Friday, December 16, 2011


Years ago I read that book by Dr. Phil...7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom. It was a great book, one that I should really read again. I like Dr. Phil. He doesn't pull any punches, he just says it like it is and doesn't walk on egg shells. It is what it is.

Anyway, part of his book talks about stress factors that get in the way of weight loss. And there's a table with all kinds of stress factors that you can use to calculate your stress level. For example, in the last year, if you've experienced certain things, your stress is a little higher. For me, the year I read that book some of the things on my list were that we had moved, our son spent a lot of time in the hospital, we had a family member die (my son) and...well, I can't remember if there was anything else for that year. But the point is, those things contributed to my stress factor. The idea is that we need to try and eliminate from our lives as much stress as we can.

Right now I'm battling more stress factors. We have a move coming up, and my husband has to go back to Hawaii (he got home on Tuesday, WOOOOHOOOOOO!) for three weeks in January. We have two vacations coming up, in rapid succession. And on top of all that, the big adjustment of having my husband home.

Now. All of those normal things that you would think would go along with adjusting to have him home after he's been away in Iraq for a year--those aren't my issues. He comes home, and everything falls into place, almost like he was never gone. I don't know how it works this way for us, but I'm extremely grateful. My kids just fall right into the old familiar rhythm--even the youngest ones have not seemed to struggle with it. Everyone is happier. Everyone gets more attention. He and I don't struggle with how things are run at home. Yes, things have changed while he's been away. Kids have grown and changed. Maybe it's because of frequent phone calls and video calls with skype, I don't know. But there are no power struggles, nothing like that at all. It's all just better, in every way.

So. What? What adjustments are stressing me out? Well, me. I am exactly the same as I used to be, but I'm also a much different person. I have spent the past year developing some pretty significant different habits, changing my lifestyle (as far as diet goes, anyway) and have taken things in a completely different direction for myself.

On the positive side, I realized while I was in Hawaii that I am a much more confident person. I wasn't inhibited, and I really enjoyed a lot of physical activities. Instead of sitting on the beach, we hiked. That kind of thing. It was great. I felt like for the first time in my life, I got a taste of what it felt like to really live life. I was happy. I mean, I wasn't unhappy before, but I have never been as happy as I was in Hawaii, with a miraculous opportunity to reconnect with my husband after him being gone for a year, and to rediscover myself.

So now that he's home, I find myself battling between the old me and the new me. See, eating has always been something that he and I have done together. After the kids go to bed, we'd watch a movie together and eat a package of oreos together. Stuff like that is just part of who "we" are. But it's not part of who "I" am anymore. The struggle for me is internal. He doesn't care what I eat. If he feels like eating chocolate, he'll eat it, and if I don't he really doesn't care. It's not like he expects me to eat right along with him. But I find myself sometimes just wanting to eat because he's there with me.

Things are good. Life is comfortable and happy. Very close to the ideal. Maybe I could go so far as to say that we would bond with food and t.v. because it's something we have always enjoyed together. Yummy food just completes that ideal picture for me. You know?

And so I fight. And I win a lot. It doesn't bother me when he eats. Yesterday my diet was spot on, and then the kids went to bed and the t.v. went on (Jared's choice, so it was Monk instead of Biggest Loser, LOL) and I just felt like I needed to eat. A couple of handfuls of candy corn and a few Tootsie Rolls later, and I was just way overloaded with sugar. And why?? Just because I wanted it.

And the sugar was so icky and sweet that I needed salty, so what did I do? I ate cheese. And it was good.

But I've been struggling like that. I'll have a couple of really good days, and then I'll totally screw it up. And then to make up for it I do a juice fast for a day. It's a yo yo that isn't really all that great.

I do have to say, though, that I have noticed some awesome things about this most recent fight:

This is the first holiday season that I haven't just gone completely off and let myself eat whatever, wherever, and however much I wanted. For two whole months. That's usually what I do during the holidays. Most people let themselves go off for Christmas Day. Not me, I let myself go off the entire Christmas season. (And you know, it starts with Halloween). So I'm really proud of myself that I have managed, for all intents and purposes, to maintain since Halloween. I do yo yo, but thankfully it's only a span of about 5-7 pounds. Really I think that's too big of a span, but for right now, I'll take it.

My only goal right now is to maintain through the holidays. I have way too much going on to even think I'm going to lose anything. I have a lot of adjusting to do, and I have to come to terms with this new me meshing with the old me that comes to the forefront of my mind now that my husband is back. And I still have a week of travelling for Christmas, that also includes a wedding, and a 5 day trip to Disneyland to get through. I feel like I'm clawing my way to New Year. (Although Disneyland is after new year). If I can be anywhere in the 180s when I get back from Disneyland, I think it'll be a miracle. But that's my intention. So there you have it.

We'll be moving sometime at the beginning of February. So really, I'm just trying to tread water until we get settled into the new house in Washington, where I can establish a routine that actually has a chance at working. If I lose any weight in the meantime, I'll count it as a bonus.

But believe me, I am having to put up a real fight just to maintain.

On a really happy note, today I got to go to the gym with my mom, since my husband was here to watch the kids. (I have a 1 year old who doesn't handle child care at the gym very well at all). So I went to a 60 minute class called RIPPED, and then I did some treadmill. Today the incline was at 5, and I did three runs during the course of the 20 minutes (don't ask me why, but the treadmill kept turning off once I hit 20 minutes. I had intended to do at least 30...then I got to talking with my mom and didn't have enough time for elliptical). This time my runs were better than I've ever done. I know this sounds really small, but believe me, for me it was monumental--my first run was 2 minutes at 4.0, incline 5. The other two runs were for 2.5 minutes at 4.2. I thought I was going to die. It kind of makes me laugh, knowing that there are people out there who run for real, but it felt really good to do that, not holding on to the sides, and just running. I could have pretended like that was normal for me and that I'd just keep running like that for the whole 30. Someday I will, and that will be awesome.

So on my new bodybugg (yeehaw, I got it!) it says that today I burned 2417 calories so far, and went 11,216 steps. So I'd say that's pretty awesome! I get to go to the gym again tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

In other news, my one year old has the chicken pox.

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Moment

I realized some other things, yesterday, while I watched Biggest Loser. (Forgive me for all the Biggest Loser stuff, but right now I'm just really into it. And with Netflix on my laptop, I watch it when I fold clothes, cook or bake, cut vegetables for my salad, do dishes, make juice--I even take it with me when I clean the bathroom--it's inspiring).

Anyway, when people leave the Biggest Loser and go home, whether they were eliminated or whether they made it to finals, there's always a huge group of people waiting to welcome them home. And if you watch their faces, a lot of them are SHOCKED at the huge transformation in the contestants. They get to see jaws drop, they get to hear all the "oh wow, you look amazing!" stuff. It's awesome. It's encouraging, it helps them want to keep going.

When I went to Hawaii, I had my own homecoming. Hawaii isn't my home anymore, but it was. And it's full of people who haven't seen me since 300 pounds. A friend had us for dinner, and it was so nice to see her reaction ("I mean, I saw pictures, but WOW!" you know, like in person she could see that I look even better than the pictures show). That was really nice. I appreciated her comment! But the real kicker was going to church. Most of them have not seen pictures. Most of them probably didn't expect to ever see me again. It was great to walk in and have people only recognize me because I was with my husband, so they had a point of reference. One man came up to shake my hand and welcome me there as a visitor, like someone he had never met before. Then when my husband turned back around--it was so funny! This man looked at him, looked at me, looked back at him and then me, and I watched as realization dawned on him who I was. He didn't even know what to say. "Oh my, I didn't even recognize you. Wow! You look great! You cut your hair right?" (That was the funniest--you cut your hair. Ha ha!) Seriously, though, for people to not even know who I was! There was another older lady there who helped watch my four kids while I was in the hospital having number five. She welcomed me like a stranger, too. And I don't think it ever clicked to her who I was. Ha ha!! And the Bishop said that my husband had told him I was coming, but then when he saw me sitting there with Jared he thought I somehow hadn't been able to come and maybe it was my sister who came instead. Ha ha again.

So it was fun to have my moment. I guess most people don't get that, because everyone is around to watch the weight come off gradually. It's when people go from their last memory of you being one thing, to seeing you after a huge, monumental change, that they react that way. I'll never forget all those people at church. I need to remember all of that, and let it be inspiration for me, let it encourage me to go the distance. Sixty more pounds can make a huge difference! I'm about to move again, but since my parents live here, I imagine I'll come back sometime and see everyone again. So I should shoot for shocking all of the people here like I did in Hawaii. Wouldn't that be fun??

Sunday, December 11, 2011


A lot of people use food to fill some kind of void, to mask some deep feelings, to ease some pain...and once they figure out what it is, exactly, that caused them to turn to food, they can deal with it and stop involving food addictions. I watch these people on Biggest Loser, when they finally get to the roots of their issues..."I was never good enough for my Dad, and then I had to watch him die right in front of my face and there was nothing I could do" or "My Dad beat me for years, and I spent the majority of my time hiding in the closet" or "When I was 12 years old my sister got diagnosed with Leukemia..." You get it. A lot of people have some traumatic experience that they can pinpoint, they know other issues that they have, and once they have the guts to just get it out and verbalize it, and talk to someone about it, they can make peace with it and move on. And miraculously (at least, on Biggest Loser it seems like it's miraculously, I guess maybe we just don't see the whole story) they are cured of their food issues.

