Happy Meals make me sad.

Obesity in children has been all over the news lately because of the 8 year old British boy Connor McCreaddie who weighs 190 pounds, 4 times the amount of a average boy his age. The British government was considering taking him away from his family because they were lumping his obesity in with child abuse. In the end they decided the family would be allowed to keep the boy in their care but must try and get his weight down. I sympathize with the boy and his family and hope they can do something to get him healthy. Something that really bothered me was hearing the mother say he rejects healthy food and will only eat highly processed food and junk food. I have heard this before from many other parents I have known. Some of the them have thin children and some have heavy children, but the common thread is that they don't take control of what their children eat. What are these parents thinking? I must say that I am not yet a mother, but I often feel like one. I have a sister in 5th grade that I helped raise. I have seen first hand what goes into parenting and have done some "parenting" myself. It is the parent that supplies the child with food. Why give them unhealthy choices? If they reject the healthy food and you say okay then and hand them the chips and soda that is not teaching them anything. If the unhealthy food is not in the house then the child can't eat it. You, the parent are in charge of what you bring into your home. If your child has a severe problem with food, how can you supply them with what is making them unhealthy. Children will not starve themselves. They will eat when they are very hungry. So, they may reject the chicken and veggies you serve them at first, but eventually you will have success. Feeding your child food that has no nutritional value is like starving them anyway. Another argument I hear is that they need to keep the unhealthy snacks around for the siblings in the house who do not have a weight problem. Well, just because you do not have a weight problem doesn't mean you are healthy. Why would you want to give your thinner kids the unhealthy snacks. Why would you want to punish the over weight child. The whole family can enjoy fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains together. The biggest influence a child can have is watching how their family eats on a day to day basis. I have one friend who takes her son to McDonald's every day because that is the only thing he likes to eat. Um, hello, its not about what he likes, its about what is healthy for him. Children don't understand how their eating habits affect their health, that's why we have parents to make these decisions for us then we are young. They don't understand what heart disease, cancer, diabetes are and that they are putting themselves in harms way. It's like helping them run into a busy intersection. Once we are old enough to understand the risks, our diet is in our own hands. Children may not like doing their homework, they may not like doing chores, they may not like wearing their seat belt, but we make them do these things for their benefit. This is the same approach parents should have for their children's nutrition.

That being said, I understand that some children may still have weight problems no matter what. My family has always eaten pretty healthy and I still ended up wear I am today, but my mom wasn't giving me cookies instead of green beans for dinner because I didn't like them. It breaks my heart to see obese children because I know life will be so much harder for them. I know they have no clue what this will do to their health and their bodies. I want to save them. I know they will have to find their way. Hopefully one of the people helping them along they way instead of hindering them is their parents.

On another note, I am glad that the British government is looking into banning ad's for unhealthy foods during children's television. Seeing these day in and day out is certainly not helping our children make wise choices. Would we allow marketing to children for cigarettes or alcohol? Of course not, because they are harmful as it unhealthy food. I am hoping other countries will take this as an example to follow. Our children are more important than the all mighty dollar. Food companies love hooking people when they are young so they have faithful followers as adults. I also wish they would give healthy choices on children's menus in restaurant. Just because they are under 12 does not mean all the should or could eat is chicken fingers, burger, or grilled cheese with fries. They must give healthier options . We give children mixed messages, we want them to eat healthy but all the food marketed to children is unhealthy. When did you last see a commercial for apples or broccoli with Sponge Bob Square Pants as the main endorser? I thought so.


Oh go ahead, INDULGE!

Yes, I am actually telling you to go out and indulge, just not in food. People often feel deprived when they change their eating habits. For some, eating was there source of entertainment and maybe even their hobby. For me it could be a little of both. I am often referred to as a Foodie. (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/foodie) I don't just love food, I love good food and I am actually kind of a food snob about some things. I think for most people food can be entertainment at times. If not the sole source of entertainment it's so intertwined with most of the things we do for pleasure. I have started to make a list of all the things I would like to indulge in that has nothing to do with food. These are things I will reward myself with along the way that will not interfere with my healthy lifestyle:

