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!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Hardest Day!~

Well, today is bread making day because we ran out a couple of days ago. I needed to make sandwiches for the kids for lunch today, but didn't get to it soon enough. So they had some cheeseburger muffins I had made and stuck in the freezer about a month ago (?) and survived. And I did finally get the bread made.

And that is when it got hard. I knew it would. Few things in this world can compare to the aroma of freshly baking whole wheat and honey bread. Oh my. It always smells good, even when it's been sliced up and in the fridge, and pulled out for the kids' PB&J. I like to smell the sandwich after I cut it and before I give it to whoever it's for.

It's okay. I smell it, and it smells good. And then my kid eats it.

Today it's just hard smelling that bread baking, knowing that my morning juice (that made more than a double portion so there was enough left for my mid-day juice) is waiting for me in the fridge, and that this is one of the combinations I wasn't overly fond of so I'm kind of dreading having to drink it down.

I hate that. I miss food.

Fortunately, my resolve is in tact. I will smell the bread, I will drink the juice, and I will be healthier and happier for it.

This morning I weighed in at 183.7. This makes me happy. It means I have reached a loss of 120 (110 since my husband left for Iraq--my goal was to lose 100 while he was gone). And yes, I do always round, so on the weight tracker at the side it does say 184. And I can't lie, the scale is a huge motivator.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Yesterday I was thinking my back was fine enough to get back to working out. So I got my stuff all ready last night and set my alarm for 5:00 am.

And then this morning I hit snooze a few times until I just turned the darn thing off and went back to sleep until 6:30. Dang it! It's not the exercising that is hard. It's the getting out of bed so early! If I could get up at 7 and exercise, I'd be totally in business. But if I don't get up at 5, it's over. I just can't do it with three little kids. And I can't just go for a walk later, because that involves either taking 2 strollers (which I can't do) or taking one stroller and walking at a 4 year old's pace. A 4 year old who likes to stop and look at every little thing, that is. So it's pointless.

I just have to get up. I was doing quite well with it, in my groove and all that, until my back got messed up. Last week I only worked out twice, and this week...well, I didn't start off so well! But now that I've said it outloud here on the blog, maybe it will be extra incentive for me to get up in the morning.

Here's the key: I have to hit the alarm and jump out of bed before I have time to actually think about it. That's all. Just get up and do it. And hey, I always weigh less after I work out than before, so that should be incentive. But sometimes it's just not enough.

At any rate, hopefully tomorrow I'll get back on track and do my hour. I've still been doing great with my water--but lately it seems to be only 5 water bottles a day instead of 6. Somehow I just feel like I'm drinking, drinking, drinking all the live long day. I don't really mind though, because I think that with drinking the juice, not drinking that 6th water bottle really isn't too big a deal.

Another pound down today, 185. I wonder if I'll have any more 2 pound days. I wonder if I can get at least 1 pound a day for the rest of my fast. Even if I don't, it's okay. But I'd REALLY love to make it to the 170s, down far enough that when I get off the juice and back onto the solids, I won't have to fear hitting the 80s. I know I'll probably gain back a pound or two as my body adjusts to the change. So it would be really great if I could finish out the fast at 177. Max. 175 would, of course, be better. But you know what? Whatever. It's unpredictable. I have no idea what to expect. Even if I come out of this at 183, that would still be a 10 pound loss in 2 weeks. Not too shabby, right? Still, I'm really shooting for that 177. And I've pretty much decided to go through November 1 instead of finishing up on Oct. 30. However, if, by some miracle, I hit 175 on the 31st, I'm pretty sure I'll go ahead and stop, and sink my teeth into that salad I've been craving for over a week now. =)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chipping Away

Michelangelo spent a lot of time in the quarries choosing the stone that he would carve. He said that he could SEE “David” or the “Piata” or whatever it was he was carving IN the stone and he NEEDED to release it from the stone. 

Marble carving is HARD work. Marble chips fly in all directions; the dust lies thick. Modern stone workers wear goggles; Michelangelo did NOT. He needed to see the stone, to see each mark, to make tiny adjustments to the angle of his chisel and to the force of his blow. He could not afford one slip. One wrong stroke could break a finger, an arm, or worse. A figure comes alive only after thousands, thousands- tens of thousands- of perfectly directed hard and soft blows.

Marble carving is difficult & unforgiving. The marble for David was a huge block that had been abandoned 40 years earlier. Several other sculptors wanted the commission but Michelangelo was the only one to achieve a design of such enormous dimensions that used only this marble block, requiring no additional parts.

When we sculpt, we must take away the parts that aren’t needed, so that the vision of the artist can escape the stone.

Obviously I'm not here to give an art history lesson. So what does this have to do with me? With health and weight loss? 

There are things I must “take away” in order to become the "masterpiece" I hope to become.

Some of these things are oversized portions, straying from the health guidelines I set for myself, etc.

Just as in carving stone, it is not always easy to remove these pieces from our lives.

If Michelangelo made a wrong stroke, he could have broken a finger, or an arm, or worse.

If I make a wrong move, it is harder for me to get back onto the right path.

Fortunately for us, one wrong move does not ruin the masterpiece. We can get right back up and keep going. We get to make up for our wrong moves. The key is to learn how to stop making those wrong moves, and get to a place where we are always in control of that chisel.

Just as Michelangelo had faith to see his work in the stone and faith that he could release that art…we have to have faith that we can overcome our personal stumbling blocks, chip away all that fat, and become the masterpiece we long to be.

Juicing is going great! I'm getting a little (or a lot?) tired of it, but I'm not even close to ready to quit. =) Today's weigh in was 186, putting me at a juicing loss of 7 pounds and a grand total of 117. Fifty six to go! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Well, I think we all know that the best way to be successful is to make lifestyle changes rather than going on a "diet." So...I'm here to address what that actually means.

