Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weight Loss Continues

I cannot WAIT until I can get on the scale again, to discover what exactly has been going on, but success is still measured in other ways:

Updated measurements (see side bar):

I've lost a half-inch off my waist!  Yay!!  I'm inching closer to getting that number out of the 30s. 

Okay, the stubborn hips refuse to budge - my nemesis, clearly.  Umpf. 

The chest lost a full inch.  (What's up with that?)  I'll take it - the twins are more easily secured these days!

And here is the biggie, aside from the waist measurement ...

I've had to move my ring from the left-hand's ring-finger to the longest (largest) finger next to it, just to prevent from losing it!  AND, my ring fits on that bigger finger comfortably!!  I mean, holy smokes, it isn't even a bit too tight there, but just right.  The ring keeps falling off the ring finger.  Time for resizing soon, in the meanwhile, I will have to get a ring guard to properly secure my ring to the ring finger - once I can get out and about again. 

I am so used to - over the years - having to make allowances for GROWING fingers, not shrinking fingers, that this is truly a novelty.  This ring has never had to be down-sized before.  I'm not sad about that at all.

So, the weight is a mystery for right now, but all indications are that my weight loss continues. 

Oh, and I took a very careful right-thigh measurement, and discovered I have lost 4"  - yes, FOUR inches - off one thigh.  Folks, that is 8" just off the thighs.  Is it no wonder the original black pants (in my photo) are so big?  And that photo was taken at least 10 or 15 pounds ago, quite possibly (likely) more.  Those pants fit me well, 13" ago ... thirteen-inches ago.  That is against my 307 lb starting measurements.  The black pants fit me snuggly at 327 lbs - I mean, I was in need of really having to up-size those pants. 

I didn't lose 13+ inches overnight.  Small steps, small steps ... a half-inch here, a quarter-inch there ... but it comes off and adds up.  Heavens, I've lost OVER A FOOT off my waist!

My comfortable shirts (and obese people like myself most often prefer baggy) started at 4x. Again, that was pushing it.  The bagginess was gone.  The 4x fit, but not loosely.  Now?  2x is baggy ... and I wouldn't need that, except the twins need the space still.  The tummy, does not!

I've accomplished all that since late July.  It will be so much fun to see where I am this summer.  Warmer weather won't be long off now, so no putting off tomorrow what we can do today, right?  I refuse to have another miserable summer like the one I had last year.  Morbidly obese and hot, humid weather just don't mix.  I won't be at my ideal weight, but I'm going to be so much more comfortable than I was last summer.

Will you?

I hope so!! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Choose Your Destination

Right.  Let's get to it then ...

Small steps lead to big results.  It is true in life, and it is true in the journey to lose weight.

While it will obviously be a while before I can stand on my own again, I am making progress.  I hobbled to the bathroom on my own this morning, for the first time in over a week.  It was a slow and pain-filled trek, but I did it.  Weight loss is like that too - sometimes slow, often pain-filled, but ultimately there is progress if we stick with it, right?

I am still in awe at how much pain a person can have, without actually breaking a bone.  And I also see the wisdom in what the ER doc said, in that a break would've been better and faster to recover from, but that is another story.

I can't stand on a scale, but I can take masurements.  So, tomorrow, I am going to try that, as a way of tracking how I am doing. 

Someone suggested in the comments of my last post, to work the upper part of my body, or work what I can.  What a great idea!  So, I've been trying that this week, very carefully of course.  My husband burned through a week of vacation, just to stay home and take care of me.  Getting to the bathroom unaided today was a big step to independence.  He can set me up in the morning with food/water on my handy TV tray (can't stand, so can't make use of the kitchen, which is a loooooong way from the recliner), and go to the office on Monday.  Small steps, more progress.     

Despite how painful it is, I periodically get off the chair.  I don't want to develop blood clots in the leg, from inactivity, so I stand (lean, more like it) on the crutches for a few minutes every few hours.  Even THAT is like a weight loss journey, if I stop to think about it.  If we don't move, we can do great harm to ourselves.  What is the old saying?   Move it or lose it?   I have to put movement into my life, so I don't lose my life.  As I struggle with these injuries, I think how easy it would be to just sit here - eat, watch a little TV, nap, eat more ... And then I think to myself, "No excuses!"  I don't want to let myself down.  I've given myself a free pass for decades.  And, if it wasn't this injury excuse, it would be another, so I'm not even opening that floodgate.  I know where it leads - and it is not where I want to go. 

I choose another destination for myself.

That is really how I've come to think about these struggles.  Life tosses all sorts of things at us.  Do we let ourselves float on the ebb and flow of every little whim that makes up life?  Or do we choose our own destination, and pick up the oars to at least try to get there?   I could easily take a vacation from the weight loss journey, trust me.  I am in pain.  I can't move.  I have every excuse in the world, and TONS of sympathy, so who would blame me?  But, if I were to do that, where will I be a month from now?  Better off?  Or worse off?  Yes, we know the answer to that one already.  So ...

I choose my destination.

I am moving toward improved health, and less weight.  I'm eating on plan, I'm doing a little bit of exercise from my chair (something is better than nothing), and I've got my eyes on the goal.  Sure, I may be using oars on the ocean right now, but it is better than floating unaided.  Sometimes, in our journey, we will find ourselves in a motorboat, sometimes in a row boat, rarely (I hope) adrift with no method of propulsion.  If we can't row by ourselves, it is as easy as getting someone to help.  Find your inspiration, and use it.

I am tossing out a challenge for just today, that you choose your destination this day.  Will you have something good to look back on today, as you lay your head upon the pillow tonight?  You can, you know, if you choose to do so.

Do something positive, to move toward the destination you choose for yourself, whatever that may be. 

Just for today, choose the destination!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pass Me A Plate of Milk Chocolate Please - And Supersize That

Let me just say, a human body should never ever be the deep shade of purple and blue that my right leg is right now.  It is U G L Y .. now, I hurt even more, just looking at it. 

