Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And so it begins

I remember when my manager told me my new job responsibilities a few weeks ago, managing a project that would require a lot of traveling. I thought it sounded fun, meeting new people, traveling to new places. Things always sound good to me at first, then the reality hits and it doesn't sound so good anymore.

Case in point. Tomorrow my flight departs Seattle to Oakland at 7:15 a.m. My return flight departs San Jose and I arrive back into Seattle at 7:15 p.m. This makes for a very long day.

Next week it's Miami and Orlando. Sounds fun doesn't it? Think again. Fly into Miami, get a hotel for overnight, visit Miami airport in the morning, fly to Orlando, visit the airport that afternoon and hopefully catch that night's flight back to Seattle. Eleven hours of sitting on an airplane in two days.

Then there's Mexico. My husband isn't thrilled with me traveling to Mexico by myself with all the recent reports of violence. I'll be in the airport most of the time or in the airport hotel where our flight crews stay. I'm sure I'll be safe, but it makes me just a little bit nervous hearing the horror stories on the news.

Good times? I don't really think so. I'm wondering how I'm going to handle eating out and not being able to go to the gym on a regular basis. The whole thing suddenly doesn't sound fun to me anymore. Plus the stress of meeting all these new people. I like people, but really, I like people I know, my friends and my relatives. These people will be total strangers that I'll probably never see again.

I know I shouldn't complain. I have a good job. I should be thrilled to be given this responsibility. Instead, I'm feeling apprehensive and a little scared, on many levels. I guess that old adage of be careful what you wish for really applies here.

Note: I'll miss my weigh in tomorrow night, but plan on going Thursday at noon. So far so good on the food and exercise. If I can just make it through tonight and tomorrow without ruining my week I will be a very happy girl.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Why is running so sexy?

I don't have the answer to that question, but it's true. There's something about running that's very cool and very sexy. I don't know if it's the incredible endorphin rush I get or the fact that I'm pushing my body to it's limits or the sweat that pours off of me when I run (okay, I didn't say I looked sexy, but I feel sexy). Maybe it's the incredible sense of accomplishment when I'm done. Whatever it is, I love running and the feeling I get from it.

When I was running 10-minute miles about two months ago I felt great. I was on top of my game. Then tragedy struck. A knee injury caused by running. It hurt like hell, and I didn't think it would ever heal. Finally, after two months of only doing the elliptical and the cross ramp for my cardio, the pain disappeared about a week ago.

Saturday I tested out my knee by walking at 4 mph and jogging at 5 mph, at two minute intervals for only twenty minutes. I didn't have any pain the next day.

This morning, I pushed myself a little more, by walking two minutes at 4.0 mph and then 18 minutes at 5.0 mph (incline of 1.0). Again, no pain and it almost felt easy. I wasn't even breathing very hard and my heart rate was a constant 134.

Wahoo! I feel like I'm back in the game. I finished up my cardio with 20 minutes on the elliptical and then weights for 40 minutes (including 3 sets of 8 military push ups on the Bosu ball--which pushes my heart rate right up to 138 in about a minute).

I really love running. It makes me feel...well, sexy and cool.

P.S. I can't wait for my weigh in on Wednesday, my new weigh in day. I think it's going to be good! That is, if I don't blow it between now and then (always a possibility with me).

A confession to Tony - the anti-jared

I read Tony's Saturday post and was shocked to see he mentioned my blog as one of his favorites. Some of you may remember the flame war Tony and I had a few months ago. I swore that I'd never mention his name again or read his blog. I quit reading his blog for a few weeks, but found myself wandering over there occasionally. Pretty soon I was a regular reader again. I couldn't stay away.

The thing with Tony is that he can annoy the hell out of me at times, and I can totally disagree with what he says. Then he will post something very moving and inspirational, something that really makes me stop and think. With Tony's blog I always feel something. Sometimes it's annoyance, but more often I'm inspired.

Tony had a post a while back about how easy it would be for him to blow off his 5 a.m. workouts. He said he could blow off one, say he was too tired, then two, and the next thing he'd know he wouldn't be working out at all and he'd gain back his weight. He talked about how he refused to let that happen. I can't tell you how many times since I read that post that I woke up exhausted at 4:45 a.m. and thought of Tony and that post. That has got me out of bed on more mornings than I can count.

Tony sneaks into my thoughts all the time. I'll be doing something weight related, working out or eating something, and I'll think of something Tony said in a post. It'll be something positive and something that helps me.

