And Here. We. Go. Again!

A lot of things have happened in the past week that got me to this point.

That was hoaky. Everything that happens gets you to the next point, right?

What I’m saying is that this is a very special moment in history. I have a weight-loss cycle. It’s something I could set my clock by. And I’ve broken this cycle for the first time EVER. So let’s just rehash what has been happening in my life to get me here.

Normally, I get all gung-ho about losing weight. I change my eating habits and I lose weight and all is great. And then something happens in my life that causes me to break my stride and I fall off the wagon and I muddle around in the mud until I’ve gained everything back. I lose all desire to better myself. I downright wallow in how horrible I am for having come so far and then failing again.

So…that’s where I’ve been. Wallowing in the mud.

But a few things have happened that have pulled me out of that gunk and placed me squarely back on solid ground. Continue reading “And Here. We. Go. Again!”

Sunday Update: Ch-ch-changes Edition

Hello, my lovelies! The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Instead, I have been outrageously busy with life, then I managed to have three days after Thanksgiving wherein nothing was expected of me, so I kind of hid from the world and hung out with my kids.

There has been SO MUCH going on! Work is crazy, life outside of that is NUTS, and I have made drastic changes as to how I log my food.

One thing at a time.

At work, we are preparing for the next semester. Working in a college store at this time of year is quite hectic. Personally, we cleaned the house and prepped for hosting Thanksgiving dinner. It was divine! I made all of this:

IMG_1720Well, I made most of it. From top left to bottom right:

  • My seven year old’s FAMOUS Oreo Cookie Fluff
  • Canned, jellied, cheaply GLORIOUS cranberry sauce (it’s tradition…I eat it once a year)
  • My sister-in-law’s pineapple upside-down cake
  • My Jiffy Corn Casserole
  • Stove Top cornbread stuffing (another tradition)
  • My mashed potatoes made with cream cheese and vegetable stock
  • My green bean casserole (my niece lives for this)
  • And my turkey. All 18 pounds of it

Most years, I go over the top and come up with all kinds of new recipes tossed in with old favorites, but this year we decided to keep it simple. And yes, while I am a “foodie” and cook all kinds of crazy recipes all the time, there are two things I will never make and never change. We HAVE to have canned, jellied cranberry sauce, and the stuffing HAS to be Stove Top cornbread. Even if I become a millionaire someday, these two things will always be on my Thanksgiving table.

Just before the holiday, I made a huge change in the way I log my food. The more I thought about it, the more upset I got that I was spending $20 per month on my Weight Watchers account, but less than half of the foods I would scan were in their database; and I was spending more and more time putting things in via the calculator. And then they changed things up so that recipes I created on my phone app didn’t show on their website. I was not losing any weight…just gaining and losing the same little bit. I was not happy with how things were going. I also realized that this program really wasn’t teaching me how to eat like a normal person without food issues, which is my ultimate goal. It was teaching me to be dependent on their program.

So, I went in search of something that could be a better fit. I knew that I didn’t want to use MyFitnessPal. I had used it in the past and I cannot explain to you why, per-say, I dislike it, but I do. I spent a bit of time looking around, and I found it. I found the program I am going to be following.

Lose It! is where it’s at, people. I. Love. This. Program.

The website is amazing, the app does everything I want it to, and they have a WordPress blog! Also, you get a full year of premium goodies for just $40. Score!

I was so excited about this find, I Tweeted about it, and I got a few responses:

So then this happened:

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Oh, and there’s that. It’s so ORANGE! It makes me deliriously happy every time I open it. I was officially in love, so I bit the bullet:

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I really enjoy this program. You can link it to other apps:

(I love that I can link it to my Walgreens account.)

The interface is very user-friendly:

Okay, enough with the gushing. In the first week of using it, I lost two pounds! And I feel this huge stress ball has been lifted from my shoulders. I feel like I am now free to chose healthy options (better than what I ate on that first day) and it breaks down what I’ve eaten and what all was in it. I am learning about food. There are tons of articles that pertain to me. There are charts out the wazoo, and I love that! Also, when I scan something, it has always been in the database. In fact, I am blown away by the extensive database they have!

OH! And when you upgrade to premium, you get to set personal goals beyond how many calories you consume and how much weight you want to lose. I can now use the app to set a goal of how much of my diet I want to consist of carbs and fat, and I can log my water. It’s fantastic!

I promise…this is not a commercial. They aren’t paying me anything to write about it. That would be a horrible misuse of their marketing budget.

