Monday, December 27, 2010

Something "catchy"...

Every year, I find some sort of "catchy" phrase that I use throughout the year...

Shine in 2009... Thin in 2010...

I was having trouble thinking of something that rhymed with 2011...

211 in 2011 kept jumping out. It's not really a catch-phrase, more like a goal weight. I was sure I could think of something better... until this morning.

I am starting over today, using my Isagenix products and cleansing. I weighed in, to assess the holiday damage, and to get a starting point. Again.

My new EatSmart (more about that later) scale says I weigh 311.6. Not good, but better than my pre-surgery weight.

After thinking about it, I think I WILL use 211 in 2011 as my catch-phrase/goal this year. That's a 100 lb weight loss. Which is doable... less than 10 lbs per month. I can do this, I know I can. 211 lbs will put me even lower than my pre-baby weight in 2005 (239), which has been my goal for a while.

I can do this, and I'm ready. No time like the present.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Do you have a "reset" button?

Something really weird is happening... besides my crazy-swollen leg and cankles.

Somehow I feel like after having surgery and being sick, my body has hit some sort of "reset" button.

I no longer feel compelled to binge on sugar.

I don't even want it. Or crave it. It doesn't phase me.

The holiday season is usually very hard for me... weight-loss-wise. I always fail my diet because I can't say 'no' to the sweet treats, cakes, cookies, fudge, candy, etc. that seems to constantly be passed around. I eat all I want, and usually just deal with the fall-out on January 1.

But this year is different. I just don't want it.

Last week, I made two batches of cookies for my kiddos when we had two snow days. I can count how many I ate over three days... under 10. And they were very small, quarter-sized cookies. In the past, I would have sat down with the whole container.

I have received cookies, candy, and fudge as teacher gifts this week. Instead of snacking on it throughout the day, it's just sat on my desk. I actually brought in Dunkin Donuts for my co-workers this morning and only had ONE. One of my co-workers even made a remark about how something had changed. She knows my usual struggle with sugar and all things related. She seemed a little shocked at my behavior, lol.

All those sweet treats are sitting on my kitchen table. Still wrapped up. I just don't want them.

Oh, and I suddenly don't like pizza anymore either! TWICE I've passed up pizza because the thought of eating it makes me sick. I just don't want it.

Don't get me wrong... I AM NOT COMPLAINING. This is really a good thing for me!

Somehow, after all this drama surrounding my surgery, my body has hit a 'reset' button and I guess it just needs something different. Maybe it was the Isagenix cleanse I was doing before my surgery... who knows? All I know is that this holiday season I am losing weight instead of gaining. I am in control of my eating. Which is good.

On another note... I thought I had taken the last of my Lovenox injections on Wednesday, but since my Coumaden levels are still too low, I had to go back on the injections today. Which is a total bummer. AND my leg is swollen tight tonight. I am SO sick and tired of being sick and tired. I really want to be back in the gym next week. A girl can only hope, right?

Monday, December 13, 2010

And the saga continues...

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings! And I'm not singing, lol!

This surgery saga keeps going and going... and according to my doctor, it could continue for MONTHS.

I went in to my doctor for a follow-up appointment on Tuesday. The seroma behind my incision was (and still is) oozing, but during the night before I woke up with horrible pain in my right leg. When I mentioned this to him, he sent me for an ultrasound of my leg to check for a possible blood clot.

And of course, I had one. A big one. "Deep Vein Thrombosis".

Straight to the emergency room I was told to go... do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

I only had to spend the night in the hospital (thank GOD). I am now on Lovenox injections and Coumaden to thin my blood. WHICH SUCKS.

Both the lady from the pharmacy at the hospital and my primary care doctor have scared me to DEATH about the risks of having this blood clot and taking blood thinners. Every medication I take and everything I eat can affect the Coumaden levels in my bloodstream, which will also affect the thinness of my blood and whether or not the clot moves and kills me. Any chest pain, any leg pain higher than my knee, any unexplained coughing or shortness of breath... it can all mean that the clot has moved to my lungs, where it can cause a pulmonary embolism. Which "could" kill me.

Damn.

Soooo.... I am definitely trying to take care of ME. My leg is MUCH better. For days I could barely walk on it. It is still swollen, but the pain is almost gone and I am not limping as much now. I am still on the Lovenox injections twice per day. Because I am so big, I have to take 140mg, which has to be split into TWO injections of 100mg + 40 mg. That's FOUR injections per day that HURT LIKE HELL. (One more reminder of how being overweight SUCKS). But I am doing everything the doctor says. I am taking care of me.

I was looking forward to getting back to my Isagenix cleanse, but my doctor said NO because of the Coumaden and the fact that a lot of natural herbs don't interact well with it. I am bummed, but I am doing very well with eating. My appetite is back, but my portions are still small. I weighed the other day and saw the lowest number I've seen in a while. I've lost over 10 lbs since all this started.

I'm not stressing the weight loss right now, though. It will happen if I stay aware and keep the portions right. I am making good choices. I am really trying to be WELL again.

Everything happens for a reason. Maybe this experience is to teach me that my health is non-negotiable...?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surgery - The SAGA

Sorry for my absence (again). It isn't because I scrapped my diet again. It isn't because I haven't been focused on me and my health. Surgery has just been hell!

I had my surgery on November 23 (Tuesday before Thanksgiving). We celebrated Thanksgiving and my baby daughter's birthday (she turned 5!) on Sunday the 21st. It was a great, busy day. I was in complete control with eating... I didn't even finish one plate! I did have desserts, but not much. I had a leftover plate on Monday, and didn't finish that one either, lol. I just haven't had an appetite since starting the Isagenix products. I had to fast starting on Monday night for surgery.

The surgery went well on Tuesday. The doctor cut me open right on my c-section scar and was able to remove the entire mass, plus some one the other side that didn't show on the scan. I came home Tuesday night around 9 p.m. with minimal pain. Wednesday and Thursday were good - just slept a lot and popped pain pills. On Friday, I felt a lot more pain around my belly, but I figured that if they'd used local anesthesia on my belly the feeling might just be coming back.

By Saturday, I started getting worried. I didn't feel well. The incision site was sore, and my whole body ached. I was running a low-grade fever, and started having chills and sweats. This was the same case on Sunday. I felt like CRAP and just KNEW I'd contracted the flu or something from germs at the hospital (I always get sick when I go to the hospital).

I went in to my doctor on Monday, and even though there wasn't any visable redness around my incision, he told me that I may be getting an infection. With both my c-sections, I got infections, but there was stinky, puss around my scar. He sent me home with antibiotics, and told me not to go back to work until after he saw me on the following Monday (12/6). I admit, not going back to work made me upset. My whole point of doing this surgery before Thanksgiving Break was so I would only have to take 2 days off from work. I reluctantly called in for 2 more days, thinking I would start feeling better with the antibiotics and could go back earlier.

THIS made my friend that was with me (Max) very upset. She pointed out that this was NOT putting my needs first, and that I needed to give my body time to heal 100% before I went back into the classroom. I agreed, but I just "needed" to get back to work. My students depend on me, and I felt like I was neglecting them. My principal had already told me not to worry about my job in jeaopardy, but deep down I still felt like I was.

By Tuesday, I wasn't feeling much better. My friend had been helping me for the past week with the kids, but I knew she needed to get back to work, so she went back to Nashville. I picked my kids up from school, and it took all the energy I had. When I got home, I went to the bathroom and all I had on my mind was crawling back into bed with a Lortab. That never happened.

When I sat on the toilet, I noticed blood on my panties. It was near the waistband, so I knew it wasn't menstral blood. I stood up and looked in the mirror, and blood started POURING out of the corner of my incision. POURING. I grabbed toilet paper, but it just kept soaking right through. By the time I got my oldest daughter in there with paper towels, I was standing in a pool of blood. Not blood, really... It was more an orange color. But it was sticky like blood. It finally stopped, and my brave daughter cleaned up the mess so I wouldn't have to bend down. We shoved an Always pad down there (hey, it's absorbant!) and I went to my room to get dressed. I knew I needed to go to the ER.

