Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 365 - I DID IT!!

WOW!! A whole year has passed since I started this crazy goal! I honestly can't believe how quickly time passes in a year. When I was a child, a year seemed like a decade, now a year seems like what a month used to be.

Anyway, it's a bittersweet day! I was a little bummed because I have pretty much maintained my weight the last 6 months. Am I complaining, NO WAY! But I don't have an "after" photo to share today. I think I may have lost focus. The goal at the beginning of the year was to workout 365 days in a row. That was it. I made no mention to weight because weight wasn't the focus. Had I hoped it would effect my weight in a positive manner, sure. But it wasn't the focus and I knew it couldn't be because when you focus on something that naturally fluctuates, you can loose sight of the goal.

Tonight, after I finished my workout I walked out to a bunch of cheering when I walked into the living room. My hubby reminded me of the success that I achieved, success which I may have missed if it weren't for my family to remind me. Dang! I worked out 365 days in a row, rain or shine, traveling or home bound, sick or healthy!! That IS an accomplishment even if I am not feeling it right now.

2010 is the beginning of a new decade and this is going to be the year that I continue with what I started. I plan on continuing my daily workouts, minus Sundays. So I really can't make another 365 days in a row goal or a 730 day goal either. But I can say that I learned a lot this year. The biggest thing is that if I can workout daily and watch my portions, I can have a weight that I am happy with. Simple.

I am going to continue to blog my progress. I have more things to learn and share because as the title of this blog states, it's my weight loss journey, and I am not to my goal weight yet. Being at the upper end of a healthy BMI is like playing with fire. I want to be in a healthy range that is strong.

Happy New Year!! May 2010 bring many blessings to all!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 350 - A Journey With No Ending (A Personal Discovery)

FINALLY, my 3 week virus has finally died a permanent death! I have learned a lot during this time that I wanted to share.

1. My body and appetite are directly effected by my exercise program. While I was sick, I lightened my workout and ate often. During this time of year, eating often isn't a good thing. I haven't binged, but if you take a bite of all the yummy things you are given or make, it tends to add up. With these two things happening, I noticed the scale starting to creep! I am grateful that my mentality now is that if the scale starts to creep, I get back into my good habits and it creeps back down. Before, I would just say, "Whatever", continue eating and doing what I was doing that brought on the extra weight and just not look at the scale for a time since I knew it was going up. Needless to say, if I don't workout, I will not be able to maintain and I will most certainly gain weight. Maintenance is NOT an option if I am not working out.

2. Even though I have worked out every day in 2009, lost 40 pounds and gained a body I can be happy about, I have found naughty eating patterns slipping back! When I realized this I was thinking, "What the heck? Have I learned nothing??" It became apparent to me that this journey doesn't have an ending, it's a journey for life. I can be thin and doing the things that bring health, but inside me, there is always that part that if left unchecked, will cause weight gain and will enjoy unhealthy behaviors. Which leads me to #3.

3. I ALWAYS NEED TO BE ON MY GUARD!! If not, bad behaviors will creep back when illness or stress are experienced. This realization is what brought me to the computer tonight. When I first started this journey and decided to make better food choices so I could loose weight, I was in the mindset to make good choices, to do the things needed to loose weight. To find the tricks and substitutes needed to bypass those things that would prevent me from being unsuccessful. As months went by, and these new behaviors became routine, I didn't have to think so much about it. They were positive habits, things that were coming naturally and that would give me the results I liked. I entered the holiday season with a plan, but the mindset wasn't there. I got cocky and didn't really think so much about the decisions that needed to be made to continue weight loss. I find myself today, with a plateful of Christmas cookies. I didn't down a bunch like I normally would have, but I did use a knife and take a taste of each of them. Those little bites add up! I didn't use the technique I used to use when I would stop, take a moment and think about what it would taste like and realize that I didn't really want it after all. That is a necessary thing to do this time of year because there is just TOO much good stuff. You CAN'T take little bites because when you have 12 things you take a bite of, it's like eating a few! Any other time of year, a bite or two of something would be fine, but this is the season where there is just too much.

So I end this post with a reminder to myself, never let your guard down, never search for that light at the end of the tunnel, and NEVER, NEVER, EVER take your foot off the elliptical for more than 24 hours.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 341 - Still sick and getting tired of it.

Yes, I am still sick! I don't know if this is a continuation of what hit me around Thanksgiving, or something new. It's been a week now and I swear I am only feeling worse! There are nasty viruses our there so TAKE CARE of yourself!! Lots of Vitamin C and good food so that you can stay healthy!

So while I am feeling down, I have still been working out! Of course I have shortened the time and intensity so that my body can focus on killing the virus. I feel so lame climbing off the elliptical after 5 minutes, but what do you do when your sick, your lungs are burning and you can't stop hacking? Honestly, when I start working out, I could go for a lot longer, but I know I would pay for it.

I thought I would share a yummy recipe that I made that makes be feel so good while sick. The whole family gobbled it! I got it off of a friend's website here. It's creamy chicken noodle soup. So easy to make, certainly not low fat, but full of real ingredients (Unlike the weird ones you'll find in canned soup). With a portion of this soup, you are left feeling warm, full, and I swear, a little bit healthier! The epitome of comfort food!

I am feeling super motivated for next year and a new goal!

Hope you are enjoying the Christmas Season and are staying well!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 336 - A Little Kettlebell

Since I accept the fact that I will unlikely loose 8 pounds this month, that doesn't mean I don't have a plan. A dear friend of mine got some wonderful results from adding Kettlebell to her workout. I am going to add it to mine and try to firm up a bit this month. There are a ton of videos online that show kettlebell exercises. No matter what, you build muscle when you use them!

Today I have had some fierce cravings for some sweets. I had sweets over Thanksgiving weekend, and with leftovers, a few now and then the last few days. I have learned that it takes a few days to get it out of your system. Sugar is really an addictive substance because you crave it when you don't have it. Luckily, it's not hard to kick if you are at home, have no plans to leave and there aren't any sweets in the house. By tomorrow the cravings will subside, or at least lesson.

I now look at sugar and know that I will have to battle the cravings later. Understanding how sugar effects your body gives you information to use to your advantage later. So much better than wondering why I have such cravings. I used to hate to have such strong cravings I couldn't really control. I felt out of control and I would eat so much because of it. Now, understanding what sugar does, I can control IT much better. I can stay in control and keep my weight where I want it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 335 - You CAN have your cake and eat it too...

...only have a few bites!  Seriously!  There is no reason to ever deprive yourself of the things you enjoy to eat.  The quantity, yes!  You can't fill yourself with your favorite foods AND be healthy.  PERIOD. It's not going to happen.  Either you want to do the things to bring health. Or you don't.  If you are not able to control the amounts of food you consume, you are accepting your current state of health.  You have agreed to stay there too.

With our bodies and the desire for weight loss, our mind is more powerful than we give it credit.  It plays tricks on us.  We play tricks on it.  We try to fool ourselves and say that "tomorrow I will do better."  If you say this, you are basically saying that right now isn't a good time.  That you are not worth the time or the effort.  Waiting until tomorrow is procrastination.  Think about it.  If you REALLY want to do something about your health, if that desire is true, then right now is the time to make the change.  Anything other than "right now" means you aren't serious with taking care of yourself.  So the next question would be, why?  Why are you not worth the effort right now?  I have found myself saying these same questions to myself.  Some days, I don't want to hear it.  Other days, I ponder, try to figure it out, and usually, I have the ability to do better "now."

Over the last few days, getting back into my typical workout and making better food choices, I lost that extra weight I found during Thanksgiving. :o) I am starting to believe myself that it really isn't that hard to maintain if you only listen to yourself.  Stop ignoring the inner voice that wants to make good choices.  I had such a hard time before because I didn't want to hear myself.  I would give myself excuses why now isn't the right time to do better and how tomorrow would be.  There is so much psychology in weight loss and health maintenance.  I honestly believe that if we are honest with ourselves, we can overcome many of the obstacles that we have put there.  But if we aren't honest with ourselves, we are working against ourselves, and that doesn't work when trying to achieve a better lifestyle.

