Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just Stuff I Want To Mention

I have to bring attention to Melissa’s Adventures In Kids, Knitting, And Weight Loss because today she met her final weigh-in goal!!! This fabulous lady has dropped over forty-five pounds and deserves to be congratulated for her hard work, so pop by if you have a chance!

I am thinking that I may try doing a bit of a longer walk today since my blister is mostly cleared up. I believe if I put a bandage over it and wear thick socks that should do the trick. I will, however, be stopping if I find the pain is still there since I don’t want to aggravate the injury – and, yes, I too am amused that I am calling a little blister an injury, but I wasn’t sure what else to call it!

I am a little behind in reading blogs, but am going to do my best to catch up today. It is so easy to lose track of how people are doing after only a short time. Off I go to read some now!

Exception Of Perception

Dealing with the perceptions of other people has been an interesting part of losing weight. I struggle with my own personal insecurities and critiques, so discovering that in addition to my own thoughts that many others seem to have distinct impressions in regards to my health choices has been very challenging.

One close friend has completely ignored the whole thing. I mean, really and truly, has not said one word about the different choices I have been making nor about the weight that has come off so far. I have asked her on multiple occasions to accompany me on walks – which was never something that I would have pursued in the past – yet she remains unmoved to comment on any of the things I have changed.

The truly odd bit is that she has remarked on my husband’s weight loss. I could accept her just being unobservant, but with her noticing his decreasing waistline, it makes me wonder if she is not saying something to me on purpose. Her demeanor when I have touched on topics of nutrition or exercise of late has bordered on scepticism. I am curious if she is expecting me to fail and, if so, if that is why she remains silent.

My mother is another person who threw me recently with her take on my weight loss. About two weeks ago, she asked me what I was down to on the scale. When I told her she was shocked. She had thought that I was at least under two hundred pounds, perhaps even closer to one-ninety. Then I was shocked!

I couldn’t believe that my mom had erroneously estimated my weight by such a large number. I was pleased in the moment, thinking that I carry it as well as I have always suspected I am fortunate enough to, but that emotion was quickly replaced by confusion. Have others always seen me as someone so different than who I really am? Perhaps some believe that I am closer to three hundred pounds. Maybe a few have been put off in the past by my disinterest in activity - not understanding that I was much heavier than they perceived - and never realized that I was hauling around fifty pounds more than they thought. I never realized that others might see me as something I am not.

One last – slightly more detailed – example of this odd misinterpretation has to do with a different friend. Always encouraging about my intended weight loss and exercise plans in the past, she has seemed concerned since I began actually working towards my goals. I don’t believe she thinks I am going about this in the right manner.

The weird part is that a lot of my ideas on how to make walking this path sustainable came from conversations I had with her. She was the one who encouraged increasing my intake of whole foods, moving away from processed items, and implementing walking as a regular activity. These are all basic ideas, but they are ones that have paid off enormously and it helped to talk with her about utilizing them before embarking on this journey.

Yet, on a couple of different occasions that I have seen her, she has actually brought more indulgent foods up to my mouth to hand feed me and have me try them! I am certain that it is coming from her concerns that I not deprive myself. The bit that I believe is being misunderstood is that if I didn’t say no to at least some of my cravings, I would not lose any weight. Plus, I have yet to feel deprived on this journey because of the different mindset that I have this time around; I can always have ‘it’ later, if I so choose.

I think that she views all of these very large changes as dangerous territory. Maybe I am misunderstanding something myself, but it is my belief that her worries stem from not wanting to see me give up if it is too hard to maintain. But I am confident that the decisions I have been making are ones I can repeat indefinitely. I needed to completely change my lifestyle and that is what I have done; this isn’t a diet or a temporary increase in fitness, but a different way to live.

I know with certainty that every one of the individuals I mentioned here are great people who love me very much. I value them as important parts of my life and care about each of them deeply. I just find it interesting that the further along this path to a better me that I go, the louder the perceptions of my friends and family seem to echo. Maybe they are taking more notice now that I am caring for my body, or perhaps it is I who has suddenly become more aware of what the people around me are thinking.

It is admittedly a bit more pressure than I was expecting. It never really occurred to me that my losing weight would result in having to contend with the reactions of others. But, I have already cleared away over thirty-five pounds so I know that I have room for whatever people want to put onto my shoulders. I can take it... bring it on!

- 8 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 peach
- 1 mug of decaffeinated tea with milk and honey
- 2 cups of lemon and garlic green beans
- 1/4 cup of pan fried scallops
- 3/4 cup of fat free lemon chiffon yogurt with 1 cup Rice Krispies
- 2 1/2 cups celery with 2 Tb. light peanut butter
- 4 large crackers
- 1 plum

- 55 minute walk
- 4 sets of 30 stomach crunches (2 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)
- 3 sets of 10 knee push ups
- 3 sets of 15 lunges for each leg

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Honey, I Shrunk My Butt

I was one of a handful of lucky recipients to be given a choice of two different awards from the fabulous Jenn at her wonderful blog, Watch My Butt Shrink. It took me a little consideration until I reached my decision, but eventually the temptation of a shiny, new badge just couldn't be passed up! Thank you so much, Jenn! Honestly, every little bit of recognition that I have been given has added more and more to my motivation to be successful on this journey, and I am exceedingly appreciative to everyone for their support. You are all an inspiration to me!

Blah, Blah, Blah...

I have tried a few different times to post something half way intelligent or thoughtful and just keep coming up short. I think I need to put the ‘get a good night’s sleep’ part of the plan for better health into action.

I did pretty well today and managed to pump out a full hour on the recumbent bike which is a first. I am still nursing a blister on my left foot so I am trying to stay away from walking really long distances for another day or two though. The variety of exercises that I do seem to be covering any lag that may have occurred with cutting out my walks for a few days.

I didn’t enjoy having fewer meals today, but I was full from the eggs I had first thing in the morning and the feeling stayed with me through a large part of the day. It left me feeling pretty low on energy. I think I’ll be trying to stick with something a little lighter for breakfast and follow it up with a heaver option a couple hours later. That eating pattern seems to be working better for me right now.

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 2 egg omelet with tomato, garden pepper, onion, grated cheese, and pepper
- 1 mug of tea with milk
- 6-inch sub on a whole wheat bun with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard, mayonnaise, and pepper
- 1 plum
- 2 1/2 cups of steamed broccoli with margarine

- 50 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (both 25 minutes long)
- 1 hour on the recumbent bike

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quick Thoughts In Point Form

  • I am low on produce so I am hoping to walk to the grocery store tonight for a combination of healthy shopping and exercise.
  • I finally had to turn the heat on today which makes me worry about the weather changing and having fewer options for outdoor activity.
  • I ate heavily early on which has left me feeling significantly less snacky that usual.
  • My next progress pictures will be taken in less than a week and I don’t see any real difference in the mirror which concerns me; I wonder if the problem is that I am not doing enough to lose inches or if I am just being too critical of myself.
  • My energy is not very high today.
  • I noticed yesterday that when I get off the ground from doing crunches or something, I don’t struggle nearly as much to haul myself up and my knees don’t creak and ache like they were.
  • I just realized that my followers list for this blog passed fifty today which makes me really happy and appreciative that I have so many great readers out there!

I Deserve This

Something that has really struck me over the last couple of weeks is that I am beginning to feel like I deserve to be active. I recognize that probably sounds really bizarre, but the truth is that I am not sure that I felt like I had the right to be working towards a fitter body until very recently.

I feel like I am only now starting to realize that I can go jogging on the street, walk into a gym’s weight room, or participate in an aerobics class. I do not believe that these options were always available to me. I know now that those types of thoughts were born not because of any shortcomings in society, but from within myself.

I got to a point where I no longer felt that I belonged anywhere that people were trying to improve their physiques. I figured that if I was caught in those places, doing those things, I would be viewed as a joke. How did I ever reach such a dismal perception?

I’m not sure if it was because it was easier to believe that other’s would laugh at or feel sorry for me if I tried to get in shape that allowed me to sit stagnant for so long. Or maybe it was due to the media’s representation of what typical women look like. It could have even been because I do remember the occasion offhanded comments from friends who perceived themselves – at under one hundred and fifty pounds – as fat, yet expressed their own hesitation to work out anywhere near those who were truly in shape. Really, the reasons behind the flawed mental process don’t much matter. What does count is that I somehow got it into my head that I didn’t deserve to be fit.

Now I know better, and I hope I never experience that pitfall again. Why would I ever second guess doing something that is exceptionally positive because of concerns over what others may think? I can’t imagine ever doing this again, especially considering that those types of thoughts are my own, not seeds planted by comments or looks from the individuals I was afraid would mock me! My imagination went unchecked for too long, but I am resigned to using my logic and reason from now on when worrying about such unfounded suspicions.

I deserve to be active. No one can take that away from me… not even myself.

