Thursday, September 30, 2010

So Close !!

Four days ago (Day 69), I posted my weekly weigh-in at 279 lbs. That is just 2 pounds shy of my first mini-goal. Today, the sun has peeked out, so I am starting my walking program. I thought I'd record the weight I was when I started (279), but shoot ... that was four days ago. I should verify it is still 279. So, I step back on the scale.

Oh, I can hardly stand it ... the scale now reads: 278 !!!

I have half a week in which to lose another pound, to make my 10% goal!!

Anne H., I'm shopping for a camera battery right after my walk!

I wanted to wear the tan shirt (of my profile picture) for my walk, because it is so comfortable - only I can't. It doesn't fit at ALL. And, while I intend to wear the black pants of the profile picture (using a hand to hold it up), I realize I can't wear the shirt anymore. You wouldn't be able to see anything for all the fabric draping over me. LOL How weird is that? I selected a different shirt, that is one size smaller than the tan one, to wear for the first photo update. It is very bright green, and a little heavier fabric so should hold up for a few photo updates.

The tan shirt is going bye-bye. Another NSV (non-scale victory) ...

So, off for my walk. I hope I can make it around the block (it is a very big block). LOL No speed records this first time out, just movement. If Cinner can march in place during commercials (why didn't I think of that?), I can't use any more excuses not to walk. I hope dogs don't chase me or something - no way can I run. LOL

Still Day 72 and starting to move ...

Day 72 Let's Get Positive

Now, why do I think of the Partridge Family "Come On, Get Happy" song when I read that title?

Yes, I just dated myself.

I'm always a little sad to see September come to an end. It flew by this year, didn't it?

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to list some postive things today. If you have some NSVs, share them! Let's get some uplifting energy flowing. Here are a few of my own:

I wore one of my favorite bracelets last night, and for the first time EVER, it was actually a little loose on my wrist! I LOVED that ...

My beach towel wraps all the way around me now - barely (no overlaps) - but no big gaps! A feel-good moment for sure ...

I'm beginning to see my jaw outline again. (I remember you!!) My face is starting to look like ME again ...

The office chair I am sitting in right now has actual GAPS between my thighs and the armrests. Okay, maybe just 1/4" - but a few months ago the armrests were digging into me - so progress ...

I can no longer wear my favorite black pants (of my profile picture) - they are too big! (Although, I am going to put them on for my first update photo, just to show the loss.)

Those are some of my recent positives. What are yours?

There are lots of struggles going on across Blogland today. My well wishes go to everyone finding today a little tougher, whatever the reason, and my prayers too.

Peace and positive thoughts.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 71 - Meeting A Fellow Blogger!

Time to go out and purchase a new camera battery. I think I may be using it next week or the week after, for my first official "update" photo!

I decided to take my photo when I reached my first mini-goal, and I may just shed those extra two pounds at next week's weigh-in. The cooler weather has arrived, finally, and as soon as the downpours stop, I am going to begin regular walking!

In this next mini-goal, which will bring me from 277 down to 247, I will pass TWO 25-lb milestone weights ... 275 and 250. It is hard to believe I am less than 5 lbs from 275. Do you know what I mean?

One of our fellow bloggers emailed me the other day. I mentioned I am heading to Williamsburg (VA) for something fun to do one weekend. I love Williamsburg in the fall - so pretty! Anyway, she was thinking about it, and decided she wanted to check out the place for herself, and suggested we get together! So, we are going to meet for lunch (SALADS, naturally) which will be fun. I'm respecting her anonymity, but I'm giving her permission to blog about it on her site, if she wishes. She's never been to Williamsburg, so she checked out their website and decided it was time to visit it. Hey, walking around is exercise, right?! :D

Oops, my stomach is growling at me! I just noticed the time. How about that, I forgot about lunch! Geez ... gotta grab something to eat. Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time To Move More

Nothing like a boat load of housework to make some muscles sing. I tired to cram a week's worth of chores into 1.5 days, for the overnight guests we're expecting. They will arrive around lunchtime. (Will the husband really notice the tops of the artwork frames were dusted?)


Well, perhaps not, but I know they are done. Plus, my stretching helped identify some new muscle groups!

The rain has ended, and refreshing, cool air is here! (NO MORE 90s !!) I'll begin a walking routine after the guests leave. I know I have no cardiovascular stamina to speak of, so it will be interesting to see what I can do. I'll have to start slowly and work my way up.

I'm actually a little excited to start moving. Weird, I know! Must be the 28 lbs I've lost ... losing weight has given me more energy. How about that? The cycle works in TWO directions. Gaining makes me want to move less, losing makes me want to move more.

Enjoy the day!

Milestone Day 70 and the open road (well, sidewalk) is calling to me ...

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Need To Get Restaurant-Educated

Well, a HUGE thank you shout out to Sharon (blog: Gains and Losses: Life Through Sharon's Eyes).

Sometimes, Blogland can be very valuable to those of us trying to lose weight.

Sharon posted, almost as an aside, that the Olive Garden salad, with dressing, is no friendly diet food. And she mentioned she looked up their menu online, and looked for something with a more acceptable nutrition element.

It NEVER even occurred to me to look up a restaurant's website - to see if nutrition information would be posted. Dah. Why didn't I think of that?!! I am naive when it comes to restaurant ANYthing. I thought a salad would be just fine. Well, techinically, it is fine. It is the dressing that is not so diet-friendly. And you know the nutritional posting is for one serving. How many of us have had TWO?

Well, Sharon, you just saved me a week's worth of hard effort. I have a luncheon date with one of my girlfriends for Olive Garden on Friday. I was going to "just" have the salad (with dressing). NOT anymore! My girlfriend can have all the salad she wants. I looked up the website's nutritional information, and found the Minestrone Soup will do just fine for me. Thankyouverymuch. So, to Sharon, my deepest gratitude! Now, I will enjoy Friday's luncheon and know I will have chosen wisely.

I know restaurants use lots of salt (I can taste it ... they use too much). I know they use too much fat (butter - yum!). I know they use too much sugar. I mean, they are in the business of making stuff taste amazing - and salt, fat and sugar do the job. But sometimes that stuff isn't quite so obvious.

I really need to get restaurant-educated. What I don't know CAN hurt me (or at least my efforts). I wonder what other things we need to look out for ...

SBS - Saved By Sharon

Day 69 - Weigh-in Results: 279 lbs.

Yes, that second digit is a SEVEN, folks ... I did it!! I've lost 4 lbs. this past week! So long, 280s and GOOD-BYE to "The Wall."

That plateau put up a good 3-week fight, but I won in the end (which is now a wee bit smaller, by the way, see "hips" on the right sidebar).

Consistency and persistence pays!

I've posted my updated measurements. Those with comments are the ones which have changed from the last update.

I am a mere 2 lbs. from achieving my first mini-goal (losing 10% of my weight, or reaching 277 lbs.) ... AND I have officially left the 280s.

Let's face it, 280 would be a wonderful I.Q., but it makes for a lousy weight.

I have about three weeks before I'm stepping on my doctor's scale. That is three weeks to lose those last two pounds. I really, really want to hit my 10% loss by that check-up. I want to see for myself what losing 10% does to my numbers. I'll post the results on the right sidebar, when I eventually get the results back.

Speaking of numbers, just look at that gorgeous BMI, sitting there all ready to drop into the next lower number. I love you, BMI. Keep falling, my shrinking little friend.

