Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday, I've Missed You!

I am super glad it's Friday. I have another busy weekend ahead of me, but will undoubtedly burn some calories (via traditional fitness or not). I also plan on continuing some of my bathroom re-decorating project. We shall see how that plays out. I am babysitting my cousin's 23 month old daughter all weekend. Needless to say she's very energetic and will keep me busy. I'm hoping to take advantage of bedtime and nap time to get a little work done.

My trial attempt at fixing the wall went pretty well. I knew when I finished last night that it wasn't perfect and that I would have to go over it again. I checked it out this morning and it didn't look too bad. I sanded it a bit before work and it looks a lot more smooth than it had in the past. There are a couple spots to fix (just didn't put enough joint compound on them, which I knew) but overall, I'm pretty impressed with myself. I am especially proud that I did this all on my own - I bought what I'd need, scraped the paint in the necessary spots, cleaned it, and put the compound on (compounded?) it. Did I mention that this is above my bathtub/shower on the far side?  This means that I had to stand on the edge of the tub and reach over to do it. Naturally I did not want to mess with taking down the shower curtain and rod so I was standing in a awkward position. I'll do that next time, when I do the entire area.

I did do a little extra crafting since I had time after cleaning up last night. I made a batch of body scrub (a simple one this time), which really isn't much but it made me feel a bit more creative and it was better than sitting around doing absolutely nothing. I'm sure zesting that lemon had to burn a calorie or two more than just sitting would have! :)

I am going to pick up my cousin's daughter shortly and we will likely get dinner, but I am hoping she'll go walking with me before dinner. I have to AT LEAST get an hour walk in. Without the dogs I'm hoping to be able to walk a bit faster and get a little better burn than yesterday.  I've been very diligent about my eating today and have lots of calories left so I don't need to worry, so much, about dinner. I'll keep it healthy anyway though. I'm not sure what types of workouts will be done this weekend, but I'll get exercise when I can!

I suppose that's the health update for now... Eating well and getting exercise where I can! I've been away from running the last several days so I'll need to get back to that early next week. It's almost training time so I've got some work to do!

I probably won't post much, if at all, this weekend since I'll be so busy. Of course, my weekends are frequently busy so I don't post much on the weekend anyway.

Have a happy, healthy weekend!!


Thursday, September 27, 2012


I am not the poor little engine who thought he could. I am the strong, determined woman who knows she can tackle about anything. Where did this come from? I never was like this in the past. I am fairly certain that I over-used "I can't" a lot in my life.  I'm pretty sure that came from the fear of failure. I no longer look at things like that anymore.

I think that accomplishing the weight loss I have, thus far, has really shown me that I can at least attempt to do new things.  I may not do them well. I may completely mess them up. I may have to later enlist the assistance of someone else to help me fix a mess.  However, I am determined enough to do as much of whatever it is on my own and ask for help if I get stuck. This is sometimes a saver of mass mess clean-up later on.

I've been in the mood to redecorate...Something. First it was my bedroom but I kind of like it the way it is right now. I also haven't decided which color scheme and such that I'd use. I decided that for now, the bedroom is okay. It was painted and updated a couple years ago. My bathroom, however, was completely redone about six years ago. I think it's about time to update again... it could use some fresh paint and new decor. I'm in the mood for a new color scheme and style of decor.  That's one nice thing about owning a home; you can change it as you like when you like. The current color combo and fixtures fit what I wanted six years ago, but I'm ready for a change. Of course, this will be a much smaller change than the first time.

Oh that bathroom... It was awful at first... Peach-ish colored carpet, pink toilet, pink skin, and a pink tub/shower - the kind with those wretched sliding doors with the frosty type glass. My bathroom was stuck in another decade.  I don't mind shower doors if it's in a large bathroom, the tub is separate, and it's tiled and a gorgeous space.  For me shower doors are only acceptable in a large, fancy bathroom.... Which I do not have. My house was built with a small bathroom so the doors had to go. They actually went before the tub was pulled out because I sliced my toe pretty good on the base getting out one day (not sure how that happened). That was the end of the doors.  Finally it was time to start re-modeling the house, and we started with the bathroom.

It's been updated - now everything is white, it has a nice, patterned flooring that's a light tan color, a better window, and a shower/tub combo that does not have a door on it. I don't have to do any heavy work, really.  There is an area above the shower that the paint is peeling up because of the humidity in the bathroom. At one point my Dad disconnected my fan, and I forget why. It was for a specific reason, but it's been a while. Anyway, the humidity is having a normal effect on the paint near the shower.  There's also a spot on the wall that's a little rough. I don't even remember what caused it but it's been there since the bathroom re-done. It's just rough and needs to be sanded, have some more drywall compound put on it, sanded, and primed. It really isn't that large of an area.

I want to do this as soon as possible. I get an idea in my mind and when I've decided that's what I'm doing, I'm ready to run with it.  I thought I'd try to fix that rough area on my own but I'm not so sure about that. After talking with my Dad, it sounds like it could be more complicated than I expected. I think I'm going at least fix the peeling part. I can handle that. Easily. It's fixing the rough patch that might be difficult and I may need his help with.  I was all set to just dive in and do it on my own, but messing that up could result in the need for a major fix. He wants to use special compound on that area. If it were as simple as a spackle and sand job, I'd be able to do it. I love to fill in holes with spackle. Of course, this requires a bit more work and isn't a matter of fixing a small hole or two. Or even a large one.

Earlier today I was thinking about how, in the past, the thought of trying to fix that on my own would never have entered my mind. I'd look at it and think "I can't do that; it's too hard." I'd whine and whine until my Dad would have it fixed for me. I'm not like that anymore. I want to re-do that entire bathroom on my own. In fact,  I'm still tossing the idea around of attempting to fix the rough area on my own...I mean, it can't be that hard.  Right? (Is that disaster on the horizon?) 

Tackling the challenge of losing weight has made me more independent than before. Or maybe it's age and maturity. It could even be a mixture of both. I no longer want to depend on someone else to do it when I want it done. I don't want to wait and there is no reason I can't try. I want to prove to myself that I can do things. I'm no longer afraid of them. I used to be afraid of "messing up" (failing) so I just wouldn't attempt things. I hadn't realized that this had transitioned from physical activities into other areas of life until I decided I could fix that area.

I'm still not sure if I will. I did stop at the hardware store and picked up a few supplies. They're staring at me, tempting me to just dive in and give it a whirl. There's a small part in my brain saying "don't do it... you'll make a mess."  The part of me that I'm probably going to listen to is that part saying, "just try it. Stop if you think things are going wrong. Only do as much as you can." I'm more than likely going to listen to that part of my brain because I want this done soon. My goal is to finish it in a short period of time. I want to go buy the new decor items and the paint this weekend (which I will do). I have to babysit so I'm not sure how much work I'll get done (unless she takes a good nap) but I'm going to at least gather my supplies and get some kind of a jump on it. I'm actually going to start that this evening...

Which brings me to my workout plan for the day. I'm going to walk the dogs for an hour or a little more, as usual. I'm heading out for the walk right after I post this. I probably won't do anything additional today (running, biking) because my to-do list for the evening is rather long.  I want to do some cleaning and putting some stuff away. Then I want to start on the bathroom. My plan is to clean out  cabinets and get rid of what I don't use.  I'll then try to accomplish a bit of sanding, and then wash the walls (important before you paint!), and I'll probably put painters tape around things that I can't move that are along the walls. My plan is to get started painting as soon as I can - as soon as I buy the paint! I should be able to do that this weekend.  The excellent part is that I can get started and if I do not succeed in that one area, it won't matter much. By the time my Dad lends his assistance (if needed) the paint will be dry on the other areas, so sanding and such won't cause much of a problem. If  can't finish it all, I can at least have a great start on it.

Basically? Working on the bathroom will take place of both a more intense workout and crafting.

Oh, and crafting update.... Last night I cut all of the strips of tulle needed for the skirt of my costume (possibly more than needed but that's okay; I'll just store it that way). While I didn't create a finished product, I am glad to have completed a step. I will work on putting the skirt together next and then I'll sew the top.  I will likely work on mine here and there as I have spare time. I have things to make for others so I'd prefer to get that work done before finishing something for myself.

I'm really excited to start on a Cinderella tutu dress for my cousin's little girl. I made a Cinderella tutu dress for an older girl last year, but this one will not be the same. I have a different style in mind and the little girl won't have the same accessories that the older girl did, so I won't be making those. Making the exact same thing would be boring anyway. I like to be more creative and come up with new ways to put flair into something.

