Monday, June 30, 2008

Not going well...

Oh boy. So I really fell off the wagon the past few weeks. I just got SO stressed out with the changes at work and people not doing what they were supposed to.. and planning the farewell party for our department... etc. It was crazy. I tried to stay away from sweets... but I could not stop with the soda. And the gym... all the sugar made me lethargic after I was done working and I just could not get motivated. All that's over now and I have made a goal this week to sit down and plan when I am doing what. I stick to things better when I am writing it down.

We are stopping Nutrisystem after the food we have runs out. It just got boring really fast and it started to taste all the same. I need some variety in my life. That's another thing that was stressing me out... how much I didn't like the food anymore and how I was going to tell Mike... and I missed cooking. So, we are going to do portion control on our own.

Hopefully this week goes better!!

Monday Review: week 6 (or so)

So, yeah... it's Monday...How did we do? Well, on my end, I did ok with the exercising. I actually took the early morning walk with the kiddos in the jogging stroller and, when we stopped at the playground to give them a break, I even did some pull-ups (chin-ups? what are they called?) on the monkey bars. Yay. However...the eating. Oh, sweet Jesuits, the eating. I'm a little stressed out trying to get ready for our trip and when I'm stressed, I tend to make myself sick gorging on sweets. 'Cause nothing calms the nerves like a sugar coma, you know. The sheer volume of soda, candy, treats and popsicles I ate this week...ugh. I need to go lay down just thinking about it.

My new goals: Lay off the sugar!!! No, really, put the soda down and back away, slowly...

Keep up the good exercising vibes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Meal Planning Chart

A friend of mine was asking for new meal ideas on her blog which got me thinking about the menu planning chart I made a few years ago. My mom and I used it all the time (when I was living back home) and now she's just using it on her own. Unfortunately I haven't felt motivated to do it for myself. Cooking for just one person is strange to me (mom still has three to cook for) although my daughter will be with me for the next six weeks (starting July 1st, yeah!) so I'll get back into the swing of things having someone other than myself to cook for.

Anyway, here's the meal and menu planning chart I made, hosted at which is the website I'm the guide of. It's the first link and is in PDF format. The file also has a second page full of meal ideas that you can print on the back.

What meal planning tips do you have?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Skinny Jeans

I think that every woman has that one piece of clothing that makes her feel amazing, if only she can fit into it. Television weight-loss commercials show woman after woman squealing with glee after squeezing back into her "skinny jeans". I don't have a pair of jeans or really any particular article of clothing, but for years, whenever I felt wretched and troll-ish, I would snuggle into one of my husband's dress shirts. Something about the way they fit made me feel small, delicate, and sexy. I'm sure I looked like a big frump, but I felt terrific. Until, one day after my second child was born, I fastened the buttons and saw the fabric stretching to reach. What a horrible day! So, for almost three years, I have avoided those shirts like they were the plague, not wanting to feel that way ever ever again. One day last week, though, I was feeling miserable and just needed a pick-me-up, so I pulled on one of Bob's shirts. And it fit! Well, not "fit" exactly, it was just big enough that I felt tiny and small enough that I still felt like a woman and not a little girl. Yay! That's progress that I can really embrace:)
So, what's your equivalent of the "skinny jeans"?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Is it Monday already?

So, my eating has been hit or miss but my working out has been nonexistent at this point. I'm really blaming work right now. I'm a school administrator and the end of the school year is simply crazy!!!! Plus, I just feel swamped and overwhelmed. I barely have any me time and I'm just waiting to get through the end of the week.

Dh and I had a heart to heart talk this weekend and he said that he's tired of both of us being fat. Now, he does 99% of the cooking and will make healthy stuff for us as long as we're on the South Beach together but other than that, his theory is that we should just work out more. Now, I know from my experiences that even when I do work out pretty hard, I'll lose weight but when I watch what I eat when I work out, the weight comes off even faster. So, I did *ask* him if he minded if I did some of the cooking when I'm off :-) It's hard because it is one of the things he truly enjoys doing but I think I'm going to work on getting together lots of healthy things prepped during the day so he can still grill them when he gets home from work. That way, it's a win-win situation! We will eat a lot of salads around here but sometimes, you get tired of eating salads iykwim!

