Thursday, March 31, 2011

Weight Loss/Dieting Update

I've dropped another 2.4 pounds this week (did that same week before last and then stayed at the same weight last week, so am anticipating another "stay the same" week coming up, perhaps?). Down 11.6 pounds so far and am now focusing like an eagle on the 220's which are just around the corner. Yeah, I was in the top half of the 240's when I started this trip down weight loss lane.

But my motto remains "slow and steady wins the race" and I bought a little tortoise/turtle charm for my charm bracelet to remind myself to be patient with the process.

Meanwhile, I'm utterly addicted to watching Biggest Loser. I know they are going at breakneck speed down the weight loss superhighway, but it's inspiring nonetheless. My very blunt twelve year old son tells me: "Mom, you would NEVER survive at the ranch...because of your fibromyalgia, you know." Ok, thanks for that, son. He keeps it all real.

The other corner that I've rounded is that for the most part I'm over the mono stuff, and have started finding the energy to exercise again. What that looks like for me, is putting in a very boring 30 minutes on the treadmill in the exercise room. If/when we move away from this apartment complex, I will MISS that treadmill, and start saving up my sewing money to buy one of my own...that, or an eliptical machine.

The reason I think this would be a worthy investment, when for years I've been a sneakers and sidewalk kind of girl: The machine forces me to work at a harder pace. I can use my brain to force my body to work at 3.5 mph as opposed to just walking. I don't think, out of doors, I can go faster than 3 mph.

This week I plan on developing a routine that uses weights alternating in 30 second segments with the mini-trampoline. Like a Curves work out. I'll post something here about it when I have it all figured out. My biggest challenge is to figure out how to get that every thirty second warning bell thing going. I think I'll have to pull the trampoline into the kitchen, and just watch the microwave timer counting down 30 minutes and change up what I'm doing every thirty seconds. Lame, I know. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Current addictions: Stevia sweetened decaf iced tea. WHY have I been craving iced tea? I don't know, but I'm gonna go with it.

And fruit. I'm still LOVING the fruit that is ZERO points plus on the new Weight Watchers program. I've never starved or gone to bed hungry. I'm not unusually hungry between meals, and I'm learning portion control and better long term eating habits than I had before. \

So yes, this is week NINE for me, and I'm still LOVING it. Not sick of it yet, and that is a VERY GOOD THING.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vile Smell of the Week

Somehow, without really planning on it, I've done a good bit of cleaning this week. This morning there as an inconclusive odor in my kitchen. I cleaned up the pantry shelves, checking all the squashes, onions, garlic, potatoes, fruit...no rot there to speak of.

I even CLEANED THE REFRIDGERATOR!!!!! (it was nasty)

Still, the vile smell persisted.

I finally figured out what it is.

And the problem is, I can't do much about it right now. ech.

See, last week, maintenance came and installed a brand spankin' new dishwasher. You'd think this would be a good thing, right?

Well, so far, not.

Because it does not drain right.

And I've been SO BUSY that I've not called them to report the problem.

So there's been brown waters sitting in the bottom of the dishwasher for about a week.

And now it smells. REALLY BAD, IT SMELLS.

Like sewage.

Oh, lovely.

And other than running the dishwasher again (which I'm doing, it may be the biggest mistake I could make but I do live impetuously) with some vinegar, and lighting a candle, there's NOTHING I can do but nag maintenance.

So that, my friends, is keepin' it real.

Oh yeah, and I've been eating a LOT of hummus lately, so there are the hummus farts. But the dishwasher is worse. Far, far worse.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tim McGraw - Southern Voice (Official video)



Yeah, so it's two am and I'm going to torture my blog readers with some music selections that I like. Yes, I'm southern, and I like Tim McGraw.

Oh and by the way...

I lost some more weight today for a grand total of 9.4 so far since I started Weight Watchers. Those drips and drabs of weight loss DO add up. I got myself a turtle charm for my charm bracelet to remind me of my "slow and steady" motto.

Bangers 'n Mash for St. Patrick's Day

It's lent. So there's no real meat in this dish.

Mashed potatoes, however your family eats them.

Steamed cabbage-a whole head chopped and steamed above the water that is cooking the potatoes.

Sautee in some water or cocounut oil 2 large onions, sliced. When these are clear/caramelizing, add a package of mushroom slices, salt, pepper and two packages of Morning Star vegan breakfast links.

Let this cook with a lid on the skillet until the meat and mushrooms are done. Add some water and a bit more salt and some flour to thicken the gravy.

Serve this over the mashed potatoes and cabbage.

I make NO CLAIMS that this is authentic Irish food. I got the idea for this dish from something I ate a Molly Malone's-the (so-called) Irish Pub chain.

It was yummy. The real thing, of course, is yummier. But alas, not lenten.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Don't Wait Until Tomorrow

One of the things I've been thinking about in my weight loss journey is the idea of "don't wait until tomorrow". In order to embrace the process, rather than be obsessed with the end result. I have got to (and am actually doing it) develop a "don't wait until tomorrow" attitude.

