Extending Our Happily Ever After

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Winter seems to be one of the biggest adjustments!

One of the biggest adjustments with my weightloss so far has been adjusting to the colder winter temps. In fact, this has NEVER been a problem for me, til NOW.

I am, well, I WAS, one of “THOSE” people who barely wore coats in winter. I was constantly asked “Where is your coat?” and I’d have a long sleeved sweater and tell them, oh, this is good enough… and it was. I’d pretty much need the thermostat to drop below 30 degrees and then I’d wear the long sleeves… anything above 40 degrees, well short sleeves would do.

Not anymore. Since I’ve lost over 100 lbs (that would probably be when it all changed)… sleeves aren’t the only requirements and 40 degrees isn’t the cut off. I think 50 degrees has me pulling out not only sleeves, but sweats, two pairs of socks, maybe a 2nd pair of pants, at least 2 shirts, sleeves are a definite, jacket, definitely, scarf, absolutely and this isn’t just in my waking hours… I need this when I go to bed, too and I am still shivering!

My husband has lost 70 lbs and doesn’t seem affected by the cold at all. My son is 16 and thin and just laughs at me and shakes his head. I seem to be the odd one in the house at the moment…

When I was larger, I used to tell my thin friends that they just needed to put a bit of meat on their bones to warm up… now I feel they must be laughing at me a bit since I’m the one who is always cold.

Anyone else who has lost quite a bit of weight experiencing this type of adjustment to the elements??? When will my body adjust to this? I still have 81 lbs left to lose, will I be even COLDER next winter? I can’t even imagine! Please help me! Any tips would be totally appreciated!!! I feel like I’m near death at times… and I can’t even imagine getting through another couple of months, to be honest! I sure hope I can adjust quickly to this…

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Ivan and I have hit 200.5 lbs lost between us!

We’ve lost 200.5 lbs as of today!

As of today, Ivan is down 70 lbs (still trying to catch up to his 73 lbs lost, he’s almost there…) and I am down 130.5 lbs.

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We celebrated by going out to our favorite Indian buffet. I was a bit disappointed that almost all their vegetarian offerings had potatoes… but still, we did enjoy the foods. I love potatoes, don’t get me wrong, but I enjoy that usually when we go, we get lots of just veggie offerings that don’t have tons of carbs for me to watch for. But, it was a treat and we’ve been so good. I didn’t overdo on the rice or the naan, so I am fairly sure that today was still very healthy for us, and I know that Indian spices are so very healthy and good for you… so I know that always makes me feel so much better as well.

We are just relaxing a bit here at home, and will head out in about 15 minutes to beat some snow that may come down, as we have to make a drive north to see my son perform at a District Band concert. Districts is where he auditions to hold a position that only a few in surrounding schools get the honor of being chosen to perform in. So, this is quite exciting. He chose to go in with a baritone horn, as his normal instrument of trumpet had a bit too much competition and I guess that strategy paid off, since he made the cut. So, we are headed up to see the concert. He went up on Wednesday and has been there for the past few days and it’s all been sponsored by the school (room and travel/food), which is pretty cool. He really enjoys being so immersed in music like that, so I know it’s a great experience for him. I’m very eager to see the concert tonight and bring him back home.

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It’s been a slow’ish week for exercise for me, as I feel I’ve been fighting a cold. Even though I’ve still been losing a bit of weight. I’ve only been walking 1-2 miles a night and just keeping on top of the food, really. Getting lots of rest as well. As soon as the concert is over tonight, my son goes straight into performing 2 live shows this weekend of Les Mis’. We’ve been super busy and it’s been so hard trying to fit all of it in, but I’m trying to do it all.

I know that there are alot of us out there that juggle family life and our own personal goals and then in the bitter of winter (and this past week here in the Northeast, it’s been SUPER BITTER), it’s hard to do all of it and not get sick on top of it all… but it is still important to try to keep up with all of it. I am still very focused on my weight loss goals and I do get the fitness in. I am dialing back the 4 and 5 mile workouts to 1 and 2 miles when I’m feeling a bit under the weather, but at least I’m still keeping up with it. I know it’s helping my immune system from having me literally falling into bed and not able to get up, like I was last winter before I started my journey. Last winter, I had walking pneumonia, followed by a sinus infection, followed by a throat infection. I was sick for 3 months solid…

This little cough thing? This is the only bit of sick I’ve been since I started my journey. I can manage this. At least, I hope and pray this is all I have to manage! LOL

LOL I just sort of re-read this… I must be just a bit sick… this post is sort of all over the place… forgive me. And, I’ll try to post a pic of my son with us from the concert a bit later (a bit blurry, but we got someone else to take the photo for us, oh well)… Thanks everyone for following my journey!

