My Progress!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I guess Illness is good for something...Weigh In :)


This looks nothing like my weigh-in's and I have no clue who these guys are, but it cracked me up when I saw it. Boys are so silly aren't they? I mean seriously....get a room or something geesh.

Ok, Thanks to everyone for your well wishes while I've been sick. I'm still recovering, but think I'm finally on the mend after taking Zmax. For those of you who haven't tried it yet, all I can say is you will taste it for DAYS...blech. It's an entire bottle of antibiotics that you have to drink in one gulp. I had to bribe Tanner with Bill Millers (I know food...shame on mommy, but he HAD to drink it and he's taller than me now) a month ago when he had to take it. On my list of medicines that suck, it isn't at the top of the list, but it's right up there.

I went ahead and stepped on the scale expecting the worst honestly because even though I wasn't doing a lot of eating, what I was eating was not diet friendly. It was the comfort food/easy to swallow variety; think macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, ice cream. While I can't tell you how much I lost, I will tell you that it was my biggest lost since my first initial loss. I guess we'll have to see if the ice cream and other comfort foods catch up with me next week.

Today I'm firmly back on the wagon though. I had cheerios with a sprinkling of almonds and an orange for breakfast and I'm feeling more energetic today, but overall, my body still aches. I think its just from being in bed so much. I'm going to give myself one more day before jumping back into my workout routine.

I've also been thinking about calling up my old trainer. I think one of my goals is going to be getting back into his workouts. I loved that he didn't cut me any slack and really kicked my arse every single time I went to his gym. I loved leaving there and feeling like I had been hit by a mack truck. I guess because he made me do things I didn't think I could do at 400+ lbs. 200 pushup workouts, 20 minutes of step aerobics, 30 minutes of cardio kickboxing. I do need to build up my strength a bit though or he will seriously kill me. I probably need to get around to that stress test too. Regardless, that is one of my goals now; to get back to Denny some time this summer. Tanner and I had a lot of fun doing the kickboxing together and I felt stronger after three months with him than I had in a long time.

Ok, going to go rest a bit.

OH! I wanted to thank my Papa for sending me some money to make sure I continued going to the pool! Considering Tanner just trashed his hearing aid (not on purpose, but still...) the money is going to come in very handy so that I can continue going to the pool and send the aid in for repairs....did you guys know that health insurance won't pay for hearing aids or hearing aid repairs? It seriously sucks considering his hearing aid costs over $1000 and his cochlear implant processor is close to $8000. Later I'll have to tell you guys about the time he threw his hearing aid to the seals at Sea World (he was 2 and out of fish to feed them)...oh we can laugh about it now...then, not so much. I'm tellin' you guys, this kid gave us a run for our money.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Feelin' Poorly....




I have literally been in bed for the last two days. Luckily I had my review for yesterday all but done. I took a nap on Friday and woke up with that sore throat and ear ache again. So, missed the last two days of work and literally have slept the entire time! I think I'm seriously dehydrated because I woke up a few times to eat a little something and then went back to bed so have had very little to drink in the last two days.

I am hoping these antibiotics work overnight because I don't want to miss anymore work. Anyway, apart from some Kuh-RAZY dreams, I don't have anything witty or interesting to share, but wanted to let you know why I've been MIA today. No clue what to expect at weigh in tomorrow as my eating has been all over the place this last week.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

She Choppin' Brocco-laaaay: My first review of V8's new soup line


No, V8 did not ask me to review their new line of soups. I have no idea how all you other bloggers get hooked up with the free stuff to review, but I'm so eager to do a review that I went out and bought their soups with my own money just so that I could review it for ya here. Am I a dedicated blogger or what? Really, I thought they looked pretty yummy and wanted to try them anyway.

I've actually tried their Garden Broccoli, Southwestern Corn, Tomato and Herb, and Sweet Red Pepper. I have the Golden Butternut Squash, but haven't had an opportunity to sample that one yet. I'll let ya know when I do.

Ok, just to set the mood, you need to picture me holding each box; I'm wearing a sexy little Vanna Dress they probably don't make in a 7X, but you can use your imagination. I'm also wearing those cute little full arm gloves that I can probably only get past my wrists if I'm lucky, but again...use your imagination.

Tomato & Herb: I love the packaging on all these soups, they really do make it feel like this is going to be a healthy indulgence and I can tell you that the Tomato & Herb did not let me down. I made a grilled swiss cheese sandwich to go with it and it was seriously delicious. You have the yummy traditional flavor of tomato soup with this tasty little kick that really punches up the flavor. When you are trying to cut calories, its all about the flavor as far as I'm concerned and this soup really did satisfy. You will find bits of tomato and various herbs in each bite which also makes you think you are getting something just a bit more substantial in a soup. Very Yummy!

Southwestern Corn: Really loved this one. As soon as I tasted a spoonful, I started creating variations in my head. Add a little cumin and chicken chunks and sprinkle some low fat tortilla chips on top, instant tortilla or enchilada soup. I ate it by itself and it was honestly very good. It has the flavor of corn with maybe a touch of salsa thrown in. Not enough to make it too spicy, but enough to make corn soup interesting.

Sweet Red Pepper:
I actually used this flavor when I discovered that my planned tacos for the evening were going to have to be sans taco seasoning because Erik didn't buy any. Drives me nuts, he's SURE we have it at home, so he doesn't get it, we don't have it, and then I have to tap dance in the kitchen to make what I had planned without the necessary ingredient....MEN! I used a little of this in my ground turkey and it really added a nice flavor to our tacos that night. I only had a small taste of this on its own, but I remember it tasting sweet, and a little peppery....oh all right...I owe you another review on this one, but it works great as a taco seasoning! When I'm able to sample it on its own, I'll update you guys.

Garden Broccoli:
I sampled this one the other day with a grilled turkey and fat free cheese sandwich. I really liked this one as well. It has bits of broccoli and a fresh from the garden flavor that I really enjoyed. I added a pinch of fat free cheddar which made it extra yummy. I'll definitely be purchasing these again.

The great thing about eating soup prior to an entree is that it helps fill you up. Research has even shown that, on average, people consume about 100 fewer calories when adding a soup prior to their main meal. People who eat soup before a meal also tend to feel full longer which is another great perk if you are prone to the munchies a few hours after a meal.

Another great thing about the V8 soups is that each serving satisfies one of your daily fruit and vegetable requirements for the day. If any of you have been following my food logs...this is one area I kind of struggle with. I'm not sure why because I love fruits and veggies, but I just seem to overlook them when making a meal. Each serving of the V8 soups range from 80-150 calories depending on the flavor you choose. This makes any of them a perfect low calorie soup option.

Finally, I could see using these soups in so many ways to make low calorie cooking that much easier; add a bit to a batch of brown rice, throw in meat of your choice, and you have a very flavorful casserole. Use them as a base for a more substantial soup like the chicken enchilada soup I described above, and I can guarantee you, its going to taste like you spent a whole lot more time in the kitchen. I may be experimentin' soon so keep an eye on Super Squared's Bitchin' Kitchen for updates.

So there ya have it. My first official review. How did I do?

Just in case you hated it, I've included this link so that you can enjoy Dana Carvey's genius. I can't see, say, read or hear the word Broccoli without remembering this SNL skit. She CHOP...unh! Enjoy :)

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Cheating in the Evening


If only that were the kind of cheating I was doing...*wistful sigh* But NO, of course it isn't. Last night I cheated with another woman, a little woman although I doubt she's really all that little considering all the crap she bakes is full of calories and fat! Who and what am I talking about folks? Little Debbie of course. Read on for the rest of the story...

Ok, I've been aware of this for about a week or two, but I'm not entirely sure what to do about it at this point, so any input from you guys would be GREATLY appreciated. I seem to be losing it in the evening. I'm not exactly going berzonkers...believe me, I can do WAY more damage than I've been doing, but I'm losing control in little ways most times (too much spaghetti at one sitting even if I manage to stay within my plan for the day) or in big ways like last night. I'm noticing that if I'm going to cheat or give in, it is in the evening. Take a look at my food log from yesterday and you will see what I mean. I did just fine until that last meal and then the whole thing went to hell in a hand basket pretty fast. FOUR little debbie brownies? They weren't even all that good guys, seriously...I could have made brownies that tasted better, but I ate FOUR of them. By the way, who would have thunk those little things would pack such a fat-filled punch? Not me said the flea.