A lifestyle change does not mean something that you're going to do while you lose weight and then go back to your previous way of eating. Going on HCG was not a lifestyle change for me. Atkins is not a lifestyle change. Nutri-system, Medi-fast, Slimfast, diet pills--none of that is a lifestyle change. I'm not downing diet plans, absolutely not. I myself did HCG for a year, and I don't regret it. A friend of mine who was downing diets made the comment on her blog that things like HCG are a scam, because even if you do them, you just gain it all back once you get off and go back to your normal way of eating. But don't you see--that is the key! You don't EVER, EVER, EVER go back to your normal way of eating, no matter what you did to lose your weight. You can't. Ever! Your "normal" way of eating is what got you fat in the first place!

It doesn't mean you can't ever have dessert again. It doesn't mean that you can't go to a BBQ on the 4th of July and fill up your plate and eat until you're stuffed. You can. The real key is to have guidelines. I know a girl who has a super great body, and I don't think she's ever been one ounce overweight. One of her guidelines that she shared with me, years ago, is that she only eats sugar on the weekends. So Monday through Friday, no sugar. If she goes to an event or out to lunch or whatever, on a Friday night, she doesn't have dessert. It doesn't matter what it is, where she is, who she's with, she doesn't eat the sugar. No pancakes with syrup for breakfast in the middle of the week. No peanut butter and jelly sandwich if the jelly has sugar. And on the weekend when she can eat sugar, she doesn't go out and purposely buy all kinds of sugary things. But if they have dessert after Sunday dinner, she allows herself to have some. If they want to do chocolate chip pancakes for Saturday breakfast sometimes, she has some.

So you see, normal people, who don't seem to have a problem with weight, follow lifestyle guidelines. Maybe they are specific, conscious guidelines, or maybe having control over what they eat just comes naturally. (Jealous!!) But you have to have guidelines. That's what I've always liked about the Weight Watchers plans (although I've never officially joined WW). Their plans have a way to work in social situations and occasional treats, but you're always aware of what you're eating, and how much you're eating. If you want dessert, you save up for it--or you work to "pay for it." You don't have to feel guilty for having dessert or a big ol' chunk of french bread with cheese (ok, that last one is making me drool, LOL), you just work it in to your guidelines.

Yes, I did HCG. No, it was not a lifestyle change. And no, I don't regret doing it. First of all, it worked for me. Second of all, I learned a lot about myself and my habits and my relationship with food that I really needed to learn. No regrets. But I knew the time would come when I'd have to figure out this lifestyle thing.

Some may think that juicing is "extreme" or "drastic." But the truth is, it's a way of life for me. I plan to do a juice fast regularly, for the rest of my life. I'm not sure how often I'll do it, or how many days I'll do it each time, but I am so sure of the health benefits of juicing! Right now, the accompanying weight loss is nice. But the truth is, my body is healing. It is detoxing, cleaning out. I believe that there are a lot of things that could happen to me later that won't because of juicing. I don't profess to believe that I'll never have health problems--you just really can't ever predict that kind of stuff. But I do firmly believe that if I can do a regular juice cleanse (even if it's only twice a year or something) I will avoid a lot of issues that would have happened to me otherwise. I will also be drinking juice from my juicer daily, whether I'm on a fast or not.

My guidelines will be to eat plant based 5 days out of 7. Two days out of the week I will eat meat, dairy, whatever. I'm not going to say "weekends," because sometimes I may want my days to be in the middle of the week. But plant based 5 days is something that I can do for the rest of my life. I will still have to determine how often I will allow myself a treat. But I can guarantee you that I'll always "feel like it." I'll always "want it." It's not good enough for me, for the rest of my life, to have it when I want it, and pass it up when I don't. "Real life" means passing it up if it doesn't fit in with my predetermined guidelines, whether you want it or not.

Growing up, I was taught that you have to make decisions before you're there, in the moment. Choose to say no to drugs and alcohol now, and when someone offers it to you, you don't even have to think about it because your choice is made. Make the decision now to be virtuous, and when you're there, in the moment of weakness, you already have your choice made. It's a lot easier that way. So for me and sugar, I need to set my guidelines and just live according to that. If I'm making cookies for my kids or because we're having company or something, it doesn't mean I have to have some! It doesn't mean I have to lick my fingers or eat some of the chocolate chips before I stir them in. It doesn't mean I have to have a spoonful of cookie dough that I get to eat off of. Remember--nobody cares if I eat it or not. Nobody cares! Will I want it? Yes!! Every time I make stuff, I want it! I do, that's how I'm programmed. I made rice krispy treats last night for my kids for a movie night. With candy corn stirred in. With chocolate on top. Decorated with more candy corn and halloween sprinkles. Did I want some? Of course I did! But I've done stuff like that so much on HCG, made stuff without eating it, that I just know it's one of those things--that my whole world is not going to crash if I don't taste it. Sometimes it will be within my guidelines to have some, sometimes it won't. End of story. And it's okay!!

I'm sure that my guidelines may change once I get to "goal" and shift over to maintenance mode. Like, maybe instead of 1200 calories I'll up it to 1500--keeping my exercise the same. Whatever it is. But I'll spend the next 57 pounds training myself in this new "primarily plant based with juice fasts now and then" lifestyle.

It's about health. And yes, for now, it's also about weight loss. Bring it!!

I'm doing the happy dance today because: today's weigh in was 187 (well, 186.9, I always round). This makes me 2 pounds better than I've ever been in my entire adult life (that's almost 20 years, my friends!) And since I have no idea what I weighed in high school, I can't really say anything about that. So...I feel great!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Well, if that doesn't make up for the gagger I just don't know what could...

I just went in my room, and....wait for it.....

I fit into the size 14 pants!! What the heck! So way excited. I imagine these have to be sized a bit big, because there's no reason I should be able to wear a 14 yet. Still, I'll take it!

I think those 18s are FINISHED. I guess it's a good thing I got that picture this morning, because I really didn't have any clue that they looked so bad.

The 14s feel good. So comfortable. I almost forgot what it's like to wear pants that fit. Right on!!

A word about the side view: Now you can see that I'm not kidding when I say my arms are in big major trouble. Maybe I haven't said that here. But they are. I was doing some extra arm exercises a few weeks ago, I really need to pick those back up. My arms are so bad. It makes me look forward to colder weather and longer sleeves. =(  Still, it is what it is.

