Extending Our Happily Ever After

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


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Happy New Year – Where I stand with my weight now…

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This is my husband and I now (in Bryant Park, NYC at Christmas 2014)… we’ve both gained some weight back… He’s gained back more than I but I’ve gained back about 40 from my lowest weight here on SparkPeople

If I have to sum up the “WHY?” I’d simply say that I let myself get LAZY all over again.

I always loved food, but I don’t really want to blame it on that. I was eating great, healthy food when I was losing the weight before. Sure, I wasn’t eating all the junk I’m eating now… and that JUNK is addicting! Sugar is addicting! Now, I’m back to the point of having to basically get myself “off of it” all over again, like an addict, which is basically what I am.

But, the real culprit here is ME. It always was. It was ME who got me to near 400 lbs when I started my journey and it’s ME who is starting to derail myself again. I am and always did have a tendency for laziness. It is what it is. I actually have this HUGE desire to sit around and do NOTHING. Well, not nothing, exactly… but watch TV… watch MOVIES… do sedentary things… things that don’t exert any energy whatsoever. Things that go so much better with JUNK food!

Yes, I had a good pattern going before, when I woke up with tons of energy and came home from work, put my workout DVD (Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds) and made it a point to exercise before I then sat down to eat and watch tv… I even (gasp) ate less because who wants to eat tons of food when you just did a workout? Then, when you feel great, look great and feel all tone, you can actually get yourself out of bed on a weekend and go to the lake to take a brisk walk (3.5 miles) and come home feeling all good about yourself after getting your exercise in for the day and then you can do whatever you want, like watch DVD’s all day if you want to! LOL

But, really… The thing with exercise is that you are able to do more, you are able to feel better about EVERYTHING and you do start to eat healthier, it’s a product of feeling better and your body does start to get fit because of the exercise.

Once I stopped exercising, everything just fell apart. My body is soft again (and not in a good way!). I’m hungry ALL THE TIME! I’m basically too tired to cook a decent, healthy meal and do you see where I’m going with this?

So, this is what’s what for me in 2015… I’m not going to focus on the food for today, or even this week, what I will focus on is the exercise. I’m going to get that back into my life. I know for a fact that by inserting it back into my daily routine, the rest will fall into place and I can regain some control again. TV and movies will still be there, they will just have to wait for 30-60 minutes… that’s what videos and DVD players are for!

Pic of my son and I at Bryant Park in NYC where we went for Christmas this year.
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Hopes for our blog and how we want to live our life.

We took a look at an RV, this is just a preview, but this is giving us an image to dream on:

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It is so hard to continue to go to work everyday knowing the life we want to live isn’t exactly what it is now. We want to live one that is more on our terms. We always do have fun and make the most of what we have, but we desire more freedom. To cut our living expenses down is key to being able to bring things to a manageable level for us. When you are able to look for a job and not have the stress of needing the pay to be a certain amount but knowing that you can take a job that will make you happy and being confident that the paycheck you bring home will actually cover your expenses. Now, that is security!

I’m not sure about you but I’ve watched those tv shows like Cedar Cove or Haven (well, not Haven so much if you have actually WATCHED that show! LOL) but shows with beautiful landscapes and thought to myself… “now, I’d really like to LIVE in a place like that!” Well, with RV Living, I might just be able to! I can then relocate and move to another gorgeous place and try that out. How cool is that? That’s part of the dream. To experience an area, really experience it. Live and work in it, meet the people, KNOW it! That’s part of the dream.

Since we’ve lost a considerable amount of weight, we’ve both become more active. We used to just sit in front of the tv and not move… EVER! Well, now that we are more active, we’d like to take that and BE more active out in the world. That’s where the blog comes in. The direction I want to take the blog is to go into these communities and then write about our experiences… write about their hiking trails, their biking trails… the farmers markets (that’ll keep us healthy) and any other healthy type of thing I can think of.

My son was involved with local theater and that gave me a love for local talent and I’d like to explore local talent wherever I am, so I’d like to check out local theaters, free concerts, festivals and things like that.