A Concert
A Broadway Show
Art Class
Music (CD's, downloads)
Getting my Hair done
New Running Shoes
Play Pool
Go to the Zoo
Plant a Garden

There are more things but you get the idea. Some of you may be thinking that these are things you would do anyway so its not really a reward, but for those of you that don't know me I am really really frugal and very low maintenance. This doesn't mean I don't love doing these things but I usually give them up to save money. The other half of you may think this is a really expensive way to reward myself and keep me on track. However, I have found since hubby and I have changed our eating habits I have cut our grocery bill by 1/3 which adds up to a significant amount of money per month. This is the money I will be using for rewards. I also will not be indulging every day or even every week. My first reward will be new running shoes. My shoes are still okay but they are not my favorite. Somehow it is easier to work out when you are stylish. So this reward will be fun to shop for and wear but it also helps me further my healthy lifestyle with exercise. Next, I think I will go for a pedicure. I haven't have one in a year and I LOVE them! After that we will see. I'm upping my quality of life without upping the calories. Gotta love that.


Monday Weigh In: 327.5

327.5 today yes, I lost half a pound in the last week and I think I know why. My dear Husband was away and I did not exercise like I should. It's so much nicer to have a work out partner. I also snacked a little more this weekend. I went to a couple parties that I wouldn't have gone to but I was lonely with out hubby. A handful of this and a handful off that turned into extra calories. I didn't pig out or anything but I know it slowed my weight loss for the week. A lot of the snacks were salty and I am a bit puffy as well, I think I am holding some water. So in essence the reason I did not lose more weight was all my husband's fault! Of course I am only joking, I need to learn to go to the gym with or without him. I feel great though and know I am on track. In fact, I think in a couple weeks I will need new jeans, mine are delightful getting baggy.


I don't know what I'm doing.

Contrary to what you might think I have no idea what I am doing. A lot of people may think you need to have everything all figured out before you start making life style changes to lose weight but this simply isn't the case. Everyone is so different and weight loss is so complicated. It involves physical, emotional, and spiritual changes. My journey so far as been all trail and error. The difference between now and other attempts that I have made is that no matter what happens I am not giving up. There will be snags and slip ups but nothing to pull of the road to getting healthy and losing weight. Some things I have tried are working and a lot of things have not. I cut out the things I do not find helpful and cultivate and mold the things that do work into my every day life. Anytime you are trying to make positive changes in your life you will make mistakes. Don't let these mistakes turn into you making the ultimate mistake of quitting. Every time I trip up and fall during this process is helping me learn more about myself and making me stronger and more successful in the long run.

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
-Thomas Edison-


Thin is like Heaven

Thin is somewhere I have never been before. I've seen it in stories of other people's lives and I have heard about it countless times but I have never experienced it for myself. Thin is almost like Heaven to me. It sounds great, I want to get there one day, I can try and imagine it, but it almost seems mystical and at times maybe even mythical. As I think about the greatness of being thin a part of be wonder's can I really get to this place? Does it really exist for me? How can I know for sure? I have never felt thin, tasted thin, seen thin. When will I get there, will I know it when I do? It's an abstract idea in my mind. It's a hope but it hardly feels like a possibility. Maybe the closer I get the more clear it will become but it until then, this long hard journey to thin IS by faith alone.


Buzz Word Products

It drives me crazy that as soon as a food or ingredient becomes popular for some health benefit all of the sudden its added to everything! Green Tea soda, Green Tea Protein Bars, Green Tea Ice Cream and now green tea doughnuts?!?!? http://www.misterdonut.jp/newpro/36_10_4/index.html
If you are eating these items because you like the flavor then I can understand but if you think you are benefiting your health in anyway, you have got to be kidding. They take something healthy like green tea and process it to death to make all sorts of Green Tea products to market to people that heard Green Tea is healthy but have no idea that there is barely any green tea in the products they are making and most of the health benefits have gone down the toilet because its so highly refined. If you truly want the health benefits of green tea, steep up a tea bag and enjoy! Another buzz word I've been hearing a lot these days is Pomegranate. We know this juicy fruit is delicious and packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants but most people are not eating the fruit itself, they are buying all these pomegranate products! I even have one friend who is convinced she is doing herself a favor by drinking Pomegranate Martini's. It's just plain silly. But Americans are buying these products in droves so I don't see them going anywhere. I am sure the future will produce even more buzz products with different popular healthy ingredients they just have to manipulate. Just don't be seduced buy that juice with a lot of high fructose corn syrup and a drop of green tea or that cookie with a dash of Pomegranate flavoring, go for the good stuff and eat these healthy foods fresh and the way it was intended.


