Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 24 of 84 in the StSC: Melancholy Day, Rainy Gray Day, WireFree 38DDD LB Bras Fit, and Planning How To Avoid Temptations at the SUPERCON!

I woke up melancholic. I also woke up 191.4.

I had started feeling a shift in my mood lately, and waking up with that "it's cloudy and gray in my mind" sensation confirmed that my body is up to something chemically.

This might explain my jonesing for fruit and salty. Last night, I had gluten-free pretzels for a snack, and yes, totally processed crap, cause I wanted salt so bad. Dipped 120 calories worth in yellow mustard to satisfy the I WANT SOMETHING CRUNCHY AND SALTY RIGHT NOW urge, before it turned into something sinister and bingey. It's been harder staying under 1400 the last couple days (but I've done it), and it's all about wanting fruit (sweet) and salt. Just like my old depressed PMSing days.

I know there is a weight/mood connection. I know when I feel the lighter sort of blues--this is not all out depression, just that cloudy-gray melancholia thing--that I need to start being seriously attentive and preemptive or I might dip into a depression. I haven't been all-out depressed-depressed-clinically-depressed since end of 2007/start of 2008, and I haven't had a mood impairment of significance since over a year. It's been pretty clear-sailing for a long spell, for which I am grateful.

So, preemptively, I added something salty but protein/low-cal  (Canadian bacon) along with something sweet and natural (cherries) to get that sort of sweet/salty thing taken care of first thing. Had my eggs with mushrooms and added herbs and onions for flavor, and added salt to the eggs. Just a bit. Normally, I don't. I got used to Mrs. Dash on my eggs months ago (round late January/early February), but I want to satisfy whatever the heck is in my chemical mess right now without resorting to Frankensnacks. I'd rather get it from a processed meat with protein than a processed low-carb weirdo food. Cherries are super-sweet and anti-inflammatory. My joints are a bit swollen, so two birds, one bowl of stone fruit.

Since I woke up with the melancholy flu, I put on praise music right off. I first put on more serious praise music, as it fit the mood--Rich Mullins' posthumous brilliant JESUS RECORD. It's still one of my fave Christian music albums. The songs are like these grittily gleaming gems with amazing lyrics and gifted musicianship. When Ashley Cleveland sings, "Jesus, write me into your story. Whisper it to me. And let me know I'm yours..."--I just tend to get these astonishingly strong feelings. It's my favorite song, along with MY DELIVERER, from a top-notch creative work. I prefer the disc where Rich doesn't sing--he sings only in the demos, which are moving in themselves--but where his friends and colleagues sing his songs in a tribute after his passing.

Here is one of the members of the Ragamuffin Band (Rich's band) singing "My Deliverer". I sing that chorus spontaneously on days when I feel at the end of my rope or just like I need a dose of uplifting hope and, above all, PERSPECTIVE, which this video gives a solid dose of:

"My Deliverer is coming; my Deliverer is standing by.
He will never break His promise; He has written it across the sky...
I will never doubt His promise, though I doubt my heart, I doubt my eyes...
My Deliverer is coming; my Deliverer is standing by..."

We all have to be "delivered" from something. Maybe you're lucky, and the only deliverance you need is from food addiction. Yes, that's being real luck. But we all need some delierance.

Anyway, after some songs--Rich's deep songs and David Crowder's louder modern praise tunes--I had perspective and less "grayness" and pensive sadness over the crap in the world and less anxiety about my future. Maybe not my usual cheer, but it was a lifting up of some kind. Perspective. One can't feel sorry for oneself when one knows the historical and currrent series of sufferings of others. My problems are so tiny, so very tiny, when viewed in the light of the REAL suffering of those in the video and in the Bible and in history and, heck, in my own hometown.

Praise is a healing thing. Perspective is a centering thing.

If you feel really down about something essentially minor or stupid, get over it. Life is gonna have hard times, and some people's hard times are horrible beyond imagining. I spent a good portion of my hour after waking praying for those in captivity (sex slavery and other forms of captivity). They know what suffering is. They know what hardship is. People dieting don't know squat. People who have lousy jobs don't know squat. People with relationship issues don't know squat. Having loved ones falsely imprisoned, your daughter sold into a brothel, your wife tortured, your son murdered, your body racked by an incurable and deadly disease. Those are real trials and suffering.

What most of us have on a daily basis just doesn't compare. So, we need perspective.

Wouldn't you rather be hungry cause you're not eating as much for the sake of weight loss than be hungry cause your farm was attacked by locusts or a rebel army? Yeah, thought so.

And if you are reviled--as some online will, due to stalkers or mean people doing their mean thing--it's trivial in the big picture. Dust yourself off, stand up, praise God that you can see, walk, eat, sleep under a sound roof (or any roof), have healthy kids, have a loving partner, have any job in an economy like ours. Be grateful. Sing a song of gratitude. Smile even if you feel like NOT smiling. Adjust your attitude.

I'm adjusting mine today. I won't let my biochemical wonkiness mess with this day God gave me. I choose joy and gratitude--even if it's elusive today. Even if I worry about hubby losing his job. Even if I worry about my sick sister and my recently hospitalized nephew. Even if I worry about growing old and sicker. I choose hope and joy and thankfulness.

So, say grace when you sit to eat your planned meal. It may not be a bingey feast like you may have had in the past, but it will be good health for you. Be grateful for the food on your plate, the clean water in your glass, the life you have, the life you WILL have...the dreams you can make come true.

Onto other things:

Calories: Okay, got 600 to 800 more calories left for my supper and possible snack. Should be fine. Hubby wants Thai, and for me, it's easy to get something on plan there. I like their chicken and avocado sushi.

Exercise: I'm sitting here in my workout clothes. Rain has curtailed my walking, but I went out for a very brief walk yesterday between showers. I hope today, I can do my full 30 to 40 mins. I'll do what I can. If not, then I'll dance. But I will move.

Prayer: Yes, you are being prayed for, fellow challengers. Please, stay in it. Even if you stumble. Let's stay in it all the way!

Bras: I got a shipment of Lane Bryant bras and undies (they had an online sale and I took advantage). The wirefree lace ones are REALLY comfy and have decent support. 38DDD. I could maybe have gone for 38DDDD (my usual), but they don't carry that. The underwire 38DDD had not enough cup room. I'll have to wait until I'm a 36 band, and they'll probably fit better. ; ) If you want a comfy, girly wirefree, check out the LB lace wirefree. Pretty cute.

Weekend Planning: Hubby and I have hit the Florida Supercon two years running. Prior to that, I was so heavy and out of shape, that I couldn't handle a convention. But Pilates helped me get through my first in 2009. Last year was a breeze, even walking constantly for 12 hours+. This year, as long as my knee holds out, should be even better, as I'm way smaller than I was last year in th 260s. Seventy+ pounds off makes a huge difference in stamina and flexibility. I hope there's dancing! :D  I am looking forward to seeing if Bruce Boxleitner is as handsome in person. One of the hunkiest guys on TV ever! Commander Sheridan in Babylon-5 (one of my fave SF programs, I own the box set) and he looked pretty hot in TRON and SCARECROW AND MRS KING, too. :)  Anya of BuffyTVS (Emma Caulfield) is gonna be there, too.  I go for the SF and anime/manga/Japanese culture/art stuff. My hubby goes mostly for the gaming/anime stuff. We have fun. :D  Don't expect much blogging again this coming weekend.

So, I gotta plan for my eats. I know they always have chicken Caesar salads and usually some kind of fresh fruit. I'll have breakfast before going, take one of my all natural sticky-bars (sort of like a fruit/nut composite trail mixy thing) and plan to have tea, water, coffee, and the chicken salad for lunch, maybe dinner, too. Not sure how to work dinner. If I have to, I'll just do the protein/salad/fruit thing twice. The most important thing is to stay very well-hydrated, or I will get hugely hungry. I gotta make sure to guzzle water and avoid the Pocky vendors. ; )  I have a weakness for Coconut Pocky.

Okay, gonna go and enjoy some French Press decaf and get in more water with it.

I wish you all a joyful, thankful, healthful day. Be well...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 22 of 84 in the StSC: Week Recap--and it wasn't a perfect one--with Challenge Weigh-in, Assorted Blather...and Mango Love!

Okay, so I had a busy weekend, and part of that busy-ness meant I really slacked on my strategies.

Yesterday, Tanita-San said: 189.8

That makes a change of -1.4 lbs off for the week.

However, yesterday was hubby's birthday party, and while I had no candy, cake, or assorted junk food, I had too much cheese and too much fruit--yeah, for someone like me who needs to monitor carbs, there is such a thing as too much fruit--and half a cup of homemade lower-cal potato salad and no-sugar, no-gluten, low-carb cookies. I was very moderate with my meat and condiments. But, well, there ya go. I done not so great.

