Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Emotional Giving Beats Emotional Eating

I just read something that really resonated with me.  Apparently, doing good deeds and acts of altruism activates the same reward sensors in the brain that respond to eating favorite foods.  Not only is this a great idea, but I think it's true. I know it's true for me. I always feel better when I eat!  Seriously, I can see how doing something simply for the sake of making someone's life better would trigger feelings of happiness and contentment.  

I think we should all work this idea into our pre-holiday resolutions. Instead of eating to feel better, try doing something for someone else. It's not too late to donate toys to Toys for Tots. Find a "secret santa" or "angel" tree in your community and donate gifts for children/seniors. Call a nursing home or assisted living facility and ask if there's anything they need for the residents to make the holidays more cheerful. Call a children's hospital/in-patient unit and ask if they need anything for the holidays. Bring treats to your favorite staffers at the library, the doctor's office, the dentist. Double your dinner or cookie recipe and share half with a neighbor or coworker who is stressed for time. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Give someone a subway token. Pay for someone's coffee at the coffee shop. Pack a note or tiny gift in someone's briefcase or lunch bag. Pay extra for your Christmas tree at the charity tree sale. Donate baked goods to a bake sale. Fill a grocery cart with food to take to a food pantry. Donate pet food to a local animal shelter. Just do something.

Giving doesn't have to cost money. There are lots of ways to give without spending. Compliments are free and are usually well-received. Write a letter of appreciation to someone's boss. Write or email letters to friends you have been neglecting in the holiday rush. Offer to watch someone's children/elderly parent for a few hours so they can run errands. Shovel the snow off your neighbor's walk. Carry your neighbor's empty trash cans or recycle bins back up their driveway. Help someone hang their Christmas lights. Become a volunteer in your community.

Do not stop giving when the holidays are over. Giving instead of eating might turn out to be the most globally beneficial diet plan ever invented. Imagine finding your fitness and making the world a better place at the same time! This is the epitome of a win-win situation. 


Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Cookie Debauchery

Christmas cookies are a particular weakness of mine. I have, in the past week, thoroughly disgraced myself in the cookie arena. Sigh. I am looking for the strength to resist.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Walking the Walk

I have been off walking instead of posting, living outside instead of in front of the computer, putting a few more miles behind me on Highway 150.  During this time, though, I've had no scale.  So, I am a bit curious to go home sometime this coming week to find out what it says.  

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I'm still eating turkey, but it's nearly gone.  :-D

An unadorned sunset for you... It really was this color.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Fortnight

Ten days, a fortnight. That's how long I have been MIA from posting. I've been away from Highway 150 for longer than that, though. My life has gotten crazy-busy, and I have let other people and circumstances get between me and my goals. That needs to stop... for my own health and well-being. I am one of those people who feels compelled to take care of others. I'm sure it's part of what drove me into a career in health care. I know it's how I deal with friendships and relationships. The need to solve problems is an integral part of who I am. Even this blog... I started it to help myself, but quickly found myself helping and encouraging others. I love that! But sometimes it takes its toll on me. Sometimes I don't have enough energy to help even myself. And yet, even in those moments, I still help others.

So, dear friends, I have been attending to the various needs and problems of the people who actually lay eyes on me. The people around me have gotten rather demanding with their illnesses and melodramas and needs for assistance. Within the past few days, though, I have once again found my balance. I am happy to say that my health is once again my main priority. It HAS to be this way. I can't solve all the problems of everyone around me, but I can solve the problem of my continuing road to fitness. Sixty-something pounds gone is good, but getting down to 150 would be fantastic. That's where I am headed. 

~still slogging my way down Highway 150

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tempus Fugit

Yes. Time flies when you're me. I wish my extra poundage would fly off as fast as the days on the calendar.  It's almost Thanksgiving!

We here in the US celebrate Thanksgiving at the end of November.  My Canadian friends celebrate it in October. I think they're on to something.  I think those of us who are blubberly challenged would appreciate a two month break between eat-fest holidays.  

I have never really enjoyed food-based holidays, but this year I am actually looking forward to Thanksgiving. I have planned a really fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. We will have a few items with higher caloric densities and a few healthy dishes as well. The idea is to put calories where they will count the most... stuffing, gravy... and keep other dishes on the lean side. We all plan to laugh and celebrate and count our blessings. We also have scheduled a walk for earlier in the day. That ought to contribute to a bit of wiggle room in our stretchy pants.

I will be interested to see how I handle the Christmas season with all of its cookie-baking and celebrating. I do need to make cookies, but I need a strategy to keep from eating them. Perhaps I could make the dough at my house and then bake it at mom's house. I could hide cookies there until it's time to distribute them... 

Have fun this week! I hope SOMEONE is able to go on a nice vacation :-D

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Have Been Here In Spirit

Even though I haven't been writing here as much as I would like, I have certainly been thinking about Highway 150. The fitness road that stretches before me is always in my mind. Sometimes I'm heading down the road and sometimes I'm backtracking. Sometimes I'm sitting in a figurative rest area and pretending I don't need to take this journey at all. But it's always there, in my mind, in some fashion.

Now for the rambles...

I've been doing some other writing these days... I blasted the heck out of my writer's block and have just finished an actual chapter. Yes, I am writing a book! Who knows what will become of it, but I've always wanted to write one.  It's a novel... mystery/thriller... I'll let you know how it progresses. I hope it goes as well as my weight loss. 

This past week was a wash as far as pounds off goes. I'm okay with that after the previous week's 7 pound loss. Holy moly. It was probably just water.. lol.

Speaking of water, I'm done with the pool for the winter. The air and the water are too cold. There might be random days when I go in, but I'm basically a wuss. I like to swim when it's at least 85F outside. If it isn't warm, my muscles seize up like a dead bug. Yeah, nice image.

We're having a great run of "million dollar weather" here. Sunny days and cool nights. As much as we whine about the heat in the summer, we run around and shout about how great the weather is this time of year. We're like little kids just released from school. I've been to the beach at least four times a week for the past month! I love it! Of course, if I go in the evening I wear lots of warm clothes... lol... temps down into the *gasp* 60s.

Not my boat, but I can dream!

Acquaintances have started to ask me if I've lost weight. I wish they wouldn't. It feels like an invasion of privacy. Sometimes I wish I could have just stopped smoking or done some other inconspicuous thing. When a person's fatness starts to be noticeably altered, it's quite visible. There's no where for an essentially private person to hide. I wonder if that's one of the reasons we all wear our too-large clothes far longer than we should.... On that note, however, I can say that I haven't worn my reallyfat pants in weeks and weeks.

