Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cadbury mini eggs, I rebuke you!

Cadbury mini eggs are the instrument of the Devil. They call to me as I walk through the store. " know you want me. I only come around once a year. I have a delicious crunchy shell covering creamy chocolate. If you say no to me now, I'll be gone before you know it."

I rebuked those Cadbury mini eggs not once but twice this weekend. And once you know how hard I tried to find them last week, you will see how much of an accomplishment that was. This weekend was about choices. Some of them good, some...not so much.

Friday, I woke up feeling really lousy. A headache and a wonky tummy made me seriously re-think my plans to work out. I was planning to take a cardio class and a water aerobics class. Neither of those things happened. Instead, I made Todd get the kids off to school and I went back to bed. I woke up a few hours later, headache gone, tummy back to normal, and decided that going to the gym was back on the agenda. Since I'd missed all of the classes I wanted to take, and I wasn't supposed to do the ETA (express training area) two days in a row, I hopped on the treadmill for a little walk. About 1.5 miles in, I was pretty sure my time had come and I would be seeing my maker at any moment. Sweat pouring down my face; hair, shirt and face utterly soaked, I thought my legs were going to fall off and that my heart was going to explode. I was probably pushing myself a little hard; 3.5 mph is fairly fast for a chunkster like me. I REALLY wanted to push the stop button and walk away. But something in me said, "Slow down a bit, catch your breath, let the cramps in your legs ease up and then crank it back up again." So I did. And I not only survived, I did another 1.1 miles! It felt good to push past the pain and the sweat and really kick that walk in the butt. Hooray for good choices!

Then Saturday showed up. And my ability to make a good choice apparently flew out the window. My mom came out Friday night and we had a pajama party with the kids, which was great fun. Saturday morning, we got up and decided to head to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. (You can see where this is going, right?) We got there at noon, and I really didn't feel like having breakfast. So I had a shrimp po' boy instead. Breaded, deep-fried shrimp on a cheddar cheese bun with a spicy tartar sauce. Fries and cole slaw on the side. Oh yeah, "diet" food for sure! Half a sandwich and all of the fries later (lucky for me I find Cracker Barrel's cole slaw yucky), I walked away from the table. That would have been bad enough, but then last night we had to work the 4-H table at Ag Days, and there just wasn't time to make dinner before we left. So guess who had two pieces of a Sbarro pizza for dinner? *raises hand* Yup. Me. Also a choice I knew was bad but made anyway. Could have been worse...I didn't have Todd get a stromboli for us to share along with the pizza, which is what I would have done in the past. Not really a "pat myself on the back" kinda moment, but even within the bad choices a good one was made.

Today, some better choices were made. Skipped the frappuccino at Starbucks and got a passion tea lemonade instead. (Caffeine AND fat free!) Grabbed an apple at Walmart to snack on during the ride home. Didn't indulge in a snackfest with Todd and the kids at lunch. Had chicken noodle soup (homemade and low-sodium, thankyouverymuch) instead. Tomorrow, back to the workout grind. Gotta find my class schedule and see what's doing at the Y. If I can't find anything else, I can always do the ETA and the treadmill again. Got a new iPod Touch on Friday (the cheap generic mp3 player I was using was driving me NUTS) and it's loaded full of my favorite songs. Nothing like some good rocking music to pound the treadmill to!

Oh, and just because I managed to rebuke the Cadbury mini eggs twice, I'll still be glad when Easter is over and that temptation is gone. I don't know how long I can resist their crunchy, chocolate-y deliciousness! Satan will not get to me with his little nuggets of doom. Not this year!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Inspiration, irony, accountability, and Jello.

Lots of words in today's title. They're all things that are on my mind right now.

Inspiration: It's been really cool reading comments from people telling me that I've inspired them with this newfound git-up-n-go and this blog. (I'm a bit of a comment whore. If you're thinking about commenting, please do. I need validation. I'm all needy like that.) If I had to pick one person who has inspired me to (finally) get off my tush and do something, it would be my friend Kim. Two (or is it three?) years ago she decided she'd had enough of being unhealthy and set out to change her lifestyle and kiss the excess pounds goodbye. And has she ever! She's lost lots of weight, works out every day, and maintains a healthy lifestyle. (Seriously, she's a maniac. She gets up at 4:30 IN THE MORNING and goes to the gym. 4:30. In the a.m. Now THAT'S dedication!) She didn't do some crazy crash diet where all you eat is grapefruit or pepperoni and cheese (Oy. Atkins.). She didn't take pills. She made healthy changes. And I applaud her for that. I think so many of us are looking for the quick, easy fix, but if you didn't get fat (or chubby, or fluffy, or "big boned") overnight, you won't get thin overnight either. I've tried the crazy diets. I've tried the icky "diet" drinks. I've tried just about everything but eating healthy foods and exercising. And guess what? Those crazy diets didn't work, but I KNOW that a healthy diet (and I hate using that word because it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change) and exercise will do the trick. Anyhoo, not to get up on a soapbox... I find my inspiration in my friend Kim. And I hope to be able to inspire others the way she has done for me.

