Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fitbit vs. Slimcoach: A Head to Head battle

Before I get into it...at today's weigh in : 294.0  I am down 10lbs in just 3 days shy of a month.  Woot Woot!

Exciting, right!?

My mood this week has been all over the place.  I have been thinking a lot about what it means if I do not get this job.  I know it doesn't MEAN anything in the grand scheme, but it means that I am closer and closer to being 1 whole year with no job and that means a lot. 

No beating myself up.  Just wish I knew something so I could get excited or move on.

Now....onto the challenge.
As you all know, I lost my fitbit.  Couldn't find it for months.  Yesterday, through some quirky circumstances I located it, only to have it fall apart in my hands moments later.  Lucky for me...I purchased the two year protection plan on it through Best Buy, so no biggie. I have been considering replacing it with a new device anyway.  After all, I paid around a hundred bucks for it and the new MyTrak Slimcoach (used by this season's Biggest Loser contestants) is priced at about $130.00 (between 180.00 and 300.00 total, if you purchase a recommended Polar Wearlink Heart Monitor). 

To be honest...the decision to put them head to head was made before I even got to the store.  I ended up with them both and I will USE the one I love and perhaps give the other one away.

Even though I have had the fitbit for nearly a year, Best Buy replaced it with the new fitbit Ultra, which NOW measures hills and flights of stairs, so there are still new aspects of it.

Perhaps next week I will give an overview of my first impressions of both.  I definitely already have strong opinions on either side.  I plan to use both for a month and then openly and honestly compare them.

Do you have a device that you prefer?  What is it?  What do you love about it?

Today's Spark: A 3.8lb loss!  I want more weigh ins like this!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


A new week ahead, right? Let's start it off on the right foot. 

Today started off with me waking up on the couch after falling asleep watching The E True Hollywood Story on The Kardashians.  If you're friends with me on Facebook, this just goes to further prove the intensity of my boredom last night.  If you're not friends with me on Facebook...why not?  heh?

Anyway, back to the couch...when I woke up this morning, amazingly, I had no back pain.  This is the first time in more than a dozen Sundays that I have woken up pain free.  I am concerned about the back pain, but I have more than a sneaking suspicion that it is weight related.  When I was down about 20 lbs more than I am now, I experienced pain less often than now. 

If you have children who can speak...I am sure that you have experienced the dreaded "I'm hungry" conversation that starts out with the statement and quickly escalates into hunger pangs so severe the kids might actually vomit if it weren't for the fact that they are scared to crack a rib from their imaginary heaving.  I don't know what it is with kids, but mine ACTUALLY believe that if the insertion of food into their pie holes does not occur immediately from the hunger declaration that I will surely be arrested for their malnutrition related deaths.

 They are 4 and 7.

 I am afraid of what the future holds.

I put them off for a minute (dangerous business, I know) and then got up and made the most amazing Whole Grain Wheat and Blueberry (Erica had banana) pancakes with Turkey Sausage Links and Sugar Free Syrup.  An outstanding 250  calories.

Workout to commence shortly.

I am wrestling with a minor/major purchase.  I am a huge proponent of the fitbit personal training device that I have had for nearly a year, I love their website where I actively log my food choices.  I love the way it tracks my calories and weight loss over time, and when I can locate it to actually use it, it really does motivate me to get moving.  The problem is that I have been unable to locate it.  I misplaced it at some point and now it has been MONTHS and I still have not run across it. 

I thought about purchasing the Bodybugg since they were on MAJOR sale at NBC.com (189.99, but they  no longer have them), I could replace my fitbit with the fitbit ultra (99.99) which now tracks stairs, or I could bite the bullet and buy the new Biggest Loser Slim Coach (129.99) which works best with a polar wearlink heart monitor (49.99 - 129.99). I'm torn.  On one hand...I love the fitbit...on the other hand, am I missing out on a waaaaay better product?  Decisions, Decisions.

Any thoughts? 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lady In Waiting

That is what I am calling myself, anyway.  You know the saying "No News is Good News"?  Let me tell ya...sometimes no news is just no news and no news is sometimes nerve wracking.

I had a great day yesterday.  Finally over my jet lag.

After I sent Autumn to school, I took Erica to the babysitter's and happily visited my local Massage Envy and de-stressed.  I have been a member there for nearly two years and I appreciate it more than anything.  I get a member massage once a month and of i can't make it in...they accumulate and I can cash them in for extra massages during the month or upgrade to a two hour massage or some other fancy offering they have.

Oddly enough, I have never felt uncomfortable being there and being overweight (except for the therapist that kept using hand sanitizer while she was giving my massage...I guess she thought fat=dirty).  If you have one in your area...you should check it out.  As a matter of fact go to the Massage Envy website, see if there is one in your area and let me know in the comments section.  Maybe...just maybe...I can finagle a gift card for my next give a way, but I want to know that there is a good number of people can use them first.

I also had lunch with my friends Scott and Debbie.  Where I had a salad.  Of course...it was one of those "I thought I was being good salads"  Romano Crusted Chicken Salad.  I knew that it had a lot of extras in it, so I asked them to hold the eggs and give me the Creamy Parmesan dressing on the side.  It had bacon also, but I figured "how much bacon could it actually have"?    Turns out a lot, but the pieces were big enough that I could move them aside, so I could control how much of it I ate.  The chicken was very flavorful, so flavorful in fact that I didn't even use the dressing.

When I came home and tried to log my calories.  I found out the salad that I ate is listed on the restaurant website as....get this....1060 calories.  Sheesh!  How am I supposed to log that?  I didn't eat the dressing which was served in a condiment cup.  I didn't eat the eggs and less than half of the bacon?  I know to watch out for restaurant salads, but wow!  All in all I had figured that it was about 200 calories for the dressing I didn't eat.  I assumed based on the size of the salad that they probably use at least an egg and a half, so I deducted another 100 calories.  Then deducted about 140 calories for all the bacon I did not eat.  All in all I had a 620 calorie salad.  STILL WOW.  Breaks my heart actually.  I could have eaten something really not so great, but the worst part of the whole thing was that I ordered dessert and only ate maybe a third of it (intentionally)...either way, I was screwed.  BTW, that salad had 49g of fat.  For what I paid for that salad...it should come with a warning.

