Saturday, January 29, 2011

Woulda, shoulda, coulda


"For many of us, there is a clear distinction between what actually happened and what we wished would have happened in a given situation. Sometimes people realize a number of options they could have or should have taken instead of the action they actually took. This feeling of regret or second-guessing is summed up in the expression woulda coulda shoulda."

A friend of mine made a new year's resolution to stop her "woulda coulda shoulda" habit. Each time she says one of these words she has to put a quarter in a jar. She then proceeded to tell me about her vacation, and said "we should have made our reservations....". She stopped, and said "whoops! Another quarter!".

It's so easy to slip into a pattern of regret, where we wish we'd made different choices. We often criticize ourselves for making bad choices, thinking we could have, should have, done things differently. I often do this to myself, then I proceed to berate myself for the bad choices I made when I know better. Does this do me any good? Absolutely not. If anything, it perpetuates a feeling of defeat and that I'm just not good enough or smart enough to lose weight. It makes me feel weak and helpless to dwell on my failures. It serves no real purpose.

I've decided I'm done with the past. I posted recently that 2010 was a lost year. I didn't gain weight, I didn't lose weight. Now January 2011 is a lost month. I continued my no gain, no lose pattern..

It's time for me to stop looking back at my failures and time to start looking forward. I have the Big Climb in exactly seven weeks. On March 20th, I'll be climbing 1,311 stairs (69 floors). I can't cancel or just not show up for this event. I'm the team captain, and many of the team members are coworkers. As a team captain I'm required to be present. It would be not be cool of me to drop out, it's not an option.

I call 2010 my lost year, starting and ending at the same weight, 180. Now January 2011 is another lost month. Starting and ending at 180 pounds. Not exactly where I'd hope to be, but not at the 239 pounds I started at February 19, 2008.
The good news, February is notoriously my month to lose weight. I've started many successful diets in February. In fact, February 19 will mark three years of Weight Watcher meetings. I don't know why it's my month, perhaps because spring seems like it's just around the corner and spring is my season (with summer a close second). Spring means skimpier clothing, and right now, none of my size 10 summer clothing fits.

Moving forward now...

Friday, January 28, 2011

The wine was my downfall

After three days of being really good, eating on plan, feeling a few hunger pains during the day (a good thing),and having a late night healthy snack at 9pm each day that seemed to put a stop to my binges, I totally blew it.

It started out well yesterday, healthy breakfast, healthy lunch, and super busy at work. So busy that it took me four hours to eat my salad of spinach, shrimp, and clementines with balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of oil. It's my latest most favorite lunch (at home I add a little red onion, but not at work). I worked through lunch, with  barely time to eat a few bites, then meetings all afternoon. I'd grab a few bites between meetings. A crazy day.

I had a fantastic workout yesterday, as I have every day this week, plus I've been doing our three flights of stairs at work twelve times during lunch each day, 720 steps (except yesterday). Every morning 110 to 120 flights on the StairMaster, plus 40 minutes of strength.

Then my eating plan went all to heck. Last night I had a date with my best girlfriend. Her birthday was a couple weeks ago (the breakfast at IHOP), but we always celebrate later in the month with dinner and a movie. Her pick for both since she's the birthday girl.

I was so busy all day that I didn't even have time to ask her where we were going. When I picked her up at 5:30 p.m. she said the dreaded two words: Claim Jumpers. This is a very bad restaurant. My girlfriend usually chooses this restaurant since it's one of favorites. When I know we're going there I go to their nutritional information on their website, decide what I'm going to eat and stick to it. This always works for me because I sort of get my mind around it, and I feel good about it. This restaurant is like hell for a dieter. Giant servings of fat-laden, delicious food. There are healthy choices, but you have to be really careful.

Last night, after a horrendously stressful work day, I couldn't even think straight (this is my excuse for what happened). The Claim Jumper website is very unfriendly and difficult to use. It takes time to look things up and it's hard to find things (because everything has a million calories and they don't want people to know). In other words, trying to do it on my Blackberry was just about impossible.

I asked the waitress to see their nutritional information. I got this story from our very sweet waitress. "Yes, we know it's the law in Washington state for restaurants to provide that information, but the restaurant chain has been purchased by a business in Texas, where nutritional information is not required. They just redesigned the menu and didn't realize they needed provide the nutritional information. They're working on it."

Oh well, I'm a big girl, and I know what's healthy and what's not. I ordered the half rotisserie chicken (and it was a tiny, baby chicken) and a dry baked sweet potato (which was huge and delicious), no bread (they have the most amazing corn bread you've ever tasted). Good so far, right?

Then I messed up. I know my girlfriend loves a glass of wine with dinner. I also know if I don't order it she won't either. I entirely gave up wine several months ago. I decided it was just a waste of calories and usually gave me a headache.

Last night I was tired, stressed with a neck thing going on, and a glass of wine sounded good. So I ordered a glass of Cabernet. It was huge (as everything is in this place except for that chicken). Probably at least two servings.

I ate every bite of my dinner (which would probably have been enough food for three people). Then I ordered dessert. My girlfriend's favorite dessert, Lemon Bar Brulee. And  no, we didn't share a piece and yes, it was wonderful. It's a lemon bar cheesecake thing with raspberry sauce and whip cream. I looked up the dessert this morning, 747 calories, 16 gr of fat, 105 gr carbs, 1 gr fiber.

Anyway, the end of the story is that I gained two pounds overnight. 180.2 this morning. I know some of it's probably the sodium. I know it was just one night. I know it's not that big of a deal. It's just that I have Weight Watchers tomorrow, which means I have to weigh in. Sort of depressing.

The movie was great though. No Strings Attached. Very funny, cute chick flick with Natalie Portman and Aston Kutcher (love him). I had a great visit with my girlfriend. It was very fun and yes, I would do it again, but skip the wine and dessert. Maybe. :)

Life happens, but I really need to get serious about losing weight and stop just talking about it. The Big Climb is less than two months away. Remember, 1,311 steps. Scary at 180 pounds!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Tonight I watched the new A&E show, Heavy. Most of the reviews I've read by other bloggers weren't very positive, but I liked it. I wouldn't call it entertainment because it was difficult to watch. It wasn't really educational either because I already know how to lose weight. Yet I was compelled to watch it.

