Monday, January 30, 2012

FINALLY....getting it together... I think.

So here I sit, staring at another blank screen trying to figure out what to write. Music playing and singing along (because when am I not?) and trying to draw some inspiration. Lately I have been feeling a little discombobulated....a bit all over the place and dislocated in a way. Doctor visits and homework, class and kids commitments, still hurting but not quite so badly the last couple days...but still not able to exercise. I have let the close eye I keep on my food to become a little lazy and though I don't THINK I have gained any weight, I'm expecting that I have. I have felt, to be completely honest, a little defeated the last couple of days and just plain lazy about it all. And you know what?!? THAT IS OK.

I'm allowed to have times where I just don't want to do the work. I don't want to take the time to think of me and take care of me because I hate feeling like a burden on anyone else (Ben and the kids) or like I'm some sort of pessimistic complainer...which by nature I am not. But I can be honest that I just haven't kept track of my food because I just didn't feel like it. At least I own that. If the scale is up, at least I know why and don't kid myself into thinking it is muscle gain. lol So I was a little down and depressed and unmotivated this last where do I stand today?

Trying to get it back together. We have had a few set backs along the way, food and I....but I'm taking control again this week and getting back on track. There is NO way I'm going through ANOTHER summer feeling like a beached whale. Even if I don't look like one, I REFUSE to feel like one. That is one thing I know. Where to start....well since I can't workout (not like I want to anyway) I am going to start with maybe finding some Pilates exercises I can do at home without any special equipment. My Spinal Specialist (who is from CA by the way) suggest Pilates (oddly my mother did about 2 days before he did as well) as a means to strengthen my core muscles and hopefully stabilize the shifting of my spine a bit more...which in turn could keep me from needing any kind of surgery for a long time. :)

I'm optimistic about my progress in diet and health.....

Emotionally I have been trying to be really honest with myself and I feel, how they treat me, how I treat me....all those lovely things we try to sugar coat for the benefit of others or to just avoid confrontation. To be honest, I have always had a hard time with that fine you lie to save the feelings of another? Or do you lay it out on the line, honestly, as gently as you can, but with no malice and risk bruising their ego or hurting feelings? Usually I just choose option 3, to smile and just say ok or agree or politely try to bow out of a situation or conversation. Some who know me might find that difficult to believe...but it is honestly true. Usually I only state my mind when I am backed into a corner and left with no other option. Over the last couple years that is something I have worked on overcoming. I will never be a mean person.... I never have been.

It is so frustrating at times. I see through so many people now that I have dealt with people and their little facade. Now I realize that no one is perfect...and I for one am FAR from perfect, however, I usually can tell if someone is full of crap pretty quickly. I know far more about subjects that one would assume I don' when you try to sound like some sort of expert and you really have no idea what you are talking about, I can usually tell.... I just choose not to point it out. I figure if you are going to go to all the trouble of sounding like a moron, I'm just going to let you make the ass of yourself, you obviously don't need me to point out that you are one. :)

I have always been a girl with a lot of "friends"....friendly acquaintances if you will. People like me, are friendly towards me....generally face to face mostly. Sometimes they invite me out, or include me in their plans or random forwards on FB or email....but I only have a few very close friends who I know I can talk to. Looking back on my life I can honestly say that I tend to have one or two real friends at a given time. Not because I am unable to "share" my friends or because I just can't handle friendships. It is because people tend to be two faced...well girls do anyway. In general, girls have always made me feel like I didn't quite belong. No matter how hard I tried as a kid, the "popular" girls didn't seem to like me. I wasn't "one of them"...and it always left me feeling a little sad and a bit like there was something wrong with me.

I would love to say that this all changes when you get doesn't. Girls are still mean...they still talk about you behind your back....they still make everything a "competition". Sadly I learned the hard way, many many times in my life, that it doesn't matter how nice, sweet, loyal, giving, forgiving, understanding and accommodating  you are, people will still talk about you, cause drama around you, tell people you are terrible and turn others against you.....if it in someway will "benefit" them. However, this isn't ALWAYS the case. I have been lucky enough to have some really great girlfriends in my adult years. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I finally had that "group of girlfriends" that could all get together, have a great time, laugh, joke, sing at the top of our lungs, be silly and support each backstabbing, no two faced comments...none of that. I had only had that with one or two girlfriends at a given time growing up and I longed for that connection that it seemed everyone else had with a group of girls. When I moved, it was hard on me.

One of my girlfriends moved to Colorado, one to Kansas, I went to Ohio and everyone else stayed in California. :( I miss them.....the late night pizza and karaoke, the random trips to LA with the kids, plays, BBQ's.....Movie nights.....I miss it all. I have lived in Ohio for 2 1/2 years now....and what took me 24 years to find in CA I am now struggling to find here. Don't get me wrong, I have met some wonderful people, made some friends I know I will have for the rest of my life (or at least many many years)...but I still feel like I don't belong. Not because it is Ohio and not California, but because I don't have the friendships I had in CA. Those emotional connections we need as women, to balance us out. There is something about the support of other women that nothing else can give you. My husband is great, he is my best friend in every way....but he isn't a woman. He doesn't understand some of my womanly quirks.

I am searching....trying to find that 'BFF" here in Ohio....and I have recently made a few new "friendly acquaintances" that I am hoping will grow into some lifelong friendships and maybe even my "Ohio Best Friend". I know that nothing and no one can replace the unique chemistry and dynamics that are my "Girls" back home (and in CO and KS now)....but things might not be so "lonely" in my kid-free and husband-free times if I had a place I "belong". Maybe that is why I dive headfirst into give me something else to do. lol

Anyway, I'm happy which how far I have come in my life. Growing up didn't REALLY happen for me until I found myself 24 years old, a single mom of 2, working full time and going to school. It was THEN that my priorities got shifted and I learned what it meant to be an adult, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend. All the terrible experiences I have had over the years, I am not blind to the good though. The good certainly outweighs the bad. I have never let these bad things or experiences with people turn me into a bitter, angry, mean and vindictive person (note I have kept specifics out so that even those who know these people might not know who I'm referring to).