I drove myself to the hospital, because it takes all my close friends at least 45 minutes to get to my house. I also didn't want to freak anyone out - including my kids. I figured it was just a little drainage, but I wanted to make sure. I got to the hospital about 20 minutes later and there was no wait. Jess and Max met me there for moral support, and I had a neighbor on standby if the kids needed anything. After testing the drainage to see if it was infection (it was), they sent me for a CT scan and found there was a pocket of fluid under my new scar that was probably more infection. When they were checking me over, they also heard rattling in my left lung. An x-ray confirmed that it was pneumonia! DAMN!

So here I am, calculating in my head how long it would take to recover. The doctor said I needed IV antibiotics to kill both the pneumonia and the infection. When I asked him if I needed to get someone to stay the night with my kids or take them to school in the morning, he looked at me as if I were a lunatic and said, "You are going to be in here for AT LEAST two days."

WTH????

I laid there and cried like a baby. What was I going to do? But Jess and Max assured me they would take care of the kids, and I should only worry about getting better. But I was still devastated. I would HAVE to take the rest of the week off from work. I felt like I was letting everyone down. Why did I have to get sick? Why couldn't this just be an easy procedure to heal from?

So... I just got home from the hospital today. A little earlier than I expected, but I am so happy to be home. My lung is clear, and my white blood cell count is back to normal. I still have fluid oozzing from a little hole on the end of my cut, but my doc thinks most of the infection is gone. I am still on take-home antibiotics for the next two weeks, and I will go back to the doc on Monday so he can check things out before I go back to work on Tuesday.

I have been so emotional today. I think my time alone in the hospital really forced me to think. God has a way of making a statement sometimes. I HAD to put my health first, even though I wasn't thinking of me. I was thinking of my family and my job and all my other obligations, but I STILL wasn't putting my needs or my health first. Wasn't the whole point of me having the surgery in the first place for me to finally rid myself of chronic pain that I had been dealing with for four years? But even though I didn't want to give myself time to heal, God made sure that I HAD TO. I feel like it was a very humbling experience. I have to put ME first in order to help ANYONE in my life. Why do I have to constantly remind myself of this?

Everything will be ok. I am feeling much better and resting on the couch. I am finally, slowly getting my appetite back (I stopped eating on Sunday because of nausea), and I am determined to only eat good, clean food. As soon as my doctor tells me it's ok, I will pick up where I left off with the Isagenix products (He told me to stop while I was on so much medication post-op). I am finally, seriously on the road to good health. No more pain is amazing. Even with being sick and having this infection, I am still not in the amount of PAIN I have been in over the past six months.

Oh, and guess what? That mass WAS endometriosis. Somehow, some of those pesky endometrial cells had implanted outside of my uterus on my abdominal muscles. My doctor explained that this is way more painful that "regular" endometriosis because muscles bend and flex, and with those cells there it causes excrutiating pain. He was sympathetic, and I felt so vindicated. There was something REALLY wrong with me, no matter what all the other doctors and ultrasounds and predictions said. I wasn't crazy after all!

I will write more tomorrow, hopefully, about all the thinking I've been doing about my future health and weight loss efforts. I have finally jumped over a huge obstacle to my success. My dirty, painful secret is now gone and I have a chance at a new start. And I am so excited!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

No one likes chicken?

I posted a giveaway for Perdue chicken and hardly anyone has left a comment? SOMEONE has to like chicken and want to win, right?

Quick update...

I will have surgery on Tuesday on my abdomen. A CT scan on Monday found an abnormal mass in my lower abdominal region... right in the spot where the pain is. Hopefully removing the mass will solve my problem. The doc wasn't exactly sure what the mass is, but he thinks it could be endometrial cells that have implanted outside my uterus onto my ab muscles. Which would explain the extreme pain... especially with physical activity.

I am still loving my Isagenix products, but I have not been 100% this week. I feel like I am in stress/panic mode with everything going on surrounding the surgery and doctors visits. On top of everything, work has been extra stressful this week and my mother has been staying with me (and driving me insane). I am not overeating - just not drinking my shakes. But I am still drinking my Ionix Supreme every morning because I swear it is what is giving me the energy to keep going. I still FEEL so much better, so I know these products are working for me.

I have decided to do my family Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday since I am quite sure I won't feel up to cooking and having company two days after I have surgery. Sunday is also my baby's 5th birthday. My plan is to enjoy all of my favorite foods in moderation. One day off plan isn't going to kill me. I have been doing really well with portion control and stopping when I am full, so I am going to commit to NOT going overboard and stuffing myself. Monday is a new day, and since it is back to work, it will not be a "sitting around eating leftovers" kind of day.

If this surgery will take away my chronic pain, I will feel like a new person. This pain has got me down for SO LONG that I will not know how to act without it. I can exercise again! Without pain! I will have one less reason/excuse to not achieve my weight loss goals. And for that, I am truly thankful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A GIVEAWAY with a purpose!

Several weeks ago, I was sent a sample of Perdue's Short Cuts Roasted Garlic with White Wine for my review on this blog. I tried it, I loved it, and I agreed to do a giveaway. And then I forgot! Thankfully the nice people at Purdue reminded me about it the other day! They have a great incentive to go along with the giveaway.

You will receive a package of Perdue's Short Cuts Roasted Garlic with White Wine.

To enter:
1. Upload your favorite chicken recipe at HERE and dedicate it to anyone touched by breast cancer. For each chicken recipe uploaded from October 1, 2010 through November 30, 2010, Perdue Farms will donate $1.00 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, up to a maximum donation of $10,000.

2. Post the name of your recipe in the comments section of this blog post. You have until midnight November 21, 2010 to enter.

3. You can also get an extra entry if you "Like" my SkinnyHollie Facebook page. Just leave another comment on this blog post to let me know.

Winners will be randomly chosen.

Have fun, and good luck!

FCC Disclaimer: Purdue sent me free chicken for me to honestly review. I really liked it and wanted to give some away to my blogger friends.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pain, pain go away...

Warning... this is gonna be long! I have been blogging in my head for DAYS now, but this is the first time I've got a chance to even open my laptop! Yes, life is that hectic.

I have been doing my Isagenix 30-day cleanse and I am loving it. I have to admit... I have not been 100% on plan, but I am sticking as close to the plan as possible most days. The great thing, is despite the other issues I have going on (explain later), I FEEL better. And guess what? I am losing weight. I am going to wait until the 30 days are officially up to post a number, but the scale is being nice. I actually had someone tell me today that I looked like I'd lost weight. That ALWAYS feels good.

The biggest difference that I can tell with this plan is that my cravings for sugar are under control. I am also very rarely hungry, and I constantly crave water. Today is my first total cleanse day. You are supposed to do them weekly, but I have chickened out before today because I just didn't know if I was ready for a full-out day with no real food. But it has been fine! No hunger pains, no fatigue. I feel "normal". Every day that goes by I feel more confident about the decision to try this product. I don't feel like I'm on a "diet" either, which is also great.

So many issues have been cropping up with me that just seem to keep wanting to get in the way of my progress. But the number one thing right now is PAIN. I am in pain. Real pain... sharp, stabbing pain... all the time. At first it was sporadic - maybe a few days out of the month. My doctors originally thought it had to do with ovarian cysts or endometriosis. Test a couple of weeks ago confirmed that my problem was not a gynecological issue... so my ob/gyn sent me to a gastro doctor. The gastro doctor said it feels like I have a hernia, so he sent me to a surgeon. Yesterday, the surgeon couldn't pinpoint the problem, so Monday I am going for a CT scan. I am praying to get to the bottom of this, because the pain is terrible. It never stops, and it is beginning to really wear me down.

I feel like the pain has been my little secret for a long time. I just dealt with it because as soon as my ob/gyn told me back in 2006 that it was an ovarian cyst, and that it was not cancer, I decided that it just wasn't worth surgery. And when the pain only lasted a few days out of the month, it was bearable. But over the past six months or so, it has just became increasingly worse. A few days turned into two weeks out of the month. And for the last two months it just hasn't stopped.

So many people have asked me why I let it go this far? Well, I think it goes back to me not making myself a priority. I don't want to stop what I am doing to take time for myself. I make my job, my kids, my mom... EVERYONE... a priority. But I didn't take the time out to make a doctor's appointment for myself. Just like I don't make time to go to the gym... or plan my meals... You get the picture, right?

