Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's almost here......

Not Christmas. Okay, yes, it is almost here, but that's not exactly what this is about.

I went to weigh in today at the noon meeting, since our center will be closed after that meeting until Friday. I stepped on the scale, and I am four pounds down from last week. FOUR. Okay, big whoop, right? Well, yeah. I haven't had a four-pound loss in forever, so YES, it is a big deal.

But this means I have ten pounds to go to hit goal. Ten. Ten. Ten. Ten.

I have to let it sink in.

I never in my wildest imagination pictured myself at this point when I started out. Seriously, when I started out, I had no idea where it would all lead, or if I would have the courage and determination to continue. The earliest successes led me to believe that yes, I could do this. But I had so much weight to lose that I really couldn't picture the final "Winning Outcome" (wink!). It was only by looking piece by piece, five pounds by five pounds (or ten by ten), that I could do it. Knowing that I probably should lose X amount was always in the back of my mind ..... but to actually imagine it? I couldn't -- certainly not at first.

And now? There are days I still can't believe it's real. Yes, I have photographic proof of all the success along the way, and God knows I have the clothing from both ends of the spectrum to prove it. And I see the numbers on the scale that tell me this.

People tell me I'm more outgoing, more confident -- and maybe to some small degree that's the case. I've never been a shrinking violet by any stretch, nor have I ever minded the spotlight. Yes, Sam, a ham, I am. But there does seem to be a little more boldness that was perhaps lurking underneath.

Ten. Wow. Ten. I'm still in awe. So my plan for the holidays and into next week (when the center will be closed for New Year's)? Same as it ever was: to do exactly what I do every other day of the week. Eat right, get in some activity if at all possible, and enjoy life. To use the tools at my disposal to have a good day, a good week, a good life. And if a small setback happens, I know how to get back on track -- and I will.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A little loss, a big gain

My loss this week was relatively small -- 0.8 pounds -- but that brings my total to 214 even. This means I have just 14 pounds to go. Under 15 to go. It almost doesn't seem real. I'm serious.... it almost doesn't seem real. Nearly 3 years ago, I could not imagine reaching this point -- at least not seeing it real and in the mirror. It seemed more like a dream, one of those "wow, that sounds nice and I'm gonna try... really. I am....."

My big gain this week was a huge boost to my self-confidence -- from several sources. On Sunday, I met my best friend and her family for lunch after Mass. Now, she and I have known each other for 21 years now, and her husband's known me for 19 years. Once they were seated, he looked at me and said, "You know, I didn't recognize you when we walked in...." (my back was to the door). Holy cow -- can you believe it??? Just the week before at choir practice, one of my fellow altos remarked that none of them could believe how skinny I looked from the back. Skinny -- now there is a word that has hardly ever applied to me!!! I'll take it just the same!

I also gained something this week I didn't want: a nasty stomach bug that seems to be making the rounds. According to what everyone has told me, I am incredibly lucky in that it only lasted a day. I hear that for most people, it's at least a 2-3 day ordeal. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like there was a vise grip on my stomach .... I made it in to work only to leave a couple of hours later. I came home and ended up sleeping most of the day. I had a low-grade fever and no desire to eat or do much of anything besides sleep. I figured out that in the 24 hours between 6:00 AM Tuesday and 6:00 AM Wednesday, I slept around 14 hours. Yow.

The "Momentum" is still going, and I learned something new about the program tonight (I won't spoil it if you don't have your materials yet). If you are considering doing something about the holiday weight, join NOW and avoid the post-holiday rush! (HA! No, seriously..... you'll be a step ahead!)

To all my WW buddies -- HANG IN THERE! We can get through the holidays and keep things on the right track!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Keeping the "Momentum" going....

Tonight was weigh-in -- up 0.2 ..... oh woe is me. Break out the whips and chains. BAH! I am glad that the gain was not worse -- the weather was horrific and I didn't get much walking in at all. I even spent time yesterday walking around a smaller warehouse area at work; talk about monotonous! It makes walking the outside loop look great by comparison! And last Saturday was the company party with all that delicious food (and I was good and didn't overindulge but I did dip into the flex points).

So, with that in mind, this week we got our materials for the new Momentum program, Weight Watchers' first major update in 4 years (there was a minor one about 2 years ago, but this is a bigger change). I definitely say "Me Likey!!!" Without spoiling it (wanna know more? hit a meeting!), the changes that have been made are pretty much what I've been doing already -- but with some new ways of looking at things, new recipes to try, and new incentive to keep going. Yes, I only have about 15 pounds to go, but these 15 are going to be just as hard (if not harder) to lose as any other 15 pounds I've lost. So any new tips, tricks, and ideas to keep me going are just gravy!

For 2009, if you've thought about losing weight (and let's face it, everyone makes that resolution) .... well, instead of a resolution, join a revolution and learn how to eat better for every day of your life! Check out a WW meeting, and try the Momentum program --- what do you have to lose except the extra pounds?!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The power of options....

One of the things that truly was horrid about obesity was the lack of options. The option to lose weight was one that would cross my mind on occasion, and even go so far as to do something temporarily about it. But most of the time, I just ignored the obvious. After all, they still made clothes in my size -- and larger!

That worked until I reached the point where I was in the largest commercial size for stores. The only remaining options were buying clothes from a few specialty catalogs, or making my own clothes. Let me rephrase that: to pattern my own clothes. McCall's and Simplicity carry larger sizes but even they stop where the stores do. At one point I really did look into buying a very expensive pattern-making software (think well over $500) -- as if I even had time to buy enough cloth, cut out a pattern, sew clothes, etc. I made one dress once upon a time, and it took me weeks (since I was working that summer as well). To ask a seamstress to do it for me would be more convenient, but also more expensive. Again, losing the weight was an option I wasn't really ready to consider.

Three years ago, before I started the weight loss process, we had an office Christmas party. I wore this black "slinky knit" tank dress. I actually am still a big fan of that material, as it covers a multitude of sins. I found a sheer wrap with some sparklies on it, and wore that. I felt so out of place it wasn't even funny. I looked okay, but compared to some of the other dresses being worn, I felt fat and frumpy. And even though people told me I looked nice, I couldn't help but feel that I could have done so much better, if I'd only had more options.

We didn't have office Christmas parties in 2006 or 2007. We did last night, however, and I again had to plan an outfit. This time, I had an outfit already in mind. I have a lovely cranberry velvet long-sleeved top, to wear with a beautiful ankle-length black skirt I have. I picked up the top weeks ago, planning to wear it on Christmas Eve for midnight Mass. I figured it would work just as well for the company party.

I had to have shoes (of course!), so I went shopping yesterday. Then I realized I didn't think I had a black clutch, so I went to Goodwill just to see if they had one. Listen, I have absolutely ZERO qualms about thrift-store shopping. I've shopped mostly off the main grid (so to speak) for years, and my philosophy is "Why pay full price for anything?" And especially with needing to replace my whole wardrobe at least twice a year, why would I pay full price for more than just a few items? Well, anyway, most of the local Goodwills offers a very small selection of formalwear. Shocker of shockers, this one not only had several in stock; TWO were in my current size. I took both to the dressing rooms, and proceeded to try them on. The first was a two-piece cranberry dress (skirt and spaghetti-strap top). It was definitely designed for a teen body, not mine with the muffin-top and all that. I could have bought it just for the skirt (to use with that top I bought earlier), but really, why? So I tried on the other: it was a beautiful gold/beige top with skirt attached in the same iridescent gold. It was short-sleeved, but I thought to myself, well........

I tried it on. It fit fairly well, enough that I stood in the dressing room and twirled like a princess. Now, just this past summer, when I was getting ready for the 80s Prom sponsored by a local radio station, I opined about trying on formalwear and what a pain it was ... and yet all the cool things about it. Today was a different story -- the dress was the same size as this summer, but I'm about 20 pounds lighter. The dress was actually a little loose in places, but I also knew that the next size down would have been too tight (and they only had one dress in that size and it was UGLY!). I debated -- should I buy? Should I put it back? I already had a plan in place ... and then this little voice in the back of my head said, "Stupid, the dress is $10.25. Buy the damn thing."

So I did and here it is:
Smaller Me & Tree

Now, I am aware that I was in desperate need of a matching bolero jacket to cover those now-worse-than-ever batwings. But that's not what I intend to write about......

What I am writing about are options. Losing weight has given me options. I don't have to simply pull out the only thing in my closet that might work only because I have nothing else. I no longer have to spend an obscene amount of money for clothing because there aren't that many stores who carry that size. Don't believe me? Step into a plus-size specialty store and just see how much they charge for larger sizes. Sure, I bought this dress at Goodwill, but size-wise, I now have the power to go into Goodwill, Belk, Macy's or a swanky boutique and buy a dress there.

