Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ready for Summer Challenge Update #5: Caught up on sleep, not as active as I should be, though, and picture proof I'm not big as a cow anymore...

Tanita-san: 178.8
Last week: 179.2

Waist: same as last time, 34.75 in.

It was a stressful week (see previous post), but my car is back (with a suspicious low level clunk sound when I make sharp rights and lefts, but I want to drive a bit and see if it persists before complaining). Steering is way easier, now that the steering module has been replaced. NO herky jerky "wheel is possessed" movements so far. Yay.

I had hoped to be .6 or fewer lbs , but let's face it, I didn't stay at 1500 cals every day and I didn't exercise 5 days this week, so, who am I kidding. Stress eating (not a lot, but some) messed things up.

I suspect the weigh-in is better than I expected (I expected a gain) cause I slept 14 hours last night. I just crashed. It felt good to just wake up when my body wanted to...

Okay, recap:  I got my two strengthening sessions in with trainer. I walked x 3. So I missed my cardio goal.  Fluids were fine 6/7 days. I nearly made my goal of losing 1/2 pound.

I visited some challenger blogs, but not many.

This weekend, I've totally vegged. No excuses. Just did. It's been rainy and I didn't wanna move. There it is. I"m a slug.

Did have hubby take a pic yesterday when we went to Miami Lakes to get my car from the dealer's service center (no charge, warranty covered it, and thank God, as i think it expires next month). I visited my sis, who lives there, and then went to get some grilled chicken at CHICKEN KITCHEN , as I felt no desire whatsoever to cook.

We took the pics with one of the plainer examples of "cow art" that dot the city. My sister has lived there since the 70's, back when the city was full of REAL cows grazing all over. Now, most of the cows are gone (some still can be seen), but the art is a reminder of quieter, more bovine days. 

See? Not big as a cow anymore? ; )

For me, my NSVs--yes, multiple-- this week were ~~

1. not letting NOT having my car keep me from my Pilates session
2.  keeping some rein over my eating when I wanted to carb it up the wahoo
3. having my BIL yesterday look me up and down when he let me into his townhome and say, "You look good. Really, really good." :D And the sincerity and emphasis in his tone was very cheering. :D :D He's known me since I was 13 and 130 lbs....through my weigh escalation and topping out at 300 when I was 44. Now, I'm 52. It was a very victorious moment, emotionally.

Okay...I'm out of update, so I'm winding this up. Goals for next week:

weight: 1/2 pound down
exercise: same, 2x strength, 4x cardio
fluids: 10 cups a day
calories: 1500 a day cap

Be well, all!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Like I didn't have enough stress: The car, the carbs, and the caterwauling....oh, and the VITAMIX!

With the other stuff going on, with my jangled sleep, this I did not need.

What, you ask? Well,  my car did some wonky stuff Wednesday evening. Scared the crap outta me.  I had to park and call hubby to get the organic goodies in my stead on the way from work.  Waited for roadside service to tow it to dealer. Yeah, see me jump around with nerves.

Thursday and today, lots of phone calls, internet research, and near-to-hollering to get a problem fixed that seems to be discussed much for my model/make/year. Spoke to various GM c/s folks (I'm assuming in India, given accents, which is fine, me loves da Indian folks and you can't fault their language skills and courtesy!), and the local service manager, and got assigned to a district representative, as I'm getting heated in the brain as this progresses.

My Bronx gal resurrected after a whole day and a half of polite and informative and patient being on hold, talking to people, explaining over and over the weird malfunction. Being told, "Car is fine."

Excuse me? Fine? Yeah, right.

Basically me going all Bronx Princess: "You are keeping the car until it's fixed. You are going to find the issue. I wil not DIE on the highway cause you won't fix the issue. It's a defect and you need to fix it. FIX THE DAMN CAR! Cause if I die, my hubby is under orders to sue the whole lot of you and be a fabulously wealthy widower!"

Looks like it might get fixed. :D

But I actually just bawled at one point today with hubby--cause, hey, who can you bawl with if not your beloveed?-- which is NOT me, and it's probably cause it was stress upon stress, worry upon worry, and I needed a good bawl since I refused to have a bad binge. It was one or the other. Cry or eat. I cried.

Still, I caved to the starch. Starch sends all those calming chemicals to the brain and all.

The stress led me to hit the rice, the cassava, then the rice again in the last 24 hours. I did NOT binge. I did not surpass 2000 calories, but hey, it's starch and a heckuva a lot of salty stuff with the start (ie, I dumped rice in egg drop soup; I had take-out boiled cassava so salty I think my kidneys screamed).

