Kill the Muffin-Top!

The trials and tribulations of my journey to a healthy lifestyle and weight loss.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Still here...

Another day, another dollar...Nope, that's a different topic. But the sun is shining today and I feel optimistic that I'll make it through the day without gorging everything in sight so that's a good thing. I fought the evil chocolate monster last night and unfortunately it got the best of me. Had myself a great big bowl of chocolate ice cream with sprinkles. And I don't even like chocolate ice cream! During the night I felt icky (and guilty) from the ice cream before bed so I downed a couple mini fiber muffins. Yummy, I could eat them all day (or night as the case may be) but by morning I was feeling the effects. Those would be the muffins made with All Fiber (extra fiber) cereal and fat free muffin mix. Sounds gross but tastes great!

So this morning I brought my new favorite "healthy" food to work: soup. Campbell's make this nice little convenient bowls that I bring to work, toss in the micro and in 2 minutes I have a warm, filling meal without tons of calories and fat. Note I'm not going for "low fat" foods but I am trying to maintain a healthy balance of protein, complex carbs & fat. Although the soup could be healthier (lower in sodium) and contain more veggies, it's easy and inexpensive and right now, what I need. I've tried making big pots of soup on the weekends and freezing for later use...it's not that I don't enjoy doing that, but it never seems to taste as good to me when I make it. Besides, for the $1.37 per convenience can of soup, I can't go wrong. By the time I buy all the ingredients, do the chopping and cooking I have much more invested, plus I'm not so good at rationing out serving sizes. An overeatter? Yes I am! Simple, tasty, convenient. I'll take it!

I've spent a lot of time lately reading weight loss blogs which I find truly inspiring. It's the day by day accounts that really hit home for me. Following someone's personal account of the struggles, realizations and triumphs they experience. I'm addicted, I can't get enough. I know my blog will never be one of those kind of blogs, and I don't mind. I'm doing this as a convenient way for me to journal my trials and tribulations. An author I am not. But honest I am. Thin and fit I am not; someday I will be able to say, "I am".

Monday, January 30, 2006

Still hangin' on

I just spent a helluva lot ot time the last few days reading dietgirl's archieves. WOW, what a truly inspriational story. I really admire this woman for her efforts, her persistence, her honesty. I laughed. I cried. And best of all, it's not a novel, it's the real thing baby!

I now realize several things after reading her journey:
1) There are good days and there are bad days, and somedays are just "there". No matter what, I have to keep picking myself up and trudging on thru whatever life my throw my way.
2) Without exercise, I have nothing. I need to get my body moving. To quote dietgirl, "exercise is GOLD". All the dieting and healthy eating in the world won't bring me to where I want to be. It might make me thinner, but it will never make me strong and fit. And that is where I really want to be.
3) It's okay to hate my body sometimes, as long as I truly love it in the end. It's mine, love it or leave it. Get mad, curse it or savor it...just respect it in the morning.
4) Anything can happen. Life's a journey, not a destination.

Maybe it's all in my mind, but yesterday's trip to the indoor waterpark seemed to be quite an unusual venture for me. I only spent part of the time obsessing that I looked like a harpooned whale out of water while sitting poolside; I noticed that although there are thinner women out there, in that situation I could hold my own, cottage cheese thighs and all. In fact, I may have lumpy thighs the size of large tree trunks and my arms may be flabby enough to cause a ripple effect throughout the pool, but I'm not a dog. I'm not freakishly obese. What about the average-sized woman I saw walking with a toddler? Her ass was so freekishly large and bouncy I couldn't turn away - how does one get such a large, round ass that size and not be visibly overweight anywhere else? Now that poor woman must have problems! And yet nobody was running and screaming the other direction. No small children were pointing and staring. And that's when I realized...maybe, just maybe, all these years of being too hard on myself were wasted years? Naw, that couldn't be the case, could it?!

So I'm "down to" 197 lbs. Big F'ing Whoop De Doo. I'm not breaking any records or setting the world on fire. But I WILL lose this weight. And I WILL get in shape. And I WILL teach my daughter that being healthy is a privledge that nobody should take for granted. We all need to honor our bodies a lot more and complain about it a lot less.

Thank you Shauna, aka DietGirl...you are truly my hero!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Parenthood 2

I need to vent. Last week I found out my shit-for-brains ex-husband has knocked up his current flavor of the month. "Kimmy" is only 24, he's 36; she's in college and is "so in love with him". What a FOOL!!! Been there, done that! And honey, he ain't gonna change...stronger women than you have tried. He already has 2 kids with 2 different women; his oldest son is 15 and our daughter is 8. They've been together about 8 months (half of which he was still living with his last fiance even though they were "broke up" - too bad his ex girlfriend didn't know it at the time).

