Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Seeking NSVs & Tuesday Meanderings

Where did November go?!  Was that not a FAST month? 
I was not properly (fully) hydrated this morning.  I needed to make several (long) round trips to the airport this morning, AND it is raining ... so, I'll just up my water intake this afternoon, while I am close to a bathroom.

I didn't get the "WOW" response I was hoping for, from any of our guests, but perhaps they were just being polite.  I know it is harder to detect weight loss from us big people, but you'd think at least one would comment - I've lost 50 lbs., after all (70, from last December).  Then again, I show every pound, so maybe the loss isn't that obvious to those who don't get to see me that often. 

I, however, WILL say "WOW" -- I've been catching up on today's blogs and you guys ROCK!  The runners I follow are doing an awesome job - whether beginning or already a seasoned runner.  It is inspirational, but I have to ask them .... how do you plaster the girls down?  I wouldn't want to try running, and risk getting knocked out by one of the bouncing twins.  When you are busty enough, even a perfectly fitted under garment isn't adequate for a jog/run, if you know what I mean.  Now, I'm not saying I would actually run, but I am definitely not saying "definitely not" to running.  (Did I just confuse everyone?  That made sense to me, which is actually a little scary.)

I'm doing well on the SDDDY Challenge, but I don't think I'll be carrying a new Kate Spade Anabel Tote this Christmas as I had hoped, with 10 lbs left to lose to reach that goal reward.  Christmas is less than a month away (already!!) but maybe by New Year's ... I'm going to give it my best effort anyway!  I've been working hard toward my goal, and am just tickled that I made it through Thanksgiving with a loss for the week!  I don't worry half so much about Christmas, as those meals don't hold the temptations that Thanksgiving always has.

Friday is the 24-Update Day, and I wonder if I'll notice much change from the previous update.  It would be such a treat to fit into those size 24 jeans in January, or at least by Valentine's Day.  The jeans continue to taunt me, but not nearly as loudly as they used to!!

Okay, here is my NSV for today.  One of the guests located a bag of Gharidelli caramel chocolates in my pantry ... and it still had ALL of its individually wrapped chocolates in it!  The bag isn't actually that old.  It was a "hostess gift" to me about three weeks ago.  The NSV is that chocolate has lasted in my house for three weeks - and would still be there, if not for the guests.  (I was happy to dump the chocolates into a dish for their nibbling pleasure.)  I knew the chocolate was there, and didn't go for a single piece, despite my recent chocolate craving.  I was going to put them out for the dinner guests this weekend, but the chocolate is just as gone now, having been eaten by my Thanksgiving weeklong house guests. 

You have to understand, chocolate - in any form - has never lasted long in my house.  If it is in here, I eat on it until it is gone ... or at least I USED to, but clearly not anymore!  Broke that habit.  NSV!!

What NSV did you have, in the past seven days?  I missed reading those, so please share in the comments section! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Updated Measurements

I finally found a private moment to update those measurements.  I always complain that my hips don't seem to shrink much, but wow ... those little bits, lost here and there, really do add up eventually.  I've lost 7"  (albeit slowly) from the hips - total - and 8" off my waist. 

I'll be back into my normal routine on Wednesday, and am looking forward to visiting and catching up on all the blogs.  Thank you to all who've left comments, well wishes and thoughts of support and encouragement! 

I gave Anne fair warning that I'll be needing her help in posting an updated photo, when I reach this next goal (10 lbs from now).  I so appreciate her expertise ...

I got in some more walking yesterday, but nothing today, unfortunately.  I've been playing tourist guide, and today was a lot of driving.  For those within driving distance of the NC mountains, the company LOVED the views from atop Chimney Rock.  Pretty views from Lake Lure too, looking up the Gorge.  I love taking people up there for the first time.  Fun reactions!

Today, I had a very strong craving for something sweet ... I mean a STRONG craving .. chocolate would be nice.   LOL  No, I didn't act on it, but I thought about it mightily for a while there.  Sometimes, dieting is not as much fun as other times ... and this is what prompted me to take updated measurements today.  Helped to knock that craving right out of my head.  I don't want to add ANYTHING back to the hips.  LOL

Ah, the guests are walking back inside, so I need to sign off.  Just wanted to update those measurements before I forgot (or was lured by thoughts of chocolate).  Hey, whatever works, right?  :D


Saturday, November 27, 2010

50 Pound Milestone !! Day 129 - Weigh-in Results: 257 lbs.

I am posting my weigh-in results a day early - Church tomorrow is followed by some necessary tasks for Dad, and then the entertainment of guests.

So, this week I'm down 2 lbs.  I have officially lost 50 lbs. since July 20th and am just 10 lbs from my next goal, and from leaving morbid obesity!  Very exciting!!  My BMI is down to 41.5 and I hope to start the new year very close to 40.0 ... we'll see. 

I think it is amazing to reach 50 lbs lost, just days after Thanksgiving.  I am truly thankful!  Today, I weigh 70 lbs less than I did in December 2009 - almost a year ago.

Speaking of "year," I have updated my 60-lbs-in-one-year challenge (see my signature).  The blue box on the right sidebar tells how many days remain in the challenge.  So far, so good!

Everything has been updated, except my measurements.  I will have to do those on Wednesday, when I have enough time to myself. 

Anne wondered if I was taking care of myself.  I need more sleep - a lot more sleep - but yes (Anne), I am staying hydrated, eating properly, and even squeezing in some exercise.  I could probably do better, but everything considered, I am doing okay. 

I can't let life's little dramas become cause for me to make excuses.  Part of the transformation to good health is to learn to weather all sorts of things, without using that as reason to deviate from what the body requires.  Someone emailed me earlier this week and said, kindly, that I had "such a great attitude."  Thank you for that!  But, I've learned (the hard way) that a positive attitude means nothing without positive action!  (Good intentions and all that - right?) 

Persistence means more than perfection (who is perfect, after all) and mere positive attitude.  If postive attitude counted for much, I'd have been a size 2 twenty years ago.  hahaha

Staying postive, proactive, and persistent ...  

Friday, November 26, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Black Friday

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  The most dreaded day for dieters is behind us now, and it wasn't so bad, was it?  I was pleasantly surprised, reading up on the blogs, at how many did well - enjoyed their meals and stayed, or got right back, on plan.  Well done!

Today's motivation word is FOCUS (or Refocus, for those who deviated from their plans during Thanksgiving Day).  It is very easy to become distracted from the background priorities, by the tasks at hand. 

Dad enjoyed his day yesterday, thoroughly, as did our guests - so it was a wonderful day for all.  He has one more treatment to undergo (in mid-December) and then it is entirely out of the hands of the doctors, who've been wonderful.  Whatever next year brings, we have a wonderful Thanksgiving to add to our memories this year.

As for our Thanksgiving meal, I had a little bit of everything, but no seconds on a single thing.  I even left some food on the plate.  I was very pleased that I walked away feeling satisfied, but not stuffed.  I did some walking each of the last three days too, so I'm comfortably confident there will be (at least) no weight gain for me this week, when I weigh in on Sunday.  No small feat, given the limited selections available to me at the hospital - and given the crazy hours I've been keeping.  It can be done!   Dad is home again.  He should be back to normal energy by mid-week ... he gets a bit wiped out, between the pain meds and cancer treatment.  All is good there now too, for now.  Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes.  They were very much appreciated. 

