Time For Changes

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday!  It is time for some major changes in my life.  I mean weight loss changes, and improving my health. I am so over the size that I am, so I have to change.

I have to change what and how much I eat, and I have to change my exercise or lack thereof.  Time to eat better, time to exercise, and time to stop making excuses.

In recent pictures of myself, I don’t like how I look. “Where did that double chin come from?” I asked myself.  And, “how did I get to be this size?” Or “Is it my clothes that make me look fat?” Sadly no, it’s not the clothes.  So, it is the time I realized that and moved on with weight loss 2.0.

I can no longer deny that something needs to be done.  But isn’t it funny that we make excuses to ourselves until we are truly ready to make the changes that are necessary in our lives?  I have been making them for a while.  In order to get better, I have to stop that. Starting today.

Several times in my life I have had to work hard to lose weight.  I am not a person who can do it easily and that in itself is frustrating.  I am on several medications for health issues and would like to stop taking those. My doctor has told me that losing weight will help. He also said that exercise is important, but it boils down to what you put in your mouth.

I have a great appetite and love to eat.  Sometimes I just eat entirely too much food.  My cousin gave me a great idea of using smaller plates and that if the food isn’t in the house, it won’t be a temptation.  She is right.

Before getting pregnant with Ian, I was very successful with losing weight and then maintained it for quite a while.  I was careful with my salt intake and exercised every day.  Knowing that I have had success in the past is very helpful and something I will pat myself on the back about.  And I can draw on that for strength.

My cousin also said it is in your mind.  If I determine and decide to do this, I can.  I have to take care of myself and realize that my health is important.  So, I will schedule exercise time on my calendar and plan the meals carefully. Even though these seem like little things, they are big and very important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  That is the key – not to think of this as a diet but my new lifestyle.

Here is an interesting quote on losing weight: Elizabeth Berg said, “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”  I am not quite there since I truly love food.  And, I still want to have some treats so I am not feeling deprived.  I just have to figure out healthier ways to eat those favorite items.  And, each day, I need to be active and exercise.

I am fortunate that my hubby and other family members love me no matter what size I am.  And, my son thinks I am beautiful, which means the world to me.  And, they all want me to be healthy, so here’s to the journey.  I will keep you posted on how things are going.

Any ideas or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated!  And, if you are on this journey, I’d love to hear from you so I can support you too. After all, we are in this together!

Weight Loss Update – 5 Pounds Lost!

scaleHi and Happy Wednesday!

Hope you are having a great week.  Mine has been good so far.

When I weighed myself most recently, I had lost 5 pounds!  Yeah!  I still have a long way to go but I am getting there!

I guess it’s the little steps that make the most difference.  And, I have been making them.  I am eating better and making more sensible choices, and have been walking more.

Still there are many pounds to go and many miles to walk or bike.  I won’t let myself get overwhelmed by it — or it would be an uphill battle.

I have lost weight before and know I can do it again.  Here I am pictured at a really good weight 6 years ago with my nephew Aiden. We were at the San Diego airport for a beach vacation.

Vacation 2006 070This was taken before I got pregnant with Ian.  I gained quite a bit of weight during my pregnancy.  Then about a year ago, I gained some more and realized I weighed more than when Ian was born.   That was quite depressing to discover. ARG!!

The size in this picture wasn’t the smallest that I have been but I felt good, was comfortable in my skin and my clothes.  And, my blood pressure was under control.

Now I keep photos like this and others as motivation and inspiration to stay on the journey.

My downfall continues to be too little exercise and stress eating.  Right now, I am super busy and life is quite stressful.  At night, I eat for comfort and that isn’t good.  I don’t do this every night, but it’s enough to make a problem for me.

I am working to change this and find a way to exercise, which always helps me with stress.  I also try to have time to relax and do a few activities that I really love — like reading, word finds, taking photos, writing, walking around the neighborhood, shopping at discount stores and book stores, listening to music and/or dancing and singing, and spending time with Ian and Kirk and friends and family.

In a few months, there will be some changes so hopefully all of this will be easier for me.

