Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tired of people calling eating more than intended, a binge!

I read it over and over and over and over and it's driving me crazy. People think eating a couple extra
cookies  for the day when they didn't plan for those cookies, is a binge. They will say, "I binged today. Should I skip dinner to make up for it?" Or, "I caved and binged on ice cream today and ended up eating 1800 calories today when I wanted to eat 1400."
That is not a binge ladies and gentlemen. That isn't even overeating necessarily - if you still ate at a loss for the day, you possibly made some poor food choices, but you didn't binge. If you ate over maintenance calories you overate for the day, but you didn't binge.

From an online dictionary:  

binge  (bnj)
1. A drunken spree or revel.
a. A period of unrestrained, immoderate self-indulgence.
b. A period of excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in food or drink: an eating binge.
intr.v. binged, bing·ing or binge·ing, bing·es
1. To be immoderately self-indulgent and unrestrained: "The story is like a fever dream that a disturbed and imaginative city-dweller might have after binging on comics" (Lloyd Rose).
2. To engage in excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in food or drink.

When I saw a counselor about 15 years ago, I started going to talk about my out of control eating. I had just lost the 50 pounds and was gaining back like crazy. I thought I was binging. While I was overeating and gaining rapidly, the therapist said I wasn't binging. Eating a box of donuts over the course of the morning wasn't a binge. It was too much food and it was poor choices, but it wasn't a binge. A binge was out of control massive eating.
From Wikipedia:
Binge eating is a pattern of disordered eating which consists of episodes of uncontrollable eating. It is sometimes as a symptom of binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating disorder. During such binges, a person rapidly consumes an excessive amount of food. Most people who have eating binges try to hide this behavior from others, and often feel ashamed about being overweight or depressed about their overeating. Although people who do not have any eating disorder may occasionally experience episodes of overeating, frequent binge eating is often a symptom of an eating disorder

My therapist said if I had eaten a box of donuts, a pizza, a 6 pack of soda and some ice cream over the course of the morning, that would be a binge, but eating 6-10 donuts over the course of 3-4 hours was not a binge.

But when I go to these weight loss sites, it's not a box of donuts that women especially call a binge. No, they are eating a single cookie. Or an unplanned sundae and then are calling it a binge. That's like calling a single glass of wine a drinking binge.

It annoys me because binging is a serious problem and calling a poor food choice a binge then trivializes those who have true problems with true binging.

Yesterday I had a couple squares of milk chocolate. It wasn't a great choice, but I didn't binge on chocolate. On Sunday, while out with my mentee, I had a chocolate brownie sundae. It took me way over for calories for that day, but it wasn't a binge. 

And yes, at times it can feel like you are out of control with giving into that temptation. It can feel that eating a cup of cashews when you had intended to eat a handful, is scary and out of control, but it's not out of control. Out of control would be truly out of control eating and eating the entire container of nuts and then moving on to something else and then something else and then something else.

I didn't get the whole binge eating thing until I witnessed unabashed binge eating in a dining room cafeteria when I was a residence director. There was a 30 something year old, very thin man who would come in to eat. He was beyond hiding his binges - maybe he hid it from his family by eating at a dining center, but the man would eat three to four full trays of food - every single day. He would mix weird foods together. He would go back for more milk and more sweets. He probably consumed 15000 to 20000 calories in the time we would eat our meal. He would eat until I'm sure he made himself sick and I'm sure he would then purge. Obviously, he suffered from a binge eating disorder/bulimia. That was binging. And that was a binging disorder.

So please people, stop exaggerating your overeating or bad food choices. Call it what it is and move on. And if you find that you are binging, seek help and don't trivialize it.

Stats for 5/31/12

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.2

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

So long 170s!!!

I hope to never, ever see you again!!!

It seems, that this cycle, I managed to get out of the 170s and stay out of the 170s for good - even during my ovulation gain I didn't spike back up to the 170s. I came very, very close with 169.8 yesterday, but it was 169.4 this morning as I start to shed my ovulation gain! Woohoo! One very small victory that seems immeasurably huge.

It's funny how there are these lines in the sand of "I will never cross you again." When I was in college and early marriage, that line was 200 pounds. Getting over 200 pounds, in my head, took me from being a bit overweight to enormously huge. Of course, that's a weird perception, but 200 was that line. Once I crossed it, irrationally, I thought 200 and 250 were the same. My next line was the 300 pounds mark. In my silly, messed up head, 300 was like the line of very overweight and fat to "Oh my god, I'm a whale and need an intervention" kind of fat. As I was creeping up higher and higher in the mid 2000s, I just hoped I wouldn't cross that 300 pounds. I didn't know if I could stop myself if I got there, but I like to think I could.

So now that I am out of the 170s, I have this new invisible line of the weight I hope to never, ever go over again.

For my body build and type and age, 170 is the line of looking a little overweight, to looking fit and 'just right'. So, I want to stay out of the 170s forever as that starts the territory of "uh-oh, we have a problem!" Plus, I worked so hard to get out of the 170s - nearly half a year to get through those pounds, that I never, ever, ever want to see them again - like ever. I think, in the end, that 155-165 will be the range I try to stick to. The idea of a 5 pound range won't work for me as I have a 5-6 pounds monthly range just with my menstrual cycle - no matter how good I am with eating and with exercise.

I'm not sure this month that I'll see any new lows as I upped my calories for several days this month and scaled back on my activity. But that's OK. Nothing is 'lost' of my routine, I'm just adjusting to working another job as well as juggling everything else. As long as I make all the adjustments without gaining weight, that's a plus for me and something I've never done before. I've always gained weight with a new job (though those were at a work site job and not a work from home job), but still. With working two jobs and volunteering, I'm 'working' about 35 hours a week and that's not including the painting, yard work, cleaning, cooking, etc that I do on a daily basis. Time is crunched!

Stats for 5/30/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.4

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Paper Towel Theory

I got this from a weight loss site, but it's all over the internet on forums and blogs and it's message, while written for a specific diet, is true for all weight loss/fat loss. The part most pertinent I highlighed in blue text:

Paper Towel Theory by Bob White

Let's assume you go out and buy two rolls of paper towels, each with only 84 paper towels on it (one for each day of the challenge). You put one aside, and keep it for future reference (your before/ picture).

The other one represents you (I'll call your paper towel you "Ed"). The core represents the lean Ed. The towels represent the fat that is covering the lean Ed. For sake of argument, let's say that Ed wants to lose 21 pounds of fat, so (84/21) each sheet represents a quarter-pound of fat lost. Let's also assume that Ed loses his fat equally during each day of the challenge.

Each day during the first week, you tear a sheet off of Ed, representing the fat he has lost for the day. Next, you put Ed next to the full roll ("Big Al") for comparison. No noticeable difference!!! Even at the end of the week! This can't be working for me!

But, being a good Ed, you continue to follow Body-for-LIFE. At the end of weeks two and three, you continue to compare Ed to Big Al, and still notice very little difference. That stinkin' Bill Phillips MUST be a liar!

But Ed is determined! He works hard! Three more weeks go by, the sheets peeling off day after day, before Ed gets up the courage to stand next to Big Al again. Holy Myoplex! Ed is skinny! OK, not skinny, but less huge!!!

By the end of the 12-week Body-for-LIFE program, Ed is down to his lean dream, or somewhere near it. Ed is happy. We are happy. Big Al - well he's not so happy.

