Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Recommended Reading

Even though I have completed both a Bachelors and a Masters degree, I will admit I have never been good at keeping up with the recommended reading. Required reading I do a little better at, but honestly I would always barely get through that, if I got through all of it in the first place (I'm good at talking, debating, & proving my point with examples all topped off with a hint of defiance, confidence, and a sprinkling of bulls**t so I get away with it; Sometimes I think I should have been a lawyer instead).

So I want to say to all my lovely readers, most of which have blogs, that I do read your blogs too! I don't always leave comments, but for the first time in my life I am LOVING my recommended reading list!

But I do have a question: Much like the tree falling in the proverbial woods, if a reader reads a blog but leaves no comment, did the reading of it actually happen?

Do people prefer comments regardless, or only if they have something to say? I will admit more often than not that I fall into the latter. But I'm thinking we all love getting comments right? So even if I leave a little 'great post!' it makes all the difference, doesn't it?

Hmm... yet on the other hand as much as we love comments, a whole list of comments not really saying anything would be tiresome, no? Appreciated, but banal at the same time...?

I haven't quite decided. But I do think I should make a more conscious effort to comment on your blogs. Even if I have nothing further to add because you already summed it up so sucintly, then at the very least I just want to show my support and that I'm here :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

FFFF#18: Mrs Claus is a Wise Woman



MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Be happy, be safe, and whatever choices you make (regardless of what they are), be PROUD of them!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Enabler Schmabler

Maybe it's because most of my friends are male...

Maybe it's because of the female friends I do have, they are all slim to average size...

Maybe it's because I'm a size 18 as opposed to my former size 24/26, so it's "easier" to find women who are a similar size to me...

Who knows? Either way, i am suddenly noticing there are more women who are a similar size to me in my day-to-day life these days. You would think I would enjoy finally being able to relate to people my size. I would have thought so too but I'm finding i'm having a very different problem.

Like most people, they take one look at me, and assume things. But this particular group is assuming a whole bunch of new assumptions that I don't particularly care for to say the least. Partly because i am probably the total opposite of what they are thinking, and second of all but most predominantly & my biggest gripe, they want me to be their ENABLER.

I hate enablers. I am guilty of it, and guilty of wanting them on occasion, but in general, it is a BAD THING.

There are quite a few "bigger girls" at massage school that I've met, and some I've got to know quite well. And they don't seem to care or seem interested in changing the fact that they are bigger. Unlike me, everything at that school makes me want to be smaller. That's their choice and I respect that. So why won't they respect my choice to not be complacent or comfortable with this size?

In our practical massage classes, I don't look at learning a new technique as 'wow, that's painful, I'm doing a minimal amount of that' instead i see it like a challenge. I'm going to need stronger abs? I'll add it to the To-Do list. I'm going to need more stamina and endurance? I'll add it to the To-Do list. None of this 'how can I avoid and/or minimize doing that technique' crap.

Or another perfect example, when we take a break or go on lunch: 'hey, let's get a burger!' No. no, I don't feel like stuffing my face with you just because we were just sweating up a storm and because I'm the same size as you, you assume things about my diet.

Why can't they embrace these healthy changes we are making for our chosen profession? Or at least the fact that Massage Therapists are all about promoting a healthy, balanced lifestyle? Don't they feel the need to practice what they preach? Sigh. But that's an uphill battle. Worse, it's like banging my head against the wall. And above all, they are entitled to their choices.

I of all people know that they will only change when THEY are ready to change.

But in the meantime, I really wish they would leave me out of their 'I hate exercise' and 'let's go eat fatty food' vicious downward spiral.

yep, that's right. I work out. I like to eat right. I will openly admit that I AM NOT HAPPY at this size. I won't shrug it off and look for an alternate solution. If my belly is in my way & is preventing me from doing something (c'mon think about it... how many physical things do you have to 'altar' because of belly fat preventing you from doing it the way healthy-sized people do it?) that's just another motivation for me to ensure the belly flab disappears forever. I will admit when something is just another reason to lose weight, or when something will be much easier when i lose weight. I think the big girls get scared by this. I guess cause I'm leaving them behind. And even though it seems they are in good company, I guess they don't like losing members of The Big Girl Club.

But perhaps formally returning my membership is the only way I will convince them to do the same. Well here it is! I'm officially turning in my 'fat girl for life' badge and RSVP NO to all future Big Girl Club type behavior!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shake (Off) What Your Mama Gave You!

Does anyone else find it strange that amongst the list of things I want to do when I am at my goal size, there are quite a few... how shall we say, "risque" activities?

Things like:

-- I want to be a Hooters girl! (No really, I do!)
-- I want to pole dance & actually be really good at it (No really, I do!)
-- I want to dance in a cage or in a glass booth behind a bar, or something along those lines (No really, I do!)
-- I want to work in a Bikini Bar or Coyote Ugly type bar (no really, I do!)

Does this make me a whore??? LOL (yes, yes, I use the term loosely and in jest, and my apologies if I offend anyone)

And you can't forget about the flip side; all these jobs require some degree of talent. No, seriously, they do!

Pole dancing? Just go to youtube and search for a 'how to' video or look up 'Pole Dancing Championships' and you will see just how much strength, flexibility, agility, grace, and stage presence this highly skilled artform takes (yep, that's right, I called it an art form. C'mon... take away the pole and give those girls a few more feet of fabric covering their bodies and you're got professional gymnasts right there!

Dancing in a confined space? Again, skill, talent, and stage presence.

Bar work or a Hooters Girl? OK, technically the extent of their talents lie in don't spill the drinks or mix ups the orders. But think about it, do you have the mental ability and sparkling personality perseverance to deal with drunk oogling frat boys? or worse, drunk oogling businessmen? That takes skill (even if that 'skill' is just simple 'patience' and 'tolerance'!) And hey, some of those bar girls have mad mixing skills!

But yes, I will admit, at the end of the day all of these can be perceived as demeaning and/or shallow jobs. So why would I want to do them?

Because never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would not only have the body to do these jobs, but the confidence in myself that I could pull it off. I wouldn't even dare DREAM any of these things are possible.

But now I am daring to dream. Partly because I know I can shape, create, and mould the body *I* want. And my destiny is my chioce and my responsibility.

But mostly because I know I am creating and building the kind of confidence it will take for me to do one or any of these jobs with my head held high if I ever decide to do one or any of them.

And no matter how 'demeaning', or 'judged' I am by others, I will do these things with my head held high quite simply BECAUSE I CAN.

And I know for a fact that when I feel confident about something, I really don't give a **** what people think! (hey it's true, I'm blunt like that). All I know is I'm confident in my decision and you can judge me all you want without it affecting me in the slightest. How? Because at the end of the day you're not me or living my life so what do you care? Naturally of course you are entitled to your own opinion, but when i'm comfortable and confident in something your opinion doesn't matter to me at all. Not even a teensy bit. And besides being free of being overweight, being free of caring about other people's judgment of me will be the sweetest success of all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

See You Next Year!

Time's up folks! By the time this post hits its pre-scheduled posting time, I will already be on a plane somewhere between New York City and Hawaii. Woohoo!!!

This is much more of a relaxation holiday; No itinerary necessary. The only thing on the agenda is walking (maybe some wogging), tanning, and relaxing. Rinse, repeat :)

I will be back in 2010 refreshed, rejuvenated, tanned, & hopefully a few pounds lighter too!

In the meantime I have scheduled some posts for your reading pleasure while I'm away (Remember that housekeeping I was talking about?).

I wish you all a happy holidays and a fantastic New Year! (got your New Year's resolutions figured out yet?) I want to say that I feel so incredibly humble & extremely lucky that you all choose to share my flawed, dramatic journey with me and cheer me on when I need it, congratulate me when I deserve it, and slap my hand or poke me when appropriate. I can never thank you enough. You guys & this blog keep me going and keep me (or get me back) on track!

Have a safe, healthy, gorgeous, & ridiculously successful New Years!

Friday, December 18, 2009

FFFF#17: Don't Believe Everything You Read

Although as obvious as this is, I must remember that this is FALSE when I am lazing around on the beach next week...

4 more sleeps to go until Hawaii vacation!

Friday, December 11, 2009

FFFF#16: By Popular Demand

Well! You guys certainly are a pushy bunch! hahaha!

In truth, I put these pictures together when I first started this blog. But I hadn't decided whether or not to post them. My last post was specifically about how people, namely me, really do have that sparkle in their eye and truly look happier as their face gets thinner. But I wasn't about to plaster my face all over my anonymous blog. but I can understand that you guys want to see my progress & truthfully, I want to share it with you.

