Saturday, December 31, 2011

Getting ready to ring in the new year

And I have so much to look forward to.

Last year, I was feeling much better by now and I was really ready to get to it, but I worried about it too. I know my husband didn't want to have hope. Well, he hoped, but he didn't want to get disappointed. This year, we are entering the year ever so much more confidently. And I'm even confident that despite feasting during the holidays, I have changed. Really and truly. And it feels good to know that.

I was going to spell out my challenge to myself in detail tonight, but it's getting late and I have family stuff yet to do today. It can wait until tomorrow.

But I do thank you my fellow readers of the blog. While I'm writing mostly for myself, it's been nice knowing others are rooting for me and listening to me.

I'm ending the year with 10,026 page views of my blog. Went over 10,000 last night. And almost every month I have a few more page views than the month before. I write almost every day, so it's not tons of traffic daily, but it's enough for me. Maybe my journey is helping someone else besides me. I would be happy to know and feel that.

Ok... Have a happy new year everyone and see you in 2012!

Stats for 12/31/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 181.0

Friday, December 30, 2011

A year ago today I started this blog

I am more amazed than anything that I stuck with it. Amazed that I stuck it out with everything - this blog, the weight loss and getting healthier overall.

When I started the blog, initially I had no intention of sharing it and I didn't for the first few days, but then I realized that sharing my thoughts helped me and maybe it would help others too. So... Around January 3rd I shared the link for the first time.

I went back to reread what I wrote last night. Made me evere so glad that I did journal. I can see how far I have come and it helps me realize how big of a journey it has been.

Here is what I wrote (if you want to see it in place, go to the sidebar, click on 2010 and it will pop up):


Why this blog? Well, I'm doing a lot of soul searching as the end of the year approaches, but let me start with why it is hitting me hard now, more than ever before. I'm 41 years old - just turned. My father died of a heart attack at the age of 42. He was average build and weight, but always had a horrible diet and smoked heavily. Ten years prior to his death he had a horrible accident which I'm sure shortened his life too. Nonetheless, he died at a young age. Just one year older than I am now. While I knew I wasn't living a model life, I ate healthy foods and always felt healthy and strong, until recently.

A few days before my 41st birthday I went to the doctor for chronic headaches. 3 months of every day headaches and before that, months of build-up. I hate doctors. I knew what he was going to say - I need to lose weight, but I didn't expect to hear what I heard (or maybe I did?). Arriving at the doctor's office, my blood pressure was 223/124. Twenty minutes later it was 180/110 and I was allowed to go home, but with a low dose of blood pressure medicine prescription. The next week my prescription quadrupled  (and then later increased double again) as my BP readings continually read in the 220's over 120's. Back to the doctor and with blood work results in I knew I had high blood pressure, an under active thyroid and high blood sugars. Thankfully, my kidneys are/were functioning normally.

I was kidding myself with thinking I was mostly healthy. Deep in my heart I knew I was in bad condition, but I was too terrified to know, thus the avoidance of the doctor for years and years. I think I finally caved in when I knew that daily headaches weren't going to go away and I really was becoming depressed. But I didn't know what direction it had taken. Like, I didn't know I had silent killer blood pressure. I could die of a stroke - younger than my father's death, at 40 or 41, not even making it to 42. I had no idea of my thyroid condition (as I wasn't gaining weight and had actually been slowly losing weight), but I did fear diabetes, which I still don't know if I have or not. As it turns out, I had a reason to be afraid, but maybe I am ready to face it?

That doctor's appointment was on December 3rd. I had been feeling lousy for months, years probably. Within two days, even though my blood pressure was still very high, the headaches were gone AND I was sleeping through the night which I hadn't done in over six years (but most of that time was due to a baby/toddler/preschooler who didn't sleep or woke incessantly). Within a week of taking the thyroid medicines, I started to have more energy (though still not 'normal' feeling yet). I started to feel alive again - and I want to stay alive, where a month before, I didn't really care to live a long life - just long enough to raise my kids. Reality check. I wasn't going to live long enough to raise my kids if I didn't get my act together.

It's a vicious cycle. It's hard to take care of yourself when you don't feel well. So, you just start to feel worse, and then worse and so on. I was there. But with a couple little pills, my life has changed so dramatically that it's an upward spiral. My blood pressure is now perfect. I feel better, so I want to do something good for myself and my body. It's started with simply getting enough sleep!!!! No headaches (haven't had a headache in 3 weeks - a record for me - it's probably been 20 years since I've gone that long without a headache). And getting my thyroid back on track. Now... it's time to tackle what is probably the root of all of it - my weight and lack of exercise.

I've gotten fit before, but I never was able to make it a lifestyle change. I just HAVE to now. What are the alternatives? To die at 42 like my dad? With my dad, he had abandoned us kids and we were grown. I'm the mother of two kids, 5 and 14 who still need me.

I have a year to prove to myself that I can turn 42 healthier than ever. I want to enter that year feeling I'm fighting to stay alive and have a chance to live a longer, healthier life instead of entering it wondering "will I meet the same fate as my father?"

