Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mmm Hmm

Milestone Goal: Vacation, June 23, 245 (11lbs & 23 days to go)

Before bed last night I wrote how I typically don't take a 2-lb weight gain too seriously because I tend to retain water, etc. So a day or two ago I weighed 259. It sucked, I won't lie, but the day before I weighed 257. Today however I weigh 256. Yeah that's right, I've finally broken through the 257 mark! And it's gonna keep getting better because a) I'm still retaining water, and b) it's that time. So yeah, it's all good.

LL xoxo

Monday, May 30, 2011

Well That's a Relief

Every so often I see my weight jump up about 2 lbs in one day and stick around. I typically cut myself some slack because a) 2 lbs isn't a big deal, and b) the body does what it does. But I have to say, women have one bit of relief that men don't when this happens: the wonderful monthly visitor. :-) Days like today when this turns out to be the case, I jump for joy (figuratively; read yesterday's post), not just because I know where those 2 extra pounds came from, but also because I will see a nice little reduction on the scale in about 5-7 days.
So unless I dip below 257, I'm not going to post my weight until next week. Here's to hoping for a loooow number!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Can you say "Out of Shape?"

Instead of heading indoors to a fitness center, A and I decided to take it outdoors by walking through one of the city parks. Fate was definitely involved as we quickly came upon a workout station (the first of several) and I literally jumped right in to the challenges.

The first one was a row of 6x6's and the challenge was to hop over each one, preferably without stopping. Well, I didn't realize until I tried this that, hey, I don't jump! Not anymore. It was really hard, but I did it, one at a time. A was able to do them faster but he also weighs 90 lbs less. We took a walk around the neighborhood later after dinner and I jumped over a few curbs. It was amazing that just one jump increased my heart rate.

The other stations were for leg lifts (yeah, right, did 2 or 3), step-ups (like what we do with step aerobics; each post was a different height though, so it progressively got harder), and a couple of arm exercises. A and I were a bit worn out when we finished. Even though I did very little, what I was diong was a LOT for me. There is an ache in my arms today, so what does that tell ya? I am waaay out of shape.

It also tells me that walking on the treadmill is only going to do so much. I want to get strong and sculpt my body a bit, and this will take resistant training (which I loathe).

That's all for now. Gonna keep it short and sweet for once LOL Hope all are well.

LL xoxo

Psghetti Squash and Chicken Salad

As promised, here are a couple of low/no-carb recipes. The recipes in this post come from Allrecipes, my most favorite recipe site. Not only can you look up recipes (what I did for the chicken salad), you can search for recipes containing certain ingredients (which is what I did with the spaghetti squash). I HIGHLY recommend that you check this site out. To make this even better, users like you and me are able to upload recipes, and every recipe has numerous user reviews which is great because folks recommend changes they've made and what they liked best and worst about the recipes, so by the time you make it it's almost foolproof.

--> Clicking on the names of the recipes will link you to the actual recipe on Allrecipes.
Can you handle it? Can you handle all this yummy goodness?! :-D

that's spaghetti squash in the bowl. Not shown here are the cooked ground beef, onions and green pepper. Every ingredient is fresh aside from the dried herbs and spices and cheese.

I sauteed a diced green pepper, half an onion and garlic in olive oil.

Then I mixed everything together (herbs and spices, onion, green pepper, beef, diced tomatoes and cheese), transferred to a greased baking dish for 20 minutes and Voila! A pasta-free Italian casserole!

It doesn't look very appetizing in the picture, but a young friend of the family devoured his share. One thing I'd recommend from the original recipe is to double the seasonings for more flavor; the current measurements make it a bit bland. On the other hand, I was able to enjoy the full flavor of the veggies since there wasn't a sauce or tons of seasonings to cover them up.

I had never made chicken salad at home but instead always purchased it from the deli of local grocery stores. Love that deli chicken salad. But one night I decided I'd try it myself, so off to Allrecipes I went and found a recipe that 161 users had given 5 out of 5 stars and nearly 13,000 people had saved to their Allrecipes recipe boxes. The key to this is the use of dried onion. The recipe calls for minced onion but I use onion powder. Wowee is all I can say!

We mixed the seasonings with the mayo in this bowl, then added cubed chicken that I had boiled while working on another dish. I cooked up some turkey bacon, and threw that in too.  I didn't have water chestnuts or celery, but it didn't matter. Since this was intended for low-carb, we just ate it like a side-dish. It could also work in lettuce wraps.

So this was dinner. Might seem sort of odd, but what I'm finding is that there are no rules, especially when removing a key item from traditional American meals (the starch). The hands-down winner was the chicken salad, everyone agreed, but we all really enjoyed the casserole too.