As hard as it is for me to admit this, Tony has helped me, and I'm sure hundreds of others, more than he'll ever know. So Tony, if you're reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's ugly...+11.6 pounds in five weeks

Weigh in 3/25/2009 :

Current weight: 166.4

Gained: +11.8

Total Lost: 72.8

Pounds to lose to goal: 31.4

I knew it would be bad, but I didn't know it was going to be THAT bad.

Last night's meeting was very different than my normal meeting, it was a smaller group and lower keyed. The person that weighed me was the leader. He was really nice and talked to me for ten minutes about what had happened and how I could get back on track. He also said I was still a superstar with a loss of 72.8 pounds. That made me smile.

After the meeting Phil talked to me again, impressing on me not to give up, that this was just a slight setback. It meant a lot to me that Phil gave me the attention and encouragement that I desperately needed after such a terrible gain.

My plan is very simple. Just do what I did faithfully for the first six months:

1. Track my Points
2. Stay within my daily Point range (20 + 4APs + 5 Flex = 29 Total)
3. Exercise 1 hour a day, 5 or 6 days a week (I've never stopped doing this)
4. Water, lots and lots of water
5. Vitamins
6. Healthy Eight Eating Guidelines
7. Weigh and measure everything I eat
8. ******* Don't miss a Weight Watcher meeting! *******

This isn't rocket science. It's really pretty basic. Any idiot should be able to do it. Even me.

When I got home last night I told my husband about my 11.6 pound gain, and how I was really mad at myself about it. This is what he said:

1. "You don't look any heavier at all."
2. "You've been lifting heavier weights, maybe it's muscle gain."
3. "It's probably water weight. We've eaten out a lot lately and they use a lot of salt."
4. "Is there anything I can do to help you?"

Honestly, he said that stuff. Bless his heart. I know the truth. I've been eating too much. Plain and simple.
As usual, you can read more about the marriage here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The clouds have parted

Sometimes I go back to a post I've written and think what the hell was wrong me to write such drivel? Yesterday's post was one of those posts. I'm not sure what that pity party was all about but I'm totally over it. Your kind and supportive comments were greatly appreciated, and you helped me realize that my life really isn't all doom and gloom. Some days are just like that I guess, where the smallest annoyances seem monumental.

Today is a much better day. I've made peace with myself for some poor choices I made during the past year (with my therapist's help yesterday). I really do think things happen for a reason, and I think my poor choices have actually made me stronger. Even my marriage, which I thought would be destroyed by what I had done, seems to be stronger and better because of it. I really don't regret anything that's happened. For me to feel this way is huge. I've been packing around a load of guilt for almost a year.

Now for the task at hand. I want to get serious about losing the rest of this weight. I don't even know how much I weigh, I've been too afraid to face the scale, even at home. My clothes still fit, but the roll around my middle feels bigger. I know I've gained a few pounds and the first step is to get back to Weight Watchers.

According to my booklet, my last official weigh in was 2/17. Five weeks ago. A lot of damage can be done in that amount of time. There's a meeting tonight at 6pm. I'll be there for my weigh in. I need to get back on top of my game. Enough screwing around, blaming my emotions and my relationships for my lackadaisical attitude towards my weight loss.

I'll report the damage tomorrow. I'm sure it'll be ugly, but that's the purpose of this blog. The good, the bad and the ugly. Such is my life.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My mood is almost black as the Seattle skies today

Some people will say there she goes again, the drama queen in action. Honestly, I don't want to be like this. I'd give anything to be a normal, even-keeled person, without the highs and lows that are my life. Sometimes I envy the Lexapro induced happiness of my friends. Even though I know it's an artificial state of being, I'm somewhat jealous. I'm just not sure it's worth giving up days like yesterday, when everything was great.

So what happened to my "I'm so happy to be alive" feeling I had yesterday?

  1. Yesterday afternoon I exchanged some unpleasant emails with a former friend. It left me with a very bad feeling.

  2. I had an argument with my husband almost the minute I walked in the door last night.

  3. Dinner wasn't done until 8:30pm (because of #2).

  4. I went to bed alone at 9 p.m, angry, hurt and feeling sorry for myself.

  5. I drank two glasses of wine last night and went over my Points, again.

  6. Woke up late for my workout, and was in a really foul mood.

  7. I had a lousy workout this morning, struggled to stay at it for an hour. Everything hurt.

  8. The weather sucks again today, cold, dark clouds, and windy.

  9. I have my counseling session today, and I'm dreading it. It drains me.

  10. I can't figure out how to make Microsoft Project do what I want it to do and my go to person is out for the week. Piece of crap software.

