Wednesday, 31 October 2012

He just...died.

Ugh...I've been sitting here trying to go through a thousand ways to not have to say the words again- but I know that if I don't tell you my bad news, then the next year of my life I will be tap dancing around it when I write anything here on the blog.

I'm so tired of having to say it in real life, my heart is still breaking over it.  So please just let me say it this one time and get it out of the way until I can find peace in it and think about it without my heart falling out of my butt.  Please don't  judge me for what I am about to say, or how I say it, or for what I include or leave out.  Right now I'm probably just going to have to ramble for awhile until I feel like I've gotten out everything I need to say about it...

My dad died of a massive heart attack on the Sunday before last (the 21st.)  My father was 61 and, for the past 25 years has been obese.  In recent years he found himself on and off medication to control his high blood pressure, and followed through with a few minor surgeries to deal with age-related issues.  So to say his death was "unexpected" seems a bit silly, but just 3 weeks ago he had an EKG done and was told everything looked great.  So, yeah, none of us really expected he would drop dead of a heart attack at any moment.  But he did, sitting in his spot on the couch, playing on his computer like most other evenings...

I've never been naive to think that life is anything less than fragile and fleeting.  Dad made sure to remind me to never take days for granted.  I've always seen all our lives like bubbles on the wind- eventually we will thin and pop and poof...gone.  And that's exactly what happened to Dad.  One moment he was fine, floating on the breeze of life, and the next moment...*pop*...dead.

I'm dealing with a lot of psychological grief over it.  My Dad was my friend.  We hadn't always been friends, I was a TERRIBLE teenager and he wasn't always a great father to me.  My mom likes to say that we are just too much alike.  Anyway, in the past 5 years, Dad and I decided we could be friends after all.  And, I live just 15 minutes away from my parents and we see each other fairly often.  Dad and I would meet up during the week for lunch, we liked to go and have target practice at the local gun range, we would go see movies together, and pal-around on the weekends for shopping.  Once he stopped telling me what to do, I started listening to what he had to say.  I learned a lot from him.

My dad joined the Air Force fresh out of high school in 1970, he retired 20 years later.  He was a hero in more ways than I can recount during those years.  We have file folders stuffed full of awards and certificates from that time, many signed by the president in office.  He was just 45 when he retired from his Air Force career, and began a new career working in computers and technology.  My dad always had the hook up on new programs coming out, we've had more than one computer in my homes since personal computers were available for home use.  We always had the best electronics available and I have not ever in my life had to call someone to help me fix anything on my computers.  Dad made sure we had iPhones and iPads and iPods, and taught us how to use them well.

One of Dad's favorite iPhone apps was "Find Friends" which allowed him to follow my location throughout the day.  Nothing creepy, but he would know when I was in the car driving home from work and know that was a good time to call.  Or, like was the case when he died, he would follow my progress back home during a 4 hour drive from a weekend out of town with my husband.  This was the last text message I got from him, he was watching my on Find Friends and knew I was speeding a bit and warned me against "donating to the Policmans' ball." ;)  We used emoticons to say we loved each other, him being the sun, and me the dancing girl...

My parents were taking care of the dog, Butter Bean, while Hubby and I were out of town and I was just under an hour away from my parents house to tell them about our trip and pick up Bean when my mom called and told me Dad had been sent to the hospital in the back of an ambulance with no heart beat...  When I got to the hospital, 40 minutes later, he had already passed on.

And then everything kind of... exploded...

I'm not dealing well with the stress right now.  And my eating is almost always the first thing effected by stress.  So for about a week I didn't eat much at all, and then the past few days I've done nothing but eat.  I'm depressed.  I know that's normal and I'm trying to talk with my family about it just to keep an open dialog.  I know it won't last forever and I'm trying to be kind to myself.  But that's where I'm at right now...  Not sure when it will change... 

I'm trying every day to be able to find the energy to get back on track, so I know I will as soon as I'm capable...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Then and Now



Oy...  This is me 3 years ago at more than 300lbs.  I am totally disconnected to that person.  It makes me shake my head and wonder what the HELL I was thinking.  Good riddance to that person.





This is where I am now.  After having lost 140lbs.  

Wonder where I'll be 3 years from now?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

WTF is "Moderation?"

"Indulge...in moderation..."
"Enjoy a treat...once in awhile."
"Have these foods...occasionally."

WTF does that mean?  Okay, so if "a couple" is 2 and "a few" is 3, what is moderation?  How often can I enjoy in my favorite treats without worrying about gaining weight?

