Wednesday, December 16, 2009
If you're interested in what I'm up to during this time, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great holiday season, happy Christmas and New Year!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
I am seriously lacking some motivation right now and it doesn't help that Slim Fast just issued a major recall on all of their shakes. I usually have a Slim Fast shake for breakfast and dinner, but now what do I do? I know, I know, there are hundreds of solutions for this itty bitty problem, but I'm a creature of habit and I prefer not to add change to my daily routines.
It's been almost two weeks of me staying steady at 203 lbs and all I want to do is push beyond that weight and make it to that nagging 200. It sounds simple enough, but I still can't really exercise due to the disc problem in my back and without that exercise, motivation is definitely on the decrease!
It is Dec. 7 and I have only 18 days until Christmas and 18 days until my parents are in Las Vegas visiting me and my fiance for a long weekend. I really want to be at 200 pounds or below by that date. I know I've had the 200 lb. goal for a long time, but it's really time I hit it. That way I can enter the new year with a new perspective, more motivation and keep on trucking down the weight scale.
For all of you lacking motivation at this time of year, don't worry, you're not alone. We all just need to help keep each other moving in the right direction!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Nothing's really making me feel unmotivated and there isn't any significant reason why I'm a little blue, but I could use a little holiday cheer. Send it my way please!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
If you missed the show and are interested in listening to it, you can visit www.lastcookieclub.com/podcast.php. This will link you to all of the Last Cookie Club archived shows. If you have any comments about things I said, or the show in general, please leave them here or send me an e-mail to let me know. I thrive off feedback, and reading comments from all of you is what really keeps me moving forward.
Also on yesterday's show was a friend of Gary's named Greg. Greg is not overweight and does not have a problem with overeating, but he's no stranger to addiction. Gary brought him on the show to talk about how he's recovered from his own addictions and to bring up the power of meditation. Both Gary and Greg use meditation heavily to help with their addictions and recovery processes. For me, I've never really tried meditating, beyond what teachers may have had us do during various college-level classes. I've honestly never really been interested in it, but I think it may be worth trying.
The most important thing that I've learned through all of this is that each one of us, regardless of our addiction or problem, recovers and moves forward in a different manner. Meditation may not work for me because I need to share my thoughts and feelings in order to move forward, but maybe it will help me focus. I think trying new methods is important, but the key is to not use everything all at once so it all gets jumbled.
I learned yesterday that talking about my story on the radio made me think a lot more about how exactly I came to be the way I am. It was extremely thought-provoking and I'm grateful for that because there are some aspects of my weight-gain and weight-loss that had never crossed my mind before. I think I have a lot more thinking to do, and maybe Gary will even invite me to be on his show again sometime soon.
I hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday and are back in the swing of work and school and standard schedules. Happy Holidays everyone!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Now that the holidays are officially upon us, it's time to revisit one of my favorite passions: photographing families! If you live in the Las Vegas area and are interested in having someone take family photos for Christmas or holiday cards, or photos of your kids to develop for gifts for relatives, I can do that for you at extremely low rates.
Former Las Vegas casino owner and author of "The Last Cookie Club" hosts a weekly talk show that focuses not only on weight loss, but on the ups and downs of maintaining weight and being on a weight-focused journey. We're going to talk about my journey so far, how to handle the holidays and anything else he may come up with!
Feel free to listen if you get the chance!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I can't remember thr last time I had such a wonderful weekend. I don't think I've been this happy since we went to Hawaii with my parents last February/March. Spending four days with my family, Mike's family and our friends was just what the doctor ordered to prepare my mind and soul for a cheerful holiday season.
The four day weekend was busy and packed wih great food that I just couldn't avoid. I'll definitely have to work a little harder to work off those extra calories from the turkey dinner, cake and excessive snacking, but all of it was absolutely worth it.
Mike and I also got a lot accomplished for the upcoming wedding as well. Friday was extremely busy and filled with appointments, but we made great strides forward. We reserved the cake, booked the florist, chose the invitations and had our engagement photo shoot.
So we're about to take off so I have to get this posted. I'll add a couple photos in the near future!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Make sure you spend time with family and enjoy lots of great food. For me, I'm going to splurge a little bit and enjoy every minute of it.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Monday, November 23, 2009
Eighteen percent of responses were for the food, 54% were for "being with family," 9% were for "taking part in traditions" and 18% were for football. I know for me, my opinion of the holiday has changed over the past couple of years. I haven't celebrated Thanksgiving with my family for three years and so this year I'm ecstatic to be around my family and Mike's family.
