Saturday, April 30, 2011

Finding joy in food / 183.6

I've been following this young lady's blog for the last couple of years. She follows a vegan diet and eats very healthy. She maintains her prefect healthy weight through eating natural whole foods.

What amazes me is when you look at the food she prepares it doesn't look at all like "diet" food. She uses wholesome ingredients and never mentions calories. She eats real food.

Since obviously what I've been doing isn't really working for me lately (like the last year or more), I thought it's time I take a different approach to my eating. Instead of constantly going for the totally non-fat, sugar-free, lowest calories food, I'm going to try eating more whole foods and fewer processed foods.

I'm going to stay with Weight Watchers and will still count Points and track my food, but I want to eat different food. A woman (or man) cannot live by chicken breasts and Brussels sprouts forever.

I attended two Weight Watcher meetings this week, one on Wednesday (at-work meeting) and one today. The topic for both was the same, about having a variety in your food. If you eat the same thing you'll get bored and start overeating, trying to compensate for the boredom. I'm living proof of this statement.

This is exactly where I've been for the past year. I couldn't even remember the last time I tried a new food. My breakfast for the last three years has been the same almost every single day. A couple of times I'd try oatmeal (yuk!), and immediately would go back to my same boring (although delicious) breakfast.

In case you're wondering, my breakfast was a healthy egg McMuffin type meal: one egg, 28 grams 2% sharp cheddar cheese, 4 thin slices Canadian bacon, 1 sandwich thin. PointsPlus = 8. Full of protein and cheesy goodness, but after three years, extremely boring.

After Wednesday's Weight Watcher meeting, I tried Fiber One pancakes. Thursday and Friday I had a mashed banana added to the Fiber One pancake mix and sugar-free pancake syrup (Smuckers). It was okay, but not fantastic. I didn't like the sugar-free syrup, although it tasted okay, I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners and usually have Stevia if I must have something sweet. It just didn't seem healthy. Processed Fiber One mix and sugar-free syrup, not exactly natural or a whole food.

Today I decided to break away from my usual practice of figuring out the Points before I eat. I know, scary idea isn't it? Breakfast today was really breakfast/lunch at 12:30 p.m. so I knew I had a lot of Points to play with (I get 29 a day and still have 44 of weeklies to use this week, plus all my activity Points).

I saw a recipe on Angela's blog that looked and sounded wonderful. Spiced-up Stacked Pumpkin Butter Pancakes For One.

I couldn't make them exactly as she said because I couldn't find the Kamut flour at the nutrition center of my local Fred Meyers. Instead, I used Bob's Red Mill Organic High Fiber Pancake and Waffle (a combination of several different types of organic whole grains). I added only a teaspoon of baking powder to make them fluffier, but not as much as Angela added since the mix already contained some baking powder.

I purchased my first jar of Nature's Way EfaGold Coconut Oil, pure extra virgin. I cringed when I looked at the calories, but I was determined to make the recipe as close to Angela's as I could. You can read about the benefits of coconut oil here. I've been reading about it on several blogs but sort of blew it off. I mean, it's an oil and very high in calories. However, I eat olive oil since it's healthy and it's high in calories too. I think it's time I try something different in the oil department.

Angela has a Pumpkin Butter recipe that I'm going to try, but this morning I didn't want to take the time. Instead I purchased R.W. Knudsen's Organic Apple Butter (one PointsPlus per tablespoon).

I made the pancakes using the Bob's Pancake mix and substituted the store-bought apple butter for the pumpkin butter as the topping. I added one tablespoon pecans on top of the apple butter and had one egg on the side (for extra protein and I'm a big egg lover).

This meal was fit for a king. I'm not kidding you when I say this was the best pancake I've ever eaten in my entire life. The total PointsPlus for everything was 14. That's a lot for one meal, but it was my breakfast and lunch together, and it was delightful. Worth every Point.

I'm going to stop by the health food store and pick up some Kamut flour, but I doubt it can beat the pancake I had today. I also plan to whip up the Pumpkin Butter. I'm not sure if the Points will be that much different than the store-bough Apple Butter, but I'd like to try it anyway.

Since I put away the book by she-who-shall-not-be-named I feel 100% better about myself and my life. Looking back at the past and dwelling on unpleasant situations really doesn't work for me. I'd rather look towards the future. I'm feeling very positive and happy today (it helps that the sun is shining).

Taking joy in our food isn't a bad thing. In fact, I think it's a much  healthier way to look at food, rather than think of it as the enemy. We need to grab our joy where we can find it, as long as it's good for us and healthy. I really believe it's okay if that joy is in our food.


