Thursday, May 31, 2007

You're Right, It's Not Water Weight! Explanation Below....

I just read a great blog questioning the "water weight" theory and that we should celebrate every pound lost. I could not agree more! A pound lost is a pound lost! It is not water weight, though, but it is liquid-about 2-8 lbs of it...but it still represents VOLUME!!! (Yay!) Which is why we feel "bloated and bigger" when we eat off program.

The science behind the so-called "water weight" is this:

It's not "water weight" it is called "glycogen". Glycogen is a liquid form of stored energy, in the form of carbohydrate. It is stored in the muscle, and it is what we use, for example, in prolonged (like overnight) periods of fasting. Our bodies prefer to burn Carbohydrates first, then protein and it keeps anywhere from 2-6-8 lbs (depending on your size, if you are a big guy or a little girl, etc) of "stored liquid glycogen" in our muscles. This amount fluctuates throughout the day, and overnight. When you wake up in the morning and eat carbs, your body combines those carbs with water and other things, and forms the glycogen again.

When you want to lose weight, you've got to get rid of the glycogen stores so that your body can begin to burn your fat reserves, which are located in your adipose tissues (fat cells hold fat). So, many diets are low in carbohydrates, so your body will burn off the glycogen reserves first, then begin to burn the fat. This is why in the first two or three days you will drop, well, usually 2-6 lbs. Most of it is, in fact, the glycogen reserves depleting so that you can get down to the business of burning fat. It is real weight, for sure, and real volume, and you will notice it in your clothing fitting looser, etc...and no it isn't "water".

After the glycogen reserves are depleted, your body enters a state of "ketosis" where you are burning fat for energy. This is where you get the headaches and the like, because your brain loves glucose, and it loves glycogen, and when you run low on that your body has to switch gears and start to create glucose molecules from your fat...called gluconeogenesis...but your brain wants it NOW and it takes a bit of time to get into the glucose-producing state. So, we get to experience headaches, dizzyness, light headedness and all the joys of the "first 3 days!".

Now. If we have been cruising along on our diets, and doing well, and losing fat, and then we eat something that is high in carbs.....ever wonder why you can have "a few drinks" or "some chips" or "one piece of cake" or a "few chocolate bars" and gain 2-3 lbs the next day? Thank your body's desire to replentish those glycogen stores. It takes the carbs from what you ate, combines them with water and other things, and quickly replentishes your glycogen reserves....

So you're not really gaining fat if you cheat once on something small. You are replentishing your glycogen reserves. If you continue to cheat, or eat off program, you will gain fat after your glycogen reserves have been filled again...but usually not from the one cheat. That's why it comes off so quickly (and you get headaches and the like all over again!) when you go back on program.

So that's it, Glycogen 101.

Going to Phoenix Tomorrow

Pray for me if you think about it this weekend. I will be going to Phoenix for two days in what may end up being the last time I see my mom alive. She has cancer, started as breast cancer 7 years ago, she battled it for 2 years and beat it, but it had metastesized and showed up in her bone, 3 years later. She's now been battling it again for the last 2 years, and since it spread to her bone/spine/skull/brain/ribs things don't look good. She got radiation therapy and was on 5 different Chemos, one after the other, but now she's too weak (go figure!) for Chemo, so she's been off it for 2 months. She may never be able to have it again, which means the cancer is free to spread.

MF-wise, I have a case of RTD chocolate shakes there from our last trip, and asked my darling dad to put 15 of them in the fridge for me.

BTW-Addendum to my last blog entry

I mentioned in my beginning blogs last September (read my last entry and you'll see it) that I dreamed of the day I could wear the "size 6 jeans I bought at Costco...."

LADIES AND GENTLEMAN....I am wearing size 6 Polo Capri jeans that I bought at costco today. (The size 6 other jeans that I bought at Costco last September are full length and in my closet...need to find them...)

I bought a size 6 and a size 4 today, the 4 for my "goal" jeans and the 6's to wear to Phoenix this weekend...keep me on track. If I wear loose jeans on a trip, I usually end up going "off"'s weird..but if I wear tight jeans, I have the subconscious reminder that I need to lose weight still. It works for me!

First two months of Weight Loss Journey...Flashback Blog Entries!

I'm going to post my original blogs from when I first started the program..because I changed my sign in name about 2 months into it without really meaning to...I don't really know what happened, but here are the entries from my original blog under my sign in name of StacyPhillips. It reads from start to finish, about 8 or 9 blog entries in total, and then if you go back to my first GOALBYSUMMER blogs it is in sequential order from there. But I wanted to make sure anyone who cared could read my first couple months experience with MF and with myself incase it helps in your journey.....

Well, this is my Blog! I've never had one of these before, so bear with me! I have been on Medifast now for 7 1/2 weeks. I am very excited at the results...I've lost 30 1/2 lbs on Medifast so far. When I started the program just under 2 months ago, I weighed 250 1/2 lbs, and was around 48 BMI. That is very morbidly obese. When I lose 2 more pounds, hopefully this week, I will drop from "morbidly obese" to "obese". This is a very exciting prospect for me. My mini-goals along my journey-to-health involve my BMI. My next milestone after this one will be dropping from "obese" to "overweight." This will happen when my BMI drops below 30. It will happen, I know it.

I have been married for almost 15 years, and have a beautiful husband and a beautiful almost-2-year--old son. Julian, my son, is our pride and joy. One of my major motivations for getting healthy is for him. So I can see him grow up and be an active (let me repeat ACTIVE) participant in his life. Not a lumbering 100+ overweight mother who he is embarrassed of and who can't even tie her shoe let alone go to the movies (those seats!). No. That will not be me. I have made a vow to myself that I will meet my goal. I have not cheated once. NOT EVEN ONCE. There's no reason to. Cheating, or eating off program, is a step in the direction of death and despair. Literally. The only thing stopping my from being 300 pounds or more is one little ole' cheat. Just one. Because just one alters the mental motivation and momentum of the weight loss. And there are only two directions that the scale goes on any program. Down, or UP. My scale will not go up. I'm speaking figuratively (is figuratively literally on oxymoron?) and not scale did go up 1 pound on this program so far. Can't figure out why, except normal fluid fluctuations. It also stayed the same for about a week, but during that week my body re-adjusted and I lost inches.

This program is not for the feint of heart. It is for the courageous. Those willing to take their life by the horns and set it on a new path.

Today was awesome. I've been exercising about 4 times a week since the 4th day of the program, usually I walk an hour. Since I live out in the country, it is fun to walk...although I watch for mountain lions! But today, TODAY!!!!, I incorporated a little bit of running into my routine. Just a bit of jogging. I was stoked! I took it easy, jogged 20 second out of every minute, for 20 minutes. Felt great! Do you know when the last I time jogged was? Wow! Mini-milestone!

Anyway, this is my first blog so I'll keep it short. This is all for now, except to say that after this week, after I lose 3 more pounds, I will have LESS THAN 100 pounds to lose! Yay! Bye for now.

Sometimes I get discouraged because the weight seems to be coming off slowly, but then I remind myself that 2 lbs per week is still faster than nothing! It still translates to roughly 9 pounds per month, or 90 lbs in 10 more months. The fact of the matter is it is coming off. I've been on MF for almost 8 weeks now, today is the last day of my 8th week, and I've lost 31 1/4 lbs. So, I am actually 47 lbs down from my high, which I hit last year Christmas time of 266 1/2 lbs. The fun part is that people are now starting to notice! It's subtle, because I did hear and it does seem true that for severly overweight people the first 40 lbs loss isn't completely evident to friends or acquaintances. But I've hit the 47 lbs mark, and people are beginning to notice more than my face getting thinner. It's exciting. Would I love it to come off faster? Sure, who wouldn't? Would I love to fit in my size 6 skinny-jeans that I just bought at Costco in anticipation of reaching my goal this year? Sure! But I think it's the process that counts just as much as the result. If I didn't have to work for it I may not appreciate it as much once I get there. Maybe it's the process that keep us maintaining our new thin bodies. Hmmmm. I can appreciate that. Regardless, I am almost back to what I was when I got pregnant with my son (209) and after that every loss will be a new 5-year low. I've discovered scallops again, which are wonderful when pan-seared! I've been working my way through a package I bought 2 days ago and cooked up for my lean and greens. So, another day, another 5 medifast meals and 4.5 oz of scallops/salad. That's my regimen today. That and a walk with my beautiful son. It's anice day for it, that is for certain. We live on a beautiful country road outside a small foothills town in Colorado, and the leaves are beginning to really change now. It's gorgeous outside. We are so blessed!

