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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Medifast Review

Well, I had a carb rebellion last night.  I got into a box of cereal my son had bought (otherwise I wouldn’t have had it around) and it wasn’t pretty.  But today is a new day and I am on track.  I don’t feel quite as tired today, though.

I was thinking I need to structure my evenings a little more.  Even though I am very tired, too much time on my hands without occupying it with something constructive can lead to episodes like last night.  Even if it is just doing some little chores around the apartment, that would probably help.

I have been wearing my Body Media Fit armband the last few days, and since this is the first day since Monday I have taken my dog for his walk at lunchtime (Tuesday it was storming and yesterday it was cold with gale-force winds), I was interested to see how much difference that made on how many steps I had taken in a day.  Quite a bit, actually!  After the walk, I hooked it up to my computer to check the data and I already had as many steps at lunchtime as I have been having at end-of-day the other days.  Makes me want to take another walk when I get home in the evening.

My knee was hurting pretty badly during my walk.  I was limping pretty badly (which is not good for your back).  I am pretty sure this is my knee and not radiating pain.  I probably should go get an injection in it.  The only reason I am reluctant is that I have a high deductible insurance policy, so everything is out of my pocket until I pay $3,000 out of my pocket, so that means I have to pay all of what it would cost to have these injections.  I do have an HSA (Health Savings Account), but my daughter keeps it so drained, I don’t have any built up to spend on myself.  Thank goodness she will have her own insurance again after her insurance kicks in.  I think there is a 90-day waiting period with her employer.  Timing on that is pretty good, since my insurance will only cover her through the end of her birthday month, which is the end of April.  That will be almost exactly 90 days after she started her job.  We shouldn’t have to pay for any COBRA coverage to make sure she has continuous coverage.  Anyway, back to me.  I think the doctor’s office will bill me as opposed to having to pay it right then.  And I could always pay it with a credit card and then make the credit card payment with HSA funds.  I’ll have to decide when I want to do this.

The other thing, during my walk, is I had this pain shoot up the back of my heel that is very painful.  That was on my right heel, and it is my left knee that is hurting, so I thought for a split second I wasn’t going to be able to continue -- it's very hard to limp on both sides!  Fortunately, the heel thing was just that one shot of pain.  It is because I am going without shoes more than I should on the concrete floors in my loft.  I have to start making sure, no exceptions, that I have supportive shoes on at all times, or this will start being a big problem, I am sure.  It is quite painful.  I also should wear my athletic shoes when I walk to and from work.  The ones I have are full of holes, lol.  I have walked a few miles in those shoes.  I have been holding on to some money I got for Christmas, trying to decide what to spend it on.  So I guess it’s new athletic shoes.  Might as well invest it in my health.  I ordered me a pair today.

Another one of my bosses:  “That Sheryl is getting prettier every day.”  The male coworker he was talking to:  “Absolutely!”  You have to appreciate your encouragement when you get it.  :)

I was thinking, I appreciated it when I found Medifast food reviews online, so I thought I would do a little review of my own.  These are all of the Medifast foods I have eaten:

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal – yuck!  I called it gruel.  However I did find a recipe online to make “oatmeal cookies” with it and they were tolerable.  It does fill your tummy pretty well.  However, I did not reorder it.

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal – see above, except worse.  I found a recipe for a muffin to be made with it; better, but still pretty bad.  It also fills your tummy pretty well.  I will not reorder it.

Dutch Chocolate Shake – I am not a fan of a chocolate shake anyway, although I will drink one if it is my only choice of flavors in a shake; this is not horrible, but when I went to the trouble of making a shake, using ice, etc., I found it difficult to get down.  I do better when I just mix it with water and chug-a-lug it.  It is pretty filling.  I would reorder it if there were not choices I liked better.

French Vanilla Shake – Same comments as for the chocolate shake.  I don’t like it enough to make a “frozen shake” out of it, but I do okay mixing it with water and chugging it down.  It is filling.  Same comments on reordering as above.

Strawberry Shake – This was the best of the shakes I was sent with my first order.  I still do better to just mix it with water and drink it down.  It is filling.  I did reorder this flavor.

Chicken Noodle Soup – The first time I ate this, I thought, “this is not horrible” and I thought I could eat it again.  However, when it came time to actually do that, I found myself avoiding it.  I sent it back for an exchange and will not reorder it because there are other things I “like” better.  It was somewhat filling, but not as much as the shakes.

Brownies – You have to keep in mind that I am not a chocolate lover; I eat it, but I prefer other desserts to chocolate.  I wish this tasted as good as it looks.  It is tolerable and I would eat it if I had nothing else I liked better, so would reorder in that case, but since there are things I like better, I probably will not reorder it.  It’s not terribly filling.  I am curious if I would like the chocolate chip “soft bake” (I can’t remember what they call it), since I am not that big of a chocolate fan.

Peanut Butter Crunch Bar – Not bad, for Medifast foods.  Am I in danger of eating a whole box of these?  No.  But they are decent, and of Medifast foods, one of the things I look forward to.  It is fairly filling for a snack.  Two in a row (a meal and a snack), and I got too hungry.  I’m not sure you are supposed to do that anyway.  I did reorder this.

Oatmeal Raisin Crunch Bar – Same comments as above, although this comes second to the Peanut Butter Crunch Bar.  I did reorder this.

Mac & Cheese – I got a sample of this with my first order and liked it enough to order a box with my second order.  The more I eat it, the less I like it, so probably will not reorder it.  It has a very strong smell when you open the package (like powdered cheese).  Not extremely filling, but okay.  Will not reorder.

Spiced Pancakes – these are pretty good.  I think these are my favorite MF food I have eaten.  Do I crave them?  No.  But for MF foods, they are good.  I could eat them for breakfast (or another meal) every day.  They are fairly filling, but not as much as a shake.

Orange Crème Shake – this is not bad.  I have the same comments as for the other shakes – I do better just drinking them down.  But the taste is okay for MF foods and I would order again.  It is pretty filling.
 
Chili Nacho Cheese Puffs - these are okay.  Don't crave them, but don't dread them either.  Texture is pretty good -- crisp.  Not extremely filling.  I would reorder.

