Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm on vacation!!

There will be no weigh-in this week!  I'm currently on a roadtrip to visit inlaws and attend a family reunion.  Wait until those folks get a load of me!  When a lot of them saw me last, I weighed more than 300 lbs!!

I guess the cousin who always makes fat jokes about me is going to have to find something else to laugh about!!  

Have a blessed, successful week!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Week 50, 167 lbs.

Me and my husband enjoying a cool drink during a hot day at faire.
Downloaded from
I worked really hard this week, kept my focus, and in spite of a weekend at a renaissance festival that didn't offer much in the way of diet-friendly foods, I still made some awesome progress.  While my weight only dropped a pound I lost a whole TWO percentage points on my fat ratio!! (That's the biggest drop in my body fat so far!!)


I've had some people say some really weird things to me recently about my weight, and one particular comment is really bugging me.   At an event at work a couple of weeks ago I was wearing a sleek, form-fitting dress that I felt I looked really good in.  I received a lot of compliments and encouragement from the people who attended the event.  A fairly close friend of mine pulled me aside, hugged me and told me I looked great but then said, "you were always beautiful to me because of who you are on the inside.  Don't let your new shape go to your head or change who you are inside."

She elaborated a bit, making it clear she thought that my change in shape could make me stuck up, vain, unkind or something along those lines.  It was if she was saying skinny people are not as nice as people who are overweight.

I've definitely changed on the inside - but that happened before I even started the diet!  Liking myself and having respect for who I am is what gave me the confidence and belief to lose all this weight.  And to be honest, accomplishing this drop in weight has made me even more confident in my abilities and proud of myself.  I don't think any of that is a bad thing!

Two years ago I hid from the world.  I never stuck up for myself and allowed people to dump on me.  I was watching life pass me by instead of living it.  The conversations I had with myself were never nice.  I was an unhappy bump on the couch and I don't want to go back to that way of living or feeling. 

Because I am able to love myself and appreciate who I am, it has made me more loving and accepting towards others. Each day is a new miracle instead of something to just get through.  I mean, look at me in the photo above ... I NEVER used to smile like that .... ever!!

So yes, I have changed on the inside.... but I don't think the changes are anything my friends need to worry about.  It's the changes on the inside that made the changes on the outside possible!

And I do admit that I am staring at myself in the mirror a lot these days, but it's not because of vanity.  I am still amazed to realize that's ME in the mirror - the shock will eventually wear off.

Have a blessed week!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Living well.....

...really is the best revenge!  And if you're really living well, revenge isn't so important and you see those who've "wronged" you in a differnt light!  This past weekend I went to the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas.  I used to attend this festival every year when I was younger - you might have even called me a fixture back in the day.

My new costume!
After getting married and landing a job that required me to work on Saturdays, I wasn't able to attend renaissance festivals the way I used to.  Last weekend was my first time back in seven or eight years.  It was wonderful reconnecting with friends, taking in the sights and smells, watching favorite performers and just having a good time.

I blogged a few weeks ago about a former friend of mine, who is on cast at this faire.  She was the last in a long line of Diva (with a capital D) friends who "allowed" me to be their friend because my round shape and awkwardness made them feel better about themselves.

Not only did this friend put me down on a regular basis, mostly about the shape of my body and the way it fit into clothes (never mind that she outweighed me by at least 50 lbs.), she also said and did a lot of things to create unwelcome drama into my life.  She pitted friends against each other, threw fits when things didn't go her way, etc.  When I told her I'd had enough and hoped we could find a way to have a healthier relationship, she shut me out of her life completely and told everyone who would listen that I was a viscious back-stabber.  It hurt for a while and the hurt gave way to anger and then eventually I realized how happier I was without her soul-sucking energy in my life.

Our paths crossed this weekend.  I called out a hello to her and she looked at me and my husband and asked "Do I know you people?"  I grinned and said, "Yeah, you know me."  After a couple of short moments studying my face her own face registered shock and then she glanced down at my super tiny waist and even more shock crossed her face.   She kept looking at my waist like she was trying to figure out where I was hiding the rest of me - like I was pulling a clever trick to hide my fat.

She made a couple of her trademark passive-aggressive statements but was mostly friendly.  I think the element of surprise and the presence of witnesses forced her to be more civil than she would have been otherwise.

I realized several things about myself while talking to this former friend:  While she has remained firmly in her miserable state of mind, I have moved on.  It really wasn't a moment of revenge, it was a realization that I am a lot stronger emotionally than I used to be and she can't hurt me anymore. The fact that she smears my name whenever she gets a chance doesn't matter anymore, either.  In many ways, I have a lot of empathy and pity for her and know she's doing the best she can to walk her path with the tools life gave her.  I wish her well and I wish her healing.... but that doesn't mean we're going to be pals again.

