Saturday, September 17, 2011

I ate WHAT?!

When I first started this whole losing weight journey in May of 2009, it was about wanting to look good again. Maybe even an attempt at regaining my youth that was fast disappearing. Oh, I went about it the right way. I changed my daily diet from unhealthy to healthy and added exercise but my motivation was wrong.

And, without the proper motivation, the effort was successful at first. But a huge failure once all was said and done.

It took me nearly one complete year to put all that weight back on. Nearly one full year. Of eating all the wrong (but delicious) foods. ONE. YEAR. You have got to be kidding me.

Somewhere around March of this year, I decided that I simply did not want to be overweight anymore. I didn't want to be unhealthy. I was screaming (inside) that this had to stop! And it did need to stop. The amounts of sugar I was ingesting was probably what 100 people should take in ANNUALLY.

And I'm pretty sure that if that is an exaggeration, it's not much of one.

So I stopped. I decided to go back to healthy. And I thought I'd kickstart the whole thing with my own diet. I called it AssOff and it was, basically, a combination of Suzanne Somers plan and the Atkins plan. Guess what? Fail. Again.

Ok, maybe not a complete fail. But what I did wrong was substitute the sugar (I would buy one of those lovely Carrot Cakes from the grocery store and eat the whole thing by the next day) habit for every food under the sun that didn't have sugar in it. Stupid.

Then my friend Julie, at Healthy, Wealth, and Wise...NOT but learning, mentioned a weight loss challenge-Slimmer this Summer. I thought about it long and hard and thought maybe I shouldn't because I was scared of letting the group down. Debbi (at Debbi Does Dieting), one of the hosts for the challenge (and please check out her recipe blog- nearly all are healthy, low calorie and delicious) said that was the very attitude that would make the challenge work for me. So I signed up. I committed.

And I lost 44 pounds! Woot!

But, I have come to realize that it's more than the weight loss now. It's more than the desire to look better or regain some youth.


Now it's about health. It's about wanting to do more. Be more. Laugh more. Enjoy life more. And live longer. It's also become about the quality of the food itself.

And today, I realized that not only has my outlook changed but I, myself, have changed also. And it's all for the better.

Hubs and I took Mother home today. She's well enough to be at her house and her sister (Aunt Betty) is going to stay with her just for a few days. We had to get something for breakfast from a fast food place so I looked at CalorieKing (there's an app for that) for something with acceptable calories.

When Hubs brought the 'food' back from Bojangles and I held my biscuit in my hand all I felt was grease. THROUGH THE WRAPPER. Are you kidding me?!

I carefully unwrapped the biscuit. I picked off a little piece. I gingerly placed the tiny bite in my mouth. I tasted grease and white flour. I may have thrown up in my mouth a little. D.I.S.G.U.S.T.I.N.G. How in the world had I ever in all my life evereverever eaten anything like this?! I must have been out of my mind.

All that white flour, processed sugar, animal fat, etc. is in the past. And so are any and all cravings for it.

I'm on a new path now. A path to a longer, healthier, more enjoyable life.

And I might be enjoying the fact that my behind is no longer big enough to serve as a table for a tea party.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Are You Ready to Par-TAY?



You may be wondering where I am today. I am not here at my usual post. No, I am busy putting on my virtual party dress and getting ready for a rare event – an on-line house party! Yes, a proper on-line party to launch Carol’s debut novel MiniSkirts and Laughter Lines. 
 
It should prove to be a fabulous opportunity to meet new bloggers and friends; a huge cyber gathering, so come on and join me. I can invite as many guests as I want and you only need to bring a sense of fun with you. You will be able to mix and meet a variety of people from Blogland.



There will actually be virtual games (have you ever tried ‘Pin the tail on a virtual donkey or virtual juggling?’), virtual food – you won’t get fat on that, music of your choosing. There is a ‘Mini Skirt’ competition with a few surprises. Please, pretty please, come and vote for me – I really want to win the special laughter line gel pen and makeup. There is also a ‘Laughter Line’ contest where you can vote for your favourite joke – an event which should bring a smile to your face.

In various ‘rooms’ you will be able to mingle and ‘chat’ to other bloggers and ‘A’ list celebrities. There are even some Guests of Honour. There will be virtual dancing and of course, as it is a book launch party, the opportunity to read some of Carol’s very entertaining novel and even win a copy.