If you would have asked me three years ago what my favorite aspect of Thanksgiving was I would have told you that it was the food, hands down.Where else, in one sitting, can you consume juicy turkey, wine, cranberry sauce (preferably from a can hahaha), mashed potatoes with gravy, veggies, corn casserole, green bean hot dish, apple pie and on occasion, even Christmas cookies?!?! It's like heaven on one table. That may explain the extra pounds that have made a home around my waist in the past couple of years.
No matter what you're reason is for being excited for Thursday's holiday, I hope you have a great one! I can't wait to hop on the plane, see my family and eat some fantastic food. I can't believe it's Thanksgiving already! Where has time gone?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I have spent more than two weeks nursing the before, during and after symptoms of the flu and a cold. Now that I am just about out of the weeds with that bug, my body is falling apart. I still exercise regularly and I haven't done anything to over-exert myself physically, yet my back is barely working.
Starting yesterday during lunch, while seated in a wooden, upright chair, I started feeling uncomfortable and my lower back began to ache. I didn't think much of it, but when I stood up to leave the restaurant at the end of lunch, shooting pains ran down my spine, through my lower back, through my buttocks and into my thighs. The pain was horrendous. I ended up spending the afternoon walking barefoot (because walking in 3-inch heels became impossible) and hunched over like a 99-year-old woman with osteoporosis.
Last night I spent much of the evening taking ibuprofen and resting with a heating pad, but woke up again this morning with the same shooting pains. I can barely walk up and down the flights of stairs in our office without being on the verge of tears. It's horrible.
I called a local chiropractor and of course my insurance is worthless when it comes to this matter. Just a single visit is upwards of $60 and that's just for the evaluation to "see if anything's wrong with me." So, I'm going to keep stretching, taking ibuprofen and treating my back with heat and ice to try and relax the muscles and gain some movement back. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? I hope that's true!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
We went to Landry's Seafood House by Palace Station in Las Vegas. Off their lunch menu I ordered "Chicken and Mushrooms." The dish was simple: grilled chicken w/sauteed mushrooms with some sort of a mushroom-based cream sauce drizzled over it. That was served with a light rice pilaf and steamed broccoli. When I looked it all up, it actually falls well within my calorie count, so I was satisfied.
I'm heading to lunch in two hours for a business meeting, and I'm going to a restaurant I've never been to before. Now, I've been in this situation before and I did what I always do: I looked up the menu online and rifled through it to find something to order before I actually go to the restaurant.
Here is where I reach my dilemma. We're going to a seafood restaurant and I don't eat seafood or fish of any kind. There are other items on the menu, but the non-seafood/fish items are all pastas or fried or are extremely high in carbs, calories and fat. So, what do I do without A) Being Rude, B) Starving or C) Cancelling?
I could order I side salad, I suppose, or a pasta and only eat a third of it. Do any of you have suggestions?
By the way, I'll write another post after lunch to let you know what happened and what I chose to do. Please Help Me!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
I can always tell when the weather is officially shifting form season to season. My skin gets a little dry and even peels, and my appetite switches from craving refreshing items like fresh fruit and turkey wraps to mashed potatoes, hot dish and steak.
Considering last night I wanted a New York strip, mashed potatoes and bread, I'm thinking my body has recognized it's want for foods with great warming qualities. However, I think it's less about warming the body and more about warming the soul --- providing that comforting sensation during the holiday season and cold months. I am from the upper Midwest after all and haven't been out of that region for very long.
Now, have no fear, I did not give in to my temptations last night, but I know these next few months will be difficult because "winter foods" are always higher in carbs, higher in fat and higher in calories. I'm really going to need to train myself to still want low-cal turkey wraps and fresh veggies instead of all the fattening goodness --- and that's not even touching on the fact that Christmas cookie season is right around the corner!!!
Well, this entire process is about ups and downs and overcoming the never-ending challenges. This is just the latest challenge to take head-on and push through . I'm sure I'll have something new to survive in the spring when the weather changes from cold to warm.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
By the end of this weekend I should be at 100% again (I'm at about 75% right now), and I should be getting back to the gym too. I can't wait!
Not only do I feel awful, but mentally I feel bad because I'm not doing as well as I was. So, as soon as I feel rested, I'm getting back to it.