I think that is one of the reasons I am feeling good with the Isagenix. Every day that I stay on plan, every day that I turn down fast food and make a better meal choice, I feel like I am in control. So much is out of my hands right now, but I am slowly seeing that the food that I put in my mouth is something I CAN control. I MUST start treating myself with the care and respect that I use for other people in my life. It is hard - so much easier said than done. But I am trying. One good decision at a time.

It's not so much about weight loss anymore. There have been several days that I am still frustrated because the scale isn't moving as fast as I think it should. But I know that good health will take time for me. We all know that stress isn't good for weight loss - and I am STRESSED TO THE MAX. Not just about my health, but about EVERYTHING. Work, school, kids, my mom, my messy house, my relationships, money... EVERYTHING. And have you ever tried to exercise - or be motivated to exercise - when you are in excruciating pain? But one good choice at a time, I am know that I can be good to my body and make my health better. I am cleansing and hopefully re-setting my body from the inside, and I am trying to fix whatever it is that is causing my body this pain.

And in the mean time, I am moving forward. I won't quit... I never will. I know that one day I will get "there". I will lose this weight, I will finish school, my first year of teaching will be behind me, my mother will be taken care of, my kids will continue to be healthy and cared for, and I will be financially stable. I might even settle down and marry the love of my life one day. All will be good - I know it will - because I won't quit.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Now this is new...

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope that everyone was able to keep their hands out of the candy bucket this year! What I thought would be a struggle was actually not so bad today!

I decided to go ahead and start my Isagenix 30-day cleanse on Thursday. I knew I had a rough weekend coming up, with a lot of plans and eating out, but I went ahead and did it. I figured that even if I couldn't follow the plan 100% that I could at least try. I am so glad I did.

I was not 100% on plan this weekend, and I'm ok with that. Like I said, I knew that it would be a busy weekend and a lot of temptation was ahead of me. But I feel like being on this plan helped me stay focused. And let me tell you... I feel SO much better already.

I have had about 10 hours of sleep all weekend and I have still had so much energy. I will do a full review of the Isagenix products later when I can do them justice, but I believe that these products had a lot to do with my energy being up. Last weekend I had NO energy and I slept all weekend. This weekend was much different.

I am not hungry at all, and my sugar cravings have went WAY down. Tonight when my kids were trick-or-treating, after my second bite-sized piece of candy I just felt... "done". I turned down candy! If you have read my blog for a while you know that I NEVER turn down candy. But it just tasted too sweet and almost made me feel sick. I have also been CRAVING water, so I know my body likes being hydrated again.

I also feel like I am better able to stop eating when I am feeling full... period. Last night I went out to eat at The Cheesecake Factory (one of my planned outings for the weekend). The appetizer we were sharing was AWESOME, but instead of cramming those nachos until they were gone, I was just able to **stop**. I was actually so full from those nachos I was not hungry for an entree. So I decided to split something with the person I was with. After the food came to the table, I didn't even eat it. I took it home in a to-go box, and it's still sitting in my refrigerator!

I am going to weigh in the morning again to just see if there is any progress yet. But as good as I feel right now, and since my week is plan-free, I am going to commit to staying 100% on plan this week. I still haven't done a full detox day, so I am interested to see how that goes. You are supposed to have a few meal replacement days ahead of you before you do a full detox, so I want to make sure my body is ready.

I am so excited to feel this good after such a hectic weekend. Here's praying that next week will keep me feeling this way!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Starting on Monday?

I received my Isagenix 30-day cleanse today, and I am very excited to start. But I'm wondering if I should start right away, or start on Monday. Monday is November 1, which seems like a great day to start something - especially something that is lasting 30 days. But there is a part of me that says "Why wait?".

By waiting, am I giving myself permission to have "one last" weekend of eating? Is that really what I want to do? Do I even care about Halloween candy?

I just don't want to set myself up for failure on this product. I want so badly to do well, and for this detox to help me to get my body back into working order. I know the first few days of anything like this can be challenging, so why start on a weekend where I know I will have challenges? Not just Halloween, but a party on Friday night and a Fall Festival on Saturday.

But I also have that part of me that says, "Just do it. The time is now."

I'm gonna sleep on it.

Tomorrow is my ultrasound that will hopefully tell me and my doctor how long I will be able to hold off on surgery. I pray that I can wait until summer, but if it's bad I will do what I have to do. I have four kids to think of, and to stick around for. I have to take care of me.

I went to they gym on Monday, but had parent-teacher conferences with my students last night until late. Tonight, I was simply in too much pain to go, and then we had church. My goal is to go tomorrow after my ultrasound. I have taken the whole day off from work. I'll also be early voting... PLEASE get out there and vote!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Energy... please come back!

The weekends are never long enough for me. It is Sunday night, and I am just as tired as I was on Friday night. It seems as if I never really feel rested anymore.

I feel like I slept away my Saturday. I got up at about 8 a.m., then fell back to sleep at around 10 a.m. and slept until almost 3 p.m.! The day was gone, and I really got nothing accomplished. Today I made myself stay up, but found myself with no energy to do anything. I am always SO TIRED.

I was hoping with the improvement in food and the addition of exercise this week that I would feel somewhat better. I have ate more fruits and veggies and drank more water this week than I have in MONTHS. I can tell a difference in the way my body feels, I guess... Just not any energy yet.

I have decided to do a cleanse/detox using Isagenix products. I have read and watched videos and researched and I think this will help me get my body back into working order.

I have read enough and learned so much about the human body on this journey so far... and I know one thing. I have abused my body for a long time. I have yo-yo dieted for the majority of my life. I have NOT taken care of myself. I think this is why even when I do diet and exercise, my body still holds onto the fat for dear life.

I chose a 30-day detox because I think it will take at least that long to get me back into semi-working order. Honestly, I hope it helps me lose weight, but I really want this product to get me on a healthy playing field. I am tired of dieting. Diets suck.

I desperately want to FEEL GOOD again, no matter what size I am. I need to start taking good care of myself so I can be the best mother and teacher I can be. I am worth the time, effort, and money that it will take.

So get ready! Like everything else I do on this journey, this is the center stage! I am excited about this because my gut tells me that it is time. It is time... :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just do it...

Basically, that's how the last few days have been... I've just been doing it.

Eating right.
Exercising.
Taking time for ME.

Today was day two back in the gym! And let me tell ya... it is SO DAMNED HARD to get back to exercising. Yesterday I did 30 min on the elliptical, then another 10 min on the stationary bike while the kiddos finished their orientation. Today, I was good to only do 30 minutes. My body is very mad at me right now. Beside the uterine pain, my knees are killing me!

I have done pretty darned well with my eating, too. I am making good choices and my portions are where they need to be. I am trying so hard to get my water in, but it's so hard to do at work. I just can't sit around with a bottle of water like I used to.

I received a package this morning from Dr. Aaron Tabor with his Slim & Beautiful Diet bars and shakes. I have waited forever for this to come in, so the package was unexpected. Honestly, I had given up on it and started looking into something else (more about that later). I had a shake for breakfast (the products ARE very yummy) and took a bar for lunch. My daughter also took a bar because she loves them, too. I think I might actually let her try this plan since she is really trying to get back into healthy eating. Even thought they sent me the product for free, I don't want it to go to waste when I start cleansing.

Yep, you heard me right... I am going to start a cleanse. I have written in the past how I love me a good detox! I have read several books by Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman and believe in the science behind it. After researching detox/cleanse products, I have found one that I am pretty excited about. The last time I really successfully lost weight (Spring/Summer 2009) is when I started my program with a detox and faithfully took my supplements. My brain just tells me that I need it to really get off to a good start.

With that being said, does anyone know about Isagenix? They have a 9-day and a 30-day program that I am trying to decide between.

But until I start my detox, I am going to keep on doing what needs to be done. I am going to get back into an exercise routine, keep feeding my body healthy food, keep increasing my water, and start making myself a priority again. I am going to be content with slow, steady changes in my lifestyle. My life isn't going to slow down anytime soon, so I need to do something that is manageable for me RIGHT NOW. I am going to have to get over my ALL or NOTHING mindset if I am ever going to succeed.

