Sunday, September 23, 2007
Speaking of fat cats in suitcases, I went home to Illinois to visit family and to go to my best friend's baby shower. I had been SO STRESSED because of my fur-child being so sick, and because this new-teacher business is just sucking the life right out of me, I'm just so tired from trying to figure it all out. So I was worried about leaving it all for four days and being able to keep up. Turns out the trip couldn't have been more perfect, I got to see everyone I had planned on seeing and more, and all my flights were turbulence-free. No panic attacks mid-air this time!
Also going on this month after I got back from my trip was my first formal observation by my principal. I was a nervous wreck, but turns out it went perfectly, in my opinion. Really couldn't have been much better. The kids were perfect angels, the lesson I had chosen flowed smoothly, and the whole situation felt so relaxed. Afterwards, it felt like a HUGE crushing weight had been lifted off my chest. Progress reports were also due last week, so there were a couple nights where I had only gotten a couple hours of sleep, since I had to stay up late figuring all that out. Who knew my high school teachers when through all this crap?! And made it all look so easy!!
With all this juggling going on, I had to stop taking Alli. The "treatment effects" were simply too unpredictable and inconvenient for the kind of week I've had. Every morning at school, my planning period was spent near a bathroom, instead of actually planning or getting paperwork done. And with all that traveling, I just didn't want to be driving in the middle of nowhere in the rental car and suddenly be racing to the nearest exit for a bathroom. Just not worth it. But now that all that stuff is behind me, I started taking it again this weekend. I think it works best for me to only take on weekends, and then sparingly during the week. And I've still done quite well, considering that I had stopped taken it, was traveling, and didn't exercise at all. Honestly, I've just reached a whole new level of stress where I don't even feel like eating lately. Wow, never thought I'd say that, since my natural response to stress is to eat everything in sight.
And now for the progress report:
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
So I've started focusing my exercise routines on jogging again. And I've even told a few of my students and colleagues that I'm doing this, which helps to ramp up my commitment level, 'cause I don't want to go back on my word! But unfortunately, I haven't been able to continue my training this week - who knew teaching took such a toll on one's feet!!! My dogs hurt SO BAD!!! I've got blisters and everything from standing all day, so there went my step class. And forget jogging this week! My tootsies need some serious rest and recovery.....
And now for the latest and greatest:
Saturday, August 18, 2007
So.... I have to come up with 8 interesting things about myself? Yeesh, I'm feeling pretty dull lately, but here goes:
1. I'm starting a new career!! This coming Monday will be my first day as a teacher. I'm so excited!!! And this also explains why I've been feeling so dull as of late - so much work to do!!
2. I am a football FREAK. I LIVE for football season. Don't even try to pry me off the couch and away from the TV on Sundays and Monday nights. My team? DA BEARS!!!
3. I am incredibly opinionated when it comes to the names parents give their children. And I feel I've earned that right because I myself am the victim of having been given an unusual first name. And let me tell you - I'M the one who has to live with it, and I'M the one who has to put up with the constant misspronunciations and spellings. And you know who DOESN'T have to deal with it?? The parents who named me!!! (I still love 'em, though. Sigh.) To all the parents out there - YOU ARE NOT THE ONE WHO HAS TO LIVE WITH YOUR CHILD'S NAME!!! My biggest naming pet peeve??? When parents give their child a common name, but spell it "differently" (I call it just spelling it just plain "wrong") because they want their child to be unique. Parents, all that does is sentence your child to a life other people assuming (as they very well should be able to) that Jennifer spells her name just like that, and NOT as "Genypher" or something equally dumb. If you wanted a unique name, then make up an original name! Don't mess around with the common ones!!! Your poor child spends probably a good 5 years of their life correcting people. GRRRRR!!! Okay, I feel better now :) Whew!
4. I am also a HUGE tennis fan. No, I don't have a clue how to play, but someday I'd love to take lessons. My favorite surface is the clay court, and so I love watching the French Open. I was also fortunate enough to intern in London for 3 months a few summers ago, and so of COURSE I made sure to visit the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon - truly the church of the tennis!
5. I love extra-dark chocolate. And wine. 'Nuff said.
6. I have to sleep with the ceiling fan on, which is right above our bed. I have to be able to feel the air circulating, and I love the fact that the fan's constant hum blocks out random noise from bumps in the night.