My goal for today is to strive for tolerance and patience. Stress releases cortisol, and we fatties have too much of that already. Peacefulness of mind is probably just as beneficial as baby spinach.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

All Dressed Up

Sometimes, I get the sensation... oh man, I just conjured up a peppermint patty. Yikes. I digressed early today! What I was TRYING to say is that I sometimes get the feeling that I am a fraud. Perhaps not a fraud, but ... I am playing dress up.... that I'm really a fat fat person in a smaller fat person's body. Are you confused yet? Good, me too.

This morning I was trying to decide what to wear to work. I tried on a shirt that couldn't possibly fit. But it did. I took it off and stared at it. The shirt is one that I've had for years. I've had if for so long that I really don't remember when I bought it. It's one of the things I had packed away in a box just in case I ever made a serious commitment to losing weight. Well, it appears that I've gone and done it. I've actually gone so far as to lose a serious amount of weight. Some days that feels fantastic, and other days I feel like I'm dressed up for a masquerade party. As soon as I take off my smaller costume I will somehow go back to being the size I was six months ago. It's all very bizarre. In any event, I was so freaked out about the shirt that I hung it back up. For some reason, I was afraid to wear it.

I love writing this blog for many reasons... and one of the important ones is that writing about my experience helps me to clarify my thoughts. Case in point... I just realized why I feel like I'm dressing up as a smaller person and why I don't actually feel like a smaller person. I think it's because I have begun acting like a fat person again. Sigh. I know. 

My eating habits have been all over the map lately. Some days I eat like a rabbit and other days I eat like a starving badger. No, I don't know what badgers eat, but I will Google it in a few minutes. My point is that I haven't been paying much attention to the quality of the food I eat, and that needs to change. It does me little good to slowly shrink if I do it outside the realm of healthfulness. I might as well eat something like Nutr*system food. No, this trend toward "I can eat what I want and still lose weight" has to stop. Eating a healthy breakfast and then eating a *bleep* for lunch or a *bleep* for dinner is not the right thing to do! I know it, and yet... 

I really do need to get past the yet... It's doing nothing for my health! Highway 150 isn't just about losing weight, but it's about getting healthy. I need to do more of that.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fogged In

I just realized that I haven't posted in three days. I blame the fibro fog... It has been pretty bad lately. My own name seems foreign to me. This foggy brain is frustrating, to say the least.  A flare up like this will  cause me to zombie my way through life for a few days until it lifts. Pain in the neck! This one seems to have settled in for a few days. Let me gather my wits and then I'll be back. Oh, and if you haven't noticed.... that dang ticker SHOT down this past week. Shazam.

My intention is not to make anyone jealous with my beach photos! I just love to share the marvelous beauty that surrounds me. I definitely know what you northerners are looking forward to this winter. This is what I used to see during the winter. I gave it up a few years ago in favor of the palm trees and eternal sunshine. Sometimes I do miss the cold crunchy snow under my feet.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Scale Might Be My New BFF

Now that I have resumed my journey down Highway 150, I am starting to feel much better about myself. October was a rough month for me for some reason, and I'm glad it is November! I've already started to think about the things I am thankful for... including my scale. Yes, my scale and I are BFFs again. I no longer call it the digital platform from hell, and it no longer cackles in glee when I step on it. Maybe BFFs wasn't the right term. It's more like a situation of mutually assured destruction. Don't I have mixed feelings about the scale?!

As for daylight savings time, I have to admit that I love the morning sunshine. I'm not so fond of getting out of work in the dark, but beggars can't be choosers. At least now I can walk before work. I feel so smug when I walk around at work knowing that I have already done my mandatory exercise for the day.

It's cold here today. Ironically, it's colder here than in Nova Scotia. What's up with that? I may have to wear fleece to the beach today, but that's okay. Nothing can keep me away from the beach! Fresh air. That's my excuse. I'm going for the fresh air.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another Zero

I saw another zero this morning! Although I am sure the scale will bounce again, it's nice to see a decent drop once in a while.

I'm happy to announce that the Halloween candy is gone at work. My coworkers so thoughtfully ate all but a few random pieces.

The weather here is suddenly quite chilly. Yesterday, I put on a pair of pants that I haven't worn since last winter. I'm not exactly sure why I thought they would fit. When they bagged out in front and in back, I realized I was never going to wear them again. That is quite a nice feeling, but I'm still a bit dismayed that my wardrobe is dwindling. Yeah, I know... I will tough it out :-D

The weather is simply outstanding for walking. This is such a pretty place when we're having our "million dollar" weather! The cool fall/winter air invigorates and inspires me.  The chilly wind, with its clean fresh salty smell, is my favorite part of winter. Putting on a jacket is such a treat... lol... It has been almost eight months since I last wore a coat! I'm sure it won't be long before I start whining about the cold, but until then... I shall enjoy every minute of it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

When Old is New Again

Sometimes the best surprise is when something old becomes new again. The case in point---my blue jeans. I haven't worn a pair of jeans in years. Five years? At least that long. Yesterday, when the weather finally turned cool for the rest of the winter, I put on a pair of jeans from my "skinnier clothes" box. I was so excited I even wore them to work! Being able to wear casual clothes is a definite perk at my job. One of my friends looked at me and then asked if she had ever seen me wear jeans. She never had; yesterday was the first time. One of my co-workers even pulled me into her office and asked if I had lost weight. She had noticed, but had been hesitant to say anything. All in all I would say that yesterday was a day of win.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Eye on the Ball

Instead of keeping my eye on the ball today, I went and ate an eyeball. Will it never stop? Other than the eyeball, though, I haven't done too badly. There were a few tense moments when I tried to talk myself into getting pizza for dinner. I didn't. I haven't. I won't.

Pouring rain here is going to give way to some fabulous fall/winter weather. I'm very excited. I plan to walk and bike and generally cavort about town. Perhaps I will frolic!!

Short and sweet tonight... just like me.  Hah. Hardly. Have a good day everyone, and I'll write more later!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Leafy Greens Trigger Euphoria

I have found that it is much easier to feel self-righteous when one eats baby spinach for breakfast. I highly recommend it to everyone. 

My day is off to a good start thanks to two cups of baby spinach in my breakfast tortilla. It might sound redundant to report on my breakfast again, but it's all part of my survival mode. I'm inching forward these days... baby steps all the way. If I simply keep up the forward momentum, I'm hoping that I will be picked up by a tidal surge of fitness energy and sail ahead once again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween and Bathing Costumes

I am sitting here staring at four chocolate eyeballs. They are from the break room, and I brought them back to my desk. For some reason, I felt the need to test myself. The chocolate eyes are watching me, but I refuse to be the first one to blink. Halloween is indeed a strange time of year!