Yeah, I overdid it. The scale is the proof. Today: 191.8 . That's 2 lbs up of carb and salt bloat. I will have to battle this back this week if I intend to make progress for next weigh-in. Pain in the keister. Geesh.

My goals and how I did this past week:

Weight: I was on target for the week with the loss, but not for the challenge. I should be 6 pounds down as of Sunday, and I'm only 5.2 as of Sunday. So, after this bloat is gone and I see if there is any lingering damage, I have to play CATCH UP!

Calories: I went to the max of 1400 several days and went over 2 days (yes, the weekend). One day was 2000 cals. Holy smokes! Well, I've had a great eating streak, and I was bound to eff up. Here it is. I effed up. And I don't plan to do it again as of today. Yes, I tracked calories. I do it automatically in my head if I don't do it online or in a notebook. So, some days I did it online, some jotted down, some in my head (if I'm out of the house a lot). It's just a habit now. I count. Always. Even if I can't perfectly measure. Like Debbi, I'll round UP if in doubt about the actual portion weight/size.

Exercise: Not this past week. I only strength-trained ONE day (instead of goal of 2x). I did meet half of my goal of trying 2 new exercises The kiddie pool exercise. hah. No work on push-ups due to knee still healing (bruises are faded, but knee still is unstable.) I had to curtail walking due to knee issue, and then this weekend, stormy weather kept me inside, but I was able to resume. Glad for that.  Hopeful to be able to walk normally this week.

Fluids: About the only perfect thing this week.

Prayer: I missed a couple days. I know, how could I? Sorry.

Encouragement: Yes, I encouraged some challengers. All, no.

Today is the "Mind back in the game" day. Today is the last "milestone" June day for hubby and me. The 29th anniversary of the day we first said "I love you" to one another. It's a day I hold very dear and have very sweet memories of. No celebrating out of the house, but, well, a good day to get back on course, as it's a day about love. And love of health and self should play its part.

I had my coffee, tea, more than half my water, had my spice-rubbed grilled chicken with organic mixed lettuce salad, 1/4 cup of guacamole, 1/2 a tomato, and my blackberry/strawberry dessert is waiting. Dinner is already made--a beef stew with carrots and onions and taters. Taters are mostly for hubby (who needs to keep weight on). I'll have mine with some mushrooms and cauliflower on the side (unless it's no longer yummy, gotta see if it's still fresh). Otherwise it'll be zucchini. I just got some today. :D

I will likely have papaya and mango for my fruit with dinner. Brother's mango tree was just full of the things, and I brought 9 mangoes home to use this week. My fave fruit. Since childhood. I'd get so happy eating those in my panties, sitting on newspaper (to keep me from staining my clothes). Sucking away on the huge pit. Man, I loved me my mangoes. Very high in sugars, but, hey, I ain't eating bread/pasta/etc, so I'm having my beautiful tropical treat and feeling all of 9 years old again. Um, not naked or on newspapers, but still full of joy. Fruit joy. I can't give it up. :D

Happy new challenge week. My prayers and best wishes for health and success are sent to all my fellow-fatfighters. Off we go....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 21 of 84 in the StSC: Borrowed Swimsuit Sunday For the Mini Pool

Suit size 14 at 189.8 lbs

I'm pooped, so I'll do my updates later. Had lotsa fun. Ate too much (no cake, no crap, just more than challenge calories.) And here's my own contribution to Swimsuit Sunday...a borrowed swimsuit and my first pool in two decades. A kiddie pool. But hey, was in there 2 hours, kicked, did assorted things, played with the kids (let them ride me as a friendly whale, hah), Marco Polo. No birthday cake for hubby. Lotsa fruit, salad, and grilled protein. Not the sunniest day, but the sunshine was in our hearts and laughter.

Who knew even a kiddie pool was such fun at age 51? Now, I know...
(And yeah, you can see the inner thigh crinkle and hip droopies..for those obsessed
about the loose skin/crinkles/hangs after lotsa weight loss. Ah, well...)

Hope you guys had a great one. Catch up later...must...shower and sleep.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 19 of 84 in the StSC: Don't feel like blogging, feel like having fun! ...Challenge Update...Knee update...Sis update...a Quote...& Go Praise someone today!

No weigh-in...nothing really interesting to say. I'm so not into blogging this week.

But I'll give it a shot....

First, lemme update a few things for the week:

~Eating is great.
~Exercise is back on, baby! I still have to be careful --I totter a bit when I walk as left knee is still not 100% with a bit of swelling remaning and those fading green blotchy bruises--but I did a 30 minute walk (very moderately paced to not reinjure) as well as a full session of Pilates.  Lots of upper body work, as we still have to watch the knee, but some legwork. So nice to be able to move with no pain again, just some instability and that annoying snapping sound. Today, I want to see how I can do the push-up work. I've avoided anything that makes me either put weight on knees or lock knees....I want to get back to that goal's work.
~Water/fluids is on target.
~I've been less chatty on blogs, but I have hit some up this week to support. I also tried to be very supportive/encouraging here and the feedback tells me it did help. So, that goal met.
~Not quitting.
~Yesterday was the first day I forgot to pray for the Challengers. I really just spazzed on that one. Perhaps because my prayer time and mind were on some other things so acutely ....but back on it today.

Sis and I are patched up fine. Like I said, love overcomes all sorts of stuff, minor or major. This was in the minor category in the grand scheme of things, but hey, it's the people you love the most who can wound the most. But it's all god now and, as I firmly believe, it's better to get things out, talk, learn new stuff, and make things even better. Thanks for the well wishes on that.

This upcoming weekend in my fella's big one. He turns 51. So, I expect to be out and about spoiling him rotten. :D Don't expect to see much if any posting, other than the requisite challenge update.

I actually feel like Floridana these days. I want to be unshackled from the computer and out and about in the summer fun. Like her, my feet don't swell now. I'm less heat intolerant (though I still have issues due to some meds I take). I have more energy. I feel prettier in skimpy summer outfits. I can wear shorts without feeling like a freak. I love dining outdoors now that I eat modestly and don't stuff myself so badly I only want to go home and veg on the couch afterwards (my usual post-dinner out mentality in ye olde days, um, like a year plus ago). Now, we eat out and then walk around, shop, hit some fun spots. Much better this way.  (Although I do need to always find nice restrooms as all the water/fluids mean I do need to go with more frequency than my no--adequate-watering days.)

I hope you unshackle from the puter and go have summer fun, too. :)

Anyway, was listening to Focus on the Family earlier, and a British man named Rob Parsons was giving advice for improving family life, and it was pretty darn good advice, too,  said something he said about dealing with his children made me stop and jot it down:

When the ear never hears praise, the heart loses the will to try. 

 I believe this. Well, I know that when I'm praised--be it by an online challenge leader like Allan, by my husband, by a sibling, by a boss, by a teacher--it makes me want to try harder and do better. It gives me wings. So, I hope that as you work on your fitness and weight loss progress, that you get praise. That people notice you're trying hard and spur you on. And I thank everyone who has come here and given me praise and encouragement. It keeps me going.

Praise someone's hard work at fightfating and goal-achieving today. They may really, really need it.

And if you wanna see an example of one challenger dedicating a whole post to praising a person who helped her (and this same person helped me, too), visit Julie.

Today's fightfating plan is to work on the push-ups, walk, eat at or under 1400 cals, drink my fluids, pray for the challengers, keep focused on goals, and ENJOY THE SUMMER sans aching feet and swollen ankles. ENJOY LIFE without overstuffing! ENJOY my family, without enabling bad eating!

ENJOY, period, the things I've gained after losing all this fat. Just ENJOY!

Happy weekend, fatfighter and friends. Be well...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 17 of 84 in the StSC: Another "decade" says hi to me, and I try to answer the "How Do I Get Started Losing 100 Pounds" question, though it's one all of you should help answer, I think...

Tanita-san: 189.6

OMG. I'm fewer than 5 lbs away from NOT BEING OBESE. ::::mad laughter::::

New weight "decades" are always fun. Getting in is exciting. Working to get out and down to the next is motivating. I weigh nearly daily for this reason. I want to see how close I'm getting to the next milestone. (Well, and if I had too much salt or too many carbs the day before. It's a marker for me of those.)

I spent the good part of yesterday weepy and sad, so no blogging. I did visit some challenger blogs and pal blogs to say "hey" but really, my heart was aching. I don't like arguing with my sister. I took a "space day" and didn't call or contact her, cause I was afraid I'd just start bawling again and say something incredibly stupid in my pain.

