Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Resolutions

I have never actually accomplished any New Years Resolution that I have ever set. In fact, for the past several years I didn't even set any goals. I got tired of failing. In theory, I like the concept of New Years resolutions. It gives people the opportunity to step back and assess their lives, think about whats working in their life, and make vows to change the things that are holding us back.
Everyone starts off with the best of intentions, but soon life gets in the way, the enthusiasm fades, failure seems eminent, and we give up.

My resolution this year is to lose weight, and more specifically get below 200 lbs.

So what is going to make this year different?

1. I have set myself up for success.(I have a plan, a gym membership, a support system, and accountability.)

2.I'm being honest with myself. (I'm facing my issues with body and food head on. No more blaming or excuses.)

3. I forgive myself. (I forgive myself for being fat and for the times I will stumble.)

4. It's no longer optional. (If I don't change this now when will I ever? My happiness and my health are at stake.)

How about you? Whats your resolution and what makes this year different?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holidays

This will be a short post because like most people I'm super busy doing lots of things I should have done weeks ago. Today I have cleaned my house for company that will be here tomorrow, went grocery shopping for a Christmas eve dinner I am preparing, wrapped presents, and made cookies with my daughter. I am exhausted! After such a busy day today, I was starving on my way home from the grocery store this evening. I was so tempted to stop at McDonald's and get a cheeseburger and fry. After a long good angel/bad angel discussion with myself I did stop at McDonalds but I ordered a salad with grilled chicken instead. I'm always proud of myself when I overcome those moments of temptation.

I've been good all week knowing that Christmas will be my undoing. I don't plan on going crazy; I'm going to eat the things I enjoy the most with moderation. I know one of my biggest challenges will be the pressure I feel from others. Food is sort of like alcohol; when other people are are indulging they want you to join them. They try to convince you that one day won't hurt, that you deserve it. I also don't want to seem rude to family who have spent so much time preparing the food.

The important thing will be to enjoy that day and then put it behind me and get right back on track Monday morning.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

week 3 and counting

I had a great week! I lost 4 more pounds for a total of 15 pounds lost. I worked out consistently and drank all my water everyday. I've lost and inch off my hips, 1/2 inch off my thighs, and 1/2 inch off my upper arms. I'm feeling great!

The biggest change this week is that I decided to do the full Atkins plan and started the induction phase. This means keeping my total net carbs to 20 per day. The major benefit of induction is that it really stops your cravings and decreases your appetite. Because I have a lot to lose I plan on staying on extended induction until I get much closer to my goal weight. I'm not having any problems finding things I enjoy eating and so far I haven't really been tempted to cheat. Last night we all went to the movies and I got a bottled water while everyone else ordered popcorn, candy, and giant sodas. The weird thing was I was ok with it. It didn't make me feel mad or cheated. I fact I felt empowered because I knew I was in control of my own choices.
Hoping the coming week goes as well.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why am I fat?

I can't go through this process without really taking a look at the reasons why I have a weight problem. I'm sure this will be the first of many post on this subject, because I expect that the more
weight I lose the more I will learn about myself. But here's what I've got so far.

I've been lazy. I haven't exercised the way I should, I've eaten bad foods out of convenience, I watch too much TV, look for the closest parking spot, etc.

I really liked bad foods. My weaknesses have always been starches. I love bread, pasta,potatoes, and of course sugary sweets. My diet was probably consisted of about 75% carbohydrates. I could have lived on pizza and pasta alone.

I drank lots of calories. I have been a Soda addict for the last 20 years. On average I probably consumed 32-48 oz. a day. That alone probably accounts for a large part of my problem.

I centered relationships around food. A date with my husband meant our favorite Mexican restaurant, dinner at my Mom's equaled fried chicken, a day out with my daughter had to include ice cream, and meals with friends always included overeating at various restaurants.

I'm not placing blame on metabolism or genetics. Though I'm sure they play a part. I have had a low functioning thyroid in the past and that certainly hasn't helped. But the truth is, the blame is all on me. I did this to myself. The weight crept up and I chose to, for the most part, ignore it.

