Monday, November 30, 2009

DAY 113 Christmas Countdown & The Big Celebration!

Hello Journal & Friends!

First, gotta take care of business. My goal for the Countdown to Christmas Challenge was to exercise 5 days per week.  This was the week of Thanksgiving, and MyGuy was off work and home for 4 days in a row. Did I make my goal??........... drumroll........ Yes! It wasn't easy, but so what, I did it. I want that reward on Christmas, what can I say! Besides, more than the planned reward (my Crystal Salt Lamp), what I really want is to accomplish this difficult thing and feel proud of myself. So, it feels good to be making progress. :-)

Now, to the Big Celebration. Today was my regular weigh in day, and finally, FINALLY, I made it. I was 360, for a 1 pound loss, which just puts me at 
100 pounds lost. 
I feel like I have finally  "earned" something... like I am here to stay, for the long haul...I'm not going away...I've been around this block a few times and survived a lot of fights and come out stronger for it. YIPPEEE!!!!!!!!!

I could wish I had done it sooner.
I could regret all the years I would not change.
I could lament over losing and regaining in the past.
I could whine that it has been such slow going.

But today, just today, I will NOT negate the fact that I have lost 100 pounds from my all time high of 460 lbs.

I don't know why it makes such a difference to me. Isn't losing 90 pounds great? Isn't losing 80 pounds great? For whatever reason, 100 pounds feels like a milestone to me, and I think I will just roll with it and celebrate and feel GOOD, and leave the analyzing for another day.

Don't ever give up on anyone. It may take some longer than others to get there, but never, ever count anybody out. KEEP GOING. Always KEEP GOING.

From Dr Phil's book: "You succeed because you make the right choices, you choose the right attitude, and you enact the right behavior to generate the right results. It is you who must create the life you want, and the choice is yours to make."

My verse for today: "Love is patient, love is kind."

My quote for today: "If you are going through hell, keep going." --Winston Churchill

Enjoy the Journey,


Sunday, November 29, 2009

DAY 112 Day of Rest & Favorite Photos

Hello Journal & Friends!

Jim was up hiking the trails at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, in the summertime when he took photos of this little chipmunk. He said the little guy let him come up quite close, and it just sat there watching him. It was probably expecting a treat!

Someday I will be able to go hiking with MyGuy.... the New Me. :-)

Enjoy the Journey,


Saturday, November 28, 2009

DAY 111 Friendships

 Hello Journal & Friends,

I  feel like I have never learned how to be a good friend. In real life, after my husband, my sister is my only real friend here. 

I think part of it is the fear that if you really knew me, you would not like me.

I have met many very nice people in Bloggerland. A couple of them are fellow Oregonians. I have this nagging fear that someday they might come to my hometown and want to meet in person... and be disappointed when they met the "real" me. I know a lot of this has to do with a lifetime of being overweight, and experiencing people's reactions when they first met me in person.

 You can't know how much it means to me to have found such warm and  accepting people in Blogland! Offering support, encouragement, ideas, corrections, opinions, and most of all friendship. I know it's not the same as in "real life", but it feels real to ME. As someone said recently: at the other end of each blog and computer, is a real live person.

To acknowledge all this, and to embrace those friendships without fear, I want to change the way I open each post. I know it sounds petty and insignificant, but it's symbolic to me. When first I started blogging, I opened each post with a version of Hello Journal... I didn't know anyone, and I was really just talking to myself. Now I feel so blessed with people I have gotten to know and care about... I want to acknowlege that by opening with Hello Journal & Friends.

A minor thing to most people... but it feels risky to me... it feels like I am opening up myself to rejection. But isn't that what life is all about? Taking risks, being willing to step out in faith, to dare greatly??

From Dr Phil's book: "It is you who must create the life you want. And the choice is yours to make."

My verse for today: "...His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

My quote for today: "Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty."--Sicilian proverb

Enjoy the Journey,


Friday, November 27, 2009

DAY 110 Friday Favorites

 Hello Journal,

Thanksgiving is in the bag, and it went smoothly. Easier than I had anticipated. I decided ahead of time what was "worth it" on which to spend my calorie budget, and only ate what I really wanted. The day was nice... quiet and peaceful, and not a smidge of guilt over eating everything that wasn't nailed down... because that didn't happen this year. I totally enjoyed my sugarfree homemade punky pie, with a small dollop of whipped cream on top. Yummers!