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 3 cups of beef and broccoli
- 1/4 cup caramel macchiato soy milk
- 3 cups of salad with lettuce, tomato, onion, green pepper, cucumber, deli turkey, grated cheese, and fat free honey mustard dressing
- 2 cups of carrots with light ranch dressing
- 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat spaghetti with mushroom tomato sauce
- 1 small slice of whole grain bread with margarine
- 1 heated pear with cinnamon
- 1 mug of decaffeinated tea with milk

- 5 sets of 15 lunges for each leg
- 5 sets of 15 squats
- 10 sets of 30 stomach crunches (4 straight, 3 right, and 3 left)
- 10 sets of 10 knee push ups
- 12 sets of walking up and down stairs (not all at one time)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It Wasn't The Water

I'm running late for something so I don't have time for more than a few words. I will say that I was a little worried that the weigh-in yesterday would prove to be not much more than water weight lost in the sweat created by my super long walk. However, I am pleased to see that the scale continued being kind this morning, so I feel safe in saying that it was a genuine loss. Yay! It's amazing how motivating the successes themselves are on this journey. This is a continuous cycle that I could definitely enjoy being stuck within!


I started this journey with over a hundred pounds to lose. This is the one hundredth post for this blog and if I live to be a century old, I know that the list that follows will still be valid and will help me maintain the weight that I am currently working towards. I am recording here a hundred reasons for creating the healthier lifestyle that I yearn to achieve. A little more than one hundred days before starting this online journal I weighed the heaviest I ever have, but every one of these motivators has helped during that time to get me onto a better path. I will do this!

- ability to inspire
- acceptance of self
- activity level
- appearance
- appreciation of being alive
- blood sugar
- body mass index reading
- brain
- breathing
- capabilities
- capacity to model healthy choices
- chance to learn
- character
- cholesterol
- comfort
- commitment
- confidence
- creaky knees
- discovery
- double chin
- drive
- embarrassment
- emotions
- endurance
- energy
- enjoyment
- enrichment
- enthusiasm
- evolution
- expectations
- experience
- family
- fears
- fitness
- flabby arms
- flexibility
- focus
- friends
- future
- future children
- future grandchildren
- goals
- good sense
- habits
- happiness
- health
- heart
- holistic welfare
- honour
- hope
- humor
- husband
- hydration
- integrity
- irrational thoughts
- joy
- life
- long term goals
- love of life
- measurements
- memories
- mind
- moderation of food
- motivation
- nutrients
- participation level
- peace
- perceptions
- personal growth
- photographs
- possibilities
- potential
- pride
- quest to be the best me that I can
- range of movement
- readers
- reality
- recognition of effort
- reflection
- sanity
- satisfaction
- self
- self-control
- self-esteem
- sense of worth
- sexuality
- shopping enjoyment
- socialization
- sodium levels
- spirit
- stamina
- strength
- stubbornness
- style
- thunder thighs
- tone
- ultimate success
- waistline
- weight
- well-being

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 pear
- 3 cups of beef and broccoli
- 3/4 cup fat free strawberry yogurt with 1 cup of Force Active cereal
- 2 cups of celery with 2 Tb. light peanut butter
- 1 orange

- 10 sets of 30 stomach crunches (4 straight, 3 right, and 3 left)
- 10 sets of 10 knee push ups
- 5 sets of 15 lunges for each leg
- 5 sets of 15 squats
- 2 sets of 5 minutes of weight lifting with 5 lbs per arm

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weigh-In For Week 7

Not sure if it was correcting my intake of oily foods, the fact that I did such a huge walk yesterday, or a combination of both, but this morning I weighed in at 227.6. I was expecting a much smaller loss than that so I am really happy! This new number means that I am out of the 230’s, which is where I was at when I got married. I have never been a 220-something wife until now! This weigh-in also signifies another huge milestone: over a ten percent drop in my weight since I began this blog. I am feeling very fortunate that things have been going so well on this journey and I can only hope that I continue to see this downward trend. Who knew I would enjoy being such a loser?

You're Never Going To Believe This...

There is a particular section of paved walkway that extends for a long distance along the shoreline in my area that I have been debating tackling for a couple of weeks now. It is long. That has been my hesitation up until now.

Today, I found myself with an unusually large chunk of time that I was able to reserve for just myself. I had been expecting to be tied up for the majority of the day, but – life being the unpredictable lot that it is – I ended up having half my day free. What to do?

Well, obviously I combined my fortuitous availability with my desire to attempt the excessively lengthy route. I succeeded! I almost gave up a couple of different times, but I drew strength and determination from somewhere and finished the whole thing!

So, how far was it? Twenty-five kilometers! I am not joking. Trust me, my throbbing feet are a testament to the seriousness with which I write the fact that I walked for twenty-five kilometers today. I just love saying that! I walked twenty-five-freaking kilometers! Woo hoo!!!

So the details are that the section I am speaking of took me four hours and twenty-five minutes while the entire walk was actually a little over twenty-five minutes longer than that for a total of nearly five hours. To say I am tired would be a serious understatement. I have the shoreline path route on a map, and I used a piece of thread and the scale to figure out that it was 22.8 kilometers (14.2 miles) long. In addition I had to walk about a kilometer to get to the starting point and a little over another kilometer once I finished the trek to make my way to a suitable stop point. So – based on my average speed and another look at the map, thread, and scale – I estimate those portions of the journey to tally at 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) This all totals at exactly 25 kilometers or over 15.5 miles!

I took three breaks during the time I was walking – one was twenty minutes long, the second fifteen, and the final one just five minutes. I did not include the time that I took for those breaks in my final tally of minutes; I only counted the time I was actually walking. The first break was a little less than halfway through and I used the time to refuel with a snack and water. I’m pretty sure I would not have made it to the end if I hadn’t stopped to get some food in my stomach, so I am really happy that I listened to my body's needs.

Once I got home I headed straight for the bathtub and soaked my poor hips, legs, and feet. I have a blister on my left heel, but am hoping that it is the only thing that ends up hurting tomorrow. Yeah, right. I’m going to be in some serious pain come morning, I think. You know what? It was totally worth it!!!

- 8 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 peach
- 3 cups of salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mushroom, broccoli, grated carrot, grated cheese, croutons, and light ranch dressing
- 1 cup of fruit salad
- 3/4 cup fat free mixed berry yogurt
- 1 egg omelet with pepper and 1 cup tomato, garden peppers, and onion mixture

- 4 hour and 50 minute walk (with 3 breaks – not included in final time)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Keeping My Word

I have been awarded the fabulous Honest Scrap award for the second time by Tammy, and I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to her and to all of my wonderful readers! You are all such a driving force behind this journey of mine and I really couldn’t do it without you and your words of encouragement and advice. I am so happy that I have found a place where I feel comfortable posting my thoughts without feeling the need to censor anything and you all play a huge role in that. I was also given this badge of recognition a couple of days ago, so I already created my list of ten amazing blogs to pass this award onto – as well as my list of ten true things about myself – and it is available to read at that prior post. Thanks again!

As far as looking into the C25K program goes, I kept my word. I already knew that the abbreviation stood for Couch-to-5K, and I understood that the basic concept is to get none runners off of their sofas and into a regimen that slowly builds up their stamina until they are able to participate in a thirty minute run. But until tonight that was the extent of my knowledge on the subject.

What I discovered today is that the program is also designed to allow people to measure their running intervals through either distance or time. I really like that concept and can pretty much guarantee that I would be going by minutes rather than meters. I know I will prefer having the luxury of still feeling accomplished even if I have a day where I am trundling along at half the speed I normally would.

Honestly, it is a little daunting to finally see the actual schedule because weeks seven, eight,and nine have no walking breaks in them at all. I was expecting the last week to look like that, but had thought all sessions prior to then would include the slower paced intervals. So many people have been successful at it though, so who am I to argue?

I haven’t yet made the decision about whether or not to participate in the C25K program or not. I think I need to mull it over in my head for a few days. I also want to investigate where to get the running podcasts that I keep hearing about since that would be an important part of adding enjoyment to jogging. I know that they also exist to help participants know when to switch from walking to running and vice versa, which would obviously be very helpful. Yeah, I’m just not sure… I need to think about it.

I am up earlier than usual tomorrow and have quite a bit of running around to do so I am not certain I will have a chance to post early in the day. I’ll do my best, but rest assured that I will stay on plan and report back in the evening if not before.

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 4 prune plums
- 2 pan fried mustard chicken thighs
- 1 cob of corn with margarine
- 1 small slice of whole grain bread with light peanut butter
- 2 1/2 cups of Caesar salad with light dressing, croutons, and 1/2 cup of baby shrimp
- 1 1/2 cups of celery with fat free rancher’s choice dressing

- 50 minutes mowing the lawn
- 30 minutes on the recumbent bike
- 4 sets of 30 stomach crunches (2 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Procrastination Versus Accountablilty

I have been procrastinating on looking into the C25K program for some reason. I'm not completely sure why, but I suspect that it may have something to do with a fear of the commitment that it would take to do such a specific regimen. I like that so far things have been simple and largely unregulated. I think I am also afraid that if I fail, I will feel like a failure at all of this. I know that it's not the case and that not everyone is good at everything, but I am still struggling with making that logical thought jive with my less rational feelings.