I can't possibly comment on everyone's blogs, but I've been reading quite a bit this afternoon.  I anticipate things will return to a normal schedule by Tuesday - after I take the last of our guests to the airport.  I just wanted to say how proud and pleased I am of everyone here in Blogland.  No one (really) went too insane in their eating - though a few of you feel like you did.  Everyone seemed to survive just fine, and now the main thing is to get back on track (if deviated from it). 

For those folks, don't forget that tomorrow is SATURDAY STARTOVER.  No matter what you've done, no excuses, back on your plans! 

Sharon, I thought of you yesterday - spending the first Thanksgiving without your beloved FIL.  I know you took comfort in each other's company though.  Those "first" holidays are tough ones.  I know, having been through that with Mom's recent passing.  There is comfort in traditions too - our link with those who have gone before us.

No Black Friday shopping for me.  I avoid crowds like those ... I like Allan's "Couch Friday" approach instead.  But, for all of you BF shoppers out there, best of luck in finding those deals!

Day 128 and glad to have the Thanksgiving Feast behind me, while not adding to my behind this year ...   


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Wishes

I forgot to note that I have passed the halfway mark in the 60-lb weight loss challenge.  This is a wonderful milestone.  The blue box (right sidebar) indicates how many days are left in the 365 day challenge.

Dad had his second-to-last cancer treatment yesterday.  It was a very long day.  After the last treatment, we just wait and pray. 

Dad is pretty weak/tired today.  He is a very ill fellow.  Therefore, I won't be able to spend any time online the remainder of this week, but wanted to say I will post measurement updates next week.  I haven't forgotten, just had no time - between hospital and company.  We've shifted gears and are going out to eat this year - huge departure for us. 

Dad hasn't done as well this go-around, so I can't be home to cook this year.  I'm spending most of my days at the hospital.  But, as far as Thanksgiving is concerned, I'll load up on water and veggies - enjoy a little turkey and stuffing - skip dessert ... it is what has to be done when dieting, right?  It is all about priorities.  Dad and diet ... how 'bout that?  


Happy Thanksgiving to all !!  I look forward to catching up on everyone's blogs - and to reading all those SUCCESS STORIES of Thanksgiving Day.  It is a meal.  The loved ones, with whom we spend our day of thanksgiving, really matter. 

Enjoy yourselves, be thankful for the many blessings we enjoy, and luxuriate in our healthy (sane) eating!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 124 - Weigh-in Results: 259 lbs.

I recorded a 3 lb. loss this week, bringing me out of the 260s, and into the 250s.  I now weigh 259 lbs.

I will update measurements and all the rest, later in the week, when I have more time.  I just wanted to be sure to update the weigh-in.

BMI is now into the 41s!!  41.8 to be exact. 

See previous post comments for other details.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It Is Friday, So Time For The 24-Update

Yes, two weeks have gone by already!  It is once again time for the 24-Update, where I try on my old size 24 jeans - the ones that have been taunting me forever.

Here is the link to my first attempt:


24-Update # 4:

PLENTY of leg room this time around, but the tummy is still in the way.

I can get the zipper up about 1/4 of the way though - so, progress! 

The button and button hole still have about 2.5" to go, to meet together, but the gap is shrinking.   I can get the edges of the waistband fabric to touch (barely), if I suck in my abs.  Not comfortable, not buttoned, definitely not zipped, but getting closer every (other) week.

These size 24 jeans are very light colored tan - great for summertime - but I'm going to where them WHENEVER they first fit me, I don't care if it is winter!   For now, I have tucked them back into the drawer, to await the next biweekly attempt to try them on. 

So ends this 24-Update! 

In other news, Dad needs a transfusion, so that is on the agenda for later today.  It is going to be a long day ...

Enjoy your weekend!  And thanks to those who are remembering my father in their prayers!  It is appreciated so very much ...

More later (?) ...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Here's to Good Health

When we make something (truly) a priority, it gets done.  So, how high on my list of priorities have I made my own health?  For many, many years (decades, really), it has not been.  My priority was indulging my taste buds and - apparently - every food whim that ever crossed my mind. 

That has finally changed, and I hope not too late.  I'm a LOT healthier than I was in July, but I still have a very, very long way to go.  Right now, I want to see the 250s.  I want to say good-bye to the 260s for the last time.  And when I get to 259, all my focus is going to shift to the magic mini-goal number: 247.  No more "morbid" obesity!  So many people would be mortified to learn my priority (right now) is to become "Severely Obese" ... but it is!  I'm on my way down, and that is the next big downward goal to improved health.  Crazy, isn't it?  And I have no one to blame but myself, for my lack of properly prioritizing.

I'm an expert at taking care of others, but I've neglected myself in the process.  Very short-sighted of me.  And ignoring the problem doesn't make it magically go away either (tried that, didn't work).

So, I have reset my priorities.  And, much to my surprise, it is working!  So, every morning, I ask myself, "What are my priorities today?"   And my health is always at the top these days, along with one or two other priorities.  No matter what I am put through, or what stress faces me, I will not do something that harms my wellness or undermines my ability to regain good health.  It is all about priorities!
Well, my ability to post every day will be thready, at best, over the next 7-10 days.  A house full of guests aside, Dad's been struggling, and the doctors told us yesterday he will need a transfusion.  I think my husband and I will be doing double-duty - he'll entertain the guests, and I'll be with Dad in the hospital.  I'm not sure when they'll schedule this (yet), but it will likely be sometime early next week (prior to the holiday). 

Dad is also due for another round of treatment at that time, so we'll see how the medical staff will handle that, and just go with the flow.  Dad is getting tired of the doctor appointments, lab tests, scans and hospitalizations - understandably.  It is not very easy going through this.  I can't imagine how draining this is on him.  Poor guy ...

The transfusion should give Dad back some energy, and that is a very good thing.  He has two remaining treatments left, and then we wait.  We're hoping this will take care of the cancer, but if not, the doctors have told us there are no further remedies to try. 

This Thanksgiving, we are just grateful to have Dad with us for another family tradition, and another opportunity to add to our precious memories. 

SDDDY10 Update:

Wow ... 10 days already!  One-third of the way through the challenge.

Calories today, so far:  0

Water today, so far:  0

Day 121 of my diet, still doing well but feeling a bit stressed.  I'm thinking about how I'm going to pull off the next week - preparing the house for week-long guests, and preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal for 12, while at the hospital.  LOL  Thank goodness we women are adept at multi-tasking!  Now, if I could only clone myself ... 

In the end, it is about the priorities for the next 7-10 days, and Dad is it.  When we keep our most important goals in mind, the rest falls into place. 

Here's to good health - mine, Dad's, and yours!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another One Made It !!

This is day 120 of my diet, and through ups and downs, and even a dreaded plateau, I've kept my enthusiasm.  Some days are easier than others, I won't lie, but I remain focused and committed.  I refuse to allow anything to seep into my mind that will be detrimental to accomplishing my goal.  Good health is worth fighting for, and sacrificing for, and celebrating

Sean, a fellow-blogger, hit his goal weight this week.  It is a victory for all of us, when one of our own manages to crawl out of the obesity pit and up that gleaming "healthy" hill, and I celebrate those victories as if my own! 

We all share a common bond - we've been through the battles and felt the impacts, together and singly.  There is that unspoken acknowledgement that we know where each of us has been.  We've been through the same battlegrounds, fought the same enemy.  Some haven't made it.  Some (like Sean) did.  And the stories - good and bad - keep us motivated to continue on, to fight the good fight. 

