Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Food Log - Day One

Breakfast:  1 cup of Maple Nut Oatmeal Crisp with 1/2 cup 1% milk, 1 cup water and 1/2 cup Orange Fanta.  {8 Points}

Lunch:  1 large banana, 2/3 cup Astro Zer0% Vanilla yogurt, 1 cup water.  {2 Points}

Supper:  From Subway:  6 inch Roast Beef sub on 9-grain whole wheat bread, with Montery Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, black olives, honey mustard sauce and pepper, small Cream of Broccoli soup, four soup crackers, regular Coca-cola Zero.  {13 Points}

Daily Target:  {36 Points}  Today's Total:  {26 Points}  

I'm using a styrofoam bowl because they are much smaller than our kitchen bowls, eliminating the temptation to eat more than one portion in one meal.  

I have decided that I am not going to do a photo food log each day.  The main reason is because the Weight Watchers web site and iPhone app make it so easy to log my food consumption.  Doing the photos is just added work, especially since I am now getting into photography and I want to make the photos really appealing before I share them.  However, on days when I am not too busy, or if I eat something out of the ordinary for me I will definitely take photos and share them here.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's Been Two Years, One Week and Six Days

Since I last blogged, two years, one week and six days ago, I've had a number of failures and successes.  Losing weight has not been among my successes.  In fact, I'm seventeen pounds heavier now than I was then.  My new weight loss goal is 107 pounds.  I have a lot of work ahead of me.

My biggest challenge is staying on track.  I've tried on and off to lose weight.  When I start to lose weight I feel awesome, I'm drinking lots of water, eating lots of veggies, I don't crave junk food, I feel satiated with what I do eat, I just know I'm going to reach my goal.  And then something happens.  I fall off the wagon.  And it's really difficult to pull myself back on the wagon when my hands are full of chips, donuts and soda.  Not to mention my lack of arm strength; I have the weakest arms in the world.

 Since I wrote last, I met Adam.  He is everything I have ever wanted in a partner.  He is honest, funny, caring and selfless.  He talks to me and he listens to me.  He comforts me when I'm sad.  He has my back when someone upsets me.  He is a fantastic father figure to my daughter, Patience.  He fell in love with me just the way I am because he sees what is inside of me.  For the first time in my life I know what true love is.  I always heard that "true love is worth fighting for," but in reality you don't have to fight for true love at all because it's right and it comes naturally.

One evening last spring while we were eating supper Adam asked Patience if he could have her blessing to marry her mother.  She smiled from ear to ear.  Then he got down on one knee with a ring in his hand and asked me to marry him.  Our wedding will be on August 10th.

I found my wedding dress.  It is complimenting to my figure and I love the way it looks on me; however, I would still like to be smaller than I am now when I walk down that aisle.  My dress can always be taken in.  I remember going to a wedding once, and when the bride started her walk down the aisle, someone near me said, "That's a big bride."  It was very mean spirited and superficial.  I don't want anyone focusing on my weight on my wedding day.  I certainly won't reach my goal weight by August, but I can improve my weight by then.

Adam's parents have been successfully losing weight on Weight Watchers for the past few months.  I've decided to start WW for a few different reasons.  One, I've seen that it works.  Two, I've been successful in the past with counting fat and calories, and WW makes that easy with a points system.  Three, if I put money into a weight loss plan I will be more likely to stick to it.

I will purchase my Weight Watchers membership today and begin counting points tomorrow.  In the January/February issue of the WW magazine there is an article about a reader who for her food log instead of writing down everything she eats, she takes photos of everything she eats.  I think that is an awesome idea!  So, starting tomorrow I will be sharing my photo food log here in my blog.

Another article in the same issue of the magazine gave this advice for people who have lost weight in the past and gained it back:
"Create a Positive List identifying five things you accomplished the last time you lost weight, like going down a few dress sizes.  Now add five new goals (such as walking an extra half mile each week).  On days your motivation is waning, read your list.  And add to it when you try something new like salmon sushi or cardio-kickbox class.  Remember, the list should focus on small goals that make a big impact on your attitude."
So, here is my Positive List:

Last Time:
  1. I felt comfortable in my body. 
  2. I was able to wear all the clothes I wanted to. 
  3. I was confident. 
  4. I had structure.  
  5. I exercised daily. 
Goals for This Time:
  1. Change my relationship with food.
  2. Gain energy. 
  3. Learn to drink enough water. 
  4. If I slip up one day or one weekend, forgive myself and get right back to it.
  5. See the scale without having to look around my belly.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Without Armour

At some point I realized why I allowed myself to put on so much weight.  I didn't merely allow myself to put it on; I put it there on purpose.  It's the ol' get fat so no one can get close to you trick.