And I'll add, I did not dive into food on Monday or Tuesday. The good fight I fought Father's Day night paid off. The reins didn't get dropped, they just slacked on Sunday. They were still right in my hands all along.

Today, I got a really moving card from her. And I started bawling. hahaha. I am such a sentimental dork. But it's gonna be okay. As long as there is love, you make it out okay.

This likely applies to this whole weight loss gig, too. When I started letting myself believe that I was not hopeless, when I started to love myself enough to want better health and energy and appearance for myself, it was easier to move into more progress. I had hated myself, LOATHED myself, for so much of my earliest life and even into my later years, when incapacitating illness just wrecked my optimism and what self-esteem I'd scraped together. When you loathe yourself, you don't care what goes in your mouth or how it deforms your body or what it does to your lifespan. Dying early can be appealing when self-loathing and depression are your constant companions.

A good man's love rescued me. Family love kept me going. Love of friends, love of God. I mean, I really believe that at the core, if we don't have love, why bother being alive?

So, loving myself a bit more means doing good things for myself, and this blog is part of that.

ANYWAY, I got an email from a lurker asking this:

I'm not sure you'll have time to answer this, but do you have a "getting started" link somewhere on your current blog? I have 100 lbs to lose, and it's difficult to know where to begin.  I would love to know what you read/did first in your journey that got your head in the game, so to speak.

I don't really have a comprehensive "getting started" post, though I know that here on this blog, since last September, I've posted about things that gave me epiphanies and how everyone's journey to those epiphanies are different.

I struggled since I first made my decision as a morbidly obese woman to give weight loss a real, public, accountable effort. STRUGGLED. Setbacks. Stalls.

But I started my old blog in May of 2007, and it was just years of bumbling and learning and reading other fatfighting blogs and trying things (vegetarian, raw vegan, delivery meals, dietitians, spiritual work). Sometimes, some of us, have to put in a lot of groundwork and failed attempts before whatever is supposed to click, clicks.

BUT...aside from the reading/learning/getting professional help--and yes, in 2008, even when my food was still not in proper low-cal control to lose weight, when I was just MAINTAINING a modest loss of 20+ pounds, I began to exercise regularly at 278 lbs, Pilates, with a trainer, lots of moolah, ouchie--the key was I never fully gave up. Shoot, I even researched bariatric surgery. Part of me was determined not to be an OLD OLD FAT LADY. I'm already old enough. I didn't wanna be a morbidly obese senior rotting in some home with diabetes.

But if there's one link on this blog I can offer, it's THIS ONE. 
It's probably companioned with THIS ONE. My first two rules of weight loss. ; )

Because I'm an INTJ personality type, it was reading science studies, web sites, and books on overweight issues, in conjunction with following blogs with clear and concrete info on how people addressed their emotional eating/binge eating and what meals they ate and how they structured their days/meals--that penetrated my brain almost every day, fed my intellect, and when my brain is fed, then the other parts of me respond.  I needed knowledge and proof it was doable. Blogs of successful losers of 100+ pounds= proof.

And then the summer of real DECISION (see that first link above on my rule of weight loss) was last summer. That's when it clicked and I began to make REAL progress. It was a cluster of things--a blog weight loss challenge, certain books, certain blogs--that flipped my switch.

I read books last year that each helped me along the way:  THE END OF OVEREATING;  REFUSE TO REGAIN; BEATING OVEREATING; WHY WE GET FAT; SWITCH...

I read books this year --and AM reading books--that helped and still help me refine my individual program for fat loss and fitness: THE NEW EVOLUTION DIET; THE PALEO SOLUTION; THE PERFECT HEALTH DIET

I also read spiritual books to address my issues. Gluttony and sloth are spiritual issues. Craving. Self-esteem. Depression. Lack of self-control. These all can have spiritual dimensions, be outgrowths of spiritual wounds. I addressed that, too. Bible being number one. :) The Desert Fathers and Mothers, those grand ascetics, being a reminder of how self-indulgent our society is.

This is why I encourage people to read, talk, follow successful bloggers, do introspection, see professionals--even if it strains your budget, cause if you get some dire disease from being obese, what good is your retirement account gonna do you--and experiment.  Other people have done it. So, BELIEVE you can do it.

Faith is a component that is essential. BELIEVE YOU CAN. Fake the belief that you can with affirmations until you do believe it.

I saw dietitians, got a trainer, read books up the wazoo, asked for family support, got anointed and prayed for,  tried low carb, got a DNA test for ideal diet for my genes, tried high carb/low fat, tried delivery low-salt low cal, tried vegetarian, tried vegetarian delivered meals, tried meditation, used prayer, tried visualization and affirmations. I did not give up. I may have spun my wheels on my blog for 3 years before something clicked, but I was always fertilizing the ground for something to grow. I never gave up.

Then I made a decision. And I still tweak, read, and learn. But I don't look back.

Last summer, something clicked...and the click got stronger with the DDDY Challenges and my own reading into Evolutonary/Paleo/Primal/Primarian eating styles and experimenting with no grains/low-moderate carbs and finding it left me with lower appetite and higher energy.

Last September, I started this new blog to be clearer with goals and openly, photographically, numerically ACCOUNTABLE. No hiding.

I suggest you start a blog. Post a before pic: block out your face if you  need privacy. Use a nickname to hide your real identity if you need to. But BE VISIBLE. You will be happy to see the before/after to compare. Give your actual starting weight. Make a weekly loss goal and a monthly loss goal and a seasonal loss goal and an annual loss goal. Account to your readership and yourself. Share insights. Share difficulties.  I am a big believer that once you put it out there and people can call you on it, you make yourself more motivated from that. It's embarrassing to post a gain, sure. But it's exhilirating to post a loss and have others celebrate with you. It's embarrassing to fail. But that embarrassment can be a spur to stay on your plan and SUCCEED. This is what I'm hoping this blog is for me. A tool to help me succeed. It's working. It's my journal. I can vent. I can learn. I can dialogue.

Maybe it will help you get started if you open a blog TODAY with those goals and hopes and before pic and starting weight. :)

And if my photos, numbers, blogs, successes and setbacks help YOU, then yours will help someone else. You might change someone's life. :D

I never understand the folks who won't post a number. It's a number. Hiding it gives it more power, not less. Hiding means shame. Forget shame. It's a number, like shoe size. Defang it by publicizing it and make yourself accountable with goals that people can say, "Oh, you did it!" and celebrate, or give advice and help when you have falls.

That's not for everyone. But I found public accountability hugely motivating and liberating.

So, what can get you started losing 100 pounds. Ask yourself those questions on my left sidebar from the Unleashing The Warrior Within.     Take a hard look at the necessary sacrifices that must be made to comfort and indulgence. If food is your comfort, stress relief, or master, then accept you're gonna suffer breaking the bond and roll up your sleeves and get into the battle. You will suffer. You will give things up--some for LIFE. You won't be able to sit back and down that pint of ice cream or dive into pizza for solace or pleasure. You will have to get up and move your body, whether you feel like it or not. Until you come to ENJOY it (and many of us have).

And you will have to accept that old habits never fully die, and if you indulge those old habits again, you lose some battles and maybe the whole war.

You make a decision. You sit down and plot out goals and what steps you take to get to them based on your ability/budget/preferences/medical conditions/support types. You have to have goals, and you have to keep an eye on them daily. You may go hungry some days. You may wanna give up others. But you remember the commitment. It's like a marriage: you're in it for life (one hopes). You attend to it every day. You recommit as needed. You forgive as needed. 

That's how you start. You realize it's gonna be AWFUL at first maybe, then less awful, then you feel your mastery grow and it feels good. And when the wind's at your back, it feels amazing.

Hope that helped, lurker.

And I hope the others who read this blog and are in challenges and have made progress in their journey to lose 100 pounds (more, less), will chime in on how to start. Help our lurker out, would ya? :)

Be well....I gotta go call my sis...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 15 of 84 in the StSC: I Beat Back the Emo-Eating Binge Monster--and how I did it yesterday-- Sample Chapter from EATING LESS (one of my recommended reads)...and yes, it's about taking control of an addiction...

Does Gillian Riley describe you in this clip?

This was me, and is me. The 'was' me : obsessed with food, with mealtimes, with quantities. Food addict. The 'is' me: someone who can still be called to (though more rarely) by food for comfort, pleasure, escape, but who now has tools to short-circuit the bad times.