It's not just the clothing -- though God knows, that's quite a satisfying reason.... I also have options to do things I couldn't do before. The first time I did the Cha-Cha Slide was at a party for a coworker's 50th birthday. I had lost about 50 pounds at that point, and I was still out of breath at the end of that dance. Now, having lost an additional 163 pounds, I was able to do that dance last night with the hops, the skips, all the fun stuff, and not even breathe hard. I was not tired. I could actually hop, not just pretend. Do you have any idea how good that feels?

If I could bottle the feeling of what it means to really have choices and to be almost-overwhelmed by that sensation --- oh my, I'd bottle and sell it. And it isn't limited to clothing, weight, or other tangible items. When you feel you have no options, you have no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel, no reason to change because ... well, why should you? But with options in a few things, you may suddenly realize that you have choices in other areas of your life; that you don't have to settle; that you have the power, and you can do whatever you imagine.

I'm just starting to grasp this in my own life. Oddly enough, the process of that started about a year or so before I started the weight-loss. I think that the weight-loss has been more successful because I was already learning that if I didn't like my life, I could change it. There was nothing stopping me but my own self.

So find your own gold dress -- something that will remind you of how powerful it is to have an option. Embrace it, batwings and all.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rolling along...

Well, color me tickled pink and happy!!! I lost 3.0 this week for a total of 213.4 ..... that's only 14.6 to go to get to goal! WHOOPEE!!!!!! I am pretty psyched about that, and kind of scared too. I almost feel a little like Wile E. Coyote: "Now that I have him, what do I do with him?"

There was a really neat moment this past week. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were not conducive at all for walking -- it rained most of the weekend, and Monday evening, I had a hair appointment. So Tuesday, I was ready. I came home, and I didn't care how cold it was, or how long it would take or any of that -- I. Had. To. Walk. And Soon. I layered up, hit the trail and walked around town. I did my two-plus miles in just under 40 minutes. I never imagined just a few short years ago that I would ever enjoy walking and be dying to do it.... ME? I hated exercise.

There's still some types of exercise that I don't like. Aerobic classes? No. I enjoy solitude when exercising way too much. I don't mind walking with my dad and the dog or with the rest of the family. So for the cold weather when walking just is not an option, I have to find something. Either that, or buy a used treadmill after the first of the year!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

3 In A Row!!!!

YAHOO! A loss!!! One pound even for a total of 210.4 -- leaving 17.6 to go!

This marks three Thanksgiving weeks in a row with a loss. Rare? Probably, but I work hard to make sure that I stay on program as much as possible so that I can enjoy the one day and not think too deeply about it. I find that even on the one day, I don't gorge myself but I enjoy the foods in moderation. I also noticed that this year, I ate more veggies than anything else -- broccoli, green beans, and corn, with turkey and only a little bit of dressing. And I am a dressing junkie!

Because my usual WW center was closed this morning, I went to the one nearest home. Oddly enough, I had forgotten all about weigh-in. I woke at 7:45, fixed my cereal and banana, got ready to go to the table and said, "CRAP!!!! WEIGH-IN!!!!!!" So I very hurriedly freshened up, changed into weigh-in clothes, and off I went. Normally, I would have driven to hit the 8:30 over at my usual center (nearest work), but I figured, heck, closer is closer. I got there about 8:15 (missing the first part of the meeting, but....) I'm so glad I went -- Mrs. Crowe was the receptionist who weighed me in. She's also mom to one of my brother's friends, so she's known me for a very long time. She stopped the leader and said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but this lady has lost 210 pounds and lost again this week!" Elaine (the leader) said, "OH!!! You're the one I've heard so much about from Debbie!" Holy cow. I'm becoming a phenom! :D

Plus, I got to see some people I hadn't seen in ages -- Trina from the Y, Patty from my old church, Jane whose sons are near both my age and my brother's. I even got to see my cousin (who came to weigh in but didn't stay for the meeting). That was cool!

***

Right now, the weather is chilly and drizzly and yucky-gray. And since 8:00 last night, I have had a good, healthy chili simmering in the crockpot. Here's my recipe!

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
12 servings, 3 pts each (1.5 c per serving)

Ingredients
  • 20 oz lean ground turkey (at least 93/7 blend)
  • 2 bell peppers (one red, one green), chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 8-oz package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 cans canned diced tomatoes (14-15 oz cans)
  • 2 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained (one light, one dark)
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can yellow corn (15 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp Tabasco
  • spices to taste
In 6-quart slow cooker, put half the ground turkey. Chop pepper, onion, zucchini, and mushrooms, and add to slow cooker. Add diced tomatoes (with juice) and tomato sauce. Rinse and drain beans, then add. Drain corn and add. Then add remaining ground turkey. Add hot sauce, and any spices (cumin, rosemary, basil, cilantro, etc.) Cook for 8-12 hours on low heat, or 4-6 hours on high. If at all possible, stir occasionally. YUM!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

WAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last week, I needed to lose 1.2 pounds to get below a certain threshold. And I am there at last -- I lost 2.4 this week! I said that I needed to lose 20 oz -- and I lost 40 oz. Two Diet Cokes out of the vending machine GONE!!!!

But I am not resting on my laurels at all. It's just additional incentive to keep it up and to keep going! I cannot stop now, nor can I rest easy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The hovering continues....

AAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!!!!!! I gained 0.8 so I'm back at 207 gone. The hovering continues, and I am almost at my wits' end. Except for one thing........ I am stubborn as hell and am determined that this is NOT going to get the best of me. I have only 1.2 pounds to go -- a measly 20 oz!! -- to get below a certain threshold. I am NOT, NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT, letting this get me down or get the better of me. By God, I am stronger and tougher than 20 stupid little ounces.

So I spoke to Tisha (my leader) and we have come up with a game plan: in addition to walking Maddox for my exercise, I'm going to get on the stationary bike 3 times this week at 10 minutes a pop, AND use some hand weights for my arms while I'm working the legs. Plus, I'm going to do one points-free meal a week -- one where I don't worry and just enjoy. Hey, it worked two weeks ago with the barbecue!!!

I am stronger than those twenty ounces. Bring it on.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sliding downward....

WHEW!!!! I lost 2.0 this week, for a total of 207.8...... and I'm only 0.4 from going under a milestone number. MAN! I can't wait.

The splurge meal must have worked: I had some barbeque (STILL had to put some back because it was just way too much), some sweet potato casserole (omg, SO divine) and definitely dipped into the flex points this week. My experiment for this week: use 10 FP's at one meal. I can do that!

Oh, and here's an appetite suppressant I hope you don't have to use: sugar-free cough drops. Yeah, my scratchy throat turned into laryngitis, and now into a nice cold. I have my voice back but I sound like a cross between Johnny Cash and Barry White.

Until next time.............

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dadgum it!!!!

I am up 1.6 this week. I am at my wits' end about how to break out of this weird hover pattern that I've been in for about 6 weeks. I've been dancing around these couple of pounds, here, there, everywhere..............

So after some discussion with my leader, here's what I'm going to do: Saturday, I'm going to have a blowout meal. One meal where I enjoy whatever I want, hang the points, and then get on track and out of a rut (which was the topic of our discussion tonight).

Saturday, I had already planned to take Maddox to PetSmart for a bath. So for lunch, I will head to Sticky Fingers for some DELICIOUS barbeque (might even have ribs, yes, Lord, please!) and enjoy it to my heart's (and stomach's) content. And then that evening, back on track.

We'll see how it goes.

But note this: I am nowhere NEAR the point of giving up. I'm too close, and I have just a little to go. I cannot quit NOW. And I have no intention of stopping until I reach my goal!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Going down!

It was a small loss -- 0.6 -- but it's a loss!!! I am definitely taking it!

The cool part was when I stepped on the scale this morning. I usually check myself twice a week -- Monday and Thursday mornings. Monday gives me an idea of how the weekend went, and Thursday gives me an idea of how the weigh-in may go. This morning's was really good .... by this evening, it had worked its way to the 0.6 pound loss.

Then again, we celebrated October birthdays today at Macaroni Grill. It kills me that there's only one or two dishes on there that are really points-friendly. One would think that they'd find a way to do smaller portions or to have more than just one or two dishes. But hey, it's once a year, and we got some chocolate cake to boot. The entire cake -- their regulation dessert size -- has more points than my entire daily allotment. Yow. So just one or two forkfuls is more than enough (and still packs a bit of a points wallop).

But it's a good week -- and we're moving on!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hovering pattern again....

Well, it's back..... that weird little hover pattern. I gained back the 0.2 I lost last week.

To be fair, this week was far from ordinary, and I'm grateful that the "damage" was that small. Monday wasn't bad until the evening. I got off the plane with a horrid headache -- not quite a migraine, but enough to make me nap first and THEN think food. So it was about 8:00 CT (9:00 home time) and I still hadn't eaten. I looked at a "Takeout Taxi" guide in the hotel room and I swear, reading THAT made me nauseous. There was a Friday's across the road and I honestly didn't even feel like I could make it over there. So I ate a protein meal bar in my room and felt a little better. Tuesday was a little more toward normal, and I even had time to research dinner options; we picked Friday's and I had the Key Lime Shrimp, because info that I found online -- not from Friday's, mind you -- indicated that it was 4 points.