I'm thrilled that he'll be suffering...he never wanted kids in the first place, they just tie him down too much. He likes his freedom, the bars, his buddies, and his honies. I figure 3am feedings and all night colic sessions will really put a damper on his spirits. For that I'm thankful. Yet I look at his kids and how they are suffering...he's already such an absent, selfish father filled with nothing but empty promises. Now he's bringing another kid into the world? Did I mention the dirtbag doesn't even own a car?! My poor DD wants a sibling SO bad...now she's getting one and knows she'll probably never get the chance to know it before her dad runs off with the next woman. Or worse yet, maybe she will get to know that baby before it's gone from her life, just like her older brother who chose a road of drugs, sex, gangs...he's not a "brother" to her anymore.

And then I wonder why I turned to food for comfort for so many years? Ah, but this latest little flavor of his is young, curvy and very short. She's gonna be as big around as she is tall in a few months...that will be fun to watch too! :)

Gettin' Better...

I think I'm finally starting to recover from the bug that took me down and kicked my ass to the curb earlier this week. As long as I don't make any sudden movements I'll be alright. The fevered frenzy has left the building and somewhere in this shell of a body is a mean spirit ready to fight its way back into focus mode.

I don't think I'll be ready for a treadmill workout yet tonight; I'll avoid that until the floor no longer feels like its moving beneath my feet. But I am ready to start eating real foods again, foods that will make me strong and healthy. The brain's still a little fuzzy so forgive my worse-than-usual ramblings.

In the past when I've gotten sick I've used it as an excuse to justify comforting myself with food. Ok, yes I did have a chocolate shake for lunch yesterday to make me feel better. But I skipped the McD's dinner I had planned! And I've worked so hard to put myself on track I don't want to ruin it because of sickness. Getting sick was just another test of my comittment to changing my lifestyle and I'm sure not going to let that set me back.

So how was my weekend of FREEDOM you ask? It was actually quite perfect, or at least it was until I woke up sick on Sunday. Friday I took the afternoon off of work when my DD left for the weekend. I rented 5 movies which I've wanted to see but never took the time to watch. I went home, popped in one of the movies and ended up watching the entire thing. I put the next movie in and cleaned the house while I watched. Next thing I knew it was snowing outside for the first time in nearly 6 weeks. Go figure; the one night I had plans. But that didn't stop me...my friend and I went to dinner and then out for cocktails...just a nice relaxing girls night out and I was in bed before midnight. Perfect! I got up Saturday and had a facial and a massage, then went home and did nothing except watch more movies. I can't remember the last time I spent an entire 36 hours doing absolutely nothing. It was incredible! All the more convincing reason to stay single...my DD is already 8 and in a few years I'll have a lot more of those relaxing evenings to myself.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One Sick Cat...and Mouse

Go figure. Sunday my DD woke up sick and had to come home early. I woke with the same thing, only I had the pleasure of throwing up every ounce of liquid in my body, fortunately she was spared that part. But we both layed in bed more than two days fighting the fevers and drifting in and out of sleep. It was miserable. It left me drained and extremely weak & dizzy. Maybe because I didn't have the strength to make meals? We lived on freeze pops for 3 days, and finally switched to "buttered noodles" last night. I know I'm trying to lose weight but this is ridiculous! According to my scale I've lost 9 POUNDS since last week Monday. Now I know it's from not eating for 3 days and from throwing up what little I did try to eat. But this is nuts! I know this is a very temporary weight loss but I will admit it was impressive to see the numbers drop so fast. I expect to put at least 5 pounds back on in the next day or two as I try to rebuild my strength. Shame on me, I'm drinking a chocolate malt from the local variety store as I type. Yep, there's 500 calories blown shamelessly. But I don't even care. After being too sick to walk from one side of my tiny house to the other, I'm gonna enjoy this rich, creamy sinful treat! And ya know what? It might even be a Happy Meal night tonight because there's no way I will want to cook when I get home, and my DD deserves to have something other than freeze pops and buttered noodles to eat. It's taking every ounce of my energy to get thru the day at work today and worrying about dinner is the least of my worries.

Oh yeah, thanks to the Cold Sore Fairy who thought I'd enjoy breaking out all over my face with blistered sores. As if the internal aches and pains aren't bad enough - do you realize how hard the stomach muscles are worked with Dry Heaves? - now I have these painful and disgusting sores on my finally somewhat thinner face! The Ex BF says I'm still adorable...what a fool!

Thanks to Disney Channel for airing "High School Musical" this weekend. What a Godsend it was for my DD when she was sick in bed. I even seem to detect some of the same glimmer in her eyes that I had at that same age when I saw Grease in the theater...not that anything can compare to that classic but Troy and Gabriella seem to be today's generation of Danny and Sandy. At least there isn't the "bad boy really ends up being a good guy" storyline; I still think my "bad boy" issues date back to watching Danny Zuckow turn himself around for the right, sweet woman.

