through it better than so many years past.

I got back to walking yesterday. 30 minutes. No ankle disaster. Yay. Did have some breathing "less than"...so, will monitor. May need to hit the steroids again to get through December's assault.

Fluids were fine this week. Exercise was lax--just some dancing and the walking. No Pilates. I supported fellow challengers. I kept the faith.

If I want to add anything, will do so later, but wanted to enter my linky before I leave the house.

Happy Sunday, all, and be well.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

One bit of advice for those who haven't dieted yet, but plan to in 2012...and a linky to one great blog entry to read today.

My advice for those obese/overweight folks who want to lose weight in 2012, but have not dieted yet:

GO BUILD A TON OF MUSCLE FIRST. Then go on your healthful weight loss plan.

Seriously, after all these years of experimenting, reading, trying, losing, the single best advice I can give a person who is about to embark on a plan is...spend 2 to 4 months building as much muscle as you can. Eat good protein and work out with weights. Get muscle. Lots of it.

Cause when you go on a caloric deficit diet, you're gonna burn away muscle. If you're one of the metabolically challenged, you're gonna burn a helluva lot of muscle.

So, start first with a good muscle architecture to support that loss. And you'll just plain look better when you do lose weight. :)

Now, the link:  I love Evelyn of Carb Sane Asyum. She's a smart, scientifically-minded cookie who critiques the science behind claims. I like gadflies. They keep us from becoming blind-ideologues to dieting ideas. Her critiques focus mostly on the very low carb side of things, and it's valuable to have the dissenting perspective, especially from someone who did VLCarb to lose weight. She's worth reading, whether you are for, against, or indifferent to low-carbing. I"m a moderate carber (avoid most starch, eat fruits and veggies), and I know the value of it FOR ME. And I think it's valuable for diabetic/I.R. folks. But I think her blog post today is a bit of a remedy for any sort of blind allegiance to a program.

Bodies are different. Some are metabolically charged to be lean, others to store fat. Some are ill, some are vibrantly healthy. Some handle starches well, some don't.  I firmly believe in finding what works for YOU and your life and your medical conditons (or lack thereof).

My husband thrives on less starch, lots more protein. He can eat all day and his setpoint keeps him lean now. Before, with lots of starch and sugars, he got fat. He doesn't have to count calories (like moi) now. He can eat galore and stay in a 3 lb range. His setpoint is a lean one now. :)

Me, I'm different.

You're different.

If you're gluten sensitive, stay the hell away from gluten, but find what works in terms of food ratios. Maybe you can eat a bucketful of potatoes and be lean and fit. Maybe not.

If you're vegan, and that makes you feel great, power to you. Do it.

If you want to do very low carb and that works for your body and health, do it. And keep abreast of what might happen later on.

Cause, what works now, may not work later. Bodies change as we age.

Know thyself. Know thyself and...be adaptable to changes.

And be well....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

ONE MONTH LEFT IN 2011 TO TRANSFORM: Oh, and Told Ya I'd Get That Ticker Number BACK! Still with Challenge on the Brain...

Tanita-san: 178.2

Okay, that feels better. I hated losing ticker ground.  I'm eating rather generous meals, but heavy on veggies and protein, and only 2. Third meal is a protein shake or a snackish type (like cottage cheese and fruit or yogurt with cucumber n' herbs or with fruit n' nuts). Calories have ranged from 1400 to 1900, and in between since Thanksgiving Day. Trying to stay on the LOWER end, but not too low any day, cause, hey, more starvation body derangement, I don't need.

Still tinkering with the 2012 challenge. If you have brilliant title insights, let me know. For now, I got nuthin' dazzling.

BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE MONTH LEFT IN 2011.

If you've been lollygagging, it's time to work it.

If you think you can wait for January 1--stop dat. Stop thinking stupid stuff like that. Start now. Right in the middle of this afternoon. Start this evening with dinner. Do not put it off.

Dec 1. Last Month. One month left. What can you do in ONE month?

A lot. A little. Some. But you can do it and avoid seeing 2012 the same as 2011 or heavier. You can make amazing changes in ONE month. It's possible.

On to other "me" stuff...

Ankle is much improved (though can't say knees are making me thrilled), so I expect to be back to walking Saturday,  Monday latest. I made it worse by not resting enough after the sprain and neuropathy, and I'm not taking chances. I am so eager. I miss my walks. I miss how I felt just me and the breeze and the sky and the trees. Aaaah.

I had errands yesterday, so I put on my only pair of zipper/button jeans that fit nicely (slightly loose at waist, but I use a belt). I hadn't worn button/zipper jeans in ages, cause my belly was so huge, I could not find a pair that fit right. If they fit my belly, the front hip/ thigh area was a big, loose, ugly empty space.  But I can fit in jeans more normally now--though I'm still a belly-fat prone body type.