Picture from this morning, on my way to Weight Watchers

 Beautiful sky

Close up of the flowers that are just starting to pop out on our tree int he front yard.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I do NOT like this book

The book
I'm on chapter two of A Course in Weight Loss, 21 Spiritual lessons for surrendering your weight forever, by Marianne Williamson. I wonder, exactly what does "surrendering your weight forever" mean?

I've decided this book is a bunch of crap. Lesson two is even more stupid than lesson one. It's titled Thin You, Meet Not-Thin You. I got about four pages into this lesson and realized I don't like this author.

Marianne talks about Divine Mind, and "One in Whose hands it will dissolve forever". Seriously? Sounds kind of Harry Potter-ish to me. If she's talking about God then why doesn't she just say "God"?

When I read "Fat cells will dissolve permanently when they are dissolved through the power of love." I almost couldn't stop laughing. That's news to me. I thought those little guys were with me for life. I knew they could shrink, but I didn't know a little love could get rid of them.

I'm sure she was speaking figuratively and not literally, but so much of her writing is like a puzzle. It sounds nice but it doesn't make any sense.

Lesson one, tearing down the wall, which involved looking at the darkness in my life, was a terrible exercise. Dredging up old grievances and sadness in my life did nothing for my soul. Examining them in detail was horribly depressing.

This is by far the worst weight loss book I've ever read in my life, and I've read a lot of them.

After reading this book for a few days, I remembered buying another Marianne Williamson book several years ago. I had totally forgotten about that book. I can't remember the name of it. That was when I respected Oprah and she was promoting it at the time. I hated that book. In fact, that's when I was very involved with my church, reading the Bible daily, and of course, daily prayer. I found Marianne's writing offensive, and I still do.

I think there might be some value in this book. Sadly, so much of it is New Age garbage that you have to try to weed through to get to anything worthwhile, I really don't think it has much overall value.

I did a little research on Marianne last night and found an interview she did several years ago. Personally, I think she's a little crazy. Sure, we're all a little bit crazy, but most of us aren't out there selling our brand of crazy to the masses.

Buyer beware

And life goes on
It's only Tuesday but yesterday was long! After a couple of sleepless nights over the weekend (thanks to that damn book), I awoke exhausted on Monday morning. I felt like I hadn't slept all weekend. I managed to drag myself to the gym, but my heart wasn't in it.

Saturday I had done a new upper body workout that killed my triceps, biceps and deltoids. My arms are still very sore. After purchasing a great new magazine that I totally love, "Muscle and Fitness hers", I read about doing supersets or compound sets. I remember doing these years ago, but had forgot all about them.

You pick two or three exercises for one body part and then you complete one set of one exercise and go immediately into the next one, alternating until you complete all sets. Compound sets are a great way to get better results in less time, stimulating muscle growth while also bumping up fat loss. I also found it a lot less boring.

After the gym I only had a half day of work because I had a dentist appointment. I go three times a year for a cleaning, but this wasn't a normal visit. It was to "look at my crown". I had a crown put on a molar three years when my dentist saw a "shadow" in the x-ray. I had no pain in that tooth but he convinced me I needed a crown, which resulted in three years of cold sensitivity and often pain.

The "looking at my crown" turned into a two-hour root canal. My dentist is a "pain-free" dentist and I didn't feel any pain, other than sitting there for two hours while he drilled, prodded, poked, drilled some more, more poking and prodding and more drilling. I had my iPod cranked up but I had no idea it was going to be two freaking hours in that chair.

I was on nitrous oxide the entire time so I was in happy land.When I came home I took a Valium he had prescribed because as soon as the numbness wore off I wasn't in happy land anymore. After dinner, a bowl of delicious homemade beef vegetable soup I made in the pressure cooker (my new best friend), I became violently ill. Like I thought I was going to die ill. I couldn't stop throwing up. It was horrible.

I'm not sure what made me so sick. This is the first beef I've eaten in over two years. It was fresh, as well as all the vegetables. Maybe it was a reaction to the Valium, but I've never had that happen before.

At least I'm over it now and I've tested out the crown. I can drink ice water and let it hit that tooth without screeching in pain. I guess it was worth it.

Now, off to the gym. I have some new glute exercises to try (from the magazine - love it!).

One last thing, as my friend Roxie often kind to yourself today (and others). :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It should be called: A course in pain

Last night, after my husband was asleep and the house was quiet, I sat down with my book, A Course in Weight Loss. I was determined to tackle chapter one, tearing down the wall. The wall being all the things that are stopping me from losing weight.

With a heavy heart and a feeling of dread, I picked four words that reflected emotions or feelings that I I feel very strongly. I chose the ones that were the most important to me. Ironically, they were the first four words in the list of twenty-six.

My choices were:  Shame, Anger, Fear, Unforgiveness.

I sat at my computer and went conscious (versus going unconscious). I wrote out everything I could about those feelings. I cried. I felt sad. I remembered some things about my past that I had forgotten and had put away because they were too painful to deal with. According to lesson one, I need to deal with them now in order to lose weight.