I spent Halloween lounging at the beach, watching pelicans and terns and frigate birds wheel and dive and bob on the water. Sometimes I find it ironic that the beach, land of lovely bodies and barely-there bathing suits, is one of my favorite places to relax. 

Sitting at the beach I see a wide variety of body shapes and sizes as well as varying degrees of self confidence and body self-image. I have seen thin, athletic people in very modest cover-ups and rather large people in two piece suits. Like most people, I used to have typical reactions to what many would consider "inappropriate attire." Society has taught us to denigrate people who are rolling and tumbling out of their too-small bathing suits. My question is, "Why?" Why are we so uncomfortable viewing these people when they are obviously comfortable with what they are wearing? Naturally, I pondered this question whilst sitting under my umbrella.

When I go to the beach, or swim in a pool, I wear a bathing suit covered by a t-shirt and a pair of swim shorts. I am uncomfortable in my fat, and I do not want others to see any more than necessary. This is my choice. A few weeks ago I saw a woman almost my size. She wore a one piece suit and walked confidently about the beach. When I saw her, my first instinct was to cringe, but that rapidly morphed into a feeling of pride. I actually felt proud of this woman I had never met, and would never meet. That she felt comfortable enough to wear what made her happy made me feel fantastic. I can only hope to find that sort of self-confidence.

We should strive to support people of all shapes and sizes. Each of us has the right to wear what makes us happy and confident and comfortable. If we aren't sized perfectly, so be it. Instead of demanding that people conform to what we believe is "appropriate," I think we should alter our perception of others. This world would be greatly improved by a decrease in snarky mockery and and an increase in tolerance.

I may never feel comfortable in a bathing suit, but that is my right. No one else, though, has the right to tell me what to wear or how much I should hide. Hopefully, one day soon, I will find a degree of confidence and acceptance in how I look and how I perceive myself. Until then, I can still be supportive of others and their right to choose what they wear. And if I can use my own discomfort to motivate myself toward finding my health and fitness, I consider that a bonus.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

So Far So Good

I'm off to a good start this morning. I had my delicious breakfast tortilla with cheddar jack and baby spinach... and some chipotle pepper flakes. My water habit is back in full gear... I drink at least two glasses of water with my breakfast. I find that it helps to rehydrate me and to start my day off on the right note.

I planned to "get back on track" on November 1st, but I decided that starting today would be better. There's no time like the present! Besides, if I give myself "one more day off" I'm sure I would behave inappropriately. 

It's finally cool again after a week or so of summer weather. I'll be glad when things finally settle down into the 80s and we get our cool nights back for good!

Happy Halloween everyone, I'm off to drink my coffee at the beach. Geeze... I love saying that! And I promise, no more mini candy bars! Or candy corn... or pumpkins... sigh.

Here is our version of spooky Halloween...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Candy

Can I tell you how much I LOVE Halloween candy? I really do not understand this obsession. I really don't even like candy, and I never crave it. But, there is something about those assortments of snack size goodies that makes me go nuts. It's as if some weird alien with a candy fetish takes over my brain. 

I would never actually buy a bag of treats, but one of my coworkers brings in a BIG bag of Halloween candy every week. EVERY week. There's always a bowl of it in the lounge. Things have gotten so out of hand that I'm no longer allowed in the staff room unsupervised. If I go in alone, I always manage to come out with a couple of chocolate bars in my pocket. I love Halloween decorations, but this candy has to go. I'm looking forward to the day when I can eat my lunch in peace.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Writers Block and Feeding the Soul

Off topic, but central to the essence of who I am, is my recent writer's block. Lately, I have been taking hundreds of photographs but have been struggling mightily with putting words on paper, or on screen as it were. It's as though I feel everything has been said before, and said better than I ever could manage. There are no words bubbling up from inside me, and I am not sure how to counteract this silence. Instead of producing original thoughts, I have been running about the countryside taking photos of things that already exist. I am the first to admit that I am a mediocre photographer, but I am learning and improving. I have a friend who is a professional, and she has been coaching me on exposure and composition and being in the right place at the right time. Believe me, that last one has an element of luck that just cannot be learned!

Of course, now that I have written the words, I can see the correlation between writer's block and dieter's block. (Yes, dieter.. for lack of a better term. Health-seeker sounds a bit lame.) I think there is an element of creativity in the perseverance required for the losing of weight and seeking of health. We have to constantly convince ourselves to keep on target. We also have to continually find new and exciting ways to keep ourselves engaged in the effort. Neither is easy. "Dieting" and writing both require a commitment that we must remember to nurture.

I have been feeding my soul with books, photos, and trips to the beach. Now I need to re-commit to feeding my body the most ideal foods. My agenda for the day? Shopping for produce, taking my camera to a place I haven't visited in a long time, and sitting on the beach with my notebook. Today feels like a new day for me. I wish that same sense of newness to all of you as well. Thanks for sticking with me through the past month!

Monday, October 25, 2010


So, what have I been doing for the past month? I've been reveling in the end of summer and the beginning of the cooler fall weather. Being outside is no longer miserable, but is now fantastic. The air is warm, but the breeze is cool. Honestly, most of us have a version of cabin fever by the end of the summer. It's so marvelous to get outside. This is our version of spring.

Mostly, I have been living like a beach bum. I love the beach, especially at this time of year. The water is still warm enough for swimming, the sky is impossibly blue, and the sunsets are stunning. After work and on weekends, the beach is my destination. Unfortunately, instead of eating right and getting regular exercise, I've been grabbing snacks and going to the beach whenever I have free time. I feel like a kid who just finished school and is free for the summer. I have no idea what has come over me, but I've certainly been feeling my oats.

This downward spiral really began at the end of September and has zoomed out of control over the past few weeks. My brain keeps telling me to settle down, but my beach chair calls to me... and it's LOUD. Yes, I have been a slacker for about a month now. I will admit that it's because I lost so much weight. Losing almost sixty pounds made a HUGE change in my life. My pants are three sizes smaller, my shirts all fit loosely, I'm wearing clothes that haven't seen daylight in years, and I have confidence in my stride. What I seem to have forgotten is that this is NOT the end of the road. I have a long way yet to travel. Although many things are possible for me now, there are even more things I cannot yet do. I still need to lose the next fifty, one hundred, and more. I have many miles to go before I reach my goal!

The good news is that I don't just sit at the beach. There's a fair amount of walking that gets done. But, it's nothing like the six hours a week that I used to run in the pool. My closest friend here, the one who encourages all of this beach time, has caught onto the fact that I've been slacking off. She is making me exercise and is making me laugh in the process. "March," she says... so I start off down the beach. "Faster!" she yells. She does not allow me to lounge in my beach chair until after I have taken a walk. I need more friends like her.

