blogging, Crafting to lose weight, enjoying family, finding balance, Finding old friends, fitness, following your dreams, Friendship, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, optifast, setting goals, weight loss journal, Wellness Center, Writing

Starting at Square Two

 

Being a stay-at-home Nana has been a joy 99.999% of the time.  I wasn’t able to stay home with my daughters when they were little, so it’s been amazing watching Baby C unfold from a tiny preemie to a big boy.  However, as triumphant as watching each milestone was, there was part of me that had to hugely adjust to being home with a baby all day.  After all, my daughter’s schedule as a resident physician can only be described as grueling.  Her 16 hour a day shifts, coupled with my son-in-law’s odd work hours, often left me watching him for much longer than a traditional work day. Things happened that I didn’t imagine.  Any sort of routine or self-care schedule that I’d established basically became non-existent. I became a greasy haired, yoga pants wearing woman, in an oversized spit up covered tee-shirt.  My food plan of five small high protein meals per day dissolved to grabbing whatever seemed semi-edible from my fridge or pantry  Exercise, beyond walking and bouncing a wailing baby, went out the window, as did, reading, blogging, hanging out with friends, crafting and most things that I’d used as a substitute for overeating.  I began speaking fluent Sesame Street  (not a bad thing) and forgot how to have an interesting conversation. Though my snuggle and love ratio increased, my weight management plan rolled out the door like a trashcan full of dirty diapers and I gained weight; 35 pounds to be exact.

I’d committed to watching Baby C his first year of life, however finding just the right daycare didn’t happen until he turned 18 months old.  As soon as he began his first week there, I scanned my closet for something non-grubby to wear and went directly to my weight management physician and to the weight management trainers at the wellness center. Last week, I entered a comprehensive weight maintenance program and yesterday my weigh-in revealed a 4.5 pound weight loss! I’m proud of making progress and even prouder that I’m catching myself before my weight spirals too out of control.  Having to lose 30.5 pounds sure seems more doable than my previous goal of nearly 100 pounds.  Fortunately, instead of starting at square one, I’ve glided on to square two!

Life is a constant recalibration to find the perfect balance. I’m still spending plenty of time with my awesome grandson, but it’s more quality than quantity.  I’m back to making glass art that’s more intricate than before. I’m back to having time to nurture my relationship with my husband and friends.  I’m also back to posting on WordPress and, oh-so-hopefully reconnecting with the wonderful friends I’ve made on here over the years!

So, friends, how have you been? 🙂 

 

 

blogging, dealing with food cravings, Exercise, fitness, Food Addiction, Having fun, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, problem solving, setting goals, Tips fot weight loss, weight loss journal, Wellness Center, Writing

Anniversaries, Advice, and Ideas

 

Yum!  A tiny treat with 1/3 the calories of a small meal!  (photo from Ghirardelli.com)
Yum! A tiny treat with 1/3 the calories of a small meal! (photo from Ghirardelli.com)

Friday, January 16th, marks my one year Optifast anniversary.  While this is a great occasion to cheer, I have to admit that I’ve found myself slacking and lacking since the weekend.  Perhaps it’s the bitter cold weather and my primal urgings to bulk up against the cold, or perhaps I needed a break in my normally healthy routine.  Whatever the reason, I’ve been kind of naughty this week.  Saturday was my last gym visit, I’ve eaten several meals that certainly aren’t on my plan, and raided my daughter’s “hidden” stash of Christmas chocolates in the freezer.  (Did you know that just one Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel square has 80 calories?  They look way too small to be that dangerous!)

