Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 18 - Inspire someone!

When I first started this weight loss journey last year, I weighed 333 lbs - my all-time heaviest. I started this blog to chronicle my journey, but I absolutely got addicted to the inspiration I started to receive as I read other blogs. There were actually people just like me who were going through the same things! And some had actually succeeded in losing huge amounts of weight. But never once at that point did I feel like I would ever be able to inspire others the same way.

I love reading the comments people leave on this blog, and it's truly touching when someone says I have inspired them. It keeps me accountable, and makes me feel like I'm paying it forward. It's a great feeling. Yeah, I still have 130 lbs to lose, but I'll get there! I have so many awesome examples of people who have done it, so I know it's possible for me, too.

Today I was contacted by w8losschick, who wants to feature stories of inspiration on her blog for the entire month of May. She asked if my readers could tell their story so she can feature them. She needs 30 people (I get to be #1!). Each day will represent just one story, this way each person gets the spotlight totally on them. I know it's short notice, but let's do it!

You can include whatever you want in telling your story; pictures, tips, tricks, whatever you feel will bring inspiration for someone else on this journey. The only thing that matters is inspiration. Even if you lost 100 pounds and gained it back and are now in the process of losing it again, post your story. She is just looking for inspiration! It's inspiration that keeps people going and it's inspiration that gets us through the hard times. Sometimes just knowing that someone else has walked our road helps one to see there really is a light at the end of the tunnel and that they are not alone!

You can email your inspiring stories to me at skinnyhollie@yahoo.com or you can send it to the address on my Blogger profile. Check out the w8losschick blog at: http://thew8losschick.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 17 - Something different

Today was a little different. I almost had a mini-freak-out after dinner, but after I thought about it for a while, I really think I can still claim success. My main goals for this plan are to 1. eat clean 2. no caffeine 3. no added sugar 4. drink 100+ oz. water daily. I still met all my goals for today, and my calorie count is in check. So this is what happened...

It all started out with a stressful day at work. Most of you know I work with children in the behavior program in our school district. Some days are more challenging than others. Today, we had a student that was "challenging" all afternoon. As soon as he walked out the door, I got an email that my daughter had got in trouble at school today. She was caught texting another girl in the class - cell phones are not allowed at school. But the thing that made me mad is - my daughter does not have a cell phone! So as soon as I replied to the teacher's email, my daughter walked into my classroom.

When I asked her what phone she used, she handed it to me. It is my old cell phone - one that was a prepaid phone I used to use. It still had a little money on it, so I always keep it in case of emergency. I even let her use it sometimes when she is going over to a friends house, so I can keep in touch with her. But by no means is this her phone! And she knows it! I was LIVID, to say the least. We walked to the truck, then I made the rounds to pick up the other two kids.

Monday, my friend gave me a great CD - it's neo-soul and very relaxing. So I warned my kids to sit still and be quiet for the ride home, and just listened to the music. By the time I got home, I felt really relaxed and clear-headed. I wasn't furious anymore, didn't feel stressed at all. It was then that I realized that I had just done something different. In the past, a stressful situation like the one I described would have led to candy bars, caramel lattes, and maybe even pizza. But this time, I didn't even think of food!

I came in, and got on the phone with a friend. Before I knew it, it was time for dinner, but I had not planned anything (mistake). Looking through the fridge, I spotted the almond butter, then the TJ's strawberry preserves (sugar free). I had Ezekiel bread in the freezer, so I decided I would have a AB&J sandwich. When I went in the freezer to get the bread, I found some slices of sweet potato lingering there, so I decided that sweet potato fries would be SO good with my sandwich. And that, my friends, was dinner.

As I was eating, I started to feel guilt and panic. I was SUPPOSED to be eating something green for dinner, right? This is not a BALANCED meal, right? It tastes too good to be healthy, right? So I panicked. For a minute I felt like I had failed. I knew that was not the ratio of fat/protein/good carbs that I strive for. And then I questioned if it was really my stress that made me do it? Had I succumbed to emotional eating again?

After emailing Yvette and totalling up my calorie count, I realized that eating this meal did not make me fail. All of this food was whole and healthy. Ezekiel bread is some of the healthiest you can buy... almond butter was all natural from TJ's, as was the organic, no sugar added strawberry preserves. And I only had 1 tbs of each. The sweet potatoes were not sprinkled with butter and sugar like I used to prepare them... just plain. I DID NOT eat a candy bar. I DID NOT eat a doughnut. I DID NOT have a diet soda. I still ate real food, just not what I have been eating for the past two weeks.

But like Yvette always says, this is real life. I love sweet potatoes, and any food plan I'm on will have to allow them sometimes. I just didn't feel like a salad tonight! That's okay. I got a "treat" and I have moved on. And you know what, it was good! And no where near as damaging as a candy bar would have been. If I had candy or soda tonight, I would be starting over tomorrow - trying to withdraw from vices that I am in "recovery" from. But now I think I'm okay... I've never been addicted to sweet potatoes!

The lesson learned is that I always need to have a plan for dinner, not just breakfast and lunch. Each night I have a definite plan for breakfast and lunch and snacks, because I need to pack my bag for work. I always try to have an idea of what dinner will be, in case I need to thaw out meat. But today I didn't have a plan. Thank goodness it was just a minor diversion... next time I might not be so fortunate. This little stumble might have just saved me from falling on my face another day...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 16 - Successful dinner and Weigh-In!

First things first... had WW today. I lost another 4.6 lbs this week! That brings my total weight loss since August 25, 2008 to 39.8 lbs. That also makes 9.6 lbs I have lost in TWO WEEKS using my new plan! Yeah, now I can say the sacrifice is worth it. Funny thing, is that since I went out to eat last night, I wasn't expecting a big loss. Good thing I stuck to my plan of action!

I ordered grilled chicken and veggies like I'd planned. And started with a house salad with vinaigrette on the side, the just drizzled on. They came over with a basket of bread, and even mixed together herbs and olive oil for a dipping sauce. I didn't have any at all! Didn't even want it. I only ate half of my chicken, because it was a huge piece. I have been eating a lot of chicken lately, so I can tell by looking what is about a 4 oz. serving. I only drank water, too... no alcohol.

I was pretty pleased with how I looked, too.