This morning marks a milestone for me! Here's the conversation at the breakfast table....Me: "Hey, hon (hubby)! Guess what? I'm Obese!" Hubby: "Congratulations...what a milestone." Are we looney? Celebrating the fact that I'm obese? No, we are celebrating the fact that as of this morning's weight, 218.5, I have dropped from the "Morbidly Obese" to the "Obese" category regarding my BMI. Yesterday I was above 40 BMI. This morning I am 39.9. Medifast WORKS! I just bought some stock in the company yesterday. (sidenote) I was discouraged yesterday, but today that little revelation and mini-goal "met" has sent my spirit soaring. All told I'm down only 2 lbs for the week. But if I'm down "only" 2 pounds every week, that is almost 10 lbs per month. It's the big picture, my friends, the big picture. And the "big" picture is one that I will not be a part of for much longer. Cruisin' toward ONEDERLAND! And once I'm in onederland I'll be able to get health insurance, FINALLY! Yip Yip Yahoo. To all you who are thinking of starting, or just about to begin your journey, be excited. BE EXCITED!!! You are about to change your life! I have made my peace with food...for many of you you will be able to do medifast for a few months, and meet your goal, and begin eating regular foods again and maintain. For me, I have decided that even if I have to do a modified version of medifast my whole life to maintain my weight, ie 5-6 MF meals and 2 healthy meals (once I'm at goal) then so be it. I will go to any lenth to maintain the new figure I will have once I meet my goal. (Except to starve myself...I will not develop an eating disorder!) So be encouraged, be excited, even if it is "only" a 2 lb drop. My high weight before starting MF was 266.5, and I SouthBeached down to 250. (Hated it) Stayed there for awhile, then started Medifast and have lost 32 pounds in 8 weeks. If you have a body that loses weight like mine, you have to be prepared for and determine not to get discouraged if you lose 20 lbs the first month and "only" 12 the second. It was during the second month that my body was majorly shape-shifting. Anyway, enough for now, must get ready for my day. Bye Y'all!

Yes, every day I'm shrinking even more. I should try on my size 18 jeans and see if they fit better now. I was in them last week, but they were skin-tight and they crowded all my belly-fat above the waist-line so I had a spare tire several inches in diameter...can't really wear them out least that was last week. I've not lost ton's of pounds this week, because I've been on a mild plateau nowfor 2 weeks...however, I have been losing inches anyway! I'm so excited about that. Total loss on MF is 32. I can't believe I'm in the 2-teens! Can't wait to get to the 100's! Right now whenever I log my weight, the last two days, it has said "pounds to goal....100.5" I cannot wait until it says "pounds to goal....99!" What an accomplishment. Wish me luck!

I am just in 7th heaven. Two days ago I dropped from being morbidly obese (BMI>40) to being obese (BMI30-39.9) and it was the highlight of my week....until...I dropped another pound today and I now have LESS THAN 100 POUNDS TO LOSE! YES! I now weight 217.5 and my goal, as set by MF, is 118! Hallelujah! And, AND, I can now buy clothes at Costco. You heard me. Costco. I bought an XL grey turtleneck two weeks ago, and went back today for a cream colored one and a blue one, and they had no XL left so.....are you ready for this?.....I bought a Large in each color...came fits! I can wear it out and not feel like I need to have a "CENSORED" black bar across my chest or midriff! Praise God. Thanks for coming along on this wild ride of mine...I can tell my husband is starting to think I'm a hottie-tottie.

Ok, in all seriousness and somberness, I was doing a little soul-searching on my 30 minute drive to Costco with my little Bambino in the baby seat in back...and I had sort of an enlightenment. It started when I stopped at the Diamond Shamrock for my customary 2 bottles (710 mls each) of water with FREE, I'll say it again, FREE crystal light "on-the-go" packets. Yum. I try and get two of those down by noon every day because getting my water in has historically been a pitfall for me on diets...anyway, I digress. The checkout lady told me as I was paying that she always likes it when I come through the store. I asked her why, and she said that I always seem so happy. I almost startled I was so shocked by her statement! What do I say? Do I tell her that I put my faith and trust in the Lord, and He's my source of happiness? Do I blow her away with that statement? I decided to tone it down and save that for another day, as follow up to this conversation (she's there alot and I'm sure well speak again!) So instead I counted all my blessings in my head, gave the Lord credit with my heart, and said "I have alot to smile about." Hopefully that will peak her curiousity.

Anyway, I was reminiscing on this as I was headed through Boulder, and I wondered that people could see me shine now....I realized that even though I was a Christian before now, I have used my weight to insulate myself from feeling. From being joyous. From loving life. I used my weight to make me numb. The weight was a weight not only physically, but emotionally and psychologically, causing me to lose myself and my identity. It was a burden, and it affected every area of my life. And I mean every area. My lack of self control extended to finances, housecleaning, you name it I was an instant gratification junkie. Now that I'm changing, I give God the credit but also am pleased that I am finally doing what He wants me to do. Live. Shine. Love. Laugh. Every day the scale goes down, I feel a little more free.

Thanks for listening.

NEXT BLOG ENTRY: jeans ARE falling off my body! Started MF 2 months ago, went from size 26 to size 18 so far...and after my bath this afternoon I put on my "comfy" size 26 jeans to lounge around and read MF blogs with my Raspberry Crystal Light water...and would you know it, walking from the kitchen to the living room my jeans slid down over my but and I had to pull them up or they would have fallen further and further down with every step! This works, folks! I just read the other gals blog about filling her closet with clothes that are 2-3 sizes too small for her as motivation...I agree! When I started MF I got onto ebay and bought four or five nice designer outfits (Calvin Klein, Chaus, Ann Taylor, etc) in a size 8. I put them in my closet and there they hang....I'm doin' great and I will wear's only a matter of time. Time and determination. Those are the only variables....actually, determination is not a variable because for me that is constant. Time is the only variable. The goal and the determination are constants. Time is "X". It will happen, just a matter of when. I've never been so confident on any other diet I've ever been on. There was always that nagging doubt "but will it work? Cuz I don't want to invest my time, money, energy and heart into something that won't work!" But this does. Relax and do it! You'll be glad you did.

Down today to 217 1/4, bringing my total on MF to 33 1/4 lbs lost. 8.5 weeks. I'm stoked. This morning I poured myself a big glass of ice water BEFORE I sat down to my Maple/Brown Sugar Oatmeal and small cup of coffee with 1 TBSP half and half in it (I only use 1 TBSP with a small cup so I can have another afterwards, and it feels like I've had two whole cups of coffee with cream instead of one...good trick, it works for us coffee people.) Yesterday I realized at 11:30 am that I had not had any water yet for the day, and thought back to the last time I had had had been 18 hours! That is not good. So this morning I'm starting right off. From now on it will be the first thing I do after getting up (after weighing) is to drink a big 16 oz glass of ice water. Otherwise my day gets going and I don't realize that I'm parched! Historically, on any diet I've been on (except this one) I never drank enough water, and I did drink too much half and half. Because it was a "no-no" on other diets (half and half) I would end up "cheating" from the get go, and that just set me up for failure. But I love Medifast, and it may be that the designers knew this would be a hangup for alot of people, so they included half and half, 2 TBSP, as an allowed food. It makes all the difference for me, as I get out my little TBSP measuring spoon and measure out my half and half in the morning. The measuring fosters measuring and control in other areas, and the fact that I'm not cheating in having it with my coffee also keeps me reminded that I am in control. It's way cool. I just had to say that. Have a good day, y'all and keep shrinking.

I have been very hungry today, trying to space my meals out so I don't have too much day left after my last one tonight! Took a hot steaming bubble bath to try to get my mind off the hunger. It's weird, I'm usually not hungry like this. Might have a quick-soup snack to stave off these pangs. I know I'm in ketosis, I've had that sweet taste in my mouth all day. Other than that the day has been a good one. Saw a dear friend of mine in Estes Park, had tea with her and just enjoyed her company. She's in her 80's, and what a dynamite woman she is. I call her "Mrs. T" There are life-givers and there are life-suckers. People who you spend time with and feel energized afterwards...those people are life givers. Other people you are just drained to the hilt and a bit frazzled...those are life suckers. I just needed to be with a life-giver today, and I feel much better. I'm a bit discouraged because my scale doesn't seem to be moving fast enough for me...217 and I need it to say 216-something tomorrow. Why? Because I'm stuck on the numbers. 7 more pounds and I get to schedule a massage at the Posh St. Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder. Those are my mini-goal rewards...every 20 pounds. We'll see if we can afford it this time around...I may have to wait for the next 20 pound drop. My husband just got back from a weekend in LA at a conference, and today I've been really tired. Really really really tired. I had the little man (my beautiful son Julian) by myself all weekend, and MAN do I respect all you single-moms out there. How do you do it? I have nothing but awe and admiration for your abilities, and I also pray for you that God give you supernatural energy! Time to go.