I think I started learning this lesson last year, when I went spelunking. Ok, so it was with a bunch of kids (I'm an American Heritage Girls assistant leader) and it WAS a "mini cave tour" but we were indeed on our hands, knees and bellies and it was complete with helmets, mud and scary tight places. And it was very very dark.

So, I thought it would be a terrifying experience. But it was not. It was exhilirating and FUN.

If I had waited until I was thinner, I never would have gone.

Three years ago, when I was working on failed WW attempt number X, I had it in my mind that I wanted a red dress. I thought it would be such a nice "after" thing to wear, you know? Red and sassy and...lovely. Cue that old 80's song "Lady in Red"...

Well, the other day, I had the thought that I really should NOT wait until some mythical someday. I needed to consider finding a red dress in my size NOW.

Now, as you all know, I'm a consumate thrift store shopper and it's not like one can go to the thrift store and order up something stylish and specific and have it be there waiting for you in your size.

But sometimes, SOMETIMES...OK, it happens A LOT (a lot, a lot, which is why I suspect Divine Conspiracy) I go to the thrift store to see what I can find and there it is: The very item I needed or wanted. That happened today. I found that red dress. In the perfect shade of red. With the perfect cut. With no faded or worn areas. In my size NOW.

And it is lovely.

And NO ONE will be able to convince me that God did not put it right there...just for me.

And so now, it's my "don't wait until tomorrow" dress. And it's also my "God loves me even at my current size" dress. I'm feelin' the LOVE.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Food Worlds Collide

As many of you know, I"m a big fan of Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, and the nutritional philosophy of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

As many of you also know, I'm an Orthodox Christian, and it is now Lent, and there are certain religiously prescribed (strongly suggested but no one is going to hell if the fast is not followed) fasting rules.

Also, my doctor has me, lo these many years, on a carb-moderated eating plan.

AND I'm doing weight watchers.

Ka-BLAM!!!!!

Talk about food worlds colliding!

So, here I offer you a WW friendly, Lent friendly, WAPF friendly not-so low carb but still smart enough because it's sugar free YUMMO dessert:

Frozen Banana with homemade sugar free healhty "magic shell":

1 Frozen banana, cut into 4 chunks.
1 T. coconut oil, melted
1 T. cocoa powder
pinch salt
4 packets of stevia
tiny bit of vanilla flavor

Mix the oil the the ingedients following. Roll the frozen banana pieces in the chocolate sauce. It will harden and form a shell.

Eat it.

I usually have enough for two bananas. The sauce comes to 4 WW points. Really good "treat" snack with a healthy traditional oil.

An Icon Cloth

My husband was cleaning out his corner of the bedroom, and lo and behold he found an icon cloth I'd embroidered for him years and years ago. I was going through an embroidery phase, never having learned proper embroidery technique, or anything. Just an effort.

At any rate, I thought it was pretty and so here it is:

Forgiveness Sunday and the Beginning of Lent

I missed Church yesterday. Both the Divine Liturgy and the Forgiveness Vespers service. I was sick in bed, alternating falling asleep with having chills and being achy and very very hungry all at the same time.

Mono rears it's ugly everlasting head.

So, dear blog readers, I put this out there in the spirit of Forgiveness Sunday, even though it is Clean Monday today, the first day of Lent for Orthodox Christians:

Forgive me, my sisters and my brothers, for any sins I have committed against you in what I have written here, and in what I have not written. And for those of you precious ones whom I know in real life, forgive me for my words and my deeds, and for my lack of words and lack of deeds. Forgive me, my brother and my sisters, for I have sinned.


And now we begin our lenten journey. I feel like it's been lent for all of 2011 as I've been dealing with the slowness and the quietness of illness and exhaustion beyond what I'm used to deal with with Fibromyalgia.

There are nights when I lie in bed, not yet having fallen asleep, and I think desperately off all that I have to accomplish. And believe you me, I AM delegating everything I can to my kids. My teenaged daughters, especially, have been an invaluable help to me. Everyone in my family has made so many sacrifices. We've simply NOT gone and done as many cool things as we might otherwise have done if I were well. People have been patient.

And this week, is THE WEEK, for getting wedding dress number two done. Well, maybe not "done, done" but this afternoon is the first fitting, and the bride is in town from out of town all this week, so our goal is to get things to the point where I can finish the dress with no more fittings, on my own.

God have mercy, it's gonna be a doozy! I keep obsessing about how to put things together, and after today I'll have a much better idea of how precisely to proceed, as my ideas and the bride's ideas will mesh together to come up with a plan. There are various options that must be discussed and decided upon. The implementing of them will be a relief.

So, dear friends, I covet your prayers as usual. It's going to be a busy week. I hope God grants me enough strength to do this work AND make it to some of the Church services.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Self Examination

One of the things I am determined to do as I travel along this weight loss journey of mine, is to reflect on the inner workings of my psyche and my motivations and my REASONS for over eating.

I no longer want to be blind to that darker side of me that sometimes just wants to EAT and eat heedlessly.

Following the Weight Watchers program is like keeping a river within it's banks. For years I've always chastised myself for not having natural banks to my "eating river" if you will allow me to use such an analogy.