These people on the show get worked so hard in the gym, to the point where they don't have the strength to hide what's inside. Then it all comes out, and they talk it out, and it's a big pivotal place in their life. It seems like after a couple of months of grueling exercise, some nutrition education and some talking and crying, they're all better.

I guess it just seems like such a short amount of time for such a huge, monumental change.

But that's not the point of this post. Their changes really are inspiring, and I love to watch people transform like that.

The point of this post, though, is the issues. My question is, does everyone with a food addiction have an issue tied to it? Because I have thought how great it would be if I could pinpoint the reason for my food stuff, talk about it, cry about it, and be cured. The problem is, (which isn't really a problem at all, it's more like a huge blessing) I haven't ever gone through anything major. Nothing made me turn to food. I just like it.

I've thought that maybe it could be tied how, as a teenager, I never felt like I could measure up, I never felt like I was accepted the way I wished I was. So I have spent all my life trying to prove to people that I am good enough, just as good as they are, maybe without ever truly believing it myself. Like--needing constant validation from others that I'm good enough. But there are two things that make me think that this isn't it.

Number one, I've been overweight my entire life. As an elementary age kid, I never had those feelings of inadequacy, but I was fat. So it's not like I comforted my crazy teenage stuff with food.

Number two, a long time ago I stopped worrying about what other people think. I live my life they way I want to, doing what I know to be right and according to my own set of values, etc. Doesn't matter whether other people like it or not.

Granted, I have gained a lot more confidence as the weight has come off. I'm not the same person at 200 that I was at 300. The more I weigh, the more I withdraw and don't like attention on me. As I lose weight, I'm more willing to get in front of people, to have my picture taken, etc. But it's the weight that influences that, the weight is not the result of that.

Anyway, that is the closest I can come to "issues." And I just don't think that's it. So is it possible for someone to have food issues simply because they have just enjoyed food way too much their entire life? Could it be possible that I have eaten way too much in my life simply because I like how it tastes? Maybe just not being raised to know how destructive it can be to eat too much?

And if that's the case, should I be grateful that I haven't had to go through terrible things, or should I be disappointed that my problems with food are so difficult to pinpoint, and difficult to just solve in a couple of months' time? If my problem is just that I like to eat, and I like to eat things that taste good, I can't just get a good cry, go to counseling for a couple of months, and be cured. Then again, maybe without a big issue, my problem with food should be a lot easier to overcome.

These people go on the biggest loser and learn things that I've known forever. I don't deep fry things, I don't cook with oil, I use whole grains and I don't use whole milk...I mean, a lot of the nutrition education they get on Biggest Loser is no surprise to me. My thing is portion control, and what is the magic answer for that? To just grow up and stop eating before you eat too much. Simple. But it's one thing to know, and another thing to do.

I guess I just still wonder if there is some issue I don't even know about, some reason why I have been an overeater. Does there have to be some big definable reason? Or not? I just don't know.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka

My vacation to Hawaii was everything I thought it would be, and infinitely more. I knew I needed it, but I had no idea how much. It was so amazing to be able to have a week with my husband, by ourselves, to have time to reconnect and just focus on each other. To be able to pull myself out of the every day things and rediscover myself (if you will) was absolutely what the doctor ordered. I had several defining moments that have changed me for the better in so many ways. It was amazing.

I tried hard not to flip the switch over to vacation mentality right away. Actually, it's more like I tried to have nothing to do with "vacation mentality" as far as eating goes. There's a new mentality in town, and that is that you can still make awesome choices even in the face of a vacation. You don't have to throw all your new good habits right out the window. And I'm happy to say that for the first (more than) half of the trip, I was a superstar. In the mall at the food court when my husband got stromboli, breadsticks and root beer, I went for Subway and drank water. In fact, for the entire week I drank nothing but water--except on the very last night I had a virgin pina colada, which I'm sure had way more sugar than I even want to know. But at every restaurant, it was "I'll just have water." I'm really very happy to say that soda just doesn't tempt me at all. I don't like it any more, and I am genuinely happy to just have water. I love water. I love Subway. When my husband ate taco bell, I ate Subway.

We had fruit for breakfast every morning. First, we were randomly selected by the hotel staff to receive a really nice fruit basket, so that took care of the first few breakfasts. Beyond that, we went down to a little cafe and got a banana every day. One day I went ahead and got a bagel too, which probably wasn't the best idea, especially with the full fat cream cheese I spread on it. But that was the exception to the rule, and it was a vacation (there's that stinkin' mentality trying to get me down!) so it's not like I bought a whole pack of bagels and a full size tub of cream cheese or anything. So anyway.

I was sugar free the entire vacation, until Saturday night when we went out for my husband's birthday. They gave us both free cupcakes (2 mini-cupcakes each) which we ate. Then on Monday we went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch and had Mexican food, which I ate less than half of. But we did get some cheesecake, which I did eat, and it made me feel so yuck. It was way too rich, and way too sweet. But I ate it anyway, and then left being less fond of cheesecake than I thought I was.

Monday night was a dinner cruise, which turned out to be all authentic Hawaiian food, which I absolutely don't like, so it was okay--no over eating there, for sure! Tuesday was the killer, because I was on the plane. I had hoped to find a Subway in the airport so I could get a sandwich to take with me, but all they had was Quiznos so I got that instead. Note to self: Subway is much better tasting, and a lot healthier. I still drank water, but I also had trail mix AND pistachios, so that probably wasn't very good.

But the awesome, AWESOME thing was the Koko Head hike. I'm still kind of in a half disbelief that I did it. Since I already blogged it on my other blog, I didn't want to type it all up and load all the pictures again. That takes forever! But there's that link, so you can see how it went. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, probably, when it comes to physical stuff. But it was amazing. The next day we did the Diamond Head hike, so you can check out the pictures from that one as well  if you click on the link.

Seriously, the old me would have never in a million years even considered using vacation time to do hikes like that. Never. I mean, isn't a Hawaiian vacation for sitting on the beach and sipping drink after drink with the little umbrellas in them? Really? But those hikes are a huge part of what made it the best vacation ever.

Another good thing to report is that I did really good with my exercise. I did 30 minutes of aerobics and 30-40 minutes of strength training/toning in the hotel room before I went down to the gym. Then at the gym I did 30 on the treadmill, and 30 on the elliptical. It was great. The treadmill was the best, because I did 90% of it without holding on, and I did a lot of running intervals. I know it's not a lot, but at one point I ran for two whole minutes without stopping or holding on. I was only at a speed of 4.0 most of the time, I did get up to 4.2 for a little bit, and an incline of 4. So for me that was good--my best yet on a treadmill. The elliptical was also great because it had an aerobics mode that had me doing different things, and it was a good challenge and a fabulous workout.

So I did that exercise scenario the first 2 days, then Koko Head was my workout for Saturday. Diamond Head was Sunday, but it wasn't that much of a workout--but it was Sunday, so I think that was appropriate. The bad news is that somewhere along the Koko Head hike I messed up my left quad. I guess it's a muscle strain, I don't know. My left leg kept trying to give out on me on the way down, and then it hurt to go up and down stairs. Walking was a little hard, too, I had to keep my knee locked. It was quite annoying. I pushed through it a lot and didn't let it get in my way. Once I got warmed up and got the momentum going on Diamond Head, it was okay. It still hurt, but it was fine. And it was fun. But then when I mentioned going down to the gym on Monday, my husband kindly suggested that he really thought I needed to give my leg a break. I had to admit he was probably right. So there was no exercising on Monday or Tuesday.

I flew home on Tuesday, and only got 3 hours of sleep that night. So--you guessed it, no exercise Wednesday either. I've been using some icy hot ever since I got home, and I think that by tomorrow (Friday) I'll be up early doing some step aerobics. I hope so anyway, I really need to get back on track.


When it all comes down to it, I clearly still have sweet tooth issues I have to deal with. The bad news is that I'm having a difficult time getting back into healthy mode. That really is the bare bones truth of the matter. The good news is that I haven't completely lost my mind or gone off the deep end. There's still a lot of fight in me, and I've been fighting a good fight. I've won some battles, I've lost some battles. The worst of it is that this morning I weighed 195. That makes me sick to my stomach. The good news is that I know that yesterday was perhaps my worst day of all (and it was a full day of being at home, so that's a little bit ridiculous). One last day to allow myself some treats before I have to go into the post-vacation fight, I guess, which is a completely distructive mentality and one that I know doesn't do anybody any good. In the end, my very worst "vacation" day was my first full day home. I hate that I do this sometimes, but I have to just learn from it and use it to try and get to the root of what exactly my personal issues are so that I can fix them and move on.

Today is re-focus day. My sister is leaving today, and I'll be able to get back into my groove of how I do things. I need to get back to my own routine, the things that I am used to and that I know will work for me.

And guess who doesn't have to bake anything else, at all, this whole year? Me. No more pies, no more cookies, no birthdays, no nothing. I am working out the details of a small scale challenge I want to set for myself for the rest of the month and into the new year. Nothing with crazy exercise or anything--possibly nothing but a sugar free thing again. I really like being sugar free. I am thinking of something I can do with a bodybugg as a reward, because I really want one. And I think I want to do something fabulous to earn it, instead of deciding to just buy it. So we'll see. I don't know if I can work it into the budget, but I really want it. So maybe that's it, maybe I'll just pledge to be sugar free from now until I move in February and see how that goes.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Been out of town since Tuesday--without a scale. (Hence the lack of weigh in yesterday). I got home this afternoon, and have spent the whole rest of the day unpacking, doing laundry, putting everything away, making dinner, cleaning up from dinner, bathing the kids for church tomorrow, --and making juice. Yes, folks, I made juice today. Three times, in fact.

