Monday, February 28, 2011

Lack of sleep makes me grumpy and makes the scale go up

I didn't get to exercising until 9:30 pm and did that until 10:45 pm. Of course, because of it I couldn't go to sleep right away and for the second night in a row, I slept like doo-doo. Much worse last night than the night before. Maybe now my thyroid has gone too far the other way? or was it just one of those things? Who knows. But now I feel grumpy and it's rainy outside and the scale was up a bit this morning (I've noticed bad sleep usually equals bad scale reading in the morning). I know I did nothing 'wrong' as I ate well yesterday and did fit in my usual exercise routine.

Well, routine. I guess the Walk It Out game is routine, but definitely adding push-ups and situps every other day isn't exactly a routine yet as I have now done them exactly twice. This time I decided to do the push-ups and sit-ups before exercising and I did some some improvement. Well, more, I pushed myself harder as I wasn't as exhausted I think. So, 20 girly push-ups, 4 sets of 5 with a few seconds pause between each set. Then I did 25 crunches in sets of 5 straight on, and then another 25 for the obliques. My arms, shoulders and sides are hurting from the push-ups, but nothing is hurting me so far from the sit-ups even though I really can't do any more when I'm doing them!

Today is Monday and my 5 year old is all recuperated from his stomach bug. We first have to hit the dentist to have that check-up on his dental surgery. We had to reschedule due to the little guy's stomach bug. Then, it's off to school with him! Then I need to go to the pharmacy to get my thyroid meds. I haven't had a day alone in two weeks, so something FUN would be nice. Not sure going to Home Depot is fun, but I do need to pick something up there. Maybe hanging curtains? Not exactly fun, but I really need to get to that. We've lived in this house for 15 months and while all the windows have blinds, it would be nice to have curtains too and then, finally some artwork!

Ok, that's about it. Oh, I did do my measurements this morning, but hardly a change, so I'll maybe start doing that once a month. The only measurement that got a little smaller was my thighs, otherwise the same, despite dropping weight these past two weeks.

Stats for 2/27/11:

Beginning weight 255.6   Now 239.2
2011 exercise totals: 52 hours
2011 walking totals: 173/1000
Push-ups: starting: 15  Now: 20
Stomach crunches: starting: 25  Now: 50

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Date night!

My husband and I went out for a date - the first time in months and months and the first time we went out somewhere alone for over a year. Another time we went out and went to a group thing. It was a nice time. We went to Historic Ellicott City. First we walked down the Main Street and then back up. It's built on a hill (and into bedrock) and is quite charming - full of shops (sad to see a Subway is moving into the neighborhood - sorry cousin Nick who works in advertising in the headquarters!). Normally, I would have huffed and puffed coming back up the hill. Not this time! I am getting fitter. Then we listened to a live band in a local pub and people watched. Party animals we are not, but it was a cheap date $8 total as my husband had one beer and I had a diet Coke!

Yesterday I walked 4 miles. The first mile I did at home on the treadmill. That mile was hard. Again, 3.1 mph is the fastest I could go - making it exactly an 18 minute mile. Later, I decided to take a walk. We all went as a family, but I went ahead at my speed while my husband, my teenager and the 5 year old walked behind. I did the entire loop of the 1.5 miles, then I walked back to them the long way (off the lake) for a total of 2.5 miles walking fast. The last mile was starts and stops with the 5 year old. I would be walking very fast when he was running, at a standstill when he was lollygagging. When I was walking fast (2.5 miles) I was walking 3.9 miles per hour, or about 15 minute miles - including hilly areas, way easier than the treadmill. So, when I am walking on the treadmill and it seems so slow, I know I'm working as hard as I would outside at nearly 4 mph.

I feel good today, quite sore now from the push-ups, but that's good. I'll do some more today! Ack... I hate them!

Weight beginning: 256.6   Now: 238.8
Exercise totals in 2011: 51 hours
Walking totals in 2011: 170/1000

Saturday, February 26, 2011

You gotta start somewhere, but WOW

So, I said I would start with push-ups and sit-ups yesterday for some strength training. Now, I was expecting I would majorly suck at anything like that, but when you do one sit-up and realize, "wow, this is hard!", you know it's not going to be good. I did 5, then relaxed a couple seconds, five more, relax, five more, relax. Up to 25. That was it. I was done. Pathetic. Yes, it has been over a decade since I've done these (wow to that even - a decade of doing them???), and I've had a baby since then, but still completely pathetic.

Then I tried push-ups. I've always been stronger in my arms/shoulders than in my abdomen, so I thought it would go better, maybe. Until I build strength, it has to be girly push-ups, but I did 5 no problem, then a stretched a second, 5 more, relax, 5 more and done. Enough. Again, just 15 and I was feeling it too much and had enough. Where are the days I could do 50 of those with no  exercise at all, just able to do it whenever? Well, those days are gone too.

I know, it's a start and you have to start somewhere, but ugh... awful. I know part of the reason I was also dead early was that I had just exercised for 90 minutes previous to that. I tried out the treadmill last night. I had gotten batteries for the treadmill's distance counter and speed indicator, etc, so I wanted to give it a whirl. Plus, I have a footpod for the Garmin Forerunner and I wanted to get that calibrated for my walking pace. It started that I was just going to walk a half mile for the watch, but I didn't do it right. Then I walked another .5 miles, again, it didn't work! Finally, I get it (my manual doesn't have directions for this and the online manual I found was for the old style footpod) with walking another half mile. So, 1.5 miles on the treadmill just to get the foot pod to work with my watch. My heart was pounding at an average of 140 beats per minute too and I was walking 3.1 miles per hour. That's it! After exercising for 7 weeks, that's still all the faster I could go! Argh!!! (though I really do think it's harder to walk on the treadmill than it is to walk outside).

Well, at that point, I had walked/worked out for 27 minutes. Too short. So, I decided to do 33 minutes on the Walk It Out game. Well, I felt good and thought at about 25 minutes in, "heck, I can do this an hour". And onwards I went. However, at 25 minutes left to go, I was feeling TIRED. It was 10:30 at night and my heart was still really pounding, but I stuck it out to make it 90 minutes total of walking - 4.5 miles. Then I did the situps and pushups at about 11 pm. So, perhaps the time of day and already being exhausted contributed to the pathetic performance, but I doubt it. I don't use my shoulders and abs while walking - at least not much!

Other than that, I had an adventure at the grocery store yesterday. I didn't realize I was hungry when going and my goodness was it hard to walk past the bakery! They had baked goods all over the place and I just wanted to eat them! Fortunately, I had a protein bar in my purse and I ate that instead and made it out unscathed. And I think it was only because simple carbs are the ONE THING I really need to avoid that kept me from caving. It's not only about their empty calories, but what it can do to my blood sugars that kept me in check.

Lastly, my husband has dropped 10 pounds in the last 6 weeks too. Five of it was his holiday weight gain (I lost those 4 pounds from mid to late December) and an additional 5 pounds. He's gotten there from calorie restricting mainly. It helps that I make really good, healthy food. He exercises just wii fit games about one to two times a week. Man, if it were only that easy for me to lose that quickly. I'm not jealous or even envious. I have known it's been taht way forever. First, he's male. Second, he just has a better metabolism. Very soon he'll be back in his 32 inch waist pants. Maybe I'll be able to fit in his 34s sometime this year? Just to say I can? We'll see!

Saw another drop on the scale, so all is good!

Stats 2/26/11:

Beginning weight - 255.6  Now - 239.0
Exercise hours:minutes in 2011: 49:45
Walking totals in 2011: 166/1000 miles
Push-up count I can do in one sitting: 15
Sit-up count I can do in one sitting: 25

Friday, February 25, 2011

Feeling cooped up!

I spent the last several days at home with a sick kid. He was feeling better yesterday, but this morning he is feeling nauseous again. Poor kid. Means I've been stuck at home, mostly by his side for three days. This is following several days of running somewhere every day. A happy medium would be nice!

I did get a workout in and that felt great even though I was getting tired by the time I got to it. I went there going, "maybe I'll walk for 90 minutes today". After 30 minutes, I'm like, "No, an hour is fine. It's after 9 pm and I'm pooped."

I like the balance I have found with the game. I'm playing all songs (which makes it less boring) and if the song is more than 135 beats per minute I march in place, picking up my feet high. And if it's below 135 I use the step. 120-135 I do like step up 2,3,4 and step down 2,3,4. Slower than 120 and I do step up, step down. Sometimes I just dance around in sync with the beat with the faster songs too. I'm sure I look silly, but it's working. I'm sweating, my heart rate is elevated and that's all that matters.

