Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 342

Took a walk today at lunch, thanks to my motivating co-workers (and co-walkers!) Boy, have I lost the progress I had made before. I was hot, sweaty, and out of breath after walking about a mile and a half. Drives home the need to keep doing it...!

I am lucky in that I am not going to a big Thanksgiving dinner this year, so I can avoid the caloric chaos that will be my husband's aunt's house! And, I am going to try try try to motivate to walk Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, since the husband is taking the kiddos to his family and I'm staying home. The other BIG goal for while they're gone in purging - especially the toys, but just trying to clean up and make sense of all the crap that has piled up. I think that those movements will add up to a good number of steps - I just hope I can motivate to do it (although I've now told so many people that's what I'm doing, I will be really embarrassed if I don't!)

I'm tired too..I feel like I had a lot more energy when I had gotten the sugar out of my system...

The next BIG hurdle will be the first week in December - we are taking the kiddos to Disney World! Lots of walking, yes, but LOTS of not-so-good food opportunities...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 332

When you don't post for an entire month, it makes adding up the days much easier...

As you probably have guessed, my silence has not meant good things. I've been muddling along, and not eating well at all. Yes, I've gained weight back - probably even about 20 pounds from my lowest weight. (Which, I need to try and remember, is still about 45 pounds less than where I was this time last year...) I have excuses out the wazoo - weekend getaway, Halloween, etc. - but none of those really carries weight (ha ha) when it's been essentially an eat-anything-and-everything mentality. It's almost like my brain was so tired of working at this, that not only did I just give up, but I started wanting to push more and more crap down my gullet just to make myself feel worse about it all. And I do feel crappy. At least my body is realizing that. After Halloween I really find myself not wanting chocolate. But I'm completely off from a planning standpoint - I had nothing in the house for breakfast this morning, so I ate cookies on my way into work.

Dr. Albers has sweetly continued to be super supportive and email me even when I ignore her for weeks (and she has an infant to deal with - I'd be saying "to heck with Jennifer!" if I was her :) Her suggestion is to not look at this as all or nothing, but go back to trying to do small steps - trying to hit a certain number of steps a day, eating a healthy breakfast, etc., but not saying I have to feel like I have to be completely on plan immediately. Sounds reasonable, and is worth a shot as I could see the possibility that as my body and head start making healthier choices, they might want to make more of them after a little while. I was going without my pedometer for many weeks, and I've started wearing it again. It's not hitting terribly high numbers, but I'm wearing it at least.

The holidays seem like this looming pit of despair in terms of food. I am thinking though that while it was hard last year to resist everything, in some ways it was easier to not try and balance and moderate, but more just say no to pretty much everything. It might be worth trying that again, and only make exceptions for a few specific times/items, like my birthday, husband's company holiday party, a really good Jersey cannoli.  And not to go crazy, but to just enjoy what I eat and stop when I'm full.

That is another goal I've been noodling on for a long time (and probably mentioned before): not eating everything on my plate. Why is this so hard? No matter how we were brought up (and I don't think I was told to eat everything on my plate because of starving kids somewhere in the world), at this point I should be able to internalize that it's not benefiting anyone, especially myself, to eat everything on the plate. And yes, I could bring things home as leftovers, which irks my husband (he grew up being told leftovers are "used food"), but somehow that option doesn't even solve the problem for me.

To end on an up note: no matter how much of the kids' Halloween candy I ate (and really, it was more from the bags we bought to give out rather than raiding their stash), I am proud that I have still not once taken candy from the candy dish of the secretary here at work, even though she got everyone's leftover Halloween candy and will be doling it out for months.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 289

[I posted this a few days ago...but on the wrong blog! I write a blog for the grandparents about my kids and  accidentally posted this there instead of here, and it just took me a few days to realize what I had done!]

Well, Dr. Albers caught me. She nicely emailed me asking how things were going, and astutely recognized that when I don't blog, things aren't going so well! I've had a week of debauchery and decadence. No holds barred, nothing off limits. There are some stressers going on in my life, but it's no excuse. It definitely felt like once I let myself go, I went all the way. Donuts. Cake. Ice cream. Italian pastries. Macaroni and cheese (more than once - and it was always just finishing what was on my kids' plates). Did I mention donuts? Dr. Albers pointed out those seem to be my bellwether for having lost control - it's like donuts are the ultimate evil forbidden food for me.

My (4 year old) son has internalized the whole idea of "green light/red light" foods, so he'll ask if something's a red or green light food for me. I said in the car yesterday at the end of our three hour drive back from New Jersey that something was a red light food, but that I was going to still eat it - my husband (gently, nicely!) made the observation that I had been "running a lot of lights" lately. Good way of putting it... And the scale reflected it. I had gotten down to about 317 - this morning I was back at 325. Argh. So much for my goal of hitting 300 by the end of October. Or to lose 100 pounds total by the end of December (45 pounds in three months seems setting myself up for disappointment).

Unfortunately, while I feel icky (and tired - the sugar is definitely taking a toll on my energy), i don't feel gross enough to be truly motivated to get back on track. I'm tired of dieting, of always watching what I eat, of always trying to get more steps in (today I didn't even wear my pedometer). I know it's a lifelong struggle, and gets mildly easier once I'm into a different and new routine, but, sigh, I'm really feeling unmotivated. And seeing other motivated people (go fellow Oz-appearer Amy who is working up to running a half marathon in January!! I don't think I could run if my life depended on it!) doesn't make me want to get up and move - while I'm really happy for them, I feel like I'm just doomed to fail at this, so why bother.

What a cheery post for a dreary Monday morning. Sorry all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 275

I think I was a little nutty yesterday - my husband and I planned to take the kids to do a 1 mile Family Fun walk for our local schools' education foundation...but it was raining so we let them stay at home with my mother and Pat and I (and my stepfather) decided on the spur of the moment to walk the full 5K race course! We were last to cross the finish line, but I think I improved my time from the first one I did, finishing in 62 minutes. Pretty good, considering I hadn't done any training walks in months! We are sore today though - my thighs and knees and Pat's ankles...but I'm pretty pleased that I was able to finish! I kept getting worried that they'd pull us from the course for being slow (there were only about 225 people who participated, a far cry from the tens of thousands at the walk I did downtown in June), but our deputy sheriff who kept coming up behind us was very supportive and cheered us on the whole way. It was a hillier course than the other one too...

Of course, the 11,000+ steps I did yesterday meant I let myself slip significantly at dinner. Sigh. One (or more) steps forward, another step back...!

I did finally do a weigh in, and I'm at 317. So, better than I had been anticipating, and if I can stay on course and not keep "allowing" myself these little slips, and start walking more again (I'm about to take a break from work in the next few minutes to go take a walk!), I should be able to get that down to 300 by Halloween.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 264

So yesterday went well!! I actually hit 10,000 steps - all from walking around the house (let's just say there was a LOT of cleaning that had to happen on an emergency basis - not going to say why because you will all be creeped out!) But then I had to leave the house for a few hours, and really struggled with myself about where to go hang out and have lunch. I almost chose Panera because I knew they had free wireless and are right next to the dry cleaner where I needed to go too...but I convinced myself that the convenience of parking the car once wasn't worth the struggle it would be to resist the temptation of all their pastries and yummy sweet bready things. So I went to Cosi, and had a good salad and whole grain bread (and discovered they have free wifi too!) Went to Starbucks and returned to my "treat" beverage, a skinny vanilla latte, which is skim milk and sugar free vanilla syrup, so only the calories of the milk - this was a change too, since I've recently slipped back into having the regular vanilla syrup (with the calories and the sugar), or even (horrors!) a mocha with hot chocolate mixed into the coffee! Then there was the debate about what to eat for dinner - there was a Chipotle just down from the Starbucks (again, not having to move the car and park somewhere else), but I knew that even if I got a burrito bowl, I'd be tempted by the rice and I went to Subway for a turkey sub, only 6 inches when I used to order a 12 inch (and not be hungry to finish it, but end up eating it all anyway!) So, I know that all this minutia may be boring, but it's just reflective of the fact that this is a CONSTANT moment-to-moment struggle and no amount of planning and forethought can alleviate all of the debate with yourself about whether to stay on track or allow slight (or major!) deviations.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 262

Okay, tomorrow is a new start. It hadn't really occurred to me when I set September 1st as my "restart" date that it was in the middle of the week. It wasn't until Dr. Albers emailed me the other day and asked if I was ready that it hit me that I only had a couple days left! I did treat myself to a few things this morning - a green tea from Panera, a pastry. I feel good about a new start. I've been feeling sluggish and icky, and I'm looking forward to cleaning the sugar out of my body again. It's still crazy hot - I'm not sure how people get up and go running in this kind of weather - but I think I'll start walking again this weekend. We are doing a 1K walk as a family in a week and a half, and I'm sure it won't be a big problem, but it'll still be good motivation to get moving again (especially since I can foresee having to carry a child on my shoulders for part of the way :)  Okay, wish me luck! Let's see if I can lose at least 10 pounds this month - I will do an "official" weigh in tomorrow morning, but I'm guessing I have 20-25 pounds to lose to hit 300 - I'd be thrilled if I can do that by the end of October. Anybody else with me starting up again here?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 255

Twizzlers are tasty. But as good as they tasted going down, I didn't feel good afterwards, physically or emotionally. I was eating them as part of a stress/coping mechanism... but I think I'm really getting to the point that my brain and body are working somewhat in sync against highly processed foods. So, if I'm going to have a cupcake, it'll be a real one bought from a real bakery, not a Hostess cupcake. I have found myself standing in 7-11 and the grocery store staring at things, trying to rationalize eating them ("just one, you deserve it, it's okay to slip as long as you're being conscious and deliberate about it, etc..."), and I've turned away and walked out.

