Sunday, May 30, 2010

Weekend musings

Who's counting Points?!

Yes! That would be ME! After two mediocre weigh-ins in a row, I decided it's seriously time to get my game on. Yesterday's weigh-in was a paltry 0.4 pound loss. I can do better than that!

Not counting my Points for two weeks resulted in a total loss of 1.2 pounds. I weigh 163.6. I've been up and down a few pounds from this for years!

Well, actually my four months of traveling last fall had me with a gain of 25 pounds, and I was up to 180.4 January 9, 2010, so in five months I've lost 17 pounds. I'm happy about that, but still, I really should be at goal. 

Exactly one year ago on May 31, 2009 I weighed in at 155.2. I honestly don't know what I've been doing the past year. Gaining, losing, gaining, losing. Semi-maintenance. Not a terrible thing, but darn it, I'm not at goal! This means I really shouldn't be in maintenance mode yet.

Big Results Require Big Changes

So this keeps popping back in my head. It's something my Weight Watcher leader has said over and over. If you want big results, you have to make big changes. I even read the same thing in a magazine lately (Shape, Women's Health or Weight Watchers - can't remember which).

This means I need to change things up. What I'm doing simply isn't working. I haven't been tracking my Points with gusto for months. I start the day, then I give up. Mainly because I'm pretty limited on Points now. I get 20, and even though I eat all of my 35 weeklies, it just doesn't feel like much food. I think I don't track my food because then it makes it easier to cheat.

I usually track my food on-line on line, at work and at home. I also carry the 3-month tracking journal in my purse, and I have the Weight Watchers mobile app on my Blackberry - there is simply no reason not to track. Other than I'm lazy, and I have a secret desire to cheat.

So I have a new tactic. I'm eating almost all Filling Foods. This is the suggestion of my Weight Watcher leader, Janis (who I totally LOVE!). I'm still tracking, not quite ready to give that up, but when you look at my tracker, it's almost entirely green diamond foods. It's true what they say, they do help with a feeling of fullness.

I'm still off added sugar 100%. I almost gave in after hearing about the new pretzel-chocolate-caramel 2-Point bars at Weight Watchers. How they're the best ever bar Weight Watchers has ever made. I was in line with a box in my hand, I glanced at the label. First ingredient, enriched wheat flour (bad, never eat anything with the word "enriched" in front of it), second ingredient, SUGAR. OH MY FREAK! NO! I quickly put the box back on the shelf and left. That stuff would be crack for me. Pure and simple, I'm a sugar addict. I can't have it in my possession.

Amp Up Your Activity!

This week's Weight Watcher topic was Amp Up Your Activity. Anyway who reads my blog knows I'm a gym rat. I hit the gym six days a week, every week unless I'm out out town.

Lately though, my workouts have been kind of lackluster. My heart (literally) just hasn't been into working out. I go, I do my thing, but sometimes I don't give it my all. Sometimes I do it half-hearted. Sometimes I even leave the gym early, before my minimum required hour is completed.

Last week I made an effort to try swimming. That didn't work out too well for me. I kind of hated it. So that's off my list.

Yesterday's workout was fabulous. I did an hour of cardio, a new weekend rule for me. An hour of cardio and 40 minutes of strength on the weekends. I have the time, and yesterday I had the desire. It was probably my best workout in weeks.

Preferably I'd like to be outside on my bike, but our weather here in the Northwest sucks lately. As soon as I see some sun, I'll be back on my bike. Right now it looks like it's going to downpour any second. It's been like this for weeks, and the forecast is more of the same. I'm so jealous reading every one's blogs about the great weather they're having. Even Fairbanks, Alaska is having weather in the high 70's with sun. What the heck?


I'm not sure why or when this happened, but I've kind stopped posting on my blog on a consistent basis. I know it's key and what's helped me keep on track for the past three years. It's essential I post something every day.

 Not being accountable is my downfall. I can hide a 5-pound gain from my husband, but I can't hide it from you. Weird how that works, but that's just me. I feel the strange need to be 100% honest here about my struggles, my failures, my successes. People who only know me through this blog, know more about my daily struggles with weight than anyone in my non-blog world.

My goal weight?

Not sure why I'm wordier than normal today. Maybe because I'm hyped up that I'm determined to get to goal. I'm not even sure what my goal is going to be. It was 135 pounds when I started, but as I get closer and this gets harder, I'll have to see where I land.

Technically at my height, 5' 6", Weight Watchers high end of the scale for a healthy weight is 155. That's tempting, but it's not where I want to be. My goal has always been a size 8, but truthfully, size 8's are a lot bigger these days than when I started trying to lose weight 30 years ago.

Truthfully, I love the idea of losing 100 pounds, which would be 139. I guess I'll have to see how it goes.