It's a mixture of pride and shame really. Gulp, but here it is!

*** images removed ***

Obviously, I'm not at 80lbs down anymore, I'm at 64lbs down (I created this just before I started this blog). But I'm the same size, those jeans still fit fine, so it stills paints you an accurate picture.

Factors for being Fat-Free: Because I want my 'After' photo already!

*** Edit To Add 01/04/10: I removed the photos. Sorry if you missed it. Better luck next time (you snooze, you lose!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Be Happier

I did a little comparison of some photos of me. It should come at no surprise that unless a photo was taken specifically as a "before" photo, finding photos of me before is actually quite difficult. And if you want to find a full body one from before? Forget it! I never let it happen!

I'm noticing I'm a little more willing to be in photos and a little more willing for it be more than just a head and shoulders shot. But the thing I'm noticing most is that I'm happier.

This is one of those times I wish I wasn't anonymous so I could post them and show you what I'm talking about. But instead I'm going to have to rely on my articulation skills (lucky you guys).

I'll find a 'before' photo and I'll remember the party, or event, etc. and I'm genuinely happy in that photo. I know I am. And there's no reason to suspect otherwise. My eyes are smiling, my teeth are showing, it's not a half smile or anything like that. I'm happy.

Compare that to a photo taken in the last 6 months. I'm HAPPIER. I can't believe it. Maybe it's just a case of facial features being more prominent. Because beside the obvious 60+lbs weight loss, the person in the newer photos is most definitely happier.

My eyes are smiling more. My dimples seem bigger (they probably are). It's like a smile that is beaming. Dare I say, there is even a sparkle (gag!... but it's true) In comparison, the 'before' pic looks dull and lifeless; as if the look is fake. But it's not. Well, perhaps in a sense it was fake because I was clearly unhappy at that size. But in that moment, I knew I was just as happy in the 'before' photo as in the 'progress' photo (it's not an 'after' photo until I'm done!) but yet when comparing the facial expressions they are miles apart. The newer photo looks alive, with a bigger smile, and definitely much happier.

And the camera, like the scale, never lies.

Friday, December 4, 2009

FFFF#15: The 3 P's

Something that has been prevalent for me this week is being proud of my choices. So naturally I started throwing around ideas of that nature for my Factors for being Fat-Free Friday this week. Here's what I came up with: The three P's...

Pride.
Power.
Personal Best.

Pride.
As you already know my mantra for this week (and probably beyond) is to be proud of my choices. To make whichever choices I want, but I must be proud of them. I will admit I am a prideful person and this really affected me seeing it from this perspective. It's about taking pride in all that you do. That 'any task worth doing is worth doing well'. Factor for being Fat-Free: So I can be proud of my body as well as my achievement in attaining it.

Power.
Knowledge is power. So is control. Knowledge & control are amazing things. They give you the power to affect the outcome. A reality of your own making. Pick the happy ever after you want. Now that definitely sounds worth it. Factor for being Fat-Free: To prove to myself that my future is within my own power to shape & change as I see fit.

Personal Best.
This is a big one for me. I firmly & almost fiercely believe in personal best. As a highly competitive person I find it challenging and rewarding to compete with myself. I've also found that competing with myself & not others upsets the least amount of people, including myself! Perfection doesn't exist; but there is no harm in striving for it anyway. To be the best you can be. No exceptions. Factor for being Fat-Free: because in order to truly be at my personal best, I have to be at my personal best physically as well. And when I achieve that, that will definitely be something to be proud of.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pride

I remember the mantra I used when I started on this journey: 'Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.' and wow did it work!

But as you progress along your journey, you change much more than you realize. You need to constantly reassess and check-in with yourself. Are you motivated by the same reasons? Do you want the same things? Quite often the things that used to give you trouble and challenge you no longer do, and you are faced with a whole new set of obstacles to overcome.

It's been a while since I've found a good mantra or some sort of succinct saying that will inspire me or help me in a time of need or both. Or maybe I got too over-confident and thought I didn't need one. It's hard to know you need to get back to basics when you KNOW the basics; it's difficult to really feel them for the first time again.

I like the idea of every day being filled with choices and every choice is an opportunity to take a step closer to your goal. Just like when I quit smoking and you're supposed to break it down as much as possible. 'One day at a time' is common however sometimes that's even too much, and you need to take it one moment at a time. Every moment when you choose not to smoke is another step closer to your goal. I realized I should see what happens if I apply the same strategy to my weight loss.

Flipping back through my journal, I noticed a pattern. I love giving myself kudos for good decisions. Sure, I write down the bad and reprimand myself also, but the ones that pop are my successes. It occured to me: I'm proud of those decisions. So on Monday in big bold letters I wrote across the top of the page of my journal:

BE PROUD OF YOUR CHOICES.


I didn't limit myself. I told myself that if I must eat chocolate, go for it, but be proud of it. Honestly? Eating chocolate at this point wouldn't make me proud so I didn't. On Monday I had a great day because I was mindful of every choice. I won't lie, I had cravings or little evil thoughts about how great a soda would be or what if I grabbed that cookie with my coffee but I wouldn't be proud of it so I found myself quite calmly deciding no. I didn't pout or feel deprived (like I sometimes do!) Quite simply by keeping in mind every decision counts, making the unhealthy choice just didn't seem worth it.

When I look at the bigger picture and maybe I have a 14-hour day planned and meetings and homework and social obligations.... OF COURSE a cookie seems like a good idea! A little comfort, a little incentive to get through the day (don't laugh, I'm sure I have used something to this extent to validate an unhealthy choice all the time).

But when you just look at the moment: to cookie or not to cookie? That is the question. Will it make me happy? Will I regret it after? Will I be proud of that decision? Um, no. The answers to those questions are no, yes, no. Suddenly, making the healthier decision is actually quite easy. So I decided to use it again on Tuesday. And again, it worked wonders. And I plan on using it again today.

So I think I finally found a mantra that works for me again. And it feels great.

Dare I say, I'm quite proud of myself for having found it ;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Favourite Kind of Reboot

I am a social loner. I love being social, but I can very easily go off and do my own thing. Sometimes I am defiant about it, most times though it comes very naturally to me. I think it's the latter that worries, scares, or confuses people. But when I'm confident about something people's opinions rarely matter to me.

I felt the need to blog today because it feels like forever since I have. Then I saw that my last post was Sunday - hardly 'forever' ago. But that tells me that much has happened, and indeed it has. Mentally and emotionally.

I am recharged. Refreshed. In control (oh, that last one has to be my favourite!). I spent Thursday and Friday completely alone in my little NYC apartment and absolutely adored every minute of it. Saturday and Sunday I worked, but I didn't mind. I was still in my own little world taking a little mental stay-cation.

I always talk about breathe and reboot. It's something that has always worked for me; it's my way of re-centering myself. But the only way I truly know how to do it is to strip back all the details of my life for at least 24 hours and get back to basics. No commitments, no obligations, no errands, nothing. However my life has been so crazy that I've been having to fudge my reboots and work with what I have given, which has been disappointing as well as frustrating.

By getting rid of all distractions, I can focus on me and what I want and what is important. This goal. Period. By reassessing my determination for this goal and the reasons I still want it so very much, I start crossing every T and doting every I, and I start to feel that feeling of control over my path again. I start really enjoying and getting truly excited about this journey again. Not from a novelty or fleeting moment; but from true inspiration that I am able to shape my own future and that control is truly within my grasp.

I'm babbling a bit but my point is I am so uber on track right now it's almost silly. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and I rarely say it, but also spiritually. But I'm not taking it for granted. It's still very fragile and I need to stay focused on it to turn in into a habit. If "It takes 21 days to create a habit" then I have a way to go yet. But I'm not deterred. With every decision, and every day, the healthy decisions get easier and the bad ones lose their weight and importance.

Damn it's nice to have control again.

PS. You should see my journal: scribbles over every inch of every page since Thursday and even spilling into the spaces from earlier in the week; Love it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I hate realizations like this...

OK. Once again, here is something I realized a few days ago and it's so shameful it didn't even occur to me to blog about it. But here goes:

Deep breath....


One year ago (11/19/2008 to be exact) I was 20lbs lighter.

SAY WHAT?!

Yep, in the space of a year I've gained 20lbs. I know, that can't be right!!! Can it?! Wait, what? Can you please repeat that?! No wait, don't. I don't want to hear it again. I've been trying to LOSE, so how (THE F***) did I GAIN?!?!

Well, before I continue let me just say that I am the same size which is one of the huge factors in not realizing 20lbs "snuck up" on me. Which also means I probably gained some muscle in the last year in order to be the same size but weigh more.

