Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Confessions of a Stress Monster

I know I have slacked on my postings...fact is I have slacked on myself.  Life has been extremely tricky for me this past summer and fall and I am ringing in the New Year trying to make things right.  With the time that has past, I should be able to boast about the next great weight loss, but instead I must confess my sins.  When stress hits me, so do pounds.

When summer hit I had to make all those costumes for Alice In
Wonderland, I posted saying I fell in the rabbit hole and I can't get out.  Unfortunately it is so true.  Every time I reached for my way out of the hole, I fell deeper in it.  And now here I sit professing to you this cold December afternoon that I put pounds back on.

Considering I got down to 156 being on the Cinch diet, I have to say I gained a considerable amount back.  Being back in the 170's is a far cry from that 156 that felt so good.  In fact, everything within me feels horrible.  I am tired, achy and feel the desperation of bad health due to my indulgences.

With giving so much hope to others, I didn't want to profess to you my disappointments.  Although I made 2010 a lifestyle change, I allowed my stresses to take over.  So I find myself tackling how to live my life in a healthy way and how to do it managing my stresses.

As before, I must first realize that memories are a wonderful thing.  You have memories of how miserable you were just 10 pounds heavier, to memories of how wonderful you felt conquering a mountain.  I have my blog to look back on.  If I go back to January 21, it reminds me of how sick I felt, and how I knew I had to take charge of my health if I wanted to live.  I am reminded that in just 2 short months I lost nearly 20 pounds eating right and exercising just a few hours a week.  I am grateful, because it reminds me I can do it.  Only this time I have to do it with some added stresses and with less opportunity of time.  I have got to learn to keep myself motivated and on the right track.

So as I confess to you my errs, I would also like to profess that I am back to getting my health on track.  I hope to be in the 150's again by early March.  The holidays are going to be hard as I have many private gigs to do and they make it impossible to eat, then sometimes I eat at the gigs.  But I will abstain from eating the wrong things and save indulgences for Christmas day.  I can do it, I will do it.

So to you my friends, my readers, I hope I haven't laid too much disappointment on you.  I can only state that this is the beginning of the end of stress winning in my life, and instead I am going to be the winner learning to cope with the stress and continue down my path of a healthier and happier life.

"To err is human, to recover is DIVINE".

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cat in Wonderland

The last few weeks I have fallen in the rabbits hole and every minute I feel like the white rabbit.  Time is ticking away quickly leaving no time for me to relax or exercise.  One of my passions on the side of my life as a Karaoke DJ is theatre.  I absolutely love theatre and everything that it brings.  I have always been mezmerized by the costumes and have spent all the years my children celebrated Halloween making them costumes.  I found myself sewing bridesmaid dresses for weddings and eventually it took me to sewing costumes for theatre.
My youngest daughter, Morgan who is presently at the ripe age of 21 has been directing theatre for children programs in our area.  Last year she added a local army base to her list and does a theatre program with the 4H.  Last year she tackled "Beauty and the Beast."  Since we both share the passion, she knows she can look to me to do the costuming.  So 109 pieces later I made all the costumes for the summer theatre program for the 4H club at the army base.  It was the first year they tried the program and was such a great success that they asked my daughter to stay on board the base all year long and once again to the summer theatre program.  I found myself reaching for anything to eat during that trying time.  I didn't want to fall back in those bad habits with this years production.

So "Alice in Wonderland" was picked this year, and once again I am doing 100% of the costumes for the show. Added to the equation this year was at least twice the amount of children.  Let's just say I have my work cut out for me.  I am done with  my crazy pschedelic Caterpillar costume and absolutely love my Mad Hatter hat.  I have made the Do-Do bird, Cheshire Cat and Tweedle Dee & Dum costumes.  Last weekend I made 29 cards made up of clubs, spades, diamonds and hearts.  I am only half done and only have 2 weeks left to complete the costumes.  I find it hard to say no to the challenge so I do it.  The reward comes the day of the show.

I have had my struggles with my eating during the last few weeks.  Finding little time for me, takes me away from food prepararation.  Alan may offer to pick up food, or I just grab something quick.  None the less I have felt somewhat like Alice in Wonderland with my food choices.  Everytime I eat I question the food and if like Alice will it make me grow or help me shrink?  I never realized how much we are like Alice in Wonderland just living our lives and trying to stay on the path to good eating and health.  I can only hope for maintaining my weight over the course of the next few weeks with the amount of sewing I have yet to complete.  When the show is over, I will climb out of the rabbit hole and get back to moving more and spending more time on my food prep.

In the end, as I get ready to tackle the Queen of Hearts and so much more, I look at my run through Wonderland as a maintenance program.  If I can stay accountable for how much I eat, I can avoid weight gain during this crazy time.  I've yet to reach my goal so this is simply me accepting that for now I am missing my me time, but soon I will find it again and move forward with my weight loss and good health.