These are all the foods I can think of that I have had.  I have to say that as I got into the program a couple of weeks, I hated the foods less than when I started.  And they are filling enough that they satisfy your hunger pretty well.  The foods eaten in my Lean & Green meal never tasted so good as they do while on Medifast.  I look forward to these foods more than I ever have.  I guess that’s good.  I do think MF is good for quick weight loss, but I do not think it is good for a long-term program because you are not building lifelong habits very well.  But if you need a program where almost everything you eat is prescribed, this works pretty well.  The first week I was on MF, I had headaches and body aches that I am quite sure were related to the putting off of toxins from my body.  I have still been drinking caffeine during this process, so it was not caffeine withdrawal.  I have also felt pretty weak and feel that is from this being a very low-carb diet.  As I am nearing the end of the third week, I am still pretty tired.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Low Carb Diet = Tired (at first)

I am still very tired.  I think the reason for this is, I am on a very low carb diet, not to mention low calorie.  I am eating somewhere around 55-65 grams of carbs per day, which is pretty low.  That explains my general lack of energy.  When I get home at night, I can barely get through my dinner before falling asleep in the chair, and I am having trouble waking up as early as I usually do.  I am sleeping like a rock.  I am okay with this for this stage – I know it is only temporary.  It does make it difficult to get any added physical activity.  I am not going to beat myself up if I don’t get to the gym for the recumbent bike workout every day.  I realize now there is a legitimate reason I am feeling so tired.

I am still in enough pain that I want to continue this a while longer.  The pain also keeps me from getting the exercise I need and want, so I am okay with doing this for a few weeks as long as I am getting my weight down.

I probably will want to add carbs gradually when I transition out of this.  Or just be ready for a temporary weight gain.  I do think I want to keep doing this until I get down to 250, at least as long as I am losing regularly on it.  The reason for that is, I was stuck at 260 for a long time back in 2009, and I don’t want to “start” at that sticking place.  And I want to see how that extra 10 pounds off helps my pain levels.

So, I will continue with my walks, and will get in a recumbent bike workout when I feel up to it.  I did read that your body adjusts after a while, so maybe I will start feeling a little more energetic soon.  I will push myself for bike rides on the weekend.  I am sure the off-meal will boost my energy a little bit.

This also explains why I couldn’t seem to get enough carbs on my off-day.

I am wearing another “new” outfit today.  It is one of the pairs of pants I let the hem out on.  They are tighter than I would like, but probably will not be in a week or so.  They are also still shorter than I would like, but them getting looser will help with that too.  I am somewhere between 5’6” and 5’7” (I was always 5’7” until recently).  It seems average pants are a little shorter than I like and talls are too long, but when I buy new clothes, I typically buy talls.  This means I have to wear them with heels, but I usually do anyway.  Anyway,  I am feeling like I have a whole new wardrobe.

I’ve been thinking lately that when my pain level does improve enough (I am trusting that it will through weight loss), there will be no more need to take my medication and then I will have to deal with withdrawal.  Withdrawal is DIFFICULT.  I want to eat everything in sight when I am withdrawing.  I will just have to do it gradually and take as long as I need without completely cutting it off.  I think my back doctor will be okay with that.  If I gain a bunch of weight after feeling better, then I would just have to start taking it all over again.  One positive thing is that exercise seems to help with withdrawal symptoms, so I need to make use of that fact.  However, if I am at work when symptoms are hitting me, it’s not like I can just leave and go do some vigorous exercise.  So I will have to time my periods between tapered doses to fall at times when I am not at work.  Trouble is, sometimes that is when I am trying to sleep.  Oooooh, I am not looking forward to this.  I asked my internist about it last time I got a physical – if there was anything they could do to help you through that time.  She basically said no, you just had to realize that was the reason you wanted to eat everything in sight and just don’t do it.  She obviously has never been through any kind of withdrawal.  It is not that easy.  But it’s not here yet, so there is no reason to start worrying about it.  There have been a couple of times lately, though, that I haven’t thought to take any medication, because I wasn’t hurting, and withdrawal did start kicking in.  I just have to taper.  First cut down on dosage, then gradually decrease the frequency.  And use other means to get through it – like exercise – when I can.

I can’t remember if I have said this recently, but I have been thinking lately that some of the pain I attribute to radiating pain is really my knee (which is near bone on bone).  Sometimes I will step in such a way that causes a jarring pain to go out from that spot in my knee and I think that is really my knee itself hurting, not the nerve coming from my back (if that makes any sense).  I may have to get this knee fixed sooner than I had hoped.  But weight loss should help that too, so hopefully not.  The doctor said I was looking at knee replacement at some point.  Ugh.  That does not look fun.  Partial knee replacement doesn’t look as bad, and I may be a candidate for that.  We will just have to see when the time comes.

I am still reading Lori’s blog (am up to late 2009).  I love reading about all her workouts, etc.  It really motivates me.  I just wish I could do a lot of what she is talking about.  Need to keep working on my bike, so I can incorporate some longer rides into my lifestyle!  She has some recipes I want to try.  I am entering them into my recipe builder on WW online so I know how many points they have.  Interestingly, they add up to more points per serving of the full recipe, than the points of each ingredient separately and then added together.  That’s a bummer.  For instance, the blueberry topping she makes adds up to 4 points, when the points for each separate item are all zero.  Very strange.  I really want to try her protein pancakes and several of the toppings she has recipes for.  Looks really good, and I love pancakes!  My plan is to write up some meal plans for several days (or weeks) to have to fall back on when I transition to WW.  I do better when I have a set plan and I think this would help in a crunch.  Of course, if nothing else, I can always do the Subway diet for a day when I haven’t had time to plan.

There has been some bagels in the break room all day today.  I forget about it and then see them every time I walk through there to get water or go to the restroom.  Not a good thing to have around when I am craving carbs, but I have managed to ignore them all day.

No working late tonight, so I should be able to finish out my day “normally”.  I still haven’t eaten the last MF brownie.  Last night I had to work late, so switched my evening snack with my evening meal, so didn’t have it then, and the night before I just didn’t feel like eating it.  I wish those brownies tasted as good as they look, but the definitely do not.

Trucking along pretty well, I think.  I need to buy some groceries soon.  I have had fish for 4 nights straight and will again tonight.  It has tasted good every time!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tired Today

I was so tired last night.  And I could tell it was the kind of tired you are when you haven’t eaten in a while.  I still had my evening snack available after that and felt a little better after eating it, but I still went to bed early.  And I was kind of late getting up this morning, so didn’t go do my recumbent bike workout.  I am not going to beat myself up about it, because I really am not eating very many calories right now and guess that kind of reaction is not unexpected.