So, I keep saying that work and being tired is getting in the way of exercising but I know if I exercised more, I'd be less tired. . .sigh, baby steps. . .this didn't all come on overnight and it's not all gonna vanish overnight either.

Rachel's Before and After

I'm finally ready to post my before/after pictures. My wonderful mother and aunt Linda took pictures of me (and I took pictures of them) at the Idaho Botanical Garden last week and they turned out wonderful. It was so much fun!

If you missed reading about my history with weight gain/loss you can read it here: Rachel's Story. Now, without too much more delay, here are my current before and after mug shots.

09-1997 (age 22 at 162 lbs)
With my mother.

03-1999 (24 at 135 lbs)
Sorry, mom, it's not a great pic of you 'cause you were crying!


08-2005 (30 at 183+ lbs)
Can you see my underlining unhappiness? Like the chocolate milk? This really is a bad picture of me too, but then, I don't think I took very many "good" pictures after I was married.

05-2007 (32 between 165-175 lbs)
This is when I hadn't even known I'd started to lose weight.

06-2008 (33 at 144 lbs)
Don't I look great!?

Now, I still want/need to lose some more weight, but I am SO happy with my progress and how great I look. It's wonderful to feel good about oneself instead of suicidal.

Something Stinks!

And it's not me! Since yesterday something in or around my apartment smells like cooked ground beef that's gone bad... at least that's the closest thing I can relate it to. I can't find out where it's coming from and it's making me sick. At first I thought it was a neighbor cooking something but now I don't know because the smell hasn't gone away. The smell has even set off my gag reflex a few times. Ugh!

I've gone foot by foot throughout my apartment and everything smells normal when I get up close. Plants smell like dirt and, well, plants, the garbage smells like garbage and isn't even stinky, the bathroom has a range of nice smells from all those scented products I use, and the kitchen smells clean. I can't figure out what it is and it's making me crazy!

The only good thing about this is that I doubt I'll be able to eat anything with ground beef in it any time soon... and my desire to eat is at an all time low. Ugh, what a nasty way to stick to a diet.

Update: Okay, I figured it out. The smell WAS coming from my kitchen garbage. I didn't notice it when I first checked it out because the source's stink wasn't that strong, maybe it was building up over time. Yuck, how embarrassing.

The only time I want to smell something that stinks is when it's me- because I'm exercising!

Monday Review

So, this week was kind of a bust for me. I did ok with my eating, but barely got any exercise. Part of the problem was energy: I was tired all week from being up every night with my youngest. Also, I'm taking the kids to visit my parents next week and have a to-do list 3 miles long. And I'm sure that I can come up with 20 more excuses if you'll give me a minute or two...
How did you guys do?

New Goal: Refocus! Re-energize! Rest!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Omelets in a Bag Recipe

Just an FYI to let you know, if you didn't notice already, that a new recipe was posted. It's a fun family recipe making omelets in a ziplock bag- very simple yet tasty!

Update: Here's the recipe now that it's not in the sidebar.

Omelet in a Bag by Rachel

Ingredients and Supplies:
Eggs (about 2 per person for a medium sized omelet)
Grated Cheese (1/4 C per person)
Freezer Bags (1 Quart, such as Ziploc or other brand)
Salt and Pepper

Additional Optional Toppings: (1/4 C per person)

While making omelets begin boiling a pot of water.

There are two ways to put these together. One way is to mix the eggs in a separate bowl and then put 1/2 C egg mix in each bag. The other way is to directly crack the eggs into the freezer bags and then squeeze and smash the outside of the bag to mix up the eggs- children love doing this.

To make a medium sized omelet add cheese (1/4 C) and any additional toppings (about 1/4 C). Don’t add salt yet, as the eggs will take longer to cook if you do. For a larger omelet just add more eggs, cheese, toppings, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Close bags, removing as much air as possible, and then put into boiling water. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove bags onto a plate, tray, or towel. Carefully open bags and dump omelet onto your plate. Add salt and pepper to taste. Warning: They will steam when you cut them open, so it’s a good idea to cut up your omelet and let it first cool for a bit.