I'm also trying to figure out what to do with my hair. Right now it's just a mess, I always just stick it back in 2 ponytails. I want to color it, I will probably make that a milestone reward, or a juice fast reward or something. But I really need to figure out a good style. Trying to decide if I want to go for an A-line bob again, or grow it out and do a longer, layered hairstyle. I kind of like the longer idea, but it really doesn't help me know what to do with it NOW. Ugh. I do have to figure it out before I go to Hawaii...

Gagger Alert!

Oh my. I just drank a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad juice!! Ick! The worst part? The dang recipe made FORTY FIVE ounces!! I spent a lot of money on the vegetables for these juices, and you know me (well, if you know me you know me) I hate, hate hate hate wasting money. But I did pour 10 ounces of it down the drain. This stuff was horrible, and I am amazed I managed to choke down 35 ounces of it! I am definitely deleting this one and never making it again. Bleh.

Other than that, I had a good day. Still not hungry, just cruising along. Luckily my other 3 juices today were pretty good.

Something really cool: I don't remember whether or not I mentioned that my parents are doing this 14 day thing with me. But today one of my sisters decided to go for it and get herself a juicer too! I'm so excited, it will be a lot of fun for us to get as many on board as we can, and sometimes be able to do these juice fasts "together" even though we are all so geographically spread out. I'm way excited.

In other news, I really hate the picture my son took of me this morning. I do, I hate it. I think that I'll go in my room tonight and try on some of my smaller pants. The ones in the picture are size 18, and they really have been way too big for a long time. I have been buying up clothes at yard sales, because there really is no point in spending good quality money on clothes that I will just be "passing through." LOL. So I have a few pairs of 16s, and they fit me good and I wear them, but I hate their style. They're just kind of a frumpy style. Still...I'm very close to being able to pull up the 14s. I haven't tried them for a while, so I think I'll give them all a re-check tonight. Maybe I'll like a picture of me in clothes that aren't too big. But yeah, it's kind of a bummer to find out that I'm still not as thin as I honestly pictured myself to be.

Oh well, it's a lot easier to take it knowing I'm doing something about it, and starting once again to steadily go down. Once I hit 188 I'll be the best I can ever remember being. So there's that.

Meanwhile, I find myself daydreaming about food. Not even bad stuff. Today I just took a nice long whiff of my daughter's peanut butter/honey sandwich before I gave it to her for lunch. I'm not sure what gets me the most, the peanut butter or the homemade bread. I miss pistachios, and I REALLY miss my salads. Like bad. I crave my salad. But the good news is, that's what I'm most looking forward to eating the first day after this juice fast. Not too shabby, I guess, right? And I've been thinking about my mom's black bean soup. That stuff rocks. I guess it's time to build up an arsenal of vegetable based recipes for the month of November, huh?

Still undecided about Thanksgiving. Today I came up with something I may do: Juice for breakfast (since I'll be at my sister's and she will have a juicer!!), my favorite big ol' salad at lunch, and then Thanksgiving dinner. I'm pretty sure I'll go ahead and just skip the turkey, since it's really not all that important to me. I will let myself eat what's there though, and even have some dessert. But if I eat those other things before the official "feast," I think I'll do better with smaller portions of the things that are not so good for me. We'll see!

Reality Check

See...I feel great that I've lost over 110 pounds. I do remember the last time I got to this point. I felt so great! So great, in fact, that without realizing what I was doing, I started shifting my way of thinking. "I'm not so fat anymore, now I can have a waffle cone at Disneyland..." or whatever it was. You know, thin people can eat that stuff because they're not fat. The truth is, the fat ones are the ones who eat that crap, and the thin ones (the ones who have to work to stay that way, anyway) are super careful about it. Just because you see some thin, fit person eating a big ol' waffle cone doesn't mean she eats that way all the time. And she goes home from vacation and works her booty off to...well, work her booty off. LOL

OK, that was a bad joke. The point is, getting to a goal weight is not some "arrival." You don't get there and become free from all the work it took you to get there. You do shift. Eating to maintain a certain weight is a little different than eating to lose pounds. But you never arrive in that happy place with a guarantee that you'll get to stay there forever no matter what. It's work. It will be work for me for the rest of my life.

This time hopefully I've learned enough about what it takes to actually do what it takes to not pile the pounds back on. I still have 60 pounds to loyse. Do you know how much better that sounds than 160?? When I get down to 130, it will have actually been a 173 pound loss. My end goal used to be 140, so the big number in my head was always 160 that I needed to lose. Anyway...I love that I only have 60 pounds to go. I do feel amazing. Looking back at those pictures I posted in the previous post--well, I can't even remember anymore what it feels like to carry that much weight.

But here's a big difference this time around: I am so much more aware of all the fat that is still stuck to me! I hate that I can still grab handfulls of fat around my thighs, and that I still have a big ol' stomach hanging down, and that my arms are so awful. Believe me, there's no temptation right now for me to feel like I've arrived anywhere. Many people in this world get up into the 190s and are devistated that they've piled on the pounds. So before I go getting too thrilled with what is gone (yes, I need to feel good about it, yes I need it to serve as encouragement, and I need to feel proud of myself for the discipline and work I put in to make that happen), I am grateful that I am still so aware of how much work there still is to do. I count that as a huge blessing, because I didn't have that last time. I was so focused on how much better I looked and felt that I couldn't see the 50-60 pounds of obesity that still clung to me.

All that to say, I had my oldest son take a picture of me this morning before he left for school. Fortunately, I can look at it without feeling sick to my stomach. But--it's still worse than I expected. It's really okay. I feel like I'm in a good place, doing good things. Taking one day at a time and still chipping away at the goal. And luckily for me, I am able to see all that unsightly padding that remains to be dealt with.

So I'm happy. And I kind of have this renewed sense of...what? I don't know. I'm just a whole lot less satisfied with myself right now than I was 5 years ago when I reached this same place. And for that I'm grateful.

Okay, so I'll stop babbling now and just post the darn picture already:

This morning's weigh in: 191.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh, and By the Way...