Mickey, helping me enter my food into the online tracker. So cute. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Maybe swimming isn't for me

I tried something different this morning. I did my normal cardio workout (intervals), today it was the elliptical for thirty five minutes, then a few lower body weights for about twenty minutes, then swimming again, for only twenty minutes.

The reason for only twenty minutes of swimming:  I almost drowned in five foot of water. I'm serious.

While I was in the middle of my fifth lap of doing the backstroke, I somehow flung a bunch of water up my nose as I was inhaling. I panicked, started coughing, choking, and gasping for air. I tried to stand up but couldn't touch the bottom of the pool. My mind couldn't register this because I was sure the pool was four foot, even in the deepest area. I'm 5' 6", I should have been able to stand up and touch bottom.

There were only two other people in the pool with me, swimming the lanes on each side of me. As I coughed and choked, they kept swimming. I grabbed onto the plastic rope that separates the lanes and gathered my composure. I was mainly embarrassed, and a little bit afraid. Then I saw the sign on the edge of the pool next to me. It said "5 Ft.". Okay. I can touch the bottom. I stood up, on my toes, with my head tilted back and quietly walked a few feet until I was in the four foot area. I swam a few more laps but I'd lost my momentum.

After the pool I went into the dry sauna for six minutes (thermometer said it was 205F degrees...I think it must have been broken). Then I went into the steam room for six minutes.

All day I was absolutely physically exhausted. It wasn't a hard workout so I'm not sure why I was (and still am) so wiped out.

Someone recently told something that's making me rethink this whole swimming thing. They said recent research has shown older people are happier people. The reason is because older people have figured out what they like to do and what they don't like. Now that they're older they focus on just the stuff they like, and forget the stuff they don't like.

I've never liked swimming. I don't like water in my face in up my nose, or the taste of chlorine. I don't like wearing a swimsuit. I don't like the fear I get that I could drown in five feet of water. I don't like that I can't wear my heart rate monitor or my iPod. I don't like the silence. I don't like other people in the water with me. I don't like that it's so hard for me and that it hurts. I don't like it that I don't like. Everyone loves swimming, right?

What do you think? Should I just forget about the swimming? Maybe I should try an aerobics class or something else? My gym has spinning classes, but only at noon, so that's not an option. In my twenties aerobics was all the rage, high impact aerobics. Remember "no pain, no gain"? I must have heard that a hundred times in all those stupid step aerobic classes I took in the 80's.

I really need to do something different. The gym with it's daily grind is losing it's charm. I go, but I don't go enthusiastically. At least not lately. Maybe when and if it ever stops raining around here in this hell hole called the Pacific Northwest, I can get back to riding my bike. I just need something new, but maybe not swimming.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Like a fish out of water

That's how my swimming went today. You know, when a poor fish is on dry land, flopping and flipping around, gasping for air. Well, that was me, but I was in the water.

Talk about being out of my comfort zone. Now I totally remember why I quit swimming at the gym a couple years ago, it was because I'm not good at it. I tend to avoid things I'm not good at doing. I swallowed a lot of pool water the first twenty minutes as I attempted to keep my face in the water, then turn to side for air. Turns out I can't hold my breath for more than ten seconds without the fear of drowning overcoming me.

Then Mr. Olympian swimmer had to join me in the pool. I mean, it was 5:15 a.m. for heaven's sake, why wasn't he home sleeping? He was a really good swimmer and got in the lane right next to me, and he was a show off. For every lap I did, he did two. It was slightly embarrassing.

After about six laps of the pool, I finally gave in and did the backstroke. I'm pretty good at it and had read some tips in the Women's Health Magazine on form for the backstroke. I really got into it, tightening my abs, reaching straight up at a 45 degree angle and back as far as I could, twisting my core  slightly with each stroke. It felt like a good workout, but I had to rest after every four laps because I could barely breathe. It was like I was completely out of shape.

I managed a total of 25 laps and I think the pool is 25 meters long. That's not great, but my goal was only twenty. I was in the pool 50 minutes, so although that's not a very long workout, it felt like hours with all that of huffing and puffing and inhaling water. Seriously, it was like my first time on the StairMaster or on the elliptical, except I had the added bonus of drowning. 

I think Roxie is right and I need a lesson or two on how to swim. At this point I can't say I loved it because it was really difficult. Especially with all that water in my nose and mouth. Also my right ear was plugged with water most of the day.

I'm not sure this is the right exercise for me, but I'll probably do it a couple times a week, but in conjunction with some strength training. My back and shoulders are sore in places they're usually not sore so I know I worked a few new muscles that I don't normally use. 