  11. I went to Trader Joe's at lunch to buy candy. Yes, I said it, CANDY! I bought fresh strawberries, Fage Greek 0% yogurt and frozen mango instead. I know this should be a good thing but the fact I even thought about buying junk bothers me. I didn't do it but scary just the same.

So that's it, nothing earth shattering happened. Just a serious of unpleasantness. I want that feeling back that I had yesterday, when life was good. I just don't know how to get there.

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's good to be alive

This morning I read Dawn's post from Friday, and it put a smile on my face. The reason was because I had a similar feeling myself this morning. That "it's good to be alive, and I'm loving life at this moment" kind of feeling. It happened at the gym today, at 6:20am. I was twenty minutes into my thirty-minute hill routine on the elliptical, level 14. Across the room my husband was on a treadmill doing his hour-long routine.

I was thinking I had ten more minutes and then I'd be off to the weights to do my upper body strength routine. I love lifting weights, especially for my upper body. I love seeing the muscles in my arms. It gives me a little thrill that I can lift 20-pound dumbells and do military push ups using the Bosu Ball (30 reps today!). That's when it hit me. Life is good. MY life is good. Don't misunderstand me, my life is not perfect. Far from it, but I'm finally feeling like I'm in a good place. I feel like I've been in a dark hole for the last year, living a lie, and hating myself for so many reasons. Now I have so many reasons to be happy, to want to be alive.

The sun was shining when I drove into work this morning. I thought that was very appropriate because I feel like the sun is shining on my soul today.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The coyote, the weight loss and the marriage

The Coyote

This is what I saw when I looked out of our bedroom window Saturday morning. A wild coyote inside our backyard, frantically pacing back and forth along our fence. She couldn't figure out how to get out. In fact, she's still out there and it's Sunday afternoon.

We left the gate open all night and she never left. During the night she dug a huge hole underneath our shed and has apparently moved in. My husband saw her head sticking out of the hole this morning. 

We've called animal control, the department of game and the police. They told us there are at least 300 coyotes within a one-mile radius of our house. As long as she wasn't attacking anyone, there wasn't a thing they could (or would) do. 

We don't live in a rural area, we live in the suburbs. There's a lot of undeveloped land around here, but it's very populated where we live. Anyway, I'm not sure what we're going to do about this coyote. I hope she comes to her senses and leaves of her own accord. We can't have a wild coyote living in our backyard (or can we?). I read they mate for life. What if her husband is out there waiting for her to come home? He's going to wonder what happened to her.

The weight loss journey

My weight loss saga continues. I'm still not tracking my food like I should be doing. I have good days and not so good days. 

Yesterday was a not so good food day. It started out great and was great right up until 6 p.m. We went out to dinner with my family that are visiting from Alaska. Mexican food again, and Fajitas again, but this time, I ate the WHOLE thing. I was starving again. I don't know what that's all about but it has got to stop.

I made it to the gym before we went to dinner so hopefully that counteracted some of the damage. I also found out that half ball thingie I've been talking about is a Bosu Ball. I turn it upside down and do military push ups on it. I'm up to eight, and that just about kills me. Today I'm going to do eight, then try for a second set. 

The marriage

I'm not going to talk about my marital problems on this blog anymore. I've noticed that it's taking over. The name of this blog is Diana's Weight Loss Journey, not Diana's Marriage. 

I still want to blog about it, for the same reason I blog about weight loss. It helps me understand it better. Plus, it might help someone else out there going through similar problems. I created a new blog that will be about my marriage and the other parts of my life. 

Of course, the weight loss and the marriage are intertwined. A lot of my weight issues are because of problems in my marriage, and a lot of the problems in my marriage are because of my weight. However, I think the people that read this particular blog are more interested in how I lost weight and how I struggle and fight to maintain my weight loss (and lose the last 20 pounds). They're not that interested in my marriage.

If you still want to read about my marriage and my personal life, my other blog is This is my life. I have it in my profile as well as in the blog list to the right. Otherwise, I won't bore you with the details anymore. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

When the truth hurts

Yesterday morning I wrote a long, rambling post about my marriage. At noon I read it again and deleted it. I know some of you read it and a few responded. Thank you for your support. As always, it is greatly appreciated. You have no idea how much it means to me that people reach out to me and genuinely care.

The reason I deleted the post was because it was flippant, sarcastic, and made fun of my marital situation. The truth is that a marriage in trouble is nothing to laugh about. It's not funny. It hurts. That's how I handle painful emotional situations, I laugh. Ha ha, my life is so funny. If I was being honest, I'd tell you how much it hurts and how it's not at all funny.