So, I am writing these reflections down in this online journal to force myself to at least investigate what the program is all about. Health wise, I know that I have already come a long way from where I was such a short time ago. I'm not sure I would describe myself as healthy yet though, and I love the idea of one day being able to do exactly that. I think taking up jogging would be a great way to achieve that aspiration.

So, regardless of whether I start the program shortly, forget about it all together once I have more information, or decide on a time frame to prepare myself prior to adding it to my workout routine, I will look into what the program entails today. I need to be accountable not only for maintaining the healthy habits I have already formed, but also to continue looking for ways that will increase the number of tools that I can utilize in my progression to a better me.

The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost ~

This well known poem has been one that I repeatedly pull out of my repertoire of literary works at important moments in my life. It is a piece of writing that beautifully illustrates the power of decision and the importance of walking the correct path.

I have chosen my road wisely this time; so often I felt like that first route – the one that I always wandered along before this most recent journey – was cyclic in nature. In years past I have repeatedly walked down the same path… and always ended up right back at the beginning. Perhaps more accurately, I have travelled, circled, and ended each trek further back than I was at my original starting position.

But this adventure will not end in the same manner. This time, I have finally learned that that all too familiar road will never get me out of the woods. This time, I needed to make a different choice.

So I did. I walked boldly down the second route, confident that I was on a pilgrimage that would change my life. Happily, I take comfort in the author’s immortal words and I too know, “how way leads on to way,” and thus doubt, “if I should ever come back.” I can’t. How could I ever again justify strolling along a trail that I know will lead me further and further from my destination?

This path will end at some point; my weight loss goal will be met. Yet, with the spirit of this work I carry forward knowing that there will be many other routes to choose from afterwards - many connecting roads, forking trails, and even fallen logs that may occasionally block my way until I find an alternative avenue. I will trip over roots and rejoice in the flat, easy portions of the trails. I shall continue my expedition in other ways; I will maintain my loss and live my life with the healthy adaptations that I am learning now. The sights I see on this leg of my journey will undoubtedly effect the rest of it.

And eventually – when I am successfully maintaining the improvements in health that I am gaining now and celebrating the memory of when I got to my goal weight – I will know with unwavering certainty that when I stared down two distinctly different roads that “ I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 peach
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with sliced deli turkey, grated cheese, cranberries, green leaf lettuce, fat free Miracle Whip, and mustard
- 2 1/2 cups of Caesar salad with light dressing, croutons, and 1/2 cup of baby shrimp
- 3/4 cup fat free peach yogurt with 1 cup cinnamon pecan cereal

- 1 hour and 10 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (40 minutes long and 30 minutes long)
- 30 minutes on the recumbent bike
- 1 set of 5 minutes of weight lifting with 5 lbs per arm
- 7 sets of 30 stomach crunches (3 straight, 2 right, and 2 left)
- 3 sets of 10 knee push ups

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Little Less Scale Stagnation, A Little More Action Please

I am feeling really frustrated with the scale this week. I had a decent loss the day after my last weigh-in, but the three days following that have barely showed any change in number at all. I feel like I am getting a pretty good combination of my exercises and have even added in a step video (without the use of a step) a couple of times. I’m fairly confident that the problem is not my activity level.

Looking at my food intake for the last few days I see that I have been less concerned about my oil and margarine portions, and I remember thinking last week that it would be easy to add in calories using these substances to top myself up to a more typical caloric range. I have pretty much put that issue to bed, but figured that being less reserved when using these products would allow me to sit closer to the average intake of a low calorie diet while having no real impact on my weight loss. Was I wrong?

One other thing that I have been doing differently is that the last couple of nights I have eaten my last snack even though I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry. I was doing this to avoid having my body go into the starvation mode that I have been warned about, but now I’m wondering if it is just a needless adding of calories. Is it enough of a change to bring my progress to a virtual halt?

I am not looking forward to this Saturday’s weigh-in. I know that I will still have a loss, and I am pleased with that, but I have been enjoying consistently higher drops thus far and am sure that the scale will reflect a much slower rate this time. I will make the effort to return to my previous use of oil and margarine over the next couple of days and see if that helps. I just wish I would see a bigger loss this weekend than the one I am expecting.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

The lovely and generous Katie J. commented on my second to last post to let me know that I have been presented with the fabulous Honest Scrap award! Apparently this particular honour is given to recognize blog writing that comes from the heart. Thank you so much, Katie! As with all of the blog awards I have come across, this one comes with it’s own set of guidelines:

1. “The Honest Scrap” award must be shared!
2. The recipient has to tell 10 true things about themselves.
3. The recipient has to pass along this prestigious award to 10 more bloggers.
4. Those 10 bloggers all have to be notified they have been given this award.
5. Those 10 bloggers should link back to the blog that awarded them.

Hmmm… you know this really does get harder the more online journals you read. Alright, I have my blog roll plus a list of sites that I check on a fairly regular basis, and I am not one to keep up with blogs that I don’t think are fabulous. In fact, I should note that most of the blogs I find myself looking forward to reading change from day to day, depending on what I am looking for, what I think is inspiring, or what makes me laugh. But, if I absolutely had to choose my ten favorites – keeping the spirit of the award in mind, of course – I would have to say that this evening they are (in alphabetical order):

I’m not sure what types of things people may be interested in knowing about me. My tendency so far has been to avoid putting in a lot of random tidbits about myself into posts because I don’t want to weigh down (pun intended) this blog with unnecessary content. Then again, I like the holistic approach to things so if I must expose myself, let’s make it worth it, shall we?

1. I love philosophical discussions. I think the exchange of idea and opinions in a non-judgemental environment is one of the most important things that we can do for one another. I may not share your point of view, but I am always eager to hear more about it.

2. I really and truly love doing things for other people. I wish I had more time to show my friends and family how special I think they all are. I even enjoy doing stuff for some of the individuals in my life who I am less fond of and sometimes try to come up with ways to make random people on the street happier and more fulfilled.

3. I am an ex-smoker. My fingers are no longer yellow, my clothes do not stink, and I have probably added years onto my life because of this difficult accomplishment, yet every once in a while I’m fairly certain I would kill off most of my closest friends for the chance to enjoy just one more cigarette.

4. I am very open when it comes to discussing sex. I don’t think I have ever been shocked by anything that I have heard on the subject, and I consider a healthy sex life one that must include good communication. I have had many, many friends ask me for advice on topics along these lines they would never bring up to other people.

5. I have a very simple silk-lined box that my husband painted for me years ago. He is not crafty, but he knew it would mean the world to me if he put in effort that went outside of his normal comfort zone in creating the gift. That box is – and most assuredly always will be – one of my most prized possessions.

6. I have a strong aversion to prejudice in any form. I especially have a hard time extending my normal empathy to someone who sees it necessary to drag physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, mental, or cultural differences into a discussion when their intent is to belittle or generalize.

7. I don’t think a lot of people get my sense of humour. I tend to be really quick with puns and it often seems to leave people thinking about the joke, and by the time they catch up the time to laugh has passed. I find most individuals don’t give a w(h)it for that type of humour… hello?… see! Sometimes that makes me sad.

8. I quit biting my nails after thirty years of chewing them down to the nubs. I think it makes my hands look nicer, but I still put them up to my mouth once in a while and think about how much of a stress reliever it would be to just gnaw them all off again.

9. I never used to cry easily, hug often, nor tell others what they meant to me, but I have completely reversed my behaviors regarding these examples of emotion. I now feel free to show my grief or joy through tears, comfortable to demonstrate my affection for others through touch, and at peace with regularly telling the people who matter that I love them.

10. I would like it to say on my tombstone something to the effect of, “She brought joy into the lives of others.”

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 3/4 cup fat free mixed berry yogurt
- 1 apple
- 1 1/2 cups of steamed asparagus with margarine
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with sliced deli turkey, cheese, cranberries, green leaf lettuce, fat free Miracle Whip, pesto sauce, and pepper
- 1 baked pear sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon
- 1 small slice of whole grain bread with light peanut butter

- 1 hour and 35 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (40 minutes long, 15 minutes long, and 40 minutes long)
- 45 minute step workout video (without the step)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Talking To Myself

I wandered into the kitchen just now and quickly stopped myself. “Why am I in here?” I pondered aloud, “Am I really hungry or am I just bored?” I paused for a second and did a quick assessment, searching for any physical cues of hunger, and then shrugged. “I’m just bored,” I mused as I turned and then walked to the computer to record the incident. I think it’s safe to say that I will be better off working out right now then mindlessly eating just because I have a few moments to spare.

Hide And Seek

Rather than truly facing the reality of my expanding waistline, over the years I developed a variety of tricks to appear thinner. I’m still not sure if I was trying to fool the rest of the world or simply myself. Of course, I am aware that these were mostly silly attempts to only temporarily and mildly mask the – literally – much larger problem. Yet, somehow, they were all things that made me feel a little better when put into practice.