I’d love to hear from friends, family, and followers who are also on a weight loss journey or some other journey.  It is always helpful to have others in your corner.

During my journey, I have been learning a lot about myself and what my triggers are.  That has been helpful in making some lasting changes.

I wonder if I will lose more weight this week.  I also wonder what new things I will learn that will help me.  I look forward to the adventure.

Cutting My Rings

ringsOn Friday afternoon of last week, I had to do something that I never thought I would.  I had to have my engagement ring and wedding band cut off my finger at a jeweler.

Thankfully the jeweler was very nice so I didn’t feel too bad while I was there.  That wasn’t until afterwards.

He said, “We’ve seen worse than this.   Give your finger about three weeks to a month to return to normal and the swelling to go down.  Then we can resize your rings for you.”

“Thank you,” I said.  “I will be in touch.”  I left with a sore and naked finger, and wanted to cry.  I couldn’t help but think, how did it come to this?

My finger had swollen quite a bit and since the rings together go almost to the first knuckle, it all was becoming way too tight and starting to be bad for my finger.

Now my ring finger is bare and healing again.   It looks very strange without a ring since I have been wearing one or both of them for 15 years.  This fall will be our 15th anniversary.

The only other time that I couldn’t wear my rings was when I was pregnant and when Ian was first born.  Clearly now, it’s because of my weight and that is upsetting.

I am trying to look at this as the sign that I needed that yes, it is time for some major changes.  And, since I haven’t liked how I look in recent pictures, I want to and am ready to change and finally lose this weight.

After all my son is 5 years old so I can no longer can blame it on the baby weight.   It is a lack of exercise, too much stress, and the need for a better diet.  I need to be eating more fruits and veggies, and a healthier overall diet, and being active each day.

When I was active each day, I felt better and was better able to deal with life’s stressors.  But as I can attest, it is so easy to get into bad habits and stay there.  Time to bring on the good habits again.

I have had success before with losing weight.  Weight Watchers has worked for me as well as 45 minutes per day of cardio activity.  I will be incorporating both of those again.

When I was a senior in college, it was much easier to lose weight than it is now.  Back then I lived on the third floor of the dorm with no stairs, walked all over campus for classes, and took a weight class three times a week.

I was in the best shape of my life.  I looked great and never thought twice about what I ate or what I was doing.  I was just living and since I was so active, my body could more easily process what was going in.

I probably won’t be back to that size again, but I can certainly make some major changes.  I want to get into the size I was when I got pregnant with Ian.  I will be happy with that!

My goal is to make one change each week and try to incorporate that into the overall plan.  I am realistic enough to understand that it took time to get to where I am, so I need time to make the changes.

This week is to work on cutting out the late-night unhealthy snacks which are often a result of stress eating.  It is calming but not the best idea.  Part of my problem is that I love food and love to eat.  I will be working on what I eat and how much.  As a friend of mine mentioned, it is a lifestyle change, not a diet.

I wonder if I can truly make one of these changes each week?  I think that since I am motivated that I will be able to do so.  One week at a time and one day at a time!

What a Week!

The last seven days have been amazing and so full of blessings.

I have felt such an outpouring of love and care with all of the prayer support that I received!  (Please see my posting on Wednesday to read about my trip to the ER)

Yesterday afternoon, I went to my regular doctor for a follow-up visit.  My blood pressure was normal (yeah!) and I was so happy about that.  And, he gave me a medicine to help my stomach / GI tract to settle back down.

He also told me that doctors often can’t tell you exactly what is wrong with you but that they can tell you what isn’t wrong.  That is something profound, don’t you think?  It is also frustrating when you want to have an answer. As I found out this week, however, that isn’t always possible.

We then discussed diet and some changes that I need to make.  He mentioned that healthy eating has to be a new lifestyle choice and not considered a diet.  As you know from reading my blog, I am trying to lose weight but am still not having much success.  This doctor reminded me that it’s all about portion control, eating fewer carbs, and avoiding fried food (for my stomach mainly but a good idea for overall health).