I got on the scale this morning and I had gained over what I weighed yesterday morning!  I was wondering what was up with that, but then I remembered that I had not taken my BP medicine in about 3 days.  Since it has a diuretic in it, it often does that to me when I quit taking it.  I start retaining a little water.  So I took it this morning and I am sure that will take care of it.  There is no way I am gaining weight (or fat).  Judging by how much exercise I have been getting today (having to go you-know-where), I think the BP med did the trick.  Lol.

I have on a pair of pants today I haven’t been able to wear in a while!  Yay!  For that matter, I also have on a shirt that I haven’t worn in an even longer time and a jacket that buttoned up nicely this morning, but didn’t a few weeks ago.  I love seeing this kind of progress.

I was dragging a lot this morning and really did not want to go to work.  Calling in sick is out of the question right now, unless I have the flu or something, so I just have to keep pushing through.  My pain level is definitely up again.  My friend I talked about yesterday had to go home sick today.  With what she is dealing with, it makes me know that it better be pretty drastic for me to call in.  Sometimes I just need a break, though.

I took Cas for his morning walk but wasn’t able to take a walk at lunch because it is storming today.  We are supposed to have thunder, lightning and hail most of the day.

My boss popped in for a minute and I only saw him from a distance, waving at me from the end of the hall saying he would be back after lunch.  He called me about something from his car and then said, “That’s a kickin’ outfit you’ve got on today!”  Yay!

I got hungry this afternoon.  I hope I don’t have to stay late.  I can last 45 minutes and then go home and fix dinner; longer than that, and I am going to struggle a little more.  Someone at work has a jar of nuts out for people to snack on.  Better than candy, but if I get started, that would not be good.  It would give me license to do it again and again.  Going to go drink down some water and see if that will help (even though I have already been down the hall about 50 times today).  Just checked with my boss – we will stay a little late, so I am going to have a snack at 6 and then my dinner when I get home, instead of the other way around.  I don’t want to get dangerously hungry with this stuff around.

That’s it for today.  Don’t have so much to say, I guess.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Not Done With the Pain Yet

Note to Self:  Never take a nap on my couch, sleeping on my side.  I sure am paying for it.  This deal with my arm and shoulder hurting like it did before I had neck surgery is a little disconcerting.  It really started hurting after sleeping on the couch.  My lower back is not happy either.  If I am going to nap, I need to sleep on my bed in the same position I sleep in at night.

So, I had more pain than I have been having the last few days, when I woke up this morning.  I started talking to myself that perhaps I should not do the recumbent bike workout I had planned because of the pain.  But if I wait until I am not having pain to get exercise, I will never get any.  And that is precisely why I am doing the recumbent bike, because it is something I can do that doesn’t cause pain.  So I did it.  And it did not cause any extra pain and I am glad I did it.  I only got 20 minutes done because I started a little later than I intended, but I did it.  I made sure I added in some intervals that pushed me a little – got my heart rate up a little and made me sweat.  I also walked my dog this morning and again him at lunch.

Well, it seems I didn’t do something last month that I thought I did.  I didn’t pay my electric bill!  I couldn’t believe it.  I always pay my bills on time, and somehow I missed paying the electric bill and it got cut off this morning.  I have money to pay it, and called and paid it this morning, but I had to get ready in the dark this morning.  Fortunately I have lots of candles in my loft.  Duh.  I’m glad it went off before I got in the shower and washed my hair.  I would have been really late if it went off after my hair was wet.  Or I would have looked really bad.

There is light at the end of the tunnel on my finances, but I still have a little more to get through.  Steph started her new job today, so I will have to help her with bills until her money gets flowing.  I am so ready.

I forgot to eat my last MF meal last night.  I wasn’t hungry after eating the Lean & Green meal.

Food today:  For breakfast I had a shake.  (I was going to have pancakes, but then the power went off and I couldn’t cook one.)  Morning snack was a snack bar.  Lunch was spiced pancakes.  Then I had MF Chili Nacho Cheese Puffs for afternoon snack (one of my new meals).  More fish and veggies for L&G meal and a brownie (last one, thank goodness) for evening snack.

I think doing it this way is going to be better now.  I am having too much to make up for from my off-day.

I finally remembered to get my BodyMediaFit armband.  It is charging right now, so it will not have gotten most of the day’s activity, but tomorrow it will.  I did log my food for the day, including what I plan to eat tonight, and it added up to 869 calories.  My calories without the Lean & Green meal would have been 520.  But I feel more like doing workouts, and I am sure am burning enough to compensate for that.

When I got back from lunch, I had that good-tired feeling you get when you are first exercising.  I have a friend at work (I’ve talked about her before).  She went through a life-threatening situation two or three months ago.  She’s back at work now.  She had gastric bypass a couple of years ago, and what happened recently was, because of some scar tissue from her hysterectomy a few years ago that wrapped around her intestine, 3 feet of intestine was necrotic and they had to remove it and a little more.  So with what was taken in the gastric bypass and what had to be removed this time, she is experiencing some very big problems, every day.  She has diarrhea no matter how she eats and she never knows if she is going to have an episode that will have her running to the bathroom, which she may or may not be able to reach on time.  She went to a GI specialist last week.  They gave her a $260 drug, which was basically a high-powered Imodium AD, and it has done nothing for her.  Nothing she does seems to help.  She has to eat massive amounts of protein, just to make sure she gets adequate nutrition.  Her GI doctor basically told her, if whatever they are trying now doesn’t work, it is something she is going to have to live with the rest of her life.  So you can imagine her feelings of hopelessness.  So, if you would, please pray for some answers for her.  I feel so bad for her and I feel helpless that all I can do is tell her I will keep praying.  My heart goes out to her.  She said at lunch today she felt so hopeless, she ate a hamburger, which is likely to affect her very negatively.  She is losing weight because of this, but now is thinking, what happens if when she loses all the weight she needs to and she can’t stop losing weight?

Her situation makes me want to take care of myself more than ever.  I know how she feels – to have something going on every day that is keeping you from enjoying life – and yet you do what you know you should not because you are feeling so defeated.  Of course, her situation is so much more debilitating than mine, but I don’t want to get to that point in some way or another.

