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February 6, 2002

Fatastic at last!!  I didnít think I was EVER going to get to this column!  It was definitely lack of opportunity and not lack of incentive that got in my way, but as always when weíre held up from something, a redirect was involved.  But then, this is also the time of redirects and commitments, so it was timely.  

I WAS going to write about my recommitment to weight loss and how excited I am about it, but every time I would start to write, Iíd get called away for something.  Eric is working out of state 10 hours a day and has chosen to commute so he can sleep in his own bed, which is what he doesÖall day long.  He gets up around 4-5pm, eats, dresses and goes back to work again.  Gets home around 5am and falls into bed again.  When heís off on the weekends (Friday through Sunday for him), he follows pretty much the same schedule.  When he gets up, we eat dinner, pretty soon after that, the kids go to bed (around 9 or so) and then Iím not far behind since the kids get me up between 4-5am.  With his work and sleep schedule like this, all (and I do mean all) of the care of the kids and running of the house falls on me and I was surprised at how much I depended on his help!  Anyway, itís been hard to get to the computer without him to take over kiddies from time to time.  Needless to say, there is little or no time for personal indulgence.  Josh is working now, so my babysitter is MIA.  Iíve found the things I want to do falling into the cracks and Iím working hard to find time to get those back. 

More and more, I am getting the feeling that this just isnít the right time for me to get aggressive on the weight loss, as much as I do want it.  My head and heart are free to do this and Iím excited about it, but the timing just isnít right.  It will be, but itís not yet. 

The bad news is that I had to go off the Stacker 2ís, which I want to reiterate are just fabulous.  They totally regulate my appetite, not just my hunger.  They actually burn the fat from my body and seem to sculpt it.  I only had to take one a day instead of the recommended two per day, so it was twice as economical as I expected.  I didnít feel speedy at all.  I had nice, pleasant energy.  I could stay up and watch a movie at night if I wanted to without dropping off to sleep during the opening credits, but if I wanted to sleep, I could.  I felt very comfortably full all day and all night long.  I had to (god I hate people who say this) remind myself to eat some times.  I felt wonderful.  I felt powerful.  I felt successful.   

Absolutely the only problem I experienced with the Stacker 2ís is that because your emotional attachment to food is totally removed, if food has been providing a high percentage of your ďhappy,Ē mood swings are probably going to flare up.  It sure did for me.  Once I identified that I was so depressed because I was missing my food high, I was able to replace it with other things to make me happy.  One thing I did to cuddle myself is that I took the edge off of my recent manic move at keeping the house clean and polished.  Since I truly hate housework, allowing myself to quit working at 8pm every night and have the nights off helped a lot.  I know there were more things I could have done, but I ended up having to go off of them before I could explore that. 

I actually had to stop because Nathan (the 2-year-old) was blackmailing me.  I knew that I wasnít supposed to nurse while on the Stackers and Nathan was down to only nursing for maybe 5 minutes at a time, around 9-10pm at night.  I figured since I was taking the Stacker at about 6am, heíd be fine.  He was for a while, but then within a week or so, he started skipping his naps and his eating really cut back quite a bit.   

Since Iím pretty well done with the nursing (I recently added up and I have spent a cumulative total of just at 10 years of breastfeeding time in my life) and heís definitely old enough to wean, I figured the choice was obvious.  As if in retaliation, be began demanding to nurse all the time.  When I say no and try to distract him with a sippy cup and cuddles or a video or playdoh, he SCREAMS at the top of his lungs, no matter what I do for him, no matter what I offer him instead.  I thought I could outlast him.  Iím tough.  Heís child #6 and Iíve weathered some serious kidstorms.  Heís a pro, though, and the kid would NOT stop screaming.  He screamed until he was hoarse and then he screamed some more.  Not a tear in sight.  When I cave in and let him nurse, heís insane about it, grabbing hard, making all kinds of happy noises, and sounding like I do on the weekends when I can have a Dr Pepper.   

Iíve gotten him back down to only briefly nursing at naps and the night quicky now, so we are edging back to weaning, but he just wasnít ready at all and I was not ready to engage in battle over it.  Since it obviously means so much to him, I donít mind continuing for a while until he is in a better place for it.  God knows this is the last time I can offer him that.  My milk is starting to go away because of the hormonal shifts from the big M, so I donít imagine it will last much longer. 