Yes, I'm having a pity party today.  I'm miserable.  I'm incapacitated (nothing humbles one faster than not being able to go to the bathroom unaided).  My poor husband had to use a vacation day today, because no one could babysit me.  And I'm miserable.  Oh wait, I said that already. 

Misery loves chocolate, as every woman on the face of the earth knows, and I want chocolate - lots and lots of chocolate - milk chocolate, to be exact. 

There, I said it.  I feel sorry for myself, and chocolate makes all things better.  Well, no, it actually doesn't, but interesting that in my hour of pain, I pray first, then go right to chocolate - in thought anyway. 

And no, I'm not actually eating chocolate.  I just WANT to.  My pity party says I deserve at least that, but hey, irrational thoughts can justify anything. 

Milk chocolate may taste good, but it solves nothing.  In fact, it makes things worse.  I don't need to be incapacitated AND putting weight back on, so I am not giving in to the urge - the very, very strong urge. 

After losing all this weight, it is interesting that the mind still goes there though, isn't it?  But, where I used to just give in, I now shrug it off.  That is something, anyway.

More of me hurts, but that is to be expected, I suppose.  I feel like I've been run over by a truck, or what I imagine being run over by a truck should feel. 

I neglected to relate an interesting event from Friday.  The nurse/technician who helped me in radiology, was positioning the inflexible, injured leg to get a proper scan of it (assuming it may be broken).  While moving the leg, she stopped and looked at me with a puzzled expression.  She asked if I'd lost a lot of weight lately, and added, "I mean, a LOT of weight."  (Yes, I said, why?)  She was trying to adjust the leg, and the skin on the thigh just moved, like it was a loose blanket covering my limb or something.  It was really weird.  I guess I only really saw my leg when I was standing, and didn't really pay it much attention before the injury. 

I don't track my thigh measurements really, but I did have a thigh measurement from my 307 weight (the RIGHT thigh, as it turned out).  Figures, it would be from the injured side, right?  Anyway, I need to remeasure it, to see what changes have taken place there, once I am capable of doing that again.

Has anyone else noticed loose thigh skin?  Great, that my attention has been drawn to mine, just at the time I cannot exercise to help that issue.  Well, I can't let that worry me, or detract me from my diet plan.  I'm not as well hydrated as I have been, which is actually taking some time for me to adjust to, but I have to be practical with my lack of independence and need for assistance right now.  The other diet challenge I have right now is not what I eat, but when.  I am doing a lot of sleeping right now, so I am missing snacks and sometimes even a meal.  My hubby knows my sleep has been sporadic (due to injury/pain) so if I happen to be sleeping through lunch, he lets me sleep.  While uninterrupted sleep is a good and necessary thing right now, I hope I can get back to a regular eating schedule before too long. 

Thank you, to everyone who commented and/or has expressed well wishes and prayers.  I really do appreciate it.  I don't want my blog to degenerate into a litany of woes though, so I'm going to try to return the focus to weight loss, where it belongs.  It is all about getting healthy, right?   I just think how much worse this would've been at 327 lbs ... so, losing weight has all sorts of unforeseen advantages. 

Stick to the journey, reap the benefits, lessen the negative ramifications!

I told my husband that not being able to stand (so not being able to weigh-in) has one advantage.  It will be a suspense-filled surprise, to see what it reads, when I eventually am able to get back on the scale.  I'm working hard through it all, to ensure the number will be a pleasant surprise, not an unpleasant one.

Eat so there are no regrets, right?!! 

Onward and downward, everyone - if I can do it, like this, almost anyone can.  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good News, Bad News

Well, this is a good news, bad news post, which is what I wrote Allan a minute ago.

The good news is that I am staying on plan and got in all the exercise for the week, as usual. I also feel like the weight has started to come off again (finally). Clothes are so much looser ....

"Feel" I've lost weight? What's up with that? Ah, there is the bad news part.
I had an accident yesterday and we thought I broke my right leg. This time, the trip to the ER was for me. When hubby got me to the ER, they had to roll a gurney out for me, because I couldn't even bend to sit in a wheelchair.  Hubby and a nurse had to help me out of the backseat and onto a stretcher.

As it turns out, I did not break the leg, but the ortho said it would've been better had I done so. As I told Allan, the Ortho said he's seen car crash victims with less damage. Not something I wanted to hear.  In bracing for the impact, I also hurt my left arm, likely in the roll after impact, who knows, but I can't raise the arm over my head, and I'm told not to lift anything with it.

So, how did this happen? 

It was something as uninteresting as slipping on a patch of ice I didn't even see, on a hill on the shady side of the road, coming back from my walk. 

So much for my New Year's resolution to get in regular exercise.  That is now shelved, and I'm not happy about that.  I can't even walk myself to the bathroom, and I'm on a wonderful painkiller.  The pain, however, is always there, at least for now.  I am told it will be a few days of extreme discomfort yet.  "Extreme discomfort" is another term for pretty intense pain, as I am finding out.

I can stick to the diet, but clearly it will be a long time before I'm able to follow the exercise plan. I have crutches, but can't even comfortably use them yet. I'm also not able to stand on my own power, so no official scale reads for a while.

I'm still sticking to the Phase IV diet plan, but I'm hoping Allan takes pity on me and still sends me the weekly packet, including the exercise routine.  Eventually, I'll be over this, and can start the exercise again.

Just as I thought I was done with doctors, hey?

The knee took the biggest hit, and I can't believe I didn't splinter a bone somewhere.  They took several x-rays yesterday, but the bones were okay.  (The ER doc said the bones were about the only thing to escape damage.)  Ouch.  Lots of soft tissue trauma.

And my clothes were so loose yesterday, I thought I'd get on the scale today and be able to report a good 5-lb loss or something.  Phooey. 

