LilySlim Weight loss tickers

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Calories vs Weight Gain - Here is the Skinny!

My dearest daughter Nichole was sad and discouraged when we returned from Chicago.  The nasty bitch of a scale told her she had gained 6 pounds in two and half days!  WTF?

It got me to thinking about calories and weight gain.  I found something very interesting when I began looking at the subject.  It has helped me to put into perspective these "so called" gains that everyone is talking about daily.  I thought I would share it with you all!

Remember we are highly encouraged to weigh once a week at the very most!!  Some doctors and nutritionists advise only twice a month.  Wow, I know that would be nearly impossible for this scale whore!  I admit that I am one, I weigh each and every morning.

Any how back to my point.  The scale told Nichole that she had gained 6 pounds and this is how that equates.  She would have had to of eaten 3500 calories over her daily calorie requirement x 6!!!!!! A pound is approximately 3500 calories.  Since this was over a 2.5 day period of time that means that she would have had to of eaten approximately 10,500 calories over that requirement each day for a whopping 21,000 calories over her required calorie limit for those two days. Well ladies and gentleman, that did not happen, I was there, I saw what she was eating, and it was very similar to me.  She also logs every bite she takes.

If you eat over your calorie requirement one day and then do not even eat your calorie requirement the next and so on you must look at the BIG picture over time.  One hot fudge sundae will not cause you to gain a pound over night, or one snickers, or a beer!  It is the cumulative total of this equation over days that adds up to our gains and losses.  It finally clicked with me.  Since I refuse to follow Dr's advice and only weigh once a week, I see the scale fluctuations each and every day.  These are just that fluctuations, NOT true gains or losses.  

What matters is what we are doing over the long haul, this is how we gain and lose weight.  I think this is why we are instructed to not weigh each and every day.  There are so many variables in a 24 hour period that effect our weight, that it can make us go crazy.  Especially women, who tend to retain water because of the monthly cycle.  The amount of salt we eat, the amount of water we drink, the time of day we weigh, the placement of the scale, if we are constipated or not!

I hope this helps those who think the scale is their enemy.  Lighten up on her, she is just another tool in this journey.  She is not our enemy, WE can be our own worst enemies.  Allowing the negativity to creep in and crush an otherwise healthful journey, where we are whooping ass with this FAT monster!

The most important thing for everyone out there busting there butts at the gym or in daily exercise, you are building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat!  

Picture Blog!

We had a great time at Adam's birthday dinner last night.  We had all of his favorite foods!!

Adam's birthday cake was a rainbow.......Cole enjoyed the whole idea~

Cole took part and blew out the candles on Uncle Adam's cake!

Cole building one of his incredible towers at Uncle Neal's Condo in Chicago!

The view from Uncle Neal's Condo in Chicago

Alan and Cole at the Chief's game

Alan with Cole at the Race for the Cure 2012

Adam is now a 3rd grader.....he got straight A's

Adam Harris' brick in Peoria at the Gateway building.  Since he is buried in Colorado we had the brick done so we would have a place to come visit on special days!

I simply love Margaritas' all flavors all types!

My baby Max A Million, he is 2 years old and he thinks when the bed is unmade it is his spot!

Nichole and Kristie at Lisa's bachlorette party!

Some of my personal FOOD PORN!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Adam!

28 years ago today, I gave birth to the most extraordinary little boy!  He was the addition to our family that made it feel complete.  We had received the most precious of gifts, our little girl and now a beautiful boy!

Those of you who follow me, know that we lost Adam to cancer in 1988.  He was a tender age of 4.  Not a day goes by that I do not miss him terribly.  Some are worse than others.  I still long to hold him, and kiss him and tell him that I love him.

Today we celebrate you Adam, their will be all of your favorite foods for dinner tonight.  We are having WAFFLES, Ritz crackers with butter, Nutter Butter cookies, Popcorn, and sliced cheese.  The boys are excited.  Adam Mykal thinks it is cool that we are having your favorite foods, even as he put it if they are not ALL healthy.  I laughed.  Nichole and I are rubbing off on the boy.

So today I reflect, on what his life meant to me, and still does.  He is gone, but he is only gone in body, his spirit resides within me, and my grandsons.  See the cool thing is that, Adam Mykal,  I truly believe was sent to us by Adam Harris.  Nichole found out she was pregnant with him, 9 years ago today!  He brought back joy, and hope to my life that I had lost site of, when I buried Adam.

I have often said here, that Adam Harris would have been my staunchest supporter in this journey to become healthy and strong.  He touched so many lives in his short stay on earth.  I believe that God does have a plan for us, and I know that Adam was here to teach me to be less judgmental and more compassionate of those less fortunate!  He has given me an inner strength that I must tap into often.  When I want to give up, I think back to him fighting his cancer, and all the pain he went through!  If he could do that with little to no complaining, then I damn well will follow that lead.

