Category Archives: Food

Dear Future Self

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Dear Future Diana,

I am so proud of you for getting your journey back on track. By the looks of it, I would say you finally kicked the dessert habit also. Good for you! What is it like to be able to get on the floor and play with the grandkids? Oh, I bet you can tie your shoes without feeling like you just had a full workout. I have so many questions to ask you and I am not real sure where to begin.

I guess the best place to start is by letting you know that I have already started some small little habits that helped you get where you are today. Just like I promised back in April, I have started drinking only water (Ok, I still drink my morning coffee, but the cream level has been reduced drastically), I eat breakfast every day, and my fruit and vegetable consumption is significantly higher.

To answer your question, yes it is a healthy breakfast about 98% of the time. If you don’t believe me, just check my tracker on MyFitnessPal because I may not log everything, but I do log my breakfast. I know, I should log everything, but I am getting there. Oh, this morning? Yeah, had some errands to run so I stopped at Wawa. I didn’t do too badly though. See, I am learning.

Now, to some of those questions I have for you:

  1. How did you get the determination to not quit? How did you get past the obstacles that life placed in your path? I seem to be struggling with that at the moment.
  2. How long did it take before you could climb the stairs without pulling yourself up or losing your breath? I have lived here for 6 months and I still can’t do that.
  3. What did it feel like the first time you were able to fly without fear of being ridiculed?
  4. Do you own those boots that you swore you would have someday? (If you don’t remember the boot story, you can read it here.)
  5. How was it when you were finally able to ride those roller coasters again?
  6. I know that you have a regular exercise routine, what did you do to start? How did you get past the pain and keep going?
  7. Did the eczema and asthma get better as you lost the weight and got healthier?

There are so many more questions I would love to ask, but they aren’t coming to mind right now. I am happy to say that I have outlined my next baby step for our journey. I have decided that the next goal is to not eat take-out and cook dinner every night.

I know, it is not going to be easy with “the husband’s” obsession with pizza, chinese, and drive thru cuisine. But, you obviously figured out a way to conquer it, so that is what I am doing this week. I am not saying I will never eat take-out again, but I am saying that I need to get in the habit of cooking for myself. So, if he wants take-out he can get it. I will still prepare my dinner.

Oh, one more question:

Were you ever able to get that husband of yours to eat any vegetables without tricking him? LOL

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Aging Does Not Have To Be Painful

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I have been overweight for as long as I can remember and while I was growing up a lot of emphasis was put on my weight by many of my family members. As we all know, such attention tends to push a child in the direction which is the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. To make a very long story short, I grew up and out to be the obese woman I am today.

One thing that was said to me over and over again that really stuck in my mind was that I needed to lose the weight while I was young because as we age it gets harder. I am not real sure where that mindset came from, or even if there is any validity to it. But, as an impressionable child and teenager I became so obsessed with losing weight that all I wanted to do was eat.

Anyway, back to the whole aging theory. Because I was told on a daily basis, and sometimes several times a day, that as I got older it would be harder I received the message that old equals impossible. Now, I know there will be some who will want to  jump in with all the comments about me being an adult and I cannot blame my childhood forever. I am not blaming anyone but myself for the physical state I am in. I am writing this because I am positive that there are others who have lived this and if I can help just one person to understand that they are not alone, then I am one happy person.

So, where was I? Oh, yes, the aging theory. Somewhere in the back of my head I think I gave up because I took that statement and decided that it was too late to even try. Well, I tried through the years and even lost significant amounts of weight at times. The problem is I made extreme temporary changes which I could not live with and did nothing to deal with my mental baggage. That is why I have this blog, so I can deal with the mental baggage. Right now, the bag I am unpacking is the aging bag. Aging does not have to be painful.

I have always bragged that I have perfect blood pressure, no high cholesterol, and no signs of diabetes. I am in perfect health except for my weight. Now, while it is true that I have none of those things, I have noticed that as I have progressed chronologically I have had so many changes in my body that I have attributed to aging: pain in my back, pain in my knees, asthma, constant sinus infections, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, numbness, etc. However, the more I read and research, I realize that about all of my “growing pains” are side effects of my weight and not my age.

Now, this is my lightbulb moment. You mean to tell me that I can treat and in some cases completely eliminate some of these ailments just by taking care of myself? That’s just crazy!

I have spoken before about baby steps and creating new good habits that I can live with for life. While I have created some great habits such as drinking my water, eating a healthy breakfast everyday, and eliminating a lot of the sugar out of my diet, I have realized that I never really got rid of any of the bad habits. So, where I need to start is getting rid of the bad habits I have, one at a time. I know I can do it!

Small Changes for Huge Results

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Yesterday I wrote about some of the struggles I have been having and came clean with my self-imposed obstacles/excuses. Well, today I am sharing with you the first steps I plan on taking to get out of this funk.