Slight detour: I have a whole rant about companies who don't provide information for you, and yet offer things like "Healthy Fare" or "Right Portion, Right Price" (but right nutrition?). Are they that afraid that if they post it and people SEE how much they're shoveling in, it will scare them senseless? I'd much rather a corporation be honest with me and provide accurate data to help me make the best choices -- even if it means I can't eat a thing off their menu! And a HUGE round of kudos to Jason's Deli for doing that. They have a section called "Real Choices" where they list the calorie and fat content, and their website has data on every selection on the menu. Any wonder that I go there now every Thursday after the meeting? I can FEAST for about 8 points and feel like I'm getting not only my money's worth, but the best nutritional value I can.

Anyhow..... Wednesday was not so great. The morning started out fine -- good breakfast at the hotel (cereal, milk and fruit). I had more fruit at the training session, and felt really good. Then a colleague and I drove into downtown Chicago to see the sights. But by the time we got there, it was raining, and (worse) I got carsick. So we both headed back to the airport. I was getting really hungry by that point (3:00 PM), and the only place where I knew some points values? Mickey D's. How sad is that?

I got a kids' cheeseburger (which was pretty good -- hadn't had one in forever!), a fruit and walnut salad (good but 4 points?), and a Diet Coke. I finished lunch and went to my gate to wait -- it would be about another hour or so before boarding started. And naturally, with the weather, there was a delay. So with a half-hour time now stretched out another half-hour, I decided it was time for a quick dinner. Again, what to grab? Mickey D's again. The grilled chicken bacon ranch salad is 5 points, without dressing, and very flavorful. It had been quite a while since I'd had one and I had forgotten how good they were. This salad may go back into my normal rotation. Incidentally, our flight left 90 minutes late, but we arrived only 40 minutes later than planned. I could have done without the slight turbulence and the near-crash landing, but...... And the flight attendant was very nice -- didn't charge me for the drink. I think she saw my knuckles turning white when we hit that first turbulent bump.

So at weigh-in, given the weird eating schedule and the traveling and all that, I was pretty happy that it was just a slight gain. I did get in some fitness center time on Tuesday. I skipped Wednesday, thinking I'd get in lots of walking downtown (HA!) and at the airport (which we did because ... oh, did I mention that 15 minutes prior to boarding, they changed gates on us?) But all told, I'm glad to be home, and happy to be back on track for this week.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Grateful!

It has been yet another crazy-busy week. I am doing everything I can to be a step or two ahead before leaving for training in Chicago next week -- and the stress is showing. I'm chomping on sugarless gum like mad .... could be worse, I could be chomping on a Snickers (relax - the thought makes my teeth ache from the sugar!)

Usually, stress means trouble for my weight. But I lost 0.2 pounds this week -- and I'm taking those 3+ ounces and claiming them! Those few ounces mean that I have lost 207.0 for my total -- and now I can concentrate on the week ahead, and making wise choices next week.

Speaking of, I'd best sign off so that I can check out the restaurants near the hotel, at O'Hare, and send an e-mail to the folks at Corporate regarding lunch during training. Maybe if I share my success story, they'll be willing to get me a nice low-cal, low-fat lunch! :)

To all my friends working it this week --- HANG IN THERE! I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

**UPDATED: My Secrets**

When I was about 3 months into this process, I did a post called "My Secrets" -- it outlined what I was doing that was working (or not working) for me.

A lot has changed since then -- I've lost 170 pounds (give or take), WW revamped the way they determine points, and so much more. So this spring, I had updated the text. I just now realized I forgot to post it........

So without further ado, here is the updated list of "My Secrets":

  • Bringing snacks with you helps a lot – an apple, an orange, a Ziploc bag with baby carrots. Maybe even a bag of 100-calorie treats. Money a little tight? Buy the regular items, a box of snack-size Ziploc bags, and make your own treat packs. It will work just as well, and you can reuse the Ziploc bags!
  • Eat breakfast every day – do not skip it, at all!!! My favorite is a cup of Kashi GoLean cereal (a little more money but worth it) with a cup of skim milk and a banana – 6 points and keeps you full! Pressed for time? Scramble a half-cup of Egg Beaters – lots of protein to keep you going. Add a cup of skim milk and 1/2 cup of fruit and be on your way! Too busy for that? Go through McDonald’s and get the yogurt parfait WITH granola (with or without, it’s 3 points). Extra hint – use at least 25% of your points on breakfast. It is worth it!
  • Eat often. I have breakfast around 7:00, then a snack by 11:30. I take the late lunch (after 1), then around 4:00 is another small snack. I come home, have dinner around 7:15 or so, walk the dog, and then around 10:00 I have a final snack (usually a cup of yogurt and piece of fruit). How does eating all the time help? It keeps your blood sugar stable; it keeps you full; it keeps your metabolism working!
  • Exercise at least 5 times a week. Exercise is my hardest area, as I can be pretty dang lazy. I started out with a membership to the Y … once I got my dog, and realized he needed the exercise as much as I did, then I gave up the Y membership and started walking my dog daily. I do use weights at home – but there’s also 100+ pounds on the end of the leash too – ever tried to tug a stubborn dog out of a favorite grassy spot (or on occasion, pick him up out of it)? Bad weather? Pop in a DVD – even the libraries have them in stock, if you just want to try before you buy (or don’t want to buy!). MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!
  • Water, water, water, water and more water. Weight Watchers suggests 6 cups (48 oz) a day but I usually go beyond that. I keep a one liter bottle on my desk. I fill it in the morning and make sure that I drink it all before lunch. I treat myself to a Diet Coke at lunch. In the afternoon, I fill the liter bottle again and drink it all before going home. After walking the dog, I usually have another twenty ounces of water. There are ways to get it in – just do it!
  • Get in your fruits and veggies. I used to hate vegetables, but I found that a lot depends on how they’re prepared. Limp and dripping in butter or oil? No thanks! Crisp and tender and yummy? You got it. In the summer, I especially love grilled cut vegetables – broccoli, red onion, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, and mushrooms. I just cut them up, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over them, and put them on the grill in a non-stick wok. DELIGHTFUL!
  • Bread/carbs are not the enemy! Just pick carbohydrates that will be better for you -- aim for complex carbohydrates (higher fiber, non-refined flours, breads, sugars, etc.). Brown rice, whole wheat (or even half-whole-wheat) pastas and breads. Sweet potatoes. Higher-fiber fruits and vegetables… all of these will take longer to break down, won’t spike your blood sugar too quickly, and help provide the fiber you need to keep you fuller, longer.
  • Get creative in the kitchen. Experiment with new ingredients or new foods. Try things out to see what will work and what won't. Learn how to make good substitutions (reduced-fat for full-fat, ground turkey for ground beef, etc.). If you have a wild idea, just try it – you may find it is one of the best things you could ever do! And if you have Weight Watchers'eTools, use the Recipe Builder!!! It is the most valuable tool you could ever use!
  • BUT .... the most important thing that I have done was to put my stubbornness and iron will to make myself better – in every area of my life. Long before I even thought of joining WW, a dear friend and I had a discussion about weight loss. I mentioned all the failed diets I’d done, and that I didn't seem to have much “willpower.” She just fell out. She told me that excuse was total BS -- she'd seen the real me in action. Puzzled, I asked her to continue. She stated that when I wanted something badly enough, I usually found a way to get what I wanted, but in a non-threatening, easygoing manner. I realized then that I had lots of willpower -- and I needed to learn to tap into it. It took a few more years (and the horrible numbers I read on the scale that day) to galvanize me into action but I am SO glad I did!
And there you go.... no real secrets. Just hard work and common sense.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Feelin' good!

I had a loss of 0.8 this week -- I'm pretty happy with that! When you think about it, that's slightly over 3 sticks of butter off my body! And I am still riding the high from the Race this past weekend.

On Monday, we took Maddox for a walk, and I jogged for about a block (we were trying to catch up to my brother). I handled it better than Maddox (he got so excited, he got an upset stomach). So I think that I can safely start to add a little jogging to my walk..... just a little. I don't want to blow a knee either.

So we will see what this week brings as I make more good choices, do more activity, and see continued progress. ONWARD & UPWARD!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

10 Minutes, 8 Seconds

(note: cross-posted to Meanderings & Musings)

Today was the Race for the Cure ...... and I reached my goal!!!! I shaved 10:08 off last year's time of 1:06:34 by coming in this year at 56:26. I jogged in a few places to hit my goal, but it was worth it! I would have honestly been happy at anything around 57 or so. But seeing the actual number was fantastic. I went from a pace time of 21:24 (last year) to 18:10 this year. Holy Moses!

