Thursday, May 21, 2009

Results are not in my control

I had an Ah-ha moment today. So many times I am trying to control my results. But the results are out of my control. My job is to be strong and resilient in my program. To confidently follow through with the healthy eating and exercise it will take to get results. Then I leave the results to be what they are. If I am doing my part, I will get results. If I am only concentrating on the results, I am not doing what is truly my part.

I am not sure if this makes sense or not but it does to me. I step on the scale some weeks thinking - this will be a 2 pound week. Then it isn't - it is a .5 pound week or a 1 pound week. I am disappointed. Or all week long I look forward to results day as that is the day that matters. What are my results. I am focusing on the area I have the lease control.

I will leave the results up to God and I will concentrate on doing what I can to be the healthiest me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Life of bees

My husband has many outdoor hobbies and the latest is beekeeping. In the spring he taps trees for maple syrup and now I will have honey to add to my healthy sweetener options. Anyway, the bees are here and they were setting up their hive at our house this week. After a couple of days, several bees were dead on the ground outside the hive. I guess they work really hard collecting pollen and then they die. Thousands are born each day and thousands die. A fact I did not know. The other bees carry the dead ones that die in the hive out.

As I have been working hard the past few weeks, I guess I am glad I am not a bee. I would have been dead by now! I could see my co-workers pulling me out of the office and dropping me in the parking lot. I am just not sure who they would find to replace me as the software trainer!

Anyway... here is a shot of our bees!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Climbing Wall/Weekly Weigh In

My son had a 4th grade study/camping trip at a YMCA camp this week. I went along and spent the night Thursday night so I weighed Thursday instead of Friday. And the number was...


So I am making some progress though not very quick progress! I am hoping to be a pound less next week and just keep at it one pound at a time.

I am considering joining a 12 week weight loss program through our local hospital. It is $65 and includes cooking classes, weekly weigh in's and group support. They have an informational meeting this Wednesday and it starts next Wednesday. For the money it sounds like a really good deal and affordable for me but with my work demands that will not be over for another 3 - 4 weeks, I am not sure it is the best timing. They also have a session that starts the end of June. I believe that may be the best time for me to start. Possibly, I will do some checking online and go to the information meeting in June.

Overall I feel great about where I am. I feel at peace with this process and do not feel rushed to get to a certain weight. My health is becoming more of a priority for me. I just feel that my goals are attainable. The main reason for starting the class as it is a "mind body" approach - not just a diet. In fact they say there is no dieting or counting involved. Just the healthy meal planning. Whenever I get bogged down in counting, it makes me obsessive. If I know I am 100 calories over, I might as well be 1000 over - it is faiure. I just hate that feeling.

While I was at 4th grade camp, I was one of the few parents with the courage to attempt the climbing wall. It was a 40 foot wall and looked way easier than it was! I made it past 1/2 way but at the tricky part of the wall, I got stuck. I realized I need some more upper body strength. I did not have the muscle to make it happen.

Even though I did not make it all the way. I tried and it was a bit scary but did not let that stop me. When else will I get a chance to climb a wall! I can remember when I maybe would have avoided a situation like that due to what others might think of me. I am no longer seeing myself as an overweight person. It is a nice change in thinking.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

This Mother's Day was wonderful for me. I was treated very well by the 3 men in my life. I felt very special and very loved. It was a great day for me. I sometimes forget to be thankful for the wonderful blessings in my life as I work on the physical parts of me and wanted to post how much I appreciate my family.

Hope you all enjoyed your Mother's Day or days with your Mother's on Mother's Day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Long Week/Good Week

Well it has been another long week but this time a good one. My Mom is in town which means I am trying to juggle this work project -- with time with her -- with time working out -- with time eating well -- with blogging time -- with bible study time -- with little league baseball games -- with well you get the picture

My Mom and I have a special relationship. She struggles with mental health issues and is not your typical Mom. She has been this way all my life. It is hard to describe - she isn't completely off the wall crazy as she is highly medicated. She is manic depressive, bi-polar, anxiety ridden. I have spent years resenting this Mother Daughter relationship but now realize the situation for what it is and my Mother's dependence on her daughters as her only hope in life and I am trying to come through for her.

On a funny note... if you have seen Seinfeld you know they have the "close talker" and the "low talker" characters that Jerry makes fun of. Well my husband has labeled my Mom the "quiet walker". I call her a stalker. She will sneak up behind you while say cutting vegetables at the kitchen counter and stand behind you and you never know she is there. Then when you turn around you run into her nearly stabbing her with a knife you were taking to the kitchen sink. I realize she just wants to be near me but she sure is quiet and sneaky.

As a child, my Mom was anorexic on top of all of her other issues. Then bulimic for awhile. Now she is purely a compulsive eater and laxative abuser. I have seen her go through more Metamucil and prune juice this week than before. I have talked to her but with her mental limitations, you cannot get through. She thinks what she is doing is healthy as she is on a lot of medications which cause constipation and she needs all this stuff. Well-- she overate all week and cannot button her jeans now so all I have heard about for the past 24 hours is how miserable she is.

I am not mentally challenged but I feel like I am looking in the mirror. My Mom eats when she doesn't really want to, eats when not hungry, eats to the point of busting, eats to make herself feel better for overeating only to then feel more sick. It is really quite sad. I have seen myself in her this week and did not like the reflection. This pattern of behavior in our family will stop with me.

I bought a great devotional book at the bookstore this week called Living Well. It is about living a balanced life and it is based on the Christian weight loss plan called First Place 4 Health. The program stresses balance in 4 areas of your life - mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. The devotional book is compiled with submissions by people who successfully completed the program. I really see myself as trying to achieve this balance in my life. I have been lopsided for too long looking at just my weight loss goal as my singular focus.

I wanted to share my first lesson from the book about making wise choices. God offers us life and blessings or death and curses. It is our choice to decide which we want. Just as in my weight loss efforts we have to decide whether to binge and eat something that I know will take me off plan - that is not choosing life for me personally. all too often I make the choice to not bless myself with following through on what I intend to do. I have used this lesson the past few days to walk away from food and it has helped. I now am starting to feel blessed and it feels good.

Have a wedding in Michigan this weekend so may not get to post. Hope you all enjoy your weekends and hope you have good weather in your area.

Monday, May 4, 2009

First post in awhile.

I have not blogged regularly in 2 weeks and I miss it. I have been overwhelmed at work. I have worked just short of 50 hours each of the past 2 weeks and I do not like it! Last Spring I downsized to part time with the company I have worked for since 1995. I agreed (yes it is my fault) to take on these extra hours for 6 weeks while we are implementing new software.

My thought process in agreeing to this was...

First -- not sure what the economy brings for this company and better to take the hours now and bank the money then to turn them down.

Second -- this software change could mean less work at our local branch and more work at corporate in Nashville which could again affect my job. Make the money while you can sort of thinking.

Third -- If I am the trainer I will understand the system and when the change happens if there is job reduction, I will be the most knowledgeable and therefore hopefully the most valuable.

Lastly -- I was the software trainer the last time we changed software in 1998 and I like to train and the company needed me so I agreed to help.

So self inflicted misery I have but it is short term. I still think it was the right decision for me to agree to the hours but in the meanwhile... I have less time. I am still exercising but that is all I can really give myself credit for. I have not been journaling my food and have not been paying attention to what I have been eating at night.

I also have not weighed in 2 weeks. I need to get on the scale and will this week. My Mom is also here so sure I will have a post about our relationship soon. As she is in town, I will not be working 50 hours this week but more like 25 so I should have more time to post and journal my food when my Mom is not standing over my shoulder watching everything I do. :) - Hint of the post to come!