I feel like I could keep doing this Medifast thing with the L&G meal every day for an extended period of time, as long as I have that off-meal to look forward to each week.  If I need to do this for three or four months to get to where I need to pain-wise, I feel like I could do it.  It is good to know I have this tool if I need it.  And if it does not help the pain, it would get me to the place where I could have surgery that would help the pain.  So at least I have a hope of feeling better.  She does not have much hope right now.

If you have never read Michelle’s blog, hop over there today and see the poster her gym made of her that they are displaying to motivate their clients.  Michelle looks amazing – like she has been an athlete all her life.

I’m very tired tonight.  Going to have to go to bed early.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Medifast 5&1 Plan

Saturday Evening

Well, I haven’t done as well on my eating as I would have liked.  I had more of the mentality that I am eating so little all week, I just want to do what I want on my free day.  I know that is not long-term thinking.  But then again, I am not on a long-term plan.  These weeks are tough because they are so restricted.  I figure I will be doing this two more weeks, maybe one or two more.  Then I will buckle down more on the long-term plan (and thinking).  I am not excusing myself or saying I shouldn’t do better on my off-day.  That’s just where I am.  If I am too restrictive on my off-day, I can’t face the long, restricted week.

I sure am liking the results, though.

The good thing about today is I have done two walks and I got out on my bike.  The bike is definitely still out of my comfort zone, but I know if I keep doing it, I will begin to love it.  When I am actually riding, I like it.  It’s just hard to make myself get out of my house and do it.  I didn’t take Cas with me this time.

The bike ride was only about 15 minutes.  There was one pretty good incline that I had to work hard to make it up, but I did!  Definitely got my heart rate up and I worked up a sweat.  I just rode on some low traffic streets in DD (Downtown Dallas).

I have also gotten some cleaning done today.  Feels pretty good.

Sunday

I’ve made a decision this morning.  The difficulty I am having on my off-day is because the rest of the week is so restricted.  I know, too restricted.  I am happy I did the first week like I did because I had such an incredible weight loss.  However, much of the second week it seemed like I was trying to get my weight to recover from the excess of the off-day.  And I was very, very hungry all week.  So, this week I have decided to do the 5&1 program.  In other words, each day I will have the 5 Medifast meals and I will also have the Lean & Green meal.  I will not have an off-day, but I will have an off-meal.  In other words, one meal in the week I will eat a less restricted meal (but still try to use long-term thinking).  The 5&1 program is still designed for fast weight loss, and this way I should not have to try to recover from the excessive eating on the off-day.  It will also work better for long-term thinking.  I ate way too much yesterday and I don’t need to do that on any day.

So this is a phase stepping toward my long-term plan.  I do not want to do Medifast long-term.  But the quick weight loss is helping with my pain level.  I was kind of stiff when I got up yesterday morning (which I always am), so I took my medication to help with my morning walk, etc., but I didn’t even think about taking medication again until bedtime.  This is progress!  I am usually in enough pain that by the time six hours has passed (the dosage is every 6 hours), I am needing another dose.

This plan is also better because hopefully I will not be so famished (as I was Friday morning) that I feel too weak to work out.

With the change this week I will get a mid-morning meal.  That is good.  That was the longest part of the day, getting from breakfast to lunch.  Breakfast was MF spiced pancakes.  These are pretty good.  I still do not have any SF syrup, so I used a teaspoon of SF jelly.  It was good.  I will add a smidgen of salt next time.  Snack was a MF brownie.  I don’t like these.  Thank goodness I have only one more!  The foods I ordered for the next two weeks I think I am going to like better.  Lunch today is mac & cheese.  It was okay last time (they sent a sample with my first order), except I needed to let the noodles cook longer.  This time I am starting with very hot water and letting them soak a few minutes before following the directions on the package.  Afternoon snack I think will be Greek yogurt.  I left my snack foods at work, so will have to think ahead next weekend.  Then I get my Lean & Green meal, which will be 7 oz. tilapia and roasted vegetables.  I will toss the vegetables in a little olive oil before roasting (L&G calls for 2 servings of a healthy fat, depending on what kind of protein you choose; tilapia qualifies for the 2 servings).  Then, evening snack will be a shake.

So, I live in a high-rise building with my dog.  That means he has to be taken outside, both to potty and to get some exercise and a little time outside, several times a day.  I have been walking him a short time in the morning and again at lunch-time.  Other than that, when he whines to go out, I find myself being grouchy about having to take him out.  I realize I need to look at this as opportunities for activity for me.  Instead of being irritated about having to take him outside, I need to be thankful that I have this built-in tool to get me up and out the door for a little walking.  Easier said than done, but I am trying.  It will be even harder during the really hot summer months.  I am at least trying to walk around the block every time I take him out, but usually it is substantially further.

I tried on the pants I let the hem down on.  They are tight around the waist and I would not wear them without a shirt long enough to cover my belly (although I tried them on without spanx), but I could start wearing them now.  Maybe with my best pair of spanks they would look pretty decent.  They are both a black plaid with a contrast thread color weaved in, one yellow and one navy blue and red.  I like to wear a blouse the same color as that contrast thread color to bring it out.  I do have a yellow blouse, although it is kind of big now.  I’ll have to look what I have to wear with the other one.  I know I have a black blouse I could wear, and I think I have a navy blouse that might go; don’t think I have the red, unless I wear a red sweater.  I could do that if it is cold enough.  Sure wouldn’t mind picking up a blouse to go with it soon.  I will shoot for wearing them the last couple of days of this week.  Wearing tighter clothes can be a motivator.  I got them all ironed up and ready!!  I also have a pair of off-white pants I am getting into, some brown ones and some khaki ones.  My black pants are still fine – I need to make those last until I get to the next size down.  Oh yeah, I have some gray ones too (but would really like to lose a little more before wearing those, even though they say they are a size 20).  I have a pair of khaki pants and a pair of gray pants that are getting pretty big on me.  They were big enough last week that they tended to drag on the floor.  I will be phasing those out now.  They were size 22’s.  I am so excited to be getting into some more clothes!

Once I get past these clothes is when I will be getting into new territory.  I have a LOT of clothes waiting in the wings that were given to me by my sister and my daughters.  I may have to buy a thing or two to tie things together, but I should have a lot of clothes to last me through at least size 16.  And if my daughters keep losing, I will have the clothes they are wearing now (the ones that are not too young-looking).  This is the fun part about weight loss!