I felt so much smaller in my jeans, and my belly looked so much flatter! My niece hasn't seen me in a while and she couldn't believe it. I took several pics, but hated them after I looked at them. I still "looked" like a fat slob on all the full-body shots, but I sure as hell didn't feel that way. I think I looked good! So I cropped the picture so I'd like it, lol!

When I compared it to my old profile pic, I think I look so different! In a good way, though. The other pic looked like the "old Hollie" that was stuck in a bad marriage and lacked hope. I like this picture because it symbolizes the "new Hollie". The one who took charge of her life, and had the strength to make the changes needed to find the happiness she deserves! The person who believes in herself enough to make hard choices. I am changing from the inside out, people! I can honestly say that I am proud of myself!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 15 - First big test...

Yes, tonight is what I consider my first big test since I have been eating clean. I am going out for an event tonight that will be at an Italian restaurant - Carrabas if anyone has heard of it. I asked Yvette to look over the menu with me, so I have a plan as far as eating goes. I have to also abstain from alcohol, which may or may not be hard, depending on the atmosphere. But being that I have about a 40 minute drive, and with WW being tomorrow, I am making the decision to not drink. The hard part? STICKING TO MY PLAN. There is something about a restaurant that will make me cave every damn time! It's like I lose my mind - probably something to do with the aromas floating around.

I have had TWO successful weeks eating clean. I have consistently eaten every 3 - 4 hours, abstained from both sugar and caffeine. I have avoided processed food, and made an attempt to round out all my meals and snacks with the correct proportion of protein, good carbs, and healthy fat. I have taken all of my supplements on most days. AND I am drinking A LOT of water, - between 120 - 180 oz. per day. The changes I have made are amazing, if I do say so myself. I never thought I could do this - but I have. And I will continue to do it, because the end result will be me getting to goal.

I finally got my closet cleaned out, and all the winter and fat clothes are stored in the shed. I also got my desk cleaned off...which was a task in itself! The capris I am wearing today have not fit since I bought them in 2006! And I discovered this weekend that all of my shorts are WAY too big. It is such a good feeling, though! My birthday is in one month, and I am going to treat myself to a new pair of shorts if I can stay on plan until then. I have also told Clyde I want a pedicure for Mother's day, even though I am able to polish my own toes now! Yeah, at 333 lbs, tying shoes and polishing toes take too much effort. It makes me so sad to think about how last year I wore Crocs all the time because I was so fat they were the most comfortable and easy shoes I could find. But this year, I am partying in heels, baby!

I am going to post some more before/after pictures soon, and am also going to start trying out a video blog. I love Bloggers who add videos from time to time, so I want to do it, too.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 13 - Heat stroke!

It is HOT in TN! Wow...it went from cold to hot...no in-between. This morning was a busy one. Orientation for summer term was today, and my kids also had soccer games. I went to school at 8 am and picked up my schedule, then went to soccer from 8:30 to 12:15, then rushed back home, dropped off my kids, and rushed back to school. I was there for a few hours so I could get my syllabus and meet the teacher for both of my classes, then came back home. And then I was EXHAUSTED! It was so hot out today, I just felt like the heat had zapped my energy. Then I took a good look in the mirror, and I am sunburned! Even with SPF 50 I always get so tanned in the summer, but my arms are burning. I was going to cut the grass today, but after Clyde called and offered to do it tomorrow, I decided to let him. Yeah, it's good exercise, but I was so tired! Besides, my knee has been killing me today! I can hardly put weight on it. Ugh!

I was trying to fight the urge to turn on the AC in the house. I have had all the ceiling fans going and windows open for two days, but at 8 p.m. when it was still 86 degrees in the house, I decided to turn on the AC. I can't stand to be hot when I'm asleep. SO, after a terrible night of sleep last night from sweating, I am on my way to blissful slumber tonight. I am going to take a cool shower, wash my hair, and jump into the clean sheets I just put on my bed. I might even put on nightclothes, lol!

This is my second weekend on my new plan, and everything went well today. I got up early so I could have a good breakfast, and took a LUNA bar for a snack at the game. Since I was rushing at lunch time, I whipped up a protein shake I could take with me in the car. And for dinner I had a huge salad. I have some fruit for my pm snack. And because of the heat, I made sure to get a lot of water down today. It was super-easy, though.

I did have to fight the cereal-aisle demon tonight at Publix. I have a water cooler at my house, and I take my 5 gal. jug to Publix for refills. Since I also needed milk, I had to actually go inside the store. I picked up more lettuce, along with a chunk of watermelon and a pear. I don't know why I was wandering down the cereal aisle.... But I spotted the Cap'n Crunch - BOGOF. Yes, I thought - WE LOVE CAPN CRUNCH. But then I had to stop - could I bring this in the house just for my kids? Did I have the willpower to stay away from it? I guess the answer was NO, because I didn't get it. Sometimes I still feel weak when it comes to certain foods I used to binge on. Cereal is one of those triggers.

I have also really been wanting a soda. Clyde was drinking the last Diet Pepsi that I had in my refrigerator the other day when he was over with the kids, and I just had the urge to snatch it out of his hand! So I bought some sparkling water, and a Diet-7up (even though I know it has artificial sweeteners I thought that would be better than the caffeine). I had a bottle of sparkling water today, and I really think it's the refreshing carbonation that I am craving, not the actual caffeine. Good thing my kids thought I bought that 7-up for them and have almost drank the whole 2-liter! I never let my kids drink soda, so whenever I bring 7-up or Sprite home they think it's a treat for them, lol.

Hopefully tomorrow will go as well (eating-wise) as today. I am feeling more confident as each day goes by!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 12 - Reflections

I'm sorry I have been neglecting my blog! The past couple of days my time at work has been consumed by a crocheting project. Yes - Hollie has learned to crochet - and I like it! A co-worker has been diagnosed with cancer, and all the teachers have been crocheting a prayer shawl for her to wear during chemo. Well, yesterday I was recruited to help. After a quick demonstration, I was handed a needle and some yarn. Being the "type-A" personality I am, I had to not only learn, but make it perfect. We are finally done, but I think I might have just found a hobby! It was very relaxing, and a great way to take my mind off food.