I feel as though I should do a run today too but I am SO anxious to get started on the bathroom! Working on that definitely sounds more appealing than running does. And I'm a bit sore, on my right side. Running may not be the best idea anyway. I'm kind of annoyed because I was JUST at the chiropractor on Monday. I must've done something (possibly my little tripping incident yesterday) that put my spine out of whack again. My right side is sore... My neck, a little on my upper back, and then down on my lower back right above my lip. That actually hurts into the butt/leg - sciatic nerve area, which is obnoxious. I swear I can feel where the subluxations are in both my neck and my lower back.  While I'm sore (especially that sciatic area) I think it might be best to keep it light. It really is more annoying than anything. I feel like it's a sore muscle, deep down, and like it needs to be massaged like crazy. It's not painful, just an obnoxious soreness. If it's still sore after the weekend, I'm going to see if I can get an appointment early. Who knows, it might even be muscle related since my dogs take over my bed, causing me to sleep in all sorts of contorted positions!  

Speaking of working on the bathroom and cleaning...

I see a lot of people who count things like cleaning and painting as exercise. I generally do not. I guess, for me, exercise is doing a specific activity like doing a sport or walking or something. I don't look at cleaning as exercise. It IS activity and when I did WW in the past, I counted it (mostly because I wanted those activity points so I could eat a little more!) but lately I haven't counted it. If I get a little extra burn from it, that's great... I'll take the extra benefit but don't need to count it into my daily fitness minutes.

What are some of your opinions on that? Do you count time doing things like cleaning, raking, or painting as fitness?

I suppose I need to go get this walk done before it gets too late and I am pressed for time. I'm already a little behind thanks to my trip to the hardware store!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Healthy Foods...

Here are a few pictures of recent healthy meals I've made.

Makeover Madness

I have mentioned just about every day this week that I am getting my crafting bug again. It's been warm and sunny this week so I can get outside, however getting into that mode last week makes it hard to leave. I think the weather last week showed me that summer really is gone. I suppose since last Saturday was the first official day of fall, and October will be here in less than a week, that's true. I just hate seeing the summer end. But I do love the fall.

Fall is my second favorite time of year; early fall anyway. It's still warm and sometimes the weather is so gorgeous that I want to spend time outside - and I can without feeling too hot or too cold. The leaves start to change and their colors are so beautiful; especially when the sun shines through them. It's a good time to get outside and run because the temps are about perfect for running (for me). I love early fall... The new decor, the new clothes that hit stores, wearing boots (although I do miss strappy sandals that are not, in general, fall-appropriate), football, baking - especially with pumpkin, walks outside, the fall drinks at Starbucks (but I do miss the Mocha Coconut Frap - non-fat, no whip, and half the flavoring, of course; and am looking forward to the Christmastime beverages), hot chocolate on a chilly night, and of course prepping for Halloween.

I'm not such a fan of late fall since that, far too quickly, transitions into winter. It seems that by the time December hits I'm already counting the months until the warm weather comes back. Despite my birthday and Christmas both being in the winter, I'm not a fan of it. I think that if I lived in another place, where snow wasn't so abundant and the wind not so bone-chilling (thank you, Lake Michigan), I might be more of a fan of the season. I don't like driving in snow (why do you have to be so dang slippery!? I just wanna drive normally!). I don't like walking or trying to run in it (I'm a faller). And I really, really do not like the fact that it is so darn cold! I'm pretty sure I'd be very content in a place like Arizona.

Anyway... With the fun of early fall comes the crafting bug. With the crafting bug comes the re-decorating bug, which is often accompanied by brilliant ideas. I am particularly fond of makeovers. While I LOVE fashion, styling, and all things related to looking pretty - I'm talking about furniture. I so badly want to go buy some old pieces and the supplies to make them new again. It's taking all I have not to jump in the car and drive to a Habitat Resale shop or a Goodwill just to see what kind of junk I can find. Naturally I'd have to follow that up with a trip to Joann's or Hobby Lobby. Or both. Maybe even a stop my Michael's would be necessary. It's beautiful outside... The perfect day for cleaning, sanding, and panting an ugly old chair or end table. I've also decided that I want to paint my bathroom (last week I wanted to redecorate my bedroom but decided I needed to think on that more; 'tis the season)... It really wouldn't be a bad day for that either. Hmmm... I don't know that I should do that without assistance/supervision. It does need a nice paint job though! Maybe this weekend. It's small; won't take long.

However, I must workout. If I go shopping, I won't workout because I simply will not have the time. As much as I would love to do a makeover today, I don't want to skip my workout. It's a beautiful day for a furniture makeover, but it is also a beautiful day for some outdoor exercise. Later in the evening there will be time for crafting, although it won't be a furniture makeover.

Today I am going to run since I haven't done that in a while. I'll do between 30 and 45 minutes on the treadmill (as soon as I'm done with this), and then after that I'll take the dog-children on their daily hour-long walk. I should put in 45-60 on the treadmill but I'm not feeling it today. Ugh. I get in these ruts where running just doesn't sound like it's something I want to do. I love it but there are days that I'm just not into it. Today would be one of those days. I'll try to pump myself up and make myself excited for it before I start, otherwise I'll probably see 30 minutes and decide that I'm done (after what will end up being a miserable time).

After all of that and dinner... I'm crafting. I was going to last night and didn't get around to it. I started the walk a little later than planned, which of course through my whole schedule off. I decided relaxing for a bit longer after I changed was necessary. Oh well. I walked and then got home and got dinner ready. Prep took a bit longer than I had expected it to. While it cooked, I biked. I thought about biking again but it was later than I planned so I cleaned up the kitchen and picked up a few other things... Then I was just too tired to work on anything, so I relaxed. Of course, by that time it was after 9. I didn't feel like getting everything out and making a mess that I'd be cleaning up an hour later. It just didn't seem worth it.

Today the plan is to get up, change, and get moving as soon as I post this!! It's so easy to say "I'll relax until..." or "I'll sit for one more episode of ____ (Friends or Reba) and then I'll go." By the time I get home, I'm tired from working all day and working out doesn't always sound fun. However, working out in the morning is even less appealing... Mostly because of how early I have to get up and it's cold in the mornings! It's just odd because I'll have the energy and be ready to go home and kill it all afternoon at work then when I get home relaxation sounds so much better.  I think that my ideal workout time would be mid to late morning or in the afternoon.  If only my job would allow for this! Those are the times I feel at my best and feel like I have the most energy.

Tonight's dinner should take less prep time too.... I'm making sweet potato latkes. They sound so amazing; I'd like to eat them now. They're pretty low cal so that's a plus. I'm hoping they freeze well. I did that with some of last night's dinner portion. It should be okay for a week in the freezer... It was stuffed chicken breast. I still have spaghetti squash and meatballs in sauce from earlier this week. I wasn't sure how that would freeze.  I'm never sure how that will work out...

For those of you who cook for the week on Sunday - how do you do it? How do you know what will keep? Do you just make whatever and throw it in the freezer until you're ready? Are there certain things I should cook or shouldn't? Obviously  I haven't gotten a good handle cooking in bulk yet.

I've made a meal each night this week, which is rare for me. Hmmm...I should post more food pictures. I haven't done that in quite a while. So, cooking... Normally I'll make one or two and live on leftovers....Mostly because it's easier and because I don't know how/what can go in the freezer for a week. I don't like to throw food away because wasting is just not something I want to do. I generally try to shop for two weeks worth of meats/dinner supplies when I grocery shop.  Other cupboard items obviously stick around longer. Produce is bought for the week, every week.

Anyway.... Any tips on how/what to freeze?

I suppose I should go hit the treadmill...I can't avoid it much longer or I'll, again, throw my plan off course. I really would like to do some sort of crafting this evening, even if it's not a furniture or bathroom makeover.

Hope your week is going well! I'm glad that mine (my work week) is more than half over!


Edit: No run tonight. I'm repeating last night's workout. I twisted my ankle on the stairs and running seems to be a bit much (it's kinda sore). Off to try a walk...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall is in Full Swing

I was quite productive again last night... Not in fitness but in crafting. I made some body scrub - about 18 jars; 12 and eight ounces of varying types. I'm getting ready for fall - with some cozy, comforting scents. The cool, crisp fall air that we've had lately is definitely a reminder that fall really is here. As much as I'd like to pretend it should still be summer, it IS nearly October. The recent weather has proven that. If you have a while longer before cooler fall weather reaches you, enjoy it!! Anyway, body scrubs... I made some yummy, sugary, cozy scents as well as a refreshing scent or two. I'm definitely not done! I want to make some more scrubs and then when I'm stocked up on scrubs I'll move on to lotions or something. I also need to make some more lip gloss but need to get some more pots before I do that. I think I'll work on scrubs tonight for a bit and/or one of the Halloween costumes. AFTER I work out, of course.

