August 31, 2011

The last day of August, wow, summer is going too fast!!  Tomorrow I’m going to post a bit about my garden, it’s a great time of year as fall blooms begin to show their colors.  Today I need to write about my weight loss journey.

Today is a scale day for me.  I’ll start by admitting I had a bad week for tracking my water intake and counting calories.  I don’t want to give excuses, but I’ll just say that on Sunday I hosted a 33 person birthday party for both of my boys and it was a lot of work.  Just because I’m busy doesn’t mean that my goals are thrown out the window!!  I mean how long does it take to document some calories and 5 (16 oz) glasses of water!!!  Well, I guess I need to work harder in keeping to my goals the next time I am crazy busy.  I did not skip a workout during the last week, in fact in the last 7-days I got in 330 minutes of exercise, not bad.  I do believe I got in 64 oz of water almost every day in the past week and I did at least try to count my calories.  I had a very tiny piece of cake on Sunday and skipped almost all of the icing.  But since I was not tracking my calories I fear I truly blew my limit.

I’m happy to say that I didn’t have a real hard time getting on the scale this am.  I knew a gain was likely but not the end of the world.  In the end I found out I did in fact gain .4 pounds.  I’ve started a pretty strange pattern, 3-weeks of losses and 1-week of gain.  It’s even stranger that 3-weeks ago I gained .4 pounds.  I wont say that it’s a curse, because I’m pretty superstitious and a thought like that could really mess with my head.  I’ve added a page on the blog that has my goals, I figure easy access to this list can only be a good thing.  I’ve also changed some things in my blog’s appearance, my heart feels a little lighter these days, as is my outlook and I felt my blog should reflect the change.  I hope you like.

In the end I’m reminded that this journey should not be taken for granted.  Every step in my list of goals is important, non of them can be forgotten or pushed aside.  What works is the combination of all the goals put together.  It’s a team effort.  I’m also reminded this week that you can get off track, that doesn’t really matter in the end, what matters is that you get back up.  This week I’ll renew my commitment and get back on track.  So far I’m doing pretty good, this morning I completed my hardest workout, I’ve already had breakfast and I’ve had 24 oz of water already, not bad.  Now onto the rest of my day and some good food choices.

August 30, 2011

An observation and a teaser trailer…

I saw many friends and family this past weekend and since I’ve lost 10 pounds since I’ve seen most of them (6% of my starting body weight, which is a whole pant size and a half for me), I was expecting some comments.  I was feeling really good leading up to the event I was hosting.  I was wearing a shirt I’ve never been able to wear, my pants were loose, but I felt good and I think I looked better than I have in some time.  Not one comment, not a one.  Not a, have you lost weight, not a, you look good…nothing.  To be honest, save for my husband and mom, who both know I’m working hard to lose weight, no one has mentioned my weight loss.  Now sure maybe they’ll start to say something when I reach 20 or 3o pounds down, but I feel so different now, how can no one notice.  I almost started to feel sad, but you know, it’s now about someone else noticing, it’s about how I feel about me.  I didn’t start this journey so that others would look at me and comment.  I started this journey to feel better about my health, my body and about me.  The journey is not about anybody else but ME.  I feel better, I like my efforts, I’m happy and in this process that is really the heart of it all.  I reminded myself of my real goals this weekend, it felt like a test and I think I passed!!  Have you reminded yourself of your goals recently?

I know I’m no longer an active participant of the Mtv audience, but how could it possibly take me two days to watch the Hunger Games Teaser Trailer, OMG, you’ve got to watch.  I’m still uneasy that they’ll get the movie in the ball park of what I’d like to see.  But it is hard not to get excited about the Teaser.

http://www.mtv.com/videos/movie-trailers/686022/the-hunger-games.jhtml#id=1669822

August 26, 2011

A couple of insights, change in goals and a little joke…

I set out yesterday to see what else I could be doing to help me in my weight loss journey, besides: good food choices/portions, getting enough water/sleep/exercise, finding a good balance in my workout schedule.  My search began with looking for information about metabolism and I actually learned a few things.  According to The IF Life we do not actually raise our metabolism by eating small more frequent meals.  They’ve quoted Martin over at leangains.com

“if you eat six small meals throughout the day, you will store and burn less fat between the meals compared to three meals a day, while you will store and burn more fat with three meals a day. Note that I say ‘store’, because fat storage and fat burning is an ongoing process ‘ with six small meals you will store less AND burn less, and with three meals a day you will store more AND burn more”

Ok, yes, metabolism is more complicated than I thought.  I even found a site that had a scary statement, “even more important is the observation that an increased metabolism has been shown to cause premature aging“.  WHAT, OMG, you’ve got to be kidding me.  To all you superior athletes out there that is so not fair.  Ok, lets calm down and let cooler heads prevail.

