Friday, March 30, 2012

I've been seriously hungry!

This past week all I want to do is eat and it's been really, really hard to reel it in too. And it's not like other times when I just have sweet cravings. I'm just hungry and would eat anything - a huge salad, a big piece of chicken - just FOOD!

And I'm having a hard time figuring this one out. When it was sugar I was after, I just realized I had to tough it out. I wasn't needing sugar, I was just craving sugar, but this true food craving has me baffled. Am I missing something in my diet? Is my body demanding more as I've pushed myself a bit more with exercise? Is it the lack of sleep (and I've been seriously getting lousy and short sleep the last week)? I just don't know.

So, I try to reel it in. I'm eating over planned caloric intake by a couple hundred (eating around 1650 versus 1450), but I could be eating about 2000 to feel full. That's it. I just want to feel full and I don't feel full on 1450. Veggies keep me full for awhile, but then once those are processed through, I feel just as hungry as before.

And the weight keeps creeping up. It was 169 for a day, then 170 for two days and now it's 170.8. Ovulation is supposedly approaching soon, but the only clue I have is the calendar on the wall and my body holding a bit of water. Much harder to tell about ovulation at 42 than at 22.

OK, I must, must, must mow today as it will rain tomorrow. My plans to mow yesterday were foiled as we were without electricity for 7 hours. Kind of hard to run an electric mower without electricity.

Might try to take a nap this morning. Kid's spring break starts at noon and I'm exhausted.

Stats for 3/30/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.8

Thursday, March 29, 2012

You have to be truly thin to look thin as a woman.

I was trying on some things today as there was a big sale at Macy's on bras and one thing I noticed and realized is still how much fat is over my body and probably always will be. I'm not on a mission to be skinny, but I realize that for women to look thin is really, really difficult.

My husband right now is thin. His body fat percentage is like 13-14 percent. That puts him in the athlete/fit boderline range. He is swimming regularly and lifting weights. He looks great and he looks very trim, but not too skinny. He lost 20 pounds this past year and was always within the healthy BMI range for his height - before and after losing weight.

I'm around 27% body fat percentage which is considered "average". I would love it get it around 24% to be in the fitness category.

But when I go in to try on sports bras, the fat moves around on my back. Making it all too apparent how much I still have. You have to be a truly thin person to not have that fat roll as a woman.

I was even noticing in my step class last night that nearly every woman in that class has a paunchy stomach and I'm talking even the super fit ones (and last's night class had some super fit women). None of them are thin, yet many of them are very fit.  Of all the women in the gym that are not teenagers, I think I typically see one or two women who are truly thin and fit. The rest are like me - have a little extra.

And I wonder, did women look like that 25 years ago? 40 years ago when they were fit? Or are our fit people today even fatter than ever? Runners that pass me by aren't all skinny either. Yes of course there are super thin ones, but not that many that I see.

Anyway, it was discouraging while trying on clothes today. TV and movies make it seem like everyone is the ideal size and shape - oh how untrue that is.

Stats for 3/29/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.0
Total hours exercised in 2012: 62/250

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sorting through my clothes

I was just going through my spring/summer stash of clothes I've been picking up the last few weeks at Marshall's TJMaxx, Goodwill and the consignment shop and I have quite a stash! I can't wait to start wearing some of these things too! The colors this year seem to be orange and pink - together and kelly green and turquoise blue - together. Of course, I love those colors. Me, the queen of, "I hate pink" happen to love teh fuschia and orange combo. Not pink on it's own, but with orange? Love it!

I was also just trying on my swimsuit and seeing if any of these consignment find jersey dresses will work as a swimsuit cover up and yes, I have one that will. But I tried it over the suit I just picked up at Marshalls (still has tags on it) and I realized that the suit is too big! The bottoms are a ten, but they are loose and once they get wet and I jump in or something? They will fall off! I didn't pay attention to how loose/tight they were while trying them on, but now I realize that I need to return it. Unbelievable to need a smaller size. It really is hard for me to realize that.

And this year, for the first time in years and years, it's fun to think about dressing for summer! I look pretty good and there are so many cute things available - even at discount stores and consignment shops.  Last year I bought a few things (mostly fitness clothes) that I could wear around the house and for working out. The year before that I got by with almost nothing as we were broke from all the remodeling and I didn't want to buy such big things. The year before that we were getting ready to move, so everything I had was already old and I just used them for painting and cleaning. The year before that I made do with all the mommy clothes I had. I think the last time I bought new nice spring and summer clothes was about a decade ago and even then, only decent ones for work and I just made do with crap from Wal-mart for at home.

I am looking at the assortment of big prints and bright colors on the bed and it makes me happy. I love these retro styles (60s/70s) and I can't wait to wear them!

I am still toying with the idea of getting a two piece swimsuit for this summer. Of course, I would have to suck it in constantly - and sit up straight, but I so want to be able to wear a 2 piece for one last hurrah! Heck, one first hurrah! I've never worn a 2 piece in public as an adult. The string bikini my grandmother got me (when I didn't want it) was only seen in my backyard and I didn't let anyone see me go out there to tan. (Does anyone sunbathe any more?) Back when I really had the body to pull it off, I was too modest to show it. Now that I'm all beat up with life scars, I want to show it!

Anyway, I'm excited to be so close to goal for the spring and summer. It sure does feel great!

Stats for 3/28/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.0

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I felt so strong yesterday!

So, to take out my frustration with the scale, I decided to really work it at the gym. I vowed to do two classes and that I did!

First I went to BodyPump at noon. I've taken that particular class a few times way back in July. The instructor is excellent and she was my first instructor. I remember setting up in the back of the room - scared out of mind. I also felt so weak as I looked around the room at what other people could lift.

There was one lady in particular who caught my eye. She was a regular and set up in the same spot every week and she lifted heavy - the heaviest in the class. I was in awe of what she could lift. While I had 4 kgs on my bar for chest presses she had 10 kgs. While she squatted 20 kgs, I squatted 5 kgs. Stuff like that.

Well, I haven't seen this lady in my classes as I switched what days and times I take this class. However, she still takes the same class at the same time.  Once again I was in the back of the class and she is in front of me and this time I see a big change. She still can lift more than me on some things, but on others we lift the same and on one I even lift heavier than her and when she does lift heavier - I'm really close behind. And we (she) has the heaviest weights on the bar in the class.

It made me realize how far I have come - even with taking some time off in the summer for vacation and a month off around Christmas, I have increased my strength by a lot. I now squat 20 kgs on the bar (and can probably go up some). I now chest press 10 kgs on the bar and so on. Those are multiple reps at lower weights, but even so, I've more than doubled or tripled the amount I can lift and I know I'll keep increasing those numbers too.

Then in the early evening I took a BodyStep class. Again, I never take this particular class, but I know the instructor and most of these people take this class at other times of the week too, but... this time, for the first time, I was the strongest in the class. That right there was unbelievable as there are some pretty buff gas who take bodystep. They just weren't in this class last night. I got lower when we were to go low. I brought my knees up higher, jumped higher and moved stronger than anyone in class - and on two risers. And this was my second workout for the day.

Now, no, I'm not looking around at everyone - swiveling my head from side to side, but there are mirrors across the entire front of the room. There is no escaping seeing yourself and everyone else and if you are moving bigger and stronger, you will see it easily.

Basically, it just felt great yesterday. It made me realize that while I can get frustrated with the scale, I am doing something here. And I'm doing something big and more important than what the scale says for day to day blips. I'm getting fitter and stronger all the time. 15 months ago I huffed and puffed walking across a flat parking lot! And the fitness is what it's all about anyway.