TOM and bumming out...not actually started yet, but it's that pre-TOM sort of nauseaus, dissatisfied, edgy, crampy, grumpy funk I've been in today. Also been at a plateau for 3-4 days and not happy about it. I know it's probably due to fluid retention, but I am such a black and white person that if the scale is not going down I feel like I'm doing horribly. I get this irrational fear that it will NEVER go down, despite my best efforts. I know this is crazy self-talk. I just try to get through it, go to bed early, and hope tomorrow will be a new and better day. I don't think I'll weight tomorrow, actually. First day in 9 weeks I won't have weighed, but I just don't think I can take the disappointment. I'll wait 1 week and weigh next week Wednesday. Hopefully I'll be down at least 2 pounds. That is my goal. (my minimum goal...more would be better!) Got to get out of this funk. Just had a coke zero to ease my munchy side, and I'll follow it up with 1/2 L of water and go to bed. Sorry so down.

Delayed Happiness? No Way! Happiness Factor +10!

I used to think that my happiness would begin once I reached goal. I have since learned that it isn't true. My happiness began the week after I began MF, when finally I could say "I'm doing everything I can to be a fitter, healthier ME!" My attitude changed immediately. As the weight peeled off I became even happier, were it possible!

One of the things that had the potential to discourage me at the outset was how LONG I thought it was going to take to get my weight off. I thought I wouldn't be "happy" until I was at goal. Boy, was I wrong on both counts. Firstly, as I said, I'm happy now because I'm doing everything I can and it is a state of mind. My emotions still fluctuate, don't get me wrong, but they are starting from a higher happines factor to begin with, if you can picture a line graph...where I was was X=0 on the happiness scale. So when I'd become depressed, I'd dip into the -1, -2, -3, -25 on the "happiness" scale. Now I'm starting at a happiness factor of 10, so I rarely get into the negatives at all. I'm kind of a numbers and statistics freak, so if that was way left field for any of you, sorry! =)

Now, regarding the "time it will (has) take (taken) to get to goal", I look at it like this, and have commented and blogged in the past as such. Here it is, are you ready for it?


Do you want it again? Here it is...


What does that mean? It means that whether or not you commit to the program today or don't, in 6 months you will be 6 months older. You can't stop it. The time will pass. One day you'll wake up and POOF, it will be 6 months from now. At that time, you will call it "today". But in actuality it will be....6 months from now.

Now how many times have we said to ourselves (usually while beating ourselves senseless with guilt) "If only I had started this program and stuck with it 6 months ago....I'd be AT or ALMOST AT goal."

Well, use that concept for good instead of beating yourself up after the fact. Start now. In 6 months, it WILL be 6 months from now, it WILL be today, and if you were diligent you will be AT or ALMOST AT goal. How does that sound? Would you like to have woken up today and have been at or almost at goal? For sure! So don't let the time it will take for you to get close to goal put you off from doing something about it today. The time will pass. Do you want to be 6 months or a year older in 6 months or a year and be heavier? Or not have done anything and stayed the same weight? Will you be closer to your happiness then?

Not me! SO! What does that mean? It means that whatever you need to do today, just for today, do it. Do you need to drink more water right now? Do it. Do you need a MF meal? Do it. Right now. Because all you have to worry about is today. Tomorrow will take care of will wake up tomorrow and it will be "today" again. And all you have to worry about is today. Don't carry the burden of the next 6 months in your head and let it crush you. Just worry about today.

You'll get there. Look at my pictures. And I'm not even "there" yet.

Have a great rest of your week!

I Did it! I Did It! Ka-Chow!

Somebody just ran 6 miles without stopping! And that somebody was ME! (Does happy dance..a little slowly..ooch...that's sore!).

It was an amazing experience. I am NOT the teary-eyed type, but I have to say the beginning was quite an emotional experience for me, and a tear or two escaped my eyes as I was overwhelmed with the whole reality of the situation, and how far I've come. Thousands and thousands of people take part in this race, so they break the starting down to your approximate speed per mile in advance, so they don't have people running over eachother.

I was in group NF, starting at 8:55 and 50 seconds. As the gun went off and my group began to move, I reflected on this last year. Last year I wanted to walk the Bolder Boulder, but I could not. I was just too heavy, and there was no way I could walk even a mile without huffing and puffing and hurting myself in some way! I vowed I would run it "next year". Well, "next year" was today. And I ran it. Sure, I have a 15 minute mile. Sure it took me an hour and a half. But I did it.

Last year I weighed 266. This year I weighed 155 going into the race. I did not see any severely obese people in the race. There were some obese, and some overweight, but last year I was morbidly obese and would have stood out like a sore thumb. This year I fit in with all the other "fit" people. Wow.

It really hit me how we take our health for granted as I passed a group of people about 3 miles in, one of which was administering CPR to a runner who had a heart attack and collapsed. I don't know his/her fate yet. I know 9 people had called 911 already, even though it had just happened, and I know an ambulance was on it's way..but I didn't hear the sirens yet. A few minutes later I heard them. If you think of it today please say a prayer for him/her.

Anyway, my DH and DS weren't able to cheer me on because they got a late start...but I met up with them a few minutes after the race was finished. They tried, bless their hearts. All the road closures just proved too much to navigate through and find a parking space. Next time, I told them, next time.

So I came home, popped an Ibuprophen, and just finished up my lean and green. I took a hot soaking bubble bath and am going to lay down for "nap-time" with my precious 2 1/2 year old. Ahhhh....bliss. Dark, air-conditioned, quiet room. Mmmmmmm...

OK, enough of the news of the day! Hope you all had/have a great Memorial Day, stay away from the fattening stuff and lets all get in shape, eh?

110 Pounds Gone!

Yes. Very exciting. I've been teetering between 100 and 109 lost for awhile now, so to finally reach 110 lbs lost is a wonderful milestone for me. I officially only have 38 more lbs to go to goal. For any of you awesome newbies out there, be encouraged. It is doable. But it does take time and patience, like any good thing. And quite a bit of hard work, the hard work being resisting temptation and trusting the program.

If you'd like to know how I did it, it is simple. Use the bars sparingly, begin to exercise 3Xweek when you are able and start easy and gentle, working your way up as you get stronger. I don't spend more than 30 minutes a day exercising, for me it becomes counterproductive. I do 30 minutes of cardio and that is it. Just last week I began doing it every day if I can. I also do one "long" run a week, of about an hour and 15 minutes.

I don't get stressed when I'm not losing consistently, because if I'm on a plateau I know that I'm losing inches. (That is, if I have been honest with myself an am on program). That's what allows me to weigh every day, because I have that fact ingrained in my head. Therefore, I'm not discouraged if the scale isn't moving down EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The "couch potato to 5K in 9 week" program podcast really helped me focus on something else while doing MF. It honestly got me ready for a 5K after 9 weeks (3.1 miles). I ran it at the end of the 9th week...I couldn't have planned it better. This Monday I'm in a 10K.

Exercise aside, talking about the program, I don't do many extras. I don't do much doctoring, although the doctoring is fine for those who enjoy it. I had to take the focus entirely off food for awhile or I would obsess about it. I do have my cup of coffee with 2 TBSP real half and half in it every single day, and a packet of splenda. I drink 1-2 (sometimes more if my cravings are bad) diet pepsi's or coke zeros every day. I couldn't do the program without my diet soda. I space my meals out every 2 1/2-3 hours, and drink my water.

I put myself first. When I go to a restaurant, I immediately look on the salad page, and either order a house salad with dressing on the side, or house salad with chicken or salmon, with the dressing on the side. If I see a salad I really like with all sorts of other things, I'm not afraid to tell them what I don't want on it. For example, my favorite salad is at the Med in Boulder, and is a Salmon Salad Nicoisse. It comes with cucumbers, tomatoes, 5 or 6 olives (I eat 2), potatoes, goat cheese, and asparagus. I always ask them to take off the potatoes and cheese, and put the dressing on the side. They never look at me funny. They are there to serve me, not the other way around!

I enjoy watching those I am with order and eat their dessert. I don't lament the fact that I "can't" have any. Because the truth is, I can. But I choose not to. And because it is MY choice, it becomes a lifestyle choice and not a restriction. I feel stronger and happier afterwards, knowing I have chosen what is best for me and my body.