7. I swore up and down in high school after a band trip to Walt Disney World (yeah, I was a band geek) that I NEVER needed to go back to Florida for ANY reason - TOO HOT!!! And now look at me. God really does have a sense of humor. My husband unfortunately is stationed here, and well...... the things we do for love.
8. I'm not a picky eater AT ALL (probably contributes to my love of food and thus my weight problem). I only say no to olives and pickles. Or anything pickled, really. EW!! And yet my favorite salad dressing is oil and vinegar..... go figure.
As for my 8 unsuspecting tag-victims, we'll give these a try:
1. Big Daddy D
And now for the damage as of late (although I'm down from having topped out recently at 208!):
Saturday, July 21, 2007
What's been stressing me out? I'm switching careers, and I'm scared to death. I'm really excited, but I oscillate minute-by-minute between feeling scared and excited, so I'm constantly on-edge this month. I'm going to be teaching high school this fall, and I've never taught a single thing in my life. That also means that I had to give notice this month at my current job, something I've never had to do before, and that was stressful as well. It's really awkward going into work right now, knowing that I'll be leaving in a few days, and knowing that some of my coworkers will miss me (and I'm going to miss them so much, too), while others are upset that I'm leaving them at a really busy time for the business. I've also been stressing about getting older, I'm starting to find the gray hairs, everyone around me is having kids, and I don't have any yet, etc., etc. AND with all that going on inside my head, my husband has been gone the entire month of July with the ship. So no help or support whatsoever, other than a rare email every now and then.
So yesterday I finally put a stop to the madness. My back has been hurting a LOT for a few weeks now with the strain of weight-gain, as well as stiffness from not having working out for almost a month. I've also been withdrawing more and more from going out in public (unless I have to for work), simply because I'm so self-conscious about being heavier, and of course none of my clothes fit right now. In fact, when I told a couple of coworkers earlier this month that I had some news, one of them asked if I was pregnant before I could tell them that my news was that I would be leaving the company! I was MORTIFIED at how obvious my sudden weight gain had been. I'd say I'm just taking it one day at a time, but it's more like one minute at a time. Even as I write, I'm feeling dizzy from sugar and fast-food withdrawal. I just got back from the grocery store and stocked up on fresh produce and other low-carb staples, hoping that it would help motivate me. I'm hoping to make it to the gym today, but I figured I'd wait until tonight because it's near-empty on Saturday nights. I'm just so embarassed about being heavier again, and the last thing I want to do is go huff-and-puff on a treadmill in front of beach bodies. My goal right now is just to make it through the rest of the day.
For now I'm hanging in there, just like that cute little squirrel in the pic. We inherited hanging plants from some friends that just moved away last month (more stress!!), and now our balcony is a forest/circus with all the wildlife that the plants and new birdfeeders are attracting. Safe to say my cat is VERY happy with all the new entertainment outside.
And now for the damage:
Sunday, June 03, 2007
And the lifelong battle continues. It's so frustrating to be sooooo close to my ultimate goal weight, only to sabotage myself and balloon back up to near-obesity. But I'm staying positive. It's still very much possible to do it this year. I can lose these last 30 pounds by Christmas, if can I just stop screwing around. I haven't been full-out binging, just making poor choices and not exercising as much as I should. And when I do get to the gym, I'm not really pushing myself to try to improve. Basically, I've just been complacent, not really gaining much, but not losing, either. I'm just in limbo.
The good news is that even though I gained some weight back (about 15 lbs), it's not as much as the last time this happened, or the time before that..... or the time before that. I jumped back up to only 184 this time (just under my obesity-level). Last time it was 208 before I turned it around. So again, I'm just trying to stay positive: I caught myself before I even crossed into official obesity-land, and I've only got a little more than 30 pounds to reach goal. And overall, I've still lost almost 75 lbs from my highest weight. Not too shabby!
So to kick-start my comeback, I'm going to be signing up for my area's 4th of July 5K. I'd like to do a personal best, but I'm not sure if I can get in good enough shape by then. Either way, it's something to work toward.
About this picture, my husband and I just got back from a trip to Savannah, Georgia. The ONLY reason we came back was because we can't exactly afford a 5-10 million dollar home in the historic district, like the one in the background. By the way, that's the Mercer Williams House, made famous by the book and movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". Savannah was one of the most romantic places I've ever been, and I'm so fortunate to be able to cross it off my life's to-do list.