The lesson to be learned is that fat, like paper towels, comes off in sheets. When you are heavy, you are big around. And when you are big around,that fat is spread over a MUCH larger area - just like that outside towel sheet. The closer you get to the lean you, the more each lost pound of fat shows, because it is spread over a smaller area.

While the outside sheet may only cover 1 layer of the roll, the inside sheet may go around 4 times. That last sheet looks like it gives you 4 times the results of the first sheet, but in reality, the results are the same - your perception is just different! And you'll never see the inside, if you aren't patient while the outside is coming off! - Bob White


I'm at the end of the paper towel roll. In the beginning, when I would lose 5 pounds, you couldn't see it. I had to lose 10 pounds to show any difference in my face and 15 to see it in my body.  Now at my closer to ideal weight, I notice 5 pounds lost as there is less and less fat covering my body.

Of course, I say that as I am at my ovulation weight gain and just gained 5 pounds of water weight (and probably some fat as I indulged in eating for two days over the holiday weekend), but I can SEE the five pounds up and five pounds down now. I have a feeling I'll see a lot with the remaining 5-10 pounds too - as my body unveils itself to the end...

I posted it as I so often hear questions like, "When will my boyfriend notice the difference?" Or "When will my clothing size change?" In the beginning - it takes more pounds to see it and feel it - 10-15 pounds to see weight loss and 20 or so pounds to go down a pant size (if you are obese). At the end, those few pounds, 5-10 pounds can take you down 1-2 clothes size and comments from people as they notice the 5 pounds whereas they didn't notice the 20 pounds in the beginning. So, while the weight loss is painfully slow in the end, the dividends pay off faster!

Stats for 5/29/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.8 (and I'm pleading with my body to not let it get to 170 or I might scream! Ovulation is over, I think, so it should be dropping back down soon). 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Now this comment threw me for a loop!

The other day when I was picking m younger son up from school - wearing grubs as I was coming from painting, one of his classmates mom stopped me and said I looked great and asked what I was doing to get fitter. I told her I was exercising and eating right and told her that since last year I've lost 90 pounds. She was floored.

The next day she stopped me again. This day I had on a nice summery dress, casual, but flattering. She said, "I meant to ask you yesterday, but forgot. What are you doing to make your stomach so flat?"

I was flabbergasted. Me? Flat stomach? I definitely do not have a flat stomach and I told her, "Well, my stomach's not flat - see this pooch? But I do bodypump and bodystep and walk. I'm not doing anything especially special just for my abs." She went on to say that I looked great and that yes, my stomach was flat and looked great.

Later, upon thinking on it, I realized that when compared, my stomach is much flatter than hers. She has a build that is not heavy all over, but she tends to gain in her tummy/midsection. When I gain weight, I gain all over, but I shrink all over too. So, I'm not wide or thick. My stomach has a pooch and it always will. All the women in my family - fit or not, have a lower gut that never goes completely flat. Add in loose skin and it's doubly impossible for me, but I don't have a round stomach like an apple shape where it is round side to side and back to back like this: I'm a classic pear  or perhaps rectangle shape:  I think.

That is something confusing for me - body shape. Here are a few photos:

Ok, I'm going to do a body shape calculator right now. In my youth I was an hour glass figure, but my waist has thickened with age.

Yep, according to this site:, I'm straight or a ruler shape, rectangle. makes sense as my new measurements are 39-31-40, not a lot of waist definition there. I think most of my remaining fat is at my waist, so we'll see if that goes down or not.

Anyway... for someone to ask about my flat stomach was unbelievable as I've always been self conscious of my rounded tummy, envious of those girls/women who truly have a flat stomach. Of course, my mother in law was one of those women, wouldn't you know it!

Stats for 5/26/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 165.8

Friday, May 25, 2012

All these projects - all started, but..

No time to finish them!

I have my front yard dug up. First it rained and rained and rained, so I didn't get to planting. So, I started on painting inside. Well, that would be all fine and good if I didn't have kids around when I'm painting. Well, I could have no kids around when I'm painting, but I also need to put in hours for my job, so hours for my job means I either work when kids are home or paint when kids are home - neither are appealing.

In the end what that means is that my front yard is dug up. My front entryway has the first coat of paint mostly (not near the ceiling or toe kicks). And, tomorrow we are having a little gathering at our house so that means I have to stop all of that to pick up my disaster downstairs which happened because I was digging in the yard and painting.

So three big messes - yard, paint and daily living mess. And I don't want to do any of it - at all. Well, I do, but not with daily living stuff going on too. I want my family to just disappear for a week so I can get work done and not need to do other daily stuff either.

My Saturday is basically booked. My Sunday is booked. That leaves Monday to paint. Tuesday evening my mother in law comes back home. I want the painting done by the time she comes back - at least near her areas. And then on Tuesday morning the mulch, stone and sand arrives for the yard disaster. I'll move outside as soon as the painting is 'mostly' done.

And, of course, I have a disaster in the garage and the basement to deal with too. Egad I'm going to be busy!

Stats for 5/25/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 165.6

Thursday, May 24, 2012

This major bummer with my thyroid

The culprit, it seems, to much of my health problems last year was my thyroid. I cannot know for sure if all of it was thyroid as I took my health seriously and started exercising and dropping weight as soon as I knew I was in a health crisis. But what I do know was that my blood sugars were through the roof high and a slow thyroid can cause diabetes. My cholesterol was high and a low thyroid can cause high cholesterol and a bad mix of good and bad cholesterol and I know that my blood pressure problems was caused by my thyroid.

It's been 17 months and my thyroid still isn't quite right by most standards, but my internist seems satisfied. I'm not. My latest lab results say my TSH level is 4.5. He believes everything 5.0 and lower is fine. Most endocrinologists like it closer to 1.0 and even more standards today say under 3.0.

Secondly, my blood pressure is going up and down unpredictably. A little bit of digging and I learn that the synthetic thyroid meds can cause high blood pressure. Huh. Then why not try me on a different drug? My internist doesn't see the point.

So, I decided I should call an endocrinologist. I've been trying to get things regulated for this long with no success and my internist isn't a specialist and doesn't know what's best. It's time to work with someone who does.

Lastly, I have a side effect from the synthetic drug that is most annoying. I've mentioned it to my interist and he says, "Well, it takes your body time to adjust. And it might not be the drug but your age and changing hormones". End of investigation for him.

However, knowing that I have to be on this med for the rest of my life, I'm not willing to live the rest of my life with this side effect. And I looked everywhere online to see if this is a common side effect and it's not. Of course, I have to be an oddball.

It doesn't help that this side effect is personal in nature. Something no one talks about openly. What's happened is that I've become anorgasmic. And it happened like a flip of a switch. Before I started taking meds, I would reach orgasm during sex about 80% of the time. Then, like a switch, it stopped - to like happening maybe once every 10-15 times and usually only right around the time I was ovulating, but as my meds increased it switched to never being able to reach orgasm - ever. The desire is there. I have no problems with being interested in sex and in getting aroused, but no orgasm. Not through sex. Not through masturbation. And that's a major bummer.

I got fit and thinner and feel sexier and yet I'm unable to climax. It's put a major crimp in my sex life. For me it's even worse because I have a strong libido, so I'll want to have sex, but there's never the release. At 42 years old and with years of a satisfying sex life, I'm not too thrilled. And I know it bums my husband out too. I'm lucky in that he likes that I enjoy our coupling too and he feels bad that it's not as good for me as it used to be which then of course, makes me feel bad because it makes him feel bad.


