Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 53 of Phase 5: Why Exercise? Here's Why...And don't expect to ever eat a lot again...unless you wanna be one of those regainers we all fear we will be...aka Reality Rock and How To Make It Comfy...

No scale today.

Exercise: Pilates with trainer in the pm; walk outside for 27 mins in the early evening.

I felt bad when I woke up. Congested, sore throat (no doubt from mouth breathing/snoring due to said congestion from allergies). No energy. I was sooo tempted to cancel Pilates. I had gone to bed late cause I am hitting a deadline with some stuff, and I was up late doing it. :P

Didn't cancel. Went. The asthma was a bit acting up, but we got through it.

Felt better afterwards (we did some chest opening positions) and had my healthy lunch, more fluids, and once it got cooler (we got into low 90s today), off I went for my walk. Managed better than day before. Yesterday, I was struggling to breathe. Walking was...a chore. Breathing = very important. Oxygen = critical. Trust me on this. ; )

If I had canceled our session at the studio, I guarantee I'd have vegged out like a zombie, feeling sorry for my sickly butt. Instead, the blood got pumping, and I had to focus on breathing deeply, and I had to get my mojo going. And in the end: felt better, got my energy back to maybe 80% . Mood drastically improved, to the point a fella at the farmer's market (I needed produce) said, "My, you're very happy, aren't you?" And I said, "Yes! I am VERY happy!"

Exercise--makes you FEEL better, aside from everything else.

Anyway, for those still couch-potato-ing it, here's an article that might push you into moving:


If that made you wanna start moving, then here is a google list for you. Start reading. Get on it TOMORROW or-- if it's early where you live--TODAY.

I was calculating how much I should be losing on 1200 calories (roughly). It's not pretty. I know my metabolism is damaged, and I knew it most clearly when I checked what it took to maintain a year ago or so. I lost less than average when I was 268 (which I learned by tracking my food and looking at what the average loss should be at that weight with my calorie deficit). I was lower than average. I was off by about 250 calories. Meaning, I maintained at that many calories FEWER than the average estimates for my height/weight/age.

But by my rough calculations, at 1200 calories, at my current weight, it's about a bit over one pound a week, a pound and a half if I exercise daily--hard.

This is not the cheeriest bit of news. But, okay, not gonna whine. At least I know I can lose. I just gotta take a longer view than some. All I gotta do is focus on eating soundly (and not a lot) and moving well and let my freaky body do its thing at its pace. I do more than an hour of exercise 2x a week, and I do at least 30 mins or more the other days, other than my one day of rest, my Sabbath. That is not  unsustainable for me for life.And I do have this long view: What can I do as I continue to age? If I can't sustain it, then what is the point? Go through all this just to be fat and inert again?

I constantly assess: What can I sustain? How can I live and be well, but not feel trapped in an obsession of "health mentality"?

(I say this with the understanding that I've set aside this period of my life to GET out of obesity so I can then stay OUT of obesity while actually getting other stuff/projects done and dreams fulfilled. This is step ONE. Get to healthy weight and healthy habits so other dreams can take center stage. This is the foundation.)

I don't intend to do the TBL type of thing and exercise hours a day to get a bigger weekly loss. And I'm not gonna eat less and go hungry. So it is what it is. My final goal weight may end up being heavier than current goal weight. It all depends on what is SUSTAINABLE.

 So, between my metabolic reality, my weight goal, and my exercise-feasibility--I reminded myself that the way I'm eating now is pretty much how I'm gonna eat for life. A bit more perhaps until I get older and need to cut back. But I don't foresee being able to eat more than 1400 to 1500 calories unless I want to get obese again.

That's why you don't go off diets, really (unless you're a big guy or an athlete or a manual laborer and can eat scads more than many of us/most of us). You have to eat less...permanently.

I wish it were otherwise, but I guess I see this sort of eating as the training ground. I may be able to eat 200 to 300 calories MORE and maintain a goal weight close to normal. Maybe even normal--though I doubt it. But really, 200 to 300 more is NOT a lot more. It's a nice bit of leeway, but it's not , "Hey, let us eat cake and pizza" leeway.

The way you're eating to lose. Can you sustain that, a close snapshot of that, for life?

If Cause you can never go back to how you ate before without regain.

The exercise needs to become a habit. The food vigilance needs to become a habit. The acceptance of limitations to our hedonism needs to become part of our philosophy.

I'm working on that. I tell myself this every day: It's gotta be like this every week and month and year from now on...keep going. Make it a habit.

Okay, what a bummer kind of reality-slap note to end with.

But really, not. I guess. Facing the truth can liberate us from wild expectations. Getting slimmer and stronger doesn't make the food issues magically disappear. If it did, no one would regain, right? It's liberating because we understand that if THIS is how it must be, then our energy can go not to dreaming about "off the diet splurges and binges", but dreaming about how to maintain healthy habits and grow old with better mobility, flexibility, strength, cooking skills, food shopping savvy, and enjoyment of healthful feasts.

It means growing up about food. And at 51, it is long past time I did that. I I'm maturing in that area. Mature people don't delude themselves or whine about what they can't have. They face the rock and the hard place and make it work as a livable place that helps them prosper.They sew cushions and plant radishes and sing songs right at the rock face.

Late-blooming is better than, start planting flowers next to that reality rock....

Happy resting for those reading this late..or GOOD AND HAPPY NEW DAY for those reading this tomorrow....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To Fellow Fatfighting Bloggers: Please Don't Just Go Away....Tell Us How Come or Say Goodbye...maybe...

I understand that bloggers need to take breaks. Sometimes for a while. Like sabbaticals. :) As long as you tell us that, it's cool. Everyone has things in their life and some things more demanding, some stages of life more harried. Or you just lose interest in blogging. I sometimes do.

But if you really plan to go away, please, give us a valediction. A farewell post letting us know you recognized you had people who read you, kept up with you, followed you, cared about you, supported you even...and that you want to say adios to us.

It really kinda hurts when folks just disappear without a fare-thee-well. It makes me, as a regular reader, feel...disposable. It's a bit disorienting. Sometimes, it's really worrisome, cause you wonder if they got badly ill or are in comas or something. I mean, okay, it's probably that they got sick of dieting or are regaining and embarrassed about it. BUT...I'm neurotic, so maybe it's just ME thinking that it's the really bad things...Sometimes, I wonder if they..well..died. (Oh, gosh, I hated typing that. But it does cross my mind. People do have mishaps, accidents, disasters, sudden illnesses that are terminal.)

Hopefully, it's just they got tired of blogging.

Anyway, here are a few bloggers who just...went away. And I worried about it...and I miss them:

Midori, Mighty Warrior
Journeying to Lose 200 Pounds... The Triumph of Perseverance

And to some extent, this one:

(Though we know she got injured and needed to recover...but...the weekly update schedule wasn't kept to, so of course, we worry, right?)
Anyway, for some reason, these MIA bloggers--one case of a deleted blog--were on my mind.
Have you had bloggers go silent on you or delete their blog without notice? Miss them? Worry?

UPDATE: Got a note from Chubby McGee. For those of you who miss her since she went private, she's doing great and is very, very close to ONEDERLAND. So, hooray for her!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 51 of Phase 5: The Five Books I'd Recommend To An Obese Person Wanting to Lose Weight (the ones that helped ME, so yeah, subjective); Linking to a Book Review Good for Dieter and Maintainers; My New ASICS Onitsuka Tiger Footwear; And Accepting I Can't Multi-Task! :-/

No scale today. I had to rush out of bed and throw on panties and clothes to answer the door--and then talk numbers with a lawn care dude. And then had breakfast. And forgot. And i don't do weighing after I drink or eat anything..uh-uh. Naked and empty is how I do it.

Okay, since I talked yesterday (after my rant, hahhaah) about what advice I'd give to someone wanting to start a weight loss journey and I specified what I'd put in a weight-loss-encouragment gift basket, today I'm gonna list (prolly not for the first time) the FIVE BOOKS that I'd recommend, cause they helped me 1. reach epiphanies and 2. learn strategies that my (formerly) morbidly obese butt needed to implement. And my (currently) obese butt needs to keep implementing.

Here's the list. I think in future, I will do posts that go more in depth about what I valued in each book. For now, you can google up or amazon up reviews and comments about them.