I don't want to go too deeply into my past right now, but I'll say this:  I've loved and lost a few times.  I used to believe fully in the power of love, so I've fought for it more than once.  I was left broken, bruised and bloodied each time.  After my last serious relationship ended four years ago I just knew I couldn't survive another blow.  And so I began to put on my armour of fat.

Gradually I grew to be content with being on my own.  Physically, I didn't like the way I felt, but emotionally I was content.  No man, no cry.  I wasn't ready to shed the fat that was protecting me.

A few months ago an old high school crush reappeared in my life.  He reminded me how it felt to be held, and then he reminded me how it felt to hurt.  My armour failed me.  It didn't protect me at all.  I'm ready to take off this shoddy armour.  Ninety pounds by the end of the year.

It's coming off. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So Much For Tuesday

I have a very, very good excuse--er, reason--for not being here in like a month (give or take a day). I’ve been busy. Actually busy. Not procrastinating. I promise.

Lately I’ve been making daily To Do lists and pinning them up on my bedroom wall next to my bed. Seeing it on paper helps me to not put it off. I don’t get everything I want to get done each day, but I’ve been averaging about 80% - 90%, which is pretty darn good considering how much I want to get done every day. Unfortunately for my blog, it’s been falling in that 10% - 20% that doesn’t get done.

I actually used to blog an incredible amount. I was introduced to the wonderful world of blogging ten years ago today, actually. (Happy blogging anniversary to me!) I blogged at Open Diary for about eight years. At first I blogged many times a week, sometimes two or three times a day. I blogged about everything. I wanted to get a shirt that read, “I’m blogging this.” But as time went on I blogged less and less. By the time I finally decided to actually leave Open Diary I was only blogging once every few months. I’d lost most of my readers because no one seems to care about a part-time blogger.

I hope that I can find some readers here who can forgive me for my lack of full-time commitment to blogging. I am about to make a promise that I can keep: When I have the time and energy, and something to write about, I will be here. I also am very interested in the lives of people here, so I will be reading. Promise. When I have time. And energy. Good enough?

Which brings me to one of the things keeping me busy. I’ve been going to the doctor a lot more lately than I ever would have chosen to on my own. I’ve been feeling fatigued like you wouldn’t believe. While the day care kids were here I’d have to wrestle with my eye lids to keep them open, and the minute they’d leave I’d be, “Hello, bed!” But it wasn’t that energetic. It was more like, “Hey, bed… Zzzzz.” My body has also been very sore. My back was perpetually sore for about three weeks, plus I had other pains that came and went. Then, of course, there was the forty-two pound weight gain in a year--most of it in a matter of months. It was Ashleigh who suggested that I see her NP.

I’ve had all sorts of things put in me and taken out of me in the past month. The only thing that has been found so far is that I’m low in B12. Despite the fact that I’ve been eating healthy lately and swallowing a mama-honkin’ multi-vitamin every day, it seems that my body doesn’t absorb the B12 as it should. So the NP has started me on B12 injections. I went for the first on Monday. I generally don’t have a problem with needles. Of course, everything has an exception.

“This is injected directly into your muscle,” the NP said.

I was silent, but I was thinking, “Now you tell me. You didn’t tell me that earlier when I could opt out, did you? This is going to be bad. This is going to be awful. Needles normally go into the fatty tissue, don’t they? Where they just slide in, relatively painless. I have plenty of fatty tissue to choose from. Plenty! A needle into the muscle? No, that’s not good. Not good at all.”

Then she brought out the needle. Not one of those little teeny things that I’m used to. Nope. This one could go clean through my arm. Okay, maybe not. But it was at least the size of my pinky! Really!
Still silent, I thought, “This is going to be awful. This is going to be horrid.”

“You’ll come back for these once a week for a month, and then once a month after that,” she told me.

“I’m going to have to relive the horror over and over again,” I thought to myself.

“Okay, relax,” she said, probably reading the dread on my face. “Are you ready?”