Check back tomorrow, I'm thinking of hitting the gym after work!
Monday, November 9, 2009
I've been taking vitamins, drinking plenty of fluids (especially juices with antioxidants in them) and eating carbohydrates to absorb the acids in my stomach. I'm not exactly sticking to the stringent guidelines of my diet, but my first goal is to get healthy, and then continue dropping the pounds!
So, that's it for today, sorry it's so short. My word of advice, however, after talking to a doctor is this: If you have flu symptoms, don't run to the hospital immediately convinced you have the swine flu. Do you have a fever? If not, then you don't have H1N1. I thankfully have not had a fever and don't have the vicious bug, but let me tell you, this normal flu crap isn't that great either!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
This week was difficult for me. I'm not sure why my emotions got all wrapped up in everything I was doing, but it seeme that the tiniest thing could make me cry or push me into a bad mood. A straw finally broke this camel's back yesterday afternoon and then came the biscuit binge.
As I was returning home, overwhelmed with frustration, irritation and a slew of other emotions, I had to stop at the grocery store for some items for dinner. What an awful idea! I also bought a container I Pillsbury biscuits. Instead of waiting for dinner, I cooked them as soon as I got home and consumed nearly the entire package.
Just as I knew I would, I feel awful today. It's not exactly falling off the wagon, but certainly a spat of weakness. My first real binge since starting this journey. I'm certainly not looking to do that again anytime soon!
So, today is a new day and a much better day at that. All I can do is take it one day at a time, and for now that's my plan.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Not only do my fiance and I like to eat out on a regular basis, but on weekdays the best part about the lunch hour is getting out of the office. A group of my coworkers and I eat out almost every single day because it's a way to take a break from the office environment and it offers a lot of variety. This pattern could easily get me into trouble if I'm not prepared.
So what I do to combat this is to plan, in advance, what to eat at the restaurant we're heading to. We usually decide via e-mail what time we're going to lunch and which restaurant we're going to eat at so then I go online and look at that restaurant's menu. Oftentimes I can also find the nutritional information so I can enter it into the calorie tracker program on my iPhone.
Web sites like thedailyplate.com and Dottie's Weight Loss Zone (www.dwlz.com) have a lot of restaurants listed with nutritional (and weight watchers points) information.
Here are a couple of examples of things I like to eat when I eat out at chain restaurants for lunch during the week.
- Jason's Deli - Either the Club Lite or the Turkey Wrap from the "Real Choices" menu. The Club Lite has 514 calories and I order it with baked lays and a diet soda. The Turkey Wrap 350 calories. The best thing about Jason's Deli is the frozen yogurt at the end of the meal. Soft serve is only about 60 calories for 1/2 cup!
- Pei Wei - Asian food of all kinds is generally not the greatest for you, but there are healthy options everywhere. I used an iPhone app (listed to the right) to find a meal that isn't too horrible. The tricky part is the rice, and also the fact that Pei Wei's portions are calculated as 2 servings. I order the Mongolian Chicken with brown rice. A full dish of the Mongolian Chicken is 560 calories and the brown rice is 130 calories. White rice has more than 300 calories. Although that creates a meal of 690 calories, my lunch is always my heartiest meal of the day so I'm comfortable eating the entire thing. And, it's delicious!
- Wendy's - I think the best thing you can do at Wendy's or any fast food restaurant is to order items individually and not as the meal. If you order the bacon cheeseburger, you don't need a large fries. When I go to Wendy's I order Crispy Chicken Sandwich (360 calories) and a small fries for 210 calories. Most people jump for the plain baked potato because it sounds healthier, but that's 270 calories without anything on it, let alone adding the sour cream and butter.
Like I said, eating out on a diet isn't the enemy, it's all about the selections you make. There really are healthier options everywhere, even at McDonalds or Taco Bell, you just have to find them and then order those.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Like with a lot of things in life, I've realized that my attitude directly affects what I'm trying to accomplish. Last week I was sort of down-and-out or in a "I don't give a crap" kind of mood and so I ate more than I usually do, ate things I hadn't in a long time and basically threw caution to the wind.
This week I'm feeling great again and I'm very committed to the journey I've been on and it's showing! I had reached 205.4 in October and then went back up to 209 lbs around my birthday and Halloween. This week I've managed to lose those extra gained pounds already and I'm back down to a fantastic 205.8. Honestly it feels fabulous and I'm looking at myself positively in the mirror again. I just think it's crazy that a minor attitude shift can change things so dramatically!