I could be better about my eating at this point, but I REALLY need to get back into the walking. I am still focusing on September 1 as my "restarting" point. I also am inspired by my cousin Liesl's comment on my last blog post about setting interim personal goals. Weight-loss-wise, the next goal is to lose this nagging 20 pounds and get to 300 finally. Exercise-wise - hmm... well, first, to change the battery in my pedometer so that I can wear it again! Then, maybe I can focus again on hitting a certain number of steps each day - 7500? And finally, tracking food and emailing Dr. Roisen again... stay tuned...

And once we get back into a routine with school, etc., I need to get serious about identifying some good, healthy, EASY, kid-friendly dinners for me and the kiddos. Not just for the food but to make sure we have some family dinner time. Any ideas or suggestions for dinners that a) can be made simply (under 20 minutes) that are kid-friendly, or b) that can be made during the afternoon by my nanny and I can just heat up?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 237

I know, I know, it's been far too long since I've posted. In my (slight) defense, I was sick for more than a week - strep throat and then what I think was an allergic reaction to the antibiotics (rash over my entire body, wanted to tear my skin off). Fun. The ONLY upside to the whole thing was that I think it may have jumpstarted my weight loss again, as I was down a few pounds (finally) as of a couple days ago. (So, weigh in weight was 313 - that's 68 pounds, or 38% of what I want to lose.)

Now, I worry that might be temporary, and with a family wedding and a little vacation with the kiddos after that may be challenging. But my episode of Dr. Oz reaired last week, and while I didn't see it live, I am planning to rewatch the show, probably this weekend. I think I need to use it as a motivator to remember why I'm doing all this, and help push me out of the complacency I've been in. I'm not upset - I'm glad I've been able to maintain for a few months, which shows me that I can handle life at this weight with some but not too too much work. But I don't want to stay at this weight and so I need to motivate again to get back on track and start losing again. With the summer wrapping up, and the weather improving, goals include:
  • Getting up at least 3 days a week (more would be good, of course) to walk in the mornings
  • Beginning to write down all that I eat again and track that 
  • Send that to Dr. Roisen - I've ignored him for months...out of shame and guilt...
  • Sign up for at least 2-3 5K walks this fall - that really helped me motivate and if I can do that again it'd be great
I'm setting September 1 as my "restart" date, but not in a way that between now and then I can go crazy. I think I just need to have something to mentally start focusing on and that's as good a date as any. Work also seems like it's stabilizing and I am starting to think about joining the gym here at the office, since I might have more time to actually go during the day. Sigh. This is hard, but what's the saying? "Food doesn't taste as good as thin feels"?? Well, I don't know what "thin" feels like, but I do know what really big, and tired, and no energy feels like, and it's not good. I felt GREAT when I did the 5K in June, and I need to keep remembering that feeling, and knowing that sugar makes me feel exactly the opposite, and crappy. What are other people's goals for the fall? It would help me to know others are working on things too...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 222

Well, the traveling is done for a little while now, and I seem to have survived. This last trip was to Anaheim, and I actually think I did pretty well. The conference was in a GIGANTIC convention center, and instead of feeling whiny every time I had to walk from one end to the other (4 times each day), I embraced it and kept telling myself - think of all the steps you're getting in!! And sure enough, one day I hit 10,000 steps (!), and then the next, when I went to Downtown Disney to do some shopping for the fam, I hit 13,600!!! I was a tired puppy that night though. The woman at the hotel said that Downtown Disney was just down the street, really so close it didn't make sense to take the little shuttle bus - well, I should have been tipped off that there was a shuttle bus FOR A REASON!! It wasn't so bad walking there, but on the way back (carrying multiple bags of crap, er, gifts), I had to keep telling myself that I CAN DO IT and KEEP GOING, these steps are GOOD FOR YOU!!

Eating-wise, I also did okay. I strayed a bit - I just have a hard time turning down free food. That and not finishing everything on my plate are both really hard for me, and something to work on. But there were many times I seriously thought about having crap, especially at Downtown Disney (did you know they pipe the smell of caramel corn into the air around the cart where they sell it? MEAN!), and I resisted pretty much across the board. I am finding a real weakness for crepes these days though, and that was the one thing I indulged in that night (after having a great salad for dinner!) But I resisted the donuts and pretzels in the airport, and still have yet to buy a candy bar, in 8 months (which may not seem like much to some people, and it's not like I ever ate tons of candy bars, but especially when traveling, it was pretty common to pick up a couple of things at the airport news stands for the flight).

Okay, my sister-in-law's wedding is in three weeks and I have nothing to wear. Better get my act (ass) in gear...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 215

Between traveling and work, things have been both busy and stressful. This has not helped with the eating. I have been trying to not "write off the summer," but whether it's an opportunity to have really good food (dim sum in San Francisco), or reacting to stress at work, I keep getting derailed and eating crap. I haven't gone so far as to eat a candy bar or donut, but I've come close, and I've eaten other things that are probably just as bad. And with the weather being insanely hot, I'm not walking either - but yes, again, that's just an excuse and not enough of one if I was really motivated. Sigh. I fly to California again in a couple days, but hopefully will be able to get in a lot of walking at the convention center. It's just really hard when you're out of a routine and on the go...I know it's still possible, but just so much harder.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 200

Just a big THANK YOU to everyone who has commented on my last post. I really appreciate and value all the encouraging words of support and advice. I've always known that I've had the support of my husband, family, etc., but this is just such a neat way to know that there are others who are struggling with the same things, and that it's not me who's failing, but that this is just really really hard and it just takes work.

I'm going to try and do a few things:
1) Keep reminding myself that each day, each hour, is unique and a unique choice - not to "write off the summer" as someone wrote, which was a great reminder that every little choice DOES matter, and it doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing.
2) Start recording all my food again, for better or worse. Dr. Roizen emailed me a few days ago saying "where are you??" and I have been too embarrassed to email him back. Thinking about "do I want to write down that I ate this?" may help.
3) Try to find a way to MOVE more - even just every other day for now. I was even walking more when I started this and was going around the building a few times a day - at a minimum I can do that again, although I agree with Erica, outside is much more appealing (it just seems like more work than just getting up for a few minutes and walking down the hall).
4) Try to keep remembering how far I've come. Someone at work this morning just commented that she thinks I'm looking really good, and while I wanted to discount that because I've been stagnant, she was amazed at the fact that I've lost 60 pounds (or a dozen 5-pound bags of flour, as she puts it!) And walking through the airport last weekend I felt fine, not worn out and slow and tired like I used to. I need to keep remembering those sorts of things...

THANK YOU again for all the support!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 198

Ugh. Stuck in a rut. I haven't written because I'm embarrassed at my lack of progress. Today I weighed myself and have actually gained a few pounds, up to 321. Lots of excuses - work has been very stressful, home has been a bit crazy, was traveling this past weekend to Los Angeles and went to spectacular dinners at fancy restaurants on someone else's dime... But it doesn't change the fact that I've really let myself go, and there's a huge part of me that has lost motivation right at this point. And no more walking since the 5K. Whiny excuses to myself about how hot it is in the mornings, but still...we have a treadmill in the basement.

I think I need to go back to my earlier blog posts and see if rereading those helps me remotivate. I did go looking for clothes last week and was glad I no longer had to search for the 30/32s, but still wasn't exactly thrilled by the way I looked in 26/28s.