One of the biggest hangups I had when I was going through my life in a binge state, was looking at foods as being "bad" and "good."  When having a bad day, how easy is it to justify eating the "bad" foods?  You had a bad day, you deserve to relax and have some of the food that makes you feel good.  Honestly, if you have had a bad day, eating a bunch of carrots and brocolli isn't going to cut it.  But if there isn't such a thing as "bad" and "good" in foods, how much more free you are when a bad day comes around!  That alone will help free up brain space to deal with the day itself.  No guilt because you jammed a half a dozen of the nearest cookie down your throat.  If a cookie makes you happy and feel better, enjoy your cookie!  1 cookie won't make you gain weight, 1 cookie won't keep you from loosing weight either.  It's the ones you eat after that one that cause the trouble.  Sometimes, when I have had the kind of day where I used to binge after the kids are in bed, I now just have a bite of something, if anything at all and then I go do my workout.  After my workout, any desire for food is usually gone.  If not, just have a bite.  Seriously.  I know that the saying goes to "replace negative behaviors for positive" and I agree with that.  But often times, when you are just getting started on your journey, or if you have partially or even completely fallen off the wagon, that isn't easy and it's the little hang-ups that make it hard to get started or to continue.  I spent years saying "I'll do better tomorrow" and tomorrow took years to come.  So if you are starting to be serious and ready to make the changes needed to get on your journey and stay there, cut yourself some slack and take things slow.  Slow and steady wins the race.

I really would like to finish my secondary goal of loosing 10 more pounds before the end of the year, but realistically, it most likely won't happen.  I have 31 days, it's the holidays, life is beyond busy, and if even one virus gets into the house, there is no way I'll be able to focus on such a goal.  Just the pressure of the goal itself is enough to make me want to eat.  So, I'll give it a good effort, maybe I'll reach the goal, probably won't, and I am okay with the outcome because I am okay with where I am.  Take the pressure away and you have more control.  Just getting through December at my current weight is a huge accomplishment and I can't discredit myself for that. 

So you CAN have your cake and eat it too.  Enjoy a few bites and get moving!!  Who wouldn't want to enjoy the foods they like AND wear the size and have the health they truly desire?  It is possible and I am proving it to myself each day!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 332-Thanksgiving Weekend

Prayers were answered and I was able to taste my plate at our family dinner feast.  It was an interesting year since most of us were either getting over a virus or beginning one!  I was touch and go there for a bit, but about an hour before we ate, I suddenly felt clear and not stuffy, I felt pretty good!

I had been taking Emergen'C since the very first moment I felt like I was getting sick.  I swear by this stuff!  I think this is the reason I made it through the holiday without being stuck in bed.  I even had the energy to be able to help my mom out, she was really sick but pushed herself through so that we could enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving.

So, my plans were changed.  I wasn't able to work out as much as I wanted or hoped to.  I did smaller workouts because I was just too achy and weak to do full workouts.  The whole weekend I struggled with sugar cravings and portions.  I honestly felt like I used to.  Crazy how you can spend a whole year changing habits and behaviors, and within a couple of days you can resort back to what you are trying to avoid.

I learned something HUGE.  I have said it before, I honestly believe it, but this extended holiday weekend just proved it once again.  It's ALL ABOUT EXERCISE!!  Without my typical, sweaty workout, I had a hard time with my eating, the way I felt, my time on the scale.  (It was up a pound)  I did a full workout today.  At first it was way hard!  I wondered if I hadn't yet fully recovered from my illness.  Luckily something interesting was on the TV and I was able to push through and get it done, but I am surprised by how much and how fast a body can change when you deviate from routine.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  I had a wonderful time with family, had wonderful meals with everyone, and I learned a lot!  You can try to loose weight by your food choices alone, but it can be very slow and challenging.  You can also try to loose weight solely by working out, but if you don't change your eating habits, although you are gaining a better heart and body, you may not be seeing the results on the scale as fast as you would like and end up giving up the much needed exercise.  You need both to have results!  Eating better makes it easier to workout and working out makes it easier to eat better.  It has been proven to me once again.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 329 - Cold

I have a cold.  I am not happy.  I feel like poo.  I dragged myself to the elliptical because no stupid cold is going to make me break my goal.  It was a shorter workout, but a workout none-the-less.  I pray that my nose isn't so stuffy tomorrow that I can't taste the feast.  I hope I wake up all better.  I am thankful it's not the flu.  :o)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 328 - Thanksgiving is on it's way...

I LOVE this time of year!  Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday of year for so many reasons!  Of course, the food is a huge factor, but not like it used to be.  I mostly love the holiday because of family.

In my family, it really hasn't changed since long before my oldest memory of childhood.  The location did change when my grandparents got to the point where they were no longer able to host.  The opportunity then fell upon my parents where I was able to have a more helping hand in a few of the preparations.

My mom and I get together and set the table and have time to just converse about the big day.  I always enjoy that time together. She's also makes detailed notes each year so that if she or my dad weren't able to do what they do, we'd be able to step in and help out.  Life is what it is and some day I know that it will be my husband and my turn to take on the duties, to carry on the tradition for this side of my family.  I pray it's not for several more decades.  I love watching my dad and smelling the roasted turkey as we walk into the house.  The smell of the stuffing, the yams, and all the other familiar aromas when settling into the livingroom and kitchen area.  I enjoy seeing the kids' excitement over the day. It's wonderful to just spend the day being around each other, relaxing, when time doesn't seem to exist.

It's the menu that has for the most part, remained the same.  Each year we all know the menu, know what to expect. There have been few variations to the main meal, and we all love that!!  This year my mom wasn't able to get the usual rolls that we have had with the meal for eons.  I pray there won't be a riot!  No, as much as things have remained the same, so many things have changed.  What once was my grandparents with their children and their families has now grown into a whole new generation.  I love the constant that it is in my life.  I have only missed one of these dinners in my 35 years of physical existance.

With so many Thanksgiving dinners behind me, this is the first one where I am not worried.  I am not worried of over eating, I am not worried about being deprived.  (Like that has ever happened in the history of me) I am not worried about feeling out of control.  This is the first Thanksgiving that I can go, and honestly enjoy the whole day without a bit of anxiety over what passes my lips.  I am excited and I have a plan!

I am going to have a good, solid workout in the morning.  I am going to have a late breakfast that has a balance of carbs and protein around 10ish so that I don't go into Thanksgiving dinner at 2 ravished.  I am going to fill my plate with small servings of foods I adore!  When dessert comes around, I am going to have partial servings of the things I like so when I sit down I'll have 4 different types of dessert making up 1 maybe 2 actual servings.  The plan is to not go back for seconds. What happens if I do? It could happen. But maybe I'll just keep a balance of my carbs and protein so that my appetite doesn't control me.  At the end of the day, I will only have had 2 main meals and dessert that could count for a 3rd meal.  If I keeps portions down, I'll get my fill without over doing it.  My desire to binge hasn't been there now that I have allowed myself whatever I would like.  The fact there are no "no-no" foods, they don't hold control over me.  I have a bite or two, and I'm good.  If I feel I have eaten more than I should, I can also just do a mini workout (5-10 min.) when I get home.  Something to get my heart pumping and my metabolism started, just to help things along. Ever walked after being stuffed?  You feel so much better than if you just sit and do nothing.  It finally feels so wonderful not to be a slave to the holiday I adore.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 317 - An Interesting Tid-Bit I found

I was cleaning out the bookshelf that held all my texts and notebooks from when I was studying for my degree in Holistic Nutrition a few years back.  With the economy being as it is, I thought I would share this.  Of course this is a small list of items, and there are many other items that would fit under this list.  But if a person got creative, you could make several meals from just these few ingredients.  Not only would they be healthy meals, but they would be light on the pocketbook as well!

Food Items that are under $1 per serving

garbanzo beans
wild rice
butternut squash
whole grain pasta
pumpkin seeds

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 316 - One More Tip to Add to Yesterday's Post


temp·ta·tion (tmp-tshn):
   1. Something that seduces or has the quality to seduce.
   2. The desire to have or do something that you know you should avoid.