I can see Sean on the hill, smile on his face, waving the flag - and those that see him, pick up and move forward, hoping to join him there ...

We're on the way!  

SDDDY9 Update:

Calories today:  1570

Water today: 16

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Noticing The Small Things

Oral Hygiene Day for me today, as I had my teeth cleaned this morning (routine cleaning/exam).  The dentist was so surprised at my weight loss (he hasn't seen me in six months).  I was a little embarrassed though, when he said, "Wow, Ann, you are really gorgeous!"  Come on ... gorgeous?  I'm not buying it, but I strangely felt happier writing the check today.  LOL

I have a luncheon to attend today.  It will be held at a restaurant that is new to me, and not likely to have many choices.  I'm going to be very selective.  As long as they have salad, I should be fine.  These things don't bother me anymore.  I'm up to the challenge, and if nothing works, I enjoy the company and eat at home (before or after).  I can't afford to excuse myself this time of year.  Steadfastness, my motivational word for today, speaks to that.  The need to find and stick to a proper path to good health.  The thing I've discovered in previous attempts, is that there is always another excuse, right around the corner.  Life happens.  It finally clicked that I have to change my go-to repsonses to those challenges, if I want to regain good, long-term health.

Dentist's comments aside, I have some NSVs to share today.  I'm able to easily touch my fingers all the way around my left wrist now.  (I've been able to do that with my right wrist for months already.)  My comfy pair of gray stretchy pants have now been relegated to "house pants," because they are too big to wear in public.  In fact, the only thing holding them up are my hips.  (When will they finally start reducing significantly?)

I can now (barely) fit into a suit - one size smaller than I'm wearing today!  I wouldn't be able to sit in it yet, but the fact I can get everything buttoned/zipped is pretty neat.  Another ten pounds and I should be there comfortably.  So close, so close ...

It will be fun to see what progress has been made in my size-24 jeans.  This Friday is the 24-Update!

Speaking of updates:

SDDDY8 Update -

Calories today:  1713  Whoa ... over by 118 calories!  So, what happened?  I forgot a fruit serving until day's end, and had to decide - get some needed nutrients, or stay within bounds.  I chose (this time) the nutrients.  I can make up the 118 calories easily tomorrow or over the next few days.  The choice was mine - and made consciously, after weighing the options and consequences. 

Water today:  19

Monday, November 15, 2010

Planning For Success, Ahead of the Holidays

I've been looking at goals.  The longer the journey, the more important motivation becomes, and for as hard as I've worked, I've only completed 25% of my journey (so far).

My first goal was to lose 10% of me.  I reached that goal.  (See the Progress or Goal tabs)
This current (second) goal is to lose 30 lbs (or to reach 247 lbs), to leave the morbid obesity category.

I am halfway to reaching that goal, with just 15 more lbs to go!  Allan (SDDDY Challenge originator/coordinator) says I should be able to reach that by mid-December.  How awesome would that be?!! 

Assuming I stick with the challenge (oh, I'm sticking with it, believe me!), I will need to set upon the path to my next goal in about a month.  But, what will that next goal be?  I don't want to make them so big that it takes a long time to get there. Another 30-lb goal would drop me from the (then) "Severe Obese" category into the plain old "obese" category, but that is a big chunk to lose - for the third time, as both goal 1 & 2 were 30-pounders. 

I think I'll want a slightly shorter-term goal, going into the Christmas-to-New Year's Eve bridge.  I need something to keep me moving forward, while being achievable and realistic. 

Losing 10% would be roughly 25 lbs.  Less than 30, but still more than I want to tackle outright.  So, I have decided to make goal # 3 a specific weight.  After reaching goal # 2, I am going to embark on goal # 3 ... 230 lbs. 

That is 17 lbs. to lose for the next goal.

I looked.  The last time I weighed 230 lbs was in 1990, twenty years ago! 

So, I now have to think of my reward for reaching that weight of 230 - not that the health benefits alone aren't reward enough.

Goal 1 reward was the Ralph Lauren loafers
Goal 2 reward will be a Kate Spade tote bag
Goal 3 reward will be ??

Well, it isn't as big as the first goal.  And it isn't as momentous as the second goal.  I think I will make my Goal Three reward a single Lunt sterling silver teaspoon, in the Bel Chateau pattern.  It is something lasting, and something I could use every single day - a reminder of my accomplishment, reversing a 20-year trend.

Task done!  Now, I can move seemlessly from this goal onto the next one, when that time comes (hoping, of course, it will come in December)!!

Onward and downward ...

At Least We Didn't Blow Up ...

Heading out to our mechanic's garage shortly.  I can tell it is going to be "one of those weeks."  I went into the garage this morning, and smelled fuel.  I alerted my husband, who checked, and discovered a slow drip from somewhere in the fuel line of my car.  It is going to be ANOTHER trip to the garage - different car, same month.  A dripping fuel line cannot be ignored.  I hope my hubby is right, and it will "just" be a replacement hose, but he also said I should have them replace the fuel filter at the same time.  So, while he is off to work, I am using my vacation day dealing with a car issue, instead of making the house pretty for all the guests we're expecting next week.  Hey, forever the optimist and always looking on the bright side, at least we didn't blow up!

Isn't it amazing, how we adapt to things?  I now get the basic 8 (8 oz) glasses of water ingested by midmorning, without even thinking about it, or trying.  And I actually wake up in the morning thirsty.  My body is clearly getting used to being properly hydrated. 

This is day seven of the Son of Double Dog Challenge - 25% through the challenge already!  The body's weight loss efforts are slowing down (seemingly), but this may have nothing to do with the challenge.  I've been fairly consistent in losing - with the exception of a 3-week plateau in September, so this may just be the body's readjustment period.  Maybe it is adjusting to the water intake volume, or maybe this is just something my body just has to do every two months, who knows?  I wish it picked a different month than Killer November, but we don't always get to choose our challenges, right?  No worries - I'm sticking to the SDDDY parameters and have not deviated from the plan.  I don't intend to either.

If I stick with it, I should be down at least to 251 ... or even into the 240s before Christmas!  I'm looking forward to that and getting healthier by the day. 

SDDDY7 Update:

Calories today, so far:  1,578

Water today, so far:  17

Day 118 ...drinking another water and getting ready to head to the mechanic's garage ... "sloshing all the way" (that could be a song)!  More later ....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 117 - Weigh-in Results: 262 lbs.

Down 1 lb. this week.  All is good.  Water today, so far: 1 incoming, and 17,978 outgoing (or at least it feels that way)

I should note a milestone today. I've lost 45 lbs, as of this morning, since July 20th!  I am also exactly halfway to reaching my current mini-goal.  Just 15 lbs to go, to leave the morbid obesity category FOREVER. 

Since my December, 2009 doctor's appointment, I've lost a total of 65 lbs.  Awesome!  But, I'm looking forward these days, and can't wait to visit the 250s ...

My BMI is clinging to the 42s, but I'm hoping to drag it, kicking and screaming if I have to, into the 41s.


SDDDY6 Update:

Calories today: 1,510

Water today:  18

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I decided to take my measurements this morning.  While the scale hasn't moved much this week, I've lost another quarter-inch from my waist!  I'll take it ... still excellent forward progress. 

