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. 🙂

Restart! Tomorrow is a new day…

I found this quote on Pinterest.com. Check it out! Lots of inspirational images and sayings...

I’ve been home all week enjoying a stay-cation. It’s been so nice. My husband and I have been organizing, cleaning, sleeping in, going out to eat, cooking, baking…

Uh oh. There it is. Yeah. I’ve been totally off program all week. And we only made it to the gym 2 days: Saturday and Tuesday.

It’s the end of Thanksgiving Day and I felt ick, yuck, gross. I am done. Done with junk food and unguarded eating. Done with feeling sluggish, sleepy and bloated.

I’m not going to overanalyze why I didn’t do better. I’m just going to start fresh tomorrow.  And by starting fresh, I’m going to:

  • Commit to 30 strict, on program days between now and Christmas with no attempts at moderation. (Other than two holiday parties over the next couple of weeks, there will be no cheat meals).
  • Re-launch my Lindora nutrition plan with three Protein Days from Friday, November 25 to Sunday, November 27. This will help renew my focus and discipline as well as get me into ketosis (where your body burns fat for energy instead of the food you eat).
  • Write down everything I eat and post my menu here for accountability. I’ve been slacking on that for quite a while.
  • Blog more often. It helps me stay focused.
  • Learn how to pat myself on the back for what I’ve accomplished thus far, but keep myself motivated to complete the journey. Must reach my goal of weighing 130 lbs!

Staying at home this week makes me appreciate how much easier it is to eat right when I go to work every day. My hat is off to those stay-at-home moms who are working on losing or maintaining their weight. Dang! Having the kitchen right there, a somewhat flexible schedule, and managing the stress of little ones who want your constant attention… You are amazing!

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

This morning, I woke up slowly while my husband and I snuggled. His hand resting on my hip, he said, “What’s this?”

I smiled and said, “I don’t know, what is it?”

He patted my hip. “Is it bone? Or muscle? Flex.”

I flexed.

“It’s both. Wow. Good job, honey!”

It was a good moment. A very good moment.

I weighed in at Lindora today to discover I’m two pounds down from last week. Yey! I was only slightly discouraged when I did the math and thought to myself, “well, only 60 pounds to go.” Sigh.

I’m plugging away, slow and steady. I’m not being legalistic about my food. I’m having off-program meals 3-4 times a week, and combined with working out at the gym 4-5 times a week, I am steadily dropping the weight.

July 25, 2011 weight: 225 lbs | November 10 weight: 190 lbs

These are inspiring numbers when I sit back and look at them objectively.

  • 15 weeks.
  • 35 pounds gone.
  • That’s an average of 2.33 lbs per week.
  • I weigh 190 pounds.
  • I am 37% of the way toward my goal.
  • 130 pounds, here I come.

It’s a war I’m fighting. More about that in my next post.

Baggy Pants are Big Fat Liars

I love this ad from Kaiser Permanente – Find Your Motivation. It’s hitting me right where I’m at right now.

I’m not sure where my steely resolve has gone. Last week, I ate perfectly on plan only one complete day. One day!

I kept sabotaging myself all week, eating off plan here and there, culminating into a classic blunder on Friday afternoon. There were two birthdays at work. Two different cakes. I had a small slice of both, but felt sick afterwards. It. Was. Not. Worth. It. BTW, I’m a major whiney-butt when I go off track. I bitch and moan and drive everyone crazy. Not a pretty sight.

I did make it to the gym 4 out of those 7 days, despite losing my workout partner temporarily—my husband—due to a bad cold. The workouts felt fantastic. And on Saturday, I played basketball with my nineteen-year-old nephew on leave from the Army. It was a total blast—something I could not have done a couple of months ago!

Friday morning I weighed in at Lindora. I was at the exact same weight I was eight days prior: 197 lbs. My PMA (positive mental attitude) was shouting—you didn’t gain! That’s good!  But the realistic, pessimist part of me whispered: you failed. Several times over, you failed. Why do you bother trying. You can’t do this.

So I’m trying to figure out what’s going on inside my head.

Maybe it’s my pants. My baggy, size 20 pants feel great, but they lie to me. They tell me I’ve arrived. That I’m smaller now. That I can relax. Sure, it’s great to remember that I used to fill those babies to capacity, but keeping them is giving me a false sense of victory and completion. It’s a great accomplishment to have dropped 28 lbs, but that’s only about 30% of the way toward my goal. It’s time to get rid of the baggy pants.

Losing weight is like being on a long journey. You get tired and take a break at a resting spot. It’s such a nice spot. You’ve come such a long way. But there’s so much further to go. You get tempted to stay there. Why keep going? This place isn’t so bad. It’s better than where I was. What if I can’t arrive at my final destination? I should just stay put.

It’s like the sirens in Homer’s Odyssey, luring sailors to the shoreline with beauty and song, only to try to shipwreck them on the rocks.

Losing weight is a serious mental game. It’s like being at war with yourself. And it is a war because when you really drill it down, it truly is a matter of life or death.

