Monday, December 28, 2009

Reflecting on 2009

Today I looked at my old blog, the one on the right, titled "My old Diana's Weight Loss Journey". I don't even remember why I started a new blog in March 2009. I vaguely remember it was something to do with this guy. :)

I was in search of my 2009 goals, which I found in my January 1, 2009 post. I also found my old blog was black type on a black background which made it unreadable. No idea how that happened.

When I read through my 2009 goals I wanted to cry. My first thought was that I'm a big, fat failure. I didn't actually make any of my 2009 goals happen, and I only had four goals. Then I decided to try and look at the glass half full instead of half empty.

Some of these goals are still going to be on my 2010 list, but here's how I did for 2009. Fortunately it was a short list.

1. Get to my goal weight of 135 (28.6 pounds to go!).

~~~ This was a fail. Any way I look at it I failed. I don't even know how I can put a positive spin on this one. I was so close and then something happened. I just stopped and went the other direction. I weighed 163.6 when I posted this goal January 1, 2009. Today I weighed 175.4, a gain of 11.8 pounds in 2009. I suppose the positive is that I didn't go all the way back up to 240 pounds.

2. Maintain my 75-pound loss.

~~~See #1. Although I've managed to maintain a 64.6 pound loss, this goal wasn't met.

3. See a therapist for that nasty little compulsive overeating problem I have.

~~~I saw a therapist for three sessions. It didn't help. I suppose I didn't give it a chance, but it seemed like a total waste of time and money. I know I have issues, but seeing a therapist didn't seem to really work for me. I'm neutral on this being a failure.

4. Work on my marriage.

~~~I did and I didn't. I guess the positive on this one is I'm still married. We have our good days and our bad ones. Sometimes it seems all bad, then a glimmer of the old us shows itself and it all seems worth working on.

Well, so much for the positive spin. The only positive is that by being such a failure in 2009 I have an opportunity in 2010 to make these things happen. More to come on that later.

My workout today
Oh my gosh! I just about killed myself at the gym. I think I'm a bit of a showoff when it comes to lifting weights and I did a really foolish thing. I did all my concentrated dumbbell curls with 20-pound dumbbells (some guy was watching me), and then my overhead press with 25-pound dumbbells. I also added some new exercises today for upper body and now I can't lift my arms over my head. Ouch!

I've added a blog page on the the right, My workouts, where I'll keep track of all my workouts. I always carry a notebook with me to the gym and write them down. Now I'll transfer the information to a blog page. If anyone has any suggestions of new exercises or web sites with exercises, please let me know. I had some bookmarked on my old laptop that crashed last summer and now I can't find them. I really want to ramp up my workout routines in 2010. This is going to be my year!

Just another Monday (on vacation)

A blog worth checking out
I read a lot of weight loss blogs. I don't always comment because I don't always have something worthwhile to say or I'm in a rush, but that doesn't mean I'm not reading your blog. Many of you are really great writers with lots of ideas and suggestions on how to be healthy and fit. Even those of you that struggle, you still give me hope because you keep on trying.

Today I came across a blog that's I think is worth mentioning. Oh She Glows written by Angela Liddon, a beautiful young woman that lives in Milton, Ontario.

I have to admit when I first read her "about" story I was turned off because her highest weight was 147 (she's 5' 4"). Fortunately, I kept reading and realized the real difference between Angela and myself is that she figured it all out before she gained another 100 pounds.

I remember weighing 147 pounds. It was when I graduated college. I remember I felt as big as a cow, and how I thought I was so incredibly obese. I was repulsed by my fatness. It's also when I started my obsessive behavior towards food and exercise. An obsession that has continued throughout my life, resulting in me gaining almost another 100 pounds.

Check out Oh She Glowswebsite. Especially some of her older posts. She has a lot to say about society's obsession with beauty and being skinny. She's a pretty amazing young woman, and I like her way of thinking.

About my post-Christmas illness
I feel 100% better today. Thank you for all your well wishes...they must have worked! I really don't know what happened, or why I got so sick. It was scary and horrible.

The more I think about it, the more I think it might be related to having my gallbladder removed about three years ago. I was reading Dawn's post about how she can't eat fatty foods anymore since she had her gallbladder removed.

Normally, even when I overeat I don't eat fatty foods. I eat too many apples or too many grapes or too many ounces of broiled chicken breasts or too many roasted Brussels sprouts. Trust me though, I can easily gain weight from too much good stuff so it's not necessarily a good thing that I overeat healthy food.

Christmas dinner consisted of a lot of foods laden with butter. Real butter. Not the Smart Balance stuff that I normally use, but real, 100% dairy butter. Even the turkey gravy had, heaven forbid, drippings from the turkey, including a lot of the grease (made mother-in-law style).

I suspect that's what caused my "stomach flu" symptoms. Overeating really fattening food. In other words, that was self-inflicted pain. It's something I don't ever want to experience again. Ever!

Plan for the week
Today is just a lazy day. It's noon and I'm still in my PJ's. I often wonder if when I retire someday, if I'll even bother to get dressed. I could be like Hugh Hefner and just wear my PJs all day, every day. :)

I am going to get out of the house and hit the gym soon. I'm going to really make an effort to limit it to about an hour. Also, because of Fatinah's post about 10 health misconceptions, I'm going to change my workout.

I'm going to do a 10-minute warmup on the elliptical, then my strength training for 30 minutes, and then a 30-minute cardio. I've been doing this backwards for months (okay, years). I know it's suppose to be strength first and cardio second, I hate cardio so much I always want to "get it over with" so I do it first. It's time to do it correctly.

I'm also really going to try for muscle confusion. I was watching a P90X infomercial last night (at sleep is really screwed up), and they kept talking about muscle confusion. I'm a creature of habit but I need to mix up my exercises and not do the same blasted exercises every day. I have exercise books and favorite websites so I'm going to try out some new things today.

Wednesday we're going snowshoeing up at Crystal Mountain. We bought snowshoes last spring when they were on sale and haven't used them yet. I'm looking forward to getting outside. I'm starting to feel housebound. A day trip to the mountains is just what I need.

Did I mention I love not working? Totally, completely love it. I don't miss one aspect of it. I'm just sorry I only have six and half more days until I have to return to the grindstone. Yes, I really need an attitude adjustment about work. Something to work on for the new year, among many other things.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Still alive after 36 hours of hell

I'm not sure what happened to me Saturday but after my two-hour workout at the gym I became really sick as soon as I got home. Room spinning dizziness, horrible nauseousness and dry heaves because I hadn't eaten anything before going to the gym.

It continued all day yesterday, throughout the night until 6am this morning when I sort of started to feel human again and could finally lay down on the bed. Prior to that the movement of the bed made me feel sick so I was either laying on the floor or sitting in a hard chair.

I couldn't even keep water down. I tried eating saltines and I threw up. I took Pepto Bismol and threw up. I couldn't watch TV because the movement and the noise made me feel even more nauseous. I couldn't even read because of the dizziness.

My husband found me curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor at 3am and tried to make me go to the emergency room. I refused. I told him if I was still sick in the morning, then maybe. The thought of going to the emergency room made me feel even sicker.

I'm not sure what happened but I suspect it might have been either 1.) some sort of stomach flu or 2.) that disgusting, fattening Christmas dinner. I swear I'll never touch butter again as long as I live. Even now just thinking about it makes me feel kind of sick.

I felt better today but still kind of dizzy and slightly nauseous. I was able to eat a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup tonight and actually keep it down (no turkey, it makes me feel sick to think about it). I also drank a couple glasses of water today. I've been super thirsty because I couldn't drink anything yesterday and actually keep it down.

You never appreciate your health until you go through something like that. I'm so happy to feel better. I can't wait for tomorrow to feel even better. Plus I can sleep in my bed tonight and not on the floor or in a chair. Life is good!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A new beginning

Christmas. Food. Lots and lots of food. After the last two Christmases of being a really good little Weight Watcher, yesterday I made the attempt but finally said to hell with it. The Weight Watcher recipes I made turned out disastrous.

