Extending Our Happily Ever After

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Days 28-33 – 100 Day Challenge

Been such a busy week! But, I have been exercising and losing weight! 

I donate plasma now… and they actually weigh you every time you go to donate. Last friday, I weighed per their scale at 250, and the previous Tuesday at 251 (this is at the end of the day, having had lots of water, as I have to be fully hydrated)… I’m fully clothes, plus sometimes with a coat, actually, although I’m trying to lose that now. Anyway, last tuesday, it was 246, today it was 244. But, this morning, naked, I was 238. So, I’m sort of all over the place. I’m setting my Sparkpeople weight to the 238, but using the losses from the Biotest just to see how much I’ve lost from visit to visit. Regardless, it feels good to show a loss at each visit. 

Also, I was featured in my company’s website for my weight loss story… It posted today. Here is the article: 

Where Is She Now? 

Story update: UPSer loses 140 pounds…and more 
Last year, Marie Smith shared her story about her weight loss success. Since it aired, Marie has lost 10 more pounds towards her weight loss goal. During the past year, she’s faced obstacles including surgery, a car accident, and rehab. 
In spite of these challenges, Marie continues to focus on her ultimate goal of maintaining a healthy life style. 
To see her post from last year, (click here *story link to internal company website*) and check out her update below. 

As told by Marie: 

Last May, I had a total right hip replacement, which has done wonders for my health and well-being. The new hip has aligned my body so well, that now, my back has few issues and my back pain has lessened tremendously. I feel 20 years younger! 

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But, as we all know, life has a way of throwing us curve balls. A mere six weeks after my hip replacement surgery, my son and I were in a car accident. The car was nearly totaled but luckily, we were both fine. I was jostled a bit in the car and my hip took a hit. However, I got right back to therapy and worked hard. Six weeks later, I celebrated with a hike that truly tested out my new hip. 
I have used this opportunity to get back into “life” and start living it! I have become a lot more active. I get out as often as I can, and I walk as much as I can. I try to find places to hike, and I’d like to start biking. 
As for the weight – it is an ongoing struggle. I know that I didn’t get to nearly 400 pounds and stay that way most of my life because I had will power. To this day, I love food. But, through my weight loss journey, I have learned so much and what foods to eat. I know what the healthy options are and I know that my body feels better when I eat them. 
Like others in my situation, I do struggle when I don’t see the scale move towards my goal. And sometimes that will trigger an old pattern of overindulging. But then I remember to take a step back and look at the big picture. I’ve worked hard and done very well for not gaining and at least maintaining. I know I have the tools to lose the rest of the weight, and I know that I will do it. 
What really keeps me motivated is what I’ve accomplished. I’ve been surrounded by supportive friends and family from day one and I know that support is HUGE in the weight loss journey! 
Just the other day, I got this text from a friend, “I have to just say that I will always remember your words to me: If I can do it, anyone can do it. So when I work out, I remember you saying that. So don’t ever think you never inspired anyone, because you inspired me.” 

Marie’s Words of Wisdom: 
* Weight doesn’t come on overnight and it’s not going to go away overnight. 
* The best anyone can do is make those changes that will get them on the healthy track and help them live longer. 
* Definitely get active. It’s the best thing I ever did and the cleaner way of eating is so important. 
* Listen to your body, you may think it’s asking for a burger and fries, but then you are hungry an hour later. It’s only because you didn’t give it the nutrition it was really asking for! 
* start listening. You are only given one body in this lifetime… treat it right. It will do the same for you.


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Day 24 – 100 Day Challenge

Today was another good food day… I’m getting back on track! Thank goodness! I still didn’t do great with exercise, but I did walk at work today, so that’s something.

Also, I was called today by lady who ran an article on my weight loss story for our company last summer. She wanted to do a follow up story. I had told her that I really didn’t lose any more weight. We talked for a while and she wanted to know how things were after my hip replacement surgery and the car accident I had last year and told me that after all I had been through, to hear that I had maintained the weight loss and that I was still excited and focused on my journey even though I still had disappointment that I hadn’t lost more weight told her that my story is still very motivating and very relevant to what she was looking for. She said that it was “real”… not every weight loss journey was easy or full of constant successes, but it was just that… a journey.

I am still motivated to lose weight, even though I have not seen the scale get into “new weight loss” for over a year. I still challenge myself to get out and exercise, I still get up every morning and drink my lemon water and pack my lunch and go to work with the excitement of being on plan and I think it’s that energy that probably has helped me keep the weight off and not gain it all back on. I am proud of maintaining the huge loss I’ve done. I also know and have every confidence that I will reach my goal, even if it’s going to be “in my own sweet time”… it will come. At least I’m headed in the right direction! That feels amazing!

I am thrilled with my health and my energy and stamina. I could ask for more, but I’m quite happy with this!