Why have something so powerful in your house pulling against your desire to do better?  For me personally, I have proven to myself this year that I can do pretty good in the beginning.  But keep that temptation in the house for a few days, my resistance to do good weakens and I often find myself thinking, "Let's just finish this off so it's gone and I can stop picking at it."  Not good.  Not good at all.  But if I keep it out and away, I am okay!  I LOVE to bake, so if I can make something, enjoy it the first day and then share with others immediately, all is well.  I am not one who likes to torture themselves with keeping temptation within reach, it makes it hard to stick to my convictions.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 315 - A Few Tips on How to Avoid Overeating

I like to eat.  In the past I have often overate and at times binged.  It would be easy for me to make my past actions present.  Every day I need to make a conscience decision to keep those habits in the past.  How have I been able to do it?  The following are a few things that are working for me:

1. I have to make the conscience (not passive) decision to want to take care of my body.  I need to make a firm decision that I am going to make good decisions. I have to literally tell myself that I want to do better in my eating, to eat in a manner that I need to so I can stay healthy. If I don't, I am passively giving myself permission to have one more day of bad food choices, overeating and feeling like a failure.  Back in those days of struggle, I would scream it to myself and often times, I would ignore it.  As each day passes, my internal voice doesn't have to be as loud either. Now, I can just think it, "Good choices." 

2. I need to give myself a split second to think about what I am going to eat when it's something that tempts me.  I used to hear it all the time in my WW meetings.  "Visualize what you want to achieve.  Visualize what you are eating.  Visualize.  Visualize. Visualize."  Used to make me crazy!!  I thought, if I am going to think about that brownie so much, of course I am going to eat it!!  But this year, I finally got it.  It clicked.  I made visualization work!  I first noticed back in March.  I had just started to make some progress loosing a few pounds.  We were at a social event and they were serving one of my most favorite desserts, and it was HOMEMADE. It is easier for me to avoid fake, processed treats, but when it's homemade?  That is my weakness.  They were serving brownies with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge.  At first I panicked.  How was I going to make it through this?  I had been so good but I felt like I was on the edge, that on any moment, with the right temptation, I was going to loose it and return to that dark place I was at the beginning of the year.  Suddenly my mind worked for me.  For a split second I visualized how I would feel after I ate the whole thing.  That milky coating on my tongue. That sweet overload of the senses when the spoon flops into the empty bowl.  The guilt of knowing I just lost control...again.  After passing through those feelings, that brownie sundae no longer held me in it's control.  I felt empowered.  I didn't want to feel like I knew I was going to feel.  I also knew if I deprived myself, my sense of control could snap and I could just loose it.  So I asked my son for a bite of his.  That was one delicious bite...and that was all I needed.  For the rest of the evening, I was satisfied, complete.  That brownie sundae no longer mattered. Now when faced with a temptation, I take that split second to really visualize, and I can find the control needed to make the choice that brings health and keeps me in my new jeans. :o)

3. Working out during my trouble time really helps to control the munchies.  My most challenging time of day with eating is after dinner.  I used to pack in nearly a days worth of calories after dinner during the time I was trying to "relax" from my day.  When I hop on my elliptical soon after dinner, that workout completely curbs any cravings.  I have also learned that if I can wrap myself up into something with my hands during my trouble time, I am completely distracted.  A good book, a crochet or any craft project for that matter, will keep my hands busy and my mouth empty too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 313 - 2 Pounds Closer!

I really didn't expect this, but when I hopped on the scale, it was down 2 more pounds!  I just had to share!  This time of the year is so hard to focus on losing weight.  The weather is cooler, so baking is much more inviting.  The holiday season is picking up so there are more reasons for treats and fun foods you aren't typically around. 

I admit that I have been eating more than I would like to.  I am not binging, but I haven't been passing on the sweets.  The only thing different from last year to this year is that I am still exericsing every day.  Can maintenence at a healthy weight really be as easy as exercising daily?  If so, then you'll find me doing it everyday because I like to eat and I am really liking my new shape.  I can go to any store I like and actually find something I want to wear.  This is a new concept, it's convenient and it's healthy on the mind too.

So looking back on this post Halloween week to see why I lost 2 pounds, I have learned that if you can keep your body moving, it will work with you.  When you are ignoring your body's need to move and exercise, it totally works against you.  It really is all about exercise and eating moderatly.  Although I enjoyed Halloween, the rest of the week I had my simple breakfast of bran and simple lunch.  I didn't snack because I was just too busy to do so.  Dinner was typical, but with the weather changing, I even had a little bigger servings.  Although I exercised daily, I did something different, and maybe this was the reason.  This week was so busy that I found myself using the excuse, "I am tired and I don't really want to workout. Instead of doing 30 minutes, I'll do 15  and crank up the resisitence."  Maybe 15 minutes at level 15 is as effective as 30 minutes at level 10?  The ellipitical works those large leg muscles which do burn the most calories.  Maybe that is an effective substitute?

I think one of the most interesting things about this journey are the things I have learned along the way.  I hope you have been able to learn a little from my experience as well.  Have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 303 - The Danger of Sugar

I know sugar is bad.  You know sugar is bad.  We all know sugar is bad news!!  If given the choice though between sugar and artificial sweenteners, hands down, I'll take sugar!  It's natural, not made in a lab!

For the last year I have been trying to keep my sugar consumption in moderation.  I admit, I LOVE Sweetarts and all things sour gummy, but I really try to avoid the sweets because at the end of the day, you feel lousy and your teeth are all fuzzy against your tongue.  (Ever notice that after a day of sugar?)

So yesterday a dear family friend of ours dropped by to give the kids some Halloween bags of treats.  I asked for a vanilla Toosie Roll and a red Dot.  I was good to go.  But the kids kept sharing with me in their excitement to eat more.  So I ended up eating a couple more pieces.  It wasn't that much, not even close to what I normally would have consumed, but more than I have been used to.

The strangest thing happened at dinner time.  I felt like I was STARVING!!!  You know the feeling.  When you are in such a craze of hunger, you can't think straight.  When the Papa Murphy's Gourmet Veggie came out of the oven, if my mouth had been big enough, I would have jammed the whole thing in.  I was ravenous!  I haven't felt like this in a loooooooooong time!  I barely got through the blessing on the food, I felt like I was going to cry if I had to wait any longer, and I took a huge mouthful within 1 millisecond after saying "Amen."  After a few minutes of eating, as my mood slowly returned to normal, I thought about what the heck I just experienced.  When you feel like that, not only can you 1. not control yourself but 2. there is no way of keeping track of what you eat.  How can a person be successful in the weight loss journey or maintence control when feeling like that?  You can't!

I recognized that feeling, it wasn't completely unformailiar, but it's something I haven't experienced in at least a year.  Looking over the past year, I have been able to control my appetite much better they I usually do.  I have also been watching my intake of sugar.  Pondering, and putting two and two together I realized it had to be the sugar factor!! I had some candy around 2 and by the time 6 rolled around, I felt out of control.  More candy = increased appetite.  Now I didn't eat the whole pizza, but I did eat more than I usually do.  In fact, I ate so fast I am not sure how many pieces I actually ate.  3? maybe 4?  So to be on the safe side, being tired or not, I found a TV show to focus on and I did 30 minutes until I was sweating hard.  I probably should have done it longer, but my hubby was waiting to hop on.  :o)

So lesson learned.  If you want to stay in control of your appetite, which is important because then you can better control your eating, AVOID SUGAR especially CANDY that is made out of straight sugar.  It just sets you up for failure!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 302 - Healthy Autumn Treat for Breakfast or Whenever

If you love pumpkin pie you will love this!!  Basically, it's the recipe on the back of Libby's canned pumpkin (NOT Pumpkin Pie Filling) and instead of putting it into a crust, you bake it in a casserole dish.  It comes out super moist like a custard. It's full of fiber, nutrient rich pumpkin and protein items such as milk and eggs.  Notice I called it a "treat", there is sugar in it so you don't want to eat your weight of it, (Although you can only eat so much pumpkin before you have that full feeling).  It's great to have warm for breakfast or a mid-day snack.