Give these a try and let me know what you think! :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Check Out the Efforts on Her ;-)

Milestone Goal: Vacation, June 23, 245 (12lbs & 26 days to go)

Question for readers: what do you do to stay on track or get back on track with your personal goals?

Surprise, surprise I'm retaining water, but it's not as bad as yesterday (then again, I just got out of bed). I've had too many carbs lately, and not the good kind. In my last post I explained how I need to refocus, and I'm happy to report that yesterday was much better.

The first thing I did was get about 7 hours of sleep to give me a better start to the day. I then cooked my lunch and prepared a salad for lunch and snack. A few days ago I started fostering 5 kittens for a local non-profit, and the first thing I do each morning is feed them, clean them, and clean out their pen. It takes about an hour to do this and I get pretty dirty in the process. I have an adult cat that I'm fostering as well, plus my own kitties and a guinea pig (surprisingly, my house neither looks nor smells like a zoo; visitors can't even tell I have all these animals, thanks to my super organizational and cleaning skills LOL) that need attention as well. I decided that the kittens would just eat in their pen and would have to be cleaned later so that I had time for ME, to prepare MY food :-) Later I called my child and explained that the kittens would need bathing, feeding and a cleaned up pen; I'm so prepared for an argument that I avoid passing on chores as much as possible (that's another topic for another day). Moral of the story is that I took steps to put my health first and it paid off.

I knew I was taking A out for a belated birthday dinner to one of our most favoritest Chinese restaurants, and the dish that I always get is Thai Style Shrimp (oh, it's heavenly!), which is tossed in a flour mixture before frying. Flour is a general no-no, however, I am allowed a small amount of carbs now, so I adjusted my eating throughout the day accordingly to allow some wiggle room. Again, very proud of myself :-D

This morning A and I are going on a hike to get a great start to the day (he's getting up at 9a (which he never does). In my refocusing efforts, I'm also going to put together a menu for the week as well as a flexible workout schedule. When I did that a couple of weeks ago it made a HUGE difference in how I ate. When I was at a loss for snack and meal ideas, I'd look at the chart I put on the fridge for some ideas. You know what? I'm going to put that in my blog post tomorrow :-D

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Milestone Goal: Vacation, June 23, 245 (currently 257)

I've decided that instead of showing my current weight and weight loss, I'm going to list my next milestone goal, which will help me stay on track.

I seem to have lost my focus and have been finding exceptions for not following the plan. It's sort of weird how I am--I don't want to have a strict schedule, but if I don't have some sort of schedule there almost always are negative consequences. I am the type of person who likes to be busy but needs downtime so that I don't get overwhelmed. Right now I am lacking direction and have spent the past 1-2 weeks sort of flying by the seat of my pants, as they say. The result is that I feel very disorganized and that many things are suffering because of it.

I think part of the problem is that I'm still afraid of becoming overwhelmed. I have a history of either taking on too much or simply having too much to handle, both of which lead me to falling aprt and I hate that feeling. I'm also concerned about being to rigid with my schedule, but I really shouldn't because everyone who knows me understands and is perfectly fine with it. They know I have a busy life, and right now they all know how important it is for me to lose weight. What I need to do is regroup. In the past two weeks I've only lost a pound. I was O.K. with it last week, but not now.

My chaotic schedule is getting in the way of me taking the time necessary to plan and prepare meals and snacks. I'm going too long in between eating which has led to making bad meal choices. I'm bored with the quick meals and snacks because there isn't any variety. I like to read in bed but I've been going to bed much too late and therefore I haven't checked out any new recipes to try. I don't even look forward to eating at home right now.

So the first thing I need to do is remind myself why I'm doing this. I made a list of milestone goals recently so I'm going to start focusing on each one as it comes in order to stay on track. My next goal is 4 weeks from today when me and A go on vacation. I am 14 lbs away from that goal so I already know I won't make it because the most I have ever lost is 3 lbs per week. However, if I modify it to reflect the fact that I was 2 lbs from making my last milestone goal, the adjustment would put me right on target.

I also need to spend less time on the computer. I'm sure I have some sort of mild addiction because once I'm on I don't want to get off. Almost every morning I spend an hour or more doing nothing of value. That has to stop.

Additionally, I have so many things to do in the morning that lately I've just stopped doing them. When this happens, I don't go to work or I go late. I have work I can do from home but instead I avoid it (and all other responsibilities) when I waste time online.