Well, I still have my tape measure, so until I'm able to stand again, I'll have to rely on that as a measure of my progress, just not today.  I can't move anything today.  My poor hubby can't even have the flu in peace.  I'm backing off the water intake a little bit (just a little bit), to conserve trips to the bathroom, since I can't get there unaided, and hubby is sick in bed.  You'd be amazed at how quickly the body adjusts to the increased hydration, because now that I've backed off of it a little bit today, I cannot get over how THIRSTY I feel.  Good thing the pain meds make me not care too much.  LOL

I am hoping this is the last weird thing we have to deal with for a while.  I'm tired of all the bad stuff lately.  A Green Bay Packer win this afternoon would go a long way toward making me feel better though ...

Go Packers!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Challenges

My week got away from me.  It has been crazy busy.

Dad had his port removed today!  He will be free to take showers again, starting tomorrow.  Those little things we take for granted are very much appreciated by Dad these days. 

Now, of course, we just sit and wait, to see if the body responds to this last effort.  And pray.  The doctors have done all they can do, and all that medical science allows.  On one hand, Dad is relieved to be done with everything.  On the other hand, there is nothing left to try, and it gets scary now.  This is where faith comes in to provide comfort - either way. 

Hubby is coming down with a bug of some sort.  We need for that to leave before his rescheduled surgery date gets here.  Hurry up and heal already!  LOL  I have to keep Hubs and Dad apart, as Dad cannot afford to pick up a bug right now.  Dad is thin, but he's a tall man, and I had a hard time helping him navigate by myself.  We managed it though. 

Dad was a little worried.  He said if I go down, everyone is in trouble! 

You know, I thought about that on the way home.  He's right.  I'm the key person right now.  Everyone is relying on me - absolutely everyone.  I have no right to be at an unhealthy weight, when others need me and are counting on me.  I'd feel guilty, except I've been working hard these last six months to change course.  I'm getting a little tired of working so hard and not seeing much movement on the scale though.  I try not to let that discourage me, and stick to the plan.  Still, I hope this week I'll see things start to move again.  I'm getting tired, and need the morale boost I guess.

No pity parties, I know!  Hey, if Dad isn't feeling sorry for himself, what right does anyone else have to do otherwise?  We live to fight another day, after all.

Well, I'll do some blog reading this evening and tomorrow, and catch up on some housework.  Now that Dad is on an even keel, after the bad week he's had, I am hoping I can get back to a normal routine myself.  I haven't had two minutes to read anyone's blog this week, and I miss you guys!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 180 Dribs and Drabs

Thank you to Michele who awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award (see the Award & Reward tab).  No one has ever accused me of being stylish before, so this was a real treat!  The rules for this are:

1. Post and link back to the person who awarded this to me (that would be Michele, as mentioned/linked above).

2. Share 7 things about myself.

3. Pass on the love, by awarding 15 other worthy bloggers this honor (or as many as I can).  And,

4.  Contact the award recipients to let them know of the award!

So, here are seven things about myself -

1. I am the only one in my family to hold a college degree.  I worked my way through college on my own, and graduated with zero debt.  However, I can never mention anything about that experience or education, because several family members are sensitive about the subject of advanced education - therefore, I've never said a word to the family that referenced anything to do with college, since graduating decades ago.

2. I make it a point to reread Dr. King's letter from the Birmingham jail (1963) every MLK Day.  It is intelligent, insightful, thought-provoking, and could apply to many situations, not limited to Civil Rights alone.  It applies to everyone, no matter their creed or color.  He wrote, just in part,  "... We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed. ... there are two types of laws: just and unjust.  I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws.  One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws.  Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. ... A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.  An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. ... Any law that uplifts human personality is just.  Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.  ..."  Amen, Dr. King!

3.  I want the Packers to win over the Bears, and think a Packers-Steelers Superbowl showdown would be the most entertaining and well-matched game, of the remaining playoff teams.  That said, I was absolutely impressed with the Jets yesterday, and am in awe of their defense coverage.  Where did that come from?!!  (Can you tell I'm a football fan?)

4. Shellfish is highly toxic to my body, and shrimp in particular.  I carry an EpiPen in case of emergency. 

5. I am in need of a haircut, and plan to get my long locks chopped to shoulder-length before next weekend.

6. My favorite piece of furniture at home is a small reproduction bookcase by Althorp. 

7. I would like to visit Philadelphia and New York City one day.  I've not been to either place.

The remaining rules (3 & 4) require more thought.  I rarely get around to those tasks, to be honest.  It isn't that there aren't a multitude of deserving blogs.  I just find it daunting to hunt down bloggers who haven't yet received the award in question, and then when I do, I worry that I'm putting some sort of obligation on them that they may not want.  So, I'll do what I usually do.  I'll "get around to it" - or not.  Things are a bit busy these days, but I will try.  When you get to big numbers - like 15 - it gets very difficult to pass it on to someone who hasn't had it yet.  And maybe that is the point?  Well, if you are stylish, and haven't had the award yet, drop me a note!! 

Thanks again, Michele.  xxox

More on other topics later (maybe).  Time is slipping away from me today, and I need to tend to Dad, once he is up from his nap.

Belated Day 177: 24-Update Friday (# 8)

Sorry for the delay in posting my 24-Update.  Sometimes, when helping a very ill family member, the disease demands more time of us than other times.  This was one of those extended weekends.  Dad is doing well now, and is getting his last cancer treatment today.  Then, we just wait and see what the body does with it all.  Thank you, for all those who've been keeping Dad in thoughts and prayers.  I know it gives him comfort to know others have also raised prayers of support.

Now for the 24-Update, my biweekly attempt to try on my ancient size 24 cream-colored jeans, in the hope they'll one day fit me again.

First of all, I was AMAZED that I had as much room as I did, in the thighs of the jeans.  I don't often think about the thighs losing inches, but they clearly have.  In a week where I saw little movement in weight, I have noticed inches. 

The waist of the jeans fit perfectly - not too snug, nor too loose.