I have also begun to march around my neighborhood in earnest. There is a loop that takes me about 45 minutes to complete. This is all well and good for now, but as soon as I can do the loop in 30 minutes I will need to find a new one. 

So, I am embarrassed by my slacking, but I am not paralyzed by my failure. Crawling up out of this rut has been so much more difficult than I could possible have anticipated, but I am making progress.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thoughts for the Day

I feel like I've been spouting out cliches and platitudes lately. Too much "do as I say, don't do what I do". It makes me feel a bit like a fraud. I'm finally, FINALLY, getting back on the "rapid weight loss track." I say rapid, but I really mean 2-3 pounds a week and not 2-3 pounds a month. I've been lagging and listing and lounging lately... lol.. I love alliteration.

Having painful joints has slowed me down for the past few weeks. I am trying to get going again, but it's very hard to overcome inertia! It is good to be home with no disruptions on the horizon... planned ones, anyway. I think I am really starting to settle back into a routine.

Routine is the biggest key to my success. I think establishing a routine and then sticking to it offers structure. When we leave things to fate, we set ourselves up to make less than ideal decisions. If we plan things in advance, we're much more likely to stay on track. It's all about working toward a goal. And yes, it's work. If it were easy, everyone would be able to do it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Still Here!

Yes, I'm still here and still fighting the battle for my life. Despite taking a two week break from tracking calories, I have still managed to lose weight. I take this to mean that I am doing something right even though I'm not doing everything right.

I'm about ready to start tracking my food again. I guess I have finally gotten to the point where I am ready to get going again with an active weight loss effort. It's not exciting, it's not really anything but work. But, I can do it. I have no other choice. Back to work!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Waiting For Weigh In

I get back on the scale tomorrow! This is the longest I've gone without weighing-in since June 1st. Crazy! I can't wait to see what the scale says. Strangely, I have no idea what the result will be. I have been pretty active but not really very exercise-y, and my eating has been pretty normal. I am curious to see what the verdict is for my Monday weigh-in.

My hip is ever so much better now. I pulled a muscle or something in it a couple of weeks ago and it just did not want to heal. I have been walking around the neighborhood and at the beach, and I think that has helped a bit.

After today I will be back at home until someone else decides to go on vacation and leave their cat in my care. I am looking forward to getting out some Halloween decorations and maybe having a healthy Halloween get together. It's sometimes very difficult to get into the fall/winter holiday spirit down here... no fall foliage and no snow! I will try to suffer through the sunny days though.

Thanks for sticking it out with me through this slow period. I was really burned out by so much intense focus on my "diet" and exercise. It feels good to have had some breathing space before tackling the next segment of the journey. Ironically, I had a dream last night about being a trucker... lol... I guess it was a subtle hint to get back on the Highway instead of wandering aimlessly around some roadside attraction.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Status Report

I am off scale this week (house sitting again, yea!) and loving life. I am doing reasonably well in staying active and eating right. I know I haven't written here as much as I would like, but that is mostly because I have been so dang busy. The cooler fall weather means that life speeds up again here in FL. There's just so much going on these days!

I do have some updates to report. The person who came to me a month ago wanting help with an eating and fitness plan is making tremendous progress! She went to a doctor's appointment this week and weighed in at 12 pounds less than her previous visit. That was a great moment of win for her! I am happy for her as well. It is very gratifying to be able to make such a difference in someone's life. She tells me she has more energy than ever, has fewer joint pains, and sleeps like a rock. Sounds good to me!

My friend who quit smoking... is still quit! It is great to be around her and not smell that ashtray odor. I am amazed at how much time is lost to cigarette breaks and how much time is gained when a person quits. I'm glad I was able to be a positive influence in my friend's life.
My current goal is to recapture some of the selfish attention I paid to myself over the summer. Back then I did such a great job of pushing myself toward my goals. My energy really slipped when other people turned to me for help. I got so involved in helping them that I forgot to maintain my own program of change. I am slowly but surely turning that positive energy back toward myself. Although it is wonderful to motivate other people, we need to be sure to save some of that motivation for ourselves. In some ways it's like being a caregiver. Of course it's nice to care for other people and to help them through rough patches, but we need protect ourselves from paying too great a cost. I haven't really stopped helping them, but I have started making progress toward helping myself. I'm not sure why it amuses me so much, but I often think to myself... "I'm dancing as fast as I can!"

Here's to those of us who have to wait to take care of ourselves until after we take care of others.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How I Spent My Day

This is where I spent a good deal of the day this past Sunday. Not too shabby, eh? Sometime I really love my life. There's really nothing quite like a quiet day at the beach in the middle of October!

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to Trisha at "Crazy Little Thing Called Life" for giving me this award. I really like the idea of being versatile. The more people I can share my story with, the happier I am. Make sure you stop by her blog and read about her journey. Then come back here and keep reading about mine.... lol.

Seven things about me...
  1. I have come to the disturbing revelation that I am a fair weather exerciser. As soon as adversity struck, I wimped out. I'm trying to find my mojo again. It's rather elusive at the moment.
  2. I make jewelry. Sometimes I make beaded jewelry and sometimes I do a little metalsmithing.
  3. I am a homebody. I would rather putter around than go out. If we played a word association game and you said "clubbing," I would probably respond with "Bam Bam" instead of "bar hopping."
  4. I am a wicked procrastinator. I used to tell myself I did my best work under pressure. I can now admit that I did good work even though I was under pressure. Admitting that I have a problem is just the beginning, not that I'm likely to follow through on it... lol.
  5. I've got a wicked sense of humor and often find things funny when no one else does. Life is too short to be too serious. I've also decided not to grow up completely. That would not be fun.
  6. The person I share all my secrets with is a friend I met online. How cool is that?? We finally met in person this past year... after knowing each other for eight years!
  7. I believe in doing the right thing. If everyone took the responsible high ground, this world would be a truly amazing place. As it is now, we've got a long way to go.
Thank you for letting me share a few more things about myself. Just sitting here and writing these things down makes me feel like I am worthy of a little selfishness. I am going to do some good things for myself this week... exercising and eating right. I deserve it. So do you! We all do.

Here are fifteen people who received the Versatile Blogger Award from Trisha:

Everyone has a story, and they're all worth reading. I wish patience and persistence to everyone who has decided to find their health.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I finally decided on a reward for the big 5-0. I got a new camera! I know, it sounds extravagant for "just the fifty" but it was so close to my birthday that I combined the two events into one most excellent reward. I love it! I have a larger, more complicated camera, but this one fits right in my pocket. That means I will actually take it with me as I roam the countryside. It also gives me more incentive to roam said countryside! Now I just need to learn how to use this new miracle of digital processing and Leica lens engineering. Actually, it appears to do just about everything on its own with very little input from me. Artificial intelligence in a camera... Sounds good for those days when the fibro makes me forget the simplest things. I will take some photos and post them in the next few days.