Monday, April 27, 2009

What a Weekend

For those of you in the midwest. We had a wonderful weekend. Now it was a bit windy around here. But with temps in the higher 70's and lower 80's, I am not going to complain or let that stop me from getting outside.

I got so much done this weekend both outside and inside my house plus 2 runs. A 4 miler on Friday and a 2 miler yesterday as I really did not want to test my knee too much. I made both ok with a 3 walk breaks on the 4 miler. I just wanted to enjoy those temps. Looks like today is the last day as the remainder of the week will be cooler with chance of rain.

I really want to comment on how us Midwesterners come to life when the weather changes. Everyone is happy and outside. I think our emotions all thaw out from the winter temps and we are just glad to be alive. At least that is how I felt. I still follow the no annuals planted until Mother's Day rule. (Got burned by that one with a snow fall once in the 10+ years I have lived here) I did go to the garden center and buy some perennials and looked at trees. I love to garden and work in my yard. Even had asparagus from my garden last night - there is just nothing better than home grown vegetables.

While outside this weekend with a really great attitude as detailed above, I had some time to consider Carol's post on having a vision. I really have to say I do not have one. I went through some of the usual thoughts I would have expected for my vision - seeing myself in a smaller size, being more comfortable in clothes, feeling confident in my appearance, being stronger and fit physically with muscle tone - these area valid vision components but I really kept getting tugged towards more emotional components of my vision. These thoughts kept popping into my head...

Not feeling the pull of junk food to be eaten due to uncomfortable feelings or emotions.

Praying, meditating, stretching, walking, breathing instead of eating.

Believing in my ability to change the eating patterns I adopted as a child.

Seeing myself as a person who can change.

As I was compiling these thoughts, I realized that these are all part of my 155 self vision and part of my current weight vision. I need/want to be all of these things now. This will be part of my change. If I can achieve the above part of my vision, I will be such a healthier eater. I will be thinner too but more importantly a HEALTHIER EATER.

Sometimes weight is all I focus on. What will it take to be thinner. But I don't want to just be thinner. I want to be healthier - not just physically with a smaller number on the scale and Michelle Obama arms but emotionally healthier capable of not reacting to emotions or feelings with overeating.

I feel I am on my way - defining my vision - documenting it on paper and posting it as a reminder - living my vision - seeing the physical and emotional results. I want to live my vision now not just at 155.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Weekly Update

Here is my weekly update. My weight ended up at 169.8. Which is surprising honestly when you look at my where I came in with my goals:

I originally had 5 goals but decided my biggest obstacle is just tracking what I eat. I have a tendency to give up and not get it done. I just need to understand what I am eating so I can start to work on what I need to do to cut back to weight loss level. All those non-tracking days, I am positive I was above 1500 calories.

My only explanation for the loss is I cleaned up my yard for about 8 hours total over the weekend. It was a lot of work Friday and Saturday and even 1 hour in the rain on Sunday. We had ice storms in my area over the winter and their were tens of thousands of limbs down. Big and little. I woke up Saturday after working in my yard 5 hours on Friday and could not bend over and touch my toes. I always wondered what those "dead lift" exercises actually did for your hams and glutes well now I know after picking up stick after stick to put it in my wheelbarrow. I was working on a 2 acre yard so was walking quite a bit to get to my burn pile and pushing that wheel barrow loaded with sticks. I must have burned a few calories off I ate earlier in the week? I am hoping this weight sticks for next week.

I am going to have a really rough week at work. I am working on implementing a new software package and I am working 8 - 4:30 and then going back from 8 - midnight to train the off shift people. I have a couple of worries: exercise time, blogging time and food journal logging time. I will only get about 2.5 house at home with my family due to commute time and still need to help prepare dinner and do homework. I got in exercise yesterday. But will not today. I am hoping to get it in Mon - Wed - Fri then will need to work out Saturday and Sunday this weekend. I am also committed to logging my food which means I will probably not blog much this week. I will be reading the other blogs I follow as everyones posts keep me motivated.

I have a parting thought that I picked up in church this weekend, the verse is

"But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope.

Funny I never ever have rejoiced in my sufferings but through them is where I do all my personal growth which explains the perseverance brings about character. Not sure if Paul meant weight loss when he wrote this verse in Romans! But I can apply it to that area of my life. Well maybe not weight loss but more the desire to live a different life. To not be burdened with the unhealthy food desires I have. I am committed to continual improvement in this area of my life.

I hope you all have a good week and come closer to meeting your personal goals.

Friday, April 17, 2009

If not now, when?

I posted a few days ago about needing inspirational words to help me turn down tempting comfort foods when the need to eat them and break my healthy eating plan hits me.

Well today I found those words in an article I was reading in Women's Day Magazine. This is really not an exciting magazine that I usually flip through and then pass on to someone else but as I was flipping through today, there was an article titled "Love, again. After a heartbreaking loss, I moved across the country to make a fresh start. What I found there turned my life around". I would not normally read this article but something told me to do it so I started reading about how this lady found love again. Basically both her and her new husband each lost a spouse to cancer. Really a sad story but a few years ago she was faced with leaving NYC and her "old" life - apartment, job, scenery - that she had shared with her first husband who passed away. She knew she needed to leave but was afraid to. So she asked herself "If not now, when"

I did not finish reading the article. I got to that point and I said to myself. "IF NOT NOW, WHEN" The words I have been searching for. Every evening when snack monster reigns on me and I want to overeat, I tell myself "you can start again tomorrow" Those words are replaced with "If not now, when"

I will not get another chance at yesterday or today. This is my only chance. So if I cannot do it today, when will I do it. Tomorrow is today for me going forward and I will do it today.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just a little better

I am trying to give myself some credit for today. I was a little better. One of my goals which I will start posting next week is to track all of my food. I have a tendency to go into denial mode when I overeat. It is as if I am saying... If I ignore this, it really didn't happen. Except it did, and I didn't count it so I have no idea how much I really ate. Then I have this wonderful excuse for why weigh in day does not go so well. "How did that happen, I didn't lose weight... is that possible" Oh yes Sharon it is when you snack at night or while cooking and do not acknowledge or hold yourself accountable, yes that will happen.

So I know I really need to work on tracking what I eat - all of it. I use Fit Day and it is an easy, handy tool. Monday and Tuesday I blew it and did not track. Wednesday I ended up eating at night but I tracked it all and came in at 2069 calories. Then today I was at 1465 and came in at 8 pm a little hungry. I grabbed a handful of chips and a slice of cheese and then realized I was doing it AGAIN! I came in to my tracker and put it what I had eaten and was at 1690. So that is where I will end this day. At least I caught myself and stopped it.

My Fitness magazine had a good article about mental blocks and how to overcome them. Also another blog I follow had an excellent post on wanting something you know you really do not want but feeling driven to eat it and yet not eating it and then being really sad because you cannot have that food. I thought about how this is a mental block for me to think I can actually not do it when I really want to eat comfort foods. I want to eat them, I am driven to eat them and I regularly do eat them. There is the option to not eat them and tonight when I exercised that option to stop myself, I did feel a little sad as I could not have what I wanted to eat. I came here to post to help with the sad feelings.

An interesting point is I do not feel this way all month. It seems to be strongest right before my period so possibly it is hormone related. I am not sure. I will continue to challenge myself and work through this pattern of behavior which I know is standing between me and my goal.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Am I more important?

I sometimes wonder if I am more important than the temptations that overcome me. Am I worth it and is reaching my goals worth more than the Easter candy sitting on my refrigerator? So far today, I have not given into my kids Easter stash. But... yet... I am thinking about it.

As a person who has been overweight since the age of 14, I have gotten pretty good about not seeing things through. I have wanted to get to a lower weight for years. First, I thought I should be 140. As a 5'9" person, this is really too thin for me to maintain. Then I moved it to 145, then 150 and now 155. Really... I think 150 - 155 is the right range.