We have an appointment next Thursday for our first session of marriage counseling. My husband insisted on it. Recently he discovered some things about me that I wish he didn't know. They're private things, and things that shame and embarrass me. Even in spite of finding out about my deepest, darkest secrets, he still wants to save our marriage.

In the meantime, we've started reading the book, The Love Dare. It's the book mentioned in the movie Fireproof. We started the book several weeks ago, before he knew my secrets, but for some reason we stopped. Perhaps because I wasn't giving it my all, or perhaps I just didn't care. On Tuesday, after one of our worst arguments of my 22 years of knowing my husband, he insisted on the marriage counseling and working through The Love Dare book with me.

We're only on day five. So far, it was the hardest day for me. It was about being rude in your marriage. The discussion questions at the end of the chapter tore me apart. I ended up crying and saying I just can't do this. I left the bedroom and sat in the living room, crying my heart out. I didn't expect him to come after me.

In the past when I cried he would only get more angry and frustrated with me. Last night he came to me, held me, and told me it was okay. That we'd get through this. He said we had to work through the hard stuff to get to the good stuff. He said he would never give up on me, on us. Honestly, I didn't know he loved me like this. If our situation was reversed, I'm not sure I would be so understanding.

I'm not sure what's going to happen with my marriage, but I feel more positive today than I have in years.

In case you're wondering, these were the questions that we each had to answer and then discuss:

1. How does your spouse feel about the way you act and speak around them?
2. How does your behavior affect your mate's sense of worth and self-esteem?
3. Would your husband or wife say you're a blessing, or that you're condescending and embarrassing?

Then there are the three guidelines for etiquette in a marriage. Just so you know, I have broken all three, consistently, for 20 years.

1. Guard the Golden Rule. Treat your mate the same way you want to be treated.
2. No double standards. Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and your coworkers.
3. Honor requests. Consider what your husband or wife already asked you to do or not do. If in doubt, then ask.

About my eating and exercise

Yesterday was a horrible eating day for me. I've been feeling like I'm starving, and wanting to eat everything in sight. I'm sure it's my emotional roller coaster that's causing these feelings. I want comfort and love and I think I can find it in food. It's a stupid line of thinking and one I'm trying to stop.

I'm still tracking my Points. Yesterday was a 42 Point day. Yeah, I know, horrible when my goal is 29 total Points a day (20 + 4APs + 5 Weeklies).

I feel a little more in control today. I weighed this morning and I'm down 3.2 pounds from Wednesday. Still up over seven pounds from my lowest weight. It's a struggle.

Exercise is good. I'm putting in an hour a day, six days a week. I'm thinking about cutting back to five days a week. That sounds healthier and more maintainable. Plus I want my weekends to be free. I want to let up on some of my obsessive, compulsive habits. I want to be more normal.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I just want to be normal. Is that too much to ask?

Note: I weighed this morning, 3/18, on my home scale. Wearing the attire I wear when I weigh in at Weight Watchers, my workout clothes. My scales are very accurate. The sad truth...I weigh 165.4, for a gain of 10.8 pounds. Ouch. I guess I do eat my emotions. 

I promised myself that I'd go to a Weight Watcher's meeting tonight. Instead, I decided to take my sorry, fat ass to the gym for a one-hour workout, that turned into an hour and 45 minutes, plus 10 minutes of cool down. 

My lungs were on fire during my hour of elliptical, and I didn't feel as strong as normal lifting weights for 45 minutes, but I did it. I also did some boy push ups on that half ball thingie, with the rounded side down so you're completely unstable. It's so hard, killer hard. Okay, so I only did eight, but it was the first time I'd tried them. Every night I'd watch this beautiful, really fit young woman do them and think one of these nights I'm going to try that. Tonight was the night.

Since I didn't go to Weight Watchers tonight, tomorrow I'm stepping on my incredibly accurate scales here at home. I need to see the damage, face the music. I suspect a "Holy Crap!" will be in order.

I was sick and apparently decided to feed this cold. Of course, who am I kidding. It started way before I was sick, the not counting Points, eating more than I should. My jeans told me the truth today and there's no denying I've gained weight. 

Do normal weight people ever just randomly gain five or six pounds? I suspect that's going to be the damage. I wonder how they do it. How do they just eat "normally" every day without putting a lot of thought into it and not gain weight?