The Weight Watcher stuffing recipe, the Smashed Buttermilk Potatoes from their Thanksgiving magazine issue, and the 3-Point pumpkin pie all tasted really terrible. The stuffing was dry, the potatoes, well, turns out I hate buttermilk, and the pie, I messed up and accidentally doubled the sugar. It wasn't even edible.

So I dug into the real stuffing that was full of butter (I know, because I made it) and the real mashed potatoes with again, lots of butter. Because doesn't lots of butter equal lots of love?

I also drank too many Pomegranate martinis. Actually, they were mostly juice. I love Pomegranate juice but it's very high calorie so it wasn't much of a trade off to have mostly juice instead of vodka.

Oh, and the pumpkin pie from Costco. It's ginormous so I'm sure a piece isn't 8 Points like a normal pie. Probably more like 16Points. Bad. All very, very bad.

A strange thing happened yesterday morning, my brand new scales stopped working. I stepped on them and nothing. These were my second new scales in about three months. They both stopped working for no apparent reason. A new battery didn't help either. On my list of things to do today is buy new scales so I can weigh in before the new year.

I started off today reading several posts by other bloggers. I was surprised by how many people said they ate poorly yesterday but they'd get back on program after the first of the year. What???

That sort of surprised me. My intent was to get back on program TODAY. After reading about other people waiting to start after January 1st, I thought, well, maybe that's not a bad idea. I have all this great food in the house, how am I going to resist it. Why not just give in and eat what I want for a whole week?

Then I read Jack's post, and I came to my senses. That was crazy thinking, eat what I want for a week?! It's like I went temporarily insane. I was 175.4 on Christmas Eve day. I probably gained a couple pounds yesterday, and if I continue to eat like yesterday for a whole week I could easily pack on another five pounds.

No worries. It's not going to happen. The gym opens at 8am, and I'm going to be there. I'm getting dressed as soon as I finish this post. After my workout I'll stop by the store and buy another new scale so I can weigh in today.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I have the power

Since I returned from Edmonton over a week ago I started my late night binging. I've been like an addict that has lapsed and returned to her drug. Sneaking, quietly into the kitchen around midnight, and eating whatever I could find. I've disgusted myself.

During the day I'm the perfect Weight Watcher. Eating very healthy, working out two hours a day of intense exercise. At night I become a different person. It's a sickness.

Last night I was reading the latest issue of US Weekly. I really bought it because Elin and Tiger were on the cover. I can't help it but I'm fascinated by their story. The perfect woman with the perfect face and perfect body, with two perfect children married to what we all thought was the perfect man. As sordid as the story is, I can't stop reading about it.

I digress. Also on the front cover is the Biggest Loser at-home winner, Rebecca Meyer. She went from 279 pounds to 140 pounds. At the start of the article the journalist ask Rebecca "How do you feel?" After saying how fantastic she feels she said something that really struck a nerve with me. She said:

"I realized The Biggest Loser wasn't going to magically "fix" me. They were going to give me the tools to help me change my life forever, but I have the power. I just had to wrap my head around it and do it myself."

I read that one paragraph several times. This was me! Weight Watchers has given me the tools, but no one is going to magically fix me. It's all up to me. I have the power. It's in my control what I eat.

There are a lot of things in my life I don't have the power to control. I can't control my husband (sure, I try, but that's a losing battle). If he's in a bad mood or grumpy, I can't change him (yes, I try, sometimes it works, sometimes not). I can't control our dark, wet weather here in Seattle. It's going to rain and be cold and dark no matter how much I prefer warmth and sunshine. I can't control my job, what projects I get assigned to work on. I'm somewhat powerless in many areas of my life.

The one thing I do have power over is what I eat. I have the power for that one facet of my life. It seems so clear to me now. It's literally like a light bulb went off in my head.

I didn't binge last night. The first night in eight nights. I feel enlightened, like suddenly I "get it".

I have the power. That's my new mantra.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Getting a grip

Yesterday's post was a sad one, one of my "woe is me, my life sucks" posts. Dawn was right when she said it sounded like depression. I was depressed and have been for months. Mild depression, not suicidal stuff, just a feeling that all is not right in my world. Some days are darker than others and yesterday was one of the darkest.

This morning I woke up feeling a wee bit better about my life. It's really not quite as bad as I make it sound. It's not perfect by a long shot, but on the other hand, it could be a hell of a lot worse.

Christmas always does this too me, makes me sad for the things and people I don't have in my life. I miss my mother a lot this time of year because she always made the holidays so special for me when I was a kid. My childhood Christmases are the stuff of a Norman Rockwell painting. It was perfect, or at least, that's how I remember it.

This year I started early on the seasonal depression so by the time the Christmas season came around, I was in a pit of despair and self-pity. I credit a lot of my sadness to all the traveling I've done for work during the past four months. It was a strain on me, my health, my diet and exercise routine, as well as on my marriage.

Today I see some light in my life, it's not all darkness. I have a feeling of optimism, like maybe I'll make it through this and everything will turn out okay.

My husband and I are talking, laughing, joking around, almost back to our old life. The hateful and spiteful things we said to each other while in Edmonton are still between us, like a wedge trying to drive us apart. We're trying to get back to what we had and what we know we can have again. Marriage takes work, and neither one of us wants to give up on "us".

Today I'm cleaning the house and then we're putting up the tree this afternoon. I'm actually looking forward to spending time with my husband. Something I haven't felt for several months.

I also have plans to go to the gym, but limit my time there to one hour. The last two days I've gone for two full hours each day. I realize that's utterly ridiculous. No one should spend that much time working out every day unless they're a professional body builder. I just want to be healthy, not spend my life in a gym.

I have a better grip on reality today. I feel more like me. The cloud of doom and gloom seems to have lifted somewhat, and I can actually say I feel a flicker of happiness. I just hope I can hold onto this ray of light.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Trying to stay positive

Over the past several days I thought of a hundred things to write about but all the topics were downers. Each time I'd even think about writing a post I found myself spiraling down into a self-pity party.

My Edmonton trip is over. Having my husband go with me was a huge mistake. Instead of making things better, it made me miserable. When I'm working in a new city away from home, I'm highly stressed. After a day of meeting new people, trouble shooting problems, making endless phone calls to my home office, the last thing I wanted to do is go out and have "fun". I just wanted to crawl to my hotel room and collapse.

As a result of me not being fun, we had a huge fight while in Edmonton. Probably one of our all time worse fights in our 21 years of marriage. He left a day early to go home, which was fine with me. I couldn't handle the double stress of my day job and then my night job of being a loving wife.

Even though it's been almost a week we're both still mentally bruised from the arguing. We both regret what happened, but what's done is done. We can't take back the hurtful, mean things we said to each other.

Now we have the added stress of Christmas, the season of joy. Sorry, but I'm just not feeling it. I want to feel happy and peace on earth and all that other stuff I'm suppose to feel this time of year, but it's not happening.

I'm on vacation for the next two weeks. We had plans to travel to Denver and Arkansas to see my husband's family, but I think we're putting that on hold until after the new year. I can't bear the thought of getting on another plane. Maybe it's incredibly selfish of me but I need to stay home for a while.

We even talked about spending Christmas apart, but we both know that would be the final nail in the coffin of our marriage so we both agreed we're not ready for something like that...since that would really be the end of us as a couple.

So much for remaining positive. This is probably just about the most depressing post I've ever written.

On the diet front, I'm hanging in there at 175.8. I was at the gym for two hours yesterday, getting back into the swing of things with the exercise. It felt good.

My goal is to try and get to 170 by the end of 2009, which isn't too far from where I was on December 31, 2008 - 165.2. That means I'm up 10 pounds from a year ago.

Never mind that I dropped down to 152 for a brief period during the past year so technically I'm up 20+ pounds. I just don't want to think about that right now.