It's daunting, not even looking at the long term - I'm away again next week to San Francisco, and then to a bridal shower weekend, and then two weeks later to Anaheim for a conference. Then perhaps vacation with the kids, and a wedding... I'm definitely falling into the "just let it all go" mindset of thinking about writing off the next two months. But that's not the right way to approach it, I know, but it's just so hard to refocus. I had dreamt about being at 280 for my sister-in-law's wedding in mid August, and then thought, well, if I can at least hit 300 that'll be good, and now I'm thinking, well, hopefully I won't GAIN any more weight. Argh. Help!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 178

(Frustratingly, Blogger was down yesterday so I couldn't post this earlier!!)

I DID IT!! I walked the WHOLE 5K, without stopping! And I felt GREAT! I think I would have hit a wall and stopped around the second mile mark, but there were so many inspirational people around me, and everyone just kept walking, so it was easy to just go with the flow. Afterwards I was tired but exhilarated! AND, I wasn't last - I made sure to start towards the front of the pack and so there were lots and lots and lots of people behind me. BUT, even if I HAD been last, the important thing would have been to finish.

So, now I'm going to sign up for another one! And another one! Having something to work towards I think is going to be key to keep me motivated. As it was, I took Sunday off to rest, and then (amazingly) got up yesterday morning to walk. But, this morning was different - I was up twice at night with the kiddos, and just was too tired. So, it'll be even more amazing if I can get up again tomorrow and walk.

Unfortunately, I seem to be undermining myself - now that I've so raised my steps numbers, I'm slipping all over the place on food. So when I weighed in yesterday I was at 320 again, and today the scale jumped up to 330!! Ick. I am choosing to reject today's number and try to refocus...

A big shout out to Reco who walked with me the whole way on Saturday (she's amazing - the 5K was a little stroll for her, a warm up for the 10 mile+ walk she was taking the rest of the day!), and also to my dear friend Terri who RAN the 5K (you go girl!!) and then walked back a mile to meet up with us and walk the last mile to the finish line again! Being around people like that are inspirational - this mobility thing is NOT a mirage, but is actually a possibility!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 174

FOUR DAYS IN A ROW!! And then tomorrow, the actual race (walk!) - so that'll be FIVE days!! I am actually quite shocked at myself that I've gotten up four mornings in a row now to walk... Unfortunately, the "burst of energy" that I hear one gets with regular exercise hasn't seemed to kick in yet - I'm finding myself REALLY tired every morning, and thus needing to eat something (usually some nuts) as well as have some caffeine to keep going.

But my step counts have never been higher! Today I walked almost 2 miles, and I'm already up to more than 6000 steps so far! Yesterday I hit 9000, and the day before that I almost broke my pedometer :) by hitting 11,382 steps!!

I feel like people are probably reading this thinking "it's just a 5K Jen, why are you making such a big deal out of this?? And you're not even running it, just walking..." Well, remember (and I keep reminding myself) that when I started this journey in December, walking just two blocks was a daunting task for me, and one I avoided like the plague. Walking the not even 1/4 mile down the street to the little neighborhood park with my kids was a HUGE effort. I would try to combine errands within my building at work to save steps because I would get so tired. Now, I embrace walking around the building for meetings! Now, I can walk for 2 miles in the morning and be tired and oh-so-sweaty (!), but feel good! Now, the park down the street feels incredibly close by and just an easy stroll! SO...a 5K IS a big deal for me. (I don't mean this to say that I think people are being judgmental - everyone has been SO supportive, and I thank you all for that! I'm more rationalizing this in my head, and needing to remind myself how far I've come...!)

Of course, the real test will be next week when I don't have the specter of training for the race hanging over my head - can I still get myself out of bed in the mornings?? Maybe I need to find another race for a few months from now to work towards...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 172

I did it again!! I got up at 6 and got out the door for a 40 minute walk! Even a tiny bit faster this time...although, happily, Shelley says that doing the walk in 90 minutes or so should be fine, and this morning I walked about a 23 minute mile... sounds so slow when I say it like that...

I will say, it was harder today to get up than yesterday. I took longer to pull myself out of bed, and easily could have fallen back asleep. But then I'd be berating myself now. And once I got going, I was really glad I did, it was a beautiful day, not too hot at that point, and I love exploring different streets around our neighborhood that I certainly never look at as closely as when I'm walking. I am a tired puppy now though, and could easily curl up under my desk and sleep! That energy boost from exercise has NOT kicked in yet...

I don't think I'll have the time to do a full 5k walk before Saturday - but for all you experienced walkers and runners out there, if I can do at least a 2 mile walk or slightly more, tomorrow or Friday, then I should be able to push it on Saturday, right? Especially with the momentum of all the inspiring people around me? Any other advice or tips?? Thanks for all the support!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 171

Well, both last week and this week I weighed in at about the same weight - 317 or 318, depending on how much I lean forward on the scale (c'mon, I'm not the only one who does that, right?!) Maintaining is better than gaining...but I have renewed determination to move that needle down down down.

So...the BIG accomplishment for the day (week! month, even!!) is that I got up this morning at 6:00 and went for a walk!! Sounds so simple and stupid when I write it, but really, this is HUGE for me. I've realized that this is truly the only time I will ever be able to get some exercise in - I'm just too tired at night, and while I can push myself to take walks at lunchtime, it's now regularly hitting the high 80s here in the middle of the day, and I just don't always push myself to get away from the computer like I should. So, I need to start streamlining my routine better - it took me nearly 20 minutes to get out of bed, , find clothes to wear, get dressed and out the door, and I know to keep this up that'll need to become much easier. But it was a LOVELY morning for a walk - nice breeze, not too hot. I went about 35 minutes, 1.6 miles or so. And I even started by tackling a HUGE hill by the house, and then went downhill from there.

The motivator right now is that I'm signed up to do the Komen 5K Breast Cancer walk this Saturday morning. On Saturday night I walked around my in-laws' complex - flat flat ground in a big circle - I did four laps and logged about 2.2 miles. The walk will be 3.1 miles, so I know that if I had to do it tomorrow I could finish, but I'd be a hurt puppy the next day. I don't know that I'll have time between now and then to do a full 3 miles, but if I walk at least 30-45 minutes each day, that will help a lot, I would think. I'm going to be SLOW SLOW SLOW though - I did my 2.2 miles in about an hour; how slow can you walk before they pull you off the course?? (Shelley, my friend who works at Komen, are you reading this??) But I have great new walking shoes, cool (pink!) socks, and I am determined to do this!

(A shout out to my friend Erica, who reads this blog, who just did a half-marathon in Boston! Great work, mama!! You're an inspiration!!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 156

Well, it's interesting how I react when I've done well (last week). I ended up letting myself slip repeatedly, and so not surprisingly I gained a couple pounds back. It was almost like a "reward" for having worked hard previously. But then, when I haven't done well, like this morning, I find myself wanting to soothe the disappointment and frustration and anger at myself with - you guessed it - more food. So tonight I ordered pizza for myself and the kids, and I ate probably 2/3 of the pizza alone (I can try to rationalize ever-so-slightly by saying that at least I got a thin crust, which is essentially like a cracker instead of dough, but that hardly balances the quantity I ate!) And then I've been snacking on the leftover Easter candy - the bag of miniature Reeses cups just calls to me every night, and I only eat 2 or 4, but still...

On top of that, I'm not walking nearly enough. I have signed up for the Komen Breast Cancer 5K walk, and realized this morning it's only three weeks away. I feel that I could do it tomorrow if I pushed myself, but I would be a hurt puppy at the end of it. I can give all sorts of reasons why I haven't been moving more - I had bronchitis, my husband's been out of town and I've been dealing with the kids alone every night, we had company and were dealing with my son's birthday party, etc., etc. - but the reality is, I need to figure out some way to motivate myself to MOVE more. I know that not only will it help me lose more pounds, but I'll just FEEL better.

I was just watching some show about women who engage in extreme diets - raw food, extreme low calorie (with the idea that it extends your lifespan), freegan (dumpster diving), and replacing a focus on food with a focus on God. One of the sub-themes that really came out was - not surprisingly - that eating better is really about loving and valuing yourself. They are taking it to extremes, but it's a good concept to remind myself of, often. So how does one value oneself more, AND, how do you remember that in the middle of a craving/strong pull/force of chocolate, pizza, birthday cake (my son has too many birthday parties to go to, and he only eats a bite or two of cake, and then I have trouble just leavngn the rest!), whatever?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 149

The pros and cons of being sick...

I had bronchitis last week. It knocked me out for about four days. I was totally exhausted (con) and had no appetite (pro?) So when I was hungry, I tried to really zero in on what I wanted to eat (pro - mindfulness at its best!) But (con), what I found myself wanting to eat was doughy smushy comfort food - samosas (I know, a little weird), a croissant, macaroni and cheese... I went ahead and let myself eat it, because I was eating so little else.