SDDDY5 Update:

Calories today:  1580

Water today: 17

Friday, November 12, 2010

Today's Thoughts, Late Night Style (115)

 I've moved my official weigh-in day to Sundays for now, to accommodate the Son of Double Dog challenge schedule.  Yesterday, I thought I'd get a sneak peak.  I've been eating well within my calorie range, and drinking the optimal fluid amount each day, without fail. 

You can imagine, I was a bit surprised to see how little the scale moved.  I haven't deviated from the plan an inch this week.  So, I've been trying to figure out what else could account for this scale number.  My salt intake wasn't high, portions were good, etc.

Well, today I got my perimenopausal answer.  Umpf.  I'm hoping the body will readjust before Sunday, or it will throw off my scale reading.  In the meanwhile, I'm sticking to the plan and challenge directives. 

If the loss remains small on Sunday, it'll be corrected by the following week's weigh-in.  But here is the cool thing; I have not gained weight, as is usual for me.  In fact, I am actually down a little (very little), but still - a loss where I would normally see pounds of weight gain.  So, this challenge is working already, just days into it.

Congratulations to Kathy, who found the source of her dilemma and is now feeling much improvement (due to the vitamin D supplement)!!  Kathy, I'm so happy for you!!  Check out Kathy's post, which has a website reference with more Vitamin D information.  Kathy's blog is Kathy's Weight Loss Journal.

As I've stated before, deficiencies are serious things, and it is important to be sure we have proper amounts of all the vital nutrients and vitamins!  I won't bore everyone with another post about it, but regular readers know my doctor found (so far) about 70% of his patients were seriously deficient - me included, much to my surprise - and I'll  be on a prescribed vitamin D supplement well into January.  I was taking a multivitamin each day, which contained more than the daily recommended standard dosage - plus I'm out in the sun a lot.  I really felt like I was just humoring my doctor, when he wanted to screen for Vitamin D, expecting that I would be just fine.  If the dailly multivatimin and sunshine didn't do it, surely the fortified breakfast cereal and milk would ... but NO!   So, don't forget to have yourself screened for vitamin D levels, the next time you go for a blood draw.  I forgot that golden rule about assuming ... lol

Tomorrow is another day and an opportunity to excel. 

SDDDY4 Update: 

Calories today:  1612  (17 over optimal calories, so I'm calling this on-target)

Water today:  18

Day 115 ... almost over already!  Time to get ready for bed.  Good-night, my fellow weight loss bloggers!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Forging a New Relationship

Life tossed me a real curve-ball today, and I didn't do as well as I should've.  I didn't ace this surprise test, but I'm forging a new relatinship ... cool. 

I awoke, and before I could even get my first sip of beverage or bite of food, I had to hit the ground running.  (Long story, probably too boring to bother relating, but unexpected and somewhat urgent matters.)  Anyway, there was no time for eating and drinking ... 30-seconds from the time I was awakened, to the shampoo hitting my head ... I had a quick hop in the shower (very quick), dressed and out the door.

It has just been one of those mornings.  Life tosses one of those out there every so often. 

I did a poor job of eating and drinking - having nothing (ZERO) from the time I woke up until sitting down for lunch at a restaurant. 

While I ate a good lunch, and downed four glasses of beverage (no wonder, I was no doubt dehydrated), it was entirely unacceptable to wait six hours to eat or drink anything.  I have something I could've taken with me, if I had time, but the nature of this morning was sort of a rolling crisis - all resolved now - and I had no clue how long I was going to be unable to eat/drink. 

Here is the interesting part of the day.  Once home, I was able to finally start my regular water routine.  Holy cow, was I thirsty, despite having four glasses of beverage with lunch!  I polished off MANY glasses of water without even thinking about it.  The fact that I could do that in a small amount of time, tells me how truly dehydrated I was.  And I wasn't dying to use the restroom right away (another sign I went too long without hydration).

I'm back on track now, finally, but I need to be sure I don't go that long again.  Live and learn, right?  I avoided vending machine food - even though I was really eye-balling the Reese's PB cups, just daring them to give me any little sign of enticement.  LOL  Hey, my "obese" brain - aka the pimp for taste buds - says, "PB IS protein, after all ..." but my "getting healthier" brain reminded me that a lot of sugar and fat come along with that protein ride.  My better judgement over-ran the lure of the chocolate/peanut butter combination.  It was tough though ...

I made (all) excellent lunch choices, and probably overate ... but on VEGGIES!  No worries there - no one ever was likely told to eat less vegetables.

I said I was forging a new relationship, and I am.  Here is what I mean.

I noticed something else today.  I had PLENTY of energy.  I was forced to forego a normal morning routine, and my body was there for me.  No headaches.  No sleepiness.  No loss of focus.  I demanded a lot from it this morning, and gave it nothing in return.

Whatever I demanded of it, my body came through. 

Normally, I'd have a rip-roaring headache if I went overnight and an additional 6 hours without food. 

I wasn't parched either.  Oh, I was thirsty, but not in any sort of dire way.  This allowed me to work from one urgent situation to the next, without interruption - and to a good outcome.  (Whew!!)

And I marvel at that now.  I think, since I'm finally paying attention to what my body NEEDS (instead of what the brain wants), I'm treating it better.  And in return, my body is there for me. 

I have its back, and it has mine.

I'm asking what the entire body needs - and I'm properly fueling it, hydrating it, moving it.  I'm not always perfect, but I'm trying.  I am forging a new relationship - the dictatorship is gone!  LOL

And, I think that is how I'm going to view this process from now on.  I'm going to have my body's back. 

No one else can.

SDDDY Update:

Calories today: 1343

Water today:  19

Day 114 ... I'm one of Allan's Pugs (SDDDY challenge taker), but I'm not quite at the place to include a head shot, as Allan wants.  This is only due to privacy reasons - not because I'm hideous or anything.  lol  It is important for me to be able to journal in an open and honest way, and if (esp. certain) family members knew of it, blogging would go out the window altogether.  I hate to disappoint anyone, but someday ... just not 2010.  I hope everyone understands.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Allan's Pugs - Participants in the Son of Double Dog Challenge

I'm calling us "Allan's Pugs" ... Charlie had his angels, and poor Allan gets stuck with us!  LOL

Day 113 and I am sloshing as I walk.

Someone Noticed

I guess the weight loss of the last two weeks have made a difference in my appearance, because we ran into one of our friends last night, and he just looked at me and said, "Wow!"  We saw him just three weeks ago. 

When you are a big person, it takes a lot of weight loss to even be noticed by others.  Most people didn't see any real change during the first 30 pounds I lost, though I certainly could tell. 

Now, however, I drop "just" (by comparison) six pounds, and it is being noticed!  That made me feel good.

Health remains my number one reason for losing weight, but it is still nice to get the occasional compliment.

I won this award from Allan, for my efforts in the last challenge.  I'll display it proudly under the appropriate tab.  Allan calculated that I lost 2.6% of me, over the last two weeks. 

SDDDY2 Update:

Calories today, so far:  562

Fluid today, so far: 16

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Weight Loss, Water, Practicing Discretion and Thanksgiving

My strategy for this upcoming (rapidly approaching) Thanksgiving holiday is pretty straight-forward.  I'm going to practice discretion and take it a day at a time.  How will I do this?

I will be sure I balance out my food intake as best I can.  I have to plan if I decide to indulge in something (giving up something else, for the extra calorie food item I may want instead).  

I am committing to NOT snacking - at least on non-vegetable items. 