I will continue with the Walk It Out game until it is finished. (I'm really getting bored with it now), but I'm going to start some strength training too. I will start with some abdominal situp/crunches and push ups. It's time. As much as I hate strength training, it's important. I know I have a video cassette that I liked before for strength training, but we don't have a VCR downstairs. My dear hubby said he would transfer videos to DVD for me, but that's a process too. Maybe if I ask pretty please he can do that for me this weekend. Much more fun to do it with someone that to do it alone.

Speaking of my husband, he's been losing weight too. He tends to do that whenever I get started, but he only had like 20 to lose, unlike my gazillion pounds. Also, he joined a weight loss pool at work. People pay in $200 (yes, that much!) to join in. They all are trying to lose about that much, so he's weight loss is fair and I KNOW he doesn't want to lose that money and would like to win more. Money as a motivator? That will get him! LOL Of course, he can lose by eating a bit less and exercising once or twice a week. That's the difference between a good metabolism and a sucky one like mine. I don't exercise, I don't lose unless I really eat very little and when I eat very little, I am hungry and then I tend to eat junk to fill the void. Exercise doesn't make me hungrier, but it burns the excess. But that's life and I have to deal with it.

It's a rainy, icky day today. Blah. But, it could be snow like the midwest got. I'll take the rain.

Stats for 2/25/11:

Beginning Weight 255.6   Now: 239.8
Exercise totals for 2011: 48 hours 12 minutes
Walking totals: 161.35

Thursday, February 24, 2011

That ham was so good, but ouch on the scale!

Yesterday I was Mommy Nurse to a very sick little boy. By evening he was feeling better, but his fever jumped up. My husband took over as pillow and I went to make dinner. Food is getting scarce, so I made what was left, a nice ham, some frozen spinach, and a couple sweet potatoes and a couple red potatoes. I ate the hame, spinach and a small red potato. It tasted so good and I was so hungry, but ham, even the nice healthy ones, are salty. I was guzzling water afterwards and this morning, a 1.6 gain! I know it's all water, but yowza! And ham is on the menu for tonight too!

I had every intention of exercising lightly last night, but then my older son started to feel sick. Turns out that he had forgotten to eat! He had breakfast yesterday, forgot his lunch in a classroom, so had no lunch, then came home from school and didn't eat, so he didn't eat again until dinner at 6:30pm. By then he had a bad headache and couldn't eat much dinner. Of course, we couldn't know if it was hunger or that he was getting this same stomach bug. Seems it was hunger as he felt fine this morning. I'll have to harp on him all day today to remind him to eat!

So, glad he isn't getting this bug, yet, but by 9:30 pm when I could finally go down and exercise, I was just wiped out and decided I should go to bed instead. I hate not exercising! And that weight gain this morning, even though I know it's water weight, could have been helped, perhaps, if I actually moved yesterday! Argh!

But, that's life. There will be days that are just like that and I have to deal with it!

Stats for 2/24/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 242.0 (Boo!!!)

Edited to add: took a nap and dropped a pound. I don't think I slept well last night, so now: 241.0.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back to the normal routine, sort of

The kids were home for a snow day yesterday and even my husband's work was delayed 4 hours. That was nice. It gave us a recuperation day from having guests and from running off doing something every day. Because of it my exercise came later in the day, but I fit it in at the end which is a typical time, fortunately or unfortunately.

We did get the treadmill positioned and I cleaned it all up and tested it out. Belt runs fine, the incline works (but I don't think it's ever completely flat, maybe that makes it more like real walking?). The distance calculator, etc isn't working because it needs batteries and we are all out of AA batteries, so I'll pick some up today. For me everything is perfect. For my husband, his head is really close to the ceiling in the basement, so he'll have to avoid running fast or hard, but that was never his plan anyway.

I tried to use the treadmill for the walk it out game, but with the songs changing every three minutes or so, getting the right tempo was difficult. Plus, the tempo for walking on a treadmill is different from what I need for marching in place or using the step, so I got tired really fast on the treadmill. Add to that, the treadmill is loud and the TV is not so close and I have to crank the TV to hear it over the treadmill. It was after 10 pm and I knew my mother in law was getting ready for bed, so I didn't want to turn it up too loud. Add it all together and I decided to just march in place for the faster songs and use the reebok step for the mid to slow songs. I got a good workout, so all's good.

My plan for today was to get to the grocery store to restock on veggies, but I woke to a vomiting child climbing into my bed. I blame either the Port Discovery Children's Museum or the B and O Train Museum for passing this bug. Really the kids going to the museums, but that's probably where he got it. So much for him going back to school! He's only had a 1/2 day in the last week between the dental surgery, teacher conference days, President's Day and a snow day! Now add in a sick day. Means that groceries will have to wait and so will exercise, but at least it's back to normal in the sense I can fit it in when my husband comes home, hopefully. I can't complain too bad. Both my kids are really healthy kids, so this is a rarity. Still stinks, but that's life.

Calves are bit sore from the reebok step, but the good kind of sore which means I didn't overdo it this time!

Stats for 2/23/11:

Beginning Weight: 255.6   Now: 240.4
2011 exercise hours: 47:10
2011 walking totals: 158.5 miles

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My thoughts about weight numbers and how weight is gained

I am feeling great! I am wearing a size smaller, my teenager even noticed I'm looking a bit thinner and I am stoked to keep continuing, but I also have some weird thoughts about some of those magic numbers I've talked about before.

I'm now close to 15 pounds lost (gained a bit today - I blame sodium intake from yesterday, so, no biggee really). When I get to 238, that's the weight I was after my son was born (got pregnant at 265, was 238 six weeks postpartum). How did I get back up to 265? Worse, I was 235 when I started my last major weight loss. So, when I hit the 20 pounds lost THIS time, it will be where I started over a decade ago. And worse than that even, I used to weigh 20 pounds more than THIS starting weight. I gained 90 pounds in a bit over a decade if you count my last weight loss. Was 235, got to 185 in about 9 months, gained it all back VERY quickly (like in a year) and added another 40 pounds within about 4 years after that.

I can't look backwards, except to learn lessons I guess. I just feel a bit of a pang that I will feel good about reaching 20 lbs lost where I felt HORRIBLE when I was that weight a decade ago and then took off 50 - just to binge it up 90 pounds in 5 years there. That super fast weight gain scared the crap out of me because I was so out of control with my eating. That fear has kept me from trying for over a decade. I was so afraid of doing that again.

While I don't have that fear now, at least not up front in my head, I still wish I understood how and why that happened. If I could understand it, I could maybe prevent such a mindset ever happening again, but all I can come up with is that I stopped caring and just ate whatever. The gaining the 50 pounds right back I can't explain at all. The bit after that I can a bit. During that time I ate dorm food again and I'm SURE that was a big part of it because as soon as I got away from it, the weight did come down. But then I gained 30 back fairly quickly after my son was born, but I wasn't sleeping and surviving the day from quick carbs. But those explanations sound weak. Was there more to it? I probably will never know.

As my husband said, I need to look forward. And I am. Back to real exercise today as my friend is back in Iowa. Treadmill is in the basement, just needs to be dusted off and then I'm back to the routine.

Yesterday was the slated measurements day, but I forgot with guests in town. Not much movement there this week, but wtih almost no exercise, I'm not surprised. Onwards we go!

Stats for 2/21/11:

Beginning Weight: 255.6   Now: 241.2
Exercise hours in 2011: 46 hours
Walking miles in 2011: 155 (goal of 1000)


Beginning Bust: 47   Now: 46
Beginning Waist: 43 Now: 40
Beginning Hips: 50  Now: 49
Beginning Thighs: 30  Now: 28.5
Beginning Biceps: 17.75  Now 16.5

Monday, February 21, 2011

And the treadmill is in the house!

Again, thanks tons to B. and J. and K. for the treadmill. I'll see if I get a chance to use it tonight. I probably can as my friend's plane leaves at 6:45 and you know how early that means I have to drop her and her son off. We still need to get it to the basement, but that shouldn't be too hard. I'm so glad that we bought the Honda Fit last year - it fit in the back of that!

Yesterday was a take it easy day. The kids played at home for HOURS well my friend and I got to chat. We were supposed to get to the Ellicott City train museum but my friend's little guy fell asleep in the car, so we just drove around. Today we're going to go to the Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore.

That's about it. The kids have been enjoying the 4.5 day weekend, but tomorrow it's all back to normal for everyone!