I do know that I need pictures. I will have to get one or two. There's still some mental block I have against wanting pictures of me! I get all nervous and clammy when there's a camera pointed my way. Reality is hard to face. But I do need to get a picture up! I know that what really motivates is the physical see where somebody starts and to see their progress along the way. So I'm pretty bad, I don't have too many fact, none at my worst. Actually, let's see...

Here's the best you'll get. Me signing the lease papers for our house in Hawaii...this was November, 2009:

I swore I would never show that picture to anyone!

Here's me one year ago:

And that's after I had lost 40 pounds! I'd say I was about 260 in these pictures.

So now that I have totally just left my comfort zone in the dust, I will have to hurry up and get a new picture of me up so that you don't have to keep these mental images. 

My Poor Other Blog

Is being sadly neglected! I wanted to start this blog because I don't want to go on and on about dieting/juicing/healthy living on that blog when most people may get tired of that kind of stuff real fast. Today I was thinking I should put up another post over there, but the truth is, all that's really on my mind right now is juicing. Other than that it's the same old stuff. My brain hasn't emerged from the health stuff enough to have too many thoughts on other things.

To tell you the truth, I've been reading Skinny Hollie's blog like a good novel that's way too hard to put down. I'm almost done though, less than a year left to read! I don't know why I felt compelled to read her entire blog from the beginning, but I did. And I'm glad I did. It's a good one. She's a real person, she faces her issues, she is honest. She falls flat on her face and picks herself back up again. She has reasons for what happens, but doesn't turn them into excuses. I can't wait to finish reading so I can leave her a comment or shoot her an email and just tell her I think she's awesome. She's had quite a journey!

OK. So I expected to have a few headaches, or feel like crud or something today. But I didn't. Maybe I will tomorrow. Because you know, that's all part of cleaning out your body. But the truth is, maybe I won't feel bad like that at all. Like I said yesterday, I really don't have sugar in my system, I haven't had caffeine in who knows how long. Months and months and months. I've been eating super good on HCG, so I guess my body is not going through any kind of withdrawl. (Is there a withdrawl for chewing? Because I haven't actually chewed anything for 3 days. LOL).

Seriously though. Today I went out and went produce shopping. Juicing is not cheap, my friends. But for me, it has to be. I am completely out of money, and I mean it. I am absolutely determined to not have a dime to pay on the credit card when payday comes around. October has been extremely hard. I bought a few big ticket items, at kind of a serious sacrifice to the budget. Plus I had over $800 on the credit card from September (?????) that I had to pay. (I have this pay it to zero every month rule going on, see, and I'm super super strict about it). So I paid that, and I made the last (WOOOHOOOO) payment to my student loan, and I cut our grocery bill in half, and I had a yard sale, and I even sold 15 dozen chocolate dipped oreos, all so I could scrape up enough money to buy my juicer and my Silhouette.

So yeah, here I am in the middle of the month, and I'm trying to afford to buy massive amounts of organic produce. Well. Let me just say that buying it at Save Mart probably isn't the best idea. $$$. The first three days of juicing cost me $40. And it wasn't all organic, I had to settle for buying what organics they had and then just dealing with it for the other stuff. I'm really all pro-organic though, because juicing gives you all the nutrients in a super consentrated form. And while that's good for you, if you are not using organic you are also getting the pesticides in super consentrated form. BAD BAD BAD. Anyway, I have to do the best I can, and I have to be able to afford it. So I am not 100% organic.

Back to today--I went with my mom to the farmer's market at the fair grounds and got some really good deals. Then over to Winco and Costco for the rest, and I'm stocked up for the next week. But my poor kids...I spent all the rest of the grocery money on myself! Don't worry though, between the big freezer and the pantry and my big ol' 45 pound bucket of wheat, they have plenty to eat. It's just not their favorites all the time. (And dang it, it's good for them to eat what's already here!)

So far so good. Today I added some cilantro to my juice at lunch, and it was fabulous. It tasted like salsa and I could pretend like I just finished eating a bowl of chips and salsa. Hee hee. I love cilantro.

I'll be honest with you. (Again). Juicing takes some getting used to. Definitely an acquired taste. But I have been so pleased thus far with how pleasant they've been to drink. I guess if you go into it just knowing that it's going to be awful awful awful, you're pleasantly surprised when it's just not as bad as you thought it would be.

Still not hungry.

Today's weigh in: 192. (That is the lowest weight I've had so far without a morning workout). Woohoo! Onward and upward.

Oh yeah...tonight I did some zumba and kick boxing at the youth activity. It was actually really fun. It didn't feel like it took much effort, but I worked up a serious sweat! I was surprised. My back pain was there, but not too bad. But now it's killing me. I guess I'm really not ready to put it through workouts yet. Dang it!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Still No Gaggers

The juicing is going great. I am still like a kid on Christmas morning, having a lot of fun watching that machine turn whole vegetables and fruit into juice in nothing flat. It's awesome. I still had a day of great juice recipes. The last one had a half a head of cabbage in it, and I'm not sure how much I liked that one. Toward the end I did sort of feel like I was forcing it down. But I liked it okay enough to mark it as a keeper, just not one to have overly often. Still! It's great that I haven't had a gagger yet.

I do admit, though, I'm starting to miss food. Well--I started to miss food when I read a few 2010 posts from Skinny Hollie's blog, where she was journaling her daily food intake. When I got away from that blog for a while, I was good again. The juice is not bad. I have not been hungry. I guess I need to just stay away from reading all about what other people are eating, because even if it's good healthy food, let's face it. I don't even get to chew anything for a couple of weeks. So yeah. But no boo-hooing, it's totally my choice and I'm still convinced it's what I want to do.

I can't deny though, that I think a piece of bread with some all natural peanut butter spread on it sounds like absolute heaven right now. =)

There we go for another day. (And I'm still excited to see what the scale will say tomorrow morning!)

Out Back

It's only day two of the reboot, and I feel cruddy. Fortunately for me, it's not because of the juicing!

My lower back has been hurting me for a bit. I really thought it was just sore from not stretching enough when I work out. So I've tried to stretch it a bit more, but not really with any kind of committment. Still...not too big a deal. Then on Saturday it just started hurting more. It hurt to pick up Lydia and Kamryn. It hurt to bend over to pick stuff up off the floor. It hurt when I stood up, until I adjusted my stance to where it wouldn't hurt while I walked. Such a bummer!