Then we moved into the challenge of the special occasion - in this case, my son's birthday party, followed immediately by Mothers Day. I resisted the chicken nuggets, and had just a little bit of cake, but I cannot resist the cheese empanadas that my nanny made. And then we went out for Mothers Day brunch - I actually didn't do too badly, just a couple pastries, and then lots of fruit (good) drenched in chocolate fondue (not so good - rationalization: it was dark chocolate! :) Another time that I wished I ate eggs.

But this is life, right? Some days, weeks, it'll be easier and more routine. Then there will always be something that comes up - life isn't in a bubble. That's why this is (hopefully) much better long term than the liquid diets I've tried before, or the prepackaged meals, because that just seems unrealistic and doesn't really help you with what it's like living day to day. In my case, I've made enough changes that at brunch, I ate some of the vegetable couscous mix instead of potatoes, and deliberately decided to have a cinnamon twist (and it was really good! I passed on the chocolate croissant - I think, it's bad that I can't remember for sure! - because it just didn't look as good.) And while I did eat a lot of fruit in chocolate, I only ate one marshmallow in chocolate. :)

Amazingly, I ended up losing weight as of this morning. I'm down to 318! That's 63 pounds gone! Which is 35% (gotta love rounding up!) of the weight I want to lose. MORE THAN A THIRD GONE. I like it when I look at it that way...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 135

I was right. If I actually try to follow the plan, I'll lose more weight. Go figure! Down FIVE more pounds as of this morning! That brings me 324, which is 57 lost total! And, I like this number even better - that's a THIRD of the way to my goal!! Now to just keep it up, and to KEEP MOVING...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 132

So, it's been a pretty good week! I have generally been able to get back on track! A few little things - had some of the kids' mac and cheese the other night, and last night we got Burger King, and I thought I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich but ended up (once I got home and opened it) with a crispy chicken sandwich, and yes, I went ahead and ate it and the fries too. But this morning I got up and realized that it just wasn't worth it. It wasn't THAT good going down. This was a good realization, and it felt different - it was a conscious, positive thought, not one based in lots of guilt or self-loathing - I just realized, you know, it's just not all that good. If I'm going to indulge (a better word than "cheat"!), make it something worth while. For example, tonight we are going to this fancy event, and I'm sure there will be some lovely desserts, and I will let myself eat some. And that's okay. But that's a whole lot more likely to be worth it than the crappy BK fries were.

I want to draw people's attention to one of the comments on my last blog entry in particular - my friend Terri posted an email she had received from one of the groups she's connected with that has a lot of good advice. And I saw this article in my most recent issue of Redbook that really resonated - here are a couple of excerpts:

1. Realize that the size of your body isn't just about food
Say I'm not taking my time with food, that I'm eating on the run, standing at the refrigerator, or in the car. That's just an expression of the belief that I can't take time for myself — that that kind of time is not allowed, that other things are more important than I am. Instead, ask yourself: What do you want to be doing with your time? Does that even enter your mind? Do you disregard yourself? Is there a way you could include more of what you truly want in your life? Everything is connected: If you feel guilty for eating one cookie, for instance, what does that say about the pleasure you deprive yourself of in daily life? Nothing is going to change if you're not curious about why you're using food and what you really need instead.

4. Believe that you deserve happiness
I want people to see that overcoming their problem with food isn't just about willpower or thin thighs or a flat belly. It's not a banal problem that can be fixed like that. When people turn to food when they're not hungry, they're using food as a drug. And the question is: Why? It could be an expression of boredom or loneliness or sadness or anger. But to me, people who use food when they're not hungry, and don't stop when they've had enough, are indicating that they've given up on themselves. They're basically saying that the only pleasure or the biggest pleasure I have in my life — all that's left for me — is to eat. And that's a spiritual issue, as well as a psychological and emotional one. All of us are longing for something that we can't even name. You can call it the meaning of life, or wonder, or mystery, or you can call it God. But there's a longing for something many of us can't quite put into words. I want people to see how they are filling that longing with food — and that if they stop, they can rediscover themselves and realize that there are other, healthier ways to feel good and to really, truly live. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 128

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. I've been in a bit of a funk. And trying to figure out why and - more importantly - how to get myself out of it. As usual, Dr. Albers has I think hit the nail on the head again. She said that it sounds like I'm back to putting myself at the bottom of the pile of importance, and I think that's exactly it. I've been having some setbacks at work, and that's throwing my confidence in myself across the board. Which, then in turn, makes me want to retreat - the part of me that's the protector part takes over, and I eat, both to self-soothe ("you'll feel better if you eat that cake") and to "treat" myself ("you've had a hard day, you deserve to eat that, it won't kill you").

The reality is, no, one bite won't kill me, but when I keep letting myself have "treats" I AM setting myself up to die an early death. I don't feel good about my body, I'm a lot more tired than I had been, and my patience level is WAY down (with both my boss and my kids!)

After avoiding Dr. Roizen for weeks out of embarrassment and shame that I can't report good step numbers OR good food records, I finally emailed him with a major mea culpa. He was very nice, saying just to get back in the swing of things and work on hitting 6,000 steps a day. That's a good goal for me again. I was feeling completely intimidated by the thought of trying to hit 10,000. And I've come close the last few days - 5700 yesterday, 3000 the day before (ok, not so close!), 5937 the day before (which I round up to 6000!)...

Dr. Albers also zeroed in on one of my other good buttons to push - the no-regrets button. She gently reminded me that I've been handed an opportunity that most people would kill to have, and I don't want to look back and have any regrets about it. She's absolutely right, but it was a good - and needed - reminder.

So, we're trying again, starting over, new slate, new day, new week. Amazingly, my weight has stayed stable through all this, even down slightly (this morning was at 329). I was rationalizing that saying "well, that just shows I can slip and get away with it" - but I realize the better way to look at it is "if I DON'T slip, and really focus, think of how much more weight I could be losing!"

The next goal in my head is to look and feel good at my sister-in-law's wedding in mid-August. She was nice enough to let me out of the wedding party because I felt like a cow, but I'd like to still feel good when it actually happens. So that's four months away, about how long it's been since I started this journey. That means, maybe?, I can try to lose another 50 pounds by then? (I know it gets harder the further one goes down the scale...) If I can be solidly under 300 by August (like at 290), I will feel good about that. Then maybe we can aim for 250 by Christmas...but that's a long ways away and not worth worrying about at this point!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Just a quick note to say THANK YOU for everyone who continues to comment on my posts. I really REALLY get great energy from your feedback and support, and it's such a pleasant surprise to hear from both good friends and supportive strangers/new friends! I encourage folks reading this to also go back and read comments from others, as there are some great ideas and perspectives that I've found to be helpful food for thought (no pun intended!)

Day 116

Better, but still in more of a maintenance mode than a losing mode...

So even after an Easter weekend at my in-laws', I managed to stay at about the same weight for the week. (The scale was hovering between 330 and 331, so I like to round down in this case :) I did really well on the Easter candy (the ABUNDANCE of Easter candy!) that was around all weekend (and still around at our house now). But with birthday parties on both Saturday and Sunday, it was hard to stay away from the pans of ziti and the cake. I did okay on the cake, eating just a small piece each day. (Except when we got home Sunday night - the kids said they wanted some of the left over cake, but then didn't really eat it - I started eating it because it was sitting there, and my husband - bless his heart! - asked me if I REALLY wanted to eat it, and he was right, I wasn't being mindful, I was just eating without thinking.)

The walking, well, that's another story. A couple of days I didn't even hit 2000, and the highest I got was just close to 5000. Not good. Lots and lots of driving though - DC to NJ, NJ to Long Island, back to NJ (sitting in traffic for hours!), then back to DC. Still, no excuse. And now it's 90 degrees outside! Not exactly prime walking weather. But I think I've decided to do a 5K walk in early June, the Komen Race for the Cure here in D.C., with a friend of mine from work who is similarly trying to lose some weight. It'll give us both something to work towards. And, I've found myself thinking about (not acting yet, mind you!) trying to get up in the mornings to walk on the treadmill. The kids haven't been sleeping well, so I've been up at least twice a night, and so it's hard as it is to drag myself out of bed at 7 each morning, so to get up 45 min earlier will be a struggle, but I think I need to try. Perhaps if I do it a few times then it's not such the big insurmountable concept that seems impossible.