I am still doing great on my plan. Twelve days with no sugar or caffeine and totally eating clean. The weather in TN turned very warm yesterday, so I finally got out and started walking again. It felt really good to get moving. My plan is to get a walk in today, and Sat. and Sun. I have pretty much nixed all my weekend plans so it shouldn't be hard. I have decided NOT to go out this weekend so it will not be hard for me to abstain from alcohol. I don't want anything to throw me off right now.

I am really able to tell a difference in my clothes. I dug out my summer clothes, and the difference between this year and last year is huge. Capri's that were snug in the waist last year actually need a belt! Yesterday I wore an outfit that I only wore once last year because it was too small. Thankfully my wardrobe won't be very important this summer, so I will wear as much of my clothes as I can until they fall off. Then hopefully by the end of July when school starts back I can go shopping and buy much smaller sizes!

I actually went out the other day and bought a full-length mirror to hang in my room. I have said this before, but I avoid mirrors. I have the small mirrors in my bathroom, and one on my dresser in my room. But seeing myself from the waist up was all that was bearable before. Now with trying on clothes and liking the way that feels, I decided that I wanted to see the whole picture. I want to start accepting the way I look now, and start loving the reflection in the mirror. So, hanging up that mirror is on my "to do" list this weekend. So is purging my closet of all the size 26 and 28 clothes. Since my 24's are getting loose, it's time!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Must Read Article re: SUGAR

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30312808/

This is the article my WW leader referred to yesterday.

"Neuroscientists increasingly report that fat-and-sugar combinations in particular light up the brain's dopamine pathway — its pleasure-sensing spot — the same pathway that conditions people to alcohol or drugs."

Day 10 - Finally made 10%

Yesterday at Weight Watchers I finally made 10%! This is at least the 6th time I have tried and failed at WW over the past 5 years. This is the ONLY time I have ever made 10%. The leader was surprised at my 5 lbs weight loss for last week, so I had to point out to her that I'd made 10%. I also had to remind her she didn't give me my 25 lb. award. She asked me why I didn't get it, and I told her she wouldn't give it to me! She looked incredulous, and said, "well, that doesn't even sound like me." Yeah.

So, when she presented me with my award in front of the group, she asked me to tell everyone what I had done differently this week.... well, want a list? I started out with the fact that I had eliminated sugar and caffeine from my diet. Immediately everyone started grumbling. "There's no way I can do that...I've got to have soda" or "I've got to have sugar." I tried to point out that anything was possible, but you had to want it bad enough. By the time I got around to telling them about the clean eating, no one was interested anymore. I realized that any advice I had would only be falling on deaf ears.

But I understand. Making necessary changes for weight loss is an individual thing. I really think that for every overweight person, you have to want it bad enough before you will ever be willing to make sacrifices. And no matter what anyone tells us, it is about sacrifice! I used to say all the time that I would never do any type of diet that had restrictions. I wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted, only in moderation. But like a slap in the face one day, I realized that this was probably my damn problem! Obvious, eating anything I wanted wasn't working. I was gaining and losing the same 10 lbs. I didn't think I could EVER get under that 300 lb. mark! So when I was handed the opportunity to learn more about food and more about my body, I listened with an open mind. And now, weeks later, making that change in my way of thinking is paying off.

I still can't believe I have lost 10% of my body weight! I am dumbfounded that I have been able to go without a SODA for over a week! AND - I am able to turn down chocolate with no kicking and screaming and tears! I am UNDER 300 lbs for the first time in 3 years. I don't feel deprived, I am never hungry, and I feel better than I have in a long time. It's just amazing. But sometimes I still get scared. Sometimes that voice creeps in that tells me that I will fail, that something will happen, and I will slip, and then have to start all over. But guess what? I'm ready for that! I will keep going, because it is my time! I keep SEEING myself as a thin person; trying to dream it into reality! And let me tell you, I really believe I can do it! THIS time, I really think it will happen!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 8 - Week 1 Accomplishments

W8LossChick sent me an email tonight, and in it she suggested that I write down my accomplishments for this past week. Yes, it has been one full week of clean eating. No caffeine, no sugar, no processed food. Just good, wholesome food, eaten in small meals and snacks every three hours. And lots of water!

Week One Accomplishments:
1. I kicked the soda habit. I NEVER thought I could give up sodas. Not once in my life have I ever went 7 whole days without a soda. I've cut down to 1 per day, but never just quit drinking them. Even when I was pregnant and all the books said I should. I needed that caffeine, but now I have proven that I can live without it.
2. I did not eat candy/unrefined carbs. This is another biggie. First of all, it's the week after Easter. Honestly, I have went out in the past in the days past Easter just so I could find good candy deals! Last year I hit pay dirt and found Cadbury eggs 4/$1 - I bought about 20 of them and binged for two days. I haven't had bread, or pastries, or donuts. Nothing. I am trying to get sugar out of my system, and right now, I feel in control.
3. I made it through the weekend. I proved that I could still go out with my friends and stay in control. I made it through my son's soccer game without my usual nachos and candy. I lazed around the house all day on Sunday and didn't snack all day. I knew I could do it with my weekday routine, but was so happy that I made it through the weekend with success!
4. I am learning something new every day. Not only am I living clean, but I am learning a lot, too. About how to keep and maintain healthful habits that will last me for a lifetime. I have learned a lot about my body, and how it processes and stores the food I eat. I have also learned a lot about supplements and how they can help me on this journey.
5. I am learning how to love me for me. This may be the hardest part. To love myself enough to know that I am worth the hard work it will take to lose weight and keep it off for good. In the past, I will quit just because I don't care enough about myself to want it. REALLY want it. I put everyone else's needs ahead of my own. I am still working on that part of me that don't like the reflection in the mirror. That person who is self-conscious and gets depressed because she has so far to go. I'm working on that each day.
6. I am journaling every single thing I eat. I am tracking religiously. Right now it's the calories, fat, fiber, and sugar. Today I went back and also calculated the WW points for everything last week - just to see how on/off track I am. It was good to be able to go back over the numbers AFTER the week had gone by. I had stuck to my plan each day last week, and wrote down the numbers, but had not totaled anything. Today I was able to see a range of statistics that will be able to use in the future. I will not "officially" weight again until one month goes by on plan, then each month afterward. My journal will help me keep track with what is working, and what is not.