So, the answer to my life is 42. I need to do this  - NOW.

There it is. One year ago today. And I am glad I read it as now I am looking forward to new challenges and I got a bit discouraged with how far I have yet to go, but then reading this, I realized how far I have already come. I'm meds free. I have controlled my blood sugar and blood pressure by diet and exercise and I have dropped all the weight I had planned to. What I have now are the details. Dropping a bit more weight, getting more fit and going for vanity in trying to look better in a swimsuit. Yes, I still look awful naked or in my gym clothes, but I have my health and fitness. So much more than I had a year ago.

Stats for 12/30/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 181.8
Miles walked in 2011: 1010/1000

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Spent part of yesterday looking at swimsuits online

Its Christmas break and I needed a break desperately. From everything. From housework, volunteering, cooking, the blog, everything, but... I'm beginning to wind back up after some much needed R&R. And that includes thinking about my new challenge for 2012. I want to look great in a swimsuit. Or as good as I possibly can.

Fist problem with swimsuits are fitting the breasts. Why, why are swimsuits made as if we are all built the same way? Do we all wear one size bra? No. Then why are swimsuits made with one cup size? A few companies make two sizes - regular cup and d-cup, but that is it and even that is not right for me. What happens to women who at more endowed is that they look like this: . This is when your boobs are smashed. You look fat and flat and not womanly at all. Who doesn't feel self conscious then? And while you are all smashed like that you push your breasts to the side or middle and try to make it look as normal as possible which is futile.

Second problem I have and many women have are skin imperfections. I have long ago faded stretch marks on my thighs mostly from growing and also from gaining weight. And also, of course, my stomach from pregnancy. And now loose skin (but that is getting better and better).

I secretly would love to be able to wear a bikini this summer. Just to say I have gotten that far in this journey to be able to show that much skin. However, even with tons of toning and more weight loss, it will be hard to find a suit that might work. I found with help several designers that makes suits for hard to fit bodies and those that make bottoms that are more full coverage. This first one I love her fabrics. But... Are her swimsuits really for the large busted? I guess I'll see. I love the suit on the cover of the 2012 season. Perfect for the white skinned like me.

Suits that might be better for me and my body type though are from these few companies. The make their suits with real bras built in. What woman wouldn't feel more confident if the suit actually fit her better? First there'd is Panache. . Then there is Freya: and then Fantasie swimwear: . And finally Bravissima swimwear:

Notice how almost all of them that have bigger cup sizes are made in the UK? What's up with that? Same with the best bras. When I get to my final size I'll also invest in more pretty and sexy bras. I'm tired of grandma looking bras!

So... Looking through all of that is motivating me to get more in shape and to get with the program so that I have a chance to look halfway decent in a swimsuit this summer. Who says 40's can't be sexy?

Stats for 12/29/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 182.2

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So sorry for my laziness

I had been hurling through life at lightening speed the last few weeks, that I just needed a break from all obligations which included this blog. Plus really, what could I say? I was enjoying the holidays which included partaking in the holiday goodies.

I'm still in shock a bit at how much I can gain and how quickly, but knowing more about it helps with not getting upset about it. When I buckle down when the kids go back to school, I'll have a big whoosh and will find in the end that most of this gain was water and I'll be left with losing 2-4 pounds of fat. Anyone can lose 2-4 pounds. After losing 80 in the past year, I'm not sweating small gains as that is life. I will not remain a steady 165 all the time, every day, every month. That is not how life works. So, come every late December and early January I will gain and every mid January to February I will work on losing what's been gained. Simple as that. I cannot beat myself up for living life. I just can't ignore things either like I used to do.

What else? Well, I am formulating a new challenge for the next year and have already mentioned it a bit, but on December 31st I will put it out there for real. I will also have an exercise goal too as its not all about how I look, but how healthy I am too.

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 183.2
Total miles walked in 2011:1005/1000. Yep I made it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Learned more about these water weight gains with eating carbs

And it makes so much sense. For me, not understanding my body was the most frustrating thing about the water weight gain. I can predict it happening, but wanted to know why it happened. So I asked on the weight loss forum and voila, in seconds I had an answer. I love the internet! My searching didn't lead to anything useful as all I found was that eating high carb does not make you fat...eating too many calories makes you fat - well, duh!

So, I got pointed to this blog post. It explains it perfectly. (can't see the link on my iPad, so I'm double posting it, one with HTML and one without so people can copy and paste if they are having the same problem with seeing the link.)

Now that I understand why I gain so much when I eat sugary things (haven't eaten high carb non sugar things in a year), I'm ok with it. I am replenishing my glycogen stores. Who knows, it might even be good for me to do that once in awhile.

The reason why I asked about it is that yesterday I baked and sampled the goods and again this morning I was up 1.6 pounds, which I knew I would be. Doing more baking today, so it will probably go up again, but now that I understand why it is happening, I'm more at peace with it. When I resume my normal eating and activities, I'll see a big whoosh and will deal with the little bit of actual fat I gained after the holidays are over. I didn't have a sugar binge, but it was more than I'm accustomed to and my body just latches onto it. Our bodies are amazing things!