The most powerful emotion in my list is Anger. The anger I hold in my heart stems from something that happened Easter weekend seventeen years ago. It was 1994. My husband and I had been married five and half years. We had married in 1988, the first time for both us, and both of us 33 years old. Both of us were very set in our ways.

Looking from the outside in, we appeared to have same the same values and were very much alike. We seemed perfect for each other. Looking from the inside, we were, and still are, very different.

What happened on Easter weekend in 1994 is a source of great pain for me. My husband left me, for three years. He moved out of our home. He didn't even tell me he was leaving. We hadn't discussed separation or divorce, although we had been arguing continually over everything. He just didn't come home from work on a Friday night, Good Friday 1994.

All weekend I had no idea what had happened to him. This was before cell phones. I found out later he had spent the weekend with a friend, a female that I didn't know. He claimed they were just friends, but after examining our phone records where I saw he had spent hours on the phone with her while I was at work, I was sure they were more than "just" friends.

When he came home early Monday morning, the day after Easter, he said he was moving out. I asked him why, he said he couldn't live with me any longer. It was too stressful, I was too "difficult" to live with and he couldn't talk to me. I asked him where he was going and he simply said he didn't know for sure. I asked if he wanted a divorce, and he said he didn't know.

He came back that evening and packed up his suitcases and left. I remember begging him not to leave me. I asked if we could try marriage counseling. He said no. I asked him how we could work on our problems if we weren't even living together. He simply said he had to leave.

We barely spoke for the next six months. I can't even begin to tell you the pain I went through during those six months. To add insult to injury I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life, 200 pounds. During the next year I managed to gain another thirty pounds and my weight shot up to 230. I thought that was probably part of the reason he left me. He was thin, a runner, lifted weights and he was very physically fit. I was fat and forty and now I was alone. I knew I'd be alone the rest of my life.

I remember many nights of weeping, curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor. Dramatic? I guess, but I remember feeling like I was dying of a broken heart.For some reason curling up in a ball on the bathroom floor seemed to calm me. I cried the hardest I had ever cried in my life.

During the three years we were separated I filed for divorce twice. Both times he talked me out of it. Sometimes I wonder how much different both of our lives would be now if I would have followed through on a divorce. Would it be better for both of us, or would it be worse.

The second time I filed for divorce, I was dead set on following through iwth it. We'd been separated three years, and I had lost over 100 pounds. I weighed 126 and was happy and very self-confident. Even though I was 42, I was getting a lot of attention from men. I wanted to date, to fall in love again and live my life, but I was still married. If my husband didn't want me, I wanted a chance to find someone else.

As we sat outside the courtroom for the second time, waiting to go before the judge to tell him that yes, we wanted a divorce, my husband pleaded with me for another chance. He said he could tell I'd changed and he loved me and wanted to make our marriage work. That was August 1997. I thought it was what I wanted at the time. Sometimes, I'm not  sure I made the right decision.

I'm still angry at my husband over what happened seventeen years ago. I'm angry not only that he walked out, but I'm angry how he handled it. To this day I can't believe he did something so incredibly cruel and heartless.

We've discussed it over and over, and even though he says he's sorry that I feel this way, he still says he did what he had to do. To this day he denies there was anyone else.

According to lesson one, the last section is called "Reflection and Prayer". Supposedly you hand these problems over to God, and He will help you understand and feel the pain. Once this happens the pain will disappear. I feel the pain, I understand it, now I'm waiting for the "disappear" part.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I made a deal with the devil

Well, the deal isn't actually with the devil, but with Marianne Williamson.

First, the bike ride
I just finished my first bike ride of the spring. I rode once last February when we had a sort of nice day, but today the weather was perfect. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE bike riding? It's my favorite way to get in my cardio, and according to my heart rate monitor I burned 550 calories just bike riding (it's only eight miles but very hilly).

I stopped at the gym on my return and completed a full hour of upper body weights doing a new routine. I found a DVD I purchased about three years ago but never watched until this morning. I watched it and wrote down the exercise to do at the gym. I work out better there than I do at home. The routine uses dumbbells only, nine exercises, three sets of 15 reps, three exercises each for deltoids, triceps and biceps. It took me the entire hour plus to finish the routine and my arms ache now. Then I rode my bike home. I was/am exhausted!

Biking is at at least a hundred times more fun than any of the boring gym cardio equipment. The fresh air and sunshine does wonders for the soul. Yes, I said SUNSHINE! In Seattle! With a balmy 64 degrees. It's a little piece of heaven on earth when the sun shines here.