I've written about what hasn't been working, so here is what I will do to make it all start working again:
  • Prepare for my day the night before to ease the burden of a busy morning. Start doing this at 9p so that I can . . .
  • . . . be in bed by 10p to get enough rest--the best start to any day
  • Plan my menu for the week and put a printout of it in the kitchen.
  • Exercise three times a week. In between trips to the fitness center, do a few exercises at home, such as crunches and squats.
I looked back and found my Goals for the Summer, and I need to be reminded of what they are:
  • Attend "Bye Bye Birdie," the last show of the summer, at the Muny.
  • Attend a show at the Fox Theater.
  • Take two out-of-town trips.
  • Do a bit of yard work.
  • Spend some time with friends.
Wish me luck!

LL xoxo

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

40 Years Old Today: Mid-Life or the Start of a Second One?

257.0 (13 lbs lost)

So, I'm 40 today. This is a milestone birthday. Time to reflect on the first half of my life and look ahead to the second half.

Compared to turning 30, turning 40 is a piece of cake. We all think that we'll have life figured out by the time we are 30 which is why so many of us live wildly during our 20s. However, maturity doesn't magically appear. I turned 30 and felt like I was 20, like I was no further ahead than a responsible teenager. So my 30s turned into a time when I struggled with choices. I chose the wrong man. Everyone knew it but me. I was standing in the middle of my own life and I couldn't believe what I was seeing, but didn't know how to stop it. I knew so much was wrong, but felt completely helpless.

Why? Because I had always been helpless in my own life (which is probably why my heart and actions go to people who have suffered helplessly). My birth was not a happy one for anyone in my family. I always felt this but was explicitly told when I was just 10 years old. For the most part, how I've been treated has depended on how a person felt at the time. In need of a lunch companion? Everything's good, kind words and actions are received. In need of proving loyalty to another, or to redirect anger from the actual offender, reminders of how unwanted I am are hurled my way (or even worse, am ignored while they act as if I never existed).

Because of this, I've never truly enjoyed my own experiences; if I was caught enjoying them, severe punishment was a guarantee. Good feelings were ripped apart and bad things that happened to me were always my fault. In an effort to disuade this as much as possible, I learned to think ahead several steps and act accordingly, however, as bad people go, they will do what they want regardless.

This has all clouded my judgement; I wasn't working with a normal mind in a normal world. I was working with a dysfunctional mind to survive my dysfunctional world. Unfortunately it also created dysfunction. One of the negative side effects has been my 26-year crutch to overeat. What you see are layers of decades of pain, and I've been afraid to let it go because of what would happen: I would become strong and happy, and as I've explained, being strong and happy are personal invitations for my family to treat me badly.

Many people don't know all of this about me because, unless you are very close to me, I am an expert at hiding it. I learned how to do this at the age of 13 when I'd go to school and excel, covering up what was the worst year of my life taking place at home. However, what people see is not a total lie. It's another part of who I am and also who I want to be: happy.

Which brings me to the present. I have finally realized why I've made bad choices. I couldn't forgive myself when I was 30, but at 40 I have. I take responsibility for my actions and will continue to apologize and make things right for others' who have suffered because of them. What I don't do anymore is beat myself up because they weren't really "my" choices. Under different circumstances I would have done much better.

So what does the 2nd half of my life have in store? I graduate in a year and will start a brand new career. I strongly suspect that I will be getting married around the same time. My child might be ready to live independently from me after earning an associate's degree. I will be at my goal weight, giving me the energy to live my life and the hips to do it (i.e. will be able to fly and attend theater because I won't struggle to fit in the seats). I will learn to smile more, and more genuinely. I'll laugh honestly. I will reach for the things I want and not care that someone may feel intimidated. I will excel because I enjoy the challenge and personal growth and won't think twice about how uncomfortable it may make people. However I will still be compassionate and will stick to my belief that bragging is an ugly trait (which is very different from sharing good news). I will travel and will learn that it's O.K. to keep my earned money for myself rather than feeling guilty that I have more than someone else (which always causes me to spend more money on other people than my own self). I will enjoy the rewards of this money. I will travel, buy nice clothes, and maybe even a car that doesn't have holes in the bumper or in the dashboard where the stereo should be. I will allow myself to feel love from other people and not block out compliments. I will learn how to do what is good and right for me, even if it doesn't fall within the ideally accepted American dream (like Leonardio DiCaprio's character in "The Beach--I really envy that). Heck, maybe some day I'll move to an island. Why not? :-D

I may not have been wanted, but I am here and I intend to make the best of it.