As for the actual countryside roaming... My exercise schedule has become severely side tracked. I pulled a muscle in my hip doing that stupid aerobic stepping a week or so ago, and it's taking its own sweet time to heal. I have been walking, both on the sidewalk and at the beach, but I am limited to a rather slow gait. Everything seems to hurt more these days. Hips, knees, back... I really have a hard time believing that I used to run in the pool for an hour at a time. 

I miss my pool time, for so many reasons. Running in the company of lizards was so relaxing and stress-relieving. It was also great exercise. But one of the best benefits of my pool time was that the regular exercise kept my fibromyalgia under control. For some reason, besides the obvious notion that regular movement keeps joints and muscles conditioned, exercise somehow lessens the pain of fibromyalgia. I have noticed that my use of pain medicine has increased since moving out of the "pool house". Warm water is the best friend a person with fibro can have, and I miss it terribly.

Today is all about work, but I hope to get out and about tomorrow. My new camera is begging me to run around and look for things to photograph. That reminds me; one of the best things you can do for yourself is to find a hobby that demands movement. Photography, bird watching, botany, beach combing, trash collecting along roadways, hiking... all of these things, and others, require some form of movement. If it makes exercising more enjoyable, go for it!

Today's message... Enjoy the beauty of life.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ghost of Diets Past

I am still hovering in a fog of fitness blahs. This phase of the journey seems like one of those hideously boring straightaways on the highway when your arms get tired of holding the wheel and your eyes feel gritty from staring at the road. I am tired of measuring and portioning. I am tired of feeling guilty if I don't do some sort of concerted exercise. I miss my pool. Waah waah waah. I sound like a petulant baby, and that's just how I feel. I know that it's time to woman up and get going, but it's easier to say it than do it. 

I am not entirely sure where this feeling originated. I really enjoy being active and healthy. Wallowing on the sofa with a bag of chips (didn't do) or a bowl of ice cream (did do) just isn't the new me. Somehow, I lost the new me in the ghost of the old me. It's time to banish the past and refocus on the future.

Ironically, the new me has not been completely eclipsed by the ghost of diets past. Despite every effort to the contrary, I am actually still losing weight. That makes me laugh. No matter how hard I try to be the old fatty, I can't quite bring myself to disappear into a pit of senseless debauchery. There is hope for me after all.

I am once again back on Highway 150, searching for health and fitness while avoiding temptation at roadside attractions. Thank you for sticking with me on the journey! There are many miles yet to travel, and I'm looking forward to seeing them all disappear in the rear view mirror.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Moment of Win

I went out for lunch yesterday. The cafe had the smallest booths I've ever seen. I hesitated for a moment, mentally gauging the distance between table and the bench and comparing it to my perception of my butt size, and then slid into the seat. WIN. Score one for eating right and moving my body. I love the non scale victories.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Out of the Water and Onto the Land

I do not believe I was meant to be a land animal. I just went for a walk. On land. On a sidewalk. I am in pain. My hip is killing me! I cannot believe that I am the same person who can run in the pool for an hour. My hip flexor muscles are threatening to go on strike. Hip flexors are the tiny little muscles in your hips that allow you to lift your legs when you stride along or climb stairs. Mine are wimps. They are sad little underdeveloped and under-utilized bits of uselessness. Apparently, I have neglected them terribly. Running in the pool was great for my legs, but, due to the buoyancy of the water, my hip flexors never had to work very hard. On land, I am suddenly demanding that they perform like champions. I have apologized profusely, but they are still not speaking to me. I swear... something always tries to knock me off course. Not this time, though. I will not be derailed!

On a high note, the humidity is gone and we finally have some decent weather. This summer was hot, and it started early. I feel it's only fitting that fall come early as well. If you have never been to Florida in the fall, you have to put it on your bucket list. It is absolutely beautiful here. The sky is blue with big puffy clouds, and the air is warm but not too hot.

In honor of the great weather, I am going to get my paltry hip flexors pumped up. No more sitting when I can be walking. I am quite positive that has contributed to the problem. These babies have a lot to move, and they need to get up to the task. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Last Day of My Week Off

Today is the last day of my week off. I have maintained for a week, learned some lessons about myself, and have decided to get back on the Highway. I never really got off it, just sat in a rest area for a week. Constantly paying attention to calories and exercise levels and food intake and ingredients burned me out. I have spent a week not really worrying about my food, just letting myself make choices on a day by day basis. As it turned out, I wasn't all that bad at making food decisions. I must have figured out some things along the way.

I learned things about myself, some of which I mentioned a couple of days ago. The most important thing I learned is that my goal is important, not just in a karmic, cosmic way, but in a lifestyle-governing way. One of my most recent realizations was that my immediate goal was simply to fit into all of my clothes. Some things had been getting tight on me, and I wanted to be able to wear the things in my closet. So, by losing the first fifty-odd pounds, I accomplished that goal. If that were as far as I wanted to go, I could stop right now. 

I won't stop. I want to go much, much farther. I still want to sail and kayak and run and jump and play. So, more weight needs to come off. I will take the risk of wanting to stop again, but I still intend to make my next goal a loss of 100 lbs. I have 44 lbs to go in order to make that goal. Why does it seem more difficult than the first 56 lbs? That is something I can ponder when I go for a walk tomorrow morning.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Today is LIVESTRONG DAY 2010. Wear yellow to show your support for 28 million cancer survivors worldwide. Be united in the fight against cancer and the fight for health and life.

Vacation Week

I seem to have extended my birthday into a week long hiatus from my intense focus on weight loss and fitness finding. I have stopped tracking my food, logging my exercise, and have embraced a devil-may-care attitude toward the entire process. In essence, I have been living like a normal person. 

Part of me is happy for the vacation. I feel like I am relaxing by the pool at a hotel next to the highway. To carry the metaphor just a little bit farther, I have washed off the travel dust and am just stretching my legs for a few days before I get back on the road. 

Another part of me is nervous. That is the part that worries I might forget to get back on Highway 150. I have realized a number of changes and rewards, and I am concerned that I will decide I've gone far enough. But then I remember where I want to go. There are too many things I want to do and places I want to go to stop now.

In all honesty, I will not get off Highway 150 until I no longer have to worry about fitting into airline seats, getting turned away from amusement park rides, being too heavy for rickety beach chairs, finding special clothing stores with "extended sizes", and having health care professionals raise their eyebrows when they see my weight jotted down on a form. I still have miles to go on the highway.