The deal
Now about my deal with the devil. When I purchased Marianne Williamson's "A Course In Weight Loss" I made a promise to myself that I would read the entire book and give it a chance. I buy a lot of weight loss books and as you can tell from reading my blog, none of them have really helped me. Probably because I never really give them a chance.

Honestly, I don't like this book very much (it's a bit too Zen-Buddhist/new age for me) . I'm still on lesson one. It's called Tear Down the Wall.

This is what Marianne says on page 20:

Your first lesson focuses on the following visualization:  the image of excess weight as a brick wall you are carrying around. This wall has been built by your subconscious mind; its purpose is to separate you from other people and from life itself. Your fear has built the wall, and love will tear it down.

Looking closely, you see that every brick has something written on it:

A few of the words (she actually lists 26 words, but you get the idea):


You select the words that you can relate to, that you have in your past. She says: by allowing yourself to look and to feel, you will ultimately understand. This is a meaningful opportunity to see your light, by being courageous enough to look at your darkness.

She has a paragraph for each word, and you're suppose to fill in the blank for the words that apply to you.  For example:

Shame:  I am ashamed of ________________________________________.
Perhaps you acted foolishly, and cringe to think that other people still remember...
Do not go unconscious. Write it all out.

I sort of like the "Do not go unconscious" part since I do that a lot when it comes to bad feelings or sad emotions. I'd prefer not to think about them. Perhaps this is my problem.

This is a very painful exercise and not one I'm enjoying. However, I'm determined to follow through on this course, regardless of the bad memories it's dredging up from my past.

Funny but true, I'm not an Oprah fan in the least and the book is dedicated to Oprah. Cracked me up. 

My Weight
I missed Weight Watchers this morning. I just couldn't seem to get going in time to make my 11:15am meeting (I was still in my PJs!). I weighed at home and was a little upset by what I saw. 187.4. Not good. I'm trying hard to not beat myself up about this, but to just get back on track.

My plan for this week is to track everything I eat with eTools, follow portion control (two cups of frozen cherries is not a portion nor is eight ounces of chicken breast). I also want to follow the healthy eating guidelines as closely as possible.

I'm feeling pretty positive at the moment, but I'm also afraid as soon as I delve back into that book I'm going to be sad again. Do you really think you have to look at the darkness to see the light? That just doesn't make a lot of sense.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Learning to love....myself

Since I didn't feel very good this morning, I decided to stay home from work today. Instead, I curled up in front of the TV where I discovered Ruby on Netflix. I had a Ruby marathon. I've never watched her show. I spent three hours watching Ruby and her weight struggles, and reading weight loss blogs.  It was a perfect day.

Around 3pm I decided I'd better go to the gym. Watching Ruby kind of scared me. Ruby and I have too much in common. I can see how I could easily slip into my old lifestyle, eating poorly and not exercising daily.

After the gym I went to Barnes and Noble. I had to have the 4HB book right now. 4HB is The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. I know, silly title, but a few people have recommended it and it seems to be working for them. I thought maybe something new would work for me since I've been struggling for the last several months.

The 4HB book is a huge hardback, very thick and very large. I glanced through it, looking at the graphs and charts, skimming through the book, reading a few sentences here and there. Then I stood there and stared at all those weight loss books. There are several shelves of this type of book, each one promising a miracle. I recognized several of them since I already own them, some I've read, some I've started but never finished.

As I held the 4HB book in my hands, I thought, do I really need this? Is this the book that will fix me? I didn't like some of the things I read. It sounded really restrictive, with a cheat day. I've never been good with a cheat day. I just don't like the idea of throwing away a week's worth of work to cheat on one day.

Then a book caught my eye. "A Course In Weight Loss". Then I saw the author's name and almost didn't even pull the book off the shelf. It's by Marianne Williamson. I saw her years ago on Oprah. I had an immediate dislike for her new age religion mumbo jumbo. Actually, I often have a dislike for someone that Oprah gushes over and promotes. I'm sure Oprah is a nice person in real life, but honestly, sometimes she annoys me on her TV show.

I opened the book and realized I had looked at it before, and didn't purchase it because of the author. I flipped the book open to page 93 and read the following:

Lesson 7:  Love Your Body

Love, and love only, produces miracles. Your primary work in doing this course is to identify where there is a lack of love in your life, and be willing to address it.

That includes your love of self, and your body is part of who you are If you love your body when you're thin but hate it when you're not, then you love yourself conditionally, which is not love at all. If you can't love your body, you can't really love yourself.

"But how can I love my body when I hate the way it looks?" you might ask.

Begin by asking yourself:  What are you hating your body for?  For being overweight? It didn't do this to you; you did this to it! You haven't been abused by your body; your body has been abused by you. And yet, unlike you, it has continued to hold up its side of the relationship. It has continued to function as best it can, even though you have made it harder. It has borne excess pounds, even though it has been a burden to do so. And it has continued to support you, even though you have often failed to support it.