My kids LOVE it, even the baby gobbled a bunch before his nap.  What a great snack for the kids to eat too!!  Notice the picture is only half of the casserole dish?  That wasn't just for artistic presentation, it was the only part that was left after the kids dug into it.  Just after it was cool enough to eat, the kids grabbed bowls, spoons and within seconds, half was missing.  Like I said, the stuff is good and the kids just got a boat load of vitamin A to last the day along with some vitamin C, Potassium and Folate.

Day 302 - It's All About the Exercise

This morning, while I lay in bed contemplating getting up, the thought occured to me...there are only 2 more months remaining of the year!  I plan on trying to loose 10 more pounds, but I thought there was more time?  Come September 1st each year, time changes.  Maybe it's because I start thinking in "Holiday Mode?"  I swear time speeds up and more things end up on the "to do" list!

So recently, I haven't been able to give it a 100% effort to get those last 10 off.  In fact, I find myself starting to eat just a little more this and a little more that.  I have been eating a little more than I would like, not like I used to, but more than I would if I really wanted to drop some more weight.  The wonderful thing is, I keep at the same weight!!  Why? Because of the exercise!  Exercising regularly is keeping my weight at bay.  The biggest thing I have learned is that if you are exercising regularly, your body and diet are much more forgiving than if you don't.  If I can continue to eat like I have been and maintain as long as I am exericsing, I can deal.  Seriously!  Now I am not talking about full bore exercising either!  For the last couple of weeks, I have been super tired, almost like I was on the verge of getting sick, but I didn't get sick.  I was just tired.  (Maybe the baby's transition in schedule might have something to do with that?)  SO in efforts to not make matters worse and completely stress my body out, I dropped the time of working out to 15 min.  On days I felt a little more pep in my step, I bumped it back to 30 minutes.  One day I was feeling really good, had an awesome book and I did the elliptical for 90 minutes!!  (Mental note: get more GOOD books)  What I am basically saying is that as long as you are regularly doing something to move your body, if you go a little over on the eating, everything will be okay.  I know I put on most my weight when I felt like I made a mistake.  The "Well, I screwed up, may as enjoy the rest of the day and start over tomorrow" sort of thinking.  That thinking NEVER works and you only set yourself up for failure when you do.  EVERY TIME.  Forgive yourself and stay the course, move on, do better from the last bite on.  Don't wait until tomorrow to do better.  Tomorrow may be 40 pounds and a decade later. (Personal experience)

We are approaching a time where baking becomes plentiful and opportunity for goodies increase.  It's inevitable!  Time also tends to be stretched thinner as well.  These two events alone contradict each other.  To really focus on making the change to loose weight takes time to process and focus on, especially in the beginning.  Having sweets and treats more easily accessible, makes it easier to partake without much thought.  If you are too busy to think of your weight loss goals and can grab holiday goodness without thinking, you can see the problem there. It can be a vicious cycle and can be such a treacherous time of year if one isn't careful.  I personally think I gained 10 pounds last December alone, and that wasn't the first December it happened either.  (I love to bake and make candy for gifts)

The game plan this year?  Not to deprive, but not to indulge either.  Be selective with what I consume, only the best (which means home made most of the time).  In doing this, AND exercising, I know I will get through the holidays at the same weight.  I really do want to drop some more, and I intend to, but if I can't, I am certainly okay with maintenance!!  Can you guess what 2010's goal will be if I don't make it?  Yep, 10 in 10!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 301 - Amazing What a Year Can Do

This morning I woke up and there was definately a change in the weather!  I love living in California!!  It seems like you get just enough of a season, and then it changes!  The garden is nearly done, the trees and grapevines are slowly changing colors and loosing their leaves.  This is my most favorite time of the year!  I love the color, the temperature and the excitement of the anticipating holidays that are coming up.

So this morning, I need to find something that was warmer than shorts and a shirt.  I had to dig in the closet for my sweats.  As I did so, I remember them being tight from last year.  I dreaded putting them on and then I remember I am a lot lighter than I was last year.  (Yea, I was still sleepy when I was getting dressed) I then got excited to see how everything fit!  I have a few things that are going to Goodwill because they are just not going to work!  Other items, items I wasn't able to squeeze in last year went on effortlessly.  :o)  I saw my reflection in the mirror and I was actually pleased with what I saw.  ???  I don't think I have ever really been "pleased" with my reflection before!!  Seriously!!  Don't get me wrong, I am certainly not claiming perfection, or even "doneness" with my journey, uh-uh, no way!  What I am saying is that I wasn't completely repulsed by it.  For the last couple of decades, I wouldn't look in the mirror at my body.  What was the point?  Don't want to start the day depressed!  So I do find myself taking peeks now and then and it's fun to be surprised.  I still have a little ways to go.  I swear the next 10 pounds will soley come off my backside, so I know there will be a big change there when I am finished. But it's nice to look in the mirror and feel happy or at least hopeful for a change.  That is certainly something to get used to I have to say.  You wouldn't think so, but after spending sooooooo long not liking your reflection, it is strange to feel at peace with it.

What made me feel compelled to write this morning was that I started to think about the last year.  It hasn't been quite a year that I started my journey.  In fact, last year at this time I just had a baby and I was absolutely hating the way I physically felt!  I had baby blues, probably PPD because it took over a year to shake it, and there are some days I think it's lingering around.  But what a difference a year makes!!!  Seriously!  My physical body has done a 180 since last year.  Has it been hard?  I wouldn't think so.  Just have to keep going.  Take one day at a time.  Don't stop and don't give in.  One foot after the other.  As I mentioned before, I am soooo not done yet, so I really shouldn't be reflecting on the year yet, but I just had to take time and share my thoughts.  A year is a long time and they seem to be flying by faster each year.  Years for me now seem a lot shorter then they did when I was a kid.  But a year is a long enough time to make drastic changes in your life whether it's physically, emotionally, spiritually, or mentally.  We just can't underestimate what can be done in a year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 295 - Funny, Silly, Female Brain

Seriously, why are our brains constantly messing with us?  Why do our eyes fail us?  This week I have been feeling a little like I used to.  I swear I feel like I have gained a few pounds.  I look in the mirror, the reflection is the same.  I hop on the scale, it also hasn't changed.  I put on my clothes, nothing new.  So what is the deal??

When I used to feel like this I would just eat whatever I felt like, in large quantities.  It was almost like I was punishing myself for being overweight.  The thought was, "Well, I'm overweight, I feel like poo, may as eat things that taste divine.  I would ignore my better judgement and just eat.  Sometimes I would crave and unless I ate what I was craving, I would just keep eating.  I remember eating salty popcorn and then crave something sweet, brownies.  Then after that, I would want something salty, chips.  Then later, ice cream...  It was sad and I never did that when anyone was around because I would have been incredibly embarrassed. 

When I did Weight Watchers a few years ago, I was successful in loosing weight there, but I always felt on the edge. Like at any time I could slip and just go overboard.  (Which I did after having my 3rd baby)  Looking back and thinking about my WW experience, I was loosing weight, but I didn't change the habits.  There were nights where I would start with salty popcorn in a measured amount, then I would move onto a serving of fat free brownie cookies, then I would go back to the popcorn (let's face it, low fat chips taste like paper) and then I would move on to "Skinny Cow" ice creams."  On a rough day I would save a lot of my points just so I could gorge at night on junk.  I stayed within my point range, I lost weight, but I did it by beating the system.  But did I? When you try to beat the weight loss journey, it always comes back to bite you in the bum.  In my case, by adding everything I ate to my bum!  :o)

So I am learning that there are times are brain just freaks out for no reason!  We just feel heavy. We are females, with cycles and as soon as you accept that our bodies are not our own, the battle is easier because you stop fighting it and start to learn to listen to it.  By listening to our bodies, we can begin to work with it.  What I am hearing is that I need to refocus on what I am eating and to start thinking about my portions.  This is the time of year where there are lots of wonderful foods, warm foods, gooey foods.  I am a picker, and if I am not careful I could pick myself into a few extra pounds.  My game plan?  Don't take my eating for granted.  I need to focus and think before I eat.  Make my plate and don't go back for seconds.  If I am snacky, find something healthy that will curb the appetite.  DRINK MY WATER!!!

