Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Trip to the Doc...

Well, kinda. It was a trip to the PA who works under my doc. I hadn't had lab draws done in quite a while so I thought it was probably time to go check-in again. I've been feeling tired and kind of run down lately and in the past my anemia caused it. I've been taking vitamins and iron, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to have things checked over again. I was also concerned about my weight and how I gained about 20 pounds prior to surgery (over about a year and a half) and since surgery I'm up 30 from my lowest weight. I thought it would be good to check things out and make sure there's nothing medical going on in my body. And if there is? I'll deal with it in whatever method he suggests. I also told him how I track everything, stick to a calorie range, and workout five or six days a week, yet I've gained... I've changed nothing in my habits and instead of maintaining I went up. He seemed to understand where I was coming from and said, "it's not fair, is it?" BINGO. Finally...Someone understands my current frustration of working my butt off for nothing. He agreed to do labs since it's been a while. He's checking my blood count, thyroid, and Vitamin D levels. If there's something going on medical, it will likely show up on those tests. Most of the lab results will be back tomorrow except my Vitamin D level which may take a couple more days. If something is "off" in my body, he'll give me some new recommendations of things to try. He mentioned that a lot of people have had low vitamin D levels, so if it's that, I'll just have to start a vitamin D supplement. Easy enough. That will address the feeling fatigued part of things. 

 We also discussed my current antidepressant medication, Wellbutrin. I've been on it for... A while now. Like years. Maybe six or seven, something like that. Wellbutrin is what helped me lose the first 50 pounds (when I wasn't really trying). It is possible that after this amount of time, it's run its course. The new med we discussed has a side effect of weight loss, rather than weight gain, like the Wellbutrin. He's hopefully that a change in med will help me to lose some more weight. He also asked about my mood and if I feel like the Wellbutrin is as effective as it had been. When I thought about it, I don't think that it is. I have far more moody days. And depending on where I am in my cycle I can be a beast. He said that a new med would help address the PMDD too. After talking with him about it, I'm going to try Cymbalta. He sounded pretty confident that Cymbalta will work for me and he thinks I'll be pleased with it. 

He gave me some samples and for a week I'll take a lower dose with half of one of my Wellbutrin tabs. After a week, I'll be done with my Wellbutrin and will start an increased dose of the Cymbalta. Given that Wellbutrin helped me lose weight (without much trying), I'm confident that my body will react the similarly to Cymbalta. I should start seeing results of the Cymbalta in two or three weeks. If my weight is not changing in about a month, I'll call him back and we'll go to the next plan.

 The next plan is pretty easy... He'll look at adding an appetite supressant to my regime to see if that helps (which it should!). I don't feel that I'm eating too much or hungry all the time, but maybe that will help. I do have times when I get hungry but they seem to make sense.... And considering that I track everything, I know I'm within my calorie range. BUT if he's suggesting it, it's worth a try. I'm really hoping that the Cymbalta does the trick and I don't have to add something else. I'm not one to jump on the pill bandwagon and have not been an advocate for drugs specifically designed for weight loss. I'm a little reluctant about taking something ilke that, but under the care of a medical professional, I'd consider it. 

 Naturally I visited Google to see what other people said about Cymbalta. Results are mixed. Despite the claim that you will either maintain or lose weight on Cymbalta, other people noted considerable weight gain. Obviously I'm going to monitor this and if the scale is going in the wrong direction (up, obviously) I'll be calling for an appointment. Some of why others may have gained is the improvement of mood. When some people are down, they don't eat. Obviously when you feel better and start eating more often you're going to gain weight. Hopefully the med itself will not cause weight gain. 

 Overall, I'm feeling quite positive about my visit today and with the plan. I'm glad we have a plan in place! I do find it funny that when I was considerably larger I never brought up my weight. I think I was too embarrassed or maybe didn't think anything would work. Or I just didn't care so much about it. I brought it up today because I've seen a gain and it bothers me. I'm a firm believer in seeking out help when you need it... With this, I need some help! 

I suppose that's about it for my update now... I need to get a workout done. Today is cardio and abs. I'm honestly not feeling the cardio part of my workout. Again, I am SO tired. I really could take a nap right now. I have no reason to be tired today... I was in bed shortly after 10 last night and fell asleep fast. My alarm didn't go off until 6:30 this morning. I was going to get up and bike but felt tired and wanted more sleep. So I slept until about 7:30 (off and on since I hit the snooze button). I slept over eight hours and feel tired. I should feel rested, not like I'm fighting to stay awake! My eyes actually hurt and want to close this afternoon. My motivation to workout is just not there. At all. It wasn't yesterday either. Although I started my workout late yesterday, I still did it. I did weights (leg day) and then walked the dogs for about 45 minutes. I wasn't feeling up to running yesterday either (because I was so dang tired). I still love to run but when you feel worn out, getting the energy to do it is really, really difficult. It looks like rain so I'm not sure if I will walk the dogs today or not. 

 As of now my plan is to go do abs, then bike for half an hour. If the weather is decent, I'll probably walk the dogs for another half hour or just walk on the treadmill. I feel like biking alone isn't enough cardio/enough calorie burn. But running? I just don't think I have it in me today.... I really wish I wasn't so tired so I could put my all into a good run!! UGH!

 I've eaten good all day - healthy, of course. I'm under my 1500 calorie goal, and will still be under it after dinner. Right now I'm just aiming for being over 1200 for the day. See? It's not like I'm ravenous and eating a lot. I'm actually not all that hungry and have struggled to eat enough the last two days. I'm not sure what's for dinner yet, but I'm thinking leftovers from Friday sound good - grilled chicken and sweet potato "fries." I don't really feel like cooking so using my friend the microwave sounds like a good idea to me! 

 I hope you're having a great week!! 


Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day!

I have been so excited to write this post! Last week I received my box from the FPP exchange and immedieately ripped into it! I found lots of yummy looking treats inside, some I hadn't tried or even heard of! I KNEW I was going to be pleased with this box. Lauren did a fantastic job putting my package together! She sent some local items as well as some items from Trader Joe's (a favorite of mine despite not having one near by!). I haven't tried everything yet but am well on my way! 

Here's a summary of what was in the box: 

Trader Joe's Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies- 

To. Die. For. Seriously. These are, so far, my favorite from the box! I'm not a huge sweet eater but I really, really liked these cookies.

Trader Joe's Crunchy Curls (lentil and potato snack) - 

These are delicious! They're a healthier alternative to eating your typical potato chip. They're tasty on their own as well as dipped in something.  

Butler's Texas Gold -

Gourmet BBQ sauce. I made some chicken last week for dinner and decided to use this sauce for it. I'll admit that when I opened it and smelled it, I was a little concerned about whether or not I'd like it. It had a very strong smell to it - almost like vinegar and made my eyes tingle a little. I thought for sure this stuff was going to have one heck of a burn. BUT, I heated it up anyway! As instructed, I heated the sauce on the stove and then brushed it on the chicken as it was grilling. The chicken? Was amazing!!! The sauce didn't taste strong or like vinegar at all. It complimented the chicken really well and I think it helped make it a little jucier. Grilling it seemed to catch the flavor of the sauce. Sometimes when I make BBQ chicken or other things, I like extra sauce on the side. There was no need for it with this! The flavor was wonderful. My boyfriend loved it too! 

Trader Joe's Omega Trek Mix - 

Another great snack! This is a mix of nuts and cranberries and is very tasty. I think it would be perfect with some yogurt or even mixed with plain oatmeal, to give it a little something extra. 

Now for the two items I have not tried (yet!)....

Trader Joe's Hot & Sweet Mustard- 

Looks yummy in the package. I'm not sure what I will do with it yet but I'll come up with something. I imagine it will be good on a standard hot dog or burger or something, but I want to use it to make something a bit more creative. I still need to Google some recipes using mustard.

Trader Joe's 10 Minute Farro - 

I haven't tried this yet simply because I haven't taken the time. Lauren included a recipe that I need to try soon! I forgot to pick up the things I didn't have on hand when I was at the store the other day, but will be sure to add them to my list for my next shopping trip this weekend. I will try to remember to post about the recipe after I make it! 

I'm very happy with my first FPP box! It was very exciting to receive it and to try some new things. Everything that she put in the box was something new to me, which made it even more fun! I'm honestly not sure if it was more fun to puchase and send items or to receive them! I have already signed up to do it again next month! If you'd like more information, please visit the sign-up page at 

I've obviously enjoyed this experience of I wouldn't have signed up again. I'd definitely encourage you to look into it if you like to try new things. You only spend about $20 total, depending on shipping. $15 is spent on various food products that you'd like to send to someone. In return you receive your own box of the same value. It's nice to try new things - and it cuts down on grocery shopping a little bit! 

Here is a photo of my box right after I tore into it: 


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Too Much Tuesday

I have to say.... I'm glad this day is over! I was tired all day and when thing at work got hectic I was just not in the mood to deal with anything. Of course I did what I needed to do but was relieved when the day was over. 

I think I'm getting a cold which really doesn't help. At all. My throat had been scratchy and I feel a though I have a slight fever. That's just making me more tired than I was to begin with. I'm definitely ready for some good sleep tonight!! 

Despite not feeling well I worked out. I did my weight circuit (leg day!) and then walked the dogs for a while. Because I'm all stuffy, scratchy, and blah on general, running wasn't happening. I think that's why I biked yesterday.... This cold must have been coming on. 

I ate healthy today and drank all of my water. This is week three of my new workout plan and it is going well do far! I really hope this helps boost my weight loss and makes me feel better. 

Tomorrow is my doc appointment so I guess we will see if anything is out of whack. Part of me hopes everything is fine and another part of me kinda wishes something is off.... At least I could explain my lack of weight loss if there is! If not, it's probably still swelling. All that will hope that is time and healthy behaviors. 

