Wednesday, March 31, 2010

21 days? I can do that!


I was reading Loretta's blog today and decided to get in on her Spring challenge. She is challenging herself to exercise, among other things, for 13 weeks! If you want in on the challenge, you can make up your own goals. It's up to you.

SO...I started making a list of what KEY things I need to do consistently in order to make positive changes so I can REALLY meet my goal. After making MY list, I decided that I would do my own mini-challenge! I am calling it SkinnyHollie's 21 Day Challenge!

A little background here... I HATE challenges! I always join them, but never follow through. I am a Gemini - it's hard for me to pay attention and follow-thru on things long-term. Especially when the road is a little uncomfortable. I always hit a bump, then have to start over. Or I lose my momentum. But not this time! I have YOU all to keep me accountable because I am OUTING myself to all 400 of my followers (another milestone I just met;).

Starting April 5 and going until April 26 (21 days), I will do the following EACH DAY:

1. EXERCISE - At least 30 minutes of SOMETHING - walking, weights, mowing the grass... ANY type of activity that is challenging and that can be considered exercise.
2. MEDIFAST - I will follow the new diet that has been recommended to me - it is around 1200 calories with lots of protein and no more than 100 carbs. I will give it 21 days - no cheating - to see what kind of results I can obtain. I think this is enough time to really see if this is something I want to continue. But I hate to quit until I've given it a chance to work.
3. WATER - AT LEAST 100 oz. of water daily.
4. SUPPLEMENTS - I am going to get back on my supplement regimine. I stopped taking supplements when I started Medifast because they claim their products have all I need. But I swear by my supplements, and I feel better when I take them.
5. JOURNAL - I will journal everything I put in my mouth, good or bad!
6. BLOG/TWEET/FACEBOOK - To stay accountable, I will post SOMETHING every day on this blog, on Twitter, or on my Facebook fan page. On good days you can find me on all three!
7. SLEEP - I will strive for 7 - 8 hours of sleep every night.

Last year on the day after Easter, I started eating clean and following a totally new healthy eating plan that my friend, Yvette, planned out for me. I lost over 30 lbs while following that plan, and it was the boost I needed to keep going at the time. That was the first time in my life that I had ever made a break from processed foods, sugar, and caffeine. I made changes that still are with me right now! I will never eat the same way I used to... I am conscious now of what types of food I eat, even when I am eating foods that aren't good for me.

I now know that clean, healthy, whole foods are best. And honestly, I didn't realize how important that is for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. I was so used to finding foods with the lowest points value, and I didn't care how processed it is. Although Medifast food is high in nutrition, it is still processed, so that is one reason I know I won't do it for the rest of my life. But now I get to eat two whole meals that are going to consist of lean meat, veggies, and healthy fats - whole food that I know is good for me. I pray this will work because I need a boost of weight loss to get me going in the right direction, so I can pick up with clean, healthy foods and keep moving forward (and the scale will keep moving downward).

I am hoping that this year, I can kick it into gear again and get the same type of results that I did last year. Only this time, I want to keep going, and finally meet my goal. I don't want the healthiness to end after 21 days... I am hoping it's just the beginning of some positive habits that will stick around for a while!

I formed an introLEAGUE called SkinnyHollie's 21 Day Challenge if anyone wants to join. IntroPlay is a site where you can log your exercise, and you can also challenge your friends there! If that link doesn't work, let me know and I can send you an invite via Email.

Tomorrow will be a LOOOONNNNGGG day, but I am very excited about my weekend get-a-way! I am off to bed!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I am NOT a quitter!

Ok, so I am still off plan. I ate pretty healthy today until dinner... I don't feel out of control, but I am NOT on plan. I was still very tore about whether I should or should not continue Medifast until I got this email today from one of the nutritionists at Medifast...

"
I think the 5&1 may not be enough for you. In addition to the things I mentioned above, not eating enough can also effect one’s weight loss efforts. I’d recommend trying the 4 & 2 Plan – this is simply 4 Medifast meals and 2 FULL Lean & Greens. It provides ~1000 to 1200 calories. Keeping your carbohydrate intake to less than 100 grams consistently will get you to and keep you in the fat-burning state.

Let me explain that a little bit…

Carbohydrate is the body’s main source of energy. When carbohydrate intake is restricted, the body must find another source of energy. We have plenty of the alternative fuel source that the body can use – fat! We call this the ‘fat-burning state’ (also known as ketosis.) A fat-burning state allows the body to "tap into" energy reserves stored on the body. Even though the body is consuming 800-1000 calories through food while following the 5&1 meal plan, it still has ample energy (a.k.a. calories) available via the adipose tissue and stored fat. Fat yields 9 calories per gram, so fat cells contain a concentrated source of energy and because the meal plan induces a fat-burning state, the body can now "tap into" these concentrated stores for the additional energy it needs. Thus, it recognizes a caloric deficit adequate to create weight loss but not slow metabolism to the point of a "conservation mode" if the meal plan is followed as written. The 5&1 Plan also provides an adequate amount of protein (at least 72 grams per day) to help protect the lean body mass (muscle stores) against becoming depleted and therefore works to maintain a person's metabolism. Keep in mind, there isn’t a ‘normal’ metabolism per se. As one loses weight, the body doesn’t need as much energy/calories for it to function. Additionally, Medifast recommends eating every 2-3 hours. Not only does this help to maintain more stable blood glucose levels (and thus ward off potential hunger which may lead to over-eating), but it also helps to protect the body from feeling deprived. This consistent source of incoming energy means the body will not "dip into" muscle stores for energy and will use the energy more liberally (in "science talk" this means the thermogenic effect of the food will continue to be high and more of the energy will be used.)