That's all I can think of for now. My goal for next week is to KEEP GOING! STAY ON TRACK! STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR AND CAFFEINE! I can't let myself slip for even a moment!

Tomorrow is WW meeting, and I'm interested to see what the scale says. I know I have definitely lost something - I can already tell in my clothes. I actually put my "goal" pants on this weekend (a pair of white linen capris that I bought two years ago and have never worn). The tag says size 24, but they run very small. Two weeks ago I couldn't get them over my stomach, but this weekend I could pull them up and button them. Yes, they are SKIN TIGHT, but that was progress! My birthday is in 6 weeks... it would be blissful to wear them on that day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 7 - One whole week of success!

Sorry I haven't updated in a few days. Things have been slightly hectic and a little unorganized. But the good thing is that I have stayed on my plan, and am still eating well and doing great!

Friday was a BEAUTIFUL day in TN. Our class got invited to participate in the 8th grade field day, so I got to take them and sit in the beautiful sunshine most of the day! The school day just flew by. And there were still plenty of temptations at work, since they grilled hot dogs and had a school-wide cookout, but I brought my salad along and was just fine!

I went out with Friday night with some friends and had a great time. This was my first "test" on how I was going to do with alcohol. Yvette had warned me that my tolerance would be lower because of the clean eating, and I should have listened. After two drinks I was really feeling the funk, in a good way! But even though there was a wide variety of food and appetizers available, I didn't cave. I crashed at my friends house because I had to get up early Saturday morning for my kids' soccer games.

When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt like crap! I only had about three hours of sleep, and had a headache. When I opened my friend's fridge to get something to drink, there was nothing but juice and diet soda. I wanted a soda SO BAD and could just feel how refreshing it would be. I even tried to justify (in my head) that it would be good to cure my hangover. But I know me, and that would have started me down to having several all day, and not allowing me to get my water in. SO, I passed on the soda, and remembered I still had a case of bottled water in the back of my truck.

Being semi-prepared, I had also brought a protein bar with me, so for breakfast Saturday I had the protein bar and water on the way back home. I got a little hungry at the soccer game, and ate an orange as a snack. I didn't even feel tempted to go to the concession stand, even when Clyde sat beside me eating nachos (which I REALLY like). After the game, I came home and grilled, and had a nice salad with grilled chicken for lunch. For dinner I had a bowl of oatmeal, which I barely ate because I added cottage cheese (like I have seen so many do). It tasted terrible, so I scraped it into the trash. I think I'll stick to pumpkin or applesauce. But I still felt satisfied for the rest of the night.

I was EXTRA thirsty yesterday, which is probably an alcohol side-effect. I think I drank close to 200 oz. of water yesterday. I was also hoping maybe it would flush out my system a bit. I had a house-warming party to go to last night, but decided not to drink before I went. I took a big bottle of water, and drank on it. Everyone was going out to the club after the party, but I decided to call it a night early. I was still tired from the night before, and I didn't want to drink two nights in a row. It started raining right as I got home, and I slept like a baby!

One thing that is on my mind all the time now is progress. I finally feel like I am making real progress on this journey, not just losing weight. Every day that I eat clean and abstain from sugar and caffeine, I feel like I'm doing something good for my body. Yeah, a part of me still wants to see that scale move, but not a big part anymore. I am really able to look at the long-term, and I hope to be able to keep that as my focus. I am eating so well, and moving so much more that the pounds will have no choice but to fall off. It might take a while for my body to get out of shock, though. I've never treated it this good for 7 whole days!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 4 - Resisting Temptation!

Today was ALL about temptation. I felt like I was on a reality TV show!

8 a.m. - Breakfast plates were delivered to my co-worker and I by a student runner. Another teacher had made breakfast for the pod, and since Greg and I don't leave the classroom, they were nice enough to bring us a plate. Cheesy hashbrowns, plus some kind of sausage, egg, and cheese filled croissant. Yummy - NOT! I DID NOT EAT A BITE! I passed the plate to Greg. I was still full and satisfied from my pumpkin oats this morning, so resisting this temptation was easy.

11:30 a.m. - We got an email earlier in the morning letting us know that we were having a catered lunch from this place in our town named Micheal's. Let me tell you, this place is so good! So I figured that I could just stay away from the teacher's lounge, and wouldn't have to even LOOK at the spread. Yeah, right. Some of the office staff was NICE enough to the bring Greg and I a plate, AGAIN. Not one, but TWO mini sandwiches on Sourdough rolls, some fresh fruit and veggies, and a whole plate full of desserts. PLUS sweet fruit tea - which is one of the BEST things about Micheal's. Now, at this point I was hungry...it was lunch time! But I had already laid my salad on my desk... I told Greg that he could have the sandwiches, and I would take the fruit and veggies (he is allergic to fresh fruit and veggies). Since neither of us wanted the desserts, we let our students eat them. I also gave him the tea. I ate my salad, and saved the fruit for my afternoon snack. The veggies were covered in ranch dressing, and since I could bet that it wasn't low-fat, I tossed them. And guess what, I didn't even care! It was too easy!

2:45 p.m. - It's the end of the day...almost time for my afternoon snack at 3 p.m. Someone enters the classroom with two plates with PIZZA on each of them! Now, ya'll know I LOVE PIZZA. I had actually been craving it last week. It smelled SO good, and the crust was perfect - just like I like it. My mouth watered just a little while I took the plates and placed them on Greg's desk, AGAIN. A few minutes later, I had my fruit, and had forgot all about the pizza.

Is this me? What the hell is going on? In the past, they would have had me at breakfast. I would have forget it, I'll start over tomorrow. Better enjoy this GOOD food! I deserve it, right? But today, for the first time maybe ever, I thought I deserved something greater. Control. I had control of myself, and what went in my mouth. And resisting all that temptation made me feel awesome! I wasn't sad or upset that I missed out - because what was I really missing? Tight pants? Carb overload? Remorse? Naw...I don' t think I missed a thing.