Kimberlynn (blog: Minding My Weigh) just celebrated achieving her 10% loss (YAY, Kimberlynn!!), and I hope to be not too far behind her in celebrating a similar victory. My bar has been reset - 280 is now the number I will never again revisit. (I've lowered it from 300.)

So, one of the weird things I've noticed - which was different from last week - is that when I fold my hands together, the "fit" of the interlocking fingers feels different - familiar, but from a long time ago. Do you know what I mean?

Isn't it strange, what we notice as we lose weight? I don't see any real difference in my fingers from last week, but my ring is much more loose, so obviously even my fingers lost weight! LOL

I've blogged before about a brand new pair of size 24 jeans I have in my closet. I've had them for at least 10-12 years. Well, I am less than 20 lbs now from being able to FINALLY wear them!

And YES, to the blogger who emailed me. I will definitely have an updated profile picture taken, when I achieve my first mini-goal! I may need Anne's (blog: Carb Tripper) expertise there, but she'll help me with a side-by-side comparison photo too.

Hmmmmm, maybe I better check with her to see if she'll be available to assist in that next week or the week after ...

Day 69 and I am losing it!! :D

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alright!! NSV and a Sneak Peek

Well, I had an interesting morning. Going into church, we ran into friends we haven't seen since late July. The husband said, "WOW! You look fantastic!" as he locked me in a great big bear-hug. And the wife, who walked right past me initially, spun around and said, "ANN??!! Holy cow, what are you doing?!" hahaha I LOVED it.

I wrote a few days ago that I lost a pound last week, but I could already tell I've lost more since then, just in how my clothes are fitting. Well, I decided to step on the scale today ...

I cannot WAIT to see what Tuesday's weigh-in will be.

As of today, I have unofficially busted through "THE WALL" -- my nemisis plateau !! I finally ... FINALLY ... out-lasted that stubborn plateau and I am moving down the scale. I just kept blindly following my diet, and decided not to let the scale influence me away from my eating plan. And how about that? It worked! My body finally decided I meant business.

Time for my snack - a banana - and yes, I am looking forward to it.

I can't even express how thrilled and relieved I am to be putting "The Wall" behind me -- FOREVER!!

And, now I set my sights on breaking out of the 280s! I may yet make my first 10% goal of 277, before my next doctor appointment in late October. How wonderful will that be? My doctor won't believe it.

Wow, I'm almost giddy at the thought. I better step away from the computer and have a banana.

Just had to share that NSV (running into our friends), and my sneak peek scale progress.

Still Day 68 ... take THAT, you pathetic little wall. YOU LOSE, I WIN!! Ha Ha Ha

Day 68 - Seeking Experienced Trail-blazers

I'm seeking advice.

The food holidays are coming up. Does anyone have any tips on how to successfully negotiate through the food mine-field that looms before us?

I'm actually a little more nervous about Christmas than Thanksgiving, simply because Thanksgiving is concentrated on just one day. Christmas, on the other hand, is an entire season of parties and cookies and so forth.

Allan would say, eat less and move more - excellent diet advice, simplified.

And, of course, he is right. I've watched Allan successfully negotiate through a pretty impressive Yom Kippur feast, and he is humming along at minus 124 lbs!!

I've been reading last fall's blog entries and they are literally FILLED with regret. I didn't read a single entry (so far) that didn't have "I went off my diet" or "wish I had stayed truer to my plan" themes. Some of the weight gains were significant. I want to avoid that awful "why did I do that" feeling. Today, right now, I'm pretty confident I could stick to my plan ... but I'm not seeing the sights and smelling the aromas either.

I'm looking for strategies to turn to, if my normal resolve starts to disintegrate into "I'll just have a bite of this" or "just a taste of that" ... that slippery slope we all know so well.

I am NOT giving myself a vacation from my diet. That isn't an option for me. What works, to get one past that weak moment, where the old family favorites (unhealthy, to be sure) are beckoning?

Any experienced food holiday trail-blazers out there?

Day 68 and thinking how much I don't want to be a holiday "morning after" statistic ...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How Much Have You Lost - So Far?

Anne (blog: Carb Tripper) commented "Maybe we can be statistics of the group of those who made it back to health -- and stayed that way for life!" I like how Anne thinks!! Joy (blog: Joy) mentioned she has lost 51 lbs so far (I've lost 24). Together, the two of us have shed 75 lbs! Those two commentaries got me to thinking ...

How much weight have you lost, so far? It might be fun to see, all in one location and as a group, what we've managed to do already. Newbie, long into the journey, or already at goal, post your progress in commentary!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 66 - Eye-opening Conversations

Today is Friday, September 24 - Day 66 of my journey to health. And I had the most eye-opening conversations this past week, I just have to journal that experience.

(My previous post was for the 21st, but just posted earlier today, just so there is no confusion on the days.)

First, some personal observations.

Dad's surgery was just one of dozens (DOZENS) scheduled for that day. Every single, solitary "pre-surgical" private room had someone in it, scared to death of the surgery. And with him/her were loved ones, equally as scared.

Will the patient survive? And if so, will the patient be able to function, talk, walk ... will s/he even be able to return home again? Or will a stroke on the table force a trip straight to a nursing home, from the hospital?

Life, for patients and families alike, literally hang in limbo there. It did for us. At that point, no one there (patient or family) had control of anything.

And that unit is filled like this, day in and day out.

And yes, while we were there, one of the morning patients didn't return to his room. A nurse returned to his room (across from ours) to take away his bag of clothing, the stuff he wore when he walked in and said good morning to us, as we passed in the hallway. He seemed like such a nice man.

This was the reality.

We prayed for him and his family - and hoped he at least lived. (The staff can't share any information about a patient, so we don't know if he even lived or not. All we knew was that he wasn't coming back to that unit.)

You know how we always thought "tomorrow, I'll ..."? Well, the nurse said most of these patients didn't even know they had a problem a month ago.

The unit was filled to capacity with people who thought "tomorrow, I'll ..." -- it had some retirement-age folks, as one would expect, but also a surprising (shocking) number of 40- and 50-somethings too. I didn't expect to see that, in those numbers.

When reality visits, it sometimes doesn't give a warning.

We often don't have a clue what is going on inside our bodies. If we don't feel pain or discomfort, we must be okay, right? How misguided of us, how naive, and how potentially dangerous. We hum along, doing what we usually do, how we like to do it (more bacon, please) and never give a thought to what reality is going on inside our bodies, undetected.

And most of the unit's 40- and 50-something year old patients were heavy. I didn't see one that looked to be under 250 lbs. It is one thing to be told "this is what could happen" and "this is what statistics show," but it is quite another to see human faces (and so many of them), going through something I didn't really ever think could possibly apply to ME. That stuff is what happens to other people. I'm not a statistic.

Well, neither were they.

A phrase one of the nurse trainees told me the nurses use (privately), is "I'm not a statistic - YET." I'm forever going to keep that in my mind.

I'm not a statistic - yet.

Dad's vascular surgeon came out to talk to us, immediately after the surgery. The surgeon was fit and strong and so very serious. He deals with blocked artieries and veins every single day, in one way or another. And most issues, he said, can be completely prevented with a healthy diet.

Something as simple as diet, could (literally) prevent all of this?!

But reality continued ...