Today was a major hungry day for me, and I went way over my Points. All healthy food, a ton of fresh vegetables and fruits, fresh halibut and a handful of those delicious, calorie/fat laden hazelnuts my husband bought last week. I asked him to get a few at the bulk foods. By a few I meant maybe 1/4 cup. I want to make a really delicious salad we had in Denver at the Spicy Pickle. It's called the Forest and had hazelnuts, along with sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, onions and Portabella mushrooms, and chunks of roasted chicken on a bed of fresh spinach. Sprinkled with...roasted hazlenuts and served with a Balsamic vinaigrette. Really yummy.

He came  home with three freaking pounds of hazelnuts. Why?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ready, Set, Go Swimming!

Tomorrow morning I'll be swimming to get in my cardio exercise. It's been at least two years since I went swimming in the pool at the gym.

In February 2008 when I started Weight Watchers and made a dedication to exercise, I would get in the pool at the gym a couple times a week, but I never felt like I was getting a good workout. After a few months I gave up swimming for the StairMaster and the elliptical for my cardio workout. I'm a nut about my heart rate, and addicted to my heart rate monitor (as well as my music).

Lately I've been feeling a little bored and tired of the elliptical, cross-ramp, StairMaster, and the hated treadmill. I'm adding in swimming to make things a little more interesting.

I have my swimsuit laid out, along with a pair of sweatpants to throw on in the morning. My swim cap, goggles, swim shoes and towel are all packed in my workout bag.

For some bizarre reason I'm a little nervous. It's totally silly, but it's been a while since I actually got in the pool. I know there's never anyone there at 5 a.m., and it's not even the fear of wearing a swimsuit in front of strangers. It's just because it's something different and something I haven't done every day for two and half years. I could do the StairMaster or elliptical blindfolded. Swimming seems like it takes talent.

I'm not a strong swimmer, but I don't have a big fear of the water either. Having grown up in Alaska there wasn't a lot of opportunity to go swimming (short summers and ice cold lake water), so I've never been really comfortable being in deep water.

My breathing technique is something I really need to work on. I sort of taught myself how to swim over the years, and have never had an actual swim lesson. My husband has taught me a few things too. He's like a fish in the water, he was a scuba instructor when I met him. It was his passion back then and he's still a really strong swimmer.

There's a great article in the June 2010 Women's Health, "Swim Your Butt Off". I can't find it online yet, but it has a lot of tips on how swimming can be a really good workout. The line I like best is where they describe the swimmer's body. "Runners have the legs. Yoga chicks have the abs. Swimmers, well, they've got the whole package."

Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A bad weighin but I deserved it

I gained 1.4 pounds this past week. My weighin was 164.0. A total loss of 75.2 in twenty-seven months. I've hit the 75-pounds lost milestone so many times, coming and going, that's it's meaningless now.

I'm still happy about the 75 pounds lost, but when am I going to lose the last 25 pounds? I should be there by now, at goal. Living my happy life.
I'm disappointed in myself. I didn't even try to stay on plan last week. The only thing I did right was exercise six days, an hour to an hour and a half each day. I didn't eat any junk or have any binges this past week, but I basically ate when I was hungry. It was healthy, nutritious food, no sugar, but I ate too much.

Unfortunately, I think it's my lot in life to be a little hungry a lot of the time. I can't eat every time I feel hungry, because I'm always a little hungry. It's just a fact of my life, and one I have to accept, hunger is and will be part of my life.

This week I'm going to try harder. The main thing I have to do is get back to tracking my Points (which I've done today!). I'm not sure why I quit, other than it's boring, and I sort of don't want to do it anymore. Really  it's not optional for me. I haven't figured out how to not count Points and lose weight.

Today at Weight Watchers our leader had each of us set a weight loss goal for five weeks from today. I wanted to make my goal ten pounds, but I know I can't consistently lose two pounds a week. Not at this point in the game. I've set my goal at eight pounds in five weeks, or 1.6 pounds per week. That would put me at 156 pounds by June 26. Sounds doable, right?

Great recipe
Tonight's dinner was Halibut with Balsamic Glaze. Very simple and easy and absolutely delicious. I love Alaskan halibut (wild caught of course). I didn't use honey in the recipe, but I substituted Agave instead, and only used one tablespoon. Since the marinade and glaze was just Balsamic vinegar and one tablespoon of Agave, I only counted the Points of the halibut (6 ounces cooked is 5 Points and so yummy).

Movie review:  Avatar
All I can say is that it wasn't nearly as horrible as I expected. In fact, I kind of enjoyed it. Definitely worth the $1.19 from Redbox. My first Redbox rental and so easy, since I'm horrible at ordering from Netflix (my husband is the Netflix pig) this is a nice alternative.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lab results from the thyroid biopsy

No thyroid cancer! Woohoo!

I was pretty sure I didn't have thyroid cancer. Everything I read indicated it would be okay, 95% of these nodules are benign (but I had several), and if the thyroid is functioning properly (mine is fine) then there's even less chance of cancer.