We all have time where there is no time, stay accountable for the calories and try to make the right choices.  We can survive and keep moving forward on our journey.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Where Do I Begin?

Where did I begin?
(Me at 198 in January 2010)
I am on my 6th month of blogging now, and I started in a very doubtful place back in January.  My weight was bordering on 200 pounds and I felt as though I would soon have a heart attack.  I felt diabetic although I refused to go to the doctor for confirmation.  All the signs were there, my heart was not beating the way it use to, my breath was shorter, it was difficult to climb stairs.  My body was constantly reminding me of my weight by the numerous visits to the bathroom, the spots I saw in front of my eyes and the sure exhaustion I felt daily.  I lived on my caffeine boost to keep me going.  It was then I contemplated my future and where it was headed. I knew I had to change but what was going to make it different this time?  I have failed so many times with my diets that I really felt deep inside this would be no different.

I started by making myself accountable.  I publicly posted my first blog and announced it to strangers everywhere.  I would be honest to the world but kept it hidden from my family and friends.  I really had no idea that I could be successful this time, I felt as though I was just setting myself up for failure once again.  (I did later open up my blog to everyone)

I have read so much information on the word diet and realized the first thing I MUST do is remove it from my life.  They never worked for me in the past, it was doubtful they would ever work for me. Besides diets end, and when they do the weight creeps right back on.   My daughter, Michelle is a Nutritionist and has lived with me for the past few years.  I received so much information from her that I was educated on the many foods that I loved, and realized they did NOT love me back.  I would watch Michelle eat whole foods with joy.  I just wasn't sharing the same experience.  I had to retrain myself.  Yes mom gave me a cookie when I was sad, but it was time to realize those comfort foods in the past were killing me today.  I am no longer a young girl, but a woman facing my final half century.

The first step was making "small goals" for myself.  Not the goal that I would be 60 pounds smaller by summer, that would be unrealistic and I would be setting myself up for failure with such a long wait.  Instead I looked ahead a few months.  For me, I would be going to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Inductions Ceremony in March and I really wanted to fit in a dress I wore to the Emmy Awards a few years earlier.  I weighed 182 back then so I decided my goal was to weigh 182 by March 15, 2010.  For my small frame 182 was a far cry from where I should be for a healthy weight, but I could always carry that weight well when hidden under clothes.

So I now had my first realistic goal, or so I thought.  I purchased a calorie counter, that shows how many calories I burn a day.  And when I registered it online and told it my goal I was informed my goal was not realistic.  It was too much weight too fast.  I followed a 1200 calorie diet and did my best to exercise so that my calorie in and calorie out ratio were in sync.  If you can wear a calorie register and count your calories you will know if you are going to weigh more or less on a weigh in day.  It really is as simple as math.

I weighed 184 for the Rock n Roll Inductions, which was so close to goal that I was thrilled.  I didn't end up wearing the Emmy dress.  

The 1200 calories I had been eating were "whole foods".  What this means is, I stopped eating things that came out of a box or bag, that were not "whole" as the first ingredient.  I knew that processed foods were now my enemy and not the friend I had made them out to be so many times before.  (I am a stress eater)

Once my goal day was over it was time for a new goal.  I wanted to weigh in the 170's by April 4th, 2010.  On April 4th, I would be starting a scary yet exciting experience.  The brakes were on when I received this gift from my husband at Christmas.  I never thought I would be able to take on the challenge, but I really wanted change.  So on April 4, I arrived in Utah, at The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge.  Although I managed to reach my goal of 179 when I left for Fitness Ridge, the scale there late in the day with clothes on said I weighed in at 182.  Going to Fitness Ridge for me was to get moving, get my exercise on!  I had the education already from my daughter, but I really wasn't working out as much as I like.  I did exercise on my treadmill and elliptical at home, but Fitness Ridge took me so much further.  I climbed mountains every day and found out I could exercise for 7 hours a day on 1200 calories.  I left Fitness Ridge at 170 pounds.  My goal was to be in the 160's.  I was a little disappointed till I went home and got on the scale the next day weighing in at 167.

In May, I found myself taking hikes and walks as much as possible, I wanted to keep my energy where Fitness Ridge had put it.  I was excited to swim in my pool as I learned how to make it an exercise tool.  I created a new goal for myself, this was to weigh 152 by the end of July.  I lost another few pounds once I got back from Fitness Ridge, but it was slowing down.