Happy Birthday my little Bud Ball, I miss you!

Adam age 3 (one month before his diagnosis)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Holy Grail - Part 4 of Seeking Emotional Balance

Thanks for following me on this rather long blog post regarding the Holy Grail of weight loss.  In case you are just tuning in, I am trying to organize and communicate the reasons I feel I am being successful.  There is nothing unique or special about me, and this has not been researched.    I am just like a poor beggar who has found a treasure chest, and now I am sharing with you.  The treasure is of no value, if hoarded, it only gains interest when shared liberally.  

These ideas are not mine, I just bumped into them along the way on this journey.  Since they are not mine, they cannot be bought or sold, they can only be attained when sought for with the whole heart.  This is a price that everyone can afford, but not all are not willing to pay.  I believe that they are irrevocable principals that will lead you and I to a better journey.  I may fail and totally wash out but these truth will live on.  I believe that they are the key to success, the Holy Grail.

After a lot of deep thinking and reflection it all came down to 4 things:

1) Seeking out the things that make for emotional stability( this section has five subsets)
2) Food Addiction Recovery...i.e. drying out
3) Reprogramming my reward center and values
4) Mastering response-ability

When I first began this journey nearly five years ago, I fell into the trap of setting huge goals, because I actually got the notion that I could do it.  What made this time so different than the other 99 times of starts and failures then?  

Does this sound familiar?  "I am going to lost ____ pounds by ____ date so I can go to the i.e. beach, high school reunion, wedding, shopping trip."

I submit that although it is noble to set these goals, you and I have little control as to the rate at which our bodies will lose fat.  While it is true that a certain amount of loss can be forced through starvation, dehydration, or God forbid laxatives.  None of these are healthy and will lead to real problems down the road, all for a temporary number that brings a fleeting sense of accomplishment and approval from those around us, when they hear of our success.  I learned pretty quickly that my body works on its own clock.

It took a little while for me to realize that the goal of this journey is to lead my body along still waters, not to beat it into submission.  I have tried to force a number before.  My self esteem was all wrapped up in getting just one more pound closer to my eternal happiness because I hated myself the way that I looked in a mirror.  This was further aggravated by weigh ins at the Dr. as I wanted to please my surgeon so badly.  I wanted so baldy to be his star patient.  We are typically desperate to attain some affirmation that we are succeeding, that we have worth, and that we are just as good as anyone else.  You can be so desperate for this respect that you will go to extremes to get it.  Like Me.

Finally I got some real insight that I want to share:

What would you think about someone who comes into a hospital badly injured, leg is broken in 3 places and they proclaim that they will be healed by such and such a date so they can attend a long anticipated event?   We would tell that person to put those plans on hold.  That they need to heal and that it might not happen on their preferred timeline.  We would basically say within ourselves that this person needs a reality check.  That individual is NOT in control of the process.  All the doctors can do is to stabilize the patient and create an environment for healing to take place.  Outside of that, they have to let nature take its course.

If this is so obvious in the physical, then why do we try to beat our bodies into submission to meet some "I'm gonna lost XXX pounds by XXX date" goal and then beat ourselves up because we could not make ourselves do it.

I had to let it all go, and realize that all I can do is to create the environment through nutrition and exercise, work to sustain that environment, then step back and let it unfold.  Let my body heal itself on its own time clock.

If your body does not lose it on its own time, there will undoubtedly be some sort of back lash.  We create crazy expectations because we believe that rigid adherence will beget success.  We do this because deep down we cannot tolerate yet another failure.  We struggle enough as it is.  I cannot think of a time at 295+ pounds (not sure how high I really got cause I stopped weighing) where I looked at myself in the mirror and say WOW "Kristin, you are really looking good"!  My viewed image was always met with a sick feeling, or no feeling at all because I had gotten really good at stuffing negative feelings.  Our hearts and minds can only tolerate so much before some type of defensive mechanism kicks in for the sake of keeping us intact....sort of.

I had to learn to love myself where I was at.  Happiness and self love do not come at some magic moment when the number you are seeking pops up on the screen.  When I broke 100 pounds lost, there were no angel choirs singing, no TV camera interviews wanting to know my secret to success.  It was all a big non event - no one really cared.  

Weight loss does not bring happiness.  It is the BYPRODUCT of happiness.  It is the daily commitment of creating the environment for healing and sustaining it, then stepping back and allowing the magic to happen on its own timeline. 

The only thing you and I can control is the environment that we create.  Outside of that, it is out of our hands.

Just like a Rose cannot be forced to bloom, you cannot force your body.  Water it with nutrition and exercise, seek to relieve the anxiety sources that drive the bad habits.

Then, just like the rose......let it unfold.

You shall not be sorry!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Are you tired of the Complaining and Bitching?

For anyone who does not want my open and honest words in today's post, click out and head somewhere else. You have been for warned.