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Day 2 – 100 Day Challenge

Today I did all liquids. On all other days of the week, I am following the 17 Day Diet way of things, but I am looking into the Ayurvedic way of doing things a bit and it suggested one day a week of liquids. My husband works some nights and tonight is one of those nights, so it is a good night for me to do liquids and plus, tonight was my Toastmasters meeting, so even better… always hard for me to do dinner when I’m running home from work and right into a meeting.

I start my day with lemon water (17 DD) but add some Amla powder and water (Ayurvedic). 17 DD has me on green tea with every meal, so I keep that in there… and I do 2 fruits and veg with 17 DD, so I just have that in juice form for the liquids… but for the fruits, I have two juice, but no sugar and for vegetables, 1 V8, but low sodium. Lunch was broth, but the lowest sodium I could find and I found one with 3 protein, 2 cups of that equals 6 protein. Obviously, I drank water as well… and Ayurvedic says mint helps with weight loss, so I had a cup of decaf mint tea as well. Triphala powder with water before bed and that’s my day today. No exercise, not going to bother with hardly anything in me…

Tomorrow, back to 17 DD and protein, so I’ll exercise tomorrow night.

Tonight’s Toastmaster meeting went well, I was the timer, Wordmaster and Jokemaster. Always enjoy going to those meetings and seeing the fantastic group we have there. I haven’t given a speech in a while (I have a couple on You Tube)… I joined so I could get more comfortable with it, but I never really did. I want to be able to help people with weight loss, as that is my passion and when I talk about weight loss, I am comfortable with speaking… however, it was all the “other” speeches that I faltered with. The last speech I gave was at the speech contest where I competed, actually… I went three levels, first two with speech and three levels with Table Topics… so I was very proud of my progress, but the anxiety I felt has kept me from giving another speech within my home group ever since. Heaving a big sigh here… So, for now, I’m sticking with the Table Topics and the simple job of timer at the meetings.

Well, I’ll write more tomorrow. We are expecting a cold night and a bit more snow in the morning. It’s been a very bitter winter here thus far!


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My first speech…

This has been a crazy week. A bit stressful and alot going on.

First, I gave a speech this week. I joined Toastmasters, which is an international organization where members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending learn-by-doing meetings. My husband saw a recent article in a local newspaper about this organization. I hadn’t heard of it before. The reason he suggested I join this organization is that with my recent weightloss, I’ve been really thinking alot of what I want to do with my life. I have become a source of inspiration with alot of people in the past year and it seems that daily, I get asked questions on how I lost my weight, or just that I have been motivating people to get in touch with their own personal weightloss and fitness goals. It really makes me happy and it gives me a huge sense of pride to help people if I can… so I am not sure where public speaking fits in to that, but it’s something I’ve struggled with all my life.

This is very odd to me, as I’m one of the most outgoing people you’d ever meet. I am that person who talks to strangers in the street… yep, that’s me. I am very friendly and never seem to have a problem making friends or just opening up to anyone and talking about anything… yet, to have to get up in front of a room of people is a whole other ballgame. So, without knowing what path my life might be on, we thought it might be a good idea to join up with Toastmasters and brush up on this skill that I have an issue with. If anything, I thought I could at least make new friends.

The first time you make a speech in Toastmasters, it’s called the “Ice Breaker” speech. The speech can be about anything you want and should be 4-6 minutes long. I decided to tape myself, mainly so that I can watch it and learn from it… and hopefully better myself before I jump into speech #2. So, I posted it on YouTube and here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBKEc3aOacU&feature=share

Overall, I was happy with it. I did, however, feel my voice shake throughout the entire thing. However, watching it, I see that it didn’t… that’s odd to me, but good to know. I was happy that I glanced at my speech, yet didn’t read the entire thing and was able to make eye contact… yet, that did leave me open to alot of “and so…” (grammarian counted 11 of them… oops!). I was timed at 5 min 44 sec, which I was very happy with, as it was within the time limit. I did stumble several times and leave thoughts open, but, for my first speech, I think I did fairly well.

I almost feel that I’d do better in a storyteller type of speaker setting… unless I just memorized something and delivered it. I think that I think too much and that might leave me open for the grammarian-critiqued pauses that come in.

The other bit of this week that was stressful for me was that I found out the following day that I was going to be needing hip replacement surgery. It’s good news, but huge news, none-the-less. Since all of this, I’ve been emotionally drained and just exhausted. I have been keeping up with my health, walking in the afternoons and keeping up with my diet. I have lost a couple of pounds, which is great. I’d love to lose more weight before I actually go in for the surgery. I just have been so very tired as well.

I start physical therapy tomorrow, three times a week. I have thoughts of getting the house cleaned and prepped so that when I’m recovering and it’s only the “men” here taking care of things (scary thought)… that everything will be just fine, ya know? I need to prep a room downstairs that I can recover in, as I won’t be able to make the flight upstairs to our bedroom… so just alot to think about and get ready for.