So... About time to bake 60 gingerbread figures for my 1st graders class.

Stats for 12/22/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 176.6

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Avoided sugar yesterday and now I feel so much better!

I actually ate more yesteday than I normally do as I was getting the nonstop Munchies. I just tried really hard to not give into the simple carbs for food and I ate protein heavy foods yesteday and came in around 1800 calories. Today I feel much more in control over my eating and I don't feel the craving demons nagging at me every second. Took 1.5 days of being very vigilant to get back to normal. And that feels a lot, lot better.

Of course, I need to do more baking today, but it's about over with the baking frenzy. I'll get through it and then phew... Nothing much again for another year! Scale keeps dropping pounds too.

Today I went to the local consignment shop and it's nice to be a normal size as more things can fit me. I bought an ugly christmas sweater and it lights up. It's a size medium and it's even a bit baggy. I was wearing a 2x a year ago. What a huge transformation.

Not much else today. Really wrapping it up for the holidays. I have a lot to do in the next few days, but I love it, so I'm not complaining... Well, maybe a little. Some colder weather would be nice. It's 60 degrees today. When are the two big boys going to get to go skiing?

Stats for 12/21/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 175.0

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So, back to the plan! Effects of sugar.

I didn't like how my body we reacting to a more loose eating habit. I could feel the call of the sugar and I was feeling more sluggish and my face was breaking out. The scale was letting me know that it as a system wide dislike for what I was eating too. Have I always been this way? And I just never realized the effect sugar or wheat had on me? Or have I just developed a hypersensitivity to it? Whatever the case, it's making it easier for me to never eat like that again. I feel like crap, sleep like crap, look like crap and so on. Of course, now today I'll have to fight through the sugar cravings as my body gets off the sugar high, but I can battle through it. I need to!

I stopped midday with anything sweet or with wheat and today I'm already down two pounds of water weight. I can see my feet are puffy... It's bizarre! But it's also fascinating at how my body reacts to these foods. For long term, I think it will make it easier for me to stick to a healthier eating plan. I just need to steer clear of simple carbs!

Today I'm going to the grocery store and I'm going to stock up on greens - dark leafies for cooking and for salads and then I'm going to gorge on those. I feel I'm missing them something fierce.

My husband is feeling it too. He had a bunch of sweets two days ago (same day as me) and that night he couldnt sleep. He felt anxious, nervous and came to bed at 4:30 am and didn't fall asleep until 5 am. There was no explanation for it, and the only thing different was he had a bunch of sweets that day and especially in the evening. Yesterday he avoided them and he felt much better.

Conclusion? Simple sugars are bad for you. They may taste great at first, but their side effects are evil. So, no more goodies for me and limited goodies for my husband. I'll just make a couple more things, but that's it. Things we always have and the kids love and would feel its not christmas if we didn't have it. But me? I'm steering clear of it!

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 176.8

Monday, December 19, 2011

A victory at the phlebotomist!

I have delayed it as long as I can, I had to go back to the vampire's office today for a blood draw because I have a doctor appointment to review this blood work in the next day or two. I was trying not to think about it that much as the last visit was like all the others save one. 4 tries to find a vein and 2 vampires and it hurts when they don't find it and they dig.

I first had to wait in the waiting room for an hour. Then I realized the vampire who has been successful at finding my vein the last two times wasn't there. Great! So, I told the phlebotomist that I was a tough draw and showed her my good arm and just hoped for the best. She found it on the first try. And when I looked, there was my vein... Popping up. She said, "I don't know why they have a problem. Your vein is right there!". Oh how she has no idea! So maybe losing weight and getting fit is making blood draws easier after all, I've now had two successful blood draws!

The scale is sky high this morning. Who gains 7 pounds in three days? Me apparently! Carbs make me hold water like crazy. And today, I had zits on my face. My face has been mostly clear for months and months. Now I'm wondering if it's the sugar or the wheat that does it to me as usually I have neither or very little of either. And the other night I had restless legs for the first time in ages and ages.... All of this is to just confirm - Sugar (and digested wheat is also sugar) is bad, bad, bad.

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 178.8!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Another day escaped me! Tis the season!

That I've missed as few days as I have is incredible. And these past few weeks I have been incredibly busy and will remain so until the kids are home for winter break - which will be the shortest on record - one week. That is it. In a way it's good as my oldest son is a slug, but it's bad too as they would like to go skiing and when? Doesn't help the weather has been so mild. There's no snow yet and too warm to even make snow in the nearby mountains. Of course it is the year they bought a season pass.

But back to be being busy. Yesteday we hosted my husband's office party and had a total of 49 people in the house. It was a ton of fun and kind of amazing that we were able to get the house ready in one not so rushed afternoon. We even had time to shower and put up a few more decorations. It was potluck, so no major food stuff, but enough to get set up so it was comfortable and safe for everyone - things like dusting off the kids toys in the basement. Moving chairs around and even moving the Christmas tree in a more out of the way place. Chillin drinks, and so on.

