Thursday, November 29, 2012

Can't wait for next weigh in...

My post is a little late this week; sorry. We lost our internet at home because I haven’t been able to get the bill paid, so I have to be sneaky and do this at work. Shhhh…

I guess another reason why it is late is because I am ashamed. I am ashamed because when I weighed in on Monday night I had gained. My current recorded weight is now more than it was the day I started. EERRRGGG.

I DID. NOT. WANT. to go to my meeting to weigh in. I was flipping and flopping back and forth all day about whether or not I was going to go. I knew I had gained; I didn’t need the trim and sporty little receptionist to give me the “knowing eye” and solemnly tell me how much. I didn’t want to sit among the successful that would be able to say that not only had they not gained, they actually lost! I would have to fake a smile and clap for them. And if I didn’t mention skipping the meeting on this blog, no one would ever know.

But then I got to really thinking about it. A gain is a gain, whether or not you acknowledge it aloud, or whether anyone else knows about it. And if I had been one of the successful ones that managed to ride out a tough holiday week without gaining and actually losing weight, I would want people to be genuinely happy for me and I would want that clapping! In fact, I would probably stand up on my chair, wave my arms and bloody DEMAND it! Also, I promised full disclosure and complete honesty on this blog; if I left out or glossed over the fact that I skipped the meeting, not only would I be lying to myself, but I would be lying to any and all that read this blog (and I appreciate each and every one of you). Not cool.

So, I put on my big girl panties and went. I gained 2.2lbs. Not as bad as I had expected actually. Especially since I almost singlehandedly polished off the two pumpkin pies my sister made.

I decided to put a positive spin on this situation and not dwell on the negative parts of it.

I gave myself one pat on the back for actually going to the meeting. I received much needed encouragement; discovered that I actually gained the least out of those that did gain; and I felt in control because I overrode that stupid voice that constantly tries to undermine my attempts at strength building behavior, or that constantly tells me I am a failure so why bother?

My second pat on the back was for only gaining 2.2lbs. Now, that may seem lame and self-enabling to some, and to those who think so, I say BITE ME. Trust me, the fact that I only gained 2.2 and not 12.2 is a big deal. If I had not been paying attention to what or how much I was eating, I would have easily gained 10lbs in a week; I have done it in the past. So, even though I didn’t have perfect self-restraint, I did have some and I feel that it merits acknowledgement. So there. Pffft.

This week has been great. Instead of starting off depressed and negative, I have been positive and in control. I have stuck to my points every day this week; I have planned out what I am going to eat and have figured out the points ahead of time; I have significantly increased my water intake. I have set a reminder in Microsoft Outlook to pop up every hour on my work computer that says DRINK WATER! It’s working. I have been peeing like a racehorse multiple times a day and that is great because – this is a fact I didn’t know until Brock told me – you lose fat through your urine. Yep. I never thought about how fat gets out of my body (probably because it doesn’t happen very often); I thought the body just incinerated it. So, the more you pee the more fat you lose! Woo hoo!!!!

So, I look forward to a loss on Monday night. I can’t wait.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Um, I'm going in the wrong direction

Well crap.

Remember the four pounds I lost last week?  I regained 3.6 of them.  EERRGG!!!

I think I have figured out the problem, which is two-fold.

1) I am not drinking enough water.  Surprise!  For the last four days my feet and lower legs are huge and swollen.  To anyone new to my blog, I have a rather common heart condition that isn't very serious, but a very small percentage of people with this condition also have a syndrome that goes with it - I never get thirsty.  Yep, never.  Or I guess I should say, extremely rarely.  I believe this is a huge chunk of my weight issue because I probably confuse thirst with hunger.  You know the deal where you should drink up to 64 oz of liquid a day?  I'm lucky to get that much in a week - and I'm not exaggerating.  I don't drink coffee or tea so I can't count that; I can only drink water if it's ice cold - lukewarm water is disgusting; and I'm trying really hard to cut back on my diet soda consumption.  I buy the little sugar-free flavor packets in pretty much every flavor that's out there and get myself nifty water bottles, etc., but the water just sits there on my desk and never gets touched because it never occurs to me to take a drink.  So, today I am taking charge of this problem.  I set a reminder in my Microsoft Outlook to pop a reminder up on my computer screen every hour that says, "DRINK SOME WATER!!!!"  So far, it's working.  It's 10:15am and I have already had about 24oz of water.  I'm not sure what I will do at home on the weekends, but I'll think of something.

Hold that thought - I have to PEE!

Whew - OK, that's better.

2) I am not journaling or tracking my food.  I said it was my goal last week, and I blew it off.  I keep trying to track it in my head and, obviously, it's not working.  I am not owning this; I am not making it real.  I am just going through the motions, and that does not work.  I have to get it together, track, and be accountable.  I feel like I'm taking a class in school that I truly am interested in, but so far I'm just kind of cruising through on auto-pilot.  Well, I just got a big, fat, "F" on my first real test and it's like someone walked up and slapped me in the forehead.

So - two goals this week:  drink fluids, track food.  It's not rocket science, just gotta DO IT!

Oh, and the first week where I lost weight, I was wearing my C-PAP machine at night.  Last week?  Didn't wear it at all.  I'm going to wear it every night this week and we'll see if it helps.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My message on the WW 200+ to lose board

Today I took a deep breath and put it all out there on the message boards at WW.  I like the "200+ pounds to lose" board; those people on there are so inspirational!

Here is what I posted:

Hi guys – just wanted to introduce myself! My name is Heather (aka Big Auntie) and I joined WW for the third (and last) time on 11/5/12. I live in western Washington state, waaaaay out in the boonies, with my sister, BIL and my BIL’s friend. We have 6 dogs, 2 cats, chickens, ducks, and goats. I love my sister more than life itself, but I am not a happy camper in life.