There was a woman that weighed 278 pounds and a man that weighed 555 pounds. I identified with the man because of his weight. I'm positive I have the propensity to weigh 555 pounds. My husband, friends and relatives all tell me I'm crazy to say I could weigh over 500 pounds. They really don't know me. They can't grasp how I view food. They don't understand the ongoing battle in my head about eating.

This is a conversation I had last night with my husband, Jack.

Me:  Do you ever eat just because you're bored or lonely or sad, but not really hungry?
Jack:  No. I eat when I'm hungry. Why would I eat if I wasn't hungry?
Me:  To make yourself feel better?
Jack:  How would eating food when I'm not hungry make me feel better?
Me:  I don't know. I was just wondering if you've ever done that before.
Jack:  No. Never.

No one really knows me when it comes to food. Not even the man I've been married to for almost 23 years. Most people in my life don't understand that I often eat when I'm not hungry. It just doesn't make sense to the normal person. I use it as a way to deal with stress and unpleasantness in my life. If I actually ate when I wanted, I would most likely be eating non-stop. It's a scary thought that I could very easily lose control with food.

I just have to take this a day at a time and continue the fight. 555 is a scary number and it's one I hope I never see.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Déjà vu...January of last year...

I'm working from home today and just pulled a notebook out of my bookshelf to use for writing down some notes. I flipped it open and there, dated January 24, 2010, I had written the following:

Day 1 - January 24, 2010 - 179.0!

* Do NOT screw up today. I work out so hard, I don't want to waste all that work for nothing. Remember, food is not comfort!

This notebook actually has the first date in it of April 8, 2005. I weighed 220 pounds. It's kind of sad to go back and look at five years of me trying to lose weight, succeeding, then failing, over and over again. I feel sorry for this woman.

I really feel like I'm living that movie, Groundhog Day.

Are men smarter than women when it comes to weight loss?

I've noticed men rarely talk about their feelings on their weight loss blogs. Generally, men don't talk about comforting themselves with food or stuffing down sad feelings with food. I wonder if they even think about a connection between food and feelings.

Men don't talk about the self-criticizing voice in their head, constantly spewing out mean comments about themselves. Do they even have this voice, telling them they're fat, ugly and stupid? That they have big thighs and a saggy tummy. No, I don't think so.

With most women, including myself, it's an entirely different story. We constantly analyze ourselves, we try to figure out why we overeat and how we can overcome it. We talk about our emotional relationship with food and how it affects us. We talk about shutting down the mean voice in our head.

I can't recall of a single man writing the kind of things that women write about on weight loss blogs. Men are pretty straight forward about it, eat less, exercise, drink water, lose weight. For them, it's a very simple formula. None of this nonsense about about food and feelings or self-loathing.

Overweight men don't seem to have body image issues either. I know this from personal experience with my own husband. He needs to lose fifty pounds, yet he thinks he's just as sexy now as when I met him (when he weighed fifty pounds less). He thinks nothing of walking around the house buck naked regardless of his weight. It would never occur to him to be embarrassed by his body. I can't relate.

I can't help but wonder if maybe the men are right. Maybe all this self-analyzing, all this worrying about how my body looks, and trying to figuring out what makes me eat is really just a total waste of my time. As I wrote yesterday, I really don't like the hard work of feeling all the sad shit that's happened in my life. Who wants to go back down that road? Not me.

Maybe men really do have the answer. Eat less, exercise, drink water, lose weight. I wonder if they know something we don't.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why I'm fat - Part One

I've been trying to write this post for over a week. I would write a couple paragraphs on the topic, read it the next day and delete it. I've done this several times. In an effort to prevent this from being the longest post ever written, I'm breaking it into parts.

Part One - How I deal with emotional pain

The simple answer of why I'm fat is that I eat too much. The not so simple answer is something I've been trying to figure out my entire life. It's about so much more than the fact that I like to eat. There's a reason for my issues with food, and although I think I understand the "why" of my situation, I've yet to figure out how to fix it. Notice I said how to fix "it". I'm finally understanding that it's not really me that needs to be fixed, it's a behavior of mine that needs to be fixed.

As a member of the Dead Daddy Club (a phrase coined by Roxie) I learned at a young age how to deal with pain. At barely 13 years old I watched my father die suddenly from a heart attack, at home with just my mother and myself watching helplessly. At the time we were living on a homestead in Alaska in 1968, without a phone and eighty miles from the nearest hospital.

After this happened I learned the best way to deal with heartbreak was to a.) pretend it didn't happen and b.) eat your way through the pain. I've used this learned behavior my entire life, every time I'm facing something unpleasant.

I've written about this before, it was something I figured out at a Geneen Roth workshop last fall. That workshop was difficult because I had to face some things in my past and my present. Things I'd really rather not think about.

That's the problem with me, as soon as I start dealing with something unpleasant, I stop dealing with it. I don't want to go there. I don't want to deal with something that might open up old wounds, or make me face something in my life right now that's unpleasant. If there's any way I can avoid it, I will. What better way to escape than by eating? It's a cheap, legal and short-term fix to shutting down the pain.

I'm reading a book, Bob Greene's The Life You Want. It's really no different than the dozens of other weight loss books I've read over the years. Just like the other books, I find myself doing the same thing I've done before. 

I start reading the book, I get excited because I feel like the author is speaking to me. I completely identify with what they're saying. Then I get to the part, "let's figure out how to fix your problem" . That's when I put the book away. I'm done with it. I don't want to do the hard work it takes to fix it. It's emotionally challenging. It hurts. I'd rather not do it.

That's where I am right now. I either do the work or I continue gaining weight until I'm right back at 240 pounds or more. As Grace said in a comment the other day, you can't white knuckle your way through an eating disorder. She's right.

Do I have an eating disorder?

Eating disorders refer to a group of conditions characterized by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual's physical and emotional health.

Yes, I have an eating disorder. Now it's time for the hard work.

Let there be light

Yesterday's post was pretty depressing. I almost deleted it when I read it this morning. I guess we all have days where we're a little off (I was way off!). The day actually got a lot better, the sun came out and that always cheers me up.

I bought my ankle weights yesterday. The store only had three and four-pound ankle weights. I thought that wasn't going to be heavy enough. I was hoping to buy heavier weights, more like eight or ten pounds for each ankle. I purchased the pair of four-pound weights and headed off to the gym.

When I got to the gym and pulled the weights out of the box I thought, wow, this four-pound weight is actually really heavy. Four pounds sounds like nothing to me. Well, it turns out that four pounds on each ankle is really HEAVY!