So, I'm getting it together....FINALLY... I think. Pulling together the desires of my heart and my aspirations...physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.....and finding where I fit by rediscovering me. :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Back on the waggon.....

So yesterday was weigh in day....NOT good. But I knew it wouldn't be a "losing week".  In fact, I gained weight this week. That is the bad news. But there is an upside....if you can say there is an upside...which I can because I tend to find the positive in any bad situation I can. :)

The upside is that I am starting to get some relief with my back pain. It isn't a lot of relief but it is improving. This makes just day to day tasks like rinsing a dish much easier. Which in turn keeps me from feeling like a burden on everyone else and therefore keeps me from snacking so much. :)

Today I decided to also limit my gluten consumption. A lot of people have tolerance issues with gluten and it has been suggested to me that I look into it. Now I like bread far more than the average person... I guess you could say it is kinda like "crack" to me. lol I LOVE to bake...bread,cakes, pies, cookies, rolls.....ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. My mother used to grind her own flour and bake her own bread from scratch...I CAN BAKE. lol But I also love to eat it. So limit my gluten, sure I can do that, eliminate it?? Probably not.

Today I had a very late was closer to 11:30 when I finally sat down to eat something (bad I know) so I had a little mini lunch. It was all of 3 points plus (on WW) and oh was it yummy and filling.

Quinoa with meatless crumble and veggies

Cook the Quinoa like rice. One serving is 1/2 I make 1 cup of uncooked Quinoa (with 2 cups of boiling water). 1/2 cup of cut up fresh zucchini, 1/2 cup carrot slices, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/4 cup meatless crumbles tossed in a skillet over medium heat with a spray or two of non-stick spray. When the veggies are hot and softened but not mushy, drizzle with 1 TBS of soy sauce (I use the low sodium kind) and toss. Dish out 1/2 cup or 1 cup servings of cooked Quinoa into bowls and top with 1/2 cup of the veggie mixture.

Serves 4

I then had the same thing around 4 pm for Lunch. lol So I had a very filling breakfast and lunch...both late.

When I got home from running around and getting my stuff done with the hubby, it was late but we were hungry. So I made a piece of whole wheat and flax seed toast...topped with just 1/2 Tbs of butter. ( I am a real butter person....I can't do margarine YUCK!)

For dinner I used the store brand Chipotle Shrimp (one bag serves two and is only 3 points plus per serving!) and some veggies (I used red bell pepper and mushrooms) and 1 cup of cooked pasta. Just tossed the cut up veggies with a little non-stick cooking spray in a skillet and then added the pre-nuked shrimp (in the bad per the directions) and poured one serving over the pasta. It was SO yummy.

So that was my food for the day so far.   Not bad choices and I'm choosing to be happy with that. I have plenty of points left to have some "Skinny" chocolates, or a  bag of popcorn (one of my go to snacks)...or even a half a sandwich later if I'm still up and feeling peckish. :)

In short, I'm back on the a better mind set today, and looking forward to the weekend with friends and family. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keeping the faith when giving up is easy

I have health issues. I have things going on with my body and these things make it difficult to function in normal day to day tasks sometimes....let alone exercise.  Since starting back on my WW program in August of last year, I have managed to lose about 15 pounds. Tomorrow is "weigh in" day and quite honestly I don't want to. :(

The last couple weeks have been really difficult for me. Emotionally, physically and mentally I am spent and basically shutting down in many regards. The health issues that have been plaguing me lately are my back issues. I have Spondylolisthesis, Stenosis, Spondylosis, 2 herniated discs and now Sciatica. I have been suffering in near silence for weeks (since Christmas). just hoping it decided to "stop" hurting. Needless to say it has simply only gotten worse. I can no longer drive, sit, stand, walk, lay down or sleep. I have had a couple trips to the ER just to have them give me some pain meds and send me home. After a DR visit today, I have an appointment with a specialist February 3rd. In the meantime though, I have to function. I have kids to take to and from their various important outings, school to get to, walk to, sit through, walk back from and drive to. All while not being able to stand, sit, walk, stoop, lay down...

I have tried stretches, heat, ice, rest etc...nothing helps. My Dr gave me some pain meds and some anti-inflammatory, but I still have to "deal with it" until the 3rd when I find out what tests the specialist wants to run. In short....I have to live with horribly debilitating pain throughout my whole body for a couple more weeks at least. Needless to say I am not looking forward to suffering through another 2 weeks of this. But, as it has always been in my adult life......I have no choice.

It is so easy when you live your daily life in debilitating pain, like I am right now, to just give up and say that there is no point in trying to exercise and lose weight. I physically cannot exercise to lose weight....I can't even STAND at the counter to make my son a piece of toast to go with his breakfast. My body shakes with pain, and my legs start to give out.

I could give up. I WANT to give up some days. I want to just sit on the couch (assuming I can sit there for more than 5 minutes) and watch TV all day eating anything and everything. I want to curl up in a ball and cry...because I'm just so tired emotionally, physically and mentally with the daily battle against not only my weight and my issues with food, as well as my self esteem issues, but now with the sheer physical pain and challenge I face every second of the day.