So, out with the #weightwatchers and in with the #loseit

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Weekend Update with Tanjalin

Before I say anything else, I have to let the world know that I am an aunt again! My baby sister (28…such a baby!) gave birth to my gorgeous niece, Lydia Wednesday, whom I refer to as Cheesecake, on Saturday evening. My sister, unfortunately, lives in California, and I live in Iowa. But we were able to Skype last night and I got to hear Lydia cry and she’s just so beautiful! Here’s proof:

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Ugh! I cannot get over how utterly gorgeous this baby is! I wish I could hold her. I’m so excited to have her in our lives.

In other news, my eating is slowly getting better. I really don’t realize why I keep having problems. I just need to buckle down. Because of that cute baby up there, I’m going to focus on the positives:

  • I went out to a fish place for my father-in-law’s birthday. Everything there is battered and fried. Instead of getting the two-piece carp dinner (pictured here:)
    o
    with coleslaw and potato wedges, I got one piece of carp (which turned out to be perfectly cooked…no greasy taste, light breading and ultra-tender fish) and split an order of fries with my two youngest kids. I did eat some coleslaw, but it was in a dinky cup. And I drank water!
  • On Sunday, I made crockpot chili. I got the seasoning packets at the store, then added 1 pound of lean ground beef and 1 pound of lean ground turkey, one onion, two cans of diced tomatoes, one can each of light and dark kidney beans and (after this picture was taken) some frozen corn. It turned out to be 5 Weight Watchers points per fairly hefty bowl, and it was DELICIOUS.
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Here are things I want to work on this week, because I do best when I write out my goals:

  1. Drink my water! Seriously, why has this become so hard?
  2. No fried foods. Zero.
  3. Log my food points. The weekends somehow make it so easy to just think, “Oh, I know how many points I’ve consumed today…I’m good.” And then you realize after dinner that you ate some pretzels earlier in the day that make it so you’re not actually good.
  4. Start reading, “How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too” because it’s only been on my Kindle for about a year now.
  5. Come up with more goals by next Monday.

Bonus Wednesday Post – Sunshine Blogger Award!

Since starting this blog, I have had a few constant commenting readers who really have helped me feel a sense of camaraderie and understanding. The amazing woman behind the Nerd On a Diet Blog (what is your name, or shall I just call you Nerd?) has been one of those people, and her blog posts are AMAZINGLY entertaining. Back when her blog was known as “Visual Daily Menu”, she had a post titled “Diet Fail” that literally had me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I’m hoping to one day become friends with her, because she’s JUST that cool.

Anyway, she so wonderfully nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award, which even comes with a spiffy graphic:

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As Nerdy said: “The fun of this award is that it comes with questions.  I think this is a great way to share more information about me as a person with you other than just naming lists of foods that I eat!  So here we go.”

  1. Why do you blog? I have always been an oversharer. In 1999, I started a LiveJournal account, which was pretty much the Facebook of those days, and I gained some amazing friendships that I still have now. Also, I have always been a writer. When I was in high school, I was the most published student in the school’s history and I won a short story contest in the local newspaper. So at the time when I decided to start Weight Watchers, I also decided that I wanted to log my journey. I knew that I wasn’t alone out here in this world of weight loss, but I also knew that I would need to work through things and babble about zucchini recipes and no one around me wanted to listen to that. So I made my blog and whoever wants to can read it.
  2. Which of your own blog posts is your favorite? While I am, without a doubt, witty and entertaining in ALL of my blog posts (HA!), I would have to say that my favorite is Two Cents Tuesday – Hydration Edition. It’s the one and only Two Cents Tuesday post I’ve done. That reminds me. I need to do that on Tuesdays again.
  3. Which super power do you wish for? Most people would have to think about this one for a while, but not me! My seven year old son is obsessed with superheroes, so we’ve had this discussion a LOT at my house. The super power I want is the ability to bamf, which is basically teleportation, but with a neat noise and a connection back to my favorite super hero, Nightcrawler.
  4. If you had a day to yourself with no responsibilities and no financial limits, what would you do? Another one that most people would have to think about but I have already thought through extensively! You see, I work a very busy job at a college, and I have four children (three at home still), a husband, and two pet rats. That means I don’t get much time to myself. I revel in alone time. The last time I had a day to myself, I went to a little movie theater and saw Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing after taking myself out to lunch at a little restaurant. It was glorious. However, if I had one day with no financial limits, I would rent a car (something small in a fun color) and drive to Iowa City, which is about three hours from where I live. I love this city. I would eat breakfast at the Hamburg Inn No. 2, then walk over to the Haunted Bookshop and look at the books while playing with the kitties. I would go through the shops of the Ped Mall, and then spend time in a random coffee shop like the High Ground Cafe. It would be a lovely day.
  5. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Both! I’m actually a very shy person, but hardly anyone believes me. When I was in high school, I went through a life-changing Dale Carnegie course on public speaking and I learned how to fake not being shy. I then went on to perform at renaissance faires for over ten years, so I learned how to interact with people. I have spent a good deal of my life working in a retail environment, so I can’t be shy. I know how to interact with people so well that no one believes that if given the choice, I would rather stay home and not talk to people face-to-face.
  6. Are you a homebody or someone who loves to go out? I am most definitely a homebody. I live in a small town that is at least 30 minutes from anywhere worthy of going out to, so once I get home, I often have a hard time leaving the house again.
  7. What three completely impractical items would you pack for your stay on desert island? Impractical? Hmm. Art supplies, my Weeping Angel necklace (my kids gave it to me), and nail polish.
  8. What’s the weirdest thing in your purse right now? *looking* My mini tenth Doctor doll 🙂
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  9. Books or movies? BOTH! I am a big fan of escapism.
  10. Choose your (arts & crafts) weapon. Just one?!? Nothing beats a black Sharpie.
  11. What’s the dorkiest thing I can convince you to admit that you love way too much? I am such a dork/nerd/geek. And I’m proud of that. So I don’t hide many of my dorky loves very much. I am a Doctor Who, Sherlock and Supernatural fangirl to the extreme. I want to one day go out for coffee with Tobuscus and give Markiplier a hug. But, I guess if I had to admit to something I love way too much, I would have to say that I love rapping. When I was a freshman in high school, my best friend and I got kicked out of P.E. class for beatboxing (her) and rapping (me) to It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. I am 40 years old and I still rap whenever I can. I’m known for it at work. Can you call rapping dorky? I do. I love it!

