Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Funday

by Mandy

You're probably not quite sure what this picture is. Let me clarify. This is 16 pounds of ham. It is 16 pounds that I am no longer carrying around on my body.

When I started this blog with Sandy, I'd already lost about 10 pounds. As you know, I've had a hard time staying motivated over the past few weeks, so I kept yo yo-ing back and forth between those ten pounds.

I've found my 'zone' now. With my mother finally called back to work, she's feeling more motivated. With my trip in July creeping closer, I'm feeling more motivated. I think the spring weather has been helping too. It's easier to go outside for a walk when it's bright and sunny and warm.

Last Wednesday when I got on the scale...I'd finally recovered the 10 pounds I'd originally lost. I tried to look at that as making myself a fresh slate. It was time to stop harping on the days I didn't eat well...and look ahead with optimism and strength.

I've been exercising like a fiend. Now I'm sure I didn't actually lose 4 pounds between Wed and Today. Although maybe I did...with the atrocious amount of calories I've been eating, I'm sure just cutting back on the calories did a number on my metabolism. Either way, I must say...looking down at the scale and seeing 276 instead of 280 made me so excited.

My mom and I have been talking about Easter. We've decided that each of us can pick out 2 reasonably sized treats for Easter...food or nonfood. I think it's better that way. Sometimes we'll set aside 'cheat days' once a month...and when that day comes up...we don't actually want anything but feel pressured to take advantage of the opportunity. I think that leaves us feeling conflicted and leads us to eat more. So this year....I could decide to get two small cadbury eggs, or one cadbury egg and a book, or two books.

This will be a step, I hope...in learning not to reward myself with food so much.

Thank you so much for reading this blog. Your support means the world to Sandy and I.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Hump/Weigh Day!

By Mandy

It is Hump Wednesday! It's also weigh day...because I forgot to do it yesterday. This week I am down by 2 pounds! Progress is progress and I'm happy for any number as long as it doesn't have a plus sign next to it.

I wasn't perfect over the past week. On Friday I had to buy lunch. But instead of going for fatty burgers or pizza, I brought my v8 with me, along with carrot chips and turkey pepperoni...and got sushi. By and by sushi is not the best thing around, but I got the veggie roll, so the worst thing about it was the rice. And melded together with the stuff I brought from home I felt pretty good about it.

Yesterday was a bit trickier. A friend wanted to hang out, but we really didn't have any money to go anywhere or do anything. So we sat at her house and watched a few movies. Eventually dinnertime came around and we were both hungry. Her house...is not diet friendly. I didn't want to cut our day short just to go home and eat. So we ended up having grilled cheese sandwiches. Now she likes to make them with a lot of cheese and with butter spread across the top and bottom of the bread so that it browns in the pan. I told her not to use butter for mine, put a little less cheese on it...and that was pretty much the best I could do. I said no to the chips she offered me later on, and the minute I got home I tried to offset the sandwich with a nice glass of V8 and an apple.

Working your diet around your friends can sometimes be hard. You don't want to be inconvenient, and you certainly don't want to make them feel bad for not eating what you are.

All in all however, I'm feeling pretty successful.

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's Weigh Day

By Sandy

Ok - I guess all of you remember last week when I was distraught on Weigh Day.  I had gained all my weight back and just felt basically like crap!  Well - a couple things happened last week.

1 - it rained a lot, so I didn't get to exercise as much as I wanted to.

and 2 - I gave myself a break and didn't really stress out about the weight gain. 

Oh - I pretty much stuck to my plan (except for over the weekend I was kinda cheaty) but No sodas, exercised 3 times, took my vitamin, and ate well and GUESS WHAT...  I lost 6 pounds in the last week!!  The picture above is 5 lbs of fat.  And that is not me holding it (that chick is too skinny to be me).  Do I really think that I lost that much in a week??  NO!  But it just goes to show you how much your weight can fluctuate due to many factors - stress, lack of motivation, lack of encouragement, not exercising, stress eating all add up to a gain or worse they add up to going completely off your program.

I am notorious for saying "screw it, I can't do it, it's too hard, all I ever do is gain...."  And what this has done, is messed up my system to the point that my body doesn't know WHAT to do!!!  Hopefully I will get it back on track.  So for those of you who are counting (see my page at the top) I have lost 6 pounds total and it has been 4 weeks.  That is not a big weight loss - I would like to have had 8 instead of 6 but I think if I stick with it, the results will get better.  Once my body realizes that I am not going to give up.

So, tell me...How was your week???  Leave me some love and encouragement in the form of a comment.  Let me know what you are doing that works and that doesn't...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weigh Day and Eating Out

By Mandy

So today was my day to weigh in. I did good with eating, and went to the gym, so I was feeling really successful.

But man does that tiny plastic square feel intimidating when it's time to face the music.