Is it your body you hate, or its size? And since all negative emotions derive from fear, if you hate your body, you must fear something. What is that? Do you fear ridicule? Or is your deeper fear--one that overrides your fear of being overweight--a fear that you'll be punished if you try to "play big" in life? Again, what are you afraid of?

I was hooked. It was like she was speaking directly to me. I know I need to learn how to love myself right now. Not when I lose another thirty or forty pounds, but right now, as I am this very moment. I need to get over the constant hate of myself. What I've been doing isn't working for me. It's not the life I want to live. I want to learn how to love...starting with me.

Why I'm so hard on myself

Originally, the comments were off on this post, but I seriously hate it when someone posts something and I have something to say and can't. Makes me just a bit crazy. So I turned the comments back on, in case there are other nut cases out there like me. :)

I've been thinking about writing this post for a very long time, probably years.

Almost weekly I get a comment on my blog that's basically the same thing, asking me the same questions:  Diana, why are you so hard on yourself? Why don't you love yourself for who you are now?

I get these same comments in my real world too. Well meaning friends often ask me why I'm so negative about myself, why I'm continually putting myself down, beating myself up over my weight as well as many other things. Even when I had lunch with Grace and Roxie in March, Roxie said the same thing to me (said with compassion).

I know these comments and questions about how I don't value myself are said from the heart and meant to help me. For some reason that I can't explain, I find them hurtful. I usually immediately get defensive and almost always want to cry because I know it's true. I know it's really stupid to feel hurt, and it doesn't make any sense to anyone except to me.

It's feels like in addition to being fat, stupid, and ugly, now I have a personality flaw:  I don't value myself.

I realize that people who say these things to me don't really mean it as an insult, they're merely trying to help me and boost my self-confidence. I hold nothing against anyone who has made these types of comments or asked these questions. If anything, I know you're compassionate and caring.

I really wish I knew why I feel this way about myself. I guess I just don't see what other people see. I look at pictures of myself or look in the mirror or even look at my soul. I don't see anyone worthwhile or attractive or even healthy. I see a fat, middle-aged woman barely hanging on.

I know this is something I need to work on, just not today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I want to write a good post, I really do

I had a plan for a thoughtful post tonight, based around a really kind and sweet comment I received yesterday (thank you Rebecca!).

I had an exhausting two days sitting in a training class where I was bored out of my mind. For some reason, that just wore me out and now I just want to sleep.

In addition, my lower back and is killing me, and it's because of a new exercise I tried yesterday. The inch worm. It looked simple in the book. Just stand up, feet flat on the floor, shoulder width, and bend over from your waist. Put your palms flat on the floor in front of your feet. Don't bend your knees. Walk out your hands (right, left, right, etc.), until you're in a full pushup position but walk your hands out even further out i front of you, then walk your hands back until you're bent at the waist again. Sounds really easy, right?

The guy in the video isn't really doing it correctly because he's bending his knees, they're suppose to be straight, but you get the idea. I only did six reps but thought I was going to die. It's suppose to be for your abs, so I must have been doing it wrong because it's my back that hurts.

My lower back is in total agony from this exercise. I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. I guess I pulled something or used a muscle I didn't know I had back there. Anyway, I don't think I like this exercise.

I'm going to do some stretches, take a couple aspirin and go to bed. Thoughtful post tomorrow. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Learning from my past

Reading some of my old posts from when I started Weight Watchers in 2008 made me realize just how obsessed I was back then on getting to goal. There was no stopping me (so what the hell has happened?).

In five short months I lost 60 pounds. On February 19, 2008 I weighed 239 and on July 7, 2008 I weighed 179. I was down 60 pounds. By February of 2009 I had lost a total of 84 pounds and weighed 154.6. I wasn't obese or even overweight, I had a normal BMI. For about five minutes as my weight starting bouncing up and down for the next two years.

After reading some of my old posts from that first year I saw some huge differences in what I was doing then versus what I'm doing now.

  Tracking what I eat.

Then:  I was fanatical about tracking my food. I weighed and measure EVERYTHING and used the online eTools to keep track.

Now:  I often start out the day with the best intentions to track every bite, but usually by late afternoon I quit tracking. I often don't tack anything after lunch ad get very sloppy about weighing and measuring my food. I guess on portion sizes, which is a huge mistake.

Then:  I was a crazy woman about exercise.

Now:  I'm still pretty crazy about exercise. Although reading about my workouts in 2008 versus my workouts now, I was really into trying different routines, new exercises. At the moment I'm in a bit of a rut. I work out on most days, but it's basically always the same routine.