We live in a town with the most amazing library. Actually two. A wonderful Children’s library and an Adult one with some amazing programs like Author lecture series and just some amazing things they offer the community for free. We’d like to explore other libraries in the country to see what they offer their community. My husband reads books constantly and will possibly give a review or two of books.

We are nerds and geeks and if there are science conventions out there or something like that, we’d find them and go to them as well.

I love photography and taking day trips to places that even the locals never seem to know about, so I tend to find those types of things to do.

We don’t drink and we would be living frugally, so we probably won’t be reviewing bars and restaurants that much… although Ivan does love coffee and I love Chai, so that may be on the agenda from time to time.

I’m looking forward to the kind of website/blog we’d be writing and the kind of life and explorations we’d be making! Do you see now why it’s so hard to go to work every day???


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Day 13 – 100 Day Challenge

A nice day today! Started it off with a walk up at Lake Scranton. Christopher wanted to get a run in… and since I don’t run, I got my walk in. Haven’t walked the lake in a while and it was cold! I bundled up! Two pairs of socks, two gloves, two tops and a scarf! It was 32 degrees out, but once I got going, it was fine! I think I’ll go back out tomorrow. I did call a friend to see if she’d go with me, but I ended up walking by myself. Took my husband’s phone and listened to The Killers, that was pretty upbeat and I had a good pace in. The lake is 3.5 miles around, so it was a good walk. I’ll go tomorrow, as well, and a friend has facebooked me that she’ll come with! Yay! It’s always nice going with a friend, seems that the walk goes quicker!

This photo shows my view of my son, who doesn’t walk with me, but instead runs and usually I never see, but when he’s done, he catches up to me, then runs ahead, then back, then ahead, then back! LOL  This is him way ahead of me.  

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Today was also spent spending a bit of drivers training time with my son. He’s 17 1/2 but he’s a busy kid. We had driving time in almost a year ago, then last summer, after my hip replacement, he and I were walking the lake and afterwards, we were both in a car accident. I think that shook him up a bit and he hasn’t driven since. It wasn’t our fault, but seeing that another car can just show up out of the blue when we didn’t see it coming, was quite a scare! I always tell him that you can be as safe as you want out there on the road, but you really have to watch for the other drivers as well. I guess it’s a good thing that #1, we were safe, but #2, he got that lesson early on! Most kids who start driving just are still in that “We are invincible” mode and he really got a jolt of reality. So, maybe a blessing in disguise, ya know? Anyway, he did very well today and we’ll probably go back out there tomorrow for more practice.

Then this evening, Ivan and I got some healthy groceries for the week and picked up ‘About Time’ from Redbox. I loved it… really a good movie!

Well, that’s about it for me, going to get to bed as it’s the time change tonight and I don’t want to lose an hour sleep if I don’t have to! LOL I’ll make sure that I get in early so that even with the time change, I’m able to sleep a full 8 hours!


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It’s alarming how charming I feel (1st dress in over 20 yrs!)

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This is the first dress I’ve worn in over 20 years! Lots of reasons… Main one is shoes, I guess. My right foot still swells and I have large feet, so wearing shoes is still a huge problem for me. If you are wearing clunky mens shoes, dresses just don’t quite look pretty… so, don’t wear them. Another reason is the “chafing” that goes on… I KNOW you know what I mean (many of you are reading this with weight loss struggles of your own, so I KNOW you understand)… and well, that certainly is the least fun thing for anyone to experience… so, pretty much… ’nuff said.

This maxi dress is definitely within my comfort zone… I love the colors and I love the length. Before you ask… yes, I’m wearing some tight capri’s underneath to make me feel better and confident… I may never get over that chafing worry. Question for those who have gotten over that… How did you? LOL

As for the shoes… I’m still working on that… I have a pair of slides and my foot was still visibly swollen, so that’s still a concern of mine. I may not be wearing dresses ALOT, but hopefully, as I lose the rest of the weight, maybe some of that swelling will dissipate as well? I pray that it will.

So, needless to say, I feel pretty today. Oh so pretty! I feel pretty and witty and gay! And I pity any girl who isn’t me today. (just kidding!) 😉


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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!