They are in no particular order other than the first one, which is THE epiphany provoking one par excellence of the bunch for moi:

1. THE END OF OVEREATING by David Kessler
--Helped me understand why I had insane, junkie-like cravings to eat insane quantities of food until I was in pain from the fullness; why I binged; why I couldn't stay on a diet; why chain restaurants and fast food joints become addictive; why I was a food freak. Opened my eyes to one major aspect (not comprehensive, but essential) to why I overate. And how to stop it. And I stopped it.  Lots of science stuff, but once you are in it for a couple of chapters, it hooks ya.  NOTE: It's on sale RIGHT NOW at as a "bargain book" for less than 6 bucks. If you want it. :)

2. WHY WE GET FAT by Gary Taubes
-- For many of us (maybe most in Industrialized countries, especially, that do not require morning to noon hard physical labor), yes, it's the carbs. Miles more accessible and readable than his previous one (which was great and an eye-opener for me, but I didn't epiphanize like with this one). Lots of science stuff (but not as densely so as the previous).

3. SWITCH: How to Change When change is Hard by Chip Heath
--Basically, a nice overview of techniques and studies on HOW to change. Since I wanted help with changing how I ate, I figured it was worth looking at non-diet books that related just to...well..CHANGE. How to do it. Here it is.

4. BEATING  OVEREATING: The Easy Guide by Gillian Riley
--If you've ever felt you were addicted to food, then Riley is on your side with techniques on how to beat that addiction. If you use these tools, they work. If you USE them...they work.

5. REFUSE TO REGAIN by Dr. Barbara Berkeley
--Bought this cause I plan to be a maintainer. :) Hopefully by Christmas. :D Turns out it's not just great for those who lost their excess adipose tissue, but for those who are losing it, too. Even if you've only lose 1/10th of what you need to lose, you don't want to REGAIN, right? :)

So, for the fat and the formerly fat, here is a great book by a doc with a practice that seeks to help folks lose and keep the fat off. It's accessible and chock-a-block with well-organized tips.

She takes the Primarian dietary approach (which coincidentally is what my registered dietitian came up with--not that she knew that until I told her--when I handed her the DDDY Challenge menu packet and said, "Adapt this to my medical conditions, please, and make it so I can stay at or under 1200 calories." She did that, and it ended up virtually identical to what Dr. Berkeley recommends.) Primarian is like a modification of Paleo or Primal (meaning she allows some dairy and artificial sweeteners/treats). You can find the link to her blog on my blogroll, where it's been featured since last year. :) She's also on Facebook.

I mentioned REFUSE TO REGAIN last not out of least honorable or useful, but to segue into this link to Sunshine's Heart blog, where Karen, the lovely blog owner of said blog, a very kind and supportive weight loss blogger who used to be in the DDDY and is now in maintenance mode (hooray) is reading, reviewing, and raving about the book.

If you are one of the fortunate MAINTAINERS, you might want to also look at this one: JOINING THE THIN CLUB: Tips for Toning Your Mind After You've Trimmed Your Body.

And if you have issues thinking of interesting meals to cook or for meals on the go while still staying at 1200 to 1600 calories for the purpose of losing OR maintaining, I also recommend:

1. The 400 Calorie Fix (what a neat book! Much nicer than the other X00-calorie types books I've seen).
2. Cook This Not That

Lots of great photos. Easy recipes. Ideas for eating out. All good, right?

Well, I hope this was helpful. If you've read or reviewed a book that changed your weight loss journey for the better, caused an epiphany for you about your relationship to food, or got you moving and cooking healthfully, please post a link to your review to it. Or just leave a comment as to the title and how it helped. THANKS.

Oh, and here's pic of my newest footwear. I am now an ASICS fanatic and in the last few months have acquired 4 pairs. Three are pricier running/multi-purpose ones that I needed for the challenge exercise portion. These are for general fun use, errands, outdoor fests--things where I wanted a jazzier pop of color and didn't need as much stability /motion control and padding. So comfy. Light as clouds. And RED. Me love red footwear!!!!

My Onitsuka Tiger (yes, Japanese name and the box had Japanese lettering!) babies:
Um...I need no-show socks, yes?

Now, I need to go do many things I've been NOT doing. (I really need to finish that book on Procrastination, as that vice/flaw/bad habit is still on my "to conquer" list.) I seem to only be able to focus on two major things at once. With the diet and exercise, decluttering my closets, judging the contest entries, and catching up on reading...many, many other things are falling into disarray and disorganization on a massive scale. Cleaning, decluttering books, editing online at the magazine I volunteer for, bills??? I'm so bad. Off I go to deal...

Happy Tuesday, people! Be well...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 50 of Phase 5: Where I Rant About My Defective Body and Early Envy of the Healthy, and Where I Progress to Make Peace and Vow to Good Stewardship of This Temple...and Where I Answer My Own Question about 3 Tips and Gift Basket For Obese Loved Ones/Friends Wanting to Lose Weight...

No scale today.

Asthma is acting up (yes, it began with 2 weeks of stuffier and stuffier nose and allergies and rashes, and now the spring pollen and mold assault has encroached on the bronchii). Pilates was tough, but we kept the pace slow enough that I didn't go into all-out attack. Sucks. But..hey, as long as I can breathe and am alive, I should not kvetch too much.

I think the reason it bothers me is that I exercise, eat beautifully, try to sleep restfully, de-stress my life as much as is possible without being comatose, don't abuse cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or sex. Do what I'm supposed to. But I can't do squat about what is genetically wrong with me.

It vexes me, yes, that this is out of my control. I was born defective; I'll die defective. I'll never EVER EVER know what it feels like to be a really healthy person.

Even as a kid, I was so envious it would drive me to near suicide that other kids could run and didn't have to carry wads of tissues in their pockets and bookbags, which inevitably ran out by lunchtime. Other kids didn't have to make sure they had pockets or purses to carry medicines and hankies. Other kids didn't have to worry when weather or seasonal changes came on. Other kids didn't have to routinely get shot up or hospitalized. Other kids didn't suffer debilitating depressions from age 8 on...though I didn't realize what it was until years and years later, when I understood wanting to kill yourself at age 8 and feeling blue as bruises periodically, in cycles,  for no reason is not  normal.

It pissed me off royally.

And in my teens and twenties and on, I'd get so angry at people who had vibrant health, who didn't worry that they could or could not breathe if they walked too fast or went past someone with strong perfume. Didn't have to sit somewhere else in church to avoid getting sick from residual smoke on a man's suit jacket of too much cologne on a woman's neck.

And when I was in the work force, worrying I'd be fired cause when my lungs took ill, I'd be out 2 weeks minimum at a stretch and have to bring in medical certification that I wasn't malingering. That I couldn't go camping with relatives. And on and on.

I used to tell healthy folks, who'd wake up and not have to give a care about what item they ate or what meds were in their pockets or what environment they had to avoid or how it was a fine day to just up and run around as much as they wished--don't take it for granted. I'd say that exactly: "you're blessed...don't take it for granted. That you can live without worrying if you'll suddenly seize up and not're blessed."

It made me teeth-grinding furious when people with beautiful faces/bodies and profound health and excellently level moods sans depressive episodes did asinine crap like drunken binges, drug experimentation, promiscuous sex, , etc. How could my friends, these blessed ones, with clear skin, good eyes, fabulous health....risk damaging such a gift with quaaludes or coke or boozefests or one night stands or silly chicken-car-racing....

And there I was...envious and head-shakingly shocked they never understood what they had.....what a treasure.

So, I think part of my self-loathing and disdain of my body--which allowed me to get obese and not much care for ages about doing much about it--came from not being able to trust it. My eyes were bad (glasses at age 12). My skin was bad (rashes, eczema, then acne). My teeth were bad (stained from all those antibiotics in the tooth-formative years). My ankle was bad (severe fracture at age 5). And most of all, my immune system and respiratory system were bad.  My body was not trustworthy, and then I came to hate its weird shape (that was not gracefully feminine like my other sisters, who have different types from paternal side of family).

I am starting to make peace with my defective body. I want to take care of it, nurture it, make it more functional and attractive (though it's got so much irreversible damage, the level I can get to will never be..well...socially lauded). I want to stop damaging and hating it for being an enemy to me in so many ways since infancy. I remind myself it's also been a friend, allowing me to see, no matter how imperfectly, a beautiful world and the faces of the people I love. I can hear. I can walk. I can taste food. I can sing and feel the pleasure of it. I can dream. I can create.

It's nice to have a body.

Until the resurrection...I won't know what it's like to have a body that's completely free of...illnesses. Of defects.'s still entrusted to me, and though it's late in life, I am going to be a better steward.