And this year, speaking of numbers, we had an approximate 25% increase in the number of participants..... amazing enough, but even more so in light of the very shaky economy. It's unbelievable and humbling.

Last year, I was very inspired by all the survivors. Seeing them do the walk -- especially those newly diagnosed or battling the disease -- was enough to bring me to tears. This year, there was a young lady who was walking it on a prosthetic leg. As she came down her side of the course (as several of us were walking up to the turnaround), all you could hear was "Oh my God, how awesome is that girl!" I found her after the race and told her so -- that she inspired me to keep moving, and that she amazed me. She was so gracious about it and almost seemed as if she couldn't believe all the people who told her how proud they were of her (I am betting her time was probably between 45 and 50 minutes). She was a hero to me today, as were all those who took part in the survivor ceremony.

My cousin was one of the competitive runners.... he fell a little short of his hoped-for time, but not by all that much. Instead of 24:00, he ran a 26:08 .... good enough to be in the top 225 (out of close to 900 runners!). TOP QUARTER!!!! I'm so proud of Brandon I could burst!

And I already can't wait for next year!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Going toward the light......

I opined a few weeks ago that the light at the end of the tunnel was coming into view....... It just got 4.0 pounds closer, for a total of 206.0 lost.

I'm still trying to let all that sink in. It's amazing because I now have gone past a personal milestone that I wasn't sure when I would reach .... or at the beginning, I wasn't sure I ever would.

A new member asked tonight what it is that keeps me going, and I answered this: "I am stubborn, and I just simply determined that I wasn't going to quit. And now, I can't stop." I'm not sure when it happened, but I reached a point where I realized that I had made too much progress to ever want to go back ..... I put the stubbornness and iron will that I always possessed to much better use.

Twenty-two pounds to go to hit goal. I can't believe it. I mean, it's almost here, and I am trying to wrap my brain around the idea that I only have 22 pounds to go. It doesn't seem real......

Race for the Cure is this weekend. I am excited about the event, and looking forward to my goal of shaving 10 minutes off last year's time ..... 57 minutes, here I come!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Time for some non-scale victories

The scale showed I gained 1.4 pounds, to move my total back to 202 gone. Whoop. I will lose that over the next couple of weeks, and I'm not worried in the least. I have a feeling I know what happened ..... I didn't follow my usual meal schedule today, and sometimes the scale doesn't appreciate that!

But the good thing is that this week, in spite of the uptake, I feel GOOD. I worked my butt off today doing some volunteer work. I feel good not only because I was helping a cause I believe in, but because I got some needed physical labor in. And I stood or walked for most of the day.... 2 years ago, there is no way I'd have been able to do that. Now that I'm in stop-mode, I feel the aches setting in, but I KNOW that 2 or 3 years ago, I could not have done that type of work. I'd have needed a sitting-only job. Instead, I was able to pull t-shirts, lift boxes, move and groove doing things, and enjoy it. I just hate that I forgot my pedometer, because I planned to track the steps I took.

And my clothes feel great. I have good health and stamina that I never would have had years ago. I'm getting older, wiser, and better. 1.4 pounds can't compare to that!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy, am I -- VERY!

This has been an insanely crazy week. I've met myself coming and going forty different ways. The only thing I've been able to do well is stay on track foodwise; exercise, not quite as well, but I've done some (just not my normal amount).

I still lost 1.2 pounds this week for a total of 203.4 gone. WHEW!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Rolling, rolling, rolling....

Keep them pounds a-rollin'
Hope you don't get swollen..... rawhide!

(Oh, sorry, I got carried away!)

Another week, and another pound gone for a total of 202.2 GONE GONE GONE!!!! I have another 1.8 to go to hit a very personal milestone ..... and another 4 to go after that for another milestone.

And if that isn't enough motivation, Weight Watchers has issued a challenge to all members called "Lose for Good" -- for every pound lost between this Sunday (Sept 7) and six more weeks (Oct 12?), WW will donate one pound of food for every pound lost by its members to two food bank charities (one for the US and one for worldwide hunger issues). I am setting my goal to lose at least 8 pounds in those 6 weeks. I'm really hoping for 10 pounds, but I'm going to set it at eight just for the safe side.

I am eagerly awaiting these challenges!!!! BRING 'EM!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ever have a day that's stacked against you?

What a week. We finally got some much needed rain, but BOY-O-BOY, did it play havoc with my walking. I did some before the rainy season, and did some aerobic videos at home (I'm apparently still at wuss level).

Today, I had a business luncheon and a business dinner. I ate healthily, but really wasn't sure about the points. I did the best guesswork possible. And I was going to have to weigh in before my normal time (the earlier of the two afternoon meetings).

In the end, it didn't matter............
I lost 1.8 pounds --- total now: 201.2.

I am happy. Very very happy! And I am grateful for every bit of support I have gotten from Day 1 to now.

If you have read the blog, sent a good thought for me, cheered me on --- THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, just about 27 more to go to hit goal before talking surgery (for skin removal). Now's the time for nervous! HA!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So close, so close and yet......

The fantastic news: I lost 4.0 pounds this week!!!!!! Which brings my total to......................... 199.4 gone. Six-tenths of a pound from 200 gone. Six lousy tenths.

Our receptionist asked if there was anything else I could take off. Well, yeah, I could have taken off the support hose, but it would have heck to try and get them off then put them back on. I thought later that I could have taken off my bra, but I really doubt it weighs a whole six-tenths.

So I can hold off until next week. That's just more motivation!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Minor and major changes......

The minor: I was up 0.2 .... oh my! We're doomed! I didn't pee enough during the day -- OH NO! I'm so cool with this it's not even funny. I did my walking this week (5 out of 7 days), I ate right, I even enjoyed a small indulgence last weekend. And I'm happy with my progress so far.

The major: my ending goal-weight. I am bumping it back up fifteen pounds. It was my original number and I bumped it down. I know I'm going to have to have some body lift surgery. That's a given -- there's been such a dramatic loss (195.4 pounds so far) that I have bookoo of extra skin. I have a little jelly roll right around my midriff. And it's nothing but skin and a wee bit of fat. It is yucky. It's gotta go, along with everything else. The MLD treatments have left me with batwings on my legs as well. My best guesstimate was that I would lose around 20 pounds of skin.

Not so, says my physical therapist. She is estimating around 40 pounds of skin -- meaning I would be WAY, WAY lighter and thinner than I ever intended. I don't mind being in the middle-to-upper end of the weight range for my height. This would have put me on the VERY low end. So I would rather aim high and lose a little extra than aim too low.

I have already lost as much as I possibly can from my shoulders to my chest. My collarbone is already extremely prominent, so much so that it scares me a little. Gravity is not my friend.

So I'm bumping it back up. I now guess that even if they only remove 35 pounds of flesh, that would give me an incentive to lose those last 5 pounds. HA!!!

The other major: Tomorrow, I go for a hosiery fitting. I never imagined being that excited over support hose! WAHOOOO!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

At last...... a nice loss!

AHHHHHHHHHH! This week, 3.2 pounds are gone for a total of 195.6 ..... I earned my 39th 5-pound star. That just boggles my mind. That first week, I commented that I'd lost a Thanksgiving turkey. I've now lost 16 turkeys and working on that 17th.

I really need to do everything I can to reach my goal. I have just 4.4 pounds to lose before Labor Day, and this pattern of "lose big but then stall out for 3 weeks" just isn't cutting it! I know I need to do more activity, and even in the heat, I can do some stuff indoors (videos). It's just that I love walking Maddox. It's the activity I enjoy most. But I do want to try bellydancing -- now THAT is a workout for the abs, and they don't require rock-hard abs either!

We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rollercoaster ..... of weight. (Say what?)

I had a small gain this week. Okay, let me rephrase. I had a small gain that was initially bigger.

For the last few weeks, I've kept "weigh-in clothes" in the car. I wear them long enough to weigh in, and back they go. It's a thin t-shirt and thin shorts. Today, I didn't feel much like changing clothes. So I stepped on in my regular shirt and thin khakis. The receptionist said, "Ohhhkay" (in a tone that said, "not so good"). I asked, and she said, "Up 1.6....." To which I replied, "Let me go at least put on these shorts!" It made a difference -- I was up only 0.8 (which is more livable to me).

And I'm not surprised in the least. It's been a week where my exercise was not on target, where my schedule and planning was thrown out of whack, and I wasn't surprised that the scale showed it. Okay, maybe a little muddled: I was down this morning by a good amount, but I didn't expect this much of a gain between this morning and this afternoon. There goes my theory about losing weight during the day too.

But you know, it's just incentive for me to try a little harder, to make extra sure that I fit in time for me in all this craziness that my life has become recently. Since I had more points than usual for dinner (DOH! I forgot to pack snacks today), I treated myself to a KFC Honey BBQ sandwich and some green beans. It was really good too! It wasn't Maurice's (mmmmm, Maurice's!) but the 'cue from The Coin'l wasn't all that bad.