SIDE NOTE: A new snack that I am loving!  You can't eat a ton, and if you eat more than you would like, not a biggie, because it's a tomato after all.  Dehydrated tomatoes from my garden nearly taste like candy. They have a strong, sweet, savory flavor so after a few you are done with snacking.  Such an unexpected delight!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 294 - Old Navy Experience

Yesterday I had an interesting experience I wanted to share.  I had a Dr. appointment near a local Old Navy and I thought I would go in really quick to grab some jeans for my kids.  While there I thought I would try on some jeans myself.  I have always had a hard time finding jeans.  My body is just uniquely shaped and it's impossible to find jeans that fit perfectly.  To fit my hips, there is always way too much room in the waist.  To fit my waist, well, I can't clear my bum to get the jeans to my waist.

As I walked to the dressing rooms, the anxiety I felt was strong.  Flashbacks from the days that I would go to Target and not be able to find anything that I liked that would fit.  The horrible feelings I used to have of my body because I needed clothes and couldn't find anything at the local Target.  It was always such a dilemma because I never had the time to go anywhere that had a Lane Bryant or department store  that had bigger sizes.  Those days I would just go home and fill myself.  Yes, it was a catch 22 and a downward spiral for me.

So I am in the Old Navy dressing room and the thought occurred to me that I have never been able to fit into Old Navy jeans.  Either they were so big in the waist you could see my bum when I bent over or so snug that I couldn't get them on.  I was hoping that this time would be different.  To my surprise, they fit and they were comfortable.  Now, the whole disproportion issue is still in play, they were roomy in my waist, but manageable with a longer shirt.  I  have faith that the next 10 pounds will fix that right up.  I am just excited to have a pair of jeans from Old Navy that fit and are comfortable.  I am super thrilled that I can now do some online shopping for myself!  I couldn't before because my size would range so largely that it was exhausting to try to hit the right size.  Right now I am between a 10-12.  I am happy with that.  Of course I would love to be an 8, but I am not going to be picky.

Trying to get the last 10 has been hard.  The weather has changed and I just love to cook and bake.  Allrecipes has such great things to bake.  I am excited though, because without any effort, I have been able to eat what I like and be able to maintain!!  This is huge!  I will need to bump up the efforts to get a little lower, but it's such a relief to know that I have found an eating and exercise regimen that is flexible and effective.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 292 - Favorite Fast Food Fix

Sometimes life is busy.  Sometimes you are caught out in your busy-ness and it's lunchtime or even past lunchtime.  What to do?  Personally I would rather go somewhere with lots of healthy options, like Panera Bread.  If Panera Bread only had a drive-through... but they don't!

When in a pinch, we like In-N-Out Burger.  I have to admit, it's the one fast food place that doesn't make me gag.  It seems so clean of an establishment, the food is basic, not severely adulterated and I can even watch while waiting in my car to see if anything fell on the floor. Maybe their facade has me fooled, but maybe the place is as clean as it seems.

With such a basic menu, it's easy not to get distracted with other things on the menu. You need a strategy to make it through the dangers of all fast food experiences.  This is my strategy:

I order the same thing every time I go and I feel full, treated and I won't find it on the scale. I order a hamburger so I can save calories on the cheese.  (I don't think it's real cheese either) I order it "ANIMAL STYLE" so I can get tasty grilled onions and a bit of special sauce. It's such a juicy burger, I don't miss the cheese.  I also order some fries and ask for them "WELL" so that they will still be crispy by the time I get to our eating location (usually home).  I share this order with my kids because all I really want is a few fries, like 10.  As the kids have gotten bigger and eat more, I now order 2 orders.  I have a nice glass of water when I am finished and I am full. 

You might ask, "If you are going through the drive through just to take it home, why don't you just go home and eat something there?"  Yes, that is the best solution!!  There are just times where it's 1- 1:30 and we haven't had lunch.  By the time I get home (we live out in the country), make lunch and eat it, it's after 2 and we are famished.  As most know, when you get overly hungry, you will eat more.  This is my solution to prevent overeating on late days and late lunches on the run.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 286 - A Warm, Healthy Drink on a Cold Day

I am a muncher.  A grazer.  A snacker.  Whatever you want to call it, it all means the same.  I am home most of the time, and it's so easy to just snack unconsciously throughout the day.  Heck, I gained 10-15 pounds when we first started homeschooling because it's easy to do between subjects!!  I also eat when I am stressed.  So if there are things going on in life, it's easy to just snack my way through the issues.  This comes natural to me.

During this journey I have found that although grazing is so easy to do, I had to stop it.  It is too easy to get extra calories in without even being aware of it.  I have found that if I can fill myself up with fluid, I not only can curb the munchies, but i can also get extra water in.  When I speak of fluid, I am referring to water.  I always forget to drink my water, I swear I am mostly in a dehydrated state.  This isn't a good thing when trying to loose weight and I need to do better.  You need water to flush your system!  Not soda, not coffee, not anything with chemicals, just pure, clean, water.  When I consume fluid, I mostly do this, drink water.  In a year, the number of sodas I consume, I probably can count on my left hand.  The stuff offers nothing good for your body, nothing.  I have read that for every soda you consume you should also drink a glass of water because it takes water from your system to flush the toxins out of your system.  It's bad stuff and the farther away you can get from the stuff, the better off your health will be. 

A little trick that satisfies both needs is that I try to drink mugs full of warm fluid through out the day.  My two most favorite beverages is Pero with a little milk and herbal tea with a splash of milk.  Sometimes at the end of the day, around 9ish, especially if I had a light dinner, a little hunger twinge might hit my tummy.  A big mugful of one of these hits the spot and kills that feeling.

This is considered a coffee substitute and it tastes like it too.  I don't drink coffee, but this is just as good.  It's really tasty with some sugar, but I try to keep the calories down so I just add a few tablespoons of milk.  Read the ingredients.  If you are trying to kick a coffee habit, this will help in the process.  When I am feeling like a special treat, it's super tasty with a coffee flavoring like Coffee-mate.

This is my favorite herbal right now because there is choice.  Every flavor is so tasty and they have a natural sweetness so it's easy to pass up the sugar bowl.  A shot of milk adds a creamy to it that is really satisfying.  I am a little excited from this image because the Fruit Tea Sampler I have has an orange flavor instead of blueberry.  I am excited to try some blueberry!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 285 - A good book passes the time...

I just love books!  Especially a GOOD book!  I have found that on days I just don't feel like doing 30 minutes, I can grab a book and pass that time in what feels like 5 minutes.  The workout may not be as intense as it is when I am not reading, but reading gets the job done.  I have found that when I am at a part of the book I can't wait to find time to read, I will hop on the elliptical just to give me a reason to stop my regular routine, and read without guilt!!

Sometimes when it's time for working out, you just don't feel like doing it.  For those days, if you have something else to focus your attention on; a TV show, a movie, a book, a book on CD, or whatever you can do while working out, you can kill two birds with one stone.  Get lost in a good story, and those minutes will fly by.

For those who personally know me, do you know how long I could work out while reading this book?  If I need some power workouts at the end of the year to achieve a few more pounds, this puppy and my elliptical is all I will need for a marathon workout...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 281 - Healthy Pancakes

My kids love pancakes, they beg for pancakes.  If it were possible, they would eat them everyday, at every meal.  Me on the other hand? I enjoy the taste, but let's just say my body isn't happy with me when I have them.  I have learned to enjoy other items for breakfast.

But I know this isn't so for many people.  I have an uncle who loves steak, loves it.  But he'll take a stack of pancakes over steak any day, this surpised me the first time I learned this because he REALLY likes steak. 

Most of the time, people think to loose weight, they have to give up their beloved pancakes.  What I have learned is if you bring nutrition into every meal, and eat properly sized portions and exercise regularly, it doesn't matter if you have pancakes every so often.