I strapped on the weights and as I walked to the StairMaster I could really feel the heaviness of the eight pounds. It was like walking through mud. I climbed on the StairMaster and had the workout of my life. I did thirty minutes on the StairMaster where I thought I was going to die. Then I did my 45 minutes upper body workout.

Again, there were only guys in the heavy weight area. Where are the women? I lift 15, 20, and 25-pound dumbbells, and the Olympic sized barbell without weights (it's 45 pounds by itself - I know because I weighed it on the scale). It's not like these are super heavy weights, but usually I'm the only woman in this area, with a bunch of bulked out guys. I guess I'm use to it but why aren't more women lifting free weights? They all seem to stick to the weight machines. Anyway, just a rant of mine.

After the weights I decided to get back on the StairMaster with my ankle weights on. Normally I can never get my heart rate up past 144 for any length of time. Keep in mind, 1.) I'm 55 and 2.) my resting heart rate is 50. Yesterday my heart rate got up to 151 the second time on the StairMaster, and I kept it there for 15 minutes! I hit some sort of weird, sweet spot where it didn't hurt and I wasn't panting like a dog. The sweat was pouring off of me but I was breathing almost normally. I even thought maybe the machines heart rate monitor was broken but my own Polar said the same thing. 151. Really weird.

After my workout I was ravenous. My HRM said I'd burned 606 calories and I'd only eaten breakfast and a banana (it was 5pm). I overate on chicken, veggies and fruit. My weight this morning was 180.2. Not what I wanted to see.

Today's another day and today I'm back to tracking my food. I haven't tracked for the last few days. Who wants to write down cookies and candy in their food journal? It's embarrassing.

My new plan is just that, if I "cheat" and eat more than I should or eat something I really have no business eating, I'll post it in my online food journal and then on here for the whole world to see. I'm deleting the food diary blog. I'll add the food journal pages to the bottom of my post for that day. I don't like having two blogs that need updating every day. Too much work.

Okay, so it's a new day, a new me. Let there be light!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hawaii is off, I can't lose weight and life kind of sucks

This isn't a happy post because I'm not feeling very happy.

The Hawaii trip isn't going to happen. It's a long, sad story. Basically my sister that lost her husband of 52 years in November of 2009, doesn't want to go back to Hawaii without him. Their last big vacation together was in Hawaii. I totally understand. I'm just a little sad that we can't all go and have fun together. Maybe next year.

About my weight. I just don't know what to say anymore. I feel like I constantly post about how I'm going to do this and all my great plans, then I fall flat on my face. I went down a couple pounds during the week, but today I'm back up to 180. My face fell into a bag of cookies and a lot of candy. I won't bore you with the details but six days of hard work can and was totally destroyed by one evening of total madness.

I'm trying hard to not totally hate myself right now. It's not easy. Even though I know it doesn't make me a bad person because I have an eating disorder, I can't help but feel there's something terribly wrong with me. Why on earth do I keep doing this to myself? As hard as I try, I can't figure out the answer to that question. I'm still working on trying to find the answer, but at this point, it's still an unknown.

I have The Big Climb looming in front of me on March 20. 1,311 steps. 69 floors. What the hell was I thinking to get a team of people together to do this? I certainly can't back out. I have to do it. I have a team of ten right now, and about ten others that said they're going to sign up. I'm the team captain. I'm a little freaked out about the whole thing. Lugging my fat ass up 69 floors. If you don't hear from me after March 20 you can rest assured I dropped dead of a heart attack.

In a few minutes I'm heading up to the store to buy ankle weights and then to the gym to do the StairMaster. I read somewhere that ankles weights and the StairMaster are good training for the Big Climb.

The dreary Seattle weather isn't helping either. I can't remember the last time I saw the sun. This morning the weather guy on TV made a big deal about what a great weekend we're going to have. What he meant was we're going to have dark, gray skies, no sign of the sun, but no rain. No rain is considered a nice weekend. Hey - the sun just popped out for a second as I wrote this. Weird. The skies are almost black but somehow the sun peeked out. Hmmm...maybe there's hope after all.

Sorry for my bad attitude today. I know people don't come hear to read doom and gloom. It's just how I'm feeling. I can't seem to get past it today, and I don't even feel like trying.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm so excited about....Hawaii!

I just got off the phone with my niece that lives in North Pole, Alaska (near Fairbanks, AK). It's currently -32 degrees (that's below zero). We're planning a girls' trip to Hawaii in March, my two nieces, my sister and myself. We kind of talked about it when I was there in December, but we decided to make it happen. It's going to be super fun.

The only trick is I have to be back by March 20 for the Big Climb, and we plan on leaving for Hawaii March 11.

I haven't gone on a "girls only" trip since college!

I skipped the gym this morning, on purpose. I've only had two days off in the last 16 days. I had a 7:30 a.m. breakfast date with my two best girlfriends at IHOP (ugh!). I had the Slim and Fit Mushroom and Tomato Omelet with fresh fruit for 5 Points (330 calories). It was actually pretty good, and I had them use egg substitute so maybe even a little less on the calories.

I love that they put the calories on the menus now. I think that's just about the coolest thing ever. Of course, it was only calories (and my girlfriends' breakfasts were 1,200 calories each!). I still had to go to the website to get all the nutritional info for the Points calculation. The calories alone really helped me make a good choice.

Even though no gym today, I managed to walked our 60 steps of stairs at work during lunch, twelve times, or 720 steps. Part of my training plan for the Big Climb is to do this twice a day (in addition to my gym workout). The Big Climb is 1,311 steps, with no stops. I'm a little worried about what I got myself into with this thing. I just hope I don't totally embarrass myself and need a medic to resuscitate me when I'm halfway to the top!

About Hawaii, I've been to the islands many times in my life, maybe eight or nine. I can't really remember for sure, but it's been a lot. Remember, I'm from Alaska and that's where people from Alaska go for a vacation. Also, I've worked for an airline for 27 years. I even went to college over there for a year. I totally and completely love Hawaii. And I love my sister and nieces so this trip is going to be a blast!

Now not only do I have to get in shape for the Big Climb, but also for the beach!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Internetless tonight

I've been without internet connection for the past five hours (except my phone, but that doesn't really count). It was almost as bad as when the electricity goes out.

I even tried to watch a Netflix movie through the box thing we have when it displayed "your internet isn't connected" message. Oh yeah, no internet, I forgot. So no Netflix. It makes me wonder how I ever lived without the internet.