So, I'm totally afraid to hit the scale. Which I will on Sunday...but

I did get more walking done, as without a car, I had to walk to my Pilates session or lose the moolah. (They need 24 hour cancellation and one session is $72, which I was NOT about to toss down the drain!)  Session went great. Was hard. And being all warmed up from the walk ended up being a plus. As long as the weather is beautiful (before the big rains and humidity strike in Miami), I may just walk there....

In other news: I got me a VITAMIX. OMG, this sucker is expensive. OMG. Seriously. Expensive.

Still...I am expecting it to last 10+ years.

I got it cause I loved seeing BETH at OBESITY STRIKE --see my blogroll for the link-- do her smoothie and other things in it. It sounded yummy and healthful. So, I  invested in it and I hope to learn to make the smoothies, "ice cream", and soups with fruit, veggies, and greens. I'm kinda clunky in the kitchen, so I'll have a bit of a learning curve, but the simple berries and banana smoothies are notably more delicious in this than my old blender. It's just mixed to a wonderful consistency like pro smoothies. Me likey dat a lot.

Well, not so inspiring here with my bawling and starching, but this happens, and we'll get through it. It's funny how I can handle some emergencies--all those awful years when mom and dad were ailing and dying, school stuff, work stuff-- and stressors pretty well, but car's always one of my bugaboos. Always has been. I guess cause I know squat about cars so have nothing to actually DO other than call for help.... ; )

Happy weekend to all. Be well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ready for Summer Challenge Check In #4: I"m late again...I'm hardly budging again...Um...yeah

Okay, so the busyness and stress have made me late..AGAIN. Sorry, Maren and all. I don't think I'm the only late one, as only 32 folks have linked up (I took a peek). We started with 50+. Last week was 45 linkies. Where'd everyone go??? That's a steep drop for only 4 weeks in....come back!

Okay, the update...

The essentials:

Weight: 179.2
(it was this Sunday, and it's this today)

Waist: 34.75

Last week:
weight: 179.4
waist: 34.75

How I did with goals:

Weight: -0.2 lbs which = maintaining, essentially

Calories: Oh, geesh. Not good. Only two days at goal. Every other day was a bit to more than a bit over. I only had one big setback: a day when I just was hearing chocolate. I had 5 pieces of dried apricots and peaches dipped in chocolate. My bad. Yes, stress makes me want chocolate. I'm surprised I didn't dive face first into a pizza, frankly. Gratefully, I did not. I dove face first into fruit smoothies a few times. Better than pizza.

Exercise: 1 strengthening session with trainer, 3 walks. Missed goals by 1 for each category.

Fluids: Messed up one day. I just flaked that day altogether. I was in just this haze of stress.

NSV: I can't think of anything other than I didn't stuff my face daily with bad crap given I am really in a bad stress place and anticipating some more upheavals (though I'm praying hard that this won't be necessary). Maybe I should feel happier about that--the not binge-ing or freaking with food--glad that I didn't totally go berserk when I feel that agitation rising. Maybe that IS my NSV. That I've eaten pretty normally. No binge or major freakouts.

Hardly been blogging cause I've been doing a lot of online research on stuff (easily 8 hours a day) and I just didn't want to deal. Haven't even been reading my personal email or checking with pals dailly on FB like I was used to. I find when I have to focus intensely on ONE thing, the other things take a backseat. The blog, FB, mail, housework. Um. Ick.

I have no idea what the challenge is for this week, will have to check that with Maren, our challenge leader. I did complete last week's mini-challenge, though. Yay.

Goals for this week:

Frankly, I can't see myself setting anything radical. I hope to achieve good fluids, the original exercise goals (s x 2; c x 4), and not to exceed 1500 cals. If I can maintain this week, I'll be relieved. But yes, I hope to break below 179. I can't really feel confident setting anything high. I'm a wuss.

Maren wants us to set a challenging goal for exercise. Well, because I have a trainer, she always challenges me. Monday, I swear, I was ready to cuss someone out. It was so hard to do the ones on the disc (I kept losing my balance, argh). So, I already have a person who pushes me at least 1, usually 2x a week. On my own, I do more moderate exercise. I pay her to push me. :) So, pretty much, Mondays and Thursdays, I get to be challenged. 

I hope my challenge mates are well and making their goals better than I am mine. :D

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ready for Summer Mini Challenge #4: Paying it Forward

Anyone who has followed my weight loss journey--on my old blog or this one--knows I believe in being supportive, being cooperative, and paying it forward.

I have learned from previous WL bloggers, from their peaks and valleys, successes and failures;  so I tried to blog useful stuff--not just from MY experience, but from the experience of others and research and books, etc. And I blog my setbacks.

We all have both--successes and setbacks, and we learn from it all. It's worth sharing.

