Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy First Week, Sorta

Well, I had a great first weigh-in, and that was actually the highlight of the week! I had to go to the ER one night this week, with the pain in my shoulder- it was bringing me down to my knees. Found out it is most likely a torn rotator cuff, in the opinion of the ER doc, but of course only an MRI can tell me that for certain. I don't know what it is, I only know it's been two weeks now and the pain gets worse with every passing day. She recommended an orthopedic surgeon, and I am struggling with just gritting my teeth through the pain, or taking precious time off from work when I know my boss would rather me not. They gave me shots, and lots of prescriptions, but nothing is easing the pain. Even good sleep eludes me. My massage therapist, who normally works on my back, seems to think I just strained/sprained something in my neck or shoulder- she says I'm not hurting in the "right" place for it to be rotator cuff-related. But she too recommends seeing a doctor to make certain, and to get something for the pain.

So for now, it looks like I have only the "diet" side of the diet & exercise equation at my disposal. I don't think exercise is going to play a part in my weight loss for a little while. I am still at the "heat and gentle stretching" portion of my recovery. I am hopeful that this is just a minor setback. The thing I keep hearing from everyone is to slow down at work and take time off- everyone, that is, but my boss who has not shown one flinch of sympathy or understanding for me. Oh well, I told a co-worker the other day that with millions out of work, I can't continue to complain because I have TOO much work.
I am struggling to learn Weight Watchers' new points program. On one hand, there's the cynical side of me who thinks they simply revamp their programs every few years so they can sell new books and food guides and points calculators. But the other half of me wants to believe that they've uncovered new science to support their new formulas for figuring out points. I say that because, I've had my "Dining Out" guide for about 3 years now and I have everything underlined, highlighted, paperclipped, sticky-noted, and my scribbles all over the place. Not only for the restaurants listed in their guide, but all the information I dug up on my own, through nutrition charts on websites, brochures, etc. All of this hard work is of course with the old points system, so it is basically useless. I could say that I would just stick with the old points that I already know, but when I signed up to use eTools online, they are already using the new system.
Having said all of this, no matter what the points, I know if I eat less of them, I will drop the pounds! So with that in mind, I'll keep moving forward.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Smooth Sailing

No photo today, as I'm on my laptop and I don't have any personal photos loaded on here yet. I'm still getting used to typing on it, I've never had a laptop before, even for work. This has been a good week, and now that I'm counting points again on Weight Watchers, and tracking online with their eTools, I feel more in control. I haven't felt that in awhile, I have just been eating all day without any thought behind what I was cramming down my throat, and without being mindful of the portions. I know there are people out there who abhor having to count points or write down what they eat or get out the old measuring cups, but for me, it has been the only thing that has ever worked. Having it there written down in front of me, makes me feel more responsible for my actions, because they are staring back up at me. And neither of us wants to blink first!

I have had a major setback on the exercise front. Last weekend I woke up with what I thought was a small crick in my neck (do you all know what that means, or is that strictly a Southern term?), and it has spiraled 10 days later into me going to the urgent care center last night in almost unbearable pain. They said it's a muscle sprain and spasms, but I believe I have torn something in my shoulder, probably just a muscle. It is a deep, searing, constant pain that nothing has alleviated. Not drugs, heating pads, massages, stretching. And certainly keying at work for ten hours a day is not helping, because of course it's my right shoulder. The only thing I can think of, is I somehow did this playing on the Wii last weekend- whether it was playing the golf or the baseball- and so I have been basically creeping along in misery these past two weeks. Exercise is not going to be on the near horizon for me, so the Weight Watchers program is going to be it for right now.