So, in my zipper jeans and purple snug sweater and Puma flats--and feeling mighty attractive, even with "unfresh" hair, I might add, a feeling that's still novel and fun--I went and got my organic coop stuff last night.

Button & Zip Jeans...


I'm set with some nice goodies today--spinach, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, oranges (all stuff I love for BKFST),  brussel sprouts, avocados (hass), cucumbers, apples (two varieties), pears, parsnips (never had em), broccoli, cilantro, kale.... Hey, the makings of guacamole in there!

I let the coop coordinator keep my share of beets. I just didn't figure I'd eat em, so why let em go to waste. She and her fam juice stuff, and beets are great juiced. 

I also went to TJ Maxx for new stuff. As you saw with the jeans pic, the body changes are showing up in how my clothes are fitting. So, stuff that fit fine or snug in September and October are now starting to not fit as great. I bought some new yoga pants, some tops, and I tried on these pair of size 14 designer suede pants that looked so fabulous on me that I was just flirting with myself in the mirror in the dressing room. Dang. But they were expensive and I have weight to lose. I refuse to pay 150 bucks (reduced from250) for pants I may only wear 2 months. But dang, so purdy!

The yoga pants were size large. :) The jeans were 16. The tops were all L. No XL this time around. :) And they looked pretty good, too. Shopping for clothes hasn't been this fun since I was in my 20's....

Remember--one month in 2011. A new year awaits. Get ready. Be change-minded.

I do hope you all are having a day that takes you one step closer to your goal, your dreams, your joy. Realize your potentials, babycakes!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I've Begun Planning The Challenge for 2012...Cause, Hey, Helps Me, too!

I do get comments from challengers from past and current challenges I've cohosted that these are helpful. Yeah, I find them so. Glad some of y'all do, too.

Today, as I had free time, what with not having hubby to smooch and all, I began plotting the guidelines/rules/whatever for the challenge I'd like to begin on January 1st. Since that's a holiday, most folks are off, and doing an update should be fine. But I'll likely leave the update open through the second for that initial post and linky, cause, well, holiday, right? Hopefully, no one will be hungover. Bad for the liver, body, diet.... 

I figure just like CDCC--14 weeks, a book(s) for issues, updates with weight/goals, a tangible measuring object. I'm writing the rules out.

It will require a bit more than the CDCC, so obviously, those of you who found updating for the CDCC onerous--didn't bother with your reading, didn't bother supporting folks, etc--you will want to skip it.

And, like before, if you quit any of the challenges I was in or cohosted, don't ask to join. I want folks aiming to stick it out--good, bad, or in-between.

I think sticking it out helps. Even if it gets rough, I think just hanging in makes you (and me) not go off plan as much or backslide as much or regain as much. I really believe it keeps you, some part of you, the brain, the heart, IN the fight. That's why I won't allow in folks who quit previous challenges. I want folks seriously trying to overcome issues and fat and habits. It's what we all gotta do to lose and keep it off. STICK WITH IT--even when our mojo goes to crap.

So far, we have 2/3 of the CDCC crew still hanging in there. One third went buh-bye. I'm impressed with the 2/3. Keep going!

Those of you who found Slimmer This Summer or CDCC helpful in any way to your progress, journey, goal-achievements...well, consider it if, after you see the guidelines/rules, you are up to it. I don't care if it's me and one or two other people. Or me and 20 people. Although, I will cap it at a certain number, if interest is high, like 25 or 30, maybe. Heck, I may consider that 12 motivated people who will really be supportive and involved and full of good thoughts for their comrades would be better. Worked for..you know who!  If you have a small crew of folks who are committed, you can change the world.

Maybe I'll pray for just a set of 12--well, eleven plus me--with a fire in their souls for getting healthier, gals who will help me and maybe I can help, too, in this tough quest... and that small crew will NOT QUIT and UTTERLY TRANSFORM...and this will be our Emerge Glorious By Easter Challenge. 

Or whatever less dorky name I come up with.

So, I figure Jan 1st through April 8 (Easter Sunday). Would be nice if we were to have goal Easter outfits. :)  I really think fitting into something so pretty and fresh in a fitter, fresher body for one of the holiest days of the year (for us Christians, anyhow)...an outfit you DID NOT fit into makes you feel victorious. Overcomers!

I'm fine with those who want to lose lots (but realistic lots, not crazy pie in the sky TBL lots), and those who want to lose little, and those who don't want to lose on the scale, but want to maintain and just buff up and get over eating or sedentary issues--hey, even normalish weight folks can be weird about food and exercise.