LL xoxo

Monday, May 23, 2011

Not the Best Start to the Week

259.4 (10.6 lbs lost)

I'm tired today. I've been going to bed really late the past couple of nights. I'm supposed to volunteer today but I don't know if I'll be able to pull myself together. I also have to work 8-10 hours from home, but again, being tired really ruins that. It's funny how health is not about sleep or diet or exercise, but truly is holistic. When I don't sleep well, the first thing I give up is exercise and then work (there goes my financial health LOL).

I haven't lost any weight this past week. Actually, I've moved around between 257 and 259. However, I don't have any negative feelings about it. I indulged a bit last week in some bad carbs, so I'm actually happy that I haven't regained any. It's good to be out of the 260's. My first milestone is tomorrow, my 40th birthday, which was supposed to be 255. If not for the indulgences I would have hit the mark, but again it's O.K. I'm only 2 lbs away, and that's not bad at all.

One of the best changes in my diet is my new found love of vegetables. I know what protein I want with a meal, and as most Americans do, my next thought is which starchy side-dish to include. Now I think about the veggies I have and look up new recipes to try. In the past few weeks, I've honestly made more veggie recipes than I have my entire life (since basically all I've ever done is steam, boil or occassionally grilled). Last night I had two zucchini that I turned into fried zuchini (yes, I used bread crumbs). They were AWESOME!! Twenty-five years ago I worked at a restaurant that served this and it's the ony time I've had it. Eating them last night brought back this flavor memory that I can't wait to experience again. :-)

I am still thinking of organizing my blog so that I can include details about grocery shopping (items, cost), snack and meal ideas, and recipes (with pictures).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Last night I wrote about how I've indulged in "Food to Avoid" but I want to counter that with how well I actually have been eating. I honestly have never eaten so many vegetables in my life. I've been trying both new vegetables and new recipes for them. In the past week I've had squash three times: zucchini (a side dish that included onions), spaghetti squash (plain) and eggplant (moussaka). I've had chicken stir fry twice, and when I go to restaurants, I order extra veggies (usually broccoli) in place of starchy side dishes.

The majority of what I've been eating has be made from fresh ingredients and cooked at home and I'm really proud of that. At first the amount of work involved was exhausting, but either I'm getting used to it or I'm embracing it more because now I look forward to spending some time in the kitchen, even right after work.

I once read that the difference between healthy-eating dieters and healthy-eating non-dieters is that the non-dieters don't punish themselves when they eat something lacking in nutritional value, but instead see it for what it is (yummy treats) and continue with their healthy way of eating at their next meals. Dieters see this as signs of weakness and use it to attack themselves in the worst ways. I've done it. All dieters have done it. As overweight people we believe we are failures, so when we try to fix it but slip, we see it as further proof that we are unworthy, lazy, and even destined to be miserable. I'm taking this all to heart and while I did feel a bit bad last night (I mean common, I was attacking that bread like a lion on a gazelle during the dry season), I knew what was happening. I was freakin' hungry! Not fat-girl hungry, but human hungry. I had very little to eat that day and too many hours had passed since I had. anyone, thin or thick, would've felt the same way. Will the scale reflect this? Possibly. Am I going to be disappointed? Maybe, but only a bit. From this experience I've learned how important it is to be prepared with snacks and such so that I maintain a level of satisfaction throughout the day to prevent overindulging.

Yay me! I'm so proud of myself! Now, back to our regularly scheduled program (a.k.a. getting ready for work).

LL xoxo

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

As of tomorrow it will be six weeks since I started changing how I eat, and in this time I've sorta bounced around between freestylin' the low-carb approach and sticking to the strict induction or phase 1 of one low-carb plan or another. Currently I've got 3 days until I can switch over to phase 2 of the South Beach Diet (it's an AMAZING way to eat--I don't like the word diet), but for the past few days I've been eating a sugary treat each day. A piece of cake and a blizzard on Monday, a cookie on Tuesday, and Tiramisu today. I've mostly not craved any of this, so why now?

I'm reading the SBD book and have looked up stuff about it online, and there is a question about phase 1 that has come up several times: why can't we stay on phase 1 longer than two weeks? Dieters lose 5-8 lbs in two weeks while sticking to this phase and it's extremely tempting to just stay with it. The response is always that dieters will get bored and will need the expanded variety of phase 2. I think it's safe to say that I am in need of some variety.

Another rule of this diet (and for the record, when I say diet I don't mean a temporary, calorie-restrictive eating plan, but a complete, permanent change in eating) is that I'm supposed to eat every 2-3 hours, and I did not do that today. I had lunch at noon and not again until 7:30p.m. I wasn't hungry for the first few hours after lunch but then from 4-7 I was busy; we were going to dinner after A's appointment and that took forever. Ironic thing is that I had the snacks that I packed for work chillin' in my lunchbag in the car, so I easily could have grabbed something. But I digress, the point is that by the time I got to dinner, I ate the entire mini-loaf of bread given to me and I didn't hesitate to get dessert.