I am getting lots of emails from people asking me things like, how are you still losing weight without your band, please share your secrets, what secret supplement am I taking, what do I eat each day, you all know these questions, I know you do.  You have all been asked them at least once.

I want to say this to each and every person out there who is NOT seeing the results that they would like to whether it be with a band or without one.  Please, do not take this as bashing you because I have been there when things were not going well.  I did however OWN UP and admit is was because of ME! Nothing else, no other excuse.

I did not get to my current mindset over night.  Those who know me, have watched my struggles and failures over the years.  This is hard work.  This is not a FAD diet.  This is not going to happen without effort from you.

I realized after having stomach surgery (be it 18 months afterwards), that I needed brain surgery.  That is right, having my stomach wrapped with a little white band, did not fix what was wrong in my head.  I would go to our support group meetings and listen to people who still were hungry?  They were not dealing with "head hunger", they thought the band should, they were rushing out for fills and unfills and whatever else to try to make them NOT feel hunger.  Some complained about wanting to eat even after being full.  Craving things that were unhealthy choices, and the biggie NOT wanting to exercise, finding every excuse to NOT move.    

I was right there with them not dealing with my "head hunger" for sure and the excuse thing I did it over and over.  What happened to me?  I regained 75 freaking pounds.

I do not have a cure all ladies and gentleman.  I only have Kristisms I like to call them that I can offer to you.  Believe them or not your choice.

If you got a ticket today on the way to work for speeding, would you go out and break all the rest of the traffic laws the rest of your day?  In other words, so you ate one piece of pizza, this does NOT give you free gratis to eat the whole damn pie - because you have already done damage as some believe.  Instead say "I might as well not" because one slice of pizza is going to have less calories than two or even more.

Don't put your thoughts to what might have been, put your energy into what is possible.

Never treat your body like a garbage disposal for leftovers.

Don't wait to be thin to act thin.  Your life is happening NOW, not 10 pounds from now.

D.A.S. Dress the part, Act the part, Suck it up

Aim for better everyday, not for perfect right away

Lose, maintain, just do not gain

Tea and sympathy, not cake and apathy

Get healthy and fit like it is your career

You need not be perfect, you just have to stick with it

Dream big, step small and keep going

That which I cannot do now is my aspiration, not my defeat

Look at weight gain as a bad haircut, it is temporary and will fix itself with proper care and maintenance

Plateaus only SEEM to last forever, but if you kick and stomp and go at them, they crash to the ground and you can dance in their dirt

Find your inner CAUSE for a higher fitness level, that will be your ROCK

The fact is there is always something you can do if you think out of the box, in fact throw the box away

Don't binge on something just so you do not binge on it later or to get it out of the house

I have lost my weight choice by choice

Remember to fill your life not your stomach

Forget what negative energy drainers say and go the other way

Eat right, NOT LIGHT

Push yourself gently in the right direction, but don't push so hard that you push yourself down

Change your life and you change your weight, not the other way around

To get fat unglued,  eat healthier foods

Food is not suppose to be a source of stress

I would rather lose weight slowly and happily than fast and miserably

You cannot hate yourself and do well by your body

It's not about losing the weight to become the person you want to be; it's becoming the person you want to be to lose weight

It is time to take the deck you are dealt and play with it

Do what you can, or pretty soon you can't do anything

Motivation, Modification, Moderation and Movement will keep you heading in the right direction and keep you there once you have arrived.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two Months Post Band Removal

Well it has been two months since the band was removed.  I had my follow up with my Dr. today.  The Phentermine is really doing a great job with hunger and cravings.  I lost 10 pounds this month and a total of 21 pounds since having my band removed suddenly.

I can live with this!  Looking forward to a fantastic weekend in Chicago with Nichole, Adam and Cole and Mom and Alan.  Will post pics of my weekend.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend, celebrating the brave men and women of this nation who have given their lives so that we may.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Holy Grail - Part Four Realistic Goal Setting

The journey of weight loss is more than just dieting.  I have found it to be very complex.  I used to see it as starvation or my punishment for being fat.  I envied others with toned and shapely bodies, those who could do exercise with ease, even just regular physical activities, that seemed illusive to me.  I became obsessed with weighing something that was probably unreasonable for my own body.  It finally dawned on me, that those with great bodies, put healthy food choices into theirs, more than 95% of the time. They also ate small portions of food compared to me.  They also exercise regularly.  It was no accident that they were doing better than I.  Genetics, psychology, environment, habits, diet-exercise they all play a part.  None of us have the same make up of the above equation.  Therefore, each of our journeys are unique.