I think that it may have something to do with it just being more difficult to hold on at the end of the day when I'm tired and just want to relax. Lately I get off at 3pm, have an hour to myself before the Tanman gets home, then its dinner time and around 7pm I have a few hours of work to do. I've noticed that when I have work in the evening I'm more likely to go off program. I think its because I'm stressed about having to work two more hours when I just want to be able to veg a bit before bedtime :( Lately, logging in for this other job hasn't even really been worth it. I had talked to a friend of mine about cutting back my work schedule so that I could focus more on my health and saving my energy for the gym, but then I worry about how I'm going to pay the rent next month lol. I probably could make ends meet with just my one job, but I don't want to lose this other one just in case.

So, any way to battle temptation when you are at your weakest? I'm all eyes.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Workout yesterday and Yesterday's food log


Just in case any of you missed it. I did end up losing on my weigh in Monday. I won't say how much because of the competition, but It was in excess of that little gain I had over the weekend...whatever that was. I lost that, plus more :)

My eating and workouts have been a casulty of being sick earlier in the week. I didn't track on Monday and Tuesday, but trust me... I wasn't eating much. I also didn't workout on those days. I did manage to get to the pool yesterday and had a good workout. Sometimes I'm floundering around in the pool and I just feel like I'm not really doing anything. I guess because I'm not sweating or breathing extremely hard so I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere, but I know that any activity is good for me right now. It is all strength training too and I need that most.

Here is my workout in the pool so far. If any of you have any suggestions, let me know. I found a good water workout somewhere, I just need to find it again.

First 5 minutes I spend doing "steps" in the pool, basically stepping up and down off a fairly good sized step they have in the pool. I don't know if that is what it is there for, but that's what I use it for. Again, feels way too easy, but I have faith its doing *something* for me. I usually average about 30 steps for each leg. I may start doing some other combinations as I get more comfortable.

Once I'm warmed up, I grab the noodle and start paddling away. Lord the images that must be going through your minds right now. It's kind of like running in place underwater, but I don't let my feet touch the bottom of the pool (It's too hard on my joints). I actually started to cramp up a bit last night so maybe I better try to stretch a bit after the steps? I do this for about 20 minutes.

When I'm done doing my running in place/trying not to drown/holding onto the wet noodle for dear life phase of my routine, I move on to other strength training exercises. I do about 5 minutes training with dumbells on my arms and about 5 more doing leg lifts. Then the REAL workout starts.

I haul my dimple-ridden carc-ass out of the pool and head to the showers. Seriously, this last bit is the most difficult. Gravity is so unforgiving. By the time I walk out to my car, I'm completely and thoroughly exhausted. The kind of exhausted I feel when I have to give myself a few minutes to catch my breath before starting to drive. I HATE this part, I guess because it just reminds me of how limited I am right now. The good thing is, there is a deep satisfaction in knowing that despite the difficulty and humiliation of donning that sparkly black swimsuit, I did it!

I seriously did NOT want to go yesterday, but I talked my way out of the morning by saying I'd go in the afternoon and as I started to dream up excuses for why I couldn't go that afternoon, I just verbally slapped myself upside the head and reminded myself that reasoning like that is exactly how I got to 465 lbs to begin with. The deal I made with myself is that I can change my mind about WHEN I'm going to workout, but it HAS to be done that day. If it doesn't happen in the morning, then I WILL go in the afternoon, no other compromises.

With that said, I can't use the pool today and tomorrow and they aren't open on weekends. I was thinking that the pool being closed got me out of doing cardio until next week and then I remembered that I can use the hand bike there. Thank god most of the people there are seriously overweight as well because there is just NO way to use a handbike and look like anything other than a gigantic goofball. Haha! Maybe I'll have tanner take a picture so we can all have a good laugh. Oh shoot! I just remembered, Im getting that good rate just for using the pool...Oh well, maybe Tanner and I can dance around the living room or something....even goofier images of that come to mind. I WON'T be recording that for posterity, sorry guys.

Here's what I ate Yesterday

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kreative Blogging Spectacular!


I apologize for getting to this late, but being sick the last few days has kind of slowed things down at my household.

Mackattack over at Fat Buster gave me this lovely award and I couldn't be more thankful!! It's my very first! I love her blog, so check it out!

The rules to this blog award say I have to list 7 things I love and then pass it on to 7 bloggers I love.

Here is my list:

I Love my goofy kidlet.
I Love that my son loves to read to me at night; favorite part of my day :) I'm a book nerd, what can I say?
I Love good hair days.
I Love blogging and all the blogging buddies I've made.
I Love how I feel now that I've taken on a healthier lifestyle.
I Love that I'm going to be able to start going to the pool outside soon!
I Love knowing that I'm going to get out of this house this year. (REALLY get out)

The 7 Bloggers I love to read (among MANY, many of which who have already received this award) are:

A Daunting Tale of Scale Warefare
IN{FAT}UATION: It will eat you
Carlos at You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat
Neas Nuttiness
Natasha over at Girl Stuck in a Rut
Tricia over at Fight Fat Phobia
A Mountain of Weight to Lose


So, these are only 7 of dozens of blogs I follow and am inspired by! Be sure to check out my blog roll there because I think they are ALL fantastic bloggers.

Thanks so much for your (all you guys) support these last few months. You have no idea how much of a difference it has made for me! Check out my links for more fantastic bloggers!

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DIAGNOSIS: COOTIES


I was a good girl and went to my doctor today. As I’ve mentioned before, I really do like this doctor. He is all of 3 minutes by car from my house and he has always taken his time with me which is probably the number one thing I look for when searching for a doctor. I don’t mind waiting in your lobby if I know you are running late because you take your time with each patient and aren’t trying to process us all in less than 5 minutes. He also treats me like a human being. He discusses my weight, because he’d be a crappy doctor if he didn’t, but I never feel judged and he isn’t inclined to treat EVERYTHING as if it’s a direct result of how much I weigh:

“Well Mrs. V, you probably wouldn’t have that sore throat if you just lowered your fat intake to 20g per day.”

I won’t go into detail about my visit with him because it was pretty standard. He ultimately diagnosed me with a sinus infection and asked me to come back for a stress test for the other symptoms I mentioned I had last week. The past few days I was doing better, so maybe my body is just trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing with all the healthy food and extra activity. I kind of have this whole crazy scenario in my head where the higher ups in the management of my body are sounding alarms and barking orders trying to deal with the chaos my new diet and exercise regime must have caused:

“She’s trying to use WHAT muscles??? She hasn’t used those in over a year!” “And whats with the reduced calorie intake? What is she trying to do to us?? We can’t support this body on that kind of intake! Where are the French fries and Cheeseburgers?!? Can someone please text the fat cells and tell them we are going to have to downsize?

Somewhere in the region of my butt, the sorry little fat cells are melting, two or three have banned together with violins playing their last little concerto while the Titanic that was my ass goes down. I have a rather overactive imagination, I know. I didn’t share this little theory with my doctor just in case you were wondering, I think I might have come out with a whole other kind of diagnosis if I had.

Ok, well enough of that. Essentially, he gave me some antibiotics and asked me to come back for an echo cardiogram and a stress test. I’ll be scheduling that in the next few weeks. The interesting part of the visit happened when I walked into his waiting room.

This particular doctor is from some Middle Eastern country and most of his patients are of Middle Eastern descent. I won’t lie to you, I am pretty ignorant when it comes to middle eastern culture so maybe part of what I experienced can be chalked up to cultural differences and not just outright rudeness. If any of you can clarify, I’d love to hear your opinions, but I’m inclined to think it was just rudeness. Just to set the scene, I was the only non-middle eastern patient in the office today.

So I walk into the waiting room and find it’s very crowded. Every seat is taken, but two of the seats have tiny little 3 year old butts in each of them. The seats in the doctor’s office could easily sit three 3 year old butts comfortably in one chair, so I’m thinking that by the time I sign in, maybe the mom will have asked her two children to sit together so that the nice fat lady has a place to sit. NOT HAPPENING. I turn around and this family just stares at me, I turn to the receptionist and ask if there is somewhere else I can sit (secretly hoping that they might overhear me and make room for me). The receptionist says they only have what is available in the waiting room and that she’ll try to get me in a room as quickly as possible. In the meantime, I know that I have a good two minutes on my feet before my body begins to protest so it’s slightly “panic time” in my head.

Luckily, one of the hyperactive three year olds decides he’d much rather be running laps around the waiting room so I swoop in and ask the mother if its ok for me to sit in his now vacant seat. She gives me this “look” and looks at her husband who is filling out the paperwork as if to make sure its OK with him and then turns to me and says something I can’t understand. Her body language seems to say its ok with her, but apparently they were NOT ok with it.