I'm not fat because I'm trying to bury my feelings, or build a buffer between me and the world, I'm not suffering the side effects of some horrible trauma. I'm just fat. I've mad bad choices and obesity is the consequence.

Notice I used past tense when talking about the reasons I got fat. That's because I am going to change all of these things. No more excuses. No more self-destruction.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mock-a-Roni and Cheese

Here is the low carb substitute for mac and cheese that I tried this week. This probably isn't great for a regular low calorie diet but it's great for anyone on Atkins or any other low carb plans. I loved it and I normally don't like vegetables. I was skeptical about the mustard but it gave it a little kick that I liked.

Makes 6 servings
6g net carb/serving

Ingredients
1 med. head of cauliflower cut into small pieces
Pam (or something to grease the baking pan)
1 cup milk
2 oz. cream cheese
1-1/2 t. dijon mustard
1-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. paprika


Preheat oven to 375F. Bring large pot of water to a boil, season with kosher salt.

Spray 8x8 baking pan with Pam.

Cook cauliflower in boiling water until crisp-tender (about 5 min.) Drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels. Break into small pieces with fork. Transfer to baking dish.

Bring milk to a simmer and whisk in cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder and whisk until cheese just melts - about 1-2 min. Remove from heat, pour over cauliflower and stir to combine. Top with remaining cheese and bake until bubbly and brown (~15 min).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

There are muscles under there

I've been working out really hard the last few days and I woke up this morning feeling it in just about every major muscle in my body. It's been a while since I've had that sore muscle feeling. It certainly didn't feel good, but it was a good feeling to know that deep down under all that fat good things are happening.

The best part about my workouts is that it's a part of the day where I can tune everything else out and just focus on me for an hour. I didn't realize how much I needed that. Like most mothers and wives most of my days are spent with nearly all of my focus on my family and our home, laundry, meals,bills, and so on and so on. This whole process requires me to intentionally spend time each day focusing on me, my health, and my emotions. I just have to keep in mind that the time I spend on me only benefits my family.

My diet has been good the past several days too. I've stayed within my target range for calories and carbs, and I've been doing it in a way that doesn't leave me feeling deprived. Tonight I stayed away from the Chili that I had fixed for the rest of my family and made myself French Onion Soup and a salad. The soup was super easy and tasted really good. I just caramelized 1 onion, added 1 tbs. of Worcester sauce, and a can of beef broth. Because I'm doing a low carb diet I skipped the crouton and melted a slice of Swiss Cheese on a saucer in the microwave and then placed that on the top of my cup of soup.
This made two servings. Each serving only has 129 calories,8 grams of fat, and 4.6 net carbs.
I'm looking forward to having the rest for lunch tomorrow.
This is the second new recipe I have tried this week. The other was a low carb substitute for Mac and cheese made with cauliflower. It was really good too! So I've already met my goal for this week to try different foods.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

do over

This weeks weight loss was a bit of a disappointment. I only lost 1 pound. Making my total weight loss 11 pounds. I'm not surprised; this week definitely had it's challenges. I'm not going to let it derail me.
In fact, I'm even more determined to make everyday count in the week ahead.

Tomorrow I'm going to take some time to cook several meals in advance for the week. Having healthy meals planned ahead of time is high on my list of strategies for success. I'm definitely at my worst when dinner time rolls around and I have no idea what we are eating that night.

I've been trolling weight loss blogs and forums all over the internet looking for recipe ideas. I'm beginning to realize that it is completely possible to eat really delicious food while losing weight but it does take effort. I've gotten in such a rut with the things I cook. It's just a matter of changing up that routine and trying new things. For me that's easier said than done. I am such a creature of habit! So trying at least one new recipe is on my list of mini-goals for this week.