Well I think I'm headed to bed! I'm so tired and rest will do me good. I'm planning to do some biking before I leave for my appointment tomorrow. After work I will do weights (abs) and hopefully I'll feel up to running. 

Tomorrow is FPP reveal day so stay tuned for a post about my box of goodies!!! 


Monday, July 29, 2013

The Weekend Re-Cap

I didn't have a chance to post on Friday because I was a pretty busy girl! It ended up being a cold and rainy day (boo!), not at all what one would expect during the end of July. It was that way all weekend and has been about the same today. It's actually been a nice break from the heat, so I'm not complaining (too much!). 

Anyway... I got up Friday morning and just kind of lounged for a bit. Then I did my workout (back, abs, and cardio). I met up with a friend and took her out for lunch for her birthday....Kept it fairly healthy, of course! I then went up to a town about 45 minutes away (one of the closest towns with a health food store). It was a nice day to just get out and have some me time. I spent probably half an hour in the store and bought a ton of stuff...Mostly snack type foods but I did find some things I've been wanting to try. It was a good trip - expensive, but good!! After that I swung by the K-Mart store to check for a couple things. They carry Doc McStuffins clothing and my little "niece" (cousin's daughter) LOVES Doc, so I was off in search of something for her. Last time I was there they didn't have anything. This time I managed to find a t-shirt for her. Yay! I also picked up something little for my boyfriend's cousin.

 I then headed back to my parents' town (where I generally spend most of my time!) and got the groceries that I didn't get at the organic store. Then I picked my dogs up from my Dad's shop and headed home to clean the house up a bit before my boyfriend came over. We made dinner and just spent the night hanging out. 

He surprised me with a new Bears t-shirt that he picked up when he was shopping. It was a nice surprise! I'm not a "give me presents" kind of person and focus more on little things (like I broke glass twice yesterday and he helped me clean it up -seriously little things!) but sometimes unexpected little surprises are nice!! Little does he know that I ordered him a little something last week and it should be here soon. I hope! I had to fib a bit about the package I'm waiting for. I told him I'd ordered something for me... Hey, I want it to remain a surprise. Little fibs are okay then, right? I'm not a fan of lying, even with something that small, so I almost spilled the beans on Saturday. 

We spent the rest of the weekend doing the same. We've been so busy lately that we haven't really had anytime to just hang out and spend time together (just the two of us). We had a couple invites to do things on Saturday/Saturday night but we opted to stay in. And it was wonderful!! The entire weekend was rainy and cold so other than a couple trips to a local grocery and convenience store, we didn't even go anywhere. We even spent part of Saturday napping! I rarely get to do that! I love spending time with family and friends but it was one of the nicest weekends I've had in a while. I (we) needed it and enjoyed every minute of it! I really like that it felt like I had a weekend for once! I'm ready for more weekends like that! It really doesn't matter if we do nothing at all, time spent together is something I really cherish.

 Wow I sound like a big cornball today! I can't help it... That's me! 

As far as today; it's been good. Work went well; luckily it was busy enough that I didn't feel like it was one of those horrible Mondays that drug on. Other than being a little tired, it was a good Monday. Eating has been good today, overall. I made some room for a treat in my day, but it's calculated into my daily calories. I will workout after I post this (although I'm feeling tired and would much rather just relax!). 

Today is shoulders and triceps day. I really don't mind those exercises. I plan on doing some cardio today too, but we'll see. Yesterday I, somehow, managed to half way fall when I was getting something from the refrigerator. I caught myself but when I did, I twisted and managed to pull (I think) a muscle toward the top of my inner thigh. It will depend on how my leg feels when I start to run. If nothing else I'll just walk, or maybe even try to bike for a bit. I will have to use trial and error to figure it out. 

Yesterday was kind of a rough day for me... I broke a champagne glass (it totally just fell out of the cupboard at me!), a glass bowl that was on a table in the living room, spilled a Bloody Mary on the couch, and sustained the injury. Perhaps I should've had more than a Bloody Mary or two (probably, actually, three) for breakfast! If my defense, that's all I had until dinner time. Also? That is NOT a healthy way of obtaining your daily calories or a healthy eating plan. It's also not something I do often. 

On another note, I think I'm past my semi-mental weight-related break down. Stupid scale. On Friday my boyfriend made a comment that it looks like the swelling on my legs is going down. Today a co-worker commented that I look like I've lost more weight. Could it be that I'm finally moving in the right direction? I FEEL like I'm getting back into shape. Having others notice definitely helps me feel a little better about it. I know that it takes time and I just have to keep doing what I know is right.... One step at a time!

 I suppose that's about it for now. I'm starting to feel a little tired, so I should probably go get my workout done before I decide that I'm too tired and don't want to do it. It's better to get it done and out of the way! 

I hope you had a fantastic weekend and that you have a great week!! 


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday

First, I'm having a better day today. I've been in a pretty good mood most of the day. This afternoon I started to feel tired and generally when I'm tired I get a little more emotional. I started thinking about weight loss and how it's so hard sometimes...And sometimes others just do not understand the struggle. 

I also find it hard to be doing everything right only to gain, or plateau (even with changes!), and to see all these other people hardly doing anything and losing. I work my tail off and don't see many changes. Talk about frustrating. I KNOW that a lot of this is probably due to my recent surgery but it's really bothering me. So, I decided to call my doc (well I see his PA) and schedule an appointment. I haven't had any labwork done lately and who knows if something goofy is going on in my body. I've felt pretty fatigued and such lately so labs are probably a good idea. Last time it was my hemoglobin and although I take iron now, it's worth checking into. I also wonder about my hormone leves... Given that I take birth control pills and recently had a two week long period, something could be off.

My boss suggested pregnancy. I can only imagine the look on my face before saying "OH GOD NO!"

Overall, though, it's been a pretty good day. I feel a little better and am just going to keep plugging along, doing what I know is healthy. Maybe the doc will have some more suggestions or something next week. I plan to print out my MFP sheets and show him exactly what I've been doing so that he knows I'm really trying.

I'm trying to keep in mind that this is a temporary thing and that change is ahead. I've gotta stay postitive or it will eat me alive.

Given that it's Throwback Thursday I thought I'd show an old pic.... This was from sometime around 2005.

This picture, along with some others, really helped me see how far I've come. I kinda laugh because of that insane cleavage. I swear one boob is the size of my head! Oh how things have changed... Hmmm.. Maybe a boob job really should be next on the list of surgeries! Going from a DD to a large B/small C (C only due to current weight gain!) is quite the shock. As with other areas of the bod, the skin there is damaged to. A lift with implants sounds like a good idea to me! But not that big!!! At some point in time anyway.

So thanks to the pictures, I'm able to stay a bit more positive... Yes, I've had a minor setback but I have to believe it is temporary and that my hard work will pay off soon. I can't stop because there's no way I'm going back.... This is a simple bump in the road that is my journey. I'll work through it.

Today's agenda includes chest and biceps, and I will do some cardio. I also plan to wear my HRM when I mow the lawn this evening. Hey, calories burned are calories burned! And mowing the law isn't something I do often so I say it counts. 

I'll get up tomorrow and do back work then cardio before heading off to an organic store. Then it's off to hangout with my boyfriend's Mom and a couple of his younger siblings... Maybe. We're supposed to relax by the pool. The weather is iffy though... Scattered thunderstorms are forecasted but we'll see what happens. Maybe there will be a couple in the morning and that's it. I really hope for some float time!

I suppose it's time to get moving. 

Hope you're having a great day!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Perfectionism is a Bitch.

Sorry for the curse word, but that's how I'm feeling at the moment and it is true. I am sure I could've used a different word but nothing seemed quite as catchy as "bitch." I'll try to limit the curse words in this post, but my mood is making it difficult. I'm not a person who curses much in general. Sure every now and then I do, but overall I really try to be a lady. A classy lady.  Classy ladies don't curse much. They certainly don't put the word "bitch" in the title of a blog post. However, it is what it is....And in this case, it fits. Again, apologies if my inner-sailor pops out in this post.

My day started out pretty rotten. First, I woke up later than I wanted to. I had planned on getting up a bit earlier than normal so that I could style my hair since I got it done yesterday day (cuuuute, by the way!). That didn't happen. In fact I woke up a little late because I, somehow, managed to set my alarm for PM instead of AM. I'm lucky I didn't super over-sleep. Anyway, so I had to rush a little bit in order to have time to attempt to style my hair. I hate rushing. I did manage to dry and curl my hair. This is a rare event on a weekday morning - I usually leave it wet and leave it wavy (my natural look). Of course it does not look even close to as cute as when I left the salon. It's not bad but I think it looks like bad and would prefer it be in a ponytail right now.

Rewind... I should've mentioned that BEFORE I did my hair I found the missing battery to my scale. As if getting up late wasn't bad enough, stepping on that damn thing was.  I was SHOCKED about what I saw. With how I've felt lately, I thought I'd see a better result.  Nope. I'm up from what I was before surgery. As of this morning it was about 12 pounds. My mood, which was shaky because of getting up late, took a serious plummet. Honestly I think it took a leap of a cliff. So I was in tears before I even got into the shower this morning. Excellent (please not my use of sarcasm). There were also some curse words that came out which I'm not going to repeat because I am a lady...Although I am sure a replacement word will sneak its way into this post at some point.

So, when I attempted to do (a rushed) style job on my hair, my mood was already not good. In fact it was downright bad. Like "I wanna-call-into-work-because-I-am crying-and-how-can-I-possibly-function-all-damn-day-when-I-just-wanna-be-alone" bad. My reaction was that I must not be working hard enough and that I'm super disappointed in myself for gaining a lot of weight in six weeks. Obviously I realized what  a huge failure I've been since surgery. I wanted to go to the extreme. Seriously, I wanted to stay home and workout for hours. For some reason three hours popped into my head. Honestly? That thought is still there.