So, I called the endocrinologist yesterday for an appointment. August 17th is the first available appointment. I'm on the "do call list" for an earlier available appointment, but I'm sure even on that list I'm way day on the list. Nearly three more months of this??? I guess it's been 17 months already, what's another 3 right?  Right now I wish I were one of those women who don't care about sex. But I do! It's fun and it feels good and it makes me feel closer to my spouse. Yes, after 18 years of marriage, I still really like the guy!

A majorly frustrated, but patiently waiting, Melissa

Stats for 5/24/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 164.8

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

So last night at the pool

The last few weeks we've been going to the pool a couple times a week to give our newly turned 7 year old son some practice time between swim lessons which he has on Thursdays. Our son has always loved to splash around in the water, but he was afraid to get his head wet and he was afraid to put on goggles/ Over the winter, however, he finally discovered the beauty of goggles and over the course of the last few weeks, he has learned to hold his breath under water, blow bubbles, etc.

Last night we went to the pool, my younger son, my husband and I. My husband was going to swim laps for a bit while my little guy and I practiced on his swimming skills. And it turned out that last night was a big night in so many ways.

First, my son (let me remind you his is high functioning autistic/Asperger's) finally got it with swimming. He's been lifting his feet off the ground and kind of floating in a cannon ball position with his head under water the last week or so, but last night I got him to put his feet behind him and kick. Which means he can swim! He also got enough confidence to float on his back unassisted last night too. So, it was a big, big, night and he and we all were soooooo proud of his accomplishment of learning to swim.

Of course, we had to stop my husband who was in the next lane over to show the big progress! Never saw a kid so proud of himself - and confident. All these accomplishments just add to his confidence that he's big and strong.

After my husband was done swimming, he came over to play with us. For fun, my husband and I decided to see who would sink the fastest in the pool with exhaling all our air from our lungs. And we sink equally fast. On back floating, his legs sink a LOT slower than mine. The other day we did the pinch test on the legs and my thin husband has more fat on his legs than I do (he tends to gain/hold weight in his legs).

It's all beginning to sink in that I'm not holding much fat on my body! I'm having fun in the water with watching/feeling myself sink. I've never been able to do that and it's kind of fun!

But, I need to stick with it with exercise, as I mentioned yesterday. My schedule is not as easy to work with, but that's no excuse to miss exercise!

And for stats - didn't weigh myself this morning. My husband was hogging the bathroom and I needed to get the little guy ready for school and so I ate breakfast - meaning I missed the morning weigh in completely.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Need to juggle my fitness better

When I started exercising, I worked out in my basement after my son went to bed. Then, in June I started going to the gym. For the most part I could go whenever I wanted. I just tried to avoid dinner times and the morning rush times, but that left most other times free.

Then, I started working on Sundays, that took away any Sunday classes at the gym. Then I started volunteering at my son's school, so I had to avoid classes over the noon hour. And now, I have a 20 hour per week job and that means now I need fit my fitness around those work hours, around my other job, around volunteering, around school drop offs and pick ups and around meal times and of course around anything else that might pop up. Phew! It's getting like I'm a really working stiff with a family to take care of too! It's getting much more difficult to juggle.

My new job is extremely flexible, but there are events I need to attend to - like today at noon I met with my boss over lunch. Tomorrow evening from 7-9 is a community event, so that means I can't go to bodypump like I usually do, and so on.

In a way I'm glad that this has all been a gradual taking away of my free time. It's given me time to ease back into things and to adjust to changes little by little, but I'm beginning to realize that I'm needing to get better about fitting in fitness - being more forward thinking about when I'm going to do it instead of thinking of it a few hours in advance or the day before. I need to plan a week or so in advance to plan around all my obligations.

Summer will help - mo more school and Sunday school to juggle around, but there's still home, kids home from school and the work hours. I'm up for it, but I need to be more mindful of it all.

Stats for 5/23/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 164.6

Monday, May 21, 2012

Finding myself in a weird size problem with everything

I am nearing the finish line with my weight and will continue with my fitness, but my whole idea of "I'll wear a certain size" for a measure if I'm staying within  the weight range I want isn't going to work, I think.

What I'm finding is that at my size - whatever it is, I'm not a "size". I wear 8s in some things, 10s in others and 12s in others. Even in shoes. I could need anywhere from a 9 to a 10.5 depending on the style and designer.  

I could, if I wanted to, find some size 6s I could squeeze into. But does that mean I'm a size 6? I have a size 16 skirt from 1995 that fits. Does that mean I'm a 16?

I was just at TJMaxx to try on some shorts. I'm inbetween an 8 and 10 - totally depends on the cut and designer. I took back a couple size 10 swimsuits and they're both too big. Once they are wet, they'll hang too loose.  There is like no way to order from a store for myself now as I simple don't know what size I'll need! Even in tops - sometimes a medium, sometimes a large.  It all depends on the cut and style.

Maybe this is normal for people in regular size clothes, but when I was overweight, I wore a 20. A 20 and only a 20 or a 2X. It either was a flattering cut or not, but it was never a 22 or an 18. But now???

That red dress I wore the other day? That was a 12. The pants I have on right now are a 10 and they are falling off/sliding down despite the spandex in them. The size 8 shorts by the same designer are a bit snug. A size 8 skirt by a different designer fits perfect.

So, how can I say, "I won't use the scale?" With most of my 10s, I could gain 15 -20 pounds and still fit in them as I'm now a smaller 10 in most designers that fit my body type well.  If I say I won't go over a size 8, that means I can only wear a few designers now (Ralph Lauren and some Calvin Klein)  and they are snug. I'm only planning on losing 5-10 more pounds. Will more size 8s fit better by then? or will I be between sizes with everything?

So, that idea of picking a size and not buying a bigger size as that means I have gained weight isn't going to work. I will need to use the scale to keep track it seems. Plus, I don't trust that more vanity sizing won't happen! It's happened twice in the last 15 years. Who says it won't happen again?

Stats for 5/21/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 165.0

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wish the weather was like this all year

No bugs, low humidity, great temperature. Man, I wish I could keep this weather for months and months - OK, we could have a few cold days for snow, but otherwise, I want San Diego weather, please?

It's perfect gardening weather and I was out in the garden all day yesterday minus meal times and a slow start to the morning. Eight hours in all. I got nearly everything done that I wanted to get done. All the sod from the front yard is removed. All the bushes in the front yard are trimmed (save the humongous yew bushes that I can't decide what to do with them) and the weed barrier fabric is all picked up and filled four huge garbage bags. My older son mowed the back yard. My husband and younger son picked up the sticks/twigs from the bush trimming.

As a reward, the scale is down to a new all time low.  And that's another reason I wish we had this weather year round. I would garden year round and would never have gotten fat (well, OK, probably not true as I would bore of the weather and would run out of projects to do with the yard), but for now, I love spring and fall because it's when I lose the most weight because it's when I'm the most active.

So, I was out there for seven to eight hours of active working... Let's say 7 hours of activity as I did take mini breaks, had to get tools out of the garage, etc.  I was out there for 4 hours of active working the day before.  We aren't talking easy peasy stuff either.  I was doing this: Only difference was that I didn't roll up the sod. It's too heavy to pick up that way. I tore them up into 2 feet pieces, piled them in the wheelbarrow and then took it to the back yard to cover tree roots in a low spot in our yard.