During my search I found over and over again that weight loss is simple, create a calorie deficit and you will lose weight.  Simple.  I like simple.  But we all know it’s not that simple.

There are many reasons to eat frequently, especially if you have blood sugar problems, but there is another reason, especially those of us who have had problems listening to our hunger scale.  We are more likely to over eat or choose foods poorly when we are past a 5 on the hunger scale.  I’m thinking we could use smaller more frequent meals as a training ground for making better food choices and allow the good addiction to how good you can feel to grow strong.

The Calories per hour article (see scary link above) states:

It is important to understand what happens when you skip a meal or go on a crash diet. When you skip a meal your metabolism slows to conserve your energy. And when you lose weight too quickly for a few days, your body thinks it is threatened with starvation and goes into survival mode. It fights to conserve your fat stores, and any weight loss comes mostly from water and muscle.

Never skip a meal, especially breakfast, and eat healthy snacks between meals. Eating frequently prevents hunger pangs and the binges that follow, provides consistent energy, and may be the single most effective way to maintain metabolism efficiency.

What have I learned?  Don’t over complicate the situation.  I’m going to continue to eat 3 big meals a day and one or two small snacks.  Those hunger pains are not my friend, they are not a sign of losing weight, they are a sign of a slowing metabolism and can cause me to lose muscle, yikes, I don’t want that!!

I also took a good hard look at my final weight loss goal.  I can imagine a lot goes into deciding our final goals and there are many ways to determine what is a healthy weight.  Although I really like the idea of my initial goal, it really wasn’t necessary.  Remember I am 5′ 2″, when I reach 136 pounds I will be at the top of the normal BMI range (24.9).  I was originally planning to reach 120 pounds (my wedding day weight), but for now I’ve adjusted my goal to be 130 pounds (BMI: 23.9).  With my new goal I will still get into the normal weight range and have 6 pounds to spare.  My goal is still to make my goal in the 1st Q of 2012, but I have just over a pound to reach 30% of my final weight loss goal, and that’s pretty cool.  I keep second guessing my thought process in changing my goal and that is in large part to my demons.  I do not need to be the same weight as when I got married.  I no longer want to beat myself up about my weight and to be honest I still have a lot of work to do.  Luckily I have a little angel in my pocket and she helped me talk through it yesterday, thank you Dacia 🙂

And finally here’s the funny from a friend on Facebook: Claiming a product promotes weight loss when combined with diet and exercise is like claiming it grants wishes when used with a leprechaun

TGIF Gang!! (quote from my favorite high school teacher)

August 24, 2011

We all know opposites attract and it can be so very true in weight loss any everyday life as well.  I’m creating a list, let me know if you can think of some too

  • Drink more water to lose water weight
  • Exert energy to gain energy
  • Spend money to make money (ok, this only applies to the entrepreneurs out there, but it’s still true)
  • If you sleep too much you’ll feel tired

For those of us on the weight loss journey we also know there is a fine line between eating enough calories to keep up your energy, ensure your body doesn’t go into starvation mode (i.e. lowering your metabolism to hold onto weight) but is still losing weight.  Balance is so important.  Not only do we need to have a balanced diet, we need a balanced life style.  Sure there is not enough hours in a day to get everything done.  But there are still 24 hours in everyday.  A lot of the hours of our day are eaten up by sleep, exercise, travel and work; but there are still many hours left to enjoy.  Some days you may only get 5 minutes, make them count.  It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in our struggles, too easy to be hard on ourselves.  I’ve got a lot on my plate these days and I’m working at finding my balance.  It’s really easy to get very caught up in the negative or to feel you’ll never get to your destination.  Remember that 1/2 of our journey is how we get there, enjoy the ride.  Finding joy in the simple things makes it easier to handle the struggles.

Breathe. Balance. Enjoy.