The tension in the air was palpable. Music from the show down scenes in the old western movies was playing in my ear as I stepped up. I squinted my eyes closed, took a breath, and looked down....
Ladies and gentleman I am -1 pound! Naturally part of you wants to see -5 every time you get on the scale...but considering how bad I was eating before last week I know it'll take a week or two for my body to come down off the suger/carb high and get back into motion. So I will take that negative pound and run with it. Literally.

Besides weighing in, I wanted to tell you guys about Sunday. My mother's birthday was last week, and so Saturday night my aunt called and said she wanted to take us out to dinner Sunday night. My aunt is the kind of person who will not take no for an answer. An hour spent in her company...and I'm usually trying to eat everything in sight. I was not a happy camper.

Eating out is scary when you're on a diet. Number one...it's just a whole lot of temptation that you don't feel strong enough to deal with. Number two...even if you have self control...finding something healthy to it is horrible. We began scouring the menus of nearby restaurants and all of them had a supposedly 'healthy section' Oh this stuff is under 500 calories, oh this stuff is part of the thin and fit menu!!! But I could not find a single meal at any restaurant I looked at...that didn't have an atrocious amount of sodium and carbohydrates in it.

Luckily, my aunt ended up postponing and we got saved from dinner out. But no matter how dedicated to your diet you are...you can't avoid eating out at some point without looking socially awkward. So I have prepared this mental preparation for eating out. If at all possible...find a menu ahead of time. Find the meal choice with the least amount of calories, carbs, and sodium. It may not be the healthiest choice...but if its the best one you can make in that situation...then I think that still counts as being successful. If you know you're going to be eating out...be extra healthy with your meals for the rest of the day. Have a healthy snack before you leave so that your stomach isn't empty and you don't eat everything on your plate. And try to fit exercise into your day before and/or after the meal.

So that's all from me for now. I'm off to make some veggie juice. I'm trying out a carrot/celery/spinach/apple/strawberry concoction. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I don't get it!

By Sandy

Yes today is weigh day and usually I am happy...

I stayed on my program last week really good.  I turned down milkshakes (even though I really wanted them).  I ate lots of fruits and vegetables.  I ate salads.  I walked 5 out of the 7 days last week.  I did everything right.  I JUMPED out of bed this morning and RAN to the scale.  I couldn't WAIT to weigh.

I gained all of it back.  I am the same weight I was 3 weeks ago.  I lost 4 pounds and gained it all back in 3 weeks and last week was my best week to date.  I don't get it.  Normally I do really good on this kind of program.  Normally I can lose weight.  If I exercise I will lose - if I turn down the stuff I really want I will lose.  But this time - nada.  I not only can't add to my weight loss - but I gained it all back.

Now, I considered very hard in the shower this morning, not telling you.  I thought about just forgetting to post.  Or fudging and telling you that I maintained.  But who is that helping?  I know that you have had times like this when you thought you were doing really good and you got on that scale and were disappointed.  Maybe it wasn't exactly like my experience today, but we have all been upset when we stepped on the bathroom scale.  I know that my body is loving the exercise, because my panties fit better.  I know that I am doing good for my body because my girdle doesn't pinch and make me feel like a stuff sausage.  I know that I am making progress because I can actually tolerate my bra until the end of the day.  So I am going to continue to forge ahead with my program.

I am older than most readers.  I am 44.  So I know that the older we are, our bodies change and losing weight isn't as easy as it once was.  And if I didn't have this blog, I would be tempted to go to McDonalds this morning and say "screw it".  But the fact of the matter is, I promised Mandy that I would do this with her.  And I promised all of you.  And that makes me feel obligated to continue - this is a good thing.  Just by following this blog, you are making me stick to my own program.  Just by being there you are helping me.  So, even if I have to post every Monday a gain, or a maintain, I will continue.  I am hoping this is just bloating or water weight and by exercising and continue to stay on my program I will straighten my body back out.  Leave me some love...I need it today!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blooming

We all experience some cold and dark moments in our lives. But no period of life, no matter how frosted and empty, lasts forever. Sooner or later the little buds of hope and happiness push through the layers of sorrow and fear, and they bloom.

I feel like I've bloomed over the past two days. Admitting my defeat in the blog, and then having an honest and heartfelt discussion with the amazing woman we all know as Sandy, helped me a lot more than I expected.

Yesterday I went to the gym. That was quite the experience. On the one hand, it was kind of sad. I remembered when I used to walk into that gym and do an hour and a half workout. How I'd go maximum speed on the machines, how that gym felt like my comfort zone. It felt strange and foreign this time around, but I took a deep breath and reintroduced myself as best I could. 30 minutes were spent on the arcsoft machine...which is kind of like an elliptical, but has a smoother motion to it which is good for people like my mom who have bad knees. It's also the machine you burn the most calories on. I burned 385 calories in 30 minutes. After that I worked on my abs, and god did those machines hurt more then I remembered.

I left feeling exhausted...but in control...strong...decisive. It was a good feeling.