Someone made the comment that my way of looking at food has changed forever, and I think that's true (well, forever seems like a long time, but still...) There is definitely a pre-Jennifer-Can-Do-It mindset and a post. Even when I've slipped like this weekend, I am able to get back on track more easily, and get back to a salad or sandwich for lunch, a good breakfast, healthy snacks, etc. (I have discovered, interestingly, that the sugars are not my downfall at this point, in fact, I don't like how I feel when I eat sugar now. It's the carbs and the CHEESE that are my real weakness, and I don't feel the physical effects as much as with sugar.)

Plus I'm wearing clothes that I haven't worn in years, and they're fitting decently on top of that! I have started a pile of things that are way too large - I don't think I can get rid of them quite yet, but at least get them out of my closet. So that is a motivation - I like fitting into size 24 pants again, and thinking I could actually go back to Talbots soon and buy clothes again, which I haven't done in about five or more years. It's just easy to get overwhelmed with everything - life, work, kids, house (why is it no matter how many things I put back in their place in the house, things just keep multiplying and moving around??) - so I need to keep telling myself "one step at a time, one morsel of food at a time"...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 107

So I don't understand the scale. I have been awful, just awful this week in terms of what I'm eating, and also in terms of my steps - I hit 5000 once and 7000 once, but one day I didn't even hit 2000. But yet, this moring the scale read 330 pounds, which means I've lost all I gained in Thailand and one pound more.

But I don't feel good about it. I really have switched back onto "autopilot" (as Dr. Albers said to me in an email today). I think there are a couple things going on. One, I think it's seeming so hard to get from around the 5000 step mark up to the 10,000 step mark, that part of me thinks "why even try?" The day I hit 7000 steps this week I took a (brisk!) 40 minute walk of about two miles outside at lunch, and I was tired and sore afterwards. And I feel like, sheesh, I only hit 7,000 steps with all that work?? That means that to hit 10,000 I'd need to do more than a half hour of intense walking as well as work in a bunch of other steps in the day. So that means I need to really get to the point of actual concentrated EXERCISE rather than just increasing my general movement. I knew this was coming, I guess, but I didn't want to think about it, and it's a whole mental (and logistical) hurdle that I'm having trouble working through.

The second thing, probably more problematic, is that I don't think I can actually succeed in losing the weight long term. So, I think part of me is thinking "great job, you've lost some weight and feel better, now, since you'll gain it back eventually anyway, go ahead and start relaxing about it, be less vigilant, eat what looks good and don't worry about it." Self-defeating, I realize, but so easy to do...

When I said this to Dr. Albers she suggested a few things: 1) revisit some of my goals I set at the beginning (wearing my wedding rings, crossing my legs, etc.); and 2) set short-term rewards (non-food!) for myself. Plus try to do some visualization of what it would be like to hit my goals, short- or long-term.

It's a catch-22 for me. If I focus too much on the long goal of hitting, say, 200 pounds, that seems completely unattainable and not even worth trying to get to. But if I focus only on the short term, then it feels fleeting and not lasting.

So...I think I need to focus on getting to 300 pounds. That still seems not good enough, since in my mind that's the weight that I was at for a long time before I gained weight with my kids' adoptions. So getting back there is like getting back to the REAL starting point.  But all the same, another 30 pounds sounds like a reasonable, do-able amount to aim for - maybe by the end of June? Not sure what my reward will be, I'll have to think about that. And I need to just go back to taking things one day, one meal, one moment at a time, and being mindful, conscious of what I'm eating. I know I feel better without sugar in my system. I have to remember that. It's just so hard.

The other point Dr. Albers made is one I have thought a bit about before (can't remember if I've blogged on), but probably need to bring more to front of mind... I have worked hard for things before in my life, mainly around educational achievements. I can't count the number of all-nighters I've pulled in high school and college and grad school to get something finished, and not just finished but done well. That wasn't easy, but it wasn't ever a question in my mind that I would do what I needed to do to turn in a quality assignment. So how can I transfer that mentality to my eating and walking? I need to realize that I have past examples of setting my mind to something/making it a priority, working hard at it, and achieving a goal - and that this should be no different. Hmm...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thailand photos - yep, that's me on an elephant!


The hubby and I at the Gridiron dinner, March 20.

Day 100!

Wow, that's a nice round number. I've been doing this 100 days, hmm...

I feel like I need to refocus and get myself back on the horse, so to speak. I allowed myself to enjoy Thailand without going crazy, and had lots of steps, but still came back about 10 pounds heavier than when I left. Today I weighed in and was at 334, so still a few pounds higher than when I left. I'm not being good about recording my food, and I'm slipping in some little way at least once a day. It almost feels like I have gotten a good chunk of weight off, and I feel much better than I did, so it's hard to redouble efforts and move myself to the next level. I need to internalize that if I work at it again I will feel even better. The next goal is to get to 300 pounds. Any advice on getting myself off this plateau would be most welcome!

We went to a very fancy event on Saturday night, called the Gridiron dinner - essentially one of the big events for the Washington media. I am so glad that I have lost the weight I have, because I felt INFINITELY better than I would have four months ago. I'll try to upload a photo.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 94

Back to the real world!

I tried posting a blog entry from Thailand, but the navigation bars were all in Thai, and I just didn't have the patience to figure it out! Sorry!

Had an AMAZING trip. There are so many things to talk about, but let me think about what is specifically related to this blog focus. First, food. I tried really hard for the first few days. The trip over I packed sandwiches and healthy snacks, ate a little of the airplane food but left the dessert and the roll and the bread, etc. But within a few days, I realized that I needed to just focus on moderation, and not to be too stringent or I would drive myself crazy and not enjoy the trip. Plus, I was in many situations (daily for lunch, especially) where I had limited choices of food - we only had what was provided for us, with only a few choices on the table. And since I really can't eat calamari since I find it too chewy and rubbery (at least, if it's not fried, which this most certainly wasn't, and which I wouldn't eat nowadays anyway!), and there were MANY dishes with very clearly defined tentacles...that limited the choices even more.

White rice was also ubiquitous, and necessary with many dishes to moderate the spices.

I did do pretty well at breakfasts, since it was a buffet - it was the only place I found multigrain bread, and they had natural peanut butter, and then fruit - OH, the FRUIT! I think I started to turn orange from all the mango I ate, but also pineapple, dragon fruit, these little slightly-larger-than-grapes round brown fruits that you peel called "dragon eyes", melon, Thai apples...the list goes on!

I did allow myself to sample just about all the desserts they had. They were all so different and unique, and I ACTIVELY decided to see what they tasted like and to experience the authenticity of what was offered. Some were way too sweet, but others were quite good.

I do need now to get myself back on track here, and that means cutting out sugar again, which will take some adjustment but I now know it will help my body feel better!

I got on the scale yesterday morning at home, and it said I had gained 10 pounds, but I'm hoping that's water weight/swelling from sitting on a plane for nearly 24 hours the day before, plus it's that time of the month. I had been feeling pretty good because I did a great deal of walking every day - one day I even hit 10,000 steps!! And I put on many an item of clothing that I had brought thinking it would fit, and it was WAY too large, so that was also reassuring. I'm just going to give myself this week to transition back, and then start getting upset if the scale doesn't start going in the right direction again.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 81

It has been just crazy here getting ready for my work trip to Thailand. On one hand I'm eating less because I've been so busy and stressed, but at the same time I've found myself allowing slips (I had pizza last night! :( more than I should. I have been eating lots of salads though, which is good. I'm worried about how things will go on the trip, but I think I need to just do my best, and also maximize the experience. In other words, not have mango sticky rice every day, but maybe a little bit once or twice would be okay. I'm also hopeful that I can get in a lot of walking once I get there - my colleague was saying we will likely be waking up early every day because of the time difference (Thailand is 12 hours ahead of D.C. time), and so hopefully I can motivate to walk on the beach.

When I get back I will redouble my efforts and refocus. I just was talking to a friend at work and she is thinking about finding a 5K walk to sign up for in May or June - I immediately said I wanted to join her - that would be a great goal and motivator for me to keep walking. I am continuously mindful of my cousin Liesl who has lost an impressive amount of weight and done the Komen 3-Day walk twice now. Something to aspire to!

Oh, and the best news - my weight yesterday morning was 331 on my scale - officially 50 pounds! I also spoke to the Dr. Oz folks this morning and they said they are thinking about bringing me back in April sometime, so that's another reason to refocus my efforts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 74

Just a quick update - yesterday morning I weighed in at 333 pounds, down 48 from where I started! Now, I went to my doctor a few hours later, and got on her scale, and was only at 337, and that's probably more accurate and closer to the original Oz scale than mine at home...but I like my number better! 48 pounds lost is 27% of the amount I'm hoping to lose - that's a QUARTER of the way! That sounds pretty good to me...