Most of the people I work with are thin  or normal weight. They don't count Points or calories or fat grams. They seem to eat what they want, when they want to eat it. They're mostly men, mid-thirties, early forties. There are a few women too, but they don't have a problem either. I've asked them about it, but they said they just don't think about it. Some of them exercise, but most of them don't. I just don't understand why it's such a problem for me and not a problem for them. 

This whole healthy lifestyle consumes me. What I'm eating, when I'm eating it, how much I'm eating, how many Points did I eat, how many Points do I have left for the day. It's a constant barrage in my head, always thinking about food.

I think that's why I've gained some weight these last couple of weeks. Part of me is rebelling. It's been over a year of doing this and honestly, I'm kind of sick to death of this whole thing. 

I just want to be a normal person when it comes to food. I don't want it to be all-consuming. Unfortunately, I don't think that's an option for me. I guess there are worse crosses to bear in life. I'm not diabetic, and I don't have cancer. I just have to worry about what I eat. Suck it up Diana. It's my lot in life.


What I Ate

In an attempt to be more honest about what I'm eating, I'll start posting my tracking journal here.

Tuesday 3/17 --- I looked at the food I consumed today and see some major problems. I'm not following the Healthy Eight Guidelines and too many snacks. I get 19 Daily Points, and usually eat all my APs and my Weeklies, for a total of 28 Points a day. The Luna Bar and the sugar-free cocoa were unusual. I don't usually eat either of these. I'm really not sure what's going on with me and my food.

Because I've obviously been eating too much lately, tonight I'm cutting myself off at 21 Points. I'm more tired than hungry right now, so it's not a big deal for tonight.



1 hour Elliptical
45 minutes upper body workout (some new exercises per this 'get Michelle Obama's arms'article)

Per heart rate monitor burned 648 calories

The tracker said 5 APs. Somehow, that doesn't seem right.

Not feeling like a hot mama? Then head to your local Safeway.

Today I'm feeling less than sexy, totally not cute and kind of down on myself, mentally and physically. I'm sure part of it is not working out for three days in a row since I've been sick, and part of it is knowing I've gained at least five pounds. I can feel it in my jeans. Plus my nose is red and raw from the cold, I'm having a bad hair day, and I hate this stupid green top I'm wearing that looks like a maternity shirt (stupid St. Patrick's Day attire).

I didn't even pack a lunch this morning. I seriously can't remember the last time I didn't bring my lunch or have plans to eat out. I headed to Safeway at lunch to get some fresh fruit, Pacific Curried Red Lentil soup, a crown of broccoli and some turkey.

The guys at Safeway made my day. First the guy in the produce section, helping me pick out the perfect container of strawberries, making small talk about the weather. He was young but sweet and attentive.

Then there was the Safeway guy just walking through the store, asking me if I needed help. I told him I forgot what I was looking for, but I'd remember in a second. He stood there and waited...then I remembered...the soup. As he escorted me to the soup aisle, he commented on my green top and how he couldn't pinch me. When I found my soup he said that was his favorite too.

Then there was the guy stacking the bags of tortillas and the guy helping him, they teased me that darn, she's wearing the green. One of them said, well, we'll catch you on our holiday, Cino de Mayo. Then he winked at me!

I know they're just doing their job and that Safeway pays them to flirt with the ladies so the ladies will shop there and buy more stuff. On the other hand, it was fun. They made me smile and laugh. Plus the sun is out today, plus, I'm going to knock off whatever weight I've gained in no time flat. Nothing like a little guy attention to get a girl motivated again.

What's not to love about lasagna?

I feel much better this morning! Woohoo!

I'm already up and ready to hit the shower and my day and my life. I'm even packing my gym bag and hoping I'll be able to get in a workout after work. At the very least, I can do the elliptical. I still have sniffles, but I don't feel too bad.

Work is going to be stressful today. Plus, I tried to remote into my work computer at 5am to finish up a couple things and it says my computer can't be found. I hate it when that happens. It usually means it froze on me during the night and is going to need a hard reboot when I get in. I hope I saved everything before I fell into bed at midnight. Piece of crap computer.

Back to my healthy eating today. I haven't counted Points or been doing the Healthy Eight for three days. I had a real meal last night of marinated salmon and roasted Brussels Sprouts with olive oil.

Unfortunately, my husband made lasagna last night. So I had a serving for dessert after my healthy meal. I'm like Garfield when it comes to lasagna, it's one of my big downfalls. The cheese, the white pasta, the beef (he didn't even use turkey!). I know, it's disgusting. Shame on me. I was weak and couldn't say no. At least I got it out of my system.