But reasoning/excuses aside, yes, I got to 84lbs down. I almost got out of the 250's (when oh when will I be closer to 200 than 300???). Looking back at it like this makes me want to cry at the same time as throw my fist through a wall. I am angry and disappointed at myself and the situations life has thrown at me in the last 12 months. But then I just get even madder at myself. Because I am in control of it, or lost control more like. It is MY responsibility. MY choices. ME. Blaming circumstance is avoiding the real issue which is me. What the hell happened?!

That's why I started this blog. I had become a yo-yo weigher. I don't believe I am a yo-yo dieter in the traditional sense of the word. I'm not changing diets, I just seem to be a really slow learner & keep falling off the wagon (wow, denial much?) but regardless of what you want to call it, the proof is on the scale:

The end of July I was back down.
The end of August I was back up.
The end of September I was back down a little.
Mid-October I was down; by the end of the month I was back up.
November has been up & only started to go down this past week.

EW, GROSS!

Sometimes I need a cold hard dose of a reality check like this. To see it in writing. To confess. I think it scares me straight. I get so digusted I am propelled into action.

Hmph...

Wow, re-reading my weigh in numbers again. I am sick of losing and gaining the same friggin' 15lbs over and over AND OVER AND OVER!!! ARGH!

I would love to sit here & tell you that it's because I started school again. And because I quit smoking. And a million other perfectly acceptable, valid reasons but I refuse to state them because it's bulls**t. Yep, you heard me. I will not let myself get away with it that easily.

I made choices that I'm not proud of, and not being proud of my choices stops right here & now.

Knock, Knock! Housekeeping!

I have a few draft blogs just sitting around. Some just from the past 7 days.... others since August. Yikes! Definitely time for me to do a little cleaning up.

I would have thought some would become a moot point, especially the older ones. But glancing back I'm surprised how few are. In fact, the ones I do consider a little irrelvent now are still valid, and I don't think they should necessarily be deleted just because they're a little out of date or because they are not on the forefront of my mind anymore.

So if you see some odd things pop up over the next month, it's probably just me doing a little spring cleaning and letting some posts get some air. They may look weird & dusty like your Uncle Joe's lime green polyester suit, but that doesn't mean they didn't mean something at some point (except the suit. Now that's just bad taste).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I'm Walking Away

My Leslie Sansone DVDs have arrived!

I finally saved up the cash & remembered to hit amazon.com and ordered 3 of them. Free shipping too! (Because who pays for shipping these days, really!)

So here we go! No more excuses...

Daylight Savings ended & it's dark out all the time? Solved!
No space in teeny NYC apartment? Solved!
No exercise equipment? Solved!

Even the time crunch is solved because even just a mile will do wonders. Especially if it's in the morning. It will fire up my metabolism at the start of the day and as long as I eat consistantly and in small portions, and drink lots of water, I'm able to keep it burning at maximum rate. And hey, just a mile at whatever point in the day is better than nothing!

I only have 1 Leslie Sansone walking DVD and that I got as a freebie when I was still with Nutrisystem. But I knew that if this was truly the best solution for me then I was going to need options. Lots and lots of variety options!

I got the Walk At Home* series; they seemed to be the latest (because I can't stand out of date aerobic music) and the cheapest too (I'm a student again, cheaper is better!). I got:

-- 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk: Because 5 miles gives me the most options for if I want to do 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 miles plus who doesn't want to burn fat?!

-- 5 Day Slim Down: This is 5 separate 1-mile workouts. I'm a realist; chances are most mornings I'm only going to have time for 1 mile. So the more options, the better!

-- Walk Your Belly Flat: This one is only 3 miles but it includes ab work and you all know how much I obsess over not only wanting a flat belly but strong abs! (the only other DVD workout series I've invested in is Hip Hop Abs which I LOVE, but unfortunately no longer have the space since I moved into this apartment. Unless I tip my bed on it's side & push it against the wall. While yes, this would also be a good workout in itself, it's just a pain in the friggin' butt and I don't love hip hop abs THAT much as to massacre my bedroom on a daily basis)

So now I'm all set!

Oh, and I did one mile this morning. So can I just say... YAY!!! After weeks of setting my alarm only to hit snooze, this morning I FINALLY got up when the alarm went off AND worked out (I say "AND worked out" because the number of times I did get up without hitting snooze but instead of working out had an extra cup of coffee is ridiculous). GO ME! :D

But now that my new DVDs have arrived, I am anxious to get home & try them out!

Warning: I may be sore tomorrow so brace yourself for some potential whining about it. But I promise it will only be sprinkled in between how great I feel and how on track I am.

PS. I'm at work right now & every hour I am doing 20 modified push ups up against the wall behind me. I'm so proud of me right now. It's rare that I'm feeling so motivated - gotta run with it!

*I feel like I've heard a lot about her Walk Away the Pounds series. Is there a major difference? I'm guessing not, but if there is, anyone care to fill me in? I'm sure I will end up buying all her DVDs anyway, but any comments or advice on any of her DVDs or something similar would be really appreciated. Thanks muchly!

Friday, November 27, 2009

FFFF#14: Simply Irresistable

So as I mentioned two weeks ago the guy I'm seeing seems to have really meant it when he said he just needed a break. But my gut told me to treat a break as a break up & I'm glad I did. It made me reassess and reboot my life & direction, and made it a pleasant surprise when he started contacting me again, especially so soon.

These days I am acutely aware of anything that inspires me, motivates me, or sparks any thought or interest. So when on Wednesday night as he and I were texting back and forth, one text jumped out at me & I decided I need to use it!

He texted that I'm too tempting, basically implying he'd rather spend time with me than doing other work or social obligations this weekend. So my ego being stroked aside, it occurred to me that if I really want to make this guy swoon (& who doesn't want to exert all their womanly powers to make a man fall to their knees? Muahaha!) I need to lose weight. Now, don't get me wrong, this guy likes me the way I am, but who doesn't look better when they lose weight, and not to mention the obvious fact that that is exactly what I am trying to do anyway. So I'm thinking if I'm already too tempting then sexy, svelte, skinny Me will be ten times as tempting as Current Me, and he won't be able to resist!

Factor for being Fat Free: I want to be too tempting in every possible way. Simply put, to be simply irresistible! Even *I* won't be able to resist loving me and making sure I always get nothing less than what I deserve.

And because I love to laugh and enjoy being as cheesy as hell, on top of the fact that I'm a product of the 80's, here's a little 80's classic music video:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My New Best Friend Part II

When I first mentioned my new best friend (of whom has still not been named! But she doesn't mind, she tags along with me whereever I go anyway), Jacey mentioned would I mind posting pictures. It would be a little personal, but definitely a good idea! Besides, I think they're too small for you guys to really read anything ;)

It's probably the reason I don't blog as much as I used to. Because all my little thoughts and discoveries get written down instead of typed up.

Things my bestie holds onto for me:

-- Calendars, countdowns, and graphs: There is of course a calendar in it which I use, as well as creating my own that I fold up & put in there. I have a weight loss graph that I also fold up and keep inside (which I've already posted previously) as well as my dream weight loss graph with future dates already colored in with how much I hope/plan to use!

-- My exchange list & weekly menu plan: The only food I actually write down is extra food. The food I am supposed to eat, all I have to do is cross it off. I keep my exchange list there also (I asked for more than one, and they are littered all over my apartment & various handbags, but there's always one in here so I know where to go if I really can't find one of the other ones!). Some exchanges I know like I know my phone number, others I need to double check.

-- article clippings & inspiring images: This is how my best friend is starting to get fat! Any quote, or article, or image that inspires, keeps me centered & balanced, or makes me think goes in there. When I'm at work and I need a little break, I flip through... there's always something for me to read or look at and disappear into my thoughts for 5 minutes (at this rate, I may need to include glue sticks in my monthly budget)

-- Boring notes that may prove useful. On the day-to-day pages, I like making little notes about how I'm feeling or factual stuff. You never know when they'll come in handy. Things like '3pm: starving, but I already ate!' or '9pm: much more tired today'. Or if I'm in a funk or angry or extremely happy, I'll list the reasons. When you look back, things like this can usually be explained. I love self-analyzing!

-- steps & goal weights. Every day I write my steps for the day & on a daily or weekly basis write down my weight and/or my goal loss that I want.

-- I write with a pen that makes me happy! It may be expensive, metallic, or just a fun color. Something that makes me take care and like what I'm looking at. As you can see, the flavour of the month is pink! I hate wearing pink, but when it comes to accessories or writing with it? I love it! GO PINK!

