Feb 17, 2004

Been too long!  Sorry about that.  Real life kind of got in the way.  I'm betting you guys thought I was hiding out with a Whitman's sampler, right?

Actually, I got past my plateau in the middle of a nasty, horrible, week long cold and I'm down to 14 pounds lost since Dec 31st. 

I am so completely and totally inspired!  My friend, Sage, visited me briefly last night and took me out to dinner (roasted chicken without skin... yum!) and gave me the pep talk of all pep talks and I'm really revved up to do this.  This sickness was really getting me down and he was able to get me back on track again.  I really do know I can do this.

What was the greatest is that he hadn't had a computer or known what I was doing (he left in November), but he could see that I had lost weight!  Having people notice is so great!  My clothes are bigger on me and I actually FEEL smaller!

So Sage was telling about this person he knows who lost 100 POUNDS since August 1st!!  That is so amazing.  According to him, it was Atkins and these things called resistance tubes or exercise tubes.  Evidently, they are used for strength training.  You can see them here.  I've never heard of them before, but I'm eager to try them and when I told him I was going to get some, he said he'd already ordered them and they're on their way!!  Whoa!  I was so excited!  He was afraid I'd be offended, but I was absolutely giddy at the prospect.  The strength training was where I was disadvantaged, but now, I can use these while Nathan is at preschool in the mornings, as well as getting in my cardio then! 

It's definitely working!  I had a gift certificate I hadn't used since Christmas from Amazon.com and I ordered the CD's of Dr Phil's book to listen to when I walk or ride the bike. 

There's not a lot to tell!  I'm just working balanced carbs, drinking water and one-day-at-a-timing it.

It's working and I'm in this for the duration.  I will have made huge progress by Halloween, my target date.  I'm still so very excited!!  It seems like as soon as I'm puzzling out how to do something, the answer reveals itself.  This really feels like a blessed endeavor. 

At the same time I started this, Eric stopped smoking and he hasn't had a cigarette since!  He still smokes his pipe once in a while, but it's so nice not to smell cigarettes!  This was a major demon for him to best and I am so proud of him!

So that's where it is.  I'm still highly motivated and on the right track.  I'll share more as there is more (or less!).



Jan 22, 2004

I posted some stuff in my Nonsoapy about a breakthrough I had in meditation when I started this path if anyone is interested. 

Lost another pound!  I'm at 9 pounds in just over 3 weeks.  Still feel good!


Jan 18, 2004

Hurray!!  I weighed today and I'm down three more pounds!  Talk about a scale jump!  That's a total of 8 pounds in exactly three weeks.  It's still easy for now.  The hardest part has been exercising, which only happened three times last week.  I hoped for more, but three was three times better than the week before.  I also drank a ton of water (bleh) and followed the IR Deit plan, using the Starch Away when I know a meal is going to have more carbs than it should. I can't believe all the food I've cut out from my life.  There have been about a hundred times I've recognized that I was getting ready to eat something when I wasn't hungry.  So far, I've been able to stop myself and redirect to another activity or if I'm really needing to be nurtured with food, I'll eat something that is a freebie on the diet.

I can't believe it's been three weeks.  I can't believe the cravings and the automatic eating are over.  It was a part of my life for so long, through so many other diets and aborted attempts.  I thought I would miss eating and the pleasure it brought to me, but I don't.  It was just a matter of getting through the first week or two when it was still easy to sabotage. 

I was really surprised today when I saw that I'd lost 3 more pounds.  I'm surprised every time the scale has moved down a bit.  My clothes aren't fitting all that differently, but as big as I am, I don't expect any discernable difference for about another 10-20 pounds.  As soon as I can actually feel the difference in my body and know I'm not just feeling it by power of suggestion, I know I'll be even more motivated. 

Ah!  A great find!  I tried Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream and it was soooo yummy!  In fact, I actually enjoy it more than regular ice cream, which I love!  This stuff tastes a lot like nicely frozen Cool-Whip.  It's not overly sweet, but it still tastes really, really good (especially when you haven't had any ice cream in a while!).  The biggest bonus is that after you eat it, it doesn't leave that lardy taste coating your mouth.  It has 10 grams of carbs overall, 4 grams of net carbs (whatever THAT means... I just go by the 10 to be safe and I'm too lazy to look it up right now), 9 grams of fat per serving.  Most yummy.  Especially with lots of caramel and chocolate sauce on it!  (jussst kidding!)

Best low carb bars so far are Snickers Marathon Chewy Chocolate Peanut and any of the "Perfection" bars.  All of the others have been fairly grim.  I'll keep you posted.