Today I'd like to do another Friday Favorites having to do with water. Actually... an easy, fast and tasty way to flavor water. I have a hard time drinking plain water, but if it has even a subtle hint of flavor, I'm good to go.

My all time favorite "instant water flavoring" is a line of flavored liquid stevia made by SweetLeaf. I have almost all the flavors, and love them all. But my absolute first choice is Grape. The flavors come in little 2 oz bottles with an eyedropper in them, so you just grab it from the fridge, give a quick squeeze into your glass, plop in ice and water, and you have a lovely refreshing drink.

The bottle I'm looking at right now is Vanilla Creme. It says it is "All natural, zero calories". You can also use them to flavor sparkling water, milk, tea, coffee, yogurt, etc etc.

I rarely drink regular diet soda now, and then only if it doesn't contain aspartame. And the natural brands of diet soda are expensive. So this is a nice alternative.

Oh, and since I love Cream Soda, here is my version of one, using flavored liquid stevia:

-Fill a 16 oz cup about 3/4 full of ice.
-Fill almost up with seltzer water.
-Add a dropperful or two (I like two, but you adjust to taste) of Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia.
-You can stir and drink as is, or if you can spare the calories and want a Deluxe Vanilla Cream Soda, you can add a splash of milk or half & half, maybe a tablespoon, or to taste.
It turns the drink into a scrumptious treat!

They comes in several flavors:
Root Beer
English Toffee
Vanilla Creme
Chocolate Raspberry
Valencia Orange
Lemon Drop
Apricot Nectar

They seem expensive at first glance... $14.99 per bottle from the maker. But it is VERY concentrated, and will last a long time. I buy one or two at a time whenever I buy other stuff from places around the web, or from a local natural foods store. The first time I bought some, I chose a sampler pack, to discover which ones I liked best. (The prices on Amazon are cheaper, but be sure to check into the shipping charges)

Tastes great
Saves me money from not buying sodas
Makes me enjoy my flavored water, so that I DRINK more water
Has a variety of flavors, so I don't get bored
Is almost an "instant" drink
All natural, no chemicals or funny aftertaste

By the way, to those who have tried stevia and say it's bitter or has an aftertaste... I have used stevia for over 10 years. Whenever I hear this and ask them, it is almost always caused by one of two things: 

--they used too much stevia (it truly is incredibly concentrated) 
--OR they bought a cheap off brand that really DOES tasted icky

I promise you this SweetLeaf brand is NOT icky! It is most definitely yummy.

And no, I am not a shareholder, am not an employee, and do not get kickbacks for endorsing it. I just LOVE the stuff... it is one of my Favorite Things.

Link to individual flavors (here).
Or, their specials (here).

From Dr Phil's book: "I believe that what works in your life works because you make it work. You succeed because you make the right choices, you choose the right attitude, and you enact the right behavior to generate the right results."

My verse for today: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

My quote for today: "It is essential to our well-being, and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life. Every single day do something that makes your heart sing." --Marcia Wieder

Enjoy the Journey,


Thursday, November 26, 2009

DAY 109 Thankful

Hello Journal,

I am so blessed to have discovered all the amazing people in Blogland! I am relatively new here, and have been so warmly welcomed. I never would have believed it if I had been told a few months ago how much I would come to care about those of you I have met, and how much our interactions mean to me. 

Thank you all for allowing me to join this community of people with like-minded goals... that of regaining our health and  achieving  our goals and dreams... our Destiny.

For this and more, I am very thankful.

Thankfully Enjoying the Journey,


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

DAY 108 Mirror Mirror

Hi Journal,

Yesterday as I was standing briefly in front of the bathroom mirror, running a comb thru my hair, I was startled as I focused on my face. I did a double take.. I actually really truly recognized the beginings of a change to the shape of my wasn't just a round ball. 

I cried.

It was real. I could actually SEE the beginnings of change, finally. This was so encouraging. It has nothing to do with vanity (at least not THIS time, lol). In fact, as I lose the "padding" under the skin of my face, I am looking more my age, due to the wrinkles becoming more pronounced.

No, it had to do with reality. Being able to SEE the change transports it from the hazy realm of hopes and wishes and trying and dreaming and praying to REALITY. NOW. RIGHT NOW.