The day before was spent, remember, baking like a mad woman. First my mother in law made a dessert and since she never works in the kitchen, she asked me to be nearby if she needed to find something. Then I volunteered at the school for an hour like I always do. Then it was show time in the kitchen. All that biscotti, chocolate chip cookies and 4 large German Christmas stollen. I got all the baking done, but still needed to clean up the kitchen. That was priority number one on Saturday morning. As you can imagine what my kitchen looked like with all day of cooking - a nice cooked meal thrown in there too.

But something else about these last couple days. I have slept like crap and I don't know why. Was it late night caffeine? Was it excitement? Was it too many carbs? I don't know.

I have eaten way, way, way more than I have in eons. And several days in a row. The whole point of making this month a maintaining month. There are just too many goodies I really want and denying myself them will just make me feel like I'm missing out on something. I also know that I'll be right back to eating right as soon as the big holiday events are over. I can feel that I'm in control, just choosing to eat differently. There is a big, big difference.

Tomorrow will be a more normal day. I have some things to do and part of that will include planting the rest of the bulbs. Who would have guessed that I would get another shot at that. The weather is supposed to be mild, so I'll put it to good use. Might get a haircut too and errands, as always.

One week until Christmas.... And I have no idea what I weigh today. I ate and drank before weighing myself as I was up in the middle of the night. Tomorrow might be a big eye opening shock!

Beginning wight: 255.6. Now: ???.?
Total miles walked in 2011: 987/1000

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sorry for skipping a day! Busy! And a possible new goal!

I've been super busy. We have a party tomorrow (Saturday) and I've been a mad woman getting things in order. The house was already in order, but I made a gingerbread house covers for the playhouse and today I lived in the kitchen - 12 hours to get dinner, stollen, chocolate chip cookies and biscotti made. Not even for tomorrow, but for Sunday. I won't have time to do all that stuff tomorrow as tomorrow it will be readying the house for 45-50 guests - moving furniture around, filling ice chests, etc. That I'm in bed and feel I'm in a good spot at 10:30 pm tonight is a good sign.

Today was also a planned high calorie day - one of the days I knew I would go over during the holidays. I was baking, so I sampled some biscotti batter (yum) and plenty of chocolate chip cookie dough. Batters are my weakness, so the actual sweets wont be much of a temptation for me. It's better that way too as treats last for days and days. Baking of them lasts for only an hour or two and with yeast doughs, even sweet doughs, you can't sample the dough, so breads arer a very small temptation for me.

Something else I'm thinking about too. I was looking at myself in the mirror today in my bra and panties and I think just maybe I might see how I look in a bikini this summer. I'm giving myself 6 months to tone up and drop the few extra pounds and see if there is anything out there that is somewhat flattering. I will have stretch marks which extend above my belly button (second childbirth gave me those high ones. Huge baby - more stretch marks). But really, should stretch marks keep me from a bikini? If for one year in my 40s and at that mental block age of 42 be the year to stare at death and say - "Not yet. I'm fit and healthy and strong. And I can rock a bikini at about the same age my estranged father was facing his death."

We'll see. But it's a good goal to work towards and having a goal helps me! But now... Sleep. I need it!

Beginning weight: 255.6 Now: 171.6
Miles walked in 2011:977/1000

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I think I will head back down to the basement

Getting to the gym these days is difficult. I have a commitment at noon at the school for volunteering and so much to do at home, that taking the time to drive to the gym, dress for it, do the class and come back, shower and redress just takes too much of my precious day. But I can commit to myself to work out in the basement. I have some great workout videos and no reason not to do them. So.... I vow that tonight I will do some strength training in the basement!

Today I am wearing a new pair of pants and new sweater. The cords I had were the ones I could pull down without undoing, so I bought some new cords and matching sweater. Well fitted clothes make you look better and slimmer. And damn, I'm beginning to look pretty good! I havent seen so little flab on my body for a very long time. I can wear almost anything I want as long as it covers my stretch mark streaked belly and the loose skin and something that allows a bra so I can support my chest. So, a bikini might not be my outfit of choice!

Lots to do today. Readying for Christmas and for a holiday party. But I love this time of year!

Beginning weight: 255.6. now: 172.6

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Realizing how long it has been

Since I have stepped into the gym.... That wasn't a habit hard to quit! I was doing some hard labor around the yard and house, but not the last few days. I need to get my butt back in gear! There is just so much other stuff going on right now that it's really easy to get sidetracked. There really are only so many hours in the day and giving up a few for getting to the gym is really making it hard to be motivated to get there! But I must! But when? Hmmmm...

On a side night, I think ovulation has passed and therefore the weight is leaving me starting today. Not sure I'll get out of the 170s this cycle or not, but fingers crossed that it might happen.

Stats for 12/14/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 173.4

Monday, December 12, 2011

A fairly significant conversation could be TMI for some

My husband is having to figure out our medical expenses for next year to decide what dental, eye and primary care plans we should go with. He also needs to decide how much to have withheld pretaxes for medical expenses too. So, he is figuring out things like, will we need new glasses? Do we anticipate any major dental, etcetera. He started talking about major medical too, like our youngest son needs hernia surgery, but then he surprised me. He said, "And well, I should probably think about finally getting that vasectomy."