I'm going eat healthy for the rest of the year and hit the gym every day. That's my goal for the next two weeks. I'll set new goals for 2010, but right now I can't think that far into the future. I'm just trying to get through a day at a time....and stay positive (not doing so good with the positive crap).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

So much to do, so little time

I have a lot of stuff to do today to get ready for our trip to Edmonton tomorrow. I say "our" because my husband is accompanying me on my business trip for the very first time. It should be interesting. Hopefully we won't wind up in divorce court when we get home. He's never seen me in full work mode crazy on one of these trips. Sometimes it's not a pretty sight.

I spent the morning with hubby at the urgent care clinic. He's been sick for 12 days with flu, cough, and now a bad sinus infection. Funny thing, I almost gave him my antibiotics last night. I went to the doctor yesterday for my cough syrup and the doctor insisted on giving me antibiotics even though I protested that I wasn't "that" sick.

I filled my prescriptions (including my codeine cough syrup, the nectar of the Gods), but I was determined not to take the antibiotics. Then I woke up this morning feeling sicker than I did when this all started and coughing up all kinds of nasty stuff.

Last night I read several articles on phlegm. Yes, I lead an exciting life, reading phlegm articles on a Friday night. The different colors mean different things. Yellowish-green means I'm fighting an infection. I decided maybe the doctor was right and I'm a little sicker than I originally thought, so I took my antibiotics. Hubby had to get his own medicine, thus the urgent care clinic.

While I was at the clinicI read a 2008 Good Housekeeping and came across an interesting article. Let Your Heart Break by Geneen Roth. A must read for those of us living under the illusion life will be grand when we're skinny.

After the clinic we went out to eat. My husband was starving so he wanted to go to the Blackbear Diner. This place serves massive servings of really good comfort food. It's usually torture for me, but I had eaten a Luna bar while at the clinic and a ton of water. I wasn't really even hungry, which is so odd for me (more proof I must be sick).

Here's what my husband ordered, the Southern Scrambler, 1130 calories and 71 grams of fat! It was a concoction of giant biscuits, two eggs, two big sausage patties and smothered in gravy. Honestly, it didn't even appeal to me.

Here's what I had, on the "Light" menu. They didn't have the calories for it on their website, my guesstimate is maybe 350. I ate most of the chicken breast which was prepared without oil, but left a couple ounces on my plate. A little of the cottage cheese, about 1/4 cup, and all of the fruit, with black coffee for my beverage.

Well, I'm off to do the zillion things I need to do before we leave tomorrow morning. Among those things is the gym even though I'm not feeling very Superwomanish today. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 7: I was superwoman this morning!

I'm not one to toot my own horn, but this morning, I rocked it at the gym. Seriously, I really did.

After yet another sleepless night of coughing and hacking in spite of my nightly shot of NyQuil, I woke up in a foul mood. Really unhappy and tired. My first thought was noooooo! I can't, and darn it, I won't!

I reluctantly got dressed in my workout clothes, stood in the kitchen in the dark and drank a cup of coffee. I was thinking about how bad I felt and I was sick and it's only 17 degrees, and well, the excuses to not workout were endless. An entire repertoire of "poor me!", this isn't fair.

Luckily, my inner skinny girl that's fighting against my outer fat girl said get your butt out of the house, in that car and to the gym. I promised myself 20 minutes on the StairMaster and I could come home.

Well, I did 30 minutes on the StairMaster, from level 4 all the way up to level 9. Then I worked out with the weights for a full 30 minutes. I was a soaking, wet mess by the end. The weird thing, I didn't cough once during my entire workout. My nose was runny, but no coughing. My lungs were on fire and my throat burned, but that was all.

Of course now I'm coughing non-stop, but hey - I did it! Superwoman returns!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 5 & 6: Hanging on by my toenails

It's sure not easier the hundredth time around the block with this weight loss stuff. It's almost as tough as it was at the beginning, but I'm hanging in there.

This cold has really knocked me down. The coughing is making me crazy. I'm going in to see the doctor for some codeine cough syrup tomorrow. I need to sleep through the night before I hit Edmonton on Sunday.

My husband is going with me to Edmonton. It's the first time he's joined me on a business trip. When I told my coworker that's also been doing these trips, to different cities than me, he asked me what's wrong with him...why does he wants to see you in all kinds of crazy? Well put.

I've booked a room with a fireplace, hot tub and a king sized bed. My husband wants to go to the mall on Sunday. Did I ever mention I kind of hate shopping? Being in the world's 3rd largest mall isn't exactly my idea of a good time.

I was looking at my 2008 weight loss calendar where I write my weight almost every day of the year. On December 31, 2008 I weighed 164.8. This morning was 175.4. Three weeks, ten pounds? I know it's pretty much a ridiculous thought. Maybe five pounds if I put my mind to it. I'm going to try my best to not gain and lose at least a few pounds by December 31, 2009.

Tomorrow I'm going back to the gym for a light workout. Nothing too crazy. I've wanted to go but the hacking up a lung made it seem like a bad idea. Tomorrow for sure.

The NyQuil is kicking in so I'm off to bed. No crazy eating today or yesterday. Just normal stuff. Normal is always a good thing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Days 3 & 4: Still among the living

Someday I'll learn to listen to my body. On Sunday, I was wiped out all day, barely able to get dressed and get to the gym by 5pm. It was cold out, 32 degrees and my throat was sore. I just thought I was being a lazy, sloth-like person and forced myself to go to the gym.

The workout hurt like heck. I was sweating, but that was before I even started the workout! I felt clammy and chilled to the bone. My breathing was difficult and labored. I couldn't understand how I'd gotten so out of shape in such a short time.

Well guess what? I have a cold (or maybe it's the flu, I'm never sure). I've been flat on my back for two days, waking up and not knowing if it was a.m. or p.m. My body aches and my mind has been in a fog. I've been coughing up gross, nasty junk from my infected lungs. Tonight is the first time I ventured into the kitchen looking for food.

I'm going to work tomorrow since I have to get things ready for my Edmonton trip next week, and I'm actually feeling a little bit better. It's my last trip on this project. Hallelujah! I can't wait to have my normal life back.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 2 continued: Paying for my sins

For most of the day I sat around in my pajamas curled up next to the fireplace, reading magazines, and watching several episodes of Snapped while cuddling my cat. Plus listening to my husband hack and cough and complain as he's recovering from the flu. It was basically a pretty good day. I felt relaxed and warm and comfortable. Happy to be at home.

At 4pm I forced myself to get dressed for the gym. It was utter torture working out today. The extra weight has made my workouts painful. My left knee hurts, my left heel hurts. My lungs were screaming at me while I was on the StairMaster for thirty minutes and then the elliptical for another thirty. My arms are still achy and sore from yesterday's workout, and I could barely left them above my head to pull on my workout shirt.

This is my penance for having eaten like a pig, not exercised on a regular basis, and gaining 22 pounds in the last few months. Today's workout was painful. Looking back, the last few months really weren't worth it. It wasn't that fun to eat what I wanted, or to skip my workouts. If I had it to do over, I would have done it differently. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Day 2: It's not easy to start over

This is my second day back on track. I forgot how hard it is to go from eating junk to eating a healthy, low-calorie, low-fat diet. And the exercise. Oh my gosh! I've heard of muscle memory but I think mine forgot everything they ever knew.

After 40 minutes of cardio and 40 minutes of upper body weights yesterday I could barely lift my arms last night. I looked in my exercise journal and my last serious weight lifting workout was Nov. 18. No wonder I'm in pain! I've had a few treadmill or elliptical workouts, but no strength training in almost three weeks. I felt weak as I lifted 20-pound dumbells. I hate that feeling. Plus it hurt like hell.

My food choices the last few months have been horrible and got worse as time went on. Last week was my absolute worst week. I was eating cookies and candy like an addict. Oakland airport had See's candy booths everywhere (San Francisco is the See's candy headquarters).

Unfortunately the Oakland airport was a smorgasbord of unhealthy options. Sure, they had healthy things too, but those weren't what I chose. My attitude was bad and my food choices were just as bad.