Today, I’m catching myself before I fall into a sea of subs, burgers, fries, chocolate, and hopeless inactivity, because, unfortunately, it is easy to go there even after so much work to reach my goal weight. I’m determined to check myself before I wreck myself and here’s my plan:

  1. Forgive myself and cross my name off of the naughty list
  2. Get out my measuring cup, measuring spoons and food scale–and use them.
  3. Start packing my lunch, dinner, and snacks when I go out. Relying on finding something healthy at a restaurant isn’t working as well as knowing the exact calorie count and portion size of what I pack.
  4. Find some new ways for my husband and I to have fun when we go out.  (Any suggestions, blogging buddies?) Lately, now that it’s so cold out, our dates have all been in restaurants.
  5. Make an appointment with my trainer. While my weight loss doctor and counselor provide polite, verbal motivation, my trainer, Olivia will give me great advice while kicking my ass into shape.  Truthfully, sometimes I just need my ass kicked.
  6. Reduce the size of my nut sack.   I LOVE nuts and derive a portion of my daily protein intake from them.  However, I know I’ve been overdoing it with my nut grazing lately.  Instead of storing my daily serving in a sandwich bag, I’m switching to the smaller snack-sized baggie.  Even though it’s smaller, the fullness of the baggie makes me feel like I’m having a bigger serving. (Hooray for ample nut sacks!!)
  7. Get the junk out of my house.  I know I’m not good with resisting temptation when it comes to snack foods. My best bet in avoiding them is to not invite them into my house in the first place.

 

Speaking of anniversaries, my very first blog-iversary for The Ravenously Disappearing Woman is coming up on January 25th, and I’m trying to decide the best way to celebrate it.  Any good ideas?  Perhaps I could have a contest?  Maybe I could post some bikini shots?  (totally joking– I haven’t owned a bikini since the 90s!)  Maybe I could do a video post, or perhaps something crazier!  I welcome your good ideas–the more outrageous–the better! 

Now, enough of this fun; I need to go work out! 🙂

blogging, Building self-confidence, Crafting to lose weight, enjoying family, fitness, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, weight loss journal, Writing

Bringing Sexy Back

I’m going to share a few thoughts on maintenance, but, first, I want  to thank everyone who voted on Monday’s polls.  The results show that I shouldn’t change my blog’s name, but that switching up my subjects from solely weight loss related posts would be perfectly acceptable.  After some thought, I’m rather happy to be keeping my name, as I’ve grown rather attached to it!  I do plan to change my tagline and to switch up the look of the blog just a bit.  Long ago, my future son-in-law (the Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop wiz) offered to make me a custom header.  My husband also offered to do some cartoon work for it. (He draws a really cute cartoon version of me). I need to re-ask them both if their offer still stands for when they have the time. So stay tuned for a few changes! 🙂


00roadrunner

Now, onward to maintenance.  I read a fantastic quote the other day from Optifast Blogger about maintenance. In her wonderful post about the things that keep her working hard to maintain her weight loss, Optifast Blogger admits that “losing weight is ‘sexier’ than maintenance.”  I read those words shortly after tallying up my last calories of the day, and they hit me like an anvil in a Roadrunner cartoon.  Maintenance is why some of the air has leaked out of my excitement balloon.  Its distinct lack of va va voom-iness is exactly why I haven’t felt like I’ve had much to write about lately.

In fact, the exhilaration of actively losing weight is much like the giddiness of being in a new relationship.  The beauty of it, is the person that you fall in love with, or re-fall in love with, is you.  It’s magical to work hard and see results.  Peering into the mirror and seeing the person that you’ve imagined yourself to be is awe-inspiring.  The feeling of completing physical challenges that you never before thought were possible is breathtaking. You run into people that you haven’t seen for a while and they notice how trim you’re looking.  You go shopping for new jeans, because all of your old ones are too big, and you find yourself slipping easily into a size 8.  You’re on top of the world!   Then one day, you step on the scales at your doctors office and she tells you that you’ve arrived.  You’ve reached your goal weight.  She slaps you a quick high-five and hands you the diet plan to maintain what you’ve lost.  Then she says. “This is the hard part; keeping it off.”  You leave the office happy and determined.  You have a formula that works for you, and you work your formula.  Then one day, after your 100th cup of yogurt at exactly 11:00 am, the same day that no one has asked, “Did you lose weight?”  you realize that the honeymoon of weight loss is over and that maintenance is the marriage.  It’s a good solid marriage, but it takes lots of effort. It needs the infusion of a few fluttering butterflies in the stomach and a few sparks to zap it back into the exciting status that it once had.  Luckily,  it doesn’t take a gastro-etymologist (I made that one up) or a generator to get the butterflies and sparks that we need.  We can do it ourselves with a few happy reminders.  This is my list of things that bring the “sexy” back to maintenance for me:

  • I don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.  How hot is that?
  • I can run–fast.  This means I’m no longer brain-bait during the zombie apocalypse, and that my legs are really toned and flexible.
  • I’m strong–In addition to knowing that I could fight off the undead, I have more poise and confidence because of my physical strength, and nothing is sexier than a little bit of swagger!
  • I have a nice fitting butt.  I’m not talking about how cute it looks in my size 8 non-mom jeans, I’m referring to the fact that it actually, truly fits in the places that I need it to; bus, train, theater, and restaurant seats needn’t shudder when I squat!
  • I’ve found positive replacements for  compulsive overeating.  I can craft, write, hang out with friends and family, or I can ask my husband to distract me–and actually not care if the lights are on!
  • I’m potentially adding additional years to my life by continuing to eat right and exercise–Knowing that I’ll be here longer for those I love puts the very biggest spark into my maintenance program.
Yo Roadrunner, I've got this!
Hey, Roadrunner, I’ve got this!

So what do you all think?  Is losing or maintaining your weight more difficult?  What are some things that you do to keep “the sexy” in maintenance?

 

blogging, Exercise, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, weight loss journal, Writing

Monthly Weigh-In Results

a measuringToday was my first bariatric visit in a month and it was met with excellent results; I’ve lost 9.5 more pounds!  I now have a BMI of 26.  Even though that’s still in the overweight range, it’s on the lower end of it.  Losing another 10 pounds will place me in a normal weight and BMI range. It’s good to know that I’m nearly normal! 😉

It absolutely mentally blows me away that I’m only 10 pounds overweight. I still see myself as obese most of the time, in spite of what the scale or my clothing labels tell me.  I think there’s a small part of me that’s afraid to get too complacent with my new size, just in case it doesn’t last.  Realistically, if I stick with the program I’m on and follow my doctor’s and trainer’s orders, I should be able to maintain my weight loss.  I’m estimating that in another 4-6 weeks I’ll enter the maintenance phase of my program and about 200 calories will be added to my daily intake.

Not much else is new in my life.  I’m still going to the gym 3-4 times per week and swimming and hiking in between.  I have a strength training and core session tomorrow with my trainer.  She’s tough, so I’m a teeny bit scared, but it’ll be great to change up my floor routine. Other than that, I’ve just been doing my crafting and housewifely things.  🙂

I hope everyone is having an awesome week! 🙂

blogging, enjoying family, Exercise, Mindful Eating, Travel, Writing

The Elusive Alligator

This is not my alligator picture. :(  It's courtesy of the inner web! Tomorrow the elusive retirement community gator will be mine! :) (Photo from animals.timduru.org)
This is not my alligator picture. 😦 It’s courtesy of the inner web! Tomorrow the elusive retirement community gator will be mine! 🙂 (Photo from animals.timduru.org)

Two days in a row I’ve seen an enormous alligator at the entrance of my father-in-law’s community.  Two days in a row I’ve missed out on getting the perfect (or any) shot of him with my camera.

Tomorrow will be the day.  Tomorrow I will be victorious in my gator quest!

For today, I have nothing but a solitary rest stop toad to offer you in the way of vacation pictures!

Behold the fearsome rest stop toad!  Don't turn your back on this little fellow! (Photo by me)
Behold the fearsome rest stop toad! Don’t turn your back on this little fellow! (Photo by me)

Tomorrow, my husband and I are venturing out on our own for lunch.  We plan to get seafood.  I’m a big lover of crab legs, so I’m bringing my food scale to measure out my four ounces of meat!  I’ve been enjoying lots of delicious veggies and my old faithful veggie burgers, as well as my Optifast products.  I’m not having as hard of a time as I thought I might with food.  Exercise isn’t as fun as I’d hoped with no pool, but I’m still managing to take advantage of the fitness room each day. Next week will be much easier with the beach to walk on and a pool.