So..... this week's plan: move more. Plan better. And love myself through it all!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quick brag

Apologies for the drive-by posting, but I am proud to report that my brother has hit his 10% goal!!! AND did it by 3 whole pounds!!!!!

WAY TO GO, BRO!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

WHEW!!!

This was not a good week for activity. It seemed that either I couldn't get my sorry butt out of bed in the mornings, or it was summer-storm-season at night. So I only got in about half the activity I normally do. I still ate right --- not starving and not indulging either.

I lost 1.0 -- bringing my total to 193.2 pounds GONE.

And today, I was outside discussing something with my boss when I caught sight of myself in one of the windows. I swear, I didn't recognize myself. Maybe one of my coworkers is right about these "skinny pants" (a nice pair of pants that I must get in about 2 different sizes and 4 more colors!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Well, color me happy....

As faithful readers know, when I have a HUGE loss (like last week's), there's always a bounceback ... a gain that doesn't obliterate the previous week's loss but does lessen the impact.

I stepped on my home scale this morning: up 2.0 from last week. Okay, that was a bummer but not unexpected. Then I had this thought: "Hey moron, you lost nearly 6 pounds last week. Even with this, you've lost 4 in 2 weeks. That's fantastic! Enjoy the loss!!!"

I stepped on the official scale tonight. I told Gail (the receptionist) that I was expecting a bounceback, but that I was okay with it. I would take what it gave me and be happy. I stepped up, then she said, "Okay, you can step off now." I asked for the verdict. She said, "Not bad. You only gained back 0.4......"

WHAAAAAAAA? WOW! I'm thrilled!!!! I actually lost(?) weight during the day -- odd, right? Yeah! But wow! How awesome! My own philosophy is that anything within a pound is maintenance -- unless it's a loss, then it's a real loss no matter how small!

I'm happy. Pretty dang happy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Drive-by quickie update

I can't talk long; will do more this weekend. BUT -- I had to share this:

I stepped on the scale last night; I lost 5.6 pounds. That is a new total of 192.6 gone. I haven't had a loss like that in forever. I have no idea how it happened. I am not questioning it -- I am planning to accept my good fortune and pray hard that next week it doesn't show a gain of 4.8 or something like that.

And that for lunch today, I actually ate collard greens. I am Southern and just cannot abide certain typical Southern fare. Greens are one of them. I just hate greens. Always have. These were fantastic. We had lunch brought in today, and it was one of the only ways I was going to get some veggies in. They were SOOOOO good. Not in and of themselves. I'm sure they were cooked with ham bits in them. But they were still good!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Rolling along downhill.....

I lost 1.2 pounds this week, putting me at a loss of 187 even. WAHOO!!!!! Now comes the tough part -- 2 months and 13 pounds to go to the weigh-in after Labor Day, when I'm aiming to be 200 down! Difficult but not impossible.

This past week, I got a note from an old college friend about a blog post on my primary blog. It was a memory of the car I drove through college and beyond. He read the post and sent a note -- and in it stated how proud he was of the job I was doing to make myself healthier. I also heard from a couple of other people, saying the same thing.

That's part of what this blog is all about -- it makes me accountable to everyone who finds this place, to the people near and far in my life who have known me at various places and stages. It's one more level of accountability that I need. If I can offer hope or inspiration to one person, to even make one small change on the road to getting healthy, then I can ask for nothing more.

Until next week, HANG IN AND HANG ON!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This past week....

....there was a slight gain (0.4). I am not going to sweat it. Part of that was my own fault for not bringing "weigh-in clothes." I usually wear something more lightweight and I didn't. C'est la vie.

I have the same 14 pounds to lose before Labor Day. I need to do this, and I am going to make every effort to hit that goal! I know I can do it, because I've done it before. And I know how to do it correctly and healthily. If I don't make it on that day, I know I will have done my best to get there, and so I will still be successful.

To all my WW friends -- HANG IN THERE THIS SUMMER!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A reason to be proud!

Yesterday (Sunday) was the inaugural "Bark in the Ballpark" at Fluor Field in Greenville. It was sponsored by the Greenville Humane Society -- and naturally, I wasn't going to let an opportunity like this pass by.

So my mom, my dad, Maddox and I went to the game. We had seats along the right field line, second row up from bottom. Lots of walking from the lot to the entrance .... to the OTHER entrance (for pets), back out to show the ticket to the clerk, back to the seat, etc. Maddox got bored in the middle of the 4th, so I took him to the deck where some of the other dogs had gathered (dogs have just no respect for baseball, do they?). Upstairs, walk around, back downstairs. End of the next inning, I got the impression he needed to go walkabout..... so back up the stairs, down another set, out the gate, to the designated "relief" area..... back in the gate, up the stairs, meet some more pets, back down the stairs yet again. We left after the 7th, so back up the stairs, out to the gate, down the stairs, out to the car, etc.

Not once in any of my treks up and down the stairs did I get winded. At all. Two years ago, I would have been huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf. Not anymore. That's a great feeling!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Slow and steady

Another low week -- "only" 0.2 pounds -- but you know, even while I'm a smidge disappointed, I'm happy it's a loss. Last week was a big week, and that's how my pattern rolls.

What I am proud of is that I had a great meal with my family on Father's Day and I enjoyed what I ate. I didn't sweat the points, and I was good the rest of the week.

So on the whole it was a good week. I can't ask for more than that!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

OMG, I am all amazed!

I stepped on the scale, bandages and all. I lost 3.6 pounds --- my total is now 186.0 even. I have no doubt that the MLD is making a huge difference in the weight I'm losing. And as Tisha, my leader, said, "Hey, weight is weight -- you're losing it!"

This week, our topic was indulgences (not the historical kind that caused the Reformation). Our assignment this week is to enjoy a reasonable portion of our favorite food indulgence, and one non-food indulgence. Can't have my hooves done, but the paws need a good manicure, and I need some good BBQ. Yum.

And congrats to Don in our group, who in just over one year (literally -- his anniversary was this past Saturday) met his goal and lost 143.4 pounds. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Loving the curves.....

I have a party I am supposed to attend this weekend. The theme is "Awesome 80s Prom" but looking like Borissa Karloff, I doubt I'm gonna be able to pull off a prom theme. Generic 80s I can do ...... but I also figured I'd give it a try: to try to find a REASONABLY priced formal dress (full-length) with only about 26 hours to go.

I hit a nearby Goodwill after work. Sure, they had formals --- three of them, all size 4. I am nowhere near that size, I can promise you. I did however manage to pick up a few other items for $4 each. Thank God for Goodwill. So I headed over to my old haunt, Fashion Shack, because I know they have formals.

Yeah. They had formals all right. A rack full of 7/8 or a buttload of 13/14. They had one formal in plus-size, and it was TOO BIG. (Picture me with a monstrous grin on my face: TOO BIG!!!) Beautiful dress, but no sense in me even attempting to justify buying that. I don't have enough time to take it in, nor the inclination to spend my Friday night hunched over a sewing machine.

But just for curiosity's sake, I went back to the other section with formals. Lo and behold, I found a few 16s. Now in pants, I can wear a 16 these days. So I thought why not at least try....... I found 3 possibilities and took them to the dressing room.

If those were 16s, I am 16 years old again.

The one I really liked in extremely hot fuschia (perfect for the 80s, no?) wasn't even close to fitting. It had a crinoline in it too. Oh no. Even if it had fit, I would have ripped that crinoline out quicker than ExLax through a widow woman. Then I tried on this navy number -- which actually was a little more appropriate given that I'm pushing 40. It didn't expose too much shoulder and looked really nice. Except for the huge slit in the FRONT. I guess that gives whole new meaning to "off like a prom dress" (only in this case, you don't even have to take it off). And yes, I double checked to make sure I didn't have it on backward. Nope...... That left this pathetic little light aqua number. Holy crap, it was strapless and had some tape damage on the front -- and I cannot believe they were charging what was on the label for that, but that's not the point. It didn't work either.

And I know exactly why none of them worked. They were built for teenagers. I am a woman, complete with curves. I have a stomach, I have bad abs, I have curvy hips. And I love all of those. I wouldn't trade any of those to look like a 16-year-old beanpole. No thanks.... give me those hips. I earned those curves. I love those curves.

So Plan B is in place. I have jeans that look acid-washed, I have a polo shirt where I'm gonna spray-starch the collar up, I have plenty of purple eyeshadow and can pick up some cheap blue eyeliner ........ and I can borrow my daddy's Members Only jacket. I think I like that better than being miserable in a prom dress!

Signed,
Curvy and Happy!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

WOW!

This week, there's a post on my main blog about me and lymphedema. Part of the treatment requires that for the time being, I wear compression bandages on my legs. Yesterday, my physical therapist weighed the bandages, and we determined that they weighed 1.5 pounds. So I was going to have to take that extra weight into account when I stepped on the scale at WW tonight.