Some of Dad's issue was handled well, but some could not be. (What? You mean surgery can't solve EVERYTHING?!!) No, sometimes not. I'm sorry.

The surgeon was being kind, but firm. The truth sometimes hurts.

This was the reality.

The good news - the immediate crisis has passed, and Dad will be okay - not 100%, but okay (at least for this particular issue).

So, here is the bit of free advice Dad's vascular surgeon was kind enough to pass along to me, unsolicited.

Lose weight. You now, officially, have a parent with this issue. Take it seriously. Don't become a statistic. (!!!) I will send your father home with a packet of information and a set of instructions. In it, there is a diet plan I strongly urge him to follow. I'm going to have the nurse include a second diet plan set - for you. I don't want to see you on my operating table unnecessarily.

Ouch. The truth hurts. But this is a highly paid expert at what he does, and he knows of what he speaks. I'd be a fool not to pay attention.

And here is the funny part - the nurse told me just yesterday that the diet will be a low fat one. (That's what I've been trying to do these last 66 days.) The surgeon didn't know, of course, that I've lost over 20 lbs in the last two months. But, I am now very excited to see what exactly the instructions say. I'm not sure how compliant Dad will be, but I don't need a hammer to fall on my head - I get it. I do.

Dad can't wait to come home this afternoon! And we can't wait to get him there. He was an excellent patient, so far. It wasn't an easy thing to go through, and it wasn't an easy recovery period either. But, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, I hope we never have to visit that unit again - ever. The staff was wonderful, and highly skilled, and (sadly) very well practiced. How sad, that poor diet had more to do with this than anything else. And I keep remembering what the nurse said - most of these patients had no clue anything was wrong a month ago.

I've had my warning shot over the bow. It was a week of eye-opening conversations, and eye-opening observations, and I'm not wasting any of it.

Interestingly, the hospital cafeteria had a salad bar (as one would expect), and some healthy entree choices (2), but it also had a pizza area, a "classic American" section (cheeseburgers, anyone, with fries?), a dessert stand to make Wonka weep for joy, and enough cola-company-sponsored beverages to fill Lake Ontario. Okay, perhaps I exaggerated there a bit, but you get the point.

It is up to the individual to practice self-control, to make good choices. And isn't that what I face every single day? It is up to ME to make good choices. The variety is there, the good and the bad, and it is up to me to pick wisely, carefully.

So, I managed to lose weight (1 lb, so far - though I can tell I've lost more since Tuesday), by eating salads with smart dressing choices, or a healthy entree, and by consistently making proper selections for myself. What I wanted was comfort food - lots and lots of comfort food. And it would have been very easy to "treat myself" - trust me. I came THISCLOSE on one occasion, but I reminded myself that habits must change, and food doesn't bring any real comfort - not really. We had a lot of curve balls tossed our way this week. I wouldn't want to repeat any of it. But, we got through it. And ...

I'm not a statistic - yet.

Day 66, and looking forward to Dad's discharge!

Day 63 - Weigh-in Results: 283 lbs.

I did it! My weigh-in results for Tuesday, September 21 (recorded that day, but first posted today) show a one pound drop!

I'm still in plateau range, but moving downward, after the previous week's bump upward.

Since Tuesday, I am already noticing more signs that the weight is dropping again, so I am excited for next week to get here! No more plateau!!

Dad is doing well. His fragile body handled things okay. He is far from healthy, but a crisis was avoided and things are getting back to normal now. THANK YOU, Everyone, for your prayers and well wishes. Dad will be discharged Friday afternoon and we are so terribly grateful.

As you might guess, there was a lot of restaurant and cafeteria food this past week. I made the best choices I could, consistently, and still managed to lose a pound - despite all the stress and worry.

It CAN be done!

Thanks again for all the well wishes and wonderful emails!! xxox

Friday, September 17, 2010

Last Post

This is going to be my last post for a little while. I'll be back, if things go well, in about eight or nine days. (It isn't that I'm not committed to my diet, but simply won't be near a computer for most of the time.)

Thank you to all who've sent well wishes and prayers for my father.

I will remain absolutely committed to sticking to my diet, making good choices, and even drinking more water! I'm even taking a few books with me on health/diet-related topics to keep me company, during the down times I'll be sitting at Dad's bedside, watching him rest.

I expect good reports from everyone, when I get back online! :)

And I'm going to put this in writing - I WILL lose weight this upcoming week, even if just a half pound. There, I said it. And I meant it.

One of my girlfriends said it isn't likely, and I'm setting unrealistic expectations of myself. I'll be doing a lot of sitting, a lot of waiting, a lot of eating whatever is provided.

She's wrong.

Where there is a will, a determination, there is a way to make it happen.

So, I'm putting it in writing - I WILL lose weight this upcoming week.

Be good! I'll catch up when I return.

Drinking Enough Water?

To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals. -- Benjamin Franklin

I have NOT been particularly good about drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. But, I think that is going to change now.

Doing my usual reading, I ran across a few tidbits of information that were news to me.

I knew, of course, water is a good and necessary requirement for our bodies, but I didn't know (that is, until today) that when we are dehydrated, the kidneys turn to the liver for help. And THAT means the liver isn't paying as much attention to its fat-burning job.

I guess that is just another reason to keep up with my daily water requirements!

Pardon me, while I take a sip ...

I also read that any drop in the body's water content (or put another way, any slight increase in dehydration) results in all sorts of bodily/system adjustments. A drop in water content decreases the blood volume and saliva production. This, in turn, apparently sets off a change in chemical and hormonal processes that creates that sense of thirst humans experience.

And, I didn't know (until reading it today) that the reason our urine sometimes looks darker when we are dehydrated is because the kidneys conserve water when they sense dehydration. They conserve water by returning more of it to the bloodstream, and that results in more concentrated urine. Now I know.

Taking another sip ...

Fascinating thing, the human body.

Another water fact that was news to me ... thirst naturally lessens with age! So, as I get older, I need to make a point to drink water periodically, even if I don't feel thirsty. As the body ages, it naturally dries out a little bit. As an example, I read a newborn is 75%-80% water, but people over 70 are generally closer to 50%.

Who knew?

Refilling my glass ...

Then there were these little facts I ran across, just for fun:

The typical (or was it "average"?) adult body contains 45 liters of water, 30 of which circulate within the cells, 3 circulate in blood plasma (working to carry nutrients, etc.) and the remaining 12 make up interstitial fluid. (That surrounds cells, comprises various bodily secretions, etc.) Water, as it turns out, is vital to virtually every bodily system.

Taking a long, refreshing, drink ...

Most people require 6-8 glasses of water a day, to remain properly hydrated, but needs will vary (depending up exercise, heat, etc. and so forth). THIS I knew.

Taking another sip ...

And what water gives, caffiene can take away (think diet colas, coffee, etc.) so I guess I need to use that sparingly. (I admit to TWO glasses of diet cola last night with my dinner. Umpf.)

Savoring a nice long drink ...

And a sip ...

And another sip ...

So, if not already obvious, today (after reading all this stuff about water), I decided to ramp up my water intake - aiming for 8 glasses today.

I'm starting a water log.

Day 58 and rehydrating ...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The heinz 57 Post

This is Day 57, so I thought my theme should be a heinz 57 post - a little bit of everything.

This upcoming (next) week will be a lot of hospital-related things for Dad, so I don't anticipate being online much. I'll weigh-in as usual on Tuesday or Wednesday, but probably won't post the results until the weekend. Will I break through The Wall?