But giving up is EASY. Sticking it through, working what I CAN on WW, and just getting through my day is HARD the scale probably won't show any of the progress I want it to.....not giving up and just keeping at keeping at it are currently my goals. Accomplishing that when my body is REFUSING to allow me to do anything else will be a success.

Sometimes you want to just SMACK someone

So it has been a while since I blogged last.....I have had a lot going on. Some good...some difficult. I will most likely blog twice tonight.

 I have not had the success that I wanted to in the beginning (do we ever?) and I was feeling a bit discouraged with the whole process. To be honest, I got a few comments from friends that I just sounded depressed and somehow implying that I am neither appreciative or grateful for the wonderful friends and family that I have. THAT is exactly why I tend to keep my feelings to myself when it comes to my self esteem. It seems that for some reason EVERYONE else is allowed to feel insecure, depressed about where they have allowed themselves to get to in their health/weight/life and to, quite bluntly "bitch" about everything and everyone in their lives that doesn't make them feel stellar....however, apparently I'm not allowed to.

I have bad days. I am insecure. I never learned to truly love myself, regardless of what anyone else thinks, sees (because I put on the good front) or the many attempts by my family and friends to get me to see what they do, I don't. It doesn't make me ungrateful. It doesn't make me unappreciative. It simply means that I have a hard time seeing my own value sometimes. I have a hard time with self esteem and that is just what it is.

Everyone struggles with self esteem at some point in their life. It doesn't mean that they don't appreciate all the kind words their friends and family offer. It just means exactly that...they struggle with SELF ESTEEM. I'm so sick and tired of people acting like me having self esteem issues, or struggling with my self worth is somehow reflective of how my husband views me, or how my parents raised me. It doesn't have anything to do with either!!

I have a wonderful and devoted husband who loves and cherishes me. He finds me beautiful, no matter what my current pant size is. He finds me sexy, in my own little way, no matter how much my "wobbly bits" actually wobble. I have issues with self esteem and self confidence....I feel insecure and awkward. But you see the operative word in these sentences is that I feel that way... I have those issues.....HE DOESN'T. Me having those issues doesn't somehow mean that I value his opinion less, or that I disagree when he pays me a compliment. Quite the contrary... I blush and I thank him....8 years later and I still blush when he pays me a compliment....because I APPRECIATE that he sees me in that a way only HE does.

I am blessed with a very supportive and wonderful family, who always told me I was pretty with my red hair and freckles.....even when other kids said I wasn't. My family has always paid me compliments and supported my many endeavors in the arts....even when I couldn't hold a tune if you put it in a bucket and placed it in my family was supportive and encouraged me to PRACTICE and improve...and I did. But I still feel insecure and nervous when I sing in front of people....for fear that I am not good enough. Sure, I "know" I'm talented....but I still fear being judged....just like EVERY ONE ELSE!

I wish that it was "OK" for me to be truly honest without someone acting like I should just "get over it"....when they themselves have complained about similar issues time and time again. Why is it that everyone wants me to listen and be supportive of them when they are being "irrational" and reassure them that they are wonderful and beautiful and special....but if I even open my mouth (or on Facebook) anything that is anything besides "sunshine, unicorns, rainbows and glitter", then I'm having a "pity party" or that I am somehow in need of being "set straight" because I seem to be "forgetting" or "ignoring" that I have a wonderful life with wonderful people in it who love me for me and not what I look like...or don't look like.

I KNOW what I have... I KNOW I am blessed....I am very grateful and appreciative of what I have been given, the love I have in my friends and family and the support that I receive. But I am allowed to feel what I feel....and I should be allowed to voice that without being "set straight" as if I am an ungrateful child. I'm not a child....and I'm not ungrateful.

I am truly blessed to have such a supportive and loving husband....who reads my blog and listens to my inner demons rear their ugly heads and gnash their foul, sharp teeth at my tender heart and soul. A husband who simply hugs me, tells me he loves me and that I'm beautiful to him....and simply lets me feel what I feel, without it making him feel like he failed to "fix" me.

I am incredibly lucky to have parents who have endured my teen years (when these feelings were infecting my very core) and told me I was beautiful and talented and that they loved matter what. Parents who READ this blog, in all its gross and painful honesty and see the beauty in that vulnerability....and commend me on my attempt to be strong and be honest with the one person I find it hardest to be honest with......myself.

I'm lucky to have that. I am blessed and I am grateful for it.....but I still feel insecure, I still see someone who is fat and unattractive....I see a plain jane

THAT is why I write this blog....for me. To work through these issues I have, to show others that it is ok to have the feelings you have, that you have to own them and process them. It is important to not feel GUILTY for having those feelings of insecurity. The things that people say, implying that I'm ungrateful and unappreciative....just makes me feel makes me feel like maybe I'm not grateful enough....and so I PUT ON the happy face, put up the front and PRETEND that I'm not hurting....To  b completely HONEST with you all, I think that a truly supportive person, would not try to make me feel guilty for expressing real, honest and raw emotions like I am in this blog. I wish that more people would be the supportive and understanding friend/family that they expect/want others to be...."What you GIVE is all you DESERVE to get"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Red light foods: A little victory goes a long way!

We all have those "red light" foods. You know those foods? They are the ones that once we start to eat them we just can't stop. Chips, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, pizza......we all have a weakness. I encountered one of those foods today....and I must say, I was proud of my little success. :)

My "red light food" is simply that....FOOD. My younger brother and I have many memories of experimentation in the kitchen. I had my perch next to my dad at his BBQ, and I was the taste tester. Food has always been a weakness for me. I LOVE food....GOOD food. My family is full of excellent chefs, so I have always had a love of exotic and interesting food. Cooking is just as much about the creation of the meal and the presentation of it as it is sharing it with those around me. So really, I just have an issue with FOOD in general.