So, cool, before I even left the house I was crying and felt like a big, fat (literally) failure. Happy freakin' Wednesday, kids.

Side note: I did leave work early to go home and workout, which I will be doing shortly. It's my reaction to dealing with a stressful situation, despite what I'm about to say next... Also? Eff my effing brain. And, I'd like some EFFEN (seriously that's a real brand) vodka....Which I won't have because I'd rather burn calories than consume them. At least the binge or get drunk mentality can be beaten... That's a step, right? Healthy stress relief versus unhealthy stress relief.... I'll take it.

I got to thinking about two things (after I calmed down).... How this gain happened (especially when I've been working so hard lately) and my reaction to it. Because? That reaction was bad... Like a tornado level reaction....Except of course it was directed inward rather than outward so nothing, other than my self-esteem, has been damaged today.

The gain. Last year, after surgery I gained about 15 pounds, which I later lost. I remember being 15 pounds up, but I can't remember when... I think it was fairly soon after surgery; like two weeks, maybe. I tried to compare to this... I'm six weeks post-op so I'm sure that I have very little swelling left. Cool, I've just become a damn fat ass. That's not productive, so I decided to continue to think....

My usual weigh-in is on Saturday morning around 9:00. I once read that that's the time you're at your "true" weight. I'm usually at work at nine, so that's what Saturday's become my day. I weighed in a couple hours earlier. Also, by nine I've usually, um, evacuated my bowels (which have been a little messed up this week, sorry for TMI), which I hadn't. Given that information, I generally weigh-in about three pounds less than I do first thing in the morning.... Okay, we're down to nine pounds. Life is getting more manageable and less traumatic.

I've been working out. When you workout your muscles can start to retain water due to the stress placed on them. I know this but I don't know how much and of course I was thinking "but not nine damn pounds!" I decided to consult my friend Google.  I found a great article by a reputable source (Chalene Johnson).  Within the first few weeks of a new plan, you can show a gain of three to four pounds on the scale. I'm a week in so I figure I might be at a pound or two. I'm being conservative and not using that three or four pound idea because it's not been "a few" weeks yet.  That doesn't sound like much on its own, but let's factor that into my gain... I'm now down to a seven or eight pound gain instead of 12. See? Little factors can add up.

I'm almost seven weeks post-op. The majority of swelling following liposuction can take three to six months to dissipate, with some lingering for up to a year. One doctor on Real Self noted that his patients see about 80% of the swelling go down by six weeks....So it's likely that I still have some. I only wore my compression garment for about a week due to the broken capillaries I had. Because of that my swelling could be taking longer than swelling in someone who wore their garment for four or six weeks. I can't tell you how much  (in terms of pounds) swelling I had or still have, but there's a chance that there is still some there. The only way I'd know for sure is if I'd weighed myself sooner than this (to have a number to compare to). I doubt there's much on my arms because it just doesn't seem to look like it. It's harder to tell on my thighs. From what I read people gain five to seven pounds of swelling post-op. This isn't the same for everyone but seems to be the average that  I found....For the sake of this post, let's say I have a couple pounds of fluid still hanging around. That brings my seven or eight pounds down to five or six. Life is getting to be more manageable.

Additionally, I will admit that my eating wasn't always so great when I was off. It wasn't a disaster either though so I'm sure that not all 12 pounds was from that. I was also unable to workout for a while.
This has made me realize that I probably gained more weight and was heavier than I am now for a little while. My clothes have been fitting better the last week or so (some anyway) which makes me feel like I've lost a little. This is probably why what I weigh right now feels like such a hard hit. I expected to be closer to what I was pre-op...Not this far away. I hadn't expected to gain so much post-op. So... I was probably even heavier a few weeks ago. The positive is that I've, most likely, lost a few pounds.

I suppose what I WAS doesn't matter. What I weight now is what matters. There is no sense in dwelling on what I may have weighed three weeks ago. It's pretty much irrelevant at this point. Or should be anyway. Thinking about it is just making me feel even worse about myself.

Yesterday I had my hair appointment and ate late. I was so hungry when I got home (close to nine) that cooking something healthy wasn't what I wanted to do. I stayed within my calories however I made unhealthy choices because I was so insanely hungry (pizza rolls and mozzarella sticks). I also didn't workout and didn't drink quite as much water as I usually do. Sodium can have a major impact on me and my fingers actually have that swollen feel to them (puffy and kind of tight).  Let's say that this morning I'm hanging on to a pound or two of fluid. The fact that I didn't feel the need to pee after three bottles of water (within two hours this morning) made me feel like that's a huge possibility but I'm realistic so I know that it probably isn't more than a couple pounds. Now the number I'm using is a little less....Let's say I'm now four or five pounds from my pre-op weight.

So... Let's say that the last four or five pounds are from what I was eating and my lack of being active. Four or five pounds in just over six weeks? That seems to be more logical to me than (at least) 12 pounds. This also puts me closer to what I was pre-op, under a number I don't care to see, and makes me feel a little better about being able to lose more weight. I'm not happy with that but given my lifestyle during that time, I can understand it and even accept it. I anticipate that in a few more weeks the scale will show me at that number or below...Hopefully down to my pre-op weight.

Honestly? There's a part of my brain that's telling me that a lot of what I just took the time to type is complete bullshit. It's not swelling, it's not muscles retaining water, and it's not sodium.  It's just that I got that out of control and gained a bunch of weight. It doesn't matter what logic I use, I fear that my logic is nothing but an excuse for being out of control. Also, despite my math, the scale doesn't show what I'm calculating. So it's easy to think I'm wrong.

Why can't I see that there are likely logical reasons for why my scale as turned into an asshole and hates me again? Why do I only see that I gained weight and decide that I've failed and just lost control again? Why is is so damn hard to accept that it's possible that those other factors are contributing (especially given I was being conservative in my numbers!)? Quite honestly I want to yell "what the eff (except I'm thinking the true curse word) is wrong with me?!"

Is it perfectionism?

Is the fact that I'm trying so damn hard to lose weight (from my pre-op weight) that seeing that I have a longer journey ahead of me is so frustrating I break down?

I've been a perfectionist forever. I don't know what exactly causes it (in me). Sometimes I wonder if it's because I was adopted as a baby. Despite knowing that my parents chose to be parents accepted me fully, I wonder if the thought two other people made a mistake and, basically, rejected me.  Could that be the root of my people-pleasing perfectionist way? Then let's factor in the rejection from guys, or friends, or whomever... I've never handled that well. Does my perfectionist mentality go all the way back to before I was born? Could this be the reason I got fat in the first place? Probably.

I found this great article on how perfectionism can cause binge eating which is really what got me thinking about it. I've always known that bulimia and anorexia can be related to perfectionism and the need to feel control. I guess I hadn't looked (or maybe I had and forgot) at how binge eating can lead to it. It all makes sense now that I've read the article because those were behaviors I exhibited. I'd feel like I let someone down, focus on being perfect and skip a meal or something, and later binge.

My issues with weight and eating go way back... I remember being teased for being chubby as a kid. I remember buying diet pills and hiding them in my glove box when I was 16.  I did the same with Slim Fast around 18 or 19.  Then there were more diet pills. Oh and the one "diet" I did when I saw a Lifetime movie about a girl who only ate 500 calories a day and thought that was a great idea. All of those behaviors in my early teens and twenties are what caused me to balloon up to nearly 350 pounds by my mid-twenties. I really screwed up my body because I started feeling fat and imperfect when I was probably at a normal weight. And I was too young to know any better.

For a while I felt like by losing so much weight, I'd won. I'd finally learned how to be healthy and beat my issues with food. Since I gained some back (and now even more) I started to feel like I was failing. Not only was I failing to lose, I was failing to maintain. I see people do the same who lose the 20 pounds that they gained so quickly, doing exactly what I do. They can do it and I can't... Obviously there's something wrong with me causing me to be a failure (is what my brain tells me).

I know that, in reality, my issues with food are not about food at all. They're about things that are psychological. They're deeply rooted from childhood comments about being chubby. And maybe from being rejected by the two people who had an affair that resulted in me. It doesn't matter that two other people who wanted me more than anything chose me. Doesn't that sound horrible? It does to me. Why would I let the rejection of my bio parents sting so badly when my Mom and Dad are more than I ever could've asked for (and sometimes more than I think I deserve)...?

I know that I have issues with rejection and perfectionism. I knew this after having therapy following an abusive situation. In terms of that part of me, I've healed. I no longer accept less than what I deserve or allow people to treat me like crap. I've learned to stand up for myself and not apologize for things that I shouldn't apologize for. I've learned how to have a happy, healthy relationship....When it comes to how I relate to my partner I'm healthy.

But then there are issues that have to do with me that cause me anxiety in relationships....Especially in this new one. If you saw the SATC movie, recall the part when Charlotte wouldn't run when she was pregnant.  She and Carried had a conversation and here is some of what Charlotte said, "Because I'm afraid something bad is gonna happen....I have everything I ever wanted. I am so happy that I'm terrified. Nobody gets everything that they want." That's true of me right now. I'm so happy that I'm terrified...Not all the time, in fact I'm happy and NOT terrified most of the time. But sometimes, I have my moments. Who doesn't!?

I'm also not used to the type of relationship I'm in which probably has a lot to do with it...

My last relationship was with someone who lived three hours away. We saw each other, on average, once or twice (at most) a month. When you are in a long distance relationship for so long, you get into a routine and adjust to it. Enter a relationship in which you can see the person often (and are super happy) and things change bit. I'm not familiar with that and let's just say it's easy to want to see him almost every day. Going three days in a row without seeing him is hard. Yes, this is hard for the person who would go two or three weeks without seeing their former boyfriend. You'd think I could handle it. I think the problem is that we saw each other a lot more in the beginning, especially since that's when I was off for surgery. Not seeing him for three days in a row doesn't mean he's rejecting me.... It means that we are in a normal relationship (especially for just being two months in). But guess who gets anxious about it sometimes?