Here is a recipe that is adjusted to include lots of healthy ingredients.  It is kid tested and in order for everyone to get enough, I have to double this for my family of 6.  So you can have your pancakes and eat them too!

Wholesome Whole Wheat Pancakes

2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 Tablespoons olive oil
6 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick oats 

Beat eggs until fluffy.  Add wet ingredients and then mix in the dry all together.  Let sit for about 5 minutes so the oats will absorb some of the fluid, it will make thicker pancakes.  Heat griddle over medium heat (375')

(For those who have avoided pancakes so long that they have forgotten how to actually make them) :o)  Cook pancakes until little popped-looking bubbles appear all over and edges are dry enough to get a spatula under it.  Flip and wait about half the time it took to cook the first side.  Both sides should be toasty, golden brown.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 280 - My New Favorite Lunch/Dinner

I am having a lot of fun finding new, easy, and tasty recipes!!  Here is the latest: Spinach Enchiladas Our one year old gobbled these up (at least the filling part)!  Great for a fast dinner because you get the benefit of greens without making a salad!  They were also great for leftover lunch too.  I found that they were quite filling with one for a lunch and two for a dinner.  Top it off with a piece of fruit and you have a balanced meal.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 279 - Unexpected Benefit of my Goal

Yesterday, in efforts to expand our garden area, we pulled some grapevines out.  (We live in the middle of my parents vineyard) My father and husband used a forklift to pull the vines out, the kids and I watched in excitement.  After that was done, I jumped in to help clear the field.  The vines aren't too heavy, maybe 25 pounds or so, but they are awkward to carry.  We had a routine going.  My husband would cut the thick wires (I had a hard time not having enough hand strength-what can I say, I have girly hands!) that once held the vines to the trellis and I carried them to a big pile. (Notice how small the full sized tractor looks next to the pile?  Yea, it's a big pile!) I nearly stacked this whole pile myself too!  When the pile was done, we went through and collected all the steel stakes, along with the kids, and made a pile of those too. It took a few hours to complete the entire task.  Every so often, it's good for the soul to do hard labor.  I was tired, and I thought for sure that I would be very sore today.

Upon waking this morning, to my surprise, I am not sore!!  Not a bit!!  I am really surprised and just had to blog about it!!  I know that working out and losing weight has benefits, there are many obvious ones.  But the benefit I am seeing this morning is one I didn't see coming.  Being in shape gives us an opportunity to do more with our bodies without paying for it.  I still can't believe I am not sore and stiff, what a blessing of the goal!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day 277 - A Warm Breakfast on a Cold Day

It's Sunday and it's always fun to make something warm for my family when it's chilly. I LOVE my Betty Crocker Cookbook!! If you don't have one, get one! It's full of basic, simple recipes. I grew up cooking out of my mom's and when I first moved out my mom gave me my own. I have literally worn it out and it's falling apart!

On page 42, there is a recipe for "Popovers." It's a basic recipe and I like to substitute WHOLE WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR instead of using white flour. Another thing I love in cooking because it's so fine, it can easily be used instead of white flour and you can't tell most times that you did it. I am always sneaking whole wheat flour in baked goods and no one ever knows...


2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour (or WWPF)
1 cup milk
1/2 tea. salt

Heat oven to 450'. Grease 6-cup popover pan (or I use the big muffin tins to make BIG Costco sized muffins) Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl. Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth (do not overbeat). Fill cups about one-half full. Bake 20 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350' . Bake 20 minutes longer or until deep golden brown. Immediately removed from cups and serve hot. 6 popovers; 115 calories each.

They are great served with fruit for a balanced and filling breakfast!

**I was going to include a picture but I must have been too sleepy to think clearly because I cooked them like muffins (I did 350' for 20 minutes and took them out) and I ended with "popunders"...hope I can salvage them! Yea, I did jinx myself yesterday. On Allrecipes.com I was filling out a "get to know you" sort of page and it asked about cooking blunders I have had. I haven't had one in a very long time...until today**

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day 276 - Rough workout day

Today was one of the hardest days to get on the elliptical. I have had a throbbing headache all day. No big deal, I get those periodically. What was special about today? On top of the massive headache, I started to get massive cramps around lunch time. Yea, you know the kind ladies. The kind you get every so often when you swear you can feel them in your toes. Ben, had an evening meeting to go to and so I needed to wait until he got home before I could even think about working out. I have to say, by the time he got home, I just wanted to go to bed. But I have a goal and I am not going to let a little pain get in my way of reaching it!! So I compromised and shortened my workout. It was the longest workout ever! I literally counted the minutes until I could fall off!! But I did it. And the reward? I swear when I looked in the mirror I noticed a figure I didn't realize I had. Maybe it was the angle of which I looked into the mirror, maybe I am just loopy from discomfort. Whatever the reason, I don't care, I liked what I saw!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 275 - Something New

I thought I would have a little fun with this new goal, give me new things to work with that will give added motivation during the busier-than-busy time of year. I am really enjoying the Allrecipes.com site and have a page there http://allrecipes.com/Cook/karenhansen It's always fun to try new and exciting recipes to add to your file box. I am working on a binder right now where I can keep meal ideas so when it comes time for meal planning, I have a handy resource there.

Each week I plan out a whole week of dinners along with basic lunches and breakfasts. This is probably one of the key things to staying in control of the food I eat. I have a plan. I love cooking and eating food that I have prepared. SO much easier to add nutrition to meals by eating at home.

I will post more on the details of my routine in future posts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 273 - My Most Common Breakfast

I have a serving of this each morning with milk. It's filling, and it tastes good. Sometimes I will have some fresh fruit on top too. Gives you 50% of your daily fiber without feeling like you are eating the cardboard box. It really surprises me that it tastes so good, no need for sugar to get it down.

Often it will hold me until lunch, but sometimes not. On those days, I will have a handful of nuts to hold me over.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 272 - Additional Goal

Here it is. I am putting it out there. A new goal I have is to have some "after" pictures by the end of the year. This is going to be a challenge, but I have faith! I need to not only get through the holidays by not gaining, but I need to do it while trying to loose the "stubborn 10." I'll try to post more as a motivation for me to be accountable! I can do it if I can keep focus...

Tonight's dinner was something new and I had to share. I made mini meat loaves. One whole pound of lean beef made 8 the size of my palm. They were so satisfying!! I served them with a scoop of broccoli mashers. Basically you make homemade mashed potatoes with the addition of broccoli to the pot. Drain when tender and proceed to make as you would regular mashed potatoes. (I added a little garlic to them too.)

I ate two loaves for dinner with a healthy scoop of mashers since I had a very small lunch. You could easily just eat one loaf with a regular portion of taters and be satisfied if you needed a lighter dinner.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 271 - Still Going Strong Even During Vacation

Last week my husband got the news that one of his uncles passed away unexpectedly. He decided he needed to go visit. Last minute we decided to go as a family. 5 days and nearly 2000 miles later, I am so excited to say that my efforts to make my goal are still on!!

Luckily most the hotels we stayed in had gyms with elliptical trainers so it was easy to hop on in the evenings after a full day. There was one challenge though. One night, the hotel we stayed in didn't have a gym! It's so easy to keep a habit when there is some sort of gym equipment nearby. So what did I do? I took a brisk walk along a jogging trail with my sister-in-law. Unfortunately it got late which meant it started to get dark and we were unable to walk as far as we would like to have gone, but we did enough to get all warm, limber and a mildly sweaty. Next time I find myself on vacation without a gym, I simply need to plan my time better.

I am excited to say too, that while gone from home and out of my habitat, I maintained even though we ate fast food at every meal. I am SICK of fast food!! The worst part about travelling is not having a kitchen. The whole week after we got home I was craving veggies like an herbivore! It's crazy to think that you don't have to gain weight by eating fast food all the time, you really don't. Just eat smaller portions. I ordered 1 small thing from the menu and if I wanted fries, I ate a couple from someone else in the family. One thing for certain, if your diet is largely made up of fast food, you might be able to stay thin with the proper food choices, but you are SEVERELY depriving your body of necessary nourishment!! You get the macronutrients with fast food (Fat, Carbs, Protein) but you are missing out on the micronutrients (Vitamins and minerals). You need both to be healthy so your body will function properly.