We recently published a study that found that lean muscle mass, as a percent of total body weight, was significantly increased after 4 months of weight loss and 6 months of weight maintenance on the Medifast plan while % body fat decreased significantly. This supports the claim that the Medifast diet is “clinically” proven to promote fat loss, not muscle loss."

There was more to the email, but this was the part that I liked. I am comfortable with 1200 calories, and I am comfortable with eating more REAL food, including veggies, good fats, and protein. Two of my meals will consist of 3 servings of veggies and 5 - 7 oz. of lean meat or protein. This will also mean I can really start exercising again, and have the energy to do it. Because I am not a quitter, I will give this a whole-hearted try... on MONDAY.

I have made last-minute plans to skip town this weekend for Easter. I am off on Friday, so I will leave Friday morning and return Sunday night. It was one of those things that sounded like fun, so I was like, "why not!". Since I really want to give this 100%, I think its best to wait until Monday to start. I was happy with Medifast when I was losing weight, so maybe this modification to the plan can work better for me? I at least have to give it a try, and REALLY TRY! No excuses.

Just like Lyn said, I have to do WHATEVER it is I am going to do 100% for it to work. And like someone else said, I have to be consistant and give it a chance to work before I throw in the towel. I will keep doing Medifast until I either see results or I have spent enough time on it to say I honestly tried my best.

BTW...I got on the scale this morning and was down for the first time in a week! My goal is to make it through the next five days without totally screwing up my progress. Just because I am not on Medifast again until Monday doesn't give me permission to go crazy! I know how I need to eat, and I know I can do this!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Movin' Monday!

Man, some days it seems like I don't stop moving all day... and this was one of those days. Because of the 5K and 4 hours of soccer practice on Saturday, I didn't get a chance to cut my grass. I thought I would be able to do it on Sunday, but guess what? Rain. The grass hasn't been cut yet this year, so it was high and thick and DESPERATELY needed to be cut. So as soon as I got home from work, I got started.

Front yard first...

Then the back yard...

It took me almost 2 hours to cut the yard! I had to go get gas, then the mower wouldn't start... UGH! Then the grass was high and thick and it was hard to push the mower. Days like today make me miss my husband!

I had about 5 minutes to run in and get my baby ready for her soccer practice. Isn't she cute???

This child is a natural athlete! She LOVES soccer, and is so good at it! She practices even when she doesn't have to. She is constantly chasing that ball. She informed me today that she was also going to play basketball!

So remember when I told you that I am the asst. coach on her team? Yeah, that means that I also have to run around and play with this group of 3-4 year olds. And tonight, they were relentless! As tired as I was from the lawn, I still (somehow) had enough energy to run around after a soccer ball for 30 minutes. What a workout!

Now, it's time for HONESTY. I was not on the Medifast plan today :( I woke up this morning and had my first shake, and I was on plan until after lunch. When offered strawberries... I CAVED. I only had about 1 cup full, and they were so good! And after the lawn mowing and soccer, I was so weak and famished that I knew a Medifast meal just wasn't gonna cut it. I had already ate my Lean and Green meal at lunch, so I had SUSHI for dinner! It was delightful! I have absolutely no regrets because even though I didn't follow the Medifast plan, I still had healthy food. I used the Medifast products, but I don't think I could have made it with that alone.

After dinner, I felt like I had been hit by a truck! My body HURTS. I was still sore from the 5K, so now my muscles feel mad at me for the sudden burst of activity. I took a hot shower, and then got a voicemail from my friend from church, Kim, that she has left some spice tea in my mailbox.

The thought of curling up with a cup of hot tea sounded too good to pass up! So here I am... relaxing, reading blogs, and drinking hot tea!

And guess what? It feels good! I think my body is thanking me for the extra carbs and calories right now. And my mood is even better. I have been in a funk for a few weeks, and in the back of my mind I wondered if it had something to do with the diet.

I want to thank everyone for the encouraging comments that were left in response to my post from yesterday. I am at a crossroads. Do I choose what is easy and promises the fastest results, or do I choose what my gut tells me is best in the long run? Am I ready to make a commitment to myself, to MAKE the time to do what is best for me? I have done it before, but how do I get back to "that place"? That seems like the million dollar question...

PS...
Someone mentioned that Lyn from Escape from Obesity is also doing Medifast, and suggested that I ask her for advice. I follow her blog, and we are getting the same deal from the company. She is loving the plan and has had a very successful month. Her losses have been slow and steady, and she seems to be in a great place. But we are two different people, and we are not having the same experience. I think Medifast can definitely work for some people - even long term! But I am now wondering if I am one of those people.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

When is the last time I really tried?