But I do believe in helping those on the same hard journey: I designed and led/co-led multiple challenges, all of which took time and effort, in order to help others the way I felt helped (but added my own touches that I thought were helpful).

I think when we've achieved some epiphanies or made some progress and learned a few things (knowing it's never all and learning is ongoing), there is a sense where we should try to help. Even if it's just saying, "Here I am, what I've done: You can do this. It's possible."

I put up my unattractive Phat Pilates pictures back in 2010 on my old blog, then here in this newer one, because I could not find good info on dealing with obese Pilates clients. I wanted to see folks as big as me...and they weren't out there. So, I put them up. And my message is: "Don't be afraid to try this exercise if you are big. It can be modified. You can do it!" And I left messages at Pilates sites to tell trainers, 'Please learn how to modify for the obese. Learn to reach out to them. It's intimidating for us big folks to enter a gym or studio. Make us welcome. Learn how to work with our larger bodies."

I've seen progress made slowly with Pilates trainers online talking about obese clients (finally). My own trainer had me as a guinea pig, and she can take on big clients now fearlessly.

I want to encourage every big lady out there--middle aged and older, especially--to realize it's not too late to address our weight issues. It's not too late to take up exercise.

If I've been of help to you--with my blog, my Pilates pics, my challenges-- that was my way of thanking the few bloggers who were special encouragement to ME as I began to tackle this issue.

I try to be of help in real life, too. I smile and give thumbs up when I see heavy folks struggling to work out. I look up nutritional plans for people in my family with particular health issues. I post encouragement at other blogs. I post encouragment and study links on Facebook.

I want to be a small little voice in my corner here trying to help my nation move away from the self-destructiveness of our junk food addictions and sedentary propensities. I want my country to thrive (and the whole world, too, which is why we sponsor African and Asian kids to have education, meals, medical care).

Every little voice, on blogs and in real life, offering hope and information and encouragement is one more push to the tipping point to a better world. Every voice counts.

My spiritual gifts were identified years ago--by me and others. Teaching. Exhortation. So, that tends to be how it manifests in my life (online, IRL). I like learning. I like reading. I like sharing information. I like cheering people on to do better. Including ME. :D I cheer myself on. I like to give kind kicks in the butt. I like receiving kind kicks in the butt. It's how I function. I pay it forward with encouragement, information, and trying to be as annoying, rambly real as I am. :D

Be real. Be you. Share your abilities. Help us go forward a bit more... That's my advice for all in the challenge. Share what helps you most and what doesn't. Share your highs and lows. And be honest. We all gain something from human genuineness.

I like the accountability and self-directedness of the RfS challenge. We have to link up. We make our own goals. Our leader is optimistic, energetic, active, and is wanting what we all want: to improve our health and fitness levels and lose weight doing it. I'm glad I joined in. I may not make the progress some others will (we're all different and at different stages in this journey), but being with like-minded folks is a way to keep our focus and remember that OUR GOALS MATTER.

Community matters in weight least, I've found this. We are not alone.

Let's all pay if forward...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ready for Summer Update #3: Not Very Motivated, Not Really Wanting to Blog, Stressed, Some thoughts on the SetPoints, Doc Appt, and Not Quitting. :D

Note: I started to write this Monday, my challenge weigh-in day, and then just...dropped it. Gosh, I just have not felt like blogging. Anyway, time to finish and publish~~~

Weight: 179.4
Waist: 34.75

Last week: 177.8
Waist: 34.75

As you can see, nearly 2 pounds up. And how frustrating is that?

Doesn't help I'm into the salty stuff again: very salty take-out chicken, very salty takeout dressings on salad, very salty parmeson on salads. But I cannot discount the calories. It doesn't take much above 1600 for me to see rebounds.

I am so not in a good mood. I wake up feeling demotivated. I try to perk up, cheer myself, do motivating things..and just fall flat. I'm in a funk.

I didn't meet my exercise, caloric, or weight loss goals.

I only got 2 cardio in (not four), but I did do two strengthening.
My fluids were fine.
Calories were, except for two days, over 1500 (under 2000)

Had a doc appt Friday, and my thyroid is still not optimal, so she put me on a higher dose of one of my two thyroid meds. (She raised the levothyroxine back in Feb. This time, we're upping the Cytomel.) Hopefully, this one is the winning combo. My temps are a bit higher (still not in the 98, but ranging up to 97.8, which is a great improvement over the 97.0 temps I was getting a lot up through Feb.)

