Monday, September 30, 2013

What, then, is my journey?

In church on Saturday, I heard one of the most powerful sermons from my pastor.  He spoke it with such passion and it was one of those times where it felt like it was just for me.  It was all centered around the knowledge that God is at work in you right now, in this very moment.  When we don't think we're able, when I don't think I'm able, I am reminded that above all things, God is able.  It really touched me because it helps me remember that it is my guiding principle.  As I walk through the battle of getting healthier and losing the weight, sometimes it feels incredibly daunting to know the road I have in front of me is a very loooong one with a lot of weight on it as well as a lot of physical pain coursing through my body.

Then I got a huge reminder of where I've been tonight.  One of my friends posted a link to this news video of a man who was recovering from a double lung transplant and then was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  One of his wishes was to walk two of his daughters who are unmarried down the aisle before he died.  So they all got dressed up and that's precisely what he did and then he passed away.  The type of cancer he had was melanoma, the very same  cancer I had two years ago.  It's the very same cancer that is evidenced on my back and under one of my arms with two big scars from surgery to remove it.  It was a very sobering realization.

Sometimes the battle with food, being healthier and just the whole weight loss thing in general doesn't feel like such a big deal in the grand scheme of things, especially when people are dying of cancer.  Yet, it's also something I can't minimize because this is so much bigger than eating a little extra food.  It's a symbol of something greater going on inside of the person that has the issues with that food, like me.  At the same time, I see how powerful God is.  I had melanoma and it certainly is fatal if not removed from the body.  I was fortunate that it had not spread more than it had already spread so they were about to surgically remove it.  So I wonder ... why am I still here?  I'm not saying that in a morbid way, not at all.  It's just that I can reflect on this man's story and on my own and I can know, without a shadow of doubt, that God has an amazing plan for me.  That's why I'm still here.  Yet, what is that plan?  Care to clue me in on it, God?  Pretty please??

Maybe His plan is this very thing that I'm doing right now ... posting my journey and my story on this blog as a means to show other people how He works through me.  Who knows why in the world I got it in my head one day to start this blog.  I'm not like other bloggers - I don't have even an iota of interest in making money on my blog.  I know there are others out there that advertise but you'll never see that on my site.  There's nothing wrong with it, but for me, my blog is purely about the journey.  If other people see it, that's fantastic.  If other people can glean something helpful from it, I'm thrilled.  At the end of the day, though, it's the story of me and the road I have traveled.  Father God, where is this road going to take me?  I just don't know, but one thing I do know for sure - I don't feel alone while traveling on it, not right now.  That's a huge blessing and a gift I cherish so much.  All of the people (yes, you!!) who read my musings support me more than I could ever express.  I don't know what this journey is all about, but hopefully I'll come to understand it all soon.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekly weigh-in

I'm back from my weekly appointment at Jenny Craig.  I just have to say wooooohooooo.  I lost eight pounds this week.  I felt like I was knocked out cold - how did that happen?  I'm not sure but I'm feeling pretty good right about now.  I came home and had a great, healthy breakfast and I'm ready to start my day.  I'm looking forward to a lovely, relaxing Saturday.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Breaking habits

I had an appointment with my therapist this past week.  It had been some time since I saw her last because I had to cancel with her twice and it takes a very long time to get another appointment.  So we had a lot of catching up to do.  We talked about me being on the Jenny Craig program now, the fact that I am sleeping very well these days and the impact on my overall health (in a positive direction).  She was very happy with how things are going and then said, "Kathy, how can I help you to continue moving forward?"  In that moment, it felt like she was about to do what other therapists have done in the past - end our sessions.  That's not all what she said, but that's what I was interpreting.  Whenever I have sought therapy in the past, things would definitely get better but then it felt like the therapist would want to fade out of the picture since it appeared like I no longer needed them.  Yet, that's completely opposite of what I need if I'm being completely honest.

When I think about sharing my life with someone, whether that is a therapist, friend or man, it takes me time to get everything out.  There are huge trust issues for me, so I begin slowly and, the more I'm comfortable, the more that comes out.  During the session, we talked about how I was severely abused as a child, sexually abused as a teen and the impact those things have had on my relationships with people and with food.  Food was the avenue that I used to help me cope with intense feelings and took me away to another place where I didn't have to feel or hope or dream.  It had the ability to numb me out.  In the same way alcohol is the alcoholic, food is a drug to me.  Obviously I can't just stop eating because I need food to sustain my life, but now it's about being healthier and changing bad habits into good ones.  So when the therapist asked me how she can help me, I thought about it for a minute and told her I need continued help with changing negative behavior.

