Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Round-Up

Dear Diary...

I know I've said it many times before, but my goodness do weekends go by fast.  One minute I'm driving home from work on a Friday afternoon, and the next minute I'm getting ready to drive to work on Monday morning.  A whole weekend, gone, in the blink of an eye.

Peanut and I were up nice and early Saturday morning to participate in the Race for the Cure.  We got there around 7:40 and had almost an hour to kill before the race started.  We decided to walk around the mall and see what booths were already set up and stuff.  It was a beautiful day - perfect for walking 5K.

Peanut got a pair of bunny ears from a vendor, and decided she wanted to wear them for the race...

And here's a pic of the two of us right before we started...

The race got underway, and Peanut and I had already decided we weren't going to rush.  This was my first year of not running, which made me sad - but it was also my first year of walking along side my daughter.  I wanted to enjoy it.  So, we leisurely walked the 3.1 miles talking about all kinds of stuff.  It was nice to just have that time with her.  We don't get much time alone, so being able to do something like walking for charity is a huge deal. 

We ended up finishing our walk in a little over 52 minutes.  I only know that because their was a big timer at the finish line.  I didn't think that was too bad - not that I cared.  After that, we walked around and picked up a few goodies from some of the vendor booths and then headed to the car.  We decided to grab a quick bite to eat on the way home.  A bad bite - a slice of breakfast pizza and a banana nut muffin. 

Saturday was my free day.  I told myself I was going to treat myself.  Eating a slice of breakfast pizza and a muffin should have been plenty to satisfy my cravings, but alas - it was not.  Mom and I went out to play bingo for the evening, and we had an early dinner before we got started.  I ate a burger and fries.  It occurred to me before ordering that I couldn't remember the last time I'd eaten a burger.  That, actually, made me feel pretty good.  But, it also led to me ordering said burger with fries.  Then, later in the evening I ate some chicken strips and ranch dressing. 

The saddest part is that while I was cramming my face full of sodium and fat, I was telling my mom all about my new found love of clean eating.  Stupid, isn't it?  I'm sitting there telling her how wonderful clean eating makes me feel - with a mouthful of processed burger and fries.  Lovely.  I truly amaze myself, sometimes.

Yes, it was a terrible day in terms of my food intake.  I'm not proud of the amount of crap I put in to my system - and I regretted it yesterday.  That tell-tale bloated feeling appeared.  I tried to drink as much water as I could yesterday.  I also made sure not to make the same mistake and get back on track.  I did pretty well...not perfect.  I ate some kettle corn from the craft festival that we visited... but that was the extent of my bad eating for yesterday. 

I also noticed how sluggish and tired I felt once I finally got home yesterday afternoon.  I ended up sleeping for 3 hours shortly after we got home, and was still able to go to bed at 9:30 and sleep all night.  That's just too much sleep!  . 

I've already decided that I need to limit my "free day".  I'm going to adjust to having a free meal on Saturdays - rather than spending the entire day living in Care-Free Land.  In a matter of one day, I was able to pile in enough calories to see all my hard work from last week disappear in the blink of an eye.  OK, I know I didn't really eat enough to gain 5lbs in one day... but it was enough to tell me that the bloating that has now reappeared is enough for me to gain the 5lbs back in one day. 

Oh, and if you didn't pick up on my subtle hint - I'm back to weighing myself again.  Not officially.  If that's possible.  More of a guidance keep me on my toes.  Some people are able to live without the scale - I'm just not one of those people.  The scale provides me motivation that I can't find from anywhere else.  Last week, I stepped on the scale a couple of times - and was thrilled at the results I was seeing.  I step on it again this morning, and was pissed to see the damage I've done.  The happiness motivates me to keep going, the anger motivates me to not make the same mistakes again.  The number this morning is what has made me realize that I can have one meal a week that's "care free" but that's it.  No more junk-food filled Saturdays for me!

Once I get back down to the 239lbs I started this year off weighing, I'll start reporting my weigh-ins each week.  I have a long way to go.  Ten pounds, actually.  It makes me mad that I've managed to gain 10lbs in 5 months rather than lose 20.  But, I'd managed to lose 5lbs of them last week (before my junk fest this weekend).  I'm confident that if I have another week like last week, and don't spoil it next weekend, that 10lbs will be gone in no time..and I'll be back to losing the weight I started this year off wanting to lose. 

Lesson learned, and all that jazz.  I'm going to put myself in to it 150% this week - which means making my rear end get out for the walks that I'm supposed to be doing every day.  If I can lose 5lbs just by adjusting my eating - then who knows what I can accomplish by putting a little pep in my step and walking for 20-30 minutes each day.  Guess we're going to find out.

Till next time. ;)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Third Race for the Cure

Dear Diary...

Today, I'll be participating in my third Race for the Cure.  I'm happy that I'm keeping my promise of participating every year, but I'm sad that this will also be the first year that I'm walking.

Two years ago, I wasn't much heavier than I am now.  I decided to compete in the running 5K even though I knew I wasn't anywhere near ready to run 3 miles.  But, I did it anyway.  I jogged as much as I could - but it wasn't much.  Last year, I was the fittest I'd ever been.  I was able to jog almost the entire 5K.  This year?  I haven't ran in so long that I just know it's not even worth trying - so I'm just going to walk.

I'm not timing myself, I'm not worried about pace - I'm just going to walk beside my daughter and enjoy it.  It's for a good cause, and I'm happy that I get to participate.

After the race, we're going to come home and get ready to head to my mom's.  Mom and I are going for a bingo day.  Our bingo day is the equivalent of those people that go for spa days.  It's our day to relax and rejuvenate.   I'm going to try and focus on not eating too bad.  Even though this is my designated day to eat "freely".  I know that doesn't mean to eat as much as I can and undo everything I've done this week.

I weighed myself this morning, and I've lost 5lbs this week!  Not too shabby.  I'm still 8lbs heavier than what I started this year out - but if I keep doing what I'm doing, that number will be a thing of the past in no time.

Well, I've gotta run...or walk.

Till next time. ;)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hunger Games a Weight Loss Tool?

Dear Diary...

This week, I finally finished reading the first Hunger Games book.  If you haven't read it or seen the movie, I will refrain from giving away important information that will spoil either for you.  I haven't seen the movie, yet, it's on my to-do list for next weekend.

Common available knowledge will have you already know that the premise of the first book is about 24 kids that are called to fight each other to the death, until one comes out victorious.  Yes.  I said kids.  Fighting to the death.

There's a lot of controversy surrounding this book.  It's advertised as a teen-read, which has raised a lot of alarm among parents and teachers in regards to the barbaric story line.  Being that there was controversy - I had to read it.  Plus, I also heard that it's a FANTASTIC trilogy - so that made me want to read it, too.

I finished the first book in a matter of two days.  It really is a fantastic read.  I just didn't want to put it down - and found myself reading it while at work, and any spare moment I had.  Although, I will say that yes, there are some disturbing parts to the story that often made me question why I kept reading the book.  There are even a few parts that made me tear up and get knots in my stomach - something that has only ever happened when Dumbledore was killed in the Harry Potter series.  But this was worse.

If you feel like I have now spoiled Harry Potter for you - well, sorry, but there is a statute of limitations on how long I can keep information like that to myself.  The book and the movie in which that event happens has been out for years... so, you should have read it/ seen the movie by now.

Anywho, back to Hunger Games.  Something happened to me while reading this book that is hard to explain.  Well, it's not hard to explain - but maybe hard to understand.

This week, I have done a fantastic job at keeping to my clean eating.  I mean absolutely fantastic.  I've been eating tons of veggies.  I find myself craving fruits instead of chocolate or sugar.  I've been diligent on sticking with whole grains, lean meats, and checking labels to make sure I'm not being tricked in to eating stuff I shouldn't.  There has been no mindless eating.  I've been very aware of when I'm eating, how much I'm eating, and only eating when I'm supposed to (according to my meal plans).  I could sit here and say that I've done all this because I'm just awesome like that - and when I set my mind to something, I do it.  But, you all know me well enough by now to know the truth in that - am I right?  No.  There has been something else that has been aiding my efforts, causing me to be so mindful.  So, what is it that has been such an aid to me this week?  The book.  Hunger Games.

Again, not to spoil anything, but the book has many kids that come from places where food is the point where many starve to death.  Hello, it's called "The Hunger Games".  In order to survive, kids have to go out and hunt for their food.  They celebrate at being able to eat fruits or veggies or freshly killed meat.  Cheese on a piece of bread is a feast. 

While I was reading, I found myself feeling guilty at the thought of being able to go to my fridge and eat whatever I wanted.  Yes, I know the story is fake.  I'm not that stupid.  But, reading about kids starving to death pulled at my heart strings.  How could I sit there and eat something that wasn't good for me, when I knew that imaginary kids were starving to death and then having to kill each other?  The book really started getting in my head.