On the scale this morning...I am seeing the downward trend again and I am excited.  Now....if I only knew something about that job....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In The Lurch

Jet Lag...is no joke.

I know you all want to know what happened with my job interview.  So do I.  I know nothing.

Let me start from the beginning.

 I left my house yesterday morning round 6:30am. The weatherman said freezing rain, so I left extra early for my 10:20 flight.  Everything I felt was ominous.  I really wish that my thought patterns were different, but they're not, so I said good-bye  to my family, stopping to kiss each of my kids on the forehead and give them what I was sure would be their last kiss from me.  Not to be melodramatic, but that is just how far my fear of flying goes.  Probably from watching too much LaBamba as a kid.  "...and stars don't fall out of the sky"

I get to the airport.  Find my ticket counter.  Realize I left my phone in the car.  Who said I wasn't gonna get a workout in today?  I trek all the way back out to the car for my phone.  The airport was hit by a tornado last April and I am shocked that it is January and so many windows are still boarded up.  I finally make it to my gate and still have about an hour to wait. 


So nervous that my insides are shaking.  I realize that the iPod has played Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon" like 10 times and reading an article about JFK Jr.  Ironic.

Delta...in my opinion, is an excellent airline.  They were friendly and I was uber pleased to not have to use a seat belt extension.  (Fear #2 averted).  My prayers lasted the entire length of the takeoff.  It seemed like just as we were in the air, we were landing again.

Off the plane and on to my interview.  I was pleased that the wait for them to pick me up was not that long, however...the interview was something that I dreaded almost as much.  Not because I was interviewing, but because I am fat and it is a lunch interview. 

Insecurity.  As much as I can be open here...I am still very insecure. 

Imagine my surprise when the interviewer admits that he is trying to lose some weight, has a personal trainer, and promptly takes a moment to log his food choices into his phone.  (Fear #3 averted)  I realize that this in no way means that he accepts who I am like I am, but it allows me to relate to him on a 'secret' level.  He KNOWS it's not easy.

The interview was conversational and I am pleased with the way it went.  They told me that they would talk about me (lol) and get back with me.  They also informed me that there is a training class in February.  I am hoping that by them revealing that information is a good sign.  When it's over, they drop me back off at the airport.

I'd like to say that everything from this point went off without a hitch, but it did not.

After promptly entering the Detroit airport and going through their body scanners, I was held up by security.  It appears that the scanners detected that I was "hiding something in my groin area".  They asked me if I knew what it was, in front of EVERYONE.  I quietly replied that I believed it could be some feminine undergarments.  I was placed in the scanner again.  Same thing.  I was immediately questioned about my belongings. 

"Why do you only have a purse and shoes?  Did you check your bag?"  TSA inquired.
"No.  That's all I have." I replied.
"Why don't you have any luggage?"
"I'm here for a job interview, I flew in this morning and now I am flying back home."

I was then whisked off to an area enclosed with privacy glass and promptly given a head to toe TSA pat down.  They kept asking me if there was anything I wanted to tell them anything, but instead of emptying the ever growing contents of my brain...I said "no."  They seemed surprised that I was so compliant.  Fun...it was not, but I wanted to get home to my hubby and babies so pat away.

US AIRWAYS while they were friendly, they weren't fat friendly for sure.  I will admit now that on my plane ride from Detroit to North Carolina, I didn't even wear a seat belt.  Not only did it not fit (on the same type plane as Delta with waaaaay smaller seats), but anytime I tried to get the air stewards attention on this incredibly FULL flight they LITERALLY looked the other way.  It was tight and the guy next to me seemed to be getting agitated.  I wanted to get home, so I kept my mouth shut.  From NC to St. Louis, I was upgraded to first class thanks to some fantastic advice from my step mom. 

All my planes arrived to their destinations early and I arrived safely (Fear #1 averted).  I was able to stay on plan thanks to no time to eat and being incredibly difficult to eat during an interview.

For food, I chose a grilled chicken sandwich (lettuce and tomato) to which I added no condiments, cut and consumed only half w/fries (I ate like 6).  In the Charlotte/Douglas airport I purchased a cheese stick and a nut based trail mix. I drank only water.

Glad to be home.

Today's Spark: Wanting to fit in airplane seats.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

In 15 minutes...I walk out the door to embark on a whole different kind of journey.  One where I hope the end result will lead to a job.  I do not want to fly, but I am pushing through my fear for the benefit of myself and my family.

Hmm...if only I pushed through all my fear this way.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sleepless Nights

Happy Monday, Everybody!  I can't believe January is almost at a close.  Weigh ins have been going according to plan.  This week looks like it may be a little sketchy though.  Two  bday parties in 1 day.  Bad choices at both.  It's not the kind of news I want to report, but I say it to everyone else ALL the time...it's a hiccup.  No dwelling.  Moving forward from here.

Things have been happening on the job front.  I haven't said anything before now because I didn't want to jinx it, but a couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to test for some positions with the State of Missouri.  I received my test scores at the end of last week and I scored really well.  I am soo pleased, of course it means that there still has to be an opening, but if you are on the higher end of test scores you will be among the first people selected for an interview.  YAY!

In even better job news...On Wednesday, I have been asked to fly to Detroit, MI for a third interview (face to face finally).  I really want to work for this company.  They are in my field of experience when it comes to insurance and it is a remote (work from home) position.  Cue Hannah Montana (BEST OF BOTH WORLDS)!  I am really excited about the opportunity.

Now for my apprehension about it...I am flying.  I haven't flown in 7 years and that time I was all hopped up on the (prescription) Xanax, just to get me through the flight.  Obviously...that is not best case scenario for a job interview, so I will be flying without medication and/or alcohol.  I am not just flying once.  I am flying 3 times in a 12 hour period.  YIKES! 