I will do the second part of this nomination very soon. My battery is about to die.

Goodnight, fearless readers!

Weigh-In Wednesday – Facing the Truth

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Fact: I haven’t posted a weigh-in since two weeks ago, but I DID weigh in.

Fact: It hasn’t been pretty for the past two weeks.

Fact: Having written out those goals the other day REALLY helped.

Fact: I am so greatly and outrageously and immensely looking forward to a random mid-week day off tomorrow!

I’m going to get the stupid weigh-in over with. Because next week, it won’t matter.

Began 5.30.15
Start weight: 305
Goal weight: 175

Two weeks ago: 271.4
This week: 275.4
Difference: +4 lbs.
Total loss: -29.6 lbs.
Amount to goal: 100.4 lbs.

So basically, my whole last month was a wash. I lost 2 pounds, lost two pounds, gained two pounds and gained two pounds. That’s frustrating.

But I really REALLY need to understand that I did not get into this position overnight, and it’s not going to get fixed overnight. I did not learn these bad habits, and my anxiety disorder didn’t manifest overnight. My stress levels didn’t just go from zero to 5 million overnight.

In fact, I’m 40 years old, and I think the last time I was even remotely near a normal weight was when I was a freshman in high school. I weighed 180 pounds. It was about that time my mother put me on the Weight Watchers plan the first time. I don’t remember why it didn’t work. I do remember going to the meetings and feeling so amazing. I remember being approached by the team leader and learning that they would love me to be a team leader when I reached my goal weight. I do not remember this time of my life lasting very long. I cannot recall counting a single point. I don’t know why I stopped the plan, or why it didn’t work for me. I can imagine that what happened was that I started feeling good about myself, and my mother likely didn’t like that idea. There was probably some money emergency that came up that kept me from going. The excuses could have been anything. I wish I knew why I stopped going.

The next time I used Weight Watchers was on my own in 2000. I had a website somewhere that listed the points values for things, and I kept track of it all myself. I wound up getting down to 260 pounds by 2003. Then I met my now-husband and gained weight again. Then I got back on Weight Watchers in 2009 and I was losing quite a bit of weight. That was also the year my mother and I stopped speaking, and by the time I got pregnant with my daughter in 2010, I was back off the plan and the weight crept back up.

I would call myself a yo-yo dieter, but I never really get down low enough in weight to be the low yo part. I just go down a bit and then right back up.

The cycle is now broken. I refuse to give up.

Every day that I stay on plan is another day closer to when I will be at a healthy weight. I WILL know what that feels like. It WILL happen.

God, I want it to happen.

So…moving forward. That’s what I do.

Today’s lunch was rather simple because I had the “nothing fried” rule to follow. So I wound up eating a huge salad and some fresh fruit. It was 7 points for the meal.