Life off the highway has kept me busy for the past week, but I am feeling the wanderlust once again. I think it's time to get back on Highway 150 and head on into the future.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gastronomic Debauchery

My birthday was this past week. I spent it in a state of gastronomic debauchery. I'm not kidding. I ate cookies, pizza, ice cream and sorbet! Every minute of it was wonderful. The pizza was the best I've ever had, and I savored every bite. The ice cream is actually frozen yogurt and is cool and dreamy. I have leftover frozen yogurt, and I am managing to limit myself to eating it only once a day. Today, I had some for breakfast. What a lovely way to start the day! I made the cookies for work, and managed to have a few here and there. I have decided that I can be vigilant and indulgent without having the two concepts become mutually exclusive. It's all about control.

I did eat things that really had no nutritional benefit. But the social and enjoyment benefits were tremendous. For a few days I ate pretty well and added a few treats. I didn't go whole hog and eat everything else in sight. I didn't sit down and eat a dozen cookies, half a pizza and a huge bowl of ice cream. I kept exercising and moving and being aware of my body and how I fed it. At one point I felt like a completely normal person. That must be how normal people live! They do the right things most of the time, and then they have occasional treats once in a while. They don't fret about eating a piece or two of pizza, they don't run to confession after eating a few cookies. They just enjoy the moment and keep going with their lives. I like this attitude. Perhaps this new outlook will be a birthday gift to myself.

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, I did not gain any weight this week. Bonus gift :-D

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Moment of Win

Here is my moment of win.... I have a living room sofa that is normal length but has a seating depth that is really quite shallow. Normally, I would have enjoyed a deep, plushy sofa, the kind that begs you to take naps on Sunday afternoons. Alas, I have a tiny living room. The only way to fit a sofa and a coffee table in there was to get a sofa designed mostly for upright sitting. Of course, I never sat that way. I slumped and slouched, trying to figure out how to get my fat butt situated on the sofa so that I could lie on it. As you can imagine, I had limited success with that plan of attack.

Now, fast forward past seven weeks of healthy eating and pool running. I haven't spent much time sitting on the sofa in the past two months, including the last week that I have been back at home. Last night I got home after a long day and flopped on the sofa. I settled in to watch a bit of TV while the cookies for work baked in the oven. I swung my feet up onto the sofa and rested my head on a cushion. I kept scootching down, looking for that sweet spot in between sitting and lying down. You know the one? As I settled in to watch my show, I suddenly realized that my butt was all the way on the sofa. I was lying on my sofa! I got up and looked at the sofa cushions. Then I tried again, just to make sure. Yup, I was lying on the sofa! And I don't mean precariously perched on the edge. I was hunkered down, snuggled in, comfy on the couch. Yea! Of course, this realization was immediately followed by the buzzer announcing the arrival of fresh baked cookies. 

Yes, I know you're wondering. I did eat cookies. I think I had three or four small ones. I am okay with the eating of cookies. That was an anomalous occurrence that actually brought me up to my calorie goal for the day! Double win. Double win mitigated by the fact that my sugar total for the day went through the roof. I know, I know. I preach vigilance on one hand and eat cookies with the other hand. Know that I ate the cookies with my eyes wide open. There was no attempt to fool myself into thinking that I could keep eating cookies without impacting my health. If I had already passed my calorie goal for the day, I would not have eaten the cookies. They weren't that good. I would rather wear standard size clothes than eat cookies! I thought of all that as I ate cookies with my still fat-yet-shrinking butt securely ensconced on the sofa.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Almost End of the Month Updates

I am reporting in on the "eat more, lose more" experiment. So far, it's working. I am stuffing myself all day long and am still dropping pounds like butter melting on a hot day. The 2000 cal/day goal is often elusive, but I usually manage to get up to at least 1800 cal/day. With so many miles left to travel on Highway 150, I want to make sure I have plenty of wiggle room. Getting stuck in a plateau at 1200 calories would have been hideous!


 We are nearing the end of summer here in FL. If all goes well, we will be able to open the windows in a few weeks! This is a wonderful time of year. In honor of our upcoming good weather I have been doing the fall cleaning. Today I sorted through my box of "small clothes". I'm proud to say that I found a few more shirts to add to my closet as well as a pair of jeans and two jackets. I can't believe I actually fit into these things. The thing that shocked me the most was that I could put on a men's XL t-shirt. It was too tight to wear in public, but I could put it on. That was an amazing moment. I am so glad I saved my favorite t-shirts! I hope I will be able to wear them before too long.


Here is my favorite egg recipe. It works for any meal, re-heats nicely, and can be eaten plain or as a sandwich. It's also completely customizable to fit your tastes. My frittata:
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups of vegetables, meat, shredded cheese, etc (if anything needs to be cooked, saute it and let it cool a bit before mixing with the cheese)
  • lightly beat 4 egg whites and 2 eggs until blended (substitute any combination of eggs, egg whites, egg substitute)
  • combine all ingredients and mix until wet
  • add additional egg as needed to make a nicely moist mixture
  • add pepper, seasonings as desired
  • pour mixture into an 8 inch baking pan sprayed lightly (I use a silicone cake pan... no spray, no stick, no mess, easy clean... but a pie pan would work just as well)
  • bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes (if eggs haven't set, cook a bit longer)
  • cut into four quarters and serve (serves 4)
I make this all the time! Tonight I made it with chopped baby spinach, chopped onion, a few bacon crumbles, and a quarter of a cup of shredded cheese. No matter what combination of vegetables, meat, cheese, and egg products I use, the frittata always tastes fantastic. The leftovers make a great "grab and go" breakfast. Add a salad and you have a great lunch or dinner. It's quick, healthy, low in carbs and fat, and it loaded with protein. Best of all, the frittata is unbelievably quick and easy to make, but it looks good enough out of the oven to serve to company. Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Honeymoon is Over

I finally figured out why I have been so blah about food and exercise lately. The honeymoon is over, the blush is off the rose, the novelty has worn off. I am nearly to the end of my fourth month on this journey and it is quickly becoming nothing more exciting than my daily routine. I miss the newness, the sense of excitement over a new commitment. Right at the moment all I feel is drudgery. One foot in front of the other and then just keep going.

