I'm still here!!!!

So I know that my blog was down for a very long time.  It appears that Bluehost discovered malware on my account and shut down all my websites.  It was a very long and tedious process to get all the malware removed and back up and running, but I refused to pay someone else to do it.  They kept shoving sitelock in my face so I think they get a kick back, but to charge me upwards of 200.00  a month to clean and reactivate my site?  No Thank You!

I’ve been home sick the last three days and therefore had the time to finish it between the hacking and the coughing.

The good news is that I haven’t gone off the rails completely as far as weight loss is concerned.  I had a trip to Maine and a trip to Las Vegas that both centered very much around eating, but I was also walking a lot more and I actually managed to lose a pound in Maine.

I have probably gained about five pounds back as of when I was at my lowest before Maine at the beginning of October.  I have also stopped working out.  That started when I was in hard core rehearsals for Rocky and I let it stay dropped off out of pure laziness.  Same with my youtube channel.

But I’m back in it to win it.  It’s time to take the reigns back and steer this bitch in the right direction.

But for now I’m going to go lay down and cough.


Embracing the Fitness once again.

As I wrote in my last blog entry, I have started working out. Of course that was just the very first day, but I was bragging on it pretty hard.
I kept it up pretty well. From last Monday I worked out every day –counting my dance rehearsal at the theater on Saturday because it kicked my butt. I gave myself Sunday off and regretted it on Monday.
One of the many benefits I’ve experienced since adding 30 minutes of cardio and a bit of strength training in is that my mind is clear and I have more energy. I do the work out when I get home from work and I still experience the benefits the next morning. My head is clearer and I just feel better overall. I get a much deeper sleep and am far less cranky and less prone to depression.
Monday I felt lethargic and kind of blah. I can only assume that was because of my lack of activity on Sunday. Lesson learned. Even if I only take the dog for a short walk, I feel better having some sort of activity every single day.
What I have to stop now is feeling like I can eat more because I am burning more calories. Exercise is not a license to eat like a pig.
I am reigning it in since yesterday. I had been getting off track in my eating for quite some time so I really can’t blame adding fitness into my mix. I got complacent.
I blamed the depression that gripped me for so long. Now I’m blaming the working out…time to face facts and put the blame where it belongs. It’s time to get back to the things that helped start my journey back in January. Making better decisions. Eating more whole foods. Portion control.
I got lazy. I didn’t want to put in the effort that it takes to be prepared in eating well. We all know that in order to lose weight and eat better we have to have a game plan and stick to it. When you are prepared and you have your meals prepped and ready, you obviously do better than just winging it.
Yes, there are always better decisions that can be made but putting yourself in an area where temptation is an issue is a slippery slope, at least for me.
I have lost almost 25 pounds since January, but I did the majority of that back at the beginning of the year. Lately I have just been losing and gaining the same few pounds back and forth. And for a while I was okay with that. It was okay to maintain. It’s not enough now. I want more.
Anyhoo, the workouts that I’m doing are pretty simple, but that is what I want since I am easing myself back into the whole fitness thing again. I’m doing the Walk Away The Pounds DVD’s. Nothing less than a two mile equivalent. Usually about a half an hour. I’ve just ordered some three, four and five mile ones for the weekends when I have more time to devote to it.
So far I’m really digging them and they’ve been giving me quite a work out. Nothing compared to the choreography we ran through on Saturday, but I feel like even though it had only been a little less than a week of working out, that I felt better conditioned than I would have with out it.
I feel like I’m using these as a base and once I get better, I will add more impact and maybe start running again.
Either way, this feels amazing and I can’t believe that I have skipped this for so long.

Observations on working out thus far

Since Monday I have been working out on my own.  In my last entry I detailed how I tried to find a gym around here that met my needs but failed miserably.  However, what I didn’t mention in that entry was my social anxiety and what a high part that played in my decision to not join a gym.