FCC disclaimer: Dr. Tabor's diet products were sent to me free of charge to use in exchange for my honest opinion and review of the products...blah, blah, blah...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Need vs. Want

I hate that my updates have dropped to once per month... I always vowed not to be that blogger. I apologize.

A lot has happened in past month - as usual.

I now have custody of my nephew. And it's not temporary. Long story short, he is staying - for now. And I know everything will be okay. I love him, and want him to be happy. Everything is working out with him here. It just seems natural.

My mom's condition is about the same... maybe even a little better. Her neurologist added a med and it seems to be really helping her memory. There is still a lot of drama with two of my sisters, but oh well.

I am now a minivan driving momma. Four kids and a small, old car just wasn't working out. Getting that van may be an extra bill, but it has already decreased my stress level on school mornings! lol...

Big news... I have to have a hysterectomy. I have been dealing with abdominal pain for years. It keeps getting worse and worse, so I finally went to see a doctor. I know I have a ovarian cyst, but this doc fears endometriosis. I read up on it, and have ALL the symptoms. I have an ultrasound in a week that should confirm. With the pain getting drastically worse, the doctor thinks a hysterectomy is my best bet. Since taking 4 - 6 weeks off during the school year is not an option, I guess we will try to manage the pain until summer and do the surgery then.

My doctor also had the "weight" talk with me. She says that losing weight before this surgery is a MUST, and I agree. Weight loss is now a NEED. It can be the difference between a successful surgery and recovery or a lot of issues that I don't need or want. I now have FOUR kiddos that depend on me for EVERYTHING. I have to buckle down and start taking care of myself. Again.

For the past week or so I think I have been wrapping my mind around "trying" again. I haven't been trying... just basically eating what I want with no rules. No exercise (well, a little). We went on vacation last week to Myrtle Beach, SC and it was glorious. During the 9 - 10 hour drive there and back, I thought a LOT about the changes I have to make. I KNOW it is going to be a lot of hard work. But I also know I have to do it.

It's time to get selfish again. I need to make time for me. Get back into the gym. Pack my lunches. Control my portions. Drink my water.

Today was our first day back to school from Fall Break and I am so exhausted. But I made a goal for this week to get my water intake back to 100 oz. per day. Baby steps, right? I have done will with food today, too... but not perfect. A cabinet rehaul is in order, but I have to get through the groceries I have first. But as fast as these kids clear out a pantry, I'm thinking I should be able to make a Trader Joe's run by Saturday.

Also, we are definitely going back to the gym this week. My nephew has been begging to go, and now my daughter is on board. They are both 13 and apparently working out is popular with the kids at school. He wants to bulk up, and my daughter wants to get in shape to try out for cheerleading next year. I think their goals are awesome, especially since they both want to eat healthy, too. I think having two little partners in my house is going to help me tremendously this time around.

Until next time!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mary said, lol...

Mary said I need to update, so here I am updating!

I have GOT to do better with checking in, but life is so overwhelming.

Let's see... since the last time I've checked in...

1. I've had an article appear in Women's Day Magazine. (Woot!)
2. I've been awarded temporary custody of my nephew - giving me a total of FOUR children to care for.
3. My mother's condition has got MUCH worse.
4. I went to court on my case with my ex-husband (for breaking into my house last year) and he is still behind bars (best place for him).
5. I have been struggling big time with my weight-loss (or lack thereof...:( ).
6. I am BROKE. Like $2 to my name broke. With four kids. And no paycheck until Oct. 1. Yeah...

My biggest struggle is being mindful of my choices during all the stress. I just eat whatever is around - and the weight is piling on. I am now uncomfortable in most of my clothes. I need an intervention ASAP.

I am trying a new diet plan I was offered. It's Dr. Tabor's Slim and Beautiful Diet. Basically, they sent me samples, and I liked them. I'm really a sucker for bars and shakes, and these are really good. The bars are actually HUGE and very chewy (which I like). So, Dr. Tabor has offered me the plan for two months. I am really going to give it 100%. I have to do something. Now.

I also need to get back to the gym... but MAKING the time is hard. I really need to follow MY OWN advice from the Women's Day article. I have to get back to scheduling the time in like a JOB. It can't be an option.

I feel so discouraged right now. I keep going BACKWARDS on this journey, and it's my OWN fault. When am I gonna "get it"?

fcc disclaimer... Dr. Tabor's diet plan was sent to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review... blah, blah, blah...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Relaxing

This is the first weekend in a long time that I actually feel relaxed...

I claimed this "relaxation". I told myself and everyone around me that I needed this weekend to focus on ME. I knew ahead of time that getting back on track with eating was going to take my full attention... And yesterday was great!

I stayed on track with eating. Yes... I was tempted several times. But I made good choices, and did well with the sugar cravings.

Abt 5 bites of diced fruit w/coffee (at Orientation)
1 pc reduced fat string cheese
Egg/egg white omelet w/ reduced fat cheese
1 slice of whole wheat toast (low carb, 1 g. sugar)
sushi roll w/ brown rice, smoked salmon and veggies
1 slim fast (low carb, high protein)
LOTS of water

Yesterday, I only ate when I was hungry. I know that some recommend a lot of smaller meals throughout the day, but there are valid arguments from some for just eating when hungry. Because of my disordered eating, I really think my hunger cues are so messed up that I should try this method for right now.

Last night before bed, I was HUNGRY. It was such a weird feeling! To experience true hunger is a foreign concept to me. So I drank some water, drank a Slim Fast, and felt satisfied.

Yesterday was not a PERFECT day of eating, but I am please. I am off to a good start today, and plan on keeping this momentum going. I already feel SO much better.

I am going to work on lesson plans today so that I can feel organized and ready for the week ahead. I really LOVE being a teacher. Tomorrow begins my fourth week... It's an adventure every day and I feel like I'm getting into a good groove.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday going through 1000+ blogs on Google Reader. I couldn't comment on everything I wanted to, but I feel a little caught up on so many friends. Thanks for the inspiration! If you are a new reader, and your blog isn't in my blogroll, leave a link in the comments. I'd love to ready about you, too!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Again

Sometimes I wonder why I just don't get it...

I have found myself here more times that I want to admit.

Starting over.

Yep.

Again.

I know I am out of control. Again.

I made up my mind that THIS IS THE DAY. No excuses.

I am starting with a sugar detox... I just know that sugar is the root of all my problems. I MUST get past this addiction if I am to succeed. Today, I found myself grabbing a pastry off the breakfast table at my MAE orientation... I took a bite before I even realized what I was doing.... then immediately ran over to the trashcan and spit it out. No excuses. I have to detox so I can regain some sort of control.

My "life" just won't let up.

New career as a teacher is very hectic. So is being a single mom and juggling three kids. But to top it off, my mom is at the point where I fear she is unable to take care of herself and my nephew. The crap has basically hit the fan in that situation... and on top of the new school year starting and getting in the swing of things there, while also being a student myself and trying to complete grad school... and well, everything else... I am so overwhelmed.

And I have started eating my way through the stress. Again.

So, here I am... again... asking for help and support. Blog writing/reading helps me stay focused so you'll see me around more often.

Here we go again!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I am a teacher!

Today is day 4 of my new career as a Special Ed teacher.

Honestly... I think I'm gonna rock it! Even though in these four days I've been spit on, pooped on, bit, pinched, and put in a head-lock, I love it! I am wore out and happy at the same time. This is always what I've wanted to do.

And about my weight loss... Um...

I know I've gained.

I had a house fire a few weeks ago, and that very night I knew I was eating my stress. Everything is ok. My landlord STILL has not made repairs to my garage (the area burned), but at least the inside of the house is fine. The only thing that sucks is that my outlets are all melted down there, and I don't have use of my washer/dryer. I don't even know if they work, since I haven't been able to plug them in since the fire. The outsides are all melted, but I think they still work!

I have a new friend that is motivating me to lose weight. I've asked her to start helping me, since I am not back on a set schedule each day. And also since I am so busy during the day now I forget to eat, and sometimes don't even have time. I am going to take full advantage and get back on some sort of plan to start losing weight instead of gaining it!

I can't wait until I have a chance to catch up on everyone! I miss my blog friends and the motivation/encouragement I get from you. Keep up the great work!