It's that fear; of rejection; of losing what's made me happier than I've been in so long (so happy that other people who don't know me that well can see it). Here's the thing - EVERYTHING IS GREAT. There's not a problem or anything to be worried about... But the change in frequency of seeing one another made me worry. Oh and the other part of it... He's so damn hot. For real! Sometimes I feel like he should be with one of those hotties on wrestling or a model or something. Sometimes I feel like, in that way, I'm not good enough. I think this is because, after finding an old picture, I remember him...From when I was fat. And I remember thinking he was hot and never said a word to him because I was, for sure, not hot enough for him. The funny thing is that he has NEVER said anything negative to me and always gives me compliments but for some reason in my mind he's so sexy he should be with someone sexy and I don't see myself that way). I should probably admit that to him.

Um...Dumb? Yes, in my opinion.

For some reason those fears worm their way into many aspects of my life, and come as they wish. Those are the same fears (related to perfection, I think) that caused me to binge eat, gain weight, and sit depressed on the couch not caring about anything. Fortunately exercise is healthier outlet (as is blogging, actually) for my feelings.

So, those are my examples of how I'm a perfectionist. I want to be a perfect daughter, a perfect girlfriend, a perfect friend.... I want those in my life to know how much I love and care about them. If I do something that makes me feel like I'm being less than perfect, I turn into a mess. I'm super hard on myself and I feel like the worst daughter/girlfriend/friend in the world. I still don't like to disappoint people and hate feeling like I'm letting them down. The thing is that most of the time I won't direct it toward them. Sure I get moody sometimes but I'm generally not going to yell, scream, or throw things at the people I love. But I will internally beat the shit out of myself.

My weight is no different. I feel as though I'm letting myself down. I feel like I'm failing. I feel out of control. Hence, the reason I want to workout for three hours (yikes I almost just typed six...I don't think I'm quite that bad right now).... I know that one workout isn't going to make me drop 12 pounds. But it will make me feel better. For some reason I feel like, today, I need to workout for three hours in order to feel better about myself. I don't know why three popped into my head but maybe that's the amount of time I feel like I need to regain control. Who knows.

Instead of looking at all the possibilities for why my weight is up, my brain won't accept them. Instead, I immediately think that I've gained 12 pounds of fat, making me even farther from my goal. I immediately think I'm not working hard enough. I'm not eating healthy enough. The few poor choices I make must be ruining it for me. Maybe I need to stop aiming for a goal of 1500 calories (eating up to 1700 on days I do a more intense workout). Maybe that's too many calories. Maybe I need to eat 1200 on days I don't workout and make my max taken in 1500. Maybe all the stuff I've been doing is wrong and making me fat. Maybe focusing on weights isn't enough. Maybe I need to burn more calories. Maybe 30 minutes of cardio a few times a week isn't enough. Maybe I need more cardio.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

Maybe I need to go see a therapist again. Last time was for relationship issues that were related to self-esteem. I like the therapist I went to last time but now a friend of mine works in that office. That's weird for me. As much as I liked her, I don't want to go to her because he works there. So trying to find someone else to talk to (a new stranger...ugh...) might be a good option. Talking to a friend or family member doesn't always help because they don't quite understand or know what to say. So then I end up internalizing EVERYTHING and here I am.... Feeling terrible.

Maybe I need to see a therapist so she/he can help me take another look at my self-esteem and why my weight impacts it so much. Because on normal days when I feel healthy, my self-esteem is great. But days like today, when I number impacts on it, I feel like I have zero....There has to be a reason I allow the number on the scale to make my otherwise healthy self-esteem run and hide. Maybe I'm basing too much of my self-worth on my weight. Talking to someone who is an "outsider" is sometimes helpful in just reflecting on things. But it's also scary. For someone in the mental health field, it seems to be pretty dumb that I'm so hesitant to reach out to another professional. It's crazy how the stigma attached to therapy can impact on those of us in the field!

To be honest, I'll probably deal with it now (by writing this post and then exercising), feel better and not call anyone. Why? Because it'll be better for now. The thing is that it is only going to keep effecting me if I don't deal with it. If I continue to cover it with a Bandaid it's not really going to heal. Strength... It takes a lot of strength to ask for helpstrong person but in this area, I'm not as strong as I think.

I do feel better after writing this out, but would love to hear your opinions or similar experiences. How have you dealt with them? Or haven't you? I think that it helps to post the downs as well as the ups and maybe someone reading this will realize they're not alone either. Part of why I have this blog is to connect with others so that we can help one another. I try to inspire and motivate, but I'm human and sometimes I just need the support.

I'm off to go workout to see if that helps a little more! I hope you are having a great day!!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teriffic Tuesday!

Today's post will be pretty short, just like yesterday's.  I have a hair appointment and only have a few minutes before I have to leave.  I thought I'd post a quick update...

My workout yesterday went well. I did the shoulders and triceps routine.  I felt like I was working, and worked until my form started to fail and I got shaky, so that's good. I could only get three or four of some of the moves so I had to switch to lighter dumbbells in order to do more reps.  Today I'm not feeling quite as sore as I thought (was hoping!) I would. I'm definitely not as sore as I was last Monday.  Maybe my body is already adjusting to being worked harder? Despite using different muscles for other arm workouts, it's possible that these muscles are involved to an extent. Maybe that's enough to notice a difference.  Either way, it was a good workout and I felt good after....Just wish I was a bit more sore today!!

I'm still not sure what is going on after my appointment (or how long it will last) so I guess today's workout is still up in the air. At worst it won't get done and I will have to do legs with abs and cardio tomorrow. No big deal, really. As long as I get some work done, I'll be happy!! I know how much better I feel when I workout and really have been enjoying these workouts.

I know it's only been a week (and in a week how much do you really change?), but I swear I already feel a difference. I'm sure a difference cannot yet be seen (and won't for at least a few weeks) but I feel it. I haven't weighed myself in ages (really need to remember scale batteries) and for the first time I'm not too concerned about it. I definitely want to lose some weight (I'd guess, at least, 20 more pounds to get back to where I was, at my smallest, two years ago). It's funny how I was happy yet not happy at that point in time. I was still fighting to try to be even smaller. Now? I'd gladly take that weight and be happy at it. Gotta love how the brain works... I know that when I reach that goal this time, I'll be happy with it. Will I want to lose a little more weight? Probably. But I won't be working myself to exhaustion to get there.  Honestly I'll be happy dropping ten more pounds, but I think I'd be happiest at 20 less.... Than where I was post-op anyway. As I said, I haven't weighed myself in over a month. Right now I'm focusing on health, muscle, and the way my body feels (and eventually looks), how my clothes fit, and how I feel....Rather than focusing on the numbers (because let's face it, the numbers make me crazy and obsessive). I'm hoping that by focusing on health, being less stressed, and working hard, the weight will come off. I'm doing everything right, but I'm not monitoring it.... And after I buy batteries I probably won't monitor it as closely. We shall see.

Well, I need to get moving so I can get to my appointment. I've been looking forward to it all day! I'm changing the color up a little. I'm currently blonde (highlighted - a lot), and am thinking of adding some low lights/going a little darker - maybe a reverse ombre type look.  I'll consult with my fabulous stylist and I'm sure we will come up with something fun and new. I want it to be subtle but noticeable....Nothing too drastic at this point!

I hope you had a great day! Keep it healthy!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Weekend Re-Cap.

This was another busy weekend the seemed to fly by way too quickly! As I mentioned, on Friday I went to my boyfriend's. We just hung out for the evening. He had to be up early to help a friend pour cement for his garage and I wanted to be sure to get a workout in before heading out of town, so it was a pretty relaxed evening.

On Saturday morning we got up around seven and I headed home. I changed and did a workout (abs and cardio), and then got ready for the day. I had things picked out so packing was pretty easy and only took a little while. I had some breakfast and relaxed for a bit before hitting the road. I picked my friend Jen up and we headed to the city for the night.  Traffic was a nightmare! I can't remember the last time traffic was so backed up - and in both directions. I guess I just haven't drive through Chicago on a Saturday in quite a while. Or if I have, it's been early in the morning, not mid-afternoon.  We didn't have a whole lot of time once we got to the hotel so we got ready for the concert right away. Then we were back in the car, and back in traffic, on our way to the concert. 

The concert? Was a blast!! There were for singers (Thomas Rhett, Jake Owen, Kelly Clarkson, and Jason Aldean). Although Jason was the headliner, I think Kelly got just as much (or close to it) stage time as he did, which was awesome! We didn't have super great seats or terrible seats. We could see the stage fairly well, although for some reason pictures always make things seem so much smaller! We enjoyed some adult beverages at the concert (Old Style Light - only at Wrigley!). It was a much different experience being there for a concert rather than a game... HUGE difference in crowd (I even spotted a White Sox hat - were you for real!?). It was a lot more rowdy than any game I've ever been to, that's for sure.  And the outfits...Oh wow... I can't even begin to explain how appalling some of the girls were dressed. Completely in appropriate for age, body type, and many other reasons. If people are comfortable in their own skin and feel like wearing what they want, then cool (even if I did want to call the fashion police)... I'm just saying I wouldn't go out wearing a lot of what I saw!