I heard about a study being done with Shape Magazine and Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD, Registered Dietitian, Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics, New York Times best selling author, Contributing Editor & Weight Loss Coach Columnist, SHAPE Magazine, Contributing Editor, Athletes Quarterly Magazine, Contributor & 'Food Coach' ABC News.  I wanted it to be my next goal motivator.  I contacted her and let her know I was interested and was lucky enough to be chosen to take part in her study.  Her book and the magazine article are due out by Winter.  Cynthia has been giving me one on one information that has taken me to a new level of good health.  She has introduced me to a way to eat the whole foods that is delicious and allows for an amazing variety.  I am perfectly portioned with my meals and feel in amazing health.  When I reached the 150's doing her study I was estatic.  I haven't seen that number in almost 10 years.  I have now realized I will reach my goal of 135, which I haven't been in my adult life.  

My study ends this week, but my journey will continue.  I will set myself another goal.  My challenge for August is already set, a new number will be my goal along with stepping up my strength training and exercise.  

My long term goal is not a number, but a feeling.  I will know when I reach it. Part of reaching that goal is knowing that for the first time, this will never end.  I have turned my eating into a lifestyle.  When you do that, you will succeed.  I don't pay attention to the numbers on the scale as much because I have discovered that with changing your eating habits, the weight falls off.  

Lastly, my lifestyle is discovering whole foods, and how to make them amazing.  It is not ignoring or forgetting some of my favorite foods from the past.  I will not push away that peice of cake with my favorite buttercream frosting, nor will I say goodbye forever to those delicious salty chips I always loved.  You just have to live by a new rule with change.  One I learned at Fitness Ridge and it will forever be apart of my life.  90/10....you have to give yourself a percentage of indulging in your desires.  It keeps you grounded for the 90%.  If you try and ignore everything you loved all the time, the day is going to come when you give in and binge out of control.  If you give in to your 10% you will never feel deprived, and you will do your mind and body good.  

So going back to where I began, my doubts were many.  I was certain to fail.  Only this time I took the education of good eating and put it to work in my life.  I moved more, I ate better and I started to believe in myself.  And I never let myself forget what would happen if I gave up on my challenge.  I asked myself, am I a happy fat Cat or do I want to take this journey and find my true happiness?  If you want to give up, ask yourself are you really happy with how you look and feel?  Another thought I kept close to me, if I eat myself into the hospital with disease, it will be my own fault.  

We can all make positive change in our lives, it takes a willingness and a passion.  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Surviving the 4th!

The 4th of July was extremely tricky for me.  I have been on my new eating plan with Shape Magazine for over 3 weeks now.  The 4th was opening day to my last week on the program.  Although I will now incorporate this program in my daily life, I will have the opportunity to go off for a day to enjoy the little pleasures of life.

One thing I have learned through the last 5 months, the road to success is paved with many detours.  If you look at your life that way, and your lifestyle, you can expect to have days where you decide to take another road temporarily.  I have been doing that for the past 5 months and it has kept me in check.  You can NOT expect to deprive yourself of life's little pleasures everyday for the rest of your life.  Making a lifestyle change does NOT make you forget what you liked in the past.  A good example of this would be my 4th of July party.  When I have a large group of people, I offer foods that I know are not the best for me or my guest.  One of my favorite finger snacks come from Costco.  They sell large tubs of chips that offer a mix of BBQ Fritos, Doritos, Cheetos and pretzels.  I had these on all the tables so my guest could munch on these throughout the day.  Now, in the past I would reach for the bowl and start by finding all the BBQ Fritos enjoying each and everyone.  When there was no more to be found in the bowl I would work my way to the Cheetos, followed by the Doritos and always passing on the pretzels.  This is something I really enjoy.  I love the salty crunchy snacks.  If I had not committed myself to staying 100% faithful to the program, yesterday would have been allotted to include my treats.  I would have enjoyed them and not allowed myself to feel guilty.  It is ONE day, and the following day I would be right back on track.

I guess what I am saying is, to really have success with weight loss you have to allow yourself indulgences.  Now that I am on the final countdown I am finding it hard to want to be 100% faithful.  I have spent the last 21 days eating every meal either at home, or prepackaged by me and brought wherever I go.  I celebrated my wedding anniversary not with fine dining, but instead celebrating the 4th with friends.  I found it so difficult to want to stick with the plan, there were times during the day I struggled with cheating. But my commitment kept me in check.

The important thing to remember is there has to be a limit when it comes to exercising your right to eat or drink whatever you want.  In the past I would go off an eating plan thinking it was for a day, then it turned in to two, then three, etc.  I no longer live with that mindset.  If I say its a day, I mean it!