My workout yesterday wasn't that great - just  about an hour walk with the dogs; in the wind and cold! I burned a few more calories than the last time. Hmm...Perhaps from the bit of wind resistance I encountered? Or possibly from trying harder than normal to control the two beasts because Belle kept trying to chase leaves as they flew by. Normally they just stop to sniff things and she dive-bombs the grass. For some reason she thought that the leaves were something to be chased.

Today is a bit nicer - still a bit breezy but warmer. I think I'll add a bit of length to our usual route. I'm not sure how much more time it will be, but I'm aiming for at least 10-15 more minutes. I'm adding it to the start of the workout so I'll check it out at my usual half-way/turn around point and see where we're at.  After the walk I'll probably get dinner started and while it's cooking, do some biking. I'm definitely not in the mood to run today. I didn't sleep well last night and am definitely feeling the lack of energy this afternoon. Maybe the walk will recharge me a bit. Even so, I'll probably stick to biking. Oh! I'll spend my biking time in my mini-gym at home..... No worries; I'm not leaving the oven on and venturing away!!

I can't remember how long my dinner (broccoli and cheddar stuffed chicken from Skinnytaste) will need to be in the oven, but I think it'll be 30-40 minutes. I'm sure I'd like to bike longer than that. Maybe I'll put the oven on warm at that point and bike a bit longer. Unless I am super hungry. Then maybe I'll eat and bike again after. I guess we'll see how it goes.

My eating has been great again today... With the banana I'm currently eating and dinner pre-tracked, I am at exactly 1200 calories, without calories burned included.  It's rare that I hit 1200 exactly. I'm honestly thinking of eating something, even something small, to make it a little higher count. Then again, biking won't burn nearly as many as running, so who knows.  I haven't had many protein shakes lately so depending on my burn maybe I'll have one of those after my walk. Or this evening. If I do plain chocolate (just powder, ice, and unsweetened almond milk) I'll only use 180 calories. I anticipate burning about 400 on the walk and hopefully 400-500 biking (I have an hour of that in mind). I'll be more than okay to have a shake with that burn! One shake won't be a big hit to my day; and I am sure I'll be good with a little extra protein.

On calories taken in and burned....

Some say you should eat back what you burn and that your (using a female as an example, since I am one; for a male it would be 1600) net should be no lower than 1200. Some say you should eat a little more and eat back some of what you burn. Some say you should eat at least 1200 calories and then it doesn't matter if you eat back what you burn. I say... Eat no fewer than 1200 calories a day and be healthy. If you burn 1000 and want to eat half; then do it. If you don't, then don't. I've tested the theory of eating back some or all of what you burn so that you stay at a net of 1200 and honestly... I've seen no change. For me, that doesn't work to promote weight loss. If I'm full at 1250 and then burn 500 and have am still full, then I'm not going to eat more just for the sake of reaching a number. If I'm not hungry and I'm at my 1200 taken in, then I'm not going to force myself to eat more. Don't feel like you HAVE to eat more if you're at 1200.  Eat the healthy amount that feels right for you. The same is true for the opposite... If you're truly hungry (you feel it physically) then you should eat - not a giant meal but  a small, healthy snack with a side of water. Your body needs to function properly and it needs fuel to do that. If you are really hungry, your body will tell you.

I suppose, I should stop writing about being healthy and get to it. My post-work rest (blog) time is about over and I need to get out there and walk. I think the dogs are ready to go too. They love walks, they need walks too.  Yes! Your dogs need to exercise!!! What's healthy for you is also healthy for them! I feel that your dogs should be exercised at least a few times a week. Whether it's intense play (chasing something, jumping, whatever), a walk, or a run, your dogs need to move, especially if they are indoor home alone during the day dogs like mine! I doubt they play a whole lot when I'm not home so I like to get them out and make them move. They love it! And it's a great bonding time for us.

By the way... Your cats should get exercise too... And Hamsters...Any pets really. Obviously they won't all exercise the same way, but make sure they're getting some activity!


Monday, September 24, 2012

On my next trip to the store I am definitely buying the ingredients to make this Skinny Pumpkin Granola.  It sounds delicious and perfect for this time of year!!

Side note... Skinnytaste is one of my favorite sources for new, healthy, tasty recipes!

Feeling Good.... Well, Better

I was pretty quiet on the blog front last week. I just had one of those exhausting weeks and by the time evening came and I had time to sit down, my stress (from varying sources) built up and I was not in a writing mood.  I didn't sleep well.. I'd wake with odd dreams that were so vivid it was like I was watching my life (in the dream; not accurate to real life) as though it was a movie. On top of that I was experiencing a lot of stress and the weather was kind of yucky (cold and rainy quite a bit) which I allowed to impact on my mood. I spent a lot of time being angry, mean, and even more time crying. I just didn't want to be bothered or deal with anything.  I was content in my own little bubble, doing as I wanted, without regard to anyone else.  It was just one of those weeks, I guess.

My mood was just awful. I felt horribly depressed but luckily I did not allow that to impact on my health as I would have in the past. In fact, I used it as motivation. The first thing that I had a hard time with was my weight. I felt so fat. My weight loss as stalled, meaning I'm at a plateau. I'm not where I want to be, but apparently my body likes this range. Everyone tells me I look good, but of course I don't agree. My eyes zero in on the areas I dislike (which can only be corrected with surgery, so it is silly to even let it get to me!). I just felt like my clothes didn't fit right and thought I looked horrible. I felt disappointed with where I am after lipo and a tummy tuck, and where I thought I would be. I compared myself last year to this year and wasn't happy. I feel like I should be at my ultimate goal by now. There were other things that happened, too, and the week just seemed to get worse.

I felt like a horrible failure at everything all week long. I'm still feeling a little down and dealing with some not-so-great feelings but I'm better.

I felt so bad that I didn't even think of the fact that I didn't let my weight-related issue influence my behavior... I  was stuck seeing the old me but most definitely did not behave like the old me. I didn't go on any eating binges and did not rely on junk food to get me through my state of depression. I didn't go buy junk food to gobble down. I didn't say "forget this" and eat fast or take out food. I continued to cook healthy foods. I think I even managed to increase my fruit and veggie intake (I'm up and down with that - constantly). Instead of binge eating I let myself cry if I needed to. I think that's why I cried so much... I allowed my feelings to come out instead of keeping them inside. I got the release I needed.

I didn't sit on the couch and do nothing, as much as I wanted to. Actually, I didn't even want to. The old me would've done that right away, bag of chips or popcorn in hand. I worked out... I got back on track with high calorie burning workout days.  I spent at least an hour working out.. One day the rain was too bad after work so I just did an hour on the treadmill, nothing else... Or maybe that was two days. Other days I did shorter treadmill jog/walk intervals (35-45 minutes) and then walked the dogs for an hour later in the evening. Instead of being lazy, I worked even harder. Being lazy would not have done anything for my body or my mood (especially since so much of it had to do with how I saw myself). Working out, even those hour dog walks, did. It helped my mood a little and did a lot more for my body than sitting around feeling sorry for myself would have.

By Friday I was feeling a little better, but busy... I picked up some things at the grocery store to try a new dinner recipe (a new topping for turkey burgers). I baked a butternut squash to have with the burger. It felt good to try something new and healthy. I also cleaned up the house a little, walked the dogs (earlier rather than later because the night before I ran into some drunk creepers on the walk and didn't want to risk that again - yikes!), and got some stuff ready for the weekend. I was in bed pretty early. I felt that I should have at least done some biking but by the time I got done with everything I was doing, I was tired, my back was sore, and it was about 9:30 - a bit too late for a workout! I was pleased that I had at least gotten an hour of some light fitness done.