So, that's my plan. Maybe no one wants in and it doesn't happen. I'm still gonna see January 1, 2012 way slimmer than January 1, 2011. I'm still gonna set goals and see how much farther I can go by Easter Sunday. If I do it alone, I will.

But I like doing it with fellow fatfighters who are willing to be open, honest, vulnerable, supportive, and accountable! It's supposed to be the Christian way...to be real, to fight the good fight, to never give up, and to help others not give up on their journey, too.

Happy Tuesday, peops. Hope some of you will be in it with me. (And yeah, I'll need a co-pilot again, cause it's always good to have someone cover things if "life happens".)

Now, what should I call this thing...what...what....?

Nite...be well...

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Skinny Jeans in October at 179.6; The Skinny Jeans in November at 179.8....Do You See What I See?

Remember the CDCC dress comparison? How it didn't even go over my upper thighs/butt in early October, but went on completely a week ago?

Okay, at that time I also took pics of a pair of newly purchased (on sale, TJ Maxx) skinny jeans. They fit (or rather did NOT fit) like this, even with a compression effect from that tight nike top:



Well, stagnant scale and all, I hit the jeans for a retry. (The tags are on the other side cause I am using a mirror. Hubby wasn't around to do me the favor this time.)

And I got this (excuse the unmade bed):




Dat's right. They went over the thighs, hips and zippered and buttoned up. Yep. Just like the dress. SAME WEIGHT. Different body.

Granted, they are tight as the dickens and I get some serious loose skin muffin-topping going on...and I wouldn't wear them out yet..or even try to sit just now...but they go up,  ZIP, and BUTTON. FREAKING HEY DOODLE DOODLE and who's your momma????

Well, nice. I needed that.

So, remember: If you're exercising, eating right, and drinking your fluids, but the scale is meh, try on your "outfit that doesn't fit". Try on your CDCC dress. Go to the store and try a smaller size, if one doesn't reside in your closet. Your composition may still be altered. Ask Karen--who has gained 10 lbs, but fits in the clothes that fit at her previous, smaller weight. She probably gained a lot of muscle from her recent exercising, even with eating a bit more.

Shifts can happen. If you've been hitting the gym and the walking/hiking trails and you haven't tested it out, test it out. TRY ON THAT THING THAT DIDN'T FIT A MONTH OR TWO AGO.

It might be a nice surprise.

Take a pic. Show us.

Nitey nite.

CDCC Update #11: Still Undecided, Still Kinda Stuck, And When's The Workbook Coming Out?? ; )

Tanita-san: 179.8

Up a little over half a pound.

At one point, after that extra meal late evening stupidapalooza diner visit on Thursday-- after perfectly navigating Thanksgiving proper with the fam--I was at 182.0.

I had allowed myself up to 184 in the refeeding program. But...honestly....

....yeah...I freaked a little bit when I saw 182.

Seriously, I gain at 1700. Daily caloric calculators and reality don't jive when you're metabo is effed up. BUT... I really gain at over 2000 (which was Thursday's final count, around 2200).

I wanted to be patient and let this system heal, but I keep telling myself "Um, I'm gonna go back to my normal 1400 plan." Then I tell myself, "But you got stuck eating low cal." Then: "But I'll get obese again refeeding at 1600, 1700."

I kept wavering back and forth. This is the story of my month.

RIGHT now, this instant, I want to go back to 1400/2 meals. In an hour I'll think: Stay with the high protein metabolism healing refeed.

Back and forth. I want to heal. I don't want to gain. I want to heal. I don't want to gain.

I already know what will happen if I go to 1200 again. I'll lose a bit, then stagnate as I do more metabo damage. I know it.

So, do I alternate 1200 days with 1600 days?

Where is that damn workbook???

Well, mini-freak aside when I saw 182--it was just a 10 second panic and then I calmed down and went about my day--I kept hoping I'd be miracle-healing girl, whose body would respond in weeks, not months or years....I thought I'd beat the odds, and rather than be patient like others have had to and let the body do its thing in due time, I'd shine.

I'm so ordinary. HAHAHAHA! No miracle girl. I didn't lose fast, like others. I don't heal fast. hah. My capacity for hope is huge, though. :D

I guess I'm impatient when I skim closer and closer to that line that demarcates obese from not-obese.

While my body has changed--the pics with the dress prove that--the scale is becoming a land of stagnant expectation.

I fear regain. I fear further metabo damage. I fear stagnancy somewhat less than both those options, and perhaps that's why I'm here.

Quandary.

Well, I am hoping the workbook and online group may give me insights on how to do this better--get leaner without compromising my system or the scale....I just am failing at it now. Impatience is not a virtue, but I want to see progress on the OTHER fronts, not just the dress going up the hips and on the bod. I want to see the 160s and I want to see my torso fat evaporating.