I laughed at him. Our youngest son is 6.5 years old. I am 42 years old. He had allllllll this time to get it done. And, it took us 2.5 years to conceive that child when we were trying to get pregnant. And since then we are always, always, always careful. He said, "Well, I know it seems sort of odd to think about it now when I've waited all this time, but since our sex life has picked up quite a bit, the risks have too." Though he admits the risks a very small considering we arer careful.

But, things have changed for us romantically. While my husband never, ever said anything negative about how I looked or anything about my weight, I knew how he felt about it and I knew it affected his attraction to me. I just underestimated how much it bothered him.

Not only has our sex lives improved, he has said "I love you" three times in the last couple months when I hadn't heard it for years and years before that. And, he is less stressed and just more pleasant to be around.

Now, he has always been good to me, but my weight bothered him on so many levels. It affected his attraction for me, but more, it worried him about our future. Recently we were talking and I said that having a 5 year old and a teenager was a big motivator for me to get my health in order. He replied, "well, and you had a young husband too." he worried about losing me.

He had to just stand by and watch me destroy my health all these years - making bad food choices, being inactive. He knew I would snap at him if he said anything and so what could he do? I feel really bad about that.... But I felt helpless about it too.

And I am so thankful that I have a supportive husband who is making it easy for me to make the right decisions. He never asks for junk food. He loves healthy foods. He never chows down on crap. He will grab a piece of fruit. And he likes to be active and loves that we can be active together now. I am very lucky in that way.

It is true some people will say, "but he should love you no matter what size or shape." and he did love me. But what has changed is that now he feels more loved. By me taking care of myself, I am showing my partner that I care about him and our future. I get that and from now I will always keep that in mind. We have something pretty special and I want to keep that something for a long time.

Stats for 12/12/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 173.8

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Well, good thing today happened today and not yesterday

What do I mean? Well, I woke up this morning barely needing to pee despite drinking a lot before going to bed. I knew that would mean a big gain on the scale and yep, sure enough, up 1.8 pounds from yesterday. My ovulation gain, right on time. And, because of it, I again weigh more than my husband. I just had to laugh about it.

I did eat a bit more yesterday, but only by a wee bit. About 1850 calories and that included a piece of cake. Nothing to worry about and it was a very good, yummy food day. However, I can't mess with mother nature and that internal clock. My body is gearing up to ovulate. So this morning, there it begins. I was so happy that waited until the day after my birthday. How very kind of my body.

Today was a good day. I wore a new dress (can say that a lot these days as I had to build a whole new wardrobe), but 4 dresses is hardly a lot and all of them I got on huge sales. Every time I get a bit dressed up I think about how I need to take a new photo for the 80 pounds lost, but I always forget or it's a bad time. But very, very soon. I can't decide of its better for me to be wearing a dress or pants to show my progress better. But dressed, yes!

And now to finish out is year. Back to the gym this week as my mad cleaning around the house is all over. I actually miss the gym!

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 172.8

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The answer is 42, but what is the question?

Well, today is it. My 42nd birthday. This is the year of why could be if.... My father died when he was 42 years old. He was 42 and and half. I don't know much about his life or health as he left us kids and didn't have contact with us, but I know he never had a weight problem. He was a fairly heavy smoker and had been smoking since his mid teen years. He had a horrible diet of fried foods and 10 years before his death, he had a very serious accident that was miraculous that he survived (and I'm sure that contributed to his short life). He died of a heart attack. 42 years old and a heart attack. He had one, was in the hospital and then had another that killed him while at the hospital recovering from the first very serious attack. Knowing this as his child is a bit scary.

My mom went through menopause when she was 42. Completely done. That too is early and a bit scary for me. Not that I plan to have any more kids, but going through menopause early means that my bones are more at risk for osteoporosis. And since I didn't drink milk as a baby or young child, I think I'm at a greater risk. My maternal grandmotheer suffered from osteoporosis too, so there is hereditary risk too.

So what was I doing with my life, knowing all this? I was fat and unfit and eating a semi unhealthy diet. I was avoiding everything even though I had warning signs of problems. I was just afraid and didn't want to face anything hard.

Well, you all know I had a health wake up call. I got really scared. My husband was scared too. I was still 40 years old when I got word that my health was in a really bad place and I had a 14 year old and a 5 year old child. Hello?? I owed it to all of them to be healthy.

So, it started. A year ago today I weighed 260 pounds. I remember as I had gained a few since Thanksgiving. I lost those 4 pounds by New Year's when I started the exercising. I started by just watching my sugar intake, but I needed to feel a bit better before I started the exercise. That came a bit later.

I weigh, as of this morning, 171.0 pounds. 89 pounds less than I did last year! Nearly ninety pounds!!! If you would have told me last year that this was even possible, I would have said you were lying! No way could it happen! But here I am.