What if I don't fit in the seat?  What if I have to pay for a second seat?  I am BROKE as a JOKE.  I am not any bigger than I was 7 years ago, but.....who knows.  They are paying for this flight, I have to get there.  Could you imagine my embarrassment if I didn't make it cause I was too fat to fit?  Ugh.

I also haven't flown by myself since 1995.  Back when I was running away from the troubles of having an adult boyfriend as a teenager...I was a lot more confident then (about stuff like that anyway).  That was before the days of airport security as we know it and I was going from being dropped off at one airport and being picked up at another.  None of this connecting flight BS. 

My stomach has not been right in days.  That's just my nerves and apprehension.


My weigh in was not so great today.  I am up 1lb.  Two bday parties.  1 day.  Bad choices.  Stopped counting calories at some point this week.  I'm on it.  I'm all over it, actually.  I have to work harder.  I have to stay on plan.

Pray for me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

And the winner is.......

Cinner.  I took all comments removed my replies and all duplicate entries.  Ran the numbers through Random.org randomizer and it selected #2.  Congratulations Cinner!  I sent an email and I await an address for mailing purposes!  So thankful for all my readers.  I like give-a-ways and I will continue to look for more opportunities to bring you great stuff like this.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Personal and Confidential (200th post)

Everything here always is, ya know?  Personal and Confidential, I mean.

In 200 posts a lot can happen and has for that matter. Sick of my life, I oddly ended up here in July of 2009.  I remember that day.  So desperate for change that I would write :

"I am a full-time employee, a full-time wife and mother, and a full time human being. I make hard decisions everyday. It is always easier to do something else. I push myself and prod myself to enter the cruel ass world where people wonder what my husband sees in me or even worse feel sorry for him. "

I did not only write those words, but I posted them in a public forum for no reason.  Hoping beyond all hope that somehow it would change my life.

I told you my deepest truths and fears.

"I am just always too busy doing so many things for others that I have no time for myself. This has been a problem with me for a long time. I put way more time into other people than I put into myself. I put way more time into other people than other people put into me. I guess at this point they will all really miss everything I do/did for them when I am dead. Truthfully, I know that the people I WASTE my time on, will just look for someone else to do it for them when/if I am gone. Taking care of my kids is NEVER a waste of my time. They are my whole reason for getting up and doing what I do everyday. They are amazing and they love me. They do not judge me. They do not understand "fat" as a bad thing. I am just their mom. Theirs are the only true relationships that I have, where there is no bias, just love!!! My fear is that will change one day. One day, people will not just be making fun of me, they will be making fun of me through my kids. Outside people will taint my relationship with my kids because people are cruel.

I think about my kids warning their friends before they meet me. Saying "My mom is a big woman" like a forewarning and a joke at the same time. My kids might even laugh with their friends about me and so ends the true part of the relationship for me."

I told you about my lowest of lows

"Have you ever been sad? Have you ever been so sad that you felt crazy? Like you were not you. You were outside of you, laughing at how pathetic you were, which just made you more sad? How about the emptiness? Did you feel it? Starts in your throat and is so oppressive it eats it's way down until you're a shell? You're a shell with weighted arms and legs.? You cry so hard and so loud that the sound can't escape your cavernous self? When the sound finally comes, the built up force of it steals your breath as it breaks free and you hyperventilate? I have."

You have journeyed with me.  Ups and Downs, Highs and Lows.  You have congratulated me on my successes and have held me up when I was falling.  I didn't know that in a lot of ways I would find a different kind of family.  A family that has been there or is currently there.  No matter how we got to this place...we're here together...digging our way out of the cavern of desperation together.  I may not be in the place I thought I would be 200 posts from that first day, but I am NOT giving up.  Please do not give up on me. 

Today, someone who was really feeling the desperation said to me, "I am not one of those people who can motivate others to lose weight.  I can't just be out there, talking about my weight and how I feel about it.  It's too personal to me." 

It's the most personal thing ever, isn't it?  It is to me too.  It's not easy to come out here and talk about the 'meat skirt', my weight resembling an oven temperature, or feeling like I'm worth nothing sometimes.  It's not easy, but I do it because I pray that someone else who is feeling that exact same way finds this and realizes they are not alone. 

 I weighed in yesterday at 296.8. That is a loss of 7.2 lbs in 2 weeks.  I'm baaaaaaack!

In celebration of my 200th post I promised a give-a-way. I was able to obtain an autographed copy of Matt Hoover's (Winner, Biggest Loser, Season 2) book 'Matt Hoover's Guide to Life, Love, and Losing Weight' an autographed picture of Matt and Suzi (Season 2 Runner-up), and Body Evolution by Matt and Suzi Hoover (a CD and eight DVD's).

 This is TRULY an amazing prize!  I will ship worldwide!  Cuz I love y'all!  How can you get it?  Thanks for asking.  You MUST be a blog follower and you must leave a comment before Jan 21st at 11:59pm. Only One Winner.  Winner will be chosen by randomizer Happy Entering!

Monday, January 16, 2012

199 Posts and a Pre Give-a-way Give-a-way

There are many things on my mind today.

  1. After two snow days at the end of last week and the holiday today...I am glad to school is back in session tomorrow.
  2. Tomorrow is my weigh in and even though I am on the scale everyday (if not several times a day), I am hopeful that my preliminary numbers will continue to hold out.
  3. Whatever is lost is behind me.  There can be no more wasted life. This has to be the last time I see numbers that could be confused with an oven temperature.
I continue to press on, but as many of you know...the further you get into it...the easier to lose your way.
I can not lose my way this time.  I must remind myself daily.  Biggest Loser will not save me.  Is it pathetic that I think that the thought that it might is probably still floating around in there somewhere?  The thought that they made a mistake doesn't briefly pop into my head sometimes (ok...more than briefly).

