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March 2, 2002

That's IT!!  I've decided I'm going to stalk the scales and weigh every day because of all the lying that's been going on.  Today, same time, same nakedness, same place on the shower floor (I have bathroom carpeting for some unknown, stupid-contractor reason), the scale said I've lost 2 pounds (whooo hoooo!!) since Monday.  Ten would be better, but I'll take two and stop obsessing.  Meanwhile, I've determined that there are not nearly enough low-carb foods in this hear world.  Everything in my grocery store is half or more of my daily allowance including one slice of wheat bread.  :(

I'm going to give the low carb one more week (which is a great thing because by then, my total sugar and starch freak outs should be under control and I'll be ready for WW points if needed.  If the low carb is working for me, I'll stick with it.  Also, I'm adding in exercise this week.  I'm not beating myself up for only exercising two days last week because I was so good with the low-carbs, so I figure changing one thing a week is a good point of progress.  

No worries!!  Popcorn.  Today, I miss popcorn.


March 1, 2002


OK, so I guess I shouldnít expect too much because thatís when we get tripped up.  Whereís the balance?  On one hand, we are supposed to expect and welcome the miracles, the abundance and the blessings.  On the other, weíre supposed to stay realistic and not place expectations on life in order to keep from being disappointed. 

So sue me.  I peeked.  Today is day five of the great low/no carb, high protein water and salad fest.  I started on Monday morning and I have been 100% fly this whole week.  I went out to eat on Wednesday even, going to Mongolian BBQ joint (which I love).  I had one little biscuit (almost my whole dayís allocation of carbs in one neat 3Ēx3Ē package, but good lord, it was soooo goood) and the rest of the meal consisted of choices from my low carb/no carb list:  turkey, a touch of beef, chicken, Ĺ cup of fresh cabbage, ľ cup carrot (those being the rest of my carbs for the day) and I even passed on the usual sugared oil to fry it in (almost missed that one!) and went for ginger instead.  Combined with a green salad (thatíd be 3 for the day) and a glass of iced tea, I was satisfied.  The rest of the day was the usual morning of 2 eggs and dinner of a grilled chicken breast and green salad with a salad for a snack around 7pm that night.  

Yesterday was by far, my hardest day.   I was dying for a piece of toast, a baked potato, a slice of French Bread, some ice creamÖ  I made it through, though and was so proud of myself at the end of the day.  Every day this week I have stayed under my fat, carb and calorie allowances AND have exceeded my protein allowances (a good thing).  The theory is, for those of you who have not heard, that the body has two ways of getting energy.  One is to use the carbohydrates that you take in.  Carbohydrates can do little but act as energy and the surplus is stored as fat.  Refined carbohydrates and high glycemic index carbohydrates are absorbed and burned more quickly, which causes insulin spikes and increases the chance that the carbs will be used as fats instead of energy.  In fact, the point at which we began manufacturing white flower, sugar and other refined carbs has been easily pinpointed as the beginning of obesity being the norm in humans in Western society.  Anyway, the theory is that by consuming only high gylcemic index carbohydrates that are very slow to be absorbed, keeping the number of carbohydrate grams consumed in a day to a minimum, eating green, leafy vegetables and drinking lots and lots and lots of water, one will begin not only reduce the insulin spikes that occur through the day, but also encourage the body to use its other source of energy:  burning fat.  If you keep your fat intake to a reasonable amount, the fat that is burned will come from the fat stores in your body.  The burning of fat instead of carbs is called ketosis and is hailed as dangerous by the low-fat gurus.  What has been re-learned in the past several years, beginning with the re-introduction of Dr Atkins diet, is that ketosis is not a harmful condition for a healthy person who is overweight.  