Product Review Post: Amy's Frozen Meal's

Most of the time I try to cook my dinners from fresh. I do a lot of stir fry's with lots of veggies and chicken. I make a lot of fish with sautéed veggies. I try to keep sweet potato's and brown rice on hand if I want a side. Let's face it, my life is busy, I am not always prepared but I need healthy delicious food at my finger tips to succeed in weight loss. I started looking at different Frozen Foods to keep around for those night's I just didn't have time to cook. There were your typical finds: Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine, which I do enjoy on occasion. To my delight I also found Amy's frozen meals. The are a vegetarian line and although I am not vegetarian myself, I do enjoy vegetarian foods and love to load up on veggies. These meals come in so many different variety's and are so yummy. They taste fresh and the ingredients are all whole foods. As an added bonus is that this company is using organic ingredients. The calories on these have quite a range so it was easy to find things that fit in with my life style. Out of the things I have tried, my favorites have been the Cheddar Cheese Burrito with Beans and Rice and the Garden Vegetable Lasagna. Honestly, I have liked everything though. The only downside as with many frozen meals is the sodium content. Although they do make a few low sodium meals. You may want to check it out. www.amys.com Thank you Amy, for making my tummy dance and my waist line continue to shrink.


Rollercoasters, Chairs, and Flying

Every morbidly obese person's fear: chairs with arms, Flying on an airplane and not being able to fit, Going to a amusement park and not being able to ride any of the rides. These three things had never happened to me until 2004 and they changed my life. I know it sounds crazy but it is almost like I didn't know I was gaining so much weight. When I met my husband I was in my "dieting" mode. (Before I decided to make this a complete life style change I had only two modes in life, dieting (very restrictive) or not dieting (very permissive).) I was thinnest I had been in years at 235, I wore a 18/20. (The thinnest I have ever been in my adult life is in Junior Year of high school when I weighted 170, I wore a 12/14 clothes.) My weight did not control me as much then and even though I hated being over weight it didn't seem to slow me down as much. I had always been able to fit in any chair, in any ride, and was tight in air planes, but hey who isn't a little smashed, they are small even for a smaller person. (So I have heard.) Even though I knew I had put on the pounds over the years from when I met my husband until 2004 I had grossly under estimated how many pounds that was.

*Rollercoaster's: I remember going to my friend's Bachelorette party in Orlando. I was so excited to go to Island of Adventure, I had never been there before. The first ride we picked was the Hulk rollercoaster. I sat down in the seat and the ride operator went to push my bar down and it didn't fit. I could not believe it. He pushed and pushed again and then asked me to step off the ride. I was mortified. My friends looked at me with sad eyes as they were whisked away on the ride and I should there looking pathetic.
*Chairs: One night my husband and I were asked to go out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. We got there and our friends has saved us a table. I pulled out the chair and went to sit down. Much to my surprise I couldn't fit between the arms. I popped up quickly and said I needed to use the restroom. I looked frantically for different chairs so I could switch it out. I didn't see anything, so I went to the bathroom and cried. Once I pulled myself together I decided I would just have to go out there and tell them I couldn't fit in the seats. Fortunately I have an amazingly intuitive husband and when I came back to the table I saw two different chairs with out arms sitting there. He knew what had happened and asked for different chairs while I was gone saying the other chairs were uncomfortable. He is great!
*Flying: I fly a lot. I love to travel and have many friends all over the united state's. I also fly different places for my job. I was on a trip to a trade show and the second leg of the trip was on a smaller plane. I got to my seat assignment and saw a nice looking business man in the seat next to mine. I sat down and couldn't fit. The man stared at me with disgust as I squeezed it with much discomfort. The sides of the chair were pressing into my thigh's and almost cutting off circulation. Even with the arm's down I did spill a little into the seats next to me. The man pressed the button over head to call the flight attendant. When she came over he said "Can I please change seats" and looked at me with glaring eyes. She moved him and I felt like dirt.