But let's back up just a little, shall we?

So as you know I've had a bit of a fight with the pumpkin cookies. I thought about getting them out of my freezer and over into my mom's freezer--since they're all out of town, so they wouldn't be hurting anyone over there. But then I realized that I'd just have to go get them again the next day so I could take them with me to my sister's for Thanksgiving. And I just decided that enough is enough, and it's ridiculous that I can't just tell myself no. I mean, it's easy enough to tell my kids no, right? So maybe I have to treat myself like a kid and just say no.

So I did. That was on Monday, and let me tell you--I had a PERFECT day on Monday. I mean, I totally rocked. I worked out--and part of that was Jillian, and yes, she gave me a beating, and I was so happy to realize that without back pain I could do almost everything she gave me. It was awesome. So I was feeling pretty amazing, and was rather excited to step on the scale Tuesday morning. See, Monday morning (after cookies on Sunday night) I weighed 187, and that was making me pretty upset, since I was trying to stop the numbers from going up. Anyway, so I'm feeling so amazing Tuesday, sure I'd be back to at least 186. And I was crushed to see that it had gone up to 190!!! What the heck is that? That was devistating. I can't--absolutely can't--get into the 190s, because that's way, way, way too close to 200. I didn't know why I gained 3 pounds over night, after such a perfect day.

But oh well, I was way too busy to worry about it too much. So I left to go to my sister's. I did not take my scale, but I did take my step, weights, and DVDs.

And get this--Tuesday, perfect. Wednesday, perfect. Wednesday turned out to be the only day I actually exercised while I was at my sister's. But hey, at least I did it once, right? Thursday came and I was still so undecided about how I was going to handle it. Thursday was a perfect day, until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I was up to my elbows in the preparation of lots and lots of great stuff, and I didn't snitch or snack at all during the whole process. And then I just decided that hey, you know, it's Thanksgiving. It's okay to eat what's for dinner.

So I did. But I really do think that I did well. I had a little bit of most things, and I had only one plate that didn't even get entirely full. Still, on a normal day I would have considered it a lot of food. But you know, it is okay to have a little more on Thanksgiving, that's life. The desserts on the other hand--they did me in. That dang sweet tooth!! Again, though, even though I should have told myself to just have one thing, and then stop, I don't really feel bad for eating what I did. I still ate less dessert than I probably ever had on any other Thanksgiving in my entire life. I got 2 or three things on a plate--small things, or big things that I cut in half and shared with someone else. And that was it. I did good, and I was proud of myself. No, I didn't stay sugar free, but oh well.

I did good on Friday too, but then toward the end of the day I gave in and let myself have some more dessert. That I kind of do regret, because it wasn't even Thanksgiving anymore.

So...after all that, that is why I am juicing today. My sister happened to have a fridge full of vegetables for all the juice recipes, and just had never had the time to get around to making the juice. And we didn't really have time to do much of it with all the busy-ness and commotion of Thanksgiving. And her vegetables weren't going to last too much longer. I knew that in another few days they'd be in the trash, because realistically, they weren't going to get used. So she let me bring them all home! I made juice twice at her house today, and then brought the rest of the veggies with me. I had to stop at the store for a couple of things, but it was a great hookup. (Thanks, sis!) I really needed to juice, and I didn't really have the money to go out and buy a huge shopping cart full of veggies.

So there you have it. Tomorrow I have to step on the scale again, and I'm not expecting to be very happy about what I see. Even after juicing today--I am guessing I will be about 190. (If I'm lucky. ?) It really could potentially be a lot worse than that. So yeah, juice tomorrow and Monday.

Then Tuesday I fly out for Hawaii, and the best week of my life. =) I can't wait to see my husband. I can't wait to have hours to myself every morning that I can spend in the gym pretending like Jillian Michaels is screaming in my face to work harder and get my hands off the treadmill. =) I can't wait to be able to say I climbed Koko Head. I finally looked up pictures of what it looks like, and well...I wonder how many times I'll throw up. Just kidding. But I really will have to tell my husband that he absolutely cannot let me quit. I have to get to the top. 1100 steps. And they're not even steps. Here's how it looks:

Railroad ties. C'mon, admit you're jealous.

This is my big major goal for while I'm there. If I die, at least I'll die in Hawaii, right? LOL.

I am going to post a weigh in on Tuesday instead of tomorrow or Friday. Because guess what, I'm not taking my scale in my suitcase to Hawaii, either. I'll get back to Fridays eventually...

Hope everyone else is doing great!

(I kind of like that I don't feel guilty, at all whatsoever, about what I ate Thursday and Friday. Because I enjoyed it, didn't go over the top, and I'm back on track. To me, that says "lifestyle.")

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Kind of Eater Are YOU?

Well being extremely busy and exhausted and completely overloaded with things to do, I have made a very important discovery.

I am a stress eater.

Some people eat when they're sad or depressed. Not me. I don't really find comfort in food when something else is bugging me. I never have. That is not to say I've never been and emotional eater. I have definitely been one to eat a lot in happy, celebrating times. I like food. I like to eat good food, and I have eaten way too much in my life. For me, it's kind of a cozy thing. It's part of how I create the whole idealistic picture of life. Kids have gone to bed, house is perfectly clean, yummy smelling candle is burning, a great movie is on t.v., and cuddling into the couch with something really yummy just completes the picture. That has been my life for a long time.

I have managed to overcome most of that, and I haven't really had to use food to complete the picture for a long time. But this past week--or longer--I have just not had a break, at all. I finally sit down on the couch at the end of the day completely exhausted. My legs are so weary from standing all day long, hours on end. I am happy with the work that has been done, but at the end of the day--it's exhausting! And not only have I been on my feet doing tons of work, I've also been taking care of my five kids and making sure they don't kill each other, and that they're all fed, dressed, and reasonably happy. And they're driving me CRAZY. We have truly outgrown this house, and I feel like I am surrounded by noise all. day. long. It is driving me absolutely crazy.

So by the time I sit on the couch, I don't mean to, but I feel like eating something good to just take the edge off the stress. To help me unwind. And it works! Last night I had some more of those pumpkin cookies. And I de-stressed pretty dang good. But then, of course, I was really mad at myself. It totally wasn't worth it!

So yeah, I have to come up with a game plan for things I can do to unwind and de-stress. Things that have nothing to do with food. I'll be working on that.

Just to give you an idea, here are some of the things I've made this past week: 4 loaves of whole wheat bread, whole wheat pretzel dogs and soft pretzels, 3 homemade pizzas, beef and cheese pies, taco meat, sloppy joe meat, mini-cherry pies, a little less mini-pumpkin pies, enchiladas, and 6 recipes of granola bars. Tomorrow I still have to make zucchini muffins, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie filling, canning jar apple pies, and pie crust. So. I'm getting tired of the kitchen! LOL.

Anyway, with all of that, I actually have done a very good job with my eating. And even when I unwound with cookies, it didn't turn into a binge or anything. I did think about it. After I finished them I sat there and thought about all the stuff hidden in the freezer, the pantry, in closets, whatever--and believe me, we have a lot of junk in this house for one reason or another--and still none of it appealed to me. It has been a long, long time since I binge ate. That is a nice discovery for me.  I am not perfect at this game, but I have come a long, long way.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Used To Be Excited...

...when it was time to record my weight on the sidebar there. What in the world happened to my crunch time? Life has had a way of just throwing all my previous plans right out the window. First my back, then an absolutely insane schedule. I've been either in the kitchen our out shopping, or grocery shopping, or conferencing, or getting glasses for my 8 year old, la la. There is just way too much going on! And every night I just drop into bed, totally dead. And get this...I haven't cleaned house AT ALL this week. I mean, I do the dishes and sweep, and the house is still all picked up and counters cleared every night before bed. But I've ignored my bedroom and the laundry.

Today I still have a lot of food prep to do, between Thanksgiving and my trip. But I am designating this morning as housework time. By lunch time I need to have cleaned my bedroom, bathroom, closet, the garage, and done the laundry. Then after lunch I'll hit the kitchen again. Can you believe I'm in charge of all the dessert for Thanksgiving? Not that I mind, it's not really getting to me. And I have a whole wheat pie crust that I just CANNOT get over how amazing it tastes. Although it has a lot of butter, so I steer clear.

So I have had a really hard time with getting up to exercise, as I said before. So last night I made a real effort to get to bed earlier. And I did! I was all set to get up early this morning and kick it on the step. And then around somewhere in the oblivion of my sleep, my phone rang. To tell you the truth, I've kind of suspected that might happen. Instantly I was wide awake, and excitedly running to grab the phone. It was my husband, and I haven't heard from him in 2 weeks. It's about time for him to be done with the deployment, and that was a call I was waiting for. Middle of the day or middle of the night, I don't care.

So yeah, after we talked for a little bit I was all wound up and wide awake. So I got my book out and laid there and read for a while before I got back to sleep. And that pretty much wrecked the getting up early. I know--it sounds like there are a bunch of excuses all the time. I see these guys on Biggest Loser, and they just have to work in a workout wherever they are, whatever they're doing. But for me, well--right now the odds are really stacked against me. These five kids of mine and a schedule that just won't let up, well...that's just life right now. I don't resent any of it, it's just how it is.