Back to my life.
Update: Holy crap! I'm sitting here in my size 10 jeans that were loose two weeks ago and I have a muffin top! And the jeans feel tight and I feel fat! OMG! I'm only freaking out a little...okay...a lot! WTF have I done? True, I haven't stepped on the scale for a week, but I was only up two pounds then. I haven't been counting Points or going to my Weight Watcher meetings. What the hell have I done?!. Okay, breathe deeply. I know at this weight even five pounds is a huge amount of weight to gain. I'm going to check out the next meeting and go, even if it's tonight.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Still sick

Even after sleeping almost 24 hours straight with the help of Nyquil and a variety of other cold medications, I still feel lousy. I'm sneezing and coughing and sweating. That's the part I hate the worse, sweating when I'm not even moving. I feel gross and miserable...poor me!

I'm staying home from work, although I'll have to work part of the day from home. I have a presentation to give on Wednesday and it's not finished. 

I can't remember the last time I ate a regular meal. Maybe Saturday morning? Anyway, I'm going to get back to regular meals and counting Points. Yesterday was tomato soup and some Weight Watcher ice cream bars. Not exactly a healthy menu.

No gym today and that's killing me. This is day number three of not working out. That's the most days I've missed consecutively since February 2008. If I feel better later today, I might go for a walk. Although the weather looks horrible. No spring days here. Just cold and wet and dark skies...stupid Pacific Northwest.

Instead of working out I did look at some online videos on how to get Michelle Obama's arms. I need to mix up my arm routine since it's getting stale. I'll give these exercises a try during my next workout, which will hopefully be tomorrow.

Now that my head feels like it's going to explode, I'm going back to bed for a nap. Breakfast doesn't seem that important right now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We can go to the moon, why can't we cure the common cold?!

I came down with a miserable cold yesterday afternoon. I feel like hell. Last week at my physical I had a pneumonia shot in one arm and a flu shot in the other arm. Why can't they come up with a cold shot?  

I skipped the St. Paddy's Day Dash today (it was snowing anyway and I do have my limits), and I'm not going to the gym. Right now I'm going back to bed. 

The only good thing about getting sick is that I'm not one bit hungry. Maybe I'll lose a few pounds.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Public speaking and weight loss, how do they relate?

Through the Toastmasters organization I attended a lecture tonight given by Lance Miller. He is the 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking and beat out 28,000 other speakers from 90 countries to become the world champion. I was in the front row and was mesmerized during the two-hour lecture, as was every member of the audience. 

If you have a fear of public speaking and are put in public speaking situations, you need to join Toastmasters. It's an organization that teaches you how to overcome your fears and lets you practice and hone your public speaking skills. With practice comes perfection. The group I belong to is amazing, they're supportive, helpful and a really great group of people.

I spent some time chatting with Lance before and after his speech. I was very impressed with him. He's not just a great speaker, but he's a very interesting person. He told us and showed us how to win over your audience and how to win a speech contest. It was probably the best two hours of my entire week. Okay, I had a shitty week, but even if it had been a good week, I would still say the same thing.

If you've read this far I'm pretty sure you're asking yourself, why the hell is she talking about public speaking on a weight loss blog? You're probably thinking that's apples and oranges Missy. 

Lance said something that really hit home with me. Actually, he said a lot of things that were pretty cool, but the one thing that I could really translate to weight loss was about how he became a world champion. 

He talked about how he started in 1992 with Toastmasters and how it took him 13 years of giving speeches to get it right. He kept perfecting his skills, trying different things, until finally, he figured out what worked for him. He never gave up, even when he failed miserably. He said he learned the most from the contests he didn't win, and he was in a lot of contests in 13 years prior to finally winning in 2005.

It was literally like a light bulb went off in my head. I thought, damn, I think I finally got it right, this whole losing weight thing that I've been working at for the last 35 years (starting with that five pounds I wanted to lose when I was 13). I've honed my skills and figured out what works for me. All those past diets were just contests where I failed, but with each diet I learned a little something, things that worked and things that didn't work. 

Case in point, before the speech we had dinner at Azteca, a local Mexican restaurant where the food is good and the serving size is enough to feed at least three growing adults. I ordered chicken fajitas. When our waitress brought out two huge plates of food that was my dinner, I asked for a takeout box. Before even starting to eat I transferred two thirds of my food to the box. I ate what was left on my plate and didn't feel deprived. 