Every Christian who deforms their body with overeating, drugs, self-mutilation, etc--that person is violating the good stewardship that God expects for all his gifts. Life and our the Earth, is a gift, and we should take care of it. The body is, says the Word, a temple...the temple of God, each of us, individually. If I mistreat it, if I abuse it, God is not pleased.

I want God to be pleased with what I do with regard to my flesh...not just my spirit or mind or soul. I need to work on all of it. :)

Anyway, I had asked my lovely bloggy readers to respond to a question. Read it here in this post if you missed it. The comments were great. Very smart. Very useful. Read them if you are new to dieting/weight loss/fatfighting, and you want to get advice just on how to GET STARTED, get going, toward some success.

And here is how I'd respond:

Question One: 3 Tips for Getting Started
1. COMMIT FULLY AND WHOLEHEARTEDLY:  Commit to the reality and accept the tough but inevitable idea that you WILL HAVE TO GIVE STUFF UP. You will HAVE TO SACRIFICE SOME DEGREE, LARGE AND SMALL, OF FOOD RELATED PLEASURES AND COMFORTS FOR LIFE. It's not a temporary thing. A short-term fix. It's for life. Grasp that idea before embarking on the journey, then begin it with small steps that lead into the bigger steps (and everyone with half a brain knows the steps--eat less, move more, eat cleaner and more sound food, not junk and sugar and crap). But first, make the DECISION...or do what it takes to come to grasp that reality. That's numero uno.

2. BELIEVE FULLY and do what it takes to keep believing: If that means you have to scream affirmations into the morning wind, then do it. If it means tattooing "I Can Do It!"  onto your right forearm: do it. If it means leaving sticky notes all over to encourage you day and night. Do it. You will not keep moving past obstacles and temptations if you do not BELIEVE that you are capable of losing the weight, gaining the muscle, eating less, overcoming emotional eating, overcoming stress eating. BELIEVE YOU CAN DO THIS. Read blogs of successful losers/maintainers until you see yourself in their story. Read books of successful dieters. Read books of successful ANYTHING questers--mountain climbers, around-the-world sailors. DO WHAT IT TAKES TO KEEP FAITH AND HOPE ALIVE. Start a blog Join a challenge. Do not, not notnotnotnotnotnotnot lose faith in your ability. 

3. TRACK TO CALORIC LIMIT, THEN STOP EATING: Until you get to goal weight, choose a sane caloric level that will help you lose (and make it a lot less than what got you where you are) and track your food to stay within that level. Every morsel. Use a notepad. Use a computer. Use Sparkpeople. Use FitDay. Use whatever. But use something to account for points/calories. Naturally, then you stop eating when you reach your limit. PEOPLE LIE TO THEMSELVES. If you don't track every bite and spoonful and ounce (and a correlative of tracking is you must measure to know what to log/track), you will tell yourself "I didn't eat that much." Yes, you did. You got fat eating that much. I got fat eating THAT much. Don't lie. Track. It will open your eyes. And the online ones help you track nutrientes, so you know where you fall short (magnesium, iron, etc). And it will be stark evidence that you lean maybe (ahem, most likely, definitely) to unbalanced eating--too little protein, too many carbs, too much salt, not enough fiber,  etc.

If I had more tips to give, I'd move into actual nutrition and exercise tips and stuff. But I am strongly of the mind that if we commit, believe, and track...things will start to happen. Eyes will open. Hearts will fill up with faith.

Now, a gift basket, with at least 3 (or only 3) items to help folks who are morbidly obese on their journey.

I'd include:

2. A printed list of online food trackers, youtube exercise videos, and weight loss sites/blogs with a note about how each can help.
3. A gift certificate for one pair of good walking shoes

If I was going to include more items, maybe a grocery list of "healthful diet staples" with a gift certificate to a farmer's market. Or a book of dieter's affirmations. Or more books I value. Or some good whey protein and recipes for breakfast smoothies. Or toning balls and resistance bands. Or exercise DVDs. Or a free pass for a week at a gym. Or a prepaid appt with a dietitian.

That's what I'd give if I was limited to 3, though. :)

Anyway, if you know someone who needs to and wants to get started, but just feels lost about how to get read those comments and pass along this blog entry. Maybe this is what they need to see/read/do.

I have to go work on some fiction judging...see you guys well...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 49 of Phase 5: Official Challenge Weigh-in, Talking to My Body, Phase 6 a-coming, and Off to Family Party where Temptation WILL be Resisted...

Tanita-san: 214.8

That's 1.2 lbs lost this week. Rounded up to 215 for the Challenge WI. Yes! I can report a loss to A. Hooray!

I actually TALKED to my body before dropping off to sleep at 3:30 AM. I begged it to be 215.2 or less so I could round it to a loss. It felt like listening, I guess.

I figured it would be a loss when I woke up. I always "feel myself up" in the torso, from ribs to thighs, to see if I feel "less than". I can tell when I'm bloated just by how much more my belly will feel "rounder". I can feel when it's flatter. (I have been feeling more bones lately. I even mentioned it in Pilates. In certain positions, on certain equipment, I can tell I have a lot less padding in my butt and ribcage area. It can be painfully apparent.)

Yesterday was one of those funny "perfectly rounded" calorie counts for the day on my SparkPeople nutrition tracker. (And I was spot on with my R.D. + Challenge coordinated/designed eating plan). Usually, as you know if you track online, the final total calorie numbers don't come out with nice fat circles at the end.  Well, unless you round counts in a notebook, say. And some folks do, and that's fine. Easier, for sure.  For the challenge's goal of 1200 cals, let's say, my final tally is not gonna be "1200 calories" perfectly on a daily basis. It'll be 1146 or 1235 or 1173 or 1288, etc.  Yesterday, it was 1200, exactly. That's always cute.

I wish I could have slept a couple more hours. Eyes are a tad bleary. But off to make some yummy Ethiopian Yirgacheffe , make my healthful breakfast, and start chugging my water--need to be properly fueled and hydrated to face birthday party temptations with panache, ya know?

Just 15 lbs to be in Onederland, and 15.8 precisely to have lost 100 pounds. Double celebration. I will get there.

BTW, did you notice the announcement that there will be a Phase 6 and it will have a charity connection. Cool!

Okay, have a blessed Sunday. For my fellow believers, remember to thank God for the life and love you have and for all the great things in your day. If it's a hard dieting for you, ask Him for strength. The strength is there, in you, believe it!

For those walking a different faith (or nonfaith) path: I still pray a blessing over everyone reading this and struggling with food issues, emotional issues, depression, griefs, sorrows of all kinds. I pray you overcome (and that I do, too) and gain health and joy.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 48 of Phase 5: A small loss, and holding off Challenge Weigh-in to tomorrow in hopes of showing some rounded loss! Heh. Plus planning for famiy party...AND MY 3-MEASUREMENTS ARE IMPROVING!

Tanita-san: 215.6

Nice to get past the block. 216 was my weigh-in for the challenge last Saturday. I've been in the 217+ since Hastume's sodium blast. I had hoped for 214 by today, but well, reality can suck. I've been good Mon through today...very good. :)  But it's moving down again and I'm happy.

I have to be up earlier than normal tomorrow to be ready for the party. My sister is a choco-freak, so I got a compromise gift--chocolate dipped strawberries (along with some other small nice things). I figure she can get her choco fix with healthful fruit attached. Heh. Ordered from Edible Arrangements, so I hope they're tasty. Strawberries have been sweet of late, so hope so.

I am still pondering what to take. I'm thinking something salady and something fruity. Will call sisters to make sure I'm not redundant, then shop in the evening. I'll buy low fat turkey gravy, too, cause I usually do bring my own in case the homemade one is too greasy or just not made at all. Happens. I like turkey with some sauce. Or I'll take some Mrs. Dash to perk it up. Plain turkey breast doesn't do it for me. Needs something--gravy or herbs...something....

Hubby has to work on his book today, so no fun outings. Unless we get revved up for it in the evening. I have some contest entries to judge, so I can busy myself with that while he works. Then do my exercise and maybe a protein/condish treatment so hair is purdy tomorrow. :)

I'm excited about getting to wear new stuff that FITS tomorrow. Yeah!