This will also be the first time in my life I’ve ever gone on disability… and I hear that it’s such a huge delay getting a check from co-workers who’ve done this in the past… so that’s another level of stress… I know I just need to relax… not sweat the small stuff I have no control over and just let go and let God. Sometimes that’s so much easier said than done. Breathe in and breathe out… I’ll be fine.


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Been busy, but on track and feeling great!

I’ve been doing great… on track… Lost what I gained, which is great. Feeling alot better. I’ve been busy, but what’s new? lol

My son’s show, Avenue Q is awesome! Soooo hilarious. It’s finishing up this weekend and I’m the full-on, supportive mom who is going to all the shows and working the lobby, helping out and loving every minute of it. He’s awesome in the show, the other kids are awesome in the show… just great fun! Next show is Chorus Line and there is talk of him doing Guys and Dolls which will be scheduled before Chorus Line opens… So, it’s always something.

As for what’s been going on with me. Well, I had some pretty cool news. Last year was my “Let’s get healthy year”… Resolution came late, March… but it was, let’s lose this weight and well, you all know where I am with that… This year, my resolution was… I’m going to write a book on the weight loss journey and I want to get in a magazine with my weightloss story. Well, the “news” is that my sister-in-law ran into someone who works for a very well known magazine and was telling her about my weightloss success… and this magazine happens to have a very well known issue that comes out once a year and I guess this person has the ability to write my story for that issue and made the offer to do so! Sooooo, I am currently MORE motivated to keep on with my journey to keep striving for my goal. We have an email address and an offer, so I’m going to do all in my power to deliver the “goods” so to speak and then it’s in God’s hands. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. I’m very excited, though!

I needed this boost of motivation, that’s for sure. I was just hovering and now I’m NOT. I have been amping up the exercising. At my place of employment, we have an indoor walking path outlined for the employees… it’s a loop that includes two floors, connected by two stairwells. I can complete 6 loops in 15 minutes and I’ve taken to walking on both of my breaks. So, I started Tuesday at my second break and have been going strong ever since. I also have been coming home and walking with my Leslie Sansone walking dvd’s as well. 3 miles both yesterday and tonight. I really think that upping the activity will show up on the scale and I’m very excited to see my weigh in on Monday! Even though I do tend to jump on the scale daily…


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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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SparkPeople Motivator

Just received this email from SparkPeople.com

The SparkPeople Community thinks you are a motivation to others!

SparkPeople Members can vote for SparkPages that are motivational, based on Community involvement, personal accomplishments and more. You have received enough votes to become a “SparkPeople Motivator.” Congratulations! For recognition, your SparkPage now has a special “SparkPeople Motivator” icon, and your SparkPage will be featured more prominently on the main SparkPages section of the site.

Thank you for inspiring other members through your own hard work and dedication!

Sincerely,

The SparkPeople Team


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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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Marie’s Talk with herself (She’s sounding pretty smart in this)…

This was written by myself back in March of 2012, when I first started on my journey… I thought I’d post it as I’m just starting this blog and it’ll be a good reminder of where I came from and also a great motivator for anyone just coming to this blog for the first time, who may want a kicking off point)… 

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I am posting this so that I can read it over and over and just when I feel down and defeated… over again and hope that it makes me THINK hard!

 I’ve tried plans most of my adult life…  and the fact that I’m here and starting the 17 Day Diet at age 44 and at near my highest weight ever… it just means that I’ve QUIT each and every one of those times.

 For me, I get to the point where I feel that it’s coming off so slowly that it won’t matter if I go off for a day or so… as I can jump right back on and then continue losing it.. but I never do get back on track… All those wasted years… 

 Well, let’s just think this through.  WORST case scenario… I don’t LOSE anything for every single day I’m on a “plan”… well… at least I’m eating healthier and if I’d have stuck with THOSE diets, I’d not be 100 lbs more than I was then!  

 OR… maybe I’m losing SUPER slow….  (1 lb a week).  Well, multiply that by 52 weeks and what do you know?  I’m down 52 lbs by this time next year.  I’ll TAKE IT!

 Let’s say I’ve lost say 7 lbs a month… doesn’t seem fast enough for me at all… BUT.. 7 x 12 is 84 lbs… now, I’m almost 1/2 way to goal… WOW… to think that in 2 yrs I can be at GOAL???  That definitely isn’t the path I’ve been on til now, but I truly want to be on that path!

 Marie… breathe.  Believe in yourself.  You CAN do this and it doesn’t matter how fast you do it… just that you DO IT.  Do NOT give up.  Enjoy that in a year you’ll have lost a considerable amount of weight and that for the first time in years, you are closer to seeing the goal you have been striving for.  I believe in you!