So as my weigh in yesterday was 171.8 - up from my pre-vacation weight of 169, I still am 17 pounds over my goal. Still overweight, still wanting to succeed, still standing in my own way.

I know this post sounds like a downer. It really isn't meant to be. I just continue to do things to defeat myself and that part is frustrating. I have set a few goals for myself that I know if I can meet them 80%, I can lose the 1 lb a week I want to lose. I just need to up my effort. My plan is to post my weight each Monday with how I fared with my daily goals. Just to try to keep myself accountable each day.

I know I only have 2 people who probably even read my blog but would really like to know since both of you (Jen and Carol) have successfully lost weight. What do you think was the right mental conversation to have with yourself when the moment strikes and you want to deny yourself that food. What did you say to yourself to walk away. I am still searching for those words. Today it has been, "you are worth not eating that" and it has worked.

I know I am more important. My goals are very important. My health is very important. And I need to stand up for myself. Just need to keep plugging away.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to Reality

The sun has set on my Florida vacation.

I did have a fabulous time though. I was able to get online a couple of times to catch up on the posts for the blogs I follow. It was great to stay connected. The weather in Bonita was beautiful. Only 1 or 2 days in the 70's with the rest in the 80's. Then I return to lovely Indiana and today was in the 40's with rain. Yuck. I started a fire in our wood stove and have been depressed all day. Spring in the Midwest just stinks.

Now that I am back to reality, it is time to get back to the work of losing some more weight. I did have a really good body image week when I was there. My husband was pleasantly shocked when I first put on my suit. He was surprised that I had toned up and lost what I did. I am even brave enough to put my picture up here in a bathing suit. Shock and awe. Here it is.

I am far from where I want to be but did improve upon where I was last year. I am seeing progress.

I was very much so "off plan" while on vacation. I did not pay any attention to choices but did not eat very large portions. There was more to do while there and I was busy so eating was not as big of a priority. I did allow myself to eat foods that I would not normally so now I have will have to fight some cravings as I go back to my normal way of eating.

I really just did not think about my weight issues at all while gone. I didn't thing about work either or any sort of responsibilities. I was very carefree and relaxed and I want to go back now! It just felt good to just be without trying to change something or worrying about results or any of that.

I am working right now on establishing some goals for myself and I plan to weigh tomorrow AM. Yikes - not really looking forward to that but just need to get it done. As the title of my post says ... back to reality and that includes me seeing what damage might have been done in the past week and a half.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Words to Live By

Last night's Biggest Loser was not a particularly eventful episode. Nicole came back and won the right to return to the ranch based on the % of weight loss she achieved at home. She lost 87 pounds at home in 12 weeks which is an average of 7.25 pounds per week. That just sounds miraculous to me. I have read where prior contestants enlist sketchy tactics before the finale like only eating asparagus or other natural diretics or spending hours in a sauna, etc... to lose all that water weight. Nicole must have done some of these things as at weigh in she was up 5 pounds and lost her immunity and went to the elimnation room. She smoked her competition to return to the ranch and probably didn't even need to go to those extremes (if she did) but in the end she was voted off and sent home for the second time.

When Nicole left the elimination room, she gave the customary parting words to the camera. Her thoughts really hit home with me. I felt so connected to her through those words. I think she spoke for any of us who are trying to lose weight and what it is really about. I do not have TiVo and searched this morning for the exact words on NBC and You Tube but the episode is not up yet. So here is my recollection of what she said...

It is not about winning the weigh in or getting eliminated. It is not about winning the competition. It's about how I feel about myself, what I know I am capable of doing, and the woman I have become. And I really love her.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the results, the scale, the number, the goal, the tangible - the things we can tell others. That we miss what we are really doing. We are transforming our complete selves. Not just our pant size or weight. But changing who we are and how we choose on a daily basis to interract with food. It is so hard to tell people what I am trying to achieve. I really struggle here. People ask me, "so are you trying to lose weight."

Well, yes I am. But that is not all. I am also trying to learn to love the person I am and when I am binging, I do not really love that person. I am trying to identify the areas of frustration in my life that lead me to overeat. I am working on becoming more fullfilled in my work, my parenting and my hobbies so the Little Debbies are not quite as tempting. I am trying to change the patterns of behavior I have had since I was 14. In short... it is so much more than just trying to lose weight.

When we focus on just losing the weight, we fail to address the reasons we gained the weight in the first place. So if I could successfully diet without addressing all of the factors that led me to gain the weight in the first place, where would I be at maintenace time? Struggling to keep the weight off. The best comparison I can come up with is whenever it is time to paint a room, i just want to slop the new paint color up and have it looking nice. My husband wants to wash all the walls and use spackle on all the holes and caulk the molding, etc... But that takes time. I cannot get to the results as quick if I have to spend a day or two on prep. My wise husband will say... the time spent will be worth it. The results will be so much better.

Like my weight loss efforts... the time spent in going slow and working on more than just calorie counting will be worth it. My results will be so much better. (And lasting I might add)

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Little Lies we tell ourselves

Thanks for the comments on my post from this morning. I never thought that the comment could have meant not my style. I am still not sure exactly what was meant by the comment. I do know this friend knows my struggles with body image and weight and she is very sweet so probably did not mean it the way I took it as she would know it would hurt me. I also realize that it really should just not matter. The fact that it did speaks volumes on how I think of myself.

Today I bought snacks at Walmart for our trip to Florida. We are flying but as they do not feed you, I thought have a few snacks for the kids instead of buying airport food. I bought a box of Teddy Grahams (little graham crackers). Anyway, on my way home from work. I felt myself migrating towards the bag to open the box. Now I felt this in my head - I was not physically doing it but could feel myself thinking about doing it. As I have been trying to keep in touch with my thoughts. I realized it. I was quite surprised to realize I think about these things before doing them. (That whole gap concept in my book where between thinking it and doing it is the gap where you can make a decision) Anyway, so I listened to myself and here is what I heard:

Snack eater voice: It has been 4 hours since lunch and you are hungry. You can open the box and just have a few. You won't eat them all.

I really kind of chuckled here as I thought. Yea right! I will eat 1/2 that box before getting home if I open it. I realized, I probably mentally tell myself this lie all the time. If I catch it and correct it, maybe I will start to realize that it is better to just not even start.

A bit of a break through.

Self Doubt

I had an experience Saturday that was upsetting that made so much more sense to me Sunday after reading another chapter in my emotional eating book.

Saturday was an annual girls day out event I have with some girlfriends where we shop for last minute items for our Spring Break trip. My list this year was very small for myself. I either wanted a new pair of sunglasses or a casual sun dress to wear out to dinner in Florida. I really struck out on both. Our last stop was Target and they had some casual sun dresses that were definitely above the knee. I realize that this is not a great length on me but was sorting through the rack just sort of browsing. My friend said - aren't those too short for you. I immediately said - yes I am just looking.

Now I know mini skirts aren't flattering on me or most women really but it wasn't that short. Would have been a couple inches above the knee but not at the crotch short so I didn't think this option was completely crazy for me to look at. But my friend casually said this - not maliciously - and isn't that what a good friend is for, to be honest when you need them to be. So, I walked away thinking "I guess she thinks I am too fat for shorter skirts" and was a little depressed internally the rest of the trip.

Some points to make.

1st - Notice how I took that comment and internalized it. It must be true! I see other women heavier, same size or smaller than me and I very rarely find myself saying - why is she wearing that. Now I have said that seeing very obese woman wearing a midriff top or daisy duke shorts but for the most part. I tend to think, "She has body confidence" because isn't that what it takes to carry off clothes - confidence.