Even better, I also had my blood pressure taken at the doctor's. This was honestly better to hear than the weight loss this week. On the show my BP was 142/94 (or something like that, I'd have to check the exact numbers).Yesterday it was 128/82. Still not super low, but that's generally what it's been for years, and that's a whole lot less worrisome than what it had been. So, I'm MUCH more relieved about that!

Keep those great travel food suggestions coming...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 71

I realized today when one of my biggest weak-willed times is - when I'm tired and worn down. I think I've gotten to the point where I can resist most things that I shouldn't eat on a day-in, day-out basis - not saying I won't/haven't occasionally slipped, but it usually is for something really worth slipping for, and it's a deliberate (mindful!) decision to eat whatever it is (really good french fries, amazing cupcakes). But today was a LONG day, and the kids are just going through some sort of phase, so they're tired and cranky and whiny and, well, exhausting. It was as I was driving to the birthday party with them this afternoon that I found myself wanting to slip up and just eat crap without thinking about it. It's like when I'm really tired I just don't have the energy to summon up the willpower to know what's best for me and my body, and I just want to zone out and soothe that exhaustion with junk. I suppose the first step in fixing a problem is recognizing it...but when I'm weary, the idea of something sweet and sugary sounds really good. But I do know that even when I have slipped, I don't feel good after the fact - my body is definitely getting used to having minimal amounts of sugar, and it feels funny when I do eat some.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 68

Still having trouble figuring out quick, easy dinners for me alone and (ideally) for the kids as well. Tonight we just had some whole wheat pasta with no sugar added pasta sauce. Other thoughts are very welcome!!

Another thing I'm searching for thoughts on is something warm to drink that's not tea. I like tea a lot, but sometimes am feeling like something more substantial, but warm. Obviously hot chocolate is out, so other ideas?

Finally, one BIG area that I need help on. Two weeks from tomorrow I fly to Thailand for work for ten days. I'm not so worried about what I'll eat once I get there (although I am not holding my breath that they'll have brown rice, so that will be hard). I am REALLY worried about what to do while I'm on a 15 hour plane ride, then a two hour layover in Tokyo, then a 7 hour flight to Bangkok. What can I bring with me for the loooonnnggg trip that will last a while and keep me from eating whatever they pass out on the plane? Nuts are an easy one, dried fruits, baby carrots and other cut up veggies for at least a little while, cereal like Cheerios...other thoughts??? Normally I would hit the gift shop at the airport and buy chocolate bars, bags of candy, etc. That obviously won't work, so I have to make sure that whatever I bring will make it through security too. Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 66

Amazingly, another 4 pounds down as of this morning, for a total of 44 lost. My clothes are definitely getting looser, and some of my pants are really too big. I think once I lose another 30 pounds or so I'll be able to get back into some of my clothes that I haven't worn in three years. Of course, once I get down to 300 pounds (I'm at 337 now), then I'll feel like the real work begins. That used to be my highest weight ever before these last few years, and so in some warped place in my head, the weight loss isn't really meaningful until I start getting down from that number.

But, there is a part of me that knows that this is a huge step in the right direction, and shows me that I CAN do this, if I keep working at it. I have let myself slip here and there over the last few weeks, and while that may not sit well with Dr. Roizen (Mr. "never eat sugar, white flour and red meat again in your life"), it's hard for me to imagine giving up those things entirely. At the same time, today I took my son to Starbucks and he asked for a donut as a treat, and I thought for a split second about having a bite, and then decided quickly it just wasn't worth it. (This was, though, after we had been out to lunch and I did eat a handful of french fries - but excellent ones, cooked in olive oil, not McDonalds ones...)

I have had a VERY hard time getting in even remotely enough steps in the last two weeks. Hopefully things will return a bit back to normal and I can start doing laps at work again and get my steps up. Dr. R. has told me to start doing exercises - squats and lunges - to build up my thigh strength, which he says will help with my knee pain, and I can feel it in the back of my legs and my knee isn't hurting as much.

There has been one other thing that I think is a good sign. Twice now in the last week or so I've had diet-related dreams - once, that I was wearing my pedometer and trying to get in more steps, and the other was about keeping food logs. Clearly both items are a bit of a source of anxiety for me, but I think it's momentous that they have infiltrated my sleeping consciousness as well as my awake one.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 60

Well, I hit a nice round number yesterday morning on the scale! Down to 341 pounds, which is 40 pounds from where I started! As my coworker would say, that's 8 bags of flour piled up!

The last week has been so hard stuck inside the house. Somehow this snow not only activates comfort food cravings, but also makes me feel lethargic and not want to move. I got outside today though, in the brief lull before the next storm started earlier tonight, and went to the grocery store. And successfully resisted buying donuts and cake and other things I would have normally eaten.

This weekend was full of temptations, and I didn't completely resist. Sunday was the Superbowl, and we had company, so we ordered pizza. I had leftover whole wheat pasta, and veggies, but did eat about 2/3 of a slice of pizza. Then it was one of our visitor's birthdays, and I resisted the cake that night, but had a sliver the next day. And yesterday my son wanted to make cookies - I didn't have to make a whole batch since we have some frozen 'break and bake" dough, but he absolutely insisted, to the point of tears, that I had to eat a cookie.

I've explained to him that certain things "aren't on my diet," and often he'll ask now if something is or is not on my diet before we eat it. He'll even ask if something is on my diet before he eats it, and then he'll say "it's on my diet too," or if I say no, it's not on mine, he'll often say "well, it is on my diet." I don't want him getting any messages about a huge focus on weight, but I think right now he doesn't put that together with the word "diet" - it's just about what I eat or don't eat. I really need to watch it though, I'm almost afraid to use the word at all around the kids, because I don't want either of them, but especially my daughter, picking up negative body image issues.

I did make what I thought was a great dinner last night, although the kids were only lukewarm on it. Thanks to a recipe from the Kraft website, I modified it slightly and it was so yummy. Chicken breasts cut in strips and cooked in a pan with a little olive oil, add taco seasoning packet, one cup salsa and two cups water, bring to boil, then add four cups instant rice, cook til rice is done. I used instant brown rice and whole grain tortillas, sprinkled a little part skim, low fat shredded cheese on it, and really enjoyed it. And I have enough left over for at least three more meals.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 57

Well, we've been completely housebound now for 36 hours,with around two and a half feet of snow, and lost electricity for about 4 hours today. Somehow not having power made the cravings for sugar rise even more than they had already! We have a birthday cake in the kitchen because we have houseguests coming tomorrow for a couple of nights and it's one of their birthdays tomorrow - as we contemplated more than a few hours without power, it started calling and calling to all of us...

I am VERY proud of myself though! We have a treadmill in the basement that I don't think I have used...ever... But after only getting in about 1200 steps yesterday, I realized I had to do something today. So, while my loving husband was making dinner, I went down and walked for just over a mile, getting in more than 3000 steps! Other than the kiddos being somewhat mystified by what I was doing, it actually felt really good. I realized that I have missed moving around for the last couple of days. It's so easy to just sit on my butt on the couch, and that's not good, especially when it's easy to self-soothe with the stress of the storm (and two crazy kids bouncing off the walls!) with chocolate - dark chocolate, but still probably more than I should be having!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 54

What is it about snowy days that makes me want to comfort eat? Most days I am fine with the idea of a turkey sandwich on multigrain bread, but today that just doesn't sound appealing, but a greasy cheeseburger or steak and cheese with fries sounds wonderful... And a salad really isn't sounding good. Soup, maybe...

Next weekend the husband and I are taking a much-needed break from the kiddos. Unfortunately, when we usually get away (not that often), it almost always involves eating something rich and special. But not this time. So, we're going to this lovely resort not too far from the house, with a spa and a pool and a nice, quiet, kid-less room and no wakeup calls...but we are skipping the decadent Sunday brunch, which is really one of my favorite meals in the world. (For example, the Westin on Grand Cayman Island has probably one of the most amazing Sunday brunches I've ever seen!) I recognize that even at my "goal" weight I may be able to eat treats like pizza or cake occasionally, but I'm not sure a full-out Sunday brunch will really be a good idea, ever. Yet another adjustment in attitude, perspective, and planning. And I know we need to find other rewards and activities to share that don't involve food, but oy, that's hard when you have focused so much of your entire lives on food-as-celebration/treats/solace/comfort/etc. (And how not to pass that onto the kids - THAT's a topic for another day!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 52

Not sure I'm trusting my scale...I was down another 3 pounds this morning, for a total loss of 36 pounds! That's about what my son weighs! And, percentage-wise, that's about 20% of the way to my goal! Wow. A fifth of the way there. That's a better way to look at things.