Saturday I was feeling even better, but still kind of down.  My Mom and I went shopping, which, having had a week of hating my body, I wasn't as excited as I would be normally. Feeling so fat, I thought for sure I'd be buying my pre-op size in pants and such.  I didn't.... I bought a size smaller (I had a few things that size pre-op but not many - and lately even my pre-op size felt like it wasn't fitting right). I got six or seven pair of pants, all in the smaller size (which I've felt like I've struggled to get into lately). I know that pants differ greatly and obviously in the smaller size pants I already have, the cut was different than the pants I bought on Saturday. I tried on some pants in that smaller size that didn't fit. I went to one store and bought a large in the items I liked, even in tops... I typically wear a medium. That store is geared at younger people and follows the junior sizing guidelines. In fact, at that store I bought an XL in a pair of shorts (because I want to be able to wear some thicker tights under them). I was totally okay with that purchase... Probably because I knew I'd be adding a layer and that they are junior size. The large fit, but I wanted a little extra space for those tights. At another store I bought a medium sweater and wore it today - it feels a little too big and I probably should've bought a small.

I'm learning to accept sizes for what they are... Numbers.  That's it. Numbers should not determine how we feel about ourselves. Especially since there can be such a difference in numbers between brands. I know this and on good days (like today) I'm totally fine with it. Then on other days, I hate the fact that I might have to buy some with a "L" on the tag. Even trying to tell myself that those items are cut for juniors who do not have wide hips like me, I still let it bother me. I'm glad I'm not letting it get to me as much. It was a big step for me to buy those XL shorts. Maybe it was because it was a conscious decision, it wasn't as bad. It's not like I was forced into it - I chose the larger size.

I spent Saturday evening with my cousin, and we went out (in obnoxious outfits) for a bit. I splurged and had pizza for dinner. And we spent some time just hanging out at my parents' house and playing with my cousin's little girl. We wore metallic leggings and shoes, with neon yellow t-shirts that I made into belted dresses. Despite the freakish nature of the outfits, we pulled them off well and looked super cute! I spent a good part of Sunday with her too. I made out my healthy grocery list, full of items for four new recipes, and did some shopping in the evening. I'm excited to try these new recipes!

I know a lot of people who cook ahead for the week. I haven't quite mastered that, although I do love the idea of spending Sunday afternoon/evening cooking various things. Last night I made one meal ahead of time - spaghetti squash with Italian style meatballs and pasta sauce. Although it wasn't for dinner last night, I sampled some and it was delicious!! I didn't miss regular noodles at all, and I'm sure that they're better than tofu shirataki. I just can't bring myself to try that... I've bought it a few times and have never cooked it. Every time I think I can, I'm wrong. For me, the spaghetti squash is a great alternative to regular noodles.  Strangely I did buy some other form of pasta (little shells) to make an avocado, lime, cilantro salad. I'll make some and portion it out so that I don't eat too much at once. I love pasta in any form and definitely could eat too much of it. Hopefully it'll be something that freezes well!

I probably could've cooked another item for the week (I was thinking about broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken breast) but instead I decided I wanted to be crafty. In addition to clothes and groceries, I stocked up on some new craft supplies. I have a couple Halloween costumes to make and some other items that I'm making for gifting or selling on my etsy site. I worked on the latter items last night, and will start on the costumes this week. I definitely feel my crafty side kick in more this time of year. I am not a fan of the cold or snow, so I spend a lot of time working on crafts throughout the fall and winter.

Don't fear - just because my crafty time of year is kicking in doesn't mean that I'll cut down on workouts. I'm preparing to have to spend more time inside on the treadmill, but will make the most of gorgeous fall days before it gets too cold. As always, workouts are a priority over my crafting... I'll find a way to fit everything into my day, but working out is my number two priority (second only to my job).

I decided that because my weight has plateaued, I'm going to cut back on some carbs again. I am not "going low carb." I continue to believe that carbs are an important source of energy and that, as a person who works out, I need them - the healthy kind and in moderation. I prefer to eat my carbs from things like bread earlier in the day, so I will continue to have toast for breakfast. Other than that, my source of carbs will come from fruits, and a few from snacks like pita chips, pretzel crisps, or whole grain crackers....At times. I'm not going to eat them daily. Oh and not as much sugar... I don't eat a lot of it to begin with but I generally eat like that but I noticed that I have been including more carbs with other meals (bread, more pasta, etc.). Weight loss can be a lot of trail and error, so I'll try this and see what happens. I will also continue longer workouts like I did last week. It feels good to see 700+ calories as a total for my daily burn through exercise! I'm definitely adding more ST workouts (I'm off-track with that again) because that helps the body burn more.

I'm definitely already doing super well with my healthy eating (thanks to the new recipes, I'm sure!). I tracked my entire daily intake this morning and had nearly 100 more calories to eat - before my workout was included. I love eating healthy because you can eat soooo much more.  Sometimes I look at people who eat some unhealthy foods but stick to a calorie range and think "wow... that's ALL they ate all day long." Then I think about how it is not only unhealthy to eat the foods that they did, but that it is unhealthy to have one meal and a snack with no other foods all day long. Eating healthy is not JUST about the calories, fat grams, carbs, etc. in the food... The quality of the food is super important too. Some people may think that because they're eating a fast food meal and only one snack, and are in their ranges, that they're doing well. They are really only fooling themselves. It's good too eat often - and a lot - but only if it's healthy!

Here's what I had today with 93 more calories to eat just to reach 1200 (which I will make up sometime this evening, by adding another salad to dinner or another small snack like an apple and a tablespoon of natural PB this evening):

Breakfast: 4 oz orange juice, 12 oz coffee (from a k-cup), two pieces of light whole grain toast with a buttery spread and a slice of cheese. A cup of grapes.

Lunch: A salad (mix; from a bag) with dressing, left over bun less turkey burger with a light sour cream based topping.

Dinner: One cup spaghetti squash, two Italian style meatballs, spaghetti sauce.

Snacks: A small banana, a cup of whole strawberries, six ounces of blueberries, three ounces of baby carrots with two tablespoons of hummus.

Other than the coffee and OJ - water all day....And maybe some chamomile tea when I relax this evening.

Given the choice between all of that for around 1200 calories (probably more like 1250-1300 by the time another salad or snack is added) or a 1000 calorie fast food meal and some chips to snack on, I'd choose the healthier foods. Eating healthy foods, in smaller portions, more frequently is so much healthier than the other option. Plus, I get to eat MORE food by being healthy! That's more variety, more flavor, and a belly that is full until the next meal time.

Another thing that I've noticed is that my water intake is down. I'm thinking it's because of the cooler weather. I was drinking around 20 (if not more!) eight ounce glasses of water a day. Lately I've been ending the day between 12 and 15. I know I can drink more, so that's on my list of things to improve upon.

Plateaus are horrible and sometimes it's the little things that can make a difference for someone who has reached a plateau... That's me... So we'll see what happens with a few small changes.

Here's to a new, healthy week!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

A new post is coming tomorrow. It's been an exhausting week!!

EDIT: Make that Monday evening.... My exhaustion continued into Friday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Battle Within

I'm going to start by saying that yesterday's plan sort of fell apart.  It was storming so that meant no walking the dogs. Instead of 30 on the tread and an hour walk, I did just over an hour on the tread (which luckily wasn't as dreadful as I expected).  The rain also put me out of my cleaning mood, so no organization was done. Plus the CMA festival was on and I HAD to watch!! So instead of organizing, I did that. And I made some embroidery floss bracelets (like the kind I made when I was a kid!)....Which totally distracted me and I forgot to plan my workouts. Ooooooooooops.  Maybe I will plan tonight.

That's the update.... On to new thoughts.

I was listening to one of my Kelly Clarkson CDs today (yes, I still buy CDs even though I have an ipod, ipad, and iphone - because I am cool and think CDs are awesome!) and I started thinking about one of her songs in a different way. For anyone who has heard "The War is Over," you'll know that it's about walking away from a bad relationship.  Whether it be a romantic relationship or a friendship, you're leaving something that's been hurtful.

To me, this song is about... Me. Well, the me I used to be. It's about making a change in life that's going to be best for you. My old self was kind of a jerk. I called myself names. I hurt myself (not intentionally but my actions did). I told myself I wasn't good enough. I allowed myself to be treated badly. I was abusive to myself. I struggled, for a while, to become healthier. I'd start eating healthy then stop. I'd workout and then stop.  Even when I'd see results, I'd stop. I just couldn't seem to stick to it. I'd get frustrated that it took so long and I'd give up. My old self would say, "why are you even trying? It's never going to happen." My old self made me cry. A lot. Then I'd comfort myself, typically with food, and it'd feel better... So I would forgive my old self.  I'd smile on the outside and no one would know how mean I was to myself. They didn't know what bothered me. For all they knew I was content being "the fat girl."

Then one day I decided to tell my old self to shut up. For good. I decided that I was no longer going to listen to that voice in my head.... The one that told me I was worthless, fat, and that I'd never be attractive. I stopped listening to negative words of others too. I guess when I decided not to listen to my own harsh words, the words of others seemed less hurtful too.