While reading, I found myself craving the foods that they were eating.  Having some grapes with a piece of cheese was a treat.  Enjoying some cottage cheese tasted amazing.  Limiting and rationing the food I took to work started happening.  I didn't have to eat all my lunch, I could save some of it.  Crazy, weird things were happening to me.  Crazy, weird, good things.

So, what can I take from all of this?  A) I'm completely nuts and get way too involved in the books I'm reading.  B) I'm so desperate to find something to help me eat well, that I'm pulling my reading materials in as a floatation device.  C)  The Hunger Games is a book written to make people feel bad about their wealth and plethora of food, and to be more mindful and grateful of what they have. 

It could be any of those.  It could be all of them.  All I know is that while reading that book, I found a new appreciation for the food I had available to me, and was a lot more mindful at what I ate and how much I ate of it.  There's absolutely no harm in that!  Am I right?

While the book is fantasy, the harsh truth is that there are thousands and thousands of kids in this world living a similar lifestyle to these fantasy characters.  While I sit here and complain about how fat I am and how I can't stop eating junk food, there are kids starving to death, trying to find any scrap of food they can get their hands on just to survive.  Those kids would literally give their right arm to have some fresh fruit, veg, bread, and cheese.  Forget candy or chocolate or chips or cookies.  Some kids have never even heard of those things.  It's about survival to them.  What sustenance can they get their hands on that will help them stay alive?

Yes, some may believe that the book is barbaric and something children shouldn't be exposed to - but there are some very important lessons to be learned by reading the book.  I know that I've found myself with a completely different outlook on my eating behaviors and patterns.  The book has somehow plucked me out of the mindset of eating because I love to eat to, and shoved me in to the reality that I only need to eat to survive.  I should be grateful for what I have.  I shouldn't abuse it.  You never know, maybe, just maybe, the less I eat - the more that will be available to those that need it.  Probably a unrealistic way to look at it - but if it works for me.. I'm going to go with it.

So, if you haven't read the book and are struggling with your weight - I suggest you read it.  Read it and soak up the fantasy that's being laid out before you.  Think about those characters.  Lose yourself in the book - and forget the junk food.  There's definitely more to that story than meets the eye - if you allow it.

I'm going to keep reading the last two books.  I have to.  They are really that good.  And, they may be just what I've been needing to help me even more with my weight loss. 

Till next time.  ;)


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Biggest Loser Breakdown - It's Finally Almost Over

Dear Diary...

Mad.  Ticked off.  Disgusted. 

Just three of many, many words I could use to describe this season of TBL - and what I'm thinking about next week's finale.  It's so bad, I don't want to even watch next week - and the only reason I'm going to is because I want to see how awesome the contestants that went home look. 

The fact that there's a 2 in 3 shot of a Britt winning the whole thing makes my blood boil.  It's ridiculous - and I, along with the majority of TBL viewers - are completely outraged.

This week's episode was about finding the 3rd finalist.  Conda and Kim already made it through last week.  Jeremy was eliminated, but given a shot to go up against the eliminated contestants for another shot.  Even though he was totally against the eliminated players getting another shot - because they "didn't work as hard as he did". .WAH!

All the contestants that didn't quit were given another shot.  The first order of business was to weigh them all in.  Only the top 8 losers were going to be allowed to move on to the next round.  Those that made it were Chris, Mike (eliminated week 2), Megan, Cassandra, Emily, Kimmy, Lauren, and Jeremy. 

Despite Jeremy's rant about no one else working as hard as he did?  Well, Mike - who was eliminated week 2 because Conda didn't like him - came in 2nd.  Right under Jeremy.  He lost almost the same amount as Jeremy - being at home the whole freakin' time.  I think that was pretty amazing.  I was praying that he'd be the one to get a spot - just to rub it in all their faces that he was gone the whole time, and could still win the whole thing.

The next leg of the challenge was a 100 yard dash.  Chris wasn't medically cleared to compete - so she was automatically eliminated.  That pissed me off a little.  They would have known ahead of time that she wasn't medically fit to compete - so she shouldn't have even been given the chance to compete.  That spot should have gone to the next person in line.  A bit messed up, if you ask me.  The first five contestants to finish were able to move on.  Those five were Mike, Megan, Cassandra, Lauren, and Jeremy - by the freakin' skin of his teeth.  He and Kimmy finished almost neck and neck.  I didn't care for Kimmy - but I would have liked to see her take him out.  Apparently I was not going to get what I wanted at all this week.

The next challenge was a puzzle.  The first three contestants that matched the food to the calories went on to the final round.  Mike finished first.  Again, the person with the least amount of time on the ranch finished the calorie/food matching puzzle in no time.  Then Jeremy got it (dang it!) and lastly it was Lauren who finished.

Last round was balancing on a pole while holding on to a cardboard finale ticket over their head.  Lauren was the first to drop.  Mike and Jeremy battled it out for hours - moving to one arm and then one leg.  I was screaming at the TV for Mike to hold on - to not let go... but the cold got to him and he just couldn't do it anymore.  He feel, leaving Jeremy holding the 3rd spot. 

With Jeremy and Conda still having so much weight to lose - I doubt that Kim will be able to pull off enough weight to beat either of them next week.  No doubt one of them will win - which will make my blood boil.

This season has been the worst by far in the history of TBL.  That's no secret or surprise.  We've known that for weeks and weeks.  But, one thing that has happened out of this season - I now realize that Biggest Loser results aren't just available on the ranch.  Those eliminated contestants - most of them - did just a good a job as Conda or Jeremy.  Mike lost 114lbs after only being at the ranch 2 weeks!  If that's not motivational - I don't know what is. 

I've realized I don't have to watch a show with a bunch of sniveling, spoiled, catty, immature contestants to get motivation to help me lose weight.  If anything, everyone of those eliminated players were better off by not having to be around those that made it to the end.  Because the Britts are poison.  They are mean, deceitful, and wicked.  I have no doubt in my mind that they'll win that money - and then go off and gain every pound of the weight back.  Because it's not about changing their lives - it's about winning the money.  That makes me very sad.

So, yes, I'll watch next week's finale.  But not to see who the Biggest Loser is.  I want to see who the at-home winner is.  I'm rooting for Mike - he deserves it.  He was forced out of the house because of Conda's vindictiveness, and still managed to kick ass.  It would be great for him to show America that they don't have to watch the show for results.  He's an example of that. 

All I know is that I won't be giving next season so many chances.  The first hint I get to another Conda being on the show - and I'm DONE with Biggest Loser for GOOD!

Till next time. ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gonna Get Lean By Eating Clean

Dear Diary...

Picture this for a second... The inside of your body is a busy metropolis.  Cells rushing down the vein highways, trying to get to work at their Muscle and Organ buildings.  A school of mini cells are learning about the importance of running the body, working in the various places of the body.  The best educated will be given the responsibility of performing the important areas of the body, while the "slackers" could be sent down below - to the area no cell ever wants to end up.  The President is up in the control center with his important staff corresponding with the mayor of Heartsville to make sure things are running smoothly.

However, like all busy metropolis areas, pollution has become a concern.  There's trash lining the veins.  It's getting harder and harder for blood cells to get to work.  The oxygen is becoming laced with obvious signs of chemicals and toxins that are polluting the streets, the water, and other areas.  The workers down in Bowel Town are on the verge of a strike - there's just too much trash going down to their neck of the woods - and it's causing some major back-ups.  The mayor is concerned and has been relaying his concern up to the President.  The President, at first, wasn't too worried - but seeing the dismay of what was once a pretty clean, well running country - is now starting to have some serious concerns.

There's only one thing to do - send out for help.  Start organizing a clean-up on the Metropolis.  Call out for assistance from those that know how to flush out the damage and restore life to a clean, pollution free wonderland.  The trash has to be cleared out of the main arteries and veins.  More water is needed.  And the oxygen in the air needs to be filtered and cleaned.   What is the President and mayor to do?

No, this isn't the beginning of a truly fantastic children's book - although, now that I've mentioned it, consider it copy written.  Maybe one day kids everywhere will be begging their parents to tell them the ending of this magical story.

This explanation is the messed up way I think of my own body.  I think of actual living beings rushing around inside of me, working their hardest to keep my body moving.  Although it's a fantasy land - the problem is very real.  There is some serious damage that's been done to the inside of my body, and unless I get some help for it - my insides are on the road to disaster.  So, what can I do?

That, my friends, is where Clean Eating comes in. 