I sit down and the children immediately start wailing in some other language and the mother gets up and trades seats with them; I’m assuming so they don’t have to sit next to the fat lady? I try not to take it personally, children will be children after all and maybe I’m the first really fat person they’ve ever seen in their lives. Maybe they thought it was catching or maybe they just thought I was gross? I don’t know. What I will tell you is that when a woman came out from the back office, everybody in that damn office started playing musical chairs to make room for HER to sit down. The father filling out the paperwork actually GOT UP OUT OF HIS CHAIR and stood so that this other woman could sit down. Another woman came in (of obvious Middle Eastern descent) and again with the musical chairs making room for her. At this point, I wanted a magazine, but I was seriously worried that if I got out of my chair, one of these men who were now standing, would swoop in and claim my vacant seat.

My conclusion? Unbeknownst to me, there must have been some cootie detection alarm that went off when I walked through the door. I didn’t hear it, but it was obvious everybody else did. I mean, I took a shower, used my bath and body works scrub, and put on deodorant (which honestly a couple of other somebodys in that office hadn’t bothered to use that morning). Heck, I even used a few sprays of my Gautier perfume so I was pretty darn sure that any cooties that might have survived the shower were smelling really good. So what was the problem? Was this a “fat thing” or a “cultural thing” or just a plain “we are a rude bunch of people thing?” I refuse to believe that I have cooties!!!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm sick....for the reals :(

Woke up this morning with sore throat, ear ache, my throat kind of hurts to the touch...boo. Had to cancel my pampering tomorrow...double boo! Made an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow about the whole kit and kaboodle though. Again, probably God and his silly sense of humor making sure I get in to the doctor one way or another (I'm famous for putting appts. off). At least he waited for my days off.

Sorry for the short post, but I'm headed back to bed. Happy Monday!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

I think I need a Doctor...if only he looked like McDreamy.


I have a great doctor though. I can never remember his name (it is some Al-something or other) though so I usually call him something different every time I go. Not to his face of course, but if erik or talk about making an appt its always something different and its become something of a private joke between us.

Anyway, on to a more serious matter...lately, I've started feeling kind of crappy around noon. It usually continues into the evening. If I can lay down for a bit it seems to get a bit better. Initially, I thought maybe I was just eating too much at lunch, but the last couple of days have been the worst and I had a very reasonable lunch: turkey sandwich with chips or some kind of fruit...big woop right? Breakfast has been pretty light, usually a bowl of cereal or fiber bar and yogurt. Here are the symptoms:

-crushing feeling in my throat, like someone has their hand lightly on my throat, not enough to choke me, but enough to feel a bit like I'm breathing through a sock.
-bloated, overfull feeling
-foggy feeling in my head, sometimes developing into a full headache.
-nausea to some degree
-tired

Now the fatigue, I could chalk up to the fact that I usually work no less than 10 hr days and those are light days. Today I worked my full day at my day job and and then two more at my other job and have two more hours in just a little bit.

The crushing choking feeling I've had before. It was one of the reasons my doctor put me on the blood pressure and heart medication and I kind of feel like this might be elevated blood pressure. Tomorrow and Tuesday are my days "off" so I may try and get to the bariatric center to have them take my blood pressure if I start to feel this way again. It is just a very icky feeling....very uncomfortable. It kind of feels like when you absolutely STUFF yourself at a meal only I haven't really eaten much. I feel my worst right now and the last time I ate was over 5 hours ago. I"m not hungry, but I know I need to eat something because I haven't even had 1000 calories today. Uggh...anybody know what these symptoms might be? My vote is for elevated blood pressure despite the fact that I've been eating healthier and more active he last three weeks than I've been in a long time?

Man, it really sucks to be fat! If you are reading this and you are thinner than I am, PLEASE get on a diet or stick to the diet you are on. You do NOT want to be dealing with scary stuff like this and feeling like crap most of the time. I'm sure some of you think you feel like crap most of the time because I remember being where you all are, but trust me..it can and will get worse and its no fun. I'm 38, I shouldn't be worrying about having a heart attack or a stroke :(

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Gonna get my hair DID on Tuesday, help pick the style!


I figured that even if my body did rebel and I gained this week (we still have to see what the scale says tomorrow), I'm going to do the cyber equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears, shutting my eyes and saying "lalalalalalalalalalala" and reward myself anyway. I've managed to eat MUCH healthier and get more exercise in the last three weeks than I have in over a year. I think that deserves a little pampering regardless of what my darn scale says. Personally, I think Satan had his finger on the scale...did you see how hard he was working on Friday to get me to give up on the swim workout?

I really need a haircut. The last one I had was back in December and I just learned that my favorite stylist moved to Florida without telling me :( Her name was Carrie and I'm going to miss her :( We had a lot in common, including a struggle with weight. I met her just a few weeks before she went in for gastric bypass and have watched her get slim and healthy. I used to be so self conscious when I would go to the salon...it was a very shi-shi poo-poo salan and most of the people that went there were socialite moms with cute little figures and I'm, well...pretty much the OPPOSITE. I always felt like I had to apologize for being there:

"uh, hi ladies...I know I don't belong here because I'm like...fat and stuff, but I'm kind of a snob when it comes to getting my hair 'did' so I hope you don't mind if I hang out for a few hours? You don't have to talk to me or anything civil like that, just pretend I'm not here."

Isn't it sad that we feel that way? Like we have to apologize to people for inflicting ourselves on them; for somehow coming into their field of vision for the day? It is probably more in our head...we feel awful about ourselves and the way we look and we kind of project that onto everyone else. I know there are people out there who get off on feeling superior around people like me, but for the most part, I don't think it bothers other people half as much as it bothers us. Anyway, I've digressed a bit. I loved going to see Carrie because she always made me feel welcome and worthy of pampering. This last Christmas, when I couldn't afford to get my hair done, she talked to her boss and let me come in and get the works (haircut, color, highlight, style) and only allowed me to pay her $10.00. Normally, this would have cost me between $150 and $200. She really was a sweetheart and now she's gone :( I'm hoping that I can at least stay in touch with her, but I've been leaving her messages and haven't heard back yet.

I really can't afford that sort of pampering anymore so I decided to call the nearest Aveda Institute. For what it used to cost me to get a haircut, I can basically get the works at this place. I realize I'm kind of compromising on quality, but I know I'm going to get a much better cut and color there than i would if I went to a regular salon that I can afford (smartcuts) at the moment. I'm going to be getting my color touched up (all over color with highlights and lowlights) and a cut. I've included a recent face pic of me with my shaggy mess along with some cuts I'm considering. I would LOVE it if you guys would help me choose one. If you find a cut somewhere else on the web that you want to suggest, feel free to comment below and leave a link.

Also, if you find a dye job you think I should request, leave a link to that as well. Typically I get a color close to my natural (kind of a light brown) with caramel-y highlights, etc. I used to be blonde (you saw the pics) but the last time I went blond it just really didn't suit me anymore. Staying closer to auburns or chestnut browns seems to bring out my eyes (hazel) more. I'll talley everything up and post new pics on Wednesday. Let's hope they don't butcher things!

Oh! I'll also be getting a pedicure. I decided that for my weigh-in's I'm going to start taking a picture of me on the scale (looking down at my feet) and since I don't want to scare everyone with my winter feet, I felt a pedicure was in order. Besides, it makes me happy to look at painted toenails, I don't know why. I don't have a foot fetish or anything, don't get me wrong (so all you guys googling super obese immobile women in fishnets with painted toenails can keep on a-googlin' still nothing to see here). I think I enjoy it because it makes me feel girly. It is hard to feel girly at 450 lbs and when I was thinner, I was very much a foo-foo girly girl. I loved getting my nails done, dressing nice and getting made up. I seem to do less and less of that the heavier I get. I guess I feel like putting paint on a pig (although I do think the pic above is kinda cute don't you?) doesn't necessarily make it look less like a pig. I'm trying to change that though because I think that how I feel about how I look certainly impacts my mood and overall motivation to persevere.

Ok, here are the pics I'm trying to choose between. The first one is me obviously (just didn't want you confusing me with jodie foster, martina mcbride or jennifer aniston). Comment below and let me know who I should be on Tuesday!

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Conversations with God: "Get to the Gym Girl!"


Hey all, my apologies for not getting a post up yesterday, but I worked about 10 hrs straight which was actually a light day for me, but given the fact that I got up at 5:00AM to go WORK OUT (woot!), I was pooped by 5:00PM. Yes, you read that right  I actually set my alarm and when it went off at 5am, I got out of bed, shoehorned myself into my sexy black swimsuit and grabbed my keys so that I could head off to the gym.