This must be the "lifestyle change" that no one really thinks about when beginning a fitness-finding journey. All of a sudden, the whole process changes from something noble and invigorating to something more daunting. After the early days have passed, this is no longer the beginning of a journey, but a lifetime stretching out ahead. It is a long way to 150 from here. I am definitely going to continue down Highway 150, but I will be looking for a few roadside attractions to liven things up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Moving Down the Highway

Some days the road seems longer than others. I just made it into the 200s, which is a big accomplishment, yes, but... I have 99.2 miles (pounds) to go before I reach Onederland. It's funny how heading there from my highest weight did not seem as daunting as this next segment of the journey. I will admit that it's a little discouraging. The one hundreds are so far away! It's hard to stop myself from getting bogged down with that sort of thinking. I know it is much more productive to think of small steps instead of just one large step. I think that I need to make the transitions that are looming in front of me. Things will settle down after that. Growing pains, that's what this is.

On another note... I keep thinking about the comment that Blubeari left. I love the idea that I am not the same person I was when I passed this weight on the way up. When I was gaining weight, I was hunting for comfort and stimulation in food. Now that I am losing weight, I am learning to use food as fuel and to find comfort and stimulation in more appropriate, non-food ways. This is such an important lesson to have learned!

No matter how we got to our highest weights, we all learned things along the way. And as we travel to our goal weights, we use the lessons we learned and discover new truths. Perhaps gaining weight was not without merit after all... Just think of the things you might never have learned had you not traveled this road. I would like to believe we are better people because of our challenges with weight.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What a Day

Today was definitely a day of highs and lows.

I wanted to eat my way through the day, but I didn't. I wanted to eat pizza and ice cream, but I didn't. Somehow I managed to get all the way through the day without eating anything I really didn't want to eat. I consider that a major win. 

I also managed to get in a one hour pool run! It's about ten miles from my house to "my pool" so that makes it a little inconvenient, but definitely doable. When I tried to leave, I dropped my keys INSIDE the car and could not find them. How ridiculous is that? It is very dark here at night, and flashlights were not much help. I ended up using my spare house key and borrowing a car to get home. Ridiculous. 

The brightest side to this day is that I finally told my sister about my weight loss initiative! She is very excited. She is especially appreciative about keeping it a secret from our brothers. That will be a source of great amusement for us!

The other high note from this travesty of a day is that I will be able to have another run in the pool tomorrow when I bring back the borrowed car. That's my rainbow, my silver lining.

As I've said before, it's all good. And, it beats the alternative. Every day is a gift, and I intend to find something good in each one.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Transition Week on Highway 150

This is a transition week for me. I'm moving back into my own space after seven weeks of house sitting. That house represents seven significant weeks of my journey. The pool of my metamorphosis is at that house. I ran over 142 virtual miles in that pool! I will still be able to use the pool, but it will not be available to me every day. So, I have to transition to other forms of exercise. I knew this day was coming, but I never really visualized it. And, today it is here. 

Today I have the option of choosing to have a day of rest or popping in an exercise video when I get home. I am anxious to see which one I choose! Either one is acceptable, because I have not taken a day off from exercising in over a week.

Not having the pool to run in every day means that the time has come for me to join the gym. I am not sure why I am apprehensive about it. I know how to use the machines. I mean, I have managed four-car motor vehicle accidents... I should be able to tame an elliptical. I think my hesitation comes partly from the fact that I haven't done any of those things in years and partly from the fact that I have developed a very narrow exercise comfort zone. As much as that pool has helped me, it has also insulated me from the rest of the world. I feel like I am emerging into a brave new world of social fitness. When I go to the gym, I will be surrounded. Instead of exercising in front of lizards, snakes, and frogs, I will have to show myself to other people. All of a sudden, my witnesses will be the kind who can make judgments about my abilities. I will be on display. 

That is probably the root of my insecurity. All I can say to that now is "Oh well. I am shrinking as fast as I can, folks!" If they don't want to watch me sweat and shrink, they can look at the TV. Right? I have work to do and I cannot let anyone else stand in my way. I will not let myself use other people as an excuse not to do strength training. I will not allow myself to do nothing instead of pool running. I will walk, and I will ride my bike, and I will lift weights, and I will continue to shrink and grow strong. And I will do it all at a pace that is right for me. This is a new day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cupcake Happiness Award Redux

Yea! Another cupcake Happiness award! I'm glad these things have no calories! This one comes to me from Loretta at Loretta's Journey. She is truly amazing and is an inspiration to me every day. Please visit her blog and read about her journey.

She asked that I share ten things I like, so here they are!
  1. Seeing wild things swimming in the ocean, even when they scare me a little.
  2. The very first day of fall when we wake to cool breezes and the afternoon sun feels warm instead of like the summertime ball of fire.
  3. Cats. They aren't new to my list, but they are such furry bundles of love I had to mention them again.
  4. The belly giggles that babies make. How can a person not like them?
  5. Halloween. And it has to be scary Halloween, not that happy Halloween business.
  6. The beach in September when there are hardly any visitors here. It is so peaceful.
  7. The perfect exercise session, when I end up feeling strong, proud, and a bit smug.
  8. A really great cup of coffee.
  9. Cinnamon. My greatest weakness is anything with cinnamon, fat and sugar in just the right proportions.
  10. Reading the stories of people who are taking the risk and sharing their journeys as they change their lives. They're living the "write" way.

 The people who received this award are:
Please stop by and visit these great blogs. Remember, everyone has a story to tell! Thank you again, Loretta! Keep writing and keep sharing your story. We need to hear it. 

Big Changes

One of the questions I keep asking myself is .... How can a person lose more than fifty pounds and still be hugely fat? Well, I answer, that's possible if you worked toward the goal of being oh!beast for twenty years. Harumph. Yes, it is true. It took me nearly twenty years to achieve my prominent rotundity. It will definitely take me more than four months to reverse as much of that damage as I can. That leads me to share the news that I have had yet another epiphany in the mental arena of weight loss rationalization. It is okay to lose weight slowly! Yes, I know, it's no surprise to many of you. It was, however, a moment of win for me when I finally realized that I did not need to lose the weight "as quickly as possible." Fancy that! 

This notion is the result of the question Connie asked of me: how will I eat when I have lost the weight and am maintaining? I had a pretty quick answer for that. But, as all ideas do, that one percolated in my mind for a few days. I realized that I need to eat as many calories as possible, right now, in order to end up at a decent level somewhere down the road. Yes, there is the issue of BMR. I won't bring that up again any time soon. But there is also the issue of plateaus. If I eat 1200 calories a day, hit a plateau, and have to drop my calories in order to break it... well, there is no where to go from 1200. If I eat somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 calories a day (or more) and have to decrease my intake, then I will have some wiggle room. This all came to me in a dream of course.