After the concert, Wrigleyville was a madhouse. I expected that, which is why we parked a little ways away.  We started walking because the red line was already getting packed and there wasn't a single cab available. We probably walked a few miles down Clark Street before we hailed a cab.  It didn't seem like we walked that long, but that could've been the beers. The walk was pretty nice because it was a nice night, and it gave my buzz some time to wear off (and you know "buzzed driving is drunk driving").  When

Health-wise Saturday was kind of a bust. I ate a healthy breakfast that came in under 200 calories. Unfortunately that's all I had all day. Due to traffic, Jen and I didn't get to have dinner before the concert like we planned. This is also probably why I felt buzzed after a couple beers.  We ended up getting some snacks and that's all we ate... Chips for dinner? Not the greatest idea ever.

Sunday was a little better. We were both pretty tired from Saturday (and for some reason I was wide awake at 5:45 Sunday morning and had a terrible time getting back to sleep!) so we stopped along the way for something to drink and got... Snacks again. This time we needed a jolt so we each got some chocolate. She got Chex Mix and I got some Special K Cracker Chips (which we did not eat). I did eat my cracker chips later on that day, along with a sandwich for dinner.

Yesterday I just hung out around home. I spent some time relaxing but I also got some things accomplished. I cleaned my kitchen, bathroom, and living room. I did a few loads of laundry too (rugs, towels, dog blankets). I still have a couple loads of my clothes to do but I have lots of those so it's not urgent that the laundry gets done.

It wasn't a healthy weekend but it wasn't a terrible weekend.... I ate some unhealthy foods but not a lot. Sure I was under calories (even with my beer on Saturday - obviously since I hate very little), but that's not a good thing.... I'd prefer to eat more healthy foods than a few junk food items. Choices? Not the best. Calories? Under goal; within range; not bad. I definitely could've busted my calorie goal had we eaten out;
healthy options or not, restaurant foods still aren't that great.

Well I'm off to the chiropractor, to stop and visit my cousin for a bit, squeeze in some weight training, and then I'll be out to my boyfriend's by eight. Sounds busy but really it isn't. My appointment is at five and will only take about ten minutes. I figure if I visit with my cousin and her daughter for half an hour, I'll have enough time to do my weights and shower before heading to the man's. My weight training usually only takes 20-30 minutes. Today's agenda includes shoulders and triceps. I can't believe I'm starting week two of this new plan already! Man, did last week go by fast!!  If I didn't have the appointment and wasn't going to see my cousin, I'd do some cardio too (even though it isn't cardio day). 

Tomorrow I have a hair appointment which will take a couple hours.  That always throws my plans off a little. I don't have time to workout before and by the time I get done it will be at least seven.... If I go straight home it will be getting a bit late but I can probably squeeze in some weight training (tomorrow is scheduled as leg day). If I go to my boyfriend's house, working out isn't happening. I also won't be home early enough in the morning to do a workout before work. I may just make tomorrow my rest day and move everything back a day. OR I'll add legs on to Wednesday's agenda. That's abs and cardio day, both of which are fairly easy. I'm not sure how fun running will be right after legs, but I might as well try. If the run isn't going well, I'll move my days back a day.

Well, I'm headed off to to chiropractor!

I hope you had a great weekend and that you have a great week!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Hello There, Weekend!!

Just a quick post to tell everyone that I hope you have a great weekend!!

Today's workout was back exercises.... Bent over rows, standing rows, and dumbbell pullovers (all with dumbbells), and superwomans! I also did some straight and oblique crunches; and 30 minutes on the treadmill. C25K is really working to help me get back into running. I'm already getting back up to speed and my endurance is improving.... Six weeks post-op and I definitely feel like I'm back into the swing of things as fat as fitness goes! Yay!!

As usual I'm eating healthy and drinking my water so all is good there. 

Well I'm off to finish my dinner (protein shake) and head over to my boyfriend's 

Happy weekend!!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Is It Friday Yet?

I'm ready for the weekend to be here!

Generally I haven't been working on Fridays due to hour cuts at work. However I worked last Friday due to my caseload being heavy and will work tomorrow because we are having a facility picnic for our residents and families. I will be running around doing picnic work most of the day tomorrow. I'll probably head home for the day a little early because after all of the work in the morning, I'm usually fairly tired! I'll most likely go home, workout, and then hang out with my boyfriend and just relax (while watching good ol' wrestling of course).

On Saturday I'm heading down to the city, which I'm pretty excited about! I haven't been down there in a few months so it's definitely time for some fun. I have tickets to a concert at Wrigley Field (Kelly Clarkson, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, an Jake Owen - should be a good one!). I plan on leaving on Saturday late morning or early afternoon (depending on who goes with me) and coming home after we get up and moving on Sunday.  My boyfriend planned on going but that roofing project hasn't been done yet. They're still waiting on the contractor to get back to them or something. It's possible that he will have to work on that on Saturday, so then he won't be able to go. Luckily my friend Jen doesn't have any plans, is a country fan, and said that she'd be interested in going if he can't....Either way I'll be happy with my guest!! It would be fun to get away with my boyfriend (again) but it would also be fun to have a girls' night out with Jen!

So those are the big weekend plans, which is probably why I'm ready for it to be here!!!

I am also getting excited about the FPP program. My partner received her box today and e-mailed me right away. Literally. She said she had just received it, tore into the box, and then e-mailed me. She said that everything sounded amazing and she can't wait to test them out. I'm getting excited for my package to arrive. I know it will probably be a couple more days since it's on its way from Texas!

I will most likely keep this pretty short because I (think) there are dinner plans in the works so I need to workout. I want to get my workout done so that if dinner is a "go" I'll be ready to roll. If not, then I'll just have some extra time to clean up or maybe relax this evening. A few days ago my Mom mentioned going for dinner for a friend's birthday. Everything was worked out but the time. This morning my Dad said he didn't know what was going on and that the original plans were cancelled. Great. I pre-tracked what I knew I was going to eat where we were going.  Now we may go elsewhere or no where at all...I really hate when things are up in the air and no one knows what's going on until the last minute. Due to my healthy lifestyle I like to prepare ahead of time... I adjust my eating throughout the day and plan my exact workouts so that I know I'll have time. Then things fall through. Or things come up and I'm informed of them an hour before so my workout goes out the window and I have to scramble to figure out what I'll eat that is remotely healthy. What. A. Pain!!

The problem with tonight? We were going to a pizza place so I counted a salad with dressing, two beers, and a slice of pizza. Now that I deleted all of that from my tracker, I have over 750 calories left to eat today. There is no possible way I can eat that large of a dinner. If I don't go out, I'll most likely be under calories for today. I suppose it won't hurt but I still like to be in my range. I may have a protein shake to knock out a couple hundred of those, so that I can at least get a little closer.

I know it's not my birthday but is it too much to ask to have a little notice so that I can plan? You'd think people would know my lifestyle by now! What can I say...? I'm a planner!

I suppose it's time to go get my workout done. On today's agenda is chest and biceps. I have three exercises for each body part and have to do three sets for each. That will probably take a bit of my time! I thought about running too but it's about 95 degrees out. I kind of pushed it yesterday (it was a tiny bit cooler; like 88-90). Even though I was in the basement where it's cooler, I could still feel the effects of the higher temperature. I felt pretty good but definitely got tired quicker.

Speaking of yesterday... I did abs and then cardio. Abs went well, although I'm not as sore today as I had hoped I'd be. I can definitely feel it, especially in my lower abs. I question if I was doing a couple of the moves correctly, so perhaps that is why I'm not as sore as I expected (although I could tell I was working while I was doing them!!). My run was okay but I kept it slow due to soreness from leg day the day before. My quads were sore all day and I'm pretty sure my walking was a bit awkward. It continued on the treadmill...I found that running actually wasn't as bad as walking. My legs are still sore today, so I'm glad it's bicep and chest day! If I can squeeze in a little extra cardio, I will do so. We'll see...

With that, now I'm going to wrap it up. I hope your week is going well!!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

I haven't done this in a while so I thought I would today. I forgot to take pictures though, so most it will be in summary form. If I happen to remember to take a picture of dinner, I'll be sure to add that to the post!

Breakfast - Black coffee, water with a Crystal Light On the Go packet, four egg whites and one whole egg scrambled with four asparagus spears, a cup of baby spinach, a quarter cup of diced baby bellas, and two pieces of turkey bacon.  Super yummy, big, and filling!

Snack/Meal Two - Chobani blueberry yogurt (I wasn't very hungry).

Lunch - A half cup of homemade chicken salad with some Blue Diamond Almond Thins crackers (nut and rice).

Snack/Meal Four - Salad. I mixed together two cups of a bagged salad mix, three ounces of grilled chicken breast, a few sugar snap peas, and topped with with a light raspberry walnut vinaigrette.

Dinner - Left over turkey burger (bunless) with ketchup and mustard, green beans sauteed with garlic and pancetta, and a brown rice and quinoa blend. 

That's a lot of food for under 1500 calories!! To me, eating all of that sounds like a much better option than one fast food meal for the same results (if not worse!).

Because I'm under my goal I will most likely have a little snack to put me just over goal, or around 1600 calories. I will do this because I intend to workout and I know that I'll burn somewhere between 300 and 500 calories with my workout added in. I really try to keep my net daily calories taken in above 1200, but under my daily calorie goal of 1500.  I may snack on some meat and cheese or make a protein shake at some point this evening...I feel that the protein shake would be a better option (and sounds really yummy on a hot day after a workout!) but will probably be more calories. I guess I'll see where I'm at when I'm done with my workout and go from there... It will also depend on whether it cools off enough to take the dogs for a walk later (I'll burn more calories doing that, obviously).

Fifteen Percent.

A couple days ago, a fellow MFP user posted this link on her page. The link lead to a questionnaire.  First I had to choose which body I think looks like mine. Then I had to enter some information about myself (although I am not from the UK so I just picked a place for the location portion), including my actual measurements.  My result is that I am 15% smaller than I view myself. I must've been having a good day because I was torn between two images and chose the smaller of the two. I just went back and did it, and had I chosen the larger, I'd have been off by 17.5%.