Stats for 2/21/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6   Now: 240.6

Walking Totals: 153 miles
Exercise totals: 44:45 hours

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And the weight keeps coming off

This is a first for me (and makes me wonder how long my thyroid has been an issue). It's the first half of my menstrual cycle (mean pre-ovulation) and it's when I usually don't lose much weight. But again today, I see a full pound drop. I know it was water weight mostly that I was carrying during my monthly cycle last week, but I'm still surprised as it's dropped lower than I would have expected. Of course, I'm thrilled about that, but it's surprising as I was prepared for the stall that typically happens about now. My eating is really good even though my friend is here,  but my exercise level is less (though we are walking. First the zoo and yesterday 3 hours at a train museum). Whatever is causing it, I'll go with believing my thyroid is getting to be closer to normalized - will be checked next week, I'm liking it!

Ah, and my husband, for the first time said that he's beginning to see a difference. Nearly 15 pounds down and he can see it 'a bit'. I wasn't fishing for it, he just said that my face is looking slimmer, and it is. My eyes are looking bigger I think.

In other news, my husband is going to get the treadmill today. He and my older son will drive out there and first hit a favorite used bookstore. That will just add one more thing to help me on this long journey. All good stuff.

Not much else to say, my friend, her son and my son are having a great time and will plan something else fun to do today. It's been too long since we've had a chance to catch up. Harder with both of us having young kids now, but with both of us having children, of similar age, it helps the friendship too as we pass through similar life stages at the same time.

I'm in a very good mood this morning - probably a surprise drop on the scale helped, but with the weather being so much better, knowing that winter has to be coming to an end, and seeing the birds flitting outside my window all makes me feel good. Life is good and what you make of it and I'm trying to make the most out of mine.

Stats for 2/20/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6   Now 240.8

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A day at the zoo

My really good friend is here with her son and the weather was glorious yesterday, so we went to the national zoo. 72 degrees, just a light breeze and us in our short sleeved shirts and plenty warm. We walked around for three and a half hours and the kids had a great time. And for me, we were moving and walking, so it helped me too. My shins are still quite sore from that super fast uphill walk I did the other day, so a leisurely walk day was good.

Since we aren't eating out, eating for me was actually good. With all the excitement and hustle and bustle the last couple days, my caloric intake has actually been lower. Around 1200 instead of 1500-1700. Funny how when you keep yourself busy, you just aren't as hungry!

It's a really windy day today (and I've been listening to the wind howl all night). We're either going to stay home today or go to the train museum in Baltimore, not sure yet.

Didn't wear a pedometer or the Garmin Forerunner watch yesterday, so not sure how far we walked, but I'll count it as 2 miles in the totals below.  All water weight is finally gone too, so the scale is temporarily my friend again.

Stats: 2/19/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 241.8

Exercise total miles in 2011: 151.5
Exercise hours in 2011: 44 hours

Friday, February 18, 2011

Squeezing in exercise where I can

With my days being very busy these last few days, fitting in exercise was a bigger challenge, especially when fighting off a cold, but I think I found a new way to do it when the weather cooperates. My 5 year old's school is just under a half a mile from where we live and when the weather is nice, I walk him there and walk back - same for picking him up. However, even with walking him twice, it's total would only be eight tenths of a mile and half of it would be at a 5 year old's speed, not exactly strenuous exercise. Good for us both, yes, but hardly breaking a sweat. But... who says I have to walk directly home from his school in the morning and directly there in the afternoon? His school happens to be very near the lake too, so I can do a loop around the lake after dropping him off and before picking him up. That would make 2.6 miles at a fast pace for me, and then warm-up/cool down pace with him of the remaining .8 miles for the day. Going from zero miles walked when I drive him to 3.4 miles if I walk him and continue the walk.

I didn't think about extending the walk yesterday morning, but I did walk him and then carried on. Here's our route, near the lake on the way to school and away from the lake walking home:

But when I picked him up from school, I walked around the lake to get him and then walked a shorter route home:

The first half of the walk (upper portion) is completely flat. I was walking that portion about 4 miles per hour and my heart rate was 130 beats per minute average. The bottom half is all hilly, mostly going up in the direction I was going and there I was walking 3 miles her hour and my heart rate average there was 150 beats per minute and I was really pushing myself HARD because I was running late to get my son from school. I was supposed to be there at 12:15 pm yesterday, but made it at 12:17 pm, huffing and puffing and super red in the face from the exertion.

From the school back home, it was a leisurely 2.5 miles an hour walk, mostly flat, slightly downhill with the happy five year old. My shins are hurting a bit this morning.

Later that day I scrubbed the bathrooms which included on my hands and knees for the floors and our master bathroom is the size of a small bedroom. I hate cleaning that bathroom. Twice the floor means twice as long. The kid's bathroom (which only the five year old really uses much as our teen prefers the separate shower in the master bathroom) is much easier and faster to clean, but by the time I got to that, I was just plum tired.

Got my friend and her son from the airport and that was easier than it could have been traffic wise and now we're off to have a nice weekend. Starting with going to the National Zoo today on this gorgeous mid February day where the high is supposed to be 72 degrees and light breeze and partly cloudy skies. Perfection!

Stats for 2/18/11:

Beginning Weight: 255.6  Now: 243.0

Exercise totals walking in 2011: 149.55 miles
Hours exercised in 2011: approximately 43 hours

Thursday, February 17, 2011

When you get a cold and life is busy

For two days I haven't worked out and my cleaning both days weren't some marathon, but pretty relaxed and easy, But I still am fighting off this cold. Not quite getting it, but it's zapping my energy and then with the worry about my son's dental surgery, I was out of sorts. Even though I knew it wasn't a big deal, I was worried. He has autism and sometimes doesn't understand things, but it seems he does understand much more now and he wasn't scared. That was my worry... him being scared, not worried about the procedure itself.

The little guy now has 8 capped teeth and two others are fixed (two of his four permanent teeth) of a development defect so they won't go bad either. The dentist said it looks like he got unlucky with genetics as it wasn't bottle rot that decayed those teeth, but really little and soft enamel. Fortuately, his permanent teeth are solid and strong.

Little guy didn't like getting up and in a wheel chair or the car ride home as he just wanted to stay in a bed.... yet also said, "Get me out of here." About an hour of being home, he was mostly back to himself and by late afternoon he was eating up a storm, talking, writing and running around like usually. No pain at all and he said that it wasn't bad getting his teeth fixed. Which means, all is good.

However, in my nervousness I mixed up which day my good friend and son are coming! I assumed it was Wednesday, but no! It's TODAY, Thursday! Which is better as now I can go get her instead of my husband, but when I figured it out was within minutes of sending my husband to go get her! Oops!

My eating is fine and I actually had a small victory with choose better eating last night. There were still two leftover cupcakes from Valentine's Day. I was eying them for a snack as I was hungry and eating one wouldn't put me over in my desired calorie count for the day. But, I'm trying to stay away from simple sugars. I asked my kids if they wanted them and they didn't. My older son found them too sweet and my younger son I think was tired of them. So, into the trash they went. I still needed a snack and ironically ate the same number of calories that was in that cupcake, but I ate something that gave me not just calories, but nutrition too. No more empty calories!!!! I had a big apple with cinnamon and peanut butter.

Weight isn't moving, but it's that time of the month and without exercise (the key for me), I'm not expecting anything either. Holding steady while life gets back in order is fine. That's life really, not every day is going to be possible to get exercise, but everyday should be possible to make good food decisions.

It's going to be a gorgeous day today, so I will walk my little guy to and from school. That will add 2 miles of walking at least and movement is movement and maybe later we can squeeze in a walk around the lake, but it will be tight as I have to get my good friend from the airport too, leaving here around 4:30 pm.

Stats for 2/17/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6   Now: 243.6

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Posting from the Hospital

My 5 year old is having dental surgery today. They just took him in and since he still wasn't out, just loopy, it was a little worrying seeing him go without me. I guess I'm a protective Mama Bear. I didn't want him to be awake and without me.

My really good friend and her soon to be 4 year old will be coming this evening and staying the next few days and as excited I am about that, I can't really think much about it until this dental surgery is over.

My workout yesterday and today was and will be cleaning house. Yesterday I emptied out our craft room. That room was so full of stuff that you couldn't even enter it. Now it's ready for guests and after that for sewing and crafts and I'll finally make it cute too!!!

What else? Not much. My mind is with my little guy, but my eating is good and not even a desire to eat junk which means I've come a long way with getting over emotional eating!

Stats for 2/16/11:

Beginning weight:255.6. Now 243.4

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

That Wonderful Time of the Month and it's relation to 42

I never like my monthly visitor, but with it's arrival yesterday (yes, on Valentine's morning), it means more than it's normal inconvenience. It means water weight gain and probably the breaks on the great weight loss I've been having the last two weeks. Of course, I will keep up everything. I'll exercise, eat right and so on, but I expect to see lots of stalling on the scale. After I lose this water weight gain. I could feel I was really bloated last night because my normally very nicely fitting size 18 pants were feeling snug in the abdomen. Only good thing about water weight gain, is that you know it's temporary.