Monday, July 26, 2010

If I Made a Commercial for Trader Joe's

Thanks Lori! Ya'll know I love Trader Joe's!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vacation....over:(

Well, peeps... my vacation ends tomorrow. I can't believe it's been so long since my last post, but I have been LIVING and truly trying to enjoy the few weeks I was given off before the crazy starts back! I have drastically reduced the amount of time I spend on the computer. My farms on Facebook have even been neglected, lol!

But time away from my blog has NOT meant time away from my weight loss journey. I have really stayed focused. I am still exercising at least 3 - 4 times per week for an hour + each time. I am still doing about 45 minutes cardio and about 20-30 minutes of strength training. I can def tell a difference in the way my clothes fit, and in the way I feel. I feel stronger, and going to the gym is finally feeling like part of my routine. Even on days I don't (can't) go, I think about it and feel compelled to go.

Eating is also still good. I have been on the move so much, it really isn't hard to cut down the AMOUNT of food I eat... My goal is still to improve the QUALITY of food I eat. Now that I am going back to work tomorrow, I will be close to home again and I can see me returning to healthier meals and snacks at home. I've been eating a lot of Subway lately, because I have been on the move...  A LOT. But you know what? It has been so long since I've binged that I can't remember when. That is a victory!

I have been socializing a lot in the last three weeks. That  means my alcohol consumption has gone up. Not terribly, but even one cocktail three times per week can spell disaster when it comes to weight loss for me. But again, that's about to end once school starts back. No late nights and parties for me for quite a while! *sigh*

I am VERY excited about the upcoming school year. I know the first year of teaching can be tough, but I am ready for the challenge. I feel that I work for an awesome school district, and work with awesome teachers, and get awesome support. I will be successful, and I will have an awesome year!

I am so behind on blogs, but I am trying to catch up! I miss you guys, and can't wait to see what you've been doing for the past few weeks!

******************

Happy Birthday MizFit!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Whew... made it!

Summer school (that I'm teaching) is o-v-e-r! Whew... I made it through alive! You could have never told me that four days a week, three hours a day, for one month, would be such a task! I am mentally DRAINED. I think the added stress of my own summer classes made it a lot worse. These are the two HARDEST classes I've ever taken... and both at the same time! I'm dying over here!

BUT... I see the light! At least now, I have a month off (minus a few teacher in-service days) before school starts back. I finally get to start working on my new classroom! Yay!

So, usually when bloggers disappear... like I have... it is because they are not doing so well on the weight-loss front.

Guess what?

I am doing better than I have in a while! I am binge-free. I am back in gym for over an hour every day and am "feeling" progress. Honestly, my muscles are so damned sore I am convinced my body hates me! But I am not quitting!

My no-sugar June was an epic FAIL. Sorry... I tried. And I have cut WAY back. And I am still shooting for this goal in July.

I feel like I am slowly getting back to putting ME at the top of my priority list. For a while, I was so overwhelmed that I could feel myself sinking into depression again. There was just SO MUCH that I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. Besides work, school, and parenting, so much emotional shit keeps coming up and I just can't deal. My ex is back in jail, and that is just devastating to my kids. They were just getting used to having him again.

But something, somehow, just "clicked" and I decided that I just needed to snap the hell out of it! I was not going to just lay down and let failure win! So that's when I hit the gym (and we all know what exercise can do for your mood).

I am done with the scale for a while. I just don't need the mind games right now. I am eating healthy food, I have cut down sugar drastically, and I am doing at least an hour of cardio/strength training 6 days a week. If I keep it up, I will lose weight and get healthy. I don't care what the damned scale says right now!

Ok.... Right now, I have almost 700 blogs waiting in my Google reader... but I am determined to catch up!

It's good to be back!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Toy Story 3...

One of the BEST movies I've ever seen! I cried like an infant at the end! This is a must see!

Just got back from a night away with my two youngest kids. Big sister has been at camp for a week, so I decided we would have a night away near the campsite. It was awesome. Movie, then dinner, then swimming and relaxing.

My life has been so hectic, but I have been trying to stay focused.

I feel renewed and ready to move on with the summer. Summer school that I am teaching is over on Wednesday, and not a day too soon! With my own summer school classes being so demanding, I need the extra time to focus on ME again.

I am SO behind on blog reading. Google Reader says I have 500+ unread. I am determined to catch up, though! But just know I am here, and I'm not quitting!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

YumJared Sugar Sweet Free Day

Yum Yucky and TheAntiJared would love for you to go sugar free for one day and make a pledge of any amount (through Paypal) to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

"We are challenging you to take control of the Sugar Beast and go sugarless AND artificial sweetener-free for one day. All pledged proceeds will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Association in support of a cure for Type 1 Diabetes."  

Read Yum Yucky's original post HERE. There is also a give-a-way!

I'll definitely be joining in! Will you?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Inspiration...

Sorry for my absense, but life is INSANE right now as usual. I am totally overwhelmed with grad school and LIFE. But more on that later...

Eating... well, it has been better. I am still holding strong with the no sugar plan for June, but there HAVE been slip-ups.

While I am getting my act together for a post, let me introduce you to my new friend, Caroline...

Caroline Jhingory is a superstar, and since I showed the video the other day on WHAT NOT TO DO, I wanted to give you a little inspiration. I asked Caroline to give us her story, and here it is!

***********************
I was 5’2 and 273lbs in the 8th grade.

Over the last eight (8) years, now at 29 years old and still around 5’2ish in height, I have lost and maintained a 123lb weight loss without gastric bypass surgery, any commercial diet programs or fad diets. 

I attribute my weight loss success to strengthening my faith, determination, patience…and a treadmill. 

Exercise has been the central tool in my transformation, but it’s still only one part of the puzzle towards health.  I significantly changed how I eat; altering my relationship to food and eating.  Again, I adhere to no specific diet.  I practice mindful eating, remaining disciplined and limiting my intake of carbohydrates, sugar, dairy products and caffeine.


What was your turning point and/or "Ah-ha!" moment?


There was no major incident that caused me to have an “aha moment” really.  One day I was home visiting from college.  And I just said to myself “I had enough!”   Enough of wearing body girdles to fit into certain outfits, enough of being the girl that guys never acknowledged.  Overall being obese had caused me to miss out on enjoying simple things in life:  I had not worn a bathing suit since I was 9 years old, was never able to ride a roller coaster because the safety bar did not fit over my stomach, and did not have my first boyfriend until graduate school.

How has losing weight/being healthy & fit changed your life?
Outside of all the superficial stuff of being able to wear cute clothes and a guy or two noticing me, my weight loss has made me more driven all around.  Losing 123lbs has made me feel as if no obstacle to big whether its school, work-related or family-related.  Life has taught me that God is never gonna give me more than I am capable of handling.


How often do you exercise?

My key to success was learning to replace an unhealthy addiction: mindless eating while sitting in front of the television, with a healthy addiction: hitting the gym everyday.  “I eat everyday, so I workout everyday,” is my number one fitness tip when giving advice to others.


What is your favorite workout?

For 60 minutes, I love to do a combined high speed and high incline walk on the treadmill while listening to music and/or watching a mindless reality show.  It really makes me feel like I’m challenging myself and using every muscle in my body to pull myself up on the incline.  And it has also given me a great booty!
What 5 food items are "must haves" in your kitchen?
  • Costco’s Kirkland Organic Salt-Free Seasoning – Sure it is healthy, but I have just never been a fan of salty food.
  • Economy size bag of frozen chicken breasts.  – I think of chicken breasts as my “chameleon food.”  I can make them adapt too almost any dish and they are a convenient source of lean protein.
  • Frozen veggies such as cauliflower, spinach and bell peppers – Being that I am a single lady and feeding only me, fresh veggies tend to spoil very quickly.  Frozen veggies of course last longer, are usually already chopped and cheaper!
  • Leak-proof Tupperware – I am a creation of convenience.  On Sunday, I typically cook my lunches and dinners for the week and put them in Tupperware.  That way I always have healthy food ready that I can just pop in the microwave.
  • Water, water, water and more water – I live in Washington, DC and there has been way too much controversy on drinking the tap water here.  Water keeps me well hydrated for my workouts and lubricates my joints for tough workouts as well.