Three pounds is a lot to lose in one week, and I'm sure a lot is water weight, but I'm glad to be back on track. I really think I'll be down below 200 lbs before thanksgiving and well on my way to 180 lbs. by Christmas. I just need to keep the positive vibes flowing .... getting complimented on how look never hurts either. :)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I've decided the best thing I can do to prepare for the impending holiday season is to get myself on track and stay focused. I need to make sure I eat right and keep track of my calories every single day from here on out, and make it to the gym whenever possible. If I get back into a steady routine, then it will be easier to stick to the plan. I know that the worst thing I can do is get lax about my goals and my weight management because as soon as I smell mashed potatoes and stuffing, or freshly baked apple pie, I'll ditch the "no thanks, I'm watching my weight" line and ask for seconds or thirds.
There are some tricks I'm going to try and use, both exercise-related and food-related to help stay on track while still enjoying the wonders of the holidays this year. I hope some of my ideas/tips can work for you too!
- It's imperative to stay active and keep moving so why not do all of my holiday shopping in stores and not online. This forces me to walk around a mall or a shopping center. It's not a ton of exercise, but movement is key! Also, parking lots will be packed anyway, but choosing a spot far from the building forces a longer jaunt to and from the car. The added weight of packages and bags will just help with resistance training on the arms.
- I don't live in a snowy state anymore, but I used to love ice skating, sledding and building a snowman or having snowball fights. If any of these are options for you then take advantage of it! Get outside and have fun, you'll be surprised that sledding can burn a couple hundred calories!
- At Thanksgiving dinner try a little bit of all of your favorites, but don't go back for seconds and don't take huge portions. Also, make sure you choose the turkey without skin on it for less fat. If you feel like you took too much, then pass your plate to your spouse or a family member to finish it off. The best thing you can do is stay in tune with how your stomach is feeling. If you feel like you are full or will be full very soon, then stop eating!!!!!
- The holidays are all about the sweet treats. I don't think I could enjoy Christmas without Christmas cookies (especially my best friend's mom's chocolate chip meringue cookies) or Thanksgiving without apple pie. This is a good time to share a dessert, or if that just isn't an option (believe me, I understand!) then don't add ice cream to it or whipped cream. Or instead of wine/alcohol and dessert, skip the glass of wine or the beer. It's all about trade-off and balance.
- My number one thing to remember this holiday season is not to withhold anything from myself. I say this because if I restrict myself from trying all of my holiday favorites or indulging here and there then not only am I making the holiday season miserable, but I'm setting myself up for defeat. I can just see it happening: I avoid everything tasty during Thanksgiving then gorge myself on Christmas because I can't take it anymore. I would have been better off having a little bit here and there because I could exercise in between to burn the extra calories.
As my dad always tells me, it's about portion control, balance and the give-and-take. If you eat a little more today, exercise a little more tomorrow. Maybe I'll put in a lot of extra work from now until Thanksgiving so I have a bit of leeway, but then again, I wouldn't want to see all of my hard work just disappear in a flash. I guess moderation is key.
Do any of you have any good ideas for surviving the holiday season? Please share them with me, I can use all the help I can get!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
- Distance Meter (Pro) -- This application is offered for free and also as a "Pro" edition for $2.99. As with other applications that offer different price points, you get more for your money. Distance Meter (Pro) acts as a really good pedometer/distance calculator and caters to walkers and hikers. It helps people track how long a trail is as well as the path's difficulty. Lastly, it translates the route walked in length and difficulty into calories burned. The app can be found in the app store under Healthcare and Fitness.
- FoodScanner -- The FoodScanner application is great if you want to keep track of the calories you're eating, but don't always have time to enter in a lot of information and data into a program. Utilizing the camera on your iPhone, the application allows the user to take a photo of the barcode on a food item and uses the stored information from the barcode to keep track of calories and nutrients. This is great if you consume lots of packaged goods throughout the day like Lean Cuisine meals, 100 calories snack packs or even a serving of frozen vegetables! FoodScanner costs $2.99 and can also be found under Healthcare and Fitness in the app store.
- Weight Watchers Mobile -- From what I hear, the Weight Watchers Mobile application is fantastic, but the one down side is that you have to be a Weight Watchers member with a login ID to use it. I'm not a WW members so I don't get to use it, but it's really helpful for tracking calories and nutrition information, calculating WW Points and offering great information to stay on your WW program. It is free under the top 10 free apps in Healthcare and Fitness.