It's been four days with no sugar AND no caffeine! This, my friends, is a record.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 3 - Triggers

Today started off great, and was going pretty well until after lunch. My co-worker asked me to please run to Wal-mart to pick up a couple of things for the classroom. I was glad to do so, because I had a couple of things I needed to get. It would save me from having to make the trip after school with all three kids, so I was game. When I walked in Wal-mart, I felt overwhelmed instantly. It was the smell - the bakery and Subway are located as soon as you walked in the door.

One of my favorite binge items is donuts. On past work-trips to Wal-mart, I would always stop by the bakery and get three donuts - a long john, a Bavarian, and a jelly. I would scarf them down on the way back to the school, and then hide the box so my kids wouldn't know. Sometimes when I go with my kids, I'll buy them a dozen donuts so I can have an excuse to buy my "special" donuts. Then after they go to bed, I will sit at the computer and savor them. Same with the Cadbury eggs...I buy them two at a time.

As I was walking up and down the aisles, I felt jittery. Like a recovering crack head in a crack house. There was so much I could get! Not just the donuts, but the candy, the ice cream, the EVERYTHING! Going through the checkout line, I eyed the candy bars. That evil little voice in my head kept assuring me that no one would know. But I would know. I am tired of disappointing myself. I realized that Wal-mart is a trigger for me.

So needless to say, the cravings for sugar were a little strong today. As soon as I got to work, there were two bags of miniature candy and a pack or Oreos on my desk. I asked my co-teacher if it was some kind of fat-girl joke, but he apologized and said a student left it laying there. But I have not indulged... I am trying to stay strong. I know this will be a daily battle, because this is an addiction I am dealing with. My body has been addicted to sugar for a long time - and I'm sure it's pissed off that I am now depriving it of it's fix.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 2 - Warning: Weight Watcher Rant...

Today started out well. I have been able to stick to the 3-hour eating plan, and still no headaches from sugar or caffeine withdrawal. I am SO thankful for that. TCAP tests were a little more smooth today, so not so stressful at work. I did get offered a position during the summer, so I'm excited about that. The job is for an assistant, but when my boss emailed me today she said it would be a great opportunity to "student teach". She promised details in the next week or so. That takes a big burden off me, because I had been wondering how this summer was going to go with trying to find a job for the two months we were out.

After school today, I went to my WW meeting and I did WI. I lost .2 lbs, but wasn't really concerned about it. I know I am headed in the right direction with this new way of eating, and I also just came off of terrible weekend eating. What I did care about is the fact that our leader made a big deal over another member reaching their 1st 25 lb. milestone, then made a big deal on presenting her with her award. WTF! I was soooo pissed off, because that bitch didn't even RECOGNIZE me when I made my 25 lb. milestone, and told me I had to wait until 10% to get my charm. I had to raise my hand and ASK for my 5 lb. star, then she just tossed it at me. That's okay. I'm only 3.2 lbs away from 10%, and I know that it's only a couple of weeks away if I keep doing what I'm doing. Then she will HAVE TO give me what is due. But until then, fuck her. (Sorry, but this is my blog and I think an f-bomb appropriately describes how I feel about this situation).

(sighing after rant)....

After WW, I realized that BOTH my oldest children had soccer practice, one after the other. So I had to race home to get their gear. THEN I realized that my 6 p.m. dinner time would come and go while I was at the soccer field, and I had no idea what to do. So I grabbed a few things (protein bar, Greek yogurt, almonds, and Kashi Go-Lean cereal), and texted Yvette to see what she thought would be a good "dinner" combo. I am so glad she is so willing to help me do this. So we decided on the protein bar plus the almonds, and with water I was really full!

It's funny how my fat-girl mind still looks at small amounts of food as "not enough". I don't know why I still do this! I guess my portions have been distorted for so long, it will take a while to re-train my brain (and my stomach) to know when I am really satisfied. That is really why I want to change the way I eat - because I have read so much research on how sugar plays such havoc on your body chemistry. I want my body to be in balance, if that is ever possible. I want health, no just weight loss.

I just finished DietGirl's book today, and I really liked it. The same reason why she left WW is the same reason I will not renew my membership. I really notice how the focus is more on weight loss than healthy eating. Today in our meeting, people were actually talking about how you could fit Tollhouse cookies in your points allowance, lol! But when I told them that I had decided to eat clean and detox from sugar and caffeine, they looked at me like I was crazy. And the leader acted like my .2 lb. loss was a GAIN or something. In my opinion, a loss is a loss! I dunno... my thinking has changed on so much lately...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Detox - Day 1

Today is the first day of my new way of eating. After weeks of research, and coming up with a plan with a friend, I am ready to completely change the way that I eat. I am really feeling a difference with the supplements I am taking, and am ready to start eating clean!
  • I am going to make an effort to steer clear of processed foods.
  • I am going to balance my meals with healthy carbs, protein, and healthy fats.
  • I am going to stop eating anything with added sugar or artificial sweeteners - only the sweetness that God gave it.
  • AND I am going to stop my caffeine habit.
Last week, I made an attempt, but didn't really have the groceries I needed. Over the weekend, with my grocery trip on Saturday, I decided that it's time to stop playing around. I'm going to JUST DO IT.

My first step is detox - from sugar and caffeine. The caffeine shouldn't be too hard - I have stopped drinking coffee as of about three weeks ago. And I have even cut my sodas down to one per day. But this week I will not have any sodas, and will concentrate on getting at least 100 oz. of water per day. The sugar will be a challenge, but thankfully I have made it through the day with no headaches. Yvette (W8losschick) recommended a supplement to help with the headaches and cravings, and I'm guessing it works. I haven't had a single craving today, either. There was a bag of candy in my face at work today, and my daughter handed me my favorite Easter candy this afternoon. I turned it all down with no problem.

I just got finished journaling all of my food, and totaling up calories/fat/fiber/sugar. Since I am technically still on Weight Watchers, I will also total the POINTS before I go to bed. I have paid for my WW meetings until the end of May, so I will continue to go. I think the support at the meetings are great and can only help me. I'm not quite sure yet what I will do about the WI's (since I have vowed to stop the scale habit). I have to think about that.