I am losing momentum on Medifast. My scale has been stuck all week:( I have lowered my sodium, upped my carbs to make sure I am getting between 80 - 85. I have also increased my water. So you can imagine how pissed I was when I got on the scale this morning and it said I had GAINED 6 lbs.

I imagine the gain has something to do with the 5K I walked yesterday. Or maybe even PMS? But it has been a LONG time since I've had such a large gain with PMS. And it just doesn't make sense to me that EXERCISING should throw me off plan. I don't know. I have spent the day evaluating.

I really like Medifast because of the convenience of having my meals pre-packaged and planned out for me. The food is not bad, and I am not hungry. But honestly, I know I will not stick with it long term. It is too restrictive, and lately, that part of it has really been getting to me.

I keep seeing these beautiful strawberries in my local grocery stores... oh, how I would love to have some! And yesterday, I felt so good walking, but I was so weak and starving the rest of the day. Honestly, I think I have avoided exercising since I started Medifast because I am so weak all the time. My energy is LOW. But what do you expect with 900 calories?

OH... another revelation from yesterday. I bought the Medifast book, and was reading it at soccer practice yesterday. Between 4 hours of practice, I read the whole thing. I was really shocked when I read that being on Medifast actually LOWERS your metabolism! It lowers your metabolism so you can survive on 900 calories more efficiently. That is why you gain weight so fast when you go off the plan unless you follow their maintenance plan. During maintenance, you slowly raise your metabolism until it's back to normal while you re-introduce regular food into your diet. I never knew a SLOW metabolism could lead to good things/weight loss.

I just know that being on such a restrictive plan SUCKS when you are not losing weight. I vow to stick with it right now, but I don't know how much longer I will go. Now who knows... the scale might just start moving again and I will be happy again! Who knows...

I was talking to my oldest daughter today about Medifast and how I was ready to throw in the towel. She asked me, "But mom, when is the last time you REALLY TRIED to just eat healthy and exercise?" I pointed out to her that right before I started Medifast, I really tried for a couple of weeks. But she countered, "Don't you think it might have took longer than that?" Out of the mouths of babes...

Maybe I need to take a serious look at what I am doing... again. I know healthy food and exercise works, but you DO have to be CONSISTENT. When is the last time I was REALLY consistent? Really, really honest about what I was eating? Really diligent about counting calories and weighing/measuring my food? Hmmm...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coming up with solutions...

Sorry if the Debbie-Downer post yesterday. I was in such a pissy mood. But guess what? I got over it. I stayed on plan, and ended the day feeling good. Thanks to Jules for challenging me to NOT give into my cravings. She is 9 months pregnant and publicly announced on Facebook that if I didn't cave, she wouldn't either. What a friend! And then my friend Yvette called me last night and gave me a 2-hour pep talk. She is blunt, and she could tell from my blog post that something just isn't right.

I have a lot of hard decisions to make over the next month or so. I need to make some changes to my life if I am going to save my sanity. I am all alone... even my two closest friends seemed to have abandoned me (not on purpose, but because THEY have lives, children, and stress, too). I might as well NOT have any family... they have all turned their backs on me and my children. It's just me, and that weight is just getting heavier and heavier. After talking with Yvette last night, I think I might have come up with a solution - one that will allow me to get that support system I need so badly. Yes, it might be hard, and yes, it might involve a drastic change. But in the end, I think it just might work. I am praying on it.

When I went to bed last night I felt a lot better - not only because I stuck to my diet, but because I felt like I had a plan! But when I hopped on the scale this morning, it showed a .6 lb. GAIN! WTF!? How is it that after eating a total of 830 calories, one can gain anything? Well, I have went back over all the numbers and made a chart of calories, fat, sodium, carbs, fiber, sugar, and protein since I started Medifast. I now see that the days that I eat tuna from a pouch, that my sodium is really high. Damn! It had to be one of my convenient favorites that is messing me up. I also realize that I have been slacking on my water. I ideally, I like to drink 1/2 of my body weight...which is around 140 oz. I have barely been getting 100 oz.

So today: I will stay on plan. I will drink 140 oz. of water. I will will get a lean and green meal in that is low in sodium. Its funny... the reason I went on Medifast is so that for all of one of my meals I could just grab and go... it takes the guess-work and preparation out of the equation for me. Except for that ONE meal a day. But since soccer started this week, my cooking time is out! I am warming up quick foods for the kids, and trying my best to get my Lean and Green meal on the fly. I thought tuna was a good idea - convenient! I guess not! I guess I can just cook up a bag of chicken breast so I can just microwave some veggies to go with.

I can do this.
I will do this.
I will NOT give up.
I will find a solution!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cravings...

I have been having so many cravings today! This is a first since starting Medifast, so I am just wanting to scream. It all started with reading Kath Eats Real Food. The oatmeal looked so good, and I thought, "Wow... I miss my pumpkin oatmeal." I could actually taste it. I miss fruit. I want strawberries and watermelon. I want pizza - good pizza, not the cheap stuff. I also want sweet potato fries and an almond butter and jelly sandwich on soft bread. The list goes on and on... THEN I started this text conversation with my sis-in-law about home-cooked, southern meals she cooks...I wasn't supposed to eat until 1 p.m. but I ate at about 12:20 p.m. just to take the edge off. I thought if I could fill up with good stuff it would help me from crashing.

