Friday, December 31, 2010

I Got To Do A Guest Blog!!

Twitter is a beautiful thing! I don't know why I spent so much time being afraid of it! It truly does help bring people together! I have found an entire support system through their tweets! 

Twitter is also how I stumbled upon this great opportunity! Amanda at Cake and Carrots was looking for guest bloggers, and was kind enough to let me be one of them! 

Please check out my post, and her fantastic blog!

Happy (and safe) New Year's to all of you!! 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's a Slippery Slope

**My blog has adopted my slacker attitude (it really is catchy). It was supposed to post at 6am, but chose not to. Sorry for the delay! **

I know better. I know better than to skip a day or two at the gym, because then I just skip more. Not because there is a legitimate reason to skip the gym, but just because I get so damn lazy sometimes!! I know it has helped me feel stronger, and more balanced, and just plain better. But sometimes that just isn't enough to make me want to go, apparently. 

Last week started out going so well, I guess there was only one way for me to go - and that unfortunately, was down. I got up after 3 hours of sleep to go the gym. I went Monday-Thursday mornings. I did my weights and cardio. I was rocking it steady. I even tried out light dinner for my sisters' family on Wednesday, and my entire family on Thursday. I think I got cocky. 

I got up early Friday morning, got dressed for the gym, and then remembered I was late on getting something emailed off. By the time I got on the computer, typed up my new entry, and got it sent off - I had lost my interest in the gym. Then the bargaining began. "I could stay here and probably finish my Christmas sweater before everyone shows up" and "I will will totally just go to the gym after everyone leaves". Yeah right. I know myself well enough to know that I need to go right away, or I talk myself out of it. By the time clean-up was done, I helped my dad get his iPod working - it was bedtime. No gym.
Similar run through on Saturday morning. I had to make a new recipe light pesto salad, and had another family get-together. Again - I said I would go that night. Bullshit. I did get my car cleaned, however - so it wasn't a total loss.

I got home on Sunday, and then proceeded to spend Monday-Wednesday being lazy. Prioritizing getting  a new phone over the gym - like I didn't have time to do both. At least I did get all of my laundry done, so it wasn't a total loss. I have also done a fair amount of knitting. That does NOT count as exercise. I did have to give myself a break. It hasn't even been a week of laziness. That is nothing compared to some of my lazy stints. =)
I am ready to turn in my lazy ways for renewed gym dedication. I made an appointment with YC for Thursday morning, and am ready to get back at it. It is going to be awesome. I would like to formally request now Big Sexy be at the gym tomorrow. It always helps me want to go when I think there might be something pretty to look at. 

Hope you all enjoyed your holidays. Now back to reality.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holidays Are Tough!

This time of year is particularly brutal for those of us trying to mind what we eat, and maybe shed a few pounds. Just looking at the endless treats with butter as their main ingredient (seriously - - take a look around the is in EVERYTHING!) will make your waistline expand! I just send up a thank you to the wonderful person who started putting spandex in all pants and jeans, and I count myself lucky to be hitting this holiday season while in one of my "motivated" streaks. If any of you are like me - you have periods where it is nearly painless to eat well and get your rear to the gym, and others where it might take a firing line to get you to do it.

For the last couple of months there has been little or no question that I will head to the gym 6 days a week. Not counting my 4 sick days, where breathing was an effort rather than a right, I have been diligent. A few weeks ago I added "Phase 2" (eating healthy) to my plan - and it would seem the experts are correct. The weight has been coming off. Somewhat quickly. I lost 10 pounds in like 2.5 weeks. That is pretty good for me, and is probably playing a pretty significant role in my ability to stay on track. Success breeds success? I think so. 

Like most people who are trying to adjust themselves to their, still somewhat new, healthy lifestyle - it can be stressful to be out of your element for any amount of time. I have been back home for over a week now. Staying with my parents or one of my sisters. Trying to not completely take over their space, while simultaneously taking care of myself. It is tough! I have great friends who have taken me to the gym with them, so at least that part is easy. But as usual, what I am throwing down my pie hole is the biggest issue. Food is always my biggest challenge. (Pizza still calls to me in the night, and he is a persuasive little guy!) But my family has been super-supportive, and even allowed me to make a "light" meal for our Christmas gathering. (I think we may have started a new "healthy" tradition!) I am still a total spaz in the kitchen, but I have realized it isn't as difficult as I've been making it. I am just a person that needs to prep everything before I start, otherwise I get overwhelmed in a hurry.

My goal for this holiday is simple: eat the things I truly enjoy, and give myself a break. I tend to beat myself up because I ate more than my daily calorie intake goal allows. It is two days. Two days is nothing. (The problems start when I turn that into two weeks!) I am going for a guilt-free holiday season, and I think I've done well enough this week for my brain to agree to that.

Monday is back to reality. Back to the gym. Back to vegetables. I hope you all had a great holiday season! Now let's buckle back down! =)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On The Road Again.....

I am becoming a seasoned veteran at this working out while on the road. I have been back in my home state of Minnesota since last Friday. I have had a number of people who have banded together to help me get my workouts in. I appreciate all of you.