Honestly, I can see both sides of the issues:  low fat and low carb.  I have a little trouble with the idea of low carb without monitoring fat intake, but most of the ďexpertsĒ who were pushing that idea have modified their stance to suggest not eating fatty proteins to excess, as was originally touted.  I guess they seriously underestimated our ability to pack down some steak and bacon.  It seems to me that either would work under basically the same umbrella.  Limit carbs and you will burn fat instead of carbs.  Limit refined carbs, stay with low gylcemic index carbs and limit your fat severely and after you have burned your carbs, you will burn fat.  Exercise with either of the above and you will burn more energy in a day and therefore, more fat either way.  Regardless, it is essential that you eat tons and tons and tons of green leafys (Donít fool yourself into thinking iceberg lettuce is more than a low cal, low carb garnish to your salad.  Do NOT count it as a green leafy.  As my midwife used to say, donít say youíre eating a green leafy when youíre eating something named after a thing that is white.)  and drink gallons and gallons of water.  It just doesnít happen without those two.  Also be sure you are taking a good multivitimin with minerals and using Mortonís Lite Salt to get good potassium, which dieters often lose.  In either case, low fat or low carb, be sure that you are watching portion control.  Any diet that tells you that you can eat all you want is a load of crap.  

Having tried both, I can tell you a bit about each one, in case you are a novice at either.  With low fat, you feel very clean and light and airy.  Your energy might bottom out because once you burn off the carbs you have eaten (even if you are eating the low glycemic ones) and your body starts to burn fat for energy, unless you have some protein in there, the production of energy is slow going, especially when your body is not used to burning anything but pure sugar for energy and not touching the fat stores.  Since you are not used to burning the fat, you might get lightheaded as your body converts the process.  If you do, eat a bit of low calorie, low fat protein, like a slice of low fat ham, a bit of tuna or a Ĺ cup or so of beans. 

With low carb, if you donít eat the green leafys and drink the water, there is a tendency to get very constipated and develop bad breath.  Neither will make you a joy to be around.  You feel very grounded, very *here* and your thinking processes are wonderfully clear.  The over-emotionalism that tends to go with low fat does not usually occur, although the cravings for carbs usually hits pretty strong after a few days.  If you ride it out, itís usually gone in a day.  Itís just your body looking for what is familiar.  The big catch with low carb is finding the hidden ones that you donít normally think about, like the sugared oil for the Mongolian BBQ that I mentioned.  Carbs are everywhere, so be careful.  With low-fat, you will soon be able to find the foods that you didnít know had fat because you will taste the fat that coats your mouth after you eat a cookie or a biscuit.  With low-carb, you can start to taste starches and sugars right away as well.  Once considered a fad diet, low-carb is now garnering the praise of respected authorities other than those who are hawking their own research and diet plan.  (Richard Simmons still goes insane when itís mentioned, however, so donít bring it up to him)  Dr Christiane Northrup (the menopause woman on Oprah and the lady doctor who talks about female medicine and treatment on the PBS telethons), by far one of the leaders in her field and the most respected physician in the country by ME, wholly advocates the low-carb approach for optimum health in her books ďThe Wisdom of MenopauseĒ and ďWomenís Bodies, Womenís Wisdom.Ē  That is the reason I took this approach, although I know both will work.  One universal fact that has been gleaned from the YEARS and YEARS that we have been told by government research teams to severely cut back fat and proteins is that when we do this, we have brittle nails, dry sky, hair loss and (guess what?) a tendency toward obesity.  If you do choose a low fat food plan, make sure that you are getting ADEQUATE fat.  Unlike carbohydrates, our bodies do need sufficient fat for optimum health, around 30-40 grams per day, according to Dr Northrup.  

So what was all that ďI peekedĒ fussing about in the beginning of this?  >:<  I peeked.  Itís day 5 and I felt good about surviving the cravings yesterday, besting the beast, so to speak, so I decided to do a little weigh and measure, just to see if anything was going on.  Nothing.  Not a pound nor nary a fraction of an inch budged.  Iím the same size and weight I was when I started this on Monday.  Yeah, I know 5 days isnít very long, but when you are changing your way of eating, itís a lifetime.  I was really hoping for just a little tad of encouragement after a tough day. 

Iím not going to let it get me down.  I said I would give low carb a two-week trial to see how I feel and what it does and Iím going to stick to that.  I have evaluated what I have done that could be changed to encourage greater progress and the only thing I could come up with was adding the exercising, which I have only done two days this week (two days more than most weeks).  I will make a great effort to work that in this coming week. 