I have a very unhealthy relationship with food; I have allowed it to control me and it has become the only thing that brings me happiness – albeit temporarily. I hate my job, am not happy at home, and the last time I had anyone in my life romantically it was 1984.

Two weeks ago I was pouring myself a huge bowl of cereal and adding sugar to it when our friend said to me, “You know that stuff will kill you.” My reply, without even thinking, was, “That’s the plan.” I have been a long-time sufferer of depression and have suspected for some time that I have been trying to commit a slow-suicide with food, but it never really pierced my consciousness until I said that out loud to another person. For some reason, after trying for 20+ years to lose weight but only succeeding in getting fatter, something clicked. I don’t want to live this way anymore. But I do want to live.

I decided to do the WW w/meetings this time. I don’t have any friends and the people here at work at pretty anti-social, but nice. Due to our current work/financial situation at home, I rarely get to see my sister anymore, but she is very supportive of my desire to lose weight. Between work and home, I feel like the mother stuck at home with a bunch of toddlers, aching for adult conversation. I have been to two meetings so far and really like the group that meets there, and I really like the leader, Sue. I lost four pounds my first week so I am headed in the right direction.

I want to lose this weight because I have let it define me, and this is not the legacy I want to leave behind. I am a fun, spontaneous type of person, and being 230 pounds overweight holds me back from being who I truly am. I haven’t had any mirrors around me that show my body from lower than my shoulders for years and I am devastated every time I see my reflection in a store window. The bathroom I use at my sister’s house has a mirror that shows me from mid-thigh up and it is directly opposite the shower; it ruins my day on a constant basis.

My weight problems began when I was about 17; I lost about 20 pounds during the school year for no reason that we can think of; it just simply fell off. The summer between my junior and senior year I gained about 35 pounds just as easily as I lost the previous 20. I went on a 2-week trip to my grandmothers and none of the clothes I left with fit for the trip home. My boyfriend could not believe his eyes when he saw me the day after I got home. I struggled to lose the weight – I had to get it off before school started because I had to fit into my band uniform. I have gained an average of 10 pounds per year since then (sometimes I didn’t gain weight for several years, then suddenly – BAM! 20 pounds gained seemingly overnight). I have had all the thyroid tests – every new doctor takes one look at me and screams, “THYROID!” with delight, only to have all the panels come back normal. They hate that.

Sorry to go on and on about myself, but I hope that if there is someone out there like me, hanging back, just reading the boards and perhaps feeling like no one understands how they feel – they might see this and see themselves and know that they are not alone. Thanks to all of you that post on this board – you are very inspirational to me.

Well, that's it for today.  I've been sood so far and tracking all my food this week, even though it was CHICKEN ENCHILADA DAY yesterday, and then we had pizza for dinner on top of that!  I still managed to have 18 of my weekly "splurge" points left for the week because I only had two medium slices of pizza instead of 5 or 6 huge ones.  Yay me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First official week on WW (again)

Woohoo! I lost four pounds this week, and am two pounds ahead of schedule. I made a line chart in Excel to track my weight (even though the WW site does it for me, I like mine better) and track my actual weight vs. my weekly goal weight, which is a loss of 2 lbs per week.

I am terrible about tracking my food; I do it in my head, just like my bank balance. That usually works out OK, but sometimes I lose track of how much money I have and things get…erm…interesting; the same thing happens with my food points. I am making it a goal to track/journal all of my food this week.

On the new system, not only do you get your allotted points for the day (depending on your current weight) but you also get an extra 49 points per week (or 7 extra points per day) to use at your discretion (regards of your current weight). You are encouraged to use them all each week – hooray! I intend to fully comply with that. I use most of them on Tuesdays because it’s Chicken Enchilada Day! This way I get what I feel like I “need” to keep myself from feeling deprived and depressed, and in the long run it will keep me from quitting. I can’t help it right now that I need an “off” day; it’s something I will work on in the future, but it will overwhelm me right now. As I learn better habits and my desire for all things cheesy and sour-creamy finally start ebbing away, then I will have a better chance at success for ridding myself of these nothing-is-off-limits-you-deserve-a-break kind of “off” days. One of the signs I am going to print out and hang in prominent display is: Do not reward yourself with food. You are not a dog. I don’t see chicken enchilada Tuesdays as a reward, just a…ah…coping mechanism. For now. Shut up.

I am also going to purchase the WW’s version of the Body Bug – it’s called the ActiveLink™. I won’t be getting it for another week or so (damn budget, stupid gas for car), but I’m very excited about it. Basically, it’s a USB-type thingy that you clip to yourself somewhere (like a bra strap or waistband) and it monitors and records your activity every day. You take it off at the end of the day and dump the information into the WW eTools program. It tells you how active you were and how many WW activity points you earned, which you can then trade for food points if you want to. You wear it for the first eight days and just do what you normally do – don’t start your exercise program just yet. This gives the program a base-line; then it will suggest a 12-week program to increase your activity. This way, if you are an absolute slug at the bottom of the activity scale (like me), you don’t go joining the advanced Zumba class at the local gym and have a massive cardiac event 30 seconds into the work out. It will step you up gradually and give you ideas for increasing your activity. Our WW leader does not use her activity points for food; she uses hers for motivation. She knows how many she wants to get in a day, and if she sees that she isn’t going to make it, she gets motivated to get moving. I need that.

So, that’s where I’m at right now. So far, so good. One week down, many more to go, but I’m just trying to take it a day at a time right now. My first goal is my 5% mark – 17 pounds lost by New Year’s Day. Only 13 more pounds to go and seven weeks to get there. I can do it.

I can do it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

All by myself...