Many of these I have grown out of, while others I still do on a fairly regular basis:

- asking my husband to take multiple photos of myself in the same, slightly varied, pose to get one that was good enough to keep
- consciously standing taller and slightly sucking in my stomach when entering a place with people I wasn’t completely comfortable with
- denying that I was hot in jeans, regardless of the fact that felt like I was boiling, to ensure that I did not have to wear shorts
- generally becoming a plain looking woman with simple hair, no make-up, and basic clothing who fades into the woodwork
- never buying anything with horizontal stripes
- placing a pillow in my lap to hide my stomach
- practising in a mirror the way I was to tilt my head in photographs to solidify in my mind which ones would miss exposing my double chin
- purchasing a pair of men’s swim trunks to wear over top of my bathing suit
- showing off my cleavage to try and de-emphasize my other generous proportions
- slanting my body so that one hip was pointed more towards the camera in an attempt to minimize my width on film
- standing behind others when a picture was being taken
- steering the conversation away from anything food, exercise, or weight related in case people focused in on my size
- wearing a lot of black and other dark colours
- wearing only plain shirts with no logos to avoid losing sight of half the message beneath my chest
- wearing Spanx at my wedding and a couple of times I’ve gone out to fancier events

Interesting that a lot of these tactics seem to include adding bulk in some way to my already large frame. Another big portion of these tend to focus on pictures being taken; obviously this is because they are considered proof in my mind – memories fade, but a photo lasts for a long time.

I like that I can examine these elements in an honest way without becoming too upset about them now. I think that because I am moving forward and seeking out permanent change, it makes it much easier to be critical of myself. I am avoiding an emotional setback and depressive state since I know that I won’t have to use these tricks for much longer. One day they will be gone from my repertoire entirely and, if I keep working towards uncovering a healthier version of myself in the manner I have been, that day will be sooner rather than later.

- 10 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 1/2 cups of lemon and garlic green beans
- 1 cup of cherries
- 2 slices of roast beef with mushroom soup gravy
- 1/2 cup of corn with 1 tsp. butter
- 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes with 1 tsp. butter
- 1 white dinner bun with butter
- 2 sweet pickle slices
- 3/4 cup lemon jello
- 1 1/2 cups of steamed asparagus with 2 tsp. margarine

- 45 minute step workout video (without the step)
- 3 sets of 30 stomach crunches (1 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)
- 2 sets of 10 knee push ups

Monday, September 21, 2009

Counting On Myself, Not Calories

I am on my way out the door, but I wanted to note that I left a message for the registered dietitian and actually got a hold of the other person who was recommended to assist me in looking into my calorie intake concerns. The man I spoke with has gone through the nutrition course, although he never actually paid to become licensed, so I feel relatively confident that he knew what he was talking about. After explaining my situation to him, he said that it needs to be an individual thing and that making this journey a numbers game will not pay off in the end. He believes I am going about this the right way, and that as long as I listen to my body, I will continue being successful. I am still hoping to speak with the dietitian as well, but my mind is much more at ease now!

Shopped Till I Dropped

I got so much great stuff at the local farmer’s market today! I walked away with a lot of gorgeous produce. I bought corn on the cob, alfalfa sprouts, green beans, asparagus, a large onion, gooseberries, cherries, peaches and pears. I also purchased some fresh tortellini and, to go with it, a very small tub of pesto sauce (which will also be used on the turkey wraps I am planning on making sometime in the near future). From the butcher’s booths, I eyed some lamb kabobs that looked tasty and a couple of Cornish hens that I thought would be fun to try and prepare, but I settled on baby shrimp and scallops. To round out the shopping trip I also picked up a couple of jars of locally made honey and was given a free mini loaf of bread since they had already shut down the till when I asked the vendor for one right at closing time. It was such a nice trip and I left with a ton of healthy, whole foods!

I was also given a gift today! My husband and I wandered into a bookstore and I went to see if they had ‘Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200’ because I know there is a recipe in there for piña colada cupcakes that I want to try (thanks, Ethereal Endeavor, for turning me onto this). Anyhow, I found the book, but went to put it back on the shelf after thumbing through it because I had already spent a lot at the farmer’s market, and my loving hubby told me he would pick it up for me. I mean, our money is our money – it’s not really his nor mine – but it was such a sweet gesture and I know it’s probably one or two less buckets of golf balls for him to swing at, so I was really touched. He did make me promise to make him the banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting though – he’s not really much of a pineapple and coconut man.

We also went to the regular grocery store to stock up on several items I needed for a few recipes I am planning on tackling over the next couple of days. It’s weird but I have done more cooking during this last month and a half than I have in probably the last five years. Maybe that’s not so strange actually; I guess when you look at the amount of whole foods I have been consuming versus all the pre-packaged and processed stuff that I used to eat it makes a lot of sense.

Great fun though it was, I am totally beat after this long day of shopping. I didn’t do as much exercise as I have been, which I am feeling a tiny bit guilty about, but I did well with the eating. I am especially proud of this feat today considering that I passed by hand-dipped chocolates and every type of pastry you can imagine. Mmmm… tonight I will dream of lemon creams, caramel almond clusters, and cherry topped cream puffs!

- 8 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 1/2 nectarines
- 1 1/2 cups of chicken noodle soup
- 1 1/2 cups of lemon and garlic green beans
- 4 toothpicks dipped in different honeys (about 1/2 tsp. total) to taste test
- 1 bite of an onion ring dipped in tartar sauce
- 3 cups of Caesar salad with Parmesan cheese and croutons
- 1/2 cup of gooseberries
- 1 cup of cherries
- 1 cup of tortellini with pesto sauce
- 1 small slice of whole grain bread with margarine

- 50 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (both 25 minutes long)
- 4 sets of 15 lunges for each leg

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Advertising Healthier Outlooks

I scoured the internet for more commercials bringing the problem of poor body image to the forefront and found that it was a difficult task. I see that there are lots of videos made by random people or as school projects and so on, but my attempts to find advertisements that seek to share this message largely fell short. I know that it is only in recent memory that the media has attempted to undo some of the harm caused by their previous unending barrage of images of tall, slender, perfectly-proportioned women, but I was hopeful that I would find a better selection of these commercials than I did.

I even specifically searched for videos highlighting the fact that men are not immune to the depletion in self-esteem due to the prevalence of prior marketing strategies featuring good looking, ultra-toned males, but I was unable to find a single one speaking to this branch of the issue. It is sad that even with the turn around that we have seen of late regarding what is valued physically, that the progress in getting the message out has been so slow.

The following links connect with the few short advertisements I was able to locate that are trying to send a more realistic message of what is healthy:

The Saga Continues...

I went to a couple of different gyms in my area today and got the contact information for two different people who can supposedly help me figure out this whole calorie counting thing (not that I want to count calories – I still need things to be simple – but I do want to know for sure if what I am eating is enough or not). One of them is apparently a licensed dietitian while I’m not sure of the qualifications of the other person whose name I was given. I phoned both of their numbers but no one picked up, so I am guessing I won’t have any luck getting ahold of them until Monday.

To try and have a little more information to give to whomever I end up talking to about this, I went online and figured out my calorie, carbohydrate, fat, and protein totals for the last ten days. It actually made me feel a little better. The 900 calories I was stressing out about turned out to be the second lowest tally over this past week and a half, and my average actually came in at just over 1070. The highest amount of calories I consumed in one day was 1400.

To see that my average is nearly 200 calories more than the number I was worried about does bring me some relief. I am not saying it reflects a perfect food intake, but I am happy that it is not as low as I had feared. My daily average carbohydrate consumption is 144.8 grams, fat intake is about 34.7 grams, and the amount of protein works out to approximately 45.2 grams. Again, all numbers I am much happier with than I was when looking at only the single day. Now I just need to figure out if any of those figures need to change.

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 1/2 cups of strawberries
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with 1 light Laughing Cow wedge and strawberries
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with 2 scrambled eggs, melted cheese, tomato, mushroom, onion, and pepper
- 3/4 cup of fat free strawberry yogurt with 1 cup cranberry almond cereal
- 1 1/2 cups of lemon and garlic green beans

- 50 minute walk
- 15 minutes on the recumbent bike
- 4 sets of 30 stomach crunches (2 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)
- 3 sets of 10 knee push ups

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weigh-In For Week 6

I am down another 3.4 pounds bringing me to exactly 231. I am really pleased that my weigh-ins all seem to be fairly consistent; I am also appreciative that the drops seem to be a little higher than I had originally hoped to have. At the start of this journey, when I made my goal date July of next year (by which I meant anytime that month, by the way) I figured I needed to lose an average of just over two pounds per week to meet my expectations. So far my actual losses have averaged out at not quite double that.

Of course, noting all of these things, I am unable to frame it in the purely positive manner I would like, since I keep putting it into the context of my concerns about my calorie intake. Oh, well. Overall I am really happy that I am almost out of the 230’s, I just wish I could get out of my head a bit more and enjoy the feeling.