But that's a whole different story....

Friday, January 20, 2006

While the Cat's Away, the Mouse Will Play

Call me crazy, but I'm completely thrilled and yet terrified that my daughter is going away for the weekend for the first time without me. My heartless ex-husband (a.k.a. Shit For An Excuse Of A Father) doesn't take our daughter for visitation so I'm basically a single mom who never gets a break. I was lucky enough to go to Cancun for three nights back in Feb. of 2003 and although that was tough for me to be gone and not able to call her, this is almost worst. When I was in Cancun I had plenty of margaritas and sunshine to keep me distracted, plus I knew she was with my parents, her special grandparents. This weekend she's going up to a cabin with a friend and her parents. Turns out her friend's grandpa is my boss (I'm his assistant) and he will be there with his wife. So I know everyone who will be there, but what a shock for my DD! Nine people in one big fancy lakefront house, filled with adults, kids & dogs (she's used to the dog part; we have 2). The house will seem so empty but after 6 years of being divorced and a full-time mom without any support, I'm ready for some serenity for a few days!

So what do I have planned for my 48 hours of Freedom? First of all, I'm taking the afternoon off of work (she leaves at Noon today). I'm gonna rent some movies...probably some chick flicks and some comedies I can't watch with her (like the 40 Year Old Virgin). Tonight its dinner, dancing & cocktails with the gals. Tomorrow morning I have a facial scheduled. And as for the rest of the weekend? Whatever happens, happens. I hope to get some much-needed "spring cleaning" done, but I also hope to sit around doing a bunch of nothing. Either way I intend to make the most of my time... :)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Getting Easier or Just Plain Dumb Luck?!

I'm not sure how, or why, but yesterday was increasingly easier to follow a healthy eating plan. It still took focus and comittment, but it sure didn't feel like misery to me. I found myself anxiously making healthier food choices by being completely concious of everything I ate.

Even last night when faced with a wide variety of unhealthy choices at a church dinner function, I made the best possible choices given the situation. I brought my own bottle of water instead of drinking the whole milk and Kool-Aid I knew would be offered. I chose one sandwhich instead of the two being offered to everyone; sure it was baked ham & cheese on a bun, but it could've been worse I guess. I took one small scoop of German potato salad and by-passed the wide variety of chips and cookies. When my DD didn't finish her sandwhich I tossed it instead of finishing it as to not be wasteful. Overall I was pleased with my choices, although I would rather have saved the calories & fat grams for something more enjoyable. Best part was I left the table feeling stuffed (thanks in part to the pint of water I drank with dinner) when previously I would've gone for larger portions or seconds.

During the day yesterday I didn't have my usual cravings for filler foods. I ate lean turkey breast at lunch and snacked on a tangerine in the afternoon. I didn't get hungry until late afternoon when I was leaving work to pick up a few groceries. Normally that would be the kiss of death for me but yesterday I stayed strong. I selected several fresh produce items and then went over to the lean meats. I never did go down the isles, as that's where the greatest "temptations" are. I then went over to Dairy and bought a few more essentials.

Even with the church dinner fiasco I still managed (unintentionally) to stay far below my calorie allowance for the day. I knew that would affect my appetite today would be strong due to the lack of yesterday's calorie intake. I was prepared by starting the day with a banana nut shake made with yogurt, skim milk, banana and almond slices, and had 2 hard boiled eggs. I brought a yummy Lean Cuisine meal for lunch, and had more fruit as a snack. I'm actually looking forward to making a big, fresh salad tonight which is something I can't ever honestly remember saying before!

I know what you may be thinking, my choices might not appear to be a big deal. But I didn't get to be 200 lbs. by regularly eating fruits & veggies. In fact, they were very scarce from my diet, as was drinking water. I now drink about a half can of Diet Mountain Dew a day; I used to drink several per day. This is a big change for me and I feel great that I'm doing it. I know I could be doing better, but I want to learn to like healthy foods, not eat them because I know I should. I don't want to starve myself, and I don't want to force myself to eat things I don't truly enjoy.

On the nighttime binging topic...another night of NO EATING between 9pm and breakfast this morning! I did falter and have some cheese popcorn before that, but I didn't sit down with the bucket and start scarfing. I took out a bowl and measuring cup and rationed out a proper serving. Yeah me!!

I forgot my food journal sitting on the kitchen counter this morning and I feel like I'm in withdrawl. Never would I have imagined I'd look forward to putting down on paper what I ate and the nutritional value! But I do, and that makes me feel damn proud!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Disclaimer

This blog is a way for me to share my most inner thoughts, struggles and successes as I make positive, healthy changes in my life. The thoughts often pour out quicker than I can type (and I can type very fast, thank you). SORRY FOR THE TYPE-O's and grammatically incorrect sentences. The thoughts are recorded as they pour out of my brain. Really, I'm not stupid and uneducated, just eager to pour out my feelings.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can...