How exactly can negative behaviors be turned into positive ones?  That seems like the question of the ages
for me.  My therapist told me it takes practice, practice, practice.  She was encouraging, though, because she said it is possible to do.  It won't be easy, especially with behaviors that have been a part of me for my entire life, but with honesty and patience, it is within reach for me.  I have always gone to food to cope and one of the biggest reasons is my lack of love and respect for myself.  For other people, I can give of myself one hundred percent, without question.  My friends and family know I am always there for them, for whatever they need, and that I will love and support them unfailingly.  Yet, when it comes to myself, it seems as though I live by different rules.  When I look in the mirror, I convince myself that I'm ugly, that I'm not smart enough, that I'm really an unlovable creature.  Do I want to admit that?  No, but it's my truth if I'm being as honest as I know how to be.  I convince myself of that when I think about how my ex-boyfriend treated me and how other men seem to not be interested in me.  My ex used to always tell me how beautiful I was to him and I never believed him.  Perhaps I didn't want to believe him.  I convince myself that I'm alone a lot of the time because friends don't want to hang out with me, not because they're busy with their families or that I had been busy with school.  There's just such a huge part of me that believes things have to be perfect, even though intellectually I really do know that things can't be perfect.

As I move forward with my therapy sessions, I need to continue to speak my truth, no matter how painful that might be.  It means I need to say out loud the things I have thought about myself in private.  The things that I don't want to talk about are the very things I must talk about.  Otherwise, I will continue doing the weight loss dance for the rest of my life.  It's like a literal cha-cha-cha with the scale ... up, down, up, down, cha-cha-cha.  I know there are so many people out there in the world, even those reading my words right in this very moment, who understand precisely what I'm talking about.  It's a dance to a song that never seems to end, one that makes you exhausted and you wrinkle your nose every time the tune is played on the radio.  As the title to my blog always reminds me, now is finally the time.  I will only be victorious if I take the skeleton out of the closet and own where I'm at, even when it's unpleasant.  I have come leaps and bounds in so many ways, so I know that if I continue to stay the course and not back down out of fear, I will continue jumping over the hurdles that I encounter.  It's so crazy to me that I'm just spilling my guts all over this blog, but I have to say that this is incredibly healing for me and, I hope, for you, too.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekly weigh-in

Just as I suspected, I did gain a few pounds this week.  I was disappointed but my consultant and I discussed the possible reasons for it.  One very important fact she brought up is that this is the week before Tom (sorry, TMI for the guys out there) and some women gain weight beforehand.  That almost made me feel better.  We also looked at my exercise this past week, getting all my snacks in and especially staying up on my water consumption.  Important for me, above anything else, is to not beat myself up over the gain.  Lori reminds me that breaking habits takes a long time to do, especially things that I have done for my entire lifetime so I need to just keep walking forward.  Here's to a better week ahead!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The right food

Wow, I didn't realize it had been more than a few days since I last posted the goings on in my world.  It has been one busy, sort of crazy week.  Everyone says that's because we've had a full moon.  Perhaps.  I haven't exercised much this week, even though I wanted to.  I think I just have been so mentally exhausted that my heart hasn't been in it.  I've been dealing with a computer program at work that has been beating up my brain cells in the back of the room.  I'm not a computer programmer, I'm in education, so I'm trying to outsmart it as best as I can but I confess it has gotten the best of me this week.  And there's no one I can really get help from because apparently I'm the district expert on it even though I don't remember signing up for that job.  I'm glad to leave it all at work.  It'll be fine to greet me again Monday morning.

My weigh-in is tomorrow morning and I have a little bit of a fear that I haven't lost any weight this week.  The last time I was on the scale, two days ago, it was up by a little bit.  That could be for any number of reasons, but given I didn't exercise a ton, I won't be surprised if there's a little gain.  I can't spend the time worrying about it, though, because I'm doing the best I can and I know there isn't a race to the imaginary finish line.  That's what I constantly have to remind myself of through this process ... this is not The Biggest Loser and this is not Optifast.  This is my real life, eating real food and trying to maneuver my way through it.  On a positive note, I really can tell what a big difference eating the right food with lots of fruits and veggies is doing for my system.  I am not having digestion issues I was having before and I am sleeping very well.  That's not something I could always say, fighting to get 3-4 hours a night.  I am doing the best I can to take very good care of myself and my poor suffering body.  It has really been through the wringer.  Okay, I promise to check in tomorrow morning after my weigh-in.  Time for me to fall into bed now ... getting sleepy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Don't look away

Yesterday I went and got a haircut.  It's been four months since I had my hair chopped off and, now that I'm keeping it short for a while, it's much more noticeable when I haven't gone in.  The person cutting my hair at the salon was someone that had never worked on me before so we spent a lot of time looking at the mirror to get it right.  She was concerned about making me happy, which I thought was a lovely change of pace.  It's very difficult not to look at yourself in the mirror the whole time because, seriously, where else are you going to look?  You can stare at the hair that is falling all around you as it gets snipped away but eventually you go back to you.  For me, it was pretty difficult looking at myself in that reflection.  In so many ways, I don't feel at all inside what my body portrays on the outside. To be dead honest, all I wanted to do after having my hair cut is go and work out for two hours.