I would really like to do the treadmill a little while in the morning.  I used to do 60 minutes on the treadmill at about 3.8 mph with an incline of 7.  I know the speed is not much, but that incline really got me a good burn.  I used to burn about 800 calories in a workout.  Of course, I cannot do that now, and should not, since I am only eating in the neighborhood of 800-1,000 calories a day.  I think I am going to try 15 minutes on the treadmill in the morning, as well as 15 minutes on the recumbent bike.  And I want to start pushing myself on the recumbent bike.  Not just putting in minutes to put in minutes, but make them challenging enough that my heart rate is getting up there and I am working up a good sweat.  I would like to do some strength training.  Maybe I will use some hand weights while on the bike, like I used to do.  It is good for a start.  If the treadmill produces extra pain, though, I will know I am not ready for that.

I got out on my bike for the second day in a row.  This time I loaded the bike in my car and drove to Katy Trail.  That was an adventure, since the entrance I knew about behind American Airlines Center was a no-go since a Mavericks game was starting soon and I would have had to pay a pretty penny to park nearby.  So I drove around looking for a place to park near an entrance.  It took quite a while.  Cas gets car sick, so instead of a short drive to get to the trail, we ended up being in the car for 30-45 minutes, so he got car sick (yuck!).  I finally found a place to park near an entrance and we got on the trial.  He will run beside the bike if you hold the leash.  Funny, like this, he doesn’t react to other dogs like when we are walking.  I guess he is too occupied.  Anyway, we rode for a little while and then turned around and came back.  On the way back I could better see what I couldn’t on the way in – it was a pretty good incline for a good ways.  So the ride back was easier.  When we got back to the car, after a bit, I realized that my face was burning red and my heart had been pounding pretty hard.  I didn’t realize I was getting that good of a workout at first.  I guess I was focused on Cas – I wanted to make sure I didn’t go too fast or keep going when he was too tired.  He did fine.  I got a lot more tired than he did.  But when we got home, he settled down gratefully for a nap.  That’s good – he needed his energy drained.

I took a nap late evening, laying on my side on the couch.  Ever since I woke up my arm has been hurting like it did before I had neck surgery.  No more sleeping on my side, at least not without my neck collar.  Most nights I wear the collar they had on me when I woke up from surgery.  It is a soft collar.  I notice my neck doesn’t get as sore if I do that.  It’s kind of scary to have my arm hurting like this again.  Unfortunately, I needed to take my pain med this evening because of this.  But at least it's not for the lower back issue.

Well, that’s it for the weekend.  We’ll see how this week goes.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weigh-In Day

I lost 3.8 this week to put me at 270.0.  I waited an hour before eating and went to the bathroom again to see if I could squeak out another .1 pound, but it didn't work.  I so wanted to be in the 260's.  But I weigh less than I have since starting this blog, so I am happy.  And I am pretty much into a size 20 again.

I spent the evening last night letting the hem down on two pairs of pants.  They are on the smaller size of size 20, so it will probably be another week or so before I wear them.  They were always a hair too short to make me comfortable wearing them, so I let the hem out.  Two nice, new pairs of work pants --  I love it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

TGIF! Off-Day Tomorrow!


I was REALLY hungry this morning.  I got up in time to do the recumbent bike, in addition to walking Cas, but I was so hungry, I didn’t feel like I could do it (I could have, but was actually feeling a little weak).  I went round and round in my mind about what I should do – move on to my long-term plan, do Medifast with the lean and green meal every day, or tough it out.  I also thought about going ahead and having my off-day today, instead of tomorrow.  On a positive note, my thoughts never went to scrapping the whole thing and eating whatever I wanted to.

I still want to get the most weight loss I can, at first, so hopefully my pain levels are improved enough to where I can exercise effectively.  I would like to get to where I can at least do the elliptical, and possibly walking on the treadmill with a pretty good incline (which is what I used to do).  I am feeling some better, but I don’t think I am to that point yet.  My decision today was to supplement my Medifast foods with vegetables and a little fruit and see if I did okay.  So I fixed me some roasted vegetables this morning.  Yes, I had roasted vegetables for breakfast.  I also had a small apple.  Then, when I got to work, I had my Medifast “oatmeal cookies”.  After that, I was feeling much better and not so ravenous as I was early this morning.  My plan is to do this, if I really need to, and add a lean and green meal when I really need to, but to continue with this plan until I reach the initial loss I had set as my goal.  I will do what exercise I can while I am in this stage.

I did not want to change my off-day to today, for two reasons:  1) I think I would struggle tomorrow if I did that today; 2) tomorrow is weigh-in day.

I hoped what I did this morning would take care of the hunger so I could finish out the day as I normally would on Medifast, and have a good weigh-in tomorrow.  My plan was to have more vegetables if I got too hungry again.  At lunch, I had a MF chocolate shake (yuck) and some roasted broccoli (great combination, huh?).  I felt fairly satisfied.

I am down 2.4 pounds so far this week.  I wish I would be down another 1.5 by tomorrow – that would get me below 270 – but whatever.  I will drink lots of water today.  It seemed like my feet were a little puffy yesterday.

I ate a lean and green meal last night – baked tilapia and roasted broccoli.  Fish and broccoli never tested so good!  I got full very easily.  Evening snack was Greek yogurt, which I am using to replace the Medifast meal I would have had that I just could not stomach.  Same amount (actually a little less) of calories and more protein.

Through all this, I am trying to stick to my plan, but also listen to my body.  I figure if I am that ravenous, there is a reason.

I am so thankful it is Friday.  My plans this weekend are to get out on my bike at least once, but preferably both days, with or without Cas.  If taking Cas with me is making me not want to do it, then I will just go by myself.  But I would like to take him to the dog park or run him a little on Katy Trail.  I would prefer to drive over to Katy Trail to ride, and I think my son is working all weekend, so I should have my car to carry my bike over.  I am a little skittish in downtown traffic with Cas.  Rain is now in the forecast for Sunday, so I may not get to get out then.

I also want to do some more cleaning.  The apartment is not horrible, but there was a note on my floor when I came in for lunch yesterday that building maintenance had been in to change the filter on my a/c unit.  I was a little embarrassed.  I would prefer it to be a lot cleaner when someone comes in.  When I look around, except for my room, most of the mess is either my son’s or my dog’s.  I just want to keep it in better shape than that.  So I will work more on that this weekend.  I wish I was a great housekeeper, lol.  (You would have to see one of my prior posts to know why that is funny.)  I will never get there by wishing, I just have to get up and clean house.  Working on it!  It doesn’t come naturally to me.