Once again, it is the abs (hips) still at issue.  However, unlike my last attempt, the abs/hips fit a wee bit better this time.  In fact, I could probably have worn them on Friday, but for the unsightly pull across the fabric there.  Dare I say it?  The NEXT 24-update may actually see me wearing these jeans!  I think I will be able to make my wish list of "by Valentine's Day!"  Yes, I am very excited.  When I search the 24-update entries, and read of the slow transformation, I am tickled to see the progress.  I had the pants hemmed, so now when I slip them on, the length is perfect.  I just need to get those hip measurements down another 1/2" and I'd be golden. 

I'll catch up on other things (measurements & weight) later in th week.  Not much time right now, as it is time to go over to Dad's and pick him up.  This is a milestone day - his last cancer treatment.  It either works, or there is nothing left to try - so it is a day I've both looked forward to, and dreaded.  Dad, for his part, is just looking forward to less hospital and doctor visits.  I can't blame him for feeling that way.  It has been his life for over 9 months now.  He is tired.

I'll look forward to catching up on my blog reading later.  How is everyone doing on their plans?  I hope all is well - I'm still right on plan!  The hospital stays make it challenging, but not impossible.  Onward and downward!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I took one of my jeans out of the dryer, and slipped them on, and was surprised not to have the post-dryer snuggness I normally have, the first few hours after the jeans come out of the dryer.  So, I took tape measure to waist.  I didn't step on the scale, because I didn't want to frustrate myself if there was no movement.

Keep in mind, I just measured myself on Sunday, and only lost in the chest. 

I measured - twice.  My waist is a full half-inch smaller!  I've reflected the change on my sidebar. 

Natrually, I was then hopeful the hips would show a drop too. 

Nope, of course not.  They didn't budge.  Well, tomorrow is my next 24-update, and the hips are the only thing holding me back.  We'll see if things shrink by then.  Hope springs eternal.  I would really like to wear those old size 24 jeans on Valentine's Day.

I am tickled that my waist is at least in the 30-something range again.

Maybe I need to look up hip exercises, something to target that area.

Thank you, and a shout out, to Kathy (my challenge buddy/cheering section in the Lose 60 in a Year Challenge), I was tickled to find I made her favorite inspiratinoal blogs list!  (Me?  Seriously?)  I really am honored.  I find it interesting too, because I'm always seeking out inspiration from others.  I think, in that way, we all help each other through the difficult battle of losing weight and getting healthy.  As the famous quote goes, no man is an island ...

I read that actor Kevin James was the latest famous person to take up the weight loss war, and with some success.  It is reported he has dropped more than 40 lbs so far, and it shows.  Great job!  We all know how much work it takes, right?  Most of us avoid cameras, and it is inspirational when a person who makes his or her living in front of one, drops a bunch of weight.  We can see how the changes affect their looks and energy, sometimes when we can't see it in ourselves. 

I put on a black pull-over I haven't worn in about a month.  I'm used to how it looks on me.  Well, today it looked different.  I looked different.  What was it?  The fabric didn't have a little bulge to outline, as it hugged my tummy.  Today, it cascades off the girls and goes straight down.  It is amazing how slimming that - alone - makes one look.  I may not be losing pounds, so far this month, but the inches have started to move again (finally).  I'm going to resist stepping on the scale until Sunday morning's weigh-in.

I am going to sing from the rooftops, when I get into the 230s.  I can't wait. 

I last weighed 230 lbs 21 years ago.  I'd like to be there by March, if possible.  So, I'm working the diet and moving more.  Is there another way? 

We are almost to mid-January (already!!).  The year is really flying by.  It will be spring before we know it.  I don't know about anyone else, but I'd really like to go into it with a spring in my step this year.  I'm looking forward to it, actually.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Evening

Happy Exhuasted Wednesday Evening, Blogland.

Thank you, Everyone, for your well wishes for the boys.  My husband's surgery did not go.  (It did not go well, Ann?!!  No, I mean, it did not happen.) 

Everyone showed up, except the surgeon, who ultimately decided he didn't want to drive in the snowstorm.  The anesthesiologist. made it.  The nurses made it.  The orderlies made it.  The billing department made it.  Heck, even all the morning patients made it.  The one guy who decided "I don't think so?"  Yes, the surgeon. 

We call that "Surgeon World" ... must be nice.

I'm glad the doc didn't risk his life, but it sure would've been NICE if he picked up a phone and had someone call everyone, to save the rest of us from the danger.  We only knew the storm was coming THREE DAYS in advance.

So, it wasn't bad enough we braved the middle of the storm to get there (leaving HOURS early, to ensure we walked in the door on time).  We had to then get in the car and drive home again, in deteriorating conditions, and not even have anything to show for the effort.  It was scary.  And the normally 25-minute drive took us 3 hours.  Roads were literally shut down.  Accidents - everywhere - but we finally made it back. 

It was a very long few days.  Dad's stuff was successful.  Monday's thing was moved to Tuesday, of course, and his Tuesday thing was moved to today.  Dad is in pain, but doing well otherwise.  His cancer treatment will resume next week.  They have the port in again, and so far so good.  My husband's surgery has been rescheduled to the next available timeslot - a month from now.

After all the medical stuff, I spent the day today breaking up ice chunks and attempting to clear part of the driveway.  I've used muscles I didn't even know I had - but I do now!  It was great exercise.  Exhausting, but a real workout.  After the snow, came the ice storm.  So, we have a layer of wet, heavy snow, covered with 1/4" of ice.  Pretty to look at, hazardous to walk or drive on.  Our road isn't really passable yet, but we're hoping tomorrow will be a different story.  The melting started late this afternoon, and should return tomorrow - the sun is a wonderful thing.  Right, so onto the weight loss stuff, because this is about getting healthy, after all.