Anyhoo, Monday I did a workout DVD.
Last night I wasn’t called to rehearsal until 7:30 and that isn’t enough time to go home, so I put on my work out clothes after work threw everything in the car and headed around the business park where I worked for a walk/jog.  This is the same area that I did a lot of my training on lunch breaks for the half marathons back when I had a full hour lunch break.  It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be.  Before I left work, I put some wet paper towels into a ziplock bag and then used them when I got to rehearsal to take a bit of a whore’s bath in the bathroom while changing back into my street clothes.
Tonight I did the same workout DVD that I had done on Monday.

So my thoughts:
I haven’t felt as clear headed and generally happy as I have the last three days in a VERY long time.
If you have followed my youtube channel, you are aware that I had been suffering from a pretty severe depression for the last few months.  It comes and goes in it’s severity, but it has never really gone away.  My anxiety has also been very high.  Having panic attacks for little or no reason.  It was really starting to freak me out.
The last three days I have been in the BEST mood and little to no anxiety.

Having said all of that.  None of this is surprising to me.  I am not a stranger to exercise and how wonderful it makes me feel.  My problem has been that I couldn’t seem to get the motivation to get back into working out, at all in the last couple of years.  Getting off my couch has seemed like the hardest thing to do.  I have grown complacent to my sedentary lifestyle and I was comfortable there.  I was even willing to let myself fall into the depths of a deep depression, knowing that fitness would help me out of it.
I can’t explain why it seemed like such a hard thing for me to do.  It just did.  I just thought it would hurt so much and I would fail.  And in all honestly, my anxiety had gotten so high that in the back of my mind, I probably feared that I would drop of a heart attack at the slightest bit of cardio activity.

Guys, ever since Monday I have been CRAVING my workout.  No joke!  I couldn’t wait to get home tonight to do my DVD.  Last night I was lamenting that I wouldn’t be able to do a workout at home because of rehearsal, and when I made the decision to walk/jog my old stomping grounds I was soooo happy with myself.

It should also be noted that I am pretty sleep deprived right now because of rehearsals.  I am normally in bed by nine thirty on weeknights and by seven or eight on a Sunday to prepare for the week.  Sunday and Tuesday I wasn’t in bed until 11 or midnight both nights because of rehearsal.  While this might not seem like much to a youngster that doesn’t require much sleep, this is a HUGE lack of sleep to me.  One that typically leaves me grouchy and emotional for the rest of the week.
I have felt fantastic all work week!  I might have drank more coffee than normal,(which by the way, normally makes my anxiety go through the roof – not this time!) but I have felt pretty darn amazing.

I hope I am not jinxing myself by posting this, but I don’t think so.  I’m really happy and excited to me working out again and I love this feeling!!!