Other than the above, I don’t have any big plans.  Exciting life I lead.

As far as my off-day goes, I have been craving some barbecue.  Most of the barbecue places close-by are closed on the weekends (they cater to the working population, not the resident population).  So what I did was I picked up some today, to eat tomorrow.  I didn’t think that would be a problem tonight.  I also have been craving a main dish salad and they have one I like at Potbelly (which is closed on the weekend), so I picked up one of those too (it should stay fresh enough).  So, except for breakfast, my menu is set for tomorrow.  The barbecue plate came with two sides.  I have been wanting some cobbler (but didn’t want to make any and have leftovers), so I made that one of my sides.  The other side I got was barbecue beans.  Beans are fairly healthy – better than the potato salad or something like that.  I wanted onion rings, but if I have some onion rings, I will make an alternative version that is baked instead of fried.  There was some Texas toast with it, which I will probably trash or give to someone else.  The pigeons would probably love it.

I decided I was going to try to track the above.  I started with the Potbelly stuff.  The salad itself is fine – 10 points.  The dressing is not good – 9 points for 1 container, and the salad is big enough where you need more than one.  Maybe if I dipped my salad in it, I could hold it to one.  Probably should go with putting Newman’s Own Light Balsamic on it.  The other thing I didn’t say is I bought a sugar cookie – one cookie – to go with lunch tomorrow.  I figured it would be okay.  I calculated the points on that cookie – 14!  For one cookie!  I might have to pass that off to my son.  That is ridiculous.  Plus I already got the cobbler.  Not good for the lifestyle I need to get to.  I was excusing it because of how little I am eating right now, but that is not an excuse to go hog wild.  That's as far as I have gotten on the tracking.

Anyway, I think this menu is fairly reasonable.  I felt like I overdid a bit last weekend.  Yes, I am having a dessert, but I can work a dessert into WW with weekly points, so I think this is fine.
 
I did not have to work late and was happy about that.  I had another shake, vanilla this time (still yuck), for dinner and then some greek yogurt later.  I couldn't face the brownie that was on the menu.  I just don't like them.  By 8:30 I was pretty hungry again.  I never have really felt like giving in, but was uncomfortably hungry just the same.  So I ate some carrot sticks.  I will drink down some water and that should do it.  Happy Fridy night to me.

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hungry Today!

The scale is being slow this week.  I am a little more than a pound below where I was before my off day Saturday.  I am thinking my metabolism is probably trying to shut down on me, so I decided I would do a little more (smart) eating today to give it a boost.

For breakfast I had my usual “muffin” made from the Medifast Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal.  I also had a few frozen cherries (a half serving, since that was all that was left), 2 carrots and a small apple.  I did usual Medifast meals for lunch and afternoon snack, but I supplemented lunch with some carrot sticks.  Tonight I will eat a “lean and green” meal of baked fish and roasted broccoli and then finish the day with my usual Medifast evening snack.  That does leave out one Medifast meal.  If I feel like I need it, I will eat that too.  Then, I will see what the scale says in the morning, but will probably go back to my usual Medifast day for Friday and then Saturday is another off day.  I plan to be more moderate on this off day.  I was pretty hungry this morning, so I think my body was needing this.  I am doing more activity this week.

Even though the scale is not moving much, my clothes are getting much looser.  It is fun to put on something I wore last week and I can actually feel a difference in how it fits.  So I know progress is being made.

I got up and walked my dog, but did not do the recumbent bike this morning.  The reason was, I just couldn’t make myself get out of bed.  I am going to have to get over that because next week the plan is to do a recumbent bike workout every morning.  The muscle relaxant I take at night makes me want to sleep in the morning, but I will just have to expect that and use some will power to get up and go.  If I don’t take the muscle relaxant, I have other bad issues that are worse than feeling a little draggy.  I can wake up if I want to.

I had to do some more uncomfortable (for me) confronting this afternoon.  Why is this so hard for me?  I would rather take all the hard stuff on myself and try to make it work than to require someone else to be an adult.  But I know that is not good for them and it has gone on way too long.  So I am trying not to do that.

As the day went on, I was so hungry.  I had my afternoon snack 15 minutes early, and 30 minutes later, I was already hungry again.  I ended up eating another Medifast snack a while later.  That is the one that I had left, so it should be okay.  I drank a couple of glasses of water down, too (I try to do that with before or after most meals).  I did okay after that.

One thing that is probably affecting the number on the scale (forgive me for talking about this, but someone who is reading this who might be interested in doing Medifast might like to know this), is that Medifast foods seem to cause constipation in me.  I did Nutrisystem for a while a few years ago, and it did the same thing.  I think it is the soy protein, but I am not sure.  I am taking a vegetable laxative morning and evening, but I might have to take one more tablet at one or both of those times.  I will get it figured out and it will be better.  The pain meds I have to take also cause this problem.  Sorry for the TMI.

I realized late today that I am not taking my medicine as regularly because I am just not thinking about it, and I am not thinking about it because I am not hurting as much.  I think I really am making progress (knock on wood).
 
I am so happy to be moving again.  I will be happy to get a few more weeks (and pounds) down the road.  I am particularly looking forward to being able to do more exercise.  I was almost addicted to working out at one point, but pain issues got in the way eventually.  At least I know that once I get into it, I do like it.
 
Time to go home now!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Feeling Better and a Message Someone Might Need to Hear


I feel good today.  I have not taken any pain medication and am feeling pretty good, pain-wise.  I feel motivated and optimistic.  Thank the Lord, it is about time.

Food was on track yesterday.  I did eat some vegetables again last night.  This morning I made the “cookies” out of my Medifast Oatmeal, and for the first time, it tasted almost good.  One key I am finding is to add enough salt.  I also added craisins, which I have done before, but a few more this time.  With the little bit of calories I am eating, I know that will be fine.  And if it keeps me on track by making the food where I don’t dread it so much, I think it is worth it.

I got up and walked Cas first thing this morning, then took him back to my loft and went to the fitness center and did 20 minutes on the recumbent bike.  I had not planned on trying to start that until next week, but my reading has motivated me and I want to get going in my quest to become an athlete.  I could have done more than 20 minutes (I took a fairly leisurely pace, for now), but I wanted to take it easy to get started.  I felt good and no big pain issues with the walk or the bike.  Yes!!!!!!