Oh, the anticipation.


Sean (blog: The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser) is celebrating an anniversary today. His post touched upon something I could not articulate nearly as well, to wit:

... I've written before about making that “Iron-Clad Decision,” and it's that decision to succeed, that rock-solid commitment to consistency that has given me these incredible results. I found out that you have to give this journey an amazingly high priority. You have to make it one of the most important things you do. You have to defend your journey from anything and everything that might try to derail it. You have to protect it from yourself. I was always my own worst enemy, I understand that.

When you make it this important, it really makes it hard to rationalize bad choices, you know what I mean? As dramatic as it might sound, this is life and death stuff my friend. And no matter if you have 30 pounds or 300 pounds to lose, if you give it that “do or die” level of importance in your life, you're less likely to fail. ...

And followed that further in his post with:

... I've discovered something that many have discovered before me, and that is this: It's really 20% about food and exercise and 80% about the mental aspects. ...

When I tried to explain what was different, in yesterday's post of that title, this is what I was talking about. There is a BIG mental shift in attitude, in priority, in taking personal responsibility. The R word. It comes down to that, really. As Sean said, playing victim doesn't get us to our goals.

This man banished nearly 230 lbs in two years. He speaks from personal experience ... SUCCESSFUL personal experience. (Happy anniversary to Sean!) And he just gave away his not-so-secret to his success (which I partially quoted above). I wonder how many readers will actually make use of this valuable insight.

The NSV of the day = The bag boy who asked me today where my aunt was. My aunt? Yes, he replied, she looks a little bit like you, only heavier. Is she on vacation? (Um ... you could say that.)

I'm lovin' the bag boy of lane 5.

What is your NSV today? Share!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Check Out This Challenge

I've posted a Challenge Badge on the lower right of my blog page. Check it out - "Ice Queen" (blog: Fat Like Me) came up with this. It is what I call a self-challenge.

Each person challenges himself/herself to stick to their healthy eating plans through the holiday season! (And let's face it, who doesn't need extra incentive to help with that?!!)

Thanksgiving ... need I say more?

Check out this challenge. I got a kick out of the creative badge too.

Day 56 - What is Different This Time?

Tomorrow is my birthday.

Normally, this would be celebrated by receiving a few cards and well wishes in the mail, a little gift from Mom and Dad via UPS, and always dinner at Carrabbas (Chicken Bryan, thankyouverymuch) with my husband.

Chicken Bryan is loaded with goat cheese and lemon butter sauce, among other things.

I love(d) it so.

Yeah, I'm not doing Chicken Bryan this year. No worries.

And no, I'm not giving myself "a day off" for my birthday. That sort of thinking is NOT conducive to weight reduction.

And here is the remarkable thing about that previous paragraph. I'm sticking to my diet, despite having one of the worst months ever, despite wanting to celebrate my birthday (but it is pretty much going unrecognized this year), AND despite feeling irritated that "the wall" picked THIS week to appear.

Stupid plateau.

My diet has become my constant. It is the thing that cannot be messed with, compromised, or willfully disregarded (even if just for one day).

This is because I am putting my health first, if it kills me.

Bad things happen - mostly good things happen, but we all have those rough patches. And everyone gets through them the best way they can. I've been helped by reading all those wonderful blogs out there, bloggers who've deviated off their diets because life tossed a curve ball, and now (after the fact) they are struggling and wishing they got back on their plans sooner.

I've been there myself in years past.

Those bloggers' struggles (some completely understandable) got me to thinking about what I've done in the past, and how it didn't work for me in the long run. And I decided this time, no matter what, I need to do things differently.

I need a different result.

Well, I'm sure being put to the test. And, so far, my resolve is steadfast.

Something I haven't shared before (not really germaine to this topic, but is important background for me/my journal) is that I lost my mother earlier this year. It was sudden and unexpected ... and a mere two weeks after Dad was diagnosed with a very aggressive bone cancer.

I won't go into all the doctor and hospital and treatment things, as I help Dad through this crisis. Everyone knows what that is about.

This month has just been particularly hard.

In addition to caring for Dad (which is tough enough), just this month, our riding mower died, my dishwasher quit (after a major cooking day, of course, so I have loads and loads of dishes to do now by hand), and I was just ticketed because I did my husband a favor, at his request, taking his car for a gas fill-up ... well, "oops" ... he forgot to renew his registration by the end of August.

My husband is usually ANAL about getting that stuff done early, but we've had our hands full and it simply slipped his mind.

Fines, court costs, processing fees ... let's just say, my "birthday" - modest as it is anyway - is now going to the county this month. I'm cooking at home - and even washing my own dishes.

Whoa is me, right?

No way.

My point in even mentioning all this stuff, is to say that despite it all (death, terminal illnesses, financial setbacks, etc.) - and the half dozen really good justifications I'd have to temporarily step away from my diet - I'm NOT eating off plan.

Life is good and bad, fair and not, but it is all the life I have. I can use the bumps as an excuse to self-indulge, or I can do myself the biggest kindness of all, by trying my very hardest to get healthy.

So, my diet has become my constant, the island in a September sea of turmoil this year.

And, this pretty sad birthday (the first without Mom, and Dad - because he is really in no shape to celebrate anything right now), will pretty much be forgotten and ignored, and that is okay. It is soon enough going to be history, and then I would have to face my weight again anyway, so I figured this time, I'm not going to let life distract me enough to make my health a lessor priority.

As it turns out, maybe my weight loss (assuming I get off this plateau), will be the one thing I can actually cling to this September, as a good moment.

And, I know, life will soon swing the pendulum in the other direction, and I'll be back to more good moments than not so good. Life is pretty great that way. And it will be something to look forward to, and at a lower weight this time!

It is about determination, not self-pity, and certainly not self-indulgence. This is what is different this time, as opposed to my previous diet attempts.

I'm doing something different, so my results will be different, so I will be healthier.

There is only one true path to a good result, and it is up to me to stay on it.

Day 56 and praying my 20-year old car doesn't quit now (of all times) ...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 55 - Weigh-In Results: 284 lbs. "The Wall"

The Wall ... I was hoping it would not become a reality this time around, but clearly it is here.

This is the plateau (283-284) I have not been able to break through, previously. I equate this to my body's mandatory rest stop. UGH.

I am up one pound from last week.

I reviewed my diet over the last seven days, and I've been right on plan - no overages whatsoever. So, all is good there. And I recognize this could be hormonal, fluid retention, developing muscles, or a handful of other causes.

So, now that I've hit this, what do I do now?

I have several options open to me:

1. Ignore the scale, and just keep doing what I'm doing.
2. Reduce the caloric intake.
3. Increase the exercise.

Quitting is not an option.

A few days ago, I posted:

" ... so I expect the body to make adjustments that will cause the loss to fluctuate or stall every so often.

When that happens, it will be my responsibility to carry on doing the right thing, making those good decisions. No excuses. No whining."

Little did I know!

Well, I'm going to hold to that. This is what bodies do.

I choose option 1.

I'll remain tight to my dietary plan, with perhaps a hyper-alterness to caloric intake this upcoming week. If the scale does not move downward next week, I will go to option 3.

There. Decision made. Back-up plan in place. Done.