I know I sound like a broken record to all of you veterans out there whom I know and love! But for the new ones, you need to know that I started this program at 266.5 lbs and this morning I weighed 156 lbs. I have lost a full 18 inches off of my WAIST alone, not including any other body part! That is a foot and a half of raw girth, gone. Forever. I started out at a size 26 (tight) or 28 jean size, and Now I comfortably wear a size 8 or 10. I have size 6 jeans that I can also get on, but I can't wear out of the house yet. If 12 lbs = 1 dress size, I will be in a size 2 by the time this program is done. My goal is to be there by the end of the summer. It WILL happen. I know it.

So be ye cheered, all ye new Medifasters. Your day will come. You will arrive. You will succeed. Start thinking about what style of clothing you will want to wear and start assembling your "goal closet." I did that last summer, I began buying a few really nice designer pieces off e-bay in a size 8. Now I'm wearing those pieces. And loving it!

Have a great Memorial Day, and besides saying a prayer for and remembering our Troops, pray for self-control and perseverance for ourselves and that we would pass up any tasty treats at any Memorial Day BBQ's on Monday.

***After-note: I know I said in one sentence not to do cardio more than 30 minutes at a time, and then in the next I said I do run for an hour and fifteen minutes 1Xweek...what I meant was for "weight loss purposes" it is counterproductive to do cardio (for me anyway) for more than 30 mins a day...however, for "endurance purposes" in that I'm training to eventually do a half marathon, I have to get that longer run in once per week....

Wow! I can honestly say I love veggies!

It's the craziest thing! I got home from Whole Foods, assembled my veggie plate with my 2 TBSP of low-fat/low-carb salad dressing, and set it infront of me at the computer to read the blogs. All of a sudden, I looked really hard at the little plate of veggies that were spilling over in abundance. What is this? This feeling that is creeping over me? Anticipation? Me? Over veggies? I began with the beautiful crimini mushroom caps....dipped them in the dressing...savored every bite...then I moved on to the crisp refreshing cucumber, then on to the grape tomatoes bursting with tomatoey goodness, then crispy red and yellow bell peppers caught my eye...oh, heaven. And lastly, the brocolli and cauliflower florets. All in all it was about two cups, and it was, in a word, divine.

I never thought I'd say that about veggies. They were wonderful. I almost felt naughty eating them, and enjoying them so much. I must be thoroughly under the "spell" of MF.

Ok, bye for now.

Help! My Saddlebags are Cantaloupes!

Who put these things here? How in the world did I get two cantaloupes stuck to the sides of my thighs? Actually it's like one cantaloupe cut in half and superglued to the outside of each one of my upper thighs. Very squeezable cantaloupes. Very disproportional cantaloupes.

Ick! I know that it has something to do with a decrease in circulation, and so the adipose tissue (fat) doesn't get the signal to give off it's triacylglycerols (Free fatty acids) into the blood stream. So the fat cells in my saddlebags happily hang on to the fat as the rest of of my body slims down at a higher rate.

But it sucks! I just had to say that.

Okay, I'm done whining for the night. Time for bed.

Didn't Weigh Today!

But not because I ate off program, because I haven't for 4 days! I didn't weigh this morning because, well, let me tell you.

Last night, my muscles in my legs were starting to get sore from the 5 mile run I did yesterday morning (Can I just say Praise the Lord I can run again?). So, I got a product out that is specifically for sore muscles, it is a lotion type rub. I was excited to try it, because I have recently become a consultant for this company (which shall go unnamed at the moment) and wanted to try this product. Well, I slathered it on my thighs and my calves. It felt cool and refreshing. For about 5 minutes. Then it started burning. And burning. And burning. I swear, it felt like someone had poured gasoline on my legs and lit them afire. I tried to scrub them down with a damp towel to get as much of the stuff off as I could, but it was too late, it had absorbed into the top few layers of my skin. It was wild. My hands didn't feel the same way, and I used them to rub the lotion in. It was only my thighs and calves that felt like they were burning to a crisp. I quickly took three Ibuprophen and a sleep aid (since it was 10:00 pm and it was obvious I wouldn't be able to fall asleep like this!).

Then I tried to take a bath to help. It didn't, it made it worse. So as a last resort, short of driving myself to the emergency room for some morphine, I popped the last two Vikadin from my husband's last perscription (like a year ago...) and prayed that they would work!

Thankfully, in about 10 minutes, the pain lessened from a searing hot poker to a really warm sensation, but not painfully so. I was able to go to sleep until about 3:45 when the pain woke me up again. I had no more Vikadin, so I suffered through it and then it diminshed enough for me to fall back asleep.

I have to think I had some sort of allergic reaction to the stuff, because if this is how it works normally, no one would buy it, they would SUE the COMPANY!! I looked at the ingredients and there is menthol, capsacian, eukalyptus oil, etc. I think it was the Capsacian, which is about 10,000 times hotter than a habanero. Capsacian peppers are put into HORSE LINAMENT (arthritis rub for horses). That answered the question for me. I don't need no stinkin' horse linament! All I wanted was a little relief from my sore muscles.

If their idea of relief from sore muscles is to make your skin feel like it's on fire so you forget about the deeper muscle fatigue, well then it worked like a charm!

Anyway, the reason this ties in with the weighing, is that I've taken Vikadin before and it always causes me to retain about 2-3 lbs of fluid the next day, no matter how well I've done or how I've remained on program. Knowing this in advance, I didn't want to be discouraged by the numbers and I'll just weigh in a few days. I'm kind of excited to not weigh until, say, Wednesday or Thursday, so hopefully I can see a larger drop than I'm used to seeing every day, as a daily weigher.

I'm assuming that if I hadn't had the Vikadin I'd be about 157 today, so by Friday, say, I should be 155. That's what I'm shooting for. I'll take whatever my bod decides to give me, but that would be great. I'm due for TOM tomorrow as well, and I usually drop a couple in the first few days after that starts. We'll see!

Here is what I'm planning on eating today:
8:45 am: Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal, 1 cup coffee w/2TBSP half and half, and 1 packet splenda
11:00 am: RTD Chocolate Shake
1:30 pm: Chocolate Pudding
3:30 pm: L&G (Grilled Chicken, salad with brocolli and cauliflower and grape tomatoes, 2 TBSP lite ranch/blue cheese dressing)
6:00 pm: Chocolate Pudding
8:30 pm: Chocolate Pudding
And plenty of water.

Got 'em! My Shoes!

Yup. I can now officially throw my old running shoes in the trash bin. I'll have to start logging my miles, because apparently I need to replace my shoes every 300 miles. My PLAN is to run 15 miles a week.....(2 miles/day 5 times per week, and one 5 mile run 1 time per week) that means theoretically I'll need to replace them in 20 weeks. 5 months. I think I can live with that! Here's to puttin' those miles on those shoes.

Food wise I've been doing well today...had a RTD just before my 6:30 am run, then had an oatmeal at 9:00, a RTD shake at 11:30, my L&G at 2:00 consisting of grilled chicken, butter lettuce, cauliflower, brocolli, some grape tomatoes, 2 TBSP of red onion, and 2 TBSP of various lite dressings (I like to dip my veggies in blue cheese and ranch dressing, 2 TBSP). Then I had a chocolate pudding at 5:00, and I'm on track for having either another shake or a cream of brocolli soup at 7:30.

And that's my day! Plenty of water, coffee with 2 TBSP (regular) half and half and 1 packet of splenda, and 2 diet sodas. And that is that!

Thank you for all your supportive comments, I do feel like I'm back in the groove, and I am looking so forward to having the scale move down again! I've lost 6.5 lbs in the last 3 days, which puts me right at what my lowest was when I became temporarily discouraged. Tomorrow I'm looking for another loss, probably 1/4 to 1/2 lb.

Well, time to sign off for now. Here's the question of the day: WHY do we sabatoge ourselves? WHY do we think we don't deserve to be happy? WHY?

New Running Shoes

I can't believe it. I'm beside myself. I am bewildered and thankful. I have never, no, not EVER, not ONCE in my 37 years of life EVER NEVER actually WORN THROUGH a pair of running shoes.

I found out yesterday that typically a good pair of running shoes will last about 300 miles until the integrity of the support starts to wear down to a point where it is a good idea to scrap them and get a new pair.

Well, I'm not sure if I've hit the 300 miles, but I have a HOLE in my running shoes. I bought them last summer, when I started MF. I am so happy! (Not so happy for the $100.00 I'll need to shell out for a good new pair....but we can't have it ALL can we? - Where would we put it?)