I got in some really early - well...really early to me - workouts this week. I met a couple of my friends at the gym at 5:30am on Monday and Tuesday. After some ridiculous red tape (Honestly! Who would have thought trying to workout would be so much work?!?) I now have a visitor pass, and can go at more reasonable times. I got to go at about 10am this morning, after my doctor's appointment. It was a zoo, but nice to be able to sleep in a little bit!

I have discovered that it is nice to have a friend to lift with - I was joined by a friend on Tuesday. I am so used to throwing on my headphones and doing my own thing - it was nice to have a new distraction of conversation! I have also realized that every gym has it's cast of characters. Today I was entranced by the young man who wears the same outfit every day. For real. I had seen him a few times before I left for Milwaukee, and have seen him 2 of the three days I have worked out this week - and he is always in the same outfit! Gross. But beyond that - he was also doing some pretty significant head banging while lifting, with his tongue out of course. He was also jumping/skipping around like he was in a mosh (spelling?) pit. Pretty entertaining.

I have plans to get my workouts in Thursday - Sunday, so I don't think the holidays should force me to miss a beat. I am getting this down. I will learn to live this new life...eventually. I also tried out a new recipe on my sister and her family. It was a Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese from Cooking Light magazine. It was pretty delicious.

I will be missing the next couple of days for Christmas, but will be back on Monday. I hope all of you have a great, and safe, weekend!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Different Look at 12 Bars

There exists a holiday tradition in my hometown. Lighting the Christmas tree in the town square, you may ask? An outdoor concert where carols are sang, you may inquire? No. This tradition is not so much focused on the Christmas season, as it is focused on drinking. It is referred to as the "12 Bars of Christmas". I know similar events exist in other cities and towns, but I must say that Owatonna typically has an impressive turnout - considering it is a small town in southern Minnesota.

Each year, on the Friday before Christmas, people come out of the woodwork for this festive event. Outfits - most including some sort of head piece, tinsel or lighting - are planned with the utmost care. Trying to figure out how much clothing you can wear to remain somewhat warm for the outdoor walk/run between bars, while not roasting to death once you are in the packed confines of each establishment is the most time-consuming step of the preparation process. The "rules", if such a term can be used, are to have one drink at each bar. The event starts at 6pm, and you spend 1/2 hour at each location. I am assuming you have already deduced that there are 12 bars/locations. See....I know you guys are smart! 

The first couple of bars are tricky. You are sober, and geared up for the entertainment that awaits - so many do not stick to the "one drink" suggestion. Needless to say, by about the 5th bar, most people are starting to feel it. The hugs come out to play. Much cheers-ing can be witnessed. The sheer volume tends to become more deafening the further along the route you get. And the later you get into the evening, the faster time moves. The issues of the world are typically all solved by the end of the evening.

Now normally, none of this is an issue. I am amongst the intoxicated. All of the items listed above are just the cost of doing business! This year was a little different. I am, and have been, off booze for a while now. I decided I would do my civic duty, and be the sober cab for my family and friends. Being one of only a hand full of sober people, at an event that has between 150-300 participants, provides quite a different perspective. Time does not speed up. In fact, it is amazing how long 30 minutes can seem. Ear plugs may not be a bad idea, in the event that I decide to do this, again. The volume is ridiculous. And most importantly - it is OK to take a break. Sometimes you just can't think that last bar is a good idea. Drop your charges at the door, and  come back for them. I thought the people that didn't finish this event were crazy. Now I understand. It can just be too much, and sometimes you need a break. 

Much of the evening was very entertaining, and it was interesting to take a look at it from another perspective. It was also nice to get to drive the car from bar to bar, instead of having to walk outside in the frigid temps. Now I just need to decide if I can make it through this event sober each year, or if this might have to be a "drinking" night for me. Right now I am leaning toward the latter.....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SDtS Mission 101: Week 9

Nine weeks of Mission 101-ness is down already! It is a little hard to believe! Originally, when I came up with Mission 101, I thought it would go through January 1st. I have had to readjust this plan after realizing I had more to lose than I thought I did, and then not really getting with the program at the beginning, and then still having a sizable number to lose, with only 3 weeks left. I have also had a couple of people inquire about extending it. My plan is this: I am doing Mission 101 until I get to a total of 101 pounds lost. I am hoping that will be about the middle of February. I would love to have any of you that are willing to stick it out, continue with me! 

I am also working on another mission to start when we are done with this one. It will be geared more toward activity, but as always with me - it would be nice to have some lost LBs in there, too. =) I will keep you posted on that mission as it develops.