In the meantime, Iíve done a few things to boost morale a bit.  I put on make-up every day and changed the scheme a bit.  I packed away every piece of clothing I own that is not flowing, pretty, comfy (can I sleep in it??) and most of which with a bit of an esoteric edge to it.  That cut me back by about 2/3, which was fine with me.  No more jeans except for the one pair of black stretch jeans that I love.  I downloaded a ton of what I consider really sexy music (You Can Leave Your Hat On, Here Comes the Rain Again, Beast of Burden, Bette Davis Eyes, Fire, Slow Hand, These Dreams, Sweet Dreams Are Made of These, Addicted to Love, etc) and I play it all, every day, to get into a slinky mood.  It helps.  Iím easy.  Iíve been taking time to read, which is a nice change, but can only get a chapter or so in a day.  

So thatís where it is!  Iím holding tough and determined to do this. 


February 26, 2002

Lots of Good Stuff!

This is from SELF Magazine - Take some, leave some!
Shared By Sherry!

SELF's compilation of the wisest, most memorable ways
to celebrate your shape and size (and yes, even your cellulite!).


Do you celebrate your thighs, sing praises to your biceps, accept your
cellulite? If not, what's stopping you? It's time, high time, to start loving
your body. SELF's stockpile of bona fide body wisdom will help. Warning to the
weak of heart: This is strong confidence-building stuff!
By Carolyn Hagan

"The curve is more powerful than the sword." -Mae West

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though
it may be necessary, from time to time, to give a
stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
                         -Miss Piggy

"He said, I won't have one of those things in the house.
It gives a young girl a false notion of beauty, not to
mention anatomy. If a real woman was built like that
she'd fall on her face.
She said, If we don't let her have one like all the other girls
she'll feel singled out. It'll become an issue. She'll long
for one and she'll long to turn into one.
He said, It's not just the pointy plastic tits, it's the wardrobes....
She said, Better to get it over with when she's young.
He said, All right, but don't let me see it.
She came whizzing down the stairs, thrown like a dart.
She was stark naked. Her hair had been chopped off,
her head was turned back to front, she was missing some
toes and she'd been tattooed all over her body with purple ink
in a scrollwork design. She hit the potted azalea, trembled there
for a moment like a botched angel, and fell.
He said, I guess we're safe."
     -Margaret Atwood, from "The Female Body"

"these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
pretty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
I have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!"
          -poet Lucille Clifton,
          from Two-Headed Woman

"I trace my own [body] confidence back to my mom. She always told me I was the
best thing since swinging doors." -Star Jones

"My butt! It fascinates me....I  like it so much that when I dance, I'm always
looking back at it." -Tori Spelling

"I had decided I was going to take my thighs and
butt with me proudly wherever I went. I decided, in fact,
on the way to the beach that I would treat them as if they
were beloved elderly aunties, the kind who did embarrassing
things at the beach, like roll their stockings into tubes around
their ankles, but whom I was proud of because they were so
great in every real and important way. So we walked along,
the three of us....I imagined that I could feel the aunties beaming,
as if they had been held captive in a dark closet too long, like
Patty Hearst. Freed finally to stroll on a sandy Mexican beach:
what a beautiful story."
               -Anne Lamott, from Traveling Mercies

"I've put on 10 pounds in muscle weight-I want to get bigger.
I love the way my muscles look, and I like wearing a tank top and
shorts to show them off."
                    -Rose Skavnak, running back for the
                    Minnesota Vixens of the Women's Professional
                    Football League

"I overheard one girl happily announce that she went up a suit size because her
back and shoulders had gotten so broad from the butterfly stroke. It's a new
kind of pride in girls."-Donna Kenneson, swim coach at Comprehensive High School
in Chicopee, Massachusetts

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off,
and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.
But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be
ugly, except to people who don't understand."
                    -The Skin Horse in The Velveteen Rabbit

"The scar on my chest is neither here nor there.
I see beautiful women feeling bad about their bodies
and finding flaws that don't exist. And I think to
myself how lucky I am that I don't have to live with
the burden of those negative thoughts."
                    -Jennifer Grambs, who had a mastectomy for
                      breast cancer with no reconstruction

"The body is a sacred garment....and it should be treated with respect."
-Martha Graham

"The possibility of living without dieting began to take root....I looked in
the mirror and saw a woman, with flesh, curves, muscles, a few stretch marks,
the beginnings of wrinkles, with strength and softness in equal measure....
That first feeling of liking my body-not being resigned to it or despairing of
change, but actually liking it-was tentative and guilty and frightening. It was
alarming, because it was the way I'd felt as a child, before the world had
                    -Sallie Tisdale, from "A Weight That Women Carry"