I recently came across one of the most inspirational stories that I have read and I was literally blown away by the transformation. Eli Sapharti – FAT Boy FIT Man is one of those stories that make you just sit back and take notice. He recently posted this video to his Facebook page and in it you can see how genuine he is about wanting to help and inspire people. He also talks about taking baby steps and making small changes so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up after a month or two. This one statement struck a nerve with me.

I have told you before that I have lost and gained the same 50, 60, 70 pounds several times. Every time I did it, I was dedicated and determined and took off running. I would cut out all sugar, all carbs, all fat, drink the shakes, well, you get the picture. I never did anything gradually and went in with an “all or nothing” attitude. I know I have read and heard the advice to make small changes one at a time many times. But, you know me. I am not a patient person. I want to be thin and have a life RIGHT NOW!!!!

Ok, so why did reading Eli’s story and watching his video make me stop and think? I can’t really explain it myself. All I know is that listening to him talk about his journey and his thoughts struck a chord with me. It stayed with me and last night I thought about those baby steps. What can I change right now that I really won’t impact me in such a way that I feel like my entire life has been turned upside down and something that can make an impact for life?

I came up with a few small changes which I have implemented today:

  1. Water: The switch is being made to only water for cold beverages. I am still allowing myself 1 cup of coffee in the mornings though, I am not real sure I can totally give that up just yet. If I really want more hot beverages, I can drink green and herbals teas.
  2. Breakfast: While have made it a habit to eat breakfast every day, I don’t exactly eat the healthiest breakfast every day. Last night I made my own instant oatmeal packs with oats, ground flax seed, cinnamon, a dash of salt, and some Splenda. I then purchased some almond milk and brought it all to work with me. I have breakfast ready to stick in the microwave for the next two weeks. No reason at all to stop for coffee and scones or breakfast sandwiches.
  3. Fruits and Vegetables: I love my freggies, but I am not always successful at squeezing them into my day. It is now my goal to find a way to get some sort of produce into each and every meal. For example, this morning I before ate my oatmeal and cut up an apple and added it.

Three things which I can change and be consistent with and at the same time will be creating habits which will make a huge impact on my goals. I am thinking about what changes to make next. What are some of the changes you have made to your lifestyle?

Non Scale Victories

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I decided that I needed to kick the scales to the curb because like many of us, I was placing all my worth on the stupid number it showed me. That does not mean that I no longer weigh myself, but I don’t place so much importance on the number when I decide to. Well, this morning was one of those days where I was wondering just where I stood with my love/hate relationship with the darn thing, so I decided to pull it out of hiding.

I have lost “only” 4 pounds since this whole journey began. Really? Four pounds in four months? A woman my size? That is just plain …… oh, wait a minute. I am no longer letting that number rule my moods. So, let’s take a look at the past four months and see what has happened.

November: The holidays were creeping up on us and I was already starting to stress about family get togethers. This is not an excuse, it is just fact. I have one of those families that creates a lot of stress even during simple gatherings much less a major holiday. So, let the bingeing begin.

December: Please see November. It is just a repeat, only this time it is Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

January: I was off to a decent start. I had started losing the 7 (no, that is not a typo) pounds that I gained over the previous 2 months and even made a last minute trip across the country to surprise my daughter at her baby shower. Then, BAM! It was three days after I returned that we rushed one of our family members to the ER for what we thought was the flu. Since Jan 12th, my family and I have spent all of our time either at work or the hospital when we aren’t sleeping. The past couple of weeks have gotten better because our bodies basically made us slow down and take a break.

February: We are finally settling down into a routine between work, the hospital, and home. Yes! Finally, a little bit of time at home. There are still many adjustments to be made before this whole ordeal is over, but at least we know that she will be coming home eventually.

Now that we have reviewed my four months on this journey, I am choosing to take a moment to recognize all my non-scale victories (NSV’s) because if you all remember, I no longer define my worth by the number on the scale.

  1. While I may have lost “only” four pounds during these past four months, I am choosing to look at the big picture. With the seven pound gain over the holidays, I have actually lost 11 pounds since the beginning of January. Still not a huge amount, but way better than standing still. I promise, this is the only one that has to do with that evil scale AND I do understand that this is not exactly a NON scale victory, but it is a victory.
  2. On that last minute trip across the country, I was able to fly three out of the four flights without a seatbelt extender. This I have not been able to do in a very long time and soon, it will be 100% consistent and I won’t even have to stress it. If I had listened to the scales, I would not have even tried and immediately asked for the extender.
  3.  I have started and continued some positive habits which will get me to my goal eventually. I now consume between 8 and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, drink only water, and find some way to fit a little activity in everyday even if it is only 2 sets of wall push ups every single time I use the restroom. It may not seem like much, but it is much more than I used to do.
  4. With all the craziness and stress from the past couple of months, I have not given up. In my book, the only way you fail is if you give up. So, I am in this for the long haul.

To those of you who still depend on the numbers on the scale to validate your success, I challenge you to kick your scale to the curb and look at everything you are gaining by making little changes. I have not made any huge changes in my lifestyle yet, but I can tell you that I actually feel so much better and have more energy now than I did when I was obsessing over the numbers.