Note: If you’re making different kinds of omelets you can label the bag with a magic marker.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Something that Motivates Me

I think most of us keep track of our caloric intake one way or another - writing it down or some sort of spread sheet seem to be the most common ways. Well, something that helps me on the exercise front is to keep a workout log. I just thought I would mention it. While it can be unsatisfying to look over a food journal to see either how little we've "gotten" to eat, or how much we've eaten (perhaps too much), it is VERY satisfying to look over a workout journal and see how often and how you have worked out. I write down what I did and for how long, and what distance (if applicable). For example, I went to the gym and participated in my first session of Pilates ever. So, I had 20 min to work out before that and I decided to do the elliptical. Here's what my log looked like. I didn't get to go work out today, so I'm working out twice tomorrow. Anyway, here's the entry:

6/17 Elliptical 15 min 1.53 miles
Pilates 45 min

That's it! I write down what I did, and then how long I did it, and if there's a quantitative measurement of effort, I put it down (the distance ;) ).

Maybe this will help you too.

Skin Deep

Lately I've been thinking a lot about societal standards of beauty and how they are really transient and, well...odd. We in the modern age like to think that we have cornered the market on superficial obsession with beauty, but, while the ideal figure has changed, the lengths that women will go to in order to achieve it have not. From constricting, deforming corsets, lead-based eye-liner, and foot-binding to high heels, anorexia and plastic surgery, women have spent centuries torturing themselves to conform these fabricated standards of beauty. Why? I would, like a good feminist, like to be able to lay all of the blame on the broad shoulders of that other gender, but I think that simplifies the issue to an insulting degree, for both men and women. Men, for the most part, have always found certain things attractive, and generally speaking, those things do not include emaciated, stick-thin bodies that would be more at home on an 11 year old boy. And, even if there does exist a certain (Neanderthalish) segment of the male population who do enjoy those things, well, that still doesn't explain why women world-wide feel the need to conform to that stereotype. Why do healthy, beautiful women starve and berate themselves if they are not a size 2? Why do women zealously rearrange their bodies and facial features surgically to obtain an ephemeral concept of physical perfection? What is it about the human experience that pushes us to strive in such unhealthy ways toward an unattainable, completely fabricated construct?
Thinking about this has led me to question why I want to lose weight so much. Is it, in some part, to better fit the societal ideal of attractiveness? As much as I would like to say that my reasons are solely healthy and not at all superficial, the truth is that most of my motivation is feeling (and looking) prettier. You would think that it should have more to do with lowering my cholesterol or building muscle and being strong and active, right? So, my question here is two-fold: does the motive matter as much as the result? and why do these issues of health seem so often to take a back seat to beauty?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Review

Today, I'm babysitting for a friend who just had a baby. Her little girl keeps lifting up my shirt, rubbing my stomach and saying, "baby tummy". It's a good thing she's cute...
Anyway, week in review: I did really well with water-drinking. I have been using those Crystal Light mix-ins, and I love them. I don't care if they are made from dried up cancer flakes and arsenic, they are delicious. With the exercising, not as well. I am in a definite rut. So, suggestions for work outs outside of a gym?
New Goals:

  1. Eat more veggies for snacks. I've mostly been eating fruit and I think it's making me a bit sugar-tipsy.
  2. Get up early enough to take advantage of the cooler morning weather for longer walks. Maybe even work in a bit of jogging. Maybe.

How about you? Did you do well last week? What do you hope to do this week?

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm Cranky (with pictures!)

Annoying Things:

  1. People who dress like this to work out:

I mean, really? Is this necessary? Also, do you have to look so happy? For those of you who are curious, this is what I look like in my "athletic gear":

Sexy, no?

2. That the weather went from nice to summer in 1 freakin' day. Now my nice, quiet park has been inundated with college guys playing sports. Don't get me wrong, it was nice at first, but now their energy is just annoying. Apparently bronzed muscles glistening in the sun can get old. Who knew?