After just one day of clean eating and exercise I feel like my mind is clearing. It's like I've been in a fog and now it's finally lifting. I think fat and sugar have a very negative effect on my thinking and my happiness. I've been terribly depressed and didn't even realize what was wrong with me. I know the lack of exercise probably played a big part in the depression. Add in the terrible food choices and it's a miracle I made it through these past months.

I'm drinking a lot of water, something that's barely passed my lips these last few months. I was living on Starbucks as my beverage of choice. Normally I rarely drink Starbucks since to me it's just wasted calories. Even the "light" or "skinny" options are ridiculously high in calories.

Yet I just didn't care and was ordering at least one grande or even venti "light" pumpkin spice Frappuccino every day (sometimes two!). Having one of these beverages first thing in the morning would set my mood for the entire day. Since I'd already "blown" it, it didn't matter what I ate for the rest of the day. And if I eat bad, I don't exercise.

Today it's black coffee with a dash of 1% milk, and my normal food which is amazingly delicious. Yet a part of me is thinking about the snickerdoodles and the brownies and the See's candy. I'm like an addict craving my drug.

I'm sure I can do this, stay on the straight and narrow. It's not the easiest thing in the world but I know it's possible. After all, it's not the first time I've been down this road.

Interesting tidbit in Prevention magazine Jan. 2010 (a really good reason to get to a healthy weight!):

What Your Scale Says About Your Brain

If it registers a healthy weight, your mind is likely youthful too. In a recent UCLA study, overweight people had 4% less brain tissue than normal-weight adults--the equivalent of their minds aging 8 years. One possible cause: a high-calories or high-fat diet, which clogs arteries in the brain, restricts blood flow, and causes cells to shrink. --Lauren Geiman

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 1: Does this mean I'm a failure?

I weighed 154.6 on 2/17/2009. Today I weigh 176.8. That's a gain of 22.2 pounds. I feel like a big, fat failure.

My list of excuses for gaining so much weight is long. The main one is I've been on the road a lot during the last four months. Either work, family emergency or vacation kept me away from home and my routine. I don't do well when I don't follow my routine. Even when I was home for the weekends it took me a day to get back into the groove of things, only to leave on a Monday for another trip. I never got a routine down when I was away. I don't know why, but it just seemed impossible and unimportant.

My hours were long and erratic. I never knew from one day to the next what hours I'd be working or for how long I'd be standing on my feet, and stressed about the endless problems at work. It played havoc on my body and my mind. I feel like I've been depressed for months.

The really sad part is I feel like a complete failure in the weight loss game. It's strange how hard I am on myself. I don't look at other people as failures when they gain weight back, I figure they're just human and that's what happens. We screw things up sometimes. It's just life. I'm not as lenient on myself for a weight gain. Instead I'm highly critical, and consider it a personal failure of the worst kind.

One of my favorite bloggers is going through a personal health crisis. I love this person even though I've never met her in real life. Her enthusiasm is contagious. She recently told me about what she's going through and that she doesn't want to blog publicly anymore because she can't stand being a public failure. That broke my heart. She's just like me. I don't want people to think I'm a failure. I want to be perfect. I want to be a poster child for weight loss. I want to be admired and held up as an example of what can be accomplished. Instead, I'm an example of what NOT to do.

The fact is, I'm not perfect. Far from it in many areas of my life, but especially when it comes to my weight. It's a fight I've been fighting for a very long time and one I'm not ready to give up on. I figure I'll be fighting it to my death.

I know I can lose the weight, again. It frustrates me that I do this to myself. It's damaging to my health and to my mind to gain so much weight. Sometimes I feel like if I don't figure out the real reason for my overeating that I'll never really successful at losing the weight. I have some ideas why I want to eat so much, why I want to be fat, but knowing why doesn't seem to help me conquer my demon.

My goal for the present is to lose the 22.2 pounds. I know what to do, count Points and stay within my allowed Points, and exercise. I've been failing in both areas and that's resulted in a large weight gain.

I'm also going to try my best to post every day. Not mindless posts about where I am on my trips, but posts from my heart. I've noticed my heart hasn't been in the right place lately. The depression shines through most everything I've written lately. I have to pull myself out of this funk and move on with my life.

This is a new day, a new start. No deadlines for me, just one day at a time. I'll also repeat my mantra....I am NOT a failure. I am NOT a failure. Or should I say the positive, I am a successful, worthwhile human being. If only I believe it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Just pictures I took today. I take tons of pictures, pretty much every day of my life.

This one is the trail that runs in front of my hotel along the water. I went for a walk here today. It looks a lot prettier in the picture than it did in person. The water is terribly polluted, full of garbage. Plastic bags, potato chip bags, even condoms were floating in the water. The grossest thing I've ever seen. Of course I'm only four miles from the airport, always a notoriously bad area of any city.

This was a picture I took from inside the Oakland Airport terminal. They have a great view.

More pictures from in front of the hotel, on the paved trail.

Pigeon picture. :)

The pier in front of the hotel here in Oakland is the San Antonio fishing pier. Guys were fishing off this pier. I'd never eat anything caught in this water. Too gross! And don't they know San Antonio is in Texas?

Cool artwork in the Oakland terminal, painted on the windows. Not in our terminal, but in our arch enemy's terminal (that other airline who shall remain nameless).

A view of my hotel from the pier.

How on earth did I stay in my room for a whole night, look out the "window" this morning, and not realize it was a sliding glass door with a balcony? The view from my room, that I discovered tonight.

I'm not going to talk about my day. It was just another day in my life. Difficult. Exhausting. The same old same old. Nothing new.

Greetings from California

I'm in Oakland for my job, another deployment that has gone awry. It's 2 a.m. and essentially the entire counter and gates are down right now and none of the "experts" can figure out how to get it all working.

You would think by now, this being our seventh city doing this, that we would all have it figured out. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Every airport is different, different network setups, different systems. I just hope we can get it all working by 5 a.m. when the counter opens...or it will be hell. I'm not even sure how we can function without computers and printers.

Diet and Exercise
My eating is on track. I lost a pound since yesterday, so I'm back to my pre-Thanksgiving, and pre-death in the family weight. I'm still up 20 pounds from where I was a couple months ago, but I'm working on it.

My hotel is pretty nice, and my room is gorgeous. I'm in the new section with the new gym., which I haven't been able to check out yet (later , if I ever make it back to my hotel). I'm in a suite with a microwave and fridge. I even packed a bunch of my own food for sandwiches and snacks. I'm sick to death of eating out, plus I don't always make the best choices even if there are good choices to make.

Well, that's it. Not much new. Still sitting here waiting for my network guys to figure out this mess. It's 2:16 a.m. and I'm exhausted. I just want to sleep.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Post Thanksgiving update

Alaskan Snow Puppies (my sister's two Bichon Frises)

View from the road my sister lives on - the Tanana River near North Pole, Alaska (at 3pm)

Tanana River

I'm back home. I had a really good week with my sister and her family, and my brother. A lot of visiting, remembering the good times with my brother-in-law. A few tears, but more laughter than tears. Although leaving was really hard it was wonderful to sleep in my own bed last night. I'm glad to be home.

I weighed on my home scales this morning. I'm up .6 pounds. That's slightly over 1/2 pound. Instead of beating myself up for not losing weight, which was my goal, I'm actually kind of happy it's only 6/10ths of a pound. It could have been so much worse.

I worked out on the treadmill and with the weights for at least an hour five of the eight days I was in Fairbanks, and went for a two hour walk on the last day (it was 30 degrees - spring time weather!). I ate healthy every day until after dinner. Then the cookie, candy and ice cream monster took control, and I made some really poor choices.

Unfortunately for me, all the treats on hand for the grandkids are all my favorite things. Ranger cookies, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies with frosting, cranberry cookies with oatmeal and white chocolate chips, every kind of candy imaginable, as well as several flavors of ice cream (we're talking about at least six 1/2 gallons of different flavors). Also, the pièce de résistance is my sister's homemade whole wheat bread. It's healthy, but eaten in large quantities with butter, it's not so healthy.