I am actually looking forward to my weigh-in on Friday morning, excited and curious, and hopefully I will like what I see. We've been out to dinner twice this week, and I got salad and water both times. A big change for me, but I enjoyed the meal and especially the time with my husband. So, I don't need to have a huge burger with extra mayo, in order to enjoy a nice night out. I have to change my thought process, before I can ever hope to change my bad eating habits.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Quick Update

I am at work, so just a super quick update. I am tuckered out, just like my kitty above. The flurries we were expecting, turned into a gigantic mess of a snow and ice storm that shut down this area all week. More on that later, other than to note it has been an insane week, and I have to work all this coming weekend. I've signed back up for eTools on Weight Watchers, and now that I have my fun little mini laptop, I figure I will be able to keep up with tracking my food and exercise. I plan to go back to counting Points on Monday, the only thing that has ever worked for me in the past. Glad I can say I am making positive steps for a change! Will post again on Sunday, once I get home from work.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Looking For Inspiration

I'm here alone for awhile this morning. Our company got on the road home a bit ago, and James went out to take care of some car maintenance for my Saturn. I worked yesterday, so I'm a bit of a slug this morning- coffee, the paper, breakfast. We are expecting snow to start later today, last through all Monday and perhaps even Tuesday. But snow in the South isn't much compared to the rest of the country (see below, Christmas Day). For us, one inch is something to get the population stirred up about. Not to mention the dreaded black ice.

But this morning, it is bright and sunny and clear, if only 22 degrees. The critters are active in the backyard at all our many feed stations- birds, squirrels, deer, possum- there's something out there for everyone. Everyone is fattening up for the winter, and I guess I am too. I had my too-typical breakfast this morning, a bagel with cream cheese. It's a habit I most definitely want to break. I love bagels, and we keep buying them, but after the current stash is gone I'm going to have to put a ban on bagels- they are too tempting to me. I've never been much for breakfast staples like bacon and eggs, or sausage and gravy. For me, it's the bagel that is my worst breakfast-enemy.

Still, that wasn't going to be the topic of my post this morning. Since getting back on my blog, I've been checking up on all the old blogs I used to read. I've noticed a lot of them are either shut down, or folks haven't posted for many many months. I know on my own blog, I've posted sporadically, so someone could have easily decided that I was not on here any longer. So I decided to try to trim down my blog roll, and to update it. I'm deleting the blogs that are closed, and I am hoping to find new blogs for inspiration. I know I don't have many followers on either of my blogs, and that's okay. I don't get a lot of comments, but I rarely leave comments. And I know that if I'm not out there on other folks' blog, no one will know I'm over here. Unfortunately, I am so limited with my free time, I am not able to spend a great deal of it leaving comments, even when I do read their blog. And when I'm trying to find new blogs, the only way I know how to look for them is to go on other blogs and just check out who is following them.

I do like reading where other people are going on their own weight loss journey. Most of the time, I can relate. I can relate to the struggles, and I am a sucker for a great success story. I like knowing that there are a lot of other people in this world, who are exactly at the same spot in life that I am, who fight against their ever-expanding waistline, who stumble but get back up, who keep going, and who finally get to that place where we are all hoping to be one day. Most of the days, I do not succeed, but for 2011 I have decided to take it one meal at a time, one day at a time, and try to be happy no matter the outcome. So I'm on the hunt for new blogs to inspire me, and if you are reading me, please let me know and I will be sure to read your blog as well. Thanks!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

She Shoots, She Scores!!