2nd - Notice how I misinterpreted what she said and thought the most absolutely catastrophic thought - it must mean I am horribly fat and was immediately depressed where all day I had been upbeat and optimistic about the progress I had made. Found this type of thinking in my reading last night - A situation happens, you feel overwhelmed and powerless, you misinterpret the comment or situation and turn it into a catastrophe, you overeat. Being in public with a group of women, there was no overeating involved but I definitely overreacted to the comment.

3rd - This really filled me with self doubt. The title to Chapter 3 was "Your Self Doubt Layer". The first example the author gives is of his patient shopping at a store with their much smaller friend who pointed out to the overweight friend that she might consider Lane Bryant for her clothes. (OK a bit worse but along the same lines) Immediately she started a self critical judgment of herself - that feeling of judgment led the lady to overeat at the food mall and then to be angry at herself for overeating. The focus went from the feeling of being judged by her friend to the anger at herself for overeating. she displaced her feelings.

Displacement of emotions with overeating is not a new concept with me but one I fully understand. I do this. I am angry at boss, child, husband, friend, etc... I cannot handle those feelings they are too much. I find myself eating. I am angry at self for binging. I am used to dealing with the binging and the hatred that comes from that but to dive into my job or situations with loved ones that are difficult or troubling... too hard... so overeat and displace the emotions.

The author dives into self doubts at this part of the book and I read just a bit before realizing that there is so much work for me to do here. We all are afraid of not being accepted by others. I plan to spend some time in this chapter for a few days I would really like to find new ways to deal with self doubt.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I have actually had 2 days where my calorie intake was in an acceptable range and after my recent experiences with overeating, I need to take some time and consider why I am overeating and participating in such self defeating behaviors. Carol suggested a book that gets at why you are eating. I do not own this book but I have plenty of others on my bookshelf from previous dieting attempts and so I picked one up last night and started reading.

The title of the book is "Shrink Yourself. Break free from emotional eating forever!" I bought it years ago, read a few chapters and when there was no miraculous shedding of weight, it went on the bookshelf. I imagine that we all have that shelf filled with books from the past. I am not making any promises that this time I will finish it and do all the exercises. I do not want to set myself up for failure. I am just going to read it and if it helps, keep reading. If it is not helping, stop reading. Just trying to keep it simple.

This psychiatrist's theory is that all overeating is a result of feeling Powerless. When we feel powerless, we eat. His opinion is there are 5 situations that bring about feelings of powerlessness and cause overeating:

1. Powerless over how to deal with self-doubts
2. Powerless about how to get real satisfaction in life.
3. Powerless to insure own safety.
4. Powerless to appropriately assert independence.
5. Powerless to fill yourself up when empty inside.

When you feel powerless, you are immediately drawn to eat. When this feeling comes along, before you eat, there is a gap where you make a decision to eat or not and this is what you need to work on changing - that decision.

In the introduction of the book the author tells of the Native American folk tale where a grandfather explains to his grandson that there are two wolves inside of him. One wolf fills him with hope, the other fills him with doubt. The grandson asks his grandfather which wolf wins. The grandfather answers, whichever wolf you feed. So when I feel powerless, before I eat, in that gap - which wolf will I decide to feed. The one that gives me hope and tells me that life is wonderful and full of opportunity or the one that fills me with dread and tells me it is not worth the effort.

I have only read the 1st chapter and plan to take it 1 chapter at a time and try to learn something about myself and the emotional or spiritual part of this journey. I have much room for growth in this area and feel if I can make strides here, my weight loss goals are not so far out of my reach.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I woke up this morning with a binge hangover from last night. Yes after my post yesterday where I discussed how I lack the capacity to motivate myself and allow myself all to easily and all to frequently to lapse in my eating habits, at 9:30 with merely 1/2 hour to go on Lost where I would be heading to bed, I proceeded to have a glass of wine while eating direct from the Goldfish cracker box - for 1/2 hour straight. Self defeating obviously.

So this morning I woke up mad at myself and frustrated but also a little curious as to why I continue to repeat these behaviors and sabotage my own success. I decided to think about why I am trying to not only lose weight but also change how I interact with food on a daily basis. I started a list of reasons why I get up every day and go through this process. Why - do I even know? Is it because I am societally unacceptable as a size 12 - 14? Shouldn't I be a 6 or 8? Isn't that how it should be. Is that why I do this? Or do I have a more compelling reason. Or maybe I really don't' know why - what is my reason - maybe I really don't' know and that is why I flounder and retreat in the wrong direction over and over again.

I must have a purpose!

So here is my list:

1. My cholesterol can be high and I want to maintain it without prescription drugs below 200.

2. I want to be physically and mentally healthy and my overeating seriously interferes with my mental health.

3. I want to feel positive and upbeat about my future.

4. I want to know the clothes in my closet will fit and I won't be faced with having nothing to wear.

5. I want to be comfortable in my own skin and when I am, when I feel this way, it is when I am taking care of my health and eating well. And I have felt this way and not been at goal weight. THAT TELLS ME IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT WEIGHT BUT ABOUT ACTIONS.

6. Waking up each day with hope not with regret over the previous day's binge and the hopelessness that comes with the day after a binge.

7. I want the years to stop passing where I have uncontrollable eating and look back at the passing of time and find myself shocked at the years that have gone by. Did I think at 20 that I would be 30 and still facing being overweight or now approaching 40 and realizing that 20 and 30 passed. Do I want to be 50?

How do I sum this all up? I don't know. There are compelling reasons there to resolve this and not all of them have to do with body size. I realize alot of it has to do with general good feelings of well being and peace that accompany having your act together. When something is out of balance, it throws your soul/spirit out of balance whatever your addiction is. I want to be in balance.

Carol recommended the Beck Diet Solution which I may read when I return from my vacation.

I realize this is part of my process. Where I lack in will power I have got staying power - I will continue on this process and do the work it takes to get healthier. I just want my time to be more productive.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Determination and persistence win out - at least on the BL

Well last night was another Biggest Loser night. I enjoyed the show and learned a lot about myself as usual.

First I am a big Tara fan. I see alot of myself in her - minus her unbelievable determination and persistence. Maybe I really do not see myself in Tara but see Tara as the person I want to be. Somthing to think about there.

The challenge last night was 2 parts. First the amount of weight contestants lost could be placed on another contestant for part 2 of the challenge. Of course everyone ganged up on Tara and gave her extra weight. I am a very emotional person for sure and during the first part of the challenge when everyone was giving her pounds, I was just seeing her standing there and trying to not let it get to her and if it was me, I would have cried for certain. It just sucks how others can bring us down and a part 1 of this challenge was a picture of the human emotions of jealously and resentment. We all want to be on top and whoever is on top has to have eyes on the back of their head as people are gunning for them. In the end, Tara took it very personally - rightfully so - got sad and then got angry and then took them all out even with her 257 lbs of extra weight hauling that car around the track. I was so glad to see her win. Part 2 of the challenge showed determination and persistence can lead us to victory when the odds are not in our favor. She beat a man pulling more weight. Mentally she was able to do what physically seemed impossible.

As a person I tend to be very mentally weak -- I am so quick to cave against my resolve. I have best of intentions to stick to my 1500 calories a day but find myself logging 1700 - 1800. I have a food plan I fall off of by 2 pm. I plan on avoiding refined foods and eat natural foods and then find myself digging into Wheat Thins at 2 pm. And honestly, without a lot of internal struggle. I just get up and grab the box and eat.

How can I become a person with more determination to change my behaviours? How do I push myself beyond the boundaries that seem inconquerable to me right now? How do I tap into my own determination and persistence to have victory over my weight battle that has loomed on and on and on all of my adult life? I guess if the answer to that was easy, I would have figured it out by now.

On a positive note, I tried on my shorts from last summer size 12's that were too tight last year and they do fit now and fit comfortably so I will have clothes to wear and Florida and will not have to buy anything - I may splurge for a new pair of flip flops.