I don't want to crash... I really want this to pass. The scale is holding steady at 18.8 lbs. lost. It was up a little yesterday, but back down today. I desperately want to have another 1.2 lbs gone by Friday so I can be at 20 lbs. gone. I really want to end the month of March in the 270's. I have to stay on plan!

I must have been on crack when I was making plans to get back into the gym and to start walking yesterday. My daughter had tutoring - which was unexpected since she just told me the day before that she wasn't going to go to tutoring anymore. So, I had just enough time to leave work, go home and change my youngest into her soccer clothes and change my clothes, and go pick up big sister. I went straight from her school to the soccer field, dropped her off, then went to the baby's practice, then BACK to the oldest child's practice. It was almost 8 p.m. before we got home. I spent the next hour or so getting their dinner and baths and putting them to bed. Where is MY time, you ask? It doesn't exist. Not now, at least.

Today and tomorrow looks like they are gonna be repeats of yesterday. MAYBE I can get some walking in on Friday - the day before the 5K. Maybe I can get to the gym this weekend... upper body one day, lower body the next. Better than nothing, right? I wanna go back to Florida... This single-parent shit if for the BIRDS. I need help, or enough money to BUY some! Sometimes I feel like I am fighting a losing battle.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The lesser of two evils...

I thought I would write an entry right now because I am pouting. They are serving my favorite cafeteria food meal at school today… breaded pork chop, to die for, melt in your mouth yeast rolls, broccoli and cheese, and chocolate milk. Oh, AND they have real fried chicken today. No matter what diet I’ve been on, I find a way to fit this meal into my plan every month when they serve this. No kidding, the yeast rolls are buttery and melt in your mouth. So as my co-worker sits besides me eating this meal, I sit here eating nothing. Because it’s not time for me to eat for another 1 ½ hours. I am pouting. Dieting sucks. But so does being fat. I guess dieting is the lesser of two evils. At least I’m not hungry…

I decided to day that it’s time for me to go back to the gym. Instead of focusing on cardio, I will now focus on weights. Greta (Big Bottom Blogger) left me a comment the other day on how I need to start lifting weights, and I agree. I am losing weight kind of fast, and I don’t want to be left looking like a deflated balloon. I figured that I would set aside 3 days per week to so strength training. With soccer season starting (first practices are tonight), I will have to MAKE the time. I am also going to get a fitness assessment done. It’s only $10 for members, and gives you percentage of fat with the calipers, and they do a number of tests to get your fitness level. I think it will be cool to do it now, and then do it again after I’ve lost a bunch of weight!

Did I mention that I am going to be the assistant coach on my 4-yr old daughter’s team? They know I have no experience in this kind of thing – only being a soccer mom – but they needed volunteers and chose me. Should be fun.

I am also doing a 5K on Saturday. It is the same one I did last year – my son’s school sponsors it, and the whole district participates. Have I been walking? No. Do I plan on walking this week to prepare for it? Yes. The weather is supposed to be nice today, tomorrow, and Friday. Even if it’s late, I am going to at least walk around the block a few times. My body feels like it is ready for regular exercise again.

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

On another note... several people have contacted me asking about Medifast, and expressing that they would like to do the program, but cost is an issue. The good folks at Medifast have offered a coupon code for my readers that will give you $50 off an order of $275 or more. Email me if you would like the code. I don't get anything from this... I will continue to get my product for free, regardless. I am just passing along a deal. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back to work...

Today my wonderful Spring Break came to an end... back to work! I didn't think I was gonna make it, though. I have been SO SICK since returning from Florida. It got progressively worse until last night I thought I was going to have to go to the ER. Body aches, fever... I thought I had the flu. But some time during the night I turned a corner, and was able to make it to work today.

The scale said 283.4 this morning... 18.8 lbs lost since starting Medifast on March 5. I have lost the slight gain from falling off the wagon in Florida, plus some more. Yesterday it was tough to eat ANYTHING, but I got everything down except for my last Medifast meal. I didn't wake up until noon, so everything was off track. Today at work hasn't been so bad. I was confronted by DONUTS this morning and didn't succumb. My co-worker had the NERVE to set the open box right beside me to tempt me! I kindly closed the top and ignored.

My goal is to be 20 lbs down by Friday, which will mark the end of my 3rd week on plan. That will only leave about 10 pounds for me to lose to get back down to my smallest weight (270) of last year. Then it's just downhill from there, and I am so excited! I am actually dreaming of smaller clothes for this summer!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Business as usual!

I am back from vacation, and back on plan! Yes, I fell off the wagon while I was in Florida. There was just too much temptation, and I am still so early in my "recovery". The first day there was tough - I passed up a pizza buffet and a spread for breakfast. But the second day I was weary. Everything revolved around food and everyone thought I was crazy to be dieting while on vacation. I even got chewed out for bringing my scale, lol. I basically had no support, and on day two I fell into a plate of fried fish, sweet potato fries, and hushpuppies. And to be honest, it was bliss! I didn't even try to recover while I was down there. I looked at it as a temporary state. I let "Fat Hollie" take over for the next three days, and vowed to let "Skinny Hollie" come back once I was back in Tennessee.

