Friday, November 23, 2012

The day after...

Thanksgiving...I am thankful for having my mom still with me. Thankful for skyping to see my son's sweet face while he's on the other side of the world. Thankful for so much. Even if I ate too many carbs, I feel okay with that knowing that I don't feel the urge to binge or continue carb loading.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Calling all plant lovers...

Can anyone tell me what the name of this flowering plant is? I saw it while walking the dog and I must have one. I didn't take the time to ask the owner and Sydney would have barked her head off anyway, haha.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Testing Myself (not a good idea)

I'm still trying to figure out if I'm done losing. I feel good at 143, although I'm at 144.2 right now, ugh. For the last two weeks I tried having a few starchy (S) foods in my diet and it really stirred up my old cravings. I got a little worried that I wouldn't be able to reel myself back in. But pulling on my size 10 pants reminded me of how good it feels to have lost the weight. To feel so healthy is way more important to me than having potato chips. Yes, that is what I seemed to crave more than anything and I never used to eat them. Weird, huh?!

Been reading Refuse to Regain and it is turning out to be just what I needed. I had seen this book at Amazon for awhile, but wasn't sure it would be the right book for me. I've spent so much money on diet books in the past and didn't want to waste more money. But after reading some of Karen's blogs over at her blog, Garden Girl, I knew this book would be worth the investment. This is not just a diet book. It is a change your ideas about eating book. And it helped me get perspective over my eating for these last two weeks.

I don't know why, but last weekend I started feeling sad and depressed about never eating bread and chips and crackers so I got some gluten free crackers and bought some baked potato chips and some sugar free candy. Well, disaster is putting it mildly. I fell head first into my old binge routine. I got scared, really scared. I saw the scale go up a couple of pounds in just a few days. I felt like I had no control. That was the most scary part. I wanted to eat all the time. What a nightmare I created for myself. What was I thinking. The regret and pain I felt over what I had done was not worth it. Not at all.

I have much to learn about myself and food. The one thing I know for sure...I do not want to regain my weight and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make sure it doesn't happen. So, if it means that S foods are for special occasions, then that is what I'll do. Or if it means that some foods are never to be eaten again, then that is what I'll do. I love what Dr. Berkeley says about diets of conviction. If I were a vegan or vegetarian, no one would question my choice of not eating meat. So, if I choose not to eat grains or sugar as my diet of conviction, there should be no questioning why. It's what I want for myself and I have no judgement for anyone else. I have to do what is right for me and realize that this is not a punishment. It is a choice I'm making for my health.

Of course, wearing size 10 clothes makes it worth it, too! We are having some nice autumn-like weather (finally) and I can't wait to wear my boots with my new dress!

*graphic from this site.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Taking Care of Business (and cats and dogs)

It's one month past my Medifast-iversary and I'm doing great. Finding a weight to call it quits is still in the works. I feel good at 143, which is lower my original goal weight of 158 which was my "just get to a healthy BMI" weight. But, I keep feeling like I still have some fat stores in abdomen area. But for now, I'm tippy-toeing into maintenance. Yay!

So my son is in China! He's been there a month already. I can hardly believe he is there. Haven't talked much, Skype is tricky as he is 13 hours ahead of me and his mornings are my evenings and he's never been a talker in the morning. But he's sending newsletter-type details and it's so fun to read about what he's doing. Makes me want to pack up everything and follow his lead. Not sure China would be my choice as squatty-potties don't appeal :) But, I'm envious of the adventure and so proud of him for going for it!

The week he left was a whirlwind. He had not really taken steps to move out of his apartment so the last few days he was here were spent with us moving, packing, and cleaning. I lost a couple of pounds just helping him get out of the worlds tiniest apartment that holds so much stuff. And now I'm foster parent to his kitten. I didn't want to do it, but I couldn't say no. I've never been good at saying no when it comes to animals. So, Sydney and the new kitten, Shelby, are mortal enemies and I don't know how long it's going to take for them to learn to get along. Oh, the things we do as moms, right?