Have you read the book already? Then come over and leave a comment – it could win you a prize. Are you on Facebook? Then ‘like’ Carol E Wyer’s page and answer the question ‘What film/book or television series makes you laugh most?’It could win you a copy of the book.

Have you never heard of Carol? Well, come and join her, me and all of us. The party starts at midnight UK time Friday 16th 2011 and will go on all day. Come on, you can skip off work for a while...’

See y'all there! Be there or be SQUARE! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

HUMP DAY HOPS!

Ok, I have some news! I just found out that I won a writing contest over at Stage of Life! It's the first writing contest I've ever won! You can read it here

FINALLY, it's time for my TWO favoritey fun HUMP DAY HOPS! If you're here for Wednesday Hodge Podge only, then scroll down.

Up first is a HUMP DAY HOP from Patrice at Everyday Ruralty called Chats on the farmhouse porch!


Questions
  1. Are you a morning person, someone who does best in the middle of the day, or a night owl? I am a morning person AS LONG AS NO ONE TALKS TO ME. If someone, anyone, talks to me...it's just not a pretty scene.
  2. Do you take vitamins or supplements? Not right now. I just don't feel the need at this time. Hubs does. Everyday.
  3. If you were a dog, would you be a) a Poodle, b) a Retriever, c) a Sheep Dog, or a d)Chihuahua? A smart and sassy Poodle! LOL
  4. Please tell us about what you're reading now. Diet for a Small Planet.
  5. Okay, here I go with that magic wand! If I came to your house and could fix up one room with the wave of my wand, what would you have me renovate/redecorate/refurnish? (BTW- If I only could! That would be such fun. Then we'd sit on your porch and visit.) Please! The master bedroom/bath. O.M.G. It has been waiting to be done for over 5 years now! 

NEXT is WEDNESDAY HODGE PODGE from Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.  This meme is fun and sometimes even poses a challenge (read: she makes us use our noggins!).   



1. What do you do at the first sign of a cold? Will you get a flu shot this year? I make my homemade mom's-cure-all chicken soup. The lovelies and Hubs add the 'mom's cure-all' part. And no. No flu shot for me. 

2. What advice can you give about how to conquer fear? Well, if it's the kind where your imagination is involved, I'd say that you have to teach yourself how to train your mind so that when your imagination begins to take over, you can make it stop. But fears like a fear of heights or claustrophobia or snakes, etc. I have no idea.

3. Share two good things about your life right now. It's football season so I get to watch football all weekend! AND I won a writing contest at Stage of Life! 

4. A hot fall fashion trend in 2011 is a return to sixties style...tunics with pants, shift dresses, pencil skirts, cinched waists, bold prints, high necklines and short lengths to name a few. How does this fashion trend fit with your wardrobe and personal sense of style?My personal sense of what? Style? Hahahahahahahaha! That's rich. I have no sense of style. Fashion has never been something that I care much about.

5. Were you involved in scouting as a kid? How about as an adult? I was in Brownies but I hated it. Mother was a troop leader for a group of teenagers and that was way more fun than Brownies. As an adult- nope.

6. Apple, pear, plum, pumpkin...your favorite fall flavor? Oh gosh. I love them all but PUMPKIN would have to be number 1!

7. What characteristics do you think are essential in a good teacher? A love of children and learning. Compassion and patience. An avid listener with two eyes in the back of his/her head. Innovative and fair. Indiscriminate and honest. Energetic and enthusiastic. A student of their students and of life...etc...

8. Insert your own random thought here. I can't seem to focus. I guess that will make today quite interesting. OH, DoodleBug and friends will be here for supper tonight and I am making some new cupcakes for them---all natural, no wheat--I'll let you know how it goes! AND Birdie has an online grad class and the discussion right now is about homeschooled students and whether or not they should be allowed to play public school sports. The discussion seems to have taken a turn to attacking homeschooling in general. Birdie is about to blow a gasket!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Comfort and FOOD

My mother has been staying with us since her surgery on Friday last. It hasn't been bad but I am here to say that I have gained a much greater appreciation for anyone who works in a field that involves caregiving.

I can also say that I now know why it is a really good thing that I did not go into one of those fields.