Where does this put me in my plan to get to my goal of 135? Obviously I'm not on plan at all since my plan was to get to goal by the end of the year. Today it's back to counting Points and back to the gym. Even though my weight has been going the wrong direction, I'm not giving up, and I'm not beating myself up. I feel more determined than ever to get back on track.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The top picture is what I see while walking/running on the treadmill at my sister's house. The picture was taken at noon, and you can the sun is barely above the trees. Total daylight here is now at 5 hours and 14 minutes.

The second picture is what I see when I lay on the floor by the windows to do my floor exercises, and look up. It's so pretty here, it looks like a Christmas card when I look outside.

I've exercised three of the last four days, 50 minutes on the treadmill and only about 20 minutes weights. I don't have my iPod, so I watch TV. It's kind of like torture but I've been doing it.

My food has been pretty good, lots of vegetables and fruits, except those darn cookies, ice cream and candy that are here for the kids are getting me almost every night. I'm perfect all day, then ruin it each night. I'm hoping the exercise is helping. I haven't dared step on the scales all week even though they haunt me every day.

It's early here in North Pole, Alaska, 6:30am. The temperature outside isn't too bad, it's a balmy -5 degrees (it was -42 earlier this week so that feels warm!). I love that they have radiant heat in the floor so it's warm and toasty on my bare feet.

My sister and my husband are in the kitchen fussing over the turkey. Today will be a day of food, fun, and family. There will be 18 people here for dinner, eleven adults and six children. It'll be a crazy, loud day, with a lot of laughter.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Greetings from Alaska

Yes, they kill animals and stuff them, then put them in airports up here in Alaska. These are polar bears in the Anchorage airport, where we changed planes on our way to Fairbanks. A rather barbaric custom. The first picture is of some mountains on our way to Anchorage. Mountains are everywhere up here. So beautiful.

The memorial service

Yesterday the memorial service yesterday for my brother-in-law was really beautiful. The picture boards my nieces (his daughters) had put together brought tears to my eyes, but at the same time emphasized he lived a very full and happy life.

The little chapel was filled with people that had worked with him or known him for many years. Everyone had warm, funny, or loving memories to share. It was -34 degrees yesterday, but people in Fairbanks don't let the weather stop them. They were all there and it helped my sister a lot to hear the stories about her husband. There were tears and laughter as we listened to people stand up and share their memories of Bill. It was a good day

The diet and exercise
I'm trying to eat good, but darn it's hard with all this food around. Today we're having another big family dinner. I'm eating a lot of vegetables but a lot of other stuff I shouldn't be eating (like cookies). I'm staying out of the ice cream because I bought some Weight Watcher ice cream bars but my 7-year old nephew saw me eating them and wanted to try one. Of course he loves them so now I have to share with him.

I made a good choice this morning and skipped the cookies for breakfast and had my usual low-fat egg mcmuffin thing I make every day at home (except I used my sister's homemade whole wheat bread instead of the multi-grain muffin I usually use--which is so much better).

As soon as I finish this post I'm heading upstairs to the treadmill and my sister's weight set. Maybe I can undo some damage I did on Saturday (cookies, cheese, ice cream).

I'm trying but it's not easy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's a crazy life, but it's my life

Quoting Jon Gosselin (who would of thought??).

My life is going to be a bit nuts the next few weeks, not that is hasn't been pretty crazy for several weeks, so really it's just the saga continuing.

My husband and I are leaving in about two hours for Fairbanks for Thanksgiving week with my sister, nieces and their families, and my brother and his wife. It'll be a bittersweet week since the patriarch of the family won't be at the dinner table Thanksgiving day. Here's the link to my brother-in-law's obituary. He lived a good life and I'm sure he's in a better place right now. It's just the rest of us that are suffering.

The Monday after Thanksgiving I'll be heading to Oakland for a week for work. Then a week in the office. December 14 I'll be off to Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) for a week. Immediately after that we're going to Denver to spend time with my husband's sister and family, and his dad. After that a week in Arkansas with my mother-in-law and her husband for New Years.

I'm exhausted just thinking about it all, but we both decided we need to spend more time with our loved ones. We chose to live far away from them mainly for financial reasons because this is where the jobs are in our field, not in Fairbanks or Denver or Arkansas. Tech jobs are here in Seattle. We're lucky in that we really like our families. I like his and he likes mine. We all get along really well.

As our relatives are getting older we want to spend as much time with them as possible. They won't be around forever and we want to be with them while we can, not regret having been too busy to travel to be with them.

My blog will be neglected for the next few weeks. I'm going to try my best to stay good with the eating and exercise. I'm at 175.4 this morning. Not great and certainly not where I want to be. My goal is to at least maintain until the end of the year. I'm not setting any unrealistic goals for myself. I know how this works when I travel. Exercise is difficult, although I will hit that treadmill at my sister's house and the hotel gyms when I'm on the road.

Happy holidays to everyone. Enjoy your families and your loved ones. Be kind to each other. You never know when it'll be the last time you see someone. Settle old grievances, nurture relationships.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It beats the alternative

It was almost impossible for me to get to the gym this morning. It was dark, pouring rain, windy and cold. At 5am it took every bit of energy I had to get out of bed, dressed in my workout clothes, get into the car and drive to the gym.

How did I do this all last winter? Even after I got to the gym this morning I had to force myself to work out. Maybe it's because I worked out late yesterday, 4pm-6pm, or maybe like so many others, I'm just tired of it all.

I was on the StairMaster thinking to myself, would it be so bad to die at 73? Let's say I stopped exercising today, stopped watching what I eat and just forget about being healthy. I wonder what would happen?

1. I'd be tired, sad, depressed, miserable. My self-esteem would plummet.

2. I wouldn't be able to do my job to the best of my ability.

3. My marriage would suffer because I wouldn't have any confidence and wouldn't want to go anywhere or do anything. I'd take it out on my husband.

4. I'd probably suffer a premature death, if I was lucky. More likely I'd get diabetes or some other dreaded weight-related illness and be in a wheelchair or go blind. I'd probably have to move into an assisted living home because I wouldn't be able to care for myself.

5. None of my clothes would fit. This doesn't sound like a really big deal, but having lost and gained a large amount of weight several times in my life, this would be really difficult for me. I'm already back into a size 12 and not happy about it. To gain any more weight would be devastating.

6. If in #2 I suffered a premature death, my husband would be left alone. He would be very sad. Even with the marital difficulties we've had over the years I know he loves me to pieces. It makes me sad to think of him being hurt because I was too stupid to take care of myself. Or worse yet, he'd have to take care of me if I became ill.

7. I would be walking around in a fog from the crappy food I was eating. A sugar-induced, refined foods fog. I don't want to live in a fog. I want to be awake for my life. Whether it's sadness or happiness, I want to experience it.

8. I would be in pain. When I was at my highest weight of 240 my knees and ankles hurt like hell. There was also something that hurt. I hate pain. I don't do it well. If I can prevent it then I will.

9. Sex wouldn't be as fun (maybe this should be #1).

10. I would kind of hate myself for being so stupid to let the nine things above happen to me.

Overall, it would be a miserable existence. Even though getting my butt out of bed and into the gym every morning isn't exactly a joyous experience, nor is counting my Points in everything I eat, it sure beats the alternative.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I now return you to my regularly scheduled programming.

Being home for a day has done wonders for my attitude and outlook on life.

During the past few weeks I was eating a lot of bad food in excess. Just for the record, I believe there are "bad" foods, things that probably shouldn't even be eaten in moderation. Unfortunately for me, I don't seem to have an ounce of moderation or control when it comes to these bad foods.

I was eating a lot of processed foods high in sugar, white flour and fat, and very little exercise. I've been in a fog for weeks. My brain hasn't been clear, and I felt like I wasn't really living in the here and now.

Perhaps it was the stress or laziness on my part, but my eating was very unhealthy. I could have and should have made healthier choices.