I decided over the weekend that I just could not fight this battle on my own. On Monday night I went to a Weight Watchers meeting in Longview (near where I work) and joined up. I have done WW before, as I’ve mentioned, but I did it online last time. I enjoyed it, but I think I am the type of person that needs real life, face to face interaction. So I decided to go with the meetings this time around. I got the Monthly Pass so that the meeting dues are cheapest and this way I could go to a second meeting closer to home on Saturday mornings if I want/need to. I probably won’t do that as I enjoyed the people that meet on Monday nights, and it will be much more convenient to do it after work. I have to drive right by where the meeting is held on my way home anyway; and the Saturday meeting is about 20 minutes away from home and is at 9:30am. I know that I will wind up blowing that one off because I always sleep in on Saturdays!

I will start posting my weight from the official WW weigh in.

I did terribly yesterday; I forgot my breakfast at home so had to eat at the café here at the mill, it was chicken enchilada day for lunch, and Sis wanted me to run an errand with her the second I got home and so wound up eating Safeway Chinese food at 8pm.

Today was better. I packed my breakfast and lunch; not sure what the situation will be for dinner at the moment but I have 20 points left for the day so I should be able to make just about anything work.

My goal is to work on getting my meals organized for the week and prepared the night before. For some reason this is really difficult for me, but it is something I must overcome if I am to succeed. My 5% goal is 17 lbs, and my 10% goal is 34 lbs. I hope to reach my 5% goal by January 1st. I never got my motivational signs put up, so I will work on that this weekend. I need to step up my activity level, and have started doing that by parking further away from the lab at work. It sucks, but it’s something.

If you use WW’s eTools, drop me a comment with your user name and we can friend each other! I have almost 250lbs to lose, so I can use all the encouragement I can get! I’ll try to get Sis to take a current picture of me so that I can replace the one that I am currently using on this blog.

Well, that’s the scoop for now!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hershey does not mean chocolate in this instance...

Yesterday went pretty well, all considered. By the time I got home from work I had a screaming case of the Hershey Squirts. TMI, I know, but I promised to be honest and all revealing, so… I think I overdid it on the grapes yesterday afternoon. I was so hungry! Grapes are usually best for me in rather small quantities or else I get bad cramps or worse (green grapes really kill me, so I stick to red seedless). But I was trying to drown out the calls of EAT ME from the mini Kit-Kat bars in the lab’s candy bowl, so I kept eating the grapes. Perhaps I should have had a few rice cakes and some water. Well, lesson learned. I almost did a “do-over” weigh in this morning, figuring I must have lost at least 6.5 lbs in poop alone, but I decided not to.

I had intended to just have a bowl of corn flakes for dinner; I had an anxiety/depression attack on the drive home and cried for about an hour over the sad and pathetic state of my life. I was over it for the most part by the time I got home, but our roommate made boxed Mac & Cheese for dinner, and so I caved and had a good sized bowl of it. I did manage to stay away from the one remaining dark chocolate brownie, and I was proud of myself for that; however I must confess that I went looking for it later, but it was gone.

This morning I had another Greek yogurt (strawberry banana) with about 2 tablespoons of granola; I also had a packet of instant grits and remembered my packed of Truvia today! Much, much better than yesterday. Today is chicken enchilada day in the mill’s Café, so that will be lunch along with a scoop of Spanish rice and a diet Coke. I brought a Fuji apple for a snack along with an Atkins Advantage snack/light meal bar in Caramel Double Chocolate Crunch. They are super yummy with 11g of fiber and 10g of protein for 160 calories; plus they make me very thirsty so I drink more water. I already ate my dessert in the car this morning on my way to work because I was literally falling asleep at the wheel and needed something to wake me up! So, my two chocolate covered graham crackers are already history. (frowny face)

About weigh-ins – I try not to weigh myself every day. The CEO of Weight Watchers says he weighs himself every day, but I just think that is setting me up for anxiety and a roller coaster of emotions. Maybe men can do that, but women’s weight fluxuates so much! It all depends on if we are retaining water, or not. Bloating, or not. Near a period, on a period, just finished a period, or not. Etcetera, ad nauseum. So I try to limit the checking of my weight to two to three times per week. I weigh at the same time every day (right after waking up) in the same clothes (birthday suit), preferably after my morning bodily functions. I always use my Monday weight as my “official” weight.

Oh! By the way, the pumpkin pie Pop Tarts? Awwweesoooommmeee! I still don’t have the points for them, but oh my yes they do substitute for pumpkin pie just fine. Lovely, lovely, lovely.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Still Workin' It...

I didn’t do as well last week as I could have.

This is what I always do. I get a little success then I start slacking off and sabotaging myself. It’s extremely frustrating, and more than just a little annoying.

This time, however, I am feeling quite calm about it. I looked back over my week and I ate out a lot more than I should have (crisp meat burrito and sour cream from Taco Time, chicken sandwich and fries from Burger King, the Jumbo Breakfast Platter at Jack-in-the-Box to name a few) and didn’t eat what I should have at home. Fast food is a real challenge for me. One of the reasons I like WW is that if I feel that I must absolutely have fast food lest I perish from the Earth, I can work it in occasionally.

Message to brain: OCCASIONALLY ≠ WHENEVER I FEEL LIKE IT. I know this is a hard concept for you to grasp; 30+ years of this thinking is hard to retrain, but retrain we must.

I am back on plan this morning, even managing to grab what I needed for today’s lunch and snacks! Here is the plan for today:

Breakfast: I got some more Chobani Greek yogurt w/fruit on the bottom; today’s random selection: peach. I added a few tablespoons of granola to it for crunch. I also had a single serving packet of instant grits as a change from oatmeal. It was great until I added a packet of Splenda to it; my lovely grits went from thick and yummy to instantly runny and water-y. Weird. Splenda is not my sweetener of choice; I prefer Truvia but I forgot to grab some this morning. So, I only ate about half of it before it went into the garbage.