So what was all of that about?  The truth is that looking at myself in the mirror in front of other people is very hard for me to do.  I have a tendency to look away or look down - I'd rather look anywhere than at myself.  Even when I look in the mirror alone, it's to make sure my hair is okay or to put my makeup on.  Even then, I put so little on my face that it's just long enough to work on my lashes or something simple like that.  Part of the issues with weight loss and weight gain is about being comfortable in your own skin to a point where you can accept and love yourself for who and what you are in the very moment.  I can't say I'm there yet.  I'm working hard at getting there, but I have come to realize over the years that being overweight is incredibly so much more than overeating.  It is my shield, a cover that helps me not put myself out there.  Whether that is in a love relationship, friendship or even with my family, if I don't put myself out there, then I can't get hurt.  The problem with all of that, though, is that it's false protection.  As much as I want to, I just can't look away from not only the image in the mirror, but the person behind that image.  That's the crux of it all.  I have been doing well with my food and finding weight loss again, which has been terrific.  Along the way, I am being reminded that when a person puts down the food, the issues we ran to avoid for so long become incredibly prominent.  That is definitely the case for me.  However, I am here to say that I am not going to run away, I'm not going to pick up that food and I'm not going to give into the Negative Nancy voice inside of me that tries to break me down little bits at a time.  What I need to do is remain strong, keep taking care of my body and especially taking care of my emotional health.  It definitely needs a bit of TLC.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kicking up Jenny Craig Meatloaf

On the menu for tonight's Jenny Craig dinner was their meatloaf along with my choice of veggies and a healthy fat.  I actually have two healthy fats at dinnertime because I don't use the one they give me during lunch most of the time.  I have been trying to volumize my meals to get in my veggies in a creative (non boring) way.  So here's what I had to start with.

I actually have a lot of veggies in my life these days, but these are the ones that called out to me when I opened the refrigerator door.  I decided that for the cauliflower, I would make it into "mashed potatoes".  That's where you cook the cauliflower in water until it is almost overdone so that it can be whipped up.  So I got to work chopping up all the cauliflower and threw it in a pot of water on the stove.  Next I got into cutting up my green beans and carrots.

I don't know about anyone else, but I just love fresh green beans.  They are sooo much better than out of a can.  I decided that I would saute these bad boys in some extra virgin olive oil with a bit of minced garlic.  While that was cooking, the cauliflower was done stinking up my kitchen.  Note to self: open the window in the kitchen because - eww - cauliflower smells not great when being cooked.  I put it all in a colander to drain and then got to whipping it up in a bowl with a touch of soymilk (I had a milk serving left over from earlier in the day), light butter (my extra healthy fat) and minced garlic.  I put in some parsley, black pepper and a touch of salt for seasoning

I do have to remember to make it in the food processor next time because my knife block had little bits of cauliflower on all the knife handles  when I was done;-)  After the JC meatloaf was done cooking in the microwave, I sliced it up and then added it (as well as the veggies and potatoes that came with it) all to the carrots and green beans.  For a final touch, I added a bit more barbecue sauce and sauteed that for just a minute or two longer.  I use Walden Farms Honey BBQ sauce, which has no calories, fat or carbs so I don't have to worry about how much I'm adding in.  Here's my finished product.

Might I say this was beyond amazing!  The barbecue sauce really adds something awesome to it and the cauliflower mashed potatoes came out great, too.  In fact, this plate doesn't even include half of my meatloaf/veggie dish.  I had lots of veggies in there.  And I made enough of the mashed potatoes to eat on other days.  I have been really enjoying getting creative with my meals and spending the time to make delicious treats.  The JC food has been very tasty on the whole.  I really am very glad I made the decision to go with the Jenny Craig program.  My blood sugar has been down, my tummy is satisfied with very healthy food, I have way more energy and I have been sleeping incredibly well.  Happy, happy!!