I said these events changed my life, and they did. They sent me into a down ward spiral. I no longer looked at myself as human, I saw myself as this large overgrown beast that wasn't fit for human contact. I was deathly afraid of going anywhere new because I thought there was a possibility I wouldn't fit in the seats. I now wouldn't travel unless I was with my friends, mom, or husband so we could keep the arm's up and I wouldn't crowd anyone. I have no been to an amusement park since and now pretend that I hate rollercoaster's. This of course is a complete and total lie. People have assumed I have become a fuddy duddy and non-adventurous. I have not been able to admit the truth to many: I can not do these things any more. I long for the day that these things will no longer be an issue. My life will be so free. I will be able to go anywhere without limitations. These may seem like little things, but I have lost a part of myself of the last few years. I am no longer spontaneous. So many of my daily decision's are plagued with fear. I don't want to be afraid anymore.


Monday Weigh In: 328

Well, I lost two pounds and am now 328. I am happy about it, don't get me wrong, but I had a perfect week and thought I would have lost more. I know, I know, 2 pounds a week is a healthy weight loss goal but most people above 300 pounds lose weight much faster when they drastically change their life style. I had no slip up's with my eating and exercised everyday but Sunday. So, I was hoping for a 3-4 pound loss, but I know this isn't a race, the scale went down and that is wonderful! Someone asked when I would add progress pictures, I will add new pictures the day the scale says 299. I feel this will be a big enough change to show in pictures. Let's hope that day is sometime before May 12th (Stacy's Wedding Day). I won't hold my breath though.


Weekend's are Hard!!!

It is so much easier to stick to my new lifestyle on the week day's than the weekend's. On the week days my days are so scheduled and fast paced that I don't even have time to think about eating. I have everything portioned out for me and I eat what I have and that's it. At home I have planned a dinner schedule so there is no thinking there ether. But when those sneaky weekend's pop up they seem to give me temptations everywhere I look. The late night pizza my husband is eating. The endless request's to go out to lunch or dinner. The popcorn and chocolate at the movies. On the weekday's I eat at specific times through out the day, but on weekends the schedule goes out the window. It's easy for me to forget to eat, get to hungry and eat any thing in sight. Luckily, I was able to fight off temptation this weekend and stick with my new way of life. I just felt like I should wear full armor and carry a big sword every where I went. "Get back I say unhealthy food or I will have to use this sword."


My Family is Thin.

I always feel like the odd ball in my family. In family pictures I'm sure people are like "Who is that elephant with that beautiful family and who let it out of the zoo?" It makes me feel bad, like I am the ugly duckling in a family of beautiful swans. Both my my parents have had some little struggles with there weight and they have both yo-yo-ed but they have never been morbidly obese. (My Mom's top weight was 190 (5'4'') and My dad's top weight was 240(5'11'')) My dad finally found his way with eating low carb and has maintained a weight of 180 for over 8 years now. My mom lost weight most recently with Cinch the program I am following now and is now a tiny 130 pounds and has kept her weight off for a year. My brother is 6'1'' and has settled into a weight of 195 and has never had any sort of weight problem. My little sister is 11 years old, so she is a kid, she has a normal kid build. When I went away to college my sister was just starting elementary school so my family met alot of new people since they were very involved with her school. When I came home I had all these new people to meet that had heard about me. I wasn't the cute little co-ed they had pictured. It was hard for them to hide their shock when they met me. The would look confused and say "You are so and so's daughter, oh uh, Hi!" I felt like they were playing that children's game: One of these things are not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong. In high school I would get a lot of the same comments from friends of my brother, they couldn't believe I was his sister, he was the good looking slim football star, and I was the shy fat drama-chorus geek.  Being the huge one in the family some people must think I am adopted. Even though I have my dad's nose, my mom's eyes and mouth, my features are hidden behind the fat. Sometimes I have let bitterness take over, why am I the one that is huge? We all ate the same while I was growing, why was I the only one who had their weight go out of control? Why do I have to work so hard to lose a pound while my parents can lose so easily. These are question's that will never be answered, so I let go of most of the bitterness. I have turned the bitterness into motivation. So help me, if it takes 4 years to lose the 180 unwanted pounds I have left I will still accomplish my goal. Until then, when socializing with my family, when I meet new people I will understand their shock that I could be part of this slim, beautiful family, I will shake their hand while apologizing with my eyes for having to meet this large disturbing branch of the family tree.