Adventures in (NOT) Finding a Gym

So I am going into another theater production.  It’s Rocky Horror this time and I have been cast as one of the Magenta’s in a rotating cast of three.  Don’t ask, it’s too long to explain.
Knowing how horribly out of shape I am and how I will have to be wearing some sort of maids outfit onstage, I got it in my head that I was going to join a gym!  I was going to finally start working out damn it!
I did a little research on nationwide gyms that would have a branch where my mom lives in Maine, since I will be going there for two weeks in October before I debut in the show.  Anytime Fitness seemed to be the winner.  I was hoping we had a Planet Fitness near where I live but we don’t.  I got really excited that Anytime Fitness was 24 hours and all over the country and the website made it sound like they had these great shower facilities and locker rooms, and there was a branch three blocks from the theater!  It seemed perfect.
So I walked my happy ass into the location Saturday before rehearsal and got a tour.  The facility itself was very nice!  Very clean and hardly anyone in there on a Saturday afternoon.  Lots of machines and weight stations.  It was looking promising.  Until he told me that they had ONE shower and no locker room.  I was still willing to join but when he told me the shortest contract term was 12 months and there was a 99 dollar penalty fee for breaking it early, my heart sank.  I was hoping for something more short term since the play would be over in November.
This, among other reasons kept me from joining.
When I got home that night I hopped on the interwebs and started researching again.  There is a gym that is native to California but has several locations here called In Shape.  The website made it look amazing!  They had everything, even a pool!
I signed up for a free 7 day trial that doesn’t start until you walk in and activate it and spoke to one of my cast mates excitedly about it the next day.  She was sad to inform me that she had also done the trial previously and found the clientele at this location to be obnoxious and snooty and the staff not very knowledgeable.  In further talking with other people over the course of the last 24 hours, that opinion was backed up multiple times.  I also checked Yelp and saw some scary reviews about the cleanliness.
I checked on other gyms in the area but I just keep hitting a brick wall.
Plus, if I were to be completely candid, I’m not sure how often I would talk myself out of going.  I know myself pretty well after 43 years and I can already hear the excuses clouding my brain of why I can’t go on certain nights.
So I thought about it a lot and I realized that I have a lot of tools at home that I could utilize to start myself in the direction of working out.  I have a crap ton of work out DVD’s that I’ve never even touched!  I have a Tony Little Gazelle that is currently serving as a clothes rack and I have a mini stair stepper in the upper house gathering dust.
What I really would want to go to the gym for would be a treadmill.
So what if I worked out at home?  And if, AND ONLY IF, I did it on a consistent basis, what if I plunked down the money I would have spend on gym dues into a savings account to purchase a treadmill??  It would take a little while to get the one I want because I have expensive taste, but isn’t that the point of the dangling carrot??
My biggest problem with working out at home is that once I get home from work and my butt hits the couch, I ain’t moving.  It’s a proven fact. So tonight I decided to try and jedi mind trick myself.  I got home from work and said hello to the dogs, before putting on my gym clothes.  I kept saying to myself: “I am not at home, I am at the gym.”  I put a work out DVD on the TV and proceeded to do a half an hour of fat burning cardio.  This is the first time I have deliberately (not choreography for a show) worked out in at least a year, possibly two.  I felt AMAZING afterwards.  Still do.

Happy Sweaty Girl

If I can keep up this mindset, I think I might be on to something.  I hope so.

Things I Am Grateful For

I’ve been in the grips of a pretty bad depression for a while now. I have good days and bad days, but overall it’s been pretty bad for the last month or two. I’m on my way out of it now *knocks wood* and this morning actually felt kinda joyful.
I like the days when I can appreciate everything I have and the people in my life. Today is one of those days.
Having said that, I would like to take the time to be grateful. I want to put it out there so I can read it again next time the darkness comes for me again.

I truly live in paradise. I live in a very small community in a small town on a beautiful piece of property along the river. We are fairly secluded and in this day and age of noise and gadgets and all the distractions that life can bring along, there is a great amount of joy to be found just sitting on the back porch listening to the river ripple along beside you.
Of course it doesn’t come without a price. During drought season there is always danger of a fire in the heavily wooded area that is our backyard. Rainy season there is always a risk of flooding as the river is so close. In the last two years we have been in very close danger of both, thankfully everything worked out okay. *knocks wood again*

I am married to a very supportive and patient man. I know it takes a special kind of person to put up with my crazy and he has done it for the last 18 years with minimal complaints. *knocks wood yet again* He makes me laugh on a daily basis and he calms me when I get upset. He encourages me to talk things out when I start to stuff my feelings down and was a godsend in helping me get over my bulimia.
I honestly don’t know where I would be in my life if I hadn’t met him. I don’t even want to imagine it. Marriage is never all sunshine and roses and of course we have our ups and downs like any other couple. But for this gal that said she was never getting married and never had a relationship longer than 6 months before meeting him, it has turned out pretty well.

I am a hermit. I’m putting that out there so you will know what a frustrating friend I must be. I will make plans with you from the comfort of my own house and then when it comes time to have those actual plans, I will do my best to back out on you. It’s not because I don’t want to hang out with you. Not at all. In fact, in all reality I probably miss the hell out of you and to see you would do me a world of good, but I don’t want to leave my house.
I am well aware that this is not healthy and it is getting worse over the last couple of years. I know that my friends get upset when I do this and I have certain friends that just don’t put up with it. They pull the tough love because they know in the end that getting out of the house and hanging out is what will make me feel better. They don’t let me weasel out of our dates unless of course it is an actual emergency. I appreciate that. I also appreciate the friends that ask me to do something knowing full well that I will back out and they let me. It is still nice to be asked and included even though I know, and they know that I won’t go.
The reason I preface all of this like I am is to illustrate the fact that I have the best friends in the world. A great support system even though I am not always the best friend back. I know I can call them and in a second they will drop everything and come to my aid. I often try to convince myself otherwise. It’s a defense mechanism that I have. I build walls, it’s how I am. I have severe trust issues. However, I know that in all reality, my friends love me and would do anything for me. I don’t know what I have done to deserve them in my life.

