Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Gym

Some days I go to the gym and wonder who these people are who are there with me.
Who dressed them?  Is full hair and make up necessary for working out?  Should I match my shoes to my shirt or my shirt to my pants or my ponytail holder?  
I've started giving people nicknames.  Visor dude is still my favorite guy to watch.  I mean come on he matches his visor to his shoes.  I don't think he plays for the other team, but I'm married so I don't really care either way.  He just looks great for someone with 18 % body fat.

Mr MapleTan is the guy who complimented me on my fortitude. I asked him once if he'd just been someplace warm because of his tan and he said Maple Tan (the tanning salon across the street).
The Dud still works there and is late 90% of the time for his clients.  I seriously wonder how he even has clients or a job there still.  I guess people will put up with chronic lateness.
I see a lot of lonely older men some sporting wedding bands some not.  
The lady I shared a training session with once is still training and she is looking great.  Her name is Katherine and we high five each other when we meet at the treadmill. 
The Ben Affleck look alike is there everyday and I still haven't told him he looks like Ben.  

The Aqua-aerobic ladies have made some comments about how I'm looking when I'm in the locker room.  They think my headphones keep me from hearing them.  They've said things like "She is looking good, maybe I should get a trainer?" "She used to do water aerobics with us".
MrSkullCap is there with his little cap on and looking bad ass. It's kind of funny to watch him work out.  He does muscle building workouts.
CreepyGuy still stares at me or watches me workout on the machines.  

The "Girls" as I call the 2 ladies who get side by side eliptical machines and talk the whole time are there every day.  They used to talk to Chocolate MrClean, but have stopped for some odd reason.  He's a nice man who smiles and nods to others.
The 20-something girls all look the same to me.  Ponytail, t-shirt and victoria's secret sweatpants. Oh and smartphones, texting while on treadmill or eliptical machine.
I see the other overweight, middle aged women like me working hard at the machines or training with a trainer.  I know they want to tone up and get thinner just like I do.  As we age it takes a lot more work to get the layer(s) of fat off.

I had an interesting discussion with my daughter recently.  She was upset that her weight had creeped up a few pounds.  She said her pants still fit the same though.  She kept saying muscle weighs more than fat.  So I asked her "Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks?"  She thought and thought.  I think she was stalling knowing it was a trick question.  I told her a pound of feathers weighs the same as the pound of bricks. A pound is a pound no matter what it is your weighing.
I think the issue is the perception that muscle weighs more than fat is because of how our weight changes as we build muscle.
Fat tends to take up more space, it likes to spread out and get all fluffy. Muscle tends to be compact and tightens up on itself.  So when we think our weight is not changing when we've been working out or weight training it has changed.  The fluffy fat is converted to compact muscle.  The best way to tell is the tape measure or how your clothes are fitting.  

When my clothes got baggy and loose I knew I was losing fat if not pounds.  The scale went up last week, but my clothes didn't become tighter.  They fit the same as the week before.  
I see the changes in my figure too.  Many of my friends have noticed the changes too and have mentioned it.  I have to admit it does feel good to hear "You're looking great Diana".  I have been working very hard to shed this excess weight. 
I have a goal to get to and will continue to take it one day at a time until I reach it.  As I said on yesterday's blog I will not let one set back cause me to give up EVER!

Monday, February 27, 2012

OOPS....I didn't lose again

Do the numbers always reflect where we are heading?  Or even where we have been?
Friday was my worst weigh in ever!  I had planned on weighing in Saturday, but when friends invited us to a fish fry we just had to say yes.  We hadn’t seen them in weeks and knew the next few weeks would be very busy for us too.  So I knew I had to weigh in on Friday or eat very little for dinner that night and go Saturday like I had planned. 
I knew I’d be up because after being sick the week before I was eating like a binge eater.  I figured at a few pounds up, I could bounce back from that.  I almost started crying when the scale showed me up 5.2 pounds.  I was devastated and speechless. I even told the lady who weighed me I was surprised I was up that much because I knew I’d be up some.  She told me “But you came and that is what you needed to do”.  She was correct I did need to go even when I knew I’d gained.  Who would I be kidding if I just avoided the inevitable? Myself that’s who!
What would you have done?  Give up? Go eat whatever you wanted? Say to yourself “See you can’t even lose weight without blowing it, why do you even try?” Or would you do like I did and stay for the meeting and vow to not quit?
Really, who would I be if I gave up at the first set back on this journey?  I’m not a quitter so that is not an option for me.  I knew that I’d had a rough week, but I also knew I could do this Weight Watchers Points Plus Plan and keep losing weight.
I went out for the fish fry and ate until I felt full, which was a surprisingly small amount of food.  I enjoyed my meal and even ate some candy.  My husband was so sweet and supportive of me that day.  He knew I was upset with the weigh in, but he also knew I had to deal with it my way.
And do you know what happened Saturday morning when I got on the scale?  I was down 4 of those 5 pounds. I almost went to weigh in right then and there.  You see I didn’t let one little set back trash the previous 4 months of my journey.  I knew it was a blip on the radar that is my weight loss journey.  Giving up or just eating everything in sight would have been so much easier, but so unlike me.
Oh My!!!
I celebrated my sticking to it when my husband and I hosted our Murder Party Saturday night.
How to Host a Murder is a fun game/party.  The theme was “Class of ‘54” 5 year reunion.  I dressed as a 50’s housewife ala Lucille Ball.  I sewed the dress, got my hair pinned up and added the right accessories.  You can see from the picture that I had a blast and looked the part.
Life is about enjoying all the moments as well as the journey to reach the destination.  As Terri Clark’s song “Getting There” says “You want an answer as soon as you say the prayer, You want to land the moment you’re in the air, Baby the living is all in the getting there”  I like that view point because it is so very true the living is all in the journey to get there!
Tom finally found the CAKE...he loves cake!
My Best Friend and I on her 50th birthday, she doesn't look 50..geesh
The 1950's never looked so HOT!
Making my dress was so much fun!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Setting Goals