To truly succeed with having a healthy lifestyle you must come to terms with unhealthy eating.  You can have your day, but you must get back on track right away.  We can all be in harmony with our eating, as long as we remember there is a fine line between indulging and abuse.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Finding Time

I have had sure frustration for the past few weeks when it comes to finding time to get moving.  I have this aching voice inside my head reminding me constantly of how important it is to keep moving.  I have even preached the benefits of moving over and over again in my blogs.  Yet I "sit" here frustrated with myself for the pure lack of time that I have been presented with these past few weeks.

The one benefit I do have with my lack of exercise is my eating.  I have learned that if you are going to eat bad for a meal or a day, you best make it up in exercise.  So at least I can say that I have been 100% committed to my Shape Magazine eating plan.  It has made the scale continue to move down, slowly yes...but it is still on the down slide.  I have not even had a bite of food during an off hour.  Not one snack out of place.  Not a grape or an olive that hasn't been counted for.  It is my salvation at this time of "no time for me." 

I try and get a good amount of rest, but it is my busy season with graduations and outdoor summer parties.  I have been booked solid lately and it has left me well, you get the drill..."no me time."  Today I woke up and put on my workout clothes.  I am committed to getting my move on.  It is true I have little time and today I have a gig as well, but I will make changes to accommodate my needs.  I need to move!  Yes I have been parking farther away at the grocery store, I have been happy with setting up my gig because that alone burns 200 calories.  I go up and down stairs with gratitude, because I know it is some sort of exercise.  Today it is changing, I will fit in that me time that I have been lacking.

Waking up and putting on my workout clothes is step one.  Step two is having my breakfast, then putting on my sneakers and making my move.  If I can prioritize everything I do in a day, then I can make sure that my exercise becomes a vital part of it.  If it was a doctors appointment or a gig I would be there, this has to be held at the same standard.  I am fighting for my life!  Moving makes muscle - muscle will help strengthen my joints, it will take the place of fat and it will help me say goodbye to years of cellulite and it does my heart good.

So what I am I doing still sitting here at my computer?  Is this where I belong?  NOPE...I gotta move...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Today is the Day~

I hit a new number that is an old number on my scale today.  I am elated by this of course!!  I know I am putting in the effort to make it happen but I have time and time again in the past felt I put in the effort only to have the scale fail me.  With every number the scale drops I see a number before me that I haven't seen in nearly a decade.

Since I came back from Fitness Ridge, I started moving a lot more than before I went there.  I make note of my calories in to calories out ratio and it keeps me in check.  When I dropped that coffee mug almost 3 weeks ago on my foot I was set back.  The calories out were not happening.  I was restricted to my movement and was unhappy with my lack of exercise.  I did try and keep the eating in check to keep the calories in from becoming a number higher than my RMR.  What I managed to do in those weeks is maintain my weight, which is why my little scale on top of my page had not moved for near 3 weeks.  I am so close to the 150's I can taste it and have been very frustrated with my stagnant weight.

I am so privileged to have been chosen to take part in the study for Shape magazine as well as the upcoming book that pertains to my newest eating plan.  It helps make it simple to know what you can put in your body each day and how much.  I am not allowed to share my information with you right now which is understandable. But here is the point I want to make today, if an opportunity presents itself to you, "take it".  In the past I use to be the one that would think and rethink any and everything.  I lost that person with the pounds I have taken off.  I no longer worry about things but instead look at challenges as opportunities to increase my own personal positive energy.

Fitness Ridge proved to me that I can climb a mountain and then some!  It taught me I can push myself a little harder as long as I tell myself I CAN do it!   I want that knowledge to take me through the rest of my life so that I can truly live life.  The day after I left Fitness Ridge I stared a 40 foot rock wall in the face and said, "Why NOT?".  I never thought I could do that, never!!  Of course I did it, and felt amazing when I accomplished it.

Not everyone gets to experience Fitness Ridge, but everyone has the opportunity to live their life the way they want to.  It takes determination, drive, and believing in yourself and the knowledge that anything is possible as long as YOU BELIEVE!

Whatever you dream of, know as long as you believe and set yourself on the path of your goals you can do it!
Don't ever give up, when you slip or fall, get back up and push ahead.  We all slip, we all fall, we all think of giving up.  Then one day you have a revelation that you are sick of giving up, you are sick of failing, and you want to be the winner you know is inside you.  So push forward, forget the obstacles and make it happen.  Remember today is the only day you have to make it happen.  There are 1,000's of yesterdays, and hopefully 1,000's of tomorrows, but you have only ONE TODAY, so take your today and make it a winner and don't let anything or anyone stop you.  Remember as long as you are on your path you are already a winner!

Cheers to Today!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Breaking Barriers for the Better

Today I am inspired by a couple of friends I saw last night.  One of my friends confided in me that she has avoided hanging out and singing because she is quitting smoking.  Unfortunately she once again gave into temptation and smoked a cigarette last night.  Her failure seemed to be a sentence of failure for her.  When she came back and talked to me late in the evening she told me how she blew it and said she felt she might never quit.