I did this for 3 hours one day and 5 hours the next day. And, I have no sore muscles. Actually, my legs got less sore as they were recovering from a brutal strength training session on Wednesday. I could barely walk on Friday my quads hurt so bad. Now, on Sunday morning, I feel NO discomfort at all - not in my arms, not in my back and not in my legs despite all that exertion.

When I rented the sod cutter on Thursday evening, the guys at the equipment rental place were skeptical. I'm a girl. I was planning on doing about 200 square feet with a manual machine. I bet they were taking bets on how long it would take me to come back to rent the gas powered sod cutter.  And you know what what? it was lifting and hauling the sod that was the most work - not the cutting of the sod. Sod is heavy. Especially since this needed to be moist to be able to cut through the sod.

I'm proud of being able to do this and proud of my condition to be able to handle all that work without having to suffer from pain either. I love being strong!

Stats for 5/20/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 164.6

Saturday, May 19, 2012

From out of the blue my teen said

Yesterday was a no school day for the kids. It was also a gorgeous day and we spent much of it outside.  My younger son and I went to a rock store, a nursery, the grocery store and then worked in the yard (he went in after awhile to watch a movie).

At that time, my older son came out and helped me with picking up sticks, mowing and readying the front yard for the big dig for the new flower bed. I started using the manual sod cutter when he was mowing the side yard.

He was gathering up the cord when he was done (we use a corded electric lawn mower) and said, "You look really good now." Out of the blue, not prompted - just a genuine thought this 15 (nearly 16) year old wanted to express. And this is a kid who NEVER shares his inner thoughts unless prompted to do so as he's so private (like his father).

And, because it wasn't prompted and because it was so genuinely said, it felt so great and so huge to hear. And I wasn't all glamorous right then either. I had my hair in a ponytail, no makeup and was wearing old tennis shoes, dirty green capris and a t-shirt - garden work clothes.

To look good even in my children's eyes is huge - especially a teenager's eyes.

Stats for 5/19/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 165.2

Friday, May 18, 2012

I am so sore!!!

I don't recall ever being this sore from bodypump. It's only my quads, but yowzers!  One month off from bodypump (and still walking and doing gardening work) and I dropped my weights 5 kg and I am still this sore! Took me a couple months to build up to that weight and one month to lose it! Not fair!

I am supposed to do bodypump tomorrow, but I think I'll dig around the yard instead, giving my sore quads a bit more rest before pushing them again. Wow!!!!

Yesterday I spent the day pulling weeds, laying out plants, trimming a few bushes and moving stuff around in the yard. Today I hope to get the huge bushes trimmed up and some brush removed. I'll make my son mow the grass (he'll love that!)

Scale was up a bit this morning, but I expect that - especially as sore as these leg muscles are - youch!!!

Not much to say today - my mind is busy at work outside - now I need to get my body out there working!

Stats for 5/19/12:

Highest weight: 275 Now: 165.6

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The scale says what????

When I went to bed last night, there was something a bit weird - scale said 166.6. It was 168.0 yesterday morning (day 2 of my cycle). To be that much lighter in the evening almost never happens, but I also knew I would see a nice number in the morning and maybe, just maybe a new low. And what did I see this morning after a really bad night of sleep? A new low. Not by much, but it said 165.0 on the dot. Woohoo!!! I never, ever drop this much this early in the cycle. What is up with that? AND I have sore leg mucles this morning from doing bodypump last night (haven't done that class in a month because of the shoulder injury). Unbelievable!!!

So, that's a nice way to start the morning and to a great way to start this cycle! My hope, my super strong desire is to NOT go over 170 this month midcycle when I get my substantial ovulation weight gain. To not get into the 170s at all would feel so freaking huge as I have been in the 170s for wayyyyyyyy too long.

Today's activities should help. Along with volunteering and putting in work hours, I will garden. I need to put out newspaper on the lawn to kill the side yard grass and to expand the area around the rocks and the front yard flower bed. I want to get to it as soon as possible so that I can get it dug up around the time my mother in law comes back from her trip. I think I'll trim up some bushes today too.

Woohoo to the scale!  I also need to add up my fitness hours. I've gotten lazy with that, but I've been working on it!

Stats for 5/17/12:

Highest weight: 275 Now: 165.0

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who knew I didn't have a round face?

The weirdest thing for me about losing this weight is discovering the me that has been under this fat all these decades. At 165 (well, now 168 with hormonal water weight), I am seeing a face I haven't seen in almost 30 years. It's aged, of course, but I was this weight about the age of 16 and even then I think my face was rounder - which makes sense because I was still growing and filling out. I was more fat then at this weight than I am now at this weight.

So, I look at myself in the mirror sometimes, and especially see it in pictures and I get a bit shocked at this long oval face. Wasn't I a round faced person? And maybe it's not a long face, but it looks long to me because it's not as wide as it used to be.

Last night my mother in law wanted to take a photo of me looking all nice. She is leaving on a trip today to go to visit family and this particular family member hasn't seen me since I weighed 265. And hasn't seen photos. She can't quite believe that I've lost all that weight that my mother in law (and this family member's son) have said I've lost. So, my mother in law wanted to take a photo of me to show how "perfect" I look now.  This is the photo she took last night (click to enlarge):

I had a spring party to go to last night for work, so it gave her a good chance to get a photo of me looking about the best I can look (and not how I normally look). I'm usually donning a pony tail and I'm without make up and in mommy clothes.

While I can step back and look at this photo and see that I look pretty good - especially when I compare to higher weights. I can even see that my face has slimmed down in the 9 pounds since the latest profile shot was taken (174 there and 165 here). However, I can also nitpick. I see that I can still see the sock lines on my ankles (holding water - those lines were still visible 5 hours later!). I can see my arms have fat (which is a lot of loose skin too) and my tummy isn't flat (and again, a lot of it is loose skin) and my waist isn't as defined as I would like it to be. Look how I can find flaws SOOOOO easily! Much more easily than finding positives and I know I'm not unusually in doing that to myself either!

The positives I see are: I have thin ankles, I do have a shape, I look natural, and I look better than when I weighed more. And yes, my face is thin - and less round than I thought!

Wondering what toning up will do for me and how much the extra skin will 'defat' as I go along with this journey.

Stats for 5/16/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.0

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finishing up and the bod pod

Well, today is Day 1 of a new monthly cycle for me and I'm going to do everything in my power to make this month count. If I exercise regularly, eating under and eat well, I could lose the last 5 pounds to goal. I can do it - this - month. Do you know how exciting that is for me? To be really at a goal weight? Not just at a "let's see when I get there if I want to lose more" weight? It feels SO GOOD! I'm ready for maintenance. It's not much different than now, but it will be less days of going to bed slightly hungry. It will be eating at 1800 calories a day versus 1500 and so on. Same exercise. Same kinds of foods, just a little bit - a tiny bit of more calories.

This month is a good month to push for it too. I have tons of gardening to do. Tons of painting in the house to do and with the weather getting warmer, my appetite gets suppressed. Plus, whatever was ailing my neck/shoulder seems to be gone or better, so there's nothing holding me back at all. I can do this!!!

And I'm so super curious how my weight will go from there. Will it stay flat? Will it drop lower? Will I find it hard to maintain? And then, I'll need to ask myself, "How much flex pounds am I giving myself?" Will it be 160-165? Or, 155-160? I really don't know! I have to figure it out when I get there.