I am so thankful that I no longer attract Diva friends into my life!  I don't think it's the weight loss that made the difference, though.  I think it's the hard work I put into changing my mind about myself and who I am that made me able to "face the dragon" this weekend with a smile on my face. I've grown up a lot in the last few years!

An old costume photo of me.
Other wonderful things from this weekend:  For the first time in my life I feel like I look good - no, make that fantastic - in my renaissance garb.  In the past I'd get a new costume and feel good about it until I saw the photos from the weekend.  The mental image of how I looked never meshed with reality.  One of the first things I did when I went through the front gate was made a beeline for my favorite clothing booths and bought a new outfit. When I saw the pictures from this weekend I had to smile - my waist REALLY IS that small!

My knees and feet made it though two days of exploring the large faire without pain and I had plenty of energy to put up with the 95 degree days in full costume!

My head is small enough to wear my grandmother's straw hat.  The hat is about 100 years old and my husband thought I was crazy for wearing it. But it's in like-new condition and should be worn!  My head has always been too big for that hat and apparently I've lost a few hat sizes along with the dress sizes!  My grandmother was someone who always loved me, unconditionally and I felt like I had her with me at the faire.  The hat was also the perfect touch to finish the look I was going for with the new costume.

I think I was able to inspire someone else, someone I didn't have a chance to meet, to try the diet.  When I told the man who sold me my super cool new leather belt about all the weight I lost and that I needed to put several notches in the belt because I have several more lbs. to go, he started to ask me about what I did to drop 120 lbs and took my information and blog address.  His wife, who is close to my age, is currently in a weight struggle and is asking a lot of the same questions I asked when I decided to get healthy. 

The most powerful experience from this diet is that I've been able to give hope to people who might have otherwise given up.  I'm paying the inspiration I've drawn from others forward and it makes me a very happy soul.

Anyway, my weigh-in will be on Wednesday!   More soon!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Week 49, 168 lbs.

The size 12s are starting to get loose, the weight is down a little bit and the fat ratio is back on it's way down! (Last week it was on the way up ... way up ... which is part of the reason I decided to get real with myself!) 

It feels good to be back on track!   Since I don't have much to add since my last post, I thought I'd share something from that I read this morning.  This is how I try to approach each day, and I couldn't have said it better myself:

There’s a tendency to get caught up in the tasks of our day, the urgency of what’s coming up, the distractions of being online.
And we forget to smile.
In the rush of the day, the stress of wanting things to happen a certain way, we lose the enjoyment of each moment.
In every moment, there’s the capacity for happiness. It’s not that we need to be ecstatic, full of pleasure, excited or even joyous each and every second of the day. Who needs that kind of pressure? And it’s not that we can never feel sadness or anger or stress. It’s that we can feel happiness, in some form, any moment we like, even in the midst of stress or sadness.
And it’s exceedingly simple. We just need to remember to smile.
You can smile in each and every moment.
OK, maybe you don’t need a smile on your face all day long — your cheeks will feel tired. But we can smile more, and in between physical smiles, we can have an internal smile.
Try an internal smile now: have a calm, unsmiling face, but think of the miracle of this moment, and find a thought to smile about. Feel the smiling feeling inside. Isn’t that amazing?
What do you have to smile about in this moment?
Some ideas:
  • You have someone in your life who cares about you.
  • There is beauty all around you, in many forms.
  • You are generous, compassionate, and good-hearted.
  • You have someone you can help.
  • You have eaten today.
  • You can move.
  • You can see the sun shining.
  • You can appreciate the leaves of a tree, rain falling, wind blowing.
  • You can taste chocolate.
  • You get to spend time with someone you love.
  • You have music in your life.
  • You get to create something.
And so on. You probably don’t have all of these, but you might have one or two, and if so, that’s a more than good enough cause to smile.
You’ll forget to smile in some moments, because your mind gets caught up in stories about the past, stresses about what might happen in the future. None of this is happening right now — it’s just movies playing in our heads.
Instead, remind yourself of what’s happening right now, and see the beauty in it, see the reason to smile. And then smile, externally and internally.
This changes your day, because now instead of being caught up in stress and stories, we are present, and happy. We can be content with every moment.
It changes your life, because too often we miss the smile-ability of life when we are not paying attention.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thoughts on Dieting...

Whether you want to get rid of 15 or 100 pounds - YOU CAN DO IT!!

This morning I stepped on the scale and my weight is moving in the right direction!  I'm feeling recharged, renewed and raring to go now that I've given myself a much-needed pep talk.