I remained on plan, to the best of my ability, throughout the long drives and hospital stays, the "nurse Ann" duties at Dad's, and all that stuff.  I did NOT get in a walk in the last three days.  That isn't good, but the situation and conditions just didn't allow for that.  I'll do some walking tomorrow, and Friday as well.  I'm playing catch-up at this point.  Still, I think the heavy-duty snow/ice shoveling of the driveway should count for either cardio or weight training.  Anyway, I will try to get caught up in the walking.

I just now ordered myself a Kate Spade wallet, not 60 seconds ago.  It isn't the Anabel Tote I had my eyes on (for the last goal I met - leaving morbid obesity behind), but it is what I can afford right now.  The milestone was reached a month ago, and I didn't want to let it go by without something special.  I worked hard to get there, and leaving morbid obesity behind is a huge deal.

Speaking of morbid obesity, my doctor's appointment was rescheduled to the end of the month.  His nurse called today to rebook.  She asked me if I managed to maintain my weight loss (I was in the 270s at my last appointment).  I told her, no, I did not maintain my weight loss.  She started to get all understanding on me, Christmas and all that, blah, blah, blah ... when I stopped her and clarified that maintaining isn't accurate.  I was STILL LOSING.  Really?!  Yes, really ... except for this past week or so, but that is another story.  How much more have you lost?  Well, that is for you to tell me, when you next weigh me.

Oh, this will be SO FUN.  I'm down about 30 lbs from the last visit - yes, even though we've had Halloween, Thanksgiving AND Christmas since then.  hehehe  This is gonna be FUN!  I only hope I get off this plateau soon.  And, of course, I'm hoping for improved numbers, which equates to improved health - the reason I'm doing all of this.

The end-of-the-month doctor appointment should tell all.  Well, the labs always seem to take forever to come back, so more accurately, the lab results, back around mid-February, should tell all.

I used to dread doctor appointments.  Not so much lately.  Go figure!

One last notation.  We found out today that one of our dear friends may have to have his arm amputated.  Scary stuff, and life-changing!  We are keeping him in our prayers, hoping for the best.  He is desperate to want to save his arm ... now. 

It is like my weight loss journey.  I've known what I needed to do, but there was always tomorrow.  Well, he ignored his health too - there was always tomorrow.  Only this week, his tomorrows ran out.  He said if he could just turn the clock back ... but of course he cannot. 

If you are ignoring a skin lesion or lump - anywhere - see your doctor.  Do not put it off.  Our friend ignored something for years - just didn't want to be bothered with it - and what was a minor nuisance may end up costing him his arm now.  It is a high price to pay for ignoring something. 

Ignoring my health (and weight) can have an even higher cost, if my tomorrows run out.  Anyway, pay attention, take action and catch stuff early folks.

Gosh, only Wednesday, and I feel like I've already had an overflowing week!  No stress here or anything.

Here is to a normal Thursday!  I'm going to catch up on my blog reading now ...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 172 Weigh-in

Yesterday's number sticks.  Officially. 

The scale isn't the only number that defines results, so I happily turned to my measurements. 

Oh goody.  I lost alright ... in the BUST.

That just puts the dot under the exclamation mark, on a not-very-fun weigh-in day. 

The hips, of course, stubbornly remain exactly the same.  Grrrrrrrrrr.

Right, so I am sticking with the plan, and trusting better results are on the way.  Meanwhile, I needed to jot a quick note here to say I may not be able to post again until Wednesday.  We have severe weather due in tomorrow - my husband's surgery day.  Plus, there is a follow-up with the surgeon on Tuesday AND Dad has to go into the hospital for his next procedure.  If the winter snow/ice hits as predicted, we'll (all) need to grab hotel rooms nearer the hospital tomorrow.  Regardless, it is going to be a busy two days.

Thank you to all who have given me encouraging words, both in commentary and by email.  I truly appreciate it, but there really is no fear that I will quit.  That isn't even an option.  We all have our frustrating dieting weeks, and this just happens to be one of mine.  It is the pits that it is at the beginning of a new year, and a new challenge, but sometimes that is just how it rolls.

No time to update numbers today (except for bust measurement).  Maybe, by the time I get back online to post, it'll have corrected itself.  (One can only hope.)

Onward and DOWNward ...

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Okay, now I'm downright annoyed.  We're coming up on the end of the first week of the new year.  I've been faithfully following Phase IV of the challenge I'm on, and today my ring is snug.  S  N  U  G.

So I hop on the scale ...

Last week = 242


How about 243?  What the heck?!  Water intake, right on the money.  Exercise, just as outlined.  Diet, easy peasy.  But weight doesn't just go up magically for the heck of it.

I even checked the calibration on the scale.  It is accurate.

No, it isn't "female" ... which leaves me no choice but to revisit the diet.  When 2 + 2 = 5, something isn't adding up right. 

I've read the body sometimes works to hold onto things, if the diet changes in some significant way, at least initially.  This may account for the uptick, but I just don't see this diet as all that different from what I've been eating.  The calorie count is what I've been on for a month.  The content of the diet changed a little, but not what I'd consider significantly.  Perhaps, though, the body perceives it differently.  I don't know, and I can't assume, so I am revisiting exactly what I've eaten this past week.  I'm reading through the food diary with an eye toward a misstep somewhere.  So far, I'm not seeing one, but I'm making careful comparisons with the packet material for this past week.  Yes, it is analytical, but I want to make sure there isn't something more (or less) I should be doing. 

It is frustrating to be so very careful, and yet see a lack of progress.  Bodies need to adjust, and I get that, and hope this is all it is.  I'm NOT making 243 my official number this week.  The weigh-in is officially on Sunday morning, and we'll see what it reads then. 

Frustration aside, I'm not detered from staying the course and remaining on plan. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 170: Freedom

We are officially a full week into 2011 today!  Blink, and February will be here.

I am 16 lbs. from the midway point in my journey, as of my last weigh-in.

Wow, I had to sit back and absorb that for a minute.