This little test can go either way....You're going to be bigger than you think or smaller than you think.  I think that, depending on how far off you are, both can show something negative. For example if you are significantly larger than you see yourself, you may not be aware of possible health concerns related to your size.  If you see yourself as larger than you are, maybe you don't have the best body image.

Smaller differences in percentages probably don't matter quite so much (although could still be indicative of a problem), but it's still interesting to see how far off our own perceptions are.  I think that if I'd done this pre-weight loss, I'd have viewed myself as a little smaller (probably not much); or maybe the same; or maybe I'd have thought there wasn't a body large enough on the screen and not done it at all. I knew I was big and depending on the day, I dont' know that I always saw myself accurately. Believe me, I KNEW I was big. Ijust don't think I had a realistic grasp on exactly how big. But on a bad day I'd have felt like the ugliest, fattest person in the world.

I find it interesting how our eyes, and minds, can deceive us. In the past I couldn't see just how big I was. Now? I can't seem to see myself as small as I am. I see myself as larger. I didn't need a test on the Internet to tell me that though. This test just put it into the front of my mind, instead of me pushing it aside. Despite knowing that I put my measurements in appropriately, I still can't believe that what they're saying I look like is what I look like. The proof is right there and my mind still can't seem to accept it. This has made me think about how I, obviously, still have some body image issues.

I've been thinking about that a lot since I took the test. I really do not see myself as others do, apparently. My eyes still focus on the bad things... The cellulite on my thighs (which I'd have even thin because even thin people have it) is a huge one.  I still look at the loose skin on my hips and think it's gross.  Actually it's not just the skin, it's the size of my hips in general...I just happen to think that if there was less fat and it was tightened, it would bother me less...Say what you want about surgery, but after having it done I like the look of my arms and tummy A LOT more than I did pre-op. Now I'm focusing on my mid-section thinking that it looks full - not fat, but larger.  I KNOW that compared to two years ago I'm a little bigger than I was. I haven't weighed myself lately, but last time I did I was up 15-20 pounds from my lowest weight. To me, that's  A LOT! I've gotta get that back off... In doing so I think I'll feel a little better about myself.  I didn't mind what I saw in the mirror back then (other than the skin)...

At least, I don't think I did. I still had body image issues and still focused on the negative. I just don't think I was doing it quite as badly as I have lately. I can't figure out what, exactly, it is, but there are times when my body image isn't what it should.  I really wish I could see my body as others do, and not how I THINK they do (which is what I see it as; or I think they see it as looking even "worse" than it does). I think that part of this has been that I was out of the workout game for so long and with that, I wasn't always making the wisest food choices.  I also think that the test had some impact on it... When you simply ignore something, you don't think about it. Now that I'm thinking about it, I realize my body image isn't the best. So what's better... Ignore it and let it surface now and then? Acknowledge it all the time?  If I think about it all the time, I'm most likely going to feel badly about myself. However, ignoring the problem isn't going to help either. I need to find a way to acknowledge it while working on it.  That, my friends, could be a challenge.

I will say that this week my eating and workouts being so good has really helped me to feel better about myself. I know that progress takes time and results are not immediate, but I feel that I'm going in the right direction. The healthy choices in terms of food and the soreness in my muscles is keeping me motivated. I can FEEL my body changing, so I know that it is (even if it is slow) and eventually my body will look as though it's changing - probably to other people first, and then to me. I'm excited for when others notice - that helps me stay motivated.  Hearing compliments makes me know that I'm doing something right, even if no one else sees it right away.  Hmmm.... Maybe that's a part of what has kept me on this plateau for a while. The comments stopped. People have seen me post-weight loss and now I'm normal to them. Those comments really helped drive me to keep going. So now, with my new plan, I'm hoping to continue to show changes... Hopefully in four weeks someone else will notice and comment. Those comments would keep me going for sure.

My body image isn't so bad that I have terrible self-esteem.  I do not. I have no concerns about body dismorphic disorder or any other body image related issue. In fact, in some ways my might be a little too large.  Sometimes I probably come across as being somewhat vain. Let's face it, I KNOW I'm a gorgeous girl. I don't think that publicly admitting to that makes me a bad person. It makes me honest though... Just like admitting the opposite makes me honest. For some reason more people are accepting of the opposite though. Anyway, on most days I feel good about myself, but some days I do not.... Other than writing it here and commenting to my Mom or boyfriend, I would never say admit that to anyone else.

Speaking of my boyfriend....

I notice that I'm the opposite of a lot of people. Many times when people find true happiness they "let themselves go."  I seem to find more motivation to take care of myself when that happens. I want to look and, more importantly, feel my best. Feeling good (and looking good) just seems to go hand-in-hand with happiness.  There's a funny someecard that I saw that says, "I'm currently in training to be the hottest girlfriend you've ever had." In a way, for me, that seems true. I want to push harder and be healthier to look as amazing as possible. I think part of it is that I have a fear of "letting myself go" and looking less than attractive again. I will not let that happen. Ever.  With that comes the fear of  "if I start to look horrible, he might leave." This is not true. I know he cares for me and I know he accepts me. I don't think he would wait until I looked awful and then just leave. He's a good guy, not an ass. I do think (hope) that he would be honest and tell me if I was starting to look bad so that I could get a handle on it. Honesty is brutal sometimes, but I've asked a few people in my life to point things like that out to me. So far my Dad's done the best at that job.

Anyway... So I want to continue to look good for him, and look even better, for him. Not because he's asked me to but because it's what I want to do. He's a really attractive (hot) guy and sometimes I look at him and think, "wow...he's with me...?" Mostly though it's the happiness I feel.  I'm so happy and want to continue to feel so super happy. And partly because in my female brain, on days my self-image isn't so great, I worry. Isn't it funny how we can know something, but we still listen to those little voices?  Lucky for me, those little voices are quieter than the voices who are reminding me how happy I am and how fantastic I feel.  So while I continue to be selfish and do this for me, he's a part of it. I mean, I want to look my best for him. He tells me I'm gorgeous, pretty, hot, and sexy frequently. He shows affection and seems like he's proud to be with me (he says I'm "the whole package" so I think he knows what a great catch he has - haha!). He's happy too; with me. Right now. Not 15 less pound from now.  I don't think that his feelings about me are going to change based on weight, but let's be honest...He will probably think I'm more attractive a few less pounds from now. That's just human nature, I think. I don't think that he'll find me any less attractive if I lose 15 pounds or stay where I am. Actually he might find me more attractive, simply because I'll have more confidence. And cconfidence? Is hot.

So... My body image needs some work. I really feel like being in control of what I'm putting into my body and what I'm burning off is a huge factor in that. I feel good when I am being healthy. When I feel good, I look at my body differently and actually think that I look good. One thing I'll say for myself is that I am able to recognize how I feel when I'm behaving myself.  I've learned to worry less about how I look and focus more on how I feel. So far that seems to be working well for me. My body image isn't totally where it should be yet, but it's come a very long way!!!

Some of what makes me feel like I'm doing so well is sore muscles and let me tell you... Are my muscles sore today!! I did shoulders and triceps on Monday and I was super sore last night, and am still a little sore today.  Yesterday was leg day (oooohhh the delicious torture!) and I'm for sure feeling it today. I'd say I feel it most in my quads (obviously they haven't gotten as much work), some in my hamstrings, and a little (only when I flex) in my calves.  Oh! And a little in my glutes because, of course, the leg moves I did worked the glutes too! I'm a little sore when I get up and down, and a little when I just walk normally... Those quads are letting me know that they're here!! Today is cardio and ab day, so we'll see how that goes. I have a feeling my run will be somewhat slow because of the muscle soreness in the quads...BUT... Maybe not. We will see. I'm running either way; fast or slow.  I'm sure that it won't be so bad once I get into it.

I"m really loving this strength training and new way of eating. I still maintain my calories, probably thanks to the amount of protein in my diet that keeps me full. I'm also eating frequently. I really hope that this focus on strength and muscle building combined with the changed diet holds up to my expectations. At any rate, I'm still healthy and not harming my body - so even if I don't lose weight or look anywhere near what I'd like to, it wouldn't be a loss. I'm not ready to maintain and don't want to do it for too long, but that's better than gaining!!

I suppose I should wrap it up so I can get that workout done! I'm looking forward to doing abs and to the run.... I think I'll do abs first and then do 30 minutes on the torturemill. Actually, the torturemill hasn't been so bad the last few days. It's been so hot outside that I'm enjoying the cool basement. And because I'm slow and getting back into the swing of things by doing a run/walk method, I feel better about it in my basement. 30 minutes isn't so bad.... More than that would start to wear on me though!

Happy Wednesday!! Stay healthy!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Plan...

Well it's day two and my new plan seems to be working well for me. I've been focused on eating healthy, protein rich foods the last two days. No problems at all with the plan! I haven't felt hungry, so the protein is definitely keeping me full! I've been cooking a bit more (always a good thing!)... Not just cooking; I do that all the time. I'm actually taking time to plan meals out and prep them. I'm doing more than cooking one or two things a week and eating them all week. I've managed to change up the plan both days and will continue to do so.

I'm doing so well tracking that even with eating out tonight I'll be in my calorie range. Eating out can be annoying when you're trying to eat as healthy as possible. I think that's why it is so easy for people to slip up.  Let's face it, when you're out and about the unhealthy (but oh-so delicious) foods are right there on the menu you and at surrounding tables, almost calling out.  Boo to them! 