Anywho.  I am still going and everyday that I am going...I am getting stronger and further away from the numbers that crush my soul (or LITERALLY crush my lungs) and closer to being free of the weakness and apathy that got me here today.  FREE OF IT, FOREVER!

This is my 199th post and while I promised a give-a-way on my 200th post, I thought 199 may just deserve one too.
I am giving away my slightly used copy of The Biggest Loser Quick and Easy Cookbook.  There is some very minor water damage and my four year old has autographed the cover, but for all intents and purposes it is like new.  It not only includes recipes, but weight loss tips, as well as a few 20 minute exercises routines for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers alike. 

I know you are asking yourself, "How do I make this baby mine?"  There are a couple of different ways and you can earn multiple entries.

  1. Become a follower of this blog (if you aren't already)
  2. Leave a comment on this blogpost.
  3. Facebook Friends can share this post on Facebook and link it back to me.
  4. Twitter followers can tweet the following "@lifeinblubber rocks my socks!"
Whatever entries I receive between now and Tuesday night at 11:59pm will be assigned a number and then placed into a randomizer where the winner will be selected by random number draw.  Good Luck and Happy Entering!

GIVE A WAY IS NOW CLOSED.  There was a total of 13 entries.  I counted all new follows first, then comments, then Tweets, then FB shares.  www.random.org randomizer selected #3 of 13.  Congratulations Teresa!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I recently learned that kindness can be as contagious as the Ebola virus.

It seems the kinder I have been to my body, the kinder the scale has been to me. 

The kinder I have been to my body, the kinder those around me have been to theirs, and by default...the kinder their scales have been to them.

As an overweight mom, I do my best to watch my daughter's weight. 

Not in a crazy "you're gonna be fat if you eat that way", but in a cautious, loving way.  It is important to me as a woman who grew up with so much emphasis on her weight to NEVER have my daughters live through even a fraction of the weight scrutiny (at every turn) that I did.  My focus, conversationally, with my children has always been on making healthy choices. 

Counterbalance...I then am a poor example to them by being focused on my weight.  I pray they will grow up to understand the difference.  My eldest daughter has been gaining weight since she started school.  She doesn't have the play time she did before and she has a father who is a totally poor example of how and what kind of food to eat. He's not the only one to blame because ANYONE who reads this blog can go over the last two years and see when I have  totally failed "refocused" from falling off plan.  I just am concerned when people see us together or when I am at the pediatrician's office that people do not assume that:

Fat Mom = Chubby Kid

When in all fairness it is actually:

  Fat Mom
  Average, Junk Food, Binge-Eating Dad
+Lack of Activity and Accountability at School
  Chubby Kid

I am not exactly sure how to carry the 1 in that equation, but the point is all things are factors.

I took my daughter to the pediatrician over Christmas break.  She had gained 2lbs over the last year (not really a huge deal), but last year as a Kindergartner she had gained a significant amount of weight.  She was nearly 75 lbs at 6 years old.  She wasn't "fat"  It didn't show in her face, arms, or legs, but the belly was a-growing.  I tried to get my husband on board with NOT giving her junk food.  Especially not everyday...to no avail.

I also found out that one of the "healthy" options at my daughter's school for breakfast was a donut. (this is back when I was working full time and my kids were at daycare at 6am EVERY morning) She loved eating breakfast at school and it was completely by accident that she revealed that she had been eating a donut and a chocolate milk EVERYDAY at school.  I sit her down for a conversation,  God love her...she hadn't learned to lie.  I tell her that if she continues to eat a donut everyday, I will not be able to let her eat breakfast at school anymore.  SHE CRIED.  That darn donut was already that important to her.  We compromised.  She could buy the donut on PE days only and if she didn't follow that guideline, she would have to stop buying breakfast at school.  She agreed.

About a month later, she revealed to us that she was choosing the healthier oatmeal or scrambled egg option, but because she told the cafeteria lady that she was "not allowed to buy a donut" they had begun to give it to her for free and she gladly took it because I told her not to BUY a donut. WHAT?!!!  Are you kidding me?  Now not only was my daughter still eating the donut, but she was eating double the breakfast.  NO MORE SCHOOL BREAKFASTS FOR MY KID.  NO MORE SCHOOL LUNCHES FOR MY KID. 

I tried to involve her in more activity, but I'll be honest...my goal in all of this was just for her to maintain the weight she had...until she grew completely into it.  I still wasn't getting buy in from the hub, so it was a struggle. 

A trip to the pediatrician's office for "pink eye" (or my daughter accidentally hitting herself in the eye with a 5lb Fushigi ball..yep...that's right...she learned to lie) where she gained 2 lbs in 365 days changed everything.  The doctor had the "conversation" with me.  You know...the one where we discuss the childhood obesity rate and the one where I "of all people should understand how hard it is."  The one where I couldn't punch my medical professional in the face and drop kick him out of rage.  The one where anything I said would sound like I was skirting the blame.  

So I sat there.  Took every word in the gut. 

Then I took my kid out for pancakes...like I had promised before the visit.  Pancakes that I HAVE NOT been allowing my kid to eat on a regular basis, but instead when we are out for breakfast (maybe 1 time every 2 months)

Then I went home and gave my hubby the what for...

Then he said that maybe he should keep better track of what she eats.

Then he joined my weight loss competition.

Then he allowed my daughter to join (under the guise that its not a weight loss competition, but a challenge for her to learn to make healthy choices for herself.)  We offered her a 20.00 prize or a night out with mom and dad w/o her sister if she makes healthy choices (of which the hope for us as parents will be that she will drop the extra pounds just by making minor changes).  Grandparents stepped in and offered her another $50.00 if she can see it through the end.  

For all of you who worry about this kind of stuff.  She still eats ice cream and has an occasional cookie, but is learning to appreciate yogurt, granola, and fruit for a snack. This makes me ecstatic!!!

Our competition started on January 3.  My household has lost 20 pounds in less than two weeks.  Hubby lost 10, I've lost 8, and my little healthy eater has lost 2.  Overall last week, the 13 participants (who are all following their own plans) lost 78.6 lbs.  We weigh in again on Tuesday.  I hope this feeling is antibiotic resistent and continues to be contagious.