So, I forgive the scale for yesterday. As an apology it dropped today. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the exercise and everything to do with my body giving up water weight from something, but whatever. I'm moving in the right direction and getting more fit. That's what counts.

Stats for 3/27/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.0
Total hours exercise in 2012: 60.5/250

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mind games

Funny how changing my ultimate goal to 155 seemed like a good idea when I was in the losing part of my menstrual cycle. I was down to 168. I saw that number a couple of days. The weight was coming off, so sure, why not aim for 155.

Then the dreaded weight gain. I'm now more than 2 pounds up from 168. I am mad at my body for going over my line in the sand (170) two days in a row. I ate clean yesterday, so why is it still up today? Why does it seem like 155 now seems so far away!

And part of it is realizing how little control I have over my body with small details. I can control the downward trend. I can exercise more and eat less, but I can't control the day to day functions of my body. I can't force it to drop water weight any more than I can force it to sleep when it's not tired.

I look at the 155 now and wonder how long will it be before I can get there and stay there? How many more months of this yo-yoing up and down will there be? I just want to be done with creating deficits. I want to be at a point where I can eat a bit more and just maintain, but right now what I see is a eat a tiny bit more and I gain!

I don't know why I'm so frustarted today when I know I'm in the time of the month that I don't see losses, but for some reason this month it is bothering me more. I look at my gizmo which says I should have lost 1.5 pounds these past 7 days and in reality I've gained 2.2 pounds. Let's hope that the gizmo is right and in 2 more weeks I'll see a big drop and maybe get to 165 with the whoosh. Though that is a pipe dream - for sure.

Today I'm debating on whether or not to do a step class or a strength training class or be really crazy and do both. We missed our strength training class on Saturday which is why I did step instead. I really like to get in two sessions of strength a week, but not sure it's realistic this week. But with being mad at the scale, I'm going to try to make it move by making sure I don't miss a beat with exercise this week!


Stats for 3/25/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.4

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My body really doesn't like simple carbs

You would think I would learn my lesson about eating simple carbs - especially in the evening, but no. I'm stupid and can't learn that quickly. Last night I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for a function and for my kids. Of course I sampled some batter. Of course, I couldn't resist a warm cookie and then because it was so good, I ate another big one!

After doing that I wondered, "So, why did I workout so hard today to erase the calorie deficit with eating cookies?" Ugh... why didn't I think of that before eating a cookie? In the end, I consumed about 1950 calories, but should have burned 2450 yesterday (step workouts burn a lot of calories).

Well, I stepped on the scale before going to bed like I always do. I about had a heart attack. It said 174.6! What??? If I followed my typical pattern, that would mean only losing 1.6 to 2.0 pounds overnight. I would be way over 170!

Fortunately, I had to pee before going to bed (as I was reading in bed) and then somehow peed for like forever this morning. Overnight I peed and sweated out 4 pounds of water. But I still gained a pound overnight and all because I ate some cookies.

It happens every. single. time. I eat simple carbs. I gain tons and tons of water weight. Three cookies, while not the smartest food choice, is hardly a binge. It is hardly one pound in weight gain, but my body latches onto that sugar and stores it with water - glycogen.

So, today I was good. Didn't exercise as it's Sunday and it's a hard day to fit it in, but I had clean eating. I do not want to go above 170 again! Darn it!!! I need to steer clear of sugars - they are bad, bad, bad!!!

Stats for 3/24/12:

Highest weight 275 Now: 170.6 Eek!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Not sure my timeline is realistic

I had really, really hoped I could get to goal by the time summer arrived. At the very latest, when we took vacation mid-July. It seemed so doable when I hit 171 on December 15th. That was only 11 pounds to goal from that time.

Then I gained so much fricking weight over the holidays and then had to cut back on the calories as well ramp up the exercise again. I've been back in the swing of things again this past month, but it tooke me to mid-March to get back down to 171 and then a bit below it.

I hadn't really counted it all out, but there is only 14 more weeks until the start of summer and about 18 more weeks until we leave for vacation.  That will mean losing a pound a week to get there by summer. In the beginning of this journey that was totally doable, but it takes a lot more effort and restricting to get to a pound loss now than then. I have been pushing myself a lot, but I'm not sure I will have enough to get to that goal.

Of course that goal is a self-imposed goal and totally not something I have to get to, but man. It would be so nice to be at a maintenance level instead of a "need to lose more" level in my head. Right now every movement I do, every morsel I eat adds up or takes away from what more I need to do. Plus, I would really, really like to look good for vacation and would really like to finally get to my final size so I can build my wardrobe again of things I really like versus things I can find for a good price because I have to replace everything I own...

Just think about that - I've had to replace all my coats, all my pants, shirts, sweaters, underwear, bras, workout clothes, dresses and even my shoes as my feet are less wide and slightly less long. And I didn't just have to replace things once, but a few times for some of those things. Even buying new Target underwear gets pricey if you have to buy them all at once!

But man, summer seemed so far away and I had so little to lose, but the holidays really threw me off. I'm going to have to rethink things for next year. I gave up exercise (mostly) because I was so busy and let myself eat goodies. Took me two months to recover from 3 weeks of eating. That's kind of incredible especially since I didn't go crazy with eating either.

My husband thinks I can probably get to 160 by June 21st, but 155? Might be stretching it and he's right. I'll keep chugging along and doing the best I can, but I can't get upset if I'm not quite to where I want to be by then. I'm doing great and the weight and fitness level will get there sooner or later.

Stats for 3/24/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.6
Total hours worked out in 2012: 58.5/250

Friday, March 23, 2012

Understanding where calories come from

Do you think most people understand where their calories come from? Or are they pretty clueless? Like, do they think, "This is a small serving, so it won't be much damage." When size of an item is no indication at all?

I don't understand how people can really not know where their calories come from. At least anyone my age or younger. We all had health. We all saw the food pyramids. We all had at least some home economics, right?

I wonder about it now because I don't think my mother-in-law gets it. For her I can use the excuse that she is older, from a different country and just never learned more than "fruits and veggies are good for you. Cakes and cookies are treats and should be eaten with moderation."

My mother in law watches what I eat a lot recently and I think it's because she too wants to lose weight. Actually, she's even said it, "Summer is coming and I need to lose 2-3 pounds." That right there shows you she doesn't understand weight loss. 2-3 pounds will show nothing. Maybe she meant 2-3 kilos.

She has been taking super small portions at meal time. Like really small. Yet, she'll grab a small dessert too. I saw her the last two days watching me eat my salad. I made enormous salads the last two days for dinner. And I mean enormous. Those salads were about 250-300 calories. I had about half a pound of lettuce, half a green pepper, half an avocado, several cherry tomatoes, some sliced purple onion, a few dried cranberries, a couple teaspoons of sliced almonds, a teaspoon of parmesan cheese and then a sprinkling of olive oil and red wine vinegar. No real protein was added as I had proteins at breakfast and lunch. This was basically to fill my stomach. Sometimes I'll throw on a  hard boiled egg instead of the avocado.

I'm sure she is wondering how I can be losing weight with eating such huge portions. I always eat huge portions of veggies (greens) and then a decent protein and then skip the starch. I am realizing that she has no idea where the calories are in food. Last night she ate a wee bit of brown rice, a wee bit of chicken, a medium size salad and then two slices of a Croatian dessert which is equivalent to eating 3 chocolate chip cookies. She ate more dessert calories than dinner calories and I'm sure she thinks that she ate less than me. She probably ate 700 calorie dinner on a small plate and small dessert plate. I ate a 250-300 calorie dinner and filled a large bowl with salad 3 times.