But my focus is not just about numbers right now. It's about health, and longevity of weight loss. I have come to the conclusion that I need to change the way I eat - totally. I can't keep allowing for candy and sweet treats in my points allowance. It leads to a binge EVERY TIME. It might not be immediate, but eventually it will. I want to kick the sugar habit, and this is the only way I know has been proven to work. It's just a love affair I am going to have to end for good. But I'm not mad about it at all - it's time that I started to get to the root of my obesity and make some hard decisions about habits I have to change. I'm ready!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

300.2 - Class Reunion - Easter

This has been a really great weekend. Yesterday, I decided to go to my class reunion, and I'm glad I went. It was a bit chilly, but my kids had a blast. We had a family-style picnic at the park, where all of the classmates were invited to bring their families. There were not a lot of people there, but enough for it to be fun. I got to catch up with several good friends and it was nice.

After the picnic, my kids and I headed to Trader Joe's, which was right down the street from the park we met at in Nashville.

I REALLY liked this store. It was smaller than I expected, and was pretty crowded (I guess for the Easter rush). But I was pleasantly surprised at how reasonable the prices were. Some of the items I bought in the produce section were even a better bargain than Wal-mart prices. I walked up and down each isle, and was pleased with the items I was able to buy. I was able to find everything on my list, and then some.

Next, we went about a 1/2 mile down the street to Whole Foods, which was located in a new, trendy group of stores that has to be new to the area (never seen it before). It was almost like a little city within a city. My son kept asking if we were in New York. We were in Green Hills, which is what I refer to as the "rich part of town." We might as well have been in New York as far as my kids were concerned, lol.
I only bought a few items from Whole Foods, but did take a minute to walk around. My children were fascinated by the hot/salad/dessert bar. One day we might actually come back and eat there, but I was in a hurry to get back and get ready for the next phase of the reunion - the adult-only portion.
There is a pic of most of my goodies from Trader Joe's. I purchased Almond butter for the first time, as well as some flavored greek yogurt and other goodies. Their produced looked great - can't wait to try some of the lettuces and spinach for salads next week. I think a trip to Trader Joes might be something I do at least once or twice a month.

I bought this bottle of water at Whole Foods. My children all wanted one because the bottle is so pretty. They've been rinsing them out and re-susing them to drink water out of. I am saving mine for work next week.

I am really glad I decided to go to my reunion. I was able to have several cocktails and catch up with old friends. I even have future plans to hang out with a few people, including my friend Elizabeth (in the picture below).

We actually worked together several years ago, but have lost touch over the past few years. She has a brand new baby girl, so now we have promised to get together to do "mommy" stuff and hang out.

This morning Jessica called and asked me to go to church with her for Easter, and we did. It was a very large church, and about a 15 minute walk from the parking lot to the church, THEN we had to walk up THREE flights of steps to get to open seats. Days like today I am thankful that I am much more fit now than I used to be. There is NO WAY I would have been able to make that trek a year ago, especially not in the 4-inch heels I was wearing. But it was a nice service, and worth the exercise involved, lol.

Afterward we went to another friend's house for an egg hunt, then back to her house for a late lunch/early dinner. So we have had a very full weekend, and now I must try to get my kids settled down for school tomorrow. Next week is standardized state tests in our school district, and we are all stressing a little. I've never been on the teacher end of state testing, but my co-workers are all freaking out about it. Hopefully, all will go well.

Oh, I weighed myself this morning for the last time for a while. The scale said 300.2 (.4 gain), which is good considering the FOUR mixed drinks I consumed last night. I am tossing the scale for ONE MONTH, and will begin a new phase of my weight loss journey tomorrow. Stay tuned for details...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Only two more hours...

...until my three-day weekend begins! Wahoo! It is a glorious, sunny day outside and I'm in a great mood. I wore a bright colored shirt today, and my hair down, and am loving the fact that my size 24 jeans are super-loose! I have been eating well today - heck, all week has been good! Even with the minor candy slip-ups, my food intake has improved 100% over what it has been. I have been eating tons of fruits and veggies, along with lean meat and whole grains. This clean eating is great, as is the 3-hour eating. My body is thanking me big time. TOM has been this week, and I haven't felt bloated, irritable, or crampy not ONE time! That is amazing in itself.

I have a lot planned this evening. A small grocery trip after school (we are out of everything), then soccer practice, and then to a friend's basketball game. We then plan on hanging out with Jess and her kids and spend the night with them at their new apartment. We are thinking about getting a babysitter and going out, but who knows. We are kinda tired of going out after our Spring break escapades!

Hopefully the weather will stay warm and dry so I can get out and walk tomorrow. I might even take my field trip to Nashville for the grocery expedition I mentioned earlier this week. I'm excited about that. Thanks to those of you who gave me suggestions for my grocery list. I have decided that we will not have an Easter egg hunt this year at my house. I don't want to be around that much candy. I know that two of my kids are having Easter parties at school today, and my oldest will get over it. Besides, I totally forgot that Saturday is my class reunion. That morning from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. they are having a picnic/Easter egg hunt at a park in Nashville for families. That should be enough Easter festivities for the kiddos.

Saturday night is the adult portion of the reunion at some chic restaurant in Nashville. I dread it. I hate going back fatter this year than I was 5 years ago (when I was size 18). I might not even go, but everyone says I should. I guess it depends on how the picnic goes. I am also thinking about going to church on Easter. I still have to think about that, too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tossing the scale

Sometimes I really want to toss my scale out the window. It is a love/hate relationship, let me tell you. I have been doing VERY well since Saturday. I have really been sticking to the eat-every-three-hours schedule, and now, if I listen, my body will tell me when I am hungry. I have been eating wholesome food, lots of fruit and veggies, and tons of water. But - the scale is still not my friend.

I have really been trying to avoid sugar, but failed miserably yesterday when my co-worker plopped a bag of mini candy bars on my desk. The smell of chocolate hypnotized me and I was broke down. Then, I had a cupcake with my kids. THEN I had a few pieces of candy that I was stuffing Easter eggs with to send with my kids to school today. I was doing well today until that same damned co-worker threw chocolate in my face again! AGGHH! I only had a few small pieces, but it was enough for me to feel the sugar rush. So I came home and disposed of the few pieces that were left over from the Easter eggs I had to stuff for school last night - so it is GONE. But I know tomorrow is going to be another challenge since the kiddos all have Easter parties at school and will be bringing it home. I knew I should have waited for the sugar detox until after Easter, but hey... at least I'm getting practice.