One of the bad times was last night. There was an emotional outworking at our Father's Day gathering. Three of us ended up in tears, for different reasons. I won't go into the details--we're family, we love each other, sometimes things need to be vented, and somehow they tend to get vented when stress or anxiety or bad moods hit--but I was feeling fragile from a self-sacrifice hubby had done for me, a very generous, beautiful, loving bit of self-sacrifice that put my well-being and desires above his own. It's what spouses do for one another, but it made me I was holding him back. I was also worried about eldest sis (who was looking drawn and unwell).

One of my nieces was having a fragile time herself, worried over her mom. My other sister was having a bad day, and I became a bit of a target. We all stepped on landmines and, well...venting and tears. We kissed, went home, and eventually sis and I will sort it out. Love does that. Niece and I are fine, though still worried about her mom. :(

So, I had eaten exactly what I had planned to. I had none of the "bad" foods at the party. I took what I could eat and drink, and tasted what was allowable of what sis prepared.

But the emotional stuff left me sad. (I mean, no one wants to see their loved ones cry.) Hubby was hungry, and as he's now one pound away from being officially UNDERWEIGHT, we decided to stop for take-out. At nearly 10pm on a Sunday, options were limited. Part of me was doing the little undermining/justifying thing that the OLD ME used to do regularly.

I want to eat X and Y and I'll find a way to justify eating X and Y, cause I WANT IT.

We fat folks do that all the time. We make excuses to have stuff we ought not have, whether it be special occasions/holidays or depression or needing comfort. We decide we can overeat cause of this and this and this. If we're obese, we sort of lost the right to overeat, I figure, but we find a way to justify the crap. We do.

Food is toxic comfort. But we fall for its lure. That's why we're fat. Obese. Superobese.

So, there we were at a place we hadn't gone to in....well, I forget it's been so long. A Chinese place in our neighborhood that was near closing time. The whole time we had driven there, part of me was deciding on what would be "safe". The other part of me was making excuses for the not safe. It was like angel/devil shoulder banter. I swear! Ridiculous. In the end, I justified ordering BBQ ribs cause "hubby can take them for lunch." Right? Sound familiar? We do that, right? Say it's for "the kids" or "the hubby", when it's really US who want to dive in and pig out.

The part of me that is sound was looking for a lifesaver, the strategy. I was going mentally through the caloric calculations of this and that and finding a way to stay in StSC boundaries. It was telling me I'd done well, and not to screw it up.  It was telling me about the need to not give in or lose ground.

The part of me that is unsound was looking for what would give me maximum food fat reward without looking too self-indulgent. It was going by was promising to comfort me.

In the end, I fought mentally every second from the restaurant to the house and through about a half hour at home. It was the fricken Colisseum in my head, gladiators in battle.

Drinking water. Making coffee. Biting a bit and stopping. Eating the veggies first. Throwing some of the chicken on hubby's plate. Saying no rice, Then a few forkfuls of rice. Then the ribs. Yep. There they were. I had two. I battled with every bite, trying to delay, knowing that with delay, the water/coffee/veggies could kick in and fill me up. I went 400 calories over before I said to hubby, "I'm eating too much. I'm feeling like I'm gonna cave. I feel like the hunger is just not gonna go away, and I know it's just feelings, not real body nourishment need. I have to stop."

Saying it out loud, as embarrassing as it is to say such stuff, did it. I stopped. I admitted I was out of control and was about to seriously do some damage if I didn't just cop to it, stop making excuses, stop hiding it (I ate the ribs in the kitchen, not with hubby seeing it), and just admit I was in a crisis.

And that stopped it. Confession is not only good just for the soul. It's good to break the beginnings of a binge. I ended up at a bit over 1800 calories. No binge. Just more than my alloted calories. No painful belly from overstuffing. I was actually still roomy in there.

Hubby actually did end up taking the uneaten ribs for his afternoon snack. :) 

I wonder my confession is akin to the "call a sponsor" thing at AA. Call when temptation hits and let yourself be talked out of the booze craving.

I talked myself out of it by just letting hubby know: "I'm eating too much. I want to eat more. I have to stop."

I went, drank more water, took my supplements, took some potassium to counteract the salty Chinese chow mein veggies I ate. I threw out the rest of my food so as not to be even minutely tempted. I sat down and just allowed myself to feel bad about having a tiff with my sis. Food can give pleasure that distracts. I just let myself feel bad. It's human. Be sad. Be it.

I was fine after that. I woke up still a bit sad, but once things calm, we'll do as we siblings always do when we vent frustrations and get upset: We forgive, hug, and move on.

Same with food. I overate. I beat it back, stopped the binge momentum, and kept myself from binging. I overate, but I still won. I hug my heart, forgive myself, and move on.

Don't stuff feelngs with food. You'll want to. But it's not the solution. Just feel the feelings and find the actions that make it really better, not just "food reward brain pleasure" reaction.

Most of the time this year, I beat the overeating desires before food hit my mouth. Last night, food started to get the better of me. But I came out stronger.

And Tanita-san agreed: 190.8

That's .4 lbs down, after not just overeating, after Chinese food overeating. This is a numerical reason why stopping the binge while it's just "a bit extra" is worth it. :)

I leave you with this excerpt from Gillian Riley's book EATING LESS: Say Goodbye to Overeating. It's a good resource for "food addicts", even recovering ones. :)

For me, the goal is not just a number on the scale. It's getting over an addiction. It's being the one in control. Or regaining control ASAP after it loosens. It's making my life and my character better by not being a slave to this or that. Food being this. All sorts of other thats.

I want to get healthier, which is even more important than one particular scale number. And getting healthier means taking control. Of what I eat. Of how I move. Of what I think. Of how I act.

Being out of control feels crappy. I saw proof of that last night. With tears. With Chinese food.

Being in control feels so much better...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 13 of 84 in the StSC: Another pound down, a great few pages to help you overcome overeating (ie, REHAB yourself) from the book that helped me the most, and the value of sleep...

Tanita-san: 191.2

Yep. Another pound down. I was afraid my "carby" vegetarian eating day yesterday might slow me down or give me a slight bit of carb bloat (I got up to 118 carbs), especially since I had a lot of cheese (mozza and parmesan) on my spaghetti squash (ie, added sodium). But no, worked out fine.

Friday calories: 1088

Part of that is that I'm sleeping fine again. Eight hours. Good rest, I find, makes for good losses. When I sleep poorly or sleep little, the scale stops budging or goes back up. So, yeah, I see this as the factor that has helped the no-cardio week not impede me. I am so antsy to walk, but I won't be a fool and strain what is already strained. I have to recover and be patient. So, no walking. :(

I'm 6.2 pounds away from a merely overweight BMI status. Go, me!

I really enjoyed my veggie day. What I ate:

Brunch: I cooked a smaller sized spaghetti squash in the nuker, and it yielded a lot of "pasta". I made it marinara style (melted mozza, sprinkled parmesan) with zucchini on the side (sauteed in EVOO with some parm on top) and used the Mrs. Dash Italian Medley for flavor. I ate a fresh organic pear and 1 gluten-free (almond flour and coconut) low-carb cookie for dessert. Had coffee and my loads of water.

Dinner: More squash, this time with pesto Calabrese style (red pepper pesto) and mozzarella melted on top. A bit of spinach and mushroom saute on the side (flavored with garlic). Had half a baked apple with walnut butter for dessert. Zevia grape flavored and coffee and water. My Frieling French press has been getting good use lately. Lovely java.

This is a higher carb  day for me, but it came from the fruit and veggies, which I don't mind. That's good carbs in my book. :D

I mentioned how I had cravings earlier in the week that I fought off. I do believe that fighting off cravings matters. For some people, just giving in and having some of a craved food seems to be their solution. It can't be that for me MOST of the time. I find that to continue to have control, I must USE control. I must use that self-control to keep those new habit pathways working as primary. I don't want to default to the REWARD system for things like junk food or sugary treats or trigger foods.

For me, the rehab system described by various sources--for me, notably Kessler in THE END OF OVEREATING and Gillian Riley's work on beating overeating--and part of that is simply saying no. Not justifying caving. Just refusing to cave to "fave food/trigger foods" and old reward systems. When I do that, the cravings pass and I go back to low appetite, calm eating mode. That was yesterday. I wanted a pasta-ey thing, and I didn't want old trigger foods (pasta, pizza), so I made my lower carb, plan-friendly "pasta" dishes.

I felt satisfied. And I felt victorious for saying no all week to the crap that traps me back in cue-reward old habits. I refuse to let food win. This week, I fought the old cues. This week,  I won. You take it day by day, week by week.

Caving to a craving is sometimes okay. But for a lot of us, it can be the trigger to cascade into more cavings and more cravings and a setback. If you're doing well...don't cave Say no. Hold on. Build new habit neural pathways. Get stronger each time you use your "no" muscle.

