Monday, November 27, 2017

Post Thanksgiving 2017 Update

I've noticed I've been writing posts, usually at least once a week, and never publishing them. I'll write a post, re-read it, and think to myself, what a bunch of worthless drivel. Then I never publish it, and my words sit in limbo. From my head to the keyboard, to live forever as a Blogspot draft. A waste of time? Perhaps. Or maybe a written diary that no one but me will ever read. I never delete them and sometimes I'm shocked and surprised by my own words. Maybe someday I'll publish them, but probably not.

We had a very understated Thanksgiving. Due to the fact that leading up to Thanksgiving week, during the first two weeks of November, I gained 5 pounds. I skipped a Weight Watcher meeting Nov. 12, but forced myself to go and weigh in the following Sunday, Nov. 19. I was up 5 pounds.

The reason for the gain is simple, I overate. I resorted to some old binge eating behavior that I hadn't done for almost a year. I stopped at the grocery store three times in one week, and purchased a large amount of candy, chips and other junk food. I ate it in my car on my 30-minute commute home. All the while listening to weight loss podcasts (I know how crazy this sounds). I always binge in secret, but I honestly thought I was over my binge problem. Obviously, this is still a problem for me, my Achilles heel that will probably be with me for the rest of my life.

I've been back on track since last Tuesday, Nov. 21. My last secret binge was about the same time in 2016, in November, before, during and after Thanksgiving. I remember it well, because I got up to 230 pounds and went on a diet of my own, then Jenny Craig for about two hours (that's an old post you can read about here), and then joined Weight Watchers in January 2017.

I weighed in yesterday at my Weight Watcher meeting, and lost .8 pounds, so I'm at 166. Still 4.2 higher than my low of 161.8 on Nov. 5. I feel fairly confident that I'll stay on track, but you never know with me. I change on a whim how I feel, one minute I'm super strict with myself, eat right, exercise. Then suddenly, I just don't care anymore. It's been a year since I had that feeling, but I sure had it a couple weeks ago.

I asked my boyfriend since it was just us this year, if we could do a simple, non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner. He agreed, since he's gained a few pounds too. He's 6 foot and usually sits at 160 (yes, he's usually very thin, but very muscular too). He was up to 170 and upset by his gain. So he's on a "diet".

We decided a simple dinner of grilled wild-caught sockeye salmon, asparagus, and cranberry sauce made with a little honey and some Stevia (we're both off of processed sugar--although I know honey is really just sugar). Because he loves cranberry sauce, I figure it was a small thing to do to please him. Dessert was homemade angel food cake (with real sugar) with plain, fresh strawberries.

The dinner was really good, but I overate the angel food cake (which has a LOT of calories). My boyfriend cooked the salmon and asparagus. He's an amazing cook and both came out perfect. The salmon with a little cranberry sauce was unusual, but surprisingly delicious. It wasn't nearly as sweet as regular cranberry sauce, but we both really liked it and would make it again. Here's the recipe if you're interested. It doesn't have a calorie or Points count, and I didn't put it into any of my recipe builder apps.

I leave you with a couple of my favorite things, sort of Oprah style. 😀

I love Good Earth Sweet & Spicy tea! It's naturally sweet, and doesn't need anything added to it. Sometimes I add a little non-fat half & half for a delicious, healthy treat. They also make a caffeine-free and a chamomile version.

The Missy cat that rules the house. I love this girl, she's my baby. We're sitting by the fire and she's sound asleep. That's my undecorated tree in the background. I actually considered not decorating it at all, and calling it a minimalist tree. I'm really not into decorating this year. I'm trying to live a minimalist life, and I've always hated clutter. We'll probably decorate it, although I think it looks just fine without anything on it.

This is Missy Christmas 2016, a better look at her beautiful face (and her annoyed expression is because I crawled under the tree and woke her up to take her picture).

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Update October 2017

I've decided instead of my usual long, drawn-out posted, to just post something quick. Fast and easy to read, not a ton of detail. Maybe that way I can write a little something more often.

Things are going great. Last weekend I was down to my lowest weight since 2009 when I got to 152 and quit. I'm 163.6. That is 8.6 pounds from the Weight Watcher goal of 155. I'd like to weigh less, but have decided 155 would probably be a good choice for me. Not skinny, but healthy. Plus I think I can pretty easily maintain that weight versus the 135 that's been my elusive goal for as long as I can remember. Hence my bog name of diana135.

What's working for me:

1. MyFitnessPal - love this app for tracking my food. Even though I go to Weight Watchers, I don't use their app. I eat calories not SmartPoints. That way I get more food. MORE is better!