And I'm not trying to pick on my mother in law. She really doesn't know, but I wonder how many other people have to completely learn about what goes in their mouths? That they somehow didn't absorb anything in school. Or they never read or got in the habit of reading nutritional labels. How much of the obesity problem an ignorance about how fattening foods can be? I wonder how much it would help if every single restaurant had to write down what the calories are per item. If every grocery store had to put in the produce section and bakery, etc how many calories per item/cup.  How eye opening would it be? Would it change people's behaviors?

I know some restaurants are already doing it and I'm so thankful for that as it makes it easier for me to decide on what is safe (hidden calories can be anywhere), but do others pay attention? And are they shocked by it? I'm curious!

Stats for 3/23/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.6
Total hours exercised in 2012: 57/250

Thursday, March 22, 2012

About these classes I take and this bladder issue

Yesterday was my bodystep day (and bodypump day). It felt much better today than last week when I was still battling a cold. Last week I couldn't manage to sit through the step class as I was wiped out after strength training. This week, all is good.  Yay!

Well, these classes have track/workout releases. I forget what number we are on, but I think it's 74 for bodystep and 80 or something for bodypump. I don't know. Anyway, when they release a new workout the instructors have to get trained on it and then they have to stick to it for 4-6 weeks. I forget and really, it doesn't matter much to me. After that month, they are free to start changing things up - keeping like for like. So, they can switch out the warm-up with a different warm-up and so on. Most of the time they switch up 1-2 songs a week and by the time the new release comes out (every 3 months or so), they have switched out all the old songs for other old releases from release 70, 68, 72, 69 and so on.

For bodypump this can be an issue in figuring out what weight to put on the bar. Like, some chest tracks are tougher than others, so should I go up a bit or down a bit or stay the same? Sometimes the instructors will say, "this one is a bit easier than the current release, so load up a bit". Or, they might say, "this one is a really tough one, so back off the weights a bit." For bodstep, however, switching of tracks isn't an issue level of difficulty as they are all about the same - a cardio peak track is a cardio peak track. Really what might mess you up is choreography, but after you've been there awhile, you realize all the movements are similar, so you can usually do it without missing a beat unless the teacher miscues.

So, changing up in bodystep isn't a big deal, however, it does give me some insight on how my body is changing. I've been doing bodystep now for 10 months (well, minus a month in December - so 9 months). I've now done 3-4 releases and parts of others the instructors brought back. When we go back to an old release track I can remember what I was able to do before and what I can do now. Like last night, we did a few songs from the release that was out in November. Back then I still wasn't doing any of the jumping or impact stuff - none of it. Now I can do all of it. I still modified the jumping jacks as that is a sure activity to make me leak, but I decided to try the jumping back and forth instead of modifying it to an easy walk step. I had kept it at easy walk as when I tried to jump, I had leaked. No leaking last night. Hmm.... Then I realized in another section we do some jump squats and I used to leak doing those too and I no longer do. Maybe my observations of this leaking problem not getting better isn't quite true. Maybe it is getting better - little by little. Makes me really want to wait on the surgery now. Maybe I can avoid it all together? Hard to imagine with the type of leaking I was experiencing, but never say never I guess. Time will tell! So, I will keep doing my kegels and other strengthening activities and hope for the best.

Today is supposed to be a beautiful day and I will use it to my advantage!

Stats for 3/21/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.2
Total hours exercised in 2012: 56.5/250

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lump? What lump?

So, I have this lump in my abdomen. I can feel it. My husband can feel it. The gynecologist could feel it. However, it seems there's nothing there or nothing detected in the abdomen. Apparently it's muscle and I can see that it probably is as when I go to do crunches, that lump then takes shape/follows the same line as my abdominal muscle on that side.  It's probably been like that for years and years and years, but with all that fat overlaying my abdomen, who would have known? In other words, I have nothing to worry about.

They had looked at everything - my ovaries, my uterus, liver, spleen, pancreas, aorta, lungs, kidneys. And from that I learned a few things. First, my ovaries look fine and good. My liver which was a bit fatty about a decade ago seems to be OK now (yes this can be reversed) and very surprisingly, they said my uterus appears to be heart-shaped. This 'can' cause problems with fertility (carrying babies to term), but obviously that wasn't an issue. I had two babies naturally and they were both full term  37.5 weeks. One was 10 lbs 9 ozs, the other 11 lbs 14 ozs. Seems I shouldn't be worried about the possibility of a malformed uterus either. This baby factory is closed.

And also the pap smear test came back as fine too. Only thing left is to get the rescreening of the mammogram which I can now schedule with the paperwork with the insurance now put through.

While I wasn't worried about the lump, I'm glad to hear it's nothing. So far everything is looking good for my health. Even my bladder issue is an easy one to fix and not urgent.

Other than that, I'm gearing up for my double classes this evening at the gym. I'm actually looking forward to them! I had a good night of sleep and now I'm raring to go!

Of course, the scale was mean and went back up to 170, but this too shall pass as I know it's water weight as I've been uber consistent with my calorie count and with movement.

Stats for 3/21/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hormones are playing tricks on me

You would think hormones can only make you moody in a bad way. Or maybe they can work the other way around too, just that we don't really notice when we feel better than usually?

Today is day two of my menstrual cycle which, for me, is usually my worst day. Knowing today was going to be day two, I told my husband we should probably not have a date night tonight (we were thinking about it) because I tend to feel 'blah' on that day. I feel bloated, and gross, and moody - mostly moody.

Well, I woke up this morning feeling great. Why???? It's rainy. I got way too little sleep two days in a row. I have crappy things to do today (laundry and cleaning and cooking), the scale is up with water weight and it's day two of my menstrual cycle. Shouldn't I be feeling downright grumpy?

I guess not today  (or at least not yet!) I feel good. I feel energized. I feel ready to go. Maybe it's the cold finally gone? Or maybe it's spring and more light and I'm feeling energized or maybe, just maybe, the hormones are making me happy for no reason just like they can make me feel weepy for no reason.

Let's see if the happy feeling continues today or if I'm a short fuse and will go from happy to frazzled at a drop of a pin.

As I said, scale is up a bit today, but it is still under 170. Maybe, just maybe it will stay under 170 for this week? And then if I'm really lucky it will stay under? I can try, but I can't do much about water weight - if it's going to happen, it's going to happen.

Stats for 3/20/12:
Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.4
Total hours exercised in 2012: 55/250

Monday, March 19, 2012

Decided to lower my goal

I know, know.... all these things about I've written about the scale only being half the story, etc, but I am looking at my body. Looking at the body fat percentage thingee on the scale and I can see and it tells me that I can lose a bit more.

This past month was a really successful one for me (OK, I know the month isn't over but as far as I think, months are by menstrual cycles and this cycle was a good one with some significant loss). It's now spring, moving and burning calories and even eating lighter is easier now, so I'm going to go for it.

My initial goal was 175 - that would be 100 pounds from my all time high, 80 pounds for this journey and a bit lower than my high school graduation weight. And, it was 10 pounds less than where I got the last time I tried to lose weight - so it all seemed achievable. Going less than that seemed impossible.

Then as I closed in on 175, I could see that the weight was still coming off rather quickly (oh how I didn't factor in how difficult winter and the holidays would be for me). I got down to 171.2 really quickly - 160 seemed like a good end weight.