I think that covers everything! I'm also noticing my new bestie getting kinda chunky. But I think that's very cool. She will get fatter (and it looks good on her!) as I will get smaller! I think it's perfect.


Oh, and I almost forgot! Happy Turkey Day! I am thankful for...

-- my irreplaceable family and close friends who are scattered across the globe - it never ceases to amaze me how I can feel so loved and so close to a person who is on the other side of the country, the ocean, or the world.

-- my amazing guy - we are so dysfunctional by traditional standards and any outsiders looking in never understand it, but only him and I truly know what we have together. The view from the inside is bliss. It's difficult to admit when we are not official but I care for him deeply, (insert the L word in here somewhere), appreciate him, and he makes me incredibly happy and that's all that matters.

-- my fab tweeps on my two twitter accounts. I don't tweet on this account as often as I should but I'm always reading and I'm always inspired and motivated.

-- my weight loss - I'm thankful that I lost it, and thankful that I still have the determination to keep pushing and striving for this goal.

-- you guys! My dear readers. I am so humbled that you take the time out of your busy schedules to see what this imperfect, flawed little fattie is up to. I thank you for your patience with me, your encouragement, your comments, and just basically for reading! I think I love you lurkers the most ;)

-- New York City. I don't get out and enjoy it as often as I should, but I am so thankful I live in my dream city; the best place in the world that I feel lucky to call home sweet home.

PS. So to answer Jacey's question: there really is no typical layout for me! It's a whole bunch of scribbles and drawings and thoughts and pictures. I like the 'clutter of inpiration'. Usually I'm a neat freak, meticulous, and organized. But this journey is messy and I like my journal to reflect it :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cruise Control

Just checking in.... I believe I'm up to Day 29 of my mini-goal now...

Everything is cruising right now. It's not great, but it's far from bad either. But for the first time in a long time, I feel as though there's nothing to push. Everything in life right now, particularly weight loss, is going to take time and it will happen when it happens. Sure, I can push, I can fight harder, but ultimately it's not going to gain that much more ground considering how much extra effort and stress and pressure goes into it.

So here I am, feeling like I'm in cruise control. Cruising because I can't floor it, but there's no need to break. Everything is smooth sailing... quite uneventful. But at the same time I am feeling totally in control. Which, yes, THAT!... that is not just good, it's great!

Hm. Maybe that's where the calm comes from. The control. Maybe the driven pushing & fighting for it is sometimes propelled by fear of slipping and losing control rather than from a place of sheer want and determination.

So yep. Cruise control. No midnight snacking. Diet is in order. Steps are at 7000-11000 daily. Guzzling water. I'm broken right now so if anything I'm not particularly hungry and I'm feeling a little bloated. But other than that.... Everything is... well, fine :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Confession time! I'm a midnight munchie eater.

And I don't mean the late night munchies in front of the TV kind. I mean the middle of the night kind. The kind where you wake up, eat, and go back to sleep. Talk about unhealthy!

It's almost scary how long I've been doing this and not really questioning it. That is to say, i do question it, and i know there's something up with that, but i'm surprised and a little shocked that i haven't mentioned it yet (because i KNOW I've done it more times than i care to remember since starting this blog). Wow, denial much?

In fact! There are times a couple of years back where it would feel like I WOKE UP in front of the refrigerator! No, not curled up on the floor in front of it, I mean standing in front of it with my hand on the door holding it open staring into it (as you do when you are searching for answers and not really searching for food). It was a little scary because I think I slept-walked or was half asleep when I would do it. On those occasions I remember either blinking a few times & realizing what I was doing or as if I was coming to after staring into space... only that the space I was staring into was the fridge!

But I digress, because that isn't the case at the moment. In the times I've done this in the past few months I say it's one of or a combination of the following things (and they are probably in this order too)

1.) aftermath of my diet from that day.
Whether I didn't eat all my food or whether I ate off plan & now my blood sugar is spiking/dropping, I think this is the major reason I usually wake up in the middle of the night craving food. Either I'm starving, or I'm looking for a quick hit to 'fix' the cravings.

2.) I'm thirsty.
I think if I kept more accurate records of when I had the midnight munchies (and I plan to from now on!) I bet they often happened the night of a day where I didn't have all my water. It's amazing how often my body, well it's me really, cannot tell the difference between hunger and thirst.

3.) Bad habits die hard.
This could just be a bad habit that was years in the making and now I have to undo it. What makes it even harder is apparently I'm half-asleep or maybe even asleep when I start to do it so how can you be "conscious" of your decisions if you're not even conscious! Good God, 'sleep-eating'... I think that's the worst scenario ever!

The Fix:
I am thinking that if I eat on plan (ie. healthy foods, & nothing that makes my energy spike and drop like crazy) and drink lots and lots of water then the only reason I should need to get up in the middle of the night will be to pee not to eat. Plus! if I get exercise back into my daily routine that should will make me sleep better & deeper and the chances of getting up are less likely. Hopefully all of the above will offset the bad habit and then I can conquer this nasty habit once and for all!

You know, it feels good (but shameful) to admit all of this, but this is what this journey is all about. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I promised myself when I started this blog as much as I am my own cheerleader it's important not to overlook the ugly. I'll just have to keep The Ugly Duckling in mind!

So,...
confession? Check!
Plan of Attack? Check!
Execution of plan? Hrm, here comes the tricky part...

But you have to be uncomfortable to grow. As much as this journey sometimes sucks, the results are ALWAYS worth it. I need to keep that in mind more often.

No-one Said It Would Be Easy

I'm a little bit upset & teary right now but rather than just dive in I'm going to start this one from the top.

My NYC best friend (I have many best friends; sometimes classifying by region is easiest!) and we haven't really seen each other since the summer. He's had a (sort of) promotion, moved in with his partner, had to go home to KY to deal with family stuff, & probably had plenty more happening than I don't even know about. I've also been busy: school, a break (up), a get back together (sort of), work, and of course still trying to lose weight and exercise and take better care of myself. So between the two of us we've managed to only catch up once - once! - face to face since August.

It was pretty expected that I would be going to his place for Thanksgiving. But he still officially invited, and I still officially accepted. I guessed perhaps 2-3 more guests were also going.

But with the craziness of me desperately trying to get back on track and having some real emotional discoveries this week, I do not want to put myself in harm's way of temptation. There will be so much food and so much to drink and so much dessert... Why challenge myself unnecessarily?

Besides which I can be very much a loner, I very much value my alone time. As much as I am dying to see my friend, I prefer catching up with him one-on-one and not with a handful of other people listening to our every word. So I was thinking since I have an appointment Friday lunchtime, perhaps I could see him Friday night instead? Because Thursday will not only be alone time, I am hoping to make it a Nothing Day too. This is my time to do absolutely nothing and make no plans whatsoever. This includes no social plans; basically if I "have" to put on pants, then it's not a Nothing Day.

But I haven't had a Nothing Day since Vegas in August and I can feel how exhausted I am, how ready I am for Thanksgiving and a much needed break. So I decided (on Thursday I think?Perhaps it was Friday) that I wouldn't go to my friend's Thanksgiving dinner. Out of the whole Thanksgiving weekend I STILL have something happening on every single day. I need to make even just ONE of those 4 days a friggin' Nothing Day dammit! So I picked Thursday. Being I don't want to keep waiting for it. Plus cause I don't want to be faced with extra calories & alcohol. I'm strong enough to admit I'm not strong enough to face that yet.

So my friend gets back to me tonight. And he surprised me because he's actually kind of upset, and in a way, also offended (that I would consider dinner and drinks an obligation of sorts. Unfortunate, but true!). I explained that I really need the day off (to which I can hear him silently scoffing) and when that wasn't doing it I had to reach deep down for a whopper truth and admit that while I'm far from exploding like a hippo I am NOT doing well with my diet and exercise and I have to do what's best for me and not put that temptation in front of me.

And you know what? He STILL made me feel guilty. He even admitted it. Now I feel compelled to go there after dinner to at least say hi and hang out (so at least the food is gone and I can usually resist alcohol if I'm not eating), which of course is really not a good compromise at all because I can tell both of us were still upset by this conclusion.

I'm mostly upset right now because here I was making a good decision for myself and he made me feel guilty about it. How dare he! (On top of that, don't throw the 'thanksgiving is a time to spend with those you love' line cause I'm not American and he knows it!) And as for silently scoffing at the fact that I'm exhausted and I need the day off, yes I have no doubt he feels the same way. Well, GOOD FOR HIM that he still has the energy to entertain! Because you know what? I sure don't! But whatever, more power to him.