I have been blessed with the best furbabies in my life.
Romie was an 80 lb German Shepard mix that came with the husband. He was big, goofy and lovable. He was not so sure about me since I took his place on the bed when I first moved in, but he eventually warmed up to me and soon loved me as much as I did him. He made the trek to California with us but eventually at age 16, the inevitable happened. He was a good boy that gave us many years of love.

Pappy was the best dog. We adopted him in 2007 from the Salinas Animal Shelter and he won us over with his big brown eyes and his snuggles. He was a Corgi/Terrier mix and 20 lbs of pure love. He had a tendency to mark his territory so all of our rugs were ruined in a few months, but we were willing to overlook it because he truly had us in the palm of his paw. He wanted nothing more than to love and be loved…and to catch that pesky lizard in our front yard. We had him for a wonderful ten years before the cancer took him. He lasted two years longer than the vet said he would and I’m grateful to have had that extra time with him.
Shilo is a princess and a brat and I love her with all my heart. We acquired her when a friend of ours was fostering a pregnant dog. We got invited over for Thanksgiving in 2010 and left with a new baby girl. Okay, not exactly but that was pretty much how it went. She is a 14 pound chihuahua/min-pin/dachshund mix of pure energy and clinginess. She is incredibly co-dependent and wants nothing more than to be in my lap licking my face 24 hours a day. She is also amazingly adorable and such a sweet love. If Shilo isn’t getting your attention, she will demand it and it will be so cute that you have to give in.
Chewie is our newest addition. We adopted her about three months ago from the SPCA. It had been several months since Pappy passed and we are really a two dog kind of family. We scouted out the SPCA website and picked out our top three choices. The first being a little white dog named Princess. We never made it passed Princess’ room, but we did not go home with her. Instead we fell madly in love with her funny looking roommate “Pop Tart”. She was quiet and loving and a little shy. We interacted her with Shilo and they were indifferent to each other so it was on to the adoption. We found out from my friend that worked at the pound that “Pop Tart” had been adopted out previously with one other dog but was returned because the other dog didn’t like her. How sad! To be rejected twice! We renamed her Chewie and while it took her a while to come out of her shell, she is now happy and thriving in our household. She still won’t play with Shilo, which drives her nuts, but they generally get along.
Being a pet owner is never easy because you know they are on a limited time frame, but the unconditional love you get through the course of their lives is so worth it. I am very lucky to have had some of the best doggies in the world to call my children.

This was all more than I intended to write.  I do have more things that I am thankful for, but I think I will save those to write about another day.  Don’t want to seem too greedy.

Mini Goal Achieved! Down 20 pounds!!

Okay, this is just amazing to me.  I haven’t been able to lose more than a total of seven pounds in about four years.  I get gung ho the first week and then start to lose all motivation because I get caught back up in the fact that I love to eat.
When I was losing weight before, I don’t even think it was because I was dieting, but because I was running and burning calories.
I have lost this current weight without even working out!!!  Other than choreography for the play, which is nothing compared to my two mile runs every day that I used to do.  I can’t even believe it.
Literally.  There is a part of me that wonders if the scale needs new batteries or that I need new glasses, but the proof is in the pudding.  My jeans are literally falling off me.  I had to wear a belt for the first time in forever this week. I look in the mirror and see my double chin going away and my cheekbones emerging.  I’m having to tighten my bra rather than wear an extender. 