I'm going to enjoy everything I want at our traditional holiday feast, but I'm going to practice discretion too.  No second helpings, except for vegetables. 

I'm going to watch portion control. 

I'm going to stay hydrated. 

And I'm going to go for a walk after the big meal. 

I'm going to avoid the typical holiday weight gain and still enjoy all my favorites!  This is my plan for Thanksgiving, my goal, and the steps I plan to take to make this happen.

It will be important for me to maintain my motivation.  In years past, this is the time I would most often quit dieting, with disasterous results.  Taking a diet "break" for Thanksgiving Thursday often led to extending the "break" through New Year's Eve.  So, I am taking actions now to maintain my motivation.  I am putting my goals in writing (above).  I may even put them on some post-it notes for my bathroom mirror, as a reminder over the holiday.  I have specific steps to take to meet the goals.

Now, I need to figure out how I would handle the "what ifs" - should I deviate from this.  Setbacks happen to everyone as they try to change behavior and long-established habits.  That is just part of the natural process.  If I don't have the "in case of emergency" plan - I'm more apt to wing it after a not-so-great decision, and I'd rather have a plan to implement in those instances.  Winging it only ever leads to weight gain for me, and that is NOT happening this year.  This year, I'm planning for success.

According to the SDDDY Challenge (Blog: Almost Gastric Bypass), which begins today, I am to drink a minimum of 121 oz. of fluid - given my current weight - by the time I go to bed tonight.  And then I need to repeat that, each day.  So, is it any wonder that today's motivational word is hydration

Water, we've all heard, helps in the weight loss process. 

I found an article online by Maia Appleby, entitled "Drinking Water and Weight Loss," that explains exactly how and why water actually (really) aids in the weight loss process.  I appreciated the explanation of why we run to the bathroom so much, the first few days of drinking all we should.  (And not to worry, as we KEEP UP the water intake to properly hydrate ourselves, our need to run so often to the bathroom will go away.  This is known as the "breakthrough point.")  Does it seem like the water is running right through me?  Yes, but actually it is flushing out a lot more than I apparently realize.  It is all good news!

WebMd.com has an article on the latest findings linking weight loss to water consumption.  It looks like drinking 16 oz. of water before meals can greatly affect weight loss efforts.  So, maybe I should pay a little attention to the timing of when I drink some of my water too, to better help my efforts.

SDDDY1 Update:

Calories today:  1572

Beverages today:  143 oz.  (about 18 glasses, spread throughout the day)

Day 112 and feeling well-watered!

Monday, November 8, 2010

SDDDY Challenge Training Day

The Son of Double Dog (Dare You) Challenge - SDDDY - begins Tuesday morning.  I used today to see how my body handles the increase in fluid. 

I did fine, though I feel like a spring source at this point.  LOL

My calories today = 1500
My fluid intake today = 148 oz.

I did the skin hydration test.  Let's just say I'm well hydrated now!

The skin hydration test, for healthy people?  In general, place one hand flat on the table top.  Pinch a little bit of the skin on the top of the hand.  If it bounces back right away, the body's hydration should be good.  If it takes a little bit for the skin fold to go back down, less good.  I was surprised, at 64 oz., my skin still took a few seconds to return to proper position.  64 oz is the recommended daily minimum, but clearly, my body requires more than the minimum to be fully hydrated.  This makes sense.

According to Allan (blog: Almost Gastric Bypass), the proper hydration for most healthy adults is 0.5 oz per pound of a person's weight.  So, the heavier a person, the more fluid the body requires. 

My skin hydration test worked perfectly around 126 oz., which is pretty close to Allan's computation, and almost double the daily recommended 64 oz. 

Fascinating stuff, how our bodies work.  I'm learning new stuff every single day, even at my age.

I think I'm ready for the SDDDY Challenge tomorrow.  Time for a good night's sleep!  I hope all the participants do well.

Ann's Favorite Fast Recipe

I had several inquiries recently, about what exactly am I eating that is new or creative. That is a hard question to answer, because it varies. 

I'll use an example from the creativity category, where I tried to reinvent a classic favorite to better suit my dietary plan restrictions. 

I like a good taco salad, but it doesn't really do well on the low-fat side of things.  So, I altered it, and kept the flavor while ditching the fat.  The plus side of this is that it takes all of two minutes to make, if I'm in a rush.

Ann's Taco Salad

I take a big knife to a head (or bunch) of lettuce.  Lettuce is low in calories, zero on fat, and filling.  If I'm lazy or in a mega-hurry, I will sometimes even just use a bag of pre-chopped lettuce mix.  If I'm hungry, I mound the bowl.  If I'm not too hungry, I use less.  In other words, no measuring involved here.  Iceburg (for example) is a whopping 10 calories a cup or something ridiculous. 

I next open a jar of my favorite healthy salsa.  In my case, that would be the All Natural Tostitos Mild Chunky Salsa.  It is 10 calories per 2 TB, 0 fat, 2g carbs.  If you like hotter, go for the hot stuff.  My mild Tostitos salsa (referenced above) has in it: tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers ... mild but well-flavored. 

I will lay two "stripes" of this, spaced apart, across the top of my lettuce mound.  Oh, almost always about 1/2 cup of salsa.  (So, we're talking 40 calories, 8 carbs). 

I next chop up some fresh onion (though not, if I'm in a big hurry).  I put that aside.

Lastly, I grab a box/package of "Original Smart Ground" by Lightlife (a soy product that looks like cooked ground beef) and measure out 1/3 cup of that.  A third cup has 90 calories, 0 fat, 6 carbs, and ... wait for it ... 12g of protein! 

Yes, it is a power lunch. 

I take 1/3 cup of the soy "meat" and about 1/3 envelope of taco seasoning mix.  I combine the two well, in a little bowl, and microwave it for a minute to heat it thoroughly.  Then, I make a "stripe" of that seasoned soy, across the top of the lettuce, between the two salsa stripes.  I sprinkle the chopped fresh onion over the "meat" ... and call it done. 

I mix the entire thing up when I sit down to eat it.  No salad dressing needed with this combination of flavors and moisture.  I do NOT miss the cheese (and I love cheese) with this - it has so much flavor.  And the best part is that it takes just minutes. 

If I have all the time in the world, and the inclination, I'll add additional veggies and herbs (tomatoes, cilantro, etc. and so forth - whatever I have a taste for).

My taco salad is very filling, flavorful, fast and high in protein while ultra-low in fat and reasonable in calories.  If I make a mega-huge salad (say, four cups of iceburg lettuce), the calorie count is still usually under 200, and I've had 12+ grams of protein and zero (or near zero) fat.  And I am full and satisfied when I am done eating.  Soy may not be for everyone, but I tolerate it well, and disguised as it is with the taco seasoning mix of my choice, it is hard to distinguish from its more fattening cousin.

This is day 111.  Too bad it isn't quite 11-11 ...haha ... and I'm having a training day for the SDDDY Challenge.  I'm about 100 oz of liquid into my day so far, so I should make 126 (minimum) easily enough.  I think I'm ready for tomorrow's start, as much as I can be, but oh my ... Allan wasn't joking when he said be prepared to spend some quality time in the restroom.

Tagging Allan, Karla, Katie and Sheilah

The following have been tagged by me:  Allan, Karla, Katie and Sheilah.  Yes, I've been tagged,  by Casey ( blog: Casey's 279 ), and I'm passing it along.  Casey is a relatively new blogger, so check out her site and give her some encouragement on her journey!