I'm feeling a little saucy!

Since I have changed my lifestyle I have keeping a close watch on what I put in my mouth. It's been challenging to find ways to make things taste delicious without adding lots of high calorie condiments, lots of salt, or sugar. I am not saying I have cut those things completely out of my life but want to use them as little as possible. Well, I have met a new friend who has made food so much more enjoyable. Hot Sauce! I guess I used hot sauce now and then in my old lifestyle but I never really looked at the nutritional information. It only have 5 calorie per TABLESPOON! With hot sauce a little goes a long way, so I might be adding 15 calories to my meal at most. Also, there is no sugar and very little sodium. I have been eating my spicy little heart out. I guess this wouldn't help people who don't like spicy food but for me it was a savior. I have been adding it to veggies, stir fry, garden burgers, grilled chicken, even salad dressing to give it an extra kick. It also doesn't hurt that I read some studies saying that spicy food may increase your metabolism, an added bonus. I think hot sauce and I are friends for life.


Valentine's Day Without Chocolate?

I am not a huge fan of Valentine's Day and I never really have been. It's not because I spent countless Valentine's days alone feeling like the worlds biggest reject while my friends and family were being fawned over by men. It's for another equally popular reason: I don't need someone to tell me what day to tell people I love them. I like to be spontaneous and sincere. Secondly, Valentine's day really centers all around Commercialism. I know most holiday's do however at least Christmas and Thanksgiving mean more to me than food, presents, and decor. If Valentine's day was really about love and not buying as many over priced flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, and jewelry as you can buy to show people you "love" them maybe, I would be okay with it. I see so many people thinking they gave flowers and a card and are going out to dinner with their loved one(s) and thinking they have fulfilled their romance quota for the year. I realize that Valentine's Day does have a lot of significance to some, a couple of my friends got engaged that day and I know some people that choose the 14th for their wedding day. However valentine's has always been just another day to me, another day where I can justify eating one of my favorite foods: Chocolate. Not only eating chocolate but eating lots of it...WHY? Because its valentine's day and its EVERYWHERE. Its at home, its given to me as gifts, its at the office, huge delicious displays of it are set up everywhere I go this holiday. This Valentine's Day I have changed my lifestyle and will no longer overindulge. Does this mean I will have Valentine's Day without Chocolate? No, it doesn't. I decided that part of my new lifestyle is learning to have treats but not eat them with reckless abandon. There is a great local chocolate shop called Hoffman's that make there own Chocolate and it is the very best! My husband bought the smallest box of Hoffman's chocolate he could find. It contains four delicious pieces for 200 calories. So, I will not eat the chocolate my sister gave me, or the chocolate cookies my neighbor gave me, or the endless chocolate given to me by friends and co-workers around the office today. But I will enjoy every bite of my Hoffman's chocolate, and not a calorie more.


Monday Weigh In: 330

Okay, so I was afraid to hop on the scale yesterday because of all the badness that happened over the weekend. But I decided to check today and I am 330 today! So even with the undesirable behavior, I am down 2.8 pounds from last Monday! Woo hoo! I will have a super week and next Monday will be even better!


The weekend of horror...