Today was a weigh day for me and I’m most pleased at the little resistance my mind had towards the event.  Sure I’ve worked hard over the past several days, made good food choices and got in almost all the water I had planned for, but you just never know what that dang scale is going to say.  Again, knowing I’m not leaving this journey, I’m going to keep chosing me is making it easier to face the reality of the scale.  Through thick and hopefully one day thin I’m staying in the game for as long as I live.  I’m happy to say I’ve lost 1.8 pounds since Friday (I weighed in two days late last week), how cool is that.  I’ve also lost another inch off my waist and hips, for a total of two inches down in my trouble areas!!  My BMI is down to 28.5, which is pretty cool considering I got off track earlier this month.  Once again I have had three weeks in a row of losses, which I also had in early July.  I guess really getting off track isn’t the worst thing that could happen, as long as I get my head back in the game.  Hey, if I can go another three weeks I just might reach my 30% goal!!  This week my head will stay fixed on my goals, no getting side tracked.  Well I do have a huge party to throw on Sunday for my boys birthdays.  No, I will not be side tracked, head in the game, straight forward one foot in front of the other.

Breathe. Balance. Enjoy.

August 22, 2011

Consistency is best and complacency can slap you sideways.

Just when you begin to count on things staying the course, just when you have a handle on your life and you feel the cruise control coming on, something somewhere in your life will make a left turn.  It can be a change in your health or someone you love, it can be a change in your job or cash flow, it could be a friend moving far away or being cruel.  What ever your left turn is, I think it is important to remember some truths about yourself.  No matter if your problems come in threes or fives or tens, there are many many things still going right in your life.  Every day and I mean every day, even when all turns are right turns, take that 5 minutes to think about what is going well, what you have to be thankful for.  Your cup is always more than 1/2 full, but you have to choose to fill it, you have to choose you.  But especially when things start to sour do you have to keep refilling that cup.  Keep moving forward.

A good friend posted on Facebook today the following quote: When faced with an obstacle, mature people look for something to do…not someone to blame.  Great quote.  I’ve been thinking for the past several days about my cup.  My husband was in the hospital for 1/2 a day several weeks ago (long story, I mentioned it in my last post, here’s the short of it:  dehydration > passed out > hit his head > ER visit > four staples > many tests and doctor visits and missed gigs) and last week the hospital stay for my son (see my last post for the ugly details), which means more missed gigs for my dear husband and cash flow is going to get tight in the next month, that savings account is about it get a lot smaller.  On a much smaller scale, I also missed a couple workouts last week and it was hard to get back into my routine.  Not only was it hard to get up at my usual time, but my workouts were harder too.  I’m working at getting back in shape and any set back will be felt.  But the truth of the mater: we do have savings to pull from, I did get up and workout.  We can work in the months and years ahead to build our savings back up, my healthy journey is going to be a long one and I’ll push through the hiccups and keep going.  Keep moving forward.  I shouldn’t waste even a part of the day freaking out about what the insurance wont cover or about how long it is going to take me to lose the weight.

What matters is today.  Have you refilled your cup today?  Take a few minutes, right now and just do it, choose you, you are so worth it!!!

August 19, 2011

When my child was admitted into the hospital for an infected mosquito bite, I held it together over a panicking heart.  The first rule in my parenting book: I don’t want my child in pain.  The first rule was shattered this week.

Before I get to far into this story I’ll tell you that we are now at home and I do have some sweet and good news to share both regarding my son and my weight loss journey (for the faint of hard: skip to the end)

My son went to the air museum at Selfridge Air National Guard base (home of the 127th wing) on Sunday with his dad and my father-in-law.  It was the 1st day of a 3-day vacation with Grandma and Poppa.  They had a wonderful time, except for the dang mosquitos.  Of course they sprayed themselves with repellent, but my son ended up with a dozen bites on his legs, at least one on the top of his head (in his hair) and several on the back of his neck.  After applying the anti-itch my son was doing very well and we didn’t think anything more of it.

Shortly after my son woke on Monday morning his left ankle started to swell.  The ankle did have several bites.  I began to give him Benadryl and we iced his ankle in intervals all day.  Throughout the day several blisters formed around his ankle.  His ankle did get better after the dose of Benadryl and the ice, but not enough to satisfy us.  Since we had planned to go home the next day, we thought it best to take him up to an urgent care center, thinking he needed some oral antibiotics.  So out we went after dinner armed with a leapster, some tag books, my book and a bunch of snacks.  2 1/2 hours later the doctor told us we should go to the hospital.  Of course this was very unwelcome news, my son was tired and just wanted to go back to Grandma and Poppa’s house.