Another thing I want to do is to get my body fat tested with the bod pod. I just saw that on July 7th at one of the gyms with our membership that they have testing for $55. That's the best price I've seen and then I'll know, as accurately as it's possible to know how much fat I have on my body. Then I can work on that from there on (as I'm sure I'll need to lose more fat).  That gives me a bit under 2 months to firm up a bit more and even more reason to drop those few extra pounds before testing. I want to give it my best shot!!!

Wow... I can really almost touch the finish line now. 5.2 more pounds! Funny that I realllllly wanted to get to 165.0 this month and ended up at 165.2, but that .2 is mostly irrelevant. I just need to focus. Really focus and not get disappointed if it takes a bit longer, but realize that it's there, close and attainable!

Stats for 5/15/12:

Highest Weight: 275  Now: 167.0

Monday, May 14, 2012

My mess of a flowerbed is my exercise

For two days in a row this weekend I spent 2 hours digging and pulling weed barrier out of my garden. And, I didn't get sore muscles from doing that. This wasn't sifting through a little bit of mulch to get to a single layer of barrier. No, it was three layers of weed barrier.

The first layer was pretty easy to get to as it wasn't under much. But even by the second layer, I now had piles of dirt I had to move and now more damp dirt to remove off of that.

The worst layer, naturally, was the bottom layer. Now I had two layers of dirt in piles to move off the 3rd layer and there was a lot of dirt and big wood chips (getting old and moist) on that one. It is much harder to shovel wood chips than dirt mixed with mulch.

Add to that, over time (as I'm sure this was done over a 10-20 year time span) roots had managed to penetrate between layers and through some - big roots especially. What a freaking pain in the butt!

But, after 4 hours, I think, think I have all of it! Maybe... Ugh! There are three pieces of weed barrier, the very, very bottom that is stuck under/within the rhododendron plant and a big azalea plant, I'll just trim those pieces of fabric up and deal with them if I ever have to pull out those bushes (which I hope is never).

But... to show my work. Here's how it looked before I started digging. These were actually taken last year, but it looked the same as now - pretty much - just doesn't show the tipped over timbers, but it does show the eroding mulch/soil off the weed barrier even before the timbers fell over. Over time, They just piled up too much mulch and barrier to be supported properly and it had no plants for most of the garden to hold down the mulch in the front. It was naked the front half. All that is there midday forward is what I added last spring.

Now, after all my digging:

And here is the pile of weed barrier:

I'm realizing now too, that some plants were choked because of the weed barrier. Roots weren't able to fill out properly and so on. No wonder the azaleas that the owner planted just before selling aren't flourishing, they were too confined.

Now to move all that extra dirt to low parts in the yard. I don't know how any of the perennials I planted last year will survive all this stress, but they weren't in good shape the way it was either. You can see a couple peonies in there trying to grow.

But I have hope. These are the peonies I planted last spring in the front yard. Gorgeous on Mother's Day yesterday:

So, this will be the kind of stuff I will be doing for exercise for the next few weeks. That and painting in the house. No need for the gym when I'm active in other ways!

Stats for 5/14/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 166

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ah Mother's Day

Sundays are my busiest days because of teaching Sunday school. This Sunday was extra busy because of Mother's Day.  I made sure my youngest son made something for my mother in law. I had all the kids of Sunday School give handmade cards and flowers to the Moms at the Ethical Society platform today. Then it was grocery shopping, driving back home and more gardening, dinner, planning more of our vacation and now my husband is putting the 7 year old to bed.

Funny how even on a day that's supposed to be special for me (and for so many other moms) we are still doing for others - like Mom's needing to do something for their moms and so on - and grandkids doing something for grandma... Not much of a break for many moms I know!

Today I did manage to get out the rest of the awful weed barrier from the flower bed to the side of the house. Oh. my. goodness. That was a lot of work and there is stil so much to be done. I haven't even redistributed all the dirt yet! That will take another day or two. There's probably 6 inches of dirt too much all over that flower bed. What a disaster!

Eating, I did too much of it today and it's because I've had too little sleep for too many days in a row. Those cookies are mighty tempting when I need energy.  And today because of the pizza yesterday the scale was up and will probably be up again tomorrow with the cookies today. Oh well. I can just do better tomorrow.

Very tired right now, but glad to get a couple more hours in on the garden. That is hard, hard, heavy work. I had no sore muscles this morning though! Tonight I have one muscle tightening up on me, but that's it. Being more fit does help with all of that!

Stats for 5/13/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 165.8

Saturday, May 12, 2012

One very exhausted but happy Melissa

The scale this morning, miraculously was lower again this morning. I guess it's not miraculous as this is the time of the month that I see losses, but I'm seeing more of a loss than I expected. I said to myself and a few other places that I would be so happy if I got to 165 (point zero) this month. No, not happy, ecstatic, and this morning  got terribly close. As my husband has said before, "if you just spit enough, you can lose .2 pounds". Joking of course but have you ever measured/weighed a bit under 3 ounces? It isn't much!

This morning and early afternoon I had orientation for my new job. When I was done with that I went to the grocery store to get stuff for Mother's day for my other job and then got to work in the garden - finally. I dug and pulled for 2 hours straight.

The previous owner had created quite a nightmare situation with the side yard. She had put down a weed barrier over the clay and put up timbers as a border. Then, probably when the weeds weren't staying away, she put down another layer of weed barrier over the first, and over many layers of amended soil and mulch. Then, again, another layer. Three layers of weed barrier and in between, layers of heavy dirt.

In between the bottom layer and the middle layer, roots had started to grow through and between, making it that much harder to pull up and of course, it's heavy with all that dirt and I have to keep shoveling and pushing it aside to expose the fabric.

The whole situation was ludicrous really. It's like putting three patches on a leak on a tire - you aren't solving the problem and eventually, you'll need to just fix the tire, or in this case, clear the flower bed and start fresh.

So, I discovered this disaster with the flower bed last summer when I tried to plant a few perennials. I had weeded it and started to dig. I had no idea of the weed barrier as all the weeds on top were just little things. But, when I tried to dig a hole, I got one, then two, then three layers to cut through. What??? And of course, I had gotten perennials so that I could get the area to eventually fill in. How could it fill in with even a single layer of weed barrier?  I was too tired last year from already doing a ton of work in the yard, so I said, "next year." Guess what? It's next year! And that's where I'm starting even though it's where I don't even want to be.

When we moved in, this flower bed was naked - huge and naked with a few humongous plants in the back  - a very old rhododendron and some evergreen bush and on the fence, a very old vining rose. The shape of the flower bed is kind of like the shape of a trapezoid. It's roughly 40 feet long at the longest and 30 feet long at the shortest and then about 15 feet deep. It's BIG. Now, imagine 3 layers of weed barrier to be lifted out of there with probably a total of 5 inches of soil to be removed to get to all of it. It's not fun.

That 'hill' of a flower bed has too much dirt with all these ridiculous layers and last year in a torrential rain, the timbers tipped over on it's side and now even more of it is eroding away and exposing the layers of fabric. Ugh. I've decided that once I remove all this darn fabric, I will transfer some of this soil to the area just near it where the roots of the old, dead pine tree (already cut down)  are all exposed in the yard. You can't mow there. Nothing grows there and it's lower than the rest of the yard. So, I'll start to fill it in.

Sound like a lot of work?? Sure is, but it will be worth it.

Today I removed about 2/3s of the fabric (I think). I so wanted to get it all done, but my husband made me come in and eat - meanie!