After doing some pretty intense internet research on the subject, yesterday, I think I've finally settled on a plan that's going to save my body and restore it back to a healthy, beautiful environment.  I can flush out the chemicals and toxins by just not putting anymore in to my body - and filling my body with good, wholesome ingredients.  And yes.  It really is that easy.

Clean Eating isn't a fad diet.  It isn't a get thin quick scheme - although many people report losing a ton of weight in the early stages of their clean eating transformation.  It's a simple way of life.  Don't eat anything that has processed ingredients.  Period.  That's it. 

At first, I was a little worried.  How am I going to be able to avoid foods that have processed ingredients?  Wouldn't that limit my food choices by about 300%?  Well, after my research, I found out it was a heck of a lot easier than I ever imagined.  Being that the country is trying with all it's might to help people lose weight - the amounts of unprocessed foods are vast.  Whole grain breads, pastas, and grains are much more readily available.  Even cereals are available that are made with unprocessed grains and natural cane juice - versus processed grains and refined sugars.  The lean meats, fruit and veg are easy - they've always been available.

You want to know what stuck out to me the most during my reading?  No more counting calories!  You all know how much I HATE counting calories, right?  I went back to doing it out of necessity.  The only way I could keep track of how much I was eating was by counting calories.  Well, guess what?  As long as I stick to three meals a day with two light snacks - that are all CLEAN - then I don't have to count calories anymore.  Is it really that simple?  Yes and no.  I definitely have to be mindful of my portion control and the amounts of protein versus complex carbs.  But, being that I'm moving to a more protein heavy - less complex carbs way of eating right now... I don't have to count.  YAY!!

So, I'm making the switch.  I'm moving to a Clean Eating lifestyle.  It won't be a complete transformation - yet - but I want to try and shoot for eating around 90% clean.  The 10% will come from dairy.  I just don't want to think about cutting dairy out of my diet.  I love it too much.  But, it's hard to find unprocessed dairy products - so the dairy stays.  But, 90% clean eating is a heck of a lot better than 0% clean eating.

As of right now, I've been eating clean for three days.  I would say my percentage is about 85% for those three days.  I've had some sugar.  But, for the most part, only clean foods have entered my body - and I'm already noticing a difference.  My bloated feeling that sticks with me pretty constantly is lightening up.  I'm starting to feel more energetic.  The cravings and urges have decreased - not completely gone, but aren't constantly in my mind, either.

I feel like Clean Eating is the best option for me.  It's the only way I'm going to retrain my body to not want the junk.  It's the only way I'm going to get rid of the fat - and keep it gone.  It's the only way I can really know that my body is getting healthier.  I'm excited about it.  I know I can do it.

There will be a happy ending to my story - eventually - and I can't wait to share it all with you.

Till next time. ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

True Confessions Tuesday

Dear Diary...

It's that time of week, again, where I spill my guts of anything that I might have accidentally on purpose missed out on telling you this past week...

I confess that I'm really loving the new diet plan I'm on - if you want to call it that.  It's just eating better and writing more - but it works for me. 

I confess that I've done more writing and typing in to journals the past two days than I have in forever.  Yes, I write my blog every morning and have been doing that for almost 2 years - but I'm now doing a journal post before writing my blog, writing in a journal at work, and then coming home and typing in to another private journal.  Lots of writing - but lots of reasons.

I confess that even though I've eaten much better the past two days, I've still given in to temptation.  Sunday night it was two mini wheat muffins that Hubby made.  Bless his heart, he knew I'm not eating white flour now - so he made muffins with wheat flour. I wasn't going to eat them - because they still had a 1/2 cup of sugar in the batch - but I did.  I ate 2.  Then, yesterday, I ate a Milky Way Mini and two Snickers Minis.  Did you know that there's 45 calories in each of those tiny morsels of chocolate?  I didn't.  Until after I ate them.  Lesson learned on that!

I confess that even though I slipped up slightly each day, I don't feel horrible about it.  One of the things I love about the book I'm using is that it explains that ridding myself of the temptation is a slow process - and not one that will be fixed overnight.  If I can take my sugar intake down from what it was a week ago to a couple of mini chocolate bars... I'm doing fine.  Once my body really starts getting adjusted to the decrease in sugar, then it will notice the invasion of any amount of sugar... eventually...and that will help me stay clear of it.  The book calls it "Sugar Hangover".  The switch from an energetic body to a body that has sugar in it apparently feels just like a hangover.  Wouldn't that be interesting to experience?  My body is so used to sugar, that I don't know what that feels like - yet. 

I confess that I passed on burritos for dinner last night and opted for a huge salad, instead.  It was nothing but salad greens, grape tomatoes, green onions, a sprinkle of shredded cheese,  4 slices of ham, and 2 boiled eggs - splashed with balsamic vinaigrette - but it was delish! And oh my, was I full after I finished eating it.

I confess that I need to do more research on Eating Clean.  By the standards of The Writing Diet, eating clean just means not eating any white flour, processed grains, or refined sugar.  So, no white breads, pastas, or rice - and absolutely no sugar.  I can handle that - but there's sugar in a lot of foods... so I need help finding out what foods I can eat. 

I confess that I might do the research while I'm at work today - being that I'll be spending the day, again, in front of a computer.

I confess that I'm mentally telling myself that I want to eat more protein and really limit complex carbs.  I want to avoid breads and pastas as much as possible - because they are trigger foods for me. Even whole wheat/ whole grain versions.  I'm not a huge fan of brown rice, so I feel comfortable enough to eat that - so I might cook up a big batch of that to eat with some of my foods this week.

I confess that for the next few weeks, at least, I'm probably going to be talking about my diet plan - and not much else.  My blog, which also means those that read it, are one of my designated Body Buddies.  That means I will be talking about my feelings, my eating, my walking, etc. A LOT.  I can't promise that it will be much fun - but hopefully it will be insightful.  If I have good results, maybe it will inspire someone else to try it.

I confess that I haven't stressed about my job hunt ONCE since last week.  Can you believe that?  Since reading The Writing Diet, and beginning my constant writing escapade, I haven't really spent much time dwelling on the job hunt.  Don't get me wrong, I've thought about it - but not in a "OMG, I'm totally not going to find a job and that's totally stressing me out" kinda way. 

I confess that I'm very excited that there's only 17 days of school left, but then again I'm not.  That only leaves 17 days of certainty in my future left.  Yes, I know that I can come back to this job next year if I need to - but how freakin' awesome would it be to end this school year off knowing that I will be heading in to a classroom this summer to make it my own?  And no, I'm not stressing - just saying.

I confess that I'm really excited about the boom of kindergarten registrations my school district has received thus far.  Not that my school district shares that excitement with me - I'm sure.  But too many kids means not enough teachers.  Which, well, you know what that means, right?  I can't get my hopes up.  Who knows how each school will handle the influx of new kiddos.  But, it's at least something to keep my hopes and spirits up - for now.

I confess that I'm looking forward to my weekend.  Yes, already.  I will be walking the Race for the Cure Saturday morning with Peanut.  Then, we'll be heading to my mom's so that my mom and I can go spend the day at bingo.  P-Momma is also coming with us - which is going to be great!  Spending the day with my bio mom and my mom away from mom will be fantastic.  I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun.  Then, I'll be spending the night at my mom's house - and going out Sunday for a nice walk around her block.  Which, just happens to be out in the country - and equals a 5K.  So, could I possibly be walking two 5Ks in one weekend?

Alright, that's it for now.  As you can see, I'm feeling pretty upbeat and happy.  I'm still excited about what I'm doing.  I feel that I may be FINALLY on the verge of making some progress.  Wait, I'm already making progress.  Let me try that again... I feel that I may FINALLY be on the verge of continuing my progress to get some great results.  Yeah, that sounds much better.

Till next time. ;)

Monday, April 23, 2012

So Far, So Good

Dear Diary...

Well, I got through my first day of my new plan.  I feel that it was a good day.  Not perfect, but a huge improvement on my recent decision making when it comes to eating. 

I am very proud of some of my decisions from yesterday.  Like, my lunch for example.  I was meeting Sanity for coffee at noon - lunch time.  I knew I was going to want to eat.  We decided on meeting at Panera Bread.  Now even though Panera is a coffee shop with sandwiches, soups, and salads - I can easily pack some serious calories away by perusing the bakery or opting for a grilled panini with broccoli cheese soup - my usual go-to lunch.  I didn't this time.  I stayed well away from the bakery, and opted for 1/2 smoked ham and Swiss on milled rye bread with a classic salad - no cheese.  The total calorie consumption for lunch was under 400 calories.  I think that was pretty darn good.