I'm still at 345 pounds...which means that if, no, WHEN, I lose about this amount again, in my mind that only gets me back down to where I was pre-kiddos (it's not pregnancy weight per se, since they're adopted, but I'd say it essentially came around the time of the first kid...!) So that means, to me, at that point is when the "real" weight loss begins, when we move into the realm of "this is how much I weighed when I was trying to get pregnant" (about 260); "this is how much I weighed when we got married" (about 245); and "this is how much I weighed when I was at my lowest point ever" (about 220).

I am wearing a shirt today that I bought a few months ago, and at that time could only wear under things. Today I felt like it looked good enough to wear on its own.

I did get back on the horse yesterday, and managed to get through the third birthday party of the weekend without eating any pizza or cake. My friend Erica just commented about how her husband approaches dieting, telling himself that "even if this is the BEST cake/whatever in the world, some day I'll be able to eat it again, just not now." It's a good philosophy, one I think my mind has been dancing around, so it's good to hear it in words. The husband said yesterday that he's thinking for our tenth anniversary (Oct. 2011) he wants to investigate getting a custom made cake from Charm City Cakes in Baltimore (of "Ace of Cakes" fame on the Food Network). I know that food is NOT the best reward, but that would be something to deliberately, mindfully work towards as a treat - but ONLY if I'm at a good weight at that point!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 50

(Wow, 50 days since this started - that's a long time...)

So, we're just going to pretend this day never happened. I took my son to two birthday parties today. I was pretty good at the first one, although I had a few bites of cake (after a three bite tuna whole wheat sandwich, some fruit, and some cherry tomatoes). But the second party needs to just go into a box and not be discussed ever again. They had homemade dumplings, sushi, and some of those yummy puff pastry appetizers. And great cake. I wasn't mindful at all, once I let myself eat a couple bites, I just let it go. Aye, yay, yay.

Okay, I slipped. I let myself slip, and I knew it was happening as I was doing it. Okay, move on. Tomorrow is another day. Dr. Albers made the point to me after a previous post that I shouldn't look at is as never eating X or Y ever again, but just not eating those things while I'm trying to lose weight. When I get to maintaining (seems SO far away!), then I can allow myself to eat an occasional treat.

I don't feel well right now though, with the sugar and the carbs. Hopefully I can remember this and not do it again next time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 48

I've been feeling anxious, and I've been struggling to figure out why. I realized today as I mulled it over that it started when the show aired last week, but grew when I weighed myself on Monday and had only lost two pounds (I know, I know, two pounds is still good). I think that the first part was because suddenly this is all much more real - instead of just having some friends and family following my progress, now they had seen my "Truth Tube" numbers in all their shocking glory. It ratcheted up the stakes; now I have even further to fall if I fail.

But I think Monday when I weighed in was actually more problematic. I think my "only" two pound loss was a result of my little slips throughout the weekend. And that worried me. A lot. It made me worry that I'm not going to be able to do this long term, I'm not going to be able to be successful - maybe I can lose weight, but I'm not going to be able to keep it off, because I can't imagine my life without ever having pizza or birthday cake ever again. So I think the anxiety is stemming from worry that this is going to be yet another time of losing a significant amount of weight and then slowly gaining it back - and this time I'm going to be letting a whole lot of other people down, because they have all become invested in seeing me succeed.

I'm trying to tell that anxious part of me just to chill out a bit - I hear it, I understand it, but let's not freak out totally. I know I need to take this one step, one day, one meal, one minute at a time. I don't know how I'll feel when I've lost 100 pounds (it's hard to even hope to lose 181 pounds, which would get me to 200 pounds). But I have to deal with keeping it off them. I can't focus on that now. I have to focus on doing what I know I need to do now, keep walking, keep eating right, and keep being mindful of what I'm feeling and thinking.

Everyone's support is really really wonderful, and your words do keep me going. So thank you.

(P.S. I couldn't get into my car AGAIN yesterday at work - so I climbed over from the passenger's seat, and while it wasn't elegant, it was slightly easier than the last time I had to do it! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 46

A few folks have asked what kind of pedometer I have - the folks at the show gave me an Omron brand. My husband got one (an even newer, fancier version!) on Amazon for $30 (I think). It's really nice because it has a memory feature so when I'm reporting my steps to Dr. Roizen and have missed a day, I can easily look back and see how many steps I had.

The other thing I use a lot is an application on my iPhone called I have always thought that keeping a food log would be incredibly burdensome. Once I've gotten going with this one, it's super easy to use and keep up with. Especially when you generally eat the same things over and over again - it has a nice feature where you can call up a previous meal and just copy it to another day. All on-line food journals have some shortcomings in terms of not having all the foods that you might eat, but this is pretty good. It also has an export report option which is great for sending summaries to Dr. R.! (Oh, and it's free!) And when you put something in on the phone it automatically updates it on the computer, and you can track progress over time.

Day 45

I lost two pounds this week. Seems like not much. That's 33 pounds total. I guess my little slips this weekend had an impact.

I feel like I'm in a lull. The initial extra energy I had seems to have dissipated, and I'm tired! I pushed pushed pushed myself today to get in steps, but still only hit 5200. My clothes are fitting better, but I think now it won't feel meaningful again until I hit 50 pounds gone - that might (might!) put me back into some clothes that I haven't been able to wear in a long time.

Two more things I thought of that I want to eventually be able to do:
  • Wear my engagement and wedding rings again - yes, I know I could have them resized, but I haven't wanted to for years since I didn't want to feel like I was accepting the weight I was at. My husband had been super sweet in getting me a variety of other rings in the meantime, that do fit, but I'd like to be able to get back to the original rings that were meant to be on that finger.
  • Never have to ask for help getting into my car again - okay, I know that sounds weird, but it happened again last week - a car had parked so close next to mine that I couldn't get back into the driver's side door and had to ask the attendant for help. I still remember a time last year that I had to climb over the passenger's side to get into my car - now that was an amusing site! So I'd like to be able to be thin enough to always be able to get into the car either on the driver's side or to (fairly!) easily climb over from the passenger's side.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 44

I have been overwhelmed by the support everyone has sent me since the show aired! THANK YOU all for your love and support. It really does help keep me focused and motivated. I can't imagine that reading my story is helping anyone else as much as you all are helping me, so, selfishly, I thank you thank you thank you!

It has been hard to stay focused at times. We went out to eat a lot this weekend since we had family visiting. I found myself sneaking little bites of not-on-the-plan food, whereas before I have really been pretty good about just not touching it. I worry that this is a slippery slope where I allow myself a little bite here, a little bite there, and then a whole meal slip here (actually, I guess that happened, I had pizza on Friday night - no sauce, very thin crust, but still - that's all just rationalization). I need to get back on the straight and narrow tomorrow. It'll be interesting to see tomorrow morning if/how much I've lost this week and if these slips affect the numbers. It's clear that the stress level is still directly connected to the eating - I have been short-tempered with the kiddos this weekend (my son has been SO clingy and whiny) and I think that's contributing to my lack of focus.

This week's goal again is steps steps steps. I'm reliably hitting 4000 a day now, even on the weekends, which is an accomplishment, but not enough, not nearly. Dr. R. wants me at 6000 at least...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 41

How surreal to watch myself on television. I knew it was coming, but it's still strange. I just don't see myself as large as I appeared on the tv. I was able to watch it at home alone, which I think was ultimately good. It was hard to see myself as others see me, especially thinking that there are strangers watching and judging me. Everyone has been so sweet so far though. I am extremely lucky to have so many wonderful supporters routing for me. I really appreciate everyone's love and support!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

REMINDER - Show airs TOMORROW, Jan 21!

The show airs tomorrow - look forward to hearing people's feedback!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 39

My friend Terri asked what percentage of the way I am to my goal. Since everyone will know my starting weight as of this Thursday when the show airs, I guess there's no reason to be coy about it any more. On the show I weighed in at 381. As of yesterday morning I was at 350. (Why do I feel that I need to add the caveat that these weights were on two different scales, so I don't know if it's truly comparing apples to apples?) So, the question is what is my goal? By the weight charts, I'd have to get down to about 174 to be out of the "obese" category. In my mind if I could get down to 200 pounds, I'd be ecstatic. (That would put me at a BMI of 35, still in the "obese" level.) So, by that, I want to lose 181 pounds total (to get to 200). My 31 pounds is 17% of the way to that goal.