These are the four questions I'm to answer, somewhat different than the four questions I'm asking of my tags:

1. Which season is your favorite and what do you love about it?

Autumn (though spring here in the South is a close second, for the profusion of blooms and sweetly-scented, mild air).  I love the crisp air, clear skies, and colorful leaves of Autumn ... football, Thanskgivng gatherings, migrating birds ... and, as a child, I even looked forward to the start of the new school year!  So many reasons that fall has always held the most appeal for me.

2. What is your favorite reading material? Mystery, romance, non-fiction, biographies...

I love a good mystery, but really I read a great variety of material.  My current library book(s) are: a book on metabolism (self-help), and a murder mystery.  The last purchased book was a travel book.

3. How often do you go to the grocery store?

Whenever needed, at least once a week, but more often two or three times.

4. What is the first thing you do in the morning?

Visit the restroom (um ... 40-something bladder of an overweight female ... don't we ALL do that first?)  lol

I'm to pass along four questions to four others, if I understand the tag correctly.  Here are my four tags:

Allan (blog: Almost Gastric Bypass)
Katie (blog: Finding The Thin Within)
Karla (blog: Daily Thoughts)
Sheilah (blog: I'm On My Way)

And their four questions (#1 will be extra hard for Karla):

1. How often do you go to the grocery store (which one/ones)?
2. What is your favorite activity, and why?
3. So far, what has been your favorite reaction, when someone notices your weight loss?
4. Within 5 hours from your house, what is your favorite destination, why, and when did you last go there?

I'm looking forward to reading their answers!

I've already polished off 2.2 L of water today, which is my training day for the fluid requirements of the SDDDY Challenge (Son of Double Dog Dare You).  Not all the fluid must be from water, of course.  More later, but I wanted to post the tag.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 110 - Weigh-in Results: 263 lbs.

Did you remember to set your clocks back?  I forgot. (Sigh.)  I decided to move my weigh-in up a day, to better accomodate Allan (blog: Almost Gastric Bypass), so it is one lesss thing for him to do on a busy Monday morning.  Here are my results, on this last official morning of the DDDY (Double Dog Dare You) two-week challenge:

Weight: 263 lbs ... down three more pounds this week!

My BMI is now in the 42s, sliding ever so much closer to the magic 39.9 (leaving morbid obesity).

The right sidebar, scrolling down, will show you my current measurements and BMI number.  At the  very bottom of my blog, you can see my progress tickers, both overall, and for this current mini-goal.  I am just shy of the halfway point on this current mini-goal!

I've lost another inch from my waist, but the hips are slow to give up their horde.  You'd think the waist and hips would shrink at the same rate.  Still, no complaints from me!  I'll take that 1/4" ... my hips are down 7" from last December.  If I do that again, in 2011, I'll have my college weight back.

As my signature indicates, I am now just a few pounds shy of the halfway point on my "Lose 60 lbs. in one year" challenge.  The blue box (right sidebar) tells you how many days remain on that challenge, still plenty of time to make it happen.

I've managed to exercise three times last week - a first, since graduating all those decades ago.  I'm going to try to do that again.  Consistency is important in exercise, just as it is in diet.  I may not be burning mega-calories on my mile walk, but I'm strengthening muscles and my cardiovascular system, and bumping up my metabolism. 

DDDY14 Update:

Calories today, so far:1168

Water today, so far: 8
Day 110 and staying focused on improved health.  My doctor wants to see me again in January, to reassess how I'm doing, and to (perhaps??!!) reduce some medications!  I've already been able to completely eliminate the cholesterol meds. Perhaps, after the mid-January blood draw, I can see further improvements.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pardon Me, My Weakness Is Showing (109)

No excuses, not from me.  I take responsibility and ownership for my choices.  Some are great, some are truly not so great, but it ultimately comes down to ME and what I choose to eat or not eat. 

And sometimes, I know better, but want to do it anyway.

This evening, I ordered my all-time favorite vegetable wrap for dinner.  The veggies are all grilled over hickory wood (open flame), and piled onto a whole wheat wrap, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, and rolled to perfection.  The "normal" version of this amazingly tasty sandwich has some goat cheese spread inside the wrap, before the veggies go on it. 

I love goat cheese.  Shoot, I just love cheese - nearly all cheese. 

None of this sits well on a low-fat diet, of course.  It is the hardest thing for me to pass up, given that cheese is the one food I would want with me, if stranded on an island somewhere.

So, nowadays, when I treat myself to this vegetable wrap, I order it without cheese.  And it is still good ...

But tonight, as I was contemplating my order, the thought that came front and cener is that no matter how good this sandwich is, it is THAT much better with the goat cheese.  It just elevates that sandwich to an entirely new plain.  And my mouth started watering, just thinking about it.

The waiter came to take the order, just at that very moment.  I felt so weak ...

And so, I placed my order for this veggie wrap - without cheese, as usual (these days).

Oh, I came thisclose to ordering it the way God (or at least the chef) intended.  Trust me.

So, what stopped me, in my moment of weakness?

It was a combination of things that flickered across my mind. 

First, if I give in to my wants, I am sacrificing my needs.  I need to get healthy.  Which is more important?  The temporary taste of something amazing, or my health and my weight loss goal? 

Second, was fear that this could be a trigger food that will ultimately lead to "one more" thinking - one more off-plan meal, one more taste of xyz, one more day of indulgence.  That sort of thinking has helped launch a million diet failures.  Do I really want to go there? 

Third, who is in charge here?  The me who knows what I need to do and how to do it, or the me who wants to stomp her foot and have what she wants, when she wants it?  Time to grow up and start saying no to myself when it counts.

Fourth, I knew I'd have to face myself, and my decision, eventually.  If I ordered my beloved wrap the way I love it most, would I still be happy with myself in the morning?  Or would I be irritated that I followed an old familiar pattern?  (Definitely irritated - yep.)   And how would I feel about that?  I just don't want to disappoint myself.  It is one thing to mess up accidentally, quite another entirely, to do something purposefully, which I know I shouldn't be doing.  I didn't want to let myself down.   

Blogland is filled with weakness postings.  And I know I'll have my fair share, but (I hope) they will be truly rare and unusual occurences.  I'm working like crazy to make them so anyway.  Too often, those weakness posts become patterns.  And, too rare are those posts that talk about overcoming weaknesses.   We all have them - temptations, weaknesses, cravings - but, in my case, I have to learn to overcome those, if I want to reach and maintain my goal.  It is about training myself, retraining myself, to live my healthiest life, happily.

DDDY13 Update:

Calories today:  1,443

Water today:  8

Day 109, and working hard to overcome my weaknesses.

Friday, November 5, 2010

24-Update (108) & Poor Old Ethel

It is hard to believe another two weeks have passed!  Today is my biweekly attempt to squeeze into my old size-24 jeans.

Here is the link to my first attempt:


The last time I tried on my old size-24 jeans, I was able to get them over my legs with ease, which was great progress!  They fit well in the legs, but the hips and bum kept me from even coming close to zipping/buttoning.

The jeans were VERY tight on the hips (as in "second skin")  I estimated the distance between the button and buttonhole to be about 4" at the time.  Forget about zipping them up - no way.  The zipper halves weren't even in the same zip code for the abs "hill" between the two.