That being said, my wonderful husband could eat Pizza every day....for every meal just about and never complain. I LOVE pizza....not just the fast food greasy stuff that every place on the corner serves...but homemade pizza. Loaded with veggies and just a tiny bit of cheese....I  love it all.

I hadn't really slept all night (I went to bed at 3am...homework and then lost track of time) and the husband's sinuses had him snoring so I was up....then the kids had to be up at 5:45am, I went back to bed at 7am when the kids went to  school and I didn't get up until nearly noon! So I had brunch today. :)

Breakfast wasn't a bad choice. A couple of egg whites scrambled with 1 whole egg, tossed with some cooked barley, drizzled with a tiny bit of  soy sauce and my Furikake (a Japanese rice topping that is just wonderful!). Low fat, high in protein and VERY filling. So because I had such a late breakfast, I ended up not hungry for lunch at any point in the day. THIS can set me up for an issue later with snacking because then I end up starving later.....but I handled that rather well...if I do say so myself.

I had several "cuties" (those little tangerines that I LOVE so much) and waited for the Pizza to arrive. Now everyone else in my house gets the pan pizza or the pepperoni and mushroom...or my son's favorite 5 cheese stuffed crust pizza. I always order myself a thin crust, veggie pizza with very light on the cheese....this allows me to have a little more (in number of slices if I'm just feeling greedy or gluttonous) without going over on points/calories etc.

My "red light" food that I encountered today was that Pizza....oh it tasted so good....we hadn't had pizza in a while. I'm sure I could have just had the 2 slices and been fine....but I did go and have a third....but instead of picking on myself for that, I simply decided that I was going to count the victory as a victory. I didn't have the whole pizza, I didn't let it call me in for one more slice when I was clearly FULL.

For a lot of us, "red light" foods mean we just can't EVER eat it anymore because we are afraid that we will over-indulge. But I offer you this challenge.....moderation. If you can get yourself to a point where you CAN have it...once in a while...without going overboard with it, then you count it as a victory! And if you let yourself have it, and you can't control yourself...then you count that as a victory too. It is a victory because you challenged yourself, you planned it out, challenged yourself, met that task and learned a isn't time to consume that food yet. LOL

In short, I don't believe in fully omitting foods from my diet. The moment I tell myself I'm not "allowed" to have a food, it becomes the very thing I crave. So be honest with yourself...that is the best thing. If  you have a "red light  food" or a whole box of them....really ask yourself WHY? Is it because I feel like I'm not going to get any more of it? Is it because I feel like I "shouldn't" eat it? Is it not "diet food"? I am constantly reminding myself that the definition of "diet" isn't "restriction"....or "omission".....or "deprivation"...the definition of DIET  is simply the nutrition I put into my body....good or is all part of my "diet". EVERYTHING is on my "diet".. I just have to monitor how much of it I consume!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fresh Veggie and Kielbasa Soup with Barley!

So this was today's lunch. :) Leftovers over barley.

This recipe can very easily be made with ANY kind of veggies, with or without a meat added and either served with homemade bread (which I do often) or with rice or barley!



  • Put garlic, vegetables, thyme water and broth into a large soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, partly covered, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley or chives; season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Yields about 1 cup per serving.
I find this to serve 14. :) You can add any other veggies you want, or even a different meat (or just no meat!) . I sometimes pour it over 1/2 cup of cooked barley, or rice too.

Today I had it over barley..... really is all it's cracked up to be.

So today I decided to take it upon myself to encourage a few friends that I knew were taking on new challenges and changes for their lives in 2012...much like myself. One is getting back to "her" just like I am, though in a little different way and the other has taken on the task of quitting smoking and getting healthy overall. :) So proud of them both....and it dawned on me....we as a society just don't do that anymore. We get so wrapped up in ourselves and what is going on in our lives that we don't reach out to others. We don't encourage each other...friends, family or even strangers.

I left my Facebook status with a note this morning as I ran to my morning class (just a little behind schedule) to everyone out in Facebook land. Or at least in MY little corner of it. I suggested that we use our posts, our words, our actions and our attitude towards others in a positive way. Touch another person's life with a smile, a hello, open a door...SOMETHING other than the usual ignoring glance.

It is amazing what kind of good feeling you get from being a positive person. I'm generally "perpetually perky" sickening as that might be for some. Sure, I have my days...and moments of sorrow and depression (just read my first post...the Ugly Truth and you will see that I'm not all sunshine, rainbows and but over all, I CHOOSE every day to be happy.

That is right.....I CHOOSE to be happy. I choose not to complain or wallow in self pity for the difficult month it will be with bills because of an unforeseen emergency. I CHOOSE to just let it go and find another parking spot (even if it is all the way across the lot and my back is hurting so badly I can barely walk) because some jerk cut me off and took the one I was patiently waiting for. The truth is, it is EASY to get mad, to fume, to lash out, to give someone the finger and such.

But having that positive outlook on life, to MAKE a conscious effort to be happy and nice and giving every day really is all it is cracked up to be! I often say "What you give is all you deserve to get"...and it is very true I think. What you are willing to put out into the world, into friendships, relationships, encounters, your job etc...really is all you should expect to get back from others.

When we put out something positive, happy, kind and giving into the world or our relationships with others,  we feel good. It gives us a warm fuzzy feeling...and it just puts so much more goodness into the world.

You want to change the world for the better?!? You want to make positive change in your life? You want to "fix" the hate and negativity in the world we live in?!? Be a better, happier, nicer person! Really!

Positivity really is ALL it is cracked up to be!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

To Photo, or not to photo....perhaps a necessary evil.