I thanked him for his advice and the medicine.  Then we came home from the doctor, took the medicine, and made dinner — salmon, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and biscuits.  DELICIOUS!  And, I had no stomach, etc. problems.  For the first night in a while, I slept very well through the night and without almost no pain. Thank you Lord.

This week has truly been a wakeup call and has shown me how far from the healthy food choices I was. I thought I was doing well but got off track the previous week. I am working now each day to make healthier choices.  And, to exercise as well.  I am tired of feeling lousy and ready to feel better and back to a fun and healthy weight.  After all, I have some great clothes that I want to be able to wear again.

My husband and son have been so sweet and attentive to me. My hubby has been helping a lot around the house (something he does anyway) and been making sure that I have been getting rest and what I need.

In addition, my son has been very attentive. Ian has a doctor’s kit and last night he gave me a checkup.  He checked my heart and said, “there is a robber in your heart trying to get the pain out,” meaning he wants Mommy’s pain to go away.  He has said several times, “It’s okay Mommy,”  and “I hope that you can lose weight Mommy.”

It means a lot to have my own cheering section!  And, I feel truly blessed to have such a loving and caring set of family and friends who provided such amazing prayer support and concern.  That has meant the world to me this week.  Thank you Lord for watching over me!

How was your week?  I hope and pray it was full of blessings!  Please share with me and other readers.

Thank You Lord

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And in the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Phil 4:6

This verse has very special meaning for this week!  It was helpful and the perfect  scripture verse for me after a very difficult night at the emergency room.  Thanks to my dear sister for sending it to me.

On Sunday, my son and I went to have dinner with my parents after dropping off my hubby who had a quick business trip.  During dinner, I started having chest pains — right in the center.  These followed a few days of pain on either side of my chest/stomach area.

Needless to say, I was worried and anxious since my grandfather had passed away of a massive heart attack at my age.  So my mother took me to the hospital to be checked out.  The hardest part was the what-ifs and the not-knowing.  It is amazing what your mind can drum up when you are worried about something.

And, as we got to the room and started the waiting game, my mother got on the phone and called friends, family, my siblings and my hubby to let them know what was happening.  She asked everyone for prayers and few of us had much sleep that night.

Prayers started immediately and I must say that as I was lying there waiting for answers, I felt calm — which is not what I expected to feel.  The love of God and all of my prayer warriors helped me from going totally crazy and worrying the entire time.  I truly had a blanket of love and protection around me.

For those who prayed, I cannot thank you enough!  I am truly honored and humbled that you lifted me up to the Lord!  I am so appreciative of your love and friendship.  You are awesome and I love all of you so very much!!!  It meant the world to me to hear of your love, concern, and prayers!

The amazing news is that after a long and sleepless night and many, many tests (EKGs, blood work, a stress test, a CT scan, and an ultra-sound), I was told my heart is healthy.  THANK YOU LORD!!!  What an amazing answer to prayer!!!!

And, as I was being discharged on Monday morning, the ER doctor told me that there are many causes of chest pain, but that I had none of the big causes.  Can I just tell you what joy and relief I felt?  I felt a weight had been truly lifted and an amazing gift was given to me by the Lord!!!

I still have to follow-up with my regular doctor to determine the cause of the pain.  I am frustrated not to know yet what is going on, but feel certain that I will find out.  And, hopefully very soon.  I had some additional pain last night but nothing like what made me want to go to the er.  I will keep you posted on what I find out.

Thanks so much to the emergency room staff — nurses, techs, doctors, and others — as well as food services and the chest center.  All of you were so kind and gracious and truly took your time with me.  I had a good experience despite the circumstances.  It went as well as could be expected.

I know some other friends who also had chest pain and went in and it ended up being acid reflux.  And another person at 29 years old, went in since he didn’t feel like himself and found out that he had to have triple bypass surgery.  And, after his legs were bothering him, my cousin found out he had blood clots in his legs.   It was good that all of these people went to the hospital to see what was the matter since you never know.

Before all of this happened, I was already on blood pressure medicine and will continue to take that.  And, I am trying to lose weight as well and eat a more healthy diet.  That too will help with the BP and make for a healthier heart.