That wasn't even the best decision I made for the day.  While driving to meet her, I was thinking about when I would get my walk in for the day.  I knew I'd get home early enough to go, but worried that I'd get home and want to do something very unproductive - like take a nap.  I then remembered that my gym bag was in the car - which contained my tennis shoes.  I was wearing comfy clothes, the weather was beautiful.  I grabbed my phone, gave Sanity a quick call and told her to wear the same - we were going to go walking after our coffee.

The whole time together was great.  We chatted for about an hour over coffee - regular coffee, by the way, instead of my usual mocha, and then headed over to the park to walk the trail.  As we walked, we chatted.  We talked about all kinds of stuff - including eating and trying to lose weight.  It felt so nice to have someone along side me while I was walking.  We ended up walking for about 45 minutes - double what I was supposed to.  But, when I really got to think about it - I doubt there will be many days where I only walk for 20 minutes.  That's about the time I'm just getting warmed up.

I also decided I'm not going to be a fan of writing stuff down in a journal.  I did write my food down, but as soon as I got home - I downloaded a journal app on my iPad.  It's not internet based, so it's my private journal.  I'll use the other journal for logging my food while I'm at work - or out somewhere else - but then I'll transfer everything...along with all my thoughts and feelings.. in to the iPad journal.  I write so much better when I'm typing.  The written journal will probably get quite a bit of use this week while I'm at work - I will write in it each time I get the urge to snack. 

I am loading up on salads and lean protein for lunch this week.  One day I'll go for lean meat, another day I'll go with tuna, and then on another day I might add egg.  I've also got steamed veggies to take - in case I want a change - but they take so darn long to cook in the microwave. I'm also stocked with fat-free cottage cheese, fruit, and Greek yogurt to use as my snacks.  I'm going to try keeping my protein intake up to help ward off hunger. 

At the end of the day, I have to keep what my good friend, Jenn, keeps telling me in my head: Progress, not Perfection.  That's what I'm striving for.  It's not about doing everything perfectly - it's about moving in the right direction.  As long as I continue to make better choices, things will start to move.  The scale, my clothes, my energy level...all things that will finally start moving in the right direction if I just keep making progress.  I have all the tools I need.  I've surrounded myself with journals.  One just isn't enough - and so I have no excuse.  If I feel weak, I have to write.  Simple.  Well, it can be. 

One thing that I have learned though my habits of starting this weight loss game over and over and over is that it's easier to stick with any plan on the weekends.  I know that sounds weird, but it's true.  When I'm at home, I feel more sense of power over my control.  When I'm at work?  I have so much temptation all around me.  Getting through this week - especially - is going to be a big obstacle to overcome.  I'm working in the computer lab.  That's a lot of sitting.  A lot of quiet.  A lot of time for my mind to wander to junk food and mindless eating.  But, if I can get through this week?  I can get through them all. 

I'm going to take one day at a time.

Till next time. ;)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

And We've Only Just Begun...To Live

Dear Diary...

If you've just read the title and are immediately taken to the Carpenters song - You're Welcome.  That song will now be stuck in your head all day long, like it was for me all day yesterday.  That wasn't enough to do it?  Well, then, don't let me take the opportunity away from you.  Have you ever really read the lyrics to this song?  No?  Why you must!
We've only just begun to live
White lace and promises
A kiss for luck and we're on our way
We've only begun

Before the risin' sun, we fly
So many roads to choose
We'll start out walkin' and learn to run
And yes, we've just begun

Sharing horizons that are new to us
Watching the signs along the way
Talkin' it over, just the two of us
Workin' together day to day, together

And when the evening comes, we smile
So much of life ahead
We'll find a place where there's room to grow
And yes, we've just begun

I'm not a big fan of the Carpenters.  My mother is, though, which meant I spent a lot of my childhood listening to their songs, and I now know most by heart.  I never thought, though, that there was a song more suited for my weight loss journey.  That just happens to be starting, again, today.

While out and about yesterday for my relaxing, rejuvenating day in Eureka Springs, this song kept popping up in my head.  It happened every time I thought about the new plan I'm going to be starting, every time I started thinking about as much as I'll be writing, journaling, and walking.  

While I was out, I bought some new clothes.  One thing I bought just happened to be a white skirt that has white lace trim.  White lace and promises?  I bought the clothes as motivation for when I lose some of the weight.  The skirt fits now, but it will look a lot better when I'm a little smaller.  It has the promise, along with the two dresses I bought, to make me look fantastic.

Every day that I wake up before the risin' sun, I'll be flying in to my Morning Pages and writing about whatever is on my mind.  I'll have many roads to chose.  I could chose to eat clean, drink lots of water, and take my 20 minute walk OR I could not.  I could start out my day with good intentions, and then veer off after something happens.  I could get through many days of doing exactly what I'm supposed to, and then have a day that brings it all crashing down.  

I'll start out walking and learn to run.  I know that I may start out strong, but have a few set-backs.  I know that this will be a learning process, one to take slowly - before being able to run with it.  I also know that I'll start out with meditative walks every day, and will eventually get the urge to start jogging and eventually running again.

I'll be sharing all the new horizons that are new to me with you.  The feeling I get from writing about my feelings rather than eating them.  The energy I'm starting to feel run through my veins after a day of great eating and drinking lots of water.  Watching for the signs of being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.  Talking it over with you, my Body Buddies. 

And as each evening comes, I can smile about the good choices I've made.  I'll take one day at a time, knowing I still have a long way to go - that's there's room to grow.  If I keep with it, start over whenever the need arises, not let myself fall.  For I've only just begun - but it's such an exciting beginning.

You see?  How freakin' perfect is that song?  As much as I always resented my mother for subjecting me to the droning of the Carpenters - I can now thank her.  There was something I was able to get out of all those years of torture.  I was able to bring myself to a theme song!  My theme song!

OK, so it's not upbeat and dramatic like most theme songs - but this song fits me.  It's absolutely perfect for the journey I'm about to embark on.  If you could have told me a few months ago that I'd discover a diet plan that calls for the power of writing versus eating, I would have told you that you were nutso.  But, here I am, about to do that very thing.

Even though today is day one, I wrote my first Morning Pages entry yesterday.  I've decided to create a journal just for that.  It is secret.  It is mine.  I can write about whatever the heck is on my mind.  I did it again, today, as soon as I got up.  And you know what?  It has made me feel so much more excited.  Each day, getting everything off my chest with some writing is so therapeutic.  I thought I was doing that here, but I realize that this blog is a lot more censored.  I can't always say what I want to say on here.  So, Morning Pages will happen first - and then I can think more clearly about what I have to say in my blog entries.

I have also found the writing journal I will use.  It's one I've been holding on to for a long time.  Just sitting there, collecting dust, screaming at me to write in it.  Well, now it will get its chance.  I'll be making my first entry in a few minutes when I eat my breakfast.  I will take it with me wherever I go.  I will write when I eat, what I eat, and how I feel when I eat.  I will write in it when I get the urge to eat, but it's not my regular time to eat.  I will write out the four questions that I need to ask myself before I let a snack attack get in my way.  I will write in it after my walks each afternoon, what I thought about and how it made me feel.  The journal will get lots of use, that's for sure.

In a couple of hours, I'll be seeing Sanity for some coffee.  I'm actually nervous to see her because it's been a few months since we've seen each other in person.  I've gained a lot of weight since then.  I know that she won't say anything - because she's awesome like that - but she's going to hear about it.  I'm recruiting her as one of my Body Buddies, too.  She's only a text message away whenever I need her - and I need to know that if I'm in a situation where I need to divert my attention away from food...and I've already wrote about it... I can send her a text and she'll respond with a good reason why I should forget the food.

So, I have all the tools I need to get going.  I know that I've said many times over the past few months about how I'm going to start over and actually do something about my forever creeping up weight - and then not - but this time, I truly feel different.  It's been a long time since I've felt this amount of excitement, motivation, and dedication.  The weight may not fly off me at a speedy rate, but it will come off.  I will start to see and feel the changes as long as I keep doing what I need to do.  I will be the woman I've always wanted to be... eventually.  I've only just begun, right?

Till next time. ;)


Friday, April 20, 2012

Is It Possible That There's Actually a "Diet" Program Made For Me?

Today has been a funny day. Not funny as in "ha ha" funny, but funny as in something weird happened that doesn't usually happen.

I read almost an entire book devoted to weight loss. Never, in my life, have I ever picked up a dieting book and actually had trouble putting it down. Either I was so freakin' bored that I succumbed to the fact I had absolutely nothing better to do than read an incredibly boring book about dieting OR the book was really good. Like, so good I've never read anything like it.

Which one do you think it was? Yes. It was the book being so good spill. It really was - I kid you not. I read over 160 pages in a couple of hours. I had to do my actual job in between my reading time.