My husband finally fixed it about 20 minutes ago, but it's 10:30p .m. It's past time my bedtime so I'm not writing much. I've been working on a post of why I gained 100 pounds. I'm too tired now to proof it before I post it. Tomorrow.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My story and my trigger

I read a really great post this morning written by Lynn at Lynn's Weigh (love her, she's another one of my heroes). She tells the story about the one thing that triggered her start towards being a weight loss success story. She realized she was worthy of good health.

Even though I'm not yet a weight loss success story, I will be one day. Here's the story of my one thing...

Flash to February 2006
After years of crash diets, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, South Beach (the list goes on and on) I weighed 240 pounds. This was the heaviest I had ever weighed. In college I got up to 145 pounds and I remember how I thought I was such a fat pig. When I met my husband 25 years ago I was 132 (I'm 5' 6"). I was trying to starve myself to what I thought was my ideal weight of 125.

How did I get to 240 pounds at the age of 51? More importantly, why? I had difficulty walking. I wouldn't even attempt to climb the two flights of stairs to my office, I'd take the elevator. I was uncomfortable and miserable. The clothes that did fit looked terrible on me. My self-loathing was at an all-time high.

I remember when I ripped the seat out of two pairs of size 18 jeans trying to squeeze my very ample behind into too small clothing. Both times the ripped jeans incident happened while I was at work. Those were two of the most embarrassing moments of my life. The fabric simply couldn't stretch to fit my size 20 (probably more like size 22) bottom. I bought my first pair of size 20 slacks, and I was horrified. I was more depressed than at any other point in my life. Yet I still wouldn't or couldn't get motivated to do anything about my weight. It was like I was frozen in some sort of self-made hell.

Then I starting having strange pains in my joints. They came on suddenly one night as I was sitting in my recliner watching TV (we no longer own recliners). The agony started as shooting, knife cutting pains in my left knee. It was excruciating. I could barely stand up. I had no idea what was wrong. The pains lasted for a few hours and then went away. It happened again the next night and the next. Then the pain just disappeared.

A few days later the same type of pain started in my left elbow, again, at night while sitting in my recliner. It scared me. I thought I must have some horrible, life-threatening disease. The pain would move around to different joints every few days. Left knee, right knee, shoulders, elbows. Yet I refused to go to the doctor, because, well, you probably guessed, I was embarrassed about my weight gain of 60 pounds since the previous year. I know that sounds crazy, but it's the truth.

One day around this time of the strange pains I was walking by the pharmacy in a drugstore. I stopped to take my blood pressure at one of those free machines. I'd always prided myself on my great blood pressure and low cholesterol levels, even during my fat phases in my life my blood pressure was always around 120/60. The reading on the machine:  180/110. Seriously? Could that even be possible and still stand upright? I thought the machine must be broken. I went to two different drugstores and used their blood pressure machines, all the readings were very close to 180/110.

I was scared to death. This time I knew I really could die. I was 51. I called my doctor and she told me to get a free BP check at the fire station where they would use a regular blood pressure cuff (I never knew why she did this, I have medical insurance). She said maybe the machines were inaccurate. That was another really embarrassing moment when me, the fat, middle-aged woman asked the gorgeous, hunky firefighter to take my blood pressure. When he had to get the extra large sized cuff because of my fat upper arm, I wanted to die. The results were once again 180/110. He looked at the number and told me I needed to see my doctor immediately.

This time I knew my life was in danger, and I saw my doctor. She immediately put me on blood pressure medicine. I'm off of the medication now, and I check on my own blood pressure all the time at home. Lately it's been a little on the high side, 128/73. I know it's the last 25 pounds I gained back.

My doctor also talked to me about my weight. She held one of my hands in her hands, she looked me in the eye and said "Diana, you're a beautiful woman. Why are you doing this to yourself? You have to lose the weight or you are going to die." The "you are going to die" part really shook me up. I could see her concern, and knew she was saying this to help me. I knew I had to do something about my weight.

I immediately started a diet. South Beach, a diet I'd done the year before and lost 40 pounds before giving up and gaining it all back, plus some. It was the first "diet" that I actually felt like I could probably live with the rest of my life.  However, after several months of South Beach, but still counting calories, I had only lost 20 pounds. I was stuck and finding myself slipping back to old habits.

That's when a friend at work asked me to join the Weight Watcher "at work program". Reluctantly I joined with her since I was stalled on my own, but I secretly knew it wouldn't work for me. The first week I did everything perfectly, eating all my Points, my activity Points and my Weekly Points. I was sure this was too much food, and I'd gain even more weight. I lost seven pounds the first week following the plan exactly. I proceeded to lose a total of 60 pounds in seven months and then, I'm not sure why, I just quit. I gained it all back very quickly.
February 2008, this time it is for real
There I was again, February of 2008, sitting at 240 pounds. I needed to lose 100 pounds. Why did I do this to myself over and over? I never once tried to answer this question and really thought I just didn't have any willpower. When in reality, I have willpower of steel.

Once again I joined Weight Watchers because it felt like the right thing to do. I knew it worked. This time I did something different, I started using my gym membership, going almost every day. I'd had that membership since 1996 but had probably only been to the gym ten times in 12 years. Now I go almost every day for an hour or more, I really believe the exercise and Weight Watchers is what has changed my life.

You're probably thinking, but Diana, it's been almost three years and you're still not at goal. You are correct. I've been struggling for months, in fact, pretty much for all of 2010. I'll call that my lost year. I started the year at 180 pounds and ended it at 180 pounds. I dropped down during the year to 162 but never got back to my 2009 low of 152. True, 2010 wasn't my greatest year, yet I take great pride in the little fact that I didn't go back up to 240 pounds. My goal was and still is 135 pounds.

I still believe Weigh Watchers is the best plan for me. I know it doesn't work for everyone, and we each have to find the thing that works for us. Whether it's counting calories or even a surgical procedure, there's something out there that will work. In truth, they all work.

What I'm finding out is that the real work is looking inside of ourselves and really finding out the "why" of our overeating. Why did we get overweight in the first place? That's the real question.

To say "well, I just love food and I can't help it" is not the answer. I said that same thing for years. Nothing wrong with me, I just lov efood. The truth, most people love food yet they don't have the issues of overeating like the morbidly obese. Without self-examination we can still lose weight, but it's very questionable whether we can keep it off forever. You know how I know? Because I've been there, done that....more times than I can count. Now I'm working from the inside out, versus just focusing on the outside.