2. Motifit ,now called AppFit - best exercise app ever! Great music and you have a coach guiding you along. Huge incentive and fun.

3. Working towards my 2017 marathon - the Fairbanks, Alaska Equinox Marathon. I'm doing it!

4. Gracie's Journey on youtube - love this girl! Check her out. She went from 240 to 135. No surgery just diet and exercise. She's really inspirational.

What's not working:

1. Not getting to the gym except once during the week and once on the weekend. Not cool.

2. Not walking at lunch every day because it's pouring down rain. Super not cool.

3. The rain. Dear God, please make it stop! Rain and the darkness in the Pacific Northwest sucks! #Icantwaitforsummer!

Goals this week:

Increase my exercise. Gym. Home treadmill. Walk in the rain.

Easy peasy, right?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fighting the good fight

Denali - the great one (aka Mt. McKinley)

I grew up in Alaska, and have seen this beautiful mountain many times. It's one of the ultimate challenges for mountain climbers, and many have lost their life in their attempt to conquer this magnificent mountain.

What does this have to do with weight loss? Sometimes my struggle feels like an uphill battle, on the steepest slope I can imagine. It feels like the hardest thing I've ever done or ever will do. I know intellectually that's a false statement, but in my heart, I believe it's true. This fight to lose weight, or at least maintain my current weight, is difficult. The constant battle to maintain some semblance of control over what I eat continues to be a battle.

I skipped my Weight Watchers' meetings for four weeks. I found an excuse every Sunday morning to stay home. I was tired, I felt bloated or my best friend wasn't going (she hasn't gone for four months so that was a really lame excuse). The real reason of course was that I'd gained weight. Eight pounds to be exact. I got my 50-pound lost charm and then immediately went into an eating frenzy, because frankly my dear, I didn't give a damn! I was hungry!

My weight is a constant battle. I really wish I had the answers on how to make this work. Everything I read about people that have lost weight is that they will have to fight this battle forever. Something about our bodies fight us tooth and nail to get back to our high weight. I'm in that battle right now. It's hard.

That's about all I can say. I wish this was a rainbow and kittens post, and everything nice. It's not. It's a "life is hard" post. But as so many of us that struggle with our weight have heard before, we pick our hard. Being morbidly obese is hard. I know, because I was 240 pounds. I know that was actually much harder than being 167 pounds and fighting to at least stay that weight. I guess I'll just continue the good fight. What other choice do I have?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The slippery slope of weight gain

Me during the month of August 2017

I hit 165 pounds on my 62nd birthday, August 7. Then the party started and all my good intentions went out the window. I could feel myself slipping down that old, slippery slope of binging and gaining weight.

It started with a maple bacon doughnut on my birthday, which by the way was a huge disappointment. Then a day of kayaking which burned zero calories according to my Apple watch. Apparently moving my arms doesn't actually count as active calories (even though I swore my arms were going to fall off!).

This was followed by a work trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with a team member that is skinny and loves food. She is able to eat anything and not gain an ounce (I kind of hate this about her). The food, plus the shots of tequila led to a five-pound gain in four days. I'm not a drinker, and couldn't even tell you the last time I had an alcoholic drink before this trip.

In addition to all the food and alcohol, my exercise was severely lacking too. Gym and daily walks just sort of slid off  my radar.

This all resulted in an eight-pound gain, with a 173 pound weigh-in after my return from Mexico. I wish I could say, oh well, things happen. But this hit me hard, that I could slide so far, so fast. Basically, I'm not "cured" and most likely, never will be.

I've resolved to get back in the game. I've lost five of the eight pounds, 168.2 this morning (I've been back from Mexico one week today). I think that first five pounds was water weight from salt and the after effects of too much alcohol, plus the long travel time sitting on an airplane from Seattle to Puerto Vallarta, and the return. The last three pounds to get back to 165 is probably going to be hard work to lose, but I'm determine to get to my 150 pound goal before the end of the year.

Fortunately, no more birthday celebrations or work trips for a while. My goal is to meet my minimums, calorie deficit, exercise goals, and let go of the past four weeks. It was fun but filled with regret. Fitting into skinnier clothes, feeling  healthy, and being proud of my choices, makes my life so much better!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

AHA - Aware Halt Action

Weight this morning:  171.6 
Weight Jan. 1, 2017:  222.0
Weight lost this year: 50.4
Goal: 155

I listen to a lot of weight loss podcasts, which have really helped me during the past six months. There's a lot of very helpful advice from people that suffer from disordered eating. Hearing their ideas and suggestions on how to beat this thing has been a lifesaver for me. It's good to know I'm not alone and hear from people who have gone through years of yo-yo dieting, just like me, but have figured out how to maintain their weight loss. I have finally realized that maintenance is the key to this whole thing. I've lost weight many times, but maintaining my weight loss has been unachievable. Until now. I plan on changing that pattern this time.