The book was the one pictured above. It's called The Writing Diet. And, it's the most awesome dieting book I've ever read. It may have something to do with the fact that it's the first dieting book I've ever read that uses writing as a way of coping with weight loss. Not just that, but it doesn't focus on Do This, Do That strategies - but rather options and suggestions I can put in to effect every day to make small, successful changes to my routine and eating habits.

The book was so good, in fact, that I've decided I'm doing the plan. Me. Doing a dieting plan. Can you say WHAAAATTT?? I know. I hate dieting plans. I hate anything to do with them. But this one? It's so different.

The premise of this book mixes my love of writing with the stress of weight loss. It brings about ways to meditate, reflect, find ways to deflect and avoid stress - or learn from it. It's not all eating plans and exercise plans - it's not that at all, actually. It's a plan that's completely focused on my fall backs, taking one step at a time, and learning how to get myself out of my funk. It's very similar to the Savor book I was reading - but with a plan and actual steps I can take.

I'm going to share the 7 tools the book suggests to use to better my lifestyle. If the tools sound interesting to you - then you MUST buy the book. Or borrow it from the library like I did. There's so much more than just the explanation of the seven tools - and it's actually worth reading the entire book.

So, I'm now going to share with you the 7 tools that I truly believe are going to change my life. In more ways than I ever could have imagined. Are you ready? Good! If you're a blogger, and you like blogging, you may find that this plan may work for you, too!

1. Morning Pages. Every morning, I have to get up and write about my feelings. Well, wouldn't you know this is something I do almost every morning. The key, however, is to write about whatever is on my mind. Some mornings I may do this on my blog. Other mornings, I will be jotting down my thoughts in a private blog. It's for the purpose of expressing my deepest feelings and emotions. Sometimes I don't want to or can't share them with the world. But, I will be writing them down each morning.

2. The Journal. This is a book that I have to carry around everywhere. A book that I'll actually write in, versus typing. Each time I eat or get the urge to eat, I have to write it down. Not for counting calories, but to count how much I eat. To show myself how much I eat. And to find a way to curb some of the mindless eating. When I get the urge to eat, I need to take a second and write about it. I have to write about the feelings behind the eating. Am I eating because I'm happy? Am I eating because I'm bored? Whatever the cause may be, I need to write about it BEFORE it happens.

3. Walking. Here's where some much needed exercise comes in to play - but not because it's exercise. Every single day, I need to walk for at least 20 minutes. The purpose is to clear my mind, recollect on my feelings from the day, and try and make sense of some of the things that may be troubling me. Although, don't we all know that this is exercise in disguise? And what a wonderful disguise it is. If I go out on a walk because I need to think and clear my head, I'm not really thinking about the exercise benefits. I don't have to thing "ugh, I don't want to work out today". Instead,I'll be thinking "I can't wait to get out and clear my mind on my walk". See how that worked? Freakin' genius, right?

4. The Four Questions. These are the foundation of the entire "dieting" plan. Each time I want to eat, I have to ask myself four questions: 1) Am I hungry? 2)Is this what I feel like eating? 3)Is this what I feel like eating now? 4)Is there something else I could be eating? At first, I will write these questions down in my journal to answer them - and the hope is that after a while, the questions will be second nature. I can stop binge eating often with the first question. But, if I am indeed hungry, I can mentally weigh my options of what I should or shouldn't eat. Smart, huh?

5. Culinary Artist Dates. This one intrigued me a little. The purpose and challenge is that one day, usually once a week, I go out and explore a new cuisine or eat foods I've been avoiding. I can either do it alone or with the family. We go to a restaurant and I get something I really want. I treat myself. At first it will probably be a cheeseburger or pizza, but as my tastes begin to change - and I get used to a healthier lifestyle - my hankerings may be for fancy, healthy cuisine. It's a learning process. One that will take time, but will be something I look forward to.

6. HALT. An acronym for Hunger, Anger, Lonely or Tired. Before I eat, I need to make sure I'm not eating just because one of these triggers are the cause. Am I bingeing because I let myself get too hungry? Am I eating out of anger? Am I eating because I'm lonely? Or am I eating just because I'm behind on some much needed rest? Again, more subjects for my journal - to write about before jumping on the snack attack bandwagon. I can use my journal and Morning Pages to evaluate all of these triggers, reflect on them, and learn to tame them. I will learn not to let myself get too hungry, find a better way to deal with anger, find a solution to being lonely, and get the sleep I need.

And last but not least...

7. The Body Buddy. Luckily for me, I already have lots of Body Buddies. That would be all of you. Those of you that comment, tell it to me straight, give me words of encouragement. As I was reading, my mind automatically went to Jenn. She comments almost every day - and when she does, it's stuff I need to hear. She supports me, lifts me up, but also points out any downfalls I may be submerging myself in. Everything I need in a perfect Body Buddy. So, congrats Jenn - you've officially been given the top job... but I can never have too many Body Buddies.

That's it. That's all there is to making my life better one word, one calorie at a time. So, I know you're probably wondering "What about the eating and calorie counting?" Well, this program is designed to work with whatever eating plan being used. However, for people like me who have no eating plan, the author gives some great insight in to Clean Eating. Meaning no white flour, pasta, or refined sugar. Very similar to what I did with my detox - except all the time. I focus on eating fruits, veggies, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. I also eat three meals a day and two snacks - any more than that, and I'm bingeing. I need to write everything I eat down in my journal. I need to reflect on my eating. I need to make sure that I'm eating to eat because my body needs the energy - and it's the right energy.

That's why you need to buy the book if you're interested. There's just so much more to it than the 7 tools. But, the 7 tools and the rest of the information is what I'll be using.

I've decided to start on Sunday. Only because it's the beginning of a new week. Tomorrow I'm going out with the fam for a destress day - and I need tomorrow to clear my mind ready for my new adventure on Sunday.

I haven't felt this excited in such a long time. It will help keep my mind off the job hunting, and may even end up helping me cope with the stress I'll be going through.

Well, I just had to share. I may not be posting in the morning because of my day out - so I had to do this now.

Have a great Friday night and Saturday!!

Till next time. ;)

Becoming a "Plan B" Kinda Person

Dear Diary...

I'm back on my laptop this morning.  Not sure why, all of a sudden, my laptop internet started working again - but I'm guessing it's because it really wanted me to write this morning's post.  There's no other logical explanation - so we're going with my logic today.  That may be scary or good...guess we'll have to wait and see.

So, I've been doing some thinking.  Again, could be scary or good - depending on the outcome.  Sometimes my mind wanders in a thousand different directions, often unable to keep up with the thoughts and ideas that are going on.  That, my friends, is how stress happens.  I start thinking about something - innocently...a quick blip in my brain.  Then, I start dwelling on it.  I start manifesting more ideas or problems or make believe scenarios - that after thinking about them for so long, they start to become more and more real.  The thoughts, ideas, fears, scenarios all rewind and replay over and over - building more and more each time - until my head is ready to explode.  Along with my emotions.

That's how I end up in situations of binge eating and not exercising.  My brain gets so tangled up in the stress that the parts of the brain that is supposed to be watching how much I eat curls up in the fetal position, the part of the brain that is supposed to help me exercise is exhausted from the brain power going on, and the part of the brain that's supposed to keep me calm and collected looks me in the eyes and screams "ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?"  Not a good place for my poor brain to be in.

So, I said to myself: Self, how can we organize some of this stress?  How can we take my mind to a place that can handle the continued thoughts and scenarios and ideas that are all jumbled up in a big, heaping pile of mess?  And you know what Self said?  It's time to organize, my dear, and get some plans in place.  It's time to consider Plan Bs and Cs and even Ds and Es if we have to.

What a fantastic idea!  Self really surprises me sometimes.  Who'd have known she was so smart?

So, just like I do when I'm trying to organize my ever filling office - it's time to organizing my ever filling mind.  It's time to start making some organization sheets, back-up plans, to-do lists.  Whatever I can do to somehow organize the stress cesspool that is my head.

What does that mean?  Well, I'm going to take the things that stress me out the most and make some back-up plans.  I'm stressing right now about finding a job.  That leads to stressing about the weight I'm gaining because I'm eating from the stress from the job hunt.  That leads to stressing about not working out and burning off the excess calories I'm mindlessly consuming.  One thing leads to another.  I need to start making some alternate routes.  How can I get from point A to point B with a few optional routes?

It's time to fire up a Brain GPS.  Ew, I like that.  A Brain GPS - sounds fancy, doesn't it?

So - let's start with the job hunt.

Plan A - I find a teaching job in the next few weeks - all is well.
Plan B - I find a teaching job in the next few months - stress level will increase significantly between now and then.
Plan C - I don't find a teaching job this year, and I do what I'm doing for another year and hope that things work out next year - stress will be through the roof until my mind has settled on the fact that I'm not getting a teaching job for another year, which will be sometime in September or October.