Like Lynn asked, what was your one thing that triggered you into starting a weigh loss plan, and this time you know it's for good? Have you figured out what caused you to become overweight in the first place? I'll share with you in a later post what I think caused me to gain 100 pounds, lose it several times, and never keep it off in the past.

A before picture, 240 pounds. This was right before the stange pains started. I didn't think I was a person worthy of good health. I just thought I was fat, ugly and stupid (I had just started a new job). When I saw this picture I was horrified but it still didn't make me try to lose weight. It took a death threat to make me take action.

Now I'm working on learning to like myself, and acknowledging that I am worthy of being healthy.  It's not just about gaining the weight, it's about so much more.

240, from the backside:

I don't have an after picture because I'm not at goal. Today I weigh 179, so I found this picture where I weighed 175 from 2008. My hair is different now, a little shorter, but I'm too lazy to put on makeup and take a picture today. I still have a lot of work to do on myself, inside and out, but I'm working on it. It's a multi-faceted project. :)

2011 is going to be my year!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thank you & finding peace

Thank you!
Tonight I finally sat down and read all your sweet comments from my SOS post last Tuesday. Most of you can relate to my issues, and several of you feel like you're in the same boat. There were a lot of great ideas on how to beat my late night eating, things I'll be trying in the near future. You guys are very kind. Instead of just writing me off as a lunatic (which lately, I wouldn't blame you), you came to my rescue. I love you guys. You're the best.

Figuring things out
This past week I've been trying to figure things out, trying to understand what is wrong with me, or even if perhaps there really isn't anything that terribly wrong. Other than the fact I've been running around in a totally chaotic, frenzied state regarding my weight, I think I just may be okay after all. As sweet Kelly! said, I'm not really "broken".

I've been totally obsessed with trying to find the perfect plan for me to lose weight. Count calories, count Points, count calories AND Points. Do Weight Watchers, don't do Weight Watchers, try a blogger's challenge. Exercise like a maniac, cut back on the exercise, more cardio, less cardio, heavier weights less reps, lighter weights more reps.

Frankly, I'm tired of the insanity. Enough already.

The people I admire the most are the ones that have made peace with food and with themselves. Dawn, Grace, Roxie, Helen, Carla (Miz Fit), Lyn, LynnLoretta, Sheryl (Ms. Bitch Cakes), Sean, Allan, Tony and many others just like them are my real heroes.

These people have come to terms with who they are as a person, they've accepted themselves and find value in their very existence. This has dramatically changed their relationship with food. I want to follow in their footsteps.

I haven't totally figured this all out for myself yet, but I have figured out that what I was doing wasn't working. Hating myself, putting myself down constantly, calling myself terrible names, not even liking myself a little bit, all of that has to stop.  I know my low self-esteem is a big reason why I try to comfort myself with food. My overeating is just a symptom of bigger issues.

I've been reading Bob Greene's "The Life You Want. Get Motivated, Lose Weight and Be Happy". He lists the main obstacles that cause people to struggle with losing weight and maintaining the loss. I'm only about a third into the book but so far I really like it. It's not as "new agey" as the last book I read on this topic (Geneen Roth and I can't even remember the name of that book).

This is what it says about body image (The Life You Want, Chapter 1, page 29):

It's crucial to not only accept your body but also make taking care of it a priority, no matter what else is happening in your life. "You might worry, 'If I accept my body, then I will become complacent and just gain more weight, " says Ann Kearny-Cooke. "However, I have found that the opposite is true:  Beating yourself up about your appearance and putting yourself down is the last thing that motivates healthy lifestyle change." In fact, once you are able to improve your body image, you will choose to actively take care of your body (by, say, increasing your physical activity, and giving up fried foods and overeating at night).

You can see why I'm hooked on this book.

In the meantime, what am I doing to lose weight?
Well, I've decided to just calm the hell down. No more jumping from one idea to another, trying to find the quick fix to a broken Diana. I'm slightly askew, certainly not perfect, but not broken either.

I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday and for the first time ever I decided not to weigh in. I just didn't feel like facing the scale. Instead I checked in with the receptionist and stayed for the meeting. It was about Power Foods (a concept I really read more about it, check out Sheryl's post on power foods, much better than anything I could write).

After the meeting I talked with Janis, my Weight Watcher leader. I was honest with her and told her I was struggling and felt hungry all the time. She suggested I eat mostly power foods to keep the hunger at bay. She also asked me if I was eating any of my 49 weekly Points. I told that actually, I hadn't really been following the plan, I had tried to cut way back and as a result had become ravenously hungry which usually led to a binge on an almost nightly basis.

She suggested I track everything I eat this week, every day, every bite and to really focus on the power foods. I'm going to print it out to take with me to next Saturday's meeting. She told me to weigh in with her because she wants to see how I do. If I don't lose then she wants to talk to me after the meeting. She said "we'll figure this out together".  I love her.

Janis is a Diamond Weight Watcher leader meaning she's in the top 20% of the leaders to have the most members make it to goal and has the most Lifetimers. I feel relieved that I finally talked to her and told her about my struggles. I also feel like I have to be extremely accountable this week because I made a promise to her. I've already printed off yesterday and today's food tracker (I have a pre-bedtime snack planned tonight...a Weight Watcher smoothie with milk and a frozen banana). I've also added these two days to my food diary blog. No more calorie counting. That was making me even more crazy.

On thing you'll notice if you look at my food diary is that I'm not eating all my Points. I don't know how to explain this because I've always been one to eat all my daily Points, all my Weekly Points AND all my Activity Points. I can honestly say since I've started focusing on power foods, I'm not hungry all the time.

I also feel like I'm eating a massive volume of food. This has me a little concerned, and I can't possibly see how this can work for losing weight. I promised Janis I would give this my best effort, so that's what I'm doing. I'm not limiting my fruit intake, but I'm not eating large amounts of it. In fact, I'm eating a lot less than I use to eat on the old plan.

Exercise has been really good for the last week. My husband even went with me today. It's become such a part of my life these last three years that I can't ever imagine stopping. I still have my mornings when I'd rather just stay in bed, but I don't give in very often. It's a necessary task that I have to complete every day, just like brushing my teeth.