Arguing With Myself

I’m still feeling pretty unnerved and confused over whether I have been making some major mistakes this early in my journey, but I have decided that I probably can’t do much about it over the weekend. Part of me thinks, “Screw it! It’s working so there’s no reason to change anything!” while another portion of myself advises, “This all needs to be sustainable, so make sure you are doing it the correct way.” A third part of my psyche pipes up with, “Long term success is definitely the goal, but that needs to come from what feels natural and what you’re doing seems to be providing exactly that,” and then one last resounding voice in the back yells, “Go get ice cream!”

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 nectarine
- 1/2 pan fried mustard chicken breast
- 1 slice of brown bread with margarine
- 1 1/2 cups of strawberries
- 2 cups of baby carrots with fat free five herb dressing
- 1 1/2 cups of celery with 2 Tb. light peanut butter

- 2 hours and 15 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (1 hour and 10 minutes long and 1 hour and 5 minutes long)
- 7 sets of 30 stomach crunches (3 straight, 2 right, and 2 left)
- 2 sets of 10 knee push ups
- 1 set of 5 minutes of weight lifting with 5 lbs per arm

Friday, September 18, 2009

Am I Doing This Wrong?

One of my readers asked me a perfectly harmless question and it provoked me to do a little research to provide a fuller answer, and now – with what I have discovered – I am really scared that I have been going about this journey the wrong way! I don’t know what to do. I am having some serious doubts about whether I am causing more harm than good to my body and I am wondering if I should scrap my whole plan!

So far I have been eating every one and a half to four hours and I am concentrating on whole foods. I have not felt hungry, nor have I felt deprived since I will give in and have a treat if the craving is big enough or if I just feel like I want to. I have not been counting calories, really limiting my portions, nor denying myself anything that is reasonable. I have exercised every day to a variety of different levels and with a somewhat broad scope of activities. I feel much better, and I am experiencing higher energy levels than I have had in a long time. I have been listening carefully to what my body wants and needs.

But, after looking at the nutritional tally of my food intake yesterday, I have found that I am far below the daily recommendations in almost every category! What does this mean? Have I been making vast mistakes this whole time? I am really upset about this! It actually took me a couple of hours to even get myself into a place where I could post about it. What am I supposed to do? I feel like I have been eating intuitively and far, far healthier than I have in years – probably better than I have in my entire life!

I haven’t found these changes excessively difficult and I was thinking that they were definitely things that I could continue doing long term. I was proud of what I have accomplished so far and truly believed that I was doing it right. Now I just want to cry and… I don’t even know.

Unfortunately, I live a sedentary lifestyle. This is why I put on the last thirty pounds that got me up to my heaviest weight. I wasn’t moving around very much, but I never altered my eating to reflect that. In all fairness though, I actually think I eat much more often now that I ever did before; back then my meals were just all composed of the wrong choices. At any rate, even now – because of my current living arrangements, job situation, etc. – the exercise that I list in my posts are more or less the extent of how active I am (getting around throughout my day excluded, of course).

I wonder if this is why I don’t feel like I am depriving myself even though the figures suggest otherwise? Is it because my lifestyle cannot naturally support a normal number of calories that I have found success with such an apparent decrease? What I mean by that is, am I actually eating the right amount when taking my lack of activity into consideration? Or am I just being completely delusional and messing up my body?

The last thing that I ever wanted was to be going on some type of diet; I wanted this to be a natural, healthy, and sustainable way to lose weight. I am feeling really distraught about this whole thing! I know there is a learning curve to making such huge changes, but I still – even after seeing the numbers – have a hard time convincing myself that I have been making poor choices. But, now the doubt is there and I am utterly confused. Does anyone have any advice?

Correlation Between Waistlines And Jeans Is Confirmed

I did the walk around the large park again today, although this time I was flying solo. As I was strolling along the path, I saw a sign left over from a run to raise money for cancer research and it got me thinking a little again about the concept of taking up the C25K program. When I got home I even researched a few different races that my area hosts. I am still not sure though…

My pants are feeling so loose and I am pretty sure that when I look down I am seeing a noticeable difference in the size of my chest. I’m also fairly convinced that the comfort issues I was having today when sitting on the bus are due to my shrinking posterior; less in the caboose means my back presses a bit straighter into the chair which feels odd right now (although I’m sure I will get used to it). Overall, I am doing really well and believe that I am truly adapting to this new lifestyle. I think my rings are even starting to feel less tight and constricting.

The pants though I really have to go back to for a second. All of the jeans I own – except for the pair I bought last week from the second hand store – are seriously and ridiculously baggy. The seats hang low, the legs are too wide, and they won’t even sit at my waist anymore because they all gap so much. I am constantly hauling them up and am now able to easily pull them down to my ankles without having to undo them. At least now I have a good excuse to moon people!

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 2 cups Caesar salad with light dressing and croutons
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with 1 light Laughing Cow wedge and strawberries
- 3/4 cup of fat free peach yogurt with 1 cup cranberry almond cereal
- 1 pan fried mustard chicken breast

- 2 hour and 10 minute walk
- 12 sets of walking up and down stairs (not all at one time)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Food As A Social Tool

I have a close friend who is naturally very slender and yesterday I received a phone call from her requesting a visit. Specifically, she wanted us to go out and have a milkshake and a piece of chocolate cake. I told her I was happy to go along for the ride, but that since I had just made myself a cheeseburger, I didn’t feel that eating sweets would be a very wise choice for me.

Now the point of recording this is actually not to highlight a moment to be proud of – although I am, especially considering the shake she was suggesting is my all time favorite flavor. The reason I want to write a post about this is that I was totally surprised when my answer turned out to not be adequate. She was obviously unsatisfied and pressed me more, raising the point that it was a pastime meant to evoke commiseration and camaraderie. Now she is a great girl and was not even a little bit rude when she was trying to convince me to eat with her, but I was really shocked that it was an issue.

Not that I should be. In today’s society we go for coffee, meet for lunch, bring pastries to business meetings, have friends over for dinner, and go to the bar to watch the game. These are all common practices that completely revolve around what we put in our mouths. We are a civilization comforted by the common practices of eating and drinking. In this busy world, we enjoy visiting and socializing with others more when we feel justified in slowing down, and we do this by fueling our bodies in some form or another while simultaneously engaging in social interactions.

This is not to say that it is not a valid practice. I, myself, would never dream of failing to offer some sort of sustenance to a guest in my home. I was just unsettled by the idea that people put so much stock in this custom that challenging the status quo leaves them scrambling to correct any divergence from the norm.

Maybe I’m over-analyzing the whole thing. Maybe my friend just had a moment that was uncharacteristic yet perfectly timed to get me thinking on this subject. I do know that like the great person she is, she respected my second refusal and we went out anyhow. She ate and I didn’t, and I never felt like I was missing out on anything.

Listing The Negatives

Originally the list that follows was titled ‘Thing I Detest About Being Obese’, but after doing a little soul searching I have decided that I needed to add in the ‘ed’ at the end of the third word to make this post more accurate. These are issues that I have dealt with for a long time – I never once came close to the ‘normal’ weight range throughout my twenties – but they are also problems that I am working at removing from my life.

I am less concerned about a lot of these things after just one month of living healthier. But many of the items on this list will probably continue to plague me for a while, and perhaps some right until the end of this journey. Maybe I will even find a few new things to be stressed out about once I have gotten used to an average sized me.

The point in writing them down though is not to simply have an itemized record of the mental blocks, emotional trappings, and physical barriers I struggled with such a short time ago, but to ensure that I have somewhere to look back on when I am feeling sad, unmotivated, or discouraged. I want to be able to draw from this in the future and know that I have very valid reasons to want to avoid obesity. I need to chronicle my journey so that I know where I came from and where I need to never call home again.