I recently spent a week trying out Slim Fast again.  What great stuff!  I had forgotten how delicious and filling it is with some very slight modifications!  I had Slim Fast for breakfast (the blender stuff, not the nasty canned stuff), a Meal on the Go bar for lunch (nasty), two snacks and a nice dinner.  I wasnít hungry even once.  At first, I thought that the morning shake (I was using the Chocolate Royale powder) was kind of blah, but I found that if I added about a half cup of crushed ice to the blender, plus maybe a cup or so of Dryers French vanilla ice cream and it is absolutely YUMMY!  The Meal on the Go bar tasted kind of chemically, but I saw that it had about the same calories as a Snickers bar, so that was a great substitution.  For my snacks, I had fruit.  For dinner, I usually had chicken or a sandwich with some veggies.  I have been drinking only about 64 ounces of water a day and while that isnít as much as I should be drinking (110 oz, so just over half), itís better than the no water I used to drink.  I have a tiny dinner now instead of it being the biggest meal of the day and I never, ever eat after 6pm (even Mogwiís can eat until midnight!).  All of these changes (OK, I was kidding about the ice cream and the Snickers) fit nicely into my life after the initial adjustment period and I consider them very positive.  I got tired of the (real) Slim Fast after Day 3 and just went back to careful eating.  Iím still solidly locked in at 226.  I gain 2-3, then lose it, then lose 2-3 and gain it.  I know Iím not going to make any significant change until I can get better exercise into my life and thatís the next change Iím loving in there so it will stick, rather than inflicting it on myself.  Iím in California, so itís now time that I can start walking if Eric can shake off the sleep early enough.  I miss listening to Christiane Northrup and Dr Phil as I walk.  If I have to, Iíll resort to treadmill, but Iíd prefer to take the opportunity to get out of the house and get some air.  In lieu of that, the body flexing, like the Stacker 2, is something that really, really works and takes little time, so I can work on that as well.   

I started out this column by saying that this wasnít the right time for me to get aggressive about the weight loss.  That doesnít mean Iím not going to be eating carefully and courting the exercise, but merely that Iím not making it a primary focus.  Iíve gotten some good info about Weight Watchers from our GH mailing group and a friend is sending me the info.  I canít get to the meetings with Ericís schedule the way it is right now, but Iím definitely interested in what they have to say because I know a lot of people who are having great luck with the points program.   

Iím willing to give it a try, but Iím going to have to find some way to work more wonderfulness into my life on a personal level to make the weight loss work. 

My friend, Georgia, who just successfully completed her weight loss goals, recently commented that you canít lose the weight if that is your focus.  You have to make self-confidence your focus and work outwards from there.  Then the weight comes off because you want to take better care of yourself.  Iím not quite there yet, but Iím determined to ďfirst do no harmĒ and not do any further damage until I am there.  Additionally, while Iím working on the self-confidence part, I will be integrating more positive changes into my life, gently, a few at a time.  By the time Iím ready to go full force on it, a lot of the needed changes will already be worked in as a comfortable routine and Iíll just need to up the octane a bit.   

The changes you love into your life last forever! 

Love ya,

January 8, 2002 

Itís great to be back home again.  The trip to LA was rushed, but overall, quite fun.  It had its ups and downs, but there was definitely more bad than good.  I learned some very valuable things about my Fatastic Journey and came home with a renewed determination to put them to use. 

Walking all over Disneyland definitely showed how my weight is slowing me down.  I felt a little cumbersome at times and just feeling the beginning of  movement restriction due to my weight was plenty to get me moving (metaphorically) on bidding it good-bye once and for all.  Another issue that was brought to the forefront is the pain that I have been having straight up into the heel portion of the bottom of my foot, primarily on the left side, but sometimes on the right as well.  It has been bothering me for about a year so that when I get up from sitting or sleeping, I have to hobble, and has been a problem the last couple of times that Iíve done my aerobic walking, not at the time, but a few hours afterwards.  When I got up the day after Disneyland, it was the worst itís ever been and I almost couldnít walk.  I donít know if itís weight or age related or both or neither, but I do know that I wonít be able to walk or run for exercise, so Iím limited to my yoga and body flexing.  I plan to wait on that anyway until I hit a plateau with the Stacker 2ís.   

Yesterday, my first full day back from vacation, was the beginning of all this anew.  I felt reborn and ready to get back to work on what really matters.  First and most immediately rewarding was Operation House Scour which, like the weight loss, is a process.  Over this week, I am determined to get my house  funk free and clean.  Iím not going to do it all in a day or two like I normally would, but instead Iím spreading it out over a week so as not to get burned out.  I friend of mine mentioned a program with a checklist and index cards to remind her of daily chores to be done, as well as long term and big projects and I thought I was ingenious, so I may be using that.   