And I'm excited about improvements in my measurements. Saw on another fatfighting blog today that the blogger posted the Big 3 Measures (bust, waist, hips).  When I was young (teens, twenties), before obesity, I was a perfect hourglass. Not a slim perfect, but perfect meaning bust and hips were equal and waist was 10 inches less.  Like when in old films they'd say she was "36-26-36". I used to be, say, 40-30-40 or 42-32-42. Then I got obese, got insulin resistance, and became much more appley, with the waist measure losing it's "10" separation.

Today, I was 48-39-48.5. My waist had been out of synch--8 or8.5 inches less than hips. Now it's 9.5. Close. Yes, I'm getting closer to being my "old" proportions again. I'm hoping by the time the Phase 5 is over, I will be back to the B-minus 10 waist-H again. Maybe 46-36-46. I can dream. :)

I'm turning hourglassy again. Hurray!

(Note: I use a Myotape measure, and have for over a couple years, and don't know how accurate it is, but I do use it consistently, so whatever drop in size is at least consistent.)

What's your measurement now? How does the proportion compare to when you weren't obese? Where do you want it to be come June?

I wish you guys all a healthy, happy weekend that makes you feel vibrantly alive and happy to have been created for today!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 47 of Phase 5: Scale Says...Broccolini Love, Dancing and Singing Pre Breakfast, Feeling Good Despite Allergy Season's Atacks, What I did Last Night....What 3 Tips Would You Give an Obese Pal or Relative To Help Them FatFight?

Tanita-san: 216.0

Right back where I was last weigh-in on Saturday. So, the overage is gone and it's time to make progress. I honestly don't know any reason other than salt or muscle-inflammation from some extra walking/sun/exercise. (I do have an itchy heat rash since Hatsume fair...too much sun for this photosensitive/heat-intolerant gal.) But, back down and hoping I can report some dang loss this weekend to the fearless leader. I have been eating like an angel, so I had better see some result other than clothes/tape measure. :D

I'm gonna be on a bunch of topics today, since I may be out and about tomorrow and my sister's birthday party is Sunday.

Big Sis is Catholic and does no meat at all for Lent, so my niece is making a "mini Thanksgiving" with roast turkey and fixings. I will bring healthful stuff and I can go to town on turkey breast. Yeah! I may take some broccolini, as I'm currently addicted to it.

I love it with dinner protein and I love it with breakfast eggs/egg whites/omelettes. OMG, cooked up with a scosh of EVOO and some garlic and herbs, and that baby makes an egg white omelette SING! With onions (sweet) and mushrooms (baby bella, organic) and some Mrs. Dash extra spicy and original blend and a bit of garlic/herb blend (I love Mrs. Dash stuff now) makes my morning.

I have learned that it pays to make EXTRA veggies for dinner and just bag the leftovers to use in omelettes in the AM for a couple days. Do the same in restaurants. Get extra steamed or roast or grilled veggies and dump 'em in morning eggies. Simplifies life, adds nutrients, filling, fiber...flavor!

So, I'm happy. Energy is great. I feel...NOT OLD (and I like that feeling, until my knees remind me otherwise). Put on some Buck-Tick and then some Benjamin Gate (one cd is after the other on the carousel) and just danced for a bit before and during making breakfast. I had my new bra on (went down a size, so got 3 new bras yesterday) so the puppies were nice and comfy as I bounced around on bare feet. I good. :)

All that talk about how exercise and eating well makes for energy: It's not bullshit. Seriously, I have not felt as good as I do this 2+ decades. I'm 51 and feel like I'm back in my late twenties, energy-wise. My husband is happy cause he has his "young wife" back... in terms of my energy, enthusiasm, laughter, and sex drive. (Vavoom!)

You wanna feel young again: eat well and exercise. It will astound you how you'll feel after a while. Amazing.

I do get stuffier on my walks these days. Miami is in allergy season. At this time of year, for decades, I'd get sinusitis/bronchitis. Since I started eating better and exercising, I don't get 6+ cases of bronchitis/sinusitis a year anymore. I haven't had bronchitis fall of 2009. (Knock on wood.)  But I still take my inhaler and tissues on my walks. My nose will stuff up from the pollens, so I will have to restart Nasonex (which can give me nosebleeds when used regularly, so I take seasonal breaks.) I do take my Advair daily, Serevent, Zyrtec (actually, started using the Kirkland generic, ALLER-TEC, and it works great for a fraction of the price, recommended), nasal  saline rinses..daily..part of maintenance. My immune system is messed these are necessitities. But I function. Amen. Thank you, God, for science.

And so, here I am walking last night (with tissues in hand). Hubby is carrying my inhaler in his pocket, otherwise that would be in my hand, too:

Night-Walking with my faboo ASICS and DanskinNow top and Danskin Plus Capris

Last topic: If someone you know/like/love asked you for advice on how to get onto the losing weight bandwagon, and they said keep it simple, 3 tips they might use right away...what tips would you give? What gifts would you consider giving them to help?

I may post tomorrow on the tips I'd give (or Monday, not sure), but I'd like to hear what you would offer as the 3 simplest, most effective or helpful tips or gift for an obese loved one or colleague....advice or a gift basket or some creative way to get them going that incorporates the tips/strategies. How would you do it?

Okay, enjoy your Friday, a lot! (I wanna see SUCKER PUNCH, myself!)

Fight the good fat fight while having that fun!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 46 of Phase 5: The Body Doing Its Puzzling Diet Thing, But waist 1/2 inch down...and Pilates Progress Pics AKA What 217 Pounds Looks Like On Me...lotsa pics...

I gave time for the Hatsume/Feta Cheese bloat to resolve, have eaten very nicely since Monday (ie, no crazy salt, between 1100 and 1300), been exercising daily, sometimes twice in a day....and Tanita-san slaps me with  gain? 217.2? Huh?  I got out the tape measure: waist is down .5 inch.

I repeat: Huh?

Okay, it's just one of those things my body does sometimes. Confusing, but occasional and you just keep keeping on. That's all you can do. Stay the course, drink the fluids, eat at calorie level, move, sleep/rest, and not get vexed, cause what does that help? Nada. Stress adds nothing. So, no stress.

Decided it was time to update the Pilates Progress pics for my own documentation purposes and to remind me of two things VISUALLY: How far I've come, and how much I still have left to go. I'm more than halfway to my destination, but that's still a loooooooooooooong way to go, and it's the harder side of the journey (ie, even at 1200 calories, I lose slower than I did eating 1200 when I had 20, 30, 50, 70, 80 more pounds). The lighter you get, the less the chasm between calories in and calories needed. So....that's how it is.

I have made great progress. I need to make MORE progress. We keep keeping on, to use an old phrase.

So, the pics will eventually be fully uploaded to the PHAT PILATES page that can be accessed by the tab up there, under the blog title. It takes a long time to upload a bunch of pics and I get lazy/bored, so a bit at a time will do.

Here are some:

You can go ahead and compare with the older pics. (The silly ninja socks are required now at the studio for hygienic reasons, which is great, though they look dorky. And what's with all the white threads on me during this session? ha.) My middle is still the main repository of the big, ole fatload. But it's gonna go. Has to. Eventually, the belly will cry "uncle". :) (Well, I'll always be belly-poochy-heavier-appley, since even at age 15 and 135 lbs, I had the poochy tummy and these skinny arms and legs. I am a spider, I guess. :P

Have a good one, people! Fight the fat, no matter where it wants to reside on your bod!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 45 of Phase 5: Cheap, but Cute, Workout Wear For Those Changing Size Every Month or Two....

First off: I strongly believe that having fun workout wear that makes you feel able to move and makes you feel NOT HOMELY helps motivate you to work out. On days I feel cute in my workout wear, I can exercise harder.

I don't know why that is? If it's the same thing that makes tea tastes better in a lovely cup than in styrofoam. :)

Don't wear all ratty stuff. Put on lip gloss. Put on nice comfy workout clothes. And you can take on the fitness ball with finesse.


I got sick of paying the higher price for quality workout wear that then would be baggy in a couple months. I've retired to many $30, $40, and up items after too few wears.  Annoying and a waste of moolah.

I decided to get some cheapo stuff at WalMart. It didn't matter if it couldn't hold up to many washes. I didn't intend to fit into them for too long...

I actually LIKE their DanskinNow line. So far, everything has been comfy and less than 15 bucks, some less than 10 bucks. Now, that's more like it.

Here is a blue top I wore walking yesterday:

Danskin Now Top from WalMart
I love the blue. I like the side white strip that's slimming. I like the black pattern that adds interest. It's comfy. Holds the puppies nicely snug. It's a racer-back style, so if you need mobility in the arms/shoulders (like for Pilates or weight training), here ya go.