After just one day of being on plan and 90 minutes of exercise where I really pushed myself, I feel a hundred percent back to the old me. It's a really good feeling. It's true, we are what we eat.
I'm going to bed now. I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow, to going back to work where things are normal. Back to the gym in the morning. Back to my life.

Life is for the living

I took today off from work and stayed home, alone. I'm so exhausted from lack of sleep, stress and overwhelming sadness that I couldn't stand the thought of going back to work and explaining what happened during the last two weeks.

I'm actually doing much better. I went to a 10am Weight Watcher meeting and feel like I'm back in touch with life, and back to eating healthy and exercising.

I went crazy with the eating the last two weeks. The hospital cafeteria was only open three hours a day (and the food was horrible!). The other option was Subway, which was right next to the cafeteria. We usually only ate two meals a day, and I had to force my sister to eat anything. I, on the other hand, was on some sort of feeding frenzy, eating my emotions.

I ate a lot of vending machine candy, cookies, and ice cream (Dove bars). I managed to gain 7.2 pounds since my last weighin on October 10. I'm back up to 176.4.

The WW meeting was great and I feel totally back on track. I've barely exercised in the last seven weeks due to traveling for work and being in Anchorage and Fairbanks with my sister. I used her treadmill the last two days for a couple good walks. Today I'm going to the gym for a couple hours.

Now that I'm home and really thinking about Bill (my brother-in-law), it makes me want to get healthy. Seeing him connected to 23 machines to keep him alive was a real eye opener. He was 73, which is only 19 years older than me.

Athough he'd been a smoker for 40 years, the doctors said they've seen these same type of heart problems (clogged arteries, collapsed valve) in people who had never smoked. It was a guaranteed death sentence if you were a smoker. Even though he'd quit for 12 years, the damage was done. It can still happen if you have a bad diet, don't exercise and are overweight.

Since I really want to live longer than 73, I need to get back on track and get to my goal weight. I know the holidays are coming, but I feel in control again.

Even though life sometimes is full of sadness, it's also full of joy. Life is for the living and I want to live it to it's fullest. I can't do that by being overweight and out of shape.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Death is part of life

In spite of all the prayers, even my sister the atheist going to the hospital chapel and praying several times a day, my brother-in-law passed away last Wednesday. My sister, his wife of 51 years, and I held his hand and each other as the life support was turned off. He was gone within a few minutes.

This is just something we have to go through. Death is part of life. I don't like it but I accept it.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Please pray

My sister's husband suffered an extremely bad heart attack yesterday, while he was working out at the gym. They've been going to the gym five days a week for the last two years.

My brother-in-law had open heart surgery last night, a quadruple bypass, and mitral valve replacement. They've given him a 15% of survival. His heart is very damaged, his kidneys and lungs are shutting down. If you believe in God, please pray for him and my sister.

I'm in Anchorage, Alaska, staying in the hospital hotel with my sister. They've been married 51 years and this is breaking my heart.

Thank you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

In your life how efficient is your energy?

Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul by Deepak Chopra

In your life how efficient is your energy? Quiz on pg. 48.

My score: 17

17-25 points. Your life is barely your own because so much is out of your control. Daily life is a struggle just to keep things together, and most days you feel that you are losing the fight. On the periphery something very wrong is probably happening. You are being held back either psychologically or by bad circumstances. To get back on track, outside professional help will be needed.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Losing my way

I'm taking a month off from blogging. I read back through several of my recent posts (and deleted several). I was dismayed that everything was focused on work. My job has been consuming me for the last five weeks. It's all I talk or think about anymore.

I considered completely deleting my blog since no one really reads it anymore anyway, and I certainly understand why they don't. It's suppose to be a "weight loss" blog, not a "my job sucks" blog. My goal is to refocus on what's important, and take some time to think.

Someone recently commented they thought my priorities were mixed up because I had listed my job as number one, health number two, and my marriage number three. They said my marriage should be number one. Thank you Jack.

I've been thinking about this for the past two weeks and I agree my marriage should be number one in my life, or at least near the top. Without my husband I would be lost. Without my health, I'd probably be dead, and without my job...oh well, I can always find another job. :)

I found out today my sister completely lost her hearing in one ear. I love my sister to pieces and usually have two-hour phone conversations at least once a month (she lives in Alaska).

Until today I hadn't talk to her since I visited in July. She lost her hearing while I was there but we thought it was because she'd been swimming in cold water. After seeing a specialist and having an MRI she was told her hearing is completely gone in her right ear. She knew two months ago. She called once but I was on the road and never called her back.

How could I have not know this? How could I ignore my family and my husband and make my job my focus? How could have been such a idiot about life and what's really important?

This is my new priority list:

1. God, my faith
2. Marriage
3. Health
4. Friends and family
5. Job

Somehow I seem to have been lost lately. Living in a daze of airports, hotels, airplanes, and stress. I want to get my head back on straight. Live the life I want, not the one I feel forced into.

The reason for a month off from blogging is I really want to focus on what's important. I won't be reading many blogs for the next month, unless I'm in an airport or hotel with down time.

I'll be back December 1 and hopefully in a better place in my life.

169.6 <---not where I want to more ways than one.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sunrise in hell

Yes, I'm still here, another night in paradise. Or hell, however you want to look at it. Sadly, it sounds like I'll be back Monday. I just don't want to think about that right now.

This morning I went for a walk down by the water instead of going to the hotel gym. It's really pretty here, even by the airport. There's a little path that runs along the water and there were a lot of joggers, walkers and bikers out there this morning.

Funniest thing, I had my iPod and normally always listen to a playlist, but I let it shuffle among the over 300 songs I have on it. There's mostly top 40 stuff, a little hip hop, a few country songs and about 20 pop Christian songs. You'll never guess what song it hit on first when I started my walk. Amazing Grace by Chris Tomlin.

It was a gorgeous sunrise. It made me wish my husband was here to enjoy it with me. Sort of a bittersweet morning.

San Francisco Bay

Across the road from my hotel, 6 a.m. Thursday
San Francisco Bay

About 6:40 a.m.

Pretty grass, it has a name, but I can't remember it.

A Fifties theater for lease, across the street from my hotel.

Home Sweet Home. Kind of looks like a mental institution, doesn't it?

Remembering to smile

Okay, I need an attitude adjustment. I just got up, checked email, wrote a status email for work, then read my last two posts.

I need to get over myself, and for God's sakes, stop writing posts at the end of the day!

Things are a little tough, but seriously, I like the pressure. I'm the project manager on this particular project. If things go well, I look good, if things go bad, I don't look so good. It's been an absolute roller coaster since we got here. One moment, things are going fabulous, the next thing I know it's all going to hell in a hand basket.

The truth, it's interesting, challenging, it makes my brain hurt, it stresses me, but makes me have a feeling of great accomplishment. It hasn't made me cry, not yet. It's a good job, and a great opportunity. In reality, I'm pretty lucky at 54 to have been given a chance at a totally new career path.

So in spite of all my whining and belly aching, it's not a bad gig I have here.

My goal today is to pay more attention to what I'm eating and make sure I make healthy choices. I've been eating fairly healthy until last night. I had pizza and ice cream for dinner, room service. I just didn't care. I care this morning.

I'm going down to the hotel gym in about an hour, before I head to the airport for what I hope is our last day, flying home tonight. We're checking out of the hotel again (like we did yesterday morning and had to recheck in last night). We have high hopes that today will go well.

I just need to remember to smile, laugh and roll with the punches.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still hanging on...just barely

I'm still in San Francisco. Not a whole lot to say tonight. I'm very tired, frustrated, not exactly happy. More tired than unhappy though, so I guess that's a good thing.

Eating isn't perfect. I'm missing meals then eating too much when I do get to eat. I worked out Monday and Tuesday, but overslept today. Tomorrow I'll go to the hotel gym.

I still want to go home. Maybe tomorrow.

Where are YOU?