It's a weird thing to experiment on oneself. I did it before, finding a way to eat to help me lose.

Truth is, we become creatures of habit when habits worked well in one arena. I'm really happy to be at this weight. CRAZY HAPPY, which is why my freaks are short-lived, I guess. I'm still in Happyland.

And I want to say, "Just do it the old way."

But when I tried to do it the old way (high carb, low fat) dieting, it didnt' work for me. I did better against the rules/DNA. I did better with higher protein, lower carb, higher fat. So, my brain says, experiment again.Be that guinea pig.  You've done things ONE way, have consequences, so shift gears to do things another way to repair and make way for more progress.

But...er...I want to see loss. I want to see scale progress, too, dammit.

Do I have the faith to continue the metabo program?

Er....I don't think so.

Well, as you can see, I'm really of a split mind. And I have no easy answer today, either.

This has all been a learning journey. It continues to be. It can be energizing and it can be frustrating.

I press on and try to find good footing again. What am I gonna do?

Hell I know. I'm still of two minds. One body, two minds. We'll figure it out somehow. And try not to freak in any but a small way.

I did want to address a couple of things from the comments by Caron and Angela:

Caron: Easy peasy for the cranberries. I used fresh organic berries, followed Melting Mama's basic sugar free recipe that she had on her blog last week, and used Truvia instead of sucralose (my usual sweetener). Everyone raved about it. I loved it. No guilt sauce. Berries, Truvia, water, cook up, pop-pop, 15 minutes or so, cool. Done.

Angela: Yeah, I know. I used to binge on utter crap. Now, I when I overeat or break plan, it's for more fruit or more protein or...as you saw, a spinach omelette and some cut melon. It's a whole different mindset--from binge on fast food to eat more spinach, eggs, fruit, etc. hahahah. It's nutritive. It was too much for my body (I simply can't handle a lot of calories, not even for my size, which is hardly waifish). But it's far better than hitting the sugar, processed, junk, gluten....for sure.


Keep at it, people. Keep fighting and believing. I do. As confused and ridiculous as I may come across right now, it's all part of the journey....we keep at it. NEVER QUIT.

Even if we have to change the ticker and lose a couple pounds on it. Ah, darn. I'll get that 121 lbs lost number back showing on the ticker again. (Angela, that clearer?)

Be well...

Now, to link up and see about breakfast.

Friday, November 25, 2011

When Smart Gals Do Dumb*ss Stuff...ah, well...But I Looked Curly Good!

I got through Thanksgiving and the games/fun afterwards on plan. I took my sugar-free baked apples, sugar-free (and amazing) cranberry sauce (organic, made from fresh berries, and it was the BEST I had in my life, no lie). I had oodles of veggies and good pile of white meat. Took lots of green tea to guzzle. Wore a shaper that was snug to keep me NOT super-filling up. :D

Done good!

And then on the drive home, hubby was hungry, we ended up at a diner at 10pm, and I had a spinach omelette and a fruit cup and decaf.

WTF?

Yeah, well. There you go. I also do stupid-ass diet things.

How does one get through the feast just fine and then ..."Oh, let me eat more!"

A reminder that strategy, for me, must be in place 24/7, not just at those times deemed "danger periods."

Well, we had fun. Unbelievably fine day--cool, low humidity, sunny, breezy.

I hope you had fun, too, and I hope you didn't do some late night noshing like me.

Oh, and me (curls are back) and hubby all spiffied up for the feast-we had a purple/pink/black theme:

Thankful Princess and Prince

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving: We'll Be Grateful Fatfighters on Friday if we have a Strategy TODAY for Thursday! Warrior Garb...ON!

Okay, still working on the protein/refeeding and it gets frustrating some days, but energy is high, mood is high, and I wake up wanting to dance. This..not so bad. :D

Tomorrow is one of those minefields for dieters. It just is. Last year, I did great and lost weight through the holidays, thanks to Allan's DDDY Challenge keeping me focused.

This year, it's up to me to keep me focused, and it's up to me to have my strategy in place.

As I am bringing a couple dishes, I choose to make stuff I can eat. Natch. My organic coop has green beans, yams, celery, carrots, raspberries, seckel pears, pumpkin squash, at least one herb (sage, thyme, etc), mushrooms, greens, cranberries,  and granny smith apples, so making one cooked veggie and one crudite side along with some baked apples (walnut butter, cinnamon, bit of real butter) gives me some totally safe side and dessert options. (I'm keeping those wonderful seckels for myself, nom nom.)  I will make no-sugar cranberry sauce...fresh and organic and good for me. Not the crap in cans that's processed to death and full of pancreas-destroying, glucose-spiking nonsense.