A new podcast I just discovered is Tips of the Scale. Episode 102: Sarah Moores on Flexing Motivation Muscle for New Strength was very helpful. 

One thing Sarah talkes about is how to stop binge eating. I've read a lot of books on binge eating, and I haven't had a true binge in the last six months, but I know I have a tendency to binge when life gets rough. And let's face it, life always gets rough. The smallest thing can seem monumental to me and drive me to overeat. I've been working on it, but I know my next binge could be just around the corner. 

Sarah talks about AHA when you feel a binge coming on. It's a simple concept and similar to other things I've heard used for addictions (H.A.L.T.), but I really like the AHA concept.

A ---> Be Aware of what you're doing. Be conscious and in the moment.
H ---> Halt! Stop what you're doing. Just take a moment, gather your thoughts, and stop.
A ---> Take Action. Do something different. Anything different. Go for a walk, get busy with your hands so you can't eat. A favorite thing I do is crafts. You can't stuff your face if you're creating a beautiful card. You don't want Cheetos dust on your piece of artwork (okay, I haven't had Cheetos in my house for years, it's just an example).

This is now stuck in my head, which is a good thing. I'm already challenging myself to continue to be binge free. If it starts to happen, I'll remember AHA. I think I've got this.

I leave with one of my favorite Bob Newhart skits. This one cracks me up every time.

Bob Newhart - Stop it

Monday, July 3, 2017

Too tired to eat

Have you ever been so completely wiped out, exhausted beyond words that you actually weren't hungry? Keep in mind, I'm a recovering binge eater so I'm not your normal person that gets too tired to eat. I know people like that exist, I'm just not one of them.

I had today off from work, a vacation day since tomorrow is July 4th it made sense to make it a long weekend (I have Wednesday off too). My plans were simple, rent a 15-foot U-Haul, fill it with the last of my ex-husband's garbage, drive to the landfill, empty the U-Haul, then drive back home to clean out the UHaul, and return it to the U-Haul office.

Oh my lord, that was quite a task! I loaded 2,200 pounds of junk into the U-Haul, and then unloaded the 2,200 pounds of junk into the landfill. It was worth every penny of the $101 U-Haul rental and the $125 landfill dumping fee. Even though it was a ton of work (I could barely lift some of the boxes), it was the most lethargic thing I've done in a long time, throwing each piece of junk onto the cement floor of the landfill building and watching his possessions smash into pieces. I've been divorced almost four years and it was past due to get rid of his junk. I'm not sure I ever mentioned this, but he was a hoarder. He never threw anything away. He even took things I threw away out of the trash bin. It was crazy!

The entire process took me eight hours. According to my Apple watch, I completed the following:

1,369 Active calories burned
236 Exercise minutes
16,279 Steps

I didn't go to the gym this morning since I knew I'd need every ounce of energy to get through this day. There was a lot of anger at the beginning that he'd left me with such a huge mess. But in the end, it was so rewarding. I keep going outside and looking at the space on the side of the house where all his stuff was stored. It looks wonderful, and I got rid of all that stuff all by myself. Whew! A huge relief.

You should have seen me driving that 15-foot U-Haul, all by myself. Plus, when I was coming home from the landfill, I was in rush hour traffic. I did just fine, I didn't kill anyone or even hit anyone's car. It was a bit nerve-racking driving that huge vehicle, but it's good to know that this almost 62-year old woman still has it. I felt like a professional truck driver.

Now about dinner. I'm still too tired to eat, but I know I really have to eat something. It would be stupid not to eat after all that exercise. I wish I had a maid, or that my boyfriend was home to cook for me, but he's working late tonight. I'll find something to nourish this poor, old and rapidly becoming sore, body.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 1, 2017 - I'm still here!

I'm doing well these days. Life isn't perfect by any means, but I'm pretty happy. I'm over four years cancer free, I'm still madly in love with my boyfriend, and I still have a job (33 years with the same company), although l'm really looking forward to retirement in 2020. I feel great, and my health has drastically improved over the past six months, since I've lost 47 pounds and exercise on a regular basis. It's incredible how losing weight and exercising impacts your life for the better.