In a dark hotel room, somewhere near the San Francisco airport, my cell phone rings at 12:37am. I awake from a sound sleep to answer it.

Me: "Hello?"

Husband: "Hi!"

Me: "Why are you calling me?"

Husband: "I wanted to me make sure you're okay."

Me: "Of course I'm okay. I'm home. I don't understand why you're calling me."

Husband: "You're not home, you're in San Francisco."

Me: "I AM home and I don't know why you're calling me. Just come talk to me. "

Husband: "Diana, you're not home."

Me: "Yes, I'm home! Where are YOU?"

Husband: "You're NOT home."

I try to look around to see where I am. It's pitch black in the room. Then I realize it's not my bed and I'm not home. It dawns on me, I'm still in San Francisco! My husband is home and calling me in San Francisco.

It's very disorienting to wake up and not know where you are, or to think you're in one place and find out you're in another place. It's happened before, but this time I was positive I was at home and was puzzled my husband was calling me.

I want to go home.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The scar

I'm in a hotel in San Francisco, alone. I'm here for work. I am not having fun. Major problems with my project at the airport. Back at it tomorrow for another long day.

I wrote the post below a few weeks ago but never posted it. Tonight, after removing my makeup, and staring at myself in the mirror, I could see the scar is really noticeable. It's because I'm tired and stressed. But when I smile, the scar disappears.

Yesterday's pictures are there now, not sure why they weren't there yesterday. You can see the hooker shoes that I don't own anymore. And yes, I actually wore them a couple of times. Sometimes I'm stupid like that.


The Scar

There's a scar on my lower lip. It's just a little vertical mark that crosses my lower lip line. It's not really noticeable to most people. When I get really tired, it becomes more pronounced.

The scar is a reminder of a very bad time in my life. I was 22 and had fallen in love with a man 16 years older than me. He was a "recovering" alcoholic. I moved from Alaska to Oregon with him for what became the worst three months of my life. I had dropped out of my junior year of college to go live with him. I worked a menial job while he stayed drunk. I didn't have any friends or family in Oregon. I was alone, with my alcoholic boyfriend.

One day he hocked my TV and stereo to get money to buy alcohol. These were things I had brought with me from Alaska. Then he stole a check out of my checkbook and cashed it at a bar, forging my name on it. It was for $50.00, which left me with almost nothing in my checking account. I had to go through my coat pockets to find 35 cents for bus fare so I could go to work. I still didn't leave. I thought I could save him. It was a very dark time in my life.

One night we had an argument and he threw his dinner plate at me. It hit me in the face and cut my lower lip, leaving me with the scar that is still there to this day, some 32 years later. After this happened, I realized I couldn't save him. I realized he was a lost cause, and for my own safety and sanity, I had to get out.

I called my mom and was on a plane back to Alaska the next day. I left everything I owned and didn't even give notice on my job. I didn't even call them to tell them I was leaving, I just left.

I never spoke to my boyfriend again. He came back to Fairbanks but I refused to talk to him. He went to see my mother and said he was leaving Alaska for good. He gave my mother a letter to give to me. I remember it was in a very thick envelope. I never opened it. Instead, I stood at the kitchen sink and burned it.

Why am I telling you about this? Because whenever I look at that scar on my lip, like tonight, I remember that horrible time in my life. I remember being scared and feeling hopeless, but I also remember pulling myself out of that horrible mess I had made of my life.

It's like gaining 100 pounds. I remember feeling scared and hopeless then too. It seemed so insurmountable to lose 100 pounds. I felt trapped. The difference between the alcoholic boyfriend and me gaining the 100 pounds is this time it was me abusing my body. It was me beating myself up, being cruel to myself. I was making a mockery of my life. I would say horrible, cruel things to myself. I would call myself a fat ass, a fat pig, stupid and ugly. All the awful things that a mean alcoholic might say to me.

Just like I wouldn't let my alcoholic boyfriend ruin my life, I decided to not let me ruin my life with my weight. It's strange how when I look at that scar that this is what I think about. I don't really think of him, but I think of the situation, how similar it was to what I did to myself.

It makes me feel a bit sad that I was so cruel to myself, but it also makes me feel strong and invincible now. I'm reminded I'm capable of anything. Surviving an abusive relationship or losing a lot of weight. In a way, they're a lot alike, it's just that in the latter case, the abuser was me.

Who would have thought that a tiny little scar would have so much meaning behind it?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I give up

I give up on ever wearing these size 7, slim fit jeans. I've had these jeans in my closet since 1997. That was the last time I weighed 124 pounds and had a 27" waist. I remember I was shopping with my mom and when I tried on these jeans, they fit. I looked skinny, really skinny. I was ecstatic to finally fit into a size 7.

I also remember I felt like hell. I was weak and tired and hungry. It was my vegetarian, starvation phase, and eating less than 10 grams of fat a day. When I'd bend over and stand up quickly I'd see stars.

I never wore these jeans. I was only at the 124-pound mark for about three weeks. I proceeded to gain 120 pounds over next two years. These jeans have remained on a hanger in the back of my closet all this time. I pull them out every year or so when I'd start a new diet. They were my goal jeans.

Today I was putting away my summer clothes when I came across these jeans. I've finally accepted it, I will never weigh 124 pounds again. I'm 5' 6 1/2" and 54 years old. It's an old dream, one from when I was 14 years old. It's time to give it up and accept my size 10 body. I can live with that, I can't live with feeling sick just so I can wear size 7.

I'm also giving up on these shoes. What the hell was I thinking? I have a few 3-inch heels, but 4-inch heels are just a little too much for me. Both the skinny jeans and the red 4-inch heels went to Goodwill today. They'll probably make some hooker very happy.

Although I'm giving up on the jeans and the shoes, I'm not giving up on me reaching a healthy weight. I'm almost there, it's within my reach. Maybe it's not a size 7 or even an 8, maybe it's just a loose-fitting size 10.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

The best dinner ever!

I've been following Lia's blog for over a year. She's an amazing young woman. She reminds of someone with an old soul in a young person's body. She's figured out things about life that I'm still trying to figure out.

Lia is attending a Swiss hospitality school. When she wrote about her sprialized zucchini with cashew afredo sauce, I asked her to post the recipe. In the meantime I ordered a spiralizer from, and it came today.

It was so much fun to spiralize the zucchini, and it was really easy to use. I'm a nut for kitchen gadgets and this thing is great.

Tonight I made Lia's recipe for spiralized zucchini with cashew alfredo sauce. It was absolutely the best thing I've ever eaten in my life. Seriously, it was that good. As I was making it I said to my husband you can sure tell she's a chef because there were no amounts in her recipe, so I winged it. It turned out fantastic!

My husband, who never says something is really good unless he really means it, said it was one of the best meals he's ever eaten in his life. I have to agree, it was really good. Thank you so much Lia!

I have no idea of the calorie count in this recipe. I used three tablespoons of the sauce and mixed it in with the zucchini, carrots, some roasted butternut squash and cherry tomatoes, a few shrimp on top and a little shaved parmesan. It's been three hours since I ate and I don't feel hungry.

Good eats for sure!

Cat on a hot tin roof

Not really a hot tin roof, but it is a cat on a roof. That's Mickey Mouse, my cat, on top of our roof. That's where he was when we came home Thursday night. My husband left the ladder up against the roof when he was cleaning out the gutters last weekend. Mickey figured out how to climb up (and thankfully down) the ladder. Really nothing to do with this post, but this post really doesn't have anything to do with much of anything.

I have a very busy weekend to get ready for a business trip to San Francisco on Monday. Today it's Weight Watchers, gym, haircut, mani/pedi, and buy a new suitcase. I'm going to check a bag for this trip. My old bag was destroyed on the last trip. I rarely check a bag but it's a necessity for this trip because of the stuff I have to take with me. This time I'm going to buy the wildest color I can find, definitely not black. If I can find zebra stripe, I'm buying it. I'm tired of looking at a hundred black bags trying to find mine.