Baking apples is easy, tastes like apple pie without all the crap in apple pie. :D Win!

Side veggies fill you up. Go easy on the butter, go strong on the herbs. WIN!

If the salad veggies are great, make a beautiful salad and add all sorts of colorful things in it to make it pop. I may make a spinach, walnut, cranberry one. :D WIN!

Skip the bread. It's so ordinary. Unless it's a super-special, grandma-baked, never eaten any other time of the year, why use up those calories on useless, gluten-laden stuff? (And if you have gluten sensitivies, for Heaven's sake, be sane. Stop being a child and  grow the damn up about food and stay away from the damn stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You will hurt yourself and lose years with your family, cause it will kill you.  STOP IT!)

Eat at least one indulgent food in a small portion so you don't feel deprived-(whatever is your fave, be it the pumpkin pie or sweet tater casserole or mashed taters or green bean casserole) and fill up on turkey meat (hey, the breast is so low cal you can just pig out on THAT, sans the cranberry sauce which tends to be loaded with sugar.

I plan to fully enjoy white meat turkey, veggie sides, salad, and my apple bake. I don't plan to have bread. I will indulge in my fave traditional items in small amounts (like last year, where I had no more than 1/3 cup of each): sweet potato casserole, which my sister has been making sugar free, but with some lovely almond extract or Amaretto. It's worth every bite. And I plan to wear snug pants. I have them. They are really snug and if I try to overeat, they will hurt. Bought them snug just for this purpose.

Wear a girdle, if you must, to keep things TIGHT. :)

WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY? Have one. Doesn't matter what you plan up, but have plans.

And calm down and choose BEFOREHAND. When faced with the array of temptations, that's when your armor will rust and fall apart if you didn't plan ahead.

I suggest for myself (and you):

Fill up on fluids and have a good breakfast to take the edge off. Have protein, veggies and fluids EARLY...to keep you from being famished while you cook/prep/greet/socialize.

At the dinner: drink water (2 cups) before eating. Sit and choose wisely. Remember that you can enjoy a couple bites of the indulgent stuff, savor it, but think of the consequences is you stuff up. You'll hate yourself Friday. NOT WORTH IT!

Dr. Berkeley, author of REFUSE TO REGAIN, whose practice helps people get and keep weight off, wrote a terrific article a couple years back to help folks cope with the holiday barrage. READ IT.  It will help you with your planning.

Here are her strategy recommendations:

1. The Old Scan and Plan: Don’t ever get caught in a corner. You should know what’s coming and have a plan to counterpunch. Imagine each holiday situation in as much detail as you can way before it ever happens. Plot a course through the food challenges. When the day comes, mentally check off each situation as you enact your plan. It’s your private game.
2. The Switcheroo: Everyone’s there for the food. Except you! Switch your reason for being at the dinner, family gathering, office party. You’re there to gather information by finding out at least one thing you never knew about five people in the room. You’re there to advance your career by finding someone at the party who can give you a lead. You’re there to see how many people you can get to ask you about your weight loss and how you did it. You’re there to change someone’s life by inspiring them to eat healther, be more like you. Set a goal. Keep track.
3. The Stare Down: For advanced maintainers only! For the true gladiator, there’s nothing more enjoyable than challenging yourself to a direct face-off with the food that used to control you. If you’ve passed the invisible barrier that separates maintenance junior (early maintainer) from SLIM (senior level maintainer), you might enjoy this trick, which is the equivalent of facing down a lion with nothing more than your expression. Go to the table, look at everything, and laugh. A good, loud, internal “HAH!” and a head toss help a lot.
4. The Dress for Success: Wear your best looking and most form fitting clothes. Let them talk to you as you negotiate that dangerous territory. The pressure of snug clothing will remind you of what your body has achieved and prevent you from filling up.
5. The Bring Your Own: A good trick for buffets, pot lucks and other challenges too. Bring a safe dish and make it something you can really load up on if there is little else that fits your rules. Generally, these clean, simple dishes go fast. After all, everyone recognizes healthy food…even if they don’t want to admit it.

As Allan used to tell us, focus on the people.

Focus on the joys of the holiday. Focus on games, conversation, dancing. Focus on the big games or parades. Focus on good memories of times past. Focus on gratitude and enlarging your health so you can have many more holidays to come with those you love and who love you.

It's not about falling face first into a pile of food. It's about the GRATITUDE for the food that keeps us a live, for the family and for the friends who share the food with us, and for the freedom to work and pray and rest and eat in peace--for the life we have. IT"S NOT ABOUT PIGGING OUT AND BEING OUT OF CONTROL.