So, what are today's attempt results, given I'm probably a good 5 lbs lighter?  I've posted them below:

24-Update # 3

The jeans are still tight on the hips, but the distance between the button and buttonhole has gone down approximately one inch!  The zipper is still not close to closing, but the tummy bulge has reduced enough that at least the zipper halves can see each other now, from a distance.

Since I have yet a good 3" to lose on my waist, just to button the pants, and at least that much remaining to lose on the hips, I think it is clear I have to shoot for Christmas, rather than Thanksgiving, to get into these pants.  Still, I am enjoying watching the progress, and thank Sharon (again) for the suggestion.  For now, I've tucked the old 24 jeans back into the drawer, for another 2 week nap ...

The above is just a progress report, but I DO have an NSV (of sorts) to share. 

My neighbor's dog, who has adopted us as her own, and enthusiasticaly greets us every time she sees us, stood in her driveway and barked at me last night, as she does for complete strangers. 

Both her owner and I were very surprised and perplexed.  Ethel (the dog) loves me.  I mean to say, aside from her owners, I'm the next favored person in her world. 

Well, when I opened my mouth to ask Ethel why she was barking at ME, she turned into her usual adorable self, all excited and happy to see me.  Both her owner and I were baffled by her initial barking reaction.

Well, this morning I walked down the driveway to get the paper, and Ethel was out.  She didn't bark, but the old gal didn't greet me either, as she usually does.  She just sort of stood at the end of her driveway and growled uncertainly, with hesitation. 

When I asked my neighbor what was going on with Ethel, the dog turned back into her enthusiastic, happy self, racing over all tail-wagging and tongue. 

My neighbor figured it out.  Ethel has poor eyesight, and it turns out, he thinks she was having trouble recognizing my profile (the visual way she recogizes people from a little distance).

Yesterday, Ethel flat out didn't recognize me on site, across the distance of our driveways.  This morning, she was uncertain.  Maybe next time, Ethel will have my new, smaller tummy profile memorized!  LOL  Poor, old Ethel ... I love her so!

DDDY12 Update:

Calories today, so far:  1,561

Water today, so far:  11

Day 108 ... and I'm going to try to get in some walking this afternoon.  If I can squeeze a half hour out of my day (what am I saying?  Of course I can do that!) today's walk will be my third exercise of the week, meeting my personal goal for this week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take A Compass Reading

Now that I am challenged to keep track of my calories, I decided to follow Patrick's lead (blog: Responsibility 199) and take a look at this week's daily nutrient composition. 

What I discovered, to my surprise, is that I am doing GREAT on the low fat part of my diet, but I'm taking in too many carbs (not greatly, but enough to need correcting), and am shorting myself on protein.  THAT is not good.  I need to beef up my protein intake. 

I'm still not the biggest fan of recording everything I eat.  I'm only doing so because of the DDDY Challenge.  However, I can definitely see now the benefits of doing so.  While (post-challenges) I probably won't record everything, realistically, I will be sure to make the effort to do so every now and again, just to spot-check myself, and to make corrections as necessary. 

Recording food intake information is like periodically taking a compass reading.  You can point the ship in the direction you want to go, but you have to make periodic corrections to stay on-coarse.  I can see, in the future, I need to take a compass reading, if I want to safely get to my destination.
In anticipation of the November 8th SDDDY Challenge (Son of Double Dog Dare You), and the volume of fliud that must be consumed, I rummaged around the recesses of a seldom-used kitchen cabinet and found the 2.2L (64 oz) refillable water jug today.  Wow, it was bigger than I remembered it to be.  The SDDDY Challenge won't be easy, but it will get me through Thanksgiving, and I can do this!

DDDY11 Update:

Calories today:  1,458

Water today:  8

Day 107 ... getting my bearings

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ten Changes For Success

Someone asked me, yesterday, how I approached my weight loss effort this time.  I thought that was an interesting question, and I'd be curious to know other peoples' answers.

How I approached this weight loss effort? 

I took an honest look back, at what derailed me previous times, and I work hard to keep those at bay.  I'm not at goal yet, so I know I have to be careful and diligent, lest I fall back into familiar traps and detours.

Here are just 10 of the things that killed my previous dieting attempts, and how I am avoiding them this time:

1. Boredom.  The longest diet I've been on (ever) lasted six months, and I was doing well.  I stopped, essentially, out of sheer boredom. 

This time around, I am introducing new foods every week, to keep things interesting.  Sometimes they are one-hit-wonders, but sometimes I incorporate them into my meal rotation.  The point is, I try something new - whether hit or miss - at least one time during the week.

2. Ignorance.  We enjoy eating out, but on previous diets, I'd do a LOT of assuming, to my detriment.  Restaurants don't prepare things as we do at home.  They make their items taste good by using lots of not-so-diet-friendly ingredients. 

This time around, I ask how a meal is prepared.  What you don't know (ignorance) CAN hurt you.  I ask for adjustments to make the item fit into my diet plan.  Most good restaurants are happy to accommodate such reasonable requests.  I always tip extra too, for their kind efforts.   Plus, they get my repeat business.  I also know, if I stall, the first place I look are the restaurant foods I consume.  Something may (easily) slip in there that I have not accounted for (or realized).  When I lose less per week, it is almost always a week I had an extra meal out somewhere ...

3. Lack of Balance.   In previous diets, just as in all diets really, an occasional meal would be higher in (calories or fat or carbs, etc.).  And this would lead to a repeat of another "slightly" higher meal.  A very subtle pattern would emerge, and suddenly I'd find myself stalled, or even gaining a bit, and wondering what happened.  I was still on a diet!

This time around, I've added balance.  If I end up eating a meal that is slightly more carbs or calories or fat than is ideal - the very next meals (plural) must counter-balance that.  Sometimes, I really hate that.  But, I hate not losing weight more - or giving back the progress I've worked so hard on.  So, I buckle down and balance the day as best as I can. 

4. Lack of Commitment.  I am an expert at committing to any diet for a week or two.  Beyond that ... um ... not so much so.  It was hard, frankly, to see the wall of weight I had to lose, and how LONG it would take.  After a few weeks, I'd usually start sliding back to my old ways.

This time around, I've committed to a minimum of 30 day increments, which is enough time to actually make something a habit.  Coincidence?  Nope.  Plus, to support my "willpower" (or lack thereof), I've set various goals at varying increments of time, to keep me propelling forward.  Saying I have 124 lbs left to lose is daunting.  Saying, "10 more" is much easier and within reach.  I do not look at the big number.  I stay focused on what is immediately in front of me.

5.  Priorities.  All my previous diets were something I fit into my life, and worked around everything else.

This time around, my health is front and center.  It has to be, because I no longer have youth on my side, protecting me despite myself.  So, life is something that now works around my diet.  I'm still active and participate in all sorts of things, but I've made my diet foremost.  Well, aside from God (church), Who always comes first.

6. Clean Plate Club.  Yes, I was a dedicated Clean Plate Club member.  It was practically the mantra of my parents, when we were growing up. 

This time around, I finally grew up.  Kids are picky eaters (I was the worst), and parents say what they must to get nutrients into their scrawny, growing children.  Dah.  I didn't even think about that.  I just thought how frugal my parents were (and what young parents aren't?) ... and thought "don't waste food."  I carried that right into adulthood.  Now?  As I said, I grew up.  I take home at least half of most restaurant meals.  I avoid buffets entirely.  I make smaller amounts of food at home, and limit my portions.  No seconds, except for vegetables.  And ... the biggest change of all ... when I'm full, I stop eating - EVEN if food remains on my plate!  I guess that means I have to return my CPC membership card, and I'm good with that.