Irony: Does anybody else find it ironic that when you're on a diet, you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about/planning/handling foods? I could seriously spend a ridiculous amount of time portioning out food, and journaling about what I've eaten, and planning for what I'm going to eat in the future. It's like putting the meth addict in charge of the drug house, know what I mean? I'm looking at it like exposure therapy: the more I'm exposed to food, the more I'll be desensitized to it. That's what I'm hoping, anyway.

(Also ironic: the guy who did my orientation was about 25, buff as all get out, and HAWT. I felt sooo middle-aged and schlubby. He asked me, "What are your goals?" I pointed to my body and said, "To not look like THIS." That's a goal, right?)

Accountability: My cousin Lizzy said something last night about my blog and how it will keep me accountable, and I really liked that. I think that's partly why my attempts to lose weight have failed in the past. I'd start a diet, and be all gung-ho for it for a week or two, then eventually lose interest and fall back into those unhealthy old habits. It always made me feel like a failure when someone would ask me a month later, "So, how's the diet going?" and I had to answer, "Oh, I stopped doing it." I need someone to take me to task about falling off the proverbial wagon. That was one of the main reasons I started this blog--I hoped there would be people who would be reading and who'd come back to me and say, "Hey, you haven't blogged in a while--what's going on?" if I dropped off the face of the blogging world. The bonus is that it gives me a place to vent my feelings about this whole thing, whether they be good or bad. I know it's not going to be easy, and definitely not fun at times, but it HAS to be done. End of story.

And finally, Jello: What my arms and legs felt like when I left the Y this morning. I'm so glad nobody I knew was around when I got off the treadmill. I did my walk (1.15 miles in 21 minutes--not great but not terribly awful), went through the cool down phase, turned around to grab the towel and spray to wipe down the machine, and came this close to doing a faceplant right smack in the middle of the aisle. (And wouldn't I have DIED if Hot Trainer Dude saw me fall? Yeah, that would have just been the icing on the fat-free cake, huh?) I was able to maintain my balance, but I felt like I was drunk as I walked to the locker room. My poor body was all, "WTF, lady? I thought we had an agreement?! You don't exercise and I don't make you fall flat on your face. You're breaking the rules, chickadee." Guess it's time to re-examine that agreement my body and I had. I don't think it applies any longer. Time to mix things up!

Gonna be sore tomorrow. Thankful for ibuprofen, heating pads and nice, hot showers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I like to move it, move it.

(If you have kids, chances are, you're singing that song from "Madagascar 2" in your head right now. I know I am.)

When I was considering all of the workout places I could join, I had it narrowed down to two: Curves and the Y. I liked the idea of the get-in-get-out workout at Curves, but didn't like that there was absolutely no variety at all. The Y, however, is full of different things to do. Plus, for the cost, I could get a family membership at the Y for just a little more than I would pay for myself only at Curves. It was an easy decision to choose the Y as my gym. Yesterday, I took a tour before I joined, and let me just say, I am EXCITED! Our local Y is chock full of activities to get me moving and grooving. One of the things that excites me the most is the pool. Friday, I will take my first water aerobics class!

It's for senior citizens. I'm pretty sure they'll swim circles around me.

But I'm cool with that! As I've previously mentioned, three-toed sloths and garden slugs are more active than I am, what with my fitness level being somewhere around -28. I like the idea of starting slowly and working my way up. I think if I try to start out at too high of a fitness level, I'll most likely fail magnificently. So Friday morning, I shall undertake my first SeniorSplash water aerobics class. I'm not concerned about getting into a bathing suit since I've gotten to the point where my suit consists of a turtleneck and capris. Okay,'s a tank and swim shorts, but you get the point. My dear friend Kim suggested that for our 40th birthdays (mine is this December and hers is next February) we wear bikinis. I don't know about all that, but I'd like to at least get to a point where the thought of a bikini doesn't make me turn green and feel bilious.

The Y also has an Express Training Area (ETA) which is similar to the circuit at Curves. Tomorrow, I have orientation on that, so hopefully after I learn how it works, I can actually use it. The cool thing is that Jake can use that area with me, and he's excited about coming with me and working out. All three kids are looking forward to taking swim lessons, and Norah has decided that when she turns six she's joining the swim team. (They could all join if they wanted--I'd be completely thrilled if they actually wanted to do something sports-related!) I'm pretty sure Todd will never willingly set foot in the Y, but hopefully the kids and I can convince him that coming with us will be fun and not akin to torture.

Some day soon, I hope to take advantage of all the classes they have, which include Zumba and yoga. I have to admit, the monthly fee and the fact that I'm locked into a contract for a year is a powerful motivator. I really don't want to spend $60 a month on something I'm not using. That's just idiotic. But even more than that, I think this will be a great way to not only get myself up and moving, but my kids as well. The family that plays together stays together, right?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh food...I just don't know how to quit you.