Today's Spark:  Change is good!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow Day! or Today, I Might Go Completely Insane

I love my kids.  I love my kids.  I love my kids.  I LOVE my kids.  I love MY kids. I love MY KIDS.

Today is a day for reinforcement. Today is the first official SNOW DAY.  It is the first day of school my daughter has missed all year and if they all plan on starting out like today, I hope it is the LAST one. Today would be easiest if I called for all day nap day, Clean-a-Palooza 2012 (which still may happen) (kids upstairs...mama down), or my oldest will slow the roll on her Seven going on bitchy attitude. (Here's hoping or it will be a LONG day for both of us). 

I have been doing an awesome job rocking my plan.  I am really proud of me. That may sound bad, but I have really been fighting my staff. (you know, the voices) ;) I have been planning my meals at least a day in advance to be sure that I know what is available.  My entire family is on board this time, so it makes a difference.

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but my friends and family are involved in a weight loss competition (ala Biggest Loser).  The person with the highest percentage of body weight lost wins the pot.  The winner is going to net a cool $780.00 and in this economy...its worth it to lose the weight just to pay some bills.  LOL!

My hubby is participating as well and its funny because he is taking it so seriously.  I lost 4lbs last week and he lost 7.  Of course, I have been working my boo-tay off compared to him to get half the result.  Where's the Women's Liberation movement when it comes to that issue?

My workouts have included a cycling challenge that I have made with myself inspired by Jackie over at Midlife Train Ride.  I plan on cycling 10 miles a day on average.  So far...I am ahead of the game.  I have been cycling (recumbent bike) between 7 - 7.5 miles in the morning and 6 - 6.5 miles in the evening.  I did totally skip cycling yesterday due to T I R E D legs.  I think this is definitely more my speed.  I had to drop out of Brad Gansberg's 5kin100days because it is just too much for me right now.  He was very gracious about it which I appreciate  I have completed 2 5k's.  I would love to run one (or possibly further), but I really need to curb my "all or nothing" attitude and work up to it.  I am a big fan of pumping my arms while I am riding, you know, kind of like when you are running.

I even bought these really cool weight gloves. They are hand weights, but they strap on like gloves. Adds more resistance to my movements and I can wear them cycling and/or walking without feeling like I have to hold on to something. I love them. Wal-Mart (the devil) has them for under $10 a pair.

I told you that my family is really involved this time.  The LAST time.  So today's spark is my 4 year old daughter Erica. I planned to put a video of her on the stationary bike talking about her workout schedule (8 minutes and then she rests, in her words...lol), but blogger isn't cooperating.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anger By The Pound

I'll admit right off the bat...I'm in weird space today. 

As I sit here eating my breakfast of Fruit on the Bottom Greek Yogurt (Black Cherry), I have a lot for which to be thankful.

1. I'm breathing which means I'm alive and have been given another chance to improve my life.
2. My family is healthy.
3. My husband's business is growing and the work he is getting is increasing in terms of frequency and $$.
4.We have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.
5. I lost 4 lbs. this week.

Yesterday's blog post was one of my more popular ones in terms of hits and response.  Many of you commented both here and on Facebook.  I received several private messages and emails.  It boosted my spirits for sure. I was actually kind of proud of it in terms of myself as a writer effectively expressing my thoughts and ideas.  I needed a boost.

Yesterday was a completely craptastical day.

Last week I had contacted the college to pay my bill and I had noticed that yet again, my Pell Grant had been lowered.  WTH?  So, I call them and call them and call them and after an entire day of them not picking up the phone.  I leave them a message.  No callback on Friday.  No callback on Saturday (they had special "'pre-semester" hours)  Monday 10am NO CALLBACK.  I call them no answer.  School starts for me today, I call the local office and explain that I need an understanding of what is going on as this is actually now the 2nd time it has been reduced in a month and it's getting to the point that I may not be able to afford it.  They transfer me to a woman who clearly missed her coffee.  Upon the explanation of my call she replied "How...CAN I...help you?"  I explain I am looking for an explanation for the reduction only to find out that it has been reduced yet again a THIRD time.  According to her the reason being my "inability to fill out my FAFSA (Federal Student Aid Application) accurately and honestly"  Well, Hotmail a Hasbrown! (stupid autocorrect from my sister that I am totally obsessed with saying now)  Did she just say that?  For real?  All of my financial information was not even placed on my FAFSA by me, but by the government (they imported my tax information from the IRS).  After tears and a transfer to her supervisor who advised me to "Do what everyone else does and apply for a student loan."  I decided to remind myself at exactly why the area that I live in has the reputation that it does, because of people and attitudes like this. 

My hubby is anti-financing ANYTHING.  So I begin to cry.  I call my step mom.  She makes me feel tons better.  I call the school and drop all my classes. 

Even typing it hurts.

I need to remind myself exactly what my step mom said.  There is a NEXT semester.

She is right.  This does not mean the end, but instead...just a delay.

I will survive. (I know you're singing it now, right?)

All this reminds me of how anger has been a total issue for me.  It reminds me that I need to let it go before it manifests itself to me in ounces and pounds.  I have decided to no longer look at myself in pounds of fat, but instead....pounds of anger.

Today's spark: I lost 4 pounds of anger this week.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Things I HATE About People

Ok, Ok...so PEOPLE is a pretty broad term and to be honest...if this list were really about all people...it would be pretty detailed, less of a blogpost, and more of a series of blogposts.  Or...a blog all in itself.

This is just about people when it comes to weight loss and more specifically MY weight loss or journey thereof...

To be fair, I am going to tell you straight out of the gate that I am guilty of some of these things.  After all...I'm a people too!