The moment I decided to change, I accepted myself for how I looked. I didn't like it and knew it had to change.  In that moment I learned to love myself - to REALLY love myself.... To love myself before anyone or anything else. When I did that, everything seemed to fall into place. Suddenly I was dedicated. I was motivated. I was unstoppable. I was determined to be healthy. Along the way I learned who I really am.

Like in the song, I finally stopped pretending that everything was okay. I started being stronger - not letting the nasty words of my old self take over. I wouldn't give in. The unhealthy behaviors needed to stop... I was never going back, no matter how many times that negative voice popped into my head. I was done allowing my old self to hurt me. I was done listening to my old self tell me I wasn't worthy. Instead I told that voice that it wasn't worthy... That it needed to go away because I wasn't going to let it make me unhappy anymore. 

In a little under three months, it will have been three years since I initiated my lifestyle change. It will be three years that marks me winning the war. Sure there have been ups and downs. There have been small battles along the way. If they lead me off-track for a week, or a day, I found my strength and battled my way back to where I had been; back to happiness.  We all have bad days, and that's okay... What's important is that we don't give up.  No matter what the goal or the dream, keeping working to achieve it. I have times when I allow that old voice to creep back into my head. It doesn't last long before I defeat it.

This time the war inside of me was over - for good.


Monday, September 17, 2012

A Clean Home is a Happy Home

I'm not sure who came up with that expression, but they are correct.  My house is never dirty (gross!) but sometimes it can become cluttered and disorganized. I find this to be true mostly in the summer when I'm busy. It seems that I spend so much time away that I don't have time to organize things. I keep things clean but sometimes I find various areas of my house to be cluttered with things. I guess they just pile up over time when I don't have the spare time to put things away. Please do not get an image of someone from the show "Hoarders." 

I am not NEARLY that bad.

I may not be bad at all... But to ME it seems that way. I was raised in a very neat and tidy home. My  Mom and Grandma don't have a lot of knick-knacks sitting around. They have some but not as many as I have. They also don't have two dogs. Or quite as many hobbies as I do. Definitely not as many clothes... No where near it! I think the clothes are my biggest problem. I will admit that I definitely do not like to try to put them away... I don't have room for them all. I have two closets and a dresser full. I can't use my third bedroom closet because it's full of craft supplies. I'd say crafting supplies are second on my list of "too much stuff," right behind clothing.

Anyway, at the end of last week I spent some time going through some stuff, cleaning and organizing it. I've successfully organized three rooms, with only my craft room and Mt. Clean Laundry (that needs to be put away) to deal with. It felt so good to go through and tidy up. My room is still a bit too full, so I need to go through and actually decide what to throw out. The spare bedroom looks wonderful. Of course, there's not much in there (however there were some clothes in there until last Thursday) so when it's organized (or my stuff isn't taking up space), it looks great.

Organizing things and getting my house in a bit better order, I feel better. I feel more comfortable at home. Part of that might be because now that summer is ending, I'm home a little more. I have time to do it. Being home makes me want to have an organized, non-cluttered house. I guess when I'm not there, it doesn't matter as much to me. However, being there makes a huge difference.

Now I want to get into the craft room and get some organization done. I need to figure out when to fit it into my schedule.  Part of that is that Halloween is coming. I've bought some stuff to work on making my Halloween costume and I will most definitely need the space. I also love to up-cycle old t-shirts. I make them into smaller t-shirts with a fun flair. I'm also working on re-doing two t-shirts for my cousin and I. I'm turning men's t-shirts into fun dresses for us. I'm actually doing this an easy way, but I'm testing out ideas on old shirts to see what I like, what I don't, what works, and what doesn't. I've been working on them in my living room because my table is slightly (ha!) crowded.  I really just need to re-organize the closet and then clean off my craft table and I'll be good to go!

This leads me into what  this blog is all about; my lack or organization lately. Not only is it just my home, but my workout schedule has been disorganized as well. I haven't really had a set workout schedule like I used to. I had been alternating DVDs with running and walking. I haven't done a DVD or ran in about two weeks.

I guess it started two weeks ago when I came down with an awful cold that was going around.  After nearly two weeks I'm finally done coughing! My breathing was better last week, but I still didn't get many workouts in. I was feeling better and could have, but I had a busy week with various appointments, organizing, and babysitting my cousin's little one. I was able to take a long walks with my dogs on the days that I didn't have something else going on.  I was having trouble falling asleep last week too, so getting up to do morning workouts didn't happen. I think I managed to do two walks last week. Yikes!! Now wonder I felt so tired... I didn't have my workout-induced energy!

I'm glad to be feeling better and have a lighter schedule this week. I'm anxious to get back on track with workouts, especially running. My half marathon training starts next month, so I really need to get some running done. I will definitely need to build my stamina back up before then, so running starts today!

It seemed odd at first but organizing my house seemed to get me back into the groove. I like order. I like when things are planned out. Organizing other things made me realize that I need to organize my workouts too, so I'll be sitting down and writing out a plan this evening. It feels soooo good to be back on track and back into a positive planning place.  I feel like getting my house in order has helped me to achieve a sort of balance... I'm not there in all areas, yet, but I'm working on it. 

Today marks my first run in over two weeks.  I'm starting slow... Doing only about 30 minutes on the treadmill. I'll have dinner and do some organization and plan on walking the dogs later too.  After that I'll be able to sit down and write out my plan for the week and then I'll get back to work on the craft/computer room.

I cannot wait to sit down and create a schedule. I'm also hoping to be able to get to bed earlier (and sleep!) so that I can throw in a morning DVD workout. I like being energized for the morning hours. Getting in extra workout time, and getting back on track with my usual workouts, means that I get to eat a little more too. That's always a bonus. I haven't been drinking my protein shakes because I haven't been working out and didn't have the extra calories to use. I'm pretty excited to be able to start or end my day with a tasty shake!!

I suppose I need to go and get started on my run so that I have time to do all of the things that I want to do this evening!

Have a great week - if you haven't done your weekly plan, take some time to do it today!! 


Friday, September 14, 2012

It's MY Body

I want to start by saying that my last post probably wasn't all that well written, which annoys me. I know how to write so if I write something that I feel is less than acceptable, and actually publish it, it bothers me. I apologize if the blog was poorly written and ended somewhat abruptly.  I was in a hurry. That's not a good excuse. I should've saved it and edited it/finished it later.  Oh well... I can't dwell on one possibly poorly written post (sometimes I think that but others think it's fine).

I know I've written, a lot, lately about surgery and my body. I've received criticism for having surgery as well as the surgery that I plan to have in the future.  Everyone has their opinions and that's fine. I just wish that people would remember that it is MY body, not theirs.  It is MY chose, not theirs.  I respect your opinion and that you wouldn't do the same. Please show me that same respect.  At this point I am not "plastic."  Have I had plastic surgery? Yes. Have I had anything injected into my body? No. Not yet anyway.... Possibly down the road, but not at this point in time. I have had things taken out and off (fat and skin).  If and when I get a breast lift/breast implants, then feel free to say I'm plastic. I'm not going to run around asking for attention, but I'm also not going to deny what I've had done.

What is it about people denying the procedures they've had done? I know people who are uber-secretive about having had bariatric surgery. Why? If you're going to go through with a big surgery, own it. If that's your chosen path for weight loss, that's great. I often wonder if when people make these choices, they're afraid of criticism from others.  I say, don't be afraid of it. Someone will always have something to say about you. If you feel you made the best decision for you, then don't worry about what someone else might say. We're all going to be judged. Sometimes it stings...Badly. Other times though, just try to let it go because most things aren't worth getting upset.  Just like if you say "oh she had surgery to lose that belly," I won't let it bother me. Why? Well, because I DID. It was skin that I couldn't get rid of. That was my option.  I tend to hear more judgement about my liposuction though. My doc told me that I could not possibly lose that fat...No matter how hard I exercised and no matter how healthy I ate. It. Was. Just. There. I could either live with it or have it liquefied and sucked out.  I chose the latter option.

The other day I was thinking about the fact that we all have opinions on what other people do, whether they effect us or not. I know I do it. I generally keep them to myself because I think I'd come off as quite an arse if I ran around blabbing my opinion to everyone. I know that people don't want to hear all of my opinions any more than I want to hear all of theirs. Some are good to hear; some spark great discussion. Some, though, are just people spewing word vomit. Honestly, that's how it is after a while because I tune them out.