Again, I just want to thank you all so very much for your support. I really appreciate it. I'm not sure where I'd be without it, and I credit all of you for helping me stay afloat on this thing, even when I just want to give up. I thank God for you every day. I really do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SOS: I just don't care

Yesterday I was talking to a friend at work. She's someone I've known for over twenty years, in different jobs at the same company. I really like this person. She's funny,  kind, and sweet. She also struggles with her weight, just like me.

About four years ago we did Weight Watchers together at work. It was my first time with WW and the weight fell off. I lost sixty pounds in seven months. The plan works if you work the plan (I know, a very trite but true saying). My friend also lost a lot of weight. When we both stopped Weight Watchers we both quickly gained the weight back.

I went back to Weight Watchers almost three years ago, lost 80 pounds and then gained back 25. I still go to Weight Watchers but I'm sitting  at 180.2 today (I want to be 135). She never went back and has gained a few more pounds.

As we were heating up our lunches in the lunchroom yesterday the topic of weight came up. It always does. She said she can be perfect all day every day until she gets home. Then she doesn't care anymore. She's a single mom, with a young teenager, her job is very stressful. Much more stressful than my own. As we talked she told me when she gets home she's totally exhausted, and at that point, she really just doesn't give a damn about her weight. If she wants white toast with butter on it she's going to have it. If she wants a glass of wine or cookies, well, she's going to have that too. She said at that point she just doesn't care.

I totally feel the same way lately. When 10 p.m. rolls around, honestly, I just don't care. I'm tired, I've eaten healthy all day. I've even tracked my food all day, but at around 10 p.m., my husband is asleep and I'm struggling with sleep. I'm always feeling hungry. A small snack just doesn't cut it. I want volume. That's when I go off my plan and eat.

I eat things like fruit (three bananas or a few pears), another chicken breast, maybe some almonds or pecans (those damn nuts are still on the counter--my husband's food--I have to do something about this). If there are any sugar-free ice cream bars (the only kind I buy now), I'll eat a couple of those (there was a box in the freezer that I found last night). If there's leftover dinner, I'll eat that too.

I had some Pop Chips last night that I was going to try later. I ate a few of those, which by the way are totally gross. All these years I've been reading about them on blogs and people raving about how good they taste. Nasty food. They're made out of potato flakes and chemicals. I'll never buy them again and no chance I'd ever binge on them.

I ate all of this last night and for kicks I added up the calories afterwards. It was over 700 calories. I may as well have eaten cake and I would have if there was any in the house (there never is stuff like that anymore, but if there was I would have eaten it).

My point is that I just can't seem to change this pattern and it's making me crazy. Anyone watching me eat all day and evening, watching me carefully measure and weigh everything, put it all in the online tracker, would wonder what the hell was wrong with me when 10 p.m. rolls around. It's like there are two people living in one body. One that's really concerned about her health and weight and the other one that just doesn't give a damn.

I've been doing this pattern since I came back from vacation and I just can't seem to break it. It's depressing and sad and I'm hating myself because of it. If I could padlock the kitchen and have my husband hold the key, I would do it. He has no idea what's going on with me (he sleeps like a rock). He only knows the woman that goes to the gym every day and works out like crazy, and who eats very carefully because she's on a diet. He's puzzled as to why I'm not losing weight. I know why.

Any ideas on how to fix me?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Choosing your hard

Losing weight is hard. Being fat is hard.
Choose your hard.

This isn't an original thought of mine, but I love it. Someone at my Weight Watcher meeting on Saturday said she read it on a blog on Sparkpeople. I Googled it and found the Sparkpeople blog that wrote it in Jan 2011, Lyn wrote it in a July 2009 post, and someone else wrote it in a caloriecount message board in 2008 (this was fun, it's weight loss mantras). I'm sure people have been saying this for a very long time. Regardless of who originally came up with the thought, it really hit home with me.

Last week was hard. I was hungry, and complaining constantly to anyone that would listen that I was starving to death. Even increasing my calories to 1,500 a day on Thursday didn't help. I was still insanely hungry. In addition my workouts were terrible. I've gone to the gym every day since Jan. 2 for an hour to an hour and half, but until yesterday every day was a struggle. I did it, but not with joy in my heart. To say I was off my game is an understatement.

I'm not really sure what was going on last week but thankfully by Saturday it was like my batteries had finally recharged. The extreme exhaustion, the insatiable hunger, even the depression, all lifted. I feel like my old self. Even my workout on Saturday was one of my best workouts ever (I rule on the StairMaster!). The day before I had written in my exercise journal "Worst workout ever. What is wrong with me?!". Saturday and today I feel happy and energized. It's good to feel like myself again.
Favorite song of the week
It's sort of funny that the first song I downloaded in 2011 is P!nk's F**kin' Perfect. One of my New Year resolutions is to swear less. Notice I didn't say stop swearing totally, but to not make it part of my everyday conversation. Some things, like when you stub your toe on the bedpost, demand a bad word or two. Everyday conversations, not so much.

When I first heard this song on the radio I totally loved it, it's by one of my favorite singers, P!nk (love her!). One of the best concerts I've ever seen was the P!nk Funhouse Tour in 2010.

This song reminded me of one of my favorite posts that I read last week. It may be one of my all time-time favorite's, Roxie's Perfect Parts. I love this post. It's one of my biggest struggles in life, stopping the negative voices in my head. I'm the queen of putting myself down.

F**kin' Perfect by P!nk

Favorite recipe of the week
This was in the Jan/Feb 2011 Weight Watcher Magazine.
This is excellent and the serving is huge (1 3/4 cups).

1T canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 lb ground chicken or turkey
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1(32oz) carton low sodium chicken broth
10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles (I used Rotel's)
1(3/4lb) sweet potato diced and cubed
1 large parsnip peeled and sliced
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cool, stirring frequently, until softened. Add chicken and cumin breaking up chicken until browned. Stir in broth, tomatoes, sweet potato, and parsnip, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is fork tender (about 15 minutes)
A serving is 1 3/4 cup and only serves 4.
PointsPlus value 7

280 calories
8 g total fat
53 mg chol
24 mg sod
27 g total carbs
9 g total suger
5 g fiber
26 g protein
86 mg calc

Favorite tea of the week
This tea has been around for a long time, but I just discovered it. Good Earth Original. It's spicy and naturally sweet. It doesn't need sweetener. It only has 16 grams of caffeine (compared to coffee that has 100 grams), or you can get the decaf version. Delicious and calorie free.