This one's in the XL (16-18) size. The capris are a pair from Old Navy online, their plus line, in 1x. Not too pricey. I prefer the capris from regular Danskin Plus online (oh, man, they last and last and take washing after washing), but while I'm in the losing phase, it's time to be realistic. If it's only gonna fit properly for a couple's now Danskin Now for me. WalMart is not a place I used to shop but rarely, but as long as I'll get my workout stuff there, they'll see more of me.

You can see a snack on the table..a bowl of blueberries. And, hey, Beth! If you're reading this, check out the WWII print tea towel on the table (using it as a mini-tablecloth while I eat on it). It's not that clear in this pic, but there it is, under my small white squared-off bowl of blueberries....

TJ Maxx is also a place to check out for good quality name brands in workout wear in some larger sizes (not supersized big, but maybe up to XXL).

After I woke up today (no makeup, didn't do anything to my hair, so be forewarned), I decided to try on some of those TJ Maxx outfits I bought nearly a month ago. Needed a bit more loss to fit back then. Now, I can wear them. Beware, the following photos show a fat,middle-aged woman's midsection sans covering. And I'm wearing no undies, it's just pure fat under there. Well, and some Pilates muscles. :D

These I got at TJ Maxx, discounted, good brands. I also got that top with the long belled sleeves in my "Progress Bit by Bit" in the left upper sidebar. They're all workout pants. I didn't take pics of all of them (the grey and black bootcuts), but these are form fitting, so they show some progress waist-wise and hip-wise, and they unfortunately show my hanging pannus (the apronlike droop of belly that morbidly obese folks, especially apple-shaped ones, do get). I hate it, and I'm hoping with more weight loss and exercise, it won't vex me so much. Ultimately, I might need surgery. I'll think about that at the right time (ie, 2 years after goal weight to give skin time to tighten a bit if it will).

First, these, where I looove the little peep of turquoise on the waistband:
Nice turquoise accent! Notice price tags...

Mondetta Performance Gear capri leggings

I like having a waist. :D I hate having the big belly. I'd rather have that fat on my BUTT! I would have to be the Latina with a flattish butt. How unfair.

Marika Balance Collection Capris with floral detail. Price tags dangling...$15...

I like having ankles not swollen like water balloons. :) And shapelier calves. Thanks, Pilates!

Okay, the following ones are HARD to post. the fabric is lighter, the fit is snugger, and the cut is lower, so it exposes some less than lovely bits. Without undies, some camel toe going on. Urk. I need to get some low cut undies to wear with these babies. These are Nike Dri-Fit. Really sturdy feeling, smooth fabric. Got em for $20. A steal imo for that quality fabric. Will take a lot of washing, I think. The band matches my old sports bra that I'm wearing (that one's years old and used to be super snug and higher on me. It's looser and lower now, obviously.

Too low cut to wear OUT. For home workouts...

The droopy pannus is clear here.

Pannus on display above!  Imagine how much MORE awful that would all be without nearly 3 years of Pilates strengthening my core. Eek!  Cautionary tale for the younger, not yet crazy obese among you: Don't get morbidly obese. Your skin can't take it. It will droop. And it will NOT be pretty.

Anyway, I'm glad I can buy off the rack now. Easier. Hitting WalMart and TJ Maxx when I need something to walk/exercise in or just go casual in makes life easier.

Where do you get your workout gear? Anyone have good underwear suggestions for those lower cut capris for me? I'm used to using briefs (microfiber) from Avenue or Lane Bryant, and now I have to start thinking "normal" store undies, I guess. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 44 of Phase 5: Fighting the Hatsume Bloat, Pics--including me and my Baggier Clothes, Feeling Energetic and Joyful, And Recommending the Transformative Blog Series...because the Transformation Inside is Essential....

I refuse to get on the scale. I'm still bloated from the insane amounts of sodium I consumed at the Hatsume Festival and in my Turkish Salad when we ate out Sunday night.

Between the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and feta cheese, my kidneys are creaking and the bags under my eyes are undesirable. The heat rash is also not all that becoming, but it's the price I pay for extended exposure to the sunlight in warm weather. I got a horrible case last summer (required steroid shot and cream), but it was worth it for the loads of fun we had.

Making sure I get my fruit in for the potassium. Making sure I do no skimping on water. Making sure I move to keep the blood pumping and filtering. I don't want to screw up my weigh-in cause I'm a Bloatball.

Here are a few pics of the lovely Sunday out (first the Hatsume--meaning "First Bud" --Festival at the Morikami Japanese Gardens) then at the broadwalk on Hollywood Beach to see the Supermoon rise....

My Beloved with the koi pond and well-tended foliage

I had a tough time finding something suitable (and cool enough, as it was in the 80s) to wear. My bed was piled with stuff too baggy to be comfy or flattering. I wanted something floral to represent spring, and I was down to only 3 tops that still sorta fit. One had longer sleeves and was less cool, one was sleeveless and my batwings would have been horridly on display. I went with the one that had a kimono vibe and was slightly baggy, but doable. The new jeans were already too loose in the thighs (though the waist fit okay, which was important and my pants falling is NOT an option).

Here's a pic of my clothes NOT fitting me right (which also makes you look FATTER, in case you didn't know. Well-fitting clothes, snugger in spots, gives you shape. This makes me shapeless. Ugh. Behold:

Ill-fitting clothes, but hey, I'm still HAPPY! And I adore my red Lucky bag...

Lots of nice trees. I saw this beautiful green on one young tree and asked hubby to take a pic. A fresh green that meant "spring" to me:
The baggy top that makes my boobs look enormous and the fresh green leafy tree...

My Sweetie and the Orange Supermoon over the Atlantic

Me, the surf,  and the Supermoon around 10pm

That's me at 10pm. After getting 6 hours sleep and being on my feet since noon. Look at my face. I may be a bit tired, but I'm not dead with exhaustion. Not after walking for 5 hours at the Hatsume Festival, then walking 2.5 hours on the broadwalk. I can still go for more...

 I can assure you, that I would have pooped out long before this before last fall. I would have not been able to do half this much when I was 280 and 300 lbs. I simply did not have the energy and if I stood on my feet more than an hour, my feet and ankles would blow up like balloons. I would pass out.

Okay, so you see, I had a good time doing stuff I could not do morbidly obese. At least, not do as long or with as much joy and energy.

Getting lighter and fitter means we can have MORE fun. :) That matters, right?

Now, on to a recommended blog series: If you aren't familiar with REFUSE TO REGAIN blog and the book by that name, I recommend both. Very helpful. Very tip-savvy. I got the book (which is aimed at those MAINTAINING their weight losses) because I intend to become a maintainer (and to some extent, already am, cause I've been losing and not regaining for a while now). The insight in what it takes to MAINTAIN a loss is key to all "losers." Do yourself a favor. Follow the blog. Get the book. :)

The blog has begun a series by Dr. Barbara Berkeley on TRANSFORMATIVE PRINCIPLES and the first entry is up. READ IT HERE.

I totally believe it is about transforming inside, not just out. All my other efforts were so episodic and brief and inconsistent and lacking in inner change. But the last 4 years of weight loss blogging were this sort of fertile ground that gave me input, input, trial and error, input, and hope. And when it clicked and the transformation began inside for real, then I saw results outside.

It's a process for sure. But I feel different..and I don't mean energy levels, size, etc. I I see food, how I see the bigger picture of eating...I'm not cured of wanting to overeat and eat bad stuff...but I am so much more sane. No binge in more than 9 months. Who'd a thunk it?

Well, the landscape in my interior is like a garden that's finally coming into a green as fresh as the one in that pic above. It makes me happy.

Be well....move soundly...believe in change...believe....and keep fighting the fat!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Night Cravings, Water Woes, Spring Festival and SuperMoon: Day 42 of Phase 5

I have happy plans for the day. It will make managing water trickier (cause I hate "pee urgency" when I'm out and about and in places where it's gonna be restaurants or port-a-potties, ugh).

Yesterday was the first time I got "night munchies" in ages. I know exactly why, too. Salty lunch with some starch. I ormally reserve whatever starch I'm gonna have to dinner, then I'm asleep if I get the munchies, so who cares. Starch at lunch: problemo. I will not be repeating that today.

Last night, I just wanted this, wanted that. It was bad. Not as out of control as I used to be, but a little taste of the insanity that got me to 300 lbs. So, today, the leash is back on the starches and on ME.