Make it HOLY--meaning leave the gluttony (a sin) out of it.  Make it WHOLLY good, by feeling satisfied and having fun and remember to be thankful for the blessings in your life.

I have many blessings. I want to be in control with food and out of control with love. If you must choose to overindulge, overindulge in joy.

What is your high-joy, low-gluttony strategy for tomorrow?

Happy Thanksgiving, all, ....be well....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

CDCC Update 10: Weight up...but look....Big Honking NSV with VISUAL PROOF that Sometimes The Scale Is An Ass (With Apologies to Dickens)

Tanita-san: 179.2

One pound up from yesterday. And I'm guessing the 1500 mg of sodium with din-din may be partly to blame, yes? But dang, those organic collards were amazing.

Still, I was surprised by that number. Why? I always feel my torso up before I get out of bed. A body check, as it were. And I felt...flatter. Smaller. Seriously....I expected a loss. I looked at myself naked in the mirror (my post body check ritual), and I looked "less than."

The scale said what?

So, I did a non-scale check. I got put on hot deep pinky red Principessa lipstick--it's 2 years old and still not rancid, go, you, Kevyn Aucoin!--for fortification, I put on my underwire plunge bra, then I got out my challenge dress that still didn't fit last month, which was the last time I tried it on.

My eyes were telling me my body was leaner.

The scale said I was pudgier.

Let's put it to the test.

FOR COMPARISON:  On October 8th, more than a month ago, I was virtually the same weight. I was 179.6 when I made this post with pics of me trying to fit into the dress.  It would not go up past my thighs.

So, today, at 179.2,  wearing no shapewear--which I so, so need with a snug dress like this, what with all the loose skin/pannus/side and back saggies-- just regular cotton undies (not tight, comfy that I like to wear at home), I unbagged the dress. Will I get it on this time?  Will it be an epic fail? Did my eyes deceive me? Is the scale right or are my hands and eyes right, and I'm different in some way....leaner at the same weight?

Well, I guess the header gave it away.

For the visual answer.....and forgive the dirty hair, haven't washed it since my blow-out last Thursday, cause I make those babies LAST.... and am due today for a nice deep conditioner treatment....Voila!







Same dress. Same weight. Different fit.

Yep. Visual proof.

Clearly, it's snug. But I can bend over and move in it. I figure about 7 to 10 less pounds of fat and it will look killer perfect. And with shapewear, natch.

What shapewear would YOU wear under this dress? I'm thinking a "wear your own bra compression slip" would be good, eh?

So, there it is. Same weight (nearly). Different body.

Exercise and protein. Makes a difference.

I had mentioned to Mr. Bailor (author of The Smarter Science of Slim) that I was concerned about the regain. He said, watch the body. The composition can change on the higher protein "smarter" diet, while the scale might not cooperate.

Might be true. We will continue to test this. :D

CDCC Update:

Calories: ranged between 1500 and 2000.
Exercise: 2 Pilates sessions, 3 20 to 30 minutes dancing sessions.
Fluids: fine.
Support: I posted many a long-winded comment. Snarf.
Mood: Fabulous.
Book(s): Yep. Still reading and learning.
Dress: Fits (snugly). Getting to the perfect fit by Xmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I will be putting the CDCC linky up in a bit. Please, challengers, update before midnight EST Sunday. Do it on time. Please!

Okay, later.

Try on your CDCC outfit. See if you made progress. And..be well, everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Still tinkering with the higher protein, calorie refeed....and some pics of Holiday lipstick and Numsy Breakfast...also don't drink LEAD with your CALCIUM, and a heads up for CDCC Challengers (read CDCC blog, please)

Tanita-san: 178.2

The tinkering goes on. I had hit 179.4 earlier in the week (almost two pounds higher than lowest number I'd seen on the scale in 21 years--177.6). So, going down from 2000-2200 to 1500 to 1700 is a good move for now.

Experimenting to see at the highest caloric level at which I can lose again, so I don't cut down any more than necessary. And I want to see if I can reset that setpoint and be able to eat MORE (not crazy more, just reasonably more) than my effed up numbers allow.

Healing is tough. Healing the metabolism is ubertough. We plunge ahead and move on and keep learning and tweaking and keeping the faith, right?

Anyway, splurged on a holiday lipstick, LANCOME's Absolute Rouge shade (from the Rouge L'Absolu line). I got it in the mail yesterday, so even though my face was unwashed, no makeup, etc, I swiped it on to test out:

Absolute Rouge by Lancome

I like it. Looks "cooler" in real life, but  I think the warmer/gold tones in my skin makes it reflect warmer. :) Super pricey. Super self-indulgent. But it makes me happy to have creamy holiday red on the lippies! (I'm such a brat.)