When my doctor called today to give me the results I was a little nervous. Because I thought the technician that did my ultrasound that is deaf but sweet as can be, told me, or I thought she told me, that they would mail the results if it was good news and call me if it was bad news. So when I got the call I had a mini-panic attack and thought the call meant bad news.

It's all good and I guess I shall live a little longer. At least I don't have thyroid cancer which is definitely a good thing.

The only thing that concerns me now is seeing the endocrinologist. Since I have so many nodules on my thyroid there's some medication they want to give me to help stop them from growing and possibly shrink them. If they continue to grow they could become cancerous, or I could wind up with a big, ugly goiter on my neck (wouldn't that just suck?).

I've worked to hard to be off of any kind of medication, except my asthma meds (Advair), but I rarely even use it anymore. I've been off my blood pressure medicine for over a year. Oh well, I guess it's just part of life, getting older and things start going haywire. Even if I do have to take thyroid medication for the nodules it would be better than cancer or an ugly goiter growing out the side of my neck. Things could be worse.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why I exercise

I'm just about ready to fall into bed. I've been sneezing and sniffling all night, allergies I think so I took a Benadryl. At least I'll be able to sleep. Waking up may be a different matter.

To Anonymous:  thank you so much for the book review on Insomniac by Gayle Green. I just ordered it from Amazon and can't wait to get it. Maybe it'll change my life too!

To Jenni in Seattle (Jenni's Health Journey):  I love your blog and would love to post a comment but for some reason I can't. When I click on post comments it won't let me. I hope you see this!

Why I exercise

I've been thinking about this one for a while, exactly why do I exercise almost every day? If someone asks me I give them the normal reasons, it's good for my health, it helps me lose weight and I can eat more. I feel better, my clothes fit better. All the normal reasons. I never really tell anyone the real reason I feel compelled to climb out of a warm, cozy bed every morning at 4:30am and head for the gym.

It's because I have very low self-confidence. It's something I've suffered from my entire life. I've never felt smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough, funny enough. I've just never felt like I was "enough" of anything good. Even when I was in high school and weigh 135 pounds at 5' 6" I never felt skinny enough (or smart enough or pretty enough or...well, you get the picture).

It's been a life long battle to try to convince myself that I am good enough, but it's a tough thing to make myself believe. That's why I exercise at least an hour a day, at least six days a week.

It's like a little miracle happens to me every day at the gym. I work out hard, I lift fairly heavy weights for a woman. 20 and 25-pound dumbbells, 75 pound lat pulldowns, I go as heavy as I can manage with the weights and do 40 minutes strength, 30-40 minutes cardio. I do three sets of each strength exercise, a minimum of six exercises, upper one day, lower the next. I do crazy cardio workouts, drenching my body in sweat.

While I'm working out I feel completely in control, and I feel a little...well...I'll be honest. I feel like the cool girl. I know it's silly and I know it's "just" exercise, but I'm proud of myself for how hard I've worked the past 2 1/2 years, and how hard I exercise every morning.

It's gives me self-confidence. Not that I think I'm "all that", but I feel like a normal person. It's like hey, I exercise and I exercise hard. If I can do this then I can accomplish a lot.

When I walk into a room full of people now I always stand up straight, shoulders back, head high, eye contact. I use to slunk into meetings at work, barely making eye contact with anyone. When I had to lead a meeting, it was a form of hell. I felt like everyone was looking at me thinking what a fat, lazy slob I was, and that I must be totally stupid to let myself look like I did at 240 pounds.

It's so different now. I feel so different. Having some self-confidence is a new thing to me. And I like it. A lot. So that's really why I exercise and why I'll never stop. The other stuff is just icing on the cake.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Still dragging but hanging on

It's late, 10:14 p.m. as I write this post. I promised myself I'd post every day this week, like I've done for the past two years. Except for the past month, I've barely posted once a week. It's not like I'm out living a fabulous, fun-filled life, it's more like I'm just trying to stay afloat.

I continue to sleep the sleep of the damned, waking up several times during the night. I've tried all kinds of things, Ambien, Simply Sleep, meditation, quiet time before bed with Sleepytime tea, Melatonin, and sleep techniques I used when I worked a graveyard shift thirty years ago that always worked like a charm. NOTHING is working. Now it's to the point where the more I worry about it, the worse it's getting. I really don't want to go back to the doctor for a sleeping aid, but I'm not sure what else to do at this point. I just know it's kind of killing me. Everything is in shades of gray when I'm exhausted.

Even my workout this morning wasn't up to par. Usually I can fake my way through it, and I kind of did that this morning, although I seriously contemplated going home after five minutes. I made it through the hour but felt like I was climbing through mud when I was doing the StairMaster. It was as close to torture as I care to get.