Okay, well it wasn't really a weekend of horror but it felt like it. My Mom's birthday was on Sunday and she wanted to go celebrate with the family on Saturday because my dad and husband were working on Sunday. (My dad and my husband are firefighters, so they work 24 hours, then are off 48 hours, pretty sweet gig.) I had eaten so perfectly well all day and gone to the gym in the morning like all good big girls should. I went to the restaurant fully intending to order a grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies, but while I was there something took over me. I know what that something was: hunger! See, I went through the day trying to be as good as possible so I could save enough calories a delicious yet healthy dinner out with my family. When I got there the smells overwhelmed me and I just caved. I ordered the most delicious thing on the menu, Steak Marsala with Garlic Herb Mashed Potato's and Broccoli. I was going to eat just half, but I ate the whole thing. I felt horrible both physically and emotionally. I look up the calorie info online and saw I had consumed about 1000 calories!! I only 600 to spend! Sigh. Then on Sunday I was feeling so puffy and fat, so what did I do? The worst thing I could have done. I decided I should be punished that day and eat only 1000 calories to balance out the day before. By the end of the day I was so hungry I didn't the exact opposite of what I should have done...I binged on anything I could find. Stupid me. I don't know why I have too be such an all or nothing person. I suppose that is part of what got me into this weighty mess to begin with. I have learned. No more not eating to "save up" calories and no more punishments. I just need to make the healthiest choices I can every day and do the best I can. Okay, I confessed. I feel better.


Meet My Boyfriend: Food

I know I am married but I would like you to meet my boyfriend. Naughty me, I know. Food, come on out, its time people knew about us. You see, food has been my boyfriend long before my husband was around. Food is the one "person" who was always there for me. Other boys would come and go but food never left me. He also knew just what to say in any situation. When I was depressed he comforted me with sweets and salty snacks. When I was celebrating a great moment in life he was always there and he usually brought cake. He was at all social gatherings so I didn't ever have to go alone. If I felt out of place he would feed me so I didn't have to talk so much. He always knew how to make the pain go away, at least for a little while. He is a very loyal boyfriend however, I need to take a step back from this relationship. I am not saying we can't still be friends, I mean I need you techincially to live, but we can never have the intimacy we once shared. You can no longer have a hold on every part of my life. I want to spend more time with my other friends: exercise, family, writing, & reading. Those have been relationships I have long neglected. So, food, please bow out gracefully, we will still see each other from time to time, but it will never be the same, It's better for both of us. I would say its not you it's me, but truly....its you.


Fat Girls vs. Thin Girls

I was thinking about the way my friends have reacted to me trying to lose weight and actually losing weight this past month. It has been interesting to see the difference in my fat friends vs. my thin friends. My fat friends say things like this: "You will never be thin, you are just a big girl." " You are so healthy, maybe you are just supposed to be heavy." "You are beautiful just the way you are."

What my fat friends say when faced with temptation: "Having just one won't hurt." "Come on you've been good all week, you deserve a treat." "You only live once right?"

Are they saying these things to me or are they really trying to convince themselves it's okay? Do they miss me being their partner in crime? (We all know that eating double stuffed Oreo's almost is a criminal act.) Do they hate that the changes I am making make them have to re evaluate there own choices? Are they afraid I will actually lose weight this time and they won't have the fat friend to make them feel better about being fat themselves? Who knows, but they are not too helpful.

The thin ones are the helpful ones right? Um, no. They are the ones saying: "Just eat less and exercise more and you will look like me." "Try portion control, I think that's why I never had a weight problem." "You need to have more will power."

What my thin friends say when I am eating with them: "Should you be eating that?" "Is that on your diet plan?" "Yes you are having veggies but they have cheese on them, cheese is fattening."

Because they are thin do they think they are diet guru's? Do they think that all bodies are the same and if I am just like them I will get the same results as them? Do they think I usually sit at home eating bon bon's and watching TV? Do they think they can judge my food choices while they are eating anything and everything they want because I am a fat girl and they are not? Nope, the thin friends aren't helpful ether.

I sometimes wonder if maybe no one is really concerned with me, my life, my health, and my weight. What they tell me is ether to make them feel better that me or to make me feel worse about myself.

PS. I am not talking about my REAL friends here, I do have a group of friends that I have grown up with and we are very open and honest with each other and they are very encouraging. I am talking about my "friends" neighbors, co-workers, people I hang out with.

Also, I am in no one saying all Fat Girls and Thin Girls are like this but in my personal experience a lot of them are.