The other renewed vigor is of course, for the Fatastic Journey.  With all of the wonderful tools I have available, I have no more excuses for not succeeding, so whatís left is, well, succeeding.  The timing is perfect:  the beginning of the agricultural year when we do all of the planning for the coming year and I plan to be totally finished before or at harvest in August-September.  After going back off of the Stacker 2ís, I am starting at my old friend and set point, 226.  Iíd love to measure since my loss was also in inches last time right away, but my tape measure seems to have disappeared, probably used to tie a doorknob or bed post or some other threatening object in a kidsí room somewhere.  Maybe Iíll find it during Operation House Scour.   

I think this is the first time in my year of the Fatastic Journey that I have actually felt the click and known I was ďin the zone.Ē  Iím definitely ready this time.  My plan is to take the Stacker 2 once a day, in the morning, with a big breakfast, healthy snack midmorning, medium sized lunch, healthy snack mid-day, tiny dinner and nothing at all to eat after 6pm.  Iím not drinking any sodaís during the week, only weak iced tea and water, and if I have any soda at all during the weekend, it will be diet.  Yesterday, I did an Ultimate Cleanse (GNC herbal supplement that purifies) and got all cleaned out, so I feel ready to rock.   

I have noticed that my pants are my biggest indicator for inches lost, so I plan to wear skirts and such all through the week, then try pants on the weekend to mark my progress.   

So thatís the plan and I will keep you posted as it unfolds.  Thanks for walking with me on the path!

January 3, 2001


Boy, these things have taught me SO much!  First, they still make me feel like I've eaten a big meal all day long.  I'm full and feel like if I eat more, I'll get sick.  I feel like that all day provided I take one pill in the morning with a good sized breakfast and drink water through the day.

A word of warning:  IF you have been getting a good amount of happy from your food, once you stop eating because you aren't hungry any more, you will have a happy deficit.  I found myself feeling very emotional at times simply because I wasn't having the joy of eating.  Be sure and find other fun things for yourself and nurture your spirit or you're doomed.

At the end of week #1, I had lost 4 pounds and a dress size.  These things not only curb your appetite, but burn fat in the right places.  For week #2, Eric was home and we went out to eat a few times, so I found myself eating over the Stacker results and I felt queasy.  I also did not lose any weight.  During the first week, I ate in a very balanced way, small portions and nothing after 6pm.  Week #3, I stopped taking the pills so that I could stress eat!  How screwed up is that?  My only liquid was soda and I ate like a fiend because we were under megastress.  I gained back the four pounds, plus four more.  I know it's mostly fluid retention, so I'm drinking water like mad today and I'm back with the program and no longer being ignorant about it.  Vacation starting tomorrow or not, I'm going to stay with eating well and taking the Stacker.   These things work!!


December 18, 2001

Today is day two of the official Stacker 2 attempt.  I had a little trouble getting to sleep last night and whether it was the Stackers or just everything that was going through my head with Christmas planning and bill management and other unpleasantness (unpleasant because yet again, Iím having to work on a shoestring).  Just to be sure, I only took one today instead of two.  The dosage is one at breakfast with your food and one at lunch with your food.  Yesterday was the only day so far that I actually took two and I think that for me, it was totally unnecessary.  Iíve always been a pretty cheap date where drugs and alcohol are concerned.  

Today was good again.  Iím really sick with a cold, which would normally mean that I would be comfort eating (plus Iím on my period).  My eating was very much under control and still is, even though I took it early this morning, around 6am.  I had a good grain cereal with a bit of sugar for breakfast.  Lunch was a nice whole grain bread with 4 thin slices of low fat ham and I havenít had any dinner yet.  Iím still deciding what would taste good and Iím not particularly hungry.  I just went into the kitchen to prowl, but I couldnít find anything that looked intriguing.  I even looked right at a canister of homemade (perfectly made) chocolate chip cookies and didnít even feel a spark of interest.  As I said, this stuff totally eliminates my emotional attachment to food.  I never would have thought that could happen and Iím not even sure I would have wanted to have it happen before I felt it.  Food was a way I nurtured, rewarded, comforted and entertained myself before and since I started taking these, despite many things that have happened that would have made me want to eat, I havenít felt a need to do that.  I have to remind myself to eat enough to not drop down my metabolism.  I would not have thought Iíd want to lose that source of joy, but Iím finding now that I donít really miss it and I love the results that I feel I will get.  Another reward is that since Iím not eating very much, when I do eat, it has that vibrant, alive, full taste food has after youíve come off of a fast.  Iím really craving fruits, but that will have to wait until Friday for payday (or Thursday for bad check day).  Since this is Tuesday, thatís not so bad. 