Plan for this week
Continue my exercise streak. No days off since Jan. 2. I plan to keep with this trend. I'll throw in a few light workouts here in there, but for the most part I want to give it 110%. It's the only thing that keeps me sane. If I was able to drag myself to the gym last week when I really just wanted to crawl in a hole, curl up and die, I'm pretty sure I'll be exercising the rest of my life.

Weight Watchers
I want to give the new plan a fair chance but still track the calories. I have to keep up on my food journal. I slacked off for a couple of days, so it's time to get back at it.

Also, a new year resolution, I must attend at least one meeting a week. It's a new rule for me.

A word about the new PointsPlus. Be sure to recalculate your foods using the new calculator if it's something that's not in the Food Tracker, even brand names differ. I've gone back to eating Franz Thinwiches (even though Dave's Killer breads are much healthier but they're too hefty in Points).

I had been using the Arnold's Sandwich Thins in the online food tracker, which use to be two Points (which is what Franz calculated out to be in the old plan). I just assumed when Arnold's said three Points on the new plan my Franz would also be three Points. This morning I recalculated Franz and it's only two Points based on the new plan. Don't cheat yourself. You need every Point you can get. :)

I'm finding even with the fruit added in, in reasonable portions of course, 3 - 4 servings a day, the PointsPlus are calculating out to be roughly 50 calories each. It's very odd how this is working out but you can see it in my Food Diary.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor
If you don't own a Polar Heart Rate Monitor you're missing out on one of the greatest exercise motivators that was ever invented. I totally love mine. Over the last three years I've purchased three. They keep improving them, adding more features. My favorite is still one I bought almost two years ago when I saw my personal trainer at the time had one, it's pink and much more feminine than the black bulky ones I own.

A couple of times I've gone to the gym without my Polar HRM and my workouts really suffered. It's the best tool I've found for giving you an accurate heart rate and keeping track of how many calories you're burning. You can't trust the machines. From what I've seen their calories burned count are unusually high, often double from what the HRM displays.

Tony posted a giveaway for a Polar HRM, but even if you don't win, if you leave a comment you can get a discount on a Polar HRM.
Here's to a great week for all of us.

And remember...

Losing weight is hard. Being fat is hard. Choose your hard.

I'm choosing losing weight.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A return to sanity

I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever make peace with food. Today was suppose to be day number four of eating 1200 calories. My average calories for the previous three days was 1294 a day, not quite my 1200 goal.

My energy level was zero when the alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. today, my normal time to get up and head out to the gym before work. This morning I just couldn't do it. I was so tired that I shut off the alarm and went back to sleep.

When I finally woke up at 7:30 a.m. my husband had already left for work. I still felt like I couldn't get out of bed. I decided to stay home from work. I was so tired that even getting ready for work sounded like more than I could do. After two days back from a 25-day vacation I took a day off. I couldn't help it. My body and mind weren't cooperating.

I ate a healthy breakfast and then went right back to bed. I didn't get up until 11 a.m. When I finally got up I was still exhausted. I felt like I couldn't move.

I realized that although the 1200 calories a day plan works for a lot of people for quick weight loss, it's just not right for me. I'm not criticizing the plan all. I'm just not willing to feel extremely hungry, tired and weak all the time. To be really honest, if I had to live like this the rest of my life I think I'd rather not live.

Now what?
I need to do something since I really need to lose a minimum of 25 pounds (preferrably 35). The only logical thing is to go back to the Weight Watcher plan and follow it faithfully.

I still think it's the best weight loss plan out there. I've been reading the Getting Started book for the new plan (again).

Just for fun I'm still going to track my calories and Points for the rest of the month. I didn't track anything today because honestly, I was just to tired and I really didn't care about much of anything. I ate more than 1200 calories and I feel much better tonight. I'm not seeing stars when I stand up to quickly.

I want to keep my calories under 1500. If I track the Points and calories for a month, I can get a good idea of how the zero Point fruits are affecting my daily calorie count. Once I get an idea of how many fruits I can eat and still stay under 1500 calories, I'll keep that as a limit for myself.

I feel like for me, this is the sane thing todo.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Allan is right, this is REALLY hard

I'm participating in Allan's Phase 4 challenge, well, at least I'm trying to do it. It's not that easy. He says it gets better, I sure hope he's right.

I don't weigh 141 like he has me listed on his chart of participants. I wish! I started at 181 on Sunday. I hope he doesn't show me gaining 40 pounds at the end of week one.

The Good
My size 12 jeans that I wore on the plane on Saturday that were too tight and cutting into my flesh, fit much better today. They were fresh out of the dryer this morning, and they're actually comfortable.

My manager bought us all really cool company logo insulated water glasses with a straw. I love it! I can add ice and it doesn't sweat like my stainless steel Nathan water bottle. I've actually been drinking more than my required 90 ounces of water (today was 116 ounces of water, plus coffee and tea - a little on the high side).

The bad
Allan said Phase 4 would be hard in the beginning and he wasn't kidding. It's been an extremely difficult three days of trying my best to stay in the 1200-calorie range. To say I'm hungry is an understatement. I feel like I'm starving to death. I'm trying to follow his eating guidelines. Actually, they're similar to Weight Watchers but without all the "free" fruit.

I've been eating a bit more protein than his plan recommends, because, well, you know I work out soooo hard. I think I've been kidding myself about exactly how hard I'm really exercising. I thought the extra protein would help with the hunger but it's not working. I know, I'm breaking the rules and if this doesn't work for me it's totally my own fault.

The ugly
I'm feeling sort of weak and light headed, and I'm more forgetful than normal. Forgetting names of people that I've known for years, losing my cell phone (found it in my car), and other things that are starting drive me a little nuts.

I can't decide if this is all in my head and I'm imagining it or if it's because of the reduced calories. I know the upside of the hunger means I'm losing weight. The downside is that it's difficult to function when I feel like this.

My workout this morning was really terrible. Thirty minutes on the StairMaster and each step felt like torture. I only completed 103 floors. I normally complete at least 125 to 135 floors (my personal best was 144 floors in 30 minutes).

My strength workout wasn't much better. The barbell that I use for bicep curls and overhead shoulder presses is 45 pounds. I've been doing it for months but today that 45 pounds felt like 65 pounds. I completed all of my exercises and reps (three sets each) but it was a struggle. I really just wanted to go home, eat everything in sight, and crawl back into bed. Usually I don't even think about food when I'm at the gym in the morning.