Wonder how much 2 hours of that burned for calories? I hope a lot - because I'm tired. However, I still had to make dinner, do dishes and now make cookies for tomorrow... I'll try to stay out of the batter. I would love to see165.0 on the scale tomorrow and I can't see that if I eat cookie dough! That SHOULD be enough to keep me out of the batter. We'll see!

Stats for 5/12/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 165.2

Friday, May 11, 2012

90, 100 or 110 pounds lost from previous highs

Today I stepped on the scale and kind of looked in disbelief at the scale. 165.6. That is to the ounce 90 pounds less than I weighed when I started on this journey in January 2011. It is 100 pounds less from when we moved here two and a half years ago and and it is 110 pounds from my all time high.

And (too much information here), I hadn't gone to the bathroom for over 3 days which is normal for me, but even with a full gut, pretty obviously, the scale has been dropping.

These pounds were very hard fought. I had gotten down to 171 in mid December, then gained over the holidays which go through January 8th for our family. I then had to relose that 5-8 pounds of holiday fat. Then I got down a bit and then was stuck the last two months at 168 point something. So, to finally, finally see the scale moving pretty significantly for where I am in this weight loss journey, it's feeling pretty huge.

My end goal is only in 5.6 pounds. I could, if I were stupid, just stop eating and lose those 5 pounds in a week. That it's even possible to do that shows me how close I am to the end goal.  Will 160 be where I stop? I have no idea, because I'm not going to start eating more and pig out at 160. I'll keep being active and keep eating right and just see where the scale settles.  Even for body fat percentage, it's consistently giving me around 26% on the scale we have - which I know isn't accurate,  but a rough estimate. But what is clear is that I'm no longer tubby.

I will probably drop one more pant size as my 10s are beginning to feel looser and I have a couple 8s that fit me fine and a couple that I've tried that were a bit snug. With more fitness and a bit more weight loss, I could probably comfortably fit in an 8. That's equivalent (by my rough memory) about what used to be a size 12 or 14 in high school. I had to move up to 16s just as I was graduating and weighed 179 (in clothes, no shoes).

I'm not tiny and never will be tiny, but I'm getting lean - with lots and lots and lots of loose skin issues. But it's worth the extra skin to be healthy and fit and to have energy. Over time we'll see how much it shrinks up (or not). But regaining just isn't even a possibility and really, if I've been able to keep at this for 16 months, and even let myself have treats over the holidays, and relost that holiday weight, and dealt with a couple minor injuries that kept me from exercising - I feel pretty confident at keeping that weight off. I know how to maintain now. I know portion control. I know how movement is my friend. I think I will be successful at keeping the weight off.  To hell with statistics.

Anyway... a pretty big milestone today! 90 pounds since this effort, 100 since we moved here, 110 from my highest weight ever. 5.6 pounds to go!!!

Highest weight: 275  Now: 165.6

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Major scale and non scale victories today!

And I'm not sure which I'm more excited about!

First, when I stepped on the scale today I saw 166. Yes, it was 166.8, but it was 166. I checked it three times! Finally, finally the scale is moving! Yay! These are numbers I've never seen on a scale- ever. We didn't own a scale at home growing up, so my weight wouldn't get checked often. So, I was either below them in early high school when I was still growing, or I was already over this weight. So these are new numbers for me  to see - ever  - in my life.

But the non scale victory felt even more huge.

This afternoon I took my younger son to the pool to practice for his swimming lesson. His lesson is a very short 10 minutes, so getting some practice time in between is crucial. With our busy week, I haven't been able to go until this afternoon.

So, we were practicing bobs (calling them Jack in the Bobs) and pushing off the side and sticking our faces in the water and so on. Then, finally we moved on to floating on our backs. Amazingly, he took right to it, but I still wanted to show him how I did the back float. I went to float and I couldn't float! My legs sank like lead! I was somewhat shocked. I'm in the pool every summer. I know how to swim very well and I've always been able to float. But now? My boobs and shoulders stayed up, but my feet sank straight to the floor of the pool and not very slowly. Like pretty quickly! I tried again and again. I had to kick pretty constantly to keep up! Wow!!!

Last summer when I had already lost a ton of weight (like 40-50 pounds) I still floated easily. I could float for hours I had so much fat. I didn't need any kicking or hand movements to keep up.  Then I thought back to when I was much younger - way back to high school. I could still float. I remember needing to flutter my hands a bit to keep up, but I have no memory at all of sinking like that. I've watched both my husband and older son sink in the legs, but me? Never.

And then it really, really hit me. More than the number on the scale this morning. I'm really not fat any more. The scale might seem high and I might feel blubbery with loose skin, but my body composition hads definitely changed. I'm leaner now than I have ever been in my life. Amazing! And it gave me that little extra push I've been needing to just keep at it.

Stats for 5/10/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 166.8

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Dance!

I had a very successful, productive day yesterday and got some of the big decisions made for our upcoming vacation. I'm getting excited - especially after talking with my mother in law this morning who was much, much more 'normal' in her dealings. If she would just be that way more often, that would be sooooo nice.

Anyway, I got to bed late last night as my husband and I were texting about one of the places we plan to stay and so on. As always, I took my thyroid medicine with a big glass of water, stripped off my clothes and stepped on the scale before getting into pajamas and going to bed. I had been hungry yesterday and ate a bit more than usually. That seems to be the story of my life these last few weeks - eating more at maintenance and because of that, I expected it to be up over 170 by quite a bit before going to bed. I stepped on and it said 169.0. What??? So I stepped on again. Yep, 169.0. That meant for sure I would see a new low in the morning as I always lose more than a pound overnight and my current all time low is/was 168.0

I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 167.6. I wanted to kiss the scale. I even checked it twice to be sure. Finally - took 2 months, but a little creeping down on the scale is happening. The mental relief was pretty big. I couldn't believe last month that I didn't lose a thing, but I guess I should expect that now - slow, slow, slow losses.

Now I'm hoping I'll see a bit more as I'm still in my whoosh part of the month. My excitement to get to 165 would not be containable I think. You might hear me at least to Virginia whooping it up!  No pressure on myself or anything, but it felt great to see a new low after so very, very long.

Highest weight: 275  Now: 167.6

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

So my stress continues!

Now that we finally got our tickets ordered, we have to get the rest planned. Last night I got really scared when I started looking for apartment rentals in two touristy cities in Croatia. Two months to go and a lot of things are filled up. Panic!!! So, I emailed 68 places for the main tourist attraction (Dubrovnik) and 15 of the other (Biograd).

This morning I had about 30 responses and thankfully 2/3s of them are workable - but then there is figuring out if it would work for us. And you have to look closely. Like two or three sounded perfect. Even the pictures looked great,  but then you realize there is no living room. One place had three bedrooms with two twin beds in each and then a single bathroom and a teeny kitchen that could seat two - that's it. No sofas. No side chairs. It really is a place to sleep and have coffee and leave for the day. That might work for singles or young couples, but for kids and senior citizens, it's not going to work. One was so bad that the kitchen was in the bedroom - if you can call it a kitchen with a miniature sink, a single cooking burner and one cabinet - no fridge. Those rent for about $150 a night.

Of course, we could go all luxury and it would be easy, but we don't have thousands of dollars to get luxury, so... being tight on money and high on demands I spent 9 hours today sifting through all the "yes we have an apartment for your dates" as I didn't look at property details before emailing. if it had enough beds, they got shot an email. I could get picky later.