I know what the restaurant serves (and what I usually eat there) so I looked up some foods on MFP. I decided that I'll go with a Pleavalean burger (also described as Michigan cherry burger). The burger is made of beef (91% lean, which is way better than most restaurants!) and is enhanced with cherries. They're delicious and somewhat healthy. I tracked a full bun but may only eat the bottom part, or none. We'll see how hungry I am!  Those are generally served with fries, which I would've been in okay shape to eat (after working out) but I decided I don't want to waste calories on fries. Instead, I'm asking them to sub a side salad for the fries. My splurge will be regular ranch dressing because that restaurant has awesome ranch! I'll use it on the side, so I won't eat it all. I'm sure there will be an extra cost for the substitution, as there usually is in restaurants. I'm used to it by now!!

Sometimes I dread eating out because of the limited healthy choices offered at some restaurants. Luckily I know what to look for and do the best research I can before I go so that I can have a decent plan in mind. I generally try to aim for the healthiest of choices!!

Yesterday's workout went well. My strength training workout was focused on triceps and shoulders. I did three exercises for each body part, and did three sets of those exercises. I ended up doing them in circuits. I did a set of all of the exercises, then rotated through them again, and again. Some people do a set of one, rest, do a set, rest, etc. I find that to be a bit boring so I changed it up a bit to make it more interesting. I'm still working the muscles which is what matters to me! I'm sore today, so I know the arm moves worked!! After ST I did some cardio; 30 minutes on the treadmill.  It was far too hot to consider running outside, so I stayed in the basement.  For short periods of time on a hot day, the dreaded torturemill really isn't so bad.

Today is a leg day.  I will likely just do legs; no cardio.  I am going out to dinner, as I mentioned, to meet with my Mom and some cousins to plan our family reunion. It's coming up in a few weeks so we like to get together before hand to make sure we have a plan of action and to divide up tasks. Naturally I want to get my workout done so that I can shower with plenty of time to get ready for dinner! I also happen to think that running after working the legs probably isn't the greatest idea.... Just sounds painful or something.  I'll resume cardio tomorrow, along with abs!

After dinner I'm headed over to my boyfriend's for the night. I'm assuming we will spend some time watching the All Star game and just hang out, as usual.  I love how good company really makes time fly (but then I get bummed because it seems to go so fast!). It seems like even if we are just hanging out watching a game and talking, we always have fun. I definitely like being able to just relax and still have fun. I seem to keep busy a lot of the time and really do cherish the moments that the two of us can spend together, not being busy.

So that's about it - so far my new plan is working well. I'm really enjoying it - both the change of pace in workouts and diet. I'm also liking the variety of foods I'm adding to my plan (and the new things I'm trying!). I need to go get my workout started so that I can get ready to head out for the night.

I hope your week is going well!


Some Yumminess.

The newest snack I've tried.... Kale "chips!" So good!!!

My breakfast scramble from this morning (what was left of it anyway)....

Egg whites, baby spinach, asparagus, and baby bellas. I sautéed the veggies last night and added them to the eggs this morning. Quick and easy!! And delicious!!! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Weekend Come and Gone.

I think that being off for a few extra days over the fourth of July made me forget how quickly weekends can go by! I was totally unmotivated today at work (but somehow managed to make it through). I just wanted another relaxing day at home. It was another fun-filled weekend, but it seemed to pass so quickly!! 

Friday night I met with my friend Christen for dinner. A larger group was supposed to go, but the other girls had to cancel. It's not often that I get to sit and talk wit Christen, so it was really nice to be able to catch up. I had planned out my dinner before I went, thinking I was all set. I was until I realized the menu on the restaurant website wasn't updated. Apparently this particular place changes their menus frequently. What I planned on eating was no longer available. Luckily I was able to keep it fairly healthy, but probably not quite as healthy as I planned. I had one of the evening's specials, baked halibut and it was amazing. It came with a shrimp sauce (butter-based so I tried not to eat much of it, as tasty as it was), roasted potatoes, and roasted vegetables (asparagus and brussel sprouts). I've never liked brussel sprouts but I thought I'd try them because they were cooked differently than I've tried. I only ate a couple because they happened to be roasted in bacon. They had a wonderful, somewhat sweet taste to them, but I'm sure they were not the healthiest so I only ate two of them. Dinner was absolutely delicious. After dinner I went out to my boyfriend's for the evening. 

On Saturday I didn't do a whole lot; short workout and tanning before I got ready for the wedding reception we were going to. My cousin came over and did my hair for me. I wanted to try something new that I knew I couldn't do solo. It was half up/half down but the back was criss-crossed and pinned. It looked cute. She also helped me apply my eyelashes because I can't seem to get them to go on straight. Like EVER. After I was ready to go I headed over to my boyfriend's for a bit before the reception. It was a lot of fun. His friend's (the groom) Mom works with me so it was fun to chat wtih her for a while outside of work. We met up with a couple friends, and of course a lot of his other friends were there to talk to (and meet for me) too. I spent quite a bit of time dancing with two little girls (daughters of another of one his friends) too. It was nice to burn off a few extra calories on the dance floor. The dinner was great, and surprisingly pretty healthy (yay!). Of course I enjoyed my fair share of drinks, so there's that. We were there until around 1:00 and then headed over to the home of our friends we met up with there. We had a few more drinks and ate brats at like 2:00 in the morning.... Not healthy, but fun! It was nice to spend some time with friends...And my ego was boosted a few times; compliments on my dress and being pretty were great to hear. My boyfriend told me how pretty and goregous I was at least a few times that night. Some of his friends and friend's wives were really nice too. And some random (to me) man asked me which movie star I looked like! That made me laugh because now and then that happens and I am yet to see the resembalance in any of them (Carrie Underwood, Kate Hudson, and Drew Barrymore). Everyone I met was super nice and friendly. 

Sunday was partially laid back... I found out when I got back to my parents' house that my Grandpa had been hospitalized on Saturday night. So I spent some time Sunday afternoon visiting him at the hospital. After that I got groceries and headed home. When I got home, my boyfriend had mowed the grass that was getting kind of long. I thought that was a nice thing to do for him to do. After I got groceries put away, I picked up a little, and then we took a little nap. We had dinner (pizza for Sunday Funday - cheat day?). There was a wrestling pay-per-view on last night, so we ordered that and just hung out. I got tired of just sitting so I did some meal prep for this week (grilled some chicken, prepped some salads) and made his lunch for today. It was nice to just hang out and relax for the evening.

 Today it was back to work and I suppose, for a Monday, it wasn't bad. The bad part was that I was highly distracted and ready to go home all day. I was glad when the day ended. I ran a few errands and then came home. I plan on working out shortly and then getting dinner ready. 

This was also day one of my new workout and clean(er) eating plan. Today's weight training is shoulders and triceps. I have three sets of three exercises for each body part. It should go fairly quickly as there are only eight to 12 reps per move. I'm hoping that I will use weights that are heavy enough that I'm done after eight. Of course, I will try to get 12 done but I am really hoping to achieve muscle failure. I still need to get some heavier weights, but I think that I'm okay with what I have for right now. After my weight traning I'm hoping to do a light run. I'll most likely do C25K again. That really seems to be most helpful in getting back into the swing of things. Everything I've read on building muslce says to go easy on the cardio, as cardio will cause muscle to burn, but I HAVE to have some kind of cardio in my routine. Even if it's light running, it's something. The Cardio Queen can't just let it go completely. 

As far as eating, I've felt full all day. I'm eating based more on clean foods; meats, fruits, veggies, and few whole grains. I'm definitely eating more of a higher protein diet (for the sake of muscle building). I'm not cutting out all carbs but I'm trying to be a bit smarter with them than I have been lately. I guess I just haven't paid as much attention to them recently. Well, that's changed now. Protein is definitely a huge key in staying full all day! I had to tell myself it was time to eat lunch because I just didn't feel full. I even cut out part of my lunch (carrots and hummus) because I wasn't hungry. 

Here's what I ate/will eat today: Breakfast - four egg whites and one whole egg, greek yogurt, black coffee, Crystal Light (on the Go). Snack - small apple with peanut butter Lunch - salad - bag salad mix, sugar snap peas, grilled chicken, and an olive oil/vinegar dressing. Snack - a piece of cheese and two ounces of turkey pastrami, almonds Post-Workout Snack - protein shake (vanilla whey powder, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, ice) Dinner - turkey burger (bunless) with ketchup and mustard, steamed veggies, a brown rice/quinoa blend My calories eaten around just over 1600. I'm over in other ranges on MFP (for example my protein count is higher than suggested), but once I workout that should change. Generally after a workout, I haven't quite used all of what is recommended. My net daily calories should be over 1200, so that makes me happy. While I'm tracking what I eat, I'm not focusing quite as much on calories as I am healthy foods and protein. My water intake is good, as usual. I suppose that's about it for now. 

My boyfriend is coming over so I need to get the things done that need to be done (like my workout) so that I can be ready. I hope that you all had a fantastic weekend! 

Have a great week! 


Friday, July 12, 2013

Hello, Friday!

I don't know about you all, but I am glad it's Friday! I'm ready for the weekend. I've not been working Fridays for the last several months due to low census and hour cuts. My boss was off today and I had enough paperwork to do that I was able to go in for most of the day. I probably could've stretched the day out to my usual time, but I left an hour early so that I could get a workout in before I have to get ready to meet some friends for dinner.

Once a month we try to have a ladies' evening out. My friend Christen came up with the diea and I really like the idea. It's one day that ladies can look forward to spending with their friends. Most of them are married and have children so I'm sure it's a nice escape for a bit! I enjoy being able to sit down for an hour or two and spend some time with friends. I think that friendships are so important, so it's nice to set aside a little friend time once a month! Last month there were about 12 of us who attended and tonight (as of now) there will be four of us. It just kind of depends on what's going on when and who can make it. It should be a fun time!!