- iTreadmill -- iTreadmill is a really helpful exercise app, and for me it's really convenient because I can turn it on and use my phone to listen to music so it's not like carrying and extra piece of equipment around the gym with me! The application is basically the ultimate pedometer for treadmill users. It tracks step count and steps per minute, along with your target speed, current speed, speed average, calories burned, distance, time and it lists a history so you can calculate your progress. The application also has a built in timer. It's only $0.99 at the app store, but an update is on the horizon so it may become $1.99 or $2.99 in the near future.
- Your Ideal Weight -- I've talked a lot about body mass index and individual ideal weight in my blog, and this is an application that caters to that. Entering age, current weight, height, activity level, etc., the application calculates not only the doctor recommended weight for you, but also what the average weight people want and also the weight recommended by your body mass index. It's a free application offered under the Healthcare and Nutrition category. The downside to this app is that once you use it, why keep it?
- Virtual Trainer -- Virtual Trainer is another free application that can be found in the Healthcare and Fitness category (see a trend?). This application offers the user more than 250 exercises (with 3D video animation) and 120 work out programs in order to vary their exercise routines. You can choose from cardio or specific to a body region, etc., and the lengths ranger from 6 to 60 minutes. There's also a built-in timer and a stats section so you can gauge your improvement.
I'm not going to lie, I don't use each of these applications everyday. A lot of the applications that are offered for cooks or weight-conscious individuals have overlapping features that you have to figure out for yourself. Find the apps that work best for you, and for those people who have Blackberries, take a look at your app store and see if there are equivalent programs.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Every single calorie and gram of fat I consumed was beyond worth it. I got the best birthday gift a girl could ask for this weekend. After months of going through a difficult patch, and being away from my closest friends and family for a really long time, I got a great surprise at dinner on Saturday night. I thought I was meeting some really close family friends who happened to be in town for the weekend, but they brought along a little surprise for me: my best friend, Stephanie. We've known each other since the day I was born, and I literally started crying when I saw her. It was just what the doctor ordered, even if I didn't realize it until that exact moment.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- I love London, England more than any other place in the world. I have also never felt more at home anywhere than I did in London.
- I could eat mashed potatoes for every meal and never tire of them (of course, I don't allow this to happen).
- When I first met my fiance, Mike, I thought he was the most annoying person in the universe because he was too sarcastic and never stopped talking. My distaste for him didn't even last two weeks.
- I once went an entire week in college without wearing anything other than pajamas -- this was allowed to happen because our university had underground tunnels that connected all the buildings and sheltered us from the blistery northern Minnesotan winters.
- Mike and I have four pets, two cocker spaniels named London and Aribella and two cats named Madison (a boy) and Autumn. Mike was never allowed to have pets growing up so I think he's getting his fill for his entire childhood right now.
- I come from a family of strong marriages and I hope mine will resemble what I've grown to view as the norm. My parents have been married for more than 30 years, my dad's parents have been married for more than 50 years and my mom's dad was married to her mom until she passed away, and has now been remarried for more than 25 years. Also, my sister has been happily married to her husband since 2005.
- I have been best friends with one person my entire life, literally since the day our mom's introduced us on Oct. 21, 1983, the day I was born. I call her George, a nickname that started back in junior high, and she calls me Bob.
- George and I have never gone to the same school, and were in fact one year apart grade-wise.
- I live in Las Vegas, Nev. with Mike and our pets. We came for a job and stayed for our jobs, but if the circumstances allowed I would give my left leg to move back to the Midwest. (Someone once asked a famous comedian, "Isn't the desert beautiful?" Her response? "Mmmm, maybe when they finish it." I feel the same way.)
- Mike and I have no real anniversary and don't really know when we started dating. We figure we'll have the rest of our lives after June 26, 2010 to celebrate anniversaries so why worry about it now?
- Although I haven't lived in London since 2005, I still check the weather, news and tube system updates almost daily like I did when I was a resident.
- I attended three different universities between 2002 and 2007: Bemidji State University, Richmond University -- The American International University in London and University of Wisconsin - River Falls.
- On the worst day with the most horrible circumstances, watching my cats and dogs play can still make my laugh til I cry and feel elated.