Stacy's Wedding

So, one of my very best friends in this world is getting married on May 12th 2007. I am the Maid of Honor and couldn't be happier for her. The man she is marrying is amazing for her and they will have a wonderful life together. So all in all this is a very joyous occasion. I look forward to being there for Stacy and helping her plan this once in a life time event. Only one thing is causing me so much stress I can hardly breath. No, not the bridal shower I am throwing, not the speech I will give, not the song I am singing in the ceremony, and not the bachelorette party. It's the Bridesmaid dress. I know what some of you are thinking, the dress must be hideous and unflattering, but NO, this is not the case. I actually really like the dress and the color that Stacy picked. It is the size of the dress that has me so panicked. The largest size the dress comes in is a 24. No big deal right? I usually am wearing a 26 these days but I can squeeze into a 24 with the right under garments. Well, when I ordered the dress I saw the measurements for the dress. The measurements are more for a size 20! That's right folks, where I am sitting now there is no way it will fit, especially in the hip/thigh department. I figured it out and I would need to lose 3-4 inches in my bust and waist, and a whopping 10 inches in my HIPS! I can not even tell you how sick this makes me. I took my measurements on Jan 1st so I might have gone down a little since then, but I know I have a long way to go. Part of me wonders if it is even possible for me to lose 10 inches off my hips in only 4 months and 12 days. All I can do is try my hardest. I do not want to let Stacy down. I don't even like to think about what will happen if it doesn't fit. It can not be taken out, only taken in. Sigh, so although usually I would be able to be a little more patient with my body I do feel rushed to try and get down the pounds before the wedding. After that, even if I just lose 4 pounds a month, I will be happy. Send me positive thoughts! I will keep you updated on the bridesmaid dress progress.

PS. I do not have the dress yet, it has been ordered and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival. I know different cuts can be more or less forgiving so I hope this dress is a saint.


Product Review Post: Skinny Cow's

I am always looking for yummy treats that I love that will not break the calorie bank. I love sweets, and although I am eating delicious fruit in my new lifestyle I occasionally have cravings for what used to be one of my favorite desserts: Ice Cream. I found something that not only curbed my craving but also was pretty low in calories and highish in fiber. They are called Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches. They have about 150 calories per sandwich, and the sandwich is BIG. They 3 grams of fiber and come in a variety of flavors, although cookies and cream is my favorite. I thought I would share the secret with you, since I have tried so many products I don't like, I want to highlight the ones I do like.



The body is so amazing to me. I have now been exercising for only 28 days (the first 2 weeks of my new lifestyle I just changed my eating not my exercise habits.) and my body is already changing so much. Its so unbelievable how resilient my body is. After not exercising on a regular basis for over 4 years, I am back into it and feeling great. I must admit the first week was very brutal. I thought I was going to die after the first 30 mins. Then the next week 30 mins was easier and I increased to 45 mins. Then the next week I went for 60 mins and everyday that 60 mins gets better and easier. Of course I want to keep pushing myself to new levels of resistance and intensity so I can't keep my body progressing toward the goal. My body already feels a bit tighter. I feel stronger. My energy levels have changed dramatically. You always hear people say those things but I guess I didn't really believe it could have to me. The first 2 weeks were the worst and I think that is why a lot of people get discouraged and quit before they get to the good parts. Going to the gym feels almost like a habit now, a habit I hope I can keep for life. It makes me feel more alive, and what is the point of living if I am not living to the fullest.


The Scale

So, you may be wondering why I haven't post my weight yet. When I weighted myself the summer of 2006 I was a shocking 360 lbs. I went on a crash diet at that time and lost 20-30 pounds. However once the holidays came I started to gain all the weight back. My clothes were tight again and I felt horrible. On Jan 1 I weighed myself and the scale said 344. For the next three weeks the scale messed with my head and went wacky. It would say I gained 6 pounds one day and then lost 9 pounds the next. I feared the worst and I was right. The scale was broken. When I finally weighted myself on January 20th on a scale that was not broken it said I weighted 342. Today I weighted 332.8. Because of how I felt and looked I think I was about 360 or 355 when I started on Jan 1. So I have lost in my first 6 weeks about 20 pounds or so. I am happy with that. Since I have so much to lose it seems like a drop in the bucket but it is a baby step toward my goal. I consider any day I did not gain weight a success.