To add insult to injury (the injury being that I had to squeeze into that sexy black swimsuit...I chose black of course for its slimming effect), God apparently saw fit to not allow my ex to see my email asking him not to park behind me so that I could take my car to the gym. This meant that after squeezing myself into the lovely black swimsuit (which has absolutely crap-o-licious support for my copious breastages), I had to squeeze myself into a tiny green Toyota Echo. At my size, it looked like the car was merely another layer to my beach ensemble (said copious breastages were in constant peril of pressing the horn I was packed in there so tightly). Knowing God as I do, I realized this was his way of saying “About darn time you got yourself back to the gym Missy and just in case you are thinking this will be the first and the last visit to the gym, you just remember that you are almost too big to fit in a damn car…got it? Good!”

Hearing the voice of God speak to you at 5am is a rather profound experience, but when he’s really laying into you like that….you listen! I offered up a silent bargain to God that if he would get me to the gym safely, and by “safely” I meant no traffic stops, accidents, flat tires, or any other incident that might mean even MORE people were going to see me in my sparkly black swimsuit (I can see the mug shot on The Smoking Gun’s website already), I would continue to go back to the gym for as long as it took. Fifteen minutes later I was pulling into the gym parking lot so he must have took me up on the offer. However, on the way over, I remembered that Erik mentioned his car had a habit of locking him in and that he had occasionally had to climb over the gear shift thingy to get out the right side of the car. Knowing that there was NO way I was going to manage that maneuver without seriously injuring myself, I sent up a quick “P.S.” to God further clarifying that “safely” now included not having to have the Jaws of life called out to get me out of the car once at the gym.

I got there a bit early so I used this extra time, after successfully opening the car door (Yea God!), to extricate myself from the Echo; believe me, this was a workout in itself! Next came the walk up the stairs and down the long corridor to the gym, yet another workout, but I managed to get to the pool in once piece.

When I stepped in the room where they have the pool, I was a bit concerned; it was rather warm, almost as if they had the heat on. I knew the pool was heated so I was already beginning to wonder how comfortable it was going to be. When I started using the pool, the heater was broken so I was used to it being lukewarm. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but another issue I have with exercise is getting overheated. I have rosacea and not only will getting overheated cause my face to break out in the worst way, but getting overheated also tends to trigger migraines for me. I know I seem like I have an excuse for everything, but I swear...this is all medically documented. I would LOVE to be able to exercise and push myself as far as I could without worrying about stuff like this, but I know my body. At the time, I was really only worried about the rosacea because I hadn’t had a migraine in forever (ever since getting on blood pressure medication) and I can live with a breakout, but I’m not so ok with the migraines. I knew I had a full day of work ahead of me.

I took off my snazzy new short set that I’d worn over my swimsuit (Erik would call me “sporty spice” for the rest of the day when he saw me wearing it lol) and wobbled over to the edge of the pool. It was nicely heated and felt just a bit cooler than a hot tub actually and I think if the room had been a bit cooler, it would have felt great. I started the timer and got in. I started things off by doing some step work just to get my heart rate up. About 2-3 minutes of that and then I grabbed a noodle so that I could start “running” which is basically dog paddling really fast without using your hands. It does a nice job of getting my heart rate up and at this point that’s what is important. I did that for about 15 minutes and then did a breast stroke for another 10, ultimately slowing things down and finishing off with “leg lifts” to help strengthen my legs. With the resistance, this seems to be a good exercise for both my inner and outer thighs, but it also tests my core strength because I have to keep my torso balanced as I move my legs.

Honestly, outside of getting WAY overheated…I spent most of my time in the pool facing two windows that I had wished I had opened before starting…I didn’t feel like I had done much at all. I had a few moments where I could feel my knee kind of get torqued and made mental notes to myself about what NOT to do next time. It was when I went to get out of the pool that I started praying again. I could feel every single pound pulling on my poor skeleton as I hauled my body out of the water. WOW! Going from the buoyancy of the water and feeling the effects of gravity once more made the walk from the pool to the shower feel as if I had doubled my weight in the last 30 minutes. I took that as a last “P.S” from God to make sure I made my next workout appointment the following week.

As the day progressed, I really did feel the workout. It was more muscle fatigue than soreness though. I did end up with the start of a migraine, but took my migraine meds and it went away. I will just have to open up those windows next time. Right now, I think they will offer enough cool air to counteract the sauna feeling of the heater and heated pool together.

Later in the day, I stepped on the scale. I know, I know….it was depressing as it showed I gained. I won’t say how much because I’m doing that competition, but it was depressing to see a gain. Honestly though, I had the burger incident and a few other incidents where I ate out and ate clean, but unless I’m cooking the food myself, I don’t trust the calorie counts. I just don’t see any other way I could have gained. I'm also suspect of those sparkpeople goals. I don't know, if anything I had more days where I was UNDER their totals so maybe that is the problem? Next week, I’m going to make sure that I eat nothing I don’t actually cook for myself, log EVERYTHING and post it here. If I don’t lose weight next week, maybe you guys can help me figure out what the heck I’m doing wrong.

I’m a little nervous because the last time I really tried to lose weight, it came off SUPER slowly. In three months of watching what I ate and spending 6 days a week in the gym doing boot camp style workouts, I lost only 20 lbs. I got down to 419 and then plateaued. At the time, I really was sure it was because I was packing on the muscle. I had never worked out so hard so I chalked it up to that. Now, I’m a little worried that maybe there is something wonky going on with the PCOS. I know as you get heavier, your ability to lose weight gets harder due to the issues with insulin resistance and other related problems. If I can’t seem to lose weight next week, I think I may have to resort to a low carb diet.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

More Good news and more bad news...brace yourself.


Remember I mentioned that I had put in a call to the gym at my local bariatric center yesterday?(isn't it sad that we live in a day and age where someone can say they have a local bariatric center?) I have been talking off and on with a trainer there named Darin. We've never met face to face, but he seems like a really great guy. I called him for the first time back in December. This was right around the time I injured my knee and for the first time in my life, could understand how close I was to never getting out of my bed again. I was pretty terrified and I'm sure he could hear it in my voice. He worked with me then to come up with a really great deal on a 7 month membership, but at the time, I just had NO money to join. I spoke with him a few more times into January and then he went on paternity leave.

You guys know the rest of the story since I've been blogging since then. I've thrown around a few other ideas, but as you know...none really worked out. With my most recent treadmill disappointment (Jessie, I'm sorry our burgeoning love affair was so brief...one day my love, one day) helped me realize that while I can get some strength training done at home, it's going to be next to impossible to get any real cardio in which means it's going to make losing weight that much more difficult...thus the plight of the super obese; you eventually get to a point where your size impacts your ability to really start dropping the weight. So, I put a call into my friend Darin yesterday.

I hadn't heard back from him so I called him on my first break at work today and it was funny because the phone rang once and he answered with "Michelle!" I laughed and confirmed that yes, it was his friendly stalker Michelle, calling again for her trainer in shining lycra to save her from a life of immobility and depression. We made a little small talk about his new little one, whether he was getting any sleep, how much he was loving fatherhood, etc. Since I had left a message, he knew that I was calling again to see what we could do to get me in the pool at a price I could afford. He knows that at this point, all I can really use is the pool although they do have a full gym chock full of supersized treadmills, ellipticals, hand bikes, etc; it really is a cool little gym. They even have these elevated table like things where we can stretch without having to haul ourselves up and down off the floor...pretty cool.

So, Darin tells me that since I'll just be using the pool, he will allow me to pay the minimum fee which is like $22.00 a month. Is he a sweetheart or what? So for the next couple of months, I will be able to work out during the week in the pool and while it will allow me to get in some cardio, I know it is also really going to help me get my strength back up so a big YAY to that right? That would be my good news. I plan on starting tomorrow, getting up at 5am so that I can get there at 530, work out, get a shower and get home in time to start work at 7am. Can I do it? Yes I can!!! I'll just pretend Jessie is waiting there to join me in the "hot tub." I have a really good imagination ;)

My bad news is that I have to stuff my flabby gargantuan bum into a skin tight swimsuit. I mean really guys, at this weight....I might as well just go skinny dipping for all the rolls and ripples you can see in this suit. The good news is that I won't be taking pictures to share with you guys. I know MOST of you will not be disappointed at this, but considering the number of people who are finding my blog searching for "450 lb bed bound women in fishnets" (ewwwwwww!!!), there will be some out there for whom the disappointment will be deeply felt. To those of you who are disappointed...just keep googlin' along, nothing to see here.