Another friend confided in me that while I was away she read my other blog and got inspired to get healthy and lose weight along with me.  She said her goal was to see me on my return boasting her own weight loss.  Unfortunately, as she stated instead she gained more weight and blames medications which are known for making you gain weight.

I understand and have been there on both counts.  Many years ago I did smoke, in fact I was smoking at the ripe age of 12.  I smoked for years.  When I got pregnant with my first daughter I quit cold turkey.  I was a firm believer in eating right and not smoking or drinking during pregnancy.  I went back and forth smoking during the baby years.  I would never smoke during pregnancy.  I remember when I finally did quit smoking, I had a scare with my throat.  I had an appointment with the ENT doctor to see what was causing pain on the sides of my throat.  I thought to myself, I will quit smoking if the doctor tells me I have cancer.  It was at that very moment I said, "am I nuts?".   I not only decided to quit, but I did.  I thought about how selfish I would be being a smoker and getting cancer.  I had 4 daughters to raise, how cruel it would be for them to watch me die over something I could have prevented.  I never looked back at those cigarettes, never!  Quitting was one of the hardest things I have ever done, it was an amazing achievement.

If we can look at ourselves then look at those that care about us, we might have a stronger willpower and actually succeed at getting healthy.

My overweight friend has 3 children to be healthy for.   I have had a few friends tell me they are overweight due to their medication, they have simply given up and eat and drink the wrong things.  I understand where they are coming from because I did the same thing years ago.  I was on medication after 9/11 that made me gain 30 pounds. Unfortunately I know it was true that I gained weight from the medication, but it was also my crutch to eat wrong.  If I followed a plan of healthy eating and exercise I know I would have succeeded even on that medicine.  It has been years since I was medicated, for me the medicine did more damage than good and I am 100% medication free now.

 I know one of the things that gave me strength these past few months is the knowledge of what my future would have been like if I continued on my downward spiral.  Not only do I have a loving family to be healthy for, I am also terrified of doctors.  I have always worried about getting sick because I don't want to be poked and probed by the white coat that follows.

Success is something that is achieved when you not only put in the work, but you do your homework.  I have spent the past 5 months or so, doing everything to stay focused on the big picture.  I think about what my future holds, both unhealthy and healthy.  I think about the ways to accomplish my goals before I am in a situation that causes me distress, aka temptation.  I know that I can't possibly do 100% right all the time, so I don't worry about it.  Instead, I accept the challenges in front of me and let myself slip up once in awhile.  If I know I am going out and want a little extra, I plan for it all day.  I eat smaller meals so I can enjoy the meal I have been salivating for.  I try and get more exercise in to accommodate those extra calories.  I don't beat myself up if I go off for a day, but make sure I get back on the saddle the next day.  In the past, binging was setup for failure, now its just a day in the life and it is acceptable and okay.

We are all battling something in our lives, some of us are battling much more.  As long as we are driven and can look ahead, we CAN DO ANYTHING!  Staying focused on the big picture will help you get there.  Acknowledging your small achievements along the way will keep you moving forward on your path to good health.  Never give up, YOU are worth it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A New Challenge

I posted on Facebook last week about the opportunity to do a 30-day all natural clean eating plan to be featured in Shape magazine.  Cynthia Sass a self employed author, columnist, spokesperson, sports nutritionist, nutrition & wellness consultant is writing a book and featuring her 30-day all natural clean eating plan in an upcoming Shape Magazine issue.  

Since I started my lifestyle change back in late January, I am finding that making changes here and there not only helps with plateaus but it also keeps me motivated.  Back in January my motivation was driven by my trip to Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge.  I knew I was going to be expected to do a lot there and I didn't want to be in the back of the pack huffin and puffin.  It really saved my life receiving that gift this past Christmas.  It seemed for years that no matter how much I wanted to change my lifestyle, I would fail.  I find that being driven really does keep you on track.  If I thought of slipping backwards, I would think about getting my butt kicked in Utah.  I set many goals for myself along the way as well.  Each goal set me up for the next goal.  And now 19 weeks later and 35 pounds lighter its time for me to set a new goal.  

When the opportunity presented itself for me to try this plan, I acted on it quickly.  Turns out I had to fill out a questionnaire regarding specific information regarding my lifestyle now, as well as my goals.  I found out just today, that I have been chosen to do the plan, which starts this weekend.  I am super excited to try out this all natural clean eating plan as it is another step along my path to good health and well being.