And as the ultimate gift, for the first time ever in my just shy of 19 year relationship with my husband, I weigh less than he does. This is no easy feat as he is thin and the most he's ever gained is 25 pounds which still had him within a normal BMI for his height. And he has lost 20 pounds this year. Yesterday it was close. He weighed 170.8 and I weighed 171.4. That was the lowest he had been in a month and it was my all time low. Today he was back up to 172.4 (where he has been recently) and I was down to 171.0 on the nose. You cannot imagine how huge that feels. He has a smaller build and I have a larger build, so there should never be a huge diffence in our weights, but I "should" weigh less than him and I never have! Until today, on this very significant birthday.

I am now doing all I can to make my life healthier. I eat better. I have dropped the weight and continue to try to do better and I have increased my fitness level. I can't know what my future will bring. I could go through menopause early too. I could die of a heart attack at a young age too, but at least I can know and my family can know that I tried to do things to make the risks lower.

So 42... Here I am.... I may not know the question, but I'm ready with my healthier answer to this year. This year will be the year of maintenance and fine tuning my health and weight. The big job is done. The harder part (maintenance) still needs to be tested.

Stats for 12/10/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 171.0

Friday, December 9, 2011

One day before the big birthday

Well, here I am one day before my 42nd birthday and I feel really good. I have spent the last two weeks or so tearing my house apart and decluttering as I go. Every drawer, every cupboard, every closet. Completely torn apart (except for my husband's study and that won't escape my touch either. I just need his help and ok to help organize). So, that makes 3 bedrooms, a craft room, a family room, a dining room, and kitchen and a mud room. Today I hit the garage which I did this summer, so that will be a minor tidying of stuff we got out for fall cleanup and last will be the storage room in the basement. And I saved that for last as I knew things from others rooms would land down there. Not sure when I will get to the basement. I might wait until the holiday stuff comes down and gets put away. Anyway, I am ending this year with a clean and tidy home. Feels so great.

With that all done, I hope to finally hang pictures on the wall and hanging curtains in the rooms. We have lived here for two years and we haven't done that yet! 6 months was remodeling, but then my health fell apart and I felt horrible. I started to feel better, but my priorities shifted to me and not to the house. Throw in the two months of people having pneumonia and we got behind on everything. We are finally catching up and even getting to deep cleaning.

That is the good news. The not very good news is that my blood pressure has gotten high again. I don't know why. It could be my thyroid acting up or it could be that I couldn't completely control my blood pressure by diet and exercise any more. Readings have been between 150/90 to 160/95. Not scary high like it was last year, but high enough that I need to take medications for it.

I have to admit, this really bummed me out. I have been doing so much good for my body and health, but I couldn't make it perfect. It got perfect, but something changed. Dropping nearly 85 pounds in 12 months hasn't done it. Exercising regularly hasn't done it. But I have to look at it positively. It could be much higher and I could need a higher dose and maybe, just maybe it can get better if it's still my thyroid acting up. We will see as I have my doctor appointment next week.

Stats for 12/9/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 171.4

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Figuring out this food balancing act

You would think at being almost 42 years old and really understanding the whole what goes in should go out principle that it wouldn't take me so long to get it, but I finally get it. Or, I should be honest, I finally care enough to do something about it. What am I talking about? Well, yesterday I was hungry in the early afternoon. I grabbed a quarter cup of trail mix (half nuts, half dried fruits). Well, I wanted more. So, I had to make a choice. I could have more of those, but that meant giving something else in the day. In the end I ate 3/4s of a cup of that plus a nutrition bar and called that my early dinner. It wasn't a terrible choice nutritionally and I didn't go over my calories for the day this way. For dinner I just ate a garden salad. Today I was craving potato chips. I haven't had potato chips in a year. But I really wanted them, so instead of breakfast of apple with peanut butter, I had some potato chips. An odd breakfast, but now I have satisfied that salt craving and I can move on and not think about it. In the past, I would have eaten the apple with peanut butter and the chips. But I need to make a choice and hopefully most of the time, I will make the better nutritional choice. It's what I've been doing with special occasions too. I enjoy the special meals, I just cut back the rest of the day. So far that has worked as I get really full and don't even want to eat more later and sometimes I'm not even that hungry the next day. That is something that has changed for sure. I used to be just as ravenous later or the next day. Stats for 12/8/11: Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 173.0

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Well, I think I can officially say I'm down another size

Last night when I went to the bathroom, I undid my belt and thought I undid my pants, but when I got up and started to do up my pants, I realized I had slipped them down over my hips without undoing the button and the zipper. These a a 12. About 1/3 of my pants are 10s but those are brands that tend to run generous, but today sealed it. I went to TJmaxx to find a little something for my older son for under the Christmas tree as he's getting a computer for Christmas, but he will start using it before Christmas as his old computer isn't usable. Anyway, while I was there, I decided to look at pants for me as my selection is getting limited at home. I grabbed three 10s and one 8. One ten was a bit baggy! Two tens fit perfectly and the size 8 fit perfect (I could tell it was a generous cut.) all different brands and not even a muffin top on the waist, so they are not too tight. Wow! From a tight 20 to a 10 and some 8s.