Iíve also been doing my body-flexing daily and I can feel myself getting back into the groove with it.  Today will be a challenge with my cold, but I am very determined!  This is the first time in forever that I have felt like I could really give it a chance this time. 


December 17, 2001 

Today begins again the Fatastic Journey that has been derailed for a while.  I have been reading a book called Forever Thin that interviews people who successfully took off large amounts of weight and kept it off.  Although the methods of losing the weight vary from pills to liquid diets to die hard will power and determination, there were two common denominators that ran through their stories.  One was that they all drank water to excess.  The other is that they all said that they had to hit a critical point where it was just ďtime,Ē then they clicked into a ďzoneĒ and the weight loss began.  They had nearly all had unsuccessful attempts, from a few to many, prior to that time, but once they were successful at losing it and keeping it off, they felt a sense that it was ďtime.Ē  I will be honest and say that Iím not necessarily feeling it now, but that isnít going to keep me from trying.  Perhaps once I get going, it will click in.  I am drinking the water, I have started carefully monitoring what I eat and Iím using a supplement that my friend, Georgia, told me about, Stacker 2.  Iíd never heard of them before and was trying out Xtreme Trim from Vitamin World at the time.  She swore by these things and both are ephedra based.  My friend, Trish, has lost about 20 pounds in a couple of months on Xtreme Trim, but they didnít work out for me.  I tried them a couple of times and I got really speedy and not in that good way where you are dusting the tops of the door jams, but in that icky way where you canít put your teeth together right.  

I had lunch with Georgia on Thursday and she gave me a couple of the Stackers to try.  I took one with dinner and didnít think much more about it.  That night, while I was eating dinner, I realized that I was eating out of habit.  I wasnít really hungry.  I took the second one on Friday with lunch and wasnít hungry again until around noon the next day.  That convinced me that I was going to take back the Xtreme Trim and get a bottle of Stacker 2ís, which I did. 

I was talking to my pal, Karen about them and she said she had seen their advertising on ESPN or somewhere and that it was blatantly offensive with people making fun of fat people and being really nasty and derisive.  I felt really bummed to hear that and had to consider whether or not to follow through since I agreed with her that it wasnít great to fork over money to a company that was so negative and evil.  I decided to push aside ethics for the time being and get the pills, but it was after a lot of deliberation.  I told Karen that the way they made me feel, I would have bought them if they were made by four-year-olds in Indonesia out of my motherís blood, considering the way they made me feel, but in reality, I did give what she told me careful consideration.  I am one of the fortunate wives who does not even have ESPN programmed into the cable box, so I missed their ads.  If Iíd actually had to watch them, I may well have chosen different.  For now, Iím having to limit my decision to being based on me and what helps me most. 

This morning, I took my first Stacker since Friday.  I was just starting today to get an appetite again, so Iím glad I had one to take.  Yesterday was particularly interesting for me because I didnít eat in the morning, went out to lunch with Eric and had fajitas (yum), but was full after eating just three.  I was able to feel a very distinct click over when I was full and just knew it was enough.  After the movie, we went to the movies (Oceanís Eleven was great) and I felt no desire for candy of popcorn, which is heretofore unprecedented.  I had no dinner last night because I wasnít hungry. 

What I appreciate most about the Stackers is that it give me a fill button, which I didnít have before and it also removes the emotional attachment to food, which is odd for me.  Iíve never in my life not had that before.  Last night, Eric had some ice cream and Iíd just made chocolate chip cookies and Rice Krispie treats to start my Christmas cooking for the year and I went to eat some and immediately recognized that I was eating them for the taste and out of habit.  I was actually quite full, almost to the point that if I had eaten, I would have felt a little yucky.  It was very easy to not eat the sweets because of that.  I am very hopeful that this edge will help a lot this time.  

I still do need to exercise, for which I have a history of having no discipline.  Iím working on that one.  For now, my goal is to remember to eat enough to have a balanced diet, stay on low fat, high protein and low/no refined carbs, whole foods and a multivitamin, remembering to stay with the high fiber fruits and veggies so that the high protein doesnít keep things from moving through as they should.  I feel confident about navigating the holiday foods.  In fact, I feel totally confident about the eating and calories.  The Stackers also have a good dose of chromium picolinate, which is great for stabilizing the blood sugar and insulin levels.  I just feel good; very much in control, very sated and very healthily energetic.  I donít have any problems sleeping at night, which is a good thing. 