You may say that if I was determined enough I would get it done. Yes, I could have still rolled out of bed at 5 this morning and done a completely exhausted, 50% workout. And then I would have been a non-functional zombie all day. For me, it is not an option to be non-functional. I just can't do that. So I'm left with whatever I'm left with.

Today I have decided that after my 4 year old goes to bed I will do the 70 minute Cathe workout, which is the step and sculpt intervals. Killer. And I am still going to get in at least 500 crunches. Hopefully I won't be dead on my feet by then.

I really had no idea, when I set up my November crunch time challenge that it was just so unrealistic, schedule-wise. I'm really disappointed. At least I can hope that with all the busy-ness of every day, I'm burning some kind of calories. =J I'm trying really hard to not just throw in the towel because of the fact that I can't do the huge amounts of workouts I set out to do this month. I'm just hoping I'll manage to get in a scaled down version at least! This is killing me.

I went to Target yesterday and got a couple more shirts. I was so elated that I could get size medium. It really feels good! But I know that it will be very short lived if I can't get it together quick!

This morning's weigh in was disappointing, at an almost 2 pound gain from last week. And next week's weigh in will be the day after Thanksgiving. So. I don't know. Kind of bummed. But the goal still stands--to at least weigh less on New Years Day than I did last Friday. If I can get through the holidays with that, I'll  have to consider it a huge accomplishment, I guess.

186.6 today. Dead weight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that I did all the work to figure out how many calories are in the healthy granola bars I make for the kids. The bad news is that they are 277 calories each! The good news is that they are absolutely packed with health, so they are good, solid, nutrient rich calories. The bad news is that yesterday I ate 2 of them before I figured out the calories. And even though they are sugar free, non-processed, very good for you snacks and I will keep making them for the kids, I won't be having them anymore. (Ingredients: freshly ground peanut butter--made from nothing but peanuts, honey, coconut oil--a very good for you and weight loss friendly oil but it's still oil, oats, flaxseed, and raisins).

The good news is that I started back with my exercise yesterday morning, and it felt really good. And no back issues (yet). The bad news is that I am battling sheer exhaustion right now, getting ready for Thanksgiving and then my trip to Hawaii. I will be in the kitchen another whole day or two just making things to stock the freezer. My mom and sister will be here for 8 days taking care of my 5 kids (10 and under), and my sister's two kids (2.5 years and 6 months) will also be here. So 7 kids, four of them 2 and under, is going to be a big job. So I've been making bread, pretzel dogs, taco meat, enchiladas, granola bars, muffins--just lots and lots of stuff to stick in the freezer so that the food can be as easy as possible. Yesterday I was on my feet absolutely all day long--because I also have to keep up with the normal daily stuff like laundry and sweeping and blah blah blah. This morning I was exhausted. Just absolutely exhausted. So I did not get out of bed to exercise. I am afraid that this is how the next week and a half is going to be. I will get exercise in as much as I possibly can, but I think that with everything that's going on, it will be sporadic at best.  Hopefully once I get to Hawaii I will get some rest and then really work out hard every day. The husband has to work half days most days, so I will get to sleep in and work out, and that will be so nice.

The good news is that today I will journal every little thing I eat, and calorie count. I am super busy, but it's the kind of busy that won't get in the way of me doing that. The bad news is: no granola bars for me. LOL

The good news is that this morning I was 185.4. That's a half pound down from yesterday. The even better news is that today's weight was dead weight and yesterday's wasn't, so that's just cool. No bad news there! For weigh in on Friday, I might have actually lost something from last Friday. That would be awesome for the kind of week I've had.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Go the Distance

Over the past week or so I have kept hearing that phrase in my mind. "Go the distance." You know, that phrase from Field of Dreams? Not that I really think about the movie, but the phrase really just keeps speaking to me.

Because I am to this point where I'm only a few pounds lower than my previous best. That point where last time I lost track and "accidentally" regained 114 pounds. !!! I hate knowing I did that, and I don't want to do it again. I am back to that point where I don't mind looking in the mirror. I actually enjoy buying clothes for myself.

(I finally had to break down and buy myself some clothes, because the truth is, it's getting downright cold around here and I had nothing--no jacket, no long sleeved shirts, nothing. So yesterday I went out and got some stuff. And wouldn't you know it, I didn't even realize until I left the store that I had actually gone straight to the regular section instead of the plus size section. I don't have any clue what clothes they had there. I did realize, though, that it wasn't hard to find several things that would work for me. I'm sure it was because I was not in that plus-size-means-harldy-any-selection section. WOW. So I was happy, I even got a jacket. Should I be ashamed to admit they were all from Walmart? Or just feeling awesome that they aren't all yard sale clothes? I just don't want to go to the nicer, more expensive stores until I am at my goal weight. THEN I plan to gradually build up a nicer wardrobe. But for now, I just really need clothes that cover me up, fit me right, and help me feel better about myself).

Anyway, I love being at that point. I went for a haircut last night. I knew I needed one, but I guess I didn't realize how badly I needed it! I absolutely love the new cut, and I know that my former fatter face could have never pulled off the Meg Ryan choppy hair style. (Not that I even come close to thinking I look like her, but you know). I'll have to get a picture when there's someone older than 4 years old around to take it for me.

So here I am at this point, and the last week has just felt like a mountain to me. HUGE hard obstacles. I hate falling down and having to pick myself back up. I never wanted to quit, though, and I did think many times about how grateful I am to have that realization now of what can happen if you don't pick yourself back up quick enough. And I'm glad I step on the scale every day. That scale is my friend. It keeps my informed. In the loop about what my body is doing. And I need that desperately.

Now I just keep thinking to myself that this time I actually want to GO THE DISTANCE. I am not going to be satisfied getting to 160 or even 150 if my healthy weight is actually 20 or 30 pounds less than that. When I weighed over 300 pounds I used to think that if I could just get to 170 and stay there for the rest of my life, I'd be happy. In total heaven, actually. And I'm sure I will be happy when I get to 170. But I have come to know that now I really do want to just go the distance. Just keep plugging away and not be content to maintain 30 or 40 pounds over what I should be. Yes, it's way better than being 303 was. But I'm thankful that I have that desire to just do what needs to be done and actually finish the job instead of being happy just getting close.

It's all the way, baby. I don't know how long it will take me to lose the 56 pounds I have left. But I will do it. I am positive that the next 56 will be much, much harder to lose than the last 117 have been. And that's okay, this next 56 pounds have been stuck to my body a lot longer. And I have a lot to learn, so I say--bring it on.

So "Go the Distance" is my new "thing." I think I am going to make that my blog title. I thought about changing the url too, but it's already taken. So that makes it easier on anyone who actually comes and reads my ramblings. =)

Onward and upward downward!

185.9 today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Avoiding Extremes

Well, I had a tough couple of days. I really did. And yesterday it was on my mind almost all day. My thoughts were very "What am I going to do to fix this" oriented. And I got the plan all made, and was ready. Game on.

The plan was to go back to juice fasting for five days. The logic--get that sugar out of my system, wipe the palate clean, and eliminate the cravings I let creep in. I would juice from Sunday-Thursday, eat only fruits and vegetables on Friday, and then go ahead and get a Subway sandwich on Saturday as a reward. I know they say don't reward yourself with food, but if it's healthy allowable food--that I rarely indulge in--then why not, right?

This morning I kept thinking about this juicing thing. My heart wasn't really in to doing another five whole days already. And to tell you the truth, I felt kind of guilty that my heart wasn't in it. But then I realized that the whole juicing plan was me using an extreme measure to compensate for my bad behavior. Not that juice fasting is extreme, because I totally believe in it. But I do think that since I just finished not even two weeks ago, it would be extreme to do it again already. Also, because my purpose for doing it this time would be me running to something to save me from messing up. What I really need to do is not take the "easy" way out--the rapid weight loss way out--the kind of way out that would turn in to "Today I'll eat whatever I want because if I gain a few pounds I'll just juice and take it right off again."

This kind of thinking is not healthy for me. What I need to do is just pay the price for giving in to the sugar, and work it off according to my lifestyle diet plan. No easy, quick way out. Just pick myself back up and carry on. Exercise really good, eat on plan, and just take it from there. I am thinking of doing another juice fast in January, and I am not going to let myself run to it in desperation before then. I want to do it for health reasons, not scale reasons.

So as nice as it would be to get rid of this little gain extra fast, I have decided to just move on with the plant based plan and just grow up and say no to the things I already said I'd say no to.

I did really good today. I really wanted to pick at the kids' leftover pizza tonight at dinner. I almost did it a few times. But finally, finally, for the first time in a long time, I just told myself NO. I thought about what really matters the most, what I really want, and guess what. It wasn't pizza.

Now I've gone for months and months not picking at stuff. I've made dinner for my kids all year while my husband has been gone, and I've eaten on my own plan and never even touched their stuff. BUT. It's different when it's not a temptation. When you can be around it and it doesn't bother you, it's not really that big a deal when you don't eat it. What is a big deal is when you have to fight the real desire to eat it, and you can come out on top. If it is bothering you, and you do really want it, that's when passing it up is the victory. So yeah, most of the time my last year, I genuinely haven't wanted it. So it wasn't hard.