That, of course, meant that I sat on my arse all day long. Do you know you get less hungry when you barely move a muscle all day? I walked to my son's school to and from this morning, but had to drive this afternoon as it was pouring rain. This entire week is slipping away from me in regard to exercise. I'm just soooooooo busy. Doesn't help that my husband is away on a conference now and we are trying to make these arrangements via internet because at this point every day really does matter in planning. While I was researching apartments - one of the nicer possibilities got booked. Eek!

But I'm doing well otherwise. My shoulder was giving me twinges last night - even hurting me a bit while I was sleeping so it might not be as OK as I am thinking it is, but it's been fine with mowing and hauling bedding plants. I HOPE really hope to get to gardening this upcoming week when things quiet down a bit. Of course, I'm also starting a part-time job, so wow... time just got crunched some more!

Glad to see I was out of the 170s again!

Stats for 5/8/12:

Highest weight: 275   Now: 169.6

Monday, May 7, 2012

Could life be any more stressful?

This weekend started out bad and ended bad and OMG... I want a do-over to try to make it better! Eating was OK, even movement was OK, but the rest??? Eeek!!!

I won't go into huge details, but it first was my older son being totally disorganized about a competition he needed to go to for his school's robotics team. Then my husband who decided this weekend was the weekend he needed to get to Best Buy to recycle all our old electronics, which left me alone, again to deal with our meadow of a lawn.

Sunday started good, but it's busy as always since I teach Sunday School. Even the afternoon was OK, but at 8 pm my husband said it's time to order our tickets for our trip to Croatia. He had been waiting for like a month for his mother to finalize plans and we had to do it - then and there.

Well, it's complicated. We first have to go to Zagreb as my mother has business to do and to make it more complicated, she doesn't want to go early without us to do it, so we all have to be dragged there. Then there's the ordeal of renting a car and where to return it and figuring out ferries and so on and then flying out of where - back up to Zagreb, or from Dubrovnik.

We finally got that all set about 10 pm when my husband about lost it because now, with waiting on my mother in law for a month, prices have gone up - a lot. Our first look for our ideal days there? $3888.00 per ticket!!! Um, no!!! So, he starts looking up things on his laptop. I start looking up things on my iPad and little by little we find better things by going through airlines directly (last month going through airlines was more expensive).

In the middle of all this my teen did something super obnoxious which set my husband off and that set us all off - we are NOT a hot-headed family, but you wouldn't know it from last night! It all calmed down and we got back to work... in the end - after midnight we got the plans for flights mostly wrapped up. Tickets, including tax and insurance are $1533 each for a total of $7666. That's just our flights.

It gets more stressful because my mother in law is insisting on so many irrational things - like making my husband (and the rest of us) go with her to the bank and her family's grave for business. My husband tried to convince her to go a few days early, but no.  Then she thinks we only need one cell phone because we'll always be together. That she can drive (she's turning 77 when we are there and she is afraid to drive here and hasn't driven there in over a decade. Um, no!) and that she thinks she can walk and keep up with us all day when she's tired here after one mile.

She has this image of this vacation that is completely unrealistic - one big happy family - all together for 24 days. She will be sharing a bed with our teen this entire time. How happy do you think our nearly 16 year old son feels about that? She has visions of our 7 year old talking Croatian and playing with other kids and swimming at the sea. This boy has Asperger's, is still learning to swim and while he understands Croatian, he doesn't speak it.

And do you think we will all find the same things interesting? All three generations ranging from 77 years old to 7 years old?

I'm so stressed about this vacation. The last two trips we took to Croatia - 6 and 9 years ago were disasterous because of family (old people) insisting on things. We were trapped for 1-2 weeks with nothing to do and no way to escape. We don't want that to happen this time and I'm afraid it will. And of course, the expense is so huge that you feel it triple effect if you have a bad time - it's an expensive trip and one we can only afford every few years.

So, I'm a nervous wreck.

I haven't turned to food though. And I walked my son to school today and will walk a couple more times today. It helps, but I can feel the stress coursing through my body. Now to arrange the car, the hotels, the apartments and so on. And luggage - OMG... for five people for 24 days? When we also need to take beach towels???? and fit all of it in a rental car? We're buying a roof bag, but still. I'm imagining the job I'll have with all of that too as you know all of that organizational stuff fulls to the woman typically and that's me for the 4 of us (MIL can deal with her own). ACK!!!

So, that's my weekend. Can I have a weekend from my weekend now please? I need a vacation... Oh wait...

Stats for 5/7/12:

Highest weight: 275   Now: 171.4

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Last year at this time gardening was the biggest loser

We moved to our house 2.5 years ago. The first year we concentrated on getting the inside fixed up (and it desperately needed it) and then last spring I got to working in the yard, which was basically a clean slate and it's pretty big for a city yard - a third of an acre.

While I got a lot done last year and I'm seeing a lot of the pretties in the yard from all that work, I already detailed how much more needs to be done - a lot. So, I went to the nursery last night with Henry and stocked up on more pretties - some annuals for the bazillion of pots and planters I have and perennials for the ground. I know I'll need more, but one thousand projects at once, not ten thousand.

I am actually looking forward to getting out there and digging in the dirt and last year's efforts led to the biggest/fastest losses on the scale I have seen in this journey. Why? Well, gardening is hard work - digging, pulling, stooping, pushing, shoving, lifting, hauling, etc. And you don't just garden for an hour like when you go to the gym to exercise. No, you garden all day long and when you have a yard like mine that needs a lot of work? You have weeks of such work in store and that burns a lot of calories.

I was listening one day on NPR about how the American lifestyle has changed dramatically over the last 100 years and with that our caloric intake. In a mostly agricultural society, people worried about how to get enough calories into the body. An average man in a day needed more than 3500 calories just to break even and a woman not much less. Their foods were full of fat as fats are calorie dense. Whereas today, an average man needs about 2000 calories a day if he sits in front of a computer all day and he's concerned about reducing calories - not increasing them. The difference is the activity level.

So, last year I spent about 4-5 weeks in the garden and that month I saw my biggest drop on the scale. Being hot and working hard suppresses my appetite, so I didn't eat a lot more and I was burning off a ton of calories from working all day in the dirt. My hope is this spring I'll see similar results. I'll take five pounds in a month now instead of the 14-15 I had then... less to lose now, of course.

With that, I'm off. The front of my garage looks like a miniature nursery full of beautiful flowers. Can't wait to start digging! Unfortunately, I need to mow too... grrr...

Stats for 5/5/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172

Friday, May 4, 2012

Finally have the gumption to get my house in complete order

I don't know what snapped, but I just got this sudden urge to clean my house top to bottom and to get it all together - finally. Maybe it's because I let it get to a state I never let it get to - complete disorder. Or something. So, forget the gym for the most part for the next 6 weeks. I truly am going to be working my butt off around the house getting these projects done.

I said about 6 weeks ago that I was going to do this and then I didn't, but this time I've already started. Started on May 1st actually - I cleaned the refrigerator and picked up the living room.  May 2nd, I sorted through my clothes and my 7 year old's clothes and got the too big for me and too small for him out of the house and hung and put away all the right sized clothes. Yesterday I vacuumed the living room and kitchen and baked up a storm. Today I'm going to mop the kitchen and entryway (it's a BIG area) and dust the main level and finish cleaning out my room which has become the resting spot of a lot of odds and ends and out of season bedding.

