A happy indication of true change.

Scrabble with my Dad and sisters. Note the absence of junk food on the table. 🙂

Hello blog buddies. It has been about three weeks since my last post. Sounds like I’m making a confession! Rest assured, the absence of blog posts does not indicate a lack in my commitment to keep pressing forward on this journey.

Sick no more
Like most of you, life is just crazy busy. I had a third bout of the cold/flu after writing my last post. I finally went to the doctor when my throat hurt so bad I couldn’t swallow. My eyes turned pink and a bunch of gunky nasty stuff started oozing out. Sorry to be gross, but it seriously freaked me out. Went to the doc the next day and he prescribed eye drops and a five day course of antibiotics. He advised OTC pain meds for my throat such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Who’da thunk you need pain meds for a silly cold (other than for sinus headache, which I didn’t have)? He said the virus was causing the nastiness in my eyes. About a day later, my eyes cleared. About three days later, I was feeling pretty groovy. Now I’m back to 100% health. Oh, it feels good to feel good.

A happy indication of true change in traditional family eating habits
I visited my family in Oregon last weekend. It was a surprise trip – my sister “R” needed some help on an important project: Her mother-in-law passed away in early December, and her husband requested my graphic design skills to help put a memorial slideshow together. She and her husband’s family flew me the thousand miles up north to finalize the project for the memorial gathering that took place yesterday. (R let me know that everyone loved the show. It’s such a great feeling to help a family in this way as they both grieve the loss and celebrate the life of their Mom.)

My thinking, headed up to Oregon, is – don’t worry about the diet this weekend. I’ll be with family. We like to eat when we all get together; all moderation is usually thrown out the window. We like our popcorn, M&M’s, red and black licorice, chocolate, etc.

R and I stayed at our sister T’s house to work on the project; our fourth sister wasn’t able to join us. T and her husband are very conscious about taking care of themselves, so there was no junk food in the house. R started Weight Watchers a couple months ago and she’s making fantastic progress; she’s dropped over 20 lbs. She’s got me seriously considering changing from Lindora to WW. I’m ready for lots more variety and choices so I can stay in this for the long haul.

Perhaps it was because we were so busy all weekend on this project. Perhaps it was the fact that we are all actively working on losing or maintaining our weight. But we did not pig out once. We ate our protein bars when we got hungry between meals. It was funny when we each pulled out our favorite bars and compared labels. T pulled out her nut and dried fruit snacks. She also made us fresh carrot and apple juice using the juice machine that she gave her husband for Christmas. Sweet ambrosia!

SodaStream® Fizz Home Soda Maker. Photo from Brookstone.com

T had also recently purchased a soda maker as she and her husband really like sparkling water. She made us a drink and added just a bit of berry flavoring. It was about 40 calories for 8 oz. So good – it reminded me of those New York Seltzers or Crystal Geysers my Mom used to buy back in the 80s and 90s. T got it at BevMo for about $100. The only maintenance cost is the carbonation canister — it’s about $30 to replace. It comes with four large bottles that maintain carbonation for about four days. She keeps the canisters in the fridge full of water so that when she makes the soda, it’s already cold. I love diet soda. I want one! No cans or bottles to recycle. No lugging sodas from the grocery store to car to house. Less clutter and better for the environment. It’s on my wish list. 🙂

We spent an evening with our Dad and brother playing Scrabble, our traditional family favorite, after eating T’s homemade chili with Ritz crackers. We went to church with Dad the next day, then went out for lunch. T and I split a garden omelet plate at IHOP. That evening for dinner, R and I split a chicken dinner plate. In both cases, splitting provided plenty of food and we were each satisfied but not stuffed.

Bottom line? My sisters and I have acquired much healthier eating habits. I was ready to toss it out the window temporarily for the weekend, but they broke the pattern. Getting together no longer equals a free-for-all when it comes to food. And our time together didn’t suffer; in fact, it was better than ever.

R and I finished the weekend at the airport waiting for my flight by enjoying Coffee People mochas and scones—for lunch. A perfect sweet end to a productive and bonding weekend.

As I flew home, I kept thinking about how good I felt… to have finished a major project, to have no regrets over the food I ate or the words I said, to have just enjoyed my sisters—as well as seeing my Dad and one of my brothers. It’s good to connect with the people you love. Must visit more often. 🙂

Weighty weight. 22 pounds down. 78 to go.

“When you believe that what you do influences the results you get, you will see yourself as someone who can act effectively to get what you want.”
—Cynthia Stamper Graff, Lean for Life

I weighed in today at Lindora.*  I’ve lost three pounds this week, for a total of 22 pounds since getting serious on July 25. Nice, slow and steady. Only 78 pounds to go…

It was a successful week of both weight loss and intentional moderation. I lost this weight by working out at the gym for five out of seven days, and eating on program for every meal except two:

  1. Thursday – slice of Costco pizza
  2. Sunday – dinner at Black Angus: top sirloin steak, fried shrimp, bread and butter, cheesy bread, salad (light dressing), orange slices. For dessert, a big cookie with ice cream on top (which I shared with my husband).

20 lbs of beans representing 20 lbs of fat. Gone.

Shopping at Costco recently, I looked for something that weighed exactly 20 pounds. I picked up a bag of pinto beans and handed it to my husband. He looked at me quizzically.

“Honey, feel how heavy this is. That’s how much I’ve lost!”

He was suitably impressed.

On The Biggest Loser, there was a great episode where the finalists had to carry all of the weight they had lost as they ran through an obstacle course. Each stage in the course represented a week on the show. They dropped that week’s worth of weight at each stage until they were finally light and free. It was so symbolic… To be reminded of how heavy you were compared to how light you are now.

Every now and then along this weight loss journey, I’m going to lift up something that represents how much weight I’ve lost. I want to remind myself just how heavy that weight was. And how unburdened I am by it now. And how I never want to carry that weight again.

I still have a long way to go, but I want to celebrate my accomplishments so far. I’m already seeing major benefits…

  • My size 20 slacks are too big and baggy to wear to work. I look sloppy in them. Looking sloppy is the complete opposite of why I want to lose weight. I need to find my box of smaller clothes in the garage this weekend.
  • My feet no longer hurt when I stand up after sitting for a long time.
  • My lower back is no longer stiff and sore when I wake up in the morning.
  • I am no longer sucking air while climbing the steep hill from the parking lot to our office each morning.
  • I am no longer out of breath when hustling from the parking lot to the movie theater.
  • I have a lot of flexibility and ease of movement. I can easily touch the floor while keeping my legs straight.
  • My arms and legs are firmer.
  • A day of cleaning house and doing other household chores no longer makes me feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck.

If I’m feeling this great after only losing 22 pounds, I’m already imagining how much better it’s going to feel to be another 22 pounds lighter.  Onward and downward!

* Although I’ve completed the 4-week Lindora program I purchased, I’m still able to weigh in if I’m within five pounds of my last weigh in on the program. One more pound lost and I’ll be locked out of their computer. No worries. I think I’ll be fine on my own. I’ve got this down pat!

How do you celebrate your weight loss accomplishments?