I stepped on the scale and had lost 0.4 pounds...... so that means had I been bandage-less, it would have been right around 1.8 or 2.0 pounds. Holy cow!!!!!! I'll take the official reading, because that is what WW tracks, but HOLY COW!!!! Even with bandages, and looking like Borissa Karloff from knee to mid-foot, I still lost weight.

Color me VERY happy!!!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

AH!!!!

Down another 1.6 for a total of 182.0 ..... that leaves just 61 to go to hit my goal!

Before I stepped on the scale tonight, the receptionist said, "So what are you thinking?" I replied, "Well, on the drive over, somehow '1.6' came into my head, so let's go with that." And it turned out to be exactly so. That's happened a few times. And a few times when that gut feeling number has been horribly inaccurate.

It's getting hotter in the afternoons and evenings here, so I have a feeling that come next week (certainly by the 2nd week of June), SeƱor Maddox and I will have to start doing that early morning walking thing again. Le sigh, indeed. I am not a morning person, but I guess I'll have to become one!

And last weekend .... gasp! I can't believe I'm owning up to this ... I bought the Zumba Fitness DVDs from the infomercial. God help me!

Gearing up for the summer -- and my plan is "Down 200 By Labor Day!"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHOO!! A breakthrough at last! Another 2.6 gone, and I am FINALLY out of the 170s gone and into the 180s. 180.4 to be exact.

Sunday, I had a little splurge day (I used a few flex points but not all). I had a divine chocolate mousse at lunch with the choir, and I didn't fret about it at all. I guesstimated the points based on the food companion book and adding another point for the thin chocolate faux-shell (it was more of a glaze, I guess, but I digress).

I'm just glad it's gone. I don't want it back.

And we're gearing up for Race for the Cure. I've already formed our team, and we're aiming for AT LEAST 20 people. I am psyched. I'm excited about the week to come!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy but....

I was down another 0.4 pounds this week. So it's 177.8 total

Yes, it's a loss. Yes, I wish it were more. Yes, I would give anything right now to get away from the 170s (where I've been for WEEKS now). Somehow, these 5 pounds between 175 and 180 have just not been gliding off as easily.

And yes, I'm a bit frustrated.

I don't know what else to do. I'm sticking to my daily points, and even (gasp!) using flex points or trading in exercise points on occasion. I'm exercising a minimum of 5 days a week, and walking about 2 miles per day. I'm drinking the water, and getting in the fruits and veggies, and doing every thing I should be.

I stepped on the scale yesterday morning. I was 2.8 pounds down from my Thursday evening weight from the week before (the official number). Somehow, 2.4 crept back on during the day? I know, I know, I know all these things about weight fluctuations in my head. I know to savor the non-scale victories -- looser clothes (which there have been plenty of those lately too), better health, the stamina to do my exercise.

I know all this. I just want all that knowledge and all that work to show up on the scale.

Maybe a splurge meal would help. One meal where I don't even think about points or fat grams or anything else. Just to have it and enjoy the taste and thumb my nose at the rest. I might just do that tomorrow after the obedience class and while Maddox is being groomed. Just a "to hell with it" meal. Nothing bad for me, just one where I'm not calculating points in my head.

Of course, knowing me, I'll be guilty and head over to Whole Foods hot bar and have something healthy.

I need to break on through to the other side ....

Thursday, May 08, 2008

And yet again, WHEW!

I lost 0.8 this week -- so that's the 0.4 gain from last week and another 1/2 pound (roughly) more. This slow pace makes me nutty. I like being above and beyond! :) But it's good. It's teaching me the virtue of patience, whether I like it or not.

I have some other things to post, but I will do so later. I'm tired right now (long day!)

Monday, May 05, 2008

An unveiling, of sorts.

I don't exactly hide. I've never been able to, first off! (insert big grin here).... but as far as my weight loss goes, well, it's not exactly like you can hide this either. But this weekend has been sort of an unveiling for me.

Friday night, I was walking Maddox, when some old friends pulled over. Terri had seen me a few days earlier and a few weeks before that, so she knew I'd lost weight. But her daughter had not. Michelle was driving, and Terri mentioned, "Oh there's Annette." Michelle nearly wrecked trying to take a peek! They pulled over and we spent some time talking. As we were talking, Barb (a friend of a friend) and her husband came by and were loving up on Maddox. Later, we walked on toward the courtyard in town, and Barbara was there talking with some others - including some relatives of mine. My cousin's wife asked how much I'd lost and I told them. Barb was amazed (she hadn't quite put two and two together yet). I asked if she was my friend's friend (to make sure that my own 2+2 would equal 4). She responded with a yes, and I replied that I'd sung at the daughter's wedding. Her jaw nearly hit the ground -- "HOLY MOSES! MY GOD, YOU LOOK AMAZING!"

Then Saturday afternoon, after Maddox's obedience training, I stopped in at Subway for lunch, and saw another old friend. I hadn't seen her in 3 years (not since I left my previous job). She couldn't believe it was me, and she was nearly in tears. I could tell she was proud of what I'd done.

And again on Sunday morning, I ran into a former neighbor -- I'd seen the husband a few weeks ago, but not the wife. She too was completely amazed.

I could stand a few more of those unveiling encounters!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A small upswing....

I had a very slight gain this week: 0.4 pounds. I'm not worried in the least. I know that with a little extra effort and determination, I can lose that back and more next week.

One of the questions I'm often asked is "Does it get easier?" And honestly, it does and it doesn't. It is easier in the sense that I know what to do, I know what to look for and which choices I should make. But it's never easy .... nothing worthwhile ever is. It's not always easy to stick to good healthy choices, especially when you're surrounded by food that is not so healthy. There's a little leeway you can give yourself, but too much of that, and the pounds come back on.

I'm determined that I'm seeing this process through to the end. I've made it too far to ever think about giving up. And at the risk of sounding like a Stepford Weight Watcher, honestly ..... there's a lot of foods I don't want to touch again (or at least not often). Sticky gooey sweets don't hold the same appeal they used to. Nor do greasy, salty snacks. I still love the occasional sweet treat or salty snack (I so love pretzels!), but I don't want the whole bag. I don't want the whole cake. I don't even want a doughnut. My tastes have changed and so has my life.

EVER FORWARD!!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Telling my story....

This past Tuesday, I went to a different WW center where my former leader still has sessions. It was great to see her again, and she offered me the amazing opportunity to tell my story in full.

It was the first time I had ever done it, and I was a bit nervous. I don't have stage fright or anything like that (and believe me, I thank God each day for that blessing). But in front of people whom you don't know, sometimes it's not easy to tell all that has happened to you.

I did a couple of foamboards with photos from age 5 through a couple of weeks ago. Age 5: the last time I remember feeling anywhere close to "skinny." Age 8: chunky but cute enough to pull it off. Age 12: getting fat, and it wasn't pretty. Senior cap-&-gown photo: startled but not enough to do anything...... and then pictures from my adult life: all bad until the May 2007 "I've Lost 100 Pounds" picture.

It made me stop and think about how I had gotten to that point. I'd like to be able to say it was due to genetics or this or that or something else. And yes, there were contributing factors ..... living with a grandmother in house who was a great cook, but not a healthy one. Very unhealthy snacking habits, coupled with a great love of books (and great hate of sweat). Deciding around age 10 that playing at recess was not nearly as fun as sitting and gabbing with my friends (the sweat factor involved again). Deciding in junior high that cafeteria food was SO not cool, but grabbing a Coke and a bag of chips and a candy bar from the canteen was. Stress-eating continually as time went on. Even just not caring enough to do anything about it. Lots of rationalization: "Hey at least it's not (insert higher number here)."

But the thing is -- I chose badly. No one held a gun to me and forced me to eat Apple Jacks right out of the box until I was stuffed. No one physically forced me to sit on my lard butt and not get out and do stuff at recess or in the summer or any other time. There wasn't a soul in my high school who said, "You know, the cafeteria food really isn't all that bad..." -- and for the first few years it really wasn't. But thanks to Reagan-era budget cuts, we starting getting pizza on a daily basis. Pizza or nacho chips with goopy cheese; now THERE are some healthy options....... And I willingly chose all these things, whether out of personal preference or some deep-seated desire to be seen as cool.

The poor choices I made in childhood and adolescence carried through to college -- HEY! Domino's delivered even past midnight. Oh well, we've already eaten 3/4 of the pizza, might as well finish it off tonight. And in a walker-friendly town like Charleston, that was just inexcusable. I had friends who were physical education majors; some were biology majors. I know that had I asked and truly desired to change, they would have bent over backwards to get me the help I needed. But I was okay. I was perfectly fine. Oh, I should also mention -- alcohol has calories. Alcohol with pizza and nachos and other junk has plenty of calories.