One bright spot is I have to retire my size 12 slacks. I have several pairs that I bought last fall because I gained twenty pounds when I was doing all that traveling for work. I've almost lost all of it (19), and now my size 10's all fit. This is the first time in many decades that I'll start summer at the weight I was last summer, which is a weight after losing 75 pounds. Usually by now I would have regained all 75 pounds plus an extra 10-20 for good measure. Of course, I still want to lost another 20+ pounds. Will I ever be happy with my weight? Probably not.

I don't feel like I've beat this thing by any means, but I'm closer than I've ever been in my entire life on figuring this out.

Today a coworker, someone that's thin and at his healthy weight, made a comment when I said "I'm soooo hungry!". He listens to me all the time saying I'm hungry. He's always watching his weight, being very careful what he eats. I complained that some days it feels more out of control than others and today was a really hard day for me food wise. He just looked at me and smiled, he said "I've just accepted that being hungry sometimes is a fact of life." He's right, that's all it is, just a fact of life. Sometimes I'm hungry, and sometimes I'm not. It's just a fact.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Forget low energy, I have NO energy

I'm not sure what is wrong with me today but I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep forever. I'm exhausted and that's after eight hours of sleep last night. Maybe it's the twelve and half hours of flying in the last week and a half. Seattle-Denver-Seattle, Seattle-Dallas-Seattle, almost back to back.

I just feel like my life's blood has been sucked out of  me. I managed a really good workout last night at the gym. Thirty minutes on the StairMaster and fifty minutes of heavy strength training. I'm dressed right now for the gym but just the thought of exercising is exhausting me. I'm not sure how I'm going to actually get there and do a good workout.

In addition, I'm hungry! Sometimes I just have days where all I can think about is food. Today is one of those days. It's not even lunch yet, and I'm starving.

Tired and hungry is a really bad combination for me. It makes me feel weak and really susceptible to out-of-control eating. I guess today is going to be one of those "one minute at a time" kind of days.

I'm heading out to the gym and then run a few errands. My plan is to be home by 2pm so we can just relax before the work week starts. Maybe a nap is in my future. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I'm still alive!

It was a very busy week. Last weekend we were in Denver for my niece's graduation and got home on Sunday. Driving in to work Monday morning and thinking about all the things I needed to do at work that day it hit me, I had to go to Dallas on Wednesday and return Thursday night. Somehow I had totally forgotten about this trip.

The Dallas trip turned out to be fine. I was a bit apprehensive since I was traveling with a coworker that was fairly new to my team (one year), and I barely knew him other than a few casual conversations. We got to knew each other better and he's a really great guy. I think I've found a new friend on my team. It always amazes me the experiences people have had in life and what interesting lives they've led. John was no exception and has had a very fascinating life (formerly a musician traveling with famous rock bands and now a software developer - I had no idea).

Yesterday was my fine needle aspiration on my thyroid, which is a biopsy to check for cancer. 95% of the time these thyroid nodules are benign. I was prepared with  my eye mask, my noise canceling headphones and my iPod, and I was on Xanax. I won't say I didn't feel a thing, because I did, but it wasn't bad. It was more the idea of needles being stuck in my neck that was sort of causing me anxiety than the actual process.

The doctor told me he wanted to do six needles, but most people stop him at four. Six is the preferred number because each needle only gets one or two cells. After four needles (and I was counting) he lifted my headphones and said we've done four, can we go on and do six? I told him no problem, go for it, I was fine.

The weird thing he was doing is that the needle doesn't just go in and come out, but it goes in then he pumps the needle up and down several times. It didn't really hurt since I had a local anesthetic in my neck, but it didn't feel good either. I lost count but knew he'd done more than two additional needles.

When he was done he told me I was a real trooper and that he'd done twelve needles in my neck and thought he had gotten some really good samples to send to the lab. Again I told him it really wasn't that big of a deal and he said most people wouldn't agree with me. I'll get the results back next week. A phone call if it's serious, by mail if it's not serious.

The sweet nurse told me my neck was thin and long so it was easy for the doctor to get to my thyroid. A lot of people have short, thick necks and the thyroid sits down on the collarbone making it really hard for the needle to get to it. I never thought I had a long neck but apparently it's longer than most. I don't think that's really a compliment, but if it causes less pain for something like this then I'll happily live with my long, skinny neck.

Exercise this week hasn't been the best, with only two good workouts on Monday and Tuesday. I attempted working out in Dallas on Wednesday and Thursday but the hotel fitness center was tiny, the equipment kind of wobbly and rickety, and everything felt sticky from the humidity. Plus I was just totally exhausted. I attempted to work out both days and actually got on the elliptical but only last five minutes each time. It felt like it was going to fall over sideways. Plus it was hot, humid and I was tired.

Considering I was walking and standing up both days in the airport while I worked, I think I burned a few more calories than I would have if sitting at my desk all day.