Ready to take notes in the Endocrinologist's exam room
I take my notebook and pen to appts, take notes of vitals and what the doc suggests I do before next check up, etc. I was 182 on her scale (which is usually +3 to 4 lbs based on what I wear, and makes sense as I was roughly 178 on my scale at home) and blood pressure was fine. Office temp was 96.8, which was alarming, but the gal said that they count it about a whole point or more higher, as they use the dots (not standard thermometer), so that jives witih home temps. (Why don't they just use better quality thermometers, I wanna know?)

My battles in this five-pound range (177+ to 182+) is convincing me more and more about this setpoint stuff. Granted, there is some science behind it (go read research on it, not gonna list it here, and pubmed lets you read abstracts), but for me, it's been that whole experiential thing. (And observing it in some weight loss bloggers over the years). You reach a particular number, and it just doesn't wanna budge from that range.

You go down to your lower level, and you get hungry or something. You go back up, you calm down. YOu try to go down again: hungry. You go back up a few pounds: calm down.

I dunno, but seems to me it's like the brain saying: "We like it here. We're staying here. If you want to go lower, we're gonna fight it with hunger hormones and you will cave or you will just live with ongoing hunger."

This is what I seem to be in the midst of. And I don't like being hungry. One of the best tihngs about this last attempt at weight loss is that hunger has been minimal to nil on lower calories (which never was a reality for me in the past). I have not binged in, well, it will be two years come May. I have not had that raging hunger beast. It's been nice. And some days, I could go all day without eating and feel calm.

But now, when I get down to 177 point whatever, I start getting the, "Oh, i want...oh, I want...". To me, this is physiological, not psychological.

The psychological comes AFTER. When I get bummed that I hit that wall. The wall defeats me!

Well, I have not given up. I want to bust this wall down. I don't know how without having it rebound with hunger, despite trying all sorts of stuff so far in the last 6 or so months. I am not a wit's end...just near it. :D

The only NSV I can think of is that I didn't cave in to the hunger more. I really could have easily just...gone back to semi-binge mode. I was close...just the "I want, I want, i want."

The other stress issue is still present and I'm countering it with positive thoughts and trying to rein in my worrywart tendencies. I can only do what I can I'm trying to be...proactive. :D

As far as Maren's mini-challenge: I failed. I only got through 1/2 of the challengers (though, granted, that was 20+, as this is a large challenge). I barely read my email and didn't blog, so going to so many blogs felt like it was adding to my load of stress. So, well, there it is.

So, goals for THIS week:

Weight: no more regain, begin to turn this back
Waist: no more, hopefully 34.5
calories: 1500 cap, and trying to do better with that.
Fluids: same, 10 glasses a day or more
Exercise: original goals--4 cardio, 2 strengthening.
Blogging: To not miss "by Monday" update, and to blog at least two more days to keep mind in the game.
Reading: try to figure out what to do about this setpoint issue that doesn't include massive hunger (ie, radical calorie reduction that I am NOT willing to do) or freaky theories (like ice baths, also not willing to do). If there is a solution, I'm on the hunt for it.  I may need to find a physician that specializes in metabolic issues, and see if I can get tested for the finer stuff going on (leptin, etc). More research.
I plan to stick out this challenge. I notice that week one's update had 59 links. Week two had 46 links . Week three has 42 so far, and that's including my late one. How many of us will be there at challenge's end? I hope MOST!

In that other project area: I've continued work on the decluttering, which was a major focus last week, and I threw out a total of 7 lawn and leaf bags of crap. The work continues to simplify my life (in many areas).

That's pretty much it. I would like to hear if any of y'all who've lost a lot of weight (like 50 or 70 lbs + ) have experienced this weird "stuck around a number" after a substantial loss, with hunger issues when a bottom is reached, rebound, etc.

And I hope you're all doing well, and way better than me, moodwise and frustration wise. Keep the faith, the hope, and never quit.

I won't.

God bless..

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

OMG, I found my "before" pic top, size 30/32! Trying it on..with other clothes from then on me NOW! Lotsa Pics!

I gave a yelp! Did you hear it?

I was going through tubs of old, stored clothes. I filled up two and half lawn and leaf bags worth--those 39 gallon capacity ones--of clothes to toss, and filled one bag with clothes to give away (ie, in good condition or still had tags on).

Then I found... THAT shirt. The black embroidered tunic top that I wear in the pic you see as my before/highest-weight shot. (It's both in the upper left sidebar and in the the Progress Pics page). Well, here is that old pic:

And here is the shirt on me TODAY, with a 121 lb difference:

I tried to turn to the angle in the 2004 pic.
I gathered up the shirt to show body difference.

I can fit a teen in here with me!

And that's not all. I found a workout top from Junonia I used to love cause it's my "signature" colors --ie, black and red. Junonia was the place I had to go to for 4x and 3x workout-wear way back when. Here I am in that top at 278 lbs in Jan of 2009 at a local state park, racoon in background:

I'd been doing Pilates for 6 months and
felt BETTER, but obviously...just getting
started on my mojo. Food not under control!