Just like the little engine..."I think I can, I think I can..." I just keep reminding myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. Today is "Day 3" of my New Life.

Yes, I've had slip-ups. In fact, yesterday when my boss brought in several boxes of Girl Scout cookies I began to panic. He even gave me a box of my favorite kind and I resisted the temptation, sort of. I put the box away with very good intentions of taking it home for my daughter to enjoy (especially since last year I ate an entire box of that kind without even sharing one measly cookie). I made it through the morning and most of the afternoon without feeling the urge to cave. I was unusually hungry at work yesterday and fed myself healthy snack throughout the day. By 3pm I decided I needed just one cookie. Not being good at controlling my binges, 1 became 8 in 2 minutes flat. I suddenly felt overcome with disgust and shame, not to mention the uneasiness of the sugar rock sitting in my gut.

Now this is the important part of the story: in my past life I would have said, "screw it", finished the remaining box of cookies and then went to McDonalds for a Big Mac and fries for dinner. I decided to take the high road and forgive myself for caving. "It's not the end of the world" I told myself. Instead, I picked up a grilled chicken salad on the way home from work so I would have something healthy, light and not calorie-loaded for dinner, especially since my stomach was now full from the cookies.

After my slip-up with the GS cookies (I refuse to call it "failure" anymore), I almost didn't get on the treadmill and tried convincing myself that I'd start over fresh today. But damnit, that's been my reasoning for SO LONG and it obviously doesn't work for me. So I decided to get on the treadmill for "a few minutes", just so I could tell myself I did it. Nothing intense mind you, just a casual short stroll to easy my guilt a little for the cookies. I ended up walking for 25 minutes which I know is not a marathon (especially with my top speed of 3 mph) but I was careful to warm up and cool down, and push myself at times by increasing the incline for short spurts. All the while my daughter and her friend played on the living room floor next to me, with the friend staring at me in wonder. Maybe it was my 200 lb. flubber slapping around, or the huffing & puffing noises I was making. Maybe it was my goofy actions while really getting into the music. Or maybe it's because her twenty-something stay-at-home mom can be regulary seen jogging around town effortlessly (she's about a size 6, if that), and next to her I looked like an utter freak. But I didn't care, and my daughter wasn't embarrassed - she knows I need to start taking better care of myself and wants me to be healthy. Regardless, I did it and I felt damn proud. Tonight I'll go for 30-45 minutes, depending on how my body feels. This weekend I want to increase my treadmill workouts to twice per day - morning and night. I haven't conquered the "get out of bed early to workout" routine yet so maybe if I do a few practice runs this weekend I can get into the swing of things.

As for nighttime binging...last night was probably the best night I've had in weeks. When I went to bed I kept telling myself that I would NOT get up and eat during the night. This is especially challenging for me since I get up a few times each night to pee. After chugging down 30+ oz. of water while on the treadmill last night, I really got up a lot! After about an hour or so of sleep I was woken up by my DD and ended up faltering a bit; I had 2 more of those DAMN cookies. But I didn't have another bite to eat during the night, which was awesome! In the grand scheme of things, even with my cookie falters I still consumed less fat & calories overall than I used to in a day. I continue to hold myself accountable for every bite I take....wow, was it hard to record those cookies in my journal this morning. But I did it, and I moved on. Today is a new and brighter day and I'm not looking behind me. Onward Soldier!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I DID IT!!

I did it, I really finally did it! I dragged my butt of the couch and onto the treadmill last night for the first time since early spring of last year. What a shame that it has sat unused in my living room for so long. When I sat down on the side to put on my Nikes, I thought my DD was going to fall over as she asked, "what are you doing?!" and she was even more surprised to see me actually get on the thing and use it. I felt great when she began questioning when I'd be off so she could use it too. I didn't want to over do it so I started at a nice slow pace and only walked for 20 minutes. I certainly felt like I could've gone longer but I know from experience if I had, I'd probably have ended up with shin splints which would only set me back. I WILL get back on there tonight!

I feel great, the tunes I downloaded on my cheesy mp3 player (not an iPod, that's for sure!) really helped. Only downfall...my upper arms are so fat that I couldn't strap on the armband holder comfortably! But that will change soon enough, so no worries about it now.

How did I feel after I got off the treadmill? Incredible! My heart was thumping, my body was sweating, and most of all I felt proud of myself for just doing it. I'm actually (I think) looking forward to getting on there again tonight and pushing myself a little more. Remember, baby steps...I also chugged down a big bottle of water in the process which helped towards my daily water requirement. I didn't quite make it yesterday, but I will today.

