Extending Our Happily Ever After

"We do! Now let's live healthy and fit!"


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My recent struggle…

Lately, I’ve been experiencing my first REAL struggle out of this entire journey… It’s coinciding with the news of my recent announcement of needing a right hip replacement. Currently, I am going to physical therapy to prep for the surgery. This is new to me. I am in my second week and I’m going every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

I thought I was in shape… and last week when I announced the surgery, I was in a great place mentally. I felt as though this would be a breeze and I was going to recover quickly and become a new woman! But I’ve had 4 therapy sessions under my belt and I’m worn out. Basically, after just two appointments, I was experiencing pain and twinges of back pain that I haven’t felt in over a year. I went in to my appt on Friday and told the therapists that my back was starting to really feel the stress of the therapy and that I was starting to experience the spasms of yesteryear… but they just asked if I wanted another heating pad or pillow… and I just went along with the exercises yet again… Well, on that afternoon, I almost couldn’t move… I was in such pain.

With this pain, I went back to an old habit of wanting to eat to feel better… so I went to McDonald’s drive-thru for dinner… and then, obviously felt just horrible afterwards!

Saturday, I was participating in a Craft Show and my back was super sore, but I had made a commitment, so I went anyway… and once I set up (super slowly, mind you)… I took 3 ibuprofin… and sat down, near tears… I tried to be cheerful and friendly, but the pain was just near the surface… a couple of hours later, I took 3 more ibuprofin, but nothing was touching the pain and then the back spasms started… and at times, I just couldn’t move at all… it was horrible… When the show was over, I somehow managed to pack up and a nice man helped load up my car and I drove home in tears… I took 2 Aleve, had hubby rub some Bengay on my back and crawled into bed and fell asleep.

Sunday, I rested alot and it eased some, and I was able to get out and watch my son perform in his opening show of Guys and Dolls… but still not feeling well, I drove back through McD’s again for dinner… Uggh! Then it was just watch tv all night and eat.

Such a struggle when you are feeling miserable and in pain and then let your diet and healthy food choices go downhill completely, when you just KNOW that it’s the wrong thing and not even the best “bad” food… just junk!

I couldn’t even exercise like usual, due to the pain in my back…

I woke up to a new day and even though I’m still feeling not quite myself and as peppy and happy as my usual self (which is USUALLY very happy)… I still woke up with the effort of staying 100% compliant on my plan… and it’s bedtime now and I can thankfully say that I was successful! Thank God! But, it was a struggle… and I know that tomorrow will be as well.

I went to therapy today in tears, and today they listened (tears totally helped!)… We nixed a few exercises, replacing them with standing exercises and a few sitting exercises. I probably won’t truly know til tomorrow if it helped… but tonight, I don’t feel that bad… so, fingers crossed that it worked. Hopefully, getting rid of the serious pain will get rid of the horrible mood which will get rid of the bad feelings that I’ll want to “eat away”… and then I can start focusing on my healthy life again!

I sure hope so!

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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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Blowing Minds… Including Our Own! (Pants Pic)

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When I first started the 17 Day Diet last March, I felt pretty good at the initial weight loss. After the first week or two, I thought… “This is it, I feel this is finally my time to lose this weight”… and when the weight started falling off and the sizes started dropping, I threw clothes away. I didn’t do what I had in the past… put them aside for a “just in case” scenario. I just tossed them! I didn’t even donate the first lot or two. THEN, I thought… “Wait! I want a pair of pants for a pic!”

These are those pants. They aren’t even the right size! LOL These pants are a 30W. When I started, I didn’t fit into a 32W. So, forgive me for not wanting to regain the weight for a photo op… but hmmm, nope, not going to happen. I’ll demonstrate the oooh, ahhhh, moment with these 30W jeans! I still think it’s a pretty remarkable moment, don’t you? They’ve been sitting on a counter upstairs for months… just sitting there.

My 1 yr anniversary is coming up on Tuesday. I’ve lost 138 lbs as of today… I was hoping for 150… it’s not Tuesday yet… but reality is approaching… fast and well, maybe I’ll get 140… but still… the pull of the pants photo was drawing me in… so the other night, I grabbed them and put them up to me and stood in front of my husband and we just were stunned! It’s one thing to see a big number on the scale… it’s entirely another to see it in a pair of pants. This just really puts it into perspective at just how big I was! Let me just say… when you look at the butt of these things… that’s NOT a pretty site! LOL But, yes, I do remember filling in many a chair in a theatre, or even my car. I remember the seatbelt cutting into my side. I remember the arms of a chair keeping me prisoner and me even wondering if I could “bend” them or “break” them as I got up. So, yes, I must have filled in that pair of pants pretty darn well, because I remember those days vividly.