Weigh-in results

I'm happy to report I lost 3.6 pounds this week ;-)  I am feeling happy to see the scale going down.  And call me crazy, but I feel like the pants I have on are starting to get loose on me.  Loooove that!  Now I need to pack my food for the day and head off to work.  Hopefully no one will be in the office (it is Saturday after all) and I can get some work done.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hanging out in the closet

Do you remember these skinny jeans?

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll remember the day I fit into these.  I'll never forget.  I remember that feeling, like my body was actually smaller.  Ever since I've put weight back on, it was one of the pieces of clothes that I just could not give up on.  I put them, along with some other items, in the guest bedroom closet.  I just know in my heart, somehow, someday, I will fit into them again.  I happened to be in that closet today looking for something and they shouted at me as I opened that door.  "Kathy ... remember how good you felt when you wore me?  Remember how people would compliment you?  Kathy, don't you miss me??"

Dang it, I do!  It's not about the jeans but about feeling healthier.  Okay, maybe it was about the jeans a tiny bit.  I certainly got a lot of attention when I wore them but I think it was more about how they made me feel.  So, instead of being sad today when I saw them in the closet knowing I'm a couple of sizes away from fitting into them, I actually was happy.  I'm being one hundred percent truthful.  They made me feel beautiful and self-confident.  I smiled a lot when I had them on.  And the truth is that I know I'm on the path to lead back to them and, more importantly, a healthier body.  So I took them out of my guest bedroom closet and put them in my own closet.  They serve as a reminder to keep going when I don't want to cut fruit and veggies up.  They tell me that it's okay to push myself harder and try the absolute best I can.  God performed a miracle right before my eyes the day I got those on.  I pray I never forget that moment.

Tomorrow morning I have another weigh-in at Jenny Craig before I go into work.  My stress level has been very high at work in the last week or two, so I hope to get some good work done knowing that no one else will be at the office.  Before I do that, though, I'll pack my food so that I have my meals and snacks ready in case I need to stay there all day.  I'm grateful today for the willingness to go to any lengths to take care of my body.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

You're going to stick a needle where??

I had an acupuncture appointment at the end of my day.   There are some treats you look forward to at the end of a very busy and stressful day.  Acupuncture has become one of those things.  If you've never had a treatment before, you must think I'm insane right about now.  I am a girl who used to be terrified of getting shots and needles.  Then, when I became diabetic and had to check my blood sugar and inject insulin, I got over that.  Getting a needle stuck in me is still not my favorite thing in the world, but I don't mind it with acupuncture.  Actually, it's not the same type of needle at all.  They are much finer and are injected in a different way.  On very rare occasions will it hurt, but mostly it helps me get really in tune with my body and makes me fall asleep.  The reason I am see my acupuncturist, Kelly, is because I have had pain in my legs for over a year now and I've seen every specialist known to man.  Acupuncture is sort of my last house on the block.  In so many ways, though, it's become a blessing to me.  So I described today's pain, which is centered on top of my patella in my left knee and is radiating up my thigh to my hip.  It's significant pain and is extremely frustrating to live with.

Kelly inserted the pins around my knee, down my shin, on my feet, on my forehead and also on my left ear.  That was an incredibly weird sensation.  She showed me in a book where actually there are points in your ears that are connected directly to your legs and hips, precisely where I needed the attention.  She topped it all off with a pin placed squarely on my forehead.  She turned on some soothing music, turned off the lights and then left me to relax.  It's pretty hard to imagine anyone can relax in that state, but that's exactly what happens every single time.  I closed my eyes and thought about God's healing hands on my body.  Touching my knee, removing the pressure from my thigh, every moment helping me to relax and trust.  In no time at all, I forgot about all the pins sticking out of me and I focused on the sensations and being centered.  A flood of emotions overcame me, a feeling as though I knew, in that very instant, that God was watching over me and helping me feel peace.  There is still pain, but it is significantly reduced.  The body is amazing, such a marvel at what it does and how it heals.  When I walked into my appointment, I was feeling tense and stressed, but very hopeful.  When I left, I felt lifted and strong.  If nothing else, that right there is more than I could've ever asked for.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Checking in