My "DietMinder Personal Food and Fitness Journal" arrived yesterday as planned. It's actually better than I expected! The only downfall is that the spaces to record the foods eaten are rather narrow. But that's easy to overcome since they provide ample lines for recording each meal. At least the journal is compact enough to fit in my purse - it helps to have it with me at all times. When I showed my mom she instantly fell in love with it too so I ordered her one and it came today (gotta love Amazon!). I also bought "Eating Mindfully" by Susan Ablers which I read about on Nicole's site. I checked it out from the library last week and decided I need a copy of my own which I can highlight and scribble notes in. The book makes a lot of sense to me and sure hits home with some of the eating problems described.

Which brings me to "how I did" yesterday...the entire day I was very careful and concious of what I ate. Afterall, now I'm holding myself accountable by recording everything that goes in my mouth thanks to my new journal! I had a great day and even found myself chopping up some fresh veggies last night after my sad little treadmill workout. I went to bed feeling proud as hell, especially since I consumed just under 1200 calories. My personal daily goal is to consume about 1500 nutritional calories per day, plus daily exercise of some sort. This isn't a definate goal, but a guideline. From what I can tell, I've probably been eating 3000+ (mostly empty) calories per day for the longest time. NO WONDER I GOT SO DAMN FAT!!! I'm going to try and listen to my body, feed it what it needs and work towards strengthening it every day. Anyhow, I didn't feel so bad about underconsuming calories for just one day because I really was full and content at the end of the day.

Then the nighttime comes...I seriously have an eating problem I think. I can be good all day and no matter how or what I eat, I find myself binging on crap during the night. Not that I'm hungry, or that I even really conciously do it. Sometimes I wake and find half-eaten food in my hand from when I fell back to sleep during a binge. I stumble to the kitchen in a sleepy stupor and dig for whatever sugar (ususally) I can find. Last night it was 2 bowls of chocolate ice cream with sprinkles, and I don't even like chocolate ice cream!!! And an entire bag of cheese slices (and not the low fat kind). So this morning I shamefully had to record the almost 1000 calories and 60 grams of fat I binged on during the night. What a horrible way to start the day. No wonder I oversleep and wake a crabby bitch in the mornings. My body is in shock, not to mention riddled with guilt and shame.

If...I mean WHEN... I learn to control my middle of the night binges, there is no doubt I'll be able to start losing weight instead of gaining it. I hope that as I increase my exercise level each day and as I start to choose healthy foods over empty foods, the nighttime binges will subside. I'm a strong woman, I've been to hell and back (thanks to the ex husband) and I can surely defeat this monster which has been increasingly torturing me for years. I can do it. I know I can.



Monday, January 16, 2006

D-Day

Today is officially D-Day. It's the day I've dedicated to changing my life by conciously making positive changes. I want to become a healthy woman and mother. I want to enjoy exercising, not lose my breath when I attempt to walk up a flight of stairs. I want to push myself to new limits, achieve new things. I want to enjoy the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables, not wake during the night vomitting up the tub of frosting I scarfed down in a groggy stupor hours before. I want to be able to buy clothes that not only fit but flatter my figure, not browse the plus-size granny clothes at Wal-Mart, only to leave the store with my head hanging in shame.

I want to set a good example for my DD, and to know that I will be around long enough to watch her grow up and have a family of her own. I want to spoil my grandchildren. I want to feel pretty again, even if it means accepting that I'll never be a size 6 again. I want to stay awake later than 8pm on a Friday or Saturday night, not crawl into bed because I'm too drained/depressed to enjoy life.

I want it all, and I can have it all. "All" to me means being the best person I can be from the inside out. I will do this. It won't be easy and it won't happen overnight. I know that. But the only one who can make these changes is me, and they won't happen by chance. I gained 50 pounds over the last 3 years; even if it takes another 3 years, I will lose this weight. No time lines, no pressure, just determination. Baby steps will get me where I need to be. I need to lose at least 60 pounds to put myself in a healthy weight category. I will NOT be one of the statistics in the growing obesity epidemic in this country. And even more importantly, I will teach my DD to care for and respect herself so she does not join the ranks too. 20 pounds at a time, and eventually I'll get where I have to be...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mindless Ramblings of a Crazy Woman

Actually, I'm not crazy. But I do have a lot of rambling thoughts going through my head today, so much that I thought I should drag my lazy ass out of bed at 5:30am on a Saturday morning to come in to work to get my desk cleaned up and, of course, to let some of these thoughts "spill onto paper" to make room for more rambling thoughts!

As for the relationship scene, things are going MUCH BETTER for me now that I gave the whole pathetic "let's just be friends" and "it's not you, it's me" speeches. It was par for the course considering everything else about our relationship felt like high school. But enough about that! The weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel tons better than I did a week, or even a few days ago.

As promised, here are some of those rambling thoughts...