I've thrown my back out before. Sometimes not too bad, sometimes terrible--where every step I tried to take hurt so bad I wanted to cry, and had to hold on to the wall just to not fall over. It's happened to me a few times over the years, and usually it's just out of nowhere. One minute I'm fine, the next minute shooting pain and everything is awful. This time, it just started hurting gradually. So that's why I figured the sore muscle thing instead of the pulled muscle thing.

Last night I ignored it while I threw myself into my step aerobic workout. After the workout I sat on the couch with my laptop for a bit, and when I got up to go to bed I just could not believe how much the back hurt. !!!!!!!!!

My mom had this Arbonne ointment that is great for sore muscles, so she brought it over. When it really didn't do anything for me, I had to resign myself to the fact that it's probably a pulled muscle. I was not able to exercise this morning, I thought that after I used my mom's stuff I'd be up for it tonight, but there is just no way. And tomorrow morning is probably out as well. In fact, I have no idea when I'll feel better enough to work out again! I'm sure it'll only be a few days, a week at the most. (I'm way too lazy to go to the doctor, so there's no way that's happening).

I have to admit, there's a part of me that is so happy. I love sleeping in. But there's that other part of me that gets such a rush from that morning workout, and weighing less after I finish, that is rather disappointed.


It's true. There are so many factors that go into weight loss, that the smartest thing to do is to just compare yourself with yourself, and remember all your own personal factors.

I was tempted to be disappointed with the weigh in this morning. Wait, wait, wait. Back up. First I should tell you what my mindset is as far as using the scale. I prefer to step on the scale each and every morning. It works for me. For some it could be totally bad. But I figure that as long as I keep my own personal factors in mind, I'm good. My morning weigh reflects how I did the previous day. I don't want to weigh in once a week and have to remember details from a whole week in order to analyze which behaviors work and which probably don't. In fact, I weigh myself every night before bed. I know so much about how much I weigh at different times of day and under several different circumstances--and I like it. It works for me.

Several months ago I read, in a book, to commit TODAY, to step on the scale every single day for the rest of my life. Well, I do understand and respect the fact that for some people that would be a bad idea. That being said, I did commit to step on the scale every day for the rest of my life. And I have! (Although I did not take the scale to Disneyland in August). After all, I'd already been doing that for a long time anyway.

I so easily lose track if I don't step on that scale. It is so easy for me to justify a little extra bite of something here and there. And now that I have little girls who leave so much food behind on their plates, and older boys who can be particularly picky, it's hard to not eat off of their leftovers. But they do add up. They do make a difference. And it's really not in my favor! Same thing with licking my fingers when I bake, or whatever it is. Whenever I'm tempted to do that, I just know I'll pay for it in the morning by feeling disappointed with the number on the scale. And when I give in anyway, the scale does indeed reflect it, allowing me to renew my commitment to do better that very day. Not a whole week later when my extra little side eating is a little fuzzy in my memory.

At any rate, yesterday morning I stepped on the scale. I got an official "start weight" for the juice fast. Unfortunately, Sunday I made a few allowances for myself, like those cookies I wrote about. I also had some of the kids' leftover pizza. I mean, come on! I hadn't had ANYTHING even slightly bad for 2 whole months, and was facing 2 weeks of straight vegetable and fruit juice. And I make homemade pizza for my kids every single weekend, and always have passed it up in favor of my alternative menu plan. Yes, I've had the homemade pizza before. But week after week goes by, and I pass up that darn pizza. So once in 2.5 months--why not, right?

So Monday morning my weight was up to 196. Grrr! But look at that, it reflected my Sunday eating. I wasn't too worried, though, because I knew that with juicing it would all be gone again very quickly. I can't deny it, I was WAY excited to get on the scale this morning.

Let's back up again just for a sec. Joe Cross did his juice fast for 60 days. He lost 80 pounds. Then Phil did it for 60 days. Phil is this truck driver guy that Joe met while he was on the road during the last 30 days of his juice fast. Phil decided a few months after that to give Joe a call and get started on his own. Anyway, he ended up losing even more than Joe did. I can't remember Phil's exact number, but he did say he lost "9 bowling balls." =) Then my mom did a 5 day juice fast a couple of weeks ago, and ended up losing 10 pounds.

Now. I need to remember that the primary purpose for doing the fast is not weight loss. It's cleansing. I have to keep that mindset, because it's true. The weight loss is definitely a fringe benefit, though, and I have to admit that it does seem to be my driving force for motivation. I fight that, but let's just face the truth. I want the weight loss. I've been trying to guess at how much loss I should expect. And I had really thought that I would at least break even after day one. That would mean weighing in at 193 again. And honestly, I really thought I would be at least 192! I didn't think that was an unrealistic guess.

But I guess it was, because this morning I was 194! =( Terrible. But luckily for me, I keep my personal factors in mind, and I got over it pretty quick. I mean, it is true that results aren't typical. I have spent the past 2 months eating 500 calories a day (it's an HCG thing, don't freak out, it was totally fine). I haven't eaten sugar or cheese or anything. My body has been in the mode of getting vegetables, fruit, lean meat and a small amount of grain. So I did not start this juice fast with a bunch of sugar, sodium, starch, etc. to flush out of my system. I have to remember that since I was already eating so well, I will probably not be lucky enough to get that initial major loss. And that's okay! I'm glad I don't have soda to quit cold turkey, or candy or treats or anything else. I did have that stuff on Sunday, but I wouldn't call that any kind of build up.

So now I'm pretty curious about how tomorrow's weigh in will be, and how it will be for the rest of the two weeks. To be honest, I had really really hoped to get a 20 pound loss out of this fast. I'm betting that's unrealistically high. I think I'm going to have to be extremely happy if I am able to squeeze out a 15 pound loss.

I have to maintain for the entire month of November, up to Thanksgiving. So I won't have any loss to look forward to. But I am convinced that the maintenance at that time will be more valuable to me than any lost pounds, so it's all good. Still!