When I started my blog (July 20th), I was looking at the need to lose 162 lbs. I had to lose more than I would ideally weigh some day. It is not a small number.

And yet, almost without realizing it, I've peeled back the years. The last time I was 240-something was circa 1993. That was 18 YEARS ago. And these last six months have just flown by. I feel as if I barely just started a short while ago.

Perspective is a funny thing, isn't it?

I'm enjoying the 240s much more on the way down, than I ever did on the way up. I'd almost forgotten what I was able to do back then. One of the sad side affects of morbid obesity is the slow giving-up of lots of little things - the ability to bend down to tie my shoes, to easily sit in any booth, or being able to just comfortably maneuver in a regular bathroom stall. I slowly adjusted to not having these abilities, and am now enjoying the freedom I've regained.

I'm appreciating it more the second time around. I take nothing for granted. I am becoming ... free.

I shouldn't squander my new-found freedom either.  Clyde is relishing his, looking forward to his first marathon on the 23rd.  How is that measured exactly?  In joy, of course!  The freedom to run ...


When we are confined, by our own weight, we forget what movement feels like. We do less and less of it, as the scale moves up. And, once we give it up, regaining it isn't easy. It is work. I've started walking (barely, but it is a start). I'd almost forgotten how good it can feel, with the sunshine on my face and the fresh air filling my lungs. I don't look down when I walk, though I probably should. Instead, I look skyward, out in the distance.

I am starting to recognize once-familiar treasures, unappreciated at the time, long lost to me, but beginning to return:  having a little extra energy to expend, taking a few stairs - two at a time - walking from my car across the parking lot at the grocery store, with a little spring in my step - energy. I'd almost forgotten.

It isn't that I was feeling particularly lacking in energy, but now that I've regained some, I realize I forgot just how much energy I used to have. 

Make sense?

I won't be so willing to give it up again.  I take nothing for granted, not anymore. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Revising Rewards

Rewards are the carrots I dangle before myself, to add an extra incentive and bolster my motivation.  (See my "Awards & Rewards" tab.)  I know health alone should be enough, but let's just say the reward speaks loudly enough to drown out the Call Of The Brownie.

Well, my reward for reaching this current mini-goal (# 3) was going to be a Bel Chateau teaspoon.  I've revised it.  I'm saving the "big" prizes for reaching true milestones.  So, mini-goal # 4 (the next goal after this one) will see me into the plain old "obese" category. 

New category = bigger prize.

And leaving my current "severe obese" category is worth an entire 4-piece place setting, if you ask me. 

Yes, I dangle really good carrots.  It keeps me moving toward goal.

I've decided to change this current mini-goal reward from the teaspoon to four china salad plates by Lenox, I think.  I don't own anything in this pattern currently, but these are very pretty - simple and elegant.  Plus, they are a great size for portion control.  (See Award tab)

I don't feel the need for a particularly big reward for this mini-goal I'm working right now, because I think the fresh new year adds enough "umpf" to keep me going.  Still, the plates are attractive enough to keep me moving and motivated!  I think they would be lovely around a spring table. 

Positive reinforcement works most effectively for me.

Someone was asking when she'll see an updated photo of me.  I intend to post one near the conclusion of each mini-goal, so I'm probably a month or month-and-a-half away from posting the next progress photo. I don't want to frustrate myself, and post pictures more often.  I want to easily see the difference, and at my weight, it takes a while for those types of changes to show in any significant way.  lol  

Losing Weight is the Vehicle to Health

If ever there was an indication of how quickly a year can fly by, one need only look at this first week.  I cannot believe we are almost done with the first week of 2011 already! 

Yesterday, I happened to catch part of a show (already in progress, so didn't catch the name).  It was about gastric bypass surgery, based in Houston, I think.  The show was following two or three patients.  I didn't catch anything but a few minutes, but what an interesting few minutes.  The surgeon was having a post-op consultation with one of the patients.  (Everything was going great.)  But, while she was thrilled to be losing weight already, he cautioned her that he wants to see about 10 lbs. per month coming off. 

That is nothing to sneeze at, because it equals 120 lbs. in a year.  But, I was surprised that was the figure, and it wasn't higher.  (The patient DID lose more than that average, but the doc was telling her that 10 lbs per month is what he wanted to see, to minimize muscle tissue loss.) 

That got me to thinking.

I looked at my own average.  Sure enough, I'm losing on average (so far) about 10.5 lbs a month, albeit without surgery. 

I am not opposed to surgery.  There is a method of weight loss out there to suit every person and every circumstance.  The portion of the show I saw was a real eye-opener on the process.   I don't think anyone could go into that surgery without giving it serious thought and consideration, or have a tremendous need for the surgical intervention.  The surgery is life-altering, and still requires an enormous dedication to diet (afterwards).  That is not an easy thing to go through!  And I thought dieting (alone) was tough ...

But there is a lesson there too.  Sometimes, those are the measures that must be taken to save a life.  I think people sometimes assume such surgery is a lazy person's quick fix or something.  But, it is hardly that. 

Instead, people need to recognize how dangerous (truly) obesity is, and outright life-threatening the longer such weight is carried.   And, for those of us who don't feel surgery is right for us, we STILL need to recognize we are in very real danger too, if we are obese (and especially if we've been obese for a while).

My problem, until this diet attempt, is that I looked at this problem as something I "should" do something about, eventually.  That was just pure Russian Roulette thinking. 

It isn't "I should" but "I MUST" do something about this... and with some sense of urgency. 

I can't ignore the issue anylonger.  Youth is no longer on my side, protecting me.  Middle age has come to roost, and is much less forgiving.  I've tried the "bury my head in the sand" approach (ignore it, and it will magically just not be there).  It didn't work.  Not noticing doesn't mean it wasn't there after all.  What a revelation.

My January doctor appointment is looming.  I keep remembering what his nurse told me, more or less "great that I lost weight, but don't feel bad if I gain some back by the next visit - everyone does." 

Everyone does.