Speaking of mini-goals. I didn't do so well good this week.

workout 3 times (2)
Drink 6 glasses of water each day (closer to 4)
Eat breakfast (1 day)

weigh loss goal...5lbs (-1)

So this coming week will be a do-over, with the addition of trying a new recipe.
Hopefully next week I'll have better things to report.






Friday, December 9, 2011

Beyonce what?



(Make sure you have the sound on to hear the commentary)


This would make workouts more interesting!

My favorite thing about this video is how comfortable this woman is with herself. Can you imagine being in a public place and doing something like this with out any worry about what other people are thinking of you? I love it. Beyonce what?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

workin' it out


I'd like to introduce you to the new man in my life. This is Edwin. He's crazy about me. No matter how much I hurt him, he never turns his back on me. He's the strong, silent type so we don't talk to much, but there is an unspoken commitment between us. I've been a bit abusive with him, But he seems to be into it. I think we're going to have a beautiful relationship.

I forced myself to go the gym tonight even though I really didn't want to. I'm so glad I did. I threw myself into my workout and left feeling really good about myself. I did about 25 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of strength training, and ended with about 15 min. of boxing. I really like boxing! It's therapeutic and it really works your arms.

I've done really well with food the last two days. I have discovered that planning is essential. So I have been planning meals in advance and entering them into myfatsecret the day before so that I know exactly how many calories and carbs are in each meal. I'm trying to keep my calories under 1,500 and carbs under 40. Limiting carbs seems to be built in calorie control. Almost everything that I am tempted to overindulge on is a high carbohydrate food. By steering clear of those items I don't really have any trouble at all staying within my caloric allowance.
Almost at the end of week two and I'm feeling really good. I'm sleeping better without all that caffeine coursing through my body and my energy level is up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

emotional eating


I have never really thought of myself as an emotional eater,but maybe I was wrong.
My grandma died yesterday, just 6 months after losing my grandfather. I spent a large part of my childhood living with my grandparents. Most of my happy memories as a young child include them, and she was my last living grandparent. Needless to say I am very sad and I didn't feel up to doing much constructive activity yesterday. I ordered a pizza for dinner and I ate 3 pieces. Two hours later, I ate two pieces of fudge. I'm trying not to beat myself up. It could have been so much worse.
But today I'm reflecting on what really made me veer off the path.
It wasn't because I though the food would make me feel better. It was more like I had an internal voice that said, "why should I have to deny myself today." I hope to someday get to the point where I don't see food as punishment/reward. Food should be for nourishment first and foremost. I'm not saying it can't be pleasurable, but I think I was in the habit of eating only for pleasure and a little nourishment came along for the ride. I need to learn to eat for nourishment and energy and if it's pleasurable, all the better.
There are a lot of emotional days ahead that will make sticking to the plan difficult: the funeral, my husbands birthday, Christmas, New Years. My plan is just to do the best I can. and if I stumble, I will start fresh the very next day rather than say, "oh well, I already screwed up so I might as well eat what ever I want for the rest of the week."
I hope I can start to see healthy eating as self-preservation not self-deprivation.



While looking at pictures of my grandma I found this photo from 2009. It is a full body shot of me at my highest weight. I weighed approx. 295 here. This is great motivation for me to keep the scales moving in the right direction. I don't ever want to be that big again.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Before


I decided that I should post a before photo. As humiliating as it is, I want to be able to have an undeniable reality check. And later, a source of pride when I can say look how far I've come. I'm thinking of taking a new picture every 20 lbs.

I know it will take a while before there is a notable difference. That's one of the hardest parts for me about losing weight when you have so much to lose. When your fat, your fat. People don't seem to notice a 10, 20, or even 30 pound loss. It's even harder to see it on yourself. For a person that likes instant gratification that can be hard. So hopefully the pictures will help.

I finished my first week with a 10 lb. loss! I'm really happy with that and inspired to keep up all my hard efforts. I met all of my mini- goals for last week except the exercise. The goal was 3 workouts and honestly I only did one. So I have to do better on that one. My biggest triumph for the week was that not a sip of Pepsi passed my lips. Thats huge for me.