I took these pants into work today to show my co-workers. Jaws dropped. I was very proud of my accomplishment and know that so many of my friends there were very proud of me, too. The pic is posted on my facebook wall and support is pouring in and I know I’ve touched so many and inspired so many. It’s humbling and I’m honored to be that inspiration in their lives. What’s more, is that I just look at the pants and they truly are a symbol that it’s never too late in life to attain a goal! To get healthy. My son is 16. A sophomore in high school. Probably the most influential time for him to see this change in me. Next year, he’s looking at colleges and reaching for his own dreams. I could be sad that I didn’t do this sooner, but then again… it’s never too late!


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Switched things up and it’s working!

Whew! I’m relaxing a bit. Trying to find what works for my body. I actually went back to Cycle 1 this past week and decided to LISTEN to what it said about the 17 minutes of exercise (sort of). What I was doing was exercising ALOT… thinking, burn it off, I’ll lose more… and well, maybe I was, but it wasn’t showing up on the scale for me. I know, I know, stop looking at that darn scale! I know I’ll have alot of you thinking that. Especially when I was fitting into new clothes up top (only up top, really) and getting compliments daily… still. BUT, for a daily weigher, it was driving me crazy. So, ever since I heard about that magazine article, I had to do something, because now I have a deadline and I seriously WANT that article!

So, at my place of employment, we have an indoor walking path (mostly due to living in the Northeast and the BITTER cold outdoors necessitating one)… anyway, it involved two floors and two sets of stairs… so even though the idea of walking at work and SWEATING, which isn’t something I ever really wanted to do THERE… I decided, I was going to do it, to ramp up my exercise for this article… and I started up with it. Well, for two days, I was doing that AND then going home and doing my Leslie Sansone walking videos (3 miles) and after 2 days, I really couldn’t walk! So, I re-thought my strategy, and decided, nope… two 15 minute breaks was really enough, especially if I FELT the workout… and an evening off was probably going to be really healthy for my body to recharge itself… and that’s what I’ve been doing this week. I’ve been getting to bed earlier, as well… Drinking lots of water, staying on track with my food, not straying and being consistent. I even took a rest day yesterday and today, I’ll grab a Leslie tape and do a 4 mile workout, just to get a good cardio in, but not do it too late in the day, so I can rest my body. My plan is to do this for the rest of the cycle, then when I add carbs in Cycle 2, ramp up my exercise with my Leslie tapes… but only maybe add in 1 or 2 miles in the afternoons, not much more… and see what that does… and stay consistent… and REST and get that sleep in.

I am going to see what happens.

I’m also going to stretch and use weights in the morning just to get some toning in… although I feel the toning in my legs BIG TIME!

On another note, I was asked to do a fashion show on the 16th of March for a retail store. Just a simple thing, nothing big… but new to me and thought it’d be fun. I went in yesterday and picked out my two outfits to model! How cool is that? If I can take any photos, I’m going to and I’ll post them here. I’m one of 40, so seriously, it’s not a big deal… just something for fun… but it’s a fundraiser for a local place for women and their babies… so it’s a good cause, which is great!

I also went to Goodwill yesterday to find new pants, as mine were getting pretty loose on me and found 2 pair for only 3.99 each! How cool is that? Nice ones for work! And several tops, too. I’m getting quite the stylish wardrobe! I hate pant shopping, but I really took the time to be patient and it paid off… if I pick a day where my patience is not worn thin, I can actually find some pretty good deals there! Perfect for when you are slimming down and don’t want to spend alot of money on the clothes you won’t be wearing too long! 


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Been hovering… and pulling myself out of a funk…

First time in my journey… I guess it’s expected.

I’ve been in a funk. I’ve been stressed. Mostly financial. I guess we all get that. I’m so glad that I’ve done my taxes and am just now waiting. I’m waiting for that check to make things LESS STRESSFUL! The effects? Well, I eat when stressed. I wish I didn’t. I guess old habits die hard and I didn’t even think that I had any old habits when I’ve been so very good for almost a YEAR now! I thought you create NEW habits after what? 7 days? 21 days? What is that saying? Well, I guess it’s not working in this girls’ head.