- actually debating whether running to catch a bus or being late is the least desirable
- anytime I need to wear pantyhose
- being casual about my weight issues when talking with friends even though I know that they just don’t get it
- being over twice the size of one of my best friends
- being scared of leaving my husband a widower
- catching a glimpse of my reflection in a window
- contemplating if I would be charged more than most to have my legs waxed
- exceeding weight limitations for certain activities
- fearing the teeter-totter and the lack of movement should someone sit on the end opposite to me
- feeling like I can’t tuck in a shirt for fear of defining my (lack of) waistline too much
- generally settling for simple clothing because I don’t want to draw attention to myself
- getting winded from walking up a flight of stairs
- having a bath and feeling like I nearly fill the entire tub
- having to sit down most of the time to tie my shoes
- having to worry more about potential back problems and knee injuries
- looking around wherever I am to see if I am the largest person there
- looking at photographs of myself
- never wearing a belt because it’s too hard to find one in my size
- not being able to try things on while out shopping with my average sized friends
- running into the occasional scale that doesn’t register weight as high as I need it to
- shopping in plus-sized stores out of necessity
- stressing out about potentially having a difficult pregnancy
- taking extra care to breath normally when walking with a friend to make them think that I am as fit as they are
- that even after losing thirty pounds from my highest weight, the one-hundreds still seem so far off
- that every failed diet and exercise program started off weighing on my mind and eventually shifted to my waist
- that losing twenty or thirty pounds doesn’t seem to look much different in the mirror
- that my husband weighs less than me
- the decreased life expectancy
- the groaning planks of picnic tables and the faces of those already seated when I join them
- the increased risk of serious ailments
- the thought of embarrassing my future children
- the utter lack of flirting that comes my way *
- the way my stomach hangs away from my body
- trying to sleep on my side while the excess fat at my chest feels like it’s suffocating me
- wearing shorts over my bathing suit when I go swimming
- weighing more than nearly every man and woman I know
- when friends suggest activities that I know I am not physically able to do
- wondering if people I haven’t seen in a long time think I’m pregnant
- wondering what people who know me must think of my weight
- worrying that I will pass my unhealthy habits onto my future children

*I need to note that I am very happily married, but sometimes it’s just nice to be noticed.*

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 nectarine
- 1 banana
- 1 cheeseburger on a thin bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and relish
- 2 cups Caesar salad with light dressing and croutons
- 2 1/2 cups of celery with 2 Tb. light peanut butter

- 30 minutes on the recumbent bike
- 4 sets of 30 stomach crunches (2 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)
- 2 sets of 10 knee push ups

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy...

I’ve been super busy today and have barely had a chance to so much as glance at the computer until now. I will quickly report though that I am doing well and have been dutifully eating healthy. I haven’t had a chance to exercise yet, but I am planning on getting to that shortly. A trip to the supermarket this morning ensured that I have a fridge stocked with fresh foods so I am looking forward to preparing some snacks for the coming days too. I even brought home some chicken breast that I am planning on trying out a new recipe with. Ha! Me, attempting to cook… someone alert the fire department!

Old Habits Die Hard

Anyone else holding their breath waiting to see what old behaviors my foul mood would resurrect, because I sure was. Want to know what I turned to? All those who guessed cheesecake, raise your hand. Oh wait, I guess I should put my arm down since I know that protein and my stationary bicycle were the real alleviators.

I’m still not in the best place, but I am happy that I fended off a potentially very bad binge. After recognizing all of the unhealthy foods that my mind turned to, I started to evaluate my physical hunger. I was actually quite hungry, so I decided that I needed to address that before I ended up blending the two distinct desires into one gluttonous experience.

So I opted for eggs because the protein tends to fill me up, and I found that chopping vegetables to add to them actually gave me time to mentally calm myself a little more. After I had eaten I sulked in front of the television for a while and finally moved over to my recumbent bike and sweated out some more of my frustrations.

It did help to journal my frantic thoughts when I was first dealing with the anger. More than that, I kept coming back and checking the computer and I was greatly comforted by the words left in the comments section of my last post. Thank you all for being there for me. Old habits may die hard, but – if you’re stubborn enough, thoughtful and dedicated, and have found the right support system – they still die.

- 7 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with 1 light Laughing Cow wedge, tomato, and pepper
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with 2 scrambled eggs, melted cheese, tomato, yellow pepper, onion, and pepper
- 3/4 cup fat free mixed berry yogurt with 1 cup Force Active cereal
- 1 mug of decaffeinated tea with milk

- 20 minutes on the recumbent bike
- 35 minute walk
- 2 sets of 30 stomach crunches
- 2 sets of 15 squats

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Why is it that I'm sitting here fuming and all I can think about is food?! I am beyond angry for a wide variety of reasons, and all I hear running through my head is the messed up ramblings of a brain crying out for stuffed crust pizza, hot caramel sundays, and a huge slice of cheesecake. I just want to bawl! Why am I built like this?!?

Working Out My Work Out

Something that I realized yesterday is that I am really pleased that my current workout options only encompass things that I can do virtually anywhere. My recumbent bicycle is really the only thing that I must do at home, but even having that as a fixed piece of equipment in my own house takes a lot of pressure off a woman still in the early stages of such lifestyle changes.

I completely recognize the value of going to a gym and I truly believe that fitness classes are a wonderful way to get in shape while interacting more with others. I also know that many people out there have had a large degree of success hiring personal trainers. I have tried all of these in the past, but none have worked nearly so well for me as what I am doing right now.

For me, I love the knowledge that I can incorporate lunges, crunches, and walks into my day at virtually any time. Admittedly, a few of my work-out options may find me hunkered down in the ladies room hiding from embarrassment, but overall I really like that I can travel with my routine. I could go anywhere in the world right now and still be able to get in the same exercise that I have been for the last month without needing to worry about schedules or gym memberships or DVD players.

Again, I have full respect for all other types of work-out programs; I would not have tried virtually every option out there if I didn’t see their value. However, I am really pleased that I feel like I have finally found what works for me. No more excuses!

The gym’s closed… sorry, but my ability to lift anything (soup cans, rock, etc.) is here twenty-four / seven.

It’s too late or too early to get in touch with my trainer… hello, I’m right here!

I can’t make it to class today; I’m too busy… you have one minute free right now; drop and give me thirty.

The power’s out and I can’t play my video… yet the front door and my feet still work.

I’m on vacation and can't find the nearest stairmaster… we’re staying on the third floor, figure it out!

I think the key component that I was missing all along is that I kept on forgetting how very lazy I am. I don’t want to haul myself to the gym every other day, watch a work-out DVD while my favorite television show is on, or feel like I am limited by someone else’s schedule. It all comes back to what I believe I can sustain in the long run. My feelings may eventually change – they already have on a number of things in the short time I have been committed to this – but one thing that I know will stay true forever is that if I can keep long term success in the back of my mind, I will continue making the decisions that are right for me.

Rushing Through My Day

I got to do the walk I was hoping to today which was great, and I knocked ten minutes off of my time from when I did it last month which was even better! My husband and I must have been practically flying today to take that big a chunk of time off. There weren’t too many people on the path, but I don’t remember seeing anyone on foot except for joggers pass us by.

While I’m on the subject of joggers, I have to mention that we just went out for a quick evening stroll to close out the day. As soon as our feet hit the pavement I asked my husband, “do you want to jog?” After shaking the mildly terrified look from his face he agreed and we immediately began to do just that. I managed two minutes before I tapered off into my walking speed!

I’m not really sure where that sudden burst of energy and enthusiasm came from, but I’ll take it! Of course now I have somewhat deluded visions of looking into the C25K program that I hear everyone talking about and of running a 5K and maybe eventually a 10K race. (I just looked up how long a marathon is and did you know it’s over forty-two kilometers long?! Seriously? At least I know I’m not that deluded yet!) What is wrong with me? I need some type of therapy to help me return to my senses! Where’s that television remote and package of ding dongs!?!

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 4 prune plums
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with 1 light Laughing Cow wedge, tomato, and pepper
- 2 bananas
- 2 1/2 cups of celery with 2 Tb. light peanut butter
- 3/4 cup fat free peach yogurt

- 1 hour and 50 minute walk
- 15 minute walk of which the first 2 minutes were jogged

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Not Walking This Path Alone

I am planning on a big walk today. I'm not sure if he'll be into it, but I'm going to try to convince my husband to go with me around that huge park that I have mentioned before. It has a ten kilometer perimeter and is beautiful and scenic, plus it takes exactly two hours to complete which is great for making me feel like I really accomplished something significant.

Speaking of my darling hubby, I have to say that I am extremely proud of him. He hates healthy food and is a real drive through kind of guy, but he has been really supportive this time around. He is changing a lot of his habits and making dozens of small adjustments that have really benefited us both on this journey.

Even though he is not actually trying to lose weight, he has dropped over ten pounds since I began walking this path and he has faithfully been travelling by my side. For the first time since I've known him he weighs under two hundred pounds!

He has been more conscious of what he eats on a daily basis, taking carrots and apples to work most days. Plus, when he does treat himself, he has been taking smaller amounts, turning down things like ice cream, and skipping the whip on his hot chocolate. I know that it's not a perfect diet, but for him it is an enormous change and I couldn't be prouder of him for putting in such a great effort.

I have to admit that I was flabbergasted when he let me put lettuce on a couple of wraps that I made for him, whereas before he jokingly claimed that he was allergic to anything green. This morning, he announced that he had performed a number of stomach crunches and push-ups without provocation - okay, so I've been suggesting he do something like that for a couple of weeks now, but I never said a word today!

The pièce de résistance was that he just showed me an old medium sized shirt that finally fits him. He used to be an extra large (or a large, depending on the cut) and to get down to a medium is a great accomplishment. So, to my husband, I say thank you! Your support means the world to me, and I am so pleased and touched that you have chosen to join me on this path to healthier lives for the both of us.

Perfection Is Overrated Anyway...