I get it. I finally understand that this is how I'll be eating the rest of my life. I feel like I finally have it figured out. Each day is a contest for me, seeing if I can get it right, and I think I'm on my way to a championship!
My St. Paddy's Day Dash Pray

Please Dear God, tell me why in heaven must you make it rain every freaking year on the St. Paddy's Day Dash? For three years I have run or walked 5k in the rain. The freezing, cold, miserable, God awful rain. 

I have three horrible photos of me crossing the finish line looking like a drowned rat. This year looks like it'll be another similar day. What the hell? Do you have something against the Irish? Please, give us a break tomorrow, us and about 20,000 other people as we run through downtown Seattle. Let the sun shine on us. Just this once. Is that too much to ask?

My 2008 St. Paddy's Day Dash picture, which looks just like the 2007
and 2006 pictures and probably the soon to be 2009 picture. That's
my friend Cindy running with me. We were both  totally drenched.   

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The stress side affect -- ravenous hunger

That insatiable, all-consuming hunger is back and in full force. It's taking every ounce of my willpower and inner strength to not stuff my face with food. I've been fighting every second of today about what I was eating and how much I was eating.

Even though I love my new job responsibilities, the pressure is on to have my project plan mapped out by tomorrow. The week has been crazy busy and it's not done. I should be working on it right now, but I'm so tired I can barely stay awake. 

Add some stress on the home front and well, I was just about ready to succumb to those doughnuts the manager brought in this morning. Maple bars, my weakness. 

At lunch my healthy curried red lentil soup with turkey and fresh broccoli just didn't look that appealing to me, it didn't represent the comfort I needed. I thought about running out to get something different, something "bad" for me, which is something I never do. Instead, I ate my soup and worked at my desk.

I guess it's the body's natural desire to relieve stress however it thinks fit, and mine seems to think food will work miracles. Deep down inside I know it'll only make things worse. It always has in the past. I get stressed, eat to be comforted and wind up in an upward spiraling weight gain. I've done it over and over during my life. 

This is my danger area, the time when I get weak and lose my focus. Damn it, not this time! This time is going to be different. I haven't lost any weight for the last two weeks, but I haven't gained any either, just holding steady. It's time to get serious and get my butt in gear. Well, my butt is in gear for exercise, I'm good with that part. It's the food, I'm eating clean, but still not tracking an entire day. I haven't for at least a week. I track until 4pm, then I quit. Every freaking day!

Tomorrow's goal, track my food for one entire day. Just one. The ravenous hunger, I'll just have to deal with it until it dies down. Embrace it until I squeeze it to death. <---spoken like a woman under a wee bit of stress. 

Note:  I added a picture link to the right. It mortifies me to see pictures of myself at my highest weight. I still can't believe how bad I looked. Why didn't I see myself like how I really looked? 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Appreciating the imperfect body

No wonder I have body image issues. Look at the woman I thought I was suppose to look like when I was 21 years old. Normal women don't have perfect bodies like Farah, or her perfect hair or her perfect smile. I remember when I had my long, straight hair cut to look like Farah's hair (the shag, for those of that remember such things). I had braces as a teenager so I had perfect teeth, but I never came close to her perfect body.

I wasn't fat when I was 21, I weighed around 132. I wanted to weigh about 125 because I thought I was fat. I'm 5' 6 1/2" tall. I was stupid. Now I'd give anything to have that slightly imperfect 21-year old body.

In about five weeks I'm going to be wearing a swimsuit. Since my body image basically sucks, this worries me a little. Please don't misunderstand me, I've come a long way in accepting my body as it is, with its loose skin and wrinkles. I appreciate my healthy body a lot more now than when I was 21. I'm healthier than when I was 21. I feel more fit and athletic, and very energetic.

There's a lot about my body I like now. For the first time in my life, I actually feel okay about my body. I appreciate my curves, how my waist is much smaller than my hips. I like my smallish breasts and the square shape of my shoulders. I'm even starting to like my arms, I can see muscle where there use to just be flab.

Unfortunately, I tend to focus on the negative when it comes to my body. It's hard not to when I think about wearing a swimsuit in five weeks. I tried on my tankini (stupid word) from when I went to Las Vegas last summer, which was about 17 pounds ago . It doesn't hide anything. It lays it all out there for the world to see. That's what makes me uncomfortable. Being judged.

Why on earth do I care what anyone thinks about my body? It's just a stupid shell of the real me. It's the stuff on the inside that counts, right? Yet I put too much value on other people's opinions of me. Men and women. Do they think I look okay? Am I cute? Do I look sexy? Seriously, I shouldn't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks about me. But I do. Sadly, I care about this too much.