Plan A sets my mind in to "calm" mode.  No need for alternate directions there - but B and C?  Yeah, they're going to be more tricky.  So, I have to align up other stress plans to help.

Food consumption...

Plan A - Go back to eating no carbs for a while, and really buckle down on eating clean.
Plan B - Limit my carb intake, focus on eating more fruits and veggies and less complex carbs, focus more on logging my food so that I'm more mindful about how much I'm eating each day.
Plan C - Give myself a day each week where I can stress eat whatever my heart desires.  Just one day where I can extinguish a few stress flames - and not completely expose my body to continual abuse and weight gain.

Now - you see how each of those worked?  As the stress gets higher from the first set of plans - I line up the second set of plans.  Plan A goes with Plan A, Plan B goes with Plan B, and so on.  They don't have to all align, either.  Right now, while my stress level is high, I may just opt for Plan C all the way through...until Plan A or B kicks in.  They are interchangeable.  I gave myself some wiggle room.

I know what you may be thinking - giving myself a day each week to eat whatever I want could be dangerous.  But is it really any more dangerous than what I'm doing now?  I'm mindlessly eating every single day.  The weight is going up and up at record pace.  If I limit myself to only one day to drown my sorrows - my bad eating is cut by 600%.  Yeah, I so did the math on this.  It's a lot better, believe me.

Last up.  Exercise...

Plan A - Go to the gym 4-5 days a week.
Plan B - Go to the gym 2-3 times a week, and go for a long walk or jog on the weekends
Plan C - Go to the gym 1-2 times a week for some strength training, but focus the rest of the week on walking and yoga.  Even if it's only walking for 15-30 minutes each day.

Again, the exercise gets a lot less vigorous with the increase of stress.  I know that's the complete opposite of what it should be.  The more stressed I get, the more exercise I should be doing.  I know that, but my body and brain don't necessarily agree.  The more stress I add to my plate, the less I want to work out.  It's plain and simple.  So, if I focus more on exercise that is less demanding, and more stress relieving, maybe...and I said body will start to crave more - once it realizes how awesome it feels after the work-out. 

Right now, despite it being so early in the "job-hunting" stage, I'm probably going to go with Plan C for the next few weeks.  It makes sense to me.  I'm stressed out.  I'm going to focus on eating well Monday - Friday while I'm at work.  Then, Saturday will be my "free day".  It's the day that carries the highest likelihood that I'll eat out with my family or snack because I'm at home.  Sunday will be a day where I really pull out the destress exercise by going for a long walk.  At least 4 miles.  Then, maybe some yoga outside.  Sounds very calming, doesn't it?  Let's not think about the allergies - they're back to manageable state... I'm good to go.

Also, yesterday evening I went to the library.  The first time in years - but I picked up a book.  It's called The Writing Diet.  I have absolutely no idea how helpful it will be - but it totally got my interest.  The author claims to help people lose weight by writing.  Well, I love to write - so I'm going to see what she has to say.  Can't hurt, right?

So, there you have it.  This is what I'm going to try - now.  Hopefully it will work.  Something has to, right?  I got a really nice email yesterday that really brought all this on.  It's from a person that's really pulling for me to get a job.  She's been there with words of encouragement and support for the past couple of weeks that have really helped.  Yesterday, the message was simple.  It said:  Breathe!  And it was like BLAM, my mind starting racing with everything I've said today.  I do need to breathe.  I need to refocus, recharge, and rejuvenate.

I'm going to breathe.  I'm going to remain as calm as I can.  And I sure would appreciate you all sending me some positive ju-ju and energy vibes.  It's going to be a long summer - especially if I don't find a job - so I'm going to need all the support I can get.

Tomorrow, Hubby is whisking me away to the one place in the world that makes all my stress immediately dissipate on site.  The place where I can recharge and refocus.  It's a quaint, artsy town called Eureka Springs.  He knows what I need - that's fo'sure!

Till next time. ;)


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Biggest Loser Breakdown - Oh No They Didn't!!

Dear Diary...

I just want to start out by saying that you have no idea how much trouble I've gone to in order to write this post. My goodness.

I woke up nice and early this morning, ready to start pounding away about my horror and disgust over this week's BL episode - and realize that there's no internet connection on my laptop. I don't know why. The internet is working, the router is working, the wireless thingy mabob on my computer shows it's connected - but no internet.

I decided I would try and write my blog on one of my breaks at work - no luck there, either. The computers at school wouldn't let me upload the photo I needed. So, I figure I'll wait until I get home and write on my iPad.

That doesn't work because the Safari browser is all screwy, and won't let me upload the picture I need. And what's my Biggest Loser Breakdown post without the BL pic, am I right? So, finally, I found an app that I could download to use. It cost $2.99, but if it does what I need it to - it's worth the money. So, after all that whining, I can now write this week's breakdown...and boy is it a doozy.

This week, we finally got to the long awaited Walk-Off that was originally reported by TMZ a couple of months ago. Rumors swirled around that contestants had left the ranch, walked away from the show, because eliminated players were going to be allowed back on the ranch for a chance to compete to be in the final four. Then there was rumors that four had left, but only two were allowed back. It was rumor after rumor, and this week would finally reveal the "truth" out of the rumors. Or, what NBC wants us to believe, anyway.

Let me just go right in to saying how sick this episode made me. HOW DARE those contestants try and bully their way to getting what they want! Have they never watched an episode of BL before? Every freakin' season, eliminated contestants are brought back for a chance to compete to be in the final four.

The show started off with the camera crew trying to find the contestants. They were all staging a protest, and producers got wind that the contestants were ready to quit. Bob and Dolvett were called in to try and talk to the contestants - but with no avail. In my opinion both trainers looked about as disgusted as I felt. They tried to play nice and get the contestants to talk - but had no luck.

Finally, Allison showed up with a lawyer to explain to the contestants how they'd signed a contract allowing twists to the story line. The priceless moment of this week's show was when Jeremy complained that he didn't like the surprise - and the lawyer actually pointed out the part of the contract that states that eliminated players would have a chance to compete for the grand prize. Freakin' priceless! His face showed how much he did NOT read his contract.

Finally, it got to the point of revealing what contestants were leaving. I have to say that I was not surprised a bit to see Mark and Buddy getting in to the van to leave. Their "integrity" just wouldn't allow them to stay and compete with people that "didn't deserve" to win. What a load of crocking crap! I would go out on a limb and say that every single eliminated player are more deserving than both of them put together. The amount of backstabbing, whining, excuse filled garbage those two have spewed since being on the show made me very happy to say a big BUH-BYE to both of them. Of course, that meant that AnaConda stayed. UGH!!

After all the drama was over, Allison announced that the show must go on. The person with the highest percentage of weight loss at the end of the week would win a new Ford Eco Escape. The person with the lowest amount was going to be instantly eliminated. My mind automatically went to praying that Conda gained about 5lbs... but I just knew I wasn't that lucky.

There was some working out, there was some mushy stuff where the final three got to see how far they've come, and then it was the time I had been waiting for. Since the show was only an hour long this week, it didn't take long to get to the weigh in.

AnaConda went first. She lost 10lbs. I couldn't freakin' believe it. I was so worried when Kim went next. She is/was so tiny - I just couldn't see how she'd get the 7lbs she needed to beat AnaConda.

Then, she stepped on the scale and lost 15 Freakin' pounds. FIFTEEN!!! Can you believe that? I was so happy for her. I don't know how she did it - but she did. That earned her a loss of more than 9% of her body weight. Unflippinbelievable!

Last up was Jeremy. Boy, was Conda worried. One of them was going home. She'd lost 10lbs...surely Jeremy would lose more than that. He needed 12lbs to beat Conda. He lost 10lbs. DOH!! So close, yet so far away.

Conda then had a mini-meltdown and spewed out how Jeremy deserved to be there much more than she did - and then had the audacity to say that he had more right to be there over Kim. Hello. Has she even been on the same ranch with Kim? Kim has worked her behind off - literally - since she got there.

But, it wasn't over that easy. Yes, Jeremy was eliminated - but he wasn't going home. Allison announced that he'd have a chance to make it in to the final 3 (yes, apparently since the walk-out there'd no longer be a final 4 but a final 3) along with Conda and Kim, he just had to perform in one more challenge. That would be against the eliminated players.

It's funny, to me, how Jeremy was so quick to leave the show because he thought eliminated players should NOT be allowed to compete for the final 3...yet, I knew he wouldn't say that and leave. Of course he wouldn't. Now, I'm just hoping that one of the other eliminated players wins next week.