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I didn’t intend to only consume 7 points worth of food. There really wasn’t anything else to eat down there. What you see: lettuce, ranch, radishes, pepperoncini, red peppers and chicken. It was delicious, but I wound up having to eat a Clif bar this afternoon because I was rearranging clothes on the sales floor and started getting light headed.

I plan to have a yummy dinner, and tomorrow I intend to take myself out for breakfast.

It’s about time to head home and make some food. I hope your Wednesday is going well.

Weekly Challenge to Get Back on Track

My weigh-in day, as you know if you follow my blog, is Wednesday. I am fully prepared for a gain this week, which does not mean that I have given myself permission to go crazy until Wednesday. I am back on plan and intend to stay that way. I have a few small changes I intend to stick to for the next week to get my brain back where it needs to be.

I think one thing I am struggling with is lunch. It used to be easy, because if I went to the cafeteria and only got a salad, it was $3.25. They changed that a few months back and now, no matter if you get the whole buffet or just the salad bar, it’s $5.25. So my messed up brain wiring started creeping in with thoughts that if I was going to pay that much, I needed to take more food. So not right.

What I really need to do is get my shit together and bring my lunch. It’s pure laziness that keeps me from doing that. So I plan to head to Pinterest and find some fun things to make. I’m also going to start Instagramming all of my meals. There’s a link to my Instagram page on the right-hand side of my blog if you’d like to follow along!

So, here are my goals for the next week, through next Wednesday:

  1. Log every morsel I put on my face. Before I eat it. Another purely lazy habit.
  2. Drink more water. I was really good about this, then I slacked. My skin reminds me daily that it misses hydration.
  3. No snacking (unless it’s fruit or veg) and nothing fried. At this point, it should be a no-brainer. Again with my mantra of, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
  4. Blog every other day.
  5. Think one nice thought about myself every day. I am so very good at self-depreciation, and I need to knock that shit off.

I continue to be very stressed at work. And at home. And on the drive to and from those locations. By next week, I intend to add in exercise and meditation.

Okay. They say you’re more apt to stick to goals that have been written down. Consider it done.

Holy Crap, I’m Self-Sabotaging!

The last three weeks have been a blur. Life has been beating me down, and I’ve been giving in to it. Today, I was smacked with the realization that I am subconsciously self-sabotaging! 

How dare you, self!

Seriously! I have worked so hard to lose the 30-some pounds that I have lost. Why the fuck would I throw that away because life is a struggle?

Did it make me feel good when I over-ate last night? No! I went to bed feeling miserable.

Did I feel some sort of victory when I opened that bag of mixed nuts and ate it without figuring out what a portion size was? No! 

Was that little bag of peanut M&M’s worth the questioning looks from co-workers who know I’m on Weight Watchers, but are afraid to call me out on my mistakes? No!

Do you know what is worth it? 

  • When someone I haven’t seen in a while tells me my pants are way too big on me and I need to think about getting new ones.
  • When my fall jacket zips OVER my hips!
  • Every single fucking time I zip up my tall boots.
  • Not having to douse myself in moisturizer because my skin isn’t parched from dehydration.
  • Having little-to-no problems with lactose-based products.
  • Not having heartburn daily anymore.
  • Putting on my matte red lipstick and getting noticed instead of hiding from the world.
  • Knowing that I could eat whatever that person just asked if I wanted, but deciding that it’s just not worth the points it would use up.
  • Not having my knee pop out of socket anymore.
  • Rethinking my winter wardrobe because all of the shirts are too baggy.
  • Craving water instead of soda.
  • Searching Pinterest for new, healthy recipes to try.
  • Blogging! For fuck’s sake, I just need to keep blogging. I have shit to work through, and holding that inside my head isn’t going to make it go away.

Bedtime is now. Tomorrow is a new day. And I’m ready to tackle it.

Small Update

I have had one helluva weekend, and I must be truthful and say that food was not my #1 priority. Thankfully, it has become second nature to eat healthy. I don’t think I’ve fallen far from the wagon, and I fully intend to hop right back on.

Saturday, I was heading in to work, driving my father-in-law’s pickup because I thought it would be easier to load with things to haul to the football game I was selling merchandise at for the college store for which I work. About three miles from home, I was going 55 mph down the highway and the left front tire flew off. Yes. The tire. Without thinking, I pulled over to the side of the road somehow while I watched the tire bullet down the opposite side of the road while two cars went by, then it crossed the road and kept going another 1/4 mile before coming to a rest in a cornfield.

