About

"Cakes," by Wayne Thiebaud at the National Gallery in Washington DC.  It would figure that this is one of my favorite paintings!  (Photo by me)

“Cakes,” by Wayne Thiebaud at the National Gallery in Washington DC. It would figure that this is one of my favorite paintings! (Photo by me)

If you’re reading this, then it means that I’ve gone public with my endeavor of losing a chunk of my poundage while finding more of myself.  Because my private posts may be a bit ambiguous, yet hopefully helpful, let me fill you in on a bit of background information about myself and the weight loss program that I’m doing.

I’m a 50 year-old woman, but in my head I’ve just turned 21!  I’m a wife and mother, and a former elementary school teacher.  I’ve also worked  part-time as writer for a public relations firm.  I live in a rather crowded, but nearly spotless 1,100 square foot home with my youngest daughter, 23; my oldest daughter, 26; her husband, 28; and my husband.  I also have a  20 year-old step-son who is away at college and home periodically on the weekends. Add in my youngest daughter’s fiancé, who lives atop a mountain and often stays with us in the winter when the weather makes getting out of his neighborhood impossible, our two cats, and you’ve got a fairly crowded little house!

Though it may read like it, I’m not running a shelter for wayward adult children.  My almost-physician daughter and her husband moved in with us temporarily while she completes her fourth year medical rotations.  She’s recently been accepted into a residency program, and she and her hubby are house hunting.  My youngest daughter, graduated from college in December 2013, and just began her first real adult (you know, the kind with a salary, a 401 K, and that doesn’t require you to scoop greasy fries into paper sleeves) job this week.  Her fiancé graduates this semester, and once he has a job, they’ll be getting a place together.  Then, hubby and I will be official empty-nesters, ready to resume pre-kid lives again.

We all love one another, get along well, and are a mostly supportive unit, but that’s not to say that there aren’t problems, or dysfunctionalities that I’m sure to share in my posts.

I currently weigh 138 pounds and have surpassed my goal weight of 140, putting me in a normal weight range and giving me a normal BMI.  With my continued exercise and weight training, my fat to muscle mass ratio is also finally at the high end of normal for my age. At the beginning of January, before I started Optifast, I weighed 219.5 pounds.  Several months before that, I was at my highest weight of 230 pounds and I’m only 5′ 4″ tall.  You can well imagine that my weight and lack of fitness significantly impacted my physical and emotional health.  I had elevated blood pressure, blood glucose and high cholesterol.  I was on an array of medications to manage my weight-borne illnesses.  Since losing weight my blood sugar and cholesterol are in very healthy ranges.  I’m off all blood pressure medication and actually now have extremely low blood pressure. It’s awesome to finally feel in my body the age that I feel in my head.  Emotionally. I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

How did I lose my weight?  I first participated in 27 week weight loss program through a bariatric physicians’ group.   My program combined the use of Optifast products, with weekly doctor visits, cognitive behavioral therapy, and weekly educational classes on nutrition, exercise, and behavior.  We were required to exercise 30-60 minutes per day, as well as drink 80-100 ounces of water.  Journaling/blogging about our thoughts, feelings and progress was also part of the program and exactly how this blog was born!

In addition to the program at the bariatric center, I completed an 8 week program for weight loss at the hospital wellness center.  There I worked with a trainer twice per week.  After my eight weeks ended, I moved on to a more independent phase of the program without as much monitoring from the trainers.  Although they do evaluate and update my workout regime, as needed.  Going to the gym used to be a chore, now I feel let down when I have to miss a day.  I never imagined working out as pleasurable, but now it’s actually become one of my favorite activities.

The weight loss center’s motto is “What will you gain by losing?”  At first I hardly noticed that phrase displayed around their office and on the letterhead of all of their paperwork.  However, as I began to acquire more energy, range of motion, hobbies, activities, friends and experiences, I realized that their motto wasn’t just a cheesy little saying.  I’ve gained far more than the number on the scale.  I’m living.