I acknowledge I have seen progress in the last 3 months. And this is not a 3 month race for me. I am fully committed to losing the 25 - 30 lbs I need to lose over 9 - 12 months. I want to put my best effort foward every day and let the weight come off as a result of my best efforts and that is the frustration I have - I do not always put forth my best efforts. I am too quick to let myself down. And in the end - I do LET MYSELF DOWN - not anyone else.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Springtime in Indiana

Well it is springtime here in the midwest and that means --- really inconsistent weather swings! It was 60 on Saturday, 70 on Sunday, 55 yesterday and barely 60 today. I am really glad I went for my outdoor exercise session on Sunday.

In honor of our cooler temperatures, I made split pea soup from scratch. I love this soup but have to admit that the eye appeal is really lacking. My son was quite shocked when he saw the color of my soup. It does look pretty nasty but tastes good.

I have been trying to incorporate more beans and legumes into my diet to up my fiber intake and get a good protein source not from an animal. I definately consider meat my least favorite food group.

I had a better sleeping night last night. It was a bit iffy at first, I just kept saying to myself... relax... relax... relax... Partly I am worried that it will become mental for me. I am going to keep an eye on the situation and make a note each day in my food journal if I slept ok or not. That way I can establish patterns to see if it could be hormonal related as Carol suggested.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trouble Sleeping

For the past month or so, I have intermittently had trouble sleeping. Usually I wake up around 2 am and then cannot fall back asleep. Saturday night this happened to me and I just lay there trying to go to sleep and cannot and it is incredibly frustrating. I have tried multiple techniques to clear my mind. I feel like I have so many thoughts racing through my mind as I lay there - songs I can't get out of my head, thoughts about things I need to get done, worries about my kids, etc... I try to clear them out and replace them with something more relaxing and as I lay there, I hear them coming back in.

Last night, I could not fall asleep. Yesterday here it was mid 60's and I exercised outside and then did outdoor chores for about 4 hours. I was sore and tired but when I got into bed, here came the tape player of mutiple messages, worries, songs on the radio - and I laid in bed for 2 hours unable to fall asleep. I ended up turning on the light besides my bed and reading for an hour which did help some. I managed to sleep for the most part from midnight until 6:45 so I feel mostly rested this AM.

I am usually the person who is asleep before their head hits the pillow and never will wake up at night - even sleeping through horrible thunderstorms. I do not feel like I am horribly stressed about anything right now and am afraid this is becoming a habit I will not be able to shake. I am trying not to worry about falling asleep before I go to bed but it is in the back of my mind.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

More Magazine April 2009

I received my favorite magazine, More, in the mail Thursday. I sat down this morning and read it while drinking my coffee. This month they had several articles that truly motivated me.

The first was on cover model Dara Torres. What an amazing woman. She is 41 and has an incredibly fit body. She is a world class athlete competing against women 20 to 25 years younger than her and winning! Very inspiring. The article is an excerpt from her new book publishing soon. When answering questions from the journalist she said, "I'm still testing the waters to see where my limits are" Reading this article made me realize that I have set limits on myself that I really need to shake off. Dara Torres who competed as an Olympian at 41 is still testing her limits! I really need to search my heart to see where I am limiting myself. My potential is only limited by my self-imposed limits. I am certainly no Olympic class athlete but during my morning circuit training routine I pushed myself farther and harder than prior workouts. My arms felt like noodles when done.

There was also an article on a new food labeling system called Nuval. Now maybe I am the only one who had not heard about this but the most exciting part was Meier, one of my local grocery chains, is going to start labeling their food this fall. The system basically assigns a score to a food with 100 being perfect and 1 not so great. The numbers are based on a mathematical formula dividing the good stuff (fiber, protein, omega 3's, vitamins) by the bad stuff (trans fats, sodium, etc) You can go to to see the foods they have converted so far. How exciting that they are making food choice selection so much easier. Sometimes reading labels can be a chore and a number on the front of packaging - how much easier can it get!

Lastly there was an article called, "Are you Fit Enough for your Future". This article gave 5 tests you should take to assess your "body age". The tests were in Strength, Core, Flexibility, Balance and Cardio. Based on how you perform, you figure out if your body is in its 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's or 60's+. My body age was lower or same as my biological age on all tests except flexibility. I have really got to work on this. I always have a hard time fitting Yoga in with the strength and cardio I do - it is important though. Core I was weaker on so need to train my abs more often.

I really enjoy this magazine and recommend it as worthy of a subscription. There is substantial content here. The women are real women not celebrities - they are successful women and there is always a story at the end about a woman who reached a goal or dream or re-created herself after 40. The clothes are beautiful - and way out of my price range - but nice to look at. And there are always health related articles to help me reach for my fitness goals.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


For the past few days I have been a little off my "A" game and I really needed a swift kick in the rear and I got it from fellow blogger Carol. Her post was exactly what I needed to read and remember. So thank you!

As I said, I have been struggling. Overeating and making some bad choices. I have been putting in more hours at work and having less time for me - working out, making my healthy lunches, etc... Lots of excuses here if you cannot read between the lines.

Bottom line is, I have not been doing what I need to do to be successful. Reading Carol's post about successfully maintaining helped me to remember how I struggle that way, successfully losing and then regaining the same 15 pounds over the last 4 years and never being able to keep my momentum going to even get to the true maintenance phase... it isn't easy and it isn't supposed to be. But is it worth it - Yes it is - it is for me so I will continue on. Hope to have more inspiring posts of my own in the future.

Conversation with Myself

Carol - yes I did run again! Monday afternoon. Here in Indiana it was right at 70 and a bit warm but it felt great to be outside. Last week I walked to warm up then ran 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back then walked to cool down. This week I went 20 minutes out and tried to do 20 minutes back but ended up walking a bit on the back which shows I should just stick to the 15. Knee - so far so good. Will continue to try to go once a week 30 - 40 minutes.

Yesterday I ended up having a conversation with myself. Monday night, I made a batch of cookies for my sons' daycare. They don't normally go but this week I have software training so she is helping me out. One of the days is 1/2 day off school so I made some cookies for snack time.

As I progress in my moderation approach to eating, I want to become comfortable around trigger foods. With this instance, the cookie making, I ate several tastes of the dough and 2 cookies once done. I went too far I know but yet managed to stop short of any prior time with baking sweets so feel it is progress even though I ate too much.

Yesterday, Tuesday, I got home after 10 hours of computer training and walked in the door to an empty house- put pork loin on the grill for dinner and got changed to work out. There are about a dozen cookies in my house at this point and I walked by and grabbed one and started eating it. BEFORE my work out mind you. I ate 1/2 the cookie, realized what I was doing and pitched it in the trash then got on my spin bike to warm up for my circuit training. Now I said empty house earlier as kids and husband were at baseball. While warming up I proceed to talk out loud to myself, coaching myself on how can I make the choices I want to make. I gave voice to the internal discussions I have around these temptation foods. What I hear myself saying and then what I actually do in response to those voices. I ended up declaring what I want my new behavior to be felt sufficiently motivated to finish my work out and stay out of the cookies rest of the evening.

I am not making this sound near as crazy as it would have sounded had anyone else heard me. But I felt so much better when I was done. Sometimes I just want to ignore that internal critic and then I end up overeating. Hearing the internal voice helped me realize I don't' have to believe it. I can question it and correct what it is saying.

I still haven't decided if I will try again to make baked goods in my house. I do not normally keep sweets around but occasionally we will have them. I no longer want them to have power over me but realize I am early in this process. I learned quite a bit from this situation I can apply to the next time I am faced with temptation.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A New Answer

I have been waiting for someone to notice I have lost some weight and how would I handle the inevitable question of "How did you do it" In the past, I could have said Weight Watchers, Herbalife, Atkins, etc... This time I am not on a program. I thought about answering the question with "eat less, exercise more" or "portion control" which are both true in a sense.