I truly believe in setting little goals along the way, and remembering that this is a journey that last a lifetime.  This is not a temporary state of being, but instead a life long passion to be a healthy and happy me.  I think if you take the practice of Alcoholics Anonymous and work on "one day at a time" it helps guide you.  If you look too far ahead instead of taking small steps its easy to get discouraged and quit.  

Set goals like stepping stones along the path to good health and well being and what you seek will be there along the way..."happiness".

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Being Forced to Slow Down

On my other blog, http://countdowntobiggestloserresort.blogspot.com I mentioned in one of my early post how I wanted to keep moving while I could.  We take for granted that we can get up and move unlike many who are confined to wheel chairs and such.

Today I sit here frustrated due to a recent injury I incurred when a coffee cup fell out of my cupboard and a piece of it hit my foot and sliced open the top.  I had made plans to go hiking with a Fitness Ridge alumni, which was planned for over a month.  In fact, she was on her way to my house at the time of my accident.  Our hike, swim and lunch turned in to a visit to the emergency room and lunch.  It was an enjoyable day but I couldn't help but think how instead of my calories in ~ calories out, I was simply looking at calories in.  The doctor said I was required to stay off my foot and elevate it as much as possible for the first 3 days.

Of course it was also Memorial Day weekend and plans were made to hike, swim and BBQ with the family.  Again my mind was tortured by the knowledge of calories in vs. NO calories out!  I would be lying if I said that I did my body good this weekend past.  I feel that sense of doom that has come in the past when I felt myself slipping away from my driven good health.  The days of passing by the scale and saying "no thank you you have nothing good to say to me today".

I have stepped on the scale to keep me in check during this sluggish time.  A part of me is fearing falling back into the bad habits of yesteryears.  I thank the Lord above for the ability to move and keep moving.  I appreciate the fact that this is a temporary set back and am making plans to get my move on as soon as I get the okay from the doctor.

With all the great habits I have taken on in my life these past 5 months I refuse to fall back in to the bad habits I so easily set in the past.  I find holding on to the positive is what keeps me from falling back.  First of all, I am proud to be down 35 pounds, well truth is, I am down 34 pounds now.  Yes it did strike me sadly when I stepped on my scale and saw weight gain.  But still the positive changes I have made are shining through.
I feel like a new person, I like what is looking back at me in the mirror not only is the reflection a much smaller one, it is a confident one.  And the only thing that can take that away from me is ME.  And I am just not going to let it happen.  So this temporary set back is time for me to think about what is next in the way of making myself even healthier.  I still have 31 pounds I want to lose and I would like to set a goal of losing at least 6 of those pounds in the month of June.  It is a reasonable weight loss and I CAN DO IT!

As I start the month of June, I think the beginning of a month is a great time to reflect on what you did the month before, and what can be improved.  If your food and exercise seem to be slowing down, be sure to write down everything you eat each day to see if you really are keeping your calories where you think you are.  I found that to be a great way to keep me in check with my food.  Add a little more exercise whenever you can.  I am a California native and do not like losing my outdoor time in the winter.  I really appreciate this warmer weather when it is here.  I am looking at buying 2 kayaks so I can add some upper body work outs on the water.  I will continue to walk and hike a minimum of 5 days a week.

This is my personal pledge to myself for the month of June:

I will pay closer attention to my food intake and calorie counts.
I will make sure to add a good calorie burn at least 5 times a week.
I will spend less time at my desk at home.  I will give myself a time clock for the internet so I get moving more.
I will price kayaks and hopefully be able to afford getting them this month.

A great way to take care of yourself is to make promises and keep them.  So here is to making healthy positive promises.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Do The Math

Our bodies are made up of simple math.  How many calories did you eat today?  How much exercise did you get in today?  For me, I MUST move to maintain and/or eat only 1325 calories.  Our resting metabolic rate says it all, aka RMR.  When I was at Fitness Ridge I decided to really get in touch with my body and did the 5:30AM RMR test.  The more I understand about my body the better chance I have achieving my goals.  We all burn calories everyday just living and breathing.  Some people have such a high RMR you wonder how they can eat what they eat and stay thin.  Many of those people are walking time bombs.  They have spent their entire life eating whatever they want with little concern of cholesterol, sugars, salts, etc.  At least an overweight person knows what they are doing to their body and have a clue about their risk.

The basic RMR test can be done at many websites, here is a accurate website to check it out at: http://www.shapeup.org/interactive/rmr1.php

Now knowing my RMR I am very aware of my calorie allowances.  I have been living by this knowledge since I started my journey to good health.  It makes sense, if we want to succeed in anything we want to know everything we can before we start.  Every other time I tried to achieve weight loss, I was simply "dieting".  (oh, do I hate that word)  The second step was to set a goal for myself.  I have set up 3 goals since January, my first one was in March for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies.  I was 198 late January and wanted to weigh 182 by March 15.  I missed my goal by 2 pounds, but I was more than happy with the results I did achieve.