- Cold Stone Creamery ice cream is my favorite, but I'd much rather have a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. In fact, I have a Dairy Queen ice cream cake every year for my birthday without fail, including this year even though it's horrible for my diet.
- I work in media relations (public relations). I jumped ship from journalism/reporting after I saw the newspaper industry, the proverbial Titanic, hit an ice berg and start sinking.
- I was a three-sport athlete in high school, but you'd never know that from looking at me now. I played softball, basketball and volleyball. And for the record, yes, I was the choir president.
- I have a tattoo that says London on my back and is an artistic version of the underground tube symbol. I can say this publicly now because my mom saw it when I was wedding dress shopping.
- Speaking of wedding dresses, I found my perfect dress, literally one I had dreamt about after trying on only five or six at the first shop we went to. We went to other shops afterward just to be safe, but I went back that afternoon to buy it.
- I love photography and used to be pretty good at it. Sometimes I wish I would have pursued a degree in fine arts with an emphasis in photography, but I know how hard it is to make a living that way.
- I despise Las Vegas for one simple reason, and it's the same thing I dislike about the Twin Cities in Minnesota: public transportation isn't good enough. In Las Vegas, public transportation exists, but it mine as well not since it's useless.
- I am almost more excited about the before and after of my wedding than the actual event. This is because I get to have my hair and makeup done with my girls and mom beforehand and go to London with my new husband afterward. Of course this isn't a true placement of my excitement, but it gives me even more to look forward to.
- I have an iPhone and treat it like a permanent extension of my right hand. Life may cease to exist if I lose it or it breaks.
- I used to drive a 2000 Ford Focus, but Mike loves me and so we traded it in for a 2006 BMW 325i four-door sedan. I love it and now understand why mom jokes about being buried in her BMW.
- I was in two very serious relationships before dating Mike, but I've never been more comfortable with myself or with another person than with Mike. It took all of one month of dating to be undeniably sure that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.
- I love my sister and consider her a close friend, but it took all of childhood and the start of college for us to treat each other like friends and not like battling sisters. I only wish we lived closer now that we've reached this point.
- My favorite place in the world is Postman's Park in London followed closely by the Killarney National Forest in Killarney, Ireland.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Think of it this way: A business almost always takes more than one person to make it successful, even if it's just the operator and the customer. Likewise, a family takes at least two people otherwise it's just a single individual. Similar to families, teams, companies, communities and organizations, reaching goals takes an army of individuals in order to make them happen.
I took my inspiration for losing weight from a friend of mine, automatically taking the "I" out of my situation and creating a "we," but there are many more people involved in my journey. Everyone from my family and fiance, to friends, coworkers, random readers, tweet peeps and strangers have created a team for me to rely on while going through the ups and downs of this lifelong adventure. As I was struggling to decide whether to have ice cream last night or a 100 calorie snack of popcorn, I happened to jump online on Facebook and see someone post something nice to me on one of my blog links. It was those few words of encouragement that pushed me in the right direction -- the way toward having popcorn instead of ice cream.
I think I often times try and do everything myself without allowing others to help, or without allowing myself to rely on someone else. Whether it's with simple tasks like doing laundry or taking care of the dishes, or larger tasks like planning our wedding or coordinating the honeymoon, I keep trying to do things myself. It takes a little reminding from my conscious that those people that are offering suggestions and helping hands aren't trying to "intrude" on my life, but instead are trying to make it easier. I've even read a few comments on my blogs that irked me and I had to remind myself that those comments aren't meant to be insulting or to shine a negative light on my words, but instead are trying to enlighten me and offer a new way of thinking or a new suggestion to follow. Every little bit helps, even if I don't realize it at the exact moment. Sometimes I also forget to say thank you.
Here's my word of advice today. This is something I'm reminding myself to do today as well since I've forgotten in recent days. Tell people "thank you" and remind those special people in your life that you love them. It may be completely random, but it's 100% worth it.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Almost a year ago, Mike snuck a diamond ring into his luggage when we flew from Nevada to Minnesota. While I was showering on Christmas morning he woke up, wrapped the present, addressed it from Santa Claus and placed it under the tree with all of the other gifts from my parents, sister, family members and of course Santa. When I hopped out of the shower and returned to our room to wake him up, he acted as though he had slept the entire time, and I had no clue that he was actually awake.