“Mm-hmm,” I said. But as I could feel my heart pounding in my chest I was thinking, “There’s no way out. Go to your happy place. Go to your happy place!” I felt it going in. “Not bad yet, but it’s about to get really, really ba--” Suddenly I felt cotton on my arm. I turned my head and looked at the cotton ball she was holding on my arm.

“Hold this,” she said. I took the cotton and lifted it a little so I could see what was beneath it. A tiny dab of blood. It was done.

“Hmm,” I thought. “I’m just an incredible wuss.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Hate This Picture of Pauly Shore and Me

I probably watched Encino Man about forty-seven times when I was fourteen. My best friend, Ashleigh, and I watched every movie that Pauly Shore was in over the next four years. He had his very own goofy style of humor that we both loved. Then he just sort of disappeared after Bio-Dome in 1996.

When we found out that Pauly Shore was coming to Regina to do a live show, we were all about that. We got seats in the first row of the balcony. How exciting it was for us to get to see someone live that we’d both been fans of throughout our teenage years. The live show was definitely more vulgar than in the movies, but still very Pauly.

At the end of the show he said that he’d be signing autographs in the lobby.  Ashleigh is always very indifferent about stuff like that, but I get very giddy and star struck. As he was signing my Pauly Shore glossy photo I kept looking at him with a big goofy smile. Then he looked at me and suddenly shot that Pauly Shore smile at me. (If you’ve seen Pauly Shore movies, you know the one.) When I asked if I could get a photo with him, he was very gracious and Ashleigh snapped the picture.

I just couldn’t wait until I got home to see the photo, so in the car I turned the camera on and took a gander at it. “Gah!”

Ashleigh! You’re supposed to let a person know if they look horrid before you snap a picture. This is the only photo I have of me with Pauly Shore, and I can’t post it on Facebook. You can tell how old I am by counting my chins!”

I was upset about the picture, but not so much at Ashleigh for snapping it without telling me that it was an unflattering angle as at myself for being at a weight that it was even possible to look like that in a picture.

I decided that it would make a great Before photo. Which means that once I’ve reached my goal weight I need to hunt Pauly Shore down so I can get another photo taken with him. If he’s in the Before photo, he should be in the After photo. Naturally.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Listened to People Who Scared Me to Death and from My Heart

I think that everyone should have a job that they like (and if they love their job, even better). A person’s job takes up such a significant part of a person’s life that they really should be able to enjoy it. How a person feels about how they make a living really affects the life that person is living. I have yet to find that job which really fulfills me. And I know that I am really the only one to blame for that.

I knew from the time I was seven-years-old what I would be happiest doing. That is when I sat down in front of my Mom’s typewriter and hunted and pecked out a stage play on multi-coloured paper. I don’t remember the name of the play or what it was about; just that I loved the process of creating characters and situations in my mind and letting them escape out onto the paper. In the years that followed, I filled boxes with books and books with poetry and stories in many forms. There was nothing I could ever really see myself doing other than writing. All through my childhood and teen years I dreamed of a future of being a published writer. It’s the only thing I was ever really good at and the only thing I ever really loved to do.

There were always people in my life who showed interest in reading my writing and who told me I had talent. But there was never a person in my life who knew how to support me in realizing my dream. As I got older I began listening to the people who told me that there was no future in writing. A part of me began to believe that I couldn’t make a living with writing. I was scared of wasting my time doing something that would make me poor. When I was twenty I became a single mother. I needed to support my daughter and myself. I needed to do something "realistic".

I’ve had many different jobs, but I always found myself looking at myself in the mirror in the ladies room thinking, “This is a temporary job--just until I find the one that suits me.”

Two years ago I had the opportunity to go to school to be educated for a "realistic" career. It was a Quick Start program, which meant that they crammed a whole lot of information into our heads in a small amount of time, so that we could quickly get out into the work force.

Early Childhood Education is an area that I feel is important, so I knew that I was sure to love it. To begin with, I did. I did very well in school, and I adored every minute of my job placement in a preschool class. But when I was done school, I couldn’t find a job. I applied everywhere in my city, but everyone was hiring people with more experience. Really? How exactly does one get experience then?

I decided instead to open a home day care. I was somewhat hesitant, but the pros seemed to outweigh the cons. I kept hearing that there was a huge demand for child care. I’d be my own boss. I like children. I’d be doing something worthwhile.