Yes, I realize I could have let him know sooner. However, I'm no cook but I think telling someone a week prior you won't make dinner is adequate enough notice. I think him being upset is more about him. He wants to see me (I don't blame him! It's been far too long and I want to see him too! But I NEED to look after me first!), and also it's his first Thanksgiving with his partner in their apartment which he just moved into; I am sure he was also just looking forward to playing House. Maybe this is TOO selfish, but I still say I cannot concern myself with that!

I cannot go to a dinner party knowing food will be in excess & the alcohol never-ending (they're both Italian too) when I am in a such a fragile state both physically (today was the first 100% food day though!) and emotionally (I deserve to stay in control of my choices dammit!). I cannot sacrifice my better judgment, my caution, and perhaps run the risk of also sacrificing my diet just to make my friend feel better. I'm not going to do that; I won't!

I think at this point we both just need to calm down (Oh, and I have no doubt after getting a little tearful earlier that my period must be on its way because there have been waaaaay too many tears in the last 5 days or so!) and accept that there is no happy conclusion here. He's only going to be happy if I go, I'm only going to be happy if I stay home. I do think the best solution is to show up later, after dinner, even if it's just to make an appearance and chat for a little while.

Well, that's if I decide I want to put my pants on that day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is It Really So Unbelieveable?

Why is it so hard to believe that I deserve this?

After a tearful conversation with my mother explaining to her how much it hurts that she even entertains the notion that she might need to caution me every now & then about regaining (all) the weight, I went into great detail about how I am a very different person emotionally now. This is a difficult subject for us, or more specifically for me to talk about with her, because as close as we are we never talk about "deep dark feelings", and I believe this is the problem. Sometimes I don't even care if she wants to hear it, because I know I need to say it to her.

This is one of those things. I needed to explain to her that for whatever reason, somewhere along the line I decided I didn't deserve the body and lifestyle I wanted. That it was almost like I needed to be punished via ignoring and neglect. However, life is a balance, so without all that care and attention going into me and my health, where did it go? Into my studies and my career. This spoke worlds to her, and she really understood it. I was putting double the effort, care, and attention into my career, and you know what? It sort of paid off. I excelled quickly and I constantly have the problem of having the experience but being too young.

But this over-achievement was a distraction from the truth that I knew half of this attention should be going into me. Or perhaps I thought if my career was successful enough it would compensate to the point of not even mattering that I didn't take care of myself. Both are good theories; at the end of the day I think it's six of one & half a dozen of the other because both boil down to a lack of balance.

I do not think it's a coincidence that I started re-evaluating my career and backing off substantially and trying new things (Hello! Massage school!) around the same time that I realized I needed to live a more balanced life. As they say 'the first step is admitting you have a problem'. Which I couldn't agree more with. It's the next step that is trickier.

For some reason I am still blocking myself from wanting what it is I truly know I want. Why is it so hard to believe I deserve this?! When my mother was agreeing with me and she went on to say that I've been doing very well, even just to still be committed to seeing this through after 2+ years, and that I do deserve to be healthy and happy with the way I look.... you know what I did? In my head I agreed with everything she said until she said 'You deserve to be healthy and happy with the way you look' to that, in my head I called 'bullshit'.

Wait, WHAT?!

Yep, seriously. I called bullshit. I called bullshit to me deserving the healthy, happy body I want. There is something very wrong with that. I don't understand why I don't believe I deserve it. Because I do. I KNOW I do. So why do I think I don't? Why am I punishing myself? It is really so scary to let all that go? Wow....


I am judging myself for getting so in my head in the last few weeks, and I know I shouldn't be judging. I need to not sensor, or edit, I need to let it all out. Everyone's process is different and I need to keep doing what's right for me. I really don't want to obsess on this, but maybe this is one thing that I AM allowed to over-analyse. I think I need an answer. Or perhaps the answer is irrelvent. I think I NEED TO BELIEVE that I deserve this before I move on.

I have been trying to replace the word 'should have' with 'deserve to'; it usually manages to turn a negative, guilt-ridden statement into a positive one. But there's that word again: "Deserve". It's like my Word of the Moment. it's making me really think about things...

I deserve this. I do dammit! Why is that so hard for me to believe?

Friday, November 20, 2009

FFFF#13: Done!

I was watching The Biggest Loser on Hulu when one of the contestants said 'the next time you see me America I will be done with losing weight'(excuse me if I just butchered the quote; it's not verbatim).This one hit me like a slap in the face: A great factor for being fat free is to be DONE. I want to be done with losing weight.

Honestly, I'm tired. I'm sick of this. Why can't I just be at goal already? I just can't help but whine "Are we there yet???"

I want to be done. Forever. Finished.

Thankfully I have my JC appointment tonight... I am hoping she can help get me help myself back on track, mind, body, & spirit. I feel off... I want time I don't have. I want money to get things that make this easier which I also don't have. So I have to get creative. I'm tired of being creative, I want to be done with this already!

I can only remember rare instances in my life where weight loss wasn't an issue. Or rather, my weight wasn't an issue. And those were GREAT rare moments. Just imagining a time in the future where weight is no longer an issue on my mind is just boggling for me. It sounds so impossible and yet it can be done.

In fact, imagine how much more you can achieve when weight & weight loss isn't taking up that chunk of your (daily) thinking?? WOW. Just think of the possibilities. A whole new world of thoughts and goals and wants open up. Ones I've never/rarely comprehended much less wanted for myself....

Yep. That's it. I want to be done. I want to be fat free so I can think about other things and not have weight loss be constantly on my mind.

(Apparently fed up and frustrated are great motivators too!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Never Ever

I have been feeling a little lost this last week or so. In the moment, things are fine, I'll probably even tell you that I'm happy. Which is true. But nonetheless, I feel like I'm playing catch up right now.

I am letting old habits creep back in. The way things become so 'important' to me that they get all my time and energy and focus and dedication, when really the ONLY thing in my life that should be receiving that type of attention from me constantly right now is ME. Me and my weight loss. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Physically speaking, I am relatively on track. Slips here and there, not quite 100% but far from completely off the wagon. I'm talking mentally. My head isn't in the game. I so desperately want this, but the confidence is lacking.

One of the best books I ever bought was The Sixty Second Motivator*. I pulled it out last night & had a quick flip through it & made some notes in my journal to think about today. It's such a quick read & really helps me understand what motivation is and how to 'easily' find it. But easy is relative. You need a cold, hard dose of reality sometimes in order to find the truth.

But I'm getting a little off track. The biggest thing on my mind this week has been a job interview I had on Monday. I so desperately want this job even though I run the risk of going back to my past life. But as much as I feel I'm lacking in confidence at the moment (I also think I'm standing in my own way right now but I think that's for another post) there is one thing that I, without a doubt, have total confidence in: That I will never go back to my starting weight.

I will never be that heavy again. Ever. That's not a promise. It's a fact.

First of all, it will never happen because I am learning to love myself and love looking after myself. There is some serious self-neglect going on when you get yourself up to 336lbs. But more importantly, the revelation I had this week is that I will never be that weight again because I am a happier person, and am much more honest with myself about what happiness is for me.

After watching The Biggest Loser on Hulu this week & after a few D&Ms with new found friends revealing how much I used to weigh, I have come to a simple conclusion: 15-20lbs overweight is life getting in the way. It's bad habits, it's 'not enough time', it's 'I'm too busy right now'. But 30-40+ lbs overweight? That's emotions.

I know I'm not saying anything new here. But it's a realization that not only is enjoying taking care of myself going to ensure I am never that heavy again, but the simple fact that I will never let myself be that unhappy again. That alone is going to ensure I never return. Will I slack off & let life get too busy on occasion and possibly gain up to 15-20lbs? Unfortunately yes I think so. I have accepted that weight & food will be a constant struggle for me throughout my life. I know it doesn't HAVE to be that way, but it's a choice, and one I am willing to accept in exchange for letting life happen, and indulging in it every now and then.

But will I ever become so disconnected with myself, and stop giving myself what I need to feel happy and whole that I gain 30+, 40+, 50+? Never ever again. It's impossible. I am in a very different place these days mentally and especially emotionally. You can't undo being honest with yourself. You can't go back into denial. Or at least I can't. The cat's out of the bag. Emotionally speaking I now know what I want, and what I need. And those are things that are now impossible to ignore.

Which is why my greatest fear right now is not going backwards, but standing still. I suppose that in itself is a great achievement, and yet somehow not. Sure, it's not going backwards, but it's not going forwards either. Am I really so scared my life will change? Won't it change for all the amazing reasons that I dream about? Every time I think I put my finger on one of the major reasons I stand in my own way, it slips away again. But I'm working on it.