They pre-admitted us, so after a ride in the car and a short wait in the ER, we were escorted to an elevator and finally by midnight we found our way to his room.  After several visits from all the different personnel, including a doctor that agreed IV antibiotics were necessary, the IV process started.  I had been preparing my son, but I forgot one detail, the needle stays in, I still feel very bad about that missing piece of news, but that was not the worst part.  The nurse was very nice and I’ll tell you that now he has no bruising at the IV site, only a tiny pin prick is left.  I was huddled into the bed with him and by this time my husband (daddy) had arrived with extra provisions (clothes, more snacks, toys (mostly Cars cars), the preferred musical night-light, my laptop…).  The nurse spent several minutes pressing on his arm looking for her best option and then she went in.  The needle did not find a vein on its dive, she did leave the needle in and as gently as she could on a little almost 5-year-old arm, she searched for that vein.  My son was in hysterics, he started choking and then the vomiting started.  I couldn’t do anything, but sooth his brow and reassure him that it would get better.  I’m not sure how, but he kept his arm perfectly still and finally I saw red getting pulled up the line and I shouted, “she found it!!!!”  My announcement did little to calm my son, who now wanted it out.  My heart broke again at this point, not sure how I kept it together.  It took several long minutes to clean my son up, change his clothes and the sheets.  The nurse assured me he would calm as soon as she was gone and she was right.  He was still visibly frightened and unfortunately his blanky had gotten nailed and was in the sink and could not provide him comfort.  The hospital did offer up the first Madagascar film, which he started to watch and in his way started to relax, with his arm like a board beside him.  While he tried his best to relax, I went to work in the little sink to rid his clothes and blanky of vomit.  They did give me a little bin and some baby wash (which we had used to give him a sponge bath).  After the long process of scrubbing and wringing everything out, which kept me busy, apparently that was pretty important, we all settled for the night.  My son in the big hospital bed, half occupied by the sad little arm, a quarter by the rest of him and the last quarter with his stuffed friends and his cars.  I was on the very uncomfortable pull out chair and my dear husband was left to a make shift bed on the floor.  Once my son was asleep, around 3:30am, my tears released.  I’ll admit I sobbed uncontrollably for a while, thank heavens my husband was there to lend me his strength.

The next morning arrived and I got nervous when I saw little improvement in his ankle.  The doctor didn’t arrive until after lunch, I think he must have known it would take a bit longer to see some progress.  Sure enough a little before lunch the swelling slowly started to go down.  I most have done a good job on the blanky because by mid morning the blanky was dry and smelling pretty good.  My son was happy to have the blanky back!!  During the day my son and husband talked about the IV.  My husband had to have an IV a few weeks ago (long story but dehydration was the culprit).  My son asked him if he cried and dear husband says, “not really.”  My son says, “not even a little bit?” My dear husband says, “ok, well maybe a little bit.”  Although my son was relieved, I think he enjoyed the commiserating more.  After the doctor’s early evening visit, he informed us that we’d need to stay another night.  My son started to cry, “I want to go back to Grandma and Poppa’s house.”  I assured him that no matter when we got out of the hospital, he could stay another night at Grandma and Poppa’s, he was happy.

During the day Poppa came for a visit, which helped to brighten my sons day.  Even though my oldest was dealing pretty well, I was on the edge of tears all day.  Besides being worried about my oldest, I was desperately missing my youngest, who was staying with Grandma and Poppa.  The doctor told my son that besides seeing more improvement in his ankle, he also wanted him to be walking on it, well that did it.  Suddenly he had ants in his pants, he walked to the bathroom, he walked to the playroom and played.  He was attached to an IV pole, but he was playing, it was a hard and happy sight.  That night, after we learned we would indeed by staying another night, I convinced my husband to go and stay the night with our youngest and I’d of course be staying.  Any thought of leaving had me fighting tears again.  My mom came for a visit that 2nd night.  She came in like she always does, like a hurricane.  I got her to quiet down and then the next thing she said floored me, “you wont believe the day I’ve had.”  Well, that’s my mom.  On a happy note, my son took her to the play room where they put together a cars puzzle twice, he had a blast.  That night he requested I stay with him in the big bed, we snuggled in and got a good night sleep.