I'm one of those lucky girls who has a very close and intimate relationship with my mom. Sure there are things I'm less than proud of and choose not to tell her about, and that is fine, she has things she doesn't tell me too...but we are close. I can always count on my mom to be there when I need her, to listen when I just need a chance to vent and whine and to give me that proverbial smack in the head when I'm just having a pity party. My mom knows me all too well.

She suggested recently that I post some photos. Now my mom is a photographer...and a darn good one at that. She was my mentor when I was young and just getting started and my biggest encourager when I decided to continue on my path with photography. She drove me to L.A. for countless calls and indulged my every desire to perform, be on stage and in front of a camera. My mom will admit, and probably be the first to say that my life has been greatly captured on film of many types, and that I have always been a ham.

But this suggestion of posting photos of myself and my progress left me anxious, insecure and quite frankly, scared sick. I've always been photogenic....but this last summer I realized something. My weight has gotten to a point where, I would much rather be behind my camera and not in front of it....ever.

My wonderful husband and I went on a cruise this summer...we had a great time. One of my best friends was able to go with us and we made some life long friends on our trip. We saw exotic locations, met friendly people, sang in the piano bar and danced the night away and soaked up the sun on the deck. I took tons of photos....but I don't like ANY of the ones taken of me. I just look at them and, I really look like that....I'm huge. I had fun, and it is obvious in my photos that I had a great time....but it is also painfully obvious that in many images I'm uncomfortable with myself.

We also are lucky enough to travel across the country and visit all my family and friends in California every year. We go to the beach and enjoy the sand and sun (though I hide under the umbrella for fear of a sunburn) every chance we get. It was on one of these days that Ben, my husband, took a photo of a gas station sign to send home to Ohio to show the price difference....he likes to show everyone that our prices in Ohio could always be higher! (We also take photos along the drive to California of all the SUPER cheap prices for fuel we pay too.) But when he took this photo (I think it was over $4 a gal at that point....ON the Laguna Beach) my backside was in the photo....NOT a flattering angle for just about ANYONE.  When I saw that photo I was horribly sick to my stomach. I begged him to take it down....PLEADED with him not to post that to Facebook for all the world to see and scrutinize.

The idea of posting ANY photos of me...until I lose some of the weight, is terrifying. Then again, the whole  point of this blog is to be honest with myself. To really let myself work through the horrible days and the wonderful ones...right? Why should I be so worried about a photo that shows how heavy I am, when the rest of the world can see what I look like from behind anyway? People see me every day....why are we so afraid of a photo? Is it because it makes it REAL for us? Is it because putting it up on Facebook, or on a blog is an admission of what the world sees and not what we WANT them to see?

I can tell myself I'm not that fat all I want to. I can tell myself that I look OK in what I have on, that I'm a little overweight I'm working on it. But I'm still overweight, I look terrible from behind, my face has lost its natural shape and has started to look less like ME. THAT is my reality. So I will post a photo....this is me...taken this last summer. I'm not sure EXACTLY what  I weigh....but I'm pretty sure that I weigh close to what I weighed by the end of the summer when I started back on WW in August. So probably close to 237 lbs.

This is me and my wonderful husband, Ben. Cozumel, Mexico...June 2011

This year, we are hoping to celebrate 8 years together and 4 years married with another cruise...I do NOT want to look like this again. Even more, I don't want to FEEL like this. 

How can that be?!? When the measurements don't add up!

You ever have those moments where you look at a serving size and say, "um REALLY?"
Well that was my lunch. I LOVE my 98% fat free turkey chili....the can says that a serving size is 1 cup. Awesome! The can also says that there are 2 servings per can. So I heat up my chili and I'm all ready for it....and like a "good girl" I get out my 1 cup  measure and the WHOLE CAN fits into the 1 cup measure!How can that be? So I take it out of the measuring cup and I RE-Measure.....and it all fits into the one cup! So this "2 Serving Can" of chili, measured 1 serving!?! So it just seems impossible..... 1 cup in the whole can?!?

Well I ate the whole can....but I'm still unsure of how to honestly count it! According to my WW points calculator, 1 (1Cup) serving of  this Turkey Chili with Beans is 5 points....BUT when I measured out what is 1 serving it took the whole can! If I had 2 servings then it would be 10 points.....but I only had a cup of it....which would be 5 points. :( So my dilema begins.

I also measured out 1/4 cup of reduced fat shredded cheese and put that on top (2 points) I either had 7 points for lunch or I had 12. :(

So here was my yummy lunch....either 7 or 12 points.... I'm still debating on what I should ACTUALLY count it as.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Weighing in....Not letting it get you down

So, like I said I decided to post twice today.

After the weigh in this morning that left me feeling a little discouraged, I decided I just had to make sure that there weren't any "extras" that I was forgetting along the way. Those Bites, Licks and Tastes that the WW leaders are always telling you about. "If you bite it, write it!"

Today, I made better choices on food, didn't snack on so many carbohydrates and managed to be very full and satisfied....and STILL had my ice cream at the end of the night...and a brownie. :)

Breakfast was Greek yogurt. (I had the store brand)
A "Cutie" tangerine
A cup of my favorite coffee all the way from California (because my sister loves me and sent it to me for Christmas this year...again) with a serving of my favorite creamer. :)

So 4 point from Breakfast isn't bad

Decided that I needed a snack so I had another tangerine mid morning for 0 points and a bottle of water.

Lunch wasn't too bad either. I had a WW frozen was Pasta with Ricotta and spinach (7 points)
and a cup of coffee with my favorite creamer again (1 point for the Creamer BTW...just make sure you MEASURE the serving and that you are truly having only ONE)

8 points for lunch....doing good.