People who tell you the "BEST WAY" to lose weight.
 The problem I see with most of these people in my life is that they are always standing by and waiting to tell me that the best way is this new gimmick diet that someone who they know has a brother whose wife has an uncle whose cousin lost a lot of weight eating nothing but pickles and beer after 3pm. (This is not a real diet) (I hope).  The fact of the matter is that we all already know the best way to lose weight is to decrease calories, make healthier choices, and work your ass off.  The pickle and beer diet is only good for finding yourself drunk in an alley stinking of beer and vinegar.  Not Good.

People who try to push you to weight loss surgery.
For those of you who are in an overweight or a "low" obese range...you may not see this one enough to get where I am coming from, but for a person who is 5'1" and 300lbs wearing her "sarcophagus" like a crown...I see this one more than I can stand.  In one breath the person will be talking about my strength and determination.  How they know that I am capable of soo many things and then they suggest that I lop off half my stomach if I really want a shot at losing weight.  Wow....now I totally believe all the things you said about me before that (please note sarcasm).  Not only do you people piss me off, but when I lose this weight through sheer will and determination...I will find you.  I will have had less cookies by that time, so my mood will be questionable.

People who suggest that weight loss surgery is the "easy road".
Please note my above passage.  I never said that I thought it was easy...I said that it is not for me and I hate when people assume that I can't do it without the help of surgeon and scalpel.  I personally have checked it out.  I have sat through seminars that have discussed all the options.  I have talked to doctors, I have set appointments, but in the end I don't believe it is the right step for me.  In fact...I think it may be harder than what I am doing now. My weight gain is a product of an emotional disorder.  Creating "Frankenstomach" or naming it "Carrie Bradshaw" and dressing it in a fashionable "belt" doesn't fix that for me.  I fail on this plan, but if I fail on that plan...I could die.  Literally die.  I refuse to let my tombstone say "Here lies Christie" followed by "Those damned mashed potatoes"  If I eat them now...I regret it.  I can LIVE with regret and move on.

People who fail to recognize ANY obesity as an eating disorder.
I believe that all eating disorders are emotional disorders.  If I binge eat...its for the same reason that someone who is bulemic binge eats.  I just HATE throwing up.  I have the same body issues as a person who is anorexic, but starving myself to get the result they get will take time and unless you are a newcomer to this blog, you know that I have issues with follow through. (I am not condoning any of these disorders as a legitimate way of losing weight, but merely saying I can relate).  I have an effed up relationship with my mom, I have an effed up relationship with my dad, I have an effed up relationship with my sisters, why should my relationship with food be any less effed up.  I don't know one person who is overweight who thought,  "Gee...I have nothing else to do today, why not make everything in my life HARDER"  

People who think they can change a person by pointing out that they are fat.
They already know, thanks for pointing it out, Captain Obvious.  Have you seen the sky today...its blue.  People know they are fat. This is not an appropriate way to handle any situation.  If you think it is, consider this is probably the reason that you do not have many friends.  Pointing out someone's flaws or hurdles that they have to jump is not the best way to get them motivated to change themselves.  Listen closely...you can not motivate anyone to do anything.  The motivation has to come from within.  If you care about someone and you have the type of relationship where you can have those kinds of conversations, then tell them that you are concerned, reassure them that you care about them and offer to support them if they decide to do something about it.  Even Biggest Loser trainer, Bob Harper relayed a story about his own sister and how he reaches all these people, but he just can't reach her.  He can only be her brother...not her salvation.  Remember, just because you are ready for them to make a change, doesn't mean they are.  If you care for someone, you care for them no matter what.  There is your free "Life Lesson" for the day, courtesy of me.

Food and/or workout judges
This is not the first time I have talked about food judges, but I find myself wanting to do this more and more.  I guess it may be because I am finding success with what I am eating and I want to share my success, but being a victim of it.  I know there is a right way and a definitive wrong way. 
I try to NEVER randomly judge food on someone else's plate, but in all honesty..it happens.  Just the other day, I was in a restaurant with a friend and she had  Bread...lots of bread.  Cheese and Potato Soup.  Chicken Tenders, a baked potato, all melty with butter and sour cream. (lo I have to admit.  I saw her, I saw what she was eating and I thought, "remember when...." (mostly I was jealous...lol).  I did have a twinge of sadness for her, because I was transferring feelings about myself onto her. NEVER EVER EVER, did I think about saying anything.  It is not my place.  If she had asked me for tips,  about my weight loss journey, or to analyze her food then I would have gladly suggested swaps and told her what I find is the best way to make changes without feeling like I'm cheating myself.  But she didn't so I sat silent.  The point is that all people are not armed with the knowledge that you have and your knowledge is limited by your experience.  If your knowledge is welcomed then share it.  If you are not sure...say nothing until you are.  Change is a delicate process in the fabric of one's life.  Don't pull the loose string that causes it to unravel.  Same for working out.  Sometimes people are doing all they can do.  It may be the first time they have made it to the gym.  If  you see them struggling and you start thinking negative thoughts, then you need to rearrange your thinking.  At least they are there making an effort. 

The point is...become a support to those who are trying (even if you see the flaws in their thinking), life has enough road blocks that there doesn't need to be another you-shaped one in their path.

Today's spark: Kicking my roadblocks in the peas!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guilt Free Italian Sausage Bake

This stuff is delicious.  I strayed away from a recipe in the Biggest Loser "Quick & Easy Cookbook"

They have a recipe for "Fried" Mushroom Parmesan Bake that really looked good.  It is intended as a side dish, but of course they also suggest it as a vegetarian entree'.  Call me crazy or say "This is why you're fat", but I am still not into the idea of  going 'meatless'.  To be up front...I feel like I have an expanded world view and no offense to anyone who is, but I do not know the rules, nor have I taken the time to understand the nuances of vegetarianism or veganism.  I know, I know..it's a new era. 

A different way of thinking. 

Sorry, but think of me as your Grandma that still won't use a computer and has NEVER been on the internet.