As for feeling in control again, it dawned on me late last night that in the past what I have done is taken 2-3 days to get religiously back on track. To cross every T and dot every I. It's just something I do. I block out the world for up to 72 hours (sometimes literally and I'll stay in my apartment the entire time. Yay for workout DVDs!) & I re-emerge completely refocused, remotivated, reenergized, 110% rebooted. it's like my own mini-Biggest-Loser-campus and I love it.

The only bad thing about this is when I have a schedule like I currently do and technically do not have a single day where I am able to do nothing. I have something happening on every single day right now. So I am giving thanks for Thanksgiving, because I will finally have at least 1 whole day of nothingness.

But I'm not sitting around and waiting until then. I need to learn how to do this come rain, hail, or shine. Life happens. So what? I need to learn how to roll with the punches and make it work.

*Here is another of his books that speaks to me a lot. If you like statistics and facts, this is the book for you! It really is no nonsense and makes perfect sense!

Friday, November 13, 2009

FFFF#12: Do You See What I See?


I almost missed Factors for being Fat Free Friday! This week has been crazy. Slipping but not quite. Succeeding but not really. Lots of ups & downs, lack of sleep, work, school, study, repeat. Not to mention the guy I was seeing for a year and a half has come back into the picture (wow, did he really mean it when he said he needed a break? Was I too cynical in assuming it was a break up?). I still don't know where he belongs, but I will say I am thinking things through carefully and I'm just glad to have him back in my life because I missed him. As a person in my life I mean. So we're talking. (I never quite understood what people meant by 'we're talking, we're feeling things out' until now. NOW I know!)

Anyway! This isn't about my crazy life, this is about why I want this more than anything. I want to like what I see the in the mirror. I want to be hungry for this again (no pun intended). I want to be ruthless, religious, and uncompromising about every decision I make. I used to be like that when I first started this journey back in 2007. Now I don't even see when I'm slacking off. Anyone who tells you this journey wasn't hard was lying. Throw in a crazy schedule and goings-ons and it's twice as hard.

But I can do it. I must. I want to like what I see looking back at me in the mirror. Every single inch of her I want to like. The assets & the flaws, I accept them all because overall I want to like what I see.

I don't yet. But I'm getting there.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 12

Sweet Success... woke up and - get this! - I was actually EXCITED to make another day filled with good decisions! How awesome is that?! I woke up, got excited about having another perfect or near-perfect day, smiled, and thought 4.2. That's literally what went through my mind. I'm so thrilled that a switch somewhere in my head has been flipped. Now to nurture and take care of it! (Oh, and I did 10,039 steps today. Yay!)

Slowly Striving... had 2 beers tonight. I caught up with CSB because we both had to go to the Apple Store (I needed an extra sensor for my Nike+ shoes so I don't have to keep swapping the 1 sensor between the 2 pairs of shoes) plus I got to meet his friends and roomies. Great bunch of guys! Had so much fun that before I knew it I was ordering a second beer (and the first beer told me that it was OK to drink it anyway).

Thoughts... I am not AS disappointed about the beers as I would usually be because I had a great day despite those extra +/- 300 calories. Besides which, I hit a lot of steps today and fully intend on doing a little extra moving tomorrow to compensate for the extra calories. I did the crime, so I gotta do the time! And overall, nothing is bringing me down after waking up in such an amazing mood. I don't remember the last time I woke up excited about weight loss. And actually looking forward to the great feeling you get with each and every healthy decision you make. It's like that feeling is a drug, and overnight I had become an addict. I had to have more! Truthfully, some mornings I'd rather sleep cause I'm not consuming calories OR having to make decisions while I sleep! But not today, today I woke up ready to take on the world! There's no better feeling :)

Admit It, You Love It

I am "borrowing" (aka totally ripping off) an idea from 100in12. I think I am long overdue for a little self-love! Which works out perfectly for today! (which I'll tell you all about when I do my 'Day 12' post tonight)

Things I love about my body
in no particular order

1.) I actually love that I have hips. Sometimes this translates to a big butt, which I don't particularly mind but it's not completely true. I have big hips, not a big butt (I actually have this bizarre layer of fat right above my butt which makes it seem like I have a booty when I don't. I'm able to admit this because I know I'm not alone - a gf of mine once whined about hers - so I don't feel like such a freak for telling you that I have this bizarre deposit of fat)

2.) When my body fat percentage is under control I actually have a very tiny waist for my size*. I am definitely an hourglass shape and I love that. My small waist is only emphasized by my big hips; I love this too :) (*Once upon a time I was around 38-30-40. And I can't believe I considered myself fat at that time! I WILL get back there again. And who knows, maybe even a lil smaller!) I wouldn't say I'm as hourglass as Marilyn Monroe, but there is a look that will always be sexy. I don't care what the models on the catwalks say, curves will always be in style. Personally, I'd like to aim a little more Beyonce, than Marilyn: thick, curvacious, but lean & fit. if I can accomplish this, that would be amazing!

3.) my eyes and my smile. I'm a typical SPF girl ("Such a Pretty Face!"). And as I'm being more open & public about my weight loss goals with people that have only known me at this size, they are telling me "You're cute & pretty now, if you lose as much as you're planning, you'll still be cute & pretty, but definitely hot and sexy as well!" I choose to take this as a huge compliment, as well as a huge source of motivation.

4.) my hair. I have thick, long dark hair. Emphasis on the word thick. I constantly wear it up in a ponytail not just because I'm lazy (but there is that too) but because the back of my neck gets so hot when I wear it down! Great in winter, it's like a built-in scarf. Not so great in summer though! It's naturally wavy/curly too, but that part I don't like as much even though I know people are envious of it. I like to straighten it. And I'm also 'blonde' at the moment (ie. as blonde as I should go: light brown base with 2 shades of blonde highlights) and I love that too. And when I get it professionally blow-dried straight: watch out! Talk about confidence overload! My hair has good memory too, which I love. Tell it to do something, it needs minimal product & my hair will still 'remember' to keep on going 12+ hours later.

5.) my skin tone. Thanks to my father I have white/very fair skin for my ethnicity. But thanks to my Filipina mother, I tan in half the time & I tan into a nice olive/brown. Living in New York is enough to bring out the white in me; and just a few days in Sunny Las Vegas (or anywhere with heat and sun but Vegas is a personal fave. I love me some Sin City!) is enough to get my tan on.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 11

Sweet Success... A 100% diet day! WOOHOO!! Every food crossed off and accounted for! I feel great!

Slowly Striving... 6,491 steps. Not bad (in fact, quite good!) but I can do better!

Thoughts... "FEAR = Forced Experiences Appearing Real" <--- This is so true! I will not be afraid anymore. And I think "4.2" is really helping! Becaus the only way I will succeed at losing 4.2lbs in one week is to stay completely focused and continue making healthy choices. One slip this week may be just one slip too many!

F.E.A.R.

Sometimes learning Shiatsu massage annoys the crap out of me. It can be completely backwards compared to typical Western Medicine & learning both in tandem can be confusing. But then there are days like today where I love Shiatsu. Because after all, it is about the Mind, the Body, and the Soul all being both independent & interdependent.

Without going into the whole "Introduction to Eastern 101" we were talking about elements & one of the components of one of the elements is fear. And it's when my teacher said 'it's not procrastination, that's different. We're talking a real fear of even getting something started' that I really sat up & started paying attention.

Imagine being so afraid of something that you don't even want to get started? That sounds so tragic to me. Something that I would expect to be written by Shakespeare & have it be one of the great all-time tales of tragedy! But I suspect it happens far more often than we care to admit. We're even terrified to admit that we are afraid sometimes! Afraid that we will fail, afraid that it will absolutely change our world, afraid that maybe our world won't change at all.

And then sometimes it's not YOU has has the fear. Maybe you're ready & enthusiastic. But what if other people project their fears onto you? 'You can't do that, you'll never get there'... 'even if you can do it, what happens if you gain it all back?'... 'wow, that's a lot of weight you're planning to lose! that's going to be so hard, glad I'm not you!'

OK, first off, if your friends are saying statements exactly like those above, I recommend you get new friends ASAP. Those are the only extreme examples I could think of, but I'm sure you get my point. People doubt, or put their own fears and insecurities into you. And before you know it, that hopeful, eager part of you that was ready to overcome any obstacle is suddenly consumed with thinking thoughts that only encourage doubt and/or fear.