What is your favorite motivational/inspirational quote?

“Those who can most be accounted brave are those who know best know the meaning of what is sweet in life and what is terrible, and then go out undeterred to meet what is to come.”   ~Pericles  (a gift from Tulane Professor Cinda Lanza, when I was having a really bad day)

How do you find balance in your life?
My faith, exercise and travel have become my therapy.


What is your greatest accomplishment?

It would be expected that losing 123lbs is my greatest accomplishment.  However, my greatest accomplishment is coming to peace with the car accident death of my two teenage cousins and absence of my father after my parents’ divorce.  For many years, I was angry at the world and God about these two things.  I dealt with my anger by vacuuming in Hot Pockets and Hostess cupcakes.  Perhaps my real “aha moment” was reaching a place of forgiveness.




What do you love most about your body?

I love and admire my body’s stamina when I am at the gym.  My body’s endurance when working out surprises me everyday.  And of course I love my booty!

Best compliment?
A cardiologist looking at a sonogram of my heart, told me that I have the heart and heart rate of a marathon runner!


What are the last 5 songs played on your iPod?

  • Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child
  • Keep Hope Alive – Crystal Method
  • Again – Faith Evans
  • All Nite (Don’t Stop) – Janet Jackson
  • On to the Next One – Jay Z

What weight loss/fitness tools do you use that you rely on in your weight loss/fit life journey?
Good, comfortable and affordable workout clothes from discount designer stores like Marshall’s and Ross.  You really can find the durable sweat resistant workout clothes there for half the price.  For me, having cute fitness clothes, motivates me to workout.

My IPOD and Black Berry!  A few weeks ago I learned how to stream music through my Black Berry so it’s a stand in for my IPOD from time to time.

I am a member of many online wellness and fitness communities.  Discussing health and wellness with individuals from all over the world has provided me with continued motivation and tips on adhering to healthy lifestyle.

Find Caroline on Facebook!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Must see...

This is deep... Please watch.

How do YOU identify with this woman?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Interesting...

I had an inservice meeting today and I absolutely fell apart! I am NOT ready to be out of my controlled eating environment. I have done well all week, but take the control over the menu out of my hands and #fail.

I had candy. I ate the barbeque, chips and baked beans for lunch. Damn! I controlled portions and didn't go back for seconds like everyone else. I also drank a lot of water. But candy - that's a no-no.

This is what I will do DIFFERENT.

I am already back on plan. This will NOT be a free-day-I-will-start-over-tomorrow-because-I-messed-up-today type of day. No.

I am NOT throwing in the towel.

I am on my way to the gym, and I will eat light for the rest of the day. I stocked up on lots of fruit and veggies last night, so I have good food to choose from. I am also posting this NOW so I will be accountable.

I am REALLY trying to change my mentality. It can't be ALL or NOTHING. Grey areas do exist, even if it shouldn't be a color you choose often on this journey.

I will not give up easily. I will be consistent.

I struggle with consistency.


I know I am not supposed to be looking at the scale, but I did weigh this morning. I am down 3.4 lbs from last Tuesday.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I made it through the weekend...


... and I did well!

My stress level is HIGH right now.

I didn't sleep last night.

Things are hectic.

But I did NOT eat my way through it. I made it through this weekend with only a few slip-ups. Minor ones.

I went out last night, and my group of friends did their "usual" trip to IHOP after our shenanigans. I ordered an omelet, but they brought out pancakes with it. I ate some, but not all... maybe 1/2 of the three small pancakes. I love IHOP's pancakes, and it was worth it. The rest of my eating had been on point for the day, so I just vowed to do well today. I ate 1/4 of the omelet and gave it away.... It didn't have sugar but it looked way too fattening to eat. The last think I need is a stomach-ache from too much grease!

Today, my ex and I took our kids to Chuck-e-Cheese. I got the salad bar, and started out with a big salad w/lots of veggies and low-fat ranch dressing. I was only going to eat one, but I ate two slices of pizza while we were there. My day was so crazy, it was 5 p.m. and that was really my first "meal" of the day and I was hungry. I started to get that "guilty" feeling, but I nipped it in the bud. I was not going to beat myself up over it and start a binge.

I just ended my day with a bowl of fruit, and I am very proud of how I held it together this weekend. Between being away from home, dealing with stress, and eating out, I held it together in a way I believe NORMAL people do.

This is real-life. I have to be able to live in a way that will allow for the occasional slip-up. It doesn't mean I have failed.

Next week I am going to devote a lot of time to my workout regime since I missed it this weekend. I found myself doing squats and leg-lifts in the pool yesterday because I "missed" exercising and wanted to do "something". Kinda made me giggle, lol.

Tomorrow is the first day of summer school and I am so nervous. I don't think that teaching summer school this year is going to be as FUN as it was last year. I feel like I'm under a microscope and it's stressing me out. I pray that tomorrow goes smooth so I can start sleeping again!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Weekend: Interrupted

Today started off GREAT....

....But is ending terribly.

NOT with eating, though. Shocker.

I have finally had an emotionally trying day where I am NOT using food to comfort myself.

Original Plan: Head to Jess's house around noon... swim... cook... relax and have fun for the rest of the evening. Make a grocery run so that food will be on plan and making good choices will be easy.

What actually happened: Well, everything was on plan until dinner. That's when I got a phone call. My ex basically ruined my day and sent me into turmoil. In about 2.5 minutes I was so stressed out I wanted to cry. I wanted Ben & Jerry's, Oreos, and Krispy Kreme. I wanted to numb the pain with food.

But I didn't. Because that really never works anyway.

I decided to just come home. I'll go back to Jess's tomorrow, because I still need to watch her kids so she can work tomorrow afternoon. But tonight, for me, I just needed to come back home.

After I publish this post, I will go to bed so I don't have to deal with temptation. I won't let my mind trick me into thinking I'm hungry.

If there is one thing I can control right now, it is what I put in my mouth. I will not let stress and emotions derail me. I am doing too well.

I will re-group, and try to stay focused this weekend. I stocked Jess's pantry with good, healthy food for me to have while I'm there. No excuses.

Zumba!

Have I ever mentioned on here that I am afraid of do not like group fitness classes? They intimidate me. I always feel like the biggest, most uncoordinated person in the room.

But last night, I tried Zumba... and I loved it! I always wondered what the big deal was, and now I see. There was no pressure to be perfect, and I love to dance. In 52 minutes, I burned 772 calories... so I will definitely be back!

So strength training yesterday... after Zumba I was wiped out. I have a busy day today, so I am actually going to the gym NOW so it will be DONE.  Can you tell I'm still motivated?

Still no sugar, but yesterday there WAS temptation. A couple of weeks ago, I left a bag of my groceries at WalMart. Apparently, the write the items in a book, so that when you come back you get a refund. Well, I came back yesterday and forgot my receipt - which is fine, but you have to get the items instead of the refund. One of the items? Double-stuffed Oreos.

Seriously... I almost left them on the counter. But my kids haven't had a "treat" in a while so I brought them home. I told my oldest to hide them where I couldn't find them. But truthfully... I really don't even want them now. The fruit is really helping with the cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

It's the weekend, so I feel like I need to have a plan (especially since we'll be spending the night away). I am babysitting Jess's (four) boys this weekend, and I have decided to do it at her house instead of mine. She has more room, a swing set, and a pool. I can handle all seven kids at my house, but there is just more to do over there. So here is my plan:

1. Bring plenty of fruit & veggies.
2. Have yogurt and other healthy snacks for the kids.
3. Bring my own bottled water.
4. Offer to make dinner (so I know it will be healthy).

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fitness Assessment Results

Fitness Assessment
June 2, 2010

Weight: 303
Resting Heart Rate: 65
Blood Pressure: 118/72
Body Fat: 45.6% (This was described as “off the chart” for the computer program she was using. She had to take additional measurements with the calipers and calculate another way. EMBARRASING.)
3-Minute Step Test: 132 BPM (Up and down on a step for 3 minutes.)
Sit and Reach: 14 (This measures my flexibility.)
Bench Press Test: 30 Reps (Lifting 35 lbs. She said this was great.)
Measurements:
Chest – 46
R. Upper Arm – 18.5
Waist – 54
Hips – 57
R. Thigh – 34
R. Calf – 20

I have to admit, the numbers are depressing. The bright side? I now have a plan. The trainer was very encouraging and though it was great that I was taking control of my health. But I felt grossly out of shape and fat as hell.