Well, here I am. It's now spring and this last month with a bit of a push (and not a very big push) I dropped about 6 pounds from last month. I am staring 160 in the face and I can see that it's not quite all the way there. Plus it would feel so good to get to a healthy BMI and to say I lose 100 pounds this past weight loss effort. But mostly, I think with increasing my fitness and with dropping a bit more fat, I will see the body fat percentage fall to where I want it to fall - under 25%. I want the charts to say I'm fit gosh darn it and I want to really believe it instead of being where I am now which says "average" on all charts - or "Acceptable". "Fit" would be great. I don't care about it saying "Athletic". "Fit" would be perfect.

Now, at different places, I am getting people saying, "You don't need to lose any more." and "You aren't getting anorexic are you?" And while that is kind of people to say that they think I look great, if they really look, they can see that I'm not too thin or eating poorly. It's just such a huge, huge change from where I was before that it seems enough. Right now I'm going for better health and to be fit. I've got to give my ticker the best chance it can get after messing around with my health for the last 25 years.

So... goal is changed. In the end, I might make 155-160 my buffer weight zone, but we'll see about all that when I get there.

Stats for 3/19/12:

Highest weight: 175 Now: 168.8
Total hours exercised in 2012: 54.5/250

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How different it feels to feel strong

Even while fighting a lingering cold, I feel strong. I can go morning to night. I can even be sleep deprived, but I can keep going. It feels so good to feel like a whole, complete, healthy person.

Of course, I can't know how much of it is losing the weight, getting more fit and fixing my thyroid. I'm sure it's a combination of all three - but I feel good, really good - even when I'm slightly under the weather and coughing up junk from my lungs.

Today I did bodypump after not doing anything except light walking this past week while I dealt with this energy zapping cold. I was able to up my weights again for a few sections and keep the rest where they were.

I've been going to this class (with a couple mini breaks for vacations and the holidays) for about 9 months. Altogether I've gone about 7 months. There have been many of the same people in this class the entire time and who knows how much longer they were coming before that.

When I started, I had about 50 more pounds on me. I couldn't do lunges barely at all. I could do like half the ab track, and could only do hovers on my knees. For chest exercises I could do 4 kgs, etc. Now, I can do all the lunges - with the weights. I can do the entire ab track with all the hovers and my chest press weight is now 10 kgs (lower weight, higher number of reps).

When I started I had some of the lightest weights on the bar for almost everything. Now, I have the heaviest on the bar for some of it - including the instructors and I'm getting close with my weak spots (triceps and shoulders). I do this exercise without fail twice a week (minus the two mini breaks) and most other people are just as consistent, maybe even more so - but maybe they aren't doing it the recommended it twice a week - I can't know. Yet, their weights on the bar seem static. They aren't increasing their weights or doing so very, very slowly and I realize - in this class and a few others that many people put in the motions of going to the gym, but they don't push themselves. They are either happy with what they look like, don't know how to push themselves or don't have the desire to push themselves. Maybe it's the competitive side of me, but if I feel my fitness ability is at a standstill, then I get frustrated. I need to feel like I'm always improving. Of course, that will stop at some point, but I'll figure that out when I get there. For now, I still have lots of room to improve. It takes a long time to go from zero fitness level to a high fitness level. It's not an overnight process - for sure!

Anyway... I'm feeling really, really good. The day is gorgeous, so I'll be taking a nice long walk today with the family. I can hardly wait!!!

Stats for 3/17/12: (oh, St. Patrick's Day - I even wore a green fitness shirt to class!)
Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.6
Total hours worked out in 2012: 52/250

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another new low and doctor udpate

Let me just say that I'm floored. I'm down another pound this morning. My body is just giving it up this month and it's making me very, very happy. I'm now thinking there is a slight chance I might be able to stay out of the 170s for most of the weight gain for TTOM this month. I guess we'll see. 168.0 on the scale - unbelievable!

And yesterday I had the appointment with the urologist. It was a gorgeous, gorgeous day yesterday. I wore a spring jersey knit dress (casual, but very flattering). When I walked into the office, it was filled with middle aged to senior men and they all gave me the look over. I guess they aren't used to seeing a woman in the office in a dress?  But a few minutes later a few more women came.

I had to wait forever and ever in the waiting room (so why do they make me come 15 minutes early to fill out forms if they are going to make me wait 45 minutes after my appointment to call me in?) Anyway... I finally got to meet the doctor to talk about the problems I'm having with urinary stress incontinence. First of all, she said about 20% of all women have this problem and that many end up needing surgery.

The surgery I would need is simple enough, but it would lay me up for a bit. Well, not lay me up, but it would keep me from being active for at least a month while things healed up. What they would do is install a mesh sling around the bladder to hold it up so that it wouldn't dip down and leak during exercise. This would be done through the vagina and within a day or two I could go about normally - but no exercise or lifting more than the weight of a gallon of milk for at least a month.

I know I need this surgery as it is beginning to be a bigger and bigger issue with exercise, but when to do the surgery? If I do it now (or very soon) that would mean giving up a month of spring and summer of working in the garden, riding bikes, taking hikes, etc. Forget the gym - all the other stuff I would have to give up would be a bummer. Then there is vacation in July/August. I don't want to be limited on what I can do then either. So, in the end, I've decided I'll do this surgery this coming fall or winter. Those are already hard times for me to exercise, so why not give my body a break from it when I really don't want to do it anyway?

Of course that means dealing with that problem for the next 6-10 months while I wait on the surgery, but it's not urgent and I've found ways to work around it for years and can continue to work around it for now.

One cool thing that did happen while I was at the office was that I was telling the doctor I was trying all kinds of natural ways to try to make the problem better. I told her I had lost a lot of weight and had hoped that would make it better (obesity can lead to extra strain on those muscles holding up the bladder). I told her I had done a gazillion kegels, but those didn't help either. So, it was time to come in and see what else to do. She asked how much weight I had lost (I think out of curiosity and to cut the tension as she did a pelvic exam to feel for the bladder) and I told her that from my top weight about 105 pounds. That floored her. She exclaimed - "And you look great! Look at you in that cute spring dress and looking all fit and healthy. You should be so proud of yourself. That is amazing!" And a bit later while we were setting up a follow-up appointment, she commented again on how great I looked and how proud I should be of my weight loss.

I haven't had a doctor go on like that before, so it was a bit surprising and it felt great. I guess because I belong to a weight loss forum where so many people are losing large chunks of weight that I don't see what I'm doing as anything incredible. I see so many amazing people on this forum who have lost more and more rapidly. But I guess, it isn't the norm. Most people don't lose over a hundred pounds. Do they?

Well, I'm going to keep plugging away - 8 more "for sure" pounds to go! Wow, only 8!!!

Stats for 3/16/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.0
Total hours worked out in 2012: 52.5/250

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New low and officially the lightest adult in the household!

Thank goodness my teenage son can't be classified as an adult yet (15) as there's no hope of getting as light as him. He's like between 135-140 at 6 foot 1 or 2 (need to measure him again). But, my husband who has always been lighter than me weighs right around 174. And remember, he lost weight this past year too. Then there is my mother in law. I'm not quite sure what she weighs, but she's been hovering around 170-174 and I don't see her shrinking. If anything, I see her getting bigger. And of course, my 6 year old doesn't count. So, that makes me - the usual tubby one, the lightest adult in the family! Wahoo!

When I stepped on the scale before going to bed last night, I knew it was going to be good news in the morning and sure enough. There it was 169.0 on the nose. Wow!  Now to keep it below 170! Boy, am I going to try!!!

Last night I had planned to do a double class at the gym, but after giving it my all with the bodypump class, I knew I was too wiped out to do bodystep. Plus, I was still hacking up stuff from my lungs. Means I need to be more active the rest of the week to make up for a missed class, but as I'm feeling better and better and so far haven't needed to cough up stuff at all, I think I'm good to go.