I was thinking the first thing I will do on getting started with my bike is just push myself to get out on it more.  I can use it for getting around downtown for things like picking up some takeout food (on my off day), going to the library, going to the park they just built, going to the dog park, going to Farmers Market, etc., etc.  One thing that has been holding me back, I think, is taking Cas with me.  Although there are times I want to take him with me, I would prefer to do that on a walking/ biking track where there are no cars.  I just don’t feel confident enough to get out on the busy streets when there is much traffic and have Cassie running beside me.  He likes to keep his distance from the bicycle, so you have to be very careful in traffic, and I just don’t feel that confident about riding yet.  So I need to give myself permission to go places without taking him with me (I always feel guilty because he spends so much time by himself during the week).  I do want to do that to give him more exercise, but not everywhere.  I can put him in the basket, but it is a hassle and he doesn’t like it that much.  But if I were going to ride to the park or the dog park, of course I would take him with me.  At least I am getting out and walking him more again, and will continue to do that.  Someday I would like to rollerblade with him!

Not only will the above get me on the bike, but it will get me out of the house, which is something I need to work on.  I am too content to be by myself and I hole up at home too much when I am not working.  I was going to say I am going to pick one place mentioned above and do that this weekend.  But that will depend on the weather.  I think I heard another cold front is coming in.  How cold is too cold to ride a bike?

I got my next shipment from Medifast today.  This time I chose what was in it, based on what I know about the food that was in it last time and recommendations online.  One thing I got was the Spiced Pancakes.  That is what I had for lunch.  These were actually pretty good, considering it’s Medifast.  It’s not like I am going to crave them, but I won’t dread them either.  I exchanged a couple of things that I just could not stomach and I will have another box of this coming with the exchanges, so I am good with that.  I didn’t know that the sugar free syrup did not come with it, so I will have to buy me some.  I put the tiniest little bit of honey on them this time, but will not do that again.  I still think they will be good even with the SF syrup.

I have read complaints about shipments taking too long to get there, but I ordered mine Monday and it was here today.  Of course, the shipping facility is right here in the Metroplex.  I could have waited a little longer to order, but wanted to make sure.

My pain level was good all morning without taking medicine.  I finally took some a little bit before leaving for lunch.  I was feeling it on my walk.  Not as much pain as that thing where it feels difficult to move my legs from the hips.  When I walked from my loft back to work, my hips were bothering me more (as in pain).  But at least I am a little better.  And this afternoon, I have that good-tired feeling like you have when you first start working out.  I wouldn’t have thought what I am doing could be called “working out” yet, but I guess it can.  You have to start somewhere.  I feel much more positive about my life going forward.

The next little bit, I am going to talk about my faith, so if that bothers you, just giving you the heads up.  I have been through a lot in my lifetime.  My growing up years were good, with no big obstacles other than dealing with being overweight and I was quite insecure.  I was probably the type you would call a "Goodie Two Shoes" and I never got into much trouble.  Once I got married, though, life was a constant tumult, or so it seemed.  I think I just married the wrong person (this was because I was not secure with myself and I was afraid no one else would ask me; I can admit that to myself now).  I really feel that my husband, although very nice looking and charming (until you lived with him) was mentally ill, and that became more apparent as the years went on, but at the time, I couldn’t see that.  I was diagnosed with battered wife syndrome at the end.  I always thought if I could just lose weight, things would be better.  He often told me he was ashamed of me and that I was disgusting.  Now, though, I think if I had lost the weight and become the beautiful and confident woman I felt like he wanted (and what he thought he wanted too), our marriage would have broken up years before.  A strong woman would not have stayed and put up with what I did.  I stayed for 21 years and it got worse and worse.  His jealousy ended up in one HUGE betrayal on my husband’s part (not cheating on me) and mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse.  And that was with me weighing nearly 300 pounds.  I can’t imagine how jealous he would have been if I was slim.  I couldn’t see how much I was being abused until I got out.  He left me little choice -- I had to get out for the safety of me and my children.

The other thing that happened in my life was, my son really struggled with some behavioral issues and the climax came when he was finally sent away to TYC, which is basically prison for youths.  Never in my life would I have predicted I would be visiting my child in prison, but I did.  It was an extremely difficult thing to go through.  I think a lot of my son’s difficulties came from his tumultuous relationship with his father and it is still having its effect to this day.  Now my son says he thinks he did a lot of things, just to get back at his dad.  And I want to say that my son is the sweetest guy you will ever meet and there is nothing criminal about him.

The other thing I have dealt with is, my daughter was raped at a young age (I didn’t know this until many years later) and she has struggled with physical issues for many, many years.  She has had at least 15 surgeries in the last few years and there has been a lot of turmoil in my life, dealing with this.

I said all this to illustrate that I have been through a thing or two.  And I think someone might need to hear this.  I have to say, I never would have made it through all this without my faith in God.  It was my rock.  He is my rock.  I am not a person who goes around spouting spiritual things all the time, other than to say I will pray about something, etc., but if I had not had my faith grounded in God and His goodness, I think I would have lost my marbles years ago.  And now, I know He will help me through this phase of my life where I try to deal with and overcome my weight problem and my physical issues.  My husband was what I call “pseudo-spiritual,” always out to save the world and talking about spiritual things, but it didn’t always carry forward into practical matters.  For example, he didn’t even take care of his own family and still doesn’t.  My faith is very practical.  My faith has evolved through the years, but if it does not carry into your everyday life and change you there, then I don’t think it is worth anything.  Do I think God cares about my weight and my struggles?  Very much.  Not because I am not living up to some standard He demands (which is what my husband did), but because He knows it is hurting me.  And I know He is right there, waiting to give me strength when I ask.  He doesn’t always take the storm or the struggle away, but He helps me walk through it.  The last few years have been a process of peeling off layers and healing me from the inside out.  That had to be done before I was ready to carry out this journey physically.  There is more to be done, but I think I am ready.  I know He will help me become who He created me to be, if I will lean on Him.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This and That


Monday Evening

It’s been a tough day, considering how optimistic I was going into it.  Not tough diet-wise, so much, just stuff I am dealing with.

Once again I am realizing how much I need to set more boundaries in my life.  I actually spoke up and said something when I needed to this time, and it bothered and ate on me the whole afternoon.  Even though it needed to be said.  I am just not used to doing that.  It’s sad…for me and for the person I had to say it to.  I don’t know why it is so hard for me to do this.  I suppose I will get used to it eventually, if I keep doing it.