Weight-loss moral of the day? Eat my snacks and prepare to move to phase 2--it's time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Solitary Night, Alone with My Thoughts

Is my life my own? Are my experiences, choices and thoughts mine? Does it matter if no one else sees or ever knows of my experiences? I was raised to pay more attention to other people than to myself, and was trained to be constantly aware of how my thoughts and actions interact with the emotions and actions of those around me. I watch a movie and I wonder how it affects the person sitting beside me. I map my courses and strategically plan how I will present my successes with them. If I'm happy I am allowed to admit it, but I must hesitate before expression to be sure it is welcomed. I have never been allowed to be more successful, to feel emotionally better, than specific people in my life. For three years I have not interacted with my sister (I've initiated communication only to be ignored), however her (and others') negativity has swum through the microscopic cells of my body. I have cut off all contact, but still the shards swim, slicing through my veins, reminding me that I have not received permission to be happy, to enjoy my life--that my life is not mine.

I am watching "The Beach," the scene where they have been taken to an intimate, white sand beach by the island clan in a gesture of welcome, and LD falls back, taking in where he is. I feel this scene, this moment, because although it's an intimate space, it's also clearly a part of the larger Earth. There are no televisions, telephones or post offices. Not a single soul off the island is even aware they are there. LD's experiences are for the most part his own. He swims, interacts, fishes, works and plays in the jungle of the island. I imagine that each of his senses are open and his mind is clear, like freshly cleaned, streak-free windows on a perfectly clear, sunny day. This is what I want. To feel the freedom of my own life. To live it without wondering if anyone is watching. To make choices without wondering how they will affect others, not in the sense of "If I don't go to the store my child won't eat" but in the sense of "This is good and right for me, and it doesn't matter if no other person on this overcrowded planet ever knows."

Letting go of this truly terrifies me. I don't know what it's like to not have this pulling me down. I'm scared of heights, and I imagine that being free this way would feel like flying, soaring higher and higher. Would I be able to stop? Should I keep myself grounded as I was taught to be? I want to be free, I want to soar, but the thought terrifies as much as it entices.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


257.4 (12.6 lbs lost)

I can't get enough of this! I got on the scale this morning thinking for sure that I weighed the same or even a bit more (which happens), so I was completely ecstatic. I am an entire pound lighter than yesterday!

This is not my first time losing weight. While the process has certainly never been the same each time (low cal or low carb? Exercise or no?), what is the same is the high that I get on when I've lost a few pounds and it's clear that my efforts are paying off. You see, the first few days are tough. I stop eating the foods I love with no reward. I pretty much feel miserable, I worry about whether or not I'll be able to stick it out long enough to see some positive changes. Then a couple of pounds come off. That's nice, but nothing to get too excited about. Then I hit mini-milestones: 5 lbs., 10 lbs. It's when the first 10 lbs. come off when I stop holding my breath and start enjoying what I'm doing as well as the process. This is where I am now.

I've decided to expand my blog to include how I plan my meals, how I manage to eat healthy on a tight budget, and how some of the recipes I try turn out. I think I might also start taking pictures of myself to track my progress. Whadya think?

LL xoxo

Saturday, May 14, 2011

See for Yourself :-D

Here's an image of a graph from Fitday.com showing my weight-loss from the past 2 months. Notice the spike in weight from just 5 weeks ago. That was a bad day for me and it was then that I decided that I'm tired of letting my weight control me and my life (it's extending past the page, but making it smaller makes it hard to read the numbers).

I check the graph a few times a week because it motivates me to see the change that has happened in such a short amount of time. Some of the moments have been hard, but I'm learning to focus on the bigger picture, and while little moments of struggle seem to last forever, these five weeks have flown by. I'm keeping that in mind as I look at where I'll be in another five weeks (246 perhaps?).

Summer Break? Not Really ;-)

It's funny how I've always wanted to keep a journal so that when I am no longer around my child can read about my thoughts and feelings regarding things that have happened in my life. I've never had the patience; it's always seemed so dull, however, here I am writing several times a week about issues that are the most important to me. I guess blogging can be considered a new form of journaling, depending on your topic.

My summer has officially started, and although I have to work this weekend to get a full paycheck, I am free from my internship and classes. Ooh, just remembered though that I have to finish editing a paper for my research project and then prepare to defend it, so there is that. It's all good though cuz then I'll have my first grad degree at the end of the summer.