So now...without further are the week 9 results. I would like to extend a huge SHOUT OUT to the people that sent in their results. You are all brave, and I appreciate you very much! =)

  • SHARE: My week has been good! I ate right and worked out- staying in my weight range...  It feels better to just pretty much always eat good-for-me food.
  • Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of  4.3 pounds
  • Exercised 5 times (Goal: 4)
  • SHARE: Yeah!  I lost 2 pounds this week! I stepped on the scale twice just to make sure.  I worked out 5 days this week also. Next week could be rough with all the treats! Lucky Xmas is only once a year! 
  • Lost 1.4 pounds for a total loss of 5.6 pounds
  • Exercised 2 times (Goal: 4)
  • SHARE: I have been sick! Ugh! I only got 2 workouts in this week. I did manage to lose 1.4 lbs though.
  • Gained .6 pounds for a total loss of 8 pounds
  • SHARE: If I can maintain what I’ve lost through Christmas, I will be alright with that. We’re almost done with OT at work so hoping to get back on the weight-loss train coming up.
  • Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 4.2 pounds
  • Ran 2.75 miles (Goal: 10)
  • SHARE: Not sure how this works, but I weighed myself twice & it's true! Loss of 2 lbs this week and I only ran 2.75 miles! WTF? Not complaining, but that is messed up!
  • Gained 2 pounds for a total loss of 2 pounds
  • Three nights with over 7 hours of sleep (Goal: 4)
  • SHARE: HUGE Opportunity for improvement. Terrible eating and sleeping this week. Too much going on. At least my workout this morning killed me! Bad week!
  • Gained .5 pounds for a total loss of 7 pounds
  • SHARE: Not a good week. Too many late nights at work which resulted in eating late and eating crap. Cookie exchange at work didn't help either! Must do better this week!
  • Lost 3 pounds for a total loss of 11.95 pounds
  • SHARE: I stayed away from holiday treats.  We’ll see if there is something to that.
  • Maintained her weight for a total loss of 5 pounds
  • SHARE: I am not surprised but I stayed the same for this week... not going to be upset about it though because of all the treats going around for the holidays its hard not to over eat!!! 
Jennifer D
  • Maintained her weight for a total loss of 3 pounds
  • SHARE: Holding steady...but I did get an amazing workout Christmas shopping at the MOA. I was like a pack mule! I even have "wrist burns" from the bags hanging around my wrist. :) I hope everyone is doing ok during this tempting holiday season!
  • Gained 1.5 pounds
  • SHARE: Uggg...Kind of on a bad stretch....Up 1.5 today.....Lack of time to excercise and holiday festivities are getting the best of me! As the eternal optomist.....I am SURE that things will turn around here in January! Merry Christmas!
  • Gained 1 pound for a total loss of 7.4 pounds
  • No sweets after noon: big room for improvement, ate gingerbread and chocolate almost every day
  • healthy dinner by 6pm, and no food after: quite OK (chocolate counts as healthy, right? ;-))
  • Exercise 4 or more times per week: only once, but will get better
  • SHARE: My week was pretty much OK, even though I gained back a pound. All that gingerbread and chocolate I make for Christmas... there is no one who could refrain from eating cookies fresh out of the oven. So, I decided to cut myself some slack and won't beat myself up, it's almost Christmas after all. And as eating healthy is going well for the most part, I thought it is time for phase 2: exercise. And guess what - I got a YC of my own ;-) Young Leslie actually made me breathing faster just by being there, the good-looking chap as he is :-) Yesterday was our first lesson, just a light training, so he could see, where we are starting - even so, I'm aching all over. But it is a good kind of pain, and I'm sure you know what I mean.
  • note from natalie: I cannot wait to hear about how things go with "YL"!! =) Him being good looking will hopefully provide added incentive to go! Keep us posted! And I love that you're giving yourself some wiggle room. It is the holidays...and they should be enjoyed!
  • Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 10 pounds
  • SHARE: Rocked it out this week. Feel like my eating has been in control, and no crazy episodes. Also, my weight is at a good place. =)   
  • Maintained his weight for a total loss of 9 pounds
  • Ran 0 miles (has 10 to go to reach goal)
  • SHARE: I need to get the last 10 miles in! 

  • Lost 4 pounds - have 37 more to go to get to 101
  • Exercise: YES
  • Eat well/track: Yes/Opportunity for improvement
  • Booze: NO!
  • Caffeine: Pretty dang good
Now bring on the holidays!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Letter to the Creator of Running Shorts

Dearest Creator of the Running Short,

What were you thinking? I confess - I am not a runner. Never have been, never hope to be. I did, however, play sports in high school where much running was involved. I don't recall a time where I would have thought extremely thin material, without a side seam, would have seriously enhanced my performance. I used to wear nylon "Umbro" shorts, polyester coaches shorts, mesh shorts, cotton shorts - there was even a time where I thought mens boxers made fantastic shorts. None of these made me long for freedom from the restrictions caused by my outer seams, and I would like to add that they were all less offensive. 

I am willing to accept that they may somehow be nice for professional runners. I can't imagine how, but I am open to the possibility. But the creation of this item has caused other issues. I saw a man last summer, who took it one step further, and was running around the lakes in a loin cloth. Seriously. Do you see what you started?!? 

By mass producing these items, and allowing anyone to buy them, you have caused me pain. There is an older man at my gym who wears the same outfit every time I see him. Teal t-shirt and black running shorts. I suspect he is not a part of the "professional runner" group, as I have yet to see him run. Ever. And I see him about 3 times a week. 

Instead he walks around the weight area, and sits on the weight benches. Now you and I know there is barely enough material in those shorts to properly cover his....valuables...from resting directly on the bench. 