I know I did well this past week, and I couldn't change anything even if I didn't do well, so no looking back. I've made my assessment, and now it is forward - onward and downward.

Some would say, "One pound isn't so bad." Hey, it isn't weight loss either. I choose to be pro-active and positive. No excuses and no whining.

BUT, I reserve the right to throw myself onto the floor and kick and scream if the scale doesn't respond to my efforts next week.

It IS exercise, after all. :)

Will my body respond to my efforts? It HAS to. That is science. I'm giving it no options BUT to respond. It is just a matter of how long will it take to get my body's weight moving again, in the right direction.

If I go to my old stand-by, of feeding my disappointment, I diminish my ability to remain in control of this process, and make this minor bump into a major challenge. I would also be reverting to the old habits that got me into this predicament of obesity. Not good. So, I'm going to tough it out, be the adult, and continue to work the dietary plan.

My measurements remain the same as last week, so no changes there.

In the back of my mind, I am aware my next doctor appointment is October 20th, and I'd really like to see my mini-goal reached by then (ideally). That is extra incentive to tough this out, but not extra pressure. The body is going to do what it is going to do, and my responsibility is to simply keep making good decisions.

My mindset is completely different this time around, and that is a good thing!

Bring on that wall! I'm ready to scale it ...

Day 55 and more determined than ever ...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Essence of Success

Reading my fellow bloggers' posts can be frustrating, annoying, inspirational, exciting, and everything in between. Every so often, however, I get actual nuggets of wisdom that click with me - things that are worth holding onto, and using.

The What: Excess Weight

Allan (blog: Almost Gastric Bypass) has been writing a lot lately about attitudes and actions. What he is saying, in essence, is:

This is hard work. This is what you know you need to do. Stop your whining and DO it, if you want to succeed.

Okay, that was actually my quick summary of Allan's messages of late.

Do you know what that is called? Two words:

Taking Responsibility

And he's right. I've been guilty, at times, of whining - though I hope not often or for long. And I need to stop it.

I am where I am because of ME.

No excuses. No defenses.

I, and I alone, picked unhealthy things to eat, too often, and in quantities too great. And I did this over a LONG time.

It really is as simple as that.

So, now I have to fix this. It won't be quick. It won't be fun. It might even be annoying and inconvenient, but it is my responsibility.

How fast, or how slow, or to what level of success, will simply depend upon my level of commitment, dedication, and to what extent I take this responsibility seriously.

It IS a matter of life or death - mine.

This extra weight directly affects my ability to enjoy the things I want to do, and to great extent my ability to participate in life's little adventures. So, when Allan says he wants to lose weight more than he wants that cookie, I get it. I do.

The Why: Failure to Exercise Self-Control

Sometimes, words of wisdom come from comentary to posts, rather than posts directly. Karyn (blog: Metamorphosis) commented on my previous post with this:

"... I love this feeling of being in control of my actions, instead of letting temptations and a desire for instant gratification rule the day.

The ultimate gratification will come down the line when we love what we see in the mirror, and when we feel healthier than we've felt in years. ..."

Amen, Karyn, Amen!

She is speaking to the very heart of what got me to where I am today.

I cared more for instant gratification than control.

The justifications don't really matter. I cannot change the past, but only control what I do from this point forward. So, I work hard to make one good decision after another. Sometimes, the decisions aren't perfect, but you work with what you are presented. If the options aren't great, I pick the best one, minimize the impact to the best of my ability, and don't look back.

The How: Semantics

The math works. Science has proven this.

If I take in fewer calories than I expend, I will lose weight.

Now, how anyone goes about creating this deficit will vary. We all have our preferences, and varying levels of commitment. For me, I've chosen a low fat diet. I think I can sustain this style of eating, and I am enjoying it. Most importantly (to me), it is working.

If it stops working, I need to re-emphasize the math and see what I did wrong in my diet selections.

I will have failed, not the food.

So, it is up to me to make corrections and adjustments as I go along. No one is perfect.

And I recognize the science of it, so I expect the body to make adjustments that will cause the loss to fluctuate or stall every so often.

When that happens, it will be my responsibility to carry on doing the right thing, making those good decisions. No excuses. No whining.

The Who: Who Else?

Me, myself, and I.

Since I am finally putting my health as a priority, I decide what works for me and what doesn't. No apologies.

A person is either with me or against me in my efforts - and if s/he isn't with me, too bad for that person. I'm not giving him or her much of my time or consideration. (Who am I going out to lunch with next time? The girlfriend who said, "Oh, just eat the cheese on the salad. A little bit isn't going to kill you." Or the friend who said, "Send it back, they screwed up." ???)

It sounds selfish, I know, but I don't want to be buried in an oversized coffin next year, with folks milling around saying what a nice person I was.

I'd rather be alive and liked a little less.

I can be more generous, when I'm not fighting for my life.

That said, if I misstep, I expect someone to call me on it. Challenge me. If coming from a helpful position, I can respect that - and appreciate it.

THIS is the stuff that works, proven by those who've been there and done that - and are sustaining their normal weights. I've been doing a lot of general research, as well as a lot of reading of blogs, all over the place.

There is a lot of "stuff" out there, but weeding through it all, I am finding wise words which speak to me of the essence of success.

Quick Thinking and Risk-Management aka Dodging a Bullet

Well, our calendar had a long-standing dinner party commitment for last night. The hostess is a FABULOUS cook - and of mostly stuff my plan doesn't allow for right now.

I didn't want to miss the event, but didn't want to go off my plan either. What to do? What to do?

I decided I would show up with a fabulous appetizer (which was perfectly on plan for me) ... and a lot of it. My thought was that if there were no other dish I could eat, I could at least eat that.

Well, not only was my appetizer a huge hit, but that - plus a mixed greens salad - got me through the buffet-style meal on plan, and no one even noticed I didn't take the cheese-laden and/or fried other dishes! I had water with my dinner, and stayed perfectly on plan with no one being the wiser!!

I had a wonderful time visiting with everyone, and food was just the background, as it should be! I was so glad a little quick-thinking and risk-management action saved my diet, saved my evening, and boosted my confidence too, that I can make this work for me.

I dodged the proverbial bullet to my diet, and it was surprisingly easy!

Day 53 is starting off well ...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 52

Today will be a busy one. I'm heading out the door this morning to go pick apples at a nearby orchard. Nothing like WORKING for my fruit, hey?!

Still, I can't let today pass, without pausing to honor the memory of all those directly affected by the 9/11 attacks.

I'm remembering all those who parished tragically nine years ago today, and their surviving families, with prayers.

I'm also thinking about our military people today, past and present, dedicated and patriotic, having served our country, and those serving her still today - especially abroad. Thank you, one and all, for your service! They have my prayers every day, but especially so today.

I'm praying, also, for our police and firemen, those sacrificing souls who put themselves in harms way for our sakes, right here at home. They were the hero-victims of that tragic day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 51 - Changes

"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us." -- John Dryden

Isn't that the truth?!

I'm trying to get rid of bad old habits by replacing them with new, healthier ones.

And it is getting easier.

I am hit with less cravings and fewer strong temptations. They haven't gone away completely, mind you, but they are much less frequent than they were even a month ago. Their calls to me are growing fainter and less demanding.

I like that.

I have more energy. I almost didn't notice, the change has been a subtle one. But, I find myself doing more in a lot of little ways. I don't tire as easily. I sleep more soundly. Things have just become - well - easier, and more comfortable. I'd almost forgotten ...