I am hoping to be 177 by Halloween. And I say that with no idea AT ALL if it will happen. The good thing is, it's pretty much out of my control. I will do what I'm going to do with my juice, and take whatever loss I get. And then maybe I'll have a better idea what to expect for the next juice fast in December.

Monday, October 17, 2011


On Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Joe Cross refers to juice fasting as a reboot for your life. I kind of like that mentality.

I can't lie, I was pretty nervous about going into this whole juice fasting thing. At one time, when we were living in Georgia, we got a juicer. From Walmart. Probably about 30 bucks. I remember trying to juice a little (nothing like what I'm doing now), but I had to cut up the fruit pretty small, and then I had to send the pulp through three or four times, because it just came out so wet. Talk about wasting the juice~! It was a freakin' pain in the neck, and that's the truth. I really have no idea what ever happened to that juicer, but it was mostly worthless.

This time I got the Breville Ikon Variable Speed juicer. $200, and I'm in total heaven. It is GREAT. I haven't cut anything yet. The pulp comes out dry. The juicer is a powerhouse, and I mean it. From the time I walk in the kitchen, it takes me about 10 minutes to get the produce out of the fridge, wash it, juice it, drink it, and wash and dry the juicer. Fastest meal and clean up EV.ER. It's actually fun. I love the variable speeds, because if you're juicing softer fruits or tomatoes, it enables it to extract the max amount of juice. The one speed thing isn't so good for softer produce.

At any rate, today I drank 3 different kinds of juice. The first recipe I made actually yielded 32 ounces, which was basically 2 servings. I was so pleasantly surprised, and probably even more relieved, that none of today's juices made me want to gag. I have been worried about having to force myself to gag down a juice that really tasted nasty. I imagine I will encounter some combinations that I won't like, that will not be at all enjoyable to drink. But the only way to know is to try. But for my first day, I feel extremely blessed that 3 out of 3 were just fine. The first two were better than the last, but even the last one was not hard to drink.

I also have not felt hungry at all today. I started out my morning with 4 water bottles (67.6 ounces). I've been doing that for a while, and I don't plan to stop. Starting out my day with water like that is AWESOME. Although I have to not be going anywhere, or I have to wait until I come back. It's no fun to be out on errands and need to use the bathroom every 15 minutes! Luckily when I do have errands I do them in the morning, and try to be home by noon in time for Lydia's nap. So it all works out.

So yeah, I started out my day with the water, and then an hour or so later I had my first juice. I pretty much had a 16 ounce juice every 3 it was at 10, 1, 4 and 7. Between 4 and 7, I had my other two water bottles.

I believed I wouldn't be hungry, but experiencing not being hungry was just plain awesome!

I almost messed up by letting myself sleep in. Sleeping in on a Monday morning is such a waste, it should be the easiest day of the week to get out of bed and exercise. Especially with the amazing sleep I got the night before, and I slept in until 7:15 on Sunday! (That was a miracle).  But when I got up at 6:45, I knew I was going to feel like crud all day. So I hurried with my shower, and woke up the boys to get ready for school. Then while Adam, my 4 year old, sat playing Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii, I took my laptop into my room, with my toning DVD, and got busy. I love the toning because of the segments. I can do one segment, 5 minutes, and then go check on the kids. Or whatever. So I did three segments, and came out to get the older boys out the door for school. Then I knocked out the last three segments before I got the girls up for breakfast. So they were in their room about 10 minutes longer than usual, and I had exercised rather than checked email or facebook or blogger, but I got that workout done. And then tonight after the three younger kids were in bed, I knocked out the cardio by doing a 40 minute Cathe Friedrich step aerobics. So I slept in, but I salvaged the day in the end. I even did the other 300 crunches, and got my vitamins, so today I get to check everything off my list.

And...I have decided I need to come up with some kind of reward for myself if I can have a perfect record for 2 weeks. That means I have to do my hour of exercise five days a week, and can't give in to doing only four. That may be tough, I do get so tired by Thursday! But I think if I have a reward to look forward to it will make it a bit more fun and motivating.

The awesome thing is that I really think, after today, that I will be able to stick to the juicing for the 14 days. We'll see, but I absolutely want to.

Kind of excited to step on the scale in the morning!

Here are the juices I tried today, all from Jack Lalanne's book Celebrating 90 Plus Years:

The Clean Sweep (it made 14 ounces)--this was my least fave, but still fine.
1/2 lemon (yellow peel cut off, white plinth left on)
1 apple
1/2 beet with greens
1 large celery stalk
1/2 cucumber

Cool & Light (32 ounces)
2 large cucumbers
2 large carrots
1 apple
1/2 lemon (yellow peel cut off, white plinth left on)

Salad In a Glass (16 ounces)
1 tomato
1/2 head of leaf lettuce
2 celery stalks
1 carrot
1/2 red bell pepper

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Food Thing

Here is what I believe to be the best plan (for me) as far as food goes. It has worked wonders for me whenever I have been faithful to it. It's simple: a balanced diet of 1200 calories a day.

What do I mean by "balanced"? Well, I've always thought it was kind of a joke that people will count their calories and try to stick to a set number, without worrying too much about how balanced they are. So if you eat 1200 calories of donuts each day and nothing else, you're good because you didn't go over your allotted calories. I just don't like that. I like balanced. I know this isn't consistent with the food guide pyramid, or whatever it is they use these days. But for me, balance is 2 servings from each food group (dairy optional). Two fruits, two vegetables (no more than one cup cooked, no less than 2 cups raw--meaning if you had 6 cups of raw salad, you're good). Two grains (whole grains are good, sprouted grains are a million times better), two protiens. No more than a teaspoon of fat (or something like that), and it should be plant based, like in nuts, olives or avocados.

For the past 3 days (and today, until I screwed it up by eating cookies) I have eaten plant based, in preparation for the juice fast starting tomorrow. I have carefully planned my menu, and have stayed right about 1200 calories. It's been plenty to eat, I've enjoyed what I've eaten, and I've felt great.

So when I go off the juice fast, and back to plant based, I will journal and count calories, eating my two servings a day from each group.