Lyn (Escape from Obesity) wrote a blog post a week or so ago about how one part of her LIKES eating what she wants (or something to that affect). I REALLY can relate to that mentality, even though it's probably not sane, lol. A part of me LIKES being fat, LIKES eating whatever the hell I want. It makes me HAPPY to sink my teeth into a warm Krispy Kreme donut. I feel HAPPY when I am sipping on a Frappucino from Starbucks. I don't like feeling deprived, I don't like giving up my favorite foods to lose weight. But guess what? That is my reality. Eating what I want is what got me to 333 lbs. Cutting out my "favorite" foods is what will get me to my goal weight. I HAVE TO change my relationship with food in order to be healthy and lose weight.

Yes, it sucks! The immature, irrational part of me is pissed off that I can't have pizza, ice cream, and donuts whenever I want them. I am a little sad that those foods will probably NEVER be able to have a place in my diet. But alcoholics and drug users go through the same thing (I know a lot of them who have told me this). They miss their drug of choice until it is totally out of their system... until they have reached a point in their recovery where they have made peace with the fact they can't have those vices. I am not at that point yet, but I am hoping like hell I will make it there one day. The day I can pass up a piece of birthday cake without wanting to throw a baby-tantrum inside because I want it so bad, that's the day I will know I am truly making progress.

I weighed in this morning, and I am up 3.6 lbs. I am not even mad at that, because I have still lost over 12 lbs in two weeks while on Medifast. I am glad I went ahead and started when I did... even knowing the vacations were coming up. I got a head start in my weight loss, and I learned a valuable lesson. I did well in Chattanooga because I was in total control of my food. In Florida, I was not in control - my in-laws fed us the whole time we were there. They picked the restaurants, they cooked the food. I learned that in the future when I go out of town, I have to be in control of the menu. I also learned that under those circumstances it IS possible to stay on plan while traveling.

I also learned that I have a lot of work to do as far as coming to grips with my "unhealthy" relationship with food. I love it too much. Food shouldn't make me so happy - and not having my favorite foods shouldn't make me so sad. Hopefully over the next few months on Medifast I will learn that food CAN be good, and it is OK to enjoy it. But I shouldn't be in love with food that causes so much damage to my health and well-being.

Yesterday was my first day at home and I was back on plan. It wasn't even hard. I started feeling sick when I got home on Thursday night... cold symptoms. Sore, swollen throat and body aches. I do feel a little better today. I really have to work on drinking my water... I had to force down 64 oz. yesterday. When my throat is sore, I HATE drinking water - it almost gags me. I also ran out of water, so today I have to make a store run asap to get more. The tap water here is UNDRINKABLE. You can't even make coffee with it. I have no doubt I will be able to stay on plan, and I can't wait to see the scale start moving in the right direction again! I am already back in my size 22's from last summer, which makes me feel SO GOOD. My first mini-goal is to be back at 270, which is my lowest weight from last summer. I am less than 20 lbs away!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quick update!

On the way to take my Praxis test (pray for me!), but I wanted to update really quick!

* Traveling to Florida with the kiddos today... excited but nervous about a long solo road trip!
*
Stayed on plan during my mini-vacay, so I have not doubt I can do it in Florida.

* I have lost 16 lbs during the 8 days I've been on Medifast. It come off fast at first (water weight), but I am still steadily losing.

* My crazy ass is taking the scale to FL. Daily weigh-ins are keeping me accountable!

I hope to check in, but I am not sure if my in-laws have Internet. I can update via Twitter or Facebook with my phone. Follow me - I'm on both sites as SkinnyHollie!

xoxo

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Can she diet on vacation?

I was really stressing out about if I was going to be able to stick to Medifast while on this mini-vacation. Guess what? Day one was a success!

I had four of my MF meals before dinner. I had a shake for breakfast before I left, a bag of puffs on the ride to Chattanooga, and a bar at Rock City while my kids had lunch. It was EASY to turn down lunch since it was majorly overpriced! And it was "kid" food and not that appealing anyway. After we got back to the hotel, I blended a shake with the mini-blender I bought last week (love it!).

I sat and looked at some online menus to see which restaurants had good options, but ended up eating at Cracker Barrel because it was right across the street from the hotel. We just WALKED over. Cracker Barrel has a low-carb menu, so I ordered from that, trying to make choices that would also be low in fat and calories. I chose the grilled chicken salad, explaining that I didn't want the chicken cooked in oil or butter. I got fat-free ranch dressing on the side. I also skipped the shredded cheese and opted to go with the 1-oz. of Colby they serve on the side. They also serve a boiled egg on the side, which is good because I estimated the chicken to be about 3-4 oz., which would not have been enough protein.

I squeezed out 1 tbs of the dressing on a plate and dipped. I also had to pick out the croutons that weren't supposed to be on there. It wasn't even that hard, considering I LOVE croutons. I didn't even blink when I cut up my baby's pancake. In the old days, I could devour 3 - 4 of those pancakes!