While I'm totally over this whole monthly cycle thing and find it extremely inconvenient and annoying, I'm glad I still get a regular monthly period. Everything is still like clockwork and with seeing those shifts in my metabolism midcycle, I can see I'm still ovulating, which is also very good for my overall health. The longer I'm ovulating, the better it is for the health of my bones. As annoying as the month cycle is, hormone swings and all, it's good to still have it.

My mother was completely through menopause sometime while she was 42 years old - early 42 I think. So, there's another thing for me to fear about the age 42. While yes, it sounds great to never have to deal with it again, it's a bit scary with the fear of osteoporosis when you go through menopause so early. And I was getting worried, last year I was beginning to get hot flashes around the time of ovulation. Besides being a bit embarrassing to turn red for no apparent reason, it also scared me. At 40 and getting hot flashes? A little early for all that business.

But, since I've been taking my thyroid medicine, I believe it has stopped. I haven't noticed any hot flashes the last couple cycles. An under active thyroid can produce menopause like symptoms or even early menopause. With that under control, maybe I can stretch out these last few years of my fertility a bit longer for the health of my bones.

Oh, and why am I so frank about my bodily functions? Well, starting in college I was a health education peer educator for sexual awareness and sexual assault prevention. And in recent years I teach an Our Whole Lives class (a modern, more in depth sex ed class for teens) every few years. I believe it's important that we not be so hush-hush about normal body functions. Women are 50% of the population and most have menstruated, are menstruating or will menstruate and the men in our lives aren't and shouldn't be in the dark either. Hello? They have to live with our mood swings and deserve at least a head's up, right?

Anyway, that's that. I actually got a good night's sleep despite having a cold, and my head feels better this morning, so maybe my body will be fighting this one off quickly. That would be VERY nice. Wasn't thrilled with seeing the water weight gain this morning, but knew it would be there.

Stats for 2/15/11:

Beginning Weight: 255.6   Now: 243.8 (up 1.2 pounds in the last two days)

Monday, February 14, 2011

So today is Valentine's Day

As a kid, like most kids, I loved Valentine's Day. We gave cards, had candy and a school party. It was fun and something to celebrate. I don't remember much about it in junior high, so it must not have been especially bad or good, but high school was difficult. The juniors used Valentine's day for the prom fundraiser. They sold carnations 1 dollar a piece in the weeks preceding Valentine's day and then on that day, the prom committee folks would deliver the flowers to your classroom in the first three periods of the day. The first problem I had was that I was always short on money - I just didn't have it, so I couldn't buy many. Second, I could never be sure I was high enough on anyone's list to get a flower from them either. I never had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day (that topic is coming up), but would I get flowers? Red was for Love, Pink was for like, White was for Friend, and Yellow was for, what was it? Anything goes?

Some kids got a lot of flowers. And I'm talking A LOT. Others got a few. No one went without a flower because if no one sent you a flower, the school would buy one for you  - a yellow one and it was sent anonymously. So, of course, that was even worse than getting none! Kids would see you were a loser to get NO FLOWERS and the school had to buy one out of pity!

Those three years in high school, I would be anxious. What if I only got one yellow flower? I would curl up and die! Well, fortunately, it never happened. Every year I got 3-5, saving me from eternal embarrassment and major depression. So, that's when the problems with Valentine's Day began.

Then there's that whole being alone thing. The day for lovers when you don't have a lover is sucky. You feel like everyone in the world has someone to love and to love them back, except for you. All through high school and all through college, it was the same. Alone and it starts to fill you with self doubts. What's wrong with me? X has someone and she's gross! Why don't have someone? And so on.

And then I met my husband. How ironic that after swearing off Valentine's Day and feeling it's the worst made up Hallmark holiday ever, that I fell in love with my husband around that time and Valentine's Day marks a special anniversary for us. I went from detesting that holiday, to finding it one of the most joyous. Of course, with everyone else celebrating that weekend, we tend to avoid it on that particular day, but try to do something around then - just the two of us.

But it doesn't stay easy. Since Valentine's Day is for lovers, what happens, even if you are married, if you don't feel very loved? What happens when you are in a bad spot in the marriage (and they all have them) AND it's a special anniversary for you? It sucks twice as bad. Now you feel bad because you aren't feeling overly loved on lover's day AND your special anniversary hurts more because you aren't in the same place as you were then (a happy spot).

My husband and I have had good years and bad, but at 41 years old, and after being married for 17 years, and with two kids at home, I look at Valentine's Day as a day for the young and in love. Maybe when you were foolish enough to believe in someone romancing you for eternity. Even for us now, I think we toast it in memory of what we had and not so much what we have now. Yes, my husband and I love each other and there times the spark is still there, but you settle in. You get beaten up along the way by life, and the love matures. It's not all chocolates and flowers and fancy dinners and stuff to impress the other. It's a quiet look. A knowing smile. And Valentine's is really just another day in the life that you have to mark or else be called a jerk, but it's a day. Nothing more and it doesn't hold as much importance to me any more - good or bad.

We don't have any special plans for today. We are getting ready for our youngest son's dental surgery, I have cupcakes to take in for the little guy's Valentine's Day party (and yes, he's very excited!) and my very good friend from college and her young son are coming to visit on Wednesday. So, we'll try to catch a date night when all the excitement is over. We gave each other a kiss and said Happy Valentine's, but that's about it for celebration today.

Stats for 2/14/11:

Weight beginning - 255.6  Now: 243.0


Chest beginning: 47  Now: 46
Waist beginning: 43  Now: 40
Hips beginning: 50   Now: 49
Thigh beginning: 30  Now: 28.5
Bicep beginning: 17.75  Now: 17

Walking totals: 147 miles
Number of hours:minutes exercised: 42:00

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hodge Podge of stuff!

Today I just have a bunch of little things to talk about. First, I used the Garmin watch to track a walk we took yesterday. The sun was out, the temperature was about 45 degrees and despite being slightly windy, it was finally a break to get outside. I was curious to see how the GPS worked. One of the complaints about the Garmin Forerunner 305 is that it takes awhile to acquire satellites, but it was so fast. Less than 10 seconds and we were off. We were walking with my 5 year old, so it wasn't fast, but just nice to be outside. Here's a route of my walk and I can pinpoint various points to see how far we had gone at that point and track my pace, speed and heart rate. Here's the route we took yesterday, 1:45 miles around the lake about 500 feet from our house:

While that was great, it really wasn't a workout for me. So, last night I finally got in a workout. Now that I have the heart rate monitor, I have something to push myself. Since I could see the last workout was bordering on too easy. I changed things up. Since I want to finish the Walk it Out game, I just needed to find a way to make it harder. So this time I used the wiimote and nunchuck and not the balance board. I jogged in place and occasionally ran around the rec room to break it up. I felt I was working harder, but it felt good. I was jogging (reminding myself to wear a sports bra next time! LOL).

Oh, and I learned something new. I was reading the heart rate average wrong! The chart just picks the midpoint of the workout on the chart, not the average of the workout. So, yesterday I was wrong in what I said about my two previous workouts. Seems my average heart rate was 126 bpm on Thursday and 125 on Friday. Not the 10 bpm difference I thought it was! Last night's average was 130 bpm, so I was working harder!

I don't know how many more days I have left on this game, but I'm ready to move on. I just don't like leaving things undone!

Other than that, I need to make cupcakes and decorate them for my son's Kindergarten Valentine's day party. I decided to make yellow sour cream cake with my delicious chocolate icing and to decorate them with heart shaped candy melts. This is the first time I'm making a dessert since starting this change of lifestyle in fitness and diet, so we'll see how it goes. I'm not a big cake fan, so I should be OK there, but that icing? Ooo dangerous! My little guy is excited to help me make them too.

Stats for 2/13/11:

Weight - Beginning: 255.6  Now: 242.6
Exercise hour:minute totals in 2011: 40:40
Miles walked in 2011: 143.25

Saturday, February 12, 2011

About this new heart rate monitor

If you recall, I was having a hard time deciding what to get. Should I get a Polar, a Suunto, A Garmin, a Timex, a Nike? Ack, so many choices and they come with so many features.

The ones that stuck out the most were Garmin and Suunto. Unfortunately, Suunto's service isn't stellar I read and they seem to be falling behind in the industry. I wanted more than a heart rate monitor and so Polar didn't seem to fit my needs either. So, I went with Garmin.