Providing care and comfort to others is not an easy task. I might go as far to say that it's annoying. Bothersome. Tedious. And that's from the perspective of the care giver--(me- I doubt qualified folks feel the same way). I can only imagine how it is for the person in need.

Maybe that's why I used food as a means to comfort myself all these years. It's so much easier to just pop something in my mouth than to actually get up and take care of something or deal with a troubling issue.

I've gotten away from---what would you call it? Food abuse? Seriously. I'm not sure there's much difference between food abuse and drug abuse other than the object that is abused.

For me, that was food. And it hasn't been pretty. At all.

There were times when I would wake up in the middle of the night and go grab a bite (or five) of ice cream and go back to bed. If I was upset- I ate. Angry- I ate (this one was accompanied by some yelling, maybe). Sad- food to the rescue. Bored- eating took the edge off. Get the picture?  Not pretty.

The good news? It's over now.

If I'm upset---well, I don't really let myself get upset BUT, if I feel it coming on, I deep breathe. If I get angry, I might still yell (I really prefer to call this venting) but mostly, I write my anger out. If I get sad, I let Hubs or Tucker help or I write it out. If I get bored- I do something like knit or write, but I do not eat.

I've redirected my responses to my emotions.

Funny thing is, once I started letting others help or dealing with things in a more productive and constructive manner, the reliance on food disappeared. Also not appearing so frequently are the emotions themselves. I seem to have gotten them in check. Who knew?

Don't misunderstand. I still enjoy eating! It's just not my number one hobby anymore. It's not the one thing I turn to for comfort anymore.

The pay off? A healthier me? Yep. A more food savvy me? Yep. A calmer me? Oh yes indeed. A more energetic me? Definitely. A more...spirited me? Yessiree.

A word of warning to the lovelies, however. After this next 30 pounds is off, you might want to knock before you come in the house instead of using your keys... 
   

Monday, September 12, 2011

Football and Fat

I will just say a couple of things about the Panthers' game yesterday: 1. I give Cam Newton a C-; and B. I give the media an F. What IS it with those guys? They tried their darnest to put Cam Newton up on a pedestal. Does he belong there? Nope. Do I hate Cam Newton? Nope. However, I do hate the way the announcers try to give one player (in this case Cam Newton) ALL the credit. And THEN they made excuses for him when his attempts failed. WTH?! 

I'm pretty sure that even Cam Newton can't be successful without a decent O line.

I'm also pretty sure that sports announcers have NEVER been nice or positive about the Panthers. Why start now? Just because of Cam Newton? I wonder if they noticed the final score yesterday? Admittedly, they did play better yesterday than in the last couple of years. BUT all of them, not just one. I'm not against Cam Newton. I am against all the press.  

Darned media people can ruin just about anything, can't they?

And now, the FAT part of the post: 

Ok, since I had success with the Slimmer this Summer Challenge (I lost 44 pounds), I decided that I needed another one to get me through the holidays that are fast approaching. And there were several good ones out there. It was indeed difficult to decide which one to join.

So, I'm joining more than one! I have written a brief description of each but please go visit them and get a better understanding. Then, pick whichever is right for you!

Why am I joining challenges? Because they work for me! I get it in my head that I don't want to let the group down so I stick to my goals/plans. I also totally enjoy meeting all the new friends and sharing in the encouragement as we all strive to enjoy better health! 

This one is a Christmas Dress Challenge at Thursday's Child-this challenge runs from September 19th thru December 19th. You must set goals for yourself and check-in with a post once each week. You DO NOT have to post THE NUMBER if you don't want to.


Next is Give Yourself the Best Gift Challenge over at Less of Me, More of Him. This challenge runs September 18th thru December 31st. You must enter (by September 18th) to be eligible for the prize. You can enter afterwards, but won't be eligible for the prize. You must write a blog post containing a statement about what you want to give yourself and 7 action points that will help you obtain your goal(s). Then you post it and link it to the challenge!


Next is the Holiday 2011 Challenge over at My Bizzy Kitchen! This challenge began yesterday (9/11/11). The rules are easy- tell your goals and do what you have to do to make them a reality! There is ample support here from everyone AND you'll find some amazing recipes too!