It’s all pretty exciting to say the least.  When I first started this blog I stated that I wanted to lose 20 pounds before we take our trip to Vegas in May.  Well, I did it!  I can’t even believe it.  20.8 to be exact as of yesterdays weigh in. So I have achieved my first mini goal!!!  It’s so boggling my mind that I am where I am already.  I mean, I know it’s been almost three months, but it really doesn’t seem that long to me.  And I really don’t feel like I’m depriving myself much of anything.  I mean, I guess it did in the beginning, and I do remember being much more hungry at first, so I guess it is really true that you just need to give yourself enough time to make or break a habit.  I don’t even really think about it anymore, I just eat what I know is going to be good to my body and that’s it.  Keep my portions small on the bad stuff and fill up on the good stuff.  It sounds so stupidly simple when you put it like that, but it’s true.
My broken big toe is finally starting to heal much better now that I’m not dancing on it three days a week, so I’m hoping to actually start getting some exercise in soon.  Nothing more than walking and some Walking Off The Pounds DVD’s but it will at least get me moving and getting my heart rate up.
Not much else to report on the weight loss front, I think that is a lot actually.  I guess I should set a new mini goal.  I have the whole wedding ring thing but I think that’s going to take another month or so. 
I guess I’ll go with getting back into a comfortable size 20…though I think I gave them all away when I gave up on ever losing weight, but I can be convinced to go shopping I suppose.  😉

Lot's of good progress so far.

So Friday marked my 9th weekly weight in since I started trying to eat better.  I was shocked and amazed to see a 2.2 pound loss when I stepped on the scale.  Also, very happy.  🙂
So this brings my weight down to 257 and my total loss to 15.2 pounds.
I haven’t seen the 250’s in about a year so this makes me very very excited. 
The weight I was most comfortable at while still being “morbidly obese” was around 220.  I was fitting into a size 18 jeans and generally felt really good about my appearance.  Of course I was also running on a near daily basis at the time while training for a half marathon, but still…that was my weight.
At this stage in the game though, any loss is a welcome loss.  Or even, just not a gain.  You see, I’m still not really being super strict or counting calories yet.  I’m just cutting my portions down and making better decisions.  I’ve got a basic concept of what works for me during the week and I’m just trying to stick to it.  Chicken, brown rice and a veggie for dinner.  Overnight oats for breakfast and something well balanced for lunch.  Veggies and fruits for snacks and I’ve cut out most diet sodas. 
I’m beginning to see the loss in my face.  My double (triple) chin is getting a bit smaller and my cheekbones are becoming a little bit more pronounced.  I really wish I had taken some body shots when I started so I have a real documentation, alas that didn’t happen.  I did take some the other day so I will at least have something going forward.
What I am starting to notice are other little things that are changing for me cosmetically.  Things I had basically just stopped trying at.
I had pretty much given up on trying to look pretty.  My clothes were straight up tee shirts and jeans.  Why bother to try and dress nice when everything you wear looks like a sack of potatoes anyway right?
Well, lately I have been buying some new items online.  Nothing major, but before I was rotating the same three shirts and the same pair of jeans every day.  Now I have a little more variety and some of the things look a lot cuter on me than they would have fifteen pounds ago.
Also, my skin has been a wreck for most of my adult life.  I have rosacea, but I’ve never really even attempted to take care of my skin.  Turns out that I also have a skin condition I never knew existed.  Milia is the name of those white bumps I have scattered all over my cheeks, just under my eyes.  I had always assumed they were very stubborn white heads that could only be cured by lancing them and pushing out the small white ball inside it.  While you can do this method, they are not whiteheads, but are actually small cysts that are filled with keratin.  I had no idea!  And I just assumed that I was stuck with these suckers for life.  I have had them over a decade and other than lancing them, I have never gotten them to go away with any sort of acne cream – which makes total sense now.
Anyhoo, I gave up on my skin because it was in such a bad way.  I would slather on the foundation to cover the rosacea, but the texture of my skin was always off due to the milia.  I just learned to live with it.  About a month ago, I started using a pretty standard moisturizer.  It was just a hydrating gel that I got when we went to Korea to keep my skin from drying out on the plane.  I have been using it every single morning after my shower and nothing else.  I have found that the texture of my skin is getting better and it doesn’t look so dry and my pores aren’t as prominent. 
Yesterday while researching something else, I stumbled upon an article about Milia and found that you can treat it by using raw honey on them.  I started that yesterday and we shall see how it goes.
I finally gave myself a much needed haircut yesterday as well.  My hair was almost down to my butt and just a mess of straggly split ends.
My point is, that at some point in my weight gain, I gave up on everything else.  My clothes. My face. My hair.  Even my bra.  My stomach was so big that wearing an underwire hurt, so I started buying granny bras and wearing them.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it didn’t do wonders for my self esteem.
I’m now feeling like it’s worth trying to make myself feel that much better by liking other things when I look in the mirror, not just my waistline. 
I view this as a huge win.  While it is not a win on the scale, I think it is even better than that.