3. Speaking of the blistering hot sun, what the heck do the manufacturers of 'sport' sunscreens add to create that lovely oil slick that lingers on your skin for days? Do they think we all want to look like professional wrestlers?

Shiny enough?

4. People who look at me like I'm crazy just because I'm singing out loud in public. Ok, I know I'm no Olivia Newton-John, but I like to think that I can hold my own.

and finally,

5. That on the way home tonight, I saw some teeny-bopper girl wearing daisy dukes, a halter top, and a knit cap. The kind with ear flaps and a big fuzzy pom-pom on the top. Which has nothing to do with anything, really, except that it thoroughly offended me for some reason.

Hope you guys have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Resistance is Futile!

(After moving and waiting for my Internet to be hooked back up I'm finally back online.)

One of the things I've been struggling with is resistance. I find that when I don't want to do something I usually have an excuse as to why I shouldn't have to do it or why it doesn't apply to me... but I've come to learn that this is my resistance to change. I'm used to doing (or not doing) something in a specific way and why should I change my behavior now? Why? Why?? Because change is the only way to become better, to improve, to stop something I don't like and start something I do.

One of the things I've been resisting is push ups. I don't like push ups, I hurt for days afterwards, why should I even do them, what good are they anyway, it's not like I'm competing for a strong man competition or something!

So, to defy my resistance I'm going to lie. That's right, I'm going to LIE to myself.

The more we lie to ourselves the more the lie becomes truth. We lie to ourselves a hundred times (or more) a day about all sorts of things. Just listen to the negative thoughts you think, such as "I can't lose weight- others can, but I can't," "I'm fat," "I hate vegetables," "I'm addicted to sweets," etc. When we listen to those lies long enough they turn into truth. If our minds are so powerful to change lies into truth we should use that power for our good.

So I'm giving you permission to lie to yourself! Take one or two negative things you say to yourself and change it into a positive affirmation. Change what you think/say to be the exact opposite. Exaggerate and add enthusiasm and feeling to what you say. Here's mine:

I LOVE push ups! I love how they make me sore after working out- it means I'm achieving my goal of being a happier, healthier me! I feel so happy when I'm pushing myself (literally) forward!

Now repeat your positive affirmation- in your head, out loud, and/or write it down- over and over. You can do this in the morning when you wake up, when you're brushing your teeth, taking a shower, eating, standing in line at the store, changing diapers, cleaning, etc.

So take that, resistance! Your attempts at sabotage are futile.


While I (and my mother*) think that I am unbearably witty and clever, I realize that not everyone shares my, er, unique sense of humor. Thus, if you come across something that offends you, feel free to let me know. Chances are it's just me making myself laugh...

*This statement does not reflect my mother's actual opinion, but I like to think it does...


You know, as we "pick" on our husbands, I think that most people would see that it's obvious that we are just talking about some common ground in our struggles of weight loss. I think a lot of women live with men who are blessed by being male. It has been proven that it is easier for them to lose weight, and so in our struggles to lose ours the only people we can rely on to truly understand the difficulties of the human (female) body are other women. So, in answer to Odessas post about our husbands being "damned if they do and damned if they don't" I went to her lovely and uplifting blog and posted the following:

"I'm sure that you think that you're really intellectual with your clever wit in your title and in your sweet posts on others blogs, but on our blog we would appreciate if you wouldn't comment if you don't have somethign supportive to say to those that are struggling with various trials in their lives. We wish you the best as you try to discover yourself and figure out how to get the attention you crave by hurting others. If everyone you know is perfect and you can't say that they don't bother you sometimes then you should write a self-help book on that topic and get rich. You would be the first. None of us claim to be perfect but we at least are trying to help eachother out along the way. Have a great day!"