7. Labels?  We don't read no stinkin' labels!  The box cover said it was better, right?  If it sounded healthy (light, low or free), I'd buy it.

This time around, I read labels.  And wow, even there you have to be careful.  The healthy-sounding stuff isn't always so healthy after all.  "Light," or "Lite" ... should read LIE.  Oh, it may be lighter than the "full on" version of whatever, but it is far from light.  Reading labels is essential.

8.  Tunnel Vision.  Previously, all my attention was on that all-important scale number.  And when the focus is so intense on that one aspect of dieting, everything else takes a back seat.

This time around, I became more educated.   SO many factors influence the scale, even hour-to-hour, that this is not even an accurate indicator of health.  I've put the scale into proper perspective.  The scale, like the blood pressure cuff, give a snapshot of general condition - nothing more.  And it can certainly help me make adjustments to improve things, but I am no longer a slave to the scale.  It serves ME now, I don't serve it.  I still love to see that number go down, but my feelings and moods aren't centered around what it says.  I weigh myself every week (more, when I am thisclose to a goal), but just to get an indication of where I am, so I know how I need to adjust things in the upcoming week.

9. Laziness.  I can plan a fabulous vacation down to the smallest detail, but plan a week of meals?  It just wasn't my cup of tea.  So, I didn't bother.  I may love food, but I'm lazy about it.  (One of the reasons I frequented fast food places.)  This, of course, led to last minute less-than-healthy meal choices, or off-plan snacking, or worse ... cravings!  Cravings?  Yep.  I'd start to think about what I could eat, not what I should eat.  You know where that thinking leads ...

This time around, I know better.  I'm still not a big meal planner, but I am an excellent plan-deviation-avoider.  I keep carrots and celery in the refrigerator at all times.  If I'm caught "unprepared," I know I can always munch on a healthy on-plan veggie.  No more opening the refrigerator looking for "something" (anything).  I also keep other on-plan, appropriate foods that are convenient to grab or whip up.  So, on those days when my laziness is bumped up a notch, I can still have easy foods and remain perfectly on plan.  I keep NOTHING in the house which is off plan.  If it is in my refrigerator or pantry, I can eat it.

The most important change, though, is this last one, # 10:

10.  Self-Talk.  I am the biggest cheerleader for most things, but my self-talk on previous diet attemtps wasn't particularly uplifting or inspiring.  It went something like this:   I can't have this.  I can't eat that.  I have to give up xyz.  I'm hungry.  And, the most important ... when is the next meal, and what will I have?  I was completely absorbed by food.  If I wasn't eating, I was thinking about eating.  Obession is a good way to put it.  And my self-talk not only centered around FOOD, but around the sacrifices and deprivation aspects of the diet.

This time around, I'll have none of that.  Who wants to live that way?  The cup is half-full, not half-empty!  It isn't about what I cannot have, but about how I can make my choices healthier.  I look at all the options available to me.  This took work initially, but eventually, this way of thinking became habit. 

I focus now on how I feel, how my clothes fit, how my energy level has increased.  I look at my diet a bit more detached.  If I focus on it at all, I come at it from a fuel viewpoint.  (Did I get enough viatmins and fiber today?  Am I staying properly hydrated?  How is my protein level?)  I still want stuff that tastes good to me, but it now has to have another purpose as well - fueling the body, helping it to become better. 

This is so key to how this diet attempt differs from all previous ones, that I am convinced keeping my mind focused properly will be the reason this will be my last weight loss journey.  I've practiced this so much, it has now become second nature to me.  I (literally) no longer think in terms of what I must give up on the diet.  Does that mean I don't miss certain things?  No, but it does mean I put it all in proper perspective - finally. 

There are other aspects that have killed previous diet attempts, and which I have corrected, but these are most of the big ones.  I wonder what other people have improved upon, from their previous diet attempts, to help make this one their best and last needed effort.

DDDY10 Update:

Calories today:  1,625  (over by 30 calories ... OOPS!  Shouldn't have had that last apple.)

Water today:  9+

Day 106 ... and looking forward to the SDDDY Challenge (Son of Double Dog Dare You), just five days away!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Talkin' Turkey

Happy Election Day, Fellow Dieters!

I'm going to try to get in a little exercise (walk) after I vote.  It is a cool, crisp day today.  It would be a shame to waste all that sunshine, cool air, and pretty foliage - so off to the park I'll go, afterwards, for a quick 1-mile lap.

Congratulations to Jo (blog: Weight On Me at 50+), who has dropped into NORMAL weight range!  Maybe I'll be able to join her there next year.  I'm sure going to give it a try.  Be sure to stop by and wish her congratulations!  Jo has revised her goal somewhat, and will continue her journey a little while longer, before entering the golden maintenance mode.

This is the 9th day of the DDDY Challenge.  Allan (blog: Almost Gastric Bypass) alluded to two additional follow-up challenges, so for anyone who missed out on this one (which ends Sunday night), be sure to sign up for the next!  Allan will be signing up participants later this week/end.  I am looking forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve for this next challenge, because it will take us to Thanksgiving.  The timing (for me) is perfect.  Thanksgiving is the holiday I am most likely to deviate from my plan, so I'm going to work hard to NOT let that happen! 

In years (diets) past, it was Thanksgiving that usually derailed me, and then I'd think "oh well" and pretty much take a "food vacation" (as Clyde* put it) through the end of the year.  And I remember really packing on the pounds in November and December - undoing a LOT of the hard, well-earned progress I had made.  I am NOT going to let that happen this time.  My mindset is different going into this, but I'm still weary enough to seek out methods to help me help myself.  This is why I plan to sign up for Allan's next challenge, the follow up to the Double Dog Dare You (DDDY) challenge.

Hey, in other words, I'm not going to let the Turkeys get me down!  LOL  Gobble, gobble is something a turkey says, and should not be something I do.

DDDY9 Update:

Calories today, so far:  1,545

Water today, so far:  9

*Clyde's blog is The Clydesdale Project

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 104 - Weigh-in Results: 266 lbs.

This morning's weigh-in puts me squarely at 266 lbs., or 3 lbs lost this past week, which represents a 14% drop in body mass since I started this diet.  Yes, I am officially 41 lbs. lighter on this November 1st than I was in July. 

My BMI has slipped under 43 and I am so happy for that!  Just three more points and I will no longer be classified as morbidly obese.  I can't wait!  Gee, less than 20 lbs to go to be there ...

Helpful things this past week:  minimum water intake of 64 oz per day, and walking (good old-fashioned walking).  My goal for this week will be to get in three days of exercise (of any sort), for 30 minutes each.  My HDL number should be higher (ideally), and exercise controls that number.  The LDL is controlled by diet, of course. 

DDDY8 Update:

Calories today, so far:  1,565

Water today, so far:  9

And, yes, I made it through Halloween without a bite of chocolate, or ANY candy.  That may well be a first in my memory. 

Day 104 and happy H'ween is behind me ... onto a new month, new challenges, new goals ...

ADDENDUM:  The three-pound loss brings me to 25 lbs lost in the 60-lbs-in-one-year challenge, or about 41% toward that challenge goal.  The blue box (upper right) tells you how many days are left in the challenge, and my signature tells my current status in that challenge.  Today, it reads -25 of -60 ... Yay!!