Now, BREAKFAST--

Plate: egg whites topped with sauteed broccoli slaw and mushrooms (cooked in ghee,with spices), shredded cheddar on top.
bowl: papaya with lime juice
glass: iced decaf green tea with lime juice
cup: fresh coffee....(had 2 cups)
Not shown: 2 glasses water before eating...

Between meals, I do up my whey protein shakes with flax (sometimes I use Aroy-D coconut milk and water, sometimes almond milk and water, sometimes just water).

And I prefer my calcium this way, and, one hopes, without lead. (If you take calcium supplements, get one that ain't toxic, K? But best if you eat well. Get it naturally. Wish I had access to primo, superduper raw milk.)

Hope everyone is doing fine.

If you're in the challenge, please read about the two prizes we'll be giving away at Challenge's finale.

Thanks, be well....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Got Hashimoto's Thyroiditis? Get Rid of the Gluten!

Auto-immune wackiness runs in my family--AITD, Lupus, Alopecia Universalis, autoimmune aplastic anemia, and the gamut of allergies/sensitivities....

So, if you have this stuff, too, I feel  your pain!

Anyway, READ THIS if you have AITD/Hashimoto's and you're still eating those recommended 'healthy whole grains' with gluten. Seriously, look into it. Read WHEAT BELLY by Dr. Davis, while you're at it, too.

And if you already know you're sensitive (Debbi, Deb Willbefree, etc), put down the dang gluten!!!!! Stop that!!!  Ditch it!!!! Don't look back!!!! :)

Hashimoto’s often manifests as a “polyendocrine autoimmune pattern”. This means that in addition to having antibodies to thyroid tissue, it’s not uncommon for Hashimoto’s patients to have antibodies to other tissues or enzymes as well. The most common are transglutaminase (Celiac disease), the cerebellum (neurological disorders), intrinsic factor (pernicious anemia), glutamic acid decarboxylase (anxiety/panic attacks and late onset type 1 diabetes).

It's not your thyroid. It's your immune system whacking your thyroid (and, maybe, other tissues). Take care of yourself from the gut in.

And be well...


Sunday, November 13, 2011

CDCC Update #9: Refeeding to follow the SSofS Plan is Fricken TERRIFYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But....I will work this out and make this work! Plus a look back at November 2010 vs November 2011 (for perspective) ...and the challenge particulars. And some pics at 178.0!!

Tanita-san: 178.0

That's minus 0.2 lbs from last week's official weigh in.

Looking back at other Novembers close to this since I began my blogging to lose weight (after a high of 299 in June of 2004, I didn't start blogging until 2007 at 279 lbs, I'd lost 20 lbs  in those 3 years):

Nov 15, 2007: 274.8 (-24.2 from high weight)
Nov 09, 2008: 271.8 (down 27.2) (Can see I was struggling, right?)
Nov 14, 2009: 268.6 (down 30.4)
Nov 17, 2010: 245.2 (down 53.8, and after new blog begun in 9/2010)
Nov 13, 2011: 178.0 (down 121 pounds....and yes, changed a lot!)

I kept experimenting all those years. Sometimes just gave up and binged again. Tried something new. Kept going. I never totally gave up, even when I took hiatuses in frustration. I kept going back to try something. My old blog is still here, at http://onceuponadiet.blogspot.com. It catalogs my steps back and forward. My beginning with Pilates in June of 2008 (a turning point in how damn serious I was getting about healing.)

You can click on PROGRESS PICS on tabs section under the blog header to see how I looked at those approximate weights/times.

What does 178.0, 121 lbs lost, look like on me today?

Here ya go, me, after I was done dancing with the hubby, no makeup, before breakfast,  wearing my NETRITION tank, size M (men's, I'm guessing)....the living proof:
Got a blow-out Thursday and I woke up looking
like this! Didn't even brush it out. Nice!

Yep. My belly is still my fatty spot,
but dang, my legs are hot! Not so bad for
a chronically ill, 2 decades plus
obese/morbidly obese,
almost 52 year old dame.

Oops..tank is too loose and bra is showing!

That 178.0 is a bit higher than the lowest number I saw on the scale a couple days ago (177.6).

This is not surprising, btw. I've been following the plan in THE SMARTER SCIENCE OF SLIM (to heal my whack metabolism and restore normal fat-burning) for several days. It's a bit different from my regular eating pattern.

Let me recap:

Previous eating patterns in 2011:

~~Hardcore Phase: 2 meals or 2 meals and a protein/fat-rich snack for a total of no more than 1200.
~~Then Lesser Hardcore: 2 meals or 2 meals Plus Snack for no more than 1400
~~Then same as above but no more than 1500. Which has been my recent pattern (the last month or so)

But this past week, without a lot of exercise (the healing ankle), I added the whey/flax combo 2 to 3 x a day. That's anywhere from 600 to 900 extra calories just from the added protein/flax/almond milk between meals. I was doing 2000 2200 cals a day for the last 3 days. 1800 the day before that.