I'm 20 pounds from my goal weight of 155 pounds. My goal weight is higher than my past goal weight, but I'm older and hopefully a little more wiser these days. At 5' 6" I've always aimed for a 135-pound goal. Since I'm almost 62, every 10-pound loss has made me age a few more years. My wrinkles are more prominent, and I'm not really liking that look. In addition, realistically I've never been able to maintain 135 pounds for any length of time since I entered my forties. I'd get there and even a few pounds below, and could maintain it for about five minutes, then proceed to gain 100 pounds. I don't want to spend the rest of my life trying to maintain an unrealistic goal.

In addition, I would like to stop paying Weight Watchers $44.95 every month. The 155-pound goal is based on the highest weight they allow for me to become a Lifetime member, which is my ultimate goal. To sit in that green chair every week and not pay Weight Watchers any more money.

I have a ton of things I want to share about how this time is so different from all my other weight loss attempts, but I'm going to save that for my next post. I want to keep posting because I feel like I have so much to share that's so different from what I used to do to lose weight. I feel like I may have finally figured this out. No, it's not drugs or surgery, and it's not magic. It's a combination of a lot of things that are working for me, and might work for someone else.

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Just a little crazy

I'm a little bit disappointed in my weigh-in this morning, but I know why it's not better than I expected:

My last Weight Watchers' attempt in 2015:

Feb. 23, 2015 weigh-in:  233.4

Jan. 5, 2017 - Jenny Craig weigh-in:  222.0 (the real start of mindful eating)

Jan. 6, 2017 - canceled Jenny Craig, but stayed on track.

Jan. 8, 2017 WW weigh-in:  218.4

Jan. 15, 2017 WW weigh-in:  215.4

Net Loss:  3.0 pounds for the week for Weight Watchers, but in reality a good 7 pounds are gone.

At least I'm not all the way up to the 2015 weight which was scary. That was close to my all time high of 240 back in 2007.

I love my new Weight Watcher Sunday meeting! It gets me out of bed and gets the day started right because I have to be there before 9am to weigh in. It's sort of hard to do, but it's worth it. The leader, Cathy, is wonderful. I just love her! Plus a Sunday weigh-in keeps me from overindulging Friday and Saturday since I don't want to ruin my weigh-in.

This isn't easy, that's for sure. It's as hard as it is every time I have to go down this road. For some odd reason, I feel a bit more relaxed this time. I'm not being as crazy about it as I've been in past attempts.  Just a little crazy, just enough to keep me tracking every bite I eat. My boyfriend - skinny guy - doesn't understand this tracking of food, it's foreign to him).  He thinks I'm a little nuts, pulling out my WW app every time I eat. If that's crazy, oh well! At least I'll be crazy AND skinny!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

We're back in the saddle again!

I made the 9am Weight Watcher meeting today. I really just wanted to stay in bad in sleep in, but I remembered my promise to myself on Saturday. New year, new start.

I wasn't surprised when I weighed in. I'd just weighed at home, fully dressed and knew it was going to be ugly.  I weighed in at 218.4. My last weigh-in was 7/13/2015 at 205.8. If you're doing the math, that's a gain of 12.6 pounds. Ouch.

One thing I know for sure, Weight Watchers works. Last year when I started Weight Watchers on 2/23/2015 I weighed in at 233.4. When I stopped going in July I had lost 26.6 pounds. I really wish I had stayed with it.

Note to "Anonymous" who left a rather snippy comment on my last post about giving up Jenny Craig (after five hours and two meals) and startingWeight Watchers:

1.) If only it was as easy as just eating the right foods. You sound like you must be pretty darn perfect and don't need any help from anyone. Good for you. I'm happy you have such a fabulous life. It's not that easy for everyone. Some of us need support, and for me, that's where Weight Watchers comes in.

2.) You obviously don't understand the Weight Watchers program. They actually encourage eating whole foods. I don't eat any of their packaged/processed foods. I don't like them because I can taste the fake flavors. Weight Watchers actually encourages their members not to eat processed foods. Yes, they sell them but you don't have to buy them. They're crazy expensive and full of sugar and chemicals. I don't buy them, and never have.

3.) Yes, Weight Watchers is in this to take our money. They're a company in the business of making money. So are organic grocery stores. Whole Foods = whole paycheck. Everyone is in "it" for the money.

I'm just happy to be eating better, even if it's only day two. I feel like I'm back in the saddle again and it feels good!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Jenny Craig - a big FAIL!