Lately I've heard a few opinions on my decision to have surgery. Is it cosmetic? Absolutely. Was it medically necessary? Not at all. Did I do it just because I didn't like how I looked and I wanted to look better? I sure did! I did it for me though... Because I didn't like what I saw in the mirror. It's rare that anyone else would see my body in that state. I certainly don't run around naked for the fun of it.

I started thinking about my surgery....

What impact does my surgery have on anyone else? It doesn't. Sometimes I think people form their opinions based on jealousy.... That they haven't lost as much weight, that they cannot afford it, that they just can't do it for whatever reason... There are also people who I honestly believe are just against it because it is not medically necessary.  Whatever the reason, even jealousy, it doesn't bother me that people are against it.  I'm against things that other people do too...FOR ME.

Sometimes we forget that just because something isn't right for us, doesn't mean it isn't right for someone else.  We're all unique people and do things that our best for our lives.

I'm using something fairly political, religious, and a topic most people avoid in general, to illustrate my point.

Some people are pro-choice.  Some may say a woman has the right decide what she wants; it's her body. They're absolutely correct; it is her body. It's not theirs. It's not mine.  While that may not be the choice that I would make in my life, it doesn't mean that for someone else can't make that choice. I'm not talking about the subject of abortion in general... I do not want to get into that discussion in a post. I don't want comments attacking me for what I may say about it.  This blog is not about that, anyway. That being said, would I do it? No. I couldn't... It's just not a choice for me. 

Just like surgery isn't a choice for someone else.

I find it interesting though when people say that a woman should choose what happens to her body (on the subject of abortion) but then those same people can turn around and judge me for having surgery. Ummm... Excuse me? Based on the "it's her body" argument, how is it that people can think one is okay and the other is not? If you're saying "it's her body," remember that when you hear that I had surgery.

In my opinion, if "it's her body" is a justification for one procedure it should also be a justification for another procedure.

Just sayin'...

It's MY body.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Something I Haven't Thought About

I've written many times about being the fat girl, feeling like the fat girl, and probably a bit about how it felt to be judged as the fat girl.  People didn't take the time to get to know me. They saw me for what I looked like. They didn't take time to get to know me; they really didn't care. I'm sure some passed judgement and thought "what a cow."

I don't think anyone is non-judgemental. I'll admit to being that way sometimes. At times I think, "you jerk that wasn't nice!" At other times I'm just plain mean about it and even though I know it's not nice, I think it anyway. That's usually reserved for special circumstances involving people I don't particularly care for. Yes, I sometimes have Mean Girl Syndrome..In my head anyway. I'm not outwardly mean. Honestly though, who doesn't?

I got off-track (what else is new?).  I was saying that I've always felt the hurt of being the at girl. Even now that I'm no longer the fat girl, I still feel that way sometimes.  I look at other fat girls and have empathy (unless I don't like them for another reason).  I realize that I don't know their stories. Maybe they're happy and just fine with how they are (Good for them!!!). Maybe they're unhappy. I don't know why they're fat. Whatever it for them, I empathize with the feeling of how other people treat them. Sometimes I wanna say, "hey...we're alike." Other times I wanna "save" them. Most of time I just feel empathy for a moment and that's it. 

There's a new side to this that I didn't even consider...

I'm not the fat girl. People (other than me and a jerk here and there) don't see me as the fat girl. The fat girls? They don't know I once was one. They probably think I've been healthy forever. I never considered the fact that maybe when I look at them they think I'm judging them... They may think I don't understand them. They may not understand me.

I've heard people talk about me behind my back, which means just out of ear shot because so many people are such awesome grown-ups...Not that I'm better because I may have responded with my own just out of ear shot remark. They make nasty comments about my outfit or whatever. I've been guilty of that.

Honestly when I think or say something like that it is for one of two reasons... One, I am jealous over something (better hair; bigger boobs) or I'm honestly revolted at the sight of them. As for me... Now I don't know where I fall... In the past I was sure I fell under revolting. Who would be jealous of fat me? I mean, I knew where I stood. Or thought I did. Now I could be in either category (although I could find 100 people who disagree with revolting quite easily).  Basically I'm saying that I hear the comments from "the haters."

Time out.... Girls are jealous of me!?

I'm not just assuming this. This was brought to my attention by someone else and now I've just had time to process it a bit and I "get" what was said. I'm really no longer the fat girl. Now I'm judged for being... "the hot girl" (someone else's words; I'm not so in love with myself that I'd say that). More than that; when I look at the fat girl and she thinks I'm judging her she might be judging me back... Assuming that I'm healthy and I don't know what it's like, and promptly deciding I'm a jerk.

I have never even considered being in that role...I know my story. I know where I've come from. No one else knows that though. Now I might be judged for being healthy rather than for being fat. Now that I have more confidence it doesn't bother me as much.

The bottom line is that no matter what you look like, love yourself. Be confident. There will always be people in life who judge you. And you'll judge others too. It's human nature. What's important though is that you love you and you see yourself in a positive way. 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Anxious for Surgery.

I want more surgery. I wish I could have more surgery this fall but it's just not possible. I don't have enough time off saved up (due to having been off in the spring for my last surgery). I also don't want to put anything else on my Care Credit account until my most recent surgery is paid off. It works like a credit card, but if paid off within a year, I don't have to pay the insane interest rate. That's what I'm going for at this point.  $800 a month is enough for now... I don't need six months of even higher payments. I also registered for a half marathon in February. I'm certainly not going to be in any condition to do a half marathon if I have surgery in November or December.

For those reasons, I have to wait.

I'm not good at waiting. In fact, I am quite impatient when I want something. I don't like waiting, when I want something to happen I'm ready to spring into action immediately. Sometimes that can lead me being a little impulsive but generally when I want something big to happen, I have at least a week or so to think it over. I don't make huge, life altering decisions on a whim. I'm too cautious for that... Interesting that a person can be so impatient and so cautious at the same time, isn't it? I guess it depends on what it is and the situation.

Despite knowing that my next surgery won't happen until next year, I remain anxious.  I remember writing that I was going to wait until next fall to have it done. I hated how it was hot and I had to wear that compression garment. I hated that I couldn't swim or wear the cute summer clothes that I wanted to wear because of it. 

Now that I'm a decent amount of time away from surgery, it really wasn't THAT bad.  It was only part of the summer. I was able to take it off just after the 4th of July, and before that I was down to just part of the time (but I chose to wear it all the time). I got to enjoy half of the summer, so that's better than none of it!

I've changed my mind - again. I do not want to wait until next fall. That's still over a year away. I don't think I can last that long.  I want my lower body lift done soooo badly. The skin on my hips and thighs drives me nuts. My thighs are ugly. I already have some cellulite (thanks, genetics) but excess skin on top of that is a nightmare. That little bit of skin on each hip bothers me too, as does my excess arm skin.

As far as my thighs are concerned, I know that my full results aren't going to show until about a year after surgery... I know that I'm not even at the six month mark. I know my skin will continue to heal and that it won't look as bad for long, but it bothers me.  I doubt that it will improve to the point that I want it to.

I know that it isn't fat, but it makes me feel fat. Interestingly because that's MY perception, I feel like other people must look at me in the same way. I still feel like the fat girl.  It's annoying because I know I'm not. I've lost weight. But then my ugly thighs and I hang out with someone with amazing legs and I look at how awful I must look in pictures, next to those nice legs.

I know I've come a long way. I should be, and am, happy with what I've accomplished. Overall I feel good about myself. My health is good. I can do more than I ever could, or wanted to, in the past. I've likely added years to my life, in terms of my health. I look better. I feel more confident. Because of those things I'm happier...And yes I can honestly say I'm happier because I've lost weight. My attitude and thought patterns wouldn't have changed had I not lost the weight.

Anyway, I'm so ready for more surgery. I can't wait to get these last couple areas corrected so that I can finally look at myself and like what I see. I know that, in general, most of us see our flaws no matter what. I'm sure I will. I'm not going to be perfect and I don't expect to be. I just want to look better and feel happier about how I look.

Some people wear their skin like a badge of honor. That's not me. I don't like it. I actually prefer the look of it when filled out with fat. At least then I don't look like I have the body of some old woman. Some people opt to do surgery and others do not. This is the path I want to take. This is the decision that's right for me.

I'll wear my scars as a badge of honor.  I look at my tummy tuck scar now and I like it. Sure, it's ugly.... I mean, it's a scar! That scar is the reminder of the work I've done. Sometimes I run my fingers over it to see what it feels like and I'm amazed that it is there. Amazed because I didn't think I would ever lose all that weight.  Having gone through surgery is my motivation to continue to live healthy, because wasting over twenty thousand dollars (by the time I'm done) isn't something that I'm going to do.