Here is a great goal weight calculator:  http://www.cookingnook.com/calorie-calculator.html

So here is the deal, our bodies are made up of simple math.
Step one, find out your RMR, this is the calories you burn doing absolutely nothing more than breathing.
Step two, set your first goal for yourself, and make it realistic.  Setting small goals along the way makes it possible for you to reach your goal.  With every goal you make it is like taking steps to the prize.

Do the math, it is a very simple equation of calories in, calories out.   I attribute my successes this time to that simple equation and know this is my forever formula.

I also have the extra encouragement of a bodybugg and display watch, however there is a Polar F7 watch that can read the calories you burn at a much smaller price.  Best price I have found for the bodybugg is at costco.com, the display watch I have only found at 24hourfitness.com.  Those two items cost me just under $300.00.  The Polar F7 watch also comes with a heart rate strap and can be bought for $109.00.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Creatures of Habit

While I was walking yesterday, my daughter told me the story of a college student who lived on campus.  His mother said that the dog lost 2 pounds while he was away in school.  It made me think of how we love to reward our dogs, our children and ourselves with food.

When I look back on growing up I can remember if I had a bad day, I would get a cookie to help me feel better.  As I got older I would give myself treats or go to dinner after a tough day at work.  And when I had my own children, I started the same vicious cycle with them that I had with my mom.  If my children had a bad day I rewarded it with junk food.  If they deserved praise, again I would reward it with junk food. We are all so prone to pass on to our own children what we learned.  We are simply creatures of habit. 

The really damaging part is what it turns us into as adults.  Did you have a bad day?  Are you really tired?  Did you finish a really hard project?  Those were always reasons for me to reach for food.  We know it as "comfort food" a creation of tradition.  To this day I fight that demon which was handed down for generations.  I can't take back that I did the same thing my mother did to me.  It seemed the right way to be, at the time.  I can only hope that my own daughters will know better when they have their own children.  And I, as a future grandmother will try and find other ways to reward my grandchildren.

The battle within will most likely live forever.  I will always want to treat myself with comfort food.  If we could only reverse this process with real treats, a good healthy meal, a walk in the park, a bike ride.  I AM a stress eater, it is the condition of my condition.  I have told myself, that I am only adding to my bad day when I add bad food choices and what feels like comfort is really punishment.  That piece of cake, candy bar, bag of chips will punish me later with tighter fitting jeans and more pounds to lose than if I made the right choice.  It is what keeps me strong these days.  I have chosen to chose the healthy alternative and am staying strong. The key to my continued success is to think of tomorrow when I am wanting that junk today.  And I always remember a saying my mother told me,
"A minute over the lips, Years over the hips".

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Mania

So as I stood Mother's Day in the face, I was reminded of the many years that this day was a celebration that included the worst food choices.  For years I enjoyed the very commercialized "Mother's Day Brunch" which has always seemed ridiculously overpriced.  On almost any other Sunday that same meal was $10.00 a plate cheaper.

Last year I told my family I didn't want to waste money going to Sunday brunch and that I preferred to do something more intimate.  It was a perfect day as they blindfolded me and put me in the car.  We drove for what seemed like an hour, before I was directed blindly on a path.  I walked for about 10 minutes with my blindfold on and when finally I came to rest, I saw my 4 daughters and husband Alan with a beautiful picnic spread and game boards.  Ironically, they drove me only 5 minutes down the road, very sneaky.  I will forever hold that Mother's Day in my heart as it was the intimate non-commercial day I had hoped for.

This Mother's Day was very different.  First off 2 of my daughters went to bed between 4:00 and 5:00am so I knew my usual coffee in bed was not going to happen.  I got up and made my coffee, and was really okay with not being waited on.  There would be no breakfast in bed which did start my last years day and making my coffee myself was in order.  My youngest daughter stumbled out of bed saying "sorry" and I said no worries.  There is bigger things to worry about it life than making my coffee.  I decided to start my day going to the store and taking advantage of the sales of Mother's Day.  I needed new pants and undies desperately since I had lost a pants size away at Fitness Ridge.  I asked my youngest if she would go with me.  I was happy to go shop a little bit while the rest of my family got their much needed sleep.