Each time I am presented with a food that is within my points range, but has sugar or white flour, and I say no, I feel like I have triumphed. For example, I say no to chocolate milk every day. And the good school pizza today. And even small amounts of candy - I know I have points for them, but I do not need the sugar. I really doing a lot of planning to make sure I have meals and snacks at the right times that are healthy and balanced. I figure that as long as I keep trying, everything will even out. Now, I just need to let go of how those numbers on the scale are making me crazy.

I have been stepping on the scale every morning, and the numbers keep creeping up! WTF! OK - it is TOM, and I KNOW I used to gain as much as 10 lbs during this time, but for some reason I still expect to see the numbers go DOWN because I am eating well. I am not going to give up, though. I feel really good and my clothes keep getting looser, which I love. I FEEL thinner, so I know that's important. My self-confidence is soaring. But I just want to see that number! MizFit has a great blog today about the scale. I think I'm going to take her advice and stay away from it. She suggests using a pair of pants to gauge your progress. I just so happen to have this pair of linen Capri pants that I have been trying to fit into for three years...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Calling all fans of Trader Joe's, Fresh market, Harris Teeter, and Whole Foods...

I am constantly reading blogs where people rave about a product they bought at one of these stores. Especially Trader Joe's. So, out of curiosity I Google'd these stores today to see if there were any in the Nashville area, and guess what? We have all of them! So, this weekend (weather permitting), I am going on a field trip. I think it will be fun to just go to these stores and walk around, and pick up some of the products that are favorites of my Blogging friends. Brian Douglas just talked about some Mandarin Orange Chicken from TJ's, and someone else found some Quick-cook Steel cut oats there. Kath (KERF) had some coffee from Fresh market on her blog today that looked so yummy. All of the stores are about 40 miles away and pretty close to each other, so I might decide to make this trip once or twice per month if the items are worth it.

SO, I am asking all of my Blogger friends to recommend your favorite products from these stores. What is offered here that I won't be able to buy at my local Publix, Kroger, or Wal-mart?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Trying something new.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a woman that had been following my blog. Her name is Yvette, and said she wanted to help me lose weight. I have to admit, my first thought was "How much is this gonna cost?". But she promised that she was not out for money, just wanted to share her knowledge with me. Then I thought, "Yeah, right." Well, I'm glad that I kept an open mind, because I feel like I've made a new friend. She has shared a lot of information with me on nutrition and weight loss, and the science behind it. She also does this on her blog (w8losschick).

One thing that I have had in the back of my mind for quite some time is whether or not taking supplements would help me on this journey. So when Yvette started giving me information about certain vitamins and supplements that would help me, I was all ears and started doing research on them myself. So yesterday I went to Wal-mart and bought a few (multivitamin, flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, milk thistle) and today I started taking them. I'm very anxious to see if they help. My father used to swear by supplements, and the research just makes sense to me.

I am also changing up my eating a little bit this week - really trying to focus on balance while I am limiting the sugar from my diet. I am also trying to keep to a schedule of eating every three hours or so. I find that sometimes I can go all day without eating, which I know is killing my metabolism. And it usually makes me so hungry that my willpower goes out the window. Most experts tell you that eating several small meals a day will help keep your metabolism going, so I'm going to try it.

So - the plan for this week is:
1. No sugar or products with white flour.
2. Try to eat balanced meals and snacks.
3. Eat every three hours.
4. Drink plenty of water.
5. Eat as clean as possible.

I feel fabulous today. The sun was shining earlier, and the kiddos and I took a great walk. I could feel the sun seeping into my skin, and I couldn't help but think that life is good. I am focusing on the positive right now, and I couldn't feel better. I watched a movie called the Secret this morning, and it's all about how your have the power to transform your life. I agree. I really think positive thinking can change you for the better, and I need to remind myself of that when I get down. I have decided to do a vision board, and hang it up in my bedroom. That way I can start to visualize my goals, and so they will always be there as a reminder of who I CAN be if I want it bad enough!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

57:17 / I am not on a diet...


First things first... today I walked in my first 5K race. It was exciting, and I'll definitely do it again. I DID NOT COME IN LAST, lol! There were actually a lot of people behind me when I crossed the finish line. My time was 57:17, so I was able to meet both goals I had set for myself (to finish in under an hour, to not be the last walker to cross the finish line). My daughter and my nephew also had a great time.

Today is my first conscious sugar-free day. It's been okay. It's funny, but whenever I put a restriction in my brain, I freak out a little. I go into this "diet" mentality, and immediately want to quit. This morning, I had a great bowl of pumpkin oatmeal with just a little bit of brown sugar, and it tasted just fine! After the 5K, I chose a banana from the snack tent. Then at around 3 p.m. after I had run errands and mowed my grass, I realized I was famished. My children wanted Subway, so I figured why not? So we go to Subway, and I started to panic because of the bread. Is it okay to eat bread? So then, standing there in line, I told my self to stop it. I always get wheat bread, which has to be better than white bread and has lots of fiber.

This is about making a positive change for my body. If I can stop eating added sugar, white bread and rice, and other "bad" carbs, it will still be a positive change. Yeah, some people can go cold turkey from everything, but obviously I am not that person. Now, turning down one of those yummy cookies took self control, and so did driving by McDonald's instead of getting an Iced Latte this morning. It would have been easy to grab a cereal bar or some crackers off the snack table set up at the 5K this morning, but I chose fruit instead. It's about good choices, and I am proud of the one's I've made today.

I am no longer a Lane Bryant employee. After the 5K today, my daughter and nephew and I went to Walmart to pick up a few things. Then I dropped off nephew, picked up my other two kids, and we headed home. It's a BEAUTIFUL day today, but supposed to turn cold and messy again tomorrow. My grass desperately needed to be cut, so I figured since I was sweaty and tired anyway I might as well get the mowing out of the way. O.M.G. I barely got finished - I was WIPED out. I was only working with the bowl of oatmeal and banana, so my body needed fuel (even though I didn't feel hungry at all). My leg was hurting, and after I got out of the shower I felt like my body had been hit by a truck.