I suppose that's it... My body has, once again, been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe that's vanity, maybe it's not. I don't know. I suppose it's how you look at it.  All I know is that I want to look the best I possibly can. I'm happy overall but that will make me even happier. It's what I want to do in order to feel a little better about myself....


Friday, September 7, 2012

Ohhhhh, Friday.

I'm glad it's Friday, even if this Friday started out a bit like a Monday.  Or a Tuesday. Tuesdays always throw me off because it's trash day. You'd be surprised at how taking the trash to the curb can cause a routine to be different. Of course that's because I only give myself an extra 30 seconds, okay maybe a minute, to take the trash out. Instead of making two trips into the house, I come out with my purse, work bag, most recent trash bag, travel mug of coffee, and frequently a protein shake. I have my hands full. I don't know why, but I rarely allow myself to go back into the house. I generally go to the garage, put my stuff in the car, and then take the trash to the curb. Why this can cause so much extra chaos is beyond me. Maybe it's because I'm trying to carry too much? Anyway, Mondays can be chaotic just because "blahhh it's Monday," but often it's my Tuesdays that mess with my routine. It always seems like anything that is going to go awry happens on a Tuesday.

This morning felt a bit like a Tuesday. It was going well until I brushed my teeth. For some reason I always do this last. I often get toothpaste on my shirt. Why do I continue to do this last? I don't know. It's habit, maybe? Anyway, so this morning I manage to get a little toothpaste on my shirt. I raced to my closet to find another work appropriate shirt that would go with my outfit and had no luck. I had a matter of seconds, so it was a glance. Of course the things I have in the front of my closet are dresses, skirts, coats, and shirts that didn't match. I decided to just try to scrub it out. As anyone who has ever gotten toothpaste on their shirt knows, this just does not happen. Once it's there, it's there. I try and try throughout the day to scrub it out but it stays. Oh well. I thought my name tag would cover it, so I went to work with toothpaste on my shirt.  Okay really that's all that happened.  I guess it wasn't that big of a deal.

I got to work and noticed I had more than one little spot of toothpaste on my shirt.  I managed to have several little spots trail down the front of my shirt, a spot every few inches. HOW did I not notice that?! I also have a spot on my jeans. On my jeans? I do not sit when I brush my teeth. Somehow, though, there it is... On the thigh of my jeans. Amazing. Oh and then I looked in the mirror and I had some on my face. WOW! I was a mess this morning. Clearly I was in a hurry because I didn't notice all of this. Oh well... At least people know that I'm quite thorough about my teeth brushing. Hey, oral hygiene is important!!

I suppose the toothpaste wouldn't bother me as much if my shirt wasn't a bit too baggy. It's a large but I thought "ohhh it can't be that bad" so I wore it anyway. I haven't worn it in a while (now I remember why!) and it's cute soooo... I wore it. In addition to my shirt being a little too big, little white spots now adorn it. I was good with the patches of sequins. I didn't need any additional decoration.

Why stop there though? My work jeans are a bit baggy. They are a size too big and it shows. I guess that's why they're work jeans. They're not so baggy that they're sloppy but they're just baggy enough that I don't like to wear them other places. A belt helps hold them up, but they do hang off of the butt a bit, and are a tad baggy in the thighs. Usually they're not so bad on their own.

Combine them with a shirt that's a little too baggy. And toothpaste. I felt like a mess this morning!! I am sure it wasn't nearly as bad as it was to me, but I felt off because of it. A lot of people run around in baggy clothes. I do not particularly enjoy them. I used to hide under clothes that were too big; too baggy. Baggy clothes do NOTHING good for your figure. They just make you look sloppy and big. I like things that are we;;-fitted (not tight because that has a bad effect too!). Ill-fitting clothes annoy me. Ill-fitting clothes with spots of toothpaste annoy me even more.

Other than that it wasn't a bad day (okay that didn't actually make it a bad day).

I'm feeling a bit better; not great but better. I'm still coughing. My nose is still draining. I still have a headache. I'm still tired. It's not as bad though...None of it! Any small improvement is good. I hope to be back to normal by early next week. I'm ready to ease back into some running! Like with any break, especially one that involves respiratory crud, it'll take time to get back up to pace and distance. Oh well. I'll walk as needed.

On a positive note, I managed to drop three pounds over night! I'm sure that was just excess fluid from last weekend, eating salty foods earlier in the week, and some fluid retention because of... health reasons. Since Tuesday I've dropped four pounds.  I hate this cycle.... Gain a good five, or more, from retention, lose it just in time to gain it again. Freakin' hormones. Despite being sick, I've eaten and ended up in my calorie range. My food choices were not great, but at least I got calories in me. The other option was eat nothing because I had no appetite. For some reason the things that sounded good were not healthy. I suppose it was a bit like eating comfort foods. Except most actual food had no appeal. Nor did the idea of having to cook something.

Except cookies. I baked cookies (Gluten free! As though that makes a HUGE difference.) a couple nights ago and those have been my main source of caloric intake. Clearly I didn't eat a lot because one cookie was 100 calories. They were peanut butter, so at least they had a little protein....Right?

Honestly those cookies were the best tasting thing I ate all week.

Here's the recipe I used (altered slightly from the original):

1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used natural, of course)
1 cup white sugar (I didn't have any so I subbed light brown sugar - which gave it a yummy flavor)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg (or equivalent liquid egg substitute, if you please)
pure vanilla extract - I'd guess a teaspoon would be satisfactory but since the recipe didn't call of it, I just dumped a little in. A teaspoon is probably about what I used (based on my baking experience and ability to eye-ball it).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix peanut butter and sugar together. I hand mixed. It doesn't take long.
Beat in baking powder. I continued used a whisk.
Add egg. Continue whisking until combined.
Add vanilla. Whisk until combined.

Roll dough into small balls. Put on baking sheet. Flatten (I used the heel of my hand). In the original recipe, you'd roll the balls in white sugar, then flatten them with a fork. I didn't want to use extra sugar (and didn't know how well brown sugar would work for that) so I just used my hand. it worked.

Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on the pan for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Enjoy!  Also known as... Try not to eat too many!

I made mine small enough to yield 20 cookies. The original recipe makes 10-12.

Original Recipe

Hope your weekend is off to a healthy start! Have a good one!!


Difficulties and Expectations

Hmmm... Where to start? With the difficulties or the expectations?

I suppose I'll get the difficulties out of the way, starting with a disclaimer that this is personal, medical, and something not everyone may want to read. Continue reading at your own risk.

I just have to say that it is sometimes near torture being female (okay, there's your clue to stop reading if you haven't). A med that I'm on was changed about two months ago...Well, not the med itself but the brand. This med was supposed to help regulate something within my body... I've taken it for years for that very reason. For the second month in a row, I've been cursed with living through female issues too frequently and for too long. GAH!

First, this can effect so many things within the body. I have my suspicions that other than causing me to have frequent, long-lasting female issues it's caused some weight-related side effects.  I've been working out a lot... Some days I workout like a beast.  I'll admit I have moments where I eat things I should not and I indulge in drinks. However, those are not frequent. They should not be having this type of effect on my body.  Anyway, so I can't lose weight. But every few weeks I'm gaining thanks to fluid retention, it goes away but sometimes I can hold onto a lot of water... I've had times in the past that I have gone up at least ten pounds because of retention. I'm sure this is some of it.

I try not to focus on the scale, but imagine my disappointment of a good week of working out and healthy eating, and finding that I'd gained two pounds. This makes me a very unhappy camper.  Combine that with the crabby mood, slight insomnia, and level of exhaustion I'm currently experiencing and I'm just a delight (ha!). Luckily for me (actually, for everyone else in my life) my crabby moments have not been when I've been around people.  Then the crabby disappears and I want to burst into tears.

Like today... I was thinking about life, in general... What I want, what I don't want, and what I'm unsure about. I'm quickly approaching 32. I'm not married and honestly I'm not sure if I want that or not. The idea of it frightens me a little. What I do want is to be a Mother... More than anything else. I don't think my life will be complete without a child. I have this idea in mind that if I'm 35, unmarried and without child (which will happen if I'm not married) I'm going to adopt. Adoption can be a lengthy process... I'm guessing that single parent adoption may take even longer. So... 35 is only a little over 3 years away. Average wait time for an adoption is about a year and a half...I think that stat was for couples. I have double that, but I don't want to take any chances. I don't know why I picked 35 as my magic age, but if I want to be a Mom at 35 and I adopt...I'll have to start that process earlier.