I had some housework to do, so I managed to do 2 loads of laundry,  and some basic cleaning around the house. Now, WW allows for this to be counted as "exercise"....but I decided not to count it today.

I needed a snack again when the kids got home from school so I popped a bag of popcorn. The whole bag...yes all 3 cups of only 4 I counted all 4 points but only had 1 cup of it...just to hold me over while I made dinner and my daughter and her friend made brownies.

I DID have a brownie with the kids and I counted it....5 points for a serving.

Dinner, I had planned for a few days. I had this recipe that I got off my WW website that I use that is only 1 point. YES 1 point per 1-cup serving of this yummy hearty soup! But I decided to add some Kielbasa to that soup because, although I would be happy with just veggies (I used to eat Lacto-Ovo), everyone else in my house wouldn't be. I decided to add Crimini mushrooms to the recipe as well and to serve it with biscuits. :) I gotta have my carbs in there. lol

I had one bowl of soup for 3 points (because the kielbasa added points to it) and 2 biscuits (for 5 points) So dinner was VERY filling, I have TONS left over (I froze a single serving container for lunch tomorrow) and I only used 8 points for my dinner! :) Success!

Homework to finish after dinner...and I tend to snack during I had the rest of the popcorn that I popped earlier and had already counted, a cup of Chai Latte Tea for 2 points and 1/2 cup of Rainbow Sherbet for 2 points.

I used my points for the day...all 33 of them. But didn't go over my weekly.

Overall I feel pretty good about today. I'm full....I don't feel deprived...but I wish that I had fit in that walk I wanted to. :( Laziness gets the better of me. So maybe tomorrow I will be able to get that in there.

I could have let the ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) get the better of me and let myself snack away because "what's the point" right? But I made that decision not to. The only way to lose the weight, once and for all is to break the habits. I have a very self deprecating and self destructive pattern to me....I don't really know why I do, I guess we are all just our own worst critics. Normally I would just eat and eat and eat and try to make myself feel "better" about my failure on the scale with all the yummy goodies I make. But today, I decided not to. I can't say that I will succeed again tomorrow in the same areas, but I can congratulate myself on succeeding in it today. I did it the healthy way today...and I PLAN to do it the healthy way tomorrow.

I think that is all we really can do. Plan to do it right tomorrow. If we fail at doing it right, then we just pick back up on the next meal or snack and do it right. If we find at the end of the day that we were weak and didn't do it "right" then we just have to own that...and realize that consistency is our true flaw.

So at the end of today I can say....

I gained 2 pounds this week.
I am not giving up just because I gained 2 pounds this week.
I gained 2 pounds this week.
I'm not throwing away all the lessons learned this week because I gained 2 pounds this week.
I gained 2 pounds this week.
I'm going to allow that gain to fuel me to get through this next that hopefully I don't gain 2 pounds next week. :)

Remember....if  you bite it, write it. The weight is yours to lose or's going to happen one way or the other...but it should be on your terms.

ANTs: .Automatic Negative Thoughts...stopping the cycle

So I decided to post early today. I will most likely post again later tonight after my housework, homework (and hopefully a walk) are all completed and the kids are off to bed...but we will see.

Today was weigh in day. NOT good results. I'm up 2 pounds. UP 2 pounds. My initial reaction was disbelief. "But I tracked it all, no matter what!" "I know I used some weekly points but I didn't go over those!" So I step back on the scale....yup, it isn't lying. Shame, depression....pouting.

In the shower the ANTs creep  in. "This is a stupid goal." "Why in the world am I putting myself out there and trying to make a change when clearly I'm just going to fail?" "See....I'm going to be fat and unhappy matter what I do." ETC. But I have to stop myself and ask myself what the REAL issues are. WHY was my weight up?

OK, so here I start to pick apart my week.

I tracked...that's a start. But I tracked AFTER I ate or drank something rather than before I made the choice to have it. So I can change that this week....but that alone isn't going to fix the gain.

I'm on medications....which can cause weight gain (temporary) so I need to take that into consideration but not convince myself that THAT is the reason it is up. (Let's face it....any chance we get to blame weight gain on something out of our control we all do it.) (The Ugly truth of medications, the TMI truth about pain medications in that they can make things, shall I say, less than regular. Which in turn CAN make a scale weigh you just a little higher.) So, maybe that has something to do with my weight being up...maybe not....but I will log that fact and keep in mind that I need to control the things I can right now, and medication isn't one of them...yet.

Water....I drink water....I like it. But have I really been drinking as much as I should be? No. I need to be drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Yes yes yes "they" have changed it to 6 (don't ask me why... I think it is a bunch of crap to be honest) but I find that I have lost more weight when I drank more I need to get a new water bottle (one with one of those built in filter systems so I have no reason to buy bottled water while out and about). So that goes on the list of things to change this week. be honest, I just haven't done it. I need to. In order to get healthy and to complete that half marathon I need to get to that is a must. But at the same time, I'm under Dr order to "take it easy" and do "minimal walking" to keep from aggravating the pain and swelling. But I can't really do that and achieve my goals. So today, I start some exercise. Not major training yet, but some. It's nice out today....41 degrees and feels nice out..a cold breeze but nothing Ben's sweatshirt won't take care of. :) So either that, or I'll do some Wii Fit or get on the stationary bike. I just need to move my body.

So here I sit, at 1 pm in the afternoon, debating lunch....trying to keep from allowing those ANTs to creep up and infect my mind, setting me off on the wrong foot for the week. Breakfast was healthy and well lunch should be too. :)

In the end, those Automatic Negative Thoughts are mine to make and mine to fix. As the kind of person who tries to focus on the positive so much in my life, and honestly, being HAPPY and PERKY every day is a CHOICE I make.... I really don't do that when it comes to myself and my self esteem. I allow the negativity to be internal while the positivity is external....time to stop that cycle too.