And the same top today, found in the tub along with others from my "biggest" periods:

Loads of SPACE.
You can see my piles of
sorting mess on the bed!

Side view to compare with side view above.
And here is my favest red top from my highest weight time, size 30/32, both wide and gathered:
This used to be snug in the chest/belly

I love this color and print and fabric
and style combo--and so comfy--
that I hesitate even now to toss it. Sigh...

I tried some other stuff from the "biggest periods" clothes:

These used to be my GO TO fave pants.
These are 3x, as I don't have any 4x ones left.
I threw those out. I can hide in these during
a hurricane. ; ) They did used to sit at my waist.
These next, are NOT stretch pants. These were dress pants, zipper and button type, that were at my highest size: 28. I'm 14 now. Half that size. I buttoned and zipped them, and still had this much space. Remember, these ain't stretch!!!~~

I did find a top from my 4x highest weight period. This is a workout top, another from Junonia:

And now a skirt:

After all that, I got dressed for my walk. Seeing my progress--SEEING it and FEELING it--makes me not want to ever go back there again:
Determined NOT to go back to that!

Be well.

To My Wordpress blogging pals...

I haven't been able to post comments. I forget on whose I tried a couple days ago. Now, couldn't comment over at Angela Pea's blog. It keeps telling me to sign in to Wordpress, and, um, it never did that before. I don't remember my WP password, so...well, just so y'all know.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ready for Summer: Update #2, Easter Sunday Park Workout Edition! With Pics! :D

Tanita-San: 177.8
Waist: 34.75

Last Week:

Start of Challenge:
waist: 35

I made my week's goal of being under 178, as well as my initial challenge ongoing-goal of at least 1/2 pound loss per week. I had actually touched 177.4 one day this past week, but then it bobbled back up. Still....Me so happy!!!

I was able to use AGAIN my Vera Bradley "reward purses"--a shoulder bag and a tote in a matching floral-- that I gave myself back when I first went under 180. I had to put them  back to "off limits" after my regain. They're both back in purse rotation now. ...heh heh....I took the tote to the park. :D

And I met the other challenge goal for the week:
Mini-challenge for the week: try a different workout

I guess the activities for Sunday qualify: I played, consecutively, catch/pitch, frisbee, volleyball (netless), and some badminton (netless). It wasn't a DVD or planned workout--I just figured I'd do active things other than what I normally do (stretch, Pilates, dancing, walking).

A couple pics hubby took during the pitch/catch portion follow --and my right arm muscles are sore today, I may add, so I really did try to make it "work", and I feel a slight soreness in my hamstrings, too. Which activity that's from, who knows? I jumped and did a bit of running and bent down a lot to retrieve uncaught balls/frisbees/shuttlecocks/etc~~~~

Look at the glove:
I caught the ball!

I'm actually not a bad pitcher for
a middle-aged dame who was never
athletic, ever. My nephew, who plays
baseball in school, complimented my pitches
and the strength in my throws. :D

It was interesting to watch the activity--or rather INactivity--behavior at the park.

While the adults mostly sat in the shade and ate and chatted, the kids/teens and a few of the fathers were lightly active (helping kids with kites/strings mostly, and later, a few,  after some digesting, kicking a soccer ball around).

The women did squat. Seriously. I saw no women in the neighboring groups doing a thing that involved sporty movement. And many were carrying loads of belly fat. I can see more diabetes in our national future....

Anyway, Principally, it was the kids playing, adults eating while sedentary. And yes, lots of obese and overweight folks around (including me, I'm overweight!).

It was kind of nice to notice hubby and I--both in our fifties--were outliers: Old peops moving around and sweating. I want us to keep at that.

Conclusion: We need to move more in the US. Outings to parks should include not just barbecuing and drinking of caloric beverages, but some sports activity to burn that off.

Other challenge stuff:

Fluids were fine. Calories were on target 5/7 days. I had 1800 calories on Easter, including ham, cheese, gluten-free pasta and veggie salad, and lots of fruit.

Today, I got my blood drawn for my next appointment with my endocrinologist. Hoping my thyroid numbers are very good--and I do feel improved in all the areas that were bothering me when my TSH went bonkers. :D So...we'll see...

The next mini-challenge isn't announced until Wednesday. Hope I remember to go check on it. :-/

NSV: Not really aware of one, unless looking at my reflection in a store window and thinking, "Dang,  you look hot today, baby!" counts. I get bummed sometimes about the loose skin and stuff, but that day, I felt beautiful and got lots of compliments. I think attitude really helps, too.We need to cultivate a bit more self-appreciation on the journey, even when we're not "there" yet..even when we're older..even when we're crinklier...even when we've still got body issues.