I will return to the trainer for a re-assessment on August 1. My goal is to lose 20 lbs, and to also increase my strength and lower my active heart rate. I am so glad I did this assessment. Now I will be able to measure my success in other ways BESIDES THE SCALE.

I hopped on the elliptical for some cardio after the assessment, and had to stop after 23 minutes because my left foot was HURTING. The arch of my foot was rubbing my shoe the wrong way and it was painful. I tried to keep going but pain started shooting up my leg so I stopped. I figured with the step test and the bench pressing I did, that I got in my 30 minutes.

I really need to find some new shoes. I’ve bought three new pair so far and they all hurt my feet after I wear them for a while. They are comfortable when I buy them, but don’t pass the workout test. Ugh. Very frustrating.

Sugar-free June is still going well! Almost too easy so far… no cravings, no headaches. Maybe the fruit I’m eating is keeping this process painless. My eating has been clean and healthy. No sodas today, either! I am feeling great!

Did I mention I lost 3 lbs since yesterday? Yes, I know I am supposed to ditch the scale. But I wanted to weigh in for the fitness test today so I would have an accurate number.

The rest of the day was spent by the pool. Lovin’ this vacation!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I've got this!

My JUNE top TEN:

1. No refined sugar. Check!
2. No packaged food with over 5 grams of sugar. I might have to make an exception for my Greek yogurt...
3. Fruit is allowed. Ate a LOT of fruit today... watermelon and strawberries...YUM!
4. No alcohol. Check... this is easy. I only drink occasionally....
5. No more than one 12-oz diet soda daily. Um... can you say NONE! I have been doing better on this, and didn't even want one today.
6. Limit artificial sweeteners. Check!
7. No fast food. Check!
8. 150 oz. of water per day (approx. 1/2 my body weight in oz.). I did okay... still need to work on it.
9. Back to the gym! I am shooting for 5 days/week of SOME TYPE OF EXERCISE. 30 minutes on the elliptical (which KILLED me) and about 5 minutes of arms.  Burned 470 calories.
10. Limit processed food. Check! Don't think I had anything processed...But again, I limit processed foods anyway and try to eat clean whenever possible.

Sugar is sneaky, so I am going to have to really watch it. I noticed AFTER I ate sweet potato fries that they had added sugar! I only ate a few, though. And I will make my own from now own!

I went to the grocery store today to stock up on fruit and veggies. I got a watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, romaine lettuce and spinach. I ate a lot of fruit today, but that's ok. I've never known anyone to get fat off of eating fruit, lol.

My food was great today! Smoothie for breakfast, salad w/ tuna for lunch, grilled chicken, broccoli and sweet potato fries for dinner. Greek yogurt, strawberries, and a sprinkle of granola (w/ only 2 g. sugar) for a snack, along with a lot of watermelon. I also tasted some cantaloupe while I was cutting it.

I have felt satisfied and so far, no headaches.

The trip to the gym reminded me that I need my ass kicked for not exercising. The 30 minutes on the elliptical was GRUELING! UGH!

Tomorrow, I have scheduled a fitness assessment. I'll let ya know how it goes!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Significant

Something significant happened today. Well, I think it's been building for about a week now.

I went to a cookout for Memorial Day. I did not overeat. I had a hot dog (beef, no nitrates) and was about to eat a burger, but only ate about 1/3 before I put it down. I was full. Now, let me tell ya - my bff makes burgers that are out of this world. And I still put it down. I didn't have sides either. There was potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, etc. I didn't have any. I think the change in my mentality is significant.

I am do excited about the sugar detox that starts tomorrow. I have been just waiting for Memorial Day to pass by so I could eat what I wanted. Who knew that I wouldn't even want to eat like a mad woman? As a matter of fact, I have been eating well for at least four days. I feel good. I feel energized. I feel like I am in a good place.

And there is even stress still! My life is still crazy - but I am now making the CHOICE to take control. It really is a choice, you know. I can choose to be in control of my actions, or I can let the stress be an excuse.

HELLO... The stress will always creep up. It can not be an excuse to be bad to my body and to destroy my health.

My JUNE top TEN:

1. No refined sugar.
2. No packaged food with over 5 grams of sugar. (I got this idea from Yum Yucky.)
3. Fruit is allowed.
4. No alcohol.
5. No more than one 12-oz diet soda daily.
6. Limit artificial sweeteners.
7. No fast food.
8. 150 oz. of water per day (approx. 1/2 my body weight in oz.).
9. Back to the gym! I am shooting for 5 days/week of SOME TYPE OF EXERCISE.
10. Limit processed food.

This list is DO-ABLE! I will also be tracking and counting points/calories along the way to make sure I am within guidelines to lose weight. I will weigh in in the morning, and the scale is going on vacation until July 1. The last thing I need is for the scale to play with my mind during this time.

My #1 goal for June is to get back into good habits that will be good for my body. I know that sugar is toxic for me, and it leads to cravings and binges. It's a habit I've kicked before, so I know I can do this again. It's necessary. I have to do this for me.

I am so ready for change!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Finally... time off!

Today is my offical first day of summer...

I got to sleep in (until 7 a.m., lol) and had my lawn mowed by noon! I am thinking about grilling for dinner tonight, so I wanted to get it done. It's been a while since I mowed the yard myself and it kicked my butt! In a little over an hour, I burned over 1000 calories! My body is so SORE right now!

Here is a pic from Friday night. I went to a birthday party for a friend, and one of my old friends from college came to surprise ME for my birthday! We had so much fun - it was so good to see her. She just moved back to this area, so we MUST keep in touch!

I am getting excited about the upcoming sugar detox. In the past, I would be binging on anything sweet because "I can't have it anymore." But over the past several days, I have found myself not even wanting sugar! I am CHOOSING to limit my sugar now, and I think it will help the detox. I am also drinking more water.

I also don't have any major food plans for Memorial Day. I will grill, but nothing more/less than I would do for a regular dinner. No dessert planned. And I feel good about it.

Tomorrow, I join the gym! It's time to get my butt in motion and use this time off to concentrate on ME.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I can do anything.

Yesterday was my 34th birthday. I am officially in my “mid-thirties”, lol. But I’m okay with that! Older and hopefully wiser!

Diane (The Incredible Shrinking Family) left a comment on my Facebook page yesterday, where she said, “This is your year.”

So many people think of the beginning of one’s year being January 1. But Diane’s right – our “year” should begin with the day we are born! I appreciate her saying that, because it really made me think.

This is my year.

I have been struggling for a long time.
Struggling in my childhood.
Struggling as a single mom.
Struggling in my marriage.
Struggling with abuse.
Struggling with weight loss.
Struggling with finances.
Struggling with school.
Struggling with my job.
Struggling as a single parent (again).
Struggling with self-esteem.
Struggling with friendships.
Struggling.

Finally, finally… I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. After 15+ years of school (on and off) I am now certified to teach. I now have a teaching job doing what I’ve been wanting to do for such a long time, Special Education.

I was talking to the ex the other night, and he was telling me how proud he was of my getting my new job. He knows (and acknowledged) how hard I’ve worked to get here. But he said something that really made me think.

“You have now proven you can do anything you set your mind to. You have your dream job. The only other thing I know you’ve worked this hard on is your weight loss. Just imagine, Hollie, if you got down to your weight goal, too. You can do it, you know. That would be so great for you.”

My ex is a lot of things – asshole being the first word that comes to mind.

But he knows me. He knows how much I really want to lose this weight.

Now is my time. This is going to by MY year. I feel it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making time for ME!

Over the past few days, I have been juggling about 100 balls in the air. I am almost at the end of my rope... literally. But Saturday at 12 noon will officially be the end of our school year. That means I am OFF until June 7! I am almost done with my plans for summer school, so now I just need to catch up on my coursework for my Master's program. Whew!