Goal setting I found was and is so important in my success during my journey to new found health and wellness. Many mistakes are made when setting goals.  Many times we make too many goals, or they are not measurable, or they are not timed.  REALISTIC goals are the key.  In today's society where advertisements and marketing are bombarding us with pictures or videos of what we SHOULD look like makes this hard for most.  We get caught up in the numbers game.  We simply say I want to be 120 pounds, and wear a size 2!  Really?  I am 50 years old, the odds of me getting into a size 2 are really not all that realistic. Of course, I am sure with a trainer and dietitian at my beck n call, I might, and I say again might achieve such a goal, but maintain it, and look healthy in that body?  I doubt it.  I have a large frame, the medical books say that I should weigh between 145 and 165 for my 5'7" height.  I was 138 pounds when I married at the age of 18.  I was in a size 12 at that weight.  So see, what I am getting at.  What would I need to weigh to realistically get to a size 2?  I truly have no desire to be that small, I just want what will be healthy for my body.  I believe my body will decide that for itself.  How you ask?  If you make over your life, and choose healthy 95% of the time, exercise and live right, your body will find it's ideal weight and balance all on it's own.  This is when you will STOP dropping weight and begin to maintain. Start out small, only set a few goals, once these are reached add more and so on.  

After many hours of therapy and talking about deep rooted emotions, that I had buried for many years.  I began to address issues with my father and the issues with my self image because I was told by him at the age of 5 that I was unwanted.  I also examined closely the extreme void and pain left upon the death of my son.  These were just a tip of the iceberg that I needed to defrost.  I learned that these things were reasons that I chose food as comfort.  The reason that when sad or stressed, the first thing I would turn to was food and usually lots of it.  I had no coping skills what so ever, my idea of coping was eating ice cream.  I chose to stuff and ignore these emotions rather than dealing with them.  How could that be, I went through counseling when Adam died.  How could I have not really dealt with his death I asked myself.  The truth was that I had only dealt with it on the surface.  The emptiness that plagues me daily, I had not even begun to deal with.  I used food to fill that void.  I liked how the bad stuff tasted and my body became so overloaded by fatty, carbs and processed sugars that it began craving them, and before I could bat an eyelash, I was an addict.  I became a full fledged food addict.

When I turned that train wreck around, I began to see that goals no matter how small, were huge accomplishments.  That I had to start setting small ones, and then medium ones, and before I knew it, my large ones seemed actually attainable.  Could it really be this simple?

With my band it was easy for me to eliminate foods that would cause me to get stuck.  I had no problem with this.  I did have problems with all the food, that did not get stuck.  I could easily eat ice cream, candy bars, chips, and processed packaged foods with little to no side effects.  Although, when I would eat these foods my IBS ( irritable bowel syndrome) would come back with abandon.  Do not let anyone out there tell you this disease is not caused by diet, because it is!  I was plagued with it for 25 years and when I eliminated high calorie, fat laden foods and meals from my diet, it disappeared. One thing I learned on this journey was that no one was going to prevent me from putting those types of food in my mouth, not even my band.  So setting some boundaries and goals was very important early on.

So how do you set realistic goals you ask.  I believe it begins with self acceptance.  You have to accept where you are, and be realistic on where you are going. You have to learn to love yourself!  For me it began with 10 pound increments.  This made the 125 pounds that I needed to lose to reach my long term goal of 170 more manageable in my mind.  You see, your goals have to be manageable.  If they are not, you are setting yourself up for failure.  It was not all about weight loss though.  I set other goals as well. 

 Here is a list of some of them:

1.  Exercise 4 times a week - consistently NO EXCUSES
2.  Drink water as my main source of fluid
3.  Eat at least 65 grams of protein each and every day
4.  Eat at LEAST 153 grams of carbs each day.
5.  Eat 8 servings of vegetables a day.
6.  Eat fresh fruit daily
7.  Get 8 hours of sleep no matter what
8.  Make myself a priority - because I am worth it.
9.  Read at least one article of self motivation a day - HUGE
10. Blog - because it keeps my goals in the real time memory.
11.  Celebrate each and every NSV
12.  Run 3.5 miles
13.  Learn to love myself again - just as I am right now!!!
14.  Find an exercise that I LOVE and do it often.
15.  Use rewards when goals are achieved.
16.  LOG every bite I take - NO EXCUSES
17.  Don't listen only to the scale - look at the whole picture
18.  Customize my life
19.  Use my inner strength more
20.  Learn to JUST SAY NO!

So lets look at these goals that I set for myself.  Notice I said for "myself".  That is where the "customize your life," comes into play.  What works for me, may not work for you.  We are all unique and so our goals will be just as unique.

I believe that the first 7 goals on my list are what I learned while having my band.  These were ingrained into my brain from the start.  I look at food differently now because of these 7 goals.  I actually find myself choosing healthy foods over the not so healthy ones most of the time.  This is a change to my behavior of nearly 150 degrees.  The old me would have chosen bad nearly each and every time.  This is not about perfection, it is about consistency.  It is also not about deprivation, I know from my old ways when you say I CAN NEVER, then I will want it even more.