I guess one way to stay focused on weight loss, is to set GOALS! Not just a number on a scale, but real milestones for life. Although I certainly do have the ultimate weight goal of 140. There are a lot of moments in life where I've said to myself- this would be SO much better if I was not overweight. So here are a few goals I have, in no particular order.
  • Hiking- Something I used to enjoy in the fall and winter was hiking, and I used to go fairly frequently to hike at the local state parks. The last few years, I haven't had the stamina to keep up, and my lower back issues always seem to get in the way. I know losing weight will not only help my back, but it will allow me to hike farther and keep up with my tireless husband. GOAL: I haven't hiked in almost two years, and I would like to go again by later this spring.
  • Falcons- Yes, the Atlanta Falcons. We are season ticket holders, and we have a playoff game next week. Only problem for me is that we have a long walk to the Dome from where we park- up stairs and ramps. And our seats are the last row up in the last section. Great seats, but by the time I get up there, it takes me nearly 10-15 minutes of trying to catch my breath because I am so winded. GOAL: By the time next season starts, I want to be able to cruise up to our seats with no effort whatsoever.
  • Clothes- I talk about clothes a lot on my blog, because it's the one thing that I can't avoid. I have to put on an appropriate outfit every morning for the office, and it is getting harder to find stuff in my closet that isn't w-a-y too tight. Tight clothes not only make me very very self-conscious, they are also extremely uncomfortable and in some instances, get in the way of me working. I've had days during the summer where I wrap up in a sweater because I am embarrassed by the bulges that tight pants or a snug blouse show. GOAL: By summer, I would like to be in a size that doesn't start with a number. Just a regular XL would be good with me right now.
  • Photos- I love to take pictures of everything- landscapes, the cats, my family. But at my size, I can't stand to have my photo taken. All I see when I look at the pictures is how wide I am or how fat my face is. I think that's why I'm always the picture-taker, so I won't be in the photos. James will snap my picture when I'm not looking, but I can't stand to see them- especially if I'm standing around other people who are half my size. GOAL: By the time we take our annual fall cruise, I want to be able to enjoy the vacation photos instead of trying to hide the ones with me in them.
  • Exercise- This is my biggest goal, even more than losing weight. Right now, I never have any energy, I have aches and pains all over, and I'm on about six or seven different prescription medicines. I know exercise will take care of all of that. I used to enjoy walking, around the neighborhood or on the treadmill, and I have gotten away from that. Hence, the weight is creeping back up. I stay SO tired all of the time, and some days I can barely move with my backaches, and I know that a regular exercise program is the answer. I've always had a hard time watching what I eat, but exercising for me is actually easier than dieting. But lately I haven't been doing any of either. GOAL: By summer, I want to be in the habit of walking every evening, and get in longer walks on the weekends.
Those are just a few simple goals, nothing outrageous like liposuction or a trip to Paris. If I could do any or all of the things on the list above, and accomplish them in 2011, I will be very very satisfied with my life. I just turned 44, and as far as I'm concerned I'm only halfway through my life, but the way I feel lately- I might as well be 80!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

How Bad Is It....

It has gotten pretty bad, at least for me. I am to the point where I officially have to lose 100 pounds to get to my ideal healthy weight. I am at the largest size the regular department stores carry in their Plus section, and I am straining the seams on those clothes. I feel like I just had to buy this bigger size, and now I have already outgrown it. I have become the person I dreaded the most- the stereotypical middle-aged fat woman, wearing big flowy tops with loud prints (see photo below from last week), lots of clunky jewelry, and gigantic handbags. I am not sure if I am trying to hide behind it all, or make myself look smaller compared to such larger accessories. There is definitely nothing dainty or ladylike about me these days.

Lately I am always the biggest person in the room- at meetings, at parties, at restaurants, at family gatherings. I am the size I was seven years ago, when I knew I'd had enough and I was determined to lose it all. And I did, in a year. But I've spent the last six years gaining it all back. This past year or so has been the worst of it, the most dramatic increase. Since I started back to work 14 months ago, I've gained almost 40 pounds. And I don't know why because I feel like my habits are pretty much the same as they've been the last 4-5 years.

My exercise has always been so inconsistent, and my diet has always been horrendous. And I know A + B = in Cow, which is how I feel today as I sit here. I don't want to wake up one day in a few more weeks, and realize I will have to go to Lane Bryant to buy yet another round of bigger sizes because I can't breathe in my tight pants. And most of all, I'm tired of the low energy and poor health and, on some days, depression- all of which I know are tied into my weight and diet. I was shocked again this year when I had my physical and the test results showed my blood sugar and cholesterol were fine. I am fortunate somehow to have dodged those two potential killers. But, as always, my blood pressure is terrible even on medication- and especially lately with the extra stress at work.