That's a boatload of calories. I had to force myself to do it, cause I had no appetite. I really could have gone all day without eating until supper. No appetite, zip. BUT...not eating would defeat the purpose of this phase. It's more like REFEEDING to stimulate the system.

I find this utterly terrifying, and I'm going on faith here. I may need to backtrack, reassess, and see how I can refine it to be less terrifying. Sort of go through in increments to the total recommendation in the book. When one is used to eating lower cal and losing, to eat a lot more calories becomes an anxiety-producing, scary enterprise.

I'm pooping my pants.

I kid you not. I'm wary. But I move on faith, believing my system CAN heal.

So, I've gained. And I will be looking at the book again, my eating, find a way to get the protein/veggies in in the recommended intervals with only a lesser rise in calories.

I know the book says DO NOT WORRY ABOUT CALORIES...but the fact is, that I will feel better progressing more slowly. I just have to look at the info and personalize it. I know I was maintaining at about 1600, so maybe start the program at 1500 and work it up slowly. I will have to figure that out, and it's gonna be tricky. I will need to find a different whey protein (I am using PaleoMeal and the Swanson's, because they are from healthy, grass-fed cows with minimal processing.) I ordered some Jay Robb's to see how that works for me--no weird sweeteners, grass fed cows, no hormones. It's expensive, but using food as medicine tends to be expensive at first. Economizing can come when I get the system down.

My actual meals are the same as always--protein and veggies at core, fruit for dessert, some nuts, sometimes yogurt for a snack or mini-meal, minimal starches. I bought some Beef gelatin to use for snack/protein/supplementation.

I'm already used to drinking a lot of water (which Bailor recommends strongly) and I've added the decaf green tea for metabolic enhancing purposes. Really like it iced with a splash of lime. I make several cups daily and refrigerate to drink ad libitum.

I feel great, btw. Wake up wanting to sing and dance. I pulled hubby off the couch after I woke up (he was watching soccer) and we started dancing to SEPTEMBER's new dance cd (thumbs way up). I was just bopping and laughing. Started bumping him and he goes, "Um, are you fertile???" hahahah. No, I just feel really good. Ankle is better.

I return to Pilates tomorrow (will test the leg there and see how I've progressed. Less numbness is nice.)

I intend to get back to walking, and I've begun some upper body eccentric exercise.

In all, just trying to heal. So, I'm willing to put up with some refeeding regain  SOME. (I've seen some metabolic healing bloggers refer to a period of regain before the body revs up and starts burning at higher caloric levels and weight loss resumes.) Some experts say healing of the metabo can take years. Oh, lawdy. I honestly don't know how much I will tolerate other than a few pounds. I won't tolerate above 184. That's my, "Screw it zone." Psychologically.

I guess it's guinea pig time for me. In the hopes of a greater, healthier, newer me. It's scary and it's exciting.

But other than the protein addition, I'm pretty much eating the clean way I've eaten for months and months. No gluten. Low starch. Moderate carbs. Lots of fresh (ideally organic) veggies. Good protein sources. Healthful fats daily. Some fruit. Lots of water. And a bit of a treat now and then (dark chocolate, fruit/nut bars).

Here's to going boldly where others may have gone before, intrepidly, but not me. And I go like the worrywart wuss I am. Yet with lots of faith and curiosity.

Challenge particulars:

Calories: 1500 early part of week, 1800, then around 2000 last couple days. Intentional. Despite low appetite. Really low appetite.

Fluids: great

Exercise: some, but still in healing phase. Dancing, some eccentric push-ups and shoulder presses. Stretching (Pilates and yoga-style). Balance exercises for knees/ankle.

Support: Yep. I've commented (and sometimes quite at length) on some (not all) challenge blogs. I hope I was able to be of help.

Books: Finished THE SMARTER SCIENCE OF SLIM, and am gonna reread it. Have read some of THE END OF OVEREATING again.

Mood: EXCELLENT. And I will not quit. Not ever. I will grow and learn and try and continue on this tough journey to health and self-discovery.

Goals for this week: To stay at or above 1500 cals while following the SSofS protocol (in my seque-ing modified way). Keeping an eye on scale. To up exercise (especially muscle-building, with walking for joint health). To dance when I want, cause it makes me happy! To keep the faith. To keep going. To be someone who encourages others on their journey. To....heal.

If you're in the CDCC and haven't updated yet. Please do so before end of today, EASTERN TIME, and go link up on the official challenge blog.

Later. Be well....