"The key to a good body image is being able to answer the question 'Is my body
healthy?' A healthy body has a strong heart. A healthy body has muscles. A
healthy body moves easily to get through life's business."
-Donna Lopiano, Ph.D., executive director, Women's Sports Foundation

"I look at the women sitting, standing, bending, squatting, stretching....
I gaze at their plump, plump bodies, their hanging breasts, the numerous
folds of skin on their stomachs, the fat that makes the flesh around their
thighs pucker into circles like fans....It seems to me as I watch them move...
that they are preparing to make love to freedom."
                       -Hanan al-Shaykh, from "Inside a Moroccan Bath"

"I go to the opera house because I love the splendid sets, antique costumes, the
huge orchestra....But most of all I go for the shapely giantesses who bloom
onstage like massive tropical flowers."   -Edward Hoagland, writer

"When women see voluptuous figures in Rubens paintings,
they're thrilled. They say, 'Hooray, she has cellulite!' "
               -Barbara Sweeney, tour guide, Ringling
    Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida

"If I look fabulous or if I look haggard
and awful, it's the lighting....My advice to
women concerned about their appearance
is to check the lights in their living room."
               -Barbara Walters

"Her stomach, untrammeled by girdles or sheaths,
popped forward in a full woman's belly, inelegant as
hell, an avowal of a womb fairly salivating in seed...
and her breasts popped buds and burgeons of flesh....
She was a cornucopia."
               -Norman Mailer, recalling Marilyn Monroe

"I don't have the perfect body. But I never break myself up into
little pieces-my body is this, my face is that-I don't know why
women do that. I believe you have to be mind, body and spirit all
at once. I am that way when I dance, and it doesn't end at the stage door."
                    -Helene Alexopoulos, soloist, New York City Ballet

"I don't feel less because I'm in the presence of
a beautiful person. I don't go, 'Oh, I'll never be
that beautiful!...' I mean, when people look at
Michelangelo's David, do they commit suicide?"
                   -Camille Paglia

"If you have been made on a generous plan, you have qualities
that littleness can never possess. Who with any authority has
said that slender persons are of the best type? Only carry yourself
well, be reposeful and stately, with a brain that sits supremely on
the throne of your being, and you may come into your kingdom
of power and love."
               -Frances Mary Steele and Elizabeth Livingston Steele,
                   from Beauty of Form and Grace of Vesture (1892)

"People diet because they want the goodies that go with being thin-the dates,
the clothes, the instant respect. I just skip the dieting and go straight for
the goodies."  -Marilyn Wann, 270-pound publisher of the magazine  FAT!SO?

"I feel my responsibility as a successful English actress to say to all
those young women who are out there in turmoil about their weight:
'Life is short, and it's here to be lived.'"
                                   -Kate Winslet

"'There's something here that troubles me,' the doctor
says. 'Just wait here a minute while I go call the lab.'
...No diagnosis yet and already the regret is settling in.
I should have loved my body better, should have loved its
curves and folds and softness....But instead I have ignored
it....A wave of love for my body that is as unfamiliar as it
is terrifying washes over me. I'm afraid at first it is desperation
love, the kind I've felt for a man only on the brink of his
leaving, but this is more penetrating, all-encompassing; a love
so sad and deep and complicated I am left, for a change,
without words....The doctor opens the door and smiles,
apologetic. 'My mistake....You're as healthy as an ox.'"
                    -Pam Houston, describing her cancer scare,
                      from "Out of Habit, I Start Apologizing"

"Anyone who's ever had a baby knows that you end
up with about an inch and a half of this skin here [on
your abdomen]. It changes the shape of your body.
And it looks like-like you've done  something. So I like
it. It's made me so happy. And that changes everything."
                    -Julianne Moore

"When it comes to women and bodies, God probably said: Let there be flesh."
-Demetria Martinez, writer

"I sometimes get out of the shower and think, Oh boy,
I have to do something. And then I have to work hard
to stand in front of the mirror after that image goes through
and say, 'This is who you are, and this is where you are.
You're okay in this body, and you're a great, healthy, lovable
and loving person,' and go forward with love."
                                     -Rosie O'Donnell