When I left college, I tried to get life insurance -- and was turned down because of my weight. They were betting I wouldn't make it, and I was stubborn and determined enough to show them I was. I tried again 5 years later, where I'd packed on 41 more pounds. Of course I was going to get turned down. I got life insurance through work, only because there were no questions asked during open enrollment.

By the time I hit the WW doors nearly 2 years ago, I'd packed on yet ANOTHER 43 pounds in 9 years (hey, at least the rate slowed a little, right?) ..... well, not really. Right after that 2nd attempt at life insurance, I had lost about 35 pounds, so really, I packed on 78 in 9 years. Roughly nine pounds a year ----- OOOGH!

This is why "doing it on my own" is not an option. This is why I have to attend my meetings, even nearly 2 years later. I know I cannot be accountable only to myself; I've walked that road a million times, and I know myself well enough to know that I will cheat in a heartbeat if left to my own devices.

I turn 38.5 years old today. A year and a half (literally) to 40. I have 68 pounds to go. My rate of losing has slowed a bit -- it's averaging about 5 pounds a month (where it was 8 or so when I first started). That's okay because I'm still losing. I had originally set a timeframe to get to goal by the end of this year. 68 pounds in 8 months at 5 pounds a month..... well, you see the dilemma. But I am DEFINITELY hitting goal before I turn 40, and I want to get there by 39-1/2. I know I can do it. But I will never do it alone.

So I am accountable to not only myself (the worst arbiter of things), but my family, my coworkers, my friends, my fellow Weight Watchers, my leaders, and you my readers. That's why I started this whole blog in the first place -- one more circle of accountability.

And I tell my story because I know the plan works. I am proof. I will keep telling my story, to remind myself how far I've come and where I never want to go back to.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It gets better!!!

I lost 2.0 more this week for a total of 177!!!!!

I have more to write, but it's late, and I'm tired, and I have so much to do before heading out of town tomorrow. But more writing is coming, I promise!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A breakthrough at last --- down 1.8 pounds this week for a total of 175.0. Let me say that again: I have lost 175 pounds even. That's mind-boggling to even think about.

For the first time that I can recall, I dipped deeper than usual into my weekly points allowance. I rarely use them. I think the most I had ever used was about 5 or 6 one week, and that was unexpected. This week I used 12 (for a slice of JP's first Communion cake). It was worth it, because it was a wonderful special celebration, and I didn't feel guilty. I had the points there waiting for me to use.

Plus, I tried to eat a little more protein and/or fats this week. I'm really bad about eating more carbs (as a percentage of food) than I should. So I tried some other things -- a frittata that unfortunately didn't set correctly and ended up as a scramble; a Jimmy Dean De-Lites sausage muffin -- and it seemed to work!

Whatever it is, I want to keep it up. My immediate goal is to lose 5 more pounds by my two-year anniversary date (the May 8 weigh-in). That's only 3 weeks........ But even if I don't hit it right off, I couldn't be prouder!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Soy una perderdora.....

I'm still a loser, baby! It might have been "only" 0.8 pounds, but it is a loss, and for that I am so grateful. That makes a total of 173.2 pounds gone, and reduces my magic number (to 175) to 1.8 pounds to go! My brother did well in his first week as well!

One thing that one of my fellow WW members suggested is that I might not be getting enough protein and/or fats in my diet. And she probably wouldn't be far off the mark. I certainly have trouble with fats. I try so hard to keep things as low-fat (and low-point) as possible. But even with the oils in the Good Health Guidelines, I don't always eat enough fat. Yeah, odd. I could certainly get a day's worth in a Quarter Pounder, but I don't think I could eat one. And I don't always get enough protein either..... I gotta fix that, and figure out this week how I could remedy that situation. See if being a little less stringent kickstarts something.

Looking forward to this experiment already!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Losing and gaining.....

I lost another 0.4 pounds. Make no mistake -- while I'd love to lose at least a pound a week, there are some weeks when it won't happen. But I am honestly and truly grateful for every ounce I lose! So I now have 70.6 pounds to go to reach goal.

But I gained a new WW partner -- my brother decided to join!!! I had also had several friends throughout the country join over the last few months too. I am proud of all of them, but especially my brother. Walking through that door is never easy to do, and he showed tremendous courage in admitting he needed some help to lose weight. So send him all the good thoughts, juju, prayers, whatever you can!

This is good -- very good!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Losses of all kinds....

The good news is that I'm down another 0.8 pounds, which brings my total to 172.0 even!!!! I was excited about that, because I wasn't sure if there would be a loss this week. Sometimes, when I have a really good week (like last week), there's a "rebound" week when I gain a small amount. WHEW!

But there's a loss that I'm not enjoying -- my leader got a promotion, which means she'll be doing more training. It's good for her, but she's having to give up a meeting or two, and ours is one of them. Debbie has been a complete godsend to me, and I am going to miss her tremendously. She'll still be around for visits, but her wisdom and humor, week in and week out, has helped me so much. I can't wait to hit goal for her to see the fruits of her investment!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Milestones in the mirror -- and windshield!

I lost 3 pounds even this week, for a total of 171.2 now. Oh my!!!! 170-Gone is in the rearview mirror, and 175 is looming just ahead in the not-too-distant future (let's hope, anyway!)

I'm thrilled. I'm completely "WOW!!!!" This means I have just 71.8 pounds to go to hit my goal. It's getting closer and I'm excited and scared and happy and psyched and so many emotions. In about 7 weeks, I will hit two years on program.

I had an appointment today with the doctor who recommended Weight Watchers. He was thrilled, and I was actually a little in awe of how much I've accomplished. I know the numbers; I see the progress. But sometimes it doesn't really sink in. Today it did.

And in the words of the "Reverend Jonathan Worley" ..... EVER FORWARD!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A little sad....

Today was supposed to be "Walk With The Docs" in Easley. And pets were going to be welcome to walk the route too. Still, as with most plans of mice and men............ Earlier in the week, the local weather gurus were predicting showers on Saturday (today). By yesterday, the forecast had not improved; rather, it had worsened to "strong showers, maybe thunderstorms."

So this morning, I decided that I wasn't going to do the walk. It was raining when I arose, and I even heard little rumbles in the sky. Shockingly, I was truly bummed. I wanted to do another charity walk, because I enjoyed my time so much last year doing Race for the Cure. The money from WWTD all goes to the local free medical clinic, and for quite a number of years, we'd posted information about WWTD in the church bulletin. I really wanted to do this, knowing it was for a good cause. So they're going to get a check from me anyway.

The race was to begin at 9:00. By 9:15 the sun was out. No, I'm not joking. The sun was shining; granted, the roads were terribly wet, but it was bright and beautiful. Sonofagun, I thought.........

I really hope that it just got postponed. That maybe they decided to do it next weekend. I will call the clinic on Monday and find out. Like I said, either way, they're getting a donation, but I really want to do the walk!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Like the Energizer Bunny.....

I'm still going! WHEW!!!! Minus another 1.2 for a total of 168.2 pounds gone. Yes, it's going a little more slowly, but I'm just happy it's going!

As I said in yesterday's post, I'm thankful that Daylight Savings Time is allowing me the joy of walking Maddox when I get home from work. I know that will not last forever, and by Memorial Day, I'll be switching it up to those early morning hours to avoid the evening heat (God help me!). But for now, it's good.

Usually for weigh-in, I take my yoga pants. It was especially important today, because I was wearing pants of a heavy twill today. And guess what I left at home...... As it is, the yoga pants are getting a bit large themselves. The legs are starting to develop into bell-bottoms. So I went to Target on lunch hour, and found a pair of workout pants -- bought them and realized: oh crap, they're capris. I am no fan of capris. I still have huge lower legs and until such time there's an operation on them, I will have these huge bunches of excess skin on the fronts of my legs. Cankles would be a kind word to describe it. But I needed the new pants/capris anyway. They're a little snug, but I'm happy for that -- it give me incentive to work even more.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Update

The time change has done exactly what I wanted -- lighter evenings, and I've been walking Maddox when I've come home (except for Monday, when I had something else to do). It's been phenomenal!!! I'm not even quite as groggy in the mornings as I thought I might be...... not that I'm super-perky either. I still do NOT do mornings.

We shall see how things are tomorrow at weigh-in. Even if the numbers are not where I want them to be, I have had some big non-scale victories, and for that, I am SO grateful!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Spring Fever is hitting me...

I lost 0.4 pounds this week according to the scale, and I truly was hoping for a little more. All things considered, however, I'm pretty happy with the loss -- it's now 167 even that I've lost, and only 76.0 more to go to reach goal!

I'm also inspired to do more activity, now that spring is only 2 weeks away!!!! The time change happens this weekend, and then there will be more light in the evening. I can finally walk Maddox when I get home and not worry for my own safety. I am looking forward to outdoor activities -- and who would have EVER believed that?

I am psyched, and ready for all the good things that the seasons to come will bring. Move over, Old Man Winter!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Still rollin' downhill....