So in five weeks I'll put on a swimsuit and wear it in front of strangers. Yes, I'll do it, and I'll try not to give a damn what they think about me. I'll try to appreciate my body for what it is, imperfect but very healthy. There could be worse things.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The physical

It's official, I'm healthy as a horse! I had my physical today and for the first time in years I didn't get the "you need to lose weight" speech. 

Plus, my doctor took me off my blood pressure medication. I'd sort of stopped taking it anyway. I'd take it sometimes, if I remembered. Most of the time I forgot about it. I know that wasn't very smart, but I knew my blood pressure was fine. I own a blood pressure machine and actually would take my own blood pressure a couple times a month. Now I have the good doctor's blessing to stop the medication.

The medication was a mild dieuretic, in the lowest dosage possible. I didn't take it this morning and my blood pressure was 116/62 this afternoon-- which is awesome! When I weighed 240 it was 180/110, which is ridiculously dangerous. Scary dangerous. I didn't exercise then either, not at all, except moving my hand to my mouth. Now I work out a minimum of six hours a week, usually more.
I swear I will NEVER go back to that weight or that lifestyle again. It's like night and day between how I felt then and how I feel now, and now is so much better!

Because you never know what life is going to throw your way

I've been given a great opportunity on my job, one that will take me in a whole different direction in my career. I'm excited!

My actual job is in IT as a software developer. When I started this career path nine years ago it was because I was sick to death of people. I'd worked at the airport for years, listening to whiny, crybaby passengers, and I just couldn't take it anymore. IT sounded perfect to me, sitting in a cubicle all day, creating software, no one bothering me. The truth, it's boring as hell. Turns out that I actually like people. I miss them. 

The new opportunity is project management, with lots of interaction with a lot of new people. This particular project involves a lot of traveling, which guess what, I also like. I work for an airline, traveling is in my blood. 

Which brings me to the title of my post. If this opportunity had arisen a year ago, which was when I decided I really didn't like sitting in a cubicle all day, all by myself, I would have had to turn it down. At 240 pounds the thought of traveling, sitting on an airplane for hours, would have horrified me. Meeting new people, oh God no! My self-confidence was at an all time low. I felt ugly, mentally and physically. 

So once again, I realize that you need to be prepared for whatever life sends your way, climbing a rock wall, snowshoeing in a blizzard for almost four hours, or traveling extensively and meeting new people. You need to be ready. Guess what? I'm ready to take it all on.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Caught in a blizzard

Ironically, that could be the title of my life, but in actuality it was what happened yesterday during our third snowshoeing adventure in three weeks. There had been 18 inches of new snow in the past 48 hours at Crystal Mountain, with warnings of a snowstorm coming in during the afternoon. 

When the snowstorm hit we were about two hours out on the trail, and it was tough going. I voted to turn back at least ten different times, but my husband told me "just a little bit farther and then we can turn back". 

Three and half hours later and 633 calories burned (heart rate monitor), we were finally done. He thought it was exciting, I was on the verge of miserable. Cold, wet, and tired. With the wind blowing sideways, snow was hitting my eyes, practically blinding me. My face felt frozen, and my fingers, inside of gloves guaranteeing warmth at subzero temperatures, felt slightly frostbitten. I checked the temperature later and it was 26, but felt like 17 with the wind chill. Yeah, good times.

In the midst of the storm, standing in front of a thing 
they use to shoot off cannons to stimulate avalanches. 

I thought this picture was really weird. A giant snowflake, 
right in front of the camera lens, centered perfectly on my
face. Kind of spooky. Maybe a sign of a dead woman

You can't really see the giant hill behind me, but you can see 
the ski lifts to the left. We trekked up this hill to get to 
some paths through the woods, where our snowshoes sunk 
down about two feet. I guess because the snow was so powdery,
the snowhoes weren't working quite as expected. Like I thought
the purpose of snowshoes was to stay "on top" of the snow, not
 sink down two feet into it! 
Funny end to this story. My husband returned the rented snowshoes to Joe's Sports Store today (formerly G.I. Joe's). He came home all excited with his new purchases. Two brand new pair of Tubbs' snowshoes and poles. He said they were 50% off and he couldn't resist, from a mere $400 to only $200. Now we can go snowshoeing all weekend, every weekend. Wahoo.

Think God spring is almost here. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Twelve inches!

Twelve inches of new snow at Crystal...you know where I'll be tomorrow! Snowshoeing again. Wahoo!