So! My point is I learned something today. Fear is F.E.A.R. That stands for:

Forced

Experiences

Appearing

Real

Regardless of whether someone forces a hypothetical experience on us or whether we force it upon ourselves at the end of the day they only appear to be real. But they're not.

I would like to think that I'm not scared to losing weight. But maybe I am. Maybe I'm so terrified I can't even see that maybe it's fear that holds me back. It seems so strange though. Because I want to be fit and happy with my body more than anything. There is never a day that goes by that I wish I didn't have this belly, or the side-of-boob/underarm fat roll, or that my butt didn't jiggle uncontrollably. But maybe I've had these things for so long I'm terrified of what will change. What if my world is turned upside-down. Or perhaps worse, what is nothing change? Nothing at all?

These are all very scary thoughts. I just need to remember that Forced Experiences Appearing Real are NOT real. They are not going to come true. Not even close! I promise myself to keep an eye on this, if I am indeed afraid of something. Because that's no way to live. And it's definitely not a way to succeed. In fact, it's a way to ensure you fail. But I'm not going to fail. I'm going to persevere; I'm going to survive. I'm going to slip and fall and pick myself right back up & learn from those experiences and keep on going. Never stop until I reach the end. Why? Because fear doesn't live here anymore!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 10

Sweet Success... Took some time after getting home for my JC appointment to sort out my food plan for the week. I've made it a no brainer. All I have to do is CROSS IT OFF. No adding & no substituting this week. Just crossing things off. No more. No less.

Slowly Striving... This should I deserve to make this today's success, but I believe I can push harder. I lost 0.8lbs this week. It's not much but I will take it.

Thoughts... But even though I'm taking the 0.8 and running with it, I'm not impressed. In order to stay on track with my 20lb goal, I need to lose 4.2 this week. Wow. It's a push, I won't lie. It will definitely be a challenge. But I KNOW I am capable of it. So the real question is: How much do I want it?




Above is my own copy of my JC graph for my mini-goal. The line is roughly where my weight loss should be in order to hit 20lbs in 8 weeks. That little pink bar? That would be my (measely) 0.8lbs. Yeah. Got my work cut out for me now! It's my very own Yellow Line and I'm determined to stay below it!

FFFF#11: Angels



The last time I was in Victoria's Secret, I finally succumbed to their incessant badgering & signed up for an Angels Card. So now I am a fully fledged Angel (whatever that means). As I'm poking around the website wondering if there's anything that's going to make me want to take advantage of the free shipping coupon I have I realize that although I fit into SOME things at Victoria's Secret, I am still a far cry from fitting into EVERYTHING that they sell. There are certain items that they only make up to a size 16, and as a size 18 it is frustratingly sooo close & yet so far.

Factor for being Fat Free: Even just one more size and suddenly a whole lot more options when it comes to clothing & fashion open up. It's definitely worth the hard work & sacrifice knowing that!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 9

Sweet Success... I discovered I'm flexible enough to do a standing split again! Flexibility has been something I have been slowly but surely plugging away at. I didn't think I was even close to achieving a standing split until I decided to randomly try to tonight. And it wasn't even a real struggle either! (which makes me wonder how long have I probably been able to do this but hadn't tried to? lol) Next Challenge: get my raised leg higher and more vertical. Also to work on getting the other leg into a standing split otherwise I'll end up all wonky and lop-sided with my strength & flexibility!

Slowly Striving... a slice a pizza tonight. It fit into my calories but not into my food groups. FAIL. I haven't learned how to make healthy choices when I'm with my new friends. And I think the only healthy option there is when all my friends want pizza is to just bring my own healthy food with me! (& just buy a water or a Diet Coke so I don't feel like I'm not a customer!)

Thoughts... I'm stronger and more capable than I think. I've noticed my new bestie, CSB, will roll his eyes at me (in a loving way of course!) and shake his head when I'm shocked I got a good score, or a little too happy that I was able to do something (like give a 60 minute masage. It's harder than you think!) He says in a tone like it's a fact the world knows when he asks me why am I surprised*. So apparently it's obvious to someone that I have only known for a little over 2 months now that I possess the mental & physical strength to achieve so much more than I think I'm capable of. So why can't I see it? It's definitely something to work on. And I wouldn't be surprised if it's a mild case of what they always talk about on The Biggest Loser: you are always raising the bar on what you think you can and cannot do. The fact is that you can do anything. ANYTHING. All you have to do is try.

*CSB always tells me whether it be about school or not that 'it's written in the stars'. As cheesy as it is, I like it. Especially regarding this journey (which I have yet to fully share with him. Not sure if/when I will) I should deserve to believe that it's written in the stars that I will succeed in this journey as well.

Non-Scale Victories are SOOO Much Sweeter!


I'm just going to come straight out with it:

Today I popped into one of these!<<-----------------------------------------

I couldn't believe it! I don't remember when I stopped being able to do a Standing Split but I do remember the last time I was able to do one with no problems. It was around the time when I was still dancing: so around 18 years old. I'm now 27. While my friends tonight were happy for me, no-one could understand why I was SOO excited about this discovery. Because it meant so many things to me, & as much as I love my new friends dearly, that's just it: they're new. They don't know everything about me (yet).

So there I was in massage class, and I always tend to get a little restless in our practical classes. I think it's the yoga pants and t-shirt uniform and being so aware of my body and everyone elses' bodies, it makes me want to dance, jump around, stretch, and just basically be active!

Well tonight we were working on Range of Motion and of course everyone has different ranges and levels of flexibility. Totally understandable and normal; it's what makes you YOU & what trains us to be good Massage Therapists: Understanding that every BODY is different. I mentioned to CSB that I wish I was still flexible enough to do a standing split. He & another friend asked what I meant. So I grabbed my right instep of my foot with my right hand and said "It's when you grab your foot like this, and you try straighten your leg but I haven't been able to do it for years.... See..." I slowly started to demonstrate and it was clear that my right leg just didn't want to straighten while my right hand was holding it. Poop!

Then I had a "What if..." moment and I very slowly bent my left leg (that I was standing on) and tried to straighten my right leg again. All 3 of us were a little surprised when amazingly my right leg straightened! The final test? Could I hold my right leg straight in the air while straightening my left leg?..... YES! YES I CAN!

WOOT! WOOT! SUCCESS!!!

My gf was surprised & happy for me, I was elated, and CSB was surprised too until he rolled his eyes & turned away (I caught him blushing a little! haha... Why is it boys hear "splits" and their mind goes to one place: the gutter?). I released, I did a little happy dance, and then I did it again to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Nope, not a fluke! Did another standing split like it was nothing! It felt like I really achieved something today: for the first time in a while, I felt like I made real progress.

First off, this means I'm getting more flexible again. Working on getting back to doing the splits effortlessly is something I have been slowly working towards. There's something so liberating and almost empowering to be a "big girl" but show that your size has nothing to do with being flexible.

Secondly, I'd like to think I've lost some inches. Depending on what kind of stretch your doing, there are certain things you just can't do no matter how flexible you are because your rolls of fat get in the way! So either I lost a few inches or got uber flexible; possibly a combination of both. Either way, it's win/win.

Lastly, it's something I haven't been able to do since I was a small size 14 and was fit enough to dance in the World Championships. It was very nostalgic for me in a way. It was a big flashback to another time in my life when I was a size and of a fitness level that I was comfortable with and could do all kinds of things that I took for granted. And today, I earned one of those things back. It felt amazing.

I had forgotten how much more rewarding a non-scale achievement is. Sure, seeing certain numbers is enough to make anyone jump and shout, but those non-scale ones can't be forgotten. For me, they are twice as special. Perhaps because they don't seem to happen as frequently. Regardless, they are not just numbers measuring my progress. They are progress you can see & feel & really connect to. Not just a mind game, which the numbers on the scale can be for me at times. I'm not saying it's altogether a a bad thing though (hey there's nothing like walking around knowing you lost x amount of pounds this week!) but there's something about running an extra mile, fitting into a smaller size, or surviving a party and staying perfectly on plan that has more heart to it.

It inspired me that I'm inching closer to a life I used to have: of fitness, strength, flexibility, and body confidence. But more so it inspires my imagination of what those things will actually be in reality and what they will mean to me this time around. No doubt it will be very different. I am sure my body has changed a lot in 10 years, and not just because I put it under the stress of carrying around so much weight. It's exciting to feel like I took a big step towards that today. I took a big step into my past and into my future simultaneously and it felt incredible!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 8

Sweet Success... Thanks to the Final Exam last night, I got to take the day off from studying. So between work & class I walked. It was just round the neighborhood & I tried to keep a good pace despite the New York foot traffic; I don't know if it helped but I guess it helped my pedometer: 8,853 steps. I'm kinda loving how my number of steps are so much higher than I would have guessed they were!