Wednesday morning his ankle looked so much better, all but one blister had popped, but there was still a good deal of visible swelling.  The doctor finally came by around 10am and told us we could go, plus the last blister popped!!  Very exciting news, my son was happy, then I began to prepare him for the IV to come out.  He wanted it out, he wanted to go to Grandma and Poppa’s, but he didn’t want the needle to move.  I assured him that it would be nothing like how it went in, they just have to pull off all the tape and pull out the needle and that would be it.  He was anxious and a little unsure, but forward on.  My dear husband arrived in time to provide comedic distraction, while I resumed my position on the bed with my arm around my son.  Luckily the IV came out without any ordeal and he enjoyed his wheelchair ride out of the hospital.

Before long we were back at Grandma and Poppa’s and I had my youngest in my arms.  The sweetest thing was watching my youngest crawl up on the couch, into my lap and pat my oldest on the head.  Finally yesterday we made the 3-hour trip home, feels so good to be home.  My oldest also is doing pretty good with his oral antibiotics (5 ml 3 times a day) which was a struggle at first, because it smells like feet.  We’ve been working on a system, first he tried fruit snack chasers, then gummy bears and last night he tried marshmallows and that seems to be the winner.  I put the foot juice in a cute little glass, line up the little marshmallow and a glass of water.  He is under strict instructions to put the little glass down as soon as he takes a hit, because his body shakes all over with the horrid taste, poor little guy.  This morning his foot looks fantastic, no sign of swelling left at all.  I’m so glad he transitioned well.  The nurses and doctors told us horror stories of kids having to come back because they left too soon, the oral antibiotics weren’t strong enough to keep the infection at bay and the area swells right back up.  Besides the scabs from the blisters and the remaining bite marks he looks back to normal.  Six more days of foot juice and we should be able to put this all behind us.

My Healthy Journey took a hit this week.  Although I was on vacation for 1/2 of the last week I kept working out, I was getting my water in and making pretty good food portion/choices.  All my efforts took a right turn when my oldest was in the hospital, first my water intake dried up (sure the hospital has water, but it tastes terrible).   I didn’t work out on Tuesday because we were in the hospital, I did workout out after we got back to Grandma and Poppa’s on Wednesday but I slept in a little on Thursday and was not able to workout.  It was one thing after another until we left and when we got home forget it, it was mass chaos around here.  My food intake was minimal for the last few days and my choices were ok.  Considering my crazy week, my lack of water, the last couple of days and two missed workouts, I was not expecting much out of the scale, even though I’m weighing myself two days late this week.  I almost considered not weighing myself this week.  Then I remembered, I’m in this for the long haul, I need to trust the process and I need to know if I lost or gained.  Well the bad news ends here, because I lost 1.9 pounds.  Wow, not only am I down to a BMI of 28.8, I’m past my first 15% goal, wahooooo.  After endless bad news for weeks, a new frig, a hospital stay for dear husband, hospital stay for oldest son, all the gigs dear husband has missed, oh and I started my period the day he got out of the hospital, dear husband got a speeding ticket on the way home and then we got caught in a 12-mile stretch of a lane closure on the highway.  This little piece of good news is exactly what I needed.  But on to another week, I got in my hardest workout this am, well into my required water for the day and onto more good food choices and another loss next week.

I hope life isn’t pushing you as hard as it has pushed me this week.  One thing is for sure, there is nothing like being with your kids and seeing them healthy, playing and enjoy the day.  Life can be so simple, it’s certainly pretty great when you are having a very normal day.  Don’t forget to enjoy every minute, stop and smell those roses!!

What Real Women Look Like

Found an amazing site this morning.  What do real women look like?  You certainly wouldn’t know by watching movies, tv or picking up a magazine.  The website is simple with a pretty powerful effect.

Perform a simple search with your height and weight and see pictures of real women who are the same size as you.  For those of you who are normal weight but believe you are fat, please take a look!!  For those of us who have pounds to lose, take a look at what you’re going to look like at your next goal.  For a bit of excitement, check out what you’ll look like when you reach your final goal!!!

Check out MyBodyGallery and consider adding a picture of yourself.  You’ll be helping out another woman when she discovers what real women look like.