Not two hours later, Mike got down on one knee in front of my mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law and said, "Beth, I love you more than anything and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" To my mother's shock and excitement, her youngest daughter was engaged to be married, the trick was, my dad was in on it the whole time. To be honest, it was perfect. Family is so important for both of us and being able to share that moment with my family, then immediately with my extended family, and then the next day with Mike's family was perfect. The wedding planning started immediately, and as Mike left Minnesota, I stayed behind to book the church and the reception location. I finally had some time to myself and that's when my mind ran wild. I distinctly remember saying to myself while lying in bed one night when I was still in Minnesota, "Now if only I could change. I want to see myself as beautiful at the wedding."
From that moment, I was on a mission. I started a new skin treatment, looked for the perfect diet and swore up and down that I would be my ideal weight, have sparkling white teeth and a glowing tan on June 26, 2010 when I walk down the aisle in my gorgeous white dress and join hands with Mike. That was how it was going to work.
As of right now, we have 8 months until our wedding. My skin isn't perfect and my teeth aren't sparkling. Hell, I'm no where near that "ideal weight" I swore I'd reach eight months ago, but something is different. I had a few moments to myself yesterday and I spent them thinking about our impending nuptials. I have the most beautiful dress, an amazing groom and the perfect wedding party. We've picked a great location, and we've completed almost all of the requirements to get married in the Catholic Church. My wedding planner even says that we're ahead of the game, and that for a bride I have quite the level head. As I tried to picture our wedding day eight months from now, the same thoughts I had last December returned to my head, but this time I said, "I just wanted to see my self as beautiful on my wedding day."
I'm no longer worrying about how I will perceive myself on June 26, 2010. It may have taken me seven months to truly get on the right track for losing weight and gaining confidence, but I got there. More and more I look in the mirror and actually tell myself that I look good in that outfit, or today I look slim. I'm not worried that on my wedding day I'm going to feel like I look fat, or I'm going to be upset if I weigh 175 lbs instead of 150 lbs. because none of this has actually been the point. The entire point of my attempt at a transformation has actually been to change my perspective of myself. I didn't realize this until yesterday. I'm trying to change my body, yes, but I'm trying to change it because I need to change the way I view myself. What a strange thing to realize. I guess it's true what they say about just about everything, 75% mental, 25% physical.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
A lot of shake-based diets tell you to consume two shakes per day and one standard meal. By having that full meal in the middle of the day, a lot of the calories, fat, sugars, salts, etc. are worked off throughout the day due to the natural movements of the body and the fact that people move more during the day than in the evening. When you consume that standard meal in the evening, most people then tend to settle on the couch to catch up on the shows they DVRed or curl up in bed with a book, etc., and that doesn't give the body ample time to digest and work through the nutrients.
Since I started consuming the shakes at each end of my day, not only have I felt better going to bed because my stomach isn't filled with rich foods, but the scale has been absolutely amazing to me! I'm still consuming my necessary amount of nutrients, and I still watch what I eat for that one main meal, but my diet has had a little resurgence.
If you have the ability to change your eating patterns in some way, I recommend you try doing it. Try consuming your largest meal in the middle of the day instead of in the evening. Even if all you do is climb stairs, walk to your car or run errands, that amount of movement/exercise helps work off the nutrients from the meal.
I know a concern is focused on eating with family, and I wouldn't trade that for a simple Slim Fast shake. Mike and I eat different things most of the time as it is due to me dieting and his ability to eat and never gain an ounce, so me changing when I have meals and shakes doesn't affect the habits we've already established. If you have family meals most nights, try sitting down with your shake with your family. It'll be hard, but I bet you'll see a difference!
Monday, October 12, 2009
This morning, at 4 a.m. central time, Mike's sister, Erica, gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. Mike's first nephew and his god son. Although the baby boy doesn't have a name yet, or at least the name hasn't been shared with us, we're ecstatic to welcome the addition to the family.
I realized this weekend as Mike and I anxiously awaited updates about the labor and birth of the new baby that I was almost instantaneously snapped out of the funk I've been in the past few weeks. I know I'm not completely out of it and a lot of the personal stuff that's been getting me down is still around, but there's so much more to what's happening in my life, in our lives, that letting all the crap keep me down is ridiculous.
I have a lot to be thankful for and a ton to look forward to within the next few months. I turn 26 next Wednesday, and I get to celebrate with a few friends this coming weekend. Mike's sister had her baby! We get to go back to Minnesota for five days in November! We're getting married in 8 months. Although everything's not perfect, when it comes right down to it, life is good. Oh, and since this blog is tracking my weight loss progress: This morning the scale showed me 207.8. I'm down more than 20 lbs in two months, and my clothes are practically falling off.