My Plan

So, a little about the plan I have been following. I have truly been on almost every diet plan you can think of. I have been on weight watchers, jenny craig, low-carb, south beach, cabbage soup, maker's diet, ect. ect. ect. All of those plans definitely have the potential to work. I am not going to sit here and tell you that the diets didn't work. I know they work for many people, however they were not for me. Most of them were about restricting one thing or another, or had plans I just couldn't follow. This go around I care just as much about getting healthy as I do with losing weight. I am following the Cinch plan. It was designed by the health and wellness company Shaklee. (I have been buying my vitamins through them for years.) They are a company I trust and I know really cares about the quality of their products. The Cinch plan is very balanced, a lot of research has gone into it, and best of all it requires no thought. There is no weighing, or counting calories. I was pretty down on this plan at first because you do drink two protein shakes a day for breakfast a lunch and then eat a healthy dinner. (Menu's are provided but I do my own thing for dinner.) They also provide you with a snack bar, a multi vitamin specifically for weight loss, and a green tea blend. I have never been a big fan for plans were you drank you meals but I decided to give it a shot. With all the fresh fruits, veggies, and nutrient and protein packed shakes in this plan I knew that it was at least going to help with my healthy goals if not my weight loss goals. My first week into the diet I was pleasantly surprised. Every week day it was a struggle to have the time, creativity and energy to make good breakfast's and pack good lunches as I rush out the door for work. The shake's have really help me stay healthy and not miss meals and they taste good too. My favorite is the cafe latte but I also enjoy the chocolate. (it comes in vanilla too but I am not a plain vanilla fan) I was never hungry and they really did satisfy me. So here is what a typical day is like for me:

8amBreakfast: Cinch Shake
11am AM Snack: Cinch Bar & Fruit
2pm Lunch: Cinch Shake
4pm PM Snack: Veggies & Low Fat Cheese or Cottage Cheese
6pm 2nd PM Snack: Fruit or Whole grain Bread with Peanut Butter
8pm Dinner: Fish or Chicken with Veggies or Salad and brown rice or sweet potato.

You may think dinner sounds a bit late but that is only because I work out at night. I have been working out every night after work, from 7:00pm-8:00pm. I have been doing 60 mins on the elliptical machine at the gym. It helps me to go to a gym because once I am there, nothing can distract me from getting the job done. I usually tune into my ipod or the Gym TV and an hour rolls by easily. I know I need to add weights to this routine as well but I am just not ready yet. My husband keeps encouraging me but I will probably start with them in March. Oh, and I log everything I eat at this FREE site called http://www.fitday.com/. It helps me see how many calories I am eating and where they are coming from. I am trying to stay around 1800 calories per day. So that is my exercise and eating plan. I just thought I should lay it out there for you. More tomorrow.


The First Step

So, I started getting serious about changing my life about 32 days ago. Like many other good intentioned people I jumped on the band wagon and started my new lifestyle ( I am not into "diets") on January 1st 2007. I have done this many years before. In fact I am pretty sure this has been my "resolution" every year since I was 14. I have struggled with my weight ever since I hit puberty. I first saw the dreaded 200's my sophomore year of high school and first saw the horrifying 300's was in 2004. I got married in July of 2004 and it only got worse from there. (Not my life just my weight...well sometimes I wonder if I can separate the two. They are so intertwined. But what I am saying is, getting married was wonderful and my husband is amazing but my weight got even more out of control after the wedding.) I ignored the scale my whole first year of marriage. When I finally decided to see how much I weighted in summer of 2006 I was shocked and appalled at the number I saw. I knew I had gained a little more weight but nothing could have prepared me to see that I now at 360 pounds was only 40 pounds away from 400! This launched me into a very deep depression which of course leads to more unhealthy eating! I made a lot of little attempts to lose weight last year but could never stick with anything more than six weeks. This time I feel more determined than ever before to achieve my goal. There are lots of reason's I want to lose weight that are pretty common, I want to be a better wife, I want to buy clothes I like, I want to fit into all chairs with arms, I want to feel lighter on my feet, I want to avoid disease, but something that is driving me more than all those is this: I have been trying to get pregnant for almost 2 years now. I feel the reason I am unable to conceive is weight related. They have not been able to find anything else wrong with me. I really want to have a baby. I don't want to waste any more time. I want to get healthy now and hopefully have a baby. So I will be logging my thoughts, trails, successes here. Writing really helps me to stay on the right track.