After dinner it's out to the boyfriend's for some Friday night wrestling action. To watch, I mean! One of his friends is getting married tomorrow, so I'll head home in the morning to do things like workout, work on my tan, and primp. I don't think we have to be there until six tomorrow evening, and we're meeting up with some friends before, so I should have most of the day to be girly. I'm kind of looking forward to that. I get to relax and pamper myself (with my cousin's assistance for hair and nails) and he gets to work on roof. Hmmm. I feel like, somehow, I'm getting the better end of the deal! My day to "work" will be Sunday though... Grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, and a little food prep. Fun, fun!

I'm definitely back on track with being healthy. I've already checked out the menu online, decided what I will eat, and pre-tracked it on MFP. I'm right on track with calories for the day. With my workout I will probably be able to enjoy some wine if I want. We'll see. It seems like such a waste of the calories I'll be working to burn!! I'll be working out after I post this and plan to do Ripped in 30 followed by C25K. That really has been a good way to transition back into running. After over a month off, it feels like I'm a beginner again!! I'm sure it'll take a little time to get back to where I was, but I'm sure I'll be there in no time.

Yesterday I did Ripped in 30 and then walked the dogs later in the evening. My boyfriend came over so I had to cut my workout a little short (no running). But our walk made up for some of it. It was nice to get done working out, shower, clean up a bit, and have dinner ready by the time he got there. So, I'm not at all sad that I missed that 30 minutes of running. I got things accomplished in that time and was up moving. We ate dinner shortly after he got here, then we just kind of hung out for a while. We took a nice walk in the evening so it was a little cooler out - pretty close to the perfect temperature for a walk. I didn't burn as much as I usually would during 45 minutes but I don't think our walk was focused on fitness. It was more of a lesiurely walk just to get the dogs a little exercise. Or he just walks slower than I do (but I was trying to be nice and avoid saying that!). Or maybe it's that I walk fast... Once I throw those running shoes on, my legs want to move!!

Eating? Has been healthy all week. I enjoyed a little wine last night but that's been my only real "treat" all week. Between that and my workouts, I'm feeling great! Sore, but that's definitely a good thing!

Saturday will be a bit of a wild day I think, between wedding food and booze, but that's okay. I'll keep it as healthy as I can, that's for sure. I'm definitely ready to start this more intenstive ST/weight training program on Monday!! I've got some meal ideas in mind too, so shopping should be a breeze...Just as soon as I organize my list!!

Well, I'm off to workout so I can get ready to meet the ladies!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!


The Book.

From Thursday... Forgot to hit "publish." 

I've not written anything just yet, however it is coming... Someday. 

 Here's the thing... 

I've wanted to write a book (memoir-style) and use my weight loss in my career somehow. I've discussed personal training but honestly I have not kept up with that. At all. In several months. I'm confident that I can pass the test and get my CPR certification without difficulty. I'm just focused on other things. Personal training is not a very lucrative career. I could do it part-time, "on the side," but it definitely will not be a full-time job for me. Eventually I would like to get that certification but right now it's not high on my list of priorities.If it were, I'd have done it by now. As far as my day-to-day career in Social Work, I do still want to do some work with clients who want to work toward weight loss and getting healthy. Personal training will eventually fit into that because I can make it all one business. That's down the road though. I suppose I would call that my five year plan! 

 Back to the book. I've wanted to write about my weight loss, but I just haven't had the motivation or inspiration. Let's face it, there are a lot of blogs and books about weight loss out there. I don't view myself as any different than anyone else who has lost weight. I am a damn good writer though! I feel like this blog is doing a good job getting my weight loss journey out there. I still want to write a book. 

I've decided that my story is too broad; too general. I don't have a specific piece of my journey to put into a book. The thing is that this journey will continue....Forever. Or until I choose to end it. I don't see ending the journey as a possibility because that would mean that I'd no longer be living a healthy lifestyle. 

My weight will, most likely, always be something I have to carefully control. I have not been and will not be someone who can eat whatever they want and not have to worry about their weight. My body just does not work that way. I will always have to put in the work; exercising and being highly aware of what I'm eating.

 I decided yesterday that I need a project (this is what I hinted at in my post) to write about. It has to be something within the weight loss category but it has to be more specific than, "girl was fat, girl lost weight, now said girl is healthy." I also don't like to be the same as everyone else. I don't want to do what's already been done. Nothing major happened in my life causing me to gain or lose the weight. I went through typical ups and downs (and some not-so-typical), struggled with self-esteem, and ate my emotions. I tried, and failed, to lose weight on several occasions. Then I finally did it. And that was that. I feel that my basic story isn't all that special. People do what I did everyday.

 My idea? 

 I need to do something for a set amount of time and focus my book on that. It will be a new journey and my past will, undoubtedly, be a huge part of it. I'm not going to take a journey of self-discovery around the world. I'm not going to pick up a cookbook and cook my way through it in a year. I am going to use a similar style. I am going to pick a goal, work toward it, and chronicle it. I also want to make it challenging. I think that by challenging myself I'll allow a lot of room for good book moments to seep in. I mean, it has to be entertaining! 

 Fitness. That's the foundation for this project. I fully admit that I am a (self-proclaimed) Cardio Queen. That's how I managed to lose weight (combined with a healthy diet, of course). I do not do enough strength training. I continue to go in streaks of doing well with ST and then letting it slip again. For some reason cardio has been more "fun" for me. I guess I like knowing that I'm burning a ton of calories. When weight loss is a focus, calorie burn is a huge part of it. Although I know that ST is important too, I have always focused on "burn, burn, burn!" I really do like ST because I like how I feel after. I love that soreness in my muscles. I like feeling strong. 

 I would like to blame this idea on (give credit to?) my boyfriend. He enjoys watching WWE (wrestling), and no he is not a redneck. Like at all. Anyway, he's been into wrestling since he was a kid (like many little boys did, growing up in the 80s) and it's something he has enjoyed since. It is seriuolsy like a soap opera geared toward men. Because he watches it, I've started watching it too. At first I was like "okay I will watch this because I like you." Now I actually enjoy it! I find it to be very entertaining and pretty funny sometimes. I'm definitely getting into it...So much so that the other night I actually yelled "get up!!" at the TV. Generally I don't do that unless I'm watching a sport that I'm really into like college basketball, or football (sometimes baseball). When I caught myself yelling at the TV I realized I actually like wrestling. I have never really been into wrestling as far as watching it. I thought certain guys were cool when I was a kid (like Hulk Hogan). Then about 10 years ago when "The Rock" was a big name, I watched a little...Simply because he was so "haaaaawwwwwt." But to sit down and watch an entire show? No. Never. Not until now anyway. 

 One part of wrestling that I really enjoy is when the "divas" wrestle. They are so fit and athletic; some more than others. It's amazing to see the range of body types and sizes of the women who wrestle; and how they possess so much strength. One wrestler (who's character I do not like, "AJ Lee") is tiny. She's thin and probably 110 pounds. Her muscles aren't super defined, but she's good. Then there's my favorite, "Kaitlyn." She's a best! I absolutely LOVE her body and pretty much have a "girl crush" on her. She was a female bodybuilder before she got into wrestling and has been athletic her entire life. Her arms are a bit bigger than I'd like mine to be, but overall her body is freakin' amazing. She looks big (in a strong, muscular way) and I think it's awesome. I also really like the character she plays.

 I'm not saying I want to become a professional wrestler. Or a female bodybuilder. Honestly those ideas make me laugh a bit. I guess I thought about it for a minute... Then I laughed myself out of it. In order to become a wrestler I'd have to take time out of life to go to wrestling school (for real). I think that I can work hard enough to achieve a level of fitness that would allow me to go to wrestling school, but I won't be running off to attempt to join the WWE when I'm done. 

 That would make an intesting book though... A girl who was morbidly obese changed her life, lost weight, and became a WWE Diva!! Look at that - a tagline already! Ha! 

 Because of loose skin and whatnot, I will never look like Kaitlyn or any other female wrestler. Unless, of course, I have more surgery. The divas, "Kaitlyn" in particular, just happen to be my fitspiration at the moment. I am going to work as hard as possible over the next year (starting Monday) to look as much like that as possible - for me. The goal isn't just about my appearance. It's about working toward reaching a new level of fitness. Do I hope to get a hot bod in the process? Um, yes. Obviously. 

So that's it..The book. I am going to work on making my body as in shape as possible...Like fitness model status. Again, I'm not saying I will look like a fitness model because it may not be possible for me to do so. I just want to be as fit as I possibly can. Despite having surgery, I still have some lose skin. I don't think I'll ever have what can be described as a "hard body" unless I have more cosmetic surgery. I once weighed nearly 350 pounds. I had A LOT of skin to be dealt with! My surgeon has done a fantastic job, but there's only so much that can come off at one time (safely). 

This new adventure will give me a goal to focus on and work toward. It will also be something more specific for the book I've dreamt of writing. I finally have that direction that was missing. I'm already making my plan to start on Monday. I went to a bodybuilding site and found information on training to be a fitness model. 

I chose fitness modeling as an outline for my plan, just to give me some paramaters and direction. I'm not striving to be a fitness model but I'm striving to be as close to a fitness model as my body will allow. 

 My journey has taken a turn. It's no longer about dropping pounds. The Cardio Queen has already achieved weight loss through cardio (and healthy eating). Do I still hope to lose weight (fat)? Of course!! I am sure that I likely will do so despite not doing tons of cardio. 

 So there you have it. My focus...Fitness. I'm going to work hard; as though I'm going to join a fitness competition. I'm not actually planning to join one becuase I am realistic about my body, but that's how hard I am going to work. I can't wait to get started on this project! For so long my focus has soley been on losing weight. Now it's going to be on getting fit; on becoming strong and fit. 

 Please feel free to shrae your thoughts on this and pray that I don't get distracted or lose interest and say "oh forget it" along the way. I feel that I'm determined enough to make it happen though, so more than likely - I WILL.

Happy Thursday!!