But this fan of your work took things to a new level on Wednesday. I suspected, by the way he carries himself, that he considers himself to be a pretty big deal. He does. I was on a machine across from him when he needed to answer a call on his cell phone. Somewhat annoying, but not my issue here. While he was talking on his phone he decided to get more comfortable, or stretch, or something.... because he put his foot up on top of one of the machines. Higher than the foot of a person wearing your ridiculous shorts should ever put their foot. The complete lack of material left his junk completely lacking coverage. 

I almost started to choke, right in the middle of my set! Mr. Man was oblivious. He finally put his foot down, and I thought the worst was over. I was wrong. Yep. Up went the other foot. Unacceptable!! I can also assure you that he is not a big deal, if you know what I mean. 
Is it your fault that he violated my eyes in such a way? Not directly, no. But if people can sue McDonalds for having hot coffee, or sue K-Mart because you bought a sled there and broke your neck - then I can hold you accountable for this. I am certain of it. 

Please do me, and the rest of society, a favor. Discontinue the manufacturing of running shorts immediately. 
I appreciate your time, and attention to this matter. 

Natalie Kath

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chef Natalie, I Am Not

I have found an unfortunate issue with "Phase 2 Implementation". In order to eat healthy, it appears I might actually need to be able to cook. This is a skill I currently do not possess. I mean... I can cook...a little bit. I can follow a recipe. Things turn out edible, most of the time. But when things go beyond throwing chicken on the grill or putting veggies in the steamer, things can go downhill in a hurry. 

So last week I hit a spot where I need to take a break from chicken breasts. I swear they had been some part of my daily food intake for about 3 weeks straight, and I couldn't take it anymore. I decided last Sunday to try a new recipe. I have a magazine -  America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 - that has a recipe for light spaghetti carbonara in it. I get to use real bacon, so I figured this was a no-brainer. Right? Maybe not so much.

One of the ingredients it calls for is "Dry White Wine". Not knowing how important the "dry"component is to things turning out properly, I texted a friend who does a lot of cooking. This exchange should give you a pretty good idea of what my friend thinks of my cooking skills:
  • Me: "I have a cooking question....if I need "dry white wine", can I use the 3 buck chuck I already have?"
  • Response: "Is it Chardonnay? If so yes....if it's red no"
Really!?! I know I am not well-known as a culinary genius, but I do know you can't substitute red for white wine! I giggled for a while about that one.

So the day comes to prepare the meal. I read through the entire recipe before I start. I somehow think that is going to make me more prepared for this. It doesn't. I follow the directions, but get all spazzy when the Canadian Bacon/Bacon that is browning in the pan starts jumping ship. For real! The chunks of meat were flying OUT of the pan! 

So I got a cover on the pan while it finished cooking. Then I got that out of the pan, and put the garlic in the oil. I needed to get the wine in with it, but hadn't measured it. DELAY. The noodles were done at the same time. The garlic got too done. I was spinning around like a maniac. 

I finally completed the dish. It tasted just fine. The kitchen did not burn down. I left the salt out, so it was probably a little more bland than it needed to be - but still made me feel like I was getting something decadent. The best part? There was no chicken in it! Pasta is one of the few things I actually like left over, so I even had meals for the week! 

Next time I know to get everything prepped before I even get started. Hopefully that will help cut down on some of the spaz.

We are starting a new tradition this year. My immediate family is getting together to do our Family Christmas on Christmas Eve-Eve. I decided it would be a good time to insert another new tradition, and I am going to attempt to cook us all a healthy meal. Wish me, and more importantly - the people that have to eat it, luck!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Life is Like a Sheetcake Made of Victory

I stole the line I used for the title from Patton Oswalt, and made it my own. =) He's funny.

Before I get started on my post, I have a couple of people who sent in updates for Mission 101 last week - and I want to get them out there.

  • SHARE: I did nothing this week as far as exercise goes....had so much going on at home...didn't make time for it and should have. Fail. On to next week?? 
  • note from natalie: Instead of fail, I'd prefer to call it an "opportunity for improvement". =) You have a lot going on. Cut yourself some slack! 
Carrot Top
  • SHARE: Super hungry the last few days.  Did start taking vitamins and on day three I woke up 1.5 hours earlier than usual. This could be cool.
Now...onto my rambling. =)

Do you guys ever have this? Where every once in a while, you have a day where it feels like the world is smiling at you? I had one on Tuesday. Now...this is not to say that my average day is horrible. I am about 95% responsible for everything I encounter in a day, so if my days are a struggle, I would have no one to blame but myself. Tuesday was an exceptional day. 

I felt all bright and smiley - like this picture

 It didn't really feel any different when I got out of bed. I guess I didn't have the usual is cold and dreary outside, so I want to stay in bed forever. But as I started working my way through my day, I just felt calm. At ease. The sun was out, and it was clear and crisp. Pretty. I am not usually a fan of cold weather, but without wind it was pretty tolerable. My eggs turned out perfectly for breakfast, and for the first time in a week the roof of my mouth didn't want to make me cry the whole time I ate. (I burned the crap out of it on cauliflower of all things! Veggies shouldn't hurt you.) 