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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Tweaking....OUCH! That hurt!


Ok, so on with the diet-related post of the day. I've been doing fairly well since my burger bungle the other day. On program, but ate relatively little yesterday. Back on track today although I think I overate at lunch today so having a light dinner of sandwich and orange slices tonight.

I'm having to re-evaluate the whole treadmill thing. My knee has started to flare up and my doctor has basically told me that I need to stick with strength training or water training for now. At least until I get some more weight off or my knee heals completely. So, it looks like I'm going to have to find a way to scrape some money together to pay for the pool at my bariatric center until the YMCA opens their pool. It should only be for a few months.

I think he really wants me on a low carb diet too which I'm not all that jazzed about, but I know with the PCOS, thats what I really need to be doing. When I've low carbed in the past, I've felt much more "normal" than I am when I'm just counting calories and fat. I know it has to do with the insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia I've been diagnosed with. When I am low-carbing, I don't have those crazy fluctuations in blood sugars that typically cause the intense and constant hunger I experience when I'm eating unhealthy or following a more low-fat diet.

I remember the first time I did Atkins as an adult. About two weeks into it, I was finishing a dinner, which was probably 6-8 chicken wings and a small salad. I wasn't all that hungry but knew that I needed to eat to get enough carbs and calories in for the day. I turned to my husband and said "you know, I get it now." "I get why skinny people who don't have issues with food can look at someone like me and not understand WHY we eat like we do...WHY we can't just eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full." When I'm low-carbing, I finally feel like a skinny person. I don't obsess about food. The chronic hunger and cravings are GONE. I eat when I'm hungry; many times I have to actually remind myself to eat.

Conversely, when I'm not watching what I eat, I am ravenous ALL the time. I obsess about food and never really feel "full." Actually, when I'm eating low-fat, this does improve somewhat, but I tend to lose MUCH more slowly on a low-fat diet. I really think that that is what will eventually make me transition into a low carb diet. I don't want to have to have bariatric surgery, but at this weight, I need to get it off as quickly as possible. I have too many co-morbidities now and I'll be honest with you...bariatric surgery isn't completely off the table. I want to do whatever is necessary to get me healthy for myself and for my son.

Anyway, I have a call into the gym at the bariatric center. Hopefully I'll hear from someone soon. Until then, I'll keep up with my at home strength training. I know that as I strengthen my muscles around my knee, it will help it heal properly so it isn't like I'm doing NOTHING. More muscle burns more fat too!


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Happy Birthday Mom! I'm listening ;)

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Today happens to be my mother’s birthday. It’s been on my mind since the beginning of March which is pretty typical, but as I mentioned earlier, I find myself really missing her more and more lately. I think I’m just at a time in my life where I really need her. Her absence in my life is deeply felt and as I find myself coping with the breakup of my marriage, my own child coming of age, and coming to terms with my own mortality, I often just ache with wanting to be able to have just one more conversation with her. My son really misses her too. We had a conversation about her the other day and for the first time, I asked him if he really remembered her. I was so glad to hear him say that he did and then go on to talk about all the special memories he has of her. That was one of the things she worried about most; that he would eventually forget the special relationship they had.

I remember when Tanner was just a little guy, mom used to talk about how she couldn’t wait until he was older so that they could start going on special little “dates” together. I don’t know where she got the idea from, probably one of her friends did it with their grandchild, but she really looked forward to being able to go to a movie or dinner with Tanner but giving him the money so that he could “pay for it himself.” She thought he would enjoy “treating” his Big Mimaw and I’m sure he would have.

I know one reason I find myself thinking about her so much lately is because, as I’ve mentioned before, Tanner is 13 and he is constantly finding ways to catapult me back in time to when I was 13 and knew it all and had a mother who grew exponentially less intelligent with each passing day. I like to picture my mother and grandmother sitting somewhere in heaven warming their coffee mugs with fresh coffee while they take stock of how we all are doing without them. All I can say is they must laugh their asses off at me trying to parent a teenager.

When I was growing up, our family was split into two camps: one camp included my mother and grandmother and they were the mathematicians. My Papa and I were the lovers of language and literature so you can imagine how our two camps got along. My Papa and I always had fun trying to talk over their heads when it came to literature, and I’m sure they got their fair share of enjoyment watching us struggle to keep score on a simple card game or balancing a check book. Some of my grandmother’s favorite stories were of me correcting her pronunciation at 5-years-old or giggling at my mom for saying something wrong (saying someone had a “cornea” instead of a “coronary”; going to get a Mamm EE oh gram instead of mammogram...drove me bonkers).

I remember wondering what things sort of things Tanner would find “wrong” with me. I mean, it couldn’t be my language right? I had the degree in communication disorders to that just wasn’t in my parenting forecast as far as I was concerned. Of course, making a declaration like that is just the sort of temptation fate needs to blow a big fat raspberry on your belly.

In my case, I was blessed with a kidlet who “spoke” another language entirely; namely American Sign Language. Tanner actually uses both his hearing and his sight when it comes to communication, but we frequently supplement our speech with signed communication as well. Just as I used to roll my eyes and correct my mother/grandmother’s speech, I now have a 13-year-old who rolls his eyes and in a voice dripping with impatience or even worse…amusement, corrects my signing: “Mom, that isn’t how you sign ‘ready’ you just asked me where the ‘toilet’ was” more eyerolling. It’s moments like that (and they happen just as frequently as they did with my mom) that I can just imagine her and my grandmother busting a gut somewhere. It’s also moments like that when I miss her the most because I would secretly love for her to be able to snicker at my expense in that special way that annoyed me to no end when she was living.

This morning, she was the first thing on my mind as I sat down at the computer and prepared to start my work day. I was struggling with whether or not to tell Tanner the significance of the day or just let it pass. Part of me knew it would be special to him and I decided that it was important to keep her memory alive for both of us by recognizing this day in some way. As I sat down to look over some blogs before starting my shift, I found myself in a rather convoluted way discovering this blog.

It was just one of those moments when I really felt my mom here with me because as I read about this project, I thought about how my mother had done this very thing for many people in her life who had battled cancer, some other chronic illness, or had just hit a rough patch in their life. During these times, mom always knew the perfect thing to do or say to let an individual know that she was there for them and cared for them. We often conspired together on some of the projects and had a blast surprising a friend or family member with something special. When she became ill, she received this back 10-fold as her friends and family brightened her spirits with little gifts, phone calls, special books or funny e-mails. I had seen first hand what they did for her when she was so ill during her battle with lung cancer.

Unfortunately, there are lots of patients out there who may not have the sort of support my mother was lucky enough to have. It is truly heartbreaking to think that somewhere out there, someone might have to "go it alone" during what can often be one of the darkest times of a person's life. As I read about Spirit Jump, I knew this would have been something my mother would have loved to have gotten involved in. Every time I did a spirit jump, I would remember my mother and her giving spirit as well as those who picked up her spirits during her time of need. I also know that it probably wasn’t coincidence that I landed on this blog this morning. Wherever she is, I’m sure she knew I was missing her and needed some way to feel close to her again. As usual mom, you were right on the money…thank you for guiding me to Spirit Jump this morning and wherever you are… Tannie and I wish you a Happy Birthday! Xxoo


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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm a sucker for a give-a-way, especially when there are DIAMONDS involved!


I actually discovered this woman's blog today when someone else posted about her recent dilemma in switching from blogger to wordpress and losing her feedburner subscribers. She had something like 700 total! Please don't look to the left for my feedburner totals. They are still in the sad single digits....whoever you three are, I love you! I love the rest of you just as much so don't get jealous on me ;)

Anyway, Scary Mommy is so eager to boost her feedburner subscription to pre-wordpress numbers, she is giving away a lovely pair of diamond earrings and I likee. She also has a great blog that features a couple very adorable kidlets and her very honest take on motherhood. If you love diamonds or just great reading, head on over right now!

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I Have Some Bad News and Some Good News


I'm sure you want the bad news first right? Why don't we start with my food log for yesterday, go ahead and take a look, I'll wait. Did that "snack" catch you off guard? I know it did me. Obviously, looking at how most of my day went food-wise it makes a little more sense. I had a decent breakfast, but then basically skipped lunch. I didn't do it on purpose, I just got busy working and then walking and working again and before I knew it...it was almost time for Tanner to get home from school. I didn't even have the fiber one bar until about 3:30.