I went out to an impromptu birthday party tonight. I avoided the chips and pop even though there weren’t really any other choices being offered. It’s a good thing I made an omelet before leaving for the get together or I may have caved to simple hunger. I was prepared to have just a few bites of cake, but then someone arrived with a pumpkin pie in hand and I knew that I had to readjust my thinking to incorporate the oh-so-tempting treat. I ended up with a sliver of pie which barely totaled four bites and then I had a couple of tastes from my husband’s cake. Overall I think I did okay, but I definitely feel like I have had much better days.

In a desperate attempt to make up for the fact that I did no real exercise today, I just finished a few crunches to try and make myself feel better even though I am completely exhausted. Honestly, I walked in after being out tonight and found that I was really starting to do some inner scolding about the lack of activity and I began to formulate a plan in my head to make up for it tomorrow. But that's when I realized that it is that type of thinking that has hindered me in the past. If I feel like I can never have a day where I make a mistake, never have a moment where I make a wrong decision, than I am definitely not going to find this a sustainable lifestyle.

I am not perfect. I did not exercise today. It will be alright. Tomorrow I will do better, but I refuse to play catch up to some unobtainable flawless goal in my mind.

- 7 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 1/2 cups of Flavour Fusion Salad with low fat blueberry and pomegranate dressing
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with 1 light Laughing Cow wedge, tomato, and pepper
- 2 egg omelet with tomato, mushroom, yellow pepper, onion, and pepper
- 4 bites of pumpkin pie
- 2 bites of vanilla cake
- 1 shot of rum
- 3/4 cup of mixed fruit yogurt with 1 cup of Shreddies cereal

- 30 stomach crunches

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Uncontrolled Portion Control

I’m not the type of gal who carefully measures each and every scrap of food before consuming it – I am more of an eyeball and record it person. I know I should probably be more diligent in tracking precisely what I put in my mouth, but I don’t want this process to become tedious. It needs to remain sustainable and, ultimately, I am the one who knows what will work long term in my life.

So how am I adapting portion control to work for me? I chew thoughtfully, pause while eating, and choose a little more wisely. I attempt to incorporate fruits and vegetables onto my plate the majority of the time and recognize that whatever I am having won’t be my last meal.

Slowly has been the key to my thoughtful munching. S.L.O.W.L.Y. I force myself to put on the breaks and not fly through a meal like a wolverine. Occasionally, before I began walking the path to better health, I would be ravenously shoving food down my gullet and realize that I wasn’t tasting anything… that I was more like a wild animal in that moment than an intelligent human being. Mind you, the creatures found in nature are not generally know for expanding to twice their normal size unless preparing for hibernation or migration, so I guess that theory is shot. I was not getting ready for sleep nor travel. I was just falling into old habits formed by my initial emotional eating patterns, but now I consciously tell myself to decrease the speed of my consumption.

Along the same lines, I have been trying to deliberately make myself put down the fork or finger food after several bites to stretch out the eating process. I figure if I take a similar amount of time to eat as I was before, I can trick my brain into thinking that I am consuming the same amount of food. Plus, my body is given a bit more time to have that ‘full feeling’ mechanism kick in.

Another tactic that I have been utilizing is considering if I really need to take as much as I want. That is an important distinction to make: the difference between wanting and needing. So, I get the six-inch sub instead of the twelve-inch, use only one serving of spread and not twice as much like I always have, and toast a single English muffin as opposed to two or even three. I take bites instead of pieces if there is something indulgent that I really, really want to try. I choose to put slightly smaller amounts of the fattier ingredients than what is called for into recipes, whereas that never would have even crossed my mind in the past.

I push myself to come up with creative ways to include fruits and vegetables on my plate. Even if I just add celery sticks to a meal, I at least feel that I am using up some of the room that could have alternatively been a more fattening or calorie laden item. I also work at combining produce with the rest of my meals. Adding more vegetables to my wraps means less cheese, putting tomatoes on a piece of toast results in the avoidance of peanut butter, and bulking up an omelet with mushrooms and onions leads to fewer eggs being necessary for the same satisfied feeling.

Closely tied to choosing with more discretion, I fight my mind’s inclination to try and convince me that if I don’t have more now I will never get another opportunity to eat whatever I am enjoying. This used to be one of my biggest pitfalls. I tasted a food, wanted more, and told myself that if I didn’t have it I would not be able to get it at a later time. What?!? I recognize the absolute absurdity of this thought process now and, thankfully, can persuade myself otherwise if the old faulty logic revisits me at a weak moment. Now, I know that if I really want more of what I'm eating later, I will be able to do exactly that.

It is worth mentioning that I also have a rather backwards strategy that I haven’t mentioned yet. I don’t limit my intake of fruits or vegetables at all. I used to be so bad for eating them that I desperately needed to create a motivation for enjoying them instead of turning my nose up at the thought of a carrot, apple, or salad. So I decided at the beginning of this journey to eat as much of them as I wanted, thereby never ever being left with the feeling of deprivation. I don’t want to find myself at the end of a morning or afternoon binge and have it in my head that I can’t eat anything else for the whole day. That’s just setting myself up for failure. Because of this major adjustment in my thinking, I can now say that fruits and vegetables are my friends.

Although I am not controlling my portions in a more traditional way, I do believe that I have made significant progress towards eating less than I was. More importantly, I am putting foods that are good for my body into it as opposed to the unhealthy options that I used to frequently choose. Things are going really well and I think that in doing what works for me I am truly setting myself up for long term success.

Intimate Details

Talk about needing a little extra support: I had to go to the middle column of fasteners on my bra today for the first time in... well, actually, it’s the first time I can ever recall having to do that. Believe it or not I am fine with losing inches up there. It probably means I will avoid future back issues and that I will be able to go into many more stores to buy a brassiere. My husband, on the other hand, may be a little sad to see them go!

I watched the movie Julie & Julia this evening. I am not planning on giving film reviews on this site, but it was about food, blogging, and continuing despite adversity. How can I not mention it? Honestly, it was a really fun flick and for those who have seen it, all I can say is that the onion scene had me in tears, I was laughing so hard.

Obviously the meals that were featured in the movie had me drooling at a few points, although not nearly as much as the smell of popcorn as I entered the theatre. Plus, I could practically taste a couple of the decadent desserts that they showed. Yet what stood out the most for me was the dedication that both of the woman portrayed as they worked their way slowly towards their goals. I think that is definitely a trait that is needed to succeed at losing weight. More aptly, it is a trait that is needed to succeed at life.

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 1/2 cups of Flavour Fusion Salad with low fat blueberry and pomegranate dressing
- 3 slices of cooked ham with mustard
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with 1 light Laughing Cow wedge, tomato, and pepper
- 2 carrots with light ranch dressing

- 1 hour and 30 minutes of walking completed in two outings (30 minutes long and 1 hour long)

Saturday, September 12, 2009


After this morning’s weigh-in, I realized that I have lost over twenty pounds in exactly one month. I investigated further and have come up with some accomplishments that I am going to record so that I can come back to them for motivation at a later date. So far I have lost:

- just over 20 lbs since starting this blog
- over 30 lbs from my highest weight
- nearly 8% of my body weight since starting this blog
- nearly 12% of my body weight from my highest weight
- over 3 points from my BMI since starting this blog
- exactly 5 points from my BMI from my highest weight
- an average of 0.6 lbs per day since starting this blog
- a combined total of 10 inches from my body when considering bust, waist, hips, arms, and thighs
- the ability to properly fit a size 24W
- 0 tears spent crying about my weight issues

Weigh-In For Week 5

I am down over 5 pounds!!! Wow! I can't believe I actually got over that milestone loss... I'm just so happy right now! I know that had I done my second weigh in at the end of the first week and not simply a few days in that I probably would have seen it then, but I did - and so I didn't. Now I get to see it!

I was actually thinking that my losses were starting to slow a little, but I think the class that my husband and I went to, combined with really pushing myself beyond the exercise norm a couple days ago really, well, tipped the scale. Seriously, I am thrilled! 234.4 pounds is now my official weight.

I would also like to mention that I nominated Diane at Fit To The Finish for Best Health Blog at the Blogger’s Choice ’09 Awards. I find that her posts are always thought-provoking and have really inspired and motivated me (like so many of you do - and I absolutely mean that genuinely), so I wanted to offer her a little recognition. As for noting the huge impact that all of you have had on my journey thus far... THANK YOU!!!

Some New Things

My husband and I tried walking on the local track today to try and mix things up a little from the typical strolls around our neighborhood. I enjoyed it since it was something different. It made me think back to the last time that I went around that track, when I had decided that jogging was the best way to help me lose the pounds and shrink my waist. What was I thinking, starting up a program like that without any lead in? Obviously it didn’t work out (pun intended) but it does make me wonder a bit if I would be more successful now that I have actually already started improving my fitness.

I managed thirty-five minutes on my recumbent bike today but my right knee started aching part way through for some reason, and at the end I just had to stop from the annoyance of the pain. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t have continued to work through it, but I would hate to have done that only to end up damaging the joint more. It was a shame though since my energy levels were high and I’m pretty sure that I could have done another ten, or even twenty, minutes more than I actually completed had I not been contending with a sore knee.