I haven't gotten into nuts yet this trip.  The amount of fat on them holds me back, so I'm really devoid of salty crunchy.  That's my next frontier to conquer.  :)

This is all so exciting.  Eric stopped smoking and drinking the same week I started my weight loss efforts and he has been just perfect about it... not a single slip and it was much easier for him this time than it has been before.  He had a weekend of being a real grizzly bear, but then was back to his normal self, just not smelling like a ashtray.  I'm eager to see how we both are by harvest time in August!

(That is just before the GH Weekend, so with any luck, I'll look a lot different to my writers than I did last year when we got together).  If I've been able to lose 8 pounds in 3 weeks with as little effort as I feel this has been, I'm excited to see how it goes when more exercise and (grrr) even more water yet factors in.  Each week, I'm trying to either add something new to help my progress or tweak something I'm already doing to make it better. 

I also can't believe I'm still into this after 3 weeks.  I think this is about the longest I've stayed fully dedicated and it just feels like the beginning still, in a good way.  I can do this.  I can definitely do this!

So to place myself for later pictures, here's a pic of me with Delena that was snapped the first week of my diet:

With any luck, in a few weeks you'll see a comparison picture here of me under 200 pounds!

Oh!  Another big difference that I don't understand this time (and am NOT questioning!) is that before, a couple of weeks into the diet, I'd start to have all this emotional garbage surface that I was eating over, then I'd get all hysterical and weepy and ranty until I ate something I shouldn't.  Didn't happen this time and I don't think it will.  I have even already made it through my period without that happening, so I think I'm clear.  Thank you Remifemin!

See you soon!


Jan 14, 2004

This is still going very well.  I can feel really big differences in my body, even though it's not reflecting on the scales right now.  I've been exercising daily this week, both cardio and using free weights for upper body.  I've been drinking gallons of water (I've found that the more you drink water, the more you crave water even if you don't like water, which sounds like addiction to me!), taking my Ultra Chroma Slim (which has started leaving a metallic taste in my mouth, but I can live with that), peeing all day long (amazing how well a body can push through water!), combining foods every time and keeping the 7:16 protein:carb gram ratio (as a maximum, or even leaning even heavier to protein), avoiding all candy, cookies, high carbs, refined carbs, heavily processed foods, caffeine, staying to lean meats, avoiding high fat foods and not weighing more than once a week.  After losing 5 pounds in the first two weeks (I'm into week #3 now), I'm still at the same weight as of this morning (I weighed several hours later in the day than last time and it was after eating and I'm on my period, so I could weigh less in actuality), but I'm good with that.  I don't expect miracles, just positive changes in the way I nourish and take care of myself.  I can definitely see myself eating and living like this in the long term.  I'm past the point of cravings, which is a really big help.  I do occasionally think of some food that would taste good, but I can usually get past it in just a few minutes.  It doesn't haunt me or affect my quality of life or anything.

I have days when I'm hungrier than others, but it's easy on those days to supplement with extra protein to keep me feeling fuller.  It's easy now and that's a good thing.  I really want to encourage people with the assurance that if you can make it through the first couple of weeks without cheating, it gets sooo much easier.  As with any "addiction," once you're past the withdrawals, the occasional want to is there, but overall, it's not so bad. 

I have to believe that all of these positive changes will result in good changes in my body.  Oh, thanks to the reminder of a reader, I have also been occasionally using Starch Away when I know that a meal is going to have a slightly higher carb content than I'm used to.  It worked well for me in the past and when a reader wrote to ask me about it, I got a little jog and was glad to remember.  It did seem to work well before, it's inexpensive and tastes kind of like baby aspirin. 

I've noticed that my belly feels smaller, so I'm dedicated.  It's still going well and I'm feeling good!

Take care!



Jan 8, 2004

Yayyy!  This is going very well.  Yes, there have been some real tough moments and overall, there is a certain freedom that I do miss, but it's gone very, very well.

Today is about a week and a half into this leg of the journal.  For the first two weeks, my plan as been to get used to the combining part of my food lifestyle changes... no more than 16 grams of carbs for every 7 grams of protein, never eating carbs alone (make sure you're with a friend!  ) and sticking to low calorie, low fat proteins.  The low fat proteins thing has gone very well.  I've been able to get the hang of balancing the food choices pretty well.  I've become an expert label reader and found there are a lot of foods I like that can be worked in.  I eat about 5-6 times a day and the protein helps keep me full.  Lots of green vegetables (stir fry is a big deal for me and I use it a lot), no processed meats (bologna, hot dogs, deli meat), no refined sweets.  I have found some great protein bars.  One is a little one I can't recall... starts with an E.  Another is the new Snickers Marathon bar.  Only the Chewy Chocolate Peanut fits into the plan for me, but it's really, really tasty.  Most of the others taste like penicillin.  Bleh. 