Although this week, we are still cleaning out the fridge and cabinets of all the holiday treats and junk, next week we will start with a fresh grocery list in hand as we head to Publix. James has truly enjoyed having the Wii, and even on nights when he gets home super late and he's very tired, he still spends about an hour playing (exercising). He loves the way it helps to relieve stress. I haven't quite gotten there yet, but I do enjoy it and am trying to get in a routine on it. And I am also going to weigh myself every week, because lately I've been in denial and will go 3-4-5 weeks without stepping on the scales, even when I could tell I was gaining. I've started a new ticker down at the bottom of the page, and I will weigh every Friday morning from now on.

I don't want to get back on this blog in a month and tell you I have 110 pounds to lose.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Wii Folk

So now I've traded in the boring treadmill and stationary bike for the Wii, and "we" have been having a blast. And hopefully burning calories to boot. James has played it religiously every day since hooking it up on Christmas Day. I just started recently. But, we both started out with our "Fitness Age" up in the 70's, and we are both down in the 20's now. So far we've just been playing the Wii Sports that came with the machine. The only thing I haven't attempted so far is the boxing, but James has, and he says it's tough and will wear me out. Tonight was my first night of playing the golf, and while it wasn't quite as physical as the tennis, it had its own challenges. Mainly, I know nothing about golf.

We manage about an hour every night, and as late as we get home from work, sometimes we are just finishing up on the Wii right before bedtime. But I want to continue to play every night. I may not be burning as many calories as say, walking an hour on the treadmill, but I am certainly burning WAY more than I have been lately, playing couch jockey. Right now, I feel as though I am just starting out again. So what if once upon a time, 5 miles on the treadmill was an easy feat for me. That was far too long ago for me to try and jump back on that regimen right out of the gate.

As heavy as I am currently (and I will talk about that in my next post), playing the Wii is about the limits of my stamina right now. Hard to believe how much huffing and puffing I am doing, just by swinging a Nerf tennis racket. Of course, to watch me play, you would think I had some sort of ailment- I can't stand in just one spot and swing the racket which theoretically that's all you need to do to make the game work. No, I run all over the basement like I am really chasing the ball on the court. And I sound like Monica Seles, for those of you who remember her.

Anyhow, this is a step- or lots of steps across the basement floor- in the right direction. Burning calories is always easier when you're having fun!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Let's Get 2011 Rolling

If you've been looking for me, the photo above is the reason you haven't seen me in awhile. My work schedule has left little time for me to do anything but spend 12 hour days in the office, and try to get sleep. Oh yes, and lots of junk food and sodas in between to keep me going. I've gained so much weight the last few months and I'm so big, I've made jokes about when my twins are due (hint- I'm NOT pregnant). I have lots of excuses- besides 55 hour work weeks, there was the severely sprained ankle, my lower back problems, and continued travel almost every weekend. I haven't exercised, I haven't eaten right, and I obviously haven't blogged.

So I'm going to try to start off the New Year in a better frame of mind. I made no resolutions yesterday- the day I turned 44. Heck, I didn't even make it to midnight- we zonked out at 11:30pm. But James and I have made the commitment to each other to start aiming for healthier goals. We got a Wii for Christmas, and yesterday for my birthday we got the Wii Fit. James has been playing for hours every day since Christmas. I have just started out recently. But it's SO much fun, we plan to replace our evening TV time with the Wii. James is ultra-competitive, and I just like to have fun and spend time with him.

We've set up an area in the basement for the Wii, all of our workout equipment, our weights, everything we own- even my really old and dusty step aerobics setup. James has already braved the Wii fit and stepped on the "scales". I have yet to do so, but I know what it's going to show me. I weighed last week for the first time in over a month, and it was shock to see the number. Yet, not so surprising since I'm about to bust out of my clothes.

Also for Christmas, my wonderful husband gave me a netbook, so now I have no excuses for not blogging, I can do it anytime, anywhere. I want to come back to this blog, and finally use it for the reasons I initially I started it- to document my weight loss. Unfortunately, the only thing I've done on this blog is whine and apologize and make promises, and that's just boring BS at this point. Please stick with me yet again, while James and I both commit to turn over a new page in this giant book that is Life!