On my return, I had my morning oatmeal which is a ritual with me.  My oldest daughter arrived at the house as well.  If the weather was warm like the previous Mother's Day we would have been packing a lunch grabbing blankets and games and heading out the door for a hike and picnic.  Unfortunately it was freezing and windy and I had no intention of sitting outside.  We struggled with ideas of what to do, and all I knew is I wanted to MOVE.  After about 45 minutes of contemplating, I said "bundle up, I want to walk".  We headed out on a path near my house that is about a 7 mile round trip walk.  Although very cold and windy, with our continual movements we stayed warm and it was a very enjoyable walk.  I was really pleased to see that I had about a 1,000 calorie burn walking.  My Mother's Day's past, that would have been at least a 1,000 calorie gain at my Sunday brunch.  We ended the day at our favorite Italian restaurant for dinner.  I was able to enjoy some wine with dinner followed by an enjoyable meal that didn't include pasta.  I even splurged on some dessert.  Everything I ate was portioned controlled.  And by that I mean, I decided to eat a portion of my food, not all of it.  I have enough left overs to make a great lunch.

Since I left Fitness Ridge, I have taken what I learned and brought it into my own life.  Everyday consist of food and exercise choices that I must live with.  My rewards come in many packages, greater health, smaller clothes and just an overall radiance that everyone is noticing because I feel great about my accomplishments.  It keeps me driven, I intend on being in the best shape of my life in the here and now.  I may be 50 but I intend on looking and feeling years younger.  It is completely up to me to make that a reality!  The only one that can make it happen is ME, so I will celebrate ME by following along this path.  Celebrate ME, and by that I mean celebrate YOUYOU CAN DO IT!  Believe in YOURSELF!

Friday, May 7, 2010

My New Motto

If there is one thing that Fitness Ridge taught me it is to keep moving.  So that is my new motto!


If I was to think how much time I have spent in the last year alone sitting at my desk between working on my husbands corporation or just keeping up with my own business, I can tell you MOVING had very little to do with it.  Now, I wake up with a nagging voice in my head that says to get a move on, almost to be sure I don't get back in the rut of desk sitting.  I think apart of me is actually paranoid of that possibility.

I have lost 32 pounds since the beginning of my journey in late January and I am so close to goal I can taste it.  Of course I taste it in every high fiber, non processed and natural food!!  That nagging voice inside my head is keeping me in check and I plan on listening.

I have been home less than a week from Fitness Ridge and since I got home, I have managed to keep moving everyday except Sunday.  Just as the good Lord intended, I plan on making Sunday my day of rest.  If it so happens that it falls on a Sunday that has my feet moving out the door for some gorgeous mountain, well then I will exercise my right to move my rest day to another day.

A tip for those that have never had the pleasure to go to Fitness Ridge, get your legs moving.  With a morning hike everyday except Sunday, I can tell you a minimum of a pound of weight loss is due to just that morning hike alone.  On average my calorie burn on the hikes per week was around 5200 calories a week. (It is much higher if you have a lot to lose)  To lose a pound you must burn 3500 calories over your food surplus.   With those hikes and my workouts in the gym I was easily burning a few pounds or more a week and gaining muscle mass.  My legs have been completely transformed in just one month.

If you are struggling with weight loss, you need to "KEEP MOVING".  Take the stairs whenever possible, park in the last parking space instead of trying to find the closest one.  Get a big exercise ball and sit on it at your desk it will work your core (middle body).  Realize you don't need exercise equipment to move, the great outdoors is there calling you.  On rainy days you can walk around your house, rent an exercise video or go to www.youtube.com and search out exercise.  But you must "KEEP MOVING".  And if it hurts to move, don't worry, the longer you move, the less it will hurt.  If you have been sitting doing nothing for a long time your body will cry, but its a good cry.  Sore muscles are a sign that you are moving in the right direction.

Only months ago, it hurt to walk up my stairs, my thigh muscles hurt so bad, but it was because they got comfortable not being used.  If you "KEEP MOVING"...you will be moving in the "right direction.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My first post...

Welcome to my new blog that simply continues my life's journey.  My previous link is listed below and if you need inspiration to "get started" towards a lifestyle change and you haven't read it, you might enjoy my previous blog.  I hope to keep the motivation and inspiration going in my new blog and welcome all to join me in my journey as well as your own journey to good health.  I want to send a very special thank you to all my blog followers as I draw a lot of my inspiration just knowing you are reading along with me.  I LOVE comments, so keep them coming, and you can also friend me on facebook at


My previous blog was: http://countdowntobiggestloserresort.blogspot.com

Also my daughter Michelle has started a blog and she has been my BIGGEST inspiration and EDUCATION during my journey to weight loss and good health.  If you would like to read her blog, she recently started it and will be updating regularly.

Michelle, my daughter the Nutritionist blog:  http://ifyourfoodcouldtalk.blogspot.com/

Also, simply click on Follow and it will enable you to be contacted via email or dashboard (if google) on the updates.  Both of our blogs will be updated regularly and Michelle will answer questions on her blog and also if you have a certain subject you want her to blog about simply send her a comment.

Here's to continuing the path to good health and well being.