What the heck kind of observation is that to make?  Well, apparently, the right one for me to hear, because I became that much more determined to not just keep the weight off, but to continue on ...

It is for me, that I do this.  I'm just using the doctor appointments as a sort of official benchmark.  Plus, I have strong incentive to see my numbers continue to improve.  I was blown out of the water, that after just three months, I was able to lose (entirely) my cholesterol medication.  My liver must love me. 

I've lost another 30 lbs (approx.) since that last appointment, so far.  This next one should be equally fun.  I can't wait to see my doctor's reaction.  He was so shocked last time.   And if "everyone" gains some weight back (especially with a post-Christmas appointment), I can't imagine he won't be equally surprised this next visit.  Mostly, though, I want to see my numbers continue to improve (or remain good), and maybe reduce further some medication.

My journey is about gaining health.  Losing weight and eating properly is the vehicle that gets me there.



Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Having trouble, kick-starting your diet and/or exercise in 2011?  Having trouble getting back on track, after the indulgences of Christmas and the vacation of goodies?

Here is some built-in motivation.  Check out Margene's post:  10-Month Progress

It made me think, where will I be in 10 months? 

I started my journey near the end of July.  My 10 months ends about a week before Memorial Day.  I'm just beyond the halfway point of a 10-month calendar. 


Thank you to Allan, who has awarded a handful of us this award:

I'm proud of it, because it represents consistent and dedicated work toward improving my health, and all through the food holidays of 2010!  It was NOT easy.  But, in the end, the results were worth every sacrifice.  An added bonus, for me, was that I learned a lot along the way. 

I am wondering, now, how insane am I, to have signed up for the Phase IV - but I'm committed now, so we will see, won't we?  LOL


Lastly, motivation from my day today:

~ I am wearing my new size-24 black jeans today.

~ I am wearing a shirt I haven't worn in 13 years.

~ My neighbor's five-year-old boy ran down the driveway, as I walked by, and said, "Oh, you are prettier and prettier!"    (I must remember to include the child in my will ...)

Here's to motivation, from wherever we find it!!

And yet ...

This is a no-whine zone, but since I'm journaling for myself, I have to keep it accurate and honest. 

Today, I'm thinking, "what the heck?"  I'm into a fresh, new year.  I handled the holidays pretty well.  I am looking forward to all the benefits I'll be giving my health this year, I'm highly motivated, and yet ...

And yet.

I anticipated happily embracing (at least initially) the exercise mindset.  I've made adding routine exercise my priority this year.  And yet ...

The weather today will be mild.  PERFECT for getting in a ten-minute walk.  That is all I have to do today - a lousy 10 minutes.  And yet ...

Here I sit, still, knowing I should lace up my shoes and get going.  I have NO excuse not to do so, and every reason to just get out and do it already.  And yet ...

Wow, the couch potato-ness does not give up its throne easily, my friends.  So, I'm thinking, "what the heck?"  Why am I just not doing it already?  Sheesh ... THIS IS THE FIRST WEEK.  It is the easiest week.  And I'm already fighting myself over exercise. 

My motivational word for this week is simplicity.  The formula for getting healthy is not all that difficult or even complicated.  Eat less.  Move more.  It is simple, not easy, but simple.  I need to keep this in mind. 

Here I sit, filling my day off with all sorts of chores around the house, relishing being home after the hectic day of yesterday, and not exercising.  And yet ...

I'm going to sign off right now and lace up those shoes!  I've made a commitment to myself, and I need to honor that, for my health's sake.  I'm just a little surprised that my mindset today isn't where it should be.  I need to power through that, and turn my day around!  I've been right on-plan for my diet today, and I need to bring my A-Game to the exercise portion of the fitness equation.

Perhaps, knowing myself as well as I do, I need to make exercise a routine MORNING (first-thing) sort of ritual.  The couch potato tendency is to push it off, and that is not compatable with my goals this year.

But Ann, if you are losing weight just fine without exercise, why bother?

Losing weight and maintaining weight loss are two different animals.  Statitics say, people who incorporate routine exercise into their lives are FAR more successful in making weight loss permanent, and getting off the loss-gain roller coaster.  While I am creating new habits, I'm adding in some that will ultimately keep me where I want to be - healthy!

Right.  Time to go for a walk.  Have you had your exercise today?  Hmmmmm?

More later ...

ADDENDUM (aka "later"): 

Okay, I powered through my lazy ways, and actually enjoyed my walk.  I am amazed at how out-of-shape I really am - then more amazed that I was amazed at how out-of-shape I really am.  I mean, after all, I'm over 240 lbs for Pete's sake.  Way should a low level of fitness amaze me?  LOL

I feel so much better for having taken my walk. 

I need to remember that feeling, the next time I have the exercise blues.  I've had decades, literally, of granting my every whim, so if I want different results, I need to stop doing that. 

My whim, today, was to give myself a day off from "doing" anything. With whims like that, who needs enemies?  For those of us on the weight loss journey, we are our own worst enemies, aren't we?  The good news is that we can also be our own best friends! 

I'm showing myself a little love, by getting that walk in today. 

It really isn't about the walk, but about me powering through the "I don't want to do it today" stuff.  Amazing, how one little GOOD decision can really make a day, isn't it?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 165 - Weigh-in Results: 242 lbs.

Yay, the scale is moving downward again (- 3 lbs)!!  It has been a challenging week, post-Christmas, between more than anticpated meals out, and 3-4 curve balls tossed our way from various directions.  Through it all, headway was still possible, and my health remains a priority.

This marks the end of the The Spawn challenge.  Tomorrow, about 60 of us are going to venture into the Phase IV Challenge, and get busy - literally.  It should be fun, and educational (for me).  I'm looking forward to it! 