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This is my lifestyle now (but, I am finding it a bit hard to give up EVERYTHING)

I’m actually finding all of this quite easy now. I have a routine, a schedule. I wake up and the lemon water is what I crave. It’s what I reach for and it starts my day off. 

My days at work are still my easiest… the routine there are just so matter of fact and really on point with the timing, so I’m eating every few hours with snacks and proteins and all of it… even getting up quite frequently for water breaks, so I’m getting my activity in as well. 

When I get home from work, I get in my exercise, which usually is minimum of 30 min, but is usually an hour. I have been doing the Leslie Sansone walking tapes, which I frequently switch up, sometimes using ones where she highlights the hand weights, or the stretch bands or even the boosted walks. I’ve even started grabbing my “bean” (if you remember those from the infomercials from a few years back) and doing some ab/core workouts as well. Then I heat up or cook up some dinner and watch a bit of television or work on my book or blog, then its off to bed (OR, I’m running my teenage son around who has quite the busy life himself as he’s in a few theatre productions which are just ramping up into performance weekend modes)… 

My weekends are a bit more sporadic, but I’ve been trying to get even them into some sort of a routine where I try to get the grocery shopping done very early, the exercises done by 5 pm’ish, so that I can maybe cook something nice for dinner and even do a bit of prep work for some meals for the week (hugely helpful for my lunches and snacks for work week). Then I like I get a bit of tv or movie watching in, as I am a bit of an addict in that department. 

Ya know, they say that one thing overweight people have in common is a HUGE amount of tv watching… many hours. Well, it’s sadly true for me as well… and it’s one of the things that I’m finding it hard to give up… I even find that when I’m online, I open up a window with netflix or hulu just so I can try to multi-task and still get it in… or if I’m REALLY backed up on my tivo, sometimes I even say goodbye to Leslie for a bit and figure that since I’ve been watching her for MONTHS, I figure I have a fairly good handle on her moves by now, so I’ll watch something and just MOVE MOVE MOVE while watching my shows and glance at the clock and then just stop moving when I feel I’ve gotten enough movement in… it’s pretty pathetic, I think… Just when I used to dread the holidays, or the mid-season there-just-isn’t-a-damn-thing-to-watch weeks, now, I think, whew, I can exercise, cook, catch up, but OMG, then it’ll start again and what’ll I do???? lol My name is Marie and I am a TV Addict.


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Losing weight this time has truly been fun… Never thought I’d say that!

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I truly never thought I’d find this a FUN journey but that’s what it’s been.  It’s also been a learning one!  When I first decided to REALLY give this weightloss a go, I knew that I’d not just give it another attempt… I would put 150% into it.  I was only getting older, and I had 212 lbs to lose.  That was a huge amount and life was ticking away.  So, this was IT!  Daunting, yes, but I was never afraid of a challenge and this was going to be one of the biggest in my life.

Thankfully, I’m a pretty strong person.  I like being focused, I like making lists.  I am made for this type of challenge and if I did it right, I could really excel at it.  Not only that, but I had a loving, supportive husband on my side this time.  I was going to not only do it for myself but I was going to help him, too.  I’m going to feel a sense of accomplishment for us both.  

I found a great food plan that worked for us both (Thank God!) and it really started clicking for us.  Not only did the weight start falling off, but we started loving how we were feeling.  We were doing it together, too, so that was a bonus!  The benefits we were experiencing… snoring was lessened or gone, blood pressure was dropping, cholesterol levels were dropping, my swollen ankles were losing their edema, the soreness in my back was going away, sizes were dropping (we were donating clothes to Salvation Army daily and our house was getting decluttered)… I mean, it was FUN!  