This is actually a good way of looking at things, thanks, Terri. 17% seems like a more meaningful number than 31 pounds compared to 181 pounds. The other thing that one of my colleagues suggested is buying five pound bags of flour and stacking them in my office to visually show how much weight I've lost. I could see this being a powerful visual, at least over time (right now, six bags of flour might not look all that impressive!) Also, another four pounds and I will have lost the equivalent of my son's weight - that's also powerful to me (I "lost" my daughter at 25 pounds!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 38

Well, a better weigh in this morning - I'm down 5 more pounds. That brings me up to 31 total. Why though does that make me feel like I can slack today and not be as good, rather than refocusing me and giving me the inspiration to redouble my efforts? I let myself have a few little chocolate "pearls" that my kids were eating - and not even dark chocolate.

The other thing that I realized is really quite difficult for me to adjust to is that for the first time in my 25 years or so of dieting efforts, this is the first time that I am not needing to focus on calories. For example, with Weight Watchers, as my husband likes to say, you could spend all your "points" in a day eating just marshmallow Peeps (you might be hungry, but it would technically be acceptable). In this case, when on Thursday I planned in advance for the dinner party and ate light during the day, Dr. R. said that wasn't acceptable because I still ate things that I shouldn't have. It's a real mental shift that's taking a long time to understand and adjust to.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 34

It's hard when you are invited to a dinner birthday party and there aren't any choices of what to eat. So tonight I ate about 1/2 cup of white rice, a couple of pieces of short ribs (but made without any sauce), and a little bit of rice pudding. It would have been impolite not to eat at least something, and it would have also been rude for me not to go at all. The problem is that once I start eating something I'm not supposed to it's hard to stop, especially when there's more sitting in front of me.

Two good days of steps, hitting more than 5500 yesterday and Tuesday. Argh, but today I worked from home and didn't even hit 3000. It's the same problem on the weekends. You'd think I could use the extra, more flexible time to work in more walking/moving, but it's seeming to be easier to walk around my office building three or four times a day for ten minutes than it is to motivate here at home.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 31 (addendum)

Forgot to mention - we got a date for the airing of the show! It'll be Thursday, January 21. Please, be kind in your judgments as you watch!

Day 31

These are the times that make it difficult to plug on through. I only lost two pounds this week. I know, I know, over time, it's okay, and two pounds a week would be a good, sustainable, steady weight loss. It just all still feels hard and like I'm continually working at this and that doesn't feel like enough to show for it. I think it really does come down to the exercise though. I didn't hit my step numbers except one day last week. This is my focus for the week, to really work to hit 5000 every day. Course I am only at 4400 right now and it's almost time for bed.

I think I'm also just feeling bored with it all. It's no where near as interesting as eating a wide variety of sugary foods. Of course, I feel better longer term than I do if I went back to donuts, short term too, since I always was so self-condemning after eating something crappy.

Nice suggestion from Laura about finding a good book on tape to make the walking more interesting. Am open to any suggestions - needs to be good to listen to in 15-20 minute increments and keep me wanting more.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 28

In a groove?

I had lunch with a coworker today who hadn't previously heard about all my diet fun. (Had my greek salad pita again - yum!) She said it sounded like I was getting into a groove with the eating. It was an interesting way to think about it that hadn't really occurred to me before. I think she's right about the food, although I still find myself getting depressed or anxious about various things, and it makes me want to throw in the towel. Well, I guess that's not quite right. I'm feeling anxious right this minute, but I'm not sure why. Part of me feels like giving up, but there's a bigger part of me that knows that's not even an option. Maybe that's what she means by getting into a groove. It's becoming far less of an option to give up than it is to keep going. (I did allow myself my occasional indulgence tonight of a small square of very dark Ghiradelli chocolate though.)

Unfortunately, I'm clearly not in a groove yet on the exercising. I'm having trouble finding, no, MAKING, the time to get my steps in. Dr. R. wants me to hit 5,000 a day, and I'm having trouble regularly getting in more than 3000. I keep saying that I'll get up and walk around the building - it doesn't take more than 15 minutes to do three laps. If I did that twice a day, I'd be close to my 5000 steps. But today I couldn't even find - make - the time to do it once. It's boring! But that seems like just an excuse. The weather has been awful, bitter cold, but that seems like just an excuse. Argh.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 27

Such good additions to my list of things I want to be able to do! Thanks, friends!

  • Sit comfortably in an airplane seat (I'm likely flying to Thailand for work in less than two months, and I am dreading a 14 hour flight stuffed into an economy seat if I don't lose some more weight!)
  • Not worry about going to theaters, sporting events, etc. because the seats are going to be too small and uncomfortable and distracting.
  • Yoga - I've never had a great desire to do yoga, but I do want to be more flexible.
  • Wear boots - this I'm not actually at all hopeful about. My calves have always been large, even when I was in middle/high school. I remember having a hell of a time skiing because I had to have boot strap extenders to close the ski boots. But I've never been able to wear even ankle boots because of my "cankles" - honestly, while that would be great, I'd love to just be able to wear a skirt and not be embarrassed!
Keep the ideas coming, I love this!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 26

Things I want to do when I'm thinner (in no particular order):
  •  Cross my legs
  • Walk into a regular department store and buy clothes off the rack
  • Not dread having to walk up a flight of stairs
  • Be able to jump on a mattress with my kids
  • Walk without my thighs chafing (that will be a LONG time coming!)
  • Be able to easily sit down and get up off the floor
  • Walk through restaurants with tables close together and not worry about knocking over wine glasses with my butt (yes, this has happened, more than once)

(this list will likely grow - other suggestions are most welcome!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 25

Another day, another test

So just as I think, okay, I'm back into the swing of things, into a routine, I can do this, I get thrown another test. I got a call this morning from a friend in Dallas and found out that she has Stage 3 metastatic breast cancer, just had a double mastectomy, and starts radiation tomorrow for four months. Ugh. No one deserves this, but she's such a sweet and lovely person (as is her husband), I just hated to hear this news. So once I hung up the phone, I realized I was running through a bunch of emotions, thoughts, and reactions. Beyond just being distressed by the news, I realized that my immediate reaction was to find something doughy or chocolatey (or both) to eat. First as a comfort, self-soothing mechanism. Then with the thought that "life is so short, and unfair, why don't I just treat myself and eat something that is so tasty, even if it's not good for me, we all are just going to get sick eventually anyway."

But, I stopped, and recognized that I was working my way through these reactions. I'm very proud of how I handled it. I went and found a coworker, who has been super supportive with my journey. I asked her to come with me to Starbucks. I knew that letting myself have a tall skim sugar free vanilla latte would be a nice treat for me, with only the calories of the skim milk (and I hadn't had any protein this morning so I was feeling hungry). But I also knew that I needed to tell someone what I was reacting too so that I didn't internalize it, and that I needed someone to come with me to Starbucks so I wouldn't buy a scone or donut or coffee cake like I used to (or even two). It worked, all around.

I do feel like there are so many people dealing with so much bigger problems, like cancer, like job loss, like fatally ill children, that writing about my little diet woes is insignificant and petty. But it is what I'm dealing with, and I'm fortunate that it's all I'm dealing with now, and I'm doing it to NOT to have to deal with some of these more difficult issues later in life.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 24

I like routines. I like being at my in-laws', but my waistline likes being at home. I weighed in this morning and was down another 5 pounds from last Wednesday. I'm hoping that being back into a routine at work will help me stay on track, but also give me some variation in food. I know a lot of people at work don't like our cafeteria, but they are really trying to do the right thing by issuing a weekly menu with calorie and nutrition breakdowns, and flagging items that are healthier choices. So, for example, today I had a whole wheat pita with a greek salad mix on top, sprinkled with a little feta cheese. YUM! Last week I had turkey chili with lots of black beans.

The exercise is going to always always always be more challenging. I was all set today to walk around the building at least two or three times during the day. I got to do none. So my steps are only at around 3000 for the day. Argh. As Dr. R. points out, even just hitting 5000 is only half of what I need to ultimately work to hit. Will try to do better tomorrow...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 21

A new year. I think this means I have effectively survived the holidays. We did splurge yesterday and had a late New Year's Eve lunch at Ruths Chris (yes, as parents of two kids under 4, a New Year's Eve lunch is as exciting as it gets!) I did allow myself a few pieces of their wonderful bread, but otherwise I had a steak salad with blue cheese crumbles. Dr. R. said cheese is okay in small amounts occasionally if it's very sharp and just to add strong flavor - well, that's what this was! We also split a slice of flourless chocolate cake, and it was quite enjoyable. After I get through another couple of weeks with no sugar (again), I may allow myself one small piece of really good dark chocolate once a week as a treat...

As we start this new year, I think my resolutions are clear - stick to this plan, get healthy, and lose weight. I want to also say a huge thanks to all the friends and relatives who have been SO supportive to me so far in this (sometimes frighteningly) public adventure. I know I will need your ongoing support and love to keep me going!