During my session with YC on Monday I asked about my workouts. I have a total of four now, but am still supposed to lift 5 days a week. I asked if I should be doing the leg workout twice a week to break up the other 3 upper body workouts, and was sad that his response was "yes". When I shared with him that the leg workout made me feel like I might die when I did it last week, his overly sympathetic response was "it's good for you". So Tuesday was round one of legs, and because Tuesday was extraordinary - it was almost easy! Well....the exercises may not have been any easier, but I had something nice to look at. "Big Sexy" - the name I have now given to the half of my EC that remains in WI was working out while I was there. It really does help to have something nice to look at. Again - - Tuesday was extraordinary.

I did my cardio, which was much less painful than it usually is after my leg workout, and headed out. I came home and made myself lunch - and even my vegetables tasted good today! Not that they usually taste bad - but I didn't choke them down while dreaming of pizza instead. 

Maybe the universe thought I needed a win? Or maybe the stars aligned to create the perfect day? Or maybe...I had a little bit to do with it? Maybe the fact that I have mustered the strength to eat well, while continuing to exercise, earned me a break? Whatever it was...I am appreciative. It is nice to have a day that is just...easy. And we all deserve them. 

How was your day great?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fat Intervention: The One Year Anniversary

Sunday marked the one year anniversary of one of the most emotionally-exhausting, uncomfortable, but also honest and amazing, days of my life. The day my family had my "Fat Intervention". To commemorate the passing of a year, I had the...somewhat misguided...idea to interview my family about it. I asked them to be completely honest - and I think they were - and I appreciate it. It wasn't entirely pleasant to read everything, but it was an entirely unpleasant experience - so that seems about right. 

Below are the questions I asked them. I didn't know exactly what I was going to do with their responses - but I decided I would do a summation of the four of them - parents and two sisters - rather than listing their actual responses. 

Q: How did it all get started? Who brought it up? Please share details from prior to FI - meetings, conversations, etc.
It sounds like my sister Wendy got the ball rolling. The responses ranged from as far back as 10 years ago. I heard about people, places and things that brought my extreme weight to issue. From uncles, a grandpa, furniture, uncomfortable conversations about my limitations, etc. The one constant was that it appeared everyone was concerned about my weight. The other constant was the fact that I was a raging bitch. Whether it was directly, or indirectly, caused by my weight - it was a fact. I was much more grating than any person needs to be. I was unbearable to work with. 
I can remember, specifically, reacting in entirely ridiculous rages when I felt uncomfortable with anything relating to my size or lack of being in shape. Because of my size, and my extremely unhealthy lifestyle, even short walks would be too much for me. I couldn't, and still can't, fit into a lot of public seating. I don't know what I was hoping to accomplish by acting like a complete bitch - but that was my reaction on more than one occasion. For anyone involved in those instances, I apologize. I am certain anyone around me at the time was wondering what the hell just happened. It was just a really unhealthy girl, reacting to the fact that her life wasn't what she wanted it to be. 
If only I could have focused that crazy, insane rage on the treadmill....

Q: Biggest concern(s) prior to FI?
I think the standard concern - beyond my health, and the fact that I wasn't going to make it much longer doing what I was doing - was that I'd be hurt or angry. Completely legitimate concerns. I mean, who wants to have their family sit them down and tell them they are certain you'll drop dead in 2 minutes because you are so unhealthy? I can't think of a person. 
My weight had been a topic of discussion before...and I had lost a decent amount of weight about 6 years before...but it came back, and then some. It is hard to talk about uncomfortable topics. It is even harder to gauge how the person you are intervening with will react. I have heard there were tears prior to our meeting. There was concern that I wouldn't talk to them, again. But I can honestly say - there isn't a part of me that wishes they hadn't done it.

Q: What is the biggest change you have noticed about me?
Overwhelmingly - happiness was the top answer. They also mentioned:taking more pride in myself, more open (no joke!), more easy-going (sometimes....), hair and skin look better. 
Now, this is not to say that I am nothing but rainbows and butterflies these days - I still have moments of being a crank - but I am hoping they are becoming less frequent. I think writing this blog, and making a choice to be open and honest about what I am going through has helped tremendously. I think a lot of the "rage", or "edge" as my sister called it, was brought on by trying to keep everything in. Now it is out there! My ass doesn't fit in those chairs! Before I would just get mad if we'd get somewhere with chairs that caused a problem, rather than using my words and being like: this caboose needs more room!
I'm trying to grow emotionally while I shrink physically...

Q: What change do you think still needs to happen?
This is where things were divided a little bit. A couple of them recognize what I have done, and see that - although I may have moments of not being 100% committed - I am still committed. I haven't completely given up, and gone completely off the rails. 
The other two are more focused on the numbers. The pounds I've lost, the calories I eat, the inches around my ass. It is understandable. A number of the things I want to be able to do, and a lot of the things I edited out of my life, are based on my size. I tried to take all of this as a positive - that they care about me and love me and want me to be able to get everything out of this life that I can - instead of taking it as another example of how I have once again failed to be the person they want me to be.
Trying to lose weight, and get healthy, is an extremely personal thing. Every person reacts differently. There are those with iron will power who decide one day that they are going to lose weight, and just do it. They never look back, they never gain the weight back - they don't take a hiatus. They make a decision to do it, and it is done.
 Then there are people like me. People who have tried, and failed. And tried again, and failed. And repeat that cycle about a thousand times. Then one day, something clicks. They know they want to improve their quality of life, and they work at it. And sometimes they work harder than others. And sometimes they seem like they're backtracking. They gain a few pounds back. They don't work out as much. They aren't as dedicated. But before they let that glimpse of a new/better life completely fade away, they pull it back together. 
And that is where this time is different. In the past I would have gained back 20 pounds, and completely stopped. (It probably also wouldn't have taken me 6 months to gain that weight back - I would have done it in a month.) I would have given up on myself, as I have a hundred times before. But I didn't. I am now back to my lowest weight since leaving FC, and I am back on track. May I have more times where I completely stall out? Yes. Could I have lost more weight by now? Definitely. Am I proud of the fact that I am stronger than I have been in a long time, and am back down to a total of 60 pounds lost? Absolutely. Am I going to continue to lose weight, and shrink the size of my posterior until I can sit anywhere I want, and do anything I want? Without a doubt....eventually.