Because I may be sharing some very personal information about myself, family members, friends, or co-workers, I am choosing to remain as anonymous as possible on this site.   I hope that my journey into weight-loss and self-discovery will not only continue to change my health and life, but will be able to help or inspire others.  Please feel free to share your questions or comments anytime! 🙂

72 thoughts on “About

  1. Congratulations on the start of a healthier journey and lifestyle change! I’m glad you found my blog and helped me link to yours. Best of luck on the 18 week weight loss program. I’ll be following your blog and cheering you along. It takes courage to put yourself out there and even more courage to take the first step. You can do this, one plate at a time!

    • Thank you so much! You’re the very first person to comment on my new blog!! You just made my day! 🙂 It’s really difficult to publically admit my weight and my obsession with food. I was terrified of getting snarky comments, but so far everyone has been super nice. Thank you for visiting and for your encouraging words! 🙂

  2. Firstly, thank you for your visits to my blog ☺️ Secondly, lots and lots of luck on your journey, and thank you for sharing your story and being so honest with the blog world about it. As you know from my own blog, I’ve had my own weight journey so I fully empathise and I truly believe that you can do this and you will feel so good for it 😀 Elaine x

    • Thank you! I’m already feeling better and better each day. I’m learning to think of food differently and to notice hunger signals as well as situations where I would normally eat emotionally or out of boredom. Your blog is the only food blog I’m following because your offerings are so healthy. I have great family and friend support, and blogging is helping tremendously. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

    • Oh, my goodness! Thank you so much! I’m honored! It might take me a couple of days to respond to it. We have nearly 2 feet of snow here in WV! I’m going to be getting plenty of exercise while helping my husband to shovel. We can’t even see our cars at this point! 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

  3. Thank you for following my blog! I just had the time today to have a look at your blog and immediately fell in love with it. You can do this, you can be healthy again! I’m looking forward to reading more of your brillant words.

    • Thank you so much! It is somewhat hard, but it’s beginning to get easier. WordPress is such a friendly blogging environment that I’m feeling more and more comfortable. Thank you for visiting and commenting! 🙂

  4. Goodness, I’m so excited about your new blog, as I need to do what you are. My weight and age are very close to yours, as you are starting this journey–though I am, I think, two or three years older than you.

    By the way, one of my dear blogging buddies is doing something similar. Her blog is called “Plus Size Mama.” Miranda was also an elementary school teacher and delightful writer. I think you’d love her blog. http://plussizemama.wordpress.com/about/

    Just subscribed and will be following your journey!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Yay!! I’m so glad to see you here, Kathy! I’ve missed my original blogging buddies! I was nervous about sharing this blog because I was afraid of negative comments about my weight, but everyone has been so nice and supportive. You’ll begin your weight loss journey when you feel ready. I’ve been overweight for many years and just wasn’t ready to make the changes. I just got to the point where I was feeling physically bad all of the time that I knew it was time to begin.

      I’m eager to check out Miranda’s blog. Thank you for the suggestion. 🙂 It sounds like we have a lot in common!

      You and Sara take care! 🙂

  5. Pingback: The Versatile Blogger Award | The Bohemian Rock Star's "Untitled Project"

  6. Hello,

    I have loved following the journey of your blog and sharing our tea times together over the internet! The quality of your writing is so professional and your optimism makes WP so beautiful, each post inspires and informs. I have nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger award

    http://litadoolan.net/2014/04/25/beautiful-expectations/

    Congratulations! I will be back later to catch up on more posts 😀

    Lita

    (of course do not worry if you do not wish to accept!)

    • Aw, Lita, thank you so much for your kind words and for the award! You’re my blogging tea buddy! 🙂 (I’m having some delicious Celestial Seasonings Apple Cinnamon tea right now!) I’m terribly behind with my award blogging, but I’d love to accept if you don’t mind that it might take me a bit to get to it. I hope you have a fun weekend planned. I’m off early in the morning to Manhattan to the Museum of Modern Art. That’s the only gift my youngest daughter wanted for her college graduation. 🙂 I’ll try to take some good non-flash pictures! Thank you so much, again for the award! 🙂

      • I can’t wait to hear ALL about Museum of Modern Art!!! I wonder what piece of work will stand out for you.