I called LB to see on the off chance if someone wanted my shift (people have been begging for hours). The manager got smart with me, and it went down hill from there. I told her I wanted to quit, and she told me not to come back... so in my eyes everything worked out great! It was like a burden was immediately lifted from me. Now, I get to relax for the rest of the evening with my kiddos. AND, I get to sleep in tomorrow morning! Life is good!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ready, set...GO!

Tomorrow is my first 5K. I will be walking with my daughter and my nephew, who are both 11. Although I'm excited, I am still a little nervous because I don't walk as fast as some people. I'm glad I will be walking with my children so I can blame my slowness on them, LOL. I just got my shirt and Event Schedule. It will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the runners going first and the walkers following behind. The awards presentation isn't until 10 a.m., and I know we can finish by then. I figure it will take us about an hour, since we do our 1.6 mile walk in exactly 30 minutes (going slow). This 5K is being sponsored by my son's elementary school, and is promoting "fitness for our kids and community". I am glad I am able to do it with my daughter and nephew.

I feel a lot better today. I don't have that "I just had a baby" feeling in my stomach, and my energy is better. I have decided to start my sugar detox tomorrow. I am not going as strict as phase 1 South Beach to begin with, because I still want to be able to eat oatmeal. But I will not be adding sugar or artificial sweetener to anything. I will not eat white rice or white flour or white anything (except for milk). Hopefully this will help a lot with the cravings. I wanted to wait until next week to start, since I can't afford to go grocery shopping until Thursday. But like someone said in a comment yesterday, why wait? No time like the present.

My class had DONUTS this morning, and I had 2. This sounds terrible, but I'm actually quite proud of the fact that I only ate two. And that was INSTEAD of my cereal, not in addition to. What makes me mad is that my Newman's cereal or oatmeal will keep me full until Lunch, but I ate those two donuts two hours ago and I'm starving. This is exactly why I need to ditch the sugar. For lunch I brought a can of soup. I have a lot of food in my pantry that are low in fat/calories, but are not foods that I want to continue eating in my new, clean-eating lifestyle. Canned soup is one of them - so I'm going to try to eat through my pantry/refrigerator and get a clean start on my Thursday grocery trip. I know some people are able to just throw away food - but I'm not that person.

I am going to quit my PT job at LB. I know I need the money, but I'm so tired of working two jobs. I'm tired of not having any time for myself (or my kids) on the weekends. It is $200 a month that I'll just have to find elsewhere. I actually have a refrigerator and a riding mower that I need to put on craigslist, so if I get $200 for each, that's two months worth of work right there. See, if I didn't have to work this weekend I might have the time to take the pictures and post the ads...

I also feel like I am falling behind in my schoolwork. I have a major project that was due on Saturday, with an extra week extension and I am still not done with it! I am just too "scattered" and can't concentrate on it. I am not the type to slack on my classes, so I know I need to get my ass in gear. Yeah, I'm going to call LB right now and let them know that my plate is too full, and I have to start scraping off the excess.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Feeling fat...

I feel very fat today. My stomach still feels bloated and swollen, and it's still sore. I overate last night (had a bowl of cereal after dinner), so I'm not feeling 100% today. Yesterday afternoon was BEAUTIFUL outside, and I really wanted to go walk, but just didn't feel like it. All I wanted to do was lay down, so I listened to my body and did just that. I'm entitled, right?

Okay - I have decided to give up sugar. I'll probably start out South Beach Diet style, and start out with nothing the first two weeks, then gradually add the good grains/carbs into my diet. I am tired of being RULED by sugar cravings. I have to admit, since I have made a move toward eating clean it has helped. I haven't had a Cadbury egg in nearly two weeks! But once I eat something sweet, I go crazy! So I am going to tough it out and let my body detox. I haven't decided WHEN exactly, though. I'm thinking the Monday after Easter...?

We have soccer practice this evening, and they have moved the location so I no longer have a track to walk at:( Maybe after we get home I can do 30 minutes on the elliptical. Thing is, my elliptical feels like it's falling apart! Maybe it just needs to be tightened up? I dunno...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Diagnoses - feeling better

Thank you for all of the well wishes and thoughtful comments yesterday. I feel much better this morning, thank God! Yesterday after school I was still in a lot of pain. I did go WI for WW, but left immediately. At the encouragement of everyone I know, I went to the ER. I'm glad I did. I had MULTIPLE problems going on, but thankfully my gallbladder was not one of them. The main problem was stomach inflammation. The CT-Scan told the doctor that my stomach was indeed swollen and irritated. Not really sure of the cause, though. I haven't really been eating out of the ordinary. They gave me something called a GI cocktail to soothe and coat my stomach, and the pain has gone from a (10) to a (4).

While they were doing an ultrasound on my gallbladder, they found that I have a large cyst on my left ovary - about the size of a tennis ball. I had a cyst on my right ovary a couple of years ago that gave me a cancer scare, so I'm definitely going to follow up with my OB-GYN ASAP. The doctor said that could also be causing some of the pain. And last but not least, I have the beginnings of a UTI. Great, right? So, I got home last night, popped some pills, and slept like a baby.

I had called in to work last night, but decided this morning that I felt well enough to go in. I feel much better - not 100% - but not sick enough to lay in bed all day. I do a lot of sitting at my school job, so I think I'll be fine. When I got up this morning, I could tell the swelling in my stomach had gone down considerable, and when I stepped on the scale I was already back at 299.8 (Yay!).

Yesterday when I weighed in at WW I was down -5.4 lbs since last WI on 3/10. My official WW weight is 303.4, which is exactly 2 lbs more than I weighed yesterday morning. That's usually how it goes, though. I weigh on Tuesday mornings as soon as I get up, after I've gone to the bathroom and before I get dressed because I think that is a more accurate weight. Then on Tuesday evenings at WW I am always 1.5 - 2 lbs more, so I don't really count my WI's for WW. So last night, I officially earned my 25 lb. prize, but the leader wouldn't give it to me because I still have not reached my 10% (33 lbs). So, to reach 10% I have 3.4 lbs to lose for WW, and then I'm supposed to get a key chain (for 10%) and a charm (for 25 lbs). I figure I can get it by next week or week after if I keep doing what I'm doing and sticking to plan.

Okay, so I'm off to work on homework...