Fabulous February

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It has been a while since I blogged, so let me catch you up on what has been happening.

On January 12 a member of our family landed herself in the emergency room of the local hospital for what we thought was the flu. Without going into great detail, I can tell you that she came home 12 days later just to have to return the next day. At this time, she is still not home and we are not sure when she will be returning.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because for the last three weeks or so, I have been either at work or the hospital with about 5-6 hours of sleep at home in between. As you can imagine this has had a significant impact on my plan for health since I have been consuming mostly hospital cafeteria food and take out and have had very little time or energy for exercise.

The one thing I have been able to somehow remain consistent with is the food I pack to take to work with me. I have kept my routine of oatmeal for breakfast and some type of protein with a side of veggies for lunch with some smart snacks. The problem I have been having is after I leave work and head for the hospital.

I mentioned something to one of my co-workers today about my frustrations of working hard to take care of myself and at the same time feeling like I have absolutely no control over my life right now. She made a great suggestion and I can’t believe I did not think of it myself. Going forward I am going to pack all three of my meals before leaving for work. Adding dinner to the list won’t be too much extra time in the morning and I can eat right before I leave for the evening so I am not hungry when I hit the hospital. All I have to do is make sure I have plenty of fruits and veggies in the house to snack on when I get home and I should be good to go!

What am I doing about the activity? Well, I have been creating little “office workouts” to do a few times a day while I am at work. While this is something I want to continue doing, I really don’t consider it a “real” workout. I have committed to participate in two challenges for February which I think will help me get back on the path with my activity.  HealthyFitFamilies has started a “Jump Start 2012” Challenge on Facebook which I started yesterday.  I have also committed to participate in “Fab Ab February“. I do not know who originated the challenge because there are several forums with this challenge, I decided to do it on my own and invited my Facebook followers to join me.

For the month of January I logged less than a pound loss, but it is a loss. With these changes to my routine along with a positive attitude, I plan to make February a success!

Taking Responsibility

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The past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. I went from such happiness having spent some time with my children and grandchildren to feelings of hopelessness and despair as our family found one of our own in the intensive care unit with not very good news. For a little over a week now I have been surviving on lots of coffee and cafeteria food or take out since all my waking moments are either at work or at the hospital.

There are some who might feel that the stress from the current situation might be the perfect reason excuse to put my goals aside. I have to admit, I was starting to lean that way. I found myself focusing on all the “what if’s” and things that just HAD to be done rather than slowing down and making a plan. Last night I cracked and had my moment of glory craziness where my husband was very aware that I needed both sleep and a break.

Thank goodness for great husbands! This morning I woke up thinking a little more clearly and I am ready to take responsibility for my life and leave the things I have no control over to God. He knows what to do and I just need to let go and step back. I am in the fight for my own life and I am not helping anyone by continuing the path of self-destruction which I have followed for so many years.

This morning I took the time to pack my breakfast and my lunch for work and took something out of the freezer which can be prepared quickly for dinner tonight when I get home from the hospital. No more grabbing fast food just because it’s convenient I did not plan ahead and it is the “easy” way out. I also have fruit on my desk and almond butter in the kitchen here at work for snacks. I am no longer using life’s road bumps as an excuse to stop caring about my own health. I have taken responsibility for my own health and well-being and this is one battle I intend to win!

Better Late Than Never – Weigh in Week 3

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Weigh in for week 3 on Weight Watchers was last Friday. Due to a last-minute trip across the country and the subsequent illness that followed, I have not posted the results yet.

Drum roll please……….

4.4 pounds lost!!!!

That is not a typo, I did in fact log a 4.4 pound loss on my first week of being serious and not making excuses. This is proof that I can do it! I am not expecting to duplicate that success this week at all. Not only did I fly across the country to Reno , but I came home with the flu of some sort. While it was worth the one day trip to surprise my daughter, it completely disrupted my routine.

Don’t get me wrong. I did not do too badly, but I was not good either. But isn’t that what life is? Adjusting yourself to the situation and your surroundings? So, I went to IHOP for breakfast, used my best judgement, and put the fork down when I was satisfied. I did not clean my plate nor did I feel deprived at all. I also had pizza for dinner with my family Sunday night. Again, not the best choice, but I ate two slices and drank water.

I flew home Monday and immediately came down with some kind of stomach virus. I am not sure if someone on the plane was sick or if my granddaughter passed it onto me while I was with her. Either way, all night Monday and all day yesterday were pretty unpleasant for me. Today, I am feeling a lot better and hopefully I can actually eat.

In an effort to get back to the initial goal of incorporating walking/running into my routine, I have found this program from Skinny Ms Fitness  on Facebook and I think it is doable for me since I can’t jog at my fitness level. But, I can walk so I think this will be a great thing to incorporate with my strength training at the gym.

Do you have any words of advice for me? I can use all the help I can get because I am determined to get healthy!