I'm still counting calories and it really seems to be working. I've been binge-free since I started with the calorie counting on Monday and writing it in my journal. That's five whole nights of not mindlessly stuffing my face like a maniac. I consider it a victory of sorts, but I know I can't let my guard down for a second. I must remained focused or I could slip and slide right back to where I was a couple weeks ago, or worse yet, nineteen months ago.

It's strange to go back to calorie counting because it's what I did 40 years ago when I started my first diet when I was 14 years old and wanted to lose ten pounds. I was a whopping 135 pounds and wanted to weigh 125 (I was 5' 6" and still am). I was an idiot. I never did lose the ten pounds. I remember getting down to 130 and feeling like I was starving to death. Some things never change.

I hope everyone has a really great weekend, and like Ron says, remember to make healthy choices.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Doin' the Puallup!

We went to the Dave Koz-Brian Culbertson-Peabo Bryson concert last night. It was at the fair. Puyallup is where the fair is held, their slogan is "Doin' the Puallup!". That makes two things I kind of hate, jazz and the fair. At least I thought hated them.

Surprisingly, I was wrong! Turns out I can appreciate good jazz. The crowd was so into the performers and the music that it was contagious. Completely different crowd than P!nk. About half African American and almost everyone was our age or older.

My husband loves jazz so he was in heaven. I'd never heard of Peabo Bryson, but all his songs were top forty songs. He sang If Ever You're in My Arms Again along with some of his other hits. The concert was outside and it was extremely romantic.

Dave and Brian were awesome musicians, and if you close your eyes jazz actually sounds pretty good. So it wasn't torture at all and I had a really good time. Not as good as at my girl P!nk's concert, but still good.

This is what was torture, and where I really wanted to eat, deep fried twinkies and chocolate covered bacon. Yummo!

Or here, the world famous 1/2 pound hamburgers at Earthquake Burgers:

But I was good girl and ate at the Mongolian Wok where I had a super healthy dinner of a ton of grilled fresh veggies and a tiny bit of chicken breast. No oil, it was all steamed. No rice. It was really good. Probably not as good as anything at the "Totally Fried" place, but it was healthy.

I had a scoop of Nitro ice cream for dessert. It was okay, not great. I only got it because I saw a show on the Food Network where they made ice cream with Nitrogen and it looked wonderful (it wasn't). Calories for the day was 1535 (estimated on the fair food, but I think I probably over estimated).

My chef, who gave me a ton of extra vegetables and "cleaned" the grill so there wouldn't be any oil on it and just used water. Now that I look at the picture of the grill it kind of grosses me out. Click on the picture to enlarge it and you'll see what I mean (nasty!).

There were two rides I really wanted to go on but my husband won't do rides with me. Long story but he almost fell out of a roller coaster when he was seven. He won't go near a ride. That's why when we go to Disney World or somewhere like that I take his mom. She'll do every ride with me, nothing too scary for her.

This one had a huge line and looked really scary.

It was a fun afternoon and evening. We walked around a lot after the concert and got home around midnight. Too late for a work night and second time we did something like this in two weeks. Thank goodness it's Friday!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

If I could bottle this up for later

You know the feeling, the feeling that nothing could make you eat something you shouldn't or eat too much or eat late at night. That super-human strength that comes from somewhere, that saves you from yourself.

I've been binge-free for four nights in a row. I think this must be a record. Last night I was hungry around 11pm (late night), but I told myself breakfast was only seven hours away. I could last seven hours without eating. I think I read that tip in Dr. Beck's Diet Solution, or maybe someones blog. It worked.

Writing down my food in a regular journal, adding up the calories is really helping me. Maybe it's because it's different or because I can see all the food I've eaten during the day, written in my handwriting. The calories have been between 1100 and 1500, the Points between 20 and 30. It's really working out to 1 Point equals about 50 calories, every single day.

Whatever it is that's working for me, I wish I could save it for when I'm feeling weak. I'm trying not to over-analyze the situation as I tend to do in all areas of my life, which can ultimately ruin it when I overthink stuff. I'm trying to just let it be what it is...a good feeling.

A big thank you to Miz Fit. I watch these video answers she did a couple days ago. The one about improving an area of your body that you know is going to be difficult really hit home with me. I hate ab work. In fact, I'll do anything to avoid it. Which explains why I hate my abdominal area so much.

After watching MizFit's video, I added ab work to my routine. I've tried before but it's so hard and I hate it so much, I always give up after a day or two. I know it's really important to keep the body in balance. My back is very strong, my abs are very weak. A bad combination and could cause an injury when I lift heavy weights because my abs can't support what my back can lift. I need strong abs to support my back.

For three days I've added ab exercises to my workout. Old fashioned sit ups on a slant board, crunches with an 8-pound weight, with a twist to the side on the up move, the prone bicycle knee to opposite elbow (killer!). A few others I found in magazines and books. My abs have been so sore each morning I can barely roll out of bed.

Thanks MizFit! As usual, you inspired me!

162.4 <----going the right direction!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Exercise is not optional

At least once a week someone will ask me what motivates me to exercise. They want to know my secret. When I tell them I like how it makes me feel, or I want to live longer and be healthier, keep my weight down, wear cute clothes, they nod in agreement, but I can tell they don't really get it. They still want to know how I do it.

I wish I did have a secret to share with people, that would motivate them to exercise. There just isn't any secret, but there are a few things I can share that might help.

When I weighed 240 pounds it hurt a lot to exercise. I would feel a pain in my chest, my asthma would flare up and I could barely breathe, my feet would ache and hurt, even on the elliptical machine. It was pure and utter torture. In the beginning I would only do cardio for 30 minutes, four days a week. Every day I thought I was going to die. Every day, I wanted to die.

As much as I hated it in the beginning, I knew not exercising wasn't an option for me. I was 53 at the time (19 months ago) and knew the importance of exercise for someone my age. I didn't want to be one of those frail, old ladies that can barely walk. That's not for me.

I kept telling myself that working out was just something I had to do every day, like brushing and flossing my teeth, I have to work my body.

As the weight started coming off, it got a little bit easier, but not a lot. When I had lost forty pounds and added in some weight training I could actually work out for an hour. It still kind of hurt, especially my left foot. I don't know what was wrong with it, but it hurt like the devil. My foot doesn't hurt at all now and my asthma has dissappeared.

When I got down to 180 pounds I hired a personal trainer. This was the thing that really got me hooked on strength training and doing interval cardio. She showed me several stength exercises and how to maintain proper form. She also had me workout on every piece of equipment in the gym. Having a personal trainer was the smartest and best thing I've ever done for myself. I should have done it sooner.

A couple tips on hiring a personal trainer. First of all, don't just walk into your gym and say you want to hire a trainer and slap down $110 an hour for ten sessions. Yes, they really wanted $1,100 from me and that was for the "cheap" trainer. Crazy! I almost did it, but after watching the trainers at my gym standing around with their clients with bored looks on their faces, I thought no way was I going to pay someone to do that.

I was lucky because I got to know my aerobics instructor at the YMCA I was going to at the time (I had two gym memberships for about a year). She was an amazing aerobics teacher. I totally loved her enthusiasm. She had a great personality, was funny and put together really fun workouts with great music. When I found out she also did personal training I hired her immediately. Through the YMCA the sessions were only $30. Ten sessions for $300. The deal of a lifetime.

Search around to find someone you like. Before you hire the person, interview them, watch them on the job, training someone. Do they act like they care or do they act like they'd really rather be somewhere else? I can't imagine anything worse than working out with a trainer that doesn't have a sincere interest in helping you.

I really think exercise is the key to this whole thing of losing weight and keeping it off. Even though my eating hasn't been perfect, and I still have weight to lose, I've been in the same 10-pound range for nine months. Probably the longest I've ever kept off a significant amount of weight.

So if you're struggling with the idea of exercise, all I can say is yes, it's hard, it hurts, it's not fun in the beginning. Actually it was a little piece of hell on earth, but after a few months it gets easier. You just have to do it, it's not optional.