My new plan to lose weight was the Jenny Craig plan. Yesterday I made it a total of five hours on the plan, one breakfast, one snack, and one lunch. I'm no longer on the plan. 

The food tastes like garbage, it's highly processed and contains all sorts of nasty ingredients. The lunch, Chicken Street Tacos, contained fractionated palm kernel oil - who eats palm kernel oil anymore? It's one of the main causes of the destruction of rainforests. And "fractionated" just means they made it into a complete saturated fat. Some articles claimed it's the equivalent of partially hydrogenated oil. This is the picture on the box and their website. Trust me, it didn't look anything like this picture. There weren't any pieces of chicken and the main ingredient was soy something or rather. I wish I'd taken a picture of it so you could see what it really looked like. I took one bite and threw it in the trash.

The breakfast bar had corn syrup as the main ingredient, followed by sugar, then cane sugar. What the heck?! I literally felt sick just reading the ingredients.

I was on the Jenny Craig plan in 1990, when the real Jenny Craig herself was in charge. The food was really good and satisfying. I actually enjoyed it. I lost 40 pounds, and it was relatively easy. The company was sold several years ago to Nestle Foods and again in 2013 to North Castle Partners. They have ruined the company. 

Not only is the food awful, but my consultant was equally as bad. She was loud, obnoxious and couldn't answer most of my questions. She kept running to her director's office to get more information. I almost walked out but thought I'd only have to see her once a week, and I could handle it. 

Then there's the price of the food. The monthly fee is only $19.95. The first week of food was $184.00. In addition, you have to buy all your fresh vegetables and fruit from a regular store. If I remember correctly, I think a week of food in 1990 was $80 - $100. I expected it to be expensive and was willing to pay the price. Unfortunately, the quality of the food is substandard. 

I'm done with Jenny Craig. I'll go into their office next week and cancel my membership. They were so disorganized they didn't even have me sign a contract. It's supposed to be month to month so I'm out my monthly $19.95, hopefully just for this month. The food will go into the trash today. In hindsight I should have tried the 3-day sampler pack of food you can order online for $39.95. I should also have known the food would be different, nothing stays the same, especially after 27 years. 

Next up, Weight Watchers. I was planning on attending a meeting today at 11:30am. I just checked and their last meeting was at 10am. I'm signed up on their site and have the app on my phone. I tracked yesterday and today's food (funny - Jenny Craig food from yesterday entered into the Weight Watchers app). I'll attend the 9am meeting tomorrow. I've always loved Weight Watchers.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Hello 2017 - an Update of my life

Since it's been over six months since I've posted anything, here's an update of my life:

1. I'm 61 1/2 years old - the 1/2 is important because retirement is in my future!

2. I've spent years of yo-yo dieting, going from 135 up to 240, and losing and gaining hundreds of pounds. I've been very successful at times, but I always gain the weight back. In the past three years I've manage to get close to my highest weight of 240. I'm currently at 222 pounds. The last time I was near my goal weight was in 2009 - 155 pounds. Not good!

3. I've been divorced for three years after a 26-year marriage, which was miserable from the start. I'm so happy to be out of that mess. I'm currently in a wonderful, stable and healthy relationship with a really good man, Charles (who is 6' and weighs 165 pounds). He never comments on my weight and says I'm beautiful no matter what the scale says (yes, he's a keeper!).

4. I work for a large airline as a computer programmer. I've been with this company for 33+ years. I've been in IT for the past 17 years. I sometimes love my job and sometimes hate it. It's a really good company and it has paid my bills for a long time, but after 17 years in IT I think maybe I went the down the wrong path. It changes continually and quickly, and as I age, it has become more difficult to keep up.

5. I don't have any children, just one sweet, angelic kitty. She's 14 but don't tell her, she thinks she still a kitten.

6. People always ask my hobbies, and things I used to do don't really apply anymore. In the past 10 years when I was at a lower weight (even at 190), I was into active things like hiking and biking. As the the weight has crept up, my activity level has decreased. Now I'm more into reading. My last book that I finished last week was TheBazaar of Bad Dreams, by Stephen King. It's a series of his short stories. I haven't read anything of Stephen King for years, but I loved this one. A really quick read even though it was almost 700 pages. I'm currently reading two other books, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult and Trouble Maker by Leah Remini. Both great books, but both are sort of sad. My hope is to lose some weight and get moving again. I don't like a sedentary lifestyle.

This post is already too long, so I'll go into the details of my latest weight loss endeavor in my next post. I just started it yesterday, but I already have an opinion about it. Please stay tuned for the latest chapter in my weight loss challenges.