Hope everyone is doing well! 🙂

blogging, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, enjoying family, Exercise, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, optifast

Feeling Good!

Apples are awesomely delicious! :)
Apples are awesomely delicious! 🙂

The mental storms have subsided and after talking to the doctor and dietician yesterday, I’m feeling more stoked about my transition to food. I was assured by my doctor that my fears of returning to my old ways of thinking and eating are pretty standard among her patients. She said she would be more concerned if I wasn’t worried. Her only concern right now is my continually low blood pressure. I’ve been slowly going off of my beta blocker and am down to 12.5 mgs per day. By next week, I should be fully off of it and will be praying to not feel the annoying pre-ventricular contractions that my heart so loves to do! On, or off of, the beta blocker, my heart still does its flip-flops; the beta blocker just aids in masking the feeling, which triggers my anxiety.

The dietician reviewed my food journal, and was pleased with how well I was managing with adding protein and vegetables to my diet. We also went through the rest of the transition plan. This week I’m adding ½ cup, or 60 calories, of fruit to my diet each day. I love apples, so ½ cup of gala apple slices was my first addition. They were delicious! Next week, is the addition of dairy. I have to be careful about that one with my lactose intolerance! After that, I add an additional protein and vegetable, and finally a carbohydrate. By the time I’m finished, I’ll be having only two Optifast products per day and the rest real food. All total, it will be about 1,000-1,100 calories per day with everything.

I think the thing that made me feel the best this week was the loss of another three pounds!! That proves to me that I can eat real food and still lose weight. The formula of portion control and exercise doesn’t fail me. (Thank goodness!) Another amazing thing about exercise is the number of inches that I’m losing. They actually make my body look smaller than the number on the scale reads. Anyone out there trying to lose weight-don’t dismiss the wonderful benefits of physical activity!!

I’m taking a rest from the gym today and staying home to clean my house and get an oil change for my car. My stepson is coming for a visit this weekend and I need to get things in order and go to the grocery store to get his favorite foods. I’ll have a happy, full house this weekend.

I hope everyone has some great adventures planned for their upcoming weekend. Tell me about them in the comments. 🙂

More award posts coming up this weekend!

blogging, enjoying family, food and family celebrations, learning, losing weight, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, Writing

Surviving my First Holiday on Optifast

Hooray, for healthy foods! (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Hooray, for healthy foods! (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

When I started my weight loss program, I made sure to begin it after the Christmas holidays.  Knowing that I would be giving up solid food, after my first bariatric appointment, on January 16th, I went gastronomically crazy in the weeks prior. I hit up Famous Dave’s barbecue place three or four times. I ate McDonald’s twice–even though it made me a little sick afterwards. I made it to burger night at Glory Days Grill three Monday’s in a row. I munched on potato chips, Doritos, and candy like they were going out of style.  I also cooked all of my favorite comfort foods; chicken pie, roast beef, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, mac and cheese, and had more desserts than you could count on both hands.  I thought my food frenzy would bolster me in the weeks ahead, as if food could possibly be the solution to my problems.

Three months,and 40 pounds later, this weekend’s Easter holiday was celebrated much differently than usual, and it was far more satisfying.  The “Easter Bunny”–yes, he still visits my adult kids–brought tiny packs of organic jelly beans and movie theater gift certificates instead of mounds of chocolate.  Instead of cooking Easter dinner solo, I had my husband and daughters’ help.  In lieu of the normal carbohydrate and sugar laden foods I’d usually prepare, we had baked, low-fat, unglazed ham, fresh green beans sautéed with shallots and garlic, fresh asparagus and tomato salad, and baked yams with assorted, healthy toppings on the side. Everything we created would be permissible on my eating plan.

Since I’m still drinking shakes, I flavored a vanilla one with coconut extract, made a huge cup of unsweetened cinnamon apple tea, and joined my family for dinner conversation.

After dinner, I took a took a very brisk, two-mile walk and did some arm and ab work.  It feels amazing knowing that I can survive a holiday and that my family is even happier with healthy holiday foods and treats.

Hope everyone’s weekend was great! 🙂  Happy Monday!