This morning I have a urology appointment to talk about the problems I've been having with urinary incontinence while exercising especially. Let's see what she has to say and what options are out there and what risks go with them. I want to know!

And, I need to schedule a follow up mammogram. The lab tech told me the call back is 50% for first time mammograms, so not to worry. So, I'm not worried, but it's just one more visit to the doctor I wish I could have avoided. I hate sitting in offices!

Stats for 3/15/12:
Highest weight: 275 Now: 169.0
Total hours worked out in 2012: 52/250

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Well, it didn't stick, but I'm not upset

I kind of knew that yesterday was too good to be true - a full pound in one day? So, seeing it go up a bit today was expected. I'm happy it only went up .2 to land at 170.0 on the nose. How can I be upset by that? It's by far better than where I was. And like this entire journey, it's zig zags up and down, but thankfully, more down than up.

Today I had to pull out the summer clothes. I do have a 'few' things and then I landed those items at Goodwill yesterday. Pulled out a "too small yet" skirt I picked up in late September. It fits now, but is a tad loose. Who could have known 12s would end up loose on me? So weird for me to think of that yet?

And the last few days I've been scouring the internet for ideas for swimwear. I think it's almost harder now than when I was fatter. Now I have higher expectations!

BodyPump and BodyStep tonight. Hopefully the gunk has mostly cleared up so that it's not torturous.

Stats for 3/14/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.0

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can you hear me squealing?

It's probably a one day blip, but I don't care. I saw it on the scale! I even stepped on the scale three times to make sure it wasn't a mistake and nope! I weigh under 170! Scale settled on 169.8 this morning (first reading said 169.6, the other two said 169.8).

Even seeing that glimmer made me feel so good. It's only one pound less than yesterday, but it feels like ten pounds because it got rid of that big ol' 7 that has been hanging around forever and ever and ever. Yay!!!!!

I won't hold my breath that it will be there again tomorrow, but it's there today and I'm going to revel in that. And I won't get upset if it goes up tomorrow. I know it's a sign of things yet to come. For now, right now, I can say I have 9.8 pounds until goal. And I already know I won't be lowering that goal any lower than that. Doesn't mean I won't go lower, but I don't see any need for it. Once I get there, I'll just work on eating right and working on my fitness.

Speaking of fitness, I walked yesterday and worked a bit in the yard. I went around the lake once (about 20 minutes) and piddled at picking up some sticks and hauling stuff around the yard for about 20 minutes, so I counted it as 30 minutes of exercise yesterday. My gizmo gave me 36 minutes, so I'll take it.

Today I'll do the same. I'm hacking up some stuff from my lungs, so I'm not wanting to push too hard, but walking moderately fast and putzing outside when it's gorgeous feels good, so I'll go with it.

Oh, and yesterday I did a run to Goodwill. I have nothing in summer and spring clothes. Last year I wore a 16 at this time. I'm now a 10. Last summer I was wearing first a 16 and then a 14.  So, yesterday I landed 1 pair of summer weight pants and four pairs of casual shorts yesterday for $30. Not too bad. All were a size 10. I tried a couple 8s and a few 12 and those were either too tight or too loose - or on the looser side and with more weight loss to come, I didn't want to risk it.  So at least I don't need to wear winter pants on these next few days it's going to be in the 70s! Now to find a few t-shirts - probably at Target or something.

I've done really well with clothes and sales, but it will be nice to finally settle in a size so that I can get what I really want instead of "what works".

Stats for 3/13/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.8 (wahoo!)
Total hours exercised in 2012: 51/250

Monday, March 12, 2012

A new low, finally! But...

Well, I did it. I reached a new low. One I've never been to before in my adult life. I passed up this number somewhere between 16-17 I think. Who knows when exactly, but it was a long, long, long time ago.

Finally, I've gotten to a new low after 3 months of gaining and then relosing the same pounds. It's much nicer the first time you lose the pounds. Not so much fun to do it again. Ugh...

But, alas, I'm still in the 170's. I have one more stinking pound to go to get out of the 170s and I don't think it will happen this month. My whoosh for the month is probably about over and then I'll start the slow weight gain around menstruation and then drop a little, but not quite all the way back down and then back up even higher for ovulation.

Not saying it 'won't' happen, but chances aren't great that I'll see the 160s this month - not even a glimmer, but I know they are coming and that I'm headed in the right direction. I'm not stuck and I'll get there. One day at a time. Just like the rest of this journey.

The cold is feeling better, but I've had two nights of very little sleep in a row and I'm beginning to really feel it. I'm not sure how much work in the yard I'll actually get down today. We'll see. I'll walk to and from school a couple times, and see, but I'm feeling pretty worn out today. Too little sleep, a cold and springing the clock forward has me all discombobulated.

Stats for 3/12/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.8

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seasons are changing so are my food preferences

Yesterday when I went to the grocery store I just had this need to buy lettuce. I bought a lot of lettuce too. 5 heads of lettuce. Does anyone but me buy that much lettuce at once? Thing is, I never throw food away, so if I bought it, we will eat it. We ate one head yesterday and one head today. Guess we will eat another one tomorrow. It's salad season!

All winter I think I bought lettuce once. In fall and winter we eat greens all the time, but kale, collard greens, spinach and the like. I put it in stews, braise it and sauté it, but when I saw that lettuce in the grocery store yesterday, I realized the seasons had changed. It's spring baby!

And tomorrow, to toast spring's arrival, I'm cleaning up the yard and the grill. We will have our first grilled meal in months. I was going to go to the gym and do spinning, but why would I do that when it's going to be over 70 degrees and sunny? I don't enjoy spinning, I was just going to go to do the cardio work to burn calories. But gardening will burn even more calories and will get me some natural vitamin D.

Stats 3/11/12:

Highest weight: 275. Now: 171.2
Total hours worked out in 2012: 50.5/250

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Back down to my all time low!

I hate my ipad! It just erased my post when I tried to edit it! Grrr! So please bear with me on this post. It won't have paragraph breaks until I can fix it on the regular computer. OK, all fixed!

Anyway, I saw my all time low (again) on the scale this morning. I could have kissed the scale! Even all the gunk in my head from the cold I have couldn't dampen my spirits. I'm finally back down to where I was on December 15th. Woohoo!

Today is a super, duper busy day and if don't write now, I won't be able to get to it again. So far today I've waited in line for an hour to sign my youngest son up for swimming lessons, had breakfast, bought movie tickets, gone grocery shopping and now I will do some dishes, go to BodyPump, go to the movie, make some bread, prepare for class tomorrow, prepare for an auction, and go to a party.

With the possibility of being at a new low tomorrow, I will not even be tempted to nibble on things at this party tonight. Today this quote applies to my thoughts so well. I have no idea who said it, but it is how I feel today, "No food tastes as good as thin feels." Right now my favorite dessert could be on the table tonight and I wouldn't be tempted by it. I'll stick to my beans that I'm bringing and some veggies if there are some and hope for good news on the scale the next day.

 Stats for 3/10/12:
Highest weight: 275. Now: 171.2 (woohoo!)
Total hours of exercise in 2012: 49/250

Friday, March 9, 2012

Willing the scale to move downwards!

It's that time of the month where I see the only losses of the month. I'm practically holding my breath to see where it takes me this month. When I stepped on the scale last night before going to bed, I got excited - I weighed the same at night as I did in the morning, I knew that would mean a significant drop today. And sure enough, down 1.2 today.