When the body is properly fueled over a period of time, the internal systems start to regain efficient functioning, and it shows. Everything, it seems, adds to the body's general well-being.

I enjoy feeling this way, especially coming into autumn. The cooler weather just adds to my energy level.

I appreciate this feeling more, the second time around. I took it all for granted, and it went away.

THIS time, I am savoring the marvel of it all, and I am working hard to regain and keep it.

THIS time, the changes are in the positive, healthy direction, and I am going to keep it that way.

I am now thoughtfully choosing my habits. And I am going to let my healthier habits make me anew. Changes are a good thing!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Never Go Fishing

Never go fishing, at least with young people.

Our nephew, Patrick, was visiting the last few days. He left for Hilton Head this morning, for his planned golf weekend with his friends. We loved that he stopped by for a few days with us!

Fresh off my feel-good "someone noticed" experience yesterday, I made the mistake of fishing for another compliment.

I should have known better.

So, yesterday, I ask Patrick (22) if he thinks I look like I lost any weight. I didn't tell him I've been dieting for 49 days.

"Nope," he said rather matter-of-factly, "but wearing darker pants may help."

Gee. Thanks.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 49 - Someone FINALLY Noticed - Kind Of

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." -- Jim Ryun

Well, I had to lose almost 25 lbs, but someone today (finally) seemed to notice I've lost weight - in a round about way.

A neighbor asked if I had lost "a few pounds" or were those new jeans I was wearing. (Both, actually.) LOL Yep, that was it. But hey, I'll take it!! Even if no one else notices, I do.

I think I am going to start keeping a water log. I know I'm not consistently getting 8 glasses in each day. I'm not doing poorly, but I can do so much better.

The diet today (for lunch) calls for a hummus and veggie sandwich. Didn't feel much like a sandwich today, so I just made some vegetables instead (carrots and beets). I'll have some hummus on pita "chips" for a snack later, if I'm still hungry.

I'm doing well by not eating to stress. I think I will list that as an NSV.

Well, day 49, and someone kind of noticed that perhaps I lost "a few pounds" ... sweet!


I read the most interesting, informative and eye-opening summary of how poor meal selections affect me physically, and I reference the link at the bottom of this post. To paraphrase:

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER ONLY ONE HIGH-FAT MEAL? (yes, only 1 high-fat meal)


- your triglycerides levels rise
- your cholesterol levels increase
- clotting factors in your blood have been affected

2 Hours Later:

- triglyceride levels have increased by 60%
- blood flow has decreased BY HALF

3 Hours Later:

- lining of arteries have lost elasticity
- blood vessel function has become abnormal

4 Hours Later:

- blood has gotten even thicker

5 Hours Later:

- triglyceride levels have now increased by 150%

6 Hours Later:

- the anti-inflammatory affect of "good" cholesterol has been compromised

The piece goes on, but I was stunned by some of these revelations. Why don't they teach us this stuff? Anyway, the link to the article is here:

Please note, I am not a medical professional, clinician, or dietician and am not offering medical advice or critique in any form. I am merely commenting and summarizing what I've read, and provide the link to the full piece for your own reference and evaluation.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 48 - Weigh-in Results: 283 lbs.

Well, there it is, my nemesis number, staring me straight in the face.

How is that for irony? This has historically been "The Wall" - the plateau number that stalls me every single time.

I was secretly hoping I'd weigh in below this number today, just so I could breeze by this. But, clearly, I was meant to do battle here.

And do you know what? I feel just fine, because I lost 1.5 pounds this past week! Yes, I am ready to do battle with The Wall. Bring it on! No matter what, I'm sticking to the plan. (So watch this NOT be a plateau this time ... which would be fantastic!!)

My vegan experiment began yesterday. I won't hide the truth, I did more cutting of vegetables yesterday than (probably) in the last two months. But the results?

Completely worth it!

The menu for lunch called for carrot roast red pepper soup, and a "confetti couscous" salad. The salad was fantastic - who knew healthy could taste so UNhealthy? LOL The soup was good too. The dinner was a Hoppin' John dish and a kale salad. I love kale salad, so that was fine. However, I am not a lover of black-eyed peas. I think next time, I'll make the Hoppin' John dish with black beans (my fellow Southerners are aghast right now).

Hey, this vegan thing is all about experimenting, eating healthy and discovering new things. Sometimes, we discover delightful things. Sometimes, we discover less delightful things.

I'm putting the confetti couscous salad in my keep file. It is loaded with veggies, but it sure doesn't taste like a blah veggie dish. It was high in nutrients, low in fat, high in fiber ... and so interesting and flavorful (curry, vinegar, lemon went into the dressing). It was a winning dish, to be sure.

So, after the first day, I'd say so far, so good! Me, the one who has trouble meeting the minimum daily vegetable requirements, yesterday had carrots, red peppers, onion, kale, celery, tomato, and even a little red cabbage. And it was painless. In fact, it was really, really good!

Lunch today is a vegan veggie burger on a whole grain bread, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard. With that, I will eat a cup of the carrot and red pepper soup (leftover from yesterday's lunch).

Dinner will be "Southern Beans and Greens" and a side of the wonderful couscous confetti salad leftover from yesterday's lunch. The "Southern Beans and Greens" dish is essentially any bean of my preference, with garlic, and cooked kale (and they have us season everything well, of course). It isn't quite as labor-intensive as yesterday's meals, and I believe that is by design, since the 21-day Kickoff knew it would be starting on Labor Day (a holiday most have off).

Anyway, I am definitely making that couscous confetti salad again. Yum!! The new foods/preparations almost make me forget I'm (literally) up against my deadliest diet foe - 283-284 lbs - The Wall.

Day 48 and keepin' it fresh ...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 47 - Labor Day 2010

What a glorious Labor Day this is, sunny and mild!

I used the lightweight hand weights to work on my upper arm "toning" this morning. I haven't noticed any differences so far, until this morning. The top of the shoulders now have some definition! This is, in part, due to the weight I've been losing (naturally), but it is nice to feel the curve over my shoulders again. Like my kneecaps, the shoulders just became "lost" in the weight build-up.

My exercise for today will be swimming. (Brave, aren't I?)

Today is the start of the vegan diet 3-week experiment. It started out with homemade apple-cinnamon oatmeal. It was very good! The apple part was simple enough - just substitute 2/3 of the water with apple juice concentrate. The oatmeal was very filling, and yummy. Nothing weird about that, so I was happy.

Anne (Blog: Carb Tripper) pointed out there are lots of unhealthy things that fall under the vegetarian umbrella too, so eating vegetarian doesn't necessarily equate to eating healthy. So true! It just goes to show, EVERYONE must be active in making good, healthy choices.

The current issue of Women's World contains the Duke University "better than gastic bypass" diet. I think this is the vegetarian diet Kathy (my challenge buddy) alluded to the other day. (Blog: Fatty Kathy's Weight Loss Journal) Sounds simple, and looks effective. Hmmmmmm ... something to remember when I hit a big snag and need to change things up a little bit.

I read on the WebMD site, that "losing 10% of body weight over a six-month period of time is the "gold standard" for improved health."

My tracker (at the top of my blog) measures my progress on my current mini-goal, whose current goal happens to be 10% loss from my initial body weight.