Q: How have your lives changed, if at all, because of me & FC?
For my parents - they seem to be happy that I am happier, and my mom doesn't have the constant fear that I am going to have a heart attack or stroke. For one of my sisters - our relationship dynamic has changed. I am capable of being involved in her life in a more well-rounded way. I have the energy and self-worth now to be a bigger and better part of her life, and the life of her kids. The other sister has found herself worrying about me, and my actions, more than she did before - because we have also gotten closer. 
All of these are completely legitimate, and I do feel the same. I think, through them having to sit me down and have this really uncomfortable meeting, we are all able to be more honest with each other. I love that. And we've all heard that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, and it is true. I think I am a better daughter, sister and aunt now than I was a year ago.

Q: What did you think would change, that hasn't?
My mom is worried about a job for me - legitimately so. Aside from the weight a couple of them thought I'd lose, and haven't - it doesn't sound like there's much. *wipes brow, relieved* 

Q: If you could go back, would you do anything differently?
As I'm sure you can guess - they all would have done it sooner. I think any time someone makes a positive change in their life the first reaction is to second-guess the timing. "Of course we should have done it sooner! I could have felt this great 2, 5, 10, 20 years ago!" But this world is about timing. Things happen, when they happen, for a reason.

I want to thank my family for indulging me, and answering these questions honestly. I hope my "summaries" were a reasonable representation, and didn't piss anyone off. =) And don't worry - I won't be asking questions at the 2 year anniversary. I have learned that this scab is probably better left unpicked.

Monday, December 13, 2010

SDtS Mission 101: Week 8

Every week we have an ever-increasing number of non-reporters. I have suspected, and am now more certain, that that is because you may not have had a week you thought worth reporting? Not that I should talk. I realized yesterday that I didn't report my own info for last week. It wasn't intentional. I blame the trauma of the Galeo's salad dressing. =) I am certain it would have been a crime scene. I had been sick for a few days, and hadn't exercised. It also appeared that the only thing that was going to make me feel better was pizza. So my results for last wee probably would have been a gain.

Where I was going with this is: for any of us that deal with the constant, every day battle of trying to control our eating and exercise, and ultimately our weight - we expect bad weeks. I was hoping Mission 101 would be a way to support each other through them. I think the way I have this set up doesn't allow for a lot of "interaction", and maybe that is part of the issue? Maybe if you could ask your questions, or vent your frustration, or brag about your accomplishments - and get closer to immediate gratification, it would be better? Or maybe we shouldn't report in as frequently? For those of you that use Facebook - use the wall! There are people beyond this mission that seem to check it regularly. Someone might have something helpful to share. And share the good stuff, too! I know it helps me want to move my ass, when I see other people are doing it! So if you guys would be so kind - I would appreciate any advice you guys can give me on ways you think this could work better. I'm a little sad that we have about 50% consistently reporting in. I am developing a complex. =) 

I read this article - 10 Things You Need To Know About Losing Weight - that also has a 6 part video that goes with it. It was kind of interesting. Thought I would share it, incase any of you might like it. They have English accents, so who doesn't like that? =)

Anywho...enough of my rambling. Here are the week 8 results. Only 3 weeks remain, and I know one of them is going to be a doozie for most of us. Great job this week, and let's kick ass this next week - before we are all overtaken by Holiday festivities!

  • Lost .2 pounds for a total loss of 2.2 pounds
  • Ran 7.7 miles (Goal: 10)
  • SHARE: After one of the most exciting & craziest weeks in my life, I'm happy to report I'm down 0.2 lbs and ran 7.7 miles!
  • note from natalie: Congratulations to Gela!! She, and her hubby, just found out that they are getting a baby boy! You can follow her through my blog. Her's is "Our Adoption Adventure". You are going to be a great momma!! 
  • Gained 3 pounds for a total loss of 9 pounds
  • SHARE: Bad week, Christmas parties, people in from out of town, dinner out every night, lazy, lazy, lazy.
  • Maintained weight for a total loss of 4.2 pounds
  • Exercised 4 times (Goal: 4)
  • SHARE: I am very happy that I managed to maintain this week! I guess I felt very snacky this week. So staying the same is alright with me.
  • Gained 1.5 pounds
  • SHARE: I had a crap week! And not for any good reason. I actually ate well--tried to eat as cleanly as possible. I guess I just ate too much! Also, was sick for 3 days, and did not exercise all week. Gained 1.5 pounds. Just snow flurries, no accumulation down south here, so no excuse for not writing in. Just demoralized! 

    note from natalie: I am about to lose my mind right now. I cannot get my cursor to line up over on the left of the page. I want to scream. OK. I feel better. Sorry if this is jacked for the rest of the entry. I am no IT whiz.