My calories burned on my heart rate monitor for my hour workout was 380. Usually it's 500 - 600 calories. Not good.

A word about Weight Watchers
I've been whining about the zero Points fruits and vegetables, but really, for most people I don't think this is a problem. It's really just a problem for me. I don't seem to know when to stop. I guess I'm lacking in common sense when it comes to food. After all, I did gain 100 pounds. That says a lot about my self-control when it comes to food.

I'm still attending meetings, mainly for the accountability of the weigh ins and because I love my leader.

Link to my food diary
I'm tracking my food on a different blog page -- Food Diary, with calories AND Points for everything I'm eating. It's very boring reading but I'm really surprised how many calories I'm consuming. I'm pretty sure I was eating a lot more than 2000 calories a day because 1300 calories seems like starvation to me now. No wonder I've been gaining weight.

My conclusion about this whole thing
It really is lot harder than I thought to eat only 1200 calories a day. I really hate being this hungry. I know it'll be worth it if I can get this weight off. Thanks Allan for sharing your plan with us, I appreciate it, but oh my gosh, this is difficult!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

This was a very tough day

After 25 days of vacation I went back to work today. It's hard for me to get back into the swing of things after a long weekend. After almost four weeks, it was darn near impossible. I'm so tired right now I can barely stay awake.

Today is also the first day in a really long time where I was extremely careful with what I ate.  I'm doing an experiment through the end of January. I'm still counting Points, but I'm also counting calories. Double the fun, right?

I have my doubts about the new Weight Watcher PointsPlus plan. Zero Points for all fruits and most vegetables just doesn't seem right to me.

I know someone reading this is thinking 'she didn't get fat from eating too many fruits and vegetables'. That's probably true, but it's also true that I can consume massive quantities of fruits and vegetables. Six large bananas is 600 calories. I've easily eaten six bananas in a day several times in my life, in addition to my regular meals. I seem to have a bottomless pit for a stomach. This is enough calories that would prevent me from having a weight loss and might even cause a gain.

I rarely list what I eat unless it's something I binged on like the can of cake frosting I ate about a year ago. Or the pizza and coconut cream pie I ate on New Year's Eve. In an effort for accountability I'm going to post every bite I eat, at least through the end of January.

Since I don't want to bore you all to death with my daily food intake, I've created a separate blog of my food diary. The calories and the Points will be documented. This is really for me, so I can see it all in one place. I just started it tonight, but haven't added the link yet.

Unfortunately, since I'm dead tired right now and getting up this morning was a challenge, I'm heading to bed right now.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January 2, 2011 - 181 pounds

Pictures from the ice park at North Pole, Alaska.
December 31, 2010

The vacation
I'm back from Fairbanks where I had a wonderful week with  my family. I'm blessed to have a really great family. We have a little dysfunctional stuff going on, just like any family, but we have a lot of fun together. I was actually crying on the plane after leaving them yesterday. I miss them already.

You can see from my title I didn't do so well with the weight loss this last week. I actually gained four pounds in the week I was in Fairbanks. Even though my sister normally eats really healthy, her children (my nieces and their families), well, not so much.

My nieces, sister and myself started off the week going to the gym Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. My 72-year old skinny (and beautiful) sister usually goes five days a week. On Thursday and Friday we just wanted to stay home, relax and visit, so that's exactly what we did.

For New Year's Day everyone decided on Papa Murphy's pizza (with extra cheese). I looked it up before I ate it, 28 Points for 1/8 of  a pizza (combination). I had two pieces. Then there was the coconut cream pie for dessert (which I didn't even bother to look up the Points) Seriously, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I haven't eaten food like this in oh, I don't know, three years! I wish I could say it made me sick and I felt awful afterwards. I didn't. I felt fine, with just a twinge of regret knowing I was going home the next day and facing the scale.

It wasn't just the one day of overindulgence. My sister makes the world's best homemade bread. It's whole wheat and healthy, but it's bread, and I'm sure it's high in Points. I can't resist it.

We also ate out a lot and even though I tried to order healthy food, eating out is not conducive to weight loss unless you really watch it. I didn't.

Check out this salad I had at Chili's that I looked up AFTER I ate it. I could have looked it up before since I had my phone and internet connection, but I made a conscious decision to look it up later, knowing it wouldn't be good.

Quesadilla Explosion Salad
Calories 1400
Fat grams 88
Sat. Fat 26
Carbs 88
Protein 65
Fiber 10
Sodium 2320

Can you believe those numbers? It should be illegal to serve something this high in fat and calories, not to mention the sodium.

On the plane ride home I felt miserable because my clothes were too tight. My bra was cutting into my back (back fat), my jeans were too snug around my waist (gut fat) and I was wearing my big size 12's. I was so thankful I got a First Class seat  (remember, I'm an airline employee...not rich). I can't imagine three hours squeezed into a middle seat in coach. I think I would have died. At least I was in a nice wide seat for my nice wide butt.

I'm a little disappointed in myself, but I had a great time last week. It really wasn't about the food, it was about spending time with the people I love. The food just happened to be there. I could have said no, and a few times I did eat healthy. Obviously though, I didn't make good choices most of the time.

I will give myself a little credit though. When I got home last night about 8pm, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home. My husband is in Denver visiting his family so it was just going to be me at home. I have issues with eating when I'm alone. It's when I do my worst eating, when no one is watching. I'm a closet eater of junk food. When I'm alone is the most dangerous time for me.

As I was walking through the store last night I had coconut cream pie on my mind. I kept telling myself no. I bought my staples, organic non-fat milk, organic eggs, my favorite whole-grain bread, chicken breasts, non-fat yogurt, lots of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and a lot of other things that I eat on a regular basis. All very healthy and on plan.

I kept thinking about the bakery and walked past it a few times, but I never actually looked at any of the baked goods. They have a large cooler full of pies. I knew there would be a coconut cream pie in the cooler. I knew I could buy one, take it home and eat the whole thing. I knew no one would ever know. Somehow I managed to get out of the store with only my healthy food. I consider this a major accomplishment.

Now what?
Now it's time to get down to business. I don't have the I'm-on-vacation excuse. I have great hopes that I can get this thing under control. Today the gym is on my schedule, along with tracking my food and drinking tons of water. Tomorrow it's Weight Watchers and an official weigh in.

I go back to work on Tuesday, and back to my regular routine. For some unexplicable reason, I'm feeling positive and hopeful. I know I can and will do this (again).

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...