Progress, not perfection, right? Enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Seven Things

As one of the recipients of the latest award (bottom of blog), I am to post seven things about me.

1. My favorite American painters are (deceased) Childe Hassam and (living) Loren DiBenedetto, who is best known for her still life pieces. [I love paintings and sculptures of all types though.]

2. In my (much) thinner days, I often enjoyed hang gliding. [Adventurous, hey?]

3. I've never been to NYC, but always wanted to go. [The last time I was booked to FINALLY visit NYC, planes were grounded due to the 9/11 attacks.]

4. I do not have pierced ears. [I'm adventurous, but not enough to want to add holes ...]

5. I'm a dog person, who happens to have a fondness for cats with personality. [No, I do not own a cat personally, but have friends and family who do, and I love 'em ... the friends and family too.] ha!

6. I've hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and back out again, all in the same, long, day. [Again, I was in a normal weight range then - plus I had no clue what I was letting myself in for at the time ...]

7. Secretly, I hope one day a group of us can get together and enjoy a cruise somewhere, but know that is unlikely. [Still, fun to think about, meeting everyone over salads ... haha!!]

Now, I am supposed to think of ... 15 ??!! ... people to nominate for the award. Goodness, I don't know that I know 15, who haven't already received this. I'll have to research this for a few days.

Happy Labor Day (early) ...

Lost My Pants in Aisle 4

Well, the grocery shopping was completed yesterday afternoon. Halfway through, as I reached up to take something down from a shelf, I nearly lost my pants. That was interesting. I never moved so fast in my life - whew! I spent the rest of the shopping experience trying to stick my stomach out (there's a change!!), just to help me hold the pants up.

I'm going to take them to the cleaners (who does alterations too), and just have them take it in an inch, and hem them up an inch too. I'd rather spend $8 than to have to buy another pair of pants just yet.

Back to my "vegan" shopping experience. Can you believe, the hardest thing to find was simple old BARLEY? I love BEEF barley soup, especially in the fall and winter, so I don't think of barley as such an odd thing to shop for, but the manager had to finally locate some. (I don't suppose this 21-day kickstart program has beef barley soup though. haha)

I had to get several things from the health food store. I was not surprised to see a lot of college kids and 60-year old hippies in the place, but I was very surprised at how many "everyday" people were in there too.

I was the largest person in the place, of course. No surprises there.

The health food store was foreign to me. Usually, when you walk into a grocery store (ANY major chain grocery store, in any part of the country), there is a familiar look and style to the place. This was none of those. But, it isn't about the store. It is about the products they carry.

My first impressions? The picture of the whole grain vegan waffles (on the box) even look cardboardy. Still, I'll reserve judgement for when I have to try them. I also bought something called "soy yogurt" while there. I like yogurt. Normal yogurt. So we'll see ...

Most of the regular (familiar) grocery store shopping was spent in the fresh produce area, with a little visit to the frozen food and grain/legume aisles. I enjoy fruit, and I certainly seemed to buy a lot of it this trip. The Kickstart site had us buy a much bigger variety than I would otherwise bother with: apples, bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, peaches ... all for one week. Usually, I'd get maybe two different fruit, so I can see variety won't be an issue.

But what about vegetables? That is, of course, my primary reason for trying this out. I want to learn to incorporate more veggies.

I think my first myth has been popped. I thought vegetarians ate veggie-laden, vegetable-heavy diets. However, the list for vegetables wasn't half as long as for fruit. So, either they are breaking us meat-eaters in slowly, or they don't seem to eat that many more vegetables than we do. We shall see if I still think that way next weekend.

Anyway, shopping done, and pants held up with one hand, I made my way home and my refrigerator and pantry are now stocked for tomorrow's first day.

Today, I'm wearing an old pair of stretchy pants (the ones with the elastic waistband). I wanted NO surprises in church this morning.

The AP wires are saying the Christchurch earthquake created a new fault. That is amazing ...

I wonder if Australia is just trying to pull NZ closer. Everyone likes kiwi.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 45 - The More, The Merrier

How fun is this? I've heard from a half dozen people already, who were all like me - curious about vegetarian diets, but knowing next to nothing about them! I think I won't be alone in trying something new, which will make it less intimidating.

Kathy, my challenge buddy, said there was even an article in Women's World about a vegetarian diet. (I forgot to ask what issue, Kathy. Is it the current one?)

I'm officially starting on Monday morning, and I'm glad it is a holiday. I don't know how much, or how little, work this will be.

In other news ... we're seeing pictures out of Christchurch, NZ. I've been there - gorgeous town on the south island. To my blog-buddies living in New Zealand, please keep us posted as best you can. It is a miracle (literally) that no one was killed. I've said prayers for all those affected by the event. New Zealanders are a hearty and independent bunch, but they could use (at least) prayerful support right now.

The puffiness I reported of the other day seems to have receded. It was probably the pizza ... Umpf. Even though I ordered it without cheese, it apparently had enough hidden oil in it (somewhere) to stain my shirt. Yes, after washing it several times (even using oxyclean), you can still see the oil stains where it hit my shirt and tumbled (well, more like cascaded) down the shirt front. The shirt wsa only about 2 weeks old. Oh well. On the plus side, I now have a VERY nice shirt to wear around the house for chores. (sigh) I'll be the best dressed gardener in the neighborhood.

No plans for the holiday weekend this year, aside from grocery shopping for the vegan 21-day kickstart supplies.

Enjoy this Labor Day weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 44 - Trying Something New

I've tried a LOT of different diets over the years. (Most of us probably have, no surprise there.)

Well, I've been basically doing my own thing this time around. It is essentially a low-fat diet, and I'm switching to smarter carb choices (trying to incorporate more whole grains and lower glycemic indexed choices). So far, it has been working just fine for me.

Well, I'm not opposed to trying new things, and I am constantly reading on ways to improve my health through dietary adjustments. I ran across a website the other day, and I think I'm going to give this a try. It is just for three weeks, and I can do anything for three weeks.

I've always been a little curious, so this will satisfy that, if nothing else. And it certainly can't hurt ...

I ran across this:

I don't have to pay anything. I can do my own shopping for (mostly) normal stuff. And I can give this a try and see if it does anything for me.

What is it? The "Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine" is hosting a free online 3-week introduction to vegan eating. Vegan, as in no meat. (ME? Really? I can just hear my extended family members guffawing at the thought of me giving up meat for three weeks.)

I can barely live without cheese - for now - so I'm not too sure about this. However, as I said, I can give anything three weeks ... as long as "no meat" is over by Thanksgiving. LOL Okay, probably not the attitude I need, going into this, but I have been curious what the vegetarians seem to like so well.

Keep in mind, I am the world's WORST eater of vegetables. I struggle all the time to get in SOME veggies, never mind meeting the quota for suggested daily servings. That is part of what motivates me to try this. Perhaps there is some vast vegetarian secret way to actually like veggies.

Yes, me, the non vegetable eater, is going to give the vegan diet a shot. A three week tryout.

The three week period formally starts on the 6th. I am going to take their shopping list to the store tomorrow, and stock up for their week's worth of suggestions and recipes, etc.

The site says "... this program is designed for anyone wanting to explore the health benefits of a vegan diet." Well, that would be me. I am curious. And I figure it can't hurt any. So, can I do this?

I'm willing to try something new. And then, if nothing else, I can say for three weeks, I was a vegan. Sounds cool and hip, which I'm not.