Then:  I rarely missed a Weight Watcher meeting.
Now: I seem to continually come up with excuses to skip meetings. I wasn't going to go yesterday (Saturday), but my husband asked me point blank, "why do you keep paying $40 a month and you hardly ever go to a meeting?". I went to the meeting, and I was one of the best meetings I've ever been too.

Then:  I read a lot of blogs back then and left comments on those other logs. I had a lot more readers that left comments.. I remember how much so many people there helped me along my path. People were always encouraging and kind.

I posted on my own blog almost every day.

Now:  I have a few faithful folks out there that leave comments, but I haven't been returning the favor like I did in the past. I know how much I appreciate comments, so I'm pretty sure the rest of the bloggers feel the same way. In the blogging world what goes around comes around.

I think about blogging every day, but I often go days without posting anything.

Then:  I had really high hopes for getting to my goal weight. I was excited, and I just knew I'd make it.

Now:  Lately I've been overridden with guilt for gaining weight, and fear that I won't be able to stop the weight gain. My enthusiasm has dwindled to almost nothing.

Goal Setting

Then: I was always setting mini goals for myself and even though I didn't always make them, at least I tried.

Now: I don't set goals, or if I do, I don't even try.

Health Eating Guidelines

Then:  I really paid attention to Weight Watchers Healthy Eating guidelines. I took them seriously.

Now:  I try halfheartedly, but since I don't keep track of my food, I'm obviously not keeping track of the healthy eating guidelines foods (ex. 2 teaspoons of healthy oil, three dairies etc). 

Posting my weekly weighins
Then:  I posted my weight every week.

Now: I almost can't remember the last time I posted an official Weight Watcher weighin.

My self-assessment of where I am now

The last several months I haven't really been trying to lose weight. I feel like I've barely been hanging on.

I know what to do and how to do it. I have a proven track record that shows I'm capable of losing weight. I say I want to lose weight, but I don't make the effort it takes to get there. I know that losing weight takes hard work. Just like most good things in life, you have to work for it. It doesn't just happen.

Basically, I have a lot of work to do. I need to address every one of the items above. Those are the things that worked for me in the past and they can work for me again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The rock climbing experience

 Yes, that's me, climbing the wall today.

I have never gone back and read any of my old posts. Until tonight. I wanted to find the post from the last time I went rock climbing. It was February 6, 2009. Here's the blog post.

It was on my "old" blog. If you don't know the history of my old blog it has to do with an online "fight" I had with a guy named Tony, the Anti-Jared. It was very ugly, and becasue of it, I shut down my blog. The entire incident reminds me of some of the online stuff I see these days between bloggers. Really stupid. Of course I immediately regretted my knee-jerk decision about shutting down my blog in February 2009, so I started a new blog, same title (this one). 

As I was going through my old posts trying find the rock climbing one, I read several of them. I use to put a lot of thought into my posts. I was also very determined to lose weight and be healthy back then. As I read through my posts from 2009 I started wondering what happened to my spark. I was on fire back then and now I barely have an ember of enthusiasm left. I want to recapture that feeling.

I've decided to go back to my very first post on May 13, 2008, and read my history. Maybe I can learn something about  myself. Maybe that girl that was so determined can help this girl that's feeling hopeless.

The Rock Climbing event today
It wasn't as fun as in 2009. Part of it was probably because I was exhausted from the last two weeks of working crazy hours and major stress, but a much larger part of it is my weight. When I did this in February 2009 I weighed 157 pounds (I posted that weight in the rock climbing post). Today I weighed 185 pounds. That's a difference of 28 pounds. The difference in how much harder it was today than it was in 2009 was huge, 28 pounds of huge.

I only climbed one wall today. In 2009 I climbed four walls. It wasn't the toddler wall like in the video from my 2009 post, but it was one of the easier ones. The only things positive about it is that a.) I did get to the top and b) my butt isn't quite as gigantic as I have it pictured in my head. Although the difference in my body from 2009 as seen in the video on my old post, and today, as I saw in pictures of myself, is huge and not in a good way.

I'm not sure why, but for some reason I can't pinpoint I feel very sad tonight. Sad that I didn't get to my goal weight when I was so close to it in 2009, sad that I've regained 28 pounds from my February 2009 weight, and sad that I didn't really have a good time today because of my weight.

Something I wrote in my 2009 rock climbing post keeps going through my head:

"That's what it all boils down to: self-care. Do we care enough to take care of our body? Maybe it's just something fun, like climbing a rock wall or opening day at the pool with your kids or riding in a 100-mile bike ride and giving it your best. Or maybe it's some type of critical surgery that your life depends on. Will you be ready? Think about that the next time you want to throw this all out the window. The next time you want to say to hell with counting Points, to hell with the freaking treadmill, to hell with the whole thing. You might as well be saying to hell with your life."

Why didn't I listen to myself back then? Maybe it's not too late. I can still take my own advice, right?