I remember a bit over a year ago how thrilled I was that I got to an 18 in some brands (remember I had lost 10 pounds the year before). It felt so good to be able to get out of the 20s and now there is a good possibility I'll get down to single digits? Me? With vanity sizing that would be what used to a 12 if I can fit into 8s when I get to goal. Currently at a 10 which is a former size 14. That is the smallest size I could imagine getting into ever again.

Last night I tried to recall when I weighed 165. I have no idea. I think between 16 and 17. The only weights I recall are 145 at just turning 15 (and still growing and filling out, but I was thin) and 18.5 and graduating from high school and weighing 179 full dressed, so about 175. And I was a bit chubby.

It's really hard to fathom getting to the size I was at 16 and 17, but here I am.... Inching closer and closer!

Stats for 12/7/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 173.2

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My deep thought about perfection

I was reading on a forum yesterday and I ran across a posting where someone said that one of the problems with many people's thinking is this all or nothing mentality. And tht got me to thinking as it is so true. And it goes around about so much of our thinking. I know I tend to be that way. Like, I can't just clean a little. I have to do the whole thing. I can't just plant 10 bulbs for spring planting a day Instead of over a course of several days. No, I plant 180 in one day. Weight loss is a lot the same way, but, it can be tempered and that is what I am at least trying to do.

I don't understand it as I am usually a very shades of gray person in my thinking. But I either didn't care or I cared completely. And I'm trying to temper that by being ok with date nights and special occasions, but it's difficult to fight the all or nothing demons.

I see it on weight loss forums all the time too and I wonder if that is why there is such high failure rates with weight loss. First, people go from eating whatever to being too restrictive. They can't seem to find that middle ground. And then if they can lose enough to get close to goal, they feel like a failure if they can't get or don't get to the perefect, ideal weight. And is that healthy thinking? Especially for someone who was morbidly obese? Isn't it far better to weigh 250 than 300? Isn't that in itself a smaller burden on the heart and joints? Is it perfect? No, but it's in the right direction! And why do we seem to feel it has to be done all once? Why do we feel this nneed to take it all ofF in a year or in one stretch when it took us years to gain all that weight in the first place?

And it is ok to lose slowly. And more and more research suggests that this slower pace might make it easier to keep it off. I know for myself that I only did what I felt was maintainable. And it will probably take me a year or so to drop the last little bit and get to where I will stabilize and I'm ok with that. I will not starve myself down to my end weight. Which is why I am also not going to sweat maintaining or even a slight gain during the holidays. Life is joined with food - worldwide it's a part of our culture and a big part of special occasions. So what if I don't eat perfectly every day? I just need to have it balance itself out so that in the end, I eat a bit less than I burn and eventually to find that equilibrium.

This all or nothing mentality gets a little weird to me when people select their goal weights. Especially for those morbidly obese. It is extremely daunting to be that heavy and to look at such a huge number to lose. It can be so daunting it can keep people from losing even 20 pounds and even that is an improvement! It all counts!

So that is part of the reason I chose a higher end weight. I knew that at 175 I could probably get there and maintain that. Once I got there, I realized the weight was still coming off easily so why not see where it goes from there. Now I would like to get it to 165 and beyond that is a big what if. If I do, I do. If I don't, don't. I'm going to take away from this that I did a huge thing for my health by getting fit and losing weight and if I'm still 10-15 pounds overweight? So be it. I could be 120 pounds overweight. I don't need to be at an ideal weight to feel proud of how far I've come. Being active and fit is the most important to me.

Stats for 12/6/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 174

Monday, December 5, 2011

Have some deep thoughts but they'll have to wait

Its late so I won't type them up tonight, but I got to thinking a bit today about weight loss and the pursuit of perfection. But, I'm tired. My iPad was acting up today so I'll leave it short tonight.

Today I planted bulbs. I planted 90 tulips, 90 crocuses and 30 anemones. I am already feelings but of soreness in my neck near where I had that neck strain. Sure hope it's nothing. I still need to plant 60 anemones and 20 alliums. Not sure when I'll get to those as its supposed to rain, but at least I got done what I did! I've wanted to plant bulbs for probably 10 years and this is the first time I actually did it! I've probably tossed out 100 or so bulbs in the pt as I always had the best intentions, but never got it done. Being healthier and fitter makes a big difference.

Stats for 12/5/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6 Now: 175.4
Total miles walked in 2011: 967/1000

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So busy yesterday that I missed an important date!

Yesterday, one year prior was when I had a doctor‘s appointment. It was the first appointment that I had made 6 weeks prior because of daily, nonstop headaches. I was afraid to go to the doctor because I was afraid of what he would say. I knew I had a weight issue and I was pretty sure I was having sugar issues, but I didn't want to know. It was only daily, all day pain that got me to finally do the smart thing. And now I'm so thankful for those terrible headaches. Without that, where would I be today?

So, it was a year ago yesterday that I discovered my blood pressure was sky high. Readings were around 230/120. When I left the office it was 190/100 something. I started taking blood pressure meds and within three days the headaches were gone. And besides twice having random headaches and that neck strain for a month, I have been headache free for the first time in decades. It was a week or so later around December 11th that I discovered that my thyroid and cholesterol and blood sugars were out of whack. And then it was when I finally started to feel better with normal blood pressure that I realized I was ready to change things around which just happened to coincide with the New Year.