"In 20 years of being a nudist, I've seen one woman with a body like
Cindy Crawford. It's such an oddity, really, that you see the absurdity
of holding such a body up as a standard."
                    -Donna Meyers, cofounder of Bare Buns
                        Family Nudist Club, Oakton, Virginia

"You have to realize that before two hours of hair and makeup,
even I don't look like Cindy Crawford."
                              -Cindy Crawford

"At work, people say I'm too skinny; in my off-work world, I feel pressure to
get thinner.
Plus, my twin sister is on Baywatch! But if I lost weight, I'd be lighter than
the hose I carry. I couldn't run into burning buildings if I were Barbie."
                              -Caroline Paul, San Francisco firefighter

"We always think we're going to be better when we're thinner.
It's not true. You've got to love yourself now."
-Stacey Handler, granddaughter of Barbie's creator, and author of The
Body Burden

"Accepting my body was like getting to know a new friend."
-Margaret Cho, from I'm the One That I Want (Ballantine)


1. Fake Some Confidence

Act as self-assured as you wish you were: Positive feedback from others
will prove body hang-ups are in your head, says James C. Rosen, Ph.D.,
professor of psychology at the University of Vermont in Burlington.
"Sometimes, changing your behavior can help you change your
self-perception," Rosen notes.

2. Fill Your Space

"Yoga exercises let you own your territory rather than feel the need to shrink
your body," says Nancy Buttenheim, a senior faculty member at the Kripalu Center for Yoga
and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts. Two to try:

*The Mountain: Stand with feet apart; spine straight. Raise your arms straight overhead, shoulders down, and hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

* Victory Warrior Goddess: Step feet wider apart, slightly bend your knees and
spread arms into a V (bend elbows so fingers point upward).

3. Convince Yourself

Use logical reasoning to question irrational body-image attitudes,
recommends Alice D. Domar, Ph.D., director of the Mind/Body
Center for Women's Health at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
Center in Boston. Next time a negative body thought pops into
your head, ask yourself:

* Is this stressing me out? (If so, then why don't you stop?)

* Where'd it come from? (Did a past event make you self-conscious?)

* Could I be wrong? (Name two good things about your body.)

* What's the truth? (Nobody's perfect; why should you be different?)
                         -Lisa Jennifer Selzman


More Good Stuff


February 26, 2002

When I first started easing back into having an *(gulp)* (well, damn, that gulp probably had calories in it too) Eating Program, which was sometime in the neighborhood of yesterday, I really only skirted the idea and batted it around a bit.  I don't deny that I have been hiding out from having any kind of plan at doing this for a long time.  Part of the reason is that I didn't want to be accountable.  Part was that due to some freaky mental wiring, I think I was afraid of succeeding (go figure).  Part was that I was not ready to employ any degree of discipline and actually DO it.  I've been, due to circumstance, living in a lonnnng phase of personal deprivation on a lot of levels and feeling as though I'm already having to sacrifice so many of the things that I want that I wasn't willing to let go of the one thing that has consistently brought me joy, nurturing and fulFILLment, which is food.  If I could fill up on food, I could feel nurtured and full on one level at least.  

I am now on Day #5 of the most wicked head cold known to man and it has kicked my ass.  I spent two and a half days in bed, previously unheard of, and I'm still dragging my ass.  This has just shown me how out of whack my immune system and general health has become.  I used to NEVER get sick, even when I was fat.  Since 40 hit last September, bringing that great harbinger of death, peri-menopause along with it, all of the rules have changed and true to fable, my body is screaming that it won't take my abuse any more.  Although I still just weigh 226, my body is much fatter than it was this time last year and I can't let it go on any more.  As I explained this to my loving husband, he just looked solemn and nodded.  Part of me wanted to whack him for not comforting me from the cold hard reality, but most of me just loved him for being so honest and for not having brought it to my attention on his own.  So having come to that realization, I have decided to stop being such a puss and to get on the ball with this.  I figure a year should do it to get to where I want to be and about two months should get me to having incorporated the changes as lifestyle instead of temporary.  Lent maintains (what appropriate timing and I'm not a second of Catholic!) it takes 40 days to change any bad habits, but I'm pretty doggone resistant to change, so I'm allowing an extra 3 weeks or so for it to really take.  