Again, thank you dear Lord for your mercies and love for me.  And, for the work of the physicians and many others, and the outstretched prayer support that I felt. AMEN!!

“Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above!” 

Time to Lose, 90 Days Exercise

Hi again to you!

As I am in the middle of my 11th week of the weight loss journey, I realized that I haven’t been making any progress the last two weeks.  That is why I haven’t been posting any blogs. Also, my son and I have both been sick so there wasn’t much to share on this journey.

My food intake has been quite a bit better over the past month. Well, except for while I have been sick.  That is always a challenge!  But the better choices seem to be getting easier and much more routine!  So that is good.

But, I realized that I am getting nowhere fast on the exercise front.  And, that is what really needs my attention.

So, I have decided that starting April 1st, I am going to start 90 days of exercise.  I have added a new page to this blog in order to track what I do each day.

Nothing like being accountable to yourself and others to get you motivated!

I so need to do this for my own health.  I hope to make this a new habit. By scheduling it each day, I think that it will truly happen.

I am waiting until the 1st of April because I want to get over as much of the sinus infection as I can and be ready to go with the exercise.  I will probably start out slowly and then increase my time as I go.

Please share with me your journey as well.  Let’s be a support system to each other!!

I wonder if I can truly do this.  I will take it one day at a time and hope to see major changes!

Time to Lose, Etc.

Time to Lose Week 8

Yet another week has come and gone with the weight loss adventure.

The exercising didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but there is good news. I lost 2 pounds because of better food choices.  YEAH!  It truly is a combination of the two but quite a bit from healthy foods.

In each meal, I am eating either fruits or veggies and am having protein as well. That seems to be making a good difference.  I still, however, have a major appetite and am not sure when that will change.  Hopefully soon, so I am trying to fill up on healthier options – plums, pears, oranges, green salad, corn on the cob, etc.

This morning I tried on a dress that I haven’t worn in a while.  It seems to fit better than it has in recent months.  My shape seems to be improving and that is really nice.

I have to remember that weight loss isn’t all about the scale — but also about how clothes fit and how you feel.  These items are improving and I am very thankful.

There are still plenty of items to work on but each week it’s getting easier!  I still like the occasional really good hamburger with for example, Cali Cobb toppings (blue cheese, bacon, and avocado) and thin-cut fries.  This was a recent meal I enjoyed at a restaurant and it was delicious and the best hamburger I’ve had in ages.

And, I now like dark chocolate which is supposed to be better for you.  My favorite is Ghirardelli dark with mint.  I have learned that when I do want a splurge, it is going to be something I really like and will really enjoy the taste of.  I am not wasting my calories anymore on a so-so tasting item.

Here is to another week that more will be lost and more will be learned. Cheers!!

Etc.

**I have to say how glad I am that it is Friday.  It will be a busy weekend, but I still enjoy the different routine to a Saturday and a Sunday than the other 5 days of the week. Being able to sleep in a little bit on Saturday morning is a treat, as well as a special breakfast or event for the day. And going to church is the highlight for Sunday as well as lunch with the family and then a lazy afternoon.

*And, I have to say Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss.  He is one of the best children’s authors ever.  I have liked his books for many years. And, now I am so thankful that Ian is enjoying them too.  My grandmother recently gave him “The Foot Book.” Last night as he was going to bed, he quoted from this book.

I have to say that is the mark of a great book when a 4-year-old remembers the lines from it a week after it’s been read to him!!  I hope to write a children’s book one day and can only hope to aspire to a little of the genius of Dr. Seuss.

Hope you have a great week – no matter what you are doing!  I wonder if we can make the most of it and enjoy each and every day! Hope you will!

Wear Red Day

Today is National Wear Red Day to recognize the fight against heart disease.

Are you wearing red? I am.

Red is one of my favorite colors.  And, I seem to get compliments when I wear this vibrant color.

But the meaning about today is very important.  According to the American Heart Association’s Wear Red web site, heart disease is the number one killer among women, and kills more women than all cancer combined. Wow, that is a shocking fact to me.