As Robert Frost said, "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on," and on I shall go as well.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I knew the day was going to be difficult, as any day would be that required sitting in a room from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. listening to talks. I brought with me a Diet Coke, bottle of water and two 100-calorie snack packs just in case. It took all of my will power not to devour the snack packs within the first two hours, just out of boredom. Luckily, I only ate one of them, but that second one taunted me from my purse.
When it came to lunchtime, we were served pizza and cookies. It was like a shower of sunlight from heaven; a mini blessing, and it had nothing to do with the food. I was thankful to have something to break up the day. I indulged in a cookie and two slices of pizza knowing full well that I'd have to curb my food intake the rest of the day.
When the all-day event wrapped up, Mike and I headed home and prepared for a relaxing evening. Unfortunately, it didn't quite happen that way, and as we ran out of the house to run some last-minute errands I found myself repeating "do not eat my emotions" over and over again. I wanted to swing through McDonalds for a Big Mac, large fries and delicious Coca-Cola, not Diet Coke. Don't worry, everyone, I didn't give in to my own temptations. I had a Slim Fast shake for dinner and a 100 calorie pack of popcorn.
I went to bed with my stomach feeling less-than-satisfied, but I woke up to a new day, and a happy scale. I guess yesterday ended up being more emotional for me than I thought it would be. Although it wasn't emotions of overwhelming happiness due to our impending nuptials, I was stressed and frustrated at the all-day course and I really disliked being talked at instead of being a part of the conversation. I did it though, I stayed away from eating food to cover the emotions that were eating away at me, and I guess that's the lesson I needed to learn.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I ended up drinking a Slim Fast shake and eating a 60-calorie pudding cup for dinner. It filled me up as I expected it to do, and was well within my calorie limit, but it didn't fill that craving. This morning when I woke up, I still had an empty spot in my stomach, and right now, almost a full day later, I have no idea what I'm looking for.
This seems to be a pattern with me right now. I'm having cravings for somethings, yet I'm not as hungry as I used to be so I'm in this constant state of limbo. I also have been lacking complete motivation to hit the gym. Will someone please motivate me?!?!? The scale dropped below that 210 mark this morning when I weighed in at 209.6. I was ecstatic, literally. I jumped off the scale, threw my hands in the air and did a little naked shimmy scaring my cat to death in the process. I felt like I reached my first milestone. However, I still don't fell like going to the gym.
I know, I know, if I hit the treadmill or the elliptical it will help drop the pounds, but my mind isn't in it. Where did it go? I honestly have no clue. I've been on this weight loss journey for 7.5 weeks, and I haven't fallen off the wagon, but I need something to rejuvenate my spirit, that spunk I had toward reaching my goals in the very beginning. So today, this is much less of a blog sharing an experience as it is a call to arms or request for help. Do any of you, my fellow weight loss buddies have any words of wisdom for this lost soul?
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
-popcorn - 13%
-Any 100 calorie snack pack - 18%
-Fruits/Veggies - 63%
-Other - 4%
Not to my surprise, most people selected fruits and vegetables. I have to admit, I love fruit, and I'm a fan of many vegetables, but my favorite low-cal snack is popcorn. It's my favorite treat!
So as I've come along on this journey, I've paid close attention to which fruits and veggies are high in calories and which ones are lower. Not taking into consideration fiber or sugar or any other nutritional information, I thought I'd share a little bit of what I've learned.
The fruits with the highest calorie count include: dates, raisins, blueberries, raspberries and prunes. Apricots, lemon, apples and most melons, however, are really low in calorie. Another thing to keep in mind when buying fruit is to make sure they are unsweetened (if frozen) and unconcentrated. This helps keep the calorie count lower as well.
The vegetables with the highest calorie count include: spinach, collard greens, peppers, carrots and mushrooms. Low to no-calorie vegetables include: chives, radishes, broccoli and cauliflower. The only warning I have about purchasing veggies is to be careful when selecting canned vegetables. It's the added salt, liquids, etc. that add the calories.
When it comes right down to it, though, grabbing for a handful of baby carrots or raspberries is a much better decision than a handful of chips or cookies. Despite the calories in the items, whether fresh, frozen or canned, eating fruits and vegetables is a much better habit to get into than to avoid!