I have made several decsions about this summer that will hopefully help me get on track for the summer:

1. I am re-joining the gym. This will serve two purposes: to get back into a fitness routine and for my family to have pool access for the summer. It is getting HOT in Tennessee, so a gym membership will allow me to exercise no matter how hot it gets. Last summer, it worked out really well. I would exercise for an hour or so while the kids were in childcare, then we would all change into swim clothes and we would go swimming.

2. I am going to get back into clean eating for myself and the kids. We have been slacking off for the past two weeks. I've been letting fast food creep back in, which has to stop now. We are still not bringing the bad stuff in the house in grocery form, so we have not completely reverted back to our old ways. But I want to get a grip before my kids get too used to eating bad stuff again.

3. Starting June 1 I am going to detox from sugar again. I have been weaning myself off sodas since Friday. I drank my last one with dinner last night. So now, it's time to get rid of sugar. I have done it once, I know I can do it again. My body doesn't like sugar, so I need to kick the habit.

I am waiting until June 1 because I know I will be at home, in a controlled environment. There will be no excuses, like running late for work or being in a hurry. We were planning a trip to Florida for the week, but I cancelled it last night. I need a week for ME. I need a week to relax and just have some peace and quiet at home before summer school begins. I know my kids were disappointed, but they will get over it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Time out!

Wow... Tuesday was my last update? Time flies, right?

Last week was overwhelming. With the news of the new job came a plethora of things to do. For those who haven't been following for a while, I have been in school trying to get my teacher's license. I am also working on my Master's in Education. I just completed all the classes I needed for the licensing requirement, I decided to try to get what they call a Transitional license that would allow me to waive my student teaching requirement. I am a single mom of three... I can't take off work for several months to student teach. The odds were good that I could get hired in a larger, Metropolitan school district. But I really wanted to stay in the small district where I live and where my kids already go to school. So when I got this job, I was ecstatic! I was exactly WHERE I wanted to be, doing exactly what I wanted to do. I will be teaching 2nd grade special education.

It is also awesome that I know the teacher who I am replacing. She was my son's teacher for 1st and 2nd grade! She is one of the people who encouraged me to go back to school for my degree in Special Education... ironic, right? She is moving to a different school in our district, and has offered to help me in any way she can. I got to see my new classroom on Wednesday. The teachers I will be working with all seem very supportive and I think they will be great to work with.

So that, on top of that, I am also preparing to teach summer school in June. I had already been hired to teach summer school before I got the permanent job for next school year. There is so much lesson planning involved, though, and it's crunch time. Thursday is our last day of school, but teachers still have to report on Friday and Saturday morning. I hope to have my summer school work DONE by this afternoon. I am meeting with my co-teacher after school today to finalize everything.

SO... can you see how crazy my life is? It's just overwhelming right now. So what do I do?

I eat... and eat... and eat...

I was totally miserable with heartburn on Wednesday and Thursday because I had been binging so bad.

On Thursday I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to get away.

I called up my best friends and by Saturday afternoon, one BFF had my kids and I was on the way to Atlanta with the other one. We had about 24 hours to talk, relax, drink wine, and do some window shopping! And do you know what? It's just what I needed.

Today, I feel relaxed and in control again.

I CAN do this.

EVERYTHING will be okay.

I am in CONTROL.

Even though I went out of town Saturday and Sunday, my eating is back under control. Yes, I indulged in wine on Saturday night, but only a few glasses.

Sadly, even on a weekend away for relaxation, the main thing on my mind was my weight and where I am on my weight loss journey. Even though I keep falling on my face, I refuse to give up. One day... ONE DAY something will "click" and I will achieve the consistency I need so desperately. I will be able to squash my bad habits one at a time until eating clean and healthy is second nature. Exercise will be a part of my life, too... not something that I dread and have to plan for. It will happen. Because no matter what, I WANT it. I NEED it.

In June 2008 when I decided to go back to school for my Master's in Education, actually getting my license and my own classroom seemed like a far-off dream. I knew I COULD do it, but there was so many obstacles in my way. One by one, I have jumped over each hurdle, and I made it! I made my goal! Now I know I can do anything I set my mind to... so I know I will be successful at losing weight and getting healthy. It will happen!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You wanted a picture!

Several people mentioned in the comments that I should have taken a picture of my ensemble on Saturday night... I forgot to!

I didn't remember taking any pictures this weekend, but my friend posted this on Facebook yesterday.  It is me and my cousin, Marissa, on Friday night at her birthday party. I was feelin' pretty good here, too!

Today has been busy, busy, busy... and I've been eating, eating, eating... I know... more on that tomorrow!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's your best part?

Lyn (Escape from Obesity) asked a great question on her blog today... what is your best part?

Without having to even think about it, I knew the answer... my neck/chest/shoulder region. When I crop pictures, this is always how I do it so I "look" my best. For whatever reason, when I get to about 280 lbs or so my double chin disappears and my collar bone emerges. I think it looks sexy! I am between 270 - 280 lbs on all these pictures above....

What about you? What is YOUR favorite feature? No matter what size you are, you should have SOME part of your body that you look at and say, "not so bad!". Lemme know what it is in the comments, and link your blog if you write about it!

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While typing out this post, I got some incredibly wonderful news... I got the job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to scream/cry/vomit all at the same time!

I will write more later!

Confident?

This weekend was AWESOME. Overall, the last week I really felt like my life is finally moving in the right direction. I have mental peace about everything, and the sadness and depression is going away. I am FINALLY finding peace with my food choices, and at the same time am finding peace with myself.

On Saturday night I went out with a friend. The whole thing made me a little nervous, because going out seems to be "one of those things I don't do anymore." For a while, I felt like the good times were out of control. I reeled myself in, and have just stayed there for a while. But this weekend, I was just in the mood to get out and have fun, and that's just what I did.

I had a new outfit that I'd bought for a Mother's Day gift to myself, so I got all dressed up - hair, makeup, etc. I felt so pretty. I really loved my shirt and the way my makeup looked.... (my friend only uses MAC cosmetics, and has a collection that a makeup artist would envy! Whenever we go out, I always use her makeup...). I wore really cute heels and felt like a million bucks.

We hopped around to several different parties and had a blast! I didn't eat the usual crap, kept the alcohol to a bare minimum, and still had SUCH a good time.

One thing kept coming up, though. Everywhere we went, women kept telling me that I was beautiful. When men approach me, I usually don't pay attention because they usually just want to get in your pant, lol. But these were random women that I didn't even know that were complimenting me - and seemed sincere! Even my best friend looked at me at times and would say, "you look exceptionally beautiful tonight."

Ordinarily, I don't know how to accept a compliment, but on that night, when I said "thank you" I really meant it. It made me feel awesome.

At one party we went to, this really pretty woman came over to me and said, "you are so pretty! I love how confident you are - you really are an example for us big girls that we look just as good as those skinny girls!"

Confident? Me?

So I asked my friend yesterday (as we were re-capping the great night we had) if she thought I seemed confident.

"Yes - whenever you're dressed up and go out, you are confident as hell. Only people who really know you know that you struggle with it..."

She is so right. But at least I can fake it til I make it, right?

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I have been toying with the idea of doing a sugar detox again. Yum Yucky did one last week, and she has inspired me to JUST DO IT.

So last night I went to the grocery, and there was a table with cake right by the cash register. Small containers with two slices of cake - coconut cake. I decided I wanted it and thought - one last piece... (story of my life, right?)

I got home, ate dinner and after the kiddos went to bed, I went to the kitchen for my cake.

But I didn't want it.

The behavior was just too familiar. Sneak in the kitchen for my binge after the kids go to bed... then feel like crap after I eat it.

But the cake is there... just waiting for me! What will happen if I don't eat it? Just go to bed without it?

It will just stay on the counter, that's what!

I was full... I was satisfied (mentally and physically). I didn't want the cake anymore, and didn't feel obligated to eat it just because it was there. It is still on my counter. If I want it later, I will eat it and feel no guilt. But the fact that I left it there last night was such a NSV.

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I didn't track this weekend, but felt like I did well. The scale was up .2 this morning from Friday morning's weight, so that's good.  It means that I didn't over-do it this weekend. I was able to have fun and stay binge-free. I made good choices, and feel great.

Did I mention that I've been binge-free since May 6? Yeah... that is an awesome feeling!