Can ya tell I am excited about that?? hee hee hee hee hee.

Grinning from ear to ear here. Another thing to put on My Lists. :-)

From Dr Phil's book: "Continue to press on with an optimistic spirit."

My verse for today: "Give thanks in all circumstances."

My quote for today: "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live
long enough to make them all yourself." --Eleanor Roosevelt

Enjoy the Journey,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DAY 107 The Calorie Issue & The Lesson

Good Afternoon Journal,

I have quoted Michael Beckwith before. I do tend to repeat things that are meaningful to me... it's one way that helps me learn, plain repetition. Nothing glamorous or fascinating... I guess you could call it dogged determination.

Anyway, he said to always look for the Blessin' or the Lesson in all of lifes circumstances. 

Last Saturday, when I was upset and sat down to type out my feelings, one issue that was also unearthed was about counting calories. And honestly, I was totally unaware that I was really feeling this way! I do not believe in "enduring" problems if they can be "resolved". So when this came up, I faced it with the intent of resolving it.

The issue: The A major reason I was struggling with the whole counting calories thing, or more accurately LIMITING the calories I would eat, was because I somehow had an attitude that:

1. It's not fair
2. Poor me
3. I'm entitled

1. It's not fair that I have to count and limit calories... I have ALREADY GIVEN UP SUGAR AND FLOUR (due to medical reasons). I was feeling very rebellious about the whole calorie thing.

2. Poor me, so many other people get to eat anything they want in moderation, nothing off limits, while I have to give up sugar and flour AND count calories... oh poor me.

3.  I'm entitled to eat more calories... after all, I have given up sugar and flour, I should get to eat however much I want of all the rest of what's left.

Well, you can see why I got to be 460 pounds with squirrelled up thinking like this example!! 

I am actually very grateful that this all was SQUEEZED to the surface by the PRESSURE of Saturday's events!! 

By seeing this distorted "logic", and answering it with healthier thoughts, I really truly am struggling LESS now with the calorie thing... and I am even kind of excited now. I latched onto a description that Mary (from The Chronicles of Meps' Reconstruction)  used about calories. She called the number of calories that we each find that is right for us our "Golden Numbers". For some reason that struck me, and it made me think of a Magic Carpet Ride, something so positive, and not restrictive at all. Yeah, I know... mental gymnastics. LOL!

Anyway, here were my answers to the distorted logic:

1. It's not fair:  well, yeah, maybe not! But so what? Life's not fair. You just do the best you can with what you have. Yes, I already stopped eating sugar and flour, and feel so much better for it, so that's a good thing. And now I am adding the strategy of calorie counting to the mix, to help me reach my goal. I don't HAVE to if I don't want to... no one is making me do a thing. But I WANT to be healthy... I WANT to lose the weight... and this strategy will serve me well, and so I choose to be thankful that it is an easy strategy for me to use (hey, after counting calories on and off all my life, I could do it in my sleep, LOL!)

2. Poor me: if this is what it takes for me to have the life I want, then it's worth it. It may or may not be a lifetime thing... but choosing not to eat sugar and flour, and limiting the calories will serve me well, and bring me to a place of health and freedom. I choose to be thankful that I still have a choice, that it is not too late, and that this strategy is actually working. 

3.  I'm entitled: just like a financial budget is there to serve me and keep me financially healthy, so my calorie budget will serve me. Yes, I chose to give up the sugar and flour. Now I choose to create my healthy future by eating responsibly, and counting the calories in the foods that I choose to enjoy. I am entitled to a new healthy me!

I shared all this, not because it's that fascinating to anyone other than me, but because the whole point is... if you are on this journey and struggling, it really is important to unearth your hang-ups. That takes time... self-honesty... a willingness to feel uncomfortable for a season... maybe to even feel a little sheepish, like I did here. But it is soooo worth it. That surge of excitement after a breakthrough... it's like throwing more fuel on your little Hope Bonfire, making it burn bigger, brighter and stronger.

ALWAYS KEEP GOING. And look for the Blessin's and the Lessons along the way.

From Dr Phil's book:  "Be alert to the possibility that you may want to 'reward' yourself in ways that totally negate every positive move you've made up to this point."

My verse for today: "We love, because he first loved us."