    Jason (aka: Vic Amore')
    • Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 13 pounds
    • SHARE: Feeling a little under the weather this week, so I think that didn't help much with my progress.  I still brought a homemade 4 days this week (my boss was buying the other day).  I am down 2 lbs for the week.  I think the weight watchers is helping me practice some good portion control.  I did better the days that ate all my points, and it helped to lots of small meals and snacks through the day.   
    • WISDOM: One other thing that I have been reading, online and trying to practice is using smaller plates for my meals.  I always feel like I should fill my plate, and eat it clean (thanks mom)... Smaller plates give me the satisfaction of smaller portions that fill up the plate. 
    • note from natalie: this plate business is true! I do the same thing. They also covered this at FC, so it has to be true. =) 
    Jennifer D
    • Maintained weight for a total loss of 3 pounds
    • SHARE: Still in holding pattern with the weight. I'm finding it really hard with all the chocolate peppermint things put there - may face combo. And this weather makes me want to eat and hibernate! Anyone else struggling this week? 

    • Maintained weight for a total loss of 7.5 pounds
    • SHARE: I did not lose anything this week. Total loss is still 7-1/2 pounds. I'm happy I didn't gain this week. Ate out too much, didn't exercise and had too many mini cupcakes at the holiday party.  :)
    • Gained 1 pound for a total loss of 8.95 pounds
    • SHARE: GD Santa Cookies!!!
    • note from natalie: those a-holes get us all this time of year!

    • Maintained weight for a total loss of 8.4 pounds
    • No sweets after noon: had some, but not too much, except for one night, when I pigged out on Finnish sweets - still room for improvement
    • healthy dinner by 6pm, and no food after: nah, we were still working at 6, so had late dinners :-(
    • Exercise 4 or more times per week: nothing, except wading in the snow a lot
    • SHARE: Just returned yesterday late at night from a business trip. I spent last week in Finland, had very long days of work, and absolutely no time to think about food or exercise. Even so, I still maintained my weight, I guess wading in snow counts as exercise, right? ;-) 
    • note from natalie: Maybe I can develop a relationship of tolerance with the snow if I look at it solely for it's ability to burn calories! Thank you for that idea! =)
    • Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 4 pounds
    • Slept 7+ hours 5 nights (Goal: 4)
    • Maintained weight for a total loss of 1 pound
    • SHARE: I am to the point where i'm glad that i'm able not to gain wt during the holiday season. I am going to try and combine clean eating with exercising. I'm good about doing one or the other but not both at the same time. My mind plays tricks on me like "you can have that piece of candy or chips you worked out today". I wish I could sync my mind and body the way i do my i pod!
    • note from natalie: lady - you are preaching to the choir. I am about 1 week in to doing both. SUCH A STRUGGLE. 

    • SHARE: I had a good week- ate out for lunch once but it was half of a veggie sub so not unhealthy! YAY!  I worked out and made myself some veggie packed stir fry to eat for dinner (I have started to be more open to leftovers alsowhich is weird to me.)  My weight is maintained so I think things are going very well.
    • note from natalie: I am trying to have a more loving relationshiop with leftovers as well. I just can't like them, which is problematic.

    • Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 5 pounds
    • SHARE: Love the snow! Trying to eat better and move more.
    • Gained 1 pound for a total loss of 2 pounds
    • SHARE: And I've been making xmas cookies so that's just no good!!
    • Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 2.3 pounds
    • Exercised 4 pounds (Goal: 4)
    • SHARE: Oh boy you know it was a crazy week!  Anyway, I worked out 4 times this week and lost .2 Lbs.  Works for me...thanks for making me more aware of my decisions! 
    • note from natalie: I don't have anything to do with your decisions....that's up to each of us. =) Great job!
    • Lost .6 pounds for a total loss of 8 pounds

    Stephanie D

    • Maintained weight for a total loss of 7 pounds
    • SHARE: Haven't reported in a week or so, but nothing to report NOTHING lost or gain....uggghhhh  Need to work on this....
    • SHARE: Omg! I got too wrapped in the blizzard...I was up 1 this week....ugh!
    • Lost 6 pounds for a total of 14 pounds during Mission 101 (Only 41 pounds to lose in 3 weeks. I got this! haha)
    • Got all of my workouts in, with the new routines
    • Getting better with the eating and tracking....
    • Off caffeine for the most part, and no drinking.