Regardless...I wanted to add meat.  I was originally thinking ground turkey, which would still probably be very good, but while I was stressing out over Wal-Mart not having almond mozzarella or low sugar marinara...not even Ground Turkey (the one I normally shop at does, but not the one I was at today) I ran across Johnsonville Pork and Turkey Mild Italian Sausage.  Only 200 calories and a purported 50% of the fat of regular Italian Sausage.  Mmmm... That sounds nice.

I also pick up an eggplant and zucchini to add extra veggies.  What I ended up with was a 9x13 pan of Italian deliciousness that was 842 calories for the entire pan.  Unbelievable!!!

Here it is...

Depending on the products you use, your calorie count may vary. This serving was half the pan at 421 calories.  Without the meat...221.

1lb white mushrooms
1c diced eggplant
1c zucchini (sliced and quartered)
1c Marinara (I used All-Natural Victoria "Old World Style")
2 links Pork and Turkey or Turkey Italian sausage
1/3 c mozzarella cheese
1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
garlic powder
Italian Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425.  Prepare 9x13 baking dish by spraying lightly with olive oil spray.   Pan Fry Links over medium heat until there is just a pink center.  Remove from pan and slice into "coins".  Remove stems from mushroom caps and clean caps.  Put caps, eggplant, zucchini in large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste.  Add marinara sauce and sausage.  Mix thoroughly.  Place in baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with cheese and bread crumbs return to oven for 4-6 minutes. 

The yield depends on you.  I was starving.  This gave me the most bang for the buck.  Hubby and I split the pan.  421 calories each.  Split it 4 ways 211 calories per serving.  Basic math.  Leave out the sausage..the entire dish is 448 calories and would have been filling w/o the sausage.  If I could do anything different next time...I would have toasted the bread crumbs in a dry pan before adding to the dish.  They didn't quite crisp up the way I had hoped and they ended up a tad mushy.

I know I don't normally do recipes, but today was a good day.  The only thing I have to share is that the scale is giving me love and as of now I am at 881 calories for the day and 104 oz of water.

I hope everyone else is doing just as well!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Am My Own Worst Enemy (DUH!)

I don't know that I ever recall a time when the evil food voices were so loud and commanding.
I woke up this morning, got my kiddo ready for school.  Made a healthy breakfast of Egg White & Veggie "Mc" Muffin and choice of fruit.  I chose banana.  I was full.  Not giving a thought to eating or cheating off my meal plan.  Hubby took my youngest to the sitter so that I could meet a friend for lunch and there it was...

"You need a Whopper."  hmmm...that was weird.  I don't even really like Burger King. "You need a breakfast sandwich from Hardees"  Nope...no..I sure don't I just ate breakfast.

I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that I was actually going OUT to eat since re-starting my plan, but it was getting a little relentless.

"I wonder if there is any Halloween or Christmas candy laying around." 

Ok...I have got to get out of this house before I do something stupid.  Then I did something stupid.  I sat down in my living room and watched last night's Teen Mom 2, just because. 

As I got up to get ready for my "lunch date", the voices got more aggressive.  "You know...no one will know if you just stop and grab some fries on the way to your lunch."   WTH?  For real.  I am not going to say that I have NEVER had thoughts like this before or that in my lowest of lows I didn't act on some of those voices before, but I am not feeling low.  I am on plan.  Scale is moving in the right direction. 

Granted at this point I am feeling famished, but I persevered and did not give into it.

I made it to lunch with my friend.  We met at a local mall.  At first we had discussed meeting some place that had healthier options, but I told myself that I could handle it.  Food is a fuel source...I can make relevant and healthy choices no matter where I am.  With that thought in mind, we head off to Max and Erma's.
At first I am a little scared.  It's kind of a pub atmosphere.  I open the menu and I have to be honest...it is a little scary when you are looking for healthy and a loaded burger is healthier for you than any of the salad offerings.  I move to soup.  They have a tortilla soup.  Do I like Tortilla soup?  I don't know...I just don't know.

I decide that I am going to look through the burgers and sandwiches.  The burgers are 10oz.  Sheesh...10oz.  I spy the Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich.  It comes with greens and a light vinegar dressing.  I feel safe with this decision.  I order.

Catching up with my friend was great.  He is funny.  We are funny together.  I wish we had lunch alone, though.  Well...I'm sure he thought we were alone, but in my head I heard.  "If you don't like that sandwich...you can always stop on the way home."  "You should have gotten something with fries, but there's plenty of places with fries on the way home."

The salad was really good, the sandwich tasty and satisfying (though I did remove half of the cheese).
When lunch was over, we walked around the mall and talked a bit before we went our separate ways.  Except for the damned voice.  It stayed with me as I walked past Auntie Anne's pretzels.  Prodded me as I slipped past Red Mango Frozen Yogurt.  I drove away.

It was still with me as I drove past Sonic and it softly reminded me that it was Happy Hour and it would do no harm to turn around, go back and order a Large Sprite Zero with Lo-Cal Diet Cherry.  I ignored it.

At every turn.

I argued with it.  I fought with it. I picked up my daughter and finally made it home.

I ate dinner and survived the day with 1391 calories and 120oz of water.  The only exercise I really did today was walking around the mall.  Tomorrow will be better.

Today's Spark: I can win against myself!

Read this post by FattyBoobaLatty.  The most genius thing I have read recently! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Camaraderie Of Fat

I talked about it a little bit on my New Year's Eve post, but for its for real, yo. 

Before I get into it...I need to take care of housekeeping items.

Things are looking up! In my email today I received notification that a Prince in Nigeria has left me One million dollars and in order to get it I only have to send them 1,000.00 to do all the processing so...I  have to run to the bank today ;).

On a serious note, I have a second phone interview for a job.  I am hopeful!  If it is God's plan...it will be so...if not...I'll try to remind myself to be strong, keep looking, and not fall into the pits of despair.  Who I am kidding?  In situations like this I am less likely to have fallen into the pit and more likely to have gone to Lowe's purchased a shovel and dug the freaking pit myself.  So...no shopping trips for me today!!!