I've been having really busy days lately but I did want to check in.  I find that when I'm not writing on this blog or in my journal, I'm not as connected as I need to be towards living as healthfully as I can.  Speaking of which, my blood sugar has been low the last several days so much that I have had to cut back on the medication.  I've actually been so shaky when I come home from work each day that it feels like I'm going to pass out.  That's a dangerous place to be in, of course.  It's been great seeing that I can eat foods with carbs in them and still have normal or below normal numbers.  It's so difficult to describe the emotions I go through when dealing with my diabetes.  I can do all the right things in the world, but when my blood sugar still won't normalize, it makes me feel like a big loser.  I know that it's not my fault (it is a disease after all), but it's hard to convince my head of that sometimes.  I don't know why I have convinced myself that I have some character defect if my body is in pain or blood sugar is high.  I suppose it's easier to blame ourselves.  This weight gain has been so difficult on many fronts, including how it affects my thinking about myself.  Yet, I am trying very hard to catch it as those thoughts come up.  I've said many times that I'm a scrappy little fighter and that couldn't be truer than it is these days.  I refuse to give up on myself and my efforts to be in a healthy body.  I also acknowledge the fact that I am supremely blessed.  On this day of remembrance, 9/11, there are many people who are no longer with us that I'm sure would willingly welcome the challenges I deal with each day.  That's not to discount how I'm feeling, but just really looking at the other side of the coin.  Now as I end my day, I can look back at it with an immense sense of gratitude for the things I do have today, right in this moment.  The weight will come off in the pace that it is supposed to leave me.  Only God knows that for sure.  I'll still do my part -  move my body and eat right. In fact, today I was marveling at the fact that I actually enjoy my gala apples and baby carrots.  Who knew!  I look forward to how good my body feels when I feed it with the right foods.  Really, that's a high no drug could possibly every fulfill in my life.  To feel good feels incredible.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kicking up Jenny Craig Beef Chili

On the menu tonight for dinner was Jenny's Beef Chili with Beans, veggies (minimum 1 1/2 cups) and a healthy fat.  This sounded like a great opportunity for me to volumize my dinner with lots of veggies mixed into my Jenny pre-made meal.  Here's what I had to start with.

Okay.  No problem.  I decided to go with sauteing garlic, onion, a red bell pepper and orange bell pepper in extra virgin olive oil.  

Can you tell that I've been to Costco?  Look at the size of that minced garlic!  I think that if any vampires existed and decided to visit my house, we'd all be safe ;-)  I love me some garlic.  

Those veggies look delicious even without the chili.  I cooked them until the onions were translucent and then threw in the chili with medium-heat salsa.  Here's my finished product.

It had a little kick to it and was very good.  The next time I have it, though, I'll only add in one bell pepper.  It was just way too much food, even though the veggies were really healthy.  

I do have to say that I have been enjoying my Jenny meals.  I haven't been treating it as eating from a box or as a "diet".  In no way do I see it as such.  Sure, I am purchasing my food from the center and I do follow a menu, but it's what I need to keep me accountable right now.  The only thinking I have to do is what fruits and veggies I'll be having.  I've been trying to eat things I wouldn't normally choose, so I've been experimenting with veggies like eggplant, asparagus and cauliflower.  I've been eating mangos and honeydew melons.  It's not that I wouldn't eat those things, but they certainly wouldn't be the first thing I'd grab.  Following through on my commitment, I made sure to leave my desk and had lunch in the back with the girls today at work.  I wasn't gone that long, but it did feel nice to get away from my work for a little while.  I am trying very hard to take good care of myself and let my experience with Optifast go.  It is in the past now for me.  Even though I had issues come up as a result of being on the program, I also met some great people and learned something great - I actually can lose weight.  It was feeling for a long time in my life like I just couldn't do it but now I know it is physically possible.  So, a day at a time, I'm doing the work to continue the work I already started.  I'm definitely very excited about that.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Funny feeling and fellow bloggers

I went for a beach walk again with Sara.  It's still been hot here so walking in the inland area was out of the question.  We went a few miles on the beach and it was lovely.  We were sweating it up but there was such a nice breeze and sitting in the shade at the end was great.  I know that putting one foot in front of the other is what I need to continue to do to get the weight off.  I am looking forward to the day when my poor body just doesn't hurt as much as it does these days.  The pain in my legs and back, in particular, make me want to sit down and not exercise but I am always grateful when I do.  And when you can walk with a friend, it almost doesn't feel like exercise because you chat the entire time and, poof, before you know it, you've walked a long distance.  Love that.

For the rest of the day, I was pretty darn hungry for each meal and snack I had.  In fact, I was famished.  I couldn't drink enough water and was wondering why I was so incredibly hungry.  Then I looked at my cell phone and figured it out.  I use the app, MapMyWalk, whenever I go walking.  It has my weight in there, so any time I do activity, it calculates how many calories I burned.  For today's beach jaunt, it said I burned over 800 calories.  No wonder why I was hungry!  Since I had time before dinner, I decided to go shopping at Sprouts for some food that I eat with my main Jenny meals.