For the last couple of months I have maintained my weight, and I am happy about that. If I am forever a size 10, I won't complain. But I have to say, I would really like to loose 10-15 more pounds. I want to be far away from the "Obese" category I was in the beginning of the year at a BMI of 30.5. Right now I am in the "Normal" category with 24.2. But that is on the upper end and I don't want to dance with that line! Here is the site if you would like to figure your BMI (There is also a place where you can figure your child's BMI if you are curious)

I have recently been getting ready to ramp up my efforts to see if I can drop a few more pounds. Our baby has been transitioning his naps and without proper sleep, it's hard to keep focus on personal goals! So I have been maintaining, which is a good thing. But I know I can do better. Logging onto this site today and noticing the number of visits, that is a really big motivator too!  THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE SUPPORT!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 223 - Power Of Positive Thinking

It's all in the mind! Really, it is!! When I am feeling confident and positive, that I am a healthy person, I act and feel that way. I make good choices without thinking and I live in a manner that creates health. My body will reflect my lifestyle.

So when I am feeling positive and doing positive things, the negative eating patterns are long gone and good choices are the norm. I had a funky week where I started to focus on what I have left to do. My perception changed and my trouble spots really started to...trouble me. With this thinking, I found myself subconsciously snacking. Nibbling on things throughout the day when I wasn't really hungry. I started to see negative eating patterns start to return. I am a snacker, and when I am snacking, I don't typically loose weight. Typically, I can gain wait on snacks. So with this change in my behavior, I started to thinking about the why. Why are my eating habits changing? I spent a few moments taking a mental inventory and then it hit me!! Nothing really had changed except for my focus, my thoughts!! Feeling positive will give positive results. Negative thoughts, give negative thoughts. Period. If I want to be truly successful in this journey, I need to be positive, no matter how I feel. If I am positive and confident in the process, a process I have already been able to prove to myself that works, I will have the success I desire. It's that simple. It really is ALL about positive thinking.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 220 - Snacks

Although I have been able to eat less and exercise more, finding weight loss success, my snacky tendencies are still there. If there is something in the house, whether it's chocolate, or something sweet, I will eat it. Recently, with such snacks in the house, I haven't eaten as much as I typically would, and I think the exercise is able to compensate what I do eat, but I tend to eat more than I would prefer of these treats. This sets up a mental battle that causes conflict and with this conflict, I am setting myself up for a relapse. When we eat more than we plan, we feel guilt, plain and simple. Who is ever happy with themselves when they eat more than they want? When in this state, it's easy to fall off the wagon and just think, "Well, I blew it today, let's go crazy and do better tomorrow." This is the first step to weight gain. I know, I gained 40 pounds once with that mentality.

For me, I understand that no matter how well I am doing, if favorite snacks are in the house, I am going to eat them. The solution? Don't have it in the house. Period. Why torture yourself?

There are times where you can't avoid it. Accept this, and at those times, do your best and understand that a little over doing it, isn't going to hurt you. Exercise more. Drink more water. Do the things that you know help off set it. I found that when I workout at night, afterwards, I am just not snacky. So a game plan for me is that when there is something in the house that might cause me trouble, I need to work out after dinner ASAP. The sooner I work out, the less likely I will be indulging. Evenings are when I don't have much restraint, so I need to be careful and do the things that help me stay in control. The most important thing to remember, if I do consume more than I planned, forgive and move on. It's easy to compensate for a day that had a slip, it's when the slip turns into a week of slips that I will find the weight coming back on.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 219 - My Favorite Thing for Lunch These Days

With the garden in full production, it's so much fun to get creative! My favorite thing to eat for lunch these days are tomatoes! I mix up a few tablespoons of real mayo and mix in enough balsamic to make it saucy. I add garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste and mix it all up. I then add a couple chopped tomatoes, some edamame and top it with some feta. It is so yummy and fresh and very filling! I have protein, a few carbs some fat and a lot of veggies!! If dinner ends up being late, I may need a handful of almonds to tide me over. Give it a try!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 218 - Oh exciting day!

I just had to share this. I am soooo excited! It's really hard to find nice, long skirts that fit good, look nicely and allow you to sit in church with squirmy kids without having to readjust every two seconds. I have a few of these choice skirts but I haven't been able to get into them since before baby #3. They have been collecting dust and taunting me for quite some time now with their little size 8 & 10 labels.

Well, today I thought I would just see. I am still a good 12 pounds heavier then when I first bought them but why not see how much more I need to go to wear them, right? Well, to my surprise, I GOT THEM ON!!! Not only did I get them on, I ACTUALLY ZIPPED THEM TOO!! I couldn't believe it!! Now of course, they are a little more snug then I would feel comfortable in out in public, and I don't know if I could sit without popping a seam, but the fact that I got them on was exciting!! The next couple of pounds will allow them to feel great!! I was hoping to get back into them by the end of the year. But if I work really hard, I could be wearing them by the end of the month! This is so exciting and I just had to share!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 214 - Progress so far

Just thought I would post some pictures to show where I am. I would still like to loose a solid 20-25 pounds more. We'll see what my body wants to do!

187.8............................................ 150.0

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 208 - Stress

I have learned a lot about stress and how I deal with it in the last few weeks. I have come to the conclusion in my life that there are at least 2 ways my body can deal with it. Emotionally or physically. My ENTIRE life, I have dealt with stress through emotional eating. No matter what was going on, if I ate, I felt better for the time being. Chocolate, cake, pop corn, chocolate, ice cream, chocolate... you name it, I would crave it until I could put the kids to bed at night and then have my moment to "deal".

Lately, I haven't used this method to deal with the stress in my life. I don't know why either. How can a person who has dealt with stress the same way for the last 25 years by eating, suddenly change her M.O.? Maybe it's the daily exercise? Maybe I shrunk my stomach with smaller portions? Maybe I am just busy in a way I have never been before? For whatever reason, stress now upsets my stomach to the point where the thought of eating makes me want to hurl? I have heard stress causing such physical manifestations on people and I always wish I would have the problem of not eating instead of gorging. Be careful what you wish for!!

So I was thinking the other day that if over eating is an emotional way to deal with stress, how can a person change their perspective? How can a person change their emotional cravings to something more productive? Not eating is never a good thing. No matter what the stress in my life, I am just not going to stop eating, that would be CRAZY! One thing I have been able to notice in myself is that by not having the cravings, the drive to gorge, I have been able to focus and think about healthy food. Lunch comes, and nothing sounds good, so what to do? Eat something healthy even if typically it's not something that would fill you. During this process, I have learned to focus on the food, not the appetite. I used to just follow my appetite and that is where I would get into trouble. If I craved something, I went and got it. If I wanted more, I would eat until I would be physically ill. Understanding that over eating was my way of dealing with stress, I can more identify what I am doing and try to choose something different.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 187 - Motivations For Change - Reason 2: Holiday Burn Out

Holidays have always been a double edged sword for me. On one hand, it's a reason to get together and celebrate with family and friends. I love spending time with loved ones! On the other hand, I come from a family that celebrates with the greatest food ever! This is a good thing, but not when you feel like food has control over you!! In holiday past, I would consume food in a grazing fashion and yes, at the end of the day, I usually felt like a big cow!! So for me, holidays have been bitter sweet.

This 4th was a beautiful day spent with family and I couldn't ask for better weather! I went into the day feeling really confident that I wouldn't have the same food experience as years prior. I am starting to feel like my new way of eating, is just my way of eating. (I do admit that there are times were I have anxiety wondering if it's all lasting--like I am waiting to fall off the wagon) But as time progresses, those moments are getting farther apart. :0) Anyway, we had the same, glorious fare as you would find at my Aunt and Uncle's 4th of July BBQ. Ribs and snacks for appetizers with virgin Pina Coladas; hamburgers, hot dogs and wonderful salads of green, fruit, pasta and jello varieties; and a dessert table of homemade cookies, ice cream and brownies.