Ok, so I'm going to the Boulder Runner's Store today, and I'm going to waltz in there without anyone giving me a second look like "what is SHE doing in here?" and I'm going to buy me a good pair of running shoes. Nike Air Max 360's.

I have my "Bolder Boulder" 10K a week from Monday, and I'll try to break the shoes in this week. I just got back from a 5-miler so I'm hoping 6 miles won't be that much more tiring. Here's hopin'!

Oh, and my 100% recommittment back on plan is working swimmingly, I'm on to day 4 I think......

Have a great week, y'all!


We spend such a long time trying to be invisible, but hating every minute of it...that it's somewhat of a celebration when we begin to emerge out of our cocoons of fat. Like butterflies. I know, I know, it's a sappy analogy but I like it.

That being said, it may be too early to tell long-term, but I think I've found a solution to my month-long plateau. I alluded to it yesterday, and thought it was going to be a miserable experience. I felt like Eeyore yesterday, (musters best Eeyore voice) "OK, If I have to run every day I have to run every day."

But I have been running every day for the last 2 days, (as I said, it may still be too early to tell) but I find that the days that I do my 2 miles (up the road and back) I am more motivated to stay 100% on plan, and I do. In the last two days I lost the 5.5 lbs I had gained in the 5-day "what was I thinking" period between last Saturday and Wednesday, when I couldn't stay on the program for 1 whole day to save my life! I think if I keep it up this next week I'll be firmly on my way to the 140's, a weight I have not been for about 14 years.

I'm thinking I need to give my body some grace, and to understand that it is reeling from all these changes. Every fat cell that has emptied out is screaming out hormones to fill it up again. That's alot of chemistry to be fighting against, but my will is stronger. I can do this. I've lost 107 lbs, and I'm really looking forward to losing 110 lbs, then 115 lbs, then 120 lbs. And so on. Being out of control and unable to eat even 1-day on plan scared the dickens out of me. The realization that if I didn't do something, I would begin to gain and gain and gain knocked some sense into me. It IS in my control. Just take a step back, evaluate the situation, formulate a plan to get the control back, then implement the plan. Just don't quit.

So, in about 8 minutes I'll be strapping on my running shoes, and taking my baby boy out for a 2-mile run. It's a beautiful day, and I'm going to enjoy it! I even treated myself to some new summer-time exercise gear last night at target. All of my running apparel was long-sleeved, and it has been getting pretty warm. Even though it is active-wear, water-wicking fabric and all that, it can get hot and clammy when it is long-sleeved. So, I got a tank/bra one-piece running top (royal blue!) and a sleeveless hot pink running top to go over that. (I'm not ready for the body-hugging stuff to be what every one sees while I'm running down the road....yet!)

My other shirt was light green and my running pants are gray, so I blended in too much going down the road...the pants blended with the pavement and the green top blended with the beautiful trees that are all the same color! No one can miss the hot-pink now!

Ok, that was a bit of rambling! I'm off now!

Coming to a "Six-Days-A-Week" Exercise Conclusion.

I was talking to my husband yesterday, trying to delve a little deeper into why I may be struggling unusually hard lately to stay on program. I think I've had somewhat of a breakthrough atleast to part of the reason this may be so.

Every time I buy a magazine that touts "100 lbs lost!" or "People who lost half their size!" I check out their routines. Of course I dwell on the most extreme one, and more often than not they are "having" to exercise daily, usually running "3-10 miles".

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!??!!??!!??! EVERY DAY????????

This was a bit disheartening to me. I mean I do run, but I can't say I enjoy it. I enjoy the feelings it gives me afterwards, but I sure don't enjoy strapping on those ole jogging shoes and getting out there. My enjoyment of it BEGINS when I have 10 steps to go until I'm FINISHED.

SO, I think I'm afraid of the level of exercise I will HAVE to maintain once I'm down to where I want to be, and that is helping me to sabatoge myself so I won't get there. Because if I get there, the only two roads to go after that is daily exercise OR gain weight back. And I'm not ready for either of those possibilities at this point, so I'm avoiding having to make those choices by slowing my weigh loss or stalling out at 160. (My goal is 118, but a healthy weight for me starts at 141...)

I think at this point in my weight loss journey I just need to start running a casual 2 miles 6 days a week and see if I can take it, see what value it adds to my life. I may find, as I'm sure these ladies have done, that it is SO worth it to make the sacrifice of daily exercise in order to look and feel my best, and be healthy. I'm just afraid I won't have the motivation to do that once I'm down.

Looking at the above mentality, though, it's kind of like saying "I don't want to lose weight because I MIGHT gain it back...." I mean, that makes NO sense. You can't succeed if you don't even TRY.

So, as I type, I am reconciling the fact that I will need to strap on my running shoes as soon as my baby-man is done drinking his formula and watching his "Wiggles" and get out there for a half an hour.

When I was in High School and losing weight as a Senior, I got out there every day and ran 2 miles. It was part of my routine, and I never missed a day if I could help it. It was what my body needed to maintain its weightloss, and come to think of it, it wasn't hard. It was just another discipline thing. Perhaps I won't have to run "3-10 miles a day" and can just keep it to 2 to maintain my weigh loss. I guess I'll never know if I don't get there and see.

So, here's to a great week of 100% on-program eating, and daily runs (starting yesterday) with one day off (if I want to take it).

I'm sure I'll see a pretty good drop over the next few weeks if I do this. Hopefully I'll be in the 140's by July. (That is 12 lbs from now)

Where Did My Resolve Go?

So right about now I feel like an absolute failure. I have not been able to be one single day on program since Saturday! It always happens at night. Sunday and Tuesday it was red-wine related and that just threw me right off. I have to stay away from the wine.

Then last night I was done with everything for the day, sitting on the couch, and hubby goes to bed...I go to the kitchen. about 300 calories later, after consuming some bean salad, sun-butter, and my sons oatmeal-raisin cookies, I went to bed in disgust. Up 2 lbs this morning, 6 lbs up from my low.

I've got to get a handle on this. I'm thinking of doing the "Complete MF Program" for one month to get my mindset back. Having real food as an option right now just seems too overwheming. Of course I'll consult with my Dr. about it. But I really need some shock to my system and to my mind, some point of recommittment that I know will work and a month from now I won't have lost only 2 more lbs. Or worse, gained 10.

I've done so well. Lost over 100 lbs. I have about 45 more to go. Part of me has given up, and I need to give that part a swift boot to the head and get it back in the game, lest that attitude creep into my whole being.

I've been depressed this week, largely because I can't get it together to stay on even a day. If you think about it today, please say a quick prayer for me. I am determined, and my will MUST prevail here.

I Absolutely Don't Want to Be One of Those People! Help!

One of "what" people, you ask? I don't want to be one of those people who regain all their losses from the week over the weekend, and then repeat the cycle the next week.

I actually am not that person yet, because I didn't LOSE anything last week to REGAIN over the weekend! I just GAINED over the weekend!

It seems my confidence and elation from Sunday lunch (previous blog) made me overconfident heading into Sunday evening. That in addition to seeing people I hadn't seen for ages who kept gushing about the 100 lbs I have lost so my inner voice said "why not? Have a glass of've earned it!" And I believed it.

After a glass and a half of wine, and the bit of judgement impairment that comes from it, I had a few other things that I won't describe in detail here, because it's counterproductive. But suffice it to say that the final damage is 4 lbs up from my lowest, or 3 lbs up from last Friday. I've been on a plateau for a couple weeks, partly my body and partly my bad choices.

I got the "Us" Magazine with Ricki Lake's story of losting 127 lbs, and I got the people "I lost 100 lbs!" issue that is on the shelf now, to try to regain my motivation and my momentum.

I need to feel like I'm moving forward and making progress again. I'm thinking of only weighing once a week, because it is starting to make me crazy and discourage me when I'm not losing any weight on a day-to-day basis. The question is, can I stick to the program for a full week? Let's see. I've got to try. I've got to find that motivation I had at the beginning and be resolute. But even if I can't find that motivation, I have to activate my self-control and DECIDE to do what I need to do, even if I don't FEEL like it. I need to LIVE what I BELIEVE, and I BELIEVE that I can do this. I BELIEVE that I can persevere. I BELIEVE deep down that I'm not a failure, although my inner voices would like to hit me over the head and try to convince me that I am.

But I am not a failure.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I used to cringe at statements made by children that I knew to be directed at me. Ever since I was in the 2nd grade, actually. In the second grade my nickname was "Goodyear". Need I say more? But today I have been vindicated.