Is it twice a week?  Once a week?  Once a month?  I need to know these things.  How often can I have a cupcake? or frozen yogurt?

I'm constantly offered treats and opportunities to indulge in treats and have a steel willpower when I'm on track.  But that gets old and eventually leads to me eating those foods and feeling guilty for it because I'm concerned I won't lose weight because of it, and that stress often leads to other bad food decisions.

For example, two nights ago I broke down and got frozen yogurt.  I put less frozen yogurt in my cup than I usually would, and less toppings on too, but still- it certainly wasn't all fat free yogurt with fruit topping.  Then last night, I had extra points pretty late and decided to have a few pieces of Hubs Halloween candy stash.  I ended up eating one more piece than I meant to.

I feel guilty over these things and I know how dumb that sounds.

I understand that in the grand scheme of things in the journey I've been on, I'm doing DAMN good.  But, I do have guilt over "breaking down" and eating these foods.  I know that at the very absolutely least of it all, I am aware of what's going on and I'm concerned about it and that enough means that I am a new person.  But being able to recognize these patterns naturally sparks my curiousity into why it is so and do I have the control to change it if I want to.

And so where I'm at right now is that I NEED you.  I NEED understanding of what "in moderation" means?  I am almost seeking permission from like-minded people.  How often is it 'OK?' to have these foods without fear of gaining weight?

Friday, 12 October 2012

Feeling Judged?

Why do I feel so judged?

This is a question I asked myself this morning as I was furiously cleaning my house in preparation for the kids and their mother to come today.  Cupcake has been begging lately to see where I live.  She asks me questions about my house.  She just wants to know what I do when I'm here.  Where I sit.  Where I eat.  What my bed looks like.  Because they don't come here.  Ever.  They have never even seen this apartment and I've lived here over a year.  They saw my last apartment twice, I believe...

You see, I live a double life.  At home, I am a wife with no children and working hard to live within my means.  At work, I'm a single "mom" of two children with an unlimited amount of money at my disposal.  (The childrens' parents work in the medical field and make more money in a year than my husband and I make in 5 years.)

It's tough living on both sides of the train tracks.  I'm worried that Cupcake (6 year old) will judge, or doubt me.  She's never wanted for ANYTHING in her life and really has absolutely no concept of knowing that her reality is the stuff of most people's dreams.  In fact, the other day she tried to tell me that her house, at more than 2,500 sq ft, was too small and boring...  Lucky girl is sweet as can be an has not one eyelash worth of malice in her.  She just doesn't know any different yet.

I live in a 750 sq ft loft apartment.  It's beautiful, cottage like.  Reminds me of the chalet we spent our honeymoon in.  It has a fireplace I really enjoy.  It's the perfect size for two hard working married people.  It takes me about 3 hours to clean the entire thing, top-to-bottom.  It's a very nice apartment in a very nice neighborhood.  I even have a little screened in porch.  (Hubs has it full of tools and bikes and all the vitally important things men feel the need to keep.  To women it's junk, but if it's important to him, then he lives here too, so...whatever.)  When there is no pressure, I love this place, junk and all...

But the truth is, I feel judged when I allow people to come into my home.  They are looking at my things and how I keep them and seeing all the flaws that I've become so accustomed to, I don't even notice them anymore.  All the sudden I have too much clutter, hubby's "junk" is everywhere, there cobs webs in the fireplace, and I suddenly feel the need to scrub the base boards and spot clean the carpet.  I want it to be PERFECT like in a magazine, or even just a little closer to looking like that 2,500sq ft house across the train tracks from me.  But it won't.  It never will.

SO why do I feel so judged?  Those children love me.  I mean truly and deeply love me with no idea that they even have a choice in the matter.  Their mother is my friend and has been for a long time.  None of them have ever said anything rude or negative to me.  But still I worry what people think of me.

I feel judged a lot.  In what I eat, in what I wear, in how I exercise, in the words I use and the way I present myself, and even when people visit my home.  I believe I am a fairly confident women.

Are those two things opposites?  Can I feel confident in who I am and still feel judged for being who I am?

...Sorry to ramble.  Just things I've been thinking about today.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

What's Your Mantra?




I'm down 10.4 lbs for the month of September and I credit my success to a new mantra I stole from my friend, Kianne.  "Not this time."  Which for me has become an easy "motherly-love" answer to myself.  Example:

Hubby:  "Wanna go out for frozen yogurt?"
Me:  "Not this time."