Pretty funny & Climbing the Rock

A comment left on my last post titled "Fewer candy bars, more vegetables":

"On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 7:10 AM, hrgottlieb <> wrote:
hrgottlieb has left a new comment on your post "Fewer candy bars, more vegetables":

I wonder if your readers would benefit from a good resource for candy fundraising ideas? There are tons of different candy fundraisers to consider. But not all candy fundraising programs are the same."

Can you imagine me with a couple cases of candy in my house, for "fundraising" purposes? Pretty freaking hysterical.

Climbing the Rock
Remember my post from a couple years ago about my 25th anniversary with my company. Probably not. I can't even find the post, I think it was February 2009, so that's in my "old" blog (long story). I weighed 166. I always remember my weight. I chose rock climbing as my activity of choice for my team. So off we went to Vertical World in Seattle.

So, here I am, 20 pounds heavier and my coworker celebrating his 20 years with the company today has chosen rock climbing for the team. Everyone had so much fun at mine that he wanted to do it again. Today I will be pulling my 185 body up a wall. I hope my arms can sustain this extra weight. I have my doubts but I'm going to give it my best try.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm a happy girl again!

My coworkers are hysterical. This was my cubicle today (and it's a mess). The red flag means stay out. No one has been allowed to talk to me for the last twelve days. Today someone put up the police tape. I didn't even notice it when they put it up, and I was in my cube. I had my headphones on and was totally focused. It's like I've been in solitary confinement.

After twelve days of feeling like I was in the depths of despair in my job, a miracle happened today. Seriously. I'm not a kidding. A real miracle.

First of all, I've never been this frustrated over a work project. I've had difficult tasks, but I've always had enough time to complete them. This time I was under the gun. After taking over something from a coworker, I had twelve days to complete something that after I got into it, I realized would take at the bare minimum a month, and to do a good job, probably a couple months or more. Of course, by the time I realized this I was knee deep with the a solid deadline in front of me.

Today my manager came back from vacation. She had left right before I started working on this project from hell. Have I mentioned I really like my manager? She's fair, understanding, and really wants the best for her employees. I'm very lucky.

We just happened to arrive at work this morning at the exact same time. Although I hadn't planned to catch her first thing, I asked if we could talk. After I explained the problem to her, she immediately came up with a much quicker and easier solution. Something that would take me about four hours to code instead of two months. She ran it by the director and it was quickly approved. Like I said, it was a true miracle.

I can breathe again.

Yesterday Helen wrote a post about INO. It's a great post and really hit home with me. It's really simple, INO stand for "It's Not an Option".

I've been using INO for over three years when it comes to exercise. There are mornings when going to the gym is really not something I want to do. It would be much easier to sleep or find any excuse to not go. There are many mornings when I'm getting dressed in my workout clothes that I think about not going, but I always tell myself, "hey, not exercising is NOT an option. You have do this, regardless of how tired you feel or if you feel like crap from eating candy yesterday, you're going to the gym!". That was my Sunday conversation with myself after my big Saturday Milky Way bar binge.

I don't know why it's never occurred to me to use INO for eating. Helen talked about INO for her exercise and her food. Eat smaller portions of healthy food. It's worked these three plus years for exercise. I am trainable.

It's almost 2:30 a.m. (yes, I was testing the quick and easy fix before it goes to our QA group tomorrow morning). I ate healthy and smaller portions than normal all day yesterday and today. I thought about getting a snack tonight several times while I was working (I'm working from home). I used INO, and oddly, it worked.

At the moment I'm more tired than hungry so I made it through two whole days now without eating at night. Lately, that's some sort of record for me.

Here are a couple pictures I took after work tonight. I love these trees. I'm not sure, but maybe they're cherry trees? This is right outside my office. That's the moon in top picture, between the branches. It was about 7:30pm last night (I still haven't been to bed yet, but I'm going as soon as I hit publish). The other picture shows my lonely car in the parking lot. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fewer candy bars, more vegetables

My last post was titled "into every life a little rain must fall". That theme continued throughout the week and into my weekend.

Yesterday, Saturday, I drove into the office so I could do some heads down coding, without the interruptions at home. I was there for twelve hours.

I took an hour break and drove over to a Bally's gym in Kent. I'd never been to this gym before but it was 5 miles from my work so it was convenient. Even though I got in a a 30-minute elliptical workout, it was probably the worst gym I've ever visited. I felt like I was going to hit my head on the ceiling when I was on the elliptical.