Mini goals for this week 12/4- 12/10

  • Work out at least 3 times this week
  • Drink 6 glasses of water each day
  • Eat breakfast
  • weigh loss goal...5lbs.





Friday, December 2, 2011

Skinny people just don't get it

My husband is thin, like a 32" waist thin. He knows I'm trying to lose weight and says he want to be supportive; but he just doesn't get how hard this is. He thinks that all it takes is a little exercise and boom weight problem should be solved. Well sure when your naturally thin and can eat anything you want you can lose a few pounds by increasing the intensity of your workouts; But it just doesn't work that way when your severely overweight. I read somewhere that weight loss is 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise. So sure I need to workout but the biggest change has to come from diet.

After a really stressful day yesterday, I just wasn't up for cooking dinner. My husband ( trying to be nice) suggested we just order a pizza. On my first week? So of course I said no, to which he responded,"wow this sucks. So I can't ever have pizza now?" Well of course you can still have pizza just don't rub it under my nose on the first week of my new diet.

In order to get some quiet time to work, I suggested that he and our daughter just go out to eat somewhere, and pick me up a salad on the way home. They chose our favorite Mexican restaurant. Which was fine. But then he texted me a picture of his big burrito covered in sour cream, with the caption Yum! Really? I know he thought this was funny but it really kind of bothered me. Not because I really want a stupid burrito so badly but because I need to feel supported. This isn't a joke to me!

Of course, when I explained how it made me feel, he felt bad and told me how proud he was.
I know he didn't mean to be insensitive but it just reminded me that skinny people just don't get it and I that can't rely on him to be a support system for me in this, which kind of sucks.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Minus 9 and Counting

I know that most diets recommend you only weigh in once a week, but clearly I have self control issues other wise I wouldn't have a weight problem. So I've been weighing every morning. Today's weight was 266. That's down 9 pounds since Sunday! I am eating I promise! The diet plan I chose is sort of a modified Atkins. Large numbers are pretty typical in the first few weeks of low carb plans. I know it will soon slow down but I'm enjoying the success none the less. It definitely helps keep me motivated.

I'm adding in a workout today. I actually enjoy working out once I get into a routine. I grew up in gyms. My mom was a bodybuilder in the 80's and my step father was a personal trainer. They owned a gym, so I spent many many hours in the gym and am very comfortable with all the equipment.

It was hard growing up as fat kid with a fitness crazy mom( She weighed all of 90 lbs.). I always felt like she was disappointed in me. This eventually led to a lot of shame and sneaking of food. Honestly, even as an adult I have found myself sneaking food. Sometimes I buy a candy bar to eat in the car and I throw the wrapper away so that no one knows, I sneak a few bites of leftovers while washing the dishes, or buy junk food to eat when I have the house alone for an evening. I have no idea why I would feel like any of this was necessary, my family certainly wouldn't condemn me for anything I would chose to eat.

I am so done with all of that! I'm off to workout now. First song on my workout play list.....I'm bringing sexy back.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Motivation

I have major incentive for losing weight fast. I'm hoping to lose about 30 lbs. by March because I'm afraid my big fat butt will keep me from riding rides when my family goes on vacation to Universal Studios in March. My family thinks I'm joking when I tell them this but seriously....
My daughter loves all things Harry Potter and has been dying to visit the Harry Potter attraction at Universal Orlando. At first I wasn't worried because we have been to Disney several times and fitting on their rides has never been an issue. But as I began researching this vacation I read horror stories about "fat police" pulling people from lines and making them try to fit in test seats outside the attractions throughout Universal. I've read that the seats are narrow and that if you are unable to lock the harness down three clicks you are turned away, and that people as small as a size 18 are sometimes unable to ride. So now I'm scared. Not so much about not being able to ride but more about being humiliated and embarrassing my family.

A lot of people are angry at the park for making a ride with such small seats. I don't blame anyone but myself. I'm the one who has let my body get to this size. I'm the one who needs to change.