Me on the elliptical: UGHhh...I hate the elliptical!  I'm SO bored.  I'm at 26 minutes.  That's close enough.  I can quit.
Me:  "Not this time"

Thinking "not this time," means that I could maybe next time, and promising myself a possibility of an alternate choice at a later date makes it easier to stay on my course right now.  I'm not saying, "No, I can't because I'm on a diet.", I'm just saying, "No thank you.  Not this time."  And that sounds a lot more like a healthy lifestyle choice to me!  The mantra has really been a Mom's (and Nanny's!) argument-ending statement to the war I have with myself  regarding decisions about my health and nutrition.

My step aerobics instructor asked me my name and chatted me up today after class.  We have a large class, so most of us only know each other by sight.  The fact that my instructor asked my name means she has noticed me there and has decided it's worthwhile to learn my name.  It's a good feeling and makes me want to be there even more. :)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Autumn Apple Pie Pancakes

Bet you wish you were eating these!!



Remember Apple Ring Pancakes?  Well they are making a come back in honor of autumn.  While on Pinterest yesterday oogling thanksgiving apple pie recipes, the craving hit me like a ton of bricks and my light bulb clicked on and said "HEY!!  Member those apple ring pancakes you loved last year?  What happened to them?!"  And ever since then I couldn't wait for breakfast to come back around, all though I was very tempted to call them dessert last night! LOL

Today I ate them traditional style with sugar free syrup and a few spritzes of Parkay spray "butter."  I'm thinking later this week I will premake another apples-worth (about 5-6 apple slices) and spread them with peanut butter (I use PB2) for a quick apple-PB sandwich on my way out the door.

I hope the cooler weather has found you!  We are excited here that it's staying under 80 degrees in the days!

Friday, 5 October 2012

DO THE WORK!

It's happened to me a number of times now.  Someone sits down (or calls/texts/emails/facebooks me) and confidentially tells me that they have wanted to lose weight for a long time and could I tell them how I stayed motivated,  or how I didn't feel deprived, or how I learned to love my veggies and fruits and then the moment I tell them how, they tell me that they can't do that...excuse excuse excuse.

Is it horrible that I feel like it's a waste of time?  

Well here it is for you:

I have followed the Weight Watchers plan for the entirety of my weight loss.  Within that plan I also toyed with vegetarianism.  Weight Watchers (WW) is NOT what you think it is.  If you've never gone to a meeting, then you don't know.  Yes, there are plenty of people who research and follow the WW plan "for free" meaning they do not participate online or in meetings.  But me?  I needed (need still) both.  The online website is GREAT for recipe research, tracking your food, and creating your own recipes.  The meetings give me an opportunity to reconnect with like-minded people, have any of my questions answered, brag to people who are genuinely supportive and excited about my journey when I've done well, and talk to people who appreciate the struggle.  You do NOT HAVE TO TALK at a WW meeting if you don't want to, but trust me, swallow your fat pride and speak up, those people are there to help you, not to judge you, and yes they DO understand!  WW claims (and I'm living proof of the statistic) that people who attend meetings lose 3X (THREE TIMES for christ's sake!!) the weight and keep it off longer.

Weight Watchers is not a diet plan.  You do not have to eat "their food" or follow some strange food plan.  Mostly, WW teaches you how to make better decisions about real food you find in restaurants and grocery stores and gives you a way to keep track your food intake in a simple way, by assigning numbers to foods based on their fat, carbs, protein, and fiber content.  Therefore, you learn how to cook healthfully at home and choose carefully when you're out.  WW does have a frozen meal line (Smart Ones) and some breakfast and snack options that are prepackaged, but they are just for support- they are not a complete diet.  I tell you all that to tell you this; 

YES!  I cook about 95% of my meals at home!  
YES!  I have to meal plan, shop, prepare, and track all that food!
YES!  I pack my food from home out with me every day to work, appointments, and errands.
YES!  I exercise at least 4-5 days a week!
YES!  These things take time!
YES!  It is hard work!
YES!  It requires a lot of planning and dedication!
NO!  I don't care what other people think about it and I'm not embarrassed about any of it!

It here that I get all these excuses about why they can't do those things.  And then look to me expecting to give them some other way, some "get out free" card, or sympathy for they're inability to commit.  

It all comes down to priorities.  I work a 40-60 hour week and still find the time to do all this because I have decided it is more important to me than down time or other activities.  

You CAN have all the success and more than I have had if you decide you want it and set out for it.  Get the ball rolling and in a few months you will realize that you're FLYING down the scale.  DO THE WORK- REAP THE REWARDS!!