Dinner was decent too. I made a pasta dish that Tanner calls "Same thing always." The funny thing about it, is it's never "Same thing always." The basics are usually the same: half whole wheat pasta (usually penne) half regular pasta (I plan on reducing the regular until we are just eating whole wheat), a little bit of olive oil, but the other ingredients always change. Sometimes I throw in some sundried tomatoes, sometimes I add mushrooms. Really, I tend to add whatever I have in the fridge at the time in the way of meat and/or vegetables and it always comes out delicious. One day I'll get around to posting it in my recipe blog. but I'm tweaking it a bit. About the only thing that maybe isn't so great about it is the sodium level. Last night, I made it with zucchini and italian tomatoes. Since we didn't have any chicken defrosted, I decided to steam some edamame for protein. After dinner, I felt satisfied and full. Usually Tanner and I will choose a yogurt for "dessert," but neither of us was really hungry so we didn't bother with it.

Later, I decided to watch last week's "Hell's Kitchen." I know...reality TV is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. Maybe because as I've gotten bigger, my own reality has become a little surreal. Some part of me must be living vicariously through people who are actually "living" their life instead of merely observing. Sad I know, but it's probably at least a little bit true. Outside of American Idol and Big Brother, I don't watch much reality anymore. I've never been into the Tila Tequila/Rock of Love sort of shows (a girl's gotta have some standards), but somehow I got drawn into Hell's Kitchen. I love to cook and something about this show caught my attention. Sometimes I think I watch because I don't want to miss the moment when Gordon Ramsay's head finally explodes. I'm just mesmerized by the level of emotion this man can lose himself in just running a kitchen..crazy.

The show I was watching was from last week and they were catering a kid's bar mitzvah and one of the tasks was to create a hamburger. One of the teams made this Kobe beef hamburger with some kind of sundried tomato spread and God knows what else and instantly I was salivating. I was caught completely off guard. I half way thought that I needed to turn it off. As much as I love cooking shows, they are usually completely off limits when I'm dieting. I just can't handle it. I've been known to work up an appetite watching Andrew Zimmern for pete's sake; have you seen what this guy eats? I truly have an addiction, but I digress...

So I'm watching them prepare this burger and by the time the kid gets to bite into it, I'm salivating. I can almost taste it I want one so bad. I have a craving for a burger that has absolutely consumed me. I half-heartedly try to look up information on the internet about how to deal with cravings, but I know it isn't going to make a difference. I want a hamburger and I want it NOW. Did I mention that it was 10:00PM? I finally decided on Jack in the box and the rest is history.

So, of course the bad news is that I cheated last night in a major way. The good news is that I'm now paying for it. I got absolutely NO sleep last night due to heartburn and that burger sitting in my gut like a rock the whole night. I actually had a nightmare that I had stuffed myself with rancid meatloaf! At 4am I was contemplating just making myself throw up so I'd feel better (not in the bulimic sort of way), but decided against it. Its 11am and I just now had a fiber one bar and I expect that is probably all I'm going to eat until dinner. Not because I'm trying to make up for the fat and calories last night, but just because I do not feel like eating at all. Blech!

And now I deal with the guilt and shame of the whole thing. Realizing that I am still so powerless when it comes to fighting those cravings. Honestly, I think part of it had to do with yesterday and getting on the treadmill. While it was a huge step for me, it was also such an "in your face" moment realizing how difficult it was for me to walk for 5 minutes. I tried to keep a positive perspective on things, but deep down inside I just felt like such a loser...5 freaking minutes! Every time I went to get up out of a chair, I felt every minute in my legs too. My hip ached, my knee stiffened right back up and the overall general fatigue in my legs just reminded me exactly how big a hole I had dug for myself and how difficult it was going to be to claw my way back out. I guess I was disappointed that I couldn't really be proud of the fact that I got on the treadmill because all I focused on was how difficult it was and how awful I felt later on. Maybe I do need to look into the pool? Uggh, have a break between shifts, going to lie down for a bit :(

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Monday, March 16, 2009

First Steps.....about killed me.

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First things first. I did it! I finally got my porky derriere moving. I have to say, Jessie had my heart rate up before I ever got him going, but what can I say? He's an attractive guy. I only spent about five minutes because I'm afraid that's all my poor heart could take. I didn't want to wear him out on our first date; I'm much better in small doses.

All kidding aside, I made it through 5 minutes, but about 2 minutes into it, my back was screaming. My abdominal and back muscles are seriously weak, but walking in slow spurts will be a good way to strengthen them again; at least until I can get back in a pool. I really felt it in my knees and left hip too. My poor body.

According to the little monitor on my treadmill, the highest my heart rate got was 123, but that was on the lowest setting. When I got on the treadmill, it was already up to 118 and 123 seems to be the limit for fatburning. Anything higher than that and I slip into anaerobic exercise. I'm hoping that if I continue to do it regularly, I will gradually be able to increase the amount of time I'm walking. My focus right now is on increasing the amount of time I spend on the treadmill and not so much how fast I'm walking. As long as I have my heart rate in the fat burning zone, I will assume I'm doing some good.

It is so disappointing to see how difficult things are for me. Finishing five minutes was harder than finishing 45 minutes used to be. Then, it was more because I was lazy and just had other things I'd rather be doing. Now, it is truly physically difficult for me to go much beyond one minute. I can continue though.

I start my weight training today. I posted before that I am going to be following the exercises here for a seated total body workout which is perfect for the obese or other people who might have physical limitations, but still want to strength train. I will be alternating upper body workouts with lower body workouts each day and taking Sunday as my rest day. Today I'll start with my upper body. I'm almost looking forward to feeling sore; knowing that my muscles are changing, even if its only bit by bit.

As far as the weigh in, I maintained this week (please see my weight and measurement charts to the left). I suppose I should be glad I'm not gaining, but I won't lie, it is rather disappointing. In the past, I've just seen it come off faster in the beginning, but I know that getting my activity level up will help get things moving again. I also reminded myself that when I started this journey earlier in January I weighed 465 lbs not 460 so all in all, I've lost at least 16 lbs. Right now, I just want to make it into the 430's. Hopefully by the end of march or at least the first couple of weeks of April for sure. We'll see....

Now, let's talk about those measurements... SO hard to post those for you guys. The shame in realizing that my thigh is as big as an average man's waist; my waist is 5'9" around. I truly am wider than I am tall..unreal. I compared those measurements with where I was the last time I dieted and worked out and every single number was up by 1 or 2 inches. I'm not surprised by that though. I can feel it in my clothes and in how uncomfortable I am in my own skin. I have to start somewhere though and I'm already feeling better with what I've lost thus far. It's only going to get better right?

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

I have a date with this Big Boy every day this week


Yeah, thats right. I decided to follow in one of my favorite bloggers footsteps and name my treadmill after someone hot so that I can fantasize that getting on that treadmill every day is something I actually look forward to! This week, I'm naming him Jessie after this adorable little blond. Isn't he yummo??? I normally don't like blonds or men this buff, but he's from Texas like me and has that adorable Texas twang that just makes me a bit weak in the knees. Isn't he pretty?

I also watched Diet Tribe so I know there is more to him than just a pretty face; he's definitely a Hunk with a Heart. Who knows, I may decide to honor my treadmill with a new face now and then (I can be fickle that way), but for now at least, I'm devoted to Jessie. Thank you Mr. P for inspiring this woman to get on her treadmill every single night this week! ;)

Check back later today for a weigh in and measurements along with my food log for yesterday.

Tanner B, now appearing at your local Best Buy!


Ok, a funny story. It's at the expense of my son bless his heart, but he can laugh about it too. Yesterday, Erik took him out for lunch and then they went to Best Buy just to look around. Erik went off to see if he could find a cheap movie to bring home and Tanner went off to check out the games. After a while, Erik started moving over towards the game area when all of a sudden, he hears the following:

"Uhhnnggh" very loud, obviously being broadcast over speakers. His ears perk up because he knows this gutteral sound and he begins to make his way over towards its source. As he gets closer, he hears more "Ugnngh Eye of da tiger" in a very tone deaf alto. He realized that somewhere in Best Buy....Tanner had a microphone...and he was putting on a show for everyone. He went around to the area where they had a Rock Band display up and sure enough, there was Tanner on the mic with a few other college students on the drums and guitar while he sang his heart out. His "set" consisted of "Eye of the tiger" and "Give it away now" by the red hot chili peppers. I think I've mentioned before that our son is Deaf, so these were especially interesting interpretations of both songs...not just in words he used, but also in the overall "melody" changes.

Erik said he could NOT go up to Tanner at the time because he was too busy laughing his ass off and he didn't want to look like an awful dad. I was just grateful that I wasn't there because all it would have taken was one look between erik and I and we would have been laid out on the floor of Best Buy convulsing with laughter. It was such a "Tanner" moment! As the parent of a special needs kiddo, you have to find humor in some of this stuff.