#1: The other day I had to add salt to my water softener. Now normally I would have the super hot water guy come over and add it for me...those bulging biceps as he carried the large bags on his shoulders...ooh, just picturing that makes me drool. But between my cluttered, messy basement and the extra fat I've gained, I decided it's best to avoid that single hottie for now. So I went to the local Fleet Farm and bought (3) 60 lb. bags of salt. This simple act made me really fully understand the impact my added weight is having on my body. Just hauling around 1 of those bags of salt was almost enough to make me keel over right then and there. No wonder I'm so damn tired and winded all the time...that's a hell of a lot of weight I'm packing around!! I just thank God that I've "only" got 60-70 lbs. total to lose, and losing 50 would still put me back into a healthy weight range. I should keep a bag of that salt sitting by my fridge as a reminder of how far I have to go and how hard I have to work.

#2: I actually hit "rock bottom" the other day. I hit my all-time high weight of exactly 200.0 lbs. What a double edged sword that was for me. Of course it was extremely depressing to see, but at the same moment I realized that I will never let myself go higher. I've hit that "do or die" mark. For me it's no longer a goal or a dream to get fit and lose weight. It will happen. I have no other choice. What should've made me curl up in the fetal position and sob in a pool of shame actually gave me the push I needed.

Then I did the unthinkable...I pulled out my camera, zoomed in on the numbers and snapped a few shots of that hideous number. No, I'm not into self torture. But I want those pictures with the date on, to look back at a year from now and say OMG, I can't believe my weight was that out of control. And I will, believe me. I've also printed out a few copies to place strategically around the house and in my purse as a continuous reminder of how out of control I let things get, and as incentive to keep from going back there. Just having that "proof" should be enough motivation to keep me on the right path, at least sometimes.

#3: I know that an important tool for eating healthy & exercising is to record such things in a journal. My compulsive personality has been struggling to find a journal to use that feels "right" to me. I've even tried making some customized charts/journals to fit my own needs, with no luck. Yesterday I found a food & exercise journal on Amazon which appears to be just what I'm looking for. It's called "DietMinder Personal Food & Fitness Journal" and I can't wait until it arrives Monday! It's spiral-bound and has areas to record everything I eat including the calories, fat. protein & carbs. I can record my starting stats (weight & measurements) and personal goals. I can record how much water I drink. I can record how I "feel" each day. And I record my fitness activities including intensity & duration, calories burned, etc. I'm like a little kid waiting for Christmas. I've already deemed this my own personal bible which I will keep with me at all times from the moment it arrives.

#4: Things are progressing slowly but steadily on the "uncluttering the home" front. I did manage to get a portion of the basement cleaned out this week. I got the dog groomed, car in for service, a haircut, and several other errands taken care of. It was unseasonably warm here...mid 50's on Thursday - this is MID JANUARY in WISCONSIN!! I actually hung laundry out on the line the other day. Believe me, I'm not complaining. I do miss seeing (some) snow this time of year but I could certainly live without it too. Next weekend my DD is going "up north" with a friend and her family to enjoy some winter outdoor fun. I'm nervous about her going (she's only 8) but excited to have an entire weekend all to myself. I've known the family she's going with all my life (in fact, it's my boss' son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter she'll be with, and they'll be at my boss' cabin).

Well lots more to ramble about but I really need to get some work done. The sun is out now so I guess I've been at this long enough for now. More to come, I promise! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I see the Light!!

Wow, I think I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's very faint and barely there but I can see it, sort of. Can't I?!?

I know, you're wondering why a blog about my weight loss journey has had little, actually nothing, to do with weight loss issues? Well that my dear is not quite true...I firmly believe that the 50 lbs. I've gained the last 3 years had to do with a combination of things INCLUDING my emotional state. So while I am struggling to eat healthier foods and spend more time exercising, I realize that clearing my head of the negative crap and clutter will help me to eventually lose weight. I'm not looking for a miraculous drop in weight (oh, it would be nice tho wouldn't it?!) - I'm going with the "slow and steady finishes the race" theory.

So on to Task #1 in Improving My Mental Health: End "relationship" with really nice but still-in-the-closet gay boyfriend. Disclaimer: This is not a slam against those who are gay, nor do I look down on in any way those who are!!!!

For a very long time, long before dating him, I thought he was way too feminine to be straight. I never really was attracted to him at all, and after the first kiss I really knew I wasn't. But he's a super sweet guy who wants a wife and kids; he's honest, hard working, and financially responsible (i.e. - he actually pays his bills). So as we became better friends we thought "what the hell, why not give this a try?" We work together, which was the obvious reason to Just Say No. Before our first date we mutually agreed to keep things a secret; he "only" told 3 co-workers, who just happen to be his best friends and the biggest gossipers around. Needless to say, the 3rd day after the date EVERYONE at work knew, and we became "a couple", much to my dismay. It's sort of like being pushed out onto the stage in front of an autiorum full of people staring and waiting to witness your next move. I knew I should've run screaming from the situation right then and there but having been too quick to "judge" in past relationships (when the chemistry just wasn't "there" for me, I promised I'd give this one an honest try which I did, for 3 long miserable months).