There was a time of a kind of a weightless anticipation…  When you are as big as I was (377 when I started), you have to drop about 50 lbs before much is noticed, you kind of just push and push and WAIT… that was a bit of a get up, do the time, go to bed, wake up, weigh in, do it again, go to bed, wake up, weigh in, go to bed, etc… and just WAIT.  That’s a bit of waiting and alot of willpower.  I talked to myself alot (telling myself that I was doing ALL the right things and the scale was going down, even if I couldn’t SEE it yet)… and was very happy to have Ivan to look at and see results on him (leaner frame)… if I didn’t have him to look at and get excited about, then it might have been a bit less fun for me, but I did have him there… and it saw me through til I got past my 50 lbs and then MY RESULTS started to become a bit more visible… then MY joy started shining through a bit more… 

Once I started to get compliments, that helped alot.  I alluded in another post of mine to my vanity.  I think every woman would lie just a bit if she said she didn’t like to get compliments.  I mean, it sometimes is a bit uncomfortable to hear them sometimes and get all that attention (for some… not me… lol) but I LOVE all that encouragement and only wanted to hear it more.  So that really kept me going… and kick started me into the next 50 lbs of losing.  

I broke my losses into chunks of 50 lb losses… 212 lbs into four chunks of 50 lbs.  I knew that the first 50 lbs would be less noticeable and would be my most difficult, mentally.  Figured that I needed to set that as a goal and not make it any smaller.  For me, 50 was small enough, yet large enough to be what needed to be done to get to the next chunk of noticeable loss.  Also, knowing that once I hit that first 50, I could just tell myself that wow, I just did that… now do it just 3 more times! LOL  Manageable!

Next 50.  This would be the one where I figured most people would be really standing back to take notice… and I was right… this is where they were like… “Did you get a haircut?” lol  But, it was fun, They KNEW I did something and started to really take notice.  I was seeing a different profile at this point and it was something that even my husband and I remarked was hard to get used to, after 10 yrs of seeing one profile.  We’d stand next to each other in the store and look past the other looking for the other one… lol  It’s amazing what the mind gets used to.  He and I had changed so much by this point.

After losing 100 lbs, I was onto the next chunk of 50 lbs (where I am now)…  As of this morning, I’m 126 lbs into my journey.  I started exercising once I dropped 36 lbs, and once I lost 122 lbs, I started adding major toning to my schedule along with the cardio I’ve done all along.  I have 86 lbs left to goal and this is a huge transformation I’ve taken on.  I’m excited to see all that I can do to change my body.  I’ve already done so very much.  I’m not just working til I hit my goal.  I know that I’m going to continue on past my goal.  I figure that after I hit my goal, I’ve got body sculpting to do and I’m learning as I go.  

Another thing is that I’m also working with an injured body.  I have lost tons of flexibility throughout the years.  I have an appointment with a physical therapist on the 25th of this month and I’m so excited to see if there is anything I can do to gain back anything… even if there isn’t (but, I sure hope there is)… I’m going to try.  I’m like the energizer bunny!  I won’t give up and I’m going to keep on learning and working with what I’ve got!  


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Tips that have worked for me while losing the first 122 lbs

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Basically, I’ve kept to a few of the basic principles of the 17 Day Diet plan.  I do have warm lemon water every morning.  Not only do I feel this has helped with the weight loss, but I feel that  it’s helped my skin tremendously!  I have a problem area just under my right jawline.  Used to break out ALL THE TIME.  It’s still got a bit of scarring, actually, but a bit of makeup takes care of it, however, I just do not have the problems with it that I used to have.  I’m so very grateful that it’s cleared up nearly 100%!  

I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit vain.  There are certain things we are happy with when it comes to our appearance.  My hair, I have to admit, I kinda love it.  My fingers, they are long and I love that.  I don’t mind my face.  I’m happy with it.  I love that I’m tall.  I’m 5’10”  I always wanted to be 6′, but I’ll take 5’10”.  Now, there are things I’m not happy with, as are all us women, but I’m ok with these things… Anyway, lemon water, check.  Good with that.