Do I choose health and life and physical activity? Or do I choose sickness and pain and the couch?

Duh. No brainer. Just lost my motivation for a tiny bit under the sofa.

(Note: I wrote this last weekend, but was a scaredy cat about posting it. I was dealing with feelings of failure, but didn’t want to expose it to ya’all. But isn’t that the whole point of having this blog? Sharing the achievements as well as the failures along this journey? So I’m sharing…)

The Freedom of Boundaries & Limited Choices

There is something utterly liberating about being on a diet. About having limited choices. About planning ahead.

You can drive past a plethora of restaurants and not even really see them. It’s not an option to visit them.

At lunchtime in the middle of your workday, you don’t have to ask yourself, “What do I feel like having today?” You don’t have to make any decisions. You just go to the fridge and pull out the lunch that you prepared last night. It’s a no brainer.

After work, you can go to the grocery store and make a beeline for the fresh produce, dairy and meat departments, skipping past everything else.

Impulse purchases are no longer a temptation, because your impulses are in check. You’re not going to buy a candy bar while waiting in line because you don’t want to blow your diet.

With the Lindora program, food choices are limited, but it makes food preparation so much easier. Choosing items from the Menu Selection list in the Lean for Life book and working from that is easier than having every ingredient in the world available.

Food tastes better because you have to work within your choices. In the old days, I would never choose a bowl of strawberries for dessert; I’d have two or three scoops of vanilla ice cream with strawberries on top – and perhaps some Hershey’s chocolate syrup, too.  Now, those plain old strawberries are like ambrosia.

It reminds me of something my husband said some time ago. I told him about a conversation with a Lindora consultant before I started the program. She asked me, “When you go out to a restaurant, what do you choose to eat?”

“Whatever I want,” I replied.

She seemed taken aback by my honest answer. When I told my husband about it, I whined that I won’t be able to eat whatever I want anymore.

He said, “Sure you will. You’ll still be eating whatever you want. You’re just choosing different things.

What an empowering thing to tell me.  I choose the good stuff, from now on.

What is your favorite food choice? Both now and then?

 

16 pounds down. 84 to go. My menu this past week.

Lindora Skinny Mirror

Lindora Skinny Mirror

At each Lindora clinic, there is a skinny mirror to help you visualize yourself smaller and leaner. Pretty cool. : ) I worry that it allows some people to be in denial, but it’s a good exercise in visualization.

For accountability purposes, here is my weight-loss menu for this past week. 🙂  It’s been a good week. I’m feeling groovy and really enjoying working out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Pedometer steps: Not recorded. Not many! Very low-key day.
Exercise: None. Today is our day off from the gym.
Oddly not hungry today. Not supposed to skip meals, but missed dinner and evening snack.

  • 10:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 1pm 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 4pm 1 c strawberries (11), 1 oz beef jerky (7)
  • 6pm ZonePerfect Trail Mix bar (13), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • Total carbs: 61

Monday, August 22, 2011
Pedometer steps: 11,666
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 30 minutes lower body strength training. GREAT workout. Felt GOOD.

  • 6:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 11am 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 1:15pm Strawberry Freeze: 1/2 c cottage cheese (4), 1 c strawberries (11), 1/2 c sugar-free raspberry jello (0), 1 tsp vanilla extract (0); 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 Tbsp fat-free Italian dressing (2), 1/4 c carrots (4), 1/4 c celery (1.5), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm 2.5 oz imitation crab (1), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c cucumber (1.5), 1 tsp rice vinegar (1), drop of sesame oil, 1 c strawberries (11), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 10:30pm (post-workout) Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 86

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Pedometer steps: 16,872 (an all time high!!!)
Exercise: 45 min treadmill, 30 situps

  • 8am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 10:30am 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 12:45pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 Tbsp fat-free Italian dressing (2), 1/4 c carrots (4), 1/4 c celery (1.5), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 3pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm 2.5 oz top sirloin steak (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c cucumbers (1.5), 1 tsp olive oil (0), 1 t vinegar (0), 1 c strawberries (11), 12 oz Diet Pepsi
  • 10:30pm (post-workout) Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 91

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Pedometer steps: 10,905
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training

  • 7am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 10:30am 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 Tbsp fat-free Italian dressing (2), 1/2 c cucumber (1.5), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm Salad with 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c cucumber (1.5), 1/4 c carrots (4), 1 t olive oil, 1 t balsamic vinegar (1), 1 c strawberries (11)
  • 11pm (post-workout) Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 93

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Pedometer steps: 7,527
Exercise: none. Totally, completely exhausted today.

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 10:30am 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 1:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c cucumber (1.5), 1/4 c carrots (4), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 6pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 8pm OFF PROGRAM — Costco Pizza (65) (My next post will be about why I intentionally went off program)
  • Total carbs: 136.5

Friday, August 26, 2011 – Protein Day
Pedometer steps: 13,199
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 30 min lower body strength training, 20 min in the pool

  • 8am 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 11:30am 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 1pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 3:30pm 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 6pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 10pm (post-workout) Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 45

Clean Burning Fuel… 10 pounds down. 90 to go.