I tried to eat healthy both days in Dallas, eating salads at T.G.I. Fridays, the only restaurant that had halfway decent food near our gate, having grilled chicken breast and double the broccoli at the hotel restaurant where I happen to know they serve the great Chicken Alfredo.

At the hotel I ate the free breakfast buffet, but skipped the gravy and biscuits with bacon (which my coworker ate), and had two boiled eggs, a banana, and a bowl of raisin bran with non-fat milk. I ate a tiny little 4 ounce non-fat yogurt and read the ingredients later. Corn syrup and 16 grams of sugar! My breakfast was 12 Points. I was somewhat horrified since I usually have a delicious 6 Point breakfast at home, but the damage was already done.

I weighed in this morning at 162.6. Not bad, almost a four pound loss since my last weigh-in of 166.4.

One thing I want to mention is that I don't have this all figured out. A couple posts ago I wrote this is my new normal, eating right and exercising. For the most part that's true.

Yet sometimes I still have moments where I feel really hungry and really want to eat massive amounts of unhealthy food. My guess is that this is similar to what smokers and alcoholics go through after they quit smoking or drinking. I have to fight the urge with all willpower when this happens. It's been weeks since I've had a serious binge (maybe months), but I know it could still happen at any time. I'll have to remain on guard the rest of my life.

I received a postcard from my Weight Watcher leader this week. It said "I'm so proud of you. Do this until you die!". My husband thought it sounded morbid, but I know she speaks the truth. I have to do this until I die. It's just a fact of life, and I'm okay with it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I waited two months to see the WRONG doctor! Seriously?!

After taking a Valium, and getting myself all worked up about my thyroid biopsy, the doctor told me, "Whoops! Looks like someone made a mistake. You're not suppose to see me, you're suppose to see the doctor that does the biopsies down where they do the ultrasounds. So sorry you waited two months for me but I'm not the person you need to see."

I took the day off work, took a Valium that's still making me feel light headed and nauseous, got myself in a tizzy just by thinking about needles being stuck in my neck, and all for nothing.

My doctor screwed up. She made the appointment for me with the doctor that removes the thyroid nodules, the surgeon! They need to do a biopsy first, before anything is removed.The doctor that does the biopsies doesn't have an opening until Friday. I was very unhappy since I just wanted to get the whole thing over with. I kept my cool and only said, "no worries, mistakes happen". Inside I'm thinking, gosh you guys are idiots. Don't you go to school for something like eight freaking years to be a big, important, and hopefully smart doctor? Don't you even know what doctor I need to see?

Oh well, the worst part of my day was the Valium. I've taken it before, but it's been years. It gave me a headache, and I feel really sick to my stomach. I think when I actually have the biopsy done on Friday I'll skip the Valium.

At least I had a really good workout in this morning before going to the doctor. My eating is good, and now I'm just super tired and still nauseous. I had chicken and Brussels sprouts for dinner, with Fage 0% Greek yogurt and blueberries for dessert. I actually feel sort of sick now so I think I'll go to bed early. Maybe it's the Valium, or maybe the stress of the day, either way I feel lousy.

Thank you everyone for all your well wishes. I'm sure it won't be a big deal when it finally happens. On Friday.

Dreading today

Today is the day I've been dreading for the last two months. A thyroid small needle aspiration biopsy will be performed on me this afternoon. Ugh!

Two months ago during my annual physical my new doctor noticed my thyroid was slightly swollen on one side. After an ultrasound, I was told my thyroid was full of "nodules". These are little growths that are very rarely cancerous (95% are benign). Just to be sure they want to stick six needles in my neck, and dig around to get samples for a biopsy.

They'll give me a local anethestic, but I'll be awake for the procedure. I'm really dreading this whole thing. I'm not really afraid of the results because I've read that thyroid cancer is very rare, but I'm afraid of the needles and the "digging around". I just have zero tolerance for pain and this sounds kind of painful to me. My breast biopsy a couple years ago hurt like heck, and this is my neck, which sounds a lot more painful to me.

I took the day off from work to have this done, even though it only takes about forty minutes. Actually, I'm still really tired from the Denver trip and wanted a day at home to relax before returning to work. Of course this is in the middle of my day, which kind of wrecks the relaxed mode I wanted.

Other plans today are the boring stuff like unpacking and going to the gym for a great workout, before the doctor visit.

Plus I'm kind of on a post-vacation downer mood today. Fits right in with the biopsy appointment. Hopefully I'll get back to my happy self soon. Maybe the gym will help, which is where I'm going in about 15 minutes. :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The new normal

I'm back from Denver after a very busy five days. The graduation was great, my niece gave the welcome speech, and received here Bachelors and her Masters of Business Administration. She turned 23 last week.