I think I've turned into one of those people, the one who has a cart full of fruits and veggies.  We've all seen them before and marveled at how they could possibly (a.) eat so much fruit and veggies and (b.) be satisfied with just those foods.  I don't know how it happened, but I think I'm gravitating toward that group more and more.  I eat a lot of that stuff now.  For the most part, I'm very full on it.  You put these foods in with your Jenny foods and then all of sudden you have a huge amount to eat.  It's pretty shocking.  The other things I had in my cart were soymilk and Walden Farms products (salad dressing and barbecue sauce).  If I use those items instead of the JC dressings, I can have as much as I want since there's no calories, fat or carbs in them.  That frees up another fat serving for me to use elsewhere if I want, as suggested to me by my JCC.  So, anyway, as I was shopping, I wasn't feeling so great.  I started getting sweaty and thought that was odd because it was freezing in the store.  I paid for my stuff, got behind the wheel with the AC on my face and felt very shaky.  As I was coming into the house with my groceries, it dawned on me that my blood sugar might be low.  Unlikely, but possible.  And, sure enough, when I got out my meter and tested, I was way too low.  It must have been the exercise coupled with the insulin.  It looks like I'm already going to have to lower my amount of insulin after having started it just a few weeks ago.  Amazing how fast things turn around!

On a different note and total change of conversation, as a blogger, I write about everything under the sun.  If you've been reading my stuff, you know I talk about the gamut and I also talk about very personal things.  Good Lord, my highest weight is on here.  If that's not full disclosure, then I don't know what is!!  I often times will have someone send me a personal note or post a comment on one of my posts that says they've read every single one of my entries, from the starting point to current day.  That's a lot of reading, and I definitely do appreciate it, but I would also think, "Don't you get bored reading about my musings all in a row?"  Then I realized today that I do it, too, when I stumble across a blog that I just absolutely love.  My current one is No Thanks to Cake.  The author of this site has also done JC and has recipes on how to volumize the meals, which I am all over.  I love the different ways people have come up with making the Jenny food bigger in very healthy ways.  I haven't finished reading all of her posts, but can't wait to read each entry.  It can be very addicting reading what people go through and relating to them.  So if you're one of the people that has read my posts regularly, I really appreciate it.  I know several of you root for me and wish me continued good health.  I do the same for you and I cherish your support.  One thing I can say for sure - it's not a dull life.  I've had my ups and downs, but I keep moving forward in this journey.  I promise that I am not giving up on this weight loss/healthy living adventure I'm on.  I feel like I'm the queen of perseverance and really, honestly feel very good things in front of me on that front.  I feel so strongly that Now is Finally the Time.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weigh-in results

I had my second weigh-in after starting Jenny Craig and lost 1.2 pounds.  I was happy with the loss and I also was disappointed.  Reflecting on the week, I knew what contributed to that number.  One is that I skipped several of my meals and snacks this week, not on purpose but I got really busy and didn't take the time to take care of my needs.  The kids came first at work. So I didn't do what I was supposed to do and then made poor decisions a couple of the nights.  However, I'm reminded of what we are told when we fly on airplanes ... in the event of emergency, we must put on our oxygen masks first before we put them on the children.  If we don't, then we won't be able to take care of them.  I need to always remember that my self-care is important, even if that means pulling away for 15 minutes to eat my food.  Whatever it is I need to do, I need to do it.

All that said, I'm grateful for the loss this week.  I'm continuing to see that this is a life-long battle with weight loss but I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I have noticed that the weight loss really helps me be in a better place.  Not only does it help with my physical health, but my emotional one as well.  It feels good to know I'm doing the right things for myself and I know that this coming week will be much improved as well.  Keep trekking on!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Unsolicited advice

Sometimes I just have to laugh.  Ha ha ha.  The thing that makes me chuckle is people who think they are trying to be helpful, unsolicited or otherwise, when they see an overweight person.  I was in Wal-Mart attempting to buy a few things I needed, and, okay, some other things maybe I didn't need ;-)  I hate going there and really limit my trips but I really needed to go today.  So one of the things I bought because I thought it looked pretty awesome was a set of two salad bowls with built in dresser containers and forks like this one.

Pretty cool.  So when I went to check-out, the cashier made a comment when she saw the salad bowls about how all of your meals such center around a salad.  Then she asked me if I heard anything about the 2/500 diet plan.  I told her I hadn't heard of that one, just trying to be polite you know.  She then proceeds to tell me she saw a segment on PBS last night about this plan where you pick two non-consecutive days per week where you eat no more than 500 calories and how fabulous it's supposed to be.  She then told me how Sprouts is having a sale on Walden Farms products and how great it is because you can eat as much of their products as you want.  She went on and on as I paid her and eventually started walking away because there were customers behind me.  And what did she do?  Keep talking to me, loudly, as I was walking away from her register.  