Well I got the question over the weekend and I said - "I am on the either or plan" and my friend looked at me and I said I can have either this or that but not both. The this and that in question this night was either an alcoholic drink with dinner or a dessert after dinner but could not have both. I chose the drink by the way - the cookie could not be savored like my glass of wine.

My friend laughed and I elaborated by saying - in the past I was all or nothing and now I am learning balance and I can have some things to eat that are not "diet foods" but I just can't have them all the time and every day. I am learning I can be an "either or" person instead of a "both" person and it is working for me.

It was the first time I felt good about my answer. I will keep moving forward towards optimum health and fitness.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cyclical emotions with perspective

24 hours after my last post, I really have a different perspective. I have been considering my prior attempts at changing my nutritional habits and how I really am different this time. This doesn't mean I will not have cyclical emotions but how I am going to interact with them, will be different.

I first gained weight - around 40 lbs - as a 14 year old girl whose parents went through a divorce. My first diet was at 15. Today I am 38. For the majority of my life, I have fluctuated between 170 and 180 pounds. Post - pregnancy I was 205 but managed to lose into the 170 - 180 range 2 years after my 2nd child was born but for the past 6 years, I have gone up and down in this range without successfully ever achieving the 150's which I consider a rough goal weight for myself.

In this 20+ years of dieting, my usual pattern is. Start something (name any plan from Weight Watchers to Atkins to any diet book out there) last a couple weeks half-heartedly where I do what is expected of me 80% of any day but can't quite count all my points or completely cut out carbs or eat a head of lettuce or ______________ (fill in blank with whatever said diet requires) then I quit and eat everything I want then I feel remorse then I say well that diet wasn't right there is a new book or a new infomercial or a new magazine article that says I should do this and so I try the new plan only to repeat the entire process.

As soon as I start to feel let down by my results or my efforts I quit and move on because it couldn't possibly be me it has to be the program that I picked.

January 2nd I knew that if I started a program of any sort that I was doomed to failure as that is what will not work for me. I have to find my own path to success and it cannot be defined in any one set program. I have looked at many sources over the past 3 months to get ideas on how to be healthy - Prevention magazine, Jillian Michael's website, many of the wonderful blogs here, books about healthy habits not diets, etc... I am not doing what I did before.

So when I have these changes in perception of myself brought on by hormones or just bad days (bad body days like bad hair days) I can react differently. I don't have to dive into a bag of chips or a gallon of ice cream only to the next day or week start a new program. My program is my life. Every day making choices that are bringing me closer to optimal health. And yes, one day that may mean me having a sugar craving and ALLOWING myself a cookie or a piece of candy but nothing is forbidden for me anymore.

I know I am rambling here but even though I am still sort of feeling "bluesey" about my body, I still sense at the root of my spirit optimism that I can handle it. I am not still dieting. One book I go to for inspiration is Joanna Lund's book "String of Pearls". In one of her mini lessons on how she recaptured her health she says:

"For years, many of us found ourselves on the dieting treadmill, never actually reaching our destination or goal but covering those same old miles (pounds) again and again. The scenery never changed, the path never varied and the results, eventually were always the same. We were still just dieting. One of the main reasons I've been able to jump off that treadmill is that I was ready to do something different, because I wanted a different result. This time, I wasn't out there searching for the next quick fix or the magic diet, the one that told me if only I ate special combinations of foods at particular times of day, I'd lose the weight and keep it off forever. This time, I decided I wasn't buying into that philosophy anymore."

And that sums up how I feel. I am in charge of my health now not some plan. And I can handle these emotions in a new way. Will keep you posted.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cyclical emotions

I have to be real today about how I am feeling. I seem to follow a pattern in how I think and feel about my weight and body image. Each month I go through a period of acceptance and optimism where I know I will achieve my goals and I am accepting of the process and the patience it will take to get there. Then I seem to slide a bit into a more passive attitude where I feel my body is just ok and that change will come even though I feel I am plodding along towards my goal. Before I know it, all of a sudden I am despondent over how I look in a mirror and I have lost all my optimism and feel that everything I am doing is a waste of time.

Usually these cycles are monthly and I am not a GYN but have to think it has something to do with the various hormone levels throughout the month.

It is frustrating! I love the way I feel when I am accepting of myself and where I am and realize that the work will pay off and I will get there. I am willing to be patient with my body and lose this weight slowly and healthfully without eliminating food groups or drinking protein shakes. I feel capable and confident.

I have started to notice the change just yesterday. To start, I could find nothing that fit right yesterday and everything I tried on wasn't comfortable. I kept telling myself, these are the same clothes you felt great in last week. Than I worked out later in the day and it was dark out and I could see my reflection in the windows and I just kept fixating on the flabbier parts of my body. When I got done, I put my kids to bed and in the mirror in their room, I saw myself and thought "You look so fat". What happened to those thoughts where I could see past the flab and notice the developing muscle tone - GONE.

I realize this pattern and I guess that is the first step right. I also realize that this is usually the period where I am most prone to binging. The negative feelings tab my subconscious which says - chocolate will make it all better or how about 3 bowls of cereal after dinner. I need to be prepared for this and not jump off the cliff.

Dealing with these emotions in a new way will help me continue this process of permanent change and permanent weight loss. Any ideas?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Conflict Resolution

I am a Biggest Loser watcher and my husband thinks all reality TV is mindless and cannot watch it. He has tried but the drama is the part he cannot stand. So last night while watching the show, I realized there is so much needless drama. Now I know we are human and conflict resolution is not easy for most of us. But, really the situation with Filipe was classic poor conflict resolution.

Quick background, a couple episodes ago, the teams got mixed up and Filipe and his cousin Sione moved from Bob's to Jillian's team. As Bob and Jillian take completely different approaches to training, Filipe and Sione were not happy. They wanted Bob.

Last night, the conflict started when Jillian did not train Filipe individually. She worked with the rest of the group while he did his cardio on multiple machines while waiting and stewing. As Filipe told the camera, "She is not working with me. She is working with everyone else but not me". I am sure the contestants are in the gym for 6 or 8 hours and during all that time, he could not have walked up to Jillian and said - "When will it be my turn?" or "I am ready to train am I going to get a shot today?" Instead, he blows up at her much later on in the show while she is reaming them for a food and booze binge at their 24 hour spa "relaxation reward". He walks off, says I am not training with you and goes running to Bob.

At the end of the segment where Filipe complained about not being trained, I turned to my 10 year old son and said - Why didn't he just ask her. They could have discussed it, argued about it, gotten their frustrations out and moved on. Instead, he is going to bottle it up and it will come out later at some point. My boys never get to watch the entire 2 hour show due to bed time but their last segment was the "blow up" segment where I told Luke - See - it comes out later on and when it does, it is always bigger than it would have been had he handled it better when he first encountered the conflict.

I used to avoid conflict and I still have to challenge myself to face it. Due to family dynamics growing up, I was just better off to keep quiet and not "stir the pot". That was my role. But now as an adult, that role does not serve me well in life. I have slowly learned to face conflict with my husband, mother in law, employer, etc... Sometimes it can be the most minor thing that is bothering me but I give it a voice or else it festers inside and comes out later like a volcano. If only Fione had talked to Jillian, she is not completely heartless, she could have addressed their lack of trust and Fione would not have had to run away from training with her. Resolving conflicts is a life long skill he will need off campus when he returns home if he wants to keep from eating out of frustration and regaining his weight.