Overall, I am very proud of myself and my choices. I think I was able to get very close to the Lean and Green guidelines. I logged everything and I am also going to be within my calorie limits for the day. The only "off" thing was my eating schedule... I had a shake at 4:30 and we had dinner at around 6:15-6:30, which is closer than it needs to be. But my water intake was good (116 oz), and I walked for over 3 hours today while sight seeing at Rock City (which was awesome!). I am claiming victory! Let's hope I can repeat this resolve tomorrow...

I have decided to got to Florida with the kids. They are desperate to see their father, so I don't see why I shouldn't take them. With that said, it looks like I will be taking this diet on the road for longer than I anticipated. I am staying positive, and I REALLY think I can do this!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stresssssssssssss

I woke UP stressed out this morning. Tomorrow is the day I leave for my mini-vacation to Chattanooga. AND I take my Praxis exams on Saturday morning. AND I have to get all this weekend's homework done before I go. NOW my children's dad has backed out of meeting us in Chattanooga. The plan was that he would drive up to meet us so he could see the kids... he hasn't seen them since he moved out of state in December. Well, now he isn't going to be able to come, and I know my kids are going to be devastated. You would think since he doesn't pay a DIME in child support.... ugh... that's beside the point.

I talked to his sister and mom this morning, and they have offered to pay for my rental car/gas/expenses if I will bring the children to Florida next week to see them. I am out on Spring break anyway, and didn't have any plans other than just being lazy and relaxing. They want to take us to the beach, and do some other fun things. And that would also allow my babies to see their dad. I don't really know what I want to do. One part of me sees it as a free vacation to Florida. My kids would LOVE to go. And I really don't mind driving down with them. I know my in-laws will make sure my ex behaves himself, and will make sure we have a good time. My in-laws have always been good to me and the kids... they know my ex is an irresponsible asshole.

I guess it's just that I like to plan things out, and it's NOT part of my plan. Yeah, I could make it work. Yeah, I could have fun! I don't know, though. I am going to pray on it and think on it while I am in Chattanooga. Bottom line is that I know my kids LONG to spend time with their dad. I know making the trip will make them happy. Even if it causes me a little stress along the way, I think with the shitty year they have had, it's the least I can do.

I did think this morning, "How am I going to do Medifast with all this traveling?" I am not really worried about it because it IS so portable. As long as I have my mini-blender and my bars, I think I will be okay. I will be staying with my sister-in-law in Florida (who is a vegetarian), so I know I can still be able to prepare my foods there. The plan gets easier with each day, and I am really not hungry. And the cravings are also going away. I am 94% sure I can do it while I'm away...

I don't know what will happen, but I know I have to get up and get crackin' today! I have been on the phone dealing with stress and drama all morning, and I have so much to do! My daughter comes back this afternoon, and I NEED to get everything cleaned before she gets here. And get my car serviced. And go to the grocery for stuff to take on the road. And get packed and get in the bed at a decent hour so I can be ready to go. Oh, and let me not forget that assignment I need to turn in. DAMN! Too much to do! Later!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Moving right along...

The scale is finally moving in the right direction... 10.6 lbs gone in the 3 days I have been on Medifast. Today is day 4, so hopefully I am in Ketosis. Hopefully the water weight is gone, so from now on my losses will reflect fat burning!

I got a burst of energy last night, and I still feel great this morning. My goal for today is to get the house clean... SPRING clean! Tomorrow I want to go through my garage and shed so I can start taking an inventory of spring/summer clothes that my kids have and can still wear! We are leaving for Chattanooga on Wednesday for a mini vacation. It's only 2 hours away, but there are lots of family friendly things to do there (Tennessee Aquarium, Rock City, Lookout Mountain). It also has Tennessee's largest mall, lol. I am excited about the trip, but excited to see how it's going to go with being on the Medifast plan. My hotel room has a fridge and microwave, and I plan on taking my mini-blender and lots of portable food. My obstacle is going to be choosing restaurant food for my one meal that is NOT Medifast. Am I ready for a restaurant outing? We will see!

If I slip, I will NOT beat myself up about it. I will get right back on plan. I still think getting started right away was the best idea. Instead of losing 10.6 lbs of "whatever", I would have been doing more damage to my body. I would have still probably been binging, and I would have been diving even further over the 300 lb mark. Now I am almost out of the 290's again. I am going to be the happiest chic in TN when I am back down to 270 (where I was last summer)! Once I get back there, I will feel like I am REALLY making progress!

My oldest daughter will be back home tomorrow from her school trip. Thank goodness! I really miss her!

The sun is still shining, and I think it's gonna be warmer today. I was talking to a friend of mine that came by this morning, and we were standing on my porch in the sun. When I came in, my shoulders were actually warm (I had on a tank-top). What a great feeling! I am going to check into buying an umbrella stroller for my youngest today. She is 4, so I am torn about buying her a stroller. But it would make it possible to go walking with her. And it might come in handy on our little vacation, since we will no-doubt be walking a lot. If I buy one, I think I may go walking later. My son is 9 and he LOVES to go walking with me.

I hope everyone has a healthy Monday!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I love SUNSHINE!