In other news, if you're a woman and want a truly humiliating interesting experience...lose 100+ lbs and go shopping for a bra. Of course, being a woman of a certain age makes it even more humiliating interesting. Nothing is quite where it used to be and things just don't fit they way you want them to. But, I did finally compromise and found a size that lifted and separated with out leaving too much hanging out the sides. I'm so happy to be thinner, though, that this is the last thing I spend much energy on worrying over.

I started taking Jazzer-cise last week and LOVE it! It's going to take awhile for me to get the moves down, and I have to limit some of the jumping around since my knees are low on cartilage, but they really work your abs and arms and back. All areas that I'm in need of toning. Bike riding and doing the elliptical are great for cardio, but this body needs more than that. 

Hope your week goes well. We are going to have our first touch of cooler (well, for southeast Texas) weather and I am so ready for it.

Take care!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Focus, Food, and Breathing

I'm still focused on losing a few more pounds, but I've started working towards weening myself off the Medifast foods. I will start maintenance soon after I reach my goal weight (which at this time is still undecided) but I think my diet will stay low-carb and be sans bread for awhile. Bread is a trigger food for me so it will have to be something I have only on occasion. At least, that's my plan for now. I have a different attitude about food now that I've actually lost weight successfully. I like being thin too much to throw it all away just for the sake of eating :) Of course, I feel successful right now, but maintaining it will be an on-going quest.

Have you tried Tofu Shirataki Noodles? I tried them awhile back and I didn't like them at all. I may not have realized that you need to rinse them several times and then parboil before using them but that is key for getting them to taste good. I used them in my favorite kind of dish - add this and this and this, and wah-la, you have dinner. I first added a little olive oil to a pan, threw in some left over broccoli, veggie meatballs, and the drained noodles. Then spiced it up with a little seasoning and a Laughing Cow cheese triangle (queso flavor as it's my favorite). Once the cheese melts, it's ready. Then I sprinkled a little bit of grated parmesan cheese on top. Very good and filling.

Have I mentioned that my son will be leaving for China soon. *gasp*  I can hardly breathe when I say that. Not because I'm worried, only because China so freaking far away. He's taking a teaching position there and plans to stay for a year. So, I'll be saving and scrimping so I can go visit him. I raised him to be adventurous, so this is good. It just happened so suddenly...well, I've know he wanted to go for months now, but he leaves at the end of this month! I need to practice breathing...

I signed up for a charity bike ride for next month. It's Tour de Pink which is part of the Pink Ribbons Project, an organization that helps underserved women get mammograms and care they need. I rode this one in 2009 and am excited to ride it again. I don't have a road bike, but my hybrid should do fine for the 23 mile route. I was overweight back in 2009 so I'm excited to see how different the riding will be now that I'm 100+ lbs lighter! If you want to make a donation and help me reach my fundraising goal, please click here.

Hope your week is full of promise!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Friday Night Re-cap

First, let me say thanks to all of you for your congrats on my weightloss. You all have a special place in my heart. I've learned so much from this community and without blogging, I know my journey would not have been so successful. Your support has been truly a blessing.

Yesterday was mom's 78th birthday and to celebrate, we went out for dinner. She loves steak so we (me, mom and my son) went to a local steak place to eat. Dinner was great! I had the K-Bob with sauteed veggies and salad with balsamic dressing on the side.

I haven't eaten out much while dieting. It's just been easier to make sure my food was prepared the way I wanted it and to avoid temptation. But to never go out to eat is not practical since eating is a social event. Something I read on the Medifast boards some time ago has really stuck with me:

It's a people event with food, not a food event with people.

So, last night I focused on the people and food was secondary. And it made all the difference. I passed on the bread and enjoyed being in the company of family. 