It is important to check our numbers — blood pressure and cholesterol. Both of mine have been too high and I am trying to lower them. Thanks to a great doctor, I am getting the help I need.

These numbers can be lowered with changes in diet and exercise. As you know from my postings on Tuesdays, I am working on these changes.

It is a daily effort but I am committed to do so. I want a healthy heart and an overall healthy body.

I wonder if we one day can beat heart disease that claims our loved ones. I hope and pray that we can do exactly that.

Time to Lose Week 4

Hello and hope you are having a great January 31. Can you believe that it is already the last day of the first month of a new year? I can’t.  This month seems to have flown by.

The weight loss journey continues.  It is hard to believe it that I have been at this a month already.  Seems like I am getting nowhere fast.  But then again I have had some very bad habits and routines for a long, long time.

I did make a breakthrough just yesterday that I have to share with you. I had some blood work done at the doctor and before that a fast of 12 hours was required.  That was fine since the night before the fasting time, I ate 94% fat-free kettle corn for my snack with some ice-cold water.  Yummy and filling.

After the trip to the doctor, I had an errand to run and was also hungry. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to eat. I went to one of my old favorite fast food restaurants, walked in, and then realized, I really don’t want this. The thought of that greasy food almost made me ill. So I left.  And, it’s a good thing — they were so busy, a long line inside and cars waiting in the drive-thru — all the way around the building.

I came back to the house and ate a protein bar, part of a banana, cheese, water, and coffee with cream.  That was much more satisfying than my other option would have been. I have to say that was a real win for me in my day-to-day walk with the correct food options. I couldn’t help but say, yeah me! (This is something that I think we should be doing — it’s important to celebrate your victories.)

The rest of the week has had good times and bad times but the weight has remained the same.  And I must say that although the scale didn’t change, I am relieved and pleased that it didn’t go up.

For people who don’t have a struggle with weight loss, you may wonder, why isn’t it just an easy change to choose the healthy food? Some days it is easy and other days it isn’t. I am trying to work through the hard days and learn each week a lesson that will help me continue to meet my goals.  I truly want my health to improve so I must do this – hard as it may be sometimes.

I find that the more healthy choices I am making, the more healthy choices I want to continue to make.  You know what I mean?  It seems the body seems to start craving the good deep green lettuce, the crunchy carrot, the whole grain pasta with grilled chicken, and other tasty and healthy foods.

The other challenge continues to be exercise.  I have been doing more walking and am enjoying being outside – especially with this unseasonably warmer winter that we are having. Just some days, it seems to end up at the end of the list of things that must be done. You know what I mean?

In years past, I have been very active and regularly worked out.  That was before becoming a mother and having more demands on my time. I just am realizing more and more that I just have to schedule it and then do it!

I hope and pray that I can work more exercise into each day this coming week. I wonder what new lessons I will learn. I am sure there will be something.

Time to Lose Week 3

Hello and Happy Tuesday!

I am on week 3 of the weight loss program.  Last week, I didn’t have a chance to write a posting about my progress.  I didn’t gain or lose so I suppose I was continuing to make some good decisions.

This week I have gained 1.5 pounds.  I seem to be going in the opposite direction. That has made me stop and think about what I am doing wrong, or not doing.

As I wrote in my last posting, this past week has been pretty stressful! And I noticed something, I tend to eat comfort food and eat it late when I am stressed. Can anyone else relate to that?

That is something at least – realizing the triggers for eating the bad food choices. I still have much work to do but I feel that is a good step.

Another problem, since things were so crazy this week, there was little time to exercise.  I have come to realize that this must be scheduled in my day in order for me to do it and then turn it into a habit.

I will spend this week continuing to improve my habits and my routine. I want to continue to stay aware of what I am eating and my exercise.  All I can do is try each day and if I stick with the lifestyle change, I will lose.

I wonder if I can handle my stress better this week — with exercise instead of the old standby munchies. I am going to try each day and see what happens.  I just have to realize that some weeks will be harder than others and that’s okay. True and lasting change takes time.