We spent a lot of time with my husband's family and a lot of eating out. I heard the comment several times that I look amazing (an exaggeration, but it was nice to hear), and wow, you kept off all your weight. They've watched me go up and down with my weight for the last 22 years. This is the first time they've seen me in two consecutive years where I weighed the same.

I was very picky about my food when we ate out. At the hotel breakfast buffet I'd always order a three egg white omelet with tons of vegetables and just a dash of oil.

When my sister-in-law made dinner she made sure there were plenty of things I could eat. She didn't make something extra or special, she just made sure there was salad, lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. Sometimes I could eat the main course, sometimes I'd just have a bite. I didn't starve.

I also managed to get in two really good workouts. Not as many workouts as I wanted, but there just wasn't much free time.

Something my Weight Watcher leader said a week ago really stuck in my head the entire time I was in Denver. She said this is our new normal. How we're eating now, the exercise, the focus on getting and staying at a healthy weight, these things are all our new normal. We will do this until we die.

What I did this last week wasn't hard or a challenge, I just did what I had to do. I didn't really give it a lot of thought, it's second nature to me to eat healthy. This is my new normal. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday night and I'm well into my week of success

A very quick post because I'm totally exhausted. Three days of tracking my food under my belt, and I feel much more in control this week.

Wednesday is a three-day trip to Denver for my niece's graduation in Boulder, Colorado. After five years of college she's graduating with her Masters in Accounting. She's only 23 and already has a job lined up. She's a very smart and pretty young woman. I remember when she was three and told me her brother was acting "dangerously". So cute and so sweet and now an adult. How time flies.

I booked us at the Doubletree in Westminster because they have a pool and a gym. I'm going to get my workouts in regardless of what's going on with the family.

Also, I had a record yesterday on the StairMaster. 142 floors in 30 minutes, a 77 steps/minute rate. Weight Watchers Activity tracker only has a 24-step and 30-step rate available for calculating your Points.

Fading fast so off to bed for me!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Another swimsuit shopping trip

Twice in one weekend I went shopping for a swimsuit. I'm truly a glutton for punishment.This time I tried on every suit that I thought might fit me, but I had a different focus today. This is not a suit that I'll wear at the beach and try to pretend I look sexy. This suit is to wear for swimming as exercise at the gym.

I only had a few requirements:

1.) cover my butt (no easy feat)
2.) cover my boobs (also difficult)
3.) straps that would stay in place while I was swimming

Speaking of boobs, I don't know what the heck happened to mine recently (and if you're a guy, sorry, probably too much information for you). When I was this weight last time (about five years ago), I wore a 38C bra. I've been wearing a 38C for the last year, but my bras didn't fit right. I was constantly fussing with them (and these were expensive bras). I finally decided it was time to get fitted for a bra, something I hadn't done in years.

A sweet, young 20-something at Victoria's Secret measured me and told me I was a 36DD. I told her no way, she was wrong. She insisted. She brought me a box of bras in size 36DD. I looked at them and thought she had to be kidding. No way would those fit me. They looked HUGE. They fit me perfectly.

I don't know what happened, and I'm not exactly happy about it. I've actually always wanted to be smaller on top (and bottom), always wishing I had a more athletic build. My dream would be to have the kind of body where I didn't even have to wear a bra. I've never wanted cups that runneth over. Maybe it's the chest presses or something that caused this, but I'm just hoping when I lose the rest of my weight they'll shrink.

Back to the swimsuit, I found one. It has one of those built in girdle things, but they all did (I guess that's a good thing). It covers everything that needs covering. I opted not to go for a skirted suit and just let my thighs be out in the open for all to see. They aren't slim and trim, they're lumpy and bumpy, but they're strong and powerful legs and that's really what's important.

I'm really looking forward to getting into the pool a couple times a week. This is going to be fun!

It happened last night

After writing my post last night about how I was going to get all serious about getting to goal, I went nuts. That's the only way I can explain it.

I haven't had a binge in weeks, since I quit eating sugar about six weeks ago. It felt like a miracle, and then last night happened.

Yesterday my husband and I had an argument. It's an old battle and there are never any winners in this one. We both walk away wounded and hurt and nothing is ever resolved. It has to do with his crazy family.

Later we both said we were sorry, but as usual, the hurt words still hung between us. After these arguments it takes a while to heal and get back to normal. He went to bed early, I stayed up and watched a really bad movie, Couples Retreat. Stupid movie, don't waste your time on it. Especially don't watch it after fighting with your spouse.

That's when I lost control. I had frozen my Muscatel grapes earlier and had a cookie sheet full of them in the freezer, frozen to perfection. These grapes are incredible, sweet and crunchy when frozen, and are a wonderful treat (beats those horrible Weight Watcher ice cream of my former binge foods). These grapes are expensive, $3.99 a pound, but totally worth it. I buy three pounds every week, freeze them, put them in baggies, one Point per cup.