And now for the latest progress update:
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The reason for the picture is that I have to give a plug to YOU: On A Diet, my new favorite book. Don't let the title fool you, it doesn't really push any revolutionary new faddish way of eating to lose weight (yes, it's got an eating plan, but it's mostly common-sense. naturally low-carb stuff I already do anyway, even though the authors take a few jabs at low-carb "diets" throughout the book). Instead, this book delves deeply the body's digestive system and how we process the foods we eat. It has LOTS of fun diagrams and pictures that dumb down all this scientific crap for me so that it's not boring at all. I've read it cover-to-cover now and I already feel like reading it all over again just 'cause there was SO much information, I couldn't possibly soak it all in. I HIGHLY recommend this book to ANYone who wants a better understanding of how every nutrient and bite of food affects their body, and anyone who's looking for a new kind of motivation in their weight-loss journey. And FYI, this book is by the same medical doctors who wrote "YOU: The Owner's Manual", and both books were featured on Oprah. AND, they're the same docs behind the website www.RealAge.com.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Fast forward to when I went home a couple weeks ago, and I went to church with my parents. I didn't know it at the time, but I was introduced to this man who had been praying for me. My mom later told him that I was the one they had requested prayer for and explained how I used to weigh over 255 lbs, to which he responded, "I was gonna say, I was starting to think you had a different definition of 'overweight'!". Point is, it was a revelation to me that someone was praying for me. I consider myself to be a rather spiritual person, and yet it had never occurred to me pray for help with my weight problems. I've NEVER prayed about it. And it didn't take me long to figure out why: the guilt. I've always felt like if I wanted it badly enough, I could lose the weight. I was a fat slob because of my own doing. So why pray about it if it was my fault to begin with? I should've known better. I see now that it's no coincidence that shortly after my mom asked for prayer that I somehow managed to get back on track. And now, hopefully this man who was struggling with his faith can see that God is really listening! The whole story just makes me feel like I have a higher purpose in this process. It feels like I'm letting more than just myself down if I get sidetracked now..... but it's an awesome feeling.
The other bit of news from my mom is the effect I had on my brother. I wrote about his own lifelong battle with his weight earlier, and how he had gained at least 50 lbs since the last time I had seen him 6 months ago, and how he appears to suffer from the same binge-eating tendencies that I do. Well, while at my parents' house, my brother hugged me and told me how great I looked, referring to my weight loss. It felt really good, and it was so unexpected, given our rather rocky relationship. And now, according to my mom, he appears to be trying to eat well and exercise again. Hallelujah! It feels so good knowing that I might have been the catalyst that got my brother to wake up and realize that he was headed down a dangerous path with his health. Thank you, Lord!!
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
But back to last night's workout. I had an interesting bittersweet experience there, something that only truly formerly FAT people can relate to. And it's not the first time something like this has happened. First off, when you swipe your membership card to check in and enter the building, your picture on file appears on the clerk's computer screen. Well, when I checked in last night for the first time since dropping my membership earlier in the year, the clerk made a weird face, said there was some sort of mistake with my picture, but let me in anyway, saying she'd look into it and resolve it later. Well, on my way back out the door after my workout last night, the same clerk stopped me at the door and asked that next time I come, that I have someone take my picture again for their files. She said that the one they have for me looks nothing like me, and that she doesn't "want to see that person" anymore when she checks me in (she meant it as a compliment). Finally, the light bulb went off in my head, and I asked her to turn the computer screen to see what they had on file. I knew it was coming, and yet I was still shocked, 'cause it was even worse than I had thought. No wonder she had been so confused. There I was on her computer screen, a good 50 lbs heavier, with my hair back in a tight ponytail, and such poor picture quality that even I couldn't recognize my own fat face. The only way I could tell it was me was from the t-shirt I was wearing - a ratty old high school t-shirt. I literally looked like the Michelin Man in a turquoise 1995 perfect attendance shirt. I didn't know whether to be proud of my present self, or to feel sorry for my former self. I said as much, and she congratulated me how far I had come. Safe to say I couldn't wait to have that new picture taken this morning when I went back again!