There is another challenge I know of that I did not join but the only reason was that I didn't want to post THE NUMBER and that's one of the requirements. HOWEVER, this is another fabulous challenge for your consideration and Princess Dieter has many super fantastic ideas about getting healthy, including exercise. And, if you need guidelines, then this challenge is absolutely perfect!


My statement: I want to give myself the gift of health this year through an increase in knowledge about nutrition and exercise as well as losing another 30 pounds! Oh, and I would love to give myself the gift of being in front of the camera some this season instead of always behind it.

My goals for the challenges:

  1. lose some pounds---I decided on 30 pounds. This was my goal for the summer challenge and it was a good one. It may be optimistic but I'm going to shoot for it anyway!
  2. drink water--I plan on drinking 64 oz/day
  3. exercising--I will continue to walk Tucker first thing in the mornings and, after bringing him home, go back out for 5 miles. If I feel the spirit move me (doubtful, but who knows?) I will add some running.
  4. keep a weight loss journal--my journal is being kept on livestrong.com where I track water intake, exercise, calories consumed, measurements and weight.
  5. caloric intake-- I will stick with the 1200-1400 range as this seems to be working.
  6. no nighttime snacking- I will allow myself one evening snack after supper but only if it's before 8:00 PM. No food after 8:00!
  7. I will post weekly (I'm thinking Monday)
I won't be choosing a dress size or buy a dress because, for me, that is sabotage. But, when I lose another 30 pounds, you better believe I'll be buying a new Christmas dress!

Ok y'all! It's on like Donkey Kong!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Week in the Proverbial Nutshell!

Not too much to report this week- except that I am still totally digging my new Asics and some cool morning temps!

AND NOW, here's my week in a:



Our mornings continue to be cooler which we are absolutely LOVING. That is until one of you posts that your morning weather is in the 50s--then I'm just jealous! But, temps in the 60s make those early morning walks so much more enjoyable. Of course, our afternoons are still hitting the upper 80s so we have quite a ways to go yet. The sunrises have been quite lovely too! Below is the one from this morning...



Mother had to have some tests (MORE tests---good grief these doctors do love their tests) run on Thursday and was told she would have to have her gall bladder removed on Friday (the very next day) so we had to get things moving quickly. She's here with us and mending nicely--we're seeing improvements by the hour! If you missed yesterday's post about how great Hubs was through all of this, you can read it here.BTW, Hubs did read it and all the comments. He was truly touched and sends out a big THANK YOU to everyone!

Tuck wanted to help drive us home from the hospital.

Yep. Definitely a male driver with his eyes NOT on the road.


Birdie is still missing us but has become comfortable in Texas. A bunch of the grad students get together on Sunday evenings and have dinner together- everyone brings a dish and the host provides the main course. Last Sunday, when one of Birdie's friends arrived, he said, "Well, my mac and cheese turned in to potatoes." Their host said, "I was wondering about that---like why you were bringing mac and cheese." The southern students asked why and he replied, "Mac and cheese is a main course dish." Those little southern students just laughed and laughed and politely, of course, informed the host (who is from Indiana) that mac and cheese is a side dish NOT a main dish! They promised to educate about him as time goes on. 

I've been working on a hat and scarf for Birdie in the colors of the high school where she is the athletic trainer. TotallyTerrificTiger (my name for her boytoy: totally terrific because he is and tiger because he went to Clemson) is meeting her in Atlanta this coming weekend for a concert and will take them to her. Here they are: 

This is her hat- a very simple, easy pattern...just the way I like them!
 

This is the scarf--can you see the footballs in it? Each pattern row has three footballs in it!

Here's one of the footballs- can you see it now?

DoodleBug and three of her friends came over on Wednesday night for dinner. Now that the semester is in full swing and everyone has their schedules down pat we are resuming our weekly meals with them. I love having them over and cooking for them. College kids are not only BIG FUN but they love a home cooked meal and make it known!

And now, I must go and watch the Carolina Panthers take the field. And watch all that money they spent on Cam Newton be put to good use. (I know you can't hear the sarcasm attached to that last statement but, trust me, it's there). 

Tune in tomorrow for the fall weight loss challenges I'm joining in and maybe a football rant. 

Have a fantabulous week everyone and remember to smile! It makes people wonder what you've been up to!