Can't we all just be supportive of eachother? Are any of us perfect? Do we whine every once in a while when we are feeling down and not very successful at our weight loss? Do we have that right? I think we know the answers to these questions. I just beg of anyone reading this blog that you try to come here in the spirit of uplifting one another. We will come here to complain every now and again, we will come here to vent, that is the point of having this blog. We want a place where women can come (and men if they would like) to discuss our weight loss journeys, trials and triumphs. It just so happens that we are female so if we have a problem with our spouse, it's going to be males getting talked about. I sure would welcome any man that wanted to come on here and vent that his wife wasn't being supportive because the point of venting is that you're usually doing it to let off emotions but also to seek advice and comfort. I would be glad to help a husband who has an unsupportive wife too, this isn't limited to women with husbands who are skinny little things. If my husband being able to eat like a horse makes me sad because I want to too "damns" him, then so be it. If my husband isn't supportive of me, then, unfortunately he's "damned" there too. BUT, I LOVE my husband and I come here to vent instead of nit-picking at him.

Lastly, I hope that we can all make constructive comments and criticisms towards one another instead of hateful and spiteful ones. We don't want to have to moderate comments, but if we get more rudeness like this then we will because those kind of feelings are not helpful to anyone.

These are all the opinions of ME.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Diabetic Exchange Diet: Redux

Some of you have asked for an example of what I'm eating during the day on the new plan. So here's the breakdown. In this plan there are 6 food groups: carbs, protein/dairy, fruits, veggies, fats, and sweets. For my plan, I need 4 or more servings of the veggies, 3 or more of the fruit, 4 carbs, 3 fats, and up to 75 calories in the sweets group. It's recommended that you try for several smaller meals during the day, trying to incorporate all the groups. The website has a sample meal plan and a planning tool to help. I've just printed out my plan and the serving sizes for all the groups. I have a small whiteboard on the fridge, so I posted the plan near that and just check off what I eat during the day. So, today for breakfast I had 1/2 of a whole wheat bagel, 1 tablespoon of regular cream cheese, half of a banana, and water. For lunch, I had a salad with cheese, a bit of dressing and whole wheat bread. Snacks are fruits or veggies. There are lots of recipes on the website, too, that are tasty and breakdown what you're eating to make it easier to keep track of. Hope this helps, guys!

...think I'll go eat worms...

I started my new birth control pills this week, which make me feel and act in the same delightful way that I did when I was 15. It's lovely. My husband especially, feels the brunt of this regression. I've been asking (ok, nagging) him to be more supportive of my weight-loss and notice my efforts more and yesterday, as I was getting ready to leave for my walk, he said, "You've been doing really well with your walking. Great job." Yeah, that's nice, right? Well all I could think was, "condescending bastard." And then I went for a walk... in the rain. Ahhh, it's good to be fifteen.
So, is it more irritating to you when people don't notice your efforts and progress or when they do? Am I the only immature one around here?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Recipe

Ok gals, I am going to get a new recipe on here tomorrow for you. Things have been a little hectic for the past few days at work and I was SO tired after the gym last night that my eyes would not stay open. I know the same will happen tonight! So, look for it tomorrow!

Week in Review

How did your week go? I am really excited about my new eating plan, it's going well and is relatively easy for me to stick with. Of course, I did have a tough time with morale last week, thanks for helping me out with that, guys.
New goals:

  1. drink more water
  2. try something new, exercise-wise

Monday, June 9, 2008

Before and After

I guess I really can't say after since it's now that I'm talking about. I figured I'd put my pics up to show you all the progression of how I got from thin to now and I'm hoping that I'll have pics to show you when I get significantly smaller.
Pic #1 is from May 1987. This is a pic I took at my Senior Prom. I weighed all of about 103 and that is party because it was 87 and big hair was in :-) I never felt I was thin at this time. I thought I was ok. I look at it now and it's scary how you can see my collarbones.

Pic #2 is from May 2001. My oldest was 2 and this is before I was pregnant with #2. I was about 128-130 at the time. I know this dress is a size 6 since it sits in my closet and mocks me right now. I was happy that I was a size 6 but thought I was fat.

Pic #3 is from October 2006. I ran/jogged the Nike Women's Marathon. While it's a huge accomplishment that I completed a marathon, I'm super slow and it took me 8 hours and 4 minutes. . .I'm super slow. . .and I'm fat!