Here's the other thing... Lately I've had a bit of the baby fever. Maybe the proverbial biological clock is starting to tick? Loudly? I've had the opportunity to accomplish a lot in my life and I know that, for me, that's what's next. 

Anyway...Thinking about all of this took me from crabby to tears, in an instant. I don't know why I was crying...If It was thoughts of a happy future or just knowing what I want. I don't think it was sadness... I don't feel sad about not being a Mother (yet).  So this mood insanity is going to be here for a little while. In fact, based on when it should occur, it is early.

I fear that I am facing another two weeks of crazy emotions.  This little difficulty had better straighten out soon. I cannot deal with this every couple weeks - that's nuts!! A friend gave me a suggestion that I plan to try. I'll give it a little while and if it things don't change, I'll be seeing my doc to change something! This isn't normal and I refuse to make my body go through that.

As for the expectations...

First, I am expecting a great, fun-filled weekend. It's just not getting here fast enough. I'm excited to spend a little time in the city, watching some baseball, and having great bonding time with my cousin for her birthday weekend...Hoping to meet up with other friends too.

I ordered some DVDs from Groupon (yay for a deal!) that came in the mail today. As soon as I finish this, I'm off to try a new workout routine. It's another Beachbody set, Rockin' Body. Yes, I've signed up with Team Beachbody...I could order from the website...BUT the Groupon was an awesome deal so I bought it there instead. I'm sure that Beachbody will still make a good profit off of it anyway, so I don't feel at all guilty about not buying directly from the site. Hmmm... Can you get fired as a coach? :)

I am pretty excited to go start the routine and see what it's all about. I have a high expectation that it will be a good calorie blasting workout.... In fact, I'm excited to start so I'm going to wrap this up and get down to my little gym and start! I'll try to review it later this evening.

Hope your week has been off to a great start!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Walk. Cough.

My walk idea for last night was successful. I was slow (walked my digs and they slow me down anyway), but it was good to get out. I cannot stand just laying around. I was pretty exhausted when I finished.

I felt a little better today so I decided to walk the dogs again this evening. I can tell I've been sick! I was slow again tonight. I felt pretty much the same as last night but maybe not quite as exhausted.

As yucky as I felt when I finished, I also felt good. I'm not on my death bed. I can do something. It may not be up to my typical workout standard but it was activity. It was better than laying on the couch.

I could've used being sick as an excuse. I didn't. My body need exercise. I feel that a exercise, within reason, can help people feel a little better.

I didn't think that when I finished, couldn't stop coughing and just breathing hurt. I was also short of breath and gagging, thanks to the coughing. I don't like feeling that way. I've sat for a while and rested. Now I feel like it was good for me. I didn't push too hard but I felt it.

This made me think about excuses. People will find lots of excuses to miss a workout. Unless I'm really sick or exercise is harmful, I find something that I can do.

People use their health as an excuse. They say they can't do something because of allergies. I have allergies. When going outside is too hard on me, I workout inside. Asthma is another big one. I know many people with asthma, and other breathing difficulties, who can do some sort of exercise. If you can walk around a store, you can walk around the block.

Sometimes you're really exhausted and need a break. That's okay. Breaks are good for you too. Sometimes your body needs a rest day. There are times you really can't workout. That's not what I'm taking about.

I'm talking about the people who really do not want to exercise so they find an excuse. They don't realize that not exercising doesn't hurt anyone else. If you don't want to exercise that's fine. It has nothing to do with me...


Don't whine to me about how you want to lose weight though. I won't be a good listener. To lose weight and get healthy you need to change your lifestyle and BE healthy. Being healthy includes exercise.

"You've gotta move it to lose it."


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Playing Catch-Up and a Cold

The end of last week and the weekend were busy and I knew I probably wouldn't have much time to post.... Here's the re-cap.

Thursday I was going to workout but didn't. My allergies started acting up and I had a lot of sinus pressure, was tiring easily, and felt as though my energy was zapped. Instead of working out I cleaned my room and organized my closet. I also packed for the weekend, which usually takes a little time. I also went through the mounting pile of mail (catalogs and other random things that I usually set aside to look at when I have time), and picked up the kitchen a little.... There wasn't much to do but I felt like I had to do something. I cannot stand to just lay around and do nothing, even when I feel yucky. I went to bed early and planned to get up and do a workout on Friday morning because I needed to do SOMETHING since I was headed out of town right after work.

I did get up early and did a walk with a little light jogging...Not too much, but I got some cardio in and felt good about it. My allergies were still bothering me, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. After work I was packed for a weekend in the city. To me it doesn't matter if you can go for the day and come home, there's something different about going and staying.

I had a good weekend.. My cousin and I did some shopping, took in a baseball game (sadly our team lost), had some dinner, and went out to meet up with some friends for the evening. We headed home Sunday since she had to work Monday. I spent the afternoon at my parents' house, just kind of lounging around because by afternoon I had developed a horrible cough and couldn't stop sneezing or blowing my nose. Maybe what had been allergies causing sinus issues was really something more? Or it just turned into something more because I was busy all weekend. Luckily I still had Monday off, and spent most of it babysitting my cousin's daughter. I still didn't feel well, but she is just getting over the same thing (probably caught it from her!). When it was nap time, we both napped. I had dinner with my parents' before heading home. I didn't do much of anything after I got home, as I was still feeling pretty yucky.

Tuesday came and it was back to work... What an awful day. It felt like a Monday. I couldn't find my name tag, but later found it under the seat of my car. At least it wasn't lost, I guess. I worked half a day because I was still feeling so yucky. My boss actually suggested I leave early. So? I did. I went to the store and bought some more meds, soup, and a couple other things, and headed home. I spent most of the afternoon laying around, and took a pretty decent nap on the couch. I decided that I should try to at least accomplish something so I unpacked from the weekend. That took me... A while. I'd do a little, get exhausted, and I'd have to go rest for a while. I had a hard time just laying there though... I had to get up and move around a little. I also managed to unload the dishwasher and put the clean dishes away. That was pretty much the extent of my activity for the day. I dozed off on the couch again later in the evening. I was even feeling too tired to sit up and write a blog post. Crazy, huh?

Again, I went to bed pretty early and despite taking meds I didn't stay asleep for very long... I was up after a few hours, then about every hour to hour and a half after that. I got up and took more meds when I could, but I kept waking up coughing like crazy.

Needless to say I have not worked out since Friday morning. The weekend was busy, and despite taking my laptop, workout DVDs, and clothes with me, I just did not get time to workout when we were in the city. Then I started coughing, sneezing, and wheezing, and didn't workout Sunday afternoon or Monday. Obviously yesterday was a bust too.

UGH! I hate that. I think that's why I feel the need to move around and at least do SOMETHING. I weighed myself this morning and despite a weekend full of sodium-laden foods my weight wasn't bad. I think I was up a pound from what I was last week, although I've been so foggy brained it's hard to remember. Anyway, it was nothing bad and I am sure that will be gone quickly...Probably by tomorrow. I just have to be sure to drink my water.

I didn't drink as much yesterday as I usually do but still drank more than most people tend to. I haven't had an appetite and things are tasting different. I actually ate this taco dip type stuff and baked chips for both lunch and dinner....NOT healthy I know, but at least it was all low fat (although full of more sodium!). I had made some soup for dinner but it did not taste good to me. I don't know if it was that I had a cold or it was the soup. I bought low sodium canned chicken noodle and the flavor was just awful. Maybe the missing sodium was the key to better tasting soup? I suppose it wasn't bad that I didn't eat it... It was just natural, processed, yuck in a can. Who wants to eat that anyway!?

I slept in this morning because I'm still not feeling well. I've heard that this yucky stuff that I have is going around and in some people it's turned into bronchitis. I'm hoping it'll go away in a few more days, without a trip to the doc or antibiotics. I think if it's not better by early next week, I will call the doc. Other than being tired, as the day went on a felt a little better. My boss offered for me to go home early, but I wanted to stick it out rather than use up my hours... I had paperwork to do anyway. My goal for today is to just walk... Nothing spectacular in terms of exercise, but something. With this lack of energy it might be quite the workout. I thought that, even if it is light, some cardio is better than no exercise at all. I can't wait to start feeling better so I can get back to morning DVD workouts and more intense evening cardio sessions. Hopefully it will be soon!!! Until then, I'll walk.