Cave and you might be back at square one. Seriously. You may not be the sort that does well with sidetracks. It might kill your momentum.

If you have issues with temptation, with caving to overeating, with staying in your calorie level, please read THE REHAB chapter of THE END OF OVEREATING if you can't read the whole thing (highly recommended).

Update so far for StSC:

This week, exercise took a hit due to my injury. So, only got 1.5 hours of exercise in so far this week.

Fluids and prayer were consistent and excellent.

Calories: well under max allowed.

Weekly weight loss goal 1.5 lbs: This week isn't over, but I needed to make it to 191.9 (or less) to make goal. I hit 191.2 today, so I made my goal and exceeded it. Yay!

I haven't quit. I blogged frequently. I encouraged others (though some days were minimal and some days much better).

I am still with my eyes on the prize....

Keep yours on the prize, too.

And enjoy your family holiday....make it about love, not eating.

Be well...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 12 of 84 in the StS Challenge: Scale nice to me, babying knee, appetite calmed down yesterday, initial planning for Father's Day "feasting"...and a pic to motivate you all weekend!

Tanita-san: 192.2

Very nice. That's like a 1 pound whoosh in one day. Hope it's not me seeing mirages or something...heh. I'd love to make it to 191.4 for Sunday, but that's rather optimistic. To make challenge goal, I'd need to make it to at minimum 192.0 and better 191.8 (for 1.5 pounds a week rate). I can make it as long as I don't...fudge. I'm most concerned about reduced movement. I do not doubt the good whoosh is a combo of that hour of exercise and the cutback on calories.

I had a very light supper. My appetite that had spiked a bit calmed down some yesterday, and the few temptations were easily batted away. A look at yesterday re challenge goals:

Calories: 989
Fluids: Yep.
Prayer: Yep
Exercise: Pilates with trainer, no push-ups work
Sleep: Lots
Blogged and visited a few, not many, blogs.
Waist: 37... Unchanged. Hips 45.5..more belly fat reduced

Today: I did  feel as if there are some changes going on in my body. Been noticing it a couple days now. I look in the mirror and something in the...lines...have changed. Waist is an inch down from yesterday...really? Hip measurement is down, too. The lower belly fat is reducing. My belly hangs LOW...and losing in the hips is more like losing in the gut for me...

I'm still stunned waist budged that much from yesterday!It's 36 inches, not 37. How does one lose an inch overnight?

Knee still "snappy" and the bruises are an unflattering green. I iced some more yesterday and used a bit of compression (brace) while I was walking around making supper. I used some arnica gel, too, from the health food store. I am still a bit stressed that I can't go do my usual walk, but patience is called for. Been taking extra vitamin C and some vegan glucosamine, and just...well...having calm thoughts, healing thoughts....

So, Father's Day. This is gonna be a temptation time for many of us. Yesterday, the Zevia I ordered arrived and I will be taking a couple cans to drink (one cola, a grape or cherry). This will give me the "feast" feeling, as I don't do soda much anymore. Zevia is fizzy and sweetened with erythritol and stevia (not aspartame or sucralose). I got ginger ale for sis to try (not my thing, Ginger Ale).

I plan to take some sugarfree chocolate for my treat and a caprese salad with either pesto or balsamic (haven't decided, maybe both). Also,  some of that grassfed organic beef I ordered from Idaho a couple months back. I need to defrost today so I can marinate overnight Saturday. Brother wants steak on the grill and, hey, that's fine with hubby and me.

I may take some sugar-free, low-carb ice cream for hubby as my brother is making homemade mango and coconut ice cream--he makes amazing frozen stuff from real fruit, just like our dad used to--and hubby has been eschewing sugar. (Miracle. He used to be the sugar-vacuum.) He likes fruit or unsweetened Ghirardelli cocoa powder on top.

My plan is to stick with protein and veggies (grilled and salad types) and have  my sugarfree treats to ward off the temptation for the sugary ones that may strike.

It's about family anyway. I won't be able to play, like I like to (catch or frisbee or whatever), but we can play board games and talk about the "good old days" when our parents were alive. It's about FAMILY, not food. Food is just an adjunct to familial love.

Family isn't around forever. Years pass, we get old, loved ones die. Enjoy your holiday and let food just be an accent, not the focus. Make plans. Make plans for how to sidetrack, avoid, exile the off plan or trigger foods.

The challenge applies to Father's Day, too, because every year for the rest of our lives, temptations will arise. If we want to get to goal and stay there, we have to learn to handle it NOW and never let food be the "big deal" on holidays. The big the people.

And here's a photo that I saw on Caroline Jhingory's site to help motivate you (and me) to stick to it this holiday weekend:

The gorgeously fit Ms. Ernestine Shepherd...
senior citizen and bodybuilder! Wow!!!

Happy well...and I will be praying for us to be strong. I continue to covet prayers for my knees. :)  And I ask for you prayer warriors who read this to please remember THIS CHALLENGER and her situation today and this week.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 11 of 84 in the StSC: Trying not to get bummed, and what inspires me to keep going...

Scale is almost at a standstill, as I myself have been pretty much at a standstill...or is that a sit-still or lie-still? The knee is better, but still feels sometimes I'm walking and it feels...loose, like it'll give a bit. Still aches a bit. But much improved.

Lying around/sitting around has not improved either my appetite or the scale progress. So frustrating: 193.2  Only a half pound in all these days.My appetite increase is likely due to a sort of mental association reversion thing: "Oh, are we back to the sitting/lying around like an anemic slug days again? Whoopee. Let's have some fried cheese! Or a bacon-cheeseburger deluxe, followed by chocolate cake!"

Yeah, something about just being inactive has put me in some weird "I wanna eat to comfort myself" zone. And it affects my mood.

Sucks. But I'm fighting it. I've had closer to 1400 calories (1385 yesterday) and still had to fight off the eat more urges. I suppose this is something to get used to and learn to handle, since it will happen from time to time. I will have injuries/disease. I will have inactive days/weeks, perhaps (Lord, forbid) months. At 51, the fall made me reassess my fragility (I do worry about these wonky knees of mine and the arthritis). I think it's the whole, "I"m old, getting older, am scared" thing that affected my mood. Well, and not having my walking endorphins. :-/

But I ain't giving up. I will fight past the inactivity setback and mood dip and will emerge with my fighting spirit on fire.

 Not giving up. Part of this challenge is to keep going, and that's for life. Keep going for health for life....

Thank God for support. Hubby has been affectionate and attentive and it keeps me from getting too bummed out. I was cheered last night viewing some of his pro pics. (I got him a deal for professional photos, since he does classes/conferences and has his second edition of his book coming out, for resumes, etc, I wanted GOOD pics in assorted poses, for various users. For his gamer mode, author mode, engineer mode, Frisbee-er mode, business mode, manly mode, and just some fun ones for me to drool over.)

Here's one where I like his expression a lot, cause his intelligence and sweetness both shine in it:
mmmmmmmmmmmm,.so hot....
And this is his new suit (bought last week, cause he's dropped oodles of pounds and old suits don't fit). I insisted on sexy, basic, quality BLACK. Nothing professionally sexier on a man than a BLACK basic suit (lower rez, cause I couldn't get them to FLIP on blogger. Anyone know how to flip photos on blogger?):

 And here is a smiley gamer hubby:

Anyway, fluids good, prayer good. Exercise and encouragement, not so much. Sorry.

Today, I'm going to Pilates and I suppose we'll work around the knee. Maybe upper body stuff.

Later, peops! Fight the good fatfight!

UPDATE: Got back from Pilates. Am eating my satay chicken, salad, fruit and French press Sumatra java. Yum. Knee is aching and throbbing. We had to stick to upper body and reposition me so the knee wasn't strained. It was tough. I had some dizzy spells. Trainer says stay off, no walking, and if in a week it's still unstable and hurting, must see ortho. Um, yeah, figured that one out.

On to the goals, no matter what....!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 9 of 84 in the StSC: The Good, The Very Good, The Very VERY Good,The Bad, & The Ugly....or why I didn't post yesterday and what I did today and what I won't do today or maybe tomorrow, either...

The Good: Despite my hubby misplacing my keys (ie not putting them in the bowl I use for my keys, hence, *I* never lose them) and causing me to lose 1/2 hour of Pilates time, I did get some work in. And the soreness means it was a good 30 mins.

The Bad: After Pilates, I went to the farmer's market, and there I fell a big one and banged up my worse of two bad knees. Everyone was nice and helpful and the employee took my info in case it turned out to be more than the swelling and bruising already forming... It hurts.

The Ugly: My knee. It's swollen, green with bruises, red with scrapes, and making popping noises.

The Good: I could walk. Granted, I felt some discomfort in movement, but I finished getting my good produce before heading home.