Breakfast: egg whites and papaya with lime.

Lunch: a salad and whatever lean protein I can find at the Japanese Spring Festival (Hatsume).

Dinner: leftovers at home, unless we stay later at the beach to see the supermoon...then prolly a Greek salad at the Turkish place or...dunno. Will cross that bridge..when the bridge is there to be crossed.

Water is my concern. Must have it, gotta see how to keep my bladder in check.

So, wishing you a great Sunday and one without cravings, cause they suck.

I leave you with a blurryish camera pick of me under the Supermoon last night in my new hoodie (cheapo WalMart one, as I refuse to pay a lot for clothes in the losing stage. I've run through so many I only wore a couple times I got tired of it.) I have about 3 workable outfits at the moment. HAHAHAHAH. And one dress for "just in case". This is one--Danskin bootcut pants, long sleeved top, short-sleeved hoodie.  The pic is right before the munchies hit. I don't look demon-possessed, right? Right? ; )

Me and the SuperMoon


Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 40 of P5: MILESTONE: No longer "severely obese", just "obese" now. Time to sparkle and dance! And FLY!

Tanita-san: 216.0

Got on three times. Three times, same number. Yes!

Okay, another milestone in getting out of obesity. I started morbidly obese, the category of obesity I stood in when I began this blog. I got down to severely obese at 246. Now, I'm just obese at 216. Next milestone: 186, no longer obese.

I put on some Buck Tick (MEMENTO MORI cd) and put "Galaxy" on repeat:

In your heart, the heart marks dance
Your dripping wings quiver, your life sparkles
Come on, wake up
Come on, fly away
I felt like I "woke up" some last summer, and woke up more last fall. It's been a process of learning to fly. It feels good. Hard, but feels good. Life is starting to really sparkle cause I have the hope of this year, THIS YEAR, getting out of the obese category for the first time in two decades.

Well, I was gonna write one of my usual all over the place long posts, but I'm gonna get up and sing along and dance with Sakurai-San. Here, you can burn off some calories dancing, too!

I draw a peace sign over your heart
The sun shines through your wings
Life overflowing, blindingly bright
Come on, wake up
Come on, fly away
Come on, so gentle
Come on…

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 39 of Phase 5: Allergies, Delayed Effects of Lost Sleep, How Far Would You Walk for Chicken?.... and Is This Really The Crap We're Eating Most Often in the US? Plus, You can Donate DIRECTLY to the Japanese Red Cross! ....HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY with a vid that blends the Japanese and Celtic themes of my post today! Eat a HEALTHFUL Green Thing Today!

Tanita-san: 216.8

Man, it feels like it's taking me forever to get to 216.0 (my next milestone).

I'm lethargic today. Yesterday, I got up early (slept just under 4 hours to do so). I was a little "off" all day and draggy, even a bit dizzy, and I curtailed my walk, cause I just felt unstable;  but then perked up at the WRONG time, midnightish. While I slept 8 hours today, I am not feeling myself. This is the price of lost sleep for me in middle age--I have to pay it whenever I curtail sleep. I'm "off" for a few days and it takes me a while to feel back at normal energy levels.

Hoping walking today clears my cloudy head. Hope the pollens and stuff aren't too bad. Been stuffy for days now (and my ears were clogged up on Tuesday).

On the positive: Been making a conscious effort to not default to my car. Here in Miami, with our lousy public transportation, driving is the default. Driving is the mindset. Seriously, people drive 3 blocks to a fast food run.

I normally drive to the Peruvian rotisserie chicken place at least once a week to get some freshly roasted chicken and salad.

Tuesday, hubby was in the mood for some of that chicken, but we walked it. It was dark and breezy, and it was 9 blocks there and 9 blocks back. Then we ate our meals.

In the 10+ years we've gotten chicken there, we've always driven. For most of that time, I couldn't have walked the nearly mile walk. I was too big and it was too hard. And embarrassing.

We briskly walked there and back. :) I can't tell you how much of a victory that felt like. It could have been a mountain climb. A milestone. I can actually walk to do stuff. (Well, I won't in Miami hot summer weather, but I will as long as its clement.)

How far would you go to get your fave take-out meals? Do you drive, even if it's 2 or 4 or 7 blocks?

I was remoting past some channels taking a break from Japan news (yes, I am still obsessed and bummed).  PBS had a show with Dr. John de la PUma. He listed the five most commonly eaten US foods as this:

00:30:30So do you know what the five most commonly eaten foods are in the U.S.?
00:30:37They're sugared soft drinks, cakes and pastries,burgers, pizza, and potato chips.

(Note: I got that from the transcript online. Find the whole transcript here.)

Okay, I don't know where he got that list/those stats. I googled it a few times and got nothing. But it's not totally surprising. Supermarkets have entire aisles dedicated to sugary drinks, to salty chips/snacks. Whole aisles just about given over to cookies. How nuts is that? Look how much of the frozen section is about pizza. McD's and BK and their ilk are found every few blocks in major cities. Pizza is EVERYWHERE (and it's one of my trigger foods, so man, that is vexing). Locally (and I'm guessing nationally), we've had an explosion of cupcake bakeries/businesses. Yeah. That's what our fat US asses need. More sugary and icing-topped stuff to gorge on.

If anyone wonders at our ingreasing girth, that list by Dr. Puma is a tip-off.

On to a better way to spend that bit o cash you'd be tempted to spend on a cupcake or pizza....a charitable opportunity:

If you've been waiting to see where/how to donate to Japan relief causes, Google now makes it easy to donate to the Japanese Red Cross. Go HERE and scroll down just a bit and see the various charities they'll let you donate to using Google Checkout. I chose the JRC, but you can choose another. Thanks.

Since a bunch of y'all are wearing green today--"color of green, green for the vine, for the leaves and the branches, the tree of life!"-- and a bunch of y'all have a bit of the Irish in you (as does my 1/4 irish hubster, he of the olive green eyes), let me wish everyone of Irish descent (and those who just love their Irish peops and culture) a very happy St. Patrick's Day.

But please don't eat green JUNK. How does that honor a country or a great man?

Eat something green that will make your body and conscience happy!

Today, for St. Patrick's Day, my green foods weren't green-icing donuts or green milkshakes or green beer. I had spinach, broccoli and green peppers with my breakfast. :)  If you have to drink something green, how about a "Kelly Green" or "Green Goddess" smoothie. These are smoothies I buy locally. They include a variety of green veggies--spinach, parsley, cucumbers, celery, etc-- with a lime and fresh apple juice base. Yummy stuff that's not inebriating, but detoxifying! Here's one you can make at home.

I plan to have something green for lunch: big salad!

I have dozens of Celtic and Celtic-influenced music cds that I've acquired since 1991, when my passion for Irish sounds started. (My fave band is IONA, a band that infuses its music and lyrics with Irish sounds and Celtic spirituality. If you've never heard of them, hie over to Google. This is the IONA whose lead singer is JoAnne Hogg and that put out the excellent BOOK OF KELLS and JOURNEY INTO THE MORN cds in the 90s. )

To hear their haunting version of St. Patrick's Breastplate (a prayer supposedly written by da man hisself), LISTEN HERE. This song is from JOURNEY INTO THE MORN, possibly the one cd I'd grab if the house was on fire and I could only choose one from my hundreds and hundreds.

If you have your corned beef and cabbage for lunch or supper, have some fruit to get Potassium to counteract all the salt. :)  K? :)

I leave you with something that blends the Japanese and the Celtic: Joanne Hogg's song Kokoro to scenes from Ah, My Goddess anime:

Please remember Japan in your prayers, especially the rescue workers, relief workers, and nuclear plant workers trying to contain disaster.

Be well...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Get A Personalized, Unique Avatar--And $5 Goes to Japan Relief: FlipFace

I got one last year for my "natural hair" persona (I went natural in 2009, letting my curly freak fly). But/ before that, I had several pieces of quickie art done by Len Peralta (at the time, it was his enterprise to help pay for his wife/baby's maternity-medical expenses.) He does fun zombie, vampire, monster, etc art. See him creating my Botticelli Venus Zombie on youtube.  Now, see him creating my Tormented Alien Novelist on South Beach . Cool, right?

More recently, he does avatars (flipfaces).

Here's my curly one:

If you want your own flipface/avatar by Len, you can help towards Japan Relief while getting your own bit of artsy goodness.