Today was such a beautiful day in my neck of the woods (Middle Tennessee). It was still a little chilly (around 60 degrees), but the sunshine was just glorious! I woke up in a good mood this morning, got my homework done and turned in, and then went to my godson's basketball game. I ended up bringing him and his two brothers home with me! You would think I would enjoy having one less child in the house, instead of bringing home three more! It's all good though... they all play well together and I know my two enjoy having playmates while their big sister is away.

I guess I tested how well I could do Medifast on the fly today. When I left, I packed two of their bars to eat. I ate one right away, but didn't think I would have to eat the other. But I ended up staying out longer than expected, and am glad I had it with me. I am still quite happy with the food and the way it tastes. I had an iced cappuccino this morning that tasted like the real thing! I grilled out this afternoon when I got home, so my "lean and green" meal also hit the spot! I threw some asparagus on the grill, too, and it was so tender it just melted in my mouth!

I actually feel pretty good, too. A little tired after my trip out, but my energy returned this evening and I actually have got a lot of cleaning done in the house. I HAVE fought headaches today. I actually got a pounding headache while I was out that required me to take something for it. But it went away, and so did the mini one I got later, only without meds. I don't know, but it doesn't seem "hard" yet. I don't feel deprived.

Oh, and out of curiosity I stepped on the scale this morning. I was down 4.2 lbs from yesterdays weight. Yeah, I know... water weight. But just losing that much made a big difference to me. See, yesterday when I stepped on the scale, it read 302.2. Yes, I had went back over into the 300's and I was DEVASTATED. That number haunted me all day yesterday. So when I saw 298 this morning, I felt so much better.

Several people have emailed me asking why I would do something so drastic to lose weight. These people guarantee that I will gain the weight back. Well, I hate to break the news, but I am gaining the weight back that I lost due to cleaning, healthy eating and exercise, too! No matter how you lose the weight, you can always gain it back unless you change your habits that got you there in the first place. Even when I was eating clean and restricting sugar and caffeine, I still enjoyed my food. Too much! I still leaned on it for emotional reasons, and always had the mentality of "I will do better tomorrow."

Like I've said before, I need to do something drastic so I can see immediate results. Let me get to my goal weight, and then I will worry about keeping it off. But in the process, I am really hoping to change my relationship with the food I eat. Maybe I just can't be one of those people that enjoys food? I don't know... but SOMETHING has to change. I am hoping that getting the spotlight OFF food for a while will help me change, or gain some kind of focus on what's really important. At least I have to try, right?

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*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free.*

Friday, March 5, 2010

First day on Medifast... Success!

I got my Medifast food last night - It was on my doorstep when I got home from class. You would have thought I was a kid on Christmas! I scratched the plan to start on Saturday, and got started today instead. I was just too excited to put it off. And guess what? It was a good day!

I don't want anyone to think this is going to turn into a "medifast" blog, but since this IS what I am doing right NOW, I will talk about it until the "newness" wears off. I did Weight Watcher's the same way, as well as the whole "clean eating" thing. This is a weight loss blog, and whatever I am doing to lose weight will be featured on here. I don't really feel compelled to talk a lot about the Medifast food, though. If you want to know more you can go to the Medifast site, or check out Lyn's blog, Escape from Obesity. She has actually posted pictures of most of the products.

My thoughts about day 1:
- The food is not as bad as I expected. It's actually pretty good! I had maple & brown sugar oatmeal, lemon meringue bar, chicken noodle soup w/ .5 c brocolli added, chili nacho cheese puffs, tuna and 1 c. asparagus for dinner, and a strawberry shake just now to end the day.
- I have not been hungry at all, which floors me. I logged my food and I have consumed a little over 800 calories today! ????? I have eat every 2.5 - 3.5 hours all day! And no hunger?????
- The cravings haven't been so bad either. My co-worker was eating a double cheeseburger at his desk today and I thought I was going to come over that desk and snatch it from him, lol. But other than a brief episode of just "wanting" something, I've been ok!
- No headaches/fatigue that I am blaming on the diet. My daughter left for her school trip today, and I had to get up at 4 a.m. to have her there at 5 a.m. I took a nap when I got home from work today - but I think it's because I went to bed at 1 a.m. and got up at 4 a.m.!
- I have been really thirsty. I am closing out the day at 156 oz. of water! And that's not counting the water that I added to all the Medifast meals.

Bottom line is I feel great! I keep reading all the posts on Facebook from people who are on Medifast and are losing weight and reaching their goals. I really want this to work. I am so ready to finally get this weight off for good! I am excited to see how the next few days goes. I just checked the weather forecast and we are supposed to see sunshine and 60+ degree weather for the next several days! What a treat - Spring break is actually going to feel like SPRING!

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The folks at Medifast told me that I need to put a disclaimer on my blog stating that I am getting the Medifast plan for free. They basically offered me the plan at no cost and asked me to blog about it - good or bad.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am so ready!


I am PRAYING that I get my Medifast food either today or tomorrow. I REALLY want to get started on Saturday. I have never been so ready to go on a diet in my LIFE, lol! Tomorrow is my last day at work before being out for two weeks for Spring Break. Other than my 3-day trip to Chattanooga on 3/10 – 3/12, and my Praxis exams on 3/13, it is going to be two weeks of relaxation and focus on ME! I found out yesterday that I do NOT have to do the big student teacher interview that I was so stressed out about, which was good news! One less thing to stress out about! I have a midterm tonight that I feel confident about. And my oldest daughter is leaving for a school trip tomorrow morning for 5 days.