Finally, I just simply accept that left to my own devices, my food consumption meanders all over the place and floods me. I'm obese. How can it be otherwise. I need limits and boundaries and I'm ever so grateful to WW for giving me those.

So, this evening has been one of those times when I feel myself in the danger zone. After eating too much at supper (and yet, dutifully counting the points and knowning exactly how much that was, grateful for the balancing effect of that weekly point allowance), I told my husband that I felt myself to be in that dangerous mood when I want to throw caution to the wind and just EAT.

This mood comes upon me sometimes. Here are some factors:

-It is Friday night. I have a feeling of wanting to kick back and relax, and not be "working". I can take a step back from this feeling acknowledge it, and do something ELSE besides eating to relax. And yes, I eat to relax. I see this about myself now. This is very good information for me to have.

-I had a fun day visiting some friends, but it ended up being stressful for my son with Asperger's syndrome in the end, and he just got fried from too much stimulus and noise and had to get out of there. I had to end my visit before I wanted to, but it was for the good of my son. But it was a sacrifice, and sacrifices often make me want to indulge myself....a reward for good behavior and my sacrifices, if you will. This is also good information for me to know about myself.

-When I'm tired I want to eat. When I'm stressed I want to eat.

I used to think I never ate for such reasons.

It's good to acknowledge to myself that I DO indeed have the urge to eat in such situations.

So, the self examination is valuable if it helps me to step back and figure out what's going on inside, and find a new way to deal with the feelings and urges that drive me.

And that, my friends, is why I think THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Weigh in Report

I lost .8 pounds this week, for a total of 6.4 so far. Down is better than up.

I AM THE TORTOISE.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

How I Rewarded Myself

I went for a short walk. This might not seem like much, but here I am, two months since having mono, a month or so since diagnosis, and still feeling the effects. I walked SLOWLY and gently and did not ever get more than a little ways from my front door, around and around the block in our apartment complex. At any time I could have cut across the lawn and been at my apartment.

I walked a mile in about half an hour.

The sun is shining, the air is cool and spring-like while the sun is simultaneously warm. A perfect, gorgeous early March day in Kentucky!

I LOVE being out of doors and have really missed it since I've been sick these past few months. So, that's how I "treated myself" today. I've managed, simply by putting one foot in front of the other and doing what has been before me to do this day, to get my mood out of the funkety funk it was mired in earlier.

I also got some wedding dress sewing done, which is ALWAYS a good thing. Finished the foundation of one dress, with the boning and such. It looks nice. My mind is still going a thousand miles a minute thinking of how I"m doing to do the "fancy stuff" on this dress, but really those decisions need to wait until I have a meeting the the bride on Monday next.

And such, is my life. Now that the kids are done with school, I"ve done my sewing for the day and done a bit of laundry too, I'm officially "off work" until it's time to cook dinner. I think tonight will be Spanikopita and some sauteed onions and some pumpkin bread for dessert.

The Slowness of it All

I think, today, I really need to focus on accepting the slowness of my weight loss journey. Perhaps because I went to a wellness check at my husband's work place (required to get the company to chip in on insurance premiums), I have my weight on my mind.

Of course, the scale at thew wellness check was not kind to me, and I'm choosing to totally ignore it, since I have been faithfully staying on the Weight Watcher's plan of eating AND making some good/healthy/higher protein choices within plan, to boot. (Omelet not cereal for breakfast, for instance.)

So, the numbers should not bother me. But they do.

I felt a need to explain to everyone there that I'm dieting. That I'm trying to do better.

And everyone was kind and encouraging, but sometimes I wonder if there's a sense of "yeah, right, lady! Your weight is EXACTLY THE SAME!"

I wonder if my friends secretly think I'm not following the program, too. Because my progress is SOOOO SLOOOOOWWWW! Just shows how conceited my thought life is, doesn't it? I bet my friends are not nearly as judgey as I imagine them to be. Because I dont' judge them, either.

But I do judge myself rather harshly and I care too much about what I imagine people think about me. And it's ALL IN MY OWN HEAD. NONE OF IT IS REAL except in my own thoughts. The nastiness is coming from me, and directed towards me, and it's all internal.

"She must not be following the plan" I imagine the other person thinking. But the fact is, I am following the plan.
"She must be lying" I imagine the other person thinking. But I am honestly telling the truth.

"She is secretly binging." I imagine the other person thinking. But the truth is, I am not. I am tracking everything.


Because, my wretched thoughts tell me, YOU AREN'T GETTING ANY RESULTS.

That, of course, is patently untrue. I AM getting results. Just very very slowly.

I wore smaller pants yesterday. I measured myself today and I have lost an inch off my belly, an inch off my hips, half an inch off my bust, half an inch off my thighs, and an inch off my upper arms.

So, today I will choose to think some positive thoughts and I will choose to do something to nurture myself and to celebrate the progress that I've made. Hmmm....what shall it be? I tend to always want to celebrate with food (hence my problem, yes?) and so today, I will do something just for me that is non-food related.

I don't know what, yet. But when I figure it out, perhaps I'll blog about it. Or not. ;-)