Cast Party = Cheat Day

Okay, so I planned today to be a cheat day for me.  GODSPELL closed last night and we as a cast were super sad and cried a lot on stage when we had to say goodbye to Jesus.  This cast is a very close knit group and the emotions were running very high.  Still are for me.  I’m very sad to see this go…probably more so than I ever have been in all the productions I have ever done.
Having said that, our cast party was today at the directors house and almost everyone showed.  It was a pot luck and everyone brought so many yummy dishes.  I had a plan to be moderately good when I got there.  Eat a tiny little portion of everything and that was it.  I’m not sure what happened. 
I didn’t go hog wild or anything.  The alcohol was easy to avoid as I was driving myself home, but for some reason I decided to drink a full sugar ginger ale instead of a diet soda.  When I filled my plate I got a slice of pizza, a mound of teriyaki meatballs, a large scoop of rice pilaf, a drumstick of fried chicken and a large scoop of macaroni salad.  I ate it all.
After that I was quite full and switched to water for my beverage.  I grazed on a few more meatballs, but that was about it. 
The reason I am confessing this is because I wanted to document the way I currently feel.  I got back from the cast party about two hours ago and I have felt an overall sense of ick.  Lethargic, bloated, gassy and not looking forward to eating anything at all.  Normally I would have a little something before bed, but I am just not into it.  Even though I might be hungry, my body is just done.
I have however, prepped all my food for tomorrow.  Lots of fruits and veggies for snacks and chicken, brown rice and green beans for my lunch.
Tomorrow I pass the “Stage torch” to my husband as he goes into deep rehearsals for the music on a play for the week and I am in charge of food and household chores.  I am looking forward to cooking and getting good things together. 
So I have learned that while the food was yummy, I would have been perfectly happy to socialize with my friends with much less food and I would be feeling much better right now.
Every day is a lesson.

Quick realization…

We are one week out from the play going up.  I mention this because at this time in every other play I have ever done, I am stressed to the max.  I am bawling on a daily basis, barely keeping my eyes open at work and just in an overall foul mood most of the time.
I am happy to report that is not the case with this play.  Part of it has to do with an amazing director that has her shit together, but I am really thinking a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am not eating crap.
It sounds stupid to say that, but I really believe it to be true.  I wake up every morning expecting to be just cranky and crying at the drop of a hat and ready to snap at someone for no reason, because that is they way that this normally works for me. 
On a normal night when I am not doing a show I am in bed by ten at the latest.  This past week I haven’t even been home at that hour and have been averaging bedtime around 12:15 or so.  Unheard of for me on a work night unless in a play…where I react like I spoke of above because of the sleep deprivation.
To prove my theory even more, I have to let you know that I am about to start my period.  Aaaaaand, I have the WORST PMS on a good day.  To the point where I have to apologize to people on a regular basis for my shitty attitude and for biting their heads off.
So….add all that together in a blender and you would think I would be ready to do some serious damage to someone or something right?  It hasn’t been so. 
I have been a little cranky at things that I feel are justified, but no more so than a regular day for me.  I really think that eating more of an actual “food” based diet is totally making me more sane. 
Crazy right??