My quote for today: "Sometimes we may learn more from a man's errors, than from his virtues." --Longfellow

Enjoy the Journey,


Monday, November 23, 2009

DAY 106 Countdown To Christmas - Week 3

Good morning Journal,

Week is complete for the Countdown To Christmas Challenge. 

My goal was to exercise 5 days per week, til Christmas. Did I make it this week? YES! I alternated between 3 days Richard Simmons Sweatin to the Oldies, and 2 days on my mini-trampoline. I can't do much on it yet, but I am working carefully trying to build up, without injury. Three weeks down, 5 to go til Christmas, and my chosen Reward. :-)

Today is also my Weekly Weigh-in. The verdict: 361, for a loss of 3 pounds. What a tease!! Only one more pound to make the big one-oh-oh lost. I am happy about this week's progress, but... next week... next week!

This week I officially counted calories, and wrote them all down. I have been paying attention as I travel Blogland, to how many calories people are tracking, and how it's going for them. I checked with Sparkpeople for my recommended amounts, and it said between 1870 and 2220!  That sounds high to me. If I were able to exercise more vigorously, it might be fine, but I think I'll start out at 1900 and work down to 1800, and see how that goes before I decide if I want to go to 1700. 

The one thing that I admit which puzzles me is... people who are eating on the smaller side say so often that they are never hungry. My honest response is always... huh??? Is there some trick I am missing?? Are they so full of water all day that they don't feel hungry?? I know about  the frequent small meal thing... Inquiring minds want to know. ;-)

Well, MyGuy is off work today, which always means less computer time for me. Off to exercise and then do some holiday baking!

From Dr Phil's book: "Pressing on with an optimistic spirit."

My verse for today: "If you seek him, he will be found by you."

My quote for today: "Dare to be remarkable." --Jane Gentry

Enjoy the Journey,


Sunday, November 22, 2009

DAY 105 Day of Rest & Favorite Photo

Good Morning Journal,

As usual, I want to post a favorite photo today. Jim took this photo, and I just added the words. I know I have posted it before, but it is meaningful to me. 

I had an extremely hard day yesterday... very emotionally painful. I remembered reading something Dawne (at 365 Days to a New Me!) said more than once. It had to do with the way "issues" came to the surface when under stress, when we didn't eat but rather faced them (or something like that, ha ha). Anyway, thinking about that helped me try to tune in yesterday. I started typing out what I was thinking and feeling, and just let it bubble to the surface. Boy did it ever! I was able to recognize some protective walls that I had put up, and also how all this had made losing the weight even harder. 

Everything in our lives will never be "perfect"... there will always be things we wish were different. But I can't wait until a "better" time to work on this weight loss thing. This is real life, with all it's ups and downs, warts, joys, disappointments and surprises. That's life!

So to celebrate the little bit of insight I gained from Saturday's turmoil, I will re-post this  photo. Now you know why it's meaningful to me. :-)

Enjoy the Journey,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

DAY 104 The Name Challenge

Happy Caturday, Journal!

I was thinking about a challenge I read a few years ago in which people were asked to come up with a vision for themselves using the letters of their own name as the starting point.

So just for fun, I want to do that today. I haven't obtained all of these totally or consistently yet, but they are my goals... things that I strive to BE:

L LIVE my best Life NOW, with Passion!

O ONE good choice at a time... I can DO this

R - RIGHT Motivation... the Vision of my healthy, strong, balanced, joyful new life!

E - ENTHUSIASM! Enjoy the journey!

T - THERMOSTAT...not a thermometer.  *I* choose the kind of day I will have. :-)

T - THOUGHTS... Heal the thinking, the body follows

A - ATTITUDE... positive, appreciative, determined!

I would love it if anyone else would like to do this! You can post on your blog, here in comments, or wherever you like. And you can use your first name or both... or whatever word inspires you. I liked doing this... it made me really think about the qualities I want in my life, and  helped me bring them into focus. It reminded me of the OTHER areas that are important on this journey, not just the weight loss. Finding that balance is a struggle for me, and a learning process. One lesson at a time! :-)

From Dr Phil's book: "Behavioral change is more successful if it is supported by a caring, loyal, and encouraging network of like-minded people who want you to win."

My verse for today: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

My quote for today: "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."--Goethe

Enjoy the Journey,


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