Yesterday I laid out weight-loss milestones to help keep me on track. Today I want to write about the things I want to do/accomplish this summer. Last summer was the worst, I mean WORST summer I've ever had, and barring any further terrible things, I want to make the most of it.

First and foremost, I'm going to work 30-40 hours per week and convert my internship to straight volunteering so that I can build on the foundation I've created. Between that and work, weekdays are filled. I also want to exercise regularly, 2-3 times each week (3 times would be ideal), so that could be in the evenings or anytime on the weekend. I do know that I can't intentionally put it off though because the weekend may come and I won't want to work out. I've gotta figure this one out.

There are tasks around the house that I want to work through. The basement needs to be cleaned and cleaned out. It's not terrible, would only take a few hours, but it's needed. I deep cleaned the kitchen a few weeks ago, and all of the rooms need it. I also want to set up a sort of schedule for cleaning so that deep cleaning won't be necessary (yeah, the house tends to fall apart a bit when I focus on school).

I also want to do some fun things, like take a couple of long weekends out of town, attend cultural events (some of which can't happen until I lose enough weight to fit into tiny seats designed 100 years ago for tiny people who could only afford to eat once a day).

Finally, I want to continue with the self-connection I've started, the one where I've started clearing out the crap (people) from my life and putting my emotional health first. For anyone who doesn't understand, it's not easy to remove family members from your life. We all start out with family, even if it's just single parents. We grow up with people around us that are or will become our families. Good or bad, they are there. Letting them go for any reason is not easy. Even if it's the right thing to do, it has some negative side effects, like realizing that holiday traditions and weekday get-togethers for lunch will no longer happen. I used to call my mother when I'd get in the car and chat with her as I went from one meeting to the next. I sit in the car in silence now, wanting to pick up the phone but knowing that I can't. About once a week one of us would call and say, "Hey, watcha doin'? I've got some free time, wanna get some lunch?" Now I can't do that. What will I do for holidays? My birthday is coming up, the Big 4-0, and I won't get any happy birthdays from my family. There's usually some good sprinkled in with the bad. I'm not going to miss any of it because it all came with a price (and even during "happy times" I had internal tension as I knew I had to monitor everything I did so as to prevent any more crap from being hurled at me). It's the adjustment that's tough.

Here is the general list of what I want to do this summer:

  • Attend "Bye Bye Birdie," the last show of the summer, at the Muny. Whether I fit in the "regular" (they really are ridiculously tiny) seats or not, I at least want to find out what my progress is from last summer (so that you understand, Muny seats are not only tiny, but they have closed sides and are square, so anyone who carries weight in the hips & butt will have a hard time with this; those will bellies but small butts are fine).
  • Attend a show at the Fox Theater. "A" has never been, so that will be cool. I was going to see "Wicked" with a friend last summer, but after my visit to the Muny when I had no choice but to sit in the handicap row, I decided against it. However, in December of 2009, I went to the Fox and was fine, so I only need to lose a few more pounds :-D
  • Take two out-of-town trips. I haven't been out of town since January 2010 and I'm desperately in need of some downtime.
  • Do a bit of yard work. Pull some dead stuff and ugly stuff from the ground and trim the trees.
  • Spend some time with friends. This past year has been intense, crazy, and I had to sacrifice time with friends in order to keep my head above water. I'd like to visit each one at least once: Pat, Sofi, Denise, Nan, Justin, Keke, Catherine K. and anyone else I can think of.
  • Read. Many students will tell you that they don't do enough leisure reading and I'm no exception.
If this looks like a lot it's because it is. That's me. Never one to sit still for long.

LL xoxo

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Ride has Begun, and Oh What a Ride it will be! :-D

258.4 (11.6 lbs lost)

Since early 2004, I have used the site fitday.com to record my weight along with other thins the site records. This morning I looked through it and made a short list of weight changes, including what I weighed the day before I became a mom. The last time I was in the 100s was 1999. Since then there has been a big ol' "2" at the start of every number. In 2005 I spent months working out at the gym on campus and got fairly close to changing the "2" to a "1" but it was not yet meant to be. *sigh* After that my weight shot back up and has roller coastered around the 240s, 250s and 260s.