As he walked up to Tanner towards the end of his second song, he said the people nearby were just watching with these looks on their faces that was part amusement, part pain. He motioned for him/signed to him to wrap it up they had to go and thus ended Tanner's American Idol moment courtesy of Best Buy and Rock Band. "Thank you very much..."

Tanner mentioned that there was a kid there who said "oh...kay" when he was finished and I think at first, Tanner's feelings were hurt, but by the time he got back home, we had him laughing about it with us as they retold the story to me.

After the laughter subsided, we talked about how everyone can't be good at everything, but that we are all usually good at something. I tried not to discourage him from singing when he wanted to, but tried to emphasize that he was probably much better on the guitar than on the mic and added that it would be the same for me (I'm not known for my vocal stylings either.) While Tanner and I have a blast in the car from time to time, singing and signing along to some song, he understands that mom doesn't have a future in the music industry either.

Anyway, since we were talking about music, my son reminded me that I still hadn't made his mix CD. He'd been asking for one for quite a while and, being the overworked, overwhelmed mom that I am, I've managed to put him off for about a week :( I don't feel good about that, I'm the world's worst procrastinator; definitely something I need to work on.

Thanks to Guitar Hero, he has been introduced to a lot of older rock so his list looks a little crazy (don't ask me how Beyonce made the cut):

I Want to Rock and Roll All Night-KISS
Rock and Roll Fantasy-Bad Company
Don't Let me Down-ELO
All the single Ladies-Beyonce (Again...no clue)
Come as you are-Nirvana
American Idiot-Green Day (the clean version if I can find one)
I want to get away-Lenny Kravitz
Walking on the Sun-Smashmouth
Eye of the Tiger-Survivor

I'm going to throw in a little Billy Squier too. I hear he's touring this year and I can't wait to see him live again. I used to be a big fan; even won his guitar and got to meet him when I was 15 :D I figure if I throw a few in there and he likes him, I can drag Tanner along with me to the concert. Yet another reason to slim down before summer.

I also want to get a mix together for when I work out. I have a few songs in mind, but thought I'd pick your brains as well. I think it's fun to see what other people listen to. So, what is on your workout mixes right now? What song makes you work 10 times harder when it comes on? I'm looking for high energy, fun songs or inspiring songs that keep you motivated. Are there websites that help you put a mix together or provide mixes other people have put together? I found this one and this has a pretty long list of possible songs. I'm going to be working on this later and I'll post my list tomorrow, but I'd love to see what motivates and inspires you as well!!

Yesterday's food log

Feel free to relate any cringe-worthy childhood stories. You know we all have them ;P

Friday, March 13, 2009

By My Calculations...I'm still Fat!


Ok, the last two days have not been the best. I can feel myself sinking in kind of a rut. It could be the rain, it could be the fact that my very gorgeous childhood friend is now dating the very sweet guy we both had a crush on in high school, maybe I'm just losing a little momentum, I'm not sure. I do know that it isn't going to derail me.

I partly think it might be that I have yet to start my fitness regime. I have the treadmill upstairs, it just needs a little vacuum and then its good to go. Erik was supposed to bring the vacuum upstairs for me since I do good getting myself upstairs, much less myself and a household appliance up the stairs. I even ordered some exercise stuff this week so that I could do that seated full body workout justice. I have the box from amazon sitting right next to me this very moment, but I haven't opened it up. Ok, well now I opened it up. It wasn't everything, but enough. I ordered three different exercise bands, a weighted medicine ball and a tape measure. You know what the tape measure means right? Humiliating measurements on the way...God I dread sharing those, but I will.

I kind of think it might have been the fact that I only lost a little over a pound this week. I know I have been saying the mantras and they help, but deep inside I'm thinking "I have 300 lbs to lose and I only lost ONE this week; its going to take forever!!" One of the lovely side effects of PCOS is that it makes it very easy for you to gain weight, but very difficult to get the weight off. At my size, my BMR is 2730 so my body burns that many calories just to stay alive. If I'm eating under 1800 calories a day, shouldn't i be losing a little more than that? Let me see...

DISCLAIMER: these calculations were done with the aid of a calculator. Do not attempt these calculations without the aid of a calculator as I can personally attest to the fact that you will burn more brain cells than fat cells.

1lb. of body fat = 3500 calories
2730 (my BMR) - 1800 calories (my daily intake) = 930 cal deficit a day
930 X 7 = 6510 deficit for week
6510/3500 = 1.86 lb loss for the week

Hmm, well I guess thats about right. I guess If I want to lose more, I'm going to have to get with it and get moving.

Starting tomorrow, I promise to put everything in my food diary and to do something to increase my activity. Those are my two goals. Maybe for now I just need to work on it a day at a time, at least until I get over this hump or whatever it is.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fighting cheats when you have STRONG emotional attachments to food.


Today was a very stressful day. I had tons of work to get done, at least three things that HAD to get done before the end of my shift and I kept getting calls. Then my boss lectured me for 20 minutes because I had forgotten to change my status when I went to lunch. I have some brain block where this is concerned. I've improved tremendously, but of course I ONLY hear from him when I screw up and then its as if I haven't done anything to improve so I was seething by the end of the conversation.

Then, there was a huge screw up that was the bank's fault. I had a check from my ex that I needed to use to pay our rent and they deposited it back into his account??? Then the guy acted as if he couldn't say that their guy made a mistake, he wasn't there. Yeah, doesn't every one write a check from their account and then deposit it back into their account, for why?

Anyway, by the time I got done, I took a nap. I wasn't really tired, but I just wanted to veg I suppose. Then I wake up to the most delicious smell. It was dinner time and while we had a very healthy spaghetti made with ground turkey, what I smelled was something delicious of the baking in the oven sort. Erik had made this peach crisp recipe. We have called it peach cripps for a long time....Erik mispronounced it one day, we laughed our butts off and the name stuck. Basically, you empty a can of peaches into a baking dish,sprinkle white cake mix over the top, put a few dabs of butter, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top...OMG so good.

This also brings back memories of my grandmother. She looked nothing like the grandmother in the picture above. She was a young granny. She was about 17 when she had my mom and my mom was 17 when she had me so when I was born, she was still in her 30's. She worked and my grandfather stayed home and did all the cooking, cleaning, tucking me in on sick days, etc. She cooked occasionally, but was never much of a baker. This peach crisp recipe was the one special thing I remember as her special treat. Nobody else made it so eating it always takes me back to grandma's house. I remember watching her make it and sitting with her to wait until it was done while the housed filled with this delicious aroma of peaches and sweet sugary goodness. I especially remember sitting down at the table with her, both of us with our bowls in front of us, just a scoop of ice cream melting on top and watching her dig into it with a twinkle in her eye as we shared that special moment. I was gone as soon as I smelled it in the oven. I experienced an overwhelming feeling of calm; the way I used to feel when walking through the doors of their house as if nothing in the world could go wrong there. *sigh* It felt like just what I needed in my moment of weakness.

I had some and I can't even tell you that I feel horrible about it now. Part of me is a little worried that I'm not worried about it. This was an outright cheat, no prior planning, I impulsively said "Yes" when Erik asked me if I wanted some, and devoured it with a vengeance. I don't feel like I'm on a downhill slide...like it might lead to more...maybe that's why I don't feel bad? I don't know, I can't even think of anything I might have done INSTEAD of giving in. How do you cope with stress IN THE MOMENT? What makes you say NO instead of YES?

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009



I was reading today that Utah Congressman, Rep. Jim Matheson, introduced a bill yesterday called the LEAN act (short for Labeling Education and Nutrition). It would require that fast food chains and restaurants post calorie counts for the foods they sell on the menus we use to place our orders. I assume this would include drive through menus as well as in-restaurant menus. Apparently, it also allows them to disclose information upon request of the customer in a number of ways which could include an appendix at the back of the menu, by offering a supplemental menu, or by including an insert with the main menu. It also stipulates that all nutritional content be available for consumers upon request (but not required to be on the menu itself).

Honestly, I already thought there was a requirement for restaurants to have nutritional information available upon consumer request, but maybe not. I for one think it is a great idea. I know that once I sat down and started looking at the calories and fat in some of the meals I typically ordered at these restaurants, I was shocked. It prompted me to find healthier items on their menus that I could order in the future, which I’m guessing will have a direct impact on my weight loss efforts.