Fast forward a month or so of "dating"; The first time we were alone and things got heated..."nothing came up". No biggie, it happens. I'm a patient gal. Then the second opportunity...fumbled again. Now wait a minute I said to myself...maybe my gut feeling about his sexuality was true, even though he won't admit it to himself? This appeared to be a common problem for him in newer relationships, and he'd only been with a few girls before; not common for a decent looking guy in his 30's, at least not in this area. Hell, I've had more experience and I was married, and have "gone without" (by choice) for the last 2 years!

Then we stumbled into what I consider "high school dating" - you know what I'm talking about: when he calls every night, sometimes more than once, just to talk endlessly about nothing (even though we work together, see each other and can talk/email all we want during the day). Then there's the "showing off" stage where you basically become a piece of meat on his arm, when he gropes at you and showers you with kisses in public just so people know you're "together" (and I mean like at the busiest nightclub in town, when we were there with a bunch of couples hanging out). Then there was the "I think it's a real turn on to annoy the hell out of you and piss you off" stage. That was my final straw. I'm a 34 year old woman damnit, I don't need to feel like I'm on the playground at school with the mean boy who bullies me but has a secret crush on me!!

ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!!
Then there was the "I need more space", "you're suffocating me", etc. remarks I gave him. How did he react? By parking down the road (so I wouldn't hear his truck) and stopping by to drop off flowers last night, and this after I told him I had plans; I personally think he was checking to see if I was really home. Not that the flowers aren't beautiful and that I don't appreciate it, but I felt like it was a last attempt to try and win me over.

I know, I sound like a selfish, ungrateful bitch. But I'm not, I swear!!!! I just want time alone to do what I want, when I want. I'm divorced
from a real asshole who scarred me with habitual lies, infidelity, a controlling personality and emotional abuse. It's been 6 years of raising my daughter alone (which I wouldn't trade for anything!) and what I would love more than anything is to casually date, get to know guys, and then maybe fall in love with the right guy. My (now ex) BF was telling me he loved me within 2 dates. HELLO - high school was 15 years ago, not last week!!!

So today I finally snapped and told him: let's go back to being friends and see if anything develops down the road. And in the meantime, I need my space to be me, not part of an "us". Now I've "broken" his heart, and the guilt trips were attempted ("I want to go sit in a corner and cry" and "I'm a failure because I can't make you happy"...blah blah blah). Although he now claims to realize the errors of his ways, he's emailed me at least a dozen times this afternoon. Funny how he still calls me "Sweetie", "Hon", etc.

THE MORAL OF THIS RAMBLING STORY: I feel damn good, better than I've felt in weeks (if not months?). I don't feel like I'm suffocating anymore. If I decide at the last minute to go to Hobby Lobby I don't have to worry about my BF calling me in a paranoid funk, questioning where I am/who I'm wish/why I didn't invite him to come along! I feel great, and surely this will help in the big scheme of things when it comes to getting my weight/health under control. Hell, my blood pressure probably just dropped 30 points today! Now if only it could help me lose a few pounds...LOL

Friday, January 06, 2006

Leave Me Alone!

LEAVE ME ALONE!! Sorry if that seems rude, but I just wish the world would leave me the f*&ck alone! I've had a hell of a few weeks...or should I say months?

Started with the ex-father-in-law falling off a ladder and breaking the 2nd vertebrae in his neck. Did I mention he's 74? Then he developed pneumonia 24 hours after having a screw put in his neck to repair the break. Ten hours after that he had a heart attack. My ex husband is nothing but a selfish asshole and sure hasn't stepped up the plate to help his parents out. His mom is in bad health and shouldn't be left alone, although she has been now since the weekend of Thanksgiving due to B's fall. (The in-laws actually made ME power of attorney for them a few years ago, after the divorce, instead of their own son - does that tell ya anything?!)

Then there was my foolishly offering to help with the Christmas Eve Sunday School Program at church this year. Being somewhat of a new member I didn't see what was coming...basically I had to put the entire thing togther, from parts to costumes, of direct it to make sure it went off without a hitch. And this is a church of 500+ members, so I'm not talking about directing a dozen or so kids. This was a big deal.

Then there's the normal holiday stress in my family. To put it simply, my mom becomes a raging, psychotic lunatic by the time Christmas Eve Day arrives. I can thank her for the "spread myself too thin" genes (and I don't mean thin as in body thinness). The holidays are anything but celebratory, reflective, or dare I admit it, enjoyable. Both my parents are remarried so essentially I have 4 sets of parent's families to be with, not to mention they all have 3-4 siblings so we get together at different times with the aunts, uncles, cousins, cousin's kids, etc. I'm embarassed to admit that it was nothing but days upon days of social obligations which were nothing short of pure hell, all of which required me to prepare and bring food that didn't get eaten because everywhere we went had enough food to feed a family 4 times the size of ours.