Today I dragged my mother to the grocery store and we did a good healthy food trip. I loaded up on v8, carrots and celery, apples, oranges and bananas, my best bread ever (It's called Arnold's Sandwich thins. I started to get sick of nothing but flat wraps...so this gives you the feel of a fluffy sandwich, but the pieces of bread are sliced thinner so that the top and bottom of your sandwich are the equivalent of one piece of normal wheat bread.) I cooked chicken for dinner. I used to hate chicken cause it always came out so dry, but I found that if you put them in the oven in some Italian dressing they come out nice and moist. A little salsa on the side to dip them in, some spinach leaves, carrots, and soy nuts in my salad...and I was set.

It felt so good to eat my dinner and know that I was putting health into my body. It's funny how much your mindset can make a difference. I'm eating better...and even though I know it's only been a few days, I feel thinner. I'm planning on getting on the scale on Tuesday. I'm going to the gym again tomorrow, and then at least one day on the weekend.

I've also decided to implement motivation techniques to help me say no to temptation. Every time I want to spend money on unhealthy junk food, I'll instead put $5 in my savings box for my trip to florida in July.

So there you have it. There's still a little snow on the ground, but I'm determinedly pushing my way through it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Confessions

Hello dear friends. I didn't realize it had been so long since I last blogged. I suppose it's easy to lose track of the time when you're hiding, which I have been; hiding from you...trying to hide from myself.

When I started this blog I told myself I would share this journey with you. Failure, success, good days and bad. But actually getting up the nerve to share the bad days with you...is harder than I thought. I grew up in a family where we didn't talk about our feelings. There was occasional bragging about successes, but no discussions of problems or failures. You kept your weaknesses and struggles to yourself. The grown ups didn't like for you to be upset. They would send you off with a cookie or a bowl of ice cream to make you feel better.

So this confession is a hard one. It would be easier to go bury myself in a box of pizza or a pint of ice cream. But I've been doing way too much of that. To say that I have not been eating well...would be an understatement. The amount of pizza, ice cream, and other unhealthy junk I've consumed this past week and a half is shameful. And frightening. It is scary to realize that I have consumed an entire pizza in less than 2 hours....and I still want more. See when I crave...I don't just crave food. I crave the experience of eating...of overeating.

I got on the scale this morning and was amazed to see that I'd only gained a pound. Then again I have achieved a sort of balanced ritual. I'll eat good for a day....then most of the next day, and then I'll go overboard. Then I'll cleanse the next day.

Rinse...repeat.

See...trying to form new habits with the person you've been doing all your bad habits with is hard. Especially when that person is your mom. We get stuck in a circle of dysfunction, as I like to call it. One of us will start with a craving...and the other person will be strong...for a while. Just yesterday my mother was going through the newspaper and a coupon for pizza threw her off. For a whole 2 hours I stayed strong and said no. But the kernel of the idea had been placed in my mind and it was starting to grow. By the time my mom was over the craving I was practically rabid with want. The child in me...doesn't like to feel like the only time we ever eat bad is when she says it's okay. It makes me feel out of control....as if I'm ever in control to begin with...but that's the delusion I give myself. So then I end up talking my mom into the craving all over again.

I find that it's easy to cling to the promise of tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll start fresh, tomorrow I'll get my act together. But tonight I'll have my last hurrah. Tomorrow comes and I find myself saying 'you know...for such and such a reason today doesn't feel like a good day to start. Let's try again tomorrow.' Excuses fly to my tongue faster than I can speak them. I really want to go to the gym...but I'm sick....so I should stay home. 3 hours later it's true that I'm sick...but I'm sitting there chowing down on pizza that I can't even taste. Every excuse I can think up becomes a life raft to which I cling. Why do I do this...when I know that my life raft is leading me right over a deadly cliff?

Is it fear? Uncertainty? Does the answer even matter? Would knowing the whys give me any clue as to the hows of stopping myself? I don't know. Right now I'm awash in a sea of frustration, and self pity. I don't know where my willpower went and I don't know how to find it.

Today is my mom's birthday, and neither of us are feeling extremely festive. But it will feel even more pathetic if we don't do anything. She's trying to decide what we're going to do when I get home. We talked yesterday and decided we need to get our heads together...we need to stop making excuses and start acting. But today is her birthday....what is a birthday without cake? So we're attempting to come up with a game plan that will let us celebrate...but within reason.

For now I'm eating a healthy lunch while I stare out the window at the rain. I feel like I'm looking for the starting line in the pitch blackness of night. If I could find the sun, I could see where I'm going, but I don't even know where to begin to look. My goal is to go to the gym tomorrow after school. Even if it's only 20 mins on the treadmill, at least it's a step in the right direction.

But tonight I will celebrate with my mother. Maybe if I can figure out what it is we're celebrating, I can find the willpower to stop waiting for the next tomorrow.