Later at home, we had ice cream cake. I had a very small piece and really, it was enough. My inner brat wanted to stomp her feet, but I very sternly said "no" and moved on to a nice cup of cofffee. All in all, it was an evening of being in control and the little bit of cake didn't trigger me to feel like I needed more. I don't think all things in moderation will work for me, but the small portion of ice cream cake followed by coffee didn't stir up any old feelings. And best of all, no change on the scale this morning. I had gone for a bike ride and walked Sydney earlier that day to offset any additional calories. 

I do believe that we have to have a plan in order to maintain once we've lost weight. Especially those of us that are seasoned yo-yo dieters. I'm not finished losing yet, but I'm learning something about myself: I can be in control and mean it!

Have an awesome weekend. Take care!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Before and After (almost)

Have I mentioned that I lost some weight, haha? I had a couple of goals in mind when I started Medifast on September 2, 2011: 1. Lose enough weight to be out of the obese range, 2. Lose enough weight to be out  of the overweight range, 3. Be a healthy "normal" weight and maintain that weight. 

In order to get to a "normal" weight range I needed to weigh 158 according to the BMI charts. That would put me on high end of normal for my 5'7" frame. But I don't want to just be on the high end, I want to have a little room for those times when the scale dips up a few from a weekend of too much social living. Not to give myself room for bad eating habits, but just room for when my weight fluctuates a bit, I won't beat myself up. So, I still want to lose a few more pounds :)

September 2011 - Before - 251.6 lbs

June 2012 - Almost done - 155

I think I can lose another ten pounds and still feel good. The next phase for me will be strength training. I don't think there is much I can do about some of my saggy spots, but I want to try and replace some of my flabby with a little muscle. Being a certain size doesn't really matter to me, but my mid-section doesn't match my ever-thinning legs :)

I feel so much better having lost this weight! I want to tell everyone that is in a diet or wants to lose a few: It is a gift you must give yourself. Try to think of it this way - that you are giving yourself something (a body)  that will help you feel better and move more. Words can not really express what I'm trying to say. It's just a freedom that you may not have realized you were missing. Yeah, freedom.

You know, it takes a village, as they say, and I just want to say that all the support that I've received by blogging has been a key element to my success. On days when I felt myself wanting to give up, I'd read someone's blog and realize that I wasn't alone in this fight. We all have to do what works for us, but sometimes hearing how someone else is doing it, helps.

(The almost done picture isn't the best. It was taken by my mom and there is a shadow behind my head making my hair look bigger than it actually is, haha.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Keeping Cool

Happy Tuesday! It seems we are having a slight break in the heat here in H-town thanks to a few rainy days. And they say it will be rainy here for a few more days. The much needed cool-off is feeling good, but apparently heat will move in again when the skies clear.

I'm wondering what tips you have for keeping cool when doing outdoor activities. I take Sydney for a walk everyday and she gets hot, too. Any tips or products that you've found that are keeping you cool? Do share :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July!!

I love this holiday! I have the best memories of family cookouts and watching fireworks. Lighting sparklers and, back in the day, setting off a few Black Cats in our own backyard. Everything would be all American including bbq, apple pie, and watermelon and then end with a family squabble. But it was all good by the next weekend when the family would gather for the next edition of brotherly love.

This year, I'm celebrating my own independence. Since losing 95 lbs (from September 2011), I'm declaring independence from:

  • being obese and overweight
  • the inability to move
  • lack of energy
  • junk food
  • plus size clothing
  • loss of hope
  • poor health
I think I have finally realized that being healthy is something I want for myself. I didn't lose weight (this time) for anyone else but me. Always before when I would starve myself it was for the approval of someone else. And when I still didn't meet up to their expectations I let it affect me in a self-destructive way - by eating. But doing it for me has made me see that I'm my own best friend. I just wish it didn't take me so long to figure this out.