Slowly Striving... Left home without packing any food. "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". Bugger. I did what I could and had all my water, but I'm pretty sure calories and food groups were all wonky.

Thoughts... Open the curtains in the morning! I was in a much better mood today and while I think this has a lot to do with the Final Exam being over, I think it had something to do with letting a little sunlight filter in while I was getting ready for work. Usually I'm up & out and I don't bother opening the curtains (hey, it's still sort of dark out anyway!), and my logic is 'what's the point in opening them because I'm only home for another 30-45 minutes before running out the door & by the time I get home it will be dark, so the first thing I'll do when I get home is to close them'. Turns out, that 45 minutes or so is important! I think it really helped put some sunshine in my step today ;)

It's All About The Trust

I need to trust the process. I don't know if I'm having trouble putting trust in something or if it's self-sabotage, or maybe I haven't made a real connection as to WHY I need to put trust in the process... WHATEVER. The point is I need to trust it. Plain and simple. I may need to fake this one till I get the hang of it! Write everything down, cross everything off, and just trust that eating ALL your food and doing a little exercise everyday is all it takes! No calculations, substitutions, or guessing needed!

(My new notebook is helping, but I'm still not crossing off foods. I'm writing down off-plan foods & substitions, exercise, water, questions, & little thoughts, but not crossing foods off... not sure what that's about...)

“Believe in yourself, trust the process, change forever.”

- Bob Harper

Day 7

Sweet Success... the first thing that jumps to mind is I scored 96% on my Anatomy & Physiology Final. I drank lots of water consistantly throughout the day too.

Slowly Striving... I didn't eat that much because I was so stressed out! When I was younger I had incredible test anxiety and apparently I didn't grow out of it, I just stopped taking tests! Hm, something to work on...

Thoughts... an interesting, although uneventful day. Interesting because obviously my priority for the day was my Final Exam; I am glad that my reaction to food was I didn't want it rather than to stuff my face with it, but it really isn't that much better of a choice. I also got in 7,286 steps; far from 10k, but definitely well over the 6000+ I am aiming for. I also feel frustrated with my work & class schedule; but there is nothing I can do about that! Just let it go, move on, and work WITH it. A whole 7 days gone, and maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but I'm not that impressed. Yes, I've got aggressive mentally, but I'm still waiting for the aches & pains of the 'getting aggressive physically' part to kick in.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I am a Force to be Reckoned With

Jillian Michaels said somewhere to acknowledge that you are a force to be reckoned with. And within the last week I came across the quote below talking about being the force.

Today I will be a force of strength. I will believe that I am strong enough and able enough to make the best decisions for me and my goals and will not blame it on situation, emotions, or circumstance. Not all things are within our control but making the healthiest decisions always is.

Here's to a Terrific Tuesday!


“I shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me. Or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility. Win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.”

- Og Mandino

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 6

Sweet Success... 13,347 steps!

Slowly Striving... missing some fruit servings. I think I need to buy fruit juice again. It's better not to drink your calories & of course fruit is better cause you're getting some fiber, but juice is a better solution than nothing at all. Money & (lack of) time (to shop) are also two issues, but I am doing all that I can with those two right now. I'm trying to not let them get in my way too much and/or bring me down.

Thoughts... I was under the impression that you want to hit 10,000+ steps 3 times a week. Um, no: Apparently you should be hitting 10,000+ everyday! Yikes! I give myself a daily minimum of 5,000. But seeing as I consistant hit 6,000+ I think I should up it to 7,000+ a day. So if I increase it each week hopefully I should be hitting 10,000 steps daily by the end of November. Wow. OK, let's see what happens.... (cause I gotta say, a foot rub would go over sooo well right now, and that was only 1 day of 10,000+)

Get Aggressive

I'm posting a quote I've already posted because I need to be reminded:

“To change one's life: start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.”

- William James


After my 4 beer disaster on the weekend, it's time to get aggressive. I used to say no to all social calories because I was *that* determined to succeed and you know what? It worked. I used to religiously cross everything off my food plan for the day and eat every single thing and you know what? It worked. It's time to get back to basics, get aggressive, and start wanting this more than anything else. Is that a reasonable attitude for the rest of this journey? I doubt it. But I think it's definitely doable for the next 7 weeks.

Social events come and go, life goes on. I am NOT missing out by saying no to alcohol or saying yes to healthy options only. I will admit, I've been known to say no to the social event altogether because I don't want to or I just don't have the strength to deal with a social situation, and for the next 7 weeks, I say that's OK too.

Something my JC consultant said really stuck (OK, a lot of things stick!) which was people who get angry or aggressive or frustrated usually make the most process. I agree. Because they are ready for change. They are ready to do what it takes. Even if this means making 'sacrifices'. I need to get 100% in that mindset again. I used to get there once upon a time. It felt great, empowering even. Now I want it back. I am going to fake it till I make it, but I will make it. I have to. I want this goal to work. It's been such a long time since I've made a good, solid mini-goal and I refuse to let this golden opportunity slip through my fingers.

Days 4 & 5

I was going to skip these days because I was just going to do daily postings when I can, but especially cause they weren't great, it's best that I remain accountable for them.

Day 4

Sweet Success... I drank all my water!!! This is an achievement for a Saturday! I am in class all day and I cannot be running in & out to go to the bathroom constantly (this is usually my issue when I don't drink all my water; it's that I didn't want to or couldn't be running to the bathroom all day long and disrupting the day's activities)

Slowly Striving... Not enough fruit & veg today. This is often an issue for me.

Thoughts... Got in 6,048 steps & drank all my water. It wasn't a great day but far from a disaster either.


Day 5

Sweet Success... Skipped dinner and dessert and had lots of water instead. I know this doesn't seem like a success but read on...

Slowly Striving... Had a non-date date today and told myself a maximum of 2 beers (300 calories. Already way too much) Um, 4 beers & 5 mozzarella sticks later (What's that- 4 beers x 150 calories + 5 mozzarella sticks x a trillion calories?)

Thoughts... CRAP! Well live and learn. Nobody said you can't drink and/or have a life when you're losing weight; but you need to be prepared for slower results. I have been fine with that for far too long. I didn't used to be. I need to get aggressive again. Especially for the next 8 weeks. I feel a blog coming on...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Frequent Flyer Loser Miles

I'm sharing from my New Bestie already! This list of mini-goal rewards is definitely a work in progress. I expect it to grow and change as I continue to shrink and change! But here's what I have so far...

note: Because I grew up in the metric system, kilograms have more meaning to me (they have more weight. haha.. sorry, I couldn't resist!) I like weighing in pounds because they are just numbers to me, they don't mean anything more than 3 digits used to measure my progress. So you'll notice as I get closer to goal the kg number has a meaning to me :)


254
lowest weight on this journey so far
Permission to sleep in and have a lazy morning. Skim latte (omg haven't had one in forever!!) and read a magazine from cover to cover.

249
closer to 200 than 300
mani/pedi time!

236
100lbs total lost
full body 90 minute massage. Mmm can't wait! It will be worth the splurge of $$$!

220
100kg and JC half-way point
Haven't quite decided for sure what this reward should be for what is quite a significant milestone. Except for the cost, I am thinking a bodybugg would be perfect!

199
under 200lbs. FOREVER!
Mama needs a brand new bag!

187
85kg & Re-evaluate
get the shoes to match the purse!
Even though I am partial to flats, I promise myself that these will be special party shoes (ie. heels) and not new Nikes.
***This is also my re-evaluate weight. Am I happy here with my size? Do I want to keep going? If so, how much more?

176
80kg. This is approximately the highest weight I was while I was still dancing.
Go out dancing till dawn! (Thinking Splash so that it just about the dancing and not about the boys (or at least, not about boys for me!))

165
75kg. WOW. This used to be my weight when I considered myself an average size.
Haven't quite decided on this reward either. So far am thinking a simple (but effective!) day of R&R and pampering: sleep in, hair done, mani/pedi massage, (window) shopping - whatever I feel like! But it must be work & study free!

155
70kg. GOAL!!!
NEW WARDROBE!
VEGAS VACATION!
BIKINI SHOPPING!

Margaritas with one of my girls
(there's a story here. She is my last JC consultant and we have become good friends. One week I had a weight gain and I mentioned I had margaritas. She understood the need to have a drink on occasion but insisted it NOT be margaritas! She said she would treat me to my next margarita & it will be at goal as a fun splurge. I'm really looking forward to it!)
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