The Bad: I had to ice my leg all afternoon and evening and stayed off my feet pretty much, meaning no cardio. I dozed a lot and missed blogging or reading blogs that I didn't get to early in the day.

The Good:  Had an appointment with my endocrinologist today, and she was VERY pleased with my big weight loss since she last saw me. I was in the 240's when she saw me last. I was 197 on the scale there (with sneakers and clothes, etc).

The Very Good: I was taken off the BP meds. Recall that I saw my doc last week and she reduced me to every other day half dose. Well, my blood pressure was 84/46, which alarmed the doc, and she said to stop taking it. I conjectured that this might be the reason that I was a bit spacey and didn't notice the corner of the platform sticking out. The platform is where I clipped my leg and lost my balance, leading to my fall at the farmer's market. I'm klutzy, but not THAT klutzy. I haven't had a spill in public since I slipped on a cheeseburger someone dropped outside a McD's back in 1989. Long time.

She also reduced my thyroid meds a scosh, as I'm lighter now and was subclinically hyperthyroid (slightly) and don't need as much. From 137 levoxyl to 125. No change in Cytomel. Yay.

The Very VERY Good: She says I have, and I quote, " now resolved my prediabetes." This calls for a big ole whoop, three cheers, and a lap around the block. Since my knee is still swollen and achy, the lap is delayed, but WHOO!!!! and "Hooray, hooray, hooray!"Those were words I have been longing to hear. A1c was good and Glucose (fasting) was 84. My last several readings ranged from 99 down to 92.

The Good, Very Good, Bad, then Good: Lipid panel showed increase in TOTAL cholesterol (included the calculated, not counted and analyzed LDL). It was the LDL that messed it up. HDL is high at 56 (meaning it's excellent). Triglycerides are wonderfully low at 49. I had requested a Lipid Profile from my primary last time, and she called me yesterday to say the LDL profile was good (ie, my LDL is principally the beneficial/neutral "fluffy" type, not the dense and dangerous type.). So, I am not concerned, but the doc asked I take red yeast rice. I put the kibbosh right off on any statins or presription drugs. I know what they do to me (bad, bad, stuff and crap quality of brain/life from side effects), but I'm willing to try the natural one, as long as I don't get muscle/liver issues.

If you do low-carb, lower-carb, moderate-carb, with higher fats (especially things like coconut oil and butter/ghee), always make sure you get the LDL profile (actual analysis of LDL) and not just the formula calculation of LDL, cause the type of LDL matters a helluva lot, and if you are eating, say, Primarian, Primal/Paleo, or LC, this will affect HDL/Trig positively and can have either a positive or adverse effect on LDL. I don't douse my food in butter or oils, as I have to count calories, so I was only concerned with the profile of the LDL (ie, I didn't want the deadly one). But don't go by calculated LDL. It's misleading when one makes certain dietary changes.

So, medically, there we are up to date. Now I need X-rays for my hips/coccyx and a bone density scan. The last is cause I'm post-menopausal and have taken steroids my whole life in pills and injection form due to really bad asthma since infancy, so doc thinks I might be osteopenic due to that. Great, right?

On the plus side, she took a quick look at the knee and thinks that it's just soft tissue damage. I hear additional weird pops in the knee, but the swelling MIGHT account for that. If that doesn't resolve, I guess an orthopedist visit is in my near future.

What's not in my near future is any exercise of weight bearing type. I was anxious about this. Even voiced it to hubby..okay, and doc, too. hahaha. I don't wanna slow my loss or mess up my fitness level, and trust me, I'd never have believed in all my previous adult years that I'd be worred about NOT BEING ABLE to do my walking exercises or other knee-use ones. It still stuns me that my first thought after the fall--after the, "Please, God, don't let my bones be broken!"--was, "Oh, hell. Will this impede my workouts!!???"

Lifestyle change, right?

Anyway, a quick recap of the Challenge related stuff for yesterday:

Calories: 1350
Fluids: in
Exercise: 30 mins Pilates, no work on the push-ups.
Prayer: Yep.
Blogging: Nope.
Encouragement: Some
Quitting: Not  a chance. But, well, rehabbing, mebbe. :D

I hope all the challengers are finding the second week still full of spirit and motivation. Let's keep at it until we make it to the goal line!

Be well. Off I go to use my Frieling French press and make me some yummy java and drink my water....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 7 of 84 in the StSC: Saying No To Stay on Challenge Plan Was Harder Yesterday (Anniversary), but I did it. And another downtick on of our lunch al fresco...and yes, you're likely sick of our faces by now, but too bad, more photos...PLUS: Week 1 Challenge Goals Check!

CHALLENGE WEEK RECAP will be added to end of this post later:

Tanita-san: 193.4

If I made 1.5 pounds lost for the week, I'd make challenge loss goal. I made that today.

But man, I had to fight off temptation last night. Hubby wanted to take me out to dinner. I knew quite well that if I did go out, I'd go over 1400 (the high level cap for the challenge). I'd go WAY over. No question. You get to the point where you know YOURSELF and what you usually can eat at restaurants and how much you can handle.

I said no. No anniversary dinner out. We had dinner home.

We did eat lunch out,al fresco, at a Mediterranean cafe, with these little yellow blossoms dropping on our table every now and then from the tree that shaded the eating area. And this is what we ate:

My Greek Salad, His Chicken Kabob platter, hummus in background.
We ignored the bread basket, I used my fork to steal the chick peas from the hummus.
I also filched that piece of chicken from hubby's plate for protein. I had about an ounce of his chicken.

My Greek Salad, I eyeballed about 1.5 ounces feta,
and they were obligingly very light on the dressing.

We had a smiling-good time! It was warm and humid, and my curls began to reimposed themselves in short order after the blow-out:

Wearing a wedding band on middle finger is funky!

See, he's also smiling!
A Happy Princess in the Florida Sunshine!

Recap for StSC Day 6:

Calories: 1302
Fluids: Yep.
Prayer: Yep.
Exercise: Nope. I mean, we did some minimal walking around, like 10 blocks, but I ain't counting that. That makes Saturday my second rest day. Oops, that means I have to exercise TODAY!
Encouragement: Minimal. I wasn't home. :P

Weigh in: Um, yeah. ; )
Keep calories between 1200 and 1400: Did so all but one day.
Track Food: Done every day (though man, it's a pain)
Exercise 5 days: I exercised 4, so fell short on this goal.
Pray daily for challengers: Completed
Encourage others daily: Did it every day, but some days hit more blogs than others.
14 glasses minimum of water/fluids: Met every day of the week.
Keep blogging: Been doing that daily.
Not quit: Still at it!

I gotta tell you, I'm really, really proud of myself for fighting off the "let's have dinner and forget about calories" temptation that warred in my bosom. But then, a good dose of hugging and smooching and food is ...well...not as tempting. There is always something better to do than pig out.

Happy Sunday. May all the challengers make their weight goals this week. Chins up and eyes high on the prize, peops! Put a rose in your hair and smile!
Enjoy your day!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 6 of StSC: Recap of Day 5...Praise & Photos of My Beloved Who Is Mine...before I head out to ENJOY OUR BIG DAY!

Me and My Prince Last Summer (I was WAY bigger)
On June 11th, 28 years ago, in my sister's backyard, with a yellow and white striped tent giving shade to the small assembly of pals and relatives, I married my soulmate. He's been an utter delight ever since. I remember hearing how hard the first year of marriage was, the adjustment to another person.

Well, I didn't have that. We clicked. We got along. We rarely--and still rarely--argue. We laugh like mad, every day. We still find each other crazy hot and I still run to the door to greet him with a hug and kiss when he comes home.

Sometimes, I just lay my head on his chest for a couple minutes to savor his safe return.

with those Asian eyes!
I'm blessed with the perfect man for me. Maybe not for anyone else on this nutty planet, but for me, he's a haven, a sanctuary, a playground, all in one lovely male package. Life with him is peaceful, fun, full of giggles, full of comfort, and full of great discussions about topics big and small.

I also really, really, really, really like canoodling with his hot self. :D

And he smells good. It makes my head spin. Top-notch pheromones.

And he has "Asian eyes"...Magyar eyes, I suppose. The Hungarian in him shows. See the pic above right. Cover his lower face. Ignore the rosy European coloring. Asian eyes..and I ADORE ASIAN EYES. (Japanophilia is rampant within my bosom.)

He married me when I was near-normal weight: 150 lbs.  I grew ill, became a recluse from illness for a long spell, suffered awful dark nights of the spirit, & ballooned to 299 lbs. The whole while, he was the brilliant light that kept me from just diving into a death spiral of depression. He never called me fat or showed disapproval at my naked body. He was always approving of my dreams, supportive of my efforts, and, frankly, besottedly adoring of me.