You would be amazed at the amount of food a person can eat with a 2000 calorie budget. It's incredible. Not only do I never feel deprived, but most days I feel positively gluttonous. This is still a new and unusual behavior pattern for me, and so I still approach it with caution. I continue to eat healthful foods, for the most part, and I still exercise like a demon. The only difference is that I have learned to feed myself when I am hungry. That skill makes me feel like a tremendous success.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fitness is Contagious

Apparently, I am doing so well in my weight loss and fitness finding efforts that I have begun to inspire people around me. One of my family members has decided to jump on the fitness band wagon. Her goal is to lose about forty pounds and relieve some of the stress on her joints. I am so excited about this! For the past few days I have been busy helping her get used to reading nutrition labels, look for hidden sugars and sodium in processed foods, plan meals, and track calories. We also devised an exercise regimen that adds some dedicated cardio to an otherwise busy and active schedule. So far, she is doing wonderfully and has begun to lose weight and feel better.

I find it incredibly rewarding to be a role model for others, and teaching others is a natural extension of that position. Some days it still boggles my mind that I, fatwoman extraordinaire, am leading some hapless souls down the path to fitness. The responsibility is tremendous.

Someday I may have to publish a guidebook for Highway 150. Enjoy the ride!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Arriving in Twotown

I arrived in Twotown this morning! I have been looking forward to it for so long I almost didn't notice when I saw the number on the scale. THIS is the best reason for having a digital scale. A scale with a dial would not have been nearly as impressive as the LED numbers settling on the highway sign for Twotown. It was definitely an epic moment for me.

This journey... has been a true marvel for me. In the space of about four months, I have transformed myself from a chips and ice cream-eating couch potato into a weight loss machine. Fifty four pounds gone! Holy cow. I really did not think I was going to get this far, let alone believe that I might even keep going and lose the rest. This is empowerment at its best.

Stay strong with your own goals. Keep going. Don't give up. The struggle toward health is such an important part of our lives, it is imperative that we continue to work toward it. If I can help in any way, just let me know! Leave a comment or send me an email. I will do what I can to help.


Life is wonderful. Live the best life you can.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Twotown, BMR, and Magical Cures

Finally, it happened. I have left that first fifty in the dust. I am 3 pounds past it! The next little moment of win will be my arrival in Twotown. I am very excited for Twotown. My weight hasn't started with a "2" in a a Very Long Time. I actually do not remember when I made the leap to Threeville... But,I can tell you that this fat bus isn't stopping until I am deep into Onederland.

Okay, enough of the silly names for weight levels. Today's post revisits my favorite obsession: basal metabolic rate. I know I've gone on and on about this whole BMR issue before, but I just can't leave it alone. I weigh a LOT, and I exercise a LOT. One would assume that I would be losing a LOT. But I haven't lost much in the past month and a half. That's what led to this caloric nosh-fest. I have been eating increasing amounts for days now. No matter how I calculate it, my BMR is just over 2000 calories a day. Minimum. That is the amount that I need to keep my body healthy.There is just no way I can justify eating less than my BMR, especially given the amount of cardio I do in a week.

All of this fretting about BMR led me to the library to read what the experts have to say. First of all, let me tell you that I am a researcher by nature. My education required many hundreds of hours of research, and I got rather good at it. Second, I am also a born skeptic. I take nothing at face value, and try always to think critically and to evaluate before buying into a theory.  Add these two traits together and you get a library bag with a stack of different "diet" books. I read about fat as the evil to avoid, sugar as the evil to avoid, jump starting my metabolism, debunking diet myths, eating this or that magic food, balancing my hormones, and taking a cognitive approach to weight loss. The authors have a variety of backgrounds: 
  • one physician
  • one PhD
  • two celebrity fitness gurus
  • one formerly Fat person
  • one always-been-thin person
  • one average size person
  • one person who lost-20-lbs-once
  • two people who said "this worked for all my friends and clients so it must be true"
  • one said "cut back on your calories and exercise and you will look like me in no time"
  • one said "balance your hormones and the pounds will melt away"
  • one said "eat more and exercise less and you will become a superstar"
  • one said "you will never look like the fitness experts so do not bother trying"
  • one talked about drastic solutions at length before discounting each of them
Are you sensing a trend here? It is actually very easy to publish a non-fiction self-help book. All you need to do is come up with a new approach to whatever subject you wish to write about. If your book promises an easy solution to a difficult problem, many people will buy it before they realize you are not really helping them at all. Out of more than thirty "weight loss" books in the library, I found only one that seemed to have a truly sensible attitude about food, exercise, and living a healthy lifestyle. The author is Judith Beck, and her plan is the Beck Diet Solution. I would not ordinarily recommend any "diet plan" except for the fact that the Beck plan focuses on developing the cognitive skills that are necessary to have a good relationship with food. Beck also emphasizes the need to eat enough food. Ironically, I incorporated many of her suggestions into my own plan long before I had even heard of her. I will admit that not all of her suggestions are ones that I would use, but there is enough good information in her ideas to make her plan recommended reading. The bottom line is, if you are having a difficult time with cravings, saying no, staying on track, etc, look up the Beck plan. It is definitely worth taking some time to read.


I am not, nor have I ever been, compensated in any way, shape, or form for recommending the Beck solution or any other book, method, idea, theory, product, or magical notion. Of course, if Dr. Beck ever hears of my endorsement and wants to send me a book, I wouldn't refuse. That would actually be pretty cool. I really just wanted to share information about something sensible in a sea of magical cures and wacky solutions.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Road Trip Across America

This is so funny I had to share it right away... MADD sent out promotional calendars this week that feature a "Road Trip Across America". How appropriate is that for someone who is on a journey down Highway 150?! I need to figure out a way to use this calendar for my journey.

Gratitude and Wonder

I want to thank all of my great readers, comment-leavers, suggestion-offerers, supporters, well-wishers, friends, family, and casual passers-by. I still cannot quite believe that people read my blog! It boggles the mind. Do not stop! This is a challenging journey, as I'm sure many of you are well aware. With all of the ups and downs, roadblocks and rainy days, I know that you have greatly increased the likelihood of my success. You also spark great ideas within me that encourage me to keep writing. I love that none of us has to travel through the world of weight loss and fitness-finding on our own!

I get so many great comments, and I am so lax about responding to them! My mother taught me to write thank you notes, and I feel as if I should do more of it. If I do not respond to your specific comment, please do not think I ignored it. I love to read your comments, and I save them up in a file. One day I will print them out and wall paper a home gym with them. I will also have to use my fat pants cape to make window treatments! I also read your blogs. There are some fantastic stories out there, and I'm trying to keep up with all of them.

Being fat in our society is so often an insulating condition that sets people apart. Thank you for being there and reminding me that I'm not alone! 

You folks ROCK!!