From that decision, it got harder - WHICH Garmin? Of course, I was drawn to the newest and greatest one, the 410, but for $350? without accessories? Just too steep. Well, then I looked at the 405/405CX. They are the first generation of this style of watch, just before the 410 and I could get that for $225 before accessories, but as most first generation things, it had me a bit concerned with some of its bugs. There was the new FR60 which is a more basic watch but very well received, but it is also expensive as it's new, for $299 without accessories. Then there was the older 305 that has a pretty big face on it, but it can be found on Amazon for $128 before accessories and it still gets great reviews and even after 5 years, Garmin is still making this model. It's only faults seem to be that it's GPS takes a bit to pick up satellites and it's bulky size. On the up side, it has four things you can watch at the same time, you can make courses, you can have a virtual partner, and so on. Check out what this blogger has to say about the 305: DC Rainmaker, Garmin Forerunner 305 review . He does amazing complete reviews and the industry listens to him as so do many consumers. You can check out his other reviews of Garmin and other related fitness products here: .

I was all set to get the Garmin Forerunner 305 with the footpod (to be used to track everything when I'm inside as obviously GPS would be useless inside when I'm standing still on a treadmill or balance board). I would need that with whatever Garmin watch I decided on (how this is used and what it does is mentioned in the Garmin 305 review). I wanted to see it in person before I ordered it though. REI carries it, so I went to see it. It was too tight for my wrist. Well, not too tight, but it fit my wrist poorly because: a: I'm overweight. and b: I have really big wrists. Even when I was just 20 pounds overweight in high school, I needed to buy mostly men's watches to fit my wrists.  Man, what a bummer! So for about a week I went back and forth on which to get instead and while I was debating on getting the Garmin 405/405CX (which comes with  a set of longer straps) someone on the Garmin forums responded to a message I had about the straps, informing me that the Forerunner was sent with the smaller strap and was provided with a LONGER strap. DCRainmaker's watch, which he bought several years before me, had it reversed, it was sent with the longer strap in place and had a smaller strap if you needed it. I confirmed that it was the shorter strap in use at REI and based on this new information, I decided to get the 305. I ordered it on January 31st.

The foot pod was coming from one retailer, the watch from another. The foot pod was supposed to take a couple extra days, but I didn't really need that yet (still don't have the treadmill). The watch should be sent out immediately. The foot pod arrived on February 3rd. The watch didn't arrive until the afternoon of February 9th. It was agony waiting for it!

After charging it up, the first time I used it was on the evening of February 10th. It took me about 30 minutes to figure it out enough to use it. I set my heart rate range to alert me if it fell below 106 bpm (60% of my heart's capacity) and to ring if it got above 159 (or 80% of my heart's capacity). I did the usual Walk it Out game with the Wii Fit balance board. After the work out, I sent the data from the watch to the provided software program adn I saw I spent 12 minutes in heart rate zone 2 and 55 minutes in heart rate zone 3 which was perfect! It is so cool to see all the information the watch gathers!

Next day, the 11th, I changed my alerts to let me know if it was below Zone 3 (124 bpm). I did this so it would push me to work harder if I slipped into Zone 2. It's part of the reason to get a heart rate monitor - I wanted something to motivate me to work at the optimal level. So, I went down to exercise at about the same time as the day before, playing the same game, with the same songs, in the same order, and for the same duration. And the result? this time I had 33 minutes in Zone 2 and 40 minutes in Zone 3 even though I was trying everything I could short of running on the balance board to try to boost my heart rate above 124. I felt I was working so much harder last night than the night before, yet my average heart rate was 10 beats per minute less than the day before! Go figure!

I think what it does mean though, is that I need to up the difficulty again very soon! Despite all this blubber, my heart is getting healthier and my muscles are getting stronger.

In other news, I checked my blood pressure for the first time in over a week and it was bordering on low - 105/65. I'll check it again this morning, but if it stays low, I think it means I need to get my dosage lowered. I don't know if it is getting lower because my thyroid is now getting close to normal or if it's because I've dropped 12 pounds so far, or it's my better diet, or the fitness I've added in every day or a combination of all of the above. Whatever it is, it's good and part of the reason I started this journey - to get healthier!

Stats for 2/12/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 242.8
Walked it out totals: 138 miles
Number of total exercise hours:minutes: 39:00

Friday, February 11, 2011

Shopping for jeans

I forgot how incredibly difficult it is to shop for jeans. I bought my two pairs of Ralph Lauren "Lauren" jeans (Lauren is his plus size line) probably 5 years ago and have worn them almost completely out. One has a cut on the lower pant leg from sitting on a stage and catching a nail and the other has some tiny holes on some of the seams from just plain being worn out. Those jeans I picked up at Marshall's or TJ maxx for about $30 or so each and they fit me well which is why I have two pair. Besides now getting very worn out, they are way too big. I cannot wear 'that size' 20W any more. I have a black pair of size 18 jeans that I will wear, but the pair of pants I pulled out yesterday are thin dress weight and WAY too long. The other 18 pants are also black and a thinner weight. It's winter, I want something warmer! I need BLUE jeans.

First, I looked in Marshall's. I grabbed 3 pairs of Size 18s or 18Ws. The first pair was Lee jeans. I couldn't even pull them up over my hips and then I realized they were low rise. Low rise. WHO can wear a low rise jean? Can any overweight woman wear a low rise jean? Oh, yes, I see women wearing them, but they look awful in them if they have ANY belly fat at all as it rolls above it and the back of the pants slip down leaving a slight plumber's backside look. I constantly see chubbier women hiking their low rise jeans back up every time they stand up and sometimes when they're walking. In my opinion, the only people who can wear low rise jeans are thin or fit people. On them, wow, it's sexy and very attractive. Thin men look great in them too. Like my son looks great in them, but he's nearly 6 foot and only weights 135 pounds!

So, I try on the second pair of jeans. This pair is like a cross between a low rise and regular rise jean. They look 'ok' as I'm short waisted, but I felt a bit self-conscious with a roll of blubber showing over top (I don't usually have rolls if pants fit properly), but with a heavier shirt, it's OK. Their bigger problem was that the back pockets were half on my thigh and half on my butt, it made my butt look like it was all saggy and from behind it was incredibly unflattering. So, the third pair. Normal rise. normal pocket placement, but the legs of the pant are flared a bit. Oh boy, another thing I can't wear and only the tall can wear well or someone who is small enough on top, waist and hips to get away with a bit of width at the bottom. On me, the flare of the pants make me look very squat and stubby. And I feel like a fat slob in them.

So, out of curiosity, I look through the racks of 16s and 14s. Nearly everything is low rise with flared pants or boot leg cut. Why??? And if it isn't, they are super skinny jeans with lots of spandex and again, who can wear those?

Isn't it interesting that we as a nation are getting more and more obese, yet the jeans we where or can buy, the staple of America's wardrobe, only look good on thin, fit and tall women?

So, I went to Goodwill. I figured there I might find some straight cut jeans or slightly tapered jeans that are more flattering and hopefully have a normal rise in the torso too. But would I even be able to find plus size jeans?

Well, the Goodwill of yesteryear is not the same as the Goodwills of today. I've bought new shoes with original tags on them in current styles. The store is jammed pack with all sizes and it's fairly well organized too. It's clean and friendly and FULL of people of all types. No longer is it embarassing to say, "I bought this at Goodwill". Well, maybe for some people they find it awful to buy secondhand, but not me.

I found the plus size racks and there are hundreds of plus size jeans mostly in 14s through 18s. One 20 and one 24. I looked through the racks twice to be sure I didn't miss anything. The first thing that caught my eye was a cute light weight, jean looking type pant, but not quite a pair of jeans. I see who made them and see it's Lily Pulitzer. I knwo they are good quality, so I decide to check those out. Then I found an 18W Eddie Bauer, an 18 LLBean and an 18P Liz Claiborne and on the second time through, after trying on the other two, a size 20P LLBean.

The 18W Eddie Bauer was so tight in my thigh, I couldn't even pull them up. The 18 LLBean was so tight over the hips, and no way to button and zip them. Um, no! So much for thinking I was wearing 18s! However, the 18P Liz Claiborne jeans fit fine, a tad snug and a tad short, but with 5 more pounds, they would be perfect in both directions. Second trip to the fitting room was the size 20P LLbean jeans. they look a lot like my Ralph Lauren jeans, so I thought they would be good, and they are - a perfect fit. I wasn't going to let seeing a size 20 keep me from buying them. If a pant fits and looks better on me, who cares what the label says for size!