So no way will I get to my long term goal by March I have
way too much to lose but I can get a good start. I think 30 pounds is very doable considering the amount I have to lose I may even be able to lose more. Even if I don't lose enough to ride all the roller coasters, I want to know I tried my best.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mini-goals

This is a major life change so I'm thinking small steps is the way to go. I can't expect to be a different person overnight. I've decided that rather than focusing on my long term goals, I should focus on mini-goals that I will set at the beginning of each week. Hopefully by taking things one step at a time I won't get overwhelmed and quit.

mini-goals for this week:

Track food intake

Limit carbs

No soda

Exercise 3 times this week

Keep up with this blog


These should all be doable right? The hardest will be giving up soda. Pepsi is my gateway drug.
I'll be checking in with updates on these goals and I promise to be honest with you and with myself about how I do.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Prep day

Today is the day before my new life begins. I'm not planning a major binge or anything like that. I will just eat as I normally do. I need to go grocery store and buy everything I need to set me up for success. One of my major stumbling blocks in the past has been lack of planning. So I have planned every meal for the next week and made a grocery list based on that as well as a list of healthy snacks. Like many women I find it hard to diet while cooking for my family but this time I have planned meals that can be modified for me without much effort.

My husband is thin. He's one of those eat anything he wants and lose weight while doing it kind of people. Luckily he loves me for me and has always been supportive and never made me feel "less than" because of my weight. My daughter, though she is in no way fat, isn't thin either. At 13 she is 5'2" and weighs 145lbs. I see a lot of me in her. She is very critical of her body and says she wants to lose 20 lbs. I want to set a good example for her and to help her avoid a lifetime of self loathing. That more than anything is my inspiration.

I will also be setting up an account on Fat Secret. This site lets you keep track of all of your food intake, exercise, and weight loss. You can also look at other peoples entries and recipes. I need to make a play list for workout inspiration and add a few workout videos to my netflix queue.

I'm sort of excited to get started because this time I'm determined to really change my life not just drop a few pounds or get into a smaller size jean. I'm also afraid. the thought of failure is scary. If not now when? What will happen to me if I am unable to change?

Beginning

Welcome to my journey. I'm starting this blog to give me accountability and reflection during my weight loss journey. Let me start by introducing myself.

I'm Jen. A 36 year old wife and mother of one. I've battled with weight my entire life. I was always what my mother called "chubby". I was placed on my first diet at 7 years old and have been on that roller coaster every since. I gain, I loose, I gain more, I lose a little. It's a vicious and exhausting cycle and I'm ready for it to end.

At this point in my life I feel like I don't have a choice. I currently weigh 275 lbs. I've been fortunate up to this point not to have experienced any major medical issues caused by my weight but sometimes I feel like a ticking time bomb, it's only a matter of time. I need to deal with whatever issues I have that cause my weight problem. I need to make myself a priority. I need to get off my lazy butt and do this!

My goal is not just to lose weight but to rediscover myself. It's amazing how much your weight can affect every aspect of your life. Sometimes I look back at photos of myself during my teens and early twenties, I was only moderately overweight then, and I see this happy out going girl with so much confidence and sass. I think to myself, what happened to her. I see so little of her in me now. Now I'm shy and avoid social situations. I always check the room to see if I'm the fattest person there. I'm embarrassed to meet new people for fear of what they are thinking of me. I know I have a lot of great qualities but I feel like they are all overshadowed by the fat. How can I expect other people to look past the weight when I certainly can't.

Like many obese people I have considered weight loss surgery but since I am healthy it seems like an unnecessary risk. So I will be doing this the old fashioned way, with diet and exercise. I don't plan to use this blog as a food diary or exercise log, though I'll be happy to answer questions about those things. I plan to use this as more of a report card and emotional safe place. It's cheaper than therapy. I hope you'll follow me as begin to take control of my life and make some drastic changes to myself inside and out .