Pic #4 is from May 2008. I'm roughly 166 give or take a few pounds depending on what day and what time of the day I weigh myself. I'm really not happy with how much I weigh. This is at my middle son's birthday and I'm proud of myself since I didn't have any birthday cake :-)

Slow and steady it will be. I didn't gain this weight over night and it's not going to vanish over night. I'll be off the whole month of July and the kids will be in camp (bad mommy, huh?). It's easier for them to do things with their friends and we still have to pay for dd's preschool anyway. Plus, her routine gets really messed up when she doesn't have to go and she's super whiny and clingy. Ds would turn into a huge couch potato and only want to play video games so forcing him to go to camp and stay busy is a good thing. So, I'll have lots of solo time which means I can focus on *me* and part of what I want to do is get back in the habit of working out regularly. My plan is to lose about 10 pounds between now and when school starts up again. Realistically, I know that I could probably lose more but I don't want to set the bar too high and fail and be discouraged.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Walkin' on Sunshine

The last 2 days have been perfect weather: sunny and breezy. Not too hot or too cold. And Bob has been home in time for me to take advantage of it, by myself. This hardly ever happens, so when the opportunity comes along, I run out the door. There is a little park with a walking path that I love. It backs a canal, is covered in old trees, and is a bit out of the way, so there's virtually no traffic noise. I'm not sure why I care so much about the auditory ambiance since I'm always wearing headphones, but it's nice, none-the-less. Anyway, as I was walking tonight, I was thinking about how important music is for me during any workout. Not just the genre or tempo, either. I have a very defined philosophy of the order songs should be arranged in order to sync up just right with the different emotional phases of exercising. Of course, I begin with really high tempo songs, anthemic in nature, because I am either really pumped or need to psych myself up for the endeavor. In the middle of my workout, I usually just want to quit. I'm feeling whiny and introspective at this point, so I need more emo music that makes me feel like someone out there understands my pain. I try not to get too slow, just intense. I also like a bit of profanity at this point.(Ok, fine, a lot of profanity. It just makes me feel better, ok?) Then, as I'm closing in on the finish and feeling really satisfied and mellow, I have lots of nostalgic, happy, but not too peppy, songs. I've tried working out with other people's mixes and it just doesn't work at all. So, I'm wondering, what about you guys? Music, no music, incredibly anal about your play list or couldn't care less?
Oh, and Annette, um, could I hear more about these No Pudge Brownies, please?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Here's where the whining comes in...

Here are some of the things that are discouraging me right now:

  1. My husband. After looking at the Diabetic Exchange Diet with me and agreeing that it would be a good thing to try, he ate 3 full plates at dinner. 3. Um, way to get on board, sweetie.
  2. TV commercials. Shouldn't it be illegal to show chocolate on network TV?
  3. The kids, who are just dying to make cookies, or cake, or some tasty treat. I feel bad for saying no, but I know that I couldn't control my eating with that sort of thing just sitting around the house, begging me to eat it.
  4. Watching skinny girls eat. Or not eat. I'm not sure what's worse.
  5. The weather. It's been rainy here for the past few days, so I haven't been able to get out and walk. now it's sunny and I just don't have the energy.

How's your attitude faring this week?


So, the other day my mom told me that "they" have proven that stress does cause weight gain, or the inability to lose weight, or both in people. I tried to find the news article that she saw on the tv, but couldn't, but came up with this link. It's a good read, and of course even though the study these people mention includes only 40-year old wome and older, it has been "proven" elsewhere, I just can't find it, that it wasn't relative to age.

I'm in trouble....

Monday, June 2, 2008

Diabetic Exchange Diet

My sister (who is a nurse) suggested that I check out the Diabetic Exchange Diet. She said that in spite of the name, it's really the best diet for anyone who wants to lose weight in a healthy way. I found some great info at the Mayo Clinic website. It seems to focus a lot on serving sizes, portion control, and eating a variety of foods. For those of you who have had success with Weight Watchers, this is apparently a bit similar, but easier, free, and without meetings. I think I'm going to give it a try, so I thought I would mention it here, as well!