The hesitation came from my severe case of Youngest Child Syndrome. They will probably write “Don’t TOUCH that! It‘s MINE!” on my grave stone. I’m not greedy by any means, but my stuff is my stuff and keep your grubby hands off of it. Did you think I wouldn’t notice that you put my Spider-Man DVD back in the wrong spot? Gosh, people. Youngest Child Syndrome stems from us getting all the crap handed down to us from our older siblings and never really having anything of our own. So the thought of a bunch of kids coming into my house and grabbing at all of my stuff caused me some anxiety. I love kids. I just don’t love the idea of their mitts all over my stuff.

When Patience was little I looked forward to the time when I no longer had to keep everything out of her reach and I could decorate my home the way that I wanted to. Now that she is older, I didn’t want to have to put everything up high again to have a day care in my home. I don’t have a finished basement, which would have made a world of difference. If I did, I could have put aside that section of the house for the day care. Then there’d be a day care in my house, but if I had to child proof my living area then I’d be living in a day care. I don’t want to live in a day care. I found a way around it. I’d only accept older children. Preschool and up; children who are old enough to understand that the toys are for them and all of the other things are not for them. The problem is that most people need care for toddlers.

At the end of this month I will have been doing the home day care for a full year. I work eleven hours most days and I am not even making enough money to survive. I am tired all of the time and I am convinced that my sore back is a physical manifestation of stress. The kids are great; it’s the adults that are hard to deal with. Recently I had a few calls for people needing care for toddlers and I said I would meet with them. I started picturing myself pulling out my hair as adorable tiny people invaded my shelves, but I needed the money. I struggled with this, because I always said that people should never ever work with children simply for the money. However, neither of the people that I spoke to showed up when they said that they would, and I haven’t heard from either of them in almost two weeks now. I took that as a resounding sign. It really is time for me to move on. I’d rather be unhappy in a job in which I make more money and only have to work eight hours a day.

For the past few days I’ve been looking at job postings and trying to figure out what I’m going to do. What can I do that I’ll enjoy? What am I good at? What will fulfill me? I know with every ounce of my being that there is only one answer. There only ever has been one answer for me, and that is writing.

I realize that I need to do something while I’m working toward my goal. If it’s flipping burgers at McDonald’s, so be it, as long as it pays the bills and I still have something of myself left to give at the end of the day. But I have lost so much time to fear. I was so afraid of failing with my writing that I never even tried. I’m filled with great regret because of that. Not trying was my biggest failure of all.

In November I participated in NaNoWriMo (writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days). I put my all into it. I lost my sanity at times, and I never felt so good in my life. The experience of watching the characters and story evolve before my eyes was amazing. It showed me that I could do something that I wasn’t sure of for so long. And if I could do that, what else can I do? What else is just sitting there inside of me, waiting to be done?

I have said before that I was going to work toward being a writer and then I changed my mind. But I know things now that I didn’t know then. I know how it feels to write every day and create a great chunk of a novel. I also know that nothing else will ever make me as happy as writing. So I am going to work toward being a writer. Full-time. And if I fail, at least I’ll fail trying.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here I Am

I had some very good reasons for not blogging for most of December. There were Christmas concerts, Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, Christmas baking and the a-few-days-before Christmas car accident which totaled off my car. No one was seriously injured in the latter, but it meant having to deal with the insurance company, trying to get what the car was actually worth and eventually simply asking, “How far would you like me to bend over?”

But December becomes January and good reasons fade into lame excuses; busy schedules are replaced by procrastination. I think often about blogging, but there’s always something less important to do. Weeks slip away without a word being blogged. Suddenly it’s been almost two months since I wrote last and I have to make a decision; either I consider my whole blog idea a failure and silently slink away, not having to admit to anyone my lack of self-discipline, or I come back, face that I effed up and decide how to do better.

I originally started this blog to hold myself accountable for procrastination. To do something each day to work toward reaching my goals and write about it at least once a week. Giving up on the blog I’m afraid would be the first step to giving up on those goals. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. So here I am.

I want to say thank you to my followers, especially for continuing to follow me when there was nothing here to follow for such a long time. You guys truly rock. I also have to say that my heart honestly dances a little every time I read your notes. Thank you so much.

I have decided that I can get rid of the I can do it tomorrows which so easily morph into weeks without blogging by giving myself a mandatory blogging day. Tuesday seems like a great day for a mandatory blog. So, see you next Wednesday. Ha, I’m kidding. I will be here on Tuesday.