On a different note, I want for a very short run yesterday. Finding these great blogs with people who run, just gives me the itch. I cannot go very far or very often. Maybe once a week for 3 miles max but I am going to test my knee to see if it can manage that much. If not, I will survive or have knee surgery who knows. My run last night was awesome. All the work I have done this winter spinning and doing the circuits have really strengthened my legs. I ran very strong and fast for me and my lungs felt great. I was just pumped when I got home - LOVE THE RUNNER'S HIGH. Anyway, exercise is just awesome and a wonderful way to deal with conflict! Who wants to fight with all those endorphins.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Swimsuit shopping

Well I am heading off to Florida in 3 1/2 weeks and I went to get my swimsuit yesterday. I have realized by observing and listening to my thin friends that no one really likes to go swim suit shopping regardless of what their size is! Even my tiny friends do not look like the women in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Most women outside of Hollywood have some body flaws. As I have matured/aged I realize that I am not Giselle Bundchen and I am never going to turn heads on the beach.

With this in mind, I try to find a suit I will be comfortable in that is still somewhat fashionable. My first stop was Kohl's and their in store selection DID NOT match their website. I do live in Indiana and it is not exactly swimsuit season around here so maybe that explains it. I tried a couple on and did not really like them. Target was my next stop and I found a suit I loved in a color that will flatter my skin tone. I was very happy all for $30. Then today while online I found the almost identical suit on a Fox News Feature on swimsuits for pear shaped women. So I must have made a good choice. Of course none of the models in the pictures were pear shaped which I found rather amusing.

My spirits were really raised by the whole experience which is new for me. I went into the experience being really honest about my body and it's current size - I am not at my goal weight so I went in being realistic. As I tried on suits, I still have the same areas of my body I wish had less cellulite, more toned, etc... but I did not pick them apart in the dressing room. I was able to notice the positives about my body. My top is slimmer especially my shoulders and my arms are looking toned. My legs although the largest part of my body along with my behind are still well, larger but I was able to see the incredible muscle tone I am developing in my quads. I realize that as I shed some more pounds that my muscle tone will shine through and I will look amazingly fit.

I am so hopeful for what my body will become and so accepting of what it is today. Besides, I have great friends I am going on vacation with who could care less what I look like in a suit and I am going to have a great vacation regardless of the remaining cellulite on my thighs.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

To Weigh or not to weigh

The past 2 weeks, I have not been weighing. I tend to go through cycles where weighing does not feel like a chore and when it does. Right now, I just really have no desire to see that number.

It is not like I am avoiding the scale. I feel like I am down even more. I am fitting into all of my work clothes now and that has not happened in a year. I had someone call me "slim" at work this week and I feel so much better about my appearance. I feel like if I was to weigh, I would probably be happy with the result.

But, I am still hesitant to weigh. I do have a tendency to fixate on numbers. Part of the reason I guess is I am probably at that weight I have never been able to get past. I have successful gotten to 168 or 167 several times but can never drop below that. My goal is 155. So right now I am down around 13 lbs of my total goal to lose 26. I really want to keep at it and the weight is coming off very slow. I will weigh again, maybe the end of March and hope to be around 165. I want to break past that "stuck" point on my scale before I see the number again.

Right now I am feeling pretty optimistic. I have been far from perfect but I realize how much of a process this is and not an overnight thing. I will get there eventually but maybe not until the middle to the end of summer and I am ok with that. When I am ready I will weigh but not before then. And I will know when I am ready.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Prevention Magazine

I really enjoy this magazine. I just started subscribing and received my 3rd issue last night and it has so much useful information. They also have a great website I was checking out this AM

This month's issue had an article on walking marathons. I am a former runner and ran 3 1/2 marathons in the past. I hurt my knee when training for the Chicago Marathon 3 years ago. It was a meniscus injury. The MRI showed it like a stress fracture inside my meniscus but not a complete tear. The Doctor gave me a cortisone shot told me to wait 6 months and then if that didn't work, they could do exploratory surgery. I injured myself in July and waited until the following Spring to really try to run outside again and the pain returned.

So - I decided to try to find fitness without running. Other forms of exercise existed and surgery frightened me so I moved on. I haven't tried a full fledged running program in a long time and even if I did try to add running to my fitness schedule, I would never try to train for a marathon or 1/2 again as that would definately mess with my knee.

I never considered walking a marathon but this Prevention episdode got me a little pumped about that. They have Team Prevention that walks together at several races in the Fall (none of which are really close to my house though). Alli who won TBL 2 seasons ago is walking in one this Spring. It has always been my goal to complete a marathon. When I hurt my knee I figured that goal had to be off my list of things to do with my life. But, possibly I could pencil that one back in but with walking.

I feel it is important to have something you are shooting for. Training for the halfs gave me much discipline and were so rewarding to finish. I like to have a goal and achieve it. I haven't had anything to train for in awhile so I am going to reflect on this and see if I really want to do this and take the time to train and complete this long of a walk. Not commiting yet but considering it! I would love to walk with Ali's team but that is 8 weeks away - not sure I am in that kind of shape yet.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Parts of Sharon in the Green Team

Each season of the biggest loser I will usually pick a favorite team to watch. This year it was Dan and Dave because I just sympathized with Dan as being so overweight and so young and I really wanted him to have a chance. As they got voted off early, I had to pick a new team and picked the green team. Mostly because I see parts of myself in both Tara and Laura. That was a key element in last nights story line and I was thinking about it even as I tried to go to sleep.

Tara is me as an exerciser. I do not go at it 6 - 8 hours a day but when I work out, it is intense, full on sweat, and I can really push myself. I have no problem doing it 6 days a week and enjoy it. I even am like Tara as she loves the gym and missed the gym that one episode where they lost access for a week. I am a gym rat (Can't wait to get my Y membership back this Fall)

Laura is me as a dieter. No confidence. Play the victim. Last night Jillian "outed" her as the weak link on the team and Laura left the gym in tears. When Jillian went to find her to discuss it, Laura could not articulate to Jillian how she feels about her contributions to the team at all. I think she is at a loss to state how she allows herself to give less than 100% so she comes off as sounding clueless.

This is how I behave as a dieter. I continue to sabatoge myself and overeat at times and not follow through on what I say I will do and allow myself to overeat most days in the afternoon and evening. Yet fail to find a solution to break this pattern of behavior. I usually allow it to repeat and then decide afterwards, "I really need to change this". Never before it happens but after.

I have to challenge myself as Jillian is pushing Laura to. I can no longer just allow this to be the status quo in my life. I would love to have Jillian give it to me straight and yes I would probably be just like Laura and run away in tears but we need to get to the root of things to fix them.

One other part of the show I loved last night was Sugar Ray Leonard's appearance to promote his boxing class. He told the group how weight loss and fitness is mental and to get tunnel vision on your goal. He emphasized this by cupping his hands around his eyes and blocking his vision to the sides. This will be a good visual for me today to keep my focus on clean eating and block out the food that will prevent me from my goal.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Moving forward

Today I woke up and committed to moving forward. I cannot look back with regrets over poor food choices made. I can only take from that experience knowledge of how to prevent it in the future. Regret for me often leads to more eating.

I will spend some time tonight meditating on why my health is important to me and compile a list that I can go to in times of temptation.

I want to thank everyone for the comments on my post yesterday. They were very helpful. Sometimes I feel very alone in my journey. Living in a house with 3 males - all without any weight issues at all, I feel like an island. This blog is really helping me feel connected.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I am trying to understand how my mind/mouth work sometimes. I have struggled with consistency in my eating, which explains why my oldest son is 10 and I still weigh 8 pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight which was 13 pounds more than my goal weight.

I do not want to throw a bunch of excuses for my failure based on childhood habits learned. I can only say that I have been breaking my diet with uncontrollable binges for as long as I can remember. What I have continued to do is to forgive myself and keep moving forward.