Go here to order one. It's easy. Give him your instructions. Upload a pic. Pay via Paypal. Voila!

I just ordered one in anime-style.

I'm off to do stuff. later....

UPDATE: man, Len is fast today! I ordered my FlipFace/anime-style/Japan-Relief version late this morning. Got it a few minutes ago:

I sent this following pic from Valentine's day, from which he got the pose/hair/red lips:

I love it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Many Of Y'all Have Loose Wedding Rings? :) A Pic of Mine on Wrong Finger...

When I got married, I wore a size 6.5 wedding ring. I had to have it cut off my finger when I got to 230 lbs. At 299 lbs, I wore a size 9 to 9.5. I got two new rings to wear--one yellow gold with a Celtic pattern and one white gold. Both size 9. Both too large now.

Here am I last night at the Japanese restaurant (sipping one of three cups of green tea I downed) with my wedding ring on the middle finger (where it's been resting for a few months now)~~~~~~~~~>

White Gold wedding ring on Middle Finger. Oops!

I hope to wear my original wedding ring one day.

And I need to stop being lazy and get me some ring guards!

If you found a really good brand of ring guards, drop me a comment, would ya? Most of the ones I saw at had lousy I put it off....

Day 37 of Phase 5: Japanese Dinner Out, Election Day, Vote For Your Health Today! And Why I Believe That Food Addiction is Possible, though I'm Not Fanatical About It! :)

We had Japanese food last night. I am still amazed that I don't inhale everything in front of me anymore in restaurants and we end up with so much to doggy bag home. The soy sauce/sodium always makes me bloat. But man, that tofu yakitori was so good. I have to be very careful about tofu, but this was worth any endocrine disruptions. Grilled with a light sauce on top. Nice. We got a bunch of grilled sticks of yakitori--pork tenderloin, tofu, zucchini, mushroom, green pepper. Hubby got the roasted corn.

I drank lots of water and green tea and just accept a bit of bloat come next morning. Behold: Half a pound up.

Tanita-san: 217.4

I felt a little weird in a Japanese place, cause part of me wanted to offer sympathies and part of me thought that was crazy dorky cause, well, can see, I was a bit conscious of the events in Japan post disaster. Still really sad. Going out to eat was part of just getting away from CNN. I've been glued to it, having crying jags on and off depending on what horror story of loss is shown. I can't handle it too well when a mom talks about her daughter being swept away in the tsunami, a man losing his wife, another not finding his parents and wondering if they are buried in the rubble. I feel a bit like I did on 9-11...unable to turn off the tv and wishing time could turn back and we could warn everyone...

Today is election day. I'm going to vote after posting this. I'm gonna put on my walking sneaks and clothes, walk to the poll, vote, then do my regular walk.

I voted for my health with breakfast. Egg white omelette with spinach, mushrooms, onions, lower sodium and lower fat Swiss cheese,  and assorted Mrs. Dash seasonings thrown in. More sodium I don't need today. I had papaya with lime as my fruit (lots of potassium to debloat). It's my fave type of breakfast (veggie-cheese omelette and fruit) cause it keeps me full and I get a lot of protein and phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. It keeps me full for hours, too. It's a habit now. My first choice.

What did you do today to vote FOR your health?

I visited a blog today I got off a link from another blog I visited (um, maybe Sunshine's Heart?) and left a comment.

I don't hold the same position as the blogger who owns the blog, but I respect her position. This is an iffy area for me. I never used to believe in food addiction. Now, I'm not so sure we can dismiss it so easily. One thing I've learned as a gal who has had chronic health issues since infancy--I'm created from an old egg of mama's, my sis says, half-teasingly on occasion--is that when I've made observations of X or Y or Z phenomenon or effects over the years to docs about this or that condition, I was often dismissed as "anecdotal". Then, years later, the science caught up to those anecdotes of mine and I was vindicated. :) So....

I hold the same sort of thing here. I think we're going to find that certain created foods in our world act as "drugs" the way heroin, cocaine, and meth can act as addictive drugs. God's nature doesn't have ice cream, pizza, cakes, pies, cookies, awsome blossoms, baby back ribs drenched in BBQ sauce with a side of fries. These are created items, and if you read Kessler's THE END OF OVEREATING (the book that changed my dieting life), you will see as studies and insights rack up, one after another, that we have created what seems to be addictive foods to a certain segment of the population. And we keep doing that, making them more HYPERPALATABLE and "addictive".

Kessler doesn't call it food addiction. But after reading the book, and in light of my own history of feeling utterly in thrall and out of control around certain foods/restaurants, I will call it that. For now. We'll see how the science continues to pan out on this. I remember my own history with asthma and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and my own self-discoveries, later vindicated. Now, let's see how the obesity studies evolve....

But I leave you with this extended comment from an article on WEB MD:

Kessler stops short of calling Americans' love for sugary, fatty foods a "food addiction." But he believes there are similarities between why some people abuse drugs and why some of us can't resist every last deep-fried chip on a heaped plate of cheese-smothered nachos.

Knowing what's driving our overeating behavior is the first step to changing it, he says.

"For some, it's alcohol," Kessler tells WebMD. "For some, it's drugs. For some, it's gambling. For many of us, it's food."

Kessler, a Harvard-trained pediatrician and medical school professor at the University of California, San Francisco, started researching what would become The End of Overeating after watching an overweight woman talk about obsessive eating habits on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It sounded familiar. Kessler's own weight has zoomed up and down over the years, leaving him with suits of every size.

"For much of my life, sugar, fat, and salt held remarkable sway over my behavior," he writes.

And so the man who tackled tobacco companies while leading the FDA started researching why he couldn't turn down a chocolate chip cookie. He pored over studies on taste preferences, eating habits, and brain activity, conducted studies, and talked to food industry insiders, scientists, and people who struggled with overeating.

His theory: "Hyperpalatable" foods -- those loaded with fat, sugar, and salt -- stimulate the senses and provide a reward that leads many people to eat more to repeat the experience.

"I think the evidence is emerging, and the body of evidence is pretty significant," Kessler says.

He calls it conditioned hypereating, and here's how he says it works. When someone consumes a sugary, fatty food they enjoy, it stimulates endorphins, chemicals in the brain that signal a pleasurable experience. Those chemicals stimulate us to eat more of that type of food -- and also calm us down and make us feel good.

The brain also releases dopamine, which motivates us to pursue more of that food. And cues steer us back to it, too: the sight of the food, a road lined with familiar restaurants, perhaps a vending machine that sells a favorite candy bar. The food becomes a habit. We don't realize why we're eating it and why we can't control our appetite for it.

Once the food becomes a habit, it may not offer the same satisfaction. We look for foods higher in fat and sugar to bring back the thrill.

Kessler points to these factors as the cause of a dramatic spike in the number of overweight Americans in the past three decades.

That's from "Compulsive Overeating And How To Stop It" by Elizabeth Lee, and if you are an overeater (and a compulsive one for sure), then do go over and read the whole thing.

If science proves me wrong in my position, fine. If it proves me right, fine.

I still think that it's about learning what helps and taking responsibility. I will never use my conditioning to overeat--or "food addiction" to hyperpalatable foods--as an excuse. It may be a REASON I was prone to eat to the point of pain and illness. But it's not an excuse. It's information. No one should throw around food addiction as an excuse. That's not adult behavior. You find tools, get help, implement changes as needed--not make excuses.

So, anyway....

Off to vote.

Be well today! Don't overeat! Move on toward your health goals with persistence...

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Few Pics from Feb and March--Sugar Free, Low Cal "Birthday Cake", Fort Lauderdale Beach, Yesterday at Starbucks.. AKA PROGRESS: What 218 Pounds Looks Like On Me!

I like to upload pics to this blog to document my progress. The previous progress post (with pics) is HERE. It has links to earlier phases of my body's transformation.

As my regular readers may recall, I had a health-oriented birthday party and no traditional birthday cake. My middle sis did bring a sugar-free angel food cake with sugar free whipped topping and fresh strawberries, so we'd have something for the candle and kids. :)

I did not miss cake, cookies or crap. At all. Food was nourishing, tasty, and low cal. Lots of veggies and fruit. AND.... I had good weight loss that week, too. :)

Here's a birthday shot with "cake" where I'm 222 lbs:

Princess Dieter's Sugar-Free Birthday Cake Alternative

Feb 28 on the Fort Lauderdale Beach strip made famous by WHERE THE BOYS ARE in 1960. Elbo room is nearby. Lovely day. We went to the museum exhibit of Vatican Splendors and then ate beachside (on plan). Walked a bunch, too. I wore sneakers, natch. Any opportunity to move, and this means I wear sneakers a lot more than what was my usual going-out footwear (comfy sandals). I'm becoming sneakers addicted.