And today I'm going to detail out what I plan to do on a day to day basis. I will have to keep it fairly flexible as I will have the unplanned for things - like not knowing what day for sure will be best for mowing or gardening (as that is part of the 'get it together' plan too) and my time will be eaten up a bit too for various things, including my two part-time jobs.

Have I mentioned I got a new job? I had one really part-time small job and now I am picking up 20 hours a week, working from home. And I'm very excited about it. It will work great with my kid's schedule and with the upcoming summer activities as I can mostly work when I have the time to work - could be 7 am or midnight and that is awesome! I love that!

But, it does take a big chunk of my time, on average, 4 hours a day M-F and since Sunday's are pretty much eaten by my other part-time job (until mid June), it will probably be mostly M-F.

As always, I find I budget my time better when I have more restrictions of how much time I have. If you say I have 3 months to get something  inane done, I will have every intention of getting it done soon and quickly, but... I might start it, but will probably drag my feet with it. Well, if it's something I need to have done for home/myself. If it's for someone else, I usually get it done right away as I don't want people waiting on me.

So, now that I have less time to work with, I am finally getting to work on the remaining things that need done in the house. Today I will work on a plan of what projects to do when and will detail them here and maybe even take progress photos of my work as I need to feel some sense of accomplishment, right?

Already my plans for today are foiled. I planned to mow - weather isn't cooperating. So, indoor work it will be and there's definitely enough of it around too! Too much of it actually which is why I need to plan it out. And it will include a lot of decluttering. 2.5 years here and we've already accumulated clutter and I hate clutter!

May the Fourth be with me!

Scale is sky high with ovulation gain. Let's hope it takes the hint and goes away soon!

Stats for 5/4/12:

Highest weight: 275 Now: 173
Total hours exercised in 2012: 81/250

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sorting through clothes and more on loose skin

I have been living out of laundry baskets again for weeks and weeks as I hadn't gotten to sorting out the too big with the new "just rights".

Yesterday, I went through everything and it was so odd taking out dresses that I got last summer that I felt so good to be able to wear. They are all now way too big - size 14. I'm now in a 10 dress (and probably won't go smaller because of the rib cage size and breast size).  I'm not sure what to do with them yet. I might have them altered. I'll see. They were worn once or twice and are not unwearable for the opposite reason things usually got unwearable.

And what I'm putting in my wardrobe now are probably going to stay for awhile as I don't see my size changing too much from here on out and I like that. I like the clothes I have now and I like how I look in clothes. More than anything, I'll be curious how my body will change/morph as I continue on with getting more fit. Will it change? Will it stay about the same? It's all uncharted territory. I've never been this fit/active for this long before.

Just yesterday I pulled on a size 8 pair of shorts. They were 'slightly' snug - ever so slightly and I told my husband that they made me look smaller. He said they only made me look smaller because I'm fit. If I were flabby, it would make me look bigger. And he's right. I'm just not flabby any more.

Well, I am flabby, but it's loose skin flabby. I see more and more how much loose skin I have. My neck, my arms, my tummy, my thighs. WHile I've shrunk considerably, I wonder how much extra size I have just from loose skin.

A lady on the weight loss forum I read just had an apron of loose skin removed. She had lost over 200 pounds and looked great, but had a lot of loose skin. Now with it removed, she has dropped a couple pant sizes and I'm sure she's not even done swelling yet and will drop even smaller.

In the size 8s yesterday, they fit great, but I could see the loose skin was the part that was making them fit a bit tight. We'll just see with time how much it shrinks up or if I'll just have that from now on.

I read all the time of obese women worrying about loose skin, but good grief, loose skin is ever so much better than being fat. In every way! So why do we worry about it so much??? While I hate it, yes, I wouldn't get fat again to be rid of it. NO WAY!!! I just wish I didn't have a forever reminder of my bad food and lifestyle choices. But if it's only loose skin and no health side effects? I'll take the loose skin.

And when I get to goal. I WILL post photos - the good and the bad and the ugly. Don't have any before photos of bad skin, but it wasn't pretty!

Stats for 5/3/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172.4

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Changed my end goal weight again

I was vainly trying to get to 100 pounds lost for this final leg of the journey - 255 in January 2011 to 155 this summer some time which would be a 120 pound total loss.

However, what I'm realizing is that 155 might be a lofty goal. Maybe if I were training for a marathon or something I might see it, but otherwise, those days of being that thin are gone. I don't want to train 2-3 hours a day to hit a magical number on the scale.

It was my husband who finally convinced me that 160 was a more realistic goal and it is the number my doctors gave me years ago as my ideal weight for my frame size, so, I'll shoot for that. It doesn't seem impossible either and really, the 155 was beginning to feel impossible as slowly as this last bit of weight is taking to come off. I have to remember, I'm 42 years old. I have a large frame. I am large chested and I have loose skin (which also adds weight). My body fat percentage will probably fall below 25% around then too. 160 is fine.

I think where I am now with my weight loss is slowly hitting my maintenance level. I "might" get a whoosh at some point if I really push for it, but with normal activity and eating around 1400-1500 calories a day, I'm finding my body is pretty comfortable around this weight and I'm not willing to eat less as then I'm too hungry and might end up binging.

And, its' all fluid. I might find over time I drop to below 160 as I won't do anything to stop losing weight - where my body settles it where it settles with normal eating and activity.

For now it does my mental health good to see 160. It feels reachable.

Trying bodypump and bodystep combo tonight! Wish me luck!!!

Stats for 5/2/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 171.0

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Took a walk with 50 first graders yesterday

And that was the longest walk around the lake I've ever taken. It really was like herding cats - even with 7 adults walking along with! Wow! We started and stopped so many times it was hard to call it a walk. The kids were pushing each other down the hills (had to stop to stop that behavior), they would jump on any wall or bench we passed (teachers had to stop that too) and so on.

Fortunately, many of our stops were for educational purposes too. They were all excited to see the machine dredging the lake and the pipes leading to the dredging machine. They like seeing the ducks and ducklings and the geese and goslings (and they were NEW goslings) and they even got to see the heron a couple times.

What was amazing was how exhausted these kids were at the end of the walk. It's about 1.4 miles from there school all the way around and back. And, it is true, the last part is all uphill, but really? 6 and 7 year olds tired?  And the saddest part (goes with what I was saying about why we are so obese as a nation) is that all these kids live near this lake - every single one of them. Yet, many of them have only been to this lake once before  - for last year's walk around the lake. Really? There are playgrounds near the lake, a shaded paved path all around the lake. There's always wildlife to see and always other people walking around and they never go?

I would like to give the benefit of the doubt that maybe they are being active in other ways and a few are with ballet and dance and TaeKwonDo, but most? Nope. They are sitting at home playing games. They write about them in writing time when I volunteer - new games, all the time.  And I just have to shake my head. 

Yesterday I added 4 miles to my walking totals and all of it from utilitarian walking. It adds up fast!

Stats for 5/1/12:
Highest weight: 275 Now: 172
Total hours exercised in 2012: 80/250

And, today is measurements day!!! Well, again, I barely have anything - not enough to record. I think my measurements are SLIGHTLY smaller this month than the last two, but like a 1/4 inch in the waist, chest and hips. Not enough to record.

Lastly, a quick thank you to my readers. Last month I topped over the 2500 post reads for the month for the first time. I ended at 2681. In March I ended at 2495. I'll try to keep it interesting and hopefully will be adding some more weight loss soon!