Sorry for the topic-change whip-lash, but it's the Tuesday check-in for Jimmy Moore's 30-In-30 Challenge (2 lbs lost this week!), although I guess after reading about the changes to the Challenge, I think I'm going to be making my own changes to my participation in it. I've already met the challenge of losing 30 lbs in 30 weeks, so I think I'll simply continue on toward my ultimate goal weight of 150 (I'm so close), continuing to count the weeks since I've started (1 Nov 2006), and of course I'll keep checking in every Tuesday on Jimmy's Challenge blog for accountability.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Yes, I'm now WELL aware that I have the fattest, not-cutest-looking feet ever. I just never quite realized the extent of the non-cuteness until I attempted to take a picture of them. It explains why my mom has referred to them as Fred Flintstone feet all my life. Anyway. I have a new toy - a new scale by Weight Watchers. It pretty much does everything but talk to me , which it really SHOULD talk considering how much I paid for it. Oh well, that's what birthday money is for. And I figured I hadn't truly rewarded myself in awhile. It measures body fat, BMI, even my hydration level, and all sorts of other stats. And it remembers all this stuff for up to four people. Sad part? I've had it for about two weeks now, and I have yet to do anything but check my weight.
So I've had a busy couple of weeks. I flew back home to Chicagoland last weekend to visit parents and my brother and my adoreable little nephew. AND managed to eat well and lose weight. I couldn't really get any exercise in, and I haven't been up to working out since I got back, either. TOO TIRED, feeling like I'm still catching up from being gone for awhile. But it all turned out well, and everyone was amazed at how much I'd lost since the last time I'd been home. It was powerful motivation.
One of the hard things, though, was seeing my brother. He had clearly put on at least 50 lbs since I last saw him in August. I'm guessing he's easily over 300 lbs. His weight story is quite similar to mine, a lifetime of yo-yo-ing up and down. But it didn't hit me until last weekend that he may have the same binge-eating depression/coping issues that I do. How else does a person pack on that much weight in such a short time? It was really hard to see, almost like looking in the mirror at my former self. So jovial on the outside, but so filled with pain if anyone cared to look a little more closely. It's by far the heaviest he's ever been. And now that he's got a new kid, I gotta imagine that it'll be even harder now to lose the weight again.
One highlight, though, was a field trip to Black Earth, Wisconsin - home of the famous scandal-ridden shoe store The Shoe Box, and a great sports bar (under the same owners, who also own the Madison Mallards baseball team) called Rookies. The bar also has its own whiffle ball field, and in case you can't read the seventh rule, it reads: Close calls result in a Chug-off. And for all you southern snowbirds, the field was more suited to making snow angels than double-plays.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
I'm so glad 2006 is over. For many reasons, this had to be the worst year of my life. So many stresses, curveballs, and worries, and of course my weight reflected every up and down. But it's over and done with, and I have never been more optimistic about a new year. I'm so excited over some of our plans, I just know it's going to be a better year in terms of less stress and moving on.
I'm especially excited about the head start I have on getting my weight under control again. I had another big week on this 30-Lbs-In-30-Weeks Challenge, losing 3 lbs during the biggest stretch of food-fests in the year: Christmas, New Years Eve, and my birthday. I didn't feel (too) deprived, and any sacrifice is well-worth the feeling of knowing I don't need to spend the first few weeks of 2007 undoing damage from stuffing myself over the holidays.
And now, on with the obligatory New Year's Resolutions:
1. I must finally reach my goal weight of 150 lbs this year. I started with Atkins for the first time back on January 1st, 2003. I've come so close to reaching it a couple times now, but somehow I always manage to self-destruct and eat everything in sight until I put nearly every pound back on. Not this year. I'm about 30 lbs away now. I've lost almost 30 lbs in the last two months when I started this Challenge, so SURELY I can lose at least that much again in the next twelve months.
2. I need to drink less diet soda. Specifically Diet Mt. Dew. My husband and I drink it like water! I would say I down about 3 cans a day. While this is still LOADS better than drinking 5-6 cans of regular Coke a day like I used to, all those chemicals can't be that great for me. I'd like to shoot for no more than a can a day.
3. I need to be more diligent with daily devotions. As a Christian, it's simply non-negotiable, and I've let it slide to the back burner for far too long. I want to continue in my spiritual growth, and I'm growing stagnant by not prioritizing my life around it more.
4. I need to take better care of myself. My weight isn't the only thing I let go in 2006. But it stems from that. When you don't take care of yourself in one area, the other areas tend to follow suit. I haven't had a dental checkup in about a year now, and it's been at least a year and a half since my last eye checkup. I really need to get a complete physical, beyond the normal yearly thing, including a complete blood work-up to get my cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. checked. I just need to be more vigilant with my body in ALL areas, not just my weight.