Thanks to years of self-analysis, and Dr. Phil's "Ultimate Weight Loss Solution" (whaddya know...sometimes Dr. Phil actually IS useful!), I have learned that I am an emotional eater. (It was more of a "duh!" moment than a lightbulb moment, I admit.) I eat when I'm happy. I eat when I'm sad. I eat when I'm stressed. I eat when I'm bored. I eat when I'm frightened. Basically, if I'm breathing, I'm eating. As you can imagine, this has not worked out well for me. (Unless I was prepping to become the fat lady at the circus, but those jobs are hard to find nowadays, what with all the political correctness about circuses out there.) So not only do I consume food, food consumes me. I think about food constantly. I think about what I'm going to eat all. the. time. Something has to be wrong if you're thinking about eating while you're actually eating. You know you have a problem when your inner dialogue goes something like this, "Dood, why are you eating that? You're not hungry. In fact, you're so full you feel like you're going to hurl." Self-awareness I do not need. Self-control...well, I'm kinda short on that.

Food is my drug of choice. I was always too much of a 'fraidy cat to try the illegal drugs, but lucky for me, food is not only legal, it's something EVERYBODY does! There is no stigma attached to eating a nice big juicy steak. Smoking pot...stigma. Cheesy hash brown casserole...totally cool. Sometimes, (and I don't mean this in an offensive way at all) I wish I had turned to an illegal drug. I think it would be easier to quit. I mean, you can quit pot cold turkey, but you can't quit food. Because you will die without food. (I truly am not making light of drug addiction. I realize there are drugs that have powerful withdrawal symptoms, death being among them.) And while I want to be thin, I also like being alive. So you can see my dilemma, right? A drug I can't quit because I will die without it. *sigh* Certainly doesn't make it easy to overcome my addiction.

So here I am, almost 40, 100+ pounds overweight, and on medication for high blood pressure. When did that happen? What happened to that fit, active young woman who loved to dance and was always on the move? (I'm pretty sure my current self ate her. Probably with cheese melted on top.) It's frustrating because I know what my problem/s is/are. Fixing them is where I draw a big fat blank. How do I make myself like what I consider boring food? Will I survive without cheese? (Seriously. I LOVE cheese.) Will I be condemned to a life of broiled chicken breasts with a plain baked potato and steamed broccoli? Will I ever eat butter again? At some point will my life stop revolving around food? Can I learn to eat to live and not live to eat?

That's a lot of questions. I suspect finding the answers will be more difficult than I'd like. But I think without those answers, this journey is doomed to fail as so many in the past already have. This isn't my first time down the path of weight loss. Hopefully, though, it will be my last.

Oops! Forgot this little gem.

The Before Picture. Oh, the horror! Be grateful I didn't subject you to the way they do it on TV, with me wearing nothing but skin-tight bike shorts and a sports bra. You'd have never been the same after seeing that, I assure you. Being the kind-hearted person I am, I spared you the worst by wearing lots and lots of clothes. You're welcome. ;)

I'll update this once a month. Hopefully you'll be seeing less and less of me as the months go by!

Day 1. 266 pounds. Zero pounds lost, 106 pounds to go. This is gonna be one helluva ride!

A journey of 1000 miles...

...begins with the first step. That old cliché rings true for me, as my 1000-mile (or 100 pound) journey started today. The past few days have found me in full-on spring cleaning mode. As I've been purging cabinets and closets and hidden corners, it felt like my house was getting lighter. Looking into my closet and seeing all of the junk gone and the shelves neatly organized felt so good. Then, yesterday, it hit me: if getting rid of the figurative "fat" around the house made me feel so good, wouldn't getting rid of the literal fat around my body make me feel even better? The little light bulb above my head definitely came on yesterday.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not a fit person. My activity level rivals that of a garden slug. Food is my friend, my lover, my confidant, and my comforter. After the past two years, which have been particularly hellacious, I'm at an all time low. (Or high, if we're referring to my weight.) A diagnosis of hypertension back in November put me on red alert that I am not the healthy 22-year old girl I once was. Now that I'm used to the medications and have been cleared for exercise, I finally found the gumption to get to the Y and sign up. I joined Weight Watchers online as well and have been busily tracking my points and filling out my profile. Tomorrow, I will attend my first WW meeting, and Thursday I have orientation at the Y at 9:00 am sharp.

Here I am on Day 1 of my journey to find the new me. I'm trying very hard to be realistic here. I know that I will never burst through a huge paper reproduction of my "before" picture and be the sort of skinny, muscular goddess you see on The Biggest Loser. I'm almost positive I won't ever weigh 125 lbs. (Not without contracting some sort of fun old-timey disease like consumption or the Black Plague.) My goal is to get to a healthy weight, have a healthy BMI, get my blood pressure down without meds and hopefully not have a stroke before I'm 50. I want to be there for my kids as they grow, and I want to be able to participate in their lives.

So today I took that first step of many. It may seem like a baby step to some, but it's a huge step to me. And I can't wait to take all of the many steps to come!