I sure hope to see some HIP inches fall away, and maybe some skin tightening too.  I saw an old rerun of "Golden Girls" on TV just last night.  Sophia (the elderly mother), ended up being naked under her overcoat.  Long story, but she was safely home and relating her experience to her daughter, Dorothy.  Rose (Betty White) comes into the room, and asks Sophia why she was wearing an overcoat in the house.  Sophia - back to audience - opens her coat to reveal herself to Rose, who then turns to Dorothy and asked if her mother was naked, or was that dress just REALLY in need of ironing!  Hysterical to watch!!  Not so funny to live through, I'm sure.  I don't want to end up like poor Sophia, before my time!  LOL

Pouring rain here, but temps remain mild, for today at least.

I have lots of doctor-related things with the guys tomorrow (husband and father), so I don't anticipate being able to read up on too many blogs before Tuesday.  I plan to make the rounds in Blogland later this week!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011: A New Year - New Resolutions

January 1, 2011.  I awoke to thick fog this morning, and very mild temperatures.  It is going to be a glorious Saturday!  It is the dawn of a new year, with all the promise ahead of us, to make this year what we want it to be. 

It is also time for our annual resolutions.

Resolutions are important, but only if we don't turn them into empty promises to ourselves.  Like any goal, there are certain steps I take to ensure I maximize my chances of achieving them.  The most important?

A lot of people will automatically say that resolutions must be realistic, and that is certainly very important and an essential basic requirement too, but the most important is actually to be sure the resolution is something I truly desire. 

I think a lot of  people toss out resolutions that "sound good," but there is really no internal motivation to succeed at them.  Resolutions aren't just a "wish list" of our perfect vision for ourselves, or something we do because others expect it of us. 

For me to make progress and actually succeed at my goals, I give them some serious thought beforehand.  Do I really WANT this?  Why?  How important is this to me?  Is there something more important I want to be focusing on?

Ah, yes ... prioritization.  That is also important to ensuring I maximize my chances of achieving my goals. 

I prioritize my resolutions, when I make more than one, as I often do.  I want to keep my focus on those most important goals, so I limit how many I set, working on the most important ones.  Note, when I ask myself these questions, I don't think "is there something more important I should be focusing on" - resolutions have to be something I actually desire, not "should" desire.

And lastly, I try to make my resolutions about the process, not the final product.  Making them about a process is what actually leads to sustainable changes, which allows me to reach my ultimate goals.  So, instead of saying, "I want to improve my health in 2011" or "I want to reach goal weight"- which are goals, certainly, a few of my resolutions will be all about the processes that can make this happen. 

My 2011 Resolutions:

1. Establish a weekly exercise habit

2. Routinely monitor daily caloric intake

3. Call my brother every month

Establishing a routine exercise habit is not an easy thing for me.  Actually, that is a gross understatement.  And it is my first, and most important, goal for this year.  It is a process that will lead to improved fitness and general health and well-being.  And it will help me improve my measurements too.  Sitting on the couch, wishing I could be more active, doesn't actually get me anywhere.  I have to make it a priority, and do something about it, so 2011 is the year I am going to do that.   

Monitoring caloric intake, I've learned, actually DOES make a difference.  And I need to do this routinely, to keep moving in the direction I want to be heading in my weight loss efforts.  Ultimately, I can achieve my goal weight (145 lbs) by doing this.  Before Allan's challenge series, I didn't give it much thought.  Actually, I thought it sounded like a big pain in the neck.  And, at first, it was - though not nearly as daunting as I anticipated.  Now?  I need to make this part of my routine, not just something I do for a challenge.  Challenges come to an end, eventually (I think) hehehe  ... and this is a behavior I've learned is actually vital to my own success.  So, this learned behavior needs to be moved to the routine habit category, and stay there, always.

Calling my brother every month is just good for my overall health!  Talking to him is so much fun, and we enjoy each other's company a great deal.  Our routines (and being located in different parts of the country) don't always allow us to connect as often as we'd like.  Four times a year, to recharge with those we love, is not often enough.  So, in 2011, I'm calling him every month.  It is good to hear his voice, and we laugh a great deal, and you can't put a price on that.  Life is just too short.

Note, my resolutions each have a time component to them.  Weekly, daily, monthly - these clearly define timeframes, which help me move forward in progress.  They are attainable, maintainable, and realistic.  And not one of them expects results instantly.  Change of behaviors and habits is a gradual process.  Creating an improved person takes time.  But, I should be able to measure progress as I go, and continually show movement toward my resolution goals.  Being realistic and understanding the gradual nature of establishing new habits, in particular, prevents me from feeling discouraged.  Just like weight loss, it will have its ups and downs, but staying focused and committed will - ultimately - help me achieve my resolutions in 2011, and all the fringe benefits that come with that. 

My resolutions are also not too vague.  Saying "I want to make better choices" is already built into these more specific resolutions.  It I make them too vague, it is a set up for failure.  Resolutions need to be targeted with measureable and attainable results.

I will continue to set other goals throughout the year, but the resolutions reign supreme. 

But, Ann, don't you want to reach goal weight in 2011?!

YES, of course I do (and I expect to), but that isn't a long-term goal by itself.  Maintaining it, now there's a goal!  And what helps me do that?  See resolutions 1 & 2. 

I use resolutions to establish long-term forever type of improvements, that benefit me as a person in some manner.  I'll use interim goals (not resolutions) to reach other targets - like my goal weight.  My goal weight, by the way, is 100 lbs away.  Setting a resolution for so seemingly big a task is to set myself up to be discouraged.  It is one of the reasons I keep the big picture in mind, but I only (ever) focus on my mini-goals.

Being successful takes a little thought and planning, not super-human efforts and unpleasant sacrifices.  Setting goals and resolutions that are too big, or too vague, will only lead me to lackluster results.

How does a person keep up motivation?  Simple.  I have to want what I am aiming for, and be realistic in my approach, plan well, prioritize, and make it about the process - not the ultimate destination. 

The ultimate destination, as it turns out, takes care of itself, if I take care of the rest.

 Happy New Year, Everyone!