Me , my sneaks, & a wood sculpture of a Native American on Ft. Lauderdale strip.

Yesterday at Starbucks. I reserved some calories for a treat--half and half in my cinnamon iced coffee. Empty calories, but it satisfies enough that I don't feel deprived and don't have crap. Not a daily thing, but I love it. And I like looking smaller, though the big belly is still vexing. Hope to see that baby gone by year's end! (Well, I will likely need a tummy tuck, cause my pannus is horrid, but that I'd put off and save for.)

Mmm...Coffee...Fewer Unhealthful Lbs, More Natural Curls!

That above is me at roughly 218 lbs. Compare to this in 2008 at about 278:

A bit after starting Pilates...Huge! But Game! And Hopeful!

Guess at which weight I'm happier and more energetic? Even if OLDER? :)

I want to spend health-filled years with this sweetiepie o' mine:

The Princess and her Prince, Ft Lauderdale Beach

So, yeah, progress. Onward to goal!

(Oh, and if you haven't read the regular post for the day, see it below. I don't much double-post these days, but, hey, felt like it. Later, gotta go walk....)

Day 36 of Phase 5: Calm, Lovely Weather, Calm Appetite, And Slept Heavenly....And the Decision That Made It Possible to Lose Over The Past 9 Months...And Will Keep Me Losing This Year...And How to Stop Vegetating and start exercising...And Not Letting Your Own FALSE Beliefs About Yourself Defeat You!

Tanita-san: 217.0

That's officially 82 pounds down now. Need to update the ticker.

Sleep is good again. Nose is a bit stuffy (allergies), but other than that, I feel fine. Appetite, which had gone a bit wayward recently, is nice and calm again.

I wish I lost faster, but this is how the Mir Body rolls. As long as I stick with it, I will get there. I will get there. That's the key. I just gotta do what must be done. As the Challenge leader emphasizes: If the plan is sound and you follow the plan, you get results.

I have a sound eating plan written for me by an R.D. that is very similar to any healthy eating plan (lots of veggies, lean protein, healthful oils in minimal amounts, various nutritional components accounted for, fresh fruit, occasional treats), tweaked for my insulin resistance and allergies. When I follow it to a tee, I get very good weigh-ins. When I fudge a bit here and there or sub poorly, I lose less. Although, some weeks, I eat perfectly and my body just holds on for reasons of its own or cause sleep is affected or whatever.

But the fact remains: A good eating and exercise program, followed pretty religiously, yields results.

And the proper mindset helps. I stopped thinking "diet" and started thinking "forever". Can I eat like this if I have to eat like this for life?

I decided that yes.  Despite the sense of deprivation about some fave foods (and especially trigger foods), despite the many "no's" that must be said, I can eat like this from now on in order to be a healthier older me.

That decision was key for me. A yes to no more self-indulgence. IT was the turning point.

Certainly, information helped--certain blogs, certain books. And having hubby and family be supportive (especially as another family member went on her own weight loss journey and has dropped 50+). Certainly challenges helped (one in summer 2010 on my old blog, and the DDDY challenges that began in October.)

All those were part of learning and pushing, establishing new habits, and consistency, and accountability...

But it came down to realizing this was it. If I wanted to stop being obese, I had to radically change and accept that change as a permanent lifestyle. Not a "fix". A renovation. A resurrection or rebirth. A whole mental adjustment (though that also evolves).

You learn about how you CAN do it. And whenever you say you CANNOT do it, then you make that the prophecy that fulfills.

Stop saying you cannot do it.

Say you can. Believe you can. Cast aside what stands in your way, even if that means you have to cast aside some of your own beliefs about yourself.

I'm still in the process of learning and casting off burdens and false beliefs.

It's hard work.

But every week is a new week to challenge and change and make those new habits more deeply entrenched.

Today, stop saying you cannot. Stop saying, "I gotta do..." Just do it, already. :)

If you want to eat less: Eat less. Make a plan. Post it on the fridge. Follow it. Buy only foods that help. Stop going to restaurants that don't add to your health. Focus on what you can have, not what you can't.

If you want to exercise: Move already. Right now. Get up from that chair, set your kitchen timer for 3 or 5 minutes, and just march in place. Dance. Move your arms around. Do jumping jacks. Or go for a 5 or 10 minute walk...right now!  Plan exercise into your day. What's the best time to walk: walk it . Set your alarm for exercise the way you do for work. Stop saying you will...and do it now. Today. Before bed. Don't let yourself eat until you do.

I'm a Master Procrastinator. I know if you/I don't do it now, it's easy to put it off and, before you know it, it's bedtime.

Look over your blog. What do you keep saying "I'm gonna.." and you  never get around to. Prioritize it right now. Not "gonna" or "hafta" but "doing it" and "did it". :)

That includes me. Just do it...already! Get on with it.

It doesn't matter if you have burdens and isssues, emotional or medical or spiritual, start getting over it. You can.

And if it's a pound a week--which makes some of us nuts--then that's what it is. A pound a week, 52 lbs a year, 104 pounds every 2 years. You'll get there. I'll get there.

Here is a recap of my slow journey:

I lose slowly, and even more slowly now that I'm a lot lighter than, not just my highest, but my start of this REAL lifestyle change journey. I began to work on my issues with vigor in 2007 at 289 (highest weight 299 recorded at home, probably went over 300 a scosh, who knows?). Working and learning.

In 2008, I began to tackle exercise in earnest, cause I was having little/very slow/snail-like changes in weight. I figured if while eating organic/some raw meals/mostly fruits and veggies and lean/but still in too many calories to drop loads of weight--I needed to try another angle. I had  avoided exercise like crazy. So heavy. So tired (medical issues are part). Such bad knees and ankles. I had all the reasons not to.


So, I researched what would be good for me, given my asthma (cardio terrified me, as I got attacks), bad joints, morbidly obese.

I chose Pilates for it's health benefits and ease on joints. And it's not cardio.

Even my trainer couldn't get me to do cardio. I had a mental block.

Only the recent challenge got me walking. I find I like it. I still can't run. I tried. Too much pain. But I can walk FASTER than I have in decades. And it feels good. I take my meds with me on my walk, just in case, and I do fine. Started with 10 mins and am up to 25 to 30 now.

I still have to force myself to get going on exercise. Part of that couch potato soul of mine still wants me inert. But I've been doing consistent, regular workouts, beginning with 3x a week, sometimes 2x a week, and since Phase 5, more often, of course. The ideal is 6x a week. One day of rest. (God says so. heh.)

June 30 will mark 3 years of consistent Pilates workouts with a trainer. Very expensive. My retirement funds have taken a loss (not that I took money out, I just put less in). I figured if I was going to have a retirement and not die from some early chronic disease, I better get fit.

Ideally, once I'm at goal weight and in the habit of exercise, I can continue with just classes, videos, walking, and no longer have to shell out 7K+ a year for a trainer. It's killing my budget, but I see this as a physical/health emergency. It's gotta get done.

So, start, if you have to with 10 minutes of walking or marching in place or an exercise DVD or energetic dancing 3x a week. Do that for two weeks or a month. Go up some. Make it 15 minutes 4x a week. Or 20 minutes 3x. Do that for a few weeks. Then add strength exercises. With weights or using body weight (push-ups, leg lifts, etc).

If you have Comcast or some cable with "on demand" type services, use their exercise videos.

The thing is to be consistent to make it a habit. To make your body and brain expect movement at such times of the day to do X type of workout. Make it a habit. It has to become a habit. An appointment you don't let yourself miss (too often, anyway).

Don't believe the lie your brain or heart tells you that you can't, just cause you never have made it a habit before. It's a lie. You can make a habit of anything (good or bad). If you overeat and undermove, you made habits of those. Make new habits. It may take YEARS to ingrain the habit, so it's a good thing start now. Don't waste more time. Start small, but consistently. Increase...vary...challenge yourself just bit by bit. It works. It will make you feel GOOD! I promise. You'll feel like you accomplished a major thing. I swear!

Trust me. Muscles feel good. :)

And how will you feel if you let another day pass and do NOTHING to move toward your goal? Yeah...think about that....

Cheerleading done for the day...later! Be well!