What I would like to consider and would appreciate any advise on is how do I reduce these episodes. I am beyond thinking that I will ever completely stop. But how do I move past this pattern on behavior. I recognize it is completely destructive and manages to "undo" the good I have done. I realize it prohibits me from achieving my goals. I also acknowledge that I really do not like myself when I do this.

I am proud of the fact that I always regroup and start again but I need to grow and get out of this place I keep ending up - bloated and disappointed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer

This bible verse today really says what my heart is feeling. I am all of these things, joyful in hope for a bright future. Patient in my affliction of overeating and excess weight. And faithful in prayer that God hears me when I ask for help... and for patience... and for hope!

Patience is where I sometimes get stuck. In our need it now society, sometimes I want the results now - not 3 months from now. I receive a daily email from the Jillian Michaels' website and today's reader questions was. "I know your website gives me the plan to lose 2 pounds per week but how do I lose 4 or 5 pounds per week" Great question I thought, cannot wait to see what Jillian says as I would love this plan! Jillian's answer, do 2 extra hours of cardio a day to burn an additional 1000 calories. Hmmm maybe I really do not want that plan.

Maybe patience is exactly what I need. My body loses weight pretty slowly -- A LOT slower than I would like it to be. But maybe that is exactly what I need. This gives me time to reflect on why I want to lose weight. It gives me the opportunity to be happy while my weight loss sort of creeps along. I have to learn to love myself as I am. And this is key. When I reach 155 on the scale, my life will be the same - sure I will wear a smaller pant size but other than that - I will have what I have right now at 171. And honestly, I have a pretty good life.

If I didn't need the patience I pray for, if my weight just flew off, maybe I would not be learning all I am about myself. If I really mean what I mean when I say this process for me is about the jouney and not just the destination, then I need to patiently enjoy this journey.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Opposite

Today I have been considering what it will take to be successful this time. This isn't my first weight loss rodeo and what is going to make it different. To make my results different -- I have to act,think and behave differently.

This makes me think of "The Opposite" Seinfeld episode where George does the opposite of his natural inclination. George tells Jerry at the cafe that "if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite must be right" I can apply this to my weight loss decisions.

Before - no carb was my decision - didn't work - so go with carbs this time.
Before - no sugar at all - didn't work - so include sugar periodically this time.
Before - no wine with dinner - didn't work - so have a glass of wine (4 oz not 8) 2 or 3 times per week.

I have used this practice several times this week with good results. One was when a friend of mine who went to dinner at an exclusive restaurant with her husband while I watched her 3 kids, thanked me by bringing me a piece of their carrot cake in a take out box. Now none of my family likes carrot cake and no this isn't "friend sabatoge" as I am not announcing I am on a diet to anyone - this is my new lifestyle and not anything for me to broadcast - I am just going to behave differently.

What did my instinct tell me to do with the cake - it told me to throw it out immediately. However I also knew that my instinct to throw it away would be followed by me not being able to stop thinking about the carrot cake and then possibly retrieving it from the trash to eat it later in secret or compensate by eating a lot of other stuff because I couldn't have the carrot cake.

Now this cake was premium not processed Little Debbies and I knew it would be delicious. I also knew it was a huge portion and if I ate it all, I would feel physically sick and would consume probably around 1,000 calories. I slept on the decision and thought about what the opposite of my instinct would be.

The next day I decided to cut off 1/4 of the cake, sit down and slowly enjoy it and threw the rest away. I also decided to count the calories as before those would have been "ignored calories" the ones I pretend I didn't eat since they were not approved.

All in all it was a succesful interaction with a forbidden food. I enjoyed it, counted it, savored it, and did not feel guilt at all. I will continue to apply "The Opposite Theory" when faced with future food showdowns!

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Goals

I have often pondered becoming a fitness instructor at our local YMCA. For a few years I trained at 5 am with one of the personal trainers. It was her workout time and I was lucky enough to tag along and she introduced me to weight training. Not nautilus or circuit training but squats, leg press, bench press - I had muscle definition. Still weighed 175 but with muscle!

She used to ask me to take on a class called Women on Weights or Stability Ball Training. I never could see in myself what she could see. I have a tendency to do this - doubt myself. I have no rhythm so any sort of dance aerobics is out of the question but I could do lunges, weights or spinning. Get certified she would tell me - I never took the initiative.

Last October I purchased a used spinning bike on Ebay and have used it faithfully since. A long time fan of spinning classes - I am starting to envision myself as a spinning instructor. As part of my journey to lose weight, I need to dream big and pursue those dreams. In my days as a runner, I made my 3rd race ever signed up for a half marathon - and I did it in 2 hours and 9 minutes. Now with a bum knee and my running days behind me, it is time to find a new goal and to pursue it.

Spinning - here I come.

New Years Resolution once again

January 1st I decided that 2009 was going to be the year I make it to my goal weight range of 148-155 pounds. I was starting off at 181. I have made this resolution for many years and not followed through. I started off my resolution with the typical diet plan I have followed many times before. Always a little compulsive in my approach, I start off with a plan that is eerily similar to what I have done in the past. I planned to restrict sugar, processed carbs, cheese, higher fat foods, etc., up my veggie consumption, follow through on intense workouts 6 out of 7 days and weigh in daily to track my progress.

Now I made this resolution for 2009 but really wanted to lose the 25 – 30 pounds in 12 weeks before my Spring Break to Florida. No small feat and it would require my due diligence to get there. I was going to be perfect and eat everything I “should” and nothing I “shouldn’t”. I had a poster board with a calendar to track my workouts, a chart to track my weight and motivational pictures of myself in a bathing suit to keep my motivation up.

You would think after years of trying to micromanage and control every aspect of my eating, I would have figured out this approach just does not work. The saying of, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will get what you have always gotten” or something like that describes what I should have been thinking. As my pattern of past behavior has shown, I was able to apply my strict approach on some days and then not on others, I would take one bite or one taste of anything that was not on my approved list and it would send me spiraling into a junk food binge.

After 6 weeks on my plan, I had managed to lose 7 pounds. A good slow rate of weight loss but not what I was expecting to be bathing suit worthy for Florida. At this moment I took some time and examined my intentions. To start, I am a big fan of the Biggest Loser and love Jillian as a trainer. She is tough and tells people like it is which I really would need in my trainer. Nothing bad about Bob but his approach is not for me. I checked out Jillian’s site and signed up. I was able to get her no nonsense approach, workouts, recipies and meal planning and a much needed reminder that I am making a permanent lifestyle change and not dieting this time. I am not planning to stop this new behavior so I better make it something I can live with.

To that end, her meal plans gave me an idea on how to approach my new nutritional goals. Moderation was key. Adding in foods I enjoyed but were healthier alternatives was an option. WHO KNEW! I decided that the pressure I was feeling to lose so much weight so quickly was affecting my stress level leading me to binge. I decided to take the pressure off, but to remain committed to my purpose and see this thing through. Besides, this process is so much more about the trip not just the destination.

Now 2 weeks later, I found myself down another 3 pounds and am 1/3 the way towards my goal. Through blogging, I hope to make it the rest of the way and find a way to stay there. I want to be one of the minority who successfully solved their weight problem.

First entry

I have decided to create this blog to document my progress one day at a time towards solving my distorted body image and resulting weight problem I have lived with for the past 20 years. I have been on and off diets, on and off "non-diets" and have found that I am still the resulting 20 - 30 pounds overweight regardless.

What I hope to achieve through blogging my progress is a consistency in my efforts and attention to this dilemma in my life. Those of you out there who have weight issues know how quickly you can ignore it, pretend it doesn't exist and then step in front of the mirror and see yourself and get a huge REALITY CHECK.

I have always enjoyed journaling so in many ways, I will consider this my online journal.