Yet another lesson I have to learn.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Every day is a LESSON: Things aren't always what they seem.

So today I started my new class on campus. Music and Art Since 1940. Interesting class... I think I'm going to really enjoy it. So my day started pretty good. :)

I took my stomach medicine (I have ulcers and stuff) at 7 am and went back to bed after the kids left for school since I didn't have to be at school until 11am. So when I got up for the day to make my breakfast, I decided to start off with a banana and my other meds (various anti-inflammatory and such for my Stenosis and Spondylothesis in my back that has been flared up). I can't take the meds on an empty stomach so I have to start with food. Breakfast was then 4 egg whites scrambled with 1 whole egg.

I will give you  a very brief and basic explanation of how my "program" works. I use the Weight Watcher's program. It is the most healthy way that I know to lose weight and to lose it long term. It is a lifestyle change. Foods carry a point value. Fresh fruits (canned in their own juice as well...but you can't drink the juice) are 0 points. Fresh veggies, frozen or canned (not in salt) are also 0 points. So these are foods I try to snack on as much as possible....but I am a carbohydrate junkie. So this is a habit I have to work on breaking...the carbs not the fruit and veggies.

So breakfast was 3 points. :) Doing good so far.

It was a little chilly this morning (around 20 degrees when I left the house) so i decided to head to Starbucks (we just don't have my beloved Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Ohio). Starbucks can be dangerous...if you don't know what to order...very easy to drink yourself through ALL your daily points in one beverage.....or at least halfway through them! So I decided on a Venti Skinny (non-fat) Sugar Free Vanilla Chai Latte. Sounds like a great option right? It is tea, with fat free milk and sugar free flavor. But the VENTI is 7 points. BOO.....but I drank it and counted it later.

Lesson ONE learned today..... Check the points for the SIZE you ordered before you actually ORDER it. :(

I went to the store on my way home from school, to get some stuff for the week...and didn't have time to eat since I had to take Ethan (my 12 year old) to his Dr appointment. So I decided to not grab a snack of any kind on my way back out the door.

Lesson TWO learned today....TOOOOOOO long to wait to eat something...grab an apple, grab a banana, even a handful of pretzels...just make sure it is a serving and you TRACK it.

So on the way home from the DR appointment I decided I needed to eat something for lunch (at 4:30pm) and stopped in for CONVENIENT FAST FOOD.....should be called FAT FOOD instead. Taco Bell it is then. I miss Del Taco in California.....but I guess if I had Del Taco I would eat my beloved Mexican Fat Food place and be even So I get some burritos and tacos for everyone.  I decide to eat a burrito....and I'm good with that...but do I stop there? NO. Why?!? BECAUSE I WAITED TOO LONG TO EAT LUNCH! And because I DIDN'T check the NEW points value for the I ate 2. One bean burrito USED to be 7 points....for a half pound burrito. But the burritos have gotten SO tiny. And yet, they are 9 points each! So the two I ate were then 18 points!

Lesson FOUR learned today.....nearly 8 hours is WAY too long to wait to eat.

So then it is dinner time and I am of course hungry. I refuse to deprive myself and indulge my weird need to be all or nothing and go to extremes and "punish" myself for my "mistakes". SO I make myself a WW frozen meal. :) It was 6 points and it was a Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables meal. Very yummy.

So, I went over my points....again....and dipped into the weekly points. But Tomorrow marks my new week, and weigh in day. Hopefully I will be off these meds soon for my back and I won't be retaining quite so much water and weigh in heavier tomorrow morning.....but if I have to strip down naked and weigh in in my kitchen I will do so. lol

Up or down, I will own my weight is what it is. The program works, I know it does. I just have to work the tools I have. I counted my points...regardless of if I went over.

Lesson FIVE learned today.... BE HONEST with myself in my tracker. Lying to myself is only going to keep me from achieving my goals.

Lesson SIX learned today....One bad choice doesn't have to beget another or ruin the whole day.

The moral of today....Things aren't always healthy just because they seem like they would be.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.....just staying on that track.

The only way to truly find the faults in my eating habits is to track what I eat. When I get down I self medicate. When I'm sad, I eat...when I'm happy, I eat. I eat my feelings....literally.

To day started OK.....Banana in the morning so that I can take the various medications I currently have to take for my Bronchitis and my back pain. Then my usual breakfast of egg whites. Today I decided on 1/2 cup of steamed white rice with one whole egg and 2 egg whites topped with Furikake ( a Japanese rice topping) and a little soy sauce. Lunch wasn't too bad for me. I got a spinach salad with feta cheese, dried fruit and spiced nuts. It was delicious and not too bad on the "points" either.

Had a banana for an afternoon snack.

Dinner, I splurged and had some Chicken strips....only 3 and I had a salad (0 points) and salad dressing that is also 0 points. But then the snacking began. :(

Doritos (I counted them though)
Whole grain toast (which I counted)
Peanut brittle (also counted)

SIGH.....I did go over my "allowed" points, but that's what I have the weekly for...right?

My back is feeling really badly and just standing or walking for more than 2-5 minutes is horribly painful.So exercise is near to impossible right now...but I'm still determined to make it to that Half Marathon this fall....but I just have to settle on which one.