While laying in my ill bed, I researched extensively, low fat, low carb, whole food, liquid diet, and on and on ad nauseum.  My favorite Doc, Christiane Northrup (aka Goddess Descended), outlines a good plan in her new book, "The Wisdom of Menopause," which was just recently showcased on Oprah.  I tweaked it with info from "Protein Power" by the Drs Eades and "Mastering The Zone" by Sears (who is a bit more zealous than I like) and the Lifespan book by the Hellers (ditto the zealots) and I think I've come up with a good plan.

First of all, Protein Power and The Zone both lost favor with me when they did not take bone structure into consideration (although a Gyn doc I used to work for once grumbled, "Bone structure, my ass, when was the last time anyone saw a fat skeleton?") and insisted that at 5'5" I should weigh 113-125.  Below 130, I look emaciated.  I'm shooting for 130-145.  I have to stay mindful that although that is a goal, I'm going to look better every step of the way, so there are continuous rewards rather than one big one at the end of the trail.  The insulin-resistance factor makes sense to me and hits on a lot of key points with my symptoms, so I'm going low carb but with no red meat.  The last two times I've eaten read meat, I've gotten really queasy and felt fairly yuck for a day or so, so I am taking that as a body sign that I don't need to be doing that.  Chicken and tuna suit me fine.  I'll miss the pastas, that's for sure and bread and potatoes are my cuddle food, so I'm going to not eliminate potatoes completely, just pare them down (no pun intended).  I've been craving green leafys, so I won't have trouble with that and will have to closely watch the carb index on fruits.  I've read a lot of info that indicates that we should be eating fruits alone to avoid bloating, which is a problem for me.  I'll also be limiting sodas (this stings) to only diet sodas and severely restricting them in favor of teas, artificially sweetened lemonade and water (yuck).  That is the only real deprivation other than the bread and daily potatoes that I'm seeing with this plan and I can live with that.  If I slow down in progress, the artificial sweetener will be the first to go.

I was shooting for the calories that would sustain a 140 pound person, which is in the neighborhood of 1500 per day.  I went by Northrup's outline to include 25% carbs, 35% fats - no transfats - and 40% protein.  That breaks down, very roughly to: 30 grams of carbs, 41 grams of fat and 60 grams of lean protein.  That takes me to just below 1500 calories a day.  I plan to take 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day and 8+ glasses of water.

Of course, I'm working in some exercising as well, be it the Yoga For Weight Loss tape I have, the Body Flexing or the walking on the treadmill.  Regardless, I'll do something every day.  Since I mostly sit and walk around the house, it will be a big change for my body to be moving that much at once.  I figure a half hour of the walking, an hour of the yoga or 15 minutes of the Body Flexing should do just fine.  

When I was first talking to Karen about this, I had decided to not go public with it, but on closer examination, I realized it was because I was secretly afraid of failing again, in the public eye.  To jump right out there again makes it more real and so here it all is.  I will check back once a week or so to let you know how it's going. 

This time, I'm going to do it with no excuses.  There just aren't any that are strong enough any more.  But I'm still wearing those dresses!


February 19, 2002

Whooo hooo!  Good news.  I know you guys think I'm leaning away from the journal because I'm out grazing in the fat fields, but this time it was because of sex.  Not having it, but the byproducts of it.  The boys have been extremely, well, "busy" lately and it has seriously compromised my computer time, so the routine site work has taken up my keyboard moments.  Some really cool things have happened that I want to share with you.

One is that I dropped the 3 pounds I gained OVER my set point and I'm back to 226.  Granted, it was probably jsut period water weight, BUT my period water weight seldom took me over my rock solid (rock flabby?) 226.  That was pretty scary.

Next good news is that the night that I typed the last entry, Nathan and I had our last nursing.  It was not intended to be our last one or at least I didn't know at the time that it was.  In fact, since I wrote it at almost 10pm, he had already had his last nursing and I didn't realize it.  He nursed to sleep for a few minutes and we cuddled and the next day, he didn't ask and went to sleep on his own with Dylan in their bed watching Blue's Clues.  It was strange that he went from wanting to nurse all the time to being indifferent.  Eh.  Two-year-olds are a fickle breed.  The next day, he blew me off again until night and then he assumed the position.  I asked for a hug and we cuddled for a while and I gave him a drink of juice and he laid on my arm and went to sleep.  On Friday, since it was into the third day, I took a Stacker and it really worked.  He just eased right out of nursing.  Out of five of the six babies that I nursed, he was the easiest weaning and I thought he would be the toughest.  Tomorrow night will be two weeks, so I think it's official.  He doesn't even ask any more.  He did several times and I just asked for a hug and sometimes took a kiss as a tip, we'd cuddle and I'd give him a drink.  There was never a moment where I had to tell him no or turn him down.  It's melancholy, as it always is, more so because I know he's my last.  Cumulatively, I added up recently that I've spent about 10 years of my life nursing babies.  Delena has graciously offered that I can nurse her babies when she's grown.  : P