To reinforce my new resolve, I am going to post some advice and observations I've made that helped me get 120 cumbersome pounds off my body and will keep me going until I reach my final goal of 25% body fat ratio.

1. Love and accept who you are, regardless of your weight.  You've beaten yourself up enough and it hasn't gotten you very far, has it?  You are a divine, beautiful child of God.  You deserve happiness and a healthy body, so go for it!  Stop calling yourself fat!  Stop saying derrogatory stuff about yourself.  I know I've said this several times on this blog, but I can't emphasize how important it is, no matter who you are or your size, to love and appreciate yourself.  Change your mind about yourself and your abilities and you'll be amazed at what you'll be able to achieve.

2. Find a program you can believe in and become its biggest fan. A diet is just a tool.  It's not there to make you suffer or cause you unpleasantness. It is a choice you make and it is a means to an end!  So find the tool that will work best for you and fits into your lifestyle and go for it!  For me, the program was Ideal Protein.  The forumulation of the diet made sense to me, it moved the weight off my bod in a relatively short time and I think most of the IP foods are palatable.  This may not be the diet for you, but any change in lifestyle that will get you healthier is worth the effort involved.

3. Stop making excuses.  A lot of people approach me these days after witnessing my transformation and come up with all kinds of reasons why they can't do what I've done.  Let me tell you - as much as I love and respect you, I don't want to hear it!  It's not because I don't have empathy for you or don't care about you.  I don't want to hear it because I don't believe it!  I was the original poster child for excuse makers.  I had a gazillion reasons why I was fat and why I would never be fit again.  Everything from genetics to birth control pills were used as excuses for staying in my heavy, uncomfortable rut and I would still be there if I hadn't been willing to take responsibility for my condition and do something about it.  You don't have to make a drastic change in your life, just do something that gets you on the path to a healthier lifestyle and the rest will eventually fall into place.

4. Drink your water!  Take your body weight and cut it in half.  That number is the amount of water in ounces you should be drinking each day.  Trust me, the people who drink their water are the folks who drop the weight the fastest.... not only that, hydration keeps the body happy!

5. Declare your independence! This is the one I struggle with the most, because I've spent most of my life trying to please others, many times at the expense of my own happiness. When I started this diet I didn't tell anyone I was on it.  I kept it to myself, knowing that opening myself up to the opinions of others would make me subject to statements well-meaning folks make.  This is YOUR life, YOUR journey.  Do this for yourself, not for someone else's approval or to get your mom to stop nagging you about your weight.    When people give you unsolicited advice or tell you what they think you should be doing, trust yourself enough to know what's best for you. Don't let someone else's opinion make you doubt yourself. I've found that the people who are most vocal with diet advice are the most clueless. (Hint: never accept diet advice from someone who has never been fat.  They have never been in your shoes.)  I have diet coaches at the center where I weigh in who know my journey, my fat ratio and how much further I have to go.  If they think I am doing well, and I know I am doing well, then that's all I need. 

6. Use your imagination. The diet I'm on is extremely restrictive.  There is a small selection of vegetables and meats I can eat during Phase I.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard "I am so tired of eating salads" from other folks on Ideal Protein.  Think outside of the box.  Cruise the internet for recipes, use new spices, buy a vegetarian cookbook and stop boring yourself!  If I hadn't gone out there and dug around the internet I wouldn't have discovered two of my new absolute favorite foods:  riced cauliflower and zucchini noodles.  Rutabaga chips are pretty awesome, too! So what if you can't have pasta?  I've found diet-friendly ways to fix some of my old sauces and serve them over zucchini noodles or riced cauliflower.  Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!  To be honest, this may be the way I eat "noodles" from now on!  (I've served both to my husband, too - and he hasn't complained!)  There are a ton of wonderful Ideal Protein recipes available on the web.  There's even an Ideal Protein cookbook you can purchase from your diet administrator and on Amazon, so start experimenting!

10. Stop complaining!! Seriously, life is supposed to be fun.  Whether you are on a diet or not, choose to be happy and rejoice in the now.  Besides, nobody wants to listen to you moan about your miserable diet or what you're not able to eat. Enjoy the journey and have fun discovering the contours of your body as they emerge from the fat.  Celebrate being able to do things you thought you'd never be able to do again - like crossing your legs or fitting into a bathroom stall.   One of the things I do to help me stay upbeat and positive is I started a gratitude journal.  Every morning after I meditate, I write a letter to God, to give thanks for whatever happens to pop into my mind.  I've even grown to the point where I can thank God for the people who are a challenge to deal with because I know they were sent to me to teach me something valuable about myself.  I'm not going to say I'm a singing Pollyanna every day of my life, but choosing to focus on what I have or how far I've come instead of how far I still have to go has made the journey more enjoyable and a lot easier than it would have been otherwise.