By the 8th engagement in 3 days (this on top of trying to celebrate Christmas with my daughter and squeeze in the new boyfriend & his family). By Monday I was sick and I knew it, although the show must go on. I envied my mom when she began puking at a family gathering because she was lucky enough to leave; did I mention I'd had a nasty case of the flu myself the week before Christmas? Nothing like being down and out just days before Ground Zero. Anyhoo, I spent the following week+ suffering a nasty sinus infection, one that left me unable to taste or smell anything for more than a week.

Then there's Hunter, the only really special animal we own (2 cats, 2 dogs). Wednesday I discovered him straining to pee on my bedroom floor (carpeted). After several minutes and nothing coming out, I knew we had a problem Houston. I called the vet when I got to work who insisted I drive back home, pick up the cat and drop him off at the clinic for the day. Ok....done. Then I learned what I suspected; the cat has crystals. An exam, urine test, shot, antibiotics and special food...all to the tune of just under $200....the cat is home and doing fine. BUT, it seems the cat had been using my bedroom floor as a litter box for days, if not the entire time I was sick and unable to smell! I can sure smell now...OMG, does my room smell like cat piss!! I have tried several products with no luck...now what do I do?!

And let's not forget that on Monday as it was foggy & rainy outside all damn day long, my sump pump went out. Eeeww...not what I needed the first day I was out of bed in almost a week. Needless to say, I now know how to remove, purchase, and reinstall a new sump pump. Fun eh? Thanks to my BF who came to my rescue...

The sun hasn't shown here in well over a week. The unseasonably warm weather has melted all traces of snow and left the yards muddy. Come March, this would be great. But it's January in Wisconsin and we might as well have some pretty snow to disguise these miserably gloomy days. It's sure not helping my mood, let me tell ya. And this weekend's snowmobiling trip to Michigan has been cancelled due to the lack of snow. Bummer.

My basement looks like a bomb exploded in it. I'm so behind on things that I still have summer sundresses hanging in my closet! The basement is so cluttered I can't walk in it and yes, I'll admit that my first instincts when seeing the sump pump backing up in my basement was "oh shit, how am I going to make this presentable enough for a plumber to come fix this?!" I hadn't eaten in days after being sick and had zero energy for stacking boxes.

The Christmas tree is still up and the timer still turns the lights on outside at night. I think I'm the only one in town who still has lights on and the tree up. Even worse, all the presents are still under the tree and until I clean the basement & my daughter's room (which also took a beating over the holidays and through my illnesses), I really can't put it all away. So much for spending January repainting my kitchen cabinets!

Then there's the BF who really can't understand why I'm so stressed and want some time alone to get things done at home. He has no kids; hell, he goes to his parent's house every night after work for dinner! His concept of reality and my concept of reality aren't even on the same planet. He's trying to be supportive and understanding but the more he tries to analyze my tension, the further I want to push him away. Surely I never said I wanted a man who's a good communicator, did I?! Why can't he just go pout and get drunk with his buddies like most men would do?!

OH YEAH, I also forgot to mention that once I got sick I decided it was high time for me to take advantage of the opportunity and quit smoking, once and for all. I'm doing great, no cheating (not even one puff), but I suppose this may have a tiny bit to do with me "go the hell away and shut the door on your way out" attitude?! Um, just a little I bet.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

In the beginning...

Wow, where do I start? First of all, many thanks to Kerri and Nicole for sharing their inspiring weight loss journeys. I have literally spent hours reading their stories and have never felt such strong motivation to just get out there and do it.

In a nutshell, I've made many poor choices over the last several years which have turned my 125 lb. body into 200 lbs. of lardy fat. In the last 2 years I've gained over 40 lbs. - not because of a medical condition but because of low self esteem and poor habits. I reached an all time low of absolute disgust as my weight has hit an all time high. I WILL NOT spend another year watching the scale go up. I WILL take action and bring myself back to a healthy weight and lifestyle. I want to have energy to do things. I don't like going to bed before 8pm every night because I just don't have the energy for anything else. I would find giving birth less painful than the agonizing pain I experience when going out in public. I went from being not-bad-looking to morbidly obese. How does one let themselves get to that point?!

Atkins, South Beach, NutriSystem, Phentermine, Jenny Craig, SlimFast, low-carb, high-protien, low-fat...the possitilities are endless. Yet what will truly work? Exercise, eating sensibly, and persistance. No magic pills, diets or formulas - just honest, sincere hard work and good common sense. I can do this. I can't give up. I have the power within to make this happen...