Who explains such mysteries? True love is a weird, puzzling, powerful, sustaining, wonderful thing. It keeps you from losing hope when things are pretty damn bleak in your blue mind and in your diseased flesh.

At the Hatsume Festival Back in March...still besotted

The Face That Makes My Heart Sing!
So, thank you, Merciful God--and thank you, my beautiful beloved--for so many good times, good memories, lovely laughs, comforting embraces, and for the daily astonishment that you are so right for me.

Back in February...a night full of laughs and hugs...
The legs that drive me wild..back in the 70s (He was a major good Ultimate Frisbee-er)
First time I saw him in shorts, I just about passed out...whoo...
Loving me young and slim with the smile that still makes ME smile...(Yep, that's us in 1982
with my nieces and young and fresh and madly in love and ENGAGED,
and yes, I weigh like 145 pounds there and had natural curls)

Loving me fat and sick and older, with that smile still making me smile...
Still making me all dizzy with desire when you drum
all intense and sexy-like...(at a public performance of Brazilian music)
You are still the one!

The day we became one! Handsomest groom EVER!
And he still looks at me with that tender sweetness!

Anyway, that was just me exploding all over y'all with my mad love. Thanks for your patience.

Recap of Day 5 of StSC:

Calories: 1143
Fluids: All in.
Exercise: 30 minute walk; shoulders/triceps/upper back still sore, so no push-ups work.
Prayer: Yes!
Sleep: Um, don't ask. Yawn.
Encouragement: I did, again, only some blogs. You guys are numerous!

Hope everyone is working toward their StSC goals.

God bless your weekend with health and lots and lots of love!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 5 of StSC: Arthritis in my butt? ...Almost off BP Meds... IHOP Simple Fit brekkie.. StS day 4 stats ...&...I have a THUTT Plus This is What happens to thighs when you lose 105 lbs! It ain't cute!

Okay, so no scale today. Rushed (and barely made) my appointment with the doc. She suspects it's arthritis in my coccyx and hips (as well as knees, sure) that is causing the issue. I suspected the hips. I always am stiff after sitting a spell and need to stretch before walking, cause the first 10 minutes always hurt. Stiff, stiff, stiff! Thank God Pilates gives some stretch relief.

I did mention getting old is a beeyotch, right?

On the plus side, BP was low, and she reduced my half-dosage to a half-dosage every other day. She suspects that 5 more pounds and I'll be off the ramipril altogether. Yay!

On the way home from the doc, I was hungry. So, I wanted breakfast and I turned at the first IHOP I saw. I hadn't been to IHOP in..well...a long time. I didn't know they'd revamped the menu. I'd assumed I'd get a salad and some eggs or eggs and tomato or some variation.

Noticed they had a SIMPLE FIT thing going on, with a few choices (not a lot, but a few) that were lower calorie/fat. Fine, I wanted eggs anyway.  It just made it easier on me not to have to haggle over what to get instead of toast/potatoes/stuff I don't eat.

I got this one:

The menu said this egg-substitute omelette with spinach, mushrooms, and tomato with a side of fruit was 330 cals. I added swiss cheese for more protein and some calcium. So, mebbe 450 to 500? I don't believe the calorie counts, so I figure a bit more ANYWAY from what they say. Always ADD some. Restaurants don't follow the perfect guidelines of a company's rigorous kitchen (weights, measures, less oil, blah, blah). But under 500 is fine for one meal. I normally eat twice, add maybe a snack if peckish. I had coffee and lots of water and felt quite full.

The omelette was excellent. Tasty and fluffy and a decent serving of veggies and a small serving of fruit  (though at home I usually have 3 to 6x the freggies). The fruit The pineapple piece and single grape were icky looking. The cantaloupe was a little past its prime. The honeydew and orange segments was good. Glad it was mostly honeydew.

Okay, so my anniversary (28th) is tomorrow. I had such a nice time at the Aveda spa last week (and my hair still looks GOOD without having done a thing to it since then), that I asked hubby to indulge me. "I want to have another condition and blow-out!" He said fine. He's gonna have his highlights touched up. He's got a pro photo session this coming week, and it would be nice to have his hair look primo for it. He might need those pics for author shots, resumes, conference programs, who knows what else...

So, how did my StS Challenge Thursday/4th day  go?

Calories: 1349, and tracked on Sparkpeople
Exercise: 30 minutes-- walking
Fluids: Yes.
Vitamins: Yes
Prayer: yes
Encourage Challengers: Yes, some.

Here was dinner last night, which was actually like BREAKFAST...cause I didn't have eggs that day and wanted me something lightish, but cheesyish and wanted broccoli slaw. Bought some fresh and got a hankering:

Cherries, honeydew in bowl; egg white layer with mushrooms,
broccoli slaw, red peppers, lowfat cheese, and lots of Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb

In case anyone cared how I carry my goodies while walking, I used to just carry them in my hand (inhaler, tissues, keys) and tuck moolah in my bra. Now I carry a cute leather bag I got a couple weeks ago:

Walking outfit on 6-9-11, with cute bag
& hair pulled half-back for coolness.
Sorry about the flash. I was in a semi-hurry and rushed. I love having my hands free when I'm ambulating!

Okay, so the bag is cute, but my thighs increasingly less so. I've noticed that with the last 8 pounds or so, my butt is now resting noticeably on my upper thighs. I guess I have, not cankles, but THUTT. I hate how it feels when I walk naked. Ugh.

And the thighs are crinklier and now dimpling mid-thigh. Before, the mid-thigh was pretty good. But in the last few weeks, the crinkling is really noticeable there. I guess I passed a hanging-skin threshold and it got suddenly worse.

I tried to get good shots, but this is the best I could do. Didn't wanna show too much (ie, panties)....cause, really, I balk and hubby balks at THAT. :O

Here we go:
Draping skin at inner thigh

weird dimping on mid thighs

Elephant crinkly skin, and yes, I hate seeing that!

If you are not obese but have been gaining weight, here is my cautionary visual. DO NOT BECOME HUGE. If you do, and you reduce, and exercise like mad, you will still have damage. It's ugly. You don't want it on your body. Do whatever it takes to get a handle on things and eat well, move well, hydrate well, and NOT GET HUGE!

I cannot tell you how awful it is to have your skin NOT FIT. It's like I constantly wear clothes that are baggy and unattractive. I have to hoist the loose stuff into bras and undies and feel best in clothes with some stretch/compression to keep the wobbles at bay.

Please, don't get like I did. Save yourself the droopy flesh blues.

And...that's it. Sorry to end on a downer....but I think the good has to go with the bad to be truthful. The good, being fat and sick for so long made me more compassionate and patient. Getting healthy is making me more disciplined. But there are consequences....and the worst of it I can't show. (No, I ain't showing you my butt and panni, cause, really, I don't wanna disrespect hubby or be THAT exposed on the "it's out there forever" internet.)

I pray your weekend is truly, truly wonderful. I may be scarce. I have an anniversary to celebrate with the sweetest, dearest, handsomest man in the cosmos!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 4 of StSC: Another dip on the scale...Day 3 Weapons Check...Is it rice lethargy or the humidity?...and off to get vampired...

I wanted to only log weigh-ins, but with my starchy experiment in progress, I am keeping a keen eye on the scale. Tanita san's verdict on the sushi (is he biased, perhaps) is good: 193.8

I can't believe I'm so close to NOT BEING OBESE. Less than 9 pounds to go!

Okay, how'd I do yesterday?

Calories: 1126  Yeah, baby!
Fluids: All in!
Exercise: 1 hour Pilates with trainer; 30 minute walk in the evening; worked on push-ups
Sleep: Meh. Still need to do better there.
Encouragement: I didn't do as much, but I did visit and post on blogs. Hope it helped.
Prayer for Challengers: Yes!

A very, very good day!

On the side--The starchy experiment: Floriana asked about it. Yes. I noticed a downtick in energy. I can't say for sure it's the potatoes/rice I've added in, but my vim is less shiny. I did lose, so I didn't have enough to stall (1/2 cup rice, not bad). But I won't tolerate energy loss. Is it the insufficient sleep? Is it the weather? Is it the re-added starches?

We shall see...

I have to have my blood drained in an hour. Gotta get dressed.

To all the challengers: Let's focus. FOCUS.  Eat right. Move right. Drink the fluids. Encourage your fellow challengers. Pray, if you are one of the prayer warriors. Let's do it!