11. When you deviate from the program, don't beat up on yourself.  Don't let a lapse in judgement or a "cheat" derail your progress or make you decide to quit the program.  Stay the course!  Guilt is a time waster so pick yourself up and carry on.  Yesterday there may have been a chocolate cake you couldn't resist, but today is a fresh start and you can be a successful dieter NOW!  Now is a powerful time and it's all we have.  We can't worry too much about what happened in the past because it can't be undone.  However, if we can look at our past behaviors objectively we can learn from where we've been, apply the lessons to life today and be stronger for the experience.

I think I'll stop here.  I don't want to come off TOO preachy! 

Just remember, you are a lot stronger and a lot more capable than you realize!  I have surprised myself with what I have accomplished so many times since I started dieting last June and there was a time when I saw myself as a lost cause.  By applying the ideas above to my approach to dieting I have been able to accomplish what I've never done before and I saved my own life in the process.  (I was living the slowest form of suicide around.)  Anybody with the right mindset and the willingness to change can do this, including YOU!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Week 48, 169 lbs.

Gratuitous bathroom mirror shot taken at work.
I LOVE this dress, wanted a picture of myself in it,
and we were so busy the day I wore it that I was
unable to get someone to take my picture.

Okay, time to get real! 

I've been complacent lately... and when I say lately, I mean the last couple of months.  Somewhere along the line I stopped listening to my own voice and let the opinions and actions of other people have too much influence over me.  As a result, I've not been as focused on reducing my body fat as I would like to be.

I've spent a good amount of time this week thinking about how long it took me to get out of the 180s and then the 170s ... and how quickly I dropped weight earlier in my journey.  After I took an honest look at my progress, I had to give myself a loving but firm lecture on why I am on this diet in the first place!  I'm celebrating making it into the 160s, but I also know I could have been here a lot sooner!

I've been getting a lot of questions from friends and acquaintances about when I am going to stop dieting, because I've "lost enough weight and look great right now." 

I know, deep inside myself, that it's not time to quit this diet.  I still have a ways to go (my guess is around 25 lbs.) before my fat ratio is where I want it to be.  However, there's another part of myself (my ego?) that thinks those folks might be right. After all, I've been on this diet for almost a year, have worked really hard and I look pretty good!  Time for a break, right?


I've also been listening too much to other women who are just getting started on Ideal Protein.  I have some friends who are trying the program because they've witnessed my success, which is great, but I think I've invested too much of myself in their personal journeys.  As if their success or failure will somehow reflect on me.

Some talk about "cheat days" or going off plan for a day or two to "re-set" their metabolism.  Others talk about how hard the diet is to follow.  One friend in particular has been on Ideal Protein for only a couple of weeks.  Within the same breath she'll celebrate the number of pounds she's dropped and gripe about the diet. She doesn't like the diet food, she's tired of salads, drinking all that water is a pain, her breath is bad (which I never had a problem with), she can't drink with her buddies... on and on she whines about being on a diet, regardless of the positive results she's experiencing. She has made it clear that this diet has not been a pleasant experience for her.

I wish her well and am happy that she's lost as much as she has but I have got to stop listening to her and taking her issues personally.  She has her own approach to dieting, I have mine.  Her success or failure doesn't justify or negate my own journey - I need to stop paying so much attention to what others are saying and listen to my OWN inner voice.

My own inner voice says I am worth this effort.  I have already proven that I can do this and it's been relatively easy.  My inner voice reminds me of how much my life has changed and  good I feel in comparison to how I felt when I looked like this: 
Back a couple of blogs ago I wrote that I was eating mostly vegetables when I've been deviating from the diet protocol.  This has also been delaying my progress.  It doesn't matter how "good" the food is for me, it's messing up the formula that Ideal Protein put together to get the weight off my body.  I've been looking foward too much, thinking about how I am going to eat once I am finished dieting instead of focusing on the now and dealing with the task at hand.

All of these factors have been torpedoing my progress.  It's time I took responsibility for the progress I am making, stop goofing around and get on with it!

This weekend I was dressed up for a reception at work and wore a sleek, form-fitting dress that I've had in my closet for a little over a month, waiting for me to get to the right size.  I looked GOOD in that dress, the photo at the top of the page really doesn't do it justice, because I took the photo myself in a bathroom mirror. Anyway, a man at the reception referred to me as a "hot chick" - nobody, in the entire course of my life, has ever called me anything like that!!  I couldn't believe he was talking about ME!

That may be one person's opinion, but I've decided it's an opinion I agree with!  I AM a hot chick!  A hot chick who can kick butt when it comes to dieting! Time to stop dragging my feet and focus on finishing Phase I!