So my question is why is this okay?  Obviously I have every intention of eating salad because I'm buying the freaking neato container to do so.  This is not the only time these sorts of conversations have happened with me with total strangers.  It's just weird, at least to me.  Even though I have this blog, I really am one of these people who wants to do her weight-loss program quietly.  I tell people for the support I know they will give me, but I certainly don't want to be the center of attention while doing it.  When I write here, it is to get my feelings out but definitely not to draw attention to myself.  I don't know, it sort of annoyed me I think mostly because people can clearly see I struggle with weight when they see me.  Even though I am working on reversing that, it just bothers me that complete strangers think it's okay to have a conversation about weight loss with me.  Just my pet peeve.

On a positive note, I was up in the middle of the night last night/this morning (ha - that doesn't sound positive) and I happened to flip on the TV to an interview Valerie Bertinelli was doing on the Today show about how much gratitude she owes to Jenny Craig about her weight loss.  It was exactly what I needed to hear in the moment because I'm on a real kick with the program.  I'm feeling really good about my decision to go on it and am feeling pretty comfy with all the food now.  I never thought I'd say that!  It felt like a mound of food in the beginning and it still is a lot of food, but I'm really starting to get why we eat so much.  The weight is continuing to come off and I'm really excited about that.  It's nice to see that scale number get less and less each day.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fitness challenges

I had a very long and exhausting day yesterday.  We had a college workshop yesterday in our counseling department of the high school where I work, the first one for our year.  With the help of one of our former students, we put together a workshop with other graduates to give advice to our juniors and seniors based on their experiences in college.  We had a huge turn-out, but there was a lot of work that went into it.  First off, I must say that the heat and humidity does not help someone who is larger.  You sweat more, that's just a fact of life.  I wasn't exactly wearing the lightest outfit either.  Add that to medication that makes you sweat as a lovely little side affect and you can use your imagination.  Oh, and our air conditioner at the school wasn't working in the room we were in.  So, imagine, 300+ bodies in a room, only fans available and I was constantly moving back and forth before the event for help with things that were coming up.  I finally went back to my office, turned on my fan and just sat there for a while during some of the workshop.  I did work at my desk, but I just couldn't stand it another minute in that hot room!  Don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to complain.  I'm just expressing how uncomfortable I was.  By the time I got home last night, I had worked over a 12-hour day, I missed half the food I was supposed to eat because I was so busy and I was just ready to plop into bed.  This morning, thankfully, I'm going into work later, partly because I'm taking comp time and partly because I have a doctor's appointment.  So I was able to get in some good sleep.

Now, on to my fitness challenges.  Since joining Jenny Craig again, I decided that I was not going to "hide" behind a computer screen (which is so easy to do).  I decided, instead, to get involved with the online community in addition to my individual meetings with my consultant.  This way I know that I'm being active in my program and doing the best I can to give it my all.  The things that I have learned in my journey is that I need to honor what is going to keep me honest and the most successful in being healthier.  So, I am involved in one fitness challenge and am about to start another one.  The first fitness challenge is that a group of people online at JC's website are participating in a Halloween challenge.  The premise is that you determine what your goal will be - whether that is a certain weight loss, size or whatever - and post daily to support each other in how we are doing to achieve that goal.  That started yesterday and ends on Halloween.  So I put my goal as losing thirty pounds.  It's a lofty goal, I know, but it also feels more tangible than all the weight I need to lose in total.  My JC consultant advised me to set smaller goals since they all contribute to the overall weight-loss goal.  If I lose 30 pounds, fantastic!  If I don't, then I will be closer to achieving that goal.
My second challenge is inspired by what a few friends are doing on Facebook.  They are participating in a 30-day challenge that involves squats and lunges.  While I can't do that because of the pain in my legs, I thought that I could work on another body part.  So, starting today, I'm going to participate in a 30-day crunch challenge.  Because I have back issues, strengthening my core will be a really good thing for me.  Of course I'll continue doing my walking or other exercises that suit me, but I think this challenge will be good to keep me moving and consistently taking care of my body.  Here's what the challenge entails.