Now, notice what two sizes I just got? A size 18P and a size 20P. I am not short and petite. I'm exactly 5 foot, 6 and a half inches tall and I have birthing hips. I am also well proportioned, so I do not have short legs. So, WHY do petites fit me? (Admittedly, at my current hip size/weight, they are about a 1/2 inch too short. But anyone who has ever lost weight knows that lost weight means filling out the pants less, so they hang longer. As these pants are a bit snug, I figure they will fit perfectly within a week or two). What has happened to the inseams of women's pants? The pants I'm wearing now have a 34 inch inseam and I have to roll them up twice to not drag on the floor. Hello? How tall of a woman needs that length? Very tall! My six foot one inch tall husband wears a 34 inch inseam! I also just checked out Lily Pulitzer sizes and guess what, 34 inch inseams. I need a 29 and I'm average height, with standard proportions. What is causing this? Well, I suppose there are enough super tall skinny girls, more than there used to be, but I also think it's the spikey heel trend that is the main reason. You need a slightly longer inseam for 5 inch heels. 5 inch heels? Whatever... not even going to start on that tangent!

Back to those Lily Pulitzer pants. I almost put them back. I felt like getting something smaller, quite a bit smaller was jinxing myself a bit, but they were so cute, I've never been small enough to wear her stuff, I LOVE her stuff. Most of it doesn't fit my body type, but I can find pieces here and there that work. I'm almost 100% positive those jeans will work and for $4.75, I would be a fool not to pick them up as how likely am I to find something like that in my size at that price again?

So, buying jeans was an adventure and I forgot how difficult it was. I've been buying myself so little the last few years, that I truly did forget. The last time I was this size, a friend of a friend gave me like 12 pairs of jeans. Problem with all those jeans were that they were all low rise with flaired legs. For free, I wore them, but as soon as I outgrew them, I donated them as I knew even if I did get smaller, those weren't for my body type.

Ok, I think I blabbered enough about that 2 hour adventure! Who knew I could say so much about blue jeans! Tomorrow I'll talk about my new heart rate monitor! I've used it exactly once!

Quick P.S: just realized those Lily Pulitzer jeans have an original tag on them. Wow! Hope it was that the original owner got too thin for them and not the other way around. Maybe they jinxed themselves too by buying a pair of pants too small for their current size? Eeks! I vow to myself and all of you that I will lose enough weight to wear them and I will post a picture when I do!!!

Stats for 2/11/11:

Weight - Beginning: 255.6  Now: 243.6
Walked it Out in 2011: 132.5
Exerise totals for 2011 in hours:minutes: 37:45

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feeling blue today and too little sleep.

Not quite sure why I feel blue, but I do.  I think the winter blahs are hitting me and too much time in the house. Doesn't help I didn't get enough sleep last night - about 5 hours. I can sense a nap happening some time today.

Also today we have to meet with the dentist for our son's dental surgery next Wednesday. I think I'll go to the library today to try to find some books to read to Henry about going to the hospital. He'll have this and then soon, a hernia surgery. Poor kid, but poor Mom too!

I'm full of tangents today, but also I found of all things, Cheerios are the one thing in the house, that if I see it or smell it, I want it. Not the home made bread baking in the oven, not the sight of a hazelnut chocolate spread (not Nutella), not making a cake or sweets  - Cheerios? How odd is that?

Ok, I'm feeling a bit better, I stood outside chatting with one of the parents from kindergarten class. it was in the sun, and while COLD, it did breathe a bit of fresh air into me!

My scale was very kind today, but I know it's an unusual dip - expect to see it higher tomorrow.

Stats 2/10/11:

Weight - Beginning: 255.6  Now: 243.0
Walk It Out 2011 totals: 127
Exerciser Hours:Minutes in 2011: 36:35

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beginning to think about what to do about clothes

Most of my wardrobe are size 20s and for shirts 2Xs. Before I started this venture, they were already a tad loose and I had picked up a couple size 18s and 1Xs. Now all 20s are just not wearable except for around home with a belt. The 18s fit perfectly. My two size 18s before now were just for 'good', but since I plan to keep losing weight, they are now for every day too. Yesterday I took out a 'saved' pair of 18s and they fit (although too long), making the total to 3 pants - that's doable for as short of time I plan to be in an 18. Oh, and I have one summery/spring pair of linen pants in 18s too (picked up at goodwill 6 years ago).

In my closet, I think I have one dress and one skirt in a 16 and one pair of linen pants in a 14 (I still remember how unbelievably excited I was to be able to wear a 14 over a decade ago) and I think that's it for the 'saved for hopefully" wardrobe. Obviously, I'll need to go clothes shopping then, but I'm cheap. As good as it will feel to go down in sizes and to look better in clothes, I'm not going to buy expensive/good quality clothes for a temporary size. We have a really good Goodwill in Columbia, so I think I will scour there. Problem is, size 16 is a popular size! But, all I need to find is SOMETHING to work and for a 'better' outfit, if it can't be found at Goodwill, I'll try Marshall's too. I don't have to worry about it for about another 20 pounds or so, but it's been on my mind a bit too as I'm dumping 3/4s of my wardrobe, most of which are not even in donatable condition. As a stay at home mom, most of my stuff is crap. Then I have a few presentable pieces that are even wearing out from age and use. I've been a 20 for a LONG TIME.

Speaking of Goodwill I went in there on a whim a couple weeks ago and picked up Two brand new pairs of shoes - NEVER worn - one Hush Puppies and one LL Bean. Totally comfortable, perfect condition for a total of $20. And I had been looking at similar shoes (the LLBean ones for $100!).

And I'm still waiting for my freaking heart rate monitor. It took Amazon forever to ship it and they sent it super snail mail from Siberia I think. They estimate 2/10 for delivery, but I keep hoping it will be earlier. Like today please? Calves are feeling better too. I decided to NOT use the step for now. As long as I can get my heart rate up walking in place with the fast songs, no reason to push myself so hard to cause so much pain! LOL But, I'm also going to add running with Wii. There is a 10 minute run that gives distances. I'll try it once a week to see how much better I'm getting. I can run the 3 minute run without dying, so let's see how it goes! I need to add in strength training soon too. Though, I hate strength training! Blah! But, I know it's good for me!

Stats for 2/9/11:

Weight - beginning: 255.6   Now: 244.6

Walked it Out Totals - 122.7 miles
Exercised Hours:Minutes in 2011- 35:35

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So, while I was on that high yesterday...

I did some reading on a site and stumbled upon some discussions on loose skin after weight loss. My stomach dropped down to the floor. I remember years and years ago watching a medical show where a once morbidly obese woman was stuck in a body with tons and tons of loose skin - like the saggy, baggy elephant. She had surgery on every part of her body to remove all the excess skin. Of course it leaves scars, but yes, she looked amazing afterwards when the scars had faded. You can tell I had food issues then, because I remember one of my thoughts being, "What if she gains the weight back?"

So, while I was reading this article on it, and seeing the plethora of responses of men and women who also had loose skin, it sunk in. My visual of Melissa at 175 is that of Melissa at 175 when she was 17 years old! Not a 42 year old woman, with saggy skin. I was a bit freaked out. Now, NOTHING like that would keep me from losing weight and getting more fit because really, what's worse? Being fat and unhealthy? or being thinner and fit and with saggy skin?

Of course, I cannot know how it will turn out. I don't recall saggy skin when I dropped 50 lbs before (and was within 20 pounds of my ideal weight), but I'm quite a bit older, weigh more now than my highest then AND I've had one more baby.

I 'think' what will happen is that my legs and arms will 'mostly' be OK, maybe a bit swingy on the inner thighs and underarm area, but my tummy I'm almost sure of it will be a skin hanging fest and not so much from weight, but two huge babies - 22" both of them, 10 lbs 9 ozs for one and 11 lbs 14 ozs with the other. AND with the youngest, I was carrying an enormous amount of amniotic fluid too and was swollen like mad. For now, I have a bigger tummy and 50,000 stretch marks. I guess later I have to accept my life's battle scars are something I have to own. And I'm sure my spouse would much rather have a healthier and fit wife with saggy areas of skin than a plump, unhealthy wife. Of that, how could there be any doubt.

But, I have time to come to grips with reality and it's already sinking in with about 20 hours to stew on it already. No one would ever know with clothes on or even a swimsuit, just me, my doctors and my spouse will know any possible battle scars.

Now, onto a different topic! Yesterday I mostly skipped out on exercise. I powered through a bit of pain the day before, but I was in a lot of pain in my calves yesterday. I did get in a 1 mile plus walk and added another mile walking around my house later in the day - cleaning, walking up and down stairs, playing with my younger son. Still sore this morning, but MUCH better. First day I've missed in more than two weeks.