Another WHEW! moment at weigh-in --- down another 1.2 for a total of 166.6 gone!

I did tell the leaders that I wish I could have another 5-pound loss week. I know that's probably not in the future anytime soon, and I'm far from discouraged. I will take every loss, including when it's (ahem) "just" one pound or so. But sometimes it does feel a little .... well, let's just say I enjoy those weeks when I'm working it, and I know it, and it shows on the scales.

But again, I'm not discouraged. And I know the going will be much slower as time goes on. I'm rethinking that December 31 time-goal. I will be happy with "by next Easter" to hit goal. There's no stopping me, just revisiting the framework.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ahhhhhh....

I was really sweating this week's weigh-in. I stuck to points. I exercised 4 days (not quite up to my 5-a-week plan, but getting there). Water? Drank TONS of it (as regular water, hot tea, hot cider, Emergen-C, Crystal Light, you name it) over the last two weeks. Veggies & fruits? Check -- usually more than the 5 recommended servings. All the other stuff? Got it. But it just didn't feel like I was working it ..... it's hard to explain.

This morning, I checked on the home scale before leaving work. There was a nice loss, so I figured that was a good sign. A couple of weeks ago, on Thursday morning, it was 6 pounds down from my previous total -- and by evening weigh-in, that translated to 3.4 pounds. This morning, it was a smaller loss -- about 3 pounds, so I was thinking about 1 pound total.

It was 1.4 lost this week. WOO HOO!!!!!! There was a huge sigh of relief; I was quite happy. Ahhhhh indeed!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On an even keel....

I maintained this week. Color me quite happy -- it was a crazy, crazy week at work! Two people out with the flu in my department, a third with a sinus infection and yet another who was out with a back injury. Good planning saved my rear end a couple of times during the week, so I was quite happy to have maintained.

In good news, I went shopping today and found a pair of Levi's that fit like a glove. I haven't worn Levi's since childhood. They sure weren't available in plus sizes when I was in high school and college, but they are now. And I tried on another pair of another brand in the same size, and they were actually too loose in the waist -- just enough that it was noticeable.

Tomorrow, I plan to spend some time doing some cleaning out. I had planned to clear out more of the clutter of my old clothes that don't fit and now's a good time! WOO HOO!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The "Wows" just keep on coming.

I was in the grocery store picking up a few necessities: fresh fruit (amazing how quickly that goes!), boneless skinless chicken breasts (a staple of my freezer), and a couple of other little things. While I was in there, I saw my doctor's wife, who's known me ever since I was born. She barely recognized me, and said, "If (she named my cousin) hadn't been telling me how you were doing, and I didn't know you'd lost so much weight -- well, I swear, I wouldn't have known you."

THEN coming out of the store, I had just returned the buggy to the outside corral, and I heard, "Nettiemac?"
Me: "Yes!" (I didn't recognize the person at first).
Him: "Nettiemac Real-last-name?"
Me: "Yes!!!!" (like, who else would it be?)

It was my former neighbor. I hadn't seen him and his wife in about 5 years. He couldn't believe it. He said, "Oh my God. I only thought it might be you because of the car tag!" I've had the same vanity plate for a dozen years now.

If those two things weren't enough to boost my ego for the next 100 years, I don't know what was. Two people whom I've known for years barely recognized me. THAT was worth everything.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Wow.... just, wow!

Last night, I stepped on the scale at weigh-in. I was fairly confident that I had lost SOMETHING, just wasn't sure how much. Our WW scales at home that morning had me down 6 pounds from my previous weigh-in. Turns out it was 3.4 pounds down, putting my total now at 164 even. I have 79 to go. That also puts me over two-thirds of the way to my goal.

It is hard to believe. I never imagined life like it is now. Honest. I didn't. I know that sounds like something straight off a commercial for an addictions center, but I swear, it's true. At the very beginning, I had no idea where this would take me or how successful I might (or might not) be. I would not have imagined enjoying exercise -- walking at the office or taking my dog for a walk, even standing for long times. I never thought I could grow to love different kinds of vegetables or find that I enjoyed certain foods. I never imagined I could push a plate away with food still on it and say, "Nah, I'm done" or even be satisfied with smaller portions.

But I am doing this, and it's working. 79 to go. WOW!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Food Find Alert!

In the winter, it's so hard to find good quality fresh veggies that don't cost a fortune. Just yesterday, I paid two bucks for ONE green pepper. Normally, in the summer, those are 50 cents each. That's the price to be paid for eating out of season, but dadgum!

So I turn to frozen bagged or boxed veggies. For months, I have been using the Green Giant Just for One broccoli/cheese sauce trays -- very tasty, and only 1 point per tray. I've also been using the Birdseye SteamFresh Singles for the supersweet corn. Oh so good, and again, only one point per bag.

But there are times I want something more than just the standards: broccoli, peas, carrots, green beans, corn, etc. I love French-cut green beans but usually I can only find those as canned. UNTIL --- I found Cascadian Farm Organic French-Cut Green Beans with Toasted Almonds. Two servings per box and only 1 point per serving (a generous 2/3 cup). Not only is it delicious just for the green beans alone, but you get the added bonus of slivered almonds (and all the healthy things in almonds). Oh my God, Becky.

Not only do they taste good, but it's organic food at a decent price! Sometimes, that's hard to come by........ If you live in the Western Carolinas/NE Georgia region, Ingles carries this brand. I am not sure if other stores do; Ingles is the only store in my town (and I am deeply appreciative of them!).

Hope you enjoy this food find!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

WAHOO! Another mini-goal met!

And on the last day of the month!

I lost another pound even to reach (and exceed) my goal. My goal was to hit the 160-gone mark by the end of the month -- and I did it!! With that, I have now lost 160.6 pounds --- just 82.4 more to go!

It's going a little more slowly because I'm not exercising every single day. It does make a difference. January has had butt-cold weather and not having "insulation" doesn't help. We know fat insulates us from many things -- but one of the good things about fat is that it DOES act as a physical insulator. Now that I don't have as much, I stay cold. And when I'm cold, all I want to do is hibernate. Today -- cold, cloudy, and horridly windy. No way was I walking on lunch hour!

I need to step up the biking at home. Just make myself do it more often. I know I slack up and 3 days of exercise isn't as beneficial as 5. So my goal for February is to exercise at least 5 out of the 7 days for 30 minutes at a time. AND to do the weights more than just once a week..... Weight training does help, tremendously!

So onward and downward!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Slow, steady, and sure....

goes the progress. I lost another 0.8 pounds this week, and I'm proud of it. I didn't get to do as much exercise as I wanted this week, so I'm especially glad I had a loss!

So slowly, steadily, and surely I will keep moving forward. A new week is here, filled with new opportunities.

PS: If you can, get the updated WW 2008 Dining Out Companion. Lots more restaurants, and a few surprises. My beloved "Skinny Chicken" at Macaroni Grill? Went from 5 points to 6 last year, and with a revamping is now at 8 points -- yes, EIGHT points. YIKES!! Guess I won't be getting that very often.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Clothes make the person...

I missed Thursday's weigh-in because it was a snow day. I didn't get into work, and there was no way to make the meeting either. So I waited until Friday morning.

I ate breakfast first (mistake #1). I had on a bulky sweater because it was cold (mistake #2). Hey, at least I didn't wear jeans (did bring them with me to change into, but didn't wear them). Give me a few points there. I stepped on the scale --- and lo! only a 0.2 pound gain. She asked me to take the sweater off, and I said, "well.........." (they laughed).

I knew better. I knew to wear thinner layers to weigh in. I knew not to eat breakfast first. So I probably really had a loss. Dang it!

So, all in all, a good week. No complaints, and we'll keep on truckin'!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Still rolling......

Another 2.2 pounds gone -- 159.0 TOTAL!!!! And 84 more to go. That's it. I'm happy and amazed, and just glad to see things progressing well!

Two pictures and almost-three years...

This was me, almost 3 years ago, on St. Patrick's weekend in Jackson, MS (I'm on the left, my best friend on the right):

Me in Jackson

And this was me just before Christmas, 2007 (picture taken by our marketing director):

December 2007, at work

And THIS is the reason I say that if I can do it, anyone can.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

51 weeks to go....

51 weeks to go on the timeframe I set to reach my ultimate goal. I lost 2.6 pounds this week (total: 156.8), so that means 86.2 pounds to go as well.

I know that setting such a goal could mean trouble -- it's an average of 1.6 pounds to lose per week from now until December 31. I know a lot of weeks are not going to hit that mark -- some will exceed, some will be far short. But give up? NEVER. No matter how long it takes.

The important part is that I stay focused. That I not beat myself up and quit. I've come too far and worked too hard to get where I am. It's that same intensity and determination that will keep me going.

And for all those who are doing something to improve their health, well-being, and eating plans in 2008, GOOD FOR YOU! I wish you every success!!!!

YOU CAN DO IT! I promise you!