This is what true love looks like.
My goal for 2012 is to hit 199 pounds.  I know it doesn't sound like a great goal to some people, but to me it's a HUGE goal.  Just getting to change that first number to a 1 will be a dream come true.
Just 4 short years ago I topped out the scales at 267 pounds.  The highest weight I had ever been in my life.  I was happy and content with the way I looked.  People around me never made me feel that I was obese or unlikeable.  I tried out for Klondike Kate so I wasn't afraid of being teased or demeaned in anyway because of my size.  However, I did long to be healthier.  Walking around with all that extra weight was beginning to take a toll on my body.
I began with the Atkins Diet.  I focused on no carbohydrates and lots of protein.  I kept my carbs at only veggie carbs.  Yeah that worked for a while.  I got down to 217 pounds.  BUT at the cost of my health.  I ended up with an Intussusception.  It was painful and could have killed me.  The Diet didn't cause it, but it did make me resist giving it up just to keep losing the weight.
So my goal was more important than my life at one point.  In 2009 I had surgery to repair the intussusception and gave up Atkins.  I kept trying to go back to it, but my body rejected it.
Fast forward to 2011 and I'd put the weight back on.  I was at 254 pounds in April and miserable.  I just wanted to lose the weight once and for all, so the next goal was set.  Exercise!!!  
I managed to attain that goal by building up my strength and core muscles.  Today I feel much better than I did one year ago.  My balance is better and I'm not as accident prone.
When I joined Weight Watchers in October I wanted to lose 2 pounds a week.  I have since come to see that the journey to 145 is paved with .5 pound losses as well as some gains.  
I like my mini goals now.  I set my exercise goal at going to the gym to 2-5 times a week and using  the treadmill to build up from 30 minutes to 60 minutes.  
My first mini goal for weight losses has been the second number changing.  I got inspired by my trainer to get the second number to change to keep me focused on the goal.
Since joining WW I've lost 15 pounds, but it's been a journey filled with gains and losses.  A LOT of learning went into that 15 pounds.  I learned about myself too.  I know I can eat this way the rest of my life.  
My goal after reaching 145 pounds is to help other obese people know they can get healthy and reach their goals too.
However, the best goal I ever set for myself was to find a man who I could give all my love to who deserved it.  In my husband I have finally found my Soul Mate and Best Friend.  I think every woman deserves a man who can be her best friend and soul mate too.   Never settle!!!
My Soul Mate and My Valentine!!!
I joined ebates and you can too. Just click the link.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Who Changed the Rulebook?

How many times have I thought about just giving up and living with this weight?  Not as many as you’d think.
I took on this journey to succeed.  I want to reach the goal I set.  I want the VICTORY of owning my life!
No one sets out to fail at life.  I never have, have you?  I like winning just as much as the next person.  Only in this “game” there is no opposing team, unless you count fat and calories as a team against you.   My game is inside my head.  I have to fight the messages my mind likes to send to defeat me.  I can self sabotage in big or small ways.  Maybe it’s a program I grew up learning.  My reward for finishing my meal was cake, pie or cookies.  Why should I be rewarded for eating my food?  Why was there a clean plate club?  Is it because parents feel they need to force kids to eat healthy foods?  Is it perhaps because food that is healthy is not as tasty as non healthy foods? 
If you’re a parent you may remember giving your baby pureed fruits and veggies for the first time.  My babies never balked at eating squash or peas.  They happily ate whatever Mommy fed them.  As they developed more of a taste for foods they started preferring certain foods over others.  My kids ate a variety of foods growing up.  As the parent who cooked the meals, it was up to me to serve healthy foods.  I always had a veggie, meat or protein, starchy veggie and fruit.  I struggled some days to come up with something different.  I grew just as bored with Hamburger Helper as they did, but it was fast to make and left me time to make a veggie.
As my kids got older they started liking different foods. My oldest daughter would order the “Salad Bar” when we went out to dinner. She loaded her plate with veggies and jell-o.  She didn’t eat lots of dressing on her salad, oh no, she liked the pickles and olives.  She was my healthy eater. BUT she went thru a phase where she refused to eat meat.  She didn’t like the texture of the meat in her mouth.  That was rough for me as I kept trying to find what meat she would eat.  Eggs became very important.  Today she is a Mommy herself and she ate very healthy foods while she was pregnant and while nursing her son.  She had her own weight struggles, but she didn’t stress over it.  Today I look at her and feel such pride in how she lives her life on her terms and doesn’t let food become an issue for her.  What did I do right with her that I can’t do with myself?
My daughter Lizzi and my grand daughter Nevaeh
My Father, husband Thomas, youngest daughter Christina and I