I've been taking the Stacker 2 for a week and a half with the weekends off so I don't get immune to it.  It works so well and I'm still completely pleased with the results.  When I go off of it, I don't have bingey feelings; just a normal appetite.  When I take it, I have to remind myself that it's time to eat.  There was one day that I had a sweetened cereal for breakfast and I was speedy for the rest of the day, but if I take it with a protein food (usually two eggs), then I feel great for the day.  I think have a sandwich for lunch with maybe an apple or some pretzels for a snack.  Dinner is usually chicken or more eggs or a salad.  My buddy, Marney, sent me a bit of the Weight Watchers points info and I can see that I am well within my 27-31 daily point range.  I've been getting in all the water I can hold, which is not the 110 ounces a day I'm supposed to have.  It's more in the neighborhood of 64-80 ounces.  I'm not beating myself up about it because I never used to drink any water at all, so it's a big step up.  

The thing is, I should be losing more weight (3 pounds in two weeks isn't bad, don't get me wrong, but as I said, I think it's water weight) than I am.  I know it's because my life is not set up to accommodate the exercise and I have to make that happen.  Eric sleeps all day, works all night and I seldom see him.  The boys have stopped taking naps (used to nurse Nathan to sleep and without it, he doesn't stop moving much) and so I'm with them the whole day.  If I leave them unsupervised, even for the few minutes it would take to do my Body Flexing (or luxuries like stealing a 2 minute shower), I come back to broken glass, butter murals on the wall and sugar in the stove.  At night, I'm too whipped after getting up at 5am to give it a thought.  I talked to Eric about it and he has agreed to watch them while I exercise in the morning, after Delena is out the door to school and before he goes to sleep.  I'll look forward to yoga, walking with Phil or Christiane or Gary and Body Flexing.  We are supposed to start tomorrow.  

Another major change.  I have always been a person who subscribed to Dr Phil's theory about clothes and weight loss.  He says you should wear close fitting garments in your size so that you know if you get any bigger, you'll be naked.  I've done this for a couple of years, wearing stretch jeans that fit perfectly and a sweater or blouse over them.  I usually wear a control panty to suck in as much as I can.  When I went to my favorite thrift store this last week, I found two shifts (for all of you who are younger than the cookie sheets in my kitchen cupboard, a shift is a simple, sleeveless A-line dress).  I was surprised to find dresses in my size that didn't look like Shirley Temple just danced them off the Good Ship Freakin Lollypop, so I snatched them up.  Why IS it that people think that because we're fat, we suddenly have no taste in clothes and want to wear shirts with giant cabbage roses and puffed sleeves and those big riveted studs and polyester and giant Pooh bears?  It's a royal pain to find fat clothes, even new ones, with any degree of class.  I think Jacques & Koko and Delta Burke are my favorites, but even they fall way short sometimes.  Anyway, grabbed the shifts and they were so comfy that I dug through my closet and found 4-5 more soft dresses and they are my new uniforms.  If I get brave, I might just pack away all my clothes EXCEPT the comfy ones and keep things nice and simple.  I have about a million colorful broomstick skirts, required for Pagan ladies, of course, but they make my ass look like I'm smuggling a sofa out of the house, so they will most likely hit the boxes as well for the time being.  When I told my pal, Karen, about it she remembered what a group called "Sidetracked Home Executives" said about clothing selection, "Could I sleep in this?"  I'm all over that now and while I understand his intent, Phil can stow away his tight-fittin clothes.  Life is just too short.  The dresses are comfy and feel very sexy and feminine and I like how they look.  In my world, you count those blessings and work for comfort, not speed.  


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 quickie 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,