I'm still .8 above where I was on December 15th. It's been almost 3 months since I saw that weight and that is a loooooooong time to be working my way back down when I didn't even go super crazy over the holidays! But, eating more and moving less helped me add pounds - more than I thought was possible. I guess it was a big learning lesson. I either can feast and enjoy or work it off for 3 months for 3 weeks of indulgences, or I can reel it in a bit and not have so much damage control to do the following months. We'll see how I feel about it come next December. For now, I'm just trying to get out of the 170s.

Numbers on the scale, despite me saying they shouldn't dictate how you feel, do matter. At least they matter for me at this point. I know that there is more weight to lose on the scale before I can work on just toning and building strength. Body recomposition will continue as I keep active and keep lifting weights, but first I still need to lose some fat/weight.

So, with inching closer and closer to the 160s, I'm feeling the need to push myself harder. Adding more steps, doing more exercise. Fitting more activity in my day to help speed up the process. Eating less isn't really an option, but moving more is!

When I get to the 160s I will feel this huge, huge weight lift off me. One, for getting the farthest on this journey that I have been. Two, weighing somewhere I haven't been since I was like 16, and three for getting that close to goal. When it's in the same decade of pounds, it feels so close. In my head now I can see the break. 160 seems far from 172 (well, not so far, but I'm not even in the same 10 pound range), but to say 169 to 160 seems unbelievably close and doable.

I want this sooooooo bad and I want to get there by summer. I think I can do it - especially if I can keep up this level of determination. And right now I'm really determined!

Stats for 3/9/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172.0
Total hours worked out in 2012: 48/250

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Yesterday was an odd day

My day started with me starving as I had to wait to eat until after an ultrasound. It ended up being 23.5 hours without eating and amazingly, I wasn't starving. I ate well and ate quite a bit, but I didn't gorge myself. I guess that's what not eating a high carb diet is getting me - less binge tendencies.

So, first I started the day here - wrote my blog, looked up stats on my gizmo, read emails and just vegged. Then I did a little window shopping to pass the time so I wouldn't think about food and then I volunteered at my son's school like I always do.

Then finally, where the course of the day changed. First, the radiology appointment. First she took exterior ultrasounds of my pelvic region. Then internally doing transvaginal ultrasound. Then she switched to doing my abdomen - my liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys. Everything was getting looked at. What could I see? Lots of blobs on the screen in black, grey and white. I then went to the next room to have the mammogram. That was a snap. I chuckled at her having to switch to the large plate for my big tatas, but it wasn't uncomfortable or the least bit painful. All in all it was an OK experience.

Well, this radiology office is right next to a major grocery store and I desperately needed to buy groceries. But I was also without food for over 22 hours. Should I go? Well, I needed to. I had a full day and wouldn't have time later and would then have nothing for dinner for the family if I didn't go grocery shopping. So I went. Even without food for close to 23 hours by the time I left, I didn't cave to anything in the store and you know how they line the aisles with things like cupcakes and cookies and chips.

On the way home I stopped by McDonald's and got a big burger - took it off the bun and ate it. Ah, better. I went directly to pick up my younger son from school and then home to unload the groceries.

Well, when I got home I unloaded the groceries, went to the bathroom and made myself something more to eat. All the while my younger son wanted to stay outside which he sometimes wants to do. I peeked at him in the back yard but after awhile I realized I couldn't see him. I called for him. I want out back. I went out front. I went back in the house to see if he came in when I didn't see and was going to the bathroom or something. No. He wasn't there. OK... he has never wandered off before. Where did he go? Our house is surrounded by walking paths. Which did he take? Did he take any? Was he in someone's back yard? I started looking around - going this way for a bit then coming back. Going that way for a bit and then coming back. I just couldn't imagine him going that far off.

Of course, I was a bit worried he headed off towards the lake. What kid wouldn't?  I had gone to it twice, but didn't see him on the walking paths that were visible. Finally a professional photographer who parks in front of our house all the time came walking  back to his car. I asked him if he had seen my younger son and he said he had - up by the barn at the playground - a half mile away. He said he had been there quite awhile.

The darn kid had wandered off far (and yes, by then it had been awhile because I was looking for him for well over 20 minutes by this point). So, I walk as fast as I can to that park He's not there. I walk to the boathouse. He's not there. I ask a couple there if they have seen a little boy by himself and no, they hadn't. I keep walking - not even sure I'm going in the right direction and decide to check the dam lookout area. And there he was. Egad. he had wondered off more than a half mile from home and had been 'lost' for about 45 minutes by the time I found him.

I didn't get mad at him and just expressed how scary that was for me and talked about how he needs to talk with me/us when he wants to go somewhere and so on. I think he got it, but oh boy. He really got me scared.

Well, we walked back home and I looked at the clock and we barely had enough time to get ready for the gym at this point. I fed the little mongrel and got ready. Drove off, got there and decided to make the most of the rest of the evening by having a really good workout.

My husband and I do this class together, BodyPump. It's an express class on Wednesdays, so they skip the lunge section and the shoulder section. Knowing it's a bit shorter, I decided to up my weights. I added weighs to the squat track (and noticed I had the most weight on the bar in the class), kept my weights at their new weight from last time for the chest track, increased my weights for the back track (again highest weights in the class) and kept the weights the same for the rest - which were recently increased anyway. It felt so good to see how much stronger I've gotten.

Then my husband leaves (I filled him in on what to do for dinner) and then I continued with the second class - which was express BodyStep. While I was setting up I decided to challenge myself with adding another riser under the step - having two instead of one pod. And, I did it! And still managed to keep all the power/jump parts in. How far I have come. 6 months ago I was clearly the weakest in the class - now I'm one one the strongest. Felt great!

I picked up my son from the kidspace where he was all sweaty from running around and went home. Despite eating late, I had already eaten all my calories for the day, so I just sat in and drank water while the rest of the family ate dinner.  Showered and chilled for the rest of the day.

What a day - vegging at home, window shopping, volunteering at school, having tons of ultrasound pictures taken, grocery shopping, losing my child, working out, and ending with vegging at home. I guess it's no surprised that I burned 2600 calories yesterday and took 14000 steps!

Water weight from ovulation gain is coming off too. Let's see where it keeps taking me!

Stats for 3/8/12:

Highest weight: 275 Now: 173.2
Total hours exercised in 2012: 47/250

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fasting for an ultrasound today

Even though I know that lump in my tummy is probably nothing, (I actually think it is muscle as my abdominal muscles seem odd) it still has me worried and I can't wait to just know what it is.

I have had bad dreams about it and I swear I'm beginning to feel twinges in that region, but I think it's pyschosomatic symptoms. I just want to know that everything is a-ok.

When I scheduled the appointment late last week I just wanted to get in as soon as possible. I didn't think much about the time of day even when she told me I would need to fast. What's not eating for a few hours? Well... here I am at 9 am  and my stomach is grumbling. I ate dinner last night at 4 pm. That means I'll go for 22 hours without eating (well, I did eat half an orange at 9 pm. Doesn't seem to have held hunger at bay though).

I'll just have to keep myself busy today to keep myself from thinking about food. Grocery shopping probably isn't a good idea, huh? (though I really need to do that!) And then the nurse practitioner I saw for my gyn. appointment said she would find out the results probably in a week. I sure hope they let me see what's on the ultrasound. It's my body and I should have a right to see. Why do they hide the screen from you anyhow?

I also have my first mammogram today. So, an abdominal ultrasound, a transvaginal ultrasound, and a mammogram. I'm just taking tons of pictures of my insides today!  Then this evening I'll be doing my double express classes. I hope it doesn't feel like I'm exercising through mud. I'm dealing with another light cold, courtesy of my 6 year old.