Exercise and Other

For the past several months, I have been working on some personal challenges that have really helped me to feel better, look better, and make progress toward my goals. These challenges have had to do with exercise, drinking water, taking vitamins, and not eating sugar:

Exercise--the goal has been to exercise one hour a day five days a week, and to do 500 crunches a day six days a week.

How it's gone--Pretty good. I have had more than a few perfect weeks. I had the most success when I was posting my progress daily on facebook. What can I say, I really didn't want to have to get on facebook and tell 283 people that I just didn't get it done that day. Yeah, stuff happens sometimes. But I was a lot more likely to sacrifice sleep and other things for the sake of being able to post that I did it. But daily posts got tedius after a little while, so I switched over to weekly posts. It has been easier to skip a day here and there that way, but I have done a pretty good job sticking to it anyway. It may be more realistic for me to commit to the one hour a day four days a week. I still want to do five, but I also have to be realistic for my lifestyle. I imagine that most of the time I'll still do five days. But even if I only do four days half the time, I'm still doing good.

What I do for exercise: Two workouts a day. First I do a 30 or 40 minute cardio workout. Lately it's been aerobics or step aerobics. Every once in a while I still wimp out and do Walk Away the Pounds, because if I'm super tired, I know that Walk Away the Pounds won't kill me, but I'll still get some exercise, which is better than staying in bed. I have 2 really good step aerobics DVDs (Cathe Friedrich and Gilad), and a really good Gilad aerobics.

I have also borrowed my mom's Zumba DVDs, and the only reason I haven't tried those yet is that I need to preview them so that I can know what to expect. Is that lame? I just don't like doing a new thing as my official exercise, because it's likely that I'll have to stop and rewind to practice a step a few times or whatever, just to get the hang of it. And if I'm constantly stopping, it doesn't really keep the heartrate up, ya know? I just need to find a time when I can use the t.v. for my own stuff, and then get those DVDs out and give them a try. Then I'd like to work them into my morning cardio rotation.

The other workout I do is a 35 minute toning workout that has six different segments, targeting lower body (lunges and squats, basically), arms, outer thighs, inner thighs, butt and abs. The abs segment includes 200 crunches, so when that is over I do another 300 assorted ab exercises to get to my 500.

Water: The goal is to drink 100 oz. a day. I currently do water bottles, because that just works best for me right now. So it's 6 water bottles a day. That is actually going awesome. I never miss an ounce, and frequently I drink an extra water bottle or two. I do not drink anything else. No juice, no soda, no tea, nothing.

Vitamins: I take 3000  miligrams of vitamin C, a shot of B12, and a prenatal (as my multivitamin).

Sugar Free: I am in the middle of a sugar free challenge. I haven't had sugar for 8 weeks. The challenge goes until Thanksgiving. Although I feel compelled to confess that I just lost it today after church, as I gave into the chocolate chip cookies that were in my freezer. I don't usually give in--I can have stuff in my cupboards and freezer, and they don't bother me at all. I guess today I just had to have them. Maybe partly because I have had virtually no treats for 2 months, and I'll be juicing, and for the majority of my life from now on, there will be no treats. I do wish I could still say I've been sugar free all this time. But I'm still going to stick to it from this minute on, all the way to Thanksgiving. Something's gotta get me through Halloween, after all. =)

So the exercise, water and vitamins are just an ongoing reality for me now, not necessarily a challenge. Well, the sugar free thing is, too. I know that occasionally I will indulge. That's just life. But for the majority of the time I will just plain be sugar free. After all, I didn't eat sugar on HCG, so that means that for half of the past year I have been sugar free. Exciting! Now I just have to improve the other half.

Onward and upward!


I've passed up several milestones on my journey the past year. I'm not going to go into those, 'cause they're history and I never want to think about those numbers again. But I do want to give a brief overview of the milestones I have left.

190--my best as an adult. (Almost there!!)
185--what my brother weighed coming out of Basic Training a few months ago. (I thought I'd be in heaven if I could say I weighed 185).
175--According to the government, 175 is my dividing line between "overweight" and "obese". And as much as being overweight stinks, it's a lot better than being obese. =)
149--Just to be in the lower half of "onederland" would be awesome indeed.
130--Final goal!!! (And maybe a big, fat diamond ring as a reward! If I can open my tight fist enough to pry the money out of it).

I think I might have to come up with some other milestones along the way, because I know the closer you get to the end, the way harder it gets to lose, and the longer it takes. So. But that's all I've got for now.

Vacations In the Works

I will be heading to Hawaii at the end of November, to see my husband who will be back from Iraq. I will be there for a week, and do plan to spend most of those days continuing with my plant based eating. I am definitely already planning on having those couple of days though, where I allow myself to go for the meat (I promised my husband I'd go have a steak with him at this super good steak restaurant in Honolulu for his birthday).

He will still have to go to work while I'm there, but mostly just in the mornings. He'll have to leave super early to beat the Honolulu traffic and get up to Schofield Barracks for PT. So my plan is to sleep in every day (dream come true!!!!) and then have a good workout, take a shower, and be all ready for the rest of the day by the time he gets back. I can't even tell you how awesome it will be to be able to sleep in AND work out! Woohooo!

Then January we have a family reunion trip to Disneyland at the beginning of January. Originally I was planning on being on HCG for the trip--my safe zone. But my adjusted plan includes another juice fast in December, after I get home from Hawaii, and hopefully over Christmas. Then to be back on plant based for Disneyland. Plant based eating will be a whole ton easier than HCG eating, and my mom will be plant based for the trip as well. So I won't be alone, and that will be a big help!

Also, we are moving from California to Washington at the end of January. No official dates, and technically it could be as late as May. But it won't be. =) So I'm wondering if I can be under 160 by the time we move. I have no idea what kind of weight loss to expect on this new juicing and eating plan, so I'll just have to see how it goes.

Where It Stands

I currently weigh 193. My goal weight is 130. So--63 to go.

This past weekend I finished up another round of HCG. I planned to start up again after Thanksgiving, but I am re-assessing my options, and have decided that for the time being, I am done with HCG. Probably for good.