Now it's hard. These are the kinds of issues I need to deal with and overcome. And that is why I need to steer clear of the extremes, even if those super strict diets are so much easier for me to follow. Because for me the real challenge is to live this lifestyle eating plan, and just flippin' do it. I will never get it if I keep running to juicing or HCG for the scale. I will juice probably every three months, but not for the scale. I want to do that for the rest of my life, and not as a way to pay for bad eating.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honesty is HARD

I have been very impressed with other weight loss bloggers who have the guts to be totally and completely honest in their posts about what they eat. Sometimes they get some downright mean comments from others, telling them what their problem is and what they should do about it, criticizing their every move. All in the name of "constructive criticism." I don't really like that. I don't blog so that others can get on here and tell me what to do. I know what to do. If I want advice, or need tips or suggestions, I'll let you know. I think sometimes it's discouraging to get comments from strangers about what all your problems are.

Actually, I don't mind when people have ideas that might help me, as long as they are given kindly.

Because I have thought about how hard it can be to be honest in "public." And it's not worth it if people think that's an invitation to stomp on you and treat you like you don't know anything about eating right, etc. Luckily, my blog is new still, and I haven't had any bad comments. I guess the haters haven't found me yet. LOL. So far I have appreciated every comment that has been made on this blog.

But honesty is really important, I think. I do this blog so that I can share my journey with others, maybe inspire someone, all that good stuff. But really I do it for me, as a record of what I do and how I do it. The struggles and the triumphs. I've been doing awesome lately. I have been very happy with the personal progress I have been able to achieve thus far.

And then today happened.

Today was cold and rainy. I loved it. It also just so happens that it was the day to bring in the pumpkin off the porch and bake it, puree it, and make it into stuff. I mean, it's fall. My favorite season of all. Today is the first day I have made anything out of pumpkin--it's long overdue!

I made whole wheat pumpkin cookies with cinnamon chips. (If you haven't heard of them, they're like chocolate chips only they are cinnamon flavored. I've never ever seen them in the store, but I did order some from Amazon and have had them sitting on the shelf for about 2 months just waiting for the perfect recipe). For the first time in probably six months, I licked my fingers while baking.

You wouldn't think that would be so bad, right? was really good. So I tasted some more and some more. And then I stuck some gum in my mouth because I just couldn't stop. I baked up all the cookies and had them on the plate when my company came today. And then the kids each had one. And then I had one. And another. I think I ate five cookies. I swear, I never should have had that first taste. Let me tell you--if you have a problem with sweets, just forget I ever told you how incredible pumpkin cinnamon chip cookies are.

So yeah. I'm going to pay for that tomorrow. I totally lost it. I mean, luckily I didn't just throw in the towel--I ate my healthy food, had my big ol' salad for dinner, too. I didn't let it completely throw the day away.

I'm disappointed in myself, though. There goes my sugar free streak. DANG IT! But I'm done. I'm totally done. I can't eat that crap. I don't want to.

I guess it is just a lesson to me that there are still demons I have yet to conquer. Clearly I still suffer from the "you can't have just one bite" syndrome. I just need to stop. When I do allow myself to have something, I have to be able to stop at one. My problem today was that my sugar guidelines are currently "no sugar at all." I'm not ready for "once a week" or anything like that yet. So not only did I just eat cookies without a pre-plan to do so, I just totally wrecked the sugar goal I had set for myself.

Luckily I still plan to stay off sugar. My record isn't perfect, but I don't need to make it any worse. The pumpkin cookies, and the pumpkin muffins I made after that (which I didn't eat, by the way), are tucked safely away in the freezer, and they are not calling to me anymore.

All I can do is wait and see the consequences in the morning.

I can't wait to take it out on the step on Monday. The back should be ready by then. I need Jillian Michaels to give me a beating.

Coming Down

Yesterday I ate some eggs. They weren't as good as I had hoped. I'm a lover of scrambled eggs. Anyway, I decided to have an animal based day yesterday. Two scrambled eggs, and a little cheese.  Probably less than half a serving, because cheese is so dangerous for me. I think my eggs would have been better with a little more salt, so I'll just have to remember that for next time.

I still want Subway. Not today, possibly tomorrow, maybe not 'til next week. I guess we'll see.

184.8 today. (dead weight) That's good, it's a half pound down from yesterday--in spite of 2 days with no exercise. So I think my body is finally done piling those post juice fast pounds on. Guess we'll see!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finally? Hopefully?

Today I weigh .1 less than yesterday. I know, I know. That's pretty much the same. Point one is really nothing. But actually, when you've been putting on 1 - 1.5 every day for a week, losing .1 is awesome. I was so afraid there would be another pound piled on this morning, and there wasn't. So here's hoping things are leveling off.

I know that the only reason I have been gaining is the end of the juice fast. I know that I am not eating too much, I doubt that I am eating too little. The plan was to track every single thing and its calories--but the truth is, I've barely had time to breathe this week let alone focus on counting calories. But the reason that's okay for right now is that I have a LOT of experience with calorie counting and portion size, and knowing what's what. So even though I don't have a food log for this week, I can give you a 99% guarantee that I'm right around 1200 a day. And they are balanced. I am getting all the food groups, zero sugar, and no unhealthy fats. All of my grains are whole grains--no white flour or rice, and nothing processed. Well--yesterday I ate some pretzels, so those are probably white flour and processed. But it was a snack sized bag for 50 calories. So in about 3 months, that is the only white flour or processed food I've had. Definitely no fast food, caffiene or soda, either. So I'm pretty confident that my diet is just about as healthy as it could get. Well, maybe tofu would make it even healthier, but that ain't happening. LOL

My weight loss does depend on good diet. It also depends on good exercise. I don't want it to depend more on one  than the other, because I believe that diet and exercise are both absolutely essential for good health. It's not just about weight loss. So even though I can't exercise right now, and it does affect my weight loss, I am 100% sold on the importance of getting in good strong cardio and weight training on a regular basis.

Here's hoping that I can start back on a slow, steady downward trend on the scale. Now I'm going to go take a muscle relaxer and see what that does for me.

Have a great day, all!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I'm in much better spirits today. My back still hurts, and I did not exercise. I hate getting thrown off my groove. But this too shall pass...

Otherwise I am good. I'm still waiting for the scale to decide to stabilize. It is not being nice to me right now. But it's been a super long time since I've been on any kind of "lifestyle" eating plan. I've been on rapid weight loss eating plans, and they have worked, but they are done. So all I can do is the best I can do and let the chips fall where they may. The body just has to figure it all out.

But I'll be honest, it better hurry it up and figure it out.

So yeah, today was better. It's an insanely busy week, so I really don't have time to focus on anything. I do love that food is not affected. What I mean is, I feel that I am able to stick to my eating plan regardless of the stress or emotion I am dealing with. I know that before, I had no idea that all the extra stuff influenced my food choices so much. Knowing now that it did, it is nice to be able to notice that my eating plan is just what I do, and it's completely unrelated to anything else. That feels good.

Tomorrow there will be no exercise. I have to accept it and move on, and just hope and pray that it doesn't take too long to resolve itself.

185 today. Grumble.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In A Funk

Seriously, I know I shouldn't be. But I am. You know, it's been really hard to adjust from the super strict to the much more lenient eating plan. It needed to be done, it really did. I absolutely have to be in lifestyle mode, there's no other way anymore.

Super strict is my safe zone. And I miss it.

It is really hard for me to be okay with the daily gain I've had for 5 days in a row now. Deep down I know it's okay, but really, I didn't expect it to go up as much as it has. I mean, 6.5 pounds? Really?? It is all an experiment. I know I had no way of knowing just how the stabilizing would happen. So it is okay. I know it will all even out eventually.

The real killer for me today isn't the scale though. It's my back. As it has hurt quite horribly all day and hasn't let up, I have had to accept the fact that exercise tomorrow is out of the question. In fact, exercise any time in the near future is out of the question. I am facing another week or so of being out of commision. That is very bad, for two reasons. One, because exercise is the only thing holding my head above water right now. I do not want to see what the scale is going to do now that I have to remove it from the equation for a while. That is truly hard to swallow. And two, because last time it happened (and it's only been a couple of weeks!) it was really hard for me to get back into the swing of dragging my body out of bed at 4:45 every morning.

I feel like I've totally been in the zone for the past 8 days. Exercise wise, I have totally rocked. And now it's gone. I know it's not gone forever, but it's really hard to take.

I'm kind of surprised at how hard this is hitting me. Maybe it's because it's also combined with constant pain. I guess constant pain can have a way of making bad things seem even worse, huh? It's just been a bad day today, over all. I'm not used to bad days--which I know is a good thing (a major blessing, really)--so between yesterday and today, I'm really just one big mess.

Hopefully I'll feel that fire for life burning again tomorrow morning when I wake up. I don't know if I can handle any more of just going through the motions, especially when the motions hurt so much.

I am not taking advantage of this time to eat like crap, though, thankfully. I ate fabulously today without those pistachios around, so at least there's that! =)

"I'm sorry. Your team has decided that you are not the biggest loser. You'll have to say goodbye to your team."