One thing I would hope this legislation might do is motivate various fast food chains and other restaurants to come up with healthier fare. I can’t help but think that many people would alter their choices if the calorie count for their meal was staring them in the face. If that happens, demand goes down for the unhealthy options and the powers that be have to come up with healthier meal plans providing more variety for those of us watching our waistline or just simply trying to live healthier.

One article I read actually had people griping about these requirements, complaining that they didn’t think Congress should be “butting in” on their choices and forcing the restaurants to make this information easily available. I’m sorry, but I don’t get this line of thought. It isn’t as if they are forbidding McDonald's from selling the Big Mac or forbidding the consumer from purchasing whatever they want, they are just making it easier for the consumer to make an informed decision about what they are consuming. In a time where childhood obesity and adult obesity is soaring, I think it’s definitely a good idea to help educate people about what they are eating. I just don’t understand the reasoning of a person who would rather keep their heads in the sand and embrace their ignorance.

What about you? How do you feel about this type of legislation? Too invasive or long overdue?

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Der! Pictures are posted below..no really they are.

Sorry about that guys, I got a little trigger happy and posted without actually including the pictures. If you actually wanted to see my ugly mug, they are now included in the post below :)

"It looks like two pigs fightin' unda a blanket!"


I've always loved that movie :) Has to be one of my favorites right next to "You know I love ya more'n my luggage." Gotta love Clairee.

As you can see, I have some new pics below. I took them for + sized girl's challenge. I read about the challenge and even though I had just taken my before pics, I figured I should probably take another one in a lighter shirt that fit a bit snug so that as I lose weight, you can actually tell the difference. I went into my closet and grabbed the first shirt I could find that I knew I could probably get on, but that would be snug. I have to tell you that I have this shirt in three different colors...ALL still have the price tags on them. As a matter of fact, I have about three closets full of clothes that still have price tags on them. Why you ask? I'll tell you why.

Every time I got pumped about dieting in the last decade, I would usually buy myself a ton of "incentive clothing" on clearance from various online plus sized shops. I knew that I would be working my way down through the sizes at some point so I thought it would be a great way to motivate myself and prepare for the new me that was on the way. The last clothes I wore in anything under a size 20 was way back in the early 90's so even if I could get back into them, a majority of them are SO dated (I actually found a pair of those harem pants (see above)if you can imagine that...WHAT was I thinking?) So, I have probably spent loads on new wardrobes that have just sat in my closet collecting dust. I have long refused to buy anything new in my current size so I've been relegated to tshirts and the shirt you saw me in my previous before pictures (in several different colors). So, if I saw something on sale, I bought it in a smaller size and stuck it in my closet for ...whenever. I know its crazy, but I've just learned to embrace my crazy.

It was to one of these closets that I went to find something I could wear for the pics. I also thought that it might be nice to actually see what I have in there and pull a few pieces out so that I can actually SEE them on a daily basis. Anyway, I put on this top, look in the mirror and the first thing that popped into my head was that line from Steel Magnolias. The next one was that it looked like I'd dumped a head of lettuce on my head..I'm just not sure about those ruffles what do you guys think? I'm hoping that as I slim down, it will hang the way it's supposed to and look better. With two others in the closet, it better!

So there you have it, new "before" pics and a confession about my penchant for buying clothes much to small for me when they go on clearance.

Oh! I also wanted to say that while I'm on this competition I won't be able to post my weight loss or gain for the week so I'll just be posting whether I lost or gained. Once the contest is over (which is set for June I think or whenever one of us gets to 30lbs lost)I will let you know where I stand weight-wise. Let's hope I'm the first to 30! That would get me very close to passing under the 400-pounder bar. Good luck to everyone else in the contest!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Weigh in, confession, and clarification about Lung Cancer


First I want to chime in and let you guys know that today I weighed in at 448.4, so that was a loss of 1.6 lbs. At my size it really should have been more, but I'm used to losing weight slowly. I'm going to be adding in more activity and fiddling around with my meal plan to see what might get my metabolism going a bit faster. We'll sort it out eventually.

I do have a confession. I took Tanner out to eat at an Italian place right up the street from us and ordered their smoked chicken lasagna with spinach. I have no idea how many calories were in it, but I'm wagering it wasn't diet friendly. The good news is I only ate half of the lunch portion and brought the rest home for my ex to eat ;) This wasn't a spur of the moment decision. It wasn't a "binge." It was a very calculated and planned "cheat." I'm looking at a total of 300 lbs I have to lose and I think if I start out expecting that I will NEVER indulge in moderation (like any normal person who doesn't have a weight problem), I will just be setting myself up for failure. I knew going to lunch that I would allow myself to choose anything off the menu that I wanted, but I told myself I would only eat half. I ordered the smaller lunch portion, ate half and had the waiter box up the rest. The result? I came home without any of the typical guilt I feel when I have a spur of the moment cheat or worse, binge. You know, the sort of guilt that typically makes you beat yourself up, then binge again, only to beat yourself up some more and so on, and so on. I ate it. I'm over it. I'll be back on plan for the rest of the week. It's kind of an experiment I'm trying, we'll see if it helps me stay on plan over the long haul.

Now on to answering some of the comments from my post late last night. First I want to thank those of you that were touched by it. It started out being about RFL and before I knew it... All of this stuff was coming out about my mom and what I went through when she was sick. It was a very real and very heartfelt admission about a very difficult time in my life. It was cathartic in a way and I think, for the first time, I really came to terms with something that had been bothering me for the last 7 years.

Val commented and pointed out that she had also lost her mother to lung cancer, but chose not to focus on the fact that she had smoked because of the stigma so many lung cancer patients have to deal with when diagnosed. I completely understand where she's coming from. I not only came face to face with this when my mother was diagnosed in the form of doctors who treated her like a pariah; in fact, the doctor that gave her the diagnosis treated her horribly. I wasn't there, but she recorded it for me and immediately after telling her that she had lung cancer, my mother asked for information to help her quit smoking. The doctor, in a voice void of any kind of compassion, said "It's a bit late for that, but I can write you a prescription for wellbutrin if you want." He continued to talk down to her and treat her like a second class citizen for the remainder of her visit. We had other problems along the way. Some doctors treated her with the compassion they might have for any cancer patient, but every once in a while, regardless of the fact that my mother no longer smoked, we would run into some jerk who would feel the need to rub a very sick woman's nose in the fact that her smoking may have had something to do with her cancer. God, for a while, I suppose I was doing the very same thing as I struggled with my own anger over her diagnosis.

As I've said and as Val also pointed out, we ALL make lifestyle choices that could impact our health negatively. I read an article just yesterday that said that people who have had a lifetime struggle with obesity and have spent most of their life obese have a life expectancy equivalent to those who have smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. The difference is...when people who have made other lifestyle choices, whether its eating themselves into obesity, drinking, worshiping the sun, or a million other things we know is bad for us; when these people get a breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma or any of the hundreds of other cancer diagnoses caused by lifestyle, they are often met with the compassionate concern we are familiar with when someone receives a life-threatening diagnosis. People reach out to them. An overweight woman diagnosed with breast cancer isn't likely to have people asking her if she ate at McDonalds regularly; insinuating that her diet gave her breast cancer. An ex-alcoholic won't tell someone about his past battle with the bottle as an apology for his disease. If a lung cancer patient tells someone they have lung cancer, I can tell you that 9 times out of 10, the next question out of somebody's mouth is "Oh no, did you smoke?" With that question, depending on the patient's answer, people decide whether the patient is worthy of true concern or compassion. I think you know what happens if the patient answers in the affirmative.

Aside from the way this stigma affects how patients are treated by doctors, other professionals, and the general public, the stigma of lung cancer has a very real and deadly impact on research. According to the Lung Cancer Alliance's Report Card on Lung Cancer (please take a look at this to see just how bad the disparity is between lung cancer and other cancers), despite being the number one cancer killer, it remains one of the most underfunded, under-researched cancers and is largely ignored by the powers that be in Washington. Many people aren't even aware that more people will die this year from lung cancer than from breast, prostate, colon, leukemia, ovarian, and cervical cancers COMBINED. This, despite the fact that 50% of people diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked or are former smokers. It's unfair and it's just flat out WRONG. Nobody deserves cancer...period.

So, to Val, I apologize and thank you for pointing out the impact this stigma had on our own mother's diagnosis, treatment and mortality. I knew all about this well before your comments, but last night, I was just caught up in relaying a particular experience and working through my own feelings "in the moment." Unfortunately, I probably crafted a post that somewhat perpetuates this very stigma. I hope this post makes up for it to some degree.

Thanks to anyone who actually made it to the end of this post :)