So, I’ve discovered a few things about myself. I’ve discovered that I am healthier. Thank God! I’ve discovered that nearly 10 months, or 10 months (since March 19, 2012) of eating healthy and nearly 9 months of exercising religiously, have made me healthier on the inside… because, even though I have been eating things I should not have been eating (cupcakes, which is seeming to become a wierd pattern as these aren’t really things I ate in the past, but for some reason they are snacks of the “now world” I think… anyway, pizza, which I don’t feel is horrible, as I have had that throughout the diet, just not as “often” as lately, and bread)… just stuff that I haven’t really had in doses that I haven’t had it over the past 10 months. Anyway, I’ve only gained 3 lbs! I haven’t stopped eating most of the foods on the plan I follow, so maybe it’s that. I sort of have stopped most of the exercise, but not completely.. just not as intensely.

I’m thinking that maybe I have built up lean muscle, which burns calories more efficiently (I hear). Maybe, from being healthier, my metabolism is much higher, and I’m processing things much better… I’m not really sure. It’s sort of a mystery to me that I’m not being that “good” yet I’m not showing it on the scale…

However, with all that said, I’m BACK on track. So, I do hope that I’m not derailed TOO much to see my goal too far away (or rather, further, away). I guess, I can’t be “perfect” all the time (and yes, I do TRY to be, even though I do realize no one can be)… It’s the A-type personality in me. First born and all that, you know. Sort of snaps me back into reality and throws the “You are only human” saying into my mind.

Stress… I did just post something about that recently somewhere… about 5 minutes of stress allows 6 hours of a breakdown of your immunity or something like that.. then BAM… this goes and happens… and Boy, does it ever! I’ve been a bit under the weather as well… and the eating, and the feeling “in a funk”… I don’t get depressed… I won’t say that is what I was feeling… in a funk way better expresses what I was feeling. I’m a very upbeat person… but when I’m “in a funk” it’s just that I get introspective… I don’t want to talk, to post, to do much more than read, watch tv, sleep, read more…

What I was doing alot of was watching Dr Oz and Ellen shows. I love to watch Ellen, because she’s about one of the only people I feel is about as positive as I am! LOL I truly love her spirit… I smile when I watch her and I laugh when she laughs and I just GET her! She’s a beautiful person and if I could be anyone else in the world (if I wanted to be, as I like being me, actually)… but I’d want to be her. Anyway… her and Dr Oz… but his shows get a bit repetitive.. but I have been trying to gleam as much info as I can… and reading tons of books on weightloss just to see if there are any little “tweaks” or things I can use or just think about.

I found a few. I already do quite a few things that are mentioned all over that show. Have been for months. Anyway… One thing I’m going to try is the ginger tea for bloating. I already have green tea all the time, so I’m going to look for decaf ginger tea, don’t need anything caffeinated, that’s for sure… but I’ll try to find something today. Anyway, the other thing I’m going to try is Cayenne before a workout. Who’s heard of this? 200 mg taken 1 hr before a workout is supposed to help you burn 40% more calories. Really? I’ll give it a try. Jorge Cruise gave me that tip and I already use his 8 minute moves in the morning and they are soooo amazing and I totally feel them working, so I’m IN with what he suggests! Another supplement I’m going to give a whirl is CLA. Read about it in “The Eat-Clean Diet” by Tosca Reno and also again, on the Dr Oz show… we’ll see. I’m going to STOP taking the Green Coffee Bean extract… not too much really studied about it and just not too sure it’s really helping or not helping actually… I think I’m losing same rate as I always was.

I like that the CLA is more than just for the fat, but also an Anti-carcinogen and also an anti-inflammatory, so with my arthritis, I love that.

I also am going to add drinking water first thing in the morning, before I even drink my warm lemon water… which I usually have after I shower and dress… so there is usually a bit of a delay.. been reading up a bit on getting water in first thing as a bit of a benefit.

We’ll see… nothing seems harmful to try… I never like to try things that seem too drastic.. just little tweaks. Everything else I’m very happy with… just need to stop the off plan and get back ON PLAN… re-focus and get rid of the stress… that isn’t good for anyone!


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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.

01252013 down 200 and a half

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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