I tried my hand at creating another salad this evening:

- 4 cups green leaf lettuce, shredded
- 1 cup canned Mandarin oranges, drained
- 2 Tb. walnuts, chopped
- 2 Tb. dried pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tb. dried cranberries
- 1 light Laughing Cow wedge, crumpled

I was really quite pleased with the taste. I found that the variety of flavours worked to it’s advantage. I should mention that it was the first time I have tried Laughing Cow, and I hadn’t realized that it was more of a spread than a harder cheese. Nevertheless, I managed to break off small pieces to add to the dish and I thought that it’s subtle taste turned out to be a nice contribution to the salad as a whole. I used Eating Right’s low fat blueberry and pomegranate dressing to bring it all together.

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 2 cups of Caesar salad with light dressing and whole grain croutons
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with strawberry jam and light peanut butter
- 2 cups of Flavour Fusion Salad with low fat blueberry and pomegranate dressing
- 2 cups of celery with 2 Tb. Mexican cheese spread
- 3/4 cup of fat free peach yogurt with 1 cup Force Active cereal

- 1 hour of walking completed in 2 outings (20 minutes long and 40 minutes long)
- 35 minutes on the recumbent bike

Friday, September 11, 2009

Distorted Body Image

One of the hardest components that I had to face when beginning this pilgrimage towards better health was reconciling my own perception of how I looked with what was going on in reality. I sometimes think that I must suffer from a type of body dysmorphia, but not in the way that is so often the case.

I believed I looked fine. Honestly, I know the value in this and am very happy that I feel like my body image has generally always been a positive one, but it also makes this journey more difficult at times. In fact, I believe that it is one of the main contributing factors to me even reaching the size that I did.

I certainly struggled with my share of evenings where every piece of clothing that I owned ended up on the floor in a heap because I couldn't quite convince myself that anything hid the fat adequately enough. I suffered the self-admonishment that played in my head each time my pant size increased. I felt ashamed to realize several years ago that I could no longer purchase pretty much anything in the average clothing stores, and that my choices had become limited to plus sized shops only. I tried unsuccessful time after time to lose enough weight to fit into a smaller dress size for my wedding.

Yet, none of these - nor so many other - factors actually made me feel like my weight made me look terrible. I could peer in the mirror and generally felt satisfied. I absolutely believed that my body was well proportioned and that, since the fat was distributed fairly evenly, I looked fine.

I would get photographs back and be really unhappy that someone had captured an image of me from such an unflattering angle. I would stare at the shadows of my husband and I walking side by side down the street and be confused about why mine looked so much larger than his. For the longest time, I wondered if perhaps my scale or the scales of all my male friends were broken, since every time they mentioned their weights I just couldn't comprehend that their numbers were lower than mine.

The truth was that I had built an obese body for myself and hadn't realized it. I knew the numbers, but everyone always says that it's more about how you feel than what is on the outside. I had somehow accepted that on a very extreme level.

Being two hundred and sixty six pounds is not alright with me. I know that there is a wonderful movement to accept the weight of people no matter how far up the scale their numbers go, and I believe that it's a good cause, followed by a group of very self-assured and progressive individuals. But, I can't be one of them anymore.

For me, it is important to ensure that my observations become more synchronized with the truth. I don't want to be satisfied with the status quo only to find myself astounded or making excuses when a hard piece of evidence of my mass is suddenly staring me in the face. I want to remove the blinders. I need to see clearly.

A Collection Of (Very) Short Stories

I pushed myself far beyond the normal number of sets for each of the exercises that I did today. I’m feeling very proud of that! It definitely won’t be something I will do every day, but if felt really good to forge a little further ahead of my own perceived abilities. And, man, did I sweat!

I bought a new pair of jeans this afternoon. They are a size 22W Calvin Klein's dark washed boot cut. If I was actually able to afford those jeans from the mall I would have opted for a regular 22 at this point, but I found them dirt cheap at a thrift store and couldn't pass them up. Who knows with my fashion sense... they could be a knockoff. But for the few bucks I shelled out for them, I'm happy to have what appear to be a trendy new pair of pants that fit me much better than my old ones.

This evening, when I was feeling the craving to eat more right after I had just had a meal, I specifically told myself to wait for a while until the full feeling kicked in. I thought that was some pretty good self talk. I waited and, lo and behold, I forgot that I had wanted more and didn't eat again for a few hours. Along the same lines, when I was completing one of my sets of stair climbs I was mentally cheering for yours truly and telling myself that I could conquer those last few steps. I like the voices in my head.

Finally, my latest poll asked how you reward your weight loss. The results are in with eleven people casting their votes. No one opted for the ‘at set intervals’ or ‘never’ choices – I’m quite happy that nobody choose the latter since I think everyone deserves to receive something out of the ordinary for walking this path. There were four remaining options available to select for your opinion and this is the final report:

7 votes for 'at set weight goals’ accounted for 63.6%
1 votes for 'once at goal weight' accounted for 9.1%
2 votes for 'when the mood strikes' accounted for 18.2%
1 votes for 'other' accounted for 9.1%

- 10 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 2 cups of celery with 2 Tb. light peanut butter
- 3 slices of cooked ham with mustard
- 2 cups of steamed broccoli and potatoes with margarine
- 3/4 cup fat free mixed berry yogurt with 1 cup of Force Active cereal

- 7 sets of 30 stomach crunches (3 straight, 2 right, and 2 left)
- 6 sets of 10 knee push ups
- 3 sets of 15 lunges for each leg
- 3 sets of 15 squats
- 20 sets of walking up and down stairs (not all at one time)
- 2 sets of 5 minutes of weight lifting with 5 lbs per arm

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Words Of Wisdom

I watched President Obama’s recent speech on education and found that several of the remarks he made were easily applicable to different facets of life. It inspired me to make a list of quotations that I feel are likely to assist me as I take this journey. The words and phrases I gather here are largely not specific to persevering to make healthier choices, but I believe that they do have the ability to encourage and motivate me when I veer from my path of losing weight.

“There is no excuse for not trying. Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you.”
~ Barack Obama ~

“In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires.”
~ Benjamin Franklin ~

“Thou shouldest eat to live, not live to eat.”
~ Cicero ~

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
~ Dr. Seuss ~

“You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.”
~ Edwin Louis Cole ~

“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

“History is apt to judge harshly those who sacrifice tomorrow for today.”
~ Harold MacMillan ~

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
~ Henry Ford ~

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
~ Japanese Proverb ~

“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.”
~ Jewish Proverb ~

“Failure is not fatal; failing to change will be.”
~ John Wooden ~

“The drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence but by oft falling.”
~ Lucretius ~

“The odds of hitting a target go up dramatically when you aim at it.”
~ Mal Pancoast ~

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be?”
~ Marianne Williamson ~

“Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”
~ Mark Twain ~

“I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
~ Michael Jordan ~

“Not to have control over the senses is like sailing in a rudderless ship, bound to break to pieces on coming in contact with the very first rock.”
~ Mohandas Gandhi ~

“Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.”
~ Ralph Marston ~

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

“Obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes off the goal.”
~ Rita Davenport ~

“Hope always triumphs over experience.”
~ Robert Fulghum ~

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
~ T.S. Eliot ~

“The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.”
~ Wayne Fields ~

“The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.”
~ William Shakespeare ~

“Never give in - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”
~ Winston Churchill ~

What's Going On?

It was a very protein driven day. I guess making up for my small amount of exercise yesterday led to the need for those amino acids. Regardless of how tired I am right now, I am feeling good.

I had a couple of NSV's today, which is great. First I managed to pull on my one pair of size 22's jeans - left over from last year - which is a great step since everything else I own are all size 24W. They are admittedly slightly snug, but there is no muffin top hanging over the edge or anything. They just aren't super easy to bend in... yet.

The other non scale victory that I experienced was a bit odd. I accidentally fastened my watch on the wrong notch. Is my wrist getting smaller? That just seems so strange. Again, like the jeans, it was still snug - I actually readjusted it so that it was more comfortable - but I could have left it where it was and not cut off any circulation or anything.

Oh, and I forgot that yesterday a friend noticed my sagging jeans and told me I needed to go shopping for new clothes - so I guess that's actually three NSV's in the last two days. Woo hoo! Hmmm... come to think of it, I also saved a chocolate I was given in my pocket for over a day only to give it away to someone else. That's four! Four non scale victories, wa ha ha! Okay. I'm done.

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 3/4 cup of fat free strawberry yogurt
- 1 apple
- 1 1/2 cups of chicken noodle soup
- 2 cups of celery with 2 Tb. peanut butter
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with 2 eggs, cheese, garden tomato, yellow pepper, mushroom, green leaf lettuce, and pepper
- 2 cups of steamed broccoli with margarine
- 2 carrots with rancher’s choice fat free dressing

- 55 minutes of walking completed in 3 outings (15 minutes long, 25 minutes long, and 15 minutes long)
- 1 hour swordplay course
- 2 sets of 30 stomach crunches
- 3 minutes of weight lifting with 5 lbs per arm