Iíll keep you posted and let you know if this seems to be the winning ticket. 

Hang in there,


December 11, 2001

Karen, without meaning to (or perhaps fully meaning to), gave me a kick in the butt about the Fatastic Journal, which I have been ignoring blithely.  The main reason, of course, is the abysmal failure of the Fatastic Journey, which is still fat and not really going anywhere (but Iím sure you all figured that out).  I canít seem to find an exact date, but I know itís been just shy of a year since I started the Fatastic Journal and I still weigh what I did when I started:  226.  Iíve been up and Iíve been down, but I always seem to come right back to it.  Iíve tried any number of things and still do.  I still canít seem to find the right key, the right motivation to get in there and make it happen.  Intellectually, I know what I need to do.  I have to drink the water, cut back on the calories and exercise every day.  Itís plain and simple math.  Inside, there is some overwhelming default that makes me resort to comfort eating when the going gets tough.  The going has been pretty tough this year and Iím lucky to still be stabilized at the same weight rather than weighing even more.  

I still do want to be a healthy weight for all the reasons I did before.  None of that has changed.  Iím not naÔve enough to think that some miracle is going to come along to do the work for me.  I like to walk for exercise, whether itís on a treadmill or outside.  I love to put someone I love and respect on the walkman like Dr Phil or Christiane Northrup and take a walk with them, having that time to myself.  I feel better, I sleep better and I look better, but somehow, that never seems to happen.  I really do believe that itís not a lack of desire to do it, but more the result of the habit I have of pushing aside the things that I want in favor of the things or actions I perceive the family to need or want.  I do still feel that itís going to happen, I just donít know when.  

I try every day to do something positive toward my health.  Today, I did my Body Flexing, for instance.  Yesterday, I was careful of what I ate.  The day before, I drank the water.  I keep telling myself that if I can work in one thing a day, I can eventually work in two things a day, then get to all three things.  I will definitely do my Body Flexing again tomorrow.  There is no excuse for me not to make an effort to work in something that only takes about 15 minutes and is so effective.  I still completely believe it its value.  In fact, the other day, I was walking fast on the treadmill and even though I could feel my body being pushed as far as it was willing to go, I was bummed that I wasnít sweating.  I took a few deep Body Flexing breaths and soon I was sweating like mad and my heart rate was up.  It felt really, really good and I could feel the effectiveness of the work out go up tremendously.  The repetitious tightening of the muscle groups is so effective at getting them into shape and the heavy oxygen intake is great for burning the fat.  Also, when I was at my favorite thrift shop last week, I found the entire system, the two videos and the motivational cassette, together for $2.99 (and you know I had a 25% off coupon because I ALWAYS do).  I took that to be a sign to get up off my fat ass and start flexing again.  I havenít watched the videos yet because I was forced to donate my VCR to the kids, but I will soon and in the meantime, Iím flexing!  Iíll never forget the feeling I had when I first started it many months ago and lost 10 inches off my butt in the first week and about 3 inches off the rest of my body!  Itís really amazing that the combination of stretching, tightening and deep breathing will do!  I also feel wonderful after I do it.  I intend to do it again before I shower and go to bed tonight.  Itís 10:30, so if I ever manage to get into chat with an AT&T Broadband customer service person (Iím #40, woo hooo!), then Iím into that and off to bed.  

My friend, Trish, has lost almost 20 pounds in a month from this stuff called Xtreme Trim from Vitamin World.  It makes her feel great and the weight is falling off.  Of course, I got some and tried it last week, only to find that it did nothing for me.  I tried it again today and was speeding like mad.  Itís ephedra based and I guess I must be one of the people who gets strokes off of it or something because I was buzzing like mad.  It wasnít one of those good buzzes where you clean your whole house and dust behind the fridge and clean the top of your door jams.  It was one of those buzzes where you canít put your teeth together, your hands are shaking and you exhale a lot.  Not what I want to do (but admittedly, I wasnít very hungry).  I doubt Iíll try it again and will revert back to the old fashioned methods. 

So I just wanted to bring everyone up to date and say that Iím going to try again to keep the fatastic journal current and court the idea of weight loss for health and beauty again.  I apologize for leaving all of you hanging (as if you were dying to hear how fat Katrina still is), but there just really wasnít much to report and it was dismal to talk about continued failure. 

Still love you guys and I hope youíve had better luck than me!