Makes me know I have some work to do before getting going in a long-term relationship, such as another marriage.  This was a problem in my first marriage.  I couldn’t speak up for myself enough, so I ended up being walked all over.  And if I am not careful, I will draw the type of person who is quite willing to walk all over me again.  So I am going to continue to work on it.  Change like this certainly is painful and uncomfortable.  But necessary.  And I am quite sure my weight problem is a by-product of this problem.  There are some books I need to read (I have them, just need to read them again or for the first time), that deal with this issue.  I think it’s important for my progress.

I was scanning in some big documents the rest of the afternoon, so just had to kind of oversee it and could read a weight loss blog while I was at it.  That was good because it helped me get my mind off of the above.  No response from the other person after I was direct about the issue.  I hate that.

Tuesday

Well, the other person came over last night.  A little sulky, and didn’t say anything about our exchange.  I didn’t either.  I thought about it again this morning and got kind of mad.  Mad about what I spoke up about.  What I said really needed to be said.  They didn’t even apologize.  Hopefully things will improve.  But I know I did what I needed to do.

The thing is, I am realizing how codependent some of my relationships are.  Obviously this one involves a child.  I think I need to strive for a little more independence for both of us – for their sake, as well as mine.  It’s okay to help, but some of what is going on is not healthy.

I was on track yesterday.  The only variation was I was feeling a little hungry last night and ate some roasted vegetables.  There were all lower calorie vegetables, frozen in a bag.  I sprayed a little non-stick spray on them (I really need to get me an oil mister), put seasoning on them, and baked them in the oven.  I like vegetables cooked this way.

My weight is not moving as readily this week.  I am still 1 pound above where I was Saturday morning, after my off-day.  I don’t think it’s that I ate so much Saturday, it’s just that it interrupted the fat burning that was going on and it has to get going again.  I am going to eat a little better this Saturday.  Honestly, what I am craving are healthier things, like main dish salads and Chinese stir-fry (which, if cooked correctly, can be plenty healthy).  I am going to eat more like on maintenance this week.

As far as exercise goes yesterday, I did what I planned, except I did not do the stretches for my back.  I don’t know why I have such a hard time making myself do that.  I also got up and walked my dog this morning.

My neck is bothering me a little bit (feels a little like before I had neck surgery).  I think it is from sleeping in the chair a couple of nights.  If you have read earlier posts, you might remember I had a double fusion in my neck a year and a half ago.  It was always my theory that the reason my neck got messed up was from sleeping in a chair for three years.  Sleeping in the chair felt better on my lower back, but I would rest my elbows on the arms of the chair and (for lack of a better way to describe it), my head would sink down between my shoulders.  Kind of like sleeping with your shoulders shrugged.  I suspect this is what messed up my discs.  Even though sleeping in a chair sometimes feels better on my lower back, I don’t think it IS better for my lower back.  In fact, the reflexologist told me I should work toward sleeping flat on my back, as opposed to with my knees elevated.  That is because it is shortening the muscles and decreasing your range of motion as time goes by.  Right now, there is no way I could sleep that way all night.  Even elevated, I have pain shooting down my leg (which is why I have moved to the chair a couple of times lately).  Hopefully this will improve soon as I get more weight off.

I have been reading Lori’s blog the last couple of days, now that I am caught up on Michelle’s and Shelley’s again.  I am reading in 2008 when she was getting past the 100-pound mark.  The thing that makes all these girls’ stories the same is they all became athletes.  I know that is what I have to work toward.  It’s just that there is no way I can run, for instance.  I have to be really careful what I do at this point.  I hope that changes because I know that is what is going to give me long-term success.  I do not believe I will ever be able to be a runner though.  I am already looking at a knee replacement and I don’t think you can run regularly after a knee replacement (but I could be wrong).  My goal is to compete in bike events someday.  Or possibly swimming.  But the swimming stroke is a little difficult because of my neck surgery.  However, I think I just need to recover as much range of motion as is possible.  After the reflexologist works on my neck, I am always surprised how much ROM I have.

I did a little reading online today and found a training program for beginning bike riders who want to lose weight, and who later want to start training for a competition of some sort in the future.  I know that I probably do not have the bike ultimately needed (I have a cruiser bike), but I think I can still get started.  I am not sure how soon I will start this, but I want to start getting my brain wrapped around it and I need to make myself start getting out on my bike regularly now.  I am just trying to educate myself a little first.

I typed this just before I left for lunch, and I was thinking as I walked home that it felt pretty far-fetched, given my present physical condition.  But I am sure it is that way for everyone who goes from a lifetime of being significantly overweight to becoming an athlete.  Before I even start on a formal training program, I can start getting out on my bike more, just to do everyday things.  I live in Downtown Dallas, so there is a lot of bike riding I could do just to do things downtown.  I could order takeout and go pick it up, I can ride to the library (which really is close enough to walk to), I can ride down to the dog park, I can ride to the new park they have just built, I can ride to Farmers Market, etc., etc.  I just need to get more used to that idea.  I need to think outside my comfort zone.  Not only is getting out and doing this kind of thing on a bicycle kind of foreign to me, but just getting out and doing stuff at all requires me to go outside of my norm.  Now is the time to start.
 
Cas has to sit and
be calm before we can go.
Here we go - down Main Street
As I walked during lunch, I realized I was having very little pain today.  Progress, hopefully.  I snapped some pictures to give you an idea of my lunchtime walks. This lady might not like it if she knew she made it ito my blog.  It's a few blocks to the park, I walk around it, and then go back home.  Takes me about 30 miutes.
Main Street Garden -
I walk around it and go back home.
Cas was ready to get out and about.

Sometimes I am aware that I probably go into too much detail on my blog.  But if I can overcome, other people who are having the extent of problems I have, both physical and relational, etc., can know that it can be done, even with so much to deal with.  So much of what needs to happen for me is that I need to continue to get well on the inside.  And this is an outlet for me that is much needed.

I loved Shelley’s blog yesterday, though.  She said that the reason she felt she was able to keep the weight off for as long as she has, and why it worked this time when she had failed so many times before is, she finally put enough days and weeks and months together where it became a way of life.  That kind of goes along with the theme of my blog – 500 days to where I want to be.  I know if I can put together enough successful days in sequence, I can get where I want to go with my weight and health.  Then I just have to keep on doing it long enough to where it has becomes my lifestyle.  That’s what I want.  And that is where I plan to get.