No one who lived nearby was home, so I started walking. My mother-in-law picked me up after I had a mile and a half hike down the highway. That’s when it hit me that the truck really should have flipped and I should have been badly hurt. 

I got to work 30 minutes late, then worked the windiest football game in history. The tent blew over. The clothes blew off the tables. The sun beat down on us and I wound up with a sunburn in October.

I was really glad to go to bed that night. Still no idea how I made it that far in the day.

Today was my father’s birthday party, and we had a great time. I saw relatives I don’t get to see often enough. I felt pretty.

Here’s my outfit:

 
Then we started driving home, and the car overheated. We got stuck in the city for a few hours longer than we had anticipated. I’m so ducking sick of cars at this point.

When we finally got home, I found a photo from the party on Facebook. I have cropped out the other people.

 

And then the downward spiral began. I’ve lost 30 pounds. I have worked so hard to lost that weight. No one mentions that they can tell I’ve lost weight, and this picture shows me why. I don’t look like I’ve lost weight.

Yes, I still have 97 pounds to lose. I know that. Realistically, I know that my battle has just begun.

But dammit, I just want to look normal. I want to stop crying every time I see a picture of myself not taken by me.

To try and turn this weekend around, I’m going to list some of the things I’ve done right:

  • I went to a pizza party and ate one small slice of cheeseless pizza, as well as a strawberry/chicken/pecan salad that was heavenly.
  • I ate ice cream last night from a single-serving container. And it fit into my daily points. It was also heavenly. 

  • I got in a mile and a half walk!
  • I did not buy all of the dark chocolate in the store on Saturday night while grocery shopping.
  • I made teriyaki chicken breasts on Saturday night instead of eating the hindquarters the rest of the family ate.
  • I dyed my hair tonight. Next to plucking my eyebrows, little else makes me feel better about myself.

Okay. I think that’s good. I’m feeling better.

I think what really upsets me about that Facebook picture is that when I look at it, I see my mother. Nothing on earth terrifies me more than being like her. I want to lose weight so I don’t look like her. I want it so much that it’s almost all-consuming. So when I have worked this hard and have lost weight and still look like her, it’s a crushing blow.

But instead of letting it fester inside my brain, I have written it down so I can let it go and move forward.

Tomorrow is another day. Another day forward, further away from the old me. One day closer to my goal.

I refuse to give up.  

Weigh-In Wednesday – The “I’m Not Dead” Edition!

Let me start this post by saying that I’m sorry for having abandoned my blog for the past two weeks. Right before my last post, I lost my refill of my anti-anxiety medication, and I wound up going one week without it before it FINALLY was found. I will sum up the past two weeks as just saying that it wasn’t good. It was really not good. I stopped my 30 day challenges. I slowly fell apart until I was able to get back on my medication and piece myself back together.

I am happy to say that in that time, I did not waiver from my Weight Watchers plan. I kind of held on to it like a lifeline.

I feel a lot better now. And I will be back to blogging regularly. I really don’t know how else to express what I was going through.

I must also give many thanks to my sister, K, and my best friend, T, who never stopped checking in with me and gently (T) or not so gently (K) pushing me to return to my blog. In fact, when I got home yesterday, there was a package waiting for me – my sister sent me an aerobic step! I hear there may be more things coming. I can’t wait!

So…without further adieu…my weigh-in:

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Began 5.30.15
Start weight: 305
Goal weight: 175

Two weeks ago: 279
This week: 271.4
Difference: -7.6 lbs.
Total loss: -33.6 lbs.
Amount to goal: 96.4 lbs.

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I EARNED ANOTHER BEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will update more about the things that have happened in the past two weeks in another post. I want to keep that one very positive, so I’m not going to attach it to this one. It’s going to be all about motivation and where we get it and if it matters.

Talk to you soon!

Weigh-In Wednesday

wednesday

Began 5.30.15
Start weight: 305
Goal weight: 175

Last week: 281.6
This week: 279
Difference: +1 lbs.
Total loss: -26 lbs.
Amount to goal: 104 lbs.

So…I gained a pound this week. And I’ve decided to listen to my Weight Watchers app:

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I seem to have hit a bit of a plateau. I keep losing and gaining the same two pounds. I have been faithful to my challenges and I’ve stayed on plan. Actually, there were two days this past week that I ate too few points for the day…I’ve been trying my hardest to keep on top of my water. I hate it when women use this as an excuse, but my monthly womanly friend showed up the day before yesterday, so it could be linked to that.

Either way, I’m researching plateaus and how to bust through them. I’m tired of waiting for my next bead!

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