Number 8 thru 10 are all about ME!  Making me a priority in  this busy life I lead.  Those of you who are mothers will understand, that once we become Moms, we simply take a back seat to everyone else.  Moms are like that, they just take care of everyone else.  I had to finally understand that it is OK to take care of ME too!  In fact it is more important than anything else.  Stop and think about it, if you don't take care of you, how on earth will you feel able to care for anyone else?  Self motivation articles or books and blogging is a huge motivator for me, it keeps me on the path of inner peace.  Real Time memory is important.  I never want my healthy life to take a back burner to anything. Nothing is more important and I mean nothing.  When life become stressful I want to still choose healthy!

Number 11 is so important.  I think we all lost sight of giving ourselves pats on the backs for a job well done.  I cannot tell you how often I read blogs, where someone says I only lost 1 pound this week, like that is an EPIC failure.  Whenever the scale shows a loss, that is no failure!  We need to celebrate our smallest victories, because they all matter.

Numbers 12-14 are all about moving and realizing that I can do this!  Loving myself gave me the strength to push through the I can't do this, or the doubts about my ability to move.  Joining the gym was the best thing I ever did.  It gave me a place to go, when the weather was crappy, it gave me classes that I can do with others just like me, it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I leave there.  Finding Zumba has been incredible. I truly am addicted and love it!  The key to exercise is finding what you love doing, because it is easier to do something you love than to make yourself do something you hate!  

Number 15 needs to be each and every time.  We need to feel like hitting a goal is like winning the lottery each and every time.  Reward yourself, if that means buying something new to wear, or going to your favorite night spot, reading a new book, or even eating something you consider forbidden.  Reward, reward, reward.  This keeps your motivation at it's highest.

Numbers 16-17 can make or break your success in this journey.  I do not believe that anyone can eyeball calories correctly!  I will repeat that, I do not believe that anyone can eyeball calories correctly.  What does a food journal afford you?  It gives you a place where you can plug in that bite of whatever and it spits out helpful information, that you need to learn about your body.  It will give you all the need to know information on a specific food, or meal.  When you see at the end of the day exactly how many calories, fats, carbs, and proteins you are consuming, it becomes much easier to tweak the problem areas.  The same for logging exercise.  To see what kind of calories we are burning for the work we are doing is fundamental, in creating our caloric deficit necessary to lose weight.  Not all exercise is created equal.  I was astounded when I found out that when I was walking I was only burning around 400 calories?  What the hell, it felt like I was dying in the beginning.  This is another reason that I love Zumba, I burn right at 740 calories in 60 minutes.  The SCALE, that bitch, that evil, that tiny machine, that can make or break our days.  We have been programmed to believe every word she spews out!  We wrap our dreams and our goals around her like she is the mother of happiness.  Breaking this cycle is hard, it is not easy to give up the power that the scale holds over us.  Sure the scale plays an important role, we need to stay accountable.  We just have to know how much power to give it, for we are in control here NOT the scale.  So when I was not losing I would look at other things, inches perhaps, are my clothes looser?  How am I feeling overall physically?  This helped me to get over the weeks when the scale did not move.

Number 18 is paramount.  You must customize an eating and exercise routine that fits into your own life.  You cannot use mine and expect the same results.  You can read all the books and blogs you like, but you have to take bits and pieces of what you learn and incorporate that into your own goals and plan of action.  Only then will it become part of you, something that comes naturally without struggle.  If something stops working, don't give up, find something else that does!

Numbers 19-20 are still works in progress.  Saying NO more is hard for me.  I do not like to tell anyone NO including myself.  Sadly, for me to become healthy and remain healthy I have to learn to.  I have to tell those NO who try to sabotage  my efforts by pushing food.  I have to tell those NO who want me to ditch working out for something MORE important.  I have to dig down deep and tap the reserve of my inner strength and hold on to it, when the going gets tough.  I can no longer choose my drug of choice FOOD!  I have to remind myself each and every day to stay the course, and keep my goals in the for front of my mind.

Being realistic with my goals was another part of the foundation.  When we are realistic we set the bar where it can be attained!  This is another step in finding emotional balance.

NEXT - Developing Independence

Monday, May 21, 2012

I survived 4 parties......and lost weight!

I had a whirlwind a of weekend.  My best friend Kristie's son is getting married in three weeks.  Friday night was the first bridal shower.  It was the family shower, Saturday would be her friend shower, and then Saturday night was the Bachelorette Party. In between I had to make an appearance at Nichole's best friend Brandi's graduation party.  I have known Kristie since I was 9 and we are closer than two females could ever be.  We share everything, and have NEVER had a fight.  That in itself amazes people.  I love her dearly and there is nothing I would not do for her.  She is my biggest supporter.