Yes, I'd have rather Jeremy gotten through to the final 3, but I just wanted Conda and him seperated. And finally that's happened.

So, that's it for this week. There's only one more show left before the finale. I'm very nervous that Conda is going to win. I'll be so upset. She doesn't deserve it. She's been a nasty bully the whole time. I guess we'll have to wait 2 more weeks to find out.

I'll be back here next week - same place, hopefully not the same time.

Till next time. ;)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Someone Throw Me a Freakin' Bone Here...Preferably with Chicken on It!

Dear Diary...

I know, I know.... I've been gone for two days.  I'm sorry.  Yes, I know you were worried.  Yes, I totally expect you think I've fallen completely off the wagon and I'm sitting - right this very second - among a pile of empty pizza boxes, chicken wing bones, candy wrappers, and soda cans.  Well, don't's not like that.  Not exactly.

This week has not, however, gone how I would have liked...and it's only Wednesday.  Being gone from here for the past two days has been very weird.  Not a weird I like - at all.  But, I needed a couple of days to get my bearings... my head was spinning so fast, I just couldn't concentrate.

Monday morning, IT began.  By IT, I mean the job hunt.  And, ever since Monday morning, I've had this knot in my stomach that feels like I have some kind of worm making its way through my intestines looking for a way out - and being that I haven't lost any weight.... I know it's not really a worm, but nerves and stress.  Already.

Both Monday and yesterday morning I sat in front of this computer sending out emails to principles.  I've sent out 20, 25...feels like 100.. emails.  With each email I sent out, I attached a slither of my hope.  I was kinda hoping that as emails started coming back, my hope would get a little refill.  But, alas, nothing yet.  I've had many replies - but the senders all forgot to attach the hope I was looking for.  That happens, though, attachments often get forgotten... so now I'm hoping that one or two or six of them will realize that the hope attachment was missing - and resend it.  But, as of right now, all of the emails I've received have been nice - but have also informed me of the fact that there just aren't any jobs available at the moment.  UGH!

My plan was to not let the stress get to me, and pound it out in the gym.  'Member?  That's what I said Sunday, I believe.  I wasn't going to let the stress get me down - and I was going to use it to motivate my hard work at the gym.  That's what I said.  Wanna know how many times I've been to the gym this week?  Zero! 

Monday, I totally forgot that Jelly had a dentist appointment after work.  That can't be helped - she has to get her teeth fixed.  No biggie, I told myself - I still had 4 days to make up for it.

Then, yesterday morning, I'm ready.  I get my gym bag ready.  I'm pumped to get back in the gym.  Then, Butter gets suspended from school.  Yep.  I said suspended.  As in, I had to take him home - and he can't go back today, either.  So, after I spent about 2 hours at the counselor's office with him, then get him home, go get Peanut and Jelly from school - I'm done.  As in stick a fork in me - I'm so done - I'm going home and forget the gym.

Could I have still gone to the gym?  Yes.  I could have.  Butter being suspended wasn't a prevention from my going to the gym - it was just another heaping of stress to feed the worm in my stomach...and I bailed.  At the moment when I probably needed the gym the most - I totally ran...with some minor screaming on the way.  That, my friends, is what you call a lame-o excuse.  I totally understand that.  Weakness got the better of me - and I'm not happy about it.

Today, I'm really going to the gym.  I mean it.  Unless I get a call from a principle asking me to go for an interview - nothing is going to stop me.  In which I might run to the school - so that would get my exercise in.  Even Butter's counselor told me yesterday how some serious working out would help tame the stress beast.  But, I already knew that.  He reconfirmed that getting in the gym more often is exactly what I need right now - or going out for a run.  Whatever I can do to burn off some energy.  He explained how I could end up not sleeping well because of my stress - which I know will start to happen soon - if last year is any indication of how this year will go.  I don't want that to happen - my sleep is too important to me.

My eating this week has been OK - not great, but not as bad as it was last week.  I may have eaten a couple of fun size pieces of chocolate - and a blueberry muffin.  Foods I should be avoiding, but a far cry from the junk I usually drown myself in when the going gets tough.

If the past two days are any indication - the next few weeks are going to be tough.  Really tough.  No matter how much I told myself I wasn't going to bring myself down with job-hunting stress - I realize that the stress is inevitable.  It will eat at me between now and...well...probably August, if I haven't found a teaching job by then.  Pretending it's not there, ignoring it, or letting it reign over me just aren't an option.  I've seen and learned what can happen if I try those techniques - they don't work.  I have to channel the stress - use it to my advantage.  I didn't say it would be easy.  If it were easy, then I wouldn't weigh close to 250lbs now, would I?  But, this is a rodeo I've ridden in before.  I was bucked off in 1.1 seconds the last time... now I'm going for the full 7 seconds.  I can't let the bull win...not again.

These first four months of the year that I was going to take back control just haven't gone the way I'd hoped.  I've ended up gaining weight instead of losing it - and I wasn't even stressed those first four months.  Last year, I lost quite a bit of weight the first four months...then started to gain.  Maybe I can turn things around this year.  Maybe this will be the year of opposite reactions.  2011 - I lost weight, then gained weight, then didn't find a teaching job.  Maybe... just maybe...2012 will be I gain weight, then I lose weight, then I do find a teaching job. 

I can't give up hope - it's just too early.  I'm only two days in to my job search.  I have to stay positive.  I have to fight.  I have to focus - and retrieve back my control.  I have no control on whether or not a principle will hire me - but I do have control on every other aspect of my stress.  I'm in the driver's seat - and I can show how dedicated I am by burning off this excess weight, pushing through the roadblocks, and coming out victorious. 

Ready, set..... GO!

Till next time. ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Oh Yeah, I Still Got It

Dear Diary...

It's a rainy, blah morning here in my neck of the woods, Arkansas.  It's one of those days where I don't want to do anything but curl up in bed with a good book and doze in and out of sleep all day.  But that's not what I'm going to do.  I'm going to go play bingo, instead. 

Yesterday was very eventful.  I took Peanut skating for her birthday.  She invited a bunch of her friends to meet us there - and then we spent two hours of her avoiding me so I wouldn't embarrass her, and me trying to take myself back to days gone by when I would meet my friends at the skating rink - which was totally embarrassing, but I didn't care a bit. 

I realized that skating is like riding a bike.  No matter how many years have gone by - or how many pounds have been accumulated - I can still skate.  Pretty darn well, I might add.  Even if I couldn't go for hours - like I used to. 

It only took a few minutes for me to find my bearings - and a few minutes to realize how much exercise skating actually is.  Geez Louise, my legs were killing me 2.4 seconds in.  But I kept with it, though.  I'm surprised and a little disappointed that I'm not sore this morning.  I figured with the amount of discomfort I endured last night, I'd be sure to wake up with at least minor leg soreness.  But, alas, I got nada.

Jelly had her first experience skating with me - and she loved every second of it.  Once she overcame her fear of falling - she was hard to keep up with.  She didn't want to stay along the edges - where it was safe- she wanted to risk her life in the midst of the "big people".  My heart was in my throat more than once... but she pulled through just fine.

Peanut, Butter, and Jelly have all voiced their opinion on making skating a semi-regular family activity.  I have to agree.  It's an exercise I thoroughly enjoy - and despite being an embarrassment to my oldest child... I enjoy busting a move. 

This week, there's going to be a lot of moves being busted - in the gym.  I have to start getting back to some form of normalcy.  My allergies are better, testing is over, and there's no more excuses keeping me from working my tushy off.  The scale is still standing firm on the weight I didn't think I actually gained last week.  In fact, it's crept up even more.  I'm going to keep telling myself that the scale is mad at me for abandoning it for the last few weeks - and is trying to scare me in to not living without it for another couple of weeks.  Well, it's evil plan back fired... because staying off of it is exactly what I'm going to do.  I'm not getting back on the scale until May 18th.  My first day of summer vacation.

I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that I've lost some significant weight by then.  Yes, I understand it's only a month away - but I can lose a significant amount of weight in a month... right?  I may not be in the 16s that I want to be in... but I could be back to my 18s being a little looser than they are now.  Well, they're not lose at all right now - they are more along the lines of cutting off circulation.  I at least want to be able to move freely in my 18s. 

I found out Friday that I'd been accepted to a two week ESL academy that takes place in June.  It's an academy that will give me my ESL endorsement for my teaching license.  It's basically two years of graduate level college classes crammed in to 13 days.  Thirteen twelve hour days - in a row.  That's going to be brutal.  There won't be any time for working out during those two weeks - but I want to be in a position by then that it won't derail me completely...and set me back to the point that I'll spend the rest of the summer doing nothing.  Which means, I'm really going to have to push with all my might over the next two months.  I know I can do it.