Okay, that's really pathetic sounding. That last part was typed with a big ol' joking smile on my face. Don't worry, next time America sees me I'll be totally rocking that Jillian Michaels workout. =)


That's me today. When my alarm went off I was not ready to get up. I was ready to roll back over and sleep another couple of hours. I wasn't feeling well. I had a very yucky, no-motivation-at-all kind of feeling going on. I wanted to go back to sleep because I was tired. But I also wanted to go back to sleep because I just had nothing at all inside. Nothing. No desire at all to face life today. So I turned off the alarm and rolled over and felt completely miserable.

I couldn't go back to sleep. I just kept thinking about how I could go back to sleep and not face the consequences all day long. I mean, I knew that if I didn't get up and get to work that I'd have to live with that choice all day, and it really wouldn't help that yucky feeling I had inside. It wouldn't go away, and I couldn't sleep.

So I got up. About 15 minutes late. I had to cut out my 30 minute cardio workout because of it, but I did get the 40 minute step aerobics done. I also tried out my new Jillian Michaels 40 minute toning DVD. "No More Trouble Zones" or something like that. I watched it yesterday so I could get a feel for it, and it looked killer. So I did that one this morning instead of the Gilad toning. I am really in favor of finding variety. I know that my body is just so used to all the moves from all the DVDs I've done so many times before, and I'd love to challenge it more.

The workouts were good, and bad. The step was amazing because I felt like it was easier than it's ever been--I was light on my feet, all the parts that are usually more challenging were less challenging today. It rocked. But my back started bugging me again. It hurts. I hate it. I pushed through it. Jillian's workout was also awesome, because I was able to do a lot more of it than I thought I would. The frustrating thing is that the parts that were the hardest for me were hard because my back just plain hurt. I really wish that I could have eliminated that complication so I could know just how capable I am. Some of that ab work is pretty intense, and I want to know what I really can do, not all the things I can't do because it hurts my back. Kind of frustrates me! I don't really know how to tell how the workout I got today compares to what I usually get. I am going to stick with Jillian for a few days and get my ground, then I'll start alternating between hers and Gilad's.

I also got three other DVDs in the mail yesterday: Legs of Steel, Arms of Steel, Buns of Steel. They have bonus workouts for abs, so that will be awesome. I still have to watch legs and buns, but I watched arms yesterday and it looks like it'll be good, so I'll try some of that for today's extra arm workouts. My legs need a lot of help too, so I'll have to figure out when to do that one. Wow, I'm just a whole pile of trouble zones!

It looks like I just have steady, steady gains going on. I'm getting really tired of it. This morning I weighed 183.2 That is a 6.4 pound gain since ending the juice. I do not like that, Sam I am. I do not like such a high gain. I am ready to see it start going back down. What I really need to do is crack down. I no longer have pistachios in my house. I wish I could say it's because I saw the danger and got rid of them, but no. It's because I just finished them off so they'd be gone. Stupid excuses. I love pistachios! I will definitely not buy any more. Not buying them is very easy. Sticking to a controlled portion, not so much. So no more.

I know the weight gain would be easier to take if I knew without a doubt that I were doing my 100% best. Because then what happens is really out of my hands. That's how it was on HCG. I just did what I had to do, and I did it perfectly. And the scale did whatever it did, I had nothing to feel guilty about. So I know that the blah, yucky feeling I am battling today has less to do with the number on the scale, and more to do with the fact that I can't say I've been giving 100%.

I am glad, though, that I got up and worked out for 80 minutes! That's no small thing, even if it was done grudgingly. This is hard. And I don't like it. But! It is definitely not over.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I am fighting two addictions right now.


Truthfully. I got a small bag of pistachios so I could have my little fourth of a cup every day as part of my protein. I love, love, love pistachios. How is it that I have this absolutely huge witch's cauldron full of candy--lots and lots of chocolate bars, too--sitting on top of my fridge, and I don't even care about it, but it's pistachios that are killing me??

Luckily I'm not eating the whole bag or anything. Because I promise you I could. I've done it before. (But not for a really long time, okay?) I love them just as much as I ever did. But I'm sure that after I eat my little measured out portion, the ones I grab here and there throughout the day because I just cannot get enough, probably add up to another entire serving. It's not like half a cup of shelled nuts is even that much, okay, so it's not like I'm stuffing myself with them. But they're nuts. And you can't mess around with nuts. You have to be careful!

I probably have half the small bag left. I will eat them. I love them. But if I can't stop at the proper serving and just be done, I will not be able to buy them again. And that would be just sad to me. So I have to either figure it out or say goodbye. Uuuurrrrgggggghhhhh! The question I have to answer is, do pistachios taste better than thin feels? I'm afraid the jury is still out on that one.

(Actually, I do know that thin feels a lot better than the extra pistachios. But maybe not the first half cup that I'm actually allowed to have).

2--Biggest Loser

I love watching. I really have become addicted, I think. I bought myself some headphones so that I can watch it on my laptop while my kids have their t.v. time. I have watched it way too much the past few days. And I know it's too much because I haven't been nearly as productive as I really need to be. I have a lot to do in the next couple of weeks, and I'm afraid I'm not checking much off the list.

So yeah, I need to cut back. But I do have to say that I love watching what they experience. At first I thought the temptations were just mean. It was just mean to make them face all that good food and then reward them for eating it with phone calls home, etc. But the more I watched, the more I realized that the whole point of the temptations, and the whole point of having that stuff around, is that it's real life. Nobody lives in a bubble. Nobody lives "at the ranch" for their whole lives, with people forcing them to work out and count calories. What we eat is a choice, and we have to be able to make those choices even when those temptations are in our faces. (Hmmm...okay, pistachios. I hear ya). But yeah, I really like the show. And I'm glad I never watched it when it first came out, because I don't know if I could handle waiting a whole week to find out what happened!

But I'll be working on not watching too much. =)

As for me, I'm doing fine. I have gained 4.5 of the weight I lost from juicing. My mom said the first time she did it she gained back five, and it took her a week to get back down. I don't know, I am feeling like it might take me more than a week! It's kind of a bummer. But it's okay. I've got this crunch time challenge helping me out, so I'm sure the weight thing will all even out eventually.

This morning I had an awesome workout. I did the same Cathe Friedrich thing that I did Friday, and it was SO much easier today. Just another confirmation to me that it was good to end the juice fast. I feel awesome.

So...281.3 this morning. I'm SO dying to get to 175, I can't even tell you.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Good Times

Yesterday I ate a banana for breakfast. Then I ate mixed vegetables with sauteed onion for lunch. For dinner I had an absolutely humongous salad. And I loved every single bite. I was in heaven! Who would typically think that a day with nothing but fruits and vegetables could be so incredibly satisfying? Me! I quite enjoyed it.

This morning I only needed to work out one hour to finish up my challenge goal for the week. So I slept in until 5:30. That was awesome. Then I did Gilad's step for 40 minutes, and his toning for 35 minutes. I was totally in my game. It was a challenge, I felt a little heavier on my feet than I like, but it was SO much better than yesterday's workout (the fact that it was 30 minutes shorter could have something to do with that).

I did have the expected post-juice fast gain of about a pound and a half. I'm okay with that. I actually think that I may have another gain on top of that tomorrow, because today I am introducing protiens and grains back in. Today I am really going to track calories, stay under 1200, eat 2 servings from each group, and eat only plant based. This is the plan for at least a week, and then I will decide if I want to have a day where I can have a little bit of animal based protein. I think it will largely be due to the scale, since I do have a habit of letting it dictate to me what parameters I want to set. So we'll see how it goes.

In the end, I feel it was a great thing to end the juice fast when I did. Yesterday just the thought of another glass of juice made me want to throw up. Today, I am thinking that next week I'll be ready to do a vegetable juice once a day with lunch. So that's good, I definitely didn't want to overdo until I hated it.

Onward and upward!

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Not Over 'Til the Fat Lady Sings

Last night was a pretty hard night for me, as I posted earlier. I've been having some bad luck getting not so good juices, even though I'm not making any of the ones I have crossed off my list. A couple of days in a row there, they made me feel sick afterward. You would think that after 18 days that wouldn't happen, but it did. Luckily it doesn't last for too long, but it isn't fun.

I think that I am really getting tired of the same old juice. I have quite an arsenal of recipes, so I don't repeat all that often. But they are similar enough that  it's just getting old. Last night as I was cleaning up, I could smell the pulp and it really just was not a pleasant smell to me. Not because it's any different than it ever is, just because I'm sick and tired of smelling it. I guess. That's all I can think.

That started me thinking that I need to be smart about how long I do this. Because I do want to do juice fasts periodically throughout the rest of my life, I don't want to overdo it right now to the point that I just can't stand the thought of making another glass of juice. Which is what point I got to last night. And I just didn't have any desire at all to go in there and make juice, which resulted in me, once again, drinking far less juice for the day than I feel I should. I know I should have had more. But just the thought of it made me want to leave the kitchen and chew some of that sugar free apple pie gum that Extra makes. =J So I did.

This morning I got up and did Cathe Friedrich's Low Max workout, which is a 70 minute step aerobics/body sculpting interval thing. After that I did Gilad's 35 minute toning workout. That's the good news. The bad news is that almost from the very beginning of the step workout, I did not feel good. I don't know how to describe it. Fuzzy? (could have been because it was so early, LOL). Weak? Just plain out of it? Whatever it was, I definitely didn't give Cathe 100% today. Maybe about 90%. I don't like to just go through the motions of a workout, because I know that if your heart is in it and you're giving it your all, you get much more out of it. It's also a lot more fun. I have fun doing that workout. It's a major killer, but I like it. Today I didn't like it.