I simply grazed now and then at the appetizers and I had one too many of the BBQ ribs, so by the time dinner game, I really wasn't hungry. But it's the 4th!! So this year, Ben and I decided to share a hamburger (We just had ribs after all) and I had small scoops of the salads. I decided that the appetizers would be my "lunch" so that the next meal would be "dinner". If I didn't change my view, I would just feel like I was eating all day and that is a downer when you are trying to be healthy. This mentality seemed to work because I didn't feel stuffed when I was finished eating.

When dessert came, that is when I knew I needed to be thoughtful. Typically, I would just pork on the dessert until my stomach hurt. So I scanned the spread and decided what my game plan was going to be prior to grabbing a plate. The ice cream looked great, there were waffle bowls there too. Brownies with ice cream and fudge is one of my favorites, but I focused on how I have felt prior after eating a bunch, that sick sugary feeling that you have with the rich residue left in your mouth at the end. So by the time I got to the table, I had already "felt" that I had a serving. So, I grabbed small part of a waffle bowl that broke for someone before me and put a tablespoon of ice cream on it. It was just enough to satisfy. I grabbed a brownie and a cookie and sat down. I have learned that if I imagine that I have eaten more than I am, I get "full" before I am even done with it. I try not to eat dessert absentmindedly, but with purpose and thought. Sometimes I tell myself I am not going to eat a whole one. Just a half. If you eat a half a cookie the 4 times you go up to get one, you really have only eaten 2 instead of the previous 4. That is a 50% reduction!! So this is my new game plan when I get to previously "tricky" situations with food. I try to reduce the behavior while reducing the amount. It seems crazy, but it's working so far and I feel in control. I have to admit, I did eat a couple of cookies more than I would have liked (My aunt did something different with her chocolate chip cookies and I had a hard time eating one) but I have learned that if you forgive yourself and make the next day better, getting back into focus, the cookie fumble won't hurt. I used to beat myself up and then continue the celebration for the rest of the week with left overs and THAT will put on the pounds. Forgiveness is a huge thing for me and my eating behaviors.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 182 - It's Official

I have worked out on the elliptical trainer for half of the year! Half way to goal of 365 days in a row!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 181 - The Fast Food Choice

An interesting thought came to me last week. (We just finished two weeks of swim lessons that were at noon) The girl's did wonderful with learning to swim, but the timing was horrible!! (I wasn't thinking when I made the appointment a few months prior) Besides being incredibly hard on Ethan's routine, the timing killed lunch. We couldn't have lunch prior to lessons because you just don't go to swim lessons with full tummies, and we all know why! So many times this past week we grabbed something fast because we could eat it as soon as we got home at 1:30. The days we made lunch we were eating around 2, and that time just messes with dinner.

So, here I am consuming in a week as much fast food as I typically get in 2 months, seriously. The observation I made was that in small amounts, fast food will not put on weight. But there still is a consequence in eating such a poor choice in food groups, nutrition. Eating fast food will get rid of the hunger pains, and that is all. Fast food provides the macro nutrients; fats, carbohydrates and protein, and this will keep you from physically starving, but it's the micronutrients, the vitamins and minerals, that bring health and vitality. You only get these with healthy, living choices of food, unless you count the fortified bun as a good source of vitamins.

There are unavoidable times were the drive through is a must, it's just is when you have kids and busy schedules. But more often then not, it's a choice. What I am trying to remember is that when I have the choice, I would rather spend a little extra time preparing a meal that brings nutrition and vitality-a PB&J (one with just ground nuts and "just fruit" jelly on whole wheat bread) would even count - is better than to have a meal that does nothing more than fill the tummy. When respecting fast food as such, it's easier to make that choice.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week 1 for Ben- 5 lbs!

I'm down 5 lbs. for the week! I had a good start with a whole body cleanse from GNC and a generally good diet this week.

Day 173 - Motivations For Change - Reason 1: Eat real food in single portions.

The reasons I will post are not in order of importance but rather how they came to my awareness. I have spent a lot of time pondering and analyzing the "why" in this weight loss journey. As reasons come to mind, I will post them.

Today I was thinking about the foods we eat when trying to loose weight. All previous success in weight loss was because I following a certain plan, a certain way of eating. Eating certain foods, measuring, weighing. The thought of putting forth this much effort this time was tiring. I have 4 kids. I home school these kids. I have church responsibilities that take time. I AM BUSY! Most people are!! I do not have time to put a lot of time and thought into what I am going to eat, which is why I have a weight problem! This time, I knew measuring, following a specific plan and eating specific foods wouldn't work for me this time. I had two choices, either find a way to make it simple OR accept the fact that I was a plus sized individual and be happy with it. Option two was way to exhausting to accept! The idea I had was to keep eating regular food. Unfortunately, foods with the least amount of processing tend to have the most fat and calories, but on the plus side, they also have real ingredients. Pick up a jar of regular mayonnaise. Read the ingredients and you will recognize what is used to make the stuff; oil, eggs, vinegar, salt...things you could pull from the cupboard and make yourself-if you had the time! Now pick up some fat free mayo and look at the difference in ingredients-looks like it was made in a lab! We live during a time where we are taught that if we are going to loose weight, we have to eat fat-free, sugar-free, carb-free, to be successful. This time, I decided to prove them wrong--at least I had hoped!

When I decided to start paying attention to what I was eating, I decided to by all means reduce or eliminate some of foods that have no nutrients for our bodies. Ice cream, cake, brownies... (Chocolate is good for the soul so that isn't one I was going to cut out, but I certainly needed to reduce the amount I consumed!) Changing the way I cook so that I can loose weight in a manner that my kids will still eat is quite a time challenge as well as a budget challenge as well. Who has time to cook multiple dinners or money to buy fancy specialty foods so you can make a meal taste better than it really is? I remember cooking items when I did WW that had ooodles of ingredients so that the food would have the same taste and texture as the full fat version. This is fine if you have tons of time, but who has that when the full fat version only had a few, common, household ingredients and was guaranteed to be yummy? The only solution I could find was asked in a question, what if I just eat the foods I cook already, that the family likes and just eat smaller amounts? So that is what I have been doing. We make strogganoff with full fat cream of mushroom and sour cream, bean burritos with real cheese, casseroles full of potatoes, cheese and sauce. I just eat a portion and then fill up on salad that has olive oil and vinegar on it or some other vegetable. The fat is what fills us up and good fat helps our body have healthy skin, shiny hair and strong brains, not to mention helps us utilize the fat soluble vitamins A,D, E & K.

So in summary, make sure you are cooking foods that are full of real foods, get rid of that chemical "diet" food. Find recipes that are easy to make and that your family enjoys because that will make your life simple. When you go out, don't be stressed about what you are going to eat, just eat a portion of whatever is being served. If you are going out, where portions are typically bigger, eat half of what you are served and save the rest for the next day or share with another. At home, eat a portion of whatever you make and add a vegetable. Sometimes, you might not be full, but you won't be hungry. Physically, it doesn't take a lot to kill the hunger pains and if you are hungry again in a few hours, have an ounce of your favorite nut and some water. In the evenings, which is my trigger time, I love a mug of herbal tea with a splash of milk. Most of the time though, after eating regular portions of food, we aren't physically hungry, our appetites are. It's the control of our appetites that we have to mentally deal with. Some people with distract themselves with other activities, others will try to analyze why they want to eat, for me, I just had to not focus on it. The more I focus on my appetite, the more I think of food and we know where that will lead us, back into the kitchen and I don't have time for that. I found that I LOVE books. Getting wrapped up in a good book at the end of the night kept my focus on the storyline instead of my appetite.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Inspiration for Ben

I love seeing good before and after pictures. Although, it seems hard to find really good ones on the Internet.

Anyway, I did find a good blog post from a guy who is the same height and starting weight as me. Look what he was able to do in 7 months!

Another guy doing a one-hand-stand... truly amazing!

I just hope to be healthy and light.