So this holiday will still be about getting together with family, but the focus won't be on just the food. I hope to focus more on enjoying the people I'm with and celebrating the freedom we have as Americans.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Book Review

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I could see myself in it, page after page. Not in the same way exactly, but in ways that I could relate to my own feelings of having felt lost and then finding my way. Cheryl is an amazing writer and I look forward to reading more from her.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 16, 2012

Under clothes, nobody knows ;)

I've lost 70 lbs since September of 2011. Wow, when I think about that I can hardly believe it's true. I stuck with it and now I'm so close to the goal weight that I've set for myself, I can taste it, haha.

While losing weight is good for your health, losing weight in your 50's is not pretty. It's not for the faint of heart and the squeamish. It takes dedication and the ability to look beyond the saggy, jiggly parts of your body that you may not recognize as yours.

Every day I discover new things about being thinner that make me happy. Like putting on my shoes without having to hold my breath while reaching past my belly. There's still a little belly there, but it's not in the way anymore. And like walking all around campus at work and not feeling winded and sweaty. And riding my feels like I'm flying! So much less of me to pedal around.

But, yesterday, I felt very self-conscious. I didn't expect to feel that. I mean, I've been so self-conscious from being obese that I thought once I lost weight I'd feel totally confident. Maybe with time I'll adjust, but my new shape is making me feel like wearing baggy clothes. I've gone from size 24/26 pants and 3X tops to size 16 pants and size L/XL tops in six months. Over all, I like what I'm seeing, but now there are saggy parts of me that I've never seen before. It's time to start really working the arms and mid-section. There's not much I can do about the girls, but under clothes, nobody knows ;) If you know some great exercises for arms and abs, please share.

I'll try to post some progress pics soon. I don't take my own picture very well, but I'll give it a try.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


This is so tempting...but not sure I'm ready for it since I haven't been riding :)

Red Poppy Ride  and this  Poppy Festival

Happy Wednesday!

(c) Free nature photos

Friday, February 10, 2012

Beware the dog walker-er

As part of my "get-fit" regime, walking is an everyday thing. Specifically, walking my dog Sydney every day, rain or shine. She was getting a little hefty for her size, too, so it seemed like something that would pay-off for both of us. So, we started walking a couple of months ago and except for a couple of really bad rain days, we have been out in the neighborhood every day. And, for the most part, I love it and Sydney looks forward to it I know because when I get home from work, she starts the "I'm watching every move you make until we go" thing.

I've always prided myself in being a dog person. I'm pretty intuitive to their needs and have always felt in control of my dogs in the past. Sydney, however, is a different story. She was a street dog that my son rescued a few years ago. She was less than a year old, full of fleas and growled at everyone that came near her. Needless to say, I wasn't happy and wanted him to find her a home. He worked with her and eventually, she won me over. Now, I can't imagine her not being a part of my life. She is my sweet-pea.

Sydney is a mixed breed, we guess that she's got some Beagle in her and some lab, maybe. She weighs about 30 pounds. Whatever her mix is, she has some very strong personality traits. She's affectionate, smart, protective, and determined to be the leader of the pack. That last part is where we have some problems because I tend to be a softie until I realize I'm getting run over and have to remind her who is really in charge.

So, we started walking and with the retractable leash all the way out, I let her run here and there and pee on every clump of grass or bush or stick or whatever she felt needed a little pee. It always amazed me that she could pee so much. Sometimes, we would encounter other dogs and their walkers and Sydney would stop and stare and whine and lunge toward them. I thought this was normal until lately, her lunge started looking more like a marlin jumping out of the sea at the end of a fishing cable, twisting and flying into the air! And along with all the jumping crap was this fierce cujo-esque growling. Scary and embarrassing - all at the same time! What if she broke free? Would she fight the dog or bite it's owner? What if she pulled me down? What the crap?!  Then I thought, well, maybe it's just certain dogs. Nope, she started this behavior with every dog we came across. Even little tiny dogs. I had to either get control of this or stop walking her and I didn't want to stop walking her. She needs to walk as much as I do to get healthy.