Yummy vegetablesFriday morning I weighed in at the Lindora clinic. (My 4-week Lindora program includes two weekly visits to the clinic.) My keto stick showed a dark burgundy color indicating I was in ketosis – which basically means my body is burning fat. The Lindora consultant was impressed; she said she hadn’t seen color that good in a long time. I’m over two pounds down from Monday – wahoo!

The consultant thought I should have lost more — she said she wants me to be able to lose it quickly. She reviewed my menu (see below) and recommended I try to stay under 80 carbs a day. My goal is to lose two pounds a week for a year, so I’m not sure I agree with the “more quickly” statement… I’m in this for the long haul…

I mentioned I’m loving the dairy products, and that I’d have to cut back on the yogurt at lunch. It’s considered a protein serving, but it’s got 10 carbs per half cup serving. She asked me what kind of yogurt I was eating. I told her it was the Dannon Light & Fit vanilla fat free yogurt. I was disappointed to hear her say I should stop eating it. It had too many carbs and it was off program.  She recommended Ralphs Carb Master Yogurt. It only has 3 carbs per serving and it tastes great.  I’ll have to go check it out… haven’t made it to a Ralphs market yet.

I’m still flying high as far as my commitment to my new lifestyle. And it’s contagious. My husband is getting a fresh salad every evening. The other night as he was about to take a bite of lettuce, tomato and egg whites, he looked at me and said, “I’m really enjoying these.” We’re both eating better.

I’m feeling so… so… clean. My food is like clean burning fuel. My skin looks better. My digestive system is happier. I feel lighter.  My clothes are definitely looser and more comfortable. However… (Warning men: girl talk ahead)… my period started a week earlier, my cramps are worse and it’s already lasted twice as long as normal. I figure my body’s just taking care of business. Detoxing…

Here’s my menu for the last several days:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Pedometer steps: forgot it at home!
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training (biceps, shoulders, pectoral muscles)

  • 7:00am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 10:30am 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 1:30pm ½ c nonfat yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), ½ c celery (2), 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 4pm protein bar (13)
  • 7:30pm 2.5 oz chicken (0), ¼ c tomato (2.5), ¼ c onions (3), 1 t olive oil (0), fresh garlic, 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 peach (10), Diet Pepsi (0)
  • Total carbs: 89.5

Thursday, August 11, 2011
Pedometer steps: 13,556
Exercise: 25 minutes treadmill, 5 minutes elliptical, 30 minutes core strength training

  • 7:00am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 10:30am 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 1:30pm ½ c nonfat yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3),  ½ c jicama (5),  1 tbsp fat free Italian dressing (2), 12 oz Diet Squirt
  • 4pm protein bar (13)
  • 7pm 1 oz string cheese (1), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp t vinegar, peach (10), 12 oz Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 10:30pm Lindora hot cocoa (6)
  • Total carbs: 97.5

Friday, August 12, 2011
Pedometer steps: left it in the gym bag!
Exercise: none

  • 7:00am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 10:30am protein bar (13)
  • 1pm  Frozen Berry Cooler [½ c nonfat yogurt (10), 2/3 c mixed berries (11), ½ c sugar-free jello (0)], 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ¼ c carrots (4), ½ c celery (2), 1 tbsp fat free Italian dressing (2), 12 oz Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 6pm protein bar (13)
  • 7:30pm I went off program for a Staff Appreciation Party at the home of my boss. I did this intentionally. I ate a protein bar just beforehand to help stave off temptation. While everyone had beer and wine, I drank Diet Coke. When it came time to eat, I had two tacos: 4” corn tortillas, one with shredded beef, one with carne asada, a dollop of guacamole on each. I had a salad (just lettuce). Afterward, I ate approximately a half cup of strawberries. I skipped the rice and beans, the cheese enchiladas, and the churros. I consider it a successful evening for food choices. : )
  • Total carbs: unknown. But I didn’t go crazy off program.

Saturday, August 13, 2011
Protein Day
Pedometer steps: 10,170
Exercise: My husband woke me up this morning to go the gym. How cool is that?! We spent 30 minutes on the treadmill. About 5-10 minutes in the sauna. About 10 minutes in the spa. Then 30 minutes in the pool where I did some exercises I remembered from an aqua fitness class I took two years ago. My legs were pleasantly sore the rest of the day. Just a relaxing morning with my husband.

  • 8:30am 1 c skim milk (12), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 11:30pm Lindora Chocolate Chocolate protein bar (13)
  • 1:45pm Lindora BBQ Soy Puffs (8)
  • 4pm 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 6pm Lindora Wildberry Passion protein drink (1)
  • 8pm 1 c skim milk (12)
  • 11:30pm 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped with 1.25 oz. deli turkey (0.5)
  • Total carbs: 53