Lunch: I brought bbq beef, half corn/half whole wheat tortillas, cottage cheese, butter lettuce and red seedless grapes.

Snacks: Beef jerky, mini-Bonnie Bell light cheese, and three Newton Fruit thins in Lemon Crisp (that’s all that’s left in the package).

This all comes complete with a confession: I found something naughty at Wal-Mart yesterday and tried very hard to pass it up. Fail. It seemed that every corner I turned, this product was staring me dead in the face! I took it as a sign and put it in my cart. Wanna know what it is?

Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts.

Hear me out: I LURVE pumpkin pie. Every year one (or possibly three) of Costco’s humongous pumpkin pies lands in our kitchen. I like to eat it straight out of the package with a spoon. Crap – did I say that out loud? I meant that I fully intend to have a small, humble piece but wind up eating it straight out of the package with a spoon. Dang. I said it again. Well, anyway, I thought that perhaps these might help me out. I haven’t done the points on them yet, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, it would be better to have two of those than an entire pumpkin pie from Costco eaten with a spoon. (DANG IT! It’s like autocorrect on your iPhone – it just keeps spitting that out!) I will let you know how it rates and how it tastes and if it fulfills a need or just makes the need worse.

Anyhoosiers, I am just .8 of a pound off from my goal of 2lbs per week. The big drop and small backslide kind of evened each other out (unfortunately – and that is not meant to sound like it’s an acceptable achievement). And I did get some pretty good exercise by helping our roommate build a shelter for the goats we are babysitting on Sunday.

We shall see how things go this week.


Monday, October 15, 2012

First weekend...

Well, so far, so good. I weighed myself this morning and the scale said: 332.6. Yay!

I haven’t been able to afford to officially join WW yet, but I’m doing my best to follow the plan. I bought a few groceries this weekend: Chobani 0% Greek yogurt w/fruit on the bottom; butter lettuce; baby carrots; single serving bags of 94% fat free popcorn; apples, pineapple. The Chobani yogurt was interesting. I love yogurt, but this is different than say, Yoplait or Fit and Trim, or any of the other non-Greek yogurts out there. It’s thicker and has got more “bite” to it, if you know what I mean. At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. But it grew on me, and I think the difference is that it is not so sweet and candy-like. I think that the more I eat it, the better it will get. I only purchased three containers just in case. But I will definitely be trying more, and I will try other brands as well. One six-ounce container is 4 WW points: 0 fat, 22g carbs, 0 fiber, and a whopping 14g of protein! I had the black cherry today.

I also had a packet of instant oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, which after the yogurt tasted overly sweet and fake. I will probably switch to plain oatmeal or instant grits to see if that is better.

A very nice person, Betsey C., left a comment for me – thanks Betsey! She brought up a point that gives me a lot of trouble when I am trying to keep track of what I’m eating: home cooked food. I live with my sister, bro-in-law, and a family friend. When my sister is not forced to be down in the Portland area, she makes wonderful home-cooked meals for us. The problem is how to count it! I could look up each ingredient in the meal (casserole, slow cooker, etc.) and try to figure out how many servings of what size the meal should make, then try to figure the points. But, realistically speaking, we all know that is just not going to happen. I find this to be very frustrating and it’s usually what knocks me right off the program. When I was living alone in Montana I usually ate prepackaged (frozen) Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine meals, or foods that I could easily find the Points value for (fast food or prepackaged).

Some months ago I went to my doctor to see if there was anything she could recommend to help me with my weight loss. To be honest, I was hoping for miracle pills, speed or similar. She gave me this weird plate looking thingy that basically helps with portion control. My response was to throw it in the back of the truck where it stayed. I guess I will dig that out and start using it when I eat the home-cooked meals; I may not know exactly how many Points I’m eating, but it will help me to keep my portions in check. This is very hard to do when she makes chicken enchiladas! Yum yum yum.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions on how to deal with home-cooked meals that you don’t make yourself or have any control over? I am not going to sit at the table with a frozen Lean Cuisine when my sister has made dinner for us; I feel that is rude. Like going to dinner at a friend’s house and bringing your own food. Not cool.

Today’s plan for lunch is to go to the mill’s café and get a scoop of their lovely chicken salad (chicken, celery, cucumber and honestly not a lot of dressing) to eat with my rice cakes, butter lettuce salad (with dressing on the side), baby carrots, and fresh pineapple for dessert. I’m going to pop a single serving bag of 94% fat free Kettle Corn just before leaving the lab to eat on the way home. I’m usually starving by the time I finally get home, so hopefully that will help.

I’ll let you know how that went.

I'm happy with the weight loss, especially after this weekend.  Pizza on Friday night (Papa Murphy's 5 Meat Stuffed), chicken teriyaki bowl on Saturday, leftover pizza on Sunday.  Sunday was horrible as I lay in bed with a weather-induced migraine.  It's finally raining here in the Pacific NW after almost three straight months of sunshine, and my noggin' don't dig the weather changes.  I expected a very small loss or at least staying the same, so the nearly four pound loss was a nice surprise!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New attitude, holding steady...mostly...

As promised, my food journal from late Tuesday through Wednesday. It wasn’t great, but it would have been a lot worse if I hadn’t been paying closer attention to my eating habits.

Tuesday night I split an order of Super Nachos from our absolute favorite Mexican place in Milwaukie, OR – Super Burrito. It consisted of chicken, refried beans, sour cream, cheddar cheese (the real stuff, not the canned nacho cheese “sauce”), avocado, and corn chips. Normally I would have eaten a whole order by myself, but this time I just split one order with Mom. I was completely satisfied without feeling like I was going to barf or split in half like I usually do because I ate too much. I also had half of a 7-11 brand Berry soda (approx. 10oz) and four Kirkland brand dark chocolate/cherry/almond patties that are about the size of a half dollar. OMG – they are BAAAAAADDD! I could have easily scarfed down the entire container!