I found this article "Behaviors to Avoid During the Walk" to be quite an eye-opener to what I'd been letting Sydney do on our daily walks. She was apparently marking out her territory and protecting it. I'm not letting her pee on everything on our walks and I take her to a certain spot and tell her "go potty" and she does. Walking isn't as much fun right now, but it wasn't fun seeing her turn into cujo, either. It will take time, but I think our walks will be more enjoyable when it becomes just a walk instead of a territorial marking fest.

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I've made many attempts at losing weight over the past few decades years. I've lost some, gained it back, lost it again, etc., etc. As a result, I have a lot of different sizes of clothes that I've refused to give up hung on to in the event that 1. I'd lose weight and be able to wear the smaller sizes again, or 2. gain it back and nothing would fit. And since clothes are expensive, especially plus size clothes, I just kept everything and rotated them from the current size closet to the not-current size bins in the garage.

This weekend I decided it's time to change my hoarding of clothes. There will be no gaining weight back for me this time. And if I believe that (and I do) there is no reason to hang on to the clothes that are now huge too big. I spent this weekend going through my closet and the bins in the garage and did I have fun! It was like playing dress up. I had some clothes that I'd forgotten about and they fit me now! And...look good. Standing in front of a mirror hasn't been fun for me in years. I avoided mirrors except to put on my make-up. But, this weekend, I liked looking in the mirror and feeling proud of myself. I feel like a confident woman. Corny, huh?

My mom gave me a few Chico's jackets and I love them. I bought a pair of boots the other day to wear with a skirt that I've had - that's right, a skirt! I've been wearing pants forever because I  didn't like how I looked in dresses or skirts. I don't really have any heels but I guess I'll be looking for a pair soon :)

My word for this year is change and change is happening in lots of areas. Not just my size or my attitude about food and exercise. Change is happening at work and I have to believe that it's all good. A few months back, I asked God to help me change my life. I have tried to do it alone and never seemed to make any real progress. So, I prayed for Him to change me and change some other areas in my life. One of which was the situation at work with the co-worker that I've had to fill-in for because she's never there. Well, last week, we found out she won't be back. Which is no surprise, except that I'm glad it's finally permanent and that management is looking to hire someone and re-vamp her job, mine, and another co-workers to make the work-flow more even. I'm excited to see what is to come. I know that God is working on me and I put my faith in Him.

Oh, and I'm still getting up every morning to do the elliptical and in the afternoon, too. And Sydney gets her walk everyday. All this activity feels fantastic!

Have a great week and take care.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


This was overall, a good week. I went to the doctor. Not a big deal to some of you, but I tend to avoid going. One of my goals this year is to be better at meeting my regular doctor visits. So while I was there, I scheduled a mammo (since my last one was in 2006 *gasp* I didn't know it had been that long, sheesh) so that is what's lined up for Tuesday next week. Anyway, my lab results came in and I felt like shouting the good news from here to Alaska. Most improved was my blood sugar and my HDL. My HDL had been 29 in October and is now at 38! My total cholesterol and triglycerides were good. Blood pressure was good and EKG was very good. Exercise is paying off in more ways than one, for sure.

Aside from the good lab results, here's another cause for celebration this week - for the first time in probably 25 years, I weigh under two hundred! Woo Hoo! I'm in that place often referred to as "one-derland." I didn't think I'd ever want to call it that, but it has a nice sound to it now that it applies to me, lol. I'm not that far into the one-hundreds, but 198 sounds so much better than 2-something. Change is happening!

Last but not least, my birthday is Sunday, January 15th (I share that day with Martin). I'll be 55. Wow. I don't feel older. Just better. I had wanted to do something outdoors, but kayaking for the first time in January might not be fun. We've had some very cold temps here lately and the water might be a bit too cold so I think I'll save that for Spring.

Lee wanted to see my entryway redo. So here is a picture.

 It's clean and simple. I bought this little set from Home Depot and put it together myself. I love assembling things. In fact, last night I went to Ikea and got new chairs for the dining room and I'll be putting those together after some house cleaning today.