There's part of me that says "Duh, it's because all you consume is vegetable/fruit juice--you just can't exercise when you're doing that." There's another part of me that says "Joe Cross and Phil whatever his name is exercised during their 60 day juice fast, and they were fine. So leave me alone, I want to exercise." But I think the most practical side of me is saying, "Maybe it's just time you were done with the juice for now. Earlier in the week you were totally on your game with the workouts, and didn't feel weak or any of that. But now you do. This is your body telling you that it's just plain time to stop the fast."

So. My problem is that even after all that, I am still undecided! Can you believe that?

Why? The shameful truth is that I don't want to go back to the "slow and steady" weight loss. I know that I need to, that rapid weight loss is not something that should be done long term anyway. For the juice fast, it has definitely been my favorite "side effect." And I admit that it is hard to let go of. The closer I get to certain milestones, and to my final goal, the harder it is to be patient for the pounds to come off.

And I do know that that's just the way it is, and that I have to just be okay with it because I can't keep juicing forever, and I need to be healthy, and I need to relax and just try to lose 2 pounds a week and not feel like it's a bad thing. Because it's not. I always knew that I didn't want to have rapid weight loss all the way down, and I know that your body has to have time to tone along with losing the pounds, or you end up with lots of saggy baggy skin. Which may be the point my arms have reached. Grrr!

So I know in my mind that getting on that road of slow and steady weight loss is what I truly need. And it's what I truly want. I just need my mind to inform my heart.

At any rate, I think that for now I will finish out the juicing through tomorrow, maybe Sunday. But for sure by Monday morning I'll be on solid foods (ha! I sound like a baby! hee hee) again and putting this whole primarily plant based thing to the test.

I know that I will gain a couple of pounds back as my body adjusts to all the changes. Hopefully I'll be able to lose it again fairly quickly and then really keep it under control. I'm good with extremely strict, not so much with the less strict. I do feel that I have come to the point where I can tackle that a lot better than I have during the past year, and I like the guidelines I have set for myself. So here's hoping.

Meanwhile, I will try and make all of my juices for the next two or three days so I'm not left with a lot of leftover vegetables that could very well just go to waste. Unless something changes between now and then, it's my plan to finish up soon.

(And I will drink plenty of juice to make sure that I can be on top of my game for tomorrow's workout).

176.8 today!

**Added about a half hour later:

I take it back. I've been sitting here reading weight loss blogs and trying to get myself into the kitchen to go make some juice, and I just can't stomach the thought of it.

So, my friends, it's done. I'm going to go have a banana for breakfast. I will have some kind of steamed vegetables for lunch, and my big ol' salad for dinner. Maybe strawberries for dessert if I feel like it. Tomorrow I will have oatmeal with a banana for breakfast. I may have some nuts at lunch, with some vegetables again. Salad for dinner again. This time I'll put in some black beans. I think I'm going to be in heaven!

I hate that I'm just quitting, but I do feel that it is the best thing for me, and I really just can't feel like a quitter after having done an 18 day juice fast, right? I feel pretty dang good.

As for the vegetables? I'll try to keep eating them and waste as few as possible.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One Of Those Hard Times

Just made a juice for the 3rd time. The first time I made it it was AWFUL. I figured that was because I added a green onion it didn't call for and it didn't mesh well with the ingredients. The second time I made it it was simply because I forgot that I hated it so bad the first time. And I added the green onion again the second time! I decided to try it one last time and make it according to the recipe and scrap the onion. It's definitely better without the onion.

But it is still so stinkin' nasty.

And I'm drinking it down anyway, because regardless of how it tastes, the juice is still good for me. And I can't waste it, I spent too much money on it. =(

Add to that the fact that I just made mini-meatloaves for my kids for dinner. Even just chopping the onion made my mouth water. Then mixing all the ingredients together and working with it--it just smelled so amazing.

I miss food. 

Last night we had a nice program at church for the Young Women. Afterward, when everyone was eating the dessert (brownie bites, chocolate chip cookie bars, and chocolate caramel somethings), I didn't care at all to have any. I knew I wouldn't want to eat them, but I was also glad that it didn't bother me at all. My son (who had been there for scouts) asked me to hold his plate for a minute. So (you know me) I smelled his brownie. And nothing. It actually kind of turned me off. It could have been because it was store bought--I'm much more a lover of homemade stuff. But still, one would think that not having sugar for almost 3 months (almost perfectly) that any kind of treat would be tempting.

I am super happy that being around the sweets isn't a problem for me at all right now. What it's harder to be around are the things that I know I'll be able to eat after the juice fast. Peanut butter. Salad. Bananas. Homemade whole wheat honey bread. It's even starting to get a little bit hard to not just eat a bite of fresh fruit or vegetable because I can only have the juice.

It isn't this hard all the time. Luckily. I know that doing this fast is curing me of a lot of things I could have been diagnosed with later that now I won't. I know how amazing this thing is for my health.

But tonight it's hard. This juice tastes nasty, and the aroma of the meatloaf is filling the house.

On the other hand, it's kind of nice to have something good to smell while I drink the juice. I do find some kind of satisfaction in that.

I do wonder if I'll make it to 30 days. I mean, who wants to say "I did an 18 day juice fast." 18 doesn't mean anything, it's no round number at all. It's not 5, or 10, or 2 weeks, or whatever. I'd love to be able to say I did a 30 day juice fast.

Dead Weight

I prefer to weigh in after I've exercised. Dead weight, when you just jump out of bed and on to the scale, is never as low as you get after you exercise.

So for the first part of the juice fast, all my weigh ins were dead weight. What can I say, I was SUPER lazy that first part (that and my back was messed up). But Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays weigh ins were all the good, exercised, lighter ones. is another dead weight weigh in. I ran myself ragged the first three days this week. Not just because of the challenge, although that contributed quite a bit, but because of lots of other things going on. Today I have things to do, but nothing pressing. No deadlines. And I decided that I should take today off instead of Saturday, as far as the hour and a half of exercising goes. I may take Thursdays off a lot, and just do Saturday, because usually by Thursday I'm really needing a break. I would like to work into going strong five days in a row, but right now I just play it by ear and see. So yeah, for this week, Thursday is my day off. Other than crunches, which I am doing six days a week. Those will still be done today.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get a lot of cleaning done, and make some phone calls.

And I'm really hoping that the girl who ordered those 6 dozen chocolate dipped oreos from me does indeed show up today to pick them up--it took me a lot of time to make them! (Maybe one of these days I'll actually get to try one and see how they taste!) And I could use the money, so let's hope she doesn't stand me up.

Other than that, I'm really happy that my dead weight was the same as yesterday's exercised weight. That gives me a good feeling about tomorrow's weigh in. =)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crazy Day!

I hope I don't have another day like this again for a REALLY long time.

It's been crazy. I've been going strong with no breaks since 4:50 this morning.

The good news: I got all my exercise. And I hurt. In a good way. =) I got all my vitamins. I drank juice (but not enough, probably--I just didn't have enough time today to make it! It only takes about 5 minutes to make, but...yeah). It's okay though, I'm not hungry or weak or anything like that.

The bad news: I didn't get  my water in. I drank one water bottle this morning. Since I had to be out on errands all day I didn't drink my usual 5 morning water bottles. And then when I got home I just didn't have a chance to stop. BUT. I figure I'll make up for it over the rest of the week, so no big deal. I'll still get my monthly goal. =)

I've weighed in at 178.9 two days in a row now. Not complaining!

Here's to less stress tomorrow. Hopefully.

Monday, October 31, 2011


So far so good! I set my alarm for 4:50. And I actually got up. I got all ready and got my step set up and got my DVD in the player...and couldn't find the remote. I HATE THAT!! I can't do the workouts without the remote, because we have a cheap $25 DVD player that won't allow me to navigate through menus. I searched the house for 45 minutes. (And my house is clean, okay--my firm rule is that the house is clean every night before bed without fail. Not always scrubbed, but always clean).

I was losing my mind, seriously. I did not need this kind of opposition on my very first day! And I started feeling like a different kind of biggest loser.

Then I just made up my mind to hurry up and get started--I got my trusty laptop (which does not have the size screen I like to exercise to, but at least it plays DVDs) and set my step up somewhere else. And I did it. I got started almost an hour late!! I was going to do the extra half hour of cardio this morning, because I'm pretty sure that a night workout on Halloween is just not going to happen. Forgot to figure that one in.

Luckily, my kids don't have school today, due to a staff development day (brilliant, if you ask me). So I just kept going and let the older boys wait longer for their breakfast, and let the girls stay in their room for an extra half hour, and I just kept going. Pushing through them all.

I pushed through a side ache (not the dangerous kind), and the part where I felt like I was going to throw up. I got past the part where the workout was a bit harder than I remembered, and I just finished.

What I did this morning: 40 minutes of step aerobics, 30 minutes of regular aerobics, 35 minutes of toning, and 500 crunches. And drank 85 oz of water.
What I have left to work in to the rest of my day: 2 more arm workouts, 500 sit ups, one more water bottle, and vitamins.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Crunch Time Challenge

I'm ready to post the details of my killer November challenge. And since I really can't think up an amazing title, I'm just going to call it the Crunch Time Challenge. After all, it's the last month I've got before I see my husband again, so I guess it really is crunch time for me. =)

Exercise: I will exercise seven hours each week. For me, this will pretty much mean one hour each morning and half an hour each night, on the weekdays. On Wednesday nights I'm gone working with the youth, so that night I will not do the night workout. If something comes up on the weekdays and I miss something here or there, I still have Saturday. So I might not do everything on the exact day and time every time, but I will do 7 hours a week.