To annoy me even further there was some goofy guy standing right in front of me doing weird stretching exercises and wiggling his butt back and forth, sticking it up in the air. He did these odd stretching exercises for twenty minutes. It was very odd, especially since the gym was almost empty and he could have chosen a more private location for his obscene stretches. I didn't stay for any strength training. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

My job these past few weeks has been more coding than anything else. It's hard to explain coding if you're not not familiar with writing code (software development). It's sort of like figuring out a puzzle and getting all the pieces to fit together to create something. Sometimes though, you just can't get the pieces to fit so you try to force them and then you wind up with a big, ugly mess. That's where I was after twelve hours yesterday. Nothing worked.

Last night I dreamed about writing code all night. I tossed and turned, trying to come up with a plan to fix the mess I created. I came up with a few new approaches to try and after trying them today, they seem to be working, with the exception of one test scenario that I can't seem to figure out.

My eating has suffered a lot lately. Yesterday I ate candy for the first time in several weeks. The vending machine kept calling my name, and I had the stupid thought that maybe a little sugar would help me figure out the problem. After three Milky Way bars and two packages of cookies (at 600 calories each for the cookies and they were tiny packages), I was worse off than before. Not only was my mind not working at peak performance (which I desperately needed), but I felt sick and guilty.

I had brought healthy food with me to eat during the day, fresh fruit, turkey breast, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, some hummus. Good, healthy food. I didn't want it, I just wanted candy. Something, anything to make me feel better.

It totally backfired on me. The sugar made me feel sick, hot, sweaty, and my mind wasn't working. All I wanted to do was just cry. Finally, by 9pm, I gave up, went home, feeling sad and defeated.

After four slices of cheese and a glass of wine, I felt even worse. My husband was already asleep so there was no one to share my misery, just me and my cat.

Today, Sunday, has gone a tiny bit better. After a marathon house cleaning this morning, with my husband's help (he's trying to be super nice because he knows I'm stressed to the max right now), I started working on my project starting at noon. It's going a bit better, but I'm still not code complete.

I finally have accepted that the world is not going to end if I don't get this done. Life will go on.

My eating this past week has been all over the place. Healthy one day, candy bars the next. I don't think I ate a single vegetable yesterday (I made up for it today). Candy bars, cookies, and fruit. It was a terrible day that was was reflected in what I saw on the scale this morning. 188.6. Talk about adding insult to injury. I know it's just a number. I know it doesn't define me, etc. etc. etc. However, it's a direct reflection of how poorly I handle stress.

Right now, I'm just trying to remember to breathe and try my best to eat healthy good  in moderate portions. Fewer candy bars and more vegetables.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Into every life a little rain must fall

The Rainy Day

Written at the old home in Portland, Maine by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

I've written several posts this past week, each one sadder and more depressing than the previous one. I didn't publish any of them. I couldn't bring myself to share my sadness with the world.

This morning I had written an entire post about the misery of my life. I had started it with the poem above. My work, marriage, dieting...everything seem broken beyond repair.

Then the strangest thing happened. After working from home during the morning, on a project that I've been struggling with for the last week, I decided to drive into the office. Someone that I use to work with that's on another team emailed me, asking if I was still having a problem on my project. I told him yes, I was struggling. He said he'd be in the office today and if I wanted, he'd come by my desk and seek if he could help. I quickly showered, dressed, and headed off to the office.

When I left my house at noon, the sky was dark and dreary, it was raining and the wind was blowing. I felt like the weather perfectly matched my mood.

As I drove the twelve miles to my office, the skies opened open, and there, in all it's glory was the sun. I hadn't seen the sun for at least a week, maybe longer. I really can't remember the last time it wasn't raining. For the last ten minutes of my commute, the sun was shining, I felt my mood lift. Suddenly things didn't seem so hopeless and impossible.

I'd actually made a lot of headway on my project this morning, before I received the email from my friend. I still had a few things I was still having trouble figuring out, and I knew he'd know the answers, and fortunately for me, he did.

The thing I'm working on wasn't really my project until last Wednesday. Someone else was working on it for the last several months. Without going into much detail, I was asked to take it over and get it finished quickly. One of my coworkers often teases me that when I get in a situation like this one,  I always pull a rabbit out of my hat and get the job done. This time I was really feeling like I couldn't pull it off. I've always thought that one day there was going to be something I couldn't figure out. I'm happy to say this wasn't it. I'll be finished in a couple days.

As quickly as my work situation improved, everything else seemed to fall into place. My husband is being super sweet, feeling bad for me because I'd worked last weekend, and several evenings the past week.

Today, for the first time in several days I ate perfectly on plan. I haven't been eating terrible, no Easter candy, no Cadbury eggs, but as usual, my portions are too large, and I was eating to much fruit (can we say bananas). It all adds up, a calorie is a calorie, and I know I can't eat unlimited amounts of fruit.

It's funny how everything that seemed so bad now suddenly seems good. In every life a little rain must fall, but like Longfellow said, the sun is still there behind the clouds. And into ever life a little sun must shine.

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...