Wednesday: I had a severe headache and had to drive Mom downtown Portland at 8:30am to the court house for a very stressful appointment. I skipped breakfast – very bad. We finally ate at a Shari’s Restaurant at about 11:30. I had a Garlic Swiss Mushroom burger; I took off the top bun and ate it open faced with a knife and fork. They were very chintzy with the mushrooms! I had tater tots (looooooove the tots) instead of fries; there were about 10 of them. I had ice water to drink. For dinner I had a bowl of vegetable won ton soup from Trader Joe’s; didn’t eat the veggies. Had the other half of my Berry soda; five more chocolate/almond/cherry patties.

So, not brilliant, but normally this would have been much, much worse. Take my choice for breakfast today for example. Went to Jack in the Box; got the Sausage Croissant sandwich (15 pts), 10 mini churros (Why? Why do I feel I need those? 19 pts), and a bottled water. 34 points for breakfast alone; I should get between 38 and 47 points for the WHOLE DAY. Not a great start.

But I will get better.


Ate my Lean Cuisine pizza, a small side salad w/ranch dressing on the side (I put my fork in the dressing then spear my lettuce), three lemon Newton’s Fruit Thins, bottled water.

I am starving.

Dang. Not sure what I will be eating for dinner; will do my best!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day One of New Attitude

OK, even though I haven’t been able to officially join WW yet, I am doing my best to work on my habits. First habit to work on: food journaling. I do really well in the beginning, and I do really well from morning until I leave work, but then I just can’t seem to continue after I get home.

I will do my best to change that.

Here is what I have eaten today:

7:20am – 2 oatmeal raisin cookies. Hey, I figure it’s not any worse than commercial oatmeal flavored with brown sugar with raisins added. OK, it is worse, but it’s too late now, I already ate them.

7:45am – one Smart Ones breakfast sandwich w/turkey sausage. I L-O-V-E breakfast sandwiches! These are actually really good; so are the ones with Canadian bacon.

8:07am – finished first bottle of 16.9 oz of water w/sugar free drink mix added.  I say "first" because I plan to drink a total of three.  I am terrible about drinking enough water, something I have discussed ad nauseaum in previous posts.

9:30am – big piece of Starbuck’s coffee cake; brought to me as a gift from a co-worker, felt too guilty to say NO.

11am – Noon: Lunch at work. Brought smart stuff to eat; forgot it was chicken enchilada day. I completely forgot about what I had brought and had 2 enchiladas with Spanish rice and can of Diet Coke.

Well, so far everything is going according to plan. My EVIL TWIN’S PLAN! Strangely, I am not deterred or disappointed or angry. My good decisions are being undone by my bad ones, but I am not surprised or dismayed by this. And it’s not going to stop me. I am going to acknowledge that I am not making the best decisions today, and when the next decision comes up, I know what I have to do.

Kick my evil twin in the balls and run like hell.

I am headed down to my mom’s place tonight after work and I’ll be there all day tomorrow, so I won’t be able to log the rest of my day today or my day tomorrow, but on Thursday I will post what went on. I promise to be 100% honest.  The plan is to eat what I brought for lunch for tonight's dinner, make the best choices I can all day tomorrow, and bring a good lunch to work on Thursday.

May the force be with me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The View From Rock Bottom Sucks

I have hit an all-time low, or a high, depending on which way you want to look at it. Either way, it’s bad.

I weighed myself last week: 340.2.

That weird crashing noise you thought you heard last week but couldn’t place? My life.

My depression level has rarely been at the level it has been for the last week. I can genuinely put it in my top three all-time depression moments.

I have been doing some deep thinking lately, and I have come to some conclusions. Bear with me while I share. Some of these things I have not shared with anyone before.

About 15 years ago, I was experiencing one of my other top three depression episodes. I decided that my life was just no longer worth living, and decided to take steps toward ending it. All my problems were insurmountable, unsolvable; I was less than nothing, unloved, unlovable, destined for failure on all counts and there was just no getting past it. I knew that my suicide would distress very few, although my mother would be devastated and my sister would be similarly unhappy, but I was determined to go through with it. But, before I hacked at my wrists or slammed my vehicle into a telephone pole, I wanted to give my apartment a thorough cleaning. My mother would be having a hard enough time with my death the least I could do for her was make sure the apartment was nice and clean when she came to clear out my things.

I have not been able to keep a clean and tidy home since. Coincidence? Doubtful.

And since I am still around to be writing this pathetic blog, I obviously gave up on the whole idea of killing myself, right?

Are you sure about that conclusion?

Why else would an intelligent person like myself allow my skeleton, heart, kidneys and liver to try to support 340 pounds?

Slow suicide. It’s a lot less obvious, less messy, takes longer – granted, but the end result is still the same. I’m still slicing off whole years, decades probably, from my life.

I don’t know why this is finally sinking in, that this is what I am really doing to myself. And I don’t know why it’s making me want to fight back for a change. I am 45 years old. I don’t want to be a sad sack anymore. I don’t want to be fat anymore. I want to live. REALLY LIVE. Not exist.

I am joining Weight Watchers again. I haven’t been an actual member for a long time, but whenever I was trying to diet I would use what I learned from them and use my old Points counter slide-ruler thingy. About two days after I made the decision to join, I went to the library to pick up a book I had on hold. When I went to the checkout counter, they have books on display, and guess what book was on display? “Weight Loss Boss: How to Finally Win at Losing--and Take Charge in an Out-of-Control Food World” by David Kirchhoff, the CEO of…wait for it…Weight Watchers.