These seven hours are the DVD workouts I will do. 4.5 hours of cardio and 2.5 strenght training. The 30 minutes I add at night will be in the form of a cardio workout.

In addition to the seven hours, I will do 1,000 crunches a day, 6 days a week. (Basically, 6,000 a week or 24,000 for the month). I also reserve the right to do more on one day and less on another if I have a conflict. However, since 1,000 is a lot, I really don't think I'll want to have to make up for any days. (Extra incentive to just get it done, right?)

I will also do 3 separate arm workouts each day in addition to the above mentioned stuff. I know, it sounds like A LOT. But my arms are in terrible shape, and it's just for a month. I'm going to push myself until I can't possibly push anymore, and then just go a little bit more. I just ordered some arm workout DVDs from Amazon, so hopefully the super saver shipping won't take too long to get them here. In the meantime, I'll have to make up some of my own arm routines, and try to work on the push ups a bit. (Those really hurt me, by the way. I'm such an arm wimp!)

Food: Continue juicing, and then switch over to the primarily plant based eating plan after that.

Water: 100 oz. a day

Vitamins: Take them. =)

I think that's all for now. I am a bit nervous. Sometimes I think that's way too much. But then I know that, for temporary, it really is okay to push.

As for today's weigh in, I was glad to get 181 straight up. That means I've lost 10 pounds since that progress picture of me. Awesome!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crunch Time

I had the most fabulous morning ever. It was very simple, but it was chock full of goodness.

I woke up early enough to just lay in bed and bask in the glory of...just laying in bed. I don't get to do that often. Then I got up and weighed myself and got 181.5. That was nice! I don't think I've ever had a point five before. I don't want to round up or down, so I'm just going to record it as it is. And I'm happy with it.

The mornings are cold around here now. I had time to take a leisurely shower, so I did. And the water was steaming hot, and it was just the best shower I can remember having in a really super duper long time.

Anyway, I was chock full of inspiration this morning. Somehow I woke up with this renewed sense of...something. I don't know. Whatever it was, it felt great. And there was a shift in my game plan that is pretty exciting! (To me, anyway).

The original plan: To juice through November 1, then move to primarily plant based and work on maintaining my weight up until Thanksgiving. Then Thanksgiving would happen and immediately after that I'd leave for Hawaii. Then I'd probably do another juice fast after I got back from Hawaii, up until we get on the road for some holiday travelling, and then off to Disneyland. And then try to do whatever I could in January as we get ready to move at the beginning of February.

The new plan: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I feel like I'm not ready to be done with my juice fast in 4 days. So...I'm just going to keep going. Right now I would love to do an extra 14 days, making 30 days total. But I am going to play it by ear and just see how it goes. I will commit to keeping it going as long as I still have vegetables. And when they run out, if I still feel like going, I'll buy more vegetables and then keep going until they run out again. Can you believe that just the thought of continuing this fast actually makes me happy??

After I'm done, I will just do the plant based thing and decide what to do about Thanksgiving when the time gets closer. I do not plan on "vacation eating" when I'm on my various trips. I really think that just sticking to the primarily plant based/no sugar thing will be fine and I shouldn't end up with a big gain. I still have to decide which guidelines I want to set for the no sugar thing. I don't know if I'll want to just stay off it, or allow myself to have it once a week or whatever. I figure I might as well stay off it completely until I feel like I want to let myself have a little bit. Then before I have it, I'll decide what kinds of guidelines I'm ready for.

The other part of the new plan is actually the big deal. (I love that juicing really isn't a big deal to me anymore). I have decided that November is the month to hit it really super hard, and do kind of a huge major challenge. Go crazy. Just for one month.

See, I started watching Biggest Loser (now that it's on netflix--I have never watched it before!). Last night I finished the first season. I loved watching them take their journeys, and push themselves to levels of success they never thought they could ever attain. I started thinking (like probably a lot of people do when they watch the show) how great it would be if I had the time and the opportunity to get pushed by a personal trainer for four hours each day. Just kill myself and get super strong and just kick tail for even just a month. And then I thought, why not?

Obviously I can't leave my five kids and go away for several weeks and blah blah blah. But I can push myself hard on my own, here at home. I can remember all those biggest loser contestants saying they just couldn't possibly do any more, and then doing so much more, and keep pushing myself as hard as I can even when  my muscles are sore, or when I'm tired, or when I think I just can't possibly give it any more. Just for a month.

I can't do anything to the extent of what they do on the show. But I can do my hour, five days a week. And I can work in a night workout whenever possible. And I can get back into my daily crunches and all that. But I know that for just one month, I could increase my crunches from 500 to 1,000. And maybe at least half of those can be full sit ups. And I could give my arms what for every single day, and force them to shape up! LOL. I will have to look into figuring out what types of things to do, and then just play my own biggest loser game.

So I want to do that for the entire month of November. There will be a few days that I won't be able to work in exercise, so I'll have to just be okay with that. But on the other days, I really am going to push myself harder than I have EVER pushed before.

And then I'll go home and see my husband, who I haven't seen since R&R in August when I weighed 211.

So there you have it. I'm going to start it up on Monday instead of waiting until Nov. 1, because it just seems weird to start something like that on a Tuesday.

Before then, I will post the details of my personal Biggest Loser November Challenge. So...anybody who wants to join me can work out their own details of what they want to do, and then we can all go for it together!

So leave a comment telling me you're in!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Juicing Illustrated

AGAIN. Only this time it was worse. I went from 182.7 yesterday to 182.8 today. Oh well--like I said, there's no way I can predict what will happen. I made a guess, and really thought I'd have at least some loss every day. Maybe I'm just going to cruise to the end of this 16 days without losing any more. It's a good thing I committed to going that far, because I must admit that if there's no more loss it kind of takes the bloom off the rose. I do need to also remember that the juice fast has also saved me from getting started on that Halloween candy. That in and of itself is a big thing.

So on to the pictures! Here is a picture of some of the vegetables I bought the first week.Some of them were in the fridge--the ones I could fit! I had to be careful not to buy so far in advance this week, because keeping them in the fridge is definitely a better idea. Although in the height of winter they'd probably keep just fine in the garage.

I used these vegetables for my first juice of the day yesterday morning.

About 4 leaves of kale, 4 carrots, half a head of romaine lettuce, one apple, one lime. I put them through the juicer just like that, without cutting anything. I did cut off the lime peel, but a very thin layer as to leave on all the white plinth underneath.

All done and ready to drink!

This one was actually quite tasty, as far as juice goes. I was very happy to get such a yummer.

I like to use the shaker bottles they have at places like GNC and Vitamin World for my juice, because they come with those little wire wisk ball thingies at the bottom so I can give it a little shake when it needs it. Sometimes the juice tends to separate a little bit.

Down the hatch!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Opposite of Love

Today's weigh in was kind of a bummer. Yesterday's was too. Only because, even though I do round the number up or down, I do keep the decimal stuff in mind. So yesterday I went from 183.7 (rounded to 184) down to 183.3 (rounded to 183). So I still got to put a pound loss on my tracker on the side there. It was not even a half pound loss. It doesn't get me down for real, though, because--you know, all those personal factor things. Really, I'm just thrilled and elated to see a daily loss. That's definitely nothing to get bummed about!

Today's weigh in was 182.7, rounded up to 183. So I posted 183 on the tracker, so it technically doesn't look like a loss. But hey--I'm not complaining because it was actually a .7 loss. Not too terrible! But I have to admit that it's fun to be able to record a smaller number on the tracker. Still, it always evens out in the end, and I'm good.

Juicing is going great. Better today. The past few days it's been hard because I have been wishing I could eat stuff. Like that bread. Today all that is gone. The juice is fine, and I feel great. I didn't realize it at the time, but I did not smell my daughter's sandwich today. (OK, I know you probably think I'm a freak that I do that sometimes, but oh well. It is what it is).

Last night we had a Trunk or Treat at our church. I had FIVE little trick-or-treaters out there gathering candy, and as you can imagine, they brought home quite the haul.

It has always been the way, at our house, that after trick-or-treating, everybody's candy all goes into one big bowl, or bag, and it becomes "family candy." It just works for us that way. The parents get to have some, the kids don't fight over it or take it in their rooms and eat 'til they're sick. You know how it can be.

I realized this morning that I haven't thought about that candy once since it came into the house--other than to tie the bag shut and stick it up on the fridge so the kids can't sneak into it. (I have a certain 4 year old who would take the whole bag into a dark laundry room and eat until he was caught--my older kids have never done anything like that!) Anyway, when I realized that all that candy has not taunted me at all, not the tiniest bit, it filled me with a kind of peaceful contentment.

When I was young I heard that the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. (This in reference to the crushes teenage girls get on teenage guys). Well my friends, I am feeling extremely indifferent to all that Halloween candy!

It's lovely.

And guess who is not buying a single bag of Halloween candy to pass out on Monday night? ME, right. I will let my kids pick out 20 or so pieces each (the oldest three that is, the younger ones really won't know the difference). The rest of it will be passed out to the trick-or-treaters who come by after we get home from our half hour or so in the neighborhood. Definitely the cheaper and healthier way for our family!