Today my husband took me and my darling boy to lunch at our favorite restaurant. It is called "The Med", which is short for "Mediterranean". And it is wonderful. More than wonderful. For any of you who live in the Denver/Fort Collins corridor, if you get a chance to go, go. It is in Boulder, on Walnut between 9th and 10th street.

My favorite dish medifast/friendly dish there is called the Nicoise Salad. Grilled-to-order salmon fillet atop a bed of greens, asparagus, cucumber, greek olives, cherry tomatoes and roasted red peppers, with balsamic dressing (on the side). It usually comes with chevre cheese and diced red potato as well, but I always have them take those off.

But I digress. After a wonderful meal, (following my 3-mile run this morning-yay me) I was walking into the ladies restroom, when a girl of about 7 and her mom were walking out. I opened the door, and as they were leaving I held it open for it. The little girl looked at me and said "Excuse me, (because our paths were crossed and she was very polite...) and then she let out a little gasp followed by "You look pretty!"

I smiled, told her thank you, and said she looked pretty too! (She did, by the way...darling little girl in a darling white sundress with sequins and sparkles....)

Now, 9 short months ago I would have assumed she was talking about someone behind me, and would have looked over my shoulder to confirm that. But today, I KNEW I looked pretty, my husband (bless him!) had already said so, and I knew so (you just know these things, when you have your make-up right and you are just kind of glowing...). So I didn't have to look over my shoulder, I just thanked her with a big smile. Turns out I was right, there was nobody coming into the restroom after me, and she had been looking right at me when she said it.

This sounds vain as I type it, and in any other forum I would not. But you ladies understand me. You understand where I'm coming from. You know it's a BIG DEAL when a child thinks you look pretty, and says so! Cuz after all, kids say the darnedest things!

I floated out of the bathroom, very confident in how I looked and how I felt, and feeling very blessed to have found MF when I did. Down 108. Plateauing like the dickens presently, but still down 108 from where I started. And loving it.

Happy Mother's Day, y'all!

When the Diet Blues are Gettin' You Down...

When the diet blues are getting you down, remember this:

"You could always be bigger!" Isn't that a comforting thought? It's a true statement, and one I have experienced in my life time and time again. Many times, when we eat off program, or just want to have that little piece of cake, we subconsciously "weigh" the option against us being back at our starting weight. How bad could it be, right? I was a nice person, people liked me, I was reasonably healthy at my highest weight, how bad could it be?

Think again. You can always be bigger. Let me illustrate.

When I was in high school I weighed 133. I was a Senior, and on the Pom-Pom line. I vowed I would not be "moo-ed" at like the girl I inherited the uniform/outfits from was the year before. So I dieted. I dieted down to 105. At Five foot Two that was just above the "underweight" line for my height. After two years of college and a year at Bible School overseas, I clocked in at 164. I dieted down to 122. Got married. Gained 10-15 lbs per year, and after 9 years of marriage weighed 239. Dieted down to 170. 5 years later I weighed in at 266.5.

And so goes the simple truth, when life gets you down, when you feel like throwing caution to the wind, throwing in the towel, eating until it hurts, remember this encouraging (yeah right) thought...."You could always be bigger."

I know if I gain this weight back, I will top 300 lbs. THAT is a simple truth that keeps me honest with myself. I will never be normal, my body and the way it handles food will NEVER BE NORMAL. But I can LOOK normal, with effort and hard work. And no one but me will be the wiser!

So have a great weekend, all my MF buddies! And stay true to yourself and your goals.

Update on My Challenge to Myself

So my blog yesterday about either being on program or off program really struck a chord with me. I was on, all day long, and this morning was rewarded with....maintaining. I must be at the mother of all plateaus, and I ain't too happy about it.

So, seeing as breaking this plateau requires drastic AND I MEAN DRASTIC measures, I have decided (sniff sniff, sob sob) to ditch my half and half from my morning coffee. I am already experiencing separation anxiety, as I slowly sip my BLACK coffee with a packet of splenda in it.

It's just not as satisfying. But since when on this program has my satisfaction been at issue? My word, I've changed my whole way of eating. Discontinuing a little half and half is not going to kill me. No matter what my internal voice is screaming.

So I will finish my non-half and half-ed coffee. Unless I don't, because it gets cold because I don't like it too much. Either way, I will not have half and half today. It may be that my body has gone as far as it can on half and half. I'm down to a weight I have not been for ages and ages. And that is very exciting to me.

I will stop focusing on what I can't have and start focusing on what I CAN have. I CAN have yummy pudding, oatmeal, shakes, and soups. I can drink lots of iced cold water. That is what I'll focus on.

Here's to a half-and-half free weekend.

Old Measurements, New Measurements

Body Part: Old Measurement;New Measurement

Neck: 16;13.25
Upper Arm: 17.75;13
Upper Chest: 47;36
"Chest" chest: 54;40
ribs (just under breasts) 45;33.5
Waist: 49;31.5
Abdomen: 56.5;38
Hips: 56;39
Buttocks (at widest part, saddle bags included!) 56;44.5
Upper Thigh: 33;26.5
Knee: 18.5;16
Calf: 16.5;15
Ankle (!): 9;8.5

That is after 108 lbs lost. For some reason, my saddle-bags will not budge! I think I have poor circulaton in that area, and so the fat has less chance to be utilized. Every time I go for a run my skin is cold from my upper thigh to my abdomen. Crazy. It's always been that way, too!

I decided to take my measurements both as a glance at where I've come from, but also to serve as a benchmark when I feel whiney because I'm not losing fast anymore. Now I can come back to my new measurements and see if I'm losing inches. There you have it.

I Am on my program, Aren't I?

Found myself telling hubby I'd been "mostly good" yesterday! I had a fingerfull of sun-butter and didn't count it as anything. So why is this "mostly good?" Either I'm on MF or I'm not. There is no inbetween.

I've seen quite a few recent posts lately of a similar vein. I'm not sure if it's Spring Fever, or Sabatoging Self-Talk. You'll recogize it, and don't think I'm pointing anyone out unfairly. If you feel like I'm pointing at you, remember I've got the other 4 fingers pointing back at me. But does this sound familiar?:

"I did so great!...But then...and I only had....and I had to...but it's ok because....and I'm on plan....except for.....and I don't know why I'm not losing....ok I sort of do....but I'm doing the plan....except for _________"

Put your vice of choice in the blank. Except for too many diet sodas. Except for not enough water. Except for not getting all my meals in. Except that my life is really hectic right now. Except that I ate too much peanut butter (or sunbutter in my case). Except that...except that...except that.

Are we going to continue to ACCEPT that from ourselves? Are we? I'm not. It stops today. I can have 1 cup of coffee and two diet sodas a day. Not one cup of coffee and six diet sodas. Yes, it matters. It matters to my weight loss, it matters to my husband, it matters to my health and YES, IT MATTERS TO ME! As much as I like to THINK I'm doing the program. I either am or I'm not. And if I'm not, then I'm not.

Eating a few packets of MF food does not a MF dieter make me. Not when I'm not following the REST of the program. Just some food for thought.

So How Will I Get My Weight Loss Fix Once I'm at Goal?

ere's a question for all you lovelies on Maintenance...

First let me set it up by saying I'm addicted to losing weight. When I was 150 lbs overweight, I used to joke that I would love to have a "temporary eating disorder" ie the lack-of-eating kind! (Instead of the overeating kind!) I know, I know, it's nothing to joke about, I used to work for a top-notch private eating disorder clinic in Arizona, so I know I know. It's not something to wish on anyone. OK, that aside, as I'm reaching my goal I am beginning to wonder where I will find the motivation to stay at goal if I'm not losing weight.

The power of the scale is so strong, and I'll tell you what I fear. I fear I will purposefully gain 10-20 lbs right off the bat to keep the pressure on and have to lose it...and be able to continue experiencing the joy of the decreasing numbers on the scale. Then when I get there, I'm afraid I'll gain the 10-20 lbs again just so I can lose it. I feel worthwhile and confident when I am losing weight. It has been such a lifelong struggle for me that I actually think I derrive much of my self-image from whether or not I am losing weight.

But I want to get to goal and stay there! So how do I start to wean myself off the numbers and the importance I place on them, to try to get my mind in a position to not care that I'm not losing anymore once I've reached goal? Any advice? I's never too early to start preparing, right? I think I'm atleast 4 months away from goal...

Net Loss For the Month -3 lbs

Well, the trip to Phoenix that I blogged about a few weeks ago really put a kink in my weight loss. That is when I was off program for 8 days and gained 17 lbs. It took two weeks to get the weight back off, and then I lost an additional 3 over the last 10 days or so. So my net loss for the month was 3 lbs.