Stats for 3/7/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 174.8

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ovulation is over - wondering where this months whoosh will take me

I was not happy that my weight got to 175 and over during my ovulation water weight gain these last few days. I really had hoped that this particular weight was gone forever and ever, but, alas, there it was yesterday and today.

I knew it was water weight as I was eating right and exercising, but hormones will do what hormones are going to do and for me that means adding water weight. The upside of it all is that in a day or two I should start to see the weight drop and the question is - where will it fall too?

I am dreaming about getting out of the 170s if even only for a few days until I start gaining for my period, but... realistically, it won't. According to my little gizmo, I've been averaging a calorie deficit of about 500 calories a day. So, that would mean about 4 pounds for the month. So, that will get me, maybe, to about 170-171.

At this point, seeing a 4 pound drop a month, unless I really hussle at the gym is about the most I can expect. My metabolism has changed as it has adapted to this weight loss regime and I'm much closer to my ideal weight. My body fat percentage is under 30% (around 27-29%), so it will just take time and patience.

I'm just tired of seeing the 170s. I've been here a long, long, long time and I'm ready to say "adios" to that middle 7 number.

Stats for 3/6/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 175

Monday, March 5, 2012

About skin creams and treatments

I think people who are believers in skin creams are people who don't have problems with skin. They think the cream prevented wrinkles or stretch marks or loose skin. The rest of us have learned better.

Every time I read that someone tried X product to prevent Y, I think, "don't you think if there was truly a way to prevent stretch marks or wrinkles we wouldn't have wrinkly, stretch mark streaked people?.Don't you think that the secret would be out?"

 I get sooooooooooooo tired of hearing, "using x cream prevented me from having stretch marks when I was pregnant" and then they try to convince every other pregnant woman to do the same. Do you not think that most every woman tried creams? Tried to prevent stretch marks? Then why do more than half of us have stretch marks? Oh, we didn't use "your" miracle cream. Uh-huh.

When I read now on weight loss forums about people trying to shrink up loose skin and trying to prevent crepe like skin with creams or treatments, again I ask myself, "do you really believe applying something to the surface of the skin can do miraculous things to the whole skin? including excess skin- like make it disappear?" If that were possible, would we need skin lifts? Tummy tucks?

 I look at myself in the mirror and my body is full of stretch marks from growth spurts, pregnancies, and weight gain. My skin is looser than before because I have lost 100 pounds from my top weight and my skin has either not had time to shrink up or perhaps has shrunk up as much as it can. Only time will tell. I have crepe like skin on my chin from where my double chin used to be and I have crepe-ish skin on other parts of the body too. And I'm 42 years old. Age can't be kept at bay forever and guess what? Most people can guess approximate age by the appearance of our skin. Wouldn't it be wonderful if some cream could shrink it up and make it look like normal skin of an 18 year old? Well, it can't.

 I would love to find one person who decided to only put cream on half their pregnant belly and to see if one half of their belly had stretch marks where no cream was applied and the other free of stretch marks where the miracle cam was used. I would love to see one person who applied anti-wrinkle cream on just one side of their face to show if it worked or not. One person to use firming cream on half of the body and not on the other, again to prove once and for all that a cream really works. That some nonsurgical treatment really works.

 I haven't seen such a thing because a. Either a company hasn't ever tried that out. Seems kind of odd to me, doesn't it? What better way to prove effectiveness than to show the difference their miracle product has made that to show the difference on the same person with and without the miracle cream? Or b. they haven't shown such a thing because they would find that their miracle cream or treatment made no differerence at all. My bet is on point B.

People, believe me, creams are not miracle makers. They can make your skin feel smoother and softer. They can relieve itchy, dry skin, but they cannot prevent stretch marks. They cannot prevent loose skin and they cannot prevent or get rid of crepe-ish skin. You were either born with genes that allowed for skin to stretch better without getting stretch marks or you were not. You were born with genes for skin that will shrink back up or you were not. You were born with skin that doesn't get wrinkly or you were not. Genes play a huge, huge role.

So does healthy lifestyle. Your skin will behave better if your body is fed well and treated well. Your skin is more likely to be youthful if it gets proper nutrition, isn't robbed of health by too much drinking or smoking or overly processed foods and so on.

And then there is time. Time can't prevent things from happening but time allows stretch marks to turn silvery and fade away as small scars for many of them. Time can shrink up loose or crepe paper like skin. It takes much longer for the skin to shrink up than it does for fat or muscle to disappear. Give it time to get better. You thought it was the cream that made it get better? It probably wasn't. It was the passage of time.

The last myth I want to debunk that is related to this loose skin topic is that I often here that a way to prevent loose skin is to lose weight more slowly. This isn't exactly a myth, but only telling half the story. If you lose fat more slowly, your skin has more time to shrink up, maybe about as fast as you are losing. And if you are lucky enough with genetics to have your skin completely shrink up, then you may never notice loose skin, this is true. But.... You could have lost faster, dealt with some loose skin for a little bit of time and ended up in the same place at the end with no loose skin. The second way just means that you were thinner earlier. The rate of losing weight just allows the skin to not appear to shrink up too slowly. That is it.

I know I will never get someone to believe their miracle cream wasn't really a miracle, but I will say to them, did you only put cream on half the belly? Face? body? If not, you can't prove it was the cream. So, I will continue to save my money and not spend it on creams and treatments. And I won't even delve into the whole topic (today at least) that are you even aware of what you are putting on your skin? People worry about what they are putting in their mouth, yet layer chemicals all over their skin. Is that really safe? As I said, not going there today, but think on it a bit!

Maybe I enlightened one person and kept them from sinking money into that racket today , then this rant was worth it. But I needed to rant. Signed, a stretch mark streaked, wrinkled, crepe-ish skinned 42 year old woman.

Stats for 3/5/12: Highest weight: 275. Now: 175.4

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My husband said I looked fantastic

And two things are amazing about that. First, that I don't know if he has ever said that to me before. He has said a couple times that I am beautiful recently, but to say I look fantastic when asked if I looked OK was amazing. The other amazing thing about that is that it didn't really register right away as something unexpected to hear. It was only hours later that I realized, "Wait a minute. He said you looked fantastic!" I have gotten more used to him giving compliments which is good. The most I would get before when asking if something looked OK was, "The dress is nice." or "You look nice."

The man does not lie on things like that. The downside of that is, of course, that I went for years and years and years without hearing I was beautiful or that I looked fantastic. He couldn't say what he didn't mean. But now that he is saying them, they mean even more because I know he really means it.

And the way he said it. You don't say, "you look fantastic" without an exclamation point in your voice. You say it with feeling. I came out of the bathroom from getting ready to teach Sunday School. He was also getting he and our older son ready to go skiing for the day, so we were both busy and in a hurry. I hadn't worn these pants or shirt before (the pants had been a bit too tight earlier in the winter) and I wasn't sure it was OK. I wasn't sure it didn't make me look too square with my shirt tucked into pants and belted. This is still something new to me - tucked in shirts and belting things. Plus, since last week when my mother in law said I had no waist, I'm more self conscious about my not so tiny waist (though there is a 10" difference between my waist and hips! Just that most of the difference in chest and waist comes mostly from my boobs - not in a curved in rib cage).

Basically, I wasn't searching for compliments. I really wanted to know if I looked OK as I stepped out of the bathroom. I think I caught him a bit off guard as he looked at me and quite quickly said, "You look fantastic!" And I asked, "It doesn't make me look to square from behind?" He said, "No, if anything, you look more defined than in other clothes." Then he asked, "What size are those?" I said, "Size 10."