I am also excited to announce that within the next week or so, I will be reaching another blogging milestone....my 200th post.  I  plan to have a giveaway and I am currently awaiting the EXCITING package so that I can describe it in greater detail, but as a Biggest Loser fan (and dreamer)  I am pumped about it.  I will probably follow the rules of my 100th post, but I'll announce the details as it gets closer.

Onto today's topic.

I am a writer by nature.  I'm a verbalist.  I love language, sharing and expressing ideas.  These are things that you don't know about me unless you ask or I volunteer the information.  If you have a similar drive or aspiration then that may be a basis for further discussion on the matter.  Writing is just an example.  Remove it from the above sentence and insert your passion and I am sure you can relate. Call it the "Camaraderie of Like Minds".

The "Camaraderie of Fat"is very different.  I mean, you don't really have to tell someone you're fat and you can pretty much determine visually whether or not someone else falls into the same category.  It does not however mean that you can tell what space that person is in. 

Rules of polite society (by Christie) then dictate that you do not engage that person in conversation about their weight.  Doing so is a violation and is subject to my mind's eye viewing all the ways to torture you. (I am not above water boarding for fun) 
Instead, I like to control interactions about my weight.  I say public things like "I'm a big girl, but..." or "There's no denying I'm fat" (cue holding hands about a foot out further than my actual hip size). These are allowances for me to talk about my weight..not an invitation for you to join the conversation. 

There are sometimes, however, very infrequent, when I may break down emotionally, or be honest and true with someone and then they are invited to be part of the conversation. I take support very well. I appreciate honesty. I don't even mind questions.  If you are rude.  I will SHUT YOU THE EFF DOWN.  I admit, at first, it can be a bit like walking through a mine field.

These rules are the same for everyone.  Everyone.  Even if you are fat.  Even if you are fatter than me.  (Because we fatties know our place on the "hierarchy of fat" which is normally determined with yourself as the median on the scale.)  I'm not saying it is right.  I am just saying it is true.

As I said...the rules are not different if you are fat. If you don't know where I am with this shell that I have put up around me...Never, never, never put me in your boat. (NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER)  Don't ever tell me where you have put me on your personal "hierarchy" and don't ever say to me that someone else is 'like us'. 

The point is that you need to be invited into my "fat space".  Don't ever assume that because I am fat and you are fat, that we are the same.  If we have similar experiences or feelings that you have uncovered because I have shared them with you then by all means use 'like us' all day. If you are reading this, you are obviously invited.

I thought my fat shell was pretty thick and armadillo like, (I mean...I do this here, right?) but I found out in the middle of a conversation like described that I was surprisingly offended.  I found that I was not as cool with it as I would've thought I'd be.  I fought my desire (and won) to tell said person exactly how I was not like them.  I wanted to tell them that IT IS NOT TOO LATE FOR ME.  I CAN TURN THIS AROUND.  I AM MAKING STRIDES.  I wanted to SCREAM and YOU'RE NOT. 

There is still hope for me.  There is still hope for you.  It takes hard work, determination, and effort.  I'm willing to do it...are you?

Today's Spark:  There will NEVER be a 'like us', gotcha?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pressed Between The Pages of My Mind

Sweet Memories.

There are three things you must know about me (if you don't already):

1. Rainy days and Mondays, always get me down. (and a whole host of other things)
2. I love going to Graceland for more than the fantabulously crazy people watching, despite my assertion that its the ONLY reason I like going there.
3. Over thinking things and being my own worst enemy are my number #1 and #2 problems...not necessarily in that order.

When I started this journey, nearly two and a half years ago, I definitely did not expect to be at, virtually the same starting point.  In my very first post, July 2009, I wrote :

"My struggles with weight loss are not unlike those that you have heard before, but I will relay them anyway... Gain weight, lose weight, gain weight, get gym membership, lose weight, sister loses car and needs ride to work, no time to go to gym, lose gym membership, gain weight, go to dr., get put on meds to help lose weight, fight with husband, flush pills that cause me to be irritable down the toilet, gain weight...pretend I am not fat, look in the mirror...write blog about being a fat ass."

All I see now are excuses and someone who is extremely hard on themselves feigning honesty behind a cloak of judgement. So, how am I different now?  I recognized the problems, stopped using them to disguise my laziness, and formulated a plan that helped me to be successful with becoming a non-smoker. 

But here I am,two and a half years later...

same place?

Physically...yes and no.  My weight may be nearly the same, but my head is in a different space.  I have learned a lot about health and nutrition.  I have made some permanent life changes,

This year, I am participating in a Lose Big competition with my family and friends.  I weighed in yesterday at 304 lbs.  See...I told you 4 lbs away from my all time high.  There are those out there who are in the same weight range...its not like my weight alone would qualify me for my own TLC special or anything, but it practically should.  304 is a lot.  304 on a 5' 1" frame might as well be 500 lbs.  It presents the same physical manifestation as someone who weighs a lot more anyway.

Today has been a good day so far. 32 oz of water already in.  I have consumed 234 calories today and I have a BMR+ burn of around 1500.  It should actually be higher, but I can't find my fitbit to provide a more accurate #. 

2012 is the year I do this thing. 

To start off the year...I really want to throw some love to some of my biggest blogger support.  Check them out.  They are all in different phases, but these are my go to chicas...

Chubby McGee

Ash (though she is focused on something more important than weight loss lately!)




There are many, many more  perhaps I will add an additional one per post, but I most closely identify with these ladies and some of them have been VERY supportive of me and I hope they feel that I have tried to be supportive TO them.

Some of you know that writing is a PASSION of mine, so I wanted to let you know that I have started a couple of other blogs and we'll see how long I keep them up...lol,  I have decided to write a Biggest Loser Season 14 recap blog that also includes my ramblings in letter form to the trainers.  If you are interested...you can read Dear Bob and Dolvett or you can view my "picture a day" project called Photographically Speaking I hope you enjoy them...or not...LOL!

Today's Spark:  Putting focus on me...makes me happy.  (That sentence is waaaaay different than it used to be)