Even though my body is becoming more "normal" looking, my body will NEVER be "normal" in how it handles and processes foods. I think that is one of the traps people who lose a significant amount of weight fall into. If I look of "normal weight" shouldn't I be able to enjoy the foods that I like? Maybe some people can. I sure don't want to discourage all of you out there that you may never be able to indulge in your favorite foods again. But for me? I have to reconcile myself to the fact that my body will not allow me to do that. EVER. I will be one of those people that you read about in "People who lost half their size" PEOPLE magazine edition who have to do atleast an hour of exercise per day to maintain their loss, AND keep a super-tight reign on what they put in their mouths.

If this is not a sacrifice I am willing to make, I may as well stop now. But I am willing. Eating can never be a recreational sport for me. Never again. Part of what scares me about getting to goal weight (at this rate I'm 10 months away from that, but realistically I'm probably about 6 months away....) is how hard I am going to have to work to maintain it. But that is ok. It is worth it, I am worth it, my husband is worth it, and my son is worth it. All the reasons I gave for losing the weight in the first place will be my reasons for maintaining the weight.

Part of what we tell ourselves to get through the hour/day/week is "this is temporary" and "I'll be able to have 'X' when I'm 'done' with MF". But will we? Are we just kidding ourselves. Do we need to re-invent our reward system? Do we need to just finally grieve the fact that we aren't normal and that this is our lifetime struggle and we will always be dealing with the bodies we have been "blessed" with? For me, I think so. So I will grieve, and it will be part of the process of relinquishing the hold that food has spent a lifetime gaining on me. I have to peel back it's talons and get it out of my head. Freedom. That is what I seek. Freedom from the intruige of food. Freedom to live my life with food not being what I look forward to, what I hold as the "goal".

A healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy spirit. That is my goal. Food doesn't even factor into the equation. That is what I need to hold on to. Otherwise I will sabatoge myself and stay in the 150's and 160's forever, never fully dealing with my food issues.

I look forward to the day I can report that I am in the 140's. I feel I will lose a lot more than 10 pounds by the time I've gotten there. Hopefully I'll lose the desire to sabatoge myself.

Some Strategies

I thought I'd share some of the strategies that have really helped me along my weight loss journey. First of all, I'm 5 foot 2, and have gone from 266.5 lbs last summer to 159.5 lbs today. I've gone from a size 26 (tight) to a comfortable 8-10. My goal is to lose 41 more pounds, to get to 118 lbs, or a BMI of about 21.

So! I was commenting on a previous blog about my "goal closet" strategy, and my "jean-buying" strategy. This works especially when nice stores have items on sale reduced for final clearance type thing. Ebay is also fun to shop on for designer stuff at reasonable prices!

Ok, this is what I did. About a month after I started MF, I needed something concrete that helped remind me of my goal. So I walked into an Ann Taylor Loft, went to the sale rack, and bought a pair of size 8 Capri's. I put them in my "goal closet". Of course I was asked by the clerk if I wanted a "gift receipt with that..." and I just politely said no thank you and refused to be offended. After all, I was still about a size 22-24 when I bought said capri's. So I was prepared for it.

Then I walked across the street to the Levi's Store and bought their highest size (I think it was a 16...) in a pair of cute jeans. I put them aside and tried them on when I got home...of course they wouldn't go over my knees. But once a week I kept trying them on, until one day they fit! The day they fit, I was so elated I went back to the Levi's Store and bought a pair of 14's. Once again, I tried them on once a week. When they fit, I bought a pair of 12's. When they fit I bought a pair of 10's. When they fit I bought a pair of 8's (Ok, not really...When the pair of 12's fit I actually bought the 10's AND the 8's because I was so excited!) When the 8's fit, I bought a pair of 6's. Guess what? I can get the 6's on and zipped. They are not wearable out of the house yet, I look like a stuffed sausage in them...but the day I can wear them out of the house without being self-conscious, I will buy a pair of 4's.

A PAIR OF 4'S, PEOPLE! Even as I type that I can't believe that I will actually be doing that...last summer I was at Costco and some really fun Ralph Lauren Polo jeans were on sale...I bought a size 14 and a size 6. The size 6's looked SO SMALL to me at the time, I could hardly believe that one day I would fit into them. I'm not in them yet, as they don't have any stretch material like the Levi's do...but I can almost get them over my hips now!

You see, my body image is virtually non-existant, having been seared by so many years of abuse and yo-yoing, I have no idea what I actually look like or what my size actually is. Even if I'm looking at a full-length mirror. But clothes don't lie, and so if I am fitting into smaller and smaller sizes I actually know I'm losing inches and can't argue with it. Particularly, jeans don't lie.

So. That is a strategy I used, and if I was tempted by something I shouldn't be having, I would just try on my next size down jeans and refocus on my goals.

You can do it too!

Sheesh! I Feel Like A Prophet!

Boy oh boy, I'll tell you what. God keeps me humble, that is for sure. Sometimes I feel like when I blog about successes and staying on MF and having tons of motivation, I am the one who needs to hear it the most! Inevitably I will be faced with a challenge that I just offered advice on, and half the time I give in! Crazy.

I'm getting the SunButter out of our house. I think every Veteran on MF has had her/his ISSUES with Peanut Butter (or in my case Sunflower seed son is allergic to peanuts...)

There is something that happens in my brain when that first Tablespoon is dispersed to every nook and cranny of my mouth/senses. It's called "rationalization" and/or "temporary insanity".

It's absolutely nuts. No pun intended. (It would be "seeds" anyway, not "nuts!")

So last night I OD'd on the Sunbutter. I mean OD'd. I logged my calories, and they were still under 1200, but who cares at that point? The level of fat I interjected into my day was downright embarrasing. I did not weigh this morning. Now, my normal advice to myself would be to step on the scale anyway because it IS what it IS. Not knowing doesn't change the damage I did or didn't do. So I may as well know, and not carry the sense of failure through the weekend with me. Fresh start, New day, yada yada yada...right? Wrongo. I'm not goin' near that insidious instrument until Monday.

I did wake up, have my oatmeal, and go for my 2 mile run. So mentally and program/wise I'm back. But I'm noticing this trend of self-sabatoge, especially on the weekends, that I am recognizing from previous failed attempts at dieting. And it scares me.

Well, lets take it one day at a time, and one meal at a time, and one decision at a time. I can't be afraid, I must be confident. So here goes...

The Chocolate Mint Bar/SunButter Monster Got Me in the Middle of the Night!

I'm not sure why this is, but right when I get to feeling all confident in my accomplishments, little habits threaten a coup. Last night, in the middle of the night, I "felt" hungry when I went to get some water for our little guy at around 3:00 am, so I had a Chocolate Mint Bar (MF). Then at 4:30 he wanted some formula so I prepared a bottle and had a TBSP of Sunbutter (it is peanut-butter made from sunflower son is allergic to peanuts...and it's yummy!). Again, just because I "felt" hungry. So I'm counting them as two Medifast meals, and stretching my remaining 4 meals out to every 3 hours today. All is not lost, but it was just another reminder that night-eating does me NO GOOD.

Stay strong y'all, beware of those little decisions that may sabatoge you for the weekend. We all need to focus on our goal. Have a good weekend!

People Smile at Me More Now!

It's true. It's one thing I started noticing about 30 lbs ago on my weight loss journey. People don't smile at fat people. And I've been fat for most of my life. It's like they don't want to "catch" what I have or something, so they try to have as little contact with me as possible...from not helping me in the store, to looking past me as I'm paying for something to the next person in line (Starbucks, movie theatres, grocery stores, you name it).

And getting a smile out of someone I'm interacting with if I don't know them personally? Forget it!

That was then. Fast forward to now, at a BMI of 28 (still considered overweight, but just barely). People give me their full attention. They smile at me. They want MY attention. They interact with me. They aren't afraid to engage and have a conversation with me. Men open doors for me. They let me go ahead of them instead of pretending they don't even see me.

This new presence of mine is addictive. I like being smiled at. I like being noticed. I like striking up new conversations. I think we all do. We are social creatures. And the invisibility of being overweight is an oppressive, alienating, secluding state. It sucks the life from us. It screams at us "YOU DON'T MATTER!"

Part of me, a very small part, wants to stay fat to spite them. To be non-conformist. To show them they don't get to me. They can't get to me, inside. They can give me their looks of disgust. They can ignore me. They can ask if I want a "gift receipt" with that when I'm buying for my "goal closet". I won't be moved. I won't be hurt.