As you may know, I'm celebrating my current weight loss. I tell my friends and even my child's significant other of my most recent achievements (hey, you eat my food you gotta hear my stories! LOL). Because I have such a large amount of weight to lose, I made a list of short-term goals I can focus on along the way. When I was just 19-years-old, I went to Jenny Craig because I had put on 30 pounds since getting out of high school and had no idea how to lose it. At the first meeting, the woman put my current and goal weights into a computer and showed me a calendar predicting my progress. It not only showed when I would reach my goal weight, but also when I would hit the halfway mark. That halfway mark excited me because it was just a few weeks away. I can do that! I can focus on these changed long enough to hit the halfway point, and then I'd simply have to do it one more time to reach my goal. Easy Breezy, man!

In the next year there are some important events taking place, so I listed my goals for each of them. As for my ultimate weight-loss goal, my first one is 150. If this is where my body wants to be, I'll be happy as a pig in mud (ooh, maybe not a good metaphor). I weighed 124 throughout high school, but I really don't know that my body will want to go there again. So, 150 is great, if I can get to 140 or 130, all the better, but not necessary.

So here they are, LL's weightloss goals/milestones listed at current rate of 2.5 lbs per week:

-          Jun 23, 2011: 243 (going on vacation)
      -          Aug 22, 2011: 223 (new semester begins)
      -          Sep 12, 2011: 215.5 (going out of town for wedding)
      -          Dec. 16, 2011: 180.5 (end of semester)
      -          Should hit goal weight of 150 on or before Mar 9, 2012 J Just in time for Spring Break Cruise Mar 24!
      -          May 12, 2012: 128 (graduation!!)

When I look at it broken down this way, it's really not so bad. My first milestone is just 6 weeks from now, not long at all, and each one just gets me closer to the finish line.

I would like to mention that with very little exercise I've been losing 2.5 lbs per week, but now that the semester has ended I will have free nights and weekends along with a regular work schedule, and I'll be able to schedule regular visits to the fitness center. This will bring my rate to 3 lbs per week, a perfectly reasonable weight-loss for someone of my size.

Look out world; ain't no stoppin' me now!

Listen to this old '70s jam (I've been a soul music fan since I got my first battery operated radio with the 2-foot tall antenna). Here are some of the lyrics. Enjoy!

Ain't no stoppin' us now
We're on the move (yeah-ee-a, yeah-ee-a)
Ain't no stoppin' us now
We've got the groove
Spice Girls, check it out

There've been so many things that have held us down
But now it looks like things are finally comin' around, yeah
I know we've got a long long way to go, yeah
And where we'll end up
I don't know
But we won't let nothing hold us back
We gonna get ourselves together
We gonna polish up our act, yeah
And if you've ever been held down before
I know that you refuse to be held down any more, yeah yeah
Don't you let nothing, nothing
Nothing stand in your way
And all we gonna do
I want you to listen, listen (That's right)
To every word I say
Every word I say about it

LL xoxo

Six-month Reflection

259.4 (10.6 lbs lost)

During my divorce 15 years ago I went to see a therapist, and after 6 months she read to me the notes she had taken during our initial meeting. I hadn’t realized how far I had come emotionally until she did that, and I remember just lighting up with happiness as I understood that I truly had made it through the storm. I started this blog 6 months ago and tonight I went back to read a few of those early entries. My motivation was simply to spend time on my blog, however the site was down so all I could do was read everything I’ve posted. I guess I owe the Google folks a big thank you for the unexpected self-reflection time.

Back in January I wrote about lacking motivation for pretty much everything in my life and wondered what the problem was. My thought now is that this too ties back to my mother/family. Any time I achieve something, there is someone ready to kick me down on my ass and tell me what a terrible person I am. For example, I am one year away from earning my third degree (the magic one that, in this economy, will still guarantee me a great paying job); my child and I have sacrificed enormously this past decade as I’ve worked on my future. However, the last communication from my sister included snide remarks about how she attended school for a year before returning to work. Her point (which she did include) was that she received public assistance for one year and has financially taken care of her family ever since. So, it’s not good enough that I/we’ve sacrificed and struggled, even with food stamps and help with rent. The fact that 20 years ago she was able to get a great paying job with just one year at a small college is somehow a sign that I’m a failure, an abuser of the system. Never mind that I immediately lost my job after 9/11 and started college 3 months later. Never mind that after 6 years and earning my BA the job market was not the place to be. Never mind that a professor from my grad program strongly urged me to put in a bit more time and earn a more specialized grad degree and that, although I’m beyond ready to put academia behind me, I decided to  sacrifice one more year of my life. That was a long explanation of an example, but the point is that no matter what I do, my family finds ways to twist my life so that they can justify the terrible ways they treat me.