I now take it as a sign.

I love his book. It is not a book for WW members, it not really a book about WW (although he does discuss how WW works); it is about one man’s struggle to lose weight. Can you imagine being the CEO of the world’s most successful weight loss corporation and being obese? Welcome to David’s world. He is funny, real, inspiring, down to earth, and very candid. The book is not condescending in any way, and he doesn’t sugar coat things. I really enjoyed reading it and it only took me about a day and half!

I am not going to do the online program this time; I need a social life and I don’t have one. I crave adult company and conversation, and I don’t get that at home anymore and I don’t really get it at work. (No, I didn’t get the job I mentioned in my last post; but I am working again. I hate it.) I am going to get the Monthly Pass so that I can attend as many meetings as I want, where ever and when ever I want to. I want to go to one in Longview where I work on Tuesdays, and to one in Chehalis (about 20 miles from the house) on Saturdays. I am going to need all the help I can get, and I figure I will click with one group or the other and hopefully get some of what I need.

All I need now is the money to do it. Hopefully I can do it this payday. Cross your fingers for me.

My other goal is to buy a bike. I was quite the avid bicyclist when I was a teenager and I loved it so much. The problem now is trying to find a bike that will hold my massive carcass without the wheels going flat. I found one that I want (it’s on my Diet and Exercise Pinterest board) that is made by Worksman Cycles in the USA; they are customizable and are made for riders up to 500 lbs! I want to ride my bike all over the frickin’ countryside out here, then I want to do the Seattle to Portland race that they have every year. (For more information on it, go here: I really, really want to do it. I am going to make greeting cards and jewelry to sell to reach my goal of buying my bike; hopefully I’ll have enough money before I’m 90.

This morning I weighed myself and I am down to 336.2 so I am going in the right direction and I am feeling a little better. I am going to print off a lot of motivational things from my Pinterest boards and hang them on my bedroom walls.

Go me.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just five minutes...

OK - here we go.

I have done nothing but sit on my big fat butt for the last several weeks of my life, in front of the computer, looking for work.  Had an interview on Wednesday, should hear something today since they want the right person to start on Monday.

Point is, I have been just sitting around all day.  Every single pore of my body is in PAIN!  Especially my upper back.  I keep thinking, "Just move your body and you won't hurt so much."  Right.

I have also been getting some motivation from reading various blogs and health websites, most that I have found through Pintrest.  Have I mentioned my addiction?  Seriously, there needs to be a 12-step program.  This morning I was reading a story from the Joy Luck Club on Yahoo.  One woman started her weight loss journey by exercising just five minutes a day.  Five minutes?  Surely I can do that much.  So starting today, I am starting again.  For the 5,000,000th time.  Hey - at least I keep starting again instead of giving up!  Also, yesterday my only "friend" on SparkPeople sent me an email to say she missed me and hoped I would come back.  That was really cool.  I often figure that no one thinks or cares about me ever, so this was a nice surprise.

I have started journaling my food again.  I made up a template on Microsoft Works to track my calories (which is all I am tracking at the moment), water intake and exercise output.  As soon as I can figure out to do it, I will put a sample of it on my side bar or put it in a future post; feel free to copy it and modify it to your own preferences.  So, I did my five minutes of exercise about 10 minutes ago and feel pretty good.  I was able to walk up and down our long driveway three times with my Nordic Walking Poles.  Here is a picture of someone else walking with poles similar to mine, just so you get the drift:
Photo from
I love my walking poles!  I am really top heavy, and any activity - especially walking - makes my upper back (just above my bra in the back) feel like it's going to snap in half.  I always have to push a cart at the market, otherwise I can't make it around the store.  I need something to support my upper half, and surprisingly enough these little poles do just that.  I bought mine several years ago from eBay; they aren't the same brand as the ones above, but they do the trick.  They also get your arms swinging as you walk, so you burn a few more calories and a little upper body workout too.

So, that's where I am today.  I really want to keep this going, so we shall see how I do.


Monday, July 2, 2012


  • Uninsured
    • Unmedicated
      • Unhappy
      • Unmotivated
Excuses, excuses.  You know, when I was employed full time, all I could think about was all the things I would be doing if I wasn't employed full time.  Some of the things I daydreamed about were working out, eating right and losing weight.  I just didn't have time to do those things properly because I was away from home for 8-10 hours a day.  Right?  Well, I've been 100% unemployed (again) since April, and ask me how many times I have worked out; ask me about how I've been eating; ask me how much weight I've lost.  You know what my answer would be?  BITE ME.  NONE YA BIZNIZZ.

Ok, so it just goes to show you that it isn't a not-enough-hours-in-the-day time thing.  But I know that.  My biggest problem is that I am full of words and dreams, but when it comes down to it, I just sit like a blob. 

It used to be that TV (and NetFlix) were the issue.  Now it's Pintrest.  Oh lord, I have wasted so many hours in this stupid chair pinning clothes I will never wear, recipes I will never make...  My diet and exercise board consists mainly of jokes about why I haven't lost weight.  Joy!  But, to be fair, I have started to find some things that make sense to me, and have also found a few (more) inspirational blogs to follow.

I really don't want to be like this anymore.  This what goes on in my head, 24/7, on a loop:

PROBLEM                                              SOLUTION
I hurt all the time.  My back, feet,                Move the body anyway.  It hurts to just do basic stuff,
 hips, etc.                                                    so it's going to hurt when you exercise.  What's the

I don't have anywhere to safely walk.          Walk up and down the driveway, stupid.

The only things we have in the house to       Do the best you can, drink more liquids to fill yourself
 eat are boxes of macaroni & cheese,           up, get a job so you can buy your own food.
 Top Ramen, and eggs.