Goals I hope to have achieved by  next RfS check-in:
2 strengthening, 4 cardio workouts
1500 calories a day
10 glasses of fluids daily
And be at least 1/2 pound less than this weigh-in (ie, 177.2 or less).

Happy new week to all. Be well...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Final Update: E2E Challenge and an eye to a future challenge for those "Close to Goal"...

Tanita-san now: 177.8 lbs
Starting weight: 183.0 lbs

Ending waist: 34.75 inches
Starting waist: 36.0 inches

Challenge loss: 5.2 lbs
Waist decrease: 1.25 inches

I did not meet my challenge goal to lose 10 pounds. I lost a bit over half.

I did meet my challenge goal to get my waist under 35 inches. I measure with a Myotape, always, for years, so it may or may not be accurate, but at least it shows a consistency.

I found out a month and a week into the challenge that my thyroid status was bad. This certainly helps explain why I was having trouble and gaining/regaining, was losing hair, had horrible joint pain (gout-like pain), suffered increasing lethargy, experienced lowered mood, and slept up to 16 hours some days, 14 others.

I'm pretty sure that this is improving,though I dont' get retested until next week. My hair loss has stabilized. My energy is up. I'm sleeping fewer hours, the weird joint pains have resolved and all that's left are the usual arthritic/bursitic/torn ligament issues and pain. And after having regained to 184 pounds and change, I'm back down to my nearly lowest weight on this journey. I'd say the increased thyroid med dosage has come into play. :D

I still do not fit into the dress, though I fit BETTER into it. I'll just repost the pics from a couple days back, since it's pretty much where the dress fits now:

My starting weight/stats/photos can be viewed here.

I stayed hydrated nearly every day of this challenge. I supported my buddy and some fellow challengers--and it was never my goal to support ALL 18, but I always met the minimum of supporting at least 3 a week in addition to my buddy. I never missed setting up a linky for the challenge-mates. I didn't quit.

My main helpful book this challenge was THE WILLPOWER INSTINCT, and if you have willpower issues, yes, I recommend it. The other book for the challenge was THE SMARTER SCIENCE OF SLIM. If you've gotten to obesity and want a healthful way of eating that helps keep appetite calm and gets you plenty of nutrients and has some science behind it, this is a good one. Lots of studies, charts, and a very easy recommendation for a high-protein eating plan that keeps you full.

These two following were my guiding quotes, and they still apply. I will see them as quotes useful for the whole of 2012 or life:

"The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable prerequisite for success."
~~Maxwell Maltz

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

 ~~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 

For me, after a time of struggle and health status decline, just hanging in and regaining ground feels like a victory. Imagine if I had quit...if I had tossed in the towel . I'd be 20 or more pounds heavier by now, given my lousy thyroid measure (5.5 points HIGHER than my normal status). I'd have eaten my way in short order back well into obesity. It's ridiculously easy to gain. Is this not so? It's hard to fight when you feel down, stressed, beset, tired, unmotivated.

It's what you and I do when times are rough that will determine how this works out long-term. If you give up, you lose the fight. If you keep at it, keep at it, keep at it, seeking solutions, finding strategies, working to hold on to even the smallest miniscule of motivation or lightest molecule of hope, there's a chance to turn it around.

But not if you QUIT.

I did not quit. Almost all of the challengers (17 out of 18) did not quit, and our Bluezy came back for the finale. I'm hoping all 18 of us check in by noon Monday!

 I'm very proud of them.

I'm proud of me.

God bless us all and help us as we continue on this difficult journey to better health and a happy weight. For life!

I'll see you guys in the Ready for Summer challenge --my second week update will be posted prolly on Monday--and around our bloggy realm of fatfighters.

Finally, an announcement: FUTURE CHALLENGE IN THE WORKS!

I am considering a challenge for later in the summer called "Close to Goal" for those with 25 or fewer pounds to lose: That last stretch toward whatever is the chosen goal weight.

I'd want to keep it smallish and for those who have already lost a lot and just need to push through those tough last bunch of pounds. If that's something you might be interested in, keep an eye open. I'll probably fiddle with a a blog url I already claimed and, if time permits,  play with the layout. There's a temporary blog theme there now.

I'll set it up in a few weeks at

Just an early heads up for those who may be interested, be qualified (have lost lots, need to lose a bit more) --with priority given to those who have already done and completed challenges with me. (If you quit on any of my challenges, don't join. I only want folks who'll stick it out. Sorry, but I get irked when people drop out of my challenges.)