I will tell you what I ate:

Friday Night Bridal Shower

Was held at a 100+ year old private home and very close family and friends were there.  The Aunts served grilled hamburgers (no cheese) was offered.  I ate the burger no bun, slice of tomato, slice of onion, a spoonful of homemade baked beans, a spoonful of homemade potato salad, and two helpings of the best salad I have had in ages.  I also had a white cupcake with frosting.  I drank 24 ounces of water.

Saturday Afternoon Bridal Shower

Saturday was the hardest day for me.  I had three parties on this day.  I woke up and Nichole and I walked 3.5 miles with Max before it got hot.  Then it was off to Adam's soccer last game of the season.   Then it was time to head to a local Italian restaurant,  Bastas for the second bridal shower!  I will tell you this place has some of the best food.  I love it, and I do not eat there very often since I was banded.  I tend to shy away from PASTA at every turn. I had a protein bar for breakfast.

 This is what I ate there:

I used an horderves plate and I had three fried ravioli with sauce, a spoonful of artichoke dip, 6 chips, three grape tomatoes, one meatball, two slices of bruschette, a glass of strawberry champagne, and a homemade red velvet cupcake. Two 12 oz glasses of water.

Then it was off to the graduation party.  This was fun as Brandi was graduating nursing school.  She has worked so hard for this day, as she is a wife, mother of two and works.  So it was special to say the least.

Graduation Party

I ate some carrots and celery with a teaspoonful of ranch dressing, a sugar cookie and 16 ounces of water.  It was a wonderful party, and Brandi got a surprise from her husband, tickets to VEGAS!  She was super excited.

Bachelorette Party

Then we were off to the hotel, for the Bachelorette Party.  This was fun, they got a suite at a local hotel, where they had plenty of drinks, beer, wine, jello shots, and water.  There was left overs from the lunch at Basta's and more of the delicious cupcakes.  We also had a Limo for four hours, so we traveled around the city, stopping at bars and a few of Lisa's favorite locations. It was fun!

I ate, two fried ravioli no sauce, and I had another red velvet cupcake I know....but they were soooo good  LOL and I drank 16 ounces of water, a jello shot!

Kouri's Pub

I then met Alan at a local pub, and he had dinner and I ate five of his french fries with ketchup and I drank 32 ounces of water, and ate a cup of popcorn.


Not bad, for two days filled with delicious foods that I love.  Back before my revamp of my eating habits, I would have had thirds and possibly fourths of some of that food I mentioned above.

One of the last original, authentic drive-ins with curbies in the country. 
Eat in your car, or relax and eat on the patio. Serving Peoria for over 50 years. 
I did not have a big day yesterday, and I ate no lunch, and last night we took Mom, Adam and Cole out to a local Drive In, Lou's, for dinner.  I had a double cheeseburger, with mayo, ketchup, onion.  I drank a 12oz Root Beer.  I love this place, have been coming here since I was a small child.  Kristie's family owns it.

I got up this morning and climbed on the scale and I lost 2.3 pounds.  How cool is that!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Holy Grail.....Self Talk Part Three

Did you know that our minds are the most powerful computer on the planet?  That we only use a fraction of it's capacity.  This seat of emotions is where decisions are made good or bad.    Science, for all it has learned, has yet to comprehend its capabilities.  What we allow to reverberate within its walls will ultimately determine if we succeed or fail.

Regulating my self talk was not just some feel good nonsense. .  Brainwashing and mental torture techniques rely on repetitious reciting, until we either go crazy, or succumb to the will of the "programmer".  Our mind is like an off road forest path that trucks take.  The more times a vehicle passes over that area, the deeper the ruts become, until the path is so rutted, that even though you try to avoid it your truck becomes stuck in the ruts and you are stuck.  By allowing my negative self talk to remain, my mental thought processes automatically fell into the rut of self defeat.  I was unconsciously programming myself for failure.  Our thoughts guide our decisions, decisions create actions, and actions create destiny!  We are what we repeatedly do.  When I started swimming laps, I found that my mind typically gave out way before my body did.  In short, I found that I am much stronger than I thought I was....and so are YOU!

Be careful of your self talk.  As insignificant as it may seem, sets the tone of your internal environment.  In this environment lies the seat of emotions that greatly influences our decisions thus creating the self fulfilling prophecy.  Even something as harmless as..."I was bad"....for example I ate a donut at work today, can can be a drain on our enthusiasm.  Since when did we put moral value on a pastry as if eating one will brand us with the Scarlet Letter?  This journey is tough enough without being our own saboteur.  Setting such high standards for yourself....such as I will never eat those......or I will never ever have that setting yourself up for failure.  Rather try to say things like "I avoid donuts because eating one right now is NOT in my best interest".  To say you will never eat one again is unrealistic at best.