I'm off my anti-depressant and cannot         Stop whining and get on with it already.
 get motivated to do anything good
 for myself.

You'd think that I'd be getting a great workout, beating myself up like this on a daily basis, but funnily enough it doesn't really work that way.

Today I am going to walk up and down our driveway.  It's not super long or anything, but it's a rural home driveway so it's probably 3x's the length of the typical home's driveway.  The road we live on really isn't a very safe road to be on; it's barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other, a 50mph speed limit (which means that people drive 75mph), with deep ditches on either side with no shoulder.  So I will start with the driveway, walking up and down as many times as I can, then later I will start walking on the road with my bright department-of-transportation-orange safety vest on.

I am looking for a bicycle that will support my weight that costs less than a small country's national budget, and I have found one.  I have it pinned (HA!  shut up) on my diet & exercise board on Pintrest - check it out if you like.  I really would like to get one; when I was in high school and in my best shape/weight I rode my bike @100 miles a week.  I had fantastic legs and a wonderful sense of freedom.  It would be a great way for me to get out in the fresh air and sunshine (whenever it decides to show up - damn global warming in the Pacific NW), would be pretty much non-impact (unless I fall off the dumb thing), and a great way to build up my cardio.  I would ultimately want to start running, but I'm afraid my boobs will beat me to death.  It's something to work up to anyway.

Well, that's where I stand for now.  Eventually this will become a blog about weight LOSS, not just weight whining.  Hang in there!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Just keep going...

Well, I am down 15lbs so far. I figure I lost 8.5lbs from my feet and ankles, 3lbs from my face, 2.5lbs from my hair, and 1lb from my left elbow. My shoes fit better, but otherwise I can’t tell from how my clothes fit or by how I look that the weight is gone.

So. Not. Fair.

Be grateful, I tell myself. Others don’t notice, but you know you’ve done it.

Sod that, my other self answers. I want people to GASP with recognition that the weight has fallen off.

Fine. I guess that means that I’ll just have to keep going now, won’t it? At some point the weight loss will be obvious because I’ll have to buy new pants that don’t fall down, a new bra because the cups are too empty (oh, that’s a joy I SERIOUSLY look forward to!), and sexier tops because the back fat is fading away.

So, here I go, plodding away to the next victory: being below 310 again. All I have to do is lose another 15lbs; and the first just weren’t that painful.

I wasn’t journaling my food (vvv bad) because I got so frustrated with it. If it frustrates me too much, it will make me quit the whole she-bang. So, no more journaling. But I am keeping track to an extent.  Truly.

I cut back on my serving sizes, especially when it came to the home-made meals. Instead of three or four heaping spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, just one semi-hefty one. Instead of eating until I feel I will burst or have a coronary episode, I ate until I was almost full, then rested my fork for a bit. I stopped eating handfuls of jelly beans to help my night-time pills go down. I drank a little more water, and took the stairs an extra time or two.

Huh, I guess that was just enough.

Onwards and upwards! Er…downwards! Hmphf. Doesn’t really have the same ring to it, does it?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Frustration 101

Frustration and weight loss go hand in hand. Like peas and carrots; pancakes and syrup; Oreos and milk; uh…what was I talking about again? Oh, yeah, yeah, weight loss and frustration.

Today I’d like to talk about my frustration with tracking what I eat. Now, I am a compulsive list maker. Nothing makes me happier than writing down lists of stuff and things; I’m even happier if I can make an Excel spreadsheet to track the things I am listing.

Here is the frustrating part: due to my current lifestyle (read: lazy) I am often faced with eating foods that I have not weighed or measured myself. They still may be healthy choices, but they are not marked with how much the serving size is and there is no nutritional information given. Case in point: because I am not able to get up in time to make and eat breakfast at home, I will often grab something from the café that is on site here at the mill where I currently work. My favorite choice of late is vanilla low-fat yogurt with fresh blueberries. Yummy! I have a box of granola stashed in my desk, and I will add a ¼ cup to the yogurt for extra texture and crunch. The problem is that I can measure and record the nutritional information for the granola, but not the yogurt or berries. The container that they come in is not marked with how much is in the container (1 cup of yogurt, ½ cup berries??); and while I can look up the information on the berries online, I don’t know about the yogurt – what brand is it, etc. So, how much am I eating? How do I fill in the perfect little cells on my Excel spreadsheet with the information it so desires?

The other frustration with this is home-made food. Tuesday night we had tacos for dinner. They are served “family style”, which in our house means you help yourself from the pans on the stovetop. The beans were my sister’s home canned pinto beans; they were not fried or even refried. Just heated up in a saucepan and smashed to smithereens to the same texture. The hamburger was just regular hamburger browned with onions and spices in a non-stick pan. We like to pan fry corn tortillas in vegetable oil, and I use a few drops of bottled taco sauce, some sour cream, and a pinch of shredded Colby cheese to top it off. If I was the dedicated dieter that several people are, I would have at least measured/weighed each item so that I knew exactly how much I was eating. But when I am starving and dukeing it out with two big men and my equally starving sister to be sure I get anything at all, taking the time to do that doesn’t always occur to me. Not to mention that I currently do not have access to a food scale, nor do I have the funds to go purchase one at the moment. By the time it would have taken me to weigh everything while building my first taco, the rest of the food would be gone. Seriously. Although that would mean that I wouldn’t be able to stuff myself to the point of explosion, so maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. But it’s just not my style, to be honest.