So, see you soon, my dears. BE WELL. Blessings upon you....a holy Passover time...and a very, very joyful, love-filled, hope-assured Easter. Believe in a whole new life for yourself and others!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Quikie E2E Final Midweek Update

Yesterday: 178.8
Today: 179.2

I've been icky feeling since Monday. I ate some take-out beef, and it totally did not agree with me. This is a weird sensation. It's not food poisoning in the regular sense--the fierce diarrhea and nausea and even puking, like I've had a couple times in my life.

This has been a lower level, "I don't feel well" thing, with queasiness, intestinal rumbliness without the runs, and light ache if I press my abdomen. The ache was worst Monday night and Tuesday, a real ouchie. Now, it's just annoying. It's better today, but I'm still not "normal". I have this weird "off" feeling. The persistent queasiness makes me annoyed. Just goes to show how important bowel health is.

I haven't exercised since Monday, so haven't completed the RfS exercise mini-goal. I cancelled Pilates for today. I hope this icky feeling passes by the weekend, as my family plans to do an out-at-the-park thing for Easter. I'd like to feel chipper, get my vigor back, and be able to destress with play-exercise. It's also really hard to get the scale to move sans exercise....

For now, I'm just kinda taking it easy and hating the "off" feeling.

I am eating fine--simpler food prepared at home.

I have been reading spiritual stuff for Holy Week, so no challenge reading, other than the online obesity articles I do tend to keep on top of.

So, doing "meh" due to some foodborne buggie. The stress factor is still high, and that makes the anxiety sort of burbe up (especially without my exercise destressor). More meditation and prayer, I guess, is in order. :D

Happy holy week to all. See you for the final E2E update (prolly Saturday, maybe Sunday.)

"The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable prerequisite for success." 
~~Maxwell Maltz 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 
~~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A bloggy recommendation for those starting this weight loss journey with a lot to lose or change..A pre-final update try-on of the E2E dress...and some thoughts/advice on weight-loss blogging...

I've been thinking a lot about how my two year blog "get to goal" deadline is closing in. Only FIVE months away. Boy, does tempis fugit. It doesn't seem like more than a year and a half already since I began this blog for greater accountability, focus, and motivation.

My previous blog is one I think of as my "setting the stage" or "prepping the field". Three years of working on issues, trying assorted diets (including raw vegan), and figuring out why the hell I binge and why I could not seem to heal my eating issues. I was on a quest to know ME and heal MYSELF.

This blog was created when I finally found my stride and wanted to be visible, hence the pics,  accountable, hence the weekly weigh-ins on the sidebar,  and goal-oriented, hence the timeline and caloric limits and and exercise goals.

I want to tell you that if you have a LOT of weight to lose, be prepared to give it time

But be prepared for that time to whizz by. WHIZZ!

Two years sounded like a lot in 2010. Not so much now.

A year. Two years. Three years...this will seem ridiculously far away to you if you are early in your journey--or just about to start. YOu want it FAST AND FASTER.

Well, you know, 100 pounds, 200 pounds, 300 pounds. That's a lot to lose. Crash diets suck. Sorry, but they do. I've seen major crash and burns with folks who think the shortcut is the best path.

Give yourself time to lose and focus on goals, daily and weekly, monthly, annually. Make it as consistent as you can so you build habits. Learn a new way to eat and move that doesn't take you BACK to where you began.

Give it time.

And if you are going to blog about your journey (and I think it's a great motivating tool if you use it properly, for learning and accountability), be consistent with that, too. Sporadic blogging. Dishonest blogging. Skipping weigh-ins. Going blank for weeks. That's all a sign of being OUT of control and NOT willing to be accountable even to yourself. 

Using a public forum for motivation ONLY works if you commit to BEING public with the goals/results. You will feel shame if you did poorly, and that is part of it. You will feel joy when you succeed, and that's great. People will commisserate. People will celebrate. People will offer advice. Soemtimes, people are cruel and nasty. But most of the time, people are supportive and kind and friendly.

Don't blog for weight loss if you're gonna lie and fudge. It really defeats the whole purpose of being public. You want to be as public with the lows and with the highs. The fails and the wins. That's the only way this forum keeps you on track. If you commit to it.

And I recommend one more thing: Do future blogs that will pop up to ask you questions. I saw another blogger do this, and I think it's a great idea.

If you set a year as your timeline, create a blog post that will post AUTOMATICALLY in a year's time. Date it a year from today. Create the post that asks you to answer questions about how you've come, if you've met goals, what you learned, where you are, and to set NEW goals for the coming year.