I find that I feel guilty for eating my emotions. If I feel lonely, I eat. If I feel celebratory, I eat. If I'm feeling unattractive, frumpy, homely, plain and completely undesirable, I eat to  stuff down the hurt and shame....which only creates more of it. :(

The never ending cycle of self loathing and destruction...which only creates more shame and therefore more loathing. To be honest I haven't always handled my feelings of insecurity and shame with a quiet sort of dignity. I eat it. And then I feel guilty. To keep from stuffing my face because I feel like I'm fat anyway so what does it matter, I have tried some unhealthy methods. Severe deprivation....skipping meals, eating once a day....half servings of all foods eaten...stuffing my face until I feel like puking and then letting it happen if that is just what point I take it to, becoming extra restrictive on what I eat and probably my most embarrassing and shameful admission of over use of laxatives and diet pills.

I find that I go to extremes. I am an all or nothing person. I don't half-ass anything....even the unhealthy, self destructive things. One diet pill per day, not enough for me.....if I felt hungry, I took 6 at once. No matter how many I had taken last time, or how much time had passed between extreme doses. I don't recommend this method by any means. It left me sick....Anxiety, increased heart rate, shortness of breath and who knows what other issues I might have stemming from the abuse of diet pills over the years. Laxatives didn't start as a weight loss method for me...I'm just not always "regular" and so I would use them to "get things going"...but then I started to rely on them the day before my weigh in so that I could clear out my system and weigh less for weigh in. In the long run I have done serious damage to my body in this desperate attempt to lose weight and be "attractive" with little regard for my actual health and safety.

On the other end of the extreme is the over eating. I'm all in or all out. If I'm all out, I eat everything, huge portions, fatty foods, no exercise....there is no happy medium with me. It isn't about self control for me. I control taking the "easy way" and loading up on gimmicks like diet pills or fad diets. I control the fact that I can monitor what I eat and do it in healthy ways. I have lost weight on WW before and followed my program and lost the weight. I just get lazy. All or nothing.....that is how I diet. But that is also how I do everything in life. It is laziness that I suffer from....that and denial that I am really as overweight and unhappy as I truly am.

THAT is the cycle I am fighting to break within myself. This need to either be in or out. To be fat or thin. My goal is to stop eating my emotions. To stop being lazy and making excuses.

I'm trying to  be honest with myself and with the readers (assuming I have a few) because THIS is a cycle I do not want to continue on any longer.

The only way to have lasting results in ANYTHING in your life is to take the slow and steady path. There aren't any quick fixes, there aren't any magic moments to suddenly cause you to be what you aim for.

I am hoping to start some sort of exercise goal for myself. That is my goal this stay on track, keep blogging (because I find it very theraputic) and to plan out my exercise schedule for next week. (My week starts on Thursday....that is weigh-in day for me.)

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Ugly Truth: Not a pleasant place to start...but a start none-the-less

In order to really be successful in achieving my goals for 2012, and finally seeing in the mirror the ME I feel I am inside, I have to face the cold hard facts. This blog is going to show all that I am. As open as I seem to be on the outside, I am really just scared to be honest about my fears, my faults, my struggles and my true lack of confidence and self esteem. Sure I fake it well, I put on the happy front and try to distract others from my less than wonderful appearance. Like everyone, I have secrets and scars far too shameful to be honest about to those who love me. I'm not sure why exactly, maybe because I don't want to let them down, to hurt them with my failures, or to make them feel like they somehow failed me. But the truth remains, I made me this way, I let myself get here...and I'm the only one who can save me. So here goes.....I hope that anyone who reads this finds only knowing that vulnerability doesn't have to be a weakness.

I am fat. We try to sugar coat it for ourselves and say we are pudgy, extra curvy, overweight, chunky....but the UGLY TRUTH is I'm obese. Sure, I don't "look" it I'm told....but I topped out this past summer at 237 pounds. I am 5'2" tall, with a petite bone frame. Which puts me at about 120 lbs overweight. Scary moment. So I started on a weight loss journey in August of 2011. I have managed to take off some and I currently weigh in at 223....progress, but I still find it hard to rejoice in my little success because clothes don't fit and I feel like the hippo in the room.

THIS is my year of change. This year I will no longer make excuses. My "babies" are 13 and 12....this is not "baby weight". Just because I have had two kids, who "moved in and remodeled", I do not have to stay this way. My goals are HUGE...not because I am impatient (though I can be at times), but because that is the honest UGLY TRUTH of my situation. I don't have 25 pounds to lose. I don't have 45 pounds to lose. I have over 100 pounds to lose!

It isn't just about weight though. Sure that is a big part of my lack of confidence, but this journey is about so much more for me. Over the years I have lost ME. It is a never ending cycle. I get depressed, I gain weight, I become more depressed, I gain more weight.  I have come to realize that I let the negative comments and mean girls get to me. I was told I was fat, because I was curvy...not a stick model figure. I was 5'2", 120 lbs, 32F chest with a 24 in. waist with shapely, curvy hips....but still I felt fat because I didn't look like "them".  I was told I wasn't pretty....because I have red hair and freckles. But it is time that I learn to find the beauty in myself, to love myself...because I never learned how.

::dry tears::

OK so here they are...the GOALS for 2012

In 2012 I will.....

Complete a half marathon

To gain control over my weight

To learn that I am matter my size or shape (and that I have the power to change it)

To be the example my daughter needs to know that she is beautiful and of great worth

To stop making excuses for not following my dreams

To no longer allow my size and my fear of ridicule to keep me from being true to myself

To no longer allow the pain of my past to eat away at my self worth

To stop flip-flipping on my field of study for my degree and to pursue what I am passionate about

To finally realize that my vintage style and classic curves are a blessing, not a curse

I am sure I will come up with more as time goes on.....but these are my main ones at this point.

And so the journey begins...