Scales are a little up this morning (had probably a salty dinner last night as it was soup), but still keeps me at ten pounds lost, so that's all OK.

Stats 2/8/11:

Weight - Beginning: 255.6   Now: 245.0

Walked it out in 2011 - 113.4 miles
Exercise totals in hours: minutes - 35:00

Monday, February 7, 2011

Very excited about my first milestone met!!

How it's just a number - no different from 9 or 11, but to say I've lost 10 pounds feels like a 'check' off the to do list. The last few days, I've been getting excited as I approach it! Ten pounds is 1/8th of the way to the ultimate goal. Notice the pizza with a slice missing? I'll keep updating that for every ten pounds lost - until the whole pizza is gone. Ten down, 70 to go. I'm not overwhelmed by that number, because I know I can do it! I'm excited that I can retire all my size 20 clothes for the 18s. They were wearable but snug a month ago, now they fit perfectly and have some room in the legs/butt. I'm getting smaller and fitter! I'm noticing I don't huff and puff when I go up and down our stairs any more - even if it's both flights in a row up from the basement. I wasn't sore from doing step for an hour yesterday either. I have a LONG way to go, but I've traveled 1/8 of the way already. Amazing!

Oh, and I had promised the virtual beginning weight me and current me would be every 10 pounds. Well, it seems the virtual me has a 255-275 image, a 225-245 image, and a 205-215, and so on. So, I guess those pictures won't be useful except for bigger steps. When I reach a bigger step, I'll share a virtual me with you. For now you'll just have to believe me that I am getting smaller and fitter.  Not much of a difference if you see me day to day, but the change is there! Heck ten pounds of fat is 10 packages, or 40 sticks of butter.

And, today is measurements day. I've been curious for days to see where the losses will come from.

Stats for 2/6/11:
  • Weight - Beginning: 255.6    Now: 244.6 lbs
Measurements in inches:
  • Chest - Beginning: 47  Now: 46
  • Waist - Beginning: 43  Now: 41.5
  • Hips - Beginning: 50  Now:49
  • Left Upper thigh -  Beginning:  29.5  Now: 29
  • Right Upper thigh -  Beginning: 30  Now:  29
  • Upper arm - Beginning: 17.75   Now: 16.75
Exercise stats:
  • Walked it Out/walking totals: 118.2 miles
  • Exercise total: 34:35 hours 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I did step for an hour yesterday!

In my effort to up the difficulty of what I'm doing for exercise, I decided to use the balance board as a step and instead of walking in place, I would go up and down the step. Then every few songs, I would go across it to work the inner thigh muscles (that burned). This time I chose all the slow songs, about 20 minutes worth and played it through 3 times. They ranged from 87 bpm (one song) to 120 (three songs). The ones 100 and below were very easy, the ones 110 and above had my heart beating pretty hard! I can already tell that I'll have sore muscles tomorrow and surprisingly, every day I feel a bit in my abs. Who knew that walking and stepping and swinging arms made your abs work?

I used to love doing step aerobics, but then I stopped for some reason. Oh, I know, I had a little boy who wanted to do them with me on my step. I got him a step too and well, mom's was more interesting. I started it up a few years after that and again, I'm not sure why I quit. I think with so much of things that are not true habits yet, a day turns into a week, a week turns into a month and before you know it, you forget all about it.

Anyway, all the tricks of switching feet, walking over the step sideways and then going in then out too, all came back to me. Now to find the easy step routines I have for some reason I like it!

Huh, just remembered  I have a pair of aerobic shoes, barely used, and another matching pair waiting to be used. I was really into it way back when and wore a couple pairs of shoes out and then got a two for one deal, I remember. They've been waiting to be used for over a decade! I sure hope they are still good! And how sad is THAT?

Not quite sure how to count this exercise. It's still using the Walk It Out game, so it still counts my steps and distance, but obviously, going up and down even a small step takes more energy and for now, I have to go slow. I guess I'll count it as walking as well, it is, right? Man I can't wait for that heart rate monitor to come! Itching to test it out! I was sweating last night, phew!

Nine pounds gone!!!! (See what I said about second half of the month versus first half?)

Stats 2/6/11:

Weight - Beginning:  255.6   Now: 245.8
Walked it Out totals: 115.2 miles
Exercise total hours: 33:35

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What am I eating? How is it different from before?

So, I've been at it for a month now and I'm feeling GREAT! In a few weeks I go in for a dreaded blood draw to see if my thyroid is back to normal, and then 6 weeks after that, the doctor will check my blood glucose level. I don't know what I'll see, but I'm doing everything in my power to make it better.

Again, I don't consider myself dieting. I am simply eating better. I'm eating low carb, eating for hunger and exercising to make myself fit. This is something I am trying to do for the rest of my life.

But how is it different from what I was doing before? Well, I always had 'mostly' a good diet. I would eat a typical breakfast - bread (homemade) and peanut butter and coffee with milk. Then I would not be so good for lunch and snacks - chips for snacks, a banana maybe, sometimes a sandwich, maybe some cookies or cake like thing, but usually I was drawn to salty things. Chips were probably my nemesis. I ate them nearly every day. Then for dinner, we would eat something very healthy, lots of  veggies, beans/lean meat, and a starch. Usually a couple hours after dinner we would have tea and the boys would eat a snack, but I usually didn't. And I rarely exercised.

To change, now I don't eat simple starches and sugars. No more bread, rice, simple sugars like cake or other desserts, and very limited amounts of potato and high protein/high fiber pasta. So, obviously, bread with peanut butter for breakfast was out, chips for lunch/snacks is out, and the starch at dinner is out. For dinner I make the same meal for myself that I feed the rest of the family, just omitting the starch for me and their dinner hasn't changed at all. And, the big change is adding in exercise - an hour every day.

Here are a some typical meals for me now, and I'm loving it, not feeling starved or deprived. I'm eating things I enjoy and are good for me and I'm eating on average 1700 calories a day. I write everything down on an iphone app and I have been for a month. Some days I'm hungrier and eat 2000 calories, other days I'm not very hungry and I consume 1500 calories, but most days I tend to settle into the 1700s and I feel great. Oh, and I no longer drink coffee in the morning. Instead I drink a protein shake that I blend up in the morning. I gave up the diet cola too, but sometimes I still yearn for a soda, so I drink a caffeine free diet soda, but many times I opt for water or sparkling water instead. Before I started this, almost any water I drank I would usually mix 1/2 cup of cranberry juice with 14 ozs of water, but I've elinated all juices too, even in that small quantity. So, here's a summary of how I'm eating:

Breakfast -
  • high protein, low carb chocolate shake
  • orange or clementine or minneola
Second Breakfast -

  • 2 scrambled eggs with a bit of sauted onion, 1 baby potato, chopped, perhaps a single sausage patty OR 2 scrambled eggs with bean sprouts, and onion OR 2 scrambled eggs with cheese and green pepper, etc.
Lunch/Late Snack (since I eat twice in the morning, I don't have a formal lunch) -

  • 4 tbsp. hummus with a cup or more of raw veggies, carrots, cawliflower, peppers, etc OR an apple with cinnamon and 2 tbsp peanut butter OR hearty veggie homemade soup OR a high protein, low carb nutrition bar
Snack before dinner (if I need it)-

  • 1/2 cup of nuts or handful of baked lentil chips
Dinner -
  • 5 ozs chicken breast with spices, 2 cups of kale OR 5 ozs of pork loin, and a huge cabbage salad OR lentils stew/soup with lots of veggies, OR stir fry veggies with meat/tofu,  OR 6 oz fish with huge plate of steamed veggies, etc.
Late night snack - (almost NEVER happens)- 

  • an apple sprinkled with cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (if I haven't had it earlier in the day)
I'm rediscovering foods I had forgotten about, like hummus. That stuff is delicious! Why wasn't I grabbing that before, instead of chips or a cookie? I found some great low carb, high fiber, high protein nutrition bars, why didn't I buy those before for quick snacks or a sweet tooth fix? They are chock full of nutrients and taste pretty good! And, by eating so many sweet things every day, I lost touch with how sweet fruits taste. I had blueberries the other day and they were exquisite. Before, I would have found them to be somewhat bland (though I ate them).

And there are sweets and stuff in the house. The other day I bought donuts for the kids, which I rarely do, but Adrian was asking for them. We always have ginger snaps, mini chocolate wheat cereal, jams/preserves, and I still make homemade bread for everyone. So far, seeing them isn't bothersome.

So, if you've been curious about my eating, there you have it!