Job hunting also begins this week.  You know that's going to be fantastic.  I keep telling myself that I'm not going to dwell on my stress - but use it as motivation in the gym and out on the road when I'm running.  I'll put myself into a meditative state of focusing on interview questions while I'm sweating my rear off.  That will take my mind off the pain - I hope.

OK, I've rambled on enough for one day.  I've got a casino to drive to - in the rain. 

Till next time. ;)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Peanut!!

Dear Diary...

Today is a very special day.  It's the day my little Peanut has turned 12.  She's no longer a little Peanut - but a budding, beautiful girl.  Twelve years ago, today, I sat in a hospital room holding my first born child in my arms wondering how on earth I was able to create such a beautiful baby.  She weighed in at 8lbs 1oz - a big bundle of joy. 

Her labor was long.  Very long.  I started having contractions at around 1am on April 13th, 2000.  Being that I had been to the ER a few times for fake labor - I decided to hold off and wait for my doctor's appointment that morning.  At 8am I was in the doctor's office - and he informed me that it appears that I was having contractions...and it was probably time to think about heading to the hospital.  I spent the entire day in the hospital.  Minor contractions weren't doing much for me - so I had to be hooked up to some pitocin. 

Hard labor didn't start until around 10pm that night.  By 1am on April 14th, I was in a lot of pain.  I had been in labor for 24 hours.  My mom was by my side - begging me not to succumb to the temptation of an epidural.  I tried - so hard.  I opted for a big shot of demorol - and was able to get a couple hours sleep.  At 4am, I woke up with intense contractions - and just couldn't take the pain any more.  I had the epidural - except, little did I know that I would totally freak out from not being able to feel my legs...and had to have it turned off to actually deliver.  So, while I did have an epidural for an hour or so - I did 98% of my labor without it - and delivered Peanut naturally.  While family and friends looked on eating their breakfast sandwiches from Braum's.  I kid you not - that's the one thing I will never forget about Peanut's birth...everyone eating breakfast while I was pushing and screaming and delivering.   

She was born with the biggest, most beautiful eyes I've ever seen - and it didn't take long for her baby blues to turn in to her trademark dark brown eyes - that she inherits from yours truly.

She was such a good baby.  Even after the arrival of her brother 11 months later - Peanut was sweet natured,  calm, and always had a smile on her face.  On her first birthday - she entertained everyone with her ability to smash in to a birthday cake...the girl didn't mind getting dirty, that's for sure.

That quality has stayed with her since.  She loves to be a "girly-girl", but she also doesn't mind getting dirty with stuff like camping and fishing.   She also loves the camera - and the camera loves her.  This is her at 7.  My she's grown up so much since...

She has a presence about her that puts a smile on my face.  For as long as I can remember, she's wanted to please others.  She's always willing to try new things - and puts herself into those things whole heartedly...

Her life hasn't always been a bed of roses, however.  She's had to overcome life obstacles - way before she should have.  Like dealing with bullying in 3rd and 4th grades.  It was such a hard time for her - it pushed her maturity level through the roof.  No matter how much people tried to bring her down, she rose above it.  She refused to sink to the demeaning level of others...and put up with tormenting, name calling, and self esteem bashing.  It was such a tough time for her... but she pulled through.

What's sprung from the depths of despair and pain is a girl who will go above and beyond to help others.  She's willing to help those that need it, including her mother.  Especially her mother.  Being the oldest of the three children, she molded herself into a mother figure...and she did more for me than she'll ever know during my years of going to school. 

She even dabbles in some charity work - having participated in the last two Race for the Cures and is planning on doing the next one with me in two weeks...

This past year, my Peanut has changed in more ways than I ever could imagine.  Being able to take her out of her old school and place her in the district I'm working in has bloomed a new girl.  She's bubbling with happiness and independence.  She fits in with the kids at her school.  She has lots of friends - and her comfort level is through the roof. 

People often refer to her as my Mini-Me.  They have no idea how right they are.  Not only does she look just like me - but everything she does,'s me from my years past.  Her obsession with music, her desire to not be lumped into a group of friends but be friends with everyone, her independence, her love of reading, her love of school, her passion, her drive... I could go on and on. 

Despite the fact that it's obvious we were cut from the same mold - she is also her own self.  She is a girl who has her own hopes, her own dreams, her own likes and dislikes. 

I know that with every day that passes - she will continue to surprise me, impress me.  She will no doubt achieve all her heart desires - and I will be with her every step of the way.

So, Happy Birthday to my wonderful Peanut.  I love you so much.  Enjoy your day - surround yourself with friends, fun, and laughter.  You deserve it.  :)

Till next time. ;)

Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm Not Sure You're Going to Believe This...

Dear Diary...

It's the last day of testing.  I'm awake, ready to go and get it over with.  It's been a very long week - and I'm ready for some serious R&R this weekend.

Yesterday was the longest day.  We started at 8:20ish and finished around 1:50.  Even though it was the longest day - I came home feeling a lot more energetic than I had all week.  You wanna know why?  Well, I think it's because I started my day out with a quick run and some light cardio - and ended the afternoon with some hard running while playing soccer.  Whhaaattt???  You say.  Oh yes.  I ran.

Before the testing started yesterday morning, I decided that I would jog around the 1/4 mile track with my kiddos.  Well, I figured I'd start jogging for a few seconds...then walk the rest of the way.  But once I started jogging - I kept going.  I was encouraging the kids to pick up the pace - and used my running as a game for them.  They couldn't let me get in front of them - a race of sorts.  I kept my jog to a slowish pace - but it was a jog.  I pushed myself a couple of times to catch up to some kids - and ended up finishing the whole 1/4 mile stretch after jogging the entire time.  I couldn't believe it.  I don't think I've jogged that far in probably almost a year! 

Wanna know something else?  I could have gone further.  When I was finished with the jog, I wasn't dying.  I wasn't struggling for breath or hyperventilating.  I could have kept running.  So, after I took the kids for their bathroom break, we came back to the classroom to do some yoga and cardio.  I took the kids through the sun salutation - three or four times.  They enjoyed it - and so did I.  Then we finished with 10 jumping jacks and 10 slow seconds of high knees.  It felt incredible.

The test was long, but I wasn't dragging through the whole thing.  I felt as if the day was flying by.  As soon as the test was over, I was ready to get outside and play some soccer.  For about 40 minutes I ran, I tackled, and I ran some more.  I was dripping sweat by the time the whistle blew indicating it was time to go inside.  My heart was racing - and I felt amazing.

Of course, then my allergies started kicking in - but I wouldn't let them get me down.  I sniffed and sneezed - but I didn't run to my inhaler... I sucked it up.  Not the snot - the shortness of breath.  Just clarifying that.  Yesterday was the first day I was able to go the entire day without using my inhaler or breathing treatments in a couple of weeks.  And it was the day I did the most exercise.  How about them apples?

This morning, my legs are pretty sore - but I'm loving the soreness.  I haven't felt it in so long.  I've been wearing my Tone Ups all week - and I will say that they absolutely work.  My legs have been pretty sore all week - just from walking around all day in them.

My eating has still been awful.  But I'm not going to beat myself up too much.  What I was able to accomplish yesterday with the running and exercise erases the guilt from the crappy eating.  OK, I've eaten way too much chocolate and cake - but I've also done more exercise than I've done in weeks.  See how that works?  I can crush a negative with a positive. 

This week has shown me that I crave the exercise.  I need it to fuel me.  I actually had a hard time falling asleep last night - and I know it's because my body was rejoicing and partying over the movement.  This morning I feel refreshed and recharged.  I can't wait to get to school and do the whole thing over again.

It's got me so worked up and excited that I'm already planning a jog/long walk tomorrow morning.  Oh, and there will be the skating in the afternoon.  I want to feel more achy muscles.  Next week, my eating will get back on track once normality is placed back in to my schedule.  And now that I know how much I've missed my exercise - I can start putting the pieces together.

I stepped on the scale this morning and saw a nasty gain.  I don't believe it.  Yes, I've eaten crap this week - but not enough for that kind of gain.  I'm chalking it up to my cutting back on the water this week, increasing my exercise, and maybe a little to do with the junk food.  The number further fueled my fire, though, and now I'm more motivated than ever.

Who would have known that all I needed to get over myself was a week of testing and being locked in a room?  But apparently it's exactly what I needed.

I know I've been spewing nothing but crap for the past two weeks.  But, I'm feeling so much different now.  Expect to see some changes in my mood, my movement, and my motivation.  Oh yeah - it's a comin'!  

Warrior Princess has taken over - she's driving this train right now.  She's back in the drivers seat - and she's set her course.  I'd forgotten what it felt like - but now I've been reminded.  And man, it feels good!

Till next time. ;)