Funny that he asked that as he has never, ever shown an interest in my clothing size, but as I'm getting trimmer, I think he is more curious and I guess these pants must have made me look more trim than some of my day to day pants.

No photo, sorry folks. As I said, we were in a hurry and it's not like I was searching for compliments, but it sure did feel good. And at my Sunday society meeting I heard someone say, "look at that skinny minny" (Me?) and during greeting time someone came up to me and said, "Good morning gorgeous!" Wow...

I know it's because of the 'change'. I doubt anyone would come up to me and say those things if I were always my current size/weight, but it's the improvement in my appearance - in all regards that is bringing it out. Whatever the reason, it feels good. I feel good and healthy, so it's nice to hear that it shows.

And I love these pants. They are lined suede. I got them on clearance at TJMaxx in December. They look just like these:

Stats for 3/4/12:

Highest Weight: 255.6  Now: 174.8

Saturday, March 3, 2012

How I didn't really notice I got so fat

Someone on the weight loss forum I visit posted about this and I found it quite interesting because she too wondered, "How could I not really notice I had gained weight?" And I fall into that too.

I think part of it was that vanity sizing was going on so that when I bought clothes (which wasn't frequently), I didn't realize how sizes were changing. That an 18 NOW was what a 22 WAS. I just gained between shopping and so bought an 18 and then again an 18, not realizing that they were now bigger pants. For a long time I wore clothes out, so it's not like I had both pairs sitting next to each other.

But that explains staying in one size, but I went up sizes. When I finished high school, I was wearing a 16. I got to a 20 somehow, right? And, I dropped 50 pounds at one point and somehow gained all that back plus added nearly 50 more in less than 2 years time. How did I not notice that either?

Now that I think about it, we didn't have a scale for much of that time, so that is part of it. I didn't have anything but my clothes to register if I was gaining or not. My body always had flaws - poochy tummy. Big arms, double chin. I guess I didn't really notice that the tummy and chin were getting bigger. And, with only going up two dress sizes 16-20, that's not "that" much, right? Sure.... that 16 is now a 12. Going from a 12 to a 20 sounds much more dramatic! And it was a dramatic weight gain.

Part of it was that I was in denial too. I couldn't be that big. I was healthy! I was strong! But at some point - about 9 years ago, I started to not feel so healthy and that's when I started to hide from the doctors. I didn't want to hear or know what I was doing to my body. I wasn't ready to face the pounds. I knew what they would say and losing just seemed impossible. I had been gaining little by little for years and when I tried to lose and keep it off, I gained it all back FAST and added more. So, denial. I would find things about my body that seemed OK. I have to admit, it was beginning to be just my smile and eyes. The rest was buried in fat. Towards the end of my denial, I was even losing my hair which was always one of my strengths.

I think about that now and I'm amazed. The 80 pounds down in the last year or so (100 pounds total) has been dramatic. I can see it, everyone else can too. It's not like you can hide major losses or gains. People just don't come up and say, "Gee, Melissa, looks like you are gaining weight? You look dreadful!" Like they will say, "Gee Melissa, are you dropping weight? You look great?" (Maybe hearing the truth a bit more often would be a good thing - I don't know). But how, how did I not realize how dramatic the weight gain was too? Isn't it amazing what tricks our mind can do? I felt fat, yes. but I felt just as fat at 16. Our minds are so good at fooling us.

It's also interesting as I plan to use clothing size as one of the ways to keep on top of regaining. I will try to stay in the same size and if I need to go up a size, that means I need to drop weight. Seems simple enough, but why didn't that work the first time around? Why was I OK with getting the next size up? Twice? Yet, for some odd reason I had an invisible line in the sand. I wouldn't get bigger than a 20 as 22 seemed huge to me. I wouldn't get to 300 pounds as 300 pounds seemed the line from where you from overweight to huge. But 275 lbs and size 20 was OK? Who was I kidding? And where did I get that?  I'm not even thin yet and I'm wearing 10s and some 8s and weigh around 175. Some people who have never had weight problems would say I am huge now and they would be so upset if they were my size (if they had the same frame size and height). Yet I was feeling I wasn't 'that big'. Such denial. And so much to learn about myself in this process!

Stats for 3/3/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 175
Total hours worked out in 2012: 44.5/250

Friday, March 2, 2012

Trying to pick it up a notch

Yes, I said I would concentrate on getting things done around the house and use that for burning more calories, but I'm also feeling that this rut I've been in where I'm not losing much is getting to me. I need to get out of the 170s, so I'm going to try to pick it up a notch with exercising.

To start, I went to the Friday Bodystep class. It's been forever since I've gone to that class. I always find a reason not to go, but I have to stop that. Bodystep is a great calorie burner, is easier on the knees than a lot of exercises and about as good as it gets for my bladder issues and more fun that spinning (which I haven't done very often recently either).

I am truly hoping that March is the month that I break out of the 170s. I can do it! I just need to stick to my guns!

Would also help if I didn't nibble on cookie dough batter when making the kid's snacks too! That killed me yesterday on what was going as a really good day for eating until then. Who knew that rolled oats, ground flax seeds, sugar, butter, eggs an peanut butter could taste so good!

Of course, because of feasting on sugar at the end of the day, it also meant the scale climbed. More than a pound in a day because of sugar!

Stats for 3/2/12:

Highest weight: 275 Now: 174.8
Total hours exercised in 2012: 43.5/1000

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Keeping a proper perspective

Well, it's the first of the month and a good time to reflect on the month and my progress.

At first glance I could get very discouraged. I'm 173.2 this morning. That is still 1.2 pounds over my all time low which was way back on December 15th. I'm still not back to my pre-holidays weight. That in itself is very discouraging.

However, the scale doesn't tell the whole story.  Reality is. I did make progress. On February first I weight 175.6. Since then I lost 2.4 pounds. It's not much, but it is progress. But, there is more. I got smaller!

March 1st is also measurements time and while the scale didn't do much moving, I did lose inches! I lost an inch off the chest and an inch off the waist. What that means is that the scale will eventually have to catch up with the rest of my losses. I'm so, so glad that I take measurements so that I can see, despite not being at my lowest on the scale, I am the smallest I've been in measurements for this entire journey.

And it's also making me realize that there is a possibility that I can get my waist to below 30 inches. Wouldn't that be awesome? I didn't even think that was a possibility for this journey, but when I look at my body, I have the most to lose from my waist and my hips. I'm not sure I'll lose much more in the hips because of loose skin, but I can in the waist! No wonder smaller pants were beginning to fit me. I am getting smaller!

So, while I'm not thrilled with how slow the scale is moving. I have to be proud for getting back on track after the holidays with eating and with exercise. I'm right on track for that too. And as the weather is getting nicer and nicer, it will just get easier and easier to be more active and being active has always been the key to weight loss for me.

I will call this winter a success because despite slow losses on the scale, I did drop pounds. I did drop inches. I did gain strength (just upped my weights again in strength class) and I did gain cardio endurance as now I can do propulsion in class. These truly are all great successes and I need to realize that and celebrate that. I am doing great.

Stats for 3/1/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 173.2
Total hours exercised in 2012: 42.5/250

Starting chest: 47" Now: 40" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 7")
Starting Waist: 43" Now: 31" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 12")
Starting Hips: 50" Now: 41" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 9")
Starting Arm: 18" Now: 13.25" (change since last month: up .25" for a total loss of 4.75")
Starting Thigh: 30" Now: 23"(change since last month: down 0" for a total loss of 7")