Stats for 2/5/11:

Weight - Beginning: 255.6    Now: 246.4
Walked it Out - 112.5 miles
Exercise hours: 32:35

Friday, February 4, 2011

How fast the body gets stronger!

Today is February 4th. It is one month and one day since I started exercising and eating lower carbs with eliminating all simple carbs. And I feel great!

So far for my exercise, I've been using the Walk It Out Wii Game. I'm still not done with the game, probably have another 2-3 weeks to finish all the events. In the beginning it starts you out with 15 songs. They go from about 90 bpm to 155 bpm (beats per minute). As you walk the island, you can earn songs and eventually get all 120. That's what I went for first, all the songs and then started building more of the island's farm, shopping district, residential area and so on. As I was building the songs, I just used them all and the first couple days my feet hurt after 30 minutes, then 45 minutes, soon an hour and now I sometimes go 70 minutes or more and end not because I'm tired, but because, it's enough for the day and I have other things to do.

A little over a week ago, I dropped all songs under 130 beats per minute to make me work a bit harder. I still had close to two hours of music and last night, I dropped all the music under 148 bpm leaving me with 32 minutes of music. Most of the music being in the 170-180 bpm and a few slower songs at 150. I didn't get too tired, I didn't get too overworked. It felt great! If I were to add all the songs now, I would feel like I'm crawling at 90 beats per minute.

I've been racking up 5  miles and up to 6.3 miles in one session and I'm walking 12.4 to 13 minute miles. I know this cannot translate to actual miles walked because I'm not pushing off, I'm not making a stride, I'm standing in place on the balance board, but once the weather improves, my heart rate monitor is here with the foot pod and GPS and I will walk a mile outside and see how fast I can walk it. Or, use the treadmill that I hope to be getting soon. I'm ready for the next step in getting myself fit. I 'might' pull out a workout video starting next Monday (busy weekend in front of me) so, we'll see. In the meantime, I'll finish up this island and keep chugging along, getting stronger in muscle and in my heart's response to exercise.

Oh, and it's the second half of my monthly cycle, so as I figured, the scale is my friend again. I'm now officially down 8 pounds (I don't count the point something, so it won't be 9 pounds until it's 246 or 245 point something).


Weight: Beginning - 255.6   Now - 246.6
Walked It Out - 108 miles
Number of Hours exercised in 2011 - 31:35

Thursday, February 3, 2011

There are some people who recently inspired me

There are two people I know who recently underwent a major weight loss journey. The first is the leader of our ethical society.Very quietly, with no fanfare, she just did it. One day, I just noticed her shrinking. Later I asked questions and continued to watch her determination to keep plugging along. At first, I believe it was a reduced caloried diet alone, but then she added in exercise, working with a trainer. I saw her start to smile more, she talked about how she didn't get as down and out with colds like she used to and it was inspiring to see her tackle so much. Even now, after she's had a bit of a set back with a surgery, she wasn't allowed to workout for months, but the very first day the doctors allowed it, she was back at it. I know that takes strength to come back to start up again, knowing that physical strength had been lost. On the other hand, I am pretty sure her recovery was that much better because she was in a healthier spot to deal with it too.

The other person who had a recent inspiring journey is a former elementary school classmate. We became friends on facebook as I reconnected with people from my past about two years ago. A little over a year ago she started walking and dieting. She would update almost every day what she had done for fitness that day. Then there were fitness classes on top of walking. Then it was walking and then running a little bit, then moving up to running along with the fitness class. She dropped I think about 80 pounds and ran a half marathon at the end of that year. She took a wee little break, and is now gearing up for another half marathon in April. She looks fantastic, and I'm sure she's feeling fantastic too.

Watching two people - one in person, and one via facebook was very inspiring. They both had gotten to that point in their life where they were ready to take it on. I don't think either one of them had visions of where they would end up. I know neither thought they would be at the fitness level they got to, but something inside was pushing them onwards. And I was in awe of that.

I was ready to start my own journey shortly after we moved. My youngest was finally sleeping, and I had lost ten without trying. I was motivated to do more. But then I started having sleeping problems of my own and then the headaches hit and made everything stand still while I tried to cope with pain and feeling horrible day in and day out. But as soon as that was fixed, and medical scares were thrown in, I knew. It was my turn to do it too and after watching two people plugging away, every day, I knew that if they did it, I could too.

I'm not trying to put pressure on either one of these ladies. They have to do what is right for them and I know there will be good times and bad, but the fact is, they are doing their best to make themselves healthier and happier.

So thank you Jone and Lisa for leading the way.


Weight: Beginning 255.6    Now: 247.8
Walked it Out: 103 Miles
Exercise totals for 2011: 30 hours and 30 minutes

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ramblings about walking

Today, I don't have anything specific that I'm itching to say. I'm waiting for my heart rate monitor to arrive. The foot pod, it seems, will arrive several days before the watch - kind of backwards of what I really need. My youngest son is still feverish and home from school, the mid-atlantic missed a storm that is paralyzing more than a third of the country (as I watch rivers of melted snow run down the channels on the side of the road even as early as 8 am). And I had a good night's sleep, despite taking a nap yesterday.

I'm beginning to think about what I want to do to up the exercise a bit. I will keep walking every day. On the new treadmill and around our lake. My goal is to do at least 3 miles a day, every day. That means twice around our lake out here, or exploring other paths near us to add to the lake walk. The lake walk is really good as it has a flat section (completely flat) with benches scattered through out. That's about half the walk and where most people will go - and then walk back. It's great for seniors or those who can't do the hills. Then the other half of the walk has a steep hill down (to below the little dam) and a steep hill up (steep enough that I would never take a bike down it - though some fools do and some trained cyclists do too), and then around an inlet of the lake and then a small portion with gravel, two more smaller, but steep hills up and down on neighborhood streets and then back home again. Once I'll take a video of going around - when I can walk faster, to make a shorter video that is less boring.

We also live about a mile (can be gotten to by trails) from the mall. The last bit of the walk isn't overly nice, but I could always walk there instead of drive. Then, there's a fairly nice route to the library, that's about a 2 mile walk there. Again, that can be gotten to via the trails. And three public pools are walkable via trails too. So there really is no reason to drive to a lot of places. Problem is, it gets so hot. I don't mind walking in the wee hours of the morning or in the evening, but in the middle of the day, even with tree cover is too much for me. MAYBE once I'm able to bike ride, I'll do that. WIth riding a bike at least, you create a breeze that can dry the sweat and cool yourself more. We'll see. I know myself and being miserable in the heat, is not something I enjoy!

For now, as the ground is covered in snow, I prefer to exercise at home. But what to do to up the difficulty a bit? I'm curious to see how doing the Walk It Out video goes with a treadmill. Since on that game, the tempo changes every three minutes, I would need to change the pace of the treadmill every few minutes too - unless it has a manual setting. As I said, we'll see.  If that doesn't work, I guess I can watch tv or something.

But I'm also thinking about my library of aerobic/strength training videos I have. Doing 30 minutes of that, added to walking every day is something I'm thinking about. Especially some that work on core strength training - some push-ups, situps and such. Again... I'll see how it goes. Right now, I'm really enjoying just MOVING period.

Stats for 2/2/11:

Weight beginning: 255.6    Now: 248

Walked it Out: 96.7 miles
Exercise time: 29:10 hours

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How a day can go from GREAT to "meh" in a matter of hours

Yesterday was a great start to the day. It was Monday, so the kids were back in school. Yay! So, I had some time to myself. Woo hoo yay! My husband had a cardiac stress test and that came out perfect, Yay! A friend offered me a treadmill to use for exercising at home! So nice and Yay! The sun was out for awhile. Yay! I ordered the heart rate monitor and foot pod! Whoopie yay! And I got 5 miles in on Walk it Out and felt great, all before the kids came home. Big yay!

Then, I picked up my youngest from school and the kindergarten teacher is frustrated with his inability to do things without assistance (getting jacket, hat, backpack all by himself) He is high functioning autistic, but the teacher does not know how to deal with it at all. Boo. Then, as soon as I get the little guy home, I see he's running a fever. Double boo! Dinner didn't turn out right. Boo! And then I got an upsetting email. Big boo! And now the weather is turning sour and we'll probably get snow and ice and then rain in the next 24 hours. Big slushy mess boo!

Quite the turn-around. The good news is, my little guy is sleeping and his temp seems under control for now, had a nice laugh over tea with my older son and husband and my mood is lifted because taking care of yourself does that to you! My life is good and getting better!

Stats for 2/1/11:

Weight beginning: 255.6    Now: 247.8

Walked it Out: 91.4 miles
Exercise time: 28 hours