I learned that I was better off to never make a declaration, than to make one and then not live up to it.  My heart  held me accountable.  Each time a self proclaimed declaration was violated, something chipped away at my faith in myself until I didn't take myself seriously anymore.  Soundness of resolve died,  and was buried, and yet another attempt to live a healthy life ( notice I did not say diet) rotted away, then was forgotten to the dull pain.

Failed expectations exact a high emotional price.

I try every day to encourage myself with all of my accomplishments, both big and small, and tell myself that I have what it takes.  This might seem silly, but it creates an environment inside where instead of dwelling on my failures, I feed on my successes.  "Kristin great job at ZUMBA tonight, I know you were tired but you showed up and stayed the whole class", "nice job swimming those extra 10 laps tonight, even though you thought you would not have time" "great walking off that candy bar you had today".  When I first began this journey my self talk consisted of bashing myself with words like, dummy, stupid, Kristin you idiot and so on.  My soul was so full of the hatred for what I had become that I could not talk kindly to myself.  There were those in my life who used those words toward me and I think it became embedded.

It is so important to love yourself right were you are at.  I am not stupid, dumb, or an idiot.  I am an individual with special gifts and unique talents to give.  I learned that I was important right now, not once I lost 50 pounds.  It is such a shame that our society is so  appearance crazed that a persons worth is judged by how closely they conform to some airbrushed photo of a super model.  

Loving myself right where I was at, was instrumental in creating an environment of emotional stability that allowed me to progress in my weight loss journey and it has nourished me through the tough times, for example my weight gain, the sudden and ultimate loss of my band, when I needed tremendous strength.

Emotional stability is one of the 4 pieces to unlocking the Holy Grail of weight loss.

NEXT - Realistic Goal Setting

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Holy Grail Part Two........My relationship with the scale

Emotional balance is one of the four parts of what I like to call the "Holy Grail" of weight loss.  I believe that these core processess have enabled me to make it this far and keep me going.  They are the foundation to a successful journey, no matter what direction one decides to take.  The path is what people are ultimately looking for.

The key to success is within.

Another factor that contributes to emotional balance is a logical relationship with the scale and more specifically, handling the relapses and over eating that are sure to happen.  If you notice I say "IS a logical relationship", not "WAS a logical relationship.  Even though I know how far I have come, the work is never done.  It is always necessary to regain my balance and center and forge ahead.

One thing I learned early on is that weight loss is not a linear experience.  It is not a steady consistent process of the textbook 1-2 pounds per week.  My progress looks much like the ups and downs of the stock market. This is important to realize.  One week I was up the next week I was down.  Sometimes I would see NO progress for weeks at a time.  It was only when I would look at my progress over a long period of time that I would see I was not doing to bad.  Looking at it from day to day, week to week, or even month to month...ummm not so good.  Understanding this fact has saved me from many mental meltdowns that would have otherwise imploded my desire to keep going.

I have also learned to not confuse all weight loss as fat loss or all weight gain as fat gain.  I have observed that true fat gain or loss does not happen rapidly under balanced conditions--and thankfully so.  Thank goodness my body does not readily give up precious resources so easily.  In today's world excessive body fat is a liability.   However, back when man lived in a much harder time, and life took a turn for the worse, fat stores determined if you lived or died.  It would have been a disaster if your fat stores went into a free fall every time there was a caloric deficit.  In fact you may not live to tell about it.  The sooner we realize that it is not in our best interest to pursue rapid weight loss the better.  So what, if I am not seeing the weight loss that I think I should.  So be it, the weight that comes off slower is more likely to stick.

True fat loss does not happen rapidly, nor does fat gain.  I know there are extreme cases, but most of us put on a little here and a little there.  Anytime in my journey, that I have experienced rapid weight gain or loss, it has been something other than fat - and I have treated it as such.  If it is water weight so be it.  Who cares?

I have also witnessed a couple of crash and burns because of one to many scale meltdowns.  Numbers are temporary.  This journey is for life.  Stay in the saddle and press on.  Let me ask you a ?.  So you quit and give up - now what?   There is nothing to go back to at least nothing of value.  Longevity on this journey hinges on a balanced view of the scale.  Focus on total wellness not just numbers on the scale.  Plateaus can be devastating to the morale if your only source of positive feedback is the scale.  If you look for NON SCALE VICTORIES or NSV's your affirmations come from more than one place.  This brings balance to your journey.  Life is not fun when you are riding an emotional yo-yo.

The Binge

My relationship with food has been a rocky one.  My addictive tendencies and food addictions have at times, created the perfect storm.  There have been so many times that I have been staring at an empty bag that used to be full, a candy wrapper that once contained a three muskateers, or a fast food wrapper that once held a whopper with cheese.  I have sat in silence trying to make sense of what just happened.  The swirl of emotions, the self doubt, the betrayal of everything that I held dear and important.  Unless you have been there it is hard to imagine this dark place.