That's the fat talking. That's what we insulate ourselves from when we are overweight. The hurt. The stares. The people that move when we sit next to them in a movie theatre. That's what we THINK we are insulating ourselves from. But we aren't.

The more fat I have lost, the more LIFE has gotten IN to me. The more my EMOTIONS have gotten OUT of me, instead of being stuffed to the innermost of my being. The LIGHTER I have felt in mind, body and spirit. The more carefree. It's addictive, this feeling. I want it for all of you. I don't want any of you to stop until you are THERE. I want you to put all your fears of failure aside. All your past failures. All you trepidation of "will this work this time...."

YES YES and YES. It will work. I am living proof. From a size 26 (tight) to the current size 8 Misses Levi's I am sitting here blogging in. From the 2XL tops from Walmart to the slinky junior tight-fitting T's with the Mickey Mouse and the Rainbow and the "This is My Happy Shirt!" Logo (Walmart!). It can be done. To any of you who are just starting, or contemplating starting, the ONLY thing standing between where I am and where you are right now is TIME and PERSEVERANCE. You get a handle on those two elements, and you will be successful. I promise.

Next Mini Goal Reached

I stepped on the scale this morning and was down another pound...159.5. I made it! I made it into the 150's! And sooner than expected...I had hoped to make it by tomorrow, Friday. But I made it today, Thursday! Yay!

So that makes 107 lbs lost, and 41.5 to go to get to goal. I'm thinking at about 8 lbs/month loss that will take me about 5 more months...end of September. My ultimate goal was to get to my goal by the end of Summer. When is the end of Summer? Isn't it in September? I need a date....9/23/2007 is the day. My goal is to be at my goal by the 22nd, so I can be true to my "goalbysummer" name. I know I can do it.

I love reading the blogs in the morning, first thing, while my little man watches the Disney Channel. I usually have a hard time getting started with my water-drinking, but as I'm reading the blogs it reminds me to get going on it, so I can usually down two 12 oz glasses while I'm reading. For some reason I don't register thirst as thirst. I usually register it as hunger. Isn't that weird? But then when I have that glass or two of water my stress level goes down and I realize it was just what I needed after a night of no water. I just think better and function better when I'm drinking my water.

I did end up going running last night, even though my IPOD battery was too low to be able to use it. I did my customary 2 miles. As it gets easier to do somehow I translate that as "I'm not working hard enough or long enough" but I have to rest in the fact that I am. 20-30 minutes of cardio, when done right, is plenty. I don't need to "kill myself" every time. I am still seeing fantastic results.

Have a great day all!

Waist Down to 31 1/2 Inches!

Ok, so I didn't lose as much as I'd hoped after my TOM...usually I drop like a rock...but it's ok. I took my waist measurement and it is 31.5 inches. I can't tell you when the last time that was! I am almost in the 20's with my waist! What a dream. I think I started at about 49 inches...Wow. I guess I've lost almost 18 inches off my waist. That is a foot and a half, people! What a dream.

I'm livin' the dream. Keep it up everyone! You will succeed if you keep on program.

I do think the running has definately helped in my recent "shape-shifting". It has made me much leaner, more sleek if I may use that word. For me it's just not an option NOT to run anymore. I run 3 times a week whether I want to or not. 2.5 miles each, and one "longer" run of atleast 4 miles. It's just what I do. My emotions aren't in it half the time, the other half they ARE in it and are saying "stop! quit! turn around!" So I battle myself every time. But my will is stronger than my emotions, and I've been choosing the "right" actions.

2 Peter 1:3-8 has really been my life-verse this year. It talks about adding self control to our knowledge, and then adding perseverance to our self-control. That was the key to me. I was always self-controlled-in small doses. But when I added perseverance to the self-control to the knowledge, it all clicked.

When I make the right choice, God backs me up with the strength to see it through. It's His strength, not mine. When I'm "tooting my horn" I'm really not. I'm praising God for what He has done in my life. Just wanted to share that with y'all.

Size 6 Levi's Jeans, Here I Come!

Yesterday I went up to Estes Park to visit with some people I hadn't seen in awhile. One of them said I do not look like I weigh 160. That was a huge compliment to me. I don't feel like I weigh 160 either. As a matter of fact, I actually got on my Levi's Misses Size 6 jeans today!!! They are far from ready to be worn in public, but they were on, buttoned and zipped.

Whenever I get a smaller size on I always buy the next size down. So it's time to buy a size 4. That is just crazy. 9 months ago I was in a size 26. 9 months ago I would have never have even dreamed of being a size 6.

There you have it.

Size 6 Levi's Jeans, Here I Come!

Yesterday I went up to Estes Park to visit with some people I hadn't seen in awhile. One of them said I do not look like I weigh 160. That was a huge compliment to me. I don't feel like I weigh 160 either. As a matter of fact, I actually got on my Levi's Misses Size 6 jeans today!!! They are far from ready to be worn in public, but they were on, buttoned and zipped.

Whenever I get a smaller size on I always buy the next size down. So it's time to buy a size 4. That is just crazy. 9 months ago I was in a size 26. 9 months ago I would have never have even dreamed of being a size 6.

There you have it.

On the Eve of my 5-mile Run!

Never would I have thought it possible that just 9 months ago I started Medifast. My life has changed in so many ways. I have a wonderful family, and live in a great place.

I started MF for my son. I had fallen in a parking lot outside my husband's workplace, and was holding my son at the time. He was almost 2 years old. We both hit the asphalt, and it was the scariest moment of my life thus far...and I feel like I've been through some scary times! I vowed then and there that I would lose 150 lbs, because that 150 extra pounds was causing me to be a stumble-bumble. I had too much weight momentum behind me when I took a mis-step that I couldn't regain my footing. I knew that had I been of "normal weight" I would not have ended up on the pavement, and neither would my son. After a trip to the emergency room, we were so thankful that Julian (my son) was actually ok. I went into a depression for a week until I saw the MF add in People magazine (I think it was People...I can't remember now...) and I ordered. Somehow I felt this time would be different.

I have now lost 105 of the 150 lbs I needed to lose. I have not fallen, with or without my son, since that fateful day. I am meeting my goals. In January I began the "Couch Potato to 5K in 9 Week" podcast exercise regimen, and true to it's word, I ran a 5K the week after I finished the 9 week program. The operative word being "ran", not "run-walked" or "walk-ran". I was so thrilled. I was so thrilled that I immediately registered for a 5-MILE run, which is....drum roll please...tomorrow. It's called the "Cherry Creek Sneak" and apparently there will be 50-60 Thousand people taking part in this event. Mayhem. Chaos. And I'll be running 5 Miles. Last weekend I registered for the "Bolder Boulder 10K" which is 6-Miles! I know, crazy, but I am working up to a half-marathon which I'm already registered for in Phoenix next January. That is my ultimate goal, and I should be at my goal weight by then, which is 118.

Also today I registered to be an Arbonne Consultant, which I am very excited for. Since I've been taking care of myself more, including my skin, I just decided "what the heck!" I'm buying the stuff anyway! And, we found out last week that our insurance company will NOT cover Julian's Donor's operation, except for 10K. Since the operation is about 40-50K, that means that we have to come up with the difference IN ADVANCE of the operation. We don't know if Uncle Joe is a match yet, we'll be finding that out in the next couple weeks. But if he is, we have to do it. It would be the best thing for Julian.

For those of you who don't know, my son Julian, who is 2 1/2 years old and the cutest thing in the world (see my photo album), needs a kidney transplant. He is currently on the list to receive a kidney, but it could take a year or two for that to actually happen. So, my uncle is being tested to see if he is a match and has offered to donate one of his kidneys to my little boy. We would love that! So, this new consultancy with Arbonne will help me with that operation, and more importantly it will allow me to save up so we can pay cash for the next one in 10-15 years after the first one. Kidney transplants only last an average of 15 years, so Julian will probably need several throughout his lifetime. We'd like to be able to provide financially for his needs, so there you have it. Basically once he turns 21 he will be uninsurable, because he'll go off of my husband's policy. Sorry if I'm boring you with details, all that to say I am optimistic about the future, and even more optimistic now that I'm over 100 lbs lighter!

Yay God, Yay me!

Weight-wise, my heaviest was 266.5, and this morning I was 161.5 lbs. I'm fully anticipating that by Monday I'll be in the 150's. Do you KNOW when the last time was that I weighed under 160? Try 13 years ago, and I've only been married 15 years! My poor hubby. He is so excited I've been losing all my weight. What a trooper he has been.

Have a great Sunday, and keep on MF-ing!