Lyn (from Escape From Obesity) is also doing Medifast – I think this is day 5 for her? She has yet to experience the “horrible” side effects of headaches and fatigue that can be associated with ketosis. So I am hopeful that maybe I can avoid it, too? It will be great that I don’t have to “do” anything during the first few days of the plan, so I can just lie around and chill out until it passes. I am really going to pray for some SUNSHINE so that I can get some non-food-related things done around the house while I am off from work. It will also be nice to start walking again around the neighborhood. I also decided on yesterday to buy a jump rope. I was in gym class with a student, and it happens to be the same class my daughter is in. I was watching her jump rope, and she was good! She can actually go for more than 60 seconds without messing up! I thought, I need to get a jump rope for home so we can BOTH jump ropes.

I have so many wheels turning in my head now that I know that weight loss is GOING to happen for me. And my daughter has also decided she is ready to commit, too. When I told her about going on Medifast, she actually asked me if we could “get serious” about her diet, too. She’s been fighting me on it, so I was so happy to hear her change her mind. We talked about eliminating sugar and junk food, drinking more water, and keeping a food journal to start. We are also going to be a fast-food-free household. My two younger children do NOT have a weight problem, but can also benefit from good eating habits NOW.

I figured out today that my daughter has about 30 – 40 lbs to lose. While she is away on her trip, I am going to clean out the pantry and refrigerator so there is NOTHING tempting in the house when she gets back. This will help both of us avoid temptation. I also plan on seriously incorporating physical activity with all my kids. They all got bikes for Christmas, so they are going to start RIDING THEM. We can also go on walks together, and play in the yard. All three of them are signed up for soccer, which will start in a few weeks. Can you see how excited that I am that we are ALL going to jump on the HEALTH and FITNESS wagon together? This can only mean great things for all of us!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Updating my Blogroll…

Over the past few weeks, I have been reading blogs again more faithfully, and have noticed that a few of the blogs on my blogroll haven’t updated in quite a while, or have just disappeared! I decided to list them here, in case anyone knows their whereabouts (some might have just started a new blog and I missed it).

Blogs that have disappeared:

Carlos – You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat (I LOVE Carlos – someone has to know what happened to him!)
Me vs. The Buffet
Less of Lisa
Fat Fitness Food

These blogs are now only open to invited readers:

Fat Doctor
Annette’s Awakening

And these are blogs that haven’t updated in quite a while:

Michelle – One Pound at a Time (5/09)
Healthy Laura – (6/09)
Chews to Lose – (7/09)
Taste Not Waist – (7/09)
Skinny Inside – (8/09)
Skye’s the Limit – Skye is my FB friend, so I know where she is!
W8losschick – Is now AssistU chick, also my friend, so I know where she is, too!
A Day in Elife – (9/09)

I have updated my blogroll, and these blogs are no longer on there. But like I said, if any of you know they have a new blog somewhere, let me know!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Over food.

Since I have made up my mind to start Medifast, I have been binging. At first, I wasn’t really paying attention to it. But then yesterday, I realized what I was doing. I am trying to eat all of my favorite foods while I can. After I start Medifast, I am not going to be able to “treat” myself to the foods I love… not even once in a while. Those foods will be GONE until I reach goal… maybe beyond. Will I even WANT them anymore after I have reached goal? I really hope not…

One of the reasons I am going on Medifast is so that I can REALLY change my relationship with food. I want to enjoy food for what it is supposed to be – nourishment and energy for my body. Not what it has become… a crutch, a drug, and an addiction. Last night my oldest daughter and I were trying to decide what we wanted for dinner. Truthfully, I didn’t want ANYTHING. I am sick and tired of FOOD at this point. Nothing seems appealing to me. Lol… I’m sure I won’t feel like this after a week of Medifast food. But that’s how I feel right now.

I think this has really led me to the decision to start Medifast as soon as I get my package. I really don’t want to wait… I want to get started NOW. I am ready to stop feeling this way – fat, full, disgusted, bloated. My heartburn has even been coming back. UGH! Oh, and the binging is also over. I started my morning with a protein smoothie, and am drinking water as we speak. I will not binge until I get my food. If anything, I think that starting the process of getting my body off of the caffeine and sugar rush NOW will help once I start Medifast.

I am also going to get back in the gym this week. A few days of exercise will help me get focused. Medifast advises you to lay off the exercise for the first two weeks, since your body is going to be going through so many changes from the calorie restriction. I am going to play that by ear. If I feel great and can squeeze in a little time, I will. I just think I am going to shift from more cardio to more strength training. I want my new, transformed body to look as good as it possibly can!

So, over the next few days I am going to make a list. My list is going to consist of all my favorite foods that I am going to miss while I am on the next stage of my journey. Foods that I don’t need in the first place, but that I enjoy nevertheless. The day I start Medifast, I will burn that list. I will then be on my way to getting over food. At least, that is the plan.