There is a website that shows how to do the challenge and the proper form for the crunches.  They let you break the crunches up so you don't have to do them all in one fell swoop.  That's good because look at how many crunches I have to do on day 29!  Now off to start my day.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Planning ahead

I had a great day of relaxation.  That's exactly what we should do on Labor Day ... nothing!  I did go for a walk early on in the morning.  I was so glad I decided to do it early and not later in the day.  It has been hot and humid here and I really felt it today.  Yesterday, I went walking with Sara at the beach.  Today I went walking at Discovery Lake, which is inland with hotter temperatures.  After I stretched out, I headed down a ramp to walk around the lake.  I should have had a clue how sticky it was with everyone walking back up absolutely drenched in sweat.  In about ten minutes, I could feel it, too.  For some reason, my left upper thigh really hurts when I walk around the lake and I usually can't go more than two laps these days without needing to stop.  That's weird because I'm able to walk in other situations with some pain but not like I have at the lake.  For example, we walked over three miles yesterday and I was able to last.  Maybe the next time I walk at the lake, I'll walk in the opposite direction to see if perhaps that will help with my leg.

Afterwards, I just sort of hung out at home.  I read, cleaned up a bit and took a yummy nap with a fan blowing right on me.  I love having the time to relax when I need it.  This coming week at work is going to be extremely busy for me, so I need to remember to pace myself and try very hard not to stress out.  In fact, for tomorrow, I need to be very diligent about eating all of my food because I'll be working until about 8 p.m.  Given that I leave for work before 7 a.m., it'll be a long day and so I need to take very good care of myself.  These sort of days take more planning, but it's what I get to do to take care of myself.  Being kind and gentle towards my body is really important.  I probably won't be able to make it to the gym, but I can either do light exercises in the evening or just take a day of rest.  We'll see how I feel when I get home tomorrow night.  Off to go fix my food for tomorrow!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My day in pictures

I had a really great day.  I woke up pretty refreshed this morning and got up with a bit of pep in my step as I hopped on the scale to see what my weight was.  Jenny Craig recommends we get on the scale pretty routinely, I think even daily, to keep ourselves on track.  Of course we're likely to have fluctuations, but it just serves as another mode of accountability.  I was very pleased because it showed me losing another couple of pounds, putting me at a total of 7 pounds lost in a week.  Hooray!

Next on the agenda was to eat my breakfast.  I was going to pick up Sara so that we could do our Sunday morning walk at the beach.  The inland weather has just been very hot and sticky, something we're not used to where we live, so I was really looking forward to heading out the coast.  I had a big breakfast, something I'm getting used to with the JC program.  Actually, the volume of food as a whole is something I'm starting to get used to and actually crave.  I'm trying to let go of the "dieter's" mentality and just trust in the process.

Our walk today was absolutely gorgeous.  We drove to the beach and walked part of the way along the boardwalk and part of the way along the shoreline with our socks and shoes off and our feet in the water.  The coolness of that water was sooo delicious.  We walked 3.36 miles along the beautiful coast.  See for yourself.

Then later on, I ran a bunch of errands and finally made it into Costo.  I tried going yesterday, but there were so many people that I just didn't want to deal with it.  With the JC program, you can have free and limited-free foods as much as you need, so I thought I'd grab some of those along with some veggies.  They really do have fantastic prices there. I thought to myself, Hmm, I wonder if they have a good price on the dill pickle spears.  I should probably pick up a jar.  A small jar at the grocery store is pretty expensive so I knew that they would carry something larger size but that I would save money.  So check out what their jar looks like.

On the right is a regular jar of artichoke hearts.  Actually, the jar is a little bigger than normal.  On the left, however, is the Costco I-like-it-bigger jar of the spears.  That's a gallon of pickles!!  Holy smokes.  Needless to say, that will be lasting me awhile.

When I came home from Costco, my mom was at my house.  Actually, she called me while I was at Costco asking where I was.  She has a key so she helped herself to my cable and brought her laundry over so she could do a couple of loads.  It was really nice to see her.  I was thinking, as I was talking to her, how much our relationship has evolved and grown over the years.  She used to be an abuser to me as a child and in my teen years, both physically and emotionally.  There was a period of time where we didn't speak for twelve years.  Can you imagine not speaking to your own mother for twelve years?  I know we all have arguments and maybe get on each others' last nerve at times, but not to speak for that long was extremely difficult.  And now our relationship is lovely.  I cherish her and love her deeply.  We have both grown so much and are different people than we used to be.

Finally, my house is quiet, my two kitties are sleeping near my feet and I'm relaxing.  I got pretty burnt from the sun today, which is never good for a person who has had melanoma.  I did put on sunscreen, but obviously not enough.  Check out that farmer's tan!

I have a feeling that the combination of the sun, exercise and a happy day will help me have a great night of sleep.  It was a really good day.