Now I have to face the biggest challenges I've always faced in weigh loss.  One is portion control.  It's not that I have a fascination with any one particular food group; it's that I love food and enjoy being stimulated by tastes and the feeling of being full all the time.  I love every part of eating.  I like eating a lot.  Don't mind giving up sodas... there's diet, caffeine free soda and that suits me just fine (haven't yet gotten to the point of given those up too).  I can give up candy and cookies, but I do miss it.  A low carb bar every couple of days helps. 

Another challenge is the water, which I hate to drink but have been drinking anyway.  Not as much as I should, but a whole lot more than I was.

Another challenge is exercise, which I have not yet started and must start.  Got some great tips from my brother today, who was a true success on the Body for Life program.  I hate exercising.  I haven't found any yet that I enjoy.  I'm open.

OK, so the good news is that during the week and a half that I've been not doing those things and have just been modifying my eating into the combining and balancing of the Insulin Resistance Diet, I have lost 5 pounds.  Fluid retention or whatever, I don't care.  Yayyy!

It should get even better when those other factors come into play.

For now, must exercise the option to clean my house.  :)

Take care, folks!


Dec 31, 2003

So here I go again, setting out on the trail to give this another shot. For those who haven't read the trials and tribulations of my weight loss journey (which is going the wrong direction), you can click here to get to the old Fatastic Journal Archives.

Anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight knows that it's a struggle.  It's easy for the pounds to creep up on you, a few here, 10-12 there, but taking them off is a lot more challenging.  Taking off the weight requires a direct act of active application, but putting it on is  passive thing that happens while you're focusing on something else, usually something painful and frustrating.  I have been overweight for 13 years now.  Prior to that, I was a lot of muscle and very slim for most of my life.  I wasn't aware of that, mind you, and never really got to enjoy it.  My husband at that time was always disgusted by my body, even when I used to run 3 miles a day and 5 miles on each week day.  I hated every step, but did it faithfully for a couple of years once those pounds started to creep onto my youthfully trim bod.  My body was never acceptable to my first husband, whether I'd had 1, 2, 3 of 4 kids and no matter how many trips around the Nautilus machines or running track I took.  He never once in 20 years of being together told me I looked really good.  So I gave up trying.  During one of my runs, which would turn out to be my last run of a regular nature, I had a tear in the seam of the thigh of my running shorts and the exposed skin took a wicked chaffing.   The next day, I couldn't run.  It was too painful, even from such a minor injury.  It was my first day in ages to not run, rain or shine, hot or cold.  I even got up at 5am to run before my husband went to work in the mornings.  That way, I never even woke up until about 2 miles into it. 

After I stopped running the one day, I realized how very much I hated it and never went back.  That corresponded with some personal choices I'd just made to stop some activities I'd been doing to in essence "punish" Paul for his alcoholism, for his lack of support or interest and for his treatment of me and the children.  Once I stopped punishing Paul (it was after one of our many split ups and reconnects), I was resigned to the life I'd chosen.  All of that blended together to start me on a long path of consoling myself with food and not exercising.  I put on 80 pounds within the first year and have shuttled an additional 20 pounds back and forth in the interim.  Since then, Paul and I actually divorced, not once, but twice, with the last time in 1996.  I married a wonderful man in Nov 1997, had two more beautiful children, underwent a total evolution of personality and spirituality to the point that I'm for the most part, an entirely different person.  I have loved many blessings and miracles into my life, but still, when the slightest thing goes wrong or I'm feeling at all tense or challenged, I make myself feel better by eating something. 

I'm an across the board, equal opportunity eater.  I love all kinds of foods and there's not really one area that is a weak point for me.  It's all a weak point.  I love good breads, pastas in alfredo, chicken, beef, potatoes, candies, cookies, veggies in butter, sweet fruits, ice cream, pizza... all of it.  I don't panic over deprivation when I'm dieting (which I do see as changing the way I eat forever), but more of panicking over not having an alternate way to cope when the stress hits.  I often don't get enough sleep, so that intensifies the stress when it hits and reduces my ability to make good choices.  It's so easy to eat something and feel better.  I haven't found anything that does the job as well by a long shot.