It was during these times that I reached inside and found the courage to go on.  After a few of these time, I finally realized that no matter how dark these occasions were, or how defeated I felt, the clouds would clear and there was no real lasting damage.

I learned that we are what we repeatedly do.  So to put that in weight loss English.  A one time binge will do minimal damage.  A one time nutritional mistep will not derail my entire journey, if you pick yourself up and get back on the horse.  If on the other hand you wallow in a binge-induced melt down the damage it does to your momentum and motivation is far worse than any calories you could have gained.

The 80/20 rule applies.  If you are doing what you should be 80% of the time and dropping the ball 20% of the time, you will not notice much damage over time.  If you do mistep try to gain wisdom from it.  Wisdom is what we gain when we pick ourselves back up.

The discouragement over letting myself down had been a companion on my journey.  It is what I have done over the long haul that has brought me to where I am today.  We are what we repeatedly do, not the result of one bad decision.

Failures are a normal part of any road and I will be darn if I throw out my car just because I hit a few pot holes along the way.  Even if I blow a tire in the process.  My car is the only method I have to get where I am going.  Don't throw your car out simply because you get a flat, simply change the tire and continue on your journey.  If not you will spend the rest of your life on the side of a busy highway and it is far safer to keep moving.

Next.....Self Talk

The Holy Grail Part One......Emotional Balance

Regaining a sense of emotional balance is one of the 4 principles that I discovered on my journey and that I like to call the Holy Grail, the key that I found to finally succeed in my weight loss goals.  When, not IF I fail in these goals, I return to these core principles and start over.  I am not perfect or invincible, I am just committed to the cause.  I struggle with emotional weaknesses.  Failure has been a part of my journey, just as potholes are part of any road.  These principles have carried me through the fire of a 150+ pound  weight loss over the last 4.5 years.  They are what will see me to the end and victory.  These core principles have given me the fortitude to do things that I would never ever have even considered attempting in the past.  Swimming laps for 60 minutes straight, run/walking for 3.5 miles, ZUMBA class for 60 minutes 4 times a week.  Not bragging here, just want to share what got the spark inside of me burning that makes me keep going and incorporating these things into my daily life.  With the ability to regulate your core environment comes the self confidence needed to accomplish the impossible.

To recap, the four core principals are:

1)  Emotional Stability
2)  Drying out - recovering from food addiction
3)  Reprogramming the reward center
4)   Mastery of the response-ability, the ability to choose your response in the face of stimulus.  

One of the reasons that I feel I have made it as far as I have is  because I began a process toward emotional balance.  Much of this was unplanned and but it seems it was a part of my hearts natural emotional cleansing process.  When this was happening I did not see it.  It was not until I began to look back that a pattern emerged.  This is the path to my emotional healing.  This is not an inclusive list, this is just the path that I seemed to follow.  The key principle is to pursue the things that bring emotional balance however that is defined for you.

My journey to emotional stability:

1)  Journey to the root of the problem
2)  My relationship with the scale and the binge
3)  Self talk
4)  Realistic goal setting
5)  Independence

Journey to the root of the problem ~~~~~

This journey is far more than simply losing some unwanted pounds.  I was emotionally battered, and I did not even realize it since I had developed so many unhealthy coping mechanisms.  I would eat to suppress and then simply laugh it off.  My reaction to leaving the buffet table with another piled high plate of food was simply to smile and say " I will start my diet tomorrow"  I had lost touch with myself in a really big way.

So many times, when I was working out, I would have emotions that would erupt from out of nowhere.  I would feel like I was going to cry a river of tears.  Not because I had over exerted myself but because of a repressed hurt from long ago.  I found myself taking laps in anger.  This was a form of resentment that was trying to get out.  

It took a long time, but I am certain that self introspection and dealing with the issues are the reason that I am being successful.  What I thought was going to be another attempt at losing weight, became and transforming, inward journey.  This is where I believe most fast track ways to lose weight fail.  Aside, from goofing up your metabolism,  people who strip off a lot of weight fast rarely get to the root of the problem.  It take time to work through the issues.  For me, the weight was an outward sign of an inward issue.

Sometimes it hurts, and when food has been used to soothe inner pain, the process can be threatening.  After living a life of avoidance, it was difficult for me to face issues.  Like a boil, it would come to the surface until one day it was lanced with confrontation.  The resulting tears was cleansing to the soul.

Releasing myself emotionally has been a big part of putting out the fire that was driving my binges.  Unresolved anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and anxiety can take on many forms and can be difficult to recognize.  I had to go through the uncomfortable process of confronting past hurts and those who inflicted them.  In doing so it has brought about the healing that is necessary to the sense of emotional stability.

I am convinced that attempts at losing weight when emotional eating issues are at work will be doomed to failure if this is not part of the process.  Layer after painful layer must be dealt with.  

Next - My relationship to the scale and the binge.