Water.  I LOVE WATER!  I think I carry a bottle with me just about everywhere I go.  Water and Iced Tea.  I once gave up Soda for lent when I was in my early teens.  It was probably the best thing I ever did… Since then… Water and Iced Tea have pretty much been my staple.  I’ve also been pretty blessed that I’m just not that much of a drinker.  The occasional drink I’ll do, but I’ve just never really been a drinker.  I don’t crave it, I sometimes forget I even have it in the room downstairs.  We do buy a few bottles on occasion when we take a drive up to the finger lakes up in New York, but when I say blessed, I’m strictly talking about caloric content here… just it’s so much easier to never have to count liquid calories if you don’t intake them… EVER.  Anyway, back to water… I drink alot of COLD water, which I read that the body takes energy to warm up, and that burns calories to get that energy going… so that’s cool!

Probiotics, two a day.  Love yogurt, so I love getting this in.  I’ve always enjoyed getting some sort of dairy type of food in, so this is a no-brainer for me.  

I do try to get some raw vegetables in.  I read that the body takes more energy to process them and more energy usually means burns more calories, which is always good…. raw carrots is usually my choice.

I eat lots of meals throughout the day… sometimes even more than the 5 or 6 you read about… I sort of just graze… like a cow.  Not necessarily on the weekends… sometimes those get away from me.  Too busy.  It’s so much easier at work when I’m not as actively running around everywhere.

I like to get use of MUFA’s… (MonoUnsaturated Fatty Acid) which I am almost convinced help me lose weight better.  My favorites are:  Olive Oil, Avocado and Dark Chocolate.  I don’t have tons of these (Except the Olive Oil, which is basically in my daily diet), but I do have them from time to time and do feel they help.  

Protein:  I like to have this several times a day… maybe 3, 4 at the most (not in huge quantities) but again, read that your body burns more energy processing it… so therefore burns more calories… 

Plus, I obviously exercise… I try to minimally do 30 minutes at minimum of 5 days a week of cardio and I add toning and firming exercises to that at least 4 days a week.  

From time to time, not all the time, maybe once every couple of months?  I may have a crazy, no holds barred meal.  This has usually been followed by a HUGE, INSANE loss!  


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My Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout Session… Down and ready!

I signed up for this contest at work… called the Turkey Buster Challenge.  It started the Monday before Thanksgiving.  Basically, I figured that it couldn’t have come at a better time.  I’m in the middle of my journey here, ya know?  I mean, next year, I won’t need to join any contest, I’ll already be at goal!  So, this contest should be mine to win, right?  (talk about a positive attitude).  Well, I’m a bit competitive.  A bit?  Well, ALOT.  It’s distracting, actually.  It’s ALOT distracting.  I’m kind of going a bit nuts.  

First, it’s a FAIR contest.  Meaning, they are basing the win on percentage.  Uggh!  I’m HUGE!  Well, LESS huge than I WAS, but come on now!  I am still the largest person in the contest.  I think I started the contest at 281.4 lbs on November 26, 2012.  Before New Years, I weighed in at 254.5, but as of this morning, I was 257.5 and I do NOT KNOW WHY!  I have been exercising my butt off!  I ate cookies on New Years, but I did NOT eat 6 lbs of them (yes, I was higher, but lost some)…  and I have been TRYING to get back down to at least the 254.5 ever since.  I had actually wanted to be even less than the 254.5 for the final weigh in of tomorrow and well, I haven’t a clue if that’s even possible at this point, however, with all the workouts I’ve done (food has totally be ON POINT).  I mean, I feel that one morning, I’m probably going to drop 10 lbs!  Seriously!  (probably the day AFTER the final weigh in)

Anyway, the mystery of being a woman and the water weight or whatever mystery thing that goes on inside us that I just can NOT explain.  I’m all about the numbers.  Take in less calories, burn off more calories… I know my BMR.  I mean, I know the math… I know what should be happening.  It’s not happening.  It’s going to happen.  I truly will be gutted if I don’t win this contest… and it’s not even for the prize (which I’m not even privy to.  It’s probably a $10 donut gift card… REALLY!)… I just feel that this is MY YEAR.  Ya know?  I mean, I’ve lost a PERSON, practically… shouldn’t I win a weight loss contest with all that going on in my life? 

I know it’s not about the win… My competitive nature… it’s an illness… lol  I can’t wait for this contest to be over.  I don’t think I’ll sign up for any more contests… At least until I hear of another that falls before I hit my goal… I mean, it is MY YEAR, right?