Happy Thursday and I may update later if I have anything interesting. Or just cause I can't shut up on these posts, heh.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 3 of StSC: Making up the calories, Vegging Out due to Smoke and Rash, The Weird "is it bone or what?" Thing, New Fila Workout Top, and My Food Plate(s) for Lunch!

Tanita-san: 194.4 (the starch bloat is ebbing)

But I had starch again today after Pilates. I am trying to balance things. One serving a day like the R.D. recommended (and ok if some days none). Later on that. But first...

The Challenge Update for Day 2:

Calories: 850
This was not intentional. I simply was not hungry. Since I had an over 1200 eating day Monday, I figure this balances stuff out some. :) I am actually in deficit, since 1435 - 850 = 2285. Back on track.

Exercise/Push-ups Progress: Nope.
We had smoke issues and hubby insisted I stay inside. I actually kept my workout clothes on until 10pm, but didn't wanna risk setting off my asthma. So, being sore and all from Pilates and push-ups, I figured: "Veg-out day to build muscle!" Today, we move! My goal is to exercise 5 days a week, and I used up one of my rest days.

Prayer: Yep. You got prayed for, people.

Fluids: Yep. Drank what I had to.

Encouragement: I posted on several challenge blogs. And hey, my post was encouraging, yes? :) It sure was LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

Okay. So, Day 2 went fine, other than the smoke and my assorted rashes and the healing bug bites. My legs still look weird from those...

What isn't weird is my new Fila exercise top. I love it. It's got enough fabric that I can wear a regular bra. I's comfy. I like the black and white thing going. And the armholes are large enough to not impede Pilates movements. Yeah, baby. I got it for less than 15 bucks. Winner!

Here it is. My Danskin capris make a lumpy banded-waistline line under it, but does anyone really care? ~~

Fila top in XL!

Love my new top & my 10 lb new kettlebell (see on floor, gray/blue thingy)

Lunch today from Thai place... before consumption.
That's (from left bottom then clockwise) fresh papaya with lime juice,
fresh organic strawberries, vitamins in teacup, chilled green tea, water,
On plate: avocado sushi, kappa roll, 3 skewers (2 1/4 ounces weighed WITH sticks)
of satay chicken.Dunno why I put so much flatware. It was mostly fingers time!

After consumption: Too full to eat strawberries, saved for supper.
Lefover rice (I pull some out so I consume an eyeballed 1/2 cup)
439 cals, & this makes 10 glasses of fluids for the day...6 more to go.

Well, I called my doc for an appt Friday. For a couple months now, I have something bugging me in my butt area, like right up where the coccyx/sacrum bony bits are. Very uncomfortable in some Pilates moves and it bothers me when I lie down on my back in bed. A memory foam topper helped, but I still feel it. I don't know if it's bone, cartilage, a cyst, whatever. It's annoying and I need to have her check it and refer me to someone who can properly diagnose it. I also need to see my endo and get a colonoscopy and a bone density scan and, soon, another mammo and another Pap....yadda yadda.

Growing old is a pain in the butt--literally right now--and means so many tests and what-not. Seeing docs, I'm used to since childhood. I see my primary care one at least every 2 to 3 months and my endo 2 to 3 times a year (2x if no problems, more if issues arise).

I envy y'all who are in perfect health. Thhhpppttt!!!

Anyway, wishing you all a great 3rd day of the Slimmer This Summer Challenge. Stay within calories. Move if it's your exercise day. Drink good, clean water or non-crap fluids. Pray, if you're the praying sort, that we succeed and succeed with amazing numbers!

I pray the blessings of health upon you!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 2 of 84 in the StSC: I ate how many calories? Ah, but I did how much exercise? Beginning on those push-ups, and other updates and spontaneous a bit of blathering on anime music for Susan the ScooterButt Sister... And where do the forks and socks go? Can someone tell me? Plus: Visualizing it----the Warrior Doodle!

Here we are, day two. I hope day one went well for you all.

Caloric Weapon misfire: Dang. My rifle drooped some. I went over calories. This is rare for me and it irks me. But, there it is. I wonder if I had a weird psychological thing going on like, "Oh, a challenge ended, lemme be lazy one last time before I throw myself into the next one."

I'm not used to using starches much, and when I input the rice, and tallied the EVOO, well, there we go: 1435.

That makes it more necessary for me to be at 1200 today. An occasional "feast" day  of 1400 calories is fine--and how relative is THAT feast, huh, for the gal who used to eat 2500 in one sitting easy! This I know. Warriors can't slack. I don't want that to be habitual while on challenge, though there will be celebratory times when I will want more on certain days. For optimal loss, 1200 will do it. I've seen the proof of that.

Anyway, this morning, I feel LESS great. So, maybe my starch experiment is gonna be mighty short-lived. I like feeling super-duper. I don't wanna screw that up. My self-discovery continues, I guess.

On the exercise battlefront: 1 hour of Pilates and 25 minutes of walking. Well, thank God this weapon is primed, as it should make up for the overages in the caloric dept for yesterday.

On the push-ups stealth maneuvers: I dropped a couple times for some modified attempts last night after my walk. If you're working on that, too, and need to do it modified, like me, here's a short video primer and here's a really short one that might help.

Note: If you are one who can't afford to invest in a lot of exercise DVDs, don't have On Demand free exercise videos with your cable, and don't have access toAmazon or  Netflix videos (on demand or otherwise), remember: The internet is your buddy. Youtube, Sparkpeople,  and other sites have free exercise demonstrations from Yoga to Pilates to Bootcamp style to Zumba to Jazzercise to various spot exercises and etc. Lots of personal trainers put good stuff out there foryou.

Just seek and you will find.

Canteen check: Got my water/fluids in.

Vitamins inventory: Consumed, general, sir, yes, sir.

Prayer deployment: Yep, you all got prayed for. I even asked hubby to join in with that, and I posted on FB to my pals to consider praying for us.

Encouragement: Well, I sure posted on a lot of blogs! I didn't get everyone since Sunday, but nearly!  And my thanks to all who stopped by and filled me up with good wishes.

Note to Susan re comment yesterday: While hubby and I didn't continue with CLAYMORE (I might recheck that one in future, as the ladies there do kick beastly hiney), is the opening theme you like the one by the group Nightmare~~"Raison d'etre"?  (romaji and translation are HERE, though not video.)~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loooove the J-rock boys!!!  I have a cd of theirs, the one that includes the songs used in DEATH NOTE (terrific anime! really good tunes!) I like that band. Not as much as Buck-Tick (my fave)  or L'arc-en-Ciel or Vamps (kinda tied) or Abingdon Boys School or Sid or Uverworld...but they have some fun tunes. Lead singer just goes a little flat or pitchy sometimes. But when he's on it...he's ON! ; )

I think the closing theme is beautiful with its Celtic bits/meets symphonia/meets J-Rock: "Danzai no Hana~~Guilty Sky"

And I love singing along with anime themes, so when they add the Romaji lyrics, I just love dat. Lately, I get a nutty kick out of the silly ending theme from DENPA ONNA TO SEISHUN OTOKO, the one that goes, "Kaze hiku no, kaze hiku no" in that little-girly ootsy-cutesy voice. Such fun....

Sleep: Working on making it longer and better. Really, I am!

Silly personal side note which will assure you I'm odd and rather dorky: I'm running low on my discontinued Les Bains du Marais "musc blanc" huile de soin, and that's like my "time to go to sleep" aromatherapy. Oh, man, I love that stuff. I shower, rub it on my inner forearms and chest and shoulders, so I smell it as I doze off. So relaxing. The bestest musk scent ever. Why do they discontinue stuff I love?  Like FIREFLY (the TV show), or FELL (the comic), or like the TRIBECA flatware from Oneida.

Here me, world: If anyone wants to send their Musc Blanc huile to me, I will love you forever and ever. And if you have Tribeca dinner forks, them, too. I just ordered 6 from eBay out of desperation. Got the knives, salad forks, spoons. Forks: no. They're gone. Huh?  I have no idea whey we keep losing forks. And athletic socks. We're disorganized idiots, I guess. Socks and forks. Do demons pilfer forks in the night?  Are Fork Gnomes visiting my apartment while I shop for produce, then take my forks for subterranean feastings? Maybe aliens abduct them while I'm in a Les Bains du Marais White Musk dream haze?

Well, I guess I rambled enough. My apologies. It's a flaw.

I will endeavor to make this a stunningly good challenge day. I will pray it goes stunningly well for the 552--oh, wait, just 52? Whew!--of you fellow challengers.

Okay. New day. Time to deploy the weapons and be a warrior for health!

Here's a doodle by Rettakat on the warrior theme:

I really like it. Thanks, Retta! And I want to LIVE that mentality.

Happy and healthful Tuesday to all challengers and supporters!