Last night I ate seven cups of frozen grapes, eight Points. It made for a 30-Point day (I get 20 daily Points, but always use my 35 and I had 7 Activity Points for the day). I realize this isn't horrible, and I've done a lot worse in the past. Many times I'd eat an entire box of Weight Watcher ice cream bars in a couple hours (18.5 Points), along with a lot of other things. I would also stop counting the Points in the past because I just figured the day was ruined and I didn't want to know how bad I had messed up. Last night I tracked everything I ate,.

My issue is that I felt totally out of control. I was watching the movie and eating the grapes. I went through cup after cup of grapes and barely tasted them. My tongue was practically frozen by the time I was done. I even contemplated opening up a bottle of wine, something I haven't done in several months. I felt like numbing the pain, but decided it wouldn't be worth it.

In my Weight Watchers' meeting yesterday our leader said there's a reason we're carrying around this extra weight. We wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't filling a need. We have to figure out why we're doing it and then get past it.

I have an idea of why I want to keep this last thirty pounds on my body. It is serving a purpose. It's totally stupid and I know it's stupid, yet I keep doing it. It's a really personal reason, and one I'm not quite ready to share on this blog (because it's embarrassing!). Maybe later this week I'll post about it, if I get the courage (you'll probably think I'm an idiot, but I suppose that's nothing new).

Have a great Sunday, and I will be back tomorrow! (item #5 for getting to goal, post here every day)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The swimsuit shopping nightmare

If you think you're looking okay in your clothes, and maybe you're not such a fat slob after all, go try on swimsuits. Holy crap! I was in tears at the end of my shopping trip today. I came home without a new swimsuit and a whole new perspective on how my body looks (and it's not good!).

I decided I want to start swimming at the gym a couple mornings a week, to kind of mix things up a bit. One of cardio rooms at my gym has windows that look down on the swimming pool. It's almost always empty at 5 a.m. I thought it would be kind of fun to try something different. Two years of StairMaster, elliptical, stationary bike, treadmill (which I loathe), and crossramp workouts are starting to bore me a little.

After trying on several suits I realized the importance of losing this last 20-30 pounds. It's time to really get off my butt and get serious about getting to goal.

My weighin today was less than stellar at 166.2. Exactly what I weighed a week ago. It's also what I weighed March 25, 2009 and December 7, 2008. Seriously, it's time to stop my playing around with this and just get to my goal weight of 135-145 (not sure which yet).

What I did wrong last week:

1. An entire week of not tracking my food.

2. An entire week of not weighing or measuring my food.

3. Skipped my Weight Watcher meeting

4. This one is obvious, but I ate too much.

5. I didn't post a single thing on my blog, and read very few weight loss blogs.

What I did right last week:

1. Worked out five times, one to one and half hours each time. High intensity

2. Didn't touch sugar. I think this is week five or six of no sugar.

3. Didn't binge eat.

4. Ate healthy food.

What I'm going to do this week to get to goal:

1. Up the workouts to six times a week (adding in one or two swimming sessions).

2. Weigh and measure everything I eat.

3. Track my food...and I mean it this time.

4. Attend my Weight Watcher meeting - which I did today.

5. Post something every single day on this blog. Staying away from the blog world is a real detriment to me. I'm back to stay this time.

Two things happened today that really made me want to get serious about losing this last bit of weight. One was my Weight Watcher meeting where my leader talked about a type of person she sees at her meetings. Usually it's a female, who drops a lot of weight, 50 or more pounds, then looks at her body and says I worked that hard for THIS? She's disappointed in how she looks, wrinkled, sagging skin. Lumps and bumps where she thought she'd have taunt, firm skin. She said usually this person gives up and never makes goal. I felt like she was talking to me.

The second thing that happened was my swimsuit shopping trip. From the waist up, I look okay. Lots of strength training have made my shoulders and arms look acceptable. I'm not ashamed of them, in fact, I'm kind of secretly proud of how they look. I wouldn't tell anyone this, because it's seems boastful, but I actually like my shoulders and arms these days.

From the waist down, I'm not so happy. Especially my thighs. With jeans on they don't look so bad, in fact, they look kind of normal. With a swimsuit it's a entirely different story. I was a little bit upset today as I stood in the dressing room with the glare of the white light and the three-way mirror. All I could think was holy crap, I look like shit.

I know 166 looks better than 240, but considering the hours and hours I've spent at the gym the last two years I expected better results. I'm disappointed, but not defeated.

My plan now is to lose the last twenty or thirty pounds and see how I look then. Maybe it'll make a difference, maybe not, but at least I'll see what my goal weight looks like. The real goal is to be at a healthy weight and I'm not there yet.

Yesterday was a good day. I was determined to get through it with getting in some exercise (6-mile hike in the hills in the woods) and no...