Link I'm loving: 7 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life, and How To Form Them

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I finally decided on my word for 2012. I was trying to come up with some poetic, fancy schmancy word but got tired of searching. So I spent some time thinking about what I want this year and what I really want is change.  I want to change a lot of things. My thinking. My attitude. My life. Me.

That's a lot to change, isn't it? But I've already started changing how I view losing weight. I think I've finally figured out that it's really not about the just dieting. It's about how I feel about myself. And lately, I've been having this vision of myself as athletic. Now, stop laughing don't laugh, I don't mean athletic in the competitive sense, but athletic in the sense that being active is second nature. I want being active to become a habit like brushing my teeth. I want to be active and not just walking and biking. I want to get out, join in and participate! I've hidden behind my weight for so long and I'm ready to get back to the matter of living. A couple of goals I have in mind for this year are:  kayaking, hiking, camping out, and whatever else I can get myself in to. I'm thinking of signing up for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer that will be here in Houston in April. Sounds like a fun, crazy, two day time. If anyone is planning on walking it, let me know.

It's one thing to talk about change. But if you change nothing, nothing will change. So, I listened to Mizfit about becoming a morning exerciser and Tuesday through Friday I got myself up early and did 10 minutes on the elliptical before going to work! Then when I got home from work, after taking Sydney for her walk, I did 15 minutes more. Monday, I just got up earlier than usual to get a feel for how much time I'd need to exercise and get ready for work. And the best part is...I liked it! Yay!

Change is hard. But change will happen when we make it happen.

Today (Saturday) I put together a new entryway table and two little lamps. I had looked around at my house over the holidays and realized that I haven't really cared about how things looked. Well, that's changing, too. Clearing clutter and getting rid of stuff I don't need has been a daily thing for me over the last couple of weeks. And it feels good.

Hope you are having a great weekend. Be good to yourself.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello 2012!

Here it is, the first day of a brand new year. Twenty-twelve. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

All in all, last year went well. We had some losses - two pets. My son moved back for a short time so that I could help in the care of his dog, Colby. It was a trying time and finally, in the end, my son had to take him and have him put down (I hate that term, but can't think of any other way to say it). He took him by himself, that's how he rolls. He had that dog for 15 years. They were a great team and Colby will be missed for a very long time.


Our cat, Flower, also died last year. She was old and had always enjoyed living outdoors. She would only come in for a few minutes to get a little love and then be on her way. She was 17 years old. I still find myself looking for her when I drive up the driveway.

In September, I started using Medifast to get some weight off. I'd tried everything - low carb, southbeach, low-fat, low-cal, protein shakes. You name it, I think I tried it all. I just couldn't seem to get my head in the right place to seriously make a difference. Lots of yo-yoing. So, in my terms, I needed to do something drastic. A couple of women at work were going to a medifast clinic and losing weight regularly. I knew the clinic was too expensive for me but found out you could order it online. So, I ordered a couple of weeks worth. It was easy, I didn't have to think about what to eat. It is pre-measured, and portable. Now, 48 lbs later, I think I made the right choice. I'm moving more and feeling good about myself again. I'm learning that a gluten free diet is much better for me and that I don't have to eat large servings of food to be satisfied. This may not work for everyone, but it's what works for me. So, combined with what I've lost so far on Medifast and what I lost while struggling on my own the past couple of years, I've lost 83 pounds and counting!

I spent a lot of last year waiting. Waiting to do things "when I've lost more weight." Waiting for my son to get his stuff out of his old room. Waiting for my mother while she reads every label in the store while we are shopping. Waiting for co-workers to step up and do their own job. Waiting for death to come for our dear sweet dog and cat. Waiting...for a creative mood to strike.

Enough of the waiting, already. This year, and I don't have word for it yet, but there will be no more waiting. There will be living. Lots of living!

I wish you the best of all that makes you happy and bright in the new year! I hope blessings follow you everywhere you go. Thanks for being here and I hope we get to know each other even better this year.