I'm refusing to eat bark or pine cones, so if there is anything weird like that, I'm not THAT experimental (or curious), but I imagine, since this is an introduction to vegan eating, it will be much more gentle than that.

PCRM "promotes preventive medicine" among other things, so this should be interesting. They have a 21-day meal plan. They'll send a daily menu to my email.

People are signing up now, which is really just supplying an email for them to send the recipes and daily meal plans, so everyone will be ready to go on the 6th. I just signed up (for free), so this is my great experiment.

If you read of my pizza fiasco from last night, then you know I often look at things for their potential "future story" status. I'm thinking this could be one of those. I can look back and say on my 4xth birthday, I was a vegan.

Say, they don't meet at Stonehenge in togas every full moon, do they? I don't do druid ... not that there's anything wrong with that.


Wish me luck next week!

I've Been Tagged!

TinaM tagged me to answer these 8 random questions for her, so here they are:

1. What pets do you have?

A dog with a bossy attitude, and we love her! Her name is Lucy. But whoa to the stranger who doesn't let us introduce her first. She doesn't tolerate strangers at all, not without an introduction by us first. After that, she is perfectly fine with everyone.

2. What is your favorite color?

I can pick just one? WOW ... um ... er ... ah ... blue, no green, no, red ... okay, let's say bluegreen and kill two possibilities with one stone. (Is bluegreen still a crayon color?)

3. What TV show are you addicted too?

Human Target - before its summer vacation. Right now, I enjoy Covert Affair. I like the good guys to prevail.

4. How tall are you?

A tiny, tiny fraction under 5'6" - barefoot

5. Have you ever got a speeding ticket? How many!

Not a single one - not that I didn't deserve a few over the years.

6. If you could wave a magic wand, what one thing would you change about yourself instantly? (physical or otherwise)

I'd like my high school weight back, without loose skin and stretch marks. Demanding, aren't I?

7.What one thing do you love about yourself, and wouldn't change? (physical or otherwise)

I love my relationship with God, but it can always use improvement (can't get close enough to the Big Guy, right?). So, I suppose my choice would be my eyes.

8. How long do you think you will keep up your blog? forever?

Forever is a long time. I don't really know how long, but I hope until I'm well into maintaining my ideal weight. I think a lot will depend upon the connections I make with others, and where they are in their journeys. Even if I'm blessed to reach my goals, I don't want to abandon someone else who may still be on the journey. We all help and support each other.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Is This A Sign?

I am one of those people who finds humor in almost anything. I just have to share this with Blogland tonight.

We went out grab a quick bite for dinner this evening. I ordered (for the first time in almost two months), a small personal pizza.

Now, not to panic. I ordered it without cheese, and loaded with veggies.

So, the waiter approaches our table with the two individual pizzas we ordered. He asked who ordered the veggie no cheese (ME!!), and as he reached across the table to place it in front of me ...

The ENTIRE little pizza slid off the pan and right onto the entire front of my shirt, then down onto my lap, and finally came to an upside-down heap on and around my feet, under the table.

I drew my breath in, because it was HOT (right out of the wood-burning oven), but the look of the poor waiter - who was already apologizing and "oh my gosh-ing" all over the place, and the other patrons (who collectively gasped), and the completely shocked look of my dining companion, all so tickled me, I burst into laughter.


I just had to share! The other staff at the restaurant were so shocked when they saw the devastation the pizza left behind.

And yes, I was quick to reassure the unfortunate waiter. Look, it is almost a right of passage - to either dump a meal or a drink on someone, or trip with a tray full of food - and I'm just glad this young waiter had me as the victim here. I wasn't upset in the least, and we all have a GREAT story to tell now, don't we? LOL

Afterwards, during my ride home, I had to think though ... was this a sign? The first time I order a pizza, albeit a modified one, and it gets dumped all over me.


I may not order pizza again for a while, just in case!

:D It has just been one of those days.

Day 43 - Paying Attention

Just an observation:

One of the things I've learned, over these last 43 days, is to truly pay attention to what my body is telling me. I've been eating to plan, with no real deviation off of that this past week, and yet I am noticing today that I am sluggish.

My energy level is not as high today. And, in fact, I feel "puffy" (and no, it isn't THAT). Perhaps, the super-burn of the last 6 weeks is starting to slow, as is expected at some point. I can't quite put my finger on it though. My weigh-in this week was good. I suppose next week's will tell the story, but something has definitely shifted from yesterday to today. I'm going to watch to see if this is a trend, or just a blip for today. Well, maybe it is trying to tell me there is a big weather change coming. There IS a hurricane heading toward the coastline.

Anyway, it is funny, how much more in tune I am with how my body is feeling. I never really paid it much attention before.

I have been doing a lot of reading, and came across a little tidbit about how cinnamon is supposed to have properties that help lower blood sugar. Interesting. I didn't know that. So, I will be sure to add ground cinnamon to my oatmeal tomorrow, just in case it is true! I like cinnamon anyway, so I really don't need much of an excuse. I just never think of it.

I enjoy running across little dietary "tips" like that. If anyone has one to share, be sure to post it in comments!

No real words of wisdom or insights to share today, except to say I had a wake-up reminder today to be much more cautious in choosing my post commentary on other blogs.

I think I upset a once good "blog friend" by complete accident, because something was read into my (apparently) poorly chosen wording.

I keep forgetting, none of us truly know each other. If we did, no one would ever read anything negative into what I say. If I have nothing constructive, helpful or kind to say to someone's blog, I don't comment at all.

And, on the flip side, I need to be more mindful that everyone of us has some sort of insecurity, and it is easy for all of us to read something with that insecurity as a filter.

Anyway, I think I need to shut up for a while. I'll lurk and read the blogs as usual (I love them!!) but I probably won't be posting much this week/end.

It is disheartening to think I hurt someone, whom I admired. If I've offended anyone else, my sincere apologies.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 42 - Happy September

How about starting out September with some NSVs?

I went into my closet this morning, and decided to try on some tops that I have yet to wear - gifts which were too small at the time I recieved them, and I was too embarrassed to let the givers know their estimates were too low. Well, both (now) fit, after two years of hanging in my closet, taunting me!

That was an AWESOME non-scale victory (NSV).

There is a downside, however. While getting dressed this morning, I realize I need to shop for some new undergarments. They are losing their ability to, um, support properly. (We'll leave it at that.) So, you know what I'm doing this afternoon. SHOPPING !! (Okay, it just turned into a NSV there.)

I also noticed my office arm rests aren't digging into my thighs. Oh, I still "touch" them, but it won't be long before I will disconnect from my office chair's armrests. (Did you know, the average width of an office chair is 19"? The average width of an airline coach seat - I've read - is LESS than 18"?)

And I just realized I am a mere 7.5 lbs away from my first mini-goal reward - new shoes.

Kathy (my 60 lb challenge buddy) indicated she celebrates a birthday in September. Isn't that a coincidence? I do as well! I guess I need to take an updated photo of my progress this month, so I can compare it to the one a year from now (at 60 lbs lighter) ... but I really want to wait until I hit 277 lbs., so perhaps October??

My next doctor appointment is in the last half of October, and I am looking forward to seeing what the lab results are. The ONLY thing to change from my last appointment/labs was my diet. I guess we will see how powerful dietary changes can be.

Happy September, One and All.

Day 42 and doing well ...