    I'm looking forward to a great week! I hope you guys are, too!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do Work

** this was supposed to post at 6am. Not sure what happened. Sorry. =)

This week I started my new workouts from YC. He's trying to kill me. Bless his little heart - I think he may have also been on something when he put the weights in for each of the exercises. I have done most of the exercises before, some of them very recently - and some I even do more than twice a week. I did the final new routine (I have four total) on Thursday, and noticed some peculiar things:
  1. On Monday I had to do dumbbell presses up over my head while standing. I used 17.5# weights. Today I had to do the same exercises, using 25# weights. I'd also like to share with you a little helper I found today. When you are having a hard time getting the last couple of reps up, it really helps to stand up on your tiptoes. At least on one foot. Yes. I was the fool doing that.
  2. Sometimes, on Tuesday, you have to do one arm press downs. Knowing what that is isn't nearly as important as knowing that he expected me to be able to do them at 40 pounds (I got 7 done with my right arm and gave up. I moved it down to 35). Today I got to do the same exercise with two arms, and he had me set to do that with 30 pounds. Seriously. 
  3. There were about 4 other exercises - I won't continue to bore you with the details - where he had me doing way less weight than I had been doing, or he all of the sudden decided I should be so mighty and capable of lifting double of what I could.
So needless to say, I have something entertaining to look forward to tomorrow. I can't wait to ask him what exactly was going on when he put these workouts together. Granted - he was just coming off a weekend of excessive drinking with his college buddies, so maybe he temporarily killed too many brain cells?

These workouts are great, though. My body is so tired! The leg workout is absolutely brutal! I suspect it is because I have to haul my above-average sized ass up and down for every rep. Every squat, lunge and step-up. I wonder if the workouts will get easier as I drop some LBs? Who am I kidding? YC will just make me use weights to make up for it. It was nice to get to use normal-sized weights, instead of the tiny washer weights, for my squats.

When I first got to the gym, there was a girl who passed out in the locker room. It was kind of scary! I was walking toward her - she was sitting on the tile with her knees up, which I thought was weird, and then she put her head on her arms that were crossed over her knees. Little did I know, she was out cold. Two ladies that work at the gym helped her. She came to for a couple of seconds, and then was out again. I decided me staring at her wasn't going to help, so I went about my day. I guess they had to call the ambulance, and she had to go with them! Freaky!

Take care of yourselves, everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Phase 2: Installing a Stop Sign Over My Trap

I think that most would agree that getting healthy, or being healthy, typically involves two components: diet and exercise. For those of us that are built like a brick house - well, maybe not brick...more like an over-stuffed pillow house - it is going to be in our best interests to get those two components working together, to achieve maximum results. My ideal "maximum results" would be to drop some LBs, and some inches. I know over the last few weeks of working out, I have dropped a few inches. I haven't dropped nearly as many pounds as I would have thought I would, working as hard as I do at the gym. But how is that possible, you ask? Oh yeah. It is because I cannot seem to consistently stop myself from hoovering crap I shouldn't be eating down my piehole!

Now I have been going to the gym diligently (minus my 4-day sick stint last week. Anti-Shout out to Phlegm and congestion!) for the last month+. I have adjusted my day to plan for the amount of time I spend there, and even...dare I say it...knock on wood...look forward to going! It is unbelievable. But now the time has come to take on a new challenge. Well, maybe not new. It's an old challenge...that keeps coming up. Now it is time to retake on the challenge of eating well, affectionately named "Phase 2", while simultaneously going to the gym and workin' it. This is not to say that I have been eating nothing but bad for the last few weeks. I have eaten well...some of the time. But I have also had many moments where I did not. I haven't eaten much "fast food" - which is usually my nemesis. Pizza has been my biggest culprit. But no more! 

I have spent the last 2 days digging through my cookbooks and magazines, and have decided on the first 5 things I am going to make. I will definitely share them with you, if they are delicious. It was while reading through the recipes that something dawned on me. I think I might hate cooking. I know I hate baking. I was banned from baking as a kid because I was so sick of it by the time I got the cookie dough mixed up, that I wouldn't take the time to make individual cookies. 

I fear the same goes for cooking. I tend to make things that can be ready in 5 minutes, with minimal ingredients, that are very easy to make - which means I eat about 5 things...repeatedly. No wonder I'm not super-jazzed about eating well! It is time for me to get over it, and expand my horizons. There is no time like the present to figure out a way to enjoy, or at least tolerate, more involved food preparation.

It's time to add the nutrition phase into my life on a much more frequent, permanent, basis. I would never call my time at the gym wasted, but I could do things outside the gym to make it more beneficial. It is time to stop thinking it's OK to eat what I want because I went to the gym. Life for this fat girl doesn't work that way.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Liars, Liars!!

When I was at FC, there had one salad dressing there that was absolutely delicious. They ran out of it for about a week and a half, and the place was in an absolute uproar! I have shared the name with anyone that would listen to me. It is fantastic. It had the flavor of a full-fat, regular dressing - but it wasn't! It is low calorie, low fat and low-sodium! Or is it? 

The label tells us that one tablespoon of the Caesar contains: 14 calories, 1g fat, 56 mg of sodium.
In real life, according to a new test, one tablespoon contains: 120 calories & 11g fat (I hate to even figure out what the sodium level is at)

How, in the year 2010, is this even possible? Isn't it illegal? How many other people are lying on their labels? Not that I am blaming my fatness on the fact that this label is wrong...but I would like to think I could trust what I am seeing in front of me.

Now what to do with the 5 bottles of this crap that I have left?!?! 

Sorry for such a downer of a post. I am sad.