        We have Celestial Seasonings here so I too can say I have tried this!! Natural ingredients and good taste combinations. Cheers to apple cinnamon!

        Congrats on the award, take your time and enjoy! 😀

        Have a great weekend.

    • Thanks, Lita! The museum was so much fun! I think I walked about 20 miles yesterday, so I’m spending the day today rehydrating and recovering from the lack of sleep! I’ll write about it later, once I’m more awake and with it! Hope you’re having a lovely day! 🙂

  7. Hi there! So I’m curious, why did you choose Optifast? You mention you are supervised through a bariatric group, were you considering weight loss surgery? I’m inspired by your journey. I’ve lost my mojo and motivation for weight loss. I kept getting fit, and then getting pregnant. I just didn’t feel like I had a 4th time in me. However, I’m sure the gym might be just what I need. Right now, it feels like so much mental energy is required… Thank you for the inspiration, and for following my moody blog! 🙂

    • Hi Margo! Thanks for visiting. I chose Optifast for two reasons. The first, was that I’m super scared of surgery or procedures. I even had my daughters naturally because the epidural seemed scarier than pushing out a baby! The second reason was that I was so ready to get rid of the weight that I felt like I could do it on my own. It took me a long time to get to that point, but my health was terrible and I needed a change for the better.
      Optifast is one of the things that they use for medical weight loss. It has to be monitored by a doctor, especially if you have other medical conditions. The other medical option is phentermine and a couple of other medications as appetite suppressants. I can’t take those due to my irregular heartbeat.
      I had another friend who had more to lose than me and she had bariatric surgery a couple of months before I began Optifast. She’s lost about 50 pounds more than I have at this point and we’re now nearly the same weight. I’ve lost 40 pounds as of last week’s weigh in and I have 35 more pounds to go. The exercise has caused me to looses a lot of inches. I’ve gone from a size 24 pants to a size 14. My friend doesn’t like to exercise and she’s wearing size 18 pants.
      I really feel like the gym has made a huge difference for me. I’ve always had excess energy and it really helps to make me more relaxed. The extra endorphins I’m producing keeps me in a good mood all of the time, and I’ve made a bunch of friends at the gym.
      You’re welcome for the inspiration! 🙂

  8. Wow, I’m so excited to follow your new blog! You have so much to be proud of, I don’t know where to begin! …I think I’m going to have to practice some fancy cartwheeling high-fives, because the regular ones just aren’t going to cut it.

    • You just reminded me to update my about page to include the correct weight! You have so much to be proud of, too Julsie!! Jumping up to catch those high fives!! I still do cartwheels like Sandy from Grease–sorry :(! 🙂

  9. Remain anonymous! I do 🙂 But thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Congratulations on the weight loss–what an accomplishment. BTW, love your first line…it’s a good thought that the more one me looses, the more one has to gain …

    • Thank you so much! I found you through Deborah Bryan’s blog–and anyone that Deb reads is usually good!
      I really have gained so much by my weight loss, and blogging about it has been so wonderful. Thanks for the follow. I look forward to exploring your blog! 🙂

      • Deborah was one of my first subscribers I think. She has a great blog 🙂 If you want to find some awesome bloggers, check out my Crazy Chicks Club link. There are about a hundred or so bloggers listed on that link that’s joined the club 🙂 Blogging has been one of the best things I’ve done. It’s a wonderful way to just release it ALL!!!!!

  10. Congratualtions on your awesome achievement of becoming healthy and vibrant! We seem to have much in common. I’m turning 50 next year, and am a school teacher/blogger beginning my weight loss/health journey. I look forward to following you as you explore other areas of fulfilling your life’s purpose.

    • Hooray! It’s certainly nice to meet you Amanda. Best of luck on your weight loss journey. I’m going to follow you right back and keep up with your progress. Thank you for visiting and commenting! 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

  11. I appreciate your blog soon much! While I have a story to tell, I first needed answers. I am not the one needing to lose weight but a supporter of a loved one that is currently going into Optifast. I am quite lost. I am hoping to find answers and Google led me to your site. thank you for trailblazing ❤️

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