You can do this in any time frame you like, but it's another bloggy tool that can help. What will you ask of that future YOU? What do you want that future you to be doing, thinkng, weighing? Make the future

Cause time really does fly. Don't let one other year pass without getting even a bit closer to your goals. (Though a lot closer is always nicer, right?)

Now, the Dress:

I woke up, put on a bra (no panties or shapewear to help out, hah), clipped up my messy hair, and tried on the E2E dress (a size 14 regular --not W or plus-Nine West fitted sheath). Just to see if now that  most of my regain is gone, where the zipper stands.

First, how it looked at the start of the challenge:

The zipper/back view today:

Front and side views today:

I noticed it was even less snug in the waist and hip area (more give, which is noticeable in the front view in the waist).

I'm glad to be making progress on losing the regain (I had gotten to 184 again briefly). Today, 178.8.

I wonder if that would have been better without the lunch of salty shredded beef Cuban style and the miso soup I made for supper. Lots of sodium yesterday, cause I didn't want meat or to cook much, so I just did take-out lunch and a quickie miso supper (paste in hot water, add mushrooms and scallions and seaweed). Plus a pear and some cashews. Miso is VERY VERY salty. Like 900 grams per tablespoon. I did have a glass of coconut water to balance the miso-sodium with some potassium. I think that helped. :D

So, take your pics. Start your blog. Be faithful with accountability. Chart your progress in numbers and pictures.

Some days, and some weeks--when it's hard and harder and hardest--knowing you have to check in and fess up to the world can keep you from going all nuts when temptation hits. It really can. I know it's done it for me many times on this journey. Knowing you'd SEE what I did or did not do made me think twice about skipping a workout or eating that extra helping.

When things are humming, you don't need this. But it doesn't always hum.

If you plan to blog to lose....and if you find it helpful at all...use the tool well. Everyone knows if you misuse a tool,  it's not gonna get the job done.This isn't about being perfect. It's about being true.

Don't dawdle with it, fiddle with it, lie on it. Use the tool until you get to goal. Or for as long as it's useful. Not everyone thrives on this medium. If it's good for you, use it right. Use it consistently and with integrity...and it will yield results. I believe that. :)

Be well...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ready for Summer Update: After Week One, noticeable scale progress for me, the snail.

Tanita-San: 178.6
waist: 34.5

Initial challenge weight: 182.4
waist: 35

I exceeded my mini-weight-loss goal of the week. I'm sure there's water loss due to cutting back on starches to one serving a day--again. :D
I fell short on cardio by one.
I met the strengthening goal.
I didn't meet caloric goals every day, but stayed close enough for progress.
Fluids: fine.
Except for one day, I met my "one starch a day goal".
I met the mini-challenge set by our leader. :D See below.

All in all: a good week. Very good. :) And all this during major stress. Maybe it's the stress burning some calories. I can feel my heart racing sometimes during the day. Yeah...

Mini-Challenge: new freggie~~

I had Japanese sweet potato in my organic coop, so I prepped it very simply. I boiled one. I didn't salt or butter or oil it. I scooped it out of the water, put about a half-cup's worth on a small plate, and tasted it. And, I really, really like it. It's like a nicer version to my recollection of Cuban sweet potato (boniato; batata). My middle sis loved boniato; I did not. But mom sometimes made it assuming I liked it. "No, mom. That's Balby who likes it." I haven't eaten it in decades. But like the Japanese sweet potato, it has a chestnutty taste. Or rather, to me, as a kid, eating chestnuts while walking in the cold Bronx winter, roasted chestnuts tasted like...boniato. :D

I like the texture of the boiled Japanese Sweet Potato. It's pale-fleshed, not like the orange of our usual sweet taters. They really are nicely sweet, so really, needs not a single thing to make it enjoyable. If you like chestnuts, these should work nicely for you. I am grateful for anything I can enjoy PLAIN and BOILED as I hate to cook. Heh.

Get nutritional info for it here.

My own goals for this week are the same for exercise and fluids and calories. I want to weigh in under 178 as my goal for next update.

The leader has asked us to do a new exercise as our mini-challenge for this week. Um, okay...gotta think about that. :D

On we go....

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dang, I Gained 9 Pounds Overnight??? How'd That Happen?

Maybe it was that 12 inch high goblet of double chocolate mousse with whipped cream that followed the extra cheese pepperoni pizza we had for dinner.*

Um, was that a bad choice? Does that count as a binge? Hm.

Should we have had the  Big A** Salad (as the Paleo folks call it) for supper instead?**

Oh, well. I'll do better today. Lots of veggies and fruit with my protein. As usual.

Tee hee.

*No, we didn't eat this. April Fool's Day, babycakes! I have no gained an ounce!

**Yes, this is what I actually had last night. Organic and yummy with some of the nicest tomatoes EVAH!