Edited to add: I didn't see this last night, but the website actually has a tool to help you determine how many calories you need in a day and how you should divide those calories among the food groups. You can print out your results along with a list of serving sizes. This way, you know that any serving of vegetables is 25 calories and you just watch the size of your serving and how many you consume in one day. You can find the tool here.

My Intro

Hi everyone, I stumbled across this blog through Marie and I can soooooooooooo totally relate. My name is Kathy and I'm fat. . .ugh, there, I've said it publicly. I remember growing up and not being fat but being harped on by my mom to watch what I ate or I'd be fat when I grew up. Well, guess she was right!

I'm only 5'2" and weighed 103 when I graduated from high school. I was active and was a 4 sport athlete in high school--volleyball, basketball, softball, and ran track. I did gain weight my Freshman year but it was the Freshman 8-10 and not 15. I did Crew and was the Coxswain so I had to be small. I only did this my Freshman year but worked in a gym the rest of the time I was at UCLA so I had ample opportunity to work out--I lived in the gym. By the time I graduated college, I was about 120 but still a size 4. I thought I was big then, especially since I had the same boyfriend throughout high school and college and he kind of harped on the weight gain.

After college, I started teaching and didn't have time to work out twice a day so the weight slowly crept on. When I got married, I probably weighed about 125-130 and my ex always threatened to leave me if I got fat. Well, I showed him since I got pregnant and left him! After my first son was born, I hovered around 140 since I couldn't shake the weight. I bumped up my workouts when he was about a year old and ended up losing weight. I got to about 128 but was in a size 4 again. Of course, I thought I was fat. . .

It was at this point that I met my current dh and he thought I was beautiful the way I was and couldn't believe I had a child when we met since I was so incredibly awesome looking :-) I left the classroom and went into administration which meant longer working hours so less working out time plus we moved in together and I commuted to work and the weight crept up. By the time I got pregnant with ds #2, I was about 140ish. . .but I was still a size 6/8 and could wear a bikini. I didn't really lose weight after ds #2 was born and then got pregnant with dd. I actually did well during the pregnancy and only gained 16 pounds so I thought I'd be in good shape after she was born. Well, I didn't lose the weight and she's 3 now and I weigh more now than I did when I delivered her. I can't claim "I just had a baby" as an excuse any longer.

I know what I need to do. I need to watch what I eat and get some exercise but I find it hard to find time. I can't get up early in the morning to work out because I stay up too late. I work full-time and have 3 kids and 3 dogs :-) plus dh.

At the beginning of the year, I weighed myself and found out that I was at 172. It was really eye opening and a sad day for me. Since then, I've lost 6 pounds so I'm currently at 166. I don't like it and I know it needs to go down.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you all!


Check out today's Oprah!!!

If you can still see it, check out today's Oprah. There are PHENOMENAL weight loss stories featured. The people lost at least 100 lbs I think, and the average is probably higher.

As for my goals I think I posted new ones for this week already in a comment, but for accountability's sake, I did pretty well at going to the gym and/or running. I went running once and made it to the gym twice. Not too bad!! My other goal I bombed at. I bought some ice cream. So, I told Peter that after the junk in the house is gone, that's it. I don't have the will power to throw it away!

What about the rest of you?

Weekly Update

Time to check in on our goals. I have to say that on the walking, I did not do as well as I expected. A migraine took me out around midweek. Our family hike on Sunday did help me make up a bit, though. But on the eating front, I did really well and didn't cave in to the midnight munchies even once. How did you guys do?

On a totally unrelated note, I visited the calorie calculator in the sidebar links and realized that I am still consuming the amount of calories needed for a nursing mother. My youngest is almost 3, so I haven't nursed in a long time. No wonder I've been gaining weight!

This week's goals:

  1. Keep track of everything I eat, compare calorie intake to ideal suggestion

  2. Find time to do my Pilates DVD at least 3 times this week

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Calorie Chart

Here's the chart I use for counting calories. I couldn't figure out how to upload a file to this blog so I've uploaded it to a website I own, but am not using. Anyway, the file is available in Excel or as a PDF file.

