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.