First of all, because as much good as it's helped me do, it's not a lifestyle change. It's a diet. I'm not really opposed to diets. I think that when you're trying to lose weight, you eat differently than you do if you're trying to maintain. That's just me. But I also strongly believe that lifestyle changes are better than diets, and that little alterations will happen as you shift from losing to maintaining, and the closer you are to a realistic, lifestyle type of eating plan, the easier it will be to maintain once you reach that goal weight. Basically, I have always known that I would say goodbye to HCG sooner or later. I didn't know what I would do instead, or how I would handle it. And I also didn't plan on saying goodbye with so much weight still to lose.

But as luck would have it (or more truthfully, as God would have it) I have been brought, through a series of rather amazing steps, to this new place in my life where I find myself ready to make some changes I never in a million years thought I'd ever want to do. Not only have I been led to the place where I see that not only is it the right thing to do, but it's not all that hard. I have blogged a bit about this on my "normal" blog (under the health and weight loss labels).

Starting tomorrow, I will begin my juicing journey. The goal is to do a straight fruit and vegetable juice fast for 14 days. No solid foods, no added fiber or dairy or anything. I have committed to myself that I will do at least 5 days, as I am not sure how it will go. I've never attempted something on such a large scale. So five days at least, but I'm really, really hoping for 14. Why? First, a juice fast is a great detox. And who couldn't use some detoxing, right? Second, I know I will lose some good weight while I'm doing it.

So the goal is to go for 14 days, making October 30 the last day. On the 31st I will eat only fresh fruits and vegetables, and then as the days go by to add in the other food groups slowly so as to work back into solid food.

But juicing is only part of it. I am really convinced, at this point in my life, that I need to switch to a primarily plant based diet. That means that the majority of the time, I will not eat animal products of any kind. So: no meat, no dairy. I am not going to give those things up 100%, but I figure if I can live strictly plant based 5 days out of 7, I will be a lot healthier. I will also try to eat about 75% raw. (Not that hard if I'm not eating meat, right?) My grains I will cook, and maybe a vegetable here and there. I am convinced that this is an extremely healthy way of eating.

So: juicing for the rest of October, and plant based for most of November. I'm still trying to decide how much leeway I want to give myself for Thanksgiving.

A Little Bit of History

I've struggled with weight all my life. I don't know that there was ever a time that I was not overweight. Maybe the preschool years? Seriously. I've always been fat. I look at that sentence and just want to delete it, because the stark reality of it is so unpleasant! But it's just plain true. I was fat in elementary school. Fat in high school. Fat in college.

In college I did start experimenting with exercise. A few classes here and there, and then some workout videos I'd do at home sometimes. I lost a bunch of weight in college, but it was never a permanent thing.

The summer after my first year of teaching, I lost quite a bit of weight. But again, it wasn't a permanent thing.

Before I got pregnant with baby #3, I had been working on losing weight. That was the beginning of a huge loss--it probably took more than a year, but I lost 114 pounds, going from 304 to 190. Then I got pregnant with number 4. I did a lot of exercising through the pregnancy, but I also did a lot of eating and not making the best food choices. I came out of that pregnancy at 225, and over time it got back up to 250. And then I just got out of the weight watching mode, and let life happen.

We moved to Hawaii in the summer of 2008, and right away I was pregnant with #5. At my first doctor's appointment, I weighed in at 293. !!!!! So just by not paying attention, eating what I want when I wanted and however much I wanted, I pretty much gained back everything I had lost.

My husband was in Iraq pretty much all of 2009, and then we had a crazy 2010, plus my pregnancy with #6. So after all that, I had just had enough. Sick and tired of being so incredibly overweight and out of control and never feeling good, something had to be done.

Enter HCG. To make a long story short, I've done HCG for a year now. Six weeks on, six weeks off. I don't know if I've ever felt better in my whole life than I felt when I was on HCG. I followed protocol religiously, and it didn't disappoint! In the past year I have lost 111 pounds. So I feel great!!

But I do feel it is important to note a couple of things:

First, after each 6 weeks of being on, I was supposed to maintain my weight in order to regulate it. Basically, to reset my body to the new weight. I've never been able to successfully maintain for the 3 weeks called for in the protocol. After the first round of HCG, we moved and were on the road and visiting people, and I totally went off. That first six weeks off, I gained back 29 of the 41 pounds I had lost! Each time it has gotten better...meaning only that my gains have been smaller each time. But I still have not successfully stayed at the same weight for 3 weeks. The last time I did that, I was over 300 pounds. That means, essentially, that my body has never reset to a lower weight. The bad thing about that is that I have no room to breathe, because my body will pile the pounds on so fast, until it gets back to the 300 pounds it's set at.

You know--people go on vacation for a couple of weeks and come back having gained five pounds from all the crap they ate, and all the exercise they didn't get. If I did that, and ate the same as what they ate, I'd come back having gained 30! So the reset is pretty important.

Second, I am not using this blog to promote the HCG diet. I did a lot of reading up on it, thanks to google, and decided to go ahead with it. I do not profess to be an expert on all the details, and while I feel that it was a good thing for me, it may not be a good thing for everyone. And it's not FDA approved or anything, some even say it's illegal. (?) So please don't just see that I did it for a year and lost 111 pounds and decide that it's for you. Read up on it, and make your own educated decision.

Along with that, HCG is not a miracle cure. Some people see things like HCG, gastric bypass, etc., as cheats for awesome weight loss. But the reality is, they aren't cheats. You still have to learn discipline, develop a healthy relationship with food, and build yourself into an active lifestyle, or it won't do you any good. Anybody who is successful on HCG, or with surgery, or anything else, has had to work for their results, and work to keep those results. It's not a cop out or an easy answer.

So as of this morning, I weigh 193. I wish I had blogged or journaled through the other phases of weight loss I've experienced in my life, but I didn't. So I guess now's as good a time to start as any. I have enjoyed perusing through a few weight loss blogs I have found on the internet, and I can see that they will serve as a good source of encouragement and motivation for me. I'm not sure if this blog will ever do anybody else any good, but I know it will do me some good. And I'd love to have a record of this journey...