This file isn't complete, I put it together from a website my sister used, but it's a great place to start. There are a bunch of other websites out there to help with counting calories too. I just printed the document, stapled it together, highlighted the categories, and kept it in the kitchen right next to the notebook I used for counting calories.

In my notebook I wrote down my starting weight (although I've heard that taking your measurements is a better way to track weight loss) and then began writing down how many calories I had each day and adding them AS I go. When I finish I circle my final count. I have gone days, weeks, and sometimes even months without counting calories. The thing I've learned though is that if I do it, it works, but sometimes you need to give your body a break... I think it's healthy to sometimes maintain weight instead of constant dieting.

Here are some pics I took of my calorie counting journal to give you some idea of how I've done it... it's pretty easy once you get going and it really gives you a sense of control as you see what you're eating and learn to lower portion size. The first image is when I first started counting calories in August of 2007. At first I worked to stay between 1400 and 1600 calories a day. Now, since I've lost weight and actually eat less I try to stay under 1400.

Click image to Enlarge!
This second image is from a few days in May. As you can see my note taking isn't as strict as I got the hang of counting calories. Note: these images show some of my good days when I recorded everything I ate for the whole day, so don't be discouraged if you sometimes have trouble with it, I've had plenty of trouble... just keep trucking along.

I also record my weight loss in the back of my notebook but only update it every few months or so. Here's what my record says:

Beginning of 2007 = 182+ lbs (size 18)
09/2007 = 165 lbs (size 14) after walking during the summer of 2007
12/2007 = 154 lbs (size 12) after joining a gym and calorie counting from August to December
02/2008 = 149 lbs (size 10-12) I didn't count in Dec but gained weight then re-lost it in Jan
06/2008 = 145 lbs (size 8-10) I didn't count in Feb and March, but started again at the end of May.

As you can see it has taken me time to lose weight. When I'm not calorie counting I'm still working out and maintaining my weight so I don't gain it back, except at Christmas time! :-) My goal is to lose another 5 lbs by July 4th which gives me a month. This is a realistic goal that I know I can achieve instead of making a really tough goal (like losing 8 lbs by July 4th) which would be really hard (if not impossible) for me to achieve and would fill me with discouragement and depression. So when making a goal, make it achievable for you, one that you know you can do, then it will fill you with hope and happiness when you do it!

My sister and I have the same height/body type and we've figured that losing 7-8 lbs for us = one dress size. Of course sizes vary for every type of clothing and design/make out there!

Tips for Counting Calories
Tip #1
Find someone to report your calorie count to. My mom, sister, and I email each other our daily calories although we haven't this past week. I won't be counting calories this week either as I'm moving into a studio apartment (after living with my wonderful family for the past 3 years) and am too excited to be packing, moving, and unpacking to count calories. But I'm still working out every Tuesday and Thursday and going on walks when I can.

Tip #2
Give yourself one day a week that you don't count calories, it's a splurge day. If you don't splurge the rest of the week you'll be fine for one time. Just don't go TOO crazy.

Tip #3
You're going to mess up- it's not a big deal! Just start fresh the next day and forget about yesterday.

Tip #4
If you're hungry- eat! Just try to eat something healthier than you usually would have if you weren't calorie counting. (I need to work on this one and eat healthier in stead of always eating junk. I just eat less junk but I still eat too much of it. Oh well.)

Tip #5
Drinking more water will make you less hungry. Sometimes we feel hungry when our body is really telling us it needs water, we just usually don't know that. You can keep track of how much water you drink each day as you mark your calories down, this is a great way to know if you're getting enough water. Another great idea is to drink a full 8-16 oz of water RIGHT when you wake up in the morning. After a long night your body needs water.

I believe our focus should be on having a healthier life style, because the only way I've been able to truly lose weight is when I've made little changes to the way I live, eat, and exercise. It takes time, but it's worth it. You have more energy, hope, and happiness when you're healthier!

Update: Calorie Counting Tip #6

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