Are we genetically predisposed to eating healthy?  I don’t know, but I’m thinking there has to be a gene that draws some of us to eat unhealthy foods.  I LOVE fruits, but dang it chocolate just tastes better some days.
So here I am with this food game going on in my mind and I’m on the defensive team fighting to regain control of the ball/mind.  Make no mistake, I WILL win this game.  This game is mine to win and I have the tools to make that happen.  Every day is a new beginning for me and for you.  Today I choose to get out of bed and hit the gym.  Yeah, that wasn’t easy because Arthritis has just entered MY game and wants to be in on the plays as well.  I’ve had to rewrite the rule book and some pages are missing.  I’m reworking this plan for my life and have new challenges to face, but I will face them and defeat this enemy that is body fat!
It’s okay to take a day off and reassess your goals and game plan.  Sometimes we need to look at what someone else’s play book looks like and copy what is working for them.  Other times we need to write our own plays for our game.
Today why don’t we all just make a list of what we know works and what we know failed in the past and learn from those successes and failures?  Make a new plan for our success for 2012!!!!
Diana"Me" and my Best Friend CheriAnne

Friday, February 3, 2012

Looking back. What do you see in your rearview mirror?

As I look at the past year I see so many changes in myself and in the people around me too.
My healthier outlook has been good for my psyche and my relationships.  I now view my decisions in a different light.  I think beyond just myself. I look at the impact my decisions have on those people around me every day.  It’s not just me that is affected by my choices.  I can have a positive or negative influence on others.  If I choose to bring in a package of cookies or cupcakes, my co-workers then have their own decision to make as to whether to eat it or not.  It can be very hard to make a healthy choice if you’re hurried, stressed or tired.  I don’t want to be the one who leads someone else to make that decision to eat the cookie at the detriment of their own health.
It’s all about cleaning up the atmosphere of my own environment.  Do I need candy at the front desk where I sit every day?  No, not really.  It leads me into my own temptation and my willpower can become weakened by its presence on my desk.  So my choice is clearly not to have that candy dish filled with sugared candy.  Sugar free candy can be just as tempting.  However, it is less likely to lead to binging.
The second area I’ve been cleaning out is my mind.  I find myself sabotaging my good habits with bad thoughts.   I know I’m my own worst critic.  No one can say anything worse to me than what I say to myself.  So why let the negative thoughts take over my happiness?  I refuse to give in to those thoughts.  I look in the mirror and see how far I’ve come in such a short time.  I’ve literally gone from a size 26 to a 20 in less than 12 months.   That is an accomplishment I carry with me every day.  I hold my head up high and know I’m in control of my life and my choices.
Deciding to hire a personal trainer is one I will never regret.  It cost me $3,600, but was worth every cent.  Now that I have that tool I am learning about eating and Weight Watchers (WW) is helping me achieve my weight loss goals.  Sometimes the sacrifices are hard financially, but worth it in the long run.
I don’t want to come to the end of my life and have regrets about something that I could have changed.  I am the one in control of this life of mine and I need to make sure I give myself the very best I can give to me.
I’m careful about words that I use when speaking to others. In the past my words have hurt people and left me feeling awful.  I want to leave people feeling good about talking with me and smiling when they walk away.  A positive impression goes a long way toward making positive friendships that build people up and help them to achieve all they can in this life.
As Valentine’s Day approaches look around you and see what positive impressions you have left on those people who have come into your life.  Even if the person was only in your life for a few minutes, the impression you left can be a positive one as well.
Today I wish you Love, Happiness and above all else Contentment.
Be content to be yourself and become the person you’ve always wanted to be.  You are in control of your future, where do you want to be 12 months from today?
Below you can see my journey from a size 26 to a size 20.
December 2010
New Years Eve 2011
Jan. 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Jan. 12, 2012
This is why I'm doing all this hard work. Baby Isaak deserves a Grandma who can keep up with him.