I think I am standing in my own way. The “it’s just not my style” in that last paragraph kinda directs the spotlight on a lot of my problems, doesn’t it? I guess that I really need to change my style, or else my style will be to wear gigantic muumuus and whine about how badly my back hurts all the time. That is not a cool style. I want my style to be pencil skirts and stiletto heels, biking down the Oregon coast or all around Mt. Rainier National Park (not in the pencil skirt and stiletto heels, though. More like a cool sports bra and {gasp} shorts). I want my style to be fun and spontaneous, not pre-planned to death so that I am not caught by surprise in some situation that will make me both physically and psychologically uncomfortable (air planes, amusement parks, anywhere I cannot wear full length pants, at least ¾ sleeves and tennis shoes which pretty much leaves out formal occasions and anywhere where the weather is more than 75 degrees).

I will have to commit to starting small. Get the damn food scale. Don’t eat stuff if I don’t know how much the serving size amounts to, and if I can’t get my hands on the nutritional info.

Any other suggestions?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today's word: humiliation

I know I said that I was going to blog more; I have to be careful what I say out loud (or in print) these days, I guess. Approximately two days after saying that, our internet was turned off. Ah, gotta love these financial times, eh? If you want to read about that, you can check out my whining on my other blog. We still don’t have internet access, but I have managed to find a way to get back onto my blog. So, without further adieu, here we go.

Today’s subject is: humiliation.

Last night I decided I would take a bath. I have not taken a bath in, oh – I don’t know – 10 years or more. I have also gained a substantial amount of weight since then. How much? I don’t know; just take my word for it. A lot, OK? I shower.

So I got out the cherry blossom bubble bath, the hazelnut scented candle, a back issue of InStyle magazine, and prepared for a nice treat. I have weather-induced migraines and had been suffering a lot this weekend; a nice, quiet, hot soak just sounded so lovely. As I stood in the steaming bubbly water, I realized that sitting down at foot (or floor) level is not very … erm … graceful for me. My thighs and calves are now so big that I cannot actually crouch down anymore. I finally determined that if I sat on the edge of the tub, held onto the grab bar that we have on the edge of the tub, and braced myself against the wall with my left hand, I could kind of slide into the water.

Silly me; I had forgotten Archimedes’ water displacement discovery. Shamu + lots of water with bubbles ÷ tub built for normal sized humans = not nearly the relaxing bath I had expected.

There was a virtual tsunami of water that flowed over the side of the tub, all over the bathroom floor, drowning my magazine, bathmat, and clothes.


So much for that. I realized that I couldn’t even lean back in the tub to relax because my morbidly obese ass had dammed up the water behind me so high that even turning around to look at it made more water flow over the side. CRAP!!! So after squirming around for about five minutes or so, trying to even out the water in front of me and behind me, I finally had to admit defeat. I sat still, listening to the water flow out of the tub via the overflow drain, thinking that now I will also have to mop the bathroom floor when I get out. Yay me.

I decided to get up and take a shower.

You know, you would think that the biggest enemy against a fat person trying to get out of a bathtub would be slipping, right? It’s not.

It’s suction.

Oh yes; my big fat lower half was wedged into the tub pretty well, yes indeedy-do. I then had a slight moment of panic (OK it was more like three minutes of intense panic): how the heck am I going to get back up and out of this tub? I am not able to pull myself into a crouch, as I mentioned before. I can’t put any pressure on my knees, at least not on hard surfaces, and the bottom of this tub ain’t made of marshmallow fluff. Normally I would holler for Sissy to come help me out of this jam, but she is 100 miles to the south at my mom’s house for the weekend. If I need help, there is just my 74-year-old brother-in-law that is recovering from major surgery, or his 70-year-old friend that is currently staying with us. So not an option. It’s up to me to get myself out of this pickle.

So I figured that I might, just might, be able to reverse the process that got me into the tub. I turned on my left side a bit to break the suction, grabbed that little plastic bar they put in tubs for you to hang your wash cloth on with my left hand, grabbed the grab bar on the right edge of the tub, stuffed a wash cloth under my left knee, and HEAVED. It took me three tries and I’m pretty sure I strained a groin muscle, but I managed to plonk myself back on the edge of the tub.

Yeah, that was the relaxing experience I had in mind.


After showering off the bubbles, blowing out the candle and mopping up the floor, I returned to my room and reflected. I sure wish there was some way I could just STOP EATING. Lately my weight has ballooned up to 340 lbs. I don’t get it. I recently got a job after being out of work for 15 months (during which time I had actually managed to lose 20 lbs by watching TV and walking the dog in the yard). I have to walk a minimum of 100-150 yards from the parking lot to my building, then climb a flight of stairs to my office. The bathroom lies at the bottom of these stairs, so I’m climbing them at least 5 times a day in addition to the walking. I’m not eating large meals, but I will be honest and say that I do eat quite a lot of sugar right before I go to bed. I take a bunch of pills that won’t seem to go down unless I eat a little sumpin’ sumpin’ afterwards, so it’s usually a handful (or four) of candy. But I kind of thought that the extra exercise would cancel that out? Apparently not.

I am so incredibly depressed about my weight. Sometimes I think, “Why bother?” I have so much weight to lose; I’m going to be 45 in a few weeks; I haven’t had a boyfriend since I was 17; what is the point? But then I think that I’m only half-way through this life (hopefully); maybe I could have a romantic relationship if I just lost the weight and gained some self-assurance and self respect; and I don’t really want to die at this weight from a massive coronary.

What I would really like is to get the lap band. I think that surgery is just my only option at this point, and I don’t want to Frankenstein my insides (no offence to those that have had gastric bypass). That option scares the dookey out of me. But I like the idea of the band because I’m not cutting apart and rearranging major organs, and not relying on malnutrition to make me thinner. I also like the idea that it is reversible if necessary. The only thing standing in my way? Remember why I haven’t been blogging? Right – no internet. Why? No money. Funnily enough, no money = no surgery.

Anyone know a surgeon willing to do it for free? Yes? Hello?

All I hear are crickets.