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.