And here I was a year later at my lowest adult weight ever, getting fairly fit, with normal blood sugars, good cholesterol levels, good blood pressure, and all drug free. The reality I feared was not as scary. I had dreamed it would be. I was my own worst enemy.

With all that said, the scale was up a random 2 pounds this morning and I think it will go even higher tomorrow. Go figure, but I know it's all a fluke and will come back down again as everything is under control.

Stats for 12/4/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 175.0

Saturday, December 3, 2011

3 events done 8 to go!

Yep, that is what I said. Three done and 8 to go until our holiday season is over. And it will be a tough go to stay on track for each and everyone of those days and events. Today I hosted an old fashioned holiday event. We had lunch, chatted, listened to Christmas carols and then made crafts. It was relaxed and fun. I ate so much at that during lunch, that I wasn't hungry the rest of the day, but just that meal was 1300 calories. I ended the day around 1800 calories, so not bad at all for a special event day

I love the holidays so much. I love the decorations. I love the music. I love making crafts and all that stuff. So, getting ready for this party was fun. I first worked on all the "need to do things". And started a big project that had the timing all off. So, with the big project done, I started decorating for the party Friday after the kids got home from school. Plenty of time, right?

Well, first, I wanted to put up the holiday lights. The outlet outdoors doesn't work... No juice? Then, when I went to put up the real Christmas tree, I discovered the stand was broken! What?. And then this morning while putting up the artificial tree I discovered part of the lights were out on the artificial tree. I was about ready to lose it, but fortunately had spare lights I could put on the tree for now until I can get a better look at the problem.

The party itself was fun. But now I'm exhausted. Typing in bed beforee hitting the sack. I have another big day tomorrow.

Stats for 12/3/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. now: 173.0

Friday, December 2, 2011

The extra little motivation to help me through the holidays

I realized last night while getting ready for bed that I weigh very closely to what my husband weighs. Is morning when we weighed in, it was confirmed, my husband gained a wee bit over thanksgiving and he weighs 172.8. My weigh in this morning was 174.2. That is just one and a half pounds different! I can so do that.

Of course my husband said, "Well, I'm not going to stand by and just watch you catch up. You'll have to try to catch me!". His goal is to get to 165. My new goal too. I bet I'll get there fastere than he will because I'm more disciplined. He'll grab snacks and goodies and grab a glass of wine with dinner, but how long will it take me to get to 170? I'm. Not really in a race and I'll just keep doing what I've been doing with exercise and diet... Slowly but steadily getting there with eating right, but I've got momentum on my side.

Speaking of motivation, I think my mother in law is freaked out about me getting closer to her weight. If she hadn't have been sick, I would be under what she weighed, but she went on her usual weigh loss plan- get sick so she can't eat plan. She now weighs about 163. And I'm noticing her picking at dinner these days. She doesn't want me to get smaller than her! Yesterday we went to get my birthday present (a new robe) and after trying it on, she asked "what size is that?" and I said a size medium. Why would she ask as she won't buy anything for me without me picking it out and trying it on? She is motivated to get smaller! I would like to say it's just like my husband's motivation to get fitter and lose weight which is that good habits rub off on others, but in her case, it was only when I was wearing the same size pants that she wears that she took any interest in my size and when she started eating less. But hey, if it gets her to move more and eat better too, that is fine. I don't really care if she's small than me. She has a tiny build, so she would be smaller than me. But it is kind of funny.

Okay... Lots to do today!

But I did remember to take measurements this morning! I forgot yesterday!

Stats for 12/2/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6 Now 174.2
Total miles walked in 2011: 952/1000

Monthly Measurements:

Starting chest: 47"  Now: 41" (change since last month: down 0" for a total loss of 6")
Starting Waist: 43" Now: 32" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 11")
Starting Hips: 50" Now: 41" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 9")
Starting Arm: 18" Now: 14" (change since last month: down 0" for a total loss of 4")
Starting Thigh: 30" Now: 23.25"(change since last month: down .75" for a total loss of 6.75")

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Got back down to my all time low!

And just in time to say I lost 10 lbs in the month of November. Not bad considering the month before I lost nothing! Of course, water weight gains had a lot to do with that, but that's the way it goes.

I am feeling really good now. Maybe too good because I decided to empty the craft room completely- like nothing in it - bare to the bones save the furniture and well, it's a mess upstairs. My younger son this morning said, "Mom! Why is there an obstacle course up here?". Yes, why indeed? Especially when we have a party in the house in two days!

I do have ulterior motives. Don't we always when we decide to do a major cleaning? There is a cabinet downstairs that I want brought upstairs. It's no longer needed and it's in the way of where the Christmas tree will go! And to move that cabinet upstairs, I needed to make room for it in the craft room. So there we are... My ulterior motive. Can't put up the Christmas tree until that cabinet is moved!

So, I will be reorganizing like mad today. Fun times!

Stats for 12/1/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 174.0