I’ve only recently let go of those negative people from my life, however I’m experiencing the stages of loss, so I haven’t yet let go emotionally. Yesterday I felt angry and couldn’t stop thinking about how unjustified my sister is with all that she has hurled at me. A script was running through my head as I imaged what I would say or write to her. Would I tell her to f*** off? Would I do what I always have done and remain nice, asking her to look at all the good in me instead of making up awful things for a change? I don’t know where or why this anger bubbled up inside me, but it did. I realize that until I get these voices out of my head, I will never completely break free from the emotionally painful bonds they’ve had on me these 40 years. For me, for my emotional health (which is directly tied to my physical health), this is the last chain that's holding me back from truly living my life. I will succeed. I will live my life on my terms, and I will stop feeling guilty every time a good feeling starts to creep up inside of me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

And a Happy Mother's Day to a Gettin'-Healthier Me!


The shorts I bought about a month ago are falling off of me, and yesterday I wore one of the pairs of jeans I put away last month because they were uncomfortably tight. They are still tight but not as much. Yay, it's working!!

I haven't weighed myself yet today, mostly because I'm waiting for this excess water to escape from my body. Plus I'm starting the induction phase of the South Beach Diet today. My boss/director suggested that I might like it better than Atkins because it allows more healthy carbs. I've spent the past couple of weeks looking into it, and I do like it better. During the induction phase, not only am I allowed more than 15 grams of veggies (not corn, peas or carrots though) per day, I am SUPPOSED to have 2 cups of veggies every night with dinner. I love that! Also, the protein I eat is supposed to be lean and low-fat, something else that Atkins is not as concerned with. In addition, I can have low-fat condiments (yay mayo!) as long as they aren't overloaded with sugar and other carbs.

There are two challenges for me though: money and time (when ISN'T that ever a challenge?). I was reading through the great recipes last night to get some variety and it seems that I could easily spend $100 a week just on my own food (and don't forget, I have a teen to feed). I'm also supposed to eat 3 complete meals, 2 snacks and 1 sweet treat each day. How am I going to do all of this? I'll have to spend hours planning and preparing all this food. When I was silly enough to pay for cable television (ah, thank heavens for Netflix Instant Watch and Hulu), I would watch the BBC America program "You are What You Eat," a terrific show where a holistic foodie spends time with families in their homes guiding through the changes to help them lose weight and feel better. Every family said that they were spending enormous amounts of time planning, shopping and cooking their meals. Looks like that's gonna be me.

So I have to spend some time today creatively planning my meals, based on cost, time involved to prepare the meals, and for flavor and variety.

I'm also going to continue with regular exercising. It will certainly help me lose weight, but it also makes me feel better the next day (I work out after dinner). Even Mr. A likes it. Until last week, he hadn't even set foot on a treadmill! That was fun to watch LOL. After just the first time we went to the gym, he said he slept better and felt better the next day. I've never enjoyed working out with someone so much :-D It's great because it'll help keep me motivated.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Slowly But Shirley (don't call me Shirley)


Today is the official end to my first month of dieting and exercising, and as it stands the scale is showing an 8.6 pound loss but in actuality it's 2-5 pounds more than that. All week I've hovered in the 261 range. Right now I'm holding water (as I do every month), and I'm excited because in a few days my body will release all the excess water and I'll drop a few pounds as my true weight is revealed. In other words, my actual weight right now is most likely 259, probably less (like 257). YAY!!!!

I'll be finished with the semester next week. I need to put in a few more hours to complete my internship and then I'll officially have weekends to myself, no homework, no school work, just 3 months with full time checks and a road trip or two. YAY AGAIN!!!

LL xoxo

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Goin' Down!! :-D


I writing this simply because I've finally broken through the 262 barrier. I hit 262 a couple of weeks ago, then shot right back up, hit it again a few days ago only to be 2 lbs. more the next day. Yesterday I was 262.6 and today, finally, I'm below it. I can now see the 250's in my very near future. :-D

A told me last night that it looked like I've lost weight (isn't that always the best, when someone else notices?). I can see it too, in my face and my waist. After this morning's wonderful weigh-in I decided to try on the shirts I bought a few months ago that ended up being too tight around my belly. I am very happy to report that there is a noticeable difference. I'd like to think that in about a month or so I'll be wearing them to work, thus expanding my professional wardrobe.

Another wonderful thing is that if the weight continues steadily dropping, I'll also be wearing my jeans again in about a month. So looks like that's my goal for this month--stay on course so that I can wear more of my clothes. I've started exercising somewhat, and I'm trying to find a regular time that I can do it because it will really help, not only with weight-loss but with getting healthier overall. This is my last week of school and after this I'll be working full-time again which means I'll be on a more regular schedule :-D YAY!!! Can't wait!!

LL xoxo