I've done the Dr Phil exploration to discover the underlying reasons why I eat.  Basically, it comes down to a choice of instant gratification and "feel good" in adversity, as well as a fear of returning to the bad choices I put to rest when I started eating to console myself 13 years ago.  Even though my life is completely different and there is nothing left to punish, the fear is still there.  It's not enough to keep me from succeeding, but it's there.

I was going to be going to a gym for women called "Curves" which is decidedly cheaper than most gyms, but with our most recent financial disadvantages, that's not going to be able to happen now that I can see, so I'm going to have to be responsible for exercising here at home.  The tools I will be using are these:

The Ultimate Weight Solution by Dr Phil.  Good advice and a good book. I'm only part way through it and there's not a lot in it that isn't already covered in his UWS shows that I've already seen, but it's a good source of reminders of the stuff that slips between the cracks.

The Insulin-Resistance Diet by Cheryle Hart and Mary Kay Grossman.  It's a wonderful food plan that teaches you to balance out carbohydrates and proteins in such a way that there is a limited insulin release and predominance of proteins and low carb foods without putting you into full on deprivation.  Like Weight Watchers, it doesn't disallow any foods.  It just is very focused on portion control, watching both fat and carbs so that they stay in a healthy (but not obsessive) range of intake and limiting insulin spikes.  Of all of the food plans I've tried, this one works the best for me.  I just have to stick with it instead of allowing myself to be medicated by food from every bump and dip in the road of life.  I have to, as it says in the title of this column, use food for nourishing, not for numbing. I can still enjoy food and can still have the foods I want, I just have to watch the portions and not over indulge (rewarding myself a couple of times a week instead of a couple of times a day). 

Aerobic exercise with the mini trampoline and the exercise bike.  I may get back into Body Flexing again, which was wonderful, but which I seem to resist for reasons I don't get at all. 

Strength building exercises when I can figure out how exactly I'm going to do it.

Ultra Chroma Slim to make sure I'm getting a good dose of chromium and other important supplements.  I'll be using 1/3 of the dosage recommended on bottle, which meets the suggested dosage of the supplements recommended by Christiane Northrup in the wonderful book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom.  It doesn't make me feel speedy at all and definitely tones down the appetite. 

This journal to be accountable, but also to rant and fuss when and if the cravings get nutty.

A diuretic just today because I know I'm starting this with a LOT of retained fluid.

Lots of water, which isn't my most enjoyed tool in this adventure, but is a definite necessity.

The determination to do it.  I'm tired of saying I'm going to do it and not following through just because the going gets tough.  I want to have this in my rear view mirror once and for all and get off this path that is leading to the solid impression that I'm smuggling sofas up my dress.  I want to have great sex again and I want to wear pretty clothes.  I mean jeez, if I'm this good looking now, I'm going to be a knock out at 100 pounds lighter!

(Last year, it was 80 pounds to lose... just goes to show how well my methods for dealing with my excess weight are working for me.  Gotta turn this train turned around now.  For the record, I'm not aiming for a bony body... I just want to get to a healthy size 12-14 or so)

So that's where I'm starting and what my plan of attack is for the time being.  No heavily reduced carb or heavily reduced anything except a heavily reduced food intake.  Just balance and moderation and I hope, some true wisdom and determination.  I'm not going to lie to you.  I'm not feeling any profound *click* or epiphany or other incredible motivator.  I've just had enough and I'm ready to do something different, whether I'm getting the buzz or not.  I cleared out some of the books I wasn't using recently and the twenty-eight books on dieting and weight loss show me that it's not about feeling a click or seeing God or having a vision of slimmed down beauty.  It's about doing it or not doing it.  Like Yoda says, "There is no try; only do or do not."

For those who are familiar with the spiritual path I follow of planting in the spring and reaping in the fall, yes, I did choose this as one of my "sparks of light" from Winter Solstice.  I'll know within the next 6 weeks or so if this is the life change supported by Deity and The Universe this year (I strongly suspect it is) and I imagine that the success and lessons I have between now and Spring Equinox will get me started on a magnificent planting.  By August first when harvest begins, I should be yielding a new wardrobe.  :)  Eight months at even a conservative 2 pounds a week gets me well on the way!

I'm 42 and I'm getting dangerously close to that point where if you keel over from a heart attack, no one is surprised or says, "Oh my! She was so young."  Now, they would say, "Such a shame!  If she'd only lost the weight!"  I guess you lose a lot of weight when you're decaying after you're dead.  I don't plan to wait and do it that way.

I'll check in here once a week or sooner if I feel a muse hit.

Take care all,


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